The relative peace enjoyed in Nigeria’s oil producing Niger Delta may be a thing of the past, if the latest threat by the Niger Delta Avengers is anything to go by. The militant group, in a release posted on its website, have threatened to attack Nigeria’s deep sea operations in the Niger Delta.
Possible targets mentioned in the post include Bonga Platform, Agbami, EA Field, Britania-U Field, Akpo Field; amongst others littered across the deep waters of the Niger Delta region. The avengers also threatened to attack the Egina FPSO.
What do the militants want ?
The militants are demanding the restructuring of the country, and control of crude oil resources. They also requested for the release of all militants arrested by the Federal Government. Previous ceasefires according to them, had not yielded much benefit.
How does this affect you ?
A potential militant attack could have the following effect on investments and the economy as a whole.
1. Business shut down in the Niger Delta
A militant attack could lead to the few businesses operating in the Niger Delta shutting down. Businesses tend to form clusters in areas where oil exploration and production take place. Multinationals could decide to evacuate their staff and shut down pending when peace returns.
2. Foreign exchange liquidity
A drop in crude oil revenue , in the event of an attack could lead to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) tightening foreign exchange supply. Many businesses in the country are largely dependent on foreign exchange to purchase inputs and raw materials.
Multinationals that operate in the country, also require foreign exchange to repatriate their profits. A foreign exchange squeeze could lead to money being trapped in the country.
3. Cost of borrowing
A militant attack could affect the cost of borrowing externally. Nigeria ramped up her foreign exchange borrowing last year in order to take advantage of low interest rates and reduce the crowding out effect of the Federal Government on the domestic market. Several banks in the country also took advantage of the relative stability in the exchange rate to raise bonds.
Nigeria is largely depedent on crude oil income for her foreign exchange revenue. A militant attack could lead to an increased premium on foreign denominated loans for both government and the private sector.
4. A possible devaluation
If the militant attacks become a reality and are severe, the CBN may be forced to devalue the Naira. This could throw financial projections for many companies into jeopardy, as they would have to spend more Naira servicing foreign loans.
5. Power Outage
Militant attacks could also lead to power outage,as the militants could decide to attack critical gas pipelines. Militant attacks by one group,tend to lead to similar attacks by other groups. Power supply in the country had recently become more regular. A cut in power means businesses will have to spend more on alternative sources of power such as petrol and diesel generators.
P&ID dispute: UK Court orders $200 million guarantee to FG
Nigeria’s Foreign Exchange Reserves was boosted after a London Court ordered the release of $200Million placed as security in the case against P&ID.
A London Commercial Court has ordered the release of a $200 million guarantee as security to be paid to the Nigerian government in the P&ID $10 billion Arbitral Claim.
This was disclosed in a social media statement by the Central Bank of Nigeria on Tuesday.
Nigeria's Foreign Exchange Reserves was this morning boosted by over $200Million when the London Commercial Court ordered the release of the $200Million guarantee put in place as security in respect of the execution of the much discredited P&ID $10 Billion Arbitral Claim.
— Central Bank of Nigeria (@cenbank) September 29, 2020
Nairametrics reported earlier this month that The Federal Government secured a landmark victory in its bid to overturn a $10 billion arbitration judgment award against it in a case against Process and Industrial Developments (P&ID).
The Court said that Nigeria has established a strong prima case that the contract was procured by bribes paid to insiders as part of a larger scheme to defraud Nigeria. He said that there is also a strong prima face case that the P&ID’s main witness in the arbitration, Mr Quinn, gave perjured evidence to the tribunal, and that contrary to that evidence, P&ID was not in the position to perform the contract.
In today’s statement, the CBN said, “Nigeria’s Foreign Exchange Reserves was this morning boosted by over $200Million when the London Commercial Court ordered the release of the $200Million guarantee put in place as security in respect of the execution of the much discredited P&ID $10 Billion Arbitral Claim.”
“The court also awarded a £70,000 cost in favour of Nigeria in addition to an earlier award of £1.5m.”
