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With our Refineries, We are committed to Providing Jobs…..Garba

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Awwal Garba A. D. is a Nigerian and British trained Economist of a rare breed. He attended the Bayero University Kano, Nigeria and the City University, London, United Kingdom, from which institutions he meritoriously obtained his first and second university degrees.

Awwal is a major player in the global oil and gas sector. With particular interest in Nigeria, he has developed a proclivity for discovering untapped resources within the sector and has over the years, successfully built his chain of business interests under the Magma Group, nationally and globally.

He is also the Deputy Chairman, APC Progressives Network and Chairman, Game Changers Media.
In this interview, Awwal Garba bares his mind on the nitty- gritty of oil and gas business in Nigeria, the APC Government and the political terrain, as well as other sundry issues.
Excerpts:

You are an economist into oil and gas operations, what informed your foray into the terrain?

Apart from the motive of making money, I have an affinity with the oil and gas sector of the economy; I look at there as where I belong, although I come from a family where the stock in trade was commodity. My father was an importer and exporter of commodity products.
I was motivated into the sector by the desire to make a change, especially in the upstream sector of the industry where it is believed that it is only the oyibos (foreigners) that hold sway therein.
Of course also in that direction would be the desire to contribute one’s quota to the national economy, in terms of creating jobs, which of course would help in giving the youths a sense of worth and direction.

Which is your core area of expertise and what are you doing at the moment?

I am into exploration with almost eight assets so far. I am building a 100 thousand barrel refinery in Akwa Ibom State at the moment, on a hundred hectare land, close to Exxon Mobil. I also have negotiations on-going with 3 marginal oilfields from oil mill 370 with Exxon Mobil. In the gas area of the sector, we have made proposals with respect to the Brass LNG, into which my partners and myself are ready to commit $1bn. This would cut the issue of oil importation and also 300,000 jobs for skilled and unskilled workers in Akwa Ibom.

Do you readily have a count of the stock of your entire companies? Which of these companies can be singled out as leading in aiding the growth of the economy in terms of investment?

We have Magma Petroleum Investment Limited; Magma Exploration Production Limited; Magma Agro-Allied Limited; Magma Logistics Limited; Magma Gas and Power Spectrum Limited; Magma Pipe and Coating Limited, Rhone Petroleum Limited; and H. Oil Limited, among others.
Almost all of them aid in the growth of the economy in terms of the investment. We have Magma Exploration which is working on a JVU with Total Upstream, and also working with MPDC. We have Magma Gas and Power Spectrum working on acquiring the Brass LNG. It is a $1bn project, and already the funds are available.
We have H-Oil Limited which has assets in Angola as well as South Sudan and Liberia, with offices in Paris and headquarters in Madrid, Spain. Magma Logistics works with the Department of Petroleum Resources. We also have Magma Petroleum Investment in the downstream sector with our downstream partners, having facility in Amsterdam and distributing finished products all over the world.

What is the policy thrust of your operations in Nigeria which continues to see you achieving successful operations?

The challenge of prospecting for and then drilling of oil is something we enjoy doing. On the exploration side especially, we want to expand and never get tired, that is why we are on the brink of acquiring more assets every day. We love the challenge, get in there, prospect and drill the oil is something we just enjoy doing.

What synergies do you have in place that gives you an edge in your operations?

We are realistic, we spread forward and we are not greedy. That’s the most important. Today, what kills the exploration business is greed. You want to have everything and there’s no way you could do that when it comes to exploration. We engage partners from all over the world and our logic is that ‘half bread is better than none’. We can give out an asset with 5%, an asset with 2%, it does not matter. What matters is that when you multiply the 2% x 10, you get 20%. This is our logic.

What have been your peculiar challenges?

The challenges are more in the downstream whereby you cannot control the price of petroleum products. You can import today and the next thing you know is that NNPC also imports and when that happens, the market gets flooded with the product and you tend to lose. By the way, we do have Cybernatic oil and gas for which we have tank farms in Ogara, that is a border town between Delta and Edo States.

Tell us about the APC Progressives Network, which you chair

The network has an endorsement from the All Progressives Congress to promote the president and contribute with ideas. Of course, you would agree that in campaigning you need ideas. Politics is all about people, followers; people who can bring in value. In the same vein, the network tries to reach the grassroots and places the party has not touched, bringing in more value.

Does he deserve a second term and why?

Yes, he deserves a second term. First of all, we need a leader who is clean because when the head is clean, the middle and bottom will also be because they would be put in a position where they are wary. But if the top is rotten, then it is corruption galore. We need a leader like Buhari whom money does not mean anything to. A president who is so humble, he can even stand with cows. He is simple, not extravagant, qualities he has officially demonstrated which can be widely attested to. I believe that with him coming back, God sparing his life, he will achieve a lot.

As Deputy Chairman of Game Changers Media, what is its unique selling point?

