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NSE’s Oscar Onyema urges market operators to explore opportunities in Finance Act

The CEO of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Mr Oscar Onyema has emphasized the importance of the newly signed Finance Act Bill.

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The Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Mr Oscar Onyema has emphasized the importance of the newly signed Finance Act. He assured that the bill would have positive impacts on the market as he called on capital market operators to take advantage of the opportunities that abound in it.

Onyema said this while giving his welcome remarks at the Nigerian Stock Exchange symposium on Finance Act 2019.

NSE’s Oscar Onyema urges capital market operators to take advantage of Finance Act

According to Onyema, the signing of the Finance Bill into law represents a landmark achievement for the Nigerian Capital Market as stakeholders have in the past advocated for this cause. He made known that with this bill in place, there would be favourable tax structures for primary and secondary market activities in the Nigerian Capital Market.

Also, he said there would be tax incentives for public companies and capital market investors, removal of double taxation in Collective Investment Schemes (CIS) and Real Estate Investment Structures as well as manufactured dividend in securities lending, among others.

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Onyema’s words: “The elimination of double taxation in Collective Investment Schemes (CIS) including Real Estate Investment Structures as pronounced by the act is expected to have a significant impact on the growth of the currently nascent $2.77 billion asset management industry in Nigeria.

“We have convened committees and conferences to dimension the real estate industry and the necessary policy changes required to jumpstart financing into the sector, and so this positive policy announcement is a good start towards increasing the viability of REITs for issuers and investors. 

“With the nation’s housing deficit put at 17Mn units as estimated by the African Development Bank, I believe strongly that REITs and other real estate investment vehicles will play a critical role in funding real estate and infrastructure development in Nigeria.

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“We also expect an exponential growth in Securities lending activities which will further boost market liquidity given the elimination of tax on manufactured dividend arising from securities loan transaction. Whilst there have been some improvements with c.20million units of shares currently available for lending, the multiple taxation embedded in an SLB arrangement has slowed down its adoption in the Nigerian Capital Market despite being a $2.44 trillion market globally.”

[READ MORE: NSE launches Growth Board to attract SMEs with growth potentials)

Speaking further, the NSE CEO enjoined market operators and asset owners to take advantage of the Finance Act and its impact on their operations. He said some of the interests were tax incentives relating to investment in capital markets and the ease of doing business for companies.

Onyema also said the Finance Act is in line with the newly launched Growth Board introduced by the NSE to provide issuers, especially Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), with opportunities to leverage on the Exchange for listing, raising long term capital and facilitating liquidity in the trading of their shares.

“Furthermore, the pronouncement in the Finance Act which exempts micro and small enterprises with an annual turnover of N25 million ($70,000) or less from paying company income tax aligns with the Exchange’s commitment to SMEs as recently demonstrated with the launch of our growth board segment dedicated to fast-growing companies seeking to raise public capital. SMEs and growth companies in our ecosystem can now enjoy tax benefits thereby improving their operational efficiency,” Onyema said.

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Chidinma holds a degree in Mass communication from Caleb University Lagos and a Masters in view in Public Relations. She strongly believes in self development which has made her volunteer with an NGO on girl child development. She loves writing, reading and travelling. You may contact her via - [email protected]

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Energy

NNPC says local operators must improve capacity to achieve low cost of oil production

The NNPC has mandated local oil companies to improve capacity to so as to reduce oil production cost.

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The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has said that indigenous companies operating in Nigeria’s oil and gas sector must upscale their capacity for global competitiveness in order to achieve the target of reducing the cost of oil production in Nigeria on a sustainable basis.

This was disclosed by the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Mallam Mele Kyari, at a virtual stakeholder’s consultative summit which was organized by the Senate Committee on Local Content.

According to a press release by NNPC, which was signed by its Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Dr. Kennie Obateru, the NNPC GMD said that there was need to amend the Local Content Act to reflect current realities in the industry.

Kyari, who was represented by the Group General Manager, Corporate Planning & Strategy (CP&S), Mrs Eyesan Oritsemeyiwa, argued that there was a need to have a legislation to resolve the issues of funding challenges faced by local players, stressing that oil and gas business required high technical skills and competence to compete favourably at the global stage.

Speaking further on the need for greater capacity building on the part of indigenous companies, the GMD said the nation’s education system has a great role to play in the development of highly skilled technical manpower, adding that any legislation on Nigerian content development that fails to embrace issues of investment in the educational system was not likely to achieve much.

