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BOI, NILEST, others meet to expand Nigeria leather market amidst Pomo ban



By Omolola Dede Adeyanju

Nigeria leather Industry is set to get bigger as Industry experts converged to discuss synergy, strategies for strengthening the value chain pipeline and achieve expansion scales for the leather market in Nigeria. This took effect at the three-day Lagos Leather Fair themed: ‘Staying Ahead,’ which was successfully concluded yesterday in a bid to create a platform for the industry’s extension.

The Group Head, Agro processing, Bank of Industry (BOI), Hadiza Tukur-shuaib in a panel session of Industry builders, expressed the bank’s concern for the Nigerian economy in respect to every industry, stating the bank’s functions on not only financing businesses to scale through but also occasioning opportunities for businesses to thrive.

She explained, “Considering the challenges and rigour of securing loans from Commercial banks, BOI is partnering over 300 service providers in order to ensure loans are easily accessible for business. The partnership is subsidised to reduce cost and gives tailored solutions to individual needs, equipment financing, funding and market access. BOI will also support customers to participate in different aspects of trade.”

As regards the leather market, Hadiza enumerated that there should be policies to monitor and limit the exportation of leather in order to make it affordable and available for manufacturers as well as end users.

“There should be synergy among producers of raw materials, finished leather works and exporters to enhance a solid value chain,” she said, noting the relevance of LLF as a platform to showcase leather products and create expected partnership for the Industry’s expansion.

According to the Founder Lagos Leather Fair (LLF), Creative Director, ‘FemiHandbags,’ Femi Olayebi, “Since its inception in 2017, LLF has brought together, established designers to emerging talent, as well as Industry builders. LLF 2023 is a melting pot of creativity, where traditional techniques intertwined with contemporary design Made-in-Nigeria and by extension, Made-in-Africa break the rules and shatter expectations. This year’s event featured an exclusive masterclass to pitching sessions and solo runway shows. Also featured were interactive workshops and informative panel discussions with Industry experts.”

Meanwhile, the DG/CEO Nigeria Institute of Leather and Science Technology (NILEST), Zaria, Prof. M.K Yakubu represented by Director Academy and Planning, NILEST, Dr Jerry Tagang submitted, “We are endowed with talents but we have to harness our talents to make competitive products. Training and research is sacrosanct for us in the leather Industry to compete in AFCFTA.

“Government is trying to develop common facility Centre for smart Footwear and give manufacturers access to raw materials, one is in Abba and another in Kano. The government have a big role to ensure facilities are available to grow businesses. There are established agencies for protection of brands/ copy offices called NOTAB giving intellectual right to people coming up with ideas or products. GET Intellectual Property (IP) protection for the protection of your ideas first.

“We are coming up with guidelines on how to standardise your products we work in conjunction with Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON) to give standards to leather shoes. We will have one standard and certificate that can be tendered anywhere in West Africa for your products. We are also coming up with second hand shoe Standard proposal.”

In his view, multi-award winning, CEO/Founder of Fashions Finest Africa, Sola Oyebade also known as Mr Mahogany said the quality of Nigeria’s leather products are improving greatly.

“Nigerian leathers are among the best in the world.” Citing a solution for expansion of the Industry, he revealed, “Collaboration is the key and it is a black man’s problem, makers of leather collaborating with producers of leather products with associations can aid in expansion.”

Divisional Head, Corporate banking, Providus Bank, Dr. Jones Olufunke said creating awareness of Nigeria leather is imperative.

“Let’s document our vision and make a case for what we want to see. There should be incentives and skills development. A start doesn’t necessarily have to be slow. With industry financiers, there can be shared costs to reduce cost and make our products affordable for Nigerians. For Exportation, market access improvement, this is where consultants come in to help you create a market majorly online, they help you upscale your skills and make you fit for the market space. Let us dare to use the tech advantage.”

Senior Economist, Nigerian Economic Summit Group, Wilson Erumebor, examined the Industry’s research challenges.

“There are success stories in music, art, in Nigeria. Our approach is why we aren’t getting results we want. Also basically, infrastructure, power supply and skills development, not creating innovative products for the market are some other challenges. We are not paying enough attention to export opportunities for refined leather and investment in skill development at the local level. How many people can access the subsidised loans? And commercial banks request you pay 30 percent interest on loans.”

