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Economy & Politics

Petroleum Industry Bill set to go to President Buhari

The bill would unlock potential investments into Nigeria’s rich resource base.

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Buhari to commission phase 1 of brand new refinery this week, Petroleum Industry Bill, revenue, FSDH, Buhari to release N600 billion for capital expenditure in 3 months, Nigeria @ 59: President Muhammadu Buhari’s speech, Buhari’s Budget of Sustaining Growth & Job Creation (Full text) , See what FSDH is saying about the 2020 budget and FG’s revenue drive , Nigeria recoups N594.09 billion from whistleblowing policy in less than 3 years , Buhari seeks speedy approval of the 2016/2018 external borrowing plan , Finance Bill to use banks as agents to tax Nigerians , FG battles 6 oil firms for failure to remit N20 trillion , President Buhari receives 2020 budget, fear of padding to delay assent , Nigeria’s Budget Spending Under Buhari Still Under 2013 Levels 

Nigeria’s long-awaited Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) will be presented to the President in just a few days, according to an exclusive report by Reuters.

The bill would help Nigeria boost investment into its oil and gas industry.

Nairametrics had reported in February that Nigeria’s legislature was consulting with the president to draft “from scratch” a bill overhauling the nation’s petroleum sector and aimed to pass it by the end of 2020.

READ MORE: Reps to investigate alleged illegal withdrawal of $1.05 billion from NLNG account

According to the Senate President, the Ninth National Assembly will likely pass the long-awaited Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), which has not been assented to for more than a decade.

The signing of the bill would come at a much needed time as Nigeria deals with falling oil revenues due to the impact of the pandemic on global oil demand.

A spokesman for Shell petroleum added that signing the bill would unlock potential investments into Nigeria’s rich resource base.

READ MORE: NDDC Probe: Akpabio accuses NASS members of getting most of the commission’s contracts

The bill will be presented in one piece with four different chapters, even as President Muhammadu Buhari is expected to sign it and send back to the National Assembly for review. This would be one of the best times to pass such a bill.

Reuters revealed that the bill would include provisions that would reduce oil and gas royalties. Sources told Reuters that Nigeria’s reduction of oil and gas royalties is more aggressive compared to other nations.

Other inclusions in the bill would be increase payments to local communities of oil and gas operations and also funds for environmental cleanup. There will also be measures to improve the developments of natural gas and improved framework for gas delivery and tariffs.

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Economy & Politics

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.

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New CBN guidelines ban MMOs, PSPs, Operators from receiving diaspora remittances

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.

READ: Analysing the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Dollar Remittance Policy

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.

READ: Nigeria attracts more FDI than FPI for the first time in 4 years

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.

READ: CBN discloses conditions for assessing N100 billion credit facility, addresses ‘process problems’

 

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Economy & Politics

Senate endorses ex-Service Chiefs as Non-career Ambassadors

The Senate has confirmed President Buhari’s nomination of the immediate past service chiefs as non-career ambassadors.

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The Nigerian Senate has endorsed the nomination of the past serving Military Service Chiefs as Non-career Ambassadors.

This was confirmed during Tuesday’s plenary session and announced in a social media statement by the Nigerian Senate.

Their confirmation follows the consideration of the report of the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, Chaired by Senator Adamu Bulkachuwa.

According to reports, the Senate Minority Leader Enyinaya Abaribe, however, questioned the nomination and confirmation of the ex-service chiefs when the Senate had on 3 different occasions called for their sack.

Senator Abaribe also raised issues on the petitions against the former service chiefs and questioned why they were dismissed without explanations.

But Senate President Ahmad Lawan dismissed Senator Abaribe’s concerns, ruling that the nomination of the former service chiefs cannot be nullified simply because the upper chamber had called for their sack, noting that this is totally a different assignment.

In his concluding statement, the Senate President, Senator Lawan added that these nominees that have just been confirmed have served this country to the best of their abilities. He appealed to the executive to make sure they use their experience as military men to the best.

“These nominees that we have just confirmed are nominees that have served this country to the best of their ability. Our appeal to the Executive is to make sure they use their experiences as military men to the best,” Lawan said.

Lawan, on behalf of the senate, wished them a very successful career in their capacity as Non-Career Ambassadors.

What you should know 

  • Recall Nairametrics reported earlier this month that President Muhammadu Buhari nominated ex-Service Chiefs for Senate approval as non-career Ambassadors-Designate.
  • Their appointment came barely a week after their retirement as service chiefs and their replacement with new ones.
  • This led to a spate of criticisms from some Nigerians who felt that the nation’s security situation got worse under their watch.
  • They were reported to have tendered their resignation from their positions amid heightened calls that they should be sacked due to the increasing rate of insecurity across the country.

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