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OPEC Bars Bloomberg, Reuters, WSJ Reporters From Vienna Conference

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Last Updated on July 18, 2023 by Fellow Press

Reporters from three large news organisations have not been invited to cover a meeting of oil industry CEOs with energy ministers from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

The organisation’s secretariat typically gives accreditation to any journalist who wants to cover the meeting at their headquarters. This time, that opportunity wasn’t offered to reporters from Reuters, Bloomberg and the Wall Street Journal, according to Reuters.

The three media organisations are among the world’s leading suppliers of financial news and information.

They compete to cover news in real time from events such as OPEC+ meetings, which can have a material impact on the price of oil and the global cost of energy.

The OPEC Secretariat, which oversees media accreditation, had issued invitations to some journalists to cover the OPEC-hosted July 5-6 seminar in Vienna, Austria.

OPEC sent an email on Tuesday inviting reporters at other media organisations to attend, the sources said.

Those included the Financial Times and trade publication Argus, as well as S&P Global Commodity Insights, known as Platts, the sources said. The communication stated that “this email serves as your personal invitation,” according to a copy forwarded to Reuters.

However, reporters who normally cover OPEC from Reuters, Bloomberg and the Wall Street Journal did not receive invitations, according to people familiar with the matter who did not want to be named due to the sensitivity of the issue.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, known as OPEC+, includes top oil producers Saudi Arabia and Russia. OPEC+ pumps more than 40% of the world’s oil supply.

Reuters reports that OPEC declined to comment on why reporters from the three media organisations were not invited to cover the OPEC-hosted seminar.

“We believe that transparency and a free press serve both readers, markets and the public interest, and we object to this restriction on coverage,” a spokesperson for Reuters, the news and media division of Thomson Reuters Corp (TRI.TO), said on Wednesday.

“Reuters will continue to cover OPEC in an independent, impartial and reliable way, in keeping with the Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.”

According to the report, reporters at Reuters received an email on Tuesday stating that earlier accreditation was not an invitation to attend. Bloomberg and the Wall Street Journal reporters received a similar communication, sources familiar with the matter said.

“We are very concerned by the prospect of OPEC excluding certain journalists, including from Bloomberg, from next week’s seminar,” Bloomberg News said in a statement.

“For the sake of market transparency, we strongly advocate for OPEC to allow journalists from relevant global news outlets to attend.”

The Wall Street Journal did not respond to a request for comment.

This would be the second consecutive OPEC+ event in which OPEC has restricted media coverage. The same media groups were denied access to OPEC’s Vienna headquarters during a June 4 oil policy meeting.

OPEC gave no reason for excluding the three organizations from the previous policy meeting in June.

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AMCOSS, PEDI partner for 3-day management training

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A leading personnel consultancy, AMCOSS, is organizing “a 3-day leadership and management development retreat” for PEDI management staff.

The retreat which is scheduled to hold between Thursday 20th June and Saturday 22nd June 2024, will feature trending, emerging and solution-focused presentations, as well as interactive sessions by the participants.

The programmes of the event lined up are as follows:

Opening day, June 20 will start by 9:00am, and by 10:00am, the Managing Director/CEO will give a welcome address, which will be followed by a brief remark from the Managing Director of PEDI, Ilesa. An highlight of the event is a guided tour of places of historical importance in Ilorin.

By 2:30pm, there will be a presentations titled “Effective Leadership and Leadership Skills”, followed by the interactive session of questions and answers.

There will be three presentations on the second day June 21, tagged: “Managerial Skills and Personal Effectiveness”; Performance Management System” and “Health and Well-being”.

Likewise on the last day of the programmes, there will be two presentations: “Team Building and Effective Communication” and “Organisational Continuity, Sustainability and Succession Planning”.

The training starts each day by 9am, with provision for interactive sessions after each presentation and lecture, tea break/lunch, and ends approximately 4:30pm.

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Dangote to venture into steel production

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Last Updated on June 14, 2024 by Fellow Press

Africa’s richest man, Alhaji Aliko Dangote has mooted plans to delve into steel production in the near future stating that he wants to ensure that every steel used in West Africa comes from Nigeria.

The industrial mogul stated this during an interview at the ongoing Afreximbank Afro-Caribbean Trade & Investment Forum in Nassau, The Bahamas.

When asked if he is taking a break after the refinery, he noted that the next venture after the refinery project would be in Steel manufacturing and ensure that all Steel products used in West Africa comes from Nigeria.

He also encouraged African leaders to take agriculture and solid mineral development seriously lamenting the fact that food imports cost the continent dearly by increasing unemployment and poverty.

He said, “What we need to do that is missing is actually to concentrate and pay more attention to agriculture and solid minerals.
I don’t like people coming to take our solid minerals to process and bring the finished product.
We should try and industrialise our continent and take it to the next level.”

“I told somebody we are not going to take any break. What we are trying to do is to make sure at least in West Africa, we want to make sure that every single steel that we use will come from Nigeria”

Nigeria has tried unsuccessfully to become a leader in the steel manufacturing industry with a handful of failed projects like the Ajaokuta steel plant, Delta Steel Company, Osogbo and Jos rolling mills even under government and private ownership.

Like the oil refineries, the federal government under different administrations has spent billions trying to put the local steel plants to work but has been unsuccessful.
The administration of President Bola Tinubu had promised during the campaigns to ensure steel production starts in the multi-billion-dollar Ajaokuta steel complex.

The federal government in the 2024 appropriation act budgeted around N4.45 billion for the plant but hopes to raise around N35 billion from private investors to bring the plant to life for the first time in its history.

However, the Minister of Steel Development, Shuaibu Audu has also stated that reviving the plant could cost around $2 billion to $5 billion.

According to the National Steel Raw Materials Exploration Agency (NSRMEA), total steel consumption in the country averages around 10 million metric tonnes of which 70% is imported.
The current Minister of Steel Development had earlier stated that Nigeria spends around $4 billion on steel imports annually despite having around 74 steel plants and fabricators across the country.

Nigeria is home to significant iron-ore deposit- a critical raw material in steel production found in Kogi state.

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