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Dangote Cement strengthens pan-African market volume

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Leading pan African cement manufacturer, the Dangote Cement has maintained its strong hold in the Nigeria domestic cement market accounting for 65 percent of the Nigerian market volume, while other African plants’ volumes went up by 7.5 percent to 7.0 mta.

The Cement company has in the past months expanded its operations across Africa with the coming on stream of the 1.5 mta integrated cement plant in Mfila, Republic of Congo even as an acting chief executive officer has been appointed for the company.

According to the unaudited results for the nine months ended September 30, 2017, the plant which began operations last month has almost doubled the size of the cement sector in the country. The Congo plant brings to 10 the number of Dangote Cement plants across Africa.

Analysis of the results indicated that the company recorded strong volumes in Senegal, Ethiopia and Cameroon.

In the nine months under review, the 1.5 mta clinker grinding facility in Douala, Cameroon sold approximately 938 kt of cement, indicating an increase of 16.4 percent on the 806 kt sold during the same period in 2016.

“We are consolidating our success across Africa and have just commissioned our 1.5Mta factory in Congo, the tenth country in which we have established operations”

The company attributes the increase in sales to a number of factors ranging from strong brand recognition, increased point of sales branding, improvements in sales and marketing strategies to higher visibility through trade shows.

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Dangote Cement Ethiopia increased sales by 16.8 percent to nearly 1.7 mta in the first nine months of 2017 representing capacity utilization of approximately 88 percent. The cement plant in Pout, Senegal sold 1.0 mta of cement in the period under review, up by 21.7 percent on the comparable period of 2016. This represents almost 89 percent capacity utilization at the factory.

Chief Executive Officer, Dangote Cement, Onne van der Weijde, speaking on the results said, “Our Pan-African operations are performing strongly with excellent sales growth in Cameroon, Ethiopia and Senegal. We are consolidating our success across Africa and have just commissioned our 1.5Mta factory in Congo, the tenth country in which we have established operations.”

“In our key operations in Nigeria we have significantly improved our fuel mix and this has helped increase margins across the Group. It is especially good for Nigeria because most of the coal we are using is mined in our own country”.

The Board of the cement company also announced changes in the leadership of the company with Mr. Onne Van der Weijde, stepping down as the company’s CEO at the end of 2017 having completed three years in this position, in order to return to his home country, The Netherlands. He will be appointed as a Non-Executive Director of Dangote Cement PLC, with effect from 1st January 2018.

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The Board expressed appreciation to Mr. Onne for his contribution during his period as CEO in the last three years, in which he managed an important growth phase in the company’s development.

Engr. Joseph  Makoju, Honorary Adviser to the Chairman and former MD of WAPCO/Lafarge, will be acting MD/CEO of Dangote Cement PLC.

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Pay For Temporary Use of Road Setbacks or We Take Them Over’ – Oyo Govt Warns Business Organizations

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Business organizations that built on the mandatory setbacks on major roads in Oyo State for temporary usage have been warned to pay for these spaces or have them taken over by government.

 

The Executive chairman, Oyo State Internal Revenue Service (OYSIRS), Aremo John Adeleke disclosed this on Thursday, saying the State administration was not happy with the attitude of most organizations using these spaces for failing to meet their financial obligations to the State despite being served many demand notices by the Board of Internal Revenue (BIR).

 

Adeleke who spoke with Journalists at his office shortly after an enforcement exercise under the Management of Public Space Scheme (MOPS) embarked upon by Oyo State Internal Revenue Services (OYSIRS) and the Ministry of Environment and Water Resources.

 

He stated that for Government to be able to provide amenities in the State, organizations and other business owners needed to remit taxes, levies and dues to the rightful place as their civic duties.

 

He said, “Setbacks in public places are government properties and to use them, there should be payment for temporary use of such places. Most organizations have taken this for granted for so long and that is what necessitated our action at this point.

