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Nigeria To Earn $700M Annually From Sugar Backward Integration Policy – Dangote

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Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc

Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc has urged the government to faithfully follow through with the Backward Integration Policy in the sugar industry as the nation stands to rake in foreign exchange up to $700 million yearly from Sugar production self-sufficiency.

Chairman of Dangote Sugar Refinery, Aliko Dangote, on Thursday, at its 15th Annual General Meeting (AGM) held in Lagos, said that allowing for distortions in the sugar masterplan framework will adversely affect the target of the nation attaining self-sufficiency as projected.

He described the backward integration policy as commendable which will not only reduce imports of raw sugar but save the nation enormous foreign exchange used for importation.

Dangote expressed delight that the BIP in the Sugar industry is going on well and added “if the National Sugar Master Plan is followed strictly and the players all follow the rules, the country will be better for it as Nigeria will save between $600 million and $700 million annually as forex.”

He stated that the backward integration policy of Dangote Sugar Refinery is recording appreciable progress even as he declared the company’s irrevocable commitment to the policy.

Addressing the shareholders, Dangote opined that despite the disruptions in the economy occasioned by the Covid-19 pandemic, Dangote Sugar Refinery has announced an increase in production volume which rose by 13.7 percent to 743,858 tonnes in the financial year ended December 31, 2020, compared to 654,071 tonnes in 2019.

He stated that the Company posted a Group turnover of N214.3 billion a 33 percent increase over the N161.1 billion in 2019, while in the same period the Sugar Group also posted a 6.9 percent increase in sales volume from 684,487 tonnes in 2019 to 731,701 tonnes in 2020.

Therefore, the Board of the company declared a dividend payment of N18.22 billion to the shareholders, amounting to N1.50kobo per ordinary share of 50k each.

According to Dangote, the improvements were attributable to operations optimization strategy despite the disruption caused by civil unrest in the last quarter of the year. “Our growth continued to benefit from the sustained efforts to drive customer base expansion and several trade initiatives and investment.”

Dangote said the Company has revised its sugar production target to 550,000 metric tonnes achievable by 2024 in line with the revised plan on the BIP by the federal government.

In his remarks, the Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Ravindra Singhvi, speaking on the results said the sugar group continued the growth path with commitments to improve performance and generate value for all stakeholders.

He explained that this was reflected in the sales volume delivery of 731,701 tonnes, and production of 743,858 tonnes being a 6.9 percent and 13.7 percent increase in volumes over the comparative year 2019.

He said the Company would ensure all hands are on deck to meet the targeted 550,000tonnes projected to be achieved by 2024. “Our Backward Integration goal is to become a global force in sugar production, by producing 1.5M MT/PA of refined sugar from locally grown sugar cane for the domestic and export markets”.

According to him, “our focus on the implementation of our key strategies in the face of the several challenges posed by the COVID Pandemic, the peculiarities of the Apapa traffic situation amongst others we achieved a topline growth in revenue of N214.30 billion, a 33.0 percent increase over 2019; a 53 percent YOY increase in PBT, and 33.2 percent increase in PAT.

“2020 was indeed very eventful for our company ranging from the weak macroeconomic fundamentals caused by the underlying impact of COVID-19 pandemic which saw to the steady rise in forex rate, high inflation and the significant rise in our cost of production, to the worsening traffic gridlock on the Apapa Wharf Road which led to delays and at times disruption of the distribution and deliveries to customers.”

He noted that one of the key highlights during the year was the successful completion of the Scheme of Arrangement – the merger of Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc (DSR) and Savannah Sugar Company Limited (SSCL) with effect from September 1, 2020, to operate under one unified entity.

He added, “We are confident the merger will enable us to achieve operational, administrative, and governance efficiencies resulting in increased shareholder value. We will continue to pursue our Backward Integration Projects, and other key initiatives to grow our sales volumes, market share, optimize cost and operational efficiencies.”

Also speaking, Dr. Farouk Umar, President, Association for the Advancement of the Rights of Nigerian Shareholders commended the management of Dangote Sugar for the impressive performance of the company despite the hiccups in the year 2020.

