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EU Votes N62.6bn to Combat Maritime Crime, Partners Nigeria, ECOWAS

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  • EU Votes N62.6bn to Combat Maritime Crime, Partners Nigeria, ECOWAS

In a bid to tackle piracy, illegal oil bunkering and human trafficking, the European Union has partnered Nigeria and other member countries of the Economic Community of West African States to combat maritime crime in the Gulf of Guinea.

The EU stated that the piracy, armed robbery, smuggling and illegal fishing taking place in the Gulf posed a major threat to maritime security and to the economic development of Nigeria and other countries in the region.

The Head of Cooperation of the EU Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Mr Kurt Cornelis, who said this during the ‘Coordination Meeting of Maritime Security Projects’ organised by the Improved Regional Fisheries Governance Programme in West Africa in Abuja, on Monday, disclosed that the EU had voted €155m (about N62.6bn), for implementation of key ECOWAS strategies.

Cornelis explained that in 2017, the Gulf of Guinea recorded 81 attacks on ships of which 42 were related to piracy and 39 were armed robberies, while 32 seafarers were kidnapped for ransom.

He stated, “The EU is committed to supporting regional efforts towards improving maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea and supporting the development of local capacities of coastal states.

“To this end, EU regional programmes in the Gulf of Guinea dedicated to security are currently worth more than €155m covering not only support to the implementation of key ECOWAS strategies such as the integrated maritime security, but also the regional strategy to fight illicit drug trafficking and the regional policy for fisheries supported by the PESCAO project (Improved Regional Fisheries Governance Programme in West Africa).”

The Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security, ECOWAS Commission, Gen. Francis Behanzin, in his remarks, noted that the meeting was part of the operationalisation of the maritime security architecture of the ECOWAS region, which he said was in line with the ECOWAS Integrated Maritime Strategy as adopted by the Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS on March 27, 2014.

The implementation of the strategy, he said, required the participation and collaboration of all stakeholders who collectively assumed responsibility for the ECOWAS maritime domain.

“In the end, ECOWAS constantly keeping in mind that the main objective of the maritime strategy is to support and encourage the creation of greater wealth through the development of a prosperous, stable and environmentally, friendly economy, the output of this meeting is expected with the hope that it will be of benefit to the region,” Behanzin stated.

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

Economy

NNPC Supplies 1.44 Billion Litres of Petrol in January 2021

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The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) supplied a total of 1.44 billion litres of Premium Motor Spirit popularly known as petrol in January 2021.

The corporation disclosed in its latest Monthly Financial and Operations Report (MFOR) for the month of January.

NNPC said the 1.44 billion litres translate to 46.30 million litres per day.

Also, a total of 223.55Billion Cubic Feet (BCF) of natural gas was produced in the month of January 2021, translating to an average daily production of 7,220.22 Million Standard Cubic Feet per Day (mmscfd).

The 223.55BCF gas production figure also represents a 4.79% increase over output in December 2020.

Also, the daily average natural gas supply to gas power plants increased by 2.38 percent to 836mmscfd, equivalent to power generation of 3,415MW.

For the period of January 2020 to January 2021, a total of 2,973.01BCF of gas was produced representing an average daily production of 7,585.78 mmscfd during the period.

Period-to-date Production from Joint Ventures (JVs), Production Sharing Contracts (PSCs) and Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) contributed about 65.20%, 19.97 percent and 14.83 percent respectively to the total national gas production.

Out of the total gas output in January 2021, a total of 149.24BCF of gas was commercialized consisting of 44.29BCF and 104.95BCF for the domestic and export markets respectively.

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Economy

NNPC Says Pipeline Vandalism Decrease by 37.21 Percent in January 2021

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The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) said vandalisation of pipelines across the country reduced by 37.21 percent in the month of January 2021.

This was disclosed in the January 2021 edition of the NNPC Monthly Financial and Operations Report (MFOR).

The report noted that 27 pipeline points were vandalised in January 2021, down from 43 points posted in December 2020.

It also stated that the Mosimi Area accounted for 74 percent of the total vandalised points in Janauray while Kaduna Area and Port Harcourt accounted for the remaining 22 percent and 4 percent respectively.

NNPC said it will continue to engage local communities and other stakeholders to reduce and eventually eliminate the pipeline vandalism menace.

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Economy

Nigeria’s Food Inflation Hits 22.95 Percent in March 2021

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Food inflation in Africa’s largest economy Nigeria rose by 22.95 percent in March 2021, the latest report from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has shown.

Food Index increased at a faster pace when compared to 21.70 percent filed in February 2021.

Increases were recorded in Bread and cereals, Potatoes, yam and other tubers, Meat, Vegetable, Fish, Oils and fats and fruits.

On a monthly basis, the food sub-index grew by 1.90 percent in March 2021. An increase of 0.01 percent points from 1.89 percent recorded in February 2021.

Analysing a more stable inflation trend, the twelve-month ended March 2021, showed the food index averaged 17.93 percent in the last twelve months, representing an increase of 0.68 percent when compared to 17.25 percent recorded in February 2021.

Insecurities amid wide foreign exchange rates and several other bottlenecks that impeded free inflow of imported goods were responsible for the surged in prices of goods and services in March, according to the report.

The Central Bank of Nigeria-led monetary policy committee had attributed the increase in prices to scarcity created by the intermittent clash between herdsmen and farmers across the nation.

However, other factors like unclear economic policies, increased in electricity tariffs, duties, subsidy removal and weak fiscal buffer to moderate the negative effect of COVID-19 on the economy continue to weigh and drag on new investment and expansion of local production despite the Federal Government aggressive call for improvement in domestic production.

Nigeria’s headline inflation rose by 18.17 percent year-on-year in the month under review.

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