Data from the CBN indicates that the country spent $1.09 billion on debt servicing between January and September this year. A total of $354.6 million was spent to service debts in Q1 2019, $252.3 million Q2, and rose to $485.8 million in Q4. The CBN data showed that in 2018, a total of ₦451.7 billion ($1.47 billion) was spent on debt servicing. It explained that the consolidated domestic debt stock of the FG in December 2018 was ₦12.44 trillion, an increase of 2.4 percent over the ₦12.15 trillion recorded at the end of June 2018. FGN bonds constituted 73.41 percent while Treasury Bills constituted 21.99 percent. The FGB Sukuk and Green Bond respectively accounted for 1.61 and 0.09 percent of the total domestic debt stock. The FGN special bonds, savings bonds and Nigerian Treasury Bonds accounted for 1.61, 0.09 and 1.21 percent, respectively, the financial stability report added. The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, had said that Nigeria’s debt was not as worrisome as people think, and insisted that despite the foreign and domestic debt stock, Nigeria has no debt crisis.

Access Bank has announced the resignation of Ernest Ndukwe as an Independent Non-Executive Director from its board. Sunday Ekwochi, Access Bank’s Company Secretary, said that Ndukwe had indicated his intention not to seek re-election during the bank’s 2020 AGM. His resignation from the board, effective 31 March 2020, to enable him to focus on his current and additional responsibilities. Ndukwe has confirmed that he has no disagreement with the board and there are no issues relating to his resignation that need to be brought to the attention of the bank’s shareholders or the regulatory authorities, the board said, noting that it is identifying the right candidate to fill the resultant vacancy as soon as possible, and a further announcement will be made in that regard, in due course.

The Greek shipping ministry said pirates abducted a Greek, a Georgian and two Filipino crew members from the Greek-flagged Elka Aristotle oil tanker while the vessel was docked in the port of Lome in Togo. The attack on the 24 crew-member ship took place in the early hours of Monday. The ship is a 94,143 DWT oil tanker operated by Athens-based European Navigation, according to Bloomberg data. This is coming after it was reported that pirates kidnapped a Norwegian shipping vessel with nine crew members off the coast of the Benin Republic. The vessel was carrying gypsum, a mineral used as a fertiliser, and was at anchor, the owner JJ Ugland said.

The Nigeria Shipowners Association has called on the suspension of the 12.5 percent tariff on new vessels, noting that it was still high after the duty was cut down from 15 percent. The president of the association, Aminu Umar, said the association regretted that the situation had contributed to the reluctance of shipowners to register their vessels at the ship registry established by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency. NIMASA had made moves in 2018 to review the tariff on Nigerian-owned vessels. The DG, NIMASA, Dakuku Peterside, said the agency was in talks with the Ministry of Finance towards creating a special duty rate for acquisition of new vessels. The duty was at a time 15 percent and stakeholders had complained that it was too high and created unfair competition among Nigerians and foreign shipping companies. There were reports that if a foreign operator brought a ship into the country to work for a short period, the Nigeria Customs Service would charge a lower duty rate than a Nigerian bringing a new vessel into the country. Umar insisted that the current rate of 12.5 percent was still high and sought for the complete scrapping of the duty.