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Each N’Delta State to Have two Modular Refineries – Presidency

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  • Each N’Delta State to Have two Modular Refineries

The Presidency on Thursday said each of the Niger Delta states would host two modular refineries under the Federal Government’s programme aimed at replacing illegal refineries in the region with modular ones.

It said the groundbreaking ceremony for the first set of such refineries would hold in the fourth quarter of the year.

The Senior Special Assistant to the Acting President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Laolu Akande, disclosed this in an update on the government’s new vision for the region which he made available to journalists in Abuja just as the Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, was meeting members of the Edwin Clark-led Pan Niger Delta Forum at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Akande said, “The Federal Government has started the process of replacing illegal refineries in the region with modular ones, including options on how to involve the communities as shareholders in the proposed modular refineries.

“Groundbreaking ceremony for the first set of such refineries is expected in the fourth quarter of the year.

“In its operations, the Federal Government will supply crude to the local refineries at a reasonably considered price, as an incentive to stop the current practice whereby illegal refiners vandalise and steal the crude. Each Niger Delta State is expected to host two modular refineries each.”

The presidential spokesman said the government had also commenced the process for the opening of the Maritime University at Okerenkoko in Gbaramatu Kingdom, Delta State.

Already, he said a five-man inter-agency committee headed by the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, was in the final stages for the official opening of the university in the 2017/2018 academic session.

Akande added that the government had released additional N35bn to step up the Amnesty Programme in the Niger Delta region, which he claimed, was a specific and significant increment when compared with the 2016 budgetary allocation to the office.

He said the increase was already reflected in the 2017 budget with N70bn allocation.

“The Amnesty Office has since paid up all ex-militants backlog of stipends up to April 2017. School fees for ex-militants studying abroad have been paid up to 80 per cent this July while school fees in Nigeria have been paid up to 90 per cent this July.

“Under the President Muhammadu Buhari administration, the Presidential Amnesty Programme has deployed 1,294 beneficiaries in different programmes in different universities across the world. 1,230 have graduated; 196 are maritime engineers, 59 pilots, and 120 automobile engineers.

“It has established partnership with the Presidential Committee on Small Arms and Light Weapons, UNDP, EU and UNREC to curb the proliferation of small arms and light weapons in the hands of unauthorised persons and groups.

“To enhance a speedy development and restore peace in the Niger Delta region, Federal Government has revamped the Niger Delta Development Commission to drive the creation of development and infrastructure projects in the region,” Akande added.

He said an initial fund of $1bn had been set aside for the clean-up and environmental remediation of Ogoniland.

He explained that $200m would be disbursed yearly for the first five years and work on the project would be conducted in line with international best practices.

According to him, soil and water tests have already been done in preparation for the clean-up and 15 technical assistants hired to be part of the work from Ogoniland.

Akande added, “To drive infrastructure, the Federal Government has released funds for the continuation of various sections of the East-West Road. As of March 2017, the overall project completion is substantial ( Section I – 99.98%, Section II – I – 78.33%, Section II -II – 67.95%, Section III – 99.22%, Section IV – 97.7%) with Sections I and III completed and due for inauguration.

“The Federal Government plans to construct health centres in the states and communities of the region. On completion, they will be fully equipped to address some of the health needs of rural dwellers.

“This project will place the region as one of the most advanced places in Africa for high speed internet access and reliable communication systems.

“To further encourage infrastructure development, Federal Government, through the Petroleum Ministry is also exploring with the International Oil Companies operating in the Delta region on how to relocate their operational headquarters to their states of operations as different from administrative headquarters which often has only about 5% of the members of staff.”

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

Nigeria, Morocco sign MOUs on Hydrocarbons, Others

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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.

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Economy

Dangote Fertiliser Plant to Commence Shipment of Urea in March 2021

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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.

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Economy

UK Budget 2021: Will Sunak’s Budget Run Into Unintended Consequences?

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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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