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NIMASA to disburse $720 million to shipowners

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The Director General of, the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Bashir Jamoh, has said the agency is driving the $2.5 trillion blue economy market with the disbursement of $720 million Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF).

He said this is just as the agency is set to give a maximum of $25 million each to shipowners to purchase ships to provide the 350 million jobs that abound in the blue economy.

This is part of stakeholders’ call for more investment in the blue economy to navigate the economic threat posed by the global phasing out of crude oil during the University of Lagos (UNILAG) Institute of Maritime Studies’ maiden yearly lecture held in Lagos.

The theme was, ‘From Crude to Blue – Nigeria’s Blue Economy: The Imperative of Maritime Domain Awareness and Good Governance’.

Jamoh said the world is working hard to phase out the fossil fuel industry due to the environmental and health impact, thereby putting Nigeria’s crude under a very serious economic threat.

Jamoh said currently, Nigerian National Petroleum Companies (NNPC) has expressed interest in taking part in the funding of ships that would be acquired by indigenous shipowners using the soon-to-be disbursed CVFF.

He said to achieve this, NNPC offered to provide nine per cent out of the 15 per cent funding to be provided by shipowners as specified in the guidelines for the disbursement of the fund, to enable them to buy new ships.

Jamoh further listed some of the assets the country had that would ensure the utilisation of the blue economy including 853 km coastal line, 8573 km inland waterways, six-port complexes, 21 oil terminals, over 10 jetties, 200 nautical miles of exclusive zones, 200 million population, all consumers and others.

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The NIMASA boss said the blue economy provides an economic growth of $2.5 trillion per year, which encompasses all economic activities associated with the oceans, seas, harbours, coastal zones, inland water, rivers and lakes among others.

According to him, opportunities in the blue economy that should be invested in include cargo operations, stevedoring services, warehousing/bonded terminals, haulage, shipbuilding, repairs brokerage, handling/management, cargo surveying, tank farms, packaging, marine insurance and bunkering services among others.

Others are fisheries, aquaculture, renewal energy, tourism, climate change, waste management, port development, logistics and others.

Vice-Chancellor, the University of Lagos, Prof. Folasade Ogunsola, said the maritime industry is key to the economy as bulk goods are moved mainly through the seaports.

She commended the NIMASA boss on the blue economy initiative, believing that the country would be better off economically and sustainably if everyone focuses more on the sea.

Ogunsola solicited partnerships on maritime interests, especially as regards boat building on the campus, where students can be part of teams from concept design to launching.

She commended NIMASA for the establishment of the Institute of Maritime Studies (IMS) in UNILAG to address the chronic shortage of personnel in the country’s maritime space.

The Guardian

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Business

N17bn debt: GTBank drags 60 bank chiefs to court

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Customers of Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB) have taken to the social media to condemn the decision of the bank to deduct a ‘CT miscellaneous

Guaranty Trust Bank has dragged no fewer than 60 top executives of 13 commercial banks to court as a pending suit between GTBank and Afex Commodity Exchange over N17bn Anchor Borrowers Programme loan lingers.

The 60 executives including the chairmen, chief executive officers, directors, and company secretaries of the 13 banks are facing contempt proceedings for allegedly failing to implement a No-Debit-Order reportedly placed on the accounts of Afex Commodity Exchange with the banks.

In suit no FHC/L/CS/911/2024 involving Guaranty Trust Bank Limited and AFEX Commodities Exchange Limited, the Federal High Court, Lagos division presided by Justice CJ Aneke signed an order for the bank chairmen, MDs, directors, company secretaries and the liquidator of Heritage Bank (Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation) to be committed to jail for failing to obey its May 27, 2024 ruling.

A legal notice titled ‘Order to serve notice of disobedience to order of court vide newspaper publication’ published in some national dailies including The PUNCH on Thursday, partly read, “An order granting leave to the Plaintiff Applicant to serve Form 48 (Notice of Consequences of Disobedience to Order of Court) dated 11th June, 2024 and all other forms and processes that may be issued in this contempt proceedings inclusive of Form 49 on the 1st-60st parties cited for contempt

The matter was adjourned to next Thursday.

