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FG to Boost Crude Oil Production in Two Weeks

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Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed

– Says shocks in oil market difficult to manage  *Attributes high cost of fertiliser to scarcity of potassium

The federal government will boost crude oil production through the reactivation of oil wells that were shut down due to massive oil theft, the Minister of Finance, Budget, and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, has said.
Speaking with Bloomberg Television in an interview monitored by THISDAY, Ahmed, also attributed the rising prices of fertiliser to the scarcity of potassium, an important ingredient in the manufacturing of the product.
She, however, stressed that the government was doing everything possible to ameliorate the impact.
Ahmed stated that the commencement of operations in the reopened oil assets would help ramp up daily crude production closer to the quota allocated to Nigeria by the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in the next two weeks.
Nigeria, Africa’s biggest oil producer, Ahmed noted, has also in recent weeks increased the deployment of security personnel in many of the oil assets to protect them, as well as hobbling the activities of oil thieves.
“We are very hopeful that we will be able to reach our OPEC quota of 1.6 million (1.735 million) barrels per day by the next couple of days or one or two weeks,” Ahmed said.
Nigeria has for months been struggling to meet its OPEC quota despite rising oil prices following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
A THISDAY’s analysis recently showed that the country was under-producing to the tune of 400,000 bpd, resulting in the loss of as much as $1.5 billion monthly.

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Crude oil sale is the nation’s biggest foreign-exchange earner. The country’s inability to meet its production targets is an indication that Nigeria, which has also been battling a dollar shortage is losing an opportunity to build its foreign reserves.
“The security authorities have been doing a lot of work and we have seen the production numbers pick up. In the past month, there was a time it was as low as 1.2 million barrels per day. Some of the wells that had to be shut in because of the criminality have now been opened,” Ahmed explained.
Ahmed pointed out that Nigeria had failed to take full advantage of the rising international oil prices because it imports all its petrol products with huge subsidies.
“It’s been one shock after another. It’s been very difficult to manage but the current crude oil prices are supposed to be an opportunity for Nigeria but it’s for us now a mixed bag. Even though we are an oil-producing country, we also import refined petroleum products.
“So as the crude oil prices rise, we are having to pay more for the products that we import and also in-country, we are still supporting petroleum subsidy, so the net effect for us is nil or negative, depending on how the price goes.
“The Ukraine-Russia war is causing another wave of global economic distortion and we are very much affected in the sense that energy prices are high which comes with increasing transportation costs, which is also reflected in the cost of food,” she noted.
According to the minister, as a fertiliser-producing country, it has been tough getting a key ingredient in the production of the agricultural commodity, which has led to skyrocketing prices.
“And also, for Nigeria as a producer of fertiliser, one of the major inputs for fertiliser production, potash, is affected. Now it is scarce and that means that the input is very expensive and we are seeing that reflected in the cost of fertiliser.
“As a government, we are looking at how to mitigate this high cost to support the fertilizer-producing companies so that the price of the commodity is not too out of the reach of the common man who is the farming population,” the minister explained.

THISDAY

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EFCC to conclude auction of 435 forfeited vehicles Thursday

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Wednesday commenced the auction of 435 vehicles forfeited to the Federal Government at four different locations in Lagos.

The auction held in four Lagos locations (40, Bourdillon Road, Ikoyi, Lagos; 15A Awolowo Road, Ikoyi, Lagos; 14 Cameroon Road, Ikoyi Lagos and CVU Obalende, Ikoyi, Lagos) will be concluded Thursday December 08, 2022.

The exercise commenced with the inspection of items by members of the public on December 06, 2022 in Lagos and scheduled to take place across the various commands of the commission.

The exercise is said to be in line with the EFCC (Establishment) Act 2004; Public Procurement Act 2007 and the Proceeds of Crimes (Recovery and Management) Act 2022.

Dr George Ekpungu, Secretary to the Commission and Chairman, EFCC Asset Disposal Committee, said, “The exercise is the first of the planned auction of forfeited properties across EFCC Zonal Commands and EFCC headquarters.

