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How DRC’s Dec. Elections Sparked Crisis of Faith and Democracy

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How DRC’s Dec. Elections Sparked Crisis of Faith and Democracy

Naijanewsngr – The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is facing a political and social crisis following the disputed general elections held in December 2020.

The incumbent president, Felix Tshisekedi, was declared the winner with a landslide of over 73% of the vote.

But his victory has been challenged by the opposition and civil society groups, who allege widespread irregularities and violations of the electoral law.

The Catholic and Protestant churches, which have a strong influence and presence in the country, have demanded an independent inquiry into the election results before they can be accepted as legitimate.

The Role of the CENCO-ECC in the Electoral Process

The CENCO-ECC is a coalition of Catholic and Protestant leaders, who have been actively involved in the promotion of democracy and human rights in the DRC.

The coalition deployed thousands of independent observers to monitor the polls, and reported various anomalies and problems on the election day and in the subsequent days. Some of the issues they documented include:

Long delays in the delivery and opening of voting materials and stations, which disenfranchised many voters and created confusion and frustration.

Malfunctioning of the electronic voting machines, which were introduced for the first time and raised doubts about their reliability and security.

Smudging of the ink on the voter cards, which made them unreadable and invalid.

Extension of the voting period beyond the official date, which violated the electoral law and created opportunities for manipulation and fraud.

Lack of transparency and credibility in the compilation and transmission of the results, which were announced by the electoral commission without the verification and validation of the CENCO-ECC observers.

The CENCO-ECC issued a joint statement, in which they insisted that the presidential and legislative election results should only be considered valid after the establishment of an inquiry that would verify and audit the entire electoral process.

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The Reaction of the Opposition and the Constitutional Court

The opposition parties and candidates rejected the provisional results announced by the electoral commission, and accused the incumbent president of orchestrating a massive fraud to secure his re-election.

They filed two formal appeals to the constitutional court, which is the highest judicial authority in the country and has the power to confirm or annul the election results.

The court has until January 12 to make its final decision.

The opposition also called for peaceful protests and civil disobedience to express their dissatisfaction and demand a recount of the votes.

However, the security forces have been deployed to prevent and disperse any demonstrations, and several incidents of violence and repression have been reported.

The Implications of the Electoral Crisis for the DRC and the Region

The electoral crisis in the DRC has serious implications for the stability and development of the country and the region.

The DRC is the largest and most populous country in Central Africa, and has a history of armed conflicts, humanitarian crises, and human rights violations.

The elections were seen as a historic opportunity to consolidate the democratic transition and foster peace and reconciliation, after the former president, Joseph Kabila, agreed to step down after 18 years in power.

However, the credibility and legitimacy of the elections have been severely undermined by the allegations of fraud and irregularities, and the lack of consensus and dialogue among the political actors.

The country is now divided and polarized, and the risk of violence and unrest is high.

The international community, which has invested heavily in the electoral process and the stabilization of the country, has expressed its concern and urged all parties to respect the rule of law and the will of the people.

The electoral crisis in the DRC also affects the neighboring countries, which share borders, resources, and security challenges with the DRC.

The region has been plagued by armed groups, cross-border conflicts, refugee flows, and epidemics, and relies on the DRC’s cooperation and leadership to address these issues.

The uncertainty and instability in the DRC could have negative consequences for the regional integration and development, and the prevention and resolution of conflicts.

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Dangote Refinery to set up terminal in the Caribbean for export of petroleum products

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Dangote Refinery to set up terminal in the Caribbean for export of petroleum products

Dangote Refinery to set up terminal in the Caribbean for export of petroleum products

Dangote Refinery is planning to set up a terminal in the Caribbean to export petroleum products to countries in the North American region.

Aliko Dangote, the president and CEO of the refinery, made this disclosure on Wednesday at Afreximbank’s Trade and Investment Forum in The Bahamas.

The business mogul said the company can easily supply petroleum products to the region within 18 to 20 days.

According to Africa’s richest man, the company will sign a bilateral agreement with the region to construct the terminal for the exportation of its petroleum products.

“I know the price in the Caribbean in terms of petroleum products is very high. We produce it cheaply. We can always bring it here. We can set up a terminal and we’ll be able to fix their needs.

