- Sugar Refineries Struggle With Backward Integration
Sugar manufacturers in the country are still struggling with their backward integration programme amidst likelihood that the massive drop in the volume of output three years ago may sustain upwards swing.
Output rose to 15,000 metric tonnes (MT) per annum in the latest report up to 2015 after a huge plunge three years ago from 35,000 MT they had recorded five years ago.
Top operators in the industry are Dangote Sugar, BUA Sugar and Golden Sugar, a subsidiary of Flour Mills.
The specific incentives government has put in place for investors in the industry includes zero per cent duty on machinery and spare parts imported, five years tax holiday for sugarcane value chain, outright ban on the importation of refined sugar in retail packs and 30 per cent tax credit on the cost of provision of critical infrastructure by sugar cane to sugar project investors.
It was further gathered that under the National Sugar Master Plan (NSMP) the target is to produce on an annual basis 1, 8 million tonnes of sugar; 161.2 million litres of ethanol, 4000MW of electricity, 1.6 million tonnes of animal feeds, 37,378 permanent jobs and 79,803 seasonal jobs; save the economy $416 million (N68.6 billion) in foreign exchange over a ten year period.
However, a five – year data (2011-2015) obtained from the National Sugar Development Council, NSDC, revealed that local production which stood at 35,000 metric tonnes had dropped significantly to 15,000 metric tonnes in the years under review.
In 2011, production was 35,000 metric tonnes. It dropped to 10,843 metric tonnes (2012) and further down to 10,000 metric tonnes in 2013, picked to 12, 345 tonnes and 15,000 metric tonnes in 2015.
In a communiqué , stakeholders in the sector noted that the risk associated with investment in the sugarcane to sugar value-chain is very challenging and requires a conscious partnership with Nigeria Agricultural Insurance Corporation (NAIC) to reduce the loss due to natural disasters such as fire and flood.
The communiqué further called on lending institutions like Bank of Industry and Bank of Agriculture to create friendly financial support schemes that would address the challenges being faced by investors in terms of high interest rate, untimely release of funds and other associated bottlenecks that slow down farm and factory operations which are time specific.
In a statement, Mr. Samuel Kwabe, the Acting Executive Secretary of NSDC, said “I can tell you that the two functional sugar companies we have- the Golden Sugar Company in Niger State and the Savannah Sugar Company in Adamawa State –have provided jobs for about 13,000 Nigerians.
“I am happy to tell Nigerians that the Savannah Sugar, owned by Dangote Group, has been able to produce about 13,000 metric tonnes this year. The company is undergoing expansion. As a matter of fact, they are in the process of acquiring a brand new mill, which is about three times the size of the present one,” he said.
Standard Bank Appoints Sanni Chief Executive for Africa
The Standard Bank Group, Africa’s largest bank by assets has appointed Yinka Sanni as its new Chief Executive for Africa Regions and a member of the Group Leadership Council.
Sanni, the group’s Regional Chief Executive for West Africa, takes over from Sola David-Borha, who is retiring after 31 years of service to the banking group.
This was disclosed in a statement.
Sanni holds a B. Agric. (Hons) degree in Agricultural Economics from the University of Nigeria and an MBA from Obafemi Awolowo University. He attended the Advanced Management Programme at Harvard Business School in 2009, and the Global CEO Programme at the Wharton School in 2017. He has over 30 years of experience in the financial sector across wholesale, retail and asset management, and joined Standard Bank Group’s Nigerian subsidiary, Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc, in December 1990.
In a note to employees, Standard Bank Group CEO, Sim Tshabalala, congratulated Sanni on his appointment and thanked David-Borha for her extraordinary contributions to the group.
“Sola was appointed as the Chief Executive of Africa Regions in January 2017 and is one of the group’s most deeply expert and experienced bankers,” Tshabalala said.
“Under her leadership, the Africa Regions portfolio has grown remarkably in capacity, market share and contribution to the group’s headline earnings.”
