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Bandits in large numbers have again killed nine people and abducted 27 others in Makera village of Talata-Mafara Local Government Area of Zamfara State.

An indigene of the area, Mohammed Garba, told our correspondent on the phone that the bandits invaded the village around 9pm on Monday while they were shooting indiscriminately to scare away residents.

According to Garba, the bandits were in the village for several hours where they moved from house to house and abducted 53 people.

He stressed that nine people who tried to escape the abduction were killed on the spot.

He said, “We were about to go to bed when the bandits entered into our village and began to shoot indiscriminately as a result of which, many people escaped to the forest.

“Others who did not run to the forest hid in their houses but unfortunately, the bandits went from house to house and abducted 53 people according to the head count we conducted.

“Similarly, the bandits also shot to death nine people who wanted to run away or who refused to be abducted.”

Garba maintained that his four children were among those abducted by the bandits.

He said that the bandits have yet to reach out to the community for ransom.

He expressed disgust over the issue, calling on the state government to do something urgent to protect the lives and property of the people of the area.

According to him, residents of the community were trying their best to protect themselves, lamenting that, the bandits came to the village in large numbers.

He said, “We were overpowered by the bandits who were in large numbers.

“We tried our best to chase away the bandits but because they came in hundreds, we were not able to defeat them.”

Spokesperson for the state police command, Yazid Abubakar, could not be reached for comment at the time of filling in this report.

 

Punch

Food deliveries into northern Gaza are halted because of the war's chaos, increasing famine risk

The World Food Program said Tuesday it has paused deliveries of food to isolated northern Gaza because of increasing chaos across the territory, hiking fears of potential starvation. A study by the U.N. children’s agency warned that one in six children in the north are acutely malnourished.

Entry of aid trucks into the besieged territory has been more than halved in the past two weeks, according to U.N. figures. Overwhelmed U.N. and relief workers said intake of trucks and distribution have been crippled by Israeli failure to ensure convoys’ safety amid its bombardment and ground offensive and by a breakdown in security, with hungry Palestinians frequently overwhelming trucks to take food.

The weakening of the aid operation threatens to deepen misery across the territory, where Israel’s air and ground offensive, launched in response to Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack, has killed over 29,000 Palestinians, obliterated entire neighborhoods and displaced more than 80% of the population of 2.3 million.

Heavy fighting and airstrikes have flared in the past two days in areas of northern Gaza that the Israeli military said had been largely cleared of Hamas weeks ago. The military on Tuesday ordered the evacuation of two neighborhoods on Gaza City’s southern edge, an indication that militants are still putting up stiff resistance.

The north, including Gaza City, has been isolated since Israeli troops first moved into it in late October. Large swaths of the city have been reduced to rubble, but several hundred thousand Palestinians remain largely cut off from aid.

They describe famine-like conditions, in which families limit themselves to one meal a day and often resort to mixing animal and bird fodder with grains to bake bread.

“The situation is beyond your imagination,” said Soad Abu Hussein, a widow and mother of five children sheltering in a school in Jabaliya refugee camp.

Ayman Abu Awad, who lives in Zaytoun, said he eats one meal a day to save whatever he can for his four children.

“People have eaten whatever they find, including animal feed and rotten bread,” he said.

SLIDE INTO HUNGER

The World Food Program said it was forced to pause aid to the north because of “complete chaos and violence due to the collapse of civil order.”

It said it had first suspended deliveries to the north three weeks ago after a strike hit an aid truck. It tried resuming this week, but convoys on Sunday and Monday faced gunfire and crowds of hungry people stripping goods and beating one driver.

WFP said it was working to resume deliveries as soon as possible. It called for the opening of crossing points for aid directly into northern Gaza from Israel and a better notification system to coordinate with the Israeli military.

It warned of a “precipitous slide into hunger and disease,” saying, “People are already dying from hunger-related causes.”

UNICEF official Ted Chaiban said in a statement that Gaza “is poised to witness an explosion in preventable child deaths, which would compound the already unbearable level of child deaths in Gaza.”

The report released Monday by the Global Nutrition Cluster, an aid partnership led by UNICEF, found that in 95% of Gaza’s households, adults were restricting their own food to ensure small children can eat, while 65% of families eat only one meal a day.

More than 90% of children younger than 5 in Gaza eat two or fewer food groups a day, known as severe food poverty, the report said. A similar percentage are affected by infectious diseases, with 70% experiencing diarrhea in the last two weeks. More than 80% of homes lack clean and safe water.

