“Oil (Energy) is back!!!”. These were the words of Donald Trump, who appears desperate for the United States’ energy industry to jump-start after being hit by one of the worst pandemics in history. His reaction to the oil price rally would have been similarly expressed by other World leaders, whose economies rely on the black gold for a fair portion of revenue. The rally would buoy countries such as Nigeria that has suffered from the oil price crash witnessed in the previous month. It would be a disservice not to apportion credit to Trump after he tactfully negotiated one of the most important diplomatic deals with Saudi and Russia to head back to the OPEC+ cuts discussion table. Little wonder what Oil prices would be without his intervention and the consequent OPEC+ cuts.
Brent Oil traded at the $34-$35 range at the early hours of the Asian Session on Wednesday as traders weighed on output cuts agreed by OPEC+ and their implementation, decline in U.S. production and a recovery in demand in China and India. Last week, Mohammed Barkindo, OPEC Secretary-General, commended on the compliance levels by participating countries while he was interviewed by Bloomberg last week. His claims were further corroborated by the Head of Commodities Research at Citigroup Inc. Ed Morse said, “The actual production cuts are deeper and more spectacular than any reasonable person would have thought a week ago.”
Another factor that gave the bulls momentum were indications of oil demand back to pre-pandemic levels in China. In a report by Bloomberg, insider knowledge monitoring the country’s consumption claimed that almost 13 million barrels a day is being consumed, which is not far off May and December 2019 levels of 13.4 million barrels and 13.7 million barrels respectively. The report also affirms that the only thing pegging back the numbers going higher is the dearth of demand for jet-fuel. The dossier reveals that traffic congestion levels are increasing due to commuters preferring private vehicles than public buses for social distancing reasons.
In other bullish news, the American Petroleum Institute (API) on Tuesday surprised speculators and analysts with an estimated decline of 4.8 million barrels in U.S. crude supplies for the week ended May 15. This improved prices as a decline in supply provided support for higher oil prices.
While most analysts believe the worst for Oil is over, some energy research companies believe the euphoria over higher prices might be short-lived. Rystad Energy cautioned that despite the lifting of lockdowns, there is nothing to indicate that the pandemic would be over soon, or that oil producers will consistently comply with shut-ins. “There is significant downside risk related to two events, the resurgence in COVID-19 outbreaks, and deteriorating compliance to OPEC+ cuts as demand comes back”. Economic outlooks for most countries still look bleak, as acknowledged by Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell that it may take till the end of 2021 and a Covid-19 vaccine for the U.S. economy to recover. The U.K. economy seems to be staring at a “significant recession” according to fears from Rishi Sunak, the nation’s chancellor.
The chart above shows the current oil price level and how far prices have recovered and how far it must go to reach pre-pandemic levels. Is this rally sustainable? Will a second wave of the virus affect the momentum? These are the questions we begin to ask for Oil dependent countries and companies that need high prices to augment their economic fortunes. The Oil bulls have everything working in their favor in the short term. Higher oil prices have a checklist featuring a revival in demand from China, accompanied by production shut-ins, supply declines, and ease in lockdowns in most countries with previous concerns about storage facilities evaporating.
For now, it is safe to say Oil s Back…and so am I.
#EndSARS: Sanwo-Olu gifts families of slain police officers N10 million each
Governor Sanwo-Olu has compensated the families of slain police officers with the sum of N10 million each.
The Executive Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu has brought respite to the families of police officers killed during the violence witnessed in the aftermath of the #EndSARS protests.
According to the disclosure on the Twitter page of the Lagos State Government, the families were handed a cheque of N10 million each and the children of the slain officers awarded scholarships by the government.
Governor @jidesanwoolu handing over a cheque of 10 million naira each to the families of police officers who lost their lives during the unrest that followed the EndSARS protest and awarding scholarship to their children. @followlsstf @ceolsstf @LagosPoliceng#LASG #SecureLagos pic.twitter.com/XdjPPRsRf7
— The Lagos State Govt (@followlasg) December 3, 2020
What they are saying: Commenting on the recent development, a tweet by the Lagos State Government read thus: “Governor @jidesanwoolu handing over a cheque of 10 million naira each to the families of police officers who lost their lives during the unrest that followed the EndSARS protest and awarding scholarship to their children.’’
Why this matters: The recent effort by the Governor is in fulfillment of the promise he had earlier made to compensate affected victims of the post-EndSARS protest which led to the loss of lives and valuable properties both in the state and the country at large.
The compensation will be viewed by serving officers as a motivation, aimed at promoting patriotism, loyalty, commitment and dedication to national service.