“We will have a bilateral agreement with them and also bringing in stuff from there is not more than 18 to 20 days maximum. And then we need to set up a terminal.

“Once we set up a terminal, they will have a very cheap oil. They will have cheap energy. And by having cheap energy, their own economy will grow faster,” Dangote said.

Dangote to also export Cement to the Region
In addition, the CEO of the $20 billion refinery mentioned that the conglomerate is not only seeking to invest in petroleum products in the region but also in cement.

Dangote stated that the company’s cement production capacity is nearly 52 million tons and will increase to about 62 million tons by the end of next year.

He added that the firm can meet the demand of the Caribbean market, creating a win-win situation for both parties.

“It’s not only about the oil. We now have a capacity of almost 52 million cement capacity. By the end of next year, we will be at 62 million of cement capacity. We are not only saying that we can bring in from Nigeria or from Africa.

“If they have limestones, we can also produce what can satisfy them. We’ve done that before in Africa and we should be able to free them up from the shackles of other people.

“If we the ingredients like the limestones etc, it’s a 28 months maximum. They can all be self-sufficient. It will be a win-win between us and them,” Dangote said.

What you should know
The Dangote refinery with a 650,000 barrel refining capacity has been described as the “game changer” of the oil and gas sector.
The refinery will be the largest in Africa and Europe once it begins full operation later next year.
According to reports, the $20 billion petroleum facility is expected to disrupt the $17 billion Africa-European market and reduce the continent’s dependence on imported petroleum products from Europe.
In addition, Dangote stated that the company is also eyeing the Brazilian market and other North American countries to supply refined products from the refinery.
“Our capacity is too big for Nigeria. It will be able to supply West Africa, Central Africa and also Southern Africa,” Dangote said in a panel discussion in Rwanda a few weeks ago.

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Dangote Refinery Mulls Lagos, London Stock Exchange Listings

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Dangote Refinery to set up terminal in the Caribbean for export of petroleum products

Dangote Refinery Mulls Lagos, London Stock Exchange Listings

The Dangote refinery is aiming for a dual listing on the London and Lagos bourses, a senior executive at the firm, Devakumar Edwin, has told Reuters.

Africa’s richest man and Chairman of the group, Aliko Dangote was earlier on Tuesday, quoted as saying he could try to list the company in Nigeria by the end of the year.

It is coming about six months after Dangote, also told the Financial Times of his intentions to publicly list the subsidiary of the Group, Dangote Petroleum Refinery on the Nigerian Exchange Limited.

At the time, Dangote stated that the company had resolved challenges about crude oil supply and was prepared for the listing.

The billionaire businessman already has some companies listed on the NGX, including Dangote Cement, Dangote Sugar Refinery and Nascon Allied Industries.

The refinery managers said there was need to approach the London Exchange because the Nigerian bourse may not have the capacity to handle it exclusively.

Asked to comment on Dangote’s statement to local media, Edwin told Reuters: “We have listed all our businesses. The NSE (Nigerian Stock Exchange) will not have adequate depth to handle exclusively the petroleum refinery. We would have to take it to LSE (London Stock Exchange) but also list in NSE.”

The refinery, Africa’s largest, built on a peninsula on the outskirts of the commercial capital Lagos at a cost of $20 billion, was completed after several years of delay.

It can refine up to 650,000 barrels per day (bpd) and will be the largest in Africa and Europe when it reaches full capacity this year or next.

Dangote has been trying to secure crude supplies for his refinery. He has interests in Dangote Cement, Dangote Flour Mills and Dangote Sugar, all listed on the Nigerian bourse.

In May, the company reached its first supply deal with TotalEnergies, after it put out a tender for 2 million barrels of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) Midland crude every month for a year starting in July, according to tender documents.

The company since earlier in the year, has been refining diesel, jet fuel and other petroleum products and is expected to begin the production of petrol in June.

Meanwhile, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC) has said it recorded 310 cases of crude oil theft in the past week.

In its weekly update on the activities of the national oil company, the NNPC said that the cases were discovered between May 18 and May 24.

“Between May 18 and 24, 310 cases were recorded across the Niger Delta region by several incidence sources,” the NNPC stated.

