Gas flaring in Nigeria increases above Levels recorded in 2016

Nigeria loses $1.150 billion of potential gas income to flaring in 2016 as the practice persists since it was outlawed in 1984

 

Despite federal government resolve to end gas flaring in Nigeria, the practice is still persisting. In 2016 alone, Nigeria lost about $1.150 billion potential gas revenue to flaring of gas. In the year under review, more than 275 billion cubic feet, BCF, of natural gas were flared from oil fields in the Niger Delta region.

The Nigerian Gas Flare Commercialisation Programme, NGFCP, in its latest report said that in addition to revenue lost, the flared gas could have generated 3000 megawatts of electricity for Nigeria, but could not. NGFCP is responsible for designing the programme to commercialise the volume of gas flared in country.

According to the NGFCP, the monies lost by Nigeria to flared gas were in two forms – $800 million in revenue and $350 million that could have been earned in emission credit. Gbite Adeniji, chairman, NGFCP Steering Committee, said the NGFCP had identified 179 gas flare sites spread across on-shore, swamp, shallow offshore and deep offshore areas of the Niger Delta region.

Adeniji, in the report presented to Bello Gusau, executive secretary, Petroleum Technology Development Fund, PTDF, stated that these sites were burning an approximate volume of about 750 million standard cubic feet per day (mmscf/d) of gas. According to him, in 2016 alone, about 275BCF of gas was flared, which he noted could have generated about 3000MW of electricity; generated about $800 million in revenue and earned about $350 million emission credit value.

He equally indicated that recent data obtained by the programme placed the figure of flared gas volume at about 1BCF per day, suggesting an increase from the 2016 figures. He listed the intentions of the programme to include reduction of gas flaring in the Niger Delta; as well as initiation of a market-driven solution for the flares to benefit the communities and Nigeria’s economy.

He said that President Muhammadu Buhari has approved a regulations developed by the NGFCP to legally back its operations which would include harnessing all flared gas free of cost at the flare sites without payment of royalty; subjecting the flare sites to competitive bidding; issuance of permit to access flared gas to third party investors; increasing the flare penalty payment to the government; mandate flare gas data measurement through metering; and mandating the Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR to publish annual data on flared gas.

Adeniji sought the involvement of PTDF in the NGFCP especially in cases of partnership to develop and implement strategies towards building human and institutional capacity to support the flare-out programme. He also informed that he wanted the PTDF to assist in developing strategies to support the NGFCP with training in matters connected with the gas value chain, as well as the development of indigenous manpower and technology acquisition on gas flare reduction projects.

Responding, Bello Gusau, executive secretary, PTDF, said the commission would be ready to partner with the NGFCP, especially in the areas of capacity development to ensure the country’s efforts at reducing gas flaring through harnessing of flared volumes would be realised.

Nigeria has repeatedly pledged to drastically cut down the flaring of gas at her oil fields in the Niger Delta. According to an online gas tracking tool – the Nigerian Gas Flare Tracker – an initiative commissioned by the Nigerian ministry of environment and managed by the National Oil Spill Detection and response Agency, NOSDRA, gas flare happens when crude oil which are extracted from onshore and offshore oil wells come with raw natural gas to the surface, and which are burned off or flared as a waste product because there are no natural gas transportation, pipelines and infrastructure to take them up for productive uses.

Flaring the gas, the tracker indicated thus becomes the cheapest option, particularly when gas prices are low and fines for flaring are either cheap or altogether not collected by regulatory bodies saddled with such tasks. The online tracker further explained that hazardous air pollutants emitted from gas flaring have been shown to impact human health, and these include oxides of nitrogen, carbon and sulphur, as well as particulate matter, hydrocarbons and ash, photochemical oxidants, and hydrogen sulphide.

These pollutants it added are associated with a variety of adverse health problems such as cancer, neurological, reproductive and developmental defects. It noted that reported deformities in children, lung damage and skin problems have also been linked with the practice of gas flaring, adding, however, that sadly, since the 1950s, Nigeria has released vast quantities of liquid pollutants into the Niger Delta environment thus damaging the region’s ecosystem.

But while there had been various legislative measures to curb gas flaring in Nigeria since 1969, and especially from 1984 when it became illegal to flare gas in the country without the written permission of the minister of petroleum resources, the practice has never really ended. It has rather been buoyed by a very cheap financial penalty of $3.50 per every 1000 standard cubic feet of gas flared.

