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OPEC might force Nigeria to reduce output supply as country members meet today



Nigeria might be under pressure to cut her oil output as the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries looks set for an extension of the deal reached last year to reduce oil production.

OPEC members and non-OPEC producers including Russia agreed in December to cut output by 1.8 million barrels per day for six months from January 1, 2017.

Nigeria and Libya were exempted from the cuts because their production had suffered disruptions on the back of unrest and militant attacks.

The cuts in production resulted in a significant rally in oil prices, with Brent crude, global oil benchmark, trading as high as $56 per barrel in February. But the rise in the United States’ crude output recently pared the gains.

The exemption of Nigeria and Libya from the cuts was also seen by some market watchers as a risk to the group’s efforts to curb a global crude glut as both have regained some volumes in recent months and are expected to add more soon.

OPEC will meet in Vienna on Thursday (today) to consider whether to prolong the original deal reached in December.

This is happening at a time when Nigeria and Libya are restoring output; Iraq plans new production projects and the US drillers continue to add rigs.

Militant attacks in the Niger Delta, which pushed Nigeria’s production to just over one million barrels per day at certain points last year, the lowest in decades, have abated since the start of this year.

The Chairman/Chief Executive Officer, International Energy Services Limited, Dr. Diran Fawibe, said Nigeria might come under pressure during the meeting to join others in cutting production.

“The minister representing Nigeria will have to make a strong case for Nigeria to be exempted. But it depends on how other member countries will view the case. We can only hope that they will continue to exempt Nigeria from the cuts at least for now,” he said

Fawibe said the country lost market share on the back of the resurgence of militant attacks on oil and gas facilities last year, adding, “What Nigeria is trying to do is to recoup the production losses.”

The Vice-President/Head of Energy Research, Ecobank, Mr. Dolapo Oni, said, “It is more or less a given that there is going to be an extension of the cuts in production. The question is how much and who will participate?

“I think Iran is trying to get Nigeria to participate. Clearly, I think there will be some pressure on Nigeria to join the cuts, especially since they know now that Forcados has been reopened and I think flow stations will start flowing from next week.

“The likelihood is that there will be a stronger pressure that Nigeria should join the cuts, which could be trouble for the country. I don’t see us having to make very large cuts anyway.”

Oni, however, said as long as the cuts would translate to higher oil prices, Nigeria would still be in a good place.

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, had acknowledged that a fully-recovered Nigeria would likely be asked to share in the cuts, following the last OPEC meeting on November 30, 2016 when the production agreement was signed, according to Platts.

“I don’t expect that once you reach your volume you are going to have a free rein, so we probably have six months to get our act together and then hopefully zoom back out production and then we will be asked to contribute,” he told reporters.

The Chief Executive Officer, Oando Energy Resources, Mr. Pade Durotoye, told the Africa Independents Forum in London on Wednesday that the long-closed Forcados oilfield could be back to capacity by the end of June, enabling a return to nearly full production from the country.

“We think that the worst is behind us. Before the end of June, we will have Forcados back, which would take us comfortably back to 2.2 million bpd.”

OPEC heavyweights, Saudi Arabia and Iraq, agreed on Monday on the need to extend global cuts in oil supply by nine months in an effort to prop up crude prices.

The Saudi Energy Minister, Khalid al-Falih, said he did not expect any opposition within OPEC to extending the curbs for a further nine months, speaking after he met his Iraqi counterpart in Baghdad.

“We’re on the cusp of a rollover of the OPEC deal. We haven’t heard from Iran yet or how they plan to deal with Nigeria and Libya, which are coming back. If those two countries continue to recover, they have the ability to make up for the cuts made elsewhere,” the Director, Futures Division at Mizuho Securities USA Inc, Bob Yawger, was quoted by Bloomberg as saying.

National News

Low UTME Cut-off Mark Makes Northern Youth Lazy – El-Rufai



Low UTME Cut-off Mark Makes Northern Youth Lazy – El-Rufai

Governor El-rufai

Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El-Rufai has expressed that the low cut-off mark in the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME for Northern students admission into universities makes them lazy.

