- Complete Your Refinery Before Dec 2019, FG Urges Dangote
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, has urged the Dangote Group to expedite work on its crude oil refinery to enable it to come on stream before the end of 2019.
Kachikwu stated this on Monday in Lagos during his visit to the site of the Dangote refinery.
Earlier, the President/Chief Executive, Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, had said the refinery would have the capacity to refine 650,000 barrels of crude oil per day.
“We are currently building the world’s largest single line refinery and petrochemical complex, and the world’s second largest urea fertiliser plant,” he told the minister.
He said the company would also be building the largest sub-sea pipeline infrastructure anywhere in the world, with a length of 1,100 kilometres, to handle three billion standard cubic feet of gas per day.
Dangote said the gas from the pipeline would augment domestic gas supply, adding that an estimated 12,000 megawatts of power could be added to the grid from the gas system.
“We will be adding value to our economy as all these projects will be creating about 4,000 direct and 145,000 indirect jobs. We will also save over $7.5bn for Nigeria annually through import substitution,” he noted.
Kachikwu, who commended Dangote for embarking on the project, said, “The challenge I give you as I leave here today will be one of time. I see your timing in terms of December 2019.
“But I am sure you will understand if I tell you that the refinery component should come earlier. I have made very frank commitment to Nigerians that I must exit importation of petroleum products by 2019, and I am going to keep to it. Please, continue to push the envelope and see how we can do this.”
The minister urged Dangote to tell his engineers to go back to the drawing board and try to make the refinery come on stream earlier than the end of 2019.
“Where do we come in as government? I think the first thing is that we must look seriously at whatever incentives this business needs. You cannot be investing $14bn in a country without sufficient incentives to drive the business,” he stated.
Earlier at the Nigeria Annual International Conference and Exhibition organised by the Society of Petroleum Engineers in Lagos, Kachikwu said the country would have to halt oil production if the cost of producing the commodity remained stubbornly high.
He said the country was being left behind by its peers that had dramatically reduced their cost of production.
“When you look at the cost of production in Nigeria, it remains blatantly high. Our cost per barrel today is about $27 per barrel for JV (joint venture) fields. In Saudi Arabia, it is about $9. So, we are way apart in terms of cost that anything that happens will hit us very hard,” Kachikwu said.
He explained that countries in the Arab world had cut costs drastically, describing them as the lowest-cost producers in the world.
“Even though we have been singing over the last two years that we need to drive cost down, the current figure that I still have showing me the numbers of last year has not shown me a major reduction in the cost of production,” the minister said.
He added that the government would compel a reduction in the cost, because “there is no way this country will produce oil at this sort of swelling prices that we see; there will be no margins left for this country.”
According to him, only oil companies that are able to drive down costs will have a footage in Nigeria.
Kachikwu stated, “For me, you rather leave the oil in the ground than produce at a cost that doesn’t make sense. So, cost is going to be a very high driver. So, that is certainly one area we are focusing on; we are working collaboratively with oil companies.
“But let’s make no mistake about it: If we cannot negotiate it down, we will compel it or we will stop the production; it does not make any sense.”
Nigeria, Morocco sign MOUs on Hydrocarbons, Others
The Federal Government and the Kingdom of Morocco have signed five strategic Memoranda of Understanding that will foster Nigerian-Morocco bilateral collaboration and promote the development of hydrocarbons, agriculture, and commerce in both countries.
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, led the Nigerian delegation to the agreement signing ceremony on Tuesday at Marrakech, Morocco, while the Chief Executive Officer of OCP Africa, Mr Anouar Jamali, signed for the Kingdom of Morocco, according to a statement by the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board.
Under the agreement between OCP, NSIA and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Nigeria will import phosphate from the Kingdom of Morocco and use it to produce blended fertiliser for the local market and export.
The statement said Nigeria would also produce ammonia and export to Morocco.
“As part of the project, the Nigerian Government plans to establish an ammonia plant at Akwa Ibom State,” it said.
The Executive Secretary of NCDMB, Mr Simbi Wabote, and the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Mallam Mele Kyari, were part of the delegation and they confirmed that their organisations would take equity in the ammonia plant when the Final Investment Decision would be taken, the statement said.
Sylva said the project would broaden economic opportunities for the two nations and improve the wellbeing of the people.
He added that the project would also positively impact agriculture, stimulate the growth of gas-based industries and lead to massive job creation.
He said the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), had mandated the Ministry of Petroleum Resources and it agencies and other government agencies to give maximum support for the project.
“He mandated me to ensure that at least the first phase of this project is commissioned before the expiration of his second term in office in 2023,” he added.
