20 Feb

Daily Watch – Reps lose faith in NNPC over scarcity, Dana seals partnership with Asky

  • The House of Representatives has asked the Executive to submit a ₦800 billion supplementary budget to the National Assembly to offset the debts allegedly owed fuel marketers, in an attempt to address the lingering fuel scarcity in the country. The House Committee on Petroleum Resources (Downstream) said that if offsetting the debts would end the scarcity, it was the right step to take by the FG. The committee’s chairman, Joseph Akinlaja, said the lower chamber had come to the conclusion that the NNPC could not handle importation alone and successfully end the scarcity. He said reports at the committee’s disposal suggested that the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association, Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association and the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria were collectively owed ₦800 billion by the FG for previous importation. He reiterated that the “House is ready to oblige them on any of these issues to end the scarcity.”
  • OPEC Secretary-General Mohammad Barkindo said on Monday the organisation registered 133 percent compliance with agreed output reduction targets in January across all participating OPEC and non-OPEC countries. Barkindo said compliance last year stood at 107 percent and that OPEC and non-OPEC producers would hold a technical meeting in June. The OPEC Secretary-General made the comments while speaking at a conference in Abuja. Commercial oil stocks for the OECD rose in January 2018 and were about 74 million barrels over the latest five-year average, he said. Global oil demand for 2018 is estimated to grow 1.6 million barrels per day due to an “encouraging environment”, Barkindo added.
  • The CBN has stopped the payment of dividends to shareholders by DMBs and discount houses with huge bad loans and a low capital base, due to the rising non-performing loan profile of a few institutions. The directive comes barely a week before the release of the 2017 financial year’s annual reports by commercial banks and discount houses. The regulator, in a letter dated 31 January, said the move was aimed at stemming the tide of rising NPLs and the consequent weakening and erosion of the banks’ capital base. The CBN’s minimum NPL threshold for banks is five percent, but as of September 2017, the banking industry’s NPLs had hit 15.18 percent after rising 50 percent to ₦2.4 trillion from ₦1.6 trillion in December 2016, according to NDIC data. Experts say Union, Wema, Sterling and Unity banks will be the most affected by this new directive.
  • Nigeria plans to announce the private investors in refineries in the coming month, its junior oil minister said on Monday. Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu said he wants Nigeria to have a floating production storage and offloading unit for the production and processing of hydrocarbons, and for the storage of oil in 10 years. “My target is that over that same period, investment in the sector, in the sense that Nigerian companies, Nigerian entities and Nigerian shareholders, would begin to move from the minuscule 10 percent today to between 40 and 50 percent of local investments,” he told the inaugural Nigeria International Petroleum Summit. He said Nigeria is expecting investments up to $40 billion in oil projects over the next five years.
  • Enugu Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi signed a 2018 budget of ₦103.5 billion into law on Monday, pledging his administration’s readiness to deliver good governance and harness the state’s potentials. Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Edward Ubosi said the legislators jerked up the budget estimate, which he said reduced external and internal borrowings by 60 percent, in order to accommodate the various road projects in the state. Ugwanyi had on 28 December 2017, presented a budget estimate of ₦98.5 billion to the state assembly. It was passed on 12 February.
  • Dana Air and West African regional carrier, Asky signed an interline agreement in Lagos on Sunday. In addition, Dana signed an aircraft partnership agreement with the Lomé based airline to add some new generation aircraft to its fleet as part of the airline’s route and fleet expansion programme. The Group Managing Director of Dana, Jacky Hathiramani, said at the signing ceremony that the partnership was a bold step towards achieving its strategic route and fleet expansion program. Asky CEO, Ahadu Simachew said, “Dana Air having survived the sundry issues in the aviation industry for ten years and still waxing stronger, appears to us as the most experienced and well-managed airline in Nigeria, with a very strong, passionate and creative management team.”