The Advisory Power Team (APT) at the office of the Vice President of Nigeria has said the nation’s power sector lost N69.1bn between January 1 and February 19 this year due to the persistent challenges in the industry.
According to data from the APT released on Wednesday, the loss in the sector was due to insufficient gas supply to power generation plants as well as inadequate distribution and transmission infrastructure.
The data showed that a total of 2,332.95 megawatts of electricity was not generated due to the unavailability of gas on February 19, 2019.
The data further showed that 32.5MW of power was not generated due to unavailability of transmission infrastructure, while 543MW was not generated due to high frequency resulting from unavailability of distribution infrastructure.
On the same day, 150MW of power was recorded as losses due to water management constraint.
The APT said: “The power sector lost an estimated N1.468bn on February 19, 2019 due to insufficient gas supply, distribution infrastructure and transmission infrastructure.
“The estimated amount lost to insufficient gas supply, distribution, transmission and water reserves to date in 2019 is N69,064,000,000.”
Also on February 19, 2019, the average energy sent out in the sector was 4,408MW-hour/hour, up by 3.28MWh/h from the previous day’s figure.
The APT further noted that the dominant constraint on February 19, 2019 was unavailability of gas, preventing a total of 2,332.95MW from being available on the grid, adding that peak generation attained on the same day was 5,017MW, while peak average energy ever sent out was 4,557MWH/H on February 2, 2016.
The peak generation ever attained was put at 5,375MW, which was recorded on February 7, 2019.
The Nigerian’s capital market witnessed a rebound on Tuesday with investors gaining N80 billion at the end of trading activities on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).
The market capitalisation of equities listed on the floor of the Exchange increased from N12.004tn on Monday to N12.084tn on Tuesday, after losing N160 billion on Monday.
The All Share Index gained 0.67 per cent to close at 32,406.17 basis points from the 32,190.07bps recorded on Monday, while activity level also strengthened as 361.821 million shares valued at N4.160bn exchanged hands in 4,623 deals, representing a 55.4 per cent and 23.7 per cent increase in volume and value traded, respectively.
Transnational Corporation of Nigeria Plc (120.2 million units), Zenith Bank (37.3 million units) and FBN Holdings Plc (31.2 million units) topped the most traded stocks by volume while Dangote Cement Plc (N951.6m), Zenith Bank (N925.5m) and GTB (N778m) led the top traded stocks by value.
Performance across sectors was largely bullish as four of five indices closed on a positive note.
The banking sector, which was the biggest loser on Monday, became the biggest gainer on Tuesday as it appreciated by three per cent, while the oil and gas and consumer goods sectors advanced by 0.7 per cent and 0.3 per cent, respectively.
The insurance sector was the fourth gainer, advancing by 0.2 per cent following investor interest in Custodian Investment Plc and Cornerstone Insurance Plc.
however, the industrial goods index shed 0.2 per cent on account of major sell-offs in Dangote Cement and First Aluminium Nigeria Plc.
Investor sentiment, as measured by market breadth strengthened to 1.1x from 0.3x recorded on Monday as 16 stocks advanced against 14 decliners.
The top five gainers were Japaul Oil & Maritime Services Plc, Sovereign Trust Insurance Plc, Associated Bus Company Plc, Custodian Investment and Academy Press Plc, which saw respective gains of 9.52 per cent, 9.52 per cent, 9.09 per cent, 8.26 per cent and 8.11 per cent.
On the flip side, First Aluminium, Transnational Corporation of Nigeria, Wema Bank Plc, Unity Bank Plc and Union Diagnostic and Clinical Services Plc, whose respective share prices shed 10 per cent, 9.74 per cent, 9.68 per cent, 9.65 per cent and 6.90 per cent, topped the losers table.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has injected another $210 million into the foreign exchange market in continuation of its intervention in the Inter-Bank Foreign Exchange Market.
According to the CBN Director, Corporate Communications, Mr Isaac Okoroafor, in a statement in Abuja on Tuesday, the apex bank offered $100m as wholesale interventions and allocated $55m to Small and Medium Enterprises, while another $55m was allocated to customers requiring foreign exchange for business and personal travels, tuition or medical fees.
