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Ambode Hails Longrich for Siting Manufacturing Plant in Lagos

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Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State on Sunday said his administration had performed well.

NAN reports that the outgoing Lagos helmsman spoke at the pre-launch of a $50 million manufacturing plant in the Lekki Free Zone, belonging to Longrich, a Chinese firm.

He said that the facility was another success story of the efforts of the government in attracting investment and an eloquent confirmation of the strategic importance of the free trade zone to the state’s economy.

Ambode noted that no less than 25 companies had set up their manufacturing plants within the zone, saying that it was indeed gratifying that the efforts to drive investments were yielding positive results.

Ambode said that the most important thing to him was that whether in government or outside of government, factories were springing up in the zone, thereby creating job opportunities for the people and improving the economy of the state.

According to the Governor, one of the most fulfilling feelings in life was to see one’s efforts yielding positive results.

Ambode said: ”It gives me immense satisfaction to be here today to witness this pre-launch of Longrich Nigeria Manufacturing Plant to be located in the Lekki Free Zone in Lagos State, Nigeria.

”At the inception of this administration, one of our core focus areas was attracting investments to our state; to create employment opportunities for our people and wealth for our investors.

”Today’s event is one of those crowning moments that confirm that our efforts have been rewarded.”

He commended Longrich Group of Companies for the decision to site the $50million factory in Lagos of all the cities and countries in Africa, saying the state and the country stand to benefit immensely from the investment.

”I have been informed that this Lekki Longrich facility, upon completion, will not only be the hub for the distribution of the products to the African sub-region but will provide employment for at least 1,000 new workers in our state.

”It will boost the nation’s foreign exchange earnings from exportation of manufactured products to other African countries.

”If we go by the success story of Longrich in China and the company’s track record, there is no doubt that Longrich Nigeria will be modelled after the world class LONGLIQI Bio-Industrial Park in China which covers an area of more than 133 hectares and serves as location of LONGLIQI Bio-Science Co., Ltd,” Ambode said.

While describing the firm as a global brand with a range of top class quality products and unique business model, the governor lauded the fact that Longrich had created wealth for over 500,000 people.

These people, he added, were trading in more than 30 brands of the company, with the majority of the traders residing in the state.

Ambode assured the people that the state government would continue to play its role as business enablers, especially by providing the necessary infrastructure and services required to support all investors and businesses who decide to make Lagos their home.

”Our administration has embarked on massive and ambitious projects. We have introduced public sector reforms and policies aimed at making it easier to do business in our state.

”Our governmental institutions like the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives, Office of Public Private Partnership and Office of Overseas Affairs and Investment are more than ever before, in the fore front of providing an enabling business environment for local and foreign investments to thrive.

These are just a few indicators to assure you of our commitment to securing not just Longrich’s investment in the South-West quadrant of Lekki Free Zone but to secure and attract more investments to our state,” he said.

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Price of Cooking Gas Hits N7,000 As NLNG Rues Poor Facilities

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The management of the Nigeria LNG Limited has said that marketers do not have enough infrastructure to take up its Liquefied Petroleum Gas supply.

In an earlier PUNCH report, the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association had said that the major cause of the rising cost of cooking gas was lack of adequate supply.

The marketers claimed that foreign investors underestimated demand in the Nigerian market resulting in marketers venturing into importation of the product.

They advocated that the government should let NLNG supply more gas to the market to reduce the costs.

Reports from consumers revealed that the cost of refilling a 12.5-kilogramme cylinder of LPG had risen to as high as N7000 in some states.

The marketers had also urged the government to remove cooking gas from the list of commodities subject to the payment of value added tax.

The marketing manager of NLNG, Austin Ogbogbo, in a response to the claim made by the IPMAN said that the marketers did not have enough infrastructure to take up the gas the company supplied.

He said, “NLNG has grown its capacity from 50,000 metric tonnes per annum to 450,000 metric tonnes per annum of LPG in the past 14 years.

“Nigeria needs 1.2 million metric tonnes per annum, but even the 450,000 we produce cannot be absorbed by the market’s current infrastructure.

“We only operate in the midstream sub sector of the industry so we are only responsible for supplying to the market.

