A former National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole has blamed the endless fuel scarcity experienced all over the country on the inability of the People Democratic Party (PDP) to fix Nigeria’s refineries during its 16-year rule.
Oshiomhole, a deputy director general of Tinubu-Shettima Campaign Council, stated this during a live appearance on Channels Television’s Politics Today programme on Wednesday.
“We must ask the question: who destroyed the refineries? What was the condition of the refineries by 1999? From 1999 to 2015, PDP was in power for 16 years. During this 16 years, if they bring out the figure, what they claimed to have spent maintaining these refineries, you will faint.
“And a PDP president decided to privatise the refineries, that was (Olusegun) Obasanjo, towards the tail end of his tenure, another PDP president came and revised the privatisation, promised six months that fuel will be available,” he said.
According to him, one of the major crises then President Goodluck Jonathan faced was dealing with the crisis around Premium Motor Spirit known as petrol.
“So, if you have to talk about the maintenance of the refineries, you will have to trace it to the 16 years of the PDP, they couldn’t fix it,” Oshiomhole said.
He listed the successes of the APC administration led by President Muhammadu Buhari since assumption of office in May 2015 to include the Petroleum Industry Act, and attracting the “right investment” to the sector including the refinery in Lagos owned by Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote.
PDP produced Nigeria’s President from 1999 to 2015 when APC’s Buhari won the presidential election to end the second term bid of Jonathan.
The Federal Government has ordered the reopening of the Obajana cement plant shut by the Kogi State Government last week.
Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, made this known on Friday at the end of the National Security Council.
The Kogi State Government and Dangote Group have been at loggerheads over the ownership of the Obajana Cement Company.
However, the minister said, “The council noted the development in Kogi and has ordered the reopening of the cement factory that is closed down and has advised that all issues related to that industry or factory should be resolved in accordance with the law, legally.
“Nobody must take the law into their own hands, either as a government or an individual. We are committed to guaranteeing and providing employment for Nigerians, whatever will hinder that or impede that must be discouraged.
“So, in that regard, the cement industry in Obajana must be reopened and all issues that are in dispute should be resolved legally,” Aregbesola said.
Similarly, the Minister of Police Affairs, Maigari Dingyadi, said “amicable solution has been reached to bring to an end this unfortunate development”.
“An agreement has been reached between the Kogi State Government and the Dangote Cement in Kogi on the need to reopen the factory and ensure that peace is restored in the state,” he noted.
Meanwhile, Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote met with the Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello on Friday but there appears to be no end in sight to the controversy surrounding the legitimate ownership of the cement plant.
Abdulsamad Rabiu, the third Nigerian on the list, also saw his fortunes improve from $4.9 billion to $6.9 billion.
Forbes, in its summary, said “war, pandemic and sluggish markets hit the world’s billionaires this year.
“There are 2,668 of them on Forbes’ 36th-annual ranking of the planet’s richest people—87 fewer than a year ago.
“They’re worth a collective $12.7 trillion—$400 billion less than in 2021.
“The most dramatic drops have occurred in Russia, where there are 34 fewer billionaires than last year following Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, and China, where a government crackdown on tech companies has led to 87 fewer Chinese billionaires on the list.
“Still, Forbes found more than 1,000 billionaires who are richer than they were a year ago. And 236 newcomers have become billionaires over the past year—including the first ever from Barbados, Bulgaria, Estonia and Uruguay.”
In its estimation, America still leads the world with 735 billionaires worth a collective $4.7 trillion, including Elon Musk, who tops the World’s Billionaires list for the first time.
China (including Macau and Hong Kong) remains number two, with 607 billionaires worth a collective $2.3 trillion.
“We used stock prices and exchange rates from March 11, 2022 to calculate net worths,” Forbes said of its methodology.
President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday commissioned the Dangote Fertiliser Plant in the nation’s bid to attain self-sufficiency in food production and create more jobs for its citizens.
He inaugurated the multi-billion dollars facility sited in Ibeju-Lekki, Lagos, at an event well attended by many political, traditional, and religious leaders, as well as captains of industries from various parts of the country.
They include the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan; Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila; Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, Kayode Fayemi; as well as members of the forum including Babajide Sanwo-Olu (Lagos), Darius Ishaku (Taraba), and Badaru Abubakar.
President of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote; Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele; former Lagos State Governor, Bola Tinubu, as well as the Vice-Chairman of Channels Media Group, Mrs Olusola Momoh, were among the dignitaries present at the event.
In his speech before commissioning the facility, President Buhari was delighted that the plant would further advance his administration’s drive towards achieving self-sufficiency in food production in the country.
“I commend the Chairman, Board, and Management of Dangote Industries Limited for their business initiative in building this plant to reduce our dependence on importation of fertiliser, create jobs on a massive scale, increase the inflow of foreign exchange and accelerate economic growth,” he said.
