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Yuguda advocates use of technology to deepen financial inclusion

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The Director-General of Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Mr Lamido Yuguda, has called on policy makers and capital market stakeholders to leverage on technology to expand access to financial services and deepen financial inclusion.

Yuguda, who stated this at the weekend in his keynote address at the 2021 workshop of Capital Market Correspondents Association of Nigeria(CAMCAN) in Lagos, noted that technology would continue to play a critical role in expanding access to affordable financial services.

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The SEC boss, represented by Executive Commissioner, Operations, Mr Temidayo Obisan, said aside expanding access to affordable financial services, it also provides cost effective means of reaching the untapped market, especially in the rural areas.

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According to him, there are over 191 million and 140 million active mobile subscribers and active data subscribers in Nigeria as at October 3, 2021.

Yuguda stressed he need for participants in the market to leverage technology to close the huge financial inclusion gap that currently exist in tha market and bring the unbanked into the financial space.

He pointed out that closing this gap would help reduce the cost of providing financial transactions as it involves little or no infrastructure cost and offers the highest outreach.

“Leveraging technology to offer financial service has advantage over traditional means because it breaks down geographical constraints.

“It also simplifies the means of serving existing customers for example through the use of mobile banking agents to perform banking transactions.

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“Financial institutions are increasingly using electronic channels to onboard clients and address customers queries and bring financial product offerings to the prospective users,” he said.

On measures adopted so far by the commission to boost financial inclusion in Nigeria, Yuguda said SEC is currently working with the Fund Managers Association of Nigeria ( FMAN) to accelerate financial inclusion to collective investment schemes.

He added said the commission is proposing a hackathon challenge to help develop a comprehensive suite of mobile internet-based services targeted at having an end-to-end processes of the entire capital market.

Also speaking at the event, the Deputy Director, HOD Securities and Investment Services of SEC, Mr Abdulkadir Abbas, said there was a need for an active collaboration of all market stakeholders to help drive the initiative. According to him, adoption of technology can help open up the capital market and bridge the gap of the unbanked which has created room for the proliferation of unregistered outlets that have continued to swindle investors of their resources in the market.

He said: “Average age of participation in capital market is 53 years where as the power is in the youths. We need to bring these youths to play on the capital market.

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“We need market infrastructure to drive this initiative and some tools to help onboard people in the rural areas. We have these requirements, it is the starting point,” Abbas said.

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FG targets 2.1 million barrels of daily production by December 2024

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FG targets 2.1 million barrels of daily production by December 2024

The federal government has revealed its goal of growing Nigerian oil production to 2.1 million barrels a day by December 2024.

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, whom Kashim Shettima, the vice president, represented, gave the revelation in his address at the ongoing 3rd Edition of ‘THE AFRICA NATURAL RESOURCES AND ENERGY INVESTMENT SUMMIT (AFNIS), 2024, in Abuja.

 

Also read: FG offers 17 new oil blocks for bidding

 

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The investment summit is attended by Ministers of Solid Minerals and Oil and Gas from Mali, South Sudan, Liberia, Chad, and Nigeria.

According to Shettima, ’Our goal is to attract more investment in the oil and gas industry and grow our oil production to 2.1 million barrels a day by December 2024. Furthermore, we will invest in our midstream and downstream infrastructure, tackle theft, and hold developers to account to the highest environmental standards.”.

The Vice President stated that for Africa to realise its full potential and meet global climate targets fully, it must put collaboration at the forefront of their collective national transition plans.

He promised that the present administration will continue to work with the international community and our African neighbours to initiate and develop cross-border infrastructure systems that will allow goods and services to move easily across Africa and fully harness the potential of the African Free Trade Continental Agreement. It should not be easier to transport natural gas from Nigeria to the far east than to North Africa.

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Meanwhile, restating Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s commitment to elevating Nigeria’s critical mineral resource wealth to create a more prosperous and environmentally conscious future, he said, “A continent that has 40 percent of the world’s gold, 90 percent of its chromium and platinum, and the largest reserves of cobalt, uranium, and diamonds must re-organise and maximise these humongous resources to banish poverty, end illiteracy, and score higher on the Human Development Index.

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“Our administration, in the tradition of continental leadership that Nigeria has established, is at the forefront of the efforts to make our natural resources serve the people of Africa. Our advocacy for value addition in the mining sector is the result of deep introspection and technical diagnosis.

