Top Nigerian lender, Fidelity Bank Plc, in strategic partnership with the Bank of Industry (BoI), has launched the Aba Finished Leather Goods Cluster Financing Programme, as part of continuous efforts to promote Made-in-Nigeria goods capable of meeting global standards for export and local consumption.
About N400million in financing provided by BoI will be made available on a quarterly basis to over 300 members of the Leather Products Manufacturers Association of Abia State (LEPMAAS). The funds will be disbursed through the Fidelity Bank, while the Ford Foundation would provide technical support to the artisans.
Speaking at the formal launch of the initiative in Aba last week, the Bank’s Chief Executive Officer, Nnamdi Okonkwo, said the partnership with BoI further underlines the Bank’s staunch commitment to addressing the financing challenges confronting Micro Small Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in Nigeria.
Noting that the financing scheme will further boost import substitution, Okonkwo, who was represented by the Bank’s Head, Corporate Bank, Obaro Odeghe, pointed out that the loans will enable them procure requisite materials and equipment for production and expansion.Under this scheme, he said the Bank will provide short-term loans with maximum obligor limits of N300,000 to N500,000 to qualified members of LEPMAAS.
According to him, the partnership with BoI is in furtherance of the financial institution’s commitment towards building the next generation of international entrepreneurs in the art of leather products manufacturing in the cluster.
Okonkwo said: “Our long-running support for the growth and development of MSMEs stems from the utmost recognition of their strategic importance, as critical agents of economic development and transformation in Nigeria.
“Under the scheme, we will also provide tailored capacity building support to members of LEPMAAS.”To enhance its Executive governance activities, and support BoI’s planned monitoring of loans under the programme, Fidelity Bank donated an ultra-modern and fully equipped secretariat to LEPMAAS.
The Bank urged beneficiaries of the financing scheme to ensure that loans are repaid to drive sustainability of the financing programme. Also speaking, Managing Director of BoI, Olukayode Pitan, said the programme is designed to provide a tailored bundle of financial and non-financial services including capacity building to qualified members of LEPMAAS.
Pitan explained that finished leather products to which LEPMAAS is a major contributor, accounts for over 80 per cent of the textile apparel and footwear component of the manufacturing sector. According to him, informal computations put yearly revenue from the cluster at over N10billion despite the competing volumes of similar goods being imported.
He said: “By providing low interest, non-collaterised loans, the Bank has provided flexibility for qualified members of LEPMAAS recommended by their line and zonal chairmen to access up to N300,000 towards the procurement of materials to expand and improve their production activities.“The programme is being implemented alongside Ford Foundation and Fidelity Bank Plc. The Foundation will be providing a grant that specifically focuses on strengthening the capacities of the leaders and beneficiaries even as monitoring structures to ensure loan repayments are instituted. Fidelity Bank will provide account management services to the loan beneficiaries.”
Ford Foundation Regional Director, Innocent Chukwuma, said the partnership with BoI is part of efforts to fulfil its commitment to leather manufacturers to encourage local production and increase campaign for adoption of made-in-Aba. To this end, Chukwuma said the Foundation would be staking a grant of $150,000 in the programme to drive social impact and enhance productivity.
BGI Ethiopia Gets New keg tracking solution- Keg Track&Trace
BGI Ethiopia (Source: 8Sigma)
Montelektro, a leading system integrator in the brewing industry, and 8Sigma, a premium MES provider delivered solution KegTNT (Keg Track&Trace) to a brewery in Addis Ababa.
KegTNT is a software solution that tracks kegs throughout their life stages while inside the brewery and within the whole supply chain.
In addition to the mentioned brewery, during 2021, KegTNT will be implemented in two more breweries owned by the same company, BGI Ethiopia, whose long brewing tradition dates to the first half of the 20th century. The BGI Ethiopia’s owner is French Castel Group, one of the largest African and among the world’s ten largest beer producers.
The Ethiopian customer required a new, modern solution that will enable them to better manage its keg fleet, reduce costs related to the ownership of kegs, improve quality control, ensure better maintenance supervision, and to prevent possible keg losses.
Montelektro and 8Sigma’s scope of supply included the implementation of KegTNT solution that collects and saves all the data about kegs’ lifecycle, tracking it by using the RFID technology.
Its main purpose is to provide real-time tracking and traceability of each keg in the fleet, and better maintenance and quality control.
