06 Dec

Daily Watch – Senate tweaks oil benchmark, Dangote Cement goes cheaper for Jumia debut

  • The Senate has increased the crude oil benchmark from $45 per barrel as presented by President Muhammadu Buhari to $47 for the 2018 budget. The upper house approved the increased benchmark after it considered a report by its joint committees on finance, appropriation and national planning and economic affairs. The lawmakers also reduced the budget’s non-oil projection to N5.279 trillion from N5.597 trillion while maintaining the ₦305/$ exchange rate as proposed for 2018 budget. They also retained the 2.3 million barrels per day production target proposed by the executive for next year’s spending plan.
  • Switzerland will return to Nigeria around $321 million in assets seized from the family of former military ruler Sani Abacha via a deal signed with the World Bank on Monday, the Swiss government said. Transparency International, a corruption watchdog, has accused Abacha of stealing up to $5 billion of public money during the five years he was in power from 1993 until his death in 1998. In 2014, Nigeria and the Abacha family reached an agreement for the West African country to get back the funds, which had been frozen, in return for dropping a complaint against the former military ruler’s son, Abba Abacha. Now Switzerland, Nigeria and the World Bank have agreed the funds will be repatriated via a project supported and overseen by the World Bank, the Swiss government said.
  • OPEC oil output fell in November by 300,000 barrels per day to its lowest since May, a Reuters survey found, pressured by a drop in Angolan and Iraqi exports, strong compliance with a supply cut deal and involuntary declines. OPEC’s adherence to pledged supply curbs rose to 112 percent from October’s 92 percent, the survey found. Top exporter Saudi Arabia pumped below its OPEC target, as did all other members except Ecuador, Gabon and the United Arab Emirates. The oil cartel is reducing output by about 1.2 million bpd as part of a deal with Russia and other non-member producers, which have also committed to production cuts. Nigerian output slipped by 40,000 bpd. The country’s largest crude stream, Qua Iboe, was scheduled in November to export five cargoes, as much as half the rate normally seen.
  • China’s bookings of West African crude oil shipments are expected to bounce back in December, helping take overall shipments to Asia to a 10-month high, a Reuters survey of shipping fixtures and traders showed on Tuesday. China’s loadings of West African crude are set to rise by nearly 7 percent from the previous month, which traders and analysts said is down to 2017 import quotas, demand in advance of the China’s Lunar New Year in February and high refinery run rates overall. China’s Ministry of Commerce increased the overall crude import quota for 2017, and some analysts said January imports could hit a monthly record of 8.53 million bpd as independent refiners receive their import quota and buyers start to replenish stocks.
  • Yobe Governor, Ibrahim Gaidam on Tuesday, presented the 2018 Appropriation Bill of ₦92.2 billion to the state House of Assembly. The proposed budget tagged: “Budget of Consolidation and Socio-economic Rejuvenation” is an increase of ₦9.6 billion or 10.4 percent over the total 2017 spending of ₦82.6 billion. Gaidam said the budget will aim to utilise the state’s solid mineral deposits, tourism and commercial potential to diversify its internal revenue generation base; increase the involvement of our citizens in the ownership and management of productive enterprises in the state as well as “reorienting their psyche for the creation of a better attitude to work, trades and skills as well as an increase in the supply of skilled manpower. The works, transport and energy sector has the highest allocation of ₦17.5 billion with education sector allocated ₦7.9 billion, followed by health which will get ₦6 billion.
  • In a new move aimed at reducing price and ease logistical challenges, Dangote Cement has signed a deal with Jumia Nigeria to sell its cement products online. Dangote Cement, Key Account Director, Chux Mogbolu, said the cement company was happy to partner with the online shopping giant to make its product available with ease to customers. According to the deal, Nigerians and corporate bodies wishing to purchase a minimum of 300 bags of 50kg of Dangote Cement and above can now order on Jumia at ₦2,500 per bag, lower than in the open market and have their orders delivered to any place of their choice without any extra transport cost. The online purchases only cover Lagos, Port Harcourt and Abuja.