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Manufacturers wail as unsold goods pile up in warehouses

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Manufacturers of fast-moving consumer goods, FMCG are in dire agony over the continued rise in unsold goods in their warehouses, a development which would lead to a further significant decline in output level in the sector.

The continued rise in unsold goods is caused by two factors namely the rising cost of living and the declining purchasing power of the citizens.

Financial Vanguard’s findings show that due to the downturn in the consumers’ disposable income, the stock of unsold goods for manufacturers in the fast-moving consumer good, FMCG, sector of the economy rose Year-on-Year (YoY) by 27 per cent during the financial year ended December 31, 2023. The sector operators also indicated that the situation is worsening in 2024 as they expect to report over a 30 per cent rise in unsold goods in the first quarter of the year, Q1’24.

Consequently, they hinted that the output levels have been going down steadily since mid-last year, when the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the report showed that capacity utilisation in the food and beverages sector fell to 49 per cent from 61 per cent in the corresponding period in 2022, indicating a 20 percentage point decline.

Nigerians have been battling with inflationary pressures with its curtailing effect on consumers’ purchasing power in the last eighteen months.

The headline inflation rate has been on a constant increase, rising to 28.82 percent in December 2023 from 21.34 per cent in December 2022, triggered by various factors including high energy cost, and insecurity, especially in the farming communities in Nigeria, among others.

Within the same period also, food inflation surged to 33.93 percent from 23.75 percent a year ago.

The trend has continued unabated in 2024 with headline and food inflation moving further up to 33.69 per cent and 40.53 percent in April from 29.90 percent and 35.41 percent at the beginning of the year respectively.

A combination of the massive increase in inflation coupled with naira devaluation had resulted in price mark up by manufacturers to cover high input costs.

But this cost coverage measure has also alienated many of their consumers, thereby slowing down sales.

Financial Vanguard’s findings from the operations of 15 major FMCGs clearly show a burdensome price index escalating the stock of unsold goods amounting to N104.45 billion despite the huge cut in production quantity.

The companies are BUA Foods Plc, Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc, Nestle Nigeria Plc, Presco Plc, Cadbury Nigeria Plc, Okomu Oil Nigeria Plc, NASCON Allied Industries Plc, May & Baker Nigeria Plc, Fidson Healthcare Plc, and Neimeth Pharmaceuticals Plc.

Others are Guinness Nigeria Plc, Champion Breweries Plc, Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc, Nigerian Breweries Plc and Honeywell Flour Mills Plc.

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Companies’ records

The breakdown shows that while a number of the companies recorded a reduction in the level of their stock of unsold goods, palm oil producers – Okomu Oil Palm Plc and Presco – took the biggest hit. Industry observers believe the oil palm industry should not be recording such poor performance given how essential the product is to the average Nigerian family.

Presco, the leading palm oil producer, recorded the highest stockpile of unsold goods as the inventory of finished unsold goods rose by 249.4 per cent to N1.45 billion, followed by May & Baker Plc and Okomu Oil Palm, the second largest palm oil producer, with 160.2 per cent and 124 percent increase in their inventory of unsold goods respectively.

Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc, Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc and Cadbury Nigeria Plc also ranked among the worst with record increases of 92.9 percent to N9.76 billion, 74.1 percent to N30.75 billion and 71.5 per cent to N3.55 billion in their stock of unsold goods respectively.

Strangely, all brewers in the report recorded reduction in their unsold goods.

Reacting, Director General of the Nigerian Association of Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), Sola Obadimu, said the findings are not surprising, adding that until economic indices are stable, the situation may persist.

His words: “As I always say, we’re in a ‘stagflation’ situation, meaning – persistent rising inflation and high unemployment rates in a static wage situation. The wages are not just static, they’re declining in value in real terms as a result of inflation. Consumers (and industries as well) are also vulnerable/defenceless victims of rising energy costs, unstable forex rates and debilitating infrastructure generally, etc. So, it’s no surprise that inventories are growing.

