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Mobile Phone Subscribers Now over 163m, Says Osinbajo



Mobile internet in Nigeria
  • Mobile Phone Subscribers Now over 163m, Says Osinbajo

Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo saturday in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE), disclosed that the number of mobile telephone subscribers in Nigeria has risen to 163 million barely 17 years after its advent.

Making this disclosure while addressing a professional business summit 2018 with the theme, “Exploring Investment Opportunities in Nigeria and the UAE,” Osinbajo said the development shows that the ICT sector had unlimited potential to produce $88 billion digital economy in 2028.

While showcasing Nigeria’s promising investment potentials, Osinbajo said Aliko Dangote’s 650,000 barrel per day capacity is worth over $16 billion.

“With over 163 million mobile phone subscribers, 60 per cent of them actively on the internet and 23million on Facebook, you will agree with me that our ICT sector is one of limitless potential yearning for more investments to propel the sector to an $88billion digital economy over the next 10 years.

“Consequently, we have seen the emergence of dynamic pan-African investors, who on account of their track records are even able to borrow commercially cheaper than Governments. Aliko Dangote’s investment in a 650 thousand barrel a day refinery, subsea pipeline and fertilizer plant is in excess of $16billon,” he said.

Osinbajo also told the gathering that new foreign investment has risen from $908.2 million in the first quarter of 2017 to $4.1billion in the third quarter 2017, representing over 150 per cent growth from the first quarter of 2017 adding that fresh capital inflow in 2017 stood at $12,228,24billion, thus implying a growth of 138.6 per cent in 2017.

Disclosing that BUA, a cement and sugar conglomerate, has in the past two years, invested over $2billion in cement factories and equally enhancing a sugar facility, Osinbajo added that the country had conceived the idea of special economic zones to serve as the platform for the provision of all required infrastructure and regulatory facilitation to deliver expedited productivity adding that the nation’s oil and gas free zones already have over $20billion investments.

He added: “Again, these zones allow 100 per cent foreign ownership and 100 per cent repatriation of capital and profits. A shining example is the Lagos Deep Offshore Logistics Free Zone, (LADOL) which has invested already over $600million in private investment and outlined plans to attract more investments up to $5billion into the country through its industrial free zones.

“In broadband infrastructure, for example, MAIN ONE company, founded by Nigerian-born Funke Opeke, launched West Africa’s first privately owned submarine cable barely seven years ago. The cable was built over a 2-year period and the initial investment of $240million was financed entirely by African investors, and the project broke even in just 2 years after launch.”

Furthermore, the vice-president who said Flutterwave invested $10 million in the country, added that Konga, an online shop, invested impressive $25million, which he described as the second biggest amount raised by an African start-up business in Africa, adding: “Andela, another of our leading tech brands attracted equity investment from Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg.”

Further disclosing that Lagos witnessed over $100million local and international venture capital fund investments in 2017 alone, Osinbajo described the Lagos Mega City project “as a shining example of proven successes and great potential of the ICT sector in Nigeria, with its high quality and relatively lower cost talent, as well as its strong community of incubators, accelerators and development communities.”

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Nasdaq,, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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Crude Oil

Oil Prices Recover Slightly Amidst Demand Concerns in U.S. and China



Crude Oil

Oil prices showed signs of recovery on Thursday after a recent slump to a six-month low, with Brent crude oil appreciating by 1% to $75.06 a barrel while the U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude oil also rose by 1% to $70.05 a barrel.

However, investor concerns persist over sluggish demand in both the United States and China.

The market’s unease was triggered by data indicating that U.S. oil output remains close to record highs despite falling inventories.

U.S. gasoline stocks rose unexpectedly by 5.4 million barrels to 223.6 million barrels, adding to the apprehension.

China, the world’s largest oil importer, also contributed to market jitters as crude oil imports in November dropped by 9% from the previous year.

High inventory levels, weak economic indicators, and reduced orders from independent refiners were cited as factors weakening demand.

Moody’s recent warnings on credit downgrades for Hong Kong, Macau, Chinese state-owned firms, and banks further fueled concerns about China’s economic stability.