The Director, Business Innovation Accelerator (BIA), Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship, Lagos Business School, Dr Henrietta Onwuegbuzie, in view of leather associations in Nigeria, maintained that there should be rewards for leather association members and inclusion of youths to the management team. She advised to create a transparent platform for how funds or finances are used and a change in the communication styles, thereby giving more visibility to the associations online in order to get more youth inclusion.


Chivita Hollandia unveils new Hollandia pack designs



Chivita Hollandia (CHI Limited), one of the top ten Fast Moving Consumer Goods Players in Nigeria recently unveiled new pack designs for its Hollandia range of Products.

The new pack designs reflect the premium image and high quality of the Hollandia brand, which offers a range of Value-Added Dairy Products across multiple segments – Evaporated Milk, Drinking Yoghurt, UHT Milk and Lactose Free Milk. The company also launched a new flavour into its Hollandia Yoghurt portfolio, Vanilla. 

The new Hollandia pack design features the new Hollandia logo, which is enclosed in a seal signifying the stamp of high quality that the Hollandia brand is very well known for.  

The new pack also displays the company’s new heritage as “A Product of the Coca-Cola Family” since the full acquisition of Chivita Hollandia (CHI Limited) by The Coca-Cola Company in 2019.  

Since then, the company has invested over $125 million to further upgrade the quality and sustainability of its facilities.

Managing Director, Chivita Hollandia (CHI Limited), Mr. Eelco Weber remarked, “We are currently the largest beverage carton packaging manufacturing site in Sub-Saharan Africa. Next month we will install Lines 49 and 50. 

“We have more than 4,500 employees responsible for making sure that only the best products reach our consumers daily. As we head towards producing two billion packs yearly, we remain committed to ensuring that our consumers receive nothing but the best.”

He further added, “We are very passionate about sustainability and protecting the environment. As part of our sustainability roadmap, we changed our energy generation to cleaner alternatives over the last year. 

“We are also constantly looking to empower used beverage carton recyclers, which is why we tripled our collection rate in 2023 in comparison to last year. 

“Our aim is to reduce our carbon footprint and positively impact the environment for generations to come. As one of the major FMCG Companies, we commit to continuing our role to drive sustainability in Nigeria.”

Speaking on the new Hollandia pack design, Marketing Director, Chivita Hollandia (CHI Limited), Mrs. Toyin Nnodi, highlighted the newly introduced Dairy Power stamp on the packaging. 

She stated that, “The new design reinforces the brand’s promise to provide dairy power to its consumers. The stamp validates that Hollandia products contain the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients from dairy, which gives consumers the Dairy Power they need to stay ahead in their daily activities.”

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Paint manufacturers receive 15 strategies to thrive



By Omolola Dede Adeyanju

The Paint Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (PMAN) in response to economic challenges has received critical strategic initiatives in order to thrive in a constantly evolving marketplace. 

The initiatives were recommended at the association’s 32nd Annual General Meeting by the guest speaker, Principal Partner of Tomflims Associates International Limited, Hon.Ogundimu Leke lectured on the theme: ‘Post Fuel Subsidy Removal- Survival Strategies for Pains Manufacturers’.

Speaking, Hon.Ogundimu said, “According to the June edition of Nigeria Development Update, petrol subsidy has grown to be a huge fiscal burden on Nigeria’s economy as it increased from 1.1% of total revenue in 2020 to 32.4% in 2022 overshadowing budget allocations for health, education and social protection in the same year.”

“There was a dilemma and a tough decision the government was confronted with continuing the subsidy or deepening an unsustainable fiscal deficit or risking potential social and economic unrest by its removal. Fuel subsidy removal could save Nigeria around N7tn annually which could be channeled into infrastructure, education and health. Ghana removed fuel subsidies in 2013, causing petrol, kerosene, diesel and LPG prices to increase by 15% to 50% until reaching market levels by mid-September. They invested the savings into critical sectors.” He stated.

Hon. Ogundimu explained that as it stands, the elimination of fuel subsidy brings both challenges and opportunities. 

He explained that the withdrawal of fuel subsidy led to a 150% to 200% surge in fuel costs (N500 – N600) across the country. 