The Game Changer was established to highlight the differences and show that the Muhammadu Buhari administration continues to change the whole game; from Agriculture, Corruption to Healthcare and very importantly, to unite Nigerians and give them a sense of belonging, while stoking the embers of patriotism.
If you go to Ghana today, you will be shocked to realise the level of their patriotism. A taxi driver always has the Ghanaian flag in his cab as every household, like it was in America perhaps before the Trump era when American schools taught American history, the need to be patriotic and love for country. So patriotism is very important. Game Changer is here to bring awareness about patriotism.

What is your advice to politicians as we await the 2019 elections?
We should stop the politics of money and vote-buying. We should allow Nigerians to vote for candidates of their choice without influencing them. It is a disgrace to buy one’s way into a public office. When that happens, you look at yourself as a businessman and begin to fashion out ways to recoup spent money. This is what has been happening for ages. Only a person voted in by merit would think of improving the lives of the people.

 

 

 

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UBA Rewards 20 more Customers with N30m in Wise Savers Promo

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United Bank for Africa (UBA) has rewarded another 20 customers who emerged winners in the second quarterly draw of the UBA Wise Savers Promo with N1.5 million each, bringing the total amount won by 40 customers so far to N60 million.

The electronic raffle draw which was held at UBA House on Thursday 18th of April, was witnessed by the Consumer Protection Council, National Lottery Regulatory Commission and Lagos State Lottery, Board.

Lucky winners who emerged in the second edition, cut across all regions of the country. They include Alli Abiodun Ganiu, Tari E Francis; Onah Joseph, Okwandu Faith Ezinne, Igwedinma Chiedozie Onyekachi, Mgbakor Edmund Eke, Nwokoye Adeseye Ifeanyichukwu and Achi Sheyin Micheal.

Others are Onyekwuluje Christiana Osho; Ibilola U Okeke; Amos Luka, Mukhtar Halima, Musa Abubakar, Olanrewaju Kolade David; Okongwu Hillary Chidinma; Loretta O Okodua; Adeyemo Biodun Adeola; Oyewusi Oyeyinka Abidemi;  Adeola O Adewumi and Anyanwu Vivian.

The promo, which commenced in September last year is expected to run till September 30, 2019, and will see another 40 customers from across Nigeria become millionaires, winning N60 million in the remaining quarters of the year. At the end of the promo, a total of N120 million will have been won by 80 customers.

Speaking during the event, UBA’s Executive Director, Ayo Liadi, expressed satisfaction at the level of response received from customers across the country, adding that the campaign was targeted at rewarding loyal customers and also inculcating in them the habit of saving regularly.

He noted that there was a remarkable increase in the number of participants in this edition compared to the previous one, adding that the bank’s objective of helping customers’ save for the rainy day is being achieved.

He said: “It is very easy to spend money but to save is a habit all must imbibe. Our key objective is to encourage our customers to save regularly. We are here to support our customers and to encourage them to save as well.”

Ayo Liadi urged other customers to take advantage of the subsequent opportunities the remaining two quarterly draws offer.

According to Liadi: “There is no better time to give back and delight customers than this challenging economic period where people need all the support they can get to make life more meaningful. With this in mind we decided to prioritise our customers as we always do at UBA by giving them plenty to cheer about and that is the reason why another 20 more customers have been made millionaires today”.

“During the recent cheque presentation to the first quarter lucky winners, I watched with bated breath how happy and elated each of the winners became. You could easily see the joy and happiness in their eyes indicating that the N1.5m would make a huge impact in their lives. That in itself will spur us to do more in fulfilling their dreams” he said.

 

 

Head Retail Liabilities, Tomiwa Sotiloye, while explaining that the promo was consistent with the bank’s novel initiatives in prioritizing customers, said that it was necessitated by the invaluable belief the Bank has in its customers. “We will continue to listen and give them nothing short of the best that they deserve. UBA will not relent, because we are impressed with the impact this has made so far and will continue to touch the lives of our loyal customers positively”. Sotiloye noted.

The criteria for qualifying for the draw is to save at least N30,000 in your UBA savings account or in instalments of N10,000 each for a period of three months. Those yet to be UBA customers can open a savings account on any of our numerous bank channels including Magic Banking (*919*20#) and LEO, or in any of the UBA branches across the country, and start saving.

United Bank for Africa Plc is a leading pan-African financial services group, operating in 20 African countries, as well as the United Kingdom, the United States of America and with presence in France.

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FBN Holdings Carrts Away World Finance Best Corporate Governance in Nigeria Award

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By Segun Lawal
FBN Holdings Plc has won the 2019 Best Corporate Governance in Nigeria Award organized by World Finance; the leading financial services group announced today.
The award ceremony was held recently in London Stock Exchange studio by World Finance, renowned for its comprehensive coverage and analysis of the financial industry, international business and global economy.
The annual event is usually organised against a backdrop of a comprehensive analysis of the very best across various areas of business endeavours in each market around the world.

