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Court Adjourns Guinness N1bn Suit Against NAFDAC

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Guiness

A Lagos High Court yesterday adjourned the suit filed by one of Nigeria’s brewing giants, Guinness Nigeria Plc against the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) till February 8, 2016 to enable parties meet for amicable resolution of the dispute.

Justice Wasiu Animahun adjourned the suit following submissions of counsel that a meeting is ongoing to resolve the matter out of court.

NAFDAC had imposed N1 billion fine on Guinness “as administrative charges for various clandestine violations of NAFDAC rules, regulations and enactments over a long period of time.”

The agency had in a letter addressed to the Managing Director of Guinness, Peter Ndegwa, by the Head, Investigation and Enforcement of NAFDAC, Kingsley Ejiofor, requested the payment of the N1billion as administrative charges for infractions such as the destruction activities carried out by the company without the authorisation and supervision of the agency.

The agency also accused Guinness of revalidating expired products without authorisation and supervision by NAFDAC, as well as failing to secure the gate of its warehouse as the raw materials used in the production of beer and non-alcoholic beverages by the firm were permanently opened to intrusion and exposure to the elements and rodents, which “invariably affect the integrity of the raw materials.”

Guinness was also alleged to maintain poor documentation record and not complying with conditions contained in the certificate of validation of the revalidated malt extract, which required the storage of the items in cool and dry place and elimination of exposure to sunlight.

Dissatisfied with the N1 billion fine, Guinness approached the court asking it to restrain NAFDAC and the Attorney-General of the Federation from enforcing the sanction pending the determination of the suit.

When the suit came up yesterday for mention, counsel to Guinness Plc, Mr. Olasupo Shasore (SAN), told the court that representatives of Guinness and that of NAFDAC are meeting on the sanction imposed on the company, adding that he was hopeful the matter could be resolved.

Addressing the court, NAFDAC’s lawyer, Mr. O M Abutu, acknowledged that parties met last Monday but that he was not privy to what actually transpired at the meeting.

He said: “I confirm that the applicant (Guinness) met with the agency yesterday, but I was not part of the meeting and I have not been briefed about the outcome of the meeting’’
Abutu urged the court to adjourn the matter to enable the Agency reply to the originating process filed by Guinness and for possible out of court settlement of the matter.

In his submission, counsel to the Attorney General of the Federation, Mr. T Mokuolu, said he had no objection if parties decide to resolve the issue out of court.

Guinness Plc had in its originating motion prayed the court for an order restraining NAFDAC and AGF from imposing any sanction on it other than as recorgnised by law and the constitution.

The company also asked the court for a perpetual injunction restraining the respondents from imposing/or continuing to impose any sanction whatsoever on it.

The applicant is also asking for a declaration that NAFDAC refused to grant it an opportunity to be heard in relation to the allegation.

The company urged the court to declare the fine imposed by NAFDAC violated it right to fair hearing as guaranteed under section 36(1) of the Constitution.

Justice Animahun had in a ruling delivered on December 14 restrained NAFDAC from enforcing the N1 billion fine pending the hearing and determination of the suit.

The matter has been adjourned till February 8 for mention.

Thisday

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Businessinsider, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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Dangote Refinery Raises Diesel Price to N1,100/Litre Due to Naira-Dollar Crash

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Aliko Dangote - Investors King

Dangote Refinery has announced an increase in the price of Automotive Gas Oil (diesel) from N940 per litre to N1,100 per litre.

This significant adjustment in pricing reflects the refinery’s efforts to mitigate the impact of currency depreciation on its operations.

The decision to raise the price of diesel comes amidst ongoing challenges in the foreign exchange market, with the naira experiencing a downward spiral against the dollar in recent weeks.

The refinery cited the unfavorable exchange rate as the primary driver behind the price hike, signaling the intricacies of operating in a volatile economic environment.

It is worth noting that just a few weeks ago, on April 24, 2024, Dangote Refinery had announced a reduction in the prices of diesel and aviation fuel to N940 per litre and N980 per litre, respectively.

This move was aimed at responding to calls from oil marketers for a reduction in diesel prices, demonstrating the refinery’s willingness to adapt to market dynamics.

However, the recent depreciation of the naira has necessitated a reversal of this downward trend, prompting Dangote Refinery to adjust its pricing strategy accordingly.

Some dealers reported purchasing diesel from the plant at even higher rates, reaching up to N1,200 per litre for those procuring lesser volumes.

Abubakar Maigandi, the National President of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, attributed the price increase to the rising exchange rate, as communicated by the refinery.

He emphasized the direct correlation between currency fluctuations and the cost of imported commodities, such as crude oil, which forms the basis for diesel production.

While officials of the refinery have remained tight-lipped on the matter, industry sources and major marketers have corroborated reports of the price adjustment.

Chief Ukadike Chinedu, the National Public Relations Officer of IPMAN, echoed similar sentiments, highlighting the adverse impact of the naira’s depreciation on refined product prices.

The recent fluctuations in the naira-dollar exchange rate underscore the challenges facing Nigeria’s economy, with implications for various sectors, including energy and transportation.