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“The focus of the first phase of the enforcement exercise is on the Banking Industry after that we will move to other sub-sectors. The government will recover the setbacks unless those affected do what is required.

 

“In the past, series of correspondence, plea and stakeholders meeting with those concerned yielded no response. Also,the second phase will come soonest and will reach others that refused to comply with the payment option.”

 

While appreciating those that complied,The Executive chairman implored other business owners and individuals with outstanding taxes,levies,charges and fees to pay up so as to forestall drastic step against them.

 

Among areas covered during the exercise are Total Garden, Agodi and Bodija all within Ibadan metropolis.

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7 habits of the luckiest people you can start copying right now | By Taylor Tobin

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  • It certainly seems that some people are born lucky, and that’s that. But even if you don’t consider yourself one of the lucky few, there are some characteristics lucky people share that you can adopt.
  • Lucky people don’t just accept where they are. They constantly forge new connections, and think outside of the box.
  • Lucky people trust their own insights, and let them guide where they go next.

 

By definition, “luck” isn’t a quality that you can develop and cultivate. Either you’re lucky or you’re not; end of story.

However, those blessed with consistent good fortune do frequently share characteristics that can elevate them to even more auspicious positions. The jury’s still out on whether these habits form because of their inherent good luck or whether the good luck comes as a result of these behaviors and choices … but either way, it couldn’t hurt to fold these actions into your regular routine.

1. They take active initiatives to achieve their goals

In a recent article, Power of Positivity shared the following piece of advice for the luck-deprived: “In order to create your own luck, go out and find it! Take extra classes if they will help you better your skills. Go out and talk to people. Become active in the charting of your own future, and luck will find you.” Their key point centers around the idea that — contrary to popular belief — lucky people don’t wait around for good things to happen. Instead, they find their own opportunities and figure out ways to use their skills and talents to bring them closer to their goals.

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2. They hone their communication skills

Lucky people understand that connecting with others can often provide access to job leads, event invitations, and training possibilities that can lead to a more positive professional and personal life. Therefore, they spend time and energy developing their communication skills and putting themselves in situations where they can meet interesting and engaging people.

3. They seek out opportunities and make necessary connections

As we mentioned previously, proactivity is a major indicator of a person’s luck quotient. So it stands to reason that a lucky person will attend networking events and industry mixers and will pay close attention to the other attendees, gathering business cards wherever possible and forging relationships that could ultimately prove beneficial to both parties.

4. They maintain a positive mindset

If you’re going through a tough time on the career front, it’s easy to succumb to negative thoughts and to fall into a defeatist funk. However, lucky people prioritize positivity above all else. Of course, this could be partially because their “luck” prevents them from experiencing many major disappointments … but if luck is a self-fulfilling prophecy, then keeping your outlook optimistic can only improve your odds of finding success.

5. They use creative methods to solve problems

6. They keep themselves flexible and open-minded

Overly-rigid thought patterns, schedules, and structures can impede natural energy flows (and can therefore compromise your luck potential). But if you remain open-minded to new ideas and new means of achieving your goals, you’ll be well-positioned for exciting opportunities.

7. They trust their own insight

Lucky people have a remarkable knack for believing in their own instincts (which makes sense, since they’re naturally fortunate!). Psychology Today suggests that everyone (even those who don’t consider themselves lucky) should pay more attention to their own implicit knowledge, explaining that “we all have insight to varying degrees, yet some are better than others at being open to hearing those inner voices. Making use of this knowledge depends on your ability to access this information and trust in yourself.”

 

 

 

 

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China Retreats Globally | By Milton Ezrati

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China has retreated globally – not from its artificial islands in the South China Sea but economically and financially. It seems just yesterday that the Middle Kingdom, as China calls itself, resembled an unstoppable juggernaut, cutting constructions contracts and buying properties all over the world. That is no longer the case.

Trade war with the United States bears much of the blame (or gets the credit, depending on one’s perspective), but even if Washington and Beijing were to sign a deal tomorrow, China would not regain its old momentum.

