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Dear Members,

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We have an urgent need from a major player in the Nigerian Oil & gas Industry for a structural steel detailing company in Nigeria.

What we are looking for:
A steel detailing / engineering outfit that will undertake
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3. Demonstrate a proficiency in the use of Tekla structures software with worked solutions.

If you or your company fit into these requirements,please forward your brochure detailing your capabilities and recent accomplishments in steel detailing to info@oilandgasforum.com.ng or admin@oilandgasforum.com.ng for consideration. Do include in your contact details and website for additional information.


The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu, on Tuesday directed the Department of Petroleum Resources to seal off fuel stations found to be hoarding petroleum products and dispense the petroleum free to the public.

The Minister gave the directive after a working visit to some retail outlets in Abuja.

“I have instructed DPR that if they discover any fuel station involved in hoarding, they should sell the products for free to customers around there,” he said. “It is not just sealing the station that is the answer. It is penalizing them when they do these things. I hope the message goes out loud and clear.”

Meanwhile, the Minister has scheduled a session on Wednesday with key operators in the downstream sector of the petroleum industry, namely the Major Marketers Association of Nigeria, Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association, as well as Jetty and Tank Farm Owners Associations.

The meeting is expected to mobilise the oil marketers across the country to cooperate with government to ensure speedy clearance of the fuel queues.

“I am getting all the majors to get involved and they must take charge of the situation. They must take responsibility for all their filling stations. I have instructed the DPR and the Petroleum Equalization Fund and all the other agencies to work towards the Fast track movement of petrol bearing trucks and vessels,” he explained.

Currently, he said there was enough supply of petroleum products by the Nigerian National petroleum Corporation, as about 38 million litres of products haa been moved to various filling stations across the country help resolve the crisis.

On the approved payment of N413 billion subsidy claims to marketers, the minister confirmed that President Muhammadu Buhari had since transmitted a letter to the National Assembly for the approval of subsidy claims.

The Central Bank of Nigeria, he assured, would soon make the funds available to the marketers once appropriated by the National Assembly.

The Minister also said there was no plan by the government to reduce the price of petrol soon, adding that marketers should desist from hoarding fuel and make products available to the motorists.

To ensure that products become available to consumers, the NNPC said figures from the daily dispatch of petrol to depots across the country showed that by Tuesday about 38.3 million litres of petrol was dispatched by the Pipeline and Products Marketing Company, PPMC across the country.

Premium Times


Mr Ali Moshiri,, the President of Chevron Africa and Latin America Exploration and Production, has said that the total investment in Nigeria’s oil and gas industry, which stood at 20 billion dollars in 2014, has dropped by 20 per cent in 2015.

Moshiri disclosed this in Lagos at the 33rd annual conference of the Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationists (NAPE).

Moshiri that said Nigeria accounted for 20 billion dollars out of the 600 billion dollars investment in the global oil and gas industry in 2014.

In Africa, Moshiri said, Nigeria was the top producer of liquid hydrocarbon and number three in gas production.

He said that the country’s position in gas was because of lack of gas infrastructure and not because of the level of its gas resources.

“But when you talk about investment, total industry investment in 2014 was about 600 billion dollars and Nigeria had around 20 billion dollars . After the price crash, there is tremendous reduction in global investment.

Moshiri said Nigeria had tremendous capacity and resources to produce far above the current two million barrels of crude oil per day, but added that much investment would be required.

He said 20 billion dollar investment would be required yearly for the country to replace its current production levels.

Moshiri said many projects were locked up in Nigeria because of cost citing the Bonga South West project as one of the them.

He said the current slump in crude oil price was as a result of “ much inventory in the oil market’’.

Moshiri said between 2014 and 2015, about four million barrels of crude oil per day were unconventionally introduced into the market which led to this development.

In his speech, Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode Nigeria currently maintained an economically unstable energy trade balance, in which the country exports virtually all the crude oil produced and import substantial part of the petroleum products consumed in the country.

