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Osinbajo Commissions $1.5b Fertiliser Plant in Port Harcourt

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Osinbajo Commissions $1.5b Fertiliser Plant in Port Harcourt

By Dipo Olowookere

Nigeria’s Acting President, Mr Yemi Osinbajo, on Thursday inaugurated a giant world-class fertilizer plant built by Indorama Eleme Fertilizer and Chemicals Limited in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

During the commissioning today, Mr Osinbajo commended Indorama for keying into the Presidential Fertilizer initiative which President Muhammadu Buhari launched last year to make fertilizers cheaper nationwide.

The Acting President reminded all Nigerians that it was time to grow whatever they eat and produce whatever they consume.

“What Indorama is accomplishing today is very much in line with President Buhari’s vision for a country that produces what it consumes and grows what it eats.

“If you had to sum up our vision for the Nigerian economy in a few words, these would suffice. Grow what we eat, produce what we consume,” Mr Osinbajo said while inaugurating the project believed to have gulped $1.5 billion.

“At the end of last year, the President launched a Presidential Fertilizer Initiative, to ensure the availability of cheaper fertilizer to our farmers, to support what we’re doing in agriculture, in the production of rice and wheat and other staples.

“That Fertilizer Initiative, now well underway, has created significant economic opportunities for companies like Indorama Eleme Fertilizer & Chemicals Limited.

“I have been informed that Indorama will this year alone supply about 360,000 Metric Tons of Urea to Fertilizer blenders, which, in turn, will produce NPK fertilizer for the benefit of farmers across the country,” the Acting President said.

“This is the kind of economic progress we’re after, in which every unlocked opportunity proceeds to unlock several others, across multiple sectors of the economy,” he added.

Mr Osinbajo also said the Buhari administration will continue to support Indorama Eleme Petrochemicals Limited, which was privatised in 2006 by the Federal Government.

According to him, the company has turned out to be a huge success story.

“I am glad that we’re here today to see one of the success stories of the Federal Government’s privatisation programme,” he enthused.

“We will continue to support Indorama Eleme Petrochemicals Limited’s expansion ambitions. Our commitment to the privatisation programme is equally assured, and we will continue to do everything to support investors to maximise the potential of their assets,” he further said.

In his speech, Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State said that for Indorama to invest a whopping $1.5 billion in the state, it shows that the state is safe for investors and their investments. He called on other investors to emulate the footsteps of Indorama.

Earlier in his address, Chairman of Indorama Corporation, Mr Sri Prakash Lohia, noted that the plant which has capacity to produce 1.5 million metric tons of fertilizer per annum is the largest single-train Urea plant in the world.

The Acting President also presented a Certificate of Discharge to the Chairman of Indorama Group, Mr Lohia and the Managing Director, Mr Manish Mundra for successfully accomplishing the post purchase agreement entered into with the Bureau of Public Enterprises on behalf of the Federal Government of Nigeria.

“Following the 2006 handover, the BPE carried out routine monitoring on the enterprise to ensure that the core investor adhered to and implemented the post-acquisition plan it had laid out for the company.

“Today is the culmination of that process of monitoring and oversight by the BPE. I am delighted that it is taking place on an inspiring and hopeful note, and that we are all here today celebrating a thriving and promising company. We should not take this state of affairs for granted,” he said.

The plant has a production capacity of 4000 metric tons (MT) of nitrogenous fertilizers per day or 1.5 MT per annum.

The world-scale plant has been built with an investment of $1.5 billion, a huge Foreign Direct Investment, funded by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and a Consortium of 15 European and African banks and Financial Institutions.

The fertilizer plant is well supported by Port Terminal at the nearby Onne Port Complex, and a Gas Pipeline of 83.5KM for gas supply.

The plant will bring about a green revolution in the agriculture sector not only in Nigeria but also in other parts of Africa and world at large.

Besides, making the fertilizer products to be available at affordable cost, the plant will boost crop yield to farmers and greatly help in minimizing the food grain deficit in Nigeria.

The plant has also generated lots of job opportunities contributing to the economic prosperity of Nigeria.

The construction of the plant commenced in April 2013 and completed in December 2015. The commissioning activities were concluded in March 2016 and the commercial production started in June 2016.

Dipo Olowookere is a journalist based in Nigeria that has passion for reporting business news stories. At his leisure time, he watches football and supports 3SC of Ibadan. Mr Olowookere can be reached via dipo.olowookere@businesspost.ng

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Economy

NGX Upgrades Price Stock Group of Eterna

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price stock group of Eterna

By Dipo Olowookere

The price stock group of Eterna Plc has been moved upward by the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited, Business Post reports.

