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Hard times for Nigerians as FG set to increase fuel price to N180 Per litre, gives independent Marketers freedom to fix desired price

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The Federal Government may increase the price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), popularly called petrol to a minimum price of N180 and above anytime soon.

Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu who dropped the hint in Abuja on Thursday, said the current price of N145 per litre can no longer be sustained.

In a presentation he made to a joint committee on Petroleum (Downstream) of the Senate and the House of Representatives, the Minister said the landing cost for petrol stood at N171 per litre.

According to him, the Federal Government, through the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has been bearing the cost of N26 per litre, representing the difference between N171 and the current official price of N145 per litre.

Insisting that independent marketers would not be able to import the product at the current foreign exchange rate, saying the marketers were able to sell for N145 per litre when the exchange rate was N285 per Dollar. The Naira presently exchanges for N365 per Dollar.

“We now have to go back and find the solution to this problem in order to ease supply gaps and ensure availability of the product at all times,” the Minister said.

Kachikwu, however, proffered three alternative solutions to pump price increase: getting the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to introduce a modulated foreign exchange rate specifically for importers of the product; giving the marketers significant tax adjustments to enable them to absorb the high cost; and a plural pricing system whereby the NNPC would continue to sell at N145 through its numerous outlets while the marketers are allowed to fix their own price.

The Minister identified causes of the last fuel scarcity to include diversion of products, logistic constraints, bottleneck associated with clearance, bad road network, insufficient product reserves, smuggling through land borders, supply gaps and enforcement challenges.

He stated that the marketers stopped importing fuel since October 2017, as a result of their inability to access foreign exchange from the CBN, leaving only the NNPC to import the product, which has left a wide gap between demand and supply.

Dr. Kachikwu lamented that the price of petrol rises with the rise in the price of crude oil in the international, stressing that in such instances, Nigeria spends more to import refined products. In effect, any rise in crude oil price increases the amount the country spends on the importation of fuel.

To address the situation, the Minister canvassed the opening up of production lines, specifically the refineries, which he said, would address supply gaps that usually leads to incessant scarcity.

“Rising prices in international market affecting domestic prices. What the country needs is to have the refineries working. It’s a shame that after 40 years, Nigeria cannot produce its domestic consumption.

“It would take 18 months to address problems of scarcity, price stability and other issues relating to the supply of petroleum products. The pipelines should be concessioned to allow private participation.

“There is huge infrastructure deficit in the system because the NNPC ought to be distributing products through their pipes but most of the pipes are damaged. The has necessitated the use of trucks to distribute the product across the country.

“Most importantly, fixing the refineries should be the lasting solution. To discuss and address the issues, we have to seek approval from the President,” the Minister said.

In his own submission at the hearing, the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Dr. Maikanti Baru said the last scarcity was caused by rumours of price increase in the media that led marketers into hoarding the product in anticipation of higher prices.

Said he: “So there was a frenzy in the movement of products to the hinterland and diversion of products going to the hinterland in anticipation of the increase in price.

“The NNPC, or the Petroleum Products Pricing and Regulatory Authority (PPPRA) had no mandate to increase pump price.”

The GMD said that the strike action embarked upon by PENGASAN in December was partly responsible for the scarcity, saying issues raised by the association for going on strike had nothing to do with the NNPC.

According to him, the strike triggered panic buying by members of the public leading to scarcity of the product. He added that although PENGASAN called off the strike on December 18, the damage had already been done.

Baru identified other factors responsible for the last scarcity to be the higher price at which petrol is sold in neighbouring African countries, citing Cameroun where he said petrol sells for N300-N400 per litre.

Stating that the NNPC has enough product to bridge supply gaps, Baru insisted the corporation has sufficient stock to go round even without importation.

The GMD alleged that about 4500 distribution trucks failed to return to depots to complete their distribution formalities during the scarcity period, meaning that the trucks were diverted.

“There was no supply gap because we have Direct Sale Direct Purchase (DSDP) agreement with 10 consortia involved. Three of them rejected their cargoes, which were reallocated to others.”

The GMD also hinted that the refineries in Kaduna and Port Harcourt were being reactivated and restreamed and that they have been producing three million litres daily.

Baru also cited disagreements among the various private operators in the sector as part of the problems that threw up the scarcity, adding that the marketers were busy trading allegations of sharp practices.

He said: “For instance, IPMAN said MOMAN and DAPPMA were charging over N133.28/litre but when we asked them to provide evidence of overcharging, they could not provide any. If proven, NNPC would have withdrawn the licenses of the errant bodies.”

The Executive Secretary of the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Mordecai Baba Ladan told the committee that at the outset of scarcity, the DPR rolled out its machinery across the country, with the directive from the Minister that defaulters be dealt with.

“Almost every marketer/filling station across the country are defaulters. And if all defaulting filing stations were to be shut down, there may not be anyone left.

“They horde, sell above official price and also divert products. But we have stepped up our monitoring process now that the NNPC is the sole importer but the corporation cannot do it alone.

