ctivities on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) yesterday returnedo to downward trajectory following sell-off that pervaded the equities market resulting in the equities market dropping by 0.21 per cent.
The decline was impacted by negative sentiments of investors on blue chip stocks.
Consequently, the All-Share Index shed 57.27 basis points or 0.21 per cent to close at 27,058.62 index points as against 27.115.89 recorded the previous day while market capitalisation of equities depreciated by N28 billion to close lower at N13.186 trillion from N13.214 trillion as market sentiments returned to the red territory.
Meanwhile, a turnover of 209.6 million shares in 3,743 deals was recorded in the day’s trading.
The banking sub-sector was the most active (measured by turnover volume); with 77.4 million shares exchanged by investors in 654 deals. The sub-sector was enhanced by the activities in the shares of GTBank Plc and ETI Plc.
The premium sub-sector boosted by the activities in the shares of Zenith Bank Plc and FBNH Plc followed with a turnover of 54.5 million shares in 1,364 deals.
The number of gainers at the close of trading session was 27 while decliners also closed at 10.
Further analysis of the day’s trading showed that Oando Oil Plc and Transcorp Plc topped the gainers’ table with 10 per cent each to close at N3.85 and 99 kobo per share respectively while Chams Plc followed with 9.52 per cent to close at 23 kobo per share. Berger Paints Plc trailed with a gain of 9.49 per cent to close at N7.50 per share.
On the flip side, Cutix Plc led the losers’ chart with a drop of 9.62 per cent to close at N1.41 per share. PZ Cussons Plc and Union Dicon Plc followed with a loss of 8.33 per cent each to close at N5.50 and 22 kobo per share respectively. May and Baker Plc trailed with 6.83 per cent to close at N1.91 per share.
Report: FDI inflows into Africa remain steady
United States, France, United Kingdom were largest investors in the continent
he latest edition of EY’s (formerly Ernst & Young) Africa Attractiveness report shows that Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) to Africa remained generally steady last year.
The report, which describes trends and opportunities in Africa’s economic growth and in FDI to the continent, reveals that while FDI flows were small by global standards, the ratio of FDI to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was high, signaling the importance of FDI to the continent’s economic growth.
Specifically, the report shows that the largest investors by number of projects in Africa were the United States, France, and the United Kingdom, respectively. Notably, China was the largest investor in terms of total capital, investing more than twice the dollar amount of France or the U.S.
The report states that FDI flows from traditional investors are partially driven by strong historical relationships: France, for instance, is a key investor in francophone Africa. Emerging partners, including China, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and India, are playing an increasingly important role in Africa, accounting for 34 percent of total projects and over 50 percent of jobs created and capital investments. Additionally, intra-African investment continued to grow in 2018: South Africa remained the most extensive investor in other African countries, and Kenya and Nigeria contributed significant FDI to East and West Africa respectively. Egypt and Morocco are major investors in North Africa.
In addition to describing the major sources and destinations of FDI, the report additionally analyzes FDI by sector. While extractives attracted a large portion of inbound capital in 2018 (36 percent), the majority of projects and jobs created were actually in the services and industry sectors. For instance, the telecoms, media, and technology (TMT) and consumer products and retail (CPR) sectors gained increased prominence in 2018.
The report states that FDI in the consumer segment has been driven by the demands of Africa’s rapidly urbanizing population with rising income levels, while investment in TMT has been driven by a rise in investment for technology and the increasing trend of global technology companies establishing a presence in Africa.
Emphasising the importance of both economic growth and reform in attracting FDI, the report recommends that African governments take steps to diversify their economies in order to reduce susceptibility to macroeconomic shocks and provide a better environment for investors. It also states that trade may become a key enabler of future growth, as the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) should facilitate quicker, more efficient, and cheaper trade as well as stimulate economic activity.
LIRS launches Enterprise Tax Administration System
he Lagos State Internal Service (LIRS) has announced the launch of its Enterprise Tax Administration System (eTax).
In a statement, the agency described the eTax as a digital tax administration solutions that captures all aspects of taxation from end to end. it is a multi-channel tax and levies payment solution that enables payment of all forms taxes via the web and mobile.
According to the statement, “the introduction of eTax is in furtherance of LIRS’s commitment to build convenience into the payment of taxes, whilst reducing compliance cost and increasing the effectiveness of tax administration in the State. Its self-service feature reduces turnaround time for tax processes.”
Inflation rises in September
The consumer price index, that measures the rate at which the prices of goods and services in increase, stood at 11.24% in September.
This is a 0.22 percentage point increase from the 11.02% recorded in August.
Managing waste via technologies
Many countries and municipals of the world, including Lagos, Nigeria are considering innovative technologies for waste management to safe the planet earth and promote green economy. Dayo Ayeyemi reports
It is no longer news that indiscriminate dumping of waste by residents and lack of adequate waste management gas have resulted in excessive air, soil and water pollution.
