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Operators in oil, gas sector charged to be proactive - THE GUARDIAN

NOVEMBER 21, 2017

By Inemesit Akpan-Nsoh Uyo

 

Operators in the oil and gas industry in the country have been urged to be more responsive and proactive by latching on the Federal Government’s unrelenting efforts at reforming the hydrocarbon industry to become more attractive to investors.

This advice was given by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Dr. Folasade Yemi-Esan at the on-going technical session/meeting of officers and experts at the 2nd National Council on Hydrocarbon, in Uyo Akwa Ibom state capital.

The Permanent Secretary who is chairing the technical session noted that, since the inauguration of the council in 2016, it has brought a turning point in the oil and gas sector, stressing that, the industry now has sustainable platform to grow linkages for the convergence of ideas.

With the theme, ‘7 Big Wins; Framework For Realizing the Potential of Hydrocarbon’, she explained that, all the reforms and other initiatives by government are all aimed at making the country oil and gas sector attractive to both domestic and foreign investors.

With participants drawn from oil producing state, services chiefs, SSS, Police, National Assembly, traditional rulers, indigenous oil companies, NGOs, host communities, among others, she noted that it was time to diversify the sector as such would certainly opened up the sector to more business opportunity and at the same time provide viable source of revenue to the country.

“It is envisaged that this technical session of officers and experts would evolve in a manner that would consistently assist council to channel its resolutions towards the strengthening of policies and initiatives in the oil and gas sector.

“With constant fluctuation in oil revenues globally, it is only wise to begin to leverage on creative means of diversifying the oil and gas sector so as to open up the sector to more and better business opportunities as well as provide viable source of revenue for the country as encapsulated under the aims and objectives of the 7 Big Wins”, she said.

She expressed the hope that, with the caliber of participants, their contributions would help government at arriving at decisions that would make the oil and gas sector attractive to investors.

Earlier, the commissioner for Transport and Petroleum Oman Esin, who represented the governor, Udom Emmanuel, expressed the hope that with proper implementation of programmees and policies in the hydrocarbon sub sector, such would go a long way into making the oil and gas sector investor friendly.

He noted that, as a state, it has forwarded a lot of Memos to the technical committee for considerations, noting that, once such are given considerations, it would mean a serious in-road into the development of the Hydrocarbon industry.

“I wish to urge the Technical Committees to consider policies that will fast-track exploitation of hydrocarbon in a safe, secure and friendly environment for the benefit of the nation and the development of the Host Communities”, he said.

Lagos fixes N1.3m as tentative fare for 2018 Hajj - NAN

NOVEMBER 21, 2017

By Abdulrahman Kadiri

The Lagos State Muslim Pilgrims’ Welfare Board has announced the sum of N1.3 million as tentative fare for the 2018 Hajj exercise.

Mr Muftau Okoya, Executive Secretary of the board, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Lagos that sale of forms for the 2018 exercise has also commenced.

He said that the early commencement of preparations was to avoid hiccups and to make payment easy and flexible for intending pilgrims.

“Intending pilgrims are to collect forms from the Board’s office in Ikeja at the cost N10,000.

“In respect of the Hajj fare, an initial deposit of N1.3 million has been approved, pending when the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) will release the official price.

“There is also an opportunity for installmental payment with at least N100,000 minimum deposits,” he said.
He advised intending pilgrims to make payment on time to avoid logistics challenges experienced during last operation.
“We have commenced preparations early to avoid some of such challenges.

“The policy of first-come-first-served will be applied in the allocation of pilgrims to hotels, tents and other facilities by NAHCON,” he said.

He noted that the increase in the number of pilgrim allocation to countries without commensurate upgrade in facilities created a major challenge during the 2017 Hajj.

“Our greatest challenge in the last operation was in Muna.

“There was an upsurge in the number of pilgrims because Saudi authorities admitted too many pilgrims at the detriment of the available facilities.

“So the facilities were overstretched to the extent that Lagos pilgrims encountered the problem of accommodation in Muna.

