Chris Ugwu writes that Tantalizers has continued to witness drops in earnings following increasing rate of operational costs and completions.
The Nigerian hospitality industry is faced with a myriad of challenges ranging from poor energy supply and insecurity to misconstrued internal perception, cynical global perspicacity, poor customer service, little or no standardisation in operations, inconsistent regulatory environment and skilled labour shortages caused by a few entrepreneurs with little knowledge of the workings of the industry who hijack the process to perpetuate plans for their own personal and selfish gains.
Other challenges that have direct impact on the sector include security, exchange, inflation and high interest rates.
Made worse is the infrastructure deficiency, which has inevitably transferred the high production cost to consumers and has resulted to less patronage, thereby shrinking the operators’ profit margins.
Tantalizers Plc, like any other fast food firms in Nigeria, is currently facing challenges due to harsh operating environment.
This is because the economy generally is faced with enormous socio-economic challenges.
The company’s activities has definitely impacted on a negative note, majorly by the increase in tariff, double taxation, depreciation in naira and the continued insecurity prevailing in some parts of the country, a situation that has compelled a scaling back of its expansion drive in those regions.
Given headwinds such as weak demand on the back of household wallets, most consumer goods companies in Nigerian have continued to find it difficult to weather the storm.
The effect of challenges in operating environment on the economy continued to impact adversely on its operations due to reduction in credit opportunities, increase in cost of sales and administrative expenses which in turn affected the company’s income.
Tantalizers, which returned to profitability in 2017 after being in the red, started the year 2018 on the negative as it slipped back to loss position at the first quarter of the year 2018 ended March 31 to what market analysts majorly attributed to weak consumer demands, stiffer competition and increased financing cost, which have resulted in slow growth of many companies.
Tantalizer was officially listed on the Nigerian bourse on June 23, 2008 at N3.67 kobo. The company’s stock traded at 21 kobo on Friday 14, 2018. The firm had rewarded both the shareholders and investors with dividends only in 2009, 2011 and 2012. Hence, the company has not paid investors dividend for the past five years.
For the financial year ended December 2017, the company recorded improvement in overall performance compared to a couple of years ago despite the economic challenges. Overall systems revenue grew by 3 per cent to N3.74 billion, while the Company’s revenue of N1.75 billion was 10 per cent lower than 2016 due to retro-franchising and inadequate working capital according to the company.
The profit before tax of N450.6 million in 2017 was better than the 2016 pre-tax loss of N1.01 billion. This improved performance, however, came from improvement in other Income activities with profit on disposal of property, as a major component.
The company’s result released on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) showed that its earnings per share grew to 14 kobo from a loss of 32 kobo in 2016.
Cost of sales went down to N1.18 billion from N1.27 billion, leading to decline in its gross profit to N567.95 million as against N674.69 million. Tantalizers loan book reduced by about N1.1 billion in the period under review. The company reported that it repaid loans of about N862 million and serviced the interest of about N269 million only. The company also secured a loan write back amounting to N600 million.
According to reports, market analysts believed with revenues still stunted and competition seemingly on the increase, Tantalizers might continue to sell down assets in a bid to fix its balance sheet, adding that raising capital is also inevitable and this will likely only be achieved via a strategic investor or a takeover of the company.
However, the company returned to loss position during the first quarter of 2018 ended March 31, with a loss of 122.197 million as against a loss of 115.988 billion reported in 2017, accounting for a percentage change of 5.35 per cent.
Revenue declined by 18.42 per cent from N490.760 million in 2017 to N400.353 million posted in 2018.
Dr. Jaiye Oyedotun, Chairman, Board of Directors at the 20th annual general meeting (AGM) said operating costs remained high in 2017 with increasing electricity tariff and price of diesel at N220 per litre.
“Unemployment and underemployment situation in the country worsened in 2017 with job losses and the increasing number of young people graduating with no visible plan for their employment. This had a negative impact on standard of living and purchasing power of the populace. This factor and the poor security situation in some parts of the country resulted in lower traffic, patronage and invariably profitability of businesses.
“In line with our franchising focus, three corporate outlets were retro-franchised in 2017. This exercise, though led to a reduction in our revenue, as their performance cannot be declared under corporate performance, the impact on our profitability is positive. Four new franchise stores were opened in Ogun, Lagos and Delta states,” he said.
