THE Standards Organisation of Nigeria, SON, has given approval to Dangote Cement Plc to commence the rolling out of 42.5 higher grade of cement into the Nigerian market. The agency said it had inspected the company’s manufacturing facilities across the country and found the processes to have been upgraded to efficiently produce the 42.5 cement grade, which provides higher strength in building and construction.
SON made this declaration during Dangote’s pre-media launch of its newly-introduced 42.5 cement grade, Dangote 3X cement, in Lagos, stressing that the indigenous cement manufacturer had been given full certification by the agency to produce the high quality cement. Joseph Odumodu, director general, SON, who was represented by Adeoye Onipede, an enforcement official of the agency, commended the move by Dangote to increase its value proposition to Nigerians with the new product and urged the company to keep abiding by the strictest manufacturing standards.
Devakumar Edwin, group managing director, Dangote Cement, who presented samples of the new product at the event, said the launch by Dangote was to show the company’s commitment to the safety of human lives rather than maximising profits alone in the country, maintaining that incidences of building collapses in the country do not only destroy lives and properties, but also bring about huge economic losses to the nation.
Edwin said most of the building collapses in the nation were caused by varied factors among which poor quality cement is significant, pointing out that the lifetime investment by Dangote was to further demonstrate the company’s effort to guard against unfortunate incidents of failure of buildings and the attendant loss of lives and property. He said Dangote stopped the production of the 32.5 lower cement grade, to contribute its quota towards checking the spate of building collapse in the country, adding that as a corporate organisation, it values human lives rather than just making money.
“This is why we are focusing heavily on 42.5 cement grade, because we believe as a responsible organisation, human life is more precious than making profits. The introduction of Dangote 42.5, 3X cement, is not to dominate the cement industry but to follow the acceptable global trend, which has also been adopted by West African countries like Ghana, where the focus is shifting towards the 42.5 cement grade as the preferred quality of cement for building and construction activities,” he said.
Describing the features of the Dangote 3X 42.5 cement and the differences between the 32.5 and 42.5 cement grade, Oare Ojeikere, group chief marketing officer, Dangote Cement Plc, stated that the 42.5 cement grade is 30 per cent stronger than the 32.5 cement grade, adding that the 3X is specifically designed according to the block maker’s specification. He said a higher grade of cement is vital in putting an end to building collapse in the country, adding that it is about time Nigeria joined other countries in the sub-region to move away from 32.5 cement grades to 42.5 cement grades.
Investment Forum 2014 promotes Africa as Haven for FDIs
THE US-African Exim Investment Forum 2014, organised by the African Leadership Magazine, provides a platform to showcase African trade and investment offerings, bring investors and projects together, and build new business partnerships between the US and Africa markets via Export – Import promotions. The forum, which holds at the St. Regis Hotel in Washington D.C., April 25-26, with the theme “Africa Rising: Innovation, Growth and Competitiveness in the new frontier,” focuses on strengthening linkages into African economies as a means to promote new investment. The investment forum shall be holding on the margins of the annual US EXIM Conference.
Speaking, the Publisher of African Leadership magazine, Ken Giami stated that “Africa’s population is expected to rise to two billion people by the year 2050. This represents amazing opportunities for the savvy investor. We are talking about two billion people hungry for products — goods and services. Africa is not just the next economic miracle, but the ultimate game changer for business people and investors keen on expanding their economic horizon. And I would make haste to say that investment opportunities are never lost, you either take advantage of it or your competitors will. The Asians have been in Africa for years now and are reaping huge benefits. We invite American business people to dive in or lose the opportunity forever….”
Highlights of the two-day forum shall be strategic Exploratory Investment meetings with a US state Governor and senior US Government and Policy officials, Institutional Investment groupings, the US Business Community and key business leaders / investors. The forum shall be rounded up with the US – Africa Business Leadership Awards 2014 instituted to shine the spotlight on business best practices on the continent and to reward impact, innovations and outstanding achievers in Africa’s private sector, as well as US – Africa business engagements.
NAIC Pays Savanah Sugar Company Numan Claims
THE Nigerian Agricultural Insurance Corporation, NAIC, said it has paid more than N80 million claims to the Savannah Sugar Company Numan, following the recent crop losses and sequel to the fire outbreak and floods that ravaged a total of 458 hectares of cultivated farmland owned by the company.
NAIC said in a statement that with over 4, 863 hectares of land, the Sugar Company has over the years consistently paid its premium to NAIC promptly in view of the risk potentials that have characterised the operations of the company, particularly due to the perennial fire outbreaks and floods in the vast farmland, situated along the Numan-Gombe road in the North Eastern part of the country.
The breakdown of the claims indicated that the total sum of N32, 388, 300 was first paid as insurance claims to the company in December 2013 for the fire outbreak which ravaged over 194 hectares of the farmland. And last month the sum of N47, 233,000.00 was settled in the second tranche to the insured in respect of the floods which had destroyed the vast sugar cane farmland covering about 265 hectares.
Bode Opadokun, NAIC managing director, who described the Savannah Sugar Company as a frontline client of the corporation, had directed prompt payment of the second tranche to the company. He stressed that NAIC should at all times respond promptly to genuine claim requests, after due diligence is carried out with a view to show-casing and sustaining good corporate reputation of NAIC in the market place.
He believed that prompt claims response and adequate payments are key elements of good and credible insurance firms, saying NAIC should strive to be a role model in claims payment, given the peculiar nature of its specialized agric insurance obligation to all categories of insured farmers nationwide. Opadokun, who recently assumed office as the managing director, further explained that for NAIC to assert and sustain its competitive advantage in the industry, the corporation must be re-engineered and strategically positioned to maintain and expand its clientele base across the country.
World Bank Grant for Nigerian Mortgage Refinancing Company
THE federal government on Monday, March 24, said that the Nigerian Mortgage Refinancing Company, NMRC, had met the World Bank condition for the drawdown of $250 million International Development Association’s grant. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, minister of finance, while speaking at a housing stakeholders’ implementation summit in Abuja, said that the fulfilment of the condition would kick-start the liquidity facility to be disbursed to the NMRC as Tier 2 capital.
She said the $250 million was inclusive of the $300 million financing from the World Bank to the federal government on very concessionary terms, with $25m earmarked for the establishment of a mortgage guarantee facility for lower income borrowers; and another $25m to support the development and piloting of housing finance microfinance products.
“The NMRC has recorded some significant successes in the first few weeks of its existence: Its initial equity raising exercise was oversubscribed from the original N5bn to N6.75bn deposit for equity from 19 institutional investors, with outstanding firm equity commitments from other institutional investors to subscribe of up to N2bn in additional capital. It has also met tough World Bank effectiveness conditions enabling it to begin the drawdown of the $250m IDA credit negotiated by the federal government to kick-start the liquidity facility, to be disbursed to the NMRC as Tier 2 Capital based on performance indicators,” she said.
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said with the inauguration of the NMRC in January and its planned take off in June, the key barrier of finance to developing accessible and affordable housing in Nigeria would be removed.
Compiled by Anayo Ezugwu
— Apr. 7, 2014 @ 01:00 GMT