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Nigerians Criticise CBN’s Reliance On Dangote Refinery To Fix Naira’s Free Fall

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Nigerians Criticise CBN’s Reliance On Dangote Refinery To Fix Naira’s Free Fall

Scores of Nigerians have criticised the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)’s reliance on Dangote’s refinery to address the depreciating naira.

This is coming on the heels of a public disclosure by the CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele, during a foreign investors’ meeting held at the weekend in New York, that the refinery would save the country of huge foreign exchange.

Emefiele, while responding to questions from financial experts, had said the country would witness a significant drop in imports and forex boost once the Dangote refinery commenced operations by June 2022.

He was providing answers to investors’ concerns over the country’s FX reserves, exchange rates, the balance of payments, and the soaring national debt. He said Dangote’s refinery would save the nation 30 per cent foreign exchange spent on oil imports.

“Let me say by the time the Dangote Refinery begins production by June, latest July next year, it will be a major FX saving source for Nigeria. I will explain.

“In Nigeria, right now, from the FX we spend on imports, the importation of petroleum products takes about 30 percent.

“The Dangote refinery has the capacity to produce 650, 000 barrels per day. So, you take the diesel, petrol, aviation fuel, and the rest (30 percent) from them, or you convert that from crude to refined products,

“There is a domestic component that is called 450, 000 barrels, even if out of the 650, 000 barrels, the 445 barrels is what is sold to Dangote in naira, it will be a major FX saving for Nigeria.”

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The Dangote refinery investment is described as capable of meeting 100 per cent of local demands of the country’s refined petroleum products with surplus for exports. It is expected to be Africa’s biggest oil refinery and the world’s biggest single-train facility when completed.

Nigerians Criticise CBN’s Reliance On Dangote Refinery To Fix Naira’s Free Fall

A Bloomberg report said the refinery complex would cost about $19 billion.

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has acquired a 20 per cent stake in the refinery.

Emefiele said beyond boost of the local currency, exported refined oil products from the private refinery would positively contribute to the nation’s economy.

He emphasised that the country would save more from the logistics cost spent on import refined products.

“If you look at the cost of freights alone…if we have to import from Europe or other parts of the world to bring in petroleum products, we pay heavily. Then, we pay heavily in stocking those products in the high sea before offload.

“…it is a project we just prayed somebody like Dangote will live long to see it. Nigerians will benefit from it.”

Emefiele was proud to associate the Dangote refinery project with the Federal Government’s backward integration policy to promote local content.

Foreign refineries, he emphasised, would be worried over the emerging private sector-led investment.

The petrochemical arm of the investment, he said, would commence July next year and produce polyethylene and other similar products which Nigeria had been a net importer on.

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He placed Nigeria’s annual consumption of polypropylene and polythene products at slightly below 200, 000 tons.

“What does that mean?

“It means by contribution to import contents, that is about five per cent of our imports. So, if you save five percent of your import, save 30 percent in petroleum imports, and fertilizer that is about three percent, moving close to saving about 40 percent of foreign imports of the country, you will see what we will be doing in terms of allowing the market to float.

“We will float the market, and see how this currency (naira) will depreciate.”

But most Nigerians on social media expressed worry over the development.

A social media user, identified as Official_rea, questioned the rationality behind the nation’s planned dependence on the private refinery, despite its existing refineries still enjoying government funding. She observed the development could drive monopoly.

“Why is a whole country centering its fiscal policy on a one-man business: what level of monopoly will that cause:

“Same strategy is what is translating to the high cost of cement. So, the federal government has inevitably abandoned these other refineries.”

Another user, Nike Oluwa @NikeOluwa, shared a similar concern of likely inflation of petrol prices, saying the Federal Government appeared to have depended on the private sector investment.

“So Dangote is now supposed to be our messiah? I hope when that time comes, we will not be buying fuel for N500 per litre and we will have no other option than to comply with our messiah.”

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Ikeena @Kenzo0_baba expressed worry that the masses might soon be at the mercy of one company.

Aside querying the reliance on Dangote to reduce public forex spending by 30 per cent, he faulted the neglected refineries.

“B.S….depending on Dangote to reduce your forex expenditure by 30 percent when you have three refineries with a combined capacity of over 1.5m bdp….and yet don’t function.. We will all be at the mercy of Dangote soon to also control market prices… such monopoly.”

Austin Chikwem @Austinesmile0705 also faulted the idea, describing the nation as a “failed country depending on an individual capacity and boast on that.”

In his remark, Veron Olusegun @veronolusegun observed the gradual shift to cleaner energy source. This, he said, might render the crude oil worthless.

“The whole country depending on an individual to boost fx. The irony is that by the year 2030, the rest of the world would drive electric cars while only Africans would use combustion engines. Crude oil would be worthless and the refinery has to pay back loans!! Joke is still on us.”

On the contrary, a few persons applauded Emefiele’s idea, describing it as intelligent. Gohunmi Adegbite @gbohunmi_official was one of those who hailed the CBN boss, though his opinion received backlash.

Olufisayo Adebayo @feesiryor simply described the CBN governor as sound. “You can’t take that away from him.”

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VP Osinbajo says ‘’Nigeria needs unifiers, not just achievers”

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VP Osinbajo says ‘’Nigeria needs unifiers, not just achievers”

Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo says Nigeria needs not just achievers, but more importantly men and women who are bridge-builders and unifiers, who see the country’s ethnic diversity as a source of strength, and not as a point of difference.

Osinbajo said this on Saturday during the turbaning ceremony of some prominent persons in Bida emirate, Niger State.

The Senior Special Assistant to the Vice-President on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande, disclosed this in a statement titled ‘Nigeria needs unifiers, Osinbajo says at Bida Emirate turbaning ceremony’.