Oyedotun noted that the dearth of capital prevented the opening of any corporate store in 2017.
“This unfortunately affected our revenue as the three retro-franchised stores were not replaced. The shutdown of two corporate stores and some TOS sites, which were consistently posting negative EBITDA further worsened the revenue position.
“We could not explore to the fullest the opportunities that abound in Supply Chain and the bakery lines of our business because of our low working capital position. This working capital challenge slowed down our plan for growth/expansion and store remodelling. The need to conclude on the equity investor search becomes more critical than ever before. We are now using a multidimensional approach to aggressively tackle this major challenge of the Company.
“Significant efforts have been made to dispose-off non-operational assets in our bid to augment the working capital of the Company. The proceeds of such have been used to pay off the Dollar denominated IFC loan. The impact of this major breakthrough is already seen in the absence of exchange loss in 2017. Efforts will be made to significantly pay down the local loans using such proceeds to reduce our finance costs and overall debt position,” he said.
According to Oyedotun, “the need to sustain the profitability of the company remains our primary objective for 2018. We must grow corporate revenue to cover our costs. This we will achieve through opening of new stores as well as remodeling / retro-fitting existing stores to improve attractiveness.
“We will continue to work on menu recipe revamp while improving the quality of our product offerings. Our search for equity investment we believe will be concluded this year, with the improvement in the Nigerian economic environment. In the interim, we will continue to boost our working capital through non-strategic assets disposal.
“The Divisionalisation project, which kicked-off fully at the beginning of this year is making the major income generating units of the company more efficient in the day-to-day running of the business. We believe the working capital inadequacy which is a major challenge to the project will soon be resolved.
“Our franchising program is on course and we will open more franchise stores in 2018. We will leverage on partnerships with various organizations that will make prospective franchisees invest with lower costs, achieve faster set up time and be more profitable. We will continue to push for stores in virgin territories where we are not presently represented.
As the franchising program grows, the need for an efficient and effective supply chain arm becomes even more critical.
“There is the need to harness the volume growth in materials to achieve lower costs and thereby improve franchising profitability. This requires the deployment of adequate capital to fund the supply chain. We must, therefore, overcome the working capital challenge being experienced by the Company to improve our overall performance.
“We will focus on the pay down of some of our bank obligations to further reduce our finance cost and also improve our marketing communication in 2018 to achieve increased share of voice and mind in the market place”.
Though high cost of operations have remarkably weighed down on the hospitality sector in the country, it is important for the company to continue to manage its cost base tightly to deliver moderate operating margins improvement for growth and profitability.
FrieslandCampina WAMCO, others to commence local production of milk
s an official partner of the 2019/20 UEFA Europa League season, Kia Motors Corporation has kicked off a series of inspiring and enthralling marketing activities with the aim of vivifying fan engagement throughout Europe and around the world.
Under the slogan “Empowering Fans,” Kia, in collaboration with the UEFA Foundation for Children, runs the UEFA Europa League Trophy Tour Driven by Kia, a continent-wide event offering fans chances to see the iconic trophy up close and meet legends of the game. As part of the tour, fans are encouraged at each stop of the journey across Europe to donate unwanted football boots, which are collected, cleaned and sent to children at the Zaatari Refugee Camp in Jordan.
Alongside the trophy tour, Kia runs its exclusive youth program, “Official Match Ball Carrier,” designed to provide once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to Europe’s budding football aspirants from eight to 12-year-olds to participate in pre-match ceremonies before each of the 205 matches being played during this season. The program gives the young hopefuls the honor of commencing a match by stepping onto the field joining hands of the referee, match officials and players, while holding the Official Match Ball.
“We are thrilled to help usher in the 2019/20 UEFA Europa League season, and our global and local marketing initiatives will not only empower football fans to take center stage throughout the season, but also enhance the Kia brand itself to create more intimate connections with football fans all around the world,” said Artur Martins, the Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of Kia Motors.
The world’s largest professional football club competition, the UEFA Europa League (UEL), kicked off the group stage of the 2019/20 season today with 24 matches being contested throughout Europe. Fifty six clubs from over 25 European countries will play a total of 205 matches over the next nine months, including those between the 32 surviving teams in the knockout stage.
