- NNPC Targets 80 Percent Refining Capacity by 2018
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) said it plans to increase the capacity utilisation of its refineries to 60 per cent this year, and to 80 percent by the end of 2018, without giving further details.
Nigeria has five refineries in two in Port Harcourt, Warri, Kaduna and Ogbelle, with combined capacity of 446,000 barrels daily. Four these refineries (445,000bpd combined capacity) are operated by NNPC subsidiaries, while the Ogbelle, a 1,000-barrel capacity private diesel topping refinery in Rivers State is run by the Niger Delta Petroleum Resources, NDPR.
Data from industry regulator, Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), indicate that all the refineries combined had worked at an average of 20 percent since 2010. Therefore, any increase in capacity will be a big boost for petroleum products availability, which importation is estimated at over N10 billion monthly.
The capacity increase will also permanently put an end to the burden petroleum subsidy, which though not provided in 2017 budget, which many fear will resurrect given the rising price of crude at the international oil market.
The Group Managing Director, NNPC, Dr. Maikanti Baru, said in a statement on Sunday, that the Corporation is keen on ending products importation in a few years, and that concrete plans are on ground to achieve this.
He said: “it is the procedure or methodology that we are changing a little bit, we are focusing on the process licensors to come and audit our processes and they have already started auditing most of our process units in the various refineries.
“We hope if we do all these systematically, we should be able to get about 60 per cent level of capacity utilisation by the end of this year or at worst by the first quarter of 2018 and get to 80 per cent by the end of 2018 so that we could locally be able to supply half of our Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) requirements.
“Also, with other efforts in terms of other refineries coming in place, we should be able to quit importation in a few years,” the GMD said.The pronouncement comes as the country recorded a total of 2,978 vandalised pipeline points between November 2015 and October 2016, prompting the Corporation to propose the establishment of a Security Advisory Council.
This is aimed at bringing a lasting solution to the perennial problem of pipeline vandalism and sundry security challenges bedeviling the oil and gas industry.
Baru noted that there was need to evolve new measures to bring an end to pipeline vandalism which is a major threat to the nation’s economy, and that the security advisory council would involve critical stakeholders, including security agencies, community leaders from the Niger Delta, as well as IOCs, with a view to addressing all security and host community agitations.
“We want to passionately appeal to those behind indiscriminate acts of infrastructure vandalism to put an end forthwith to these despicable acts which are a great threat to the economy, the eco-system and energy security of the country,” the NNPC boss stated.
He explained that since coming on board, he has ensured that the NNPC was run as what he called “a FACTI-based corporation, meaning a Focused,Accountable, Competitive and Transparent organisation that conducts its business with Integrity.”
Stressing the need to be self-sufficient in petroleum refining, the National President of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), Chinedu Okorokwo, urged the Federal Government to work towards refining more of its crude oil rather than export.
This, he said, remained the only way to stem the effects of declining crude oil prices on the Nigerian economy.Okoronkwo said that the decline of price of crude oil at the international marketer should not bother Nigerians, adding that local refining would cushion other expenses and boost Gross Domestic Products (GDP).
Ecobank Head of Energy Research, Dolapo Oni, said: “Some of our buyers today will have self-sufficiency in crude or need lesser amounts from us and we’ll need to find new markets again; pretty much like what the U.S. did to us in 2010.
“We need to plan ahead for these eventualities and diversify away from oil exports. We can increase value production by more domestic refining and petrochemicals extraction from crude. We can also develop ways to channel earnings from crude oil into other vital areas of the economy in a more direct way.”
Ogun Records N13.3B Internally Generated Revenue Monthly in Q1 of 2021
Ogun State Government has recorded an average of N13.3billion monthly as Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) in the first quarter of 2021.
The government said it is also planning to raise its yearly Gross Domestic Product (GDP) rate from the current single digit by 25 percent.
The Commissioner for Finance, Dapo Okubadejo disclosed this to newsmen in Abeokuta ahead of the state’s investment summit tagged: ‘OgunIseya21: Becoming Africa’s Model Industrial and Logistics Hub’, slated for July 13th-14th, 2021.
Okubadejo who doubles as the State’s Chief Economic Adviser noted that the state’s IGR had experienced an upward movement after last year’s shortfall due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the attendant lockdown.
“We had a significant turnaround in the first quarter of this year. In fact, as of April, we have done almost N40bn in the Internally Generated Revenue. Our target this year is to exceed all the previous records we have set in IGR. That’s why we have put in place, all these transformation initiatives, friendly policies and also facilitate this investment summit to further showcase Ogun State as the preferred industrial destination,” he said.
The Finance Commissioner was supported in highlighting the investment potentials of the summit by his counterparts from the Ministries of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mrs. Kikelomo Longe; Works and Infrastructure, Ade Adesanya; Culture and Tourism, Toyin Taiwo; Budget and Planning, Olaolu Olabimtan and the Director-General, Public-Private Partnership, Dapo Oduwole.
