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Heineken to Sack 8,000 Staff Amid Declining Sales



heineken mozambique

By Ahmed Rahma

The Dutch brewing giant, Heineken, has declared that it would reduce its workforce worldwide by 8,000 as sales dropped due to the global pandemic caused b COVID-19.

The world’s number two brewer after Belgian-Brazilian AB InBev made the declaration to slash nearly 10 per cent of it workforce on Wednesday.

Heineken had announced in October that restructuring was needed to reduce personnel costs but gave no figure for layoffs at the time.

In a statement on Wednesday, the company said, “The overall restructuring programme will reduce our employee base by (about) 8,000 people. This includes cutting jobs at the head office in Amsterdam while other layoffs would depend on local circumstances.

“Heineken’s reshaping plan includes a focus on its iconic green-bottled namesake brand, plus fewer, bigger bets in local premium brands,” the statement further said.

Heineken reported a net loss of €204 million ($247 million) for 2020, compared with a net profit of €2.1 billion a year earlier, while sales fell 17 per cent to €23 billion as COVID-19 restrictions keep bars and restaurants closed in some countries where the firm operates.

The company’s CEO, Mr Dolf van den Brink, who took charge last April, said it had been a year of unprecedented disruption and transition for the company.

The Dutchman said the layoffs were part of efforts to reshape Heineken, whose brands include Strongbow and Amstel, targeting €2 billion of savings by 2023.

“The COVID-19 pandemic and governments’ measures continue to have a material impact on our markets and business,” he stated.

The brewer’s beer sales fell 8.1 percent for the year, although its core Heineken brand only dropped 0.4 percent, significantly outperforming the total market. The brand grew double-digits in 25 markets including Brazil, China and Britain.

However, The zero-alcohol Heineken 0.0 was a rare bright spot, with single-digit growth globally.

But other brands had a mixed performance with growth for Desperados tequila-flavoured beer and a slight rise for Birra Moretti, but Amstel and Sol sales were down.

According to the CEO, Like the rest of the drinks industry, Heineken suffered from the widespread closure of drinking holes around the world.

“The impact of the pandemic on our business was amplified by our on-trade (bars, cafes and restaurants) and geographic exposure,” said Mr van den Brink.

Less than 30 per cent of outlets were operating in Europe, in particular at the end of January, he added.

The brewer, founded in the 19th century in Amsterdam, now sells more than 300 brands worldwide and employs around 85,000 people globally.

Ahmed Rahma is a journalist with great interest in arts and craft. She is also a foodie who loves new ideas. She loves to travel and would love to visit other African countries someday. She is a sucker for historical movies and afrobeat.

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Former Wema Bank MD/CEO Joins Chams




By Ahmed Rahma

Following the death of its non-executive director, Professor Oyewusi Ibidapo-Obe, Chams Plc said its board has approved the appointment Mr Olusegun Oloketuyi and Mrs Olamojiba Bakare as non-executive directors effective February 18, 2021, subject to the ratification at the Annual General Meeting (AGM).

In a notification to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), the company said until his death, Mr Ibidapo-Obe joined the company as a director on September 29, 2015, and made major contributions to the organisation during his time on the board.

One of the new appointees, Mr Segun Oloketuyi, is a seasoned banker and accountant. He was the immediate Managing Director of Wema Bank Plc.

He had also served as General Manager, Business Optimization Division and Executive Director of Business Development at Skye Bank Plc and Deputy General Manager, Corporate and Commercial Markets at Polaris Bank Plc (formerly Prudent Bank Plc) and as its Executive Director of Finance and Enterprise Risk Management.

On her part, Mrs Olamojiba Bakare is a reputable international lawyer, having qualified as a Solicitor of England and Wales from Inns of Court School of Law.

She also has a Masters degree in The Theory and Practice of Dispute Prevention and Resolution from the University of Westminster.

Mrs Olamojiba Bakare is armed with almost 20 years’ experience in the corporate world, out of which she used 15 years as a practicing Solicitor in the United Kingdom.

Since her relocation to Nigeria in 2010, she has both taught corporate law and practiced as a solicitor.

She comes with a wealth of knowledge, experience, professionalism and passion.

Chams PLC is Nigeria’s leading provider of integrated identity management and identity and payments transactional systems and solutions provider.

Over the last3 decades, Chams has evolved from computer and hardware maintenance to providing enterprise technology solutions in the identity management and transaction payments space to public and private sector institutions.

