Nigeria’s Inability to Meet Gas Export to Affect Portugal – Business Post Nigeria

By Adedapo Adesanya
Portugal could face supply problems this winter if Nigeria, its key export partner for the commodity, does not deliver all the liquefied natural gas (LNG) as and when due.
This warning was made by the European Union country’s environment and energy minister, Mr Duarte Cordeiro, on Monday.
Europe has been trying to wane itself of Russian gas after the country attacked Ukraine in February. One such opportunity is to look for alternatives or boost supply from key markets, in Portugal’s case,  Nigeria.
Mr Cordeiro said that even though there was a chance that Nigeria might not meet its LNG supply volumes, the Nigerian government had given its assurances that it would do so.
Speaking at a conference in Lisbon hosted by CNN Portugal on Monday, he noted that “there is a risk of it not complying”.
“From one day to another, we may have a problem, such as not being supplied the volume of gas that is planned,” Mr Cordeiro said.
Although Portugal has its gas reserves at 100 per cent of storage capacity, Mr Cordeiro said that if fewer Nigerian LNG deliveries materialised, it would have to look for alternative supplies.
With other European countries doing the same, this would likely lead to higher imported gas prices, he said.
Portugal last year imported 2.8 billion cubic meters of LNG from Nigeria, or 49.5 per cent of total imports, while the United States was the second-largest supplier with a share of 33.3 per cent.
Its other suppliers include Trinidad and Tobago, Algeria, Qatar, and Russia, the latter accounting for just 2 per cent last year.
Oil and gas output in Nigeria has been throttled by theft and vandalism of pipelines, leaving Nigeria LNG (NLNG) Limited’s terminal at Bonny Island operating at 60 per cent capacity.
Portugal is seeking to diversify its suppliers to increase the country’s energy security, Mr Cordeiro said, adding that it is adopting strategies to lower gas consumption while boosting its already high electricity production through renewables.
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Adedapo Adesanya is a journalist, polymath, and connoisseur of everything art. When he is not writing, he has his nose buried in one of the many books or articles he has bookmarked or simply listening to good music with a bottle of beer or wine. He supports the greatest club in the world, Manchester United F.C.
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By Adedapo Adesanya
The exchange rate of the Nigerian Naira to its United States counterpart, the Dollar, was better for the former at the foreign exchange (FX) market on Tuesday.
The domestic currency gained strength against the greenback at the Peer-to-Peer (P2P) window yesterday by N22 to trade at N730/$1 compared with the preceding day’s value of N752/$1 as forex supply into the system improved during the trading day.
This was reflected in the performance of the local currency at the official FX window, the Investors and Exporters (I&E), as the country’s legal tender appreciated against the USD despite coming under significant forex demand pressure.
Data from the FMDQ Securities Exchange showed that the FX turnover at the spot market surged yesterday by 244.9 per cent or $100.49 million to $141.51 million from the $41.02 million recorded on Monday.
But despite this, the Naira appreciated by 0.06 per cent or 25 Kobo to close at N436.25/$1 in contrast to the N430.50/$1 it was traded on Monday.
In the parallel market, the exchange rate of the Naira to the American currency was stable yesterday at N713/$1.
However, in the interbank segment, the Naira depreciated against the Pound Sterling on Tuesday by N2.13 to N491.44/£1 from N489.31/£1 but gained 20 Kobo against the Euro to finish at N429.38/€1 compared with N429.58/€1.
As for the cryptocurrency market, the possibility of a rate hike in the United States on Wednesday took a toll on the landscape, causing investors to sell off the digital asset.
Solana (SOL) depreciated by 3.2 per cent to sell at $31.72, Bitcoin (BTC) slumped by 2.9 per cent to $18,973.88, Cardano (ADA) recorded a 1.9 per cent loss to close at $0.443, Ethereum (ETH) dropped 1.1 per cent to $1,345.91, Binance Coin (BNB) fell by 0.5 per cent to trade at $267.76 and Litecoin (LTC) declined by 0.3 per cent to $52.20.
