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Zambian minister seeks Dangote’s establishment on agric sector development

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Rather than continuing to import fertilizer, The Zambian Minister of Commerce and Industry, Mr Chipoka Mulenga, has urged the President of Dangote Group, Mr. Aliko Dangote, to collaborate with the Zambian Government to develop its own agricultural sector.

Mulenga made the appeal during a Zambian team tour of the 3.00 million metric tonnes Dangote Fertiliser Plant in Lagos.

He said the collaboration between Dangote group and the Zambian Government was to establish a fertiliser plant in the southern African country.

He said that investment in fertiliser production would not only help the country to be self-sufficient in food production, but also help grow the Zambian economy as well as that of its neigbouring countries.

Mulenga stated that the Zambian government had created an enabling environment for local and foreign investment through great incentives to attract investment into all sectors of the economy.

He described the country as Africa’s new investment destination because of its stable political system, stable macroeconomic environment and investment protection guarantees.

He added that the country was strong in agriculture and sought to become stronger through having its own fertiliser plant.

“The Zambian Government in the last budget made some pronouncements which focus on value addition, industrialisation, skill enhancement and development.

“We have a huge youthful population who are ready to work if given the opportunity to be productive.

“Rather than continue to import Fertiliser from anywhere, we want Aliko Dangote to come and establish plant in Zambia seeing that the country’s fertiliser consumption has increased tremendously in the last few years and has continued to increase.

“I am happy that we no longer have to go outside of Africa to seek investors as Dangote has been able to change the narratives through his investment in cement production across Africa.

“Dangote has already established the biggest cement plant in Zambia and the plant has a remarkable portfolio and is bringing positive change to the cement industry, not only in Zambia, but also to other neigbouring countries,” he said.

Mulenga, commending Dangote for his massive investment in fertiliser production in Nigeria, said the development happened due to right people, right leadership and other parameters.

He added that the fertiliser plant was not only serving the needs of Nigeria, but also attracting foreign exchange into the continent.

He enjoined Nigerians to guard Dangote investments and other local investments in Nigeria.

“This is a good demonstration that we can have this kind of investment in any part of Africa, which can grow and be beneficial to other countries.

“Let all Nigerians support this investment to grow from strength to strength.

“This is amazing and we will like to have a similar investment in Zambia,” he said.

The Chief Executive Officer of Dangote Fertiliser Limited, Mr. Vishwajit Sinha, noted that the demand for Urea fertiliser in the Nigerian market and beyond remained robust and was expected to continue to grow.

He said the 2.5 billion dollars fertiliser complex would make Nigeria self-sufficient in fertiliser production with excess capacity exported to other African countries and the rest of the world.

He added that the key focus of Dangote fertiliser was to cater to the growing fertiliser demand of the domestic market in Nigeria and also to bring green revolution to the country to contribute towards food security in Nigeria.

Sinha stated that the company was positioned to take advantage of the Federal Government’s policy, which focused on agriculture as one of the keys to unlock the diversification of the Nigerian economy.

“As population is increasing, food consumption is changing.

“Many countries’ economic progress is linked to agricultural development, which is the best form of inclusive development.

“For all the countries that I have been to, I can see the potential of agriculture in the entire value chain from the farm to the kitchen in Nigeria.

“Dangote Fertiliser has the potential to transform the entire African region and it would definitely have a huge value on the country,” he said.

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NDIC sustains fight against corruption with inauguration of ‘Anti-corruption & transparency unit’

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By Seun Ibiyemi

The Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) has inaugurated its Anti-corruption & Transparency Unit.

“NDIC has a culture of zero tolerance for corruption, which is further strengthened by its core values of Teamwork, Respect and Fairness, Integrity, Professionalism, and Passion,” said MD/CE, NDIC Mr. Bello Hassan.

He was represented by NDIC Executive Director, Operations Mr. Mustapha M. Ibrahim during the inauguration of the Corporation’s Anti-Corruption and Transparency Unit (ACTU) by officials of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commi ssion (ICPC) at the NDIC headquarters in Abuja.

He said, the NDIC ACTU has strengthened the Corporation’s operational system through the implementation of various compliance measures to ensure ethics, integrity, transparency and accountability in the workplace.

He explained that the specific measures include robust Internal Controls, regular Risk Assessments, strict adherence to regulatory guidelines, and comprehensive training programs for employees.

Mr. Hassan described the inauguration as a significant step in the Corporation’s ongoing commitment in the fight against corruption and enhance transparency. He emphasised that NDIC Management remains committed to supporting ACTU activities, recognising the unit’s critical role in ensuring the Corporation’s operations are conducted with integrity, free from corruption, and fostering public trust.

