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1bn barrel of crude oil discovered in Northeast – Sylva

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New petroleum industry law is to attract investors – Minister

…As OPEC slashes global oil demand forecast over COVID-19 outbreak***

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Slyva, said that about one billion barrels of crude oil have been discovered in Northeastern part of Nigeria.

Sylva made the disclosure at a news Conference to end the 2020 Nigeria International Petroleum Summit (NIPS), in Abuja on Wednesday.

“The figure we are getting, the jury is not totally out yet but from the evaluation results we are getting the reserve that has been discovered in the northeast is about a billion barrels.

“Those are the kind of figures we are seeing and we are beginning to understand the geological structure of the region,” he said.

According to him, a lot of oil is yet to be found in the country.

He added that there was need for more exploration in the country as more oil would be discovered.

Commenting on passing of the Petroleum Industry Bill ( PIB) by June, he said that he was confident that it would be passed based on cordial relationship between the legislature and the executive.

“We are banking on the fact today to make that promise on the fact that there is a very cordial relationship now between the legislature and executive.

Also read:  FG Promotes non-oil sector, signs agreement for Tin-Smelting plant

”Today Nigerians all agree that there is a need for us to pass the PIB.

”For so long we have been quivering about the PIB, for more than 20 years. And for so long, we have not been able to attract a lot of investment into the oil sector.

”Let me give you an example, by the year 2002, our oil reserves stood at around 22 billion barrels. We were able to grow that reserve from 22 billion barrels to 37 billion barrels by 2007.

”From 2007 to now, we have only been able to grow our reserves from 37 billion barrels to 37.5 billion barrels, in more than 10 years. Why? Not much investment is coming into Nigeria,” he added.

He noted that  investors could not invest in Nigeria if the fiscal framework was shaking or uncertain.
“If nobody knows when laws will be passed, nobody will want to invest new capital in Nigeria. And that is why you see that we have almost been stagnant in the Nigerian oil industry.

So, we believe today that there is a consensus among all of us – industry, Nigerians and government – that there is a need to stabilise the fiscal framework so that investors will be certain and move their money to Nigeria.

”There are very great opportunities in Nigeria, and I believe if we can only stabilise the fiscal framework and bring peace to Nigeria, investments will flow into Nigeria.

“That is really what gives me the confidence to say that there is a consensus now among all patriotic Nigerians that in six months the PIB will be passed,” he added.

On revamping of the refinery, he said that rehabilitation of Port Harcourt refinery would start in the first quarter of 2020.

We are going to start the rehabilitation of the port Harcourt refinery which is the biggest refinery in Nigeria, if we are able to finish the port Harcourt refinery we would have achieved a lot as a government.“

“Meanwhile we are also continuing with studies around Warri refinery, we are also continuing discussions around Kaduna refineries,” he said.

In the meantime, the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), on Wednesday said its Global forecast market demand for oil would grow more slowly than expected in 2020 because of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

The revision comes as OPEC and 10 additional oil producers led by Russia are mulling to take a further output cut in reaction to the outbreak at their meeting on March, 2019, in Vienna.

OPEC said global crude oil demand would expand by 990,000 barrels per day (bpd) to average 100.73 million bpd in 2020, which was 230,000 bpd less than the 14-country group had projected in January.

According to the cartel’s monthly market report, the demand for oil from OPEC countries would therefore, be 200,000 bpd lower in 2020 than previously expected.

“The outbreak of the Coronavirus in China during the first half of 2020 is the major factor behind this downward revision,” the report said.

The OPEC analysts noted that the spread of the Covid-19 disease affected demand for transporting fuel at China’s peak travel season for the Lunar New Year, as well as industrial sector in the world’s second biggest economy.

OPEC added that the outbreak would also slow down global economic growth in 2020.

However, its total oil output fell by 509,000 bpd to 28.86 million bpd from December to January, slightly reducing the cartel’s global market share to 28.8 per cent.

 

 

Additional reports from dpa

 

Economy

ILLEGAL EXPORT: Nigeria Signed Asset Agreement With Jersey For Return Of £2.1m- Fagbemi

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ILLEGAL EXPORT: Nigeria Signed Asset Agreement With Jersey For Return Of £2.1m- Fagbemi

…Secures £20 Million interim costs award, against P&ID

The Federal Government of Nigeria has signed an Asset Sharing Agreement with the Bailiwick of Jersey for the return of 2.1 million pounds proceeds of corruption.

The Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), Lateef Fagbemi SAN, made this known while presenting the scorecard of his ministry as part of the activities to mark the first anniversary of President Bola Tinubu’s administration.

The minister said that  the signing of the agreement in February this year was in line with the cardinal principle of the present administration in the fight against corruption,

He said President Tinubu has already approved the use of money for the continuation of works on the Abuja-Kano Road project.

Fagbemi said that an efficient justice delivery system is key to ensuring Nigeria’s economic growth and development, as well as ensuring the socio-economic well-being of citizens.

“Effective justice system is measured not only by the numbers of cases which are successfully disposed of but also and more importantly, the strategic measures adopted to avoid litigation.

“Using a combination of effective defence strategies to cases, arbitration, mediation and diligent prosecution of appeal cases, the ministry succeeded in saving the country from huge debt liabilities.

“In the reporting period, a total of 625 cases instituted against the President, Federal Government and its agencies, before States, Federal and ECOWAS Court were served and responded to by the ministry.

“The ministry also received and treated 593 requests for legal advice and petitions from May 2023 till date and in all, we obtained 235 judgments’’.