– Sept. 21, 2018 @ 14:12 GMT |

NNPC records ₦17.16bn trading surplus, up 46%

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, has consolidated on its operational performance with a trading surplus of ₦17.16billion in the month of April 2018.

Ndu Ughamadu, NNPC Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division,  who disclosed this in a statement, said this was part of the highlight of the corporation’s Monthly Financial and Operations Report for April 2018.

The report, the 33rd edition since NNPC commenced the publication of its financial and operations report on a monthly basis as part of efforts to instill a culture of transparency and keep stakeholders and the general public informed of its activities, indicated a ₦5.43billion improvement representing 46.29 per cent on the trading surplus recorded in the previous month of March 2018.

According to the report released today in Abuja, the trading surplus was achieved through a combined higher performance by the upstream, midstream (refineries) and downstream sectors as well as a reduction in Corporate Headquarters’ operational expenditure.

“This enhanced performance is attributable to robust revenues from sales of crude oil and petroleum products by NPDC and PPMC as well as the upsurge in refineries’ performance, particularly in the Port Harcourt Refining Company (PHRC)”, the report stated.

On the gas production and supply front, the report indicated that the average daily production for April, 2018, stood at 8,054.46 billion cubic feet (bcf), out of which an average of 835.27 million metric standard cubic feet (mmscf), equivalent of 3,283 megawatts of electricity, was supplied to the power sector daily during the period under review.

“The result when compared with that of April, 2017, implies an increase of 496mw of power generated relative to same period last year”, the report stated.

It further showed that in the period under review, a total of 1.61 billion litres of Premium Motor Spirit (petrol) was supplied by NNPC in furtherance of the zero fuel queue policy of the Federal Government.

The NNPC said it recorded a 48.21 per cent reduction in the rate of pipeline vandalism which fell to 166 from 224 vandalized points in the previous month.

According to the report, the Aba-Enugu pipeline segment accounted for 78 vandalized points, representing 84.78 per cent of total vandalized points on the nation’s network of products pipelines.

 

Nigeria’s crude export to US may hit zero

The imports of Nigerian crude oil and other West African grades to the United States look set to plunge to nearly zero amid growing shale oil production in the North American country, our correspondent has learnt.

The US Atlantic Coast imports of West African crude oil are expected to decline due to harsh arbitrage conditions made difficult by the large premium of ICE Brent futures over West Texas Intermediate, as well as strong premiums for WAF grades.

According to S&P Global Platts, Traders tracking these grades exported in the US expect WAF imports to the USAC to fall to virtually zero.

The USAC from May to August imported an average of roughly 24 million barrels a month, of which 8.7 million barrels were from West Africa, data from the Energy Information Administration compiled by S&P Global Platts showed.

“The arbitrage of WAF grades into the US is fully closed,” a trader was quoted as saying.

Although negligible in outright terms, WAF arrivals in the region in the four months sampled compared to all foreign imports reached as high as 45.4 per cent in June and as low as 19.8 per cent in July.

Nigerian grades tend to make up 40 per cent of WAF imports and Angolan 20 per cent, the rest coming from smaller more regional grades, according to the report.

Traders were said to lose money in buying basis Dated Brent and selling basis WTI, implying the arbitrage only becomes possible when local buyers are able to cover the cost of conversion by bidding above, something which prompts them to look at alternatives when the spread is high.

The Brent/WTI spread closed at minus $10 per barrel Monday last week, its highest level since mid-June, data from the InterContinental Exchange showed.

At a time when everything is becoming more expensive, the US refiners are scheduled to enter seasonal maintenance throughout October, taking away the demand for foreign crudes.

The US purchased a total of 45.79 million barrels of Nigerian crude in the first half of this year, down from 55.78 million barrels in the same period last year, according to latest data obtained by our correspondent on Wednesday.

Data from the US Energy Information Administration showed that the US bought 2.89 million barrels of Nigerian crude in May, the lowest since February 2016.

The imports of Nigerian crude by the US rose by 48 per cent to 112.92 million barrels last year, the highest annual level in five years, up from 75.81 million barrels in 2016 and 19.86 million barrels in 2015.

The US import of Nigerian crude fell from 148.48 million barrels in 2012 to 87.40 million barrels in 2013 on the back of shale oil boom, the data showed.

In 2014, when global oil prices started to fall from a peak of $115 per barrel, Nigeria saw a further drop in the US imports of its crude to 21.2 million barrels.

For the first time in decades, the US did not purchase any barrel of Nigerian crude in July and August 2014 and June 2015, according to the EIA data.

