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The Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, disclosed yesterday that the Federal Government would mobilise more revenues to drive its growth plan for the economy.The Minister made this known in Abuja at a meeting with a World Bank Mission of 10 Executive Directors led by Mr. Patrizio Pagano.

She stated that the government would accelerate Nigeria’s growth level and also improve the Ease of Doing Business.

“The Nigerian government is working towards accelerating the country’s growth level. The growth will be underpinned by stimulating the Ease of Doing Business in Nigeria and improving our capital expenditure, which we have done in the last two years.

“Nigerians should trust the government to deliver on its promises of improving the economy and providing sustainable infrastructural development. We are very optimistic but we will remain vigilant,” Adeosun said.  The Minister revealed that the country’s taxpayers’ base had risen from 14 million in 2016 to 19 million in 2018, grossing additional five million taxpayers into the system.

“By 2019, the growth will be stronger than the present level in 2018. We are optimistic in sustaining Nigeria’s economic growth. That is why we are driving the mobilisation of more revenues.

“We have been able to grow the taxpayers’ base to 19 million in two years from the 65 million economically active people who are not tax compliant,” she added.

The leader of the World Bank Mission to Nigeria, Patrizio Pagano, explained that the team was in the country to acquaint itself of the government’s growth and power priorities.

“We have met with several Nigerian entrepreneurs and have seen how vibrant the private sector is. We want to understand how the power sector is evolving in Nigeria,” Pagano said.

The World Bank officials had earlier met with the Organised Private Sector (OPS)in Lagos and undertaken a tour of LAPO Microfinance projects in Lagos.

 The 10 World Bank Executive Directors, representing 96 countries, are expected to inspect the Azura Power Plant in Edo State in the course of their three-day visit to Nigeria.

ExxonMobil affiliate, Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited, operator of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation/Mobil Producing Nigeria Joint Venture, today announced plans to invest up to N13 billion (US$43 million) in three community health, economic empowerment and education projects in Akwa Ibom State in the next 18 months.

These investments amount to one of the largest community investments by any company...

The Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Maikanti Baru, says the corporation will prove to Nigerians that it is the most transparent organisation in Nigeria.

Mr Baru said this at a stakeholders’ workshop on validation by the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency …

The Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr. Maikanti Baru, has announced a three-point smart strategy aimed at ending gas flaring in the nation’s Oil and Gas Industry.

Dr. Baru made the announcement while delivering the lead paper on a panel session at the ongoing 50th Offshore Technology Conference (OTC), in Houston, United States of America.

Speaking on the theme: “Nigeria’s Gas Flare Commercialisation, Prospects & Opportunities”, Dr. Baru explained that in the last decade, gas flaring in Nigeria had reduced significantly from 25% to 10%.

According to the GMD, the multi-pronged approach taken by the NNPC would ensure a sustainable solution to the historical problem of flaring, thereby turning waste into dollars.

The 3-point strategy championed by NNPC to arrest the growth in gas flares includes ensuring non-submission of Field Development Plans (FDPs) to the Industry Regulator – the Department Petroleum Resources (DPR), without a viable and executable gas utilization plan, a move aimed at ensuring no new gas flare in current and future projects.

The other two strategies, Baru added, were a steady reduction of existing flares through a combination of targeted policy interventions in the Gas Master-plan as well as the re-invigoration of the flare penalty through the 2016 Nigeria Gas Flare Commercialization Programme (NGFCP) and through legislation, that is, ban on gas flaring via the recent Flare Gas (Prevention of Waste and Pollution) Regulations 2018.

This development, Baru added, would not only see Nigeria dropping from being the second highest gas flaring nation in the world to seventh, it would also signify a major milestone in its gas commercialization prospects.

“Total flares have significantly reduced to current levels of about 800mmscfd and in the next 1-2 years we would have completely ensured zero routine flares from all the gas producers,” the GMD stated.

According to him, NNPC has embarked on the most aggressive expansion of the gas infrastructure network aimed at creating access to the market.

“Today, we have completed and commissioned almost 600km of new gas pipelines thereby connecting all existing power plants to permanent gas supply pipeline. We are also currently completing the construction of the strategic 127km Obiafu-Obrikom-Oben gas pipeline – “OB 3” connecting the Eastern supply to the Western demand centres,” he added.

Dr. Baru further noted that aside looping Escravos-Lagos Pipeline System (ELPS 2) gas pipeline projects to increase gas volume capacity to at least 2Bcf/day, the corporation has recently signed the contracts to kick off the 614Km Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano (AKK) pipeline project, which on completion, would deliver gas to the ongoing power plants in the areas and revive the manufacturing industries in the northern part of the country.

He assured that there was evidence that the interventions undertaken by the corporation were working as gas supply to the domestic market is growing at an encouraging rate, having tripled from 500mmcf/d in 2010 to about 1500mmcf/d currently. 

