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Telecoms investment in Nigeria now $75.6bn, Danbatta declares

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Nasiru Yusuf Ibrahim

The Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, has officially announced that the investment profile in the nation’s telecommunications sector, comprising foreign direct investment (FDI) and local investment, has reached $75.6 billion as of 2021.

 

KANO FOCUS reports that Danbatta disclosed this at an interactive session with stakeholders in the communications media ecosystem, in Lagos on Wednesday where he provided his scorecards and landmark developments that have shaped the trajectory of growth in the telecoms sector since he became the chief telecom regulator in August 2015.

According to Danbatta, in 2018, investment profile in the sector stood at $68 billion. This increased to $70.5 billion in 2019 and $72 billion in 2020. At the end of 2021, the figure rose to $75,560,563,417.79 ($75.6 billion). The latest figure is the current official investment profile computed in the industry up from the initial $70 billion investment in the last few years.

Investment in the telecommunications sector in Nigeria is computed from two sources: the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), and the financial data obtained from service providers by the Commission.

While the CBN collects and calculates an element of the telecoms sector to include FDI, portfolio and others, the Commission collects investment figures from telecom licensees described as domestic investment arising from capital expenditure (CAPEX) which form part of the total investment in the industry.

The NCC CEO said through effective regulatory environment put in place by the Commission, the telecom sector has recorded tremendous growth from an initial investment profile of $500 million as at 2001, when the sector was fully liberalised.

Similarly, Danbatta said the telecom sector has continued to be a major contributor to the Nigeria’s economy through an impressive the sectoral contribution to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) quarterly, up from about 8.5 per cent in third quarter of 2015, contributing N10.126 trillion to the nation’s GDP in 2022 alone.

Citing data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), Danbatta said the telecoms sector contributed N10.126 trillion as an aggregate quarterly contribution to GDP in 2022.

“In the first quarter, the sector contributed 12.94 per cent equivalent to N2.246 trillion while the second quarter witnessed an all-time high GDP contribution by the telecom sector to the nation’s economy, standing at 15 per cent and valued at N2.593 trillion. The sector’s contribution to GDP in the third was 12.85 per cent and in the fourth quarter, it grew to 13.55 per cent, which are valued at N2.436 trillion and N2.851 trillion respectively.

“The growth trajectory continued this year as telecommunications and Information Services sector in Nigeria delivered a handsome N2. 508 trillion in terms of financial value contribution to the nation’s gross domestic product, GDP, representing 14.13% in the first quarter 2023,”he said.

Telecoms contribution to national GDP has grown significantly since assumption of Prof. Danbatta as the EVC of NCC in August, 2015, according to available data from NBS.

From 8.50 per cent in 2015, it grew to 9.13 per cent in 2016 and to 8.66 per cent in 2017. In the last quarter of 2018, telecoms contributed 9.85 per cent to national GDP while it added 10.60 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2019.

Also in the second quarter of 2010, it added 14.30 per cent to GDP; 14.42 per cent in the second quarter of 2021. The highest quarterly contribution to GDP by the sector to the economy was 15 per cent in the second quarter of 2022.

Overall, Danbatta said the sector has become a major enabler of economic development in Nigeria, as it continues to positively impact all the facets of the Nigerian economy. “As the regulatory authority for the telecom sector in Nigeria, we are happy that the sector has recorded phenomenal growth statistics in the past two decades of the liberalization of the telecoms sector. However, we will not rest on our oars. We will continue to push upward to greater heights by encouraging expansion of frontiers to put Nigeria’s imprint on the global map of digital economy,” he said.

In addition to the growth in investment and GDP contribution, Danbatta said, “As of May, 2023, active voice subscriptions reached 221.3 million, equivalent of 115.91 per cent teledensity, while Internet subscriptions rose to 159.6 million.

According to the CEO of NCC, broadband subscriptions on Third Generation (3G) and Fourth Generation (4G) networks increased to 92.2 million, representing a 48.28 per cent broadband penetration in the country.

Also, following the issuance of 3.5GHz spectrum licences for the deployment of Fifth Generation (5G) networks in Nigeria, marked by ultra-high speed internet, low latency and high capacity, and the subsequent commercial launch by two of the three licence holders, 5G subscriptions have grown to over 60,000 in many cities in at least 12 states of the Federation.

Danbatta assured of the Commission’s commitment to always give concrete expression to the Federal Government Executive Order 001 focused on Ease of Doing Business and other digital economy-oriented policies, by embarking on various regulatory initiatives that support a friendly investment climate for investors in Nigeria and enhance value for money for telecom consumers.

The EVC particularly commended the media as a strategic partner and enabler of growth in the telecom sector “through accurate, adequate and timely reporting of all regulatory activities of the Commission.”

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Dangote Refinery imports additional 11m barrels of US crude oil due to domestic supply shortage

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Nasiru Yusuf Ibrahim

 

 

Dangote Petroleum Refinery and Petrochemicals has issued a tender for an additional 11 million barrels of US crude oil over the next six months due to Nigerian crude oil producers’ inability to meet its feedstock requirements.

KANO FOCUS reports that the 650,000 barrels per day refinery has already received 9 million barrels of West Texas Intermediate crude from the US since the beginning of 2024 to offset unreliable domestic supplies. The new tender, closing on July 21, aims to procure two million barrels per month of WTI Midland crude for the world’s largest single-train facility located in Ibeju Lekki, Lagos, for the next six months starting in August.

In a tender reported by Bloomberg, Dangote Refinery purchased five million barrels of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) Midland crude for delivery in the upcoming months of August and September. Additionally, the company initiated a tender process to acquire an additional six million barrels of American crude for September.

