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Thursday, 04 April 2019

Three years after exiting Nigeria’s oil downstream sector, US oil giant Exxon Mobil is reportedly considering the sales of its onshore and offshore assets.

Reuters reports the potential disposals could raise up to $3 billion or N1.07 trillion as the oil giant focuses on new developments in U.S shale and Guyana

“Exxon is actively divesting in Nigeria,” Reuters quoted a source to have said.

Some of the assets listed in the planned sale include oil mining leases (OML) 66, 68, 70 and 104, where the company runs joint venture (JV) operations with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) through its subsidiaries, Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited (MPN) and Esso Exploration and Production Nigeria Ltd. (EEPNL).

ExxonMobil is one of the largest oil and gas producers in Nigeria with 106 operated platforms.

In 2017, the Texas-based company said on its website that its output in Nigeria reached 225,000 barrels per day (bpd)


Officials of the company have reportedly held talks with indigenous companies to gauge their interest in the fields.

The Nigerian government has in the last decade supported a drive by domestic firms such as Oando, Seplat and privately held Aiteo to expand their operations in the country as international companies including Royal Dutch Shell sought to lower their presence due to oil spills resulting from pipeline sabotage.

Exxon recently launched the sale of its stake in Azerbaijan’s largest oilfield, which would mark its retreat from the former Soviet state after 25 years.

Exxon announced earlier this year plans to boost its capital spending from $26 billion in 2018 to $30 billion in 2019 and up to $35 billion next year as it seeks to develop oilfields in Guyana and the U.S. Permian basin as well as gas projects in Mozambique and the U.S. Gulf Coast.

In an analyst presentation last month, Exxon said it would accelerate its divestments to around $15 billion by 2021.

It is looking into offering for sale assets in Equatorial Guinea and Chad.

Published in Business

The National Judicial Commission (NJC) has concluded investigation into allegations of misconduct levelled against suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria, NJC, and the acting NJC, Tanko Muhammad and has forwarded its recommendation to President Muhammadu Buhari.

The NJC, however, failed to disclose contents of the recommendations of their findings to Buhari, but said it had taken a decision on the matter.

The body had set up a five-man panel to investigate allegations against Onnoghen and Muhammad.

According to a statement by NJC’s Director of Information, Soji Oye, on Wednesday, the body said its findings and recommendation had been forwarded to Buhari for appropriate action.

According to the statement, the National Judicial Council reconvened on Wednesday in an emergency meeting to consider the report of the Five-man Committee constituted to investigate the allegations of misconduct made against Onnoghen and Muhammad.

“Council decided that the allegations relating to assets declaration that were levelled against Hon. Mr. Justice W. S. N. Onnoghen, GCON were subjudice and therefore abstained from considering them.

“Council reached a decision on the petitions written by Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and others and conveyed its decision to President Muhammadu Buhari,” it stated

Published in World

An e-commerce platform, Jiji has announced the acquisition of OLX in Ghana and four other counties in Africa.

The details of the deal was made available via a statement by Naspers on Wednesday.

Consequently, OLX users in Ghana would be directed to Jiji marketplace in a transaction backed by one of Jiji’s cornerstone investors, Digital Spring Ventures.

According to the statement, both companies have also reached an agreement to acquire the other OLX businesses in Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda, subject to regulatory approvals.

The statement noted that all users of the sell-and-buy classifieds websites of OLX Nigeria, OLX Ghana, OLX Kenya, OLX Tanzania, and OLX Uganda would be redirected to Jiji.

The Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of Jiji, Anton Volyansky, while making comment on the deal, said, “Users will always come first for us. We warmly welcome OLX’s customers to the Jiji family and we look forward to our new customers joining Jiji on its …online shopping experience.”

OLX shut down business in Nigeria last year February while it maintained its online marketplace as workers were laid off.

Published in Business

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.

Published in News Economy

Embraer has signed a firm order for 10 E195-E2 jets with Air Peace, Nigeria’s largest airline. The order was announced today, during the Embraer’s Africa Airline Business Seminar, in Mauritius. With this order, Air Peace will become the first E-Jets E2 operator in Africa.

The contract includes purchase rights for a further 20 E195-E2. With all purchase rights being exercised, the contract has a value of USD 2.12 billion, based on current list prices. The order will be included in Embraer’s 2019 second-quarter backlog.

Air Peace has grown rapidly since it commenced flight operations in 2014 and is now the largest airline in West Africa. The airline intends to address the significant untapped demand in the African market with the E195-E2, the newest, most efficient, and most comfortable aircraft in the segment.

