PIB: NNPC won’t be scrapped but fully commercialised, says FG – Newstrends
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PIB: NNPC won’t be scrapped but fully commercialised, says FG

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The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, has said the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation will be fully commercialised in the interest of Nigerians when the Petroleum Industry Bill is signed into law.

He said this did not mean that it would be scrapped, as interpreted by media reports.

Speaking after a closed-door meeting with lawmakers on the PIB Sylva said, “I have heard a lot of noise about the NNPC being scrapped but that is not envisaged by the bill at all. We have said that the NNPC will be commercialised in the interest of Nigerians.

“If we are talking about transforming the industry, the only new thing we are introducing is the development of the mainstream, which is the pipeline sector between the upstream and the downstream.”

He added, “This is because the framework was not there, has not really developed very well. We have adequately provided for the growth of the mainstream sector.

“The host community has the best deal but the details of the bill will be unfolded on the floor of the Senate. The Petroleum Equalisation Fund and the Petroleum Products Pricing and Regulatory Agency will not exist in the same form that they exist today.”

The long-awaited oil reform bill will privatise the NNPC, amend changes to deepwater royalties made late last year and scrap key regulatory agencies in favour of new bodies, a copy of the bill seen by Reuters showed.

President Muhammadu Buhari had sent the bill to the Senate, two sources told Reuters. The Senate, along with the House of Representatives, must sign off on the bill before it can become law.

The legislation has been in the works for the past 20 years and looks to revise laws governing Nigeria’s oil and gas exploration not fully updated since the 1960s because of the contentious nature of any change to oil taxes, terms and revenue-sharing.

The bill proposes creating a limited liability corporation into which the ministers of finance and petroleum would transfer NNPC assets.

The government would then pay cash for shares of the company and it would operate as a commercial entity without access to state funds.

The changes would in theory make it easier for the struggling company to raise funds.

The legislation would also amend controversial changes to deep offshore royalties made late last year by cutting the royalty that companies pay the government for offshore fields producing less than 15,000 barrels per day to 7.5 per cent from 10 per cent.

It would change a price-based royalty too, so that it kicked in when oil prices climbed above $50 per barrel, rather than $35.

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Breaking: After two years, UAE resumes visa issuance to Nigerians 

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Breaking: After two years, UAE resumes visa issuance to Nigerians 

Nigerians who could not travel to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates for about two years due to diplomatic row and flight suspension can now heave a sigh of relief.

The Federal Government on Monday announced that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) had lifted the visa restriction on Nigerian travellers, starting from July 15, 2024.

Minister of Information, Mohammed Idris, disclosed this while briefing State House correspondents after the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting.

The announcement came more than two years after the UAE suspended visa issuance to Nigerians following the protracted diplomatic row with Nigeria.

It also came about two months after UAE national carrier Emirates Airlines announced the resumption of flights to Nigeria.

The airline said in May that its daily Lagos-Dubai flights would resume from October 1, 2024.

Emirates Airlines suspended its Dubai-Lagos flights in 2022 over its inability to repatriate trapped funds in Nigeria in the heat of the diplomatic fireworks between the two countries.

Nigeria and the UAE have a long history of restriction of flights between both countries based on certain unresolved issues surrounding the Bilateral Air Services Agreement (BASA). Visa restrictions later surfaced as diplomatic fireworks continued between Nigeria and the UAE, which is a top destination for Nigerian migrants and tourists.

In September 2023, President Bola Tinubu met with UAE President, Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, in Abu Dhabi, to smoothen the rough edges in the diplomatic relations between the two countries.

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Why I invest massively in Nigeria despite harsh operating environment – Dangote

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Alhaji Aliko Dangote, the CEO of Dangote Group

Why I invest massively in Nigeria despite harsh operating environment – Dangote

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Dangote Refinery, Aliko Dangote, has revealed why he continues to site big and numerous businesses in Nigeria despite the harsh operating environment.

Speaking at a press briefing in Lagos on Sunday, Dangote stated that his decision to invest massively in Nigeria is spurred by patriotism and love for the country.

He said it made him feel better and fulfilled that he was creating job opportunities for thousands of Nigerians.

He also said his wish was to be remembered for the value he added to Nigeria’s economic development after he was gone.

On what he was planning to do next considering that the refinery, which is the largest single train edifice in the world, has been successfully delivered, Dangote said government’s policies remain the key to what he will invest in.

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“Policy inconsistencies could affect what we do. We have gas-related projects in our plans, but this depends on how government policies favour our operations,” he said.

“Manufacturers create jobs, they invest their money to help the economy, but when you import, you are encouraging poverty.

“The best way is to build factories and produce what you import. The PIA is saying that once there is enough capacity, there is no reason to import.

“In Africa today, only Algeria and Libya have the capacity to feed their local markets. Our refinery has the capacity to satisfy our local demands and we have more to export,” he said.

Dangote also said he believes his refinery will stand the test of time, adding that green energy is good, but it will take a long time to replace fossil fuel.

Why I invest massively in Nigeria despite harsh operating environment – Dangote

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Nigeria’s inflation rate now 34.19%, says NBS report

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Nigeria’s inflation rate now 34.19%, says NBS report

A new inflation rate has been released for Nigeria, with the number increasing from 33.95% in May 2024 to 34.19% in June 2024.

This was contained in a document titled “CPI and Inflation Report June 2024” released on Monday by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

The report said, “In June 2024, the headline inflation rate increased to 34.19% relative to the May 2024 head line inflation rate which was 33.95%.”

The NBS said looking at the movement, the June 2024 headline inflation rate showed an increase of 0.24% points when compared to the May 2024 headline inflation rate.

On a year-on-year basis, said the Bureau, the headline inflation rate was 11.40% points higher compared to the rate recorded in June 2023, which was 22.79%.

The document said this shows that the headline inflation rate (year-on-year basis) increased in the month of June 2024 when compared to the same month in the preceding year (i.e. June 2023).

The NBS further noted that on a month-on-month basis, the headline inflation rate in June 2024 was 2.31%, which was 0.17% higher than the rate recorded in May 2024 (2.14%).

The report said this means that in the month of June 2024, the rate of increase in the average price level is higher than the rate of increase in the average price level in May 2024.

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