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Indorama Debunks Economic Sabotage

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Indorama Port-Limited

The management of Indorama Eleme Fertilizer & Chemicals (IEFCL) has debunked the report that the company and another fertilizer firm are sabotaging the national economy and security through their export of fertilizers at the detriment of farmers in Nigeria.

The Company stated that all its domestic supplies to customers so far are in accordance with the approval of the Office of the National Security Adviser (NSA) and the Farm Input and Supply Services (FISS) department in the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

“Indorama Eleme Fertilizer & Chemicals Limited (IEPL) and its sister companies in Nigeria are not, and have not, and would never be directly or indirectly involved in any activities to undermine or sabotage the economy or security of the nation,” the company declared.

In a press statement issued in Port Harcourt, and signed by the company’s Head of Corporate Communications, Dr Jossy Nkwocha, the management noted that its brand-new world-class fertilizer plant built at a cost of $1.5 billion — one of Nigeria’s largest foreign direct investment (FDI) in the downstream sector — started pre-commissioning production only recently at only 75% capacity, and in the past one month has been giving priority to the domestic market.

The statement added: ‘”The plant is still awaiting official inauguration.

“Our brand-new fertilizer plant has capacity for 1.5 metric tons of fertilizers per annum which is designed to serve Nigeria’s entire domestic requirement and the surplus is for export markets.”

“However, our primary focus is to serve the interest of our domestic market and this we have been doing with great sense of responsibility and commitment to the Nigerian economy” the company stated.

“It is also a matter of national pride that the surplus production would be exported to enable the generation of foreign exchange for the Country at this time of huge deficit of foreign exchange; as well as branding Nigeria’s global reputation as producer and exporter of petrochemicals and fertilizers, thereby encouraging more foreign investors to come and invest in Nigeria.”

Nkwocha noted that IEFCL has been loading and distributing an average of between 90 – 100 long trailers of fertilizers, each carrying 600 bags of 50kg each, totaling over 57,000 bags of Indorama Urea fertilizer daily over the past one month for the benefit of Nigerian farmers across the country.

The company added: “Indorama-Nigeria is 100 percent committed to the growth and development of the Nigerian economy and has in the past ten years demonstrated such total commitment and loyalty by providing more than 85% domestic needs of polymers which were hitherto imported into the country at huge foreign exchange cost.”

Indorama said as a responsible corporate organisation, it was constrained to state the facts for the benefit of the Office of the National Security Adviser (NSA), the Federal Government of Nigeria, the international partners, other critical Stakeholders and the general public.

It noted that it was greatly embarrassed and distressed that the publications gave misleading impression that the two fertilizer companies were sabotaging national security by distributing fertilizers within the country, which were being used by some undesirable elements to make explosives.

“The publications further mentioned an unnamed organisation involved in commercial explosives and accessories whose activities were sabotaging national security”.

“This mix-up has caused great embarrassment and distress to our company, which over the past ten years has the unblemished reputation of adding great value to the Nigerian economy and society,” it said.

Furthermore, the statement added: ‘’The management of Indorama Fertilizer therefore restated its total commitment to the economy and security of the country, especially in ensuring that farmers across the country have unhindered access to its high quality Urea fertilizers.

It also expressed readiness to collaborate with the office of the NSA and Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to ensure that all identified concerns about availability of Indorama fertilizers by farmers and dealers are addressed as quickly as possible.

Indorama said it would continue to work with Federal Government regulators to achieve its vision of building the largest Petrochemicals and fertilizer hub of Africa with a cumulative investment of $4.32 billion by 2020.

The company stated that in the past ten years, Indorama-Nigeria has been a responsible corporate citizen, reputed for its excellent Public Private Partnership (PPP) – sharing its wealth/dividend with shareholders including the Federal Government (through the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and the Bureau of Public Enterprises), Rivers State Government, and host communities and Nigerian employees.

It stated that it has also created over 7,500 jobs, as well as engendered numerous Corporate Social Investment (CSI) programmes that impact very positively on its host and transit communities in Rivers State.

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

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Boeing to Deliver 50 737 MAX Planes to British Airways

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American Airlines Boeing

International Airlines Group (IAG), the owner of British Airways, on Thursday said it has agreed to purchase 50 Boeing 737 MAX planes. The transaction estimated at $6.25 billion includes a substantial discount and is expected to be delivered between 2023 and 2027, according to a statement issued by the company.

In the statement seen by Investors King, Luis Gallego, the Chief Executive of IAG, said “The addition of new Boeing 737s is an important part of IAG’s short-haul fleet renewal.”  

