The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has announced plans to relocate a brownfied refinery from Turkey to Nigeria.

The refinery, which is expected to be sited near the Port Harcourt Refinery in Rivers State under the NNPC refinery collocation initiative, would have a capacity of 100,000 barrels per day (bpd).

In a statement on Tuesday, the corporation’s spokesman, Ndu Ughamadu, said the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Maikanti Baru, made the disclosure while speaking on efforts being made to achieve self-sufficiency in local refining besides the rehabilitation of the refineries.

Baru hinted that a group of investors had commenced the process of relocating the refinery that used to be owned by BP to Nigeria from the Asian country.

The NNPC helmsman explained that a similar plan to establish a brownfield refinery near the Warri Refinery was also in the offing.

According to the statement, the effort was part of the corporation’s refinery collocation initiative designed to boost local refining capacity to end the era of petroleum products importation.

The statement quoted Baru as saying, “Our collocation initiative aimed at getting private sector investors to bring in brownfield refineries so that they can share facilities is also yielding results.

“For example, there is one that is going to be brought in from Turkey to be located near the Port-Harcourt Refinery. It’s not a modular refinery; it’s a normal refinery with about 100,00bpd capacity. It was owned by BP, but it has been sold off now to the companies that want to bring it over from Turkey to install it here.

“There is another one of about the same size being looked at to be sited near the Warri Refinery. But the one for Port-Harcourt is at a more advanced stage. Our drive at the NNPC, as a leader in the industry, is to expand our local refining capacity and make Nigeria a global refining hub.”

 

NAN

Nigeria’s dependence on the oil sector as its major source of foreign exchange earnings was responsible for the country’s high unemployment rate, a former United Nations Permanent Representative and Under Secretary-General to the world body, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, as well as heads of other organisations, have said.

According to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), the nation’s unemployment rate had soared steadily from 7.5 percent in the first quarter of 2015 to 18.8 percent in the third quarter of 2017.

Gambari, while speaking at the 2018 Leadership Impact and Sustainability Awards in Abuja on Wednesday, called for the need to diversify the nation’s economy, noting that earnings from crude oil sales were no longer sustainable.

He said the sector was not capable of providing employments for the growing unemployed population in the country.

The former representative of the world body pointed out that the instability in crude oil prices occasioned by geo political tensions has shown it was improper to depend on the sector as a major source of revenue generation.

“We can’t afford to fully embark on the process of diversifying the Nigerian economy. This is because revenue from crude oil sale is no longer sustainable.

“And for us to diversify, we have to invest in research and development so as to acquire the right knowledge and skills. We cannot continue to depend on crude oil for our foreign exchange earnings. When you look at it critically, how many people does the oil sector employ?

“You will agree with me that the biggest challenge we have now is youth unemployment, not just in Nigeria, but in Africa and to some extent globally.

“So we have to diversify into the industrial sector, service provision, research and development, education and agriculture, because those are the sectors that have the capacity to employ more people,” he said.

In June, the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Sen. Udoma Udo Udoma, while giving a breakdown of the 2018 Budget had said a total of N2.99 trillion was projected as funding in the Budget from oil revenue.

The amount indicates about 42 percent of the total of N7.1 trillion revenue funding estimated in the budget.

 

The Ripples

The Federal Government through the Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) said it had disbursed $373 million to farmers in the past year to boost production of export crops.

The agency is saddled with the responsibility of de-risking credit to farmers, part of government’s plan to increase revenue from farm exports and reduce the country’s dependence on oil, Bloomberg reports.

The beneficiaries of the credit facility are mainly small-holder farmers growing cotton, rice, oil palm, cassava and corn, according to the Managing Director of the state-owned agricultural-lending facilitator, Aliyu Abdulhameed.

“At average yield of 4 tons per hectare, these optimized small-holder farmers’ production would generate a gross output of about 16 million tons,” he said.

Abdulhameed projected that revenue from the exports would hit N1.6 trillion by the end of this year.

In 2012, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) created NIRSAL as a risk-sharing system with a mandate to enhance the flow of affordable finance and investments into fixed agricultural value chains.

