- Nigeria Tops India’s Africa Export with $9.949bn
Nigeria has continued to outpace other African countries in export to India with $9.949 billion in exports last year.
This represents 31.4 per cent of the total export to India from Africa.
Head of Chancery at the High Commission of Indian, Lagos, Mr. Jagdeep Kapoor, who stated this at the Indian products and services exhibition held in Lagos, called on Indians to invest in Nigeria adding that relations between both countries has existed for decades.
He stated that the recent visit of the Indian Vice President to Nigeria has also given a boost to Nigeria, Indian bilateral relations.
According to him, “India as we know is Nigeria’s largest trading partner. Total trade between the two countries in the financial year 2015-16 was $643.3 Billion. Crude oil is the largest item exported from Nigeria to India, while Vehicles, Pharmaceutical products and Machinery have been the largest items exported from India to Nigeria. India exported about 419 million dollar worth of vehicles including parts and accessories to Nigeria during the financial year 2015-16. Similarly about 393million dollar worth of Pharmaceuticals were exported from India to Nigeria and roughly 267 Million dollar worth of machinery and appliances.
“You will notice that these are the three main products we have tried to highlight in the present exhibition through the individual companies participating today. Telecom, Hospitals, Education, Insurance and Banking occupy the leading positions in the services sector, which again are visible in this Exhibition. This year the plan is to consolidate on what we are already exporting to Nigeria and maybe next year we will diversify into other fields like software, hospitality, construction and entertainment. A large Nigerian delegation led by Minister of Industry, Trade & Investment visited India to attend the 11th CII-EXIM Bank Conclave held in New Delhi on 14-15 March, 2016 as a partner country.”
While calling on more Indian companies to come to Nigeria to do business, he said: “The High Commission can only pave the way. It is for the companies participating today to consolidate on the opportunities presented through this Exhibition and move forward. Gains made at such exhibitions are not generally tangible in the beginning, but believe me; they definitely translate into showcasing your capabilities and with time and perseverance help in reaching the objective of increased trade and business. I have said this at different fora that it is the Indian exhibitors who are the true Ambassadors. Guests will view India through the products and services you display here today and form an opinion about India based on what you present. My humble request is to keep the Indian flag flying high and make us all Indians proud.”
Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola had while speaking at the West Africa-Indian Trade and Economic Forum recently revealed the possibility of increase market access opportunities between India and countries within the sub-region, in terms of improved terms of trade, would be imperative to increase production efficiency and competitiveness through infrastructural development.
He said it was important and necessary to address market access constraints and Non- Tariff Barriers (NTB) that hinder the free movement of goods and services across the region’s frontiers, as particular attention should be paid to the inherent supply side constraints in the West African Community in the course of the business forum.
“There is no doubt that there would be challenges to the implementation of the resolutions that may be reached at the end of this forum on issues such as finance, technical assistance and capacity building of the private sector. “We therefore enlist the support and cooperation as well as assistance of our development partners to governments and the private sectors of West Africa in this regard, “he added.
Egbin Decries N388B NBET Debt, Idle Capacity
Egbin Power Plc, the biggest power station in Nigeria, has said it is owed N388bn by the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Plc for electricity generated and fed into the national grid.
The company disclosed this on Tuesday during an oversight visit by the Senate Committee on Privatisation, led by its Chairman, Senator Theodore Orji, to the power station, located in Ikorodu, Lagos.
The government-owned NBET buys electricity in bulk from generation companies through Power Purchase Agreements and sells it to the distribution companies, which then supply it to the consumers.
The Group Managing Director, Sahara Power Group, Mr. Kola Adesina, told the lawmakers that the total amount owed to Egbin by NBET included money for actual energy wheeled out, interest for late payments and available capacity payments.
Egbin is one of the operating entities of Sahara Power Group, which is an affiliate of Sahara Group. The plant has an installed capacity of 1,320MW consisting of six turbines of 220 megawatts each.
The company said from 2020 till date, the plant had been unable to utilize 175MW of its available capacity due to gas and transmission constraints.
Adesina said, “At the time when we took over this asset, we were generating averagely 400MW of electricity; today, we are averaging about 800MW. At a point in time, we went as high as 1,100MW. Invariably, this is an asset of strategic importance to Nigeria.