“This new plant is a testament to the widely acknowledged patriotism of Aliko Dangote and the leadership of Dangote Industries Limited. It also demonstrates their commitment to the socio-economic development of our country and the wellbeing of our people.
“I am confident that the investment in this plant will replicate the group’s earlier exploit in the cement sector where Dangote Cement holds the enviable record as our continent’s largest cement producer with footprints in 10 other African countries. The group’s investment in integrated cement plants, spanning the value chain from quarry to bagging has effectively ended Nigeria’s dependence on imported cement products.”
According to the President, Dangote Industries Limited, along with several other subsidiaries, has created thousands of jobs across the country.
He described the company as the second biggest employer of labour in Nigeria after the Federal Government, stressing the importance of job creation by private sector operators to national security.
Rise Of Agropreneurs
Nigeria, President Buhari stated, also stands to gain extensively in earnings of foreign exchange from the excess production and export from the plant.
“I am informed that you have already started exporting to other countries, including the United States, India, and Brazil,” he said. “The coming on stream of the plant is creating huge opportunities in the areas of job creation, trade, warehousing, transport, and logistics.
“This will create significant wealth, reduce poverty, and help in securing the future of our nation. In the agriculture sector, another focal point of our economic policy, we expect a boom as fertiliser is now readily available in greater quantities and better quality.
“Many Nigerians who hitherto practised subsistence farming because of the inability of necessary inputs can now take up agriculture as a business. We expect the rise of a new breed of agro-preneurs who will add value to farming and make the nation self-sufficient in food production.”
President Buhari assured Nigerians that his government would remain focused on providing an enabling environment for the private sector to thrive.
He also promised that they would continue to improve on infrastructure, power, and security, as well as enact relevant laws and regulations that would drive investment in the economy.
Tackling Youth Restiveness
In his speech, the President of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, believes the plant will make Nigeria self-sufficient in fertiliser production, with excess capacity to export to other African markets and the rest of the world.
He described its commissioning as very historic, saying it is the largest granulated urea plant in Africa and the second-largest in the world.
Africa’s richest businessman hinted that the plant would help Nigeria retain about $125 million in import substitution and provide $625 million from exports of its products.
“It is an ambitious developmental project which will drastically reduce the level of unemployment and youth restiveness in this country, through the direct and indirect employment,” he said.
“Our goal is to make fertiliser available in sufficient quantities and quality for our teeming farmers in achieving greater agricultural outputs and to help realise this potential, we are rolling out initiatives that will transform the agriculture sector including services for all small and medium-scale farmers.”
Dangote informed the audience at the event that the plant has established well-equipped soil testing laboratories to ensure appropriate fertiliser blends were applied to specific soil and crop types.
The Dangote Fertiliser Plant is Africa’s largest granulated urea fertiliser complex. It occupies 500 hectares of land in the Lekki Free Trade Zone and was built at about $2.5 billion.
It is expected to help Nigeria retain $125 million in import substitution and provide $625 million from exports of products from the fertiliser plant.
While Nigeria is estimated to need about five to seven million metric tonnes of fertiliser per annum amid its current level of fertiliser consumption which is 1.5 million metric tonnes, the Dangote fertiliser complex was established to produce three million metric tonnes of urea fertiliser per annum in its first phase.
In the course of its construction, the complex is said to have provided about 5,000 direct and indirect jobs in all categories, an additional 5,000 jobs within the community, as well as created 500 permanent jobs.
Businessman Aliko Dangote has retained his status as the richest man in Africa, according to Forbes.
Forbes, an American business magazine, is renowned for tracking the wealth of billionaires across the world.
“For the 11th year in a row, Alike Dangote of Nigeria is the continent’s richest person, worth an estimated $13.9 billion, up from $12.1 billion last year following a 30% increase in the stock price of Dangote Cement, his most valuable asset,” the magazine said in a web post published on Monday announcing its 2022 list of Africa’s richest people.
“A surge in housing developments in Nigeria and growth in government infrastructure spending drove higher demand in the first nine months of 2021, analysts found.”
Second to Dangote was South Africa’s luxury goods magnate, Johann Rupert.
Two other Nigerians on the list include Abdulsamad Rabiu (5th) and Mike Adenuga (6th).
Forbes said Mr. Rabiu recorded one of the largest wealth increases from the previous year’s list.
“Nigerian cement tycoon Abdulsamad Rabiu, who is $1.5 billion richer after taking yet another of his companies public,” the post said.
“In early January 2022, Rabiu listed his sugar and food firm BUA Foods on the Nigerian stock exchange. He and his son retained a 96% stake in the company, which recently had a market capitalization of nearly $2.8 billion. (Forbes discounts the values of stakes when the public float is less than 5%.) BUA Cement, in which he and his son have a 96% stake, listed in January 2020.”
