Top 50 Brands: Dangote Now the Most Valuable Brand In Nigeria

Dangote has emerged the most valuable brand among the top 50 brands in Nigeria for 2018 which were unveiled at the weekend in Lagos.

This is coming barely three months after the brand was adjudged the most admired brand of African origin by Consumers in a brand rating coordinated by South Africa based Brand Leadership in conjunction with Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE).

Brand Nigeria, the Agency that coordinated the survey in Nigeria, in its report lauded the efforts of the handlers of the Dangote Brand because this is the first time a Nigerian brand would be achieving the feat since 2013.

Unveiling the list of the top 50 brands at an event attended by top executives of leading corporate organizations in the country as well as stakeholders in Marketing and Advertising Industry, Mr. Taiwo Oluboyede, the Head of Brand Nigeria explained that 46 percent of the top brands amounting to 23 are Nigerian brands.

Giving the highlights of the brands rating, he stated that Promasidor Nigeria Limited emerged the highest gainer jumping 15 points from last year, the followed by the trio of BUA, Nine Mobile and Olam all of which moved 12 points from last year position, while seven brands, Conoil, Channels TV, Union Bank, Access Bank, Chi, Toyota, and GTBank maintained their positions.

He stated further that Fidelity bank came as a first entrant this year and Stallion Group making a fresh return to the top 50 brands this having exited before.

The top 50 brands in Nigeria, Soboyede maintained are the brands that have succeeded in delivering their promises to the consumers. “They are fast growing in value and they are the drivers of our economy. The top brands this year are those that have been able to analyse needs, see opportunities by creating solutions to them and communicating same to the consumers.

“They have also become so good at it that the consumers often refer to them with the name of the need they meet that is their products or services. These brands have found how to deliver something special often times.”

Giving insights into how the evaluation of the top 50 brands was carried out, Soboyede said: “we used the Brand Strength Model (BSM index). It is model that measures a brand’s ability to deliver on its promise to the consumers from the consumer’s point of view. The model uses basic qualitative elements and there are seven variables that goes into the BSM model”.

According to the variables starts with a test of people’s knowledge and affinity with the brands operational in Nigeria. We had a top on the mind survey where people tell us brads that easily come to their mind or brand they can recall.

“Other variables in the model are innovation-this is a test how innovative a brand service delivery is; Quality-this checks some factors that enhance consumer’s confidence in product delivery; Category Leadership-this is a classification of brands within their industry; Online engagements-this checks how active the brand’s online platforms are and how engaging it has been from last evaluation; National Spread-this checks operational presence of a brand across the country.”

Chief Corporate Communication Officer of the Dangote Group, Anthony Chiejina said the management was not surprised at the ranking because the company has continuously deepened and delivered on its core values is to be a world-class enterprise that is passionate about the quality of life of the people and giving high returns to stakeholders.

“And this philosophy is driven by values, which include customer service, entrepreneurship, excellence and leadership. In any of our subsidiaries, the focus is to provide local, value-added products and services that meet the ‘basic needs’ of the populace. Through the construction and operation of large scale manufacturing facilities in Nigeria and across Africa, the Group is focused on building local manufacturing capacity to generate employment, prevent capital flight and provide locally produced goods for the people.

“The expansion of our business especially the Cement which has operations in 14 African countries including Nigeria, Benin, Ghana, Senegal, South Africa and Zambia, among others has added to popularity of our company and the products, Mr. Chiejina stated.

It would be recalled that back in July, the Dangote brand came atop in the ranking of 100 best brands in Africa themed “Brand Africa:100”, the sixth edition announced in Johannesburg, South Africa.

The Brand leadership in the ranking list said of Dangote brand “Nigerian industrial brand Dangote is the number one African brand recalled when consumers are prompted about the continent (Africa) of origin while the South African tele-communications brand MTN is the number one African brand spontaneously recalled irrespective of continent of origin.

The United States sports and fitness brand, Nike, is the overall brand in Africa spontaneously recalled by consumers.