Parties cited for contempt include Access Bank, Citibank, Jaiz Bank, Union Bank, Fidelity Bank, First Bank of Nigeria Plc, First City Monument Bank, NDIC (liquidator for Heritage Bank), Polaris Bank, Stanbic IBTC Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, Taj Bank, United Bank for Africa and Zenith Bank alongside its principal officers.

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In the court ruling dated May 27, 2024, twenty banks were directed to transfer monies standing to the credit of the respondent into the AFEX’s account with GTB until the N17.81bn is repaid.

The N17.81bn loans comprise N15.77bn; the amount outstanding and unpaid, as of April 17, 2024, and the cost of recovery and incidental expenses in the sum of N2.04bn.

The court also granted an injunction allowing GTB to take over AFEX 16 warehouses located across seven states and sell the commodities stored in them, which it said were procured with the Central Bank of Nigeria Anchor Borrowers’ loan facility.

Earlier in the month, the court had served contempt proceedings against AFEX and some of its principal officers including Ayodele Balogun, Jendayi Fraaser, Justin Topilow, Mobolaji Adeoye and Koonal Ghandi.

According to court papers, AFEX had sourced the Anchor Borrowers Programme Loan facility from GTB to provide finance for smallholder farmers registered under the CBN Anchor Borrower’s programme.

The loan was expected to be repaid from the sale of commodities. However, AFEX failed to uphold its end of the deal even after an extension.

In a statement following the interim court order, AFEX claimed that it had repaid about 90 per cent of the loan facility.

“However, a portion of the loan remains outstanding with the farmers and while we have paid out a portion out of our own purse, we remain in discussions with CBN over the outstanding amounts of the said facility,” the exchange said.

It also said the full value of the loan was utilised to provide input to farmers in three consecutive seasons, starting in 2020.

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The exchange added that it had remained consistent with repaying the loans until economic headwinds impacted the operations of the farmers that they had disbursed the money to.

“Over 800,000 hectares of farmland were financed through the course of the programme’s operationalisation; however, significant macro and policy headwinds, including the cash crunch on the back of the Naira redesign policy, severely impacted the productive capacity and market participation of the smallholder farmers in the 2022/2023 season.

“This resulted in less than 40 cent repayment from farmers on their input loan bundles, down from our 90per cent repayment rates in the previous eight years of providing input financing for farmers. The low repayment rate ultimately impacted on our ability to refund the full value of the loan at the end of Q1 2023 and following a 6-month extension period,” AFEX added.

The commodities exchange also stated that the lingering effects of the cash crunch have continued to impact farmers, who sold at below market value to get immediate cash inflows to sustain their families in the period and remain unable to pay back.

Meanwhile, AFEX has called on the Central Bank of Nigeria to activate the collateral guarantee of up to 70 per cent clause included in the Anchor Borrowers programme.

“Evidenced in the attached letters, our engagements with Guaranty Trust Bank Limited, a Participating Financial Institution in the program, as well as the apex bank have seen us highlight these limitations on the part of the defaulting farmers with suggestions being made to the CBN to activate the risk-sharing structure put in place for the program and release funds accordingly to sustain activities and allow for needed recovery efforts in our agriculture sector.

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“In light of these engagements, we consider the recent steps by Guaranty Trust Bank Limited to be premature, coming in the midst of open conversations that are being had with all parties to find a path to resolution that does not unduly punish farmers, who have been the biggest hit by macroeconomic conditions that they had no control over,” AFEX concluded.

CBN at the inception of the programme in 2015 said the broad objective was to create economic linkages between smallholder farmers and processors to increase agricultural output and ensure food price stability.

The Anchor Borrowers’ Programme guidelines stipulate that upon harvest, benefiting farmers are to repay their loans with produce (which must cover the loan principal and interest) to an anchor, who pays the cash equivalent to the farmer’s account.

By 2022, at least 4.8 million people had benefitted from the Anchor Borrowers Programme and the CBN in a 2023 statement said it released N1.079tn under the programme, out of which over N500bn is due for repayment.