Despite initial signs of stability earlier in the year, the naira’s recent depreciation has reignited concerns about inflationary pressures and economic uncertainty.

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Nigeria-Indonesia Trade Surges to $4.7 Billion in 2022, NICCI President Reveals

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Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers

The trade volume between Nigeria and Indonesia rose to $4.7 billion in 2022, according to Ishmael Balogun, the President of the Nigerian-Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NICCI).

This revelation came during a recent press conference convened to announce the upcoming Nigeria-Indonesia Investment and Trade Forum, scheduled to be held in Kano.

Balogun, speaking with enthusiasm, underscored the pivotal role played by NICCI in fostering bilateral trade and investment between the two nations.

“Our vision at NICCI is to promote robust economic ties between Nigeria and Indonesia, positioning Nigeria as the premier investment destination in Africa,” he declared.

Highlighting Nigeria’s burgeoning position as Indonesia’s foremost trading partner on the African continent, Balogun emphasized the mutually beneficial nature of the relationship.

“Nigeria holds the distinction of being Indonesia’s number one trading partner in Africa, a testament to the strength and vitality of our economic cooperation,” he stated.

NICCI’s commitment to nurturing this partnership extends beyond mere rhetoric, as Balogun elucidated the chamber’s proactive approach to facilitating trade engagements.

“We are resolute in our efforts to bolster interactions between Nigeria and Indonesia through various platforms such as trade forums, fairs, and bilateral symposiums,” he affirmed.

The forthcoming Nigeria-Indonesia Investment and Trade Forum, slated to convene in Kano, represents a pivotal opportunity to further deepen economic collaboration.

Themed ‘Indonesia meets Nigeria: An opportunity for expansion of Bilateral Investment and Trade’, the event promises to be a catalyst for enhanced trade relations and investment inflows.

Reflecting on the evolution of the forum, Balogun reminisced about its inaugural edition held in Jakarta, Indonesia, in October 2022, followed by a successful second edition in October 2023.

This year’s edition seeks to broaden the scope by inviting Indonesian companies to explore the vast potential of the Nigerian market.

Balogun expressed gratitude for the collaborative efforts between NICCI and the Indonesian Embassy in Nigeria, under the leadership of Ambassador Dr. Usra Harahap, as well as the Indonesian government’s Ministry of Trade and Foreign Affairs.

Together, they have orchestrated the invitation of 70 Indonesian companies to participate in the upcoming forum, symbolizing a tangible commitment to fostering bilateral trade and investment.

As Nigeria and Indonesia forge ahead in their economic partnership, the surge in trade volumes serves as a testament to the growing synergy between the two nations.

With NICCI spearheading initiatives to bolster economic cooperation, the future holds promising prospects for further expansion and prosperity on both fronts.

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Dry Cleaners Set to Tap into $165 Billion Global Cleaning Industry

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The Fabric Professionals and Dry Cleaners Association of Nigeria (FPDA) is gearing up to host the “Clean Show Africa 2024” conference.

This conference aims to expose over 25,000 dry cleaners to the vast opportunities present in the global cleaning and hygiene industry, valued at a staggering $165 billion.

Scheduled to take place on May 28–29, 2024, in Lagos, the event is themed “Positioning Africa’s fabric and hygiene industry for excellence.”

It comes at a crucial time when Nigeria’s dry cleaning industry is experiencing steady growth, with projections indicating a 6.4% annual increase over the next decade.

According to Enibikun Adebayo, Chairman of FPDA, Nigeria’s dry cleaning industry was valued at $8.4 million in 2019.

However, this figure is expected to rise significantly, presenting a ripe opportunity for stakeholders to tap into.

Adebayo emphasized the importance of collaboration within the industry to fully leverage its potential.

“A year ago, we launched FPDA of Nigeria. We are also using the platform to educate our members to be better professionals,” stated Adebayo, highlighting the association’s commitment to enhancing professionalism and standards within the sector.

The conference will shine a spotlight on women in the dry cleaning business, recognizing their pivotal role in driving the industry forward. Reports have shown that dry cleaning businesses are often better managed by women, and the event aims to provide them with the necessary support and resources to thrive.

Ruth Okunnuga, Managing Director of Wasche Paint Nigeria, expressed the need to revolutionize Nigeria’s dry cleaning and laundry industry, emphasizing the lack of proper structure and investment.

She stressed the importance of data collection for effective planning and growth within the sector.

Joseph Oru, Managing Director of Zenith Exhibition, highlighted the conference’s objective of engaging the Federal Government to establish training institutions for dry cleaners. Such institutions would play a crucial role in equipping professionals with the skills and knowledge needed to meet global standards.

As Nigeria’s dry cleaning industry prepares to tap into the vast opportunities offered by the global cleaning market, the Clean Show Africa 2024 conference stands as a pivotal platform for collaboration, innovation, and growth within the sector.

With a focus on excellence and professionalism, stakeholders aim to position Nigeria as a key player in the dynamic and lucrative cleaning and hygiene industry.

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