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Lagos Set to Recover 100 Assets Sold Illegally

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  • Lagos Set to Recover 100 Assets Sold Illegally

The Lagos State government may seize under-valued properties allegedly sold illegally and prosecute defaulters.

The government is set to implement a far-reaching report on the sale of such assets. The report is said to contain a list of over 100 properties, the names of their buyers and the locations of the assets.

Sources disclosed that the report was arrived at after extensive lasting several months by a panel of inquiry set up in late 2016 by Governor Akinwunmi Ambode to “investigate the sale of its assets in prime areas running into billions of Naira”.

The source, who does not want her identity revealed due to the sensitivity of the issue, said the government decided to investigate the sale of its assets because they were sold below market value.

According to the source, the loss ran into billions of Naira.

She said: “The affected assets are located in high-profile areas, where decision-makers, captains of industries, top government functionaries and political actors among others often crave to build their homes and offices.”

She identified the areas where the assets are to include Ikeja GRA, Magodo, Ikoyi, Lekki and other prime locations.

She explained that the assets were disposed at abysmal (or give-away) prices and obviously against public interest, which in her words, stoked the interest of the present administration to investigate and review the process by which the assets were sold.

She disclosed that what eventually culminated in the resolve of the State government to investigate the sale of its assets was overriding public interest, lamenting that some of these assets “were sold as low as N20 million.”

She added: “Generally, we have a situation where government properties in prime locations were sold at give-away prices. The assets were abysmally under-valued. Besides, the assets were sold below the actual market value”

The Nation gathered that government took an exception to such transaction, stating that no serious government would allow such sales against public interest to stand.

It was further gathered the report had indeed been submitted and implementation had begun with review of sales of properties that were sold grossly under market value.

In one of the test cases under review, it was discovered that two wings of a five bedroom semi detached house located around Ikeja GRA valued at hundreds of millions of Naira was in 2010 offered to Funmi Smith of Debam Mega Solutions Limited for a sum far less than half of the value, but seven years after the offer barely half of the offered sum has been paid to the State Government coffers by the Company.

It was reliably gathered that as part of the report’s recommendations, the State Government has been advised to invite the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to unravel several other transactions that have been identified by the panel of inquiry.

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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Goya Foods Takes Legal Action to Assert ‘Goya Olive Oil’ Trademark Ownership

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Goya Foods

“Goya Olive Oil” trademark in Nigeria, Goya Foods Incorporated has initiated legal proceedings against the Registrar of Trademarks under the Federal Ministry of Trade and Investment.

The case, numbered FHC/ABJ/CS/883/2023, was brought before the Federal High Court in Abuja.

Goya Foods, a prominent producer and distributor of foods and beverages across the United States, Spanish-speaking countries, and Nigeria, seeks to enforce a longstanding consent judgment issued by the court in December 2006.

The judgment directed the Registrar to rectify the Trademarks Register to reflect Goya Foods Incorporated as the rightful owner of the “Goya Olive Oil” trademark, without any further formalities.

The lawsuit, exclusively revealed to sources, underscores Goya Foods’ determination to safeguard its intellectual property against alleged infringements.

According to court documents, Goya Foods obtained the consent judgment against Chikason Industries Limited, which was accused of marketing “Goya Olive Oil” in Nigeria, thus infringing on Goya Foods’ registered trademark.

Legal counsel for Goya Foods, Ade Adedeji, SAN, emphasized the necessity of rectifying the Trademarks Register to protect their trademark interests effectively.

Despite appeals to the Registrar, the requested rectification has not been implemented, prompting Goya Foods to escalate the matter through legal channels.

The case has been adjourned to September 27, 2024, for further proceedings, highlighting the complexity and significance of trademark disputes in the global marketplace.

Goya Foods remains committed to upholding its brand integrity and securing its proprietary interests amidst the evolving landscape of international trademark law.

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IOCs Accused of Blocking Direct Crude Sales to Dangote Refinery

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Dangote Refinery

Dangote Industries Limited (DIL) has accused International Oil Companies (IOCs) of obstructing direct crude oil sales to its refinery and forcing the company to use costly middlemen.

This development comes after a statement by the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) suggested a “willing buyer-willing seller” dynamic was in place as mandated by the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA).

Devakumar Edwin, Vice President of DIL, countered NUPRC CEO Gbenga Komolafe’s claims, stating that IOCs consistently make it difficult for local refiners by pushing sales through international trading arms, which inflate prices and bypass Nigerian laws.

“These middlemen earn unjustified margins on crude produced and consumed within Nigeria,” Edwin stated.

He noted that only one local producer, Sapetro, has sold directly to DIL, while others insist on using trading arms abroad.

Edwin detailed the financial impact, citing instances where DIL was charged a $2-$4 premium per barrel above the official price.

In April, DIL paid $96.23 per barrel for Bonga crude, which included significant premiums, compared to a much lower premium for West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude.

While acknowledging NUPRC’s support in resolving some supply issues, Edwin urged the regulatory body to revisit pricing policies to ensure fair market practices.

“Market liquidity is essential for fair pricing. We hope NUPRC addresses these issues to prevent price gouging,” he stated.

This dispute highlights ongoing challenges in Nigeria’s oil sector, where domestic refiners struggle to secure local crude amidst complex market dynamics.

The outcome of these negotiations could significantly impact the refinery’s operations and broader industry practices.

The situation underscores the need for transparent and efficient crude supply systems to bolster Nigeria’s refining capacity and economic growth.

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Dangote’s $20 Billion Refinery to Begin Petrol Sales Next Month

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Petrol - Investors King

Aliko Dangote announced on Monday that his long-awaited $20 billion refinery complex will commence petrol sales starting next month.

The announcement came during a press briefing held at the refinery site in Lagos, where Aliko Dangote, Africa’s richest man, detailed the project’s progress and future plans.

“We are proud to announce that the Dangote Refinery will begin selling petrol from August,” Dangote stated confidently.

“This milestone marks the culmination of years of meticulous planning, construction, and overcoming numerous challenges.”

Dangote’s refinery, touted as the largest single-train refinery in the world, is designed to process 650,000 barrels of crude oil per day once fully operational.

The facility aims to not only meet Nigeria’s domestic demand for refined petroleum products but also contribute significantly to export markets across West Africa.

“We have entered the steady-state production phase earlier this year, and now we are ready to begin commercial sales,” Dangote explained. “Initially, we will focus on petrol production, with plans to expand our product range as we ramp up to full capacity.”

The refinery’s launch is expected to alleviate Nigeria’s longstanding dependence on imported refined products, thereby boosting the country’s energy security and reducing foreign exchange outflows associated with fuel imports.

Beyond petrol sales, Dangote revealed ambitious plans to list both the refinery and its associated fertilizer plant on the Nigerian Exchange Group (NGX) by the first quarter of 2025.

This move aims to attract broader investor participation and unlock additional value for shareholders.

“We are committed to transparency and accountability in our operations,” Dangote emphasized. “Listing these subsidiaries on the NGX will not only strengthen our corporate governance framework but also enhance the refinery’s financial sustainability.”

Challenges and Future Prospects

Despite celebrating the imminent commencement of petrol sales, Dangote acknowledged challenges encountered during the project’s execution, including delays in securing land for a petrochemical facility in Ogun State, which incurred substantial costs.

“We faced bureaucratic hurdles that resulted in significant delays and financial losses,” Dangote lamented. “Nevertheless, we remain steadfast in our commitment to advancing Nigeria’s industrial capabilities and contributing to economic growth.”

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