Dr. Baru informed that the aggressive development of gas infrastructure (pipelines and processing plant) between supply sources and the market would also create a sustainable evacuation route for currently flared gas and other gas sources.

Earlier, speaking at a panel session on New Oil & Gas Horizons and Procurement Procurements in Sub-Saharan Africa, Dr. Baru had maintained that huge opportunities abound in Nigeria’s Gas Sector, with the country expecting over $25 billion investments anticipated over the next 10 years.

He described the Nigerian Petroleum Industry as the largest and the most vibrant in Sub-Saharan Africa with lots of potentials, especially in the deep water and untapped gas resources.

Noting that Nigeria offers unique opportunities for investment in exploration, refining, storage, transportation, power, distribution and marketing of petroleum products, Dr. Baru further observed that the nation’s Gas Reform was anchored on a robust strategic framework that is focused on maximum economic impact through gas. 

Zambian President Edgar Lungu has told Glencore’s Mopani Copper Mines (MCM) unit to accept higher electricity prices caused by the removal of state energy subsidies, his spokesman said on Saturday.

Copperbelt Energy Corp. (CEC), which buys power from the state-owned electricity company and sells it to mines, slashed the supply to Mopani to 94 MW from 130 MW following a dispute over the new tariffs.

Mopani said on Friday the power supply restrictions had put its investments at risk, and has warned that it might lay off 4,700 staff as a result of the cuts.

Presidential spokesman Amos Chanda questioned Mopani’s decision to contest the higher tariffs, saying all other mining companies had accepted them.
“We do not have problems with any other mining company other than Mopani and they are mining the same copper,” he told reporters, calling Mopani’s jobs warning unacceptable.

Chanda said the government remained committed to the removal of fuel and electricity subsidies: “If those reforms have been accepted in the consumer sector by the poor, the president expects all sectors of the economy have to accept the reforms.”

The government in April announced a proposal introducing a flat tariff of 9.30 U.S. cents/kilowatt hour (kWh) backdated to January for mining companies, instead of individually negotiated rates that have averaged 6 U.S. cents/kWh.

Negotiations over the proposed higher tariffs involving the government, power suppliers and mining companies have been going on since November last year.

Mopani has a total workforce of 15,000 employees and produced 129,000 tonnes of finished copper in the year ended December 2016.

Reporting by Chris Mfula; Editing by Helen Popper

Invest in Africa (IIA), a not-for-profit organisation, through its African Partner Pool (APP) initiative, is partnering banks to help small and medium enterprises (SMEs) access funds easily for their business.

The APP is an online portal that connects both multinationals and local companies to SMEs that are looking for opportunities to get into the supply chain.

Speaking in an interview with the B&FT on the sidelines of a forum held in Accra to educate the business public on Invest in Africa and the APP, Ibrahima Aminu, APP Manager, said: “We give the local Ghanaian businessman market opportunities via the APP for skills training using a Business Excellence Programme, and to finance via our banking partners, that is, Ecobank, UT Bank, and Societe Generale.

A lot of the times, our SMEs get the opportunities but they don’t have the capital to be able to execute the jobs, so our banking partners, if you win the tender on the APP, will help you fund that deal,” he added.

He further said: “What we try to do is that through our excellence programmes, we educate SMEs on what the banks are looking for, because if you want to apply for a loan you obviously need to have your books in order.”

In addition to accessing funds, the programme offers training and grooming services for SMEs to develop their skills and managerial competencies as well, through the ‘Business Excellence Programme’.

Ms. Aminu added: “The APP is an online portal that primarily allows SMEs to be aware of what is happening elsewhere.

For instance, at Tullow Oil, or MODEC, giving them the feasibility apply and take advantage of opportunities available there. The portal is multi-sectored; giving all sectors the chance to be explored by business people.”

The vision of the APP, Mr. Amin said, is to grow the community by getting more supplier and buyers on board “because the more buyers we have, the more tenders there are”, adding: “We want to ensure that more of the tenders put on there are won by APP suppliers.”

Companies that are enrolled on the programme include Tullow Oil, GE, MODEC, Newmont, Atuabo Free Port and many others. So far, the value of tenders that have been won on the APP by suppliers is $11.6million.

The Chief Executive Officer of Adom Properties, Bright Boakye, a user of the APP, narrated to the B&FT how beneficial the platform has been for his construction company, saying the initiative has changed the phase of business since the company signed up in 2015.

“Initially, we were having issues with getting tenders, because you are mostly not aware of advertisements. You have to always go through the newspapers or do door-to-door visitations to offices, and this was stressful.

Since we became a member of the APP, we do not have to go through all that, because APP has all the information on tenders and they notify us when they put them up, and all we have to do is just bid,” he added.

To qualify to use the application, the business must be a registered Ghanaian entity that has operated for at least two years. The company would be required to pay GH¢235; which is the start and annual renewal fee to be activated, and thereafter, be notified via mail and text anytime a buyer puts a tender or a business opportunity on the platform.

Source: Rashidatu Ibrahim

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