The Director-General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises, (BPE) Mr. Alex Okoh,says the bureau is posied to raise N266.9 billion from privatization of 20 companies in order to fund the 2020 federal government budget. has advised against re-nationalisation of the nation’s electricity power assets.
He spoke at a breakfast meeting where he presented the bureau’s 2020 Work Plan, Revenue and Expenditure Projections to the media in Abuja, last Saturday.
Responding to concerns over the fate of the privatised power companies, as the National Economic Council, NEC, committee on the review of the sector’s privatization commenced work, Okoh stated: “What I will not advocate, as an individual, is the re-nationalisation of the power sector. I think it will be a fundamental error to go in that direction.”
He added, “The problem, as far as I am concerned, is not the privatization of the DisCos (Electricity Distribution Companies) or the entire value chain. The problem essentially is in the design of the reform of the power sector for privatization. Recapitalising the DisCos, will it solve the problem? Maybe, maybe not. He said that the electricity sector had to be taken more seriously, as according to him, Nigeria, the largest economy in Africa has a mere Electricity per capita of about 150 KWh, compared to South Africa, the continent’s second largest economy,with a record of Electricity per Capita of 4,437 KWh.
He said: “We have not started to even scratch the issue of resolving the problem of power in Nigeria and if we don’t resolve the problem of power, then we are not going anywhere in terms of economic growth in the country. I think we have to be more concerted on resolving the power issue.”
Okoh said that the major problem with the sector was the transmission and distribution, as there was excess capacity in the generation segment of the industry.
He projected that the bureau would raise N266.9 billion from the privatization of 20 companies in order to fund the 2020 federal government budget. The sum of N3.9 billion is expected to be spent on the privatization exercise this year.
He projected a revenue of N268 billion from nine power enterprises including the Yola Electricity Distribution Company; Afam Power Plant; and the Nigeria Integrated Power Plants (NIPPs).
The BPE boss said Post Transaction management unit of the bureau is expected to yield the sum of N1. 987 billion; while Infrastructure and Public Private Partnership sector would be expected to generate N626. 2 million.
According to him, the Development Institutions and Natural Resources sector would yield N440 million; while another N220. 136 million would come from the Industries and Communications sector.
Sambo Assures On $350m Cabotage Fund Disbursement
Minister of Transport, Engr. Mu’azu Jaji Sambo, has stated his commitment to disburse the $350million Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF).
He expressed his willingness to break any jinx inhibiting the disbursement of the 19-year old revolving loan fund, designed to help indigenous ship owners acquire vessels, noting that the disbursement of the CVFF will further boost shipping activities in the country’s maritime sector.
Giving the assurance in a statement by the Assistant Director, Public Relations, Osagie Edward, the Minister reiterated the commitment of the Ministry to work with the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), which warehouses the fund currently estimated at over $350million.
Making the vow when he visited NIMASA Headquarters in Apapa, Lagos, in company of the Minister of State, Prince Ademola Adegoroye and the Permanent Secretary, Dr. Magdalene Ajani, Sambo said the fund will be disbursed to deserving beneficiaries,
He called for more synergy between NIMASA and other parastastals under the supervision of the Ministry,in addition to the Nigeria Navy, and members of the Nigeria Armed forces, towards ensuring the success of the deep Blue project.
While commending the management of NIMASA over its capacity development initiatives in the maritime industry, he also lauded the agency for remaining focused in the delivery of its mandate, noting that it has upgraded its image from what it used to be a decade ago.
“NIMASA of today has come a long way from the NIMASA I knew 10 years ago. I commend the entire management and staffers of the agency for raising the bar.
“It is now a symbol of team work. I am impressed with the customer experience centre and your efforts to attract young Nigerians into the maritime industry via your various capacity development projects, including the essay competition for secondary school students”, he said.
Speaking the Director General (DG) of NIMASA, Bashir Yusuf Jamoh, briefed the Minister on some of the activities of the agency in deveoloping a robust maritime industry.
Such activities, he said, include: obtaining approval for physical and monetary incentives for ship owners to purchase brand new vessels at zero duty, and assisting them get foreign exchange at the Central Bank of Nigeria rate.
This, he explained, is to help phase out old and rickety vessels from the nation’s waterways and encourage more participation in the Nigerian shipping industry.
Jamoh also informed the Minister that under the Deep Blue Project, 600 Special Forces from the Nigerian Navy, Nigerian Army, Nigerian Air Force, Department of State Security, among others are undergoing training for special skills to ensure effective implementation of the Project.
The intention, he said, is to ensure that the nation’s waterways remain safe from all forms of criminalities.
He further disclosed to the Minister that over 2,000 Nigerians have undergone trainings under the Nigerian Seafarers Development Programme (NSDP) scheme, out of which about 800 are actively engaged on various ships, with a huge number of them working on board the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) vessels.
He added that NIMASA is developing a National Ship Building and Infrastructure Development Strategy, aimed at bridging the gap in capacity building for trained Nigerian seafarers.
Other achievements listed include enhanced maritime safety administration through effective Ports and Flag state inspection on foreign and Nigerian flagged vessels, Enforcement of safety regulations on barges and tug boats through Operation Sting.
By: Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos
FG Targets 10m MSMEs In Single Digit Credit Scheme
President Muhammadu Buhari has said his administration is planning to ensure that at least 10 million Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) have access to soft credit at a single digit interest rate in a proposed small scale empowerment scheme.
