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Crude Oil Price Threatens 2019 Budget Implementation

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Crude Oil Price Threatens 2019 Budget Implementation

The possibility of implementing the 2019 national budget got a shot in the arm on Wednesday as crude oil prices rose to sixty dollars per barrel.  This happened after the U.S. And China met in Beijing.  Their meeting had given world economies an assurance that the two biggest world economies would find a way to resolve their trade differences.

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Brent price hit last year’s high of eighty-six dollars in October and encouraged the federal government to peg this year’s budget on oil price of sixty dollars against the fifty dollars per barrel oil price benchmark proposed in the economic recovery growth plan, ERGP.

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The world bank expects global economic growth to slow to two point nine percent this year from three percent in 2018.

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Russia Becomes World Fifth Biggest Bullion Holders

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Russia Becomes World Fifth Biggest Bullion Holders

Russia became the world’s fifth largest official sector holder of gold  as Western sanctions drove buying by its central bank to record highs in 2018 , its data showed on Friday. China dropped to sixth place as it reported an increase in gold reserves just once in more than two years, with its holdings rising to 59.6 million ounces in December 2018 from 59.2 million ounces in October 2016.

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With support from Russia President Vladimir Putin, the central bank in Russia has been betting heavily on bullion, often seen as a safe haven or a natural hedge against the dollar, with active purchases in the last 10 years. “It seems that there is an aim to diversify from American assets,’’ said a source at one Russian gold producer, referring to the central bank’s holdings.

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In 2018, Russia’s buying jumped further as holdings of U.S. Treasury securities were reduced after Washington imposed sanctions on Russian entities in April, the toughest since Moscow’s 2014 annexation of Crimea from Ukraine.

Russia’s central bank is buying domestically produced gold from commercial banks.

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CBN, SEC Grant Approval In Principle To Access And Diamond Bank Amid Merger

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CBN SEC Grant Approval IN Principle To Access And Diamond Bank On Proposed Merger

The Central Bank of Nigeria and the Securities Exchange Commission have granted an approval in principle to Access Bank and Diamond Bank on their proposed merger.

An Access Bank Executive Director, Victor Etuokwu, says the banks were expecting the final approval to come after the banks’ shareholders meetings.

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Etuokwu said the banks have received two of three approvals needed for the process, and that the final approval would be completed in the next sixty days.

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Etuokwu said the new bank that would emerge after the merger would focus on retail and corporate banking.

Robert Giles in charge of retail at Diamond Bank says customers will be able to use Automated Teller Machines, ATMs, of either bank at no cost.

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Maritime Expert Urges FG To Develop Policies To Boost Ship Ownership In Nigeria

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Maritime Expert Urges FG To Develop Policies To Enable Ship Ownership In Nigeria

The federal government has been asked to develop policies that would help increase local ship ownership that would help in the training of Nigerian seafarers.  Currently, there are no locally-owned ships operating in international waters.

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The call was made in Abuja on Tuesday by Mfon Ekong Usoro, secretary-general of the Abuja M.O.U. On Port State Control for West and Central African Region.

She said the absence of locally-owned vessels trading at the international stage has reduced opportunities for hand-on experience for Nigerian seafarers.

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Usoro said this has reduced the abilities of Nigerian seafarers to compete against their contemporaries around the world in areas of international shipping.

She called on NIMASA to invest in a training ship like that of South Africa’s Samsa and create berths for sea training for Nigerian seafarers.

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