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CBN to raise N129.6b in T-Bills

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  • As Oil price hits $50; Nigeria’s exports to rise

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) plans to raise N129.67 billion ($403.01 million) in short-dated treasury bills at an auction on Wednesday.

The bank said it would raise N28 billion in three-month paper, N33.49 billion in six-month bills and N68.18 billion in one-year bills. Payment for the purchases would be made on Thursday, the bank said in a public notice.

The CBN issues treasury bills to raise cash to fund the budget deficit, manage banking system liquidity and curb rising inflation.

The T-bills’ maturities range between three months and a year and would be raised today, according to the CBN. T-bills are marketable short-term money market securities that serve the purpose of raising money for the government and help in monetary policy management of the CBN.

The CBN issues treasury bills to raise cash to fund the government budget deficit, help manage banking system liquidity and curb rising inflation.

The CBN had, on August 3, raised N245.18 billion ($773.44 million) worth of T-bills to settle short-term obligations. The CBN issued N45.18 billion in three-month debt, N80 billion of six-month paper and N120 billion of one year bills in a Dutch auction, traders said. Indicative rates for the auction are 16 per cent for three-months, 18 per cent for six-months and 18.5 per cent for one-year bills. The auction’s results would be published the day after the sale.

The main investors in government securities are mainly pension funds and commercial banks, which control more than 60 per cent of the market, followed by insurance funds and a few micro-finance institutions.

Yields on fixed income securities have been rising in recent months with the CBN mopping up naira liquidity to try to lure back foreign investors, who sold naira assets following the plunge in the price of oil, Nigeria’s economic mainstay.

The bank lifted interest rates by 200 basis points last week to 14 per cent to help fight inflation, which hit a 10-year high of 16.5 per cent in June.

In the meantime, global oil benchmark, Brent crude, extended its rally on Sunday to hit the $50 per barrel mark, the third time this year.

This comes as the expected return of the Forcados export terminal has helped to boost Nigeria’s planned crude oil exports this month to about 1.98 million barrels per day, the most since January.

Forcados, whose export has been suspended since February after militant attack on the export line, is one of Nigeria’s largest crude grades with an average output of about 200,000 bpd last year.

No tankers have loaded from the terminal so far, according to Bloomberg ship-tracking data. Eight cargoes are scheduled to load this month with another six planned for November.

The recent upsurge in militant attacks in the Niger Delta pushed oil shipments, the nation’s biggest export, to as low as 1.38 million bpd in August from a high of 2.1 million bpd in January.

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, last week, noted that the country had lost an average of 500,000 to 700,000 bpd over the last six to eight months.

Commenting on the militancy in an interview with Bloomberg, the minister said the government was doing all it could to address the problem, adding that oil production had risen to 1.7 million bpd, up from a low of 1.2 million bpd about two months ago.

Kachikwu said, “We think that if we can finalise the dialogues in the month of October, which is my anticipation, we should be able to get ourselves to end the year at about an average of two million barrels.”

Oil prices have been on an uptrend since the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries decided to cut output for the first time in eight years.

Brent, against which half of the world’s oil is priced, had risen to around $48 per barrel last Wednesday after OPEC agreed to reduce production, compared to $45 earlier in the day.

It stood at $50.19 per barrel as of 4.53pm Nigerian time on Sunday, up from around $49.66 per barrel on Thursday.

OPEC agreed to cut production to a range of 32.5 million barrels per day to 33 million bpd from around 33.5 million bpd.

Nation with additional report from Punch

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WAIVER CESSATION: Igbokwe urges NIMASA to evolve stronger collaboration with Ships owners

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…Stresses the need for timely disbursement of N44.6billion CVFF***

Highly revered Nigerian Maritime Lawyer, and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mike Igbokwe has urged the Nigeria Maritime Administration and safety Agency (NIMASA) to partner with ship owners and relevant association in the industry to evolving a more vibrant merchant shipping and cabotage trade regime.

Igbokwe gave the counsel during his paper presentation at the just concluded two-day stakeholders’ meeting on Cabotage waiver restrictions, organized by NIMASA.

“NIMASA and shipowners should develop merchant shipping including cabotage trade. A good start is to partner with the relevant associations in this field, such as the Nigeria Indigenous Shipowners Association (NISA), Shipowners Association of Nigeria (SOAN), Oil Trade Group & Maritime Trade Group of the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA).

“A cursory look at their vision, mission and objectives, show that they are willing to improve the maritime sector, not just for their members but for stakeholders in the maritime economy and the country”.

Adding that it is of utmost importance for NIMASA to have a through briefing and regular consultation with ships owners, in other to have insight on the challenges facing the ship owners.

“It is of utmost importance for NIMASA to have a thorough briefing and regular consultations with shipowners, to receive insight on the challenges they face, and how the Agency can assist in solving them and encouraging them to invest and participate in the maritime sector, for its development. 

