- We Must Produce Enough Fuel by 2019 or I’ll Resign
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, has vowed to resign if the country fails to attain self-sufficiency in the refining of petroleum products by 2019.
Kachikwu, who spoke as a guest on BBC Hard Talk in London on Monday, also stated that he recently signed an agreement with the international oil giant, Agip, for the firm to build a refinery in Nigeria.
When asked to state the year that Nigeria would be self-sufficient in refining petroleum products, Kachikwu replied, “I have said 2019, and that is the target that I gave.”
On whether he would leave office if he failed to achieve the target, the minister replied, “Yes, of course. That is the reason why you are in government.”
Kachikwu was also told by his interviewer that the industry was totally dysfunctional considering the fact that Nigeria exports crude oil and imports refined products despite having refineries, but he stated that efforts were being made to revive obsolete facilities in the sector.
Kachikwu said, “Let me say this; yes it is wrong, we ought to process rather than ship out crude. But look at all the efforts I have made in the last few months, including working with investors to begin to reshape the refineries that were comatose for many years.
“The President is there for two years and those refineries were down before he came. Since coming, we’ve been able to get them back to produce seven million litres versus zero. That’s not the 90 per cent template. We’re now refurbishing the refineries and I’ve just signed an agreement with Agip to build a new refinery in Nigeria.”
He added, “I’ve delivered on everything I promised when I came into office. First, I took the NNPC and moved it into a profit-making organisation, which was the first time in history. I removed cash call deficit of over $6bn and we renegotiated it. Everything that I promised, I’ve delivered and I will deliver on the refineries; I’m committed to that.
“And I will also deliver a future for oil that makes sense for Nigeria. But bear in mind that one has been there for one and half years, while the President has been there for two years, so I can’t pretend that we are going to solve in one day all the problems that happened in Nigeria in the past.”
The minister stated that oil prices would not “hit the roof again” as was recorded in the past, adding that this had provided an opportunity for Nigeria to get serious.
Kachikwu also stated that the Central Bank of Nigeria, through its monetary policy, had been able to force a lot of citizens out of the consumption culture, a development he said had strengthened the naira considerably.
On the slump in crude oil production in Nigeria, the minister said the activities of militants in the Niger Delta led to the decline in crude output and denied claims that the Federal Government was buying off the restive youths in the region through the payment of huge sums to them.
He stated that over $40bn had been sunk in the Niger Delta in the last 10 years and that nothing tangible was on ground to show for it.
Nigeria’s Presidential CNG Initiative Allocates N100bn for CNG Buses and EV Adoption
The Presidential Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) Initiative has allocated N100 billion to expedite the deployment of CNG buses nationwide, according to a statement released on Wednesday.
The initiative, designed to catalyze an Auto-gas and Electric Vehicle (EV) revolution in mass transit and transportation, aims to enhance sustainability and cost-effectiveness.
The statement revealed that the fund would be instrumental in supporting the adoption of auto-gas and electric vehicles, signaling a commitment to a more sustainable and economical future in the transportation sector.
The Presidential CNG Initiative plans to leverage over 11,500 CNG and electric-fueled vehicles, along with the deployment of 55,000 conversion kits.
This strategic approach is intended to reduce transportation costs for Nigerians and mitigate the challenges posed by the rising cost of living.
Under the Renewed Hope Agenda, the Presidential CNG Initiative is dedicated to realizing the President’s vision, guided by its steering committee led by FIRS Chairman Zacch Adedeji.
The statement highlighted recent achievements, including strategic technical partnerships and the ongoing commissioning of CNG Conversion centers in key states such as Lagos, Abuja, Kaduna, Ogun, and Rivers.
Several more centers are slated for commissioning in the coming weeks, reflecting the initiative’s momentum and commitment to achieving its objectives.
Nigeria’s Power Transformation: 53 Projects Worth N122bn on Track for May 2024 Completion
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), in collaboration with the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) and power distribution companies, is set to complete 53 power projects by May next year.
Valued at N122 billion, these projects aim to add over 1,000 megawatts to TCN’s wheeling capacity.
During a recent tour of three ongoing projects in Lagos, TCN’s Programme Coordinator, Mathew Ajibade, assured that the projects were not abandoned, refuting speculations.
He confirmed that work is progressing smoothly and is expected to be completed by May 2024, as initially planned.
Assistant Director/Head of Infrastructure Finance Office at the CBN, Tumba Tijani, highlighted the CBN’s support for the power sector, revealing that the bank released a loan at a 9% interest rate in August last year for the projects.
The funding, part of the Nigeria Electricity Market Stabilisation Facility-3, amounts to N122,289,344 and aims to address transmission/distribution bottlenecks, enhance supply to end-users, and unlock unutilized generation capacity.
Tijani disclosed that N85.43 billion has been disbursed into the Advance Payment Guarantee account of the 53 contractors responsible for executing the projects.
The comprehensive project list includes the delivery of power transformers, re-conductoring existing transmission lines, upgrading existing substations, and constructing 33KV line bays.
The initiative reflects a concerted effort to enhance Nigeria’s power infrastructure and meet growing energy demands.
Nigeria’s Untapped Coffee Sector Holds the Key to $2 Billion Annual Revenue
Amidst declining foreign reserves and the need for alternative revenue streams, Nigeria’s overlooked coffee industry emerges as a potential powerhouse capable of contributing over $2 billion annually to foreign exchange earnings.
Industry experts emphasize the necessity for strategic investments and modernized farming practices to unlock the full economic potential of the coffee sector.
While Nigeria is not among the top 10 coffee producers in Africa, the country’s untapped coffee industry holds the promise of significant financial gains, job creation, and sustainable agricultural development.
The urgency for revitalization comes as Nigeria grapples with a decline in foreign reserves, dropping from $38.25 billion in September 2022 to $33.23 billion in the third quarter of 2023.
Salihu Imam, Chairman of the National Coffee and Tea Association of Nigeria, Oyo State, highlighted the global significance of coffee, stating, “Coffee is the second most traded/valuable of all commodities and first in Agricultural commodities in the world.”
The potential economic impact extends beyond immediate financial gains, with Nigeria positioning itself as a key player in the global coffee trade.
Despite its potential, Nigeria’s coffee exports remain modest, producing less than one million bags annually.
In contrast, Ethiopia, the largest coffee exporter in Africa, is projected to produce 8.25 million bags. Experts suggest that Nigeria, with its unique coffee varieties, could generate $2 billion annually.
Segun Lary-Lean, President of the West Africa Specialty Coffee Association, emphasized the robust global demand for coffee, comparing it to water in Western countries.
He noted the significant earnings of coffee-producing nations like Brazil, Colombia, Vietnam, and Kenya, which experienced a 17% increase in coffee earnings.
In a call to action, industry players urge the Federal Government to prioritize strategic investments, modernized farming practices, and value-added processing to harness the coffee sector’s full economic benefits.
Unlocking the potential of Nigeria’s coffee industry stands not only as a financial opportunity but as a catalyst for broader economic growth and diversification.
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