- OPEC Calls for Adherence to Oil Output Deal
The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has called on its member countries as well as non-OPEC countries led by the Russian Federation to conform fully to the oil production curb agreement they reached to rebalance the global oil market.
OPEC said conformity to the output cut deal it reached under the Declaration of Cooperation (DoC) with non-members was 168 per cent in April 2019, adding that average conformity reached 120 per cent since January 2019.
However, Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Energy, Industry, and Petroleum Resources, Khalid Al-Falih, said at the recently held 14th Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee (JMMC) meeting of the group in Jeddah, that it was important for all signatories to the deal to fully conform.
Al-Falih added: “Our shared goal of market stability, which clearly benefits everyone including consumers, has made the Declaration of Cooperation credible, responsive, and highly effective.
“I would, however, sound a note of caution. We can’t allow our collective success to mask individual under-performance.
“Conformity should never be presumed and must be evenly distributed. My hope is that the vigorous participation of select countries, and its visible results, have shown the full potential of OPEC+ if everyone plays a full role. Cohesion and its practical demonstration are the true keys to success, be it conformity or more broadly acting in unison,” said Al-Falih.
The Saudi minister also hinted that OPEC and its allies would not be hasty in taking decisions about the DoC in their upcoming meeting. He said developments in the market were foggy and needed to be studies patiently.
“Putting this all together, while we want to make decisions and not shy away from them, it is critical that we don’t make hasty decisions – given the conflicting data, the complexity involved, and the evolving situation.
“That’s the reason we postponed the April OPEC+ meeting planned for Vienna to June and added this meeting so we could acquire some additional information.
“Taking a little more time and deciding at the June OPEC meeting will allow us to secure even more information to arrive at the best possible decisions. Again, keeping inventories under control will be on our critical path,” he explained.
According to him, OPEC and its allies would, “always done the right thing in the interests of both consumers and producers; and we will do it once again.”
Speaking further on the current situation of the market, Al-Falih stated: “To be frank, the picture is quite foggy, with the market defined by conflicting signals.
“Starting with the global economy, although multilateral institutions have moderated their forecasts of world growth, the levels are still reasonably healthy with the U.S. leading a steady performance while the Chinese economy started the year fairly strongly. But the growing trade dispute between the same two leading global economic powers is casting a shadow over the global economic outlook. This could also have a contagion effect on other nations, which could show in weakening oil demand.”
“Looking at the oil supply side of the equation, some signals point to tightening supplies, while others highlight the healthy pace of U.S. oil production.
“Similarly, on the demand side, there are numerous uncertainties. Some institutions are revising oil demand downward, yet other reports suggest that demand in non-OECD countries (led by China, Russian, and India) alone approached a million barrels per day year-on-year,” he added.
Dangote Cement Refutes Claim it Sells Cement High in Nigeria
Dangote Cement Plc has refuted the widely propagated story that the company sells cement at a significantly higher price in Nigeria compared to other African nations like Zambia and Ghana.
The management of the leading manufacturing company said it sells a bag at N2,450 in Obajana and Gboko, and N2,510 in Ibese, the amounts stated include VAT.
Devakumar Edwin, Dangote’s Group Executive Director, Strategy, Portfolio Development & Capital Projects, who spoke with journalists in Lagos, said the company sells for an equivalent of $5.1, including VAT in Nigeria, it sells for $7.2 in Ghana and $5.95 in Zambia ex-factory, inclusive of all taxes.
Devakumar, therefore, described the allegation as false, misleading, and unfounded, and challenged the media to conduct independent investigation into the price of cement in some other African countries, including Cameroun, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Zambia.
“To ensure that we meet local demand, we had to suspend exports from our recently commissioned export terminals, thereby foregoing dollar earnings.
“We also had to reactivate our 4.5m ton capacity Gboko Plant which was closed 4 years ago and run it at a higher cost all in a bid to guarantee that we meet demand and keep the price of Cement within control in the country.”
“Over the past 15 months, our production costs have gone up significantly. About 50% of our costs are linked to USD so the cost of critical components like: gas, gypsum, bags, and spare parts; has increased significantly due to devaluation of the Naira and VAT increase.
