The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has said it is now focusing on condensates, which are excluded from April 2020 production cuts announced by the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), to curtail the crude oil supply glut and boost the government’s revenue. The Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Mallam Mele Kyari, who spoke during a virtual “Gulf Intelligence Global UAE Energy Forum, 2021,” also explained that the decision by the cartel to compel members and allies to cut production has negatively affected the government’s revenues. However, he stated that the curtailment of crude oil production is in the best interest of the oil market and reiterated the commitment of Nigeria to abide by the output cut agreement, aimed at stabilising the global oil market. He said as of November 2020, Nigeria had actually “over-complied.” On the country’s renewed focus on gas and condensates for revenue generation, he said the country’s plants now produce between 250,000 and 350,000 barrels of condensates daily, while projects to rev up gas production are in the offing. OPEC had on several occasions given deadlines to Nigeria and other countries which failed to comply with the cuts to do so or present a detailed plan and how they intend to achieve their assigned cuts.

The Joint Senate and House of Representatives Committees on the Independent National Electoral Commission and Electoral Matters has proposed an extension to the tenure of Local Government Chairmen, in the Federal Capital Territory, from three to four years as part of a raft of new proposals to the country’s election regulations. The committees equally proposed an upward review of the amount to be spent by candidates seeking elective public office to ₦10 billion. The panel recommended that other elected officials of the six area councils which make up the FCT should equally benefit from the proposed amendment. These proposals are contained in recommended amendments to the Electoral Act, which the committee is prepared to submit before Senators and House of Reps members for consideration and approval later this month. When contacted, the Chairman, Senate Committee on the INEC, Senator Kabiru Gaya, confirmed the proposals. Mr Gaya said that the panel also proposed an upward review of the amount to be spent by candidates seeking elective public office. He said, “We looked at the current situation and we have come to a conclusion that someone contesting election as President of Nigeria should spend more than ₦5 billion. “We have recommended ₦10 billion for the presidential candidate while the amount that could be spent by those contesting elections as governors and legislators have also been reviewed upward. “On personal donations to presidential candidates, we have recommended that an individual could donate up to ₦10 million for a candidate either for the presidential or governorship election because the current ₦1 million benchmark is no longer realistic.”

There was shock and calls for justice in Ibadan, Oyo State, on Thursday, following the alleged killing of a 21-year-old youth, Tosin Thomas, by an officer of the Oyo State Security Network Agency also known as Operation Amotekun. News reports say Thomas was hit by a bullet allegedly fired by a member of Amotekun on Wednesday night while going back home from work. The Police Public Relations Officer in Oyo State, Mr Olugbenga Fadeyi, confirmed the incident in a statement. He said, “A report was received from one Alamu Timothy ‘m’ at Mokola Police Station today 14/01/2021 about 0910 HRS, and alleged that one Tosin Thomas ‘m’ 21 years of Ode Olo area of Ibadan while going home at Total Filling Station, Mokola, Ibadan. “He was going home on 13/01/2021 at about 1130 hours and was hit by bullets from a gun fired by Amotekun operatives. “He was rushed to University College Hospital for immediate medical attention and thereafter was confirmed dead by medical personnel. An investigation has commenced into the matter and further development shall unfold.”

Beer maker Heineken is on track to expand its control of the Nigerian brewery business, after racking up further 1,903,609,538 ordinary shares of Champion Breweries in a move bringing its stake in the Uyo-based brewer to 84.7 percent. That translates to 6,632,917,789 shares. Heineken, headquartered in Amsterdam, Netherlands, consummated the share acquisition through its Nigerian subsidiary, Raysun, putting it in a strong position as the majority shareholder to make a takeover attempt. It will help broaden its dominance beyond Nigeria’s most capitalised beverage maker, Nigerian Breweries, where Heineken wields 37.94 percent stake via ownership of 3,034,100,563 shares. Consumers in Nigeria, Brazil and the United Kingdom – the brewer’s three biggest markets – drank 1 million hectolitres of Heineken brands in the 12 months of 2019, according to its 2019 financial results. Heineken’s financial statements for the third quarter of 2020 showed beer volumes for its Nigerian operations jumped by about 18 percent ahead of the market at a time when a countrywide coronavirus lockdown forbade pubs, beer parlours and night clubs from running. Raysun purchased 1,903,609,538 shares of Champion Breweries shares at ₦2.60 per unit at a total of ₦4.94 billion on 7 January, its notification of share dealing by insiders obtained from the Nigerian Stock Exchange showed. Shares in Champion Breweries closed trade on the NSE on Thursday at ₦1.23 per share, gaining almost the 10 percent daily ceiling allowed by the bourse. The stock has appreciated by more than 32% per cent since Heineken’s latest share acquisition.