In 2010, the US bought as much as 358.9 million barrels from Nigeria, but slashed its imports to 280.1 million barrels in 2011. – Punch

– Sept. 20, 2018 @ 9:25 GMT |

NNPC wraps up funding arrangements on AKK Gas Project

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, said it was wrapping up funding arrangements on the Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano, AKK, gas pipeline project.

Maikanti Baru, the group managing director of NNPC, who disclosed this while speaking at the Nigerian Day during the 30th edition of Gas Technology Conference in Barcelona, Spain, Tuesday, explained that tremendous progress was recorded towards securing funding for the project during the last visit of President Muhammadu Buhari to Beijing, China.

Baru, who was represented at the event by Saidu Mohammed, the NNPC chief operating officer, Gas & Power, revealed that the corporation had gone far in negotiating the terms of funding as well as the best payback structure for the project, affirming that the financial partners were willing to collaborate with the corporation on the matter.

The AKK gas pipeline is designed to enable gas connectivity between the East, West and North, which is currently inadequate. It would also enable gas supply and utilization to key commercial centres in the Northern corridor of Nigeria with the attendant positive spin-off on power generation and industrial growth.

The GMD said the ground-breaking ceremony for the project was near, explaining that Nigeria was focused on expanding its critical gas infrastructure such as pipelines which would lead to a gas grid covering the entire country.

“Once you have the whole nation covered with a gas grid, industries will naturally spring up along the way and litter the entire country. That is our target in the long run,” Dr. Baru noted.

The GMD described the coming of Train 7 of the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) as a “big bang” that would usher in new developments for Nigeria’s energy sector and expand the nation’s economy, adding that the project was also capable of unlocking new vistas for country’s LNG potentials.

Baru, who said the corporation had been looking forward to the FID on Train 7 in the last ten years, revealed that the wait would soon be over, even as he commended the Federal Government and the various shareholders for their support towards the NLNG project.

He said Nigeria was looking outwards with its gas resources because God has blessed the country with abundant reserves.

“We cannot consume out our gas resources in the next 50 years, even if we generate as high as 40,000mw for power. We are happy that in the NLNG is a credible company capable of competing in the international arena,” Baru added.

Established in 1989 to harness Nigeria’s vast natural gas resources and produce Liquefied Natural Gas, LNG, and Natural Gas Liquids, NGLs, for export, the NLNG is owned by the NNPC (49%), Shell (25.6%), Total (15%) and Eni (10.4%).

It currently has six trains in operation, while the Final Investment Decision (FID) on its Train 7 is expected to be taken in December 2018, a move that will increase the company’s production capacity from 22 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) to 30 MTPA.

Baru stated that beyond the LNG business, Nigeria was looking at other ways of marketing its enormous gas resources such as the establishment of a gas hub which would lead to the springing up of fertilizer, petrochemical and other gas-based industries in the Niger Delta and across the entire country.

On his part, Tony Attah, the managing director of the NLNG, described Train 7 as the next big thing not only in Nigeria’s gas industry, but also in the global gas arena.

He stated that the company had made tremendous progress on Train 7, assuring that all the shareholders remained ever committed to supply of gas feedstock for the project.

“We are here at Gastech to assure the world that this time around, we mean business. And with the support from Government and our shareholders, Train 7 will be a success,” Attah concluded.

The Gas Technology Conference, Gastech, is the world’s most significant meeting place for upstream, midstream and downstream natural gas and LNG professionals where over 30,000 of participants convene to do business.

– Sept. 19, 2018 @ 15:59 GMT |

Asia will contribute 49% of global petroleum products pipeline additions to 2022, says GlobalData

Asia is forecast to add the highest trunk pipeline length to the global petroleum products pipelines industry between 2018 and 2022, contributing a total length of 15,355 km by 2022, which will account for around 49% of the global planned petroleum products pipeline length additions, according to leading data and analytics company GlobalData.

The company’s report: ‘Global Petroleum Products Pipelines Industry Outlook to 2022’ forecasts that around 30,840 kilometers (km) of planned petroleum products pipeline length will be added globally by 2022, taking the total global petroleum products pipeline length to around 272,690 km by 2022.

Asia also has the highest new build capital expenditure (capex) spending globally with around US$5.8bn during the 2018–2022 period. Among the countries in the region, India will have the longest planned pipeline additions of 9,828 km by 2022.

Soorya Tejomoortula, Oil & Gas Analyst at GlobalData, commented: “India is increasing its petroleum products pipeline length mainly for domestic consumption as well as for exports to neighbouring countries. The planned pipelines will ensure environmentally friendly and cost effective transportation of petroleum products, replacing trucks.”