In Grey Creek, Akwa Ibom state, it said a fuel station selling illegally refined fuels into cans and drums was uncovered in the past week, revealing that 122 illegal refineries were also uncovered in Bayelsa and Rivers states

According to the company, they were spotted in Tombia II, III, IV, and Umuajuloke, in Rivers state; Iduwini, Biogbolo, and Ajatiton, in Bayelsa state, while 65 illegal connections were discovered across several locations in Akuwa Odoka, Umuajuloke, and Watson Point, also in Rivers state as well as along Soku Sand Barth pipeline in the state.

It added that vandalised wellheads were discovered in Tombia IIII in Rivers state and Egbema in Imo state, where a pit filled with crude oil from a vandalised wellhead was discovered.

In Ndoni, Rivers state, NNPC said it uncovered a vandalised pipeline channelled to a nearby oil pit, while five illegal storage sites were spotted in sacks, pits, cans, and in a fuel station.

The NNPC stated that 20 vehicle arrests were made in Delta and Imo states while 48 infractions were reported at sea. Also, 39 wooden boats conveying stolen crude or illegally refined products were seized and confiscated across several creeks in Bayelsa and Delta states, it said.

NNPC said 48 of the incidents occurred in the deep blue water, 40 in the western region, 134 in the central region, and 88 in the eastern region.

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Tinubu approves $100m investment in African Energy Bank

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Tinubu approves $100m investment in African Energy Bank

Tinubu approves $100m investment in African Energy Bank

President Bola Tinubu has approved a $100m investment by Nigeria for class A shares in the proposed African Energy Bank, the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources announced on Friday.

It said the approval now positions Nigeria favorably to win the bid to host the multilateral $5bn Africa Energy Bank, which will finance Africa’s hydrocarbon deposits of oil, gas, and condensates and support energy transition and net zero 2060 commitments.

Announcing this in a statement signed by the Permanent Secretary, FMPR, Nicholas Ella, the ministry said, “President Bola Tinubu has approved a $100m investment from four agencies of the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, exceeding the minimum equity requirement of $83.33m for class A shares.

“This decision positions Nigeria favorably to win the bid, potentially reshaping the country’s oil and gas ecosystem.”

The ministry further stated that on Friday, the technical inspection team from the African Petroleum Producers Organisation, and Afrexim Bank – the joint promoters for the establishment of the African Energy Bank, completed their mission to validate Nigeria’s readiness to host the headquarters of the bank, set to be established in July 2024.

Following the first bidding round in early 2024, Nigeria, Ghana, Benin, and Algeria were pre-qualified to proceed to the final round of bidding.

These countries will compete for the right to host the supranational multilateral $5bn Africa Energy Bank.

“In our preparation for the bid, the Ministry of Petroleum Resources sought and obtained expert opinions from the Federal Ministry of Justice and consultants in January 2024,” the FMPR stated.

It added, “They reviewed and approved the bank’s proposed Charter, Establishment Agreement, ‘The Treaty,’ and Headquarters Host Agreement. This approval provided the impetus to proceed, and the Federal Executive Council and National Assembly are currently finalising the ratification process. This will ensure that the AEB receives the necessary privileges and immunities to operate in line with its global vision.

“To demonstrate the country’s commitment, Nigeria has identified a prestigious building in Abuja for the temporary headquarters and opened a secured data room for the technical team’s review. The application form for land for the permanent headquarters in the Central Business District of Abuja has been submitted for approval.”

The ministry also confirmed that the Federal Government was working diligently with Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, and the Nigerian Content Development Monitoring Board, to meet all eligibility criteria.

“Thus, the $5bn Africa Energy Bank, when headquartered in Nigeria, shall be the largest single foreign direct investment inflow into Nigeria in over two decades with its benefits including:

“The Africa Energy Bank ecosystem shall rank as the third largest bank in Africa and shall be the most prominent bank in Nigeria in terms of shareholders’ funds. It will significantly boost Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product, employment, financial architecture, inclusion, and propel our economic diversification while supporting foreign exchange management strategies,” the ministry stated.

It said the bank would pivot the development exploration and investment initiatives by independent petroleum producers, commercial service providers, legal and local content drivers, and technology and skills development that would leverage the bank’s proximity to the market and scale up production and capacity.

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