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Elumelu Challenges Japan – “Partner with us in Empowering African Entrepreneurs”

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Achim Steiner, UNDP Administrator Praises Tony Elumelu’s Private-Sector Led Approach to African Development; President of South Africa, H.E. Cyril Ramaphosa: “If you want really good returns, as Tony Elumelu said, come to Africa”; Elumelu Champions Job Creation in Africa at Breakfast Meeting with President of Rwanda and UNICEF Executive Director.

In an impassioned keynote speech, delivered before global leaders, at the 7th Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) in Yokohama, Japan, African investor and philanthropist Tony Elumelu challenged the Government of Japan to invest 5% of its $50billion commitment to Africa, in empowering African entrepreneurs.

“At TICAD 2016 in Kenya, Japan pledged $30billion for Africa. This year you have generously increased this to $50 billion. If we invested just 5% in Africa’s new generation of entrepreneurs, following my Foundation’s robust, proven model of getting capital directly to those best placed to catalyse growth and create real impact, we could touch 500,000 lives, across the 54 African countries, broadening markets, facilitating job creation, improving income per capita, and laying the key foundation for political and economic stability”, said Mr. Elumelu.

Mr. Elumelu’s statement captured his vision of a relationship between Japan and Africa, which prioritises economic and shared prosperity. He outlined the three key pillars of a bold and transformative structure: investment in infrastructure, partnership with the African private sector, and investment in Africa’s youth.

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He urged Japan to learn from the example of the Tony Elumelu Foundation  which champions empowering African entrepreneurs, as the most sustainable means of accelerating the development of Africa. The Tony Elumelu Foundation, in just five years has assisted over 7,500 African entrepreneurs across every African country, with seed capital, capacity building, mentorship and networking opportunities through its $100 million Entrepreneurship Programme.

Elumelu’s advice carried the weight of his track record of business success, founding Africa’s global bank, United Bank for Africa (UBA), which has grown its presence to 20 African countries, as well as in the United Kingdom, France, and the USA; and Heirs Holdings, Africa’s private investment company which actively invests in key sectors of Africa’s economy and controls millions of dollars in its investment portfolio. Together, they employ over 30,000 people and transform the communities they operate in.

“Africa is one of the world’s viable destinations for investment. Our huge population, of nearly 1.3 billion people, creates one of the most attractive markets anywhere in the world. The world is paying close attention to Africa, but is Japan at the centre of this conversation or is it on the sidelines?” he queried.

Mr. Elumelu’s philosophy has become increasingly popular on the African continent, where he is acknowledged as the pioneer of a private-sector-led approach to accelerating development. He repeated the message at the Generation Unlimited breakfast meeting with H.E. Paul Kagame, President of Rwanda and UNICEF Executive Director, Henrietta Fore, with its focus on job creation in Africa, where he emphasised the role the African youth plays in this narrative.

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President of South Africa and Co-Chair, TICAD, H.E. Cyril Ramaphosa corroborated Mr. Elumelu’s stance. He said: “If you want really good returns, as Mr. Tony Elumelu said, come to Africa. Africa presents risk-adjusted returns and is a market in which investments are flowing at a hundred billion dollars – that is the new profile of Africa that is being presented to the world.”

Achim Steiner, UNDP Administrator praised Tony Elumelu’s Private-Sector led approach to development in Africa. He said: “I want to refer to my dear friend and colleague Tony Elumelu because he alluded to the vital role that business can also play in investing in the future of the youth. These are the kinds of partnerships that will drive business and development agenda to very different heights in the future”.

Speaking on the potential of the African continent, Prime Minister Shinzō Abe of Japan said: “In Africa, some countries have joined top nations in the ranking on the ease of doing business. The scale of the market continues to expand. We can envision a day when the entire continent of Africa becomes an enormous economic zone.”

Organised by the Japanese Government, TICAD is a three-yearly forum for advancing Africa’s development through people, technology, and innovation, bringing together government, business leaders, companies and other stakeholders. The event hosted Presidents and private sector leaders including Prime Minister Shinzō Abe of Japan; H.E. Mr. Muhammadu Buhari, President of Nigeria; H.E. Mr. Abdel-’ El-Sisi, President of Egypt and Chair of the African Union (AU); H.E. Mr. Cyril Ramaphosa, President of South Africa; and H.E. Mr. Paul Kagame, President of Rwanda and a host of other African Presidents.