In Gaza’s southernmost city of Rafah, where most humanitarian aid enters, the acute malnutrition rate is 5%, compared to 15% in northern Gaza. Before the war, the rate across Gaza was less than 1%, the report said.

A U.N. report in December found that Gaza’s entire population is in a food crisis, with one in four facing starvation.

DROP IN AID TRUCKS

Soon after Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack, Israel blocked entry of all food, water, fuel, medicine and other supplies into Gaza. Under U.S. pressure, it began to allow a trickle of aid trucks to enter from Egypt at the Rafah crossing, and in December opened one crossing from Israel into southern Gaza, Kerem Shalom.

The trucks have become virtually the sole source of food and other supplies for Gaza’s population. But the average number entering per day has fallen since Feb. 9 to 60 a day from more than 140 daily in January, according to figures from the U.N. office for humanitarian coordination, known as OCHA.

Even at its height, U.N. officials said the flow was not enough to sustain the population and was far below the 500 trucks a day entering before the war.

The cause of the drop was not immediately clear. For weeks, right-wing Israeli protesters have held demonstrations to block trucks, saying Gaza’s people should not be given aid. U.N. agencies have also complained that cumbersome Israeli procedures for searching trucks have slowed crossings.

But chaos within Gaza appears to be a major cause.

Moshe Tetro, an official with COGAT, an Israeli military body in charge of civilian Palestinian affairs, said the bottleneck was because the U.N. and other aid groups can’t accept the trucks in Gaza or distribute them to the population. He said more than 450 trucks were waiting on the Palestinian side of Kerem Shalom crossing, but no U.N. staff had come to distribute them.

Eri Kaneko, a spokesperson for OCHA, said the U.N. and other aid groups have not been able to regularly pick up supplies at the crossing points because of “the lack of security and breakdown of law and order.” He said the Israeli military has a responsibility to facilitate distribution within Gaza, and “aid piling up at the crossing is evidence of an absence of this enabling environment.”

In a rare public criticism of Israel, a top U.S. envoy, David Satterfield, said this week that its targeted killings of Gaza police commanders guarding truck convoys have made it “virtually impossible” to distribute the goods safely.

Besides crowds of Palestinians swarming convoys, aid workers say they are hampered by heavy fighting, strikes hitting trucks and Israeli failure to guarantee deliveries’ safety. The U.N. says that from Jan. 1 to Feb. 12, Israel denied access to 51% of its planned aid deliveries to north Gaza.

NO END IN SIGHT

The war began when Hamas-led militants rampaged across communities in southern Israel, killing some 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and taking around 250 hostage. The militants still hold some 130 captives, around a fourth of whom are believed to be dead.

Qatar’s Foreign Ministry said it had confirmation that Hamas started delivering medications to the hostages, a month after the medications arrived in Gaza under a deal mediated by the Gulf state and France. The deal provides three months’ worth of medication for chronic illnesses for 45 of the hostages, as well as other medicine and vitamins, in exchange for medicines and humanitarian aid for Palestinians in Gaza.

Israel has vowed to expand its offensive to Rafah, where more than half of the territory’s population of 2.3 million has sought refuge from fighting elsewhere.

Gaza’s Health Ministry said Tuesday that the total Palestinian death toll since Oct. 7 had risen to 29,195. The ministry does not differentiate between fighters and civilians in its records, but says women and children make up two-thirds of those killed. Over 69,000 Palestinians have been wounded, according to the ministry.

Israel says it has killed over 10,000 Palestinian militants but has provided no evidence for its count. The military blames the high civilian death toll on Hamas because the militant group fights in dense residential neighborhoods. The military says 237 of its soldiers have been killed since the start of the ground offensive in late October.

 

AP

Wednesday, 21 February 2024 02:55

What to know after Day 727 of Russia-Ukraine war

RUSSIAN PERSPECTIVE

Moscow reveals details on capture of Avdeevka

The key Donbass town of Avdeevka has been liberated with minimal losses among Russian troops, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu told President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday. While fleeing the town, Ukrainian forces left behind many wounded soldiers, military hardware and equipment, as well as heavily mined positions, the minister said.

The president congratulated the minister on the success in Avdeevka, noting that the Ukrainian forces were forced to flee the heavily-fortified town, while their announced withdrawal was a purely political attempt to cover up the true position and portray it as an “organized retreat.”