“It is being conducted in conjunction with the Bureau of Public Procurement to ensure compliance with all extant laws.”

Ekpungu, welcoming the auctioneers to the centre, expressed his gratitude to sister agencies, including the Nigerian Army, invited to provide adequate security and ensure orderliness.

He also appealed to members of the public present at the auction to listen carefully to the auctioneers and comply with all stipulated guidelines.

Nine auctioneers allocated to the Lagos Zonal Command of the EFCC to dispose of the cars are Rihanna Auction Limited, Kamyus Consult Limited; Areogun Resources Limited and BIS N JEG.

Others are Integrated Services Nig.Ltd; Mau & Sons Ltd; Langar Aghaji & Co; Fagobe Company Ltd and Musa Kira and Co.

The cars were allocated to auctioneers based on assessed values and open ballot system.

Pictures of the cars were displayed with allocated lot numbers for public inspection.

The display was to provide an opportunity for interested bidders to view and indicate interest in any car of their choice.

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Weststar introduces all-new Mercedes C-Class, targets end-of-the-year luxury car buyers

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Luxury car firm, Weststar Associates Limited, has announced the introduction of an all-new Mercedes Benz C-Class, said to be sportier and slimmer, to the Nigerian market, targeting buyers of high-end cars for the end of the year celebrations.

This was disclosed in a statement by Weststar obtained via email from the firm’s Marketing and Social Media Manager, Oluwatobi Abimbola.

Already, it said that the firm had started receiving orders for the new car from interested people in Nigeria

Weststar’s CEO, Mr Mirko Plath, was quoted as saying, “We have started receiving some big demand for the all-new C-Class in this market as many of our customers are really blown away with the new high-tech features of this vehicle; it’s also very spacious, thanks to the new long wheel base and I can assure Mercedes-Benz lovers that the driving experience is out of the world.”

The all-new C-Class is said to have the perfect combination of comfort and performance.

The car, according to Weststar, is built with the singular objective of helping people escape the stress of everyday life into a luxurious retreat, into your own comfort zone.

It states, “Being one of Mercedes-Benz’s best sellers and longest running model series, over 10.5 million Mercedes-Benz C-Class models have been delivered to customers globally since its inception in 1982.

“This all-new model generation takes things many steps further with even more digitized features as well as stunning & expressive design features.
The most prominent highlight in the all-new C-Class is most certainly the latest generation of the Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX) infotainment system, which is more intuitively operated and has a higher learning capacity.

“Like the new S-Class, the new C-Class is equipped with the second generation of MBUX. The vehicle interior becomes even more digital and intelligent, as both the hardware and software have made great strides. i.e. brilliant images on the LCD screens make it easy to control vehicle and comfort functions.”

It lists other key features of the MBUX in the new C-Class as an increasingly sharp “Hey Mercedes” voice assistant, music streaming available with the “Online Music” service; a stunning widescreen central display; Augmented Video and a fingerprint scanner for personalization of MBUX settings.
The modern and luxurious design of the all-new C-Class is said to be another standout feature.

It says, “The all-new C-Class can be described as slimmer, sportier and more stylish, featuring bold exterior accents like the power domes on the bonnet, the radiator grille with the Mercedes-Benz pattern design and flush 17- to 19-inch wheels in modern designs.

“Another key feature in the exterior design of the new C-Class is the DIGITAL LIGHT which is inherited from the S-Class, it has a light module with three extremely powerful LEDs in each headlamp that pr+-oject resolutions of more than 2.6 million pixels.”

Interior

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The interior design is flushed with new surfaces and elements on the instrument panel and centre console.

It says there is a new air vent design which is reminiscent of aircraft engine nacelles and customers who go for the AMG line interior get more extra special features like the two-tone upholstery.

It’s other interior luxury features are listed as high-resolution LCD screen housing the instrument cluster, ambient lighting featuring optical fibres and the Burmester 3D surround sound system.

