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Ogun State Now Investors’ Destination of Choice—Buhari

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Investors' Destination of Choice

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State has been described as the “performing Governor of Nigeria’s Gateway State” who is a worthy example of “promises made, promises kept.”

Mr Abiodun got these accolades on Thursday when President Muhammadu Buhari visited the state to commission some projects completed by the Governor.

“You (Prince Abiodun) have justified the mandate of the people of Ogun State. You have represented our party very well,” the President said to his host, who was full of joy.

According to Mr Buhari, the projects put in place by the Governor have made “Ogun State one of the safest and most peaceful states in the country and investors’ destination of choice.”

He said the lofty projects: the Gateway City Gate; the 42-kilometre Sagamu Interchange-Abeokuta Road; the 14km Ijebu-Ode-Epe Expressway and two Housing Estates for low, medium and high-income earners at Kobape and Oke-Mosan in Abeokuta, respectively, could not have materialised without the state government’s huge investment and commitment to the security of lives and property.

The President used the occasion to assure Nigerians that two major federal roads under construction, the Sagamu-Benin Expressway and the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, would be commissioned before the end of 2022.

He expressed delight that the 14km Ijebu Ode-Mojoda-Epe Road commissioned by him has been reconstructed into a modern expressway by the state government, noting that the impressive road would complement the Sagamu-Benin Expressway that the federal government is currently reconstructing; also due for commissioning this year.

“Just across the road is the 42-kilometre Sagamu-Interchange-Abeokuta Road which the state government has reconstructed and equipped with street lights.

“That road enjoys a direct linkage with the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway that the federal government is rebuilding and due for completion later this year.

“I am particularly impressed by the quality and standard of your road projects, and the creative way you have deployed resources to reconstruct and rehabilitate them.

“It is significant to note that the two road projects being commissioned today are federal roads. This is an example of constructive engagement, cooperation and collaboration between the states and federal government.

“These roads also fit well into our rail transportation masterplan that connects Lagos, Nigeria’s economic capital to Kano, with Ogun State having more rail stations, along the Lagos-Ibadan rail corridor,” he said.

On the housing programme of the Ogun Governor, the President commended its inclusiveness, saying it is equally heart-warming that it cuts across different social strata, capturing the low, medium and high-income earners.

Admiring the Gateway City Gate Project, the Nigerian leader said “it is not just a park beautification project. It depicts that something new is happening in Ogun State, a welcoming entrance into the state capital at the centre point of the state.”

He added that the project is also an ICON depicting the joining of hands for building the future of Ogun State in togetherness.

“Your Excellency, well done! I am proud of what you have done for your State and your people.

“You have made our great Party, the APC, proud too. You are a worthy example of promises made, promises kept.

“These lofty projects could not have materialised without your huge investment and commitment to the security of lives and property,” he further stated.

Responding to requests by the state governor to give priority to the Lagos-Ota-Abeokuta and the Sango Otta-Idiroko Roads respectively, the President assured the people of Ogun State that these roads will receive federal government attention.

The President announced that the federal government would consider extending tax credit as a funding option for the reconstruction of these roads, as done for the 100km Sagamu Interchange-Papalanto-Ilaro Road.

Similarly, the President promised to consider the approval of the reconstruction of Sagamu-Ogijo Road by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited under the tax credit scheme.

The President thanked the residents of the State for the warm reception accorded him and his entourage in the Gateway State, which is his first visit to any state in the New Year.

“This welcome by the large crowd brings back the nostalgia of my first arrival on this soil as a young infantry officer in the Nigerian Army at the then Lafenwa Barracks in Abeokuta, not long after independence.

“The traditional hospitality of the people of this State has not waned a bit. Today, I am Omowale and very happy at this homecoming to meet my brothers and sisters whose goodwill I have always enjoyed. Thank you,” he said.

The President also congratulated the people of Ogun State for having such a focused, deliberate and inclusive administration under the watch of Mr Abiodun, urging them to continue to support the governor for the successful implementation of the Building our Future Together agenda of his administration.

“The reward for success is more hard work to meet the increasing expectations of the people.

“When state governments deliver impactful projects, in consultations with stakeholders, as we have witnessed in Ogun State, the trajectory of our national development will be enhanced,” Mr Buhari said.

Modupe Gbadeyanka is a fast-rising journalist with Business Post Nigeria. Her passion for journalism is amazing. She is willing to learn more with a view to becoming one of the best pen-pushers in Nigeria. Her role models are the duo of CNN's Richard Quest and Christiane Amanpour.

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Economy

Nigerian Breweries Lists Additional Shares on Stock Exchange

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Nigerian Breweries shares

By Dipo Olowookere

The Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited has admitted additional shares of Nigerian Breweries Plc on its trading platform, a notice from the exchange has confirmed.

The new stocks were issued to shareholders of the brewery giant as part of their dividend payment. They are those who opted to exchange their cash payment for shares of the firm.

According to the disclosure from the NGX on Monday, Nigerian Breweries listed a total of 78,929,849 ordinary shares of 50 kobo on the platform, increasing its total issued and fully paid-up equities to 8,075,831,900 ordinary shares from 7,996,902,051 ordinary shares.

“Additional 78,929,849 ordinary shares of 50 kobo each of Nigerian Breweries Plc were today, Monday, January 24, 2022, listed on the daily official list of the Nigerian Exchange Limited.

“The additional shares listed on NGX arose from Nigerian Breweries scrip dividend election scheme.

“With this listing of the additional 78,929,849 ordinary shares, the total issued and fully paid-up shares of Nigerian Breweries Plc has now increased from 7,996,902,051 to 8,075,831,900 ordinary shares of 50 kobo each,” the statement noted.

