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Energy

The public opening of bid for rehabilitation of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation’s (NNPC) downstream infrastructure was held virtually in Abuja on Thursday, no fewer than 96 companies have indicated interest.

According to the Managing Director of the Nigerian Pipelines and Storage Company (NPSC), Mrs Ada Oyetunde, the exercise was in conformity with the mandate of the Federal Government to prioritise the rehabilitation of critical downstream infrastructure across the country.

She listed some of the facilities that would be rehabilitated by successful bidders to include critical pipelines for crude oil supply to the refineries and evacuation of refined products, depots, and terminals.

Oyetunde said that the objective was to get them ready to support the refineries when they become operational after their rehabilitation.

“An open tender for pre-qualification of interested companies was published in August 2020 in the national dailies, for the rehabilitation of NNPC downstream critical pipelines and associated depots and terminal infrastructure through Finance Build Operate and Transfer (BOT) to cover the 4 lots.

 “The four lots are Lot 1: Port Harcourt Refinery related infrastructure, Lot 2: Warri Refinery related infrastructure, Lot 3: Kaduna Refinery related infrastructure and Lot 4: System 2B related infrastructure,” she said.

The NPSC boss said that the BOT arrangement would provide a reliable pipeline network and automated storage facilities for effective crude feed, product storage and evacuation from the nation’s refineries post-revamp through an open access model.

This, she added, would charge market reflective prices and tariffs to recover the investment.

Earlier, the Group General Manager, Supply Chain Management, Mrs Aisha Katagum, commended the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), and the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) for providing guidance for the project.

She assured the bidding firms of a fair, equitable and transparent selection process.

Observers at the public bid opening exercise were representatives of the ICRC, BPP, the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative and Civil Liberties Organisations.

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Economy, Government

The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo has inaugurated a steering committee for the implementation of the Export Expansion Facility (EEF) to boost non-oil exports.

Adebayo on Thursday, at the virtual inauguration of the committee warned that the economy would remain vulnerable to external shocks with attendant effects of devaluation, inflation and unemployment, if the country did not grow its non-oil exports.

In a statement by his Special Assistant on Media, Ifedayo Sayo, the minister said  export growth was at the centre of the strategy for diversifying Nigeria’s sources of foreign exchange.

According to him, it would reduce the vulnerability of the economy to external shocks.

“We have witnessed the devastating impact of events outside our control can have on our livelihoods due to our reliance on a primary source of foreign exchange.

“The coronavirus pandemic further amplified these vulnerabilities and reminded us that if we do not grow non-oil exports, our economy remains vulnerable to external shocks and their ripple effects of devaluation, inflation and unemployment.

“However, I believe we are on the right path in addressing these concerns and have chosen the right partners for the journey,” he said.

He noted that the EEF is aimed at protecting export businesses from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, safeguarding jobs and de-risk the economy from shocks like COVID-19.

According to him, its primary goal is to increase Nigeria’s export capacity in the near term and its export volumes in the medium term.

The minister added that it represented a huge financial commitment from the government and demonstrated President Muhammadu Buhari’s commitment to export diversification.

He listed the duties of the steering committee to include ensuring timely implementation of the programme in line with the Federal Government’s objectives and for the benefit of its intended beneficiaries.

According to him, it also includes approval of the Programme Implementation Plan and Budget in accordance with agreed priorities and approval of implementation strategy of EEF’s projects and target beneficiaries for each project, where applicable.

He added that the committee would ensure approval of disbursements to beneficiaries, vendors and implementation partners and review of the periodic performance reports and resolve implementation challenges.

Members of the committee headed by Adebayo as Chairman, include Mr Nnamdi Okonkwo, former Managing Director, Fidelity Bank as the Vice Chairman and Mr Olusegun Awolowo, Executive Director, Nigeria Export Promotion Council.

Others include Mr Mansur Ahmed, President, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, Mr Suleiman Audu, Director, Commodities and Export Department of the ministry and Mrs Suratu Umar; Founder/Chief Executive Officer, Aisston Consulting, among others.

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