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Buhari Gets China’s Support for 3,050MW Mambila Hydropower Project

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  • Buhari Gets China’s Support for 3,050MW Mambila Hydropower Project

President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday secured the support of the Chinese President, Xi Jinping, for the building of the 3,050 megawatts Mambila hydroelectric power project.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said this in a statement from Beijing, China, where Buhari met with Jinping on Wednesday on the sidelines of the China-Africa Cooperation summit.

The summit was attended by other African leaders and entrepreneurs.

Shehu stated that during the meeting between Buhari and Jinping, the Nigerian leader also sought additional Chinese funding for four airport terminals as well as the Abuja light rail project.

Buhari was said to have noted that the Mambilla project remained a key priority to Nigeria.

The President, while celebrating the brotherly relationship between China and Nigeria since his visit to the Asian country in 2016, sought the support of the Chinese government for the Mambilla power project.

He said, “In the past 24 months, the Chinese government has provided humanitarian aid to our conflict-affected areas, scholarship to Nigerian youths, military training and security support to our personnel and agricultural modernisation training.

“Mr President, as we celebrate these successes, I would like to once again solicit your support for the Mambilla hydropower project, which remains a key priority for my government. Our hope is to fund the project with concessionary loans from China as any alternative funding arrangement will adversely impact the project’s viability.

“We have been informed that our submission on this project is undergoing assessment by the relevant Chinese agencies. We hope that with your kind intervention, this assessment will be expedited. Your Excellency, Mambilla is Nigeria’s equivalent of the Three Gorges Dam. My wish is that you join me for the ground-breaking ceremony of this project in the not too distant future.”

Buhari also thanked China for accepting to support the international efforts to recharge the Lake Chand Basin.

“The inclusion of this project in the FOCAC Action Plan 2019 to 2021 will go a long way in supporting our efforts to rehabilitate and resettle the conflict-impacted North-East region,” he said.

Similarly, the President advocated easy movement of citizens of both countries, which he said would complement the currency swap agreements recently signed by the central banks of both nations.

He stated, “Since our last meeting two years ago, Nigeria has relaxed its visa requirements for Chinese citizens. Today, I am pleased to inform your Excellency that Chinese citizens receive Nigerian visas in less than 48 hours.

“Another measure that will improve our trade volumes will be to introduce import duty waivers on Nigeria’s commodity exports to China. Today, our commodities such as sesame seeds, hibiscus and cassava, among others, attract import duty in China.”

The Nigerian leader also lauded China’s support for two permanent seats for Africa at the United Nations, noting that the reform of the security council would ensure equitable representation for the continent.

In his remarks, President Jinping, who commended Nigeria’s fight against terrorism and the progress that had been made so far, promised China’s support in capacity building and intelligence sharing.

He also pledged 50 million yuan support to Nigeria’s military, noting, “Buhari is as decisive in dealing with terrorism as China.”

Jinping said China would import more agricultural products from Nigeria and expressed gratitude to Buhari for Nigeria’s interest to participate in the forthcoming Chinese Import Fair.

On the Mambilla hydropower project, the Chinese leader told Buhari, “We understand how critical the project is to your country and we will take a serious look at it and ensure that it succeeds, because of its social and economic benefits.”

Shehu stated that Nigeria and China also signed a $328m agreement for the Information and Communication Technology Infrastructure Backbone Phase II project.

He said the concessional loan agreement between Galaxy Backbone Limited and Huawei Technologies Limited was signed by Nigeria’s Minister of Finance, Kemi Adesoun, and the Director General, International Development Agency, Wang Xiaotoa.

Buhari and Jinping were said to be present during the signing.

The presidential media aide said Nigeria and China also signed a Memorandum of Understanding on the One Belt One Road Initiative.

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

Stop Maize, Soybean Export to Reduce Scarcity – NIAL

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Stop Maize, Soybean Export to Reduce Scarcity – NIAL

The Nigerian Institute of Animal Science on Tuesday called on the Federal Government to halt the continued export of maize and soybean to reduce the scarcity of the commodities as well curb their price hike in Nigeria.

Registrar and Chief Executive Officer, NIAL, Prof. Eustance Iyayi, told journalists in Abuja that the poultry sector was currently hit by the severe scarcity of maize and soybean.

This, he said, was due to the continued export of the commodities, the COVID-19 pandemic, which had disorganised the international supply chain, lingering insecurity in the North-East, farmers/herders conflict and flooding in some parts of the country.

“Maize and soybean are being exported and this has exacerbated the situation leading to local scarcity and price escalation of the commodities in poultry production,” Iyayi stated.

