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Nigeria: Marketers worry about expensive petrol ahead of supply from Dangote Refinery

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There are concerns by petroleum marketers in Nigeria that the price of Premium Motor Spirit, also known as petrol, may rise higher than expected as petrol from privately-run Dangote Petrochemical Refinery hits the local market in two to three weeks.

The 650,000-capacity refinery’s unsuccessful attempt to obtain feedstock locally from foreign oil firms was the background against which the marketers talked. The marketers, in Interview, expressed concern that the cost of importing crude oil would affect production costs, perhaps leading to an increase in the Dangote PMS’s ex-depot price.

At a greater cost, Dangote Refinery has persisted in importing crude oil from the US and other nations. Some local marketers claim that this development has made their diesel and aviation fuel less appealing to them because of cost.

Nigeria’s state-owned refineries have not operated at full capacity for many years, despite numerous attempts to bring them back online. The high level of national anticipation surrounding the Dangote refinery is partly attributed to the failures of both the previous and present governments. The country has been hopeful that the Dangote refinery will cut down the price of PMS which jumped from around N200/litre to over N600/litre after the removal of fuel subsidies by President Bola Tinubu on May 29, 2023.

Stakeholders worry that Nigerians’ hopes of obtaining less expensive PMS may be dashed due to Dangote’s lack of access to local crude oil. The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria’s National Vice President, Hammed Fashola, stated that the organization feared crude imports would cause Dangote gasoline prices to spike.

Even while Fashola agreed that the IOCs also have other commercial obligations, he said that the rejection of the IOCs to supply crude oil to Dangote would be a significant issue for the $20 billion refinery.

“The non-supply of crude is a big challenge for Dangote. You know Dangote cried out too. The international oil companies too will have their reasons; you know they have their commitments too. It’s not like they will start feeding Dangote only. People should understand that. I think Dangote should consider that. I know this prompted Dangote to go outside the soil of Nigeria to seek crude oil. You know when he keeps bringing crude oil from the United States, that is another cost. That is another problem we are scared of because it will still boil down to the high cost of petrol, unlike where he can source the crude locally in Nigeria,” Fashola said.

“I will advise that the government should assist Dangote in the supply of crude oil. If Dangote can get an adequate supply of crude oil locally, I think the whole problem will be solved somehow. I don’t think there will be any need for anybody to go and bring in petrol again, especially if Dangote is selling at a reasonable price,” he added.

However, Fashola ordered Dangote to refrain from monopolizing the petroleum industry if he eventually gained government approval, stating that the refinery had to charge a fair price for PMS.

“Dangote too should not see it as an advantage to start monopolising the market by raising fuel prices. Dangote has to come with a clean mind by selling at a reasonable price to the public, otherwise, people will still go and start importing if Dangote’s price is high. But if the price is normal and anybody who brings in product from abroad knows that he would run at a loss, nobody will venture into it. Dangote should be sincere, and the government should support him,” he stated.

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Dangote Group optimistic about boosting Nigeria’s falling currency with $30 billion revenue

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The $30 billion in income that Dangote Group plans to generate by the end of 2025, according to company President Aliko Dangote, will strengthen the naira. Dangote made the plan known during a Monday tour of Dangote Fertilizer Limited and Dangote Petroleum Refinery & Petrochemicals.

The plan signals a strategy to become independent from the Central Bank of Nigeria regarding foreign exchange sourcing.

The richest man in Africa stated that the substantial amount of foreign exchange that his companies are expected to bring into Nigeria will naturally increase the value of our local currency and restore the value of the naira in the global exchange market.

When the refinery started operating fully in 2024, its primary focus was on the refinement of intermediate products, including naphtha, polypropylene, RCO, gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel.

He clarified that in March 2024, the refinery began its steady-state production phase. Furthermore, he projected that by August, production will escalate to 500,000 barrels per day with 15 crude cargoes each month, reaching 550,000 bpd by the end of the year, and aiming for 650,000 bpd by the first quarter of 2025.

