07 Feb

Daily Watch – Buhari goes Nigeria first in STEM order, Shell ends ‘brief’ Bonga shutdown

  • President Muhammadu Buhari has signed an executive order aimed at boosting the domestic production of goods and creating Nigerian jobs in science, technology and engineering. The Presidency said the order related to the planning and execution of projects related to science, engineering and technology, as well as national security. The President “ordered that all ‘procuring authorities shall give preference to Nigerian companies and firms in the award of contracts, in line with the Public Procurement Act 2007’.” The executive order also prohibits the ministry of interior from giving visas to foreign workers whose skills are readily available in Nigeria, the statement said. Around four out of every 10 people in Nigeria’s workforce were unemployed or underemployed by the end of September, according to the NBS.
  • A proposed rail line from Kano to Maradi in the Niger Republic will cover a track length of 248 kilometres and pass through three northern states – Jigawa, Kano and Katsina and seven senatorial districts. The Punch cites Federal Ministry of Transportation sources as saying that the rail line, which is already budgeted for in the 2018 Appropriation Bill, will start from Kano, pass through Dambatta, Kazaure, Daura, Mashi, Katsina, Jibia and terminate in Maradi, Niger Republic. The line, when completed, would assist in the supply of crude oil from Nigeria’s northern neighbour to the refinery being built at the international border. A mutual agreement for the construction of the refinery was reached between both countries last week. However, the paper says senior officials at the transport ministry could not tell the actual project cost of the project or if the facility would be solely funded by the FG, or if it would be jointly financed by both countries or by private investors.
  • Production of Bonga crude oil is “being ramped up gradually” after brief shutdown, a spokesman for Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company said on Monday. The company performed a “brief shutdown” from 16-28 January for repairs on a piping system. It added that “further checks and ancillary repairs” mean that oil and gas production was gradually ramping up. Traders said the maintenance had impacted oil loadings and a list of vessel loadings showed the last cargo to load was the Suezmax Sea Garnet on 17 January. The Narmada Spirit is expected to load early this week, Reuters reports citing loading plans. Bonga has a capacity to produce 225,000 barrels per day of oil and 150 million standard cubic feet of gas.
  • Flour Mills has posted revenue of ₦427.5 billion and PAT of ₦13.27 billion for the nine months period ended December 2017. Specifically, the company’s nine months performance showed group’s revenue of ₦427.5 billion, up from ₦389.9 billion in 2016, a 10 percent increase year-on-year. The firm’s PAT was an 80 percent increase on the ₦7.39 billion recorded in 2016. The group in a financial statement to the NSE, also recorded a PBT of ₦19.50 billion in contrast to ₦10.3 billion in 2016, accounting for an 89 percent year-on-year growth. According to the group’s management, the food business was responsible for a ₦44.7 billion increase in group turnover, primarily from its flour, pasta and noodles products’ portfolio. The group’s packaging business contributed ₦1 billion to overall profit, a 150 percent increase.
  • Investment One Fund Management has described the listing of 50 million units of Abacus Money Market Fund on the NSE as a way of providing Nigerian retail investors with an array of investment opportunities. The company chairman, Joke Chukwumah said the listing will allow people with as low as ₦1,000 the opportunity of investing in the fund. “It is not easy if you have ₦1000 and say you want to place on a termed deposit at any commercial bank, you may find that the entry level may be steep, but if you invest it in a mutual fund, the retail monies get pooled together so that the funds can be allocated to different investment vehicles selected according to your objective and risk profile,” she said. The listing is admitted by the NSE at ₦100 per unit. According to Chukwumah, the fund is a diversified portfolio with investments in quality money market instruments, short-term debt securities, such as banker’s acceptances, commercial papers, treasury bills and others.