09 Mar

Daily Watch – Etisalat defaults on loan, Customs rejects Senate order on vehicle duties

  • An analysis of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan by the Punch shows that the FG has abandoned a crude oil production target of 4 million barrels per day seven years after it was set. The new target is 2.5 million barrels per day by 2020. Nigeria’s oil output had hit a peak of 2.88 million bpd in October 2010, according to data from the CBN, but suffered declines on the back of a slew of militant attacks, natural decline in production from existing fields, and lack of exploration activities occasioned largely by regulatory uncertainty. Following the resurgence of militant attacks in the Niger Delta last year, crude oil production fell to as low as 1.3 million bpd in May. The FG had in 2010 set the target of 40 billion barrels of crude oil reserves and a production of four million bpd by 2020. NNPC GMD, Maikanti Baru, had in February at a conference in Lagos said to achieve the target, the country would need an increment of at least one billion barrels in reserves year-on-year till 2020 and half a million barrels in incremental production capacity per day within the same time frame.
  • The DG of the National Broadcasting Commission, Is’haq Modibbo-Kawu, has said that all is set to for the simultaneous roll-out of the Digital Switch-Over in Nigeria’s six geopolitical zones. Modibbo-Kawu listed the states representing each of the zones as Kaduna in the North-West; Kwara representing North-Central; Gombe in the North-East; Enugu, South-East; Osun for South-West and Delta for the South-South. He said 70 percent of the content availabe in the DSO are local content, assuring that the collection of TV and Radio license fees would help support content production.
  • Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company has said it needs between ₦30 billion and ₦60 billion to supply one million meters to its customers. The IBEDC also complained about non-payment for electricity supplied to government’s ministries, departments and agencies. According to John Donnachie, IBEDC’s Managing Director, MDAs owe the firm ₦8.13 billion, and he called on NERC to prevail on the government to adjust the MDAs’ debts for inflation and settle promptly. Donnachie also listed an inherited fragile network, vandalism and energy theft, and as well as non-payment of bills/delayed payments by customers as some of the challenges facing the company. He said the company had only been able to receive about 50 percent of the 720 megawatts allocated to it.
  • The Nigeria Customs Service has rejected the Senate’s demand that it should suspend the planned clampdown on vehicles without correct duty papers. Speaking on Wednesday, the acting spokesman of Customs, Joseph Attah, said the one-month grace period was still in force despite the order of the Senate. Attah said that in a bid to reduce the burden of the duty payment on Nigerians, a rebate of 60 percent had been approved by the NCS for vehicles imported prior to the 2016 fiscal period., insisting that the one-month ultimatum for owners of such vehicles to pay the appropriate duties remained sacrosanct.
  • Etisalat Nigeria is in talks with three banks to renegotiate the terms of a $1.2 billion loan it took four years ago after missing a payment. Vice-President, Regulatory Affairs, Etisalat Nigeria, Ibrahim Dikko, said the firm missed payment schedules due to the economic downturn, devaluation of the naira and dollar shortages in the interbank market. “We are in discussions with our bankers and have been for quite a while. They have not taken over the business and we are hoping that we can resolve the issue and find a way to renegotiate terms,” Dikko told Reuters. Etisalat Nigeria which signed a $1.2 billion medium-term facility with 13 local banks in 2013 to refinance an existing $650 million loan and fund a modernisation of its network, accounted for around 3.7 percent of the group’s global revenue in 2013.