Oil prices have experienced a 10% decline since OPEC+ announced voluntary output cuts of 2.2 million barrels per day for the first quarter of the next year.

In response to falling prices, OPEC+ member Algeria stated that it would consider extending or deepening oil supply cuts.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman met to discuss further oil price cooperation, potentially boosting market confidence in the effectiveness of output cuts.

Russia, part of OPEC+, pledged increased transparency regarding fuel refining and exports, addressing concerns about undisclosed fuel shipments.

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Crude Oil

Oil Prices Continue Slide as Market Skepticism Grows Over OPEC+ Cuts



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Global oil markets witnessed a continued decline on Wednesday as investors assessed the impact of extended OPEC+ cuts against a backdrop of diminishing demand prospects in China.

Brent crude oil, the international benchmark for Nigerian crude oil, declined by 63 cents to $76.57 a barrel while U.S. WTI crude oil lost 58 cents to $71.74 a barrel.

Last week, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, collectively known as OPEC+, agreed to maintain voluntary output cuts of approximately 2.2 million barrels per day through the first quarter of 2024.

Despite this effort to tighten supply, market sentiment remains unresponsive.

“The decision to further reduce output from January failed to stimulate the market, and the recent, seemingly coordinated, assurances from Saudi Arabia and Russia to extend the constraints beyond 1Q 2024 or even deepen the cuts if needed have also fallen to deaf ears,” noted PVM analyst Tamas Varga.

Adding to the unease, Saudi Arabia’s decision to cut its official selling price (OSP) for flagship Arab Light to Asia in January for the first time in seven months raises concerns about the struggling demand for oil.

Amid the market turmoil, concerns over China’s economic health cast a shadow, potentially limiting fuel demand in the world’s second-largest oil consumer.

Moody’s recent decision to lower China’s A1 rating outlook from stable to negative further contributes to the apprehension.

Analysts will closely watch China’s preliminary trade data, including crude oil import figures, set to be released on Thursday.

The outcome will provide insights into the trajectory of China’s refinery runs, with expectations leaning towards a decline in November.

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s diplomatic visit to the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia has added an extra layer of complexity to the oil market dynamics.

Discussions centered around the cooperation between Russia, the UAE, and OPEC+ in major oil and gas projects, highlighting the intricate geopolitical factors influencing oil prices.

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Crude Oil

U.S. Crude Production Hits Another Record, Posing Challenges for OPEC




U.S. crude oil production reached a new record in September, surging by 224,000 barrels per day to 13.24 million barrels per day.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration reported a consecutive monthly increase, adding 342,000 barrels per day over the previous three months, marking an annualized growth rate of 11%.

The surge in domestic production has led to a buildup of crude inventories and a softening of prices, challenging OPEC⁺ efforts to stabilize the market.

Despite a decrease in the number of active drilling rigs over the past year, U.S. production continues to rise.

This growth is attributed to enhanced drilling efficiency, with producers focusing on promising sites and drilling longer horizontal well sections to maximize contact with oil-bearing rock.

While OPEC⁺ production cuts have stabilized prices at relatively high levels, U.S. producers are benefiting from this stability.

The current strategy seems to embrace non-OPEC non-shale (NONS) producers, similar to how North Sea producers did in the 1980s.

Saudi Arabia, along with its OPEC⁺ partners, is resuming its role as a swing producer, balancing the market by adjusting its output.

Despite OPEC’s inability to formally collaborate with U.S. shale producers due to antitrust laws, efforts are made to include other NONS producers like Brazil in the coordination system.

This outreach aligns with the historical pattern of embracing rival producers to maintain control over a significant share of global production.

In contrast, U.S. gas production hit a seasonal record high in September, reaching 3,126 billion cubic feet.

However, unlike crude, there are signs that gas production growth is slowing due to very low prices and the absence of a swing producer.

Gas production increased by only 1.8% in September 2023 compared to the same month the previous year.

While the gas market is in the process of rebalancing, excess inventories may persist, keeping prices low.

The impact of a strengthening El Niño in the central and eastern Pacific Ocean could further influence temperatures and reduce nationwide heating demand, impacting gas prices in the coming months.

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