Stories by Chinenye Anuforo
To provide its members with clean water, which is one of the basic amenities the market lacks, the leadership of Fancy and Furniture Dealers Association (FFDA), under the chairmanship of Mr. Emeka Mozoba, recently commissioned a water project in the market.
Mozoba had earlier in his manifesto in 2015 during electioneering campaigns for the chairmanship election pledged to ensure that his section of the market was provided with adequate water supply.
Having kept to his promise, traders in the market were excited and thus, commended him for the project.
For instance, the Chairman, Electronic section, Mr. Uchenna Nnadozie, said the project was laudable as it would serve the very needs of the market, which is include adequate water supply.
He said, “this project is very commendable and it shows that keeping to our promise during campaign is very important. Emeka promised us water and today we saw him keep the promise. This is very good and I urge other politicians, not only the market leaders, to emulate this in order to take our country to the next level.
Speaking during the commissioning of the project, Mozoba expressed gratitude for the support his administration is enjoying from the members and assured his administration will always protect their interests.
He said: “Today, we have invited you to witness the formal commissioning of the water project in the market. This is one of the projects executed by my less than one year administration. Before today, good clean water was a mirage to the entire market of over 500,000 members. The market has been using well water with the impurities therein. Alternatively, members spend their hard earned money on buying bottled and satchet water, the one commonly referred to as “pure water”, with the impurities they contain. Fortunes have been leaking out of members’ pockets for the purchase of these unhygienic brands water and in treating typhoid and other dirty water-borne diseases.
“As soon as my government settled down and within less than one year of being sworn-in, we embarked on the project of providing clean water for our members in the market to save their lives and protect their leaking pockets. Water, they say, is life. I will not take your time in emphasising the benefit of having good clean water in our society. To God be the glory for today, I am proud to showcase to you one of my good dreams and promises I made to the market on being sworn-in as the Executive Chairman of FFDA. This is now a reality as it is being commissioned officially this day.”
He therefore promised to do more for the market, especially now that he is saddled with a greater responsibility as the President of the entire Alaba Market.
Friends Funwine hits Nigerian market
A German brewing company with its headquarters in Florida, United States, has stormed the Nigerian market with its product, Friends Funwine.
During the launch of the wine, which comes in five different flavours of 250ml in quality aluminium slim cans in Lagos, the Founder and Group Managing Director of the company, Mr. Yariv Brosh, said he was delighted to be part of the Funwine and its real revolution in the beverage business in Nigeria.
According to him, Nigeria is the first country in Africa where the brand was first launched. “Funwine started in the mind of one of the world’s best food and beverage specialists, Mr. Joe Peele. The concept really is breaking through! Funwine was created as an affordable-healthy-tasty-ready-to-drink (RTD) flavoured wine packed in a quality aluminium slim cans and bottles.”
Brosh said using a state-of-the-art beverage technology creates a clear smooth natural organic wine-based flavoured drink.
Speaking on the tasty, refreshing wine, he said the Friends Funwine, which is currently available in five flavours, is the first ever coffee wine in a can in Nigeria, adding, “Funwine contains vitamins, low alcohol – only 6 per cent and low nutrition value compared with the alternatives and also has minimum sparkling, which makes the drink easy and fun.”
Group Chief Designer of the brand, Mr. Keren Keren, said Funwine creed and design are completing the experience of Funwine taste and smell. “The aluminium slim cans and glass bottles are the finest available in the industry. Our ready-to-drink, known as RTD, flavours is one of their kind. Funwine gives relaxed feeling, bonding people who wish to have fun all through the day. Its design and colours were carefully chosen to give a natural-relaxed-atmosphere. We didn’t only try to make a precise design, but we paid a huge attention to the synergy between Funwine taste, smell, look and feel,” Keren said.
As the company, which started its operation in America and currently operates in 42 countries around the globe, spreads its tentacles in Nigeria looking for qualified distributors and dealers, Brosh reiterates his company’s commitment to contribute to the Nigerian economy as it plans to establish a winery and a filling facility in Nigeria within 2017. This, he believes, will reduce Funwine’s retail price.
At ASPAMDA, we sell quality products –Emechebe
By Simeon Mpamugoh
Mr. Ngozi Emechebe, is a stakeholder at the Auto Spare Parts Machinery Dealers Association (ASPAMDA), International Trade Fair Complex, Lagos. In this interview with Daily Sun, he stated that the traders in ASPAMDA don’t deal on substandard products. He said, “Products we deal on are always of top quality. It is unfortunate most people don’t care about the lives of others. When people, for instance, bring in substandard products that can make vehicles lose control on the highway, lives can be lost and one may not know who would be involved. It could be one’s relations. We don’t associate ourselves with substandard products. In fact, the President of ASPAMDA is against it. Anyone caught in such act, the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) and National Agency for Foods, Drugs and Administration and Control (NAFDAC) would be invited to deal with the person. ASPAMDA is organised and united against it and the leadership of the union does not spare anyone caught with substandard goods.”
Impact of multiple taxation on business
We have a cordial relationship with Lagos state’s tax officials as our members pay their taxes regularly. There is need to understand that the issue of multiple taxation has been addressed by the Federal Internal Revenue Service (FIRS). Our members now pay their taxes as at when due. Our Personal Income Tax goes to Lagos State while our corporate tax goes to the Federal Government. So, we have been obliging the state and federal internally generated revenue agencies. There has never been any fracas or misunderstanding between the association and the tax authorities. We cooperated with the tax officials during the tenure of Governor Fashola and that cooperation is still intact with the present government. ASPAMDA gave them offices in the plaza and our members have been going there to pay their taxes.
Increase in electricity tariff
I’m not against government increasing electricity tariff but it should first of all address the issue of inconsistent power supply. The money we spend on fuel and diesel is on the increase and one would like to have constant power supply rather than expending such on fuel and diesel to power generators. If one takes a trip to neighbouring countries like Ghana, you would be shocked at the efficiency of their public infrastructure. When I went to Ghana recently on vacation, I noticed there was no power outage throughout one week I spent there. People were seen going about their businesses calmly but in Nigeria, it is easy to notice that the citizens are going through hard times as their faces show stress. Even at their bus stations, one finds an organised system. I didn’t see anyone carrying container in search of fuel. So, if government can justify the increase by ensuring constant power supply, it is welcomed. Nigerians would prefer constant electricity supply to the fuel saga, which will boost the economy of the country.
Protecting market’s huge investment from criminal elements
It was part of my manifestoes when I contested for the presidency of the association in 2014 to install CCTV camera to monitor activities in the market. I believe the current leaders of the market are working on it. I’m sure by the time the tenure of the new leadership would have elapsed, ASPAMDA would have been ready for another phase of growth and those things we have been yearning for would have been in place, including the computerisation of members’ activities in the market even though the project has suffered some setbacks in the past.”
Advice for government towards boosting the economy
President Buhari should ensure single digit interest rates. The exchange rate is very important. A manufacturer who wants to bring in equipment to run his factory with the current rate would pay through his nose. The government should also address activities at the seaport by dismantling the bottlenecks. This is important so that anyone who receives consignment goes with it the next day. If clearing of a container would cost, for instance, N10,000, the owner should be able to pay for it and haul it to his warehouse without delay. There are agencies that don’t have any business at the port.
Many countries have turned Free Enterprise Zones but Nigeria is not there yet. Even if we manufacture auto battery in Nigeria, we are not there yet to meet the needs of the nation. Government should equally cut down on duty rates. This will encourage others to go into manufacturing. It should form part of the restructuring of the Nigerian economy. There are a lot of disincentives against setting up businesses in the country.