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Company deepens gas penetration, unveils 300 metric tonnes depot in Benin

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Company deepens gas penetration, unveils 300 metric tonnes depot in Benin

(Photo: L-R Mogbo C Paul (Fed. Min. of Finance), Busayo Fabunmi (GM Operations, Asiko) Wole Awodunmila (Regional Manager, Asiko), Engr. Alex Ogedegbe (Chairman, Asiko), Engr. Afam Asuike (Head of Operations, NMDPRA Edo state), Oladipo Ebenezer Olajide (Fed. Min. of Finance), Abubakar Folami (Executive Director, Asiko)

A clean energy provider, Asiko Group, says it will continue to contribute to the economic development of Nigeria with its efforts to ensuring in-country utilisation and deepening of gas penetration in the nation.

Mr Alex Ogedegbe, Chairman, Asiko Group, gave the commitment during the inauguration of the company’s 300 metric tonnes Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) and Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) depot in Utesi, Ikpoba Okha Local Government Area of Edo.

According to him, the project invariably aligns with the Federal Government’s priority objective to attain five million metric tonnes of LPG consumption by 2023.

He said that the gas potential of Nigeria was enormously huge and the LPG/CNG depot had been designed to provide much-needed energy solution to the country and beyond.

“Today, we are excited to launch our 300MT LPG and CNG depot. The multi-product gas depot promises to improve gas availability and distribution in the region.

“The LPG/CNG depot is poised to become a hub for a wide range of gas products. Under its licensing agreement, the depot is authorised to store Propane, LPG (Liquefied Petroleum Gas), CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) and Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG).

“Currently, it stores LPG and CNG, with plans for future development to enable the storage of LNG in the near future.

“The 300MT depot, the biggest in Benin, marks an added step towards contributing to a clean energy future and the realisation of the federal government’s decade of gas initiative,” he said.

Ogedegbe said Nigeria was endowed with up to 183 trillion cubic feet of gas deposit, but about five per cent of that deposit had yet to be consumed.

“Imagine how much we can distribute to Nigerian society and beyond if we have installations and facilities like this that we are commissioning today,” he said.

Mr Abubakar Folami, a director at Asiko, said that the company had similar inland depots and plants across Nigeria, with an impressive inland Propane and LNG terminal currently under construction in Ijora, Lagos State.

In his remarks, the Utesi Community head, Mr Monday Edo, said he was very happy about the project.

Edo said that the LPG/CNG depot was not just a beacon of progress for the energy sector, but also carried a profound impact on the local community.

“The depot is expected to generate over 100 direct and indirect job opportunities, contributing significantly to the economic welfare of the region.

“The creation of these jobs underscores Asiko’s commitment to empowering and uplifting the economic activities of its host communities.

“Asiko is a leading provider of clean energy solutions in Nigeria, dedicated to delivering a comprehensive network of sustainable, accessible, and innovative clean energy solutions.

“With a focus on LPG, LNG, CNG, propane, and renewable energy, Asiko drives the region’s clean energy transition and ensures energy security,” he added.

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Job Losses, Factory Closures Loom As Unsold Goods Pile Up — MAN

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AGAINST the backdrop of sustained pressure in the foreign exchange market and high cost of production, the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, MAN has indicated that inventory of unsold goods is escalating to levels now threatening the existence of companies operating in the production sector of the economy with attendant job losses.

Findings show that as of the weekend the foreign exchange market had recorded over 254 per cent plunge in the value of the naira since flotation of the currency by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in June 2023.

Recall that the naira traded for N471 per dollar in the official I&E market on June 13, 2023 before the floatation of the currency, but exchanged for N1,665.50 to a dollar as at February 23, 2024 on the Nigerian Foreign Exchange Market (NAFEM), indicating a depreciation of more than 253.6 per cent over the eight-month period. The forex crisis is also stoking inflation, and coupled with high energy costs, purchasing power has continued plummet, stifling demand for goods.

Speaking on the impact of this development on the manufacturing sector, Director General, MAN, Segun Ajayi-Kadir, said: “There are reports that across the board, many warehouses and plants of many manufacturing firms are stockpiled with unsold goods manufactured last year. “The development is as a result of the devastating effects of the exchange rate crisis, inflation, fake and sub-standard goods, smuggling and other macro-economics challenges.”

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CBN Lifts Ban On BDCs, Introduces New Operational Mechanism

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In a major development aimed at financial stability and strengthening the naira, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) plans to resume its weekly intervention in the country’s foreign exchange (FX) market through the Bureau de Change (BDC) operators.

In 2021, the central bank, in a bid to achieve its mandate of safeguarding the value of the local currency, ensuring financial system stability, and shoring up external reserves, announced the immediate discontinuance of foreign currency sales to Bureau de Change (BDC) operators in the country.

However, the resumed intervention, which would reportedly commence today for funding as well as Tuesday for collection, will see the apex bank inject FX into the subsector in a bid to rescue the naira from further depreciation against major currencies, particularly the US Dollar. The collection will be at designated CBN branches in Lagos, Abuja, Kano, and Awka, while details of the naira accounts to be credited for funding bidding will also be made available today.

CBN is also expected to publish the list of eligible BDCs to benefit from its funding using certain compliance criteria.National Executive Council of Association of Bureau De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON) hinted on the latest developments through a memo to its members over the weekend.

The association also warned members that it will no longer be business as usual under the new supervisory regime of the central bank, as any infringement or infraction would result in outright revocation of license and prosecution.

ABCON said through the association’s various engagements with the central bank, in conjunction with ABCON’s strategic partners, CBN had agreed to its request, under the bank’s supervision, to inject liquidity into the market through a weekly intervention beginning today.

CBN assured ABCON that the new circular on the Revised Regulatory and Supervisory Guidelines to BDCs, which was introduced over the weekend, was only a draft exposure that required the association’s inputs before the release of the final guidelines by the apex bank.

To that effect, the letters of the guidelines were not cast in stone, the association’s leadership told its members, who had been worried over the sweeping reforms in the document, which, among other things, prescribed N2 billion and N500 million minimum capital for national and state BDCs, respectively.

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