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Coronavirus: African Airlines Could Lose $40m in Revenue



Ethiopian AIrlines
  • Coronavirus: African Airlines Could Lose $40m in Revenue

Fast spreading coronavirus could cost African airlines an estimated $40 million, according to a statement from the industry on Wednesday.

This was after several airlines across the globe restricted operations amid coronavirus outbreak. Experts have said restrictions and falling demands could cost the Asia-Pacific airlines over $29 billion or about 13 percent in revenue in 2020.

Raphael Kuuch, IATA’s special envoy to Africa, said African airlines could lose around $40 million this year to flight restrictions and drop in demands.

Tewolde GebreMariam, the CEO, Ethiopian Airlines, said the fast-spreading coronavirus is hurting the airline demand, Africa’s largest airline.

“The air travel demand for Ethiopian Airlines has declined by 20% due to the corona,” Tewolde told Reuters.

“It is a big shock,” he told the conference.

On Tuesday, Kenya Airways stopped direct flights from Italy’s cities of Verona and Milan as the cases from the two cities surged.

Similarly, RwandAir and Kenya Airways suspended all flight operations to and from China until further notice.

While the World Health Organization has advised against suspending flights, businesses and nations are taking precautions as they struggle to contain the outbreak in their nations.

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.


Dangote Cement Invests in New Line to Increase Supply, Reduce Price



Dangote Cement - Investors King

Following the surge in the price of cement and demand, Dangote Cement Plc on Monday said it has invested in a new line at Obajana, Kogi State as well as in Okpella, Edo State and plans to reactivate its Gboko plant that has been shut for four years.

The leading manufacturer plans to rein in price and meet rising demand through an increase in supply.

Dangote Group’s new Chief Commercial Officer, Mr. Rabiu Umar, disclosed at a media briefing in Lagos.

Umar said: “There is a surge in demand immediately after COVID-19 disruption. This surge in demand is not a localised Nigerian phenomenon as a couple of countries around the world like Pakistan and Mexico, among others are seeing a rising incident of demand for cement.

“So the question is what is the Dangote Cement Plc doing to bring it down? First and foremost we have invested in a new line that has been completed in Obajana, which is waiting for the power plant for us to start bringing out more cement.

“We also have a new line in Okpella, Edo State, which is going to start operation very soon. Also we have restarted one of our plants in Gboko, Benue State that has not worked for almost four years all in a bid to make sure that there is enough production to supply the market.

He added: “What drives price is the interplay of the market forces of demand and supply. As a business, we have not increased our price. And the only way to deal with this upsurge is to have adequate capacity to supply the market by producing more to prevent a break in the supply chain that will lead to arbitrage.

“So, what we are trying to do is to ensure that we increase our supply of cement in the market and we believe that will help to manage the skyrocketing prices of cement.

“We have also stopped exporting cement to ensure that we meet local demand in spite of the fact that the foreign exchange from exports is very valuable in times like this.”

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Coca-Cola Foundation, AREAi Partner to Promote Zero Plastic Initiative



Coca-Cola Company - Investors King

In a bid to promote a “World Without Waste”, the Coca-Cola Foundation in partnership with Aid for Rural Education Access Initiative (AREAi) recently kicked off its Mission Zero Plastic initiative in Kwara State.

Recall that the “Mission Zero Plastic” initiative, funded by The Coca-Cola Foundation, was initially launched earlier this year in Abuja and has now moved to Kwara State where the project was officially launched recently.

This project seeks to promote a recycling culture amongst residents of Kwara State while raising awareness on the harmful effects of plastic pollution.

Speaking on the initiative, Director, Public Affairs, Communications and Sustainability, Coca-Cola Nigeria, Amaka Onyemelukwe, stated that the project seeks to curb plastic pollution through the recovery and repurposing of 600 tons of PET Bottles, and creation of 30 EcoBrick Structures (constructed from repurposed bottles) for increased educational opportunities for 7200 out-of-school children.

She noted that the project would help communities in Kwara State tackle the plastic waste problem and better understand how and where to recycle for a more sustainable environment.

Also speaking on the project, Founder, AREAi, Gideon Olanrewaju, said: “I am excited to partner with The Coca-Cola Foundation on this initiative and to raise awareness on the importance of waste management in Kwara State.

“I believe this project will drive an inclusive and transformative change in the way people view waste across the country. With initiatives like this, I believe Kwara State is on its way to becoming waste-free.”

