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Afreximbank, UTM Offshore sign $2bn MoU for Nigeria’s first floating LNG project



The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) and UTM Offshore have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to raise $2 billion for the development of Nigeria’s first Floating Liquefied Natural Gas (FLNG) project.

The UTM Offshore FLNG will be the first such project developed by an African company on the continent. This was made known by the Principal Consultant for the development of the facility, Dr Yahuza Kassim, who stated in Lagos on Wednesday that the MoU was signed on Tuesday in Abuja.

Kassim said the MoU was signed by Mr Julius Rone, Group Managing Director, UTM Offshore and Dr Benedict Oramah, President and Chairman of Afreximbank, adding that this paved the way for additional collaboration between the 2 institutions to support a future Final Investment Decision on UTM’s FLNG project.

Kassim said UTM Offshore has been studying and conceptualising the development of an FLNG in Nigeria since 2020.

He said, “In February 2021, it received a License to Establish from Nigeria’s former Department of Petroleum Resources for the installation of an FLNG unit on Oil Mining Lease 104. The block is operated by the joint-venture of ExxonMobil (operator, with 40 per cent equity) and the NNPC, with 60 per cent equity in the offshore Yoho Field.

“Preparations for the project are now in full swing with the benefit of a robust global and technical expertise. The pre-Front End Engineering Design contract was awarded to JGC Corporation of Japan in May and completed in October.’’

UTM Offshore appointed U.S-based KBR as Owners Engineer also in May, while Rotterdam-based global energy and commodities trader, Vitol, has also joined the consortium as off-taker for the LNG.

The Group Managing Director of UTM Offshore, Rone, was quoted as saying, “It will significantly contribute to the Nigerian government’s agenda of reducing gas flares.

“As Africa’s FLNG industry grows, UTM Offshore is well positioned to offer attractive project economics by developing shallow water gas reserves, while bringing significant environmental benefits to our industry as a whole.

“The project notably involves the development and financing of a 1.2m tonnes per annum FLNG facility with a capacity to process 176 MMscfd of natural gas and condensate.

“The unit would target the processing of associated gas currently flared to cut carbon emissions and monetise additional reserves for domestic and global markets.’’


IMO: Oyetola restates FG’s commitment to reposition maritime sector



…Reveals Nigeria’s intent to seek election into IMO Council in 2025

…As IMO Secretary-General commends Nigeria for being futuristic

By Seun Ibiyemi

Nigeria’s Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Adegboyega Oyetola has restated the commitment of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s administration to reposition the nation’s maritime sector in line with its agenda for economic growth and development.

He disclosed that his ministry had already mapped out plans on how to revamp the maritime industry, noting that the plans cover areas such as security, marine environment management, climate action and human capital development.

The minister made the remarks on Monday while addressing member states of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) at the 33rd session of its General Assembly in London, according to statement released by his spokesperson, Ismail Omipidan.

This is even as the Secretary General of IMO, Kitack Lim, commended President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for creating the new ministry, saying that the approach was futuristic and strategic.

According to Oyetola, President Tinubu, in recognition of the importance of the maritime industry and Nigeria’s strategic position as a leading maritime nation in the region, established the Ministry for Marine and Blue Economy upon assuming office in May 2023.

He added that the new Ministry had already made significant strides in the quest to put in place a more progressive and dynamic maritime sector nationally, regionally, and internationally.

The minister said, “We have already begun the process of developing a framework that will ensure short, medium and long-term outcomes to reposition the maritime sector to achieve the new administration’s agenda for economic growth and development.

“In the area of national security initiatives, Nigeria has continued to take concrete steps in emplacing the necessary legal and institutional framework to sustain the successes attained in ensuring maritime security within her maritime domain.

“It is noteworthy to mention in this regard the enactment of a dedicated legislation, the Suppression of Piracy and Other Offences Act, which fortifies the legal framework, and in addition to that, the implementation of the Integrated National Surveillance and Waterways Protection Solution, known as ‘The DEEP BLUE PROJECT,’ which further enhances maritime security with its command and control infrastructure,” Oyetola said.

