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Economy

Allow Gas Pass Through Your Pipelines—FG Begs Chevron, Others

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Domestic Gas Supply

By Adedapo Adesanya

The federal government has appealed to partners in the Nigeria Liquified Natural Gas (NLNG) project to allow transportation of third-party gas through their joint pipelines to increase supply to the plant.

This plea was made by Mr Timipre Sylva, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, while speaking with the new Italian Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Sefano De Leo in Abuja.

According to a statement by his Senior Adviser on Media and Communications, Mr Horatius Egua, NLNG is at present only able to produce at about 70 per cent of installed capacity and has been unable to operate at full capacity following the refusal of the joint partners – Shell, Chevron, as well as the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited and others, to allow third parties to transport gas through their pipelines to the NLNG Trains.

Mr Sylva cried that this has been causing the company’s inability to meet both domestic and international gas obligations.

He said if the NLNG partners relaxed their rules and allowed third parties to supply gas to the NLNG, the company would be able to provide gas to help ease European Union’s gas crisis.

“The issue we have with the existing NLNG Trains is that of insufficient gas supply. The partners are running out of gas and they are refusing third parties to supply gas to the Trains.

“The partners are insisting that they can only allow third-party supply gas to the plant only if they agree to supply at subsidised rates.

“These people, of course, want to make money and they cannot supply at subsidised rates and that’s why the NLNG Trains cannot produce at full capacity.

“The partners can afford to supply at subsidised rates because they are partners in the NLNG project, not the third parties.

“This is a very critical issue I want to discuss with the respective partners to see how we can resolve this problem so that we can increase the production capacity of the NLNG,” Mr Sylva said.

The Minister, who stressed the long-standing relations between Nigeria and Italy, also sought the cooperation of the Italian government in providing support for night helicopter rescue operations in the country.

He added that at the moment, helicopters cannot fly at night in Nigeria thus foreclosing any rescue operations at night.

He said: “For us, this is a very important matter. We want to develop a 24 hours economy. We want a situation where helicopters can fly 24 hours in Nigeria”.

In his response, De Leo stressed the importance of Nigeria in Africa and noted that as the continent’s most populous country, it would be difficult for anyone to ignore the country both on the political and economic front.

“At the moment, the EU wants to diversify its energy sources especially gas and Nigeria is very strategic to us. We have been long-standing friends and partners and one of the most important ones for that matter.

“So, we need to continue to dialogue on how things can be done properly. In Africa, no country is more strategic than Nigeria because of its population, economy and political position.

“So, we are happy to work with you,” he promised.

Adedapo Adesanya is a journalist, polymath, and connoisseur of everything art. When he is not writing, he has his nose buried in one of the many books or articles he has bookmarked or simply listening to good music with a bottle of beer or wine. He supports the greatest club in the world, Manchester United F.C.

Economy

SEC Warns of Possible Loss of Investments via Crowdfunding Platforms

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crowdfunding platforms

By Aduragbemi Omiyale

Nigerians and the investing public have been warned not to stake their funds in unregistered crowdfunding platforms as they could lose their investments.

In a circular last week, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said it was aware of some companies seeking funds from the public to use to finance a project or business, warning that actions would be taken on firms not authorised by the Nigerian government to carry out such transaction.

Recall that in January 2021, the agency, in recognition of the potential and importance of crowdfunding platforms and the need to protect investors through effective regulation, published its crowdfunding rules and requested crowdfunding platforms to register with the commission and comply with the rules by June 30, 2021.

In the rules, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) incorporated as a company in Nigeria with a minimum of two years of operating track record are eligible to raise funds through a crowdfunding portal registered by SEC, with total fees payable to parties to a crowdfunding issue shall not exceed two per cent of the total funds raised.

The commission noted that the maximum amount which might be raised by a medium enterprise shall not exceed N100 million.

“The maximum amount which may be raised by a small enterprise shall not exceed N70 million, and the maximum amount which may be raised by a micro-enterprise shall not exceed N50 million.

“The limits set forth above shall not apply to MSMEs operating as digital commodities investment platforms or such other MSMEs as may be designated by the commission from time to time,” part of the guidelines said.

According to SEC, retail investors might not invest more than 10 per cent of their annual income in a calendar year and only entities registered with the commission as an exchange, dealer, broker, broker/dealer or alternative trading facility as prescribed under the Act and the SEC Rules and Regulations might be registered as a crowdfunding intermediary.

It added that a crowdfunding portal or crowdfunding intermediary that failed to comply with the rules shall be liable to a fine of not less than N1 million and the sum of N10,000 for every day the violation continues.

The rules further stressed that a crowdfunding portal might be registered and operated only by an operator registered with SEC as a crowdfunding intermediary, while a crowdfunding portal that is located outside Nigeria will be considered as actively targeting Nigerian investors, if the operator or the operator’s representative, promotes directly or indirectly the platform in Nigeria.

