- Geospatial Technology’ll Grow Nigeria’s Economy by $3bn
The Ordnance Survey of Great Britain has said Nigeria will grow its economy by $3bn through the adequate deployment of geospatial technology.
Geospatial technology refers to all of the technology used to acquire, manipulate, and store geographic information.
The surveying arm of the United Kingdom further stated that with the right investment in the Office of the Surveyor-General of the Federation in Nigeria, the country would increase its income streams as it strives to diversify its economy.
The Director, Strategic Relations, Ordinance Survey International, Mr. John Kedar, disclosed this during a visit to the OSGOF in Abuja, as he stated that the visit was aimed at establishing a partnership between the United Kingdom and Nigeria on the deployment of latest geospatial technology domestically.
He said, “This partnership is very important if you think about the value of what the Office of the Surveyor-General of the Federation brings to Nigeria.
It could, if everything works according to plan, generate $3bn extra to the Nigerian economy. It takes time to do something like this but the journey we are beginning now is a way of helping to start that and a way of helping to get the benefits to Nigeria.
“This might not happen quickly because you’ve got to generate really high quality data and you must use it. For instance, think about the use of geospatial data in the logistics business and the delivery of items anywhere. If you always get your items to the right place and at the right time, this saves money and there are lots of other ways to generate benefits from geospatial data.”
When asked if Nigeria had the potential to grow its geospatial survey operations to generate such funds, Kedar replied, “You have a growing economy. Your economy is growing incredibly fast with a lot of skilled people and therefore you do have the potential, absolutely!”
He, however, urged the Federal Government to invest in the OSGOF so as to generate enough geospatial data needed in securing the country and its assets, particularly in the oil and gas sector.
“Nigeria is definitely on the right path, but you’ve got to invest in the geospatial capability. So the OSGOF needs investments in order to create the data and help the nation in the area of logistics, for security, digital businesses and also in the security of pipelines,” Kedar said.
In his reaction, the Surveyor-General of the Federation, Mr. Ebisintei Awudu, stated that the visit had shown the OSGOF how to generate revenue using geospatial techniques.
He said, “The benefit of this visit is that Ordnance Survey of Great Britain has brought its technology and the way they’ve been doing things in the last 225 years to the Office of the Surveyor-General of the Federation which is currently undergoing many restructuring in different areas. This is to enable us provide the required geospatial needs of this country for good governance, security and all other sectors of the economy.
“It is very possible to generate more revenue using geospatial survey based on what we’ve learnt from them but that is if we have seed money. For if we have seed money this office can generate some good amount of revenue, it might not be up to what they generate but I think we can do quite a lot.”
Awudu added, “We are likely to get to the standard that they’ve attained in geospatial technology and it is not too far because technology changes almost every six months. So we can get there. What we need is some little encouragement in terms of adequate training and funding.”
The Drop in US Crude Oil Inventories Boosted Oil Prices on Wednesday
Crude oil prices rose on Wednesday following a decline in US crude inventories last week.
The American Petroleum Institute (API) had reported that United States crude oil inventories declined by 5.3 million barrels in the week ended January 22, 2021, more than a reduction of 430,000 barrels predicted by a Reuters poll.
The unexpected decline, coupled with slowing new COVID-19 cases in China, the world’s largest importer of crude oil, boosted oil prices on Wednesday.
Brent crude, against which Nigerian crude oil is measured, rose by 41 cents or 0.7 percent to $56.32 per barrel.
The U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil also gained 56 cents or 1 percent to $53.17 a barrel.
“WTI is slightly firmer on the back of a larger-than-expected draw in US crude inventories reported by the API, which is offset by builds in gasoline and distillates,” said Vandana Hari, oil market analyst at Vanda Insights.
The data, however, showed petrol inventories grew by 3.1 million barrels in the week, more than experts projected.
Similarly, API data revealed that distillate fuel inventories that include diesel and heating oil, jumped by 1.4 million barrels, far higher than the 361,000 barrels decline predicted. However, refinery runs declined by 76,000 barrels per day.
“Market participants are now in ‘wait and see’ mode, wanting to see how lockdowns evolve in the coming weeks and months, and how successful countries are in rolling out Covid-19 vaccines,” ING economics said in a note.
COVID-19 Plunges Nigeria’s Oil Revenue by 41% in the First Nine Months of 2020
Nigeria’s oil revenue declined by 41.44 percent in the first nine months of 2020 to $2.033 billion, according to the latest data from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC.
This represents a decline of 41.44 percent from $3.47 billion filed in the same period of 2019 when there was no COVID-19.
In the September 2020 edition of NNPC’s Monthly Financial and Operations Report (MFOR), revenue from oil and gas rose by 16 percent to $120.49 million in the month of September, a 66 percent or $234.81 million drop from $355.3 million posted in the same month of 2019.
The global lockdowns caused by the COVID-19 pandemic plunged Nigeria’s crude oil sales and global demand for the commodity. This was further compounded by Nigeria’s high cost of production compared to Saudi Arabia, Russia and others that were offering discounts to boost sales during one of the most challenging periods in human history.
Experts like Prof. Yinka Omorogbe, President of Nigeria Association of Energy Economics, NAEE, were not surprised with the drop in earnings given the effect of COVID-19 on the world’s economy.
She, however, called for the revamp of the nation’s petroleum sector laws and diversification of the economy away from oil revenue dependence. She said “Covid-19 made 2020 a very hot year and it battered the oil industry internationally and we are not an exception; so we could not have been unaffected”.
She also said the effect of the fall “is definitely a wake-up call; we have to diversify, strengthen our other resources and capabilities”.
Omorogbe, a former NNPC Board Secretary, urged the government and the operators in the sector to look inward and think strategically, stating: “think medium term, think of where they want to be and the government, above all, must think of how best we can utilize our resources, so that we can achieve our objectives once we know and define them.
“It is a clear wake-up call, if not we will just sit here and find that we have become one of the poorest nations in the world”, she noted.
Crude Oil, Other Commodities Closing Price for Monday
Brent crude oil, Nigeria’s crude oil benchmark, gained 47 cents to $55.88 per barrel on Monday, while the US crude oil expanded by 50 cents to $52.77 per barrel.
Gold for February delivery fell $1 to $1,855.20 an ounce. Silver for March delivery fell 7 cents to $25.48 an ounce and March copper was little changed at $3.63 a pound.
The dollar fell to 103.80 Japanese yen from 103.83 yen. The euro fell to $1.2139 from $1.2167.
Wholesale gasoline for February delivery rose 1 cent to $1.56 a gallon. February heating oil rose 2 cents to $1.59 a gallon. February natural gas rose 16 cents to $2.60 per 1,000 cubic feet.
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