- Without Reforms, Nigeria’s Oil Reserves Won’t Increase — Experts
Worried about the state of the nation’s oil and gas industry, stakeholders under the aegis of the Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationists have highlighted the need for reforms in order to attract the investments needed to increase the reserve base.
The Federal Government in 2010 set the target of 40 billion barrels of crude oil reserves and a production of four million barrels per day by 2020.
According to the Department of Petroleum Resources, the nation’s oil reserves stood at 36.971 billion barrels as of the end of 2017.
“Having favourable operational policies is an important ingredient that attracts investors and creates the enabling business environment for any country,” the President, NAPE, Dr Andrew Ejayeriese, said at the ongoing annual conference and exhibition of the association in Lagos.
He noted that in Mexico, investors had successfully bid for acreage and established their presence due to the country’s energy reforms.
According to him, companies including the China National Offshore Oil Corporation, Australia’s BHP, France’s Total, America’s Chevron and ExxonMobil and Japan’s Inpex are taking advantage of the new reforms.
Ejayeriese said, “In the same token, a lot more of our indigenous and foreign firms would emerge or grow bigger with the right petroleum policy reform in place. All of us have heard of the non-assent to the Nigerian Petroleum Industry Governance Bill, a governance segment of the long-awaited Petroleum Industry Bill.
“It is important to state that the current state of the Nigerian oil and gas industry will likely remain the way it is for a long time to come unless there are reforms that will make it globally competitive and in line with current business practices, in addition to taking advantage of the advances in technology.”
The PIB, which seeks to change the organisational structure and fiscal terms governing the industry, suffered setbacks in the 6th and 7th National Assembly.
To fast-track its passage into law, the current National Assembly decided to split the bill into four parts – the PIGB, Petroleum Industry Administration Bill, Petroleum Industry Fiscal Bill and Petroleum Host Community Bill.
After its passage by both the Senate and the House of Representatives, the PIGB was transmitted to the President for assent in July to enable it to become law but President Muhammadu Buhari declined to assent to the bill.
The NAPE president added, “The dream of Nigeria increasing its reserve base will continue to remain a mirage without reforms. One thing is certain: the world will not wait for us.”
According to him, the country is faced with the task of contributing its quota to the world’s energy irrespective of the global oil price or local economy.
He said, “Research into the global energy landscape up to the year 2040 has projected that the world’s demand for power will continue to grow; electricity demand will grow twice as fast as that for transportation; fossil fuel will dominate the energy use and energy-related greenhouse emissions will rise by 14 per cent in the next 20 years.
“For us in Nigeria, crude oil will continue to remain the largest contributor to our energy demand, while other petroleum products will continue to be of significant use in the manufacture of plastics, electronics and other industries and household items.”
Nigeria, Morocco sign MOUs on Hydrocarbons, Others
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.
Dangote Fertiliser Plant to Commence Shipment of Urea in March 2021
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.
UK Budget 2021: Will Sunak’s Budget Run Into Unintended Consequences?
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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