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Deal: BUA Group Sells Its Flour Mills Business To Olam For $275 million

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Abdulsamad Rabiu_chairman BUA

 

Press Release: BUA Group, one of Nigeria’s largest foods and infrastructure conglomerates has announced the divestment of its flour business to Olam International in a deal worth USD275million.

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Speaking at the signing ceremony over the weekend, billionaire industrialist and Founder, BUA Group, Abdulsamad Rabiu said, “This signing marks a major milestone in our medium term strategy. Over the years, we have run one of the largest and most efficient flour milling businesses in Nigeria and are confident in the value it will add to the buyer’s operations. Our Group’s strategic focus will now be to diversify to business areas with greater potential for export where the sourcing and utilisation of foreign exchange is less and most of the materials needed for production can be sourced locally whilst also positioning our current line of Foods and Infrastructure businesses for market leadership.”

Further speaking on the Group’s medium term growth strategy, Alhaji Rabiu who is also the Executive Chairman of BUA, said that expanding the backward integration of its sugar plantations in Kwara and Kogi Sates is key. “Extensive work is ongoing in Lafiagi, Kwara state with over 20,000 hectares and we have another 50,000 hectares of farmland in Bassa, Kogi. These two operations form the fulcrum of our backward integration programme for Sugar and this will further reduce the country’s dependence on imported raw sugar while supporting the value chain in sugar production within Nigeria.”

“Similarly, we expect to replicate the successes we have recorded through the deep integration of our cement operations. With most raw materials for cement currently being sourced locally, we have been able to scale up operations significantly with minimal dependence on foreign exchange and will soon start exporting to neighboring countries from both our Obu and Sokoto plants which are currently undergoing 3.5million MTPA and 1.5million MTPA capacity expansions respectively to bring the Group’s cement production capacity to around 10million MTPA by 2018,” he added.

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Abdulsamad also believes that with global prices of crude oil coming down and demand for foreign exchange going up, these projects will help create badly needed jobs in Nigeria, diversify BUA’s business further, and stimulate the Nigerian economy as well as support the government’s roadmaps for agriculture and extractive industries

In his comments, Olam’s Managing Director/CEO for Grains, K. C. Suresh said that the deal will significantly boost Olam’s flour and wheat milling operations in Nigeria to meet consumer needs as well as consolidate its position as a market leader in the Foods industry in Nigeria. He was confident that BUA’s flour milling business offered great value for money.

Olam International is a leading agri-business operating across the value chain in 65 countries, supplying various products across 16 platforms to over 13,800 customers worldwide. From a direct sourcing and processing presence in most major producing countries, Olam has built a global leadership position in many of its businesses. Headquartered in Singapore and listed on the SGX-ST on February 11, 2005, Olam currently ranks among the top 50 largest listed companies in Singapore in terms of market  capitalization.

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Established in 1988 by billionaire industrialist, Abdulsamad Rabiu, BUA Group is a leading Food and Infrastructure conglomerate in Nigeria with business interests spanning sugar, rice, cement, real estate, logistics and port operations.

 

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Lagos State Government orders building owners to conduct structural stability tests

There will also be stricter enforcement of regulations and safety precautions to ensure that building owners and developers across Lagos metropolis comply with it, she reiterated.

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Lagos state govt orders building owners to conduct a structural stability test

In response to the partial collapse of a 3-storey building at Alagomegi-Yaba on Monday, the Lagos State Government has ordered owners of buildings in the state to immediately carry out structural stability tests on their properties. This is expedient, given the onset of the rainy seasons, and the presence of statistics to show that many buildings collapse during the season.

In a series of tweets that were posted last night on the Lagos State Government’s official Twitter handle, the state’s Building Control Agency (LASBCA), disclosed that the affected building at 6, Olonode Street, Alagomeji-Yaba, Lagos, collapsed in the early hours of Monday due to the heavy rainfall in the area over the night.

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The General Manager of the agency, Engr. Biola Kosegbe, noted that the collapsed building had earlier been marked for demolition. In other words, all occupants of the building were evacuated by the Agency before the incident, thereby averting a disaster.

(READ MORE:Lagos increases health workers’ allowances, commissions local production of face masks)

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Kosegbe went on to explain that statistics from previous years show that there is a higher incidence of building collapse during the rainy season, hence the need for building owners to ascertain the level of structural stability of their properties to avert collapse. She added that the Lagos State Government would not hesitate to remove illegal or distressed buildings, or any other structure that is not in conformity with the State’s building laws and standards.

There will also be stricter enforcement of regulations and safety precautions to ensure that building owners and developers across Lagos metropolis comply with it, she reiterated.

Why it matters

This type of pro-active government regulation will help prevent future catastrophes that could occur in the events of building collapse. Incidents of building collapses are not alien to Lagos, a city-state with more than 20 million estimated population, a significant number of whom live in squalid conditions due to extreme poverty and housing deficits.

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Just In: Nigeria received $5.85 billion capital inflows in Q1 2020 –NBS

Nigeria received $5.85 billion capital importation (inflows) in the first quarter (Q1) of 2020, compared to $8.51 billion in Q1 2019.

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Foreign Reserves Rise by $295m in One month

Nigeria received $5.85 billion capital importation (inflows) in the first quarter (Q1) of 2020, as against $8.51 billion in Q1 2019. This is according to the latest capital importation report released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

According to the NBS, the $5.85 billion worth of capital importation in Q1 2020 represents an increase of 53.97% when compared to how much was received in Q4 2019.

