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BoI, School of Mines Seal Pact on Solid Minerals Value-chain Development

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  • BoI, School of Mines Seal Pact on Solid Minerals Value-chain Development  

To further encourage exploitation of the nation’s vast solid minerals as well as value-addition, the Bank of Industry (BoI) has partnered ‎with Laurel School of Mines (LSM) to implement its commodity-based industrialisation strategy in the gem stone sector.

Besides, the partnership will see the two institutions building capacity of 1600 potential entrepreneurs in the sector before funds are made available for on-lending to successful businesses.

The acting ‎Managing Director, BoI, Waheed Olagunju, also said the partnership is in line with the bank’s commodity based industrialisation strategy which is adding value to the nation’s vast natural resource endowments.

Olagunju during a Memorandum of Understanding ( MoU) signing ceremony with LSM, said: “We have lots of agricultural resources, solid minerals and oil, but solid minerals is the lowest hanging fruit. With gem stones, you do not have to wait like agriculture where you plant to harvest and process. We have gem stones where we can pick them up, add value and within few weeks and make thousands of dollars.”

According to him, the partnership is also coming on the heels of Nigeria’s quest to diversify its economic revenue base, saying that the gem stones industry is capable of earning the much needed foreign exchange for the economy.

“‎The turnaround time is faster in precious stones unlike what we have in agriculture or the petroleum sector. We are going to create a lot of entrepreneurs in this sector. Under the MoU, Laurel School of Mines will be training 1600 entrepreneurs in eight locations. That means 200 entrepreneurs per location across the country spanning the six geopolitical zones including Lagos and Abuja. Those who are trained and show signs of becoming a potential miner will be supported by the BoI. There will be four batches of 50 each in these locations in order to ensure that the training is effective which is expected to last for three days.

“We will give them concessional facilities to enable them to trade and export gem stones to earn foreign exchange which would go a long way to help Nigeria in diversifying the economy while also earning foreign exchange for the country,” he added.

The acting BoI boss added that the course curricular of the training programme will include picking the gem stones, adding value and trading for export.

“LSM are global players and have operated in Asia successfully and in some parts of Africa as well. “We are dealing with a reputable institution that is Nigerian and the MoU we are signing is also in sync with the BoI’s operation strategy. We operate and collaborate with domestic and foreign development partners. LSM happens to be a domestic development partner in the private sector and the first in the solid minerals space,” he stated.

Also, the Chief Executive Officer of LSM, Tope Adebanjo, said if Nigeria channels the required efforts towards gem stone development, the industry is capable of turning the fortunes of the economy around, maintaining that the multi-billion industry has transformed many‎ economies of the world.

”It is sad that the foreigners are dominating the gem stone business and there are many millions of youths in the country that are unemployed. The industry is a multi-billion dollar industry. We can make Lagos and Abuja another Las Vegas in Nigeria,” he said.

He however said factors affecting investment in gem stone development in Nigeria includes lack of capital, market, technology, mineral resource and entrepreneurs, pointing the need to develop entrepreneurs in Nigeria to take advantage of the enterprising sector.

“The training we are embarking on is about $277 per person for three days which is less than $100 a day. Selection will be done diligently together with the BoI. Basically, the whole idea is to engage the youth to take over what belongs to them. Nigerians are ‎intellectually sound, ready and willing to work, but the problem is who will lead them to work,” he said.

He said Nigeria is currently tapping next to nothing in the global share index of the industry, maintaining that almost half of the total population of Thailand which is about 60 million‎ engage directly and indirectly in gem stone production.

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

In search Of Alternative Power Supply, Nigerians Spend N7T On Power Generation Annually

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Electricity Pole

Nigerians, and by extension, their businesses, expend about N7 trillion annually on power generation, the Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer, Off-Grid Tech Solutions Ltd, Stephen Ogboko has said.

Ogboko, who made this known at a virtual news conference in Lagos said that inadequate power supply had been a major challenge facing businesses in the country, forcing them to source alternative power supply for their operations.

“Nigeria is among the countries with a very high need of electricity.

“A significant amount of the economy is powered largely by small-scale generators and almost 50 percent of the population have limited or no access to the grid.

“This could be effectively tackled with the deployment of off-grid renewable energy solutions by making electricity more cost effective and environmentally friendly,” Ogboko said.

He described renewable energy from off-grid resources as sustainable and cost-effective for farmers and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).

Ogboko said Off-Grid Tech Solutions Ltd. partners with the global innovators of off-grid solutions to provide reliability.

“This is cost-effective and lasting solutions to societal problems toward improving the lives of people in developing nations.