Ambode, who was represented by the Commissioner for Energy and Mineral Resources, Mr Olawale Oluwo, also argued that the country had under-utilised other energy sources such as Bitumen, Coal and non-carbon-related energy sources.

“Therefore, the challenge before us is to determine how we as a nation can adapt to these emerging scenerios in global and national oil and gas, so that we take advantage of them and shape them to our advantage,” Ambode added.



The Executive-Vice Chairman of Techno Oil Ltd, Mrs Nkechi Obi, has disclosed  that up to 30 million Nigerian households using kerosene and firewood faced severe health hazards.

Speaking at the recent Oil Trading Logistics Expo in Lagos, she said the hazards often arise from the side effects of smokes emanating from use of firewood and kerosene.

“Cooking with firewood is a silent killer because firewood smoke is more dangerous than cigarette smoke,” she said.

Citing a recent World Health Organisation report, Mrs. Obi said that cooking with firewood often led to indoor pollution, which globally accounted for over four million deaths every year.
Obi, who received Federal Government’s commendation few years ago for her “Techno Oil Cooksafe Initiative” in popularising cooking gas, said she was looking forward to when most Nigerian households would embrace the liquefied petroleum gas, LPG.

The techno Oil boss used her advocacy, the Techno Oil Cooksafe Initiative, through an emotional documentary to alert government to the consequences of prolonged use of biomass and kerosene for cooking which has led to increased lung diseases, aggravated asthma, premature death and greenhouse emission, leading to climate change.

She argued that there was need to exploit Nigeria’s huge gas reserves, estimated at about 187 trillion cubic feet, stressing that Nigeria still ranked lowest in sub-Saharan Africa in per capita usage of LPG, consuming only 1.1-kilogramme, compared with Ghana at 3-kilogramme.

Obi, however, listed some challenges that had been making it difficult for more Nigerians to embrace LPG to include inadequate public awareness on safety, limited distributive outlets and high cost of LPG cylinders.



In what appears to be a jamboree typical of the waste characterising Nigeria’s beleaguered oil and gas industry, the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas, NLNG, and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, at the weekend sent a 110-man delegation to Seoul, South Korea, for the commissioning of some gas transportation vessels.

The gas transportation vessels belong to the Bonny Gas Transport company, BGT, a subsidiary of the NLNG.

Checks by SweetcrudeReports revealed that the 110-man delegation, which has already spent three days in Seoul, includes ranking officials and spouses of both the NLNG, NNPC and wives of some state governors.

Further checks by our correspondent revealed that Hotel Paradise, where 48 of the 110-man high-powered delegation would be accommodated for the five-day visit, has sold out all its 525 rooms from the check in date of Sunday, November 8 to the check out date of Friday November 13, 2015.

Concerned energy industry observers are questioning the rationality of the huge number of delegates as well as the make up of the delegation, which they say included individuals who have no business with the trip.

“It is a jamboree and it really shows that nothing has changed even with the coming of the new government of Muhammadu Buhari and its change mantra.

“Which country in the world will send out a delegation of 110 just for the commissioning of transport vessels in another country? This ugly development can only obtain in Nigeria,” an oil industry source told reporters.

According to the plans for the event, seven of the delegates will be accommodated in the Junior Suites of the hotel at the cost of N684,356 each for five nights while 10 of them will occupy Executive Double or Twin Rooms with sea view at the cost of about N422,442 each for five nights. 25 of them will stay in Premier Double Rooms with partial ocean view at the cost of about N411,811 each for five nights.

The total cost for the seven delegates staying in Junior Suites for five nights costs about N4,790,492 while the 10 delegates staying in Executive Double or Twin Rooms for five nights will cup up a cost of about N4,224,420. The  25 delegates staying in Premier Double Rooms will for the period cost about N10,297,025.

