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N220bn MSMEsFund: Bank MD Lauds FG

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Chairman, House Committee on Capital Market, Rep. Yusuf Tajuddeen (right), discussing with representative of the Minister of Finance,  Dr Mahmud Isa-Dutse (left) and Director-General, Security and Exchange Commission (SEC), Alhaji Munir Gwarzo, at the inauguration of the study team on Voice and Voting Power in the Nigerian Capital Market in Abuja on Monday.

Chairman, House Committee on Capital Market, Rep. Yusuf Tajuddeen (right), discussing with representative of the Minister of Finance, Dr Mahmud Isa-Dutse (left) and Director-General, Security and Exchange Commission (SEC), Alhaji Munir Gwarzo, at the inauguration of the study team on Voice and Voting Power in the Nigerian Capital Market in Abuja on Monday.

Managing Director, Nige
ria Police Force (NPF) Microfinance Bank (MFB) Plc., Mr. Akin Lawal  has commended the Federal Government for setting aside N220 billion to boost Micro Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) development in the country.
Lawal told newsmen in an interview yesterday in Abuja that the decision was one of the best things the regulators had done for the sub-sector.
“Basically, I think it is one of the best things so far that the regulatory authorities have done in the subsector in the area of the N220 billion MSME fund.
“In terms of cost, they have been able to bring it down at a very considerable low rate of initially three but now two per cent; and you cannot get that anywhere
“But we need more of such funds to strengthen the system.’’
According to him, the fund has been very supportive and it will go a long way in reducing the cost of funds being that it is given at a single digit of nine per cent.
Recall that the Federal Government earmarked N220 billion MSME intervention fund to support the microfinance subsector.
“The fund has been helpful in provision of finance to address the core sector of the economy because, of course, it is restricted to the productive sectors of the economy
“You are only expected to do about ten per cent of that fund in commerce but mainly into the productive sector.
“And that is what actually is needed for us to create jobs and these are the things that will boost the economy of the country.
“Because, in anyway, if you are engaged in productive sector, there is no how you will not employ two or three people to join you and that is what we need at this point in time.’’
On bad loans, Lawal said it could be avoided with due diligence ‘’because with proper due diligence, one will be able to identify a bad loan before it is even granted’’.
According to him, most operators grant loans to beneficiaries who use the fund as ‘guinea pig’ for experiment on various business ventures which they are not certain about.
He said intervention funds were not meant for experimentation.
Lawal also urged the regulators to provide a common IT platform for all MFBs at an acceptable cost which would help improve their operations in the country.
“They should come up with more supportive initiatives that will be helpful to the subsector in general.
“The demand for credit is insatiable, the entire 1000 MFB or so we have in the system are not still enough to meet the demand sector
“ As you know, there are still huge numbers of the population that are unserved and how do you manage this, it is from the supply and that is in terms of the fund available.’’
Also, Mrs Nwanna Joel-Ezeugo , the Acting Managing Director, Accion MFB, urged the government to come up with a concrete economic blueprint.
“We are providers of fund, let’s know where we are going, the operators in the market, let them know where they are going to enable us strategies
“Because when there is no clear cut policy, the inconsistency will kill more and more people and throw a lot of people out of job.’’

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Oil & Energy

Partners Execute Shareholder Agreement For Brass Products Terminal

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The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, (NNPC), along with their partner, the Nigerian Content Development & Monitoring Board, NCDMB, and Zed Energy have executed a shareholders’ agreement for the establishment of a 50 million litre Petroleum Products Terminal in Brass, Bayelsa State.
The N10.5 billion Brass Petroleum Products Terminal project is expected to deliver an automated 50 million litre depot with two-way product jetty, automated loading bay, and 6 automated tanks for storage of 30 million litres of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS)and 20 million litres of Automotive Gas Oil (AGO) and Dual Purpose Kerosene (DPK).
While speaking at the signing ceremony, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva commended President Muhammadu Buhari for his giant strides in the Niger Delta which is making a huge impact on the people of the area.
“I make bold to say today without any fear of contradiction that no President has impacted the people of the Niger Delta like President Muhammadu Buhari. Aside from what we are witnessing today, remember there is also the Brass Fertilizer & Petrochemical Company, the Oloibiri Oil and Gas Museum and the Oil & Gas Park in Ogbia, all under Mr. President,” the Minister stated.
Sylva added that the establishment of the Terminal further demonstrates Mr. President’s commitment to the enhancement of the livelihood of the Niger Delta people particularly, the riverine communities in Bayelsa State where people purchase products at exorbitant prices due to logistics challenges associated with transporting products to that area.
Speaking shortly after signing the agreement, the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Mallam Mele Kyari said the Corporation was proud to be part of the project which aside ensuring products availability in all nooks and crannies of the Niger Delta, will also guarantee the nation’s energy security and generate employment.
“This Terminal will create 1,000 direct jobs during the construction phase, and over 5,000 indirect jobs during its operation. Considering the potential for employment when completed, this will definitely reduce youth restiveness in the Niger Delta area and will also address the problem of illegal refining in the area,” Kyari stated.
In his remarks, the Executive Secretary of NCDMB, Simbi Wabote stated that this milestone was as a result of strong interagency collaboration and public-private sector partnership.
“The NCDMB will continue to drive such partnerships across the industry to bring development in Nigeria,” he noted.
Earlier, the Coordinator of the Project and Group General Manager, National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS), Mr. Bala Wunti stated that the project would enhance the economics of marine petroleum products distribution.

