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FG gives reasons for fuel subsidy removal, discloses alternative to kerosene

The Federal Government has given reasons why it stopped subsidy on fuel and fully deregulated the downstream sector of the petroleum industry.

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NNPC, petroleum, Kyari, smuggling, , NNPC explains why kerosene price is not stable, NNPC, Why NNPC may sack depot managers in downstream sector , NNPC boss blames failure of refineries on negligence, says there are no excuses , No fuel scarcity during festive period - NNPC , NNPC advances commitment to meet domestic gas demands, NNPC to pay BCE $22.6 million over failed contract , Pipeline vandalism: NNPC GMD invited for questioning , Curbing the menace of smuggling of petroleum products, Amendment of Deep Offshore Act: NNPC allays fears of IOCs , New oil discovery to facilitate massive job creation – NNPC, Shell, NNPC lament Nigeria’s electricity deficit, FG gives reasons for fuel subsidy removal, discloses alternative to kerosene, NNPC makes $434.85 million from oil export sales in January, may suspend crude oil production

The Federal Government has explained why it finally bowed to age-long agitation for the removal of fuel subsidy, as well as why it fully deregulated the downstream sector of the petroleum industry.

The Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mele Kyari, disclosed the reasons on Wednesday, April 8, 2020, during an interview with Channels TV.

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According to the NNPC boss, the decision to finally end the fuel subsidy regime was taken in the best interest of ordinary Nigerians, as it would free up funds for the various tiers of government to develop critical infrastructure in education, health, transport and other sectors for their benefit. He said:

“We decided that fuel subsidy/under-recovery has to be stopped, subsidy is an elitist thing because it is the elites that benefit from it. They are the ones that have SUVs, four, five cars in their garages. The masses should be the ones to benefit. There are many things with the under-recovery because it makes us supply more than is needed.

“The stoppage of subsidy or under-recovery payment will ensure monies are freed up for the government to fund critical infrastructure project such as education, health, roads, and many others, for the benefit of the ordinary man.

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There are many things wrong with the under-recovery because we are supplying more than we need, we are supplying the whole of West Africa. Therefore, the under-recovery itself is so over-bloated because we are subsidizing the whole of West Africa. That has to stop.’’

[READ MORE: FG abolishes fuel subsidy regime as full deregulation sets in)

Budget 2020: Oil workers to earn N75 billion, Oil: International oil companies scale down on Nigeria operations, Mele Kyari, Oil and gas companies to slash spending, as oil price falls

Oil workers

The NNPC GMD pointed out that the removal of the subsidy would automatically correct the distortions it created in the market such as smuggling and products arbitrage. This will also encourage to establish retail outlets in the neighbouring countries.

The full deregulation of the downstream sector is also expected to attract more investments, as corporate organizations and multinational oil firms, who hitherto were reluctant to invest in refineries will be encouraged to do so.

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READ ALSO: NNPC GMD gives reasons for shutdown of refineries, to get private managers

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On the other hand, Kyari addressed the agitation for price reduction of kerosene. He said that NNPC was focused on how to get all those that were still using kerosene for domestic cooking to start using Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) which is popularly referred to as cooking gas. According to him, LPG is a cheaper fuel than kerosene as well as being safer and more environmentally friendly.

He admitted that the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylvia, is leading the campaign for the formulation of policies that would deepen the adoption of LPG usage for domestic consumption.

Chike Olisah is a graduate of accountancy with over 15 years working experience in the financial service sector. He has worked in research and marketing departments of three top commercial banks. Chike is a senior member of the Nairametrics Editorial Team. You may contact him via his email- chike.olisah@nairametrics.com.

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Economy & Politics

Output cut: Nigeria leads in OPEC non-compliance with 50 unsold cargoes of crude

Nigeria and Iraq were reported not to have kept to their commitment to the huge production cut deal that had promised to reduce output by 9.7 million barrels of crude oil per day.

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Petroleum Industry Bill to be passed by mid-2020, says Sylva, FG discovers crude oil in north, says there’s more , OPEC, non-OPEC countries to meet as Saudi, Russia price war affects Nigeria’s budget, FG considers fuel price reduction, OPEC deal: Nigeria to generate additional $2.8 billion revenue as FG reacts

As opinions continue to differ on whether OPEC will extend its current oil output cut beyond June, available information has shown that not all members of the oil cartel complied fully with their agreed quotas for the month of May. This is despite the fact that the oil output by OPEC member countries reached its lowest in almost 20 years.

Available data from oilprice.com showed that OPEC members cut their output by 5.91 million barrels per day from the April level, producing 24.77 million barrels per day. This figure also showed a 4.48 million barrel per day of the agreed output cut, thereby representing a 74% compliance level.

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Nigeria and Iraq were reported not to have kept to their commitment to the huge production cut deal that had promised to reduce output by 9.7 million barrels of crude oil per day.

