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FG Pledges Support Towards Completion of Dangote Petroleum Refinery

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The  Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, has pledged support of the Federal Government towards ensuring the completion of the historic 650,000 BPD, Dangote Petroleum Refinery during an official visit to the Petrochemical complex located at the Lekki Free Trade Zone in Lagos, Nigeria.

The minister who was led on a tour of the Refinery by the Group President,  Dangote Industries Limited, Aliko Dangote, and the company’s Executive Director, Strategy, Capital Projects and Portfolio Development, Mr. Devakumar Edwin, was accompanied by the Chairman, Senate Committee on Petroleum Downstream, Senator Sabo Nakudu; Chairman, Senate Committee on Services/member, Senate Committee, Upstream, Senator Muhammad Musa; GMD, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mallam Mele Kyari; Director, Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Mr. Ahmed Shakur; Executive Secretary, Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Mr. Simbi Wabote; and the Executive Secretary, Petroleum Equalization Fund (PEF), Mr. Ahmed Boboi; among others.

He said: “This is a very heartwarming moment for all of us as Nigerians. There is no way a project of this magnitude will be going on and government will not be interested. Anywhere in the world, if a citizen of a country has committed so much money into investing in this kind of massive project, government must show interest.

“I must say now that Dangote Group has turned this project to the story of all of us, we must all support this project to succeed, because the success of this project signals a lot. Of course, I am sure that the whole world is looking at the success of this project. Investors all over the world will look at the success of this project and will come to Nigeria to at least also enjoy the benefit of investing here. So, we are actually here to assure you, Dangote Group, that as a government, as NNPC, we will support this project as much as we can. You have definitely done very well.”

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“As you can see, the whole team is complete, and whatever your concerns are, whatever your problems are, please feel free to let us know, so that we will together find a solution to problems that you might encounter. Because of course, in project of this magnitude, you cannot expect that you will not have problems.

Sylva said the Dangote Refinery and Petrochemical was a testament that the country possesses enabling environment for businesses to thrive and added that the success of the project will boost investors confidence in the country’s oil and gas project. He implored Nigerians to support the refinery project with a view to ensuring that it creates more value addition to the economy.

Mr Mele Kyari, NNPC GMD said that “we are not competing with Dangote but complimenting each other to boost production capacity. Our objective is the same, to make Nigeria a net exporter of crude. We can’t do this until we have complementary activities between the private sector and government.”

“ln the next five years, Dangote will add 650,000 barrels, government with 445,000 barrels with others companies coming up to boost capacity,” he said.

In his remarks, Aliko Dangote, Group President and Chief Executive, Dangote Group said ” We believed in Nigeria and if we don’t do it ourselves, nobody will come down to do it for us. There is three per cent growth population increase annually in Nigeria, so, apart from that Nigeria are supposed to meet the needs of West, East and Central Africa in terms of supply.”

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Similarly, Mr Devakumar Edwin,the company’s Group Executive Director, Strategy, Capital Projects and Portfolio Development, said that the asset creates market for 11billion per annum of Nigerian crude and can meet 100 per cent of the Nigerian requirement of all liquid products.

He said that Nigeria is Africa’s largest crude oil producer, but lacks refining capacity to meet its own fuel needs.

“The Dangote refinery, which is designed to maximise petrol output, will produce enough to allow for a small surplus of that fuel for export. It will also be able to send a large volume of diesel and jet fuel to international markets.”

He disclosed that Dangote plans to take advantage of local crude supply, adding that it won’t participate in the crude-for-fuel swap deal that is managed by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

“We are going to buy the crude just at the export price and will sell our products at the import price, the crude swap is operating only for the importers of the product. The new refinery has been designed to process varieties of crude from sweet to light crude sourced both locally, and abroad.

“Dangote plans to export its diesel to Europe and gasoline to Latin America, Western and Central African markets, Edwin said.

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He said that evacuation of refined products will be done by sea and through roads.

“We are thinking of investing in vessels. We want to make sure we are not held for ransom by any transport operators. Africa’s largest oil refinery had revealed that it would deliver its fuels to Nigerian consumers via roads and sea ports, and will effectively replace all of Nigeria’s fuel imports once fully operational.”

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AfDB urges central banks to cut interest rates

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The African Development Bank (AfDB) has urged central banks on the continent to act quickly by cutting interest rates to inject liquidity in view of impact of COVID-19 pandemic.

The AfDB , in its African Economic Outlook 2020 supplement amid coronavirus pandemic released on Tuesday gave the advice.

According to the bank, the targeted interventions should be implemented for affected firms and sectors and use macroprudential and unconventional monetary policy to support the economy.

It added that central banks could resort to their own forms of quantitative easing, targeted at funding the most affected sectors such as firms in the hospitality and entertainment industry.

The bank noted that other sectors to be assisted are airlines, hotel chains, logistics and sports by temporarily reprofiling or restructuring their debts.

AfDB emphasised that the apex banks could also support vulnerable groups by designing programmes targeted at micro enterprises and the unbanked in the informal sector, financed by government and potentially run by other agencies closer to the ground.

