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Economy

CBN confirms evacuation of banknotes, directs banks to open for weekend operations

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CBN confirms evacuation of banknotes, directs banks to open for weekend operations

…JIBWIS urges FG to make Naira notes available, over Ramadan*** 

 The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has confirmed the evacuation of banknotes from its vaults to commercial banks across the country.

According to a statement issued by Dr. Isa AbdulMumin, the Acting Director, Corporate Communications of the CBN, it is part of a coordinated effort to ease the circulation of banknotes of various denominations.

AbdulMumin said that the CBN also directed all commercial banks to open for operation on Saturdays and Sundays to meet their customers’ demands.

He said that the CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele would personally monitor compliance of the commercial banks to the directive.

According to him, a substantial amount of money in various denominations had been received by the banks for onward circulation to their customers.

“The CBN has also directed all banks to load their Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) as well as conduct physical operations in the banking halls through the weekends.

“Branches of commercial banks will operate on Saturdays and Sundays to attend to customers’ cash needs,” he said.

He urged Nigerians to exercise patience as the current situation would soon ease off with the injection of more banknotes into circulation.

In another development, the jama’atu Izalatul Bid’ah Wa Iqamatus Sunnah (JIBWIS) in Bauchi State on Friday appealed to the Federal Government to make Naira notes available amidst the hardship of citizens in the country.

Alhaji Hassan Gwani, the Chairman, Tafsir Committee Kasuwan Shanu JIBWS Mosque, made the appeal at the opening ceremony of this year’s annual Ramadan tafsir.

He lamented that people are facing hardship over the scarcity of the naira notes, adding that scarcity affects people’s daily needs.

“Ramadan is here again and the currency meant for daily purchases is not available thereby making the situation difficult for people to buy what they need.

“If the FG wants the policy to be received with open arms and successful, the new Naira notes should be made available for people to spend,” Gwani said.

He also urged Gov. Bala Mohammed to look into the plight of civil servants by paying their salaries as when due as well as paying pensioners their entitlement.

He appreciated the JIBWIS national headquarters for posting Sheikh Saidu Jingir to preach in 2023 Ramadan.

In his remark, Sheik Jingir urged the Muslim faithful to reflect on the significance of the Ramadan period to offer prayers for the nation’s peace, development and economic recovery.

“It is in the light of the holiness of the Ramadan period that we should continue offering prayers for guidance for our leaders,” Jingir admonished.

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Economy

Fuel Subsidy Removal: Don Predicts Reduction In Fuel Price

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Prof. AbdulGafar Ijaiya of the Department of Economics, University of Ilorin, has expressed optimism at President Bola Tinubu’s inaugural remarks on the removal of fuel subsidies, saying this may reduce prices at the long run.

Ijaiya, who spoke on Monday in Ilorin, observed that with commitment from the Federal Government in revamping existing refineries alongside Dangote refineries, will increase the availability of petroleum products.

The expert who however explained that though such effect may not be felt immediately, noted that the present pump price is about N200, depending on filling stations across the country.

He questioned if the present fuel price at about N200 was as a result of the subsidy removal, adding that if it is not, then fuel may likely increase with about 50 per cent rate after the removal.

“But the thing is that very soon, what has gone wrong with the refineries will be corrected and Dangote refineries will commence by July/August,” he said.

Ijaiya, who teaches in the Faculty of Social Sciences of the university, pointed out that in the beginning there might be an increase in the prices of foods and services.

He however asserted that in a society like Nigeria where people are used to hike in prices, it would not mean much to the citizens.

“By Economics principle, we have adjusted our expenditure profile consumption to particular items. We have moved from consuming luxury and unnecessary items to necessary items.

“This means people go for what is necessary and do away with those that are not,” he said.

Ijaiya affirmed that in the long run, the fuel pump price will adjust downward and there would be more supply of the products.

He further added that when there are more supply of a particular product in the market, it will automatically reduce the price.

“If we have enough supply, with time and there are no other man-made distortion that has to do with our behaviour, I see us buying it between N80 and N100 per litre,” he predicted.

The economist also foresee filling station advertising and competing for sales, saying it will be good for the nation.

He, however, cautioned that “we are in an uncertain world”, but maintained that fuel subsidy removal would be good for the country eventually as only a minority are benefiting from it.

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Economy

NNPC Ltd, OML 130 Partners Conclude Lease Renewal Process  

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The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC Ltd) and the Oil Mining Lease (OML) 130 Partners have closed out the lease renewal process for OML 130 to unlock additional value from the Asset for stakeholders.