Imitators further explained that Tuesday’s interventions were in continuation of the bank’s resolve to sustain the high level of stability in the foreign exchange market and also to continue to ease access to the currency by customers in different sectors.
Okoroafor said the CBN was optimistic that the Naira would sustain its run against the dollar and other major currencies around the world, considering the level of transparency in the market.
Twenty two stocks witnessed an increase in their prices on Thursday on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange, leading to a rebound in the market, with investors gaining N14.83 billion.
Prices of 13 stocks however witnessed a decline at the end of trading.
The rebound is coming after the market witnessed a decline on Wednesday, with market capitalisation shedding a total of N18 billion.
At the end of trading on Thursday, market capitalisation rose from N12.087tn to N12.102tn, with the All Share Index increasing by 0.12 per cent from 32,413.92 basis points on Wednesday to 32,453.69bps on Thursday. Thereby improving the year-to-date return to 3.4 per cent.
Activity level however weakened as 423.379 million shares worth N3.729bn exchanged hands in 4,417 deals, representing a 10.1 per cent and 12.1 per cent decline in volume and value traded, respectively.
The top traded stocks by volume were Diamond Bank Plc (97.6 million units), Transnational Corporation of Nigeria Plc (41.1 million units) and Zenith Bank Plc (40.3 million units), while the top traded stocks by value were Zenith Bank (N997.1m), Guaranty Trust Bank Plc (N992.6m) and Access Bank Plc (N263.7m).
Performance across sectors was largely bullish as three of five indices closed in the positive territory.
The insurance index was the biggest gainer, recording a 1.2 per cent increase, while the industrial and consumer goods indices gained 0.7 per cent and 0.3 per cent respectively due to buying interest in Dangote Cement Plc, Lafarge Africa Plc, Unilever Nigeria Plc and P Z Cussons Nigeria Plc.
The oil and gas and banking indices however declined by 0.8 per cent and 0.5 per cent respectively on the back of profit-taking in Oando Plc, Eterna Plc, Zenith Bank and Access Bank.
Investors’ sentiment strengthened to 1.7x from the 0.7x recorded on Wednesday.
Associated Bus Company Plc, Livestock Feeds Plc, Unity Bank Plc, Unilever and Wema Bank Plc, topped the price gainers, as their share prices gain 10 per cent, 10 per cent, 9.62 per cent, 6.82 per cent and 6.74 per cent, respectively.
On the other side, Union Bank Nigeria Plc, Oando, Dangote Flour Mills Plc, Union Diagnostic and Clinical Services Plc and Eterna topped the losers table as their share prices declined by 8.03 per cent, 5.17 per cent, 4.57 per cent, 3.23 per cent and 3.09 per cent.
Nigeria’s crude oil production including condensate has taken a dip, falling to 1.999 million barrels per day in January from 2.081 million bpd in December, figures from the Ministry of Petroleum Resources has revealed.
This is contrary to a production benchmark of 2.3m bpd used for the 2019 budget estimates by the Federal Government.
However, the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC, in its latest monthly oil report released on Tuesday, said Nigeria’s oil production dropped to 1.687 million bpd in January from 1.797 million bpd.
It would be recalled that OPEC and 10 non-OPEC countries agreed in December to cut oil production by 1.2 million bpd effective from January for an initial period of six months to shore up what many expected to be weakening market fundamentals ahead.
Nigeria’s oil production was to be cut by 53,000 barrels to arrive at a new quota of 1.685 million bpd down from Nigeria reference production figure of 1.797m bpd.
The OPEC’s 14 members pumped 30.81 million bpd in January, down from 31.60 million bpd in December, according to its Monthly Oil Market Report.
Oil prices have recovered since December, when they fell to a 15-month low, with ICE Brent trading above $62 per barrel this week.
The federal government of Nigeria on Friday signed investment agreements with three Development Finance Institutions – Afreximbank, Bank of Industry and the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) – for the development of special economic zones in the country.
