Oil marketers have said they are ready to resume importation of Premium Motor Spirit (petrol) if foreign exchange is made available to them at a competitive rate
The Chairman, Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria, Mr Adetunji Oyebanji, while speaking at a virtual press briefing on Thursday, said the country should move beyond the debate on the arguments for the removal of petrol price subsidies.
“The discussion we should be having today is how best to maximise the benefits of the removal of price controls and subsidies while minimising the adverse effects of this action on our citizens,” he said.
He said as promised by the government, a visible and measured reduction in the cost of governance throughout the polity would bring about savings that can be directed toward improving the livelihood of the average Nigerian.
“This cost optimisation initiative would demonstrate to Nigerians the good faith of the decision-makers in both the public and private sectors.”
Oyebanji stressed the need for domestic refining, saying, “It is necessary that we as a country have some clarity as to when optimal internal refining capacity will return to Nigeria.”
He said, “We need to collectively and as a nation, track the progress of work at all the new refineries under construction across the country to ensure they are delivered timely, efficiently and sustainably.
“If need be, private investment should be brought in to facilitate the rehabilitation and upgrade of the NNPC refineries for the efficient growth of Nigeria’s internal refining capacity and to ensure energy sufficiency for the country.”
Increased Demand Paves The Way for Expansion of Africa’s Sugar Industry
Africa, June 2021: A new focus report produced by the Oxford Business Group (OBG), in partnership with the International Sugar Organization (ISO), explores the potential that Africa’s sugar industry holds for growth on the back of an anticipated rise in regional demand. The report was presented to ISO members during the MECAS meeting at the Organization’s 58th Council Session, on June 17th 2021.
Titled “Sugar in Africa”, the report highlights the opportunities for investors to contribute to the industry’s development by helping to bridge infrastructure gaps in segments such as farming and refining and port facilities.
The report considers the benefits that the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) could deliver by supporting fair intra-African sugar trade efforts and bringing regulatory frameworks under a common umbrella, which will be key to improving competitiveness.
The increased international focus on ESG standards is another topical issue examined. Here, the report charts the initiatives already under way in Africa supported by green-focused investment with sustainability at their core, which will help to instil confidence in new investors keen to adhere to ESG principles in their decision-making.
In addition, subscribers will find coverage of the impact that Covid-19 had on the industry, with detailed analysis provided of the decrease in both worldwide sugar production and prices, as movement restrictions and social-distancing measures took their toll on operations.
The report shines a spotlight on sugar production in key markets across the continent, noting regional differences in terms of output and assessing individual countries’ roles as net exporters and importers.
It also includes an interview with José Orive, Executive Director, International Sugar Organisation, in which he maps out the particularities of the African sugar industry, while sharing his thoughts on what needs to be done to promote continental trade and sustainable development.
“The region is well advanced in terms of sugar production overall, but several challenges still hinder its full potential,” he said. “It is not enough to just produce sugar; producers must be able to move it to buyers efficiently. When all negotiations related to the AfCFTA have concluded, we expect greater investment across the continent and a clearer regulatory framework.”
Karine Loehman, OBG’s Managing Director for Africa, said that while the challenges faced by Africa’s sugar producers shouldn’t be underestimated, the new report produced with the ISO pointed to an industry primed for growth on the back of anticipated increased consumption across the continent and higher levels of output in sub-Saharan Africa.
“Regional demand for sugar is expected to rise in the coming years, driven up by Africa’s population growth and drawing a line under declines triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic,” she said. “With sub-Saharan Africa’s per capita sugar consumption currently standing at around half of the global average, the opportunities to help meet increasing domestic need by boosting production are considerable.”
The study on Africa’s sugar industry forms part of a series of tailored reports that OBG is currently producing with its partners, alongside other highly relevant, go-to research tools, including a range of country-specific Growth and Recovery Outlook articles and interviews.
Lagos Commodities and Futures Exchange to Commence Gold Trading
With the admission of Dukia Gold’s diversified financial instruments backed by gold as the underlying asset, Lagos Commodities and Futures Exchange is set to commence gold trading.
According to Dukia Gold, the instruments will be in form of exchange-traded notes, commercial papers and other gold-backed securities, adding that it will enable the company to deepen the commodities market in Nigeria, increase capacity, generate foreign exchange for the Nigerian government to better diversify foreign reserves and create jobs across the metal production value chain.
Tunde Fagbemi, the Chairman, Dukia Gold, disclosed this while addressing journalists at Pre-Listing Media Interactive Session in Lagos on Thursday.
He said, “We are proud to be the first gold company whose products would be listed on the Lagos Futures and Commodities Exchange. The listing shall enable us facilitate our infrastructure development, expand capacity and create fungible products.
“This has potential to shore up Nigeria’s foreign reserve and create an alternative window for preservation of pension funds. A gold-backed security is a hedge against inflation and convenient preservation of capital.”
“As a global player, we comply with the practices and procedures of London Bullion Market Association and many other international bodies. Our refinery will also have multiplier effects on the development of rural areas anywhere it is located,” he added.
Mr Olusegun Akanji, the Divisional Head, Strategy and Business Solutions, Heritage Bank, said the lender had created a buying centre for verification of quality and quantity of gold and reference price to ensure price discovery in line with the global standard.
Suez Canal: Evergreen Blocking Main Commerce Route Was Successfully Refloated – Authority
The evergreen vessel that blocked Suez Canal, one of the world’s busiest waterways, was successfully refloated at 4:30 am Egypt local time on Monday, according to Authority.
The vessel has now restarted its engines, stated the Egyptian crew that worked hard to dislodge the vessel.
First moment of the Egyptian crew celebrations after freeing Evergiven in Egyptian Suez Canal world trade will be resumed shortly Thanks #Egypt#Banama #Japan #suezcanel #Suez #قناة_السويس #السفينة_الجانحة #Evergreen #SuezBLOCKED #EVERGIVEN pic.twitter.com/kLyrY00KgO
— Fawzy (@AhmedFawzy007) March 29, 2021
Egyptian authority had announced on Sunday that 369 vessels were on queue and waiting to pass through the blocked Suez Canal.
— Alvin Foo (@alvinfoo) March 28, 2021
However, with the vessel now freed, the authority could announce resumption of operations through the canal on or before Wednesday but could take weeks for all the vessel past through given its daily operation of 50 vessel.
According to Lloyd’s List, the Suez Canal blockage disrupts supply of over $9 billion worth of goods each day. This, experts believe would impact would further drag on global supply chain that had already been impacted by coronavirus pandemic.
“You normally have about 50 or so ships a day going through the canal, obviously at the moment it’s about 300 ships backed up … this is an enormous traffic jam, which is at both ends of the canal,” Tim Huxley, director of Mandarin Shipping said on Monday.
“This will take quite a while for the whole supply chain to get back to normal and that’s gonna have an impact on manufacturers, retailers right across the board,” said Huxley.
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