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Atiku, Okonjo-Iweala, Keyamo, others mourn Wigwe, Ogunbanjo, others

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Atiku, Okonjo-Iweala, Keyamo, others mourn Wigwe, Ogunbanjo, and others

Atiku, Okonjo-Iweala, Keyamo, others mourn Wigwe, Ogunbanjo, and others

Abimbola Ogunbanjo, former group chairman of Nigerian Exchange Group Plc (NGX Group), is also believed to be among the passengers.

Many Nigerians expressed condolences to the family of Herbert Wigwe, Access Holdings Chief Executive Officer, who was involved in a helicopter crash in the United States late Friday.

Mr. Wigwe, his wife, and his son are believed to be among the six passengers in a helicopter that crashed in the US early Saturday Nigerian time (late Friday local time).

Abimbola Ogunbanjo, former group chairman of Nigerian Exchange Group Plc (NGX Group), is also believed to be among the passengers.

The Eurocopter EC130 helicopter crashed around 10 p.m. local time near Nipton, Calif., an unincorporated community approximately 60 miles south of Las Vegas in eastern San Bernardino County, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

Officials from the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department were notified of the downed aircraft at 10:12 p.m. local time, according to Mara Rodriguez, a public information officer with the department. She added that the crash site was located east of Interstate 15, near Halloran Springs Road.

PREMIUM TIMES learned that the ill-fated Flight N130CZ, operated by Orbic Air LLC, took off from Palm Springs, California, at 8:45 p.m. but was last seen near Fort Irwin/Barstow, California, at 9:49 p.m. on Friday.

The cause of the crash of the Airbus Helicopter EC-130 remains unclear as of press time on Sunday morning.

The Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO), Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, said in a message posted Saturday on her X handle that she feels deeply saddened by Mr. Wigwe’s passing.

“I am deeply saddened by the news of the terrible loss of Herbert Wigwe, Group CEO of Access Bank, his wife and son, as well as Bimbo Ogunbanjo, in a helicopter crash.

“My deepest sympathies and condolences to the Wigwe family, the Ogunbanjo family, Access Bank Group employees and management @myaccessbank, and my younger brother Herbert’s partner Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede. May the souls of the departed rest in perfect peace,” she wrote.

The candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the last election and former vice president of Nigeria, Atiku Abubakar, described the death of Mr. Wigwe as an unfortunate incident.

He also expressed condolences and sympathy to the families and loved ones of the deceased.

“In the words of one of Nigeria’s finest CEOs, Herbert Wigwe, ‘Today and always, let us remember that life is a precious gift—a chance to breathe, feel, love, experience, and connect. Let’s honour this gift by living with purpose, kindness, and gratitude, making every moment count. Let us number our days’.

“I’m deeply saddened to hear about the unfortunate incident that led to the loss of Herbert Wigwe, Group Chief Executive Officer of Access Holdings Plc, and his family. Indeed, Herbert Wigwe, consummate banker, education promoter, and philanthropist, numbered his days. On behalf of my family, my heart goes out to their loved ones and everyone affected by this unfortunate incident. May their souls rest in peace.”

Nigeria’s Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Festus Keyamo, also paid tribute while describing Mr. Wigwe’s passing as a tragic loss of a friend.

“The reported tragic loss of my friend, brother, and not-far-away neighbour in Lagos, Herbert Wigwe, the co-founder of Access Bank, the CEO of Access Holdings, and the founder of Wigwe University, is very devastating.

“He was in my office earlier this week (where we took the pictures below) and actually left my office to fly out of the country and never came back. I am also shocked to learn his wife, son, and other friends were involved in this tragedy.

 

“We were on the verge of announcing something big for the aviation sector, which is why he actually came to the office with his entire team, both from Access and Wigwe University. This is surreal, and I am lost for words.

