Ardova, Others Express Interest to Lift Dangote Refinery Products
By Dipo Olowookere
Some major oil marketers in Nigeria, including publicly-quoted companies like Ardova Plc, Total Nigeria Plc and others have expressed interest to lift refined petroleum products from the yet-to-be-completed Dangote Oil Refining Company.
The 650,000 barrels-per-day single train refinery in Ibeju-Lekki, Lagos is owned by Mr Aliko Dangote. It is expected to produce up to 50 million litres of petrol and 15 million litres of diesel a day, roughly 10.4 million tonnes of the product, 4.6 million tonnes of diesel, and 4 million tonnes of jet fuel yearly, in addition to having a fertiliser plant, which would utilise the refinery by-products as raw materials.
The project has recorded 90 per cent completion and when it begins operations, it will address the challenge of petroleum product importation in Nigeria and other African countries.
Recently, some oil dealers under the aegis of the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN) visited the site of the refinery. This followed a virtual meeting held earlier on February 17, 2021, with Mr Dangote.
During the physical tour, the group said it will hold talks with the management of the company on commercial terms regarding the lifting of its refined petroleum products.
On the entourage were the Managing Director 11 Plc/Chairman of MOMAN, Adetunji Oyebanji; Executive Secretary of MOMAN, Clement Isong; Managing Director, Total Nigeria Plc, Imrane Barry; Managing Director, MRS Oil Nigeria Plc, Marco Storari; Managing Director, ARDOVA Plc, Olumide Adeosun; Managing Director, NNPC Retail Limited, Elizabeth Aliyuda; and 22 others.
They expressed the belief that the Dangote Oil Refinery would help remove the various bottlenecks associated with the importation of petroleum products into the country.
The Chairman of MOMAN said the marketers are eagerly waiting for the completion of the refinery, which is expected to make Nigeria self-sufficient in petroleum refining.
“It is our desire to see our members buy refined products from Dangote Refinery when it comes on stream. We are open to discuss commercial terms with the management regarding the lifting of Dangote refinery products.
“The impact it will have on the market chain will be changed from a situation whereby a marketer will have to wait for four to five months through imports lead time before getting products.
“The turn-around time is going to be much faster. It will be more efficient. Getting products from Dangote Refinery will also give us the possibility of getting the product by vessels or by trucking. It is going to have a positive impact on the way we do business in the downstream sector.
“Hopefully, we believe Dangote Refinery is going to result in delivering decent margins for our members; enough margins for us to begin to rebuild or/upgrade the assets in the industry,” Mr Oyebanji said.
He noted that the refinery would move Nigeria from an import-dependent nation to self-sufficiency in petroleum products.
“This refinery will move us from import-dependent in petroleum product to becoming totally self-sufficient. It will move Nigeria from a situation whereby all the products that we consume will be available locally.
“It is going to be a very big development and a game-changer for us and we are looking forward to its completion,” the chairman added.
Mr Oyebanji expressed hope that the coming on stream of Dangote Refinery would facilitate the deregulation of the downstream oil sector.
“I have always agitated for the deregulation of the downstream oil and gas sector. Now, with Dangote Refinery, it makes it easier to achieve. I believe deregulation will come pretty soon the when Dangote Refinery starts working,” he said.
He, therefore, urged the federal government to encourage more investors who have obtained licenses to establish private refineries in the country.
“If you have a policy that allows you to issue significant numbers of licenses and only a few are utilised, this tells you that there is a problem somewhere, which requires government’s attention.
“The government needs to have a discussion with the licensees to find out their challenges and how it can be of assistance to them,” he said.
In his remarks, the Chief Operations Officer of Dangote Oil Refining Company, Mr Giuseppe Surace, informed the marketers that the refinery, which has been designed to process a variety of light and medium grades of crude, including petrol and diesel as well as jet fuel and polypropylene.
“If you look at the overall percentage completion, we have achieved good, considerable progress. But that overall includes engineering and design, which is 100 per cent over. Procurement is about 98 per cent over. So, it covers various aspects,” he said.
Subsidy Removal: CNG at N130 Per Litre Cheaper Than Petrol—IPMAN
By Adedapo Adesanya
The Independent Petroleum Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) has advised Nigerians to begin to look into the direction of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) as an alternative energy source to cushion the effect of subsidy removal.
The National President of IPMAN, Mr Chinedu Okorokwo, made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Wednesday, as the federal government continues its dialogue with the organised labour over the hike in the price of premium motor spirit (PMS), otherwise known as petrol.
On May 29, 2023, during his inaugural speech, President Bola Tinubu said the payment of subsidy for fuel had ended because there was no provision for it in the 2023 budget beyond June 30.