Virtually all the independent marketers that attended the hearing alleged multiple charges by the Nigerian Port Authority (NPA), NIMASA and some state governments charging 3 kobo per litre wharf landing fee.

The Executive Secretary of MOMAN, Mr. Obafemi Olawore said the N800 billion owed marketers by the Federal Government has made it difficult for them to obtain credit from the banks to import the product.

He appealed to the government to give key players major roles in the importation business, saying that shutting down errant filling stations won’t solve the scarcity problem but rather aggravate it.

Olawore called for total deregulation of the sector to allow more participants from the private sector.

Curiously, however, the chairman of the joint committee, Senator Kabiru Marafa who had vowed to grill the Minister and the GMD over secret subsidy payment by the government.

Briefing newsmen at the National Assembly on Friday, Marafa had raised questions on who pays the difference of the N26 in the landing cost of N171 against the pump price of N145.

The lawmaker said there were indications that a subsidy of N26 was being paid on every litre of petrol sold in the country and wondered who has been paying the subsidy.

Marafa had said, “If there is subsidy payment, then who approved it and how much has been paid out as the subsidy so far. If you want to provide the subsidy, it should come through the National Assembly but we have not received any request for subsidy payment from the Executive arm.”

Stating that about N10 trillion has been paid out as the subsidy, Marafa had lamented that stakeholders in the Petroleum industry, particularly the NNPC, have not been transparent in the running of the sector.

He said these were some of the issues the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, Baru and others would be made to explain to Nigerians at the January 4 hearing.

“We are going back to the same circle where only a few persons benefit from subsidy payment at the expense of the Nigerian people,” Senator Marafa had said.

Other members of the joint committee are Senators Tayo Alasoadura, Mao Ohuanbunwa, Sabi Abdullahi, Foster Ogola, Yahaya Abdullahi, Rose Oko, Philip Aduda among others.

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Fidelity Bank Plc Promotes 11% of Staff Following Record Financial Performance

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Fidelity Bank to boost Schools’ Profitability with Value-adding Products

Fidelity Bank Plc Promotes 11% of Staff Following Record Financial Performance

Leading financial institution, Fidelity Bank Plc has announced the promotion of 11% of its workforce, a testament to the exceptional performance and dedication of its employees. This significant move follows the release of the bank’s 2023 full year Audited Financial Statements, which reported an impressive 131.5 percent growth in Profit Before Tax (PBT) to N124.26 billion.
The recent promotions span every level within the bank, reflecting Fidelity Bank Plc’s commitment to recognizing and rewarding excellence across its entire organization. This strategic initiative has garnered positive reactions from staff members, who see it as a validation of their hard work and contribution to the bank’s remarkable financial achievements.
In addition to the promotions, Fidelity Bank Plc has also concluded arrangements to raise a total of N127.1 billion through a Rights Issue to existing shareholders and a Public Offer. This move is part of the bank’s broader strategy to strengthen its capital base, support future growth, and enhance shareholder value.
Fidelity Bank Plc’s impressive financial performance and the subsequent employee promotions highlight the bank’s robust operational strategy and its commitment to fostering a rewarding work environment. By investing in its people and ensuring their career growth, the bank continues to build a motivated and high-performing workforce.
Ranked as one of the best banks in Nigeria, Fidelity Bank Plc is a full-fledged customer commercial bank with over 8.5 million customers serviced across its 251 business offices in Nigeria and the United  Kingdom as well as on digital banking channels.
The bank has won multiple local and international awards including the Export Finance Bank of the Year at the 2023 BusinessDay Banks and Other Financial Institutions (BAFI) Awards, the Best Payment Solution Provider Nigeria 2023 and Best SME Bank Nigeria 2022 by the Global Banking and Finance Awards; Best Bank for SMEs in Nigeria by the Euromoney Awards for Excellence 2023; and Best Domestic Private Bank in Nigeria by the Euromoney Global Private Banking Awards 2023.

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WEMA BANK concludes 1st tranche of Capital Raise Programme

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Wema Bank PLC (Bloomberg: WemaBank: NL) (“Wema” or “the Bank”) announces the allotment of its N40billion Rights issue programme.

 

 

 

-Raises N40billion through a Rights Issuance process.
-Part of its larger 2-year; N150billion Capital programme.
Rights fully subscribed.
-Expected to Commence concluding tranche of additional Capital in Q4, 2024.
-Corporate Ratings affirmed by Fitch at BBB & Upgraded by Agusto to BBB+

Wema Bank, Nigeria’s foremost innovative bank and pioneer of Africa’s first fully digital bank, ALAT, has successfully concluded the first tranche of its recapitalisation exercise having secured all relevant regulatory approvals for the allotment of its N40bn Rights Issue which was initiated in December 2023.

In view of macroeconomic conditions, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in March 2024, launched a recapitalisation programme requiring commercial banks to raise fresh capital in alignment with the minimum requirement for their respective banking licenses, within a 24-month timeline spanning April 1, 2024, to March 31, 2026. The goal of this recapitalisation programme is to simultaneously boost the Nigerian economy and strengthen the Nigerian financial services industry.

