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World Bank Approves $1.5bn For Nigeria

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The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (World Bank) has approved a loan of $1.5bn to the Nigerian government.

The World Bank and the Nigerian government are working on a new partnership framework that will help Nigeria achieve a good and sharp recovery from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the World Bank’s statistics, Nigeria may lose up to $15bn in revenue in 2020, and that may see 5million more people in a state of poverty.

Country Director for Nigeria, Shubham Chaudhuri, said,“… this Country Partnership Framework will guide our engagement for the next five years in supporting the government of Nigeria’s strategic priorities by taking a phased and adaptive approach.

“To realise its long-term potential, the country has to make tangible progress on key challenges and pursue some bold reforms.

“Our engagement will focus on supporting Nigeria’s efforts to reduce poverty and promote sustained private sector-led growth.”

The organisation said the partnership framework will see the World Bank helping Nigeria to promote human capital development, diversify and transform its economy, build resilience and promote job creation.

The model is also expected to aid Nigeria with more health infrastructure, increase access to basic healthcare and education and help social promotion and assistance.

Nigeria is currently in recession, according to the world bank with the COVID-19 pandemic blamed for it.

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West Africa Business News

Nigerian Billionaire to Invest N3bn in Fidelity Bank

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U.S.-based Nigerian billionaire, Dr Oluleye Adigun has disclosed ongoing efforts to invest N3Bn ($6.8million) in Fidelity Bank through shares acquisition.

Dr Adigun, in a recent interview, said the acquisition is part of his planned investment in the Nigerian economy, adding that the process of buying Fidelity bank was almost done, attributing the little delay to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The Fidelity bank purchase is almost done. COVID-19 delayed the process a little due to everything closing down, but the process just picked up again. I was told I have to open a bank account and will need BVN. I am planning to come to Nigeria to do that as soon as possible.

The Osun State-born billionaire is the owner and Chief Operating Officer of Golden Glades Treatment Centre as well as Adigun Investment Group with stakes in nine companies operating in commercial real estate, several e-commerce companies. as well as wind and solar energy.

Others are aviation, with four private planes, a technology company, which owns computer software/applications, and six clinics in the healthcare industry.

Peter Aletor, Managing Director for Apel Asset Limited, and a friend, Mr Tosin Afolabi, have been very helpful on it. Afolabi will be partner in my bank venture in Nigeria with small share,” he said of his foray into the Nigerian economy.

Adigun expressed willingness to bring his airline company, healthcare, technology as well as solar and wind energy to Nigeria in the future.

“I am interested in investing in Nigeria because it’s my father land. I believe there has to be a way of doing something in my own country and be successful in it.

“I have touched almost every industry here in the U.S. and very successful in it. I have done business with people in other countries like South African, Zimbabwe, Jamaica and Europe. I want to do same in my own country,” he said.

He added: “The Nigerian economy has great potentials. Nigeria has everything to be giant in the world. We have the smartest people in Nigeria.

“With the right people, with great mind and good intentions, Nigeria can be like U.S. and other thriving countries. I need to build my own too. Nigeria is my home regardless of what I have here in U.S. .”

He narrated how his previous efforts to purchase failing Polaris Bank in Nigeria was thwarted, on the grounds that he was not known in Nigeria.

“When I decided to start investing in the Nigerian economy, I first heard of Polaris Bank. So I decided to buy a failing bank and Polaris came up through my connections with CBN.

“We are going through with the process of buying into Fidelity Bank now and that should be completely done in a few weeks. This is a billion naira project and hope it goes well. I have built myself from making less than 30,000 dollars yearly to having a net worth of over 100 million dollars within the last four years.

“We are all Nigerians and looking to better our country together. We can’t fix Nigeria if we are all divided. As Nigerians, we need to change our mindset to fix and make Nigeria better together,” he said.

He said he is also in the process of applying for a banking license with CBN to dive into fintech

Adigun is an old student of Olivet Baptist High School in Oyo, Miami Dade college, Florida Atlantic University and Walden University.

He has served in several U.S. organisations as a Police Officer, Substance Abuse Counselor and Clinical Director before he opened his first business in 2017.

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Heirs Holdings Acquires 45% of OML 17 from Shell, Total, ENI

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Heirs Holdings (HH) an affiliate of Transnational Corporation of Nigeria Plc (Transcorp) has acquired 45 per cent participating interest in Nigerian oil licence OML 17 from Shell Petroleum, Total and ENI.

A statement by Mr Chike Anikwe, Acting Group Company Secretary, Transcorp, said on Friday that the transaction is one of the largest oil and gas financings in Africa in more than a decade, with a financing component of $1.1 billion, provided by a consortium of global and regional banks and investors.

It said that the transaction was through TNOG Oil and Gas Limited (a related company of Heirs Holdings and Transcorp), which will have sole oparatorshio of the asset from Shell Petroleum Development Nigeria Plc, Total E&P Nigeria Limited and ENI.

Tony Elumelu, Chairman of Heirs Holdings, said in the statement: “We have a very clear vision: creating Africa’s first integrated energy multinational, a global quality business, uniquely focused on Africa and Africa’s energy needs.

