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Waltersmith Completes 5,000bpd Modular Refinery in Imo

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By Adedapo Adesanya

Waltersmith Petroman Oil Limited has completed its 5,000 barrels per day Phase 1 modular refinery located in Ibigwe, Imo State.

The completion of the facility will help boost Nigeria’s local refining capabilities.

Lauding the effort of the company, the Group Managing Director of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mr Mele Kyari, during a pre-commissioning visit to the plant, said that the modular refinery was part of Nigeria’s push towards energy sufficiency.

Mr Kyari said it reinforces the federal government’s agenda of increasing local refining capacity, adding that it will also enhance value addition to the hydrocarbon resources and employment generation.

Represented by Mr Yusuf Usman, NNPC’s Chief Operating Officer, Gas and Power, he said, “It is a landmark achievement and it shows that we can actually refine our crude oil in-country.”

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The NNPC boss assured that the state oil company and other key stakeholders will collaborate with relevant entities to provide Waltersmith with all the necessary support it needs to operate and achieve its growth plans for the refinery.

“We will work closely with Waltersmith to ensure that it gets enough crude feedstock it needs to operate seamlessly. We are also looking forward to Phase 2 of the project when the refinery will start producing premium motor spirit (PMS) which we largely need in this country,” Mr Kyari said.

The 5,000 barrels per day modular refinery is scheduled for official commissioning on October 26, 2020, with products truck-out beginning immediately, having concluded off-take arrangements with select firms.

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On the part of the Chairman of the company, Mr Abdulrasaq Isah, “We will be producing 271 million litres of petroleum products to meet some of the requirement of South Eastern market.”

Mr Isah said that Waltersmith decided to embark on the modular refinery project as a strategy to address incessant pipeline vandalism and theft of its crude oil products.

“As we began to work on the modular refinery project, we started to see the economic value and impact on Nigeria. The project will also ensure import substitution, energy security for the nation, lower of the company’s operating cost and create lots of jobs,” the Chairman said.

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He noted that the company plans to significantly expand the refinery’s production capacity to 50,000 barrels of crude oil per day.  It is expected to refine diesel, kerosene, Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO) and Naphtha.

Waltersmith Refining and Petrochemical Company is a Joint venture (JV) between Waltersmith Petroman Oil Limited, a leading independent Nigerian Energy company with 70 per cent equity, and the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) with 30 per cent equity, with significant funding support from the African Finance Corporation (AFC).

Waltersmith Petroman was established as an E&P Company in 1996 and successfully acquired the Ibigwe Marginal Field (OML-16) license in 2005 and delivered the first oil in 2008.

Adedapo Adesanya is a journalist, polymath, and connoisseur of everything art. When he is not writing, he has his nose buried in one of the many books or articles he has bookmarked or simply listening to good music with a bottle of beer or wine. He supports the greatest club in the world, Manchester United F.C.

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Economy

SEC Introduces Regulatory Incubation Program for Fintechs

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By Modupe Gbadeyanka

A regulatory incubation (RI) program for financial technology (fintech) companies operating or seeking to operate in Nigeria has been introduced by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

A circular issued by SEC disclosed that this framework would be officially launched in the third quarter of 2021 and will operate by admitting identified Fintech business models and processes in cohorts for a one-year period.

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Participation in the RI program will encompass an Initial Assessment Phase and the Regulatory Incubation Phase.

The categories to be admitted into each cohort will be determined based on submissions received through the Fintech Assessment Form and communicated ahead of each take-off date.

SEC explained that the scheme was designed to address the needs of new business models and processes that require regulatory authorisation to continue carrying out full or ancillary technology-driven capital market activities.

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The RI Program has thus been conceived as an interim measure to aid the evolution of effective regulation which accommodates the innovation by fintechs without compromising market integrity and within limits that ensure investor protection.

It was disclosed that review of completed Fintech Assessment Forms will continue on an ongoing basis and those who consider that there is no specific regulation governing their business models or who require clarity on the appropriate regulatory regime for seeking the authorisation of the commission, are encouraged to complete the Fintech Assessment Form.

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Economy

NGX Suspends Trading on GTBank Shares Ahead of Delisting

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By Dipo Olowookere

In preparation for the eventual delisting of shares of Guaranty Trust Bank (GTBank) Plc from its trading platform, the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited on Friday, June 18, 2021, placed the banking stock on a full suspension.

GTBank, a tier-one lender trading its equities on the exchange, intends to transform into a financial holding company (Holdco) so as to offer a wide range of services it is restricted to do.

Some years ago, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) directed banks in the country to offload their subsidiaries not performing core lending services.

This was after many deposit money banks (DMBs) were delving into different business ventures, including insurance, stockbroking, asset management, amongst others.

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For the CBN, which regulates the banking industry in Nigeria, most of these banks were losing focus and were not supporting businesses that need funds to grow and then stimulate the economy in the process.

To address this issue, the apex bank asked banks to sell off their non-banking assets and this forced many of them to offload their companies not offering core banking services.

However, there was an opening for banks to still delve into other sectors within the financial and capital markets and this was by operating as a Holdco.

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A few of them towed this path, including FBN Holdings, Stanbic IBTC Holdings and FCMB Group.

Not wanting to be left out, GTBank is joining the party and to achieve this, it is delisting its banking arm, which is the popular GTBank from the stock exchange.

GTBank will now operate as a private company, while the new Holdco, Guaranty Trust Holding Company Plc, will now be a public company. The shares of this new firm will be listed on the NGX after the delisting of GTBank.

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Last Friday, the stock exchange informed the investing community of the latest development, announcing the suspension of trading on GTBank shares.

In the circular sighted by Business Post, the NGX explained that the rationale behind placing GTBank stocks on full suspension is to “prevent trading in the shares of the bank” in preparation of its “eventual delisting”

Before trading on its stocks was suspended on Friday, GTBank closed at N28.55 on Thursday after appreciating by 50 kobo or 1.78 per cent.

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Economy

DLM Capital Remains Best Structured Finance & Securitization Team in West Africa

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A prominent developmental investment bank, DLM Capital Group, has emerged winner at the Capital Finance International (CFI) 2021 awards as the best-structured finance and securitization team in West Africa.

This award has been won consecutively in three years and affirms the group’s strong performance as a leading investment institution and asset manager.

CFI awards seek to identify the contributions of individuals and organizations that contribute significantly to the advancement of economies and truly add value for all stakeholders.

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DLM Capital Group creates bespoke business solutions for alternative financing and harnessing funds for growth.

The group focuses on four key sectors — consumer credit, agriculture, microfinance, and education with a mandate to reduce poverty and improve living conditions for Africans while mobilizing resources for the continent’s economic and social development.

“In the past three years, our portfolio management team’s performance has remained consistent, and our clients have benefited immensely from exposure to our solutions, including the NMRC securitization deal and the DLM Primero BRT Securitization,” said Head of Corporate Communications and Marketing, DLM Capital Group, Ms Chinwendu Ohakpougwu.

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“We are positioned to provide services to an expansive client base of retail, high net-worth and institutional customers.

“DLM Capital Group remains committed to constantly providing financial solutions that will enable our clients to make a difference, and we are honoured to be recognized once again as a reflection of the quality of support offered to our clients,” she added.

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DLM has won recognition in West African capital markets, acting as a sole arranger to over 80 per cent of structured finance transactions in Nigeria — and all the securitization transactions. It provides deal structuring, advisory execution and capital raising services across the Nigerian capital market.

The institution recently launched an asset financing scheme and is preparing a venture into digital banking under its subsidiary, Sofri.

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