Press focuses on $2.5bn monthly loss by Nigeria for failing to meet OPEC quota of 1.8mbd, others

The report of the Nigeria Employers' Consultative Association that Nigeria has been losing about $2.5bn monthly for failing to meet…

The report of the Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association that Nigeria has been losing about $2.5bn monthly for failing to meet the 1.8m barrel per day crude oil production allocation by the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries is one of the trending stories in Nigerian newspapers on Friday.The Punch reports that the Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association has stated that the country has been losing about $2.5bn monNigeria for thly for failing to meet the 1.8m barrel per day crude oil production allocation by the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries.

In a statement, the Director-General of NECA, Mr. Adewale-Smatt Oyerinde, claimed that though the country’s crude oil production grew by 4.2 per cent to 1.23 million barrels per day in December 2022, it was still short.

He stated still a 0.57 million barrel per day shortfall, which translated to about $2.5bn monthly loss for the country.

According to him, oil theft seemed to continue unabated and the unsustainable subsidy on petroleum products had joined to reduce the government’s revenue, leading to absurd debt accumulation.

He said that misalignment between the fiscal and monetary policies, which were deflating investors’ confidence, has made the country unattractive for Foreign Direct Investments.

“Crude oil production grew in the month of December 2022 by 4.2 per cent month-on-month to 1.23m barrel per day, but remained significantly short of the 1.8m barrel per day allocated by OPEC to the nation, amounting to about $2.5bn loss monthly at an average of $100pb,” he remarked.

The newspaper says that the Indian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Shri Balasubramanian, has disclosed that over 135 Indian companies have so far invested $19bn in Nigeria in the last four decades of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Balasubramanian, who disclosed during a courtesy visit to the agency, expressed his thrill at the India-Nigeria mutual bilateral relations.

The high commissioner noted that India and Nigeria have enjoyed a healthy relationship, and his visit was geared towards consolidating these ties and deepening news and cultural programme exchanges between both countries.

“There are over 135 Indian companies, which have invested about $19bn in Nigeria over a period of years, not in one year, but for the past four decades.

“Most of them are in Lagos. They are in every part of Nigeria and are in the manufacturing sector of the economy, steel, oil and gas or pharmaceuticals.

“$3 billion dollars of that is in pharmaceuticals manufactured in Nigeria by Indian companies. There is a strong relationship we have in pharmaceuticals and other business activities.”

According to him, the country is home to about 60, 000 Indians who are living and who have made Nigeria their home for the past four decades.

The envoy also promised to strengthen the relationship between his country and Nigeria, with the assistance of NAN management.

He said that Nigeria’s invitation as a guest participant to the G20 Summit scheduled for 2023 in India would form a unique opportunity to showcase the priority of developing countries to the world.

The Guardian reports that former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, yesterday, refuted claims that he wanted a third term as President of the country, noting that he would have, if he did.

Obasanjo, who stated this at a virtual engagement organised by Africa Leadership Group, which has as theme, “Leadership and nation-building,” and anchored by Pastor Itua Ighodalo, said, “I never asked for a third term. If I wanted a third term, I would have got it. I am audacious enough to know how to get it.”

He noted that getting debt relief for the country, which was almost impossible, was a pointer, as he “got it.”

He, however, stated that the biggest problem of Africa today is leadership, saying it imparts on governance and nation building.

According to him, “Nigeria is where we are because of leadership. We must decisively look for men and women who have the character, attributes, skill and attitude that we need for leadership that will deliver this country.”

When asked if he would mobilise former head of states to support the candidature of the Labour Party’s Peter Obi, having given him an open endorsement, Obasanjo said he would not go on campaign train for anybody.

“I am not on his campaign train. I do not belong to any political party. I will not join any campaign train. I’ve said what is best for the country.”

Speaking on the Nigerian Constitution, Obasanjo called for an amendment, noting that no constitution is perfect. “Some people blame the constitution for everything in Nigeria. Of course, our constitution is not perfect, and there is no constitution that is sacrosanct and it can be amended.”

The newspaper says that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has extended the deadline for collection of Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) nationwide by one week.

The electoral umpire had fixed January 22 as ultimatum after the facilities were devolved to the wards and registration areas to ease collection by registrants.

The National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, in a statement, yesterday, said the decision was taken at the end of the Commission’s regular meeting, where the issue and others were deliberated.

He said INEC was encouraged by the turnout of registered voters and the surge in the number of collected PVCs across the federation.

Okoye said: “In some of the states, as many as 100,000 PVCs were collected in the last five days since the devolution to ward level started on January 6, 2023. The Commission is determined to ensure that registered voters have ample opportunity to collect their PVCs ahead of the forthcoming elections.

“For this reason, the timeframe for collection of PVCs is extended by eight (seven) days. Instead of ending on January 22, 2023, the collection of PVCs will continue until January 29, 2023. At the moment, the period of collection is 9.00a.m. to 3.00p.m. daily (including Saturdays and Sundays).

“As a result of this extension, there is a consequential adjustment of the collection by location as follows: Collection at Registration Area (Ward) level is extended by one a week from January 16 to 22, 2023.

“Collection at Local Government level will resume on January 23 to 29, 2023.”

He added that the Commission was investigating allegations of extortion by officials at some of the collection centres and inducement by some unscrupulous voters to circumvent processes to obtain their PVCs.

Those found culpable, Okoye said, will face disciplinary action and/or prosecution.

He continued: “Similarly, the Commission is disturbed by allegations of discriminatory issuance of PVCs in some locations. This is against the law. All bonafide registrants are entitled to their PVCs and to use them to vote on Election Day in any part of the country, where they are registered.

“Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) have been directed to ensure that no such practices occur nationwide and take immediate disciplinary action against violators.

“For the record, the Commission has printed 13,868,441 PVCs for all new valid registrants as well as applicants for transfer or replacement of cards.

“Nevertheless, issuing officers should compile any complaint about non-availability of cards and forward them to their immediate supervisors for the attention of RECs, who shall compile and forward them for necessary action.”

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