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Nigeria, Niger Sign MOU On Fuel transportation, Storage

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The Federal Government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Republic of Niger for the transportation and storage of petroleum products

Alhaji Garba Deen Muhammad, Special Adviser on Media to the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, disclosed this in a statement in Abuja on Thursday.

He said the MoU was reached following bilateral agreements between President Muhammadu Buhari and President Mahamadou Issoufou of Niger.

Muhammad, stated that the MoU was signed by the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Malam Mele Kyari, and the Director General of SONIDEP, Mr Alio Toune.

He noted that MOU was signed under the supervision of the two countries’ Ministers of State for Petroleum, Çhief Timipre Sylva and Mr Foumakoye Gado, respectively, with the Secretary General of the African Petroleum Producers Organisation (APPO), Dr Omar Farouk Ibrahim, in attendance.

He said talks had been ongoing between the two countries for over four months – through the NNPC and Niger Republic’s National Oil Company, Societe Nigerienne De Petrole (SONIDEP) – on petroleum products transportation and storage.

He explained that Niger Republic’s Soraz Refinery in Zinder, some 260 kilometers from the Nigerian border, has an installed refining capacity of 20,000 barrels per day.

According to him, the country’s total domestic requirement is about 5,000 barrels per day(BPD), thus leaving a huge surplus of about 15,000 bpd, mostly for export.

Speaking shortly after the MoU signing, Sylva expressed delight over the development, describing it as another huge step in developing trade relations between both countries.
“This is a major step forward. Niger Republic has some excess products which needs to be evacuated.

“Nigeria has the market for these products. Therefore, this is going to be a win-win relation for both countries.

“My hope is that this is going to be the beginning of deepening trade relations between Niger Republic and Nigeria.” he said.

Also commenting on the development, APPO Secretary General, Ibrahim, said he could not be happier with what he witnessed in terms of co-operation and collaboration between the two APPO member countries in the area of hydrocarbons.

“I want to commend the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Republic of Niger and their leadership for this milestone,” he said

Also, Kyari said the two countries have had long engagements in the last four to five months with a view to restoring the importation of petroleum products (excess production) from Niger into Nigeria.
“With this development, we hope to have a long-lasting and sustainable commercial framework to having a pipeline from the Soraz Refinery in Zinder (Niger) into the most proximate Nigerian city so that we can develop a depot.

“We are happy that we have reached that conclusion and our two ministers have endorsed this framework. We are also working on detailed MoU between our two companies so that we can continue the execution process immediately.”

The NNPC helmsman further noted that being the most experienced of the two oil companies, the NNPC would support SONIDEP in terms of training and capacity building.

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Business Edge| Kenya Seeks $2.3 Billion Loan from IMF to Aid Economic Recovery

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On Business Edge today, News Central’s Joe Hanson and Global Tax Advisor, Mtwalo Msoni talked about Zimbabwe Beginning to Re-claim Underutilized Farms and how Kenya Seeks $2.3 Billion Loan from IMF to Aid Economic Recovery.

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Nigeria’s Monetary Policy

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The Monetary Policy Committee of Nigeria’s Central Bank (CBN) has retained key lending rates at 11.5 percent. CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, announced this on Tuesday, saying it is part of efforts to boost the economy towards a sustainable recovery from the recession.

Earlier today The Managing partner, Comercio Partners, Nnamdi Nwizu joined us on the News Central Now to discuss this.

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Nigeria’s House of Reps to Pass Petroleum Industry Bill into Law By March 2021

“We are confident that this piece of legislation will stand the test of time. In as much as we are eager to pass the bill, we will not circumvent legislative process. It is our hope and belief that the bill will be passed by the end of the first quarter of year 2021.”

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The House of Representatives has announced its plan to pass the Petroleum Industry Bill by end of the first quarter of 2021.

The House had on Tuesday passed the bill for second reading, and the Ad Hoc Committee on PIB disclosed this in Abuja on Wednesday.

The Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, had referred the bill to the committee for further legislative processes.

The legislation was titled, “A Bill for an Act to Provide for Legal, Governance, Regulatory and Fiscal Framework for the Nigeria Petroleum Industry, Development of Host Communities and for Related Matters.”

The Chief Whip of the House and Chairman of the committee, Mohammed Monguno, in his opening speech at the inaugural meeting of the panel on Wednesday, noted that the PIB, when passed into law, will improve clarity of structures, roles accountability, transparency and overall efficiency and effectiveness of the institutions in the oil industry.

He said, “Under our watch as a committee, which I am privileged to chair, it is a general consensus that the passage of this Bill is long overdue. We are taking time to review what has been done by the previous Assemblies and what we need to do differently.

“Prior to the referral of the bill, the leadership of the House, the Senate and the relevant committees of the National Assembly have been briefed by the Hon. Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, with his team, wherein most of the concerns and controversies contained in the previous drafts has been significantly addressed in this present draft.”

The lawmaker stated that the committee would do its best by engaging various stakeholders, civil society and the general public by subjecting the bill to detailed and public scrutiny, to ensure that Nigerians are carried along.

“We are confident that this piece of legislation will stand the test of time. Inasmuch as we are eager to pass the bill, we will not circumvent legislative process. It is our hope and belief that the bill will be passed by the end of the first quarter of year 2021.”

“The committee has also taken the liberty to create a website, www.hrpib.org.ng, as one of the platforms where stakeholders and interested members of the general public can download the text of the bill and also upload comments/inputs/memoranda to same.

“The website is particularly important because it enables all Nigerians, so long as you have internet access, irrespective of where they might be or live, to participate in the legislative process.”

Monguno recalled that the journey to pass the PIB commenced in 2007 when it was first introduced on the floor of the House. However, the passage of the bill has evaded three successive Assemblies, i.e. the 6th, 7th and 8th.

The Chief Whip further said, “I am particularly alarmed that though the exploration of fossil fuel in Nigeria dates back to the 60s, commercial exploration may only last for another 25 years.

It is not to say that we might exhaust the deposit, but that the entire world is focusing on research to develop, renewable energy that could turn out to be cheaper and environmentally friendlier.

“That is why it has become expedient, more than ever, to leverage on this window of opportunity that the oil exploration presents to us as Nigerians, by ensuring that the Petroleum Industry Bill is passed without further delay.”

Monguno also noted that, in spite of all the efforts of the preceding administrations to diversify the monolithic economy, the oil industry still remained the mainstay of the country.

“Every time there is significant fluctuations in the price of crude oil, all other sectors of our national lives suffer,” he said.

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