20 Nov

Daily Watch – India ditches Nigerian oil for Iran’s, PenCom reins in pension withdrawals

  • Iran has displaced Nigeria as India’s third largest supplier of crude oil after the world’s third-largest oil importer shifted its focus to the Middle East and the United States for supply. In August, India’s Hindustan Petroleum Corporation said it would take its first crude oil import from the US, dumping Nigeria’s sweet crude for US oil. Rising production output from the US makes West Texas Intermediate cheaper than Brent crude whose price was boosted by an agreement between OPEC members and non-members to cut back supply to the global market. Reuters ship tracking data show that US oil accounted for three percent of India’s overall imports while crude from Africa accounted for 10.5 percent, the lowest since November 2012. Between 2015 and 2016, Nigeria’s sweet crude accounted for 12 percent of India’s imports with the country getting nearly 23.7 MMT of crude and over 2 MMTPA of LNG from Nigeria. India imported 4.1 million bpd of crude oil in October, a 15 percent decline from September, while 430,000 bpd were from Africa, the lowest level since March 2013.
  • The FG says the revocation of residence permits of expatriate workers in Integrated Logistic Facilities & Services (Intels) was not politically motivated. Umana Umana, managing director of Oil and Gas Free Zone Authority said that the affected companies failed in their requirements to renew the 2017 operational license, as stipulated by OGFZA laws. Five other firms – Prodeco International, West Africa Machinery Services, Net Global System International, MGM Logistics Solutions, and Oriean Investment – were said to have voluntarily applied to quit the free zones. The firms, according to OGFZA documents, consequently lost their operating licences and work visas after they quit.
  • The CFAO Group, with its subsidiary CFAO Equipment in conjunction with Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation has unveiled a multi-million naira FUSO assembly plant at its Lagos facility. The inauguration which featured the unveiling of the company’s first locally assembled truck was attended by the Director-General of the Nigerian Automotive Design and Development Council, Jelani Aliyu. The plant, which is expected to churn out 500 units of Canter Trucks annually, is located at the Amuwo Odofin Industrial Area and is the second FUSO truck plant in Africa. CFAO’s Chairman and CEO, Richard Bielle said the inauguration of the plant coincided with the celebration of CFAO’s 115th year in Nigeria with the conglomerate’s presence cutting across the mobility, healthcare and consumer goods sectors.
  • The National Pension Commission has issued new guidelines to all Pension Fund Administrators and Pension Fund Custodians on withdrawals from voluntary pension contributions. The new rules, effective 1 December, were issued pursuant to a high trend of requests for withdrawals from VCs shortly after contribution. According to the pensions regulator, this defeats the purpose of VC which is to enhance the pension pool at retirement as well reducing the amount of income tax to tax authorities. Withdrawals from VC account will be limited to once every two years and subsequent withdrawals will be limited to the incremental contributions from the last approved withdrawal date.