“We intend to elevate Nigeria’s critical mineral resource wealth from potential to reality, creating a prosperous, resilient, and environmentally conscious future.

“This administration wants to make Nigeria a leader in critical metals, and I welcome the establishment of the African Minerals Strategy Group with our Minister as the first chairman of this initiative. We aim to set new standards in the mining industry and to make sure that Africa gets an equitable slice in supplying the world with critical metals.

Moreover, we also acknowledge that at the core of all our decisions on harnessing the abundant natural resources of our dear continent is the safeguarding of the environment and local communities. We are the custodians of the offices we now hold and the land that we inherit. We must strive to avoid the mistakes of the past, where environmental considerations were superseded by economic gains.

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In his remarks, Dele Alake, the minister of solid mineral development who is also the chairman of the African Minerals Strategic Group, noted that the summit was a significant milestone towards harnessing Africa’s vast natural resources for sustainable economic development.

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Highlighting Nigeria’s leadership role in the newly established Africa Minerals Strategy Group, he said, “As the first chairman of this initiative, I am dedicated to setting new standards in the mining industry and ensuring that Africa secures an equitable share in supplying the world with critical minerals.

“This initiative will drive economic growth, promote sustainable practices, and foster international collaboration in the mining sector. AFNIS 2024 provides a unique opportunity to forge partnerships and attract investments that will drive the development of Africa’s natural resources.

Alake assured that the group was committed to creating a business-friendly environment that encourages foreign direct investment and fosters mutually beneficial collaborations. By leveraging global expertise, technology, and capital, we can transform our natural resources into a catalyst for sustainable development. Through robust corporate social responsibility initiatives and proactive community engagement, our goal is to empower communities and foster inclusive development.

He added that the commitment is reinforced by the recent revision of the Community Development Agreement (CDA), which he initiated shortly after assuming office.

“This updated framework ensures that local communities are integral partners in mining ventures, safeguarding their interests and ensuring direct participation in and benefits from resource extraction projects. The CDA exemplifies our unwavering dedication to sustainable development, transparency, and the enduring prosperity of all communities involved,” he added.

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Under the Renewed Hope Agenda championed by His Excellency President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, GCFR, we are committed to transforming Nigeria’s solid minerals sector into a cornerstone of our nation’s economic diversification strategy. Our approach is multifaceted, focusing on policy reforms, sustainable practices, infrastructure development, and human capital enhancement.

“We are currently implementing comprehensive reforms that will create a conducive environment for investment in the solid minerals sector. These reforms aim to enhance transparency, regulatory clarity, and investor confidence, fostering a competitive and thriving industry,” he said.

Alake maintained that “our goal is to ensure that mining activities contribute positively to the economy while safeguarding the environment and enhancing the well-being of local communities, reflecting the ethos of the Renewed Hope Agenda. Recognising the critical role of infrastructure in enabling mining activities, we’ll encourage investments in key projects, including transportation, power supply, and technological advancements.

Alake reiterated the importance of collaboration and shared commitment in achieving the goals set forth at the summit. The journey ahead is filled with opportunities and challenges, but with unity, determination, and innovation, we can transform Africa’s natural resources into a catalyst for sustainable development and inclusive growth.” He said

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Petrol landing cost now N1,117/litre – Marketers

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Petrol landing cost now N1,117/litre – Marketers

The landing cost of Premium Motor Spirit, also known as petrol, was N1,117/litre as of Tuesday, July 16, 2024, the Major Energies Marketers Association of Nigeria announced on Wednesday.

MEMAN disclosed this during a webinar with journalists on Wednesday.

 

Also read: Dangote Refinery on track for July petrol supply – Official

 

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The association revealed that the landing cost of diesel was N1,157/litre, while that of aviation fuel was N1,127/litre.

Theheute reports that the N1,117 landing cost of petrol is far above the pump price of the product in Nigeria.

At the moment, filling stations operated by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited and those of the major marketers sell PMS at between N617/litre and N660/litre, while independent marketers sell for N700/litre or more.

NNPC, the sole importer of petrol into Nigeria, has consistently denied subsidising the cost of PMS but refused to disclose the landing cost of the product.

Our correspondent reports that the revelation from MEMAN is almost the first from marketers in the industry as the landing cost appears to have been shrouded in secrecy by the importer of PMS.

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MEMAN’s Executive Secretary, Clement Isong, said the costs were obtained from independent energy price benchmark providers.

