The amount of electricity generated by Nigeria’s 27 power stations plunged below 3GW on Sunday as low load demand by distribution companies continued to limit generation. The total generation dropped to 2,970MW as of 0600 hours on Sunday from 3,182.2MW on Saturday, data from the Nigeria Electricity System Operator has shown. The output of the power stations dropped to 3,074.6MW on Friday from 3,290.9MW on Thursday. A report from the system operator showed that a total of 2,159.7MW generation capacity was idle on Thursday as a result of low load demand by Discos while 112.5MW was unutilised because of line constraints. Eight power plants, including four built under the National Integrated Power Project, did not generate any megawatt of electricity as of 0600 hours on Thursday. The affected plants, according to the report are Afam IV & V, Omotosho I, Alaoji NIPP, Olorunsogo NIPP, Omotosho NIPP, Gbarain NIPP, AES IPP and ASCO IPP. The country generates most of its electricity from gas-fired power plants, while output from hydropower plants makes up about 30 percent of the total.

Loan defaults will now be settled using deposits made in other banks, the CBN announced Monday after an agreement was reached with commercial banks in the country. According to the CBN’s deputy governor, financial services system, Aishah Ahmad, the directive is to encourage banks to increase lending. Ahmad made the announcement after the Bankers Committee meeting. Meanwhile, the regulator has warned loan seekers and owners of small-scale businesses to beware of fraudulent loan offers purportedly by the federal government. The CBN spokesperson, Isaac Okorafor, said that the masterminds of the fraud ask their potential victims to apply for loans provided by the federal government through an e-mail address. He advised that for the avoidance of doubt, there are clearly spelt out procedures for accessing CBN intervention funds, which are disbursed through Participating Financial Institutions, such as Deposit Money Banks, Development Finance Institutions and Microfinance Banks.

The Federal Inland Revenue Service says it will begin to impose VAT on both domestic and international online transactions from January 2020. The chairman of FIRS, Tunde Fowler, said that many countries had identified Nigeria as a big market and that there was a need to tap the potential of online businesses to generate more revenue for the country. The commencement date of the VAT charges on online transactions, Fowler said, would be subject to the government’s approval. The agency said it would ask banks to charge VAT on online transactions as VAT remains the cash cow in most African countries, with an average VAT-to-total tax revenue rate of 31 percent. This is higher than the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development’s average of 20 percent.

The investment in software by Nigerian banks has grown over the years to ₦120 billion as of 31 December 2018, despite the minimal input of Nigerian software developers in the financial industry. An investigation by The Punch said that investment grew by 55 percent in two years from the ₦77.35 billion going by the banks’ collective financial report ended 31 December 2016. 10 banks were captured in the report include First City Monument Bank Limited, Guaranty Trust Bank, Sterling Bank, Zenith Bank, United Bank for Africa and First Bank. Others were Wema Bank, Union Bank, Unity Bank and Jaiz Bank. The analysis of the full-year audited annual reports of the banks showed that the software assets of First Bank had reached ₦29.36 billion in 2018, from the ₦18.82 billion reported at the end of the 2016 financial year, representing a 56 percent increase in software investment over the two years under review. As of December 2018, FCMB had spent ₦9.95 million on computer software developed within and sourced from outside the country as against ₦6.94 million invested as of 31 December 2016. This investment grew by 43 percent in two years. UBA software assets expanded by 21 percent to reach ₦20.09 billion as of the end of 2018 compared with ₦16.59 billion in the corresponding period in 2016. GTB’s investment in software development and procurement was ₦19.8 billion as of the end of 2018, growing by 56 percent compared to ₦12.67 billion in the same period of 2016. Sterling Bank’s software assets value grew by 6.5 percent from ₦3.87 billion investment as of December 2016 to ₦4.12 billion in the corresponding period of 2018. Wema Bank, which had invested ₦2.92 billion in the procurement of software as of December 2016, reported a growth of 44 percent in software assets, ₦4.2 billion, within the two years under review.  ₦28.91 billion had so far been invested in procuring software for Zenith Bank in the period as against ₦11.99 billion in 2016, rising by 141 percent. The Union Bank’s software purchase increased by 90 percent from ₦6.69 billion reported in 2016 to ₦12.74 billion in 2018. For Jaiz Bank, investment in software, which reached ₦563.2 million as of 2016, grew by 22 percent to ₦688 million as of 2018. Analysis of the reports indicated that the investment of Unity Bank in software reached ₦80.87 million at the end of 2018, dropping by 97 percent from ₦3.22 billion in the two years under review.