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.
An Average of 48% Global Consumers to Significantly Cut 2020 Holiday Spending
Data presented by Buy Shares indicates that an average of 48% of global consumers plans to significantly reduce their 2020 compared to 2019. The research sampled consumer feedback from 13 countries.
Pandemic triggers reduced spending
The data also highlights that an average of 13.46% of global consumers plans to spend more on 2020 holidays than last year. Consumers from Indonesia at 71% plan to shrink their budget in 2020 while 16% will spend more.
About 69% of Mexican consumers will spend less, while 12% plan for more spending. In Brazil, about 65% of consumers will cut their budget while 11% plan to spend more than last year. At 63%, South African consumers will cut back on holiday spending while 12% plan to increase their budgets from last year.
In Spain, 55% of consumers will reduce their spending while 7% plan an increase from a year ago. Italian consumers spending less will be at 54%, with 6% planning to increase their budget.
In India, about 47% of people will cut back on the holiday budget, while 36% plan to increase spending. French consumers at 44% have intentions of reducing holiday spending while 6% will raise the spending from a year ago. 43% of UK consumers will spend less, while 9% have plans to spend more.
In the United States, 42% of consumers will spend less, while 17% will increase the budget. For Germany, about 29% of consumers will spend less than 7% planing to pay more. It is only in China where more people plan to spend more at 29% than 25% planning to spend less at 25%.
Elsewhere, 21% of Japanese consumers plan to spend less, while 7% will pay more. The research highlighted some of the reasons behind the massive slash in this year’s holiday spending. According to the research report:
“The less spending comes as most consumers lost their jobs and faced pay cuts as employers struggled to remain afloat in the course of the health crisis. Some consumers have been saving more to pay debts, while those on stimulus paychecks cannot sustain daily needs and holiday spending.”
The research also notes that most Americans at 30% look forward to the Christmas holiday while 23% anticipate Amazon Prime Day. Only 7% of Americans look forward to Fathers Day.
President Buhari to Inaugurate Waltersmith 5,000bpd Modular Refinery Today
President Muhammadu Buhari will inaugurate the 5,000 barrels per day modular refinery built by Waltersmith Group in Imo State.
According to Waltersmith Group, the President will lead a team of other top government officials, oil regulators and stakeholders to Imo State today for the inauguration, the Group stated in a statement released on Monday.
It said the modular refinery has a storage capacity of 60,000 barrels and is expected to deliver over 271 million litres per annum of refined petroleum products, including kerosene, diesel, naphtha and heavy fuel oils, to the domestic market.
Mr. Abdulrazaq Isa, the Chairman, Waltersmith Group, said the first of 50,000 bpd modular refinery to be inaugurated today would process 5,000bpd of crude oil.
“We are looking at 50,000bpd refining capacity that will come with the planned additional two modules; 25,000bpd and 20,000bpd refining capacity respectively which will then add PMS, aviation fuel and LPG to the product slates,” he added.
The statement added that Waltersmith obtained the ‘Licence to Establish’ the refinery from the Department of Petroleum Resources in June 2015 and got the ‘Authority to Construct’ in March 2017.
Central Bank of Guinea Selects Refinitiv Trading solutions to Enhance Transparency and Digitize Guinea’s Financial Markets
GUINEA – Central Bank of Guinea has adopted Refinitiv Trading solutions to effectively manage currency flows, primary market liquidity provision, and facilitate regional and international trade and investment.
With the scarcity of liquidity across Sub Saharan African markets, it is crucial for African countries to protect their FX reserves and tab on new liquidity pools. Leveraging technology and deploying efficient FX and trading infrastructure systems enhances transparency, accuracy and credibility to the marketplace and facilitates economic growth. The Refinitiv FX Trading platform will offer the local market in Guinea access to deeper offshore liquidity, efficient execution, and automated trade reporting tools.
Refinitiv Auctions will enhance the efficiency of Guinea’s forex auction capabilities and provides a real-time view of bid submissions which will simplify the allocation process. Last year, Refinitiv Auctions reached a key milestone having helped facilitate over $1trillion for its central bank and large corporate customers in Africa, Middle East, Asia and Europe.
Dr. Louncény NABE, Governor of the Central Bank of Guinea, said: “We are delighted to announce the deployment of Refinitiv Auctions in Guinea. The step comes in line with the Central Bank’s vision to run a transparent and compliant auctions infrastructure. The deployment will help us improve the efficiency of our FX auction process and enhance the financial sector’s confidence in Guinea.”
Nadim Najjar, Managing Director, Middle East and Africa, Refinitiv, said: “We are proud to be part of The Central Bank of Guinea’s digital transformation vision. Following the COVID-19 outbreak, Central Banks in Africa are facing increasing risks in managing their currency flows and protecting FX reserves. To do this effectively, central banks need to be able to run a transparent and compliant process across multiple asset classes including FX and money markets.”
Refinitiv Auctions has seen rapid growth and adoption in 2019, with a 27% year on year increase in customers, and is now used by central banks in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia. Refinitiv is able to address central banks’ needs around data residency and infrastructure costs by offering its solution on either a hosted or deployed basis.
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