Notore to Attract $5b FDI, 15000 Jobs for Nigeria
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Following its satisfactory compliance with the requirements for a free zone developer licence, the Oil and Gas Free Zones Authority (OGFZA) has conferred the Oil and Gas Free Zone Developer status on Notore Chemical Industries Limited.
At the licence presentation ceremony in OGFZA’s office in Abuja recently, Managing Director of OGFZA, Mr Umana Okon Umana, said government was pleased with the prospect that Notore Oil and Gas Free Zone will attract more than $5 billion in foreign direct investments (FDI) into country and create 15,000 jobs with its new status as a free zone developer.
Notore Chemical Industries Limited, a Nigerian agro-allied, petrochemicals and power company, is located within the Eleme industrial hub of Rivers State.
Mr Onajite Okoloko, Group Managing Director of Notore Chemical Industries, said at the licensing ceremony that the Free Zone Developer Status “will propel the company and indeed Nigeria to become one of the largest petrochemical, fertilizer, refining, methanol, power, E&P logistics and hydrocarbon processing hubs in the world.”
He said Notore “is in discussion with a number of international petrochemical, oil and gas logistics support companies as well as leading financial and strategic investors that have expressed interest and are at various levels of negotiations to invest in the project.” Okoloko said “the fertilizer and petrochemicals component of the project alone is expected to attract $5 billion investments” when it comes on stream in the next two years.
Mr Umana said OGFZA licensed Notore Chemical Industries Limited to operate as an Oil and Gas Free Zone Developer in line with sections 9 and 10 of the OGFZA Act and sections 32 and 33 of the Oil and Gas Export Free Zone Regulations 2003.
“I am happy to report that having met the statutory requirements, Notore Chemical Industries Limited has been granted a Free Zone Developer Licence by the Authority within the area so designated under the Act of 1996,” the Managing Director of OGFZA said.
He advised Notore Chemical Industries Limited “to note and comply with continuing obligations of a licensee as provided under section 34 of the 2003 Regulations,” promising an enabling environment for investors in the new free zone.
Mr Okoloko, Group Managing Director of Notore, said the new Oil and Gas Free Zone has attractions that investors will find hard to resist, including more than 559 hectares of land; a dedicated gas pipeline; 50MW of embedded power plant; more than 2km of shoreline; and 7500 sqm of jetty dock.
He explained that Notore Oil and Gas Free Zone will help to diversify the economy by frog leaping the country to become the hub of petrochemicals in Africa; adding value to the nation’s oil and gas resources, as against mere export of crude oil and gas; increasing revenue streams for government; attracting more FDI and generating more jobs.
Mr Okoloko described OGFZA as a “very important enabler of industrialization in Nigeria,” adding, “We look forward to continuing to work towards the achievement of Notore’s goal of being a world-class industrial complex.”
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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