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BUA Cement Plc has increased the ex-factory price of its cement product by N200 per bag. The cement manufacturer, it was reliably gathered, unveiled its new price increase from N2,800 to N3,000 per bag over the weekend.

 

The price increase by BUA is contrary to what he has repeatedly asserted that his company does not have any justification to increase the price of cement as it is currently making enough returns.

 

It would be recalled that BUA Cement, in various statements issued between April 24 and June 18 this year, had refuted any claims of increase in the ex-factory price of its cement products by N300 per bag, stating that, “the company had no plans to increase prices of its cement now or in the near future.”

 

According to a statement issued on April 24, 2021, the company stated that, “the solution was not in an increase of ex-factory price at this period.”

 

The company, in its statement, had “reiterated its stand that the timing was not right for any increase in the price of major commodities, especially not at this period whilst Nigerians are still trying to recover from the economic consequences brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic – especially for a product for which all raw materials are locally sourced.”

 

On June 17, 2021, BUA Cement had issued a fresh statement titled ‘No Further Increase in the Price of BUA Cement’ in response to numerous clarification requests from its distributors and the public that the company does not seek to increase the ex-factory price of its cement in the foreseeable future.

 

“We are aware of the feedback and outcry from the public, and the government on the high retail price of cement in a period of economic recovery. BUA is also of the firm belief that the current retail prices of cement are higher than normal, hence our earlier communication not to increase ex-factory prices in the foreseeable future.

 

“As a responsible corporate entity, we refuse and reject associations with any actions that are deemed capable of projecting any industry we operate as a cartel. Hence, whilst we respect that the said company has decided to increase their prices, we are not questioning the reason(s) why, but would like to make clear BUA’s position on a price increase.

 

“The timing is not right for any increase on BUA’s part, and we do not have any justifiable business reason to increase our prices (ex-factory) anytime soon. We therefore urge our distributors not to panic as well as not engage in any arbitrary hike in the retail price of BUA Cement,” the statement read.

 

The increase in the company’s ex-factory price of cement has generated ripples among distributors, retailers and consumers across the country, with many wondering at the sudden change of mind of the manufacturer and this volte-face dishonesty.

 

In a market survey carried out on the price increase, a cement distributor in Kano, Alhaji Sadiq, wondered why BUA Cement changed its cement price, contrary to expectations and its promise. “I don’t understand why BUA did this increase at this particular time. The chairman of BUA, Abdulsamad Rabiu, personally promised us that his company will not increase the price of its cement. Honestly, this is not good for our business and the industry. This is the biggest scam by any major corporate organisation in the history of this country,” he lamented.

 

Another cement distributor based in Asaba, Delta State Sunday Odogwu, expressed anger at the price increase by BUA Cement, despite all his repeated promises of no further increase in the price of BUA cement.

 

According to Odogwu, “BUA told us several times before in their statements to distributors that they are not ready to increase their cement price. The last notice was just last month in June. Why are they doing this now? It is so not fair, and we are disappointed. Our customers will not understand all this and will be blaming us!”

“This shows total disregard and non-adherence to international corporate governance rules and standards. More importantly, his action shows a total disregard and disrespect for his customers, who over the years from their loyalty and patronage of his cement have in no small measure contributed to his business success.

 

“Initially, we believed the management of BUA as having sympathy for the populace. But this current position is not only deceptive but also portrays the organisation as having a hidden agenda in order to smear competition and gain an unfair market advantage over others in the industry”, he added.


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Business

Nigeria Breweries Sacks 380 As Dollar Rate Bites Hard 

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NB Plc’s workforce has been reduced by 380 workers as the brewer struggled with the loss induced by surging cost and the naira floating policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria last year.

 

NB joined brewery firms like International Breweries Plc which declared N59.5bn net loss in 2023 and Champions Breweries which is also struggling.

 

In 2023, breweries in Nigeria struggled with the high cost of operations and sourcing expensive foreign exchange to purchase raw materials for their beer and soft drink business.

 

Nigerian Breweries audited financial statement results for 2023 show that their desired destination of sustained profitability is still a long way off.

 

The brewery company which is the largest listed beer maker on the Nigerian Exchange Limited posted a revenue growth of 9 per cent from N550.5bn in 2022 to N599.5bn by the end of 2023.

