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FG insists on no petrol, electricity subsidies in 2021

The FG has insisted that its policy on the removal of subsidies on fuel and electricity in the 2021 budget remains.

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FG inaugurates steering committee on Covid-19 economic recovery, #EndSARS: FG creates new N25 billion Youth Fund, to increase to N75 billion in 3 years, taxes, tax, IMF, business, FAAC disbursed N617billions in April, as South-South scoop N72billions, VAT, Finance Minister, Zainab Ahmed says Nigeria VAT collection rate is low, NBC, Rite Foods, others to pay new tax as FG identifies new revenue streams ,,Finance Minister reveals how World Bank, AfDB pushed FG into requesting Chinese loan 

The Federal Government has insisted that it will go ahead with its policy on the removal of subsidy on Premium Motor Spirit (Petrol) and electricity, with no provision made in the 2021 budget for their subsidy.

This disclosure was made by the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, during a virtual public presentation of the Breakdown and Highlights of 2021 Appropriation Act on Tuesday in Abuja.

READ: FG posts 27% revenue shortfall in 2020 as budget deficit hit N6.1 trillion

What the Minister for Finance is saying

While answering a question on whether there would be a return to petrol subsidy following the reduction in petrol price about a month ago, the Minister said the answer is a flat no.

Ahmed said,

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  • We are not bringing back fuel subsidy. We didn’t make provision for fuel subsidy in the budget. The impact of what was done was reducing some of the cost components that were within the template. And also related to it, on matters of electricity subsidies, no provisions have been made for subsidy for fuel and no provisions have been made for subsidy for electricity.

READ: Reps raise alarm over N200 billion unclaimed dividends in 2020

Also, while talking about the new Finance Act 2020, which took effect from 1 January 2021, Ahmed said the act adopts counter-cyclical fiscal policies in response to the Covid-19 pandemic by providing fiscal relief to taxpayers.

The Minister stated that the government would hold the unclaimed dividends of investors in the stock market in trust and would make the fund available when needed by an investor.

READ: N200 billion Unclaimed Dividend: Securities dealers reject FG’s plan to manage fund

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She said:

  • On the issue of unclaimed dividends and government’s accounts and projections, there would be as much as N850bn to be realized in the special trust fund of unclaimed dividends. Government is keeping the money in trust for the beneficiaries. At any time, a registrar or a bank confirms that this is the true and bonafide beneficiary of this fund, then the government will release from that trust fund to the investor who has it.”

READ: Nigerian Aviation: Exchange rate, 7.5% VAT suspension and other factors to determine survival – Experts

What you should know

  • It can be recalled that the Federal Government, in early 2020, announced the full deregulation of the downstream sector of the oil industry which culminated in the removal of petrol subsidy.
  • The government said that following a sharp drop in revenue, it was becoming increasingly unsustainable for it to continue to subsidize the product with funds that can be used for the development of critical infrastructures in the country.
  • Similarly, it also pointed out that the removal of subsidy on electricity tariff and ensuring the implementation of the right pricing for power will help attract the needed investment in that sector.

READ: FG borrows N2.8 trillion from CBN via Ways and Means

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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- [email protected]

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Energy

Nigeria’s Qua Iboe crude exports resume as ExxonMobil lifts force majeure

ExxonMobil has lifted a force majeure on Nigeria’s Qua Iboe crude oil exports as production resumes.

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ExxonMobil has lifted a force majeure on Nigeria’s Qua Iboe crude oil export terminal, as crude exports resume for the first time in almost six weeks after a fire at the terminal halted operations.

This is according to a company spokesman yesterday, who confirmed the company had lifted force majeure on Qua Iboe crude loadings.

Qua Iboe production started to ramp up to normal levels of 200,000 b/d in the past week, according to sources, with the release of both the February and March loading programs.

The VLCC Dalia was also in the process of loading a 1-million-barrel stem at the Qua terminal since January 21, 2021, according to data intelligence firm Kpler. This will be the first export of Qua Iboe since December 15, 2020, after a fire hit the facility and injured two workers.

The company has been under pressure since the closure and prices have taken a hit as a result of the disruption. S&P Global Platts last assessed the grade at a discount to Dated Brent of 50 cents/b, down from a premium against the benchmark in December.

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Bonny Light, a mainstay Nigerian crude which typically trades at roughly the same level as Qua Iboe, was last assessed 30 cents/b higher.

What they are saying

One trader said: “If you get a cargo of Qua now it could be 50 cents to a dollar below Bonny even – a January cargo is completely out of cycle and the reliability issues mean people won’t touch it.”

Another trader stated that: “[The return of Qua Iboe] is not what West African crude assessments (WAF) differentials needed.”

What you should know

  • Qua Iboe is one of Nigeria’s largest export grades, and is very popular among global refiners, with India, the US, Canada, Italy, Spain, Indonesia, and the Netherlands being key buyers.
  • Qua Iboe is light sweet crude, which has a gravity of 36 API and sulfur content of 0.13%. The crude, produced from fields 20-40 miles off the coast of southeast Nigeria, is brought to shore at the Qua Iboe terminal via a seabed pipeline system.
  • Indian demand has steadied following a buying spree late last year, and European demand has been hit by renewed coronavirus lockdowns in the region.
  • Prices for Nigerian crude have suffered in recent weeks, even with lower supply due to the outage.
  • February and March loading programs have been issued for Qua Iboe averaging 169,643 b/d and 153,226 b/d respectively.
  • Production of this key grade ranged between 180,000-220,000 b/d in 2020, according to S&P Global Platts estimates.

