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Dangote tomato factory reopens amid fall in local demand

Operation has re-commenced at Dangote Tomato Factory, two years after the Kadawa-based factory was shut down due to declining market demand.

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Dangote Tomato, tomato paste  

Operation has re-commenced at Dangote Tomato Factory, two years after the Kadawa-based factory was shut down due to declining market demand resulting mainly from dealers’ dependence on foreign imports and smuggling activities.

According to the Managing Director of Dangote Tomatoes Farms, Sani Kaita, the factory resumed operation to meet local demand after reaching an agreement with farmers on pricing, which was another factor threatening Dangote’s production.

It should be recalled that back in 2016, the Kano State tomato farmland was infested by tomato absoluta, which cost tomato farmers an estimated N2 billion. This development also contributed to the shut down of Dangote Tomato Factory in 2017, as many farmers were disinterested in continuing farming the crop after the pest infestation.

However, Mr Kaita assured the a  new agreement will create a hitch-free business season for both the Dangote tomato processing factory and tomato farmers.

“We have reached an agreement with the three stakeholders in tomato production. We have resolved to offer what the open markets offer subject to review every two days and I am happy that the growers have been cooperating because we have since started.

“It will interest you to know that the company has made commitment to adhere to the agreement reached and also hope to have a hitch-free business season between us.”

Factors aiding resumption of operation

Aside the agreement with tomato farmers, the Federal Government’s policy on tomato is likely to boost revenue for the factory. The ban on tomato paste importation and the 50% increase in tariffs for the products is expected to help boost local investors’ confidence.

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Although the local production of tomato is not enough to meet local demand, the Federal Government’s policy is in line with its fight to revive the sector. And the multi-billion dollar factory resuming operation shows the confidence the company and the tomato farmers have in the Federal Government’s policy drive.

Obstacle to revival

Importers have been dealing in backdoor trade since the ban, smuggling tomato products into the country. As expected, this has cost some tomato processing factories millions of naira. Dangote Tomato Factory, for instance, was unable to recuperate its cost of operation. And this is another reason that led to the shut down two years ago.

Another problem is that before the locally-farmed tomatoes get to the market and factories where they can be utilised, about half of them are destroyed. This further worsens the troubles of the local producers,  who are struggling to meet the country’s domestic consumption rate of 2.4 million metrics tonnes per annum. The shortage is covered with the importation of about 500,000 metric tonnes, seeing as Nigeria only produces about 1.8 million metric tonnes (MT) despite the fact that it is Africa’s second largest producer and the 14th largest in the world.

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As Dangote Tomato Factor resume production, many observers are hopeful that it will be able to survive the difficulties that pushed it out of the market the first time.

Nigeria can no longer allow its market to be saturated with foreign tomato paste brands.

Olalekan is a certified media practitioner from the Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ). In the era of media convergence, Olalekan is a valuable asset, with ability to curate and broadcast news. His zeal to write was developed out of passion to shape people’s thought and opinion; serving as a guideline for their daily lives. Contact for tips: [email protected]

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Business

These industries drove business activities in September

The development indicates recovery as manufacturers continue to benefit from the ease of the lockdown.

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Nigeria’s manufacturing sector contracts for 5th consecutive month – CBN , To test FX market, CBN pumps $50 million, CBN issues guidelines to Finance Institutions on establishment of Subsidiaries and SPVs, CBN injects $2.63 billion to defend naira in one month, CBN’s COVID-19 N50 billion targeted credit facility, CBN’s heterodox policies buoys credit growth, These industries drove business activities in September

Despite the fact that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) declared last Wednesday that the nation’s Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) contracted at 46.9 index points, some industries still drove business activities in September.

The industries are Electrical equipment, up from 33.3 index points in August to 66.7 index points; Transportation equipment from 53.8 to 58.1; and Paper products from 44.4 to 50 within the same period.

Though, the Cement industry and non-metalic mineral products dropped from 64.4 to 58.1 and 66.0 to 50.6 index points respectively, the sub-sectors still contributed to the business activities recorded in September.

This was disclosed by the apex bank in its September PMI report released on Wednesday.

Nairametrics had earlier reported that manufacturing PMI for August stood at 48.5 index points, indicating contraction in the sector for the fourth consecutive month.

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Also, out of the 14 surveyed subsectors, 5 sub-sectors reported expansion (above 50 index points thresholds), while the others contracted.

Meanwhile, the production level index for the manufacturing sector indicated contraction in September 2020 for the fifth consecutive month, as well as Employment level and Raw material inventories.

However, the manufacturing supplier delivery time index stood at 53.5 points in September 2020, indicating faster supplier delivery time for the fifth time.

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(READ  MORE: Manufacturing: Momentum in activities slows in January)

Is the nation coming out of the woods?

Though CBN revealed that only 4 sub-sectors reported expansion in September, contrary to the 6 sub-sectors recorded in August, it is imperative to note that this is an improvement when compared to manufacturing activities in May and June, or the performance in July which saw 12 sub-sectors decline, with one reporting no change, while one expanded.

The impressive performance of cement and other sub-sectors, according to the manufacturing PMI report, is attributable to the expansion in production, new orders, employment, and raw materials’ inventories.

A cursory look at the financials of key players in the industrial goods sector showed that despite the increased cost of higher energy pricing and adverse COVID-19 impacts on transport and naira devaluation, key cement manufacturers still recorded increased topline, driven by demand surge from domestic cement sales.