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Dangote boosts South East economy with N63billion investment

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Dangote Group has in the last five years invested over N63bn in the South East with the purchase of over 3,500 units of locally assembled Shacman trucks at the production plant of Anambra Motor Manufacturing Company (ANAMMCO), Enugu.

The order was delivered over a period of five years after Dangote Group signed an agreement with Transit Support Services (TSS), a subsidiary of ABC Transport PLC.

The partnership started in 2016 with an initial order of 350 Trucks by Dangote and as of today no fewer than 3,500 trucks have been supplied to Dangote from the ANAMMCO plant. Each of the trucks costs over N18m.

Apart from being the single largest buyer of the locally assembled trucks, the patronage by Dangote Group has revived the ANAMMCO plant, a vehicle assembly facility commissioned in 1980 by the Federal Government in partnership with Mercedes Benz.

Speaking at the weekend after a tour of the expansive ANAMMCO plant which was filled with Dangote trucks undergoing semi knocked down (SKD) production, Chairman of TSS, Mr. Frank Nneji said if not for Dangote’s magnanimity and his commitment to empower local manufacturers, the ANAMMCO plant would have remained perpetually moribund.

According to him, the revival of ANAMMCO was made possible by Dangote’s patronage “in identifying a plant that has capacity in the south-east, in Enugu to give us the opportunity to produce trucks locally instead of importing them.”

He said, “And of course you know what it does for us here in the South East. For more than seven years this plant was shut down. There was no activity here until we made an agreement with Shacman group and started skeletally. But we were only to start full step production when we offered the logistics solutions to Dangote and the production facility of ANAMMCO way back in 2016. That was the time we signed agreement for the first 500 units of trucks.”

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Nneji who added that 90 per cent of trucks produced at ANAMMCO plant were for Dangote said the patronage has also brought back Onne Port in Rivers State which he disclosed has handled over 3000 containers since ANAMMCO was resuscitated.

He said, “ANAMMCO like I told you is a plant that was commissioned in 1980 by the Federal Government, it used to be in collaboration with Mercedes Benz. Of course you know what has happened to the auto industry. We had gone down over a long period prior to the inception of the automotive policy.

“What we are saying in ANAMMCO coming back is actually as a result of this auto policy. This is one of the benefits. And the second thing is the benefit of Dangote’s patronage in identifying a plant that has capacity in the south-east, in Enugu to give us the opportunity to produce trucks locally instead of importing them.

“And of course you know what it does for us here in the South East.

For more than seven years this plant was shut down. There was no activity here until we made an agreement with Shacman group and started skeletally. But we were only to start full step production when we offered the logistics solutions to Dangote and the production facility of ANAMMCO way back I 2016. That was the time we signed agreement for the first 500 units of trucks.

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“What this initial capacity surge did was to ensure that all the staff of ANAMMCO who had been at home had to come back to work. Some local suppliers, lubricants, electrolytes and the rest of them also had to come back to doing business. And it goes even further than that because we are in Enugu, we used the Onne Ports to bring in these goods. You know many people are complaining that Onne Port is moribund, no good is coming. Of course we directed all the containers here and from 2016 up till now courtesy of Dangote, the Onne Port has handled more than 3000 containers coming to this place.

“So you see how we can spur capacity by utilizing our local capacity that is available and this is courtesy of Dangote and the patronage and each time we had approached Dangote, we said, ‘look if you are going to do this number of trucks, it is important that the Shacman apart from its quality, we are also representing a firm that has production capacity in the South East in the stake of ANAMMCO.’ That is how Dangote is keeping the South East automobile sector working.

“According to the National Automotive Policy, Enugu and Nnewi has been designated as the automotive centre for the South East in this axis. This is because of the stay of ANAMMCO over a period. They have acquired a lot of technical capacity. There is also a training school that produces technicians, training young school leavers here.

“So this is what we are doing here. This place is busy producing quality trucks with Dangote as the largest single patron. 90 per cent of the trucks produced here are for Dangote.

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“Totally here we have done 3,500 units for Dangote. Additionally the trucks used at the refinery are also Shacman trucks. Because of the quality of Shacman trucks Dangote also patronizes that for the refinery.”

General Manager, Media, Dangote Group, Mr. Sunday Esan said the group is satisfied with the Shacman Trucks churned out from Onne Ports, adding that the partnership would last for a long time as the group continues to expand across its various business segments.

Esan added that as the Dangote refinery comes on stream, the group would require more trucks hence the sustained relationship with TSS/ANAMMCO.