The Brand Africa 100 ranking is based on a survey among consumers 18 years and older, conducted in 23 countries across Africa. The countries, representing all African economic regions, collectively account for 75% of the population and the 74% of the GDP of Africa.

African brands rose slightly to account for 17% of the Top 100 brands in Africa, non-African brands retained their firm position in Africa with 83% share of the Top 100 most admired brands in Africa. Brands from Europe leads the table with 40%, North America at 24% and Asia 19%.  West Africa 6% with only Nigerian brands and Southern Africa 6%.

The Top 100 is dominated by technology and electronic brands (29%), consumer (non-cyclical) (19%), apparel (15%), automobile (8%), food (7%) and sports & fitness (5%) categories are the top categories.

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Over 7 Million Children Across 22 States Benefit From Buhari’s School Feeding Programme, Says Osinbajo

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo (SAN), has disclosed that over 7 million primary school children in 22 states currently benefit from the school feeding programme.

Osinbajo stated this during a special session of the National Economic Council (NEC) focused on Human Capital Development, which held on Thursday at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.

The special session, which included officials of federal and state governments, was also attended by Alhaji Aliko Dangote, Chairman of the Dangote Foundation, and Bill Gates, Co-Chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The NEC is composed of all state governors and the CBN Governor under the chairmanship of the Vice President.

Osinbajo, in his speech said the Social Investment Programmes (SIP), which are a key component of the administration’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP), have made significant strides nationwide because of the administration’s political will and vision to make the needed investments, for today and the future.

His words: “Let me reiterate that not only are we painfully aware of the issues we are prepared to take the challenges you have outlined head-on. Nigeria has strong economic growth and development ambitions, encapsulated in our Economic Recovery and Growth Plan, which we launched in 2017.

“All of those lofty ambitions can only be achieved through the determined application of human skill and effort. And for that effort to be meaningful and productive it has to come from people who are healthy, educated, and who are and feel empowered.

“It is this realisation that has helped ensure that one of the primary planks of the ERGP is ‘Investing in our people’. And it is for this reason that we are expanding the reach and quality of our healthcare, through the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS); and working to guarantee basic education for all persons, whilst also upgrading and modernising the quality of secondary and post-secondary education.

“In 2016 we launched a Social Investment Programme – comprising a jobs scheme for unemployed graduates, a feeding programme for public primary school pupils, a micro-credit scheme for small businesses, and a cash transfer scheme for our poorest and most vulnerable households. This Social Investment Programme, a key component of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan, and the most ambitious in Nigeria’s history, aims to ensure that no one is left behind; that Nigeria’s wealth is more equitably distributed to its vulnerable populations: young and old, male and female, regardless of where in the country they live or what language they speak. ”

Further highlighting the successes recorded, Prof. Osinbajo said, “The school feeding programme currently serves over 7 million school children, across 22 of Nigeria’s 36 states, and continues to grow as more States sign up for it. Apart from the health outcomes – children free from malnutrition and stunting – there are also important educational and economic benefits as well. By guaranteeing one hot meal a day to these children the scheme has pushed school enrolment rates upwards in many of the communities in which it is being implemented.

“Our cash transfer programme, which we’re delivering with the support of the World Bank, makes it imperative for beneficiaries to fulfil certain conditions relating to health or education, before they can receive their monthly stipends. These conditions range from mandatory ante-natal care for pregnant women, to mandatory immunisations for nursing mothers, to minimum school attendance rates for parents of school-age children.

“N-Power, as the jobs-for-graduates component of the Social Investment Programme is known, deploys young Nigerians to work as health and teaching assistants, bringing healthcare and education to more people across the country. We have 200,000 young Nigerians already engaged, and this year we intend to scale that up to 500,000. But the more importantly we are leveraging on the creativity and innovation of our young people.”

While describing Gates and Dangote as committed and valued philanthropic and development partners, the Vice President thanked them for “uniquely deploying huge resources and innovation through social enterprise to solving some of the most challenging issues of human development that we face today.”