Earlier, the Etsu Nupe and Chairman, Niger State Council of Traditional Rulers, Dr Yahaya Abubakar, conferred on the Vice-President the ‘Garkuwan Yamma Nupe’ which means ‘the Defender of Nupe Kingdom.’

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Speaking after his turbaning, the Vice President noted that the conferment of the titles was a fresh call to service to the Bida community and the nation, adding that “our country needs men and women who understand that all men and women regardless of race and faith deserve to be treated equally, fairly and justly.”

He also restated the Federal Government’s commitment to enhancing security nationwide.

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Fuel subsidy: CSOs urge FG to end N250bn monthly payment

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Fuel subsidy: CSOs urge FG to end N250bn monthly payment

Civil Society Organisations in Nigeria operating under the aegis of the “Civil Society Coalition for Economic Development” (CED) have decried a monthly payment of N250 billion for fuel subsidy, saying if nothing was done by the Federal Government to end the regime, it would further cause economic catastrophe.

In a seven-point communique after a conference of the coalition which was held simultaneously in Lagos and Abuja, a copy of which was made available to DAILY POST on Friday, the Coalition urged the Federal Government to be committed to the planned ending of the fuel subsidy regime, adding that it was the right step towards recovering the nation’s economy.

The Coalition, which comprised of 82 Civil Society Coalitions, insisted that Nigeria’s economy is about one of the most volatile in the world, recalling that there was a time a barrel of crude oil was sold for $150, but for the past six years, it has reduced to $60, a situation the group lamented, was unsustainable.

In the conference, titled: “Fuel Subsidy Removal in Nigeria”, it was pointed out, would recycle the economy on the part of productivity and growth, if the amount being paid as a cost of fuel subsidies were channelled into the provision of infrastructure and other social sectors of the economy.

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The communique which was signed by the convener, Com. Yusuf Dan Maitama and the Secretary, Com. Badaru Ayewoh further recommended that the fuel subsidy regime should be stopped effective from January 2022.

They further identified the subsidy regime as a major challenge that was forcing the Federal government into external borrowings, while expressing optimism that the end of fuel subsidy would recoup funds into the national treasury well enough for developments.

Part of the communique read: “That the resource persons who are world-class researchers in the oil and gas industry extrapolated issues bordering on Nigeria’s oil and gas industry, and identified Nigeria’s major economic challenges as that of the active fuel subsidy regime.

“In the group discussions, participants were unanimous that Nigeria was the only country in the world that sustained fuel subsidy regime for the past 20 years.

“The fuel subsidy regime was a capitalist and elitist policy that services only the top-heavy, hence, successive governments found it difficult to implement their economic policies.

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“It was pointed out that the Federal government of Nigeria spends N250 billion on fuel subsidy every month. The development, discussants averred was largely responsible for national debts as revenue coming into the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF) account are used to settle the fuel subsidy.”

Fuel subsidy: CSOs urge FG to end N250bn monthly payment

The group pleaded with the organised labour not to embark on strike on account of ending subsidies, while they asked the Federal government to forward a budget for N5000 grants to be disbursed to citizens to cushion the effect of fuel subsidy removal in 2022.

“That the Federal Government of Nigeria should end fuel subsidy regime effect from 1st January 2022 in order the save the sum of N250 billion monthly as the economy of Nigeria has become very fragile given the financial burden orchestrated by the subsidy regime.

“That Nigeria is a monolithic economy as such, revenue earnings must be jealously guarded and which should be channeled into road construction, power, education, health and development of its youth.

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“That the organised labour should be considerate and not embark on strike action in the circumstance that the Federal government has ended fuel subsidy regime, given the reversal of huge resources back into the Federal government coffers.

“That the Federal Government and all stakeholders in the oil and gas industry should strictly enforce the provisions of Petroleum Industry Act (PIA), which came into effect after it was signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari.

“That the Federal Government, private and public sectors should embark on sensitisation of Nigerians on the need for immediate removal of fuel subsidy in order to save the nation from further financial hemorrhage.

“The Federal Government of Nigeria should forward the budgetary provision of N5000 grant to citizens to cushion the effect of fuel subsidy removal to the two arms of the National Assembly for legislative debate before the passage of 2022 budget.

“The Civil Society Coalition commends the Group Managing Director of Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Limited for his commitment to the stability of oil and gas industry in Nigeria,” it added.

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Anambra Airport Fully Set For Flight Operations

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Anambra Airport Fully Set For Flight Operations
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Anambra Airport Fully Set For Flight Operations

NCAA Approves Opening Of Anambra International Cargo And Passenger Airport Effective December 2nd, 2021.

The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has issued authority to Anambra state government to open
Anambra International Cargo And Passenger Airport for commercial operations with effect from 2nd December, 2021.

In a letter dated 1st December, 2021, addressed to Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra state, the aviation authority said that it has received security clearance from relevant security agencies for the opening. It said that the negative security clearance was the reason the authority had declined approval for the opening of the airport on the 30th of October 2021, when the state government had scheduled the commissioning.

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In the interim, Category B aircrafts are permitted to land and take off from the airport from sunrise to sunset.

Speaking on the development, Anambra state Commissioner for Works, Engineer Marcel Ifejiofor praised the efforts of Governor Obiano who never relented, even while on vacation to ensure that the Anambra airport becomes operational ahead of the Christmas 2021 mass return of Ndi Anambra living in the diaspora, and other visitors.

With this NCAA clearance, airlines already approved by the relevant authorities to operate at the Anambra airport such as Airpeace, Ibom Air, United Nigeria and others are expected to start scheduling flights into and out of the airport immediately.

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Anambra Airport Fully Set For Flight Operations

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