According to him, the massive investment in the south-east is contrary to the assumption that Alhaji Aliko Dangote, the President/CEO of Dangote Group is not patronizing local manufacturers.

“This is why he agreed we should come and see how ANAMMCO plant has come alive, the impact he has made in the country and the employment this patronage has generated,” he said.

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We will use Oyo IGR to offset all recurrent expenditure before 2023—Makinde

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Oyo State Governor, Engineer Seyi Makinde, on Tuesday, declared that his administration would ensure that the State’s Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) is able to offset its recurrent expenditure before the end of his current tenure.

Governor Makinde, who made the declaration while giving a keynote address at the one-day Tax Stakeholders ‘Poverty to Prosperity’ Summit held at the Theophilus Ogunlesi Hall, University College Hospital, Ibadan, stated that his commitment to take the State from poverty to prosperity remained on course.

A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Makinde, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, equally quoted the Governor as telling the dignitaries at the event that the sacked local government chairmen who have been struggling to return to the councils were targeting the funds of the councils.

Makinde urged the people of the state to think of new and innovative ideas to expand the State’s IGR.

According to him, the desperation by the sacked 68 Local Government and Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) chairmen to return to the offices was informed by the greet to take over the accumulated resources of the councils.
He, however, stated that the era of spending government’s money reckless had gone and the sacked illegal chairmen had gone with it, adding that though many of the sacked chairmen have shown that they were stone-hearted, one could only hope that those who fail to toe the path of peace will be judged accordingly.

Governor Makinde who also spoke at the foundation laying ceremony of the Mini-Mapo Hall at the Headquarters of Ibadan South-West Local Government said that his government would ensure prudent management of public funds.

While laying the foundation stone of the Traditional Council’s building (Mini-Mapo), which was attended by the Olubadan of Ibadan, ObaSaliu Adetunji and his High Chiefs as well as other top Government functionaries, Governor Makinde reiterated the importance of the traditional institution in ensuring peace and order in the society, noting that despite the country operating democracy, the traditional councils could not be overlooked.

The Governor added that the traditional rulers as the closest to the people, who also understand their culture and tradition, remained relevant in maintaining peace and resolving conflicts.

While delivering his keynote address at the tax summit, Governor Makinde noted that growing the State’s IGR has become imperative to the Government’s mandate to move Oyo State from poverty to prosperity.

According to him, strategies have been put in place by his Government to boost the IGR of the State and that the strategies have started yielding fruits.

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He stated that Oyo State was able to raise the IGR from  about N2 billion to N2.7 billion in November 2019.

He said: “We are here today to talk about the Oyo State IGR Roadmap that will facilitate economic prosperity. The issue of Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) is very important as it is tied to how much development the state will experience, all things being equal.

“Without adequate revenue, there will be no resources to fund the budget; the state will have to resort to borrowing for recurrent expenditure or owing for overheads, which is never ideal.

“Trends also show Oyo State’s IGR fluctuates; in 2014 it was N16.30bn, but dropped to N15.66bn in 2015, later increasing to N18.88bn in 2016. For 2017, the IGR figures grew to N22.45bn. While in 2018 it grew to N24.67bn. This put our IGR per capita in 2018 at below N3,000 per person. We can definitely do better.

“The current trend across states in Nigeria is to see IGR as being synonymous with revenue generated from taxes, partly because other sources of revenue, especially natural resources are on the exclusive list.

“Revenue generated from these natural resources goes to the Federation Account and is then shared between the Federal Government and states. A lot has been said about how this has served as a hindrance to development, and how it has made states unwilling to invest in the management of these resources. But that is only half of the story.

“The other half is that it is possible to raise the IGR of the state without raising taxes. And this is the promise that we made to the people of Oyo State while we were on the campaign trail. We are determined to continue keeping that promise.

“Indeed, as clearly stated in our Roadmap for Accelerated Development in Oyo State 2019-2023, our plans to increase the revenue generated in Oyo State without an increase in taxes, stand on four legs: A thorough review of the current IGR process and management in the state; expanding the tax net; looking for new sources of revenue and being aggressive and innovative in the mode of revenue collection by having the State Board of the Internal Revenue Service working in collaboration with seasoned professionals.

“So far, and I am sure we will have this expounded by various speakers today, Oyo State has embarked on a comprehensive review of the IGR process and management. We have been able to plug some holes in the system and this is yielding results. We have also employed new managers of the revenue collection process. Their mandate is to come up with innovative and aggressive ways of getting the untaxed to contribute to the development of the state.”

