- Nigeria Plans to Cut Trade Deficit With UK, Says NEPC Boss
The Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), Mr. Segun Awolowo, has said Nigeria is making serious plans to improve on her trade balance with the United Kingdom.
He said the country currently has a trade deficit of about $30 billion.
Awolowo, whose agency is responsible for promoting the country’s export, said part of the new thinking by the federal government is to take advantage of emerging trade potential as a result of Britain’s move to exit the European Union common market bloc.
Speaking in an interview on the ARISE Television in Abuja, Awolowo said government had identified 11 potential areas of investment under the recently launched Nigerian Economic Recovery Lifeline to boost export trade.
He said the measures being pursued to achieve the economic targets set by government is to try and improve on our productivity and productive capacity
On what his organisation is doing to position the country for a mutually rewarding trade relations with Great Britain, Awolowo said: “We in Nigeria traded only one commodity with the UK over the years, that is oil. In fact we never added value to it and we are just about making a serious attempt to diversify the economy.”
NEPC boss said the federal government had last week released the Nigerian Economic Recovery Lifeline which contains what will be used to get over the recession.
He explained that there would be strong emphasis on export drive, adding that “once we are able to trade on other things, we will have a favorable balance in our trade deficit.
Awolowo also highlighted some of the measures to help boost the country’s exports, saying: “What we are doing at NEPC is what we call the zero altar.
“We are saying let’s imagine that Nigeria has no oil at all, the plan is all about increased productivity, raising the productive capacity of Nigerians . We gave identified 11 sectors where we will say look these are the areas that Nigeria should go into so that we can earn money,” he said.
Speaking about the country’s recession, the NEPC boss said the main reason we are in that situation is due to lack of foreign exchange and our inability to generate enough foreign exchange. He said that major cause of our predicament is our propensity for high import as against low export trade.
“Nigeria’s trade figure in 2014 is just $17billion, in 2015 it came down to $15 billion and 2016 the figure was a little over $40 billion. So we have a deficit of over $30 billion, while we have an import bill of about $50 billion.”
Awolowo expressed the hope that with proper implementation of the economic blue print, especially with the emphasis on diversification of the economy, Nigeria can benefit from the opportunities from the Brexit phenomenon.
“So Britain is very key, they are our largest foreign direct investment partner and this is the time we are keen in getting them to invest in the manufacturing industry in Nigeria. So that market is very big and very attractive,” he added.
Communities in Delta State Shut OML30 Operates by Heritage Energy Operational Services Ltd
The OML30 operated by Heritage Energy Operational Services Limited in Delta State has been shut down by the host communities for failing to meet its obligations to the 112 host communities.
The host communities, led by its Management Committee/President Generals, had accused the company of gross indifference and failure in its obligations to the host communities despite several meetings and calls to ensure a peaceful resolution.
The station with a production capacity of 80,000 barrels per day and eight flow stations operates within the Ughelli area of Delta State.
The host communities specifically accused HEOSL of failure to pay the GMOU fund for the last two years despite mediation by the Delta State Government on May 18, 2020.
Also, the host communities accused HEOSL of ‘total stoppage of scholarship award and payment to host communities since 2016’.
The Chairman, Dr Harrison Oboghor and Secretary, Mr Ibuje Joseph that led the OML30 host communities explained to journalists on Monday that the host communities had resolved not to backpedal until all their demands were met.
Crude Oil Recovers from 4 Percent Decline as Joe Biden Wins
Oil Prices Recover from 4 Percent Decline as Joe Biden Wins
Crude oil prices rose with other financial markets on Monday following a 4 percent decline on Friday.
This was after Joe Biden, the former Vice-President and now the President-elect won the race to the White House.
Global benchmark oil, Brent crude oil, gained $1.06 or 2.7 percent to $40.51 per barrel on Monday while the U.S West Texas Intermediate crude oil gained $1.07 or 2.9 percent to $38.21 per barrel.
On Friday, Brent crude oil declined by 4 percent as global uncertainty surged amid unclear US election and a series of negative comments from President Trump. However, on Saturday when it became clear that Joe Biden has won, global financial markets rebounded in anticipation of additional stimulus given Biden’s position on economic growth and recovery.
“Trading this morning has a risk-on flavor, reflecting increasing confidence that Joe Biden will occupy the White House, but the Republican Party will retain control of the Senate,” Michael McCarthy, chief market strategist at CMC Markets in Sydney.
“The outcome is ideal from a market point of view. Neither party controls the Congress, so both trade wars and higher taxes are largely off the agenda.”
The president-elect and his team are now working on mitigating the risk of COVID-19, grow the world’s largest economy by protecting small businesses and the middle class that is the backbone of the American economy.
“There will be some repercussions further down the road,” said OCBC’s economist Howie Lee, raising the possibility of lockdowns in the United States under Biden.
“Either you’re crimping energy demand or consumption behavior.”
Nigeria, Other OPEC Members Oil Revenue to Hit 18 Year Low in 2020
Revenue of OPEC Members to Drop to 18 Year Low in 2020
The United States Energy Information Administration (EIA) has predicted that the oil revenue of members of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) will decline to 18-year low in 2020.
EIA said their combined oil export revenue will plunge to its lowest level since 2002. It proceeded to put a value to the projection by saying members of the oil cartel would earn around $323 billion in net oil export in 2020.
“If realised, this forecast revenue would be the lowest in 18 years. Lower crude oil prices and lower export volumes drive this expected decrease in export revenues,” it said.
The oil expert based its projection on weak global oil demand and low oil prices because of COVID-19.
It said this coupled with production cuts by OPEC members in recent months will impact net revenue of the cartel in 2020.
It said, “OPEC earned an estimated $595bn in net oil export revenues in 2019, less than half of the estimated record high of $1.2tn, which was earned in 2012.
“Continued declines in revenue in 2020 could be detrimental to member countries’ fiscal budgets, which rely heavily on revenues from oil sales to import goods, fund social programmes, and support public services.”
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