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Ochicha: Buhari not Responsible for Our Economic Woes

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The Governorship candidate of the governing All Progressives Congress(APC), in the 2015 general elections in Cross River state, Mr. Odey Ochicha has called on Nigerians to stop blaming President Muhammadu Buhari for the nation’s economic recession.

In a statement he issued in Calabar on Tuesday, Ochicha said that Nigerians should learn how to separate lies from facts.

Ochicha said, if not for the intervention of Buhari’s administration, the country might have been in total shambles by now.

Ochicha, a retired Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) manager stated that there is no where in the world that economy grows in space, therefore instead of accusing the APC-led administration, the people should ask former leaders of the structures they set up for our economy to grow without oil.

He blamed the former administration of Goodluck Jonathan, describing it as “insensitive and the most corrupt in the history of the country which has led us to the present quagmire”.

According to the statement, “Nigerians should begin to channel their questions to the right people and stop believing this rhetorics and illusions that President Buhari and APC are responsible for the nation’s economic woes.

“There is nowhere in the world that the economy grows in space. What were the structures the past administrations built for our economy to grow without oil? “The economy grows by the standard of infrastructure and institutions created but unfortunately, the Buhari administration inherited almost a failed state from the PDP that had the rare privilege of managing the affairs of this country for a whole 16 years,”Ochicha said.

Blaming the Jonathan administration for mismanaging the nation’s resources, he said:”I can’t understand why people are pointing accusing fingers at this administration. The former administration earned more than sixty per cent of our total revenue from oil yet there’s nothing to show for it. See what is happening with the former first lady? What work was she doing to have such stupendous amount of money in her various accounts?

“Over $31.4 million in separate accounts. What was her source of income? I served this country for 29 years, 6 months and grew to the rank of Deputy Manager in the NNPC but I cannot boast of such huge amount of money because I didn’t steal. But a woman who has contributed nothing to the development of our country is today richer than the entire South South region.

“When people talk about Jonathan handing over the largest economy to Buhari, I begin to wonder whether they don’t understand that Jonathan met a viable economy with the growth rate of 7.9 percent and left it at about 2.9 percent. Six months to when he was leaving office and when the prices of crude oil had began to fall, his Finance Minister told us that they were borrowing money to pay salaries of federal workers.

“But under the President Buhari’s administration, despite the difficult economic situation, the government has been able to pay salaries without borrowing. The last two month’s federal allocation shared was the highest in the history of this country and was not gotten from oil. Why is nobody talking about this?”

He called on Nigerians to be patient with the President, adding that “nothing good comes easy as the challenges the country is facing is some of the sacrifices we need to make to be great and prosperous again and it’s going to be shortlived considering the dogged approaches being adopted by the present administration to revive the economy”.

Continuing, Ochicha said: “Only few countries like United Arab Emirates(UAE), Norway etc that utilised their oil wealth very well are currently not faced with recession. In fact, Norway is surviving now from about $800 billion foreign reserve it had accumulated but here, former President Jonathan’s Finance Minister has said it all that they lacked the will to save even when they had the will to squander what other administrations had saved.So I want to appeal to Nigerians to be patient with the President.”

What we are going through now is the price other nations had paid to get to where they are. President Buhari and you the good people of Nigeria will make our dear country great and prosperous again. Together, we can build a new Nigeria that is great, powerful, progressive, prosperous, industrialised and world class

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.

Crude Oil

Oil Dips Below $62 in New York Though Banks Say Rally Can Extend

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Oil Dips Below $62 in New York Though Banks Say Rally Can Extend

Oil retreated from an earlier rally with investment banks and traders predicting the market can go significantly higher in the months to come.

Futures in New York pared much of an earlier increase to $63 a barrel as the dollar climbed and equities slipped. Bank of America said prices could reach $70 at some point this year, while Socar Trading SA sees global benchmark Brent hitting $80 a barrel before the end of the year as the glut of inventories built up during the Covid-19 pandemic is drained by the summer.

