NBS Releases June Inflation Rate

Bureau Of Statistics, Inflation RateNigeria’s headline inflation increased by 16.5% in June from 15.6% in May, as the rate continues to increase for the fifth consecutive month.

According to the National Bureau of Statistics, the 0.9% increase is attributed to a rise in energy costs, imported food items and related products.

During the period, the food index rose at a faster rate of 1.4%, month-on-month due to increase in the prices of meat, vegetables and cereals.

While the urban index also jumped 11.9% in June, the corresponding rural index increased from 10.4% to 10.9%.

Meanwhile, the Nigerian stock market’s benchmark index dropped by 25 basis points to 28,733.90, while the market capitalisation fell by 25 billion naira to 9.86 trillion naira against Friday’s figure, as the market reacts to the country’s June inflation data, and financial markets illiquidity.

However, investors’ appetite for stock remained moderate as a total of 315.5 million shares worth 1.72 billion naira were traded in 3,976 deals at the close of session.

Skye Bank topped the lead of the most actively traded stock with a whopping 138.2 million shares followed by FBN Holdings and UBA.

On the price table, Skye Bank was also the major price advancer in a list of ten, with a 10% increase to its share price, followed by Forte Oil and Nigerian Police Microfinance Bank.

And on the flip side, Law Union and Rock Insurance led 23 other decliners including Wapco and Arbico, down by 8.33%.

Inflation Rate Remains Unchanged At 9.6%

inflationNigeria’s inflation rate remained unchanged at 9.6% in the month of January, maintaining the same figure recorded in December, 2015.

According to data released by the National Bureau of Statistics on Sunday, the headline index was weighed down by slower increases in major divisions such as housing, water, electricity, gas, fuel, furnishing and household equipment.

Food inflation remained steady at 10.6% in January compared with the previous month.

During the month, all major food groups which contribute to the food sub-index increased at a faster pace during the month, with the exception of the fruit vegetables.

The NBS also stated in its petrol price watch that Nigerians paid an average sum of 109 Naira 59 kobo per litre for the product in January.

Shell Has No Timeline For Nigeria Oil Well Restart After Leak

ShellShell has no timeline to restart the Seibou 2 wellhead it closed in Nigeria that in January after it leaked 550 barrels of crude oil, a spokeswoman said on Friday.

The company said it closed the well, which is operated by Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC), roughly 15 hours after the leak was detected.

The spill impacted 300,000 square metres of water surface, an area roughly the size of 42 football pitches, in Bayelsa State.

Shell said it had deployed booms to prevent further spread of the spill.

“A follow-up joint investigation visit is being planned to lift the line from underwater and determine the cause of the leak,” Shell said in a statement.

The Seibou field produced 1.3 million barrels of crude oil, an average of around 3,500 barrels per day, in 2013, according to the Nigerian National Petroleum Company, as well as 29 million cubic metres of gas.

Syria’s Chemical Weapons Wild Card: Chlorine Gas

A man breathes through an oxygen mask inside a field hospital in Kfar Zeita village in the central province of Hama

Chlorine gas attacks in Syria this month, if proven, expose a major loophole in an international deal which promised to remove chemical weapons from Syria and suggest chemical warfare could persist after the removal operation has finished.

President Bashar al-Assad agreed with the United States and Russia to dispose of his chemical weapons – an arsenal which Damascus had never previously formally acknowledged – after hundreds of people were killed in a Sarin gas attack on the outskirts of the capital last August.

Washington and its Western allies said it was Assad’s forces who unleashed the nerve agent, in the world’s worst chemical attack in a quarter-century. The government blamed the rebel side in Syria’s civil war, which is now in its fourth year.

Syria has vowed to hand over or destroy its entire arsenal by the end of this week, but still has roughly 20 per cent of the chemicals it declared to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

In addition, chlorine gas that was never included on the list submitted to the OPCW is now allegedly being used on the battlefield, leading some countries to consider requesting an investigation, possibly through the United Nations.

Attacks this month in several areas of the country share characteristics that have led analysts to believe that there is a coordinated chlorine campaign, with growing evidence that it is the government side dropping the bombs.

U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said on Monday that Washington had indications that chlorine was probably used by government forces in Syria.

“We are examining allegations that the government was responsible,” she said. “Obviously there needs to be an investigation of what’s happened here.”

JTF arrests six oil thieves in Bayelsa

 The Joint Task Force (JTF) led by the Commander, 5 Battalion of the JTF, Lt Col Ja’afaru Ibrahim, waylaid an oil theft syndicate during an early morning raid as they used the riverside Otuogori community in Ogbia local government area of Bayelsa State as depot for the transportation of illegally refined petroleum products.

Six in all, the suspects were caught in the act of their illegal activity as they were loading a 36,000 litre capacity tanker with illegally refined diesel and 300 surface tanks.

A 36,000 litre capacity tanker, with registration number XQ 239 LSR, used in conveying illegally refined petroleum product (diesel), 26 large surface tanks, 2 Geepee tanks, each having 500-litre storage capacity, over 300 drums of diesel, gigantic hoses, generators and 10 pumping machines used in siphoning stolen crude oil as well as in transferring illegally refined products to surface tanks, waiting vessels and tankers were intercepted by the security forces.

The raid was reported to be a surprise as most of the community members were believed to be neck deep in the illegal bunkering business because they all abandoned their place of abode which they stocked with the illegally refined products and scampered for safety while the JTF carried out their raid.

Last week’s destruction of 218 illegal refineries, 151 surface tanks and oil dumps around Oporoza in the Ecravos waterways of Delta State, Alakiri waterside and the adjoining creeks of Sombreiro River in Abonema, Rivers State led to raid by the JTF.