By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Nigerians have been urged to see the increase in the prices of electricity and premium motor spirit (PMS) commonly known as petrol as a blessing in disguise.
Speaking on Monday at the first year ministerial performance review retreat at the State House Conference Centre, Abuja, President Muhammadu Buhari said the new hike in electricity tariff will make Nigerians enjoy better service.
According to him, “the implementation of a willing buyer, willing seller policy for the power sector has opened opportunities for increased delivery of electricity.”
He assured Nigerians of the willingness and determination of the federal government to provide stable electricity to every home and industry.
Mr Buhari noted that increase in the price of electricity and deregulation of the petroleum sector were crucial decisions that were taken at the beginning of the year, preceding the COVID-19 pandemic, and continuous delay in implementation of the policies, especially the deregulation of the petroleum would be detrimental to the economy, placing the burden of regular light cuts and fuel queues on Nigerians.
“We are also executing some critical projects through the transmission, rehabilitation and expansion programme, which will result in the transmission and distribution of a total of 11,000 Megawatts by 2023,” he said.
The President emphasised that the target of providing 11,000 megawatts by 2023 was realistic and realizable, and would provide a lifeline for many businesses and improve the living conditions of many Nigerians.
Mr Buhari noted that he is aware of the economic challenges being faced by individuals, families and businesses, but stressed that the decisions had to be taken at this crucial time.
The President said the COVID-19 pandemic led to a severe downturn in the funds available to finance the nation’s budget.
“One of the steps we took at the beginning of the crisis in March when oil prices collapsed at the height of the global lockdown, was the deregulation of the price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) such that the benefit of lower prices at that time was passed to consumers.
“This was welcome by all and sundry. The effect of deregulation though is that PMS prices will change with changes in global oil prices. This means quite regrettably that as oil prices recover we would see some increases in PMS prices. This is what has happened now. When global prices rose, it meant that the price of petrol locally would go up.
“There are several negative consequences if the government should even attempt to go back to the business of fixing or subsidizing PMS prices.
“First of all, it would mean a return to the costly subsidy regime. Today we have 60 per cent less revenues, we just cannot afford the cost. The second danger is the potential return of fuel queues – which has, thankfully, become a thing of the past under this administration.
“Nigerians no longer have to endure long queues just to buy petrol, often at highly inflated prices. Also, as I hinted earlier, there is no provision for fuel subsidy in the revised 2020 budget, simply because we are not able to afford it, if reasonable provisions must be made for health, education and other social services. We now simply have no choice.
“Nevertheless, I want to assure our compatriots that Government is extremely mindful of the pains that higher prices mean at this time, and we do not take the sacrifices that all Nigerians have to make for granted.
“We will continue to seek ways and means of cushioning pains especially for the most vulnerable in our midst. We will also remain alert to our responsibilities to ensure that marketers do not exploit citizens by raising pump price arbitrarily,” he said.
The President emphasised that he was “convinced that if we stay focused on our plans, brighter, more prosperous days will come soon.”
NNPC’ll Earn More Revenue—Kyari
By Adedapo Adesanya
The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC) is set to earn more revenue for the country as the federal government has positioned it to become the most capitalised company in Africa, says the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the company, Mr Mele Kyari.
This will happen as the central government has commenced full implementation of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) in earnest.
Mr Kyari made this assertion while addressing staff in a town hall meeting at the weekend said the PIA had put “all money-making options on the table; it is up to us to take advantage of it”.
Highlighting the significance of the PIA to the NNPC and by extension the Nigerian economy, Mr Kyari said the new legislation has raised shareholders’ expectations on the company, even as it has given it wide room to make progress.
He said as a result of the new legislation, NNPC Limited would not only shed some of its toxic liabilities but will be the largest and most capitalised company in the whole of Africa and, potentially, the most profitable on the entire continent.
The CEO charged employees of the organisation to ensure that the company becomes a commercially viable entity and a multi-billion-dollar company that will continuously deliver value to its shareholders–the over two hundred million Nigerians.
Business Post had reported that President Muhammadu Buhari recently instituted the board of NNPC Limited led by Mrs Margery Chuba Okadigbo, Chairman, Mr Mele Kolo Kyari, Chief Executive Officer, Mr Umar I. Ajiya, Chief Financial Officer, Mr Tajudeen Umar (North East), Mrs Lami O. Ahmed (North Central), Mallam Mohammed Lawal (North West), Mr Henry Obih (South East), Barrister Constance Harry Marshal (South-South), and Mr Pius Akinyelure (South West).