“But Lagos State pilgrims put their maturity to test by ensuring that these challenges were overcome with patience and understanding,” he said. (NAN)

Shippers’ association says Nigeria loses one trillion Naira to cargo diversion - PUNCH

NOVEMBER 21, 2017

The Shippers’ Association Lagos State (SALS) on Tuesday said the country lost N1 trillion annually through cargo diversion to ports in neighbouring countries due to bad roads to Lagos ports.

Mr. Jonathan Nicol, SALS President told reporters in Lagos that the losses arose from import duties and other charges not paid to Nigerian ports.

According to him, there is massive diversion of Nigeria-bound cargo to ports in neighbouring countries due to bad access roads to Lagos ports.

The shippers said that demurrage, terminal charges and storage fees incurred by shippers ran into billions of naira daily.

 

“There are also queue of vessels within the Lome waters awaiting call-up for berthing in Lagos ports.

“This will attract port congestion levy on cargo, which is no fault of the shippers (importers and exporters).

“Demurrage on containers is increasing with no control from maritime agencies. Importers and exporters are suffering,’’ he said.

Nicol called on the contractor handling the rehabilitation of the access roads to Apapa port to expedite action to reduce problems encountered by shippers and truck owners.

“Industrialists are incurring huge expenses on haulage due to lack of access roads and they are counting more losses daily.

There is no entry into Lagos ports and no access out of the ports after loading,’’ the shipper said, adding that truck drivers remained on queue for several days.

He, however, commended Dangote Group, Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc and Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) for their assistance in rehabilitating access roads to Apapa ports.

“It should be noted that they (Dangote and Flour Mills) are industrialists going the extra mile to keep the maritime industry afloat,’’ the shippers said.

Nicol said that the export initiative of the Federal Government was also under threat as export goods spent several days before arriving at the ports.

To avert congestion, he suggested that the backlog of goods at the ports should be cleared.

According to him, the port congestion of the past is mounting again and may lead to prolonged litigation on who pays the charges.

Nicol advised that empty containers inside the ports should be exported as a priority.

He, however, said that the association would not subscribe to the idea of moving containers released at the ports to Papalanto in Ogun.

“The cost of moving such boxes (containers) to factories in Lagos and other places will be too high.

“Cargo taken to Papalanto will be treated as up-country cargo and will attract high haulage fees,’’ Nicol said.

(NAN)

Naira down marginally as CBN injects $210m - VANGUARD

NOVEMBER 21, 2017 By Adaeze Okechukwu The Naira, Monrday, depreciated marginally to N360.42 per dollar in the Investor and Exporter (I&E) Foreign Exchange, forex, window, even as the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, injected $210 million into the inter-bank forex market.

The indicative exchange rate for the I & E Window, known as Nigerian Autonomous Foreign Exchange, NAFEX, depreciated by 2 kobo to N360.42 per dollar, from N360.40 per dollar at the close of the market last week. Meanwhile, the volume of dollars traded in the window yesterday stood at $346.36 million.
Meantime, in a bid to boost liquidity and trade, the CBN injected $210 million into the interbank market. Confirming the intervention, Acting Director, Corporate Communications, CBN, Mr. Isaac Okorafor, said that, “the CBN offered the total sum of $100million to the wholesale segment, while the Small and Medium Enterprises segment received the sum of $55 million. The invisibles segment, comprising tuition fees, medical payments and Basic Travel Allowance (BTA), among others, also received an allocation of $55 million.”

Read more at: https://www.vanguardngr.com/2017/11/naira-marginally-cbn-injects-210m/

Naira sells at N362.5 per dollar at parallel market - PUNCH

NOVEMBER 21, 2017

The Naira on Tuesday traded at N362.5 to the dollar at the parallel market.

Meanwhile, the Pound Sterling and the Euro closed at N476 and N426 respectively.

At the Bureau De Change window, the Naira flattened at N362 to the dollar, while the Pound Sterling and the Euro closed at N476 and N426 respectively.

Trading at the interbank window saw the Naira closed at N359.87, while the CBN rate closed at N305.9 to the dollar.

 

Traders said that patronage at the market was slow as they awaited the outcome of the Monetary Policy Committee meeting of the CBN.