Already, these are threatening public health, ecosystems, and biodiversity, as well as accumulating immense quantities of waste in the world’s oceans.
As the world’s cities produce about seven to 10 billion tonnes of waste per year and struggle to fulfil basic waste management requirements of 375 per metric ton of solid waste according to report, it is estimated that that in every 30 seconds, a person dies due to diseases caused by mismanaged waste such as diarrhea, malaria, heart diseases and cancer . These account for between 400,000 and one million deaths per year.
Besides, it is assumed that plastics entering the oceans are killing more than 100,000 marine animals every year.
Taking the bull by the horns, the global communities gathered every October at a forum of World Habitat Day to channel ways forward.for pressing cities issues.
As a result, the United Nations (UN-HABITAT) has dedicated this year’s celebration to advocate and raise awareness with a view to foster integrated waste management in the world’s cities as a step towards a circular economy.
Besides, it is using it to support the development of data collection for waste wise cities; facilitate monitoring of waste value chain together with cities and municipalities.
To make these happen, the UN agency has called on its partners and the world community to support collection of data on sources and sinks of waste in their city,.
It added that they must commit to integrated sustainable waste management and join the waste wise cities campaign.
Connecting the theme: “Frontier Technologies As Innovative Tool to Transform Waste to Wealth’’’, many experts, comprising policies makers and urban planners suggested how Lagos State Government could leverage on technology to manage it’s solid waste efficient in order to promote cleaners and healthier environment.
Chairman, Senate Committe on Judiciary, Human Rights, and Legal Matters, Senator Opeyemi Bamidele, noted that the Agenda 2030 for sustainable development particular Sustainable Development Goals 6,8,11,12 and 14; the Paris Agreement and New Urban Agenda considered waste management as an urgent and critical issue that must be addressed to assure the future prosperity and sustainability of the planet.
In his analysis, Bamidele,who doubles as lead speaker at the forum put together by the Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development, said that vegetal matters account for 35.5 per cent of waste generation in Lagos
He said : “According to the analysis of the composition waste generation in Lagos by the Federal Ministry of Environment finaced studies by project consortium reveals that vegetal matters account for 35.5 per cent, ashes/dust 11 per cent, paper-9.8 per cent, textile -9.2 , plastic – 19.5, metals -4, glass-3.9, wood – 1.8, others -5.3 per cent.
“Waste density was 180 kilogramme per cube and degradable component – 37. 2 per cent, composable component 65.5, per cent and combustible component -75.3 per cent.”
Sustainable polymer, nanotechnology, 3D printing, mobile applications, logistics platforms, digital dashboards, cloud computing, big data, internt and smart bins are some of the frontier technologies being deployed for waste generation, disposal and management.
Stating the advantages of application of frontier technologies in waste management, the senator said it would enable the authorities to gather data on waste flows in cities; determine the true costs of waste management and disposal, including the hidden environmental and health costs; while support planning and implementation for a circular economy.
According to him, through effective and sustainable deployment of fornties technologies, cities could become pioneers in conserving precious resources, saving energy and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, thus contributing to combating climate change.
Turning waste into wealth in this context, he said meant the use of untapped potential of waste materials.
He said : “Money can be saved through rethinking what we consider waste and what we produce, refusing the production and use of single items, reusing materials and water, reducing waste generation and recycling the unavoidable waste.
“ As an opportunity for the urban poor to generate income from waste collection and treatment; frontier technologies can be used to create online accounts and enable money flows from one part of the world to the other, from high-to low-incomes areas.”
Given the growing global concern for the creation of decent, stable, hygenic and affordable livelihood, Bamidele said it has become imperative for government institutions, private sector, ivory towers, reseach citadels as well as regional development partners to research and invest more to encourage the invention of durable and green-driven frontiers technologies that could be utilised as innovative tools capable of continually transforming waste to wealth.
The senator enjoined all stakeholders of the governance process to key into partnerships that promote environment-friendly technological innovations with a view to unveiling and maximising the untapped potentials of waste materials.
“It is imperative that economic planning and budgetary projections by public institutions and corporate organisations must emphasise the need to invest more in the invention and promotion of frontier technologies to enable us save the planet earth and, more importantly, our common humanity from recurrent and more devastating environmental disasters,” he said.
Lecturer in the Department of Urban Planning, University of Lagos, Professor Leke Oduwaye, stated that waste collection and management in Lagos State required more innovative measures.
He pointed out that if the agency in charge of waste management in Lagos State had robust data, it would be easier to move a lot of waste for production.
He added that it was difficult to separate infrastructure from innovation.
Former Permanent Secretary in the Lagos State Ministry of Housing, Mr. Tunji Odulami, a town planner, warned that it was necessary to carry out the assessment of what the state had in terms of waste collection and infrastructure before shifting to frontier technologies.
