The Dangote fertilizer plant which is part of the multi-billion dollar petrochemical complex (located at Lekki Free Trade Zone, Ibeju-Lekki) will begin operations before the end of the year. Edwin Devakumar, the Group Executive Director of the Dangote Group disclosed this in an interview with Bloomberg.
He also gave an update on the project and its related components.
The firm would thus, be joining other fertilizer producers in the country including Notore (which bought over the National Fertilizer Company of Nigeria), Indorama and blending plants run by the National Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA).
Despite being the largest crude oil exporters in sub-Saharan Africa, Nigeria continues to import refined products due to an absence of refining capacity. The four refineries owned by the Federal Government, are refining well below capacity.
The importation has left pump prices vulnerable to exchange rate depreciation. Fuel scarcity and the resultant queues are a common occurrence in the country.
The state-owned Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) is currently the sole petrol importer, even as it incurs losses running into trillions of Naira. A situation it terms under recovery. The government has been unwilling to increase pump prices to prevent a backlash as elections approach.
Upstream operations to begin soon
The company’s oil blocs are billed to start production soon. The group has two blocs OML 71 and 72. Current production is at about 20,000 barrels a day but the firm plans to expand production as well as acquire more oil blocs.
Which firms will provide feedstock?
The company is considering bids from various firms to supply crude oil (feedstock) to the refinery. Parties with which preliminary discussions have been held with include Royal Dutch Shell, as well as independent oil traders Vitol and Trafigura.
Potential exchange listing
Devakumar also disclosed that the companies would have separate listings on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE). Dangote Cement is the biggest company on the NSE with a market capitalisation of N3.8 trillion or 27.9% of total market capitalisation.
Aliko Dangote who holds a dominant stake in the firm through Dangote Industries Limited (DIL) is by virtue of this, Nigeria’s biggest capital market billionaire.
Other Dangote firms listed on the exchange include Dangote Sugar, NASCON Allied Industries, and Dangote Flour.
Dangote Group was established in 1981 and initially focused on cement importation. It has since diversified into manufacturing a wide range of goods including sugar, flour, salt and pasta.
The Group also has interests in areas such as road construction, telecommunications and motor assembly.
BREAKING: Fire guts fuel tanker, vehicles at Anthony, Lagos
The tanker conveying PMS lost control while in motion and subsequently fell sideways.
There is a fire outbreak, which has gutted a fuel tanker, at Anthony inward Gbagada, Lagos State.
This was disclosed by the Federal Fire Service via its Twitter handle on Friday evening. The incident, which occurred around 10 pm, has razed at least two vehicles.
First responders and other Emergency agencies are already at the scene of explosion in Anthony, Lagos State, Nigeria. Please avoid the area, take alternative routes.
— Federal Fire Service (@Fedfireng) September 18, 2020
The agency urged road users to avoid the area and take alternative routes.
Also, the Director-General of the Lagos State Emergency Agency, Dr Olufemi Oke-Osanyintolu, confirmed the incident.
He said, “The Agency responded to distress calls and upon arrival at the scene of incident, it was discovered that a tanker with unknown registration number conveying PMS lost control while in motion and subsequently fell sideways.
“This led to an explosion in which two unidentified vehicles were burnt.”
A joint team of responders led by the Federal Fire Service, LASEMA, LASG fire service, LRU fire unit, Nigeria Police and LASTMA are working together to curb the inferno from escalating further.
Details soon …
Facebook to open Lagos office in 2021
When the social media giant comes to Nigeria, it will be its second office on the African continent.
Social Media giant, Facebook announced it would open an office in Lagos in 2021, its second office in the continent and the first in Africa to house software engineers.
This was announced by Facebook Program Manager, Chimdindu Aneke on social media. “We are opening a Facebook office in Lagos, Nigeria later in 2021,” he said.
We are opening a Facebook office in Lagos, Nigeria later in 2021. 😍😍😍
— Chimdi Aneke (@chimdinduaneke) September 18, 2020
He added that the office would be the first in Africa by Facebook for the purpose of engineering and “building for the future of Africa and beyond”.
Media aide to the Presidency, Tolu Ogunlesi quoted Facebook saying, “As part of its continued commitment and ongoing investment in Africa, Facebook today announced it will be opening an office in Lagos, Nigeria – its second office on the African continent.”
“Lagos, Nigeria, September 18, 2020/ — As part of its continued commitment and ongoing investment in Africa, @Facebook today announced it will be opening an office in Lagos, Nigeria – its second office on the African continent.”#InvestNigeria 🇳🇬🇳🇬🇳🇬
— tolu ogunlesi (@toluogunlesi) September 18, 2020
In 2019, Facebook’s biggest market in Africa was Nigeria with 33 million monthly active users.
Nigeria among countries to be worst hit by food crisis globally
Nigeria, others were listed as countries with the worst deteriorations in acute hunger in recent months.
Nigeria has emerged as one of the countries to be most hit by food crisis across the globe in the face of the coronavirus pandemic which had worsened the already bad situation.
This disclosure is contained in a report by the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
The report from the FAO also shows that the Democratic Republic of Congo is emerging as the country with the world’s largest food crisis in terms of absolute numbers, with Burkina Faso listed as the country with the worst deteriorations in acute hunger in recent months.
The food crisis is made worse in Nigeria by the longstanding religious and ethnic conflicts and even organized crimes by some bandits, which has greatly affected farmers working on their farmlands.
In addition to these, the farmers were already contending with the issue of flooding or drought, which has negatively been impacting on the agricultural sector in a period the country is desperate and very desirous of economic diversification. The coronavirus pandemic has triggered a surge in food prices as can be seen in the reports released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), in a country that imports over 10% of its food supply.
With a population of over 200 million people, Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa, which is regarded as the world’s most food-insecure continent. This is made worse as importers of food items struggle to gain access to dollars for their imports due to scarcity of foreign exchange which is triggered by the crash of oil prices and low foreign inflow.
This is expected to be exacerbated by the recent order by President Muhammadu Buhari to the Central Bank of Nigeria, to stop the allocation of foreign exchange to importers of food items.
The Governor of Niger State, Abubakar Sani Bello, warned in April, “We are heading toward famine and starvation.”
The FAO report which states that Congo has about 21.8 million people that are acutely food insecure, also points out that Burkina Faso has witnessed an almost 300% uptick in the overall number of people experiencing acute hunger since the start of 2020.