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Reps Call For More Collaboration Between Nigeria And Netherlands

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By Gloria Ikibah
The Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rep. Benjamin Okezie Kalu has called for more collaboration and partnership between Nigeria and Netherlands to address some challenges in the country such as conflicts and food insecurity to foster economic growth and development.
Kalu made the call when the Ambassador of Netherlands to Nigeria, Mr. Wouter Plomp, paid him a courtesy visit at the National Assembly in Abuja.
The DS noted that the Netherlands stands as a significant source of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Nigeria, particularly in oil and gas, manufacturing, and agriculture sectors.
He further commended Netherlands for their investments in Nigeria and contributions towards reducing insecurity.
According to him, the Netherlands’ support for peacebuilding initiatives in Nigeria, especially in addressing conflicts in regions like the North East, reflects both nations’ shared commitment to promoting stability and security.
Kalu harped on the importance of food security, saying that it’s a sustainable approach towards having peace and security.
The Deputy Speaker made reference to his initiative known as the ‘Peace in the South East Project’ which has agriculture and food security as one of its pillars, recalling that it recently launched ‘food for peace’ aimed at providing food for the people.
Speaking on other areas for further collaborations, Kalu stated that there’s a significant potential for partnership in the value chain for processing and packaging of dairy products.
He opined that Nigeria, having the fifth largest cattle herd in Africa, collaboration with Netherlands in processing dairy products beyond what is currently being done at the moment can foster economic growth.
He added that the parliament is looking forward to engaging in more productive dialogue that further strengthens bilateral relationship.
The Deputy Speaker said, “Your presence here at the People’s House stands as a testament to the deep-rooted historical ties and enduring friendship that bind our two nations. The parliament is aware of your presence in the country and the impact that you’re making. Take it back to the kingdom that the parliament of Nigeria is aware of the contribution you’re making to nation building. In 2022, bilateral trade between Nigeria and the Netherlands reached 7.7 billion Euros, with Nigeria enjoying a trade surplus of 5.2 billion Euros. Our trade relations continue to thrive.
“The Netherlands’ support for peacebuilding initiatives in Nigeria, especially in addressing conflicts in regions like the North East, is commendable. Specifically, the Kingdom of the Netherlands has provided crucial support to those affected by the Boko Haram insurgency for the past seven years. Let me also mention food system, if we secure lives and properties and we don’t secure food , lives and properties will be lost. We secure lives and food , that’s a sustainable approach towards having peace and security. I initiated a project known as Peace in the South East Project and one of the areas we want to solve as a non kinetic strategy towards solving the problems of insecurity in that area is food. Under its 8 pillars we have what we call “food for peace”. We have the short term and long term plans.
“I want to thank the Dutch Embassy to Nigeria for the crucial role it is playing in supporting the HortiNigeria program, which is transforming vegetable value chains in several key Nigerian states, including Kano, Kaduna, Ogun, and Oyo. We recognize the Netherlands’ strides in precision agriculture and its expertise in milk processing and other dairy products. Given Nigeria’s substantial livestock population and high demand for milk, there exists significant potential for partnership in value chain creation and processing. Nigeria’s total annual demand for milk stands at 1.45 billion liters, yet more than 90% of our milk comes from cattle in low-input, low-yielding pastoral systems. With Nigeria having the fifth-largest cattle herd in Africa, collaboration in milk processing and dairy products can help meet this demand and foster economic growth.”
Earlier, the Ambassador, Wouter Plomp told the Deputy Speaker that the Netherlands is very much interested in deepening cooperation in agriculture and other sectors, aimed at promoting these sectors, strengthening bilateral relations and mutual dialogue.
He informed the Deputy Speaker of a memorandum of understanding signed a fortnight ago with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on having bilateral consultations every year.
Plomp assured the parliament of more national coverage with their seed programme so as to not only promote the agri business but also the business in agricultural commodities for young people.
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I’ve been suffering in silence for two years, Korra Obidi laments

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By Francesca Hangeior

Dancer Korra Obidi has claimed she has been suffering in silence for two years after divorce.

Obidi allegedly suffered acid and a knife during a live session in the United Kingdom.

Korra explained that she escaped the attack in the best possible way and hoped the inquiry will provide some answers as to who the ringleader of the attack is.

She added that she doesn’t want to wait till the worst happens.

She wrote: “I escaped with the best possible scenario and this I am grateful. Hoping the investigations will yield some closure as to who the ring leader to all these attacks are.

“I have been suffering in silence for 2 years since divorce. Glad this was LIVE and there is ample evidence. Don’t want to wait till the worse happens and help will finally come.

“This can only be God, Thank you everyone.”

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NIMC Speaks On New National ID Card

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Following the announcement of the planned release of a new National Identification Number in the country by the Federal Government last week, the National Identity Management Çommission, NIMC has provided further clarifications on the proposed ID.