“We need to upgrade the infrastructure before frontier technologies,” he said, noting that drones have become useful.
According to him, people must see waste as a resource and that the Lagos Waste Management Authority (LAWMA) should get data, urging that government shou;ld regulate scavengers “because they expose themselves to hazardous emission. There is need for the buy-in of everybody.”
Former Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development in Lagos, Francisco Abosede, noted that in every 30 seconds, people died due to diseases emanated from solid waste
According to him, 80 per cent of plastic were still around, while 30 per cnt of waste water was being discharged in the ocean without being treated.
“But there are fromtier technologies telling us that there are better way of managing waste,” he said.
In his comments, Commissioner of Environment, Mr. Tunji Bello, stated that there were slums that generated a lot of waste in Lagos.
To combat slums, he said it has become imperative to manage waste through frontier technologies, pointing out that China, and Thailand”s sign up were examples.
He said : “We must start from physical planning through proper urban planning.
“One third of Lagos is below sea level. There is limit to where you can set up landfill site. This is the reason we have Ojota, Igando, Agege dumps. In the next five years, we won’t be able to use our dumpsites again.”
He noted that few years ago, Lagos authority commeced the conversion of waste to fertiliser, urging the need to move forward.
“We need to upgrade our planning, sustaining what we are doing because 14,000 metric tonnes are waste collected in lagos daily,”he said.
Commissioner in the Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development, Idris Salako, stated that Lagos State had continued to blaze the trail in innovative approaches to urban management not limited to the water sector.
He said the state was aware that the degree or choice of management options deployed to waste was critical to climate change management, mitigation, adaptation among others, adding that it was implementing the green approach.
LAWMA’s Managing Director, Dr. Muyiwa Gbadegesin, said the problem of waste management was not logistics, pointing out that the real problem was human behavior.
He noted that people threw away things that were valuable, adding that the agency had launched Blue Box initiative to allow people separate waste from their kitchen.
Governor Babajide Sanwo- Olu of Lagos State has insisted that that his administration would go ahead on the plan to use technology to aggressively management of the estimated 14,000 tons waste generated in the state daily.
Represented by his deputy, Dr Obafemi Hamzat, the governor, who explained that continued influx of people into the state calls for a review waste generation and management, said the state had re-energised the solid waste management sector by promoting the concept of Reduce, Reuse and Recycle as the major thrust of waste management in the state.
Apart from cleaner and healthier environment, there is need for strong policies to support the waste to wealth initiatives of government to promote job creation among the citizens.
Changes in the air: Intricate skills of aircraft development
Here’s how the typical story-line of technology goes: something new is invented, then it becomes old and we replace it with a more advanced version. But in rare instances, tech is so advanced that we’re not actually prepared to replace it by the time it ages out of fashion, writes WOLE SHADARE.
Well beyond its time
Case in point: the Concorde. It was a plane ahead of its time—quite literally, as a flight from Paris or London to New York was so fast it’d actually land more than two hours before it took off: something that’s only possible today if you cross the International Date Line.
The supersonic jet was supposed to usher in a new age of transportation, but just 27 years after its inaugural commercial flight the futuristic aircraft retired with no successor—16 years ago today, in fact—and supersonic passenger travel ceased to exist.
Bringing cities closer
Gone were the days when a trip from Amsterdam to Lagos took 52 hours in propeller powered airplanes. The development of aircraft from propeller aircraft to jet engine airplanes has drastically cut down travel time between two cities considerably.
In those early stages of development of aircraft and by extension the aviation industry, aircraft makers at that time concentrated efforts on aircraft engines that were less advanced but efficient enough to travel long distances in days.
But advancement in technology has made continents, cities far closer than they would have been. Tribute must be paid to the Wright brothers – Orville and Wilbur –two American aviation pioneers generally credited with inventing, building, and flying the world’s first successful airplane.
The Wrights appear to be the first to make serious studied attempts to simultaneously solve the power and control problems.
Both problems proved difficult, but they never lost interest. They solved the control problem by inventing wing warping for roll control, combined with simultaneous yaw control with a steerable rear rudder. Almost as an afterthought, they designed and built a low-powered internal combustion engine.
1929 also saw the first flight of by far the largest plane ever built until then: the Dornier Do X with a wing span of 48 m. On its 70th test flight on October 21 there were 169 people on board, a record that was not broken for 20 years.
Rise of commercial aviation
After World War II, commercial aviation grew rapidly, using mostly ex-military aircraft to transport people and cargo. This growth was accelerated by the glut of heavy and super-heavy bomber airframes like the B-29 and Lancaster that could be converted into commercial aircraft.
Digital age (1980–present)
The last quarter of the 20th century saw a change of emphasis. No longer was revolutionary progress made in flight speeds, distances and materials technology. This part of the century instead saw the spreading of the digital revolution both in flight avionics and in aircraft design and manufacturing techniques.