According to the list of those attending the commissioning ceremony obtained by Sweetcrudereports, the wife of the Governor of Lagos State, Mrs. Bolanle Patience Ambode, will occupy a Junior Suite with sea view costing about N684,356 for five nights while her aid, Mrs. Ogunbunmi Abisola Adeola Fausat, will occupy the Executive Double or Twin Room with sea view at the cost of about N422,442 for five nights.

The wife of Rivers State governor, Mrs. Eberechi Suzzette Nyesom-Wike, will also occupy a Junior Suite at the cost of N684,356 for five-night stay at the hotel while her aid, Miss Kelechi-Ubani Uchenna Nnenna, will, like her counterpart from Lagos, occupy the an Executive Double or Twin Room costing  about N422,442 for five nights.

Mrs. Paula Tamunolpiriye Pepple, wife of His Majesty, Amanyanabo of Grand Bonny Kingdom, will occupy a Junior Suite at the cost of N684, 356 for five nights while her aid, Miss Vanessa Chidubem Chukwuma, will stay in an Executive Double or Twin Room costing about N422, 442 for five nights.

Mrs Elizabeth Kachikwu, wife of the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, who is a non-executive director of the NLNG will occupy a Junior Suit along with her husband, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu.

18 board members of BGT, including the chairman, Dr. Osobonye R. Longjohn, and his wife, Mrs Mina Longjohn, will occupy Premier Double Rooms with partial ocean view at the cost of about N411, 811 each for five nights.

Nine NLNG management staff including the Managing Director, Mr. Babs Jolayemi Omotowa and his wife, Mrs. Helen Omotowa, and the Deputy Managing Director, Mr. Isa Inuwa and his wife, Mrs. Isa Inuwa will occupy Premier Double Room with partial ocean view.

Three ex-NLNG representatives, former Deputy Managing Director currently Chairman/CEO, Mentor Energy Consulting Ltd; Mr. Basheer Koko; former General Manager Finance, currently Chairman, Falcom Petroleum Ltd, Mr. Victor Eromosele; and former Managing Director, Mr. Chima Ibeneche, who are said to be instrumental to the BGT progress, are booked to occupy Premier Double Rooms with partial ocean view.

Other guests on the trip include Ambassador Sheldu Omelza Momoh, Ambassador Oluwole Amosu, Mrs. Regia Agboola, Head, Loans Management Unit of NLNG, Executive Room; Mr. Henry Agbodjan, Head SDC of NLNG (Executive Room; and Mrs. Kemi Fasiku, Legal NLNG (Executive Room).

Four persons from Kexim Bank, three from K.SURE, two from ING Bank N.V, Seoul branch, one from Standard Chartered Bank, three from BNP PARIBAS and one from Sumitomo Mitsul Banking Corporation are also in the list for the event.

Also included are three persons from BRAEMAR Engineering, 25 from BGT Site Team, four from HN2636 &37 Sea Staff, six from LR, 14 from Hyundai Heavy Industries, HHI.
Investigations by SweetcrudeReports also revealed that an average return business class flight ticket from Abuja to Seoul’s Incheon International Airport,  ICN, will cost about $15, 250.06 per person.

The 18-storey Paradise Hotel, housing the delegates, was built in 1978 with 525 rooms and was last renovated in 2001. It is situated at 1408-5 Chung-Dong, Haeundae-Gu Busan, South Korea 612010.

An NNPC official decried the development, saying it is “typical of the waste that has characterised the operations of the corporation”.

“How can the corporation be declaring a loss and officials and their spouses still embark on such jamboree. The Group Managing Director must be seen to lead by example,” the official who did not want his name in print noted.

Also speaking, an oil services contractor decried the trip as ‘wasteful and very unnecessary’, adding that the commissioning should have been done in Nigeria since entities in which the Nigerian government owns controlling interest made the order.

“I don’t think it is right to ask contractors to slash cost on ongoing projects owing to the downturn in oil prices and still embark on such a wasteful jamboree. The trip is at variance with the current reality in the industry, the contractor said.


