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Primero Unveils Automobile Assembly Plant



  • Primero Unveils Automobile Assembly Plant

Primero Transport Services Limited, an operator of Ikorodu-CMS Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) has agreed with a Chinese automobile conglomerate, Yutong Group to set up a multi-million-dollar plant for the assemblage of high occupancy vehicles (HOV) in Lagos.

Primero, a leading transportation and allied services provider in Africa, also disclosed that it initially planned to unveil the automobile assembly plant next month. It, however, said that the crisis in the country’s foreign exchange market altered the plan to start production of HOV in Nigeria.

The Managing Director of the company, Mr. Fola Tinubu disclosed the plan at a session with journalists in Ikorodu, noting that Primero had signed all papers with Zhengzhou Yutong Group Co. Limited.

Primero effectively entered into transportation service on November 12, 2015 after it signed a concession agreement with the Lagos State Government to operate the BRT lane starting from Ikorodu and terminating at CMS.

Consequently, it rolled out at least 434 Yutong high occupancy vehicles running 24 hours daily and seven days-weekly after the state governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode inaugurated its head office in Ikorodu.

At the session with journalists, Tinubu disclosed that it had perfected the agreement to build the assembly plant with Yutong Group, noting that the brand name of the joint venture “W.P. Industries.”
Specifically, he disclosed that the permanent site of the company “has not been completed. But the plant will start vehicle assemblage in Ibadan, Oyo State before the first quarter of 2018 ends.

“The reason is not far-fetched. It will take at least two years before the assembly will start producing vehicles. We cannot wait till that time. We then resolved to use an assembly in Ibadan before the permanent site is completed. We are going to produce the first set of vehicles in Ibadan,” he said.

The MD disclosed that the joint venture “will generate hundreds of employment opportunities ranging from engineers to painters, wielding specialists, marketers, accountants and so forth.

“It will be good for Nigeria. It will be good for our economy. We do not have to take money out this economy for any reason. We have what it takes to produce vehicles in Nigeria. That is why we came up with this initiative,” he said.

Tinubu, however, lamented various challenges Primero had been facing due to foreign exchange crisis.

On the BRT lane, he unveiled a new structure, which he said, would reduce fare by 25 per cent for commuters transiting between Ikorodu and Maryland as well as 16.66 per cent for commuters transiting between Ikorodu and Costain.

He said commuters going “to Maryland from Ikorodu will now pay N150 instead N200. This represents 25 per cent reduction. Likewise, commuters going to Costain from Ikorodu will now N250 instead of N300.

“This equally represents a reduction of about 16.66 per cent. We introduced the new fare structure ensure fairness and justice in our charging system. This review will not be the last. We will continue to review our fare structure to serve our customers better and guarantee their comfort,” he said.

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

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NCDMB and NEXIM Sign $30 Million Agreement to Support Oil and Gas Services Firms



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The Nigerian Content Development Monitoring Board (NCDMB) and the Nigerian Export-Import Bank (NEXIM) yesterday signed a $30 million agreement on working capital and capacity building fund to support oil and gas services firms.

Simbi Wabote, Executive Secretary, NCDMB and Managing Director, NEXIM Bank, Abba Bello, signed the funding agreement at the Abuja office of the Nigerian content monitoring agency.

Wabote said the Oil Producers Trade Section, Independent Petroleum Producers Group and Petroleum Technology Association of Nigeria had raised concerns over funding challenges confronting oil services firms, as this had made most of the companies to consider downsizing their staff.

He said, “The OPTS and IPPG had at some point raised before the NCDMB the inability of most indigenous contractors to provide services to them due to challenges of funding.

“This was especially when we got struck by the COVID-19 pandemic. I recall receiving several letters particularly from IPPG trying to see how we can support this.”

He added, “I also recall receiving similar letters from PETAN when the COVID-19 struck and most of their members had nothing to do anymore.

