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How Amazons Are Taking Over Nigeria’s Banking Space



By Eric Elezuo

Of the 24 commercial banks in Nigeria, it is heartwarming to know that women occupy the helm of affairs in 11 banks. This is a statement of the no holds barred status of the female folks in the economic advancement of the world, with special emphasis to Nigeria.

Below are a testament of the feats of the Nigerian amazons calling the shots in various commercial banks.


On June 1, 2024, the newest kid on the block in the banking world, Dame (Dr.) Adaora Umeoji, mounted the topmost echelon of the Zenith Bank brand as its Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer. She is the first female to ever hold the position in the near three decades history of the bank. The Amazon has spent 26 years of her total 30 years in the banking world with Zenith.

Umeoji’s ascendancy to the number one position of one of Nigeria’s most prolific banks was not a fluke. Many has described her sojourn to such great height as nothing compared to a walk in the park. She came prepared. She has over the years, seen and conquered, granting her unfettered leverage to kiss the reward of hardwork.

Her appointment was a fulfillment of well orchestrated analysis. Umeoji took over from Dr. Ebenezer Onyeagwu, whose time in office expired on May 31.

With this appointment, the admixture of brain and beauty, swells the number as well as join the ranks of female bank MDs in Nigeria, a pack she arguably leads, considering the market value of Zenith, which has continued to soar ever since her appointment was announced.

Before her appointment however, Umeoji has been the Deputy Managing Director of the bank since October 28, 2016 and has close to 30 years of banking experience of which  26 years has been with Zenith Bank.

According to her profile, Umeoji is an alumnus of Harvard Business School, where she attended the  Advanced Management Programme, and an alumnus of Columbia Business School with a Certificate in the Global Banking Program. She holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of Jos, a bachelor’s degree in accounting, and a first-class honours degree in law from Baze University, Abuja.

She holds a Master of Laws from the University of Salford, United Kingdom, a Master in Business Administration from the University of Calabar, and also has a doctorate in business administration from Apollos University, USA. She holds a Certificate in Economics for Business from the prestigious MIT Sloan School of Management, USA, and has attended various management programmes in renowned Universities around the world including the strategic thinking and Management programme at Wharton Business School, USA.

Zenith Bank is one of the banks in Nigeria that has large asset banks and belongs to the elite club of banks with a market value of over N1tn.

In February 2023, Dame (Dr.) Adaora Umeoji, who also has a national honour of OON, and then Deputy Managing Director of the bank emerged The Humanitarian Services Icon of the Year at The Sun Awards, in recognition of not just for her outstanding banking career and contributions to the development of an effective Nigerian financial services sector, but more importantly for her many philanthropic works and a sustained commitment over the years to improve the lives of less privileged persons.

A career banker notwithstanding, Umeoji has her hands in many welfarist pies including ownership of Pink Breath Cancer Care Foundation, which undertakes several healthcare programs annually within the six geopolitical zones of Nigeria.

The Foundation provides the much needed medical care for persons living with cancer and other ailments. She also donates relief materials and provides free healthcare to internally displaced persons nationwide, through several other intervention initiatives.

Among her recent philanthropic gestures eas the donation of a Church building to the Catholic Archdiocese of Abuja. She also holds Yuletide programmes running for close to two decades now, and have positively impacted the lives of over 5,000 indigent children.

Dame (Dr.) Adaora Umeoji, OON, is a Peace Advocate of the United Nations (UN-POLAC), a Lady of the Order of Knights of St. John International (KSJI) and a Papal Knight of the Order of St. Sylvester. In 2022, the Federal Government of Nigeria honoured her with the national award of Officer of the Order of the Niger (OON), in recognition of her contributions to nation building.

Umeoji is an alumnus of the prestigious Harvard Business School where she attended the Advanced Management Program (AMP) and an alumnus of Columbia Business School with a Certificate in the Global Banking Program. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from the University of Jos, a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting and a First-Class honors in Law from Baze University, Abuja. She holds a Master of Laws from the University of Salford, United Kingdom, a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Calabar, and also has a doctorate in business administration from Apollos University, USA.

