How Backward Integration Boosts Local Production
THE introduction, 10 years ago, of backward integration policy, which required that cement import licences be allocated only to importers who show proof of building factories for local manufacturing, has helped the country make substantial progress in its march to self-sufficiency.
Alhaji Aliko Dangote, the president of the Dangote Group expressed this view at the inauguration of a new six million-metric ton per annum cement factory in Ibese during the week.
The plant, which was built by Sinoma, a Chinese construction company, is complemented by a 112.5 megawatt plant that was set up by Siemens, a German engineering firm for the Dangote Cement Plc.
Dangote, who commended President Jonathan for attending the event “in person,” also gave credit to former President Olusegun Obasanjo for initiating the backward integration policy, which, according to him, had helped Nigeria move from being a net importer of cement to potential exporter.
The business mogul explained that, since the Group took over the 800,000 metric ton- Benue Cement, it had actually increased its capacity to four million metric tonnes without any technical partner.
He also noted that, with the projected 10.25 million tonnes, Obajana Cement would soon be “on the map as the largest cement plant ever in the world.”
The security challenges not withstanding, Dangote described Nigeria’s current investment climate as the best in Africa, saying that the tax policy, by way of incentives and holidays, either introduced or sustained by the Jonathan Administration had provided a leeway for the Group to make successful inroads into other African countries, with the result that the continent has begun to gain global recognition in manufacturing.
“In line with our long-term vision, we are in 14 African countries and we plan to attain 60 million metric tonnes of cement production by 2014. We are commissioning our plant in Senegal in two months’ time; we are just waiting for the dust of election to settle,” he said.
According to him, producing 60 million metric tonnes within the continent would put Dangote Cement Plc on the list of top eight cement-producing companies in the world.
Noting that the country needs more entrepreneurs in the mould of Dangote, Jonathan thanked the company for its contributions to national development and economic growth.
Ogun State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun, who described Ogun as the highest cement-producing state in the country, urged Dangote Cement Plc to impact lives in the host community and the state in general. He, specifically, requested that connecting roads should be reconstructed with concrete as the Group did in Obajana, Kogi State.
In attendance were serving and former state governors, lawmakers and traditional rulers, as well as captains of industries.
Kwara Governor, Abdulrazaq Declares 24-hour Curfew
Following the outbreak of violence in some quarters of the State, Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq of Kwara State has declared a 24-hour Curfew on the state starting on Saturday.
Governor Abdulrazaq made this known in a statewide broadcast on Friday night.
Recall that on Friday some residents of Ilorin, the Kwara State capital stormed the warehouses where the government stored COVID-19 palliatives expected to be distributed to citizens.
Also Read: BREAKING: Lagos Government Relaxes Curfew
The warehouses, located at the cargo warehouse of the International airport in Ilorin as well as the agro-mall located in the Sango area of the state were totally ransacked as residents struggled to pack as much food items as they could.
Abdulrazaq said, “Lives are being threatened. Businesses are being looted. Public properties have been targeted. This is unacceptable. It is not who we are.
“To curb these acts of criminalities, I hereby declare a 24-hour curfew in Ilorin metropolis from midnight today October 23rd, 2020. This is in line with Sections 1, 2, and 4 of the Public Order Act Chapter 382 Laws of Federation of Nigeria 2004.
“People are urged to stay indoors in compliance with this curfew. This will be reviewed as we watch developments.
“Our observation is that what has happened today is not a protest, it cannot be defended under any guide, it was a pure act of criminality as some people are hiding under the guise of nationwide protest.”
Lagos Policemen Brutalise PUNCH Journalists For Covering #EndSARS Protest
Two PUNCH journalists, Femi Dawodu and Segun Odunayo, were on Wednesday brutalised by policemen guarding the Lagos State House of Assembly in Ikeja.
The duo had gone to cover events around the Alausa area, a major demonstration ground of the #EndSARS protesters calling for a total overhaul of the Nigeria Police Force.
According to the PUNCH, both Odunayo and Dawodu were recording a live video of activities in the area when the policemen accosted them and ordered them to stop the recording.
After showing the policemen their identity cards, indicating that they are journalists covering #EndSARS protests and monitoring compliance with the government-imposed curfew, the policemen became annoyed and pounced on them.
Odunayo said the policemen tortured them for four hours, adding that they stripped them of their clothes, laid them on the floor, beat them with a stick and guns, and took a video recording of them while torturing them at the Lagos State House of Assembly.
Odunayo said, “Femi and I were at the Secretariat in Alausa around 7 am and were doing a live video of the activities going on in the area. We were heading back to the expressway when a group of armed policemen accosted us at the Lagos State House of Assembly roundabout and immediately collected our phones. We showed them our ID cards, but they refused to let us go.
“What got the policemen annoyed was that we saw them using a stick and a rubber to beat a young man, and during the live video, they heard me saying that they were beating someone. So, after they arrested us, they tortured us and demanded that we should do another live video denying the statement, but we refused.
“Each Time we refused, they slapped us, used a stick to beat us, used the butt of their guns to hit our heads and bodies after stripping us of our clothes. All they wanted was for us to do another live broadcast to claim that we lied and we didn’t because we told the truth.”
Dawodu said it took the intervention of the state Police Public Relations Officer, Muyiwa Adejobi before they were released at the Alausa Police Station, adding that before their release, the policemen took their details, including their addresses, took a video record of them and threatened to go after them if any negative report was published about what happened.
He said, “The policemen were transferring the aggression of what is happening regarding the #EndSARS protest on us. They later took us to the Divisional Police Station in Alausa, and if not for the DPO, the policemen guarding the LSHA that arrested us would have done more grievous things to us.
“The PPRO and the DPO later spoke with them, and we were released.
“But despite his intervention, we were told to write statements. They collected our details, address, took video recordings of us making false statements during the torture, and threatened to use it to blackmail and go after us if we end up doing any bad report against them.”
CCTV At Lekki Toll Gate Was Not Removed -Lekki Concession Company Says
Lekki Concession Company in their press release has debunked the rumour that the Lekki Toll Gate CCTV camera was not removed.
According to the press release by the company which condemns the unlawful killings of the peaceful protesters said no one gave the order for the removal of the Closed Circuit Television System as the CCTV is still intact as of the time of this report.
Speaking further, the concession company revealed that if the CCTV was to be removed, it would require the use of machinery to reach the heights that they have been installed.
Read the release report below;
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