He also said the Federal Government is keen to help MSMEs achieve their full potential and has developed strategic policy interventions, enshrined laws and established institutions to create a supportive business environment for entrepreneurs and MSMEs.
The President made the disclosure, Tuesday, at the opening ceremony of the 17th Abuja International Trade Fair.
Buhari, who was represented at the event by the Minister of indutstry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Niyi Adebayo, said to achieve the plan, the Trade and Investment Ministry has developed a programme that will enhance access to credit for over 10 million MSMEs at single digit rate.
“Aside from provision of finance, this project will address key ecosystem issues such as development of MSME clusters to lower operating costs as well as capacity building initiatives,” the President said.
In addition, he said, the Ministry has also commenced the process of adopting a centralised automated platform for the registration of Trademarks, Patents and Designs.
He continued that the overall objective is to fully digitise existing records and automate the registration process to enable ownership and commercialisation of innovation.
The Federal Government, the President stated, has also approved fiscal incentives for MSMEs, which includes exemption from Company Income Tax and Value Added Tax for enterprises with annual turnover of less than 25 million Naira. The Pioneer Status Incentive also grants tax holidays for start-ups across multiple sectors.
He, therefore, called for focus on how MSMEs can be energised as vehicles for economic growth.
On his part, President of Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Dr Al Mujtaba Abubakar, challenged small scale businesses to embrace technology in order to advance their business operations.
He said digitization offers a range of opportunities for SMEs to improve performance, spur innovation, enhance productivity and compete on a more even footing with larger firms, reflecting: economies of scale; lower operation and transaction costs; and reduced information asymmetries.
Abubakar said the 17th trade fair will also strengthen trade and investment opportunities in the country, thus, offering a neutral and open atmosphere for blue chip companies, trade groups/associations, and government.
NNPC Grows Profit To N674bn, Assets Hit N16.3trn
The Group Chief Executive
Officer, Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited, Mele Kyari, has announced that the NNPC as a corporation grew its profit after tax and assets from N287 billion and N15.86 trillion in 2020, to N674 billion and N16.3 trillion in 2021, respectively.
Kyari, who disclosed this at a press conference in Abuja, said the 2021 profit was contained in the Group Audited Financial Statement of the oil firm for the year ended December 31, 2021.
He also disclosed that all major trunk lines conveying crude oil to export terminals were currently shut down in order to avert further oil theft in the Niger Delta.
He, however, stated that efforts by the oil firm, security agencies and surveillance contractors were paying off, as about 400,000 barrels of crude would be added to the country’s output in the next few days.
The NNPC boss said, “In September 2021, Mr. President graciously approved the publication of the 2020 NNPC Group Audited Financial Statement, in which NNPC declared a profit after tax of N287bn for the first time in its 44 years.
“Despite our challenging operating environment, we strongly believe that NNPC has the potential to sustainably deliver better value to its esteemed shareholders.
“Today I am happy to announce that the Board of NNPC Limited has approved 2021 audited financial statements, and NNPC progressed to a new performance level, from N287 billion profit in 2020 to a N674 billion profit after tax in 2021, climbing higher by 134.8 per cent year-on-year profit growth.”
He continued ed, that “the group’s financial position recorded an increase in total assets from N15.86 trillion in 2020 to N16.27 million in 2021, while our total liabilities decreased by 8.3 per cent from N14.68 trillion in 2020 to N13.46 trillion in 2021.
“Our shareholders fund position grew to N2.81 trillion, representing 144 per cent year-on-year. The performance would have been greater if the operations in the year under review were free from incessant vandalism, crude oil and products’ theft among others.”
In the main drivers of the profit, Kyari said, “Our core business is upstream, gas and power. So the key drivers to this performance are coming from the upstream and the gas and power.”
Commenting on the amount of crude oil being lost to theft and why it had been difficult to contain oil theft, the NNPC helmsman stated that though oil production had slumped, not all reported volumes were stolen.
“Today, our production is around 1.2 million barrels per day. We have proven capacity and this was seen in 2020, where our production, without any intervention, peaked at 2.49 million barrels per day.
“That means we have capacity, without doing anything extra, to produce up to 2.49mbpd. But since COVID-19 abated and, of course, the issues around the acts of vandals returned, we saw this gradual decline in our production to the point of this 1.2mbpd production currently.
“That means that you can easily produce up to 2.49mbpd but you couldn’t do it because of the acts of vandals. Now, this doesn’t mean that the difference between 2.49mbpd and 1.2mbpd is stolen. No. It is far from this.
“As we speak now, all our major trunk lines are shut down. That means you are not flowing crude oil into these lines, but you could have done it and it doesn’t mean the product is stolen. When the lines are running, you can lose a substantial part of that volume.
“And we believe that when they are running, you can lose up to 200,000 barrels to theft. But in actual losses today, our budget level plan is to produce at 1.8mbpd. So, if you are doing 1.2mbpd, it technically means you are losing the difference between 1.2mbpd and 1.8mbpd.
“And this is around 600,000bpd as opportunity lost, not stolen. So, once you bring back the line and you are not able to secure it, you’ll still get some of the oil flowing into the terminals but you’ll lose some part of it”, he said.
Kyari insisted that the above scenario did not mean that 600,000bpd of oil was stolen, describing it as opportunity lost because of the shutdown of production facilities.
“But I’m happy to also say that the interventions that we have seen in terms of the security measures we have taken, in collaboration with the government security agencies, with the private surveillance and security contractors, and the investments that we have done, we believe that in the next couple of days we will be able to bring back the Trans Niger Pipeline,” he said.
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