The agency works with banks to guarantee as much as 75 percent of loans to agriculture.

 

NAN

The nation’s debt profile has risen to N22.38 trillion within the last six months, the Debt Management Office (DMO) has said.

The current debt profile indicates 3.01 percent increase from N21.68 trillion recorded at end of December 2017.

Addressing newsmen in Abuja on Tuesday, the DMO attributed the increase to the $2.5bn Eurobond issued by the Federal Government in February.

The debt office said, “The total public debt which encompasses the domestic and external debt stock of the Federal and 36 State governments and the Federal Capital Territory stood at N22.38 trillion or $73.21 billion as at June 30, 2018.

“When compared to the debt data for March 2018, the public debt stock actually decreased by 1.44 percent from N22.71 trillion in March 2018 to N22.38tn in June 2018.

“The decrease was due to a 3.38 percent decline in the FGN’s domestic debt stock between March and June 2018 There were however marginal increases of 0.07 percent in the external debt stock and 2.75 percent in the domestic debt of states.”

RipplesNigeria

The trade volume between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Nigeria in 2017 stood at $7.7 billion, the Malaysia High Commissioner-designate to Nigeria, Gloria Tiwet, has said.

ASEAN comprises 10 countries, with only five represented in Nigeria. They are Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam and Thailand.

Tiwet made this disclosure while leading Embassies’ Heads of Missions and ASEAN member-states’ High Commissioners on a visit to the Foreign Affairs Minister, Geoffrey Onyeama, on Thursday in Abuja.

She said the envoys were in the ministry to familiarise the minister on ASEAN Day and Film Festival scheduled to hold soon in Abuja, noting that the festival was aimed at strengthening relations between Nigeria and ASEAN, particularly in the area of culture.

“In 2017, the trade volume between ASEAN and Nigeria amounted to $7.7 billion. That is very promising and portrayed good relations between our countries and Nigeria.

“Trade is one area that we looked into to strengthen our bilateral relations, and respectively, we represent our countries here as ambassadors and high commissioners to strengthen our bilateral relations as much as we can,” she said.

 

Source: The Business Insider

The Chief Executive Officer of Ethiopian Airlines, Tewolde Gebremariam, said his company is the frontrunner to set up and manage Nigeria’s new national carrier, Nigeria Air.

Gebremariam made this known on Friday at a news conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital city.

He said his airline belongs to a small group of investors interested in establishing the national carrier.

“We are among a small group with an interest in establishing a national carrier (in Nigeria)… we do not know the results (of the tender), though we are frontrunners,” Gebremariam told Reuters at the event.

Recall that the Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika, had, last month, unveiled the new national at the Farnborough International Public Airshow in London, United Kingdom.

“It is a business, not a social service. Government will not be involved in running it or deciding who runs it. The investors will have full responsibility for this

“Though, you need that initial government financial to make it take off, but what is important is that the national carrier will be entirely private sector controlled.

“There will be zero government interference. But if that happens, it invalidates the certificate (Outline Business Case Certificate of Compliance for the establishment of the airline) and the entire process,” he said.

In July, Gebremariam had disclosed that the Ethiopian Airlines was interested in the Nigerian project.

Ethiopian Airlines, the only consistently profitable carrier in Africa, serves about 70 global cities and 60 across Africa from its hub in Addis Ababa with a fleet of over 100 aircraft.

The air company already owns stakes in carriers in Malawi and Togo and is seeking to establish holdings in Zambia, Chad, Mozambique, Guinea and Eritrea while helping to manage existing operators in Equatorial Guinea and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Presently, the airline is ranked the largest carrier in African continent by revenue and profit, according to the International Air Transport Association.

 

Source: The Ripples

As a part of measures to promote Made-in-Nigeria goods that would meet international standards, the Bank of Industry (BOI) has provided a total of N400 million to local manufacturers.

The funds, which would be made available quarterly to over 300 members of the Leather Products Manufacturers Association of Abia State (LEPMAAS), are expected to be disbursed through the Fidelity Bank Plc, while the Ford Foundation would be providing other technical support.

