Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing Company Limited (IVM), one of Nigeria’s auto manufacturing outfits, has said it was still producing vehicles with full complement of its workers, and had not shut its plant in Nnewi, as reported recently in various sections of the media.
This was contained in a statement the management of the company issued yesterday in reaction to the publications which purported that the plant had laid-off worker and shut down production over FOREX crises.
Explaining, however, that IVM, like many other manufacturers in the country, was experiencing low production occasioned by scarcity of FOREX to import vital components, the statement signed by the Public Relations and Media Assistant, Cornel Osigwe, assured that the auto maker was hopeful that the Federal Government would soon find a lasting solution to the challenge.
The management faulted part of the erroneous reports which specifically stated: “Nigeria’s major vehicle assembly plant, Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing Company Limited (IVM), has announced its decision to shut down production due to lack of foreign exchange to import vehicle components.”
The IVM spokesman described the reports as “a deviation from the interview (the Chairman of the Innoson Group), Dr. Innocent Chukwuma, granted to Reuters News Agency which was correctly published by them, but was totally distorted by the various news platforms.”
Highlighting what it said was the correct position, the statement added, “Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing Co Ltd (@innosonmotors) has not shut down its manufacturing plant and is not planning to do so. In as much as the company is experiencing low production due to the inability to get the required volume of FOREX to source for its vehicle components outside Nigeria, it still has absolute faith in the Federal Government and the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN’s) ability to fix FOREX scarcity problems.
“Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing Co Ltd has not laid off its staff due to the low activities in production. Rather, what Chief Chukwuma said was ‘I believe they (Federal Government) are doing something but if they can’t do anything, we will lay off some workers,
“Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing Co Ltd believes in the Federal Government’s drive to boost the manufacturing sector and is aware that this presentFOREX scarce challenge is a phase that will soon pass”.
Oil and Gas Dealers Threaten Withdrawal as 70% of Downstream Businesses Collapse
The downstream oil sector in Nigeria faces a looming crisis as oil and gas dealers, represented by the Natural Oil and Gas Suppliers Association of Nigeria (NOGASA), issue a stern warning of potential service withdrawal.
In a recent resolution following their executive committee meeting in Abuja, NOGASA expressed grave concerns over the collapse of approximately 70% of businesses in the industry due to the harsh operating environment.
President of NOGASA, Benneth Korie, highlighted the dire situation, emphasizing the challenges faced by oil marketers in funding operations amidst soaring bank interest rates.
Korie underscored the overwhelming burden faced by operators who are compelled to acquire funds at exorbitant interest rates upwards of 30%, exacerbating financial strain and hindering business viability.
The primary demand voiced by NOGASA is the pegging of the foreign exchange rate at N750/$ to facilitate refinery operations and stimulate the production of refined products domestically.
Failure to address these pressing issues, Korie warned, could result in the withdrawal of services by NOGASA’s over 200 members starting from the next month.
The downstream oil crisis coincides with heightened anticipation for the release of refined petroleum products from the Dangote and Port Harcourt refineries, seen as critical for alleviating supply shortages nationwide.
However, amidst forex crises and inflationary pressures, operators in the oil and gas sector confront mounting economic challenges, necessitating urgent government intervention.
As Nigeria navigates through turbulent economic waters, stakeholders eagerly await decisive action from authorities to salvage the downstream oil sector from imminent collapse and avert potential disruptions in fuel supply chains.
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Nigerian Breweries Records $99 Million Foreign Exchange Loss, CEO Reveals
Nigerian Breweries, a subsidiary of Heineken NV, has faced a setback as it disclosed a $99 million foreign exchange loss in its recent financial report.
The revelation was made by Hans Essaadi, the CEO of Nigerian Breweries Plc, during an investor call held in Lagos.
Essaadi attributed the loss to a myriad of economic challenges gripping Nigeria, including the drastic devaluation of the naira and cash scarcity resulting from the nation’s demonetization program.
He explained that the mainstream lager market witnessed a significant decline due to consumers’ inability to afford products like Goldberg after a hard day’s work.
The naira’s depreciation, losing approximately 70% of its value against the dollar since June, has exacerbated inflation to almost 30% in January.
These economic upheavals have placed immense strain on household incomes, especially in a nation where a significant portion of the population lives in extreme poverty.
Despite recording a 9% increase in revenue to 599.6 billion naira, Nigerian Breweries reported a staggering net loss of 106 billion naira for the fiscal year 2023, a stark contrast to the 13.18 billion naira profit from the previous year.
In response to the ongoing challenges, Nigerian Breweries aims to source more raw materials locally to mitigate foreign exchange risks.
The company has also implemented higher product prices effective February 19th to navigate through the turbulent economic landscape.
Despite the bleak financial report, Essaadi affirmed Nigerian Breweries’ commitment to weathering the storm, expressing confidence in the company’s portfolio, processes, and personnel to navigate the challenging market conditions ahead.
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