- Erisco Foods Exits Nigeria, Moves to China
A leading indigenous local tomato paste manufacturer, Erisco Foods Limited, has made good its threat of shutting down the $150bn plant and relocating its manufacturing base to a location outside Nigeria.
The Chief Executive Officer, Erisco Foods Limited, Chief Eric Umeofia, announced on Tuesday that the company was winding down operations preparatory for its final exit from the country.
He said that he was moving the factory to China where he already had a thriving business, adding that from there, he would be manufacturing and exporting tomato paste back to Nigeria, as it was far cheaper doing so than producing locally.
According to him, 1,500 employees of the firm will be retrenched in a process that will span six to nine months, as the company relocates, adding that the retrenchment, which will take place in batches, had already commenced with the first batch of workers being sent home.
After months of complaint about lack of access to foreign exchange for the purchase of raw materials and machinery, high cost of running his factory in Nigeria and the influx of imported tomato paste, Umeofia had issued a 30-day ultimatum that if the issues were not resolved, he would move his factory outside Nigeria.
The Erisco Foods CEO stated that he had already incurred a loss of over N3bn in the past one year and blamed the Central Bank of Nigeria for withholding foreign exchange from local manufacturers, while approving same for importers of tomato paste.
He faulted CBN’s declaration that it had ceased to allocate forex to manufacturers after it floated the naira, adding, “No bank can pay you forex unless the CBN has approved the Form ‘M’, which is a form permitting you to import.”
Erisco is not the only tomato paste manufacturer shutting down in Nigeria. The Group Vice President, Dangote Industries Limited, Alhaji Sani Dangote, said in October that the group had stopped tomato paste production at its $20m factory, which was established in March.
When confronted with Umeofia’s allegation that the CBN was controlling the allocation of forex to bank customers, the apex bank’s Director of Corporate Communications, Mr. Isaac Okoroafor, said the central bank was only checking the requests for forex to ensure that they were not to import the 41 items restricted from access to forex.
On the allegation that some Chinese and Indian firms were favoured in the allocation of forex above Nigerians, Okoroafor also said some of the firms were involved in packaging of Nigeria’s frozen fish for export.
Transcorp Hotels Expand into Marketplace, Launches Aura to Connect People, Hoteliers, Others
Transcorp Hotels Plc, on Thursday, announced it has launched a new digital platform, Aura, through which people can book accommodation, restaurants and experiences.
Aura, Transcorp’s first in the alternative accommodation segment, is part of the company’s asset-light model, leveraging technology to deliver true hospitality, exciting experiences, and drive shareholder value.
“It’s a new dawn in the hospitality industry! I am thrilled to introduce you to Aura by Transcorp, the digital platform we are using to connect people to quality accommodation, great food, and awesome experiences,” Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Transcorp Hotels Plc. Dupe Olusola said.
“For more than 30 years, Transcorp Hotels Plc has been at the forefront of creating a superior guest experience at our locations. Today, our commitment to innovation has offered us an opportunity to extend this beyond the hotel premises,” Olusola added.
The launch of Aura by Transcorp is one of the most significant developments in the company’s history as it seeks to transform the travel and tourism industry in Africa by focusing on three important components of travel, whether for leisure or business — where you stay, what you eat and how you spend your time. With its people-driven hospitality model, Aura is set to revolutionise travel and help remind Africans of our deep history of hospitality.
Speaking on the launch of Aura, Obong Idiong, Chief Executive Officer at Africa Prudential Plc, Aura’s technology partners, expressed his excitement. “Finding the right accommodation when you travel can be incredibly complex. Options available for the right prices are often limited, and travellers sometimes end up with accommodation that taints the travel experience. Transcorp Hotels Plc has been able to fix that with Aura and we are proud to be associated with them.”
“To ensure topnotch user experience, we built a solution to drive digital transformation through the adoption of shared living spaces for the Aura business. With an advanced search algorithm powered by artificial intelligence, Aura determines the relevance of locations taking into consideration, the customers’ preferences and requirements to meet them at the point of their needs,” Idiong added.
Priscilla Adeboye, a travel enthusiast and early adopter of Aura, said the global pandemic has pushed international travel down her list. “But I still want to be able to take some time off work or spend a weekend away from home with the family. I have found incredible homes on Aura that meet my need for space and privacy.”
Siemens Energy Nigeria Appoints Seun Suleiman as Managing Director
Seun Suleiman is the New Managing Director of Siemens Energy Nigeria
Mr. Seun Suleiman is the new managing director of Siemens Energy Nigeria, the company announced on Wednesday.
According to the statement released by the energy company, Suleiman will be responsible for the entire management of operations and decisions on business policies and corporate strategy.
Commenting on his appointment, Suleiman said, “It is an absolute honor to lead the business for Siemens Energy Nigeria and I look forward to delivering on the brand’s promise of excellence.”
Suleiman joined Siemens Energy in 2014, bringing over 15 years’ experience and deep expertise in the private sector across Europe and West Africa.
The statement said, “He is an accomplished business strategist and success-driven leader with strong business acumen. Suleiman has also been a core member of the executive management team at Siemens Energy serving in roles as Sales Director West Africa – Service Distributed Generation Oil & Gas and Vice President Service & Digital.
“Prior to this, he also held various functional and managerial positions with ABB Ltd UK, ABBNG Nigeria, Schneider Electric Nigeria and Dresser-Rand Nigeria Ltd.”
It added that Suleiman was experienced in establishing operational excellence with specific competence in the power, oil and gas sectors.
FG Reopens Osubi Airport Warri for Daylight Operations
FG Reopens Osubi Airport Warri for Daylight Operations
The Federal Government on Monday said the Osubi Airport in Warri has been reopened for daylight operations.
The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Siriki, disclosed this in a tweet.
The airport was closed in February 2020 over mismanagement and debt allegation involving aviation service providers and airport management.
However, Oberuakpefe Afe, a lawmaker representing Okpe/Sapeie/vaie federal constituency, recently moved a motion for the Federal Government through the ministry of aviation and relevant authorities to reopen the airport for flight operations.
On Monday, Hadi Siriki said “I have just approved the reopening of Osubi Airport Warri, for daylight operations in VFR conditions, subject to all procedures, practices and protocols, including COVID-19, strictly being observed. There will not be need for local approvals henceforth.”
I have just approved the reopening of Osubi Airport Warri, for daylight operations in VFR conditions, subject to all procedures, practices and protocols, including COVID-19, strictly being observed. There will not be need for local approvals henceforth. 🇳🇬🙏🏽🇳🇬
— Hadi Sirika (@hadisirika) March 1, 2021
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