The programme has since been discontinued by the CBN as it pivots from development financing interventions to its core duty of price and monetary stability.

Source: The Punch

 

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Aviation

Nigerian airlines to fly US, S’America routes soon — Keyamo

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The Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Festus Keyamo, said the Federal Government has commenced the process of empowering Nigerian airlines to have direct access to International routes to the United States and South American countries.

The minister stated this in a YouTube interview with O’tega Ogra titled, “Unfiltered: The Big Interview” which was viewed by our correspondent on Saturday.

On March 20, Air Peace commenced its Lagos-London flight services, but during the YouTube interview, Keyamo said the government is putting plans in place for local airlines in the country to commence direct flight operations to both the US and South America.

He said, “BASA are negotiated between different sovereigns. So it is when you get your BASA and your reciprocal rights, you can now give it to your local operators and ensure that they are enforced as per the foreign entities. So we did that; we wrote several letters; we travelled back and forth because we knew that that was what we could use to bring down prices. The only thing that can bring down prices in any market is competition. It is not a monopoly.

Asa, Ogun Community Where Women Travel To Neighboring Benin Republic For Potable Water0:00 / 1:01

“British Airways have enjoyed those routes for so many years unchallenged. There were attempts by local airlines in the past to run the routes, but they muscled them out of the routes. That was why Nigerians were buying tickets for as much as N15m to N16m at some points, business class tickets just for to and fro. So we saw that this was an issue we could easily resolve.

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“So we put our foot on the ground, dusted off the BASA, and ensured that they (BASA) were respected. And when they (foreign airlines) later conceded that Air Peace could start flying the routes, we knew we had achieved something. You saw the immediate results as prices began to dip. But that’s not the only lucrative route we have in Nigeria, we have other routes coming up.

“We are looking at the American routes and the South American routes. Nobody is even flying to South America at all now. But something is in the offing for us to start that route now. That is just one aspect of helping them (Local airlines) to enforce the BASA by telling the countries that these are our flight carriers so that they can respect them as Nigeria representatives, not as just private businesses in the country. But the second aspect of that is to ensure that these airlines can also have the capacity after giving them the routes,” he explained.

He noted that aside from ensuring that the local airlines have access to international routes; the Federal Government is also looking at how to enhance their capacity to service the routes.

According to Keyamo, “One thing is to give them the routes, but how do we enhance their capacity to service those routes? One way of doing this is to ensure that they also have access to aircraft in the same way that these big airlines around the world have access to aircraft.

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“What we have now is a lower capacity to access those aircraft, not to buy them. I have said it many times that no airline in the world buys its fleet 100 per cent. They don’t buy; they lease. So these big airlines you hear about and see with so many fleets; they didn’t buy them; 80 per cent of their planes are on dry lease.”

 

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Business

Guinness: No plans to quit Nigeria

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Guinness Nigeria Remains Firmly Rooted in Nigeria, No Plans to Exit

Guinness Nigeria Plc wishes to correct the recent speculations and false/malicious misinformation alleging a plan to exit from the Nigerian market.

Contrary to rumors being peddled on various media platforms, Guinness Nigeria remains firmly committed to its operations in Nigeria and is poised for a new phase of growth and innovation.

Since commencing operations in April 1950, Guinness Nigeria boasts of a proud and eventful 74-year legacy intricately woven into Nigeria’s cultural and economic fabric. Our unwavering commitment to Nigeria is evident in the substantial investments in infrastructure, employment, backward integration and our community development and social responsibility initiatives. The recent announcement of the partnership between Diageo and Tolaram Group further reinforces unequivocally that Guinness Nigeria remains committed to Nigeria and has no intention of exiting the dynamic Nigerian market. Our business will continue strongly, and no jobs or factories will be adversely affected as a result of this new partnership.

Under the partnership announced, Tolaram Group will acquire a 58.02% majority stake in Guinness Nigeria, enabling us to harness and leverage Tolaram Group’s extensive expertise in manufacturing and distribution. Importantly, Guinness Nigeria will retain its status as a listed company on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, maintaining its prime status in the Nigerian beverage industry. Diageo’s establishment of a wholly-owned international premium spirits company in Nigeria is also a noteworthy demonstration of its continuing dedication to sustaining its operations across West and Central Africa, with Nigeria as a pivotal operational hub.

