- Nigeria Regains Africa’s Top Oil Producer Status
Nine months after it lost Africa’s top oil producer status to Angola, Nigeria has seen its crude oil production surpass that of the southern African country, data from the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries have shown.
Nigeria had in March lost the top spot to Angola when the country’s production dropped to 1.677 million barrels per day, compared to Angola’s 1.782 million bpd.
The country has seen a rise in militant attacks on its oil facilities in the oil-producing region, Niger Delta, in recent times, denting oil production.
OPEC, in its Monthly Oil Market Report for December, which was released on Wednesday, put crude oil production from Nigeria at 1.782 million bpd in November based on direct communication, up from 1.39 million bpd in October.
The country’s rival, Angola, said it produced 1.688 million bpd in November, up from 1.507 million bpd the previous month, when it lost 142,000 bpd of its output.
Nigeria recorded the biggest increase in output in the month among its peers in OPEC, followed by Angola.
Saudi Arabia, the group’s biggest producer, saw its output rise by 95,000 bpd in November to 10.72 million bpd, according to the data.
OPEC, which uses secondary sources to monitor its oil output but also publishes a table of figures submitted by its 14-member countries, said the group’s total production in November averaged 33.87 million bpd, showing an increase of 150,800 bpd over the previous month.
It said, “Crude oil output increased the most in Angola, Nigeria and Libya, while production in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia showed the largest decline.”
The group has recently agreed to a new production target of 32.5 million bpd as per January 1, 2017, representing a reduction of around 1.2 million bpd from October production levels.
Nigeria and Libya were exempted from any obligation to cut output as both countries have continued to suffer production losses from militant attacks and political instability.
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, has said the country hopes to boost its crude oil production to 2.1 million bpd next month.
Kachikwu was quoted as saying this at a Bloomberg Markets’ summit in Abu Dhabi last week.
According to him, the country’s output is at 1.9 million bpd with all three of its main fields online.
FG to Partly Fund Six Rail Projects Connecting All Regions
The Federal Government will pay a total sum of N71 billion to partly fund six rail projects connecting all regions of the country.
In the report obtained from the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, the six rail projects marked for development this year are Lagos-Kano rail line (ongoing), Calabar-Lagos (ongoing), and Ajaokuta-Itakpe-Aladja (Warri).
Others are the Port Harcourt-Maiduguri railway, the new Kano-Katsina-Jibiya-Maradi line in Niger Republic and the Abuja-Itakpe and Aladja-Warri Port and refinery/Warri new harbour.
The Buhari administration will also spend N15.1 billion on the development of safety and security of critical projects, airport certification, runway construction, terminal building, among others in the aviation sector in 2021.
Last week, Rotimi Amaechi, Minister of Transportation, said the Lagos-Kano line would be connected from the Ibadan end of the Lagos-Ibadan railway and would cost $5.3 billion.
“We are waiting for the Chinese government and bank to approve the $5.3bn to construct the Ibadan-Kano. What was approved a year ago was the contract,” the minister said.
He added, “The moment I announced that the Federal Government had awarded a contract of $5.3bn to CCECC (China Civil Engineering and Construction Corporation) to construct Ibadan-Kano, people assumed the money had come in; no.
“We have not got the money, which is a year after we applied for the loan. We have almost finished the one of Lagos-Ibadan. If we don’t get the loan now, we can’t commence.”
FG Launches E-ticketing Platform to Deepen Train Usage and Convenience
In a bid to improve the usage and enhance the convenience of train transport in Nigeria, the Federal Government on Thursday announced the launching of the Electronic Ticketing platform for the Kaduna-Abuja rail services.
The N900 million E-ticketing platform was introduced by the Minister of Transportation, Chibuike R. Amaechi, and the Nigerian Railway Corporation.
Amaechi said the new platform would improve efficiency, promote accountability, reduce leakage and enhance economic growth, as well as save time.
The E-ticketing platform was a Public-Private Partnership project done in conjunction with Secure ID Solutions, who provide and would manage the system for 10 years in an effort to recoup its investment before the Nigerian Railway Corporation take charge.
Kofo Akinkugbe, the Chief Executive Officer, Secure ID Solutions, said as the new E-platform issued 25,000 tickets after a successful pilot test on Thursday.
Potential Travelers can book via three ways:
1. Mobile app
3. POS or Cash at the station
A validator would be used to scan the ticket barcode to ascertain its authenticity before boarding.
Amaechi further announced that self-service ticket vending machines at various train stations would be introduced soon.
Nigeria’s Excess Crude Account (ECA) Balance Now $72.4 Million
The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, on Thursday said Nigeria’s Excess Crude Account (ECA) stood at $72,411,197.80 as of January 20th, 2021.
The minister disclosed this at the first National Economic Council (NEC) meeting of the year presided over by Yemi Osinbajo, Vice President and had in attendance State Governors, Federal Capital Territory Minister, Central Bank Governor and other senior government officials.
Ahmed said “Excess Crude Account (ECA), balance as at 20th January, 2021, $72,411,197.80; Stabilization Account, balance as at 19th January, 2021, N28,800,711,295.37; Natural Resources Development Fund Account, balance as at 19th January 2021, N95, 830,729,470.82.”
The minister also said President Muhammadu Buhari has approved N6.45 billion for the setting up of gas plants in 39 locations nationwide in an effort to increase COVID-19 treatment.
What is Excess Crude Account (ECA)
Excess Crude Account (ECA) is an account used to save the disparity in the market price of crude oil and budgeted price of crude oil as stipulated in the Federal Government Appropriation Bill.
Key Takeaways of Excess Crude Account (ECA)
- Excess Crude Account (ECA) was established in 2004 by the Federal Government to stabilize Nigeria’s economy and smooth out the effect of crude oil fluctuation on Africa’s largest economy.
- The ECA rose to its highest of $20 billion in November 2008 during the global oil boom when prices were above $100 per barrel.
- Controversy, allegations of corruption, and uncertain performance have trailed the ECA since creation.
- The balance plunged from $20 billion in 2008 to $72.4 million in January 2021.
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