The association maintained that it would release similar information regularly to keep the masses informed.

Recently, independent oil marketers accused private depot owners of hiking the ex-depot price of petrol from N630 to N720/litre.

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An expert in the energy sector, Prof Wumi Iledare, told our correspondent in an interview that the cost of PMS in Nigeria was far below the international price, considering the price of diesel.

“The gap between the cost of diesel and petrol in Nigeria is much. It is never like that all over the world. That means something is wrong.

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“I don’t know if NNPC is paying subsidies or not, but somebody is absorbing the difference. You can call it under-recovery or subsidy, but the price of petrol today does not reflect the market cost of producing a litre of petrol,” he disclosed.

Iledare added that with the current exchange rate, the price of petrol should not be less than 80 per cent of the price of diesel.

Corroborating this, a Professor of Economics at the University of Ibadan and President of the Nigerian Economics Society, Adeola Adenikinju, said, “The current price of PMS is being subsidised by the government. The government buys at higher rates and sells to us at subsidised rates. That is what they call under-recovery.”

The International Monetary Fund recently warned the Nigerian government to remove what it called implicit fuel and electricity subsidies.

In a report published recently by the IMF, the organisation told Nigeria that the subsidies would guzzle three per cent of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product in 2024 as against one per cent in the year before.

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President Bola Tinubu declared the removal of fuel subsidies during his inauguration on May 29, 2023.

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IMF noted, however, that “adequate compensatory measures for the poor were not scaled up promptly and subsequently paused over corruption concerns. Capping pump prices below cost reintroduced implicit subsidies by end-2023 to help Nigerians cope with high inflation and exchange rate depreciation.”

However, the NNPC and the Federal Government have vehemently denied subsidising the current price of PMS

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NNPCL: Why we limited our investment in Dangote Refinery to 7.5%

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NNPCL: Why we limited our investment in Dangote Refinery to 7.5%

The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) has explained why it limited its equity in the over $20 billion Dangote Refinery to 7.5 per cent instead of the 20 per cent widely speculated.

The Chairman of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote told journalists on Sunda that NNPCL no longer owns a 20 per cent stake in theRefinery.

 

Also read: NNPCL denies adjusting fuel pump prices

 

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Dangote said this was because NNPCL failed to pay the balance of their share, which was due in June.

“NNPC no longer owns a 20 per cent stake in the Dangote refinery. They were meant to pay their balance in June, but have yet to fulfil the obligations. Now, they only own a 7.2% stake in the refinery,” Dangote said.

However, in a statement by its Chief Corporate Communications Officer, Femi Soneye, on Sunday, NNPCL said its decision to reduce its investment in the refinery was well thought out.

The company added that it informed Dangote of its decision to cap its investment in the refinery many months ago

NNPCL said, “Several months ago, we made a commercial decision to cap our investment at the amount already paid. This decision was taken by NNPC Ltd and has no impact on our business.”

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“NNPC Limited periodically assesses its investment portfolio to ensure alignment with the company’s strategic goals,” said a spokesman for the company.

“The decision to cap its equity participation at the paid-up sum was made and communicated to Dangote Refinery several months ago,

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Meanwhile, Dangote has described the completion of the refinery as another milestone for Dangote Industries Ltd.

“It is the largest single train refinery in the world with 650,000 barrels per day refining capacity,

“It marks the attainment of self-sufficiency in domestic refining of petroleum products and provides excess capacity in refined products which will go for the export market,’’ the industrialist said.

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He noted that Dangote Industries Ltd. wanted to make sure that apart from domestic sales of its products, it would export the excess.

He mentioned that for three consecutive times, the refinery had been able to bring the price of diesel below N1,100 per litre.

The industrialist noted that it was projected that the exportation of cement alone would fetch the conglomerate 325 million dollars annually.

He said that plans were also underway to add nine million tonnes of capacity to the cement industry by Dangote Cement Plc.

He pointed out that the conglomerate had the only cement company in Africa using robots.

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Dangote advised Nigerians not just to acquire and store wealth but to invest in the country to encourage foreign investors to do the same.

He, however, advised that to get the economy on a more sound footing, Nigerian businessmen should not be import-dependent.

According to him, import dependency will impoverish the nation and turn the nation into a dumping ground.

“It is better to manufacture and grow the economy. If we allow imports so much, we may not be able to compete with other nations,’’ Dangote said.

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