- Again, Dangote Shut Down Tomato Processing Factory
Dangote tomato processing factory has shut down for the second time last week following the inability of the factory to access necessary raw materials.
A Bloomberg report said the farmers engaged by the factory to supply raw materials abandoned tomato farming for other crops at the start of the rainy season in May.
It would be recalled that the factory experienced the same thing about three years ago when engaged farmers complained of flooding and immediately left tomato farming for other crops, an occurrence that forced the factory to shut down for three years.
The factory reopened in March 2019 and shut down again last week because of the same reason. Meaning, until Dangote find a permanent solution by taking charge of the entire value chain process, including farming like he did with other businesses the factory may never be fully operational or even open for long.
Since the plant was inaugurated in March 2016, it has only been operational for just 13 months.
The company was established to reduce tomato paste importation estimated at 400,000 tonnes per year.
However, it is now obvious that the issue is not just the lack of tomato processing factory but also the lack of necessary raw materials.
Therefore, it is the shortage of fresh tomatoes that fuels the demand for imported tomato paste and also explains why the price of fresh tomatoes fluctuate with dollar liquidity.
Again, it shows the 400,000 tonnes is the reason a lot of us can still access imported tomato paste or fresh tomatoes.
In March, during the reopening ceremony of the plant, Mr. Abdulkarim Kaita, the Managing Director of the plant, said the factory was losing N30 million per month in maintenance fee, therefore it was necessary to commence operation regardless of production level to curtail losses.
The factory resumed production at 100 tonnes a day out of 1,200 tonnes capacity, hoping to up production over time. Barely 6 months later it has shut down again for the same reason.
Air Passengers Drop as Domestic Airlines Resume Operations
Number of Air Passengers Drop as Domestic Airlines Resume Operations
The number of air passengers dropped despite Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu lifting the curfew imposed to address looting and destruction of properties in the state.
The busiest airport in the country, Murtala Mohammed Airport, resumed full operations on Monday, however, passengers are cautious about flying, especially because of the tense situation across the nation.
Some of the officials of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria as well as those of domestic airlines confirmed that domestic passenger volume had been on a slow start since they commenced full operations.
Okwudili Ezenwa, the spokesperson for Dana Air, said “We are hoping that by next week, everything should have settled down because right now, people are still trying to be sure of their movements.
“Passengers are being cautious before they come out. So, things have not balanced. People are not leaving Lagos as such from the airport now; rather, they are being careful.”
He added, “In locations where no curfew was announced, other places will still have to feed such locations. So since we have curfews here and there, ultimately it affects areas where we don’t have curfew.
“But we hope everything settles down well before next week.”
Similarly, Stanley Olisa, the spokesperson, Air Peace, explained that even though domestic flight operations had resumed, passengers were still wary of flying.
“Yes domestic flights have resumed out of the Lagos airport but it is something that is only picking up gradually,” he said.
333,000 Artisans: FG Commences One-Time Payment of N30,000
FG Begins One-Time Payment of N30,000 to 333,000 Artisans
The Federal Government on Monday said it has commenced a one-time payment of N30,000 to 333,000 artisans under the Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) Survival Fund.
In a statement issued by Laolu Akande, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Office of the Vice President, disbursements were being done to verified beneficiaries of the Artisan Support Scheme.
The statement read in part, “In the first stream of payments starting today, beneficiaries are being drawn from the FCT, Lagos, Ondo, Kaduna, Borno, Kano, Bauchi, Anambra, Abia, Rivers, Plateau and Delta States. They form the first batch of applications for the scheme submitted between October 1 and October 10.
“The MSMEs Survival Fund scheme is a component of the Nigerian Economic Sustainability Plan, NESP, which was developed by an Economic Sustainability Committee established by President Muhammadu Buhari in March 2020.
“The President asked his deputy, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, to head the committee which produced and is overseeing the implementation of the plan. “Under the ESP, the Survival Fund is generally designed to among other things, support vulnerable MSMEs in meeting their different obligations and safeguard jobs in the sector.”
Absorb Exited Npower Beneficiaries, N-power Youths Congress Tells FG
Absorb Npower Beneficiaries of Batches A and B, N-power Youths Congress Tells FG
The N-power Youths Congress (NYC) has pleaded with the Federal Government to absorb the 500,000 exited Npower beneficiaries of Batches A and B and pay their outstanding allowances.
The National Coordinator, NYC, Comrade Joseph Enam Maga, stated this in Maiduguri during a press briefing held on Saturday at the NUJ Press Center.
He said thousands of exited beneficiaries are yet to be paid since the month of Match.
He, therefore, called on the Federal Government to offset all the outstanding allowances of Batches A and B and create a permanent job for them.
He said “It is a fact undisputable that thousands of beneficiaries have not been paid since the month of March.
“Promises upon promises have been made on this, but yet no positive result has been recorded. Sometimes I wonder what it takes for the data base manager of Npower to rectify this! Something that can be rectified in a couple of hours has lasted for seven good months now.
“Worst still, this is happening within this period of hunger and starvation because of Pandemic. We call on the minister of humanitarian affairs and disaster management to be human enough to respond to our request and give prompt attention to them.
“We equally wish to bring to the notice of Mr. President that Batch B Beneficiaries have not received their devices as was promised and signed at the commencement of the program.
“It is very sad that up to the disengagement of Batch A and B, nobody has come out openly to tell us what happened to our devices.
The coordinator paused to ask why are Nigerian youths being treated like nobody in their country? What have we done to be neglected like this?
“When the Humanitarian Minister was asked why we were disengaged at this critical time in historical epoch that corona virus is terrorizing the whole world, she responded that we were disengaged because it’s a two years programe that we signed.
“Then comes the question: why did Batch A stayed 4years? And if we signed for two years contract that warranted our disengagement, didn’t we equally signed to be given a device that would help us in our different places of primary assignment and equally increase of knowledge? Please we need answers ma. We need answers.
“We, the 500,000 batches A and B of Npower beneficiaries are calling on our government to respond to our demand. We don’t want to believe that it’s only a state of violence anarchy and doom will make a sane government to listen to her Youth’s grievances.
“Look at the Endsars protest for instance, after many lives have been lost and properties destroyed, our government decided to speak up. Niger delta militants were attended to when they resort to arms.
“The insurgents were given amnesty because of their terrorism. But we the innocent 500,000 graduates have been innocently complaining to our government but they paid deaf ears. We are law abiding citizens and we will continue to be law abiding citizens.
“We want Mr. President to understand that a hungry man is an angry man. We have really endured a lot. We need a quick response to our requests. We can’t be used and dumped like refuse. We refused to be used and dumped”, the National Coordinator added.
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