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However, when compared to the corresponding first quarter period of 2019, the figure indicates a 31.19% decline.

Capital Inflow by type

Portfolio investment ($4.31 billion) accounted for 73.61% of the total capital importation, followed by other investments ($1.33 billion), which accounted for 22.73%, and Foreign Direct Investment ($214.3 million), which accounted for 3.66% of total capital importation.

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Naira set for recovery as ABCON issues guideline to members on forex sales resumption

It is obvious that the CBN has come to realize that BDC operators can be the difference between naira recovery and depreciation during volatile times.

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COVID-19 could save naira from depreciating further, Many odds against the naira, Naira forwards and parallel market crash puts pressure on official exchange rate, Naira appreciates to N386.94 to $1 at investor and exporters window. , Naira set for recovery as ABCON issues guideline to members for forex sales resumption

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Association of Bureau De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON) have finalized arrangements for the resumption of forex sales to Bureau De Change operators (BDCs).

Following this finalisation, the more than 5,000 BDCs spread across the country are now expected to help curb the downward spiral of the naira, thereby checking the activities of foreign currency speculators.

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Recall that the naira has recently been facing major challenges, no thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. Unfortunately, currency speculators took advantage of the situation by making spurious demand for dollars with the hopes of making good returns from the rising gaps between official and parallel market rates.

Meanwhile, Governor Godwin Emefiele of the CBN and ABCON President, Aminu Gwadabe, have repeatedly spoken against the illicit business of currency speculators and the dangers they pose to the economy and naira’s stability. They have also warned the speculators about the looming danger for their trade if they refuse to retrace their steps; they Could incur losses estimated at over N10 billion in the next few months, especially now that the CBN is enabling BDCs’ full return to the forex market after nearly six weeks of inactivity.

(READ MORE: Devaluation’s drum beats louder)

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Governor Emefiele had also appealed to industrialists who patronize the parallel market to stop such practices in the interest of the economy and for the sustainability of their businesses. Failure to do this might result in them incurring the same huge losses as currency speculators.

Naira hits N570 to $1 at forwards market, pressure on the naira climbs up, Naira set for recovery as ABCON issues guideline to members for forex sales resumption   

Both Emefiele and Gwadabe have extensive experience in the market, enough to predict what follows after every major crisis. During the 2016 currency crisis, the market got a major relief after the BDCs began getting dollar allocations from the CBN. That same scenario will soon play out as the BDCs countdown to resumption.

In the meantime, it is obvious that the CBN has come to realize that BDC operators can be the difference between naira recovery and depreciation during volatile times. This is especially true now that the local currency has come under intense pressure, driven mainly by speculative demand for the dollar.

READ ALSO: CBN ends forex for fertilizer importation, raises concern over banks sharp practice

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Note that the BDCs are essentially operators who help to get dollars across to the end-users, no matter where they are. The BDC operators have, for decades, proven their relevance in stabilizing the naira. While commenting on the recent moves by the apex bank to resume dollar sales to the BDCs, Gwadabe said:

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The CBN’s planned lifting of moratorium on dollar sales to BDCs, reopening of the airports for air travels as well as global ease on restriction of movement are positive indications that dollar flows to the economy will soon improve.

The naira has been exchanging at N461 to a dollar at the parallel market but will be upbeat once dollar sales to BDCs commence. The return of over 5,000 BDCs to the forex market will add great strength to the Naira and lead to major capital losses for forex speculators. It happened in 2016 and it will happen again in 2020. The return of the BDCs will immediately boost naira’s recovery and put the enemies of the economy to shame. We are committed to the CBN’s exchange rate stability and will take all necessary steps within set rules and regulations to keep the naira stable.”

(READ MORE: Naira depreciates at I&E window, forex turnover up by over 117%)

Naira crashes further at the parallel market due to dollar scarcity, lowest since 2017, Naira drops to N454, foreign investors and importers struggle for dollars, Naira set for recovery as ABCON issues guideline to members for forex sales resumption

Moving on, the CBN said it has taken steps to address the risks facing the naira. Asides other positive developments in the global economy (including oil price recovery thanks to OPEC+ output cuts and IMF’s $3.4 billion emergency funding to Nigeria), the CBN believes its measures will enable a rapid recovery for the local currency. Emefiele explained:

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CBN has also officially reviewed the naira exchange rate to N380 to a dollar. Aside devaluing the naira, the apex bank also adopted a unified exchange rate, and pushed the official rate of the naira to N376 to dollar for International Money Transfer Operators rate to banks; N377 to dollar for banks’ dollar sale to CBN and pegged CBN’s dollar sales to banks at N378, all aimed at attracting Foreign Portfolio Investment and strengthening the local currency. The BDC operators are expected to buy dollar from the CBN at N378 per dollar.”

For Gwadabe, the naira rate review and the CBN’s assurance to foreign investors on the easy repatriation of their funds from Nigeria, are positive indicators for naira’s continued recovery.

(READ MORE: Why the naira is falling)

He also noted that ABCON is reopening guidelines to all its members nationwide included on-boarding of the queuing crowd ticketing management application, known as ABCON 360°QSM portal, by all members. So far, over 80 percent of members registered nationwide.

He also disclosed that they updated all regulatory obligations during the lockdown, such as fumigation of members’ offices/markets, and distribution of second phase of face mask nationwide to our members. They also made provision for wash hand basins and sanitizers at distributions centres, even as members will explore school fees, mortgage, and subscription payments as part of their allowable scope post-COVID-19.

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