- The FG will inaugurate the $200 million (₦61 billion) local content intervention fund today. The Nigerian Content Intervention Fund would be directed at increasing local content in the oil and gas industry and would be used for projects and other activities in the sector. Petroleum ministry officials say the initiative is in pursuant of the Business Environment and Investment Drive Component of the #7BIGWINS – a document of the ministry that focuses on the short and medium-term priorities targeted at growing the nation’s oil and gas industry between 2015 and 2019. A ministry document describes the fund’s objective as creating “a commercially oriented and profit-driven business environment that encourages increased private sector investment; open up the sector to full private sector participation and reduce government dominance and monopoly in the downstream and midstream sectors.”
- FIRS has closed down an MRS Oil facility in Lagos over a tax debt amounting to ₦497.1 million, an action the agency described as part of measures being taken against tax-defaulting companies in the country. An enforcement team reportedly sealed off the MRS premises at Tin Can Island Road, Apapa. The FIRS enforcement team had last month sealed off four companies in Lagos and Port Harcourt for reportedly failing to meet their tax obligations totalling ₦630 million. The agency had told the defaulting firms that the companies’ premises would be unsealed when they cleared their outstanding tax bills.
- Royal Dutch Shell has started gas production from the second phase of the Gbaran-Ubie project in Nigeria’s Niger Delta. The project is an expansion of the Gbaran-Ubie development, which opened in June 2010. Shell, through its Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria subsidiary, said the project would reach peak production of around 175,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day in 2019.
- A Nigerian startup is developing a new agricultural commodities exchange to take advantage of the government’s efforts to boost farming output to reduce reliance on oil. The exchange, Integrated Produce City will be located near Benin City, a site accessible to nearby growers of cocoa, palm oil, rubber and cassava, Chief Executive Officer Pat Utomi told Bloomberg. Integrated Produce City will have storage facilities, including refrigerated warehouses, and host processing plants on its 100-hectare (247-acre) site in Edo state’s Ugbokun village when it starts operating by the end of 2018. Cocoa, palm produce, cashew nuts and rubber are among the products to be traded on the exchange. Others are fresh fruit and vegetables, grains and tubers such as cassava and yams.
- Nigerian fuel distributor Nipco has bought another 3.23 percent stake in 11, the fuel retailer formerly known as Mobil Oil Nigeria, for ₦4.84 billion ($16 million) to increase its holding to 70 percent. Nipco’s investment subsidiary in October bought 60 percent of Mobil Oil Nigeria from Exxon Mobil when the U.S. giant pulled out of downstream fuel distribution in Nigeria. Having amassed a stake of almost 67 percent, it wanted to increase that holding to around 70 percent. Under Nigerian takeover rules, it had to offer the same price of ₦417.12 per share to minority investors. Mobil Oil Nigeria was founded in 1951 and operates more than 200 petrol stations in the country. It also owns three plants that manufacture lubricants, petroleum jelly, and insecticides in Nigeria’s commercial capital, Lagos.