- NNPC Says Airlines can’t Pay for Aviation Fuel
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation on Thursday said the hardship in the aviation sector was not due to the scarcity of Jet-A1, but was partly because of the inability of the airlines to pay for the product.
The Group Managing Director, NNPC, Dr. Maikanti Baru, stated that the alleged scarcity of Aviation Turbine Kerosene was not responsible for the hardship being experienced in the aviation sector.
Baru, who spoke in Abuja, clarified that the corporation had taken steps to ensure adequate supply of the product with the importation of over 45 million litres.
He said the challenge had more to do with the inability of the airlines to pay for the product upon the introduction of a cash-and-carry policy by marketers as a result of the huge amounts being owed by the carriers.
Aviation fuel scarcity has been a challenge in the sector, as airlines often complain of the non-availability of the product.
A statement by the corporation quoted the GMD as also expressing the NNPC’s commitment to carry on with its twin gas projects of Brass LNG and Olokola LNG.
He said the two projects were high priority gas ventures, which promised to boost the Federal Government’s revenue.
Baru said monetisation of natural gas was a cardinal mandate of the corporation.
He said, “We are still committed, as the NNPC, to monetising our natural gas. We have the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas, which is at the moment monetising about four billion standard cubic feet of gas on a daily basis. We also have plans for the Olokola LNG as well as the Brass LNG.
“We have a little challenge with market windows for these projects, which we are reviewing on a monthly basis. Once the appropriate market window opens up, we will quickly get more shareholders to join us for the projects.”
Baru stated that a meeting of Brass LNG stakeholders had been scheduled for early next year to look for the way forward for the project.
The GMD added that apart from the LNG projects, the corporation was also working on gas monetisation through aggressive enhancement of domestic gas supply for power generation and industrial use.
PENGASSAN to Shut Down 200,000bpd Agip Oil
The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN), an oil workers’ union, is threatening to shut down 200,000 barrels per day of crude oil production managed by Agip Oil Company Limited over what it described as unfair labour practices and intimidation of workers.
The Union, in a letter released on Wednesday, gave Agip Oil seven days to look into the concerns raised by the union or have its operations disrupted.
In the letter signed by Lumumba Okugbawa, General Secretary, the Union also accused Agip Oil of “subtle threat against our members and demobilisation of members access to the company facilities.”
PENGASSAN also urged Agip Oil to withdraw its “toxic memo’ and open discussion with the union branch leaders with a view to discuss and resolve the issues and strengthen industrial harmony.
“However, as a law-abiding association, we view the insinuation by Agip management that the legitimate actions of the union was unlawful as laughable and a mockery of the relevant sections of the labour laws detailing on how industrial actions and disputes should follow.”
Gbajabiamila Says House of Reps Will Pass Petroleum Industry Bill in April
Femi Gbajabiamila, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, on Wednesday, said the Reps will pass the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) into law in April 2021.
The speaker disclosed this during his opening remarks at the ongoing public hearing on the proposed legislation organised by the House Ad-hoc Committee on PIB.
He said “We intend to pass this bill by April. That is the commitment we have made. Some may consider it a tall order, but we will do it without compromising the thoroughness.”
Gbajabiamila’s comment came two days after Ahmad Lawan, the Senate President, said the passage and assent to the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) will be done before the end of May.
Once passed into law, experts expect the bill to boost Nigeria’s economy, encourage competition and boost revenue.
Egypt Leads Nigeria, South Africa in Foreign Direct Investment
The United Nations Trade Association has Nigeria recorded a total of $2.6 billion in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in 2020, below the $3.3 billion posted in the preceeding year.
South Africa, Africa’s most industrialised nation, reported $2.5 billion during the same year, slightly below Africa’s largest economy and 50 percent below the $4.6 billion attracted a year earlier.
The report also noted that Africa recorded a total of $38 billion FDI in the same year, representing a 18 percent decline from the $46 billion posted in the corresponding year of 2019.
However, Egypt led Nigeria and South Africa with $5.5 billion FDI, an increase of 38 percent from the preceeding year.
The report read in part, “FDI flows to Africa declined by 18% to an estimated $38 billion, from $46 billion in 2019. Greenfield project announcements, an indication of future FDI trends, fell 63% to $28 billion, from $77 billion in 2019. The pandemic’s negative impact on FDI was amplified by low prices of and low demand for commodities.”
UNCTAD also noted that global foreign direct investment declined by 42 percent to an estimated $859 billion, down from $1.5 trillion in 2019.
“The decline was concentrated in developed countries, where FDI flows fell by 69 percent to an estimated $229 billion. Flows to Europe dried up completely to -4 billion (including large negative flows in several countries). A sharp decrease was also recorded in the United States (-49%) to $134 billion.”
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