Spot demand was slim owing to the Chinese New Year holiday along with fears the coronavirus will dampen fuel needs in China, a major West African crude buyer, according to Reuters. Asian jet fuel prices have dropped and refiners’ profits for the product have slumped to the lowest in more than 2-½ years, while industry analysts are cutting their 2020 forecasts for jet fuel and overall oil demand. Nigerian oil producer Aiteo has repaired the Nembe Creek Trunk Line which transports Bonny Light crude, traders said. Aiteo did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Shell, which operates Bonny Light exports, has not yet lifted force majeure, the traders added. Shell did not immediately have a comment.
Transport Minister, Rotimi Amaechi said President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the building of two new seaports He made this known while speaking on “Railway Infrastructure: Progress and Plan” at the 2020 national economic outlook in Lagos, on Tuesday. The minister said the new seaports will in Bonny, Rivers State, and in Warri, Delta State. He added that Buhari has also assured him that a railway will be constructed from Port Harcourt, to Maiduguri, capital of Borno State. He said the security of Nigerian waters and cargo will be enhanced. Amaechi disclosed that three helicopters, two aeroplanes, and four to six drones will be provided for maritime security. “We are trying to put in place, three helicopters, two aeroplanes, four to six drones, 24 hours, we will be in the air, watching Nigerian waters from Lagos to Calabar,” he said.
MTN Group said it plans to invest an additional $1.6 billion to strengthen the infrastructure of its Nigerian subsidiary. The company’s group Chairman, Mcebisi Jonas, stated this on Tuesday when he paid a courtesy call to President Buhari in Abuja. President Buhari has assured MTN of the government’s support in terms of providing enabling business environment. In a statement, he said: “I am pleased to hear of the progress you are making in Nigeria, especially in supporting our digital inclusion programs. Your proposed projects, such as the rural telephony project, will surely complement our economic diversification and financial inclusion programs by connecting the producers based in rural areas to consumers located in our major towns and cities. Nigeria is Africa’s largest telecommunications market and MTN’s largest market.
The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission has shut down Chinese-owned Panda Supermarket in Abuja as part of measures to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus. The commission said in a series of tweets that it had confiscated some frozen food items illegally imported from the Asian country as it closed down the stores in Jabi district for cautionary reasons. The FCCPC said the food items had expiry dates of 2013 and 2017 on them, which further aroused suspicion that they were not certified by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control. The agency said it was working on credible reports that the Panda supermarket discriminated and had a concealed area for Asian nationals, which it confirmed. The Nigerian government had earlier in the week spoken of its readiness to strengthen surveillance at five international airports in the country to prevent the spread of Coronavirus. The Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, said the government would also set up an inter-multisectoral committee to scale up surveillance and vigilance.