Speaking at the formal launch of the Aba Finished Goods Cluster Financing programme in Aba, Abia state, the Managing Director of the BOI, Olukayode Pitan, said the programme was designed to provide financial aid to qualified members of the LEPMAAS.

“It was this significant opportunity to substitute import volumes by supporting quality improvement of Made in Aba products, create additional jobs and improve the qualities of lives of the Artisans that led the Bank of Industry to design this tailored programme.

“By providing low interest, non-collaterised loans, the Bank has provided flexibility for qualified members of LEPMAAS recommended by their lines and zonal chairman to access up to N300,000 towards the procurement of materials to expand and improve their production activities,” he said.

In June, in a bid to address inadequate access to credit facilities facing fashion entrepreneurs in the country, the BOI had issued N1 billion fashion fund to support entrepreneurs producing and marketing fashion items such as clothes, handbags, shoes, jewelry/accessories etc.

Source: Vanguard

At the end of last week’s trading, the NSE All-Share Index depreciated by 2.89 per cent, while the market capitalisation dipped by 2.86 per cent to close at 35,446.47 points and N12.941 trillion respectively.
 
Similarly, all other indices finished lower with the exception of the ASeM Index that remained flat.
 
A further breakdown of activities last week, showed that 20 equities appreciated in price, lower than 34 in the previous week.
 
Also, 47 equities depreciated in price, lower than 48 equities of the previous week, while 103 equities remained unchanged higher than 87 equities recorded in the previous week.
 
Consequently, a turnover of 925.630 million shares worth N8.333 billion in 15,565 deals was achieved by investors on the floor of the Exchange, against 1.391 billion shares valued at N20.316 billion that were exchanged the previous week in 20,064 deals.
 
The financial services industry (measured by volume), led the activity chart with 680.751 million shares, valued at N5.283 billion and traded in 8,524 deals, thus contributing 73.54 per cent to the total equity turnover volume and value respectively.
 
The healthcare industry followed with 47.664 million shares worth N31.197 million in 531 deals.
 
The third place was occupied by conglomerates industry with a turnover of 40.814 million shares worth N63.710 million in 728 deals.
 
Trading in the top three equities namely- United Bank for Africa Plc, Wema Bank Plc and Zenith International Bank Plc (measured by volume), accounted for 260.554 million shares worth N2.790 billion in 2,266 deals, contributing 28.15 per cent to the total equity turnover volume.
 
Also traded during the week were 1,727 units of Exchange Traded Products (ETPs), valued at N333,925.78 and executed in nine deals, compared with 2,304 units valued at N376,541.65 that were transacted in previous week in 16 deals.
 
A total of 7,787 units of Federal Government Bond valued at N8.005 million was traded last week in 11 deals compared with 16,463 units valued at N18.200 million transacted the previous week in 27 deals.
 
Additional volumes of 46,394,252, 11,580,600 and 8,925,500 units were added to the following bonds 13.98 per cent FGN Feb 2028; 13.53 per cent FGN MAR 2025; and 12.75 per cent FGN APR 2023, respectively on Tuesday August 7, 2018.
 
 
Vanguard.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has granted N14.9 billion loan to the North East Commodity Association (NECAS), on the platform of its Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP). Alhaji Sadiq Deware, National President, NECAS, disclosed this on Monday in Abuja, that the loan is for a period of one year at a single digit of 9 per cent. He said under the programme 27,000 farmers would benefit while 75,000 hectares of land would be cultivated in the four participating states.

“The beneficiaries were farmers were mainly affected by the insurgency in Taraba, Bauchi, Gombe, Adamawa and Yobe states. Deware explained that Borno state was not included as a result of the insecurity in the state. He explained that out of the 27,000 farmers 10,000 out of them were from Gombe State, and attributed the development to their dedication and commitment in terms of farming activities. “For example 11,525 farmers are cultivating 38,678 hectares of land for maize, sorghum, soya beans , rice and cotton, while the nearest to it Yobe state is cultivating 14,666 hectares of land by 5,676 farmers. He said the programme would cover all the commodities that the North east have comparative advantage of producing which includes, rice, maize, millet, sorghum and even small ruminants amongst others. Deware said that inputs would be given to farmers on loan basis and they were expected to pay back in three phases.

