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IOCs Reluctant to Sell Flare Gas to Third Parties – FG

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  • IOCs Reluctant to Sell Flare Gas to Third Parties – FG

International oil companies that are involved in the flaring of gas in Nigeria are often reluctant to sell the commodity to third parties, the Federal Government has said.

It was gathered that the oil producers preferred to pay the tiny cost incurred in gas flaring, rather than to deal with a third-party investor that might be interested in off-taking the commodity.

Flare gas is essentially associated gas that is produced with oil, as they both come out of the ground. But flare gas pollutes the environment, causing sickness and other environmental hazards, particularly in locations where these IOCs operate, like in the Niger Delta.

“Although the Federal Government owns the flare gas and has the power to take it, oil producers have, up till now, treated flare gas as if it is their own, to sell or to flare as they choose,” the Programme Manager, Nigeria Gas Flare Commercialisation Programme, Justice Derefaka, said.

In a copy of the presentation he made at the 3rd Lawyers in Oil and Gas conference in Lagos, Derefaka explained that IOCs were reluctant to sell flare gas because the cost of gas flaring to a producer had been tiny and tax deductible.

The presentation, which was entitled, ‘The Impact of Government Regulatory Policy and the Road to Sustainable Economic Growth Through The Lens of the NGFCP,’ was made available to our correspondent in Abuja on Wednesday.

The programme manager for the NGFCP said, “Typically producers have been reluctant to sell to third parties, preferring to make the miniscule flare payment than have the operational hassles of dealing with third parties, the poor technical gas evacuation system and the poor gas payment record.

“The result is that the low hanging fruit has been fully picked for producers’ own projects, and the higher hanging fruit, i.e. the 178 flare sites left, have been ignored.”

Derefaka, however, noted that “under the new regulations approved in 2018, the Federal Government has asserted its right to take gas free at the flare and will auction it off to third parties. Those third parties will have surety of title from the Federal Government. Under the regulations, flare payments have been increased substantially.”

Historically, associated gas is regarded as a waste product, as the commodity was separated from the oil and flared in situ.

Meanwhile oil was piped to local refineries or for export and progressively associated gas has been captured or harnessed and used for power generation; in industry for fertiliser, methanol and petrochemical plants; and for production of liquefied petroleum gas (and liquefied natural gas.

However, flare capture is expensive, therefore it is often only done at production sites where there are economies of scale

Derefaka noted that there had been no teeth in the flare payment structure that was set in 1998 at N10/million standard cubic feet, which was approximately $0.50 in 1998

He observed that currently, this flare payment sum had been eroded by inflation, as “the value of that flare payment today is approximately $0.028/mscf.”

He added, “This has equated to a total of about $8m in flare payments for 2017. The moral hazard is that these are tax-deductible which, at 85 per cent tax rate, means that the Federal Government received net $1.2m (gross export revenue of crude oil in 2017 was $33bn).

“This net figure expressed as an average cost per barrel of crude oil produced is less than $0.002 (one fifth of a US cent).”

But Derefaka noted that the 2018 regulations required a higher flare payment, expressed in $/mscf, adding that a legislative change was being developed to make the flare payment non-tax-deductible.

“The Flare Gas (Prevention of Waste and Pollution) Regulations 2018 has been approved by Mr. President and gazetted to underpin the implementation of the NGFCP. It was approved on July 5, 2018, and gazetted on 9th July, 2018,” he 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.

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Shoprite: New Investor Assures Nigerian Consumers of Improved Services

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Shoprite - Investors King

Following the acquisition deal between Retail Supermarkets Nigeria Limited (RSNL), owner and operator of the Shoprite stores in Nigeria, and Ketron Investment Limited, the new investor has assured consumers of robust services in the years ahead.

Ketron, a Nigerian company owned by a group of institutional investors led by Persianas Investment Limited, recently acquired the supermarket brand.

The divestment by Shoprite International was in line with its strategy to change from an ownership model to a franchise model. This change in ownership has also received the approval of the Nigerian regulator the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC).

Speaking on the acquisition, Chairman, Ketron Investment Limited, Tayo Amusan said, “We are thrilled to complete the acquisition of Shoprite, ensuring the continued operations of one of the biggest retail success stories in Nigeria. We look forward to building an even stronger company following our acquisition and are excited about the greater impact we will achieve to the benefit of our customers and other stakeholders now and well into the future.”

Since its launch in Lagos in December 2005, Shoprite has expanded to 25 outlets across eleven states and Abuja, FCT.

According to the terms of the acquisition, Ketron acquired 100 per cent ownership of Shoprite in Nigeria and will continue operations across all existing outlets. It also plans to open additional stores and introduce more Nigerian-made products in the stores. This he noted, will also result in more opportunities for Nigerians.

