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NEPC Trains 750 Cocoa Exporters in Cross River



  • NEPC Trains 750 Cocoa Exporters in Cross River

The Nigerian Export Promotion Council, in collaboration with the Cocoa Association of Nigeria, has developed the Zero-Oil Plan Initiative, which will lead to the growth of cocoa export.

According to the organisations, the decision is in line with the efforts of the Federal Government to diversify to non-oil exports.

To this end, the NEPC said it trained 750 farmers and export merchants of cocoa beans in Ikom, Cross River State, recently.

The Acting Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer, NEPC, Mr. Abdullahi Sidi-Aliyu, said available records had shown that cocoa and cocoa products’ earnings were $338.17m, “accounting for 20.8 per cent of the total non-oil exports value for Nigeria in the year 2015; with $242.23m representing 20.13 per cent in the year 2016.”

Sidi-Aliyu, who was represented by a deputy director in the agency, Mrs. Veronica Oriare, noted that cocoa from Nigeria had remained consistently profitable for several decades and rated the best because of its “flavour and aroma.”

He encouraged cocoa farmers to put more efforts to achieve massive production for exports, saying that cocoa production in the country was as competitive as those from Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire until 1984.

Sidi-Aliyu stated, “As of 2015, while Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana could boast of a production level of about 1.7 million metric tonnes and 800,000 metric tonnes, respectively, Nigeria’s production still hovers around 220,000 to 250,000 metric tonnes per annum.

“The essence of the non-oil plan is to ensure massive agro products.”

In a key note address, Mr. Afolabi Bello of the NEPC said that the training was targeted at providing stakeholders with a global outlook for Nigerian cocoa, “with a focus on the international market requirements and appropriate pricing templates.”

“The training programme was geared at equipping the target audience with current quality trends and issues that conform to buyers’ requirements in the European and United States cocoa markets,” Afolabi stated.

The President, Cocoa Association of Nigeria/Vice President World Cocoa Producers Organisation, Mr. Sayina Riman, said there was a need for empowerment in agriculture, adding, “If government synergises with the true cocoa stakeholders, the entire country will have good results.”

The Commissioner, Ministry for Commerce and Industry, Cross River State, Mr. Peter Egba, said the state government remained committed to the agricultural projects in the state and meeting the needs of the people.

The commissioner, who was represented by the Director of Administration in the ministry, Mr. Thomas Atem, said the Governor Ben Ayade-led administration had invested massively in agriculture.

“Having a rice city, cocoa processing plant and other projects going on across the state will surely boost the state economy and ensure that the produce are ready for export,” he added.

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Businessinsider, Nasdaq,, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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Goya Foods Takes Legal Action to Assert ‘Goya Olive Oil’ Trademark Ownership



Goya Foods

“Goya Olive Oil” trademark in Nigeria, Goya Foods Incorporated has initiated legal proceedings against the Registrar of Trademarks under the Federal Ministry of Trade and Investment.

The case, numbered FHC/ABJ/CS/883/2023, was brought before the Federal High Court in Abuja.

Goya Foods, a prominent producer and distributor of foods and beverages across the United States, Spanish-speaking countries, and Nigeria, seeks to enforce a longstanding consent judgment issued by the court in December 2006.

The judgment directed the Registrar to rectify the Trademarks Register to reflect Goya Foods Incorporated as the rightful owner of the “Goya Olive Oil” trademark, without any further formalities.

The lawsuit, exclusively revealed to sources, underscores Goya Foods’ determination to safeguard its intellectual property against alleged infringements.

According to court documents, Goya Foods obtained the consent judgment against Chikason Industries Limited, which was accused of marketing “Goya Olive Oil” in Nigeria, thus infringing on Goya Foods’ registered trademark.

Legal counsel for Goya Foods, Ade Adedeji, SAN, emphasized the necessity of rectifying the Trademarks Register to protect their trademark interests effectively.

Despite appeals to the Registrar, the requested rectification has not been implemented, prompting Goya Foods to escalate the matter through legal channels.

