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N4.74tn Spent on Fuel Imports in 2016 – Kachikwu

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Nigeria’s Minister of State for Petroleum Emmanuel Kachikwu
  • N4.74tn Spent on Fuel Imports in 2016 – Kachikwu

In the last one year, the country has spent about N4.74tn on the importation of petroleum products, an amount that is made up of N3.4tn for the actual products and N1.34tn on logistics.

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, who stated this at a press conference in Abuja on Thursday, said, “The importation of petroleum products between January and December of last year amounted to about 20 million metric tonnes. A total amount of N3.4tn was spent.

“The consumption of foreign exchange from the Central Bank of Nigeria was approximately 30 per cent of the CBN’s total foreign exchange outlay, and the logistic cost of that importation was about N1.34tn within the same one year period.”

Explaining why the country must end the importation of refined petroleum products, he added, “The domestic refining capacity as of today is six million litres out of a total consumption of about 35 million litres, averaging less than 25 per cent.

“In the midst of this sort of statistics, it is absolutely critical that we move in to try to end importation of products, improve our refineries and get them up to 100 per cent nameplate.”

The minister also said the government had neither given out any of the refineries to private investors as concessions nor had disposed them.

According to him, no financier has been selected to revamp the refineries as the government is still searching.

He also stated that the Federal Government would require about $1.2bn to repair and bring the four refineries in Port Harcourt, Warri and Kaduna up to 100 per cent production level.

Kachikwu said, “Internally, we have been able to determine the sort of amount that will be required to do this work in terms of what work is really required to be done. The total cumulative amount is in the $1.1bn and $1.2bn category between all the refineries.

“And that, of course, does not include the pipelines. You have got to address the pipelines and that is something else that is being done.”

He stated that so far, no financier had been selected for the refineries as planned, adding that what had happened was that advertisements were placed in some national and international newspapers in April last year seeking financiers to fund, rehabilitate and jointly operate the refineries.

This, the minister said, was in order to increase the capacity utilisation of the facilities and that nowhere in those adverts was it stated that there would be a transfer of the assets to any eventual successful financier.

Kachikwu, however, stated that the tender process for financiers was truncated in May last year following concerns raised by the National Assembly and the Bureau of Public Enterprises.

The concerns, according to him, were thrashed out and an understanding was reached that the rehabilitation process would not adversely impact any future Federal Government’s privatisation initiative.

He noted that following the understanding that was reached by the parties, a presidential approval was granted the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation in October to engage credible financiers to rehabilitate and improve the performance of the refineries.

He stated that three possible partners, Agip, Saudis and Qataris were initially identified for engagement.

The minister said the government also indicated that it would invite the original builders for the refineries to undertake the repairs.

With regard to the co-location of refineries, Kachikwu stated that a public tender was announced in April last year and bids were received and analysed, adding that winners for the Port Harcourt and Warri refineries had been identified.

He stated that discussions on the issue were still ongoing to finalise the process, with approval to be given by both the NNPC Board and the Federal Executive Council.

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

Economy

India, Spain, the Netherlands, USA, Nigeria’s Major Export Markets -NBS

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Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers

India, Spain and the Netherland top Nigeria’s export markets in the final quarter of 2020, according to the latest data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

The Commodity Price Indices and Terms of Trade Q4 2020 report showed that the United States and China trailed the three.

However, the NBS revealed Nigeria exports mainly crude oil and natural gas during the period under review.

It, “The major export and import market of Nigeria in Q4 2020 were India, Spain, the Netherlands, United States and China.

“The major export to these countries were crude petroleum and natural gas. The major imports from the countries were motor spirits, used vehicles, motorcycles and antibiotics.”

The bureau stated that the all-commodity group import index increased by 0.13 per cent between October and December 2020.

This was driven mainly by an increase in the prices of base metals and articles of base metals (one per cent), boilers, machinery and appliances; parts thereof (1.03 per cent), and products of the chemical and allied industries (0.75 per cent),” it stated.

The NBS, however, noted that the index was negatively affected by animal and vegetable fats and oils and other cleavage products.

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Economy

Onyeama: Qatar To Invest $5bn In Nigeria’s Economy

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The oil-rich state of Qatar is to invest a total of $5 billion in Nigeria’s economy, the Foreign Affairs Minister, Godfrey Onyeama, has disclosed.

Onyeama, who spoke Sunday at a send forth dinner in honour of Nigeria’s Ambassador-designate to the State of Qatar, who is also the outgoing Director of Protocol (DOP) at the State House, Ambassador Yakubu Ahmed, also stated that recent career ambassadorial appointments made by the gederal government was based on merit, experience and professionalism.