She holds a Certificate in Economics for Business from the prestigious MIT Sloan School of Management, USA, and has attended various management programmes in renowned Universities around the world including the strategic thinking and Management programme at Wharton Business School, USA. She also attended the executive program in Strategic Management, and has a Certificate in Leading Global Business all from Harvard Business School, USA.

She is a fellow of notable professional bodies including the Chartered Banker Institute, UK, Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria, Nigerian Institute of Management, Institute of Credit Administration, Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Nigeria, Institute of Chartered Mediators and Conciliators, and the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators of Nigeria among others.

In 2022, the Federal Government of Nigeria honored Dr. Umeoji with Officer of the Order of the Niger, as a recognition of her contributions to nation building. She is a Peace Advocate of the United Nations (UN-POLAC).

At 52 years, Umeoji, who is happily married and blessed with children, can easily be passed for a 30-year-old lady as a result of her well kept beauty and physic.


No doubt, Mrs Onyeali-Ikpe, reputed as a solid amazon in the finance sector, and a go-getter, has seen and conquered the banking arena, and is honoured among veterans as a solid foundation in Nigeria’s money business. This prompted her reappointment as the CEO of FidelityBank Plc.

Born on July 28, 1964, and on the verge of hitting the diamond age, Nneka, as beloved and close family members, friends and colleagues fondly call her, is a force to reckon with, and has in a space of 32 years and counting, of career banking, brought to bear all the stops that make for great banking and financial experience, climbing to the topmost echelon of investment banking and related areas.

It was not surprising when Fidelity Bank Plc announced its decision after a thorough Board of Directors’ meeting to extend the employment contract of the ebullient achiever from 2024 to 2026.

The extension was in furtherance of the Bank’s strategic objectives and premised on Dr. Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe’s sterling performance since her assumption of office on January 1, 2021.

The Board noted, and without equivocation,  that it is confident that the Bank’s performance will continue its upward trajectory under Dr. Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe’s leadership, and looks forward to working closely with her and the Executive Management Team on execution of various strategic initiatives including international expansion.

The banking guru, who was born in Awka, Anambra State, Nigeria, also lived in Owerri, Imo State, where she studied at the Federal Government Girls’ College. After her successful stint at FGC, she was admitted into the premier school, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, where she obtained a degree in Law before attending the prestigious King’s College, London, for a Masters Degree also in Law.

Before attaining the enviable GMD with Fidelity Bank, Onyeali-Ikpe had out of dint of hardwork, paid her dues from lesser positions.

She began her career in 1990, when she was employed as a legal officer for the now-defunct African Continental Bank. She later worked as a treasury officer for the First African Trust Bank, and thereafter joined Zenith Bank, and subsequently the Standard Chartered Bank. Her experience in the course of her sojourn are combined to make her a toast of the banking industry today.

Having cut her teeth, and garnered a lot of experience and goodwill, she was in 2011, absorbed by Enterprise Bank as an Executive director of the bank’s operations in Lagos and other locations in the South-Western region in Nigeria. She wasted no time in turning around the fortunes of the bank.

In January, 2015, Onyeali-Ikpe joined Fidelity Bank as an Executive Director, and rose through the ranks until she was announced the Managing Director in December, 2020. Following her appointment, Nneka became the first female MD/CEO in the history of the bank.

Presently, Dr Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe, with the national honour of Officer of the Order of the Niger (OON) is the Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Fidelity Bank Plc, a foremost financial institution with a client base of about nine million customers.

Apart from her Law degrees, from the prestigious University of Nigeria, Nsukka and Kings College, Onyeali-Ikpe has also attended executive training programs at Harvard Business School, The Wharton School University of Pennsylvania, INSEAD School of Business, Chicago Booth School of Business, London Business School and IMD amongst others.

