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PIA will drive transformation of Nigeria’s energy sector — Osinbajo

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Vice President Yemi Osinbajo
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo
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Vice President Yemi Osinbajo says the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA), as well as Nigeria’s gas initiatives, will help transform Nigeria into a gas-based industrialised nation.

The vice president said the PIA would also create a better-managed petroleum industry with more value addition for both investors and Nigerians alike.

Osinbajo’s Spokesman, Laolu Akande, in a statement on Monday in Abuja, said the vice president spoke at  a virtual event to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Sahara (Energy) Group.

President Muhammadu Buhari, on Aug. 16, signed the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) 2021 into law.

Buhari had also approved a steering committee to oversee the process of implementation of PIA.

The gas initiatives of the Federal Government include the drive to encourage investments in gas production and optimize the nation’s enormous gas potential.

“Locally, we launch into the brave new world for the oil and gas industry with the PIA 2021.

“And this happily converges with the launch of the Year 2020 to 2030 as the ‘Decade of Gas Development for Nigeria’; this is a follow-up to the highly successful initiative of the Year 2020 as the Year of Gas.”

The vice president said that in Nov. 2020, the National Gas Expansion Programme was launched, which focused on the distribution of Compressed Natural Gas and Liquefied Petroleum Gas across gas stations operated by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

Osinbajo said that the main goal of the passage of the PIB and the gas initiatives aforementioned was to transform Nigeria into a gas-based industrialised nation through enhanced accelerated gas revolution

He said it was also to help create a better-managed petroleum industry where both the people of Nigeria and investors alike can extract value.

According to the vice president, the next 25 years will be defining for the energy industry.

Osinbajo commended Sahara Group for being a great ambassador for the Nigerian entrepreneurial brand.

“The group has demonstrated bold, innovative, knowledge-driven business models that are designed to seize opportunities in other countries and have done so with remarkable success in many African countries.

“Already the wealthier nations and their institutions have banned all public investments in certain fossil projects, including natural gas.

“Examples include the EU, the UK, Germany and Denmark, as well as specific institutions such as the Swedfund from Sweden, Norway’s Sovereign Wealth Fund, the largest in the world, CDC, the development finance institution from the UK, the European Investment Bank, and the Investment Fund for Developing Countries from Denmark.

“The World Bank and other multilateral development banks are being urged by their shareholders to do the same.

“The AfDB is increasingly unable to support large natural gas projects in the face of shareholder pressure from their European members.

“Barely two weeks ago, the UN Secretary-General made a strong call, that ‘Countries should end all new fossil fuel exploration and production, and shift fossil fuel subsidies into renewable energy.”

The vice president disclosed that the Federal Government was building coalitions with other affected countries to urge a just transition as Nigeria advanced to zero transmission,

“I will urge indigenous energy companies such as your group to join in the urgent advocacy that is required to prevent the disaster that would result from defunding oil and gas projects,” he said.

Osinbajo said that the last two decades had brought significant growth of Nigerian oil companies.

He congratulated the Sahara Team for its 25 years of achievements in the energy industry and wished it more remarkable 25 years ahead.

Osinbajo urged the group and other indigenous energy companies to take advantage of the opportunities offered by the African Continental Free Trade Agreements.

Other speakers at the event included the President of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mr Felix Tshisekedi, and President of the African Development Bank, Dr Akinwumi Adesina.

The Director-General of Bureau of Public Enterprises, Mr Alex Okoh, and other top government officials attended the event.(NAN)

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Business & Economy

Tinubu To Present 2024 Supplementary Budget To NASS

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President Bola Tinubu Presenting 2024 Budget Proposal to the Joint Session of National Assembly
President Bola Tinubu Presenting 2024 Budget Proposal to the Joint Session of National Assembly
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President Bola Tinubu will soon present the 2024 Supplementary Budget to the National Assembly (NASS).

“I submitted the last budget to you,” the President said when he addressed a joint sitting of the National Assembly on Wednesday.

“You expeditiously passed it. We are walking the talk. I will soon bring the Year 2024 (Supplementary) Appropriation Bill. That is just for your information,” the President said in his terse speech at the joint sitting to mark the Silver Jubilee Of Nigeria’s 4th Republic.

In his response, Senate President Godswill Akpabio, said, “Thank you, Mr President, we will be expecting the Supplementary Appropriation Bill of 2024 as soon as possible.”

