Aso Villa Reads for 20/03/2019
Every day, we bring you the best stories that the Media is reporting about the Government of Nigeria
“The Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) has declared that the federal government does not intend to sell the Lagos International Trade Fair Complex (LITFC), but would rather concession the facility through a competitive transaction process. The privatisation agency’s clarification followed the alleged closure of LITFC by the traders’ associations operating in the complex and the protest by the said associations over the purported sale of the facility. In a statement issued yesterday, the BPE said: “For the avoidance of doubt, the Bureau states that the Federal Government of Nigeria through the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), does not intend to sell the complex, rather the facility would be concessioned through a competitive transaction process. “It’s for this reason that the government has procured the services of Messrs Feedback Infrastructure Services to advise on the way forward for the proposed concession. It is apt to inform the public that the Bureau on Friday, March 1, 2019, met with the entire traders’ associations to explain the essence of the planned concession,” the statement issued by BPE’s Head, Public Communication, Amina Tukur Othman, said.” This Day expounded that “the Bureau had on August 23, 2017, placed a Caveat Emptor in some national newspapers in the country wherein, it stated that the lease agreement that was hitherto executed by the FGN in favour of Aulic Nigeria Limited had been validly terminated and possession reverted to the FGN with effect from August 23, 2017. With that, members of the public were warned that “any purported allotment, buying, selling, letting, leasing, charging, and subdivision, construction upon or dealings in connection with the said property and parcels of land in any other manner howsoever without the written permission of the FGN represented by the BPE is unlawful, illegal, fraudulent and amounts to trespass.””
Business Day (Wednesday 20 March, 2019, page 7) reports that the “Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) says it has received five bids for the privatisation of Yola Electricity Distribution Company (YEDC), and Afam Electricity Company by prospective core investors. The bids were received last Friday- the deadline for the submission of technical and financial proposals for the acquisition of the two firms- Quest Electricity Nigeria Limited and Sandstream Nigeria.” According to the report, Director General of BPE Alex Okoh “assured the bidders that the evaluation of their bids would be subjected to the highest level of integrity culminating into the financial bids opening of the successful bidders. Okoh said that the Evakuation Committee would meet immediately to discuss and finanlise the scoring criteria before commencing the evaluation process between March 18 and 21, 2019.”
“The Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, has said Nigeria will reap enormous economic benefits if the proposed bill on the establishment of Chartered Computer Forensics Institute of Nigeria sails through. Dr. Onu said the Executive Order 5 would enable Nigerian professionals in various fields who have the necessary skills and ability to benefit from a knowledge and innovation driven economy being promoted by the Federal Government. Dr. Onu further said the establishment of a Chartered Forensic Institute in Nigeria would also enable Nigerian professionals rather than to handle forensic investigations. The Minister stated that Forensic Technology is another avenue for Nigerian scientists, researchers, Innovators and Stakeholders in the sector to key in to aid cyber-crime investigations in Nigeria”. Daily Trust reported this.
Premium Times reports that “the federal government will auction by subscription N100 billion worth of bonds on March 27, the Debt Management Office (DMO) says. The DMO said in a circular on its website on Tuesday in Abuja, that the five-year re-opening bonds of N40 billion to mature in April 2023 was offered at 12.75 per cent. It said that the seven-year re-opening bonds also of N40 billion to mature in March 2025 would be auctioned at 13.53 per cent. It added that the 10-year bonds, also re-opening, of N20 billion which would be due in Feb. 2028, would be auctioned at 13.98 per cent. According to the DMO, units of sale is N1,000 per unit, subject to a minimum subscription of N50 million and in multiples of N1,000 thereafter. The DMO explained that the bonds are backed by the full faith and credit of the Nigerian Government, with interest payable semi-annually to bondholders, while bullet repayment will be made on maturity date. Nigeria issues sovereign bonds monthly to support the local bond market, create a benchmark for corporate issuance and fund its budget deficit.”
“The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has revealed that Nigeria’s crude oil blend — the Bonny Light — was among the top price earners in its February Oil price Reference Basket (ORB), with a 7.7 per cent price gain from where it previously traded in January. OPEC in the March edition of its Monthly Oil Market Report (MOMR), published on its website, explained that on the average the Bonny Light traded for $65.19 per barrel in February, up from the $60.51 that it was in January. It indicated that there was a $4.68 gain in this regards.” According to This Day other blends in the OPEC ORB that did well alongside Nigeria’s Bonny Light were Angola’s Girassol blend which recorded an 8.9 per cent price movement from $59.98 per barrel in January to $65.30 and thus making a gain of $5.32.”
The Central Bank of Nigeria “on Monday began talks with key players across the palm oil value chain- including state governments, banks, as well as other stakeholders to map out a sustainable strategy that will resuscitate the country’s moribund palm oil industry under its Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP).” According to Business Day (Wednesday 20 March, 2019, page 9), “the strategy involves among other things, a loan programme for industry participants at not more than 9 per cent interest rate, Godwin Emefiele, CBN governor, said at a meeting that had governors of Abia State, Okezie Ikpeazu; Akwa Ibom, Emmanuel Udom, as well as Edo, Godwin Obaseki, present.” The CBN chief said that “the meeting was enlarged to include state governors and other top government officials from the oil producing states to elicit their buy-in and set a partnership model that would, with immediate effect, stimulate investments in the palm oil plantations, such that within the next three to five years, the gobal share of Nigeria’s oil production would more than double.”
“The Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr. Maikanti Baru, has said the corporation is considering extending the ongoing Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano (AKK) gas pipeline system across the Sahara to Algeria in North Africa. The NNPC GMD disclosed this during a courtesy call on him by the Petroleum Technology Association of Nigeria (PETAN) executives in Abuja, yesterday.” Daily Trust reports that “the AKK gas pipeline, Daily Trust reports, is designed to enable gas connectivity between the East, West and North of the country, which is currently inadequate. It would also enable gas supply and utilization to key commercial centres in the Northern corridor of Nigeria. Dr. Baru said during the visit that the expansion plan was in furtherance of NNPC’s African integration drive. The GMD, also reaffirmed the Federal Government’s plan to also extend the West African Gas Pipeline (WAGP) to Morocco. Nigeria and the Kingdom of Morocco had in June 2018 in Rabat, signed agreements, for a regional gas pipeline that will see Nigeria providing gas to countries in the West African sub-region that extend to Morocco and Europe. The Nigeria Morocco Gas Pipeline (NMGP) designed to be 5,660km long, will reduce gas flaring in Nigeria and encourage diversification of energy resources in the country”.
According to This Day, “following the successful completion of the general election, which has since seen the deceleration of political risks in the country, portfolio investors are presently taking advantage of Nigeria’s attractive fixed income instruments. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) last week held its first Primary Market Auction (PMA) for the month of March. The auction was for instruments across three tenors (91-day, 182-day, and 364-day). It also held an open market operation (OMO) auction for only the 91-day tenor during the week. For the treasury bills’ PMA, a report by analysts at Afrinvest Securities Limited, disclosed that investor interest was upbeat as all tenors were oversubscribed with bids-offers settling at 2.87 times, 3.32 times and 7.67 times for the 91-day; 182-day and 364-day instruments.”