“NIMASA should see them as partners in progress because, if they do not invest in buying ships and registering them in Nigeria, there would be no Nigerian-owned ships in its Register and NIMASA would be unable to discharge its main objective.

The Maritime lawyer also urged NIMASA  to disburse the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF)that currently stands at about N44.6 billion.

“Lest it be forgotten, what is on the lips of almost every shipowner, is the need to disburse the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (the CVFF’), which was established by the Coastal and Inland Shipping Act, 2003. It was established to promote the development of indigenous ship acquisition capacity, by providing financial assistance to Nigerian citizens and shipping companies wholly owned by Nigerian operating in the domestic coastal shipping, to purchase and maintain vessels and build shipping capacity. 

“Research shows that this fund has grown to about N44.6billion; and that due to its non-disbursement, financial institutions have repossessed some vessels, resulting in a 43% reduction of the number of operational indigenous shipping companies in Nigeria, in the past few years. 

“Without beating around the bush, to promote indigenous maritime development, prompt action must be taken by NIMASA to commence the disbursement of this Fund to qualified shipowners pursuant to the extant Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (“CVFF”) Regulations.

Mike Igbokwe (SAN)

“Indeed, as part of its statutory functions, NIMASA is to enforce and administer the provisions of the Cabotage Act 2003 and develop and implement policies and programmes which will facilitate the growth of local capacity in ownership, manning and construction of ships and other maritime infrastructure. Disbursing the CVFF is one of the ways NIMASA can fulfill this mandate.

“To assist in this task, there must be collaboration between NIMASA, financial institutions, the Minister of Transportation, as contained in the CVFF Regulations that are yet to be implemented”, the legal guru highlighted further. 

He urged the agency to create the right environment for its stakeholders to build on and engender the needed capacities to fill the gaps; and ensure that steps are being taken to solve the challenges being faced by stakeholders.

“Lastly, which is the main reason why we are all here, cessation of ministerial waivers on some cabotage requirements, which I believe is worth applause in favour of NIMASA. 

“This is because it appears that the readiness to obtain/grant waivers had made some of the vessels and their owners engaged in cabotage trade, to become complacent and indifferent in quickly ensuring that they updated their capacities, so as not to require the waivers. 

“The cessation of waivers is a way of forcing the relevant stakeholders of the maritime sector, to find workable solutions within, for maritime development and fill the gaps in the local capacities in 100% Nigerian crewing, ship ownership, and ship building, that had necessitated the existence of the waivers since about 15 years ago, when the Cabotage Act came into being. 

“However, NIMASA must ensure that the right environment is provided for its stakeholders to build and possess the needed capacities to fill the gaps; and ensure that steps are being taken to solve the challenges being faced by stakeholders. Or better still, that they are solved within the next 5 years of its intention to stop granting waivers”, he further explained. 

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Breaking News: The Funeral Rites of Matriarch C. Ogbeifun is Live

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The Burial Ceremony of Engr. Greg Ogbeifun’s mother is live. Watch on the website: www.maritimefirstnewspaper.com and on Youtube: Maritimefirst Newspaper.

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Wind Farm Vessel Collision Leaves 15 Injured

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…As Valles Steamship Orders 112,000 dwt Tanker from South Korea***

A wind farm supply vessel and a cargo ship collided in the Baltic Sea on Tuesday leaving 15 injured.

The Cyprus-flagged 80-meter general cargo ship Raba collided with Denmark-flagged 31-meter wind farm supply vessel World Bora near Rügen Island, about three nautical miles off the coast of Hamburg. 

Many of those injured were service engineers on the wind farm vessel, and 10 were seriously hurt. 

They were headed to Iberdrola’s 350MW Wikinger wind farm. Nine of the people on board the World Bora were employees of Siemens Gamesa, two were employees of Iberdrola and four were crew.

The cause of the incident is not yet known, and no pollution has been reported.

After the collision, the two ships were able to proceed to Rügen under their own power, and the injured were then taken to hospital. 

Lifeboat crews from the German Maritime Search and Rescue Service tended to them prior to their transport to hospital via ambulance and helicopter.

“Iberdrola wishes to thank the rescue services for their diligence and professionalism,” the company said in a statement.

In the meantime, the Hong Kong-based shipowner Valles Steamship has ordered a new 112,000 dwt crude oil tanker from South Korea’s Sumitomo Heavy Industries Marine & Engineering.

Sumitomo is to deliver the Aframax to Valles Steamship by the end of 2020, according to data provided by Asiasis.

The newbuild Aframax will join seven other Aframaxes in Valles Steamship’s fleet. Other ships operated by the company include Panamax bulkers and medium and long range product tankers.

The company’s most-recently delivered unit is the 114,426 dwt Aframax tanker Seagalaxy. The naming and delivery of the tanker took place in February 2019, at Namura Shipbuilding’s yard in Japan.

Maritime Executive with additional report from World Maritime News

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