Data from the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries showed that Nigeria, Africa’s top oil producer, generated $206.06 billion in revenue from crude oil exports in the last five years. According to the detail in OPEC’s 2020 Annual Statistical Bulletin, Nigeria’s oil export revenue fell to $45.11 billion in 2019 from $54.51 billion in 2018. The country earned $37.98 billion from oil exports in 2017, compared to $27.29 billion in 2016 and $41.17 billion in 2015. The country was the fifth biggest revenue-earner last year in OPEC after Saudi Arabia $202.37 billion, Iraq $80.03 billion, Kuwait $52.43bn and the United Arab Emirates $49.64bn. Exports of Nigeria’s crude oil to Europe plunged to 680,600 barrels per day in 2019 from 1.06 million bpd in 2018, according to the report. The total volume of oil exported to North America, according to the data, plumped by 84 per cent to 27,500 bpd in 2019 while exports to Africa fell by 15.77 per cent to 260,700bpd. The country’s exports to Asia and the Pacific rose by 71.72 per cent to 664,900 bpd in 2019, while exports to the Middle East jumped from zero to 122,300bpd. The loss was not witnessed by Nigeria alone as the cartel’s 13 members suffered an 18.4 per cent contraction in their oil export revenue in 2019 on slumping prices, the report showed. The price of Brent crude, the international oil benchmark, averaged $64 per barrel in 2019, down from $71 per barrel in 2018, according to the US Energy Information Agency. The value of OPEC petroleum export revenue fell to $564.9 billion in 2019 from $692.3 billion in 2018 as weak demand growth and continued competition from non-OPEC producers impacted the group. According to S&P Global Platts, the figures demonstrate the financial pain OPEC was already facing even before the coronavirus pandemic wiped out nearly a fifth of global oil demand in the second quarter of 2020. OPEC cut its production by 1.86 million bpd, or six per cent, last year, while non-OPEC output grew by 1.3 million bpd, or 2.9 per cent, the report showed.

Nigeria’s Senate on Tuesday passed a bill prescribing life jail for persons who commit offences of kidnapping. The law had hitherto stipulated only 10 years of jail term for kidnappers. The Senate amended the Criminal Code Act; passing a stiffer punishment of life imprisonment for kidnappers against the provision of Section 364 of the Principal Act which recommended a maximum of 10 years imprisonment. In amending the Criminal Act, the upper legislative chamber also removed the gender restrictions in the offence of rape. The section defines rape as an offence against women. Going by the amendment, the red chamber deleted the Statute of Limitation on defilement which bars prosecution of offence after two months from the date of commission of the offence. The Senate said the amendment and passage of the bill became necessary due to incessant cases of kidnapping, rape and defilement across the country. It also observed that the statute of limitation runs contrary to the Principle of Natural Law, equity and good conscience.

Chevron Nigeria, an operator of the joint venture between the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and CNL, has sealed an agreement, directed at buying Sasol Middle East and India Limited shares in Chevron Sasol EGTL. The General Manager, Policy, Government and Public Affairs, CNL, Esimaje Brikinn, confirming the development said the agreement will see Sasol Middle East and India (Pty), sell its shares in Chevron Sasol EGTL, to Chevron. Going by the deal, Sasol’s indirect interest in the Escravos gas-to-liquids asset will now be held by CNL. He added that the EGTL, together with the Escravos Gas Plant (EGP3), provides a reliable flares-out solution and remains a critical part of the overall NNPC/CNL Joint Venture gas commercialization strategy.

African Union-brokered talks ended without an agreement on a disputed dam project on the Nile River’s main tributary, potentially ratcheting up tensions between two key U.S. allies on the continent. Competition for the Nile Basin’s freshwater has been growing markedly for three decades with the negotiations over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam in Ethiopia have again foundered over the pace at which the country plans to fill the 74 billion cubic meter reservoir, stoking Egypt’s concern that it will lose control over its water supply to a regional upstream rival. According to sources, the countries and mutual neighbour Sudan will submit final reports to the African Union-led by South Africa, on Tuesday. The talks, Egypt’s Irrigation Ministry said, had concluded with continuing differences on the main issues regarding the filling and operation of the dam. The Horn of Africa nation has asserted what it says is its right to fill the reservoir, which is associated with a 6,000-megawatt power plant, at its own pace. However, Egypt regards an agreement as crucial before damming can begin. This is even as the Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed stands to lose support at home if he doesn’t move ahead with filling the dam, which he describes as vital for the nation’s economic development. In a letter dated 29 June to the Security Council, Egypt vowed to “uphold and protect the vital interests of its people” as it would see any unilateral filling as a threat to regional peace and security. In the 1970s, Egypt’s then-leader Anwar Sadat threatened war if the dam was built. Ethiopia wants disputes to be sorted out between Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan and if that fails, within the African Union. Egypt wants the right to appeal to international bodies such as the UN. Sudan has expressed similar concerns to Egypt over the construction and plans for the use of the dam as Ethiopia has long claimed its neighbours have no reason to fear an impact of Nile flows and says high rainfall make this year a propitious time for filling.