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Ford Aims to Make a Difference by Promoting Safe Driving in Nigeria

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As a committed and responsible corporate citizen in Nigeria, Ford is making a significant contribution to promoting safe driving with the introduction of its global Ford Driving Skills for Life (DSFL) programme next month in Nigeria. This is in line with Ford’s decision to roll out this successful international programme to more countries in Sub-Saharan Africa.

This successful driver training programme was launched in South Africa in 2014 and it was introduced into Angola last year.

Ford launched DSFL in the United States in 2003 and the system has been improved and adapted to suit local conditions in many global markets over the years.

DSFL is a free, advanced driving skills programme for newly-licensed drivers as well as a means of improving the defensive driving ability of experienced drivers. It is funded by the not-for-profit Ford Motor Company Fund as an effective method of improving driving skills globally and so contributing to road safety.

The half-day DSFL training starts with a one hour theoretical session followed by practical training where the trainee is accompanied by a professional driver trainer in cars provided by Ford. The practical exercise includes a pre-trip inspection, experiencing braking distances from 60km/h and 120km/h as well as staggered following distances. Then there is an ABS braking exercise, a reaction test and finally a slalom activity to evaluate car control.

The Nigerian Auto Journalists’ Association (NAJA), the umbrella body for all journalists in Nigeria covering the automobile and automotive industry, is already setting a good example by insisting that its members undergo annual training, and Ford’s DSFL will form part of this programme.

“This year the Nigerian Auto Journalists’ Association is undertaking a program to re-invigorate our members through a number of relevant training courses to improve their skills and knowledge levels,” explained Mike Ochonma, the vice president of the NAJA and a member of the NAJA event organising committee.

“We are very pleased that we have been able to partner with Ford so that we can include the Driving Skills for Life training into our overall program. This driver training is very important for our members as it is at the core of their profession. It is also supportive of the government’s initiatives to improved road safety in our country and to cut the death toll on our roads.”

This positive move by the motoring journalists has already been highly praised by the Nigerian Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (NAMA).

The first DSFL training session in Nigeria will take place at the Lekki premises of Coscharis Motors on July 30.

The issue of improving road safety has been in the news lately in Nigeria, so the timing for the launch of Ford’s DSFL initiative is excellent.

Only recently the Corps Marshal of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Boboye Oyeyemi, appealed to Nigerian motorists to abide by traffic rules and regulations to ensure the success of the Corps’ campaign against road carnage in the country. He added that road safety is a shared responsibility in which all road users must be active participants.

Oyeyemi went on to say that his organisation is committed to meeting its 2016 goals of reducing road traffic accidents in Nigeria by 15 percent and reducing fatalities by 20 percent. He added that globally road accidents account for the deaths of 1.24-million people a year and they are the major cause of death among young people aged between 15-29 years.

“In addition, 91% of the world’s fatalities on roads occur in low- and middle-income countries even though these countries have only half the world’s vehicles driving on their roads,” Oyeyemi commented.

“The timing for the introduction of Driving Skills for Life by Ford in Nigeria comes at the right time with so much government focus on road safety,” commented Eugene Herbert, the CEO of MasterDrive, and organisation which facilitates Ford’s DSFL programme in many parts of the world. “My team is looking forward to introducing young Nigerians to the many benefits that flow from undergoing a Ford DSFL course.”

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Businessinsider, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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Crude Oil

Nigeria Pumps 236.2 Million Barrels in First Half of 2024

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Nigeria pumped 236.2 million barrels of crude oil in the first half of 2024, according to the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC).

This figure represents an increase from the 219.5 million barrels produced during the same period in 2023.

In January, Nigeria produced 44.2 million barrels of crude oil while February saw a slight dip to 38.3 million barrels, with March following closely at 38.1 million barrels.

April and May production stood at 38.4 million barrels and 38.8 million barrels, respectively. June’s output remained consistent at 38.3 million barrels, demonstrating a stable production trend.

Despite the overall increase compared to 2023, the 2024 production figures still fall short of the 302.42 million barrels produced in the same period in 2020.

This ongoing fluctuation underscores the challenges facing Nigeria’s oil sector, which has experienced varying production levels over recent years.

On a daily basis, Nigeria’s crude oil production showed some variability. In January, the average daily production peaked at 1.43 million barrels per day (mbpd), the highest within the six-month period.

February’s production dropped to 1.32 mbpd, with a further decrease to 1.23 mbpd in March. April saw a modest increase to 1.28 mbpd, which then fell again to 1.25 mbpd in May. June ended on a positive note with a slight rise to 1.28 mbpd.

The fluctuations in daily production rates have prompted government and industry leaders to address underlying issues.