Oil & Gas Industry / Fuel Scarcity Hits Lagos, Major Fuel Stations Closed
« on: November 05, 2015, 11:34:33 AM »

Fuel scarcity, which has hit major parts of the country, continued yesterday with more filling stations shutting down to customers in Lagos and its environs.

The scarcity is expected to degenerate and spread nationwide, according to marketers, who complained that the Federal Government has been indebted to them to the tune of N500 billion since August last year. An independent marketer, who pleaded not to be named said that those presently selling petrol are a few major oil marketers who received allocation directly on credit from the Pipelines Products Marketing Company (PPMC).

Filling stations didn’t dispense fuel in some areas in Egbeda in Lagos State and on the Lagos-Abeokuta expressway. The situation was also chaotic at the Conoil station at National Bus Stop, close to the local airport and extending to Ikeja. At Epe, none of the stations there opened for sales, while those engaged in black market operations lined the roads with their Jerry cans to make brisk business out of the situation.

Source: EnergyMix


Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has said that the Federal Government has approved the payment of 413 billion naira ($2.1 billion) to oil marketers as outstanding payment for fuel subsidy claims.

The Federal Government of Nigeria has not made payment to oil marketers July, 2015.  The management of  NNPC said it hoped the payment would help to ensure the country “remains wet with petroleum products all year round”.



Nigeria will save over N41.4bn in six months as a result of the recent cancellation of the offshore processing agreements with some international oil companies, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation has said.

The NNPC, in its latest monthly financial and operations report for September 2015, stated that the cancellation of the OPAs was one of its key interventions in the month under review.

In the OPA, the NNPC undertakes to allocate a dedicated volume of crude oil for refining at offshore locations in exchange for petroleum products at pre-agreed yield pattern.

Outlining some of its key interventions as of September, the corporation said, “The OPA contracts (were) cancelled; $207m savings to be realised in six months. (The) engagement of key security agencies to boost pipeline security (is) ongoing.”

On August 26 this year, the NNPC announced the termination of the OPAs entered it into in January with three companies, Duke Oil Company Incorporated, Aiteo Energy Resources Limited and Sahara Energy Resources Limited.

The national oil firm had stated that the agreements were not in the interest of Nigeria and the corporation, a development that led to their cancellation.

“However, after detailed appraisal of the operation and its terms of agreement, the NNPC is convinced that the current OPA is skewed in favour of the companies such that the value of the product delivered is significantly lower than the equivalent crude oil allocated for the programme,” it had stated.

The latest NNPC report further noted that in September, 763.90 million litres of white products (petrol and kerosene) were supplied to the country through the OPA arrangement, compared with a volume of 701.29 million litres achieved in the month of August.

It stated that kerosene receipt in September was 196.3 million litres compared with zero litres imported a month earlier.

To ensure that Nigeria gets the best companies in the OPA arrangement, on October 15, a total of 101 international and local oil companies competed for the award of OPAs from the NNPC.

International oil trading companies like Glencore, Vitol S.A, BP Oil International and Total Oil Trading S.A joined 97 other companies in bidding for the OPAs.

Out of the 445,000 barrels per day of crude required for refining, the successful companies in the process are expected to lift about 210,000 barrels within a 12-month period, starting from January 2016.



The engineers and designers of the Netherlands have become well known for the innovative ideas.  From the world’s first solar bike path to the self-healing concrete, they always seem to offer a unique fusion of eco-friendliness and ingenuity.

Now there is a Dutch construction company that plans on paving the roads with recycled plastic bottles.  VolkerWessels is looking to implement the Plastic Road project in the city of Rotterdam, where they will no longer see the asphalt, but instead recycled plastic.

This is an innovative way to replace the environmentally harmful asphalt and at the same time help reduce the plastic waste that ends up in landfills and our oceans.  Just one ton of asphalt can emit 27 kilograms of CO2 into our atmosphere, which totals up to 1.45 million tons of CO2 emissions worldwide every year.  Asphalt is the number one cause of urban heat island effect due to how it absorbs and retains heat.

