President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the reduction in the pump price of premium motor spirit (PMS) from N145 per litre to about N125.
The reduction was as a result of the slump in the international crude oil price from $60 to $30, causing fear of a possible economic crisis.
The approval followed a presentation by Minister of State petroleum resources Mr Timipre Sylva to the Federal Executive Council (FEC), on Wednesday.
The Minister briefed the council on the need to reduce the pump price following the global fall in oil price.
The Minister said that already he had met with members of the organized Labour in the oil and gas sector before proceeding to make the formal announcement for the price adjustment.
He said that the organized labour was happy with the reduction in petroleum pump price.
A statement by the Minister read thus: “The drop in crude oil prices has lowered the expected open market price of imported petrol below the official pump price of N145 per liter.
“Therefore, Mr. President has approved that Nigerians should benefit from the reduction in the price of PMS which is a direct effect of the crash in global crude oil prices.
“In view of this situation, based on the price modulation template approved in 2015, the Federal Government is directing the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), to reduce the Ex-Coastal and Ex-Depot prices of PMS to reflect current market realities.
“Also, the PPPRA shall subsequently issue a monthly guide to NNPC and marketers on the appropriate pricing regime.
“The agency is further directed to modulate pricing in accordance with prevailing market dynamics and respond appropriately to any further oil market development.
“It is believed that this measure will have a salutary effect on the economy, provide relief to Nigerians and would provide a framework for a sustainable supply of PMS to our country.
“The Ministry of Petroleum Resources will continue to encourage the use of compressed natural gas to complement PMS utilization as a transport fuel.”
It was reliably gathered that the outbreak of COVID-19, has made the international crude oil price to crash from $60 to $30, causing fear of a possible economic crisis.
He said the new price regime takes effect immediately and that the NNPC and PPPRA will take care of the implementation.
Nigeria-S’Africa Chamber Of Commerce Canvasses Visa-free Entry Into All African Countries
The Nigeria-South Africa Chamber of Commerce (NSACC) has called for visa-free entry into all African nations to ensure the success of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement.
Osayande Giwa-Osagie, NSACC president, said this on Thursday in Lagos during the chamber’s September breakfast forum themed, ‘Perspectives on the Africa Continental Free Trade Area in Relation to Nigeria’.
According to him, a single African passport will ease the movement of people and goods within the continent.
He said that AfCFTA would boost intra-African trade by 22 percent, adding that its implementation would impact positively on the Nigerian economy.
He also said Nigeria must diversify its economy to harness the gains of the agreement.
“Current intra-African trade rated at 15 to 17 percent is low and the AfCFTA is expected to boost intra-African trade by 22 percent,” NAN quoted Giwa-Osagie as saying.
“Challenges to its implementation are lack of infrastructure, political instability and lack of economic diversification.
“This gives rise to the need for Nigeria to diversify its economy to harness the gains of the agreement.
“Given the importance of the free movement of people, there is need for a free visa Africa and a single Africa passport.
“While the implementation would help boost the Nigerian economy, the impact would be limited if there are no free movement of people.”
On his part, Jesuseun Fatoyinbo, head of trade and transactional services, Stanbic IBTC Bank, said the business community needed more clarification on tariff reduction or elimination under the agreement.
According to him, the little information available to corporate organisations with regards to tariffs may lead to holding back on investments.
“We have noted increased interests from global multinationals and other corporates in setting up facilities in Africa aimed at serving the continent and exporting abroad,” he said.
“So more transparency around tariff reductions both in terms of timelines and details of goods could prompt companies to act.”
Fatoyinbo also called for more attention to the digitisation of trade processes across the continent.
In another development, Benedict Oramah, president, Africa Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) said the successful implementation of AfCFTA will make the continent the largest trade area with a combined gross domestic product (GDP) of $3 trillion.
Oramah, represented by Ibrahim Sagna, Afreximbank global head/director of the advisory and capital market of the bank, said this during the opening of the Agriculture Summit Africa 2021 in Lagos.
He said AfCFTA would transform Africa from its fractured commodity-dependent growth of economies into a vibrant integrated market of over 1.2 billion people.
He added that the agreement presented a major opportunity for African countries to bring 30 million people out of extreme poverty and raise 68 million others who live on less than $5 to $50 a day.
The free-trade zone is expected to be the largest in the world since the creation of the World Trade Organisation in 1995.
