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Forex Scarcity Threatens Leather Factory

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  • Forex Scarcity Threatens Leather Factory

Scarcity and lack of access to foreign exchange (forex) is threatening the survival of the multi-billion naira leather factory project in Delta State. This is even as plans are underway to sponsor a handful of Delta youths to Europe, to acquire professional expertise needed in enhance the smooth running of the multi-million Naira state-of-the-art Shoe/Leather Works Factory in the state.

The N1.23 billion (S820,000) counterpart funding) Factory, which was set up partnership with the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), was commissioned in May 2015, but has not been fully operational.

Part of the vision was to make the factory one of the biggest in West Africa, as well as reducing the unemployment index of the state, as when completed, would employ about 2,000 youths both skilled and unskilled.

Reacting to the development in a telephone interview the Executive Secretary, Delta State Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, Development Agency (DSMSMEDA), Mrs. Shimite Bello, said the persistent rise in the exchange rate of the Dollar against the Naira has been a major setback in the commencement of the planned training exercise for the over 280 trainees (Deltans) proposed to be engaged at the centre.

She said the training is being organised in partnership between the Delta State Government and the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation, UNIDO, which is scheduled to commence in May, this year.

She however explained that given the continued scarcity of forex, the training may not hold anytime soon, except the high exchange rate, now at unprecedented highs is resolved.

Bello, in a telephone interview, hinted that aside the approval of the over N81 million for the proposed training, the State Government and UNIDO, had perfected all other necessary arrangements required for the smooth take-off of the training exercise.

While describing the market forces as circumstances currently beyond the control of the partners, she expressed confidence that once the current high exchange rate challenge normalises, the training exercise, which she described as critical to the SMART agenda of the government will commence.

She added: “We got the exchange at N324 to $1 (but) by the time the money came, the exchange rate was N385. Now, it has come down to N345; we have to watch the rate. But, as I speak with you right now, we are on queue at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). You know that a lot of people are waiting for exchange currently, (but) it is not available. Until the money that we have currently can make transaction, we will still wait.”

She added, “I have spoken with UNIDO and have given them evidence that the money has been made available; anybody can go online and see that the exchange rate is really crazy; that is all that has been delaying it.

“Everything that the State Government needed to do have been done as well as that of the partnering agency, UNIDO, but the exchange rate, Naira to dollar is really crazy. We are waiting to ensure that we do good transaction.”

It would be recalled that the proposed training exercise is targeted at artisans in the state particularly, fashion designers and cobblers, among others.

But investigation revealed that the factory premises have been taken over by weeds and rodents with billions of Naira equipment rotting away, one security man at the gate who pleaded anonymity, decried government’s neglect of the factory.

He said: “I’m just here suffering in the midst of rodents and overgrown weeds, the place is completely moribund, the equipment locked inside the rooms are rotting away.”

In a swift reaction, the State Commissioner for Industry, Mrs. Mary Iyashere, who expressed regrets over the state of the factory, however assured of the Government’s commitment to reviving the factory, adding, “it is unfortunate that the factory had not lived up to its expectations, but the State Government will do something about it.”

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

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Aliko Dangote Remains Africa’s Richest Man With $12.1 Billion Net Worth -Forbes

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Aliko Dangote Remains Africa’s Richest Man With $12.1 Billion Net Worth -Forbes

Nigerian industrialist, Aliko Dangote, is Africa’s richest person for the tenth year in a row.

In the Forbes Africa latest billionaires list, Dangote’s total net worth stood at $12.1 billion, a $2 billion increment when compared to last year. Thanks to the 30 percent increase in the price of Dangote Cement share.

Nassef Sawiris of Egypt followed Dangote with $8.5 billion net worth with the majority of his investments coming from construction and other investments.

In third place was Nicky Oppenheimer of South Africa with an $8 billion total net worth.

Mike Adenuga and Abdulsamad Rabio, the two Nigerians, came fifth and sixth with $6.3 billion and $5.5 billion net worth, respectively.Forbes Africa's billionaires list

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Portland Paints, Chemical and Allied Products Plc Agreed to Merge

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Portland Paints, Chemical and Allied Products Plc Agreed to Merge

Portland Paints and Products Nigeria Plc and Chemical and Allied Products Plc have agreed to merge, according to the latest statement from both companies.

In a statement released through the Nigerian Stock Exchange, the Board of Directors of CAP said we are “pleased to inform you that following discussions and negotiations, the Boards of CAP and Portland Paints have reached an agreement to undertake a merger between both entities (the “Merger” or the “Proposed Merger”).

Accordingly, we “hereby present to you the terms and benefits of the Proposed Merger for your consideration and seek your support and approval to effect the Proposed Merger.

“The Proposed Merger presents a compelling opportunity to create significant value for shareholders of CAP and achieve the company’s strategic growth objectives as a larger company with a broader product portfolio, more corporate owned brands and diversified revenues.

“The resultant entity is also expected to benefit from enhanced distribution capabilities in addition to economies of scale and operational efficiencies.”

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Tony Elumelu Acquires Shell, Total, ENI Stakes in OML 17

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Tony Elumelu Acquires Shell, Total, ENI Stakes in OML 17

Tony Elumelu owned Heir Holdings Limited and its related company Transnational Corporation of Nigeria Plc on Friday announced it has completed the purchase of 45 percent stake in Oil Mining Lease (OML 17) through TNOG Oil and Gas Limited.

The acquisition includes all assets of Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (30 Percent), Total E&P Nigeria Ltd (10 percent) and ENI (five percent) — in the lease.

It was further stated that TNOG Oil and Gas Limited will also have the sole right to operate OML 17.

The field presently has a production capacity of 27,000 barrels per day. Also, there are estimated 2P reserves (proven and probable) of 1.2 billion barrels and an additional one billion barrels in possible reserves — all of oil equivalent.

A consortium of global and regional banks and investors provided a financing component of $1.1 billion for the largest oil and gas financing in Africa in over a decade.

In a statement released on Friday, Shell said the completion was after all the necessary approvals have were received from authorities.

“A total of $453m was paid at completion with the balance to be paid over an agreed period. SPDC will retain its interest in the Port Harcourt Industrial and Residential Areas, which fall within the lease area,” the SPDC said.

Speaking after the completion of the deal, Elumelu said “We have a very clear vision: creating Africa’s first integrated energy multinational, a global quality business, uniquely focused on Africa and Africa’s energy needs. The acquisition of such a high-quality asset, with significant potential for further growth, is a strong statement of our confidence in Nigeria, the Nigerian oil and gas sector and a tribute to the extremely high-quality management team that we have assembled.

“As a Nigerian, and more particularly an indigene of the Niger Delta region, I understand well our responsibilities that come with stewardship of the asset, our engagement with communities and the strategic importance of the oil and gas sector in Nigeria. We see significant benefits from integrating our production, with our ability to power Nigeria, through Transcorp, and deliver value across the energy value chain.

“I would like to thank Shell, Total and ENI, for the professionalism of the process, the Federal Government of Nigeria, the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, and the NNPC for the confidence they have placed in us.”

Tony Elumelu is the Chairman of Heirs Holdings Limited, Transcorp and United Bank for Africa Plc.

Also, read Transcorp Plc Acquires FGN’s 100% Equity in Afam Power for N105 Billion

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