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Christmas: ATMs Running Out of Cash



  • Christmas: ATMs Running Out of Cash

Less than 24 hours to Christmas, many bank customers yesterday faced hard times trying to make withdrawals at Automated Teller machines (ATMs) for their purchases due to long queues and occasional inability of the ATMs to dispense cash, as online banking platforms have been frustrating transactions initiations in the last three days.

This had made many customers to travel from one bank to another to make withdrawals.

Customers living in these areas complained of snag and outright decline to online transactions initiation, a case that has been noticed in over nine banks.

Queues were very long, with majority of customers wearing long faces after several trials and slow response, with reports of transactions failure.
The development, which has already caused panic among customers, was made worse, as all the banks joined the holiday break at the close of work yesterday.

There are fears that the situation could get worse during the celebrations and public holidays, as most banks hardly reload the machines on weekends and public holidays, let alone during the Yuletide.

This means that official intervention can only be possible at the end of the holiday break on Tuesday.

In most parts of Lagos, especially in places with high population density, the queues have been frustrating, with some customers bemoaning their fate and wondering how they were going to be able to make merriment tomorrow.

At Festac, Okota, Ikotun, Surulere, Oshodi, Ikotun, Idimu, Egbeda, Airport road and some parts of Ikeja, most of the ATMs had been running out of cash since Tuesday, with customers trooping in to make cash withdrawals sometimes as early as 6:00 am.

It has become common sight to see customers trekking from bank to bank in search of functional ATMs, irrespective of the banks, to beat the rush and make withdrawals.

Most have different tales and some have indeed been spending more money on transport fares in attempts to make withdrawals.

In the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), customers yesterday decried lack of money in many ATMs.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) also observed long queues in most of the banks in the city.

Some of the banks include United Bank for Africa (UBA), First Bank of Nigeria Plc (FBN), Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB) in Area 3; Ecobank, Gwarinpa and Zenith Bank in Dutse; and Diamond Bank, Stanbic IBTC, Sterling Bank, First City Monument Bank and Access Bank in Garki.

A customer at the First Bank in Area 3, Mrs. Esther Uche, said she had been waiting under the sun for over 20 minutes and had not been able to make withdrawal.

“The bank management is aware of the usual chaos during every festivity and ought to have made adequate provision, especially regarding availability of funds in ATMs,” she said.

A customer at the GTB, Mr. Gabriel Okwoche, said it was unfortunate that the banks had not been meeting customers’ demands.

Okwoche said he did not expect the queue at the banks, as many Nigerians complain about the recession and lack of money in circulation.

At the UBA, a customer, Miss Joy Edoh, told NAN that she had been to about four banks’ ATMs in Garki and unable get make withdrawals due to lack of cash in the machines.

Edoh said at the Access Bank in Garki, she and other customers waited for 30 minutes and when it got to her turn, the machine stopped dispensing cash.

“I am happy that the UBA ATMs are all working and I am sure to get money in the next five minutes,” she enthused.

At Union Bank, no customer was seen at the ATMs, as they were not dispensing cash.

At Diamond Bank, many customers were seen in the banking hall and there was a long queue of customers at the ATMs.

There were long queues at the Ecobank ATMs in Gwarinpa, with some already frustrated customers leaving the premises in annoyance.

One of them, Mr. John Johnson, called on the management of the various banks and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to do something about the queues at the banks.

“Today is December 23 and we have all the remaining days of the holiday to contend with and we are already experiencing insufficient funds. I wonder what we will face during the holidays.

“I implore the management of all the banks to ensure that the ATMs are loaded with cash. If this is not done, customers are bound to suffer during this Christmas celebration,” Johnson said.

Another customer at Ecobank, Mr. Emmanuel Adejo, said he was at the bank’s head office in Wuse 2, but could not withdraw.

According to Adejo, a bank official said the bank had insufficient funds, as CBN did not release enough money to it.
A customer at Zenith Bank in Dutse, Miss Talatu Abraham, said she was impressed that most ATMs at the bank were dispensing cash.

Abraham said that the bank was the only bank within the Dutse-Alhaji axis and was always crowded due to that fact of dispensing.

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Businessinsider, Nasdaq,, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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Crude Oil

Oil Prices Slip as Japan’s Rising Inflation Signals Rate Hikes



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Crude oil fell in early trading on Friday as concerns over sustained high interest rates in both Asia and the United States weighed on the outlook.

This trend is attributed to Japan’s increasing inflation, which is prompting expectations of imminent rate hikes by its central bank.

Brent crude edged declined by 11 cents to settle at $85.60 per barrel while the U.S. crude oil declined by 9 cents to $81.20 per barrel.

Recent data revealed that Japan’s core consumer prices rose by 2.5% in May compared to the same month last year. This increase marks a growth from the previous month, suggesting that the Bank of Japan is likely to raise interest rates in the upcoming months to curb inflation.

In the United States, data released on Thursday showed a decrease in the number of new unemployment claims for the week ending June 14, indicating continued strength in the job market.

This persistent robustness in employment raises the likelihood that the U.S. Federal Reserve will maintain higher interest rates for a longer period.

Higher interest rates typically have a dampening effect on economic activity, which can subsequently reduce oil demand.

The prospect of prolonged elevated interest rates in two major economies has therefore put downward pressure on crude oil prices.

Despite the downward trend, oil prices received some support from the latest figures from the Energy Information Administration (EIA).

The data showed a drawdown in U.S. crude inventories by 2.5 million barrels in the week ending June 14, bringing the total to 457.1 million barrels. This exceeded analysts’ expectations, who had predicted a 2.2 million-barrel reduction.