“The situation in Avdeevka is certainly a success but it needs to be advanced further. Its development must be well-prepared, provided with personnel, weapons, equipment, and ammunition,” Putin told the minister.

A northern suburb of Donetsk, Avdeevka has served as a pivotal stronghold for Kiev since the early stages of conflict in then-Ukrainian Donbass. Over the past nine years, the site has remained on the conflict frontline and has been the launching point for multiple Ukrainian attacks on Donetsk in which, local officials estimate, thousands of civilians have died. 

It had also been heavily reinforced, with vast underground bunkers and tunnels built by the Ukrainian military, Shoigu noted.

The operation to capture the town has been prepared by the General Staff since last fall, the minister revealed. The Russian command used high-precision strikes against key points in the Ukrainian positions, Shoigu stated, adding that over 450 such strikes were carried out daily during the operation.

Russia seized control of Avdeevka on Saturday, inflicting heavy casualties on Ukrainian troops amid their retreat, reportedly reaching up to 1,500 in a single day. The Ukrainian command, however, has insisted the rout was actually an organized withdrawal on the order of Kiev’s freshly-appointed top general, Aleksandr Syrsky.

** Russian defense chief points to significant increase in drones, ammunition

The number of unmanned aerial vehicles in use by the Russian army has increased 17-fold, Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said in an interview with TASS Editor-in-Chief Mikhail Petrov.

"We have increased the number of tanks almost six-fold; we are improving and upgrading them. The number of unmanned aerial vehicles has grown 17-fold and the number of both artillery and jet shells has risen 17.5-fold. It certainly allows us to face the future with confidence even though the job is challenging," Shoigu noted.

About 540,000 people entered military service under contract in Russia in 2023, making it possible to create a reserve army of six divisions, Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said.

"We recruited almost 540,000 people for contract service last year alone, which allowed us to create a reserve army of six divisions. Today, they are well-trained professional troops who constitute a strong force. As many as 50,000 people have entered military service under contract since the beginning of this year, and they keep coming," he pointed out.

he Ukrainian army failed to reach even the first line of Russia’s defenses during its large-scale counteroffensive, Shoigu said.

"[Russian forces] started to do careful work on an everyday basis, using all resources, including the Aerospace Forces, army aircraft, attack aircraft, paratroopers, marines and high-precision weapons, because we had to hit vehicles carrying military equipment and ammunition on the distant approaches, along with training centers and troops. This is how, step by step, we made sure that the enemy failed to reach even the first line of defense despite using huge forces. And there are two more defense lines," he pointed out.

 

WESTERN PERSPECTIVE

Putin says Russia will push further into Ukraine after 'chaotic' fall of Avdiivka

President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday Russian troops would push further into Ukraine to build on their success on the battlefield after the fall of the town of Avdiivka where he said Ukrainian troops had been forced to flee in chaos.

The town, which once had a population of 32,000, fell to Russia on Saturday, Putin's biggest battlefield victory since Russian forces captured the city of Bakhmut in May 2023.

Television footage released by Russia's defence ministry showed that almost every house in Avdiivka had been branded with war.

Putin said on Tuesday the Ukrainian order to withdraw from the town had been announced after Ukrainian troops had already begun to flee in chaos. He said that all captured Ukrainian soldiers should be accorded their rights under international conventions on prisoners.

"As for the overall situation in Avdiivka, this is an absolute success, I congratulate you. It needs to be built on," Putin told Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu in the Kremlin.

"But that development must be well-prepared, provided with personnel, weapons, equipment and ammunition," Putin said. "It seems to be self-evident, but nevertheless I draw your attention to it."

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba told CNN that Avdiivka would not have fallen had Kyiv received weapons held up by the U.S. Congress' failure to approve a large aid package.

"We wouldn't (have lost) Avdiivka if we had all the artillery ammunition that we needed to defend it. Russia does not intend to pause or withdraw...Once Avdiivka is under their control, they undoubtedly will choose another city and begin to storm it," Kuleba said.

Ukrainian troops, he said, were "making miracles...but the reason they have to sacrifice themselves and die is that someone is still debating a decision. I want everyone to remember that every day of debate in one place means another death in another place."

The U.S. Senate this month passed a $95 billion aid package that includes funds for Ukraine, but House of Representatives Speaker Mike Johnson has declined to bring it up for a vote on the floor of the House.