David-Borha has been a passionate advocate of culture change and executive leadership development, having sponsored the ‘Last Mile’ programme, which has resulted in the successful promotion of talented people into both Regional Chief Executive and Country Chief Executive positions, including the appointment of two female Chief Executives in the Africa Regions business.
“It has been a great honour and privilege to serve and contribute to the growth of the Standard Bank Group,” David-Borha said.
“I am delighted to be handing over to Yinka Sanni, an exceptional, authentic and experienced leader who will take the baton forward in driving Africa’s growth.”
David-Borha will remain with the group until the end of June to ensure a successful leadership transition and handover process. Sanni’s appointment is effective from today, 15 April.
Experts to Provide Insights on Tech & Digital Transformation at MSME Dialogue 3.0
The third edition of MSME Dialogue will take place on Saturday, April 24, 2021 at 10am (WAT). Experts at the virtual event will provide insights while discussing the theme: Powering MSMEs with Technology and Digital Transformation.
The event, which is organized by MSME Africa, is expected to have owners and managers of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, Entrepreneurs and Business owners from different sector in attendance.
MSME Dialogue which holds every quarter, seeks to address, burning and relevant issues about entrepreneurship and running a small business as well as proffering solutions to those issues.
The event aims to provide the right knowledge and know-how for MSMEs, Entrepreneurs, and Startups to enable them to grow and thrive and features subject matter experts, seasoned entrepreneurs, professionals, and players within the MSME Ecosystem.
The speakers expected at the event are: Akeem Lawal, Divisional CEO, Interswitch Group, Rex Mafiana: CEO, FPG Technologies, Fatma Nasujo, Global Head of Operational Excellence at Sokowatch, Kenya, David Lanre Messan, CEO, FirstFounders, Bisoye Coker, CEO/Co-founder, Kiakia FX. The session will be moderated by Solape Akinpelu: CEO/Founder, HerVest.
According to the convener of the event who is also the founder of MSME Africa, Seye Olurotimi “Every business owner who is serious with their business would agree with me that technology and digital transformation are important factors for business growth and success. We all can’t all run or won Tech startups but we can always drive our businesses and operations with Technology and Digital Tools”
“Tech-driven Businesses are making waves and turning in almost unbelievable results against all odds. Businesses who have embraced technology, automation and digital transformation are enjoying unquantifiable advantages. It is because of this that I am calling on business owners and managers to join us at the 3rd Edition of MSME Dialogue, on Saturday April 24, 2021 at 10am ( WAT), as we bring in experts to provide insights on this theme” Olurotimi added.
MSME Africa is a multi-faceted resource platform for Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSME) in Africa providing capacity development, news, opportunities, business articles and other resources for MSMEs, entrepreneurs, and startups.
Olurotimi said the platform was poised to build the biggest network and community of MSMEs in Africa in the nearest future.
Ericsson Launches Automation Hub in Nigeria
Ericsson announces plans to create an Automation Hub in Nigeria to support operators for improved consumer experience.
Ericsson Automation Hub is an open innovation platform, inspired by lean startup methodology in which the Ericsson team works in close dialog with customers, users and partners to showcase and reach the high potential that network automation allows in configuration, provisioning, assurance and orchestration of network services.
This will enable service providers to gain the ability in their environments to govern, manage and orchestrate hybrid networks holistically and in real time and as a result, offer an enhanced consumer experience.
Fields to be covered include but not limited to 5G and Internet of Things (IoT) use cases, Network Slicing and Orchestration, Hologram Calls, Complex Standalone, Business Support System (BSS) and Operations Support System (OSS), Cloud and Core product cases, Automated Acceptance Tests demonstration and enhancements as well as complex charging scenarios for 5G and 4G networks.
Lucky La Riccia, Vice President and Head of Digital Services at Ericsson Middle East and Africa at Ericsson says: “As Industry 4.0 accelerates in Africa, automation in operations is proven to boost customer experiences. Ericsson continues to support the telecom industry players in setting #AfricaInMotion, and with the Ericsson Automation Hub in Nigeria, we will focus on driving business outcomes for our partners in Africa as they aim to leverage digital transformation to turn complexities into opportunities while offering a greater experience and value to consumers.”
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