In a regulatory notice on Monday, the bourse noted that it upgraded the stock category of the energy company from a low-price stock group to a medium-price stock group.

This action, according to the exchange, was necessitated after the stability in the price of the company’s equities within four of the last six months in the new price category, in line with its price methodology framework.

“Equity securities of quoted companies on the exchange (NGX) are classified into three stock price groups or categories; high-priced, medium-priced, and low-priced stocks, based on their market price.

“In this regard, securities must have traded for at least four out of the most recent six-month period within a stock price group’s specified price band to be classified into the category.

“Accordingly, a review of Eternal Plc stock price and trade activities over the most recent six-month period provides the basis for reclassifying the security from the low-priced stock group to the medium-priced stock group.

“This reclassification also necessitates the attendant change in the tick size change from N0.01 kobo to N0.05 kobo, in line with Rule 15.29: Pricing Methodology, Rulebook of the exchange, 2015 (trading license holders’ rules),” the statement from the platform stated.

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Economy

Unlisted Securities Investors Gain N18.29bn in Five Days

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unlisted securities investors

By Dipo Olowookere

It was another positive week for unlisted securities investors in Nigeria as they smiled home with N18.29 billion last week on the floor of the NASD over-the-counter (OTC) Securities Exchange.

This was buoyed by the 1.98 per cent week-on-week growth recorded by the alternative bourse in the country during the five-day trading week, which had five stocks closing on the gainers’ chart, with none on the opposite table.

Data harvested by Business Post indicated that FrieslandCampina Wamco Nigeria appreciated by 10.44 per cent to settle at N69.00 per unit. UBN Property Gain 7.14 per cent to trade at 75 Kobo per share, Niger Delta Exploration and Production improved by 6.95 per cent to N200.00 per unit, Geo-Fluids rose by 6.12 per cent to N1.04 per share, and Central Securities Clearing System (CSCS) increased by 3.85 per cent to N13.50 per unit.

In the week, the volume of trades declined by 35.51 per cent to 24.5 million units from 62.6 million units, the number of deals went down by 12.82 per cent to 66 deals from the preceding week’s 71 deals, while the value of transactions increased by 122.48 per cent to N96.6 million from N87.6 million.

The most active security for the week by volume was Geo-Fluids, with the sale of 20.0 million units, followed by UBN Property with 3.4 million units. FrieslandCampina traded 581,021 units, CSCS transacted 375,512 units, and VFD Group exchanged 111,104 units.

However, the most active equity by value for the week was FrieslandCampina, with a sale of N38.5 million. VFD Group recorded N27.2 million, Geo-Fluids traded N20.7 million, CSCS transacted 5.1 million, and UBN Property traded N2.6 million.

Data showed that the NASD unlisted securities index (NSI) increased in the week by 13.92 points to 717.15 points from 703.23 points, as the market capitalisation grew by N18.29 billion to N942.35 billion from N924.06 billion.

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Economy

Nigeria’s External Reserves Shed 0.14% to $37.020bn

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Nigeria's external reserves

By Aduragbemi Omiyale

In one week, Nigeria’s external reserves depreciated by a marginal 0.14 per cent to $37.020 billion from $37.070 billion in the preceding week.

Data obtained by Business Post from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) disclosed that the balance in the coffers was as of Thursday, February 2, 2023.

The FX balance in the country’s purse was supposed to expand during this period when prices of crude oil were relatively stable, but this has not been the case because of low production.

Nigeria relies heavily on the sale of crude oil to earn forex, which is currently scarce in the country, putting the Naira under pressure.

The federal government has blamed low crude oil output on the theft of the commodity and has promised to make efforts to address the issue.

Recall that in August 2022, Nigeria’s crude oil production plunged below one million barrels per day (972,394 bpd), the lowest ever in several years.

However, according to the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), the output improved by 171,000 barrels per day in November to 1.186mbpd, though about 700,000 barrels per day less than its quota for the month.

The Minister of Finance, Budget, and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, said the federal government plans to improve the country’s crude oil production to 1.6 million barrels per day by the first quarter of 2023.

It is believed that this would boost the FX earnings of the nation and bolster the reserves and the local currency in the foreign exchange market.

Last week, the Nigerian Naira depreciated against the United States Dollar on a week-on-week basis by 25 Kobo or 0.05 per cent to N461.50/$1 compared with the preceding week’s N461.75/$1.

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