The 21st century aviation has seen increasing interest in fuel savings and fuel diversification, as well as low cost airlines and facilities. Additionally, much of the developing world that did not have good access to air transport has been steadily adding aircraft and facilities, though severe congestion remains a problem in many up and coming nations. 20,000 city pairs are served by commercial aviation, up from less than 10,000 as recently as 1996.
End of an era
The first real experiment at considerably cutting travel time was the experiment with Concorde aircraft that was rested few years ago. Although Concorde finished lifespan but it is known as the most impressively beautiful and graceful airliner ever to fly.
Concorde was once the last word in luxury flight and still holds the record for the fastest crossing of the Atlantic by a commercial aircraft.
In 1976, the Concorde symbolized the future. Built by the French Aérospatiale and the British Aircraft Corporation (BAC), even its name was meant to symbolize the coming together of two ancient foes.
Concorde used to reach to 60,000 ft, a height of over 11 miles. So passengers were able to see curvature of the Earth. Due to the intense heat of the airframe, an aircraft used to stretch anywhere from 6 to 10 inches during flight. Every surface, even the windows, was warm to the touch by the end of the flight.
Air France and British Airways blamed low passenger numbers and rising maintenance costs.
Passenger numbers fell after an Air France Concorde crashed minutes after taking off from Paris in July 2000, killing all 109 people on board and four on the ground.
The plane ran over a piece of metal on the runway, bursting a tyre which caused the fuel tank to ignite as it was taking off.
The 9/11 attacks in 2001 also had a severe impact on the number of people choosing to fly.
The operators also blamed rising maintenance costs. Although advanced when it was launched, 30 years on the planes were outdated and expensive to run.
The end of supersonic jet saw to the dominance of the aircraft market by two aircraft giants, Boeing and Airbus. The rivalry between the two plane makers has led to advancement in technology for their customers and travellers alike.
The global commercial aircraft market is dominated by two manufacturers -European conglomerate Airbus and Seattle-based aerospace giant Boeing. Their drive to secure market share is affecting everything from which aircraft you are on, to what routes you can choose from and how many passengers you share the cabin with.
The rivalry between the two is shaping not just their own future but the air travel industry itself, driving innovative aircraft design, new buying patterns among airlines and expanded route maps that offer travellers more choice, flexibility and convenience.
Boeing and Airbus each control around half of the global aircraft market, and analysts anticipate the booming travel industry needing as many as 39,000 new planes over the next 20 years. With a value of over $6 trillion over two decades, even small differences in market share add up to big business, so it is no wonder competition is so fierce.
An important outcome of this intense rivalry has been the competition for more fuel efficient, cost-effective aircraft. Rising prices mean the cost of fuel now makes up almost half of the operating costs of airlines, so small improvements in fuel efficiency can yield huge benefits to carriers. One reason superjumbos are less popular is that alternative narrow-body or smaller wide-body craft are so much more efficient than they used to be.
Boeing’s latest version of the 787 consumes 40% less fuel per traveller carried than its equivalent aircraft did in the 1970s11. That means those smaller aircraft can fly for longer without having to stop and refuel at intermediate destinations, enabling airlines to deploy them on services that would have needed a 747 or A380 before.
More frequent services, operated by more adaptable, smaller aircraft became practical and cost effective. This allowed airlines to keep ticket prices low, while giving consumers more flights to the destinations they wanted, giving the more control over their time and their travel.
One driver of this increased efficiency is the new generation of engines powering aircraft. Sustained demand for jet and the need for competitive advantage allowed companies like Pratt & Whitney to develop innovative new approaches to propulsion technology like the ‘geared turbofan’. This engine alone can yield 16% more fuel efficiency, with half the carbon-dioxide emissions and only 25% of the noise pollution of previous models.
MAP: Delta tops list as BEDC rolls out 572,392 meters for four states
BEDC Electricity Plc. (BEDC) has announced a total rollout plan of 572,392 meters within the next two years across its franchise areas covering Edo, Delta, Ondo and Ekiti states under the Meter Asset Provider (MAP) scheme.
The breakdown according to a statement from BEDC, is as follows: Edo, 190,000 meters, Delta; 200,200 meters, Ekiti; 67,452 meters and Ondo; 114740 meters respectively.
Executive Director, Commercial, Mr. Abu Ejoor made this known during Media launches of the MAP scheme held across the coverage areas in Benin, Asaba, Ado-Ekiti and Akure, stressing that in taking off, MAP will initially have up to three months of build up roll out, which will eventually pick up with expected increase in monthly rate, across its franchise areas.
Mr. Ejoor disclosed that in Edo state, BEDC was taking off in two major locations; GRA to Ihama in Benin City and Okpela in Auchi North, adding that customers should cooperate with enumerators going round various locations in Edo and respond promptly to request for completion of enumeration forms.
