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Industrialist calls for reform to deepen inclusive economic growth



Industrialist calls for reform to deepen inclusive economic growth


Lagos, March 12, 2019 Mr John Coumantaros, Chairman, Flour Mills Nigeria (FMN), says Nigeria needs to continue to implement reforms that will attract strategic investments to the agro-processing and manufacturing sectors to ensure a sustainable, broad-based economic growth.

Coumantaros, represented by Paul Gbedebo, Group Managing Director, FMN, said this on Tuesday in Lagos during the Nigerian Manufacturing and Equipment Expo (NME) and Nigerian Raw Materials Expo (NIRAM).

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the event was co-hosted by the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) and Raw Materials Research and Development Council (RMRDC).

The event organised by Clarion Event West Africa had the theme: “Optimising the value chain in the manufacturing sector to ensure sustainable growth and competitiveness.”

Coumantaros said he believed a lot of costs could be saved to encourage manufacturing competitiveness through optimisation of the value chains.

He noted that provision of enabling infrastructure, good governance and supporting policies was the foundational step to drive optimisation and competitiveness in the sector.

According to him, initiatives to improve optimal value chain performance are: developing sectoral value chain policy, and creation of a fast-track platform that provides access to trade and financial incentives, data, policy formulation, capacity building and markets for targeted sectors.

Coumantaros stressed the need to liaise with key players in various sectors on a series of policies, incentives and penalties that de-risk the cost of doing business by manufacturers.

“Whether it is in the manner in which they procure their raw materials and machinery or how they get their finished goods from the factories to the final consumer.

“It is also worth pointing out that access to longer-term lower interest financing is critical to investing in value chains that have a longer gestation period.

“So, the efforts, particularly of developmental financial institutions need to be sustained,” he said.

He advised manufacturers on their part to ensure that they not only abide by the rules of the game, particularly when incentives were offered, but to also invest in developing local capacity and talent pool that would make their investments sustainable.

According to him, optimising manufacturing value chain will promote the development of local industries – particularly Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and create economic linkages between Agriculture and Industry.

He said it would also build local capacity, capabilities and technologies, boost employment, minimise capital flight, engender foreign exchange stability and ultimately promote sustainable economic growth.

He noted that industrialisation acted as a catalyst that accelerated the rate of transformation and diversification of economies, saying that developing the manufacturing sector would move the country towards inclusive growth.


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Industrialist commends Gov. Obiano for relaxing lockdown  




An Anambra-based industrialist and Chairman of Orient Farms, Mr Godwin Ezeemo, on Wednesday commended the Anambra Government for gradually easing the lockdown of the state.

Ezeemo gave the commendation in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Umuchu, Aguata Local Government Area of the state.

He said that the relaxation of the lockdown would enable businesses to come back to life, especially agriculture which was necessary to ensure food security in the state.

“The lockdown was sudden; there was no soft measures in place by government before the issuance of the lockdown directive, and people were put in a tight corner.

“The relaxation has enable the people, especially farmers to gain quality sales of their farm produce to have balanced livelihood.

“Most of our farm produce like cucumber, okro and other vegetables as well as poultry produce are difficult to transport to customers in various markets in the state,” he said

NAN recalls that Gov. Willie Obiano, had on March 30 placed the state on lockdown which made it difficult for people in rural areas to transport their farm produce to the urban markets in the state.

He however announced the relaxation of the measure on April 25.

“With the relaxation of the lockdown, Obiano has resuscitated businesses that are at the verge of total collapse and achieved confidence of the people as it was taking toll on the people,” he added.

Ezeemo said that most private employers of labour hard disengaged some of their workers to avoid payment for unused labour.

He said government should make plans for allowances to support workers in times of natural disasters and emergencies such as lockdown.

The industrialist said that if government initiated such a plan, it would help reduce the negative impact of drastic policies on workers.

Edited By: Abiodun Esan/Ejike Obeta (NAN)



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Industrialist distributes palliatives to 10,000 households in Kwara 



Dr Kamoru Yusuf, an industrialist, has donated palliatives for 10,000 households in Kwara to cushion the effect of the lockdown occasioned by Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Yusuf is the Group Managing Director/CEO of KAM Holding, a leading manufacturer of Iron and Steel products in Nigeria.

NAN reports that the distribution of 10,000 bags of 5kg rice donated by Yusuf to communities in Kwara commenced in Ilorin, before moving to Oke-Onigbin and other villages in Isin Local Government Area of the state on Sunday.

Presentating the items, Alhaji Akinloye Ibrahim, who represented Yusuf, noted that the gesture would serve as palliatives to cushion the effects of lockdown imposed on the state to contain COVID-19 as well as the commencement of Ramadan fasting by Muslim faithful.

