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BoI to Give Corps Members N2m Start-up Capital

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  • BoI to Give Corps Members N2m Start-up Capital

The Coordinator of the National Youth Service Corps in Osun State, Mr. Emmanuel Attah, has said the Federal Government has made plans for corps members with good business ideas to get loans of between N200,000 and N2m to start their businesses after the service year.

Attah stated that the loan, which would be given in collaboration with the Bank of Industry, the Central Bank of Nigeria, and Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria, would be made available to corps members after they might have undergone skill acquisition and entrepreneurial development programmes.

The coordinator said this during the skill acquisition and entrepreneurial development inter-platoon competition and exhibition at the NYSC Orientation Camp in Ede, Osun State on Tuesday.

Attah stated, “Interested corps members, who have undergone the SAED programme, will be given loans of between N200,000 and N2m after the service year. The business proposal will determine how much will be given to each applicant.

“The loan will be interest-free and the NYSC discharge certificates of interested corps members, who apply for the loans, will be used as the collateral. The discharge certificates will be subsequently returned to them after repayment of the loan, which has no time bound.

“The SAED programme and supporting loan were put in place after the NYSC observed that youths, after the service year, always end up unemployed and roaming the streets looking for non-existing white collar jobs.

“The skill acquisition programme will empower corps members after the service year to be self-employed and also be employers of labour. This will also reduce their involvement in criminal activities.”

The Head of BoI in Osun State, Mr. Emmanuel Ojoowuro, said the loans that would be given to the corps members would be in form of business items financing for the applicants.

Ojoowuro explained that items and materials would be provided to the business of individual corps members and that the loan could be up to N2m or as low as N200,000, depending on the nature of the business to be established.

The BoI official said the SAED and the start-up loans given to corps members had been very successful with many positive developments recorded in the last three years.

The Head of SAED, Mrs. Olutayo Samuel, stated the skill acquisition programme had been running since March 2012, and that about 100,000 youths had benefited from the programme.

She said the SAED training was divided into two categories of in-camp training of 10 days and post-camp training, and that the trainers were earlier beneficiaries of the skill acquisition programme.

Guinness Nigeria Plc has announced that its Chief Executive Officer, Peter Ndegwa, will be stepping down at the end of the 2018 financial year, after three years in the role.

Ndegwa will be taking up a new role as the Managing Director, Continental Europe and Russia, a member of the Diageo Group, Guinness Nigeria’s parent company.

The company also confirmed that Baker Magunda, currently the Managing Director of Meta Abo Brewery in Ethiopia, would take over as the new CEO of Guinness Nigeria, following a period of transition.

A statement by the firm read in part, “Ndegwa has been at Guinness Nigeria for nearly three years and has overseen the recent transformation at the company, including the successful rights issue and implementation of the productivity programme. Recent third quarter financial performance has shown the improvement that these projects are delivering.

“Baker Magunda will join Guinness Nigeria from Diageo-owned Meta Abo Breweries in Ethiopia. Under Magunda’s tenure, Meta Abo has seen the launch of the Guinness brand in the country and a strong innovation pipeline of brands brought to the market. He has nearly 20 years’ experience in the consumer goods and alcohol industry. He has worked across in Uganda and Kenya, as well as Ethiopia and the Sudan.”

Speaking on the development, the Chairman, Guinness Nigeria Plc, Mr. Babatunde Savage, said, “I will like to thank Peter (Ndegwa) for his transformational work over the past few years; he has led the business through challenging times and taken us forward. It is great to see him move on within Diageo. I will also like to use this opportunity to welcome Baker to the role. I look forward to working with him.”

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

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Aliko Dangote - Investors King

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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Iran oil

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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From 1999 IPO to AI Titan: Nvidia’s 591,078% Return on Investment

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Nvidia Corp. has transformed from a fledgling chipmaker to the world’s most valuable company, boasting an astronomical total return of 591,078% since its initial public offering (IPO) in 1999.

This unparalleled growth underscores the company’s pivotal role in the technological revolution, particularly in the realms of graphics processing and artificial intelligence (AI).

Nvidia’s ascent to the top of the market culminated on Tuesday, as it unseated Microsoft Corp. to claim the title of the world’s most valuable company, with a market capitalization of $3.34 trillion.

The company, which debuted on the Nasdaq stock exchange at a modest valuation, has added over $2 trillion to its market cap this year alone, driven by surging demand for its cutting-edge AI chips.

The Early Years: Laying the Foundation

When Nvidia launched its IPO in 1999, the tech landscape was vastly different. Intel dominated semiconductors, and Nvidia was a relatively unknown entity.

However, the company’s strategic focus on developing advanced graphics processing units (GPUs) quickly set it apart. By securing deals to supply GPUs for popular video-game consoles like Microsoft’s Xbox and Sony’s PlayStation, Nvidia established itself as a key player in the gaming industry.

Overcoming Challenges: Litigation and Competition

The path to success was not without obstacles. In the early 2000s, Nvidia faced significant challenges, including a major legal dispute with Intel that temporarily pushed it out of a crucial market segment. The stock also endured three separate annual declines of over 50%, testing the resolve of its investors.

However, Nvidia’s commitment to innovation and strategic foresight kept it moving forward. In 2012, the company introduced graphics chips for servers in data centers, opening a new and lucrative market. Although initial sales were slow, this move laid the groundwork for future growth in high-performance computing.

The AI Revolution: A New Era of Growth

Nvidia’s fortunes took a dramatic turn with the advent of AI. The company’s GPUs, initially designed for rendering video game graphics, proved to be exceptionally well-suited for the parallel processing tasks required in AI and machine learning. This versatility positioned Nvidia as a leader in the AI hardware market.

The release of OpenAI’s ChatGPT in late 2022 was a pivotal moment. As interest in AI applications skyrocketed, so did the demand for Nvidia’s chips. The company’s revenue from data centers, driven by AI-related sales, began to eclipse its traditional gaming revenue. By the first quarter of 2023, Nvidia’s earnings report revealed a jaw-dropping surge in sales, far exceeding Wall Street’s expectations.

A Test of Staying Power

Despite its meteoric rise, Nvidia faces ongoing challenges. Sustaining its current market position will require continued innovation and substantial investment in AI infrastructure. The company’s future success hinges on the broader adoption of AI technologies and the ability of its customers to generate significant returns on their investments in AI hardware.

Vision and Leadership: The Jensen Huang Effect

Much of Nvidia’s success can be attributed to the visionary leadership of co-founder and CEO Jensen Huang. His foresight in steering the company towards “accelerated computing” has been instrumental in Nvidia’s dominance. Under Huang’s guidance, Nvidia has consistently been at the forefront of technological advancements, catching every wave of innovation in hardware.

The Road Ahead

As Nvidia continues to navigate the complexities of the global tech market, its story serves as a testament to the power of strategic vision and innovation. With AI set to revolutionize industries from healthcare to automotive, Nvidia’s role as a key enabler of this transformation positions it for continued success.

Investors and analysts alike will be watching closely to see if Nvidia can maintain its lead in the fiercely competitive AI market. If its past performance is any indication, the future looks promising for this once-modest chipmaker turned AI titan.

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