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Dangote Fertiliser Hits Nigerian Market

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From Dooyum Naadzenga, Lagos

Dangote Industries Limited says its three million metric tonnes

granulated urea fertiliser plant is now completed and its products

will flood the Nigerian market from today.

President, Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, made the disclosure on

Friday , as the Central Bank Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, visited

the plant on a final inspection tour of the facility in Ibeju-Lekki,

Lagos.

Emefiele was accompanied by five senior bankers and Chief Executive

Officers of FirstBank, Guarantee Trust, Access, United Bank of Africa

and Zenith banks.

According to Dangote, the three million metric tonnes of Urea is

certified and licensed by all regulatory authorities in Nigeria.

“We have gotten all licenses from the National Security Adviser, the

Ministry of Agriculture, Standard Organisation of Nigeria, NAFDAC and

all other authorities.

“So, our Urea will be in the market from Monday, and by God’s grace,

before the end of this month, we will start bringing in dollars from

the first line that we have commissioned, ” Dangote said.

He said that the Urea that was inspected was a small percentage of the

gas that the country was actually flaring, and it would bring some

1.2billion dollars into the country in terms of foreign exchange.

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Dangote thanked Emefiele and the bank chiefs for being there to ensure

the success of the plants, noting that the time had come for the

country to move away from relying on sale of crude oil.

He urged them to target mostly gas -based industries so the country’s

economy could improve and make a lot of dollars.

“We need to look at transforming the industrial capacity of the

country earning dollars and at the same time doing what we call import

substitution,” Dangote said.

Earlier, Emefiele said that Nigeria had the potential to export at

least 3.5 million metric tonnes of Urea to different parts of the

world.

“By the time we add what we have to the existing capacity from Indo

Rama which is about 1.5 million metric tonnes and Notore, maybe of

about 300 metric tonnes, we will be having close to about five metric

tonnes capacity of Urea.

“Nigeria ranks amongst the leading countries in the production of Urea

in the world. This, for me, is a story that no one would have believed

would happen in Nigeria,” he said.

Speaking on behalf of the bankers, Mr. Herbert Wigwe, the Group

Managing Director of Access Bank Plc, expressed joy for the support

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they gave to Dangote to create a world class manufacturing enterprise

in Nigeria.

” There was a lot of skepticism along the way as we moved on; can this

product be completed, are we sure we have the right financing models

and all of that.

“Today we saw Urea produced, we saw it bagged and we saw it loaded on

buses, and by Monday it would be in our markets. This for us is a very

important milestone for Nigeria and Africa,” Wigwe said.

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VAT War: Lagos, Rivers Lose First Round to FIRS

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Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu
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The Court of Appeal in Abuja has denied the Rivers and Lagos state governments of the rights to collect Value Added Tax (VAT) in their respective states.

The court said the oral application for the restraining order against the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) adopted by the states’ legal team, was not acceptable.

A three-man panel of the court, led by Haruna Tsanami, directed the lawyers representing the two states to file a formal application in place of an oral application.

The FIRS had appealed against the judgement of the Federal High Court in Port Harcourt empowering the Rivers State government to collect VAT.

The Tsanami-led panel had last Friday ordered parties to the case to maintain status quo, which appeared to be the decision both Rivers and Lagos tried to overturn yesterday.

The court had also adjourned till Thursday for the hearing of an application by Lagos state, not yet officially a party to the suit, to be joined as a respondent to the FIRS’ appeal.

Emotion ran high after Rivers and Lagos legal teams prayed for the restraining order against FIRS at yesterday’s proceedings.

The lawyers on the two sides of the divide had tense back-and-forth arguments over the request for restraining order.

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Rivers and Lagos legal teams, led by Ifedayo Adedipe and Moyosore Onigbanjo, prayed for what they described as “preservative order” restraining the FIRS from collecting VAT and sharing the proceeds to states pending the determination of the substantive appeal.

“My Lords, the appellant (FIRS) collects VAT and shares amongst states of the federation.

“Therefore, if it is not stopped from doing so, and the court finds its action unconstitutional, it will be difficult to recover the VAT proceeds that must have been shared to the States,” Mr Adedipe, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), said.

Onigbanjo, the Attorney-General of Lagos State, and SAN, canvassed the same line of argument.

According to him, if FIRS is not restrained from collecting VAT and sharing it among the states of the federation, in the event the court finds its action inappropriate at the end of the day, “then it will be difficult to recover the VAT proceeds that must have been shared to the states.”

Reacting to the oral request by Rivers and Lagos lawyers, FIRS lawyer, Mahmud Magaji, also a SAN, faulted the arguments of his opponents in a combative tone.

