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NLNG Kicks as Lawmakers Pass Bill to Amend Act

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  • NLNG Kicks as Lawmakers Pass Bill to Amend Act

The Nigeria LNG Limited has decried the passage of a bill for the amendment of the NLNG (Fiscal Incentives, Guarantees and Assurances) Act by the House of Representatives.

A statement released by the company’s General Manager, External Relations, Kudo Eresia-Eke, said the amendment violated the assurances and guarantees granted investors in the company by the country, which paved the way for the huge international investment that enabled the NLNG to become a reality and a success story.

“As we have said previously, including at a public hearing convened by the National Assembly in April 2016, we do not believe that this is in the national interest, as its direct consequence would be to project Nigeria as a sovereign-state promise breaker and an unsuitable destination for investments,” the firm said in the statement.

The NLNG said the main thrust of the guarantees and assurances was to assure the foreign investors that their investments would be protected by the non-amendment of the NLNG Act.

According to it, this is the reason why the NLNG Act has remained intact and protected by all administrations from inception, in recognition of the sanctity thereof.

The Managing Director, Nigeria LNG, Tony Attah, was quoted as saying, “The proposed amendment can only be a direct attack on the present government’s ease of doing business agenda and in the current administration’s determination to attract direct foreign investment to Nigeria.

“It needs to be clearly stated that investments are unlikely to flow into an environment where contracts and agreements are flagrantly violated as is imminent in this instance.

“This curious amendment initiative represents the first time in the history of legislative practice in Nigeria when a law is amended for the sole purpose of imposing a levy against a private company for the benefit of an agency of government.”

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Businessinsider, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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Merger and Acquisition

Access Bank Plc Expands Footprint in Tanzania with ABCT Acquisition

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Access Bank Plc has taken a significant stride in expanding its presence in East Africa through the acquisition of a majority equity stake in African Banking Corporation of Tanzania (ABCT) Limited, a subsidiary of Atlas Mara Limited.

The acquisition, which was completed recently, underscores Access Bank’s ambition to become one of the leading financial institutions in Africa.

The transaction not only solidifies its position within the East African banking landscape but also aligns with its broader goal of enhancing intra-African trade and fostering economic development across the continent.

Commenting on the transaction, Roosevelt Ogbonna, Managing Director of the Bank, said: This strategic move represents a notable step towards setting a railroad in Tanzania for intra-African trade within the East African region, Africa and the rest of the world. It underscores our commitment to creating a robust East African banking network, driving positive change and innovation. We are excited about the opportunities this acquisition presents for our operations in Tanzania and are eager to leverage our
combined strengths to deliver exceptional financial solutions and experiences to our customers.

Commenting on the transaction, John Imani, Managing Director, African Banking Corporation (Tanzania) Limited, said: “The completion of our transaction with Access Bank Plc, not only underscores the strong confidence of Access Bank in our operations and the Tanzanian market but delivers new and exciting opportunities for our customers, employees, and stakeholders. The new entity is poised to enhance our service offerings, leveraging Access Bank’s extensive resources and expertise to deliver even greater value to our clients. We look forward to an exciting and prosperous future as part of the Access Bank family, driving economic growth and financial inclusion across Tanzania.”

Following the acquisition, Access Bank plans to merge ABCT with the consumer, private, and banking business of Standard Chartered Bank Tanzania, another entity it is acquiring.

This strategic integration aims to create Access Bank Tanzania, positioning it as a prominent player in the country’s banking sector.

The combined entity will offer a comprehensive range of banking products and services tailored to meet the evolving needs of Tanzanian businesses and individuals.

Access Bank’s expansion into Tanzania is expected to stimulate competition in the local banking industry, spur innovation, and deepen financial inclusion.

With a robust presence across multiple African markets, Access Bank continues to demonstrate its commitment to driving sustainable growth and fostering economic resilience across the continent.

As Access Bank Tanzania prepares to launch under its new structure, stakeholders are anticipating enhanced banking solutions and increased accessibility that will contribute to Tanzania’s economic prosperity in the years ahead.

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Dangote Lauds African Banks, Repays $2.4B of Refinery Loans Despite Challenges

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Aliko Dangote - Investors King

Aliko Dangote, Africa’s richest person and founder of the Dangote Group, announced that he has repaid $2.4 billion of the $5.5 billion borrowed to construct his $19 billion refinery near Lagos.

This disclosure was made at the Afreximbank Annual Meetings (AAN) and AfriCaribbean Trade & Investment Forum, where Dangote praised the crucial support from African financial institutions amidst numerous challenges and sabotage attempts.

Speaking to an audience of international financiers and business leaders, Dangote revealed that various entities, both local and foreign, sought to derail the 650,000 barrels per day facility.

