Aliko Dangote has said that whatever fuel is refined by the Dangote Refinery when it kicks off, will be sold at market rates. This puts to an end to speculation about the price that petrol from Nigeria’s first private refinery will attract when it begins operations. Dangote said that the petroleum products from the refinery will be sold at export rate, although he does not plan to concentrate on exports entirely. He admitted that it is duty of the FG to determine the price of petrol, and cast doubt on whether petrol subsidy would continue saying that if it does, the government can engage the company to find a mid-ground on how to tackle the issue of subsidy. Currently, more than 26,000 people are working on the Dangote Refinery project and at the height of it, the number of workers will soar to about 80,000 people and there will be more than 50,000 workers living within the premises.
The Bureau of Public Enterprises has advised the FG to consider and approve the categorisation of the Aluminium Smelting Company of Nigeria as a strategic industry so it can get gas at a concessionary price. This request came after DHL/RUSAL, ALSCON’s core investor, had listed the issue of gas prices and supply as one that requires urgent resolution after signing the share purchase agreement on 17 January. Amina Tukur Othman, the BPE’s spokesperson said that the BPE effort would enable DHL/RUSAL recommence production and operate profitably. The company, located at Ikot Ibasi, Akwa Ibom state, has been comatose for 10 years.
Data from the Nigeria Interbank Settlement System has shown that about 10 million bank accounts belonging within the banking system were abandoned in 2018, mostly due to sluggish economic growth, rising job losses and a reduction in purchasing power occasioned by double digit inflation. The NIBSS, owned by all Nigerian banks and the CBN, revealed that the number of bank accounts abandoned by customers, hence categorised as ‘inactive bank accounts’ rose by 28 percent to 46.7 million in 2018 from 36.7 million in 2017. Going by the CBN 2015 guidelines on dormant accounts, “an account shall become inactive if there has been no customer or depositor-initiated transaction for a period of six months after the last customer or depositor initiated transaction,” ten million bank accounts recorded zero transactions. The NIBSS also shows that inactive bank accounts grew faster than active bank accounts in the past five years, 2014 to 2018.
An arbitration tribunal sitting in London has awarded a $8.9 billion fine against the FG in favour of Process and Industrial Developments Limited, a British Virgin Island based engineering and project management firm. The firm had in the previous week initiated moves to recover a judgement debt of $6.6 billion in damages plus $2.3 billion in uncollected interest, which was calculated at $1.2 million a day, from the FG over a failed power project for which the government signed a 20-year agreement with the foreign firm in 2010. According to the lead judgement by Lord Hoffman, P&ID can enforce the award against the Nigeria by seizing its assets in the United Kingdom (UK), if the country Nigeria fails to pay the judgement fine before 15 February.