He said the shareholders expect more robust results next year since the economy is already picking up and for them to have performed excellently under pandemic, then next year will be greater for us all. The leadership of the company has been very wonderful.

Commenting in the same vein, Coordinator, Independent Shareholders Association, Sir Sunny Nwosu said the management of Dangote Sugar led by Dangote has never let the shareholders down for once “their management style is second to none and that is why the company has been growing steadily.”

He said the way and manner the Company has been executing its BIP projects was also commendable as this will afford the Company opportunity to meet the target within its projected timelines.

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British Petrol Stations Run Dry as Truck Driver Shortage Disrupts Supply Chain

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Petrol - Investors King

Gas station pumps ran dry in major British cities on Monday and vendors rationed sales as a shortage of truckers strained supply chains to breaking point in the world’s fifth-largest economy.

A dire post-Brexit shortage of lorry drivers revealed as the COVID-19 pandemic eases has sown chaos through British supply chains in everything from food to fuel, raising the spectre of disruptions and price rises in the run up to Christmas.

Drivers queued for hours to fill their cars at gas stations that were still serving fuel, albeit often rationed, and there were calls for National Health Service (NHS) workers to be given priority, to keep hospitals open as the pandemic continues.

“As pumps run dry there is a real risk that NHS staff won’t be able to do their jobs, and provide vital services and care to people who urgently need it,” said Dr Chaand Nagpaul, the British Medical Association’s council chair.

Pumps across British cities were either closed or had signs saying fuel was unavailable on Monday, Reuters reporters said, with some limiting the amount of fuel each customer could buy.

The Petrol Retailers Association (PRA), which represents independent fuel retailers which now account for 65% of all UK forecourts, said members had reported that 50% to 90% of pumps were dry in some areas.

“We need some calm,” Gordon Balmer, executive director of the PRA, who worked for BP (BP.L) for 30 years, told Reuters. “Please don’t panic buy: if people drain the network then it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.”

Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L) said it had seen higher than usual demand for fuel across its British network and that some sites were running low on some grades of fuel.

Environment Secretary George Eustice said there was no shortage of fuel, urged people to stop panic buying and said there were no plans to get the army to drive trucks, though the Ministry of Defence would help with trucker testing.

Hauliers, gas stations and retailers warned that there were no quick fixes, however, as the shortfall of truck drivers – estimated to be around 100,000 – was so acute, and because transporting fuel demands additional training and licensing.

BREXIT CRUNCH?

For months, supermarkets, processors and farmers have warned that a shortage of heavy goods vehicle (HGV) drivers was straining supply chains to breaking point – making it harder to get goods onto shelves.

Amid warnings of a dire winter ahead, some politicians in the European Union linked the supply chain stress to the 2016 Brexit referendum and Britain’s subsequent decision to seek a distant relationship with the bloc.

“The free movement of labour is part of the European Union, and we tried very hard to convince the British not to leave the Union,” said Olaf Scholz, the Social Democrat candidate to succeed Angela Merkel as German chancellor.

“They decided differently. I hope they will manage the problems coming from that,” Scholz said.

British ministers have insisted that Brexit is nothing to do with the current trucker shortage, though around 25,000 truckers returned to Europe before Brexit. Britain was also unable to test 40,000 drivers during COVID-19 lockdowns.

The government on Sunday announced a plan to issue temporary visas for 5,000 foreign truck drivers.

Edwin Atema, the head of research and enforcement at the Netherlands-based FNV union, told the BBC that EU drivers were unlikely to flock to Britain given the conditions on offer.

“The EU workers we speak to will not go to the UK for a short-term visa to help UK out of the shit they created themselves,” Atema said.

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Africa Needs $2 Trillion for Green Manufacturing, McKinsey Says

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robo - Investors King

Africa’s lack of industrial development puts it in a strong position to develop low-carbon manufacturing without the costs of transitioning from fossil fuel-based factories, McKinsey & Co. said.

