- Mark Nigerian Crude to End Theft, NOSDRA Tells FG
The National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency on Tuesday declared that crude oil theft in Nigeria could only be stopped through the application of stringent measures such as the marking of crude oil produced in Nigeria.
NOSDRA charged the Federal Government to consider the option of marking Nigerian oil using the molecular fuel marker technology, stressing that it would be virtually impossible for oil thieves to detect.
It further stated that the technology would enable regulators to track petroleum products that were derived from stolen crude.
The agency’s Director-General, Idris Musa, who disclosed this at a stakeholders’ seminar in Abuja organised by New Nigeria Foundation on advocacy against crude oil theft, told participants that Ghana had applied the crude oil marking technique and had been tracking its petroleum products successfully.
Musa said, “Marking Nigerian oil with covert molecular fuel markers will further help in the fight against crude oil theft. With this technology, it will be virtually impossible for thieves to detect and that’s what we are also proposing as an agency.
“This measure will allow regulators to know if the fuel sold at dispensing stations are from illegal sources or not. It might interest you to know that Ghana has successfully applied this approach.”
The Managing Director, New Nigeria Foundation, Prof. Obafemi Ajibola, stated that findings from NNF researches conducted by reputable institutions had shown that the amount of crude stolen from the Niger Delta region was humongous.
He said, “Going by findings and discussions with operators in the oil sector, you will realise that we don’t have the exact figures in terms of what we are losing as a result of crude oil theft, but it is clear that the amount is humongous.
“One of the speakers said that what we lost in one year is more than 10 times what we spend on health as a country. So, you can imagine what that means. Therefore, if we can just reduce what we are losing by 10 per cent, we can increase our health budget to two times what we are spending today. The same goes for education and other sectors of the Nigerian economy.”
Ajibola added, “What we are saying is that oil theft is not a Niger Delta issue alone, it is a Nigerian issue. It is not just an economic issue but an environmental issue. It deals with issues of security and things that affect our lives naturally in Nigeria. So, if we can reduce oil theft, it can change things for the better in Nigeria.”
He noted that his organisation decided to educate Nigerians on the need to demand good governance from the Federal Government around the issue of oil theft, adding that every Nigerian should be involved in this fight.
Nigeria’s Exports Under US Duty-free Policy Declines to $300.48m
Nigeria’s Exports to the United States Under Duty-free Policy Declined by 88 Percent to $300.48 million
Nigeria’s total exports under the US duty-free declined by 88 percent from $2,502.86 million to $300.48 million in the first eight months of 2020.
In the latest African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) policy report established in 2000, crude oil export accounted for 99.8 percent of Nigeria’s AGOA exports to the United States in 2019.
In 2019, oil and gas products worth $3.12 billion were exported to the US under the duty-free policy.
However, the plunged in global demand for Nigerian crude oil due to the COVID-19 lockdown weighed on the nation’s oil exports and revenue generation.
The United States imported 5.53 million barrels of crude oil from Nigeria in the first quarter of 2020, down from 15.07 million barrels imported in the final quarter of 2019.
Speaking on the need to improve non-oil export to take advantage of the duty-free like other African nations Mr Olusegun Awolowo, the Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Export Promotion Council, who spoke at a virtual event recently said despite efforts to sensitise Nigerian exporters on the need to take advantage of the duty-free trade opportunity, only a few Nigerian exporters are benefiting from it.
He said the record crash in global oil prices is an indication that a mono-product economy like Nigeria is not sustainable and that there is an urgent need to develop non-oil export.
“We cannot rely on crude oil export as both our major source of government revenue and foreign exchange generation. We must diversify our export base,” Awolowo said.
Road Projects: Nigeria Owes Contractors More Than N390 Billion, Says Fashola
FG Owes Road Contractors N392 Billion for Road Projects
The Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola has said the Federal Government owes companies handling the 711 road projects across the country a total sum of N392 billion.
This, he said was higher than the N276 billion allocated for road projects in the proposed 2021 budget.
The minister disclosed this on Wednesday while defending the 2021 budget of his ministry before the Senate Committee on works.
Fashola said, “With the situation on ground, a stop has come for new projects and the country needs to prioritise the existing ones in order to complete some of them.”
According to him, a total of N6.62 trillion was needed to fund the 711 road projects but because of the limited available resources, there is a need to prioritise the important ones.
He said, “We do not have the resources that we need to fix our road infrastructure at once; the very reason we need to prioritise what want to do.
“The situation on ground requires us to cut our coat according to our cloth and not according to our size because no good will come out of more new road projects now.”
Waltersmith’s 5,000bpd Modular Refinery in Imo State to Commence Operations
5,000bpd Modular Refinery Built in Imo State to Start Operations
The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has said the 5,000 barrels per day Modular Refinery project built in Imo State is ready for operations.
Sarki Auwalu, the Director, DPR, disclosed this during a pre-commissioning visit to the project site in Ibigwe, Imo State.
In a statement released by Waltersmith, Auwalu was quoted as saying the purpose of his visit was to ensure that the refinery was ready to commence operations.
He said “We can confirm that the refinery is very much ready to commence operations. We have seen all the preparations.
“To us, the plant is alive. The commissioning is just symbolic. Everywhere is ready to start off. My overall assessment is excellent.
“We have been to other modular refineries but we have not seen anything like this – the space, the way it is arranged and the way it will work.”
The 5,000 barrels per day modular refinery is scheduled for inauguration this month. The refinery has crude oil storage capacity of 60,000 barrels and it is expected to deliver more than 271 million litres per year of refined petroleum products.
Auwalu said, “The role we play is to enable businesses and create opportunities. When DPR issues you a licence, it enables you to invest and as a result of that opportunity we create, that business is enabled.
“Waltersmith is one of our success stories. We consider the project as ours. We have been tracking their growth and we are happy to see that our child is growing. It is our plan that they expand and they have the potential.”
Speaking on the project, Abdulrasaq Isah, the Chairman, Waltersmith Refining and Petrochemical Company, said the project is the first phase of a series of refinery projects that will lead to the delivery of up to 50,000 barrels per day in refining products.
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