- Shareholders of Arik Air have started discussions with a major investor to partner with the airline and offset the debt it owes AMCON and other creditors. The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the airline shareholders have held series of meetings with other investors before reaching a firm commitment with the Dubai-based conglomerate. The Chairman of Arik Air, Joseph Arumemi-Ikhide, said the investor had started negotiation with the shareholders of the company and so far both parties had had fruitful discussions as negotiations continue. It is expected that the new investor would offset Arik debts and provide it with operational funds once operational modalities have been reached.
- While addressing stakeholders last week on the implementation of six of the Executive Orders that applied to ports operations, Hadiza Usman, MD of the Nigeria Ports Authority said that only seven agencies were allowed to remain at the seaports. The agencies are the Nigeria Immigration Service, Nigeria Customs Service, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, Nigeria Police, Port Health Authority, NPA and the Department of State Service. Usman also said that the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency would be invited to the ports whenever its presence was required. However, the NDLEA insists that its agents were supposed to be at the seaports. NDLEA spokesperson, Ofoyeju Mitchell, insisted that the NPA MD mentioned eight agencies that were mandated to stay at the ports, adding that it was one of those eight agencies. In its response however, the NPA maintained its earlier position that only seven agencies were mandated to remain at the ports. Ibrahim Nasiru, NPA spokesman reiterated the agency’s commitment to the implementation of the Executive Orders. Nasiru pointed out that as part of the Executive Orders, only seven agencies were mandated to be at the seaports and also confirmed their names.
- The Punch is reporting that Nigerian oil and gas firms have taken a serious beating from the downturn in the industry amid a debt burden of ₦4.9 trillion that is weighing on many of them. Over 130 blocks are in the control of indigenous operators, who were awarded some 50 marginal blocks through discretionary allocations in the 1990s, another 24 through marginal fields bidding round in 2003, and 60 more blocks through conventional bidding rounds in 2005 and 2007. But total oil production from the local firms fell to 46.01 million barrels last year from 80.17 million barrels in 2015, bringing their share of national production down to 6.4 per cent from 10.3 per cent, the February 2017 report of the NNPC showed. The dip in global oil prices since mid-2014 coupled with the resurgence of militant attacks in the Niger Delta last year has significantly hammered the operators’ ability to earn revenues and repay debts owed to banks and others.
- Activities on the Nigerian Stock Exchange remained bullish on Friday with the All-Share Index crossing the 33,000 mark for the first time since June 2015. The index grew by 338.70 points or 1.03 per cent to close at 33,276.68 against 32,937.98 achieved on Thursday. Market capitalisation grew by 1.03 per cent to close at ₦11.503 trillion. Seplat led the gainers’ table, growing by ₦43.56 to close at ₦468.56 per share. Market analysts attributed Seplat’s steady price appreciation to recovering of lost crude output after force majeure was lifted on the Forcados export terminal. In all, a total of 686.30 million shares worth ₦6.07 billion were exchanged by investors in 6,785 deals.