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Dangote’s 650,000bpd, Modular Refineries to Drive Nigeria’s Huge Demand for Petroleum Products – Kyari

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The 650,000bpd Dangote Petroleum Refinery, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) as well as other modular refineries are expected to be the major drivers of Nigeria’s demand for petroleum products, which is projected to grow massively in the nearest future.

Speaking at the 15th Oil Trading and Logistics (OTL) Africa Downstream Week in Lagos, the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Mallam Mele Kyari, said NNPC Refineries’ 445,000 barrels-per-day (BPD), Dangote Refinery’s 650,000 BPD and the 250,000 BSD expected to come from the Condensate Refineries through the private sector partnership respectively would supply the requirement of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) needs in Nigeria.

Kyari’s position only corroborated that of President of the Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote who said he was dissatisfied with the fact that Nigeria is a leading oil producer but imports all her petroleum needs.

Dangote who was speaking on his mega refinery project in Lagos said it was the unsavoury situation the nation found itself that made him to take up the challenge to embark on the construction of the gigantic refinery project, which he said is one of the biggest in the world.
According to him some 29,000 Nigerians would be employed in the refinery when completed and that would also help in the employment generation drive of the federal government.

Kyari, who was represented by the Group Executive Director, Downstream, NNPC, Adeyemi Adetunji, explained that the diversification of NNPC’s portfolio through acquisition of 20 per cent equity valued at $2.6 billion in the 650,000 bpd Dangote Refinery located in the Lekki Free Trade Zone would ensure national energy security and guarantee market for Nigeria’s 300,000 bpd.

He stated, “NNPC is adding 215,000 BPD of refining capacity through private sector driven co-location at the existing facilities in Warri Refining and Petrochemical Company (WRPC) and Port Harcourt Refining Company (PHRC) respectively. Modular refineries are also adding capacities such as the 5,000 BPD Waltersmith refinery, which will be upgraded to 50,000 BPD.

“Additional 250,000 BPD is expected to come from the Condensate Refineries through the private sector partnership. The co-location and Condensate refineries will close the PMS supply-demand gap and create positive returns to the investors,” the NNPC helmsman added.

He said the Corporation has progressed with the Refineries Rehabilitation Programme to boost its participation in the oil & gas value chain by awarding the $1.5 billion Port Harcourt rehabilitation contract with the commitment to deliver on Warri and Kaduna Refineries.
On gas commercialisation effort, Kyari said the Federal Government has declared 2021-2030 as the decade of gas development in Nigeria.

Kyari said the demand for natural gas could grow about four times over the next decade, increasing from 4.8 billion cubic feet per day (bcf/d) in 2020 to between 10 – 23 bcf/d in 2030.

He said currently, supply to the domestic market was about 8bcf/d to power, 0.77 bcf/d to industries, and about 54 bcf/d was flared, while 3.2 bcf/d was for export gas through the LNG and the West Africa Gas Pipeline (WAGP).

According to him, achieving this growth in demand would be occasioned by increasing the dispatchable capacity of existing power, in line with the Presidential Power Initiative, which is less than 1.4 bcf/d).

He added that the growth would be achieved through assuring delivery of major fertiliser projects (Dangote, Brass) 5 bcf/d), and enabling industrial demand for natural gas in the northern axis of the country (1.2 bcf/d).

On the global oil market outlook, Kyari said, “Some $10.4 trillion global stimulus in response to the COVID-19 pandemic has led to the rebound in consumers’ spending while incentives for long-term investments in hydro-carbon have waned.”

He stated that hydrocarbon would continue to be relevant in the global energy mix for the next two decades, quoting the recent data by the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

On the issue of downstream in transition, the NNPC boss noted that the Nigerian oil and gas industry has been in transition prior to the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), in response to the global energy transition and decarbonisation initiatives.

Kyari maintained that it would be difficult to discuss the transition in the downstream sub-sector in isolation from the overall evolution that was happening in the industry. He said NNPC had diversified its portfolio over the years, transiting to an energy company with new investments in gas, power, and renewables, pointing out that key pipeline projects are ongoing to assure delivery of gas to the demand nodes.

