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Deepwater operations fetch Nigeria $180b

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Nigeria has earned more than $180 billion from deepwater operations, the Group Managing Director (GMD), Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr. Maikanti Baru, said yesterday.

Baru, who spoke through the Corporation’s Chief Operating Officer (COO), Upstream, Mr. Musa Rabiu, at the ongoing Offshore Technology Conference in Houston, Texas, United States (U.S.), said the deepwater province holds a great future for Nigeria.

In his paper entitled:  “Deepwater operations in Nigeria: The journey so far”, he said: “Discovered deepwater assets in Nigeria hold approximately 13 billion barrels of oil, out of which about two billion has been produced. There is a huge volume yet untapped and opportunity abounds.

“Also, the industry has committed capital in excess of $65 billion and generated revenue exceeding $180 billion, thereby, creating value for all stakeholders. There are more barrels of oil to be recovered. Therefore, more opportunities are waiting.”

Quoting the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), the NNPC GMD said: “There are 87 deepwater blocks in the country, out of which only seven are producing and additional six at different stages of development.

“It is important to note that there are more than half of the blocks in deepwater Nigeria are still open. This shows there is a huge potential yet to be unlocked.”

According to him, Nigeria remains an active play relative to other regions in terms of deepwater development.

The industry, he noted, started with the deployment of latest technology a stride it has continued to maintain.  Out of the 15 floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) in Nigeria, seven have been deployed for deepwater operations.

With Nigeria ranking next to Angola within the African deepwater operations in terms of FPSO deployment, the NNPC boss said: “I expect an upward trend in activities within the deepwater Nigeria and continued deployment of leading technology.”

On the impact of deepwater operations in terms of capacity and local content development, Baru said: “We have utilised each deepwater project as an avenue to upscale our human capital acquiring unique skills in different areas not limited to engineering design, project management, welding and diving.

“Also, the local content contribution or share of services in deepwater has continued to grow. We have improved from the sub one per cent level to an aggregate contribution of over 25 per cent from engineering man-hours of less than 20,000 to over 1.1 million in recent Egina project. With the Nigerian content, tonnage has grown by 600 per cent from the first deepwater project till date.

“Deepwater projects benefited the wider Nigerian economy by boosting demand for a range of goods and services including offshore vessels and platforms, materials, floating hotels, helicopters and manpower, creating jobs and providing a range of training and maintenance services to the industry locally. Services in areas such as manpower supply, logistics, and vessel supply, chemical supplies have more or less been domesticated.

“Recent further demonstration of this was the in-country topside integration on the Egina FPSO project. This achieves the dual goal of both industrialisation and manpower development through job creation and skill acquisition.

“The gains enumerated in terms of production and reserve growth, revenue and value creation, manpower and technology development needs to be sustained. I must reiterate that sustaining the gains means all hands must be on deck. We must leverage the expected growth in deepwater for national development. We expect within the next 10 years that production from Nigeria deepwater would double.”

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BUSINESS

‘No plans to relocate NGC headquarters from Niger Delta’

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The Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has assured stakeholders that it has no plans to relocate headquarters of its subsidiary, Nigerian Gas Company (NGC) from Delta State.

A statement by the Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Ndu Ughamadu, described as unfortunate, statement credited to Deputy President of the Senate, Ovie Omo-Agege, where he reportedly condemned alleged moves by the corporation to relocate the NGC headquarters from the Niger Delta.

Ughamadu called on the NGC host communities and other stakeholders to disregard the relocation tale, which he described as “totally false”. He maintained that Omo-Agege may have been misinformed or was quoted out of context as the subject of relocation of NGC was never on the table for deliberation.

NNPC promised to ensure harmonious relationship with stakeholders and host communities to entrench a win-win scenario for all.

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BUSINESS

Buhari signs AfCFTA agreement at AU Summit

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President Muhammadu Buhari in Niamey, Niger Republic, signed the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement, making Nigeria the 53rd state on the continent to append its signature to the document.

Reports reaching Area News, indicated that the president signed the agreement at exactly 10.47 am local time

Buhari had delayed in signing the agreement, which entered into force May 30, 2019.

The delay was to give room for extensive consultations with stakeholders, culminating in the submission of the report by the Presidential Committee to Assess Impact and Readiness of Nigeria to join the free trade area.

The committee had recommended that Nigeria should sign the agreement which aims to boost intra-African trade.

In accepting the report as submitted, the President made it clear that Nigerian government would be seeking to include terms that engender the development of policies that promote African production, among other benefits.

President Buhari said: “Africa, therefore, needs not only a trade policy but also a continental manufacturing agenda.

“Our vision for intra-African trade is for the free movement of `made in Africa goods’. That is, goods and services made locally with dominant African content in terms of raw materials and value addition.

“If we allow unbridled imports to continue, it will dominate our trade. The implication of this is that coastal importing nations will prosper while landlocked nations will continue to suffer and depend on aid.’’

The AfCFTA is expected to be the world’s largest free trade area since the formation of the World Trade Organization, with a potential market of 1.2 billion people.

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CIFI N20bn loans: Access Bank begins disbursement to creative sector

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Access Bank has commenced disbursement of loans to beneficiaries in the entertainment industry, under the Creative Industry Financing Initiative of the Central Bank of Nigeria.

The bank disclosed this during a forum with some stakeholders in the entertainment industry in Lagos on Tuesday.

It said the first tranche of the CIFI loans worth N20bn, would be made easily accessible to the borrowers in the sector.

Bidemi Adeboye of Access Bank said stakeholders in the creative industries such as fashion, Information Technology, movie production, movie distribution, music and software engineering student  could access the loans.

When all documentations were completed and the loans approved, the bank would ensure the beneficiaries got the funds within two weeks, he said.

He added, “The CBN wants to create jobs, develop local capacity, preserve foreign exchange and ensure empowerment in the entertainment industry.

“It is more interested in providing infrastructure funding such as film house, equipment, studio, auditorium, which will make it easier for the entertainers to operate at lower cost and be able to make profit.”

He explained that the loan had maximum interest rate of nine per cent per annum and a repayment period of up to 10 years.

According to him, those who would access the loans should come up with business plan or statement; they must be registered and should be doing what had economic benefits.

Chizoma Okoli of Access Bank said that the CIFI loan was introduced by the CBN to support the creative sector.

She said the bank decided to organise the forum with the stakeholders in the entertainment industry, to get more ideas from them on how best they could disburse the funds to them, and the documents they would need.

Music star, Oladapo Oyebanjo, popular known as D’banj, urged the bank to make the loans easily accessible as promised.

He said, “Most times when we apply for loans, it usually takes up to six months for us to get such. This will be a good development if we can access the loans within two weeks.”

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