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Apapa Gridlock Worries Senate, Stakeholders



  • Apapa Gridlock Worries Senate, Stakeholders

Senators have joined the growing complaint over the Apapa, Lagos gridlock.

The Senate Committee on Marine Transport, the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), the Nigerian Chamber of Shipping and others are worried over the Apapa gridlock, which has cost huge losses to businesses and brought pains to motorists.

At a meeting in Lagos, they said bad roads were killing trade. They frowned at the decision of Julius Berger Plc, which is handling the rehabilitation of Apapa roads, to close the Ijora Bridge, a major artery to Apapa Port and Tin Can Island Port, for four months.

The committee plans to summon the company’s officials to justify the closure, which will worsen the gridlock.

A member of the committee, Senator Mao Ohuabunwa, responding to some complaints, said it was in contact with the construction giant and monitoring the road rehabilitation contracts in Apapa.

According to him, the committee will hold a meeting with top management of the company. But with the level of the people’s suffering, the committee is left with no option than to summon the company to explain why the bridge should be shut for such a long time.

“We are taking so many things away from this engagement today; one of them is the closure of the Ijora Bridge. We are scheduled to meet with the management of Julius Berger sometime in January, but as things stand, we will invite them next week to explain to us the reason for the closure of such an important artery to the seaports. We did not know about it before now”, Ohuabunwa said.

Former Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) President and pioneer President of the Nigerian Chamber of Shipping Dr. Olisa Agbakoba decried the situation in Apapa.

He said it took about five hours to access their offices in Apapa because of the closure of the bridge, despite that the Wharf Road has been completed.

“We are dying gradually in Apapa and I am telling you the truth. People stay on the gridlock for hours and when you get to your office after several hours, one becomes useless, having spent the better part of the day in the traffic”, he had said.

Chairman of the committee Senator Ahmed Sani said the gathering was to bring the parliament to the stakeholders, brief them on what had been done and take their input to lay a foundation for maritime development.

He told the stakeholders that several maritime legislations had been passed with some at various stages of passage. They include the Anti-Terrorism Bill, National Inland Authority Amendment Bill, National Transport Commission NTC Bill, the Nigerian Ports Authority Amendment Bill, he said, adding that law making is a long and painstaking process.

NIMASA Director-General Dr. Dakuku Peterside said the committee members displayed a high level of patriotism, placing national interest over personal or any other interest.

Speaking with The Nation on the sideline of the event, Peterside said the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration was determined to fix ports’ infrastructure to revamp the economy.

NIMASA, according to him, is not happy that some measures adopted so far have not yielded the expected result. He promised what he called positive action soon.

Peterside said the quick rehabilitation of the road from Tin-Can Island Port to Oworonsoki area of Lagos was to salvage the economy.

He applauded Dangote Construction Nigeria Limited and Flour Mills Nigeria Limited for reconstructing Wharf Road.

Peterside appealed to the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, to ensure that the Tin Can Island Port Road was completed on time and to hasten the usage of the trailer park opposite the port.

He urged truck drivers and port users to submit to security checks at the gates into the ports, warning unauthorised truck drivers to stay off the ports and Apapa or face sanctions.

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Businessinsider, Nasdaq,, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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Dangote Sugar Refinery Raises ₦42.79 Billion in Successful Commercial Paper Issuance



Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc

Dangote Sugar Refinery PLC has successfully raised ₦42.79 billion through the issuance of Series 4 and 5 Commercial Paper notes.

The issuance, announced on Friday, underscores the company’s robust financial strategy and strong market confidence in its operations.

The Series 4 notes, amounting to ₦12.93 billion, were issued for a tenure of 181 days with a yield of 23.00%.

The Series 5 notes, on the other hand, totaled ₦29.86 billion, were issued for a tenure of 265 days, and offered a yield of 25.00%. These notes were issued under the company’s ₦150 billion Commercial Paper Issuance Programme.

The issuance saw substantial participation from a diverse group of investors, including Pension and Non-Pension Asset Managers, as well as other institutional and individual investors.

This broad interest highlights the trust and confidence the market has in Dangote Sugar Refinery’s financial health and operational strategy.

Mrs. Temitope Hassan, Company Secretary and Legal Adviser of Dangote Sugar Refinery PLC, expressed her satisfaction with the successful issuance.

“This achievement is a testament to the strong investor confidence in Dangote Sugar Refinery’s business model and financial stability. The funds raised will be instrumental in supporting our short-term working capital and funding requirements, enabling us to continue our growth trajectory and maintain operational excellence.”

The successful issuance of the commercial paper notes aligns with Dangote Sugar Refinery’s strategic objectives of maintaining a flexible and diversified funding base.

By tapping into the commercial paper market, the company ensures that it has the necessary liquidity to meet its operational needs while also positioning itself to take advantage of growth opportunities in the competitive sugar industry.

Dangote Sugar Refinery PLC, a subsidiary of the Dangote Group, remains one of Nigeria’s leading sugar producers.

The company continues to play a pivotal role in the country’s sugar industry, contributing significantly to the economy and ensuring the availability of high-quality sugar products for consumers.

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Company News

Dangote Group Expands Refinery Storage Capacity to 5.3 Billion Litres



Dangote Refinery

The Dangote Group has announced a significant expansion of its refinery storage capacity.

