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Reps Commend NEXIM Bank’s Support for Local Firms

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Reps Commend NEXIM Bank’s Support for Local Firms

By Dipo Olowookere

The relentless contributions being made by NEXIM Bank to the Nigerian non-oil export sector, especially in funding factories have received the recommendation of the House of Representatives.

Chairman, House Committee on Banking and Currency, Mr Jones Chukwudi Onyereri, during a recent visit to Ladgroup Ltd, a foremost indigenous Nigerian conglomerate with a state of the art oil mill extraction factory located in Ikenne, Ogun State, said the bank has contributed to the growth of the country’s economy.

He appealed to the Federal Government to increase funding support to institutions like NEXIM Bank, promising that his committee will continue to do all within its jurisdiction and mandate to ensure that such funds are applied very judiciously.

The lawmaker, who led other members of the committee to the factory on oversight function, noted that, “The current economic recession facing the country has opened our eyes to the immense opportunities and abundant blessings God has heaped on Nigeria, not just in oil and gas, but more especially in agriculture and solid minerals.”

Also speaking during the visit, the Acting MD/CEO of NEXIM Bank, Mr Bashir Wali, revealed that the bank had in March 2015 approved the sum of $5.8 million to Ladgroup Limited to set up a Shea Nut processing factory.

He said the facility was made up of Equipment Finance of $2.8 million and Working Capital Facility of $3 million and has enabled the company to purchase and install a Shea Butter Refining Unit, a step down transformer and augment its working capital base.

According to Mr Wali, “The interest of NEXIM Bank in Shea Nut processing for export was borne out of the very high demand for Shea Butter with the impressive potentials for foreign exchange revenue stream as well as massive job creation at various levels of its value chain.”

Citing available statistics, he said nearly 2 billion Shea trees grow naturally on parklands in 21 African countries stretching from Senegal to South Sudan with more than 16 million women living in rural communities individually collecting the fresh fruits and the kernel which they process to extract a healthy vegetable oil known as “Shea Butter.”

With approximately 600,000 tons collected each year, the industry provides a critical source of jobs and incomes to millions of often poor and underserved communities.

Mr Wali stated that the global demand for Shea Butter is worth about $10 billion and is projected to be more than $30 billion by 2020, hence the interest of NEXIM in providing funding for increased proactive measures to reposition agricultural products such as Shea as part of its non-oil export sector interventions in the agro-processing sub-sector.

According to him, it has been estimated that over 680,000 metric tons of Shea Nuts are produced annually in West Africa, with about 56 percent of the nuts exported, while the remaining is consumed locally.

Available data shows that Nigeria is the world largest producer of Shea with the wildly grown Shea trees predominant in 21 states across the country.

This accounts for over 53 percent (or 370,000 MT) of the production in West Africa as confirmed by the reports of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Oil Seeds Association of Nigeria (OSAN).

Sadly, nearly N345 million is lost in the smuggling of Shea products out of the country every year.

Chairman of Ladgroup Ltd, Mr B. A. Onafowokan, expressed immense appreciation to NEXIM Bank for the quality of loan given to his company, and also thanked the lawmakers for their ‘oversight function’ stating that more of such activities is required to curtail misapplication of such funds provided by the government to assist local entrepreneurs keen on manufacturing for export.

Ladgroup Ltd is acclaimed to be the largest Shea Nut processing factory in Africa with an intake capacity of 40,000 Metric tons per annum.

The factory is dedicated to sourcing of Shea Nuts and processing them into Shea Butter of the highest quality, for sale to both domestic and export markets, but with a special bias for the export market.

The firm has set its target on major European importing companies in the Confectionary/ Chocolate industry and Cosmetics/ Pharmaceutical industry based in Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden and the UK that import well over 95,000 MT annually.

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

NNPC Acquires Oando’s Downstream Assets to Conquer Retail Market

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NNPC OVH Oando

By Adedapo Adesanya

OVH Energy Marketing, owner and operator of the Oando-branded retail service stations, has been acquired by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited.

The downstream assets acquired by NNPC Limited will merge with NNPC Retail Limited (NRL).

This strategic move aims to create the leading downstream energy company in Nigeria and West Africa, driven by operational efficiency, best-in-class management, and physical infrastructure while offering premium petroleum products and related services to customers in line with global standards.

Through this acquisition, NNPC Retail Limited will build on the existing success of OVH and operate model service outlets leveraging OVH’s extensive asset base and commercial capabilities.

The transaction also positions NNPC Retail Limited as the fastest growing commercial energy company in its pursuit to guarantee energy security for Nigeria’s growing population and significantly more growth opportunities for the business.

“Our acquisition of OVH brings more NNPC branded fuel stations under the NNPC Retail Limited umbrella, providing wider access for our customers, an enriched supply chain and product availability across our different locations,” said Mr Mele Kyari, the Chief Executive Officer of NNPC Ltd.

“Our goal as NNPC Limited is to become a catalyst for massive improvement within the downstream oil and gas industry therefore, access to the extensive asset base of OVH is our audacious step towards attaining this goal.

“We are positive that this is the much-needed transformation required by the sector as it provides us with an integrated platform to attract the right investments, which enables the growth of our operations,” he added.

“This acquisition by NNPC comes at a critical time in the Nigerian energy sector given the overhaul of the petroleum laws (with the recent enactment of the PIA), the continuing increased demand for petroleum products and particularly the deliberate efforts to increase and improve the supply and consumption of natural gas in support of our energy transition goals,” says Mr Huub Stokman, CEO OVH.