Under a long-term license and royalty arrangement, Guinness Nigeria will continue to produce and sell all our iconic brands including Guinness FES and Smooth, Smirnoff Ice, Orijin Bitters, and Malta Guinness as well as Diageo MSS brands like Smirnoff X1, Gordon’s Moringa and Captain Morgan Gold Rum, ensuring our esteemed consumers nationwide continue to enjoy their favorite beverages.

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We are excited to embark on this new chapter of growth and development in Nigeria.

 

 

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Business

Dangote Sinotruk targets 60% local content, launches new cabin CKD plant

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Dangote Sinotruk West Africa Ltd (DSWAL) will raise its local content of the vehicles it produces to 60 percent when Ajaokuta Steel Company begins production.

The President of the Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, stated this during the inauguration of DSWAL’s completely knocked down (CKD) plant on Oba Akran Avenue in Ikeja, Lagos, recently.

Present at the inauguration were: the Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, who cut the ribbon; Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos, the Deputy Senate President, Jibril Barao, Senator Opeyemi Bamidele and other distinguished guests.

According to Alhaji Dangote, “The investment in the truck assembly plant is part of our backward integration to add value and reduce imports. I am glad yesterday, Your Excellency, when you talked about Ajaokuta Steel in your speech, and I believe the completion of the Ajaokuta Steel project will give fillip to our attempt to increase local content in the assembly in our lines.

“We have welding and painting shops to fabricate and paint trucks and trailers of different types so as to enhance local content of CKD operations of commercial vehicles manufacturing in Nigeria.

“In the next 12 months, we will begin to fabricate different types of trailers and tippers in our plant to increase value addition of up to 40 to 60 per cent with the goal to achieve domestic self-sufficiency and serve the West Africa regional market.”

He said Dangote Sinotruck WA Limited is an assembler and producer of four lines of commercial vehicles, covering heavy duty trucks, medium trucks, light trucks and other semi trailers, all of which serve the local transportation industry.

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“As you are aware, Dangote also owns majority shares of Peugeot Automobile of Nigeria in Kaduna where we assemble small vehicles. We (DSWAL) are a joint venture company with a total investment of 100 million dollars formed for the truck assembly which is owned 60 per cent by Dangote industries, 30 percent by Sinotruck China and five per cent by Andas.

“Our aim is to meet the expected current demand of this segment of automobiles required for logistics, consumption, food, and beverages industry in Nigeria as the government focuses on economic development across the country.

“I am sure we are going to participate in the new production of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) which this government is driving.

“But, we in Dangote, are actually committed to buying 10,000 of the CNG trucks of which 1,500 are arriving this June/July. Already, about 500 are at the port. So this company has the installed capacity to assemble and produce 10,000 trucks annually and create about 3,000 jobs across Nigeria,” he said.

Dangote Sinotruk, he said, is playing “a strategic and key role” to develop the heavy duty truck assembly and manufacturing industry in Nigeria, and in doing so provides employment opportunities for Nigerians, in addition to improving the local auto industry.

He said, “We will continue to invest in the plant and achieve technological advancement for Nigeria. We will also continue to promote Nigeria’s economic development.“

The Senate President Akpabio lauded the Dangote Group’s investments in Lagos, in other parts of the country and outside Nigeria.

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“I know as you are investing here in Nigeria, you are doing the same thing in other countries, particularly in Africa. You are there in Kenya, Togo, Malawi, Senegal, Ethiopia and so many other countries. You are our own brand and our export to the rest of the world. May God continue to prosper you,” the Senate President said.

He extolled the performance of Gov. Sanwo-Olu in Lagos, promising to lodge a positive report “with the President in Abuja on how you, Sanwo-Olu as the governor, has been collaborating with the Federal Government to take (unemployed) children off the street through gainful employment.”

Gov. Sabwo-Olu lauded Dangote Group’s decision to take over a moribund textile company and turn it into such a productive investment.

