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State Govts Set to Fast-track Cs of O Issuance

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  • State Govts Set to Fast-track Cs of O Issuance

To complement efforts of the Federal Government to improve access to mortgage financing and the country’s housing problem, various state governments are beginning to address the challenges associated with doing business in their states as it relates to issues of land and housing.

These include passing laws to reduce the time stretch it takes to issue Certificates of Occupancy and delegating top government officials to sign the governor’s consent rather than the governor alone.

Our correspondent found out that the Lagos State Government had adopted its own mortgage model law. Similarly, the Kaduna State Government had enacted its own act.

According to findings, both states have also worked on their property rights and land digitisation, while Gombe has made a considerable progress in the process.

Other states such as Cross River, Ogun, Kogi, Edo, Enugu, and Ondo are expected follow suit in the shortest time possible.

The Central Bank of Nigeria’s Head, Project Administration Team of the National Housing Finance Programme, Mr. Adedeji Adesemoye, stated that some state governments considered as pilot and mortgage friendly states under the Federal Government’s housing finance programme were at the level of adopting the mortgage model law that the Nigerian Mortgage Refinance Company was discussing for adoption.

According to him, these states are considered frontline as they are reengineering their land titling processes and making the possibility of getting the C of O within the shortest time possible.

“These states have streamlined their operations so that when people apply for a C of O, they can predict when it will be issued. If you apply for governor’s consent to mortgage your property, you can predict when it will be issued. Some of these states have also delegated the governor’s consent so that any of the commissioners so delegated can sign it; which will make the process faster,” Adesemoye said.

He also said the processes would help the states to key properly into the Federal Government’s reforms and mortgage transactions would take place in their states regularly, thereby helping to entrench mortgage in the housing sector.

In 2013, the Federal Government as part of a wider housing finance project obtained a World Bank long-term loan of $300m to develop a mortgage liquidity facility, a housing finance guarantee product and housing microfinance pilot schemes.

The NMRC was developed under the programme as a private sector-driven mortgage refinancing company, with the public purpose of promoting homeownership for Nigerians while deepening the primary and secondary mortgage markets.

Abia, Anambra, Bauchi, Bayelsa, Delta, Edo, Enugu, Ekiti, Gombe, Kaduna, Kano, Kwara, Ogun, Ondo states and the Federal Capital Territory, became the pilot areas to express support towards implementation of the housing finance initiative.

By creating an enabling environment for mortgage finance, the state governments are expected to encourage the NMRC to refinance mortgage loans created in these states. This is expected to improve their economies by increasing employment, labour and housing production through stimulating housing construction and manufacturing of building materials in such states.

The states are also expected to experience a significant increase in Internally Generated Revenues through withholding tax earned from increased transactional activities, personal income tax earned from increased residency, and fee income earned from increased volumes of mortgage transactions at the land registries due to efficiency created by digitisation and reduced mortgage transaction costs.

An estate surveyor and Chairman of the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers, Lagos State chapter, Mr. Rogba Orimalade, said that for any government to be effective, it must know what it had in terms of land and housing, but he lamented that state governments’ record on land had been very poor.

According to him, state governments need land statistics to help them plan for both the short and long term.

He said, “Some of us believe that the cost of the governor’s consent in Lagos is still not low enough even when the former governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, reduced it. I am of the opinion that if state governments can genuinely capture in their records the exact number of people with registered and approved titles and the amount of developed property, it will be easy to totally reduce costs of planning.

“The Lagos State Government has done a lot, especially at the Lands Bureau, and is working on the right technology for anyone to carry out research from any location. It is good, but more needs to be done. Technology is changing fast and the average investor that is bringing funds into the country does not have time for bureaucracy.”

Orimalada said it was important for every state government to encourage and embrace the approach, as it would help them to plan for housing and the provision of infrastructure.

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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CBN Replaces Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Plc Management Team

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has dismissed the top management team of the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Plc (NSPM), appointing Abubakar Sule Minjibir as the acting Managing Director.

This development was disclosed in an internal memo titled “House Notice No. 2083 – Executive Management Changes,” signed by Soji Ogungbesan, General Manager of Corporate Services at NSPM.

The newly appointed interim executive management includes Abubakar Sule Minjibir as the Acting Managing Director, Mohammed Mustapha as General Manager of Finance and Strategy, and Adesoji Ogungbesan as General Manager of Corporate Services.

Minjibir succeeds Ahmed Halilu, the former MD and CEO of NSPM, who had been appointed by the former President Muhammadu Buhari in 2022.

Halilu’s appointment had sparked controversy due to his reported familial ties with Aisha Buhari, the former President’s wife.

The memo, dated July 10, 2024, stated: “The board has announced the immediate dissolution of the present executive management team of the NSPM and has approved the immediate constitution of an interim executive management team.”

The memo also assured staff of the new management’s commitment to their welfare and the strategic initiatives and organizational transformation developed by the board.

Staff members were encouraged to cooperate with the new management team to achieve the board’s strategic vision for the company.

Alongside Halilu, the other executives dismissed include Ado Danjuma, Executive Director of Corporate Services; Tunji Kazeem, Executive Director of Security Documents; Chris Orewa, Executive Director of the Lagos factory; and Victoria Lucky Irabor, Company Secretary and Legal Adviser.

