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Nigeria Trade Deficit Rises to N184.1 billion in Q1

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Nigeria’s trade value plunged in the first quarter of the year to N2,72tn from N3,51tn recorded in the preceding quarter, this was 22.6 percent less than what was obtained in the final quarter of 2015, National Bureau of Statistic (NBS) reported on Tuesday.

According to the NBS report, this development was as a result of a sharp decline in both exports and imports goods, exports reportedly declined 34.6 percent quarter-on-quarter and 52.3 percent year-on-year, while imports dropped by 7.8 percent in the first quarter and 15.8 percent year-on-year. This abrupt decline in the export value plunged the country’s trade balance to deficit of N184.1bn in the first quarter of the year, making it the first trade deficit in seven years.

The NBS report also shows imports are mainly from Asia, with 23.8 percent of the total imports coming from China. This further affirmed the imperative of Nigeria-China trade agreement if well implemented, it would ease foreign exchange pressure on the US dollar and help attack surging inflation.

The President of National Association of Nigerian Traders, Ken Ukaoha, said other factors also contributed to the development.

“We have for so long remained import-dependent; we have also continued to cultivate a mono product economy, which is oil, and our earnings from oil is presently disappointing. Apart from the fact that the price of oil is depreciating, you also find out that the quantity of our export is going so terribly low as a result of vandalism.” Ukaoha said.

He further stated “We are talking about import substitution, but all the strategies needed there are not in place. Also, the delay in the passage of the budget made all the private sector operators who are major players in exports to relax waiting for the budget passage in order to know the next line of action.”

While other economists said the negative balance of trade would impacts other areas of the economy as external reserves would deplete further.

“The implication of a negative trade balance for a country that does not have invisible imports is that we are going to have a severe negative balance of payment; the implication of this is that our external reserves will deplete further because we will need to use much of it to pay for imports,” said Johnson Chukwu, the Chief Executive Officer, Cowry Asset Management Limited.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

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Tony Elumelu Acquires Shell, Total, ENI Stakes in OML 17

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Tony Elumelu Acquires Shell, Total, ENI Stakes in OML 17

Tony Elumelu owned Heir Holdings Limited and its related company Transnational Corporation of Nigeria Plc on Friday announced it has completed the purchase of 45 percent stake in Oil Mining Lease (OML 17) through TNOG Oil and Gas Limited.

The acquisition includes all assets of Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (30 Percent), Total E&P Nigeria Ltd (10 percent) and ENI (five percent) — in the lease.

It was further stated that TNOG Oil and Gas Limited will also have the sole right to operate OML 17.

The field presently has a production capacity of 27,000 barrels per day. Also, there are estimated 2P reserves (proven and probable) of 1.2 billion barrels and an additional one billion barrels in possible reserves — all of oil equivalent.

A consortium of global and regional banks and investors provided a financing component of $1.1 billion for the largest oil and gas financing in Africa in over a decade.

In a statement released on Friday, Shell said the completion was after all the necessary approvals have were received from authorities.

“A total of $453m was paid at completion with the balance to be paid over an agreed period. SPDC will retain its interest in the Port Harcourt Industrial and Residential Areas, which fall within the lease area,” the SPDC said.

Speaking after the completion of the deal, Elumelu said “We have a very clear vision: creating Africa’s first integrated energy multinational, a global quality business, uniquely focused on Africa and Africa’s energy needs. The acquisition of such a high-quality asset, with significant potential for further growth, is a strong statement of our confidence in Nigeria, the Nigerian oil and gas sector and a tribute to the extremely high-quality management team that we have assembled.

“As a Nigerian, and more particularly an indigene of the Niger Delta region, I understand well our responsibilities that come with stewardship of the asset, our engagement with communities and the strategic importance of the oil and gas sector in Nigeria. We see significant benefits from integrating our production, with our ability to power Nigeria, through Transcorp, and deliver value across the energy value chain.

“I would like to thank Shell, Total and ENI, for the professionalism of the process, the Federal Government of Nigeria, the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, and the NNPC for the confidence they have placed in us.”

Tony Elumelu is the Chairman of Heirs Holdings Limited, Transcorp and United Bank for Africa Plc.

Also, read Transcorp Plc Acquires FGN’s 100% Equity in Afam Power for N105 Billion

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Exporters Say CBN Pre-export Requirements is Frustrating Export of Goods

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Exporters Say CBN Pre-export Requirements is Frustrating Export of Goods

Exporters have said the recently introduced pre-export requirements by the Central Bank of Nigeria is creating unnecessary bottlenecks for exporters and the movement of goods out of the country.

Exporters, who spoke under the aegis of the Network of Practicing Non-oil Exporters of Nigeria (NPNEN), said the electronic Nigeria Export Proceed Form now required by financial institutions from exporters had come with so many challenges.

Ahmed Rabiu, the President, NPNEN, explained that the new policy had several requirements that often led to delays and loss of income on the part of exporters.

He said, “We acknowledge the CBN’s desire to ensure that all exports out of Nigeria are documented in order to ensure that the proceeds of such exports are repatriated.

“However, the reality on the field shows that the process is causing undue delays and consequently, encouraging corruption.

According to them, in the new pre-export requirements, the Central Bank of Nigeria wants an export transaction to be initiated through eNXP processing on the trade monitoring system.

After which exporters are expected to have a pre-shipment inspection agent, the Nigeria Customs Service and other designated government agencies carry out their pre-export inspections.

The exporters said the pre-shipment inspection agent was expected to issue a clean Certificate of Inspection while Customs would issue the Single Good Declaration. All these they said takes time and delay goods from leaving the country on time.

Pointing to a recent report, they said about N868 billion worth of goods bound for export were stuck at the ports due to the new policy.

Speaking further Rabiu said, “For example, for the PIA to issue the CCI, the exporter is required to upload a certificate of origin as one of the supporting documents for the eNXP.

“The PIA is also required to upload the CCI to the TRMS(M) and until this is done, the Customs service will not issue the Single Good Declaration.”

He added, “After issuing the SGD, the customs is further required to upload it into the TRMS before the goods are allowed to be gated into the port and loaded on the vessel by the shipping line.

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Ardova Plc in Talks to Acquire Enyo Retail and Supply Limited

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Ardova Plc in Talks to Acquire Enyo Retail and Supply Limited

Ardova Plc, Nigeria’s leading integrated energy company, has commenced discussions to acquire Enyo Retail and Supply Limited.

According to the statement issued and signed by Oladehinde Nelson-Cole, Ag. Company Secretary/General Counsel, Ardova Plc, Enyo is one of the newest and fastest-growing retail and supply companies in the downstream sector.

It stated, “This announcement is pursuant to the acceptance in principle of AP’s offer and acquisition framework by the shareholders of Enyo, it is subject to the successful completion of a due diligence exercise and the receipt of all required regulatory approvals.”

“This announcement is pursuant to the acceptance in principle of AP’s offer and acquisition framework by the shareholders of Enyo, it is subject to the successful completion of a due diligence exercise and the receipt of all required regulatory approvals.

Speaking on the yet to be completed deal, Mr. Olumide Adeosun, CEO, Ardova Plc, said upon completion, Ardova will retain the Enyo branded stations which will operate side by side with the Ardova brand while simultaneously leveraging on the strengths of Ardova and its group companies.

He added that the two companies are determined to conclude the deal by the end of Q1 2021.

Enyo presently operates over 90 stations across the nation and attends to over 100,000 retail customers on a daily basis.

Ardova Plc and Enyo Retail & Supply Limited promised to furnish stakeholders with more information on the progress of the deal.

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