The NNPC Limited announced the renewal of the OML 130 Production Sharing Contract (PSC) and conversion of the acreage to a Petroleum Mining Lease (PML), in accordance with the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) 2021 provisions on Thursday.

During the ceremony which was presided over by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Amb. Gabriel Aduda, five agreements were executed.

The NNPC Ltd management, in a statement, listed the agreements to include the PSC between NNPC Ltd and its Contractors, China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) and South Atlantic Petroleum (SAPETRO) with Total Upstream Nigeria (TUPNI) as the operator.

The agreements include a Heads of Agreement (HoA) Amendment involving NNPC Ltd, TUPNI, SAPETRO, PRIME 130, and CNOOC and a Settlement Repayment Agreement (SRA) Addendum between NNPC and its Contractors (CNOOC and SAPETRO).

Others are Concession Contracts for one Petroleum Prospecting Licence (PPL) and three PMLs and Lease and License Instruments between NNPC, TUPNI, SAPETRO, PRIME 130, and Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC).

The NNPC Ltd said the milestone would pave the way to firm up Final Investment Decision (FID) on the Preowei, amounting to US$2.1 billion.

This will subsequently be followed by Egina South projects lined up by TUPNI and the OML 130 partners to introduce additional volumes to the best-in-class Egina Floating, Production, Storage and Offloading (FPSO) Vessel,’’ the company said.

Stakeholders in attendance at the signing ceremony were the NNPC Ltd Group Chief Executive Officer (GCEO), Malam Mele Kyari, the Chief Upstream Investment Officer (CUIO), and Mr Bala Wunti, Chief Strategy and Sustainability Officer, Oritsemeyiwa Eyesan.

The event also had in attendance the NUPRC Chief Executive, Mr Gbenga Komolafe, Managing Directors of TotalEnergies in Nigeria and CNOOC, Mr. Mike Sangstar, and Mr. Li Chunsheng, among others.

OML 130 is in the deep water Niger Delta, 130 kilometres offshore. The block contains the producing Akpo and Egina fields and the Preowei discovery.

To date, the Akpo field, via the Akpo FPSO, has produced over 646 million barrels of Condensate, while the Egina field, via the Egina FPSO, has produced over 233 million barrels of Crude Oil.

So far, about 1.6 Trillion cubic feet (TcF) of gas has been commercialised from both fields with an outstanding record of non-zero gas flare.

OML 130, currently producing 170,000 barrels per day, is the largest producer in TotalEnergies’ Nigeria portfolio and amongst the most prolific assets in Nigeria.

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Economy

PAP Sets Aside N1.5bn To Drive Entrepreneurship For Niger Delta Ex-agitators

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The Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP) has launched a N1.5 billion Cooperative Fund – the PAP Beneficiaries Cooperative Society (PAPCOSOL Ltd.) to give strategic empowerment directly to ex-agitators of the Niger Delta.

Launching the scheme on Wednesday, the Interim Administrator of PAP, retired Maj.-Gen. Barry Ndiomu said the initiative was a novel alternative economic development scheme.

He said the initiative was designed to create a more viable means of sustainable livelihood for ex-agitators with socio-economic development of their communities and making them self-reliant.

“Over the years, various reintegration empowerment programmes have delivered less-fulfilling results. I am confident that this initiative is the most practicable approach to ensuring the sustainable reintegration of ex-agitators.

“The scheme which will be serviced monthly with N500 million was birthed out of the need to encourage ex-agitators who are fast ageing, to explore more sustainable means of livelihood.

“This is better than depending on the monthly N65,000 monthly stipends from the Federal Government.

“The cooperative, which already has offices in Delta, Bayelsa and Rivers, will be closely supervised by the PAP office.

“It would be run by an Advisory Board led by Justice. Francis Tabai, a retired Supreme Court judge, and other seasoned professionals and ex-agitators,’’ Ndiomu said.

Ndiomu noted that beneficiaries would be provided with technical support on their business ideas, and also get access to grants.

Ndiomu with the NPA Managing Director, Mohammed Bello-Koko

He added that the scheme would focus on agricultural value chain, services and manufacturing.

Ndiomu expressed regret that the monthly N65,000 stipends had introduced the culture of dependency and indolence in ex-agitators.

In his remarks, Tabai commended the Interim Administrator for championing the drive to reposition PAP and transform the lives of people of Niger Delta.

He promised to bring his wealth of experience to ensure that the board delivered on its mandate.

Similarly, Hon. Felix Ayah, (PDP-Southern Ijaw Constituency I), lauded Ndiomu for thinking out of the box on the initiative.

Ayah stated that he and other leaders of the region would embrace the new thinking and promised to give the PAP boss maximum support.

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