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Senegal seeks Nigeria’s support to develop oil, gas sector

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Timipre Sylva, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources
Timipre Sylva, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources
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The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timpre Sylva, has commended the effort of the Senegalese government in seeking Nigeria’s support for the development of its oil and gas sector.

Sylva gave the commendation while receiving the Senegalese Energy Minister, Aissitou Sophie Gladima and her delegation, in Abuja, on Monday.

He said that Africa needed to come together and work to support development in the region and reduce over dependence on foreigners for growth.

“I want to use this opportunity to welcome you, as I said, it is important for us as a region to come together because as they say, you have to say yes before someone from outside says yes to you.

“We as Africans must come together to work together in order to chat way forward; we cannot continue to depend on Europe and the outside world.

“In fact, it has been proven that they cannot be responsible for our development, we have to take full responsibility of our development and that is why we are very happy that you are here today,’’ he said

Sylva said that Nigeria had some advantage as country that has being in the oil and gas sector for a very long time and had learnt a lot of lessons and made some mistakes too.

He said that oil production activities started in Nigeria in 1937 but commercial discovery was made in 1950s, adding that first commercial discovery was made in 1956 and first cargo of crude left Nigeria in 1958.

“That means that we have been effectively in oil production for over 60 years, that is some kind of advantage and of course a lot of lessons have been learnt .

“When we started production activities in Nigeria,we were completely spectators, every position was occupied by expatriates, our communities were just on lookers to the activities but since then a lot has happened.

“It has been a lot of capacity development in Nigeria and today significant percentage of Nigeria’s crude is being produced by Nigerian companies.

“And also, the Nigerian involvement in  the IOCs have increased very significantly to the extent that some of them have Nigerians as their Managing Directors  in their Nigeria subsidiaries, like the chairman of Shell is a Nigerian,’’ he said

He said that Nigeria had grown a global NLNG company that is wholly Nigeria where from MD to the least staff are Nigerians, adding that Nigeria was in position to impact some of the experience to other African countries.

On local content, he said that Nigeria had grown its local content from three per cent in the past 10 years to about 43 per cent and target to grow it to 70 per cent by 2027.

“We are very committed to this because that is the only way to domicile the benefit of oil; if  you are producing oil and all the benefits are going out of the country and nobody is participating in the country, you will not get the benefits.

“One of the benefits of the oil and gas production is to make sure that wealth is domiciled in the country,’’ he said

He further said that as activities had just started in Senegal oil and gas sector, it was the best time to incorporate some of the Nigerian experience to help them develop efficiently and contribute to economic growth of their country.

He assured that Nigeria would support the Senegal energy sector to grow and urged the country to join the African Petroleum Producers Organisation (APPO).

In her remarks, Gladima thanked the minister for the hospitality and said that the country had longed to partner with Nigeria to gain from its wealth of experience in the oil and gas sector.

She said that Nigeria’s over 50 years of oil production was an excellent example for Senegal as it is beginning to grow its own industry.

He said that the country would like Nigeria to support her in four areas of security management in the oil and gas, National Oil Company (NOC) Organsation, local content regulation and NOC strategies.

She expressed interest to join APPO to help the development of the sector in Senegal (NAN)

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Business & Economy

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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CBN Halts 0.5% Cybersecurity Levy

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CBN Headquarters Abuja
CBN Headquarters Abuja
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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has withdrawn the circular directing banks to implement a 0.5 per cent cybersecurity levy on electronic transactions in the country.

The CBN announced this in a revised circular dated May 17, 2024.

The circular was addressed to commercial banks, Payment Service Providers (PSPs), non-interest, and merchant banks, among others.

It was signed by the CBN Director of Payment Systems Management, Chibuzor Efobi, and the Director of Financial Policy and Regulation Department, Haruna Mustafa.

The circular read: “The Central Bank of Nigeria circular dated May 6, 2024 (Ref: PSMD/DIR/PUB/LAB/017/004) on the above subject refers.

“Further to this, please be advised that the above-referenced circular is hereby withdrawn.”The withdrawal of the circular on the cybersecurity levy followed its suspension by President Bola Tinubu.

it would be recalls that Tinubu suspended the controversial cybersecurity levy on electronic transfers on May 14.

Minister of Information and National Orientation Mohammed Idris, who made this known while speaking to journalists after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, disclosed that Tinubu directed the CBN to suspend the implementation and review the modalities for the implementation of the levy.

Idris added that the levy was thoroughly discussed at the FEC meeting, saying the president was not oblivious to the feelings of Nigerians.

It would be recalled that CBN, in a circular dated May 6, directed banks to start charging a 0.5 per cent cybersecurity levy on all electronic transfers.

The apex bank stated that the deduction and collection of the cybersecurity levy is a sequel to the enactment of the Cybercrime (prohibition, prevention etc) Amendment Act of 2024.

This was greeted with wide condemnations by Nigerians, with many groups and individuals calling for the immediate reversal of the levy.

The House of Representatives also asked the CBN to withdraw the directive.

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