GlobalData identifies Africa as the second highest in terms of pipeline length additions as well as the second highest for spending on planned pipelines in the global petroleum products pipelines industry. The region has planned investment of around US$5.6bn by 2022 and plans to add a total length of 6,283 km of petroleum products pipelines by 2022. Congo Republic will be the top country in the region with a planned petroleum products pipeline addition of 1,200 km during the outlook period 2018 to 2022.

Tejomoortula added: “Africa is expanding its petroleum products pipeline mainly for domestic consumption. The planned pipelines will help economical transport of petroleum products to several remote parts of the region for the first time.”

The Middle East is the third highest among the global regions, in terms of petroleum products pipeline length additions. The region is expected to add around 3,950 km of planned petroleum products pipelines between 2018 and 2022. Among the countries in the Middle East, Iran will lead with planned length additions of 3,898 km by 2022.

The report also states that the three longest planned global petroleum products pipelines in the forecast period are Kandla–Gorakhpur pipeline in India, Kermanshah–Tabriz pipeline in Iran, and Fushun–Jinzhou–Zhengzhou pipeline in China with lengths of 1,987 km, 1,766 km and 1,636 km respectively.

Information based on GlobalData’s report: Global Petroleum Products Pipelines Industry Outlook to 2022 – Capacity and Capital Expenditure Forecasts with Details of All Operating and Planned Petroleum Products Pipelines.

– Sept. 19, 2018 @ 15:49 GMT |

PPPRA reiterates support for NOA’s sensitisation programmes

The Petroleum Product Pricing Regulation Agency (PPPRA), has reiterated support for the National Orientation Agency (NOA), on its sensitisation programme for government policies and activities across the country.

Mr Olasupo Agbaje, General Manager, Gas and Renewable Energy of PPPRA stated this during an interview with newsmen at the side-line of the roundtable on local content policy organised by NOA in Abuja.

The roundtable with the theme “Roundtable on Local Content: Benefits and Prospects: The Down Stream Regulatory Perspective’’ attracted relevant stakeholders from Ministry, Department and Agencies (MDAs) in the country.

“Let me say that beyond the issue of local content and the downstream, I believe that NOA is an agency that is position and empowered to lead the discuss on key national issues and sensitise Nigerians on the issue of local content.

“Downstream operation is one of them; so we are glad that they are begin to take up this responsibility because there are so many things that Nigerians need to know. There is a lot of consciousness that is not there about the industry and many tropical issues.

“NOA is in position to reach the 774 Local Government Areas of this country and bring germane issues of national development to the front burner so that Nigerians can discuss them.

“So that is why we are glad; PPPRA is committed to providing NOA with all the support that they need to carry out their mandate,’’ Agbeje said.

On the potentials and benefits of local content, Agbeje said that it involved getting Nigerian to do those things that foreigners would come do for us.

He added that there were a lot of implications for foreigners to come and carry out some works in the different sectors of the country’s economy.

According to him, the expatriates are not doing it for free, they are taking away our foreign exchange, resources and income.

“So why not get our people to have the capacity; there is a lot of potentials in local content; in the downstream today we have deports, jetties and we even have a locally owned refinery coming up.

“Capacity has been transform in the downstream from foreign to local over the last 15 years; I think that is a shining example of what local content can do.

“We can get a lot of Nigerians employed and also experience infrastructure development by getting so many Nigerians to get involve in those things that will don’t really need foreigners to do for us.

“This is because we believe that we have the capacity; we just need the encouragement and push to get things done,’’ he said.

Agbaje maintained that the private sector had always been partners in progress in the downstream sector of the oil economy.

“That is why the downstream is where it is today and that is why you will have an individual put up a 650 metric tons refinery in Nigeria; that is the largest in Africa,’’ he said.

According to him, the reason for such feat is enabling environment that is being provided.

“Similar thing should also be replicated in other sector of the economy, not the only oil economy alone and I believe that is ongoing’’. (NAN)

– Sept. 19, 2018 @ 15:12 GMT |

Schlumberger joins Global Partners supporting 4th Uganda International Oil & Gas Summit 2018

Schlumberger has confirmed its participation in the Uganda International Oil and Gas Summit, UIOGS 2018, as gold partners to the Summit, which will be officially opened by Rt. Ruhakana Rugunda, Uganda’s Prime Minister to over 300 delegates in Kampala on Wednesday, September 19.

