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FG to Improve Ease of Doing Business Ranking from 145 to 100, Says Presidential Aide



President Muhammadu Buhari
  • FG to Improve Ease of Doing Business Ranking from 145 to 100, Says Presidential Aide

The Federal Government is committed to enhancing the ease of doing business by improving Nigeria’s ranking in the World Bank’s Doing Business index from the latest ranking of 145 to 100 by 2020.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Economic Recovery and Growth Plan, Mr.Sani Yakub, made this known at the 9th meeting of the National Council on Industry, Trade and Investment in Sokoto wednesday.

He said the recent improvement of the country’s ease of doing business in the global ranking moving 24 points upward from 169 to 145 was a collective determination and ability to achieve results.

Yakub stated that it was in view of this that the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan was launched to drive economic recovery and build a globally competitive and diversified Nigerian economy
He posited that the priorities of the plan included stabilising the macroeconomic environment, achieving agricultural and food security, improving transportation infrastructure as well as driving industrialisation with a focus on small and medium scale enterprises.

Yakub emphasised that the Economic Recovery and Growth plan was focused on an implementation that brings about inclusive and diversified growth translating to improvements in the welfare of the people.

“The overall goal is to achieve an economy with low inflation, stable exchange rates, diversified and inclusive growth and providing opportunities for all citizens to express their entrepreneurial spirit,” he stated.

He described the meeting as apt, as it would enable stakeholders articulate solutions on how to implement the economic growth recovery plan with a view to achieving industrialisation.

The senior special assistant further said the success was largely dependent on its effective implementation by doing things differently to achieve results.

“There is a need more than ever before to focus on implementation and all the tiers of government have a major role in this all-important task,” he added.

In a remark, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr. Edet Akpan, said the present administration was determined to unlock the potential of industrial, trade and investment sectors for job and wealth creation.

Akpan posited that in furtherance of these goals, the Federal Ministry of Industry, working with states and all stakeholders had put in place measures to ensure effective implementation of the sectoral component of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan.

He described the meeting as critical, saying resolutions reached would form the recommendations that would be put forward for consideration of the Council.

Also speaking, the State Commissioner of Commerce and Industry, Aminu Bello, said the state government had already aligned its resource utilisation plans with the national economic plan in order to achieve the set objectives.

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

Crude Oil

Oil Dips Below $62 in New York Though Banks Say Rally Can Extend




Oil Dips Below $62 in New York Though Banks Say Rally Can Extend

Oil retreated from an earlier rally with investment banks and traders predicting the market can go significantly higher in the months to come.

Futures in New York pared much of an earlier increase to $63 a barrel as the dollar climbed and equities slipped. Bank of America said prices could reach $70 at some point this year, while Socar Trading SA sees global benchmark Brent hitting $80 a barrel before the end of the year as the glut of inventories built up during the Covid-19 pandemic is drained by the summer.

The loss of oil output after the big freeze in the U.S. should help the market firm as much of the world emerges from lockdowns, according to Trafigura Group. Inventory data due later Tuesday from the American Petroleum Institute and more from the Energy Department on Wednesday will shed more light on how the Texas freeze disrupted U.S. oil supply last week.

Oil has surged this year after Saudi Arabia pledged to unilaterally cut 1 million barrels a day in February and March, with Goldman Sachs Group Inc. predicting the rally will accelerate as demand outpaces global supply. Russia and Riyadh, however, will next week once again head into an OPEC+ meeting with differing opinions about adding more crude to the market.

“The freeze in the U.S. has proved supportive as production was cut,” said Hans van Cleef, senior energy economist at ABN Amro. “We still expect that Russia will push for a significant rise in production,” which could soon weigh on prices, he said.


  • West Texas Intermediate for April fell 27 cents to $61.43 a barrel at 9:20 a.m. New York time
  • Brent for April settlement fell 8 cents to $65.16

Brent’s prompt timespread firmed in a bullish backwardation structure to the widest in more than a year. The gap rose above $1 a barrel on Tuesday before easing to 87 cents. That compares with 25 cents at the start of the month.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. and oil trader Vitol Group shot down talk of a new oil supercycle, though they said a lack of supply response will keep prices for crude prices firm in the short term.

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Crude Oil

Oil Prices Rise With Storm-hit U.S. Output Set for Slow Return



Crude oil

Oil Prices Rise With Storm-hit U.S. Output Set for Slow Return

Oil prices rose on Monday as the slow return of U.S. crude output cut by frigid conditions served as a reminder of the tight supply situation, just as demand recovers from the depths of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Brent crude was up $1.38, or 2.2%, at $64.29 per barrel. West Texas Intermediate gained $1.38, or 2.33%, to trade at $60.62 per barrel.

Abnormally cold weather in Texas and the Plains states forced the shutdown of up to 4 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude production along with 21 billion cubic feet of natural gas output, analysts estimated.

Shale oil producers in the region could take at least two weeks to restart the more than 2 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude output affected, sources said, as frozen pipes and power supply interruptions slow their recovery.

“With three-quarters of fracking crews standing down, the likelihood of a fast resumption is low,” ANZ Research said in a note.

For the first time since November, U.S. drilling companies cut the number of oil rigs operating due to the cold and snow enveloping Texas, New Mexico and other energy-producing centres.

OPEC+ oil producers are set to meet on March 4, with sources saying the group is likely to ease curbs on supply after April given a recovery in prices, although any increase in output will likely be modest given lingering uncertainty over the pandemic.

“Saudi Arabia is eager to pursue yet higher prices in order to cover its social break-even expenses at around $80 a barrel while Russia is strongly focused on unwinding current cuts and getting back to normal production,” said SEB chief commodity analyst Bjarne Schieldrop.

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Crude Oil

Crude Oil Rose Above $65 Per Barrel as US Production Drop Due to Texas Weather




Crude Oil Rose Above $65 Per Barrel as US Production Drop Due to Texas Weather

Oil prices rose to $65.47 per barrel on Thursday as crude oil production dropped in the US due to frigid Texas weather.

The unusual weather has left millions in the dark and forced oil producers to shut down production. According to reports, at least the winter blast has claimed 24 lives.

Brent crude oil gained $2 to $65.47 on Thursday morning before pulling back to $64.62 per barrel around 11:00 am Nigerian time.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude rose 2.3 percent to settle at $61.74 per barrel.

“This has just sent us to the next level,” said Bob Yawger, director of energy futures at Mizuho in New York. “Crude oil WTI will probably max out somewhere pretty close to $65.65, refinery utilization rate will probably slide to somewhere around 76%,” Yawger said.

However, the report that Saudi Arabia plans to increase production in the coming months weighed on crude oil as it can be seen in the chart below.

Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, Saudi Arabian Energy Minister, warned that it was too early to declare victory against the COVID-19 virus and that oil producers must remain “extremely cautious”.

“We are in a much better place than we were a year ago, but I must warn, once again, against complacency. The uncertainty is very high, and we have to be extremely cautious,” he told an energy industry event.

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