Speaking on current power reality in Edo state, the Executive Director affirmed that 44 per cent of BEDC’s power allocation of 9 per cent from the national grid comes to Edo state, hinting that average of 86,061MW of electricity is delivered to the state monthly.
He added that about 14 per cent power generated is lost due to poor network infrastructure, saying work was ongoing to improve the network, adding “about 36% of power generated is lost through commercial theft or illegal consumption and non-payment of bills. About 30% of power supplied to households are wasted due to inefficient management of use.”
Mr. Ejoor equally informed journalists that the 132KV breaker of the 15MVA transformer at Okpella Transmission Station has been replaced with the transformer back to service.
Of budget and IOCs’ $62bn oil revenues’ underpayment
The $62 billion (N10.32 trillion) oil revenues allegedly underpaid by the international oil companies (IOCs) to the Federal Government coffers can fund Nigeria’s budget for two years. Adeola Yusuf reports
The relationship between the Federal Government and International Oil Companies (IOCs) operating in the Nigeria’s deep water production space hit a new low last Wednesday. The business tie between the duo was rocked by a fresh bickering over allegation of $62 billion (n10.32 trillion) oil revenues underpayment.
Nigeria, Africa’s biggest crude exporter is cash trapped and it, would not tolerate what it termed a “short-change” from the operators in its oil sector.
Speaking through the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, the government declared that there is no limit to what it could do in terms of engagement and settlement in pursuit of the $62 billion oil revenues allegedly underpaid by Shell, Chevron, ExxonMobil and two other oil supermajors.
The country is seeking recovery of $62 billion from the oil companies including Total and Eni using a 2018 Supreme Court ruling, which it says enables it to increase its share of income from production-sharing contracts (PSCs).
Though the allegation has since been rebuffed by some of the companies, the money in question is N22.320 trillion if converted to Nigeria currency, and it is, if established, enough to fund the country’s budget for two years, thus, it should be thoroughly followed.
The deal and its controversy `
Stating that Nigeria had been “short-changed” under the law by the companies, Malami said in a telephone interview according to Reuters on Thursday, that the regulations allow the government to revisit revenue-sharing deals on petroleum sales if crude prices exceed $20 a barrel.
The government was pursuing a case for recovery if it was established that the oil companies had under-paid the government, he said.
“Computing the amount that should be credited to the Nigerian government if the law was effectively applied, that translates to around $62 billion against the IOCs (international oil companies),” the Attorney-General said.
He continued; “All options are on the table and there is no limit to what we can do in terms of engagement, in terms of settlement, if the need arises.”
Though Malami declined to name the oil companies involved in the matter, industry and government sources declared, according to Reuters that Royal Dutch Shell, Chevron, Exxon Mobil and Eni, were earlier asked to pay the central government between $2.5 billion and $5 billion each.
A sector with transparency issues
The oil sector, aside from this fresh $62 billion underpayment allegation, has myriads of issues that bother on lack of transparency. Just last Thursday, the Federal Government reconfirmed that Nigeria is yet to know the actual volume of fuel imports and consumption as it inaugurated a team of 89 persons drawn from five key agencies to, among other things, authenticate the actual volume of products imported and consumed in the country.
Minister of Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, who inaugurated the initiative code-named ‘Operation White’ in Abuja, according to a statement, maintained that the team is to also ensure transparency and accountability in the distribution of petroleum products across the country.
Speaking at a brief ceremony held at the NNPC Towers Thursday, Sylva who earlier visited the team’s Command and Control Centre at the NNPC Towers, observed that the initiative was long overdue for the country, even as he charged members of the team to carry out the assignment with commitment, zeal and patriotism.
The tough budget ahead
Nigeria, all things being equal, has outlined N10.729 trillion for its 2020 budget based on expectations of higher oil prices. The has set out to produce no less of 2.18 million barrels of crude oil daily in the entire 365 days of year 2020. The country also expects that the product will not sell below $57 per barrel. All these are contained in the latest document from the National Assembly, a legislative arm that, due to its statutory role, felt that the about 9 trillion earlier proposed by President Muhammadu Buhari for the 2020 budget was not enough. The budget, to the legislators deserved to be jerked and exactly that is what it did.
The legislature penultimate Thursday, October 3, 2019, increased the value of the country’s 2020 budget outline to N10.729 trillion based on expectations of higher oil prices.
The legislature passed a medium-term expenditure framework that increased the anticipated oil price to $57 per barrel from a previous $55 per barrel. That pushed the budget up from N10.002 trillion naira.
The finance minister had previously revised the expected oil price down from $60 per barrel to cushion against supply shocks.
The framework passed on Thursday also pegged oil production at 2.18 million barrels per day (bpd). While Nigeria is currently producing at roughly that level, it had pledged to cut it meet an OPEC cap on crude oil of 1.685 million bpd.
