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Manufacturing Is Key To Economic Growth, Development —- Dangote

Peter Okunoren

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Executive Director of the Dangote Group, Hajiya Halima Aliko-Dangote has urged millennials in Nigeria and across Africa to diversify from service-oriented enterprises to manufacturing and agriculture in a bid to fast-track the development of the continent and better life for its nationals.

Halima Dangote said that the economic realities around the world have shown that the way to go is agriculture and that the youths must take the lead more when most African countries are still grappling with low economic growth.

Addressing the 58th Conference of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) in Abuja yesterday, Hajiya Halima Dangote said African countries have groped in the dark for too long and it is high time the millennials stand up to be counted as the future of the continent.

In her paper titled “Roles of Millennials in Transition and Institution Building”, the Dangote Group Director explained that the youths have the potentials to turn around the fortune of the African continent. She stated that “Millennials are young ones born between 1980 and the mid-2000s, who account for 27% of the global population (about 2 billion people) and Sub-Saharan Africa alone is home to 13% of the entire millennial population, ranking second to Asia.

According to her, “available statistics have also revealed that by 2025, 75% of the global workforce will be millennials, large enough to influence consumer spending patterns; change consumer business models and impact the global economy. Most members of this generation are at the beginning of their careers and so will be an important engine for economic growth in the decades to come.”

Amid intermittent applause from the lawyers, Hajiya Halima Dangote stated that the theme of the conference which is “Transition, Transformation, and Sustainable Institutions” could not have come at a better time than now and therefore lauded the Association for coming up with a subject that Nigeria and Africa needed to discuss.
She congratulated the outgoing President of the NBA, Mr. A. B. Mahmoud OON, the incoming President, Mr. Paul Usoro SAN, and “all my learned friends here for successfully continuing with the vision handed down by the fathers and founders of the Association.”

The Executive Director also urged millennials and other relevant stakeholders to exercise restraint in the face common desperation for wealth by their contemporaries adding that, “Success in entrepreneurship takes time, dedication and hard work. There is a need to disabuse our mind from the concept of overnight success. Industrialisation requires patience and perseverance.”

She also spoke extensively on the successes recorded by the Dangote Group, founded by her father Aliko Dangote, in creating numerous jobs and establishing value-adding industries and contemporary businesses through importation, manufacturing and backward integration to generate and highlight local content for overall development.

While noting that the achievement by the group did not come easy, Hajiya Halima Dangote said “the Millennials should see these opportunities and diversify from service-oriented enterprises to manufacturing enterprises. Manufacturing has the capacity to create numerous jobs, develop an economy, sustain jobs and open other linkages.”

She noted that millennials are leaders in transition and are evolving. To her, “With smartphones and connections, the Millennials can exert much influence and swing the outcome of a situation. This confers on them great role and responsibility in shaping the outcome of policies and politics in a nation”.

“Economic sentiments have turned sharply since 2015. The general consensus across sub-Saharan Africa’s two largest economies is that lack of employment opportunities poses a very big problem amongst other key societal issues identified through the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

“Despite these concerns, there is considerable optimism about the future, and millennials are increasingly getting more active in influencing and energising public opinion through social networks and creating mass movements. They are also actively leveraging digital fluencies to improve public sector accountability; address global societal problems and drive civil society engagement. “, she stated.

According to her, “Dangote Industries Limited is one of Nigeria’s foremost conglomerates with interests in cement, sugar, salt, flour, pasta, noodles, poly products, real estate, agriculture, logistics, telecommunications, steel, oil and gas, and beverages among others. The Group has over 15,000 direct employees. It provides indirect employment to tens of thousands of others who are engaged in activities relating to our businesses. Dangote Cement now has presence in 18 African countries (Nigeria, Ghana, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Cote d’Ivoire, Senegal, Cameroon, Liberia, South Africa, Kenya, Zambia, Sierra Leone, Congo, Zimbabwe, South Sudan, Chad, Mali and Niger).”

Speaking at a breakout session of the Conference, the Chief Executive of DAX Consult, Adaku Ufere Awoonor said millennials are the most educated and assertive age group that are currently creating wealth globally pointing out that young people around the world are now influencing outcomes of political activities, while others have risen to position of power and are making meaningful contributions to their societies.
” Millennials are entrepreneurs. If they can’t find job, they create one. They are doers and comfortable using digital media for promoting their causes,” she added.

Another Panelist speaker, Nasir Yammama, who is the CEO of Vordent AgriTech said millennials are extremely innovative, even in the face of limited resources, and challenges posed by social and political environments. He said his company is involved in creating technology that will support the agricultural sector. “We are also working on a craft, we called it “witchcraft” to help solve problems and create jobs, using technology,” he added.

