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NNPC continues FAAC deductions, to withhold N174.4bn in August

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The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) is continuing its regime of deduction from the federation account as it set to withhold N117.4 billion from the three tiers of government.

With the development, by the time the national oil company withdraws the full amount this month during its monthly Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) meeting, the total subsidy retention on petrol since this year would have hit a total of N608.808 billion since the full return of what the government termed under-recovery in February this year.

Information from the NNPC’s July presentation on its activities to the FAAC, obtained by THISDAY, indicated that the corporation was only able to contribute N47.1 billion during the month.

But its projected remittances to the joint account remained at about N122 billion, leaving a deficit of about N75 billion.

As expected, according to the new data detailing how the national oil company arrived at its net payment for the month, N114.3 billion was deducted in June, while an additional N50 billion, which the corporation said was in arrears, was also subtracted.

The document further showed that the overall NNPC crude oil lifting of 11.58Mbbls (export and domestic crude) in May 2021 recorded 29.27 per cent increase relative to the 9.42Mbbls lifted in April 2021.

In addition, the FAAC document indicated that Nigeria maintained 1.53 million bpd of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) Production cut in May 2021, excluding condensates.

Crude oil export revenue received in June 2021 amounted to $11.68 million, equivalent to N4.5 billion, while domestic gas receipts in the month was N37.4 billion.

Feedstock valued at $48.02 million was sold to the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Limited (NLNG) during the period, out of which $36 million was received during the month, with the difference being Modified Carry Agreement (MCA) obligations, gas reconciliation and credit notes.

The sum of $136.15 million, being miscellaneous receipts, gas and ullage fees and interest income was received in June 2021, the document disclosed. .

“The sum of N114,337,097,352.49, being the value shortfall arising from the difference between the landing cost and ex-coastal price of petrol recorded in May 2021, plus the N50 billion arrears of March 2021, was applied on the gross domestic receipts before arriving at the net receipt of N47.16 billion.

“The June, 2021 value shortfall of N170,435,950,434.47 is to be deducted from the July, 2021 proceeds due for sharing at the August, 2021 FAAC meeting,” the NNPC FAAC document noted.

Year-to-date, it showed that while N90.86 billion was remitted to FAAC in January, N64.161 was contributed in February, while it was N41.184 billion in March. NNPC remitted zero naira in April, but was only able to make a payment of 38.608 and N47.162 in May and June respectively.

In June, the NNPC told the nation that Nigeria now loses about 42 million litres of petrol to the activities of smugglers across the country’s borders, increasing Nigeria’s estimated daily consumption of 60 million litres to 103 million litres, thereby worsening the subsidy payment regime.

The national oil company stated that the under-recovery or subsidy that the government pays on the product every month had begun to hover between N140 billion to N150 billion, making the corporation unable to contribute to the national coffers, the federation account, as the subsidy it pays has kept wiping out the gains made from rising international oil prices.

Group Managing Director of the NNPC, had also explained that with the exchange rate, the pump price of petrol should be N256 per litre in June, maintaining that if the NNPC was to sell at the going rate, and incorporating the current exchange rate, fuel will be selling for about N256 a litre.

However, the government appeared to have been unable to remove the subsidy citing negotiations with labour as an excuse, although it is also believed that it has been weighing its implications on already skyrocketing commodity prices in the country.

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BUSINESS

Dangote seeks loans for Lagos giant refinery as costs balloon to $19B

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President of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote is in talks with some of the world’s biggest oil traders to help finance his mega refinery project in Lekki, Lagos, Reuters has reported quoting close sources to the project.

The 650,000 barrel-per-day refinery, once complete, will be the continent’s largest plant and redraw major trade flows of crude and fuel in the Atlantic basin.

The refinery has been delayed by several years and the cost has ballooned to $19 billion from Dangote’s earlier estimates of $12-14 billion.

Construction was also delayed due to COVID-19 outbreaks among workers at the site and delays getting materials, two sources with knowledge of the project said.

Many industry sources do not expect any products before the second half of next year.

Hit by economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic and soaring construction costs, Dangote needs a cash injection.

Nigeria’s state oil firm NNPC has agreed to buy a 20% stake in the refinery for about $2.8 billion but Dangote is looking for outside cash.

NNPC’s head Mele Kyari said a process was on-going to raise $1 billion with Afreximbank to fund part of its stake purchase.

The billionaire has held talks as recently as a month ago with executives from the world’s top two oil traders – Trafigura and Vitol.

Trafigura and Vitol declined to comment. A spokesperson for the Dangote Group did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

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No plan to convert domiciliary accounts into naira

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has denied a claim that it directed banks to convert all customers’ domiciliary accounts meant for dollar and other hard currency transactions into naira accounts.