This reliance on US crude highlights Nigeria’s challenges in meeting its own refining needs, attributed to issues such as crude theft, aging infrastructure, and underinvestment, which have led to a decline in production. In April, Nigeria’s daily output was only 1.45 million barrels, well below its capacity of 2.6 million barrels per day. The country recorded an estimated 30 million barrels underproduction in the first four months of 2024.

Dangote Refinery, crucial to Nigeria’s goal of becoming a net exporter of petroleum products, has found it necessary to import crude to sustain operations amidst insufficient domestic supply.

President of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, stated during the Africa CEO Forum 2024 that the refinery will need to continue importing crude as production scales up and alternative supply contracts are sought.

“It also makes economic sense for us to tender for crude. If we could source 100 percent Nigerian crude, then fine, but we can’t wait,” said Dangote.

Commenting on the challenge with sourcing crude locally, Dangote added, “there is a bit of a problem for us to source the entire volume of crude that we’re looking for domestically because we need different types and mixes. Unless crude production improves – which we pray and hope for – we need to go elsewhere.”

The refinery took in more than 41 million barrels of feedstock in the first half of the year as it completed test runs and gradually increased processing rates, tanker-tracking data show. Of that, about a quarter has been American supply.

According to CAS, the refinery took delivery of 11 WTI cargoes, or 9 million barrels, between February and May, contrasting with around 18 million barrels of Nigerian crude deliveries.

Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC), NNPC has struggled to meet its 300,000 barrels per day obligation to the refinery due to operational constraints.

International financial analytics corporation, S&P Global, recently described the Dangote Petroleum Refinery and Petrochemicals company as capable of resolving Nigeria’s foreign exchange (forex) issue and its huge pressure on the local Naira currency, while also catalysing the country’s economic development.

S&P Global, headquartered in Manhattan, New York City, disclosed this during an onsite visit to the refinery as part of its sovereign credit ratings assessment of Nigeria. The team from the international rating agency were accompanied by officials from the Federal Ministry of Finance.

S&P noted that the refinery would bolster Nigeria’s oil sector and, more importantly, also have a positive impact on its growing economy.

Currently operating at 350,000 barrels per day capacity, Vice President of Oil and Gas at Dangote Industries Limited (DIL), Devakumar Edwin, recently disclosed that the refinery would scale up to at least 500,000 barrels per day capacity by July/August, commencing the refining of petrol and ultra-low sulphur diesel.

He noted that the refinery, designed to process a wide range of crudes including various African and Middle Eastern crudes, as well as US Light Oil, conforms to Euro V specifications. In addition, it is designed to comply with US EPA, European Union (EU) emission norms, the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) emission/effluent norms, and the African Refiners and Distribution Association (ARDA) standards.

While noting that most refineries were built by foreign companies, he said it is a thing of pride that a Nigerian company designed and built the world’s largest single-train refinery complex while acting directly as its own Engineering, Procurement, and Construction (EPC) contractor. The refinery which also incorporates a self-sufficient marine facility capable of handling the world’s largest vessels, can meet 100% of Nigeria’s requirement of all liquid products (Gasoline, Diesel, Kerosene & Aviation Jet) and have surplus of each of these products for export.

 

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UNICEF Commends Governor Yusuf for Education Prioritization in Kano State

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Mukhtar Yahya Usman

In a gesture of appreciation, the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) has praised Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf of Kano State for his steadfast commitment to enhancing the education sector within Kano.

During a cordial meeting at the Kano Government House on Thursday, the Country Director, Mrs. Christain Munduate, extolled the enduring partnership between UNICEF and Kano State, advocating for its reinforcement to yield greater mutual benefits and collaborative opportunities.

This was contained in a statement issued by the Governor’s spokesperson Mr. Sanusi Bature Dawakin Tofa and made available to journalists in Kano.

Mrs. Munduate reiterated UNICEF’s unwavering support for the state in both the Health and Education sectors, emphasizing the imperative for Kano State to fulfill its counterpart funding obligations for the Malnutrition project.

In response, Governor Alhaji Abba Kabir Yusuf called for increased support and goodwill from UNICEF and other donor agencies, highlighting Education and Health as pivotal realms necessitating additional assistance due to their fundamental importance in societal progress.

Governor Yusuf pinpointed Malnutrition and poliomyelitis as pressing health concerns, particularly affecting children and other vulnerable demographics.

Detailing the notable achievements in the education sector under his administration, Governor Yusuf underscored his government’s dedication to providing essential infrastructure, educational resources, modern classrooms, teacher training programs, and fostering an enriching environment conducive to learning.

Furthermore, in the realm of healthcare, Governor Yusuf emphasized the state’s endeavors to ensure complimentary medical services for women and children, overhauling of hospitals, and furnishing healthcare facilities with requisite equipment.

Assuring the visiting delegation, Governor Yusuf expressed the State’s commitment to doubling the counterpart funding contribution compared to Jigawa State for combating the pressing issue of Malnutrition.

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NiMet predicts morning thunderstorms in Kano on Friday

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Nasiru Yusuf Ibrahim

The Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) has predicted morning thunderstorms on Friday over parts of Kano State.

KANO FOCUS reports that NiMet’s weather outlook released on Thursday in Abuja envisaged thunderstorms over parts of Jigawa, Kebbi, Kaduna, Adamawa, Taraba, Gombe and Bauchi States on Sunday.

The agency anticipated thunderstorms over parts of Katsina State, Zamfara, Sokoto State and Kebbi.

The agency urged the public to take adequate precautions as strong winds may precede the rains in areas where thunderstorms are likely to occur.

NiMet advised Airline operators to get updated weather reports and forecasts from NiMet for effective planning in their operations.

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