The Counsellor for Economic Affairs in the United States Embassy in Nigeria, Mr Perry Ball has emphasised the need for Nigeria to critically address the issues of power to reduce the cost of production and enhance productivity.
Mr Ball who made the call at the embassy’s monthly briefing on “overview of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) and Recent Bilateral Trade Data” said that Nigeria needs to find ways to bring the production cost of power down, taking care of little things that increase its production costs.
He urged the country to take advantage of the AGOA to export value added products to the U.S., pointing out that sub-saharan Africa exported products worth 74.2 billion dollars to the US in 2011 with Nigeria accounting for 33.7 billion dollars, mainly through crude oil supplies.
According to him, out of the 5 billion dollars sub-Saharan Afica non-oil exports in 2011, Nigeria contributed 0.45 per cent or 140 million dollars and added that sub-Saharan African non-oil exports to the US have trippled from 1.6 billion dollars in 2001 to 5 billion dollars in 2011, a 20 per cent increase over 2010.
The non-oil exports included apparel, certain footwear, automobiles and auto parts, leather products, sunglasses, glas fibres, salt, animal and vegetable fats, beverages, wines, fruit juice, coffee and tea extracts.
Others are cocoa paste and cocoa powder, cassava, vegetables, fruits, nuts, cut flowers, baskets, hats and essential oils
Said Ball: “You have access to the most generous free trade agreement, you have got the largest market and that is all that you’re doing there are value added areas I think Nigeria can explore other than crude oil”.
He explained that value added meant “a substantial input of energy into that product, get the power right and you get to raise living conditions, create jobs and raise the purchasing power,” stressing that Nigeria ought to take advantage of large market opportunities to trade in value added products.
The counsellor noted that top US suppliers of mainly crude oil were Nigeria and Angola with 33.7 billion dollars and 13.5 billion dollars respectively while South Africa had 9.5 billion dollars, mainly precious stones and metals, vehicles and parts, iron and steel.
Gabon, he added, had 4.5 billion dollars, mainly crude oil and chad with 3.1 billion dollars, mainly crude oil.
DPR Assures Fuel Availability During Sallah
The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has assured Nigerians of petroleum products availability during the Sallah holidays.
Head, Public Affairs, DPR, Mr Paul Osu, gave the assurance in a statement issued last Friday in Lagos.
The Tide source reports that the Federal Government has declared July 20 and 21 as public holidays to mark the celebration.
Osu said there was product sufficiency nationwide and advised marketers against hoarding and creating artificial scarcity under any guise.
He said the DPR would intensify its monitoring and surveillance of petroleum products outlets to ensure compliance with quality, quantity, integrity and safety of operations in line with its regulatory mandate.
Osu advised consumers to report any infraction such as under dispensing of products to any DPR office nationwide.
He also reiterated the DPR’s commitment to safety and advised consumers to observe all necessary safety protocols in the handling of petroleum products.
Osu said the regulatory agency would continue to initiate appropriate initiatives to enable business and create opportunities for investors and stakeholders in the oil and gas industry in Nigeria.
Reps Pass PIB, Adopt 3% For Host Communities
Following the report of the conference Committee on the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), the House of Representatives last Friday, in Abuja passed the bill, allowing three per cent to host communities.
The three per cent is however against 10 per cent demanded by the host communities and also the initial five per cent agreed to by the House of Reps.
The PIB is an Executive bill, which sought to reform the Oil and Gas sector and ensure its governance met with best global standards.
It was presented by the Chairman of House Committee on PIB, Rep. Mohammed Monguno (APC-Borno) on July 1.
The bill was scheduled for third reading and final passage by the House following the adoption of the report by the House, which was eventually passed on July 16.
The Tide source reports that the main opposition, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) could not participate in the adoption following their walk out from the plenary.
It would be recalled that the host communities had earlier demanded for 10 per cent, the Chairman of the House Committee on PIB however accepted five per cent in its report.
The conference Committee of the House of Reps and the Senate jointly agreed to give three per cent to the host communities via harmonisation.
Sylva Affirms Oil, OPEC’s Place In Future Energy Mix
Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, has said oil will not lose its place in the future energy mix, adding that OPEC itself would continue to be a force to be reckoned with in the sector.
He made the statement while announcing the launch of a book, “Nigeria and OPEC : 50 years of Partnership” by the federal government in celebration of the country’s golden jubilee anniversary as member of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries.
“Oil will continue to be an important component of the energy mix into the foreseeable future. It will continue to be needed to power the global economic growth in order to eradicate poverty, which is still prevalent worldwide.
“OPEC’s role of stabilising the oil market for the benefits of all stakeholders will continue to be required in the years ahead,” Syvla added.
Nigeria was admitted into OPEC as its 11th member country on July 12, 1971, at the 24th meeting of the OPEC held in Vienna, Austria.
“OPEC at the time was in its 11th year of existence having being established on September 14 1960, in Baghdad, Iraq, by five founding member countries Islamic Republic of Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela.
“This makes July 12, 2021, the golden anniversary of a successful partnership between Nigeria and OPEC.
“As part of this celebration, it is my pleasure to launch the book ‘Nigeria and OPEC: 50 years of Partnership, 1971-2021,” he said.
He said the book was an updated version of the one published in 2006 to mark the 35th anniversary.
According to him, it is a very important document that can adequately inform and inspire the future generation.
“The book gave great insights into our people, culture, diversity and relationship with OPEC over these 50 eventful years
“It also gives an insight into the landmark developments in the oil and gas sectors as well as their envisaged place in Nigeria’s energy transition commitments,’’ he said
The minister said that Nigeria as a key player in the industry would continue to lend full support to the efforts of the organisation to balance the oil market for the benefit of all.
He said Nigeria’s membership of OPEC was very important and had helped in strengthening shared values and protecting the group’s interest.
Commenting on the role of Nigeria in OPEC, he said that it had contributed enormously to the survival of OPEC during turbulent times by lending full support to the efforts of the organisation to balance and stabilise the oil market.
He quoted the OPEC Secretary General, Mohammad Barkindo, as saying that the organisation had benefited from the wisdom and expertise of dedicated public servants from Nigeria who had engaged with the organisation in different period.
“Nigeria has played a major role in driving the organisation focus on cooperation , goodwill, a sense of belonging and unity and in working toward achieving oil market stability,’’ he quoted Barkindo as saying.
Sylva further said that over the past 50 years Nigeria had produced six presidents of the OPEC conference.
He named the presidents to include Shettima Ali Monguno (1972/73), Malam Yahaya Dikko (1982/83), Dr Rilwanu Lukman (1986- 89, 2002), Prof. Jibril Aminu (1991), Dr Edmund Daukoru (2006) and Dr Ibe Kachikwu (2015).
“They have in total, presided over 26 OPEC ministerial conferences held in several countries
“It is appropriate and important to mention that our president Muhammadu Buhari also served as head of Nigeria delegation to OPEC from 1976 to 1978 and has continued to engage with the organisation, lending his unflinching support to OPEC laudable endavours.
“It is on record that he played a crucial role in negotiating the Declaration of Cooperation (DoC) between OPEC and participating non-OPEC oil producing countries which has continued to be backbone for the survival of the oil industry during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic,’’ he said .
The minister added that Nigeria had also provided four OPEC Secretary Generals namely Chief MO Feyide 1975/1976, Dr Rilwanu Lukman (1986/88), Dr Edmund Daukoru (2006) and the incumbent Mohammad Barkindo.
“This amounts to a total of 15 years of managing the affairs of the secretariat on behalf of the members. Nigeria , has therefore played a vital role in the evolution of the secretariat and the development of the organisation,’’ he said
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