10 Apr

Daily Watch – Buhari seeks second term, Shell paid FG $4.32 billion in 2017

  • President Muhammadu Buhari confirmed on Monday he will seek another term in elections next year, ending months of speculation about his future after bouts of ill health. The 75-year-old said he would seek his party’s presidential ticket to contest elections in February 2019 during a closed-door meeting of the APC national executive committee. He flew to the UK for talks with Prime Minister Theresa May a few hours later. The announcement by Buhari was widely expected although Nigerian stocks fell 1.01 percent on Monday to a three-month low. The bond market shrugged off the announcement with the 10-year benchmark debt unchanged at 13.64 percent from its previous session after one trade on Wednesday, traders said.
  • West African crude differentials were under downward pressure on Monday amid ample supply and more signs of slow buying from China, the key consumer of medium and heavy grades from the region. ExxonMobil issued the delayed Usan programme for May, including two 1 million barrel cargoes. Revised loading plans for Forcados were also distributed, reflecting delays caused by a temporary closure of the Trans Forcados Pipeline. Spot trading was otherwise limited, though some April cargoes yet to trade as well as the bulk of the May programme. Offers for Qua Iboe, which has maintenance work in early May that limited loadings, had risen. But other differentials were shaky, traders said.
  • CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele has assigned duties to the newly appointed deputy governors who assumed duty on 28 March. The bank’s spokesman, Isaac Okoroafor, in a statement on Sunday said Aishah Ahmad was deployed to the Financial System Stability Directorate, while Edward Adamu was assigned to Corporate Services. Emefiele also approved the deployment of Okwu Nnanna from the FSS Directorate to the Economic Policy Directorate. Adebayo Adelabu, however, retains his portfolio as Deputy Governor, Operations Directorate. The affected principal officers have since assumed their new duties, according to the statement.
  • Shell’s payments to the FG grew to $4.32 billion in 2017, up nearly 19 percent from $3.64 billion in 2016, according to its annual sustainability report released on Monday. The bulk of the payments, $3.197 billion, went to the NNPC for production entitlement. Crude oil theft from pipelines of Shell’s Nigerian subsidiary SPDC increased by some 50 percent, rising to roughly 9,000 barrels per day in 2017 from 6,000 bpd in 2016, the report said. Shell said the shutdown of the Forcados export terminal for much of 2016 “reduced opportunities for third-party interference”. Sabotage-related oil spill incidents rose to 62 in 2017, from 48 in 2016, though the volume spilt fell to 1,400 tonnes, from 3,900 tonnes in 2016. Shell’s operational spills in Nigeria rose by one to nine in 2017, but it said the volume of oil spilt fell to 100 tonnes from 300 tonnes in 2016. The company said that theft and sabotage account for 90 percent of Nigerian oil spills.
  • Lafarge Africa shareholders, listed as WAPCO on the NSE on Monday traded off the company’s shares on the news of a loss. In its annual statement, the company announced a loss of ₦34 billion before tax and ₦34.6 billion after tax for Q4 2017, lower than the ₦16.8 billion profit after tax declared for FY 2016. “The board of directors is proposing a gross dividend of ₦1.50 (2016: ₦1.05) on every ordinary share in issue amounting to ₦13,010,143,705.00 (2016: ₦5,754,771,087.45),” the annual report read. When trading activities resumed on Monday, Lafarge, which closed at ₦44.2 on Friday fell to N41 by 11 am. Although the group reported increased revenue from ₦219 billion in 2016 to ₦299 billion in 2017, it also reported an increase in the cost of sales.
  • Naspers is trying to persuade telecoms operators in Africa to offer customers unlimited data to help boost the growth of internet television on the continent. The high cost of data in Africa has hampered the take up of internet TV, even though the number of internet users in the region has grown rapidly. While Showmax is seeing “healthy usage” in South Africa, the internet TV business elsewhere in the region is at a nascent stage, Naspers’ Showmax spokesman Richard Boorman said, citing data costs that are among the world’s highest. Mobile ownership — encompassing both the cost of the phone and of data, voice and messaging services — as a share of monthly income is at 11 percent in Africa, far higher than other regions, according to a 2016 GMSA report, the global mobile operators association.