The document is a plan Nigeria uses to prepare its annual budget. The finance minister submits the framework to the legislature, which must then approve it.
President Muhammadu Buhari has presented a finalised budget proposal to the legislature last Tuesday, October 8, 2019, and the move to ensure funding for the budget has begun in earnest.
For Nigeria to realise this target, it must unfailing on daily basis be producing 1.8 million barrels and the oil must sell at $57per barrel or above that benchmark.
Unfortunately for Nigeria, it cannot solely determine oil price. The stability enjoyed by the country in production is also determined by the relative peace in the Nigeria Delta.
Asides this, the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) also helps in determining what volume of crude is profitable to produce and sell to the global market.
The inability of the country to determine all these, rolled into one, will put it under intense pressure on the increase of the revenues for the budget to N10.729 trillion.
With a resolution to the alleged $62 billion (N22. 32 trillion) trapped through underpayment, the country could fund its budget conveniently for two years.
The plan for recovery
In the latest plan, the government argued that the energy companies failed to comply with a 1993 contract-law requirement that the state receive a greater share of revenue when the oil price exceeds $20 per barrel, according to a document collectively prepared by the attorney-general’s office, and the Justice Ministry.
Oil prices rose to more than $100 a barrel in 2014 before a sharp drop that triggered a 2016 recession in Nigeria, leaving the government struggling to fund its budgets.
President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday presented a record 10.33 trillion naira ($33.8 billion) budget for 2020 to lawmakers. He has repeatedly rolled out record spending plans but struggled to fund them due to lower oil output and an inability to boost non-oil exports.
Under the production-sharing contract law, companies including Royal Dutch Shell Plc, ExxonMobil Corp., Chevron Corp., Total SA and Eni SpA agreed to fund the exploration and production of deep-offshore oil fields on the basis that they would share profit with the government after recovering their costs.
When the law came into effect 26 years ago, crude was selling for $9.50 per barrel. The oil companies currently take 80per cent of the profit from these deep-offshore fields, while the government receives 20per cent, according to the document. Oil traded at $58.29 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe Exchange.
Most of Nigeria’s crude is pumped by the five oil companies, which operate joint ventures and partnerships with the state-owned Nigerian National Petroleum Corp.
Representatives of the oil companies met Justice Minister Abubakar Malami Oct. 3 in Abuja, according to two people familiar with the discussions who asked not to be identified because the meeting wasn’t public.
Malami reportedly told them that while no hostility is intended toward investors, the government would ensure that all the country’s laws are respected, the people said.
Oil companies including Shell have gone to the Federal High Court to challenge the government’s claim that they owe the state any money, arguing that the Supreme Court ruling doesn’t allow the government to collect arrears. They also contend that because the companies weren’t party to the 2018 case, they shouldn’t be subject to the ruling.
“We do not agree with the legal basis for the claim that we owe outstanding revenues,” Bloomberg quoted Shell’s Nigerian unit to have said in an emailed response to questions.
IOC’s reactions and legal foundation
Chevron spokesman Ray Fohr said the company doesn’t comment on matters before the court. Its units in Nigeria “comply with all applicable laws and regulations,” he said by email.
Exxon and Total declined to comment, while Eni officials didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.
The Supreme Court ruling followed a lawsuit by states in Nigeria’s oil-producing region seeking interpretation of the nation’s production-sharing law. The states argued that they weren’t receiving their full due. The court ruled in their favor and asked the attorney general and justice minister to take steps to recover the outstanding revenue.
The 1993 law required that its provisions be reviewed after 15 years and subsequently every five years. The attorney-general’s office insists that the provision for a higher share of revenue doesn’t require legislative action to take effect, according to the document.
“Instead it imposes a duty on the oil companies and contracting parties, being NNPC, to by themselves review the sharing formula,” the ministry said.
The government is expected to have done its home work very well before coming up with the allegation. The $62 billion translating to N22.32 trillion in contention is a lot of money, and it should be meticulously followed and recovered.
The IOCs, on the other hand, should put up a good defense to clear the air on the allegation and they have a lot of stakes in ensuring that transparency and accountability are enshrined in the country’s oil industry.
Ikeja Electric deepens bilateral power deals, investments
Ikeja Electric (IE) at the weekend deepened the bilateral power supply deals and investments in its franchise areas as it inked a 20 hours daily supply contract with firms and residents in Government Reserve Area (GRA), Ikeja.
Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the power utility company, Dr. Anthony Youdeowei, who led the company’s delegation at the signing ceremony held at the IE’s corporate headquarters in Lagos, maintained that his company would through the deal deliver “a minimum of 20 hours supply daily” to Ikeja GRA.
This new deal, he said came as a result of the success recorded through a similar deal signed between Ikeja Electric and Residents of Magodo, another high-brow community under its franchise.
