Nigeria has said that it will not relinquish assets to a firm registered in the British Virgin Islands following a court ruling related to a $9 billion gas project dispute. Information Minister Lai Mohammed – addressing journalists alongside the finance minister, attorney general and CBN governor in Abuja – said that the FG is taking all necessary steps to appeal the decision of the UK Court, to seek a stay of execution of the decision, to defend its rights and to protect the assets of the people of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. On his part, the attorney general said he believed the contract signed by a previous administration with P&ID, a little-known firm founded by two Irish businessmen specifically for the project, was “designed essentially to fail right from conception”. Last week the CBN said it would strive to protect the country’s currency reserves following the judgment, though it did not outline measures the bank might take.

Italian oil major, Eni has announced a “significant” gas and condensate discovery, through its affiliate Nigerian Agip Oil Company, in the deeper sequences of the Obiafu-Obrikom fields onshore Nigeria. The find in the Obiafu-41 Deep well amounts to around one trillion cubic feet of gas and 60 million barrels of associated condensate, Eni said, which the discovery has “further potential that will be assessed with the next appraisal campaign”. It said the Obiafu-41 deep well had reached a total depth of 4.374m, encountering an important gas and condensate accumulation within the deltaic sequence of Oligocene age comprising more than 130m of high-quality hydrocarbon-bearing sands. According to Eni, the well can deliver in excess of 100 million standard cubic feet of gas per day and 3,000 barrels of associated condensates per day. It will immediately be put on-stream to increase NAOC’s gas production. The firm has a 20 percent operated interest in NAOC, with NNPC holding a 60 percent stake and Oando holding the remaining 20 percent interest. Present in Nigeria since 1962, Eni’s equity hydrocarbon production from the country amounted to 100,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day in 2018. Eni announced in July that it had found gas and condensate in exploration block 114 offshore Vietnam. In June, Eni announced a fifth oil discovery in one year in Block 15/06, in Angola’s deep offshore. The five discoveries altogether are estimated to contain up to 1.8 billion barrels of light oil in place.

The Nigerian Communications Commission has approved the spectrum for the trial of 5G services in the country. The Executive Vice Chairman of the commission, Umar Danbatta, said that the country had exceeded the 30 percent penetration target set by the National Broadband Plan of 2013 to 2018 and stood at 33.31 percent at the end of June 2019. The NCC, he said, had developed a framework to facilitate the deployment of broadband infrastructure across the country through the licensing of Infrastructure Companies. The framework is also expected to deploy metro and intercity fibre and broadband Point of Access with a minimum capacity of IOG bps across the 774 local government areas of Nigeria. The Research and Development Department of the commission was collaborating with universities and other institutions of higher learning to develop the Information and Communication Technology sector as the NCC would continue to drive and implement policies, projects and programmes aimed at facilitating digital revolution and digital inclusion in Nigeria, Danbatta said.

The FG will expand its current Market Moni/Trader Moni interest-free loan scheme to cover more rural dwellers, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has said during an assessment visit of the loan facility in Keffi, Nasarawa state. The Trader Moni is an initiative from the FG targeted at petty traders who require small capital to start up or boost their businesses. Osinbajo said that President Buhari has given a directive that the programme is extended to all the states. The idea for the extension is to make sure the empowerment initiative of the present administration achieves the intended objective, he said. Last month, the former Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Social Investment Programme Ahmed Ismaeel said that the FG had spent over ₦2 billion in granting soft loans to over 200,000 petty traders through the trader-money initiative. Executive Director of the Bank of Industry, Micro Enterprise, Toyin Adeniji, said 3,000 beneficiaries were enrolled onto the scheme in the past three days.