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“May Almighty God comfort his aged parents and siblings (who were also my neighbours in Lagos for many years as a very young lawyer in Anthony Village), his immediate family members, his staff, friends across Nigeria, and dependents,” he said.

A former Nigerian senator, Shehu Sani, in a statement posted on his X handle on Saturday, described the death of Mr. Wigwe as tragic and heartbreaking.

“The news of the deaths of Access Bank CEO Herbert Wigwe and five others in a helicopter crash is tragic, sad, and heartbreaking. A great loss. May their souls rest in peace,” he said.

Adamu Garba, an IT entrepreneur and Nigerian politician, said in his remarks that Mr. Wigwe’s energy, dedication to duty, and commitment to excellence are unceasing.

“The death of Herbert Wigwe, the CEO of AccessBank Plc, really, really touched me. I recall that in 2011, when Herbert was the COO of Access Bank, the IT department was under him. I was a professional IT consultant for an integration project at the bank.

“We migrated their mailboxes and merged them with those of Intercontinental Bank after the acquisition. I proceeded to deploy what is called Right Management Services RMS to protect their information flow. That was a requirement for their processes to comply with ISO 27001 certification. It was critical at that moment.

“During testing, Herbert will be the first to reply whenever we send a test mail, no matter how late. He will be the first to confirm if things work or don’t. I was not surprised in the least when he became the CEO afterwards.

“His energy, dedication to duty, and commitment to excellence are unceasing. May God, in his infinite mercy, bless his soul and that of his wife and son with an eternal resting place.”

Others
Ndubuisi Ekekwe, a professor and a United States-based innovator and tech entrepreneur, described Mr. Wigwe as one of Nigeria’s finest entrepreneurs and businessmen.

“Herbert Wigwe, one of Nigeria’s finest bankers and 2018 Tekedia Businessperson of the Year, has died. Bloomberg reports that he died in a helicopter crash in Southern California, along with other people, including some of his family members.

“As I wrote when I chose him as the businessperson of the year, “For that bravado and vision, knowing that in a digital banking future, marginal cost is everything and scale improves competitiveness, I have chosen Herbert Wigwe as my Businessperson of the Year.” Herbert had the uncommon capability to think big.

“Nigeria and indeed Africa mourn one of its finest entrepreneurs and businessmen. Our condolences to everyone affected by this tragedy, and we pray for strength to overcome.”

The Director-General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Kashifu Abdullahi, described Mr. Wigwe as a visionary leader whose passion extended beyond finance.

“I am deeply saddened by the loss of Herbert Wigwe, CEO of Access Holdings Plc, who passed away tragically in a helicopter accident. A visionary leader, Herbert’s passion extended beyond finance; he was profoundly committed to supporting Nigerian youth.

“Through the HOW Foundation, he dedicated himself to empowering the next generation, and his efforts to establish Wigwe University showcase his unwavering belief in the transformative power of education.

“Herbert’s legacy of nurturing young minds and fostering educational opportunities will continue to inspire us. Our thoughts are with his loved ones during this time. Rest in peace, Herbert. Your impact will not be forgotten,” he said.

Asue Ighodalo, a Nigerian lawyer and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship aspirant for the forthcoming Edo gubernatorial election, also expressed grief over the demise of Mr. Wigwe.

Mr. Ighodalo, in a statement posted via his X handle on Saturday night, described Mr. Wigwe’s death as disturbing while expressing condolences and sympathy to the families and loved ones of the deceased.

“I am deeply saddened to learn of the passing of my dear brother Herbert Wigwe, his wife and son, as well as my dear brother Abimbola Ogunbanjo and two others in this most unfortunate helicopter crash near California.

“Words fail to express the grief my family and I feel in the face of this most disturbing news. As we face the very difficult days to follow this extremely distressing development, I most humbly call for prayers for the Wigwe and Ogunbanjo families as well as all of us who are distraught by this harrowing event.

“My deepest condolences,” Mr. Ighodalo wrote.

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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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