“We’re all aware of the fact that some major multinationals declared losses for 2023 as a result of the unfavourable economic climate and some chose to leave while others are contemplating. It’s easier for local industries and businesses whose owners can quickly take decisions in the face of constantly changing critical economic indices. These multinationals sometimes have to seek aporovals for some major situations from their global Head Offices which may take a while to come due to lack of adequate understanding of the local environment.

“So, unless we get some sort of stability in critical economic indices and consumer purchasing power increases in value terms, the story may not agreeably be too different in 2024.”

Consumers preference has shifted — Muda Yusuf

Muda Yusuf, Director General, Center for the Promotion of Public Enterprise (CCPE), who blamed the mounting inventory of unsold goods on depreciation in the value of the naira, and high energy cost among others, said that consumers are now reviewing their preferences and are shifting to cheaper substitutes where available.

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He said there’s a need to bring down the exchange rate and energy cost to effect a reduction in companies’ cost of production.

He said: “The high level of inventory of finished goods, particularly the unsold inventory, are the consequences of high production cost and the high operating cost that the manufacturers in the FMCG sector have been grappling with over the last one to two years.

“There have been challenges of escalation of cost arising from exchange rate depreciation, high energy cost, high cost of logistics and challenges around the high cost of funds.

“These are the key issues and, naturally, when the production and operating costs increase, the natural thing is for the increase in cost to be passed on to the consumers in the form of high prices.

“So, what we are seeing is that the prices of some of these products have gone up significantly and some by as high as 50% and in some cases, even 100% in the last year.

“And in an environment where the purchasing power is also weak, where the level of poverty is also high, naturally, these inventories will be very slow in terms of outflow from the warehouses because of the weak purchasing power of the consumers.

“There’s also an element of consumer resistance due to this high cost of production. There is also an element of substitution. For some of those products that have substitutes, consumers may decide to go for cheaper substitutes because of the high prices.

“So, basically, these are the factors that are responsible for the high level of inventory of finished goods that we have seen in recent times.”

Speaking on the way out, Yusuf said there’s a need to put strategies in place to ensure a reduction in operating cost, a reduction in logistics costs and a strengthening of the purchasing power of the citizens.

Need to stabilize FX market

He expressed the need to stabilize and boost supply in the foreign exchange (FX) market in order to moderate the depreciation of the currency.

According to him, this will result in a reduction in operating and production cost.

“Once the currency strengthens, the cost of production will, naturally, be less; the cost of logistics, if the energy crisis goes down, will also begin to decelerate.

“Then, of course, there’s also the element of the cost of clearance of cargo.

“These cargoes could be raw materials, it could be intermediate products, and it could be machinery that is used by any of these manufacturers.

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

“The current methodology of determining the exchange rate for the computation of import duty has made the cost of cargo clearance very prohibitive.

“So, if the government through the fiscal and monetary authorities could do an adjustment to this by fixing the exchange rate for the computation of import duty to between N800 – N1,000/$ and this is fixed for may be three months, that will also help to bring down some of this cost and make the products a lot more affordable because the key issue here is the affordability of these products.

The more affordable they are, the lesser the level of unsold goods,” Yusuf added.

According to him, “The danger in the level of this unsold inventory is that some of these products have expiry dates, which is another risk to these businesses.

It is a good thing that the government is talking about minimum wage. If the workers are empowered, we are likely to see an improvement in demand for some of these products.

“So, there’s a supply side issue to bring down the costs of production, operation and logistics and cost of funds.

“There’s also the demand side issue of empowering the consumer to have the purchasing power to buy these products.”

Rise in unsold goods weakens profitability — FSL Securities

Commenting also, Victor Chiazor, Head, Research at FSL Securities, said: “The 27% rise in inventory for players in the fast-moving consumer goods sector could be attributed to two factors.

“The first could be that the rise is a result of the company’s inability to drive sales due to the rising cost of goods which may have slowed down the volume of goods sold during the period, leading to a rise in inventory.

“Also the second reason for the increase in inventory could be deliberate and the company may decide to increase its inventory position to enable it to plan around the significant volatility in the cost of goods which has remained unpredictable in recent times.

