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N20bn Daily Loss: Dangote Vows Timely Completion of Apapa Road

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  • N20bn Daily Loss: Dangote Vows Timely Completion of Apapa Road

President of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, has pledged to ensure that the Apapa Port Wharf concrete road currently under construction by his company, AG Dangote is delivered on schedule to save the people and businesses the hassles of the traffic gridlock being experienced now.

The Apapa Port road which is the artery of the country’s non-oil economy, has been in a state of disrepair over a long period of time with experts claiming that the country is losing about N20 billion daily owing to the state of dilapidation of the road as imports are trapped in the ports for days as a result of traffic gridlock generated by the bad road.

Dangote gave the assurance when he visited the construction area with the Managing Director of the AG Dangote Construction Company, Mr. Ashif Juma, to assess the extent of work done.

Dangote Group, a pan African Conglomerate and a major stakeholder at the ports brokered a tripartite arrangement with Flour Mills, a leading Nigerian Food Company and Nigerian Port Authority, (NPA), taking over the road from the federal government and undertaking the reconstruction of the road into a lasting concrete pavement as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility.

The road construction in which both NPA and Flour Mills have financial outlay as their contributions while AG Dangote Construction, a subsidiary of the Dangote Group, is undertaking the construction, is to cost the three partners N4.3 billion.

Dangote said the road will be completed in few months’ time and that Nigerians would be surprised to see the project delivered even before scheduled, saying efforts are being redoubled by his company to ensure quality job and timely completion.

According to him, “By the time the road construction is completed, even some of the advanced countries would not be able to boast of the quality.”

He explained that what actually delayed the take-off of the project was the gas pipeline that has to be relocated to pave the way for unfettered construction work “and having done that, you could see that the work is progressing at a very fast speed.”

The businessman while relying on the reports of the challenges encountered by the site engineers appealed to the authorities to help see to the disturbing issue of multiple check points being mounted by security agencies and which have been creating long queues of trailers and thus affecting free flow of work on the road project.

He also explained that his company has agreed with the federal government to do some palliatives on the Mile2 expressway road to ease the traffic congestion and ensure free flow of vehicular movement.

Dangote stated that the road was very strategic because Apapa and Tin Can Island ports handle about 80 per cent of the cargo that come into Nigeria and the condition of the road has made nonsense of businesses depending on the ports efficient operations.

He said that he is more worried about the fate of small businesses and other port users that have imported cargo and whose charges are accumulating every day.

Juma took Dangote and his team round the construction area and showed him how they have been following the designs handed over to his company.

Speaking in similar vein, Group Managing Director of Flour Mills, Mr. Paul Gbededo, said the three partners have shown how to be good corporate citizens, saying by the time the road project is completed it would be one never seen before in the country.

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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Crude Oil

Nigeria Pumps 236.2 Million Barrels in First Half of 2024

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Nigeria pumped 236.2 million barrels of crude oil in the first half of 2024, according to the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC).

This figure represents an increase from the 219.5 million barrels produced during the same period in 2023.

In January, Nigeria produced 44.2 million barrels of crude oil while February saw a slight dip to 38.3 million barrels, with March following closely at 38.1 million barrels.

April and May production stood at 38.4 million barrels and 38.8 million barrels, respectively. June’s output remained consistent at 38.3 million barrels, demonstrating a stable production trend.

Despite the overall increase compared to 2023, the 2024 production figures still fall short of the 302.42 million barrels produced in the same period in 2020.

This ongoing fluctuation underscores the challenges facing Nigeria’s oil sector, which has experienced varying production levels over recent years.

On a daily basis, Nigeria’s crude oil production showed some variability. In January, the average daily production peaked at 1.43 million barrels per day (mbpd), the highest within the six-month period.

February’s production dropped to 1.32 mbpd, with a further decrease to 1.23 mbpd in March. April saw a modest increase to 1.28 mbpd, which then fell again to 1.25 mbpd in May. June ended on a positive note with a slight rise to 1.28 mbpd.

The fluctuations in daily production rates have prompted government and industry leaders to address underlying issues.

Mele Kyari, Group Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC), has highlighted the detrimental effects of oil theft and vandalism on Nigeria’s production capabilities.

Kyari emphasized that addressing these security challenges is critical to boosting production and attracting investment.