It is worthy of note that she recently completed a Diploma programme in Organizational Leadership at Said Business School, Oxford University, UK and received an honorary doctorate degree in Business Administration at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN). She is also the recipient of the national award of the Officer of the Order of the Niger (OON) which was awarded to her by the Federal Government of Nigeria in 2023.

With close to 34 years of rewarding banking experience through Enterprise Bank, Citizens International Bank, Zenith Bank and Standard Chartered Bank among others, the woman is surely a force to reckon with.

A woman of many parts, Onyeali-Ikpe has also been involved in the structuring of complex transactions in Oil and Gas, Manufacturing, Aviation, Real Estate and Export among many others.

She is, without an iota of doubt, widely regarded as one of Africa’s leading female CEOs with a reputation for authentic leadership and proven people skills in identifying talents, opportunities and executing complex business deals. She has extensive business development experience with proficiency in retail, corporate and commercial banking and treasury management among others.

With Onyeali-Ikpe as the Chief Executive Officer, Fidelity Bank has been the recipient of several awards within and outside.

On her own part, Dr. Onyeali-Ikpe has been recognized by numerous local and international bodies for her sterling achievements:

1. The national award of the Officer of the Order of the Niger (OON) by the Federal Government of Nigeria in 2023.

2. The Banker of the Year 2022 at the 14th Leadership Annual Conference and Awards and

3. The Best Banking CEO Nigeria 2023 in the 2023 Global Banking & Finance Awards.

4. 2023 Top 25 CEOs in Nigeria at the BusinessDay Awards

5. The Banker of the Year 2022 at the Champion Newspapers’ Awards of the Year 2022.

Onyeali-Ikpe is married to Dr. Ken Onyeali Ikpe, PhD, a visionary leader with strong business acumen and respected for his demonstrated knowledge in Marketing, Branding and Consumer Consulting and Business acceleration.

She is a celebrated wife and mother, who has combined effectively home duties with professional endeavours.


Prior to her current appointment as the CEO of Unity Bank, Mrs. Ayodele Somefun, another Amazon of Nigerian banking sector, had worked at Credit Bank Limited and UBA Plc. She was also the MD/CEO of UBA Capital & Trustee Limited and the Founding Managing Director of UBA Pension Custodian Limited: two of UBA Group’s major subsidiaries.

She also served as a Non-Executive Director on the boards of directors of UBA Foundations, UBA Trustees, UBA Nominees and UBA Registrars.

In the course of her career with Unity Bank Plc, she served as an Executive Director in charge of Lagos and the South-West region of Nigeria until August, 2015.

As though to cement her long-standing career in treasury, investment and commercial banking, Mrs. Tomi Somefun, on August 12th, 2015, assumed her new role as the Chief Executive Officer of Unity Bank Plc. She took over from the bank’s former CEO, Mr. Henry James Semenitari, as the first woman ever appointed to that position in the history of the retail bank. She is also one of the few women holding CEO positions in Nigeria’s many banks.

Mrs. Somefun is a modern Nigerian woman who has successfully maintained a professional career spanning at least thirty-three years. Note that while most of these years of experience have been in the financial sector, she also has experiences cutting across other sectors.

In her early days, she started out working at KPMG as a Senior Audit Assistant between 1982 and 1986. From there, she went on to work at Arthur Andersen in 1986 as a Senior Auditor. She has also been employed at Ventures & Trusts Limited, between 1989 and 1992, as an Associate.

In 2016, she was named as one of the top 25 most distinguished Chief Executive Officers of quoted Nigerian companies for the 2015 financial year.


Mrs. Oni’s trajectory in the banking world depicts her as a highly accomplished financial services leader with a successful career spanning over 30 years. She has held senior positions in international and local banks, focusing on emerging markets. In January 2024, Yetunde was appointed by CBN as the Managing Director/CEO of Union Bank of Nigeria.