He noted that the administration had witnessed a landmark decision in an arbitration instituted against Nigeria by Process and Industrial Development Limited (P&ID).

“In that case, a UK commercial court set aside an arbitral award of over 11 billion dollars granted against Nigeria in the United Kingdom for breach of a gas supply and processing agreement.

“So, I am pleased to report that due to concerted efforts of our legal team, Nigeria has been awarded interim costs in the sum of £20 Million against P&ID’’.

Fagbemi noted that the case was a useful lesson that had been learnt as the case had the potential of wiping off the nation’s entire foreign reserves.

He said the issue had led to the development of a Federal Contracts Administration System.

“As noted by the English Court, the genesis of the case is traceable to a flawed contractual agreement that was tainted with fraud’’.

He said that in line with the cardinal principle of the present administration in the fight against corruption, the ministry has achieved success in its International Asset Recovery and Management efforts.

“For the Glencore Settlement, we have concluded negotiation of a Settlement Agreement with Glencore International A.G. wherein Glencore is expected to pay the sum of 50 million dollars as penalty and compensation for certain activities in Nigeria’’.

He noted that the ministry has equally done well in facilitating international cooperation on terrorism financing and other transnational crimes.

“We have gotten 13 convictions in terrorism financing cases and have also successfully concluded 150 mutual legal assistance requests and 12 extradition requests from Law Enforcement Agencies and foreign countries.

“We secured 160 convictions for criminal offences, 87 convictions for terrorism cases, and 3 novel convictions for extremist terrorism actors involved in the radicalisation of children and violence against women. 

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FG Begins Construction On Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway Sections 3, 4 –Umahi

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FG Begins Construction On Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway Sections 3, 4 –Umahi

…Sokoto to Badagry 1,000 km stretch also receives approval

The Federal Government has announced the immediate flag-off of construction work on sections three and four of the Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway project, beginning from Calabar.

The Minister of Works, Sen. Dave Umahi, announced an engagement with representatives of communities within the alignment of the road between Eko Atlantic (Chainage Zero) and Eleko inside (Chainage 47.4klm, on Thursday in Lagos.

He said that section three would start from Calabar and section four from Akwa Ibom.

Umahi said, “Let me announce also that Mr President has directed that section three, starting from Calabar and section four is starting from Akwa Ibom should commence immediately; and so, we are in the process of concluding the procurement.

“And for those who have been saying why not start these roads in Calabar, one, the zero point is Lagos and what wrong has Lagos done to these people?

“However, an impartial President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Sen. Bola Tinubu, has directed that sections three and four be started from the end of the project. So while this is moving, the other one will be moving.

“I’m sure that sections five and six will also start in places like Port Harcourt and Bayelsa.”

Umahi also announced that the president had approved the commencement of construction work on the road connecting Sokoto to Badagry.

He said: ” Just the last Federal Executive Committee meeting on Monday, Mr President also approved another project; because this road has two spurs, we start the design and procurement of that Sokoto to Badagry.

” It’s a 1,000 km, it’s running through a lot of irrigation, lands and dams where you can have a lot of power generation and its running from Sokoto to Kebbi, Kebbi to Niger, Niger to Kwara, Kwara to Oyo, Oyo to Ogun state, and then to Badagry in Lagos State.”

The minister, who acknowledged potential criticism about the project’s scale and chosen sections, mentioned that section one, 47.7 kilometres, was ambitious for an interstate road project.

He said that the federal government planned to recoup construction costs through tolling and selling land along the road corridors.

The aim, according to him, is to create a scenic route similar to coastal highways in other countries.

Additionally, he said that the return on investment would start immediately after the first section was completed and would come from tolls and land sales along the completed section one.

The minister pointed out that the country loses money daily due to cargo transhipment at Apapa Port.

He explained that Apapa Port’s water depth was insufficient for large ships, forcing them to use deeper ports elsewhere for cargo transfer (transhipment), which incurred millions of dollars on daily basis.

He said that the new roads would act as an evacuation corridor for the Lekki Deep Sea Port to other parts of the country.

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Economy

Hope Rising: Naira Gains N3.31 Against Dollar At Official Market

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Naira Gains N61.38 Against Dollar At Official Market

…Trades at N1,465.68 to dollar

 The Naira gained N3.31 at the official market on Tuesday, trading at N1,465.68 to the dollar.

Data from the FMDQ Exchange, which oversees the Nigerian Autonomous Foreign Exchange Market (NAFEM), revealed a 0.22 percent appreciation for the Naira compared to Monday’s rate of N1,468.99 to the dollar.

The volume of currency traded also increased, with the total daily turnover rising to 268.17 million dollars on Tuesday from 161.41 million dollars on Monday.

At the Investor’s and Exporter’s (I&E) window, the Naira traded between N1,549.00 and N1,401.00 against the dollar.

The Association of Bureau De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON) commended the CBN’s reforms for the Naira’s appreciation at the official market.

Alhaji Aminu Gwadabe, President, Association of Bureau De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON)

ABCON President, Dr Aminu Gwadabe, urged the CBN to sustain policies benefiting the local currency.

Gwadabe cited multifaceted efforts through fiscal and monetary policies, alongside security agency interventions, as key to the Naira’s recovery.

“Volatility is like runoff water; if not directed, it will direct itself. I am happy to see multiple agencies coming together to confront these challenges,” he said.

Gwadabe called for technological upgrades and collaboration among operators, regulators, the government, and security agencies.

This, he noted, was to improve control over the foreign exchange market and to establish a bylaw to mitigate volatility. 

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