The Federal Government of Nigeria recently projected key assumptions in running the 2019 budget.

Director-General, Budget Office of the Federation, Mr. Ben Akabueze, rolled out the figures for the key assumptions during a public hearing on the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF)

The hearing was organised by the House of Representatives Joint Committee on Finance, Appropriation, Aids, Loans and Debt Management headed by Babangida Ibrahim, yesterday, in Abuja.

Akabueze said the 2019 budget is expected to run at nominal Gross Domestic Product, GDP, of 139.65 trillion and 3.01 percent of GDP growth.

He noted that other key assumptions of micro-framework of the budget are based on a projection of 2.3 mbpd oil production, oil price benchmark of $60pb, exchange rate of N305 to a dollar, 9.98 inflation rate and 119,28 trillion nominal consumption.

Similarly, Economic Recovery Growth Plan (ERGP) also projected oil production at 2.4mbpd, oil price benchmark of $50pb, exchange rate of N305 to a dollar, 13.39 inflation rate, 106, 03 trillion nominal consumption, 126, 36 trillion nominal GDP and 4.5 percent GDP growth rate.

“As at the end of 2018, Federal Government aggregate revenue was N3.96 trillion, which is 55 percent of the budget and which is higher than the 2017 revenue,” he said.

While explaining the parameters, he placed oil revenue at N2.32 trillion, 77 percent of budget and 64 percent higher than 2017; Company Income Tax, CIT, of N637, 25 billion, 80 percent of budget and 1.7 percent higher than 2017 and Customs Collection of N303, 91billion, 94 percent of budget and 16 percent higher than 2017.

He added that “Notwithstanding the softening in the international oil prices in late 2018, the opinion of most reputable oil industry analysts is that the downward trend is not necessarily reflective of the outlook for 2019.

‘’Currently, the average Brent oil price projection for 2019 by 32 different institutions with relevant expertise is still about $69/b,’’ he explained.

He mentioned that President Muhammadu Buhari had directed the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to take all possible measures to achieve the targeted oil production of 2.3 million barrels per day.

Figures made available by the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, have shown that the country’s foreign exchange reserve has hit a six months high at $44.14 billion as at Thursday.

The external reserves have gained over $1.8bn since February 28, when it dropped to its 2019 low of $42.296bn.

The reserves had risen slightly from $43.116bn on December 31, 2018, to $43.174bn on January 31, 2019, only to fall to $42.296bn at the end of last month.

It would be recalled that the external reserves rose to a high of $47.865bn on May 10, 2018. It however plunged to $41.523bn on November 22 from $44.305bn on September 28.

This is coming just as the United States’ President, Donald Trump’s tweet cussed another price upset in the crude oil market.

Trump had on Thursday, called for the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to boost oil production to lower the price of the commodity.

“[it is] very important that OPEC increase the flow of oil. World markets are fragile; price of oil getting too high. Thank you!” Trump wrote in a post on Twitter.

Immediately after the tweet, the US crude oil futures fell by more than $1 to $58.33 a barrel and Brent futures were down by more than $1 to a session low of $66.76 per barrel, News reported.

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) says severe penalty awaits anyone who default in the procument process in project execution in the corporation.

NNPC Managing Director, Dr Maikanti Baru, also warned management and staff of the corporation against any action that contravened the provisions of the Public Procurement Act in the award of contracts.

He gave the warning on Wednesdsy in Abuja at a Supply Chain Management workshop for NNPC Procurement Managers.

Baru cautioned staff against contract splitting and accumulation, which he described as a deliberate act by procurement managers to subvert due process in the procurement process.

He noted that the corporation was commited to transparency in every aspect of its operations, adding that all procurements and contract awards in the corporation under his watch so far had been carried out in conformity with the Public Procurement Act.

The NNPC boss directed the Supply Chain Management Division to step up its level of monitoring of the various tender boards within the corporation for full compliance.

He commended President Muhammadu Buhari for the early approval of the NNPC budget, assuring that as the chief revenue earner for the nation, NNPC was committed to the economic policies of the Federal Government.

“The whole essence of the next level is to ensure that things are done correctly and speedily for the benefit of the people”, the NNPC boss said in a statement.

