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Banks receive more cash from CBN, load ATMs

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The Central Bank of Nigeria has released more old notes to Deposit Money Banks as the apex bank steps up efforts to flood the economy with more cash after a prolonged cash crunch that has made life difficult for millions of Nigerians and residents.

The CBN had on Thursday begun the release of billions of naira to DMBs. Bank officials said the CBN again released several billions of naira to lenders on Friday

Several branches of banks opened over the weekend and dispensed cash to their customers via Automated Teller Machines and over-the-counter.

Some of the banks had sent out emails to their customers notifying them that they would be open over the weekend for banking operations as ordered by the apex bank.

Visits to banks’ branches in Lagos, Abuja, Ogun and other states revealed that most banks complied with the order of the CBN and attended to customers both in the banking hall and dispensed cash via ATM.

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Most of the banks’ branches along the Oshodi-Apapa Expressway and Gbagada area of Lagos opened on Saturday and Sunday and subsequently dispensing cash to their customers.

The Access Bank branch at Sadiku Bus stop along the Oshodi-Apapa Expressway dispensed cash via its ATMS.

The United Bank for Africa branch at Oshodi, close to the expressway dispensed cash both in the banking hall and at its ATMs. Customers were able to get N20,000 over-the-counter.

The Access Bank branch next to it allowed its customers to get N20,000 while holders of other banks’’ ATMs got N5,000 only.

Fidelity Bank branch also at Oshodi expressway paid N20,000 inside the banking hall. Of its three ATMs, only one was dispensing, paying other banks’ customers N5,000 and its customers N20,000.

Meanwhile, our correspondent didn’t observe any of the banks dispensing crispy naira notes and customers didn’t care as long as they got the cash.

A taxi driver, who identified himself as Baba Taju, said the kind of naira notes didn’t matter as long as he got some to spend.

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“You think that’s important now? What did we do when we couldn’t get any cash? Please any cash is welcome as long as I can spend it,” he said.

Also, customers in the Federal Capital Territory continued to receive naira notes on Sunday.

Some crowds of customers were seen at banks’ ATM galleries while others tried to perform over-the-counter transactions.

Along the airport road, only Guaranty Trust Bank opened for physical operations, Stanbic IBTC loaded its ATMS with cash while Zenith Bank didn’t open for business.

Our correspondent observed that the old N1,000 notes distributed were not crisp ones as officials separated mutilated notes before giving them to customers.

In Ogun State, findings by our correspondent at Zenith Bank, PremiumTrust Bank, GTB, Unity Bank and Access Bank branches in Redemption Camp along the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway indicated that all the ATMs were fully loaded with cash

Also, both old and new naira notes were dispensed.

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Along the Ojodu-Berger axis of Lagos State, our correspondent visited six banks. The banks were Union Bank Plc, Ecobank, Access Bank, GTB, Zenith Bank, and First Bank. All six banks, apart from Guaranty Trust Bank did not open their banking halls to customers. ATMs were also not loaded.

 

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Otedola buys N18.9bn shares to regain position as biggest shareholder in FBN Holdings

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Femi Otedola, billionaire businessman and chairman of FBN Holdings, has regained his position as the majority shareholder of First Bank.

 

According to corporate filings on the Nigerian Exchange Group (NGX) on Thursday, Otedola now owns 9.41 percent shares in the bank.

 

This became possible after he purchased the group’s shares valued at N18.9 billion.

 

According to the corporate filings, the billionaire paid N21.91 per share or N6.935 billion for 316,506,776 shares.

 

He then bought an additional 546,674,034 shares through Calvados Global Services Limited, his holding company, for N21.97 per share — totalling N12.01 billion.

 

With this, the number of shares recently acquired totalled 863,180,810.

 

The fresh acquisition has increased Otedola’s shares (direct and indirect) in FBN Holdings to 3,380,462,950 — from 2,517,282,140 shares.

 

This means the businessman is now the highest shareholder in the company, overtaking Barbican Capital Limited, owned by Oba Otudeko, which has 3,110,400,619 direct shares.

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In January, FBN Holdings appointed Otedola as the chairman of its board of directors.

 

The appointment came two years after the investor became the firm’s single largest shareholder in December 2021, when he increased his stake to 7.57 percent.

 

A month after the appointment, FBN Holdings named Barbican Capital Limited as its majority shareholder — making Otedola the second major shareholder at the time.

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Price of 12.5kg cooking gas increased by 63% in one year, says NBS

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The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) says the price of 12.5 kilograms (kg) of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), better known as cooking gas, has increased by 63.85 percent in one year.

