- Customs May Lose 50% Revenue to Ban on Vehicles Importation
Following the federal government ban on the importation of vehicles through the land borders, the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), Seme Command, is set to lose 50 per cent of its monthly revenue valued at about N13 billion.
The Seme command of the NCS rakes in between N25 billion to N28 billion monthly with 50 per cent of that amount coming from vehicle importation.
The federal government had last year prohibited the importation of vehicles, new and old, through land borders, restricting all vehicle imports to Nigeria Sea Ports only.
However, Customs Area Controller of Seme Border, Victor Dimka said: “You will agree with me that over 50 per cent of our revenue comes from vehicles importation in this command, so that is going to be completely removed and what is left is what we should expect but we will create a very friendly environment just as we have been doing. You will also agree with me that the trade between Nigeria and the countries of the corridors are more or less informal, we will try to perfect on this relationship so as to make the place more business friendly.
“We will have flyers all over the places, we have help desk as you can see, our officers will tell people what must be done and what must not be done. So when you have two or more sources, two are removed, the one remaining we will guide Jealously, so importation on General goods from Benin Republic and other countries of the corridors to see we maximize revenue collection optimally.”
He said the Seme Command raked in over N1 billion a few working days to the take off of the ban following the rush to bring in vehicles into the country by importers.
He said the ban on vehicles as was announced by the federal government meant that the command will re-tighten its belts, “because it very difficult to see vehicles being smuggled through Seme even before the ban. So what is going to happen just to tighten what we have, make sure we deploy officers to all the likely routes they will follow. We have also discovered through intelligence new routes they are creating but by the time we finish, we are going to move officers there permanently.
“Of course there is going to be a combined force from the Command, Federal Operations, Compliance Team and even the military to ensure total blockage. Believe me, the war is going to be fierce because you know most of them in this vicinity see smuggling as a birthright, so they will want to try but we will resist them.
“They attempt justifying the act by saying its buying and selling. For them, it is merely traveling from one end to buy or trade at the other end. They even argue that their fathers have been trading between the Nigerian area and Benin Republic, so stopping them is like stopping what they have known to be doing for hundreds of years.” he said.
He added, “Those at the Nigerian end of the border share lingual, cultural and historical similarities with some communities in Benin. In fact, some Nigerian families have branches in Benin. As a customs officer, I have seen them celebrate, worship and mourn together as one. We tell them daily that what they enjoy is the ECOWAS treaty on free movement and that the family houses they claim to be going fall within the territory of a different state.
“This is where enlightenment comes in. I am regularly educating the people on Nigerian side that the Benin Republic is a different country from Nigeria and the dont share uniform economic policies. I keep telling traditional rulers and youths that every country like Nigeria has policies to protect their economies and import prohibition lists are part of these policies. This is the thrust of our Customs Community Relations efforts. We keep telling them not to see smuggling as a right or a legitimate source of livelihood.”
Africa Renewable Energy Fund II Secures €125 Million First Close With SEFA and CTF Investments
The Africa Renewable Energy Fund II has achieved its first close at €125 million, following a joint investment of €17.5 million from The Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa and the Climate Technology Fund through the African Development Bank.
AREF II, a successor to the original Fund, is a 10-year closed-ended renewable energy Private Equity Fund with a $300 million target capitalization. The Africa Renewable Energy Fund II, managed by Berkeley Energy, invests in early-stage renewable energy projects, thereby not only de-risking the most uncertain phase of power projects, but also promoting increased green baseload in Africa’s generation mix.
The Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa and the Climate Technology Fund will each contribute roughly €8.7 million to mobilize private-sector investment into Africa’s renewable energy sector. The Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa will also contribute financing to the AREF II Project Support Facility, which funds technical assistance and early-stage project support to improve bankability.
Other investors include the U.K’s CDC Group, Italy’s CDP, the Netherlands Development Finance Company (FMO) and SwedFund.
“We are proud to be associated with Berkeley Energy and other like-minded investors, and look forward to AREF’s continued success and leadership in promoting sustainable power development on the continent,” said Dr. Kevin Kariuki, the African Development Bank’s Vice President for Power, Energy, Climate and Green Growth.
In 2012, the African Development Bank selected Berkeley Energy, a seasoned fund manager of clean energy projects in global emerging markets to set up AREF. AREF II has a sharper strategic focus than its predecessor on “green baseload” projects that will deliver firm and dispatchable power to African power systems through hydro, solar, wind and battery storage technologies.
Luka Buljan, Berkeley Energy’s Managing Director, said: “We are very excited to have reached this milestone with strong support from our backers. The catalytic tranche from the Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa and the Climate Technology Fund will assist in mobilising private institutional investors up to full fund size of €300 million. We now look forward to concluding the fundraising and delivering projects that will provide clean, reliable and affordable energy across African markets.”