Ibrahim explained that the gesture was also aimed at supporting  widows, orphans, vulnerable and less privileged with no  discrimination on religion.

He advised beneficiaries to observe social distancing during collection, stressing that “we hope to continue to put smiles on the faces of the needy as part of our efforts toward giving back to the society by fighting hunger and poverty”.

One of the traditional rulers who received the donation on behalf of his community was Oba Kamaldeen Omotayo, the Onigbin of Oke-Onigbin.

The monarch thanked the industrialist cum philanthropist for the gesture, saying though he had always given to the needy, however, this year’s edition was very important because of the effect of COVID-19 pandemic.

“My people are happy with You. Though it’s your usual practice every year, coming at this time is very timely.

“The joy this donation has brought cannot be underestimated because people are asked to stay at home to stop the spread of the dreaded Coronvirus.

“We pray God Almighty will continue to uplift you and and your  business,” Oba Omotayo said.

On his part, the Olusin of Isanlu-Isin, Oba Solomon Oloyede, who prayed fervently for Yusuf, described the industrialist as a friend of the masses.

“Dr Yusuf is someone that has always identified with the masses, I am very pleased with the gesture on behalf of my people.

“We have asked them to stay indoors so as not to violate the lockdown order if not you could have seen the joy in them.

“The donation is coming at a very critical period of the year when the world is ravaged by the COVID-19 pandemic,” Oba Oloyede said.

The Olusin of Ijara-Isin, Oba Omoniyi Banigbe, in his reaction to the donation, thanked Yusuf for his outstanding gesture and described him as a philanthropist per excellence whose love for the masses remained firm and consistent.

One of the beneficiaries, Mr Aminu Olaitan, also confirmed that it was not the first time Yusuf would reach out to the people of the community especially during the festive period.

“During the Muslim festive period, he will reach out to people and do same to the Christians at the celebration season too.

“In fact, we have been expecting it because we knew he will touch the lives of many during this lockdown,” Olaitan said.

He however said urban residents were more in need of palliatives than those in the rural areas because the latter were predominantly farmers whose means of livelihood had not been seriously affected.

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Muhammad Suleiman Tola (NAN)

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COVID-19: Anambra industrialist donates N5m in fight against COVID-19




An Anambra Industrialist, Mr Kanayo Nwandu, has donated N5 million in support of the fight against Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the state.

Nwandu made the donation to the Enugwu-Ukwu Community of the state on Saturday at a ceremony in the Njikoka Local Government Area.

He said that the donation was his own little way to alleviate the hardship some people of  the community were passing through as a result of the sit-at-home directive of the State Government.

Nwandu, who is the Managing Director of Master Holdings Limited, urged the community to be strong as the challenges posed by COVID-19 would not last forever.

Igwe Ralph Ekpeh, the traditional ruler of the Community, while receiving the cash donation on behalf of the people, thanked Nwandu for his kindness.

He prayed God to continue to bless the Nwandu family for the great support they always rendered to the community at needed moments.

“Nwandu has always been supportive of this community’s development in various ways, just like the legacy his father left behind,” he said.

Chief Bonny Nkwoaku, President-General of Enugwu-Ukwu Community Development Union, commended the kind gesture and said that Nwandu was a worthy son of the community.

Nkwoaku called on other leaders and stakeholders in the community to emulate the foot prints of Nwandu and come to the aid of indigent people either by donating cash or foodstuff.

Chief Uche Nworah, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Anambra Broadcasting Service who was an indigene of Enugwu-Ukwu, said that such gesture would go a long way in meeting the peoples’ needs.

Nworah said that the support would complement the economic stimulus packages given by Gov. Willie Obiano to Anambra communities.

Mr Christian Beluchukwu, a native of the community commended the gesture and urged other wealthy people of the community to emulate same charitable act.

The News Agency of Nigeria recalls that Nwandu had previously donated the sum of N5 million to the Anambra State Government to help its fight against Coronavirus pandemic.

Edited By: Emmanuel Nwoye (NAN)

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COVID-19: Industrialist seeks bailout for firms



The Managing Director,  Geoelis Cables Ltd., Chief Elias Nwosu, has called on the Federal Government to develop and implement a bailout plan to assist indigenous firms remain in business in post COVID-19 era.

Nwosu made the call after donating N1million to Anambra government in support of its efforts at containing the spread of COVID-19 and cushioning the hardship of the people of the state.

The industrialist, who was represented by Mr Chukwubundu Ezebube, the Executive Director of the company, said deliberate policy must be put in place to avoid total collapse of the industrial sector.

He said there should be a bailout programme for firms as the resultant job loses would not be healthy for the economy.