“This is because companies were shut down and their members were threatening on how to downsize and take Nigerians off their payrolls.

“Based on this, we then set up a committee to say how do we support these firms with the provision of working capital.”

Wabote noted the roll-out date for the fund would be July 1, 2021 and that the fund size of $30m would be boosted by matching funds of the same amount to be provided by NEXIM in naira (to be converted at prevailing official exchange rate).

“The scheme shall cover loans for working capital support and capacity building, oil service contracts, invoice discounting including acquisition of low-end equipment to service short-term contracts/service obligations,” he stated.

He said the target market comprised Nigerian oil service providers which belonged to a professional association in the Nigerian oil and gas industry and commercially viable with a business relationship with either an international oil company or a major Nigerian oil firm.

“Maximum amount that can be borrowed by a single obligor is $1m or its naira equivalent at the official exchange rate prevailing at the time of borrowing,” Wabote said.

He added, “Tenor shall be up to 12 months for working capital loans and up to three years for capacity building loans with moratorium of up to 12 months.

“The applicable interest rate shall be five per cent per annum all-in for dollar-denominated loans and eight per cent all-in per annum for naira-denominated loans and the rate shall be fixed throughout the tenor of the loan.”

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LivingTrust Mortgage Bank Appoints Mr. Timothy Olorunsogo Gbadeyan as Company’s Secretary



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LivingTrust Mortgage bank has appointed Mr. Timothy Olorunsogo Gbadeyan as company secretary/head of legal services.

The bank disclosed in a statement signed by Ikechukwu Omuku, the Finance Officer/Head, Investor Relations, LivingTrust Mortgage Bank Plc.

The statement reads “We wish to notify The Nigerian Stock Exchange and the investing public of the appointment Mr. Timothy Olorunsogo Gbadeyan as Company Secretary/Head, Legal Services of LivingTrust Mortgage Bank Plc.

“Mr. Gbadeyan is a consummate corporate attorney with experiential background in deals advisory, real estate finance, facioring, general commercial transactions, corporate governance, company secretarial services and regulatory compliance. Until his appointment, he was the Head of Legal Services of Infinity Trust Mortgage Bank Plc.”

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Farmforte, Others Signs MoU To Strengthen and Sustain Growth in Agricultural Sector



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Farmforte Limited has signed a strategic Memorandum of Understanding with the Agricultural Fresh Produce Growers and Exporters Association of Nigeria; HYBR, a pan-African innovation firm; and ALTS, a consulting and strategy development firm.

The firm said in a statement on Sunday that the partnership would strengthen common interest cooperation and stimulate inclusive and sustainable growth within the agricultural sector, by capitalising on the synergy and comparative advantage offered by each organisation.

Speaking during the signing ceremony, Farmforte Co-Chief Executive Officer, Osazuwa Osayi, said, “Our mid to long-term strategic goals are further reaffirmed, as this partnership will facilitate the sharing of knowledge, ideas, and expertise across the agricultural sector.

“We will collectively address initiatives and approaches concerning agricultural investments, food security, and the overall robustness of the value chain.”

He said the collaboration would also unlock the full potential of the sector and place it on a renewed path for success, especially within a post-pandemic economy.

The President of AFGEAN, Tajuddeen Dantata, said, “By creating dialogue and fostering investment in the horticulture sector, this partnership will endeavor to support Farmforte in its exporting efforts by improving operational efficacy and cost-savings, while ultimately driving socio-economic growth in the country.”

The Chief Executive Officer, HYBR, Charles Ojei, said to drive inclusion, sustainability, job creation, and Nigeria’s overall economic growth, the optimisation of the agriculture value chain was critical.

“This collaboration is a fusion of the complementary capabilities of all partners to move a bigger agenda forward.”

The Managing Partner, ALTS, Akintunde Sawyerr, said, “The goal of this partnership is to support Farmforte’s vision of becoming the largest agribusiness by 2035 via scalable and world-class innovation across its enterprise.”

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