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Dangote puts Nigeria on the world map

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Dangote Cement has put Nigeria on the world map with the exportation of 27,800 metric tonnes of clinker to a neighbouring African country, reaffirming its status as Africa’s biggest cement producer.

With this historic maiden voyage from its Export Terminal in Lagos Apapa Port at the weekend, Dangote has made Nigeria an exporter of cement clinker to other countries.

The exportation of clinker from the Dangote Cement Export Terminal will also place Nigeria as one of the leading clinker exporters in the world.

The company is expected to increase the quantity of clinker export to other African countries within the next few weeks, it was further learnt.

Dangote cement maiden clinker shipment from Apapa port

Dangote Cement export terminal at Apapa Port

This development would enable Dangote Cement take advantage of the African Continental Free Trade Area, and by so doing contribute to the improvement of intra-regional trade within the ECOWAS region.

The Manufacturing Association of Nigeria (MAN) has commended Dangote Cement for leading the way for Nigeria to become one of the biggest cement and clinker exporters in the world.

Group Executive Director, Dangote Group, Alhaji Sada Ladan-Baki said the increased exportation of clinker and cement to other African countries would not only place Dangote Cement among top clinker exporters in the world.

He hoped it would also boost Nigeria’s foreign exchange earnings and reduce unemployment.

“The beauty of what we have done is that we are going to be generating foreign exchange for the country in terms of dollars and Euros.

“For every batch of clinker we export, the money comes back to Nigeria. The amount we are talking about is not small.

“Presently, Dangote Cement should either be number one or number two exporter of cement in Africa and the revenue we have generated in the form of foreign exchange is running into millions.

“Today, we have formally launched the Dangote Cement Export Terminal. We are still going to do another major launch when the second ship is going out of the country,” he added.

Alhaji Sada recalled that only a few years ago, Nigeria was one of the world’s largest bulk importers of cement.

“Dangote has gradually made Nigeria self-sufficient in cement production as well as an exporter of clinker to other countries”, he said.

He disclosed that the company would also be launching its export terminal in Onne in the next few days.

The new export terminal would enable the company export clinker, initially to its grinding facility in Cameroon and then to new grinding plants the company is building across West Africa.

He explained that not only would this generate useful foreign currency for Dangote Cement to support other expansion projects outside Nigeria, it would also help to increase the output of the Nigerian plants.

He said these would help to improve job creation and increase prosperity in Nigeria.

“This terminal will assist Dangote to actualise the full potential of the company’s investment in cement. You know as usual, when the rain comes, sales decline, but not clinker export.

“This feat by Dangote is going to generate a lot of jobs because the Export Terminal has already created jobs to many Nigerians.

“As at now, the numbers of employed Nigerians at the terminal have reached 100. We are targeting about 200 to 300 workers in Lagos Terminal alone.

“But, apart from job creation opportunities, the exportation of clinker by Dangote will position the country to participate fully in the Africa Free Trade Liberalisation Agreement when it comes into being, so that Nigeria will be protected against foreign products.

“It will also help the country compete effectively with every country that are in the business of exportation of clinker. At Dangote Cement, we are going about it aggressively and we are seeing it as an opportunity.”

Alhaji Sada said the company has also concluded plans to increase its clinker and cement export to other countries.

“This vessel, being the maiden ship is exporting 27,800 metric tonnes to Senegal and this is just a tip of the ice-berg as to what we have in plan.

“What we have in plan is to send clinker from Nigeria to Ivory Coast, Cameroon and Ghana. Cameroon as an example, takes about 82,000 metric tonnes every month.

“Our target is to export at least 4 million metric tonnes of clinker annually to various parts of Africa.

“That is our target that we hope to achieve within the next one to two years.

“This particular voyage is going to our sister company in Senegal. We have an integrated plant of 1.5 million tonnes and this one is expected to give the plant additional clinker that is required for the plant to sustain production.

“In the next one week or two, we are going to be shipping 82,000 metric tonnes to Cameroon in batches of about 25,000 to 29,000 metric tonnes per voyage,” he added.

Speaking on Dangote’s achievement, the Acting Director-General of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Chuma Oruche praised Aliko Dangote for leading the way in the export of product from Nigeria to other countries.

According to him, this feat by Dangote Cement is capable of boosting Nigeria’s foreign earning and reduce unemployment in the country.

He said: “The export of clinker by Dangote Cement at the weekend will definitely be beneficial to Nigerian economy in terms of export earnings, job creation and wealth creation for families connected with these achievements.”

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Banks to debit debtors accounts directly

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has released guidelines on Global Standing Instruction (GSI) that would enable banks to debit the account of loan defaulters without recourse to the account holders.

The CBN released the guidelines in Abuja on Monday.

According to the guidelines, the GSI will “serve as a last resort by a Creditor bank, without recourse to the Borrower, to recover past-due obligations.

The GSI will specifically target Principal and Accrued Interest only while “excluding any Penal Charges from a defaulting Borrower through a direct set-off from deposits/investments held in the Borrower’s qualifying bank accounts with participating financial institutions.”

