- Dangote Commends Nigerians’ Resilience
Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, has commended Nigerians for their resilience and doggedness even in the face of the prevailing economic challenges, saying they had made sacrifices that would soon see the nation out of the woods.
Addressing a group of small and medium enterprise operators who met with him in Lagos during the festive period, Dangote said that Nigerians had demonstrated the capacity to face challenges and tackle them headlong.
According to him, some countries have been thrown into upheaval at the slightest economic downturn rather than joining hands together to overcome those challenges.
He explained that though Nigeria was going through a painful period, at the end of the day the nation would become a self-reliant economic power house.
He urged the people to continue to join hands with the government in finding lasting solutions to the problems, adding that Nigeria would be better for it.
Dangote added that most countries in the world that had attained economic buoyancy had at one time in their history faced economic hardship.
He said, “Thank God, in our own situation, we know where the problem lies and as such, we only need to muster the courage to apply solutions. Nigeria needs to look inward and produce what we consume as opposed to incessant importation, which takes away our forex.
“This is one of the fundamental problems of our country; we import just anything and the reality is dawn on us now that we have to change this habit; this is why the Federal Government has been emphasising the need to go back to agriculture and total manufacturing so that we also can produce what we need and even export rather than import them.”
Dangote said until Nigeria became a producing nation and reduce imports, her economy would continue to grope in the dark, noting that his companies would continue to take the lead in any sector that required the nation to look inward.
According to him, Nigeria has no business with the importation of some products, which it has abundant raw materials to produce.
He gave an example of milk, lamenting that 80 per cent of the milk being consumed in the country was being imported, a situation he described as unacceptable, given that the nation had all it takes to produce milk locally and even feed other countries.
Dangote promised that he would be venturing into diary production to reverse the trend, saying Nigeria could produce the volume of milk needed by the citizenry.
He urged the people to continue to be patient and cooperate with the government at all levels, adding that all hands must be on deck to bring Nigeria back to a path of sufficiency and economic buoyancy.
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.
Gold Gained Ahead of Joe Biden Inauguration 2021
Gold price rose from one and a half month low on Tuesday ahead of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration on Wednesday.
The precious metal, largely regarded as a haven asset by investors, edged up by 0.2 percent to $1,844.52 per ounce on Tuesday, up from $1,802.61 on Monday.
He said, “The key factor appears to be the (U.S.) currency.”
As expected, a change in administration comes with the change in economic policies, especially taking into consideration the peculiarities of the present situation. In fact, even though Biden, Janet Yellen and the rest of the new cabinet are expected to go all out on additional stimulus with the support of Democrats controlled Houses, economic uncertainties with rising COVID-19 cases and slow vaccine distribution remained a huge concern.
Also, the effectiveness of the vaccines can not be ascertained until wider rollout.
Still, which policy would be halted or sustained by the incoming administration remained a concern that has forced many investors to once again flee other assets for Gold ahead of tomorrow’s inauguration.
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