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Dangote Refinery to Reduce Africa’s Petroleum Importation by 36%, says APPO

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AJAGBE ADEYEMI TESLIM

SPONSORED BY: H&H

African Petroleum Producers Organisation (APPO) has said that the establishment of Dangote Oil Refinery will bring about a 36 per cent reduction in the importation of petroleum productions into the continent.

Besides, the organisation expressed a belief that the success of Dangote Refinery project could incentivise the rise of similar projects across Africa despite the current focus on energy transition.

The Secretary-General, African Petroleum Producers Organisation, Dr. Omar Farouk Ibrahim, said in an interview that Dangote Refinery shall be supplying over 12% of Africa’s products demand when it becomes operational.

Ibrahim stated, “To appreciate the impact that the Dangote refinery is going to have on African economies and especially on the supply of petroleum products, and to some extent the conservation of scarce foreign exchange, a look at some statistics on the continent’s petroleum products demand and supply is in order.

“Currently, Africa’s daily petroleum demand is 4.3 million barrels per day (mbd). Of this volume, 57% is produced locally (on the continent) while 43% is imported. When Dangote is fully onstream, the percentage of Africa’s products import shall drop to 36%. This is even as the total volume of products demand rises to 5.4 mbd. You can therefore see the huge impact that Dangote refinery shall be making to overall products supply in Africa. Dangote shall be supplying over 12% of Africa’s products demand.

“That is huge savings for a continent that has scarce foreign exchange and little to export. We shall save from buying abroad and from shipping and insurance costs. Furthermore, the success of Dangote could incentivise the rise of similar projects, the noise about energy transition notwithstanding,” oil analyst noted. 

Ibrahim also hailed Dangote’s decision to go ahead with the construction of crude oil refinery despite a campaign against fossil fuels, adding that the demand for fossil fuel is going to continue for several decades to come.

“We believe that Dangote made a very wise decision to proceed with the project, despite the campaign against fossil fuels. There will be demand for petroleum products for many decades to come. Indeed, we see petroleum products prices rising steadily in the next few years for at least two decades.

“This is because new refineries are not coming up in Europe and North America, where Africa imports 34% of its supplies, because their governments have embraced energy transition, some willingly, others due to pressure. So, some of the sources of Africa’s imports are going to dry up. At the same time, Africa will not be in a position to fast track the development of non-fossil fuels.

“In fact, even the developed countries will not be able to move as fast as is projected. We see Africa and many regions of the world continuing to rely on fossil fuel energy at a time when deliberate decisions are being made to stop funding fossil fuel projects. The world risks abandoning fossil for renewable, but in the end not getting the renewables, and at the same time losing the fossils due to deliberate neglect”, he explained.

Ibrahim urged African refiners to invest more on technology and develop the right expertise to manage their refineries, which are going to serve the continent as western refiners halt the establishment of more refineries.

He stated, “African refiners have no cause to worry about their investments. All they need to do is to ensure that they have developed the right expertise to manage their refineries, get honest managers and staff to run their business and come together to join APPO’s initiative to establish foundries and other equipment manufacturing plants to service their refineries. Once they have these, the market is there for their products.

“For the next three decades or more, Africa shall continue to use fossil fuel-driven vehicles and with its population projected to double within that period, there will be a huge market for petroleum products. Africa cannot rapidly transit into electric vehicles, as the bulk of the vehicles on our roads today and in the next 20-30 years are going to be non-electric. There is the market, and we should not be discouraged from thinking positively”, the APPO scribe noted.

He disclosed that APPO is working with its Member Countries to construct cross border energy infrastructure like pipelines for crude and products as well as for oil and gas terminals, depots etc.

“Once we have this infrastructure on the ground, the markets for African Continental Free Trade Agreement, which came into force in 2021, is there to support this initiative”, he added.

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Progress Emerged Winner of Nigerian Idol Season 7, Applauds Bigi for Refreshing Moments, Sponsorship of Musical Talent Discovery

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AJAGBE ADEYEMI TESLIM

Sponsored by: H&H

The Nigerian Idol musical reality show sponsored by the Bigi carbonated soft drink brand of Rite Foods, climaxed on Sunday, with Progress Chukwuyem emerging the winner of the 10-week electrifying performances by the top 12 contestants, thus clinching N100,000,000 (One Hundred Million Naira) worth of prizes.

