- Nigeria hopes a long-delayed bill to overhaul parts of the country’s oil industry can be sent to President Buhari to be signed into law by the end of March, the head of a parliamentary petroleum committee said on Friday. The Petroleum Industry Governance Bill is the first part of a larger piece of legislation, known as the Petroleum Industry Bill, to pass through parliament. The PIB, debated for over a decade, was broken up into sections to help it pass into law more easily. The House of Representatives in January passed a version of the PIGB which was the same as one approved by the Senate last year – the first time both houses have approved the same version of the bill. It needs the president’s signature to become law. “Hopefully, by the end of the month, the National Assembly will transmit it to the president for assent,” said Senator Tayo Alasoadura, who chairs the upper house of parliament’s committee on upstream petroleum.
- Amnesty International accused international oil majors Shell and Eni of negligence when addressing spills in Nigeria. Describing their actions as “serious negligence”, Amnesty said the companies were “taking weeks to respond to reports of spills and publishing misleading information about the cause and severity of spills, which may result in communities not receiving compensation”. A Shell spokesman said Amnesty’s allegations “are false, without merit and fail to recognise the complex environment in which the company operates”. An ENI spokeswoman said the rights group’s statements “are not correct and, in some cases, not acceptable,” adding it had provided a detailed response to Amnesty’s allegations. Shell and Eni have for decades been two of the most active oil majors operating in the Niger Delta region. The Niger Delta heartland is an ecological disaster zone, scarred by decades of spills that have tainted the water and killed swathes of trees and other plants.
- A new PwC report on boosting rice production in Nigeria says the mechanisation production process remains very low at 0.3 horsepower per hectare of farmland. This figure compares poorly to India, which has 2.6hp/ha and China, which has 8hp/ha. The country currently possesses an estimated 22,000 agricultural tractors, relative to one million and 2.5 million in China and India respectively, according to the report. It noted challenges such as low income, limited access to affordable financing and the lack of technical skill have continued to constrain mechanisation across the rice value chain. The report suggests that shoring up the mechanisation rate from 0.3hp/ha to 0.8hp/ha in the next five years can effectively double national rice production to 7.2 million tonnes.
- The NHIS is set to review capitation rates paid by the Health Maintenance Organisations to hospitals and other service providers approved for the programme. The NHIS Lagos Zonal Coordinator, Akingbade Olufemi said this during a seminar organised by Healthcare International, an HMO, to boost its relationships with its service providers. He said, “The tariff is due for review. There is a review going on which we expect that it should be out by 2018. A lot of bodies are involved in the review process.” He said the HMOs currently pay their service providers based on a rate that was last reviewed in 2013.
- Stanbic IBTC Holdings “reported its best profitability results since inception,” according to CEO Yinka Sanni with the lender’s audited result for the year ended 31 December, 2017, showed a 36 percent rise in gross earnings to ₦212.4 billion from ₦156.4 billion achieved in the corresponding period in 2016. Similarly, the bank’s PAT stood at ₦48.4 billion, representing a growth of 70 percent over the ₦28.5 billion recorded in 2016. The bank’s profit before tax grew by 64 percent from ₦37.2 billion to ₦61.2 billion recorded during the period under review. Total assets increased to ₦1.386.4 trillion last year, a 32 percent boost from the ₦1.053.5 trillion recorded in December 2016. Gross loans and advances also rose by eight percent to ₦403.9 billion, compared to ₦375.3 billion recorded in December 2016. The group’s total capital adequacy ratio of the bank closed at 23.5 percent, which is significantly higher than the 10 percent minimum regulatory requirement while liquidity ratio during the year further improved to 115.4 percent at the end of the year.