Before this, Yetunde worked at Standard Chartered Bank Nigeria Limited as the pioneer head of commercial clients in September 2014. She became the Managing Director & Country Head of Commercial Banking in West Africa in 2017. During her tenure, she developed and executed comprehensive business growth strategies, managed key relationships, and ensured compliance with group credit policy and local underwriting standards.

Before Joining standard chartered Bank Nigeria Ltd, Yetunde started her career at Prime Merchant Bank in the Treasury & Money Markets Group. This was followed by an 11-year stint at Ecobank Transnational Incorporated as a Relationship Manager, where she demonstrated exceptional proficiency in client solutions. Relationship management, team leadership, and talent development.

Yetunde made history in January 2021 as the first female Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Standard Chartered Bank in Sierra Leone. During her tenure. she provided excellent leadership, strategic direction, and performance management, resulting in a remarkable 50% year-on-year growth in income and a substantial 116% year-on-year growth in profit before tax in 2022.

Yetunde is a University of Ibadan graduate with a Bachelor’s degree (Honours) in Economics. She has attained several international and local professional and leadership certifications, including an MBA from Bangor University. Yetunde is an alumnus of Oxford University, INSEAD Business School, Singapore, a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Loans & Risk Management, an Honorary senior Member or the Chartered Institute of Bankers or Nigeria (HCIB), a member of Women in Management and Business (WIMBIZ) and an invested member of esteemed industry affiliations within and outside the Bank.


Another amazon of banking, Mrs. Agbede was appointed on February 11, 2024.

Until her appointment, Ms. Agbede was the Company’s most senior founding Executive Director in charge of Business Support.

She has nearly three decades of professional experience cutting across banking and business consultancy services. Ms Agbede commenced her professional career in 1992 at Guaranty Trust Bank and served in various capacities within the Commercial Banking and Operations functions rising to the position of Manager in 2001. She subsequently served as the Chief Executive Officer of JKG Limited, a business consulting outfit in 2003.

Ms. Agbede joined Access Bank Plc in 2003 as an Assistant General Manager and was responsible for managing the Bank’s portfolio of chemical trading companies. She served as the Bank’s Head, Group Human Resources between 2010 and 2022 and was appointed the Company’s founding Executive Director, Business Support in 2022. She has a track record in successful people integration in business combination and culture transformation.

She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics and Statistics from the University of Lagos (1990) and a Masters of Business Administration Degree from Canfield University UK in 2002. She is a member of the Chartered Institute of Management UK and the Chartered Institute of Personnel Management of Nigeria.

Ms. Agbede has attended several renowned leadership and professional development programmes including the High-Performance Leadership Programme organized by the IMD and the Strategic Talent Management Programme organised by the London Business School.


In 2011, Olusanya made history as the first Managing Director of Guaranty Trust Bank, and its subsidiary.

Miriam joined GTBank as an executive Trainee in 1998 and rose through the ranks to the present position she occupies. She was formerly the Group Treasurer and Head of Wholesale Banking.

She obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Pharmacy from the prestigious University of Ibadan. She further proceeded to the University of Liverpool where she obtained an MBA in Finance and Accounting. Additionally, she enrolled in various executive programmes at institutions such as Cranfield School of Management.

Miriam Olusanya is an accomplished banker with over 21 years of experience in corporate finance, treasury, assets and liability management and wholesale banking.

In 2006, she led the team that secured the appointment of the Bank as a Primary Dealer/ Market Maker in Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) Bonds with the Debt Management Office (DMO).

She is the first female Managing Director in the history of GTBank, and the fifth woman to be appointed as M.D in any commercial bank in Nigeria.


Prior to being appointed CEO of Citi Bank Group, Samuel-Ogbu was the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) Head, Payments and Receivables, Treasury and Trade Solutions (TTS) under Citi’s Institutional Clients Group (ICG) based in London, UK. She has also been on the Board of Citibank Nigeria Limited for the last 5 years as a non-Executive Director.