It includes N30 million (Thirty-Million Naira), a new SUV, a Bigi branded refrigerator and a year’s supply of Bigi drinks, an EP and a music video, a weekend getaway from TravelBeta, and a DStv Explora fully installed with a 12 months premium subscription.

The 21 years old singer, songwriter, and performer, from Ika South of Delta State, defeated Zadok Aghalengbe, age 27, from Edo State, at the grand finale of the Nigerian Idol show on Sunday, 22 May, after a heated contest, as both demonstrated their musical dexterity with stunning acts that got the judges and audience thrilled with admiration, but to Progress’ favour, who was declared the winner with the highest vote from the 45 million recorded for the week. This was also part of the over 220 million votes recorded for the musical show, which started with the top 12 contestants, after a painstaking audition of over four million candidates.

Progress which was highly elated after a captivating performance with Zadok, and often called a Pastor because of his religious inclination, got his inspiration from his activities as a church chorister and has participated in a musical competition at the age of 16. Also inspired by Jonathan McReynolds, a Grammy-winning American gospel musician, Progress believed he will be the next Nigerian Idol.

Progress, before the verdict, performed AJR’s ‘Bang’ which led to a standing ovation by the judges and the audience, while Zadok did ‘I Wanna Dance with Somebody’ by Whitney Houston, another wonderful rendition that was also well applauded.

The act by the winner was greeted with comments from the father, who was present at the show, saying “what l see today is like a dream. When he went for the audition, l told him that the Lord is with him and here he is, the Nigerian Idol.”

Interestingly, the evening show was packed with exciting moments with stage performances from top-notch artistes who are also judges on the show. D’Banj, one of the judges, sang ‘Emergency’ one of his hit songs; Simi did Duduke; and Pheelz, ‘Finesse.’ Also, was the rendition by the winner of Nigerian Idol Season 6, Kingdom Kroseide, and the Season 7 top 10 contenders, who entertained and made the show memorable.

While commenting on his victory, the Season 7 idol who was over-the-moon commended the Bigi brand from the stable of Rite Foods, for taking entertainment to an enviable height through the sponsorship, and for being refreshed through the 10-week show.

In her response, Rite Foods’ Brand Manager, Boluwatife Adedugbe, affirmed that the support from the Bigi brand is a way of connecting with its consumers, who are continually being rejuvenated by the sweet taste of its 13 variants, which are produced by the world-class and proudly Nigerian company.

According to her, the sponsorship of the musical show is one of the unflinching testimonies of the company’s relentless commitment to strengthening the Nigerian creative industry by discovering and nurturing young talents that will make the nation proud at global events.

Proudly powered by the Bigi carbonated soft drink brand of Rite Foods, Nigerian Idol Season 7 was aired on Africa Magic Showcase (DStv channel 151), Africa Magic Urban (DStv channel 153, and GOtv Supa channel 6), and Africa Magic Family (DStv channel 154 & GOtv channel 2)

Progress Chukwuyem, winner of the Nigerian Idol Season 7, with a brand-new Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV), as part of the N100,000,000 (One Hundred Million Naira) worth of prizes won; IK Osakioduwa, the show’s host, at the grand finale of the music reality show, sponsored by the Bigi carbonated soft drink brand of Rite Foods.

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FIRSTBANK REWARDS CUSTOMERS IN ITS FIRSTMOBILE CASH-OUT PROMO

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AJAGBE ADEYEMI TESLIM

Sponsored by: H&H

In collaboration with Interswitch, FirstBank has launched a promo to reward users of the FirstMobile app, its industry-leading mobile banking application.

The promo tagged FirstMobile Cash-out Promo will run for 3 months. The promo, which started on Monday, 21st March 2022 will end on Tuesday, 21st June 2022.

Various prizes including, N1,000,000, N40,000, N10,000.00 cash prizes, N40,000 Airtime, LED Televisions, refrigerators, washing machines, air conditioning systems will be won in the course of the three months campaign.

A minimum of two bills payment worth N1000 and five airtimes of at least a total of N2000 in a week qualify a customer for any of the prizes. The promo is open to new customers and existing users of the FirstMobile app.

FirstMobile customers who do a minimum of 6 transactions weekly on the FirstMobile app, will be eligible for the respective rewards: N10,000 cash for 200 winners; Gift items (TVs, Refrigerators and AC) for 10 winners; N10,000 airtime for 340 winners. 

On the other hand, 500 customers that carry out a minimum of 10 transactions monthly will win N30,000 cash. The Grand Prize of N1,000,000 will be won by 2 lucky customers who carry out a minimum of 20 transactions or a minimum of two bills payment of N1000 plus five airtime transactions of at least a total of N5000 in a week.

