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FG Targets N6bn From 20 Silos’ Concession



  • FG Targets N6bn From 20 Silos’ Concession

The Federal Government is to get about N6bn from the concession of 20 silos in different parts of the country to private sector operators.

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Audu Ogbeh, told State House correspondents in Abuja that the Federal Executive Council approved the plan at its meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday.

According to Ogbeh, who briefed reporters after the council’s meeting, the concession of the 20 silos will be for a period of 10 years.

He said despite the concession, the Federal Government remained the owner of the 20 silos as the deal could be revoked or renewed after the 10-year period.

The minister stated, “FEC approved the concession of 20 silos, most of them with a capacity of 100,000 tonnes each, after council members were convinced about the positive benefits accruable to the country from the concession.

“We informed them that the fact that we are conceding some of the silos does not mean we are reneging on our responsibility to guarantee food security. We are keeping six of the silos, which is according to international standard that we keep five per cent of all the grains we harvest every year; the rest will go to private sector groups.

“Those who bid and have shown capacity have been the ones allocated the silos; those who are unable to manage them will have the concession revoked. Government will earn N6bn in the 10-year period of the first instance.

“The Federal Government remains the owner of the silos and at the end of the 10 years, we can either renew, revoke or take over the silos and operate them ourselves.”

Ogbeh added that the Federal Government currently had a total of 33 silos located in different parts of the country.

“A total of 33 silos exist with a capacity of 1,360,000 metric tonnes of grains, and they are spread almost evenly through the geopolitical zones of the country,” he stated.

He said the process for the concession, which began in 2014, was delayed because the government wanted to ensure accountability.

The minister added, “The process was carried out by the World Bank, the Concession Committee of the Government, NGOs, the private sector and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

“It has taken this long to arrive at this because the processes are very slow; we wanted absolute accountability.”

As part of the benefits of the concession arrangement, Ogbeh said the private operators who won the silos would help to organise local groups to produce grains, to dry them properly, store and market them or even export.

He gave assurance that the private operators had the capacity to maintain the silos effectively.

Ogbeh added, “We have requests for grains from different parts of the world — soya beans, sesame, sorghum and millet. We also have massive rice production going on and the likes of Dangote and Coscharis going into rice production now need these silos. So, concession of the silos to them means they will organise local groups to produce grains for them to dry properly and store and market when the need arises or even export.

“We have confidence that these private sector operators have the capacity to operate and maintain these silos successfully.”

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



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



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



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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