“The plant needs to be nurtured and maintained. If you don’t give this plant gas, there won’t be electricity. Gas is not within our control.
“Our availability is limited to the regularity of gas that we receive. The more irregular the gas supply, the less likely there will be electricity.”
He noted that if the power generated at the station was not evacuated by the Transmission Company of Nigeria, it would be useless.
Adesina said, “Unfortunately, as of today, technology has not allowed the power of this size to be stored; so, we can’t keep it anywhere.
“So, invariably, we will have to switch off the plant, and when we switch off the plant, we have to pay our workers irrespective of whether there is gas or transmission.
“Sadly, the plant is aging. So, this plant requires more nurturing and maintenance for it to remain readily available for Nigerians.
“Now, where you have exchange rate move from N157/$1 during acquisition in 2013 to N502-N505/$1 in 2021, and the revenue profile is not in any way commensurate to that significant change, then we have a very serious problem.”
He said at the meeting of the Association of Power Generation Companies on Monday, members raised concern about the debts owed to them.
He added, “All the owners were there, and the concern that was expressed was that this money that is being owed, when are we going to get paid?
“The longer it takes us to be paid, the more detrimental to the health and wellbeing our machines and more importantly, to our staff.”
Adesina lamented that the country’s power generation had been hovering around 4,000MW in recent years.
Oil Rises on U.S. Fuel Drawdowns Despite Surging Coronavirus Cases
Oil prices climbed on Wednesday after industry data showed U.S. crude and product inventories fell more sharply than expected last week, reinforcing expectations that demand will outstrip supply growth even amid a surge in Covid-19 cases.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures rose 48 cents, or 0.7%, to $72.13 a barrel, reversing Tuesday’s 0.4% decline.
Brent crude futures rose 34 cents, or 0.5%, to $74.82 a barrel, after shedding 2 cents on Tuesday in the first decline in six days.
Data from the American Petroleum Institute industry group showed U.S. crude stocks fell by 4.7 million barrels for the week ended July 23, gasoline inventories dropped by 6.2 million barrels and distillate stocks were down 1.9 million barrels, according to two market sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
That compared with analysts’ expectations for a 2.9 million fall in crude stocks, following a surprise rise in crude inventories the previous week in what was the first increase since May.
Traders are awaiting data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) on Wednesday to confirm the drop in stocks.
“Most energy traders were unfazed by last week’s build, so expectations should be high for the EIA crude oil inventory data to confirm inventories resumed their declining trend,” OANDA analyst Edward Moya said in a research note.
On gasoline stocks, analysts had expected a 900,000 barrel decline drop in the week to July 23.
“The U.S. is still in peak driving season and everyone is trying to make the most of this summer,” Moya said.
Fuel demand expectations are undented by soaring cases of the highly infectious delta variant of the coronavirus in the United States, where the seven-day average for new cases has risen to 57,126. That is about a quarter of the pandemic peak.
Oil Price Rises To $74.70 Despite Delta Variant
Oil price inched higher on Tuesday despite the fast spreading COVID-19 Delta variant. Brent crude oil, against which Nigerian oil is priced gained, $0.20 or 0.27 percent to $74.70 per barrel on Tuesday at 12:05 am Nigerian time.
Delta variant is spreading in China, the world’s largest importer of crude oil, forcing crude oil investors to start cutting down on their oil demand projections.
“The Delta variant is still spreading and China has started to clamp down on teapots, so their import growth would not be that much,” said Avtar Sandu, a senior commodities manager at Singapore’s Phillips Futures, referring to independent refiners.
Strong U.S. demand and expectations of tight supplies have helped crude oil to recover from a 7 percent slump recorded last Monday to mark their first gains in two to three weeks last week.
Global oil markets are expected to remain in deficit despite a decision by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and allies, collectively known as OPEC+, to raise production through the rest of the year.
“There is seemingly a battle within the energy complex between the prevailing supply deficit engineered by OPEC+ and the threat of the COVID-19 Delta variant in regions with low vaccination rates,” said StoneX analyst Kevin Solomon.
“The slow take-up of vaccinations will continue to limit some upside in oil demand in those regions, and there will be intermittent spells in the recovery in the coming months.”
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