As part of efforts to address the recurrent incidents of building collapse in Nigeria, BUA Cement, a subsidiary of BUA Group, yesterday enlightened block and concrete makers on how best to mix cement with other components in order to produce quality blocks.
The one-day workshop which took place in Port Harcourt was tagged Optimising Cement Usage to Achieve Better Quality and Yield of Blocks. It was organised in collaboration with the Modern Skills Training Centre of the Industrial Training Fund (ITF) and the Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON).
Speaking at the event, Mr Nasiru Ladan, who is the General Manager in charge of Sales at BUA Cement Obu Plant, assured on BUA’s continuous production of high-quality cement.
He also blamed the persistent incidents of building collapse in Nigeria on the poor quality of cement which is often used by block makers.
In his words-
“The purpose of this workshop is to rub minds, discuss, agree and come up with a better knowledge on how to get the best out of the cement we are using. As you know, it is one thing to have good cement; it is another thing to mix it in combination with other materials.
“On the issue of collapse building in Nigeria, various researches show it is as a result of either not using the right cement or bad mix. So, we are here to let the block makers understand the right mix of cement with the right materials to produce the highest quality blocks for public use. When good blocks and concrete are produced, the issue of building collapse would have been properly addressed.” -Ladan
Speaking further, Mr Ladan disclosed that the company will soon complete a second production line in Okpella, Edo State which will help to ensure an “increase in cement production and supply to this state and other neighbouring states to satisfy the demands of the people”.
Some of the notable personalities that were present at the workshop include- Iwunze Amaka, Deputy Director/Area Manager Industrial Training Fund (ITF); Babaji Attahiru, Regional Coordinator (South-South SON); Muhammed Ibrahim, General Manager, BUA Ports and Terminals and Abiola Akarolo, Regional Manager, BUA Cement among others.
China more willing to restructure Africa’s debt than private creditors
Agreements have been easier to reach with Chinese lenders than with private creditors.
A recent study by John Hopkins University reveals it may be easier for African Nations to raise debt and also get debt relief from China than private creditors.
The report of the study comes a day after China promised to cancel interests from loans to African nations and restructure debt to Africa. The study also revealed that China has restructured $15 billion of African debt and written off $3.4 billion in the past ten years.
After 1,000 Chinese loans, including restructured Mozambican and Republic of Congo debt, were analysed, the researchers concluded that “the agreements have been easier to reach with Chinese lenders than with private creditors”.
The Paris Club recently agreed to pause debt payment valued at $11 billion for the poorest 73 nations freeing up capital to tackle the coronavirus pandemic. However, not all eligible nations signed up citing fears of default ratings if debt obligations are not met.
The study discovers difficulties in renegotiating terms on International Bonds for African countries due to the disparate ownership structure making private creditors unwilling to grant complete debt relief, citing warnings on rating downgrades.
China accounts for about 20% of Africa’s external debt and lent over $150 billion to the continent between 2000-2018 the study reveals. Chinese President, Xi Jinping has urged global leaders to be more pragmatic with debt suspension for Africa.
The study says much of the terms of Chinese debt to Africa has not been transparent and the relief negotiations may follow the same path.
Orange, France’s largest telco operator, may come to Nigeria in months
Orange would also be looking at bolstering partnerships with health companies or institutions.
France’s largest telecom operator, Orange, is set to extend its tentacles to Nigeria and South Africa.
Chief Executive Officer, Orange, Stephane Richard, who disclosed the news, said that the firm would make the move in a few months.
He said, “It could make sense to be in economies such as Nigeria and South Africa. If one considers there are things to do, the time frame I am considering is rather a few months than a few years.”
The Middle East and Africa, where Orange has a presence in 18 countries, is the company’s fastest-growing market.
What you need to know: There are chances that the company may eye payment transfers (mobile) in Nigeria.
That is because it makes the largest chunk of its revenue from payment transfers (Middle East), a key part of the group’s diversification into financial services, and Nigeria, which is the most populous black nation, is always an attraction.
Meanwhile, earlier in 2020, Orange had stated that it was bringing its operations in the Middle East and Africa into a single entity, paving the way for a potential listing of the operations that could raise cash to invest in overseas expansion.
“Orange would also be looking at bolstering partnerships with health companies or institutions,” he added.
Download the Nairametrics News App
LIRS further extends deadline for filing annual tax returns by one month
“We constantly debated what other measures could be taken as an organization to support individuals and businesses at this time, hence, the additional one-month extension from June 1, to June 30, 2020.” – Ayodele Subair
The Lagos State Internal Revenue Service (LIRS) has again extended the deadline for filing of Annual Tax Returns from May 31 2020 to June 30, 2020.
This is part of the state government’s effort to provide relief to taxpayers in light of the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. With this development, annual returns for individuals, both employees and self-employed persons, can be filed anytime before June 30, 2020.
In a press release signed by Monsurat Amasa, the head of LIRS’ Corporate Communications Department, the agency urged taxpayers to take advantage of the magnanimity of the government and file their returns. The LIRS’ Executive Chairman, Mr. Ayodele Subair, explained the extension thus:
“As the Lagos State Government keeps abreast of global best practices in containing the Covid-19 pandemic and eases the effects of an economic downturn on taxpayers and residents of the State, LIRS had initially extended the deadline for filing annual tax returns for two months, from the statutory March 31st of every fiscal year to May 31, 2020.
“We constantly debated what other measures could be taken as an organization to support individuals and businesses at this time, hence, the additional one-month extension from June 1, to June 30, 2020.”
He further explained that taxpayers can file the annual returns from the comfort of their homes and offices using the LIRS eTax platforms. They can also generate assessment and payment schedule, and other tax administration matters on the same platform. Updates on business operations and alternative payment platforms are to be found on the verified handles, and the LIRS website.