Also, at the joint sitting which coincided with the first anniversary of the Tinubu administration, the President confirmed ‘Nigeria, we hail thee’ as the “latest national anthem”.

Tinubu said, “You sang out the latest national anthem, ‘Nigeria, we hail thee’. This is our diversity, representing all characters and how we blend to be brothers and sisters.”

The President pleaded with both the Senate and the House of Representatives to continue to collaborate and work together with the administration to build the country on the path of sustained progress and development.

“We have no other choice; it is our nation. No other institution or personality will help us unless we do it ourselves. No amount of aid from foreign countries or any other nation (will fix us), they take care of themselves first. Let us work together as we are doing to build our nation, not only for us but for generations unborn,” he said.

 

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We Have No Magic Wand, Tackling Inflation Will Take Time — Cardoso

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Yemi Cardoso,CBN Governor
Yemi Cardoso,CBN Governor
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The Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Olayemi Cardoso has urged the citizens to be patient over the fight against current inflation and hike in food items in the country.

Cardoso disclosed this while briefing journalists at the end of the Monetary Policy Committee, MPC, meeting in Abuja.

The CBN governor mentioned that there was no magic needed to solve inflation in Nigeria but rather patience.

Also, Cardoso noted that despite pressure from food inflation, the general inflation rate was “moderating”, pointing out that “the tools the Central Bank is using are working”.

He stated, “I have several times and I will say again, there is no magic wand. These are things that need to take their time.

“I am pleased and confident that we are beginning to get some relief and in another couple of months we will see the more positive outcomes from the Central Bank have been doing.”

He added, “The committee thus reiterated several challenges confronting the effective moderation of food inflation to include rising costs of transportation of farm produce, infrastructure- related constraints along the line of distribution network, security challenges in some food producing areas, and exchange rate pass-through to domestic prices for imported food items.

“The MPC urged that more be done to address the security of farming communities to guarantee improved food production in these areas.

“Members further observed the recent volatility in the foreign exchange market, attributing this to seasonal demand, a reflection of the interplay between demand and supply in a freely functioning market system.”

The Central Bank of Nigeria has also blamed the recent volatility of the country’s foreign exchange market on seasonal demand for dollars.

“Members further observed the recent volatility in the foreign exchange market, attributing this to seasonal demand, a reflection of the interplay between demand and supply in a freely functioning market system,” a communique issued by the committee on Tuesday stated.

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Port Harcourt Refinery Begins Full Operations Next Month

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Port Harcourt Refinery
Port Harcourt Refinery
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The 210,000-barrel-per-day Port Harcourt refinery is expected to commence operations by the end of July, following multiple delays.

National Public Relations Officer of the Independent Marketers Association of Nigeria, Chief Ukadike Chinedu, revealed this new timeline on Monday. He noted that the refinery’s operation would boost economic activities, reduce petroleum product prices, and ensure an adequate supply.

In December last year, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Heineken Lokpobiri, announced the mechanical completion and flare start-off of the Port Harcourt refinery, the largest in the region.

The refinery consists of two units: an older plant with a 60,000-barrel-per-day capacity and a newer plant with a 150,000-barrel-per-day capacity. The refinery was shut down in March 2019 for the first phase of repairs after the government enlisted Italy’s Maire Tecnimont as a technical adviser and appointed oil major Eni as a technical adviser.

On March 15, 2024, NNPC Limited’s Group Chief Executive Officer, Mele Kyari, announced that the Port Harcourt refinery would begin operations in about two weeks. He made this statement during a press briefing following his appearance before the Senate Ad hoc committee investigating the various turnaround maintenance projects of the country’s refineries.

“We achieved mechanical completion in December,” Kyari stated. “We now have crude oil stocked in the refinery and are conducting regulatory compliance tests. The Port Harcourt refinery will start within two weeks.”

However, two months later, the refinery had yet to commence operations.

In an interview, IPMAN’s Ukadike emphasized that the work done on the refinery represented a complete overhaul rather than mere rehabilitation. He assured that every effort was being made to meet the July deadline.

Ukadike said, “When we visited, the MD informed us that the refinery was nearly ready and would start production by the end of July. The overhaul is extensive, with all the armoured cables replaced and everything almost brand new. The maintenance turnaround is massive, with work being done day and night. All hands are on deck to meet the target. By the end of July, the refinery should be operational.”

When asked about the government’s previous unfulfilled promises to restart the refinery, Ukadike acknowledged the delays but noted that no reasons were given for missing the last deadline in April

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