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NESREA seals 8 firms in A/Ibom for alleged violations, 23 firms in 48hours

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NESREA seals 8 firms in A/Ibom for alleged violations, 23 firms in 48hours

The National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA), has sealed eight companies for allegedly contravening environmental laws, policies and guidelines regulating their operations in Akwa Ibom.

Mrs Ngozi Iwobi, Coordinator of the agency in the state, made this known while speaking with newsmen in Uyo, on Thursday.

Also read: CROSS PURPOSES: Auchi Polytechnic, matriculates 9,050, as NESREA seals off 8 factories in Osun

Ngozi said the affected companies did not produce Environmental Audit Report,  as required by law in their operations.

She listed the firms as, Hensek Integrated Nigeria Ltd, Basse Engineering & Michel Ltd, Peacock Paints Ltd and Wizchino Engineering Ltd.

Others included  Lion Plywood and Timber Nig Ltd, China Civil Engineering Construction Ltd, VKS Nig Ltd as well as DPL Construction Ltd.

Iwobi disclosed that the companies had operated in the state for a long time,  not minding requisite environmental laws that regulated their operations,  despite adequate sensitisation and enlightenment by the agency.

The coordinator said the agency had drawn attention of the companies to do the needful, to safeguard the environment from total collapse.

“The last two companies mentioned above, obstructed us when we visited them during our routine checks.

“The security men at the gate attacked our team and prevented us from entering the facility.

Also read: Enugu: NESREA again seals 7 factories for alleged environmental offences

According to her, the obstruction by  VKS Nig const. Ltd and DPL const. Ltd.,  is another offence,  which attracts another penalty,  before we can reopen their facilities for operations.

“Notice for obstructing the team and the penalty have been sent to them and it’s contrary to section 31 of NESREA established Act.

“It is an offense for officers of the agency to be obstructed by person or persons or by  a corporate body from performing his,  her or their duties.

“It is worthy to note that beside its robust mandate, the agency’s compliance, monitoring and enforcement activities are structured and carried out,  based on provisions of 33 National Environmental Regulations,’’ she said.

She said the companies ignored all abatement notices , urging them to carry out operations in an environmental friendly and sustainable manner.

She also explained that NESREA would continue to embark on nationwide enforcement exercises,  to end an era of gross negligence and non adherence of standards and regulations by some industries.

“The level of impunity exhibited by these erring facilities must not be allowed to continue,’’ she said.

She noted that the routine was an ongoing process and the agency would, without warning, go ahead to sanction any facility that fell below regulatory standards.

The coordinator, therefore, enjoined Nigerians to serve as environmental watchdogs,  by reporting facilities whose activities were detrimental to the environment.

 

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Economy

NGX Opens Week Weakly, As Market Sheds N1.82trn

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Stock Market Gains N18bn; FTN Cocoa Processors, Prestige Assurance lead Losers’ Chart 

 …MTN and Dangote Cement lead the Losers’ Table 

Transactions resumed on the Nigerian Exchange Ltd. (NGX), on Monday, on a negative posture with the market indices declining by 3.15 percent due to selloffs.

Specifically, the market capitalisation which opened at N57.849 trillion, shed N1.82 trillion or 3.15 percent to close at N56.028 trillion.

Similarly, the All-Share Index(ASI) also dropped by 3.15 percent or 3,330 points to settle at 102,393.23, compared to 105,722.78 achieved on Friday.

As a result, the ASI Year-To-Date (YTD) return fell to 36.94 percent.

The market was dragged down due to selloffs in the shares of MTN Nigeria, Dangote Cement, and Zenith Bank.

On the losers’ table, MTN and Dangote Cement led in percentage of 10 each to close at N247.50 and N686.70 per share, respectively.

NGX Group trailed by 9.76 percent to close at N22.20, NEM insurance dropped 9.74 per cent to close at N6.95, while Tantalizers lost 9.52 percent to close at 38k per share.

On the contrary, Juli Plc led the gainers table by 9.52 percent to close at N1.61.

Dangote Cement followed with an increase of 8.64 percent to close at 88k per share.

Sunu Assurances garnered 6.74 percent to close at N1.90, while ABC Transport gained 6.67 percent to close at 96k per share.

Nigerian Aviation Handling Company Plc (NAHCO) also appreciated by 5.86 percent to close at N30.70 per share.

On the activity chart, Guaranty Trust Holding Company (GTCO) led with a trade of 28.85 million shares valued at N1.13 billion.

Also, Transcorp sold 20.14 million shares worth N275.93 million, while Access Holdings traded 15.90 million shares worth N359.5 million.

FBN Holdings sold 15.87 million shares worth N450.74 million and Zenith Bank transacted 15.84 million shares valued at N568.04 million.

Analysis of the market activities showed trade turnover settled lower relative to the previous session, with the value of transactions down by 7.58 percent.