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Business

Malabu Oil Scandal: Prosecutors demand JPMorgan documents

U.S bank, JPMorgan has been ordered by a court to present documents of a transaction regarding the $1.3 billion Malabu oil field sale.

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Oil, DPR, FG announces commencement of bids for marginal oilfields despite court injunction

Prosecutors at the Milan Court holding a trial for the $1.3 billion Malabu oil field sale have demanded that U.S bank JPMorgan present documents of a transaction as part of the corruption case regarding the sale of the oilfield.

This was revealed in a report by Reuters, as the court case over the sale of the oil field continues. Prosecutors claim that nearly $1.1 billion was stolen by Nigerian politicians and middlemen, with former oil minister, Dan Etete, keeping half.

Prosecutors demanded that the Milan court accept emails sent by UK authorities, coming from a separate case launched by the Nigerian government against the bank for its role in the controversial deal.

READ: FG’s plan for N350 billion revenue from oil field licensing suffers setback

The emails include a transaction between Nigerian Attorney General Mohammed Adoke Bello and JPMorgan using the address of a company owned by another Nigerian named Aliyu Abubakar. Prosecutors allege that he paid $500 million in cash as part of a bribe.

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Both men have also been charged for corruption relating to the deal, with both pleading not guilty.

READ: FG seizes Dan Etete’s luxury private jet linked to Malabu oil deal

The second email includes two JPMorgan executives expressing views on whether to transfer $1.1 billion to accounts related to Nigerian banks. The Milan prosecutors said the emails were valid, stating that a Swiss and Lebanese bank had also expressed doubts over the transaction.

The Milan court said it would make a decision over the emails on the 3rd of February. The verdict of the court case is expected to be announced in March 2020.

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READ: Shell faces Dutch prosecution over Nigeria license

What you should know 

  • Nairametrics reported that Dan Etete, former Nigerian Minister of Petroleum, said that the $1.3 billion sales of Malabu oil field to Shell and Eni in 2021 was legally perfect, with zero traces of corruption in the deal.
  • Royal Dutch Shell announced that it would write down its investment in the controversial Malabu OPL 245 offshore field in Nigeria.
  • Malcolm Brinded, an ex-Upstream Chief of Shell Petroleum, told international prosecutors that the sum of $1.3 billion paid by Shell and Eni in 2011 to acquire OPL 245 offshore field was lawful, and he had no reason to think it was illegal.
  • A lawsuit filed by the Nigerian government against US bank JPMorgan Chase, claiming over $1.7 billion for its role in a disputed 2011 Malabu oil deal, will proceed to trial. The six-week trial in London is expected to commence on the first available date after November 1 2021, meaning that proceedings may not begin until 2022.

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Energy

First cargo of Nigeria’s newest crude grade, Ayala, to arrive Europe

The first export cargo of Nigeria’s newest crude grade, Anyala, is reported to be on its way to Northwest Europe.

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Oil tanker volumes dropped by 18.6% Year-Over-Year in July - Lloyd’s List Intelligence, First cargo of Nigeria’s newest crude grade, Ayala, to arrive Europe

The first export cargo of Nigeria’s newest crude grade, Anyala, is reported to be on its way to Northwest Europe.

According to a report from S&P Global Platts, while quoting trading and shipping sources, the cargo is likely to travel from Fos-sur-Mer to the Cressier refinery in Switzerland through the SPSE pipeline.

It reported that Data Intelligence firm, Kpler, said the Aframax Minerva Clara loaded a 700,000 barrel stem of Anyala crude from the Abigail-Joseph floating production, storage, and offloading vessel on January 10 with the tanker on its way to the Fos-sur-Mer terminal, located at France’s Mediterranean port of Marseille.

The report also said that trading house Vitol had chartered this tanker, as it has a stake in indigenous producer FIRST E&P, which is the operator of the Anyala West oil fields, located in the shallow waters of the Niger Delta.

This is as a market source said the cargo is likely to travel from Fos-sur-Mer to the 68,000 b/d Cressier refinery in Switzerland, which is operated by Varo Energy, through the SPSE pipeline.

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Varo Energy is a joint venture between Vitol, private equity fund, the Carlyle Group, and private investment fund Reggeborgh.

What you should know

  • The new crude is from Nigeria’s shallow-water Anyala West oil fields in the Niger Delta, which struck first oil in November. Anyala is the country’s newest oil development since the start-up of the giant Egina field in late-2018.
  • Anyala has been labeled a medium sweet crude grade, similar in quality to Nigeria’s flagship crude Bonny Light and when refined, Anyala will produce a high yield of middle distillates, making it attractive to both simple and complex refineries.
  • It is also reported that a second cargo will load in March, with some Asian refiners already showing buying interest.

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