- Heirs Holdings, Moroccan Bank Sign Investment MoU
Heirs Holdings and Banque Centrale Populaire, a Moroccan bank, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to collaborate on investment, co-financing, and exchange of information.
A statement from the firm said the MoU would encourage the identification of mutually beneficial investment opportunities across Africa.
Heirs Holdings is an African proprietary investment company with interests in financial services, power, oil and gas, real estate and hospitality and health care.
According to the statement, both organisations bring relevant experience as they work together to find new ways to create African solutions to African development challenges.
It said the framework document, which outlined cooperation areas between Heirs Holdings and BCP, was signed by the Chairman, Heirs Holdings, Tony Elumelu, and the Chairman/Chief Executive Officer, BCP, Mohamed Benchaaboun.
Elumelu, who is the chairman of United Bank for Africa Plc, also signed an investment and cooperation agreement with Attijariwafa Bank on behalf of UBA.
According to the statement, both organisations will collaborate to identify common areas of interest and encourage investments in Morocco, Nigeria and Africa as a whole.
Elumelu said, “This is an opportunity for the private sector of both countries to collaborate to leverage opportunities for sustainable economic growth. It shows that our leaders are committed to intra-African trade and prioritising commercial relationships across borders.
“As businesses that both share a pan-African perspective, we recognise the importance of intra-African trade as a pillar of the continent’s economic transformation.”
Elumelu said the Tony Elumelu Foundation would continue to support youth skills development in Morocco and North Africa as a whole, through the foundation’s $100m Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme.
Benchaaboun was quoted as saying that the agreement marked the beginning of a long-term partnership that would deepen African integration and help build confidence in both countries, as well as the continent as a viable investment destination.
IBEDC Disconnects UCH Over N500m Debt, Critical Services Affected
The University College Hospital (UCH) in Ibadan, Oyo State, experienced a disruption in its power supply after the Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC) disconnected the hospital over a debt amounting to N500 million.
Dr. Jesse Otegbayo, the Chief Medical Director of UCH, confirmed the disconnection but refrained from elaborating on the exact cause.
IBEDC’s spokesperson, Busolami Tunwase, acknowledged the outstanding debt owed by UCH but denied that the disconnection was intentional.
Tunwase stated that while UCH owed the substantial amount, the power outage was due to a technical fault in the area, coinciding with the debt situation.
Despite repeated attempts to engage UCH in discussions to settle the debt, IBEDC had resorted to disconnection as a last resort.
The disconnection poses significant challenges to UCH’s critical services, affecting patient care and hospital operations.
While IBEDC emphasized its understanding of the hospital’s importance and commitment to resolving the issue amicably, the situation underscores the financial strains faced by healthcare institutions and the essential need for reliable power supply.
Efforts to negotiate and find a resolution between UCH and IBEDC are ongoing to restore normal operations and ensure uninterrupted healthcare services.
Oil and Gas Dealers Threaten Withdrawal as 70% of Downstream Businesses Collapse
The downstream oil sector in Nigeria faces a looming crisis as oil and gas dealers, represented by the Natural Oil and Gas Suppliers Association of Nigeria (NOGASA), issue a stern warning of potential service withdrawal.
In a recent resolution following their executive committee meeting in Abuja, NOGASA expressed grave concerns over the collapse of approximately 70% of businesses in the industry due to the harsh operating environment.
President of NOGASA, Benneth Korie, highlighted the dire situation, emphasizing the challenges faced by oil marketers in funding operations amidst soaring bank interest rates.
Korie underscored the overwhelming burden faced by operators who are compelled to acquire funds at exorbitant interest rates upwards of 30%, exacerbating financial strain and hindering business viability.
The primary demand voiced by NOGASA is the pegging of the foreign exchange rate at N750/$ to facilitate refinery operations and stimulate the production of refined products domestically.
Failure to address these pressing issues, Korie warned, could result in the withdrawal of services by NOGASA’s over 200 members starting from the next month.
The downstream oil crisis coincides with heightened anticipation for the release of refined petroleum products from the Dangote and Port Harcourt refineries, seen as critical for alleviating supply shortages nationwide.
However, amidst forex crises and inflationary pressures, operators in the oil and gas sector confront mounting economic challenges, necessitating urgent government intervention.
As Nigeria navigates through turbulent economic waters, stakeholders eagerly await decisive action from authorities to salvage the downstream oil sector from imminent collapse and avert potential disruptions in fuel supply chains.
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