Shares of Nigerian Breweries depreciated by 1.46 per cent or 70 kobo today at the stock exchange to close at N47.30, according to data obtained by Business Post.

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Economy

FG Suspends Fuel Subsidy Removal, to Amend 2022 Budget

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fuel subsidy

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

The federal government has suspended fuel subsidy removal, which was earlier meant to be from July 1, 2022, and will now amend the 2022 Appropriation Act to accommodate the new change.

This action followed the pressure mounted by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), which threatened to embark on a nationwide protest from January 27, 2022.

In the 2022 budget signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari last month, the provision of petrol subsidy was till June 30, but the labour said fuel subsidy removal at this period of high inflation would be resisted.

On Monday, January 24, 2022, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Ms Zainab Ahmed, was at the National Assembly for a meeting with lawmakers.

She explained that due to ongoing consultations, it was agreed that the planned removal of fuel subsidy should be shelved for now.

“Provision was made in the 2022 budget for subsidy payment from January till June. That suggested that from July, there would be no subsidy.

”The provision was made sequel to the passage of the Petroleum Industry Act which indicated that all petroleum products would be deregulated.

“Sequel to the passage of the PIA, we went back to amend the fiscal framework to incorporate the subsidy removal.

“However, after the budget was passed, we had consultations with a number of stakeholders and it became clear that the timing was problematic.

“We discovered that practically, there is still heightened inflation and that the removal of subsidy would further worsen the situation and impose more difficulties on the citizenry.

“Mr President does not want to do that. What we are now doing is to continue with the ongoing discussions and consultations in terms of putting in place a number of measures.

“One of these includes the rollout of the refining capacities of the existing refineries and the new ones which would reduce the amount of products that would be imported into the country.

“We, therefore, need to return to the National Assembly to now amend the budget and make additional provision for the subsidy from July 22 to whatever period that we agreed was suitable for the commencement of the total removal,” the Minister informed the lawmakers.

The Senate President, Mr Ahmad Lawan, who conveyed the meeting, commended the federal government for the bold step, urging the labour unions to suspend their action.

Also present at the gathering were the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr Timipre Sylva; the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited, Mr Mele Kyari; among others.

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Economy

Stanbic IBTC Finances Ardova LPG Storage Terminal

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LPG Storage Terminal

By Aduragbemi Omiyale

The 20,000 metric tonnes Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) storage terminal being constructed in Ijora, Lagos, by AP LPG terminal, a fully owned subsidiary of Ardova Plc, is being financed by the Stanbic IBTC Infrastructure Fund, Business Post has learned.

In August 2021, Stanbic IBTC closed the first tranche of its N100 billion Stanbic IBTC Infrastructure Fund aimed to support the funding of critical projects in the country with competitive return profiles, sustainable environmental practices, and the potential to positively impact the economy.

Ardova, one of the leading players in the energy sector in Nigeria, keyed into the initiative and on Wednesday, January 19, 2022, the firm performed the groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of the LPG storage terminal, which is expected to be completed in December 2022.

Upon completion, the project will be the largest LPG storage facility in the nation and will ease some of the existing bottlenecks in the value chain for the supply of cleaner and more efficient energy for domestic use (cooking gas) in Nigeria, amongst other strategic benefits.

Speaking at the event, the Group Chief Executive Officer of Ardova, Mr Olumide Adeosun, commended Stanbic IBTC for its commitment to the project, noting that the importance of having formidable partners for project development, planning, execution, and investment support cannot be overemphasised.

“We are pleased to have the support of the Stanbic IBTC Infrastructure Fund for its pioneering role in a transformational project within the LPG value chain, which will undoubtedly accelerate the various energy transition initiatives currently underway at Ardova Plc.

“This support has helped us commence construction of this 20,000 metric tonne LPG storage terminal, which is expected to bring efficiency and reliability of LPG supply to Nigerian consumers as well as create long term value for our shareholders; and for this, we are thankful,” he said.

Mr Adeosun further that, “Beyond the cleaner energy premise, approximately 600 direct jobs will be created during the construction of the project and there is a multiplier effect of about additional 1,400 indirect jobs that will be created during the construction period after which it settles to about 250-300 jobs once the project becomes operational.”

On his part, the CEO of Stanbic IBTC Asset Management, Mr Oladele Sotubo, noted that, “Across the globe, cleaner energy investments have continued to be the focus.”

“Given the environmental sustainability benefits of this project, Stanbic IBTC Infrastructure Fund’s investment philosophy is properly aligned, hence the support for the 20,000 metric tonne LPG storage facility terminal,” he added.

Mr Sotubo applauded Ardova for partnering with Stanbic IBTC Infrastructure Fund and used the opportunity to also commend all the Tranche 1 investors, including institutional investors such as Trustfund Pensions, Veritas Glanvills Pensions, NPF Pensions, Fidelity Pensions, Crusader Sterling Pensions, Agip CPFA, Progress Trust CPFA, AIICO Insurance, and other High Networth Individuals (HNIs), for the confidence reposed in the fund.

He pointed out the impact their investment is making in terms of solving some of Nigeria’s infrastructure bottlenecks, creating jobs while earning returns. “As an organisation, we remain committed to bridging Nigeria’s infrastructure deficit through the provision of investment capital needed to develop projects”, he added”.

The Stanbic IBTC Asset Management Chief Executive highlighted that the Stanbic IBTC Infrastructure Fund remains dedicated to meeting the investment needs of its clients, providing them with the right investment vehicles, opportunities and professional investment services needed to achieve their financial objectives.

He urged institutional investors such as pension fund administrators, insurance companies and asset managers to explore the unique opportunities of the Stanbic IBTC Infrastructure Fund in meeting their long-term financial goals.

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