Speaking on the campaign, Chuma Ezirim, FirstBank’s Group Executive, e-Business & Retail Products said, “as the leading financial inclusion services provider in Nigeria, we are delighted to partner with Interswitch, an Africa-oriented technology-driven company, to reward our customers for their continuous patronage.

Together with Interswitch, we remain committed to ensuring the continued safety of customers’ funds across multiple electronic payment channels irrespective of where our customers may be across the world.

FirstMobile remains another obvious step towards leveraging evolving technologies to bring fast and convenient digital banking solutions to our customers”. 

FirstMobile is built to reflect FirstBank’s resolve at reinforcing the digitisation of payment systems, whilst putting customers at an edge to conveniently meet their everyday needs at any time, irrespective of where they are.

The app provides convenient access to both financial and non-financial transactions by FirstBank account holders via their mobile devices.

It is sleek and convenient to use – evident in its easy enrolment process as all FirstBank customers with Verve and Naira Mastercards can begin using the app without having cause to visit a FirstBank branch.

It is also poised to offer a more reliable and more convenient overall digital banking experience. 

To set up the FirstMobile app, customers with android phones should visit the Google Play store to download and install the FirstMobile app.

Customers with Apple devices can download it from the Apple Store. Once installed, customers are required to open the app, tap the register button, and use their FirstBank issued Naira MasterCard or Verve card to activate the app.

After details have been inputted, an OTP code will be sent via an SMS to your phone number that is linked to your bank account and you are then required to Input a 5 digits code that will be your login password, select two security questions and answer them, create a personalised 4 digits transaction pin that will help your confirm transactions. Upon the conclusion of these steps above, click Done and start enjoying the app.

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Sterling Bank Signs MoU With Optometrists on Funding, Capacity Building 

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AJAGBE ADEYEMI TESLIM

Sponsored by: H&H

Sterling Bank Plc, Nigeria’s leading commercial bank, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Nigerian Optometrist Association (NOA) to automate operations, enhance capacity and provide funding at competitive interest rates for members of the association.

Speaking at the signing ceremony of the MoU in Lagos recently, Mrs. Ibironke Akinmade, Group Head, Health Finance of Sterling Bank, said the initiative is part of the bank’s vision to be the leading bank for businesses in the health sector. 

She said, “We have adopted a community approach in engagement with stakeholders in this sector. This will not only give us leverage to develop tailor-made propositions for the community, but it also creates an inroad for engagement of their members through a cluster approach.”
Akinmade said the bank recently engaged the NOA in a bid to scale on its offerings to the health sector, which include access to finance (template credit), access to digitalisation (payment platforms and Electronic Medical Records) as well as advisory services, among others.

The Head of Health Finance said the rationale behind the partnership with NOA is to further position Sterling Bank as the bank of choice for businesses in the health sector, adding that this means more business collaboration and partnership with stakeholders in the health space.

She said the bank has earmarked N10 billion for the entire health care sector in the country and would accommodate any level of funding that members of the NOA may require. Under the MoU, members of the association will be able to borrow from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) intervention for the health sector at five percent as well as obtain template credit from the bank within 48 hours at competitive interest rate of 20 percent, which is below the prevailing rate in the banking industry, she said.

Since 2018, Sterling Bank has concentrated investment in five sectors of the economy under its HEART’s strategy in a bid to make impact in the country’s economic development. The five sectors in the HEART’s strategy include health, education, agriculture, renewable energy and transportation.

Also speaking, Dr. Obinna Awiaka, President of NOA, said the association wants a bank that would help its members to grow and discovered that Sterling is the only bank that has passion for the healthcare sector.

He said the relationship between members of his association and the bank will build the economy because once the healthcare industry is built the economy will also be built.

Dr. Awiaka said the NOA is satisfied with the relationship with Sterling Bank because in no distant time the bank, in conjunction with healthcare professionals, will help to develop the sector, which will translate to a better future for the country.

He said the development will make Nigerian professionals that are leaving the country in droves to return to the country to practice and this will reduce medical tourism among the country’s leaders.

He thanked Sterling Bank for coming on board and taking the bull by the horn to support the healthcare industry.

The NOA was established in 1968 and is the prime umbrella association representing over 5,000 doctors of optometry across the 36 states of the country and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, as well as all other optometric interest groups in Nigeria.

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