Oil Prices Rise Above $74 Pbd
Oil prices rose above $74 a barrel on Monday, helped by the threat by Nigeria’s main militant group, Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) to begin offensives in oil facilities in the country come September 15, 2009.
The news got traders at the global market panicking that the remains of Nigeria’s dwindling oil production might be affected if the threat is carried-out.
Aside this factor, expectations that demand for energy will grow were also spurred by United States (U.S) Federal Reserve Chairman, Ben Bernanke, who said at the weekend that the US economy is reviving.
The Nigeria’s main militant group made the threat in an e-mail statement, picking holes in the money-for-arms programme of the federal government.
This ‘deceit,’ it declared, would not solve the region’s problem.
“The ongoing amnesty programme by the government of Nigeria seems to have achieved separating those who still have the zeal to fight for our freedom from those who were in it for the money. “There are still too many! Bring them down to the spring, and I will sort out who will go with you and who will not –God to Gideon (Judges 7:5),” the group said.
MEND continued in the strongly-worded statement: “Today, Saturday, August 22, 2009, that sorting process was again re-enacted in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, where weapons mostly bought by the government were displayed and the boys separated from the men in the circus”.
By mid-afternoon in Europe, benchmark crude for October delivery was up 55cents to $74.44 a barrel in electronic trading in the New York Mercantile Exchange. Earlier in the session, it peaked at $74.41. On Friday, it jumped 98 cents to settle at $73.89, it highest close since October.
In more good news from the US economy, the National Association of Realtors said Friday that home resales posted the largest monthly increase in at least 10 years.
Asain Stock Market rallied Monday on the recovery hopes, with Japan’s Nikkei 225 index jumping 3.4 per cent, while European indexes were also higher, with Germany’s DAX gaining 0.6 per cent and the FISE 100 in London up around 0.4 per cent.
“The market is on the cusp of $75. If it gets there, there it is not a hell of a lot to prevent if from going to $80 or $85”, said the Schork report, edified by US trader and analyst Stephen Schork.
Olivier Jackob of Petromatrix in Switzerland said the stability in equity markets and the continued weakness of the US dollar, “should remain supportive line in crude oil”.
Infrastructure Deficit, Insecurity, Limit Maritime Contribution To GDP – Expert
A Maritime stake holder, and Chairman of Sifax Group, Taiwo Afolabi, has attributed maritime industry’s minimal contribution to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to infrastructure deficit, insecurity on the nation’s waterways, low level of technology adoption, and deployment in the sector.
Afolabi made this known at the 5th Taiwo Afolabi Annual Maritime (TAAM) conference organised by the Maritime Forum of the faculty of law, University of Lagos.
Afolabi noted that other hindrances are foreign exchange bottleneck and inconsistent policies.
“These have limited the ability of the sector to contribute significantly to the country’s Gross Domestic Product GDP.
“If well harnessed, the maritime industry has the potential to become a major revenue earner for the country, particularly with the declining oil revenue.
“The lessons of the last few years as a nation should not be lost on us. The non-oil sector is increasingly becoming the mainstay of the country’s economy. We have funded our national budget in the last few years majorly without proceeds from oil but from other sectors.
“The days of our over reliance on oil is behind us now and it’s about time we focused on transitioning from an oil-dependent economy to non-oil reliance.
“The maritime sector, I can say without any fear of contradiction, will play a crucial role in this economic transitioning if more attention is committed to the industry.
“Judging by the potentials of the industry, we are of the opinion and belief that Nigeria’s maritime industry can rank among the best in the world.
“It will only take careful planning, progressive policies, generous funding, enabling environment, friendly economic policies, manpower development and massive infrastructural development”, he noted.
Loans Repayment Default: DMO Exonerates Nigeria
The Debt Management Office (DMO) has refuted the claim by the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) that Nigeria has defaulted in repaying its Chinese loans.
SERAP had in an earlier statement hailed the judgement that ordered the present regime led by President Muhammadu Buhari to account for how it spent $460 million obtained from China to fund the Abuja Closed-Circuit Television project which later was not implemented.
The NGO also quoted a report in its statement saying “Nigeria has failed to repay loans for which penalties stand at N41.31bn”.
But DMO in its refuttal said the statement is ‘false’ as Nigeria has not defaulted in its loan repayment.
It said, “Nigeria is fully committed to housing its debt obligations and has not defaulted on any of its debt service obligations”, DMO said on Monday.
SERAP had sued the Federal Government following a 2019 disclosure by the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed that “Nigeria was servicing the loan”, adding that she had “no explanations on the status of the project”.
She reportedly said, “We are servicing the loan. I have no information on the status of the CCTV project”.
Giving his judgement, Justice Nwite agreed with SERAP that “there is a reasonable cause of action against the government. Accounting for the spending of the $460 million Chinese loan is in the interest of the public. It will be inimical for the court to refuse SERAP’s application for judicial review of the government’s action”.
The presiding justice also said the Minister of Finance is in charge of the finance of the country and “cannot by any stretch of imagination be oblivious of the amount of money paid to the contractors for the Abuja CCTV contract and the money meant for the construction of the headquarters of the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB)”, SERAP said.
CBN Names Four Firms To Print Cheques
Nigeria’s apex banking institution, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has named four local firms for the printing of cheques, excluding the Nigeria Security Printing and Minting Company (NPSMC) PLC.
The list of the approved firms for the printing of cheques was contained in a circular issued by CBN.
The circular, which was signed by the Director of Banking Services, Sam Okojere, said the approved firms include Superflux International Limited, Tripple Gee and Company, Yaliam Press Limited, and Marvelous Mike Press.
“The re-accreditation of Cheques Printers and Cheque Personalisers is in line with the relevant qualification criteria”, CBN stated.
The circular also revealed that seven banks were approved as personalisers of cheques: they are Zenith Bank Plc, Ecobank Plc, First Bank Ltd, Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc, Keystone Bank Ltd, Providus Bank Ltd and Wema Bank Plc.
It further disclosed that all accredited printers and personalisers had been duly notified and certificates issued.
The Nigeria Security Printing and Minting Company Plc is the sole printer of N200, N500, and N1000 new notes.
Nigeria Security Printing and Minting Company Plc and Euphoria Group Limited were accredited and approved on Thursday, 04 December 2014, in a letter REF: BPS/DIR/GEN/CIR/02/033.
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