- Petroleum minister, Ibe Kachikwu, says Nigeria has recorded 1,600 cases of pipeline vandalism since January. Kachikwu said that the country clocked over 3,000 pipeline vandalism cases between 2010 and 2015, and their effect was to ensure that there is no money to fund the 2016 budget. He added that endemic security issues in the Niger Delta had destabilised the country’s oil industry, with Nigeria needing to increase its production by 1.1 million barrels per day to meet its OPEC target.
- In response to an increase in the retail price of kerosene, the FG has ordered a mass importation of the product, and diesel according to oil marketers. The change in approach may be informed by the relative increase in the supply of US dollars by the CBN, with the price of petrol projected to remain stable. This represents a significant reversal from calls by oil marketers for the retail price of petrol be increased to ₦151.87 per litre. To avert the hike, the government had met with marketers last week and the CBN might step in to directly provide forex to downstream operators. The naira plunged to a record low and forwards rose Thursday, suggesting traders expect further depreciation. The naira fell 6.3 percent to ₦348.75 against the dollar in Lagos
- The Federal Government says it will spend a total of ₦505.6 billion on 116 ongoing water projects across the country while stating that its total outstanding liabilities to contractors handling 2015 water projects was ₦88.8 billion. Water Resources Minister, Suleiman Adamu said current national access to water supply stood at 69 percent, adding that 52.7 million Nigerians had no access to potable water. “It is imperative to change the trend to achieve 100 percent access to water supply for our citizens by the year 2030 (the target year for the UN Sustainable Development Goals target), when the population is estimated to grow to about 257 million,” he said.
- The Oyo Inter-ministerial tax enforcement team this week sealed about 39 firms including banks, private hospitals, companies, filling stations within Ibadan for defaulting in paying their taxes. The target firms included sealed were Shoprite Dugbe, Unity Hospital Orogun, Victory Medical Centre, Grath Nigeria Limited, as well as some commercial banks. The task force’s action followed a government announcement that it will commence the enforcement of the payment of taxes, levies duties and other rates by corporate organisations and individuals.
- The National Space Research and Development Agency has said that fifteen states may lose two million hectares to flooding this year. The areas were identified following a preliminary research and analysis conducted by the agency on flood-prone areas and listed the affected states as Taraba, Benue, Kogi, Plateau, Nasarawa, Kebbi, Edo, Delta and Anambra, Rivers, Bayelsa, Lagos, Sokoto, Kano and Niger. It said the flood risk in these states had “potential impact on agriculture and settlements’ displacement.”