White House seeks to block Congress against killing ZTE deal

By News Desk, with Agency Report,

The White House has assured that it would do within confine of its power to derail an effort in the U.S. Congress to block the Trump administration’s deal to allow ZTE Corp, China’s No. 2 telecommunications equipment maker, to resume doing business with American suppliers, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday.

The ZTE issue encompasses U.S.-China relations, national security, trade and President Donald Trump’s ties to fellow Republicans in the Senate.

The administration wants to change legislative language in a defense spending bill before the Senate, but will intervene later in the legislative process, the Journal said, citing a senior White House official.

The Senate was expected to pass its bill as soon as this week. It will later need to be reconciled with a defense spending measure already passed by the House of Representatives.

The White House was not immediately available for comment.

Republicans, who control both chambers of Congress, and Democrats expressed national security concerns about ZTE after it broke an agreement to discipline executives who had conspired to evade U.S. sanctions on Iran and North Korea.

The United States had banned the company but later moved to lift the ban. In a settlement with the U.S. Commerce Department, the company agreed earlier this week to pay a $1 billion fine, overhaul its leadership and meet other conditions, including putting $400 million in escrow in a U.S.-approved bank.

A Commerce Department spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the Journal report.

ZTE shares plunged in Hong Kong and Shenzhen on Wednesday following the settlement, with investors wiping about $3 billion off its market value.

Tesla cuts 9 percent of workforce in search for profit

By Business Desk

Electric car maker Tesla Inc is cutting several thousand jobs across the company as it seeks to reduce costs and become profitable without endangering the critical production ramp-up for its Model 3 sedan.

n an email he said had been sent to staff, billionaire Chief Executive Elon Musk said on Tuesday that the cuts were part of a simplification of Tesla’s management structure promised last month.

“As part of this effort, and the need to reduce costs and become profitable, we have made the difficult decision to let go of approximately 9 percent of our colleagues across the company,” the email read.

“These cuts were almost entirely made from our salaried population and no production associates were included, so this will not affect our ability to reach Model 3 production targets in the coming months.”

Tesla has been trying to hit a 5,000 per week production target of its Model 3 sedans after facing initial production hiccups. Last week, Musk said the carmaker should achieve its target by the end of June.

Shares rose as much as 7 percent and were last up 3.6 percent at $344.18.

The layoffs mean there likely will not be more job cuts in the near-term, said Efraim Levy, analyst at CFRA Research, adding that Tesla will likely raise capital early in 2019.

“I don’t think if Tesla becomes profitable in Q3 and Q4, that will be sustainable because of ramping up of the production. The layoffs may help them to achieve profitability in the near-term but not sustain it.”

Tesla has been burning through cash as it continues to spend on its assembly line and prepares for new investments on projects such as the Model Y crossover and its Gigafactory.

Free cash flow, a key metric of financial health, widened to negative $1 billion in the first quarter from negative $277 million in the fourth quarter, excluding costs of systems for its solar business.

Several Wall Street analysts anticipate a capital raise this year despite Musk’s statements that it will not be necessary due to profitability and positive cash flow in the third or fourth quarters.

Tesla said it began notifying impacted workers on Tuesday and would continue to do so throughout the week. A spokesman said it would reduce overall employment back to around 37,000 – roughly in line with numbers at the end of last year.

Musk also said that Tesla had decided not to renew a residential sales agreement with Home Depot (HD.N), and would focus instead on selling its solar products through its own stores and website. The company will seek to re-employ most Tesla employees at Home Depot stores at its own locations.

Musk told employees in May that the company was undergoing a “thorough reorganization” as it contends with production problems, senior staff departures and recent crashes involving its electric cars.

At the start of April, the company’s shares had fallen by around 35 percent from a peak hit last September but signs that it is on course to meet an output target of Model 3 cars have wiped out almost all of this year’s losses.

New Tesla software to offer ‘full’ autonomy – Musk

By Business Desk,

SpaceX and Tesla CEO, Elon Musk announced that an update to Tesla’s Autopilot software will be released in August, “it will enable “full self-driving features” for the automaker’s electric cars”.