“The last one month has not been easy for the private sector; you can see for yourself that nothing is happening, everything is at a standstill.

“For us in Geoelis Cables, we have not been producing; there are some machines that don’t go off but they have been down for more than three weeks, it will soon become difficult to pay tax and salaries.

“Government must work out a way to support the firms just as they are addressing the individuals or households.

“The industries are suffering, they need palliative to avoid possible collapse and you know what that means to the economy of the country,” he said.

Nwosu said the company made the donation after seeing the hardship the people were passing through as a result of the lockdown and in response to the government’s call for support.

He said that Anambra government required every assistance it could get to enable it contain the spread of COVID-19 and reach out to those in need.

“It is a clarion call which we have to respond to because government cannot do it alone. We have to all join hands to chase the disease out of Anambra and by extension out of Nigeria,” he said.

Edited By: Kevin Okunzuwa/Grace Yussuf (NAN)



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COVID-19: Constitute committee for support fund, Industrialist urges Makinde



An Ibadan-based industrialist, Chief Adegboyega Adegoke, has called on Gov. Seyi Makinde of Oyo State to emulate his other counterparts in the Southwest by constituting a committee for the Coronavirus Support Fund.
Adegoke made the call on Monday in an Easter message to Oba Saliu Adetunji, the Olubadan of Ibadanland, traditional leaders and the people of the state.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Adegoke, the Ajia Balogun Olubadan of Ibadanland, is the Executive Director, OES Energy Services Limited and its subsidiaries.
He said that the constitution of the committee would go a long way in encouraging more indigenes of the state, both at home and in the Diaspora, to donate to the fund.
Besides, he said that the committee, if constituted, would make the donation more open, transparent and encouraging for people to key into.
“I like to implore the state governor to constitute a committee for the COVID-19 Support Fund. People have been contributing but it is not as clear as those of other Southwest states.
“We don’t even know those who are managing the fund. There are such committees in Lagos, Ogun, Osun and Ekiti states. Even at the federal level, they have a committee that is managing the fund. But here in Oyo, we only see the account numbers.
“It is only the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor who is announcing the donations. Or is it a one-man committee?
“When people know the calibre of those involved, they will be encouraged to donate more. We need to be sincere and do something that will enable people to believe in whatever we are doing.
“There is no need giving room for doubt. The moment your subjects begin to doubt you, then, there is a problem. Be open and transparent in your actions. Let people see you and whatever you are doing,” he said.
He urged well-meaning individuals in the state to extend their generosity to the less-privileged at this trying period, saying “fingers are not equal.”
On the Infectious Disease Centre at Olodo in Ibadan, Adegoke said that people still believed the place was not ready yet.
According to him, government should let the people of the state know the condition of the place to demonstrate their seriousness.
“They should take journalists on facility tour of the place. They are the ones to disseminate the information to the people. They cannot do anything without carrying the media along.
“As a leader, you should let your followers know what you are doing. If you don’t, they will not be able to defend you when and where necessary. So, transparency and openness are key,” he said.
Adegoke implored Nigerians to adhere strictly to all the preventive measures reeled out by medical experts as well as government’s directives on the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Prevention is better than cure, and if we follow all the preventive measures, we will all come out of the pandemic stronger in no distant time.

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma and (NAN)‘Wale Sadeeq

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COVID-19: Industrialist charges Anambra billionaires to build landmark medical facility




An industrialist, Mr Godwin Ezeemo, has charged affluent people in Anambra to come together and build a landmark medical facility to confront the current COVID-19 medical emergency.

Speaking with reporters at his country home in Umuchu, near Awka on Friday Ezeemo said that the coronavirus pandemic had presented opportunity for rich Anambra people to pull their resources together to tackle the disease.

Ezeemo, who is Chairman of Orient Group of Companies, said there was need for affluent people in Anambra to shun their political differences and partner with the state government to make the difference in the lives of citizens.

According to him philanthropists in the state can build a landmark hospital to handle the prevailing medical emergency for the entire South East.

He noted that 100 Anambra indigenes could pull their resources together to build a  facility that would be a showpiece.

“Anambra is blessed with human and material resources to provide long-term intervention against any epidemic or related health emergency and provide a medical centre that can provide care during medical emergencies.

“If wealthy persons can look beyond political affiliations or self-glory, we can provide a health facility to meet any form of health challenge.

“I urge my fellow philanthropists to pull resources together for the common good of all.”

Ezeemo described coronavirus, which has dealt a huge blow to the global economy as a worrisome issue that needed tact and team work to handle.

He lauded the federal and Anambra governments for sensitizing the populace on the dangers of the disease.

“The State Government through its ministry of health has advised businessmen from the state going to China to reduce their trips and to hold regular medical checks.

