- State MDAs Frustrating Access to Telecommunications — NCC
State Ministries, Departments and Agencies are hampering access to telecommunications, the Nigerian Communications Commission has said.
Executive Commissioner, Stakeholder Management, at NCC, Mr Sunday Dare, said this at a stakeholders’ parliament in Lokoja on Thursday.
Dare who was represented at the event with the theme ‘Optimising the benefits of telecoms infrastructure in Nigeria’ by Deputy Director, Legal and Regulatory Services, Mr Tobbi. Mohammed, said various policies and actions of state MDAs were inimical to accessing telecommunications services.
He listed some of the actions of the states that hinder access to telecommunications services to include failure to grant approval for citing base stations, inordinate charges, delays and outright denial of right-of-way and shutting down of base stations.
The NCC helmsman said that such actions deny citizens access to telecommunications which the states and their agencies should be promoting.
Dare said the shutting down of one base stations in one state was capable of affecting services in a number of states, especially if the affected base station was a hub.
He said, “In this regard, we are concerned that preparations for this parliament were unfortunately overshadowed by events in the past two weeks which saw Kogi State Internal Revenue Agency sealing up some Base Transceiver Stations sites around the state.
“To emphasise the interconnectedness of the national telecoms network, we should note that although less than 20 BTS sites were shut down, but because many of them were ‘hub’ sites, their being ‘off-line’ immediately affected over 150 BTS sites in Nasarawa, Benin, Enugu, Anambra, Edo, Ondo, Ekiti, Kwara, Niger State and the FCT.
“This led to outages and service degradation which affected millions of innocent telecoms users across these other states.
“If we were to quantify the monetary impact of the disruptions to communications, banking (PoS, ATMs, etc.), security, health and other platforms which rely on the infrastructure, I am sure the national economy would have lost billions of Naira during that short period. We must avoid this kind of disruptions at all costs.”
Speaking at the event, Kogi State Director of Urban and Regional Planning Board, Rikiya Ibrahim, urged mobile operators and other telecommunications service providers to consult relevant state agencies in their operations.
Ibrahim said proper consultation was necessary to forestall confrontation that could result in the shutting down of telecommunication facilities.
A Loud Blast Heard in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia’s Largest Crude Oil Production Site
Loud Blast Heard in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia’s Largest Crude Oil Production Site
Two residents from the eastern city of Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, on Sunday said they heard a loud blast, but they are yet to know the cause, according to a Reuters report.
Saudi’s Eastern province is home to the kingdom’s largest crude oil production and export facilities of Saudi Aramco.
A blast in any of the facilities in that region could hurt global oil supplies and bolster oil prices above $70 per barrel in the first half of the year.
One of the residents said the explosion took place around 8:30 pm Saudi time while the other resident claimed the time was around 8:00 pm.
However, Saudi authorities are yet to confirm or respond to the story.
Brent Crude Oil Approaches $70 Per Barrel on Friday
Nigerian Oil Approaches $70 Per Barrel Following OPEC+ Production Cuts Extension
Brent crude oil, against which Nigerian oil is priced, rose to $69 on Friday at 3:55 pm Nigerian time.
Oil price jumped after OPEC and allies, known as OPEC plus, agreed to role-over crude oil production cuts to further reduce global oil supplies and artificially sustain oil price in a move experts said could stoke inflationary pressure.
Brent crude oil rose from $63.86 per barrel on Wednesday to $69 per barrel on Friday as energy investors became more optimistic about the oil outlook.
While certain experts are worried that U.S crude oil production will eventually hurt OPEC strategy once the economy fully opens, few experts are saying production in the world’s largest economy won’t hit pre-pandemic highs.
According to Vicki Hollub, the CEO of Occidental, U.S oil production may not return to pre-pandemic levels given a shift in corporates’ value.
“I do believe that most companies have committed to value growth, rather than production growth,” she said during a CNBC Evolve conversation with Brian Sullivan. “And so I do believe that that’s going to be part of the reason that oil production in the United States does not get back to 13 million barrels a day.”
Hollub believes corporate organisations will focus on optimizing present operations and facilities, rather than seeking growth at all costs. She, however, noted that oil prices rebounded faster than expected, largely due to China, India and United States’ growing consumption.
“The recovery looks more V-shaped than we had originally thought it would be,” she said. Occidental previous projection had oil production recovering to pre-pandemic levels by the middle of 2022. The CEO Now believes demand will return by the end of this year or the first few months of 2022.
“I do believe we’re headed for a much healthier supply and demand environment” she said.
Oil Jumps to $67.70 as OPEC+ Extends Production Cuts
Oil Jumps to $67.70 as OPEC+ Extends Production Cuts
Brent crude oil, against which Nigerian oil is priced, rose to $67.70 per barrel on Thursday following the decision of OPEC and allies, known as OPEC+, to extend production cuts.
OPEC and allies are presently debating whether to restore as much as 1.5 million barrels per day of crude oil in April, according to people with the knowledge of the meeting.
Experts have said OPEC+ continuous production cuts could increase global inflationary pressure with the rising price of could oil. However, Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said “I don’t think it will overheat.”
Last year “we suffered alone, we as OPEC+” and now “it’s about being vigilant and being careful,” he said.
Saudi minister added that the additional 1 million barrel-a-day voluntary production cut the kingdom introduced in February was now open-ended. Meaning, OPEC+ will be withholding 7 million barrels a day or 7 percent of global demand from the market– even as fuel consumption recovers in many nations.
Experts have started predicting $75 a barrel by April.
“We expect oil prices to rise toward $70 to $75 a barrel during April,” said Ann-Louise Hittle, vice president of macro oils at consultant Wood Mackenzie Ltd. “The risk is these higher prices will dampen the tentative global recovery. But the Saudi energy minister is adamant OPEC+ must watch for concrete signs of a demand rise before he moves on production.”
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