By Adedapo Adesanya
The Youths and Environmental Advocacy Centre (YEAC) has said the federal government must subsidise the cost of license for the setting up of modular refineries in the Niger Delta region of the country.
The group called on the government to do this as a way of showing it is committed to ending oil theft and pulling out artisanal refiners from the creeks.
Executive Director of YEAC, Mr Fyneface Dumnamene Fyneface, stated this during the training of artisanal refiners in Ogoni and surrounding communities on guidelines for the establishment of modular refineries, held in Tai Local Government Area of Rivers State.
Mr Fyneface explained that in the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) guidelines, the license to establish a modular refinery was $50,000, with an additional N500,000 processing fee, valid for only two years.
He pointed out that the government, through modular refineries, will solve the issues of militancy, pipeline vandalism, environmental pollution, unemployment and youth restiveness in the Niger Delta.
YEAC maintained that licenses for the establishment and construction of modular refiners should be given free of charge to repentant illegal oil refiners to serve as an incentive; while also advocating for tax holidays to modular refinery investors.
“These people who we are pulling out from the creeks do not have $50,000 to pay for a license; so, the government should give them license free of charge if they (government) are really committed to ending oil theft and removing these boys out from the creeks.
“Government must subsidise the cost of modular refinery license, subsidise the cost of crude that would be sold to modular refineries and also give tax holidays to modular refinery investors, then there should be simple policies and regulations to enable the people to key in if they (government) are serious about getting these youths from the creeks,” he said.
“For you to establish a modular refinery, you must have obtained three licenses. The first is a licence to establish, which is $50,000 with an additional N500,000 processing fee, which is valid for two years, according to DPR guidelines.
“Secondly, you will need a license to construct which is $1,000, with an additional N500,000 processing fee, also valid for two years.
“Then, after construction, you will need a license to operate, which is also $1,000 with additional N500,000 processing fees, also valid for two years.
“These are just the financial aspects to get the license and we all know the bureaucratic bottlenecks that are associated with getting licenses from the government,” he further said.
YEAC also advocated that a similar initiative like the Presidential Artisanal Gold Mining Development Initiative (PAGMI) should be set up in the Niger Delta to regulate and polish artisanal crude oil refining, just as it has been done to illegal gold mining in the northern part of the country.
“So we’re saying that, once these youths have formed cooperatives on modular refineries, the government should give them license-free charge as incentives for them to leave the creeks.
“Afterall in the north, we have the PAGMI for illegal gold miners to pull them out if illegal mining business.
“The Niger Delta should have a corresponding initiative like the Presidential Artisanal Crude Oil Refining Development Initiatives (PACORDI) in addition to modular refineries, to make what they are doing legal and also save the environment, just like it is done to illegal gold miners in the north,” Mr Fyneface said.
FX Traders Sell $1.0bn Customers on I&E Window in Five Days
By Sodeinde Temidayo David
In five days, the total value of transactions at the Investors and Exporters (I&E) segment of the foreign exchange (forex) market stood at $1.0 billion.
This was from the data gathered by Business Post from the FMDQ Securities Exchange, which tracks transactions at the official exchange window of the country.
It was observed that the turnover achieved at the I&E window last week was 38.5 per cent or $278.5 million higher than the $724.1 million recorded at the preceding week.
The value of transactions by FX traders at the market segment was between Monday, September 13 and Friday, September 17, 2021.
The information gathered by this newspaper showed that the turnover recorded a significant rise as a result of the panic witnessed at the forex market last week as the value of Naira was being battered by the demand for foreign currencies, especially the Dollar, at the black market.
Both offshore and domestic investors were converting their Naira holdings to Dollars to protect the value of their investments in the country.
A breakdown of the daily transactions showed that last Monday, the value of traders stood at $229.79 million and the next day, it went down to $126.96 million.
At the midweek session, the turnover skyrocketed to $308.92 million before coming down to $175.10 million and further down to $161.82 million at the last trading session of the week.
It was observed that the turnover last Wednesday occurred ahead of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and investors were sceptical of the outcome, especially when at the previous MPC meeting, the apex bank announced the ban on the sale of FX to Bureaux De Change (BDC) operators.
Last Friday, while addressing newsmen after the two-day meeting, Mr Godwin Emefiele, Governor of the CBN, maintained that the ban remains and further said all forex users should use the I&E rate for their transactions, indicating that there was no more parallel market rate.
A look at the performance of the local currency at the I&E segment during the week indicated that it depreciated against the Dollar by 0.21 per cent or 88 kobo, closing at N412.88/$1 in contrast to the preceding week’s N412.00/$1.
