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FG, State Governments collaborate on Ease of Doing Business

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State governments recently restated their commitment to initiate and implement Doing Business reforms that will positively impact on businesses and stand them out among their peers in the World Bank sub-national rankings. This commitment was made in Abuja at the kick-off mission for the Sub-National Doing Business (SNDB) in Nigeria project organised by the World Bank and the Enabling Business Environment Secretariat (EBES).

Opening statements to the workshop were made by the Honourable Minister of State, Budget and National Planning, who is Chair of the Nigerian Economic Council (NEC) Implementation Monitoring Committee, through a representative; and the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr. Aminu Bisalla.

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Welcoming participants to the event, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Jumoke Oduwole, thanked state governments for their willingness to drive the sub-national rankings project. She noted that some states are already implementing reforms, but a lot more could be achieved by applying best practices like efficiency, transparency and performance management. According to Dr. Oduwole, “the key barometer on whether the various reforms are working will be the testimonials of small and medium business owners across the country.”

The workshop had commissioners of trade and commerce, budget and national planning, heads of investment agencies and other focal persons from nearly 20 states in attendance.

A Reform Leader at the Enabling Business Environment Secretariat (EBES), Mrs. Toyin Bashir, stated that Doing Business reforms at the state level “will lead to job creation, as MSMEs currently make up 90% of registered businesses in Nigeria; better living standards; and increased foreign direct investments at a time when the country is grappling with a decline in oil prices.”

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Bashir explained that removing bottlenecks around the 11 indicators on which states are to be ranked will provide relief for business owners and signal to the world that Nigeria is open for business.

“The 11 indicators affect firms throughout their life cycles. ‘Starting a Business’ and ‘Regulatory Environment’ affect firms at startup phase; ‘Infrastructure’ and ‘Growth & Productivity’ affect firms in their daily operations; while ‘Registering Property’, ‘Access to land and property’ and ‘Dealing with Construction permits’ affect the firms when trying to get a location,” Bashir said. Furthermore, she explained that “‘Enforcing Contracts’ is a relevant indicator for when things go wrong, while ‘Transparency and accessibility to information’ is crucial at all phases of the business. 

The World Bank Doing Business Country Adviser for Nigeria, Ms. Cemile Hacibeyoglu, listed some common features of successful reformers. Sharing best practice experiences from countries like Colombia, Costa Rica, Rwanda and Korea, she said “high-level leadership and ownership of the reform agenda, long term vision with clear objectives, inclusive reform process, detailed goals, private sector commitment and effective communication” are essential for a successful reform process.

In an interactive panel session, three states shared experiences on ongoing reform efforts and challenges – Kaduna State represented by the Commissioner of Commerce, Industry and Tourism, Dr. Manzo Maigari; Sokoto State by Commissioner of Commerce, Mr. A. Aminu; and the Special Adviser to the Governor of the State of Osun on Public Service Productivity, Mr. Ademola Adeyinka. 

The World Bank sub-national rankings of Nigerian states is expected to be released in 2018. It will be the fourth in the series, with the most recent conducted in 2014. The Enabling Business Environment Secretariat (EBES) and the Nigerian Investment Promotion Council (NIPC) have both committed to supporting the state governments by facilitating collaboration and knowledge sharing workshops among the states as they implement their priority reforms..

It will be recalled that at the July 2017 National Economic Council (NEC) meeting, the Honourable Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah, and the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Jumoke Oduwole, had made a presentation seeking the buy-in of governors for the sub-national rankings. The project was unanimously endorsed by the governors at the meeting.

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Patricia

Christopher B. Pemu has a degree in Political Science from the University of Lagos. He joined Nairametrics in 2014 as News Editor and later as Managing Editor. He currently serves as the General Manager of Nairametrics. He takes pleasure in traveling, enjoys world politics and in sport, he loves watching football and tennis.