In the same vein, the Managing Director of Mojec Holdings, Chantelle Oluwabumi Abdul said in spite of being a young person, her company controls about 80 percent of metering in the power sector in West Africa.

She said young people should look into creating ideas and as well execute the ideas promptly.

“I believe in the Nigerian dream. I believe in Africa. Young people now look at creating real wealth in billions and not millions again,” she added.

The sheer size of this demography which is already about half the size of world population and the democratisation of information using technology is a warning sign to future politicians and the future of politics.

“The Nigerian and African Millennials in this context although largely preoccupied with start-ups, business activities and professional success are also intensely politically and socially active through the social media”, Hajiya Halima Dangote added.

“They are thereby gradually influencing the course and content of politics and the flavour of social and political life, and social activism through the broad reach, power and immediacy of the social media. They will eventually have to enter the political arena as potential political and business leaders formed in the digital age.

“To do this, Nigerian and African Millennials must deliberately ground their transformation efforts for national and continental advancement in a deep understanding, respectful and non-abusive appreciation of their cultural heritage”, she added.

Hajiya Halima Dangote also stressed the growing need for strong institutions to manage these developments and transitions, as Africa develops. To her, the continent must transit from having strong persons to strong institutions, strong institutions with the effective executive capacity needed for sustainable development.

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Dangote Promo: 64-Year-Old Bricklayer, 20-Year-Old Artisan Win Star-Prize Saloon Cars

Gbemileke Ajayi

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Two Nigerians, namely, a 64-year-old bricklayer, Mr. Iyowun Ezekiel, and 20-year-old artisan, Godwin Godday, have emerged the latest winners of star prize GAC saloon cars in the ongoing Dangote Cement ‘Bag of Goodies’ national consumer promo.

Elated Ezekiel, who is based in Ijebu-ode, Ogun state and has been a bricklayer for over 40 years, found his prize-winning scratch card in one of the Dangote cement promo bags he bought from a distributor in Ijebu-Mushin. On the other hand, Godday, who is the youngest winner of the Star prize so far, found his winning scratch card in Ikorodu, Lagos.

Both star prize winners were given the keys to their brand new cars by top Dangote Cement officials at different handing-over ceremonies in Ijebu-ode and Ikorodu, alongside 10 other lucky promo winners, who carted home various prizes including a tricycle, a motorcycle, 8 refrigerators, and two television sets; to the admiration of other Dangote Cement consumers, distributors and the general public.

While Mr. Akintaye Oluwagbemiga won a tricycle, Mr. Kamilu Audu won a motorcycle. Interestingly, Mr. Solomon Dayo won three out of the seven refrigerators presented at the Ikorodu event, while Messrs. Ohemu Friday, Innocent Agbo-James, Ransome Watels, and Kehinde Adeagbo went home with one refrigerator each. There was also a presentation of television sets to Mr. Dare Olajide and Mr. Oluwadare Gbenga. Likewise, Mr. Imam Adebisi Abdulhakeem, who won a refrigerator, collected his prize at the Ijebu-ode venue.

Handing over the car keys to Ezekiel in Ijebu-ode, National Sales Director, Dangote Cement Plc, Mr. Adeyemi Fajobi told those gathered at the Local Government office venue that the cement promo is real and that there are many more choice prizes to be won.

According to him, all a consumer has to do is to buy the Dangote Cement products and open the bag, adding that whatever is stated on the scratch card is automatically won by the buyer, when taken to any approved depot for the redemption of the prizes.

The National Sales Director added: “Only Dangote can do this. This is a promise fulfilled. Some people were skeptical when this promo began but today, this is proof of our sincerity.”

Also, Regional Director, Lagos/Ogun, Dangote Cement Plc, Mr. Tunde Mabogunje, while handing over the various prizes in Ikorodu, said excited consumers have been coming forward to collect their prizes in the ongoing promo.

According to him, scores of people have come to redeem their winning scratch cards for recharge cards worth thousands of Naira, pointing out that the promo is a deliberate effort at rewarding the consumers. He also said the company is happy that the consumers are winning.

Head, Route to Market, Dangote Cement Plc, Olukayode Akin-Bamidele, said the promo was put up by the President of the Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote to reward consumers’ patronage.

Ezekiel, who in a display of euphoria danced to the podium to claim his Star Prize of a GAC saloon car in Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State, added dash to his win by sending a typed letter of appreciation to the Chairman of Dangote Cement, Aliko Dangote.