In support of the project’s vision to declare Ilorin a “zero plastic city”, Olanrewaju added that the Government had committed to rendering support to make the vision a reality.

“Commitments have been made by the Government to support Mission Zero Plastic’s recovery strategies. Already in the works is a policy to equip hotels, restaurants, schools and office spaces with public recycling bins to aid waste collection across the state,” he added.

Other notable dignitaries in attendance at the launch were: Representatives from the Ministry of Education and Human Development as well as the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, Kwara State Environmental Protection Agency (KWEPA) and Adeyi Kaosarah, Senior Special Assistant to the Kwara State Governor on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

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Fertiliser Imports Rise by 84% to N117b



fertilizer - Investors King

Despite various measures to encourage local production, a total of about N117 billion (or $247.91 million) was expended on fertiliser importation in the past year.

Fertiliser imports increased by $37.71 million in 2019 to $247.91 million last year, representing an increase of 84.4 per cent.

Data by the International Trade Statistics (ITS) on imports showed breakdown of imports, according to country of origination to include Morocco, $128 million; Russia, $83.37 million; China, $17.15 million and Germany, which exported $11 million.

During the period, data by the Nigerian Ports Authority’s (NPA) shipping position shown three vessels offloaded 64,255 metric tonnes of fertiliser at the Lagos Port Complex.

The bulk of fertiliser was offloaded by at Apapa Bulk Terminal Limited (ABTL) and ENL Consortium terminal at Lagos Port Complex by three vessels.

At ENL terminal, MV Saros B offloaded 11,255 tonnes of the input, while Wariya Naree and Cengiz Bay discharged 42, 000 tonnes and 11,000 tonnes at the port.

In 2017, Nigeria imported 957,000 metric tonnes of the products through the ENL Consortium Terminal at the Lagos Port and JosepDam Terminal in Tincan Island Port.

The Federal Government had planned to save $1.2 billion yearly when it was discovered that the country’s plants have the capacity to produce over four million tonnes of Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium (NPK) fertiliser yearly, while highest quantity being utilised by farmers was 1.5 million tonnes.

However, only N164 billion (or $350 million) had been saved from payments on subsidy and import substitution through the implementation of the Presidential Fertiliser Initiative (PFI).

Managing Director, Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA), Mr. Uche Orji, said the Presidency had approved the restructuring of PFI, starting in this year’s cycle with various modifications, following the successes recorded over the past four years.

Under the modifications, the NSIA was transitioned to an upstream player, thereby limiting its involvement to importation, storage and the wholesale of raw materials to blenders.

According to him, blenders would no longer be paid blending fees by NAIC-NPK, noting that they would recover their costs from selling the fertiliser to the market.

The blending plants are expected to provide bank guarantees to cover requisitioned raw materials demand that are appropriated for their respective production volumes.

Also, in line with the Presidential directive, the Federal Ministry of Finance Budget and National Planning and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) are expected to engage commercial banks to facilitate lines of concessionary credits to blending plants for the purchase of raw materials and other equipment necessary for its production.

He stressed that 41 blending plants had been resuscitated from the initial four plants at project inception.

In addition, Orji said an estimated 250,000 direct and indirect jobs had been created across the agriculture value chain, including in logistics, ports, bagging, rail, industrial warehousing and haulage.

It would be recalled that in 2019, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had warned that no foreign exchange should be made available for funding fertiliser imports, noting that any company that imports the product would be sanctioned.

In the memo dated January 30, last year, signed by Director, Trade and Exchange Department, Mr. A. S. Jibrin, the apex bank reminded authorised dealers and the public that the ban on NPK fertiliser and any other variant remained in force.

When the order to ban importation of NKP to encourage local blending plants was introduced, the country in the immediate year saved N104.3 billion (or $285.9 million) in 2019.

Indorama Eleme Fertiliser and Chemicals and Dangote Petrochemicals and Fertiliser have already invested $4.5 billion to improve and boost the country’s fertiliser industry.

Dangote is expected to boost production by 2.8 million tonnes of fertiliser, while Indorama anticipated to produce1.4 million tonnes.

In 2016, Nigeria and Morocco had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to help the former revive its ailing fertiliser industry through the supply of phosphates for local blending.

The MOU was consummated in 2018 during the visit of President Buhari to Morocco and had helped to revive 28 of the country’s comatose companies, which were primed to increase Nigeria’s production capacity.

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