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Automobile Firm to Complete Large Assembly Plant In Ogun, Unveils Plans to Build Vehicles

The plant would be completed by the end of the year and its operation would boost the exportation of vehicles abroad

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Lanre Shittu Motors

As part of its plans to expand its business space and boost exportation, an automobile Firm, Lanre Shittu Motors (LSM) has said it was constructing a large vehicle assembly plant in Sagamu, Ogun State.

According to the Group Executive Director of the firm, Mr Taiwo Shittu, the plant would be completed by the end of the year and its operation would boost the exportation of vehicles abroad.

The CEO of the indigenous auto assembler, during an interview in Lagos State, also disclosed plans to build vehicles that will be known as Lanre Shittu.

Already, Shittu said the firm has started assembling a mid-size pickup truck christened Huanghai LSM, in partnership with a Chinese automobile manufacturer, Dandong Huanghai Automobile Co Ltd with a view to building Nigerian auto industry.

Shittu, while explaining the reason behind the collaboration of LSM with the Chinese firm, said it was to share technology and other things that would aid exportation to other African countries and beyond.

He said his firm has a plan to own a vehicle called LSM (Lanre Shittu Motors), and described Huanghai as a very good brand which is the second-biggest pickup company in China.

He said LSM’s partnership with Huanghai would afford them the opportunity to share technology among others before fully facing the indigenous firm.

LSM chief executive noted that the focus of the firm is to build the Nigerian automobile industry to the level of exporting its products to other African countries and beyond, adding that LSM, which will be 42 as a vehicle manufacturer this year would soon have its brand intact.

According to him, the company’s assembly plant had started injecting local content into products coming from the auto assembler, saying that about 30 percent of components of vehicles assembled from Lanre Shittu Motors are currently sourced locally.

For him, all the lubricants, the grease, liquid-based materials used in vehicles are assembled and sourced locally, adding that materials for the box body, which is the buckets on the trucks, welders design are being fabricated together in about 30 per cent local content in some cases.

Calling on the Federal Government to urgently come up with policies that would encourage automobile component manufacturers to come and build factories in Nigeria, Shittu likened Nigeria to a big market for manufacturers and investors.

For their investments to birth positive fruits, he sought the need for the Federal Government to enact policy that would attract investors.

He said if the government places 100 per cent duty on imported versions of the products that are sourced locally, no Nigerian manufacturer of vehicles would be buying imported parts when the locally-made are cheaper and of the same quality.

Investors King gathered that LSM has the potential to manufacture 2500 vehicles annually and it became a household name with the MAC and JAC heavy-duty trucks in October 2018.

It is a certified KIA, NISSAN, and Jinbei Bus dealer before its full venture into vehicles manufacturing.

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Nigeria’s Dangote Refinery Breaks Into Asian Market with LSSR Shipment

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Aliko Dangote - Investors King

In a historic move, Dangote Refinery is set to ship low-sulfur straight-run fuel oil (LSSR) from Nigeria to Singapore this week, its entry into the Asian market.

This development represents a significant milestone for the refinery, which began operations in January following a $20 billion investment.

According to ship tracking data and market sources, the refinery will initiate a new trade route from Nigeria to Asia, a region that consistently demands low-sulfur fuel oil for ship refueling at Singapore, the world’s largest bunker hub.

The Glencore-chartered vessel, Front Brage, will deliver approximately 124,000 metric tons (787,400 barrels) of LSSR to Singapore, with the shipment expected to arrive on Wednesday.

The Dangote Refinery, with a processing capacity of up to 650,000 barrels of products per day, is poised to become the largest refinery in Africa and Europe once it reaches full capacity.

Since March, the refinery has increased its LSSR exports, primarily sending cargoes to the Americas and Europe, as reported by ship tracking data from Kpler and Vortexa.

“This first shipment to Asia marks a new chapter in Dangote Refinery’s expansion strategy,” said a market analyst. “Breaking into the Asian market underscores the refinery’s growing influence and its capability to meet diverse global fuel demands.”

Market sources suggest that the cargo was redirected to Asia due to weaker demand in Europe. Data from LSEG indicates that the east-west spread for front-month 0.5 percent LSFO, reflecting the price difference between these regions, stayed above $40 per ton this week.

Dangote’s LSSR cargoes are priced against Rotterdam’s 0.5 percent LSFO quotes on a free-on-board basis, although the specific pricing differential for this shipment was not disclosed by market sources.

This pioneering shipment is the beginning of a series of exports to Asia. Another LSSR shipment from the Dangote refinery, containing around 157,000 tons, is expected to reach Singapore in July aboard the vessel Stena Suede, based on ship tracking data.

LSSR is typically blended with other fuels to create low-sulfur fuel oil (LSFO) for bunkering or used as feedstock in various refinery processes.

This export initiative not only diversifies Dangote Refinery’s market reach but also enhances Nigeria’s position in the global energy market.

In February, Dangote began exporting oil products and started purchasing crude oil, mainly from the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Ltd, in December 2023.

The refinery’s successful entry into the Asian market is anticipated to drive further growth and establish new trade relationships, reinforcing its status as a key player in the global oil industry.

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This landmark export not only demonstrates Dangote Refinery’s operational capabilities but also signals Nigeria’s expanding influence in the global energy sector. As the refinery continues to innovate and expand, it is well-positioned to meet the increasing global demand for cleaner, more efficient fuels.

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From 1999 IPO to AI Titan: Nvidia’s 591,078% Return on Investment

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Nvidia Corp. has transformed from a fledgling chipmaker to the world’s most valuable company, boasting an astronomical total return of 591,078% since its initial public offering (IPO) in 1999.

This unparalleled growth underscores the company’s pivotal role in the technological revolution, particularly in the realms of graphics processing and artificial intelligence (AI).

