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Investors Losing Interest in Nigeria’s Mining Businesses as Insecurity Bites Harder

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Business gurus and investors are gradually losing interest in investing in the mining sector of Nigeria.

Investors King discovered, through a presentation document by the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Olamilekan Adegbite, at the ninth edition of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.

The president has been rendering his scorecard that spans from 2015 to 2023. The programme is being organised by the Ministry of Information and Culture.

In the mineral sector, there are mining, exploration, quarry, and small-scale mining industries, of which have been serving as the country’s money spinners after the oil and gas industry.

But, growing insecurity in the mining environments has been the bane of the sector.

The sector had suffered no fewer than 363 casualties during different attacks and clashes between 2016 and 2022.

During the attacks on the mining sites, communities and miners across the country, activities have been affected as workers abandoned some areas considered dangerous.

Number of casualties including those killed, kidnapped, or injured during attacks and clashes has been on the rise

The 363 casualty figure is contained in a data obtained from the daily incidents recorded by the Nigeria Security Tracker, a project of the Council on Foreign Relations, an American think-tank, during the period under review.

Flowing from this disturbing incidents, it was gathered that there have been a decline in the figure of licences issued to interested investors in the sector.

The document presented by Adegbite showed that 2815 mineral titles were issued in 2016, while 1438 were issued in 2021.

Also, the total number of mineral titles issued to mining companies has dropped by 36.63 per cent within a period of five years.

Adegbite said that 2,258 mineral titles were issued in 2016, 2429 in 2017, 2124 in 2018, and 1,620 in 2019.

He added that 1,438 mineral titles were issued between January and October 2022, which is a 48.92 drop per cent from what was issued in 2016.

However, the Director-General of Nigeria Mining Cadastre Office, Mr Obadiah Nkom, during a State House briefing organised by the Presidential Communications Team, had said that 3,402 titles were revoked for defaulting on the terms of their licences.

The mining rights of companies that were not using their licences were said to have been revoked, leaving NMCO to generate over N3.7bn in 2022.

It was gathered that aside the revocation of the licenses owing to default, the mining sector has been characterised by insecurity.

Recall that the Federal Government had banned mining activities in Zamfara State in March 2021 owing to incessant attacks.

Buhari approved the recommendation that mining activities in the state should stop while declaring a no-fly zone on Zamfara.

The Federal Government was considering a ban on the use of motorcycles and mining activities sequel to the terrorist attacks on the Kuje Correctional facility on July 5 as well as others witnessed nationwide.

Stakeholders including industry players under the auspices of the Miners Association of Nigeria, had urged the government to address the issue of worsening insecurity rather than banning mining activities even as sector witnesses low patronage.

 

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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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