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Guinness Considers Exit from Nigeria After 75 Years Due to Economic Challenges

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After operating in Nigeria since 1950 and enduring a torrid economic climate on the back of President Bola Tinubu’s administration, Guinness has announced it will exit the Nigerian market and sell off its controlling shares to Singaporean conglomerate Tolaram Group on Tuesday.

The brewery brand recorded a staggering N61.9 billion loss after tax between July 2023 and March 2024, just a few months after Mr Tinubu floated the naira in an effort to unify the currency’s value on the official and parallel foreign exchange markets.

But the move backfired and caused many multinational companies to suffer huge financial setbacks including Guinness Nigeria whose N61.7 billion loss after tax in Q3 was a 1000 per cent increase from the N5.9 billion revenue generated in the same period last year.

The loss exacerbated by the naira’s continued downward trend may have informed Diageo, Guinness’ parent company, to sell its 58.02 per cent majority stake to the Singaporean group.

“Under the terms of an agreement signed today, 11 June 2024, Tolaram will acquire Diageo’s 58.02% shareholding in Guinness Nigeria royalty agreements for the continued production of the Guinness brand and its locally manufactured Diageo ready-to-drink and mainstream spirits brands,” the company said in a statement Tuesday.

Guinness Nigeria Plc, a public limited liability company quoted on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, was incorporated on April 29, 1950, as a trading company importing Guinness Stout from Dublin.

The Guinness brand has operated in Nigeria since 1950, but with Tolaram’s controlling stake acquisition expected to conclude by 2025, the global brewery brand will have spent 75 years in Nigeria.

In the statement, Guinness said the firm would leave Nigeria next year and hand over to a third-party venture.

“The transaction is expected to be completed during fiscal 2025, subject to obtaining the requisite regulatory approvals in Nigeria,” said the statement signed by Abidemi Ademola, Guinness’s legal director.

Diageo, however, stated that the sale of its Nigerian brand would not in any way affect its ownership of the Guinness global brand.

Diageo “will retain ownership of the Guinness brand, which will be licensed to Guinness Nigeria for the long term.”

Diageo’s exit adds to a long list of other multinational companies, like GlaxoSmithKline and Microsoft, that have left Nigeria in the last one to two years, citing the harsh economic climate as making business unprofitable.

Some of Diageo’s popular brands in Nigeria include Smirnoff Ice, Smirnoff Vodka, Orijin Bitters, Malta Guinness, Gordons Orange Sunset, and Dubic Malt.

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LASTMA Cracks Down on Illegal Motor Parks, Impounds 40 More Vehicles

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The Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) has impounded another 25 commercial and 15 private vehicles operating illegal garages and causing serious road obstructions around the Oyingbo, Ijora, and Idumota areas.

Taofiq Adebayo, spokesman for LASTMA, said this in a statement on Friday.

Mr Adebayo noted that the impounding of the vehicles in these areas was a decisive move by LASTMA to restore order and ensure the free flow of traffic.

He said the operation was led by Kayode Odunuga, the LASTMA head of enforcement, under the directives of Sola Giwa, the special adviser to the governor on transportation.

Mr Adebayo said that they were specifically directed at illegal garages, which had been a persistent source of congestion and inconvenience for residents and commuters.

He said the impoundment, which began in recent weeks, was part of a broader initiative by the Lagos government to enhance the efficiency of the city’s transportation network.

Mr Giwa emphasised that the government is committed to maintaining law and order on the roads and ensuring that all traffic regulations are strictly enforced.

“illegal garages have been a significant challenge in our quest to maintain a seamless traffic flow in Lagos. These impoundments send a strong message to all offenders that the state will not tolerate activities that disrupt public order and endanger the lives of our citizens.

“Our goal is to create a safe and orderly environment for all road users, and this action is a crucial step in that direction,” Mr Giwa said.

He noted that the targeted areas, Oyingbo, Ijora, and Idumota, are known hotspots for traffic congestion due to unauthorised parking and the establishment of makeshift garages.

He said that these activities not only obstruct the free movement of vehicles but also pose safety risks to pedestrians.