“It is our vision to create fundamental change for the better within Nigeria,” said Amusan. “With benefits from our knowledge of the ever-evolving Nigerian retail marketplace, well-grounded social and economic research, and hands-on experience from our team, we are confident that this acquisition will foster a robust and sustainable business model for the ultimate benefit of all stakeholders,” he concluded.

Professional services firms, KPMG Advisory Services, MBO Capital Management Limited and Banwo & Ighodalo advised Ketron on the deal. CEO, MBO Capital, Jide Ogundare, stated that the deal signalled an opportunity for Ketron to uphold a thriving business.

“It will be hard work,” he said, “but with the plans we have in place, and with the support of the larger Shoprite family in Nigeria including our staff and every Nigerian shopper that walks through our doors, we are confident of success.”

Shoprite Holdings is Africa’s largest food retailer, operating 2,843 supermarkets in 15 countries and serving 35 million customers in Africa and the Indian Ocean Islands. At the moment, Shoprite Nigeria’s supply chain includes more than 300 leading Nigerian suppliers, and boasts small businesses and farmers among its partners and suppliers.

Ketron said Shoprite International will continue as technical advisers and Ketron will sustain the relationships established by Shoprite over the last decade and a half while ensuring a smooth “transfer of values.”

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CBN Offers Assistant In Printing Gambia’s Currency

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Godwin Emefiele CBN - Investors King

The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, has said that the bank is willing to assist the Central Bank of the Gambia to print its legal tender.

Emefiele said this in Abuja on Tuesday during a two-day visit by a delegation from the Central Bank Of Gambia, led by its governor, Mr. Buah Saidy.

This was in response to a request by the CBG for a possible partnership to tackle acute currency shortages among other currency management challenges in the country.

Saidy informed the CBN governor that relying on its current printer, De La Rue of London, for its currency needs was expensive and unsustainable.

He explained that it costs the bank about £70,000 to lift printed currencies from Sri Lanka to the Gambia.

In response, the CBN Governor assured his visitors that the bank had an extremely competitive advantage to undertake the currency printing for  Gambia, adding that the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting had a lot of idle capacity to satisfy the demand of the CBG.

He said, “I note your point on currency management. The Nigerian mint was set up in the early 1960s and we’ve been producing our currency since the early 60s and we have a lot of idle capacity to ensure that instead of you going to Europe or other countries, you will be able to benefit from our ideas.

“Our colleagues will take you to the security printing facility. Our colleagues that came in from Liberia two months ago were fascinated by the kind of facilities we have at our security printing and minting facility and I am sure that you will also enjoy them.

“And I am sure they will follow you back to the Gambia to see how they can help you to structure your economic order quantities so we can also be of assistance in printing your currency.

“And I can assure you that we can be extremely competitive if only from the standpoint of logistics and freight from Europe but it’s just going to be a few hours from here to the Gambia and the rest of them.”

The CBG Governor also noted that one of the purposes of the visit was to benefit from the CBN’s vast experiences on how it had successfully regulated the financial system and sought assistance in the areas of information technology, modernisation, cybersecurity, forex shipping and management, among others.

Emefiele in response attributed the successes to the support which the apex bank had enjoyed from the National Assembly.

He said, “On the issue of the CBN independence, I thank you for the kind words. But I think the point is that we thank our own parliament. Our parliament has been extremely supportive of the CBN.”

He, therefore, advised the CBG to work with its parliament to create laws that would provide the independence needed.

Emefele further stated that the apex bank was not sparing any effort to address issues of supply management to ensure economic growth.

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Ardova to Acquire 100 Percent Stake in Enyo Retail and Supply Limited

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Olumide Adeosun Ardova - Investors King

Ardova, an indigenous energy company headquartered in Lagos, Nigeria, with extended operations in Ghana, has reached an agreement with Enyo Retail and Supply Holding Limited to acquire a 100 percent equity stake in Enyo Retail and Supply Limited.

This announcement follows the execution of a share purchase agreement by the two companies.

The company disclosed in a statement signed by Oladeinde Nelson-Cole, Company Secretary/General Counsel, Ardova Plc.

The statement highlighted the parties’ commitment to closing the transaction in line with the share purchase agreement, as soon as agreed closing conditions are satisfied, and regulatory approval is received.

Stanbic IBTC Capital Limited and Banwo & Ighodalo are acting as Financial and Legal Advisers respectively to AP, while Rand Merchant Bank and Herbert Smith Freehills Paris LLP are acting as Financial and Legal Advisers to ERSHL and certain of its shareholders.

Olumide Adeosun, Chief Executive Officer of AP, stated that “On completion, this acquisition will lead to a stronger downstream energy group that benefits from the increased customer reach and service delivery excellence of both companies, with the combination expected to produce stronger financial results.”

Ardova Plc and Enyo Retail & Supply Limited will communicate details of future progress made on this acquisition.

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