“Today, we are signing willing buyer willing seller power purchase agreement with Incorporated Trustees of Ikeja GRA residents Association in line with the company’s Bilateral Power Agreement,” he said.
The power supply, he explained, is a minimum of 20 hours of power supply for residents and businesses at the association in Ikeja GRA includes streets like Oduduwa, Isaac John, Joel Ogunaike, Fani Kayode, among other.
In its previous Power Purchase deal with Magodo Residents, it stated that “with the agreement, IE will provide the residents with electricity supply beyond the existing standards, with guaranteed performance levels. In addition, there will also be access to dedicated Customer Care and Technical teams for prompt resolution of queries and/or technical issues within the estate.”
Also, the Chief Operating Officer, IE, Mrs. Folake Soetan expressed confidence in the success of the trend-setting agreement, which she noted was in line with the Federal Government’s willing seller, willing buyer policy.
Chairman of Ikeja GRA power committee, Barrister Kennedy Anyiam-Osigwe, who expressed satisfaction with the agreement, noted that the GRA Ikeja would play its part of the deal by ensuring prompt bill payment system.
Saying that the negotiation for the agreement lasted for about three years, Anyiam-Osigwe said: “The IkejaGRA is very strategy area and we found out that we are having very poor service. We thought okay, how do we find solution to this. When we tried to see what we can do, we engaged with Ikeja Electric and see how we can have a nearly 24 hours power, and they argued that it may be difficult – it may be challenge to give us 24 hours power but they could give us premium power within 20 – 22 hours daily. We engaged them in so many meetings, negotiations and today we have signed the agreement.”
On wire tapping and sharp practices by electricity customers, he said; “The arrangement we have is that anybody who is found wanting among our members should just be cut off by Ikeja Electric.”
The Power Purchase Agreement suggests residents of the Ikeja GRA will enjoy a steady power supply when compared to non-residents. However, they will have to pay tariffs much higher than is provided for in MYTO. Residents in Magodo who currently enjoy a similar arrangement informed newsmen that they pay higher tariffs but have enjoyed regular power supply and often go days without a power cut.
They also explain that even when the power cuts they get messages from Ikeja Electric explaining why the power was cut and indicating when it will return. We understand Ikeja Electric still relies on the grid to deliver this power as such power cuts will still be expected in the transmission and distribution end.
Housing: Stakeholders seek injection of N500bn into sector
Worried by shortage of affordable homes in the country , concerned stakeholders have called on the Federal Government to inject N500 billion into building 100,000 housing units across Nigeria.
According to them, government should apply the money to build 50,000 units in Lagos, 25,000 units in Port Harcourt, 15,000 units in Abuja and 10,000 housing units in Kano to revamp the economy.
This was coming as a response to the recent United Nations’ (UN) report, which rubbished the acclaimed Federal Government’s progress in the housing sector.
Canvassing big bang injection of N500 billion into the sector, Managing Director, Rock of Ages Investment, Mr. Francis Onwuemele, said the housing units should be completed in 15 months, while mortgage should be created for each.
Apart from the fact that the initiative would yield a minimum of 500,000 new jobs, Onwuemele proposed a mortgage payment of N600,000 per year or N50,000 per month, saying this would yield an inflow of N50 billion monthly.
He said: “This inflow (unlike the error in FESTAC) will be ploughed back monthly and immediately into another tranche of 100,000 housing units.
“In a year, you would have injected same N500 billion into achieving another 100,000 units of homes. By the third year, you would have created 200,000 mortgages and 200,000 mortgagors and easily rake in a monthly inflow of N100 billion or N1.2 trillion yearly with one million jobs created.”
If government adopted the strategy, he said that the multiplier effect by workers would be incredible, adding that the Gross Domestic Products (GDP) would move up rapidly and that crime rates would drop, while kidnapping would disappear.
Co-Founder, A-ZSME, Mr. John-Bede Anthonio, maintained that government must use Bonds with long-term tenure of 30-50 years from both local and international markets for affordable housing production.
He, however, warned that there must be transparency.
“Jakande, in 1980, took World Bank finance to execute all the low cost housing estates in Lagos and now the state government is about to finish the repayment. Prudent spending, not used for buying cars of 5.5 billion,” he said.
Anthonio, a former Managing Director of Lagos State Development and Property Corporation, urged government to put its house in order, decrying closure of border instead of removing subsidy of fuel.
Another housing professional, Okupe Adewunmi, said that if prices of houses were right, there would be effective demand, urging government on the need to help with infrastructure so that people could have better accessibility and productivity.
A report presented in Abuja by UN Special Rapporteur, Ms. Leilani Farha, revealed that the country’s housing sector was in a precarious condition to the extent that government needed to immediately declare a national emergency in the sector.