Schlumberger joins many other key players from across the Ugandan oil and gas industry to partner officially with the summit, including Total, Baker Hughes, a GE Company, Fluor, Schneider Electric, AVEVA, RSK, Mott Macdonald, McDermott, Simonsen VogtWiig, Atlas Oranto, Standard Chartered, CNOOC Ltd and many more.

The delegation, led by Irene Muloni, the minister of Energy and Mineral Development, Uganda will participate in a world class conference programme, discussing and debating areas including; how the impact of the oil sector will play out in the region in the next five years, servicing onshore and offshore E & P, driving digitilisation across Uganda’s energy industry, financing the oil and gas sector’s development and driving regional local content collaboration and energising the workforce.

Over 120 one-to-one meetings have already been arranged through the summit’s exclusive Business Matching service, which is open to all participants, giving them the opportunity to pre-arrange appointments with other attendees through an easy to-use technology platform, managed with a personalised service. Learn More

The UIOGS 2018 exhibition is now fully booked and all sponsorship places have been filled, however you still have the opportunity to join as a delegate. Book today via the website or contact us via the details below to secure your place and play your part in shaping the future of Uganda’s oil and gas industry.

– Sept. 19, 2018 @ 13:42 GMT |

China and Russia remain key allies for Venezuela, says GlobalData

Following the recent visit of President Nicolas Maduro to China to sign cooperation agreements and seeking more financial support from the Chinese government, Adrian Lara, senior Oil and Gas analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers his view on the impact on the upstream sector:

“Financial support to keep the Maduro regime alive will certainly come at an increasingly high cost for Venezuela in the form of loss of autonomy from Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A (PDVSA) to develop, operate and export oil and gas production from its own fields. Chinese and Russian companies, backed by their governments, have taken the lead as being the lenders of last resort but mainly for reasons that go beyond a short-term business investment rationale. However, the risk exposure in Venezuela continues to increase and Chinese and Russian governments won’t give anything for free.

“From Maduro’s last visit, there is no formal indication of additional Chinese funding but there is an increase in equity for the China National Petroleum Corporation, CNPC, in Petrolera Sinovensa and more control in the management of drilling, oil services and general procurement in the Orinoco Belt’s Ayacucho-6 project. Clearly China’s government is negotiating without necessarily offering any additional loans, or asking for something in exchange for  just re-structuring of the current Venezuelan debt that amounts to at least US$20 billion and which Maduro’s government has real difficulty in paying.

“CNPC and Rosneft have secured participation in assets that account for at least 15% of the total Venezuelan proved oil reserves.”

Lara continued: “PDVSA has also recently stated they are pursuing a joint  venture with CNPC to support commercializing natural gas. This is in line with last month’s deal with Trinidad and Tobago involving the Dragon natural gas field near the maritime border. Last year Rosneft was awarded Mejillones and Patao gas fields which are also located offshore near Trinidad and Tobago. All these are indeed deals with high stakes for Venezuela’s allies.”

– Sept. 18, 2018 @ 18:35 GMT |

Average price of kerosene increased to N289 in August – NBS

The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said the price of National Household Kerosene (NHK) paid by consumers increased in August to N288.75 from N276.87 recorded in July.

The NBS disclosed this in its August 2018 “National Household Kerosene Price Watch” released in Abuja on Friday.

The bureau said the price increased by 4.29 per cent month-on-month and 28.04 per cent year-on-year.

The report said the states with the highest average price per litre of kerosene were Abuja N333.33; Yobe N332.86 and Enugu states N326.67.

Kerosene
Kerosene

It said that states with the lowest average price per litre of kerosene were Borno N237.61; Abia N237.08 and Kogi N233.33.

“The average price per gallon paid by consumers for National Household Kerosene increased by 8.40 per cent month-on-month and by 10.85 per cent year-on-year to N1,084.24 in August from N1,000.19 in July.

“States with the highest average price per gallon of kerosene are Kaduna N1185.00; Kebbi N1177.78 and Kano N1170.59.

“Also, states with the lowest average price per gallon of kerosene are Zamfara N1002.78; Oyo N1002.25 and Rivers N933.33,’’ it said.

Similarly, the bureau said the price paid by consumers for Automotive Gas Oil (Diesel) also increased from N204.32 recorded in July to N207.98 in August.

The bureau disclosed this in its August 2018 Automotive Gas Oil (Diesel) Price Watch released in Abuja.

It said the price of diesel increased by 1.79 per cent month-on-month and 5.99 per cent year-on-year in the period under review.

The NBS named the states with the highest average price of diesel to be Borno N242.86; Taraba N231.67 and Sokoto N228.33.