Analysis showed that on Monday, the domestic currency was exchanged at N412.75/$1 but appreciated to N412.08/$1 on Tuesday and was further strengthened to N412.06/$1 on Wednesday before crashing to N413.07/$1 on Thursday and then appreciated to N412.88/$1 the next day.
At the interbank segment, the domestic currency lost 9 kobo or 0.02 per cent against the US Dollar to close at N410.57/$1 compared with the previous week’s N410.48/$1.
Nigeria’s FX Reserves Swell to $35.4bn Amid Oil Production Shortfall
By Ashemiriogwa Emmanuel
The external reserves of Nigeria, the largest economy in Africa, grew by 1.7 per cent in one week to $35.4 billion from $34.8 billion, data obtained by Business Post has revealed.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), which publishes the amount left in the nation’s account, disclosed that on Thursday, September 9, 2021, the foreign exchange (FX) buffers stood at $34.8 billion but expanded to $35.4 billion on Thursday, September 16.
The week-on-week growth happened few days after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) release its latest report which showed that the nation’s crude oil production fell to 1.239 million barrels per day in the month of August.
The organization, in its monthly oil market report last Monday, said that the development represented a 6.7 per cent drop from the 1.323 million barrels per day Nigeria recorded in July.
Despite the performance of the Nigerian oil in the international market as its principal source of forex flows, the nation’s external reserves, in recent weeks, have maintained an upward trend which could be attributed to earnings from other sources, including non-oil exports, capital importation, as well as foreign investment flows.
The recent rise in the price of crude oil has been the major reason, covering up in the oil production shortfall. It means if Nigeria produces 1.2 million barrels of crude oil at a global price of $70 per barrel, it earns $84 million but when it produces 1.3 million barrels at $50, it only earns $65 million.
A look at the movement in the country’s reserves showed that on September 9, the total amount in the external savings stood at $34.8 billion but the next day, the buffers increased by $79.9 million to $34.9 billion.
On the first business day of last week, the reserves gained about $250 million to close at $35.1 billion and on Tuesday, September, 14, the forex reserves rose by $82.2 million to $35.3 billion and at the midweek, the amount jumped to $35.4 billion.
Business Post reports that the total amount in the country’s external reserves is projected to hit $40 billion by the end of October 2021 as a result of the proposed $3 billion Eurobond sale slated for the month.
Food Concepts, Others Slice NASD Market Cap by 0.3% in Week 37
By Adedapo Adesanya
The market capitalisation of the NASD Over-the-Counter (OTC) Securities Exchange was last week (Week 37) trimmed by 0.03 per cent or N1.87 billion to N639.47 billion from N641.34 billion it ended in Week 36.
Business Post reports that the loss was influenced by three of the securities on the bourse, with Food Concepts Plc losing 6.3 per cent to settle at 75 kobo per share compared with the preceding week’s 80 kobo per share.
Also, Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Group Plc went down by 20.7 per cent to close at N12.84 per unit in contrast to the previous rate of N16.20 per unit, while Acorn Petroleum Plc decreased by 11.8 per cent to 15 kobo per share from 17 kobo per share.
As a result of the fall in these equities, the NASD Unlisted Security Index (NSI) reduced by 2.15 points to settle at 735.72 points as against 737.87 points of the previous week.
In the week, two securities closed on the gainers’ chart and they were NASD Plc and FrieslandCampina WAMCO Nigeria Plc.
NASD Plc appreciated last week by 40 per cent to N7.14 per unit from N5.10 per unit, while Friesland improved by 0.8 per cent to trade at N122 per share in contrast to the previous close of N121.50.
Last week, there was a 78.6 per cent decrease in the total value of shares traded by investors to N237.0 million from N1.1 billion, while the volume of stocks increased by 104.6 per cent to 20.9 million units from 10.3 million of the previous week, with the number of deals rising by 60.2 per cent to 165 trades from 103 trades.
At the close of the week, NGX Group Plc was the most traded security by volume with 15.3 million units. NASD Plc traded 2.3 million units, Food Concepts Plc exchanged 2.2 million units, Acorn Petroleum Plc transacted 880,000 units, while Air Liquide Plc traded 100,000 units.
In terms of the value of trades in the week, NGX Group Plc also topped with N211.2 million, NASD Plc traded N13.6 million, Friesland Plc recorded N8.4 million, Food Concepts Plc posted N1.7 million, while CSCS Plc expended N1.2 million.
In the year so far, NSI Year-to-date returns stood at 0.8 per cent, while investors have transacted 1,963,561,193 units of shares worth N16.1 billion in 4,128 deals.
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