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Xavier Rolet Resigns Amid Seplat Energy Debt Scandal

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Seplat Energy Plc - Investors King

Mr. Xavier Rolet, KBE, an independent non-executive director in Seplat Energy Plc, has resigned from his position two days after a Federal High Court in Lagos, Nigeria granted Zenith Bank Plc interim orders of Mareva Injunctions against Shebah Exploration & Production Company Limited (SEPCOL), Shebah Petroleum Development Company Limited, the Chairman of Seplat Energy, Dr. ABC Orjiako and others.

Seplat Energy, in a statement signed by Mrs. Edith Onwuchekwa, Director Legal and Company Secretary on November 9, 2021, had confirmed that the energy company was aware of the ex parte interim orders of Mareva Injunctions granted against SEPCOL, eight others, with an additional 29 cited parties.

The company, therefore, said, “We understand the injunction relates to loans made by Zenith Bank PLC to Shebah Exploration & Production Company Limited in 2014.”

However, it claimed the “Interim Orders give an administrative mandate to Seplat Energy Plc and others not to deal with the assets of (or transfer funds to) Shebah Exploration & Production Company Limited, Shebah Petroleum Development Company Limited and Dr. A.B.C. Orjiako. The order has no impact on the operations of Seplat Energy.”

Dr. A.B.C. Orjiako is the Chairman of Seplat Energy, the same person the injunction mandated the company he oversees not to deal with pending the outcome of the ongoing debt case.

The complexity of the situation might have forced Mr. Xavier Rolet, KBE, an Independent Non-Executive Director, to resign his position in the company to avert catastrophe peradventure it all blow up.

On Friday, Dr. ABC Orjiako, Chairman of Seplat Energy, who commented on the resignation, has this to say “We would like to thank Mr. Rolet for his contributions and the wealth of experience he brought to the Board. He showed great commitment and passion toward Seplat Energy’s journey and our transformational vision. We wish him well in his future endeavours”.

Profile of Xavier Rolet, KBE

Mr. Xavier Rolet, KBE. is an experienced CEO, Co-Founder, and Entrepreneur. Named as one of the 100 Best CEOs in the World in the 2017 Harvard Business Review, Mr. Rolet has demonstrated a history of successful turnarounds in the global financial services industry.

In his decade at the helm of the London Stock Exchange, the LSE’s market valuation rose from £800m to more than £15bn, transforming it into one of the world’s largest exchanges by market capitalization. He is currently the Chairman, Board of Directors at Phosagro PJSC, a member of the Board of Directors of the Saudi Stock Exchange Tadawul as an appointee of the Public Investment Fund, and an Expert Adviser to the Shanghai Institute of Finance for the Real Economy.

He has held various senior positions in the financial services industry throughout his career: CEO of CQS, a global hedge fund; CEO of Banque Lehman Brothers in Paris; co-head of Global Equity & Derivatives Trading at Lehman Brothers New York; Global Head of Risk and Trading at Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein; Vice-President, International Equity Risk Arbitrage at Goldman Sachs New York; and co-Head of European Equities Sales and Trading at Goldman Sachs International Ltd in London.

Mr. Rolet received his post-graduate degree in Defense Studies and Economic Intelligence from Institut des Hautes études de défense Nationale (“IHEDN”), an MBA in International Finance from Columbia Business School, and an MSc in Management from Kedge Business School.

Mr. Rolet is an Honorary Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire (KBE), a Knight of the National Order of the Legion of Honour of France, an Officer of the Royal Sharifian Order of Al-Alawi, and a Member of the Order of Friendship of the Russian Federation.

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

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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

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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

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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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