Also, he expressed, “Small and medium-sized enterprises are facing difficulties in accessing affordable power. As a measure to address these difficulties, the Federal Government has announced an N5bn palliative for each state, including the Federal Capital Territory, to cushion the impact of the removal of the petrol subsidy.”

He highlighted 15 critical strategic considerations Paint Manufacturers  can implement for Response to Economic Challenges as; ‘Assess the; Situation; Define Clear Objectives; Strategic Planning; Cost Management;Digital Transformation; Diversification; Innovation; Customer Centric Approach; Talent Management; Risk Management; Monitor Progress; Adaptability; Communication; Collaboration; Long-term Vision.

“Paint Manufacturers may consider hedging strategies to mitigate these risks, such as; forward contracts to lock in exchange rates for future transactions; Currency hedging involves using financial instruments like forward contracts, options, or futures to protect against adverse currency movements.”

He further recommended that manufacturers embrace cost-cutting Innovations, stating that thehigh inflation and devaluation of the Naira has emphasized the importance of optimizing expenses. ‘Don’t be afraid to think outside the box and uncover innovative cost-cutting measures’ he urged.

Hon. Ogundimu concluded, “While the removal of subsidies, high inflation, and Naira devaluation have presented significant challenges for Nigerians and businesses, there is a silver lining amidst the storm. Implementing the above strategies can help transform challenges into opportunities and thrive in this new economic era. The key lies in embracing change, staying agile, and envisioning a future that transcends the obstacles of the present.”

In his welcome address, the Chairman, PMAN, Mr A.S Babatunde noted that this is the first Annual General Meeting to be held since the last one was held in 2018, he explained that the Covid 19 Pandemic disrupted economic, financial and social activities around the world especially in the areas of inputs supply chain and domestic foreign exchange availability. 

Reiterating the theme of the AGM, the chairman pinpointed reasons why the theme becomes necessary at such time, saying, ‘The theme for the AGM was chosen because of the need for members of the Association to explore ways and means on how to survive in the present economic challenges posed by the sudden and unprepared removal of subsidy on petroleum by the Federal Government, which has further disrupted secial and economic activities in the country. The need for paint manufacturers in the country to look inward and come up with strategies to sustain their business so as to remain afloat also influenced the choice of the theme’ he revealed.

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FG to build industrial hubs for job creation



The Federal Government says it will establish industrial hubs to accelerate job creation to tackle rising unemployment in the country.

President Bola Tinubu said this at the 55th International Conference of the Chartered Institute of Personnel Management (CIPM) on Tuesday in Abuja.

The theme of the conference is “Sustainable Human Resources (HR), Business and National Development.”

Represented by Nkiru Onyejeocha, the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Tinubu said that his administration was geared to steer Nigeria towards self-reliance and reduce dependency on others in the face of global challenges.

“We envision an unprecedented level of industrial activity, marked by the establishment of unique industrial hubs tailored to the strengths of each region in our great nation,” he said.

He reiterated the federal government’s commitment to end poverty, adding this was deeply intertwined with our focus on economic growth and job creation.

“We recognise that sustainable development can only be achieved by fostering an environment where job opportunities abound, ensuring food security and eradicating poverty.

“In the pursuit of our vision, inclusivity is paramount, we will prominently feature women and youth in all our endeavours, recognising them as integral contributors to our nation’s success,” the President said.

He said that HR practitioners play a crucial role in moulding and effectively managing people to become catalysts for economic resurgence in an increasingly competitive and changing world.

Earlier, the President and Chairman, Governing Council of the CIPM, Mr Olusegun Mojeed said that this year’s theme was borne out of the fact that most industries in today’s ecosystem were experiencing rapid and exponential bouts of change triggered by disruptive technologies and increase agile nature of the external market.

“Now more than ever, HR is charged with the responsibility of shaping a progressive organisation and nation. Sustainable people practice is a strong catalyst for cultural, national, and infrastructural development, amongst others.

“Talent supply will play a major role in creating and shaping the conditions in which organisations and nations will operate. Let me once again appreciate my HR colleagues for where we have taken HR post-COVID-19.

“Thank you for showing up and continuing that upward trajectory,” he said.

According to him, the conference seeks to provide cutting edge solutions for people managers and leaders to navigate the changing times and build sustainable HR practices with the end goal being business and national development.

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