The objectives of GSI, the CBN said, include facilitating an improved credit repayment culture; reducing Non-Performing Loans (NPLs) in the banking industry; and watch-listing consistent loan defaulters.

The types of accounts that qualify for GSI are Individual Savings Accounts; Individual Current Accounts; Individual Domiciliary Accounts; Investment/Deposit Accounts (Naira and Foreign Currency); and Electronic Wallets.

Henceforth, bank debtors are expected to execute a GSI mandate in hard copy or digital form; ensure that the terms and conditions of the mandate are clearly understood before execution; and ensure that all qualifying accounts are linked to his/her BVN.

According to the CBN: “In the event that a borrower’s qualifying account is not linked to his/her BVN, such BVN shall be Watch-Listed.”

The Creditor Bank, on its part, will ensure that borrowers are properly educated about the GSI mandate and its implications; and enshrine same in their loan application process.

Also, the banks are expected to “review and validate the GSI mandate instrument prior to loan disbursement.”

The banks are to indemnify Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System Plc (NIBSS) and other Participating Financial Institutions (PFI) from all liabilities that may arise from inappropriate use of the GSI infrastructure.

They are to also “retain copies of physical or digital version of the executed GSI mandate and to provide same when required. The banks are to ensure that the GSI Trigger Amount is only for outstanding Principal Amount and Accrued Interest (excluding ANY Penal Charges).”

The banks were ordered to comply with CBN’s Prudential Guidelines as it applies to the classification of loans; and as a risk management tool, the MD/CEO of each PFI “shall routinely update the Board of Directors on the GSI process as it relates to the frequency of use and amounts recovered or released.”

The guidelines note that PFI’s MD/CEO are not absolved of the overall responsibility over activities of the bank.

“Any loan for forbearance review must show evidence of GSI trigger otherwise full provisioning would be required (except where there are CBN permitted waivers),” the guidelines stated.

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Ecobank extends agric loan to 70,000 farmers

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Ecobank Nigeria has restated its commitment to the agricultural sector and is supporting over 70,000 farmers with special loans to increase their capacity and yields during this planting season.

This is one of the bank’s initiatives to promote entrepreneurship in the sector and is in support of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Anchor Borrowers programmes for the 2020 wet season with the Maize Growers, Processors and Marketers Association of Nigeria (MAGPAMAN)

Head, Agribusiness, Ecobank Nigeria, Mojisola Oguntoyinbo, announced this in Lagos while responding to media enquiries on the participation of the bank in the CBN scheme.

According to her, the initiative spreads across the 36 states and is one of the several concerted efforts on the part of the bank to support the government to create an ecosystem that gives smallholder farmers access to funding and the required support to increase food production in the country.

She noted that the scheme is designed to connect smallholder farmers with processors and off-takers within the agriculture value chain.

“We are creating opportunities in the agric sector that will help many smallholder farmers expand their business and become worthy employers of labour by adopting modern farming techniques for the betterment of our economy.

We are in strategic partnership with NIRSAL and some other developmental institutions to achieve our purpose.  We are also partnering the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in all its intervention schemes and programmes aimed at developing the sector.

Our relationships are generating positive activities across the entire agric value chain,” she said.

Ecobank has been actively leveraging entrepreneurship as a strategy to tackle poverty and growing unemployment, through the creation of relevant platforms.

One of such platforms is the Ecobank Xpress Point, the bank’s agency banking proposition which enables agents to carry out financial transactions on behalf of Ecobank and earn commission on transactions processed.

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Business

Bitcoin ATM machine unveiled in Lagos

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A Bitcoin ATM that will curb money laundering via Cryptocurrency has been unveiled in Lagos.

Mr Adekunle Daniel, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Blockstale, made this known on Friday, at a news conference in Lagos tagged: “The Impacts of CryptoCurrency (BITCOIN) on Traders and The Global Economy During this Pandemic Season and Thereafter.”

Blockstale is a principal developer and distributor of intuitive blockchain software and hardware components in Nigeria.

Through Blockstale, Nigeria’s first Bitcoin ATM was deployed on Jan. 12, and there are five now in Nigeria to be installed at Ajah, Lekki, Trade Fair and in Ogun.

The company’s mission is to distribute, facilitate and enhance Bitcoin ATM industry in Africa, by providing seamless and creative solutions, taking the industry beyond the usual trading (buy/sell/exchange) by offering creativities and providing additional income streams to their partners.

Daniel said: “Bitcoin is a digital currency that operates independently across national boundaries and sectors, which could be used as a form of trade, investment, payment and settlement.

“If anyone wants to send one thousand dollars to someone in the U.S, it would take three to five days for a wire transfer to come through, and it would attract around 50.00 dollars charges.

“Now with Bitcoin, one can send money instantly, and it would cost pennies.”

He said that with a remarkable number of different currencies, Bitcoin had eliminated the multiple charges and could save a lot of resources and cut unnecessary spending.

Daniel said that with the emergence of this innovation, Nigeria ranks the eighth country to experience the evolution of the Bitcoin ATM.

“This had brought global recognition to the country and continent at large,” he said.

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