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LAWMA Serves 343 Contravention Notices on Construction Sites



The Lagos Waste Management Authority (LAWMA), has served 343 contravention notices on construction sites at various locations around the state in the last one year.

Commissioner for The Environment and Water Resources, Mr. Tokunbo Wahab, disclosed this at on-going ministerial press briefing to mark one year of the second term of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu Administration, in Alausa, Ikeja.

He said the notices were served on them for not complying with the construction waste regulation procedure supervised by LAWMA.

Wahab added that 354 new introductions notices were issued to construction firms within the same period while enforcement was carried out on 10 recalcitrant sites.

According to him, “LAWMA in the last one year has served no less than 343 contravention notices on construction firms at various locations in the state, for not complying with the rules and regulations governing construction waste management. It is the responsibility of the Construction Demolition and Disaster Waste Department of LAWMA, to work with construction firms, for smooth evacuation of waste generated by them. But some of them are not playing by the rules, hence the notices”.

Speaking further, he said the agency identified 103 black spots around the state, which LAWMA at various times mobilised its operations men to clear.

He said, “It is a sad commentary that despite persistent public awareness, warnings and actual enforcements, some residents still refuse to patronise assigned PSP operators, preferring to dump waste in canals, on road medians and other illegal points. This habit must stop”.

The commissioner also disclosed that LAWMA, through the Ministry of The Environment and Water Resources, had signed an MoU with the State Government and Jospong Group, on waste treatment solutions.

He noted that the MoU entailed identifying existing landfill sites, for proper re-engineering of solid waste management system, to generate employment.

Still on the activities of LAWMA in the last one year, he intimated that the agency had worked with United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and Food and Beverage Recycling Alliance (FBRA), to identify locations for the installation of plastic recycling facilities, adding that the move was aimed at mass removal of plastic items from the environment, and for job creation.

He stated further, that the Marine Unit of LAWMA, had additional 5 rafters within the last one year, to aid the collection of on-shore and off-shore waste.

On markets in the state, he noted that LAWMA had a year round stakeholders engagement, considerably improving hygiene practices, waste containerisation and evacuation among others.

Wahab reminded residents who indulge in defacing the environment, that LAWMA, within the time under review, apprehended and prosecuted about 1,100 defaulters, a majority of whom were sentenced to hours of community service or fined various sums of money.

He contended that to sustain the current momentum of achievements by the agency, stakeholders engagement, public enlightenment must continue on all media platforms, sending messages on efficient waste management best practices to all strata of society.

The commissioner commended LAWMA Academy for continuously expanding its reach of pupils for waste management education, which averaged 1,400 pupils in eight primary schools across the state.

Wahab lauded LAWMA for prioritising 24-hour response time to complaints, urging residents to shun reckless waste disposal at unauthorised locations, to avoid harsh environmental consequences as the rains approach.

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Musa Halilu Hamed Foundation Distributes Palliative To Downtrodden Households




Presentation of cash palliatives

In a bid to cushion the effect of the biting economy and also bring succour to the needy via philanthropy, cosmopolitan, suave businessman, investor and public speaker; Alhaji Musa Halilu Hamed, Chairman TILT Groups and the founder of Musa Halilu MHA Foundation has reached out to the needy via his foundation by distributing palliatives to the poorest of the poorest household in Yola, Adamawa state.

The initiative was intended to render helping hands to the downtrodden and also assist the government in providing relief items to the needy by also bringing hunger down to the bearest minimum. MHA Foundation since its formation has over nine years catered for the needs of both young and old children with a special interest in Educational Development, Women Empowerment, Motherless Children Empowerment, Prison Reform and inmate welfare, community infrastructure renewal, widow empowerment and a host of other things.

During the Deadly COVID-19 pandemic, the MHA foundation also helped cushion the deadly virus’s effect and spread as it donated several relief materials to hospitals. To cushion the effect of the biting economy with the removal of Fuel Subsidies by the Government, also living up to its expectation of helping the poor, the foundation in its little capacity embarked on a palliative distribution to over 2,000 households distributing cash, food and other edible items that will help beneficiaries stay afloat during the current economic hardship.

To make the distribution process seamless, the foundation targeted the poorest of the poorest via Mosque using clergymen to point out those who are really in need of the relief materials. The materials were distributed around the Yola metropolis and the subhurb and beneficiaries of the palliative were super excited as they all averred that; if more people in the state engage in acts of philanthropy constantly, poverty and hunger will be eradicated to the bearest minimum. They also thanked Dujima Adamawa for his continuous support and care for the needy as they reeled out prayers that Almighty Allah replenish his pocket.

According to the Foundation, the completion of the first phase will also open room for the kickstarting of the second phase which will be taking place in other parts of the states. “More items will be distributed to the needy most especially families who can’t afford to eat quality meals. We will never relent in our quest to reduce hardship. Our foundation has one goal which is to continue touching lives and we will continue to use our resources to put smiles on the faces of the needy.” Alhaji Halilu disclosed.

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Cement Price War : Will The Propaganda, Panic Measures Against The BUA Initiative Work?





Events in the cement sector in the last couple of weeks have been really worrisome.

Ever since BUA Group Chairman, Abdul Samad Rabiu disclosed that his products would be sold at 3,500 per bag, the other players in the industry have been jittery.
First, the media was and is still agog with rhetorics over whether the price reduction was possible and feasible.