The UEFA Europa League Final will take place in Gdansk, Poland, on May 27 2020, with prominent clubs such as the Manchester United, AS Roma, Sevilla FC and PSV Eindhoven embarking on their journeys toward the final. The winner of the 2019/20 season will follow in the steps of Chelsea FC, the crowned club of the 2018/19 season following its victory over Arsenal FC in Baku, Azerbaijan.
Another marketing initiative exclusively organized and sponsored by Kia is online game UEL Fantasy 5 Driven by Kia (www.uefa.com). Also available as a UEFA Europa League official mobile app, the game allows fans to predict various match statistics, such as the best performing players on each match day, scores and assists, for accumulating points, which are then converted into prizes.
Furthermore, a slew of programs for winning match tickets are conducted both online and at select local Kia dealerships in Europe during the 2019/2020 season.
Prices of tomatoes, yam crash at Mile 12 Market
he price of fresh tomatoes and yam has continued to fall in Mile 12 Market in recent times, traders told Sunday Telegraph on Thursday.
The traders attributed the fall in the price of fresh tomatoes to importation of the produce from Ghana and Cameroon and other neighbouring countries.
A trader in the market, Mr. Suraju Muhamed who is a fresh tomato dealer, said that they import tomato from Ghana, Cameroon, even as they also source the produce from Kano and Oyo state.
He said for the Ghana verity of tomato, “we have the long one which goes for N6,500 or N7,000 for one basket while the bigger size of it goes for N12,000 per basket. Two basket of Ghana tomatoes is one basket of Kano tomatoes and a basket of Kano tomatoes goes for N15, 000, N14, 000 and N13,000 respectively.”
He said these prices are low compared to they were about two months ago when they were selling at N20, 000, N22, 000 and N25, 000 respectively.
According to him, for those who cannot afford to buy the ones of bigger amount, they also have the ones they sell N3, 000 or N3, 500 per basket. He stated that the reason for the reduction in the price was because of increased supply unlike two months ago when it was coming from Kano State only.
The current market price of oil according to Ayubah Muhamed who is a dealer in Vegetable oil and Palm oil in Mile 12 Market, said they sell 30 liters of Vegetable oil at N11, 000. He also said that 10 liters of vegetable oil is sold at N5, 200, 5 liters N2, 000 while two and half liters goes for N1000. He said five liters of Palm oil sells at N1, 800 while the one liter was selling at N350.
Mr. Samuel Ibrahim who is a whole seller on yam in Mile 12 talked about the prices of tow verities of yams he had in stock, the first one was ‘Efu’ yam while the second one was ‘Mumuye’ yam. According to him, Efu yam sold at the rate of N35, 000 N45, 000 and N50, 000 respectively for 100 pieces depending on the size of the yam while Mumuye yam goes for N33, 000, N45, 000 and N50, 000 respectively and the price is determined by the size. One yam sold at the rate of N330, N450, and N500.
Meanwhile, the price of Onions in the market, according to Muhammed Ishmila, sold at N17, 000 per 100kg, for old onions while the new onions were selling at the rate of N11, 000.
Speaking with Mr. Emeka Nwigbo who is a beans dealer in the market said that the price of beans increased a little this week as 50kg of beans is now sold at N21, 000 instead of 20,000. He said that the price increase because of the recent scarcity of beans in the market.
Kebbi most expensive state to buy food in Nigeria –Report
ata released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) recently indicated that Kebbi State was the costliest state in Nigeria to have a meal in August 2019.
The bureau noted that figures for the month under review did not account for the effect of the border closure, as it happened 11 days to the end of the period.
“In August 2019, food inflation on a year on year basis was highest in Kebbi (17.20 per cent), Kano (16.08 per cent) and Adamawa (15.95 per cent), while Bayelsa (10.22 per cent), Katsina (9.64 per cent) and Kogi (8.97 per cent) recorded the slowest rise,” the report stated. Overall, Kebbi state was also the most expensive part of the country, as the cost of goods and services increased by 14.97 percent.
“In August 2019, all items inflation on year on year basis was highest in Kebbi (14.97 per cent), Kano (13.24 per cent) and Bauchi (13.00 per cent), while Cross River (8.97 per cent), Delta (8.63 per cent) and Kwara (8.32 per cent) recorded the slowest rise in headline Year on Year inflation,” the report observed. All across the country, the rate at which the price of goods and services rose, reduced by six base points from 11.08 per cent in July to 11.02 per cent in August,” it said.
