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Economy

$15.8bn: No upward review of Egina project budget- Total

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Larger portion of Nigeria’s oil, gas wealth yet untapped — Total boss

…As AfDB’s loan to Nigeria set to cross $8b mark***

Total Upstream Nigeria Limited (TUPNI) said the budgeted cost for the Egina project since the final investment decision made in 2013 was not reviewed upwards.

Total Managing Director, Mr Nichola Terraz disclosed this at the Senate Ad-Hoc Committee on Investigation of Local content Elements of the Egina Oil field and other related projects, on Tuesday in Abuja.

“Specifically, the initial budget established in 2013 for the Egina project was 16.354 billion dollars and after extensive cost optimization by TUPNI and the project partners, this figure was revised downward to 15.751 billion dollars in May 2013.

“The final investment decision was made on the basis of this reduced budget figure,’’ he said

Egina project is located in Oil Mining License (OML) 130 and is the largest oil and Gas Development currently on- going in Nigeria.

The Field is being developed by TUPNI in partnership with NNPC, CNOOC, SAPETRO and PETROBRAS.

The project was launched in 2013 and is expected to start production in the 4th quarter of 2018 and expected that it will add 200,000 barrels per day to the Nigeria’s oil production or approximately 10 per cent of the country’s total oil production.

Terraz said that the Egina  FPSO would be arriving  SHI-MCI yard in Lagos adding that it was a  key milestone for the project   and would be  the first time FPSO would berth at quay side in Nigeria for lifting and integration of locally fabricated modules.

He assured that with the arrival of FPSO the project would be delivered as scheduled with the first oil expected by December this year.

According to him, the project will add 200,000 barrels of oil to Nigeria‘s oil production.

“Egina project has recorded many fists in the area of Nigeria content development being in the first project of the magnitude since the enactment of the NOGICD Act.

“Egina therefore is a symbol of confidence, commitment and faith in Nigeria  by TUPNI and her partners,’’ he added.

Earlier, the Senate has called for a value-for-money audit of the 16.354 billion dollars Egina FPSO ‎vessel contract, stating that unless the audit is conducted, it would no longer support other projects of such nature, such as the Bonga South-West and Zabazaba FPSO projects.

Chairman of the Senate Ad-Hoc Committe‎e, Sen Adeola Solomon, said the audit became necessary to establish the actual cost of the projects and look at the implications of the project to the company.

He said the audit would focus on technical and financial aspects of the project.

“We are hereby directing the NNPC to conduct a value‎ for money audit of the Egina project.

We are aware such would last for about 16 weeks. Until that audit is done, no other contracts of this nature would be supported by this Senate, either Bonga South-west or Zabazaba among others.

“We do not want the audit to be conducted by auditors of Total, but independent auditors to give us a clearer and true view of things,’’ he said

He further stated that the essence of its investigations was to guide the country in making decisions on similar projects in the future.

According to Adeola, this is  because two similar projects scheduled to come up soon, Bonga South-West and Zabazaba, with a production capacity of 150,000 barrels per day, were budgeted at about 6 billion dollars and nine bilion dollars, respectively.

Also, Chief Operating Officer, Upstream of the NNPC, Mr. Rabiu Bello disclosed that so far, it had approved for disbursement, 10.7 billion  dollars of the total project cost, while he put the operating expenses of producing crude oil from the entire project at 10 dollars per barrel.

Rabiu said the project which started in 1993 when the oil block was awarded and in 2013 when ‎FPSO project contract was awarded, would hit first oil by December 2018.

He noted that Total, by the terms of the agreement, was expected to undertake the project, provide the finance, recover its cost and later share profit with the NNPC.

In the meantime, the African Development Bank (AfDB) plans to increase its loans to Nigeria by more than $2 billion next year thereby raising the total loans to the country above $8 billion mark, its President Akinwumi Adesina said.

The investment will go to  energy, infrastructure and agriculture.

“The total portfolio we have in Nigeria is $6 billion. We expect that by the year 2019, we will grow that into a little bit over $8 billion,” Adesina told Bloomberg during the opening of AfDB’s headquarters in Abuja.

The Abidjan, Ivory Coast-based lender will pump more than $800 million into Nigeria this year, most of which will fund investments in power. Among them is a $250 million support to revamp power-transmission lines and electricity sub-stations as well as fund a $200 million solar-power project in Jigawa state in the north, Adesina said.

The $400 million balance from a $1 billion loan for budget support will be disbursed directly to industries identified by the government after projects have been vetted by the bank, he said.

