The CBN has ordered financial institutions to stop the sale of treasury bills to individuals and small firms with effect from 29 November. A source from the CBN said the move was to stop the mop-up of funds from the system through the treasury bills as many people with huge amounts of cash prefer to keep their funds idle in treasury bills instead of investing the funds. Banks are already notifying their customers of the new directive, which says that only big corporate organisations would be allowed to do treasury bills investments. However, the existing treasury bills investments would be allowed to continue until the end of their maturity dates. Operators are trying to see if the deadline could be extended to allow for awareness, but there is no move for the reversal of the directive, a bank official said.
The Total Group is seeking to sell its 12.5 percent stake in a major deepwater oilfield off the coast of Nigeria. The stake in Oil Mining Lease 118, which is located some 120 kilometres off the Niger Delta, is valued at up to $750 million, an industry and banking sources told Reuters. The move is an effort to adjust the energy company’s Africa portfolio amid a broad expansion in the continent after agreeing earlier this year to buy Anadarko’s Africa portfolio for $8.8 billion as part of its acquisition by US rival, Occidental Corporation. The sources said an investment bank, Rothschild, is running the sale process for Total. Royal Dutch Shell operated the OML 118 which holds a 55 percent interest. Exxon Mobil holds a 20 percent stake in the block, while Italy’s Eni and Total each hold 12.5 percent. The sale process was part of Total’s plan to sell $5 billion of assets around the world by 2020, according to Reuters. The oil block includes the Bonga field, Nigeria’s first deepwater project which started in 2005 and produced around 225,000 barrels of oil and 150 million standard cubic feet of gas per day at its peak.
The Comptroller General of Customs, Hameed Ali, has ordered that petroleum products should no longer be supplied to filling stations within 20 kilometres of all Nigerian borders. In a circular dated 6 November, Ali directed all operatives around the borders to ensure strict and immediate compliance with the directive. He said no matter the tank size, no petroleum product is permitted to be discharged in any filling station in that radius. The circular claimed that the suspension of the supply of petroleum products became necessary following the closure of Nigeria’s borders to neighbouring countries and to check the proliferation of petroleum products.
The Nigeria Extractive Industries Initiative has said that crude oil and refined products worth $41.9 billion were stolen from the country in the last decade. The country lost $38.5 billion on crude theft alone, $1.56 billion on domestic crude and another $1.8 billion on refined petroleum products between 2009 and 2018. Hence, the organisation urged the government to embrace oil fingerprinting technology, a comprehensive metering infrastructure of all facilities and other creative strategies to check the growing menace of theft of Nigeria’s crude oil and refined petroleum products.