“Many thought the project would fail,” he said, highlighting the skepticism surrounding the ambitious venture. Despite these hurdles, Dangote credited the Afreximbank and Nigeria’s Access Bank for their unwavering support, emphasizing that the project would not have succeeded without them.

He elaborated on the challenges faced, noting that foreign banks were often unsupportive, with some even attempting to push the project into default during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“If I had raised the idea of international project financing, they would have shut it down, asking for my great-grandmother’s birth certificate,” Dangote remarked, criticizing the stringent and often discouraging conditions set by international financial institutions.

Dangote underscored the importance of African financial institutions in the continent’s industrialization, stating, “Without banks like African Finance Corporation (AFC) and Afreximbank, it would be difficult to industrialize Africa. They understand the challenges and issues unique to our continent.”

Despite the adversity, Dangote proudly announced significant progress in loan repayment. “We borrowed just over $5.5 billion. We’ve paid interest and some principal, totaling about $2.4 billion. Now, only $2.7 billion remains. We’ve done very well for a project of this magnitude,” he stated.

Addressing concerns about receiving enough crude oil for the refinery, Dangote acknowledged ongoing resistance from established players in the oil industry.

“Those who had access to easy money for decades don’t want to lose their grip. They fight back, but these challenges are temporary. We will overcome them,” he assured.

Dangote also highlighted the strategic importance of the refinery for Nigeria and the broader sub-Saharan region.

“Africa must produce what it consumes. We can no longer rely on the West. During the COVID period, some international banks hoped to see us default. Thanks to banks like Afreximbank, that didn’t happen.”

Furthermore, he revealed that 25% of Dangote’s fertilizer production is now exported to the US, and the company is poised to meet the Caribbean’s urea needs.

He emphasized the refinery’s role in securing Nigeria’s energy future, noting that the facility will act as the country’s strategic reserve for petroleum products.

With eyes set on future ventures, Dangote announced plans to enter the steel industry. “We aim to ensure every piece of steel we use comes from Nigeria. No foreigner will make our continent great; it must be driven by domestic investment,” he proclaimed.

In a testament to the Dangote Group’s self-sufficiency, he revealed that the company produces about 1,500 megawatts of power for its operations, bypassing the national grid and its limitations.

In closing, Dangote reflected on his journey, acknowledging the continuous battle against powerful adversaries but expressing confidence in ultimate victory.

“The fight is ongoing, but with the support of our people and government, we will prevail,” he affirmed.

As Africa’s industrial landscape continues to evolve, Dangote’s story serves as a beacon of resilience and a call to action for local investment and self-reliance.

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Merger and Acquisition

Tolaram Acquires 58.02% Stake in Guinness Nigeria from Diageo

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Tolaram Group has acquired a 58.02% stake in Guinness Nigeria from Diageo Plc. for ₦81.60 per share, representing approximately a 60% premium over Guinness Nigeria’s closing price of ₦50 on Monday.

Announced on June 11, 2024, the acquisition underscores Tolaram’s commitment to expanding its footprint in Nigeria’s robust consumer market.

Diageo, the UK-based beverage giant, will retain ownership of the Guinness brand, which will be licensed to Guinness Nigeria, now under Tolaram’s majority control, through long-term agreements.

Under the terms of the deal, Tolaram will initiate a mandatory takeover offer in compliance with Nigerian Exchange regulations.

However, Guinness Nigeria will continue to be publicly listed, maintaining its presence on the Nigerian Stock Exchange.

A statement from Guinness Nigeria highlighted the terms of the agreement, confirming the continued production of the Guinness brand along with Diageo’s locally manufactured ready-to-drink and mainstream spirits under license and royalty agreements.

The transaction is slated for completion in 2025, pending necessary regulatory approvals.

Commenting on the acquisition, Sajen Aswani, Tolaram’s Chief Executive, said: “Our partnership with Diageo to jointly grow Guinness Nigeria underscores our commitment to build on our strong presence and heritage in Nigeria, cultivated over decades of dedication and unwavering confidence in the future of Africa. We take a long-term view on all our investments, and this partnership reflects our optimism on the exciting opportunities that lie ahead across the continent.”

Diageo CEO Debra Crew echoed Aswani’s sentiment “I’m excited to announce our new partnership with Tolaram. Guinness has been Nigeria’s favourite beer for nearly 75 years. Tolaram shares this passion for Guinness and for Nigeria, making them the perfect partners as we continue to grow our business and seek to delight even more consumers in the country.”

This strategic acquisition is expected to bolster Guinness Nigeria’s market position, leveraging Tolaram’s extensive experience in the consumer goods sector to drive growth and innovation.

The partnership aims to enhance the availability and appeal of Guinness and other Diageo products in Nigeria, contributing to the country’s economic development and consumer satisfaction.

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