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“The commencement of the new strategies put in place to increase IGR produced the positive result recorded in December 2019, as we raised the IGR to 2.7 billion Naira from about 2 billion Naira in November.

“Also, we are putting in place a land administration solution that will ensure wider and more effective enumeration of all business and household properties, ensure ease of obtaining land titles and other documents and faster approval of building plans. The land use charge has been fine-tuned and will be responsibly applied.

“Furthermore, we have taken a second look at our vehicle registration and renewal system and by the end of this month, the public can expect a wider, better and faster platform which will be available in all our 34 tax stations. We will continually apply fair and harmonised billings to other rates and levies.

“It is generally agreed in economic circles that the citizens are more inclined to respond positively and even volunteer to pay their taxes when they see how these payments are being put in use. I am happy to report that the taxes paid by the good people of Oyo State are currently being ploughed back into the development of the state. You may be aware of the work being done by the Oyo State Road Maintenance Agency (OYSROMA); we are rehabilitating roads in Ibadan and will move outside Ibadan to other cities before the end of this quarter.

“The work being done in the education sector is also taxpayers’ money in action. Schools are being built and renovated; we are concentrating on our final year secondary school students. We want them to return better results in their WAEC exams this year. We are also able to increase the education budget by 700 per cent compared to last year’s budget.

“Because we believe that health is wealth, we are taking steps to ensure that the people of Oyo State remain healthy. Soon, we will roll out a health intervention programme across all Local Government Areas in the state. The renovation and equipping of hospitals and Primary Health Care Centres in the state remain on course.
“In a few months, we are looking to start running a mass transit system in the state. The modalities are being set up and we will communicate the process with you.

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“Of course, what this means is that we will have to find a way of increasing our IGR especially by looking inwards and exploring areas of competitive advantage. We have to, as a matter of urgency, attract investments into Oyo State.
“Attracting direct investments will take a collective effort. Our administration will continue to invest in security and take other measures to ensure that we create an enabling environment for the growth of investments. On your part, you should be ready to extend the traditional hospitality to strangers, making them feel welcome in our midst.

“We also plead that you file your annual returns early in the year and within the stipulated time.
“As we explore the theme of this Stakeholder’s summit, I enjoin us all to keep our minds open to new ideas and think creatively and innovatively about how to expand our tax net. If, as research has shown, an increase in IGR is a strong determinant of economic development, then those of us in this room should understand how important this mandate is.”

 

In his speech, the Oyo State Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Akinola Ojo, maintained that the summit presented “an opportunity for all stakeholders to interact, obtain first-hand information on the benefits of paying taxes and perhaps most importantly, understand the plans and appreciate the strides by the Government regarding generating the revenue with which it intends to provide requisite services and infrastructure for the benefit of every citizen of Oyo State as well as enhance development in the State.”

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Osun Economic Summit: FG to Site Specialised Agricultural Market In Ijebu – Jesa

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The Federal Government has expressed its readiness to site a specialised agricultural produce and international fish market in Ijebu –Jesa,  Oriade Local Government Area of Osun.

The Osun state Commissioner for Agriculture and Food Security, Mr Adedayo Adewole disclosed this at a meeting of the Project Implementation Committee (PIC) in Osogbo, the state capital.

Adedayo explained that the Federal Ministry of Trade and Investment, in conjunction with Agricultural Traders Welfare Association (ATWA), would be executing the project in the state.

According to the Commissioner, the project is a fallout of the economic and investment summit organised by the state government in November 2019 and targeted at boosting the economy of the state.

He said apart from the fact that the project upon implementation would boost the economy of Osun, it would also boost the business of fish farmers and marketers in the state and its environs .

Earlier, the representative of the PIC, Dr Joseph Okeke, lauded the state government for promoting discussion of the economic transformation of the state and Nigeria in general through agriculture and agricultural value chain.

Okeke, who also doubles as the National President of ATWA, noted that the project was targeted towards economic diversification by the Federal Government in the area of specialised agricultural market.

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“It is also geared toward job creation, enhancing economic activities and facilitating exportation of Nigerian commodities”, he added.

The committee, comprising of the project facilitator, Dr Gabriel Eniola, Osun Fish Farmers Association Chairman, Mr Tope Ogundipe and Osun Commissioner for Lands and Physical Planning, Mr Nathaniel Agunbiade among others later inspected the site.

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