Meanwhile, Mr Godwin Emefiele, the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Governor, noted that the investors and exports window had maintained a positive influence in the foreign exchange market

Emefiele said at the end of the MPC meeting that the window transacted more than $18.7bn since it commenced transaction in April.

He added that the Naira had remained stable at the parallel market, while the investors ’window had boosted confidence in the economy.

The MPC meeting of the CBN retained the benchmark interest rate at 14 per cent alongside other monetary policy parameters.

The CBN had injected$ 210m into the foreign exchange market on Monday to boost liquidity.

The series of interventions by the apex bank at the nation’s foreign exchange market had been critical in defending the Naira against the antics of currency speculators.

(NAN)

62 Insane Facts About Bitcoin (Infographic) - BITCOIN PLAY

NOVEMBER 09, 2017

[Infographic – Updated October 2017]

Bitcoin is a virtual currency that uses Blockchain technology for secure payments and storing money electronically, without requiring a bank or a person’s name. Satoshi Nakamoto created this cryptocurrency back in 2009. The biggest advantage of Bitcoin is that it’s not under control of central authority, government or private company, so people are free from paying transaction fees. It can be used for booking a hotel or flight, or purchasing products online, as many online stores and companies accept Bitcoin now.

Today, there are 1354 Bitcoin ATMs in 55 countries around the world and about 5.8 million users that have digital wallets. The price for one Bitcoin at the moment is $5,602 and it’s growing continuously, proportionally with the interest for digital money.

Take a look at this infographic, created by the team behindBitcoinPlay, that illustrates in details some interesting facts about this incredibly popular virtual currency.

Diesel-dependent Nigeria looks up to the sun - FT

NOVEMBER 07, 2017

It is Nigeria’s migraine-inducing anthem: the incessant drone of millions of diesel generators straining to power homes and offices starved of electricity by the feeble state of the national grid. While it is hard to imagine this cacophony as anything other than the sound of the country’s propensity for self-sabotage, Ademola Adesina hears only opportunity in the din........

https://www.ft.com/content/13e73f98-a512-11e7-8d56-98a09be71849

AfDB salutes Nigeria’s economic recovery, diversification efforts - PUNCH

NOVEMBER 07, 2017

The Nigeria House of Representatives has constituted a Tactical Committee on Economic Recession to guide innovative legislative actions by the House and the National Assembly to return the economy to the path of growth and stability.  In this regard, the committee is holding a summit in the nation’s capital, Abuja, on 6 and 7 November 2017.

The Summit will bring strategic stakeholders together to interact on relevant issues of concern and develop a legal framework for economic recovery and sustainable development in Nigeria. It is expected that deliberations at the Summit will enhance the quality of legislative reforms for economic development.

The African Development Bank’s (AfDB) Nigeria Senior Director, Ebrima Faal, representing AfDB President, Akinwumi Adesina at the summit noted that Nigeria’s sound growth prospects are increasingly underpinned by generally improved macroeconomic policies, low external debt, political stability, and good governance. Fewer conflicts and more democratic institutions, have also provided better clarity for investors as evidenced by the recent improvements in Nigeria’s ranking in the ease of doing business index.

Faal said that despite reports to the contrary, the AfDB is in consultation with the Government about how best to support the country’s laudable Economic and Growth Recovery Plan. He added: “I would like to stress that the African Development Bank Group is highly encouraged by the economic recovery of Nigeria from recession, and the Bank salutes the Government’s efforts toward diversification of the economy. The Bank also strongly supports the Economic and Growth Recovery Plan (ERGP) of the Government; including efforts to stem corruption and strengthen fiscal consolidation and efficiency. ‘’We shall continue to strengthen our engagement and ties with the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

The country is the largest and most important shareholder of the African Development Bank Group, and as such our commitment to Nigeria is resolute.”

In a passionate presentation titled ‘The Nigerian Recession – We must never Walk this Way Again,’ Nigeria’s Vice President, Yomi Osinbajo said that recession was not an option for Nigeria.

“Never again should we experience the horrors of being in a state of recession. Reliance on dwindling oil revenue and unbridled, unprecedented corruption and waste were the major causes of the 2017 recession,” he said, noting that the country could have fared better going into a recession if it had had savings instead of debt.

