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Nestoil, Julius Berger Sign N24bn Contract

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An indigenous oil firm, Nestoil Plc, has awarded the contract for the building of its new ultra-modern office headquarters to Julius Berger Nigeria at a whopping cost of N24 billion and a completion time frame of 25 months from date of signing. The office building is to be located on Akin Adesola Street, Victoria Island, Lagos.

In October 2010, the Nestoil Group entrusted ACCL Ltd in cooperation with JBN/Bilfinger Berger Nigeria on the basis of a preconstruction agreement with a design conception of a combination use development of offices, parking and living.

The approximately 75 meters high building offers Nestoil a gross floor area of 32.300m2. The site is located in the centre of Victoria Island, at the junction of Akin Adesola Street, which connects Bar Beach in the South with Falomo Bridge in the North, and Saka Tinubu Street.

The Lagos Nestoil Tower is based on a combined pile raft foundation bored piles with a maximum depth of 54 meters and a foundation slab with a thickness of 1.8 meters.

Due to the high ground water level a secant bore pile wall and a jet-grouting plug are necessary to prevent the building pit from flooding.

The 15 floors provide 9 stories of parking, 19 apartments on 5 levels and 14 office floors including one executive office floor all topped by a helipad and a building crown, which turns the highrise- building to a real landmark in the Victoria Island skyline.

The Nestoil Group wants to achieve a LEED certification for the Nestoil Tower. This will increase the attractiveness especially for international tenants as the LEED certification brings the sustainability and awareness of responsibility for the present but also for the future generations to Nigeria.

The President/ Chief Executive Officer of Nestoil, Dr Ernest Azudialu, and the Managing Director of Julius Berger Nigeria, Wolfgang Goetsch, formerly signed the contract at the Julius Berger headquarters in Abuja.

In his brief remarks before the signing of the contract papers, Azudialu revealed that the idea of building a befitting headquarters for Nestoil started many years ago but never really took off until a few years ago when the idea began to take form.

“The board of Nestoil decided to build something different and befitting, a building that will show the Oil & Gas industry in Sub-Saharan Africa in a different perspective.”

According to him, in the quest to get the best, the company went to great lengths “from what we can see from the model of the building it took a lot for us to get to this level and even to the construction stage where it is today. It took a lot of trips to Wiesbaden Germany for reviews, to choose materials and also to examine what it takes to build a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, LEED certified structure (LEED is an internationally recognized green building programme).

“Today is a signing ceremony and is not going to be a speech making day but for us on the Nestoil side this is a very big milestone to have been able to get this project to this stage. We are looking forward to making sure that at the end of the day this building is delivered both on schedule and to world-class standards.

“From the construction work progressing on site which has been visited by other directors and shareholders of Nestoil, we can say that we are very pleased and we commend Julius Berger having done a good job so far to continue in that line for the next 20-25 months when the building should be completed. We expect that the building we be completed by the 1st quarter or before the middle of 2015”.

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CBN Retains Lending Rate At 11.5%

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Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) says it has retained the Monetary Policy Rate at 11.5 per cent.
Disclosing this during a briefing after the first Monetary Policy Committee meeting for the year held in Abuja yesterday, the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, also stated parameters left unchanged.
According to the apex bank boss, other parameters left unchanged are the Cash Reserve Ratio and Liquidity Ratio at 27.5 per cent and 30 per cent respectively.
While announcing the committee’s decision, Emefiele said, “after a careful balancing of the benefits and the downside risks of the policy options, the MPC decided to hold all parameters constant”.
He said this is “believing that a whole stance will enable the continuous permeation of current policy measures in supporting the recorded growth recovery and further boost production and productivity, which will ultimately rein in inflation in the short to medium term”.
“The MPC”, he continued, “thus decided by a unanimous vote, the MPC voted as follows, one, retain MPR at 11.5 per cent; retain the asymmetric corridor of +100/-700 basis points around the MPR; retain the CRR at 27.5 per cent; and retain the Liquidity Ratio at 30 per cent.”

