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Hope for Nigeria’s economy as oil price hits $57



Crude oil prices have continued to rise, hitting $57 a barrel on Tuesday, the highest level in nearly 12 months.

The development has given a renewed hope for improvement in the Nigeria’s economy, largely depended on oil revenue.

During early Tuesday trading, Brent crude, the international oil benchmark, was up $1.36 at $57.71 a barrel — its third consecutive day of gains. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) gained $1.43, at $54.98.

Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy, depends on earnings from oil to finance its N13.588 trillion 2021 budget.

The budget has a benchmark oil price of $40 per barrel; daily oil production estimate of 1.86 million barrels (inclusive of condensates of 300,000 to 400,000 barrels per day); exchange rate of N379 per US Dollar; GDP growth projected at three per cent; and inflation closing at 11.95 per cent.

Experts have predicted a steady increase in prices of crude oil globally this year, despite partial economic lockdowns in many places in response to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

They note that as implementation of the vaccines increases the pool of the virus-immune population, business activity will resume creating demand for refined petroleum products.

This upward trend in crude has been largely boosted by the gradual decline in US shale production and inventories.

The move in early January by OPEC+ to restrain output into mid-2021, and an extra “gift” from Saudi Arabia to remove another one-million BOPD from the market, have reportedly provided the impetus for the WTI to rise firmly into the $50s.

Oil price has been on a tear since late last year as coronavirus vaccines and supply curbs from OPEC and its allies spur hopes that global stockpiles will continue to slide.

It, however, still faces bumpy short-term demand amid concern that new virus variants will lead to more lockdowns, while vaccine rollouts are slower than expected in some countries.

Still, with cold weather sweeping across the United States and much of Wall Street anticipating inventory draws in the coming months, prices continue to surge higher.

Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest oil exporter, had at a meeting last month agreed to cut oil production for the months of February and March by an extra voluntary amount of one million barrels per day.

This means that the kingdom’s production for the two months after both its targeted and voluntary production cuts will be 8.119 million per day.

Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has stated its commitment to the output cut agreement of the OPEC+ to stabilise the global oil market.



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Osinbajo launches Kemi Adeosun’s online thrift-for-charity initiative



Former Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, has launched “Dash Me Store”, an online thrift-for-charity initiative, with Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo as a special guest.
The store, inaugurated on Sunday and established to mobilise resources for distribution to vulnerable people in the society through grassroot charities, provided an opportunity for the former minister to make her first public appearance after leaving office in 2018.
Adeosun resigned as minister in 2018 over a case of a forged National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) certificate she presented as part of her credentials.
She had maintained a low profile after the incident.
She established the Dash Me Foundation, a vehicle being used for the online charity initiative.
In her remarks, Adeosun said the organisation would work closely with charitable organisations in the grassroots to ensure that funds and other materials donated via the Dash Me Store would get to actual beneficiaries.
Speaking at the event, VP Osinbajo said one factor responsible for the impactful implementation of the social investment programmes of the Federal Government was the realisation that one could not reach Nigerians without a plan for the grass roots.
The vice-president lauded Adeosun for the initiative which he described as the first of its kind in the country.
“I am excited to be here for several reasons, but most of all because of Mrs Adeosun’s commitment to the notion that all service to man is actually service to God, and she took that very seriously,” he said.
The VP also said, “This is why, as minister, she prioritized the Social Investment Programmes, when for the first time, the country voted almost N500bn of our annual budget to welfare programmes which are called the Social Investment Programmes, which involved engaging 500,000 young men and women, and also giving microcredit to about two million traders and a home-grown school feeding programme for 9.5 million children daily in public schools across the country.
“I am therefore really not surprised that she has decided to use some of her enormous talent and influence to establish an organization that raises funds and provides resources for indigenous grassroot charities working with orphaned and vulnerable children, disadvantaged youth, and victims of domestic violence.
“What I think is happening here is that philanthropy is not like it used to be when all you needed was a good and kind heart and you didn’t need to plan or organize as you would a business for-profit.
“What Kemi and her team have done is to bring the new notion of social enterprise to this project. Philanthropy runs with the discipline, attention to detail, and financial prudence of a successful business, and she can do all of that, and I am sure her team is imbibing that, given her background in finance in both private and public sector.”
Osinbajo added, “The idea of this thrift-for-charity store is brilliant and the first of its kind in Nigeria. It is a unique model which does not just give to the needy in the conventional way of merely handing out donations.
“It is an innovative and structured way of aggregating donations to earn income to transform the lives of the vulnerable and needy while creating jobs in the process.”

