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BBC earns £300,000 from Saudi oil firm despite net-zero pledge

BBC

BBC earns £300,000 from Saudi oil firm despite net-zero pledge

The BBC received about £300,000 in advertising revenue last year from Saudi Arabia’s national oil company, Aramco, despite BBC director general Tim Davie calling on every arm of the broadcaster to “dial up the focus on sustainability” and reduce net greenhouse gas emissions.

Although the BBC does not carry advertising in the UK, much of its overseas output is supported by commercials.

Big fossil fuel companies have spent approximately $660,000 (£483,000) with the BBC on US-focused digital adverts since 2018, according to projections produced by the advertising data firm MediaRadar. Most of this came from the national Saudi oil company – although BP, Exelon and Phillips 66 are among the other fossil fuel business estimated to have spent five-figure sums advertising on the BBC’s digital outlets.

The real figure for how much the BBC is making from large fossil fuel companies could be much higher when other forms of advertising are taken into account.

Last month the BBC said it would be trying to eliminate “fossil fuel usage across its operations” as part of a “deep decarbonisation” strategy to hit net zero by 2030, but the corporation has been accepting money from companies that take oil and gas out of the ground.

“We have clear guidelines around advertising which are publicly available,” said a BBC spokesperson. “We take care with all of our advertising to ensure it is not misleading.”

Davie has emphasised the need to increase the corporation’s commercial revenues, including from outside the UK, to make up for the real-terms cuts to the licence fee income imposed by the British government.

Despite continuing to accept money from big fossil fuel companies, the BBC is among the online publishers who have also benefited from the increase in advertising around environment-related material in recent weeks, as corporations rush to promote their green credentials before the Cop26 summit in Glasgow.

The BBC has struck deals with the international investment arm of the Scottish government to make a series of programmes on how to reduce carbon in the buildup to Cop26. There is also BBC material sponsored by US supermarket giant Walmart “looking at nine countries’ progress on climate since signing the Paris Agreement”, as well as episodes of a show called Follow the Food: The Carbon Challenge about food security, sponsored by Corteva Agriscience.

Using the same estimates from MediaRadar for US-focused digital advertising bought by big fossil fuel companies, the Washington Post has taken $12.8m since 2016, Politico took $9.5m, CNN took $6.6m, and the New York Times took $4.5m.

The Washington Post, Politico and CNN did not respond to a request for comment.

The New York Times repeated its commitment to journalism covering the climate crisis, but does not have a policy against accepting ad money beyond their general guidelines: “All advertising is clearly labeled, entirely separate from our newsroom and plays an important role in helping to fund our independent journalism and the continued expansion of our coverage on the biggest stories of our time, including climate change, across a breadth of analysis and formats.”

Business

DMO Issues Two FGN Savings Bonds At N1,000/unit

The Debt Management Office (DMO) has announced its Dec. issuance of two Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) Savings Bonds at N1,000 per unit.

According to a statement by the DMO, the first offer is a two-year FGN Savings Bond due on Dec. 14, 2022, at an interest rate of 12.255 percent per annum.

The second one is a three-year FGN Savings Bond due on Dec. 14, 2025, at a 13.255 percent interest rate per annum.

It said that the opening date for the issuance of the bonds is Dec.5, the closing date is Dec. 9, the settlement date, is Dec. 14 while coupon payment dates are March 14, June 14, Sept. 14, and Dec. 14.

“They are issued at N1,000 per unit subject to a minimum subscription of N5,000 and in multiples of N1,000 thereafter, subject to a maximum subscription of N50 million.

“Interest is payable quarterly, while bullet repayment is made on the maturity date, ” it said.

It added that FGN savings bonds qualify as securities in which trustees can invest under the Trustee Investment Act.

“They qualify as government securities within the meaning of the Company Income Tax Act and Personal Income Tax Act for tax exemption for pension funds amongst other Investors.

“They are listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange and qualify as liquid assets for liquidity ratio calculation for banks,” it said.

The statement said they were backed by the full faith and credit of the Federal Government of Nigeria, and charged upon the general assets of the country.

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Business

DMO Says It has Raised N130bn From Sukuk For Key Road Projects

The Debt Management Office (DMO) says it raised N130 billion from its N100 billion sovereign al ’Ijarah sukuk opened on November 21, 2022.

DMO, in a statement on Monday disclosed that the offer of N100 billion was “upsized to N130 billion due to the over 165 percent subscription level”.

The Sukuk is a strategic initiative that supports infrastructure development, promotes financial inclusion and deepens the domestic securities market.

Since the establishment of the initiative in September 2017, Nigeria has issued four sovereign sukuk: 2017 (N100 billion), 2018 (N100 billion), 2020 (N162.557 billion), and 2021 (N250 billion).

According to the statement, this year’s total sovereign sukuk issuance moved to N742.557 billion.

“The Debt Management Office (DMO) is pleased to inform the public of the successful conclusion of the issuance of N100 billion sovereign al ’ijarah sukuk. The offer for N100 billion opened on November 21, 2022, and was supported by wide public sensitisation to encourage subscription from diverse investors, particularly the retail investors,” the statement reads.

“The initial offer size of N100 billion was upsized to N130 billion due to the over 165 percent subscription level. The Sukuk was issued at a rental rate of 15.64 percent per annum. This brings the total sovereign sukuk issuance to N742.557 billion as at date.”

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Business

CBN Limits Withdrawal To N100,000 Weekly

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Tuesday slashed the cash withdrawal by an individual to N100,000 per week by an individual.

The apex bank also fixed N500,000 as the amount a company can withdraw in a week.

By this new policy, account holders can only withdraw a maximum of N100,000 weekly through Automated Teller Machine (ATM), subject to a maximum of N20,000 daily withdrawal.

Under the new policy, which is to take effect from January 9, 2023, the maximum cash withdrawal via Point of Sale (POS) shall also be N20,000 daily.

This was contained in a circular issued by the CBN on Tuesday, signed by director of banking supervision, Haruna Mustafa and addressed to deposit money banks and other financial institutions.

According to the circular, deposit money banks and other financial institutions are also mandated to ensure that over-the-counter cash withdrawals by individuals and corporate entities do not exceed N100,000 and N500,000, respectively, per week.

It further indicated that all cash withdrawals in excess of the stated limits will attract processing fees of 5 per cent and 10 per cent respectively.

The new policy also states that third party cheques in excess of N50,000 shall not be eligible for over the counter payment, while extant limits of N10,000,000 on clearing cheques subsist.

“Only denomination of N200 and below shall be loaded into the ATMs.

“In compelling circumstances not exceeding once a month, where cash withdrawals above the prescribed limits is required for legitimate purposes, such cash withdrawals shall not exceed N5,000,000 and N10,000,000 for individuals and corporate organisations respectively, and shall be subject to the references processing fees in (1) above, in addition to enhanced due diligence and further information requirements,” the circular stated.

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