Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc has said its subsidiary, Golden Sugar Company Limited, is working to increase its sugar production capacity by 250,000 tonnes per annum.
The Deputy Chief Operating Officer, Agro-allied Division, FMN, Mr. Sadiq Usman, said the company remained committed to the Backward Integration Programme of the Federal Government.
He spoke during the visit of the members of the National Sugar Development Council to FMN’s sugar refinery in Apapa, Lagos, on Wednesday.
According to the Deputy General Manager, Golden Sugar Company, Mr. John Maniatis, the refinery has a production capacity of 750,000 tonnes per annum.
Usman, who is the director in charge of FMN’s backward integration program, said, “We signed up to BIP at Flour Mills of Nigeria through our subsidiary, Golden Sugar Company, in 2013 and in that space of time, I am pleased to say that we have identified a piece of land in Sunti in Niger State.
“We have developed a total of 3,000 hectares. We have built a sugar mill; we have built a sugar estate and the infrastructure that comes with that land. We have invested over N65bn in that, and we have invested another $200m in the refinery in Apapa.”
He added, “In terms of what our target is under the BIP, we are committed to about 250,000 tonnes of sugar per annum between our two sites, in Niger State and in Nasarawa, where we are also in the process of concluding arrangements to acquire another piece of land.”
According to Usman, the major challenge currently facing the company is foreign exchange due to COVID-19 and some of the other global issues regarding trade.
He said, “There are some issues of logistics and freight but these are more temporary challenges. The bigger challenge is making sure that we have the support of the government and all the players in the industry to ensure commitment to the new executive secretary of the National Sugar Development Council.
“That is the most important thing for us: to make sure that what government says is the agenda, it stands by it and the players in the industry, including us, stand by what we say we are going to do, and we get the necessary support.”
He also stressed the need for the rules of the game to be clear and transparent and followed by all the parties to ensure success.
Flour Mills of Nigeria Repays N51.64 Billion Series 2 Commercial Paper
Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc (FMN) has successfully repaid its N51.64 billion Series 2 Commercial Paper as revealed in a statement issued by the company.
This follows the earlier repayment of its N13.33 billion Series 1 Commercial Paper in August 2023.
Both the Series 1 and Series 2 Commercial Papers, totaling N64.97 billion, were initially issued on February 22, 2023, under FMN’s N200 billion Commercial Paper Programme.
The Series 1, with a yield of 13.0%, raised N13.3 billion, while the Series 2, with a yield of 14.0%, raised N51.64 billion.
FMN had launched its N200 billion Commercial Paper Programme on February 10, 2023, reflecting the company’s strategic financial planning.
The Group Chief Finance Officer, Mr. Anders Kristiansson, expressed satisfaction with the timely and successful repayment of the Series 2 Commercial Paper.
He emphasized FMN’s commitment to financial prudence and acknowledged the confidence placed in the organization by the investing public.
Kristiansson expressed gratitude to stakeholders for their continuous support, reiterating FMN’s dedication to delivering sustainable value and upholding the highest standards of corporate governance.
In addition to the successful repayment, FMN tapped into the market for its Series 3 Commercial Paper in June 2023, with subscriptions from banks and Pension Fund Administrators, contributing 39.7% and 40.8%, respectively.
The transaction was managed by FBNQuest Merchant Bank Limited as the Lead Arranger, with ChapelHill Denham Advisory Limited, FCMB Capital Limited, and United Capital PLC serving as Joint Arrangers.
African Airlines Projected to Cut Losses to $400m in 2024, Says IATA
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has forecasted a reduction in losses for Nigerian and other African airlines from $500 million in 2023 to $400 million in 2024.
The Switzerland-based IATA made this projection while presenting the global airline industry outlook in Geneva, Switzerland, on Wednesday.
IATA’s Director-General, Willie Walsh, shared the outlook, stating that global airlines are expected to generate approximately $964 billion in revenue in the coming year.
The report indicated that airline industry net profits are anticipated to reach $25.7 billion in 2024, reflecting a slight improvement over the projected $23.3 billion net profit for 2023.
Despite the challenges faced by the aviation industry in recent years, IATA sees the $25.7 billion net profit in 2024 as a testament to aviation’s resilience.
Walsh acknowledged the impressive speed of recovery but emphasized that the net profit margin of 2.7% remains below industry expectations.
IATA estimates that around 4.7 billion people will travel in 2024, surpassing the pre-pandemic level of 4.5 billion recorded in 2019.
However, Walsh highlighted ongoing challenges, including regulatory burdens, fragmentation, high infrastructure costs, and a supply chain populated with uncertainties.
He emphasized the need for the industry to build a resilient future, given its significant contribution to global GDP and livelihoods.
Fuel prices are expected to average $113.8 per barrel in 2024, accounting for 31% of all operating costs, totaling $281 billion.
Walsh concluded by expressing optimism about more normal growth patterns for both passenger and cargo in the post-pandemic era.
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