- FG Seeks Global Support to Develop Nigeria’s Ocean Economy
The federal government has called on developed nations and corporate bodies to support Africa and other developing countries to build capacity and regulatory enforcement needed to maximise benefits of an ocean economy.
The Chairman of the Association of African Maritime administrations (AAMA) and Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dakuku Peterside, made the call on behalf of the federal government in Oslo, Norway at the commencement of the world renowned Nor Shipping Conference & Exhibition.
The NIMASA boss noted that ocean industries would be contributing to sustainable development goals only when both developing and developed nations benefit in a sustainable manner.
The high level ocean leadership meeting was organised by United Nations Global Compact and the Norwegian government at the residence of the Prime Minister of Norway, as part of activities to mark the 2019 edition of “Nor Shipping” engagements.
Peterside further pointed out that 38 of Africa’s 54 nations are either coastal or island states and therefore are faced with the same challenges as other coastal states globally, such as pollution, climate change, poor ocean governance, overfishing, insecurity and marine litter amongst others.
He particularly advocated that developing and small island states need partnerships in two principal areas of building up their regulatory enforcement capacity and developing amongst them the skills and technology needed to tap into the ocean economy in a sustainable manner.
The AAMA president challenged the private sector companies in offshore exploration and other ocean economic activities to apply the same operating and environmental standards across the globe and not have two different standards, one for developed nations and another for developing nations.
He said: “Applying the same standards will ensure no one is left behind in our collective quest for clean and sustainable ocean that supports economic prosperity. Responsible ocean governance and economic opportunities are not mutually exclusive but complementary.”
The forum discussed the highlights of Global goals, ocean opportunities which is a report of the UN Global Compact as well as the UN Global compact sustainable ocean principles that will be unveiled in September this year in New York.
Also speaking, the Chief Executive Officer, UN Global Compact, Ms. Lise Kingo, said her organisation has a specific mandate to work with and inspire companies of all sizes and from all regions and industries to act responsibly and find opportunities to advance sustainable development.
She said her organisation was encouraged that so many businesses around the world were taking an interest in ocean sustainability work.
Peterside recently stressed the need for greater collaboration to ensure the blue economy becomes the mainstay of the Nigerian economy.
“The blue economy is one critical sector that will create employment for our people, contribute to economic growth, and give opportunities to all our people, whether they be men or women.
“So it is timely and most appropriate that you are focusing on how to get 50 per cent of the continent’s population involved in the blue economy, be it fisheries, fishing, or underwater mining, aquaculture or any of the activities that go on in the blue economy. That totally aligns with our vision of making the blue economy play greater role in the economic growth of our country and our continent,” he said.
Oil Firms Borrowed N130B From Banks in February – CBN
Operators in the downstream, natural gas and crude oil refining sectors of the Nigerian oil and gas industry borrowed N130b from Nigerian banks in February amid the significant rise in global crude oil prices.
The debt owed by the oil and gas companies rose to N4.05tn in February from N3.92bn in January, according to the latest data obtained from the Central Bank of Nigeria on Monday.
Operators in the upstream and services subsectors owed banks N1.26tn in February, down from N1.27tn a month earlier.
The combined debt of N5.31tn owed by oil and gas operators as of February 2021 represents 25.29 percent of the N21tn loans advanced to the private sector by the banks, according to the sectoral analysis by the CBN of deposit money banks’ credit.
Oil and gas firms received the biggest share of the credit from the deposit money banks to the private sector.
The slump in oil prices in 2020 as a result of the coronavirus pandemic hit many oil and gas companies hard, forcing them to slash their capital budgets and suspend some projects.
A global credit rating agency, Moody’s Investors Service, said last month that the outlook for Nigeria’s banking system remains negative, reflecting expectations of rising asset risk and weakening government support capacity over the next 12 to 18 months.
“Nigerian banks’ loan quality will weaken in 2021 as coronavirus support measures implemented by the government and central bank last year, including the loan repayment holiday, are unwound,” said Peter Mushangwe, an analyst at Moody’s.
The rating agency estimated that between 40 percent and 45 percent of banking loans were restructured in 2020, easing pressure on borrowers following the outbreak of the pandemic.
Another global credit rating agency, Fitch Ratings, had noted in a December 8 report that Nigerian bank asset quality had historically fallen with oil prices, with the oil sector representing 28 percent of loans at the end of the first half of 2020.
It said the upstream and midstream segments (nearly seven percent of gross loans) had been particularly affected by low oil prices and production cuts.
“However, the sector has performed better than expected since the start of the crisis, limiting the rise in credit losses this year due to a combination of debt relief afforded to customers, a stabilisation in oil prices, the hedging of financial exposures and the widespread restructuring of loans to the sector following the 2015 crisis,” it said.
The rating agency predicted that Nigerian bank asset quality would weaken over the next 12 to 18 months.
Fall in Economic Activities in Nigeria Created N485.51 Billion Fiscal Deficit in January -CBN
The drop in economic activities in Africa’s largest economy Nigeria led to a N485.51 billion fiscal deficit in January, according to the latest data from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
In the monthly economic report released on Friday by the apex bank, the weak revenue performance in January 2021 was due to the decline in non-oil receipts following the lingering negative effects of COVID-19 pandemic on business activities and the resultant shortfall in tax revenues.
In part, the report read, “Federally collected revenue in January 2021 was N807.54bn.
“This was 4.6 per cent below the provisional budget benchmark and 12.8 per cent lower than the collection in the corresponding period of 2020.
“Oil and non-oil revenue constituted 45.4 per cent and 54.6 per cent of the total collection respectively. The modest rebound in crude oil prices in the preceding three months enhanced the contribution of oil revenue to total revenue, relative to the budget benchmark.
“Non-oil revenue sources underperformed, owing to the shortfalls in collections from VAT, corporate tax, and FGN independent revenue sources.
“Retained revenue of the Federal Government of Nigeria was lower-than-trend due to the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
“At N285.26bn, FGN’s retained revenue fell short of its programmed benchmark and collections in January 2020, by 41.3 per cent and 7.5 per cent respectively.
“In contrast, the provisional aggregate expenditure of the FGN rose from N717.6bn in December 2020 to N770.77bn in the reporting period, but remained 14.4 per cent below the monthly target of N900.88bn.
“Fiscal operations of the FGN in January 2021 resulted in a tentative overall deficit of N485.51bn.”
The report noted that Nigeria’s total public debt stood at N28.03 trillion as of the end-September 2020, with domestic and external debts accounting for 56.5 percent and 43.5 percent, respectively.
NNPC Supplies 1.44 Billion Litres of Petrol in January 2021
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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