The scope also included a tablet application for tracking operations inside the brewery and a smartphone application for the sales agents. From now on, maintenance, laboratory, and warehouse staff can use tablets equipped with an RFID reader to manage everyday tasks related to the keg fleet. Sales agents can also report, track, and resolve all complaints through the application on their smartphones. All information is available in real-time, so staff can react immediately and identify potential problems even before they happened.
Within this project, KegTNT was also integrated with a keg filling plant (capacity of up to 900 kegs/h) that is fully automated and robotized. This integration enables the brewery to automatically collect and analyze data about kegs’ filling, like production rates, reject rates, downtimes, and other elements required for an efficient production.
These features of KegTNT should help BGI Ethiopia not only to improve resource utilization and the management of keg fleet, but also to preserve its good reputation and a desirable market position.
“Last year was very challenging for the whole world. The brewing industry, just like all others, was in turmoil. We are satisfied because we have managed to conclude the project in one of the three contracted breweries in the circumstances of travel restrictions. On this occasion, we would also like to thank Montelektro for their trust and partnership on another project we have successfully delivered together.”, said Vladimir Lukić, director at 8Sigma.
Apart from the mentioned project, 8Sigma and Montelektro continue to cooperate. The most important common project is the development and implementation of MES (Manufacturing Execution System) solution for the brewing industry, named BeerVision.
BeerVision schedules, tracks, and manages all production activities inside a brewery, from raw materials to the finished product – beer.
During production, this Industry 4.0 solution collects and analyzes data about the brewing process in real-time and provides fully integrated data for all operational activities. It connects and integrates the process control system (PCS) with Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP).
With BeerVision, companies can make decisions faster and easier and manage their businesses much more efficiently. It also helps them improve their product quality and reduce costs.
Egypt, Toyota Tsusho discuss manufacturing natural gas-powered microbuses
CAIRO – 13 October 2019: Egypt and Toyota Tsusho discussed on Sunday how the giant Japanese company can contribute to the government’s plans to manufacturing natural gas-powered microbuses.
During his meeting with President and CEO of Toyota Tsusho Mr. Ichiro Kashitani, Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouli emphasized Egypt’s keenness to best utilize its resources by reducing diesel exports’ expenses and transferring diesel-fueled vehicles to natural gas-powered ones or to bi-fuel vehicles that are capable of running on two fuels (natural gas and gasoline) through offering payment facilities.
Mabdouli further stressed that the transfer process needs to be implemented through manufacturing companies that working on Egypt’s soil, in order to enhance local manufacturing, and transfer expertise, according to a cabinet press statement about the meeting. He also ensured that the government is serious in its plans to implementing the transfer process through providing funding programs and incentives to encourage owners of old microbuses.
These ambitions go the lines with the government’s latest unveiled plan in August, aiming to turn 50,000 vehicles into gas-powered annually.
Mabdouli also stressed the government’s readiness to discuss the details of the implementation of the program and accelerate the process according to a specific schedule.
For their part, Toyota Tsusho delegation presented their proposal of “manufacturing high quality microbuses in a way that will meet the Egyptian government’s converting the fuel-powered vehicles.”
In a previous interview with Business Today Egypt magazine, Toyota Tsusho Kashitani explained his company’s strategy about using diversified fuels, based on the global trend to electrification, while maintaining an environment-friendly technology.
“In order to realize the fuel transfer plan by government, natural gas field development would be necessary to be accelerated and we are ready to support it by expansion of the offshore rig project as referred above,” Kashitani added during the interview.
Messe Frankfurt studies holding international textile exhibition in Egypt
Shirts- CC via Maxpixel/ Sony Ilce-7
CAIRO – 19 May 2019: Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH is studying holding an international fair for textile products in Egypt for the first time, announced Egypt’s Ministry of Trade and Industry in a statement on Sunday.
“The exhibition will be an important platform for bringing together exporters and importers from around the world to exchange experiences and views in this field,” the statement read.
The exhibition comes in light of Egypt’s strategic plan to be a trade hub serving the African countries, the ministry said, noting that the country aims to be an international center for all international exhibitions.
Member of the Executive Board of Messe Frankfurt GmbH Uwe Behm said that the company has been cooperating with Egypt for 100 years, adding that the company aims to hold this big international exhibition due to Egypt’s distinguished and strategic geographic place in Africa and in the Arab World.