Musk’s comments come amid a race by automakers and tech firms to roll out fully autonomous vehicles, but also rising concerns about the safety of robotic systems.

The Tesla founder made the disclosure in a Twitter conversation, responding to a user who complained about issues with Autopilot, which is currently considered semi-autonomous with the requirement that a motorist be at the wheel at all times.

Musk said, the updated “Version 9” coming in August would help address a number of issues.

“To date, Autopilot resources have rightly focused entirely on safety. With V9, we will begin to enable full self-driving features,” he said.

Musk offered no details about the system, which could accelerate the effort to put more self-driving cars on the roads in the United States.

Federal safety investigators have been looking into a series of accidents, including at least two datal ones, involving self-driving cars.

Musk has complained about the focus on accidents, arguing that self-driving systems are likely to be far safer than human drivers.

“It’s super messed up that a Tesla crash resulting in a broken ankle is front page news and the (approximately) 40,000 people who died in US auto accidents alone in past year get almost no coverage,” Musk said last month.

The National Transportation Safety Board said in a preliminary report last week that a Tesla operating on Autopilot sped up before a crash into a freeway barrier in California that killed the driver.

In another fatal accident last year, Tesla’s Autopilot failed to detect a truck crossing the road, but investigators pointed out the driver was watching a movie at the time and not paying attention with the semi-autonomous system in operation.

After an Uber self-driving vehicle earlier this year killed a pedestrian in Arizona, investigators said the automatic braking system had been disabled.

Nestle sets 2025 for recyclable, re-usable packaging

By NewsDesk,

Nestlé has set 2025 as year that it should be expected to follow bold global ambition of making 100 per cent of its packaging either recyclable or re-usable..

However, the company, which made the assertion as it joined the rest of the world to celebrate the 2018 World Environment Day (WED) on Tuesday in Lagos, said it was part of its pledge to play an active role in combating plastic pollution.

According to him, the company aims to help consumers dispose of used materials in the right way, while promoting a market for recycled plastics by continuing to increase the proportion of recycled plastics in its packaging.

Through a statement issued by Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Manager, Victoria Uwadoka, it stated that a vision, for none of its packaging, including plastics, to end up in landfill or as litter,  is global in vision but local in execution.

On waste management solution in Ghana and Nigeria, it said that Nestlé was looking to develop the well-organised collection, sorting and recycling schemes across all countries where it operated.

In Central and West Africa, Nestlé is supporting the Ghanaian government’s efforts to better manage plastic waste, as one of eight founding members of the Ghana Recycling Initiative by Private Enterprises (GRIPE).

“As part of this coalition, Nestlé is working with other major industrial companies including Unilever and Coca-Cola, to integrate sustainable waste management solutions and advocate for improved waste management practices in Ghana.

“With a population of more than 28 million, the country has one of the fastest-growing economies in the world today, but has a severe and fast-growing waste management problem.

“The coalition’s main aims include: contributing to increased collection and recycling rates across the country, provide employment opportunities through scalable recycling solutions, and engaging with the government to help tackle the problem of plastic waste.

“In Nigeria, Nestlé is one of the five member companies of the Food and Beverage Recycling Alliance (FBRA) incorporated to serve as the sector Producers Responsible Organisation under the Extended Producers (EPR) scheme, the statement said.

It noted that the alliance had completed the development of a viable collection and recycling plan with initial focus on the major food and beverage packaging materials that posed significant challenge for the Nigerian national waste management system.

The company said that its efforts to help address this issue highlight the importance of the United Nations’ World Environment Day on June 5, a global day of action that promoted worldwide awareness for the protection of our environment.

“This year is dedicated to the theme, `Beat Plastic Pollution’.
“Nestle urges us all to make changes to our everyday habits to reduce the serious impact of plastic pollution on our environment,’’ it said.

According to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), half of all consumer plastics are single use, one tenth of all human-generated waste is plastic, and in the next 10-15 years, global plastic production is projected to nearly double.

The UNEP is asking individuals, the private sector and policymakers to come together to entirely rethink our approach to designing, producing and using plastic products.

On zero environmental impact, it said: “As a Group, Nestlé’s overarching ambition is to strive for zero environmental impact in its global operations by 2030, as part of the company’s purpose to enhance quality of life and contribute to a healthier future.