 

The company recorded an unimpressively yearly loss which is huge by the standards of a firm whose business model is based on spending heavily to keep rivals out of the picture.

 

From a profit of N13.2bn in 2022, the company saw a scourging loss of N106.3bn driven principally by naira scarcity and the naira devaluation, which officially began on 14 June, 2023.

 

The company was able to curtail personnel expenses, which rose marginally from N51.3bn in the preceding year to N55.5bn in 2023 but was roped with N36.4bn finance cost which surged from N8.4bn in 2022.

 

Nigerian Breweries has now lost N153.3bn on foreign exchange transactions spiking from the N26.3bn loss in 2022.

 

The company paid more deposits for imports of N16.2bn up from N6.9bn in 2022, representing naira deposits for foreign currencies purchased to fund letters of credit and forwards, as well as futures.

 

The N16.2bn is related to imported raw materials, spare parts, and machinery.

 

About 99 per cent of the company’s products were sold in Nigeria while only N335.46bn were export proceeds, making it difficult for them to source forex for imports of raw materials.

 

By the end of the year, staff strength of Nigerian Breweries dropped by 380 from 2,685 in 2022 to 2,305 workers.

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Business

How Lagos Bizman Tony Obidulu Lost His Legal Battle With FCMB .Over N350m Loan – The True story

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A fact check on the legal battle between Lagos businessman, Tony Obidulu,his company,Algrain Foods and First City Monument Bank, FCMB ,following a N350m loan dispute has been made clear.

 

Obidulu , through his Lawyer, Aloysius E. Ezenduka had petitioned the Inspector General of Police alleging stealing of assets of his client’s company to the tune of N20 billion while asking the IG to investigate the bank and its Lawyer,Mr Emmanuel Adeyeye Oyebanji,SAN,who was appointed as Receiver/Manager by CSL Trustees Ltd.

Contrary to Obidulu/Algrain’s claims however, the case had already been decided with FCMB getting judgement against the petitioner.

 

Investigations reveal that Algrain foods Ltd was a customer of FCMB and First Bank Nigeria, FBN .

FCMB Trustee was appointed as the Trustee for the two banks.The account of Algrain foods became toxic in the year 2016 and the two banks appointed Mr Ade Oyebanji SAN as the Receiver of all assets debenture as duly registered with CAC. Details also revealed that:

 

1: The Receiver obtained protective interim order of possession in the year 2017 from the Federal high court Lagos.

2:In the year 2020 Algrain food and its director Anthony Obidulu sued the Bank and the Receiver before the federal high court,claiming among others that the Receiver committed Trespass,that the court should appoint independent auditors.

They also claimed the sum of 20B Naira against the bank.

3: The case was dismissed on the 24th October 2021.as an abuse of court process.

4: On the 4th Nov 2021 the Federal High court delivered Judgment in the receivership case in favor of the bank and the receiver.

5: The court granted the Receiver power to SELL the assets of the Algrain Foods:

The Court granted the receiver power to continue in

possession:

The court granted perpetual injunction against Algrain Food and its directors :

6: The Judgement was a declaratory judgment and there was no appeal; no stay of execution filed by counsel to Algrain Food until 9th of November 2021:

7:On the 7th November 2021 in accordance with the judgement of the court authorizing Sale, the Receiver exercised the Power of Sale.

8: There was no notice of appeal and or stay of Execution as at 7th November 2021 filed by defendant Algrain Food .

9: The Judgement was declaratory which took effect from the date of delivery on the 4th November 2021:

10: Mr Alloysious Ezenduka counsel to Algrain Food failed,neglected and or deliberately refused to file its notice of appeal and stay of execution before the exercise of the power of sale as ordered by the federal high court.

11: Algrain food has filed appeal to the court of appeal dated 9th November 2021 and the matter is currently pending at the appeal court.

12: It is total fallacy and complete misinformation that the Receiver has been stealing the assets of Algrain food but rather the assets were legally disposed off by virtue of the Judgement.

13: There is no Judgment or order from the court of appeal reversing the Judgment of the federal high court.

14: All the allegations leveled against FCMB and The Receiver before the Police have been dismissed by the federal high court in the ruling dated 24th October 2021.

The petition is an unholy attempt to reverse the judgement of the court through the back door.

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