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‘Dangote’ll be Largest Rice Exporter in Five Years’

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Akinwumi Adesina - Investors King
  • ‘Dangote’ll be Largest Rice Exporter in Five Years’

The President, African Development Bank, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, says billionaire businessman, Aliko Dangote, may become the largest exporter of rice in the world by 2021.

Speaking at the Mo Ibrahim Forum in Morocco over the weekend, Adesina said Africa must focus on agriculture to drive growth and create jobs on the continent.

He said, “I remember when I was Minister of Agriculture in Nigeria. Aliko Dangote was there and he was our biggest importer at the time, and he and I used to have all the time to dialogue.

“One day, I was in my office, about 10am, Aliko walked in, Ngozi (Okonjo-Iweala) was Minister of Finance. Aliko bangs on my door and said, ‘Minister I came to see you’, and I said, ‘What are we going to disagree on this time?’

“He said, ‘No, I have actually looked at the policies, and the policies you put in place for import substitution are right policies. So, I have changed my business model from being an importer to being a local producer.’”

Adesina narrated the role Dangote played in his happiest day as a minister in Nigeria.

He added, “I said, ‘what exactly are you going to do?’ He (Dangote) said. ‘I would put in $300m into producing and processing rice in Nigeria. I said ‘yippee!’ I went home, I told my wife my best day as minister.

“He comes back three months after that, he says ‘I have changed my mind’, I said, ‘what in the world happened?’ He said, ‘no, I have changed my mind from $300m to $1bn.

“If they continue that policy, he will probably be the single largest producer of rice in the world in about four years. The reason why I was so excited about that is that agriculture is cool, agriculture is a business, agriculture pays.”

Adesina was named Forbes Africa Person of the Year 2013, while Dangote won the same award in 2014.

A tripartite agreement put together by the Dangote Rice Limited to create jobs for 16,000 out grower rice farmers in Sokoto was recently signed with the Sokoto State Government and rice growers in the country, after which Dangote launched the rice out growers’ scheme in Sokoto.

Dangote said he was moved to go into rice cultivation because of the genuine interest of the Federal Government in reviving agriculture as the mainstay of the economy and reduce importation of foods that could be produced locally.

He lamented that Nigeria was consuming 6.5 metric tonnes of rice annually, which was costing it over $2bn annually, pointing out that it was heartening that the government now had policy direction that encouraged private sector’s active participation in agriculture.

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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Uber to Halt Services in Parts of Belgium

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Uber

Uber will stop its ride-hailing service in most parts of Belgium tomorrow after a court ruling on Wednesday which extends an order given in 2015, banning its p2p (Peer to Peer) UberPop service to also cover professional drivers who provide its ride-hailing service.

Uber told TechCrunch that it is currently closely examining the details of the ruling, in order to arrive at a decision on whether or not to appeal the decision with the country’s Supreme Court.

This also follows a temporary decision to discontinue Uber’s service in Brussels, a decision which was referred to as “exceptional and unprecedented” by the tech giant. The company said that it was merely taking a step to complain about the lack of reform rules which forbid drivers from using smartphones.

After the ruling by the Brussels appeal court, private hire vehicle drivers have been obstructing a major tunnel in the capital of Belgium.

In a statement made concerning Friday’s impending shutdown, the chief of Uber in the country, Laurent Slitsagain criticized the government for not providing a reform which it has been soliciting for, stating that the decision was made depending on regulations which are now outdated as they were written before smartphones.

The company stated that the government has promised a reform but has failed to deliver said reforms for the last seven years.

According to Bloomberg, the shutdown will not be applicable to a small number of drivers who are licensed in the Flemish region of Belgium, and are therefore still permitted to use the application. Uber confirmed that the Appeal Court ruling only applies to drivers with Brussels licenses.

In another statement, Slits stated that the tech giant is hugely concerned about the 2,000 possessors of LVC licenses (rental car with driver licenses) who according to the country chief will lose their ability to generate earnings.