Nvidia’s ascent to the top of the market culminated on Tuesday, as it unseated Microsoft Corp. to claim the title of the world’s most valuable company, with a market capitalization of $3.34 trillion.

The company, which debuted on the Nasdaq stock exchange at a modest valuation, has added over $2 trillion to its market cap this year alone, driven by surging demand for its cutting-edge AI chips.

The Early Years: Laying the Foundation

When Nvidia launched its IPO in 1999, the tech landscape was vastly different. Intel dominated semiconductors, and Nvidia was a relatively unknown entity.

However, the company’s strategic focus on developing advanced graphics processing units (GPUs) quickly set it apart. By securing deals to supply GPUs for popular video-game consoles like Microsoft’s Xbox and Sony’s PlayStation, Nvidia established itself as a key player in the gaming industry.

Overcoming Challenges: Litigation and Competition

The path to success was not without obstacles. In the early 2000s, Nvidia faced significant challenges, including a major legal dispute with Intel that temporarily pushed it out of a crucial market segment. The stock also endured three separate annual declines of over 50%, testing the resolve of its investors.

However, Nvidia’s commitment to innovation and strategic foresight kept it moving forward. In 2012, the company introduced graphics chips for servers in data centers, opening a new and lucrative market. Although initial sales were slow, this move laid the groundwork for future growth in high-performance computing.

The AI Revolution: A New Era of Growth

Nvidia’s fortunes took a dramatic turn with the advent of AI. The company’s GPUs, initially designed for rendering video game graphics, proved to be exceptionally well-suited for the parallel processing tasks required in AI and machine learning. This versatility positioned Nvidia as a leader in the AI hardware market.

The release of OpenAI’s ChatGPT in late 2022 was a pivotal moment. As interest in AI applications skyrocketed, so did the demand for Nvidia’s chips. The company’s revenue from data centers, driven by AI-related sales, began to eclipse its traditional gaming revenue. By the first quarter of 2023, Nvidia’s earnings report revealed a jaw-dropping surge in sales, far exceeding Wall Street’s expectations.

A Test of Staying Power

Despite its meteoric rise, Nvidia faces ongoing challenges. Sustaining its current market position will require continued innovation and substantial investment in AI infrastructure. The company’s future success hinges on the broader adoption of AI technologies and the ability of its customers to generate significant returns on their investments in AI hardware.

Vision and Leadership: The Jensen Huang Effect

Much of Nvidia’s success can be attributed to the visionary leadership of co-founder and CEO Jensen Huang. His foresight in steering the company towards “accelerated computing” has been instrumental in Nvidia’s dominance. Under Huang’s guidance, Nvidia has consistently been at the forefront of technological advancements, catching every wave of innovation in hardware.

The Road Ahead

As Nvidia continues to navigate the complexities of the global tech market, its story serves as a testament to the power of strategic vision and innovation. With AI set to revolutionize industries from healthcare to automotive, Nvidia’s role as a key enabler of this transformation positions it for continued success.

Investors and analysts alike will be watching closely to see if Nvidia can maintain its lead in the fiercely competitive AI market. If its past performance is any indication, the future looks promising for this once-modest chipmaker turned AI titan.

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Dangote Group Expands Refinery Storage Capacity to 5.3 Billion Litres

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Dangote Refinery

The Dangote Group has announced a significant expansion of its refinery storage capacity.

The expansion, disclosed by Alhaji Aliko Dangote, President of the Dangote Group, during his address at the Afreximbank Annual Meetings and AfriCaribbean Trade & Investment Forum in Nassau, The Bahamas.

Currently boasting a storage capacity of 4.78 billion litres, the Dangote Petrochemical Refinery is set to increase this figure by an additional 600 million litres, bringing the total capacity to an impressive 5.3 billion litres.

This expansion underscores Dangote’s commitment to transforming Nigeria into a hub for refined petroleum products and solidifies the refinery’s role as a strategic reserve for the nation.

Addressing stakeholders at the forum, Dangote highlighted the refinery’s pivotal role in addressing longstanding challenges in Nigeria’s energy sector, particularly the absence of strategic reserves for petrol.

“The country doesn’t have strategic reserves in terms of petrol, which is very dangerous. But in our plant now, when you came, we had only 4.78 billion litres of various tankage capacity. But right now, we’re adding another 600 million,” Dangote affirmed.

The expansion comes amidst various operational challenges faced by the refinery, including attempts by international oil companies to hinder its operations.

Dangote asserted that these challenges, aimed at impeding the success of the refinery, were indicative of broader resistance to change within the oil industry.

“We borrowed the money based on our balance sheet. I think we borrowed just over $5.5bn. But we paid also a lot of interest as we went along, because the project was delayed because of a lack of land, also the sand-filling took a long time,” Dangote revealed, emphasizing the resilience required to overcome these obstacles.

Moreover, Dangote expressed optimism regarding the refinery’s capacity to influence regional fuel prices, citing the success story of diesel price reduction following the refinery’s market entry.

He indicated that while petrol pricing remains a complex issue governed by governmental policies, the refinery’s operations would strive to offer competitive pricing and supply stability.

The expansion of the Dangote Petrochemical Refinery not only marks a significant milestone in Nigeria’s industrial landscape but also positions the conglomerate as a key player in reshaping Africa’s energy dynamics.

As construction progresses towards completion, the refinery aims to further consolidate its role in meeting regional energy demands and fostering economic growth across West Africa.

With plans to commence sales of refined products in the coming months, Dangote’s refinery is poised to play a transformative role in Nigeria’s quest for energy independence and regional economic integration.

As stakeholders await the refinery’s operational debut, expectations are high for its potential to drive down fuel prices and enhance energy security across the region.

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