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Full operation begins on Lagos-Ibadan rail line tomorrow – NRC



The Nigerian Railway Corporation has said it will begin full operation on the standard gauge rail line from Lagos to Ibadan on Tuesday.
The NRC said this is a statement signed by the Lagos District Manager, Mr Jerry Oche, in Lagos on Sunday.
According to him, the Lagos Ibadan Train Services will now be available in the mornings from Tuesday.
“The updated timetable for Tuesday to Friday is as follows: Lagos to Ibadan: 8:00 a:m from Mobolaji Johnson Station at Alogo megi Ebute – Meta Lagos. Also, the train will take off from Ibadan to Lagos: 8:00 am from Obafemi Awolowo Station at Moniya.
“The train will take off from Lagos to Ibadan: 4:00 pm from Mobolaji Johnson Station Alagomji, while from Ibadan to Lagos: 4:00 pm from Obafemi Awolowo Station at Moniya.
“The standard gauge train schedule on Saturday from Lagos to Ibadan: 8:30 am from Mobolaji Johnson Station at Alagomeji while the train will leave from Ibadan to Lagos: 8:30 am from Obafemi Awolowo Station at Moniya.
“For Saturday evening from Lagos to Ibadan: 6:00 pm from Mobolaji Johnson Station at Alagomji, while the train will take off from Ibadan to Lagos: 6:00 pm from Obafemi Awolowo Station at Moniya,” Oche said.
He said that the Alagomeji, Abeokuta, and Moniya were still the stop stations of the Lagos Ibadan Train Services.

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Lagos, Coscharis, Samsung woo more passengers into water transportation



L:R: General Manager, Marketing and Corporate Communications, Coscharis Group, Abiona Babarinde, General Manager, Lagos State Consumer Protection Agency, Afolabi Solebo, Senior Legal Officer, Lagos State Lotteries and Gaming Authority, kanyinsola , Managing Director, Lagos Ferry Services, Ladi Balogun, Chairman, Ikoyi Obalende LCDA, Rauf Atanda Lawal, General Manager Lagos State Waterways Authority, Damilola Emmanuel and MD, energicity elivate 9ja, George Ogan during a press conference on lagferry " smilin and sailing raffle promo" at the five cowries terminal Falomo.

As part of efforts to decongest the road and increase the number of commuters of water transport, the Lagos State Government has kick-started a raffle promo, Sailing and Smiling raffle to encourage more people to embrace water transportation.

Speaking at a press conference held at the Five Cowries Terminal to commence the promo at the weekend, the Managing Director, LAGFERRY, Ladi Balogun, said commuters stood to win a lot of prizes when they purchased Lagos Ferry Services (Lagferry) tickets.

He said the mega promo being held in conjunction with a private firm, Elivate9ja, and supported by other companies such as Coscharis Group and Samsung, was designed primarily to attract more commuters into waterways travel as well as reward them for their patronage.
His words: “As you are all aware, we recently took delivery of seven additional new boats to increase our fleet to 20. These boats will be deployed in several routes within the state. We will have more capacity to ferry more people; so we decided to use this promo as an incentive to attract more Lagosians to embrace a means of transportation that is safe, fast, devoid of traffic and very reliable.”
Balogun, who used the opportunity to reel out some of the agency’s achievements in the last one year, informed that they had moved about 502,000 passengers across the waterways between February 2020 and now.
He said, “Since commencement of operation, the agency has never recorded any accident. We are enabling commerce by providing logistics solution to business owners, moving their trucks and cargoes through the waterways within Apapa. We are the only operator that can boost of having 20 number of boats in its fleet, thanks to Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu who is showing unrivalled commitment to improve water transportation. “And of course, we are promoting tourism through regular charter services and we recently ferried the Nigeria male soccer team, the Super Eagles, to Benin Republic for their AFCON tournament.”
In his goodwill message, the General Manager of LASWA, Mr Oluwadamilola Emmanuel, commended the collaboration from both the public and private sector, adding that no single sector could harness its potential alone.
While calling for more private sector participation in the water transportation business, he commended Lagferry for the initiative and the support of other agencies to making the promo possible.
On why the ultimate weekly price is a car, Emmanuel explained that the government was trying to promote the “park and ride” culture, “where you drive to any jetty in the state, park your car at the ample park space provided at the jetty and board a boat to your destination, come back, pick your car and head home.
“The Lagos State Government is committed to the intermodal transport system of road, rail and water, all to be connected through one means of payment system called the cowry card.”
He said
Also speaking, the General Manager Lagos State Consumer Protection Agency, Mr Afolabi Solebo, said that with the involvement of consumer protection agency that it had showed the level of sincerity of all the stakeholders involved in the promo.
Solebo assured passengers of protecting their rights to the last minute and urged them to embrace water transportation as alternative to road.
The Chief Executive Officer, Lagos State Lottery and Gaming Authority, Mr Bashir Are, represented by Senior Legal Officer, Oyinkan Kusamotu, said they would ensure compliance to the promo rules.
He commended the Lagferry for creating awareness for Lagos residents to shift from road to water transportation in the state.
Chief Executive Officer of Elivate 9JA, Mr George Ogan, said the partnership would bring excitement for ferry users through the buying of Lagferry tickets.
He explained that there were lots of prizes such as microwaves, washing machines, television sets and cars.
Ogan said that there would be refreshment for early passengers of Lagferry during the promo.





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