Nigerian economy is recovering from its worst economic slump in 25 years. It will also receive budget support and public financial management assistance from the lender, he said.

The AfDB forecasts the economy will grow by 2.1 per cent this year as the output of and the price of oil, its main export, recover. The country depends on crude exports for two-thirds of government revenue and most of its foreign income. Brent crude, which compares with Nigeria’s export grades, has gained 26 percent in the past year, helping the recovery. It traded at $69.87 a barrel as of 5:03 p.m. in London.

Nigeria remains vulnerable to oil price shocks because of its dependence on the commodity. As prices continue to rally, the government of Africa’s biggest economy needs to invest more in infrastructure and boost funding to non-oil industries, which account for about 90 per cent of gross domestic product, Adesina said.

Additional report from Nation

Economy

Eid-el-Fitr: Tinubu Urges Sacrifice, Integrity For National Rebirth

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Eid-el-Fitr: Tinubu urges sacrifice, integrity for national rebirth

 President Bola Tinubu has urged Nigerians to continue to make sacrifices and exhibit integrity for national development.

Tinubu said this after observing the Eid-el-Fitr prayer at the Eid Ground at Dodon Barracks on Wednesday in Lagos.

The President also called on Nigerians to continue to have faith in his government and remain patriotic citizens.

Tinubu said that the Renewed Hope Agenda of his administration, aimed at bringing prosperity to Nigerians, was being diligently implemented.

Encouraging Muslims to extend the values of sacrifice and resilience beyond the fasting period, Tinubu emphasised the need for Nigerians to prioritise the exhibition of love for their country.

‘’The resilience and sacrifice that we have shown and made during these months should be preserved.

“Be a kind and cheerful giver. We must love our country more than any other country because this is the only one we have.

‘’We must continue to protect the integrity of our government and leadership. The Renewed Hope Agenda is alive, well and fine, and Nigerians should continue to be very hopeful. Without hope, there is no salvation.

“Without hope, there is no development. Without hope, there is no life. Eid Mubarak,’’ the President said at the end of the prayers led by the Chief Imam of Lagos State, Sheikh Sulaiman Abou-Nolla.

Earlier in his sermon, the Chief Imam urged Nigerians to shun all acts of violence, ensure peaceful co-existence, and continue to have faith in the country.

He asked those in leadership positions to remain faithful to their oaths of office and work towards alleviating the suffering of the less privileged.

‘‘Let us not forget our brothers and sisters in Gaza and other areas of conflict,’’ the Chief Imam said.

He offered prayers of God’s guidance, wisdom, and protection for the President and the Lagos State government, as well as for peace and stability in the country.

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Economy

Lawmaker Secures Release of 4 Persons Involved in Illegal Arms Manufacturing in Delta

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Lawmaker Secures Release of 4 Persons Involved in Illegal Arms Manufacturing in Delta

Sen. Ned Nwoko (PDP-Delta), on Wednesday, disclosed that he had secured the release of four family members involved in manufacturing arms at the Onicha-Olona Illegal Arms Factory in Delta.

Nwoko representing Delta North Senatorial District, who disclosed this in an interview in Abuja, said that the release of the four persons was through collaborative efforts.

On March 12, troops of 63 Brigade, Asaba, uncovered an illegal arms manufacturing factory in Onicha-Olona, Delta North Senatorial District and arrested eight family members in connection with the crime.

Nwoko disclosed that efforts have been made to ensure fair treatment for those involved, balancing justice with the opportunity for rehabilitation and contribution to society.

“Following my recent visit to the headquarters of 63 Brigade, Asaba and productive discussions with the Brigade Commander, I am pleased to announce progress in addressing the situation regarding the illegal arms factory discovered in the Onicha-Olona community, Delta.

“Efforts have been made to ensure fair treatment for those involved, balancing justice with the opportunity for rehabilitation and contribution to society.

“I am pleased to reveal that through collaborative efforts, I have successfully secured the release of four family members implicated in the illegal activity.

“However, our commitment to upholding the law remains unwavering, and endeavours continue for fair judgment and potential pardon for the remaining four individuals,” he said.

The lawmaker stressed that the underlying issue highlighted by the discovery, however, remained of paramount importance.

“We must seize the opportunity to redirect the talents demonstrated by those involved towards lawful and productive endeavours.

“The young man in the family, known for his passion and ability to build drones, exemplifies this potential.

“His skills should be harnessed and put to good use,” he said.

Nwoko added that the Industrial Revolution served as a pertinent historical precedent where individual efforts catalysed transformative change and made possible by governments that created conducive environments.