He noted that the aforementioned initiative had continued to bolster Nigeria’s maritime security architecture and contributed to the significant drop in the number of security incidents in Nigerian waters and the wider Gulf of Guinea, which he said was achieved in collaboration with member states, stakeholders and the IMO.

In the area of marine environment management, Oyetola said that Nigeria had remained steadfast in the actualisation of its treaty obligation and that he was happy to report the recent ratification of six maritime conventions and protocols that will further promote a cleaner marine environment, ship-breaking criteria, global standard for fishing crew and response to oil pollution casualties.

While in the area of climate action and in fulfilment of the the IMO’s commitment to the global fight against climate change, the Minister said that Nigeria was committed to working with other member states in the implementation of the strategy.

“Nigeria notes the 2023 strategy on Green House Gas emissions adopted at the MEPC 80 which demonstrated the spirit of friendship, compromise and consensus amongst member states,” Oyetola said.

He added that in the aspect of human capacity development, Nigeria had continued to place and give priority to the training of its seafarers through its national cadetship initiative, the Nigerian Seafarers Development Programme (NSDP).

“Through this initiative, Nigeria has continued to train indigenous seafarers to build capacity and enhance its contribution to the global seafarer’s pool and manpower development, with attention on women seafarers. Since the inception of the NSDP programme, the Federal Government has trained 2,476 cadets in various fields at world-class maritime institutions across the world.

“To reform the business environment, we have continued to implement a broad-based agenda to improve the Nigerian maritime operating environment for commerce to thrive and be driven through inter-agency collaboration and cooperation with the private sector With technical support from IMO, we have initiated the development of a Port Community System (PCS) to create an effective and efficient port community system.

“Currently, we have ensured interconnectivity of operations of the relevant agencies to create seamless cargo clearance processes and procedures to further enhance and simplify cross-border trade,”  Oyetola stated.

While concluding his address, the Minister informed the Assembly of Nigeria’s intention to seek election into into the Category C of the IMO Council in 2025. He, therefore, sought the support and votes of member states of the organisation.

Speaking during an event held on the sidelines of the ongoing General Assembly, the IMO Secretary General, Mr. Lim during a brief chat with Oyetola, described the decision by President Tinubu to create the Ministry of Marine and Blue Economy as futuristic and strategic. He also commended Nigeria for providing security in the Gulf of Guinea, while also the country to share the idea of the new ministry with member states.

Meanwhile, Minister Oyetola also held bilateral meetings with representatives of Greece, Qatar, and Mexico.

The minister was accompanied on the trip by the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Dr. Magdalene Ajani, Director, Marine Safety and Security, Babatunde Bombata, MD, NPA, Mr. Bello Koko and the DG of NIMASA, Dr. Bashir Jamoh.

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Nigeria investors provide 30% return on investment — NEXIM



The Nigeria Export-Import Bank (NEXIM) has disclosed that investors in Nigeria earn about 30 per cent return on their investments.

The Executive Director of Business Development, NEXIM, Stella Okotete, disclosed this while playing host to the Mexican Ambassador to Nigeria, Alfredo Miranda, who led a delegation on a courtesy call to the management of the bank in Abuja.

She called for a partnership between the country and Mexico with a view to expanding access to Nigerian goods to the Mexican market.

According to the NEXIM boss, collaboration with Mexico would boost the country’s foreign exchange earnings, attract investment opportunities and ultimately promote prosperity for citizens of both nations.

Okotete, who used the opportunity to showcase Nigerian-made export goods financed by the bank, highlighted other investment opportunities available in Nigeria, according to a statement issued by the bank in Abuja on Sunday.

“I should once again assure you that with Nigeria, as a country and with a very large opportunity in export, especially the non-oil export sector, you have 100 percent access to your foreign exchange for repatriation and you have a very huge ROI (return on investment) on your investment.

“We are talking about in some cases 30 percent, between seven to 30 percent; you won’t get it anywhere but in Nigeria. So, in terms of return, on investments, this is the best place you can invest,” she stated.

According to Okotete, it is clear that Mexico has a huge advantage in mining; Nigeria is an untapped mining destination.

