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NBC, Coca-Cola Present Start-up Equipment to Vulnerable Nigerians

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Coca-Cola Company - Investors King

In furtherance of its efforts to support communities and governments to cushion the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country, The Coca-Cola System in Nigeria, comprising Nigerian Bottling Company Limited (NBC) and Coca-Cola Nigeria Ltd, has donated business start-up equipment to women and youths in communities in Aba, Abia State and Port Harcourt in Rivers under its post-COVID-19 community interventions.

The beneficiaries, who had earlier been trained by a local NGO, Genius Hub, received shoe-making and tailoring equipment on behalf of the Coca-Cola System to start their businesses and begin their journey to self-reliance.

The Coca-Cola System, which has always supported its stakeholders and communities with positive and impactful interventions, implemented the program with funds from The Coca-Cola Foundation.

The beneficiaries, who beamed with smiles while receiving the equipment, expressed gratitude to the Coca-Cola System, noting that the gesture would improve their economic status.

“I am very grateful for this sewing machine and other fashion designing equipment given to me, and I want to thank you, Nigerian Bottling Company and Coca-Cola Nigeria. You have not only given us fish, but you have also taught us how to fish,” one of the beneficiaries, Mrs. Gift Ejike, said.

Another beneficiary and a community leader, Elder Azubuike Erondu, also commended the NBC and Coca-Cola Nigeria for the intervention, describing it as a more sustainable approach to helping communities overcome the economic disruptions caused by the pandemic.

“The NBC and Coca-Cola Nigeria have done excellently well for us, and we are grateful. This is a timely intervention, especially for people who are still recovering from the effects of the pandemic. The pandemic affected businesses and brought untold hardship on many people. But through this intervention, we have gained valuable skills and received start-up equipment and support to launch our businesses and create value,” Erondu said.

According to the Director of Public Affairs and Communications, NBC, Ekuma Eze, the intervention, tagged ‘Making a Difference’, ‘was a continuation of the Coca-Cola System’s support for Nigerians adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are witnesses to the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, especially to families, small businesses, artisans and other vulnerable Nigerians. As a responsible organisation committed to the growth of our communities, we believe this initiative will support and empower vulnerable people in our communities to regain their feet post-pandemic.”

“We also recognise the critical role and contributions of the micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) sector to the Nigerian economy. Therefore, this intervention will lift the beneficiaries out of their present predicament and also presents an important avenue to stimulate the growth of this important sector.”

Ekuma, who assured that the equipment grant was a precursor to many more rewarding programs to support host communities, commended its implementing partner, Genius Hub, for the diligent execution of the program and reiterated the System’s commitment to welfare of Nigerians.

Also speaking, Public Affairs, Communications and Sustainability Director, Coca-Cola Nigeria Limited, Nwamaka Onyemelukwe, said: “Without a doubt, entrepreneurship remains a veritable tool to promote economic empowerment and build a sustainable economy for the benefit of us all. This is why, for the past 70 years, we have remained committed to continually unlock new vistas of opportunities for our people and communities to thrive. “

The ‘Making a Difference’ program is the latest COVID-19 and post-pandemic intervention by the Coca-Cola System in Nigeria. The company launched a food relief intervention to support vulnerable households in the wake of the pandemic. The System also donated over 13 million centiliters of its beverages, including Eva premium table water and soft drinks, to provide hydration and nourishment for patients and healthcare workers at Isolation and Treatment Centres across different states in the country.

Besides, both companies also supported the Federal Ministry of Health and NCDC to develop risk communication materials to complement the government’s public education and mobilisation initiatives in the fight against the Coronavirus outbreak.

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Manufacturers Cut Spending on Alternative Energy Sources as Electricity Supply Improves

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Manufacturing Sector - Investors King

Nigerian manufacturers reduced their spending on alternative energy sources by 21.25% to N60.4 billion in the first half of 2023, according to the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN).

This decline is attributed to the increased availability of electricity from the national grid, which improved to 11.3 hours per day, up from 10.2 hours in the same period of 2022.

The report also indicated a slight increase in daily power outages to 4.7 times from 4.4 times in H1 2022.

These improvements in grid electricity availability have positively impacted the manufacturing sector’s energy expenditure, leading to a significant drop from N76.7 billion spent in the second half of 2022.