“The impact of COVID–19 on Africa’s labour markets will have disproportionate impacts on vulnerable groups, notably youth and women, who are engaged in the informal sector, or with only casual job opportunities in the formal sector.

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“Assist vulnerable groups, especially youth and women. The COVID–19 pandemic can have differentiated socioeconomic impacts,” the AfDB said.

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BUA set to establish ultramodern 3million metric tonnes cement plant, 50mw power plant in Adamawa

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One of West Africa’s largest Cement companies,  BUA Cement has announced that it is set to establish a three million metric tonnes cement plant and 50 megawatts power plant in Guyuk and Lamurde local governments of Adamawa state in the North Easter region of Nigeria. This was revealed when the Chairman of BUA, Abdul Samad Rabiu led the BUA Cement Management team on a courtesy call to the Adamawa State Governor, Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri in the Government House, Yola.

Speaking during the visit, Abdul Samad Rabiu said preliminary findings show that the two local governments of Guyuk and Lamurde are reputed to have good quality of limestone deposits and BUA Cement is ready to begin the investment in the state. He added that the BUA will use new technologies to supply power to the proposed cement plant and communities of Guyuk and Lamurde in addition to providing three thousand direct and five thousand indirect jobs.

The Chairman stressed that the Guyuk Cement Plant will be the major investment in the North East by BUA and solicited for support of Governor Umaru Fintiri to set up the factory in Guyuk. Rabiu said the company made a decision to source its raw materials locally and it has invested billions of dollars in various sectors across Nigeria and therefore urged the state government to support BUA to actualize the Guyuk Cement project. In addition, he praised the commitment of the governor within one year in office in many sectors of development despite the economic challenges in Adamawa.

Responding, Governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri said his administration’s effort in exploring local contents has started yielding results and thanked BUA for showing interest in establishing the cement plant in Guyuk. He further assured the management team of BUA that government will make whatever is needed and provide the necessary support which will create enabling environment so that the BUA Cement company in Guyuk will become a reality.

He also expressed readiness of the government to protect the investment once it is established and told them that his administration will maintain the good relationship with the company for the benefit of the state.

BUA is Nigeria’s second largest Cement Producer by volume with cement plants in Sokoto and Edo States. The Company’s newest plant in Sokoto is expected to be operational in 2021. When completed, the Guyuk Cement Plant will bring BUA’s total capacity to 14million metric tonnes per annum.

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Dangote cement sustains 54,000 jobs in 4 African countries

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Aliko Dangote

President of Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote has said that despite the challenging economic situation in 2019, Dangote Cement  was able to sustain 54,000 jobs in four African countries, where the company has its operations. The countries are Nigeria, Ethiopia, Senegal and South Africa.

The business mogul who disclosed this to shareholders at the company’s 11th Annual General Meeting in Lagos said that more jobs would be created as the company intensifies the export of clinker to other neighboring countries from Nigeria.

“According to our 2019 socio-economic impact assessment study specifically on our operations in Nigeria, Ethiopia, Senegal, and South Africa, we sustained 54,005 jobs (direct, indirect, induced) in these four markets in the year under review,” he said.

Dangote told the shareholders that the year 2019 was a strong year given the tough business environment across most of its operating geographics, disclosing that the group recorded volumes of 23.7 million metric tons and revenues of ₦891.7 billion.

He said: “We recorded a strong EBITDA margin of 44.3 percent. As a result of this performance, the board has recommended for your approval a dividend of ₦16.00 per ordinary 50 kobo share.”

Speaking on the local Nigerian operations, he said: “Nigeria’s cement market grew slightly in 2019. We estimate that total market consumption was up between 2 per cent-3 percent on the 20.7Mt estimated in 2018.”

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Dangote explained that the modest performance was in spite of the fact that the market generally was impacted negatively by the disruptions related to the 2019 election cycles, heavy rains and the loss in land export volumes due to the border closure.

“Dangote Cement’s Nigerian operations remained at 14.1Mt in 2019, including export sales of 0.45Mt. Domestic sales in Nigeria were nearly 13.7Mt, compared to 13.4Mt in 2019. This implies a 2 percent growth mirroring the estimated GDP growth for the year. However, land exports reduced to 0.45Mt from 0.7Mt for the full year owing to the border closure in the last few months of 2019.

“The Bag of Goodies promotion, launched in July, drove strong increases in our Nigerian volumes in the third quarter”, Dangote pointed out, adding that the innovative marketing effort enabled the company to maintain its market share despite the 4.5Mt new capacity which came into the market during the year.”

He alluded to the new feat by Dangote Cement in commencing export of clinker via shipping from the Apapa and Onne ports to West and Central Africa, adding that the management was encouraged by the performance of its offshore operations.

Recall that the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, while lauding the investment drive of Dangote recently said that he was excited with the progress made at Dangote Refinery and Petrochemical plant so far, said that when it becomes operational, the refinery and petrochemical plant would increase its workforce from the current 34,000 to over 70,000.

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