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Who is TGI Group?

Wednesday January 31, 2024

Tropical General Investments (TGI) Group, a formidable global conglomerate, is making waves with a strategic focus on emerging markets across Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. TGI Group’s investments are centered on fostering inclusivity and value addition, utilizing locally sourced raw materials, state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities, and a dedicated workforce of over 20,000 skilled professionals. The […]

Tropical General Investments (TGI) Group, a formidable global conglomerate, is making waves with a strategic focus on emerging markets across Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. TGI Group’s investments are centered on fostering inclusivity and value addition, utilizing locally sourced raw materials, state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities, and a dedicated workforce of over 20,000 skilled professionals. The result is a portfolio of world-class products consumed both locally and exported to global markets.

TGI Group operates in emerging markets across Africa, the Middle East, and Asia, contributing to economic growth and development in these regions. The conglomerate’s global reach positions it as a key player in driving inclusivity and sustainable business practices.

TGI Group owns over a hundred leading brands in Fast Moving Consumer Goods, Agricultural Inputs, Industrial Chemicals, Homecare Products, and Pharmaceuticals. In markets such as Nigeria, Ghana, Benin, and the UAE, brands like Big Bull Parboiled Rice, Terra Seasoning cubes, Supramult Multivitamins, Golden Terra Soya Oil, Renew Homecare Products, Vinash, and Dragon crop protection products have become household names, touching the lives of millions of consumers daily.

TGI Group is a major exporter of commodities such as raw cashew nuts, cocoa beans, cotton lint, ginger, sesame, soymeal, soya bean, soy lecithin, shrimps, and fish. These products, originated and value-added by TGI Group’s companies, contribute to global trade and showcase the conglomerate’s commitment to quality.

This year alone the Group has commissioned new factories in Dubai – UAE, India, and Nigeria. They also launched various new production lines in Benin Republic, and several locations in Nigeria.

In 2019, TGI Group ventured into the financial services sector by establishing Titan Trust Bank. The bank has since acquired a majority shareholding in Union Bank Nigeria, the second oldest bank in Nigeria, further diversifying TGI Group’s operations.

A believer in strategic alliances to drive inclusive development, TGI Group has partnered with governments, development organisations including USAID funded West Africa Trade and Investment Hub, GIZ/CARI, GAIN, and so on.

Last month, TGI was part of Mr. President’s private sector delegation during his visit to Germany (November 2023) and where Union Bank signed a USD500 million contract for the development of renewable energy projects with Germany’s DWS Group (majority owned by Deutsche Bank) as part of Luxembourg-based Universal Green Energy Access Programme, which is backed by the United Nations Green Climate Fund as the anchor investor.

Just last week, the Group again announced its partnership with Niger State Government. Under the terms of this agreement, Niger State Government will spearhead the cultivation, harvesting, aggregation, and sales of vital crops such as paddy, soya beans, maize, and sesame seeds. Acting as the Off-taker, TGI Group will assume responsibility for the seamless purchase and transportation of the farm produce. Through Union Bank, the Group also announced an investment of 50 billion Naira as a capital infusion to kickstart production, with the ambitious commencement timeline set for January 2024.

In response to media reports surrounding documents purportedly submitted to the President by the Special Investigator probing the activities of the Central Bank of Nigeria, it has been noted that certain assumptions in the document linked the ownership of Titan Trust Bank and Union Bank of Nigeria to former CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele. Both Titan Trust Bank and TGI Group have denied having any connections with Emefiele, or acting as proxies for him.

It is imperative to categorically state that some of the assumptions made in the purported document are considered incorrect, potentially leading to conclusions that may not necessarily reflect the actual reality.

The involved parties maintain their commitment to transparency and due process and are open to providing accurate information to address any misunderstandings. Further clarifications will be provided as necessary.

Head, Corporate Communications, TGI Group, Rafiat Gawat, in a statement, said some of the assumptions in the report were incorrect, “thereby resulting in a conclusion that may not necessarily reflect the actual reality.”

She noted that as the majority owner of Titan Trust and Union Banks, TGI had been doing business in Nigeria for close to 45 years and had evolved into one of the largest companies in West Africa.

“Today, TGI employs over 20,000 people spread through the length and breadth of Nigeria. We have over ₦3.75trilllion in assets and as of 2022, our annual revenues stood at over N1.74 trillion.

“Our companies and entities are exemplary corporate citizens of Nigeria and pay over N50 billion annually in taxes to the government. The acquisition of Union Bank by Titan Trust Bank followed all the laid down rules and regulations. The approximately USD500 million capital used to pay for the transaction was transparent and unimpeachable. The entire transaction was managed by highly reputed global financial institutions including Rothschild and Citibank. And like most major acquisitions, the process took years to complete.”

