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Waste Managers Lament State of Lagos Dumpsites

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  • Waste Managers Lament State of Lagos Dumpsites

Wastes may soon find their way back to Lagos streets and roads as major dumpsites across the state have become unmanageable in recent times, waste managers have said.

When our correspondent visited one of the landfills at Igando area of the state on Friday, it was observed that the roads to the major dump areas had become almost impassable and truck drivers were in a queue to enter the dumpsite and empty their trucks, stretching up to the nearby general hospital.

One of the truck drivers, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said he slept in his vehicle overnight, and as of 11am, he had yet to dump the waste he brought to the site.

He said, “This affects our efficiency as waste managers because our vehicles spend days just trying to evacuate wastes, meaning that we are not able to go back and pick more wastes, which we used to do about three to four times daily, and our clients are complaining.

“We used to have one long queue in the past and it was manageable; but now, everything has become chaotic that trucks even park on the road. The other day, I got here by 11am and did not leave until 6pm.”

According to him, apart from the delay, the slippery roads leading to the dumpsites damage the trucks, adding that some waste managers had lost their trucks in the process.

Another driver, who gave his name as Babatunde, said it had become impossible for him to plan his day because of the delays, adding that on the average, he spends six hours daily at the dumpsite.

Explaining the reason for the delays, Babatunde said the Olusosun landfill had four bulldozers that push the wastes into the pits as they are dumped, but the number had been reduced to one or two sometimes.

“These are the same bulldozers that are used to push our trucks whenever they sink in the muddy road, and they damage the trucks in the process because they are not designed for that kind of job,” he said.

Our correspondent gathered that the state government had the responsibility of managing the Olusosun and Igando landfills, the two major dumpsites in the state, but recently outsourced it to private companies due to the financial burden.

Some stakeholders who spoke said the companies introduced a fee of N2, 000 every time a truck comes to dump refuse so as to help manage the sites.

The consultant to the Association of Waste Managers, Mr. Lekan Owojori of Wellbeck Consulting Limited, told our correspondent, “We agreed reluctantly, but our vehicles still spend days just trying to evacuate wastes. The N2,000 was supposed to improve services but we haven’t seen any improvement.

“The nature of the job is that a vehicle should not spend more than 20 minutes so that more wastes can be collected. A driver should be able to make three trips a day or more.”

The waste managers also alleged that some security operatives had been employed from the Odua Peoples Congress to guard the sites, but that they derived pleasure from harassing truck drivers whenever they complained about the long queue.

“Whenever I visit Olusosun, even if I spend eight hours, I try to comport myself because I don’t want anybody to harass or beat me up,” a driver said.

He said a number of truck drivers had been beaten up and hospitalised in the past for trying to force their way into the dumping area.

Owojori said, “We have complained to the government that the quality of service at the dumpsites has not improved and it is delaying our turnaround time. Over the years, we have had issues with the dumpsites, but the last administration spent a lot to keep the sites running and in good order.

“The government was spending about N300m per month before the concession, then we would dump our wastes and about four or five caterpillars will push the waste into the pit. But now, there are just about one or two caterpillars servicing these pits and we are spending a lot of time. We now have trucks that wait for two to three days.”

He added that the waste managers had not been able to get the state government to help improve the situation even after writing to Governor Akinwunmi Ambode.

“We wrote a letter before the raining season started and the governor replied us that the attempt to deal with it was why the sites were given out on concession, but the situation has worsened with the raining season,” he said.

The General Manager, Lagos State Waste Management Authority, Mr. Segun Adeniji, told our correspondent that it had been difficult managing the dumpsites because of the rains.

According to him, there are plans by the government to reengineer the dumpsites to global standards.

“Government has a lot of plans for the dumpsites; we are working on well-engineered dumpsites but before then, we have to use these ones and manage them as they are. Managing dumpsites during the raining season is difficult; all efforts put in by the managers to put it right have been abortive but there will soon be sanity,” he said.

On the issue of security operatives beating up drivers at the dumpsite, Adeniji stated that no formal complaint had been made, adding that when concessionaires took over in April a case was reported at Olusosun and was addressed.

“So far, we have not heard about anybody being beaten up; if there is anything like that, no one has told us yet,” he said.

