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New Investments in Sugar Sufficiency Valued at N157bn -FG

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  • New Investments in Sugar Sufficiency Valued at N157bn -FG

The federal government has said latest investments by stakeholders and investors towards sugar self-sufficiency in Nigeria by 2023 is valued at about N157billion.

The Executive Secretary of National Sugar Development Council (NSDC), Mr. Latif Busari, disclosed this thursday in Abuja at the mid-term review of the Implementation of National Sugar Master Plan (NSMP).

Busari, while presenting the status report on the implementation of the NSMP, spanning 2013 to 2016, said there was about 400 per cent increase in terms of projects but 80 per cent increase when it comes to Backward Integration Programme (BIP) with the federal government.

He also listed among the other key performance indicators, the establishment of a new 50,000tonnes/annum sugar estate at Sunti; 9,000ha of land under cane as at 2016 (250 per cent increase from 2013 when the plan commenced); and 481ha of out grower farms supplying cane to sugar estates (up from 81ha in 2013) (600 per cent increase).

He said the industry has created 7,850 jobs, up from a total of 3,500 employed by all the refineries as at 2013 (representing 224 per cent) with about 25,000MT of sugar delivered in the 2016 crushing season (up from 6,000MT recorded in 2013 season);
“Expansion of sugar cubing and packaging investments with five new packaged sugar brands introduced into the market; all the refineries established sugar packaging and/or cubing units while two new companies (McNichols and Dogan’s) began operations at this downstream segment of the sugar value chain, leading to the founding of a Packaged Sugar Producers Association of Nigeria (PSPAN),” he stated.

Speaking further, Busari said all the three major local refining companies that were signed in the federal government’s BIP in July 2013, including: Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc, BUA Sugar Refinery Limited, and Golden Sugar Company, had 40.3 per cent performance average.

According to him, the new estate and factory established FMNL, Sunti, appears to be the key significant achievement under Phase 1 of BIP implementation.

He said: “Other expected developments particularly the expansion of factory operations at DSR’s Savannah Sugar Company, Numan, developments at Lau/Tau and installation of factory at BUA’s Lafiagi Sugar Company, all of which would have impacted positively on the local sugar production, dimmed the performance of the sector.”

The NSDC Executive Secretary, however, blamed the poor performance on some major challenges including constraints of land acquisitions/acess to land, elite interference, community hostility, communal disruption and conflicts with/in host community, incessant flooding of sugar estates, stealing and smuggling of sugar cubes.

As a way forward, Busari called the “release of revised guidelines for BIP performance evaluation and Raw Sugar Quota Administration; adoption of new monitoring templates for SURMIC and SIMOG; strict administration of sanctions for NSMP infractions; intervention by federal government with states and local governments on land and communal issues; and discussions with relevant MDAs on specific constraints viz: FMPW&H; NAFDAC; NCS among others.

He also called for collaboration between NSDC/NOA and sugar operators on the sensitisation of communities hosting sugar projects

Also speaking, the Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Industry, Hon. Abubakar Husaini Moriki, said: “Another issue that may threaten the realisation of 2023 target of the NSMP as observed during our routine engagements with the NSDC is the fact that in the last four to five years, those companies having exclusive right to import raw sugar for local refining have performed oprimally, to the extent that the import quota of between 1 million and 1.7 million metric tons per annum of raw sugar importation had been met 100 percent.”

The federal government has said latest investments by stakeholders and investors towards sugar self-sufficiency in Nigeria by 2023 is valued at about N157billion.

The Executive Secretary of National Sugar Development Council (NSDC), Mr. Latif Busari, disclosed this thursday in Abuja at the mid-term review of the Implementation of National Sugar Master Plan (NSMP).

Busari, while presenting the status report on the implementation of the NSMP, spanning 2013 to 2016, said there was about 400 per cent increase in terms of projects but 80 per cent increase when it comes to Backward Integration Programme (BIP) with the federal government.

