The full rehabilitation of Nigeria’s four refineries in Port Harcourt, Warri and Kaduna will start in January. NNPC boss, Mele Kyari, unfolded the schedule for the refineries’ during a tour of the Port-Harcourt Refining and Petrochemical Company on Saturday, and said that the corporation is determined to ensure the refineries achieve optimum refining capacity by 2022. During the tour, Mr Kyari reiterated his resolve to make all the refineries to operate at optimal capacities. The repair of the refineries to restore the country’s refining capacity was one Mr Kyari’s cardinal programmes on his agenda as be assumed office in July this year. Rehabilitation or turn around maintenance of the four refineries has swallowed billions of naira since 1999. Despite the expenditure, however, they never work to optimum capacity. Mr Kyari, however, suggests that the situation will be different.
The CBN has announced that it will no longer provide foreign exchange for the importation of cassava, starch, ethanol and all other derivatives into the country. The CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, said this during a meeting with the governors of 20 states at the regulator’s headquarters. The meeting attended by governors from Adamawa, Anambra, Bauchi, Benue, Borno, Edo, Ekiti, Gombe, Imo, Jigawa, Kaduna, Katsina, Kebbi, Lagos, Ogun, Sokoto, and Zamfara, was specifically to get the cooperation of the governors in the area of economic diversification, job creation and poverty reduction based on President Buhari’s directives. Buhari had ordered the regulator to boost production of 10 key commodities; rice, cotton, oil palm, tomato, cassava, poultry, fish, maize, cocoa and livestock/dairy. Emefiele said the ultimate objective was to make states economically viable through enhanced investments by the private sector as he described Nigeria as the world’s largest producer of cassava tubers with 53 million metric tonnes per year. According to the CBN governor, the country imports cassava derivatives with over $600 million each year. Hence, the cassava initiative of the bank is to improve productivity, stabilise prices and encourage local processing to generate employment. The regulator said that it is collaborating with the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture on the production and supply of cassava cultivars that can increase yield up to 40 tonnes. In the area of rice, Emefiele said that the regulator has financed the construction of rice mills to support food self-sufficiency and security and released a total of ₦146 billion to 849,480 farmers across the country in the wet and dry seasons. Emefiele also said that Dangote Farms is constructing five mills, two in Jigawa State and one each in Kebbi, Zamfara and Sokoto as other rice mills financed by the regulator include the WACOT and Labana Rice Mills in Kebbi State, and Umza Rice Mill in Kano.
The Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency has disclosed that the country’s daily petrol consumption dropped from about 61 million litres to 50.22 million litres following the partial closure of Nigeria’s western border with the Benin Republic. A PPPRA spokesman, Kimchi Apollo said that between 5 August and 8 September, the agency observed a marked reduction in the volume of petrol trucked out from inland depots to various parts of the country, where they were needed. From its records, from 5 to 11 August, the volume of petrol trucked out was about 61 million litres, representing the average daily volume trucked out before the border closure. Between 12 and 18 August, there was a 35 percent drop in the volume of petrol trucked out, from the previous week, which it added could be attributed to the reduction of activities at various facilities during the Moslem Sallah holiday. However, from 19 to 25 August 2019, which falls within the period in which the borders were partially closed, the agency recorded an average daily truck out figure of about 57 million litres, which falls below the daily average figure for the week 5 to 11 August 2019.
A multi-donor trust fund managed by the African Development Bank, the Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa, has approved a $500,000 grant to support the development and launch of the Nigeria Energy Access Fund. This new private equity fund is developed by All On, a Nigerian impact investment firm financed by Shell. Emeka Anuforo, the AfDB’s spokesman, said that NEAF will make strategic investments in sustainable energy in Nigeria, particularly in the country’s growing off-grid and mini-grid sectors. The SEFA grant will support specific workstreams to set NEAF in motion and enhance its engagement with private and public sector investors. According to Anuforo, in November 2018, the Board of Directors of the AfDB approved a $200 million package to support the Nigeria Electrification Project, designed to help scale-up green mini-grid solutions with subsidies, among other measures. SEFA’s support to NEAF is aligned with the New Deal on Energy for Africa and the AfDB’s High 5 priorities, especially ‘Light Up and Power Africa’ and ‘Improve the Quality of Lives of Africans.’ The project conforms with the bank’s Energy Sector Strategy and will boost the Nigerian government’s power sector recovery plans.