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BUA to Invest N92bn in Sugar Production, Refining

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BUA Sugar
  • BUA to Invest N92bn in Sugar Production, Refining

The Managing Director, BUA Sugar Refinery Limited, Ibrahim Yaro, has said that the firm, which operates the second largest sugar refinery in Sub-Saharan Africa, will invest $300m (about N92bn at N305.7/$ official exchange rate as of Thursday) in sugar production and refining.

He stated that the company was targeting two million tonnes of sugar production annually, adding that this would substantially aid Nigeria becoming self-sustaining in sugar production and refining and even for export.

He spoke on Tuesday when the Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Hajia Aisha Abubakar, came on a tour of sugar plantation and facilities at the Lafiaji Sugar Company at Lafiaji in Edu Local Government Area of Kwara State.

The minister was accompanied by the Executive Secretary of National Sugar Development Council, Mr. Latif Busari.

The minister’s tour was to ascertain the level of progress at the LASUCO Sugar plantation owned by the BUA Group.

Yaro said LASUCO, a backward integration site for BUA Group’s sugar subsidiary, had over 20,000 hectares of arable land, suitable for sugar cane and strategically located to serve the northern and southern markets of Nigeria.

He stated that 500 hectares earmarked by the company for its nursery development in 2016 had been developed, adding that there was ongoing land clearing and development preparation for additional 5,000 hectares, which would take the company through 2018.Yaro said, “The company, in its quest to sustain this laudable project, is not only planning to invest $300m in the plantation but has acquired over 50 heavy state-of-art equipment to fast-track the development of the plantation and achieve its aim of producing 1.2 million tonnes per annum when fully developed.

“We are focused, determined and vigorously marching forward to meet our set target with the sugar council. LASUCO is targeting the production of two million tonnes of sugar cane annually and this segment alone can produce over 4,000 jobs, while thousands of employment ýwill be generated at the plant and at an indirect level. BUA is serious and ever ready to surprise Nigeria and Nigerians in its current efforts of becoming a mega local sugar producer and first sugar exporter in the country.”

He said the BUA Group remained committed to partnering the government in ensuring the success of the backward integration policy of the sugar industry as well as in its drive to resuscitate and develop other areas of the Nigerian agricultural sector.

The minister commended the management of the BUA Group for the extensive work so far achieved with LASUCO and for its commitment to sugar development in Nigeria.

She lauded the investments and progress made on the plantation and called for greater commitment of state governors and host communities to attract more investments.

She said, “We are indeed very satisfied with the current pace of work and commitment exhibited by BUA on its sugar plantation.

“We hope other sugar companies will emulate the proactive steps employed by BUA to achieving self-sufficiency in sugar production, which will eventually translate to positive gains in Nigeria’s efforts in becoming a sugar producing nation.”

Busari said it was necessary to produce between 1.8 million and two million tonnes of sugar to meet the annual sugar needs of the country.

The Kwara State Governor, Alhaj Abdulfatah Ahmed, during the minister’s courtesy call on him, assured local and foreign investors of an enabling environment for investment to engender economic growth of the state.

He said his government was prepared to give necessary support to investors as a way of making Kwara State the preferred choice of business.

The governor, who identified agriculture as a key driver of the economy, acknowledged efforts of the Federal Government to truly revamp agriculture sector to serve as a means of diversifying the economy, creating employment opportunities and regaining the lost glory in economy.·

He also commended the Federal Government for its drive to achieve self-sufficiency in sugar production through backward integration.

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.

Business

Sterling Bank Partners Helium Health and Ekiti State On Digital Healthcare Service

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Sterling Bank - Investors King

Sterling Bank Plc has partnered with the Ekiti State Government and Helium Health on the installation of an Electronic Medical Record (EMR) system in hospitals in Ekiti State for digital health care service delivery to the people of Ekiti.

The bank and the state signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) at the Data Bank Building, Ministry for Health in Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State.

Sterling Bank had outlined the health sector as one of the five sectors where it is focusing investments under ‘HEART’ one of Sterling programme in a bid to make an impact in the Nigerian economy. The other sectors are education, agriculture, renewable energy and transportation.

Group Head for Health in Sterling Bank, Mrs Ibironke Akinmade noted that health care will greatly improve in Ekiti by the time the EMR is fully in place.

“This will bring an end to the practice of carrying files from office to office in hospitals and clinics across the state. She added that mismanagement of data would also become a thing of the past,” Akinmade said.

enjoy better medical attention. Sterling Bank had set aside money for this project six months ago. We had already done it in other states and we plan to go to as many states as possible.

“Health is one of the five pillars of Sterling Bank. It is a sector that is very dear to us as a bank because we are very passionate about the well-being of every Nigerian. Rather than just do our traditional business, we want to enrich lives,” Akinmade said.