Dangote noted that human capital was a critical component of Nigeria’s future economic growth.

He said the country has largely achieved growth by extracting natural resources and building on that through physical infrastructure.

He said, “For Nigeria to truly compete globally, we must prioritize investments in the health, education and opportunity of our people alongside other critical areas like infrastructure. Together, these are the inputs that will make Nigeria richer.”

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Dangote Cement Gives Multi-Million Naira Scholarship To 115 In Host Communities

In a major boost to its Corporate Social Responsibility profile, Dangote Cement Plc, Ibese Plant has announced a multi-million Naira educational scholarship award for 115 students from its 15 host communities for the 2017/2018 academic session.

The Company said the scholarship has become an annual event meant to contribute to the educational development of the people and the area and position them in right place in the scheme of things in Ogun state and Nigeria in general.

Acting Plant Director of Dangote Cement, Ibese, Mr. Louis Raj, while speaking during the presentation of cheques to the beneficiaries at Ibese Plant explained that the management decided to increase the number of beneficiaries to 115 from the previous 80 so that more children of the area could benefit.

He also said the decision was meant to encourage the young ones to go to school as a sure way of building them mentally and morally so that they be good to themselves and the society.

According to him, the scholarship award is just one of the many Social Services the Company has committed itself to and continue to provide other social services as a way of giving back to the society within which it operates.

Mr. Raj stated that the scholarship award and other CSR projects were being undertaken as a way of saying thanks to the people for maintenance and sustenance of peace in the area pointing out that it was the prevailing atmosphere of peace that make the company to operate smoothly.

He expressed the management gratitude to the royal fathers and other community leaders whose efforts have accounted for the peace and tranquility, noting that the company would wish the spirit of peaceful coexistence continues.

The General Manager, Government and Community Relations, Joseph Alabi while giving the breakdown of the scholarship said the award covered 115 students of Yewa origin studying various courses across several higher institutions of learning in the country.

Some of the schools where the beneficiaries are studying include Polytechnics, Universities, College of Educations, College of Technologies, and secondary schools scattered across Ogun state.

Alabi also announced a list of candidates from the host communities who have been selected to attend Dangote Academy for training in various arts and vocations pointing out that the training will equip them with wherewithal to work and do their own business whenever they chose to.

“In Dangote Group, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) to our communities is our watchword and focus. Giving scholarships, construction of roads and drainages, provision of transformers and other projects to connect communities to national grid, among others are what will do every year. We award scholarships to communities in order to give the communities part of wealth being created.”

“I think everything is not about money but the main benefit is to provide them the opportunity to have better education and in the future, if they are good students, well-qualified, we will also offer them opportunities to work here at Ibese Cement Plant. This is part of CSR to ensure good relations, good partnership with our communities,” he added.

In his remark, the Olu of Imasayi, Oba Gbadebo Oni said the host communities are happy with Dangote Cement with its handling of community issues, saying Alhaji Aliko Dangote deserves all the cooperation his people could muster for citing the cement plant in their land and then taking care of the people and the communities.

He promised that his people would continue to give peace a chance always because to whom much is given, much is expected. The Monarch said the education scholarship is the best thing that has happened to the host communities because the issue of quality education cannot be quantified in monetary terms.

The scholarship according to him, has offered a big relief to parents who have to struggle so much to ensure their children school fees are paid, saying they will forever be grateful to the management of Dangote cement.

It would be recalled that the company had some years ago instituted scholarships for the indigenes of any of the host communities in any higher institution and secondary schools with the management saying it was poised to making life more meaningful to all members of the host communities with a promise to ensure that all projects meet the specific need of each community.

Also, the Dangote Cement Plc, Gboko factory in Benue State had also given out N20 million worth of scholarships to indigent students from the firm’s host community, Mbayion, as part of its CSR in the last one year.

The Group also emerged Nigeria’s best Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Company according to a survey by Governance Advancement Initiative for Nigeria (GAIN), an NGO.

