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CBN Moves to Sanction Banks Over Power Intervention Fund

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The Central Bank of Nigeria has unveiled sanctions grid to Deposit Money Banks participating in the disbursement of the N213bn Nigeria Electricity Market Stabilisation Facility, popularly called power sector intervention fund.

The sanctions were contained in a five-page circular posted on the CBN website on Monday.

The circular, dated September 1, 2016, was signed by the Director, Financial Policy and Regulation, CBN, Mr. Kevin Amugo.

For various offences that may be committed by the banks participating in the CBN-NEMSF programme, the sanctions range from a penalty of N0.5m to N10m fine and/or termination of the DMB’s participation as a mandate bank.

The infractions listed on the circular include: failure by the DMB to provide statement of accounts maintained by the electricity distribution companies to the refinancer/administrator; allowing revenue to be paid into a bank accounts different from the Feeder Collection Accounts; and allowing withdrawals or debits from the Feeder Collection Account by a non-Principal Collection Account.

The CBN had through the DMBs disbursed billions of naira from the N213bn power intervention fund to several power firms.

The funds were disbursed to DISCOS, GENCOS and other allied companies in the electricity value chain.

Earlier this year, some power firms were presented with cheques at the CBN office in Lagos.

Six companies, comprising three DISCOs and three GENCOs, had last year received N39bn cheque at the CBN corporate headquarters in Abuja.

The CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, had during the event, reminded beneficiaries that the facility, which would be repaid within a 10-year period, was to enable them address challenges militating against electricity power generation and distribution.

He therefore urged them to ensure proper utilisation of the funds by investing in generation plant maintenance, transmission upgrades and distribution networks including transformers and better metering for end consumers among others.

Emefiele further expressed optimism that there would be major improvement in the generation and distribution of electricity in the country, even as he assured that the CBN would continue to make its interventions public to underscore the transparency involved in the process.

Te Chairman, Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, Dr. Sam Amadi, commended the CBN and the banking sector for supporting the reforms in the power sector.

According to him, the disbursement would unleash the efficiency in the electricity market.

The six companies that received cheques in various sums were the Enugu, Ibadan and Kano Electricity Distribution Companies as well as the Ughelli, Egbin and Geregu Electricity Generation Companies.

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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Energy

U.S. and Ghana Inaugurate New $64.7 Million Energy Infrastructure Investment at Pokuase

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U.S. Ambassador to Ghana Stephanie Sullivan joined the President of Ghana H.E. Nana Akufo-Addo and other Ghana government officials to formally inaugurate the Pokuase Bulk Supply Point (BSP) in Accra today.  The U.S. Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) funded the $64.7 million (GH₵ 391.9 million) electrical infrastructure project under the Ghana Power Compact.

“The Pokuase Bulk Supply Point represents sustainable infrastructure investment by the United States with Ghana that will benefit hundreds of thousands of Ghanaians now and into the future,” remarked Ambassador Sullivan at the inaugural event. “It will help deliver more reliable power to the people, places, and businesses of Accra that drive increased economic activity benefitting families, businesses, and communities.”

This represents a flagship investment under the Millennium Challenge Corporation’s Ghana Power Compact.  The Pokuase BSP will reduce outages in the power system, help stabilize voltages, and improve the quality and reliability of power supplied to the northern parts of the capital city of Accra.  It will also reduce technical losses in the power transmission and distribution system, contributing to the financial viability of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) and the Ghana Grid Company (GRIDCo) in the long term.  The Pokuase BSP is now the largest-capacity BSP in Ghana at 580 megavolt amperes (MVA) and will directly benefit 350,000 utility customers.

The Government of Ghana implemented the project through the Millennium Development Authority (MiDA).  MiDA formally handed over the new power substation to ECG and GRIDCo in today’s ceremony.

The Pokuase BSP is the first major construction project to be completed under the Ghana Power Compact. The $316 million compact is helping the Government of Ghana improve the power sector through investments that will provide more reliable and affordable electricity to Ghana’s businesses and households. The compact is also funding a BSP at Kasoa and two primary substations at Kanda and Legon, in addition to other power sector investments, energy efficiency programs, and women’s empowerment programs within the power sector. The compact program will officially close on June 6, 2022.

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Crude Oil

Oil Falls Slightly as China Steps in to Curb Rising Coal Prices

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Global oil prices moderated slightly on Wednesday following the Chinese government’s decision to curb high coal prices and ensure coal mines function at maximum capacity.

Brent crude, against which Nigerian oil is priced, dropped to $83.98 per barrel at 11:00 am Nigerian time. While the U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude fell by 80 cents or 1 percent to $81.20 a barrel.

“China is planning to take steps to combat the steep rises in the domestic coal market … which could put considerable pressure on the coal price there and reverse the fuel switch to oil,” Commerzbank said.

Prices for Chinese coal and other commodities slumped in early trade, which in turn pulled oil down from an uptick earlier in the day.

China’s National Development and Reform Commission said on Tuesday it would bring coal prices back to a reasonable range and crack down on any irregularities that disturb market order or malicious speculation on thermal coal futures. read more

Oil markets in general remain supported on the back of a global coal and gas crunch, which has driven a switch to diesel and fuel oil for power generation.

But the market on Wednesday was also pressured by data from the American Petroleum Institute industry group which showed U.S. crude stocks rose by 3.3 million barrels for the week ended Oct. 15, according to market sources.

That was well above nine analysts’ forecasts for a rise of 1.9 million barrels in crude stocks, in a Reuters poll.

However, U.S. gasoline and distillate inventories, which include diesel, heating oil and jet fuel, fell much more than analysts had expected, pointing to strong demand.

Data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration is due later on Wednesday.

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Crude Oil

Oil Prices Hit Multi-year Highs on Monday

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Oil prices hit multi-year highs on Monday buoyed by recovering demand and high natural gas and coal prices encouraging users to switch to fuel oil and diesel for power generation.

Brent crude oil futures were up 59 cents, or 0.7%, to $85.45 a barrel by 0900 GMT, after hitting $86.04, their highest level since October 2018.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures climbed 90 cents, or 1.1%, to $83.18 a barrel, after hitting a $83.73, their highest since October 2014.

Both contracts rose by at least 3% last week.

“Easing restrictions around the world are likely to help the recovery in fuel consumption,” analysts at ANZ bank said in a note, adding that gas-to-oil switching for power generation alone could boost demand by as much as 450,000 barrels per day in the fourth quarter.

Cold temperatures in the northern hemisphere are also expected to worsen an oil supply deficit, said Edward Moya, senior analyst at OANDA.

“The oil market deficit seems poised to get worse as the energy crunch will intensify as the weather in the north has already started to get colder,” he said.

“As coal, electricity, and natural gas shortages lead to additional demand for crude, it appears that won’t be accompanied by significantly extra barrels from OPEC+ or the U.S.,” he said.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said on Monday that Japan would urge oil producers to increase output and take steps to cushion the impact of surging energy costs on industry.

Chinese data showed third-quarter economic growth fell to its lowest level in a year hurt by power shortages, supply bottlenecks and sporadic COVID-19 outbreaks.

China’s daily crude processing rate in September also fell its lowest level since May 2020 as a feedstock shortage and environmental inspections crippled operations at refineries, while independent refiners faced tightening crude import quotas.

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