On January 31, 2017, an arbitration tribunal had ruled that Nigeria should pay P&ID, the sum of $6.6 billion as damages and breach of contract after a 2010 deal for a gas project in the Niger Delta part of Nigeria collapsed. The pre and post judgement accrued interest of 7% has seen the amount standing against Nigeria, rise to almost $10 billion, an amount that will be a serious dent on the country’s external reserve.
NDDC working on new master plan for Niger-Delta Region – Akpabio
Akpabio said he remains committed to producing a regional road map for development of the Niger Delta.
The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, announced that he remains committed to producing a regional road map for development through the Niger Delta Action Plan.
Akpabio announced this at the new Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) Permanent Headquarters, Port Harcourt on Monday, as part of his working visit to the Niger Delta which is meant to collaborate and develop growth policies for the region.
This comes after the recent National House of Assembly probe against the Interim Management Committee (IMC) of the NDDC. The commission claimed that it spent N81.5 billion within 7 months (October 2019 to May 2020).
The senate petitioned the IMC of the NDDC to refund the N4.923 billion alleged illegal payments made to the staff of the commission and contractors in breach of the procurement process.
The refund which the senate wants refunded includes Overseas Travel to the United Kingdom N85.7million, Scholarship grants N105.5 million, Union Members’ trip to Italy N164.2 million.
The other refunds which the senate wants made to the NDDC’s Account by the IMC are: payment made for Lassa Fever Kit N1.96 billion, payment for Public Communication valued at N1.12 billion, and COVID-19 fund expenditure N1.49 billion.
In August, The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) interrogated the top management staff of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) over allegations of numerous acts of corruption, including diversion of funds, procurement fraud, and misappropriation of the agency’s COVID-19 funds.
Akpabio, acknowledged today that the NDDC has not lived up to expectations, he said “Whether we like it or not, this child (NDDC) has not grown well in 19 years. It could have done better. Perhaps, we lost track of the developmental plan of the Niger Delta region. The most thrilling thing for me is that change has come to the NDDC. I must commend the management and staff of the NDDC for making this possible. Despite the criticisms and distractions, some positive change has taken place in the Commission and I like to see progress because I am a development-oriented politician.”
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, Babayo Ardo said the Commission is refocusing its efforts towards effective service delivery, urging for more actions towards a master plan for regional development in the Niger Delta.
Lagos revisits Ehingbeti Economic Summit, to hold first virtual edition
The Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget said the State will again host the Ehingbeti Summit.
Lagos State government has decided to resuscitate its annual Ehingbeti Summit after it held the last one in 2014.
The 2020 edition, which is to hold virtually between November 10-12, is themed ‘For greater Lagos: Setting the tone for the next decade.’
This was disclosed by the Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, Samuel Egube on Sunday during an interactive session with journalists, which was attended by Nairametrics.
Egube explained that most of the developments recorded in the states over the years were from ideas and recommendations gathered from the previous editions of the summit.
According to him, the summit, which is a collaboration between the state and private sector operators, has seen the government implement 109 out of 119 resolutions suggested to the state government in past editions.
He said, “The rail line projects, the Lekki toll gate, among others are ideas generated from the economic summit. The summit has a rich history and is firmly established as a credible forum for stimulating economic growth for Lagos state. It is our belief that you cannot lead a place like Lagos with one mind you have to bring together all the minds. The first one was hosted in 2000 making this the 20th year since the first summit was held. The first three editions were deliberately diagnostic but by the fourth one, we had started to create a blueprint and have started to implement it from the early decisions that had been made.”
He added that the good thing about the summit is that the government is responsible for the decisions taken and that they are obliged to report back to the next Ehingbeti what it has done with the decision taken and if there are challenges.
“We highlight what those challenges were and take other decisions on how to repair those challenges. To some it appears the ambitions are too high, because how do you put the private sector in the lead and collaborate in that manner. They have wondered whether the government can be trusted to follow through with this idea of collaboration, but the performance shows that yes, we follow through,” he stated.
According to him, with the summit, what the Lagos state government is trying to do is stimulate contribution from the private sector, get them interested in the governance of the state and lead the way in terms of the outcomes.