Nigeria Cuts Gas Flaring to 8%, Target 0% by 2025
By Adedapo Adesanya
The federal government has pledged to end gas flaring by 2025 following the significant reduction to eight per cent.
The pledge was made by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr Timipre Sylva, on Monday at a public hearing on gas flaring organised by the House of Representatives in Abuja.
The Minister said that the public hearing was an opportunity to update the records and to bring stakeholders up to speed on happenings in the sector.
He said that elimination of gas flaring was an issue the ministry was taking seriously, saying it was committed to achieving the global consensus on elimination of gas flaring by 2025.
“Today, we have actually reduced gas flaring significantly to a very minimal level of eight per cent.
“If you all recall, in 2020, the ministry of petroleum started what we call the National Gas Expansion Programme and we declared the year 2020 as the year of gas.
“At the beginning of this year, we also declared the year 2021 the beginning of the gas decade. We believe that with all the programmes we have in place, we are on course to achieving complete elimination of gas flaring by the year 2025,” he said.
The Minister recalled that in December 2020, the ministry rolled out a gas penetration programme, noting that it was aggressively pursuing it to attain total elimination and utilisation of gas that was being flared today.
Also speaking, the Minister of Environment, Mr Muhammed Abubakar, said that gas flaring was one environmental challenge a lot had been said about.
Represented by the Director of Environment, Mr Abah Suleman, Mr Abubakar said that gas flaring leads to global warming.
“The fear that the earth might snowball into a runaway greenhouse effect as we have on planet Venus is one of the major reasons why it has been globally accepted that all hands must be on deck to ensure that gas flares are totally put out.
“The federal government has made commitments to the Paris Agreement of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change through our intended national determined contribution.
“The Ministry of Environment is highly desirous and has been giving support to the Ministry of Petroleum in this regard.
“As far back as 2003, when the ministry along some oil companies pushed for the use of compressed natural gas, which went comatose.
“I am happy to say that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari has kick-started the programme,” he said.
Mr Abubakar said that the ministry had embarked on a programme that would accurately track gas flaring across the country.
He pledged the ministry’s support to enforce all laws and policies to ensure that Nigeria meets its global commitments on gas.
On his part, the Group Managing Director (GMD) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mr Mele Kyari, said that gas has an attractive value, adding that no one would want to flare gas when it could be commercialised but there must be a perfect framework to achieve that.
“We are connecting most part of the country to the gas network so that people can convert this gas either for power or industrial use and we hope to achieve this by the end of March.
“It is business that makes people invest, no matter how much penalty you put, if the cost of the penalty is cheaper than the cost of developing the gas that may not be commercial, people will continue to flare gas and pay the penalty.
“You can raise the penalty to any number and what it does, it completely makes people not to invest in anything, so increasing the penalty is not the solution.
“The solution is to clear the commercial towns that will enable companies to invest in this flare so that we can convert them into money,” he said.
He said that the harm gas flaring was doing to communities and the environment would go away if commercialised, pledging to work with the National Assembly to put in place every structure required to end gas flaring in the country.
Local Stock Exchange Extends Growth by 0.06% Amid Weak Sentiment
By Dipo Olowookere
Investor sentiment at the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited was weak on Wednesday as traders chew over the decision of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to raise the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) by 0.50 per cent to 18.00 per cent.
However, the local stock exchange closed higher by 0.06 per cent, buoyed by the 0.08 per cent growth reported by the insurance sector.
Business Post reports that the consumer goods space lost 0.02 per cent, the banking and the industrial goods counters depreciated by 0.01 per cent each, as the energy index remained flat.
When the market closed for the session, the All-Share Index (ASI) improved by 31.43 points to 54,936.11 points from 54,904.68 points, while the market capitalisation went up by N19 billion to N29.928 trillion from N29.909 trillion.
Analysis of the market data showed that the growth posted yesterday was fragile as the highest price gainer, Coronation Insurance, appreciated by 2.44 per cent to 42 Kobo, GTCO also rose by 2.44 per cent to N25.20, Linkage Assurance grew by 2.22 per cent to 46 Kobo, Lasaco Assurance jumped by 2.04 per cent to N1.00, and Transcorp grew by 1.56 per cent to N1.30.
On the flip side, NCR Nigeria suffered the heaviest loss after its value went down by 9.69 per cent to N2.61, FTN Cocoa depreciated by 6.90 per cent to 27 Kobo, Japaul lost 6.67 per cent to quote at 28 Kobo, Cutix declined by 4.95 per cent to N2.11, and Consolidated Hallmark Insurance decreased by 4.62 per cent to 62 Kobo.
