05 Mar

Daily Watch – OPL245 trial delayed, LCCI keen to address Lagos land use ‘grey areas’

  • The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry plans to hold a round-table to renegotiate grey areas in the new Lagos land use charge law. In a statement signed by its director-general, Muda Yusuf, the LCCI said the 9 March dialogue would examine the provisions of the recently-passed law viz-a-viz its implications for residents and businesses operating in Lagos State and its environs. The state government recently repealed its 2001 land use charge law and replaced it with a new law, passed by state lawmakers on 29 January and signed by Governor Ambode on 8 February. Residents who have been sent the new rates in their 2018 bills claim an increase of between 150 and 300 percent over the 2017 rates, according to The Cable.
  • Offers for key Nigerian grades Forcados, Qua Iboe and Bonny Light remained underpinned well above dated Brent plus $2.00. A trader told Reuters that the pull from Asia for heavy grades was lower for April. Exxon was offering Nigerian Qua Iboe at dated Brent plus $2.15 a barrel and cargoes of Yoho and Erha. Petrobras was offering Nigerian Akpo at dated Brent plus 80 cents a barrel. Mercuria was showing three Nigerian grades. It was offering Agbami at dated Brent plus 70 cents a barrel, Forcados at dated plus $2.20 and Qua Iboe at dated Brent plus $2.25. Shell was offering Bonga at dated Brent plus $2.25 a barrel, Forcados at dated Brent plus $2.50 and Agbami at dated Brent plus 80 cents.
  • Nigeria has paid off about ₦130 billion ($413 million) worth of treasury bills maturing this week instead of rolling over the debt as it has done in the past, traders said. Patience Oniha, the DMO director general confirmed the payment on Friday and said a treasury auction calendar for March would be released this week. Nigeria issued a $2.5 billion Eurobond last month to help redeem portions of its treasury bill portfolio to lower costs. It has been working to lower its costs, particularly as inflation fell for the 12th time in a row in January. Treasury yields have been falling on expectations that the government will sell less debt at its second quarter auction after it sold the Eurobond. Traders expect rates to fall further after the payoff. The DMO sold ₦129.99 billion naira worth of treasury bills at an auction on Wednesday, around half the amount it advertised in its calendar at the lower-range of the yield curve.
  • A trial in Italy of Royal Dutch Shell and Eni executives over alleged corruption in Nigeria, which had been due to start on March 5, will be transferred to another court in Milan, delaying the proceedings, legal sources said. Earlier this week, the Milan tribunal informed lawyers that the court which had been due to hear the trial had too many cases and could not guarantee that it would do so in a reasonable period of time, three sources told Reuters on Friday. The case involves the 2011 purchase by Eni and Shell of Nigeria’s OPL-245 offshore oilfield – one of Africa’s most valuable oil blocks – for about $1.3 billion. Milan prosecutors allege bribes were paid to win the licence to explore the field, which has never entered into production. All the accused have denied any wrongdoing. The court is expected to set the new trial date on Monday, the sources said. A Milan judge ruled in December that the companies, along with present and past executives, would face trial.