“Five out of seven Nestlé factories in Central and West Africa Region have zero waste to landfill.

“We have also started initiates to recycle Maggi wrappers. Nestlé has also set clear commitments and objectives to use sustainably managed and renewable resources, operate more efficiently, achieve zero waste for disposal and improve water management.

“The company also continues to actively participate in initiatives that reduce food loss and waste, and preserve our forests, oceans and biodiversity,’’ the statement said.

 

Ganduje persuade investors on manufacturing

By NewsDesk,

The Kano State Governor, Dr. Abdullahi Ganduje has persuaded both local and international investors to take advantage of the state government’s liberal investment policy, to build manufacturing industries within the state.

Ganduje assured investors that they stand to benefit from several incentives such as Free Land for the setting up of Industrial/Manufacturing ventures.

The governor, who passed the assurance yesterday during his visit Tiamin Rice Mill  in the state, which was constructed on land donated by the state government, stated the state would put into consideration reasonable tax holidays and relief for industrial ventures, provision of adequate infrastructure, water, and electricity for business as well as stable and secure environment.

According to him, the state government also has excellent legal and other support for ease of business, would provide support for local employment of staff, facilitate transfer of dividend or profit net of taxes in addition to Zero tolerance for corruption.

The governor commended Chairman of Tiamin Group, for his foresight in accepting the state government’s offer of land and other incentives to build the company, which he noted, would create thousands of jobs.

“From what I have seen, I think I will not mind giving him more land when he asks for it, because he has demonstrated that he is willing to utile the land given to him so that a lot of employment opportunities can be create for our youth”, the governor maintained.

“The private sector has a key role to play in expanding Kano’s industrial base, turning the manufacturing industry into a significant employer and boosting economic expansion initiatives”.

He said investments such as the rice mill would consolidate the Federal government’s ban on rice importation and encourage local farmers.

The chairman of Tiamin Group, Alh. Aminu Tiamin, said he was encouraged by the investor friendly policies of the Ganduje administration, to spend billions of Naira in establishing the rice mill which was ready for commissioning.

He explained that the company has the capacity to produce 32 metric tonnes of rice per day and would create thousands of job opportunities for skilled and unskilled youths in the state.

Nestle introduces new product from cereal package

By NewsDesk,

The Nestlé Nigeria has introduced a new product from its cereal, known as Golden More Puffs, the development of which was said to be part of its continued quest to provide families with more healthier and delicious food choices.

Introducing the product on Wednesday at a Media Executive Meeting in Lagos, Nestle’s Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Manager, Victoria Uwadoka, said it was made purely from grains and cereals.

She said that the new product was produced in Nigeria and for Nigerians and that it fortified with vitamins and iron to contribute to the efforts to address micronutrient deficiency in the country.

“Micronutrient deficiency is the lack of essential vitamins and minerals required in small amounts by the body for proper growth and development.

“According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), 2 billion people in the world are affected by iron deficiency, which is the most common micronutrient disorder in sub-Saharan Africa,’’ Uwadoka said.

“The major health consequences of deficiency in essential micronutrients include impaired physical and cognitive development, which translates to reduced performance of school-aged children among others.

“It is important to note that annually, Nigeria loses over 1.5 billion dollars in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) directly and indirectly to vitamin and mineral deficiencies.’’

Besides, the Category Manager, Dairy, Nestle,  Aboubacar Coulibaly, said that the Puffs product was made from maize, millet, oats and soya, and that it was also put together with grain smart,  a unique combination of vitamins and iron.

“Food fortification is a strategy that Nestlé has adopted to help address the burden of micro-nutrient deficiency.

“With 50 per cent of our portfolio already fortified with micronutrients, the introduction of Golden Morn Puffs breakfast cereal today is another step towards the fulfilment of our commitment to provide healthier, delicious food choices for all age groups, a journey we have been on for the past 57 years in Nigeria,” he said.

Coulibaly disclosed that 94 per cent of the grains and cereals used in the production of Golden Morn Puffs is sourced locally.

“We are very happy to announce to you today that the work we have been doing with local farmers for the past 7 years on capacity building and grain quality improvement is yielding results.