The use of recycled plastics, instead of asphalt, could help to reduce the environmental footprint we tend to leave everywhere.  Another benefit would be that the road surface is more durable and the road maintenance costs will be reduced.

VolkerWessels believes that the eco-friendly surface will be able to withstand a substantial range of temperature, around -40c and 80c.  These plastic roads would be hollow allowing for pipes and cables to be ran in them with much more ease.

The road construction time would be reduced significantly and the cost as well, as the numerous staff that is needed for on-site construction activities will no longer be so large.  A factory would produce the sections of the road and then transport them to the job-site.  This will reduce the transportation of raw materials and contribute to the reduction of environmental impacts.

Though the project is just on paper right now, VolkerWessels is optimistic about the future possibilities.  Rolf Mars, of VolkerWessels, explained that the plastic roads could lead to other innovations, such as ultra-quiet surfaces and heated roads.  Rotterdam, who is famous for their support in sustainable developments initiatives, have shown interest in the PlasticRoad project.

“Rotterdam is a very innovative city and has embraced the idea,” and continued with, “It fits very well within its sustainability policy and it has said it is keen to work on a pilot.”
Some concerns may be that plastic is a harmful substance and is it best to use such material for large projects?  For now, the project is just on paper, but if and when it is implemented we can see how well it works.


Oil & Gas Industry / Breaking News - President Buhari Scraps SURE-P
« on: November 04, 2015, 09:32:47 AM »

President Muhammadu Buhari has scrapped the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P) and also ordered the Presidential Committee and workers of the agency to close shop. The President’s order was delivered to the SURE-P Committee through a letter from the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation.

As expected, The President has ordered a probe into their activities, funding and expenditure of the agency. President Muhammadu Buhari in the letter directed the panel to wind down the operations of SURE-P on or before October 31, 2015 and submit a comprehensive report of its activities to The Presidency.



Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has cancelled all bids submitted by 44 firms for the refining of Nigeria’s crude oil abroad. The NNPC has also adopted a new regime of direct crude sale and purchase of petroleum products.

The NNPC formerly operated the Offshore Processing Arrangement (OPA), also known as crude swap, where crude Oil meant for domestic refining is sent to offshore refineries in exchange for petroleum products. The NNPC in a statement issued by its Group General Manager Public Affairs Division, Ohi Alegbe, stated that the new policy is “designed to enshrine transparency and eliminate the activities of middlemen in the crude oil exchange for product matrix”.

The Statement also read that “NNPC on Tuesday announced the replacement of the Offshore Processing Arrangement (OPA) option in preference for the more efficient Direct Sale-Direct Purchase (DSDP) alternative which allows for the direct sale of crude oil by NNPC, as well as direct purchase of petroleum products from credible international refineries”.

“NNPC came to this informed position after the evaluation exercise of pre-qualified bidders revealed that most of the 44 companies earlier shortlisted for the next stage of the tender process only had affiliations to refineries abroad, a situation which introduces toll on the value chain.”

“If allowed to subsist, the development would in turn constitute a significant value loss to the federation by way of accruals,  In this regard, only bonafide owners of refineries identified in the ongoing OPA Tender Evaluation process will be further engaged”.

“The identified refineries will be subjected to due diligence and analysis by NNPC-appointed consultants to confirm suitability in line with international best practice,” Alegbe said.

It will be recalled that The Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) had raised an alarm that Nigeria lost $966 million in the last four years through swap deals.

The NNPC stated that the call for commercial bids issued to the 44 shortlisted bidders had been withdrawn with immediate effect.



Nigerians Are Building Fireproof, Bulletproof, And Eco-Friendly Homes With Plastic Bottles And Mud

These colorful homes are bulletproof, fireproof, and can withstand earthquakes. They also maintain a comfortable temperature, produce zero carbon emissions, and are powered by solar and methane gas from recycled waste.