Air Peace Chairman/CEO, Mr. Allen Onyema, said, “Embraer’s new E195-E2 presents us with a marvel of economic performance. It’s also great that we will be the first E2 operator on the African continent. We already have the ERJ145s in our fleet, so we understand the high standards of Embraer products.”

“Air Peace embodies the kind of pioneering spirit that Embraer loves. The airline was established to bring highly skilled work opportunities to the people of Nigeria and to boost connectivity, which in turn significantly contributed to the economy in the region. Air Peace has delivered successfully on both aims, and has become a fast growing successful airline. It’s great to now have them onboard the E2 as well” said Arjan Meijer, Chief Commercial Officer, Embraer Commercial Aviation.

Meijer continued, “The market in Africa presents significant opportunities for airlines to deliver the connectivity that the whole continent needs. Aircraft however must be right-sized to develop those routes profitably; more than 90% of intra-African flights depart with fewer than 150 passengers onboard. And more than 70% of markets are served with less than one flight per day.”

Air Peace subsidiary, Air Peace Hopper, started operating six ERJ145 last year on short thin routes. That experience with Embraer’s products, and the undeniable economic benefits of right-sizing aircraft for the mission, was a key factor in selecting the E2.

Embraer is the world’s leading manufacturer of commercial jets up to 150 seats. The Company has 100 customers from all over the world operating the ERJ and E-Jet families of aircraft. For the E-Jets program alone, Embraer has logged more than 1,800 orders and 1,500 deliveries, redefining the traditional concept of regional aircraft.


- TravelDailyNews

Published in Travel & Tourism
Thursday, 04 April 2019 09:05

East battles south over ivory trade ban

Kenya wants the entire population of elephants in Africa afforded the strictest possible protection.

Currently, only elephants in East Africa are placed under Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), a listing that gives them absolute protection. This means that their parts can only be imported or exported for scientific research.

Elephants in southern Africa, on the other hand, are listed in Appendix II, which allows limited trade in their specimens. However, this could change if the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) submission to CITES to place all elephants under Appendix I is approved. Appendix I lists species that are the most endangered.

KWS Spokesperson Paul Gathitu says that the current diverse tiers of protection that allowed Southern African states to trade in selected elephant products have hindered efforts to control the ivory trade that decimated African elephant populations in eastern Africa before CITES members placed them under the most stringent protection.

Kenya’s proposal pits it against southern Africa countries that want restrictions slackened. South Africa, Botswana, Namibia and Zimbabwe have proposed an amendment that will remove restrictions and allow for international trade in registered raw ivory from elephants from their countries. But Kenya’s conservationists worry that this might drive demand for ivory from across the continent when it needs to be eliminated.

“We are asking for a transfer of the populations of Botswana, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe from Appendix II to Appendix I. We want them to stop trading in specimens of elephants,” says Mr Gathitu.


In their submissions to CITES, South African countries have argued that their populations are relatively stable. However, Mr Gathitu says that in the absence of a total ban, elephant parts are being moved from countries with unsustainable populations, to those with sustainable populations, before being shipped to markets overseas.

“The black market has continued to thrive because some countries are allowed to sell, complicating the poaching crisis for the rest of us,” says Mr Gathitu, adding that CITES needs to come up with ways of dealing with ivory stockpiles.

But the proposals to CITES are only a fraction of the battle, with the real battle awaiting East African States at the 18th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (CoP) in Colombo, Sri Lanka, where the African elephant range countries will battle it out for a position, between 23rd May and 3rd June, 2019.

At the same conference, Kenya, together with 30 other African states, will also push for giraffes to receive special protection.

According to the African Wildlife Foundation’s Vice President for Species Protection Philip Muruthi, the reticulated giraffe, one of Kenya’s signature wildlife species, has declined steadily and is now considered endangered. Maasai and Rothschild giraffes make up the remainder of Kenya’s total giraffe population, which has declined by up to 67 per cent since the 1970s.

Already, in a new report by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the giraffe has been moved from the list of “Least Concern” to “Vulnerable” in its Red List of Threatened Species.

Around the continent, two sub-species of the giraffe have been reclassified as “Critically Endangered”. Despite their decline, hunting remains legal in countries such as South Africa, Namibia and Zimbabwe, with tourists from Russia, the US and European countries such as Germany paying thousands of dollars for hunting safaris.

“It is a fierce battle,” says Mr Gathitu, adding that Kenya is calling on the EU to back its proposal.


- Daily Nation Kenya

Published in Travel & Tourism
  1. Opinions and Analysis


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