“We can emulate this model here. We can provide support and opportunities for talented individuals like the young drone builder, and stimulate a new wave of innovation and economic growth in Nigeria.

“As previously stated, Nigeria’s economy faces significant challenges exacerbated by escalating imports, particularly in the realm of arms and weaponry.

“Therefore, we must harness our indigenous talents for the greater good and bolster our local industries,” he said.

Nwoko further said that the Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria (DICON), as well as the Ministry of Science and Technology, have crucial roles to play in this regard.

According to him, by engaging with individuals possessing such skills, we can offer them legal avenues for their expertise to flourish.

“The aim is not only to prevent the proliferation of illegal arms or other weapons manufacturing but also to channel these talents towards legitimate industries for national development.

“I reiterate the need for the government to support and integrate such offenders with specialised skills and talents into the formal economy.

“This initiative should focus on recognising their capabilities and providing opportunities for them to contribute to the development of our local indigenous technology.

“As noted earlier, an individual capable of modifying an AK-47 magazine, originally designed to hold 30 rounds, to accommodate 60 rounds using rudimentary equipment, holds immense potential for greater achievements.

”Such individual can do more with proper legal support and access to adequate resources.”

He disclosed that he was committed to proposing or supporting a new law aimed at assisting talented and skilful individuals involved in illegal activities and also partnering with law enforcement agencies in these endeavours.

“I am committed to proposing or supporting a new law aimed at assisting talented and skilful individuals involved in illegal activities and also partner with law enforcement agencies in these endeavours.”

“They have the intelligence and insights of the potential beneficiaries of this “amnesty” drive towards creating a new cadre of indigenous technologists.

“This law would establish an agency dedicated to providing government support and resources to rehabilitate and engage these individuals in legal and productive activities.

“I tentatively suggest naming this proposed law the “National Talent Rehabilitation and Integration Act”.

“This legislation will not only focus on rehabilitation but also on harnessing the skills and talents of offenders for the benefit of society.

“By providing a structured environment and necessary support, this agency will facilitate the transition of individuals from illicit activities to lawful and productive ventures.

”And they will be contributing to both their personal rehabilitation and national development,” Nwoko added.

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Economy

NGX Market Capitalisation Gains N836bn

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Stock Market Gains N18bn; FTN Cocoa Processors, Prestige Assurance lead Losers’ Chart 

…Tantalizers, NASCON lead the losers’ chart 

The Nigerian Exchange Ltd.(NGX) market capitalisation, which opened at N57.697 trillion on Tuesday, gained N836 billion or 1.45 percent closing at N58.533 trillion.

Also, the All-Share Index rose by 1.45 percent or 1,480 points to close at 103,524.44, as against 102,044.84 recorded on Monday.

As a result, the Year-To-Date (YTD) return rose to 38.45 percent.

Interest in Telco heavyweight and Tier-one banks such as MTN Nigeria, UBA, Access Corporation, Guaranty Trust Holding Company(GTCO), and sustained interest in Transcorp Power(TransPower) kept the market in the green.

Market breadth closed positive with 35 gainers and 14 losers.

On the gainer’s chart, UBA led in percentage terms of 10 to close at N25.30, followed by MTN by 9.98 percent to close at N243.50 per share.

Julius Berger also gained 9.71 percent to close at N61, While Access Corporation rose by 9.51 percent to close at N22.45 per share.

Veritas Kapital Assurance went up by 9.38 percent to close at 70k per share.

Conversely, Tantalizers led the loser’s chart by 7.89 percent to close at 35k, and National Salt Company of Nigeria(NASCON) trailed by 6.77 percent to close at N53.70.

Morison Industries Plc shed 6.62 percent to close at N1.41, C&I Leasing lost 6.45 percent to close at N3.48, while Cutix Plc dropped 6.30 percent to close at N2.53 per share.

However, analysis of the market activities showed trade turnover settled lower, relative to the previous session.

The value of transactions was also down by 16.76 percent.

A total of 565.79 million shares valued at N14.23 billion were exchanged in 11,519 deals,  compared to 436.90 million shares valued at N17.09 billion exchanged in 11,344 deals traded on Monday.

On the activity chart, Transcorp led in volume with 170.72 million shares traded at a value of N3.13 billion, Access Corporation followed by 48.57 million shares valued at N1.06 billion.

GTCO sold 39.04 million shares worth N165.80 million, Jaiz Bank traded 36.78 million shares valued at N72.51 million and UBA transacted 31.96 million shares valued at N796.24 million

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