04 Nov

Daily Watch – Nigerian crude output falls again, FG approves 8 universities

  • Nigeria’s oil production has fallen by at least 200,000 barrels per day (bpd) since a militant attack forced the closure of the major Trans Forcados Pipeline on Wednesday, industry sources said; the attack pushing the country’s output back below 2 million bpd. Nigeria’s oil minister said on Tuesday that overall production had recovered to around 2.1 million bpd following months of attacks, mainly by the Niger Delta Avengers, on various oil installations that had cut output by over 600,000 bpd. Local oil company Shoreline said its 35,000 bpd of output was shut as a result of the pipeline closure. Several other local producers link up to the TFP including London and Lagos listed Seplat. Exports of Forcados that only just resumed in October are expected to continue at a reduced rate. Force majeure was imposed earlier this year after an attack on a sub-sea pipeline in February and had not yet been lifted. The TFP is the main contributor to the Forcados stream. Another 100,000 bpd or so of production by oil major Shell’s local arm SPDC was still flowing to the terminal through other pipelines, one of the sources familiar with the matter said.
  • The NNPC says pipeline vandalism across the country has reduced by 28 percent. The corporation made this known in its 13th publication of Monthly Financial and Operations Report released on its website on Thursday. According to the report, the spate of pipeline vandalism has reduced following the federal government and NNPC’s sustained engagements with Niger Delta militants. “In August 2016, there was 28.94 percent drop in the number of pipelines vandalised points relative to July 2016 which had up to 311 vandalised points,’’ the report stated. On natural gas supply to power plants, the report stated that it edged up to 469 million standard cubic feet per day (mmscfd) which equalled about 2,083 megawatts of electricity generation in August 2016. On refineries’ operations, the report said that the combined value of output by the three refineries “at import parity price’’ for August 2016 was ₦50.19 billion. “Associated crude plus freight cost was ₦39.77 billion, giving a surplus of ₦709.21 million after an overhead of ₦9.71 billion,” it said. The report said that this was made possible in spite of the challenges of irregular crude supply and pipeline vandalism to the refineries.
  • The Akwa Ibom government has said it will collaborate with private investors to build a harbour worth $6 billion to serve as a logistic and supply centre for oil and gas activities. The Senior Special Assistant to the state governor on Petroleum Matters, Obong Essien Ekema, said this on Wednesday at Ikot Abasi Local Government Area after an inspection of the proposed harbour site. Ekema said three private investors had indicated interest to build a world-class harbour in Akwa Ibom and that the harbour would have a logistic and supply centre with jetties for oil and gas operations, a waiting lounge, warehouses, offices and a helipad. The German operator of Anchor Marine Services at Ikot Abasi, Wolfgang Hems, said the state had enough potential to float many viable jetties. Hems, a general manager of Anchor Marine Services, noted that the distance from Ikot Abasi to oil platforms offshore was only 18 nautical miles, adding that it was costly and risky to run logistics from Onne in Rivers, which is 80 nautical miles from offshore oil platforms.
  • The Federal Executive Council approved eight new private universities on Wednesday, bringing the number of private universities in Nigeria to 69. The junior education minister, Anthony Onwuka told State House journalists that the approval was based on the recommendation of the National Universities Commission and noted that each of the universities was given a three-year provisional licence and would be mentored by an older university. The newly approved universities are: Anchor University, Ayobo, Lagos, owned by Deeper Christian Life Ministry, to be mentored by the University of Lagos; Arthur Jarvis University, Akpabuyo, Cross River, owned by The Glitter House Nigeria Limited, to be mentored by the University of Calabar; Clifford University, Owerrinta, Abia, owned by Seventh Day Adventist Church, to be mentored by the University of Agriculture, Umudike, Umuahia and Coal City University, Enugu, owned by African Thinkers Community of Inquiry College of Education, Enugu, to be mentored by the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. Others are; Crown-Hill University, Eiyenkorin, Kwara, owned by Modern Morgy and Sons Limited, to be mentored by the University of Ilorin; Dominican University, Ibadan, owned by Order of Preachers, Nigerian-Dominican Community, to be mentored by the University of Ibadan; Kola Daisi University, Ibadan, owned by Kola Daisi Foundation, to be mentored by the University of Ibadan and Legacy University, Okija, Anambra, owned by The Good Idea Education Foundation, to be mentored by Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Akwa. The minister said the universities were approved to offer admission to students from across the nation in order to close the nation’s significant acceptance gap.
  • Fidelity Bank reported a profit before tax of ₦9.8 billion for the nine months ended September 30, 2016, showing a decline of 28.7 percent from the ₦13.8 billion recorded in the corresponding period of 2015. Similarly, profit after tax fell from ₦11.445 billion to ₦8.753 billion. However, the bank reported gross earnings of ₦110.3 billion, showing a marginal increase of three percent in the period under review. Its deposit base also grew by 3.4 percent to ₦795.6 billion, from ₦769.6 billion. Commenting on the numbers, CEO Nnamdi Okonkwo said the bank’s performance was reflective of the recessionary environment characterised by lower government revenues, rising inflation, lower consumer disposable income, significantly tougher operating environment in all sectors and the impact of these headwinds on asset quality and foreign trade transactions. The bank also appointed Ernest Ebi as a non-executive director and chairman designate of the board of directors. This followed the retirement of the erstwhile chairman of the bank, Christopher Ezeh, who, after 11 years of service to the bank had attained the retirement age for non-executive directors. The board also approved the appointment of Charles Chidebe Umolu and Kings C. Akuma as non-executive directors; these appointments being subject to CBN approval.