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Weak Demand for Nigerian Oil Leaves Tankers Idle

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markets energies crude oil

Weak demand for Nigerian crude oil has caused the number of ships without cargoes to rise to levels not seen in recent times.

As a result, the cost of sending crude oil cargoes from West Africa to Northwest Europe on Suezmaxes has dropped to the lowest level in over 14 years, according to Platts data.

The continued force majeure on three Nigerian crude oil grades – Forcados, Qua Iboe and Brass River – has substantially curbed demand for Suezmaxes in the region in recent months, and caused the WAF tonnage list to swell to levels rarely seen by veteran market participants.

Suezmaxes are medium to large-sized ships with a deadweight tonnage of between 120,000 and 200,000. They are the largest marine vessels that meet the restrictions of the Suez Canal, and are capable of transiting the canal in a laden condition.

According to one shipbroker’s position list, there were 32 ships available prior to the start of the current fixing window, versus a three-month average of 14.8 ships. There were also 29 ships that were free of cargo, which could make the WAF fixing window.

The number of ships means that each cargo that is shown to multiple owners attracts multiple offers and allows charterers to drive freight rates downwards.

The WAF-UK Continent route basis 130,000 mt was assessed five points lower at Worldscale 35 on Wednesday. This equates to $5.05/mt, which is the lowest since a $3.95/mt assessment on June 21, 2002.

This came after BP was heard to have placed the Ottoman Tenacity on subjects at w35 for an Angola-Rotterdam voyage on August 27.

Meanwhile, ExxonMobil is said to be working on a plan to export Qua Iboe crude oil, Nigeria’s largest export stream, via an alternate pipeline, while it repairs damage to the main export line sustained in July, sources told Reuters.

The crude oil grade has been under force majeure since mid-July, when the company said it detected a “system anomaly” on the subsea pipeline.

Sources were quoted to have said that the company later found substantial damage that would take at least one to two months to repair, spurring the decision to try to export via a second, smaller pipeline that also feeds the platform.

“We’re continuing to make progress, but we would not speculate on a timeline for repairs,” an Exxon spokesman said, without commenting on the plan to use an alternative pipeline.

The nation’s oil production has been affected by militant action since the beginning of the year, with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation saying pipeline attacks have taken out some 700,000 barrels per day from production that is typically just above two million bpd.

“Exxon is preparing the alternate export line,” one source said, adding that if it was successful, some exports could emerge within two weeks.

Two sources added that Exxon, and the Qua Iboe terminal itself, were not sharing details on the repair progress or export plans for fear of provoking militant attacks on oil infrastructure.

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.

Business

Sterling Homes Plans To Reduce Housing Deficit

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Sterling Homes Limited has said it is committed to working with the government through private public partnership to reduce housing deficit in all the geo-political zones in the country.

The Managing Director, Mr Kunle Adeyemi, said this during an event on the company’s rebranding organised as part of its 10th year anniversary in Lagos on Friday.

During the event, the company while expressing commitment to excellence and customer satisfaction, unveiled its new logo with colours to define its mission and objections.

We want to be present in all the six geo-political zones on Nigeria by providing affordable luxury homes, excellent torch. So for us, there is a need for us to rebrand and have a new direction and vision.

“We want to partner with the government on the present housing deficit; we want to embrace a public, private partnership with the government to reduce the deficit in every geo-political zone.”

The managing director said that one of its unique selling points was its after sales services which was top notch.

He said it ensured that its customers were taken through the journey of actualising their dreams of becoming home owners.

While noting that everyone deserved to have a comfortable home despite the economic situation, he said it had designed a structure payment plan with zero interest in some cases to help intending home owners.

He said it also had provisions for high breed options and developing areas to accommodate various income levels.

Before the end of the year, he said, Sterling Homes would be establishing new presence and projects in other regions.

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Mutual Benefits Drives Financial Inclusion

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Mutual Benefits Assurance Plc says it is committed to deepening financial inclusion and creating easy accessibility for insurance in the country.

A statement from the firm on Friday said it expressed this commitment when it inaugurated its South-West region franchise operations in Ibadan, Oyo State.

The Managing Director, Mr Femi Asenuga, said this was part of its efforts to develop the insurance business and create values.

He said, “The role we all have to play is to be ambassadors of Mutual Benefits.

“A franchise is a well-known word and the way Mutual Benefits practices franchise is in our normal style of creating and adding value; we never rest.”

Asenuga said that the firm was working with stakeholders to increase awareness and take its message to the grassroots.

In developed economies, he said, insurance firms owned banks. He regretted that this was not the situation in Nigeria.

He said the firm would provide stakeholders with the platform and support to make them excel as a member.

The Managing Director, Mutual Benefits Life Assurance Limited, Mr Ademola Ifagbayi, appreciated the stakeholders and urged them to take advantage of the franchise.

The Group Managing Director, Odua Group, Mr Adewale Raji, in his address, advised stakeholders to be committed and showcase good character and integrity.

He said, “The Odua investment is owned by the six South-West governments and it is in our interest when economic, businesses and investment spreads across the South-West states.

“This is an opportunity for us to strengthen insurance penetration within the South-West states.”

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CAC Sets Three-Hour Circle For Company Registration

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Corporate Affairs Commission

The Corporate Affairs Commission on Sunday stated that following the successful deployment of an end-to-end registration module, it was now prioritising the reduction of the registration circle for new companies to just three hours before the end of year 2021.

Registrar-General of the commission, Garba Ababukar, gave the indication at a dinner in honour of the Chairman, Governing Board, CAC and Nigerian Ambassador Designate to the Kingdom of Spain, Ademola Seriki.

The commission disclosed this in series of tweets posted via its Twitter handle on Sunday.

“To achieve the target, the registrar-general said the commission was making arrangements to empower over 400 approving officers with working tools to process and approve registration applications either from home or anywhere necessary,” the agency stated.

Abubakar noted that the challenges of COVID-19 pandemic had adversely hampered CAC’s delivery timeline.

He, however, said the CAC was resolutely committed to serving its customers despite being forced to operate with less than 50 per cent of its workforce.

While bidding farewell to Seriki, the registrar-general said he received the news of his appointment with mix feelings as CAC was going to miss his tremendous support and guidance.

The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Niyi Adebayo, described the outgoing CAC Chairman as a man of immense pedigree and endowed with enormous potential to justify the confidence reposed in him by the president.

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