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Port Harcourt refinery, subsea cable cuts… 7 business stories to track this week

Port Harcourt refinery, subsea cable cuts… 7 business stories to track this week
March 18
08:43 2024

Here are the seven top business stories you need to track this week — March 18 to March 22.

PETROL, GAS REPORT

The Nigerian Bureau of Statistics (NBS) is expected to release reports on household Kerosene prices, premium motor spirit (PMS), automotive gas oil (diesel), and liquified petroleum gas (LPG) for February.

The bureau also intends to release reports on selected food items and transport fares for the same month.

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NIGERIA’S INFLATION RISES TO 31.7% IN FEBRUARY 2024

On Friday, March 15, Nigeria’s inflation rose to 31.7 percent in February, from 29.9 percent recorded in January and 21.91 percent in February 2023.

The inflation figure followed an increase in the monetary policy rate (MPR) to 22.75 percent by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on February 27. 

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The new inflation rate represents a 9.79 percent year-on-year (Y-o-Y) increase and a 1.80 percent increase, month-on-month (M-o-M).

According to the NBS, food, transport, housing, and energy were among the major drivers of inflation in the month under review.

SUBSEA CABLE DAMAGE CAUSES INTERNET OUTAGE IN AFRICA

On March 14, banks in Nigeria were affected by damage to submarine cables, causing internet outages in parts of Africa.

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The incident affected subsea cable providers and disrupted internet traffic in major parts of the continent.

According to reports, the damage affected major undersea cables near Abidjan in Côte d’Ivoire, affecting submarine communications cables, such as the West Africa Cable System (WACS), the Africa Coast to Europe (ACE), MainOne, and SAT3.

The issue is said to be causing downtime across West and South African countries, affecting telecommunications networks as well as banks in Nigeria.

‘PORT HARCOURT REFINERY TO BEGIN PRODUCTION BY MONTH END’

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Mele Kyari, the group chief executive officer (GCEO) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited, said the Port Harcourt refinery would begin production by the end of March.

Kyari disclosed this after meeting with the senate ad hoc committee investigating the various turnaround maintenance (TAM) projects of Nigerian refineries, on March 15.

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“In the next two weeks, production will start. We did mechanical completion of Port Harcourt, that was what we said in Dec 2023,” he said.

Kyari had also said the scale of oil theft in the country is becoming difficult to handle when the house of representatives‘ special committee on oil theft visited the NNPC’s headquarters,

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‘NO APPROVALS FROM FEC, N’ASSEMBLY FOR EUROBOND ISSUANCE’

The Debt Management Office (DMO) said it has not received approval for the appointment of advisers and eurobond issuance.

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On March 13, there were reports that Nigeria had hired investment banks to seek advice on its first eurobond issuance since 2022.

According to reports, the size of the eurobond offer, expected before June, is yet to be determined, but the federal government could raise as much as $1 billion in external borrowing in 2024 to meet its spending needs.

However, in a statement on Friday, DMO said it has not appointed transaction advisers.

NIGERIA’S OIL OUTPUT INCREASES TO 1.6M BARRELS PER DAY

The National Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) said Nigeria’s total oil production, including condensates, rose by 5.85 percent on a month-on-month basis, to 1.64 million barrels per day in January — up from 1.55 million bpd in December 2023.

However, oil production data from OPEC, which excludes condensates, shows Nigeria’s average daily crude oil production dropped 7.36 percent to 1.32 million bpd in February from 1.42 million bpd recorded in January this year.

ACCOUNTANT-GENERAL’S OFFICE HOLDS WORKSHOP IN LONDON

The office of the accountant-general of the federation (OAGF) held a workshop on public financial management and international public sector accounting standards (IPSAS) in London, the United Kingdom.

The workshop was held at Copthorne Tara Hotel, Kensington London, from March 4 to March 9.

The event was titled, ‘Public Financial Management and IPSAS Workshop for State Commissioners of Finance and Officials of OAGF’.

According to the event’s brochure, the five-day programme was attended by the federation account allocation committee’s (FAAC) sub-committee on IPSAS implementation in Nigeria, office of the accountant-general of the federation, Abuja.

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