Also, gasoline inventories fell by 2.3 million barrels to 231.2 million barrels, contrary to forecasts that anticipated a 600,000-barrel increase.

“Gasoline finally came to life and posted its first strong report of the summer driving season,” remarked Bob Yawger, director of energy futures at Mizuho in New York, highlighting the surprising uptick in gasoline demand.

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Crude Oil

Nembe Creek Oil Field Halted After Leak, Impacting 150,000 bpd



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Nigeria’s oil output has taken a significant hit following the shutdown of the Nembe Creek oil field due to a major oil leak.

The Nembe Creek oil field, responsible for producing approximately 150,000 barrels of crude oil per day (bpd), was forced to cease operations on June 17, 2024.

The leak occurred on the Nembe Creek Trunk Line (NCTL), a critical pipeline that transports oil from the Nembe Creek oil field to the Bonny Oil Export Terminal.

The operator of the pipeline, Aiteo Eastern Exploration and Production Company, confirmed the leak and the subsequent shutdown in a statement released yesterday.

Aiteo reported that the leak was discovered during routine operations in the Nembe area of Bayelsa State, located in Nigeria’s oil-rich Delta region.

This region is notorious for environmental degradation due to decades of oil spills, which have severely impacted local agriculture and fishing industries.

Following the discovery of the leak, Aiteo activated its Oil Spill and Emergency Response Team and shut down all production from Oil Mining Lease (OML) 29 as a precautionary measure to prevent further environmental damage.

“While we regret the production losses and the potential environmental impact, our current priority is to expedite an efficient spill management process in line with regulatory standards and collaborate with all stakeholders to restore production and mitigate associated risks,” said Victor Okronkwo, Managing Director of Aiteo Eastern E&P.

The exact cause of the leak remains unknown. Aiteo emphasized that the shutdown was a precautionary step to contain the spill and minimize environmental harm.

The company has notified its joint venture partners and relevant regulatory bodies, including the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) and the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA), about the incident.

This development comes as a setback for Nigeria, which holds Africa’s largest natural gas reserves and is a major oil producer.

The country’s oil sector has faced numerous challenges, including aging infrastructure, theft, and environmental issues, which have hindered its ability to maximize production and exports.

The Nembe Creek shutdown also highlights ongoing concerns about the safety and reliability of Nigeria’s oil infrastructure. The NCTL has been a frequent target of oil theft and sabotage, exacerbating the challenges of maintaining a steady oil output.

Energy analysts believe that the latest incident could impact Nigeria’s ability to meet its export commitments and exacerbate the country’s economic challenges.

The Nigerian government, under President Bola Tinubu, has been making efforts to attract investment into the energy sector to boost production and address infrastructure deficits.

“The government will hope this offers confidence not only in the quality of the Nigerian resource base, but also in the government’s pledge to improve ease of doing business,” said Clementine Wallop, director of sub-Saharan Africa at political risk consultancy Horizon Engage.

As Nigeria works to address the immediate spill and restore production, the broader implications for the country’s oil sector and its environmental impact remain to be seen.

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Crude Oil

Brent Crude Nears Seven-Week Highs as Market Eyes US Inventory Report



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Brent oil, the international benchmark for Nigerian crude oil, remained steady on Thursday, hovering just below seven-week highs as the escalating conflict in the Middle East raised concerns over potential supply disruptions.

At the same time, the market eagerly awaits U.S. inventory data for further indications of demand trends.

August Brent crude rose 28 cents, or 0.3%, to $85.35 a barrel while the U.S West Texas Intermediate (WTI) oil gained 13 cents, or 0.2%, to $81.70 a barrel.

“There was no WTI settlement on Wednesday due to a U.S. public holiday, which kept trading subdued,” noted Ricardo Evangelista, an analyst at ActivTrades.

“However, oil prices are likely to remain supported around current levels due to a growing geopolitical risk premium driven by conflict in the Middle East.”

Israeli forces have intensified their operations in the Gaza Strip, targeting areas in the central region overnight while tanks advanced into Rafah in the south.

The escalating violence has heightened fears of a broader conflict that could impact oil supplies from the region.

“Expectations of an inventory build appear to be overshadowing fears of escalating geopolitical stress for now,” said Priyanka Sachdeva, senior market analyst at Phillip Nova.

Investors are keenly awaiting the release of U.S. inventory data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) later on Thursday, delayed by a day due to the Juneteenth holiday.

An industry report released on Tuesday by the American Petroleum Institute (API) indicated that U.S. crude stocks rose by 2.264 million barrels in the week ending June 14, while gasoline inventories fell, according to market sources.

The summer season typically sees an uptick in oil demand due to increased refinery runs and weather-related risks.

“Ongoing production cuts by the OPEC+ group, combined with seasonal demand, should tighten oil balances and lead to inventory draws during the summer months,” J.P. Morgan commodities analysts wrote.

Refining margins have also improved, with the ICE gasoil futures premium to Brent crude jumping to $20.63 a barrel on Wednesday, a two-month high.

“Firmer fuel refining margins provide a healthy dose of encouragement for those expecting improvements on the demand side,” commented Tamas Varga, an analyst at PVM.

In other economic news, the Bank of England’s decision to keep its main interest rate unchanged at a 16-year high of 5.25% ahead of the national election on July 4 has been noted by market observers.

Higher interest rates generally increase the cost of borrowing, which can slow economic activity and dampen oil demand.

As the market braces for the upcoming EIA inventory report, analysts and traders are closely watching for any signals that could influence oil prices in the near term.

The delicate balance between geopolitical tensions and supply-demand fundamentals continues to play a critical role in shaping the oil market landscape.

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