“So if you have businesses that would want to partner with Nigeria to develop the mining sector for export, Nigeria Export-Import Bank will be willing to work with you and support that aspect to grow the sector,” she asserted.

The bank said the visit by the Mexican delegation was to deepen trade relationships, foster economic growth and explore mutually beneficial investment opportunities, as it marked a significant step towards fostering strong ties between the two nations.

In his response, Miranda highlighted the potential for increased economic and bilateral cooperation between Mexico and Nigeria.

The ambassador took note of the various initiatives undertaken by the bank to promote non-oil exports for sustainable economic growth.

He pointed out that Mexico was a $1.4trillion economy, which Nigerian businesses and exporters could greatly benefit from.

He stressed the need to identify business opportunities in Nigeria and Mexico, which could be leveraged to enhance trade, investments and attract financing for the development of both countries through their trade policies.

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NIPOST CLRD receives first vehicle donation from Zenith Carex



By Omolola Dede Adeyanju

The Courier and Logistics Regulatory Department, Nigerian Postal Service has received a donation of an eighteen seater Hummer Vehicle from Zenith Carex International Limited on Friday as a part of the firm’s CSR and in acknowledgement of the regulatory standards that has promoted the Creation of a profound pace for the courier and logistics company. 

The General Manager, Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST), Mr Shonde Gideon Oludotun expressed that with the vehicle, the CLR department of NIPOST will experience a step-up since there is something to step on. He explained that the postal service needs equipment, technologies, and logistics to thrive in this digital age. 

“The vehicle will be put to the right use, we will not be diverting it for irrelevant purposes. You will be seeing more of us now because we don’t have the excuse of  a lack of vehicles any longer,” he assured.

The GM further stated, “We have started mobilising our people already. We need more mobile policemen, we need more vehicles to move, more digital enforcement materials.”

As regards the need  of digital materials for E-Monitoring, Mr Shonde said, “We don’t need to be on the road to monitor, we can monitor courier agencies right from the office. There’s a new digitised security sticker with a QR code, so once you are licensed and you have this sticker on your asset it is tagged to your license and your company, in that case, from the office, with just a phone, we can scan and get relevant details.

“We need adequate funding, we need equipment, softwares, hardwares, computers and more manpower as we are across various states in the country.”

He pointed out that NIPOST is taking measures to create awareness to sensitise people about their existence for regulation of the courier and logistics Industry. Therefore, if a person had complaints about any courier agencies or logistics company, there is a regulatory body they can lodge complaints to for resolution.

While reiterating his gratitude for the donation, Mr Shonde noted that this vehicle is the first ever being donated. However, he stated, “It is a wonderful thing knowing that we still have patriotic Nigerians who value our services, I am elated for this donation even as it comes from the private sector for due purpose of enforcement and monitoring. It is a wonderful aid to support our course in making sure that there is a championing and people get returns for their Investments

Meanwhile, CEO/MD, Zenith Carex International Limited, Dr Adelana Olamilekan enumerated what informed the company’s choice of donation to the postal service, saying that Zenith Carex is an indigenous company in Nigeria and has been in the industry for the past two decades.

“The regulatory department of NIPOST,”  he said, “have been very helpful and supportive in ensuring that there is compliance to rules and regulations of the courier industry.”

“Considering the fact that Zenith Carex has upgraded its license from National to International, we also felt the need to give back to the same system that has been very supportive over the years, this we do as part of our CSR,” Dr Adelana noted.

He examined how the postal service aided in setting a standard to make Zenith Carex what it is. 

“We are all aware of the clampdown NIPOST enforces on illegal operators to ensure regulations of the courier and logistics agencies, this amongst the many other functions of the department has helped a whole lot.”

Mr Lekan emphasised that Zenith Carex has been registered and licensed by the Corporate Affairs Commission and Nigerian Postal Services under the courier and logistics department in Nigeria and over the years the firm has diversified into the core logistics, ranging from documents, cargo, clearing and freight forwarding, shipping, warehousing, distribution and over the years have carved a niche in the industry.

He envisaged that soon, “Zenith Carex will be the choice of every subscriber when it comes to logistics and every Service we offer. We have taken the major steps by upgrading from a national licensed courier to an international one.”

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