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APPO set to invest $5bn in African Energy Bank to develop oil, gas assets



The African Petroleum Producers Organisation(APPO) says it has committed five billion dollars to the establishment of an African Energy Bank (AEB), to develop oil and gas assets across oil producing member countries.

Dr Omar Ibrahim, the Secretary General of APPO, said that the bank would be established in collaboration with Afreximbank. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports Ibrahim disclosed this at a news conference held on the sidelines of the ongoing 24th World Petroleum Congress(WPC) on Monday in Calgary, Canada.

He explained that the establishment of the bank would address the funding challenge often associated with oil and gas projects. According to him, the AEB has the objective to close the gap resulting from the decision of Western financiers to discontinue funding the industry, especially in Africa.

Ibrahim said the bank would assist investors, who believe that Africa needed to use all forms of available energy for the fore-seeable future, to eliminate the huge poverty in the continent. He, however, said that the bank would also look into other energies.

On strategies to address the technology and expertise challenge, Ibrahim said a team from the Secretariat undertook an assessment tour with a view to establishing the professional level of these institutions.

According to him, the tour was based on oil and gas research, development, innovation and training institutions in APPO member countries.

‘‘We were pleasantly surprised at the level of advancement of many of the institutions visited, in terms of their training programmes, facilities and equipment as well as faculties.

“We concluded that given the huge financial requirements for establishing high class oil and gas research and training institutions, APPO member countries need not all establish these institutions.

“Instead, each country can establish institutions for training oil and gas technicians and well as middle level personnel.

“For the highly skilled sectors, we plan to have regional centers of excellence in the various sectors of the industry.

“In this regard, Sonatrach, the National Oil Company of Algeria hosted the inaugural meeting of Directors of Oil and Gas Research and Training Institutions last June, in Bourmedes, Algeria,” he said.

Ibrahim also said that Nigeria would be hosting the second Africa Roundtable on Local Content in October, while Angola had indicated interest for the next in the first quarter of 2024.

“In pursuing this objective, we believe that partnership with players from the technologically countries will be fruitful.

“The oil and gas industry in Canada is one place that we believe we can come for technological support.

“Partnership is critical to our success and we are prepared to partner with all like-minded institutions to pursue our objectives,” he added.

Ibrahim hinted that APPO was currently addressing the challenge of markets and energy infrastructure. He explained that the organisation was working on producing a blue print for the integration of the African continent through the establishment of cross border energy infrastructure.

Regrettably, he said most of the energy infrastructure that exist on the continent, today, were established to serve extra-Africa interests.

‘’That is why our pipelines run from the fields to the sea ports for export.

“The time has come for us to route these pipelines from areas of plenty to areas of need within Africa.

‘‘For too long, we have been told that Africans do not have purchasing power, so our energy needs external markets.

“But we all know that energy is the biggest catalyst to economic development.

“So, if the people cannot access energy because they do not have the purchasing power, when will they ever get out of poverty?

He maintained that APPO believes that that poverty cycle might not be broken if the industry continued believing on the received wisdom.

“Deliberate policies must be created to make our people have access to energy and with that, the poverty cycle shall be broken.

‘‘Give the people energy not just to light their homes but to do cottage industries and you will be shocked at the quantum leap in the national Gross Domestic Products,’’ he said.

The APPO scribe said that one of the first assignments given to the APPO Secretariat after the reform was to conduct a study on the future of the oil and gas industry in Africa in the light of the energy transition. According to him, the findings of the study have continued to shape APPO’s strategy.

The study, he said, found out that the global pursuit of energy transition pose four imminent challenges to African oil and gas producing and dependent countries.

“These imminent challenges are; funding, technology and expertise challenge, markets and energy infrastructure challenge.

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Naira surges strong against Dollar, hits N750.15 in Forex rally



In a robust display, Nigeria’s currency, the Naira, surged ahead against the US Dollar at the foreign exchange market on Monday, maintaining its upward trajectory.

Official data from FMDQ revealed a noteworthy appreciation as the Naira strengthened to N750.15 against the Dollar at the close of Monday’s trading, marking an impressive gain of N40.75 compared to Friday’s exchange rate of N791.25/$1.