The ICPC Chairman, Dr. Musa Adamu Aliyu who was represented by ICPC Acting Director System Study and Review, Mr. Olusegun Adigun, praised NDIC Management for their dedication and active support in establishing and advancing the activities of the ACTU to address corruption issues and foster ethical practices.

He applauded the efficiency and diligence of the NDIC ACTU in fulfilling its mandate, resulting in the Corporation retaining the first position for two consecutive years on the annual ICPC Ethics and Integrity Compliance Scorecard.

He urged the new ACTU members to see their nomination as an opportunity to build on the good legacies of the previous members and to complement Management’s efforts in promoting the core valu es of the Corporation through their assigned duties.

He stressed the need for the NDIC Management to sustain its commitment and support to ACTU so that the Unit can perform optimally and remain a veritable tool in embedding laid down ethical standards amongst staff and sustaining a positive image for the Corporation.

Ten (10) members of staff were sworn in as members of the NDIC ACTU during the inauguration. Their key functions include annual sensitisation of staff against corruption; Conduct of System Study & Review and Corruption Risk Assessment to strengthen internal systems; monitoring budget implementation of the Corporation, co ordinating whistleblowing platforms, identifying and rewarding outstanding members of staff amongst other responsibilities.

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IPMAN hinges erratic petrol availability on allocation issues from NNPC 

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The Independent Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) says petrol availability has been erratic because of the small allocation currently allotted to its members by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

IPMAN National Vice-President, Alhaji Hammed Fasola, disclosed this in an interview with journalists in Ibadan on Tuesday.

Fasola said the allocation issue has led to haphazard operations by its members, who now buy from third parties (private depot owners) at prices they can no longer afford.

According to him, NNPC has been the one bringing the product to the country and sharing it with major marketers until the involvement of the private depot owners.

He added that there had been a shortfall in the supply of the product because NNPC would naturally supply its retail outlets first.

“That is why you see a kind of on-and-off situation from the independent marketers’ filling stations.

“We still get some trucks directly, but very inadequate to the number of marketers we have.

“We are waiting for when the product will be available, especially through NNPC depots, the Port Harcourt refinery, and by the time Dangote comes up with its petrol, that is PMS.

“We believe that all these problems will be solved,” he said.

However, he said the association would continue to engage NNPC because it had been a long-term partner.

 ”We are very positive that when things come to normal, they will be giving us our due allocation,” he said.

On the issue of subsidy, Fasola said he believed there was no more fuel subsidy because the government had said so.

Many filling stations are not selling due to the unavailability of the commodity.

Others, who open for business intermittently, sell between N620 per litre to N700 with NNPC retail outlets selling at the official rate but with long queues.

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Finance Ministry launches digital incentives, evaluation platform 

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By Matthew Denis

In a significant advancement to streamline fiscal management, the Honourable Minister of Finance and the Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Mr Wale Edun has announced the integration of the Incentive Monitoring and Evaluation Platform (IMEP) into the Import Duty Exemption Certificate (IDEC) programme, thereby allowing for enhanced monitoring and evaluation.

This is contained in a statement signed by Mohammed Manga Director, Information & Public Relations of Federal Ministry of Finance and made available to NewsDirect on Tuesday.

“The IDEC programme strategically reduces import duty burdens for priority sectors such as manufacturing, agriculture, and healthcare, stimulating economic growth and national development.”

The statement stressed that integrated into the IDEC framework, the newly launched IMEP ensures that only eligible entities benefit, rigorously enforcing compliance and optimising tax expenditures to reduce waste, block leakages and enhance economic equity.

“Key features of the IMEP include an automated claw-back mechanism for recouping waivers from defaulters, real-time e-report generation and a centralised database that enhances the efficiency of our verification processes.

“IMEP aims to ensure that tax incentives are rationalised to deliver maximum economic impact, aligning with the government’s commitment to reducing waste, blocking leakages, and fostering a robust and equitable economic environment. IMEP’s precise monitoring capabilities will significantly enhance the strategic allocation of exemptions and support the government’s objective to  ultimately reduce tax expenditures.”

To acquaint all stakeholders with the upgraded IDEC framework, the Ministry of Finance will host a webinar on April 25th, 2024, by 12 noon (WAT). Key industry participants, including manufacturers, importers, and representatives from MDAs and NGOs, have been invited to engage in this session to understand the enhanced features and benefits of the IMEP. Details for the webinar will be available on the Ministry of Finance’s official website and the IDEC YouTube channel.

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