Samuel-Ogbu is responsible for leading and protecting the franchise, and with the talented and experienced team in Nigeria, continue to drive performance. She assists Citi’s institutional clients by harnessing the potential of their significant product, functional and geographic capabilities in Nigeria and the region.

Her stellar career began at Citi (then Nigeria International Bank), and she has distinguished herself as a leader for over 30 years.


Halima Buba has over two decades of comprehensive banking experience. Her illustrious career spans prominent financial institutions, including Allstates Trust Bank, Zenith Bank, Inland Bank Plc, Oceanic Bank Plc, and Ecobank Nigeria Limited. Halima earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management and an MBA from the University of Maiduguri.

An alumnus of the Lagos Business School’s Senior Management Programme, she is a Senior Honorary Member of the Chartered Institute of Bankers and a Fellow of the Institute of Management Consultants. Halima serves as a Non-Executive Director on the Board of the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) and Anchoria Asset Management Company Limited. She is deeply committed to youth and women empowerment, contributing significantly to the education of the girl child.


Yemisi Edun holds a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from the University of Ife, Ile-Ife and a Master’s degree in International Accounting and Finance from the University of Liverpool, United Kingdom.

She is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria and a CFA® Charter holder. She is also an Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers; an Associate Member of the Institute of Taxation of Nigeria; a Member of Information Systems Audit and Control, U.S.A; and a Certified Information Systems Auditor.

She began her career with Akintola Williams Deloitte (member firm of Deloitte Touché Tohmatsu) in 1987, with main focus in Corporate Finance activities. She was also involved in audit of Banks and Other Financial Institutions. She joined FCMB in year 2000 as Divisional Head of Internal Audit and Control before assuming the role of Chief Financial Officer of the Bank.

She was appointed Managing Director of the Bank following CBN approval effective May 1, 2021.


Bukola became the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of FSDH Merchant Bank in April 2021. She brings 29 years of progressive experience in the banking industry with a track record of strategic execution and leadership. Before her appointment as Managing Director, she was the Executive Director, Business Development at First City Monument Bank and held several other leadership positions since joining in 2006. She was responsible for the banks over 200 branches across the country, Public Sector, Business Banking, Agriculture and Transaction Banking Divisions. Under her, the bank’s SME focused team in 3 years moved from 5th position in the industry to 1st position in 2019 (KPMG Customer Service Report 2020). In addition, she established the FCMB Women in Business Desk (branded SheVentures) which supports female entrepreneurs; and set up FCMB Trustees and FCMB Custody.

Prior to joining FCMB in 2006, she worked with FSB International Bank from 1992 to 2000 and Fidelity Bank plc from 2000 to 2006 gaining experiences in several areas of banking including treasury operations, international trade services, foreign and local currency trading, bond trading, Correspondent Banking and relationship management of Non-Bank Financial Institutions and Private Banking Clients. Bukola currently sits on the boards of Women in Successful Careers (WISCAR), and the Toyin Oni Foundation (NGO for cancer awareness). She serves as a mentor to several young women within and outside these networks.


A graduate of History from the University of Ife, now Obafemi Awolowo University (1985), and an M.Sc. holder in Industrial Relations & Personnel Management from the University of Lagos (1987),  Kafilat Araoye has over 25 years experience in banking. graduating as the best student in her class.

She has attended various executive management courses at the Cranfield School of Management (UK), Lagos Business School, Institute of Management Development (Switzerland) and INSEAD (France),Ross business School, University of Michigan(USA). She is certified in specialised banking courses, conferences and seminars, among them are the Structured Trade Finance Course by Euromoney U.K, Payments, Clearing and Settlement Conference by National Association of Clearing Houses, USA2006, 2007, 2008, International Banker’s Seminar, USA, South Africa and Swift regional conference.