Dangote was the adjudged overall winner among 25 Nigerian and multinational companies operating in the country in 2016, scoring 6.3 per cent, followed by Nestle with 5.51 per cent and Etisalat with 5.45 per cent.

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Dangote’s Sokoto Rice Factory Ready This Year

The Dangote Rice Processing Mill, with a production capacity of 250,000 metric tonnes per annum, will be ready in Sokoto State this year.

The Group Executive Director, Stakeholders Management and Corporate Communications of Dangote Group, Mr. Mansur Ahmed, made this known during a visit to Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal in Sokoto.

 “We have already identified 27 hectares of land suitable for the project while our civil engineers are already on ground. Our plan is to start the construction next week which will take six months to be completed.

 “Some components of the machinery needed have already arrived the country while others are expected within the next two to three weeks.

 “We are hoping to commence production before the end of this year to the tune of 32 metric tonnes per hour and 250,000 metric tonnes per annum,” he added.

 Ahmed said Dangote Industries will soon transport all the milling to Sokoto as installation process are quickened.

In his remarks, Governor Tambuwal assured the Dangote Group of his administration’s cooperation towards to successful take off of the project.

He said plans have been completed to pay compensation to land owners while the certificate of occupancy and other title documents will be ready in a matter of days.

“We are urging investors from far and near to come and invest in Sokoto because we have favourable policies and friendly population that will maximize return on investment,” he added.

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Dangote Refinery Returnee Graduate Engineers Promise An End To Fuel Scarcity When Refinery Takes Off

Returnee indigenous India trained Graduate engineers of the Dangote Refinery have promised to deploy the knowledge and skills acquired during the training to ensure Nigeria is saved the embarrassment of fuel scarcity when the refinery come on stream.

The engineers who described their experience as second to none in the history of Nigeria oil and gas sector said never again would Nigeria experience fuel scarcity as the Dangote refinery would be operated in the most efficient manner.

Dangote Oil Refinery Company had in preparation for take off sent in batches local Graduate s engineers to Bharat Refinery in India, arguably the biggest in the world for training in refinery operation and production.

Reliving their experience to the management of the copy on return one after another, at the Refinery premises at Lekki, Lagos the engineers said they had both theory and practical training in India and they are also having a very rare opportunity to witness a refinery of the Dangote’s size being built from the scratch.

Opeyemi Oyedepo, Process engineer and Igwe John, petroleum and gas engineer told the management how they are made to be part of trouble shooting during their training, a development that has boosted their confidence that Dangote Refinery with most modern facilities will eradicate perennial fuel scarcity in Nigeria.

Speaking further on the benefits of the training to Dangote Refinery, the engineers stated that the company would henceforth enjoy increased value of human asset; improved ability to implement and realize specific goal within timeframe.

The Graduate engineers also listed as part of the benefits efficient refinery operations and adherence to quality and standard.

In his comment, Technical Adviser to Dangote Refinery, Engr. Babajide Soyode expressed satisfaction that the best of the graduate engineers were selected as attested to by the the trainer’s in India.

He said the management was proud of the engineers as they have displayed a thorough understanding of what they learnt in India.

On the choice of India for the training, Engr Soyode said India has the biggest refinery in the world and are ready to train young engineers unlike the disposition in Europe and other part of the Western world.

The company’s Director of Human Capital Management and Project Support, Mohan Kumar, while presenting the returnee engineers said the company is laying a solid foundation for take off with the training of the engineers.

He said the young engineers were trained at Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd. in India on how to manage the operations of the refinery.

Kumar added that the engineers had gathered fundamental practical knowledge about refinery.

According to him, the engineers are recruited and trained to witness the building of the refinery from scratch. He said the engineers spent two months in classroom training and three months on the job training.

Kumar explained that the engineers were trained by experts who had over 45 years experience in refinery operations, stressing that the training became imperative due to the commitment of Dangote Group to promote local content by developing indigenous capacity.