Mele Kyari, Group Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC), has highlighted the detrimental effects of oil theft and vandalism on Nigeria’s production capabilities.

Kyari emphasized that addressing these security challenges is critical to boosting production and attracting investment.

Kyari also noted recent efforts to combat illegal activities, including the removal of over 5,800 illegal connections from pipelines and dismantling more than 6,000 illegal refineries.

He expressed confidence that these measures, combined with ongoing policy reforms, would support Nigeria’s goal of increasing daily production to two million barrels.

The Nigerian government remains focused on stabilizing and enhancing oil production. With recent efforts showing promising results, there is cautious optimism that Nigeria will achieve its production targets.

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Crude Oil

Oil Prices Steady Amid Mixed Signals on Crude Demand

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Crude oil

Oil prices remained stable on Thursday as investors navigated conflicting signals regarding crude demand.

Brent crude oil, against which Nigerian oil is priced, settled at $85.11 a barrel, edging up by 3 cents, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude dipped by 3 cents to $82.82 a barrel.

The stability comes as the U.S. economy shows signs of slowing, with unemployment benefit applications rising more than expected.

Initial claims increased by 20,000 to a seasonally adjusted 243,000 for the week ending July 1, prompting speculation that the Federal Reserve might cut interest rates sooner than anticipated. Lower rates could boost spending on oil, creating a bullish outlook for demand.

Fed officials suggested that improved inflation and a balanced labor market might lead to rate cuts, possibly by September.

“Healthy expectations of a Fed rate cut in the not-so-distant future will limit downside,” noted Tamas Varga of oil broker PVM.

However, rising jobless claims signal potential economic easing, which could dampen crude demand.

John Kilduff of Again Capital highlighted the impact of a slowing economy on oil consumption despite a significant drop in U.S. crude inventories last week.

Global factors also weighed on the market. China’s economic policies remain steady, though details are sparse, affecting investor sentiment in the world’s largest crude importer.

Meanwhile, the European Central Bank maintained interest rates, citing persistent inflation.

An upcoming OPEC+ meeting in August is expected to assess market conditions without altering output policy, according to sources. This meeting will serve as a “pulse check” for market health.

Overall, oil prices are caught between economic concerns and hopes of a rate cut, maintaining a delicate balance.

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Crude Oil

Oil Prices Slide on China Demand Concerns, Brent Falls to $83.73

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Crude Oil - Investors King

Oil prices declined on Tuesday for the third consecutive day on growing concerns over a slowing Chinese economy and its impact on global oil demand.

Brent crude oil, against which Nigerian oil is priced, dipped by $1.12, or 1.3% at $83.73 a barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude dropped $1.15, or 1.4%, to close at $80.76.

The dip in oil prices is largely attributed to disappointing economic data from China, the world’s second-largest economy.

Official figures revealed a 4.7% growth in China’s GDP for the April-June period, the slowest since the first quarter of 2023, and below the forecasted 5.1% growth expected in a Reuters poll.

This slowdown was compounded by a protracted property downturn and widespread job insecurity, which have dampened fuel demand and led many Chinese refineries to cut back on production.

“Weaker economic data continues to flow from China as continued government support programs have been disappointing,” said Dennis Kissler, Senior Vice President of Trading at BOK Financial. “Many of China’s refineries are cutting back on weaker fuel demand.”

Despite the bearish sentiment from China, there is a growing consensus among market participants that the U.S. Federal Reserve could begin cutting its key interest rates as soon as September.

This speculation has helped stem the decline in oil prices, as lower interest rates reduce the cost of borrowing, potentially boosting economic activity and oil demand.

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell noted on Monday that the three U.S. inflation readings over the second quarter “add somewhat to confidence” that the pace of price increases is returning to the central bank’s target in a sustainable fashion.

This has led market participants to believe that a turn to interest rate cuts may be imminent.

Also, U.S. crude oil inventories provided a silver lining for the oil market. According to market sources citing American Petroleum Institute figures, U.S. crude oil inventories fell by 4.4 million barrels last week.

This was a much steeper drop than the 33,000 barrels decline that was anticipated, indicating strong domestic demand.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) also weighed in, suggesting that while the global economy is set for modest growth over the next two years, risks remain.

The IMF noted cooling activity in the U.S., a bottoming-out in Europe, and stronger consumption and exports for China as key factors in the global economic landscape.

In summary, while oil prices are currently pressured by concerns over China’s economic slowdown, the potential for U.S. interest rate cuts and stronger domestic demand for crude are providing some support.

Market watchers will continue to monitor economic indicators and inventory levels closely as they gauge the future direction of oil prices.

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