Official Ministry of Finance (MOF) figures, not surprisingly, offer a soothing picture of moderate decline, but private sources tell a much more dramatic story. According to the American Enterprise Institute’s well-regarded China Global Investment Tracker (CGIT), Chinese overseas investments of all kinds in the first half of this year averaged only $27.5 billion, half the rate averaged during the same time in 2018 and barely a quarter the rate of 2017’s first half.  This year’s figures are lower than any time since 2008. Construction contracts, largely in the third world as part of China’s Belt and Road initiative, have fallen off, too, but less dramatically. China clearly has become much less engaged with the world than it was.

Two things have caused this retreat. One is a growing hostility among host countries toward Chinese investment. Especially developed countries, the United States in particular, have balked over the Chinese practice of extracting technology. Suspicions along these lines have held up approvals for Chinese purchases and other direct flows of funds. Some familiar with Chinese practice have gone a step further. The European Chamber of Commerce has warned against developing a dependence on China and Chinese funds. This combination of concerns and suspicions have centered primarily on China’s huge state owned enterprises and less on private Chinese investment. But if private investment has fallen off less dramatically, this growing reluctance in the West has had its effect there, too.

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More significant is China’s relative shortage of hard currency. Despite Beijing’s efforts to make the yuan a global currency, it is little used in currency transactions – no more than 2% of the total in fact – and so is of little use in overseas purchases.  Meanwhile the trade war with the United States has already begun to cut into Beijing’s supplies of foreign exchange.  Beijing actually anticipated the problem and in 2017 and began to ration foreign exchange even before the White House added any tariffs. The first major investment declines occurred in late 2018, when the While House first imposed 10% tariffs on a range of Chinese products. The next drop coincided with this past spring’s increased tensions. To be sure, Beijing’s foreign exchange hoard remains huge, but officials are wary of how rapidly it has shrunk, falling some 25% from almost $4 trillion at its peak in 2014 to barely over $3 trillion during the first half of this year.  Beijing’s rationing of these financial resources has affected the state-owned sector in particular. Private companies have a greater willingness and ability to borrow hard currencies abroad.

Within the investment pullback, North America, which historically has accounted for some 17% of China’s overseas investment flows, has seen the biggest drop. No doubt, the hostility created by trade friction has played a role.  But China has also pulled back in Europe, where British and Swiss destinations have long dominated.  Australia and Singapore, which historically have accounted for about 10% of Chinese overseas investment flows, have seen less relative shortfall but some nonetheless.

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China has concentrated its remaining financial resources on less developed countries. The reasons are two fold.  First, activities in these countries center more on construction contracting than investing. Such efforts may require subsidies, but they demand little hard currency. Indeed, China collects fees on many of these projects. Second, Beijing has clearly made its Belt and Road initiative (BRI) a political priority. This effort at land trade routes between China on one side and Europe and the Middle East on the other may not generate the secure financial returns that investments in the developed world offer, but monies spent in these projects pay Beijing huge political dividends by tying these countries to China and by advancing a project that China has touted as an alternative to U.S.-led, mostly maritime trade arrangements. BRI historically has captured more than three-fifths of China’s overseas construction volumes with almost three quarters of the monies involved in energy and transportation in such places as Pakistan and Iran, Saudi Arabia and Nigeria. Preliminary figures for 2019 show that as all other efforts have diminished BRI has captured a still larger proportion of China’s efforts.

Even if China and the United States were to sign a trade deal tomorrow, these trends would likely persist. Though trade would increase with a new treaty, the terms would no doubt create a more even balance than previously, making it highly unlikely that China could replenish its reserves of hard currency quickly, if at all. At the same time, suspicions of Beijing’s agenda and practices, especially China’s state-owned enterprises, will persist, trade deal or no. Political imperatives will, of course, keep China focused on BRI and its construction projects.  For the investment flows, the best to expect is stability. It seems that for better or worse, the world has already seen the high water mark of Chinese investment flows.

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Source : Forbes

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