- BEDC to Reconnect Ondo Communities
Benin Electricity Distribution Plc (BEDC) has urged Ondo State government to create industrial layout for energy concentration to enable it boost economic activities even as it promised to restore power supply to six Akoko communities under Owo Business Unit of the state.
The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Mrs. Funke Osibodu, stated this when she led BEDC management on a courtesy visit to Ondo State Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN), in Akure. She said the company already partnered with the state to boost its economic activity by completing 50 electricity projects out of which 31 had been commissioned while 17 others await commissioning.
She said dedicated projects will increase production capacity of industries due to cost reduction as BEDC power was cheaper than any alternative power supply, adding that it will also make them create more jobs for indigenes. She assured that BEDC will make more power available for economic development and job creation in the state.
Osibodu also noted that BEDC community relations department was set up to ensure proper relationship management of all communities within its network hence the resolution to make power available to six communities had reached the final stage and the six communities would be energised having fulfilled the terms of the agreement signed.
The BEDC chief urged the state government and other stakeholders to join in the crusade against vandalism of the company’s property, adding that BEDC has taken some steps such as fencing of transformers to prevent destruction by vandals.
She stated that BEDC has through employment of graduates and technicians of Ondo State origin under its Graduate and Technician Trainee scheme supported youth empowerment with a view to reducing youth restiveness in the state. In addition, the partnership with Elizade University in Ilara Mokin on the graduate training programme has also empowered a university within the state.
Osibodu also called on the governor to ensure that that there was review in the curriculum of tertiary institutions in Ondo State such as university, polytechnics and technical colleges to make their content align with industries and companies’ requirements so as to make it easier for students to use when employed.
Chief State Head, Ondo State, Olakunbi Labiyi, listed key challenges in power supply to the state to include major transmission limitations restricting quantum of power delivery to the state. He said the “132KV lines from Oshogbo to Akure with undersized conductor covers Ondo and Ekiti States with maximum power pegged at 50 megawatts (Mw), while the feeder is often open by Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) under frequency condition and kept out until the frequency improves.”
He called for the quick replacement of failed 60MVA power transformer in Akure TCN, and urged the government to intervene and ensure speedy completion of the on-going 330/132/33k transformer under construction along Akure/Owo Road.
Brent Crude Oil Approaches $70 Per Barrel on Friday
Nigerian Oil Approaches $70 Per Barrel Following OPEC+ Production Cuts Extension
Brent crude oil, against which Nigerian oil is priced, rose to $69 on Friday at 3:55 pm Nigerian time.
Oil price jumped after OPEC and allies, known as OPEC plus, agreed to role-over crude oil production cuts to further reduce global oil supplies and artificially sustain oil price in a move experts said could stoke inflationary pressure.
Brent crude oil rose from $63.86 per barrel on Wednesday to $69 per barrel on Friday as energy investors became more optimistic about the oil outlook.
While certain experts are worried that U.S crude oil production will eventually hurt OPEC strategy once the economy fully opens, few experts are saying production in the world’s largest economy won’t hit pre-pandemic highs.
According to Vicki Hollub, the CEO of Occidental, U.S oil production may not return to pre-pandemic levels given a shift in corporates’ value.
“I do believe that most companies have committed to value growth, rather than production growth,” she said during a CNBC Evolve conversation with Brian Sullivan. “And so I do believe that that’s going to be part of the reason that oil production in the United States does not get back to 13 million barrels a day.”
Hollub believes corporate organisations will focus on optimizing present operations and facilities, rather than seeking growth at all costs. She, however, noted that oil prices rebounded faster than expected, largely due to China, India and United States’ growing consumption.
“The recovery looks more V-shaped than we had originally thought it would be,” she said. Occidental previous projection had oil production recovering to pre-pandemic levels by the middle of 2022. The CEO Now believes demand will return by the end of this year or the first few months of 2022.
“I do believe we’re headed for a much healthier supply and demand environment” she said.
Oil Jumps to $67.70 as OPEC+ Extends Production Cuts
Oil Jumps to $67.70 as OPEC+ Extends Production Cuts
Brent crude oil, against which Nigerian oil is priced, rose to $67.70 per barrel on Thursday following the decision of OPEC and allies, known as OPEC+, to extend production cuts.
OPEC and allies are presently debating whether to restore as much as 1.5 million barrels per day of crude oil in April, according to people with the knowledge of the meeting.
Experts have said OPEC+ continuous production cuts could increase global inflationary pressure with the rising price of could oil. However, Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said “I don’t think it will overheat.”
Last year “we suffered alone, we as OPEC+” and now “it’s about being vigilant and being careful,” he said.
Saudi minister added that the additional 1 million barrel-a-day voluntary production cut the kingdom introduced in February was now open-ended. Meaning, OPEC+ will be withholding 7 million barrels a day or 7 percent of global demand from the market– even as fuel consumption recovers in many nations.
Experts have started predicting $75 a barrel by April.
“We expect oil prices to rise toward $70 to $75 a barrel during April,” said Ann-Louise Hittle, vice president of macro oils at consultant Wood Mackenzie Ltd. “The risk is these higher prices will dampen the tentative global recovery. But the Saudi energy minister is adamant OPEC+ must watch for concrete signs of a demand rise before he moves on production.”
Gold Hits Eight-Month Low as Global Optimism Grows Amid Rising Demand for Bitcoin
Gold Struggles Ahead of Economic Recovery as Bitcoin, New Gold, Surges
Global haven asset, gold, declined to the lowest in more than eight months on Tuesday as signs of global economic recovery became glaring with rising bond yields.
The price of the precious metal declined to $1,718 per ounce during London trading on Thursday, down from $2,072 it traded in August as more investors continue to cut down on their holdings of the metal.
The previous metal usually performs poorly with rising yields on other assets like bonds, especially given the fact that gold does not provide streams of interest payments. Investors have been jumping on US bonds ahead of President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus stimulus package, expected to stoke stronger US price growth.
“We see the rising bond yields as a sign of economic optimism, which has also prompted gold investors to sell some of their positions,” said Carsten Menke of Julius Baer.
Another analyst from Commerzbank, Carsten Fritsch, said that “gold’s reputation appears to have been tarnished considerably by the heavy losses of recent weeks, as evidenced by the ongoing outflows from gold ETFs”.
Experts at Investors King believed the growing demand for Bitcoin, now called the new gold, and other cryptocurrencies in recent months by institutional investors is hurting gold attractiveness.
In a recent report, analysts at Citigroup have started projecting mainstream acceptance for the unregulated dominant cryptocurrency, Bitcoin.
The price of Bitcoin has rallied by 60 percent to $52,000 this year alone. While Ethereum has risen by over 660 percent in 2021.
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