[Nigeria Business Week] Nigeria, one economic sector after another, exits recession
The Nigerian oil and gas scene remains as active as ever, with changes surfacing on an almost daily basis. Last week saw the country’s first Marine Engineering Center commence its programs of 18 month academic and field work, which will lead to a masters in Marine Engineering.
The Nation’s oil and gas regulatory corporation, the NNPC (Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation), which now holds 14% of the petroleum market share in Nigeria, also announced its 3-point strategy to end gas flare, a long-time problem of the industry.
In further attempts to refine operations in the industry, NNPC has this week recommended that petroleum licenses be split into two components for prospecting and production phases under the draft Petroleum Industry Administrative legislation currently before the National Assembly. Meanwhile, it has appointed its incumbent head of Marketing Division, Mele Kyari, as its national representative for OPEC.
Other developments this week include about 290 Nigerian contractors receiving over N470billion worth of loans, under the Shell Contractor Support Fund.
The Bonga Oil Field in Nigeria, also under the management of Shell, has reached a milestone of having delivered 763 million oil barrels since its inception in 2005.
The banking scene provided some interesting updates. Zenith has emerged on top as the Nigeria's largest bank by customer deposits, having overtaken First Bank. According to the data provided, Nigeria’s 5 top tier banks, going by the acronym FUGAZ (FBNH, UBA, GT Bank, Access Bank and Zenith Bank) now hold a cumulative customer deposit of N14.1trillion.
Diamond Bank declared its mobile banking revenue profits for the past one year to be N1.8, as of Q1 2018.
The Federal Government took a step forward in the Agriculture sector, partnering with John Deere Tractors to better farmers’ access to finance and the much needed farming technology.
The Government also made progress toward reaching its 2020 goal of a 75% electricity efficiency, with its liaison with the African Development Bank yielding a $1.5m grant for the Jigawa solar power program.
Innovation in ICT continues to be an area of much interest. Accordingly, bitcoin technology company, Paxful, has launched an incubation hub in Lagos. The Nigerian ICT/startup environment is considered to be one of the most active on the continent.
On an international scale, the industrial capital of Nigeria, Lagos, joined eight other megacities to commit to the Paris Agreement for climate action, pledging to deliver on its obligations.