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PCNGi Shines at Climate Action Africa Forum 2024

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The Presidential Compressed Natural Gas Initiative (#PCNGi) made a notable impact at the Climate Action Africa Forum 2024, the largest gathering of climate change stakeholders on the continent, held in Lagos. The event brought together leaders, experts, and activists to discuss and strategize on climate action across Africa.

Engineer Michael Oluwagbemi, the Chief Executive of #PCNGi, delivered a compelling keynote address. He outlined the initiative’s ambitious vision of converting Nigeria’s waste gas into valuable resources, underscoring its dedication to sustainable energy solutions and proactive climate action. Oluwagbemi emphasized that harnessing waste gas not only reduces environmental pollution but also offers significant economic benefits.

“The Presidential CNG Initiative is a testament to Nigeria’s commitment to turning environmental challenges into economic opportunities,” Oluwagbemi stated. “By transforming waste gas into wealth, we are not only addressing the issue of gas flaring but also creating a new revenue stream that can drive economic growth and job creation.”

The keynote address also highlighted several key projects and achievements of the initiative. These include the development of infrastructure for compressed natural gas (CNG) distribution, partnerships with local and international stakeholders, and the promotion of CNG as a cleaner, more affordable alternative to traditional fossil fuels.

Oluwagbemi noted that the initiative is aligned with global climate goals and Nigeria’s own targets under the Paris Agreement. He called on other African nations to adopt similar strategies, leveraging their natural resources to foster sustainable development.

In addition to the keynote address, #PCNGi hosted a series of panel discussions and workshops during the forum. These sessions focused on the technical, economic, and social aspects of CNG implementation, offering insights and fostering dialogue among participants.

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Opposition Emerges Over Proposal For Anioma State Creation

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A proposal by Senator Ned Nwoko, representing Delta north senatorial district in the National Assembly for the creation of Anioma State has elicited division within the district.

He had revealed during an interactive session with indigenes of Anioma in Abuja last week, that creating Anioma state is not just about increasing the number of states but about ensuring fair representation and resource allocation for the South East.

According to him, the creation of Anioma State is both urgent and compelling, promising to present a bill for the creation of Anioma state.

In a swift reaction to the proposal, the Ukwuani people which is among the nine local government areas of Delta north region in the state, popularly referred to as Anioma, disagreed with the senator.

In a statement on the issue, the Ukwuani people under the aegis of VOTAbanum, said they had been strange bedfellows with the people of Anioma and preferred to hobnob with the Urhobo, Isoko, Itsekiri ethnic nationalities than the people of Aniocha and Oshimili.

The statement was jointly signed by VOTAbanum, Chairman, Abel Emah-Iyesele; Secretary and Dr. Mike Akpati; Hon. Aneke Efemeni, Bar. Sam Chukuji, members.

They said it is a well and thoroughly considered view and opinion of the generality of Ukwuani people that Anioma is not an expression of the people of the zone.

“Before the proposal by Senator Ned Nwoko to rekindle the campaign for the establishment of Anioma State, the Ukwuani nation had already conveyed their stance in 2021 through the Ndokwa Neku Union (NNU), the leading socio-cultural organization of the Ukwuani people, in a report presented by the Adhoc Committee on States Creation and Geopolitical Zones Arrangements.

“Ukwuani had never been a part of the defunct Benin Province where Aniocha, Oshimili and Ika were integral constituents. Ukwuani congenially had been part and parcel of the original Delta province where we still share more robust cultural affinity.

“Ukwuani nation relates more comfortably and mutually with the people of the core Delta Province as against Aniocha, Oshimili, and Ika of the Benin Province. Though tongues may differ, and surely they do, the Ukwuani nation finds unity in diversity best within our Delta province enclave.

“The positions enumerated and enunciated above, is the considered views and strong belief that the Ukwuani nation will be comfortable and better of placed among the comity of states with the original core Delta province peoples, that is — the Urhobo, Isoko, Itshekiri, and Ijaw ethnic nationalities.

“With the comparative advantage Ukwuani has, Ukwuani nation can request for an Ukwuani state. We have the natural resources, population, land mass and human capital needs in abundance to make a nation state.

“We, the entire Ukwuani people are strongly and vehemently opposed to the creation of Anioma state without recourse to factors such as capital location, LGA distribution, placement of government facilities” the statement said.

 

 

 

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