- Fayose at Finance Ministry, Demands Payment of N1.1bn Allocation
The Governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose, on Wednesday visited the headquarters of the Federal Ministry of Finance and demanded the release of the state’s N1.1bn budget support facility for the month of January.
Fayose visited the ministry and requested to see the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, over the non-payment of the allocation but was told that the finance minister was at the Presidential Villa attending the weekly Federal Executive Council meeting.
Addressing journalists at the ministry, Fayose claimed that Ekiti was the only state that had yet to receive its January allocation.
The governor said that he received a text message from the Central Bank of Nigeria recently that the money had been paid only to be informed again by the apex bank that Ekiti was not included on the list of payment.
This, according to him, was unacceptable as many workers in the state are currently suffering the negative impact of the delay in releasing the fund.
He said, “I believe I should do a follow up today (Wednesday) to meet with the minister of finance for an update, but she actually called me on Tuesday that she just got back but she was going to look into it today (Wednesday) and have it resolved as soon as possible.
“You will however appreciate that Ekiti civil servants are restive, having spent money during Christmas and there is no money in January, obviously there will be challenges.
“By the time I got here, the minister has already gone for the Federal Executive Council meeting, but I met the Special Adviser, who assured me that the matter will be resolved when the minister is back.
“What we are talking about is a part of the monthly allocation and the budget support fund which is about N1.1bn that have not been paid.
“I believe this should be done immediately and I want to believe also that it was a mix up and not political. But if it is political, they will have a lot of questions to answer why it should be so.
“If they want to fight Fayose, they should fight Fayose, not the civil servants of Ekiti, but I appreciate her promise to resolve the matter.”
The governor said if the promise of the finance minister was not quickly implemented, he would have no other option but to continue to raise the alarm by bringing the issue back to the public domain.
He said, “It is only Ekiti that is involved and this is the second time and that explains why I was suspicious and have to act fast.
“I got a text from the Central Bank of Nigeria that the money has been paid and later I learnt that there is a withdrawal of that instruction that Ekiti was not included in the list out of the entire federation.
“So, naturally when it happened that it was just Ekiti State alone, I have to be suspicious. The minister has given me her word, at her level as a minister, that is good enough.
“If the promise of the minister to resolve this issue as quickly as possible is not adhere to, I will have to bring it back to the public domain.
“We are all in the court of the public opinion where the public is able to judge whether justice is served at all times. Governance is beyond all of us but I want to believe that they will do it.”
Oil Prices Slide as U.S. Crude Stockpiles Surge, Heightening Demand Concerns
Oil prices declined on Thursday as concerns over demand intensified due to a larger-than-anticipated build in U.S. crude stockpiles.
Brent crude oil, against which Nigerian oil is priced, dropped by 0.5% to $83.25 a barrel while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude oil fell by 0.3% to $78.28 a barrel.
The Energy Information Administration’s report revealed a substantial increase in U.S. crude oil stockpiles by 4.2 million barrels to 447.2 million barrels for the week ending February 23rd.
This surge surpassed analysts’ expectations and marked the fifth consecutive week of rising inventories.
While gasoline and distillate inventories witnessed a decline, concerns regarding a sluggish economy and reduced oil demand in the U.S. were amplified.
Satoru Yoshida, a commodity analyst with Rakuten Securities, highlighted that the significant stockpiles have heightened investor worries.
Moreover, the anticipation of delayed U.S. interest rate cuts further weighed on market sentiment, potentially undermining oil demand.
Traders have adjusted their expectations for rate cuts, with an easing cycle predicted to commence in June rather than March as previously anticipated.
Market participants await the U.S. personal consumption expenditures price index for insights into inflation trends, while the possibility of an extension of voluntary oil output cuts from OPEC+ looms over price dynamics, amid lingering uncertainty in the demand outlook and geopolitical tensions in the Middle East.
Crude Oil Shortage Threatens Dangote, Government Refineries, Minister Raises Alarm
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Oil), Heineken Lokpobiri, has sounded a clarion call over a looming crude oil shortage that threatens the operations of the newly inaugurated Dangote Petrochemical Refinery and government-owned refineries in Nigeria.
Addressing stakeholders at the seventh edition of the Nigeria International Energy Summit in Abuja, Minister Lokpobiri expressed concerns that unless deliberate efforts are made to increase investments and crude oil production, these refineries may struggle to obtain enough feedstock for petroleum product manufacturing.
The Dangote refinery, a colossal project spearheaded by Dangote Industries Limited, has a daily requirement of up to 650,000 barrels of crude oil, while government-owned refineries could need approximately 400,000 barrels.
However, the current pace of crude oil production and investment in Nigeria falls short of meeting these demands.
Minister Lokpobiri highlighted the need to ramp up production and attract investments in the upstream sector to ensure adequate feedstock supply for the refineries.
He emphasized the importance of efficiently utilizing Nigeria’s abundant oil and gas reserves to enhance domestic energy security and economic prosperity.
Furthermore, the minister underscored the significance of investing in energy infrastructure and transitioning towards more environmentally friendly practices to address Nigeria’s energy needs effectively.
The alarm raised by Minister Lokpobiri underscores the urgency for strategic interventions and collaborative efforts to mitigate the impending crude oil shortage and secure the future of Nigeria’s refining industry amidst evolving global energy dynamics.
NNPCL Pledges End to Nigeria’s Energy Scarcity Within a Decade
The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) has announced a bold initiative aimed at ending Nigeria’s persistent energy scarcity within the next decade.
Mele Kyari, the Group Chief Executive Officer of NNPCL, revealed this ambitious plan during the opening ceremony of the seventh Nigerian International Energy Summit in Abuja.
Kyari’s announcement comes as a beacon of hope for millions of Nigerians grappling with chronic power shortages and energy deficiencies.
In his statement, Kyari expressed confidence that all issues related to energy scarcity in the country would be resolved within the next 10 years.
Assuring stakeholders of NNPCL’s unwavering commitment, Kyari emphasized the company’s dedication to collaborating with partners to bridge the energy deficit gap and foster prosperity for all Nigerians.
He highlighted NNPCL’s pivotal role as a key partner to oil-producing companies in Nigeria, facilitating the divestment of international oil companies from onshore and shallow water assets in the country.
Furthermore, Kyari underscored NNPCL’s statutory mandate as the enabler of national energy security, emphasizing the importance of sustainable production from divested assets to ensure energy security for Nigerians.
In addition to addressing domestic energy challenges, NNPCL is also exploring avenues for sustainable energy investment across Africa.
Kyari revealed the company’s intention to invest in the proposed African Energy Bank, aiming to secure funding for energy projects on the continent and guarantee regional energy security.
The event, attended by prominent stakeholders including government officials and representatives from international organizations, marks a significant step towards reshaping Nigeria’s energy landscape and fostering economic development through improved energy access.
As NNPCL charts its course towards energy abundance, Nigerians remain cautiously optimistic about the prospects of a brighter energy future.
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