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Fertiliser Imports Rise by 84% to N117b

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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.

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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Africa’s Richest Man, Aliko Dangote Ready to Sell Refinery to Nigerian Government

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Aliko Dangote, Africa’s wealthiest entrepreneur, has announced his willingness to sell his multibillion-dollar oil refinery to Nigeria’s state-owned energy company, NNPC Limited.

This decision comes amid a growing dispute with key partners and regulatory authorities.

The $19 billion refinery, which began operations last year, is a significant development for Nigeria, aiming to reduce the country’s reliance on imported fuel.

However, challenges in sourcing crude and ongoing disputes have hindered its full potential.

Dangote expressed frustration over allegations of monopolistic practices, stating that these accusations are unfounded.

“If they want to label me a monopolist, I am ready to let NNPC take over. It’s in the best interest of the country,” he said in a recent interview.

The refinery has faced difficulties with supply agreements, particularly with international crude producers demanding high premiums.

NNPC, initially a supportive partner, has delivered only a fraction of the crude needed since last year. This has forced Dangote to seek alternative suppliers from countries like Brazil and the US.

Despite the challenges, Dangote remains committed to contributing to Nigeria’s economy. “I’ve always believed in investing at home.

This refinery can resolve our fuel crisis,” he stated, urging other wealthy Nigerians to invest domestically rather than abroad.

Recently, the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority accused Dangote’s refinery of producing substandard diesel.

In response, Dangote invited regulators and lawmakers to verify the quality of his products, which he claims surpass imported alternatives in purity.

Amidst these challenges, Dangote has halted plans to enter Nigeria’s steel industry, citing concerns over monopoly accusations.

“We need to focus on what’s best for the economy,” he explained, emphasizing the importance of fair competition and innovation.

As Nigeria navigates these complex issues, the potential sale of Dangote’s refinery to NNPC could reshape the nation’s energy landscape and secure its energy independence.

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Business

Dangote Shelves Steel Project to Prevent Monopoly Allegations

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Aliko Dangote - Investors King

Aliko Dangote, chairman of Dangote Industries Limited, announced the company’s decision to halt plans to enter Nigeria’s steel industry.

The decision comes just two months after the conglomerate had initially unveiled its intentions to invest in the sector as part of efforts to expand the economy.

Addressing journalists at his refinery in Lagos, Dangote explained that the board’s decision was driven by concerns over potential accusations of creating a monopoly.

“We have decided against pursuing the steel business to avoid being labeled a monopoly,” Dangote stated.

He explained that the company’s operations focus on adding value by transforming local raw materials into finished products.

The industrialist dismissed claims that his group enjoys monopolistic advantages, pointing out that their business practices have always fostered a competitive environment.

“When we entered the cement market, Lafarge was the only player, yet no one accused them of being a monopoly,” he stated.

Dangote further encouraged other Nigerian investors to explore opportunities in the steel industry, suggesting that there are ample resources and space for new entrants.

“There are many Nigerians with the financial capacity to invest. They should seize this opportunity to contribute to our nation’s growth,” he urged.

The billionaire’s call to action extended to Nigerians living abroad, inviting them to invest in their homeland.

“Bring your resources back from Dubai and other parts of the world and invest in Nigeria,” he said, reinforcing his commitment to seeing the country’s economy thrive through diverse contributions.

This decision marks a strategic shift for Dangote Industries, focusing on dispelling monopoly myths and promoting a collaborative business landscape.

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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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