He expressed that the North has not taken advantage of the educational benefits the country has provided to the region.

El-Rufai made this remark during a plenary session on “Rethinking Sub-National Competitiveness” at the ongoing Nigerian Economic Summit.

Also Read: El-Rufai Drags Omokri, Others To Court, Demands N1.5bn For Defamation

“The northerners are at advantage. The low JAMB cut-off mark is making northern youth lazy rather than encouraging them. Despite the advantage of education in Nigeria, we have the highest number of children out of school,” he said.

According to the United Nations, the huge number of out-of-school children in northern Nigeria poses an enormous challenge.

“For example, Joint Admissions Matriculation Board, (JAMB), gives different cut-off marks for different states and you say you are building a nation, no you are dividing it.

“I am from the north but we have suffered educational disadvantage and the JAMB has given us a lower cut-off mark to catch up, have we caught up?

“It is making people lazy,” the governor said.


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Family Of Slain Vendor Demands N500m Compensation From Gbajabiamila, Threatens Legal Action



Family Of Slain Vendor Demands N500m Compensation From Gbajabiamila, Threatens Legal Action

Femi Gbajabiamila

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has been asked to pay N500 million in compensation by the family of Ifeanyi Okereke, the newspaper vendor shot dead last week by a State Security Service (SSS) officer in the convoy of the Speaker.

This was contained in a letter written to Gbajabiamila by their lawyer, Mike Ozekhome (SAN).

The family gave the speaker seven days to fulfill their demand or face legal action.

In the letter dated November 23, Ozekhome, revealed that he has the mandate of the father of the deceased, Okorie Okereke, and his younger brother, Destiny Okereke, to make the demand.

The demand is coming a few days after Gbajabiamila visited the immediate family and pledged to support his children’s education until they become adults.

Also Read: Gbajabiamila’s Security Aide In Detention – DSS

“Our clients have instructed us to make from your good self, the following modest demands: That you use your good offices to ensure the immediate prosecution of your security aide (Abdullahi Hassan), who went on a frolic of his own, clearly acted outside the purview of his duty and responsibility by shooting to death an innocent, harmless and armless citizen.

“That you adequately compensate the Okereke family with a modest sum of N500m only.

“This monetary demand can never adequately replace or take the place of their son, husband, brother, and breadwinner’s life.

“But it will at least mitigate the obvious trauma and hardship the premature demise of their irreplaceable breadwinner has placed on them.

“Take note therefore that it is our clients’ firm instruction that in the event that you fail, refuse and/or neglect to accede to or proffer reasonable compensatory terms to our above modest demands within seven days from the date of this letter, we shall without any further correspondences from us, take appropriate legal steps to enforce our clients’ constitutional rights,” the letter read.


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National News

Don’t Allow Conspiracy Theorists Undermine Lagos Security, Sanwo-Olu Tells Residents



Don’t Allow Conspiracy Theorists Undermine Lagos Security, Sanwo-Olu Tells Residents

Babajide Sanwo-Olu

Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu has urged the residents of the state not to allow conspiracy theorists and external forces destroy the wellbeing and security of the state.

He made this appeal on Tuesday during a stakeholders’ engagement, tagged, ‘Internal Security and Conflict Resolution in Lagos State.’

The meeting, which held at the Adeyemi Bero Auditorium, Alausa, was also attended by the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola; Minister of Police Affairs, Maigari Dingyadi; human rights lawyer, Femi Falana, among others.

Also Read: BREAKING: Sanwo-Olu Appoints Olaleye As LASPOTECH Rector

“We have to reignite the communication link between government and the people so that fifth columnists or conspiracy theorists will not be able to infiltrate and spread disinformation and misinformation that would jeopardise the future of our country or the opportunities available for our youths to contribute to the greatness of our country,” the governor told the audience at the event.

He added, “The level of insecurity being experienced across the nation calls for serious concern, considering its implication not only on the socio-economic development and prosperity of our people but also on the unity and territorial integrity of our nation.

“The importance of an effective strategy for peaceful resolution of conflict cannot be overemphasised.”

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