He commended the state government for suspending all forms of social gathering and establishing isolation centres at Onitsha, Awkan and Nnewi as well as building surge centres at Ekwulobia and Umueri.

Ezeemo also called on traders, dealing in groceries to sell at reasonable prices to help fellow citizens.

“This is the time for us to show brotherhood and charity and not personal enrichment. People should see reason to help save humanity and not adding to the sorrows of their fellow human beings.”

Edited By: Ifeyinwa Okonkwo/Silas Nwoha


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Industrialist wants FG to invest more on renewable energy



Mr Simon Asite, a former President, Delta Association of Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (DACCIMA), has urged the Federal Government to invest more on renewable energy.

Asite told the Nigeria News Agency on Monday in Warri that the only way to curb the epileptic power situation in the country was through strong renewable energy.

He said the current power situation in the country was grossly affecting businesses, stressing that electricity was key to the overall development of the economy of any nation.

“The earlier the Federal Government began to explore alternative sources of power, the better for the country; China for instance, rely more on solar power to drive its industrial sector.

“In China for instance, most industries rely on solar energy, it is environmental friendly, it has no hydrocarbon and boost green economy.

“The Federal Government should take the expansion of alternative energy seriously, commit more fund into it like what China did.

“The world is changing and we should as well adapt to the changes and move along for the sake of future our nation.

“Government should appropriate much money into research and development of alternative energy for Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) and other industries to thrive,” Asite said.

The former DACCIMA president said SMEs were major drivers of the economy of any nation, adding that the operators need adequate electricity supply to sustain their businesses.

“All over the world, SMEs are the drivers of the economy, the greatest employer of labour. They contribute to the nation’s Gross Domestic Products (GDP),” he said.

Asite, however, urged government not to allow private investors to invest in renewable energy so as not to frustrate the initiative.

“The distribution companies awarded to private investors are only maximising profit, they are not providing the right services to the consumers, they are killing the industries,” he said.

Edited By: Celine-Damilola Oyewole/Olagoke Olatoye

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Olubadan mourns renowned industrialist, Are



The Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Adetunji has mourned the death of renowned industrialist and Laguna Bobajiro of Ibadan land, Dr Lekan Are.

This is contained in a statement signed by his Personal Assistant/Director of Media and Publicity, Mr Adeola Oloko, and made available to newsmen on Sunday.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Are, 86, passed on in the early hours of Saturday at the University College Hospital (UCH) in Ibadan during a brief illness.

Oba Adetunji described Are, a former President, Government College Ibadan Old Boys Association (GCIOBA) as a humanist and passionate lover of his fatherland per excellence.

He recalled that the last time he met the deceased was Sunday, Dec. 15, 2019, at the Ibadan Foundation Annual Dinner and Award ceremony held at Kakanfo Inn.

Adetunji said that the late Are personally took it upon himself to read the citation of one of the awardees, Dr Raymond Zard, at the occasion, which left everybody beaming with smile.

He prayed to God to give his family the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss, saying Are contributed his quota to the peaceful resolution of the chieftaincy crisis.

Edited by: Adeleye Ajayi

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Edo dry port to generate N24Bln, 15,000 jobs: Industrialist



An industrialist, Dr Charles Akhigbe, announced on Wednesday that the N6-billion dry port being built at Obaretin, near Benin in Edo would provide 15,000 jobs and generate N23.9 billion within 10 years.

Akhigbe, Chief Executive Officer of the AMES-Edo Inland Dry Port, made the disclosure at Obaretin when top officials of the Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC) visited the facility.

According to him, the port when fully operational will generate about N2.3 billion in its first year of operation.

He appealed to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) to hasten approval for the commencement of operational activities at the port.

Akhigbe said that FEC’s approval would fast-track investors’ appetite to do business in Nigeria and boost nation growth.

The industrialist said that huge revenues would be made from cargo and storage charges, container stuffing/stripping dues as well as other mandatory charges.

Mrs Ala Dublin-Green, Director of the South-South Zonal Coordinating Office of the NSC, assured that the Federal Government would soon grant approval for the commencement of services at the port.

She described the facility as a key project that would benefit the South-South geo-political zone and Nigeria at large.

Dublin-Green lamented, however, that bureaucracy was holding back the take-off of the facility, the building of which commenced in 2015.

She assured that obstacles and hindrances delaying the commencement of operational activities would be tackled soonest.

The Managing Director of Halcrow Infrastructure Ltd., Mr Tomiwa Aregbesola, described the project as an investment that must not be allowed to waste.

He described the project as an eye-opener, noting that a lot of work and investment had gone into the facility.

Aregbesola lauded Akhigbe and the Edo Government for the initiative.

Edited by: Silas Nwoha

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