- Emefiele: Dangote Refinery, Fertiliser Plant Will Transform Nigeria
The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele, has described the $9 billion Dangote Refinery and the fertiliser plants, which are under construction at the Lekki Free Trade Zone, as transformational projects for Nigeria.
Emefiele said this at the weekend during a facility tour of the project site in Epe, Lagos.
He was accompanied by the Deputy Governor, Financial System Stability, CBN, Mrs. Aisha Ahmad; President of the Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote; top officials of the company, as well as project engineers.
Addressing journalists after the tour, the CBN governor noted that the fertilizer plant, which has been completed and due for inauguration in April, is twice the size of Eleme Petrochemical.
He also said when the refinery takes off in the first quarter of 2020, Nigeria would not only be self-sufficient in the production of refined petroleum products, but would join the league of countries that export petroleum products to other countries.
Emefiele said, “You all will attest to the fact that this is certainly a transformational project for Nigeria, and it totally keyed into the objectives of President Muhammadu Buhari that says that we need to think about how to conserve foreign exchange and diversify the economy.
“And to put it in proper perspective, by the time you dimension the size of foreign exchange that we use in importing petroleum products into the country today, it is at least the one third of the foreign exchange that the Central Bank spends to import items into Nigeria today.
“By the time we also add the 42 items that we have, which of course, certainly we are going to increase maybe to 50, in due course because we are going to be more aggressive in ensuring that food items that are being imported into this country, that more and more of them are added into the FX Restriction list.
“I’m saying by the time we add the savings from the production and export of petroleum products, by the time we also add the foreign exchange that we spend on food items, close to almost 55 to 60 per cent of what Central Bank or what the government spends in funding, the foreign exchange operations would have been saved in the country.
Furthermore, Emefiele said: “I am truly looking forward that I will be alive the time this comes to fruition. We need to thank the President of Dangote Industries, for this gigantic project. I’m sure that if he knew the scope of the project that he was going into at the time he conceived of it, with the kind of stress he goes through today in trying to actualise this project, he probably would not have gone into it.
“But I want to thank him, I want to congratulate him, thank him for persevering this stress. About 18 months ago when I came here, I said that we would support anybody, any Nigerian company that takes priority for manufacturing items, for agriculture items along the entire value chain.”
Emefiele restated the support of the CBN to any local company that is interested in diversifying the Nigerian economy and joining government in making sure that they equally partner with the government in restructuring the base of the Nigerian economy.
This support, he explained could come both in form of funding and in providing the foreign exchange required for the importation of manufacturing items needed for the project.
While noting that the country stand to gain from the venture, Emefiele stressed that the projects would create millions of jobs for Nigerians. He however, disclosed that the CBN contributed almost about N75 billion to support the refinery project, and that the project was also being supported by foreign banks.
He added, “You will imagine, N75 billion is just a drop compared to about $9billion that this project is costing. But we will continue to show support to individuals and companies that display the determination to help government, to support the government and support the Central Bank of Nigeria in restructuring the base of this country.”
In his remarks, Dangote who put the cost of building the fertilizer plant at $2 billion, however revealed that apart from the N75 million given to support the refinery project, the CBN under Emefiele also gave his group N50 billion to support the fertilizer project.
Dangote said: “But more importantly is the moral support that we’re actually receiving from you (Emefiele), encouraging us to make sure that we continue with these transformative projects. Most likely people don’t understand what these projects mean; what they mean is that they are transforming the Nigeria’s economy.
“The biggest problem that we have really is that Nigeria imports more than what we produce like any other African country. But by the time we finish the fertilizer plant, I think Nigeria will be the largest fertilizer exporting country in Africa, not even in sub-Saharan Africa.
“We will also be the largest exporter of petrochemicals, maybe head to head with South Africa because of SAWSO, and then we will be the biggest actually in Africa in exporting petroleum products.
“So the change in terms of importing 90 per cent of what we consume and also exporting about one third out of the country. So it’s a major transformation, and also the gas pipeline which we want to do is actually three billion-scope, which is equivalent to NLNG today, and these are all projects that I believe will transform the economy of Nigeria.”
He added that currently, more than 26, 000 people have been employed and that by the time the projects picked up fully, especially with the establishment of filling stations, almost 80,000 people would have been employed in the facilities.
FG Implores Parastatals to Promote the Country’s Digital Economy Initiative
FG Tells MDAs to Promote the Country’s Digital Economy
The Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy under the management of Dr. Isa Pantami, has implored all the federal government parastatals to promote and safeguard the country’s digital economy initiative.
