Sunday, 27 September 2015

Federal Government Orders Crackdown on Pipeline Vandals

The Federal Government has ordered the Nigerian military to crack down on pipeline vandals in Lagos and Ogun states.
Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, stated this in a media parley in Lagos on Friday.
He noted that the crackdown was necessitated by the wanton killings of security personnel and incessant vandalisation of NNPC pipelines in both states.
Kachikwu noted that government deployed the Nigerian Corps of Marine Engineers to ensure that the pipelines are well protected, noting that the corporation would also collaborate with communities in such areas to ensure all-round protection of the network.

He also stated that the corporation would review the staff of the various depots to prevent collusion with vandals. He also noted that NNPC was considering a long-term solution of inviting investors to lay new pipelines and guard them on a Joint Venture basis.
Meanwhile, Associate Managing Director, Financial Institutions Group, Moody’s, Jean-Francois Tremblay, has warned that Nigerian banks will go through a rough patch till the end of 2016.
He said in an interview with The Banker magazine that a weak Naira would help exports in the long run and contribute to the recovery of Nigeria’s economy.
Tremblay noted that country’s economy is in a tough spot right now, sequel to the low oil price environment which is hitting the government.
He also said this was based on Nigeria’s depen-dence on oil revenue for her fiscal expenditure.

He said the banking sector’s growth is obviously quite muted right now, adding that the direct exposure of the lenders to the oil industry is not a major concern right now.
He said Nigeria’s Deposit Money Banks exposure to the troubled oil industry is very small, about 30 per cent and the logbook of the lenders is relatively small compared to the size of the nation’s balance sheet because they keep a lot of government securities.
“So, the fact that the government’s measures are geared towards protecting the government owned credit worthiness has some positives because the banks are exposed to the government as well. With respect to their exposure to the oil industry, we have some visibility to whom they are exposed to and we get some comfort from the fact that they rely on some large oil companies that have more financial flexibility than other small ones, whose services are lower in breaking even price.
“We are also concerned about the small portion that represents about four per cent of the logbooks of the banks and the weaker ones,” he said.
He said in addition to the general impact of the collapse of the oil prices in the international market; there is another factor that affects the economy and the banks.
“This rises from the policies that the government is putting in place to deal with the situation. What I have in mind, particularly, is the devaluation of the Naira. Thirdly in that context, the investors no longer have confidence in the economy and therefore, delaying investment in country.”

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