Nigeria’s crude oil production including condensate has taken a dip, falling to 1.999 million barrels per day in January from 2.081 million bpd in December, figures from the Ministry of Petroleum Resources has revealed.
 
This is contrary to a production benchmark of 2.3m bpd used for the 2019 budget estimates by the Federal Government.
 
However, the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC, in its latest monthly oil report released on Tuesday, said Nigeria’s oil production dropped to 1.687 million bpd in January from 1.797 million bpd.
 
It would be recalled that OPEC and 10 non-OPEC countries agreed in December to cut oil production by 1.2 million bpd effective from January for an initial period of six months to shore up what many expected to be weakening market fundamentals ahead.
 
Nigeria’s oil production was to be cut by 53,000 barrels to arrive at a new quota of 1.685 million bpd down from Nigeria reference production figure of 1.797m bpd.
 
The OPEC’s 14 members pumped 30.81 million bpd in January, down from 31.60 million bpd in December, according to its Monthly Oil Market Report.
 
Oil prices have recovered since December, when they fell to a 15-month low, with ICE Brent trading above $62 per barrel this week.
 
 
Source: The Ripples
Nigeria lost a total of N11.08 trillion in 2018 to the activities of oil thieves and illegal refining, the Nigerian Navy said on Tuesday.
 
According to the Navy, which stated this at its First Quarterly Media Dialogue in Abuja, 1,952 illegal crude oil refining sites in the Niger Delta were uncovered and subsequently destroyed by its troops in the region.
 
Navy’s Chief of Training and Operations, CTOPS, Rear Admiral Mackson Kadiri, who addressed the media, said the money was lost to maritime crimes,which he noted,included illegal oil refining and theft of other products.
 
While noting that illegal refining was a major threat to nation’s maritime environment, Kadiri said the activation of Operation Sweep by the service paid off.
 
He said: “Another threat to Nigerian maritime environment is illegal refining of crude oil.
 
“In response to this, in 2016, the Nigerian Navy activated what we call Operation River Sweep which is aimed at combating crude oil theft and illegal refining activities.
 
“In 2017, a total of 1,315 illegal refining sites were destroyed and in 2018,only 637 only were destroyed”, he said.
 
The nation, according to Kadiri, also lost a total of 277, 040 barrels of crude oil, 23.1 million litres of AGO, 212, 610 litres of PMS, and 1. 2 million litres of DPK to vandals and oil thieves.
 
 
Source: The Ripples
President Muhammadu Buhari has announced that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) will soon commence drilling for a deeper search for oil and gas in the Benue Trough.
 
This, he said, is the next step following the commencement of drilling in the Kolmani River area, located within Bauchi and Gombe States.
 
President Buhari, who made the announcement on Wednesday while addressing traditional rulers at the Banquet Hall, Government House, Makurdi, Benue State, recalled that as Minister of Petroleum in the 70s, he had seen “very interesting seismic surveys” that promised oil and gas from the Chad Basin through the Benue Trough down to the Delta region.
 
He said for mostly commercial reasons, investment was directed to the Niger Delta given the promise of quicker results.
He narrated past efforts by him as Military Head of State to diversify the country’s sources of oil to strengthen its unity, promising that his administration will intensify efforts in this direction.
 
President Buhari welcomed the observation by the Tor Tiv, His Royal Majesty, Professor James Ayatse, that peace had been restored to Benue State following the spike, sometimes back in farmers and herders’ clashes as well as the fact that the President had so far conducted a decent and peaceful campaign.
 
The President promised to look at requests for more roads, bridges and tertiary institutions made by the royal father.
 
Earlier, the Tor Tiv had expressed appreciation to President Buhari, “for the way and manner you have conducted peaceful campaign, no riots, no violence, setting good example. We had a challenging time in 2016. Thanks for your intervention, for accepting our appeal to step up security. Operation Whirl Strike has succeeded in chasing away violent herders.”
 
The Governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom in his remarks, called for free and fair elections, urging all contestants to abide by the outcome.
 
 
Source: The Ripples
Crude oil production by the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company, NPDC, a subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, has increased by 57,000 barrels per day.
 
This was disclosed in the January 2019 edition of the NNPC newsletter by the Group Managing Director of national oil company, Dr. Maikanti Baru.
 