Back story: Nairametrics had reported on Wednesday that 9 subsectors reported contraction (below 50% threshold) in the reviewed month in the following order:

  • Petroleum & coal products
  • Primary metal
  • Furniture & related products
  • Printing & related support activities
  • Food, beverage & tobacco products
  • Textile, apparel, leather & footwear
  • Chemical & pharmaceutical products
  • Fabricated metal products and
  • Plastics & rubber products

The Non-manufacturing sector PMI stood at 41.9 points in September 2020, indicating contraction in nonmanufacturing PMI, for the sixth consecutive month.

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In all, the development indicates recovery as manufacturers continue to benefit from the ease of the lockdown.

However, conditions within the domestic economy remain relatively tight, reflecting continued uncertainties as investors remain cautious of the lingering risk of the pandemic.

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Energy

Electricity tariff increase is suspended for 2 weeks

The FG and the Nigerian Labour Unions have agreed to suspend the electricity tariff increase for a period of two weeks.

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Minister of Labour, Ngige, says labour demand will force government to sack workers

The Federal Government and the Nigerian Labour Unions have agreed to suspend the electricity tariff increase for a period of two weeks. This was part of the agreement reached between Labour and the Government as they deliberated to avert a nationwide strike that would have grounded an already deteriorating economy.

While the strike was over two major issues, an increase in electricity charges and fuel price respectively, the decision to call off the strike was based on the suspension of the electricity bills. The following terms of reference underpinned the agreement between Labour and the Government.

Terms of reference for suspension of electricity increase for 2 weeks.

Terms of reference “The Terms of Reference (ToR) are as follows: To examine the justification for the new policy on cost-reflective Electricity Tariff adjustments.”

  • Both parties are to examine the justification for the new policy on cost-reflective tariff adjustment
  • To look at the different Electricity Distribution Company (DISCOs) and their different electricity tariff vis-à-vis NERC order and mandate.
  • Examine and advise government on the issues that have hindered the deployment of the six million meters.
  • To look into the NERC Act under review with a view to expanding its representation to include organized labour.
  • The Technical sub-committee is to submit its report within two weeks.
  • During the two weeks, the DISCOs shall suspend the application of the cost-reflective electricity tariff adjustments. “The meeting also resolved that the following issues of concern to Labour should be treated as stand-alone items:
  • The 40% stake of government in the DISCO and the stake of workers to be reflected in the composition of the DISCOs Boards.
  • An all-inclusive and independent review of the power sector operations as provided in the privatization MOU to be undertaken before the end of the year 2020, with Labour represented.
  • That going forward, the moribund National Labour Advisory Council, NLAC, be inaugurated before the end of the year 2020 to institutionalize the process of tripartism and socio dialogue on socio-economic and major labour matters to forestall crisis.

What this means: The decision reached between the government and labour means the service reflective tariff regime which started on September 1, 2020, is effectively suspended. Customers are therefore no longer required to pay the service reflective tariffs and will revert to the previous MYTO tariffs of 2015.

  • By looking at the “different Electricity Distribution Company (DISCOs) and their different electricity tariff vis-à-vis NERC order and mandate” it appears labour might be looking to recalibrating the tariffs for some Discos.
  • According to documents on the tariff order published by the NERC, some Discos have tariffs for residential customers that are as high as N62/kWh while it’s just under N54 for others.
  • Labour could also get involved in determining the veracity of the tariff bands that determines which customers pay what as electricity tariffs.

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Business

Just-in: NLC, TUC suspend nationwide strike

Hike in electricity tariff to be suspended for 2 weeks, while new pump price of petrol remain unchanged.

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Ayuba Wabba, Why the FG should reverse 6% tenancy, lease stamp duty - NLC

The Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) have suspended the planned nationwide strike and protest that was to commence on Monday, September 28, 2020, over the recent hike in electricity tariff and petrol pump price.

This follows the agreement reached between the Federal Government and the organized labour during the meeting held by both parties which started on Sunday night and dragged on till the early hours of Monday morning.

The disclosure was made by the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo, through a tweet post on his twitter handle.

In the agreement between the Federal Government and organized labour, the hike in electricity tariff is to be suspended for a period of 2 weeks, while the new pump price of petrol is to remain unchanged.

According to the agreement, which was seen by Nairametrics, both parties agreed to set up a technical committee on Electricity Tariff reforms, comprising Ministries, Agencies, Departments, NLC and TUC, which will work for a duration of 2 weeks with effect from Monday, September 28, 2020, to examine the justification of the new policy in view of the need for the validation of the basis for the new cost-reflective tariff.

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This is due to the conflicting field reports which appear different from the data presented to justify the new policy by NERC, metering deployment, challenges, timelines for massive rollout.

The technical committee is to be headed by the Minister of State for Labour and Labour, Festus Keyamo.

Other members of the committee include the Minister of State Power, Godwin Jedy-Agba, Executive Chairman, National Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), James Momoh, Special Assistant to the President on Infrastructure, Ahmad Zakari as the Secretary.

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Also in the committee are Onoho’Omhen Ebhohimhen, Joe Ajaero (NLC), Chris Okonkwo (TUC) and a representative of electricity distribution companies.

The terms of reference for the technical committee include;

  • To examine the justification for the new policy on cost-reflective electricity tariff adjustments.
  • To look at the different Electricity Distribution Companies (DISCOs) and their different electricity vis-à-vis NERC order and mandate.
  • Examine and advice government on the issues that have hindered the deployment of the 6 million meters.
  • To look into the NERC act under review with a view to expanding its representation to include organized labour.

 

 

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