“This helps the company manage the risk around a possible increase in production cost.

“However, whatever the case may be, it has a terrible effect on the course of operation for the business as a slowdown in sales will weaken profitability and a deliberate strategy to increase inventory also ties down capital which could have been raised via borrowing at a high-interest rate given the interest rate environment.

“The government will have to deal with issues around FX volatility, rising energy cost, rising cost of borrowing, bad infrastructure amongst other issues, all of which increase input cost for the manufacturer.”

Source: Vanguard

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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.

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

“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.

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

“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.”

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

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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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.

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“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.

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

READ ALSO  Dangote Sinotruk targets 60% local content, launches new cabin CKD plant
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Inside GTBank… Billions allegedly raked in as customers accounts debits with unauthorised transactions

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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

Customers of Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB) have taken to the social media to condemn the decision of the bank to deduct a ‘CT miscellaneous transaction levy’ from their accounts.

Tagged “Other Transaction, 101CT” in some other cases, the widespread development has the bank withdrawing amounts like N100, N300, N2,000, N5,000, N10,000, N20,000, and more from the accounts, which the customers say is unauthorised.

Osun Defender gathered that in the last few weeks, customers of the bank have expressed a series of complaints over the poor service of the bank, with today’s development striking more public outcry.

A X user, @MizBee30 wrote: Na only me @gtbank debit with Caption MTN? Still Dey put question mark for the transaction as if I no wetin una commot am for. Y’all should return my 5,500 oh! I wan cook stew

@GodsgreatG said, Dear @gtbank @gtbank_help an unauthorised transaction has been made on my account with no description whatsoever. The money must be refunded, as this is a criminal act.’

@gtbank_help @gtbank I won’t even drag anything much with you guy. Once I write officially to you guys and nothing is done, I am taking legal action against you guys. Sebi una no wan get sense Abi

@mello321 said, ‘Gtbank no work for like 15 days. Now them dey comot ridiculous fee from people’

@Holar_dwayne @gtbank @gtbank_help wrote: what’s this fraud? What is CT ? You people just deduct money anyhow these days.

@I_am_Foatchrist stated that: @gtbank @gtbank_help you people had better tell whoever deducted my money to return it just the way they took it ASAP.

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

@VIjagbone wrote: @gtbank why did you deduct money from my account, for no reason. A whole 3k in this hard economy. Please you people should not look for trouble oo, return my money ooo

@Daniel247emj noted, “@gtbank please I’m trying to understand what this 2000 naira withdrawal you made on my account today and it said miscellaneous. Please make me understand what is going on because I know I didn’t buy anything and this is the second time it’s happening but thought it was an error.”

Also, @Chimpo_lee who had stopped using the account a few days ago, was debited in the unauthorised transaction spree, saying ‘@gtbank I stopped using you 3 days ago una still dey debit me💀’

As of the time of filing this report, GT Bank had yet to either officially comment on the development to its customers or attend to any complaints from them.

Sodiq Yusuf is a trained media practitioner and journalist with considerable years of experience in print, broadcast, and digital journalism. His interests cover a wide range of causes in politics, governance, sports, community development, and good governance.

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The misery of GTBank… How N2.5 million kept in customer’s account got missing with unused ATM card

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A sinister trend is taking root under the polished veneer of Guaranty Trust Bank’s modern facades and its acclaimed reputation for financial

While Damilare Abiodun Atobatele, an Ibadan-based businessman, was asleep on November 8, 2023, N1.6 million was transferred in multiple transactions from his current account to his savings account, where it was later used to make purchases on the internet, as reported by FIJ.

These transactions were performed without his consent, leaving the businessman baffled.

When he woke up and saw the debit alerts the following morning, he went to lodge complaints at a Guarantee Trust Bank (GTB) branch in Bodija, Ibadan.

“They moved my money from my current account to my savings account and moved it elsewhere. When I went to lodge complaints at the bank, I was told I authorised the transactions using my ATM card details. I was shocked because I didn’t initiate them,” Atobatele told FIJ.