“Petrol production will commence in July with sales from August,” assured Dangote.

Additionally, he disclosed that the group plans to list Dangote Fertilizer Limited and Dangote Petroleum Refinery & Petrochemicals on the Nigerian Exchange Group in the first quarter of 2025.

He continued by saying that Nigerians would be allowed to take a stake in these businesses.

“Due to the nature of our business with both the refinery and the fertiliser, we are aiming to list them by the end of this year. However, depending on circumstances, worst-case scenario, we anticipate listing them before the end of the first quarter of next year. This will allow us to offer shares for sale and enable Nigerians to participate as shareholders,” Dangote stated.

At full capacity, the Dangote Refinery can process 650,000 barrels of oil per day, making it the largest single-train facility in both Africa and the globe.

Additionally, the largest granulated urea fertiliser factory in Africa is run by Dangote Fertiliser Limited. At the moment, the most capitalized firm in Nigeria is Dangote Cement.

He emphasized that the refinery would produce 53 million litres of gasoline and 1.1 million tonnes of diesel per day, although its total storage capacity is 4.5 billion litres, which is enough to meet Nigeria’s crude needs for 20 days and store products equal to 15 days’ worth of fuel.

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Tanzania eyes law to promote foreign investment

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The Tanzanian government has suggested changing its rules to give Tanzanians living abroad special status so they can open businesses in important, high-priority economic sectors to attract more foreign investment.

The government has introduced the Miscellaneous Amendments Bill 2024 to Parliament for discussion, aiming to offer special status to Tanzanians residing abroad so they can establish businesses in their home country, thereby relaxing its burdensome regulations and legislation.

Through the Diaspora Tanzanite card, Tanzanians living abroad will be eligible for inheritance rights and investment incentives under the proposed immigration law revisions.

Only citizens of Tanzania have been allowed to possess land and other properties. The Miscellaneous Amendments Act, 2024, was released on June 26 and suggests amending the Land Act, cap 113, and the Immigration Act, cap 54, to grant land occupancy titles to Tanzanians residing abroad.

Tanzania is one of the African nations with stringent immigration laws and restrictions on property ownership rights that are placed on foreign nationals and residents who hold dual citizenship.

Before this, President Samia Suluhu Hassan had pledged to examine the Immigration Act. During her six-day official visit to Seoul in June, she addressed Tanzanians living in South Korea and promised her government would make sure Tanzanians living abroad would receive special treatment, including the opportunity to settle in Tanzania without having to go through a laborious visa application process.

As of 2018, the manufacturing sector in Tanzania attracted the greatest concentration of foreign direct investment (FDI) among all economic sectors, according to Statista. It totalled 1.4 billion dollars, which was split among 133 projects. After that, FDI in agricultural activities totalled more than half a billion dollars.

She promised to provide the legislative framework necessary to allow Tanzanians living abroad to send money home through their families to invest in, acquire, and use technology and knowledge that are primarily required for manufacturing, services, and agricultural output.

Samia informed the Tanzanians in Seoul that by 2023, Tanzanians living abroad had invested almost Tsh280 billion ($106 million) in housing, while others had purchased shares in UTT Asset Management and Investors Services (UTT AMIS) for Tsh6.45 billion ($2.4 million).

Through unified laws throughout the EAC, the Tanzania Investment Center (TIC) has been encouraging members of the East African Community (EAC) to form cooperative companies in Tanzania.

To identify and help Tanzanians living abroad register for business and investments, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the East African Co-operation built a diaspora database. The database is based on the availability of enough land that would be a good investment.

Tanzania lacked active agricultural investments, had a weak agro-industrial basis, and received little revenue from cash crops despite having abundant agricultural land.

Tanzania has 44 million hectares of arable land in total, according to data from the Ministry of Agriculture, but only 15 million of those hectares are being farmed for both food and commercial crops.

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