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Bakers Threaten Strike Over High Cost Of Flour

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The Association of Master Bakers and Caterers of Nigeria has threatened to withdraw its services nationwide to protest the incessant increase in the price of flour and other baking materials.

The bakers issued a two-week ultimatum, starting from September 23, for the federal government to address the situation, which they said was killing the industry.

He said the increasing cost of bakery ingredients, if not checked urgently, may soon drive bakers into extinction.

He said if the federal government failed to address the situation after the expiration of the two-week ultimatum, “we will direct our members to withdraw their services across the country for one week.”

Umar lamented that amid the hike in the price of baking materials and multiple taxes, the National Agency for Food Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) jerked up its tariff regime, further worsening their plight.

He said the situation had compelled them to increase the prices of their products by 30 per cent across the board.

Umar said the situation had forced some of their members out of business while others are living in debt.

“At this time, most of our baking materials have risen to a level where appropriate bakery products pricing has become a very serious challenge.

“Our plea for the streamlining of our products regulations has not been heeded to, instead NAFDAC tariff regime has once again been jerked up.

“It becomes worrisome if the managers of our economy actually wish the bakery industry to remain or go extinct,” he said.

He however urged members of the association not to relent in their efforts to save the industry from going into extinction.

“We have no other industry than this, so we must fight with all we have to keep the industry alive. Remember, survival is the first instinct of life. We must not behave like dinosaurs that refused to adapt to changes in their environment and are now extinct.

“Arise great master bakers and expeditiously begin the correction of this obvious abnormally, which, if not checked, will drive us into the unemployment market,” he added.

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Weststar: Our dealers are lifeblood of Mercedes-Benz in Nigeria

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Weststar Associates Limited says it remains committed to its dealers in Nigeria and will continue to do business with them.

Indeed, the auto firm described its five authorised Mercedes-Benz dealers in Nigeria as its lifeblood and listed them as Barbedos Cars Limited, M-B Automobile Services Limited, Skymit Motors Limited, Sunny Motors Limited and Tetralog Nigeria Limited

Weststar, an authorized general distributor of Mercedes-Benz vehicles in Nigeria, was reacting to a statement by Mercedes-Benz of Germany of its plan to reduce its dealerships in some markets.

The auto firm reactng to this in a statement signed by its Marketing & Social Media Manager, Oluwatobi Abimbola, Weststar said it had been the “home of all things Mercedes-Benz in Nigeria for over 15 years. Running its operations as Mercedes-Benz’s representatives in Nigeria the company owes its success not only to a holistic business model and a great team of professionals but also more importantly, to its business partners.”

It also stated, “Weststar Associates Limited runs a dealership network across Nigeria that covers the different regions of the country & is held by successful and innovative companies who have a strong understanding of the business climate in their regions.

“Although the story of Weststar in Nigeria is only a decade and a half old, the story of Mercedes-Benz runs for even longer, with a presence in Nigeria for over 60 years. Many of our dealers have become the lifeblood of Mercedes-Benz in Nigeria.

“For decades, these companies have ensured that millions of Nigerians are able to gain access to the world’s most desirable Mercedes-Benz vehicles. Weststar’s key strategy remains to grow the Mercedes-Benz network in Nigeria using our dealerships. Weststar does not intend to cut ties with any of its Authorized Mercedes-Benz dealerships in Nigeria at this time.

“We will continue to promote and strengthen our dealerships as a means to grow the Mercedes-Benz brand in Nigeria.”

 

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FG generates N200bn, $7m from 161 marginal oil fields licences

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The Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory (NUPRC) says the 2020 marginal field bid round exercise generated about N200 billion with additional $7 million in revenue for the Federal Government

Chief Executive Officer, NUPRC, Gbenga Komolafe, stated this on Tuesday while issuing petroleum prospecting licences (PPL) to successful bidders in Abuja.

Marginal fields are smaller oil blocks developed by indigenous companies not exploited in the last ten years.

In May 2021, the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) — now NUPRC — completed the first successful bid programme after 18 years of bureaucratic bottlenecks.

Successful companies include Ardova Plc, Matrix Energy Ltd, Sun Trust Oil Company Limited, Deep Offshore Integrated Service Ltd, Island Energy Ltd, Sigmund Oil Field Ltd, among others.

Out of the 665 entities that expressed interest in the exercise, Komolafe said 161 PPLs were awarded to successful 2020 marginal fields companies while out of the 57 fields presented in the bid round, 41 were fully paid for.

He said 37 fields were also issued with the PPL, having satisfied all conditions for the award.

Komolafe said the marginal fields award initiative began in 1999 and was borne “out of the need to entrench the indigenisation policy of government in the upstream sector of the oil and gas industry and build local content capacity.”

He added that the scheme was also targeted at creating employment opportunities and encouraging increased capital inflow to the sector.

“Since its inception, a total of 30 fields have been awarded, with seventeen 17 currently producing. A breakdown of the allocation of the fields to indigenous operators is as follows: two fields awarded in 1999, 24 in 2003/2004, one each in 2006 and 2007, and two in 2010. 10 years later, in 2020, 57 fields were put up for bidding,” he said.

“It is significant to note that the passage of the Petroleum Industry Act has brought an end to the era of marginal field awards. Section 94(9) of the Act states that ‘no new marginal field shall be declared under this Act’.

“Accordingly, the minister shall now award PPL on undeveloped fields following an open, fair, transparent, competitive, and non-discriminatory bidding process in line with sections 73 and 74 of the Act.”

Komolafe also said revenue earnings in the country did not reflect the upsurge in international prices of crude oil owing to sabotage, theft, as well as other operational challenges.

He urged potential licensees to take advantage of the current market realities and promptly bring their fields to production.

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NAICOM revokes licences of Niger Insurance, Standard Alliance, appoints liquidators

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The National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) has revoked their licences of Niger Insurance Plc and the Standard Alliance Insurance after failing to recapitalise.

The insurance regulator has also appointed two liquidators to prepare their rites of passage.

The two insurance firms had been in poor financial state and several efforts to resuscitate them had proved abortive.

Nasdaq ‘Salami Head, Corporate Communications and Market Development

NAICOM notified insurance stakeholders and members of the public of the commission’s action

“This is to notify all insurance stakeholders and members of the public that the National Insurance Commission, NAICOM has cancelled the certificates of registration of Standard Alliance Insurance Plc, RIC – 091 and Niger Insurance Plc, RIC – 029 with effect from the 21st day of June 2022.”

Salami also announced that Sanya, Ogunkuade Esq of Plot 217, Upper Grace Plaza, 3rd Floor (Left Wing), Shetima Munguno Crescent, Behind Julius Berger Equipment Yard, Utako, Abuja as the Receiver/Liquidator for Niger Insurance Plc and, Kehinde Aina Esq of Aina Blankson LP, 5/7, Ademola Street, SW Ikoyi, Lagos as the Receiver/Liquidator for Standard Alliance Insurance Plc.

He advised all stakeholders to forward their enquiries to the respective receiver/liquidator for each company for their necessary action.

The commission assures all stakeholders of the safety and protection of their interests.

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