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Governors Lament Rising Petroleum Subsidy

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Governors in Nigeria under the aegies of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) have lamented over the rising subsidy on petroleum products, particularly Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), saying it has placed immense financial burden on States.
NGF, the umbrella body for the 36 State Governors in Nigeria, disclosed this in a memo forwarded to the House of Representatives.
The memo, which was signed by the Head, Legislative Liaison, Peace and Security, NGF, Fatima Usman Katsina, for Chairman of the Forum, is in response to the call by the House for memoranda by the Ad Hoc Committee on the Volume of Fuel Consumed Daily in Nigeria, tasked with investigating the actual amount of PMS the country consumes daily.
Titled “Findings on the Volume of Fuel Consumed Daily in Nigeria”, and dated July 1, 2022, the memo was addressed to the Committee’s Chairman, Abdulkadir Abdullahi.
It stated in part: “Although the operating environment has significantly worsened since the report was released, with NNPC (Nigeria National Petroleum Company) now consistently reporting zero remittance to the Federation Accountant as profit from joint venture, production sharing contract and miscellaneous operations, the position of the forum remains generally the same”.
The governors referred the House to a November 2021 report by its National Executive Council’s ad hoc committee interfacing with the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) on the appropriate pricing of PMS in Nigeria, which was chaired by Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir el-Rufai, and had governors of Edo, Jigawa, Ebonyi, Akwa Ibom and Ekiti, as well as the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria; Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning; Accountant-General of the Federation, Group Managing Director of the NNPC and the Permanent Secretary, MBNP.
They also recalled how the report noted that the “federation (FAAC) net oil & gas revenues have been declining since 2019 and are projected to decline significantly in 2022 by between N3bn and up to N4.4bn unless action is taken now.”
The memo further read, “The following are some of the major findings relating to the volume of fuel consumed in the country:

“Remittances to the Federation Account Allocation Committee have continued to shrink as NNPC recovers shortfall quite arbitrarily from the Federation’s crude oil sales revenue. FAAC deductions for PMS subsidy are above 2019 levels, even without adjusting for reduced purchasing power of the naira due to inflation and FX rate deterioration.

“An analysis of the average monthly PMS consumption by states showed that a third of the country accounts for over 65 per cent consumption of PMS. The analysis showed that the following States of Lagos, Oyo, Ogun, Abuja, Delta, Kano, Kwara, Edo, Rivers, Kaduna, Kebbi and Adamawa accounted for 65 per cent of PMS consumption in the country. Most states with high PMS consumption either have borders with neighbouring countries or are in close proximity, this has been an avenue for smugglers to benefit from profitable arbitrage opportunities in PMS pricing.

“Households directly consume only about 25 per cent of the PMS that is consumed nationally, with the remaining three-quarters being consumed by firms, MDAs, transport operators or smuggled to neighbouring countries where the PMS price is nearly three times what it is in Nigeria; and of the PMS consumed by households, the richest 40 per cent of households account for over three-quarters of the PMS purchased by households, while the poorest 40 per cent of households purchased less than 3 per cent of all PMS sold in Nigeria.

“In the current fiscal regime, remittances to FAAC would continue to shrink as NNPC recovers this shortfall from the Federation as a result of crude oil price recovery.

“The report recommended a PMS pricing structure that addresses regional arbitrage and smuggling of PMS and provides additional revenue to the Federation Account.

“There is a significant market opportunity for additional export revenue streams for Nigeria to be had given the price parity with our neighbouring countries.

“Privatisation of the three government refineries as is, or after their full rehabilitation if affordable and viable, and expediting the licensing procedure for modular refineries will reduce the recurring government expenditure on refinery maintenance and increase the country’s refining capacity.”

The governors noted that there were also economic risks highlighted in the report. “Fiscal pressures are threatening Nigeria’s recovery, as rising prices continue to push millions into poverty,” they said.

According to the memo, “Rising prices are pushing millions of Nigerians into poverty. Rising inflation between 2020 and 2021 is expected to have pushed an additional 5-6 million Nigerians into poverty.

“Food insecurity is increasing in both poor and non-poor households, with some adults skipping meals. Because inflation is high, even if it remains stable, it will continue to push many more Nigerians into poverty.

“Fiscal pressures are growing unsustainably with the PMS subsidy significantly reducing the flow of revenues into the Federation Account.

“Thirty-five out of 36 states are likely to see transfers from the federation fall (in nominal terms) between 2021 and 2022, with the average decline projected to be about 11 per cent. Most states are already experiencing fiscal stress, with 30 out of 36 states recording fiscal deficits in 2020, including Lagos and every oil-producing state except Akwa Ibom.

“With the projected decline in gross distributable federation revenues in 2022, fiscal deficits and debt burdens will grow even larger and faster. This will mean that transfers from the federation will not be enough to cover even salaries, and certainly not recurrent costs, which are growing in nominal terms.

“With the coming into effect of the Petroleum Industry Act, gross oil & gas revenues could be (much) lower than currently projected because of the new fiscal terms and the earmarking of deductible revenues specified in the PIA, and that could reduce net oil & gas revenues even further”.

Consequently, the NGF stated that greater accountability and transparency around oil and gas revenues “are the only immediate options for easing the pressure on government finances and maximising socially responsible profit gain.”