Obviously, most of these did not come from outsiders in the industry but sponsored by industry leaders who feel threatened. Because these have not worked, stories of BUA Cement unavailability started circulating, also from the same sources.

Meanwhile, investigations revealed that BUA Distributors in EDO, Sokoto and some other parts have been picking their supplies at 3,500 per bag. Indeed one of them,

Mike Igwe, a distributor who spoke with us confirmed that ever since the price was reduced, he has been buying at that price and that those who claim that BUA is yet to effect the price change don’t know what they are saying.

According to him, ‘the other manufacturers have reasons to be afraid. They are definitely going to lose out in the market’. Who will abandon where he’s buying for 3,500 NAIRA per bag and go to Dangote where he will pay over 5,500 Naira? he further asked.
Speaking further the Benin-based cement dealer suggested that road transportation, especially the bad roads occasioned by the rains could have been the reason why other parts of the country did not immediately enjoy what he and many other distributors around had been enjoying. However with the rains already going, other parts of the country, must have started receiving their supplies at the new price. He also figured that BUA must have jerked up production to meet the increased demand as more buyers are switching over.

Other distributors we spoke with revealed that Dangote specifically has come under intense pressure since the price reduction by BUA and has been looking for ways to ensure that he does not lose customers. They confirmed that Dangote has been giving out one free truck for every seven trucks bought by distributors, all in a bid to ensure that he saves his face. But, according to builders we spoke with, this form of tokenism will not trickle to retailers and there is no way the consumers can feel it either. This is because if you give one truck to a distributor who bought seven trucks, he will prefer to sell rather than give away the cement.

There is no doubt that Dangote and Lafarge’s reaction to BUA’s decision to cut the price of cement really betrayed their position vis a vis the current situation in the country. Nigerians need succor from all fronts. They need business leaders who can rise above money making interests and feel for the people.

Both organizations have been jittery and have resorted to arm twisting BUA rather than taking concrete steps to try and maintain their share of the market.
It is also worthy of note that sponsored analysts are springing up to make wild claims that the price cut is neither practicable nor sustainable. This, industry players know is coming from those who feel threatened by the BUA move.

For Dangote, many distributors saw this opportunity as a major step towards moving away from the company’s high handed practices. Those who spoke with us pointed to the fact that they cannot pay cash to him but only credit.

According to them, Dangote will always hold on to their cash whenever price changes. He will hardly make refund if there’s increase in price unless you pay the extra money added on top.

This is unlike the practice with BUA where they supply you the goods with the old price even if there’s price increase. And given the volatility of the market presently, with BUA Cement promising to reduce the price further when they hit the 17million Tons per annum target, no one will like to be caught off guard.

Nigerians need to mount pressure on the other major cement manufacturers to join BUA in reducing the price of cement.

The pressure created by the BUA move could be seen in the number of times Dangote has come out to deny any form of price increase.

Meanwhile, rather than decreasing the price so that the masses can benefit, he has decided to gift distributors one truck each if and when they buy seven trucks.

His intransigence and unwillingness will further make the market volatile, unpredictable and consumers may continue with this till first quarter of 2024 when BUA hits the 17million tons per Annum target and force all of them to drop prices to the 3,000 NAIRA per bag which Abdul Samad Rabiu promised Nigerians.

The dilemma the other manufacturers face now is that prices are already coming down and this trend will continue as BUA cement gets supplied at the new price all over the country.

It’s only a matter of time.

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Union Bank Reiterates Support for Small Businesses at BusinessDay Top 100 SME Conference




From L-R Linda Ochugba, Digital Sales Manager, BusinessDay Media; Ayokunnumi Abraham, Head, Small & Medium-sized Enterprises (SME) Products & Segments Union Bank; Frank Aigbogun, Publisher/CEO, BusinessDay Media; Olufunmilola Aluko, Head, Corporate Communication & Marketing, Union Bank; and Chima Nwaubani, Brand Manager, Union Bank at the BusinessDay Top 100 Fastest Growing SMEs Conference recently held in Lagos, Nigeria.

Lagos, Nigeria – Leading financial institution, Union Bank of Nigeria, has reiterated their support for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises in the country to drive increased growth and development. This commitment was made during the recently held ‘Top 100 Fastest Growing SMEs in Nigeria’ conference hosted by Business Day newspaper.

The event themed ‘How SMEs can thrive in an age of volatility’ was well attended by various stakeholders in the SME sector, including entrepreneurs, industry experts, start-ups, and financiers. The event had different panel sessions to discuss the multiple problems facing SMEs in Nigeria.
Speaking on the Funding for SMEs panel, Ayokunnumi Abraham, Head, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SME) Products & Segments Union Bank, said SMEs need to pay attention to capacity building and keeping proper financial records. According to him:

“SMEs must focus on building capacity and developing the necessary skills to increase their expertise if they hope to succeed in this volatile age. SMEs also need to embrace technology and digital tools as an enabler for business growth while ensuring their books and records are organised if they hope to attract funding from the right financial partner.”

Business Day newspaper presented Union Bank with The SME Financier of the Year award in Nigeria at the awards ceremony held that same evening in recognition of the bank’s efforts to support and promote the growth of the SME sector in the country.

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