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MAX, Africa’s First Mobility Tech Platform, Reaches 100 Million KM Milestone

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Metro Africa Xpress Inc. (“MAX”) – Africa’s first mobility technology platform – announces its drivers have completed over 100 million KM of journeys.

To put the milestone in perspective, drivers using MAX have travelled a distance equivalent to the Earth to the Moon, and back, over 130 times.

MAX is Africa’s largest, low-to-zero emission vehicle subscription and mobility platform. Founded in 2015 by Adetayo Bamiduro and Chinedu Azodoh, MAX’s mission is to disrupt Africa’s transportation sector via smart technologies. The Company is building the rails for mobility in Africa by delivering integrated, affordable and collateral-free vehicle subscription packages including low to zero-emission vehicles, healthcare, insurance, maintenance, and licensing. This helps drivers maximise their revenues and minimise costs while providing material benefits of improved availability, journey times and safety to their customers.

MAX’s innovative technology platform leverages alternative data sets to power driver onboarding, dynamic credit assessment, fleet optimization, digital payments and advanced risk management. The Company has pioneered this operating model and its technology is powered in partnerships with global OEMs such as Yamaha, ride-hailing platforms such as Bolt, financial services strategic partners, payment infrastructure providers and clean energy providers.

MAX’s market is over 15 million independent commercial drivers across Africa’s $250 billion mobility industry, and the company has grown rapidly. Currently, it serves over 15,000 drivers, with over 50,000 prospective drivers in the pipeline.

MAX aims to scale its current fleet of 8,000 vehicles – including the revolutionary M3 Electric Motorcycle – to 100,000 by the end of 2023, and to grow its footprint to 10 cities across Africa.

Adetayo Bamiduro, co-founder and Chief Executive Officer at MAX, said: “We are extremely pleased to announce MAX drivers have completed over 100 million KM in our vehicles and using our platform. We are also very proud to have helped them make a significant contribution to their lives and our economy. It is another significant milestone in MAX’s growth journey and further validates our business model and vision. It coincides with a very exciting time for the Company as we look to scale our current fleet and anticipate new market entries by the end of 2023.

 “This achievement demonstrates the impact MAX is having in Africa, by powering transportation and driving economic growth, but also how we are making mobility safer, more affordable, accessible and sustainable across the continent.”

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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Merger and Acquisition

Tolaram Acquires 58.02% Stake in Guinness Nigeria from Diageo

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Guiness

Tolaram Group has acquired a 58.02% stake in Guinness Nigeria from Diageo Plc. for ₦81.60 per share, representing approximately a 60% premium over Guinness Nigeria’s closing price of ₦50 on Monday.

Announced on June 11, 2024, the acquisition underscores Tolaram’s commitment to expanding its footprint in Nigeria’s robust consumer market.

Diageo, the UK-based beverage giant, will retain ownership of the Guinness brand, which will be licensed to Guinness Nigeria, now under Tolaram’s majority control, through long-term agreements.

Under the terms of the deal, Tolaram will initiate a mandatory takeover offer in compliance with Nigerian Exchange regulations.

However, Guinness Nigeria will continue to be publicly listed, maintaining its presence on the Nigerian Stock Exchange.

A statement from Guinness Nigeria highlighted the terms of the agreement, confirming the continued production of the Guinness brand along with Diageo’s locally manufactured ready-to-drink and mainstream spirits under license and royalty agreements.

The transaction is slated for completion in 2025, pending necessary regulatory approvals.

Commenting on the acquisition, Sajen Aswani, Tolaram’s Chief Executive, said: “Our partnership with Diageo to jointly grow Guinness Nigeria underscores our commitment to build on our strong presence and heritage in Nigeria, cultivated over decades of dedication and unwavering confidence in the future of Africa. We take a long-term view on all our investments, and this partnership reflects our optimism on the exciting opportunities that lie ahead across the continent.”

Diageo CEO Debra Crew echoed Aswani’s sentiment “I’m excited to announce our new partnership with Tolaram. Guinness has been Nigeria’s favourite beer for nearly 75 years. Tolaram shares this passion for Guinness and for Nigeria, making them the perfect partners as we continue to grow our business and seek to delight even more consumers in the country.”

This strategic acquisition is expected to bolster Guinness Nigeria’s market position, leveraging Tolaram’s extensive experience in the consumer goods sector to drive growth and innovation.

The partnership aims to enhance the availability and appeal of Guinness and other Diageo products in Nigeria, contributing to the country’s economic development and consumer satisfaction.

