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Forex: CBN intervenes with $210m

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In another round of intervention, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has injected the sum of $210million into the inter-bank Foreign Exchange Market to ensure the availability of forex and also meet customers’ requests in various segments of the market.

At the trading on Tuesday, August 7, 2018, the CBN offered $100million to authorized dealers in the wholesale segment of the market, while the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) segment received the sum of $55 million. Customers requiring foreign exchange for invisibles such as tuition fees, medical payments and Basic Travel Allowance (BTA), among others, were also allocated the sum of $55 million.

The Bank’s Acting Director, Corporate Communications Department (CCD), Mr. Isaac Okorafor, confirmed the figures and reassured the public that the Bank would continue to intervene in the interbank foreign exchange market in line with its quest to sustain liquidity in the market and maintain stability. He added that the steps taken so far by the Bank in the management of forex had paid off, as reflected by reduction in the country’s import bills and accretion to its foreign reserves.

Meanwhile, the naira exchange rate remained stable in the FOREX market, exchanging at an average of N360/$1 in the BDC segment of the market on Tuesday, July 07, 2018.

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FG will soon start sourcing Forex from Dangote Group – Emefiele

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The Federal Government will soon start sourcing foreign exchange (forex) from Dangote Group, as soon as the latter’s refinery, petrochemicals and fertilizer projects come on stream.

This potential reversal of roles was disclosed by the Central Bank Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, after he spent over four hours touring the ongoing Dangote Refinery, Petrochemicals, Fertilizer projects and Dangote deep-water jetty at the weekend.

Emefiele toured the project sites in the company of the President/CE of the Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote; Deputy Governor of the CBN, Aishah Ahmad; Group Managing Director, Dangote Industries Limited, Mr. Olakunle Alake; Group Executive Director of Dangote Industries, Mr. Devakumar Edwin; and the Managing Director of Guaranty Trust Bank, Mr. Segun Agbaje.

The CBN governor premised his comment on the huge forex earnings that are expected to accrue from the export of the petrochemical and fertilizer products from the Dangote refinery and fertilizer plants by the time the fertilizer plant begins operations in May this year, and the refinery takes off as planned in 2020.

Mr. Emefiele, who commended Aliko Dangote for the volume of work done on the Dangote projects since his last visit over two years ago, also enthused that the refinery and fertilizer projects would help Nigeria to create thousands of Jobs and check importation of fuel by the federal government; thereby saving government huge amounts of forex currently being spent on fuel import.

He added that about 55 to 60 per cent of Nigeria’s spending on foreign exchange for the importation of petroleum products and food items would be saved when the Dangote Refinery come on stream. Emefiele said one third of Nigeria’s spending on forex will also be retained when the Dangote Refinery is completed.

Emefiele described the Dangote Refinery as transformational project for Nigeria, which totally keys into the objectives of President Muhammadu Buhari on self-sufficiency in petroleum products, conservation of forex and diversification of the economy. “I am sure by that time, the CBN will be begging Dangote to sell its dollars to the bank,” he said.

He noted that the completion of the refinery would make Nigeria self-sufficient in the production of refined products and also make the country to be among the league of exporters of petroleum products.

Emefiele declared the CBN’s support to any company or individuals who are ready to invest in the transformation of the Nigeria economy. “We are ready to support in Naira and also ready to provide foreign exchange for any investor who is ready to support Nigeria’s transformational agenda.

“I use this opportunity to repeat that we are ready to support any individual like Aliko Dangote who is willing to invest in this country. We will continue to support companies that display the determination to support the CBN. I feel so delighted and I am happy this is happening in my own life-time and I am sure you are all so happy.”

Speaking also, President, Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, said the project would definitely transform the Nigerian economy. “We have a couple of projects at hand and we will continue with these transformative projects. The biggest problem we have in Nigeria is that we currently import more than we produce like any other African countries. But, by the time we finish our fertilizer plant, Nigeria will be the largest exporter of fertilizer in Africa. We will also be the largest exporter of petrochemicals and the largest exporter of petroleum products in the whole of Africa. This is a major transformation.”

He said the 3billion Standard Cubic Feet gas pipeline and other Dangote Projects are geared towards Nigeria’s economic transformation.

Dangote commended CBN for its moral support to the refinery project. “There are lots going on in Nigeria. We want the CBN to support us like what it did in cement sector, which made Nigeria not only self-sufficient in the production of cement, but it became an exporter of the product. Today, Nigeria will not even import cement because we no longer have capacity for importation of cement,” he added.

In a presentation made to the CBN governor, Group Executive Director at Dangote Industries Limited, Devakumar Edwin, disclosed that the company’s target is for a significant portion of Nigeria’s crude oil production to be refined domestically, rather than imported, thereby creating jobs within Nigeria, and bringing a halt to the current importation of refined petroleum product.

Edwin said the refinery is going to provide over 100,000 indirect employment through retail outlets. He said the refinery is designed to meet Euro V grade, which is the highest standard in the world, hence products can be exported to any part of the world.

“It will be well diversified and able to process Nigerian crude, African crude and crude from other parts of the world. In terms of evacuation routes, two crude oil single point mooring (SPM) buoys and three multi-product SPMs will be located within the Atlantic Ocean to transfer crude oil to a calling tanker.

“The 2-Line Dangote Fertilizer Complex, consisting of Ammonia and Urea plants, is conceived to be one of the world’s largest fertilizer plants with a total capacity of 3 Million Tonnes per Annum of Urea fertilizer. Therefore, the Dangote Fertilizer is positioned to bridge the gap between local demand and national capacity. Dangote Fertilizer Plants will produce Urea that will assist farmers boost their crop yields through easy access to fertilizer,” he added.

