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N27trn budget, Port Harcourt refinery operations… 7 business stories to track this week

N27trn budget, Port Harcourt refinery operations… 7 business stories to track this week
December 04
07:57 2023


Here are the seven top business stories you need to track this week — December 4 to December 8.

TINUBU PRESENTS N27.5TRN APPROPRIATION BILL

President Bola Tinubu submitted the 2024 appropriation bill of N27.5 trillion in a joint session of the national assembly on Wednesday, November 29, 2023.

The budget is the highest so far in the history of Nigeria.

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Tinubu said the bill, themed, the ‘Budget of Renewed Hope’ is aimed at improving macroeconomic stability.

An exchange rate of N750 to the dollars, and an anticipated inflation rate of 21.40 percent in 2024, are some of the key parameters of the budget.

The country also expects oil production to rise to 1.78 million barrels per day at an international market price of $77.96 per barrel.

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Tinubu said the estimated revenue for the fiscal year is N18.32 trillion, with N7.94 trillion expected from oil-related activities and N10.39 trillion from non-oil sources.

He added that borrowings are anticipated to amount to N9.18 trillion, reflecting a 26.36 percent reduction compared to the 2023 budgeted deficit of N11.60 trillion.

NIGERIA, GERMANY SIGN AGREEMENT TO INCREASE GRID CAPACITY TO 12,000MW

President Bola Tinubu has signed an agreement with Olaf Scholz, Chancellor of Germany, to improve Nigeria’s grid capacity and improve electricity supply in the country.

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The agreement was signed on Friday by Kenny Anuwe, CEO of FGN Power Company, and Nadja Haakansson, Siemens Energy managing director for Africa, on the sidelines of the ongoing COP28 in Dubai.

The deal which is aimed at accelerating the presidential power initiative (PPI), is targeted at ensuring end-to-end modernisation and expansion of Nigeria’s electric power transmission grid.

CBN TO FREEZE ACCOUNTS WITHOUT BVN, NIN FROM MARCH 2024

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) says accounts without a bank verification number (BVN) or national identification number (NIN) will be frozen from March 1, 2024.

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The apex bank, through its bankers committee, had introduced the BVN in 2014.

In a circular on Friday, the CBN said a “Post No Debit or Credit” will be placed on funded accounts without BVN or NIN on March 1, 2024.

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The CBN said it has also amended the regulatory framework for BVN operations and watch-list for the Nigerian banking industry to strengthen the know-your-customer (KYC) procedures in financial institutions.

CBN DIRECTS BANKS TO ACCEPT OLD AND NEW NAIRA NOTES. 

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Also, the financial regulator, last week, directed all banks to continue to accept the old and redesigned naira notes indefinitely.

The development came a few hours after the supreme court extended the legal tender status of the old notes indefinitely.

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After several issues caused by the naira redesign policy, the CBN, on November 14, assured Nigerians that the old naira notes will remain legal tender beyond December 31, 2023 — and no longer have a deadline to phase out of circulation.

EQUINOR EXITS NIGERIA MARKET

Equinor says it has agreed to sell its Nigerian business, including the company’s stake in Agbami oil field, to Chappal Energies, a Nigerian-owned firm.

In a statement on Wednesday, the Norwegian firm said it will sell Equinor Nigeria Energy Company (ENEC), which holds a 53.85 percent ownership in oil mining lease (OML) 128, including a 20.21 percent stake in the Agbami field, operated by Chevron.

 PORT HARCOURT REFINERY IS 98% COMPLETE, SAYS FG

Ibrahim Onoja, the managing director (MD) of Port Harcourt Refining Company (PHRC), disclosed that the procurement process for the rehabilitation of the refiner is 98 percent complete.

The federal government had said the Port Harcourt refinery would begin operations by December 2023.

Speaking on Thursday during a broadcast programme on Arise TV, Onoja said the December 2023 deadline is feasible.

He said the refinery will come on stream soon and be very competitive.

OPEC PROJECTS 1.5M BPD IN 2024| FG SAYS TARGET ALREADY MET

The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) says Nigeria can achieve an oil production quota of 1.5 million barrels of crude oil per day (bpd) in 2024.

OPEC made this known at the 36th OPEC and non-OPEC ministerial meeting, held on Thursday.

As part of the resolutions at its last meeting, Nigeria’s production level was reduced to 1.38 million bpd, from the current 1.74 million bpd — effective from January 2024.

The new projection was countered according to a report by Reuters, where consultancy firms — IHS, Rystad Energy, and Wood Mackenzie — said Nigeria will not meet the target.

However, in a post on his official X handle on Saturday, Heineken Lokpobiri, minister of state for petroleum resources (oil), said Nigeria currently produces 1.5 million barrels of crude daily and is on track to surpass the target.

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