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Procter & Gamble (P&G) shuts Nigerian plant

The leading FMCG (Fast-moving Consumer goods) is set to shut the production plant situated in Agbara Industrial Estate, Ogun State, PREMIUM TIMES can report

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The leading FMCG (Fast-moving Consumer goods) is set to shut the production plant situated in Agbara Industrial Estate, Ogun State, PREMIUM TIMES can report.

The company expanded its footprint in Nigeria in June 2017 with the commissioning of the state of the art production line which reportedly cost the firm about $300 million to complete.

The plant is for its ‘Always’ and Pampers brand of sanitary pads and diapers.
Sources at the firm said about 120 workers are being laid off as part of the shut down with some of them already receiving their disengagement letters which is to commence next month.

“About 30 staff will be left who may either be outsourced or deployed to our only remaining plant in Nigeria,” a company source told PREMIUM TIMES.

The company, a multinational FCMG with stakes in about 180 countries of the world, is the producer of Always sanitary pad, Pampers, Ariel detergent, Oral B toothpaste, Gillete shaving stick, among other products in the Nigerian market.

The shutdown is coming barely a year after the production line was commissioned by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and Governor Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State.

Read Also: Nigerian-based Kobo360 raises US$1.2 million seed round

Insiders familiar with the development told PREMIUM TIMES that the company is battling with the challenge posed by government policies that regulate importation of raw materials for its production. A source explained that the cost of importing raw materials was becoming unbearable for the company, which has refused to involve in shady deals in order to cheat the system and ease importation.

“It is so expensive to import these raw materials which are not produced in Nigeria. Other companies take the short cut by maneuvering the system, but we cannot,” a top official of the troubled firm disclosed.

Similarly, another factor said to be responsible for the shutdown was the unhealthy competition being faced by the company.

“Our competitors invested much less in their factory, can maneuver their way in the system, and thus produce and sell for much less.We cannot do that. Our investment in Agbara is arguably the largest single investment by a non-oil firm in Nigeria. But we just have to shut it. The loss is much,” the source said.

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Nigeria: Antigraft agency EFCC says 70% of financial crimes traceable to banks

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Banks are implicated in about 70% of financial crimes in Nigeria, according to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

This was revealed by EFCC Chairman, Ola Olukayode, during a speech at the Association of Chief Audit Executives of Banks in Nigeria’s 2023 Annual Retreat and General Meeting in Abuja. He pointed out that the banking sector was increasingly becoming a cesspool of fraudulent activities, and this had been raising considerable challenges and concerns for the commission.

Olukayode, who was represented by the Director, Internal Audit, EFCC, Idowu Apejoye, said there was a need for concerted effort by relevant authorities and professionals, especially audit executives, to prevent and tackle issues of fraudulent practices in the sector.

He said, “Broadly speaking, banking fraud in Nigeria is both inside and outside related. Inside-related fraud comprises outright selling of customers’ deposits, authorising loan facilities, forgery and several other kinds of unhealthy and criminal practices.

“The outsider related ones include hacking, ATM fraud, and conspiracy, among others. And then the absurd one is when both collaborate—that is, collaboration among the bankers and the outsiders.

“That one is the one that is really absurd because when you do that, that means you are selling out the system. It is estimated that about 70% of financial crimes in Nigeria are traceable to the banking sector, this scenario is disturbing and unacceptable.”

Olukayode said that ACAEBIN should make sure that accounts are properly reconciled each month in compliance with accounting regulations in order to stop the inconsistencies.

He gave the group tasks like keeping an eye on banks’ financial operations, comparing actual and planned revenue and expenses, conducting periodic assessments, and conducting checks.

Prince Akamadu, the chairman of ACAEBIN, declared that the organisation would strive to implement some of the suggestions made by the head of the EFCC.

He added that one of the goals of the retreat was to address the association’s complete commitment to resolving Nigeria’s foreign currency problems.

“That is part of the reason why we are having this retreat—to ask ourselves, to do an introspection and ask ourselves, given our position in the banking industry, or the executives of banks in Nigeria, are we doing enough?

“Have we done enough? What more can we do to help in sanitising the system? Are there things the banks could do to help in sanitising the FX in this country?”

“By the end of this retreat, we are expected to come up with a communique, and we hope to address some of the issues, one way or another, that will address the role of banks in FX challenges in this industry.”

For the past year, e-payment channels like computer/web, mobile, and point of sale have continued to be targeted by scammers. FITC’s “Reports on Frauds and Forgeries in Nigerian Banks” show that banks record 78,584 occurrences of online fraud annually, indicating that the growth of electronic payments has allowed for the persistence of this crime.

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Energy, rental expenses lower Airtel Uganda’s pre-tax profit in 2023

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Telecom company, Airtel Uganda, reported on Monday that a rise in energy and rental expenses was behind a 9.8% decrease in pre-tax profit for 2023 compared to the previous year.

The company, a division of the massive Indian telecom operator, Bharti Airtel, went public last year on the Uganda Securities Exchange (USE) following a significantly undersubscribed IPO.

Its pre-tax profit for the previous year was 426.8 billion Ugandan shillings ($108.9 million). In the east African nation, Airtel faces off against a division of the MTN Group headquartered in South Africa.

Established in 1995, Airtel Uganda (previously known as Celtel Uganda Limited) launched the country’s first mobile cellular network. Airtel acquired the business in June 2010 and renamed it Airtel Uganda.

MTN accounted for roughly 54% of all mobile subscriptions in Uganda as of the fourth quarter of 2022. Over the period from 2015 to 2022, Airtel has maintained the second-highest proportion of wireless subscribers, accounting for 33% of all subscriptions since 2016.

Beginning to rise in 2020, Airtel’s share will reach 42% by 2022. By the fourth quarter of 2020, Africell held about 11% of Uganda’s mobile subscriptions. However, in 2021, the company suspended operations and left the nation.

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