It also named the states with the lowest average price of diesel to include Ebonyi N195; Adamawa N185 and Nasarawa N180. (NAN)

– Sept. 14, 2018 @ 14:39 GMT |

Marketers commend NNPC for rehabilitating Ejigbo depot, storage tanks

The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) on Friday said the ongoing rehabilitation of moribund storage tanks at Ejigbo Satellite Depot would boost products distribution across the Western zone.

Alhaji Ayo Alanamu, the Chairman of IPMAN in the depot, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.

Alanamu commended the NNPC) for its efforts to ensure prompt rehabilitation of the depot and its storage facilities to boost distribution channels for marketers.

According to him, NNPC has completed the rehabilitation of four storage tanks which have been moribund for years.

“Tank 10, 11, 12 and the newly converted tank from diesel storage to petrol have been repaired and now awaiting product to be pumped inside.

“This will boost effective petroleum product distribution to marketers within the South-west and across the country,’’ he said.

Alanamu said that the rehabilitation would also enhance marketers’ performance as there would be massive loading of products to the hinterland from the depot.

He said that the rehabilitation of all moribund tanks in depots in the South-west became necessary to address loading problems encountered by marketers in Western zone.

According to him, the development is a huge boost to petroleum distribution across states in the region.

“One of the key focuses of the current administration is to revamp all moribund and abandoned assets and put them back to work for the improvement of petroleum products supply and distribution.

“We commend the efforts of the NNPC under the leadership of Dr Maikanti Baru, the Group Managing Director, towards the rehabilitation of our depots,’’ Alanamu said.

He assured that IPMAN members would partner NNPC to protect the pipelines to curb incessant vandalism.

The IPMAN boss also commended the corporation for its renewed efforts to address shortage of petroleum products in the hinterland. (NAN)

– Sept. 14, 2018 @ 14:12 GMT |

Lafia gas explosion: Nasarawa Govt. to take victims to South Africa for further treatment

Nasarawa State Government on Friday said it had concluded arrangement to fly some victims of the Lafia gas explosion to South Africa for further treatment.

Gov. Umaru Al-Makura stated this when the Chief Medical Director (CMD) of the Federal Medical Centre, Keffi, Dr Yahaya Adamu paid him condolence visit at the Government House, Lafia.

Al-Makura revealed that 11 out of the 36 victims of the gas explosion had died and eight others in critical condition.

He said most of the victims were being treated at the National Trauma Centre in Abuja, adding that the government was committed to ensuring that they got the best medical attention.

The governor has promised to provide land for the construction of the permanent site of the Federal Medical Centre in Keffi.

He said this was to enable the facility expansion and establish emergency centre to enable the hospital cope with large scale emergency cases such as the Lafia gas explosion.

The governor commended FMC for its various outreach programmes which he said had impacted greatly on the health of the people in the state.

Al-Makura assured the hospital of the state government continued support to enable it strive to provide the best medical services to the people.

Earlier, Adamu commiserated with the government and people of the state over the incident and prayed God to grant the families of the deceased victims the fortitude to bear the loss.

The chief medical director commended the state government collaboration with the hospital, a development he noted had assisted FMC, Keffi to renderquality health services to the people.

He said that the hospital was working hard to improve on its emergency services to handle large scale cases.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Monaco gas station in Lafia was on Monday engulfed by fire at about 10:00a.m when the tanker offloading the Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) had a leakage and went up in flames.

Mr Dogara Dalhatu, Chief Fire Officer of the Nasarawa State Fire Service, who confirmed the inferno, attributed it to a spark around the vicinity where the gas was being discharged.

He said that about 10 vehicles, five motorcycles and three tricycles were also destroyed by the fire. (NAN)

– Sept. 14, 2018 @ 12:35 GMT |

Tin Can Island Customs Command generates N31.8bn in August

THE Tin Can Island Port Customs Command says it generated N31.8 billion in the months of August 2018, higher than N28.6 billion generated in the corresponding period of 2017.

The Customs Area Controller (CAC) of the command, Comptroller Musa Abdullahi, said this while conducting the Zonal Coordinator Zone “A” Assistant Comptroller General of Customs (ACG), Dahiru Aminu round the projects to be inaugurated on Wednesday in Lagos.

He said that the figure generated increased by N3.24 billion.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the zonal coordinator inaugurated One Stop Treatment Area, Staff Canteen and a mini football pitch erected at the command.

According to him, the Tincan Island Port received another boost in terms of infrastructural projects to enhance the operations of the Query & Amendment Department.