He stated that “the engineers are expected to also transfer the skills acquired to other Nigerians when the refinery comes on stream”.

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Osun Seals Dangote Quarry Over N1.5bn Tax Default

The Osun Board of Internal Revenue Service, OIRS Thursday sealed a Dangote Quarry located at Ajebandele, Ayedaade local government area of the state.
The tax enforcement team which was led by the Special Adviser to Governor Rauf Aregbesola on Tax and Revenue Matters, Barr. Gbenga Akano and the officials of Osun Internal Revenue Service arrived at the quarry as early as 6:30am, sealing the entrance to the site.
The Dangote quarry is said to have defaulted in tax to the tune of N1.5bn according to documents seen by this newspaper.
It was gathered that the company has been allegedly evading tax since it started operation on the land many years ago.

Explaining what transpired, Akano said the company was owing about N1.5 billion tax.

According to Akano, several letters have been written to the company but yielded no result.

Meanwhile, some private local security operatives suspected to be members of Oodua People’s Congress (OPC) attacked the tax enforcement team led by Barr. Gbenga Akano. Akano said the team had gone to the quarry but was initially  prevented by the suspected OPC members, numbering about 30 men.

He added that the private security operatives allegedly shot at the officials of the IRS, seized their phones and gadgets and harassed them.

He said the officials phones and gadgets were seized and they were harassed by the OPC. However, a detachment of policemen from the Osun State Command brought everything under control.

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Nigeria’s Downstream Top 10: Adenuga, Tinubu, Dantata, Ogah Lead the Pack

The Top10 magazine, Nigeria’s foremost publication that celebrates the top of the best in all areas of endeavor, has come out with a list of Nigeria’s top 10 indigenous oil tycoons fueling the country, under the title, “Nigeria’s Downstream Top 10”.

The latest edition of the magazine focuses on the top 10 players in the downstream sector of the Nigerian oil and gas industry, with emphasis on their stakes and investments in the sector.

Top on the list are telecom and oil magnate, Dr. Mike Adenuga, Chairman, Conoil Nigeria Plc; Wale Tinubu, Group Managing Director, Oando Plc; Sayyu Dantata, Group Chairman, MRS Holding, owners of MRS Plc; Femi Otedola, Chairman, Forte Oil and Zenon Oil and Uche Sampson Ogah, Founder of Masters Energy Oil and Gas, a subsidiary of Masters Energy Group.

Others on the list are Dapo Abiodun, Founder, Heyden Petroleum Nigeria Limited; Best Anekwe, Chairman of NIPCO; Gabriel Ogbechie, Chief Executive Officer, Rainoil Nigeria Limited; Nkechi Obi, Executive Vice Chairman, TechnOil Nigeria Limited and Mahmud Tukur, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Eterna Oil Plc.

Mr. Tony Iji,  publisher of  The Top10,  said in a release that, “In line with our tradition of celebrating 10 leading lights in every sector of the society, this edition of the magazine   focuses on the top 10 Nigerian oil investors driving the value chain of the downstream sector of the industry”. He said the major criteria for selection were market leadership of the operators, investment in infrastructure, as well as contribution to industry growth and economic development of Nigeria.

“It’s our considered view that the aspiration of the federal government to make petroleum products available across the country would have been a mirage without the necessary cooperation and collaboration of the downstream operators who have invested massively in all areas of the downstream operation to ensure product availability”.

He said as the primary driver of the Nigerian economy, the oil sector deserves special attention, hence the decision to celebrate investors who represent a positive force towards the actualization of the aspiration of value chain optimization through investment in the industry.

“Our intention, therefore, is to identify and celebrate the top 10 market leaders who have made the difference in the optimization of the Nigerian downstream petroleum value chain”, Iji said. “These market leaders comprise oil tycoons with huge stakes and massive investments to build enormous operating capacities in various aspects of the business, fr0m processing and storage, to distribution and sales”.