Plastic is everywhere. In fact, the environment is so riddled with it, researchers predict that 99% of all birds on this planet will have plastic in their gut by the year 2050.

It is not enough to persuade people to use less, plastic needs to be repurposed and reused to be kept out of landfills. Despite informative infographics, emotional statistics, and recycling programs, many nations – especially the United States – continue to toss plastics into landfills without much care.

This unfortunate reality has spurred many to get creative with the discarded byproducts of society. Some have used plastic waste to construct marvelous sculptures and raise awareness about the issue, while others are re-purposing it entirely to construct eco-friendly homes.

As phys.org reports, the housing crisis has become so bad in Nigeria, nearly 16 million units are required to address the shortage. Because crafting traditional homes would be far too expensive for most, locals adopted the idea put forth by two NGOs and are now building plastic bottle homes.

The solution not only cuts costs for building a house, it is beneficial for the environment.

Founded by Kaduna-based NGO Development Association for Renewable Energies (DARE), with help from London-based NGO Africa Community Trust, the project is solving two problems at once by addressing the homelessness issue and helping the environment. Not only will there be less plastic in landfills, the house is designed to produce zero carbon emissions.

In addition, it is completely powered by solar panels and methane gas from recycled human and animal waste.

To create a two-bedroom bottle house, workers fill plastic bottles with sand and then hold them together using mud and cement. This forms a solid wall that is stronger than cinder blocks.

That’s not all: These colorful homes are bulletproof, fireproof and can withstand earthquakes. They can also hold a comfortable temperature year round.

The buildings can be built to three stories, but no higher, due to the weight of the sand-filled bottles. And, of course, the magnificent diversity of recycled bottles give each house a unique and bright look.

A two-bedroom house requires 14,000 bottles to complete. To put this into perspective, Nigeria throws away three million bottles every day. Clearly, there are plenty of bottles which can be repurposed to build every individual in their own abode.

At least Nigeria isn’t as wasteful as the United States, which discards 130 million bottles per day. That’s 47 billion bottles every year – nearly 80% of which end up in the landfill.

If the United States were to save these bottles and repurpose them into houses like folks in Nigeria are doing, 9,257 houses could be built per day. That is nearly 3.4 million houses a year, reports Off Grid World. With 3.5 million people living on the streets in the U.S., is this the solution needed to remedy the homelessness crisis?

See more images below.



About a week ago, Denmark made the absolute most out of a particularly windy 24 hours by harnessing its power and producing not only all of its own electricity needs for the day, but enough extra to spread between three neighboring countries.  To be exact, the sustainable wind-power technologies harnessed and collected 144% of one days electricity needs.

Denmark had previously developed its wind-power plants but on that particularly windy day, it reached 116% of its domestic electricity demands through wind farms and then exceeded even that impressive surplus, reaching 140%, causing Denmark to export excess power to Norway, Germany, and Sweden.

80% of the excess energy surplus was given in equal parts to Norway and Germany and Sweden received the remaining 20%.  Germany and Norway possess hydropower systems with storage capabilities and were thus able to store the extra away for later use.

80% of the power surplus was shared equally between Germany and Norway, which can store it in hydropower systems for later use. Lucky Sweden received the remaining fifth of excess power. Oliver Joy, a spokesman for trade body the European Wind Energy Association:

“It shows that a world powered 100% by renewable energy is no fantasy. Wind energy and renewables can be a solution to decarbonization – and also security of supply at times of high demand.”

Take a look at this graphic below which reveals that on the day when 140% of the power needs were produced, the systems weren’t even functioning at 100% of their potential power.  The Danish transmission systems operator, emergent.dk provides minute by minute constant reading of the renewable power in the national grid system provided this information, saying that the full capacity is 4.8GW.  This is quite amazing.

