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Emefiele: Dangote Refinery, Fertiliser Plant Will Transform Nigeria

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  • Emefiele: Dangote Refinery, Fertiliser Plant Will Transform Nigeria

The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele, has described the $9 billion Dangote Refinery and the fertiliser plants, which are under construction at the Lekki Free Trade Zone, as transformational projects for Nigeria.

Emefiele said this at the weekend during a facility tour of the project site in Epe, Lagos.

He was accompanied by the Deputy Governor, Financial System Stability, CBN, Mrs. Aisha Ahmad; President of the Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote; top officials of the company, as well as project engineers.

Addressing journalists after the tour, the CBN governor noted that the fertilizer plant, which has been completed and due for inauguration in April, is twice the size of Eleme Petrochemical.

He also said when the refinery takes off in the first quarter of 2020, Nigeria would not only be self-sufficient in the production of refined petroleum products, but would join the league of countries that export petroleum products to other countries.

Emefiele said, “You all will attest to the fact that this is certainly a transformational project for Nigeria, and it totally keyed into the objectives of President Muhammadu Buhari that says that we need to think about how to conserve foreign exchange and diversify the economy.

“And to put it in proper perspective, by the time you dimension the size of foreign exchange that we use in importing petroleum products into the country today, it is at least the one third of the foreign exchange that the Central Bank spends to import items into Nigeria today.

“By the time we also add the 42 items that we have, which of course, certainly we are going to increase maybe to 50, in due course because we are going to be more aggressive in ensuring that food items that are being imported into this country, that more and more of them are added into the FX Restriction list.

“I’m saying by the time we add the savings from the production and export of petroleum products, by the time we also add the foreign exchange that we spend on food items, close to almost 55 to 60 per cent of what Central Bank or what the government spends in funding, the foreign exchange operations would have been saved in the country.

Furthermore, Emefiele said: “I am truly looking forward that I will be alive the time this comes to fruition. We need to thank the President of Dangote Industries, for this gigantic project. I’m sure that if he knew the scope of the project that he was going into at the time he conceived of it, with the kind of stress he goes through today in trying to actualise this project, he probably would not have gone into it.

“But I want to thank him, I want to congratulate him, thank him for persevering this stress. About 18 months ago when I came here, I said that we would support anybody, any Nigerian company that takes priority for manufacturing items, for agriculture items along the entire value chain.”

Emefiele restated the support of the CBN to any local company that is interested in diversifying the Nigerian economy and joining government in making sure that they equally partner with the government in restructuring the base of the Nigerian economy.

This support, he explained could come both in form of funding and in providing the foreign exchange required for the importation of manufacturing items needed for the project.

While noting that the country stand to gain from the venture, Emefiele stressed that the projects would create millions of jobs for Nigerians. He however, disclosed that the CBN contributed almost about N75 billion to support the refinery project, and that the project was also being supported by foreign banks.

He added, “You will imagine, N75 billion is just a drop compared to about $9billion that this project is costing. But we will continue to show support to individuals and companies that display the determination to help government, to support the government and support the Central Bank of Nigeria in restructuring the base of this country.”

In his remarks, Dangote who put the cost of building the fertilizer plant at $2 billion, however revealed that apart from the N75 million given to support the refinery project, the CBN under Emefiele also gave his group N50 billion to support the fertilizer project.

Dangote said: “But more importantly is the moral support that we’re actually receiving from you (Emefiele), encouraging us to make sure that we continue with these transformative projects. Most likely people don’t understand what these projects mean; what they mean is that they are transforming the Nigeria’s economy.

“The biggest problem that we have really is that Nigeria imports more than what we produce like any other African country. But by the time we finish the fertilizer plant, I think Nigeria will be the largest fertilizer exporting country in Africa, not even in sub-Saharan Africa.

“We will also be the largest exporter of petrochemicals, maybe head to head with South Africa because of SAWSO, and then we will be the biggest actually in Africa in exporting petroleum products.

“So the change in terms of importing 90 per cent of what we consume and also exporting about one third out of the country. So it’s a major transformation, and also the gas pipeline which we want to do is actually three billion-scope, which is equivalent to NLNG today, and these are all projects that I believe will transform the economy of Nigeria.”

He added that currently, more than 26, 000 people have been employed and that by the time the projects picked up fully, especially with the establishment of filling stations, almost 80,000 people would have been employed in the facilities.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

Banking Sector

Ecobank Partners NiDCOM to Mobilise Nigerians Abroad for National Development

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In a bid to fulfill it’s objectives and mandate, the Pan African Bank has promised to support Nigerians living and working abroad through it’s partnership with NiDCOM.

The Managing Director, Ecobank Nigeria, Patrick Akinwuntan has stated that the bank is privileged to work closely with the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, (NiDCOM) and will continue to pursue one of its key mandates of helping to enhance the economic development and integration of Africa through its support to Nigerians living and working abroad.