Kyari also noted recent efforts to combat illegal activities, including the removal of over 5,800 illegal connections from pipelines and dismantling more than 6,000 illegal refineries.

He expressed confidence that these measures, combined with ongoing policy reforms, would support Nigeria’s goal of increasing daily production to two million barrels.

The Nigerian government remains focused on stabilizing and enhancing oil production. With recent efforts showing promising results, there is cautious optimism that Nigeria will achieve its production targets.

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Oil Prices Steady Amid Mixed Signals on Crude Demand

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Oil prices remained stable on Thursday as investors navigated conflicting signals regarding crude demand.

Brent crude oil, against which Nigerian oil is priced, settled at $85.11 a barrel, edging up by 3 cents, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude dipped by 3 cents to $82.82 a barrel.

The stability comes as the U.S. economy shows signs of slowing, with unemployment benefit applications rising more than expected.

Initial claims increased by 20,000 to a seasonally adjusted 243,000 for the week ending July 1, prompting speculation that the Federal Reserve might cut interest rates sooner than anticipated. Lower rates could boost spending on oil, creating a bullish outlook for demand.

Fed officials suggested that improved inflation and a balanced labor market might lead to rate cuts, possibly by September.

“Healthy expectations of a Fed rate cut in the not-so-distant future will limit downside,” noted Tamas Varga of oil broker PVM.

However, rising jobless claims signal potential economic easing, which could dampen crude demand.

John Kilduff of Again Capital highlighted the impact of a slowing economy on oil consumption despite a significant drop in U.S. crude inventories last week.

Global factors also weighed on the market. China’s economic policies remain steady, though details are sparse, affecting investor sentiment in the world’s largest crude importer.

Meanwhile, the European Central Bank maintained interest rates, citing persistent inflation.

An upcoming OPEC+ meeting in August is expected to assess market conditions without altering output policy, according to sources. This meeting will serve as a “pulse check” for market health.

Overall, oil prices are caught between economic concerns and hopes of a rate cut, maintaining a delicate balance.

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Crude Oil

Oil Prices Slide on China Demand Concerns, Brent Falls to $83.73

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Oil prices declined on Tuesday for the third consecutive day on growing concerns over a slowing Chinese economy and its impact on global oil demand.

Brent crude oil, against which Nigerian oil is priced, dipped by $1.12, or 1.3% at $83.73 a barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude dropped $1.15, or 1.4%, to close at $80.76.

The dip in oil prices is largely attributed to disappointing economic data from China, the world’s second-largest economy.

Official figures revealed a 4.7% growth in China’s GDP for the April-June period, the slowest since the first quarter of 2023, and below the forecasted 5.1% growth expected in a Reuters poll.

This slowdown was compounded by a protracted property downturn and widespread job insecurity, which have dampened fuel demand and led many Chinese refineries to cut back on production.

“Weaker economic data continues to flow from China as continued government support programs have been disappointing,” said Dennis Kissler, Senior Vice President of Trading at BOK Financial. “Many of China’s refineries are cutting back on weaker fuel demand.”

Despite the bearish sentiment from China, there is a growing consensus among market participants that the U.S. Federal Reserve could begin cutting its key interest rates as soon as September.

This speculation has helped stem the decline in oil prices, as lower interest rates reduce the cost of borrowing, potentially boosting economic activity and oil demand.

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell noted on Monday that the three U.S. inflation readings over the second quarter “add somewhat to confidence” that the pace of price increases is returning to the central bank’s target in a sustainable fashion.

This has led market participants to believe that a turn to interest rate cuts may be imminent.

Also, U.S. crude oil inventories provided a silver lining for the oil market. According to market sources citing American Petroleum Institute figures, U.S. crude oil inventories fell by 4.4 million barrels last week.

This was a much steeper drop than the 33,000 barrels decline that was anticipated, indicating strong domestic demand.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) also weighed in, suggesting that while the global economy is set for modest growth over the next two years, risks remain.

The IMF noted cooling activity in the U.S., a bottoming-out in Europe, and stronger consumption and exports for China as key factors in the global economic landscape.

In summary, while oil prices are currently pressured by concerns over China’s economic slowdown, the potential for U.S. interest rate cuts and stronger domestic demand for crude are providing some support.

Market watchers will continue to monitor economic indicators and inventory levels closely as they gauge the future direction of oil prices.

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