The Senate Committee on Petroleum Downstream said the country spent over ₦11 trillion as payment for outstanding subsidy claims in the last six years. The Chairman of the committee, Kabir Marafa announced this following the adoption of the report of the committee the Promissory Note Programme and a Bond Issuance for Oil Marketers Outstanding Claims and the approval of the payment of ₦129 billion as outstanding subsidy claims to 67 petroleum marketers. However, the committee did not give details of how the ₦11 trillion was spent on subsidy claims. The Senate had on Tuesday approved the sum of ₦69 billion as oil subsidy claim for Premium Motor Spirit for 19 oil marketers. Marafa observed that there were differences in submissions made by the Federal Ministry of Finance, PPPRA, and oil marketers. The report pointed out that all the subsidy arrears claims were based on three interrelated elements: subsidy, forex differentials and bank interests on unpaid claims.

The Committee of Banks’ Chief Executive Officers in Nigeria has called for the cooperation of all banks in collaboration to identify and go tougher on chronic debt defaulters. The effort in ensuring the debtors pay their debts should go beyond publishing names of such defaulters in national media, and involve all banks speaking with one voice, sharing information about those entities, and refusing to do further business with them until they settled their obligations, the committee said. The CEOs also condemned the actions of bad debtors who now resort to smear campaigns against banks and their chief executives in order to either delay repaying loans or avoid meeting their debt obligations completely. The CEOs, during a meeting in Lagos to review what it called the “harassment and criminalisation of banks’ CEOs by law enforcement agencies,” noted that chronic bank debtors were now in the habit of enlisting law enforcement agencies including police, judiciary and state securities to harass and criminalise banks’ CEO, which the committee find unacceptable. The NBS had put the Nigerian bank’s non-performing loans at ₦2.245 trillion as of the end of September 2018. 

Nosak Distilleries, an ethanol refining firm and a subsidiary of Nosak Group has acquired 6,000 hectares of land in Edo State with a view to enhancing the cassava industry value chain. The move, according to the firm was in quest to source raw materials locally for its ethanol refinery. The Group Executive Director, Corporate Services, Nosak Distilleries, Osagie Ogunbor, announced this against the backdrop of the fourth Cassava and Starch Africa Summit with the theme, ‘Driving Sustainable Development Through Innovative Value Chains.’ The Nosak Group, Ogunbor said, was expanding the frontiers through an investment of over ₦5 billion in the acquisition of farmlands for its backward integration scheme as well as planting with a capacity of 100,000 litres per day of ethanol. The acquisition of over 19,000 hectares in the state for plantation purposes will enable the Group to grow three of its subsidiaries: Premier Plantations for cassava plantation and conversion to ethanol for Nosak Distilleries, while Nosak Farm Produce and Saturn Farms will increase its plantation base for palm oil, milling, and refining.

Data from the NNPC shows that the Kaduna Refining and Petrochemical Company did not refine any crude oil from February 2018 to January 2019. The last time the Port Harcourt Refining Company was functional was June 2018 when it processed 237,875 metric tonnes of crude, while the KRPC processed 21,855MT in January 2018. According to the NNPC’s monthly financial and operations report for January 2019, out of the refineries managed by the state oil firm, only the Warri Refining and Petrochemical Company was able to process some volume of crude oil throughout 2018. The report showed that between January 2018 and January this year, the WRPC only recorded zero capacity utilisation in January, September and October, in 2018. The Warri refinery processed 104,459MT of crude and posted a capacity utilisation of 19.76 percent in January this year. The combined capacity utilisation of the refineries in January this year was 5.5 percent.