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He said, “In terms of the interaction between industry and education, we think these new bills would present a good model that we should work with. People are the greatest assets of any nation. If you have the best brains in the industry today, as long as you are not getting a good replacement for them from the educational sector when they grow old and retire, then your industry will collapse,”

The NNPC boss pointed out that the nation has made some good progress from the era when there was no single indigenous operator in the oil and gas industry to the current situation where local operators have risen to double digits, stressing that the trend should be encouraged.

He praised the National Assembly’s initiative to review and amend the Local Content Act and urged the committee to ensure that it is carried out in a timely fashion in order for the law to deliver maximum value for the nation.

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The GMD commended the legislators for the plan to extend the local content law beyond the oil and gas industry to other sectors of the nation’s economy, stressing that it would open up the non-oil sectors to growth and development.

The local content initiative has been identified as being very critical to the development of Nigeria’s oil and gas sector as the Federal Government plans to reduce the cost of production of crude oil to $10 per barrel in the face of the recent crash in crude oil prices.

The Federal Government has provided the sum of $350 million as the Nigerian Content Intervention Fund to help support local participation in the oil and gas sector.

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Energy

NNPC signs gas development and commercialization deal with SEEPCO

NNPC and SEEPCO have signed a gas development and commercialization deal.

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The state oil giant, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has signed a gas development deal with Sterling Exploration and Energy Production Company (SEEPCO).

The agreement between the 2 oil firm is for the development and commercialization of gas from Oil Mining Lease (OML) 143 that could help reduce gas flaring in the country.

The disclosure was contained in a press statement that was issued by the Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division of NNPC, Dr Kennie Obateru, on Saturday, September 26, 2020, in Abuja.

According to the statement, the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Malam Mele Kyari, while speaking at the agreement-signing ceremony which held at the NNPC Towers, described the execution of the deal as a great milestone as well as a testament to NNPC’s commitment to facilitating the nation’s transformation into a gas-powered economy.

Kyari disclosed that the deal would not only help reduce gas flaring and its environmental hazards but would also promote gas production and utilization in the domestic market.

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The NNPC boss also commended SEEPCO for its unwavering commitment to gas development and commercialization in the country which has led to the establishment of a Special Purpose Vehicle that will help expand gas utilization in the country as a cleaner, cheaper and more reliable alternative form of energy.

On his part, the Chairman of SEEPCO, Mr Tony Chukwueke, described the deal as an essential partnership that would help the company fulfil the pledge it made to support the efforts of the Nigerian government to eliminate gas flaring by monetizing it.

He commended NNPC and the Group Managing Director for ensuring the execution of the agreement which he described central to the achievement of the company’s cardinal objective of boosting the production of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), condensate and dry gas for the Nigerian market, adding that the company has invested about $600 million for that purpose.

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This is coming at a time when the Federal Government is shifting focus to gas utilization as an alternative source of energy especially with the increase in the retail pump price of petrol. This is one of the various initiatives by the government as represented by the NNPC towards providing alternative sources of energy.

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Energy

Buhari reappoints 3 Chief Executives of agencies under Federal Ministry of Petroleum

3 Chief Executive Officers of agencies under the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources have been reappointed.

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BREAKING: President Buhari retains portfolio as Petroleum Minister

President Muhammadu Buhari has renewed the appointment of 3 Chief Executive Officers of parastatals under the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources with immediate effect.

The appointments that were renewed by the president include that of Dr Bello Aliyu Gusau as the Executive Secretary of Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF), Ahmed Bobboi as the Executive Secretary/Chief Executive Officer of Petroleum Equalization Fund (PEF) and Simbi Wabote as Executive Secretary, Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB).

The disclosure was made through a series of tweet posts by the presidency on its official Twitter handle on Friday, September 25, 2020.

The statement disclosed that the renewal of the appointments followed recommendations to the President by the Minister of State Petroleum Resources, Timipre Syla.

It stated that Dr Aliyu Gusau was credited to have run the PTDF successfully in the past four years, keeping faith with the Seven Strategic Priorities he had introduced in January 2017.

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These are Domestication, Cost cutting, Sustainable funding, Efficient internal processes, Linkages with the industry, Utilization of centres of excellence, and Pursuit of home-grown research.

It also stated that Bobboi got his reappointment for having run PEF in a way that made it a key and strategic player in the administration’s oil and gas reforms, especially in stabilizing the supply and distribution of petroleum products across the country, among others.

Going further, it stated that the NCDMB boss, Wabote, won his pips for managing the NCDMB and completing its headquarters building. Wabote was also credited to have initiated many landmark projects that were widely commended by industry players.

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