- NNPC Embarks on Healthcare Venture to Reduce Medical Tourism
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has teed-off a major national healthcare intervention project designed to halt medical tourism to foreign destinations through the provision of state-of-the-art hospitals and diagnostic centres across the country.
Details of the medical venture plans published in the Q3 2018 Edition of the NNPC Magazine indicated that the corporation has set a five-year gestation period for the project to achieve substantial impact in Nigeria’s healthcare delivery system.
The NNPC quarterly publication reported that the healthcare project is in three parts. The first is Occupational Health designed to specifically service NNPC staff, their dependents and retirees. All current NNPC clinics fall under this scheme and are presently being upgraded to reflect the new realities.
The second scheme involves some key NNPC hospitals like the erstwhile Abuja International Diagnostic Centre (AIDC) and the Benoni Hospital in Benin City which are being equipped to service both NNPC staff and outsiders because of their projected excess capacity.
The third leg of the medical project which has been designated as ‘new business’ involves locations where state-of-the-art hospitals and diagnostic centers will be constructed on NNPC unutilized lands in Kaduna, Mosimi and Port Harcourt for commercial purposes.
NNPC Group Managing Director, Dr. Maikanti Baru, said he was delighted by the development being spearheaded by the NNPC Medicals, saying the project would impact on the bottom line of the corporation in the long run.
According to NNPC’s statement that made this disclosure on Thursday, Baru affirmed that apart from the financial benefits the project promises, it also underlined the progress being made in the transformation efforts to reposition NNPC as a fully integrated company of the future.
The NNPC Magazine’s report further informed that the icing on the cake is the erstwhile Abuja International Diagnostic Centre which is being reconfigured to assume the status of a national flagship medical mall.
Upon completion, the centre will warehouse top class health care providers in cardiovascular, oncology, renal dialysis, radiology and lab services.
The dream, it was gathered, is essentially to make AIDC a hub for other clinics through telemedicine.
This process allows the remote delivery of healthcare services, such as health assessments or consultations with the support of telecommunications and information technology infrastructure. It will enable the healthcare providers to evaluate, diagnose and treat patients without the need for an in-person visit.
Babatunde Adeniran, Chief Operating Officer, NNPC Ventures, said the new-found medical vision was modeled as well as inspired in part by successes recorded in other jurisdictions like Saudi Arabia, where the state oil company, Saudi Aramco, partners John Hopkins to provide best medical care for its staff and residents of other Middle East countries.
“NNPC has 52 clinics/hospitals, the largest network of healthcare facilities in Nigeria which is enough capacity for us to build on, upgrade the facilities and achieve our commercialization dream. The aim is to reduce to zero, medical tourism and the accompanied capital flight with a view to retaining the money in Nigeria while also improving NNPC’s revenue,’’ he said.
Musa Shaibu, veteran Occupational Health Physician and Managing Director of NNPC Medical Services Limited (NMSL), told the NNPC Magazine that the corporation was harnessing its strong brand name and market place identity to achieve remarkable results in the pursuit of medical excellence.
“The NNPC name is huge, it is a golden name and as we are going into healthcare delivery in the name of NNPC, it is going to be a huge advantage. Don’t forget that, over the years, because we have been in the practice, we have interfaced with the best in healthcare delivery across the world. We know what to do and how to achieve result,’’ he said.
Oil Prices Recover Slightly Amidst Demand Concerns in U.S. and China
Oil Prices Continue Slide as Market Skepticism Grows Over OPEC+ Cuts
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.
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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