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Press focuses on no magic in power supply pledge by new power minister, others

The warning by the new power minister that Nigerians should not expect magic in the provision of adequate electricity supply…

The warning by the new power minister that Nigerians should not expect magic in the provision of adequate electricity supply in the country and the condemnation of the directive to telecommunication companies to shutdown all telecommunications services in Zamfara State due to security situation in the state are some of the trending stories in Nigerian newspapers on Tuesday.The Guardian reports that Nigerians have been told not to expect magic in the provision of adequate electricity supply.

The new Minister of Power, Abubakar Aliyu, during his official assumption of duties yesterday in Abuja, stated: No, I am not a magician, but I am here to add value to what is being done.”

He charged heads of parastatals and agencies under him to translate their titles into providing a constant electricity supply for the citizens.

The minister urged the ministry staff to be dedicated to the task ahead, pointing out that he was in the saddle to assist them to deliver their job.

He canvassed cooperation to make him and other members of the team succeed, stating: “ I like good character and honesty, as I have never lied and will not want anyone to do that to me.”

Earlier, the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Otun Emmanuel, refreshed the memories of all that the staff and relevant agencies have been working as a team to deliver President Muhammadu Buhari’s mandate by ensuring availability and affordability of electricity across the federation.

ThisDay says that a group, Media Rights Agenda (MRA), has condemned the directive by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to telecommunications’ companies to immediately shutdown all telecommunications services in Zamfara State as a result of the “encompassing security situation” in the state.

It described the measure as an unwarranted and unjustifiable interference with the rights to freedom of expression and access to information.

In a statement issued in Lagos yesterday, the MRA Communications Officer, Mr. Idowu Adewale, alleged that the NCC, which is supposed to be a regulatory agency, has increasingly become a tool in the hands of the federal government for to indiscriminately violate the rights of Nigerians.

The statement added: “Such purported exercise of power without regard to deny communications services not only to the residents of Zamfara State, but also to other people elsewhere who have family members, friends, loved one as well as other social or business relations in the state. The denial of the right to communicate with others without judicial or any other form of independent oversight cannot be justified under any circumstance.”

The statement observed that there was already ample support for this proposition from the Nigerian experience when in 2013, the government also shut down telecommunications services in three states in the North-east-Adamawa, Borno and Yobe-to ostensibly disrupt Boko Haram’s communication capacity and its ability to use telecommunications to plan, coordinate and launch terrorist attacks.

The Punch reports that the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Mele Kyari, has said that the earliest the corporation can issue its Initial Public Offer to investors is in the next three years.

The NNPC boss disclosed this on Monday during an interview on Bloomberg TV Global Financial News monitored by our correspondent. The announcement is one of the outcomes of the Petroleum Industry Act recently signed on the state-owned corporation in the global market.

Speaking on the impact of the PIA on the NNPC, Kyari said the corporation would now be operated in line with the Companies and Allied Act.

However, he stated that the NNPC may not be able to offer its shares to the public by 2022 or 2023 due to certain bottlenecks that had lingered over the years.

Kyari said, “We will be in the position to consider any IPO in three years’ time; that is the provision of the law. “But when you want to get ready for IPO, you need to do things different. You need to get your books correct; you need to recapitalise; you need to shape your portfolio and many more things that you have to do until you get IPO ready.

The Guardian says that the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment has frowned at the recently enacted Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) stating that it tampered significantly with some statutory roles of the Ministry.

The Minister of Industry, Trade, and Investment, Adeniyi Adebayo disclosed this yesterday while inaugurating a technical committee to review the Act in Abuja.

Adebayo said: “As a ministry, some of our roles as they relate to the administration of the pre-shipment inspection and the Nigerian Export Supervision Scheme (NESS) had hitherto been under the Ministry of Finance, and are now under the new commission in the Petroleum Industry Act.”

He stressed the need for the ministry to leverage the window provided by the review of the Act to enable it to play a more significant role under the scheme in line with its mandate.

He has directed the committee to review the PIA 2021 and its implications on the statutory responsibilities of the ministry. Essentially, the technical committee headed by the Director, Legal Services at the Ministry, Muhammed Danjuma Alhassan will among other things, review the PIA and its implication for the oil and gas export permit being issued to exporters by CED.

The newspaper reports that Nigeria’s foreign trade deficit narrowed by 110.9 per cent to N1.87 trillion in the second quarter (Q2) compared with the first quarter on account of an increase in the value of oil export.

The export value is 75 percent higher than the N2.91 billion recorded the previous quarter (Q1). The improvement came from sharp increase in crude export, which rose by 111.3 percent, from N1.93 trillion posted in Q1 to 4.08 trillion.

Oil sales accounted for 80.3 per cent of the country’s exports, narrowing the non-oil margin to less than 20 per cent.

The current administration has embarked on an aggressive campaign aimed at increasing the contribution of non-oil exports to reduce the concentration risk caused by crude dominance. There was, however, a moderate increase in key areas of non-oil.

For instance, the value of solid minerals exports increased by 60.1 percent quarter-on-quarter (QoQ) and 852.9 percent year-on-year (YoY) while raw material exports also were by 50 QoQ and 326.6 per cent YoY.

The Sun says that debts owed to Nigerian banks by oil and gas operators as well as power companies have risen above N6 trillion, the latest data obtained from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) have shown.

The energy firms increased their bank debts to N6.14tn as of June 2021 from N5.94tn at the end of 2020.

The N6.14tn represents 28.05 per cent of the N21.89 trillion loans advanced to the private sector by the banks as of June 2021, according to the sectoral analysis of banks’ credit by the CBN. Oil and gas firms, which received the biggest share of the credit from the banks, increased their debt by N140 billion to N5.32 trillion by June 2021 from N5.18trillion in December 2020.

The debt owed by power firms to the banks rose to N823.28billion in June 2021 from N763.22billion in December 2020, the CBN data showed.

Oil firms operating in the downstream, natural gas and crude oil refining subsectors owed N3.99 trillion as of June 2021, up from N3.93trillion at the end of last year, while those in the upstream and services subsectors owed N1.33 trillion as of June 2021, up from N1.25 trillion at the end of 2020.

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