She started her career in 1988 at National Oil and Chemicals Marketing Company Plc (now Conoil Nigeria Plc), and moved in 1990 to Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, as the pioneer head of Human Resources. She was part of the GTBank team that went to Jordan for the implementation of its core banking application amongst other critical assignments executed for the Bank. She left with accolades in 2015 as General Manager but continued to consult for banks and other sectors through her consulting outfit until 2018 when she was appointed as the MD Designate of Lotus Bank (then in formation).

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CIBN Appoints UBA CEO, Oliver Alawuba As Chairman




The Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, United Bank for Africa, (UBA) Plc, Oliver Alawuba has been appointed as the Chairman of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), the Body of Banks’ CEOs.

The CIBN announced this appointment on its website on Monday, July 8, 2024.

This prestigious appointment underscores Alawuba’s extensive experience and visionary leadership in the banking sector, as well as his unwavering commitment towards advancing the financial industry in Nigeria and across Africa.

In his role as Chairman, Alawuba will be at the forefront of fostering collaboration and driving strategic initiatives among the top executives of banks in Nigeria.

Like he has achieved as the GMD of Africa’s Global Bank, UBA, his leadership is expected to bring innovative solutions and strengthen the collective efforts of the banking community while addressing the dynamic challenges and opportunities within the financial sector.

The CIBN also announced the appointment of Mrs. Miriam Olusanya, the CEO of GTBank, as the Vice Chairman of the Body of Banks’ CEOs. Her appointment, alongside Alawuba’s, signifies a strong and unified leadership team poised to enhance the banking landscape in Nigeria.

UBA extends its heartfelt congratulations to Alawuba and Olusanya on their appointment and the Bank is confident that their combined expertise and visionary leadership will usher in a new era of progress and innovation for the banking industry in Nigeria, and that under their guidance, the Body of Banks’ CEOs will continue to play a pivotal role in shaping policies and strategies that will drive sustainable economic growth and enhance the overall stability of the financial system in Nigeria.

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Nigerian Exchange Suspends Shares of Eight Firms




NGX Regulation, the regulatory arm of the NGX Group, has suspended trading in the shares of eight companies for default in filing their relevant accounts for 2023.

In a market bulletin on Monday, the Head of the Issuer Regulation Department, Godstime Iwenekhai, said the suspension was effective immediately.

According to the market bulletin, the affected companies include, Unity Bank, C&I Leasing Plc, Guinea Insurance, Lasaco Assurance, Mutual Benefits Assurance, NPF Microfinance Bank, Regency Alliance Insurance, and Secure Electronic Technology Plc.

Iwenekhai said, “Trading in the shares of the eight companies below have been suspended from the facilities of Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX or The Exchange) effective today, Monday, 8 July 2024 for not filing their Audited Financial Statements for the year ended 31 December 2023.”

As per post-listing requirements, companies on the Exchange are mandated to submit their accounts and other documents within specified time frame.
NGX RegCo said that it acted by Rule 3.1 about the Filing of Accounts and Treatment of Default Filing, (Default Filling Rules), which said, “If an Issuer fails to file the relevant accounts by the expiration of the Cure Period, The Exchange will a) Send to the issuer a Second Filing Deficiency Notification within two business days after the end of the Cure Period

“b) Suspend trading in the issuer’s securities, and c) Notify the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Market within 24 hours of the suspension.”

Based on the rule, the suspension on trading in the shares of the affected companies would be lifted once they comply with the rules.

Insurance companies had experienced delays in filing their 2023 annual report due to the adoption of IFRS 17 standards.

IFRS 17 requires a company to recognise profits as it delivers insurance services (rather than when it receives premiums) and to provide information about insurance contract profits the company expects to recognise in the future.

The Punch

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Dangote Refinery Can Solve Nigeria’s Forex Problems, Catalyse Economic Development – S&P Global




International financial analytics corporation, S&P Global, has described the 650,000 barrels per day (bpd) Dangote Oil Refinery and Petrochemicals company as capable of resolving Nigeria’s foreign exchange (forex) issue and its huge pressure on the local Naira currency, while also catalysing the country’s economic development.

