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lHE GUARDIAN, Friday. Februaryll, 2011

BUSINESS

115

Business Autowheels P41

Business Travel P43

From the humble beginning of Mercedes-Benz with Weststar

Mixture of ease, efficiency as private, charter jets come to the fore

Oil prices hit $102.88 on

Middle East supply disruption UDE oil prices in London C dvanced a third day amid renewed concern that unrest in Egypt may lead to a disruption of supplies from the Middle East. Brent crude rose as anti-government demonstrators planned to escalate protests in Egypt, fueling fears that cruefe supplies to Europe may be affected. The International Energy Agency raised its forecast for global crude demand for a fifth month. Brent crude for March settlement rose as much as $1.06 a barrel to $102.88 and was at $102.30 at 11:21 a.m. on the ICE Futures Europe exchange in London. Oil for March delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange was at $86.53 a barrel, down 18 cents, after falling as low as $85.96. Brent's premium over New York-traded oil widened to a record of more than $16. ''Tensions in north Africa are keeping prices high," Hannes Loacker, an analyst at Raiffeisen Zentralbank Oesterreich, said by phone from Vienna. "As long as those risks remain, we'll continue to see a premium." Hundreds of thousands of people have demonstrated in Cairo's Tahrir Square since Jan. 25, seeking an end to President Hosni Mubarak's rule. The unrest has stoked concern that crude supplies through the Suez Canal and adjacent Suez-Mediterranean Pipeline, which ship 3.5 per centof global oil output, may be interrupted. More protests are planned today, dubbed a "Friday of Defiance." A closure of the canal would chiefly affect Saudi Arabian and Iranian crude supplies and Indian oil-products cargoes heading northwards, the lEA said yesterday in its monthly Oil Market Re(lort. Crude shipments from Libya, Azerbaijan and Algeria would be affected soutllwards, it said, citing tanker-tracking service APEX. Customers suffering the big!!est disruptions would be In S/?ain and China, the agency saId. Worldwide oil consum(ltion will increase by 1.5 million barrels a day this year, or 1.7 per cent, to 89.3 million a day, the lEA s~id in its report yesterday. The gain from last month's estimate, amounting to 140,000 barrels a day, is driven by developing Asian nations and signs of recovery in North America, according to the report. "The inescapable conclusion from our market balances is that the physical market has tightened Significantly," the Paris路based adviser said.

Director of Taiwan Trade Centre in Lagos, Ya-Fu Cheng (left); Group Managing Director, Omatek Computers limited, Florence Seriki; and Representative o(Taiwan Trade Mission. Fu-Tien lin, during a factory visit by the Taiwan representatives to Omatek factory, in Lagos, recently.

UI( body projects 7,0461l1w power

generation in Nigeria by 2020

By Roselin. Ok.r. lI. TlGERIA'S electricity gener1 ~ation may rise to 7,046 megawatts (mw) by 2020, going by a projection from UK-based research organisation-Business Monitory International (BMI). The forecast represents 101.3 per cent increase over the present capacity of3,500mw. However, the projection falls short of Federal Government's target of 40,000mw, which would ensure uninterrupted power supply nationWide, under a seamfess distribution regime The country's-power genera-

By 2015, the country is expected to account for 1.76 per cent of regional thermal generation._.Power consumption is expected to increase from an estimated 20.2TWh in 2010 to 27.9TWh by 2015, providing an improvement in market coverage on the basis of 7,0 per cent average yearly growth (2010-2015) in electricity generation. tion increased to about 3,800mw recently from the regular 3,500mw, only to witness a decline to 3,313mw. President Goodluck Jonathan had unfolded the power sector reforms in August 2010, where the Power Holding;

Company of Nigeria (PHCN) was scripted to be unbundled into six generation and udistribution companies. BMI, in its 2011 first quarter report titled: "Nigeria Power Report", released on Wednesday, stated that this

.. -~-~-

figure is near the top of the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region range. "This equates to 40.2 per cent in 2015-2020, down from 43.6 per cent in 2010-2015". According to the report, Nigeria would account for 2.13 per cent of MEA regional power generation by 2015, with the country struggling to narrow the supply/demand gap. The MEA power generation estimate for 2010 is 1,222 terawatt hours (TWh), representing an increase of 4.0 per cent over the previous year (where markets were depressed by the economic slowdown).

"We are forecasting an increase in regional generation to 1,518TWh by 2015, representing a rise of 24.2 per cent between 2010 and the end of the period". MEA thermal power generation in 2010 is estimated at 1,140TWh, accounting for 93.3 per cent of the total electricity supplied in the region. "Our forecast for 2015 is 1,378TWh, implying 20.8 p~r (tnt" ,.. growth in 2010-2015 that reduces slightly the market share of thermal generation to 90.8 per cent. Nigeria's ther- ' mal generation in 2010 will CONTINUED ON PAGE 16 ....,,,,...,,#,,,,",,,,"'''''''''-

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Banl< of Agric disburses N41b to 600 firms From Emeka AnufunJ, Abuj. IN a bid to encourage the development and growth of Small and Medium Enterprises in the agricultural sector, the newly recapitalised Bank of Agriculture BOA) has disbursed N41 bilion to over 600 enterprises across the country in tfie last 10 years. The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the apex agricultural bank, Mohammed Kudu Dr. Santuraki, disclosed this while receiving the Minister of Agriculture and Rural

I

Development, Prof. Sheikh Ahmed Abdullah, in his office in Kaduna. A statement by the Assistant Press Secretary in the ministry, Mr Ibrahim Mohammed, explained that the disbursed sum covers various agricultural projects spread across the country. Highlighting the major achievements in the last 10 years, the man~ging director told the mInister that the bank disbursed N3 bUlion on-lending facilities to about 12 states of the federation and another N4 billion

to about 30,000 beneficiaries. The benefiCiaries, Santuraki stated, were sourced from collaboration with 30 institutions, attracting 1.8 million account holders, capacity building for about 2,000 executives selected from 600 cooperatIves, as well as strengthening of market information, agricultural ~xtension and acfvisory servIces. The bank, according to the chief executive, has recorded "enormous success" in the area of poverty allevia-

tion, food security, employmentgeneration and wealtll creation. The minister acknowledged the key role being played by the bank in agricultural financing, especially the development of small and medium. scale agricultural entertpnses_ Sheikh assured the bank of increased recapitalisation to enable it meet the increas109 demands for fundlOg the agricultural sector, which contributes more than 45 per cent of the gross domestic product and

employs about 70 per cent of the population_ Abdullah explai ned that "the historyofthe bank goes to demonstrate the importance of a.l?riculture", stressing that it also gives us a note of the much deficit in terms of financing agriculture in Nigeria". He argued that the specialised nature of "this bank demands greater assess as to funding, in terms of depOSits, and really reaching out in terms of offering ' CONTINUED ON PAGE 16


THE GUARDIAN, 11 FEBRUARY, 2011  

Bank of Agric disburses N41b to 600 firms

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