According to the NNPC, crude production by the NPDC increased from 108,000bpd in 2016 to 165,000bpd in 2017.
 
According to Baru, with the development, the NNPC was well on its way to meeting the 500,000bpd target by 2020, adding that the NPDC had been a key contributor to the consistent year-to-year national crude oil production growth, which had seen a steady rise from an average of 1.2 million barrels of oil per day in 2016 to 1.86mbpd in 2017 and 2.06mbpd in 2018.
 
“It is also worthy to note that NPDC’s equity production share closed at over 200,700bpd, representing about 10 per cent of the national daily production.
 
“Its (NPDC) last average weekly production of 332,000bpd makes the target of 500,000bpd for 2020 achievable”, Baru said.
 
The NNPC GMD also noted that with the NPDC’s supply of over 700 million standard cubic feet of gas per day to the Escravos-Lagos Pipeline System, the company had become the largest gas supplier to the domestic market.
 
While giving reasons for NPDC’s achievements, Baru said they were due to the introduction of some initiatives such as the Asset Management Team structure, strategic financing and autonomy.
 
Others include the security architecture framework review of the company, which promoted cooperation with joint venture partners and enhanced the decision-making process.
 
“We will continue to pursue the growth plan to transform the NPDC to the premier upstream company in Nigeria and entire sub-Saharan Africa,” Baru said.
 
 
Source: NAN
The long awaited dream of oil and gas exploration in the northern part of Nigeria became a reality, as President Muhammadu Buhari flagged off the spud-in of Kolmani River-II Well in Gongola Basin of Upper Benue Trough. 
 
Performing the flag off ceremony, Buhari said that in spite of the diversification of the nation’s economy by his administration as well as the dwindling oil price at the international market, the commodity was still essential to the country’s economic .survival. “Oil and  gas remains critical to the Nigerian economy of today and the future.
It remains key to the successful implementation of our budget at all levels of Government”, he said. “The golden era of high oil prices may not be here now but oil and gas resources remain the most immediate and practical keys to our aggressive efforts at diversifying the economy. “As important as it is to ensure that other critical sectors of the economy are supported to grow and contribute more to the Nation’s economy, we still need a virile oil and gas Industry to take care of the challenges of the moment and to invest for the future.”
 
The President described the event as remarkable, saying that it represented a promise kept by his administration. According to him, the next level was to ensure a sustained effort in oil exploration in all the frontier basins in the country, adding that a country with balanced resources distribution was imperative in the quest for industrialization. Earlier in his remarks, the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Maikanti Baru, said the project was the evidence of the commitment of the Buhari administration to expand the hydrocarbons reserve base of the country. He also expressed the readiness of the NNPC to resume oil exploration in the Chad basin as soon as the military gave the go-ahead in view of the insurgency activities in the area. Baru, however, appealed for patience, noting that oil exploration anywhere in the world required a lot of time. 
 
Despite finding 146ft of hydrocarbon sand in Kolmani River-1Well prospect estimated to contain about 33BCF of gas in the 90s the International Oil Companies (IOCs) failed to investigate deep targets and left the region on the excuse of non commercial quantity find.  Buhari on assumption of office in 2015 directed the NNPC to prioritize exploration efforts in the frontier basins in order to increase the national oil and gas reserves base and production. Though the NNPC failed to disclose the production estimate of Kolmani II, the agency said it would fulfill the nation’s ambition of attaining national oil reserves of 40 billion barrels of crude oil and production to three billion barrels per day by 2025. 
 
 
Source: NAN
The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has revealed that it generated the sum of N1.3 trillion as revenue UN 2018.
 
The Director of DPR, Mr Mordecai Ladan, disclosed this in Abuja on Tuesday, adding that an additional $200 million from legacy indebtedness was also collected in 2018.
 
Ladan stated this at the opening of a workshop on Revenue Generation, Accounting and Reporting Process to the Federation Allocation Accounting Committee, FAAC, in Abuja.
 
Ladan was represented by Mr. Adewale Johnson at the workshop organised by the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation, OAGF.
 
According to the DPR Director, the department had over the years been working assiduously to shore up federal government revenue profile.
 
“In DPR, to shore up our revenue we embarked on reducing approval time for permit certificates as it now takes 48 hours to get approval for permits.
 