“We did not have the fiscal buffers to enable a counter approach,’’ he said, citing the intractable delay in the budget approval process and the long procurement processes that followed as the  two other major forces that deepened the recession. “No developing economy can afford the luxury of long legislative rambling over the budget. Budgetary delay in a situation of national economic emergency and the hardship encountered by so many is simply unacceptable,” he said.

The Vice President said the Economic Recovery and Growth Programme remains Nigeria’s blueprint for development actions going forward. He reminded the group that “the obligation that history and providence has forced upon us today is to honestly do all we can to ensure that the future of our people is secure and prosperous. We must not walk this path of recession again.’’

$250m grant for Nigerian youths yet to be accessed —World Bank - VANGUARD

NOVEMBER 07, 2017

THE World Bank said Nigeria had so far accessed less than $50 million of the $300 million earmarked by the bank for youth empowerment and other social works in the country.

The World Bank’s Nigeria Lead Social Protection Specialist, Mr Foluso Okunmadewa, said this, yesterday, in Abuja at the Youth Employment and Social Support Operation, YESSO, Midterm Review Policy Level meeting. wold bank Okunmadewa said the bank had in 2013, earmarked the fund to support federal and state governments’ efforts to improve the lives of the poor and vulnerable in the society.

He said of recent, the YESSO programme, which had four components, had been doing badly, mentioning the Social Register component, which had the ambitious aim to compile the list of the most vulnerable people and households in Nigeria, as example.

According to him, it is sad to note that only eight states have thus far keyed into the programme. He said: “The support operation is in its fourth year of implementation and currently active in 13 states of the federation, including the North-East and coordinated at the federal level, also with the NDE. “The operation is expected to close in mid 2020 and the performance today is not impressive. Less than $50 million, which is about 13 per cent of the assistance has been disbursed.

“The single register component of the operation, which is quite innovative and has been adopted by the Federal Government for its Cash Transfer programme, is however, recording very slow process.

“Only a small fraction of the poor has been identified and registered even in participating states. “Also, the intervention component of the operation, which targets grants transfer for internally displaced people and vulnerable in the North East, is performing very poorly.”

Okunmadewa said to encourage more states to participate in the YESSO programme, the World Bank had cut the ration of the required counterpart funding between states and the Federal Government from 50/50 to 90/10.

This, according to him, means that for every one Naira the Nigerian government, whether state or federal government invests into youth empowerment, the World Bank will provide nine Naira for it. Also, National Coordinator of YESSO, David Adejo, urged the states to take advantage of the reduction in counterpart funding by the World Bank to invest in avenues that would lead to youth employments in their respective states.

“Some states had a public workfare, but when the YESSO started, they pulled back and were no longer funding these projects, thinking that the World Bank would do it alone.

Read more at: https://www.vanguardngr.com/2017/11/250m-grant-nigerian-youths-yet-accessed-world-bank/

Bank speaks on scheme reportedly assisting Nigerians financially - DAILY POST

NOVEMBER 07, 2017

By  

The World Bank has denied report making the rounds online that it is giving out money to individuals to do business.

In a statement released in Abuja on Monday by Olufunke Olufon, World Bank warned Nigerians to be wary of fraudsters parading as its representatives and soliciting fees to enlist Nigerians in a fake scheme.

Olufon, spokesperson of the bank in Nigeria, disclosed that the group has been going about demanding registration fees of about N1000 from unsuspecting Nigerians in communities to be enlisted in the scheme.

The statement readS: “Several correspondences targeting innocent citizens are being circulated falsely claiming that the World Bank is giving out money to individuals to do business and demanding processing fees of N1000 from prospective awardees.

“Please note that: The World Bank is not behind this multi-purpose scheme. The World Bank does not request for personal financial information for applicants to its programmes.”

“Members of the public are advised to verify any information regarding any World Bank-assisted programmes purportedly offered by any individual or groups on its website.”

Ms. Olufon added that the World Bank would not be held responsible for any refunds of fees solicited by fraudsters.

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