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20,000 Jobs at Risk as NPA, INTELS Rift Deepens

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  • 20,000 Jobs at Risk as NPA, INTELS Rift Deepens

No fewer than 20, 000 jobs in the oil and gas rich Niger Delta region are at risk as the rift between the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and Nigeria’s premier concessionaire and logistics giant, INTELS Nigeria Limited deepens.

Decrying a situation where a simple matter between the two organisations would have resolved through dialogue was now degenerating into face-off with thousands of jobs at risk, importers under the auspices of the Nigerian Importers Integrity Association (NIIA) called for Acting President Yemi Osinbajo’s intervention.

President of NIIA, Mr. Godwin Onyekazi in a statement in Lagos said it was unfortunate that a simple business disagreement, which could have been amicably resolved “at the coffee table”, was allowed to degenerate to the point where more than 20,000 jobs are on the line.

His words: “INTELS is a major operator in oil and gas, maritime and real estate industries. It is one of the largest employers of labour in the country and in the Niger Delta region. It should therefore concern any well-meaning Nigerian that NPA is unable to amicably resolve and manage its differences with such organization. We have also read that INTELS is being persecuted because of its perceived links to a top politician in the country. This political dimension to the entire saga makes the intervention of His Excellency Acting President Yemi Osinbajo imperative.

“We do not think that companies operating in the country should be subjected to political persecution especially at this time when the Federal Government is pushing hard for peace to reign in the Niger Delta region. It is an exercise in delusion to think that there is any other facility in-country that can provide the type of services INTELS is providing to the oil and gas sector. The oil and gas majors will simply move to Angola, Sao Tome and Principe or South Africa to enjoy the kind of services they enjoy at INTELS if INTELS is no longer in position to provide such service. The implication of this is huge revenue loss to the country and loss of jobs in the Niger Delta region.”

According to NIIA President, the competition for oil and gas logistics is international and the loss of business by INTELS is the loss of business by Nigeria.

The group also called on the Federal Government to provide palliative measures to cushion the effect of Ijora-Wharf road closure for one year on port users.

While commending the government for deeming it fit to repair the road, which it said has been abandoned for several years, it said the same attention should be given to the Port Harcourt Port and Onne Port access roads.

Justice A. R. Mohammed of the Federal High Court, Abuja last month issued an interim order directing the NPA and four others to maintain the status quo in a suit filed by INTELS Nigeria Limited on the de-categorisation of terminals at the nation’s seaports.

INTELS, which filed the suit number FHC/ABJ/CS/417/2017 at the Federal High Court Abuja, is asking the court to, among other reliefs, issue an order stopping the NPA and other defendants from implementing the proposed policy review.

The defendants in the suit are the Federal Government, Attorney General of the Federation, NPA, Bureau of Public Enterprises and the Federal Ministry of Transport.

INTELS asked the court to make a declaration that the five lease agreements it entered into and executed with the 3rd, 4th and 5th defendants in respect of the Warri New Terminal, Warri Old Terminal, Federal Lighter Terminal B, Calabar Terminal A and Federal Ocean Terminal A, all dated October 24, 2005 for 25 years’ renewable leasehold were still subsisting.

The plaintiff, among other reliefs, also sought a declaration that the defendants were duty-bound to honour, perform and fulfil their contractual obligations as stated in the five lease agreements.

The plaintiff also requested the court to issue an order of perpetual injunction restraining all the defendants, their agents, representatives or privies from “doing, directing, carrying out, executing or implementing any policy, directives, or act, which are capable of diverting traffic, customers, sales, patronage or otherwise that would affect the spirit and intendment of the five lease agreements, revenue generation, profits, returns on investment and any other projection or projections of the plaintiff made pursuant to the five lease agreements all dated the 24th day of October, 2005.”

Justice Mohammed directed all parties in the suit to maintain the status quo ante regarding the subject matter pending the decision of the court on whether it had jurisdiction to entertain the suit or not.

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.

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Economy

NNPC Supplies 1.44 Billion Litres of Petrol in January 2021

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The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) supplied a total of 1.44 billion litres of Premium Motor Spirit popularly known as petrol in January 2021.

The corporation disclosed in its latest Monthly Financial and Operations Report (MFOR) for the month of January.

NNPC said the 1.44 billion litres translate to 46.30 million litres per day.

Also, a total of 223.55Billion Cubic Feet (BCF) of natural gas was produced in the month of January 2021, translating to an average daily production of 7,220.22 Million Standard Cubic Feet per Day (mmscfd).

The 223.55BCF gas production figure also represents a 4.79% increase over output in December 2020.

Also, the daily average natural gas supply to gas power plants increased by 2.38 percent to 836mmscfd, equivalent to power generation of 3,415MW.

For the period of January 2020 to January 2021, a total of 2,973.01BCF of gas was produced representing an average daily production of 7,585.78 mmscfd during the period.

Period-to-date Production from Joint Ventures (JVs), Production Sharing Contracts (PSCs) and Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) contributed about 65.20%, 19.97 percent and 14.83 percent respectively to the total national gas production.

Out of the total gas output in January 2021, a total of 149.24BCF of gas was commercialized consisting of 44.29BCF and 104.95BCF for the domestic and export markets respectively.

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Economy

NNPC Says Pipeline Vandalism Decrease by 37.21 Percent in January 2021

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The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) said vandalisation of pipelines across the country reduced by 37.21 percent in the month of January 2021.

This was disclosed in the January 2021 edition of the NNPC Monthly Financial and Operations Report (MFOR).

The report noted that 27 pipeline points were vandalised in January 2021, down from 43 points posted in December 2020.

It also stated that the Mosimi Area accounted for 74 percent of the total vandalised points in Janauray while Kaduna Area and Port Harcourt accounted for the remaining 22 percent and 4 percent respectively.

NNPC said it will continue to engage local communities and other stakeholders to reduce and eventually eliminate the pipeline vandalism menace.

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Economy

Nigeria’s Food Inflation Hits 22.95 Percent in March 2021

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Food inflation in Africa’s largest economy Nigeria rose by 22.95 percent in March 2021, the latest report from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has shown.

Food Index increased at a faster pace when compared to 21.70 percent filed in February 2021.

Increases were recorded in Bread and cereals, Potatoes, yam and other tubers, Meat, Vegetable, Fish, Oils and fats and fruits.

On a monthly basis, the food sub-index grew by 1.90 percent in March 2021. An increase of 0.01 percent points from 1.89 percent recorded in February 2021.

Analysing a more stable inflation trend, the twelve-month ended March 2021, showed the food index averaged 17.93 percent in the last twelve months, representing an increase of 0.68 percent when compared to 17.25 percent recorded in February 2021.

Insecurities amid wide foreign exchange rates and several other bottlenecks that impeded free inflow of imported goods were responsible for the surged in prices of goods and services in March, according to the report.

The Central Bank of Nigeria-led monetary policy committee had attributed the increase in prices to scarcity created by the intermittent clash between herdsmen and farmers across the nation.

However, other factors like unclear economic policies, increased in electricity tariffs, duties, subsidy removal and weak fiscal buffer to moderate the negative effect of COVID-19 on the economy continue to weigh and drag on new investment and expansion of local production despite the Federal Government aggressive call for improvement in domestic production.

Nigeria’s headline inflation rose by 18.17 percent year-on-year in the month under review.

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