He assured that the state government would not only continue to provide a conducive environment for investments, but would also lead the way in patronage. Without forgetting to seek a “generous discount,” the governor placed a fresh order for 100 units of Howo Sinotruk trucks to bring the number purchased by his government to 200.

“Our role should be that of an enabler; ours should be a government that must ensure that the private sector has what it takes to make those investments.

“Like I mentioned, we have seen the benefits of what they are doing here. We have procured from them the orange trucks (for refuse management) that you are seeing on the roads in

Lagos. They were all manufactured and put together in this same premises.

“We are making another order of 100 trucks because they are reliable. We don’t need to go very far. Honesty, it is really about partnership and sense of purpose. And the fact that as a people, we need to develop our economic environment better than we met it. I believe that the Dangote group of companies has good local and African business that we must be proud of.”

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Dangote Sinotruk was built to produce commercial vehicles, covering heavy duty trucks, medium trucks and light trucks, and has plans to soon commence the production of semi-trailers, tankers and related products.

The plant has the installed capacity to produce about 16 per day in one shift, or about 10,000 units annually on CKD (completely knocked down) basis. The array of trucks are targeted at satisfying the demands and requirements of the Nigerian market and the larger regional (ECOWAS) market.

Source:Thisday

 

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Business

Dangote refinery plans 5.3bn litres fuel storage

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The President of the Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, says it is expanding the storage capacity of his refinery by 600 million litres.

This, according to him, will enable the refinery to have a storage capacity of 5.3 billion litres.
The Dangote Petrochemical Refinery refinery currently has 4.78 billion litres of storage capacity for refined petroleum products.

Dangote spoke at the Afreximbank Annual Meetings and AfriCaribbean Trade & Investment Forum in Nassau, The Bahamas on Wednesday.

The billionaire alleged that international oil companies refused to sell crude oil to his refinery because they did not want him to succeed.

Asked to speak on whether or not his refinery would crash the pump price of petrol, which currently sells at around N700 per litre, Dangote gave no affirmative answer, but he quickly recounted how the price of diesel fell from 1,700 to N1,200 when his diesel flooded the market.

“The issue of gasoline is certainly a different issue. That one is being dealt with by the government. But let me give you an example. In the diesel, which the industries, transporters and everybody consume; when we first started, it was N1,700, and the dollar conversion was about N1,200 then. Immediately when we started, within two weeks we brought down the price to N1,000. We took it from N1,700 to N1,200 and from N1,200 to N1,700, we have given more than 60 per cent drop in price.

“With the currency now back up to about N1,500 per dollar, the price is still below N1,200. That’s a big improvement, from N1,700 to N1,200. And the diesel is available, we are not living from hand to mouth anymore,” Dangote replied when asked about a possible petrol price cut.

The business mogul said the refinery would be a strategic reserve for refined products.

“The country doesn’t have strategic reserves in terms of petrol, which is very dangerous. But in our plant now, when you came, we had only 4.78 billion litres of various tankage capacity. But right now we’re adding another 600 million.

“So effectively, as we go forward, the refinery will be the strategic reserve of the country in terms of petroleum products,” he noted.

The Africa’s richest man explained that international oil companies denied him access to their crude because they did not think he could succeed with the 650,000 barrels per day capacity refinery.

“In a system where, for 35 years, people are used to counting good money, and all of a sudden, they see that the days of counting that money have come to an end, you don’t expect them to pray for you. Of course, you expect them to fight back.

“And I think that is the process that we’re now really going through. But the truth is that, yes, the country, the sub-region, and also the continent, of sub-Saharan Africa, need this refinery. So, you expect them to fight through non-supply of crude, non-purchase of the product, but I think it’s all temporary. We’ll get there,” he added.

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Dangote has been importing crude oil from the United States to get feedstock for the refinery.

The Kano-born businessman added further that Nigeria has for years been importing dirty fuel into the country.

Dangote asked the Federal Government to enforce regulations stopping the importation of dirty fuels.

According to him, dirty fuels have been responsible for many cases of cancer in Nigeria and Africa.

