- Nigeria Still Imports 75% Of Requirements For Cement Production
The president, Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), Dr Ebenezer Damisa, has stressed the need for Nigeria to strengthen its mining institutions to curb illegal importation of raw materials as he says the country still imports 75 per cent of its requirements for cement production.
The president stated this while speaking with journalists at the 16th Annual General Meeting and Conference of the NSME which started in Abuja, yesterday, with the theme, “Mining Industry and Nigeria’s Economic Diversification.”
According to Damisa, “As at today about 75 per cent of the requirement of gypsum used for cement production is still imported into the country and we think that the money used to the importation, if given to local miners, will produce more and after a while there won’t be need for importing.
“I stress the need to strengthen the institutions because once that is done they will be able to monitor what is going on around them. If you go to the mines’ offices all over the country there are no vehicles to do the job required of them. First of all, I think that there is the need to strengthen mining institutions, such as the ministry as there are departments in the ministry that were created and yet for one reason or the other are not functioning optimally. Examples are the Mines Inspectorate Department, Mines Environmental Compliance and Artisanal and Small Scale Mining Department (ASM). I want the ASM to be strengthened and artisanal miners formalised so that they can form cooperatives because as at now very few of them have formed cooperatives. When this is done we can conveniently monitor their activities and ask them to pay taxes. If government can ensure this then the country can benefit maximally from their activities.
“Not much proper mining is going on today most mining activities going on in the country today are carried out by artisanal miners, but what we require to move on are big time mining companies that should come in and then contribute much more to the government. The artisanal miners do not pay taxes, but big companies must because they are the ones known and from their activities will have money to generate revenue for the government.
“Before the discovery of oil, solid minerals was the major contributor to the gross domestic product (GDP) of our country and in terms of employment, it was only second to agriculture. Today, unfortunately, it is no longer like that. This is unacceptable and we must do everything possible to ensure that it takes its rightful place again in contributing much more than that.”
Speaking on the neglect of the sector, he said, “We can start from the time the country had the indigenisation policy in the early 1970s. The expatriates left Nigeria with their technologies and since then things have not been the way they should be. At that time the solid minerals contributed nothing less than 5 per cent to the GDP, but today, it contributes less than 1 per cent. In actual fact, it contributes less than 0.33 per cent. In 2015 the sector contributed just about N450 billion to the economy.”
Speaking on government’s commitment to develop the sector, the NSE president stressed the need for government to be committed to implementing the road map as well as ensure the effective disbursement of the N30 billion solid minerals development fund.
Oil Prices Slide as U.S. Crude Stockpiles Surge, Heightening Demand Concerns
Oil prices declined on Thursday as concerns over demand intensified due to a larger-than-anticipated build in U.S. crude stockpiles.
Brent crude oil, against which Nigerian oil is priced, dropped by 0.5% to $83.25 a barrel while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude oil fell by 0.3% to $78.28 a barrel.
The Energy Information Administration’s report revealed a substantial increase in U.S. crude oil stockpiles by 4.2 million barrels to 447.2 million barrels for the week ending February 23rd.
This surge surpassed analysts’ expectations and marked the fifth consecutive week of rising inventories.
While gasoline and distillate inventories witnessed a decline, concerns regarding a sluggish economy and reduced oil demand in the U.S. were amplified.
Satoru Yoshida, a commodity analyst with Rakuten Securities, highlighted that the significant stockpiles have heightened investor worries.
Moreover, the anticipation of delayed U.S. interest rate cuts further weighed on market sentiment, potentially undermining oil demand.
Traders have adjusted their expectations for rate cuts, with an easing cycle predicted to commence in June rather than March as previously anticipated.
Market participants await the U.S. personal consumption expenditures price index for insights into inflation trends, while the possibility of an extension of voluntary oil output cuts from OPEC+ looms over price dynamics, amid lingering uncertainty in the demand outlook and geopolitical tensions in the Middle East.
Crude Oil Shortage Threatens Dangote, Government Refineries, Minister Raises Alarm
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Oil), Heineken Lokpobiri, has sounded a clarion call over a looming crude oil shortage that threatens the operations of the newly inaugurated Dangote Petrochemical Refinery and government-owned refineries in Nigeria.
Addressing stakeholders at the seventh edition of the Nigeria International Energy Summit in Abuja, Minister Lokpobiri expressed concerns that unless deliberate efforts are made to increase investments and crude oil production, these refineries may struggle to obtain enough feedstock for petroleum product manufacturing.
The Dangote refinery, a colossal project spearheaded by Dangote Industries Limited, has a daily requirement of up to 650,000 barrels of crude oil, while government-owned refineries could need approximately 400,000 barrels.
However, the current pace of crude oil production and investment in Nigeria falls short of meeting these demands.
Minister Lokpobiri highlighted the need to ramp up production and attract investments in the upstream sector to ensure adequate feedstock supply for the refineries.
He emphasized the importance of efficiently utilizing Nigeria’s abundant oil and gas reserves to enhance domestic energy security and economic prosperity.
Furthermore, the minister underscored the significance of investing in energy infrastructure and transitioning towards more environmentally friendly practices to address Nigeria’s energy needs effectively.
The alarm raised by Minister Lokpobiri underscores the urgency for strategic interventions and collaborative efforts to mitigate the impending crude oil shortage and secure the future of Nigeria’s refining industry amidst evolving global energy dynamics.
NNPCL Pledges End to Nigeria’s Energy Scarcity Within a Decade
The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) has announced a bold initiative aimed at ending Nigeria’s persistent energy scarcity within the next decade.
Mele Kyari, the Group Chief Executive Officer of NNPCL, revealed this ambitious plan during the opening ceremony of the seventh Nigerian International Energy Summit in Abuja.
Kyari’s announcement comes as a beacon of hope for millions of Nigerians grappling with chronic power shortages and energy deficiencies.
In his statement, Kyari expressed confidence that all issues related to energy scarcity in the country would be resolved within the next 10 years.
Assuring stakeholders of NNPCL’s unwavering commitment, Kyari emphasized the company’s dedication to collaborating with partners to bridge the energy deficit gap and foster prosperity for all Nigerians.
He highlighted NNPCL’s pivotal role as a key partner to oil-producing companies in Nigeria, facilitating the divestment of international oil companies from onshore and shallow water assets in the country.
Furthermore, Kyari underscored NNPCL’s statutory mandate as the enabler of national energy security, emphasizing the importance of sustainable production from divested assets to ensure energy security for Nigerians.
In addition to addressing domestic energy challenges, NNPCL is also exploring avenues for sustainable energy investment across Africa.
Kyari revealed the company’s intention to invest in the proposed African Energy Bank, aiming to secure funding for energy projects on the continent and guarantee regional energy security.
The event, attended by prominent stakeholders including government officials and representatives from international organizations, marks a significant step towards reshaping Nigeria’s energy landscape and fostering economic development through improved energy access.
As NNPCL charts its course towards energy abundance, Nigerians remain cautiously optimistic about the prospects of a brighter energy future.
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