Dr. Isa Pantami, while presenting the keynote address in a virtual forum organised by the Association of Telecoms Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), said based on the negative effects of COVID-19 pandemic, the demand for critical data infrastructure and broadband is now high.
The minister urged government parastatals to put in effort to uphold and promote government’s digital economy initiative designed to reduce the effect of the pandemic on the nation. He also disclosed that the interests of all Nigerians would also be protected by the government.
“Federal government will continue to develop its digital economy policy for a digital Nigeria. Both the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) that are under the supervision of my ministry, now have special departments that promotes digital economy initiative and I urge them and all other parastatals under my supervision, to ensure that they promote the digital economy initiative of the federal government in order to maintain investor’s confidence and to protect the interest of Nigerians, especially telecoms consumers.
“Government on its part will ensure that the interests of telecoms companies and the interest of Nigerians are protected. Government is currently addressing the challenges in the cost of investments such as the issue of vandalisation of telecoms infrastructure, and President Muhammadu Buhari has officially directed all security institutes, through the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), to protect telecoms investments in the country,” Pantami said.
The Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, when making his presentation said “The COVID-19 pandemic rapidly and sharply ravaged the globe, Nigeria is no exception. Governments therefore, faced unprecedented challenges from COVID-19 pandemic. The impact affects most sectors of the global economy, ranging from health, to education, to finance, to trade and investment.”
While explaining the Commission’s efforts at resolving consumer-related issues, Danbatta noted that less than 500,000 people activated Do-Not-Disturb (DND) code as at 2015 when the code was introduced by the Commission but presently, over 22,722,366 people line on the code.
He also made it known that the commission has resolved 98 per cent of service-related complaints received from telecoms consumers from January 2019 to April 2020.
according to Danbatta “the Commission has monthly engagements with operators as well as quarterly industry working group on Quality of Service and Short Codes, and is currently monitoring 2G Key Performance Indicators, while the KPIs for 4G are being prepared.”
Mambilla Power Project: FG Spends N1.2bn on Survey, Sensitisation
FG Releases N1.2bn for 3,050MW Mambilla Hydroelectric Power Project
The Federal Government has released a total sum of N1.2 billion to the Taraba State Government for the 3,050 megawatts Mambilla Hydroelectric Power Project to finally take-off.
Investigations have revealed that the funds were released for the sensitisation of host communities around the site where the plant is to be constructed and survey works.
The N2 trillion power project is to be located in Sardauna Local Government Area of Taraba State after four decades of on and off planning.
Checks revealed that Sale Mamman, the Minister of Power, visited Taraba State last week, where he met with Darius Ishaku, the State Governor, and discussed the final take-off of the 3,050MW project, among other things.
Mamman on Wednesday had tweeted some of the highlights of his Wednesday visit, saying the Federal Government and Taraba State Government discussed how to speed up the project.
He said, “I paid a visit to the Taraba State Government House where I met with the governor and brother.
“We held discussions centered on how to speed up the final take-off of the Mambilla Hydroelectric Power Project and other power issues affecting the state.”
FBN Holdings Boost First Bank CAR With N25 Billion Capital Injection
First Bank Boosts CAR With N25 Billion Capital Injection
FBN Holdings Plc announced it has boosted the Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR) of its commercial banking subsidiary, First Bank of Nigeria Limited by N25 billion.
According to the statement released by the bank on the Nigerian Stock Exchange website, the capital injection represents part of the net proceeds of the company’s divestment from FBN Insurance Limited.
It noted that the capital injection upped the bank’s Capital Adequacy Ratio to 16.53 percent –before capitalising year to date profit– as at June 2020.
Oyewale Ariyibi, the Chief Financial Officer of the Company, was quoted as saying “the divestment is in line with the Group’s medium to long term strategic objectives. The divestment has unlocked significant value embedded in the former subsidiary which is being leveraged to strengthen the core banking business for which the Group is renowned“.
Ariyibi further stated that the Company’s objective is to increase capital across the Group in order to drive business growth, enhance efficiency and improve overall shareholders’ value.
Uk Eke, the Group Managing Director, who commented on the company’s performance for the first half of 2020 said “The H1 2020 financial results are impressive and reconfirm our consistent focus on enhanced shareholder value. Despite the difficult operating environment, the results demonstrate our capacity to deliver exceptional services to our customers in these uncertain times. Looking ahead, we remain cautious, but confident that our business is fundamentally strong to surmount any future challenge towards delivering superior financial performance“.
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