As a forward-thinking and pioneering bank, Wema Bank in December 2023 launched a N40bn Rights issue which has now been approved by the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). With this remarkable development, Wema Bank has now successfully raised the 1st tranche of its plan in the minimum requirement laid down by the CBN.

In a statement made to the public by the Bank, Moruf Oseni, Wema Bank’s Managing Director and CEO, iterated the Bank’s resolve in retaining its Commercial Banking license with National Authorisation, adding that the N40bn Rights Issue is a step in that direction. “We are delighted to announce the conclusion of the 1st tranche of our Capital Raise Programme, after obtaining the relevant approvals of all regulatory authorities. Our move to commence our Capital Raise Programme very early demonstrates our push for excellence and with a strong emphasis on our digital play, we are set to amass more successes in the coming months.”

“We were impressed by the vote of confidence given by our shareholders during the 1st Rights Issue exercise as our shares were fully subscribed. In addition, we obtained the approval of shareholders at our 2023 Annual General Meeting (AGM) to raise an additional N150billion to meet the capitalisation threshold set by the CBN. The process is expected to be completed within 12-18 months. We are committed to providing optimum returns for every stakeholder and the successful conclusion of this N40bn Rights Issue is a bold step in the right direction.”

In addition to the upward trend in the Bank’s financial performance and the success recorded so far in its recapitalisation exercise, Wema Bank’s corporate rating was recently upgraded to BBB+ by Pan African credit rating agency, Agusto and Co, and retained at BBB by international rating agency, Fitch. Over the medium to long term, Wema Bank is positioned to not only dominate the digital Banking space but also the Nigerian financial services industry at large as it translates its industry leadership to significant market share.

Wema Bank is a leading financial services entity with banking operations across Nigeria, its leadership position in the digital banking space speaks to its aspirations to liberate Nigerian businesses and entrepreneurs by making digital platforms widely available.

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Nkiru Olumide-Ojo’s New Book ‘Marketplace Readiness’ to Equip Young Nigerians for Marketplace Success

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Nkiru Olumide-Ojo's New Book ‘Marketplace Readiness’ to Equip Young Nigerians for Marketplace Success

Nkiru Olumide-Ojo’s New Book ‘Marketplace Readiness’ to Equip Young Nigerians for Marketplace Success

 

 

In a bold step to enforce and ensure inclusive and equitable quality education, and to promote lifelong learning opportunities for everyone under the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG4) in Nigeria, Corporate Executive and Founder of the LightHouse Network, Nkiru Olumide-Ojo, launched her new book titled “Step Forward: Market Place Readiness.”

The book launch took place at the Alliance Française, Mike Adenuga Event Center, Osborne Road, Ikoyi, on Thursday, June 6, 2024.

According to the National Planning Commission, Nigeria faces a significant challenge with approximately 53% of its youth currently unemployed. To address this pressing issue, Nkiru Olumide-Ojo dedicated her efforts to preparing young people for the job market, equipping them with the necessary skills to seize available opportunities or even create new ones.

In her opening remarks, Mrs. Yetunde Baderinwa, National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) Lagos State Coordinator, stated that “the marketplace today is dynamic, competitive, and full of opportunities; however, it also provides numerous challenges that businesses must be ready to face. Market readiness involves understanding these challenges, adapting to changes, and strategically positioning oneself to capitalize on opportunities as they arise.” She further noted that “in the last 13 years, NYSC has sensitized three million, three hundred six thousand, six hundred and forty-six corps members, opening their eyes to entrepreneurship development.

Also speaking at the event, Mrs. Adenike Ogunlesi, Founder of Ruff and Tumble, addressed both the corps members present and guests who are already in the workplace. She emphasized, “Be intentional about building your mindset. Stand your ground based on three things: building your character, understanding what you value, and what your values are as a human being, and building your competence.”

The event was remarkable, featuring discussions on marketplace readiness across two generations, including thought leaders, educators, and advocates for sustainable development. Attendees benefited from insightful panel sessions featuring distinguished speakers, engaging conversations, and networking opportunities with individuals passionate about education and sustainable growth.

Leading the panel session were Mrs. Adenike Ogunlesi, Founder of Ruff and Tumble; Mrs. Yetunde Baderinwa, National Youth Service Corps (NYSC); Mr. Victor Banjo, Director of Executive Education at Lagos Business School; Joseph Onaolapo (Jay On Air), a renowned radio and TV broadcaster, content creator, actor, and event host; and Tobiloba Aboaba, a dynamic young professional at Stanbic IBTC, among others.

The book, “Step Forward: Market Place Readiness,” is a product of Nkiru and her team’s extensive work in underserved tertiary institutions, providing essential market readiness skills to students. This book aims to broaden their reach and impact, offering valuable insights and practical advice to a wider audience. It delves into situations and issues that undergraduates face in their everyday lives, preparing them for the challenges of the marketplace.

 

Nkiru Olumide-Ojo's New Book ‘Marketplace Readiness’ to Equip Young Nigerians for Marketplace Success

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