Yesterday, investors transacted 134.2 million stocks worth N1.3 billion in 2,479 deals compared with the 127.7 million stocks worth N1.6 billion traded in 2,987 deals, representing an increase in the trading volume by 5.09 per cent, a decline in the trading value by 18.75 per cent, and a shortfall in the number of deals by 17.01 per cent.
The most traded stock on Wednesday was Transcorp with the sale of 28.1 million units, UBA exchanged 21.2 million units, Courteville sold 19.1 million units, GTCO transacted 13.6 million units, and FBN Holdings traded 8.1 million units.
FrieslandCampina Lifts NASD OTC Market by 0.07% at Midweek
By Adedapo Adesanya
The NASD Over-the-Counter (OTC) Securities Exchange returned to positive territory after back-to-back losses, following a 0.07 per cent appreciation on Wednesday, March 22.
This was influenced by the 96 Kobo gain reported by FrieslandCampina Wamco Nigeria Plc during the session to settle at N75.41 per share compared with N75.01 per share of the preceding session.
The improvement in the share price of the milk maker pushed the value of the unlisted securities market by N710 million to N961.17 billion from N960.46 billion, while the NASD Unlisted Securities Index (NSI) grew by 0.54 points to wrap the session at 731.48 points compared with the 730.94 points of the previous session.
The level of activity witnessed a significant increase yesterday as the volume of securities closed higher by 274,515.6 per cent to 23.1 million units from the 8,408 units transacted in the previous trading day.
Equally, the value of shares traded at the session jumped to N10.1 million, which by evaluation is 814.0 per cent higher than the N1.1 million posted on Tuesday.
These transactions were carried out in 13 deals compared with the three deals executed in the previous trading day, indicating a 333.3 per cent appreciation.
At the close of business, Geo-Fluids Plc remained the most traded stock by volume on a year-to-date basis with the sale of 455.3 million units valued at N493.6 million, UBN Property Plc stood in second place with a turnover of 365.8 units worth N309.5 million, while IGI Plc was in third place with a turnover of 71.1 million units valued at N5.1 million.
On the flip side, VFD Group Plc was the most traded stock by value on a year-to-date basis with a turnover of 7.3 million units worth N1.7 billion, Geo-Fluids Plc followed with the sale of 455.3 million units worth N493.6 million, while UBN Property Plc was in third place with a turnover of 365.8 million units valued at N309.5 million.
Oil Prices Rise $1 as Greenback Drops on US Rate Hike
By Adedapo Adesanya
Oil prices rose more than $1 on Wednesday as the US Dollar slid to a six-week low after the Federal Reserve delivered an expected small rate hike.
Brent crude futures rose by $1.37 or 1.8 per cent to settle at $76.69 a barrel, while the US West Texas Intermediate crude (WTI) ended $1.23 or 1.8 per cent higher at $70.90 per barrel.
The US central bank policy-setting committee raised interest rates by another quarter of a percentage point in a unanimous decision on Wednesday, lifting its benchmark overnight interest rate to the 4.75 per cent-5.00 per cent range.
The Fed indicated it was on the verge of pausing further increases in borrowing costs amid recent turmoil in financial markets spurred by the collapse of two US banks.
As a result of this, the US Dollar fell to its lowest level since February 2 against a basket of other currencies, supporting oil demand by making crude cheaper for buyers using other currencies.
The Dollar index last fell 0.63 per cent to 102.500, with the Euro up 0.87 per cent to $1.0861 as it dropped 0.82 per cent against the Japanese Yen, while the Pound Sterling was last trading at $1.2268, up 0.41 per cent on the day.
The markets— including the oil market—had projected a quarter-point rise in US rates, but investors were also paying close attention to US Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s comments about the crisis that has rattled global banks this month.
The oil markets shrugged off the US Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) weekly data that showed crude stockpiles rose 1.1 million barrels last week to a 22-month high.
This is compared with a build of 1.6 million barrels for the previous week.
The authority also reported major draws in fuel inventories for the week of March 17, with both gasoline and distillate fuel stocks down.
US crude oil stocks stood at 481.2 million barrels at the end of last week, which was about 8 per cent above the five-year average for this time of the year.
The official EIA data showed a smaller build than the 3.3 million barrels increase reported on Tuesday by the American Petroleum Institute (API).
The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies like Russia, a group known as OPEC+, is likely to stick to its deal on output cuts of 2 million barrels per day until the end of the year, despite the plunge in crude prices.
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