The report said that the huge government budget for the sector had no commensurate impact on the lives of the population that needed shelter in the country.
Farha, who stated that she completed her 10-day long fact-finding visit to three Nigerian urban cities of Abuja, Lagos and Port Harcourt with utmost shock seeing the realities on ground, also noted that the prevalent inhumane conditions of poor informal settlement amounted to gross human rights violations.
She said: “Nigeria’s housing sector is in a complete crisis. There is no current national housing action plan or strategy. Coordination and communication between federal and state governments seem lacking. Private market housing is unaffordable for most, rental housing is scarce, requires tenant to have one to two year’s rent in advance and there is no rent control or caps.
Poor remuneration, high interest rate, collateral’s bottleneck, unfavourable conditions of loan’s repayment, short-term nature of money and high cost of housing units have been adduced among other factors low-income earners are not benefiting from mortgage.
Lagos’ Chairman of the Nigerian Institute of Town Planners (NITP), Mr. Bisi Adedire, stated that apart from low-income nature of many Nigerians, stringent conditions attached to mortgage loans and collateral’s requirement were hard to comeby by low-come people.
“People cannot meet up with collateral requirement to guarantee their payment. Also the condition of payment is not favorable, couple with interest rate.”
Adedire explained further that high cost of houses was another obstacle, adding that workers in the informal sector were not captured by most mortgage institutions.
According to report from Festus Adebayo-led Abuja Housing Show, a major requirement for getting mortgage loan facility that would enable borrower to own a home was by having a good job with regular income, but that has become a challenge when people’s earning is low.
He said: “At N18,000 per month minimum wage, public sector workers cannot afford mortgage loan. Even with the yet to be implemented new minimum wage of N30,000, this class of people will not still be able to afford mortgage loan.
“Therefore, for many years to come, unless a drastic change occurs, homeownership through mortgage loan, will continue to elude workers who earn the national minimum wage.”
Sustaining the argument, Adebayo said it was based on the term of mortgage’s structure, which required not less than one third or 33.3 per cent of N30,000 per month.
Eight years after collapse, FAAN mull free Wifi for Lagos airport
Eight years after the collapse of Wi-Fi services at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) is mulling plans to re-install the facility at the airport terminal.
Communication giant, Glo, had, a few years ago, entered into a pact with FAAN for the provision of the facilities at the terminal at a cost many considered exorbitant to be sustained as many of them preferred to use their personal Wi-fi, which they considered expensive with epileptic service.
Shortly after the instalment, the system collapsed and the airport became one of the few in the world without Wifi.
A source told this newspaper that airports are like miniature cities with shopping malls, restaurants and hotels, stressing that they also have the same need as cities, to improve internal efficiency with a secure and IoT enabled Wi-Fi network.
Demand for Wi-Fi is driving the improvements in public places, as people say getting connected is more important than most things in their lives.
According to a recent study by Wi-Fi network provider iPass, 40 per cent of respondents say Wi-Fi is indispensable. It’s “their number one daily essential,” iPass said.
The airport manager, Mrs. Victoria Shin-Aba who announced this at this year’s customer service week organised by the Customer Service Department, FAAN, said the provision of the free WiFi was part of the innovation introduced to improve on its service delivery.
According to Shin-Aba, MMIA will continue to work towards improving customer satisfaction calling on all to be involved in order to achieve the best for the overall development of the industry.
The MMIA Airport Manager while stressing the importance of service delivery announced that henceforth, all On Duty Card applicants at the airport will undergo training, orientation and lectures on aviation culture for all to be on the same page before they are issued the ODC.
According to Shin-Aba, these changes will ensure that excellent service was provided for customers adding that feedback from customers have made the organization to correct their lapses.
While acknowledge challenges associated with its facilities at the airport, Shin-Aba said the organisation was working tirelessly to replace obsolete facilities.
In her speech at the occasion, the general manager customer service/SERVICOM, Mrs. Ebele Okoye said the organisations are known for their consistent, good customer relations.
Okoye called on personnel of agencies to be above average at all times in order to be consistent and predictable adding that airports in the country must give above average service to attract customer loyalty.
She sued for co-operation among FAAN workers and stakeholders at the airport to ensure that everyone was carried along.
Okoye said servicom department has been able to open a complaint help desk across the airports with well-trained officers, providing professional uniform for all staff of the department for easy identification by customer.
She also explained that service delivery local taskforce team at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, Kano, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Enugu and Benin airports to ensure service compliant with the airport.
According to her, the taskforce was created out of the numerous complaints from customers on the general attitude of stakeholders and other airport workers who do not meet the global acceptable standards. But after years of promoting Wi-Fi as a passenger service, why the sudden change of heart?
Speaking as a passenger himself, Pickford suggested that one reason airports will charge for higher speed service is that we now travel with more powerful gadgets that also consume more data.
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