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Rich also cry as Nigerian billionaire, Tony Elumelu laments over state of the nation

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The current social-economic reality in Nigeria isn’t leaving anyone out as billionaire and Chairman Heirs Holdings, Mr Tony Elumelu, Thursday lamented over Nigeria’s failure to maximize her full potential as an oil pronouncing state.

Elumelu narrated the experience of some of his colleagues at work on his official Twitter handle.

He tweeted, “This morning, I am listening to my colleagues at the office bemoan the very pressing issues that they face every day in this country, and how things have been getting worse and worse – no electricity for five days, hikes in the price of diesel, frightening food inflation, etc.

Elumelu expressed disappointment over Nigeria’s lack of efforts to make the most out of the current rise in oil price while oil-producing countries were happy that prices had been rising and their foreign reserves continue to grow.

“Meanwhile, oil-producing countries are smiling as their foreign reserves rise. What is Nigeria’s problem? We need to hold our leaders more accountable,” he added.

“How can a country so rich in natural resources have 90 per cent of its citizens living in hardship and poverty? I have often said that access to electricity is critical for our development, alleviation of poverty and hardship. And speaking of security, our people are afraid! Businesses are suffering.”

He urged Nigerians to be “vocal” about the way they are governed and hold their leaders more accountable.

He said, “Elections are coming – security and resources need to be everyone’s agenda – let’s be vocal for our nation’s priority.
“Evil prevails when good people are silent. We need to be vocal about 2023. Let’s focus on Nigeria. Demand and advocate for leaders that deliver. In 2023, Nigeria must be on a strong trajectory for progress and development.”

 

The businessman, who chairs the Board of the United Bank for Africa (UBA), argued that being endowed with huge natural resources, the country should not be in its current decrepit state.

“How can we be losing over 95 per cent of oil production to thieves? Look at the Bonny Terminal that should be receiving over 200,000bpd barrels of crude oil daily, instead it receives less than 3,000 barrels, leading the operator , Shell to declare force majeure.

“Why are we paying taxes if our security agencies can’t stop this? It is clear that the reason Nigeria is unable to meet its OPEC production quota is not because of low investment but because of theft, pure and simple!”

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Dangote Refinery in crude supply negotiations with Libya

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To get around issues with local supply, Nigeria’s Dangote refinery is in negotiations with Libya to get crude for the 650,000 barrels per day (bpd) plant. A senior official stated that the refinery would also look for Angolan oil.

The $20 billion refinery, the largest in Africa, was constructed on the outskirts of Lagos by Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote. Its purpose is to eliminate Nigeria’s reliance on imported fuels due to inadequate refining capacity.

Since starting operations in January, Dangote has not been able to obtain sufficient crude supplies from Nigeria, the largest oil producer in Africa, beset by poor investment, theft, and pipeline vandalism. Dangote has had to buy petroleum from the US and Brazil, among other places.

“We are talking to Libya about importing crude,” Dangote refinery senior executive Devakumar Edwin told Reuters late on Saturday. “We will talk to Angola and some other African countries.”

He added that foreign traders and oil corporations were among the largest purchasers of Dangote’s gasoil, which was mostly being exported, but he would not elaborate on the specifics of the discussions.

“The biggest off-takers are the two big traders Trafigura and Vitol and BP and, to some extent, even TotalEnergies. But all of them are saying they are taking it to offshore,” Edwin said.

According to traders and shipping statistics, Dangote is displacing European refiners in the gasoil market by increasing exports to West Africa.

By 2050, the nuclear sector wants to treble its capacity.

According to Edwin, Dangote’s oil trading division was running, employing people in Lagos and London to assist with product sales and supply management. The intended trading arm was initially revealed by Reuters in March.

In a recent dispute with Dangote, Nigeria’s upstream authority claimed that the fuel’s sulphur concentration exceeded the mandated 200 parts per million (ppm). Rejecting that claim, Aliko Dangote stated that sulfur levels had been higher at the beginning of production but have since dropped to 88 parts per million (ppm) and would reach 10 parts per million in early August as output increases.

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As inflation slows down, Angolan central bank maintains stable interest rate

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The central bank of Angola maintained its main interest rate at 19.5% on Friday, noting a possible short-term improvement in the supply of necessities and a possible decrease in inflation.

To contain growing inflation, which has reached 30%, the Bank of Angola hiked its main rate by 50 basis points at its most recent monetary policy meeting in May after raising it by 100 basis points in March.

The annual inflation rate increased last month, from 30.16% in May to 31.00%, although at a slower rate than in prior months.

“The decision (on Friday) was motivated by the prospect of a slowdown in the rate of price growth and an improvement in the supply of essential goods,” said Central Bank Governor Manuel Tiago Dias.

“If current conditions prevail from August onwards, we predict a slowdown in year-on-year inflation,” Tiago Dias added.

Since the middle of last year, inflation has been increasing in the nation that produces oil in Africa.

By September, the central bank will make its next move on monetary policy.

 

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