… says P-Harcourt refinery to resume daily production 60 barrels of crude December
…Warri to start operating by the first quarter, 2024
The Federal Government has disclosed that it is targeting to stop fuel importation in 2024, adding that Port Harcourt and Warri refineries are been repositioned to function optimally.
FG clarified that the Port Harcourt refinery would commence operations before the end of 2023, precisely in December, while Warri refinery which is also undergoing rehabilitation would started refining petroleum products by February.
It maintained that the December 2023 target for the completion of the rehabilitation of the Port Harcourt refinery remained sacrosanct, expressing satisfaction with the level of work done in the facility.
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Oil, Heineken Lokpobiri, spoke during a working visit to the Port Harcourt Refining Company in Eleme, Rivers State, yesterday, to inspect the project.
Lokpobiri, who was accompanied on the visit by the Minister of State, Gas Resources, Ekperikpe Ekpo, expressed happiness with the level of work done, adding the rehabilitation work which was approved for $1.5bn when completed by the end of 2023 will refine upto 60,000 barrels of crude per day.
He said the essence of the inspection was to ensure the timely rehabilitation of the Port Harcourt Refinery and completion of other refineries in the country at the scheduled dates.
Lokpobiri said: “The essence of today’s inspection is to come see the extent of work done at the Port Harcourt Refinery and we are happy with the level of work done here.
“From what we have seen here, we believe the project will be completed as scheduled. The Port Harcourt Refinery will come on board fully by the end of this year, 2023. Warri will start operating by the first quarter of next year and then, Kaduna will come on stream towards the end of next year.
“The Port Harcourt Refinery when completed is expected to produce about 54 to 60 barrels per day, while Warri refinery when it comes on stream by February, 2024 will produce 75 barrels of oil per day. If we add that to Dangote refinery we will be able to stop fuel importation and Nigeria can now have the benefits of full deregulation.
“We will be going round all the refineries in the country, from Port Harcourt, we will go to Warri, to Kaduna. We will also go to Dangote refinery to see the level of work there.
“Our objective is to ensure that in the next few years, Nigeria stops fuel importation and that is why we are here to see the extent of work done, and we are satisfied with what we are seeing here.”
“Nigerians should expect better supply of fuel and better economy. But I can assure you that Nigeria will have a better deal in this renewed hope Administration of president Bola Ahmed Tinubu.”
On his part, the Minister of State, Gas Resources, Ekperikpe Ekpo said, the government is very desperate about gas production and generation of power supply in the country.
Ekpo noted that the government is committed to ending gas flaring in the country.
“You know gas is very important and we have it in abundance. so the issue of gathering the gas to generate power supply and other areas that would need gas in the country is very important.
“The government is very desperate about it as it will bring in foreign investors to invest in the gas sector.”
“With the briefing we have received today, there is hope for Nigeria that gas flaring will stop and gas generation will increase, and with that we will have uninterrupted power supply in the country.”
On the government’s policy on Compressed Natural Gas, CNG, implementation for vehicles Ekpo said, “The policy is very simple and we are encouraging investors in that sector so that we have it in abundance, the vehicles will be converted to appreciate the usage of CNG which would be beneficial to all.
“So, there is desperate and dedicated efforts to make sure gas is available which of course will reduce the cost of gas in the vehicle as well as reducing the cost of using fuel.”
Bank Customers Pay N154bn Fees For E-banking Services
Customers of nine leading commercial banks paid N154 billion fee for using electronic banking services in the first half of the year (H1’23).
Details of the banks’ financial statements for H1’23 showed that the fee represents a 16.7 percent year-on-year (YoY) rise when compared to N131.97 billion paid in H1’22.
The banks are Guaranty Trust Bank which raked in N21.2 billion from the customers, Access Bank (N43.9), Zenith Bank (N22.27 billion), United Bank for Africa Plc (N51.07 billion), Stanbic IBTC (N2.14 billion), First City Monument Bank (N7.4 billion), Unity Bank (N1.96 billion), Fidelity Bank (N1.85 billion) and Wema Bank (N3.13 billion).
Electronic Banking is a service that enables banking transactions through electronic payment channels like internet banking, mobile banking, Automated Teller Machines (ATMs), Point of Sale (PoS) among others.