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Senate Confirms Buratai, Other Ex-Service Chiefs as Ambassadors



Buratai ambassadors

By Aduragbemi Omiyale

The nomination of the immediate past service chiefs as non-career ambassadors has been confirmed by the Nigerian Senate.

President Muhammadu Buhari had selected the former Chief of Defence Staff, Mr Gabriel Olonisakin; the former Chief of Army Staff, Mr Tukur Buratai; the former Chief of Air Staff, Mr Ibok Ibas; and the former Chief of Naval Staff, Mr Abubakar Sadique as non-career envoys shortly after they retired from the military.

He had sent their names to the Senate for screening and confirmation on February 5, 2021, in accordance with the law.

On Tuesday, despite opposition to their nomination, the upper chamber of the National Assembly led by the Senate President, Mr Ahmad Lawan, authorised their appointments.

Critics had accused President Buhari of appointing the former military officers as diplomats to shield them from prosecution at the International Criminal Court (ICC).

They were accused of human rights abuses while they were in office, especially the October 20, 2020, incident in Lagos, where it was alleged that soldiers opened fire on some peaceful protesters at the Lekki Toll Gate.

The demonstration was for an end to police brutality in the country as well as bad governance. No one has been indicted as a panel instituted to look into the matter was yet to conclude its findings.

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FG Targets 40,000 Jobs from Steel Industry



steel industry

By Adedapo Adesanya

The nation’s steel industry, when fully developed, could generate not less than 40,000 jobs and would drive economic growth, the federal government has said.

According to the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Mr Olamilekan Adegbite, the steel sector has the capability to propel the economic diversification agenda of the present administration.

Mr Adegbite, who was at a facility tour of Premium Steel and Mines Limited, Warri Delta State, therefore, encouraged the management of the firm to begin full operations to help achieve these goals.

“The mandate of the ministry is to expand the sector, use it to diversify the economy and create jobs and also to generate revenue for the government.

“I will encourage you to speed up the process. You are going to employ a lot of people which is a welcome development,” the Minister said.

Mr Adegbite also said that it was important for the nation’s steel sector to produce flat steel sheet, saying it’s vital for the development of the sector.

“For the nation to industrialise, we need to produce flat sheet, which is the ultimate goal of the sector. With flat sheet we can produce many things like engine blocks, vehicle bodies etc’

Mr Adegbite also rallied the steel producer to support the metallurgical Industry bill, adding that the bill when enacted into law would assist in establishing programmes that would aid the private sector to operate optimally, producing competitive high-quality products for both local and international market.

“Government is willing to do everything to support the industry. That’s why we have proposed a metallurgical industrial Bill, which is at the council for approval. When it is approved it will support the industry.

“It will make it a lot easier for you to operate. We would have been empowered by the law to support you. The support we give will have the backing of the law,” he said.

In his remarks, the GCEO of Premium Steel and Mines Limited, Mr Anant Badjatya, said that the management of the company was working towards fully reviving the company.

He said that the company would save the nation more than a million tons of steel in import and conserve about 600 million dollars in foreign exchange when working at full capacity.

“We aim to save the nation about 600 million dollars from import substitution.”

Premium Steel was formerly called Delta Steel Company before it was privatised, the company was designed to produce 1.2 million tonnes of liquid steel per annum to be cast into 960,000 metric tonnes of billets and rolled 330,000 metric tonnes in its rolling mill.

The remaining 630,000 metric tonnes were to feed the 3 inland rolling mills at Jos, Oshogbo and Katsina which have 210,000 metric tonnes capacity rolling mills each.

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Buhari Picks Audi as New NSCDC Commandant-General



NSCDC Commandant-General

By Aduragbemi Omiyale

The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) now has a new Commandant-General and he is Mr Ahmed Abubakar Audi.

A statement issued on Thursday by the Director for Press and Public Relations at the Ministry of Interior, Mr Mohammed Manga, disclosed that the appointment of Mr Audi was approved by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The statement signed on behalf of the Minister of Interior, Mr Rauf Aregbesola, explained that the new Commandant-General was chosen by the President following the retirement of Mr Abdullahi Gana Muhammadu from service.

Mr Audi was described as the most qualified officer for the position. He was said to have undergone a transparent selection process and emerged the best candidate.

“President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the appointment of Ahmed Abubakar Audi as the new Commandant-General of NSCDC following the retirement from service of Abdullahi Gana Muhammadu,” the statement said.