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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Experts Predict Nigeria’s Free Trade Zones Could Generate More Than N11.11tn

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Economic experts are optimistic about the potential of Nigeria’s Free Trade Zones (FTZs) to boost the nation’s economy significantly.

According to recent analysis, these zones could generate more than the N11.11 trillion they have already remitted to the Federation Account as of October 2023.

The Director of the Centre for the Promotion of Private Enterprise (CPPE), Muda Yusuf, said the FTZs will help facilitate forex.

“Nigeria’s urgent need for foreign exchange necessitates leveraging our free zones to enhance non-oil export revenue and reduce dependency on crude oil earnings,” Yusuf stated.

He pointed out the success stories of other countries, notably Dubai, which has effectively utilized its free zones to generate foreign exchange and attract significant investments.

“Our free zones must strive to do more, as we are still heavily reliant on oil and gas for our foreign exchange earnings. Increased investment in these areas is crucial,” he added.

Supporting this perspective, the Managing Director of the Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA), Olufemi Ogunyemi, recently highlighted the economic contributions of the FTZs while addressing the Senate Committee on Industry, Trade, and Investment.

Ogunyemi noted that these zones have created substantial wealth for the states hosting them and generated significant revenue for various agencies.

“Agencies such as the Nigeria Customs Service, the Immigration Services, and the Nigerian Ports Authority have seen revenues of N59.38 billion, N828.7 million, and N8.738 billion, respectively, while states have received N998 million in Pay As You Earn (PAYE) remittances,” Ogunyemi reported.

He also highlighted the broader impact of the FTZs, noting that as of the end of 2023, the 46 licensed zones had provided 38,429 direct jobs and an additional 172,930 indirect jobs.

Foreign direct investment (FDI) worth $491.8 million and local direct investment amounting to N1.15 trillion have flowed into these zones, with N1.62 trillion worth of cargo imported from 2019 to 2023, saving scarce foreign exchange.

David Adonri, Vice President of Highcap Securities Limited, praised NEPZA’s achievements, suggesting that the government use these successes to encourage more Nigerians to start manufacturing businesses within the FTZs.

“The remittances from the free trade zones are commendable and should be a marketing tool to attract more investments,” Adonri said.

However, some experts believe there is room for improvement. Professor Olusegun Ajibola of Babcock University argued that while the remittances are noteworthy, they are not yet at a level worth celebrating.

“The government needs to intensify efforts in revenue generation from these zones as they were established at a significant cost to the host states,” Ajibola remarked.

He called for a review of the 32-year-old NEPZA Act to address any challenges and enhance the performance of the FTZs.

As Nigeria continues to seek ways to diversify its economy and reduce reliance on oil, the FTZs present a promising avenue. With strategic investments and robust management, these zones could indeed surpass their current contributions, fostering economic growth and stability for the nation.

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Nigeria’s Dangote Refinery Breaks Into Asian Market with LSSR Shipment

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In a historic move, Dangote Refinery is set to ship low-sulfur straight-run fuel oil (LSSR) from Nigeria to Singapore this week, its entry into the Asian market.

This development represents a significant milestone for the refinery, which began operations in January following a $20 billion investment.

According to ship tracking data and market sources, the refinery will initiate a new trade route from Nigeria to Asia, a region that consistently demands low-sulfur fuel oil for ship refueling at Singapore, the world’s largest bunker hub.

The Glencore-chartered vessel, Front Brage, will deliver approximately 124,000 metric tons (787,400 barrels) of LSSR to Singapore, with the shipment expected to arrive on Wednesday.

The Dangote Refinery, with a processing capacity of up to 650,000 barrels of products per day, is poised to become the largest refinery in Africa and Europe once it reaches full capacity.

Since March, the refinery has increased its LSSR exports, primarily sending cargoes to the Americas and Europe, as reported by ship tracking data from Kpler and Vortexa.

“This first shipment to Asia marks a new chapter in Dangote Refinery’s expansion strategy,” said a market analyst. “Breaking into the Asian market underscores the refinery’s growing influence and its capability to meet diverse global fuel demands.”

Market sources suggest that the cargo was redirected to Asia due to weaker demand in Europe. Data from LSEG indicates that the east-west spread for front-month 0.5 percent LSFO, reflecting the price difference between these regions, stayed above $40 per ton this week.