FEC Approves N836m For 38 Oxygen Plants Across Nigeria
The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved a total sum of N836 million as contract variation for the establishment of 38 oxygen production plants across Nigeria.
Lai Mohammed, minister of information and culture, announced this to state house correspondents after the FEC meeting on Wednesday.
Contract variation refers to an alteration to the scope of the agreement, but not the extension of the duration of the contract.
“The Minister of Health also presented a memo seeking for an upward review for the emergency supply, installation and maintenance of the 38 oxygen plants all over the country,” Mohammed said.
“You will remember in June, the Federal Executive Council approved the sum of N5.615 billion to four major contractors for the emergency supply, installation and maintenance of 38 oxygen plants in various parts of the country.
“Regrettably, the four companies also came back recently with the same complaints ranging from fluctuation in the foreign exchange and the scarcity of the material all over the world as a result of COVID-19.
“So, he presented a memo for augmentation in the sum of N836 million and this was also approved today.”
Mohammed also said FEC okayed a total sum of N203 million as the revised estimated cost for the consultants supervising the water dam irrigation project in Bagwai local government area of Kano state.
“When the Bagwai Water Dam Irrigation project in Bagwai Local Government Area of Kano State commenced, the initial contract was awarded in 2005, and due to several logistics problems, the project is still on and just recently, the FEC actually approved an augmentation of the entire contract and that means also that the mandate of the consultant supervising the construction would also have to be reviewed.
“So, it was reviewed from N98 million with the sum of N203 million. So, now the total cost for the consultancy is N302.88 million,” he added.
Meanwhile, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, minister of state for education, announced that the council approved N121 million for the refurbishment of some dilapidated equipment and furniture at the Federal Polytechnic, Bauchi state.
Nigeria Set To Host AIO Confab, As Tope Smart Emerges President
By Sola Alabadan
All arrangements have been concluded for the forthcoming 47th Conference and Annual General Assembly of the African Insurance Organisation (AIO) holding in Lagos from September 4 to 8.
Chairman, Local Organising Committee Of AIO 2021, Mrs. Ebelechukwu Nwachukwu, who addressed journalists in Lagos on Tuesday, said since the conference could not hold last year due to the covid-19 pandemic, the AIO Secretariat LOC decided to hold it this year as a hybrid event to cater for those who will not be able to attend physically.
She emphasised that in planning the conference at this time, the organisers have taken full cognizance of all the health protocols and restrictions on public gathering, hence the decision to make it a hybrid event.
To give further impetus to this decision, she pointed out that “we are limiting the number of physical attendees, while others are being encouraged to take advantage of the virtual conference to participate from their different locations. For physical attendees, all covid-19 protocols will be observed and implemented to the letter.”
She also commended the Commissioner for Insurance, Mr. Olorundare Thomas for working assiduously and liaising with the various ministries and agencies to ensure that the organisers get the full support from the government.
She equally informed that of the major highlights of the 47th Conference is that the immediate past chairman of the Nigerian Insurers Association and Group Managing Director of NEM Insurance Plc, Mr. Tope Smart will assume office as the next president of the pan African organisation for the next one year.
As Covid-19 pandemic had left very debilitating effects on many economies and there are efforts at addressing these challenges, participants at the 47th AIO conference would be contributing to discussions around how insurance can contribute to ongoing efforts at rebuilding economies seriously impacted by the pandemic.
The theme of this year’s conference is: Rebuilding Africa’s Economy: An Insurance Perspective.
The four other subtopics to address other contemporary issues affecting the insurance industry are:
The new normal: How leaders can reset for growth beyond covid-19
Regulation, innovation and the future of insurance
Harnessing the potential for growth and development in the Nigerian insurance market
AfCFTA and the African Insurer: Prospects and Opportunities
She added that the AIO Secretariat has assembled a strong faculty to deliver the different papers.
The resource persons are: Mr. Jakkie Cilliers, Institute of Security Studies, South Africa, Mr. Belhassen Tanat of Munich re, Mr. Yinka Sanni of Standard Bank Group, Mr. Tawiah Ben- Ahmed of Metropolitan Life Insurance, Ghana.
The AIO conference will also include the Life Seminar and all related activities.
The LOC chairman further stated that hosting the conference is significant to Nigeria, as it will enable her to showcase hee rich culture and hospitality, as well as provide a great opportunity to correct some of the misconceptions about Nigeria and her people.