He also listed among the other key performance indicators, the establishment of a new 50,000tonnes/annum sugar estate at Sunti; 9,000ha of land under cane as at 2016 (250 per cent increase from 2013 when the plan commenced); and 481ha of out grower farms supplying cane to sugar estates (up from 81ha in 2013) (600 per cent increase).

He said the industry has created 7,850 jobs, up from a total of 3,500 employed by all the refineries as at 2013 (representing 224 per cent) with about 25,000MT of sugar delivered in the 2016 crushing season (up from 6,000MT recorded in 2013 season);

“Expansion of sugar cubing and packaging investments with five new packaged sugar brands introduced into the market; all the refineries established sugar packaging and/or cubing units while two new companies (McNichols and Dogan’s) began operations at this downstream segment of the sugar value chain, leading to the founding of a Packaged Sugar Producers Association of Nigeria (PSPAN),” he stated.

Speaking further, Busari said all the three major local refining companies that were signed in the federal government’s BIP in July 2013, including: Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc, BUA Sugar Refinery Limited, and Golden Sugar Company, had 40.3 per cent performance average.

According to him, the new estate and factory established FMNL, Sunti, appears to be the key significant achievement under Phase 1 of BIP implementation.

He said: “Other expected developments particularly the expansion of factory operations at DSR’s Savannah Sugar Company, Numan, developments at Lau/Tau and installation of factory at BUA’s Lafiagi Sugar Company, all of which would have impacted positively on the local sugar production, dimmed the performance of the sector.”

The NSDC Executive Secretary, however, blamed the poor performance on some major challenges including constraints of land acquisitions/acess to land, elite interference, community hostility, communal disruption and conflicts with/in host community, incessant flooding of sugar estates, stealing and smuggling of sugar cubes.

As a way forward, Busari called the “release of revised guidelines for BIP performance evaluation and Raw Sugar Quota Administration; adoption of new monitoring templates for SURMIC and SIMOG; strict administration of sanctions for NSMP infractions; intervention by federal government with states and local governments on land and communal issues; and discussions with relevant MDAs on specific constraints viz: FMPW&H; NAFDAC; NCS among others.

He also called for collaboration between NSDC/NOA and sugar operators on the sensitisation of communities hosting sugar projects

Also speaking, the Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Industry, Hon. Abubakar Husaini Moriki, said: “Another issue that may threaten the realisation of 2023 target of the NSMP as observed during our routine engagements with the NSDC is the fact that in the last four to five years, those companies having exclusive right to import raw sugar for local refining have performed oprimally, to the extent that the import quota of between 1 million and 1.7 million metric tons per annum of raw sugar importation had been met 100 percent.”

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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Dangote Cement Refutes Claim it Sells Cement High in Nigeria

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Dangote Cement Plc has refuted the widely propagated story that the company sells cement at a significantly higher price in Nigeria compared to other African nations like Zambia and Ghana.

The management of the leading manufacturing company said it sells a bag at N2,450 in Obajana and Gboko, and N2,510 in Ibese, the amounts stated include VAT.

Devakumar Edwin, Dangote’s Group Executive Director, Strategy, Portfolio Development & Capital Projects, who spoke with journalists in Lagos, said the company sells for an equivalent of $5.1, including VAT in Nigeria, it sells for $7.2 in Ghana and $5.95 in Zambia ex-factory, inclusive of all taxes.

Devakumar, therefore, described the allegation as false, misleading, and unfounded, and challenged the media to conduct independent investigation into the price of cement in some other African countries, including Cameroun, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Zambia.

To ensure that we meet local demand, we had to suspend exports from our recently commissioned export terminals, thereby foregoing dollar earnings.

“We also had to reactivate our 4.5m ton capacity Gboko Plant which was closed 4 years ago and run it at a higher cost all in a bid to guarantee that we meet demand and keep the price of Cement within control in the country.”

“Over the past 15 months, our production costs have gone up significantly. About 50% of our costs are linked to USD so the cost of critical components like: gas, gypsum, bags, and spare parts; has increased significantly due to devaluation of the Naira and VAT increase.

