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Senate’s Threat to Arrest 30 CEOs, Embarrassing – MAN

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  • Senate’s Threat to Arrest 30 CEOs, Embarrassing

The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria has described as embarrassing the threat by the Senate Committee on Customs and Excise to arrest 30 chief executive officers of companies for their refusal to appear in person at its public hearing.

The Senate committee is investigating companies alleged to have been involved in the N30tn revenue leakage in the import and export value chain between 2006 and 2017.

MAN said the move was an undeserved embarrassment of company CEOs who are members of the association.

The President, MAN, Dr. Frank Jacobs, made this known to journalists in his office in Lagos on Thursday.

Jacobs said, “In the first instance, this allegation is against respective companies and not the CEOs as individuals and so if the concerned companies choose to mandate a representative from the organisation who has adequate knowledge and responsibility for the issue in question to attend the inquest, we see no reason for the rejection of such a representative, not to talk of threat to arrest the CEOs for not attending the public hearing in person.”

He maintained that the non-appearance of the CEOs was not intended to disrespect the 8th Senate but a case of shortness of notice and unavoidable absence due to reasons beyond their control.

Findings by the association, he said, had revealed that most of the CEOs in question were not in the country during the time of the meeting which informed the deployment of very senior and competent officials from their respective organisations to represent the companies.

He stated, “We therefore deplore this attempt to tarnish the image of the CEOs by publicly threatening them with arrest, when they have not been indicted for any wrong doing.

“Maligning individuals whose activities have contributed immensely to the growth of the nation’s economy is unfortunate, inappropriate and inimical to the current effort of the Nigerian government at moving the economy completely out of recession and placing it on the path of sustainable growth.

“At the same time, it amounts to sending wrong signal to prospective investors and casting a shadow on safety of high net worth individuals operating in our economic space.”

The MAN president pointed out that there was a need to ensure that rights of individuals engaged in legitimate ventures in Nigeria were respected and protected.

He stressed also that the man-hour and resources expended in honouring such invitations should also be taken into account.

He observed that such invitations had become more frequent, while in some cases such appointments have been cancelled after the CEOs arrived the venue of the meetings or the expected CEOs are left waiting for hours before the meetings commence.

While noting that the association would continue to engage the committee towards fostering a healthy relationship, Jacobs added however that the Customs had revealed that there was no leakage in its export and import revenue.

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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FG Reopens Osubi Airport Warri for Daylight Operations

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FG Reopens Osubi Airport Warri for Daylight Operations

The Federal Government on Monday said the Osubi Airport in Warri has been reopened for daylight operations.

The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Siriki, disclosed this in a tweet.

The airport was closed in February 2020 over mismanagement and debt allegation involving aviation service providers and airport management.

However, Oberuakpefe Afe, a lawmaker representing Okpe/Sapeie/vaie federal constituency, recently moved a motion for the Federal Government through the ministry of aviation and relevant authorities to reopen the airport for flight operations.

On Monday, Hadi Siriki said “I have just approved the reopening of Osubi Airport Warri, for daylight operations in VFR conditions, subject to all procedures, practices and protocols, including COVID-19, strictly being observed. There will not be need for local approvals henceforth.

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Nigerian Brand, JR Farms Acquires 11% Stake in Rwandan Firm

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Nigerian Brand, JR Farms Acquires 11% Stake in Rwandan Firm

JR Firms, an agribusiness firm with headquarters in Nigeria, has announced partnership with Sanit Wing Rwanda through the acquisition of 11 per cent stake in the company.

The CEO of the company, Mr Rotimi Olawale, explained in a statement that the partnership was in furtherance of its goals to ensure food security, create decent jobs and raise the next generation of agrarian leaders in Africa.

The stake was acquired through Green Agribusiness Fund, an initiative of JR Farms designed to invest in youth-led agribusinesses across Africa.

Sanit Wing Rwanda is an agro-processing company that processes avocado oil and cosmetics that are natural, quality, affordable, reliable and viable.

The vision of the company is to become the leading producers of best quality avocado and avocado by-products in Africa by creating value across the avocado value chain.

With focus on bringing together over 20,000 professional Avocado farmers on board and planting of three million avocado trees by 2025 through contract farming, the company currently works with One Acre Fund in supply of avocado to its processing facility.

The products of the company which include avocado oil, skin care (SANTAVO), hair cream and soap are being sold locally and exported to regional market in Kenya.

With the new partnership with JR Farms- the products of the company will enjoy more access to markets focusing on Africa and the European Union by leveraging on partnerships and trade windows available.

Aside funding, the partnership comes with project support in areas of market exposure, capacity building, exposure and other thematic support to grow the business over the next four years.

JR Farms has agribusiness operations in Nigeria, Rwanda, United States and Zambia respectively.

In Nigeria, the company deals in cassava value chain processing cassava to national staple “garri” which is consumed by over 80 million Nigerians on daily basis, while in Rwanda, it works in the coffee value chain with over 4,000 coffee farmers spread across the East Central African country.

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Shut Down Depots Selling Petrol Above Approved Price – Marketers

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Shut Down Depots Selling Petrol Above Approved Price – Marketers

The Federal Government should close down depots that are selling petrol above the approved price, oil marketers said on Thursday.

National President, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, Sanusi Fari, said the sale of petrol above government approved price by depot owners would soon lead to a hike in the commodity’s pump price.

Fari told journalists in Abuja that the government through its agencies such as the Department of State Services and the Department of Petroleum Resources should curb the development to avoid crisis in the downstream oil sector.

He said some private depot owners were selling at N165 per litre to independent marketers, way above the government stipulated price of N148 per litre.

Fari said, “Our challenge is the inconsistency in the pricing of petrol. Up till a week ago, government was still insisting that the February price for petrol remained unchanged.

“And most of the private depot owners are selling above the government stipulated price. As at today ( February 25, 2021) private depot owners are selling at N165 per litre to independent marketers.”

He added, “In the last six years, only NNPC imports refined products into this country and these tank farms buy their products from NNPC under a controlled price.

“This has affected our businesses seriously because government is insisting that we sell at the rate of N165, which is not going to work.”

The IPMAN president said filling station owners buy the product at N165 per litre from the private depots and incur other expenses such as transportation, rent, etc.

“So government cannot expect us to sell less than what we buy,” he said.

Fari added, “This is why we are calling on government and agencies that are saddled with the responsibility to control petrol pricing to urgently clamp down on depots that are selling above the stipulated price.”

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, the country’s sole importer of patrol, recently stated that it never hiked the cost of petrol to depots.

It also enjoined the depot owners to sell the product at the approved rate and called on the DPR to enforce the stipulated price across the depots.

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