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Dangote increases wealth by $4.3bn to become world’s 96th richest man

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Aliko Dangote, Africa’s richest man, became $4.3 billion richer in 2019 with his business investments in cement, flour and sugar.

According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, the 62-year-old businessman ended the year with a net worth of almost $15 billion, making him the 96th wealthiest man in the world at the end of 2019.

In February 2019, the addition of the equity value of his fertilizer plant to his net worth moved Dangote’s net worth from $10.8 billion to $16.6 billion.

He also moved to the 63rd position on the Bloomberg Billionaire Index from 103.

Dangote holds 85.2% stake in Dangote Cement and has shares in other companies like Dangote Sugar, Nascon Allied Industries, Dangote Flour Mills and United Bank for Africa.

Dangote incorporated his own business selling cement at 21 and begun cement manufacturing in the 1990s.

He has a crude oil refinery currently valued at $12 billion oil refinery under construction.

The refinery, which would be single largest in the world upon completion, has the capacity to meet more than Nigeria’s entire fuel consumption.

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Crude oil prices approach $70 after US attack on Iranian general

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Crude oil prices spiked by 4% on Friday upon news that a top Iranian general was killed in an airstrike by the United States military. 

Brent crude futures, the international benchmark for crude oil, stood at $69.01 per barrel, an increase of 4.17%.

US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) also stood at $63.34 per barrel, a 4% increase.

The Pentagon said the attack was carried out on the order of President Donald Trump to deter “future Iranian attack plans”.

It added that Soleimani was killed because he “was actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region”.

The airstrike comes days after an Iran-backed militia and its supporters breached the US embassy in Baghdad.

Iraqi Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF) confirmed that Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, deputy head of the force, was also among those “martyred by an American strike”.

In September, oil prices increased by 14% after coordinated attacks were carried out on Saudi Arabia’s oil facilities which cut off 5% of global oil supplies.

Working in Nigeria’s good

Although world leaders are holding their breath awaiting Iran’s next action, the situation is working in favour of oil producing nations like Nigeria.

Already, Brent crude price is $9 above Nigeria’s crude oil budget benchmark.

A reprisal attack by Iran could send oil prices as high as $100 as global crude supply could be threatened.

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Sylva: FG making plans for fuel at N97 per litre

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Timipre Sylva, minister of state for petroleum resources, says the federal government is working to make fuel available at N97 per litre, using the compressed natural gas (CNG) as an option to premium motor spirit (PMS).

CNG is a fuel that can be used in place of gasoline, diesel fuel and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). It is used in traditional gasoline/internal combustion engine automobiles or specifically manufactured vehicles.

Fielding questions from reporters at his office in Abuja on Thursday, the minister said the common man would not notice that subsidy on PMS has been removed when they have CNG as an option.

“If we are thinking of reducing pump price for fuel? I could easily say yes and I’m sure all of you wonder why I am saying that,” he said.

“We are thinking of giving the masses an alternative. Today we are all hooked on PMS, what we want to do going forward is to see that we are able to move the masses to CNG gas.

“CNG unit for unit costs less than even the subsidised PMS. Per litre the subsidised rate of PMS is N145/l. CNG will cost N95 to N97/l that is why I could say we want to reduce the cost of fuel, that way when we are given an alternative Nigerians will not notice when the subsidy on PMS is removed.”

The minister said he is hoping that the petroleum industry bill (PIB) will be passed by the national assembly before May.

According to him, the PIB “has taken us back for too long.”

“We are very ambitious about the PIB and we are hoping that it will pass before May this year which is the first anniversary of this administration and second tenure of this government,” he said.

“We are counting on the excellent relationship between the executive and the legislature but I must say that it is a hope and that is why I am mobilising the support of all of you. We are also mobilising the support of the national assembly and everybody else in the industry.

“Let us build a consensus around the PIB because the PIB has taken us back for too long, it has held us down for too long and we need to get it passed quickly. It is taking us a while to tidy up because we want to take every interest on board.”

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Inflation hits 11.98% — highest in 19 months

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The consumer price index, which measures inflation, stood at 11.98% in December 2019.

This is 0.13 percentage points higher than the 11.85% recorded in November.

This is the highest point the index has reached in 19 months.

“On month-on-month basis, the headline index increased by 0.85 percent in December 2019, this is 0.17
percentage points lower than the rate recorded in November 2019 (1.02%),” the report, which was released by the National Bureau of Statistics on Friday, read.

“The urban inflation rate increased by 12.62 percent (year-on-year) in December 2019 from 12.47 percent
recorded in November 2019.

“The rural inflation rate increased by 11.41 percent in December 2019
from 11.30 percent in November 2019.

“The composite food index rose by 14.67% in December 2019 compared to 14.48% in November 2019.

“Core inflation, which excludes the prices of volatile agricultural
produce stood at 9.33% in December 2019, up by 0.34% when compared with 8.99%
recorded in November 2019.”

According to the report, the rise in the food index was caused by increases in prices of bread, cereals, meat, fish, O
Oils and fats, potatoes, yam and other tubers.

On a year-on-year basis, food inflation was highest in Sokoto (17.75%), Ogun (17.37%) and Plateau (16.75%), while Bayelsa (13.26%), Delta(12.72%) and Bauchi (12.19%) recorded the slowest rise.

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