Unemployment To Push More Nigerians Into Poverty – NESG
On Friday, The Nigerian Economic Summit Group said that many more Nigerians are expected to fall into the poverty trap amid rising unemployment in the country.
The NESG, a private sector-led think-tank, noted in its economic report for the first quarter of 2021 that the country’s economic growth in the period under review was relatively weak.
It said, “Nigeria’s economic growth trajectory is better described as jobless and less inclusive even in the heydays of high growth regime in the 2000s.
“While the Nigerian economy recovered from the recession in Q4 of 2020, the unemployment rate spiked to its highest level ever at 33.3 percent in the same quarter.
“With the COVID-19 crisis heightening the rate of joblessness, many Nigerians are expected to fall into the poverty trap, going forward.”
The group noted that the World Bank estimated an increase in the number of poor Nigerians to 90 million in 2020 from 83 million in 2019.
“This corresponds to a rise in headcount poverty ratio to 44.1 percent in 2020 from 40.1 percent in 2019. The rising levels of unemployment and poverty are reflected in the persistent insecurity and social vices, with attendant huge economic costs,” it said.
According to the report, huge dependence on proceeds from crude oil, leaving other revenue sources unexplored, indicates that Nigeria is not set to rein in debt accumulation in the short to medium term.
The NESG noted that public debt stock continued to trend upwards, with a jump from N7.6tn ($48.7bn) in 2012 to N32.9tn ($86.8bn) in 2020.
It said public debts grew by 20 percent between 2019 and 2020, adding, “This is partly due to the need for emergency funds to combat the global pandemic and alleviate its adverse economic impacts on households and businesses.”
According to the group, Nigeria needs more than an economic rebound, and there is a need to improve growth inclusiveness.
It said, “Nigeria has struggled to achieve inclusive growth for many decades. Since recovery from the 2016 recession, the economy has been on a fragile growth path until it slipped into another recession in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This suggests that the country needs to attain high and sustainable economic growth to become strong and resilient.
“The relationship between economic growth and unemployment rate in Nigeria suggests that economic growth has not led to a reduction in the unemployment rate – jobless growth.”
The NESG said to reverse this recurring trend, there was an urgent need for collaborative efforts between the government and relevant stakeholders towards addressing the constraints to value chain development in high-growth and employment-elastic sectors, including manufacturing, construction, trade, education, health and professional services, with ICT and renewable energy sectors as growth enablers.
It noted that despite the re-opening of the land borders that the Nigerian government shut since October 2019, inflation reached a four-year high of 18.1 percent in April 2021.
“While we expect improved agricultural production in coming months to partially ease inflationary pressures, this positive impact could be suppressed by recurring key structural bottlenecks including insecurity in the food-producing regions, electricity tariff hike, fuel price increase and hike in transport and logistic costs,” it added.
IMF Queries FG Strategies On Fuel Subsidy, Unemployment, Inflation
The International Monetary Fund has raised the red flag over Nigeria’s resumption of petrol subsidy payments, describing it as injurious to the economy.
It also reiterated the importance of introducing a market-based fuel pricing mechanism and deployment of well-targeted social safety nets to cushion any adverse impact on the poor.
In a report produced after a virtual meeting with Nigerian authorities from June 1 to 8, the IMF also expressed concerns over the rising unemployment and inflation rates, even as it admitted that real Gross Domestic Product was recovering.
The IMF team, led by Jesmin Rahman, further hailed the Central Bank of Nigeria for its efforts at unifying the exchange rate by embracing needed reforms.
The Fund said: “Recent exchange rate measures are encouraging, and further reforms are needed to achieve a fully unified and market-clearing exchange rate.
“The resurfacing of fuel subsidies is concerning, particularly in the context of low revenue mobilisation.
“The Nigerian economy has started to gradually recover from the negative effects of the COVID-19 global pandemic. Following sharp output contractions in the second and third quarters, GDP growth turned positive in Q4 2020 and growth reached 0.5 percent (y/y) in Q1 2021, supported by agriculture and services sectors.
“Nevertheless, the employment level continues to fall dramatically and, together with other socio-economic indicators, is far below pre-pandemic levels. Inflation slightly decelerated in May but remained elevated at 17.9 percent, owing to high food price inflation. With the recovery in oil prices and remittance flows, the strong pressures on the balance of payments have somewhat abated, although imports are rebounding faster than exports and foreign investor appetite remains subdued resulting in continued FX shortage.
“The incipient recovery in economic activity is projected to take root and broaden among sectors, with GDP growth expected to reach 2.5 percent in 2021. Inflation is expected to remain elevated in 2021, but likely to decelerate in the second half of the year to reach about 15.5 percent, following the removal of border controls and the elimination of base effects from elevated food price levels.”
The IMF also recognised that tax revenue collections were gradually recovering but noted that with fuel subsidies resurfacing, additional spending for COVID-19 vaccines and to address security challenges, the fiscal deficit of the Consolidated Government is expected to remain elevated at 5.5 percent of GDP.
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