Iraq was able to achieve just 38% compliance of its agreed output cut for the month of May, while Nigeria, which achieved a much lower compliance of the agreed output cut, recorded 19% compliance of what was agreed. Saudi Arabia showed the highest compliance, recording 96% of the agreed output cut.

Some have attributed the noncompliance of some members of OPEC to the agreed output cut, to the contractual obligations and commitment to buyers, given the short timeframe between when the agreement for the output cut was made and its implementation.

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Meanwhile oil exports from Angola and Congo remained steady at high prices on Friday, while Nigerian oil fared lower amid huge inventory of unsold cargoes.

Nigeria continues to face some difficulty in the oil market, primarily due to sluggish demand from Europe; it has around 50 unsold cargoes of crude oil yet to be sold for the months of June and July.

Meanwhile, India has become one of the few buyers for the Nigerian oil. Indian oil firms bought about 5-6 million barrels of Nigerian crude oil last week and has bought about 2 million barrels as at Thursday this week.

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Business News

President Muhammadu Buhari reshuffles NNPC’s board of directors

Note that the former board included the late Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari as a member. Stakeholders have since expected the President to reconstitute a new board to take over.

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President Muhammadu Buhari to address Nigerians on Monday, receives update and recommendations from PTF

President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the reconstitution of the board of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) after the expiration of the tenure of the current board.

The newly constituted board members are expected to serve for a tenure of three years, effective immediately. They will take over from the last board, whose 3-year tenure officially ended in 2019. Information about this development is contained in a State House press release that was published on the official twitter handle of the Nigerian Presidency on Saturday morning.

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READ MORE: Construction of ICT Parks nudges Nigeria into digital transformation

READ ALSO: CBN and NIPOST open pilot microfinance branches

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The newly constituted NNPC board is made up of six members from each of the geo-political zones in the country. The members include the following individuals:

  • Mallam Mohammed Lawal, representing the North West
  • Dr Tajudeen Umar from North East
  • Adamu Mahmood  Attah from North Central
  • Senator Magnus Abe from the South-South
  • Dr Stephen Dike from the South East, and
  • Chief Pius Akinyelure from the South West geo-political

READ MORE: Boko Haram: A protracted battle yet to be won?  

Of the six members, three are returning members on the board – Chief Pius Akinyelure, Mallam Mohammed Lawal, and Dr Tajudeen Umar from North East.

Note that the constitution of the new board is considered a welcome development, as it balances the representation of the six geo-political zones on the board. The previous constitution of the board was faulted for not being “balanced”.

READ ALSO: Full text of President Muhammadu Buhari’s 58th Independence day broadcast

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Note that the former board included the late Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari as a member. Stakeholders have since expected the President to reconstitute a new board to take over.

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Around the World

Zoom’s market valuation hits $50 billion mark, thanks to COVID-19

Zoom’s share price now trades at an eye-watering 55 times estimated revenue compared with an average of 7 times for information technology stocks in the S&P 500, according to information obtained from Bloomberg.

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Zoom

Zoom Video Communications’ shares surged to record highs on Friday, as bullish runs in the last hours of trading helped the company to close with a market capitalization of more than $50 billion. The stock gained about 9.7% to jump to $179.48, thereby giving it a market value of $50.6 billion. 

Note that this is the first time Zoom’s valuation is reaching this high level since it became a quoted company. The tech giant, which owns popular video conferencing software “Zoom”,  has gained more than 160% this year. This is because investors are betting that the surge in Zoom users amid the COVID-19 pandemic, would eventually translate to long-lasting revenue growth.

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READ ALSO: How VCs are encouraging terrible business practices by founders

Zoom’s share price now trades at an eye-watering 55 times estimated revenue compared with an average of 7 times for information technology stocks in the S&P 500, according to information obtained from Bloomberg.

Following the significant jump in the company’s valuation, the net worth of its founder and Chief Executive Officer, Eric Yuan, also rose significantly by more than $800 million on Friday. He now has a net worth of $9.3 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. 

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Meanwhile, in reaction to Zoom’s overnight success, Gennie Gebhart, a researcher with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, said she hoped Zoom would change course and offer protected video more widely. It should be recalled that some users of the app had raised security concerns back in April, as Nairametrics reported

READ ALSO: Did Satoshi Nakamoto cause the panic sell-off in Bitcoin market

Meanwhile, Zoom has recruited Alex Stamos, a former chief security officer at Facebook, and other top security experts to help deal with the security issues which led to some top companies banning its use. While discussing efforts being made to deal with the security challenges, Stamos told Reuters:

 “At the same time that Zoom is trying to improve security, they are also significantly upgrading their trust and safety. The CEO is looking at different arguments. The current plan is paid customers plus enterprise accounts where the company knows who they are.” 

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