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Nigeria, Morocco Gas Pipeline to Supply 15 Countries



  • Nigeria, Morocco Gas Pipeline to Supply 15 Countries

Nigeria and Morocco have completed the feasibility study for the construction of the 5,660km Nigeria-Morocco Gas Pipeline and the facility will supply gas to at least 15 countries in West Africa, the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Maikanti Baru, announced on Monday.

Baru also stated that pre-Front End Engineering Design optimisation study for the pipeline was currently ongoing, adding that the facility would boost the region’s industries when completed.

This is coming as the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu, announced that African countries were mobilising about $2bn to develop a financing body that will fund the energy sector.

Both the NNPC boss and the minister spoke at the Nigeria International Petroleum Summit in Abuja which had senior government officials from across Africa, Europe and America.

In his address at the summit, Baru said, “We need to collaborate especially in the area of infrastructure. Today, Nigeria and Morocco are collaborating to construct a gas pipeline that will traverse at least 15 West African countries with intake and offtake points in the various countries before it links with the existing Maghreb-Europe gas pipeline in Northern Morocco. The feasibility study has been concluded and the pre-FEED optimisation study is currently ongoing.

“This pipeline will help in the industrialisation of these countries. It will also meet the needs of consumers for heating and other uses. We see gas as a fuel to take Africa to the next level. New gas discoveries have been recorded offshore Senegal, Mauritania, Mozambique and are in various stages of development.”

He added, “Nigeria is also targeting to take FID on LNG Train 7 this year. So African countries need to collaborate and trade among each other not only in terms of oil and gas but also in other key sectors so that the multiplier effect is seen across our various economies.”

On his part, Kachikwu, who doubles as the President of African Petroleum Producers Organisation, stated that APPO was sourcing for about $2bn for an energy corporation.

He said, “We are presently looking at expanding the role of a particular financing body that we are going to be calling the African Energy Investment Corporation. The whole idea is to mobilise between $1bn and $2bn of resources to fund all the essentials necessary for us to properly collaborate.

“Today, most African countries are silos, everybody does their own thing; you build your own refineries, plants, gas turbines, etc. If we could just cross the Rubicon and be able to extend hands of infrastructural relationship across Africa, build joint pipelines, plants and refineries; begin to protect the African market, we would have taken a huge step, not only in the development of Africa but to the stabilisation of independent countries.”

The minister, however, noted that the oil sector in Africa was facing some challenges.

Kachikwu said, “On the challenge side, certain things jump out; such as shale, oil pricing, investment limitation, President Trump and so many other things. At the opportunity side, so many other things are going. However, with the opportunities arise challenges, especially those to do with the environment.

“Unless you get your policies right, unless you get your market place right, unless you get your collaborative mechanisms right and get your infrastructure right, you would face a huge amount of challenge in the competition for the very scarce resources and scarce capital.”

Kachikwu stated that aside from Nigeria’s effort in domestic gas supply, the country was also expanding frontiers in the export market.

He confirmed Baru’s position and stated that the Federal Government had executed the Memorandum of Understanding between NNPC and the Office National des Hydrocarbures et des Mines Morocco for collaboration in the construction of a gas pipeline from Nigeria to Morocco.

“The NGMP feasibility study was completed in July 2018 and the FEED Phase 1 scope is expected to be completed by end of Q1, 2019,” the minister said.

On the skills in Nigeria’s oil and gas sector, Kachikwu stated that over 90 per cent of the oil majors’ workforce was Nigerians.

“This means that some of the best skill sets are here. One of the things I found going into the NNPC in 2015 was that every detail of capability that you need to run a global company sat in NNPC. They are much trained, very well exposed. We have issues in terms of policies, but in terms of skill sets, we are solid,” the minister added.

He further noted that Africa’s place as a significant producer and net exporter of oil in the world was forecast to grow by about 15 per cent by 2020 due to new discoveries in some Sub-Saharan countries.

Kachikwu stated that in the last five years, nearly 30 per cent of the world’s oil and gas discoveries were in Sub-Saharan Africa, adding that it was estimated that Africa oil and gas would increase by 74 per cent by 2050.

“We need the right policies, the right partnerships and the right investments. And now is the only time,” he said.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.


Electricity Consumers Get 611,231 Meters Under MAP Scheme



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Electricity Consumers Get 611,231 Meters Under MAP Scheme

A total of 611,231 meters have been deployed as at January 31, 2021 under the Meter Asset Provider initiative since its full operation despite the COVID-19 pandemic and other extraneous factors, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission has said.

NERC disclosed this in a consultation paper on the review of the MAP Regulations.

The proposed review of the MAP scheme is coming nearly four months after the Federal Government launched a new initiative called National Mass Metering Programme aimed at distributing six million meters to consumers free of charge.

“The existence of a huge metering gap and the need to ensure successful implementation of the MYTO 2020 Service-Based Tariff resulted in the approval of the NMMP, a policy of the Federal Government anchored on the provision of long-term low interest financing to the Discos,” NERC said.

The commission had in March 2018 approved the MAP Regulations with the aim of fast-tracking the closure of the metering gap in the sector through the engagement of third-party investors (called meter asset providers) for the financing, procurement, supply, installation and maintenance of meters.

It set a target of providing meters to all customers within three years, and directed the Discos and the approved MAPs to commence the rollout of meters not later than May 1, 2019.