“We have always focused on a value-driven approach, prioritizing the quality of products and services offered to our customers at both retail and commercial levels.

“This acquisition enables the combined strengths of both entities to innovate our offerings and infrastructure, necessary to transform the downstream energy sector in Nigeria and West Africa. It is an exciting time for us all, as we continue to focus on technological enhancement, our customers, staff, and other stakeholders,” he added.

OVH Energy Oando branded retail service stations will be rebranded into the NNPC brand, and full integration is expected by the end of 2023.

The leadership of the merged entity share a common purpose and is focused on value creation with the strengths of OVH’s operational efficiency and NNPC’s brand.

In addition, and to support the combined NNPC Retail Limited operations, NNPC Limited has acquired Apapa SPM Limited (an affiliate of OVH Energy) that owns and manages West Africa’s first privately owned midstream jetty, known as the Lagos Midstream Jetty.

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Economy

Market Gains 0.12% on Interests in Guinness, FBNH, Cadbury Nigeria

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guinness nigeria

By Dipo Olowookere

Interests in the shares of Guinness Nigeria, Cadbury Nigeria, FBN Holdings and others lifted the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited by 0.12 per cent on Friday.

From analysis of the trading data, the consumer goods, banking and energy sectors saw significant bargain hunting activities during the session, leaving their respective index closing higher by 0.57 per cent, 0.41 per cent, and 0.03 per cent.

However, the insurance counter witnessed a pocket of profit-taking as its index went down by 0.09 per cent, while the industrial goods sector closed the way it opened for the session.

When the bourse finish for the day, the All-Share Index (ASI) was up by 59.33 points to settle at 49,024.16 points compared with the previous day’s 48,964.83 points as the market capitalisation finished N32 billion higher to N26.452 trillion from N26.420 trillion.

The market breadth was positive yesterday, with 17 price gainers and 10 price losers, indicating a strong investor sentiment.

RT Briscoe appreciated by 9.68 per cent to trade at 34 Kobo, May and Baker rose by 9.63 per cent to N4.10, Guinness Nigeria improved by 9.29 per cent to N82.90, Jaiz Bank climbed higher by 8.43 per cent to 90 Kobo, and UPDC expanded by 8.42 per cent to N1.03.

At the other side of the table, Ikeja Hotel was on top after its value crashed by 9.68 per cent to N1.12, Sovereign Trust Insurance fell by 6.90 per cent to 27 Kobo, NAHCO dropped 3.51 per cent to sell for N5.50, UPDC REIT went down by 3.13 per cent to N3.10, and Neimeth depreciated by 2.10 per cent to N1.40.

Business Post reports that the level of activity improved on the last trading session of the week as the trading volume, value and number of deals increased by 61.58 per cent, 65.96 per cent and 3.67 per cent, respectively.

This was because investors transacted 356.7 million shares worth N3.7 billion in 3,219 deals as against the 220.8 million shares worth N2.3 billion transacted on Thursday in 3,105 deals.

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Economy

Nigeria at 62: Buhari Says Borrowing Necessary for Growth

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Buhari stimulating economic growth

By Adedapo Adesanya

In what would be his last Independence Day address, President Muhammadu Buhari, on Saturday, defended his government’s borrowing policy, describing it as a necessary step to provide the infrastructure that would expand opportunities for the growth of the Nigerian economy.

Mr Buhari stated in the address to the country on October 1, 2022, that, “The federal government is already expanding port operations to ensure that they provide opportunities for the growth of the Nigerian economy.

“We have also continued to accelerate our infrastructure development through serviceable and transparent borrowing, improved capital inflow & increased revenue generation by expanding the tax bases and prudent management of investment proceeds in the Sovereign Wealth Fund.

“To further open up our communities to economic activities, we have continued to boost our railway infrastructure with the completion of a good number of critical railways and at the same time rehabilitating as well as upgrading obsolete equipment.”

The President also noted that no village in the country was left behind in the regime’s Social Investment Programmes such as N-Power, trader-moni, market moni, etc.

“I am pleased to inform my fellow citizens that besides our emphasis on infrastructural development with its attendant opportunities for job creation, employment generation and subsequent poverty reduction, our focused intervention directly to Nigerians through the National Social Investment Programme is also yielding benefits.

“There is hardly any ward, village or local government in Nigeria today that has not benefited from one of the following: N-Power, trader-moni, market moni, subsidized loans, business grants or Conditional Cash Transfers.

“All the programmes mentioned above along with various interventions by the National Social Investment Programme, direct support to victims of flooding and other forms of disasters have provided succour to the affected Nigerians,” Mr Buhari said.

He also promised Nigerians that he would ensure free and fair elections come 2023 and called for more youth and women participation in the electoral cycle.

He said, “Having witnessed at close quarters the pains, anguish and disappointment of being a victim of an unfair electoral process, the pursuit of an electoral system and processes that guarantee the election of leaders by citizens remains the guiding light as I prepare to wind down our administration.

“You would all agree that the recent elections in the past two years in some states, notably Anambra, Ekiti and Osun and a few federal constituencies, have shown a high degree of credibility, transparency and freedom of choice with the people’s votes actually counting. This I promise would be improved upon as we move towards the 2023 general elections,” he said.

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