- FG Raises Panel on New Lagos-Ibadan Rail Construction
The Federal Government has set up a steering committee to monitor the construction of the new Lagos-Ibadan rail line and ensure the delivery of quality job by the contractor.
The Managing Director, Nigerian Railway Corporation, Mr. Fidet Okhria, who disclosed this on Tuesday in a telephone interview with our correspondent, also said the construction work had commenced on the standard gauge rail line with the demolition of all structures on the NRC’s right of way from Apapa, Lagos to Ijoko, Ogun State.
Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo had performed the ground-breaking of the N485bn rail project in Lagos and announced that it would be handled by the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation and be ready in December 2018.
Okheria named the Minister of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, as the chairman of the committee, with members comprising the permanent secretary in the ministry, director of rail services, the managing director of the NRC, managing director of the construction company and the project manager.
According to him, the project is the segment two of the new Lagos-Kano rail line, with extension to the Lagos Port Complex, Apapa.
He also said that about 80 per cent of the workers handling the construction work would be Nigerians.
Okheria stated that the NRC had envisaged that its right of way would be required in the future and was therefore careful in granting approval to people for erection of buildings.
He said, “We intentionally did not give approval to many people, because we know that one day, the land will be required. So, we have already mapped out those places we need to remove and the squatters are aware.
“We have told them to remove their valuables before the bulldozers start work. The clearance is going to be total.”
Okheria, however, said the affected occupants/owners of any demolished building with valid documents would be duly compensated.
According to him, the new Lagos-Ibadan rail line will commence operations in January 2019, adding that the project will not affect the running of the narrow gauge line.
“The standard gauge will not affect the narrow gauge. We will continue to run that and improve on it. The normal schedule of train service will not stop because of the new project. The funds are available; it is just for the work to commence,” he said.
Over 2,000 shanties were reportedly demolished along the NRC’s right of way, including five churches, three mosques and two preparatory schools, to clear the area for the project.
The demolition, led by the Chairman of the NRC Committee for the Removal of Illegal Structures, Mr. Anthony Onyokoko, was said to have started at 8am on Friday.
Crude Oil Rises to $43.68 on Monday Despite Concerns Over Rising COVID-19 Cases
Oil Rises to $43.68 Despite Concerns Over Rising COVID-19 Cases
Oil prices rose on Monday during the London trading session to $43.68 per barrel despite growing concerns over the rising number of new COVID-19 cases.
The Brent Crude oil, against which Nigerian crude oil is measured, rose as high as $43.68 per barrel before slightly pulling back to $43.24 per barrel as at 1:25 pm Nigerian time.
Despite the rising number of COVID-19 new cases in the US and the rest of the world, Brent crude oil has been able to sustain the recent upsurge on the back of OPEC and allies 9.7 million per day production cut agreement and the reported improvement in compliance level.
However, experts have said if the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases continues to increase that demand for the commodity will decline as people and businesses would be forced to shut down operations and stay at home.
“There will be some kind of decline in demand if cases were to increase as people will stay at home,” said Howie Lee, an economist at Singapore’s OCBC Bank. “The pace of U.S. demand recovery will not be as steep as expected.”
Analysts at ING bank said in a note that the report of the Energy Information Administration due later this week will highlight the impact of the new restriction due to the second wave of COVID-19 on gasoline demand.
“We will get a better idea of what impact tighter restrictions in several states have had on gasoline demand with the EIA (Energy Information Administration) report this week.”
Citigroup Sees $60 Per Barrel Crude Oil in the Next 12 Months
Citigroup Says Crude Oil Will Reach $60 Per Barrel in a year
Despite the current economic downturn and the projected second phase of COVID-19, Citigroup, a New-York based financial service company, has said oil price could hit $60 per barrel in the next 12 months.
Citigroup disclosed this on Thursday during a virtual EMEA Media Summit titled – ‘Navigating the Future: What’s Next in a Post-COVID-19 World’.
“After a substantial underperformance in the last six months relative to several other commodities, crude will eventually bounce back to around $60 per barrel over the next 12 months,” Max Layton, European Head of Commodities Strategy, Citigroup said while giving a presentation on the outlook for commodities in the second half of 2020, and into 2021.
This means Brent crude oil would rise by at least 50 percent from the current level of $42 per barrel in the next 12 months.
“It’s going to be a function of the demand and supply but recently we have been seeing a spike in the demand for some of the commodities,” said Atiq Rehman, Head of EMEA Emerging Markets, Citigroup.
“A lot of these economies are heavily commodity-dependent, and perhaps, in the past have been guilty of not diversifying when they come under pressure. I think perhaps, this recent moves will push them to diversify away from simply commodities,” Grant Carson, Head of TRUK And Non-Presence Countries, Citigroup, stated citing Russian as one of the countries that have recorded success in diversifying away from crude oil.
Oil Sustains $42 Price Level as OPEC Output Drops to Over Two-Decade Low
OPEC Oil Output Drops to Over Two-Decade Low in June
Crude oil sustained $42 per barrel price level following a recent survey conducted by Reuters that showed the Organisation for the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) managed to cut oil production to over two-decade low in the month of June.
According to the survey, OPEC’s 13 members pumped 22.62 million barrels per day in June, 1.92 million barrels per day below May’s revised figure. The lowest since May 1991.
OPEC and allies, together referred to as OPEC plus, had agreed to cut oil production by 9.7 million barrels per day in the month of April to rebalance the global oil market and prop up prices amid COVID-19 pandemic.
OPEC’s share of the 9.7 million barrels per day production cut was 6.084 million bpd but OPEC delivered 6.523 million bpd cut in the month of June despite the inconsistencies from Nigeria, Angola and Iraq.
In June, Saudi Arabia reduced production by 1.13 million barrels per day to 7.53 million bpd. While Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates met their quota but struggle to fulfill the extra cuts.
Nigeria, Iraq and Angola continue to struggle in the month of June. However, their performance improved compared to May as Nigeria attained 77 percent compliance level, up from 19 percent in May.
While Iraq and Angola achieved 70 percent and 80 percent compliance level, respectively. Nigeria and Iraq have pledged to cut more in July despite their economic challenges. Angola, however, said it would not be able to cut extra oil production until October.
Brent crude oil, against which Nigerian oil is measured, rose to $42.48 per barrel on Friday as at 2:58 pm Nigerian time.
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