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NNPC Targets 1bn Barrels Crude Oil Reserves

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Group Managing Director of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr Maikanti Baru, says the corporation would increase the country’s crude oil reserves by one billion barrels yearly to attain 40 billion barrels by 2020.
Baru gave the assurance during his keynote address titled: “Driving Nigeria’s Oil and Gas Industry Towards Sustained Economic Development and Growth,” at the ongoing 17th Nigerian Oil and Gas Conference in Abuja, yesterday.
He said the corporation was also working towards increasing daily oil production to three million barrels per day (bpd).
The NNPC boss said the corporation would also ensure that the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) grew its production to 500,000bpd of oil and 1.5Bscfd of gas by 2020.
He commended the innovative and bold strides of the organisers of the conference in providing a platform for the interaction and cross fertilisation of oil and gas industry ideas in Nigeria.
Baru said the event had become a household name and hoped that the gains would be sustained.
“The journey has been quite challenging and exciting as well. We have journeyed through hills and valleys, through bumps and stumps; nonetheless, our resilience has ensured that NNPC continues to stand shoulder-high.
“According to him, the corporation’s outlook for 2018 and beyond is to be in the capital market to raise more finance for new oil and gas projects,” said Baru.
He said funds raised would be used to finance projects such as the NNPC/NAOC JV Idu-redevelopment, South Gas Project, North Gas Project and Central Gas Project.
The others are: NNPC/TEPNG JV’s Ikike Project, NNPC/SPDC JV Southern Swamp and Associated Gas Solution Step 2 Project amongst other new projects.
“We intend to sanction the multibillion dollars Bonga South West/Aparo (BSWA) project as soon as we conclude an agreement on the Heads of Terms with SNEPCO on the various pending PSC Arbitration disputes.
“This will jump-start the resolution of all the other Production Sharing Contract (PSC Arbitration Disputes),” he said.
Baru said in terms of gas production, the domestic demand for gas in Nigeria was unprecedented, with a current daily realistic gas demand of 4,000mmscfd.
He added that the figure was expected to grow to about to about 7,500mmscfd in the next five years.
“However, within the next three years, with our Joint Venture partners, we are committed to increasing natural gas availability from the current 1.5bscf/d to about five billion standard cubic feet per day in 2020,” said Baru.
According to him, the government would supply enough gas to generate up to 15GW of electricity to the power sector by 2020 and stimulate gas-based industrialisation.
“We would continue to progress with our seven Critical Gas Development Projects (7CGDP) which has also been established to deliver about 3.5bscfd of gas to the domestic market by 2020.
“Recently we approved $2.8 billion, 614Km Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano (AKK) pipeline project as a demonstration of our commitment which anchors on developing structured gas architecture across the length and breadth of Nigeria.
“This trajectory will continue to be our priority in the medium to long-term,” he said.
The NNPC boss said the continued implementation of the gas master plan remained a core focus of the corporation.
He explained that gas pricing had been adjusted to export parity, and legacy debts owed by the various sectors to suppliers were being paid through an intervention fund arranged by the Central Bank of Nigeria.
He said gas supply agreements would continue to be made effective with terms that assured bankability to provide the relevant comfort to the producers.
“The World Bank Partial Risk Guarantee (PRG) would be sustained to provide securitisation of gas revenues. These interventions are boosting confidence in the gas sector.
“On the gas export market, part of our strategic aspiration for gas is to strengthen our footprint in high value gas export through LNG and aim to secure about 10 per cent of global market share of traded LNG.
“On the expansion of our existing 22MTPA NLNG plant, we are at the verge of taking Final Investment Decision (FID) this year for additional 8MTPA NLNG Train 7 Plant,” said Baru.
The Vice- President, Production of CWC Group, Wemimo Oyelane, lauded the contribution of the founder of Nigerian Oil and Gas Conference, late Dr Alirio Parra, towards bringing stakeholders together to discuss issues to move the industry forward.
Oyelana urged stakeholders to continue to contribute to the development of Nigerian oil and gas sector.