“Our team of experts have worked all over Africa, and continue to work to provide solutions to a variety of sectors.

“We have marketed and delivered smart off-grid solutions for many years, providing permanent, efficient, safe and affordable solutions,” He said.

Ogboko said that the firm specialises in the marketing of heat lamps and incubators, gas-powered air conditioners and cooling fridge, mobile power solution-solar energy box, pressure cookers, among others.

He said that notable partners of the initiative were the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD), United Kingdom Department for International Trade (UK-DIT), International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Buckler Group, and Tywit.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that off-grid renewable energy solutions support the expanding access to modern energy services in an environmentally sustainable manner.

Off-grid renewable will deliver a wide spectrum of electricity services for households, public services, and also serve commercial and industrial purposes.

Off-grid energy solutions are one of the key drivers of the nation’s push for industrialisation.

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Crude Oil

Goldman Sachs Revised Down Brent Oil Forecast for Q3 2021

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Brent crude oil - Investors King

Goldman Sachs Group, an American multinational investment bank and financial services company, has revised down its Brent oil price projection for the third quarter (Q3) of 2021 by $5 from $80 per barrel previously predicted to $75 a barrel following the surge in Delta variant COVID-19.

The investment bank predicted that the surge in Delta variant COVID-19 cases will weigh on Brent oil price in Q3 2021 even with the expected increase in demand.

However, the bank projected a stronger second half of 2021, saying OPEC+ adopted slower production ramp-up will offset 1 million barrel per day demand hit from Delta.

Goldman said, “Our oil balances are slightly tighter in 2H21 than previously, with an assumed two-month 1 mb/d demand hit from Delta more than offset by OPEC+ slower production ramp-up.”

The leading investment banks now projected a deficit of 1.5 million barrels per day in the third quarter, down from 1.9 million barrels per day previously predicted.

Therefore, Brent crude oil is expected to average $80 per barrel in the fourth quarter, a $5 increase from the $75 initially predicted and the bank sees 1.7 million barrels per day in the fourth quarter.

The oil market repricing to a higher equilibrium is far from over, with the bullish impulse shifting from the demand to the supply side,” the bank said.

Goldman added that even if vaccinations fail to curb hospitalisation rates, which could drive a longer slump to demand, the decline would be offset by lower OPEC+ and U.S. shale output given current prices.

Oil prices may continue to gyrate wildly in the coming weeks, given the uncertainties around Delta variant and the slow velocity of supply developments relative to the recent demand gains,” it said.

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Oil Extends Gains on Thursday on Expectations of Tighter Supplies

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Oil prices rose about $1.50 a barrel on Thursday, extending gains made in the previous three sessions on expectations of tighter supplies through 2021 as economies recover from the coronavirus crisis.

Brent crude settled at $73.79 a barrel, up $1.56, or 2.2%, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) settled at $71.91 a barrel, rising $1.61, or 2.3%.

“The death of demand was greatly exaggerated,” said Phil Flynn, senior analyst at Price Futures Group in Chicago. “Demand is not going away, so we’re back looking at a very tight market.”

Members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other producers including Russia, collectively known as OPEC+, agreed this week on a deal to boost oil supply by 400,000 barrels per day from August to December to cool prices and meet growing demand.

But as demand was still set to outstrip supply in the second half of the year, Morgan Stanley forecast that global benchmark Brent will trade in the mid to high-$70s per barrel for the remainder of 2021.

“In the end, the global GDP (gross domestic product) recovery will likely remain on track, inventory data continues to be encouraging, our balances show tightness in H2 and we expect OPEC to remain cohesive,” it said.

Russia may start the process of banning gasoline exports next week if fuel prices on domestic exchanges stay at current levels, Energy Minister Nikolai Shulginov said, further signalling tighter oil supplies ahead.

Crude inventories in the United States, the world’s top oil consumer, rose unexpectedly by 2.1 million barrels last week to 439.7 million barrels, up for the first time since May, U.S. Energy Information Administration data showed.

Inventories at the Cushing, Oklahoma crude storage hub and delivery point for WTI, however, has plunged for six continuous weeks, and hit their lowest since January 2020 last week.

“Supplies fell further by 1.3 million barrels to the lowest level since early last year, theoretically offering support to the WTI curve,” said Jim Ritterbusch of Ritterbusch and Associates.

Gasoline and diesel demand, according to EIA figures, also jumped last week.

Barclays analysts also expected a faster-than-expected draw in global oil inventories to pre-pandemic levels, prompting the bank to raise its 2021 oil price forecast by $3 to $5 to average $69 a barrel.

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