Worried that some companies are taking advantage of the low financial literacy of Nigeria, SEC advised members of the public “to confirm the registration status of any entity soliciting their participation in any investment scheme by contacting the commission through www.sec.gov.ng, sec@sec.gov.ng or 094621168.”

It warned operators of unregistered crowdfunding platforms of the risk of prosecution if caught.

Crowdfunding is the process of raising funds to finance a project or business from the public through an online platform.

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Economy

Adamawa Deploys Interswitch’s Paydirect to Check Revenue Leakages

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interswitch ATM Advanced Biometrics Features

By Aduragbemi Omiyale

The services of Interswitch have been contracted by the Adamawa State government to enhance digital revenue collection, payment collections and processing through its Interswitch Collections Solution (Paydirect).

It was gathered that the use of Paydirect by the state government will ensure transparency in revenue collection, and bills payment while checking revenue leakages.

The Interswitch Collections Solution enables government agencies and corporate organisations to collect and monitor revenue across various channels such as banks, Point of Sales (PoS) terminals, Internet banking, and the Quickteller (web, mobile, ATM, and USSD) platform.

With the deployment of Interswitch’s Paydirect, the state government will also benefit from the ease of use the platform offers as well as a centralized view of all revenue collected by its agencies and online real-time reporting and monitoring.

To support the state government’s drive to engender open governance, accountability and strategic planning, the payment platform will reduce reconciliation issues, improve efficiency, and ensure access to detailed business intelligence reports for effective decision-making.

“This strategic collaboration aligns with our overarching goal of facilitating safe, secure, and seamless payment options for Nigerians through our digital payment platforms.

“The robust payment platform was designed to help the governments to achieve strong economic growth and foster sustainable development for Nigeria,” the Managing Director of Interswitch Industry Ecosystems, Ms Chinyere Don-Okhuofu, stated.

Also speaking about the alliance, the Regional Head of Sales, North, Interswitch Group, Mr Thomas Ezeh, said, “Interswitch is committed to empowering the Adamawa government to collect Internally Generated Revenue efficiently and effectively. Our goal, among other things, is to help governments at all levels and agencies to achieve their revenue targets.

“We encourage all government agencies to come on board as we believe that digital revenue collection and payment have the potential to attract investments and boost economic growth.”

Due to the trust in Interswitch’s robust payment solutions, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Joint Admissions Matriculation Board (JAMB), Kaduna and Kano States have partnered with the African payment giant for seamless filing and payment of tax, duties and examination registration.

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Economy

Unlisted Securities Investors Lose N30bn in One Week

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unlisted securities investors

By Adedapo Adesanya

Those who buy and sell stocks via the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD) Over-the-Counter (OTC) Securities Exchange lost about N30 billion last week, which was the 31st week of trading in 2022.

Business Post reports that the market barometers pointed south in the week as a result of the decline in the share price of FrieslandCampina WAMCO Nigeria Plc and NASD Plc, with the former losing 13.9 per cent to close at N90.00 per unit in contrast to the preceding week’s N104.50 per unit, while the latter shed 9.8 per cent to trade at N16.19 per share versus the earlier week’s value of N17.95 per share.

The duo erased the 5.8 per cent week-on-week growth posted by Citi Trust Plc, which finished at N11.00 per share compared with the N10.40 per share it quoted the previous week.

Consequently, the market capitalisation went down by 2.8 per cent to N1.000 trillion from the preceding week’s N1.030 trillion as the NASD Unlisted Securities Index (NSI) lost 21.7 points to settle at 761.27 points compared with 782.97 points.

In the week, the total value of trades increased by 799.5 per cent to N304.0 million from N33.8 million, while the volume of trades increased by 95.7 per cent to 1.7 million units from 873,608 units, with the number of deals decreasing by 18.9 per cent to 43 trades from 53 trades of the previous week.

A breakdown showed that Niger Delta Exploration and Production (NDEP) Plc was the most traded security by volume with 1.0 million units, Food Concepts Plc traded 348,214 units, Nipco Plc exchanged 140,000 units, CitiTrust Holdings Plc traded 102,000 units, while NASD Plc sold 45,000 units.

In terms of the value of trades in the week, NDEP Plc topped with N287.1 million, Nipco Plc recorded N8.1 million, FrieslandCampina WAMCO Nigeria Plc traded N3.9 million, VFD Group Plc posted N2.5 million, while Citi Trust Plc had N1.1 million.

On a year-to-date basis, unlisted securities investors have transacted 3.2 billion units worth N22.4 billion in 1,777 deals at the NASD OTC exchange, with the NSI posting a year-to-date gain of 2.5 per cent.

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