 

This is contained in the agency’s report on LPG (cooking gas) price watch for May 2024 on June 20.

 

NBS said the average price for refilling a 12.5kg cylinder of cooking gas in May increased to N15,627.40, compared to N9,537.89 in May 2023.

 

On a month-on-month basis, the bureau said the average retail price for refilling a 12.5kg cylinder of LPG dropped by 0.07 percent in a month — from N15,637.74 in April 2024 to N15,627.40 in May 2024.

 

“The average retail price for refilling a 12.5kg Cylinder of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (Cooking Gas) declined by 0.07% on a month-on-month basis from N15,637.74 in April 2024 to N15,627.40 in May 2024,” NBS said.

 

“On a year-on-year basis, this rose by 63.85% from N9,537.89 in May 2023.”

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Based on state analysis, Zamfara recorded the highest average retail price for refilling a 12.5kg cooking gas with N18,369.33, followed by Bayelsa with N17,772.21 and Abia with N17,538.02.

 

“Conversely, the lowest average price was recorded in Bauchi with N13,076.43, followed by Ebonyi and Taraba with N13,788.09 and N13,860.31 respectively,” the bureau added.

 

“Analysis by zone showed that the South-South recorded the highest average retail price for refilling a 12.5kg Cylinder of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (Cooking Gas) with N16,310.02, followed by the North-West with N15,991.13 while the North-East recorded the lowest price with N15,010.62.”

 

‘AVERAGE PRICE OF 5KG LPG INCREASED BY 13% IN MAY’

NBS said the average retail price for refilling a 5kg cylinder of LPG rose by 13.75 percent on a month-on-month basis — from N6,521.58 recorded in April 2024 to N7,418.45 in May 2024.

 

“On a year-on-year basis, this increased by 70.12% from N4,360.69 in May 2023,” NBS said.

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“On state profile analysis, Benue recorded the highest average price for refilling a 5kg Cylinder of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (Cooking Gas) with N8,012.03, followed by Enugu with N7,926.21, and Ondo with N7,857.53.

 

“On the other hand, Yobe recorded the lowest price with N5,842.31, followed by Jigawa and Katsina with N6,521.81 and N6,567.95 respectively.

 

“In addition, analysis by zone showed that the South-East recorded the highest average retail price for refilling a 5kg Cylinder of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (Cooking Gas) with N7,680.87, followed by the South-West with N6,593.93.”

 

NBS also said the north-east recorded the lowest price for May with N7,071.84.

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Why tomato, pepper are expensive – Mile 12 market chair

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The Chairman of the Mile 12 International Market in Lagos State Shehu Usman Jubrin has pinned the recent high cost of tomato, pepper, and other perishable items on insecurity and other factors.

 

A small basket of tomatoes goes for about N35,000 at the market while the price of pepper has also jumped, raising concerns among Nigerians.

 

But Usman says the insecurity in the north is a major factor for the hike in the cost of the items.

 

“The bone of contention, the real fact is just insecurity. Let me tell you, that’s the truth. And there’s absolutely nothing the country will do. This price hike will continue. They are still buying tomato, at the rate of N1,000 for three pieces,” he said on Monday’s edition of Channels Television’s The Morning Brief.

 

“Ninety-nine per cent of the people in IDP camps are farmers. They don’t know anything apart from farming – both male and female. The people who are on the farm and are farming with one eye closed are just about 1,500 out of like 5,000 farmers we have across the whole country.”

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According to him, some of the farmers negotiate with and pay bandits before they can go to their farms to harvest the products.

 

“In those places where you are getting all these items, there are negotiations between them and the bandits who ask them, ‘How much are you going to pay me to harvest and bring to the market?’” the Mile 12 International Market leader said.

 

“So, for as long as those people are in IDP camps, the country will continue to be in trouble in terms of food items.”

 

He also linked it to other factors including supply shortage from the northern part of Nigeria to the south.

 

“Let me just talk about tomatoes first. From November, December, January, February, March, and April, up to May, you have tomatoes from the North.

 

“You have danja, danjumi, kadawa, Kano and then Katsina states. This is the off-season now, so we expect tomatoes from Ilaro, Ogbomosho, Abeokuta, and Osun to come to Lagos, you know, and also part of Cameroon. That is a kind of substitute for the northern one.

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“But unfortunately, it’s late: the one from Cameroon, the one from Abeokuta and Ogbomosho. And as we approach the festive period, tomatoes will be expensive. The northern tomatoes are finished and we don’t have substitutes from the south.”

 

He also blamed the situation on pests, saying the diseases have led to low yields.

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