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FG Loses N43.48bn Foreign Airlines BASA Remittances



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  • FG Loses N43.48bn Foreign Airlines BASA Remittances

The federal government may have lost over N43.48 billion ($144 million) remittances paid by international airlines as reciprocity charges in the Bilateral Air Service Agreement (BASA) from 2014 to the end of 2016 due to the decision of the Ministry of Transport to stop collecting the charges without providing alternative payment platform for the airlines.

These are royalty payments for the frequencies operated by the foreign airlines from Nigeria to destinations where there are no corresponding reciprocity from Nigerian airlines. The payments are calculated per passenger and over the years millions of dollars have accrued to Nigeria, which were used for airport and other aviation development. These funds used to be in the custody of the defunct Nigeria Airways Limited (NAL) before it was liquidated.

However, the federal government has just been allowing these foreign airlines to operate freely to Nigeria and at the same time government allots multidesignations to the foreign carriers thus stifling the market for the local airlines.

Industry stakeholders said such accruals could have been used to upgrade and rebuild the nation’s navigational aids, provide airfield lighting at the country’s many airports or used to support aviation agencies and reduce the huge charges domestic carriers pay to the parastatals.

The then Ministry of Aviation scrapped the payments in response to the request of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which indicated that its member airlines should stop paying royalties to nations.

It was gathered that mostly European carriers campaigned for the abrogation of payment of royalties through IATA and while other countries were still studying the request, Nigeria hastily adopted the policy. As a result, over 30 foreign carriers that operate into Nigeria do not pay royalties to government.

According to authoritative source from the Ministry of Transport, the ministry, which quickly spearheaded the scrapping of BASA funds did not introduce slot allocation as an alternative and which would have yielded more revenues to government.

While Nigeria had since scrapped the payment of royalties, other countries still collect same from airlines that operate to their cities.

The source said that the decision was self-serving and was never done in the interest of the country.

Rather, some airlines might have massaged the parochial interests of officials in the Ministry of Aviation to quickly adopt the policy which deadline had not been given and might not be given in the nearest possible time,” a source said.

“Since the scrapping of payment of royalties there has not been any directive about what to do next. This would be handled by the Ministry of Transport because it was the Ministry that removed the payments, although in other countries it is the Civil Aviation Authority that negotiates BASA and frequencies with representatives of other countries. It is a peculiar situation in Nigeria that the Ministry has to do all these things,” the source added.

The source noted that since the scrapping of BASA funds there has been funding gaps because “we don’t go to their countries, they come. We don’t have the capacity to operate international destinations, but the decision was taken too quickly by the Ministry of Transport. Overseas, you deal with CAAs. It is even our officials that fly to those countries to go and negotiate when we do not have our airlines to benefit from it. They should have come here to negotiate with us, which is the way it is done elsewhere.”

Industry veteran and former President of Aviation Round Table (ART), Captain Dele Ore on Monday condemned the decision of the federal government to scrap the payment of royalties by the foreign airlines and said the decision to remove it was ill advised because there is nothing Nigeria is getting from the foreign carriers.

The Executive Chairman of Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON), Captain Nogie Meggison attributed the decision to scrap the BASA payment by the Ministry to the many bad policies that had held the aviation industry down, saying that it is BASA that governs the country’s foreign airlines’ policy and therefore should be reviewed.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

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Africa Renewable Energy Fund II Secures €125 Million First Close With SEFA and CTF Investments



Solar energy - Investors King

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.

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Crude Oil

FG Earned $34.22B From Crude Oil and Gas in 2019 – NEITI



Crude oil - Investors King

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.

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Crude Oil

Oil Prices Drop on Stronger U.S Dollar



Crude oil - Investors King

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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