- Nigeria on Growth Path, Says Ovia
ZENITH Bank Plc Chairman Jim Ovia has praised the Federal Government’s economic team for pulling the economy out of recession, saying the country’s economic outlook showed that it is now on a growth trajectory.
Ovia, who spoke while giving his goodwill message at the Deloitte in Dialogue Nigeria Economic Outlook 2019, at the Civic Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos, said he based his commendation on two key points – ease of doing business and the nation’s inflation rate.
He said the economic team has performed well on the nation’s remarkable improvement on the ease of doing business index, according the two ministers at the event – the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed and her counterpart in Budget and National Planning, Senator Udo Udoma, as well as the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Okechukwu Enalamah and the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele.
While commending the senior government officials, Ovia urged them to work harder to further improve the nation’s ranking on the ease of doing business index, adding that “the target for the ease of doing business for Nigeria in 2019 in terms of ranking, should be single digit.
“We are no longer in recession and we have been able to manage the rate of inflation. The outlook for the nation shows that we are now on a growth trajectory,” he said.
On medicare, Ovia said in 2016, Zenith Bank invested over N1.2billion for the purchase of 10 mobile cancer diagnostic and treatment centres (MCC) – the first of its kind anywhere in the world.
The health intervention initiative, he said, was in partnership with a non-profit organisation-the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy (CECP), adding that the MCC, nicknamed PinkCruise, is a clinic on wheels with state-of-the-art facilities for screening, follow-up and treatment of cancer.
He listed some of the medical activities carried out on the PinkCruise to include Mammography, Endoscopy, Colonoscopy, Colposcopy, Cryotherapy, Laboratory, Vaccination and Surgeries for pre-cancer/early stage detection.
He said in 2017, the first four of the pilot set of Mobile Cancer Centres were delivered and handed over to the CECP. “The pilot phase of the ‘BIG WAR’ Against Cancer in Nigeria campaign was scheduled to start in the four old regions in Nigeria, that is, East (PH); Mid-West (Asaba); North (Abuja); and West (Lagos). The inaugural outreach started on Sunday, November 5, 2017 through Friday, November 10, 2017.
“The medical PinkCruise was deployed for the first time in Nigeria with a free cancer diagnosis, free eye and general screening and treatment in the town of Agbor, Ika South Local Government Area of Delta State. Some beneficiaries also came from the neighboring towns.
“So far, at least 5000 men, women and children have been screened using the Zenith Bank sponsored medical PinkCruise. It is estimated that over 30,000 persons would have been screened by end of 2019.
“In continuation of the fight against cancer, Mission PinkCruise will follow a year-long roster of health outreaches, covering all of Lagos State. To find out when the free medical mission will get to your domain in 2019, people are required to log to the roster of activities online at www.pinkcruise.org. or https://www.zenithbank.com/lagos-state-pilot-programe-12-months-schedule-of-mission-pinkcruise.pdf.,” he said.
South Africa’s iGas, PetroSA and Strategic Fuel Fund Merge to Create South African National Petroleum Company
The South African Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) has announced the merger of Central Energy Fund (CEF) subsidiaries iGas, PetroSA and the Strategic Fuel Fund (SFF).
The merger will be effective from 1 April 2021 and the new company will be called the South African National Petroleum Company.
The merger, driven by the pursuit of implementing a new company that has a streamlined operating model via the development of a shared services system and a common information platform, comes a few months after cabinet approval and the confirmation that PetroSA had incurred losses of R20 billion since 2014.
Additional factors which prompted the move included the determination to strengthen PetroSA which had not had a permanent CEO in five years prior to the appointment of CEO Ishmael Poolo last and, had become majorly ungainful since its failure to secure gas for the gas-to-liquids refinery project in Mossel Bay.
While the merger deadline has been set, the portfolio committee expressed reservations to the department’s likelihood of meeting the deadline, considering the existing legislative regime, pending issues raised in the SFF and PetroSA forensic reports, as well as PetroSA’s current insolvency and liquidity challenges, the official press statement on the briefing revealed.
“South Africa’s energy sector is entering a new dawn,” said NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman of the African Energy Chamber. “With gas discoveries off the coast and the announcement of the REIPPP programme bid window 5 and 6 on the horizon, now is the most opportune time for the merger of the CEF subsidiaries. Of course, it is not an easy task and delays may be anticipated but, this move signals a real change towards a meaningful strategy that will not only be beneficial to the DMRE but to potential investors and local development as well.”
The African Energy Chamber welcomes this move and acknowledges that this is yet another step supporting the country’s determination to restarting the engines of sustainable growth and the transformation of energy policy and infrastructure.
Crude Oil Hits $71.34 After Saudi Largest Oil Facilities Were Attacked
Brent Crude Oil Rises to $71.34 Following Missile Attack on Saudi Largest Oil Facilities
Brent crude, against which Nigerian oil is priced, jumped to $71.34 a barrel on Monday during the Asian trading session following a report that Saudi Arabia’s largest oil facilities were attacked by missiles and drones fired on Sunday by Houthi military in Yemen.
On Monday, the Saudi energy ministry said one of the world’s largest offshore oil loading facilities at Ras Tanura was attacked and a ballistic missile targeted Saudi Aramco facilities.
“One of the petroleum tank areas at the Ras Tanura Port in the Eastern Region, one of the largest oil ports in the world, was attacked this morning by a drone, coming from the sea,” the ministry said in a statement released by the official Saudi Press Agency.
It also stated that shrapnel from a ballistic missile dropped near Aramco’s residential compound in Eastern Dhahran.
“Such acts of sabotage do not only target the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, but also the security and stability of energy supplies to the world, and therefore, the global economy,” a ministry spokesman said in a statement on state media.
Oil price surged because the market interpreted the occurrence as supply sabotage given Saudi is the largest OPEC producer. A decline in supply is positive for the oil industry.
However, Brent crude oil pulled back to $69.49 per barrel at 12:34 pm Nigerian time because of the $1.9 trillion stimulus packed passed in the U.S.
Market experts are projecting that the stimulus will boost the United States economy and support U.S crude oil producers in the near-term, this they expect to boost crude oil production from share and disrupt OPEC strategy.
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.
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