The expansion, disclosed by Alhaji Aliko Dangote, President of the Dangote Group, during his address at the Afreximbank Annual Meetings and AfriCaribbean Trade & Investment Forum in Nassau, The Bahamas.

Currently boasting a storage capacity of 4.78 billion litres, the Dangote Petrochemical Refinery is set to increase this figure by an additional 600 million litres, bringing the total capacity to an impressive 5.3 billion litres.

This expansion underscores Dangote’s commitment to transforming Nigeria into a hub for refined petroleum products and solidifies the refinery’s role as a strategic reserve for the nation.

Addressing stakeholders at the forum, Dangote highlighted the refinery’s pivotal role in addressing longstanding challenges in Nigeria’s energy sector, particularly the absence of strategic reserves for petrol.

“The country doesn’t have strategic reserves in terms of petrol, which is very dangerous. But in our plant now, when you came, we had only 4.78 billion litres of various tankage capacity. But right now, we’re adding another 600 million,” Dangote affirmed.

The expansion comes amidst various operational challenges faced by the refinery, including attempts by international oil companies to hinder its operations.

Dangote asserted that these challenges, aimed at impeding the success of the refinery, were indicative of broader resistance to change within the oil industry.

“We borrowed the money based on our balance sheet. I think we borrowed just over $5.5bn. But we paid also a lot of interest as we went along, because the project was delayed because of a lack of land, also the sand-filling took a long time,” Dangote revealed, emphasizing the resilience required to overcome these obstacles.

Moreover, Dangote expressed optimism regarding the refinery’s capacity to influence regional fuel prices, citing the success story of diesel price reduction following the refinery’s market entry.

He indicated that while petrol pricing remains a complex issue governed by governmental policies, the refinery’s operations would strive to offer competitive pricing and supply stability.

The expansion of the Dangote Petrochemical Refinery not only marks a significant milestone in Nigeria’s industrial landscape but also positions the conglomerate as a key player in reshaping Africa’s energy dynamics.

As construction progresses towards completion, the refinery aims to further consolidate its role in meeting regional energy demands and fostering economic growth across West Africa.

With plans to commence sales of refined products in the coming months, Dangote’s refinery is poised to play a transformative role in Nigeria’s quest for energy independence and regional economic integration.

As stakeholders await the refinery’s operational debut, expectations are high for its potential to drive down fuel prices and enhance energy security across the region.

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Company News

Musk Secures Shareholder Support for Compensation and Texas Relocation



Elon Musk

Tesla Inc. shareholders have voted in favor of Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk’s compensation package and the company’s state of incorporation change to Texas.

The results, announced at Tesla’s annual meeting in Austin on Thursday, reflect shareholder approval despite challenges such as declining sales and a significant drop in stock price.

Musk had hinted at the likely outcome the night before the meeting in a post on X, stating that both resolutions were “passing by wide margins.”

The electric car manufacturer did not disclose the detailed breakdown of the votes.

The approval of Musk’s pay package, although advisory, demonstrates continued investor support for his leadership.

The package had previously been nullified by a Delaware judge in January, but Tesla plans to appeal. Should the appeal fail, relocating Tesla’s legal home to Texas may provide the board an opportunity to reintroduce the compensation plan under potentially more favorable legal conditions.

Originally approved in 2018 with 73% of the vote, Musk’s compensation plan makes him eligible for up to $55.8 billion in stock options if Tesla achieves specific milestones.

Currently, the value of these options is approximately $48.4 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

Musk’s leadership has been a topic of significant debate, particularly in light of his oversight of six companies and his tendency toward abrupt strategic changes.

Earlier this year, Musk orchestrated Tesla’s largest layoffs to date, only to rehire some of the affected workers weeks later.

In addition to the compensation package, shareholders voted to reelect James Murdoch and Kimbal Musk to Tesla’s board.

Murdoch, son of media mogul Rupert Murdoch, has served on the board since 2017, while Kimbal Musk, Elon’s younger brother, has been a member since 2004.

Tesla’s stock saw a modest increase of 0.3% in extended trading following the announcement, though the stock had fallen about 27% over the year compared to a 14% gain in the S&P 500 Index.

During the annual meeting, held at Tesla’s Austin headquarters, shareholders showed enthusiastic support as Musk took the stage in a black Cybertruck T-shirt.

He shared updates on the company’s progress, including the introduction of three new models, the expansion of the Supercharger network, and record production levels for Cybertrucks.

“A lot of people said Cybertruck was fake, never going to come out. Now we’re shipping a lot of Cybertrucks,” Musk stated.

In addressing his substantial pay package, Musk clarified that it is structured as options requiring him to hold Tesla stock for five years. “I can’t cut and run, nor would I want to,” he said.

The push for shareholder support involved a dedicated “Vote Tesla” website and advertising on X, with Tesla investors and executives vocalizing their backing for Musk.

Despite some opposition from significant investors like Norway’s sovereign wealth fund and the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, the measures passed.

The relocation to Texas has been formalized, with the certificate of conversion available on the Texas Secretary of State website.

However, any future compensation plan will need to be restructured to comply with Texas legal standards, should the Delaware appeal fail.

The recent shareholder vote may enhance Tesla’s position in the forthcoming appeal. Delaware Chancery Court Judge Kathaleen St. Jude McCormick’s January decision to void the compensation package cited conflicts of interest and inadequate disclosure.

The appeal’s outcome, expected later this year, will determine the next steps for Musk’s compensation plan.

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