The loss of oil output after the big freeze in the U.S. should help the market firm as much of the world emerges from lockdowns, according to Trafigura Group. Inventory data due later Tuesday from the American Petroleum Institute and more from the Energy Department on Wednesday will shed more light on how the Texas freeze disrupted U.S. oil supply last week.

Oil has surged this year after Saudi Arabia pledged to unilaterally cut 1 million barrels a day in February and March, with Goldman Sachs Group Inc. predicting the rally will accelerate as demand outpaces global supply. Russia and Riyadh, however, will next week once again head into an OPEC+ meeting with differing opinions about adding more crude to the market.

“The freeze in the U.S. has proved supportive as production was cut,” said Hans van Cleef, senior energy economist at ABN Amro. “We still expect that Russia will push for a significant rise in production,” which could soon weigh on prices, he said.

PRICES

  • West Texas Intermediate for April fell 27 cents to $61.43 a barrel at 9:20 a.m. New York time
  • Brent for April settlement fell 8 cents to $65.16

Brent’s prompt timespread firmed in a bullish backwardation structure to the widest in more than a year. The gap rose above $1 a barrel on Tuesday before easing to 87 cents. That compares with 25 cents at the start of the month.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. and oil trader Vitol Group shot down talk of a new oil supercycle, though they said a lack of supply response will keep prices for crude prices firm in the short term.

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Crude Oil

Oil Prices Rise With Storm-hit U.S. Output Set for Slow Return

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Oil Prices Rise With Storm-hit U.S. Output Set for Slow Return

Oil prices rose on Monday as the slow return of U.S. crude output cut by frigid conditions served as a reminder of the tight supply situation, just as demand recovers from the depths of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Brent crude was up $1.38, or 2.2%, at $64.29 per barrel. West Texas Intermediate gained $1.38, or 2.33%, to trade at $60.62 per barrel.

Abnormally cold weather in Texas and the Plains states forced the shutdown of up to 4 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude production along with 21 billion cubic feet of natural gas output, analysts estimated.

Shale oil producers in the region could take at least two weeks to restart the more than 2 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude output affected, sources said, as frozen pipes and power supply interruptions slow their recovery.

“With three-quarters of fracking crews standing down, the likelihood of a fast resumption is low,” ANZ Research said in a note.

For the first time since November, U.S. drilling companies cut the number of oil rigs operating due to the cold and snow enveloping Texas, New Mexico and other energy-producing centres.

OPEC+ oil producers are set to meet on March 4, with sources saying the group is likely to ease curbs on supply after April given a recovery in prices, although any increase in output will likely be modest given lingering uncertainty over the pandemic.

“Saudi Arabia is eager to pursue yet higher prices in order to cover its social break-even expenses at around $80 a barrel while Russia is strongly focused on unwinding current cuts and getting back to normal production,” said SEB chief commodity analyst Bjarne Schieldrop.

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Crude Oil

Crude Oil Rose Above $65 Per Barrel as US Production Drop Due to Texas Weather

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Crude Oil Rose Above $65 Per Barrel as US Production Drop Due to Texas Weather

Oil prices rose to $65.47 per barrel on Thursday as crude oil production dropped in the US due to frigid Texas weather.

The unusual weather has left millions in the dark and forced oil producers to shut down production. According to reports, at least the winter blast has claimed 24 lives.

Brent crude oil gained $2 to $65.47 on Thursday morning before pulling back to $64.62 per barrel around 11:00 am Nigerian time.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude rose 2.3 percent to settle at $61.74 per barrel.

“This has just sent us to the next level,” said Bob Yawger, director of energy futures at Mizuho in New York. “Crude oil WTI will probably max out somewhere pretty close to $65.65, refinery utilization rate will probably slide to somewhere around 76%,” Yawger said.

However, the report that Saudi Arabia plans to increase production in the coming months weighed on crude oil as it can be seen in the chart below.

Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, Saudi Arabian Energy Minister, warned that it was too early to declare victory against the COVID-19 virus and that oil producers must remain “extremely cautious”.

“We are in a much better place than we were a year ago, but I must warn, once again, against complacency. The uncertainty is very high, and we have to be extremely cautious,” he told an energy industry event.

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