No fewer than 223 investors from within and outside Nigeria have indicated interest in lifting the country’s natural gas liquids, NGLs.
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation disclosed this yesterday when it opened the bids submitted by companies at the 2019/2021 Natural Gas Liquids bids opening ceremony in Abuja.
According to the NNPC’s Group Managing Director, Maikanti Baru, the Government plans to enlist reputable and eligible firms to off-take the natural gas liquids for the local and international markets. It also intends to ensure that the selection of off-takers aligns with proven, transparent, and accountable procedures in conformity with the Public Procurement and Nigerian Content Act.
Baru, who was represented by Saidu Mohammed, the NNPC’s Chief Operating Officer, Mr. Baru stated the following:
“In addition to these objectives, it is our intention to sustain transparency in all our processes and select the best off-takers through a robust mix of big international players with strong Nigerian gas sector focus companies to ensure supply reliability and local capacity development. Our intention is to also stimulate investments in gas storage, marketing, and distribution.”
Details of the Bids: About 223 companies submitted bids. According to the NNPC, this marks an increase in the number of bidders compared to what obtained during previous bidding rounds. Although the total volume of bids was not disclosed, Baru said: “I can assure that they are volumes that are beyond the demand of this nation.”
He went further to disclose that the country had been exporting all the volumes in the past. He also stated that the NNPC had dedicated close to 7,000 metric tonnes before and was raising that volume for the domestic market.
Why this Matters: According to Baru, the essence of the bid is to use the proceeds from the bids to develop the Nigerian LPG Market. He said the process is focused on selecting partners who can add value to NGLs market.
“We are not only focused on lifting and sending it out, but we are also focusing on the maximum value within the nation. In other words, we want to use this transaction to propel the LPG market throughout the nation and grow the market to the level that it deserves.”
Nigeria currently ranks as one of the lowest consumers of LPG in the world. This situation has been attributed to the lack of capacity for penetration. The only way to solve the problem, therefore, is to bring in investors who will provide the needed capacity.
Note that a well-developed LPG market will make it possible for the country to better utilise the natural resource. This means more revenue streams for the country.
CBN extends Covid-19 forbearance for intervention loans by another 12 months
CBN will continue to charge an interest rate of 5% for its intervention loans for another 1 year.
The Central Bank of Nigeria has announced an extension of its regulatory forbearance for the restructuring of its intervention facilities by another 12 months.
In a circular signed by Dr. Kevin Amugo, the Director of Financial Policy and Regulatory. the apex bank said it will continue to charge its borrowers an interest rate of 5% per annum as against the 9% originally offered. The CBN had on March 20th reduced the interest rates on its intervention loans from 9% to 5% as part of its response to the economic crunch brought on by Covid-19 induced lockdowns.
The CBN also offered to rollover moratorium granted on all principal payments on a case by case basis. All credit facilities had been granted a one-year moratorium starting from march 1, 2020 when the pandemic first gripped Nigeria.
See excerpt from Circular
“The Central Bank of Nigeria reduced the interest rates on the CBN intervention facilities from 9% to 5% per annum for one-year effective March 1, 2020, as part of measures to mitigate the negative impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on the Nigerian economy.”
Credit facilities, availed through participating banks and OFIs, were also granted a one-year moratorium on all principal payments with effect from March 1, 2020.
Following the expiration of the above timelines, the CBN hereby approves as follows:
1) The extension by another twelve (12) months to February 28, 2022 of the discounted interest rate for the CBN intervention facilities;
2) The roll-over of the moratorium on the above facilities shall be considered on a case by case basis.
What this means
Companies who secured intervention funds from the CBN or through any of its on-lending banks will continue to service the loans at an interest rate of 5% per annum instead of 9%.
- They can also get another year of not needing to pay back the principal sum collection. However, they will need to apply.
- Whilst this move helps the small businesses continue to manage their cash flow, it means the CBN will record a reduction in its income extended under such facility.
- Regulatory forbearance is a widely adopted concept during an economic crunch and it is meant to help stimulate businesses. These pronouncements if implemented will only affect those who borrow from the CBN or BOI but those who do not will miss out.
- Download the circular here.
LNG boss tasks FG to begin the monetization of Nigeria’s gas
Mr Attah has urged the FG to take the gas sector more seriously as the future of Nigeria’s energy lies with it.
The MD and CEO of Nigeria LNG Limited Mr. Tony Attah has tasked the Federal Government to begin the revamping and monetization of the Gas sector in Nigeria.
He made this statement while making his presentation at the 2nd virtual Nigerian Gas Association (NGA) Industry Multilogues, with the theme: “Powering Forward, Enabling Nigeria’s Industrialization via Gas.”
Mr. Tony Attah drew the attention of the audience to the hidden treasure in the Nigerian Gas industry which he believes is not getting enough attention from the government.
On the future of gas as an alternative energy source, Mr. Attah stated that the developed world is already keying into gas as an alternative to crude oil. Gas has proven to be a cleaner and more sustainable alternative.
He exclaimed that Nigeria is very rich in gas and yet poor in energy. Nigeria is the 9th country with the largest gas reserves in the world but makes very little use of it.
Mr. Attah went further to paint a clear picture of the promise of investing in gas using the success achieved by Qatar. Qatar is currently the largest LNG exporter in the world.
“We just touched on a quick case study of Qatar. Someone mentioned Qatar already from a poor fishing country to a gas giant and it took just 10 years, which is why we, as Nigeria LNG, firmly believe in the conversation and the narrative about the declaration of the decade of gas.
“We believe it is possible. If you look at Qatar from 1995, when they really went into gas development, we were just two years behind Qatar. So, Qatar’s first LNG was in 1997.
“Nigeria’s first LNG was in 1999, just two years behind. But then, within 10 years, because of the deliberateness of the government and focus on gas, they have gone to 77 million tonnes and we are at best, 22 million tonnes,” Attah said.
Mr. Attah stressed further the importance of the gas sector in Nigeria’s future. He recalled that the Nigerian Government declared 2021-2030 as the decade of gas. He pleaded with the government to take the sector more seriously as the future of Nigeria’s energy lies with it.
“Gas is the future. That future is now, and just as the Minister of State has made us to realize, gas is food in fertilizer. Gas is transport as you saw in the Auto gas project that was declared.
“Gas is life, as a matter of fact, for cooking, for heating, for existence. Gas is development in manufacturing, gas is power. Gas is everything. “We think it’s time for gas. It’s time for Nigeria to diversify and that is why we fully support the decade of gas,” he said.
What you should know
- Early last year, the director of the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) Mr Sarki Auwalu confirmed that Nigeria’s proven gas reserve stood at 203.16 trillion cubic feet.
- Nigeria has the 9th largest gas reserves in the world. It is also the 6th largest exporter of gas.
- The Federal Government declared the year 2021–2030 as the “Year of the Gas“. It pledged to finally kick start the development and commercialization of Nigeria’s huge gas reserves.
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