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FG Installs And Commissions N8 Billion Cargo Scanners at Lagos Port

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Lekki Deep Seaport

The federal government has finally put the N8 billion non-intrusive inspection (NII) equipment, also known as cargo scanners, at the Apapa Port complex after receiving widespread condemnation and criticism for continuing 100% cargo examination despite the purchase of cargo scanners.

The Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) officers are suspected of sabotaging the scanners, which have been abandoned at the country’s seaports for more than a year. Yesterday, the scanners were officially launched by Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, minister of finance, budget, and national planning.

Speaking at the commissioning of the three new scanners, Ahmed thanked the Federal Executive Council (FEC) for approving the purchase, installation, and training of 120 service officers as well as the approval of the scanners.

However, she asserted that the project would undoubtedly help the NCS carry out its mandates, in keeping with the Administration led by President Muhammadu Buhari‘s top priorities of eradicating poverty and fostering favorable macroeconomic conditions for long-term growth and development.

She asserts that the scanner has the ability to find illegal imports concealed in cargoes and that it allows for the scanning of more cargoes while achieving the desired efficiency and effectiveness in the cargo examination procedures.

“The commissioning of these three non-intrusive scanners is in line with efforts to expedite Customs operations and achieve its mandate of ease of doing business, trade facilitation and preventing port congestion.”

“These three scanners will help increase revenue for government and improve national security. It will also help enhance the remote audit trail of goods within the port system,” she said.

She implored the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), port terminal operators and all stakeholders in the port to cooperate with NCS to take full advantage of the scanners, saying the equipment have the capacity to process up to 500 containers in a day.

Earlier, the Comptroller General Customs, Col. Hameed Ali (Rtd), explained that the scanners commissioned were an intervention pending the start of the Customs modernisation project, which will deploy 135 scanners.

Ali stated that by 2023, scanners would be installed throughout Nigeria as part of the current administration’s reform strategy.

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Merger and Acquisition

Otedola Moves to Sell Part of Geregu Power Plc to FEDA

Afreximbank to acquire part of Geregu Power plant

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Geregu Power

Billionaire Femi Otedola-owned energy company, Geregu Power Plc is in talks with the Fund for Export Development in Africa (FEDA) for the acquisition of part of the energy company.

The company stated in a statement signed by Akinleye Olagbende, Company Secretary and made available on the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX).

Geregu Power hereby notifies “Nigerian Exchange Limited (the Exchange) and the investing public of its discussions with the Fund for Export Development in Africa (FEDA) for the acquisition of a portion of Geregu Power Plc shares. FEDA is the impact development arm of the Africa Export and Import Bank (Afreximbank),” the company stated.

According to the energy firm, talks are presently ongoing and “where these talks progress to a more advanced stage, the company will notify the Exchange and the investing public in line with the rules of the Exchange.”

In October, Geregu Power listed 2.5 billion shares at N100 a unit on the Main Board of the NGX. This puts the company’s market value at N250 billion and also in a better position it to raise capital to bid for Geregu II as it is presently doing.

Speaking on the listing, the Chairman, Board of Directors, Mr. Femi Otedola, CON, said “the listing of the company was the actualization of a vision to bring world-class standards in governance sustainability, and business processes to the Company and the Nigerian electricity sector.”

He added that “listing on the Main Board of the Exchange will ensure that the long-term growth of the company is assured and its benefits will be passed on to our esteemed shareholders”.

Otedola is the largest shareholder in FirstBank and also holds a 99% stake in Amperion Power, the owner of the Geregu Power Plant.

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Merger and Acquisition

Access Bank Acquires Indirect Stake in Sigma Pensions

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Access bank

Access Holdings on Friday announced it has completed the acquisition of an indirect equity stake in Sigma and the merger of its subsidiary, First Guarantee Pension Limited (FGPL) with Sigma.

According to the bank, following the sanction of the Scheme of Merger between Sigma and FGPL by the Federal High Court on December 1, 2022, FGPL has been dissolved without winding up leaving Sigma as the surviving entity, according to Access Holdings.

Commenting on the transaction, Dr Herbert Wigwe, Group Chief Executive of the Corporation, said “Following the successful completion of the merger, our plan is to leverage the synergies of these entities, as well as the Corporation’s expansive distribution network, strong risk management culture and best-in-class governance standards to create a formidable pension funds administration business.”

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Company News

Dangote Group Dismisses Rumours of Plan to Rise Cement Price

Dangote Cement says no price increase

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Africa’s leading cement producer, Dangote Cement Plc has dismissed the rumor that it plans to increase the price of its products.

The clarification became necessary following a recent publication that Dangote Cement plans a fresh increase.

Recently, there has been some publication (Not Investors King) about a potential increase in the price of cement. The publications noted that the increase will be a result of the high cost of fuel among other prevailing issues. 

According to the Senior Manager, branding and communication, Dangote Industries Limited, Mr Sunday Esan, “Dangote Cement is not embarking on a price increase”, stating that the increase is mere speculation.

Meanwhile, Dangote Cement in the third quarter of 2022, recorded an increase in the overall volume of cement sales by 6.2 percent to 20.8 metric tons in the third quarter of 2022.

According to the company’s Chief Executive Officer, Michel Puchercos, this was achieved, despite the elevated inflation caused by a very volatile global environment.

Similarly, while speaking on the increase in the price of fuel, Puchercos said “to mitigate the impact of the significant increase in energy and AGO costs, we are strengthening our efforts to ramp up the usage of alternative fuels”.

“We are on track to commission our Alternative Fuel feed system at Obajana lines I and V, and Ibese line II in November. In addition, we are ramping up our investment in Compressed Natural Gas (CNG), to reduce our AGO usage,” he added. 

Investors King understands that Dangote Cement is Africa’s leading cement producer with nearly 51.6Mta capacity across Africa. Although it has a few competitors which include BUA Cement, the company supplies most parts of Nigeria.

In addition, Dangote Cement has operations in 10 African countries. 

Its production plant in Obajana, Kogi state, is the largest in Africa with 16.25Mta of capacity across five lines while the Ibese plant in Ogun state has four cement lines with a combined installed capacity of 12Mta.

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