MONTHS OF FIGHTING

Ukraine said it withdrew its soldiers to save them from being fully surrounded after months of fierce fighting. The Ukrainian military said there had been casualties, but that the situation had stabilised somewhat after the retreat.

Each side said the other had suffered huge losses.

After the failure of Ukraine to pierce Russian front lines in the east and south last year, Moscow has been trying to grind down Ukrainian forces just as Kyiv ponders a major new mobilisation.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy appointed a new commander last week to run the war.

Putin sent tens of thousands of troops into Ukraine in February 2022, triggering full-scale war after eight years of conflict in eastern Ukraine between Ukrainian forces on one side and pro-Russian Ukrainians and Russian proxies on the other.

Avdiivka, called Avdeyevka by Russians, has endured a decade of conflict. It holds particular symbolism for Russia as it was briefly taken in 2014 by Moscow-backed separatists who seized a swathe of eastern Ukraine, but was then recaptured by Ukrainian troops who built extensive fortifications.

Avdiivka sits in the industrial Donbas region, 15 km (9 miles) north of the Russian-controlled Ukrainian city of Donetsk. Before the war, Avdiivka's Soviet-era coke plant was one of Europe's biggest.

Shoigu said Russian forces had also taken control of the village of Krynky in Ukraine's southern Kherson region. Ukraine's southern military command said its troops had held their positions on the left bank of the River Dnipro and that Russian attacks were unsuccessful.

Neither side gives death tolls for the war.

** Avdiivka, a Ukrainian town taken by Russia, shown in ruins

The trees are splintered, the houses wrecked, the surviving civilians live in basements, NATO ammunition has been abandoned - this is the picture shown by footage released by Russia from the ruins of the Ukrainian town of Avdiivka.

The town, once with a population of 32,000, fell to Russia on Saturday, President Vladimir Putin's biggest victory since Moscow captured the city of Bakhmut in May 2023.

Television footage released by Russia's defence ministry showed that almost every house in Avdiivka was branded with war. An unidentified Russian soldier walked past a wasteland of rubble, describing a chaotic Ukrainian retreat.

The cupola of a church was in pieces, roads were strewn with the detritus of war including a wrecked armoured vehicle and whole apartment blocks hung down broken, seeping out lives long abandoned into the snow.

The soldier showed baked beans and chilli military rations supplied by Canada, brand new NATO 7.62 mm M118 cartridges, 120 mm mortars and a box with "Choctaw Defense Manufacturing Group" printed on them.

Reuters was able to confirm the location of some of the footage released by the defence ministry by the structure and design of nearby buildings, a bridge and train tracks which matched file and satellite imagery. Reuters was not able to independently verify when the video was taken.

Beside dogs, a woman named Tatiana, one of just a few hundred civilians still living in the ruins, told of a life huddling in basements and running to collect water in plastic containers during any lull in the fighting.

"It was scary of course - very scary," Tatiana said in Russian in the footage. "We are so happy that you have come."

"We live in the basements. We don't live in flats. All our flats are wrecked. After the start of the special operation we went down into the basements."

 

RT/Reuters

In the fast-paced business world, conventional wisdom dictates that admitting mistakes is a sign of weakness or a loss of power and authority. It also transmits to others that you failed. The reality is quite the opposite.

Here's the brutal truth: Acknowledging when you are wrong and when you made a mistake can be a game-changer for your leadership journey. 

As reported previously on Inc., Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has "observed that the smartest people are constantly revising their understanding, reconsidering a problem they thought they'd already solved. They're open to new points of view, new information, new ideas, contradictions and challenges to their own way of thinking."

In other words, the smart and successful ones admit when they are wrong. As leaders who frequent my musings, I hope you're putting serious thought into practicing this form of intellectual humility.

The brutal truth of it takes one courageous first step: It's admitting when you make the wrong choices while being open to considering other people's ideas. 

The research and the benefits

It takes a lot of emotional intelligence and courage to be willing to expose oneself like this, but the research shows that there are significant payoffs to doing so. A 7-year study involving 12,000 people, published in the book Performing Under Pressure, found that admitting when one is wrong is a rare behavior highly correlated with top performers.

In fact, those in the top 10% of performers were distinguished from average performers by their ability to admit their mistakes.  

Admitting to being wrong also has been found to be positively correlated with promotion. Therefore, when identifying potential leaders, it is essential to look for individuals willing to acknowledge their mistakes.

