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Ministerial list: Senate President denies claim as Buhari fights pressure

The Senate President, Ahmed Lawan has reacted to a claim he reportedly made on the Ministerial list after President Muhammadu Buhari’s response regarding time-frame for cabinet names at the dinner between National Assembly and the executive.

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The Senate President, Ahmed Lawan has reacted to a claim he reportedly made on the Ministerial list after President Muhammadu Buhari’s response regarding time-frame for cabinet names at the dinner between National Assembly and the executive.

During the week, Lawan reportedly told members of the Senate that the President would submit his ministerial list for consideration while addressing a statement by a fellow lawmaker in the upper chamber.

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He has denied stating categorically that the list would be submitted this week. In his response to the media after the presidential dinner, Lawan said his statement wasn’t based on certainty but possibility.

[READ ALSO: The signed 2019 Budget is a Democracy Day gift, but there’s trouble ahead]

His retraction comes shortly after President Buhari said he was fighting back pressure from Nigerians to make his cabinet team known. Buhari said he wouldn’t be pressured into submitting his ministerial list for his second term like it was done in 2015 (his first tenure).

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Why Buhari is fighting pressure: The President said the pressure had made him appoint individuals he had no knowledge of. He also disclosed that the pressure made him give way to recommendations from his party, All Progressive Congress and some individuals.

According to him, he would have a deep knowledge of those to be considered for ministerial positions in his second tenure. It took President Buhari six months to make appointment in 2015, and he’s asking for more time without pressure. His second administration began on May 28, 2019.

BREAKING: Ahmed Lawan emerges the new Senate President

Senator Ahmad Lawan

Buhari’s statement must have forced Lawan to make a U-turn. According to Lawan, his statement was reported out of context.

Lawan initailly brushed off the possibility of President Buhari submitting the ministerial list during the dinner before proceeding to state that, “Let me take this opportunity to correct that. A senator raised a point of order under personal explanation and he said we should be sent the list of ministers by the executive arm of government.

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And in my response, I said the executive is working so hard to ensure that the list of Nigerians that will help this administration work is going to be constituted, we could even receive it this week. Could is conditional and I will urge everybody here to report it as it is.”

Patricia

[READ ALSO: DMO reacts to the China loan deal controversy, allays fears]

Why the ado about time-frame? The delay in the submission of the ministerial list is affecting the economy as it prevents Ministries, Department and Agencies from conducting work on on-going projects and kick-start other critical projects.

The MDAs are affected because without a minister in charge, funds will not be released to them as the Permanent Secretaries have limited approval right.

Also, drafting and implementing policies would be delayed and policies are needed to encourage investors, and show to them the movement of the administration. Right now, investors would be cautious of how they invest into the Nigerian economy due to uncertainty around appointments and policies.

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Olalekan is a certified media practitioner from the Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ). In the era of media convergence, Olalekan is a valuable asset, with ability to curate and broadcast news. His zeal to write was developed out of passion to shape people’s thought and opinion; serving as a guideline for their daily lives. Contact for tips: fakoyejo.olalekan@nairametrics.com.

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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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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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