The rise in electronic banking fees and commission indicates that Nigerians’ adoption of electronic payment channels has continued to increase.
According to the Nigerian Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS) e-payment data for Q1’23 the volume of e-payment transactions grew YoY by 209 percent to 4.7 billion from 1.52 billion in Q1’22.
The value of e-payment transactions increased YoY by 48 percent to N137.52 trillion in Q1’23 from N92.85 trillion in Q1’22.
Meanwhile, in H1 ’23, the nine banks earned N66.7 billion from account maintenance fees and commission income, representing a 14.7 percent YoY rise when compared to N57.5 billion recorded in the corresponding period of 2022, H1’22.
In terms of highest account maintenance fees and commission income, Zenith Bank had the highest (N21.02 billion), followed by Access Bank (N13.36 billion), Guaranty Trust Bank (N10.5 billion), United Bank of Africa, UBA, (N9.6 billion), First City Monument Bank, FCMB, (N3.85 billion), Fidelity Bank (N3.4 billion), Stanbic IBTC (N2.64 billion), Wema Bank (N1.63 billion) and Unity Bank ( N742.6 million).
However, in terms of growth, UBA had the highest YoY growth of 47.6 percent at N9.6 billion in H1’23 from N6.5 billion in H1’22.
Edo, GIZ Strengthen Partnership To Enhance Ease Of Doing Business
As part of reforms to boost ease of doing business in Edo State, the state government has strengthened partnership with the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).
Addressing journalists after the meeting with the representatives from the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) at the Edo State Investment Promotion Office (ESIPO), in Benin City, the Managing Director of ESIPO, Mr. Kelvin Uwaibi, said the primary objective of the meeting was to evaluate the outcomes of prior collaborations and chart a more robust path, aimed at elevating Edo’s standing in the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) ratings.
He noted that GIZ has been a steadfast partner to Edo State over the years, offering invaluable support in the state’s mission to enhance the Ease of Doing Business.
He added, “This partnership has yielded noteworthy successes, and the recent meeting provided an opportunity to assess the tangible achievements and strategise for the future.
“One of the top priorities identified during the meeting was the enhancement of EODB for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs). Both parties were committed to ensuring that these businesses encounter fewer obstacles and experience a more streamlined process.
“A key area of focus was simplifying business-related processes and reducing bureaucratic complexities. Streamlining these procedures can significantly enhance the overall EODB environment.
“Recognising the importance of reducing the cost of doing business, both parties underscored the need to implement measures that make it more affordable for enterprises, particularly small and medium-sized ones.”
Representative of the Head of Component, Policy and Strategy, Mr. Omoware Akinropo, and Access to Finance Policy Advisor, GIZ, Mr. Pearse Akinwande, reiterated GIZ’s unwavering commitment to supporting Edo State in its EoDB initiatives.
Naira To Dollar: Edo Businessman Wants FG To Intervene
An Edo State businessman, Mr. Osazee Gift Osazuwa, has called on the Federal Government to wade in and tackle the falling rate of the naira against the dollar.
He made the call in Benin while addressing Journalists as regards the current exchange rate of the naira against the dollar.
Osazuwa said on Saturday, the naira was sold for 1,000/$ at the black market, a trend he described as “very worrisome.”
He said the falling strengthen of the naira against the dollar is not helping them in the electronics business as they have to spend more to buy goods due to the exchange rate.
Osazuwa said if the naira keeps falling without any action from the Federal Government to salvage the situation, it might get worse and thereafter push them out of business.
Osazuwa, while expressing confidence on President Bola Tinubu’s ability to revamp the nation’s moribund economy, said those of them in the electronics business still have hope that he has the magic wands to turn it around.
He called on the Federal Government to arrest the situation before it gets out of hands.
He said if the government can check the falling rate, stem the tide and restore the dignity of the naira against the dollar, the country will be better for it.
Also speaking, Mr. Matthew Oshodin, decried the high cost of living in the country which is made worse by the fuel subsidy removal.
He said Nigerians are currently finding it difficult to cope rising from the high cost of fuel that has robbed off on every other aspect of the economy.
Oshodin further used the medium to call on the federal government to fix up the nation’s moribund refineries rather than sharing N5 billion as palliatives to states.
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