According to the statement, the MOUs were for the support of the second phase of the Presidential Fertiliser Initiative; Shareholders Agreement for the creation of the joint venture company to develop the multipurpose industrial platform and MOU for equity investment by the NNPC in the joint venture and support of the gas.
Other agreements are term sheet for gas sales and aggregation agreement and MOU for land acquisition and administrative facilitation to the establishment of the multipurpose industrial platform for gas sales and aggregation agreement.
The NCDMB boss described the bilateral agreement as significant to the Nigerian economy as it would accelerate Nigeria’s gas monetisation programme through establishment of the ammonia plant in the country.
The agreement would also improve Nigeria’s per capita fertiliser application through importation of phosphate derivatives from Morocco, he added.
Wabote challenged the relevant parties to focus on accelerating the FID, assuring them that the NCDMB would take equity investment for long-term sustainability of the project.
He canvassed for the setting up of a project management oversight structure to ensure project requirements and timelines are met.
“There is also need to determine manpower needs for construction and operations phase of the project and develop training programmes that will create the workforce pool from Nigeria and Morocco and design collaboration framework between research centres in Nigeria and Morocco to develop technology solutions for maintaining the ISBL and OSBL units of the Ammonia complex,” he said.
Dangote Fertiliser Plant to Commence Shipment of Urea in March 2021
Dangote to Sells Petrol in Naira, Plans to Commence Urea Shipment in March 2021
The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, has said Dangote Fertiliser Plant will commence shipment of Urea in March 2021.
The CBN governor disclosed this during an inspection tour of the sites of Dangote Refinery, Petrochemicals Complex Fertiliser Plant and Subsea Gas Pipeline at Ibeju Lekki, Lagos on Saturday.
Emefiele further stated that Dangote Refinery would sell refined petroleum products in Naira when it starts production.
This he said would save the country from spending 41 percent of the nation’s foreign exchange on importation of petroleum products yearly.
“Based on agreement and discussions with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and the oil companies, the Dangote Refinery can buy its crude in naira, refine it, and produce it for Nigerians’ use in naira,” Mr Emefiele said.
“That is the element where foreign exchange is saved for the country becomes very clear. We are also very optimistic that by refining this product here in Nigeria, all those costs associated with either demurrage from import, costs associated with freight will be totally eliminated.”
Emefiele explained that this will make the price of Nigeria’s petroleum products affordable and cheaper in naira.
“If we are lucky that what the refinery produces is more than we need locally you will see Nigerian businessmen buying small vessels to take them to our West African neighbours to sell to them in naira.
“This will increase our volume in naira and help to push it into the Economic Community of West African States as a currency,” Mr Emefiele said.
UK Budget 2021: Will Sunak’s Budget Run Into Unintended Consequences?
Rishi Sunak’s Budget will encourage higher earners to consider their “international financial options” and will drive businesses away from the UK, warns the CEO of one of the world’s largest independent financial advisory and fintech organizations.
The warning from Nigel Green, chief executive and founder of deVere Group, comes as the Chancellor delivered his 2021 Budget in the House of Commons, his second since he took on the role.
Mr Green says: “The Chancellor has got an extraordinarily difficult hand to play as he tries to stem the economic damage caused by the pandemic, support jobs and businesses and, crucially, rebuild the public finances.
“Whilst Mr Sunak is being hailed a hero for the continued and unprecedented levels of support, it should also be remembered that he is – in a stealth move – dragging more people firmly into the tax net.
“He is raising taxes under the radar.
“Yes, there is no income tax rise. However, he is freezing personal tax thresholds, meaning as incomes rise and thresholds don’t, he is able to raise money by fiscal drag.”
Earlier this week, the deVere CEO noted: “Those most impacted by this stealth move will be looking at the financial planning options available to them, including international options, in order to grow and protect their wealth.”
Rishi Sunak also confirmed that corporation tax will increase to 25% from 2023, up from the current level of 19%.
Of this tax hike, Mr Green goes on to say: “Lower corporation tax helps job and wealth-creating business to survive and thrive. It also helps attract business to move and invest in the country.
“Instead of increasing taxes, Mr Sunak should have relentlessly focussed on growth and stimulus policies for businesses. This would have been of greater help to firms, the economy, jobs and, ultimately, the Treasury’s coffers.”
He adds: “Again, this corporation tax hike is likely to serve as a prompt for businesses to consider their overseas financial options.”
The deVere CEO concludes: “The Chancellor had to perform a tough juggling act. But stealthily dragging more people into the tax net and raising corporation tax might have negative, unintended consequences for the Treasury’s bottom line.”
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