“Despite this, DCP has not increased ex-factory prices since December 2019 till date while prices of most other building materials have gone up significantly.

“We have only adjusted our transport rates to account for higher costs of diesel, spare parts, tyres, and truck replacement. Still, we charge our customers only N300 – 350 per bag for deliveries within a 1,200km radius.

“We have been responsible enough not to even attempt to cash in on the recent rise in demand to increase prices so far,” Devakumar said.

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Samsung, Vision Care Begin Fresh CSR Activities, Earmark 12,000 Masks for Nigeria

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Samsung Heavy Industries Nigeria Limited (SHIN) and Vision Care, an international relief organization dedicated to the prevention of blindness, have launched fresh Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative to help Nigeria mitigate the impact of COVID-19 pandemic.

Vision Care is a member of the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB), and participant of ‘VISION 2020’, a global initiative of the IAPB and the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Vision Care has since conducted more than 25 Vision Eye Camps yearly and has grown into an international non-profit organisation serving 38 countries throughout Asia, Africa and Central-South America.

Since 2015, SHIN has worked with Vision Care in the yearly Eye Camp as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) to provide free cataract surgeries to Nigerians who cannot afford the payment. SHIN has been sponsoring the eye surgeries of Nigerians on a yearly basis.

In 2019, SHIN sponsored the eye surgeries of at least 115 Nigerian patients and 224 outward patients as part of its CSR in Nigeria.

Since it started the programme, SHIN has sponsored the eye surgeries of 572 Nigerian patients, 1,593 outward patients and has also donated glasses to 99 patients.

Due to outbreak of the COVID-19 Pandemic, the yearly Eye Camp for 2021 had been called off to adhere to Federal Government’s measures in response to the virus.

Consequently, SHIN and Vision Care came up with a fresh CSR initiative this year to donate 496 bags of rice (25kg) and 12,000 reusable face masks to three states in the country to fulfill their commitment of contributing to the society.

The items will be delivered later this month.

The three states that will benefit from the donation are Lagos, Kano and Bayelsa states.

Out of the 496 bags of rice, and 12,000 facemasks, Lagos will receive 96 bags of rice and 200 masks.

SHIN also stated that Kano State will receive 200 bags of rice and 5,000 masks, while Bayelsa State will get 200 bags and 5,000 masks.

“This is an additional CSR activity from SHI in addition to SHIN’s donation of 5,000 COVID-19 test kits from Korea. The washable masks that the head office has purchased from Korea are certified to retain its effectiveness against COVID-19 transmission for up to 50 washes,” SHIN said in a statement.

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Senate Summons NICON, AIICO, Others Over N17.4bn Pension Remittances

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The Senate Public Accounts Committee has summoned the management of the NICON Insurance Plc, AIICO Insurance and other insurance companies over their alleged failure to remit N17.4bn pension fund to the Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate.

The Senate hinged the summon on the 2016 report of the Auditor-General for the Federation which unraveled the alleged non-remittance of N17.4bn pension fund to PTAD.

Appearing before the panel on Monday, the Executive Secretary of PTAD, Dr Chioma Ejikeme, informed the lawmakers that PTAD took over the assets and liabilities of the defunct pension offices without a formal handing over.

She said, “On taking over, the directorate wrote all underwriters to make returns and remit whatever amount that was in their custody into a CBN dedicated account.

“Some of the underwriters responded to the request while some did not.

“The bank certificate of balances, accounting statements, three years financial statements and policy files requested by the federal auditor were not handed over to PTAD at the time of consolidation.

“It is worthy to note that we discovered that N17.4bn which comprised of cash, securities and properties from the nine insurance underwriters was unremitted as a result of the letter PTAD sent to them.

“These figures represent the claims by the underwriters with regards to their indebtedness.

“In order to ascertain the true position of legacy funds in custody of underwriters, the directorate appointed a consultant in 2018 who carried out forensic audit of nine out the 12 insurance underwriters and produced a final report on the recovery of the legacy funds and assets for PTAD.”

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