Atobatele’s savings account shows N1.5 million being used for multiple web purchases via Paystack.
Atobatele’s savings account shows N1.5 million being used for multiple web purchases via Paystack.

Atobatele’s statement of account shows N1.5 million was used for multiple web purchases via Paystack.

He added that he changed his ATM card at the bank that day and blocked the old one to avoid a recurrence. These unauthorised transactions did not end here for Atobatele.

“On November 15, multiple debit transactions that totaled N950,000 left my current account to my savings account again and were also used to make purchases online like the last time. When I went to complain at the bank again, they said it was done using my ATM card details,” he said.

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“How could that have happened with a new ATM card that I collected the week before and had not used anywhere at the time? My brother helped me write letters to the bank, which they acknowledged. I haven’t heard anything from them since then.”

FIJ contacted GTB on Monday, but they did not respond.

ThePAPERS reports that GTBank has been the subject of many controversy in the recent time, from the hidden threats moving around the bank’s branches through tellers to security guards, where customers questioned the integrity of the bank directors at the top.

 

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Oil & Gas

Venture Global hits out at Shell as searchlight also beams on NLNG dispute

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Venture Global LNG, the US-based energy producer, has hit out at Shell’s criticism of the track record of its liquefied gas facilities as the dispute over LNG supply has failed to abate.

Shell LNG is a major shareholder of Nigeria LNG, which is also involved in a supply dispute.

Riviera Maritime Media reports that the Venture Global facility conflict involves Shell, BP, REPSOL, Galp, and other European buyers of LNG.

The dispute, which has global ramification, emanated from the definition of commissioning cargoes from a new LNG facility — with implications for financing and future sales of LNG developments.

European LNG buyers allege that Venture Global denied the off-takers cargoes from its Calcasieu Pass facilities, leading to the loss of billions of dollars.

The European off-takers have a 20-year sale and purchase agreement with the terminal, representing eight million tons per annum (mtpa) of the terminal’s total planned 10 mtpa offtake.

In 2019, the agreed pricing was around $2 per million British thermal units (mmBTU) but by August 2023, spot prices had spiked to $89 per mmBTU.

This led to an impressive profit margin exceeding $100 million per LNG cargo.

Venture Global LNG saw this as an opportunity to sell cargoes at prices far higher than the long-term agreements.

According to the report, Venture Global LNG claimed that if the cargoes were provided to Shell, Galp, Edison, and others, they would have been sold on the spot market with no benefit to Calcasieu Pass.

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The report said the dispute became intense when Shell, BP, and others wrote to the EU-US Task Force on Energy Security, requesting intervention and accusing Venture Global of “opportunistic” actions.

Venture Global responded with a letter to the task force, maintaining that Shell and others had previously bought and allegedly traded commission LNG cargoes for profit outside of Europe.

Venture Global alleged Shell had an “abysmal record of failed execution at its own LNG facilities where they are a major shareholder or a construction leader”.

It told the EU-US Task Force that the dispute was “the latest in a series of unsuccessful attempts to bully an industry newcomer into waiving contractual rights to increase their own profits beyond recent record highs”.

Venture Global positions itself as a long-term, low-cost provider of US LNG from resource-rich North American natural gas basins.

Shell LNG, meanwhile, is a global player and a major shareholder in Nigeria LNG (NLNG).

In a separate case, the NLNG has been held to be in a contract breach.

A London arbitration panel recently found Nigeria LNG in breach of contract for failing to deliver 19 cargoes of LNG under a contract it executed in January 2020.

The panel was made up of John Beechey CBE, J William Rowley KC and Nevil Phillips.

The enforceability of the arbitration award is being challenged by Nigeria LNG in the UK High Courts.

It was earlier reported that the Venture Global’s allegation against Shell and others is similar to the Nigeria LNG breach.

Shell and others have separately filed arbitration cases against Venture Global LNG at the London Court of Arbitration.

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-TheCable

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