Press zooms in on failure of manufacturers to obtain concessionary loans, others

APA – Lagos (Nigeria)

The report that manufacturing companies have said they cannot access loans at the Central Bank of Nigeria’s five per cent lending rate under its intervention scheme for manufacturing and other critical sectors is one of the leading stories in Nigerian newspapers on Thursday.

The Punch reports that manufacturing companies have said they cannot access loans at the Central Bank of Nigeria’s five per cent lending rate under its intervention scheme for manufacturing and other critical sectors.

According to them, the loans have structural framework problems and are almost never accessed in banks at five per cent. They added that banks were more open to giving manufacturers loans at their official market rates.

Speaking with The PUNCH, the Chairman of Manufacturers Association of Nigeria’s Electrical/Electronic sectoral group, Mrs Ijeoma Oduonye, said efforts made by her firm towards accessing the intervention funds through one of its designated commercial banks had proved abortive.

She said, “Before now, we tried to work through one of the banks, but it didn’t materialise, now we are talking with another bank. It is a sector intervention fund that was going for nine per cent before but now they brought it to five per cent. But we as a company have not accessed it because the commercial banks we wanted to process it in could not process it.

According to a The PUNCH report, the CBN agreed to leave interest rates at five per cent per annum for critical sectors and manufacturing industries until March 2023.

This decision followed the resolution of the Monetary Policy Committee to increase the benchmark interest rate to 13 per cent from 11.5 per cent.

When contacted, the Director of Corporate Communicatios, CBN, Mr Osita Nwanisobi, disagreed with the position of the manufacturers.

According to him, more than N1tn has been disbursed under the intervention scheme for the manufacturing sector and others.

He said, “I don’t know who the manufacturers are, because if we have a fund, and the payout as of today is over N1tn, is it not manufacturers that collected this money?

The newspaper says that the Federal Government has said it will sanction oil and gas companies that fail to comply with the Human Capacity Development provisions contained in the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act.

The Executive Secretary, Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, Simbi Wabote, made this known on Wednesday while delivering a keynote address at the second edition of the virtual stakeholders workshop for Human Capacity Development in the Nigerian oil and gas industry.

Speaking on the topic, ‘Human Capacity Development: The Pillar for Nigeria’s industrialisation’, the NCDMB chieftain warned that the board would enforce periodic forensic audit for HCD programmes and companies found violating the NOGICD Act 2010 and the ministerial regulations in executing cost intensive Capacity Development Initiatives as mandated by the Act, would be sanctioned.

He said, “It has come to the attention of the board that some operating companies and services companies are reluctant to implement the HCD programmes as directed by the board. Most of the companies are testing the mettle of the board and I want to use this opportunity to inform erring companies that the board will meet appropriate sanctions to them as prescribed by the Act.”

He added that the board was mandated to ensure that the industry derives maximum benefits from huge investments and also ensure beneficiaries of the HCD training programmes find gainful employment in the sector.

Stressing the importance of human capacity development, Wabote said, ”With the rapid advancement in technologies used in the oil and gas industry, our industry will continue to be manned by foreigners and expatriates if we do not keep pace with the spate of technological development by developing the human capabilities required for the challenges of modern industrial technologies.

The Guardian reports that agricultural & fruit processing company “UtterlyYum” has announced the introduction of a new line of dry fruit products and a new juice variant.

The new entrants into the UtterlyYum product line are Pineapple and Coconut juice variant, Dried fruits and nuts fusion, Dried Pineapple, as well as Dried Pineapple and Coconut.

UtterlyYum is expanding its portfolio of products and has been in development to ensure it continues to produce high-quality fruit and agricultural products to meet the ever-growing demand from customers.

The development process involved working with fabricators in the country to build a functioning prototype machine for the processing of fresh Coconut.

The collaboration with local fabricators is part of UtterlyYum’s commitment to promoting home-grown science and technology and the commercialisation of agriculture in Nigeria while delivering quality and affordable products to consumers.

Speaking on the launch of the new products, the innovation behind them and projections for the future, Shola Adekoya, the Founder of Utterly Yum said: “While gearing up to begin production of our Pineapple and Coconut juice, Dried Pineapple and Coconut and our Dried Fruits and Nuts, one of the challenges we faced was that of the time between when we develop products and lead time for machinery import. We have developed three different products that require us to process fresh coconuts.”

“We have had to make innovation a core part of our culture and we always ask ourselves, is there a better way of doing this? I am confident that we will see more process optimizations as we go along. We plan to eventually build a juice concentrate making plant in Nigeria taking inputs from within Nigerian farms and processing it for Nigerians and the rest of the world.”

The Nation reports that President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday pledged his full and unwavering support for former Lagos State governor Asiwaju Bola Tinubu as the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

President Buhari, who congratulated Tinubu for securing victory at the special presidential convention/primary, stressed the need for all members and leaders of the party to leave behind the hostilities that came with the primaries and unite for victory.

In a statement last night by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, the President noted that by working together as united a team behind the flagbearer, APC would be able to stabilise to provide the platform on which Progressives could deliver desired goods to Nigerians.

The statement reads: “Having emerged victorious he has our full and unwavering support.

“Now our party must unite behind our candidate to achieve victory at the 2023 elections so that our government will continue to secure our communities, grow our economy and continue the fight against corruption.

“During the primaries, there were factions and disagreements amongst the contestants and now that the process has ended we must build a united front in our party.

“The movement we created in 2013 is beyond individuals. Together, we made history by becoming the first party in our country’s history to unseat a party in power and propel our candidate into the Presidency through a peaceful democratic transfer of power.

“We strongly believe that Bola Ahmed Tinubu will safeguard and improve on this democratic achievement and legacy. He is the right candidate for Nigeria’s aspiration because he is the APC’s candidate and under the continued stewardship of our party. Nigeria can achieve greatness and fulfill its destiny in Africa and the World.

“The high point of this extraordinary convention of our party was the energy of the Presidential aspirants and it is from amongst them that we have chosen the most popular leader.”


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