“Ninety-four percent of the agricultural raw materials for the product we are launching today, Golden Morn Puffs was supplied by Nigerian farmers,’’ he added.

He said that Nestlé Nigeria would continue to invest in the development of nutrient rich delicious food to fulfil its purpose, which is enhancing quality of life and contributing to a healthier future.

 

Jaguar Land Rover to Cut 1,000 Jobs

Britain’s biggest carmaker, is poised to announce the elimination of around 1,000 posts currently filled by workers on short-term contracts as it grapples with slumping U.K. sales of diesel autos and uncertainty around Brexit.

It added: “In light of the continuing headwinds impacting the car industry, we are making some adjustments to our production schedules and the level of agency staff.

“We are however continuing to recruit large numbers of highly skilled engineers, graduates and apprentices as we over-proportionally invest in new products and technologies.

“We also remain committed to our UK plants in which we have invested more than £4bn since 2010 to future-proof manufacturing technologies to deliver new models.”

Production will be cut at the Castle Bromwich and Solihull sites, with affected staff based at Solihull.

Jaguar Land Rover would not confirm the number of jobs to be lost but said the changes would largely see agency staff not having their contracts renewed. A source told the Reuters news agency that 1,000 roles would be cut.

There are 3,200 people employed at the Castle Bromwich site and a further 10,000 at Solihull.

Some staff roles will also be moved from Castle Bromwich to Solihull.

Speaking to Sky’s Ian King in March, chief executive Ralf Speth had said: “The economy is weaker in the UK than in any other European country but it’s also quite clear that the diesel discussion, additional taxes on the latest technology have created a reaction in the consumer base.”

In January, the firm had said it would temporarily reduce production at its other British plant of Halewood this year in response to weakening demand due to Brexit and tax hikes on diesel cars.

When asked in March if there could be further production cuts at the carmaker’s UK plants, Mr Speth told Ian King: “It’s quite clear that if there’s no demand, then we have to adapt our production levels.

“It’s unfortunate that in the UK demand is not there anymore, and the UK is our home market.

“So in our home market, it’s important that the economy can grow and that we have free opportunity to sell our cars.”

Jaguar sales have fallen 26% so far this year and Land Rover dropped 20%.

Julian Knight, MP for Solihull, said: “The news that has come to us is disturbing, and I am in regular contact with JLR on this issue.

Most expensive 10 cars, costlier than jets

By NewsDesk,

From its etymology, cars were made as means of transportation, with the first steam-powered automobile capable of human transport produced in 1769 by Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot.

Over time, car making has evolved from the first combustion engine fuelled by hydrogen made in 1808 to the 1870 first gasoline powered combustion engine to 1903 when Ford produced thousands of affordable cars for sale.

In recent times, cars have moved from being just a means of transportation to being a symbol of status and power used by the very wealthy and influential.

From the stupendously-rich monarch in the Middle-East, to wealthy business moguls in Europe and America, cars have become another means of showing off wealth.

Big names like Lamborghini, Aston Martin, Rolls Royce often come at very high prices and are only meant for rich collectors as many of them are often sold out before they reach the public.

While most of the cars listed here are wildly out of the reach for most, it is a sheer pleasure just to look at them.

Some of these cars are more expensive than the most affordable Jet: the Cirrus Vision 5-seater jet which goes for $1.96 million.

In fact, the most expensive car in the world which goes for N3.9 billion ($13m), can buy 6 Cirrus Vision Jets. However, most of them are not available in the open market as there are only very limited quantity or they are manufactured on request. In fact there is only one of the most expensive car in the world and it would not be replicated.

The 10 most expensive cars in the World fall within below category:

Bugatti Chiron – $2.7m (N826 million)

Bugatti Chiron – $2.7m (N826 million)

This is one of the latest range of high priced cars made by Bugatti and it starts at around $2.7 million. However, prices are expected to reach $3 million in the least, long before it hits the market.

The Bugatti Chiron is hyped by its manufacturers and touted as the World’s most powerful, fastest, most luxurious and most exclusive production super sports car.