With the signing, President Muhammadu Buhari, who presided over the ceremony at the Council Chambers of the Aso Rock Villa, declared that the investment company in the special economic zones (SEZ) will become operational.
“Today, we are here to witness the signing of investment agreements, following which the Nigeria SEZ Investment Company Limited will become fully operational,” he said.
The federal government set up NSEZCO Limited as a vehicle for participating in Public-Private Partnerships involving federal and state governments and local and foreign private investors to develop new Special Economic Zones all over the country, offering world-class infrastructure and facilities at competitive costs.
The projects in the pilot phase include Enyimba Economic City, Funtua Cotton Cluster and Lekki Model Industrial Park.
The three DFIs are among the five to partner with NSEZCO and the Ministry of Finance Incorporated. NSEZCO intends to raise at least $500 million in equity over the first five years in order to execute its ambitious strategy of becoming a leading investor in special economic zones in the country. The other investment partners are the African Development Bank (AfDB) and Africa Finance Corporation (AFC).
Called Project MINE (Made in Nigeria for Exports) the development of special economic zones under the direct supervision of the President Muhammudu Buhari, is a presidential special priority intervention aimed at using the zones to attract substantial foreign and domestic investment for the development of world-class facilities dedicated to export-oriented manufacturing in a range of industries across Nigeria.
Project MINE seeks to position Nigeria as the pre-eminent manufacturing hub in sub-Saharan Africa and as a major exporter of made in Nigeria goods and services regionally and globally; as well as boosting manufacturing’s share of Gross Domestic Product to 20 per cent; generating $30 billion in annual export earnings; and creating 1.5 million new jobs all by 2025.
Muhammadu Buhari [Photo: Presidency]
Speaking at the signing ceremony, President Buhari said the federal government set up the Nigeria SEZ Investment Company Limited as a vehicle for participating in Public-Private Partnerships involving federal and state governments and local and foreign private investors to develop new Special Economic Zones all over the country. He said, the projects in the pilot phase include Enyimba Economic City, Funtua Cotton Cluster and Lekki Model Industrial Park.
The president said the federal government is implementing a comprehensive plan including: “The invitation of experienced Special Economic Zone developers and operators to partner with us to upgrade the federal government owned Free Trade Zones in Calabar and Kano, to offer world-class standards of infrastructure and facilities. Whilst we await the completion of the process of bringing in these investors, the Federal Executive Council has approved the award of contracts in excess of N19.45 billion for the needed investment in Calabar and Kano Free Trade Zones and work is currently ongoing. This is the highest amount of capital investment ever in the history of these zones.”
He said: “We have allocated substantial funds to upgrade the capabilities of our people and the systems in the Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority to strengthen it as a regulator of our Special Economic Zones; and
“We are allocating substantial resources to the provision of “outside the fence” infrastructure to ensure that our Special Economic Zones are connected to global, regional and domestic markets.
“We are reviewing our incentive framework to ensure competitiveness relative to the other countries with whom we are in the race to attract export-oriented global manufacturing investment.”
He added that the federal government will extend the early successes achieved in Ease of Doing Business to the areas critical to globally competitive export-oriented manufacturing operations.
He thanked the investment partners for their “strong demonstrations of support for the important initiative.”
Okechukwu Enelamah, whose ministry, Industry, Trade and Investment is implementing Project MINE, recalled President Buhari’s choice for special economic zones to hasten industrial development and the mandate to the ministry to attract investors to participate in the project.
“This is the reason we are here today. The investors have all agreed to partner with us,” he confirmed.
He said the initial projects such as the Enyimba Economic City are underway, while a feasibility study is going on in eight states.
The signing of the agreement was done by Benedict Oramah, President of Afreximbank; Kayode Pitan, Managing Director of Bank of Industry and Uche Orji, Managing Director of NSIA.
Femi Edun, a director of NSEZCO and Bakari Wadinga, Director, Ministry of Finance Incorporated, signed on behalf of the company.
Speaking separately, they all thanked the federal government for the opportunity to participate in the project and said they are happy to be partners because they believe in it and are confident of its success.
