Nigeria’s oil production showed further signs of strain on Thursday as intruders blocked access to Exxon Mobil’s terminal exporting in Qua Iboe, the country’s largest crude stream.
Exxon Mobil said that the terminal continued to operate even as the intruders blocked staff from gaining access from early morning hours.
The incident is the latest in a string of attacks and other problems at the oil infrastructure in Africa’s largest crude producer.
Militant activity in the oil-rich Niger Delta has taken out some 500,000 barrels per day of crude oil production from other companies in Nigeria, pushing oil output in Africa’s largest-producing nation to more than 22-year lows.
The naira traded within a range at which it has been stuck for almost a month on the interbank market, supported by dollar sales from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)and oil companies, dealers said on Monday.
The naira closed unchanged at 199 naira to the dollar, while it traded at 224 naira against the greenback at the parallel market, operated by bureau de change agents.
The central bank scrapped its bi-weekly forex auctions last month and fixed its clearing rate at 198 naira to the dollar, in a move to curb speculation on the currency. The naira has since been trading at around 197 to 199 to the dollar.
A total of 104.5 million dollar sales were carried out on Monday at a range of 197 to 199 naira to the dollar, just before the market closed, Thomson Reuters data showed, with dealers attributing some of the trades to a central bank forex sale.
The local units of Chevron sold $30.4 million while Shell sold an undisclosed amount to some lenders to buy naira for local use on Monday.
The central bank this month fixed the rate at which banks can buy dollars from oil companies at not more than 2 naira spread to its clearing rate, its latest attempt to prop up the currency hit by the drop in oil prices.
Nigerian overnight lending rates rose to 11.25 per cent on Friday compared with 8.25 per cent last week after local currency liquidity tightened following purchases of Treasury bills and foreign exchange, traders said.
Market liquidity dropped to about N260 billion ($1.31 billion) credit by Thursday compared with N400 billion last Friday, according to dealers.
Nigeria sold a total of N254.96 billion of debt against bids worth N318.58 billion.
The secured Open Buy Back (OBB) rose to around 11 percent from 8 percent last week.
The secured fund was 2 percentage points short of the central bank’s 13 per cent benchmark interest rate. Overnight placement stood at 11.5 percent against 8.5 percent last week.
“We anticipate a slight increase in the cost of borrowing among banks next week because of plans to debit banks’ account for cash reserves requirement (CRR) on Thursday and cash outflow to bond issuance,” one dealer told Reuters News Agency.
Nigeria’s central bank requires commercial lenders to set aside 75 per cent of public sector and 15 per cent of private sector deposits in liquid cash in their account with it.
The regulator debit banks accounts twice every month to enforce this requirement.
AIICO Insurance, one of Nigeria’s leading insurance companies celebrated 50 years of stability on Thursday.
The golden jubilee celebration was one which brought several generations of the AIICO management together for a time of fun and gratitude.
Awards were given to deserving staff of the company, including the first African Director of American Life Insurance, Mr. Ayo Oshodi, who has been associated with the insurance giant since 1966.
Mr Oshodi expressed belief that in another 50 years the company will “continue to be a household name” in the insurance industry.
Chairman of AIICO Insurance, Mr Oladele Fajemirokun while commending the staff of the company, told Channels Television that “an entrepreneur in business must be ready for a change that is necessary to be able to tackle the problems that new policies bring”, noting that “many times, the makers of the policies are not practitioners”.
He insisted that “the field workers are the ones that take the brunt of any negative policy before they can even amend it” warning that “if they are not careful, it could destroy your company”.
Shareholders of Arco Petrochemical Engineering Company Plc, an indigenous player in Nigeria’s oil and gas sector, had cause to smile after a dividend of 20 kobo was paid to them by the company .
The company’s management also declared a profit of N1.7 billion for the year ended March 31st 2013 which represents an increase of over 100%, compared to the previous year during the 31st Annual General Meeting held in Lagos,.
