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London: Dangote urges deepening of African economy through free trade

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Foremost businessman, Aliko Dangote has in London called for conscious efforts at deepening African regional market by African investors and governments to aid rapid growth and development of the Continent’s economy.

Speaking during “One to One Conversation” at the on-going 5th annual Financial Times African Summit, the Nigerian entrepreneur said the key to Africa’s economic growth and strength is in the development of the regional market, saying “Regional markets in Africa must work.”

Dangote said Africans must patronize African markets which is why the free trade agreements by African nations is the direction to go to strengthen African markets.

Citing an instance of his own experience, the president of Dangote group referred to the case of neighbouring Benin Republic where the country continues to import cement from China while his Nigerian factory is only 35 miles away from the border.

“We need to trade with ourselves”, Dangote stated as he spoke glowingly about the prospect of African economy, the free trade agreement and the availability of huge raw materials to attract investors.

Asked about when the much touted listing of Dangote cement on the London Stock Exchange, he told his audience comprising of investors, business magnates, captains of Industry and African Heads of Government which included President Akufo-Addo of Ghana and Ali Bongo of Gabon, that the listing might happened in 2019.

According to him, all hands are on deck to complete the process of listing, the development which he said is being looked towards for by the business community.

Prompted by the Editor of the Newspaper, Lionel Barber to speak about difficult markets like Tanzania and Ethiopia, Dangote dismissed the issue difficulty and re-affirmed “our aim is to always provide jobs and worth. As an African investor I don’t want any investor anywhere in Africa to have a bad experience.”

Dangote repeated his central mantra for African growth urging the reduction of exports of raw materials to other continent but create greater wealth within African economies.

Said he: “We need to continue to transform the structure of African economies”. He alluded to his company’s entry into the Ghana Sugar market, pointing that he is further expanding his sugar business to Ghana for the main reason of helping to revitalize its economy. “We are going to help Ghana grow its own sugar for the first time.”

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Capital Market

Stock market gains N15bn on MTNN price rally

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The key market indices of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) on Friday rebounded by 0.12 per cent following price appreciation achieved by MTN Nigeria Communications.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that MTN Nigeria Communication dominated the gainers’ table with N1.10 to close at N16.10 per share.

Vitafoam Nigeria followed with 26k to close at N3.85, while International Breweries added 25k to close at N3.85 per share.

GlaxosmithKline gained 20k to close at N4.80, while PZ Cussons appreciated by 15k to close at N4.50 per share.

Consequently, the All-Share Index which opened at 24,276.56 rose by 29.80 points or 0.12 per cent to close at 24,306.36.

Also, the market capitalisation of listed equities inched higher by N15 billion or 0.12 per cent to N12.679 trillion from N12.664 trillion achieved on Thursday.

On the other hand, Guaranty Trust Bank topped the laggards’ table, dropping 30k to close at N22.45 per share.

United Bank for Africa trailed with a loss of 15k to close at N6.25, while Zenith Bank lost 5k to close at N16.70, per share.

ABC Transport dipped 5k to 51k, while FBN Holdings also declined by 5k to close at N5.20 per share.

An analysis of the activity chart indicates that Sterling Bank was the most active, exchanging 17.66 million shares valued at N22.63 million.

Zenith Bank followed with an account of 7.47 million shares worth N47.06 million, while Transcorp sold 7.41 million shares valued at N4.69 million.

Fidelity Bank exchanged a total of 6.20 million shares worth N11.11 million.

In all, the volume of shares traded closed lower with an exchange of 131.63 million shares valued at N899.49 million in 3,044 deals.

This was in contrast with 192.08 million shares worth N2.47 billion exchanged hands in 3,833 deals on Thursday.

 

(NAN)

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BUSINESS

EKEDC warns against tampering with meters

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Eko Electricity Distribution Company (EKEDC) on Friday said it had intensified efforts to curb cases of meter tampering by customers within its operational network.
Mr Godwin Idemudia, General Manager, Corporate Communications, EKEDC, in a statement issued in Lagos warned that those involved in such nefarious activities would face prosecution.
Idemudia said the warning follows the recent arraignment of three persons before an Ojo Magistrates’ Court on a four-count charge of conspiracy to commit fraud, impersonation, forgery and tampering with electricity installations.
He said the accused persons allegedly received the sum of N70,000 from unsuspecting customers who wanted to get their prepaid meters repaired and placed them on direct connection.
Idemudia said :” It is rather unfortunate that people go about parading themselves as our staff when they are not.
“We will go the full extent of the law and this will serve as a deterrent to others aiming to do same.”
He urged EKEDC customers to always go through the appropriate channels for all complaints or issues and make no form of payment to unauthorised persons or channels.
Idemudia also advised customers to report any staff or partners that make demands on them for EKEDC’s services via its social media platforms and other designated channels.
(NAN)
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Aviation

Ekiti Cargo Airport to be ready in 18 months

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Ekiti Government has said the ongoing construction of the Cargo Airport at Ipogun in Irepodun/Ifelodun Local Government Area would completed in 18 months.

Mr Bunmi Awotiku, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Airport Project, said this when Ekiti House of Assembly Committee on Works and Transport visited the site on Friday at Ipogun.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the project started in October 2019.

The Chairman of the House Committee, Chief Olugboyega Aribisogan, said that the airport was a timeless legacy, which would enhance the rapid transformation and development of the state.

Aribisogan, accompanied by other committee members, said they were at the site to examine the level of work done on the project.

The chairman assured that the Assembly would give necessary legislative support to the state Executive to enable it deliver the dividend of democracy to the people of the state

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