“AREF is intertwined with the Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa’s history and success, and we have worked closely over the last decade to create precedents in difficult markets and challenging technologies. We look forward to continued collaboration to accelerate the energy transition in Africa,” said Joao Duarte Cunha, Manager for Renewable Energy Initiatives at the African Development Bank and Coordinator of the Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa.
FG Earned $34.22B From Crude Oil and Gas in 2019 – NEITI
The Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) on Thursday released its 2019 oil and gas industry audit report, which shows that Nigeria earned N34.22 billion from the oil and gas industry in 2019.
The audit, conducted by Adeshile Adedeji & Co. (Chartered Accountants), an indigenous accounting and auditing firm, reconciled payments from 98 entities. They include 88 oil and gas companies, nine government agencies and the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG).
The 2019 figure is an increase of 4.88 percent over the $32.63billion revenue realised from the sector in 2018. A breakdown of the earnings showed that payments by companies accounted for $18.90billion, while flows from federation sales of crude oil and gas accounted for $15.32billion.
The report further showed that 10 years (2010-2019) aggregate financial flows from the oil and gas sector to government amounted to $418.544billion, with the highest revenue flow of $68.442 recorded in 2011, while the lowest revenue flow of $17.055 was recorded in 2016.
According to NEITI, the total crude oil production in 2019 was 735.244mmbbls, representing an increase of 4.87 percent over the 701.101mmbbls recorded in 2018. Production sharing contracts (PSCs) contributed the highest volumes of 312.042mmbbls followed by Joint Venture (JV) and Sole Risk (SR) which recorded 310,284mmbbls and 89.824mmbbls respectively. Others are Marginal Fields (MFs) and Service Contracts (SCs) which accounted for 21,762mmbbls and 1,330mmbbls respectively.
The report also showed that total crude oil lifted in 2019 was 735.661mmbbls, indicating a 4.93 percent increase to the 701.090 mmbbls recorded in 2018, with companies lifting 469.010mmbbls, while 266.650mmbbls was lifted by the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) on behalf of the federation.
Analysis of crude oil lifted by NNPC showed that 159.411mmbbls was for export, while 107.239mmbbls was for domestic refining. 97 percent of the volumes for domestic refining (104.475mmbbls) was utilised for the Direct Sale Direct Purchase (DSDP) programme while the remaining 3 percent (2.764mmbbls) was delivered to the refineries.
NEITI reported that the value of the 2019 domestic crude oil earnings was N2.722 trillion. Of this figure, N518.074billion was deducted for Petroleum Motor Spirit (PMS) under-recovery by the NNPC.
This figure was N213.074billon above the approved sum of N305billion for under-recovery in 2019. Similarly, the sum of N126.664billion was incurred by the Corporation as costs for pipeline repairs and maintenances which showed a difference of N96.378billion from the approved sum of N30.287billion for that purpose.
The report also pointed out that N31.844billion was also deducted for crude and product losses due to theft.
Oil Prices Drop on Stronger U.S Dollar
The strong U.S Dollar pressured global crude oil prices on Thursday despite the big drop in U.S crude oil inventories.
The Brent crude oil, against which Nigerian oil is priced, dropped by 74 cents or 1 percent to settle at $73.65 a barrel at 4.03 am Nigerian time on Thursday.
The U.S West Texas Intermediate crude oil depreciated by 69 cents or 1 percent to $71.46 a barrel after reaching its highest since October 2018 on Wednesday.
“Energy markets became so fixated over a robust summer travel season and Iran nuclear deal talks that they somewhat got blindsided by the Fed’s hawkish surprise,” said Edward Moya, senior market analyst at OANDA.
“The Fed was expected to be on hold and punt this meeting, but they sent a clear message they are ready to start talking about tapering and that means the dollar is ripe for a rebound which should be a headwind for all commodities.”
The U.S. dollar boasted its strongest single day gain in 15 months after the Federal Reserve signaled it might raise interest rates at a much faster pace than assumed.
A firmer greenback makes oil priced in dollars more expensive in other currencies, potentially weighing on demand.
Still, oil price losses were limited as data from the Energy Information Administration showed that U.S. crude oil stockpiles dropped sharply last week as refineries boosted operations to their highest since January 2020, signaling continued improvement in demand.
Also boosting prices, refinery throughput in China, the world’s second largest oil consumer, rose 4.4% in May from the same month a year ago to a record high.
“This pullback in oil prices should be temporary as the fundamentals on both the supply and demand side should easily be able to compensate for a rebounding dollar,” Moya said.
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