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President Tinubu to Exxonmobil: Executive orders on oil and gas reforms will make Nigeria globally competitive

President Bola Tinubu, on Tuesday in Abuja, said the three Executive Orders on oil and gas reforms, which he signed, will make Nigeria’s petroleum sector globally competitive.

The President made the affirmation during a meeting with a delegation from ExxonMobil Upstream Company, led by its President, Liam Mallon.

He emphasized that these reforms will ensure that no oil company faces undue challenges in the country.

The three Executive Orders, which became effective from February 28, 2024, are: Oil and Gas Companies (Tax Incentives, Exemption, Remission, etc.) Order, 2024; Presidential Directive on Local Content Compliance Requirements, 2024; and the Presidential Directive on Reduction of Petroleum Sector Contracting Costs and Timelines.

President Tinubu also assured the ExxonMobil delegation that the federal government is committed to resolving the divestment issues between the company and Seplat Energy, which are currently under litigation.

“We have been pushing for closure on divestment issues, and I believe the other party, Seplat, is open to this,” the President said.

The President commended the company for its show of commitment to environmental protection in Nigeria, noting its efforts in reducing gas flaring in the country.

“Nigeria is going through a lot of reforms, and we have been navigating the leadership quarters carefully to ensure that we achieve a win-win situation for all parties and attract more investments,” President Tinubu said.

The President described ExxonMobil as a worthy partner in Nigeria’s development over the decades and urged the company to remain committed to contributing to the success of his administration.

“We are close enough to be fair and blunt with you, and we are not afraid to hear from you on better options and recommendations for the growth of the industry in Nigeria,” the President said.

The meeting, also attended by Heineken Lokpobiri, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Oil), and Ekperikpe Ekpo, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Gas), discussed issues such as divestment, decommissioning, and abandonment as regards the company.

“Mr. President has given a clear directive to the NNPC GCEO and I to resolve the issue of divestment, and we are doing whatever we can to achieve that,” Lokpobiri stated.

On decommissioning and abandonment in the oil industry, Lokpobiri noted that the ministry is addressing the matter in line with the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) and global best practices.

“The reforms driven by the three Executive Orders will ensure that companies operating in Nigeria have the best environment to continue making their investments and that no company will seek to leave Nigeria,” the Minister said.

Liam Mallon, the President of ExxonMobil Upstream Company, expressed his appreciation for the support and reassurances provided by the Nigerian government and pledged the company’s long-term commitment to the country’s energy sector.

He also commended President Tinubu for his courage and conviction to undertake bold reforms within his first year in office.

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Business

CBN sells $20,000 FX at N1450/$ to BDCs

The Central Bank of Nigeria said it sold foreign currency worth $20,000 to each eligible Bureau de Change operator at N1,450 per dollar.

A.A. Mahdi, the apex bank’s acting Director of Trade and Exchange Department, disclosed this in a notice on Thursday.

According to the notice: “To this end, the CBN has approved the sales of FX to eligible Bureau De Change (BDCs) to meet the demand for invisible transactions. The sum of S$20,000 is to be sold to each BDC at the rate of N1,450/$ (representing the lower band of the trading rate at NAFEM in the previous trading day).

“All BDCs are allowed to sell to eligible end-users at a margin not more than one point five per cent (1.5 %) above the purchase rate from CBN.”

The development led to the naira appreciating significantly on Thursday to N1,565 per dollar at the black market from N1,615.

Similarly, the naira also appreciated to N1,566.92 at the official FX market, according to FMDQ data on Thursday.

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Inflation increases to 34.19 percent – NBS

The headline inflation rate increased to 34.19% in the month of June, according to a report by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

The report said food inflation also increased to 40.87 percent on a year-on-year basis, which was 15.62% points higher compared to the rate recorded in June 2023 (25.25%).

It stated that the rise in food inflation was caused by increases in prices of Millet Whole grain, Garri, Guinea corn, etc (Bread and Cereals Class), Yam, Water Yam, Coco Yam (Potatoes, Yam & Other Tubers Class), Groundnut Oil, Palm Oil, etc (Oil & Fats Class) and Catfish Dried, Dried Fish-Sadine, Mudfish (Fish Class), etc.

“On a year-on-year basis, the headline inflation rate was 11.40% points higher compared to the rate recorded in June 2023, which was 22.79%. This shows that the headline inflation rate (year-on-year basis) increased in the month of June 2024 when compared to the same month in the preceding year (i.e. June 2023).”

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“Furthermore, on a month-on-month basis, the headline inflation rate in June 2024 was 2.31%, which was 0.17% higher than the rate recorded in May 2024 (2.14%).”

“The rise in Food inflation on a Month-on-Month basis was caused by the rise in the rate of increase in the average prices of Groundnut Oil, Palm Oil, etc (Oil & Fats Class), Water Yam, Coco Yam, Cassava, etc (Potatoes, Yam & Other Tubers Class), Tobacco, Catfish Fresh, Croaker, Mud-
fish Fresh, Snail, etc, (Fish Class).

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It stated that all Items inflation rate on a Year-on-Year basis was highest in Bauchi (43.95%), Kogi (39.91%), and Oyo (39.15%), while Borno (25.90%), Benue (27.52%) and Katsina (29.21%) recorded the slowest rise in Headline inflation on Year-on-Year basis.

“On a Month-on-Month basis, however, June 2024 recorded the highest increases in Yobe (3.79%), Abuja (3.45%), Ondo (3.38%), while Nasarawa (0.71%), Osun (1.19%) and Kano (1.27%) recorded the slowest rise on Month-on-Month inflation.”

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UAE resumes visa issuance to Nigerians

Immigration kicks as Nigerian passport ranks below Niger, Chad, others

The Federal Government and the government of the United Arab Emirates, UAE, have signed an agreement for the resumption of visa issuance to travellers with Nigerian passports wishing to travel to the Middle Eastern country.

Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, who disclosed this while briefing State House correspondents at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Monday, said the agreement took immediate effect.

He said, “You are aware that Nigeria has been discussing with the United Arab Emirates on the issue of visas for Nigerian passport holders going to the United Arab Emirates.

“Today, an agreement has been reached on that, and effective from today 15th July, Nigerian passport holders are able to obtain visa to go to the United Arab Emirates.

“Details of that will be provided to you latter today when we put out a statement.

“But I can tell you that the agreement has been reached, and effective from today, Nigerian passport holders intending to travel to the UAE are able to do so.”

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