“The deal falls short of a blockbuster non-binding commitment for 200 737 MAX jets placed under former chief executive Willie Walsh at the Paris Airshow 2019 that was a welcome lifeline to Boeing when the model was grounded after two fatal crashes.

“But the firm 737 MAX 10 order from a top-tier customer is an important signal to the market at a time when Boeing faces an increasingly high-stakes battle to win certification of the largest MAX variant before a new safety standard on cockpit alerts takes effect at year-end.”

Boeing’s financial health rests on the resumption of deliveries of 787 Dreamliners and clearing MAX inventories, company executives and analysts have said.

Former IAG’s Chief Financial Officer, Steve Gunning revealed to analysts in November that the airline group would need some additional short-haul aircraft towards 2024 or 2025 and hinted that any order would include the 737 MAX.

IAG, owner of Ireland’s Aer Lingus and Spain’s Iberia and Vueling in addition to British Airways, also has a further 100 purchase options as part of the deal, which is subject to shareholder approval.

IAG is one of the world’s largest airline groups, with a fleet of 531 aircraft. Before the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic it operated to 279 destinations and carried around 118 million passengers each year.

It is a Spanish registered company with shares traded on the London Stock Exchange and Spanish Stock Exchanges.

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CISLAC Campaigns For Tobacco Tax Hike

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British American Tobacco

The Federal Ministry of Health, Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) has called for a campaign to raise tobacco tax. The aim of this advocacy is to generate income for the health sector and save the lives of Nigerians.

Executive Director, CISLAC, Mr Auwal Rafsanjani said the measure would provide Nigeria with a win-win situation by lowering tobacco product affordability while generating income for development funds. He said that the detrimental effects of tobacco usage had prompted countries such as Nigeria to enact tobacco control measures to reduce tobacco consumption and cost.

“Excise taxes are the most effective tax measure for promoting health because they change the price of a harmful product relative to other goods and can be easily increased over time. Consumption is reduced best with taxes based on specific taxes on unhealthy products such as sticks and packs of cigarettes.

“Closely linked to the issue of tobacco taxation as a control tool, is the issue of safeguarding population health. It is not news, however, that the state of health care delivery in Nigeria remained very abysmal while the world intensified efforts to attain the Sustainable Development Goals,” he said.

Recall that Investors King had earlier reported the World Bank’s call to the Federal Government of Nigeria, urging the government to impose special taxes on alcohol, cigarettes and beverages that are highly sweetened in order to improve primary healthcare conditions in the country.

Investors King gathered that, Shubham Chaudhuri, the Country Director for Nigeria in the World Bank Group, said that an improvement in healthcare in Nigeria will come by taxing the things that are “killing us.” He said that the economic rationale for the action is quite strong if lives are to be saved and a healthier Nigeria achieved.

According to Rafsanjani, African nations convened in April 2001 to address health-care finance issues, which are one of the primary determinants of Universal Health Coverage (UHC), and decided to set aside 15% of their budget for health.

“As the country defaults on budgeting effectively for health, countries of the world are adopting innovative approach to mobilise resources for health financing which is adopting tobacco taxes as an alternative strategy”, he noted.

The study, according to Rafsanjani, was commissioned to investigate the potential of tobacco taxation as a form of income for Nigerian health financing.

He explained that the study’s goal was to give scientific information to help policymakers formulate better policies as Nigeria battled to close the gap in health funding.

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Merger and Acquisition

Access Holdings Plc to Acquire Majority Stake in First Guarantee Pension Limited

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Herbert Wigwe - Investors King

Access Holdings Plc has agreed with First Guarantee Pension Limited to acquire a majority stake in the company in its drive to transform from a narrow banking business into a financial service company.

The leading financial institution stated in a press release obtained by Investors King on Thursday.

According to Access Bank, the transaction is in line with its strategy to evolve into a full-blown financial services company and gain relevant market share across Africa, global monetary centres and beyond banking verticals.

Speaking on the firm’s push to change the banking landscape, Dr. Herbert Wigwe, Group Chief Executive Officer, Access Corporation said “This transaction is a natural evolution for us. Over the last 20 years, we set our sights on and delivered ambitious plans to transform the African financial services landscape focusing on banking and have created the African leading Bank and largest bank by customer base.

“This large customer base both on the wholesale and retail segments makes the pension business a natural fit for the Corporation given its objective of ecosystem optimisation. We will leverage our well-established culture of strong corporate governance, risk management, cutting-edge technology, and digital capabilities to deliver high standards of professionalism in the management of pension assets to the benefit of our stakeholders.”

The firm added that the National Pension Commission and the Central Bank of Nigeria have given their no objection to the transaction.

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