- National Sugar Devt Council Targets 117,000 Jobs by 2023
The National Sugar Development Council (NSDC) has unveiled its master plan to create about 117,000 jobs after the end of its 10-year plan of the Nigerian Sugar Master Plan (NSMP) by 2023.
Acting Executive Secretary of the Council, Mr. Samuel Ali Kwabe disclosed this plan in Abeokuta, the Ogun state capital during a recent Sugar sensitisation workshop with the theme ‘Sustaining the gains of NSMP for National Self-Sufficiency in Local Sugar Production’.
He said: “It will also substantially reduce importation of sugar to conserve the huge foreign exchange spent on imports annually; generate about 411MW of electricity; and create about 117,000 jobs etc.”
Kwabe noted that the master plan had also been adopted by the Federal Government “as a Road Map” to national self-sufficiency in sugar.
According to him, the road map is meant to provide the enabling environment and support to investment initiatives in employment generation, sugar cane cultivation and sugar factory processing operations.
The Executive Secretary, who was represented by Director Policy Planning Research and Statistics (PPRS), Mr. Kolawole Hezekiah, stated that the NSMP commenced in January 2013 “and it is expected that by the end of the 10-year plan period, Nigeria would have built up the industrial capacity required to among other benefits, produce about 1.79m metric tonnes of sugar and 161.2 litres of ethanol.”
He said all hands must be on deck to consolidate the modest gains already recorded and ensure successful implementation of the 10-year plan to the very end.
“It is therefore, my humble appeal that states government and local communities would give adequate support to facilitate the release of identified land for commercial sugar projects in their domain”, he added.
However, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, Alhaji Aminu Aliyu Bisala said the time to organise the workshop, “which seeks to mobilise and enlighten the stakeholders on the abundant opportunities in the Nigerian sugar sector for investment purposes cannot be more opportune than now.”
He further stressed that “the need to create awareness about the potentials that exist for investors in the sugar sub sector is also critical particularly at this time of our national life when government is confronted frontally by the challenges of unemployment with the attendant social vices; low value of Naira in relation to other world major currencies with the balance of payment problems; poverty and low standard of living; etc. The investment opportunities and versatility of the nation’s sugar sub-sector cannot be over-emphasised.”
Bisala, who was equally represented by Airiohuodion Moses, advised both the industrial players and the regulatory agency- NSDC “to be consistent and focused in playing their different roles in order to ensure that Nigeria achieves self-sufficiency in her local sugar requirement at the end of the 10-year plan period.”
South Africa’s iGas, PetroSA and Strategic Fuel Fund Merge to Create South African National Petroleum Company
The South African Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) has announced the merger of Central Energy Fund (CEF) subsidiaries iGas, PetroSA and the Strategic Fuel Fund (SFF).
The merger will be effective from 1 April 2021 and the new company will be called the South African National Petroleum Company.
The merger, driven by the pursuit of implementing a new company that has a streamlined operating model via the development of a shared services system and a common information platform, comes a few months after cabinet approval and the confirmation that PetroSA had incurred losses of R20 billion since 2014.
Additional factors which prompted the move included the determination to strengthen PetroSA which had not had a permanent CEO in five years prior to the appointment of CEO Ishmael Poolo last and, had become majorly ungainful since its failure to secure gas for the gas-to-liquids refinery project in Mossel Bay.
While the merger deadline has been set, the portfolio committee expressed reservations to the department’s likelihood of meeting the deadline, considering the existing legislative regime, pending issues raised in the SFF and PetroSA forensic reports, as well as PetroSA’s current insolvency and liquidity challenges, the official press statement on the briefing revealed.
“South Africa’s energy sector is entering a new dawn,” said NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman of the African Energy Chamber. “With gas discoveries off the coast and the announcement of the REIPPP programme bid window 5 and 6 on the horizon, now is the most opportune time for the merger of the CEF subsidiaries. Of course, it is not an easy task and delays may be anticipated but, this move signals a real change towards a meaningful strategy that will not only be beneficial to the DMRE but to potential investors and local development as well.”
The African Energy Chamber welcomes this move and acknowledges that this is yet another step supporting the country’s determination to restarting the engines of sustainable growth and the transformation of energy policy and infrastructure.
Crude Oil Hits $71.34 After Saudi Largest Oil Facilities Were Attacked
Brent Crude Oil Rises to $71.34 Following Missile Attack on Saudi Largest Oil Facilities
Brent crude, against which Nigerian oil is priced, jumped to $71.34 a barrel on Monday during the Asian trading session following a report that Saudi Arabia’s largest oil facilities were attacked by missiles and drones fired on Sunday by Houthi military in Yemen.
On Monday, the Saudi energy ministry said one of the world’s largest offshore oil loading facilities at Ras Tanura was attacked and a ballistic missile targeted Saudi Aramco facilities.
“One of the petroleum tank areas at the Ras Tanura Port in the Eastern Region, one of the largest oil ports in the world, was attacked this morning by a drone, coming from the sea,” the ministry said in a statement released by the official Saudi Press Agency.
It also stated that shrapnel from a ballistic missile dropped near Aramco’s residential compound in Eastern Dhahran.
“Such acts of sabotage do not only target the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, but also the security and stability of energy supplies to the world, and therefore, the global economy,” a ministry spokesman said in a statement on state media.
Oil price surged because the market interpreted the occurrence as supply sabotage given Saudi is the largest OPEC producer. A decline in supply is positive for the oil industry.
However, Brent crude oil pulled back to $69.49 per barrel at 12:34 pm Nigerian time because of the $1.9 trillion stimulus packed passed in the U.S.
Market experts are projecting that the stimulus will boost the United States economy and support U.S crude oil producers in the near-term, this they expect to boost crude oil production from share and disrupt OPEC strategy.
A Loud Blast Heard in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia’s Largest Crude Oil Production Site
Loud Blast Heard in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia’s Largest Crude Oil Production Site
Two residents from the eastern city of Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, on Sunday said they heard a loud blast, but they are yet to know the cause, according to a Reuters report.
Saudi’s Eastern province is home to the kingdom’s largest crude oil production and export facilities of Saudi Aramco.
A blast in any of the facilities in that region could hurt global oil supplies and bolster oil prices above $70 per barrel in the first half of the year.
One of the residents said the explosion took place around 8:30 pm Saudi time while the other resident claimed the time was around 8:00 pm.
However, Saudi authorities are yet to confirm or respond to the story.
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