 

 

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Unemployment: Dangote Employs Youth Graduate For Rice Farming In Kogi

A multi-million Naira Youth Farming Initiative that will engage teeming unemployed Nigerian graduates in rice farming has been launched by the Dangote Rice Limited in Kogi State.

This is even as the Company prepares to hit the market with One million metric tons of Dangote rice in 2018.

The Dangote Youth Rice Farm project, mainly an out-grower scheme for youths only was flagged off at the Lower Niger River Basin Authority, Kampe, Ejiba in Yagba West local government area of the state where youth have embarked on rice cultivation over 100 hectares of land.

The rice farm project, which was preceded by a special training for the youth farmers on the dynamics of the rice farming, will see the youths cultivating the rice paddy on a 100 hectares of land, which will then be bought over by the company for processing.

Under the scheme, the Dangote Rice Company provides the seedling, anti-pest-chemicals, and fertilizers while the Basing Authority provided the land for the young farmers.

The management of Dangote Rice led by the Group Executive Director, Mr. Devakumar Edwin flagged off the project while taking delivery of some rice paddy bags produced from the pilot project.

Mr. Edwin explained that the project is a new dimension to the efforts by the pan-African conglomerate, the Dangote Group, at ensuring food security and creating job opportunities in Nigeria especially for the youths saying this Initiative is in line with the vision and commitment of Dangote Industries Limited to create a new generation of agri-preneur that will revolutionize the Nigerian agricultural sector.

“We believe skill, knowledge, enabling environment, collaboration and linkages along the value chain are driving forces for economic empowerment and social development in line with the Federal Government policies. This project will address the skills gap in local rice production among unemployed youths by providing technical, organisational and financial requirements.”

He said it would also enhance domestic rice production to cover the large gap between demand and domestic production and to increase self-sufficiency of Nigeria and substitute imported rice by quality Nigerian rice brands.

Mr. Edwin disclosed that most modern rice mills in Nigeria presently operate at not more than 20% capacity utilization due mainly to lack of good quality paddy and that Dangote Rice aimed to change this situation developing and adapting out-grower schemes. According to him, the Dangote Rice Company plans to set up a 150,000 metric tons integrated rice mill and sale one million mt of parboiled rice by 2018.

The Dangote Group boss stated that the decision of the management to start the project was driven by two factors, one of which is the need for youth employment through empowerment to go into agriculture. “The youths are more vulnerable to crimes and other social vices when they have nothing to engage them and this in turn affect the nation negatively.

“The second factor is the need to strengthen the on-going efforts at producing rice for self-sufficiency so that we can save foreign exchange. By the time we will be doing one million metric tons of rice next year, no less than three million jobs would been created along the value chain.”

Mr. Edwin said the Kogi pilot project will cover four season of two years and will be launched in four other states soon.

In his own remark, the Managing Director of Dangote Rice, Mr. Robert Coleman urged the youth farmers to concentrate on the project and pay attention to details so that they would come out with good paddy yield.

He congratulated the farmers for the decision to partner with Dangote Rice noting that they have a solid source of livelihood for themselves and members of their families if they give their all for the success of the scheme.

The Coordinator of the youth farmers, Umar Etudaye thanked the management of Dangote Rice for believing in them and engaging them for the project. He promised that they would deliver on the mandate given to them on the project.

He stated that the scheme is a practical step towards nation building because it’s the youths, who constitute 40 per cent of the population, would build the nation and only the youths that are empowered and gainfully employed could do that.

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Why Nigeria’s Economy Is Working Under Buhari – Osinbajo

The Buhari Presidency is making specific efforts to enable the private sector to thrive specifically by undertaking extensive ‘ease of doing business’ reforms, in addition to on-going investment in infrastructure, says Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN.

Prof Osinbajo stated this today at the Financial Times Africa Summit holding at the Claridge’s Mayfair Hotel in London noting that the government of President Muhammadu Buhari in the past months has been working assiduously to improve macroeconomic conditions.

