The National Association of Nigerian Traders (NANTS) has unveiled a state-of-the-art abattoir and meat factory in Gwagwalada, Federal Capital Territory, aimed at dramatically reducing Nigeria’s staggering $400 million annual meat importation bill.
This pioneering project, a collaborative effort between NANTS, ECOWAS, Swiss Cooperation, the West African Institute for Agricultural Trade and Development (WAITAD), and the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, promises not only economic revival but also heightened food safety standards.
The project, backed by a $275,000 grant from ECOWAS and a $150,000 investment from NANTS, introduces an innovative investment model that gradually transforms into a self-sustaining, job-creating enterprise.
President of NANTS, Mr. Ken Ukaoha, highlighted the dire need for modernization, as the diplomatic community and Nigerians spend exorbitantly on imported meat due to concerns over domestic abattoirs’ hygiene.
The new abattoir is a game-changer, featuring a lairage ensuring the well-being of animals before slaughter and rigorous post-slaughter checks to ensure the meat’s quality. It boasts processing and packaging units, a cold room, a management office, and a training center for butchers.
Madam Massandje Toure-Litse, ECOWAS Commissioner for Economic Affairs and Agriculture, commended the project, emphasizing its potential to uplift the livestock sector amidst regional challenges.
President Ukaoha pledged to replicate this success in other ECOWAS nations, marking a remarkable leap forward in transforming Africa’s meat industry and reducing foreign exchange expenditure.
Government’s Concrete Road Plan Threatens Cement Prices, Warns Nigerian Cement Producers
The Cement Producers Association of Nigeria has issued a stern warning that the Federal Government’s ambitious plan to introduce concrete roads could lead to a significant hike in cement prices, potentially reaching an alarming N9,000 per bag, up from the current N5,000.
The association is urging the government to tackle the persistent issue of cement price fluctuations and ensure Nigerians do not have to pay more than N5,600 per bag.
In a joint statement released by the National Chairman, Prince David Iweta, and National Secretary, Chief Reagan Ufomba, the association commended the Works Minister’s advocacy for cement-made roads but cautioned against potential consequences if the supply-side challenges are not addressed comprehensively.
The cement producers proposed a solution, emphasizing the need for road designs that facilitate the concurrent use of cement technology and asphalt pavement. They argue that such designs would allow contractors ample time for investment in necessary equipment and retooling, ensuring a smoother transition.
According to the statement, “Our findings across the country indicate that cement prices can surge to as high as N6,000 per bag during the rainy season. With the Minister of Works’ endorsement of cement technology and the President’s housing directives, we predict prices could exceed N9,000 per bag in the dry season if proactive measures are not taken.”
The association also urged the government to expedite the backward integration policy initiated during the late Yar’adua administration, which had started to positively impact cement availability and affordability.
They emphasized the necessity of breaking monopolies and favoritism in the sector, urging the government to expand participation with companies demonstrating verifiable local investment.
They further called for harmonization between fiscal and monetary policies, intervention in the foreign exchange market, restructuring of manufacturers’ bad loans, and a review of palliative measures to revive manufacturing concerns and reduce dependence on elusive foreign direct investment.
The Cement Producers Association of Nigeria’s statement underscores the urgency of addressing these issues to ensure the stability of the cement industry and maintain affordable prices for Nigerians, especially amid ambitious infrastructure projects.
Conoil Plc Declares N1.73 Billion Dividend
Conoil Plc announced its intention to pay N1.73 billion in divided to its shareholders for the 2022 financial year. This translates to N2.50 per share.
The major oil marketer revealed these impressive figures after its 53rd Annual General Meeting, held in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.
Despite the challenging economic landscape in Nigeria, Conoil demonstrated remarkable growth with its Profit Before Tax surging by an astounding 60.1 percent to N6.13 billion in 2022, up from N3.83 billion in the preceding year.
This performance also translated to a 60 percent increase in Profit After Tax, soaring from N3.08 billion to N4.96 billion.
Conoil Plc’s gross earnings rose by 5.1 percent to N145.8 billion in the 2022 financial year, compared to N138.2 billion in 2021.
Shareholders unanimously approved the proposed dividend payout, reflecting their confidence in the company’s ability to navigate a challenging business environment.
Dr. Mike Adenuga, the Chairman of Conoil Plc, expressed the company’s commitment to creating value for shareholders and ensuring a growing share price.
He emphasized their consistent ability to improve operational margins and expand across all locations, focusing on delivering exceptional service to customers.
Looking ahead, Adenuga acknowledged potential challenges in the ever-changing geopolitical and socio-economic landscape but assured shareholders that Conoil would remain focused on strategies that yield dividends.
He highlighted the government’s reform initiatives, including the elimination of petrol subsidies and foreign exchange market reforms, as opportunities for growth.
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