Meanwhile,  273.85 million shares valued at N7.44 billion were exchanged in 9,688 deals, compared to 342.52 million shares worth N8.05 billion in 8,395 deals on Friday.

Meanwhile, the market breadth closed negative with 36 declining stocks and 16 that appreciated.

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Economy

FG Threatens To Open Borders for Cement Importation Over Price Hike

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Palpable fear has gripped cement manufacturers following the Federal Government’s threat to throw open the nation’s borders for cement importation if the product manufacturers fail to bring down the cost.

The Minister of Housing and Urban Development, Mr Ahmed Dangiwa issued the threat on Tuesday in Abuja at a meeting with Cement and Building Materials Manufacturers.

The meeting was summoned to address the astronomical increase in the cost of cement nationwide.

The minister expressed concerns that in the past couple of months, the country had witnessed a recurring alarming increase in the prices of cement and other building materials.

“Clearly, this is a crisis for housing delivery. An increase in essential building materials means an increase in the prices of houses.

“We are not the only country facing this challenges, many countries are facing the same type of challenges that we’re facing, some even worse than that.

“But, as patriotic citizens, we have to rally round the country when there is crisis, to ensure that we do our best to save the situation,” he said.

The minister added: “Honestly speaking, we have to sit down and look at this critically and know how you should go back and think of it.

“The government stopped importation of cement in other to empower you to produce more and sell cheaper

Bags of cement

“Otherwise the government can open the borders for mass importation of cement, the price will crash, but you will have no business to do”.

Dangiwa said the reasons given by cement manufacturers for the price increase – high cost of gas and manufacturing equipment – were not enough for such astronomical pricing.

He expressed his displeasure at the position of  Cement Manufacturer Association of Nigeria (CEMAN) that the association “does not interfer with the pricing of cement”.

He said the association should not just fold  its arms when things were going wrong.

“One person cannot be selling at N3500 per bag and another selling at N7000 per bag and you cannot call them to order.

“The association is expected to monitor price control, otherwise the association has no need to exist,” he said.

Earlier, Mr Salako James, Executive Secretary, CEMAN, said the housing policy of the administration of President Bola  Tinubu was laudable and every responsible Nigerian has to key into it.

He, however, identified some areas of concern and appealed to the government to look into them to tackle the issue of cement pricing.

Salako identified the challenges of gas supply to heavy users like the cement industry and urged the government to create a window whereby gas will be bought with Naira instead of dollar.

He also complained about the distribution channel, stressing tha there was a great difference between the price from the manufacturers and the market price.

He, therefore called for government intervention to help stabilise the situation and bring sanity to the economy.

At the end of the meeting, the minister directed that a committee should be constituted to review the situation and come out with implementable resolutions that would benefit the common Nigerian.

The three major cement producers, Dangote Plc, BUA Plc, and Lafarge Plc were represented as well as other industry stakeholders.

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Economy

Cement Price Can Be Lower Than FG, Manufacturers’ Projection — Association 

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…Warns that high price could lead to corner-cutting and building collapse

The National Association of Block Moulders of Nigeria (NABMON) says the agreement between the Federal Government and three major cement manufacturers that a 50kg bag of cement, for now, is not supposed to sell for more than N7,000 to N8,000 is faulty.

The National President, Mr Adesegun Banjoko, said this on Tuesday in Lagos.

Recall that the parties, at a meeting on Monday, said that the ideal price of  a 50kg bag of cement for now should be between ₦7,000.00 and ₦8,000.00 depending on location.

They agreed that the current higher prices of cement in parts of the country were abnormal.

The main manufacturers of cement in the country are Dangote Plc, BUA Plc and Lafarge Plc.

According to Banjoko, there is no reason for the price of cement to be sold even at the projected prices, since limestone, which is a key ingredient, is readily available in Nigeria.

He expressed fears that the high price would lead to corner-cutting and building collapse.

The NABMON president expressed the belief that the government and manufacturers could do better and offer lower prices.

Bags of cements

He suggested a reduction or elimination of customs duties on other imported materials used in cement production, adding that this would incentivise manufacturers to lower their prices.

He, therefore, proposed a target price of ₦3,500 to ₦5,000 per bag.

Banjoko said, “There are three issues that make me disagree with the government and the main manufacturers.

“First, limestone is sourced in Nigeria; agreed they have some few other materials they bring in from abroad.

“But if the government is really concerned about life and property lost to building collapse, they should either remove custom duties on such items or reduce them by half to encourage the manufacturers to come down to between N3, 500 and N5, 000.”

He also advised the government to temporarily halt road construction projects that use cement.

Banjoko said that this would free up available cement for vital projects and potentially reduce demand, leading to lower prices.

The NABMON president warned that the high price of cement had added to the existing tensions in the country.

He urged the government to act cautiously with essential commodities like cement, emphasising its impact on public well-being.

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