“After a continuous slide in growth since 2014, the trend of growth in GDP has turned around with a modest growth of 0.55% in the second quarter of this year while inflation, though still somewhat high, has declined from its peak of 18.7% in January 2017 to about 16% today,” he stated.

Speaking to a global audience made up of international business leaders, investors, public sector officials, media gurus and intellectuals, the Vice President noted that ‘the outlook going forward is quite positive based on improvements in oil prices and production and the trend of leading indicators such as positive purchasing managers indices, a revived stock exchange and increasing foreign exchange reserves.

Highlighting some of the efforts of the Buhari Presidency in agriculture and power, the Vice President drew attention to the significant progress achieved in the ease of doing business initiative of the Federal Government stating that “in the first stage, reforms were introduced under a 60-day national action plan focused on eight areas that make it easier to register businesses, obtain construction permits, get credit, pay taxes, get electricity, trade across borders, facilitate entry and exit of people and register property.”

Continuing, Prof Osinbajo said  “practical examples of success include leveraging the use of technology to fast track business registration and payment of taxes, a functioning, tried and tested 48-hour electronic visa procedure, and an Executive Order mandating greater transparency and efficiency across all government agencies. The reforms have led to reduction in cost and time, as well as greater transparency for small and medium sized enterprises in particular.”

“Following the 70% success rate achieved in the first phase of the ease of doing business reforms, we recently embarked on a second national action plan which will have 11 areas of focus and will run for 60 days from October 2017,” he added.

The Vice President equally noted that Nigeria is an investor’s delight because of the opportunities which the Nigerian economy offers, specifically emphasizing that “the opportunities are enormous indeed.”

He added that the Buhari administration is “nevertheless determined and optimistic that Nigeria will along with the rest of the continent bring about an Africa that works for all its people and contributes to global growth and prosperity.”

During his keynote address, the Vice President observed that the theme ‘What Africa Works’, is appropriate and remarked that with Africa’s experience in the past few years, it is clear that “what makes Africa work, is what makes economies work any where; honest visionary leadership and good governance, letting the private sector and markets lead,  diversification from resource based revenues, developing the potential of the human resources available.”

The Vice President noted that Africa “can demonstrate with clear examples that what makes Africa work are the ingenuity and resilience of the people, especially its 70% youth population,  leadership and good governance, allowing the private sector and markets to function, focusing on infrastructural development, and the incredible opportunities that abound.”

The summit was also attended by a number of Nigerian dignitaries including Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State, the Emir of Kano, HRH Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, the Minister of Information and Culture Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, and Mr. Yemi Cardoso among others.

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Dangote Denies Getting Tax Holiday For Road Construction

Dangote group has debunked the allegation that the company will benefit from a 10-year tax holiday after constructing the 35 kilometres Apapa to Oworonshoki highway end of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.

Group Executive Director, Strategy, Portfolio Development and Capital Projects, Dangote Industries Limited, Mr. Devakumar Edwin, made this known at a media briefing in Lagos on Monday.

According to him: “It is very painful when some people accuse our company of benefitting 10 years’ tax rebate from the government. There is nothing like tax credit in all these. We volunteered to construct the Apapa to Oworonshoki long highway at a cost that will be about 15 to 25 per cent less than the lowest bid on the road…We hope to get back our money after three years by removing the sum from the tax we are supposed to pay.”

He explained that the company proposed to the government to reduce 50 per cent of the total cost of the road, from its proposed tax, on its first year after completion and 25 per cent of the costs respectively for two years from its proposed tax.

“The government came forward and said, ‘you guys are repairing the road. Good enough but this road is very important to all Nigerians…Is it possible to help us do proper road construction of 35 kilometers from Apapa to Oworonshoki? ‘We advised the government to go for a competitive bidding and also that we will take it up at a costs that will be lower than the lowest bid received by the government…Since the government may not be handy with cash, we proposed that we will recover our money in three years in installments against our future tax, so in fact, the government will not pay anything to us, we will only offset our costs against our three years tax, so government will not pay us a dime for the road and it is not as if we are not paying tax.”