He added, “The increasing prices of the essential commodities has resulted in the increase in price of finished feeds by about 75 per cent.

“This has led to the closure of small and medium sized poultry farms thereby threatening about 10 million jobs as a result of this scarcity.

“To set the poultry industry from total collapse, the institute urges the government to immediately halt the exportation of soybean and maize and grant import permit to importers at the official foreign exchange rate.”

Iyayi said there was shortage of soybean in Nigeria and other countries, stressing that the little amount being produced across the country should not be exported.

He said the current maize yield of about one to two tonnes per hectare being produced in Nigeria would not be enough to sustain the country.

The NIAL helmsman stated that the country should be producing between seven and 10 tonnes per hectare in order to meet the requirements for humans and animals.

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Economy

Petrol Landing Cost Jumps to N186, Oil Hits $64

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Petrol Landing Cost Jumps to N186, Oil Hits $64

Against the backdrop of the rising price of oil prices, the landing cost of Premium Motor Spirit (petrol) imported into Nigeria has increased to N186.33 per litre.

Investors King had exclusively reported on February 9 that the landing cost of PMS rose to about N180 per litre on February 5 from N158.53 per litre on January 7.

Crude oil price accounts for a large chunk of the final cost of petrol, and the deregulation of petrol price by the Federal Government last year means that the pump price of the product will reflect changes in the international oil market.

Going by the petrol pricing template of the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency, the landing cost of petrol rose to N186.33 per litre on February 16, with the pump price of the product expected to be N209.33 per litre.

The international oil benchmark, Brent crude, closed at $63.96 per barrel on February 16, up from $59.34 per barrel on February 5.

The rising price of crude oil pushed the cost of petrol quoted on Platts to $560.75 per metric tonne (N163.08 per litre, using N390/$1) on February 16 from $543.25 per metric tonne (N157.99 per litre) on February 5.

Other cost elements that make up the landing cost include freight (N10.29), lightering expenses (N4.57), insurance cost (N0.25), Nigerian Ports Authority charge (N2.38), Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency charge (N0.23), jetty throughput charge (N1.61), storage charge (N2.58), and financing (N1.33).

The freight cost increased to $35.41 per MT (N10.29 per litre) last Wednesday from $30.04 per MT (N8.74 per litre) on February 5.

The pump price is the sum of the landing cost, wholesale margin and the distribution margins. The wholesale margin is N4.03 while the distribution margins comprise transporters allowance (N3.89), retailer (N6.19), bridging fund (N7.51), marine transport average (N0.15), and admin charge (N1.23).

Apart from the changes in global crude oil prices, the exchange rate of naira to the dollar also affects the cost of imported petrol.

The cost of petrol would be higher if the 410/$1 rate at which the naira closed on Monday at the Investors’ and Exporters’ Foreign Exchange Window was used. The naira closed at 480/$1 at the parallel market.

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, which has been the sole importer of petrol into the country in recent years, is still being relied upon by marketers for the supply of the product despite the deregulation of the downstream petroleum sector.

Oil marketers said recently that they were ready to resume importation of petrol if the foreign exchange was made available to them at a competitive rate.

“The discussion we should be having today is how best to maximise the benefits of the removal of price controls and subsidies while minimising the adverse effects of this action on our citizens,” the Chairman, Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria, Mr Adetunji Oyebanji, said at a virtual press briefing.

Brent crude, against which Nigeria’s oil is priced, rose by $1.67 to $64.58 per barrel as of 6:08pm Nigerian time on Monday.

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Economy

FG to Lift 100 Million People Out of Poverty With Gas Expansion Project

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FG to Lift 100 Million People Out of Poverty With Gas Expansion Project

The Federal Government has said about 100 million Nigerians will be lifted out of poverty through the National Gas Expansion Programme (NGEP).

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, disclosed this on Monday during the inauguration of the NGEP in Ado Ekiti, Southwest.

Sylva said the project was “a practical demonstration of President Muhammadu Buhari’s commitment to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty by using gas value chain as catalyst for social and economic development in Nigeria”.

The minister said, “The programme has its main objective to reinforce and expand gas supply as well as stimulate demand in Nigeria through effective and efficient mobilisation and utilisation of all available assets, resources and infrastructure in the country.

“The programme is geared towards the implementation of Mr President June 12, 2019 promise to take hundred million Nigerians out of poverty within the current decade by ensuring that locally produced, available, accessible and affordable fuel is sufficiently supplied across the country”.

Sylva added that Nigeria was richly endowed with mineral resources, specifically, hydrocarbons, crude oil and natural gas with proven gas reserves of over 200 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, which he said had presented the country with opportunity to use gas as a catalyst for social economy renaissance.

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