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Transcorp Hotels Plc appoints Owen Omogiafo as MD/CEO

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Transcorp Hotels 1: l-r: Executive Director, Transcorp Plc, Chris Ezeafulukwe; President/CEO of Transcorp Plc, Valentine Ozigbo; Managing Director/CEO, Transcorp Hotels Plc, Owen Omogiafo; and Chairman, Transcorp Hotels Plc, Emmanuel Nnorom during the farewell dinner held for immediate MD/CEO of Transcorp Hotels Plc, Valentine Ozigbo and welcome party for Owen Omogiafo,the new MD/CEO in Abuja on Saturday

Transcorp Hotels Plc, the hospitality subsidiary of Transnational Corporation of Nigeria Plc (Transcorp) and owners of the award-winning Transcorp Hilton Abuja and the iconic Transcorp Hotels Calabar hosted a farewell/welcome dinner in honour of its immediate past Managing Director/CEO, Valentine Ozigbo who has been elevated to the role of the President/CEO of Transcorp Plc and Owen Omogiafo the current MD/CEO of Transcorp Hotels Plc.

The Black-tie event held at the Congress Hall of the prestigious Transcorp Hilton Abuja was indeed a night of farewells and welcomes as the outgoing and incoming General Managers of Transcorp Hilton Abuja, Etienne Gailliez and Kevin Brett were also celebrated. The glamorous event featured different presentations from Classical music, award presentations, and vote of confidence speeches from notable personalities who were present to honour these icons including Professor Charles Soludo, former Governor and Chairman of the board of directors of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Jan Van Der Putten, Vice President Operations, Africa and Indian Ocean, Hilton Worldwide, Professor Osita and Dr. Ogugua Ogbu, Alhaji Dikwa, Chief Collins Chikeluba, Former Director, Central Bank of Nigeria,  Mr. Anslem Tabansi, Sabi Bar-Noy, Chairman of Nairda, Iheanyi Nzekwe, Chairman, Teknokleen Group, dignitaries from the Diplomatic Communities and several CEOs and Captains of the industry.

Valentine Ozigbo in his appreciation speech alluded his excellence and success as the MD/CEO of Transcorp hotels Plc to his background and great mentors whom he served under their tutelage, according the highest accolades to the Chairman of Transcorp Plc, Tony O. Elumelu for years of mentorship. Speaking about his successor, Owen Omogiafo, Valentine said: “I couldn’t have found a better person to succeed me and I am confident that she will do better, I have seen her strong execution skills and I can attest that she will do even better than me.”

The Chairman of Transcorp Hotels Plc, Emmanuel Nnorom in his remarks appreciated Valentine for maintaining and deploying high-level of corporate governance and for driving positive transformation in Transcorp Hilton Abuja and Transcorp Hotels Calabar. He further charged him on the new responsibilities at Transcorp Plc and admonished him to carry on the good works. Speaking about Owen, he stressed her affinity with the vision and mandate of the Transcorp Plc group and expressed his confidence in her ability to take the company to enviable heights.

Owen Omogiafo in her remarks appreciated the immediate past MD/CEO, Valentine Ozigbo and the Hilton management team for leaving behind a solid foundation for her to build on.  “I am well aware that I am stepping into big shoes, but they are solid shoes and they have a strong foundation, I am also aware of the company’s responsibilities to all its key stakeholders and I’ll be working with the team members to execute them excellently.”

The event ended on a high-note as all present were serenaded with high-life tunes from one of Nigeria’s best musicians, Flavour.

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Microsoft 4Afrika partners FirstBank to support SMEs  

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On 18 January 2019, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, together with Microsoft 4Afrika, will host a free-to-attend event for SMEs in Nigeria, designed to promote technology adoption and skills development.

The event will serve as an official launch of the new partnership between Microsoft 4Afrika and FirstBank, following a memorandum of understanding signed earlier in June 2018. The partnership seeks to build the capacity of local SMEs andaccelerate their digital transformation, by providing them with exclusive and tailored non-financial solutions. Participants will be exposed to skills development resources, access to business networks and an educational platform.

According to Taiwo Shonekan, Head Customer Experience and Value Management, First Bank of Nigeria Limited: “This partnership with Microsoft enables us to deliver a portfolio of non-financial solutions to our SME customers. We have over the last 125 years supported SMEs in building their business, whilst contributing to the national economy. This partnership is a landmark step in our quest to leverage the influence of technology in businesses, especially in today’s digital age.”

“With this partnership, FirstBank customers can buy Microsoft products at discounted rates in the local currency – the naira – as this seamlessly aids technology adoption, skills and capacity development among SMEs in Nigeria,” she adds.

Amrote Abdella, Regional Director of the Microsoft 4Afrika Initiative and the keynote speaker for the event says: “For SMEs, integrating technology into their operations is no longer an option, but a necessity for future growth and success. We’re looking forward to engaging in discussions that explore how technology can extend reach to new markets and improve productivity, which results in better customer service, more competitive offerings and the ability to act with agility.”

Across the continent, Microsoft 4Afrika is forging partnerships with several players in the SME ecosystem – from banks to telcos – to enhance SME offerings and reach a broader audience.

“Technology and the relevant digital skills today play such an integral role in business success. We’re working with organisations to extend this support to as many SMEs as possible, ensuring not only their success, but the growth and competiveness of our continent in an increasingly digital world.”

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