“In calculating net worth, Bloomberg strives to provide the most transparent calculations available, and each individual billionaire profile contains a detailed analysis of how that person’s fortune is tallied,” the company explained.
The billionaire’s chart is a daily ranking of the richest people on earth and measures personal wealth solely on fluctuations in markets, the economy and Bloomberg’s reportage.
Each billionaire’s net worth is updated at the close of business every day at the close of trading in New York.
Equally, stakes in publicly traded companies are valued and it uses the share’s latest closing price. The valuations are then converted to US dollars at the present exchange rates.
Three of Nigeria’s richest persons made it to the top six of Forbes’ 2021 Africa’s Billionaires list.
Forbes released its 2021 billionaires list on Tuesday, it includes 14 African billionaires, with the President/Chief Executive of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, retaining the number one spot on the continent.
Other Nigerians who made the top-6 spot include Chairman of Globacom and Conoil Plc, Dr. Mike Adenuga, and the founder of BUA Group, Abdulsamad Rabiu.
Dangote’s net worth rose from $10.1bn in 2020 to $12.1bn in 2021, making him the 191st wealthiest person in the world.
Though Adenuga who is Nigeria’s second-richest person witnessed a deep from $7.7bn to $6.3bn, he remained in the top echelon in Africa placing 5th and was ranked 440th in the world.
Climbing up the billionaires’ ladder is the BUA group boss – Abdulsamad Rabiu who saw his fortune rise from $3.1bn in 2020 to a stunning $5.5bn in 2021.
With the $2.2bn gain, Mr. Rabiu now sits pretty as the 6th richest in Africa and the 574th billionaire in the world.
Other Africans who made the top-6 category include one Egyptian and two Southe Africans.
The Egyptian, Nassef Sawiris comes in second place in Africa and is ranked 297th on the list with a net worth of $8.5bn.
According to Forbes, Sawiris is an investor and a scion of Egypt’s wealthiest family, with his most valuable asset being a nearly six percent stake in sportswear maker.
The two South Africans who come in third and fourth place respectively are Nicky Oppenheimer (worth $8bn, ranked 308th in the world) and Johann Rupert (worth $7.2bn, ranked 358th in the world list).
Away from Africa, the founder, and CEO of Amazon, Jeff Bezos retained his spot as the world’s richest with a net worth of $177bn. He is followed by Elon Musk, co-founder and CEO of Tesla with $151bn.
Forbes notes that within the year in focus, there were rapid-fire public offerings, surging cryptocurrencies, and skyrocketing stock prices, adding that the number of billionaires on Forbes’ 35th annual list of the world’s wealthiest exploded to an unprecedented 2,755—660 more than a year ago.
According to the business magazine, altogether the billionaires are worth $13.1 trillion, up from $8 trillion on the 2020 list.
President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday commended the public-spiritedness of some wealthy Nigerians and organisations for standing up to be counted in the battle against the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
In a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, the President thanked members of the Nigerian Private Sector Coalition Against Covid-19, for their contributions in the sum of billions of naira to curb the spread of the disease in Nigeria.
They include former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, Aliko Dangote, Abdulsamad Rabiu of BUA Group, Femi Otedola, Tony Elumelu (United Bank of Africa), Herbert Wigwe (Access Bank), Segun Agbaje (Guaranty Trust Bank) and Jim Ovia (Zenith Bank).
He noted that UBA donated the sum of N5 billion to Nigeria and Africa, while the former Vice President pledged N50 million.
According to the President, First Bank is partnering with the government, the United Nations, and innovative technology firms to provide e-learning solutions to at least one million children under the ‘Keep Them Engaged, Keep Them Safe’ initiative.
He commended every other helping hand that has been lent by individuals, groups, and organisations, which may not necessarily be in the public domain, praying that God who sees all things would abundantly recompense.
President Buhari, however, recommended the laudable strides to other high net-worth Nigerians and organisations.
He stressed that collectively, Nigeria would overcome the challenges brought by the pandemic, and chart a new course in nationalism and brotherhood.
Nigeria’s billionaire businessman and President/CEO of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, has topped Forbes Africa’s Billionaires list for 2020 for the ninth time in a row.
The list according to Forbes captures only eight countries who have billionaires; Egypt and South Africa are tied with five billionaires each, followed by Nigeria with four and Morocco with two.
Maintaining the number one spot with a net worth of $10.1 billion, 62-year-old Dangote, an industrialist with investments in cement, oil and gas, flour and sugar surpassed Egyptian billionaire, Nassef Sawiris whose net worth stands at $8 billion.
Mr Sawiris’ most valuable assets are in Orascom Construction Industries (OCI) one of the world’s largest nitrogen fertilizer producers, with plants in Texas and Iowa.
He also has stakes in cement giant, Lafarge Holcim and Adidas, where he sits on the supervisory board.