It is a fine example of the collusion of aerospace and automotive engineering to produce a classic device that could give a speed of 268 mph. The 8.0 litre turbo-charged W-16, 1,500-horsepower engine is actually 300 more than the Super Sport, the fastest Veyron model.

Its top speed has been limited to 261 mph on the road, its actual top speed is yet to be tested.

Pagani Huayra BC – $2.8 million (N856 million)

Pagani Huayra BC – $2.8 million (N856 million)

This is the most expensive Pagani ever made and named as a tribute to Benny Caiola, a noted Italian investor with probably the best collection of Ferraris and a very close friend of Horacio Pagani.

This car was first seen at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show with many cool aero features. It is equipped with a 6.0 liter V-12 bi-turbo AMG engine and produces 790 horsepower and 811 lb-ft torque.

And the most amazing bit is that the BC takes over the Huayra by changing the model’s standard 150
Ferrari Pininfarina Sergio – $3 million (N918 million)
This Ferrari was originally introduced as a concept car in 2013 in memory of the late son of of the founder of Pininfarina. Only six of these cars have been made so far making it one of the most coveted cars.

Each of the handmade units has an all-carbon-fibre frame, and is an open air luxury car with two seats. Like the Ferrari 458, it has no roof, side windows and windshield, and is 330 pounds lighter than its ancestor. It is fitted with a 4.5 liter F136F V-8 engine, which sends 562 hp to the rear wheels.

The owners of each of the six models were chosen by the manufacturers themselves, making this one of the rarest of the rare invite-only vehicles.

Aston Martin Valkyrie – $3.2 million (N979 million)

Aston Martin Valkyrie – $3.2 million (N979 million)

Aston Martin is yet to announce a price for this car, experts estimate that it would cost nothing less than 3.2 million dollars. This model is a renovation of the old Aston Martin-Red Bull AM-RB 001. The 6.5 liter, naturally- aspirated V-12 designed specifically for the Cosworth, has a 1:1 power /weight ratio, and comes with a Rimac-built hybrid battery system coming with the engine which yields about a 1,000 horsepower. Only 150 of this particular car is scheduled to be distributed around the world beginning from 2019.

 

 

 

Limited Edition Bugatti Veyron by Masory Vivere – $3.4 million (N1.04 billion)

Limited Edition Bugatti Veyron by Masory Vivere – $3.4 million (N1.04 billion)

This German car is one of the fastest cars in the World and has been upgraded four times since its release in 2005.

It has an awesome lacquered carbon-fibre body along with a new spoiler package providing new diffusers, a smarter cabin and front grill, larger side scoops, a shortened hood, and the like. The 8.0 litre W16 engine of the car can produce 1,200 horsepower and 1,106 pound-feet of torque. The original version could reach up to 253 mph and was named the Car of the Decade 2000-2009.

 

Lykan Hypersport – $3.4 million (N1.04 billion)

Lykan Hypersport – $3.4 million (N1.04 billion)

The headlights are made of urm, 240 15-carat diamonds and the LED blades made of 420 15-carat diamonds. And all the gems are customizable.

It looks like an armored car with scissor doors and an interior straight out of a sci-fi movie, this car featured in the ‘Furious 7’, and has actually been drafted by the Abu Dhabi police for patrol duty.

Built by W Motors, based in Lebanon, this is the first Arab supercar. And it doesn’t fare badly when compared with the traditional European biggies.

It can produce 780 horsepower through the rear wheels, and a 708 pound-feet of torque. It can get to a speed of 240 miles per hour reaching 62mph in just 2.8 seconds.

 

McLaren P1 LM – $3.6 million (N1.1 billion)

McLaren P1 LM – $3.6 million (N1.1 billion)

This is not a production car. It was made keeping in mind a select group of buyers in the U. S., Japan, U. K., and the UAE. It has a 3.8 liter twin-turbo V-8 engine surrounded with gold plating around the engine bay.

The awesomeness of the aerodynamics can be witnessed where it is made for- on track, where it can produce 1000 horsepower. As of yet, only five units have been built, all of them being sold.