Others included Mr Nasir Sani Gwarzo, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum Resources and Mr Aliyu Ahmed, Permanent Secretary, Minister, Finance, Budget and National Planning.
The President charged the board members to enforce the reforms put forward by the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) 2021, which seeks to reposition the Nigerian petroleum industry to a commercially viable and competitive industry in line with global business dynamics and best practices.
“The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited is mandated to focus on profitability and continuous value creation beyond the simple fulfilment of legal and regulatory requirements.
“NNPC Limited is expected to operate at par with its industry peers across the world while acting as Enabler Company that will foster the development of other sectors of our economy,” he said.
Gains in NDEP, Nipco Push NASD Exchange 0.25% Higher
By Adedapo Adesanya
The week ended in the positive territory on the floor of the NASD Over-the-Counter (OTC) Securities Exchange following a 0.25 per cent rise on Friday, January 14.
The favourable outcome came on the back of gains recorded by the duo of Niger Delta Exploration and Production (NDEP) Plc and Nipco Plc.
NDEP Plc appreciated by N2.5 or 1.1 per cent during the session to close at N238.00 per unit as against N235.50 per unit it finished at the preceding session, while Nipco Plc improved by N6 or 8.7 per cent to close at N69.00 per unit compared with N63.00 per unit it closed at the previous session.
As a result of the good performances put up by the two stocks, the NASD unlisted security index (NSI) moved up by 1.86 points to 750.02 points from 748.16 points, while market capitalisation gained N1.58 billion to wrap the day at N635.10 billion in contrast to N633.52 billion it closed on Thursday.
There was no price loser during the trading day, through the trading volume slid by 36.9 per cent as a total of 207,618 units of shares exchanged hands compared with 329,347 units transacted on Thursday.
But the trading value rose by 15.6 per cent to N10.7 million from the previous day’s value of N9.3 million, while the number of deals depreciated by 36.4 per cent as only seven deals were carried out compared to the 11 deals executed at the previous session.
Central Securities Clearing Systems (CSCS) Plc remained as the most active stock by volume (year-to-date) as it has traded 1.02 million units of its shares for N19.9 million. Friesland Campina WAMCO Nigeria Plc was in second place for transacting 40,804 units of its stocks valued at N4.8 million, while NDEP Plc was in third place with 28,289 units valued at N6.7 million.
Also, CSCS Plc ended the session as the most traded stock by value with a turnover of 1.0 million units exchanged at N19.9 million, NDEP Plc trailed with 28,289 units worth N6.7 million, while Friesland Campina WAMCO Nigeria Plc has exchanged 40,804 units worth for N4.8 million.
28.7% Drop in I&E Turnover Strengthens Naira to N416.00/$1
By Adedapo Adesanya
The Naira closed the week stronger against the US Dollar at the Investors and Exporters (I&E) segment of the foreign exchange (forex) market on Friday, January 14.
At the I&E window, the local currency appreciated by 0.06 per cent or 50 kobo to trade at N416.00/$1 as against N416.50/$1 it closed on Thursday.
The strengthening of the local currency happened on the back of a 28.7 per cent or $49.59 million fall in turnover at the market segment as data obtained by Business Post from the FMDQ Securities Exchange showed that transactions worth $123.4 million were carried out compared with the $172.99 million recorded at the previous session.
However, at the interbank window of the market, the Naira recorded a flat outcome against the United States Dollar, closing at N414.79/$1, the same rate of the preceding day.
In the same vein, the domestic currency closed flat against the Pound Sterling on Friday at N565.57/£1 and against the Euro, the exchange rate of the indigenous currency remained intact at N475.22/€1.
Meanwhile, at the cryptocurrency market, six of the 10 digital currencies tracked by the newspaper across several trading platforms appreciated in value.
The highest gainer was Cardano (ADA) as it moved higher by 7.4 per cent to trade at N783.58, Tron (TRX) made a 3.8 per cent gain to sell at N40.46, Litecoin (LTC) improved by 3.5 per cent to trade at N82,485.74, Ripple (XRP) appreciated by 1.8 per cent to sell at N450, Binance Coin (BNB) rose by 0.7 per cent to trade at N205,719.75, while Dogecoin (DOGE) grew by 0.2 per cent to trade at N105.12.
However, Dash (DASH) went down by 1.6 per cent to sell for N80,050.10, Ethereum (ETH) depreciated by 0.5 per cent to sell at N1,896,100.03, the United States Dollar Tether moved down by 0.3 per cent to trade at N783.58, while Bitcoin (BTC) declined by 0.2 per cent to quote at N24,576,842.26.
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