Performance
The driving experience in the all-new C-Class is said to come with more power and increased efficiency thanks to powerful new 4-cylinder M 254 petrol engines with outputs at 150kw/204hp – 190kw/258hp and a peak torque of 300nm – 400nm.

“These 4-cylinder engines come with mild hybrid electrified drivetrains equipped with a 48-volt integrated stater alternator (EQ Boost), the additional output of these electrified drivetrains is capped at 15kw/20hp.

“On the new C-Class the shifting is carried out smoothly with the 9GTRONIC automatic transmission.

“Also, the suspension configuration in the new C-Class provides a high level of suspension, ride and noise comfort, agile handling and driving fun, this thanks to a new four-link axle at the front and a multi-link axle at the rear mounted to a subframe.”

Safety
The all-new C-Class comes loaded with a flurry of safety and assistance systems such as the Active Steering Assist with 360° camera, Active Brake Assist, Parking Package with 360° camera and additional safety features with the Digital Light.

Weststar says the all-new C-Class is available in Nigeria with its dealerships – Barbedos Cars Limited, MB Automobile Services Limited, Skymit Motors Limited, Sunny Motors Limited and Tetralog Nigeria Limited.

 

 

 

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Kia shines at TopGear awards, wins ‘Manufacturer of the Year’  

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Korea’s oldest automaker, Kia, is excited ending the year on a high, having just received the Top Gear’s Manufacturer of the Year award.

Top Gear is a British automobile magazine, owned by BBC Worldwide.

The recognition was given at the magazine’s 2022 awards, according to a statement from the Kia office in Nigeria on Wednesday.

“This is the second consecutive year that Kia has taken home a win at the TopGear.com awards; last year, the newly launched EV6 won the ‘Crossover of the Year’ category,” the statement by spokesman for Kia Nigeria, Olawale Jimoh, added.

Kia recalled that it launched several game-changing models in Europe this year – notably the fifth-generation Sportage and all-new Niro, consistently two of Kia’s best-sellers across Europe, must have influenced the choice of the brand for the award.

Both models are said to offer a major update over their predecessors in several areas, including exterior and interior design, technological advancements, and sustainability credentials.

It quoted the Editor of BBC Top Gear Magazine, Jack Rix, as saying, “Kia’s recent form is remarkable. Despite unprecedented headwinds, the upward trajectory shows no sign of slowing down. In fact, it’s getting braver. The latest Sportage is a superior family crossover in comparison to its closest competitors, the new Niro looks striking, and offers hybrid or electric versions and Kia seems to be landing on its feet when it comes to the transition to fully electric. The EV6 GT offers a 577bhp version with mind-blowing drift mode.”

President of Kia Europe, Jason Jeong, also responding, said, “This has been an outstanding year for Kia in terms of new product, brand awareness and sales. Our year-to-date market share across Europe has held strong at 5.1% over the past two months, and that success is due to our incredible electrified line-up. As we expand our electrified offering throughout 2023 and beyond, we hope to inspire more customers to make the switch and support a sustainable future for all.”

Marketing Director at Kia Europe, David Hilbert, accepted the award on behalf of Kia and said: “2022 has been a milestone year in Kia’s history where the brand became synonymous with electrification and set the new gold standard for the future of mobility. The introduction of EV6 GT was a defining moment for us as we extended our electrification leadership into the high-performance arena. Thank you to TopGear.com for naming us ‘Manufacturer of the Year’ – it is welcome recognition of the brand’s achievements so far, and we look forward to a successful 2023.”

The company says its ‘Plan S’ strategy outlines its sustainability targets, including a line-up of 14 fully-electric models by 2027.

It adds that the next model to launch will be Kia’s highly anticipated EV9, which will be revealed to the European market in 2023.

“The Kia EV9 will represent the pinnacle of what is possible with an electric SUV. Developed on the company’s Electric Global Modular Platform (E-GMP), the large electric SUV will usher in a new era of sophisticated, high-tech, sustainable mobility for Kia,” it states.

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