“The downstream players are responsible for the distribution to the end users, and also building the infrastructure to ensure it is done efficiently. It is out of our scope.”

He assured the public that the company would grow its LPG capacity if it confirmed that distributors could take up additional supply.

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FirstBank Expands International Money Transfer Network, Reinforces Commitment to Customer Service

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In furtherance of the need to expand diaspora remittance inflow into the country, First Bank of Nigeria Limited has increased its network of International Money Transfer Operators (IMTOs), targeted at easing the accessibility of its customers to receive money from close to 100 countries across the world in a safe and secured manner. With over 750 branches across the country, customers can receive money from the nearest FirstBank branch closest to them.

Over the years, FirstBank has been in partnership with Western UnionMoneyGram, Ria, Transfast, and WorldRemit. The bank is also in partnership with other IMTOs which include Wari, Smallworld, Sendwave, Flutherwave, Funtech, Thunes and Venture Garden Group to promote remittance inflow into the country, thereby putting Nigerians and residents at an advantage in receiving money from their families, friends and loved ones across the world.

Beneficiaries can receive remittance in US dollars in any of our over 750 branches spread across the country. Customers without an existing domiciliary account can have dollar account automatically created for their remittances. You can also receive inflow directly into your account through Western Union.

In addition, FirstBank has launched its wholly owned remittance platform named First Global Transfer product to promote the international transfer of funds across its subsidiaries in sub-Saharan Africa. These subsidiaries include FBNBank DRC, FBNBank Ghana, FBNBank Gambia, FBNBank Guinea, FBNBank Sierra-Leone, FBNBank Senegal.

Reiterating the Bank’s resolve in promoting diaspora remittances, regardless of where one is across the globe, the Deputy Managing Director, Mr Gbenga Shobo said “at FirstBank, expanding our network of International Money Transfer Operators is in recognition of the significant roles diaspora remittances play in driving economic growth such as helping recipients meet basic needs, fund cash and non-cash investments, finance education, foster new businesses and debt servicing.

We are excited about these partnerships, as it is essential to ensure our customers are at an advantage to receive money from their loved ones and business associates, anywhere they are, across the world.”

FirstBank pioneered international funds transfer and remittances over 25 years ago and has been at the forefront of promoting cross border payments in the country, having started the journey with Western Union Money Transfer. The Bank’s wealth of experience and operation in over 750 locations nationwide gives it the edge in the market.

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Unity Bank Collaborate to Fund N15.5bn Equipment for Julius Berger

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Unity Bank Plc, in company of other banks has facilitated a credit facility of N15.5bn for the acquisition of trucks and equipment to Julius Berger Plc.

The group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of SCOA Nigeria Plc, Dr Massad Boulos, has appreciated the gesture.

A statement from SCOA said that SCOA presented 33 MAN platform trucks and equipment to Julius Berger to be deployed for the construction of the 380 kilometre Abuja-Kaduna-Kano roads.

The banks that funded the acquisition were Unity Bank Plc, Heritage Bank Limited, Zenith Bank Plc, Providus Bank Limited, Wema Bank Plc, United Bank for Africa Plc, Union Bank Plc and Coronation Merchant Bank Limited.

Boulos said, “I commend Unity Bank, their MD and the members of the executive management; and the entire team of banks who have worked closely with us on this project.”

Mr Ralph Brendicke, the representative of the MD of Julius Berger Nigeria Plc, Dr Lars Richter, said the trucks and other equipment would help the company expand its field capacity and increase the speed of execution leading to timely completion of the highly anticipated project.

The MD/CEO of Unity Bank Plc, Mrs Tomi Somefun, represented by the Directorate Head, Lagos and South West Zone, Mr Wale Ogunride, was quoted as saying, “We looked at the strategic importance of this project and how such infrastructure could contribute to stimulating economic activity and decided that Unity Bank must play its part.

“Unity Bank will continue to provide support to such projects as we have been doing in other critical sectors of the economy such as agriculture.”

In a separate statement, the Executive Director of Wema Bank, Mr Oluwole Ajimisinmi, was quoted as saying that his bank was delighted to be one of the institutions to support SCOA in the project.

He also encouraged and solicited for more local content in order to create more jobs.

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