Denmark possesses excellent potential to be the next European country in line to begin relying heavily on wind power.  Chief Commercial Officer of the Ecofys Energy Consultancy, Kees Van der Leun commented that there’s a current surge in the development of wind farms being installed. He projected that by 2020, Denmark is well on its way to potentially producing half of its electricity from renewables.  5 years away seems like nothing!

Though many are celebrating with Denmark’s impressive achievements, a little healthy competition never hurts- in fact it could be a momentous force in the wave of renewable power source development in Europe overall.  The Guardian explains that the British may view Denmark’s wind power developments as a threat to its own wind industry.

Not everyone is likely to be happy about this news, however. As The Guardian shares, the British wind industry is likely to view the Danish achievement with envy. This is no doubt because David Cameron’s government announced a withdrawal of support for onshore wind farms from next year, and planning obstacles for onshore wind builds.

“If we want to see this happening on a European scale, it is essential that we upgrade the continent’s aging grid infrastructure, ensure that countries open up borders, increase interconnection and trade electricity on a single market,” said Joy of the European Wind Energy Association.

Approximately 75% of Denmark’s wind power capacity is currently coming from onshore wind farms which are strongly supported by the government. This could certainly be one instance where competition could move things in a direction that is beneficial for the well-being of the earth, as well as for all the inhabitants of her.   It’s a bit mind boggling to see so clearly how attainable sustainable power sources really are, and to then look around at the constant fossil fuels we are burning through as if they are inexhaustible.

Kudos to Denmark for being yet another European country leading the way when it comes to development and implementation of sustainable and green technologies.  Let’s hope the rest of the world catches up soon.


For President Buhari, forming the cabinet is the easy part for obvious reasons. Getting the economy up and running again won't be a child's play. According to Teriba, the problems he inherited from the past administration is quite intimidating. Among the tests he'll face is the matter of the 2016 budget, whose presentation to parliament is already running late. Crude oil theft and the fuel subsidy trouble, with the fraud associated with it, will be crying out for attention, not to mention the destructive insurgency in the North-East. Government will need to find alternative sources of income to make up for dwindling oil revenues.

Civil society organisations in Nigeria had an unusual meeting in Abuja on October 29. They didn't gather to demand social justice or political reforms. The agitation was over the deplorable state of the economy. Led by Clem Nwankwo of the Policy and Legal Advocacy Centre, the group decried the "steady and continuous decline of the Nigerian economy" since President Muhamadu Buhari reported for duty on May 29. Should we be concerned?

Truth be told, the economic indicators are not looking too good. The Nigerian Stock Exchange's All-Share Index is down 15 percent since the inauguration of the new administration on May 29. In other words, investors have lost about one trillion naira or $5 billion as share prices continue to fall. The naira has also been officially devalued by more than 20 percent against the US dollar in the past year. The National Bureau of Statistics put the gross domestic product in the second quarter of this year at 2.4 percent, down 1.6 percent from 4.2 percent in the same period a year ago. To put this in perspective, GDP averaged about 7 percent annually for almost a decade before the downturn set in this year. The country's foreign exchange reserves have dropped 30 percent since last year to $30 billion, according to data obtained from the Central Bank of Nigeria. It may well be harsh to blame President Buhari for the state of the economy. He took over at a time of falling prices of crude oil - the country's top revenue earner and main export product.

But it's his response or body language, in current parlance, to the economy that irks many observers. Beyond his commendable stance against corruption, the CSOs believe the President has not done much to reassure Nigerians and foreign investors that he has a game plan for reviving the economy. The fact that the ministers who will help steer the ship are yet to be assigned portfolios strengthens this argument. As Nwankwo, their spokesman, put it, "the major challenge we are currently facing is that we cannot see the urgency of ‎this administration to improve the (depressing economic) situation." Nor does it appear that it has a good grasp of the issues, he added. For instance, the decision of the central bank, backed by the government, to control the foreign exchange market rather than devalue the currency in the face of the persistent pressure on the local currency, has elicited criticism from both local and foreign analysts.

