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New Regulation for SIM Swapping Coming, Says NCC

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  • New Regulation for SIM Swapping Coming

The Nigerian Communications Commission has said that a new regulation for replacing Subscriber Identification Module cards is coming, alleging that under the current dispensation, some subscribers have had their bank accounts linked to their mobile numbers wiped off.

The Head of Legal and Regulatory Services, NCC, Mrs. Yetunde Akinloye, said this at the 79th Telecom Consumer Parliament held in Abuja on Thursday.

Akinloye said given the fraud that had trailed the swapping of SIM cards by fraudulent subscribers, it had become necessary to roll out a new and uniform rule that must be followed before a telecom operator could approve SIM card swap.

The NCC official said such fraudulent subscribers were perpetuating their acts in collaboration with some insiders in banks, as investigation at the Central Bank of Nigeria had revealed.

She described a particular case where a subscriber whose telephone could not work for 24 hours thought that the problem was a network challenge, only to realise later that his SIM card had been swapped and his account balance had been reduced by N4m.

Akinloye said the new rule would check the incidence of SIM swap not authorised by the legitimate SIM card owner.

Answering questions on the recent price floor on data services, Akinloye said the commission had to take action to save small operators and prevent the emergence of new monopolies in the telecoms industry.

However, the Head, Value Added Services, Globacom, Mr. Deepak Sharawap, said imposing a price floor on data services would take the cost beyond the reach of ordinary subscribers.

He said the best approach was for the regulatory agency to allow operators to determine the tariff at which they could make profits instead of imposing a minimum price on them.

Speaking at the opening of the event, the Executive Vice Chairman, NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, said the Do-Not-Disturb regulation rolled out by the commission was necessary to stop operators from sending unwanted messages to their subscribers.

He said, “Following the barrage of complaints on the menace of unsolicited messages, the commission swayed into action by mandating the activation of the 2442 short code to enable consumers control the type of messages they receive.

“I am glad that it has come into effect and I urge all consumers to take advantage of this new regime by sending ‘Stop’ to 2442 to avoid unsolicited messages.”

Danbatta said any operator that failed to implement the directive fully would be sanctioned.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

Crude Oil

The Drop in US Crude Oil Inventories Boosted Oil Prices on Wednesday

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The Drop in US Crude Oil Inventories Boosted Oil Prices on Wednesday

Crude oil prices rose on Wednesday following a decline in US crude inventories last week.

The American Petroleum Institute (API) had reported that United States crude oil inventories declined by 5.3 million barrels in the week ended January 22, 2021, more than a reduction of 430,000 barrels predicted by a Reuters poll.

The unexpected decline, coupled with slowing new COVID-19 cases in China, the world’s largest importer of crude oil, boosted oil prices on Wednesday.

Brent crude, against which Nigerian crude oil is measured, rose by 41 cents or 0.7 percent to $56.32 per barrel.

The U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil also gained 56 cents or 1 percent to $53.17 a barrel.

WTI is slightly firmer on the back of a larger-than-expected draw in US crude inventories reported by the API, which is offset by builds in gasoline and distillates,” said Vandana Hari, oil market analyst at Vanda Insights.

The data, however, showed petrol inventories grew by 3.1 million barrels in the week, more than experts projected.

Similarly, API data revealed that distillate fuel inventories that include diesel and heating oil, jumped by 1.4 million barrels, far higher than the 361,000 barrels decline predicted. However, refinery runs declined by 76,000 barrels per day.

Market participants are now in ‘wait and see’ mode, wanting to see how lockdowns evolve in the coming weeks and months, and how successful countries are in rolling out Covid-19 vaccines,” ING economics said in a note.

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Crude Oil

COVID-19 Plunges Nigeria’s Oil Revenue by 41% in the First Nine Months of 2020

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COVID-19 Plunges Nigeria’s Oil Revenue by 41% in the First Nine Months of 2020

Nigeria’s oil revenue declined by 41.44 percent in the first nine months of 2020 to $2.033 billion, according to the latest data from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC.

This represents a decline of 41.44 percent from $3.47 billion filed in the same period of 2019 when there was no COVID-19.

In the September 2020 edition of NNPC’s Monthly Financial and Operations Report (MFOR), revenue from oil and gas rose by 16 percent to $120.49 million in the month of September, a 66 percent or $234.81 million drop from $355.3 million posted in the same month of 2019.

The global lockdowns caused by the COVID-19 pandemic plunged Nigeria’s crude oil sales and global demand for the commodity. This was further compounded by Nigeria’s high cost of production compared to Saudi Arabia, Russia and others that were offering discounts to boost sales during one of the most challenging periods in human history.

Experts like Prof. Yinka Omorogbe, President of Nigeria Association of Energy Economics, NAEE, were not surprised with the drop in earnings given the effect of COVID-19 on the world’s economy.

She, however, called for the revamp of the nation’s petroleum sector laws and diversification of the economy away from oil revenue dependence. She said “Covid-19 made 2020 a very hot year and it battered the oil industry internationally and we are not an exception; so we could not have been unaffected”.

She also said the effect of the fall “is definitely a wake-up call; we have to diversify, strengthen our other resources and capabilities”.

Omorogbe, a former NNPC Board Secretary, urged the government and the operators in the sector to look inward and think strategically, stating: “think medium term, think of where they want to be and the government, above all, must think of how best we can utilize our resources, so that we can achieve our objectives once we know and define them.

“It is a clear wake-up call, if not we will just sit here and find that we have become one of the poorest nations in the world”, she noted.

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Commodities

Crude Oil, Other Commodities Closing Price for Monday

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Crude Oil, Other Commodities Closing Price for Monday

Brent crude oil, Nigeria’s crude oil benchmark, gained 47 cents to $55.88 per barrel on Monday, while the US crude oil expanded by 50 cents to $52.77 per barrel.

Gold for February delivery fell $1 to $1,855.20 an ounce. Silver for March delivery fell 7 cents to $25.48 an ounce and March copper was little changed at $3.63 a pound.

The dollar fell to 103.80 Japanese yen from 103.83 yen. The euro fell to $1.2139 from $1.2167.

Wholesale gasoline for February delivery rose 1 cent to $1.56 a gallon. February heating oil rose 2 cents to $1.59 a gallon. February natural gas rose 16 cents to $2.60 per 1,000 cubic feet.

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