But in February 2020, NERC said several constraints, including changes in fiscal policy and the limited availability of long-term funding, had led to limited success in meter rollout.

NERC, in the consultation paper, highlighted three proposed options for metering implementation going forward.

The first option is to allow the implementation of both the NMMP and MAP metering frameworks to run concurrently; the second is to continue with the current MAP framework with meters procured under the NMMP supplied only through MAPs (by being off-takers from the local manufacturers/assemblers).

The third option is to wind down the MAP framework and allow the Discos to procure meters directly from local manufacturers/assemblers (or as procured by the World Bank), and enter into new contracts for the installation and maintenance of such meters.

“Customers who choose not to wait to receive meters based on the deployment schedule of the NMMP shall continue to have the option of making upfront payments for meters which will be installed within a maximum period of 10 working days,” NERC said.

The regulator said such customers would be refunded by the Discos through energy credits, adding that there would be no option for meter acquisition through the payment of a monthly meter service charge.

“Where meters have already been deployed under the meter service charge option, Discos shall make one-off repayment to affected customers and associated MAPs. Such meters shall be recognised in the rate base of the Discos,” it added.

NERC urged stakeholders to provide comments, objections, and representations on the proposed amendments within 21 days of the publication of the consultation paper.

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Nigeria’s Economy Moving in Right Direction but Slow – Amina Mohammed



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Nigeria’s Economy Moving in Right Direction but Slow – Amina Mohammed

Nigeria is moving in the right direction economically but its movement is not fast, the United Nations stated on Thursday.

Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, Amina Mohammed, said this during a meeting at the headquarters of the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment in Abuja.

She said the challenges in Nigeria were huge, its population large but described the country’s economy as great with lots of opportunities.

The UN scribe stated that after traveling by train and through various roads in the Northern parts of Nigeria, she discovered that the roads were motorable, although there were ongoing repairs on some of them.

Mohammed said, “This is a country that is diverse in nature, ethnicity, religious backgrounds and opportunities. But these are its strengths, not weaknesses.

“And I think the narrative for Nigeria has to change to one that is very much the reality.”

Speaking on her trips across parts of Nigeria, she said, “What I saw along the way is really a country that is growing, that is moving in the right direction economically. Is it fast enough? No. Is it in the right direction? Yes it is.

“And the challenges still remain with security, our social cohesion and social contract between government and the people. But I know that people are working on these issues.”

She said the UN recognised the reforms in Nigeria and other nations, adding that the common global agenda was the Sustainable Development Goals.

Mohammad commended Nigeria’s quick response to the COVID-19 pandemic, as she expressed hope that the arrival of vaccines would be the beginning of the end of COVID-19.

On his part, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Adeniyi Adebayo, told his guest that the Federal Government was working hard to make Nigeria the entrepreneurial hub of Africa.

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N10.7tn Spent on Fuel Subsidy in 10 Years – MOMAN



petrol Oil

N10.7tn Spent on Fuel Subsidy in 10 Years – MOMAN

Nigeria spent a total of N10.7tn on fuel subsidy in the last 10 years, the Chairman, Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria, Mr Adetunji Oyebanji, has said.

Oyebanji, who was the guest speaker at the 18th Aret Adams Lecture on Thursday, said N750bn was spent on subsidy in 2019.

He highlighted the need for a transition to a market-driven environment through policy-backed legislative and commercial frameworks, enabling the sustainability of the downstream petroleum sector.

“Total deregulation is more than just the removal of price subsidies; it is aimed at improving business operations, increasing the investments in the oil and gas sector value chain, resulting in the growth in the nation’s downstream petroleum sector as a whole,” he said.

The managing director of 11 Plc (formerly Mobil Oil Nigeria Plc) said steps had been taken, “but larger and faster leaps are now required.”

According to him, deregulation requires the creation of a competitive market environment, and will guarantee the supply of products at commercial and market prices.

“It requires unrestricted and profitable investments in infrastructure, earning reasonable returns to investors. It requires a strong regulator to enable transparency and fair competition among players, and not to regulate prices,” Oyebanji said.

He noted that MOMAN had recently called for a national debate by stakeholders to share pragmatic and realistic initiatives to ease the impact of the subsidy removal on society – especially on the most vulnerable.

He said, “A shift from crude oil production to crude oil full value realisation through deliberate investment in domestic refining and refined products distribution, creates the opportunity to transform the dynamics of the downstream sector from one of ‘net importer’ to one of ‘net exporter’, spurring the growth of the Nigerian economy.

“Effective reforms and regulations are key drivers for the growth within the refining sector. Non-functional refineries cost Nigeria over $13bn in 2019. If the NNPC refineries were operating at optimal capacity, Nigeria would have imported only 40 per cent of what it consumed in 2019.”

Full deregulation of the downstream sector remains the most glaring boost to potential investors in this space, according to Oyebanji.

He said, “As crude oil prices will fluctuate depending on the prevailing exchange rates, it will be astute to trade in naira to avoid inevitable price swings.

“There needs to be a balance between ensuring the sustainable growth of the crude oil value chain (upstream through downstream) and providing value for the Nigerian consumer and the Nigerian economy.”

He said the philosophy should be for the government to put the legislative and commercial framework in place and let the market develop by itself.

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