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UK Eke, Group Managing Director, FBN Holdings Plc receiving the Best Corporate Governance in Nigeria award on behalf of FBNHoldings from Paul Richardson, Producer, World Finance at the World Finance Awards 2019 held in London Stock Exchange Studio, London recently.

Elated to receive the award on behalf of FBNHoldings, UK Eke, Group Managing Director of the finance house said; “receiving this award from World Finance basically tells us two things. One: it’s an affirmation of what we are doing in corporate governance, beyond the giant strides we’re making in financial performance. So we see this as an endorsement of the brand, and it’s a bragging right for us. Because again, there are very few institutions in Nigeria that have benefited from this award. We are truly proud to receive this award.”

Since 2007, World Finance has been celebrating corporate achievement, innovation and brilliance in their annual awards.

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Tony Elumelu Foundation Hosts European Commission, Leading Development Finance Institutions and Think Tanks in Brussels

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At a time when Europe’s relationship with Africa is high on foreign policy and developmental agendas and with the European Union beginning to deliver on its 2017 External Investment Plan, targeted at attracting investment and job creation in Africa, the Tony Elumelu Foundation brought together leading stakeholders in the development finance sector, at a case study session in the EU capital, Belgium. The convening demonstrated that Africa also had solutions to bring to the table and platformed the Foundation’s unique approach to catalysing entrepreneurship in scale across the continent.

Themed “A Convening on Africa’s Economic Transformation: A Case Study of the Tony Elumelu Foundation”, the event presented the results of the first five years of the Foundation’s Entrepreneurship Programme a unique programme, which has trained, mentored and seeded 4,470 African entrepreneurs with 3,050 newly announced to receive seed funding, and drawn over 200,000 applications to its 2019 cycle. Tony Elumelu’s $100m investment in entrepreneurial philanthropy was held up as an example of how vital capital could be targeted efficiently and effectively, at African businesses best able to create significant economic and developmental impact.

Opening the event, Mr. Koen Doens, Deputy Director General, DEVCO, EU, said: “Africa needs to create jobs by the millions to match the needs of its exponentially growing population. It will achieve this only if it unleashes a generation of empowered entrepreneurs. The Tony Elumelu Foundation contributes to this massively. The European Union wants to play its part and contribute to this endeavour.”

During an indepth question and answer session with EU-Africa relations expert, Annie Mutamba, Founder, Mr. Tony O. Elumelu CON, highlighted the growing interest in the Tony Elumelu Foundation and its unique approach, while welcoming a new type of intervention in Africa. “We very much believe in collaboration, mutual respect and a shared commitment to transform Africa. Africa is ready but we need to do this through the right sustainable manner, that enables our people to become self-reliant, and independent, instead of perpetuating dependency. We need to implement practical solutions on ground through entrepreneurship, which empower people economically and addresses issues of extremism, migration, and insecurity.”

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L-R: Carl Michiels, Director, European Centre for Development Policy Management (ECDPM); Former Prime Minister of Benin, HE Lionel Zinsou; Bruno Wenn, Former CEO/Chairman at DEG-German Investment and Development Company, and Advisory Board Member, Tony Elumelu Foundation; Minister Phillippe De Backer, Minister for Digital Agenda, Telecommunications and Post; and Ifeyinwa Ugochukwu, CEO of the Tony Elumelu Foundation.

Minister Phillippe De Backer, Minister for Digital Agenda, Telecommunications and Post, Belgium, also commented: “There is an increasing desire in Europe to engage Africa, including its grassroots in a structure and targeted approach with the right processes. The Tony Elumelu Foundation offers this platform.”

The Tony Elumelu Foundation, which last month in March announced 3,050 selected entrepreneurs for its 2019 cycle, continues to grow in scale, ambition and impact, and now actively leverages technology to support entrepreneurs through TEF Connect – a digital hub designed to link entrepreneurs across Africa, and which already has 500,000 users.

On the Foundation’s future plans, he stated: “We want to make sure that we impact more, reach more, touch more lives and get more women involved. We want to see more Northern Africa participation. We would like to reach 10,000 a year, with support from partners to empower additional entrepreneurs. We want to eradicate poverty and create wealth in a sustainable way. Ultimately, \we want a larger and broader entrepreneurship ecosystem, that supports young Africans, and we want to deepen our engagement with government to create the enabling environment to support these Africans to succeed – the right investment climate, training, education, access to capital and most importantly creating the right investment culture.”

Other dignitaries at the event included: Carl Michiels, Director, European Centre for Development Policy Management (ECDPM); Bruno Wenn, Former CEO/Chairman at DEG-German Investment and Development Company, and Advisory Board Member, Tony Elumelu Foundation; Mr Viwanou Gnanssougou, Assistant Secretary General, African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) at the European Council of the European Union, and Ifeyinwa Ugochukwu, CEO of the Tony Elumelu Foundation.

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