 

 

 

 

Lamborghini Veneno Roadster – $4.5 million (N1.38 billion)

Lamborghini Veneno Roadster – $4.5 million (N1.38 billion)

Veneno means Poison. This car was built to celebrate the company’s 50th birthday. It has the look of an alien space capsule, this car can reach speeds that can give one of those a run for their money, literally. The 6.5 liter V12 with a seven-speed single clutch ISR automated manual transmission can spin at 8,400 rpm to yield 740 horsepowers and 507 pound-feet of torque, meaning that the car can do a 60 mph at 2.9 seconds!

Made of carbon-fiber, it had a dry weight of 3,285 pounds. Only 9 units have been made making the cars resell rate very high with the highest recorded resell being $11 million. It was the most expensive car in the world ever produced upon its introduction, and only three being available to customers in the first lot.

 

Koenigsegg CCXR Trevita – $4.8 million (N1.47 Billion)

Koenigsegg CCXR Trevita – $4.8 million (N1.47 Billion)

This is the most expensive production car allowed on the streets. street-legal production car in the world, this is coated with real diamonds. Yes, you read that right. ‘Trevita’ is an abbreviation translating into ‘three whites’. The carbon fibres are indeed coated with a diamond dust-impregnated resin, called the Koenigsegg Proprietary Diamond Weave. This technology transformed the fibres from the traditional black to shining, silvery white, making the bodywork of this car renowned throughout for its unique design and perfection. And that’s not all. Beneath the coating is a 4.8 litre, dual-supercharged V8 having a total output of 1,004 horsepower and 797 pound-feet of torque. This makes it well-equipped at overtaking semis in the freeway. This car comes with a one-of-its-kind dual carbon rear wing, iconell exhaust system, airbags, ABS powered carbon ceramic brakes, paddle-shift, infotainment system, chronometer instrument cluster, tires monitoring systems along with a hydraulic system. Only three cars of this model had been initially decided upon, before getting reduced to two, because the carbon fibre made it too difficult and time-consuming for regular manufacture.

Sweptail by Rolls Royce – $13 million (N3.99 billion)

Sweptail by Rolls Royce – $13 million (N3.99 billion)

Before you gasp at the price, do note that this car is off the markets. That’s because it was made on the recommendations of one specific customer whose name the company has refused to divulge. A company famous for its luxurious rollouts, there were only 4,000 Rolls Royce cars manufactured in 2016! This particular exclusive car comes with its custom coach work, reminiscent of the royal carriages of yore.

Probably modeled on the Wraith, this car can seat only two people (see what they mean by being exclusive?). The sunroof is fully panoramic, tapering down sharply like those of the racing yachts, as per the orders of the customer. Something very cool about the interior handcrafted with wood and leather are the hidden attaché cases for holding laptops behind each door. Not much else is available on this most expensive car in the world, except that it is based on the 1920s and 30s models, and looks like a yacht from the back. The owner does happen to be a collector of super-yachts and private planes.

Dangote to begin six states sugar plants construction, targets 100, 000 job opportunity

By NewsDesk, 

The Dangote Group has disclosed plans to begin construction of integrated sugar plants deal the company entered with aim to acquiring about 150,000 hectares for the plantations in six states of federation including Adamawa, Taraba, Nasarawa, Kwara, Kogi and Niger.

Specifically, Dangote said that expected to generate up to 100,000 jobs across the stated states and hos communities and that the plants would help to eliminate Nigeria’s reliance on imported materials and also help to save foreign exchange.

The Chairman, Danagote Group, Aliko Dangote,  said that the company’s push for backward integration in providing raw materials on a large scale would result to a cumulative investment of 4.6 billion dollars in the next three years in sugar, rice and diary production.

Speaking at a forum in honour major distributors of Dangote Foods in Lagos on Thursday, Dangote, evethugh even did not state the cost implication of building the plants or the name of the company handling the projects, mainatined that the plants would help to eliminate Nigeria’s reliance on imported materials and also help to save foreign exchange.

“We are acquiring about 150,000 hectares for sugar plantations in Adamawa, Taraba, Nasarawa, Kwara, Kogi and Niger and

“We have designed a memorandum of understanding with the Nasarawa State Government for the construction of the sugar complex at Tunga,’’ he stated.

Beside, Dangote disclosed that his company had earmarked 12 billion dollars for building of a refinery at Ibeju-Lekki, near Lagos, to resolve Nigeria’s persistent petroleum scarcity crisis.