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NNPC, IOCs Sign Pact To Generate $500bn Revenue …To Produce 10bn Barrels Oil From Five OMLs

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The Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited and International Oil Companies (IOCs) operating in Nigeria, on Friday, signed various agreements that would ensure the production of about 10 billion barrels of crude oil and generate over $500bn revenue to all parties involved.
NNPC officials and their counterparts from the IOCs including Shell, Chevron, Texaco, Sinopec, Sapetro, Esso Exploration and Production Nigeria Limited, among others, renewed their agreements in five Oil Mining Leases (OMLs) that included OMLs 128, 130,132, 133, and 138.
The agreements renewed by the parties were Production Sharing Contracts (PSC) as well as Dispute Resolution Agreements (DRA) among others, at a signing ceremony held at the Abuja headquarters of NNPC.
Speaking at the event, the Group General Manager, National Petroleum Investment Management Services, Bala Wunti, said, “Cumulatively we hope to produce and monetise over 10 billion barrels of oil with these signatures that we had today.
“And this by no means will give significant revenue for all the parties. We expect over $500bn of revenue for all the stakeholders.”
Earlier, the Group Chief Executive Officer, NNPC, Mele Kyari, had explained that the Petroleum Industry Act 2021 gave NNPC the legal backing to renegotiate all its existing PSCs in conformance to the provisions of the new Act within a one-year period.
The PIA became law on August 16, 2021 after it was signed into law the same day by the President, Muhammadu Buhari.
The PIA in Section 311(2) stipulates that new PSC agreements under new heads of terms will be signed between NNPC Ltd as concessionaire and its contracting parties within one year of signing the PIA into law, giving a deadline of August 15, 2022.
Kyari noted that this provision paved the way for the resolution of lingering disputes which created investment uncertainty and stifled new investments in the nation’s deep offshore assets.
To achieve this, he said NNPC leveraged the near end-term of the PSCs and the parties’ interest to renew the PSCs as a negotiation currency in bringing the contractors to work towards trading the past for the future.
“These renewed PSCs would provide several benefits such as improved long-term relationships with contractors, elimination of contractual ambiguities especially in relation to gas terms, enablement of early contract renewal, among others,” he stated.
Kyari added, “The signing of the new PSCs is a key milestone achievement by NNPC Ltd which would ultimately unlock opportunities within the Nigeria upstream sector.
“The execution of the PSCs will deepen investment and development of Nigeria’s rich petroleum resources and ensure that the trifold mandate of the NNPC Ltd to ensure energy availability, sustainability, and accessibility is achieved.
“Ultimately, the new PSCs will provide an inflow of Foreign Direct Investment, expanded access to affordable energy, job creation and socio-economic development.”

 

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Nigeria’s Crude Production Plunges By Over 2m Barrels 

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The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has said Nigeria’s crude oil production plunged by 2.3 million barrels in July 2022 when compared to what was produced in the preceding month of June.
Data obtained from the latest Monthly Oil Market Report for August 2022, of OPEC, revealed  that crude oil production figures, based on direct communication,  indicated that Nigeria’s output dropped by an average of 74,000 barrels per day in July.
It indicated that for the 31 days in July, the country lost about 2.3 million barrels of crude oil, whereas the average cost of Brent crude, the global benchmark for oil, during the month under review was $105.12/barrel.
Going by the 2.3 million barrels loss in July this year, it means Nigeria’s oil earnings fell by about $241.1m or N101.13bn (at the official exchange rate of N419.37/$) in the month under review.
The data from OPEC also showed that Nigeria’s oil production in June 2022 was 1.158 million barrels per day, but this dropped to 1.084 million barrels per day in July.
The country had produced 1.024 million barrels per day in May this year, according to figures released by the OPEC on Friday.
The Federal Government, operators and experts have consistently fingered crude oil theft in the Niger Delta as the major reason for Nigeria’s poor output and its continued failure to meet the monthly oil production quota approved by OPEC.
The downstream sector has continued to be weighed down by the pricing regimes and the regulatory environments which have continued to dim the growth prospects in the sector.
OPEC has also stated that crude oil prices dipped in July, as against their costs in June, adding that crude in OPEC Reference Basket fell by $9.17 or 7.8 per cent month-on-month in July, to the average of $108.55/barrel.
“Oil futures prices remained highly volatile in July, amid a sharp drop in liquidity. The ICE Brent front month declined $12.38 or 10.5 per cent in July to average $105.12/barrel and NYMEX WTI declined by $14.96 or 13.1 per cent to average $99.38/barrel,” the international oil cartel stated.

By: Corlins Walter

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PH Airport Passengers Kick As Touts Increase

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Business activities at the Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa, seem to be taking a new twist, particularly at the arrival terminal area, as touts and touting activities have increased tremendously at that arrival arena.
Many arrival passengers have not been having it easy with the influx of these new touts, who claim to be hustling at the airport for their daily bread.
Some of the passengers not only argue with them, but brazenly argue or shout at them for forcing themselves on them (passengers).
The Tide had severally observed that the number of these hustlers has increased in recent times and their modus of operation is to approach arrival passenger, whether known or unknown to ask for assistance.
“Anything for the boys? Your boys are here-o”;  or “welcome-ooo, your boys are hungry, we are loyal-ooo”, are usually their opening gambit.
Several times, fracases had broken forth among them on how to share money given to them by some benevolent arrival persons with large heart, which usually constitute public nuisance.
Nevertheless, few of them have engaged themselves in helping passengers to load or offload luggages, and were being appreciated by some passengers, while others shun them, because they did not engage them.
Several questions have been asked by The Tide, on why this situation seems to be persisting, as the airport management appears to be indifferent to the issue, even when some passengers had been complaining.
Even the security operatives, particularly the airport security personnel, appear to be overwhelmed by the situation.
Meanwhile, a senior security officer at airport, who The Tide interacted with on the matter, said the unemployment situation had aggravated the increase in touting at the airport.
He expressed regret that many of the youths are unemployed, and that hustling at the airport, will be better  than taking arms and rubbing people, noting that it was for that reason they are not coming hard on their touting activities.

By: Corlins Walter

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