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WEST AFRICAN CONSUMER SENTIMENT PRESENTS MORE POSITIVE PICTURE

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WEST AFRICAN CONSUMER SENTIMENT PRESENTS MORE POSITIVE PICTURE

Lagos, 3 February 2021 – Against the backdrop of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the NielsenIQ Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) for West Africa has presented a more positive picture in Quarter 4, 2021 with Nigeria CCI at 114, reflecting a slow but steady return to levels above 120 seen during 2019, while Ghana continues to show an improvement to its current CCI of 123.

NielsenIQ West Africa MD Ged Nooy comments; “As the largest economy on the continent, Nigeria has managed to keep its COVID-19 infection rate relatively low in proportion to its 206-million population, however, its macro-economic prospects have been dampened by lower oil prices, increased food prices and rising inflation, together with a 50% VAT increase in 2020. Despite these challenges, Nigerian consumers remain upbeat about their prospects.”

This has seen improved confidence around job prospects, with 58% of consumers saying they will be good or excellent in the next 12 months – a 3-point increase from the previous quarter. In terms of the state of their finances over the next 12 months, 78% say they will be excellent or good, showing a substantial 11 point increase from the previous quarter. Nigerians’ propensity to purchase has unfortunately seen a 13 point decrease to just 27% of Nigerians who think now is a good or excellent time to purchase what they want or need.

In terms of whether they have spare cash left after paying for essentials, 26% of Nigerians say yes, down seven  points from the previous quarter. Once they meet their essential living expenses, however, the highest number of consumers (78%) put their spare cash into savings, followed by 73% who spend it on home improvements and 61% who invest in stocks and mutual funds.

Squeezed wallets

Despite their more positive medium to long term outlook, their wallets remain tight with 80% of Nigerians saying they have changed their spending to save on household expenses compared to this time last year. To reduce expenses, the highest number of consumers (73%) said they have deferred the replacement of major household items, 63% are spending less on out of home entertainment and 56% less on at home entertainment .

Looking ahead, the top Nigerian consumer concern over the next twelve months is their children’s education and welfare at 22%, increasing food prices (16%) and the economy at 11%. Within this context, these drops reflect consumers’ confidence in the macro picture in terms of food inflation and overall economic performance.

A subdued outlook

Looking at Ghana’s performance, increased consumer confidence during the last two quarters has seen its overall index rise to 123. Fortunately, Ghanaians are still fairly optimistic in terms of their job prospects with 67% saying they will be good or excellent in the next year. In terms of the state of their finances over the next 12 months, 74% say they will be excellent or good –

Ghanaians propensity to purchase has also seen a considerable decrease half think now is a good or excellent time to purchase what they want or need.

Only 46% of Ghanaians say they have spare cash and once they meet their essential living expenses, the highest number of consumers (68%) put their spare cash into savings. This is followed by 57%who say they invest in shares and mutual funds and 56% on home improvements

Curtailed spending

When asked whether they had changed their spending to save on household expenses compared to this time last year, 73% of Ghanaians said yes. To reduce expenses, the highest number (49%) said delaying the replacement of major household items followed by 48% spending less on new clothes and 47% less on out of home entertainment.

When looking at the real-life factors that are affecting their outlook, the top consumer concern over the next twelve months is work/life balance (12%), followed by increasing food prices, job security and tolerance towards other religions – all at 11%.

Looking at the future outlook for Ghana, Nooy comments; “Ghana is likely to outperform the regional economic growth average in 2021 which bodes well for increased domestic demand and consumption levels. To benefit from these improved circumstances retailers will need to meet radically altered consumer, demands, needs and behaviours that will impact where they shop, what they buy, why they buy and how much they are willing to spend.”

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Businessinsider, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, 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

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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

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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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Petrol - Investors King

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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