Speaking at the maiden edition of the Diaspora Quarterly Lecture Series with Ecobank as the sole banking partner which took place on Saturday, 8th May 2021, he noted that Ecobank remains a critical bridge for Nigerians abroad, as it has made huge investments in the necessary platforms to enable them connect with home seamlessly. The event held online and had over 2000 participants from across all the continents in attendance.

“Nigerians in the diaspora play a major role in nation building, their contribution goes a long way to catalyse economic development. For us at Ecobank, we are a pan-African institution positioned to foster the economic growth and integration of our continent, so we are particularly pleased to work closely with the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM), ably led by the Chairman/CEO, Hon Abike Dabiri-Erewa”.

“We are committed to ensuring that every Nigerian living abroad is able to remit home seamlessly and affordably, access viable investment opportunities and as the financial institution of choice for Nigerians abroad, we have deployed the necessary resources to actualise this.” He stated.

The Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, who was also present, reiterated the readiness of the government to collaborate with Nigerians in the diaspora, highlighting the new processes put in place to facilitate passport issuance, noting that all backlog of passport applications would be cleared by the end of May 2021.

Also speaking, the Hon. Minister of State, Foreign Affairs Amb. Zubairu Dada said harnessing the human capital and material resources of Nigerians in the diaspora towards the socio-economic, cultural, and political development of Nigeria can no longer be ignored. He pointed out that the Nigerian diaspora community is well educated, resourceful, skilled, and exposed to global best practices.

The NiDCOM Chairman/CEO, Hon. Abike Dabiri- Erewa explained that the Diaspora Quarterly Lecture Series is projected to be a major aspect of national discourse, where Nigerians abroad can be kept abreast of the government’s policies, programmes and projects.

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Finance

Increase in Price Boosts Revenue of Dangote Sugar by 41.5 Percent in Q1 2021

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Revenue of Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc rose by 41.5 percent to N67.394 billion in the first quarter (Q1) of 2021 from N47.643 billion recorded in the same quarter of 2020.

According to the leading sugar manufacturer, the increase in revenue was a result of the increase in the price of sugar in the first quarter. The company claimed price adjustment was necessary to mitigate the negative effect of inflation and depreciation on the company.

Volumes only rose by 5.7 percent during the quarter despite a 41.5 percent increase in revenue, meaning the increase in price was the main sales catalyst.

In the company’s unaudited financial statements, gross profit grew from N12.721 billion in Q1 2020 to N18.044 billion in Q1 2021.

Similarly, operating profit stood at N15.884 billion, up from N10.747 billion posted in Q1 2020.

Finance cost more than double from N1.353 billion in Q1 2020 to N3.412 billion in Q1 2021.

Dangote Sugar’s profit before tax rose from N9.509 billion recorded in the corresponding quarter to N11.949 billion in the quarter under review.

The company paid N3.646 billion in income tax, slightly higher than N3.137 paid in the same quarter of 2020.

Profit for the period grew from N6.372 billion in Q1 2020 to N8.302 billion in Q1 2021.

Commenting on the company’s performance, Dangote Sugar said “EBITDA increased by 34.7% to N17.02 billion (2020: N12.64 billion) on account of increased earnings. Group profit after taxation for the period increased by 30.3% to N8.30 billion (2020: N6.37 billion) reflecting management’s unrelenting drive to deliver consistent shareholder value.”

On price increase, the company hinged it on series of devaluation carried out in 2020 by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), escalating inflation, port congestion and rising in price of global sugar. Dangote Sugar said its imported raw sugar from Brazil under Federal Government’s backward integration plan.

We have continued to witness high cost of raw materials, energy costs and other input costs due to rising inflation and FX rate fluctuation. Further cost escalation is anticipated in the year as inflationary pressure mounts,” the company said.

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FBN Holdings Suffers 39 Percent Drop in Profit to N15.6 Billion in Q1 2021

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FBN Holdings - Investors King

FBN Holdings Plc profit after tax declined by 39 percent from N23.140 billion recorded in the first quarter (Q1) of 2020 to N15.6 billion in the first quarter of 2021.

In the leading financial institution’s unaudited financial statements released through the Nigerian Exchange Limited, gross earnings declined by 14.5 percent to N137 billion in the period under review, down from N160 billion filed in the previous quarter.

Similarly, net interest income declined from N60.253 billion achieved in Q1 2020 to N52.793 billion.

Net interest income after impairment charge for losses also dipped from N50.547 billion in Q1 2020 to N39.619 billion in Q1 20201. While net fee and commission income rose from N20.773 billion in Q1 2020 to N28.427 billion in Q1 2021.

Profit before tax declined by 34 percent to N18.906 billion in the quarter under review, down from N28.680 billion posted in the corresponding quarter of 2020.

FBN Holdings paid N3.285 billion in income tax in the first quarter of 2020.

Therefore, profit for the period stood at N15.621 billion. While Net Assets contracted from N765.2 billion to N764.8 billion.

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