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Oil & Energy

Senate Hails NNPC’s Drive Towards Profitability

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The senate has commended the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) for its efforts towards attaining profitability and stamping out corruption from its system.
Chairman, Senate Committee on Anti-corruption and Financial Crimes, Suleiman Abdu Kwari, gave the commendation at a hearing which was held at the national assembly complex, Abuja.
Kwari said it was heart-warming to learn that the NNPC was making great strides towards profitability and urged the corporation to sustain the gains recorded so far for the good of the country.
In his presentation at the hearing, Mele Kyari, the group managing director of NNPC, said the corporation was championing the fight against corruption in the oil and gas industry by placing measures to curb incidences of corruption across its various business portfolios and by enlisting as a partner company of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI).
He also said that the corporation has reported several incidences of infractions such as products diversion and crude oil theft to the police, EFCC and other investigating agencies of the federal government to stem corruption within the oil and gas industry.
In an effort to clampdown on fuel smuggling, the ministry of petroleum resources launched the operation white project in October 2019 to monitor and track the movement of petroleum products in the country.
Also in February 2021, the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) launched the downstream remote monitoring system (DRMS) to track the movement of petroleum products from depots to retail outlets.
“We have created an anti-corruption desk in NNPC that engages the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and other anti-corruption agencies on a regular basis,” NNPC GMD said.
“The desk ensures that in all our operations, every staff complies to the code of conduct procedures with consequence management.
“We have established a regulatory compliant governance charter and transparency policy; this is a mark of our compliance to the anti-corruption strategy.
“For the first time in 43 years, NNPC, as a part of the evolving culture of transparency and accountability, published its Audited Financial Statements (AFS) for 2018 and 2019. We are going to publish that of 2020.
“The AFS is the only document that tells how a company does its transaction. We are happy that by the time the 2020 AFS will be published, Nigerians will see the dividends of our accountability.”

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Oil & Energy

Chevron Spends $10bn On Nigerian Suppliers, Service Providers

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Chairman/Managing Director, Chevron Nigeria Limited (CNL), Rick Kennedy, said the company has in the last 10 years spent an estimated annual average of $1 billion on Nigerian suppliers and service providers in line with its commitment to Nigerian Content Development.
Highlighting the opportunities and new approaches to the future of hydrocarbons at the ongoing 2021 NIPS in Abuja, Kennedy stressed the need for robust policies and regulations to address and remedy existing challenges in the oil and gas industry; digital technology/innovations; cost efficiency initiatives; sustained social investments as well as continued support for Nigerian Content Development.
Kennedy, who was represented by Monday Ovuede, director, NNPC/CNL Joint Venture, identified opportunities in lowering carbon emissions and harnessing Nigeria’s gas resources as key enablers in complementing the new approaches to future of hydrocarbons in the Nigerian oil and gas industry in the post COVID-19 era.
According to him, the global community has continued to scale up the collaboration towards lower carbon emissions, adding that Chevron supports global efforts to reduce carbon emissions and is actively investing in operations to improve environmental performance while also working with industry to develop new innovative technology and best practices to achieve these objectives.
He emphasised that CNL’s gas strategy is to end routine gas flaring and build a profitable gas business through a portfolio of projects, and stated that in Nigeria, CNL, with its joint venture (JV) partners, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), has progressively reduced routine gas flaring by over 95% in the past 10 years and remained ahead in terms of maximising supply of on-spec gas into the Nigerian domestic market.
He also highlighted the NNPC/CNL’s Gas Sales and Aggregation Agreements with Egbin Power Plc, Dangote Fertilizer Limited, and Olorunsogo Generation Company Limited, while mentioning the positive impact of the West African Gas Pipeline (WAGP) through which Nigeria supplies gas to countries in the West African sub-region – specifically, Ghana, Togo, and Benin – thus, helping to boost economic development in West Africa.
Kennedy also noted that Chevron has joined other energy companies supporting the Methane Guiding Principles to reduce methane emissions from natural gas exploration and production operations through digital innovation and deployment of best practices, which include designing, constructing, and operating its facilities in a manner to reduce emissions from its operations.

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