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FirstBank Sponsors Duke of Shomolu Production; As Awo and Aremu Hits The Stage

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First Bank Nigeria-- Investors King

First Bank of Nigeria Limited has announced its sponsorship of ‘A Deep Dive Into History’, a theatre production from the Duke of Shomolu (DOS) Production House, spearheaded by Joseph Edgar. A deep dive into history comprises two exciting stage plays – Aremu and Awo, showing from the 22nd of August and will run every Sunday till the 12th of September 2021 at the legendary Glover Memorial Hall, Marina, Lagos.

Aremu is a powerful depiction of the life and times of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo GCFR. The play takes us through his birth, the errant stages of his adulthood, exploring his peasant background, his travails as freedom and human rights crusader and other milestones. Aremu is a rich cultural play that preaches hope to the audience, that they can be whoever they want to be. The play was written by Prof. Ahmed Yerima, the former DG of the National Theatre and National Troupe.

Awo on the other hand is a play that seeks to reintroduce the dying values of loyalty, integrity, vision building amongst others to the modern-day audience who seem to have lost their way in the fast and seedy lifestyle of modern-day Nigeria. This play is set to be directed by Mr. Makinde Adeniran FTA – Lagos State Chairman of the National Association of Nigerian Theatre Practitioners and is bringing 26 years of local and international experience to the play.

With the sponsorship of similar socio-cultural plays in the creative arts industry such as Ayinla, Moremi, Makaliki, Duke of Shomolu Production’s Play (Emotan and Oba Esugbayi), October 1st (a movie) and the Calabar Festival, FirstBank’s sponsorship of ‘Duke of Shomolu Productions’ affirms the bank’s continued support for the development of arts in Nigeria under its First@arts initiative.

First@arts is FirstBank’s platform for consolidating all its efforts in the arts, supporting the entire value chain of the creative arts, providing much-needed financing and advisory support, showcasing and facilitating the successes of the industry, and enabling customers to explore and access the wealth of opportunities the creative industry has to offer.

Achieving these and a host of many others have been implemented through strategic partnerships with organisations like the British Council, Live Theatre Lagos, Freedom Park, Terra Kulture, and the Cross Rivers State Government (Calabar Festival), among others.

Expressing her delight on the plays, Folake Ani-Mumuney, GH, Marketing & Corporate Communications, First Bank of Nigeria Limited said, “For over 127 years, FirstBank has been at the forefront of nation-building; enabling Nigeria and Nigerians through resourceful partnerships to build the Nigerian creative industry value chain, especially the arts and entertainment sub-sectors. We remain proud of this sponsorship that creates an excellent platform to showcase Nigeria to the world as being part of a collective goal to continually keep dreams and hope alive; holding strong to our commitment to reignite cultural heritage.”

“Without a doubt, the theatre remains part of the creative and entertainment industry value-chain across the globe and indeed a powerful channel to drive our heritage and culture, which resonates with our legacy of being woven into the fabric of society.”

The Duke of Shomolu Productions is a positive disruptive force that has been designed to aggressively push the agenda of “telling stories through performances”. In the last three years, the platform has engineered and fostered on Nigerian theatre audiences, some of the most eponymous works attracting over 50,000 people, attending their productions. The DOS production is a leading brand in the Performing Arts sector in Nigeria and was established in 2018.

According to research disclosed in PWC’s recent Entertainment & Media Outlook report, Nigeria’s entertainment market is expected to rise from $4.46 billion in 2018 to a $10.5 billion market by the end of 2023. In addition, with this initiative and other sponsored events, FirstBank is committed to strengthening its contribution to the development of the entertainment industry in the country.

About FirstBank

First Bank of Nigeria Limited (FirstBank) is the premier Bank in West Africa and the leading financial inclusion services provider in Nigeria for over 125 years.

With over 750 business locations and over 76,000 Banking Agents spread across 99% of the 774 Local Government Areas in Nigeria, FirstBank provides a comprehensive range of retail and corporate financial services to serve its over 15 million customers. The Bank has an international presence through its subsidiaries, FBN Bank (UK) Limited in London and Paris, FBNBank in the Republic of Congo, Ghana, The Gambia, Guinea, Sierra-Leone and Senegal, as well as a Representative Office in Beijing.

FirstBank has been named “Most Valuable Bank Brand in Nigeria” six times in a row (2011 – 2016) by the globally renowned “The Banker Magazine” of the Financial Times Group; “Best Retail Bank in Nigeria” for seven consecutive years (2011 – 2017) by the Asian Banker International Excellence in Retail Financial Services Awards and “Best Bank in Nigeria” by Global Finance for 15 years. Our brand purpose is to always put customers, partners and stakeholders at the heart of our business, even as we standardise customer experience and excellence in financial solutions across sub-Saharan Africa, in consonance with our brand vision “To be the partner of the first choice in building your future”. Our brand promise is to always deliver the ultimate “gold standard” of value and excellence. This commitment is anchored on our inherent values of passion, partnership and people, to position You First in every respect.