Simultaneously, the parallel market experienced a surge, with rates climbing to N1,130/$1 on Monday from the previous N1,140 on Friday.

Dayyabu Mistila, a Bureau De Change operator in Wuse Zone 4 Abuja, verified the uptick, confirming sales at N1,130 and purchases at N1,140 on Friday.

This surge follows a remarkable N31.23 gain recorded on Wednesday, defying October’s inflation hike in Nigeria, as reported by DAILY POST.

As the Naira continues its winning streak, all eyes turn to the upcoming economic roadmap presentation by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Dr. Olayemi Cardoso, at the annual Bankers’ Dinner of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria on Friday, 25th November, 2023.

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Rice prices soar by 37% as Nigeria grapples with growing supply gap



Rice prices soar by 37% as Nigeria grapples with growing supply gap

A substantial 37% surge in the market cost of rice has left the staple food in short supply, intensifying concerns over the widening annual supply gap. The AFEX Wet Season Crop Production Report for 2023 reveals that the availability drop has resulted in a staggering two million metric tonnes increase in the supply deficit each year.

The report states, “Rice consumption in Nigeria has been steadily increasing, nearly matching the annual population growth projection of 2.6 per cent at two per cent. This has led to a supply gap of about 2 million metric tonnes annually.”

Nigeria, once Africa’s top rice producer in 2021, with an output of 8.3 million metric tons, now faces challenges due to surging consumption rates. Despite potential net rice export capabilities, the country has spent over $15 billion in the past decade to meet its escalating rice consumption.

The Rice Outlook report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture predicts Nigeria’s importation of 2.1 million metric tons of rice in 2024, potentially making the nation the world’s leading rice buyer. This follows the recent decision by the Federal Government to lift the ban on rice importation.

While the ban was in place, imports plummeted by 98.4% between January and July 2022. The increase in rice prices is attributed to production setbacks caused by flooding and the repercussions of global market dynamics.

Factors contributing to the global rice price surge include India’s ban on rice exports, the world’s second-largest rice exporter, and potential production impact from El Nino in key regions. Rain-induced disruptions and quality variations during Vietnam’s summer-autumn harvest have further fueled the price hike. The report anticipates a 4% increase in rice production with an additional 32% rise in the price of paddy rice.

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Public schools empty, banks closed in Osun as NLC, TUC members protest



Public schools empty, banks closed in Osun as NLC, TUC members protest

The nationwide strike declared by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) has taken its toll in Osogbo, Osun State, with public school students sent home and banks opting to remain closed.


Observations by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) revealed a significant impact on public schools, where students were seen leaving various primary and secondary schools and heading home. At CAC Grammar School, Gbodofon, Osogbo, the school gate stood wide open, allowing students to exit, while teachers gathered under a tree for discussions.


In tandem with the strike’s influence, several banks in Osogbo chose not to open their doors to customers, with some displaying hesitation and a few engaging in business transactions. The state secretariat in Abere witnessed a notable decline in activity, as most offices appeared deserted, and only a limited number of workers were observed within the premises.


A confidential source from the secretariat acknowledged that the strike had yet to fully materialize, highlighting the absence of the usual barricades by members of the NLC and other unions. Security personnel were strategically stationed at the entrance of the secretariat and other key locations in Osogbo.


Modupeola Oyedele, the Osun State NLC Caretaker Chairperson, confirmed to NAN that the strike adheres to directives from the NLC and TUC headquarters. She emphasized that the primary instruction was for workers to abstain from work without engaging in street protests.


“We are not doing street protest with the strike. The instruction is for workers to abstain from work and we are complying.


Public schools have sent back their students in compliance with the strike.


Many send their students back this morning because the strike directive came late last night, so that is why students were turned back after getting to school.


We are ensuring that there is compliance as our officials are at the state secretariat to ensure workers do not resume in their offices,” Oyedele explained.


The strike directive, issued on Monday evening by the labour unions, was met with resistance from the government, which deemed it illegal.

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