Oil Ends 2009 With $79 Per Barrel
Oil finished the year 2009 above $79 a barrel, climbing a whopping 78 percent in 2009 and notching the biggest annual gain in a decade. The market roared back from depressed levels seen at the end of 2008 that came as the global economic crisis sapped demand.
U.S. crude for February delivery settled up 8 cents at $79.36 a barrel, compared with a close of $44.60 on December 31, 2008. London Brent crude fell 10 cents on Thursday to settle at $77.93. This year’s rise in U.S. oil futures is the sharpest annual percentage gain since 1999, when output cuts by producers helped revive prices from lows near $10 a barrel.
Oil on Thursday was still almost half the all-time high of $147.27 hit in July 2008. After sliding to a five-year low under $33 at the end of 2008, oil prices staged a steady climb to a high of $82 in October this year. The annual average 2009 price was $62, broadly in line with analysts’ predictions at the end of 2008 of $58.48.
Crude was supported on Thursday by data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) that showed declines in crude oil stockpiles last week, boosting expectations of demand recovery in the world’s largest energy user.
“Momentum seems to run out near $80 as market participants ponder the conundrum of whether or not a sustainable recovery is actually underway,” Mike Fitzpatrick, vice president at MF Global in New York, said in a note. Oil’s rise of nearly 80 percent this year was part of a broad-based rally across commodities and equities as investment returned to markets drained by the global economic recession.
“While it was nominally a very strong year for commodities, it was a relative weak year for passive investors,” said Olivier Jakob, oil analyst at Petromatrix. Next year, analysts expected oil prices to consolidate this year’s gains as demand continues its gradual recovery.
“TRANSITION” IN 2010- “We expect 2010 to be a year of transition between the demand concerns of 2009 and the supply concerns of 2011, with in addition geopolitical developments having a heightened importance,” Barclays Capital said in a research note.
U.S. crude stockpiles fell by 1.5 million barrels in the week to December 25, just off an expected 2 million-barrel decline, while gasoline inventories showed a surprise decline, data from the EIA showed on Wednesday.
Crude inventories have slid by 19.5 million barrels in the past four weeks, eroding the excess supply to 50.1 million barrels, although stocks were still far above normal levels. There were signs on Thursday that crude oil supplies from some areas were on the rise as OPEC output hit a 2009 high in December, led by increases in Nigeria and smaller rises elsewhere, a Reuters survey showed.
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.
Nation3 mins ago
NSCDC Commissions New Commands In Kebbi, Sokoto
Politics2 days ago
FG Confers Nigerian Citizenship On 385 Foreigners
News5 days ago
NDDC Hails Reps For Passing N876bn Budget
News2 days ago
I’m Leaving Nigeria Better Than I Met It In 2015, Buhari Boasts …Apologises For Negative Impacts On Nigerians
News28 mins ago
Stop Panic Buying, Subsidy Removal Not Immediate – Tinubu
Editorial2 days ago
May 29: Dawn Of A New Era
Sports23 seconds ago
Rangers Still In Hunt For Federation Cup Honours
Politics2 days ago
Last Day In Office, Buhari Apologises For Painful Economic Policies