Head, Regional Growth, Public Sector, Helium Health, Mr. Abiola Osunniyi said the agreement will enable critical health infrastructure for digitisation of four hospitals in Ekiti that will be used as pilots before expanding to other hospitals.

“The essence is to digitise the patients’ data so that our doctors can access them easily for improved and quick healthcare delivery. One of the core mandates of the state government is the delivery of quality health care to the citizens. So, as a private organisation, we want to support the state government through the provision of technology in hospitals.

“We have done this partnership with Akwa Ibom and Lagos, primarily around bridging the existing gap that exists in patients’ data because there is usually a gap. The old days when patients’ data are kept primarily on papers are over.

“In most cases, patients’ records got lost, but with the provision of this digital infrastructure, their data can be protected. In cases of lost patient data, doctors may ask patients to repeat treatments (operations, tests, etc. ) that might be deleterious to the patients. We plan to introduce an electronic medical record (EMR) system so that at the mention of a patient’s name, the records will be displayed. Accurate health care data and storage can affect healthcare administration positively,” Osunniyi said.

Ekiti State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Oyebanji Filani said the project will remove redundancy in hospitals and inject modernity into the healthcare system in the state.

He said technology is a critical weapon that can strengthen the health sector through accurate collection, processing and storage of health care records that will improve the quality of healthcare services by providers.

“Digitisation process in health system all over the world helps to reduce wastages and redundancy as well as inject transparency and accountability into medical facilities. I know there will be a tremendous improvement in the keeping of health care records and significantly improved turnaround time in the delivery of healthcare services in our facilities with this technological intervention,” Filani said.

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BUA Cement Announces 24.6 Percent Increase in Profit to N43.4 Billion in H1 2021

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BUA Cement stock - Investors King

BUA Cement Plc, Nigeria’s second-largest cement manufacturing company, on Thursday reported a 22.7 percent increase in revenue in the six months ended June 30, 2021.

Revenue rose from N101.261 billion recorded in the first half (H1) of 2020 to N124.278 billion in the first half of 2021.

The company disclosed in its unaudited financial statements release through the Nigerian Exchange Limited and seen by Investors King.

As expected, the cost of sales inched higher by 19.1 percent from N55.539 billion in H1 2020 to N66.158 billion in H1 2021. While gross profit expanded by 27.1 percent to N58.120 billion in H1, up from N45.723 billion.

The cement manufacturing company grew other income by 52.3 percent from N47.653 billion filed in H1 2020 to N72.6 billion in H1 2021.

Administrative expenses rose to N4.17 billion in the period under review, representing an increase of 57.9 percent when compared to N2.643 billion recorded in H1 2020.

Operating profit increased by 23.8 percent from N40.809 billion in the corresponding period of 2020 to N50.524 billion in the period under review.

Profit before income taxes rose by 26.9 percent to N49.700 billion in H1 2021 from N39.165 billion in H1 2020.

The company paid N6.3 billion in income tax in the first half of 2021.

Therefore, profit after tax stood at N43.396 billion in the first six months of 2021, an increase of 24.6 percent when compared to N34.819 billion achieved in the same period of 2020.

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Appointments

Seplat Energy Appoints Dr. Emma FitzGerald as an Independent Non-Executive Director

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Seplat Energy Plc - Investors King

Seplat Energy Plc has appointed Dr. Emma FitzGerald as an Independent Non-Executive Director of the Company, the company disclosed on Thursday.

Dr. FitzGerald will replace Lord Mark Malloch-Brown who retired from the Board of the Company on 1st August 2021.

Dr. Emma FitzGerald Profile

Dr. FitzGerald is a seasoned executive in Energy & Water, with hands-on experience in transformation through her many years of working at Shell, ranging from building its lubricants business in China to running its Global Retail network.

From 2007-2010, she was accountable for Shell’s Downstream strategy and played a key role in reshaping Shell’s renewables strategy including the creation of Raizen, a game changing biofuels JV with Cosan. From 2013 to 2018 she ran gas distribution and water & waste networks for National Grid and Severn Trent where she successfully
positioned them as sustainability thought leaders in their Industries.

Most recently Dr. FitzGerald served as CEO of Puma Energy International, a global energy company owned by Trafigura and Sonangol, which is focused on high potential developing markets in Africa, Asia and Central America. In 2020 she set up Puma’s Future Energies division to play a critical role in helping customers and communities find the right energy solutions to support the energy transition. Over the last 10 years she has served on various Boards in executive and non-executive capacities and currently sits on the board of UPM Kymmene, an international paper & biomaterials business focused on innovating for a future beyond fossil fuels.

Commenting on the appointment, Dr. A. B. C. Orjiako, Chairman of SEPLAT Energy said: “The Board of SEPLAT Energy is indeed delighted to have Dr. Emma Fitzgerald on board as she brings vast knowledge in important areas such as the energy sector, renewables and sustainability. SEPLAT Energy has a great future ahead and looks forward to the enormous contribution she will make towards its continuing global success.”

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