As we wait for the ministers to take office, all eyes will be on the persons who will be in charge of key ministries such as finance, trade, mines, transport, aviation, works, agriculture and industries. The occupiers of these positions matter a lot to economic observers. Journalists and analysts will show more than a keen interest in certain ministries because if the financial markets like them, sentiments toward the government may turn positive.

To be fair, the whole world is experiencing economic slump. Some nations are even in a worse state than Nigeria. It's so that Nigeria does not become one of such basket cases that the Buhari administration needs to act fast. "This regime should do quick, wake up and address the problems", Ayo Teriba, chief executive officer of Economics Associates, an economic think tank, pleaded. To make up for lost time, Mr. President will do well to inaugurate his cabinet this week without further delay. Thank God the Senate has cleared the ministerial nominees. So after five months of waiting, the wheel of government machinery should therefore begin to turn again. This will ease everybody's concerns. Foreign investors can then decide to either invest in the country or go elsewhere. Local businesses can expect to be paid money owed them and bid for new contracts while millions of unemployed youths can expect to get hired as economic activities resume.

As we wait for the ministers to take office, all eyes will be on the persons who will be in charge of key ministries such as finance, trade, mines, transport, aviation, works, agriculture and industries. The occupiers of these positions matter a lot to economic observers. Journalists and analysts will show more than a keen interest in certain ministries because if the financial markets like them, sentiments toward the government may turn positive. As a result, the floodgate of foreign direct investments could be opened. But if they are disliked, foreign investors may likely prevaricate. This was why four South African presidents from the late Nelson Mandela to Jacob Zuma retained Trevor Manuel as Finance Minister for 13 years between 1996 and 2009. It was also why former President Olusegun Obasanjo hired Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala to head the finance ministry and why Goodluck Jonathan anointed her as Coordinator of his Economic Team, a powerful position that was until then unknown in Nigeria. Businesses and financial markets usually seek any information on these pivotal ministers to help understand them and so be able to predict their policy bearing. The reason is because markets dislike surprises. They prefer people they know and can trust. If they are former colleagues on Wall Street or the City of London, or Ivy League classmates, or pro-business eggheads whose temperament they can forecast, fine.

For President Buhari, forming the cabinet is the easy part for obvious reasons. Getting the economy up and running again won't be a child's play. According to Teriba, the problems he inherited from the past administration is quite intimidating. Among the tests he'll face is the matter of the 2016 budget, whose presentation to parliament is already running late. Crude oil theft and the fuel subsidy trouble, with the fraud associated with it, will be crying out for attention, not to mention the destructive insurgency in the North-East. Government will need to find alternative sources of income to make up for dwindling oil revenues. Otherwise, it will be impossible to fulfill campaign promises. And away from the usual lip service paid to diversifying the economy, it's this administration that will have to actually do it. Unemployment must be confronted, inflation must be tamed, and exchange rate stabilised. Then with corruption, despite President Buhari's body language, we don't need a prophet to know that corruption won't be an easy nut to crack.

Premium Times


The Federal Government has blamed high population growth for the country’s inability to meet the energy needs of its citizens and business outfits.

The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Babachi Lawal, who laid the blame in a speech at the inauguration of the Nigeria Energy Calculator developed by the Energy Council of Nigeria in Abuja on Wednesday, said effective planning was strategic to sustainable energy development in the country.

Lawal, who was represented at the event by the Director of Public Relations, SGF office, Ijeoma Onuagu, said concerted efforts must be made by all stakeholders to address the nation’s intractable energy crisis.

He said, “The growth in energy demand far exceeds supply principally due to high population growth rate and expansion of economic activities. It is in realisation of the dire need for enhanced energy security in the country that the Federal Government adopted the dual strategy of increasing capacity as well as diversifying the energy supply base.

“In line with the government’s agenda for change, this administration is committed to ensuring that all national resources are optimally mobilised to power our development aspiration.”


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