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Businesses in the UK Borrows £52.6bn to Manage COVID-19 Crisis

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Boris Johnson

UK Companies Take £52.6bn Loan to Survive COVID-19 Crisis

The devastating COVID-19 crisis caused a massive financial hit to businesses in the United Kingdom, confronting them with substantial revenue and cash flow losses. Many of them were forced to ask for support through the government-backed loan schemes to survive in the times of unprecedented economic disruption.

According to data presented by Buy Shares, the cumulative value of loans that have been approved through the Coronavirus Businesses Interruption Loans Scheme (CBILS), Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS), and Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILs) in the United Kingdom hit £52.6bn in August.

More than 1.2 Million Loans Approved in Four Months

The United Kingdom’s Government created a range of measures to help support businesses of all sizes throughout the coronavirus crisis. The smaller companies can apply for the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), which operates through the British Business Bank via more than 40 accredited lenders. These lenders can provide up to £5 million worth financial help in the form of term loans, overdrafts, and asset finance.

The Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS) facilitates access to finance for medium-sized and larger businesses with a group turnover of more than £45 million. This scheme can provide up to £200 million worth financial help for the companies affected by the coronavirus outbreak.

The Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) allows lenders to provide a six-year term loan from £2,000 to 25% of a business’ turnover.

In the second week of May, the combined value of facilities approved through these three schemes amounted to £14.8bn, revealed the HM Treasury data. By the middle of June, this figure surged by 157% to £38.2bn worth of loans.

Statistics indicate the total value of facilities approved through the Government-backed loan schemes hit £46.2bn by the end of the second week of July. By August 16th, this figure jumped by 14%, reaching a total of $52.6bn.

Statistics indicate the banking and finance industry has supported more than 1.2 million UK businesses with lending schemes to help them through the COVID-19 crisis.

£35.5bn Worth of Loans Approved Through the Bounce Back Loan Scheme

The Bounce Back Loan Scheme represents the most significant part of the government-backed aid package in the United Kingdom, with £35.5bn worth of loans approved by August. This scheme has been a success in providing more than 1.1 million firms with vital government-backed loans at an affordable rate with no interest or repayments due in the first year.

The HM Treasury data revealed the cumulative value of lending through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme reached almost £13.7bn in August or 25% of all approved loans.

Statistics indicate that between May 10th and August 16th, 516 medium-sized and larger businesses in the United Kingdom received £3.5bn worth financial help thought the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme.

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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Peter Obi Advocates for Full Government Backing of Dangote’s $21bn Refinery Project

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Peter G. Obi

Peter Obi, a prominent Nigerian politician and public figure, has called for unwavering support for the Dangote Refinery amid recent conflicts between Dangote Industries and government agencies.

In a passionate appeal, Obi said the current disputes extend beyond political and personal differences, touching upon the broader interests of Nigeria’s economy and its future prosperity.

In his statement on X.com, Obi highlighted the refinery’s immense potential to drive economic growth and create employment opportunities.

With an estimated annual revenue potential of approximately $21 billion and the capacity to generate over 100,000 jobs, the Dangote Refinery represents a cornerstone of Nigeria’s industrial advancement and economic stabilization.

“The recent challenges faced by Dangote Industries should not overshadow the vital role this enterprise plays in our national economy,” Obi asserted.

“Alhaji Dangote’s contributions are monumental, and it is essential that we rally behind his ventures, particularly the refinery, which is set to make a significant impact on our fuel crisis and foreign exchange earnings.”

The refinery, with its strategic importance, stands as a beacon of hope for Nigeria’s fuel supply and overall economic development.

It is poised to address long-standing issues in the energy sector, provide substantial revenue streams, and enhance the country’s economic resilience. Given these benefits, Obi stressed that any actions hindering the refinery’s operation would be counterproductive.

Obi also commended Alhaji Dangote for his remarkable achievements across various sectors, including cement, sugar, salt, fertilizer, infrastructure, and more.

“Alhaji Dangote embodies patriotism and commitment to Nigeria’s growth. His extensive industrial activities are not only a testament to his entrepreneurial spirit but also a vital contribution to Nigeria’s economic landscape,” he added.

Despite the challenging business environment, Dangote’s diversified industrial investments demonstrate a commitment to Nigeria’s industrialization and job creation.