The lucky star prize winner, who said he has been a bricklayer for over 40 years, expressed profound gratitude to Aliko Dangote and the Dangote Cement for the ongoing promo, which has so far empowered thousands of Nigerians as winners of various prizes.

While celebrating his win with his son, Tayo Ezekiel (also a bricklayer) and members of his outfit, who donned “Thank you Dangote” t-shirts, Ezekiel disclosed that he had not won anything before until now, and enthused that the Dangote Cement ‘Bag of Goodies’ promo is a reality which has greatly helped Nigeria.

Speaking on how he emerged the star prize winner, Godday, who couldn’t take his education beyond Primary School due to lack of funds, said he was always watching out for winning cards in any cement bag he opened as a concrete mixer at a building site. He commended Dangote Cement for putting up the promo to alleviate poverty in the country.

The Dangote Cement ‘Bag of Goodies’ promo, which began nationwide in July and is to run till September ending, has so far yielded numerous winners of prizes in various categories.

Among other unique gifts, a total of 43 brand new cars, cash prizes of N200 million, 24 tricycles, 500 refrigerators, 24 motorcycles, 400 television sets, generators, Goodies packs, are available for winners in a promo, which has generated so much excitement among Nigeria, with over 21 million lucky winners targeted.

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Historic Race As JAC Motors Abeokuta 10km Marathon Debuts November 2nd 2019.

Peter Okunoren

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The much-talked-about maiden edition of the JAC Motors sponsored Abeokuta 10Km Race is now re-scheduled to hold for Saturday, November 2nd, 2019.

According to a press release by the media office of Nilayo Sports Management Limited, the organizers of the international event, the shift in date for the event is to allow all and sundry observe their Sunday devotions without disruption of any sort.

The organizers, however deeply regret any inconvenience the change in date might cause, especially the sponsors and partners of the maiden edition of the Abeokuta marathon, and particularly, the over three thousand registered potential competing racers of the marathon.

The JAC Motors sponsored Abeokuta 10Km marathon, ably supported by the Ogun State government, Rite Foods, Bet9ja, QMB Builders Mart, Landwey Investment Limited, IBD International Hotels is the vision of Nilayo Sports Management Limited.

On a personal note, our heart aches as we announce the sudden passing of our media officer for the Abeokuta 10Km Marathon, Mr. Gbenga Davies. He was an extraordinary journalist who inspired a lot of young people in his profession.

We offer our deepest condolences to Mr. Davies family, colleagues and the media family in Ogun State.

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Seasoned Journalist, Gbenga Davies, For Burial August 14…. OGD, Amaechi, Saraki, Fayemi, Others Mourn

Gbemileke Ajayi

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Notable politicians, friends, and associates have commiserated with the publisher of Metronews Nigeria, Otunba Femi Davies, and the entire family on the demise of Gbenga.

The remains of Gbenga Davies, the brother of the popular and award-winning veteran journalist, Otunba Femi Davies, would be buried in Abeokuta, Ogun State, tomorrow, the August 14th, 2019.

It was reported that Gbenga slumped on Friday night at Abeokuta while watching a football match with friends. All attempts to resuscitate him failed, as a family put the cause of his death as due to cardiac arrest. He was 46 years old.

The burial arrangement as released by the family starts tomorrow at 11.00 am when the body will leave General Hospital, Sokenu, Abeokuta. There will be brief service of songs at the NUJ Secretariat, Iwe Iroyin House, Abeokuta, at 11.30 am. His remains will be buried at Kobape Cemetery by 12.30pm.

Many friends of the deceased were grieved by Gbenga’s sudden death. He was described as an easy-going and free-spirited journalist. He was never known to brood or bear grudges against anyone.

Numerous politicians across the political divides in the country have been paying glowing tributes to Gbenga, who was a three-time Journalist of the Year in Ogun State. Prominent amongst them were the former governors of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, the former Senate president, Sen. Bukola Saraki and the executive governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi.

Others, who also commiserated with the family, were former Rivers State governor and now minister, Mr. Romiti Amaechi, and several friends of Gbenga Davies.

Gbenga was a friendly and jovial person, an humanitarian, whose contributions to his immediate community will remain unforgettable.

He had his secondary school education at Festac Grammar School, Lagos and proceeded to Ogun State Polytechnic (now Moshood Abiola Polytechnic) in Abeokuta, where he studied accounting. Though he would later choose a career in journalism, a profession he had passion for due to his closeness to his brother, the ace journalist, Otunba Femi Davies.

Until his death, he was the spokesperson for JAC Motors-sponsored Abeokuta Marathon.

Gbengene, as he was popularly called, is survived by his wife, four children, brothers, and an aged mother.

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