He added that an Ultra Modern Canteen and a Mini Sports Pitch was inaugurated to attract maritime stakeholders.

Abdullahi said that the projects became imperative following the need to re-position the command to an enviable height in order to add further impetus to its status as the most user friendly port in the sub-region.

While inaugurating the projects, the zonal coordinator commended the CAC of Tin can command for his thoughtfulness, saying that the facilities would address the incessant complaints of multiplicity of alerts, which hitherto was a recurring decimal.

“As the name connotes, stakeholders are enjoined to take advantage of this, especially for the facilitation of Legitimate Trade”.

“The centre will house Query and Amendment (Q & A), Valuation and CIU for the synchronization and harmonization of trade disputes.

“Management is commending the effort of the controller for embarking on projects with considerable significance to the well being of the officers and men of the command,” Aminu said.

Earlier, the CAC eulogised the management and staff of Seven Up Bottling Company Ltd. for donating a synthetic Mini Pitch as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).

He noted that it would service the sporting needs of both officers and their esteemed stakeholders.

Abdullahi said the command had also organised a two-day seminar for Association of Nigeria Customs Licence Agents (ANCLA) between Sept. 5 and 6, following their formal request for training on “End User Certificate (EUC) on documentation guideline and requirements.

He emphasized the importance of EUC as a regulatory document and urged importers and their agents to ensure strict compliance with the processes and procedures in the interest of National Security.

Abdullahi harped on the need for stakeholders to build effective partnership by supporting and enforcing the Fiscal Policies of the Federal Government in terms of Trade.

He, however, reiterated his commitment to reward compliant declarants and to sanction complacence. (NAN)

– Sept. 13, 2018 @ 9:25 GMT |

Global Markets-Oil races toward $100 as stocks inch off 3-week lows

FRESH sparring between Washington and Beijing over trade kept world stocks close to three-week lows on Wednesday, while a slight dollar pullback gave little respite to emerging markets, Indian rupee plumbied new record lows.

 

Oil prices extended to 80 dollars a barrel as Hurricane Florence advanced and U.S. sanctions started weighing on Iran’s exports.

 

Analyst said oil should be 100 dollars presently.

 

The months-long escalation in tensions between the world’s two biggest economies has shown no sign of letting up.

 

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Tuesday the United States was taking a tough stance with China. That cemented expectations that fresh levies on Chinese exports will soon be announced.

 

Trump’s comments came after China told the World Trade Organization (WTO) it wanted to impose seven billion dollars a year in sanctions on the United States in retaliation for non-compliance with a ruling in an earlier trade dispute.

 

Equity markets also faced pressure from U.S. two-year bond yields which touched a decade peak on Tuesday, partly spurred by data that provided yet more evidence of the U.S. economy’s strength.

 

That data pushed Wall Street to a strong close, led by tech and energy shares, but futures signalled U.S. shares opening flat. European stocks however firmed almost half a per cent, moving off recent five-month lows.

 

MSCI’s all-country equity index inched up marginally, looking to extend two sessions of modest gains that had snapped six straight days of losses. But emerging equities retreated to new 15-month lows.

 

Asian equities excluding Japan hit their lowest since July 2017 after sharp falls in Hong Kong and Shanghai .

 

Emerging currencies stayed under pressure. The yuan slipped to 2-1/2 week lows against the dollar, leading Asian peers lower and keeping the Australian dollar – heavily linked to Chinese trade – close to its lowest since February 2016.

 

Emerging markets have been the biggest victims of the trade spats and rising U.S interest rates. An index of emerging currencies is down almost 7 percent this year.

 

Emerging markets’ woes have been exacerbated in many cases by heavy borrowing over the past decade, with Societe Generale analysts noting that “the misallocation of capital following a decade of cheap money is starting to be exposed”.

 

While the worst hit Turkish lira and Argentine peso have steadied off record lows, the Indian rupee is continuing to plumb new troughs, taking year-to-date losses versus the dollar to more than 12 per cent.

 

The dollar inched 0.2 per cent lower against a basket of currencies, as hopes grew of concessions by Canada that would resolve disputes over reworking the North American Free Trade Agreement.

 

Long-dated U.S. bond yields stayed just off the one-month highs hit on Tuesday after data showing sustained strength in the jobs market and the Treasury started a record debt sale amounting to almost 150 billion dollars.

 

The rise in U.S. yields has hit Italy. It has been one of the bright spots in world markets in recent days, as fears have receded of a government spending binge. But Italian 10-year yields rose two bps off six-week lows.