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Dangote’s $20 Billion Refinery to Begin Petrol Sales Next Month

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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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NNPC’s Stake in Dangote Refinery Drops to 7.2% Due to Unpaid Balance

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Dangote Refinery

Aliko Dangote, the Chief Executive Officer of Dangote Refinery, announced that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Limited’s stake in the refinery has dropped from the previously held 20% to a mere 7.2%.

This reduction is attributed to NNPC’s failure to pay the balance of their shareholding dues, which was expected last month in June.

Dangote disclosed this during a media parley held at the refinery on Sunday, shedding light on the current ownership structure and the financial commitments made by the national oil company.

“The agreement was actually for 20%, but NNPC did not pay the balance of the money up till last year. We then gave them another extension up to June 2024, and they decided to remain at the 7.2% stake for which they had already paid,” Dangote stated.

This revelation has come as a surprise to many Nigerians who had been under the impression that the NNPC maintained a 20% stake in the refinery.

The reduction in ownership highlights the financial challenges faced by the state-owned oil company.

In 2021, the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Mele Kyari, had championed the decision to acquire a stake in the Dangote Refinery, citing the profit potential and the strategic importance of having a say in the refinery’s operations.

The investment was seen as critical to ensuring energy security for Nigeria and supporting the country’s fiscal stability.

Earlier this year, NNPC’s audited financial statements indicated that the corporation had acquired a 20% stake in Dangote Refinery for $2.76 billion.

This included a $1.036 billion funding from Lekki Refinery Funding Limited, of which $1 billion was paid to Dangote Refinery and $36 million covered transaction costs.

During the media parley, Dangote addressed various issues, including the challenges of supplying crude to the refinery.

He confirmed that the refinery has been sourcing crude from the United States and Brazil, while also noting the government’s intervention to resolve the supply issues.

The Dangote Refinery, located in the Lekki Free Zone, Lagos, is a massive project with a capacity of 650,000 barrels per day (BPD). Once fully operational, it aims to become Africa’s largest oil refinery and the world’s largest single-train facility.

The refinery is expected to generate approximately 9,500 direct jobs and an additional 25,000 indirect jobs, significantly boosting the local economy.

In addition to refining, the facility includes a fertiliser plant that will use by-products from the refinery as raw materials, further enhancing its economic and environmental impact.

The refinery is projected to produce around 50 million litres of petrol and 15 million litres of diesel daily, along with significant quantities of jet fuel and other petroleum products.

The reduction of NNPC’s stake underscores the financial complexities surrounding large-scale investments in Nigeria’s oil and gas sector.

As the Dangote Refinery nears full operation, the focus will be on how effectively it can address the country’s energy needs and contribute to economic growth, despite the challenges faced by its stakeholders.

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Dangote Refinery Buys 11 Million Barrels of American Crude Due to Domestic Shortages

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Dangote refinery

The Dangote Refinery has announced plans to acquire an additional 11 million barrels of crude oil from the United States.

In a tender viewed by Bloomberg, Dangote Refinery purchased five million barrels of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) Midland crude for delivery next month and in September.

The company has also initiated a tender process to buy another six million barrels of American crude for September.

Despite its reliance on local crude supplies, the refinery near Lagos has been forced to seek imports to sustain its operations.

With the ability to source crude from offshore terminals in just a few days, the refinery took in over 41 million barrels of feedstock in the first half of the year.

Notably, about a quarter of this amount was sourced from the United States.

Aliko Dangote, Chairman of Dangote Group, explained the necessity of importing crude oil as the refinery scales up production and explores alternative supply contracts.

“It makes economic sense for us to tender for crude. If we could source 100 percent Nigerian crude, then fine, but we can’t wait,” Dangote stated at the Africa CEO Forum 2024.

He further said it is important for a mix of different crude types to optimize operations, given the current limitations in domestic production.

The refinery’s recent acquisition contrasts with its earlier deliveries, which included 11 WTI cargoes, or nine million barrels, between February and May, alongside approximately 18 million barrels of Nigerian crude.

This move to secure a longer-term offtake agreement indicates a commitment to diversifying crude sources, particularly during a period of weak demand for Nigerian supply.

The Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC), which holds a 20 percent equity stake in the refinery, has faced difficulties meeting its 300,000 barrels per day (bpd) crude oil obligation.

In June, Nigeria’s crude output was around 1.28 million barrels per day, significantly below its estimated production capacity of 2.6 million barrels per day.

Factors such as crude theft, aging oil pipelines, low investment, and divestments by major oil companies have all contributed to declining production.

Despite various assurances from the federal government and the NNPC about meeting the country’s OPEC quota, Nigeria recorded an estimated 30 million barrels of underproduction in the first four months of 2024.

Efforts to curb insecurity in the Niger Delta, where Nigeria’s oil is extracted, have included a multi-billion-naira contract with local security groups and substantial spending on official security agencies. Nonetheless, oil theft, asset vandalism, and sabotage remain rampant in the region.

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