He added that the company’s annual revenue exceeded 4.1 billion dollars in 2017, expressing the determination of the group to exploit the huge business potential in Nigeria.

He commended the company’s distributir who were award recipients, saying the event was a moment to appreciate customers’ efforts in making Dangote food products a household name in Nigeria.

Dangote said that the group would sustain its leading position in the food sector, noting that, Dangote Flour Mills, its Sugar Refinery and NASCON Allied Industries had remained pacesetters.

He said that the target of the group was to ensure that Nigeria became self-sufficient in food.

According to him, the group focuses on a three-point agenda of sustaining high product quality, improving customers’ engagement and strengthening supply chain capabilities.

Meanwhile, distributors from the North West, Alhaji Ali Balarabe, emerged overall winner in the sale of Dangote products.

Awards were presented in various categories to recipients from first to third positions in the sale of flour, sugar, salt, pasta and Dan-Q.

The award category was given to the Best Performing Customer in the South West, North West, North Central, North East, South West, South East, North West and Lagos.

No fewer than 30 people won awards in various categories.

Oyo okays N7b for Ibadan-Iseyin Road, others

 

By Newsdesk,

The Oyo State Executive Council has declared its approval of the rehabilitation of the 65km Moniya-Ojutaye-Iseyin Road for the sum of Six Billion, Nine Hundred and Fifty Two Million, Five Hundred and Sixty Five Thousand and Seventy Four Naira, Ninety Seven Kobo (6,952,565,074.97).

In a statement signed by Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Toye Arulogun also disclosed that it has approved the 3.6 km Phase 1 Asphaltic Rehabilitation/Construction of Baptist Grammar School Junction (Idi-Ishin)-Agbofieti-All Saints College-Itafaji-Wire and Cable Junction Road Ibadan for the sum of One Hundred and Twenty Million Naira only (N120,000,000), adding that  the project is expected to be completed in 18 months.

Arulogun said that the Executive council also approved the supply and installation of Solar powered Street lights along Dandaru/Parliament Road junction to secretariat Roundabout to Government House/SUBEB Junction (lot 1) at a cost of N94,607,463.89 and 110/Odo-Ona Roundabout to Liberty Road/Ring Road Roundabout Junction (lot 2) at a cost of N50,521,628.37.

He stressed that the cost of the two projects (lot 1 & 2) amounted to a total sum of One Hundred and Forty-Five Million, One Hundred and Twenty-Eight Thousand, Nine Hundred and Twenty-Seven Naira, Seventy-Eight Kobo (N145,128,927.78).

Arulogun stated that the 65km Moniya-Ojutaye-Iseyin road had been awarded to M/S Oladiran Engineering and Trade Nigeria Limited, explaining that the contractor was picked after careful evaluation for both technical and financial responsiveness by the state Consultants on Road Projects under the leadership of Reyog International Nigeria Limited.

He pointed out that 30% of the contract sum will be paid to the contractor as advance payment subject to the provision of an open-ended advance payment guarantee from a reputable bank.

Arulogun maintained that the road will boost both intra and intercity transport links, improve trade, drastically reduce intercity transport connection, encourage trade and investment as well as to generally bring about better socio-economic development to the citizenry, noting that this is in line with the Governor Abiola Ajimobi’s philosophy to decongest traffic at all entrances and exits to the state as part of the massive infrastructural development going on in the state.

He added that the Phase 1 Asphaltic Rehabilitation/Construction of Baptist Grammar School Junction (Idi-Ishin) to Itafaji-Wire and Cable Junction will be handled through direct labour by the state Ministry of Works and Transport, assuring that the 4.0km phase of the road will be executed after the completion of phase 1.

Arulogun further maintained that the contract for the supply and installation of solar–powered street lights has been awarded to Messrs. Technosound Global Investment Limited, saying that the supplier will be mobilized with 60% of the contract sum and the balance of 35% paid after the successful completion of the project while the 5% Retention fee will be released after six months of defect liability.

He said that all the projects were approved after due process had been followed, adding that the government would ensure that they were executed according to specifications and in consonance with international best practices.