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Dangote Refinery Shifts Petrol Production Start to July

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Dangote Refinery

Africa’s largest oil refinery, the Dangote Refinery, has postponed the start of its premium motor spirit (PMS) production, commonly known as petrol, from June to mid-July.

This adjustment was confirmed by Aliko Dangote, President and CEO of the refinery, during a press briefing at the $20 billion facility in Lagos on Monday.

Dangote attributed the change in the production date to minor delays encountered in the final stages of the project.

“We had a bit of delay, but PMS will start coming out by 10 to 15 of July. But then we want to keep it in tank to make sure that it settles. So by the third week of July, we’ll be able to take it into the market,” he stated.

The delay necessitated moving the originally proposed production commencement from June to mid-July.

The refinery will begin production of petrol between July 10 and 15, with supply to local marketers expected to commence from the third week of July.

Backstory and Expectations

Initially, various reports had predicted the refinery’s petrol production would start in June. Standard and Poor’s Global (S&P Global) Commodities Insights analysts had forecasted a later timeline, suggesting production would ramp up in the fourth quarter of this year.

Despite the predictions, Dangote’s team has been aiming for a mid-year start.

Exportation and Domestic Supply

In addition to the upcoming petrol production, the Dangote Refinery has already begun supplying jet fuel and diesel to domestic marketers. Furthermore, the facility recently exported its first jet fuel cargo to Europe.

The inaugural shipment, loaded onto the vessel “Doric Breeze,” departed from the Lekki Free Zone in Lagos on May 27 and is en route to Rotterdam, Netherlands, according to data from S&P Global Commodities at Sea.

Implications for Nigeria

The Dangote Refinery is poised to significantly reduce Nigeria’s reliance on imported petroleum products. Despite being Africa’s most populous country and largest oil producer, Nigeria imports almost all of its fuel due to insufficient refining infrastructure.

The new refinery aims to bridge this gap and enhance the country’s energy security.

Future Prospects

On future prospects, Aliko Dangote said “What we are doing is to be able to export petroleum products to anywhere and compete with any company. By next week, we’ll be producing about ten thousand ppm in terms of diesel, which now what’s happening is that we import about 2 to 3 thousand. We will produce the best.”

As Nigeria anticipates the mid-July start for petrol production, the Dangote Refinery is set to play a pivotal role in transforming the nation’s oil and gas sector, bolstering domestic supply, and enhancing its position in the global energy market.

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NNPC Refutes Claims of N3.3tn Subsidy Inflation Under Buhari Administration

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NNPC - Investors King

The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC) has firmly denied allegations that it inflated the subsidy on Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), commonly known as petrol, by N3.3 trillion during the administration of former President Muhammadu Buhari.

In a statement released Monday, the company said it was transparent and accountable with its subsidy claims and called the accusations baseless.

Olufemi Soneye, the spokesperson for NNPC, issued a statement rejecting the claims that the company had manipulated subsidy figures.

“NNPC conducts its businesses with accountability and transparency, in accordance with international best practices. At no time has NNPC inflated its subsidy claims with the Federal Government,” Soneye asserted.

The statement further highlighted that all subsidy claims by NNPC are verifiable, with relevant records and documents provided to the appropriate authorities and agencies.

“NNPC notes with dismay the report in a section of the media alleging that it inflated subsidy claims by N3.3tn. We wish to state categorically that these claims are products of the febrile imagination of the reporters and their respective media houses,” Soneye added.

NNPC also addressed rumors of an impending audit of its accounts, clarifying that it was not aware of any such audit or probe.

“NNPC is neither aware of any audit of its subsidy claims nor any ensuing probe. We resist any attempt to drag the company into the apparent politics of fuel subsidy, as we currently operate on a commercial basis and under the express provisions of the Petroleum Industry Act,” the statement read.

The company reiterated its commitment to transparency through its Transparency, Accountability, and Performance Excellence (TAPE) mantra, noting that it has independently invited external auditors to review its books on several occasions.

The denial from NNPC comes amidst a backdrop of significant financial scrutiny. Before President Bola Tinubu’s administration, Nigeria allocated trillions of naira annually to petrol subsidies.

However, President Tinubu put an end to this practice during his inaugural address on May 29, 2023, marking a significant policy shift.

“NNPC calls on media practitioners and media houses to exercise restraint and verify information before publication, in keeping with the ethics of the noble profession of journalism, to avoid misleading the public,” Soneye concluded.

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