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NARTO Urges FG To Complete Mile 2 Port Access Rd

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A chieftain of the National Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO), Alhaji Abdullahi Inuwa Mohammed, has called on the Federal Government to expedite action on the reconstruction of the Mile 2 – Tincan Island Port Road to ease the hardship encountered on the road by commuters and truckers.
Mohammed, who made the call recently, noted that the completion of the reconstruction work on the road was one of the major expectations of the entire maritime stakeholders which was never met in 2021.
“They have to pay attention to the completion of the reconstruction work and make sure that they create enabling environment for the exporters, and also to make sure that the shipping lines do the needful by providing holding bays where trucks can freely go and discharge their empty containers.
“We urge the government to create an enabling environment. If those things are there and the enforcement team is doing what they should do with the Eto, things will get better.
“But we know now that we are having global challenge because about 65% of import has dropped but we know it’s a global challenge. There’s scarcity of containers globally”, he said.
While emphasizing that the Federal Government did a lot last year to encourage export trade, he, however, expressed regret that the system put in place by the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), which they thought could have been improved for the exporters, the farmers as well as miners to enjoy was lagging behind.
“If you recall, last year, so many exporters lost their investment because of poor handling and poor facility which resulted to the rejection of some of the items exported by the receiving countries, which is not good for the country.
“So, we do expect that government should pay more attention to see that anything that will disturb the movement of export goods is being taken care of to create an enabling environment for exporters to export their goods”, he stated.
Mohammed, however, called on the Federal Government to de-emphasize tariff increments, adding that it’s not by increasing tariffs, irresponsible revenue drive and creating hardship for the citizens that it would improve the state of the economy, but by fixing charges that would be pocket friendly both to the importers and exporters so as to cushion the hardship on the citizens.

By: Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos

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FG To Convert 200,000 Vehicles To Autogas … Plans 580 Refuelling Centres

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The Federal Government (FG) says it has perfected plans for the full deployment of autogas in filling stations and the conversion of 200,000 commercial vehicles to run on gas this year.
This was disclosed in a meeting with oil marketers in the downstream sector convened by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, in Abuja.
The meeting in which government unveiled the 2022 Framework for the deployment of CNG (Compressed Natural Gas, popularly called autogas) in Nigeria, had in attendance Senior officials of the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria, Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association of Nigeria, as well as other key players in the downstream sector.
At the meeting, Sylva told his guests that the government was out to ensure that it made available the alternatives required before the removal of subsidy on Premium Motor Spirit (petrol), stressing that the deployment of autogas was one of such key alternatives.
He also stated that the government would be supporting them with 50 per cent of the conversion kits to fast-track the process, adding that additional support as required would be given, going forward.
“We said we must provide alternative fuel and the alternative that we concluded on was the autogas alternative. To provide it for our people,” the Minister said.
He continued that “Since this agreement between us (government and marketers), a lot of work has been going on and we have come to a certain point where we need to take it further. But we cannot move further without ensuring that you as our partners are fully on board.”
In the framework, the government explained that with abundant gas reserves of about 206.53 trillion cubic feet, a population of about 200 million people, and the enactment of the Petroleum Industry Act, which eliminated the continuous absorption of petrol subsidy, it was now vital to deploy autogas.
The goverent stated that its priority now was the rapid and strategic introduction of Natural Gas Vehicles as an alternative fuel for transportation in Nigeria in line with the approved National Gas Policy.
“This will pave the pathway to full deregulation of the downstream petroleum sector in Nigeria, while reducing the effect of deregulation on transportation costs,” the document read in part.
It added that  “The Ministry of Petroleum Resources was charged with the responsibility to provide autogas (LPG, CNG, LNG) as an alternative and competitive fuel for mass transportation
“CNG was selected as the fuel of choice because it holds a comparative advantage due to its ease of deployment, its comparatively lower capital requirements, commodity’s supply stability, existing in-country volumes, and local market commercial structure which relies predominantly on the naira.
“Hence a single track CNG deployment is proposed in the initial phase and other alternatives can be considered as the market attains maturity.”
Three implementation options were highlighted in the document, as the government stated that in the first option, its target was to convert one million public transport vehicles and install 1,000 refueling centres within 36 months.
For the first 18 months it targets to achieve 500,000 conversions and 580 refueling centres supplied by five Original Equipment Manufacturers, among other targets.
In the plan, the government targets to convert 200,000 commercial vehicles this year, including tricycles, cars, mini-buses and large buses.
The cities captured in Phase 1 of the project include Abuja, Kaduna, Kano, Kogi, Kwara, Lagos, Ondo, Oyo, Edo, Delta, Bayelsa, Niger, and Rivers.
Cities under Phase 2 were listed as Sokoto, Katsina, Jigawa, Borno, Bauchi, Gombe, Yobe, Osun, Ekiti, Enugu, Anambra, Imo, Cross River, Abia, Akwa Ibom and Plateau. For Phase 3 cities, they were listed as Kebbi, Zamfara, Yobe, Gombe, Taraba, Adamawa, Benue and Ebonyi.

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