However, the initial high expenditure on alternative energy sources was driven by skyrocketing diesel prices.

The cost of diesel had surged due to foreign exchange challenges and the implementation of a 7.5% Value Added Tax on Automotive Gas Oil (diesel).

Diesel prices in many states had risen to between N900 and N950 per liter, which threatened the production capacity of numerous manufacturing entities.

The Nigerian Textile Manufacturers Association expressed concerns about the potential closure of textile factories and job losses due to rising energy costs. Textile manufacturers, in particular, found it challenging to afford diesel at such prices.

The Chief Executive Officer of Coleman Technical Industries Limited also highlighted the increased production costs associated with higher diesel prices.

While the improvement in electricity supply is a positive development for manufacturers, the industry remains vigilant about energy costs and their impact on production.

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Dangote Group Subsidiaries Contribute N474 Billion in Taxes to Federal Government Over Three Years

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Dangote Sugar - Investors King

In a significant testament to its commitment to corporate citizenship and financial responsibility, three subsidiaries of the Dangote Group have revealed that they paid a substantial total of N474 billion in taxes to the Federal Government over the past three years.

The disclosure was made by Hashem Ahmed, an official representing the multibillion-dollar conglomerate, during the opening ceremony of the 18th Abuja International Trade Fair, which focused on the theme ‘Sustainable financing and taxation as drivers of the new economy.’

The Dangote Group, led by its President Aliko Dangote, stands as not only the largest private-sector employer but also the country’s leading taxpayer. The remarkable N474 billion contribution was primarily made by Dangote Sugar, Dangote Cement, and Dangote Salt.

Also, the group has a longstanding history of extensive financial support, empowerment initiatives, corporate social responsibility programs, sponsorships, and philanthropic endeavors, amounting to several billions of naira.

Hashem Ahmed also expressed the group’s satisfaction with the Federal Government’s commitment to tax reform policies aimed at broadening the tax base and providing essential funding for infrastructure development in the country.

The Minister of Industry, Trade, and Investment, Doris Uzoka-Anite, who spoke at the event, announced the government’s comprehensive plan to support small businesses and startups amid Nigeria’s economic challenges.

The plan includes a N75 billion investment by March 2024 to bolster the manufacturing sector, grants for microbusinesses in every local government, and a N75 billion fund to support up to 100,000 startups and MSMEs at favorable interest rates repayable over 36 months.

The government has also initiated partnerships with tech giants like Microsoft and the African Development Bank, signaling a bright future for Nigeria’s economic growth and innovation.

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Merger and Acquisition

Dangote Industries Set to Revolutionize Agriculture Industry with Mega Merger, Creating Dangote Foods Plc

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Dangote Industries Limited has unveiled plans for a merger that will give rise to a formidable entity known as Dangote Foods Plc.

This colossal conglomerate is poised to transform the agriculture industry and enhance food security across the nation.

The merger will combine three subsidiaries of Dangote Industries Limited, including Dangote Sugar Refinery, Dangote Salt, and Dangote Rice, resulting in a diversely profitable mega-company.

The fusion, scheduled for completion by the end of 2023 pending regulatory approvals, promises to yield significant benefits for all stakeholders, notably shareholders.

Dangote Sugar Refinery’s Group Managing Director and CEO, Mr. Ravindra Singhvi, highlighted the merger’s strategic importance, stating its potential to create substantial shareholder value.

The amalgamation will not only generate cost-saving synergies but also expand product offerings and revenue streams.

Dangote Foods Plc is set to become a powerhouse in the market, boasting a wide array of products, including sugar, salt, tomato, and rice, among others. This merger will facilitate broader distribution capabilities and increased operational efficiency through synergy.

The journey towards this monumental merger began when Dangote Sugar Refinery notified the Nigerian Exchange Limited of its intention to merge with NASCON Allied Industries Plc and Dangote Rice Limited, both subsidiaries of Dangote Industries Limited.

This move marks a pivotal moment in the corporate history of Nigeria, with Dangote Industries Limited reaffirming its commitment to driving growth, innovation, and food security for the nation.

As regulatory approvals progress, Dangote Foods Plc is poised to emerge as a prominent player in Nigeria’s agricultural landscape, ultimately paving the way for a brighter and more sustainable future for the country.

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