“My Lords, I think my learned colleagues are testing the patience of the court, when it is clear that their application has no basis,” Mr Magaji said, adding that the Lagos government lacked the right to make such a request when it was yet to be joined as an interested party.This submission drew Onigbanjo’s ire who wanted to reply Magaji, but for the intervention of a member of the Appeal Court panel, cautioning the FIRS lawyer to “exhibit higher sense of decorum in addressing his colleagues

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Plateau Assembly Commends FG Delegations to State

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From Jude Dangwam, Jos

The Plateau State House of Assembly has commended the Federal Government for sending delegations at different levels to facilitate peace in Plateau following the recent serial attacks that claimed many lives and property worth millions of naira destroyed in the state.

They stressed that the presence of the Secretary to the Government of Nigeria, Boss Mustapha (SGF), Rev. Dr. Samson Ayokunle (SUPO Ayokunle) CAN President, Gen. Lucky Iraboh – Chief of Defence Staff, the Sultan of Sokoto and President Supreme Council for Islamic in Nigeria, His Eminent Mohammadu Sa’ad Abubakar, has gone a long way in reinforcing the confidence of citizens of the state on Government.

The State Assembly states this yesterday through its spokesperson, Hon. Dasun Philip Peter, the Chairman, House Committee on Information at a Media briefing in Josl

They also applauded Governor Simon Lalong for implementing five out of the six resolutions earlier issued to him by the 9th Assembly with a two weeks ultimatum for actions in the interest of citizens of the state.

According to Hon. Dasun “You may recall that the House of Assembly gave two weeks for the Governor to act on its resolutions on Security to address the insecurity challenges affecting the State at that particular time.

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“We felt it is important as an organized institution; we have a duty to communicate back to the people of Plateau State the outcome of the resolution and of the present position of the Assembly.

“We gave a six-item resolution to the Executive Governor to act on within two weeks. He has so far been able to address five of the items remaining one that is ongoing,” he explained.

The Chairman House Committee on Information said the six resolutions were for the Governor to “Visit Yelwa Zangam Community in Jos North and pay the hospital bills of those affected in the conflict.

“Visit to extend relief materials to the Rukuba Irigwe Community, Riyom, Bokkos and Mangu, and to address the people of Plateau on the Security situation and show to people of Plateau state a renewed commitment.

“To improve the security situation in the State by engaging the advance security operatives. To also suspend the planned Adhoc teachers recruitment and to replace it with the Vigilante, and Local hunters as well as implement the Anti Land Grabbing Law to enable those occupying illegal lands on the Plateau to vacate such lands and native owners to take back their lands.”

The Assembly said it will not condone any action that is capable of threatening the peace and progress of the state, as they pledged to continued to stand with the people of the state at all time.

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“We as an institution will not condone any act of insecurity and killings in the Plateau henceforth. As an Arm of Government with the People at heart, we are still putting on record that we stand with the people of Plateau and we give assurances of commitment to the course of Plateau and its heritage.  

“Worthy of note, is the fact that the House is still resolute in support of the Leadership of Rt. Hon. Abok Nuhu Ayuba, our firm Speaker and our Loyalty to him is unshakeable,” he firmly stated.

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Umahi, Uzodinma, Obiano others absent from Southern Governors Meeting

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Four Southeast Governors were absent at the Southern Nigeria Governors Forum meeting winch commenced in Enugu yesterday.

Enugu Governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, who  hosted the meeting, was the only Governor from the Southeast present at the venue at the time of filling this report.

His counterparts from Abia, Ebonyi and Imo sent representatives while that of Anambra State did not send any representative.

The closed-door meeting, which was being coordinated by Ondo Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredol, commenced with nine Governors and seven deputies.

Other Governors at the meeting were Ifeanyi Okowa (Delta); Gbenga Oyetola (Osun); Babajide Sanwo-Olu(Lagos); Nyesom Wike (Rivers); Udom Emmanuel (Akwa Ibom); Duoye Diri (Bayelsa) and Dapo Abiodun (Ogun).

The Deputy Governors were Prof Evara Esu (Cross River); Udo Okochukwu (Abia); Bisi Egbeyemi (Ekiti); Kelechi Igwe (Ebonyi); Rauf Olaniyan (Oyo); Philip Shuaibu (Edo) and Prof. Placid Njoku (Imo).

The governors first ushered in to a security guard of honour, were later received by Ugwuanyi at the Government Lodge.

Before entering the venue of the meeting, Akeredolu welcomed his fellow governors to the Coal City State and assured the outcome of the meeting would be made known in a communiqué.

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