The NBS report added, “This was influenced by the reduction in the percentage increase of edibles, which soared by 13.17 percent in August as against 13.39 per cent in July. In August, it was only the rate of increase in the price of goods and services in urban areas that increased, when compared with July.
“The urban inflation rate increased by 11.48 per cent (year-on-year) in August 2019 from 11.43 per cent recorded in July 2019, while the rural inflation rate increased by 10.61 per cent in August 2019 from 10.64 per cent in July 2019.”
CBN: Deposit charge only on excess limit
he Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) says the charges on deposit and withdrawal on the savings account will be carried out on the excess of the limit it has set.
Nigerians have been enraged over the 2 per cent charges on savings account or withdrawal or deposit above N500, 000.
The Lekki Forum of the Nigerian Bar Association condemned the new policy, describing it as evil and obnoxious.
Reacting to the criticism that has trailed the new policy, CBN said the charges will only apply on the excess of N500, 000.
“The Cash-less Policy deposit/withdrawal charge is only on the amount in excess of the limit. For instance, if you deposit cash of N501, 000.00, N1, 000.00 is in excess of the limit. The bank will charge you 2 per cent of N1, 000.00 which is N20.00,” the apex bank said.
CBN also directed the strict implementation of merchant service charge, which would impose more charges on all point of sale (PoS) transactions.
WISTA takes campaign for women in maritime to Anambra
omen’s International Shipping and Trading Association (WISTA) has donated a speedboat and some fishing accessories to the women of Omabala Na Esu Fishers Association of Aguleri, in Anambra State. President of WISTA Nigeria, Mrs. Mary Madu Hamman, said the donations were part of the organisation’s drive to inspire more women participation in the maritime industry.
Hamman said she was in Aguleri with her team of WISTA officials to lend a hand in growing the trade of the fisher folks and encourage them to tap into the vast opportunities in the maritime industry.
She said: “Nigeria is concerned about the women in Aguleri community who are known for fishing and marketing. WISTA is proud to associate with them and also help them grow their business activities.
“The maritime sector has a lot of opportunities yet to be tapped into by women.”
She stressed the need for women in Aguleri community to send their daughters to school and also encouraged them to study courses relevant to the maritime industry so that they could tap into the resources in the maritime industry.
The WISTA Nigeria president, who is also Assistant Director, Shipping Promotion, at the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), commended the Agency’s efforts, under the Dr. Dakuku Peterside-led management, to support women in the maritime industry.
“NIMASA has been a huge support and dependable ally for WISTA and women in the maritime industry generally,” he said.
She announced that WISTA Nigeria would soon be in Enugu State for a similar exercise.
The First Lady of Anambra State, Mrs. Ebelechukwu Obiano, who received the items on behalf of the women, expressed gratitude to WISTA for the philanthropic gesture.
Nigeria leading Africa’s sustainable ocean governance initiative
In this report, PAUL OGBUOKIRI enumerates how the Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) is leading the new African effort for a sustainable ocean governance to grow the economy of the continent
Africa’s Integrated Maritime Strategy
Over 80 per cent of today’s international goods are transported in vessels and over 90 per cent of Africa’s imports and exports are conducted by sea. Over the past four decades, the volume of global sea-borne trade has more than quadrupled. Ninety per cent of world trade and two-thirds of energy supplies are carried by sea. The world’s oceans and seas are interlinked, and action in one sea or one policy area with a direct or indirect impact on the sea may have positive or negative effects on other seas and policy areas. Whilst over 46 per cent of Africans live in absolute poverty- a figure that is still rising- fish makes a vital contribution to the food and nutritional security of over 200 million Africans and provides income for over 10 million.
The coastal and marine ecosystems play a significant role in mitigating the impacts of climate change as they could serve as carbon sinks. The paradox is that the marine and coastal areas in Africa are among the most vulnerable areas to the impacts of climate change in the world, mainly attributed to the low adaptive capacity in the continent. These negative effects have also been compounded by human carelessness and pollution as shown by the un-understandable pollution of African waters by human wastefulness as shown by the dumping of plastic in African water ways these have devastating consequences on marine life.