His announcement triggered the hoarding of fuel by marketers, and when the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited increased the price of the product across its retail outlets, prices of food, transportation and services went up, forcing the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) to threaten a nationwide strike, which was supposed to start today but was stopped by the National Industrial Court.
At a meeting on Monday night between the government and the labour unions, it was agreed that the adoption of CNG as an alternative fuel would be the best option, and it was agreed that the CNG conversion programme earlier planned in 2021 should be revived.
CNG, which is a gas mainly composed of methane and produces less emission, is the cleanest burning fuel operating today with less vehicle maintenance and longer engine life.
In the interview with NAN, Mr Okoronkwo said bringing CNG, which was cheaper than even firewood, as an alternative energy, would create relief for the government and its citizens.
“We have also discovered that bringing an alternative that is cheaper than even firewood which is CNG, will not only create relief for the government and its citizens but it is environmentally friendly.
“The CNG is abundantly available in Nigeria than anywhere in Africa.
“In the Niger Delta region, you see billions of tonnes of gas flare being wasted daily, these are huge amounts that should be accruing to our GDP, but we are wasting it because there is no market for it.
“So, we are asking the government to create the market. How do you create the market?
“What Egypt and India did was to give soft loans to be paid back within stipulated periods; from there, you can get vehicles to use gas instead of fuel,” he said.
“There’s a franchise for the bottling of CNG so that an average woman in the kitchen can use it,’’ he added, noting that the introduction of CNG would cushion the effect occasioned by the high price of fuel currently as a litre of CNG would not cost more than N130.
He advised that repairing the local refineries as well would reduce the impact of the removal as it would eliminate the cost of importation and exportation.
Nigeria Upgrades Tax-to-GDP Ratio to 10.86% From 6%
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has disclosed that Nigeria’s tax to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ratio has been upwardly reviewed to 10.86 per cent from the 6 per cent earlier reported to reflect better data sources and improved estimation using the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) manual.
The OECD manual is an improvement over the System of National Accounts (SNA 2008) classification of taxes.
Although the System of National Accounts conceptual framework and its definitions of the various sectors of the economy are reflected in the OECD’s classification of taxes, the OECD classifications provide the maximum disaggregation of statistical data on what is generally regarded as taxes by tax administrations.
In a disclosure, the statistics office said the country’s total tax revenue compared with its GDP was at that level in 2021, higher than 8.40 per cent in 2020, which was impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the previous year, the ratio was 10.20 per cent, marginally lower than the 10.36 per cent recorded in 2018 but higher than the 9.02 per cent in 2017.
The NBS said the revised computation considered more comprehensive coverage of data at the federal, state, and local government levels and revenue items not previously included in the computations, particularly relevant revenue collected by other government agencies.
The review of the tax-to-GDP ratio was initiated by the Federal Inland Revenue Service, which collaborated with the Federal Ministry of Finance and the NBS for better measurement of the ratio.
The data used were sourced from the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation (OAGF), FIRS, NBS, the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), the Joint Tax Board (JTB), and other relevant agencies of government that collect revenue.
VFD Group to Join Nigerian Exchange After Exit From NASD
By Adedapo Adesanya
VFD Group Plc has announced its intention to list its shares on the Nigerian Exchange Group (NGX) after leaving the NASD Over-the-Counter Securities Exchange, where it has been trading its stocks for the past three years.
This development, according to analysts, is a strategic move that would allow the company to gain access to public equity markets, increase its visibility, and strengthen its financial position.
VFD Group Plc is a leading proprietary investment company with a proven track record of generating attractive returns for its investors through a variety of investment strategies.
The company has a diverse portfolio of investments in various sectors, including banking, technology, media, energy, and real estate. The group has been listed on the NASD OTC Securities Exchange since 2020.
Speaking on this big step, Mr Nonso Okpala, Group Managing Director of VFD Group, stated, “We are excited to take this next step in the evolution of our company.”
“Listing on a major stock exchange will give us access to a larger pool of investors, enhance our profile, and provide superior returns to our investors,” he added.
With the intention of listing on the NGX, the company will delist from the NASD and is subject to regulatory approvals and market conditions.
VFD Group noted that it would provide additional updates as the listing process progresses.
At the close of business on Tuesday, the securities of the organisation closed on the NASD OTC exchange at N244.88 per unit, the same rate they finished in the preceding trading session.
Business Post reports that the NASD was created to provide an avenue for public companies to transition smoothly into the country’s main stock exchange.
However, it has witnessed the movement of firms from the NGX to the NASD, especially due to the very strict regulatory requirements by the former.
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