Dangote’s LSSR cargoes are priced against Rotterdam’s 0.5 percent LSFO quotes on a free-on-board basis, although the specific pricing differential for this shipment was not disclosed by market sources.

This pioneering shipment is the beginning of a series of exports to Asia. Another LSSR shipment from the Dangote refinery, containing around 157,000 tons, is expected to reach Singapore in July aboard the vessel Stena Suede, based on ship tracking data.

LSSR is typically blended with other fuels to create low-sulfur fuel oil (LSFO) for bunkering or used as feedstock in various refinery processes.

This export initiative not only diversifies Dangote Refinery’s market reach but also enhances Nigeria’s position in the global energy market.

In February, Dangote began exporting oil products and started purchasing crude oil, mainly from the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Ltd, in December 2023.

The refinery’s successful entry into the Asian market is anticipated to drive further growth and establish new trade relationships, reinforcing its status as a key player in the global oil industry.

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This landmark export not only demonstrates Dangote Refinery’s operational capabilities but also signals Nigeria’s expanding influence in the global energy sector. As the refinery continues to innovate and expand, it is well-positioned to meet the increasing global demand for cleaner, more efficient fuels.

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Nigerian Refiners Pursue Afreximbank Financing Amid $18bn Funding Plan

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Investors in Nigeria’s modular refineries are actively engaging with the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) to secure a portion of the $18 billion fund earmarked by the bank for the development of refineries in Nigeria and other African nations.

This initiative follows the successful financial backing provided by Afreximbank to the $19 billion Dangote Petroleum Refinery, which has commenced production of refined petroleum products for both domestic use and export.

Sources within the modular refining sector confirmed that discussions are underway, with significant interest from Clairgold Refinery and Shinjin Petro Chemicals.

Both companies have initiated talks with Afreximbank officials to source funds for their refinery projects in Nigeria.

However, the modular refinery operators have expressed concerns regarding the feedstock supply for their plants, which is a critical guarantee required by financial institutions for funding.

The operators, represented by the Crude Oil Refinery Owners Association of Nigeria (CORAN), praised Afreximbank’s support for the Dangote Petroleum Refinery during its construction phase.

“We are in active discussions with Afreximbank, although no modular refinery has received financing from the bank yet,” said Eche Idoko, Publicity Secretary of CORAN. “Shinjin Petro Chemicals, which is constructing a 3,000 barrels per day plant, and Clairgold Modular Refineries are among those in talks with Afreximbank and the Bank of Industry. We are hopeful for positive outcomes.”

Afreximbank’s commitment to supporting refinery construction was reiterated at the 2024 Afreximbank annual meetings in Nassau, The Bahamas.

The bank’s president, Benedict Oramah, highlighted the strategic objective to refine 50% of Africa’s crude oil production within the continent.

Oramah emphasized the bank’s role in the successful financing of the Dangote refinery as a model for future projects.

“We are proud to be associated with these transformational projects, which demonstrate the critical role of African capital in financing our development,” Oramah stated. “Our broader strategy includes supporting the construction of a new refinery in Cabinda, Angola, and refurbishing the Port Harcourt refinery in Nigeria. Our goal is to ensure that at least 50% of the crude oil produced in the Gulf of Guinea is refined in Africa.”

Despite the optimism, modular refinery operators have identified several challenges in accessing these funds.

These include securing guarantees related to feedstock supply and completing necessary engineering designs.

“The issue of feedstock remains a significant hurdle, as financiers require assurances on this front,” Idoko noted. “We are optimistic that Afreximbank will address these concerns given their recent declaration to support modular refineries.”

The ongoing discussions come at a time when Nigeria is grappling with its highest inflation rate in 28 years, driven largely by food costs.

The economic strain is exacerbating poverty and reducing the purchasing power of the nation’s 231 million residents, 60% of whom are classified as multidimensionally poor.

Modular refineries, which require significantly less capital investment compared to traditional full-scale refineries, are seen as a viable solution to boost local refining capacity and reduce dependence on imported refined petroleum products.

However, the operators have raised alarms about systemic issues within the oil sector that impede in-country refining, echoing concerns voiced by Aliko Dangote regarding the influence of entrenched interests.

As negotiations with Afreximbank continue, the modular refinery operators remain cautiously optimistic, hoping that the bank’s support will pave the way for enhanced domestic refining capabilities and contribute to Nigeria’s economic resilience.

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