“Despite this, DCP has not increased ex-factory prices since December 2019 till date while prices of most other building materials have gone up significantly.
“We have only adjusted our transport rates to account for higher costs of diesel, spare parts, tyres, and truck replacement. Still, we charge our customers only N300 – 350 per bag for deliveries within a 1,200km radius.
“We have been responsible enough not to even attempt to cash in on the recent rise in demand to increase prices so far,” Devakumar said.
Samsung, Vision Care Begin Fresh CSR Activities, Earmark 12,000 Masks for Nigeria
Samsung Heavy Industries Nigeria Limited (SHIN) and Vision Care, an international relief organization dedicated to the prevention of blindness, have launched fresh Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative to help Nigeria mitigate the impact of COVID-19 pandemic.
Vision Care is a member of the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB), and participant of ‘VISION 2020’, a global initiative of the IAPB and the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Vision Care has since conducted more than 25 Vision Eye Camps yearly and has grown into an international non-profit organisation serving 38 countries throughout Asia, Africa and Central-South America.
Since 2015, SHIN has worked with Vision Care in the yearly Eye Camp as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) to provide free cataract surgeries to Nigerians who cannot afford the payment. SHIN has been sponsoring the eye surgeries of Nigerians on a yearly basis.
In 2019, SHIN sponsored the eye surgeries of at least 115 Nigerian patients and 224 outward patients as part of its CSR in Nigeria.
Since it started the programme, SHIN has sponsored the eye surgeries of 572 Nigerian patients, 1,593 outward patients and has also donated glasses to 99 patients.
Due to outbreak of the COVID-19 Pandemic, the yearly Eye Camp for 2021 had been called off to adhere to Federal Government’s measures in response to the virus.
Consequently, SHIN and Vision Care came up with a fresh CSR initiative this year to donate 496 bags of rice (25kg) and 12,000 reusable face masks to three states in the country to fulfill their commitment of contributing to the society.
The items will be delivered later this month.
The three states that will benefit from the donation are Lagos, Kano and Bayelsa states.
Out of the 496 bags of rice, and 12,000 facemasks, Lagos will receive 96 bags of rice and 200 masks.
SHIN also stated that Kano State will receive 200 bags of rice and 5,000 masks, while Bayelsa State will get 200 bags and 5,000 masks.
“This is an additional CSR activity from SHI in addition to SHIN’s donation of 5,000 COVID-19 test kits from Korea. The washable masks that the head office has purchased from Korea are certified to retain its effectiveness against COVID-19 transmission for up to 50 washes,” SHIN said in a statement.
Senate Summons NICON, AIICO, Others Over N17.4bn Pension Remittances
The Senate Public Accounts Committee has summoned the management of the NICON Insurance Plc, AIICO Insurance and other insurance companies over their alleged failure to remit N17.4bn pension fund to the Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate.
The Senate hinged the summon on the 2016 report of the Auditor-General for the Federation which unraveled the alleged non-remittance of N17.4bn pension fund to PTAD.
Appearing before the panel on Monday, the Executive Secretary of PTAD, Dr Chioma Ejikeme, informed the lawmakers that PTAD took over the assets and liabilities of the defunct pension offices without a formal handing over.
She said, “On taking over, the directorate wrote all underwriters to make returns and remit whatever amount that was in their custody into a CBN dedicated account.
“Some of the underwriters responded to the request while some did not.
“The bank certificate of balances, accounting statements, three years financial statements and policy files requested by the federal auditor were not handed over to PTAD at the time of consolidation.
“It is worthy to note that we discovered that N17.4bn which comprised of cash, securities and properties from the nine insurance underwriters was unremitted as a result of the letter PTAD sent to them.
“These figures represent the claims by the underwriters with regards to their indebtedness.
“In order to ascertain the true position of legacy funds in custody of underwriters, the directorate appointed a consultant in 2018 who carried out forensic audit of nine out the 12 insurance underwriters and produced a final report on the recovery of the legacy funds and assets for PTAD.”
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