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Dambatta LG suspends education secretary

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By Aminu Halilu T/Wada.

Dambatta local government council has suspended its education secretary, Nasiru Ali Fagwalawa, with immediate effect.

Idris Haruna Zago chairman of the local government announced the suspension in a statement signed by the public relations officer, Ali Abdullahi Garko on Friday.

The statement did not disclose the reason for the suspension but said the erstwhile education secretary is currently under investigation.

Zago also directed the education councillor of the local government to take charge of the local education authority pending the outcome of the investigation.

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Police urge Kano residents to comply with governor’s directive against protest, demonstrations

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Mukhtar Yahya Usman

The Kano state commissioer of police Muhammad HussainGumel has called  on Kano Residents to Remain Patriotic and Obey the Kano State Government Order which was Issued this Morning 29/05/2024 that put Ban on All Forms of Unlawful Gatherings, Protests or Processions.

KANO FOCUS reports that this was contained in a statement issued by police spokesperson Abdullahi Haruna Kiyawq on Wednesday.

Mr Kiyawa said the Police Command in Kano State will ensure the State Government Order that ban all forms of protests is being implemented with all sense of vigor as any person found will be arrested and prosecuted accordingly.

He said Already, armed personnel have since been deployed to identified flash points in and outside the Metropolis and are poised to deal with any form of violation and other unforeseen circumstances.

In the same vein, the Police Command have placed its fully kitted, equipped and motivated personnel on ‘red alerts’ to ruthlessly deal with the situation as any form of security threats in the State would not be tolerated.

The statement added that, the Commissioner of Police Mr Gumel calls on the law-abiding people of the State to remain patriotic, obey the Kano State Government Order, maintain calmness and avoid any other form of unlawful activities that may trigger violence as joint security forces have been dispatched to strategic locations to safeguard the peace and order throughout the State.

Furthermore, the Police Command is hereby reminding members of the public that the position of the law remained very clear as whoever attempts to disrupt the peace in the State will be arrested and made to face full wrath of the law.

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Gov. Yusuf prohibits any public demonstration, order arrest of purported student protesters

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Mukhtar Yahaya Usman

The Governor of Kano State, Alhaji Abba Kabir Yusuf, has imposed stringent restrictions on all public gatherings intended for protest within the state, exercising the authority vested in him as the chief security officer of the state

KANO FOCUS reports that this was contained in a statement issued by the Governor’s Spokesperson, Sanusi Bature Dawakin Tofa, on Wednesday.

By virtue of his position, the governor has directed the Police, the Directorate of State Security Services, and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps to apprehend, detain, and prosecute any individual or group partaking in demonstrations on the streets of Kano.

This decisive action is a preemptive strategy aimed at averting any potential breakdown of law and order orchestrated by adversaries of the state.

“We are privy to credible intelligence indicating that certain prominent figures from the opposition party in Kano have devised plans to sponsor student associations and political agitators from other northwestern states to incite chaos under the guise of advocating for the dethroned Emir of Kano, Aminu Ado Bayero.”

The state government has explicitly outlawed protests, demonstrations, or processions of any kind, and individuals found on the streets of Kano engaging in such activities will be promptly apprehended.

“Through this declaration, we caution student groups against being manipulated by troublemakers who are resolute in fomenting disorder in Kano.”

The governor urged all citizens of the state to carry on with their normal activities as the state retains its tranquility, and the government will persist in vigilant oversight of the situation to promptly address any individuals or factions trying to undermine the relative peace that state presently enjoys.

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Dangote increases shareholders dividend by 50% to N30 per share

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Nasiru Yusuf Ibrahim

 

Amidst applause by shareholders for the impressive results in the 2023 financial year despite the harsh business operating environment, the Chairman of Dangote Cement Plc, Aliko Dangote has announced an increase of 50 per cent on dividend payout to the shareholders, from N20.00 per share paid in the 2022 financial year to N30.00 for the last financial year 2023.

KANO FOCUS reports that in the same vein, Dangote also revealed that arrangements are in top gear for thousands of the Company’s delivery trucks to henceforth run on Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) in line with the Federal Government agenda on adoption of alternative fuel for official vehicles.

This decision, Dangote told excited shareholders at the 15th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of Dangote Cement Plc, held in Lagos was to add to the Federal Government’s quest towards reducing dependence on fossil fuel, thereby enhancing the nation’s energy independence and contributing to a more secure energy future.