He stated, “The OB3 project, which brings gas from East to West, is nearing completion. The 614km Ajaokuta, Kaduna, Kano (AKK) project, which was launched by Mr. President in June 2020, is progressing very well. These could add up to $40 billion to annual GDP and create additional six million jobs.

“The corporation has progressed with the Refineries Rehabilitation Programme to further boost its participation in the Oil and Gas value chain by awarding the $1.5 billion Port Harcourt rehabilitation contract with the commitment to deliver on Warri and Kaduna Refineries.

“The rehabilitation of critical downstream infrastructure comprising of major pipelines, depots and terminals through the Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) financing model is on course,” he added.
Kyari explained that the transition in Nigeria’s oil and gas sector was being driven by the global decarbonisation efforts to switch to renewables in response to environmental concerns.
As investments in hydrocarbon continued to wane due to energy transition and geopolitics, Kyari said the world economy faced shortages, high energy prices, rising inflation and sluggish growth.

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Glo Records More Massive Growth with MoneyMaster Payment Service Bank

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Glo-powered MoneyMaster Payment Service Bank (MMPSB), a major payment service bank in Nigeria, has recorded massive growth in its customer base as it added a new bouquet of services to its operations.

The positive growth is as a result of innovations and services introduced in the past few months by the PSB to delight its customers in the country.

Licensed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in August 2020, MoneyMaster PSB facilitates payments and remittance services within Nigeria, accepts deposits from individuals and small businesses, issues debit and prepaid cards, operates electronic wallets, inbound remittances, and carries out other services in line with CBN regulations.

Its focus is the unbanked and under-banked segment in Nigeria in order to deepen financial inclusion. It launched commercial operations in May 2022, and has continued to experience expansion in its client base with hundreds of potential customers leveraging its digital channels such as USSD, mobile app and internet banking to open accounts, buy airtime and data, pay utility bills and more.

Sources indicate that more Nigerians are joining the bank to enjoy the wide array of services on offer and conduct their financial transactions with ease and with assurance of security of their transactions.

There are currently over 4,000 billers on the MMPSB platform and the number is growing on a daily basis. Through the platform, customers are able to pay for many essential services such as airtime, data, electricity, cable subscription, etc.

The immediate future holds bigger promise for customers of the payment service bank as it gears up to retool and reengineer for better customer experience. Several new initiatives are set to be unveiled to delight customers soon.

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Forex Crisis: FG Blocks Binance, OctaFX, Coinbase, Others

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The Nigerian government has blocked the online platforms of Binance and other crypto firms to avert what it considers continuous manipulation of the forex market and illicit movement of funds.

Sources within the major telecommunication companies in the country told PREMIUM TIMES Wednesday that the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) communicated the directive to telcos and they had started acting on it.

Apart from Binance, other platforms such as Forextime, OctaFX, Crypto, FXTM, Coinbase, Kraken, among others, were equally blocked.

Presidency and regulatory sources said the government decided to move against Binance and other crypto firms following reports that currency speculators and money launderers were using them to execute criminal activities. Authorities believe the ‘criminal activities’ going on on platforms are contributing significantly to the weakening of the naira.

Binance, a digital assets platform, serves as a window for peer to peer transactions allowing users to advertise interest to sell or buy currencies of their choice.

In September 2023, Nigeria’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) placed a disclaimer on Binance Nigeria Limited, saying the platform was “neither registered nor regulated by the Commission and its operations in Nigeria are therefore illegal”.

Despite the warning by the regulatory agency, the firm continued its operation, attracting huge patronage especially among urban youths and suspected speculators and money launderers. Aside from suspicions of economic sabotage, officials also speak of national security concerns as the platforms are often patronised by other criminal groups including for payment of ransom.

In its reaction earlier on Wednesday, Binance said “users behaving in a manipulative way” will be removed from its platform.

“As industry leaders, we are working hand in hand with local authorities, lawmakers, and regulators to ensure we act on non-compliance,” the platform added, noting that it is “setting an upper limit for ads, filtering and removing bad ads, requiring and raising deposits for merchants posting ads as well as processes for actioning against any market manipulators.”

On Tuesday, the Nigerian government announced that it was planning to raise $10bn to improve liquidity in the foreign exchange market.