Maritime security is also one of the most significant dimensions of global and human security in general. It poses multidimensional threats to global security, and in turn has major effects on such essential issues as food, energy and economic security. For the last decade, Africa has been the epicentre of international maritime insecurity. Piracy and armed robbery at sea has re-emerged in the modern era off the east and west coasts of Africa alike, this has caused enormous human and financial damage. But we have also seen other breaches of maritime security on the rise in Africa’s seas: illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, toxic waste dumping, and human, weapons and narcotics trafficking.
Thus for Africa, the sustainable management of coastal and marine environments and resources is of utmost priority. The promotion of sustainable use of marine and coastal resources in Africa will significantly enhance food security, ensure constant economic growth and improve the quality of lives of the people in the coastal communities.
After years of struggling with these geostrategic challenges and opportunities, in 2012 at ministerial level, the African Union (AU) adopted the 2050 African Integrated Maritime Strategy. The overarching vision of the 2050 AIM-Strategy is to “foster increased wealth creation from Africa’s oceans and seas by developing the blue economy in a secure and environmentally sustainable manner.
The strategy includes a framework for action on, inter alia: fisheries and aquaculture; environmental and biodiversity monitoring; marine tourism; disaster risk management (DRM); handling and shipment of hazardous materials and dangerous goods; maritime governance; flag state and port state control; and illegal activities, including money laundering, piracy, maritime terrorism and human trafficking and smuggling by sea.
Africa a ‘sea blind’ continent
To ensure that Nigeria takes the leading role in the growing effort to make effective use of the oceans and seas resources, NIMASA has since 2017 put plans in place to work with stakeholders in the maritime sector to make the blue economy Nigeria’s economic mainstay.
Addressing the theme for that year, ‘Harnessing African Maritime potentials for sustainable development’, Director-General of NIMASA, Dr. Dakuku Peterside said: “It is a well-known fact that Africa’s seas and oceans are usually overlooked when it comes to issues of sustainable development in Africa, to the extent that Africa is considered to be sea blind because there is low level awareness of the potentials for wealth creation which abounds in the seas and oceans. This event therefore, tends to show that our eyes are gradually being opened to the reality that our seas and oceans possess huge source of economic resources that can take the continent to the next level.”
He said decade of Africa’s Seas and Oceans declared by the African Union (AU) from 2015-2025 should be perceived as a shift in perspective that recognizes the fact that our oceans and seas are economic infrastructure, necessitating the need for stakeholders in the sector to work together to realize the opportunities embedded in the sector.
Dakuku said that NIMASA has considered it necessary to continue championing the awareness on Africa Integrated Maritime-Strategy and the Blue Economy through the Day of the seas and oceans and other sensitization programmes the Agency will still embark upon.
He said: “The desire of the government is to ensure cleaner oceans and to eliminate sea piracy, armed robbery and all forms of illegalities within Nigeria’s maritime space which is in line with the 2050 African Integrated Maritime Strategy (AIMS).”
He said: The implementation of the strategy will also assist with, establishing a Combined Exclusive Maritime Zone for Africa (CEMZA); enhancing wealth creation through building our countries’ maritime-centric capacity and capability; ensuring security and safety in the African Maritime Domain; minimising environmental damage, and preventing hostile and criminal acts at sea, and prosecute offenders if necessary; Protecting the populations, Africa’s Maritime Domain (AMD) heritage and infrastructure in the African Maritime Domain; promoting and protecting the interests of African shippers; enhancing Africa’s competitiveness in international trade; improving and facilitating intra-African trade as well as transit transport in landly connected countries. You would recall that as affirmed in the 2050 AIM-Strategy, there is no more ‘landlocked country’ in Africa, but all AU member states are ‘landly connected’ to the seas and oceans.”
Recall that Dakuku, while addressing participants at the 2017 edition said: “The desire of the government is to ensure cleaner oceans and to eliminate sea piracy, armed robbery and all forms of illegalities within Nigeria’s maritime space which is in line with the 2050 African Integrated Maritime Strategy (AIMS)”.
He further observed: “Our seas and oceans are our heritage and we must do all we can to protect it; pointing out that NIMASA will continue to work together with all relevant government agencies to ensure that our maritime sector is safe, clean and secured in order to continue to attract both local and foreign investors.”