Project MINE seeks to achieve the following specific objectives:
· Aid structural transformation of the Nigerian economy by increasing the manufacturing sector’s contribution to GDP to 20 per cent by 2025;
· Contribute to sustainable inclusive growth by creating 1.5 million new direct manufacturing jobs in the initial phase of Project MINE;
· Increase and diversify foreign exchange earnings to at least $30 billion annually by 2025, by increasing manufacturing sector exports;
· Create local models of global best practice in the provision of world-class infrastructure at competitive costs connecting SEZs to international and regional markets with transport links, uninterrupted power, ICT, water, sewage and other services to ensure smooth and efficient operation of SEZ businesses;
· Promote the “cluster” effect to be gained by locating similar export-oriented manufacturing businesses within the same locality;
· Attract world-class investors with strong positions in global supply chains and investors with the potential to increase the scale of operations rapidly to set up operations in SEZs; and
· Create an enabling environment for SEZ businesses by instituting best in class legal and regulatory frameworks, using technology and streamlined processes to facilitate movement of people, goods and capital and easy access to government services, approvals and permits.
President Muhammadu Buhari has boasted about the economic policies of his administration, saying they are meeting the desired target.
The president stated this in Lagos on Saturday in a meeting with the Lagos business community, adding that the impact of the policies can be seen in the gradual growth of the nation’s economy in the last three years
According to President Buhari, he had kept his promise to boost the economy, through blocking leakages in government finances, increasing capital expenditure and inflows, and implementing the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP), among others.
‘‘I firmly believe that our economic policies are beginning to make the desired impact. Economic growth has resumed and is continuing to improve.
‘‘Growth was higher in 2017 than in 2016, data even from external sources shows that it will be higher in 2018 than in 2017. I am confident that as we stay the course, it will be better still at the end of 2019.
‘‘Inflation is coming down steadily, there is stability in the exchange rate and foreign exchange is readily available for genuine business. Foreign reserves are adequate and growing; capital inflows have increased and the trade balance is positive.
‘‘We are paying off debts that were not even publicly acknowledged before now, including those owed to States, the electricity sector, oil marketers, exporters, backlog of salaries of workers and pensioners, amongst others.
‘‘I am happy that the results of the priority we have placed on this sector are beginning to show.
‘‘Our commitment is reflected in the resources that we are providing for infrastructure. In 2016 and 2017, capital expenditure was up to N2.7 trillion while over N800m has been released under the current budget.
‘‘This has been complemented by the inception of the $650 million Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund which will focus initially on the Lagos-Ibadan expressway, the Second Niger Bridge, the Abuja-Kano expressway and the Mambilla hydropower plant,’’ he said.
The President also highlighted completed and ongoing projects in the transport and aviation sector, expressing delight that the rail projects are generating excitement across the country because it would help local businesses to grow.
‘‘The Abuja-Kaduna railway is up and running. The Itakpe-Warri line is being test-run before going commercial. The completed portion of the Abuja light rail project is facilitating movement to the airport.
‘‘The Lagos-Ibadan railway is nearing completion with people already taking test rides on the completed portions. We are determined to work at the same pace on the Coastal Railway Line and the line from Port Harcourt to Maiduguri.
‘‘We completed the repairs to the runway in Abuja in record time, and just a few weeks ago, I commissioned the Baro Inland Port. All these achievements will help Nigerian businesses to grow,’’ he said.
“On future plans to sustain the positive economic outlook, the President said the Federal Government would raise more revenue to boost the economic fundamentals and increase the level and quality of government services in support of the private sector.
‘‘I recently inaugurated a Technical Advisory Committee to identify new sources of revenue in this regard. This is also to ensure that Government at all levels have the resources to pay the new national wage, which we are indeed committed to paying.
‘‘Our economic fundamentals are strong and, in the next four years by the grace of God, we are determined to stay the course in terms of partnerships with the private sector; support to the real sector; helping small businesses, providing infrastructure and an enabling business environment,’’ he said.
President Buhari further informed the gathering that his administration has also stimulated growth in the economy by adopting and implementing new strategies to deal with the security situation in the country and tackling rampant corruption.