Acknowledging when you're wrong has many benefits, including breeding trust with teams. Imagine this: You're leading a team and you've made a call that, upon reflection, wasn't the best move. Instead of sweeping it under the rug, you own up to it.

Admitting that someone's idea is better than yours shows your true authenticity and your capacity to be vulnerable when the stakes are high. Your team will respect you more for being genuine. It builds a trust bridge that can withstand the storms of any workplace.

Admitting mistakes ultimately helps you to learn from a great teacher: Failure. When you own up to your mistakes, you're not just admitting a blunder; you're saying, "Hey, I'm learning, just like you." It sets a tone that mistakes are not the end of the world; they're stepping stones to success.

 

Inc

The parallel section of the foreign exchange market recorded a new all-time low on Monday after the naira depreciated to N1,730 per dollar.

The naira fell by 8.13 percent from N1,600/$ recorded on February 16, 2024.

Currency traders at the street market quoted the buying price of the dollar at N1,700 and the selling price at N1,730 — leaving a profit margin of N30.

“Customers are demanding for the dollars so much and it is affecting the market,” a black market trader known as Aliyu said.

At the official window, the naira depreciated by 2.65 percent to N1,537.96/$ on February 16 — from N1,498.25 per dollar on February 15.

According to data from FMDQ Securities, a platform that oversees foreign exchange trading in Nigeria, the local currency hit an intra-day trading low of N1,631 and a high of N1,000.

Meanwhile, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), in furtherance of its efforts to stabilise the naira, made certain policy changes in the past week.

On February 15, 2024, the CBN announced it had placed limits on the transfer of proceeds from crude exports by international oil companies (IOCs) to offshore parent company accounts.

CBN also halted cash payments of personal travel allowance (PTA) and business travel allowance (BTA) — directing banks to adopt electronic transfers.

 

The Cable

Residents of Ibadan, the Oyo state capital, protested the economic hardship pervading the country.

The protesters assembled and took off from Mokola axis on Monday morning.

They wielded placards with inscriptions like: “End food hike and inflation”, “insecurity not our birthright”, “Mr President, this is not the hope, this is shege”.

Videos making the rounds on social media showed a truck conveying some of the leaders of the protest.

The Oyo state police command had warned that it would not tolerate a breakdown of law and order during protests.

“The Oyo State Police Command wishes to inform members of the public particularly residents of Oyo State that it has emplaced prompt and adequate measures to prevent any possible breakdown of law and order in the State as a result of plans by faceless agents of mischief to spark up chaos via protests in the State commencing tomorrow, Monday 19/2/2024 within the Capital,” Adewale Osifeso, the command’s spokesperson, said in a statement on Sunday.

“While the Command respects the right of citizens to a peaceful procession, it is sacrosanct to guide against any violation of public order as Law enforcement must be carried along to chart the course of the procession in a conscious bid to protect the lives and property.”

Residents of Kano, Ogun, Niger, and Sokoto states have also staged protests over the economic crisis in Nigeria.

Organised labour has also announced a nationwide protest for February 27 and 28 over the rising cost of living.

Food prices have been soaring since President Bola Tinubu pronounced an end to the petrol subsidy regime on May 29, 2023.

 

The Cable

Federal government and major cement manufacturers have agreed to peg the price of 50kg bags of cement between N7,000 and N8,000.

David Umahi, minister of works and housing, disclosed this to journalists on Monday after a prolonged meeting with major cement manufacturers in Abuja.

In a report on February 12, 2024, the Real Estate Developer’s Association of Nigeria (REDAN) said the rising cost of cement would worsen the country’s economy.

REDAN said there is economic hardship in the country and the upward trajectory of cement prices would exacerbate the already difficult situation for Nigerians, particularly those working in the real estate sector.

On February 17, 2024, the minister of works called for a meeting with cement manufacturers over the rising cost of the product.

The price of cement has been swinging between N8,000 and N10,000 per bag from about N4,000 a few weeks ago.

Dangote, BUA, and Lafarge are some of the cement manufacturers summoned by the ministry of works.

However, speaking at the meeting on Monday, the manufacturers said the price drop from the current market price would depend on the fulfilment of certain government interventions to ameliorate critical challenges faced in the industry.

They said the price of cement would depend on the location nationwide.