“The acquisition of such a high quality asset, with significant potential for further growth, is a strong statement of our confidence in Nigeria, the Nigerian oil and gas sector and a tribute to the extremely high-quality management team that we have assembled.

“As a Nigerian, and more particularly an indigene of the Niger Delta region, I understand well our responsibilities that come with stewardship of the asset, our engagement with communities and the strategic importance of the oil and gas sector in Nigeria.

“We see significant benefits from integrating our production, with our ability to power Nigeria, through Transcorp, and deliver value across the energy value chain,” he said.

Elumelu further said: “I would like to thank Shell, Total and ENI, for the professionalism of the process, the Federal Government of Nigeria, the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, and the NNPC for the confidence they have placed in us,” he noted.

Speaking on the investment, Mr Owen Omogiafo, the President and Group Chief Executive Officer, of Transcorp, said that the transaction was an evidence of the company’s strategy to power Africa.

“This deal further demonstrates Transcorp’s integrated energy strategy and our determination to power Africa.”

Heirs Holdings was advised by Standard Chartered Plc, as Global Coordinator, and United Capital Plc, with a syndicate of lending institutions including Afreximbank, ABSA, Africa Finance Corporation, Union Bank of Nigeria, Hybrid Capital, and global asset management firm Amundi.

The deal also involves Schlumberger as a technical partner, as well as the trading arm of Shell as an offtaker.

According to the statement, OML 17 has a current production capacity of 27,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day and, according to our estimates, 2P reserves of 1.2 billion barrels of oil equivalent, with an additional 1 billion barrels of oil equivalent resources of further exploration potential.

The investment demonstrates an advance in the execution of Heirs Holdings’ integrated energy strategy and the Group’s commitment to Africa’s development, through long term investments that create economic prosperity and social wealth.

Heirs Holdings’ heritage and approach to business fundamentally underscores its commitment to inclusive development and shared prosperity with its host communities. Heirs Holdings is fully invested in the development of the Niger Delta region.

The statement also reported that Heirs Holdings’ strategy of creating the leading integrated energy business in Africa is executed through a series of strategic portfolio holdings.

Transcorp is one of the largest power producers in Nigeria, with 2,000 MW of installed capacity, through ownership of Transcorp Power Plant and the recent acquisition of Afam Power Plc and Afam Three Fast Power Limited.

Transcorp closed the US$300 million Afam acquisitions in November 2020. Transcorp supplies electricity to the Republic of Benin, as part of an emphasis on promoting regional integration and delivering robust power supply to catalyse development in Africa.

Transcorp also operates OPL281, under a production sharing contract with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (“NNPC”).

Similarly, Heirs Holdings’ subsidiary, Tenoil is the operator of OPL 2008, under a production sharing contract with NNPC.

Tenoil also owns the Ata Marginal Field which will commence production in Q2, 2021, with 3,500 barrels of oil per day.

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NIN Deadline: Telecom Providers Deny Blocking SIM Cards

January 19 is the set deadline for subscribers to link their NIN with their SIM cards while subscribers without NIN have until February 9 to do so.

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Mobile network operators in Nigeria including telecoms giants MTN and Airtel have dismissed all claims by subscribers that their SIM cards are being blocked before the deadline set for the linkage with the National Identity Number (NIN)

The Federal Government through the Nigerian Communication Commission had earlier ordered network providers to deactivate telephone lines of subscribers who failed to link their phones to their National Identity Number.

January 19 is the set deadline for subscribers to link their National Identity Number with their SIM cards while subscribers without NIN have until February 9 to do so.

But some subscribers have complained about the inability to use their lines, suggesting that telcos have started blocking their SIM cards before the deadlines announced by the government.

As a result of this, large crowds resurfaced at the centres of the National Identity Management Commission nationwide after the Yuletide break with many NIN applicants disregarding previous appointment dates given to them by NIMC.

Regarding the large crowds that resurfaced at NIMC offices after the Yuletide break, NIMC Regional Coordinator, Funmi Opesanwo, said, “A lot of applicants complained that their SIM (cards) have been blocked and that is why we are experiencing these large numbers. We are trying to manage the situation.”

When asked about the alleged disconnection of subscriber lines, The Senior Manager, External Relations, MTN Nigeria, Funso Aina, said the operator has not started blocking SIM cards not yet linked with NIN.

“It is not true that we have started blocking SIM cards not linked with National Identity Number,” Aina said.

While commenting on the same issue, Vice President, Corporate Communications & CSR, Airtel Nigeria, Emeka Oparah, also said no subscriber has been blocked yet.

 “Airtel Nigeria is committed to ensuring total compliance with the directives of the Federal Government and the Nigerian Communications Commission on linking NIN with phone numbers. We have not blocked any customer and we will not block any customer at this point in line with the directives.” Oparah said.

Meanwhile, as a result of complaints that followed the large crowds that were seen at its state offices in Lagos and Abuja, NIMC has released a list of over 50 National Identity Number enrolment centres in both cities.

NIMC Spokesman Kayode Adegoke, said the decentralisation will help in decongesting the large gatherings at the state offices in Lagos and Abuja as well as make the NIN registration process more seamless for applicants.

The Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 had expressed displeasure at the large crowds at NIMC offices all over the country while calling on the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, to shut down some NIMC offices over non-adherence to COVID-19 protocols.

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