Nigeria’s inflation rate fell to 11.02 percent in August from July’s 11.08 percent, the lowest since January 2016 as growth in food prices, the big driver of the inflation, slowed, according to the National Bureau of Statistics. Inflation has been falling steadily since May, boosting chances that the CBN could begin to loosen interest rates at its rate-setting meeting next week. The price index, which peaked at 18.7 percent in January last year, has been in double digits for three years. The food sub-index, which makes up the bulk of the inflation basket, dropped to 13.17% in August from 13.39% a month earlier.

The Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit has finally admitted writing a leaked letter that requested banks to give up the account details of senior legislators and judicial officers. The NFIU which had previously denied writing the letter later attributed it to a new officer who it said was not acquainted with the fact that the NFIU already had access to such information through its database. The NFIU’s spokesman, Ahmed Dikko, said the agency noted that it has the major responsibility, in accordance with global standards, to maintain and regularly update the list of Politically Exposed Persons. According to Dikko, since a new government was inaugurated in May 2019, it had become necessary to update the list of politically exposed persons, including politicians and political appointees in all organs of government. Dikko said that the update exercise is a regular practice in order to protect public funds and other assets.

Data from the CBN shows that the total direct remittances to the country in the first seven months of the year rose by 135.51 percent to $11.54 billion compared to the corresponding period of 2018. The CBN said that diaspora remittances rose because of a series of foreign exchange reforms targetted to attract the inflow of capital. In January, $1.89 billion was remitted, while in February, $1.9 billion was the total direct remittance. $1.12 billion and $1.56 billion were the total direct remittances in March and April 2019, respectively, while the figure hit $1.74 billion in May; $1.67 billion in June and $1.66 billion in July 2019. The CBN had licensed International Money Transfer Operators and monitors legitimate foreign currency, especially dollar inflow into the country as banks and oil companies remit foreign currency to the CBN. PwC had recently said remittances from abroad could strengthen Nigeria’s economy with an estimated amount of $25.5 billion, $29.8 billion and $34.8 billion in 2019, 2021 and 2023, respectively.

Nigeria’s crude oil exports may suffer another setback as Aiteo Eastern Exploration and Production Company has declared force majeure on the Nembe Creek Trunk Line last week. A spokesman for Aiteo announced this on Tuesday but did not give a reason for the shutdown on the facility that exports, evacuates crude to the Bonny Crude Oil Terminal. The pipeline is one of the two that exports Bonny Light, so the terminal is currently loading only from the Trans Niger Pipeline, a spokesman for terminal operator Shell said, according to Reuters. The NTCL is 100 kilometres long and has a capacity of 150,000 barrels per day at Nembe Creek. Aiteo had in April this year declared force majeure on the Nembe Creek Trunk Line following a fire outbreak.