According to him: “We are now going to start using CNG vehicles, especially with the new policy of the Federal Government, launched by the Renewed Hope Agenda by His Excellency, President Bola Tinubu. By the end of next year, all our trucks that are operating in the company will be running on CNG, and that is a whole lot of money that we are going to invest. But we are equal to the task, and we will continue to push and make sure that we continue to make our shareholders happy.”

The Chairman disclosed to the shareholders the Company’s ongoing efforts at ramping up production with the ongoing construction of a new plant of 6 million metric tonnes per annum at Itori, in Ewekoro local government area of Ogun State, noting that despite the hiccups at the Apapa Port in Lagos, the plant would be completed to time.

Dangote said the company’s impressive performance was in fulfillment of the promise he made of an enhanced Return on Investments (RoI) to the shareholders and other stakeholders in Dangote Cement, assuring them that the following year would even be better.

He expressed satisfaction that Dangote Cement achieved double-digit growth in revenue of ₦2,208.1 billion, while Group EBITDA (Earnings before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortisation) reached a record high of ₦886.1 billion, increasing by 25.1%.

“This outstanding EBITDA performance was underpinned by our robust cost control measures and our diverse pan-Africa operations. The latter acted as a cushion, providing resilience to country-specific risks, while the former enhanced our overall profitability. Our pan-Africa operations now contribute 41.2% to the Group’s overall volumes,” he added.

Dangote pointed out,” We made significant strides in our expansion initiatives, with the successful launch of operations at our 0.45Mta grinding plant in Ghana, increasing our total installed capacity to 52.0Mta. Furthermore, our 1.5Mta grinding plant in Côte d’Ivoire is making substantial progress and is nearing completion. Lastly, we have commenced construction on our 6Mta Itori plant in Ogun State, a crucial step in supporting our ambitious export goals.”

The 2023 results showed that Africa’s largest cement manufacturer recorded improvement in all performance measurement indicators with group revenue rising by 36.4 per cent to ₦2,208.1 billion while Profit after tax (PAT) was up by 19.2 per cent to ₦455.6 billion. Earnings per share went up by 18.8 per cent at ₦26.47. Dangote Cement is garnering more market share across the continent with pan-Africa volumes going up by 12.7 per cent to 11.3Mt.

In his interview with the media during the AGM, the Group Managing Director of Dangote Cement Plc, Arvind Pathak said 2023 was yet another testament to the effectiveness of the management’s diversification strategy, despite the challenging macroeconomic conditions.

He said; “Our diverse operations acted as a cushion, providing resilience to country-specific risks. Pan-African volumes were up 12.7 per cent and now account for 41.2 per cent of Group volume. Consequently, pan-African revenue increased by a record 123.2 per cent to ₦925.9 billion, while EBITDA surged by over four-fold to ₦263.7 billion.”

Alluding to what Dangote said on use of CNG as an alternative fuel for its cement trucks, Pathak noted that in response to the heightened inflationary environment, “we implemented new and innovative business strategies that helped to drive up revenues, contain costs, and protect margins. These initiatives included fuel mix optimisation, propelling the use of alternative fuels to replace more expensive fossil fuels. We also began the phased transition from diesel power trucks to full Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) trucks.”

Shareholders one after another were full of praise for the board and management of the Company for the impressive outing in 2023, which accounted for the dividend payout of N30 per share; an increase of 50 per cent over the 2022 dividend despite the economic headwind that characterised 2023.

Mrs. Bisi Bakare, Chairperson of the Pragmatic Shareholders Association lauded the management of Dangote Cement for what she described as a huge dividend payout even when many other companies could not pay their shareholders a dime because they declared losses.

She stated that the shareholders were happy, and expressed optimism that with the way the management has steered the Company in the face of the current economic downturn and recorded good results, the 2024 dividend will be higher.

In his comment, the President, of the Association for the Advancement of Rights of Nigerian Shareholders (AARNS), Dr. Faruk Umar said the shareholders could not but thank the board and management of Dangote Cement for a job well done. He noted that no company, in recent time, has been able to be as profitable as Dangote Cement, just because of the sound judgment of the management in navigating the murky economic weather which has had negative impact on results of some other companies.

He commended Dangote for his patriotism and dedication to the cause of Nigeria and her people with his decision to reduce prices of his petroleum products. He expressed hope that the price of Premium Motor Spirit popularly called petrol would come down once the Dangote Refinery rolls out the product soon.

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