But Ripple (XRP) gained 7.4 per cent during the session to settle at $0.4073, Dogecoin (DOGE) appreciated by 0.7 per cent to trade at $0.0588, while the value of Binance USD (BUSD) and the US Dollar Tether (USDT) remained unchanged at $1.00 each.
By Adedapo Adesanya
Brent crude dropped $1.38 or 1.5 per cent on Tuesday to $90.62 per barrel as the United States Dollar stayed strong and investors anticipated more central bank interest-rate hikes.
Also, the West Texas Intermediate crude (WTI) depreciated by $1.28 during the session to $84.45 per barrel as the market awaits the Federal Reserve to raise the interest rate by another 75 basis points on Wednesday to curb inflation.
Those expectations weigh on equities, often moving in tandem with oil prices. Other central banks, including the Bank of England, meet this week as well. Yesterday, the Swedish central bank raised its rates by one per cent.
The series of interest rate hikes have supported the US Dollar, which continues to trade near a two-decade high. The strong US Dollar has been a major bearish factor for crude prices, and since it is traded in the American currency, it makes it more expensive for holders of other currencies.
The prospect of further rate hikes has had a resounding negative impact on prices as traders continue to close out long positions.
And it’s not just the US Federal Reserve hiking interest rates as 90 central banks have raised interest rates this year, and many of them have opted to raise interest rates by 75 basis points at once.
The market is facing downward concerns driven by the aggressive monetary tightening in the US and Europe, which according to analysts, is increasing the likelihood of a recession and might weigh on oil demand prospects.
China left its benchmark lending rates unchanged on Tuesday as the world’s second-biggest oil user tries to balance sluggish economic growth against its weakening yuan currency.
Data also indicated weaker demand in the world’s largest oil consumer as US motorists drove less in July than the previous month, a second straight monthly decline, due to high fuel prices.
A positive for the market reared its head from China, where authorities lifted the lockdown in the 21 million-populated city of Chengdu, allowing people to leave their homes and resume commercial activities.
A document from the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and allies led by Russia showed the group fell short of its output target in August by 3.58 million barrels per day – about 3.5 per cent of global oil demand.
By Aduragbemi Omiyale
One of the leading insurers in Nigeria, Prudential Zenith Life Insurance Limited, has again impressed with a 75 per cent growth in its pre-tax profit for the 2021 financial year.
According to the results, the profit after tax increased to N1.13 billion from the N646 million achieved in the same period of last year.
Prudential Zenith Life Insurance is a subsidiary of Prudential Plc, established in 2017 when Prudential Plc acquired a 51 per cent holding in Zenith Life Insurance.
It is one of the most capitalized companies in the Nigerian insurance industry with a wide range of individual products, including savings & investments-linked products, endowment, and protection products designed to meet the needs of individuals and their families.
Last year, the underwriting firm recorded an impressive performance, which resulted in its higher net profit.
In the year under review, Prudential Zenith Life Insurance improved its Gross Written Premium (GWP) and Annualized Premium Equivalent (APE) year-on-year by 16.3 per cent and 9.3 per cent, respectively, mainly driven by 27 per cent growth in new business acquisition for Group Life written during the period.
Investment income grew by 30 per cent year-on-year due to a significant increase in the interest-generating assets of the company, and commission income also increased by 43 per cent during the period.
The financial performance is a testament to the continued focus on investments, as the company remains committed to building a solid market-leading position in Nigeria by enhancing its capabilities, strengthening its digitally enabled multi-channel distribution network, and broadening the range of products and services that are available to customers to meet their needs.
Despite the challenges experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, Prudential Zenith achieved this strong growth in 2021 and is poised to continue improving its performance in the upcoming financial years. Prudential Zenith will continue to develop and launch unique products to meet customers’ needs, leveraging technology and its core corporate governance structure to deliver faster claims settlement. The company will also continue prioritising the health, safety, and welfare of customers who subscribe to its unique insurance product offerings.
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