“Ahmed Audi emerged the top best candidate out of those that went through the transparent selection process initiated by the Ministry of Interior through the board to ensure that the most suitable among the top-ranking officers in the service was appointed to replace the out-going Commandant-General of the NSCDC,” it added.

In a related development, President Buhari has nominated Haliru Nababa as the new Controller-General of the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS).

However, his appointment is subject to the confirmation of the Senate in line with the provision of the new Act establishing the Nigerian Correctional Service 2019, the statement said.

In the statement, the Minister of Interior, who doubles as the Chairman of Civil Defence, Correctional, Fire and Immigration Board (CDCFIB), “congratulated the new appointees.”

He urged them to “ensure full implementation of the mandate of their services as well as to ensure synergy with other security agencies in the country with the view to providing efficient internal security services and citizenship integrity for Nigerians and foreigners alike in line with the policy thrust of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration.”

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Ogunmekan Becomes Executive Director at WISCAR



Fabia Ogunmekan WISCAR

By Ahmed Rahma

The Women In Successful Career (WISCAR) has announced the appointment of Ms Fabia Ogunmekan as an Executive Director.

Her appointment was announced as part of the activities to celebrate the association’s 13th anniversary. She was WISCAR’s pioneer Executive Secretary in March 2018 and has since led the executive management team, contributing significantly to the organization’s growth.

In her role as Executive Director, she will continue to work strategically with the advisory board towards delivering on WISCAR’s strategic vision. This vision includes strengthening governance, managing talent and succession, scaling WISCAR’s structured mentoring methodology, and gender advocacy efforts for a more inclusive, and gender-equal world.

WISCAR’s founder and chairperson, Ms Amina Oyagbola, in her comments on this development, said: “Ogunmekan joined WISCAR almost 3 years ago on WISCAR’s 10th anniversary.

“In that time, she has served the organisation diligently contributing significantly to its growth.

“In her role as Executive Director, she will continue to lead the executive management team in addition to collaborating with the WISCAR advisory board and partners to ensure WISCAR’s sustainability.”

Ms Oyagbola thanked WISCAR patrons, members of the advisory board, sub-committees, and members of the WISCAR community for their dedication and steadfast commitment to WISCAR over the years as the organization looks forward to expanding its reach, influence, and impact in 2021 and beyond.

Responding to the news of her elevation, Ms Ogunmekan expressed appreciation for the support, trust, and confidence reposed in her by the WISCAR founder and the board.

She said, “It has been and remains a privilege to serve such an esteemed organization that is a force for change and will continue to contribute to a better society in line with WISCAR’s mission of Developing Women to build a better nation.”

WISCAR is a not for profit, for impact organisation, which focuses on empowering and developing professional women to contribute to socio-economic development in Nigeria and Africa.

In the 13 years, it has impacted over 10,000 professional women and men, including a 400 strong Alumni network of its flagship WIN with WISCAR mentorship program and a growing network of WISCAR members.

During this period, it has deployed innovative programs and continuously improved existing programs that build leadership capacity, provide strategic career advice, inspiration, guidance, and support to young career women to enable their progression and unleash their leadership potential through structured mentorship and the WIN Model.

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Buhari Chooses Orji as NEITI Executive Secretary



NEITI Executive Secretary

By Adedapo Adesanya

President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the appointment of Mr Ogbonnaya Orji as the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI).

This was disclosed by the Director Information, Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Willie Bassey, via a statement issued today in Abuja.

The statement said that Mr Orji’s appointment was for a single term of five years.

“In accordance with the provision of Section 12 (2) (a) and 6 (3) of the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (Establishment) Act, 2007, Orji’s appointment is for a single term of five years.

“The appointment takes effect from February 19, 2021,” the statement disclosed.

Mr Orji takes over from Mr Waziri Adio, whose tenure expires on Thursday, February 18.

Until his appointment, Mr Orji was the agency’s Director of Communications and Advocacy.

He began his career at the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN) and also worked with United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), where he managed several donor-funded projects.

Mr Orji holds M.Sc degree and PhD in Political Economy and International Development from the University of Abuja.

The President enjoined the new appointee to serve the nation with all sense of responsibility, honesty, diligence and promote good governance in the discharge of his duties.

NEITI was established in 2004 as the key anti-corruption agency at the presidency and is responsible for ensuring transparency, accountability and governance of the country’s oil, gas and mining industries.

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