S&P Global, headquartered in Manhattan, New York City, disclosed this during an onsite visit to the Dangote Refinery at Ibeju-Lekki, Lagos as part of its sovereign credit ratings assessment of Nigeria. The team from the international rating agency were accompanied by officials from the Federal Ministry of Finance.

S&P noted that the largest single-train refinery complex in the world would bolster Nigeria’s oil sector and, more importantly, also have a positive impact on its growing economy.

Director and Lead Analyst, Sovereign and International Public Finance Ratings, S&P Global Ratings, Ravi Bhatia, who led the delegation to Lagos, said Dangote refinery would transform Nigeria into a net exporter of petroleum products. He added that this transformation is expected to boost revenue generation and alleviate the current pressure on the country’s foreign exchange reserves.

“It is a very impressive facility, able to process 650,000 barrels a day, when in full capacity. It is the largest single-train refinery complex in the world. It came out quite quickly. Nigeria is a big exporter of crude but has issues with importing refined fuels. So, there is a gap in the market where crude can be refined in Nigeria, save money that way, and potentially save some foreign exchange. This will be positive for the economy in the medium term. It looks positive from our assessment,” Bhatia said after an over four-hour tour of the facility.
Also, in a chat with the media, Vice President of Oil and Gas at Dangote Industries Limited (DIL), Devakumar Edwin, who led the team during the tour of the facility, reiterated that by harnessing Africa’s abundant crude oil resources to produce refined products locally, the company aims to catalyse a virtuous cycle of industrial development, job creation, and economic prosperity. He also revealed that, as earlier promised, the company will start the production of premium motor spirit (PMS), this month (July).

Noting that products from the $20 billion facility are of high quality and meet international standards, Edwin said it can meet 100 per cent of Nigeria’s demand for petrol, diesel, kerosene, and aviation Jet, with surpluses available for export.

The S&P team commended the President of Dangote Industries Limited, Aliko Dangote, for integrating advanced technologies and quality control measures, including a state-of-the-art Central Control Unit ensuring smooth automation of operations.

Other members of the team of the international rating agency include the Associate Director, Sovereign Ratings, Maxmillian McGraw; Director, Corporate Ratings, Omegu Collocott; Senior Analyst, Bank Ratings, Charlotte Masvongo, and Director, Financial Services, Samira Mensah.
Currently operating at 350,000 barrels per day capacity, Edwin said the refinery is slated to scale up to at least 500,000 barrels per day capacity by July/August, commencing the refining of petrol and ultra-low sulphur diesel.

He noted that the refinery, designed to process a wide range of crudes including various African and Middle Eastern crudes, as well as US Light Oil, conforms to Euro V specifications. In addition, it is designed to comply with US EPA, European Union (EU) emission norms, the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) emission/effluent norms, and the African Refiners and Distribution Association (ARDA) standards.

While noting that most refineries were built by foreign companies, he said it is a thing of pride that a Nigerian company designed and built the world’s largest single-train refinery complex while acting directly as its own Engineering, Procurement, and Construction (EPC) contractor. The refinery also incorporates a self-sufficient marine facility capable of handling the world’s largest vessels.

“The refinery can produce the best quality products in the world, Euro V grade. It is one of the energy-efficient refineries and it is highly environmentally friendly. It is sophisticated with a high level of automation. The largest single train refinery in the world is 100 per cent designed, engineered, and constructed by a Nigerian company as EPC contractor,” he said.

Nigeria, one of the world’s leading oil-producing countries, exports all its crude oil for refining and subsequently imports refined products due to a lack of operational refineries. It is estimated that Nigeria imports at least 50 million litres of petrol per day to meet domestic demand.

According to data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) in its Foreign Trade Statistics for the Fourth Quarter of 2023, Nigeria spent approximately N12 trillion on the importation of petroleum products in 2023, including premium motor spirit (PMS), commonly known as petrol. This figure marks an 18.68% increase compared to the N10 trillion spent on fuel imports in 2022.

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