The company revealed that it will also embark on a five-year development plan to strengthen the growth already experienced across its subsidiaries.
The Chairman of the Board of Directors, Mr Joseph Akpieyi noted that for the first time, Arco’s financial statement was prepared in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) as issued by the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB).
Akpieyi informed shareholders that the IFRS adjusted profit before tax jumped from N636.79m in the previous financial year to N1.7bn for the period. This, he said represented 166.96 per cent increase over the preceding year.
The Managing Director of Capital Oil and Gas, Ifeanyi Uba on Monday accused the Coordinating Minister of the Economy and Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala of using her position to engage in local politics.
Speaking as a guest on Channels Television’s programme, Sunrise Daily, Mr Uba said the Minister is also assuming the position of a god.
“She’s playing Anambra state politics with her job and reputation. She is assuming to be god; she’s not god,” he said.
The Managing Director of Capital Oil and gas, Ifeanyi Uba on Monday denied claims by the Chief Executive Officer of Cosharis group, Cosmos Maduka that he offered him (Mr Uba) a lifeline when his business was in the brink of collapse.
“Is it by his pure water business that he’ll be able to come and help me,” Mr Uba, who was a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, asked.
Mr Uba said he believes politicians were influencing the Cosharis boss, whom he referred to as an uncle, to engage in the media war with him.
Mr Maduka had claimed that since Mr Uba and his company (Capital Oil and Gas) were labelled by most commercial banks in Nigeria as ‘unbankable’, he helped the oil merchant to obtain a loan of $180 million from Access Bank to finance the importation of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS).
The Cosharis boss also alleged that 10 letters of credit were opened and that of the 10 expected cargoes, only six were delivered.
Disputing Mr Maduka’s claims, Mr Ubah said “everything about that story is false.”
When asked if it was true that he is indebted to Access Bank to the tune of N21 billion, Mr Uba said ‘you can’t eat your cake and have it’.
He said the loan he obtained from the bank was what he used to import petrol of which his company is yet to receive subsidy payment. “The money is sitting in Access Bank,” he said.
“Access Bank is the consignee of all the vessels imported. Therefore, if they are accusing of fraud, then it is all of us together,” he added.
The Federal Government has extended the deadline for applications for YouWiN ‘2’ till October 28.
Speaking at the weekend, its Project Coordinator, Supo Olusi, said the extension became necessary in view of the recent floods in several states of the federation, which made it difficult for would-be applicants to access computers and Internet facilities in the affected states.
“In view of the massive job creation objective set down for this project, government is ensuring that no single qualified candidate nationwide is excluded for reasons beyond the candidate’s control,” he said.
Nigeria’s economy is expected to expand at a slower rate this year than in 2011, data showed on Tuesday, due to disruptions to oil production and ongoing weakness in developed countries that buy crude from Africa’s largest producer. Nigeria’s economy is expected to grow 6.5 percent year-on-year in 2012, down from 7.4 percent in 2011, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said on Tuesday.
“The projected lower economic growth in 2012 could be partially attributed to external shocks from existing growth concerns in the US, Euro-area, and China,” the NBS said in its 2012-2015 economic outlook report.
“Lower economic growth could also result from possible lower domestic crude oil production due to supply disruptions, which have recently been on the increase.”
GDP growth was expected to average 8 percent in 2013, 7.43 percent in 2014 and 7.25 percent in 2015.
Inflation was expected to average 13.6 percent this year, up from 10.6 percent recorded in 2011, the data showed.
“Inflation is expected to trend up mostly due to the lingering effects of the partial removal of the fuel subsidy on food and non-food prices as a result of higher transportation costs,” the NBS documents said.
It predicted inflation could rise even more sharply if the government fully removed costly fuel import subsidies.
The NBS said its projections were calculated using the Bayesian vector autoregressive approach, which takes into consideration prior economic performance between 1996-2011.