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Nigeria can save N59bn yearly by privatizing NNPC’s pipelines

Adopting a private-sector-led model as Saudi Aramco can save Nigeria, about N59 billion annually spent maintaining its network of over 7,000km pipelines across the country.

Instead of spending its cash alone on pipeline repair and maintenance as the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) is doing, Saudi Aramco is inviting investors to share the cost and profit.

The Saudi Arabian government is selling a 49-percent stake in its newly formed crude oil pipeline entity to US-based investment firm, EIG Global Energy Partners-led consortium of investors for about $12.4 billion.

“This is an extraordinary opportunity for EIG’s investors, and we are proud to partner with Aramco in this marquee global infrastructure asset,” EIG chairman and CEO Blair Thomas, said.

Analysts say this is a better way of managing a network of pipelines because it optimizes cost and promotes efficiency.

COVID-19: Nigerians to bear new hotel-quarantine cost

Passengers intending to travel to Ireland from or via Nigeria and 70 other countries after Thursday, April 15, are required to book accommodation for mandatory hotel quarantine.

According to a statement by the Irish Government, any passenger who has been in any of the countries designated in the ‘Category 2’ list in the previous 14 days, even if only transiting through one of the countries is legally required to quarantine at a designated facility (mandatory hotel quarantine) on arrival in Ireland for 14 days.

“This applies even if the passenger receives a negative RT-PCR test result after arriving in the state,” the statement said.

From next week, travellers from the 71 “high risk” countries as identified by the Irish government must spend 14 nights and pay at least €1,875 (N851,000) per person, €625 (N283,610) for another adult (or child aged over 12) sharing the room, €360 (N163,359) for a child aged 4 to 12, with no charge for infants.

What is raising dust in Nigeria’s sugar industry?

Nigeria’s sugar industry since the beginning of the year has experienced series of back and forth, as major industry players are contending on market ownership and industry operations.

Read Also: Counting on in-store transactions, Burger King berths in Nigeria

Aliko Dangote, chairman, Dangote Group of Companies, and John Coumantaros, chairman, Flour Mills of Nigeria, had on January 28, 2021, jointly written a letter to Niyi Adebayo, minister, industry, trade and investment, in which they accused BUA of sabotaging the provisions of the National Sugar Master Plan (NSMP). This is coming after BUA commissioned its Port Harcourt sugar refinery in the Bundu Free Trade Zone.

The letter stated that BUA had failed to invest in backward integration practices for sugar production and aims to import and refine raw sugar for sale. As such, they urged the Federal Government and other regulatory agencies to enforce the provisions of the NSMP. Adding that an investigation be conducted to determine the quality of raw sugar imported by the BUA refinery while appropriate penalty in terms of 60 percent duty and 10 percent levy payment be imposed on the company.

The letter also added that in 2019 the sugar producers were promised that no new refinery will be allowed to operate in Nigeria.

In response to the petition, the ministry wrote to Abdulsamad Rabiu, chairman, BUA Group, on February 10 and requested that the company provide detailed information on how its refinery planned to service local and global demand.

On February 11, Rabiu replied the minister giving detailed information about the group’s three sugar refineries in Lagos, Kwara and Port Harcourt, noting that the last one particularly was governed by the National Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA) Act and the free zone approved by the president after a two-year process.

Seven years after, whereabouts of Chibok girls remain unknown

Today, April 14, 2021, marks seven years a jihadist terrorist organisation, Boko Haram, snatched away young schoolgirls from their dormitory beds in the northeast Nigerian town of Chibok; many of them still remain unaccounted for.

The anniversary of the abduction is a reminder that schoolchildren remain vulnerable to attacks and abductions by Boko Haram fighters and other militant groups marauding in the country’s beleaguered northern region.

The lack of information on the whereabouts of the remaining schoolgirls, as well as hundreds of other children abducted from other educational institutions in recent times, underscores the continued suffering of their families and the continued risk of new abductions.

It is unfortunate that Boko Haram continues to prey on women and girls as spoils of war despite claims by the Nigerian government that it has defeated the group. The federal and state governments should make it a priority to protect vulnerable groups from harm.

Counting on in-store transactions, Burger King berths in Nigeria

Burger King, an American quick-service restaurant (QSR) chain, has finally entered Nigeria with eye on the volume of in-store transactions that Africa’s most populous country offers.

The QSR chain will open its first stores in the country by the third quarter of 2021. One of the assumptions supporting Burger King’s aggressive entry into Nigeria is that at least 20 percent of Nigeria’s population is middle class. This is about 40 million people out of Nigeria’s 200 million-strong population. This compensates for the possible lack of repeat unique customers.

“We are proud to bring this iconic brand to Nigeria, and believe that our Nigerian guests will love Burger King flame-grilled sandwiches and other famous Burger King menu items, that guests can have their way,” says Antoine Zammarieh, managing director from Allied Food and Confectionery Services Limited, and who was managing director at Eko Hotels for 10 years, at the launch in Lagos, Tuesday.

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