“All our interventions are to ensure that revenue accruable to the federation account comes in as soon as possible and in 2018, for the first time, we collected N1.3 trillion as revenue for the year.
 
Speaking while declaring open the workshop, the Minister of Finance, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, called on revenue generating agencies to re-strategise on their operational methods to surpass their previous records and targets.
 
The minister, who was represented by Mr Mohammed Dikwa, the Executive Secretary, Presidential Initiative on Continuous Audit, said low oil price and low revenue performance by some of the agencies result in low revenue, which in turn necessitate the introduction of series of palliative measures by the Federal Government to support states in payment of salaries.
 
These measures, according to the minister, included bail-out funds of N10 billion to each of the 35 states that had outstanding salary payments, restructuring of commercial loans and Budget Support Facility which the 35 states also participated in.
 
She further noted that from the repayment of the Paris Club funds over deductions, N1.38 trillion was paid to the states in three tranches.
 
Speaking further, Ahmed argued that there was the urgent need on the part of all revenue generating agencies to ensure accountability and transparency in the collection and remittances to the federation account.
 
According to her, the revised reporting template would provide in transparent manner information on revenue generation.
 
“The reforms introduced by the OAGF and the various agencies should as much as possible lower the time-lag between collection and remittance into the federation account.
 
“The reporting template should be explicit enough and user friendly too,’’ she said.
 
 
Source: NAN
A report from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has shown that Nigeria recorded crude oil export worth N11.5 trillion in nine months, from January to September 2018.
 
The figure is a 48.01 per cent rise from N7.77 trillion recorded in similar period in 2017.
 
The figure is also over N2 trillion more than the N9.12 trillion budgeted for 2018 and about N3 trillion more than the 2019 budget proposal.
 
Data from the NBS Foreign Trade Statistics for the Third Quarter of 2018, showed that crude oil export in the nine-month period accounted for 81.8 per cent of total exports recorded in the Nigerian economy in 2018.
 
According to the report, crude oil export in the first quarter of 2018, appreciated by 51.05 per cent compared to N2.37 trillion recorded in the first quarter of 2017; while in the second quarter of 2018, crude oil export stood at N3.77 trillion, appreciating by 55.14 per cent from N2.43 trillion recorded in the same period of 2017.
 
The report also showed that third quarter 2018 crude oil export appreciated by 39.17 per cent from N2.97 trillion recorded in third quarter 2017 to N4.15 trillion.
 
“Crude oil exports in third quarter 2018 was 10.03 per cent more than the value recorded in second quarter 2018 and 39.5 per cent higher than the value recorded in third quarter 2017. Other oil products export in third quarter 2018 was 5.3 per cent more in value than second quarter 2018 and 12.68 per cent higher than third quarter 2017,” the NBS report noted.
 
Breaking down exports in the third quarter of 2018, the report stated that crude oil and Liquefied Natural Gas [LNG], export stood at N4.147 trillion, N469.87 billion respectively, other petroleum gases export stood at N27.85 billion.
 
Others are liquefied butane and liquefied propane export which stood at N17.66 billion and N13.73 billion respectively; kerosene type jet fuel export stood at N7.4 billion, while the lubricating oil export stood at N6.84 billion.
 
The report also named India as the highest importer of Nigeria’s crude oil, purchasing N764.88 billion worth of the commodity; followed by Nigeria’s crude oil export of N522.12 billion and N500.31 billion to Spain and France respectively.
 
Furthermore, the NBS disclosed that crude oil from Nigeria was exported to South Africa, Netherlands, Indonesia, Brazil and United Kingdom, valued at N335.28 billion, N276.37 billion, N256.3 billion, N226.2 billion and 206.3 billion respectively.
 
United States and Canada bought Nigeria’s crude oil worth N201.65 billion and N199.01 billion respectively in the third quarter of 2018.
 
The report noted: “Nigeria’s external trade totalled N9.026 trillion during the third quarter of 2018. Compared to the value of N6.903 trillion recorded against the second quarter, a rise of N2.122 trillion or 30.7 per cent was indicated.
 
“The total export component of this trade was N4.854 trillion, representing an increase of 7.8 per cent over second quarter 2018 and 35.7 per cent over third quarter 2017.”
 
 
Source: The Routers
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