In a statement on Saturday, Director, Corporate Communications, Osita Nwanisobi, the apex bank said a fake circular with a fake CBN logo curiously dated “13 September 2021” (next Monday), and purportedly issued by its Trade and Exchange Department directed that all Deposit Money Banks, International Money Transfer Operators (IMTOs) and members of the public are to convert domiciliary account holdings into naira.

“We wish to reiterate that the Bank has not contemplated, and will never contemplate, any such line of action. The speculation is a completely false narrative aimed at triggering panic in the foreign exchange market,” CBN said.

The apex bank recalled that it had assured that there was no plan to convert the foreign exchange in the domiciliary accounts of customers into Naira in order to check the alleged shortage of availability of the United States Dollar (USD).

“Operators of domiciliary accounts and other members of the banking public are therefore advised to completely disregard these fictitious documents and malicious rumours, and go about their legitimate foreign exchange transactions.”

The apex bank also warned corporate bodies and members of the public against the unauthorised use of the bank’s logo for any purpose, stating that the appropriate authorities have been notified and culprits will be sanctioned.

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NNPC’s assets rise by 18.7%

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For the third time since it was established 44 years ago, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) yesterday officially released its Audited Financial Statement (AFS) for year 2020.

With the development, the corporation has now joined other state-owned global oil concerns that publish the details of their operations, to among others, boost investors’ confidence and enhance business transparency.

President Muhammadu Buhari last month announced a profit after tax (PAT) of N287 billion for the NNPC for the financial year ended 2020 and had directed the corporation to ensure prompt publication of its AFS in line with the requirements of the law.

The latest financial statement of the national oil company showed that aside the already announced PAT, from a loss position of N1.7 billion in 2019, to N287 billion in 2020, NNPC’s total current assets increased by 18.7 per cent compared with that of 2019, while its total current liabilities increased by 11.4 per cent within the same period.

In addition, the group’s working capital remained below the line at N4.56 trillion in 2020, as against N4.44 trillion in 2019, while the corporation’s group revenue for the 2020 financial year stood at N3.718 trillion as against N4.634 trillion in 2019.

According to the national oil company, the decrease in the group’s revenue could be attributed to the decline in production and price of crude oil due to global impact of Covid-19.

The corporation first published its AFS last year, the first being for 2018 and the second dealing was on its activities for 2019.

But the NNPC’s independent auditors, namely PriceWaterhouse Coopers (PwC), SIAO Partners and Muhtari Dangana & Co, drew attention to a section of the document which indicated that the corporation’s liabilities still outstripped its assets.

The auditors stressed that though the NNPC announced a profit of N287 billion, but the large discrepancy between assets and liabilities cast some uncertainty on the corporation’s operations.

“We draw attention to note 42 of the consolidated and separate financial statements, which indicates that the group recorded a net profit of N287.2 billion (Corporation: N235.3 billion) during the year ended 31 December 2020 and, as at that date, the group’s current liabilities exceeded its current assets by N4.6 trillion (Corporation: N729.1 billion).

“As stated in note 42, these events or conditions, along with other matters as set forth in note 42, indicate that a material uncertainty exists that may cast significant doubt on the group and corporation’s ability to continue as a going concern. Our opinion is not modified in respect of this matter,” they noted.

The newly released AFS also indicated that the NNPC recorded a profit before tax of N719 billion in 2020, compared with N93 billion loss in 2019, and a total comprehensive income of N655 billion compared to a loss of N20.1 billion last year.

The financial statement was signed by the Group Managing Director of the corporation and the Chief Financial Officer, Mallam Mele Kyari and Mr Umar Ajiya respectively and was dated September 3.

However, despite their misgivings, the auditors stated that records showed an improvement from prior year based on several group improvement efforts put in place by management, including elimination of the cost drivers responsible for the accumulation of the shortfalls in settling domestic crude obligation to Federation Account.

The auditors further acknowledged the introduction of the Price Modulator mechanism in the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) template designed to eliminate the major cause of the losses as well as minimising the breaches to pipeline networks.

Under the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA), they projected that the NNPC when given the autonomy, would operate profitably, noting that the recapitalisation of the corporation would enable the resolution of all outstanding related party payables and receivables to enable NNPC start on a clean slate.

Kyari had while explaining how the NNPC arrived at the profit, attributed it to aggressive cost cutting, automation of the NNPC system and renegotiation of contracts downwards by about 30 per cent, among other tough measures.

During the year, the NNPC said it donated a total sum of N3.6 billion and N9 million respectively to various charitable organisations, higher education institutions and other organisation, while no donation was made to any political party.

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