The minister further said there had been discussions with Qatar on partnership with Nigeria’s Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF), for significant investments in the region of $5 billion in the Nigerian economy.

According to him, ‘‘Qatar is a weighty and strategic country and very strategic in that part of the world and we are putting our best feet forward to advance the interest of our country economically and in other areas.”

He recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari had visited the State of Qatar in 2016 and the Emir of Qatar, Tamim Bin Hammad Al-Thani, reciprocated with a State visit in 2019.

Onyeama also explained that only trusted hands with a track record of diligence, experience and professionalism in the Foreign Service were recently appointed career ambassadors by the federal government.

The minister said the appointment of Ahmed and other career ambassadors were predicated on posting dedicated and keen Foreign Service practitioners to serve as image makers of the country.

He said: ‘‘Ambassador Yakubu Ahmed is a dedicated professional with a penchant for rigour and detail. He is very capable and one of the best in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He is personable, affable, extremely friendly, dispassionate and objective.

‘‘He is going to head a very important mission, a very important country, reckoned to be one of the richest countries in the world, per capita, and there’s a lot we will be doing with the State of Qatar.”

Also speaking, the Deputy Chief of Staff, Adeola Rahman Ipaye, described the honoree as a ‘‘perfect gentleman, very even-natured and always well turned out’’.

Ipaye said he had no doubt that the newly appointed ambassador would serve the country well in Qatar, adding that: ‘‘We are further encouraged that when he completes this assignment, he would return to serve Nigeria in a higher capacity.’’

In his remarks, the Permanent Secretary, State House, Tijjani Umar, while congratulating the outgoing DOP on his appointment, lauded Ahmed for excellent service to the State House and the nation.

‘‘He served this institution and the nation with the deepest sense of responsibility and it is very important that we establish a tradition where the system appreciates those who have served it well and those who will continue to serve it well,’’ he said.

Umar urged the new envoy to keep very fond memories of his time at the Presidential Villa, assuring him of the prayers and goodwill of all the staff.

Responding, Ahmed thanked President Buhari for the great honour and privilege of making him his principal representative in Doha, Qatar.

The Ambassador-designate pledged to deplore his energy and skill to the promotion of the existing cordial relationship between Nigeria and Qatar, particularly in the areas of economic, political, cultural and consular affairs as well as other key areas.

Ahmed, who joined Nigeria’s Foreign Service in 1993, said during his years in public service he had learnt that ‘‘patriotism, selfless service, diligence, determination and perseverance will always result in the achievement of the desired objective’’.

According to him, these virtues would be his ‘‘watchword’’ in the pursuit of Nigeria’s foreign policy objectives and the attainment of national interests.

The Ambassador-designate singled out for appreciation the Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, and the state Chief of Protocol, Ambassador Lawal Kazaure, saying he had learnt a lot working under their mentorship.

He expressed gratitude to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Permanent Secretary, State House for giving him the opportunity of a memorable work experience in the State House.

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Economy

France, Nigeria to Build New Partnership

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France is currently aiming at building a new partnership with Nigeria, with the dispatching of its Minister in charge of Foreign Trade and Attractiveness, Franck Riester, to Nigeria.

Riester, who was expected at the time of filing this report on Monday, is scheduled to visit Nigeria from 12-14 April, 2021.

A statement from the French Embassy in Nigeria said: “Franck Riester is visiting Nigeria from 12 to 14 April, a visit that follows up on the priorities set by French President Emmanuel Macron during his official visit to Nigeria in July 2018 and his desire to build a new partnership between Africa and France.

“As the largest economy in Africa and the economic engine of West Africa, Nigeria is indeed a major partner for France, the first in sub-Saharan Africa with bilateral trade amounting to a total of 4.5 billion USD in 2019 (2.3 billion USD in 2020, due to the Covid-19 pandemic).”

It disclosed that the minister will have several official meetings in Abuja and Lagos, in order to underline the importance of the bilateral economic relationship and to prepare the summit on the financing of African economies in Paris on 18 May.

It revealed that the objective of the mission is also to further strengthen the links between the French and Nigerian private sectors, and “in this regard, the minister will have in-depth discussions with the main Nigerian economic actors to strengthen bilateral cooperation and investments, both in Nigeria and in France, particularly in the logistics sector”.

It said while in the country, the minister would meet with young Nigerian entrepreneurs in the cultural and creative industries sector, to discuss the major role of their country in African creativity and the development of the African entrepreneurial ecosystem, with the support of France.

It further said: “The minister will also open the ‘Choose Africa’ conference, a €3.5 billion initiative by President Emmanuel Macron dedicated to supporting the development of start-ups and SMEs in Africa to enable the continent to benefit fully from the opportunities of the digital revolution.”

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