The meeting was against the backdrop of the astronomical increase in the price of the commodity to about N13,000 in several retail stores in the federal capital territory (FCT), Enugu and other parts of the country.

The meeting, called by President Bola Tinubu, to find a lasting solution to the increase, had Umahi lamenting that the price was abnormal and detrimental to the economic prosperity sought after by the current administration.

On his part, the minister said certain issues, including smuggling, bad roads, high energy costs, and the foreign exchange crisis, caused the high price.

However, he said manufacturers are willing to bring down the prices.

“Cement manufacturers and the government have noted that the present high cost of cement in the market is abnormal in some locations nationwide,” Umahi said.

“Ideally, they noted that cement price and retail price to a consumer should not cost more than between N7,000 and N8,000 per 50 kg bag of cement.

“Therefore, the government and the cement manufacturers, which is Dangote Plc, BUA Plc and Lafarge Plc, have agreed to peg their cement price nationwide between N7,000 and N8,000 per 50 kg bag of cement, depending on the location.

“Which means that this price depends on the location. Going forward, the government advised manufacturers to set up a price monitoring mechanism to ensure compliance with the prices that are set today.”

The meeting also had in attendance, Doris Uzoka-Anite, minister of trade and investment, as well as representatives from the major manufacturers.

 

The Cable

Beer drinkers in Nigeria will have to pay as much as N1,300 for a bottle, after the Nigerian Breweries Plc on Monday announced an increase of 40 percent in the prices of the products.

Nigerian Breweries last week issued a statement, announcing an increase in the prices of its products with effect from February 19, 2024.

The new price list shows that a bottle of Gulder that used to sell for N700 will now sell for N950, Star Lager beer which was N600 will cost N850 while the same goes for 33 Extra which will now cost N850.

Beer drinkers in Nigeria will have to pay N1,300 for a bottle of Heineken, Life beer goes for N850, consumers will now part with N1,250 for a bottle of Legend while Tiger beer is N750.

NB Plc had issued a ‘Price review notification’ dated February 12, 2024 and signed by the Zonal Business Manager (West), Lekan Awosanya.

“This is to inform you that we are constrained to review the prices of some of our Stock-Keeping Units (STUs) effective from Monday, 19th February 2024,” the notification read.

“This review has become necessary because of the continued rising input cost and the need to mitigate the impact.

“In appreciation of our great partnership and your commitment, we will deliver at the current prices all open orders that are fully funded and created in our system before 00.00hrs on Monday, 19th February 2024.

“While thanking you for your commitment to our great partnership, be rest assured that we will continue to support your sales/distribution efforts as always. For further clarification, please do not hesitate to contact your Regional Business Manager.”

 

The Guardian

Heineken NV’s Nigerian unit is facing the worst downturn in the history of its operations in Africa’s most populous nation, the firm’s chief executive officer said in an investor call Monday.

“It has been unprecedented year for our business in Nigeria,” Hans Essaadi, CEO of Nigerian Breweries Plc told investors in Lagos.

“We saw a significant decline in the mainstream lager market as a result of Nigerian consumers no longer able to afford a Goldberg after a hard day’s work,” he said, adding that the businesses also suffered huge losses because of the naira devaluation, which resulted in a 153 billion naira ($99 million) foreign exchange loss.

The naira has lost about 70% of its value against the dollar since June when the central bank allowed it to trade more freely against the dollar. That’s stoked inflation, which reached an almost three-decade high of 29.9% in January, putting pressure on household incomes in the West African nation where 40% of the population live in extreme poverty.

While the brewer’s revenues rose 9% to 599.6 billion naira, it recorded a net loss of 106 billion naira for 2023, compared with a profit of 13.18 billion a year earlier, according to filing on the Nigerian stock exchange.

It attributed the loss to the cash scarcity that resulted from the nation’s demonetization program that started in the later part of 2022, high double-digit inflation, the removal of fuel subsidies and the devaluation of the naira, which was exacerbated by a foreign exchange scarcity.

The firm expects that the pressure on its operations will continue this year but long-term market fundamentals are still positive, it said. Nigeria’s largest brewer plans to source more raw materials locally to mitigate foreign exchange challenges, even as it introduced higher product prices from Feb. 19.

“Nigerian Breweries is very much committed to weathering the storm that we’re in the middle of,” Essaadi said. “We strongly believe we have the right portfolio, and the right process and the right people in place to continue to win in this market,” he said.

 

Bloomberg


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