Obi urged the Federal Government and its agencies to offer full support to Dangote Industries, recognizing the broader economic benefits and the positive impact on national welfare.

“The success of Dangote Industries is intrinsically linked to the success of Nigeria and Africa as a whole. We cannot afford to let such a crucial enterprise falter,” Obi warned. “Every sensible and patriotic government should view enterprises like Dangote Industries as national treasures that deserve robust support and protection.”

Obi’s appeal underscores the critical need for collaboration between the government and private sector leaders to ensure the successful operation of key projects like the Dangote Refinery.

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Dangote Accuses NNPC and Oil Traders of Secret Operations in Malta

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Aliko Dangote, chairman of Dangote Industries Limited, has leveled serious allegations against personnel from the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited and certain oil traders.

Speaking at a session with the House of Representatives, Dangote claimed that these parties have established a blending plant in Malta, raising concerns about the integrity of Nigeria’s fuel supply.

Dangote described the blending plant as lacking refining capability, instead focusing on mixing re-refined oil with additives to produce lubricants.

“Some of the terminals, some of the NNPC people, and some traders have opened a blending plant somewhere off Malta,” he stated.

He emphasized that these activities are well-known within industry circles.

Addressing the drop in diesel prices, Dangote argued that locally produced diesel, with sulfur content levels of 650 to 700 parts per million (ppm), is superior to imported variants.

He linked numerous vehicle issues to what he described as “substandard” imported fuel.

He called for the House of Representatives to set up an independent committee to investigate fuel quality at filling stations.

“I urge you to take samples from filling stations and compare them with our production line to inform Nigerians accurately,” Dangote insisted.

The accusations come amid an ongoing dispute between the Dangote Refinery and the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA).

Farouk Ahmed, NMDPRA’s chief executive, had previously claimed that local refineries, including Dangote’s, were producing inferior products compared to imports.

Also, the House of Representatives has initiated a probe into allegations that international oil companies are undermining the Dangote Refinery’s operations.

In response to the escalating tensions, Heineken Lokpobiri, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, intervened by meeting with key stakeholders including Dangote, Ahmed, and other top officials from the Nigerian petroleum regulatory bodies.

The discussions aimed to address claims of monopoly against Dangote, which he has strongly denied, and to ensure that all parties operate transparently and fairly.

This development highlights the complex dynamics within Nigeria’s oil industry. The allegations and subsequent investigations could impact market stability and investor confidence.

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Africa’s Richest Man, Aliko Dangote Ready to Sell Refinery to Nigerian Government

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Dangote refinery

Aliko Dangote, Africa’s wealthiest entrepreneur, has announced his willingness to sell his multibillion-dollar oil refinery to Nigeria’s state-owned energy company, NNPC Limited.

This decision comes amid a growing dispute with key partners and regulatory authorities.

The $19 billion refinery, which began operations last year, is a significant development for Nigeria, aiming to reduce the country’s reliance on imported fuel.

However, challenges in sourcing crude and ongoing disputes have hindered its full potential.

Dangote expressed frustration over allegations of monopolistic practices, stating that these accusations are unfounded.

“If they want to label me a monopolist, I am ready to let NNPC take over. It’s in the best interest of the country,” he said in a recent interview.

The refinery has faced difficulties with supply agreements, particularly with international crude producers demanding high premiums.

NNPC, initially a supportive partner, has delivered only a fraction of the crude needed since last year. This has forced Dangote to seek alternative suppliers from countries like Brazil and the US.

Despite the challenges, Dangote remains committed to contributing to Nigeria’s economy. “I’ve always believed in investing at home.

This refinery can resolve our fuel crisis,” he stated, urging other wealthy Nigerians to invest domestically rather than abroad.

Recently, the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority accused Dangote’s refinery of producing substandard diesel.

In response, Dangote invited regulators and lawmakers to verify the quality of his products, which he claims surpass imported alternatives in purity.

Amidst these challenges, Dangote has halted plans to enter Nigeria’s steel industry, citing concerns over monopoly accusations.

“We need to focus on what’s best for the economy,” he explained, emphasizing the importance of fair competition and innovation.

As Nigeria navigates these complex issues, the potential sale of Dangote’s refinery to NNPC could reshape the nation’s energy landscape and secure its energy independence.

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