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Nigerian lender partners with local oil firm on $300m tank farm, the largest in Sub-Saharan Africa

Wema Bank, the pioneer of Nigeria’s first fully digital bank ALAT, has acted as a financial partner to Petrolex, an indigenous oil and gas company, for the development of its $300 million Ibefun Tank Farm, the largest in sub-Saharan Africa.

The tank farm, located in Ibefun, Ogun State, holds a 300 million litres storage capacity and can turnover 600 million litres of petroleum products in one month. The complex also comprises of a residential estate for staff, an army barracks, 30 loading gantries for product disbursement, and a 4,000 truck capacity trailer park with accommodation for drivers.

The facility, which was officially opened on the 12th of December 2017, is part of a long-term plan of Petrolex to develop a $6 billion Oil Megacity. Once completed, it is expected to be Africa’s largest petroleum products hub.

The megacity will sit on a landmass that spans over 101 square kilometres, a tenth of the entire size of Lagos State. It will house a 250,000 barrels per day capacity refinery—estimated to cost $3.5 billion, an ultramodern lube plant, an LNG and LPG plant, and a power plant. The project is expected to create over 2000 direct and indirect jobs.

Mr. Segun Adebutu, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Petrolex, explained that while the tank farm will immediately bring on board thousands of jobs, his long term vision for the megacity is to build a largely indigenous company that will enhance the livelihood of many Nigerians and ensure the country’s self-sufficiency dream in energy is made a reality.

Ahead of the opening ceremony, Mr. Olusegun Oloketuyi, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the Bank, expressed his delight that Wema Bank was part of such a prestigious project. He said the Bank’s involvement in part-financing the largest Tank Farm in sub-Saharan Africa further reaffirms its commitment to play a crucial role in the country’s growth and development by providing funding for critical, economically-enhancing projects.

“We are extremely delighted to have partnered with Petrolex on this laudable project,” said Mr Oloketuyi. “Our participation in this remarkable venture further reaffirms our brand position to go all the way with our customers in ensuring their dreams become a reality. We remain unwavering in our quest to support historic and value-adding propositions that ultimately enhances the lives of people and bring about economic prosperity.”

Mr Oloketuyi noted that despite prevailing economic conditions, Wema Bank continues to show signs of resilience, evidenced by its growing brand acceptance and increased customer patronage. Gross earnings grew by 16.79% from N37.89 billion in Q3’2016 to N45.38 billion as at Q3’2017. This was supported by increased contribution from non-interest income which rose by 35.74% from N5.96 billion in Q3’2017 to N8.09 billion, as at Q3’2017. The high interest rate environment continued to impact earnings, as interest expense increased year on year. Despite this, the Bank recorded a growth in Profit before Tax (PBT) by 20.81% to N1.80 billion in Q3’ 2017.

The Bank also launched ALAT in May, and the market has warmly received the digital bank with more than 130,000 accounts opened till date.