Also speaking at the event was Professor Charles Ukeje, who delivered a paper titled; “Securing the African Marine Environment for Sustainable Development,” and noted that harnessing and sustainable use of our oceans and seas are the key to unlocking prosperity for the economy, but that this cannot be done by NIMASA alone, but by effective planning which must cut across public and private sectors of the economy on a long term basis, including a well trained personnel.
Dr. Magnus Chidi Onuoha who also spoke on the theme: “Harnessing Resources from Seas and Oceans for the African Youth Empowerment” identified people, prosperity and the planet as the key to sustainable development of the maritime sector in Africa and said that the marine environment is key to our survival.
Other speakers at the event, led by the Chairman of the session, Mr. Norrsion Quakers, (SAN), unanimously called for collaborative and concerted efforts among stakeholder in actualizing a virile maritime sector.
The anti-piracy Act
After a long delay, President Muhammadu Buhari recently signed into law the Suppression of Piracy and other Maritime Offences Bill, 2019, in an unprecedented move billed to bring a dramatic improvement in security on the country’s territorial waters and exclusive economic zone.
The Presidential assent dated June 24, 2019 followed the passage of the bill by the Senate and House of Representatives on April 9, 2019 and April 30, 2019, respectively.
The bill passed by the Eighth National Assembly gives effect to the provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), 1982, and the International Convention on the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Navigation (SUA), 1988, and its Protocols.
The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) had facilitated the drafting of the Suppression of Piracy and other Maritime Offences Bill in 2012, in collaboration with the International Maritime Organisation (IMO). It was in a bid to give further credence to the relevant international treaties of the United Nations (UN) and IMO ratified by Nigeria on maritime safety and security and provide a much-needed legal and institutional framework for the country – through its maritime security enforcement agencies: the Nigerian Navy and NIMASA – to ensure safe and secure shipping on Nigerian waters, and prosecute infractions.
Besides addressing maritime insecurity, the new law, very importantly, fulfills the international requirement for standalone legislation on piracy, as against the approach of using the Maritime Operations Coordinating Board Amendment Bill to criminalise piracy.
With the Suppression of Piracy and other Maritime Offences Act, Nigeria has officially become the first country in the West and Central African Sub-region to promulgate a separate law against piracy, an important international requirement set by the IMO as part of measures to guarantee secure global shipping.
Speaking after the Presidential assent, the Director-General of NIMASA), Dr. Dakuku Peterside, described the move as a step in the right direction, saying, “It marks the dawn of a great moment for world maritime.”
Dakuku said: “This is not just a victory for NIMASA, but also for all the stakeholders in the Nigerian maritime community. We are determined to continue to deliver on our promise to investors and the international community to ensure an increasingly safer and more secure environment for profitable maritime business.
“And the new law at this very critical stage of our Blue Economy drive is certainly an elixir that will boost our capacity to harness the rich potential of our seas and oceans.”
Dakuku thanked the President for “his commitment and passion for measures that will guarantee safety and security on Nigerian waters.” He also appreciated the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) for their support. He assured that the agency will continue to work with relevant partners and organisations to achieve its aim of ridding the country’s waterways and exclusive economic zone of criminal activities.
Commitment to ocean governance The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, expressed Nigeria’s commitment to participate effectively in the shaping of International Ocean Governance in the United Nations.
Amaechi stated this in a message to the African Day of Seas and Oceans with the theme: “Maritime Governance for Sustainable Development’’.
This came as the Speaker House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila and the Director General of Nigerian Maritime Administrations and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dakuku Peterside, said that Nigeria can achieve accelerated economic growth and development with regulated exploitation of her marine biodiversity.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the African Day of Seas and Ocean, Gbajabiamila said that efficient management of the nation’s marine resources will no doubt provide a veritable tool for the government’s Economic and Recovery Growth Plan (ERGP).
The Minister was represented by the Director of Maritime Safety and Security, Ministry of Transportation, Mr. Danjuma Dauda.
Amaechi said the ministry was embarking on bilateral and other multilateral engagements with the coastal neighbouring countries to achieve an improved and sustainable enforced framework.
He said: “We are aligning ourselves fully with the African Union strategy on Blue Economy and Maritime Governance, as a tool for sustainable development.”