In the process of striving toward net-zero emissions by 2050, the continent could create a net 3.8 million jobs, McKinsey said in its Africa’s Green Manufacturing Crossroads report, which was partially funded by the U.K. government and released Monday. However, to hit that level would require investment of $2 trillion in manufacturing and power.

“Africa has an opportunity to leapfrog high emitting manufacturing technologies and build a low-carbon manufacturing sector from the ground up,” Kartik Jayaram, a senior partner in McKinsey’s Nairobi office, said in a statement accompanying the report. “Africa could avoid future costs by sidestepping the expensive transition from fossil fuels to renewables.”

Still, without any commitments to decarbonize emissions from manufacturing, Africa could almost double to 830 megatons of carbon dioxide equivalent by 2050, McKinsey said.

“To change this trajectory, decisive action would be needed,” McKinsey said.

Of the 440 megatons of carbon dioxide equivalent currently produced by African manufacturing, almost a third comes from cement and 13% is emitted by coal-to-fuel plants, which are operated by Sasol Ltd. in South Africa, the consultancy said.

To fund the development, African countries would need to tap green finance instruments such as carbon credits, green bonds, green insurance and payment for performance linked to green outcomes, Mckinsey said.  To decarbonize existing industries, $600 billion would be needed while $1.4 trillion is needed for new green businesses, the consultancy said.

Carbon capture and storage and the production of green hydrogen are two technologies that could help the continent attain the target, it said.

New industries that could be developed range from bioethanol and cross-laminated timber to electric vehicles and green hydrogen, McKinsey said.

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UNGA 2021: The World has the Resources to End Hunger, African Development Bank Head tells UN Food Systems Summit

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Akinwumi Adesina - Investors King

“The world has the resources to end hunger,” African Development Bank President Dr. Akinwumi A. Adesina said in a message on the first day of the United Nations Food Systems Summit.

Convened by UN Secretary General António Guterres, the event is billed by its organisers as “a historic opportunity to empower all people to leverage the power of food systems to drive our recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and get us back on track to achieve all 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.”

The summit brings together thousands of youths, food producers, members of civil society, researchers, the private sector, women and indigenous people, all of whom are participating both physically and virtually in the summit. It is taking place on the sidelines of the 76th UN General Assembly in New York.

In his opening address, Guterres said the participants represented “energy, ideas and the willingness to create new partnerships,” and was a time to celebrate the dignity of those who produce and create the world’s food.

Decrying the 246 million people in Africa who go to bed daily without food and the continent’s 59 million stunted children as “morally and socially unacceptable,” Adesina said that delivering food security for Africa at greater scale called for prioritising technologies, climate and financing.

“The $33 billion per year required to free the world of hunger, is just 0.12% of $27 trillion that the world has deployed as stimulus to address the Covid-19 pandemic. I am confident that zero hunger can be achieved in Africa by 2030,“ Adesina said.

The African Development Bank’s Feed Africa Strategy, through its Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation program – widely known as TAAT – has provided 11 million farmers across 29 African countries with proven agricultural technologies for food security. Food production has expanded by 12 million metric tons while saving $814 million worth of food imports.

“We are well on our way to achieving our target of reaching 40 million farmers with modern and climate-resilient technologies in the next five years,” the African Development Bank chief added.

At a meeting on food security in Africa organized by the Bank and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) earlier this year, 19 African heads of state called for the establishment of a facility for financing food security and nutrition in Africa.

“The Facility for Financing Food Security and Nutrition in Africa should be capitalized with at least $ 1 billion per year,” Adesina said.

The welfare of the 70% of Africa’s population working in agriculture and agribusiness is a barometer of the state of the continent’s health.  “If they aren’t doing well, then Africa isn’t doing well,” Rwandan president Paul Kagame said in a message at the official opening.

The many other heads of state and government who spoke on Thursday included, Prime Minister Mario Draghi of Italy, President Felix Antoine Tshisekedi of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina of Bangladesh and Prime Minister Jacinda Arden of New Zealand.

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