President Bola Tinubu, who was represented by Vice President Kashim Shettima, disclosed this at the inaugural Public Wealth Management Conference in Abuja on Tuesday.

“At the core of this is ensuring optimal management of the assets and investments of the Federal Government towards unlocking their revenue potential. This includes our bold and achievable plan to double the GDP growth rate and significantly increase the GDP base over the next 8 years,” Mr Shettima said.

Meanwhile, the naira tumbled to an all-time low of N1,900 per dollar at the parallel market on Tuesday, amidst speculations and uncertainties about supply constraints in the markets. But at the Nigerian Autonomous Foreign Exchange Market (NAFEM), the local unit appreciated slightly to N1,551.24.

Earlier on Tuesday, the office of the National Security Adviser directed law enforcement agencies to take firm measures against anyone engaged in foreign exchange market speculation.

“In a concerted effort to safeguard Nigeria’s foreign exchange market and combat speculative activities, the Office of the National Security Adviser and the Central Bank of Nigeria are joining forces to address challenges impacting the nation’s economic stability,” the office said in a statement.

“The CBN’s proactive measures to stabilise the foreign exchange market and stimulate economic activities have been commendable. However, the effectiveness of these initiatives is being undermined by the activities of speculators, both domestic and international, operating through various channels, thereby exacerbating the depreciation of the Nigerian naira.”

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UBA Takes Centre Stage at 2024 ECOWAS Mining Forum in Cotonou As Elumelu Gives Keynote Address

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Africa’s Global Bank, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, has been announced as the official sponsor of the 4th edition of the ECOWAS Mining and Petroleum Forum (ECOMOF 2024) scheduled to take place at the Palais des Congrès in Cotonou, Benin from February 22 to February 24, 2024.

The regional event is expected to see a large gathering of key players and stakeholders in the mining and petroleum sectors of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and as the financial institution of choice, with presence in 20 African countries and active involvement in major continental development projects, UBA is the preferred partner for the event, underlining the bank’s commitment to the growth of mining and Petroleum industry in the sub-region but to the whole not African economic development.

UBA Group Chairman, Tony Elumelu, would give the keynote address during the opening ceremony of this all-important event.

Elumelu who doubles as Chairman of Transcorp Group, with extensive interests in energy and power, will be speaking on the theme: “Geo-extractive Resources and Technologies: what pooling strategies for Value Creation in West Africa”

His speech is expected to highlight UBA’s increasing effort to support and develop the African continent through strategic investments in the key sectors of mining and petroleum.

Under the esteemed leadership of the President of the Republic of Benin, His Excellency, Patrice Talon, and the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and current President of ECOWAS, His Excellency Mr. Bola Tinubu, UBA Group will at the forum aim to restate its commitment towards supporting economic and social development across the continent.

The focus of ECOMOF 2024 underscores the significance of transforming the mining and oil sectors into economic pillars by formulating attractive policies for investors, essential for the sectors’ substantial contribution to the Gross Domestic Products (GDP) of ECOWAS member states.

The Transnational Corporation Group (Transcorp Plc) – a diversified conglomerate with strategic investments in various sectors, including power and energy – will also actively participate in the forum.

Key officials from UBA Group and Transcorp Plc, including the Chief Executive Officer UBA Africa, Abiola Bawuah; UBA’s Group Head, Corporate and Energy Bank, Ebele Ogbue, and President/ Chief Executive Officer, Transcorp Group, Owen Omogiafo will be actively involved in discussions and panels on the sidelines of the event.

Anticipated to attract over 2,000 participants from diverse sectors, including representatives from mining and oil industries, government officials, international and national investors, industry experts, ECOWAS delegates, and international organizations, ECOMOF 2024 promises to be a significant platform for collaborative dialogue and partnership building.

United Bank for Africa is one of the largest employers in the financial sector on the African continent, with 25,000 employees’ group wide and serving over 35 million customers globally. Operating in 20 African countries and in the United Kingdom, the United States of America, France and the United Arab Emirates, UBA provides retail, commercial and institutional banking services, leading financial inclusion and implementing cutting edge technology.

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