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Ogoni Youths Give FG 14 Days To Fix East-West Road

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No fewer than 400 youths under the aegis of Ogoni Youth Federation (OYF), yesterday, staged a peaceful protest at the Eleme axis of the East-West Road, giving the Federal Government 14 days ultimatum to mobilize to site and fix the road or have economic activities in the area grounded.
The protesters, who carried various placards with inscriptions to press home their demands, trekked from Akpajo Junction to Refinery Junction in Eleme LGA, chanting solidarity songs to register their discontent over the neglect of the road.
Addressing newsmen during the protest, President General of the Ogoni Youth Federation, Comrade Legborsi Yaamabana, said it was regrettable that the road, which was a major route to the economic hub of the nation, has remained in a deplorable state, only becoming a death trap that has terminated the lives of innocent Ogonis.
Yaamabana, who described the mass action of the youths as a ‘warning protest’, said if the contractors handling the road were not immediately mobilized to site, then, the youths will have no option than to shut down all economic activities in the area.
He said, “we cannot continue to watch our people being killed on daily basis by tankers because of the poor state of Eleme axis of the east west road, we are calling on the Federal Government to as a matter of urgency fix the road and save our people from untimely deaths as a result of the sorry state of the road, the only bridge on the road at Aleto has collapse but nothing is being done to avert the disasters faced by our people daily”.
Yaamabana also called on the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio to constitute a substantive board for the Niger Delta Development Commission to address the development needs of the Niger Delta region, noting that the use of interim management for NDDC was “diversionary, self serving and not in the interest of the development of the Niger Delta region”.
The OYF president general also called on the Federal Government to exonerate Ken Saro-Wiwa and his compatriots who were extra-judicially murdered by the late Gen Sani Abacha military junta, and given post-humours honour as martyrs of democracy in Nigeria, while the ideals of justice they stood for should be upheld.
Also speaking, the immediate past secretary of the Ijaw Youth Council, Eastern Zone, Comrade James Tobin, who joined the protest in solidarity, decried the neglect of the East—West Road by the Federal Government, and called the immediate fixing of the road to save the teeming road users from untold pains and death.

By: Taneh Beemene

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Rising Prices Push 7m Nigerians Below Poverty Line -World Bank

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The World Bank has said that rising prices pushed about seven million Nigerians below the poverty line in 2020.
This was contained in a press statement titled, ‘Critical reforms needed to reduce inflation and accelerate the recovery, says new World Bank report,’ released by the World Bank’s Senior External Affairs Officer of Nigeria, Mansir Nasir.
The press statement was released, yesterday, in line with the latest World Bank Nigeria Development Update.
It was acknowledged that the Federal Government “took measures to protect the economy against a much deeper recession” but it was recommended that certain policies should be set for a strong recovery.”
The statement read, “The NDU, titled ‘Resilience through Reforms,’ notes that in 2020, the Nigerian economy experienced a shallower contraction of -1.8 per cent than had been projected at the beginning of the pandemic (-3.2 per cent). Although the economy started to grow again, prices are increasing rapidly, severely impacting Nigerian households.
“As of April, 2021, the inflation rate was the highest in four years. Food prices accounted for over 60% of the total increase in inflation. Rising prices have pushed an estimated seven million Nigerians below the poverty line in 2020 alone.”
Quoted in the statement, the World Bank Country Director for Nigeria, Shubham Chaudhuri, identified some of the challenges faced by the country and recommended a way forward.
“Nigeria faces interlinked challenges in relation to inflation, limited job opportunities, and insecurity.
“While the government has made efforts to reduce the effect of these by advancing long-delayed policy reforms, it is clear that these reforms will have to be sustained and deepened for Nigeria to realise its development potential,” Chaudhuri said.
Also quoted is the World Bank Lead Economist for Nigeria and co-author of the NDU, Marco Hernandez, who also gave a recommendation.
“Given the urgency to reduce inflation amidst the pandemic, a policy consensus and expedite reform implementation on exchange-rate management, monetary policy, trade policy, fiscal policy, and social protection would help save lives, protect livelihoods, and ensure a faster and sustained recovery,” Hernandez said.

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Inflation Dips To 17.93% In May, NBS Confirms

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Nigeria’s inflation rate dropped to 17.93 per cent in May, 2021, from 18.12 per cent recorded in April, 2021.
The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) revealed this in its monthly Consumer Price Index report released, yesterday.
The drop in the headline inflation in May was the second consecutive month this year.
The report indicates that the consumer price index (CPI), which measures the inflation rate increased by 17.93 per cent (year-on-year) in May, 2021, which is 0.19 per cent points lower than the rate recorded in the preceding month.
According to NBS, food inflation dropped in the same month from 22.78 per cent recorded in April, 2021 to 22.28 per cent in May, 2021.
The report reads, ‘‘All items less farm produce which excludes the prices of volatile agricultural produce stood at 13.15 per cent in May, 2021, up by 0.41 per cent when compared with 12.74 per cent recorded in April, 2021.
‘‘The highest increases were recorded in prices of pharmaceutical products, garments, shoes and other footwear, hairdressing salons and personal grooming establishments, furniture and furnishing, carpet and other floor covering.
‘‘Others include, motor cars, Hospital services, fuels and lubricants for personal transport equipment, cleaning, repair and hire of clothing.
“Other services include personal transport equipment, gas, household textile, and non-durable household goods,” the NBS added.

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