 

The British pound also slipped off five-week high hit this week against the dollar, as nascent optimism over a Brexit trade deal with the European Union subsided.(Reuters/NAN)

– Sept. 13, 2018 @ 9:25 GMT |

Kano Govt provides land for mega pipeline project – official

The Kano State Government says it has provided land for the construction of a mega gas pipeline from Ajaokuta to Kano.

The Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Alhaji Usman Alhaji, said this on Wednesday in Kano while receiving a delegation from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) which paid him a courtesy visit in his office.

He said the state government had also provided land for the construction of 135 megawatts hydro power project initiated by the state government as part of efforts to boost socio-economic activities in the state.

Alhaji said that the power project, when completed, would enable the state to compete with other states like Lagos and Ogun in terms of economic development.

He said that Kano State would continue to provide the necessary support and logistics for the successful execution of the two projects.

The Chairman of Kano State Land Use Allocation Committe, Alhaji Ibrahim Dan’azumi, said that the 614 Kilometer gas pipeline project, the first of its kind in the country, would boost the economy of the state, especially the industrial sector.

He commended the NNPC and other development partners for their contributions and commitment toward the actualisation of the two projects in the state.

A representative of NNPC, Alhaji Muhammad Sani SoronDinki, said preparation had been completed for the commencement of the two projects.

He commended Kano State Government for its support and cooperation toward the realisation of the two projects, which he said, would go a long way in boosting economic activities in the state. (NAN)

– Sept. 12, 2018 @ 17:55 GMT |

US berates Nigeria over Fuel Subsidy, Electricity Tariff

THE United States, yesterday, disclosed that Nigeria’s inability to eliminate subsidy on petroleum products and failure to hands off the fixing of electricity tariffs is hampering the provision of critical social infrastructure in the country.

Speaking at the 10th anniversary colloquium of the Nigerian Development Finance Forum, organized by Financial Nigeria Magazine, the US Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Stuart Symington blamed the Federal Government’s inability to discontinue subsidy and allow market forces determine electricity tariffs for Nigeria poor social service delivery system.

Symington, who was represented by Country Mission Director of the US Agency for International Development, USAID, Mr. Stephen Haykin, also attributed the low investment in the social services sector by government at all levels on low revenue from taxes and inefficient tax system.

According to him, the decision of the country to continue to transfer public funds to keep petrol pump price at lower levels, as well as electricity rates below cost-recovery levels, meant that less funds are available to fund education, health care and other social sector services.

He said, “One proximate cause of poor health, education and nutrition standards is low public expenditures. This in turn is related to very low public revenues due in fact to low tax rates and weak systems for tax collections. “Low social spending is also as a result of transfers from government to petroleum and power sectors because fuel and electricity tariffs are below cost recovery levels.

“Fiscal, trade and other micro-economic policies tend to act as breaks on private sector initiatives on economic growth. Weak governance due to inadequate capacities or lacks of checks and balances also slows social and economic development.”

He, however, argued that the conflicts across the country might also be responsible for the country’s poor social development. Also speaking, former Minister of State for Health, Mr. Muhammed Pate, berated Nigeria’s political class for failing to make decisions that would attract the much-needed investments in critical sectors of the economy.

According to him, the country’s leaders had consistently made choices that were not in the interest of the country but themselves, stating that these choices had denied the country investments in the education and growth of its children. He said Nigeria had wasted financial resources on frivolous expenditures, while he accused the current administration of towing the same path and repeating the mistakes of the past administration.

He said, “After extracting almost a trillion dollars’ worth of oil since our national independence, we have a situation where poverty is going on. We have effectively squandered an opportunity to utilise the natural resources that we obtain purely by chance, not by hard work.

“Instead of investing to uplift our people’s lives, our political elites by commission or omission chose the path of short-term comfort and purchase of loyalty through economically unwise or corruption riddled national expenditure at the expense of economically sound investments in both human and physical aspects to transform our nations.”

He further stated that a country seeking to realise its demographic dividends, must first undergo demographic transition, meaning a shift from high fertility and high child mortality to relatively lower fertility and child mortality. He said, “Nigeria’s demographic transition is slow, variable and achieving the dividend from the population is not guaranteed.

Childhood development is going in the wrong direction particularly in northern Nigeria. “Some areas in the security challenged north east, stunting is more than 60 per cent among children under-five while over more than 40 per cent of Nigeria’s children under-five are stunted.” – Vanguard

– Sept. 12, 2018 @ 12:59 GMT |