The dismissal and appointment of new management come amid concerns raised by various groups about the previous leadership’s connections and the potential implications for the security and integrity of sensitive materials produced by the NSPM.

The Gravitas Group, an international advocacy organization, had previously condemned Halilu’s appointment, calling it a “family affair” and expressing concerns about the concentration of such sensitive responsibilities within a familial relationship to the President.

As the CBN moves forward with the new interim leadership, it aims to steer NSPM towards achieving its strategic goals and ensuring the integrity and efficiency of its operations.

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Dangote Refinery Buys 11 Million Barrels of American Crude Due to Domestic Shortages

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The Dangote Refinery has announced plans to acquire an additional 11 million barrels of crude oil from the United States.

In a tender viewed by Bloomberg, Dangote Refinery purchased five million barrels of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) Midland crude for delivery next month and in September.

The company has also initiated a tender process to buy another six million barrels of American crude for September.

Despite its reliance on local crude supplies, the refinery near Lagos has been forced to seek imports to sustain its operations.

With the ability to source crude from offshore terminals in just a few days, the refinery took in over 41 million barrels of feedstock in the first half of the year.

Notably, about a quarter of this amount was sourced from the United States.

Aliko Dangote, Chairman of Dangote Group, explained the necessity of importing crude oil as the refinery scales up production and explores alternative supply contracts.

“It makes economic sense for us to tender for crude. If we could source 100 percent Nigerian crude, then fine, but we can’t wait,” Dangote stated at the Africa CEO Forum 2024.

He further said it is important for a mix of different crude types to optimize operations, given the current limitations in domestic production.

The refinery’s recent acquisition contrasts with its earlier deliveries, which included 11 WTI cargoes, or nine million barrels, between February and May, alongside approximately 18 million barrels of Nigerian crude.

This move to secure a longer-term offtake agreement indicates a commitment to diversifying crude sources, particularly during a period of weak demand for Nigerian supply.

The Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC), which holds a 20 percent equity stake in the refinery, has faced difficulties meeting its 300,000 barrels per day (bpd) crude oil obligation.

In June, Nigeria’s crude output was around 1.28 million barrels per day, significantly below its estimated production capacity of 2.6 million barrels per day.

Factors such as crude theft, aging oil pipelines, low investment, and divestments by major oil companies have all contributed to declining production.

Despite various assurances from the federal government and the NNPC about meeting the country’s OPEC quota, Nigeria recorded an estimated 30 million barrels of underproduction in the first four months of 2024.

Efforts to curb insecurity in the Niger Delta, where Nigeria’s oil is extracted, have included a multi-billion-naira contract with local security groups and substantial spending on official security agencies. Nonetheless, oil theft, asset vandalism, and sabotage remain rampant in the region.

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NNPC Seeks $2 Billion Crude-Backed Loan Amid Mounting Debts

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Mele Kyari - Investors King

The Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) is exploring the option of securing a $2 billion loan using crude oil pre-payments as collateral.

Mele Kyari, the group’s general manager, revealed that the company is seeking a loan against 30,000-35,000 barrels per day of crude production.

However, he did not disclose the exact amount of money NNPC aims to raise.

“We have no problem covering our gasoline payments. This is just money for normal business and not a desperate act,” Kyari told Reuters.

The funds raised from this loan are intended to support all of NNPC’s business activities, including boosting production growth.

Despite the assurance of financial stability, NNPC’s financial situation has raised eyebrows, with the company reportedly owing around $6 billion to international traders for imported petrol.

These traders have indicated that NNPC is taking longer to make payments, exceeding the typical 90-day window.

Further complicating matters, NNPC’s debt includes overdue payments ranging from $4 billion to $5 billion for January imports alone.

This has led several international petrol suppliers to withdraw from recent tenders.

Kyari remains optimistic, stating that the loan will be a syndication with regular partners who have longstanding business relationships with NNPC.

He anticipates concluding the deal within the next two months.

The identity of the lender remains uncertain, with sources indicating that the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) may be unable to extend its exposure to Nigeria to the desired level.

Efforts to get confirmation from Olufemi Soneye, NNPC’s chief corporate communications officer, regarding the new oil-backed loan proved unsuccessful.

This potential $2 billion loan follows NNPC’s recent $3.3 billion emergency crude repayment loan secured on August 16, 2023.

Arranged by Afreximbank, the loan was aimed at supporting the naira and stabilizing the foreign exchange market. It also intended to back the federal government’s monetary and fiscal reforms.

NNPC’s pursuit of the new loan underscores the challenges facing Nigeria’s oil sector, which has been grappling with fluctuating oil prices, operational inefficiencies, and financial mismanagement.

As the company seeks to bolster its finances, the outcome of this loan negotiation could have significant implications for the country’s economic stability and its energy sector’s future.

The oil-backed loan strategy reflects NNPC’s broader efforts to leverage its crude production capacity to secure necessary funding.

However, the increasing debt levels and delayed payments to international traders highlight the pressing need for comprehensive reforms and efficient management within Nigeria’s oil industry.

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