Daily Watch – Six die in Anambra attack, Opposition set aim at Ghana debt programme

20th February 2023

Approximately 40 percent of the volumes credited to crude losses in the Nigerian petroleum industry are attributable to measurement inaccuracies and not theft, according to Gbenga Komolafe, the Chief Executive of the Nigerian Upstream Regulatory Commission (NUPRC). Komolafe said the new information followed a forensic audit conducted by the Commission on crude theft numbers to ascertain the stolen volume of crude oil. He also said the agency is committed to dealing with the issue of metering errors by ensuring that Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) licensed directly as agents will be responsible for the deployment and maintenance of metering facilities. In a related development, Mele Kyari, the Group Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL), said the company crossed the 1.6 million barrels per day oil production threshold on 16 February 2023, adding that there is a line of sight of recovery to the budget mark of 1.8 million barrels per day.

No fewer than six persons were killed when some gunmen attacked 3-3 Police Divisional Headquarters, Nkwelle-Ezunaka, Oyi Local Government Area of Anambra State. This attack comes less than 24 hours after an attack at Ukpo and Ogidi, where three policemen were killed. It was gathered that five of the suspects and a police officer were those that died in the attack that occurred on Sunday around 5:58 am. A source in the area said the rampaging gunmen started shooting indiscriminately as they approached the entrance of the station but were engaged and resisted by officers attached to the station.

Opposition lawmakers want Ghana’s domestic debt exchange programme to face parliamentary scrutiny, a new hurdle that could delay the country’s goal of accessing a bailout from the International Monetary Fund by the end of next month. National Democratic Congress members in Ghana’s hung parliament planned to file a motion last Friday, compelling Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, to present the terms of the debt swap for approval, NDC lawmaker Mahama Ayariga told Accra-based broadcaster, Citi FM. Ghana is on the cusp of a default as the grace period on a $40.6 million coupon due on its dollar bond maturing in 2026 expired at the end of Friday.  When asked if the government intended to pay, a finance ministry spokesperson sent a copy of the 19 December 2022 press release announcing the suspension of payments on Eurobonds, declining to comment further. Ghana has been engaging investors since November to restructure about $30 billion of its $46 billion in local and international debt. It recently completed the first part of a domestic restructuring, with investors exchanging 83 billion cedis ($6.7 billion) or 64 percent of holdings for new securities, against an overall target of 80 percent.

France and Burkina Faso have officially marked the end of French military operations in the West African country, the Burkinabe armed forces said on Sunday, after a flag-lowering ceremony at the French special forces’ camp on Saturday. In a statement, the General Staff of the Burkinabe Armed Forces said it had participated with the leadership of France’s Sabre special forces in “a solemn flag-lowering ceremony marking the official end of the Task Force’s operations on Burkinabe soil”.