Also speaking President of Association of African Maritime Authorities (AAMA), Dr Dakuku Peterside, urged maritime stakeholders to key into 2050 Africa’s Integrated Maritime (AIM) Strategy and Agenda 2063 of the African Union.
He said that oceans represented major assets to accelerate the development of Africa’s economics, adding that 90 per cent of imports and exports activities were conducted by sea.
“It has therefore become necessary for the African Continent to take advantage of the opportunity offered by the Blue Economy.
“Oceans and seas are central to the concept of `Blue Economy in Africa’ and the Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) has identified the Blue Economy as suitable in meeting sustainable development goals.
Mercedes-Benz records 14% sales growth
ith sales of 177,819 cars in August, Mercedes-Benz posted double-digit sales growth for the second time in succession (14 per cent). It also recorded double-digit sales growth in all three regions – Europe, Asia-Pacific and NAFTA – and in those regions’ core markets was achieved last month.
The continuing popularity of the compact cars had a positive impact on the development of unit sales. Deliveries of SUVs increased in August for the first time this year due to sales stimulus from the new models. Furthermore, worldwide deliveries increased once again last month of saloon cars of the Mercedes-Benz C-Class and E-Class. Sales of 1,501,405 units in the first eight months of the year by the Stuttgart-based company with the three-pointed star are approaching the high prior-year level.
From January until August, Mercedes-Benz maintained its market leadership in the premium segment in markets including Germany, UK, France, Belgium, Switzerland, Portugal, Sweden, Denmark, Australia, Canada and Republic of South Africa.
Mercedes-Benz unit sales by model
The model change for the compact cars also had a clear impact on sales in August: approximately 48,900 units of the A- and B-Class, CLA, CLA Shooting Brake and GLA were delivered last month. The main drivers of this growth besides the A-Class are above all the B-Class and the new CLA Coupé, deliveries of which more than doubled in Europe last month. In the first eight months of the year, approximately 417,000 compact cars were sold worldwide. The compact cars thus set records for both August and the period of January to August.
Deliveries of the E-Class Saloon and Estate reached a new record for an August: 28,200 units sold represent an increase of 11.2 per cent over the prior-year month. The E-Class Saloon reported sales growth worldwide of 14.7 per cent. In China, the long-wheelbase version of the EClass Saloon was very popular.
Sales in the SUV segment increased for the first time this year due to the positive impact of the model changes: approximately 61,800 units sold in August of the GLA, GLC, GLC Coupé, GLE, GLE Coupé, GLS and G-Class represent a growth of 8.7 per cent. The main effects of the recent model changes came from the upgraded generation of the GLC and the new GLE – both also reached a new high in August. Deliveries of the new G-Class increased by a strong double-digit rate last month and in the first eight months of this year have already surpassed the record level of full-year 2017.
3,000 visitors expected at W/Africa automotive parts exhibition
o fewer than 3,000 visitors are expected at the forthcoming West Africa Automotive Show (WAAS), slated to commence on November 19th, 2019.
Sunday Telegraph learnt that the new international trade exhibition will attract an estimated 100 exhibitors from Nigeria and other countries.
According to the organisers, BtoB Events, suppliers, dealers and manufacturers will also be able to discuss best practice for the industry and find out more about the developing local motor manufacturing industry. He added that Nigerian businesses which account for about 30 per cent of exhibitors.
The BtoB Events in a statement by the Managing Director, Jamie Hill, said that there will be national pavilions for Morocco and China, smaller groupings from Thailand, Egypt, Tunisia and India, and a dozen more countries will also be represented.
Speaking on why the company is organising the show, he said; “With over 60 per cent of vehicles on the road being over 12 years old, there is a huge aftermarket industry. The need for high quality and affordable spare parts is becoming increasingly important.
“There is also a real hunger to boost the local assembly of vehicles across the country with the 2013 National Automotive Industry Development plan (NAIDP). With more assembly plants being set up, this again significantly increases the demand for spare parts. We are committed to supporting Nigeria reach its forecast of having 70 per cent of new cars sold being assembled or manufactured domestically by 2050,” Mr. Hill said.
He further said that WAAS has the official endorsement of the National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC), adding that the show’s founding partner is ASPMDA (Auto Spare Part and Machinery Distributors Association).