What you should know
How digital transformation will impact Nigeria’s projected $8.79 billion economic expansion
Businesses will need to invest in appropriately reskilling and upskilling the national workforce to create a better digital Nigeria.
The Nigerian economy is projected to grow by $8.79 billion in the next three years to 2023, driven largely by the ICT, agriculture, health, finance and insurance sectors, according to a new study by global training providers elev8 and the BusinessDay Research and Intelligence Unit (BRIU).
More than half of the projected growth will come from the ICT sector, as companies continue to create innovative products and services leveraging ICT and telecoms. To take advantage of this growth, however, businesses will need to invest in appropriately reskilling and upskilling the national workforce to create a better digital Nigeria.
The research comes off the back of the Covid-19 pandemic, which has laid bare the digital divide, with those businesses having invested sufficiently in their digital capabilities overtaking those firms who failed to do so.
However, this trend of digitally forward businesses outperforming their technology-inferior counterparts isn’t new, the study reveals. Analysis of the data, which went back as far as 1992, showed that the major companies outperforming others in Nigeria are those that spend more on upskilling, research and development, and technology acquisition.
Economic rewards await
In recognition of its benefits, Nigeria has made efforts in the past, and continues to make more efforts at digitalizing its economy. The progress made in Nigeria’s ICT sub sector has had a positive effect on its gross domestic product (GDP). Research shows that the sector’s contribution to GDP has risen from 7.70 percent in 2012 to 14.30 percent by Q2 2020.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian government’s National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy, launched in 2019, aims to improve digital literacy and skills to build out the country’s digital capabilities.
However, the digital infrastructure readiness in Nigeria is still far below the global average. For this to be upgraded, the current skill set of government employees working in this area will need to be updated. This should warrant the designing of training programs that will help the government raise the level of digital infrastructure in Nigeria in the shortest possible time and at affordable costs.
The high economic rewards from closing the digital skills gap should see this become an even greater priority. If the entire Nigerian economy is digitalized, the country could take a bigger bite of the global digital economy, which is estimated at $11.5 trillion.
Where digital leaders are made
Global training provider elev8 offers training programs focused on the latest technologies, and is uniquely placed to help businesses and the Nigerian government connect to opportunities as highlighted in the report.
Bringing together renowned industry experts, elev8 offers the flexibility of virtual classrooms or face-to-face programs, depending on what’s best for the organization and its learners.
Taking a holistic approach, power skills like communication, collaboration and analytical thinking are embedded into elev8’s technical training in order to develop well-rounded digital experts who can bring the most value to their employers.
Training methods are practical and action-based – built around projects, tackling real business challenges – enabling learners to put theory into practice from the day one.
No matter the technical need, elev8 can design and implement bespoke solutions tailored to a company’s individual requirements.
elev8’s global academy equips business leaders, teams and organizations with the skills they need to leverage the technologies of the future and transform Nigeria into a knowledge-based economy.
To read the report in full, or to discover more about the elev8 training academy, go to www.elev8me.com/en-us/africa.
Covid-19: WHO says the promise of vaccine is a game changer
The WHO has stated that the promise of Covid-19 vaccines is phenomenal and potentially game-changing.
The World Health Organization has said that the promise of Covid-19 vaccines is phenomenal and potentially game-changing.
This disclosure was made by the WHO’s Regional Director for Europe, Hans Kluge, during a press briefing at Copenhagen on Thursday, December 2, 2020, according to a report from Reuters.
Kluge said there are expectations that there would be limited supplies of Covid-19 vaccine supplies at the early stages and as such countries must decide who gets priority.
However, the WHO emphasized that there is a growing consensus among stakeholders that older people, medical workers, and people that share the virus with some other health conditions will be among the first recipients of the vaccine.
What you should know
It can be recalled that yesterday, UK regulator gave its approval to the Covid-19 vaccine, which was developed by Pfizer Inc in collaboration with BioNTech, moving ahead of the rest of the world, including the United States in the race to begin the most crucial mass inoculation programme in history.
- This follows the announcement by Pfizer that the vaccine proved 95% effective in a final analysis of clinical-trial data for its phase 3 study.
- In addition, Biotech firm, Moderna Inc, also announced that its Covid-19 experimental vaccine was 94.5% effective in a preliminary study.
- The United States and European Union regulators are sifting through the same Pfizer vaccine trial data, but are yet to give their approval.
- The WHO revealed on Wednesday it had received data from Pfizer and BioNTech on the vaccine and was reviewing it for possible listing for emergency use, a minimum condition for countries to authorize national use.