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Nigeria’s Aliko Dangote says 650,000 barrel per day oil refinery to begin operations in 2023

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Africa’s wealthiest man, Nigeria’s Aliko Dangote said on Friday his 650,000 barrel per day oil refinery is expected to be commissioned before the close of President Muhammadu Buhari’s presidential term, which ends next year.

Mr. Dangote made the disclosure in response to a question after a meeting with President Buhari at the presidential villa in Abuja.

“By the grace of God, Mr. President will come and commission (the refinery) before the end of his term,” Dangote said.

The Dangote refinery is situated on a 6,180 acres (2,500 hectares) site at the Lekki Free Zone, Lekki, Lagos State. It will process about 650,000 barrels of crude oil daily, transported via pipelines from oil fields in the Niger Delta, where natural gas will also be sourced to supply the fertilizer factory and be used in electrical generation for the refinery complex.

Although Nigeria is one of the largest oil producers in the world, the West African country does not refine crude oil locally. State-owned Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has four refineries, two in Port Harcourt (PHRC), and one each in Kaduna (KRPC) and Warri (WRPC) but none has worked to capacity for years despite several investments to succinate the refineries.

The government sees the refinery as a solution to ending Nigeria’s reliance on imports for most refined petroleum products even though Nigeria is Africa’s biggest oil producer and exporter.

The situation with the state-owned refineries in Nigeria and the refusal of past and present governments in Nigeria adds to the high national anticipation surrounding the Dangote refinery but experts have warned that hope should be with caution on Dangote’s project as it only positions a monopoly of an essential commodity like oil.

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Ivory Coast aims regional shipping hub, completes $953 million container terminal

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West African country, Ivory Coast is making waves at becoming a regional shipping hub as it has completed construction of a second container terminal at its main port in Abidjan.

The project, financed by China’s Eximbank by 85% and 15% by the Ivorian state costs about 596 billion CFA francs ($953 million).

The new container terminal, called Cote d’Ivoire Terminal (CIT), started operations on Nov. 1 but was officially unveiled at a press conference on Friday. It is able to receive large ships from Asia, Europe, and America that previously had to land goods in South Africa, transferring them to smaller ships to reach West Africa.

The technical director of the terminal Andre N’Doli, remarked “we are no longer a second port. We are becoming a hub,”

“In addition to national traffic, we will handle traffic from other ports that cannot accommodate large vessels,” he told reporters.

According to official data, there has been growth in recent years in the country’s maritime sector. Ivory Coast shipped goods worth USD 12,717 million in 2019, an -8.5% dip as compared to the previous year.

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Ghana makes strong push to save currency, Cedi, orders mining companies to sell 20% stock

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As part of its many initiatives to out of its current economic challenge, Ghana has ordered all large-scale mining companies to sell 20% of their entire stock.

The gold rich country wants the companies to pay the Bank of Ghana with refined gold at their refineries from Jan. 1, 2023.

According to Vice-President, Mahamudu Bawumia said in a social media post on Friday, the government is planning a new policy where gold rather than U.S. dollar reserves will be used to buy oil products.

The move is meant to tackle dwindling foreign currency reserves coupled with the demand for dollars by oil importers, which is weakening the local cedi and increasing living costs.

“The Bank of Ghana and the Precious Minerals Marketing Company (PMMC) will coordinate with the large-scale mining companies to ensure compliance with this directive,” the vice-president said.

“The gold to be purchased by the Bank of Ghana and the PMMC will be in cedis at spot price with no discounts,” he added.

The VP further revealed that community mining schemes and licensed small-scale miners will also have to sell gold to the government.

Statista reports that gold reserves in Ghana stood at a volume of 8.74 metric tons from the first quarter of 2015 to the third quarter of 2021.

Moreover, gold mine production in the country reached a volume of 150 metric tons in 2020, an increase compared to the previous year. Ghana did not suspend its production of gold in 2020 amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Ghana hinted at the Gold for payment policy in May but the continued fall to a point of being rated worst in the world demands pragmatic measures. Hopefully, the gold-for-pay policy will bring some solace.

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