In a statement released and signed by Head of Corporate Communications, Kayode Adegoke on Friday, the Commission said the new National ID Card is coming as a single, convenient, and General multipurpose card (GMPC), eliminating the need for multiple cards.

The single card with GMPC is said to have multiple use cases. as: Payments/Financial, Government intervention/services, travel, etc.

The card, according to the National Identity Management Commission is working with the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Nigerian Interbank Settlement System to deliver the payment and financial use cases.

“The card will be powered by the AFRIGO card scheme, an indigenous scheme powered by NIBSS.

Applicants for the card will have to request with their NIN through the self-service online portal, NIMC offices, or their respective banks.

“The card will be issued through the applicants’ respective banks in line with existing protocols with the issuance of the Debit/Credit cards.

“The card can be picked up by holders at the designated centre or delivered to the applicants at the requested location at an extra cost to be borne by the applicants’” the statement said.

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Nigerian Breweries shuts down two of its 9 plants due to ‘persistently challenging business environment’

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Nigerian Breweries Plc (NB plc) has indicated plans for company-wide reorganisation as part of strategic recovery plan which entails the temporary shutting down of two out of its nine breweries in Nigeria.

Following the recent announcement of its business recovery plan, the conglomerate which is a member of the HEINEKEN Group and Nigeria’s pioneer and largest brewing company indicated plans for a company-wide reorganisation aimed at securing a resilient and sustainable future for its stakeholders.

The company said the move is essential to improve its operational efficiency, financial stability and enable a return of the business to profitability, in the face of the persistently challenging business environment.

In letters signed by the company’s Human Resource Director, Grace Omo-Lamai, and addressed to the leadership of the National Union of Food, Beverage & Tobacco Employees (NUFBTE) and the Food Beverage and Tobacco Senior Staff Association (FOBTOB), the company informed both unions that its proposed plan would include operational efficiency measures and a company-wide reorganisation that includes the temporary suspension of operations in two of its nine breweries.

As a result, and in accordance with labour requirements, the Company invited the Unions to discussions on the implications of the proposed measures.

It would be recalled that the company recently notified the Nigerian Exchange Group (NGX) of its plan to raise capital of up to ₦600 billion (Six Hundred billion naira) by way of a Rights Issue, as a means of restoring the company’s balance sheet to a healthy position following the net finance expenses of N189 billion recorded in 2023 driven mainly by a foreign exchange loss of N153 billion resulting from the devaluation of the naira.

Speaking on these developments, Managing Director/CEO Nigerian Breweries Plc, Hans Essaadi described the business recovery plan as strategic and vital for business continuity:

“The tough business landscape characterised by double-digit inflation rates, naira devaluation, FX challenges and diminished consumer spend has taken its toll on many businesses, including ours. This is why we have taken the decision to further consolidate our business operations for efficient cost management and optimal use of our resources for future sustainable growth”.

“We recognise and regret the impact that the suspension of brewery operations in the two affected locations may have on our employees. We are committed to limiting the impact on our people as much as possible by exhausting all options available including the relocation and redistribution of employees to our other seven breweries; and providing strong support and severance packages to all those that become unavoidably affected. We are also committed to supporting our host communities in ways that ensure they continue to feel our presence.”

“We remain wholly committed to having a positive impact on our host communities and our consumers; leveraging our strong supply chain footprint; excellent execution of our route to market strategy; and our rich portfolio of brands across the Lager, Stout, Malt, Soft drinks, and Energy drinks categories; and more recently, Wines and Spirits with the acquisition of Distell”, he added.

The Nigerian Breweries’ business recovery plan includes a Rights Issue and a company-wide reorganisation exercise which includes temporary suspension of two out of its nine breweries in the country and an optimisation of production capacity in the other seven breweries, some of which have received significant capital investment in recent years.

The company reaffirmed its commitment to the long-term future of Nigeria and “stands as a cornerstone of Nigeria’s beverage industry.”With over 77 years of operations, the company said it would continue to demonstrate its enduring commitment to the Nigerian market and its people.

Incorporated in 1946 as “Nigerian Brewery Limited,” NB Plc made history in June 1949 when the first bottle of STAR lager beer rolled out of its Lagos brewery bottling line.

Today, it has a rich portfolio of 21 high-quality brands, including iconic brands like Heineken, Desperados, Maltina, Life, Amstel Malta, Gulder, Fayrouz, and Legend produced from nine breweries and distributed nationwide.

NN Plc recently added to its portfolio with the acquisition of an 80% business stake in Distell Wines and Spirits Limited, a local business in the wines and spirits category, as a demonstration of its resilient and forward-thinking strategy to deliver long-term value creation for its shareholders and other stakeholders.

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