Speaking of imported fuel, he said, “It is high sulfur, very polluting and also when you look at it, especially in Nigeria, in the past few years, we’ve been having cases of cancer, and most of these cases of cancer have to do with the bad fuel that we’ve been using. So, I will advise even here, you should check the quality of what is being dumped in your region in The Caribbean.”

He spoke further that Nigerian crude oil attracts the most premium, yet the nation imports the dirtiest fuels.

Asked if there is no regulation to check the quality of imported fuel, Dangote reported, “Now there is regulation, so it is upon the regulators to enforce the regulation.”

The PUNCH reports that despite its huge crude oil reserves, Nigeria still depends heavily on imported refined fuel.

But Dangote recently said Nigeria would no longer import any fuel by the time he begins the sale of PMS in the next few weeks.

When fully operational, Dangote disclosed that the refinery would supply cheaper fuel to the Caribbean, saying the price of fuel in that area is expensive.

He planned to set up a terminal in the region to give them access to cheaper energy.

“I don’t know the exact price but I know that the price in the Caribbean in terms of petroleum products is very high. So, we produce it cheaply, we can always bring it here, we can set up a terminal and we will be able to feed their needs.

“We have a bilateral agreement with them and bringing in stuff from there is not more than 18, 20 days maximum. Once we set up a terminal, they will have very cheap oil. They will have cheap energy. By having cheap energy, their economies will grow faster,” he maintained.

Dangote recalled that he was once persuaded by a former Minister of Energy in Saudi Arabia, Khalid Al-Falih, to shelve the idea of building a refinery. However, he said he told the former minister that he did not need his advice.

“Four years ago, I was in Saudi Arabia during the fasting period and I was invited for the breaking of the fast, Dr Falih, who used to be the Minister of Energy invited me to come and break the fast with him and I went there. He just said, ‘Aliko, I heard that you’re planning on building a refinery, what capacity?’ I said 650,000. He kept quiet for a while and said, ‘You know just about 120km from Mecca, we are building one and I think I would like you to go and have a look. We as Saudi Aramco, are facing a lot of challenges and, we are proceeding with it, but my advice to you is not to do it because normally, refineries are built by major oil corporations or sovereign countries.’

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“I said, ‘But Your Excellency, unfortunately, we have already started, so I’m not looking for am advice.’ That was really how we continued,” he recounted.

Dangote revealed that both local and international cartels, which he described as “mafia”, made repeated attempts to sabotage the $19bn refinery project located in Lagos.

“Well, I knew that there would be a fight. But I didn’t know that the mafia in oil, they are stronger than the mafia in drugs. I can tell you that. Yes, it’s a fact,” he said.

Dangote, who described himself as a fighter, said they tried all sorts to stop him.

“As a matter of fact during the COVID period, some of the international banks were looking forward to making sure that they push us into default of our loans so that the project will just be dead. And that didn’t happen with the help of banks like Afreximbank,” it was stated.

He explained that he had paid off $2.4bn of the $5.5bn loan for his $19bn Lagos-based refinery.

“We borrowed the money based on our balance sheet. I think we borrowed just over $5.5bn. But we paid also a lot of interest as we went along, because the project was delayed because of a lack of land, also the sand-filling took a long time. Almost five years or so we didn’t do anything.

“We started in 2018. We borrowed that much. We have, of course, paid interest and some principal, about $2.4bn. We’ve done very well. We now have only about $2.7bn left to be paid. So we’ve done very well for a project of that magnitude,” he said.

Dangote generates 1,500MW

Talking about industries being energy independent, Dangote posited the refinery and his other companies are not putting any pressure on the grid, though he suggested that power production should be the business for other people.

“We don’t put pressure on the grid. Like us now, we produce about 1,500 megawatts of power for self-consumption. But if this thing is beneficial and it makes sense, there will be people who will concentrate on actually generating the power so it won’t be part of your cost. There are a lot of people that are doing industrial parks, and I think Afrexim Bank is involved in these parks in terms of funding; that will help. It means that once you come, you are just going to plug and play,” he added.

The PUNCH recalls that operators of modular refineries stated on Sunday that the pump price of Premium Motor Spirit, popularly called petrol, should drop to about N300/litre upon the commencement of massive production by the Dangote Petroleum Refinery and other indigenous producers.