“ASPMDA represents the largest spare part market across Africa and acts as the re-export hub for sub-Saharan Africa. No other country on the continent can boast a trade hub such as ASPMDA with over 20,000 member businesses, so Nigeria immediately positions itself as the most important for foreign exporters.”
Speaking, Leonard Okoye, Secretary, Foreign Trade and Investment Committee at ASPMDA; explained that the association “is supporting WAAS as an inroad to meet other manufacturers in the competitive market of automobile industry.”
He added that the advice for stakeholders in the auto industry is that they should continue to attend all exhibitions because learning is a continuous process.
To support Nigerian companies at the exhibition, the WAAS is drawing up a small conference seminar to throw the spotlight on local businesses.
“It is great to give the local companies a platform to grow their market share, increase exports and highlight that the Nigerian original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) are not out of place amongst the global companies,” Mr. Hill said.
Bello attracts multinational firm to establish Chili firm in Niger
iger State government’s efforts to attract investments to the state yielded some fruits over the weekend as the operators of the Lagos Free Trade Zone in Lekki, led by its Chairman Mr. Mohan Vaswani, resolved to establish a multi-million naira Chili company in the state.
Accordingly, the Niger State Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello, multi-million Chili Company which will soon take off is designed to boost the state’s economy and increase employment opportunities.
Governor Bello who had an investment session with one of the most prominent and influential private investment multinational companies met with Tolaram Group Chairman, Mr. Mohan Vaswani to see how best to harness the potentialities of the state for mutual benefits especially in making the state a business hub.
Governor Bello, while acknowledging that the group is already in Wushishi, headquarters of Wushishi Local Government Area of the state where it acquired five thousand hectares of land for the scheme with intention to acquire additional ten thousand hectares to make Niger State the hub for the company’s grow materials for its manufacturing plant. He assured the group of an enabling environment for their investments.
He said that the move was part of concerted efforts to bring investment to Niger State, to encourage investors to tap from the state’s resources especially in the area of agriculture, adding that with political will towards her investment the narrative about foreign direct investment in Nigeria will change.
The governor who was in Lagos on the invitation of the Tolaram Group of Companies also has an inspection tour of the Lagos Free Trade Zone where he expressed satisfaction over their performance.
Presenting the group’s various brands of products through a power point, Assistant Manager Business Development, Chinju Udora highlighted the achievements of the group established over four decades ago but became more operational in 1998, working with strong partners around the world, Nigeria inclusive with a sustainable amount of money committed in the business.
The governor’s meeting with other critical stakeholders at the group’s headquarters, at the Lagos Free Trade Zone about 57 Kilometers away from Lekki enabled the two teams to work out modalities for better partnership as part of efforts to diversify and open up opportunities for the state.
The Group Chairman, Mr. Mohan, who led his team, assured the state government of his company’s desire to work closely with the state for its rapid growth and development in particular and the country at large.
How govt can curb oil theft, by Obaseki
he ad-hoc committee set by the Federal Government to investigate how Nigeria is lost a whopping sun of $1.35 billion to oil theft in the first six months of this year, has stressed the need for a legal task force with special courts to tackle menace.
The 13-member committee led by Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State, said in addition to a legal task force, with dedicated courts, prosecution teams and specially trained judges, oil pipeline maintenance and ownership needed to be restructured.
The committee, set up to investigate theft from the miles of pipelines that snake through the country’s swampy, oil-rich Delta region, said the theft will only grow if the government does not take special action to combat it.
“The governance structure of the pipeline(s) is such today that no one is held accountable when these losses occur,” Governor Godwin Obaseki, said in its report made available to newsmen recently.
Obaseki said at least 22.6 million barrels of oil were “stolen” between January and July, and there is the risk of $2.7 billion worth of oil being stolen in two years.
He said figures showing the “huge losses” were provided to his 13-member committee by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.
Obaseki spoke to journalists after the National Economic Council meeting in Abuja. He said his committee had identified the reasons for the losses and had made recommendations to the government.
The committee also cited a lack of fuel stations in most of the oil-producing communities around the Niger Delta, which it said made them resort to oil theft and illegal refining.
The recommendations will go to President Muhammadu Buhari, who is the Minister of Petroleum Resources.
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