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Business News

Oil & Gas: DPR announces 2020 marginal field licensing round

While we see the need for these asset sales to generate much-needed revenue for the Federal Government, we are concerned that a bidding process under the current environment will be fraught with difficulties.

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DPR

The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) on Monday announced the commencement of the 2020 marginal field bid round. This bid round is coming 18 years after the last bid round in 2002 and is open to indigenous oil & gas companies and investors interested in participating in the exploration and production business in Nigeria. Marginal fields are known oil or gas discoveries on an IOC-owned block and where there has been no activity in at least the last 10 years. With the agreement of the IOC, the DPR carves-out a piece of land surrounding the discovery and this becomes a Marginal field. On this occasion, there are 57 marginal fields available for bidding, including 11 fields revoked by the DPR.

The exercise would be conducted electronically and would include expression of interest/registration, pre-qualification, technical and commercial bid submission, and bid evaluation. The process is expected to be completed in six months. The first bid round that was formally organised by the FGN began in 2001 and was concluded in 2003. At the end of the bid round, 24 licenses were awarded to 31 indigenous companies. Another bid round was proposed in 2013 with a lot of preparation and guidelines released. Unfortunately, it never held.

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Flagging off this bid round under the current economic situation points to the government’s urgent need for funds. According to the DPR guidelines, interested bidders will be required to pay a total of US$115,000 and N5m in non-refundable statutory fees comprising an application fee of N2 million per field, Bid Processing Fee of N3million per field, Data Prying fee of $15,000 per field, Data Leasing fee of $25,000 per field, Competent Persons Report of $50,000 and $25,000 for Fields Specific Report.

While we see the need for these asset sales to generate much-needed revenue for the Federal Government, we are concerned that a bidding process under the current environment will be fraught with difficulties. Firstly, the current fluctuations in oil prices may mean that intending investors may base their valuations on pricing models that can become unrealistic in the near term and then are unable to develop such fields acquired. Many local companies have been hard hit by the effects of covid -19 and the ensuing significant decline in oil prices, hence they may not have sufficient cash flows nor be able to raise needed funds from both local and international banks.

In addition, we see regulatory difficulties hampering interest in the fields. For example, the lack of passage of the long awaited Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) remains a significant deter. Furthermore, the recently passed Deep Offshore and Inland Basis Production Sharing Contracts (Amendment) Act (DOA) has made investments in Nigeria oil & gas assets less attractive. These negative regulatory sentiments has led to many IOCs decreasing investments in the Nigerian oil & gas industry. Overall, we think this may result in many of the fields ending up in the hands of individuals with cash but with no industry expertise. Again, with the current economic crunch, many of the fields may be sold significantly below their fair value.

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CSL Stockbrokers Limited, Lagos (CSLS) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of FCMB Group Plc and is regulated by the Securities
and Exchange Commission, Nigeria. CSLS is a member of the Nigerian Stock Exchange.

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Business News

May Output Cut: OPEC+ records 86% compliance as Nigeria beats expectation

Some of the non-OPEC member countries recorded less than impressive compliance rates. Kazakhstan, Brunei, and South Sudan recorded 47%, 22%, and 13% compliance respectively.

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OPEC+ output cut: The oil cartel records 86% compliance as Nigeria beats expectation

As OPEC+ pushes for an extension of the current output cut of 9.7 million barrels beyond June, a new report suggests that the alliance may have achieved a fairly impressive level of compliance in May, the first month of the biggest global effort to curtail oil production.

Energy Intelligence estimates that the alliance achieved an 86% compliance rate (in May) with the production cut of 9.7 million barrels per day that was agreed for both May and June. This contradicts the 74% compliance rate that was earlier reported by a Reuters survey.

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The massive output cut is intended to counter the dramatic slump in global oil prices which was triggered by the coronavirus pandemic and supply glut. The output cut has since helped to move up prices well above the April lows.