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Africa Is Positioned To Become Food Basket Of The World, Says Dangote

African richest man and President of Dangote, Alhaji Aliko Dangote has said that Africa is positioned to become the food basket of the world.

In a packed room at the headquarters of global law firm Shearman and Sterling LLC high level business leaders and international diplomats invited by the Corporate Council for Africa to hear Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, and Rwandan president Paul Kagame openly converse on Africa’s opportunities and challenges.

Both leaders underscored the ongoing movement to diversify African economies.

In the case of  Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy, Dangote stated “we should pray that oil prices remain low. This helps wean us off the dependency on revenues from petroleum. We must take oil to be the icing on the cake. We already have the cake,” he added.

In addition to agriculture Dangote cited Nigeria’s vast mineral resources and gas as well and the need to manufacture more goods locally for domestic consumption. Both he and President Kagame cited continued need for heavy investments in education and connected the need for young people to be well trained for the jobs of tomorrow.

Dangote predicted that “five of the twelve million jobs needed in Africa soon must be created in Nigeria.”

Dangote’s fortune which stems from cement, sugar, and other household commodities has expanded into fertilizer and other processed high-value goods. “Technology of course helps us a lot and our factories are state of the art with the use of robotics but we shouldn’t be overly tech oriented to create wealth,” he told investors.

Mr. Dangote who is often cited as one of the most inspiring business leaders in the world today and a model for young entrepreneurs offered advice to Americans who tend to rely on outdated news and wrong perceptions of Africa, “Don’t be lazy. Go there and find the real story for yourself. Things have changed.”

Dangote noted the Rwanda success story where he has business interests as an example of positive change, good governance and leadership, and where corruption has been cured. He cited a personal experience of offering a $100 US tip for services at the Kigali Airport to staff who refused to take money for work they were paid to do. President Kagame was praised for delivering the environment for growth he promised. “There is nothing African about corruption,” the Rwandan president added.

The session was moderated by Rosa Whitaker, former US Trade Representative and author of the AGOA (African Growth Opportunity Act), whose business consultancy is credited for helping both African governments and US companies develop commerce.

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Dangote Urges Citizens To Report Reckless Truck Drivers

The Management of Dangote Industries Limited has launched a passionate appeal to members of the public to assist in monitoring both the recklessness and the illegal haulage of contraband goods by some of his truck drivers.

The company has also set up hotlines for the public to call in and report such truck drivers, with a promise to appropriately compensate calls that lead to arrest of errant drivers.

Noting that the trucks belonging to Dangote Cement are only allowed to carry cement, high grade gypsum and coal, those belonging to Dangote Sugar (NASCON) are authorized to carry only salt and Dan Q seasoning.

Press release from the company also revealed that trucks belonging to Agro Sacks, the bags producing arm of Dangote Group, can only carry bags, belonging to Dangote flour Mills, Wheat, Flour and Danvita.

“The Management of Dangote Industries Limited hereby alerts the public to report any suspected Dangote truck driver involved in illegal haulage. Please call Dangote Industries Management hotline on all information regarding illegal haulage activities on 08070188000, 01-2123567, 08170023846, 08152093133 and or email us at CustomerCare@Dangote.com”.

Dangote Management also issued a stern warning to those illegally transporting unauthorized goods through its trucks. “Dangote Industries Limited also wishes to warn those that illegally transport materials on Dangote trucks that such unauthorized goods, when found, shall be confiscated and such owners prosecuted to the full extent of the law”.

It would be recalled that the company recently intercepted one of the company’s truck loaded with contrabands in Ibadan, arrested the drivers and handed them over the Nigerian customs for further investigations and prosecutions.

The arrest was effected by a crack team of the Company’s security personnel led by its Chief Security Officer who acted on intelligence, bordering on misconduct by some of its drivers.

While handing over the drivers and his motorboy to the Customs Authority, Assistant General Manager, in charge of Security Services, CSP Ali Garba explained that the company has a surveillance section that monitors all his trucks and drivers’ activities.

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