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One Month On, UBA Yet To Return Pa Anyaka’s Millions Withheld Since 1982

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Despite initial moves after FIJ’s report, the United Bank for Africa (UBA) has refused to return Pa Innocent Anyaka’s DM 14, 500 (deposited 38 years ago) now worth at least N3.

5m at the current exchange rate without taking inflation into consideration.

In a follow-up conversation with Anyaka one month after telling his story, FIJ learnt that despite initial contact, the bank has refused to take any tangible steps.

“They’ve done nothing,” Anyaka said. “They said they were sorry. After asking me how the issue began, they said none of the staff had been in UBA for up to 38 years.”

On Thursday, January 28, FIJ reported that UBA had held on to Pa Anyaka’s money for 38 years and ignored letters from his lawyers.

Hope soared when UBA reached out to him following the story and requested a copy of the letter sent to their Lagos head office the previous year.

Pa Anyaka

“UBA, which has ignored my lawyer’s letters, called me this morning at 9am and made a request for a copy of the letter sent to their Lagos head office last year,” Pa Anyaka told FIJ a day afther the report was published.

The money, part of the N200,000 converted into Deutsche Mark in 1982 for onward transfer into a German company’s account for the importation of drugs, has remained with the bank since then.

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While confirming that the bank reached out initially, Pa Anyaka’s daughter also said that the bank has not done anything commendable.

“They called him but have not written him for any meeting,” she said.

Independent, public-interest journalism has never been more vital than in times like this when truth is constantly being suppressed. With your support, it will be easier for us to continue speaking truth to power and preserving your right to know.

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Dangote: Cement price from Factories is between N2,450 and N2,510 per Bag, VAT inclusive

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  …says Nigeria price is in line with or lower than prices across the West African coast 

Management of Dangote Cement Plc has clarified that the price of a bag of cement from its factories and plants across Nigeria (as at 12th April, 2021) is N2,450 in Obajana and Gboko, and N2,510 in Ibese inclusive of VAT.

The clarification was made in view of recent insinuations that the company sells cement in Nigeria at significantly higher prices relative to other countries, particularly Ghana and Zambia.

Dangote’s Group Executive Director, Strategy, Portfolio Development & Capital Projects, Devakumar Edwin revealed that, while a bag of Cement sells for an equivalent of $5.

1, including VAT in Nigeria, it sells for $7.2 in Ghana and $5.95 in Zambia ex-factory, inclusive of all taxes. He said that though the company has direct control over its ex-factory prices, it cannot control the ultimate price of cement when it gets to the market. He advised that it is important to distinguish Dangote’s ex-factory prices from prices at which retailers sell cement in the market.

He, therefore, frowned at intentional misinformation or demarketing, allegedly sponsored by some individuals, that Dangote sells its cement at higher prices in Nigeria relative to other African countries at the expense of Nigerians. He described the allegation as false, misleading, and unfounded, while giving the media persons present at the press conference copies of invoices from Nigeria and some other African countries (Cameroun, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Zambia), and urging them to conduct independent investigations on the price of cement across the West African coast.

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Edwin further explained that while Dangote cement has 60% share of the market, other companies have the remaining 40%. DCP has no control over neither the prices charged by other cement manufacturers nor the prices charged by retailers in the markets.

He further explained that “Demand for cement has risen globally as a fallout of the COVID crisis. Nigeria is no exception as a combination of monetary policy changes and low returns from the capital market has resulted in a significant increase in construction activity. To ensure that we meet local demand, we had to suspend exports from our recently commissioned export terminals, thereby foregoing dollar earnings. We also had to reactivate our 4.5m ton capacity Gboko Plant which was closed 4 years ago and run it at a higher cost all in a bid to guarantee that we meet demand and keep the price of Cement within control in the country.”

He said: “Over the past 15 months, our production costs have gone up significantly. About 50% of our costs are linked to USD so the cost of critical components like: gas, gypsum, bags, and spare parts; has increased significantly due to devaluation of the Naira and VAT increase. Despite this, DCP has not increased ex-factory prices since December 2019 till date while prices of most other building materials have gone up significantly. We have only adjusted our transport rates to account for higher costs of diesel, spare parts, tyres, and truck replacement. Still, we charge our customers only N300 – 350 per bag for deliveries within a 1,200km radius. We have been responsible enough not to even attempt to cash in on the recent rise in demand to increase prices so far” he said.

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Cement cheaper in Nigeria than Ghana, Zambia, others ― Dangote Cement

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The management of Dangote Cement Plc has clarified that the price of a bag of cement from its factories and plants across Nigeria (as at 12th April, 2021) is N2,450 in Obajana and Gboko, and N2,510 in Ibese inclusive of VAT.

The Company in a statement stated that the clarification was made in view of recent insinuations that the company sells cement in Nigeria at significantly higher prices relative to other countries, particularly Ghana and Zambia.

Dangote’s Group Executive Director, Strategy, Portfolio Development & Capital Projects, Devakumar Edwin according to the statement revealed that, while a bag of Cement sells for an equivalent of $5.1, including VAT in Nigeria, it sells for $7.2 in Ghana and $5.95 in Zambia ex-factory, inclusive of all taxes.

He said that though the Company has direct control over its ex-factory prices, it cannot control the ultimate price of cement when it gets to the market.

He advised that it is important to distinguish Dangote’s ex-factory prices from prices at which retailers sell cement in the market.

He, therefore, frowned at what he described as intentional misinformation or demarketing, allegedly sponsored by some individuals, that Dangote sells its cement at higher prices in Nigeria relative to other African countries at the expense of Nigerians.

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He described the allegation as false, misleading, and unfounded, while giving the media persons present at the press conference copies of invoices from Nigeria and some other African countries (Cameroun, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Zambia), and urging them to conduct independent investigations on the price of cement across the West African(W/A) coast.

Edwin further explained that while Dangote cement has 60% share of the market, other companies have the remaining 40%.

He further explained that “Demand for cement has risen globally as a fallout of the COVID crisis. Nigeria is no exception as a combination of monetary policy changes and low returns from the capital market has resulted in a significant increase in construction activity.“To ensure that we meet local demand, we had to suspend exports from our recently commissioned export terminals, thereby foregoing dollar earnings.

“We also had to reactivate our 4.5m ton capacity Gboko Plant which was closed 4 years ago and run it at a higher cost all in a bid to guarantee that we meet demand and keep the price of Cement within control in the country.”

 

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Pension assets dropped by N 51.30bn in February – PENCOM

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The total value of pension assets in the country dropped by N51.30 billion in February, the National Pension Commission (PENCOM) has said.

In a figure obtained by Ripples Nigeria from the commission on Sunday, the pension assets dropped from N12.299 trillion in January to N12.247 trillion in February.

The figure was N12.306 trillion in December last year.

However, PENCOM blamed the development on the depreciation in the prices of Fixed Income Securities (FISs).

Fixed-income securities provide investors a return in the form of fixed periodic payments and the eventual return of principal at maturity.

The regulator pointed out that the trading portfolios of the Approved Existing Schemes (AES), Retirement Savings Account (RSA) Funds II & IV and Closed Pension Fund Administrators (CPFA) fluctuated based on the supply and demand of the underlying securities.

It said: “The values of the bonds in the trading portfolios fluctuate based on the supply and demand of the underlying securities as well as the outlook of the financial market.”

Analysis of the fund showed that the bulk of PENCOM’s investment continued to be invested in the Federal Government’s securities.

Despite the decline, the regulator revealed that there was an increase in the number of registered contributors from 9.237 million in January to 9.265 at the end of February.

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