“Starting with first payment of 40 per cent after the first farming cycle, then they would pay the remaining two cycles of 30 per cent making a total of 100 per cent. “Before now, the size of each farm had been captured and an identity card was issued to each of the beneficiaries of the project for easy identification and documentation to enable them to access the required support,’’ he said. Daware said that the project was a modified version of the ABP, which was aimed at strengthening efforts to attain bumper harvests and expressed the optimism that the new initiative would double the achievements of the ABP. He said that under the new initiative, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had modified the programme to facilitate its direct relations with NECAS so as to ensure timely disbursement and full repayment of ABP loans, unlike what obtained in the past. Deware disclosed that the association has re-absorbed some of the retired extension agents in the beneficiary states and re-trained them on modern technologies in enhancing their job performance.

“NECAS under the programme has commenced the recruitment of retired but willing to work extension workers in order to boost support for farmers and ensure proper sensitisation on new farming methods as well as advise on any problem faced by farmers. He said that more than 128 extension agents were recruited for the programme in Adamawa state as it was in other states. Dware said that for the successful implementation of the exercise the extension workers have been taught the working systems of modern technologies in service delivery and they are optimistic that the training would be beneficial to the farmers. According to him, the efforts are geared toward encouraging increased agricultural production in line with the drive to diversify the economy. He said this has become imperative because the role of agricultural extension agents in the development of agriculture throughout the world is very essential. “It has remained one of the prime movers in the development of agriculture and invariably in the rural development.

“There specific objectives as agricultural extension officers were to provide advice to farmers on problems or opportunities in agricultural production, facilitate development of local skills and transfer new technologies to farmers and rural people,’’ he said. Deware said they have also developed a suitable extension service that is gender specific and tailored to women farmers. (NAN)

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), said it has made available N3 billion subsidy budget to assist Infrastructure Companies (InfraCos) in the deployment of services in the country.
 
The N3 billion has been approved by the National Assembly, and would be executed on a yearly basis.
 
This was disclosed by the Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, during an interaction with journalists in Abuja.
 
Although, the NCC said none of the licensed InfraCos have accessed the subsidy, The Guardian however gathered that most of the licensed operators are facing serious challenges in their regions of operations.
 
Chief of these challenges relate to the issue of Right of Way (RoW), where state governments are demanding huge fees from operators before they can be allowed to roll out their services.
 
Already, iConnect, a subsidiary of IHS Nigeria, has returned its operating licence for the North Central region, owing also to delays in getting approval for RoW, and cut throat roll out charges by state agencies.
 
Danbatta revealed that apart from the challenge of RoW for iConnect, “the firm wanted a national licence instead of the regional, but we see that distorting the whole plan if given. That licence will be reissued to another operator that is ready.”
 
According to him, the InfraCo initiative was targeted at helping Nigeria meet the 30 per cent broadband penetration by the end of the year.
He urged operators to roll out, warning that the one-year grace handed InfraCo licensees may be reduced to six months, saying: “the Commission doesn’t want the operators to become idle with the licence. Any operator, which failed to roll out within one year, may have the licence withdrawn.”
 
Meanwhile, the EVC has assured that quality of service would improve soon, adding that some infrastructure must be in place for this to happen, as Nigeria needed more Base Transceiver Stations and fibre cables to ensure services become optimal.
 
Danbatta further said lack of redundancy, erratic power supply, vandalism, lack of required capacity, amidst other technical factors would need to be resolved before services can be optimal.
 
“That is not to say we are not monitoring the operators, or putting them on their toes to ensure improved services, but we also understand their challenges. The assurance is that NCC would continue to monitor QoS, especially the Key Performance Index (KPI), and when it is necessary to wield the big stick against any erring operator on QoS, we shall not hesitate,” he stressed.

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