The House of Representatives has indefinitely suspended the consideration of the $22.79 billion (₦8.77 trillion) external loan request by President Buhari. The House had listed the report by its Committee on Aids, Loans and Debt Management on the 2016–2018 Federal Government External Borrowing (Rolling) Plan as the last item for consideration on the order paper for Wednesday’s proceeding. The Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, however, asked that the consideration be stood down without giving a new date. “We will step that down for today,” Gbajabiamila said, asking the Chairman, Rules and Business, Abubakar Fulata, to move for the stand down. When asked to respond to the indefinite suspension of the loan request by the House, spokesman to the finance minister, Yunusa Abdullahi, declined to comment. The Speaker on Tuesday had announced that the loan would be considered on Wednesday. He had made this known in reaction to a member of the House, Henry Nwawuba, who presented a petition by a group of the South-East’s elite, against the consideration and approval of the external loan. The Senate last week approved the loan but not without protests from the opposition senators led by the Minority Leader, Enyinnaya Abaribe.

Agusto and Co has predicted a significant reduction in the total number of players in Nigeria’s insurance industry by at least 50 percent this year. In its report on the insurance industry, “Recapitalisation: The Journey to Consolidation,” Agusto said that at least 26 out of 59 insurance firms licensed to underwrite risks in the non-life, life and composite business segments, would be able to meet the new minimum capital requirement stipulated by the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) for operation of insurance business in Nigeria. The report also predicted a stable outlook and anticipated 26.5 percent growth in total assets of the industry between now and 31 December. The new minimum capital requirements stipulated by NAICOM increased the capital base of four categories of insurance licenses from ₦3 billion to ₦10 billion for non-life insurance; ₦2 billion to ₦8 billion for life insurance; ₦5 billion to ₦18 billion for composite insurance and ₦10 billion to ₦20 billion for reinsurers. The deadline for meeting the new minimum requirement is 31 December 2020.

Royal Dutch Shell’s onshore Nigeria subsidiary saw a 41% rise in the number of crude oil spills due to theft or pipeline sabotage in 2019, the group said in its annual report. Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC) also recorded a rise in the volume of oil spilt in the Niger Delta as a result of illegal activity to 2,000 tonnes in 2019 from 1,600 tonnes a year earlier. Of a total 164 SPDC spills of more than 100 kilograms in the delta, 157 were due to theft and sabotage, Shell said. That compared with 111 spills due to sabotage in 2018. SPDC is a joint venture of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), which holds a 55% stake, Shell, its operator, with 30%, France’s Total with 10% and Italy’s Eni with 5%. It produces around 1 million barrels of oil per day and operates more than 6,000 kilometres of pipelines in the delta.

Nigeria’s All Share Index slumped to six year low, Thursday, shedding 3.72 percent to fall to 22,695.88 points from 23,572.75 at which it opened for trading. This was largely due to the persistent sell pressure on medium/large capitalised stocks. The overall market capitalisation size shed ₦457 billion, to close at ₦11.827 trillion. The downtrend was impacted by loses recorded in large and medium capitalised stocks, amongst which are; MTN Nigeria, Okomu Oil, Presco, Nigerian Breweries and Flour Mills of Nigeria. Total volume traded fell by 23.9 per cent to 1.06 billion shares, worth ₦9.81 billion, and traded in 5,501 deals.