The case has been adjourned to September 27, 2024, for further proceedings, highlighting the complexity and significance of trademark disputes in the global marketplace.

Goya Foods remains committed to upholding its brand integrity and securing its proprietary interests amidst the evolving landscape of international trademark law.

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IOCs Accused of Blocking Direct Crude Sales to Dangote Refinery



Dangote Refinery

Dangote Industries Limited (DIL) has accused International Oil Companies (IOCs) of obstructing direct crude oil sales to its refinery and forcing the company to use costly middlemen.

This development comes after a statement by the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) suggested a “willing buyer-willing seller” dynamic was in place as mandated by the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA).

Devakumar Edwin, Vice President of DIL, countered NUPRC CEO Gbenga Komolafe’s claims, stating that IOCs consistently make it difficult for local refiners by pushing sales through international trading arms, which inflate prices and bypass Nigerian laws.

“These middlemen earn unjustified margins on crude produced and consumed within Nigeria,” Edwin stated.

He noted that only one local producer, Sapetro, has sold directly to DIL, while others insist on using trading arms abroad.

Edwin detailed the financial impact, citing instances where DIL was charged a $2-$4 premium per barrel above the official price.

In April, DIL paid $96.23 per barrel for Bonga crude, which included significant premiums, compared to a much lower premium for West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude.

While acknowledging NUPRC’s support in resolving some supply issues, Edwin urged the regulatory body to revisit pricing policies to ensure fair market practices.

“Market liquidity is essential for fair pricing. We hope NUPRC addresses these issues to prevent price gouging,” he stated.

This dispute highlights ongoing challenges in Nigeria’s oil sector, where domestic refiners struggle to secure local crude amidst complex market dynamics.

The outcome of these negotiations could significantly impact the refinery’s operations and broader industry practices.

The situation underscores the need for transparent and efficient crude supply systems to bolster Nigeria’s refining capacity and economic growth.

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Dangote’s $20 Billion Refinery to Begin Petrol Sales Next Month



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Aliko Dangote announced on Monday that his long-awaited $20 billion refinery complex will commence petrol sales starting next month.

The announcement came during a press briefing held at the refinery site in Lagos, where Aliko Dangote, Africa’s richest man, detailed the project’s progress and future plans.

“We are proud to announce that the Dangote Refinery will begin selling petrol from August,” Dangote stated confidently.

“This milestone marks the culmination of years of meticulous planning, construction, and overcoming numerous challenges.”

Dangote’s refinery, touted as the largest single-train refinery in the world, is designed to process 650,000 barrels of crude oil per day once fully operational.

The facility aims to not only meet Nigeria’s domestic demand for refined petroleum products but also contribute significantly to export markets across West Africa.

“We have entered the steady-state production phase earlier this year, and now we are ready to begin commercial sales,” Dangote explained. “Initially, we will focus on petrol production, with plans to expand our product range as we ramp up to full capacity.”

The refinery’s launch is expected to alleviate Nigeria’s longstanding dependence on imported refined products, thereby boosting the country’s energy security and reducing foreign exchange outflows associated with fuel imports.

Beyond petrol sales, Dangote revealed ambitious plans to list both the refinery and its associated fertilizer plant on the Nigerian Exchange Group (NGX) by the first quarter of 2025.

This move aims to attract broader investor participation and unlock additional value for shareholders.

“We are committed to transparency and accountability in our operations,” Dangote emphasized. “Listing these subsidiaries on the NGX will not only strengthen our corporate governance framework but also enhance the refinery’s financial sustainability.”

Challenges and Future Prospects

Despite celebrating the imminent commencement of petrol sales, Dangote acknowledged challenges encountered during the project’s execution, including delays in securing land for a petrochemical facility in Ogun State, which incurred substantial costs.

“We faced bureaucratic hurdles that resulted in significant delays and financial losses,” Dangote lamented. “Nevertheless, we remain steadfast in our commitment to advancing Nigeria’s industrial capabilities and contributing to economic growth.”

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