Meanwhile, some West African OPEC members fell short of their pledged output cuts, with Angola and Congo recording compliance rates of 54% and 20%, respectively. Gabon’s May output actually exceeded its volumes in October 2018, which was chosen as the baseline month against which the cuts are measured.

(READ MORE: Oil prices hit 2-months high as Bonny light rises to $33.9/barrel over vaccine test optimism)

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However, the compliance by Nigeria for the month of May was better than the expected 83% after its output fell by around 260,000 barrels per day between April and May. This is, however, at variance with 52% compliance that was disclosed by Nigeria’s Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipre Sylva.

Worry for Nigeria as forecast shows OPEC countries will face a challenging 2020 , Why OPEC may not change output cut soon, Weaker oil demand overshadows proposed OPEC output cuts, as oil price dips , Nigeria tops compliance list, as OPEC’s December crude output drops, OPEC, Russia planning biggest oil cut ever, OPEC+ output cut: The oil cartel records 86% compliance as Nigeria beats expectation

Some of the non-OPEC member countries recorded less than impressive compliance rates. Kazakhstan, Brunei, and South Sudan recorded 47%, 22%, and 13% compliance respectively.

The OPEC+ alliance’s overall compliance rate was lifted by the performances from four of its top five producers, which were close to 100%. Among these heavyweights, only Iraq lagged well behind with a compliance level of less than 50%.

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Russia failed to live up to its obligations under previous OPEC+ deal. But after removing condensate, which is not counted as part of its current quota, its oil output is 8.6 million barrels per day in the month of May; indicating an impressive 96% compliance rate.

Patricia

Compliance is expected to improve in the month of June.

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Business News

COVID-19 palliative: Sanwo-Olu concludes Homegrown School Feeding Programme

The homegrown school feeding programme, was targeted at providing food packages for 37,589 households of pupils in Public Primary Schools years 1-3

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Sanwo-Olu, COVID-19: Lagos ramps up measure to smash disease as it begins fumigation, Covid-19: Total lockdowm imminent as Lagos fears confirmed cases could hit 39,000, Hotels to remain shut in Lagos, as manufacturing and construction companies get conditional waivers, COVID-19 palliative: Sanwo-Olu concludes Homegrown School Feeding Programme

The modified homegrown school feeding programme, launched on May 21, as part of palliatives offered by the Lagos state government to cushion the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, has been concluded.

The programme, which basically modified the already existing school feeding programme, was targeted at providing food packages for 37,589 households of pupils in Public Primary Schools years 1-3.

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According to an official tweet from the Lagos state government, the programme was concluded on Tuesday, June 2, 2020.

The Executive Chairman of Lagos State Universal Basic Education Board, LASUBEB, Mr. Wahab Alawiye-King, noted that the distribution of the packages to the beneficiary households took off on May 21, and was spread across 202 centres across the 20 Local Government Education Authorities in the State.

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(READ MORE:COVID-19: Lagos receives N200 Million, 5 ambulances from BUA Foundation)

Items contained in the Take-home rations:

Each beneficiary of the packages received a take-home ration made up of “5kg Bag of Rice; 5kg Bag of Beans; 500 ml Vegetable Oil; 750ml Palm Oil; 500mg Salt; 15 pieces of eggs and 140gm Tomato Paste,” which is expected to assist the parents and guardians feed the children as they remain at home during the prolonged holiday.

What you should know:

The Federal government also introduced a modified homegrown school feeding programme on May 15 to be coordinated by the Honourable Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouq.

Farouq noted during one of the Presidential Task Force media briefings that the distribution of Take-Home Rations (THR) to the households of the children on the programme as a feasible method, after exploring several options of reaching children in vulnerable households.

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Each Take-Home Ration is said to be worth N4,200, although the Minister has not released full details of the programme.

Patricia

According to the World Food programme, there are 17 countries currently distributing Take-Home rations to school children. In Liberia, Take Home Rations have been distributed since 2019.

 

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