The world’s third largest crude producer – Saudi Arabia, is seriously ‘courting’ India, which also happens to be Nigeria’s biggest crude market.
Saudi’s Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman, last week visited New Delhi where he met with India’s Prime Minister Modi, for crucial talks.
While much of the talks focused on curbing terrorism, the two leaders also deliberated on ways to form stronger economic ties between their countries.
In specific terms, Prince Salman stated that his country would be investing as much as $100 billion in India over the next two years.
“We expect the opportunities we are targeting in India in various fields to exceed $100 billion in the coming two years.”
Areas of interest for the Kingdom cut across sectors such as infrastructure, manufacturing, and agriculture. Yet, Saudi Arabia also wants to invest in India’s energy/oil industry.
Nature of Saudi Arabia’s investment in India’s oil and gas
Already, a leading Saudi oil and gas company – Saudi Aramco – is in talks with Reliance Industries Limited over a potential partnership.
Reliance Industries Limited is an Indian conglomerate, with huge stakes in the country’s energy sector.
A potential partnership between the companies could come in the form of refineries being constructed in India.
Note that Saudi Aramco is also negotiating similar opportunities with other Indian companies.
What does this mean for Nigeria’s crude export to India?
The Saudis’ potential investments in India’s refineries would help the country lock down the Indian market for its crude export.
In other words, possible investments in India’s energy sector by Saudi Arabia could ultimately cause a decline for India’s demand for Nigeria’s crude.
Once again, India is one of Nigeria’s biggest crude markets. This has, as a matter of fact, been the case for sometime now.
According to recent data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), Nigeria exported crude worth N719.2 billion to India in Q3 2018. This, along with the N37.7 billion worth of natural has exported to the country, makes it Nigeria’s biggest crude export market during the period under consideration.
But this may change if Saudi Arabia manages to clinch the deals its Crown Prince said are in negotiations.
In light of this possibility, therefore, the important question is whether Nigeria is prepared for such development.
Nigeria’s economy depends largely on crude export to stay working.
FG’s plans on economic growth depend entirely on business climate – Osinbajo
Osinbajo has stated that every plan of the government relating to economic growth depends greatly on the business climate in Nigeria.
The Vice President of Nigeria, Yemi Osinbajo, has told heads of agencies that every plan of the government relating to economic growth, and improving job creation & opportunities, depends on the climate of doing business in Nigeria.
This was revealed by the media aide to the Vice President, Laolu Akande, in a social media statement on Wednesday, after the VP spoke at a PEBEC meeting where a survey presentation exposed pitfalls in some regulatory agencies which affected a conducive business environment in the country.
VP to FG agencies: Every one of our plans around sustaining economic growth, improving job creation & opportunities, whatever it is that we plan to make life better for the citizens, depends entirely on the environment in which people have to do business. It determines whether…
— Laolu Akande (@akandeoj) January 20, 2021
The Vice President said the business climate “determines whether they will invest their resources, expand their businesses, and it just determines practically everything.”
Osinbajo directed that all heads of MDAs of Nigerian regulatory bodies be presented with the outcome of the survey to get their feedback and seriously deal with the situation promptly because there must be accountability.
What you should know: Nairametrics reported last week that Prof. Osinbajo, during an MSME stakeholders’ meeting, disclosed that the Federal Government, in partnership with the private sector, would continue to provide interventions to boost the growth of small businesses across the country.
Malabu Oil Scandal: Prosecutors demand JPMorgan documents
U.S bank, JPMorgan has been ordered by a court to present documents of a transaction regarding the $1.3 billion Malabu oil field sale.
Prosecutors at the Milan Court holding a trial for the $1.3 billion Malabu oil field sale have demanded that U.S bank JPMorgan present documents of a transaction as part of the corruption case regarding the sale of the oilfield.
This was revealed in a report by Reuters, as the court case over the sale of the oil field continues. Prosecutors claim that nearly $1.1 billion was stolen by Nigerian politicians and middlemen, with former oil minister, Dan Etete, keeping half.
Prosecutors demanded that the Milan court accept emails sent by UK authorities, coming from a separate case launched by the Nigerian government against the bank for its role in the controversial deal.
The emails include a transaction between Nigerian Attorney General Mohammed Adoke Bello and JPMorgan using the address of a company owned by another Nigerian named Aliyu Abubakar. Prosecutors allege that he paid $500 million in cash as part of a bribe.
Both men have also been charged for corruption relating to the deal, with both pleading not guilty.
The second email includes two JPMorgan executives expressing views on whether to transfer $1.1 billion to accounts related to Nigerian banks. The Milan prosecutors said the emails were valid, stating that a Swiss and Lebanese bank had also expressed doubts over the transaction.
The Milan court said it would make a decision over the emails on the 3rd of February. The verdict of the court case is expected to be announced in March 2020.
What you should know
- Nairametrics reported that Dan Etete, former Nigerian Minister of Petroleum, said that the $1.3 billion sales of Malabu oil field to Shell and Eni in 2021 was legally perfect, with zero traces of corruption in the deal.
- Royal Dutch Shell announced that it would write down its investment in the controversial Malabu OPL 245 offshore field in Nigeria.
- Malcolm Brinded, an ex-Upstream Chief of Shell Petroleum, told international prosecutors that the sum of $1.3 billion paid by Shell and Eni in 2011 to acquire OPL 245 offshore field was lawful, and he had no reason to think it was illegal.
- A lawsuit filed by the Nigerian government against US bank JPMorgan Chase, claiming over $1.7 billion for its role in a disputed 2011 Malabu oil deal, will proceed to trial. The six-week trial in London is expected to commence on the first available date after November 1 2021, meaning that proceedings may not begin until 2022.
We look forward to a Biden presidency with great hope and optimism – Buhari
President Buhari has expressed optimism in Nigeria’s relations with a Joe Biden administration.
President Muhammadu Buhari announced that Nigeria looks forward to the Presidency of Joe Biden with great hope and optimism for the strengthening of existing cordial relationships.
This was disclosed by an aide to the President, Garba Shehu after Joe Biden was inaugurated as the 46th president of the United States on Wednesday.
“ President Muhammadu Buhari warmly welcomes the inauguration of Vice President Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as President and Vice President of the United States of America on Wednesday, expressing hope that their presidency will mark a strong point of cooperation and support for Nigeria as well as the African continent,” Shehu said.
President Buhari congratulated the United States on a successful transition, citing it as an important historical inflection point for democracy as a system of government and for the global community as a whole.
Buhari added that Nigeria looks forward to working with Biden in areas of terrorism, poverty, climate change, and others.
“We look forward to the Biden presidency with great hope and optimism for the strengthening of existing cordial relationships, working together to tackle global terrorism, climate change, poverty and improvement of economic ties and expansion of trade,” he said.
What you should know
- After the election results were released in November 2018, Buhari said Biden’s election is a reminder that democracy is the best form of government.
- “In a democracy, the most powerful group are not the politicians, but voters who can decide the fate of the politicians at the polling booth. The main fascination of democracy is the freedom of choice and the supremacy of the will of the people,” Buhari said.
- Nairametrics reported yesterday that Joe Biden had been sworn in as the 46th President of the United States.
- Dapo-Thomas Opeoluwa, a Global Markets analyst and an Energy trader said Nigeria’s Oil, would be dependent on the future outlook of the oil market and Biden’s policies, as it would be interesting to see if Biden would allow OPEC to seize market share from American oil.