22 Jan

Daily Watch – Oil exports to inch lower in March, January’s MPC mired in FG deadlock

  • The NCC says Nigeria needs over 120,000 kilometres of metropolitan fibre networks interconnected across the country to achieve its goal of pervasive broadband penetration. Umar Danbatta, executive vice chairman of the commission, who disclosed this in Abuja, said only 38,000 kilometres had been covered so far.He also called for the implementation of harmonised right of way charges.He spoke while receiving a delegation from Nigeria Industrial Policy and Competitiveness Advisory Council led by Edirin Akemu. Danbatta called on the federal government to ensure that all the 36 states governments of the federation adhere to the resolution of national economic council on the right of way charges, which stipulates ₦145 per meter for laying fibre network in every part of the country. “We cannot compel the state governments to charge ₦145 per meter for fibre. The FG can, however, meet with the governors and extract a commitment from them, to ensure that NEC’s provision is strictly adhered to,” he said.
  • Airtel Nigeria did not submit a final bid for 9mobile despite being on the shortlist of five, TheCable reports. Also, although Globacom and Helios Investment Partners LLP submitted bids, they did not make any financial offer for the troubled telco. The online news service said that Teleology Holdings Limited submitted a bid in excess of $500 million while Smile Telecoms Holdings quoted close to $300 million. Effectively, only two companies made financial offers by the January 16 deadline. Airtel’s U-turn came as a surprise to industry experts who had expected the company to push all the way through in order to become the largest operator in the country. If accepted, the combined company would have grown from being the number three operator to number one, increasing its subscriber numbers to 52 million for voice and 33.5 million for internet. The blog said Airtel decided to pull out because “many things are not too plain with the entire process”.
  • The refusal of the Senate to confirm presidential nominees for vacant positions at the CBN has affected the first MPC meeting of 2018, according to Channels Television. The meeting was initially scheduled for January 22 and January 23, but the television station, quoting sources said the regulator would issue a statement on Monday to announce new dates for the MPC. In December, TheCable reported that the committee might not meet in January as a result of the senate’s refusal to confirm nominees for the 12-man committee. At present, there are five members available — whereas the quorum is six out of 12 members, as defined by the Second Schedule of the CBN Act. In July 2017, the Senate said it would suspend all executive confirmation requests until Ibrahim Magu was removed as the acting chairman of the EFCC. The upper house had refused to confirm Magu over allegations of corruption. He has remained in an acting position for the past two years.
  • Nigeria’s oil exports are on track to edge lower on a barrel-per-day basis in March, a Reuters survey of loading plans showed on Friday. Crude oil exports of 1.694 million barrels per day are scheduled for March on 62 cargoes. While several loading plans for small grades were outstanding, the March total was likely to remain below the exports set at 1.843 million bpd in February. Still, overall volumes will edge higher over the course of the longer month. March exports will add up to at least 52.5 million barrels, above February’s level of 51.6 million barrels. Nigeria’s production has remained broadly stable in recent months, with no major militant attacks since January last year. But tensions remained high in the oil-rich Niger Delta, and the most destructive militant group in recent years – the Niger Delta Avengers – threatened to attack certain offshore fields in the coming days. The group, whose 2016 attacks on the Forcados subsea pipeline shut the export terminal down for more than a year, specifically threatened the Bonga Platform and the Agbami, EA and Akpo fields. The militants also said they would target the Nigerian oil company Brittania-U.
  • The SEC has extended the period for the free e-dividend registration exercise till February 28, 2018 to encourage more shareholders mandate their bank accounts. According to a statement from the SEC, the commission said in reviewing the progress of the e-dividend registration exercise, after the December 31, 2017 deadline, it was observed that there was still a great influx of shareholders willing to mandate their bank accounts for payment of dividends electronically. “Accordingly, shareholders that are yet to register should continue to approach their banks or Registrars to mandate their accounts for the collection of their Dividends electronically, including unclaimed dividends, not exceeding 12 years of issue” the SEC stated.