Speaking under the aegis of the Crude Oil Refinery Owners Association of Nigeria, they explained that what happened to the cost of diesel after Dangote started producing it, would happen to petrol prices once it is being produced massively in Nigeria.

“A lot of companies today benefit from the importation of petroleum products at the expense of Nigerians,” the Publicity Secretary of CORAN, Eche Idoko, stated.

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He told our correspondent that “if we begin to produce PMS today in large volumes, provided there is adequate crude oil supply, I can assure that we should be able to buy PMS at N300/litre as the pump price.

“Why make Nigerians buy it at almost N700/litre when you know that if you allow refineries to work the price will come down? Is it because you want to satisfy the global refiners abroad that are making so much from us?”

When told that there are arguments that it is not possible to have such a drop in price because crude oil, the raw material for PMS, is priced in dollars, the CORAN official insisted that the petrol price would crash once it is being produced massively by indigenous refiners.

He said, “We were selling diesel for N1,700 to N1,800/litre, but as soon as Dangote refinery started production he brought down the price to N1,200/litre. What other proofs do you need? As I speak to you now there is every tendency that before December diesel prices will drop further. The only reason why diesel is not doing below N1,000/litre is because of our exchange rate.

“If the exchange rate drops, diesel will drop below the N1,000/litre price. Now the exchange rate concern is because Dangote imports crude. If he is not importing, the exchange rate may not have so much effect, though he is still buying crude in dollars (in Nigeria) anyway.”

But oil marketers have repeatedly maintained that even if there would be a reduction in the pump price of petrol, it would be marginal.

On May 18, 2024, The PUNCH reported that Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, stated that following the laid-down plans of the Dangote refinery, Nigeria would no longer need to import petrol starting June this year.

Dangote had also stated that his refinery could meet West Africa’s petrol and diesel needs, as well as the continent’s aviation fuel demand. He spoke at the Africa CEO Forum Annual Summit in Kigali, expressing optimism about transforming Africa’s energy landscape.

“Right now, Nigeria has no cause to import anything apart from gasoline (petrol) and by sometime in June, within the next four or five weeks, Nigeria shouldn’t import anything like gasoline; not one drop of a litre,” the billionaire had declared.

Meanwhile, Dangote said his plan to release premium motor spirit into the market this month will no longer be possible. Dangote said this was due to some minor challenges, stating that the product would be out by July 10 to 15.

“We had a bit of delay, but PMS will start coming out by 10 to 15 of July. But then we want to keep it in the tank to make sure that it settles. So by the third week of July, we’ll be able to come out to take it into the market,” Dangote had said.

Source: The Punch

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Oil & Gas

Dangote reveals how oil mafia tried to stop establishment of Dangote Refinery

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The founder of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, has revealed that both local and international criminal organisations, which he described as “mafia”, made repeated attempts to sabotage his $19bn refinery project located in Lagos.

Speaking at the Afreximbank Annual Meetings, Dangote likened the oil cartels to a mafia stronger than the drug mafia hell-bent on maintaining their grip on the industry.

“Well, I knew that there would be a fight. But I didn’t know that the mafia in oil, they are stronger than the mafia in drugs. I can tell you that. Yes, it’s a fact,” he said.

Dangote, who described himself as a fighter, said they “tried all sorts” to stop him.

“But I’m a person that has been fighting all my life. You know, so I think it’s part of my life to fight,” he said.

He added, “As a matter of fact during the COVID period, some of the international banks really were looking forward to making sure that they push us into default of our loans so that the project will just be dead. And that didn’t happen with the help of banks like Afreximbank.”

Dangote also revealed that he has paid off $2.4bn of the $5.5bn borrowed for the Lagos-based refinery.

Dangote also unveiled plans to diversify into the steel sector, aiming to utilise solely Nigerian-produced steel and achieve self-sufficiency.

Dangote Refinery recently rescheduled the launch of its petrol sales to July 10-15, pushing back its initial June target due to “minor” logistical issues.

Source: CHAMPION NEWS

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