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Honeywell Flour Mills Refutes Ecobank Winding Up Proceeding Claims, Assures Investors of Total Transparency

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Honeywell Flour Mill Factory - Investors King

Following media reports that Honeywell Flour Mills Plc (HFMP) is a subject of an ongoing winding up proceedings instituted by Ecobank Nigeria Limited in a suit no: FHC/L/CP/1571/2015, Honeywell Flour Mill Plc has now refuted the publication, insisting there is no winding-up petition against the embattled company.

The company disclosed in a statement signed by Yewande Giwa, Company Secretary and obtained by Investors King.

It said “It is pertinent to set the record straight that there is no Winding-up Petition currently pending or live against HFMP in any Court in Nigeria. There is also no pending Court Order restraining trading in the shares of HFMP or inhibiting HFMP or its owners from dealing in its assets. HFMP assures its investors, regulators and stakeholders that in all of its engagements with FMN, it received independent legal advice and asserts that the transaction is not in breach of any subsisting Order of Court. The issue as to whether HFMP is indebted to Ecobank is still before the Courts and the final decision remains the exclusive preserve of the Courts. It is also important to state that the Court of Appeal judgement being referred to in the reports did not declare HFMP to be indebted to Ecobank.”

This was in response to a publication titled “Ecobank Warns against Acquisition of Honeywell Flour Mills, Alleges Company Facing Winding Up Proceedings” that claimed Ecobank Nigeria Limited had issued a 7-day ultimatum to Flour Mills to desist from completing the acquisition of 71.69 percent stake in Honeywell Flour Mills Plc on the ground that the company was hugely indebted to Ecobank.

However, Honeywell claimed “The assertions lack merit, were written in bad faith and are a deliberate attempt to undermine a transaction that will result in substantial benefit to the Nigerian economy and entrench the collaboration of two publicly quoted companies. As a responsible corporate citizen, we have entered the transaction with FMN having taken all legal issues into consideration.

“All stakeholders are hereby assured that management of Honeywell Flour Mills Plc will continue to act in the best interests of all concerned and work diligently to preserve value for all its shareholders.

“We expect that from the proposed combination, stakeholders will benefit from the more than 85-year combined track record of FMN and HFMP and their shared goal of making affordable and nutritious food available to Nigeria’s population. The country and its food security agenda will benefit from both companies’ focus on developing Nigeria’s industrial capability, its agricultural value chain and specifically backward integration of the food industry.”

This whole drama started immediately Honeywell Flour Mills and Flour Mills of Nigeria, in a joint statement, announced FMN has agreed to acquire a 71.69 percent stake valued at N80 billion in Honeywell Flour Mills Plc. A deal that will automatically make Honeywell Flour Mills Plc Flour Mills of Nigeria’s asset.

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Merger and Acquisition

Flour Mills of Nigeria Acquires First Bank of Nigeria Limited’s 5.06 Percent Stake in Honeywell Flour Mills

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Honeywell Flour Mill Factory - Investors King

Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc, Nigeria’s leading flour mill company, has acquired First Bank of Nigeria Limited’s 5.06 percent stake in Honeywell Flour Mills Plc.

The company disclosed in a statement signed by Umolu, Joseph A.O., Company Secretary/Director, Legal Services.

The acquisition was in addition to the 71.6 percent stake of Honeywell Flour Mills Plc (HFMP) FMN acquired on the same day. Therefore, Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc will now hold 76.75 percent equity interest in HFMP.

According to the company, the move will help build a resilient flour mills company that will ensure job continuity, deepen productivity and support national growth.

Commenting on the transaction, Omoboyede Olusanya, Group Managing Director of FMN, said “The proposed transaction is part of our global growth strategy, which is aligned with our vision to not only be an industry leader, but also a national champion for Nigeria in the Food and Agro-allied industries.”

“Given FMN’s parallel negotiations for both stakes culminating in the agreements being signed on the same date, the basis for arriving at key commercial terms including final equity price per share, will be the same. The price payable to FirstBank will be the same with Honeywell Group Limited.”F

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