Gawat said $300m loan was sourced from African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) and the rest of the capital was sourced from the proceeds of TGI’s sales of its Chi Ltd business to Coca-Cola, all to finance the acquisition of Union Bank.

“The purported investigation report recommended that the federal government should take over the banks. Such declarations based on incorrect assumptions portray Nigeria negatively, especially when the president is tirelessly seeking and courting foreign investments into the country.

“TGI operates in 13 countries, including Nigeria, India, Morocco, Germany and the United Arab Emirates in agribusiness, industrial chemicals, real estate development and financial services. The opening of our USD75 million dairy factory in Dubai in November 2023, is a further testimony to our international status and a proof of our presence in the country, contrary to the alleged claim by the purported report.”

She said TGI’s commitment to Nigeria’s economic development and President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s Renewed Hope Agenda was evident in our activities across the country.

“We are a partner with Lagos state government on the 32 metric-tonne Imota Rice Mill in Ikorodu, and was also the sole supplier of paddy rice to the Lagos-Kebbi Lake Rice project. TGI also partners with Edo State Government to run their fertilizer blending plant, where we are the only producers of the chemical blend of NPK fertiliser that millions of Nigerian farmers use every season.

“Additionally, we have state-of-the-art rice mills and Sesame factories in Kebbi and Jigawa states; foods and agrochemical production lines in Ogun and Lagos, and recently, signed a N50 billion financing agreement to support agricultural initiatives in Niger state which is projected to provide tens of thousands of jobs to the locals and improve food security in the country.”

Gawat said the investigator’s claim that Union Bank did not respond to his request for information was “misleading as all the information requested was submitted on the 1st September, 2023.

“It’s a well-known fact that Mr Vink, who has been in Nigeria since 1978, is an elderly person and has recently been medically advised to limit his movements. This was duly communicated to the investigator with supporting documents,” she stated.

“TGI’s capital, ownership and selling of Chi to a multinational such as Coca cola is proof that Mr Vink is not a proxy. The Group’s ability to engage and work with reputable international financial advisors and bankers attests to the Group’s global credibility. Union Bank was not owned by government and no government money (CBN or AMCON) was used to buy it. The process was diligently followed as captured in the report of the investigator.

“As responsible corporate citizens, we are always willing, ready, and able to support stakeholders including regulators to learn and understand our Group and its operations.”

In conclusion, TGI Group stands as a prominent global conglomerate with a steadfast commitment to fostering inclusive development and sustainable business practices across emerging markets. The conglomerate’s extensive portfolio of world-class products, strategic partnerships, and contributions to economic growth underscore its significant impact.

Amid recent media scrutiny, TGI Group, Titan Trust Bank, and Union Bank of Nigeria assert their transparency, adherence to regulations, and dedication to providing accurate information. As a key player in various sectors, TGI Group’s enduring commitment to Nigeria’s economic development, exemplified through partnerships and investments, reinforces its pivotal role in shaping a positive narrative for the nation. The conglomerate remains poised to collaborate with stakeholders, regulators, and the government, demonstrating its continuous support for the Renewed Hope Agenda and contribution to the nation’s prosperity.

News

Agric Minister Flags Off WACOT Rice’s 2024 Outgrower Program

Tuesday January 23, 2024

The Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Senator Abubakar Kyari, on Friday, January 19, flagged off WACOT Rice Limited’s 2024 dry season farming input distribution to outgrower farmers in Argungu, Kebbi State. The out-grower program seeks to increase the quality of smallholder farmer livelihoods via access to required agri-input financing, capacity-building training on Yield Enhancement […]

The Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Senator Abubakar Kyari, on Friday, January 19, flagged off WACOT Rice Limited’s 2024 dry season farming input distribution to outgrower farmers in Argungu, Kebbi State.

The out-grower program seeks to increase the quality of smallholder farmer livelihoods via access to required agri-input financing, capacity-building training on Yield Enhancement Techniques (YET), and Good Agronomic Practices (GAP).

The Minister, who also inspected WACOT Rice’s state-of-the-art 250,000-ton mill ahead of its inauguration later in the year, expressed delight with the initiative, noting that it would boost farmers’ productivity and income.

Senator Kyari lauded WACOT Rice and its parent company, Tropical General Investments (TGI) Group, for empowering farmers across various value chains nationwide.

Highlighting TGI’s substantial investments in agriculture and other sectors, the Minister affirmed the alignment of these investments with President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s Renewed Hope eight point agenda.

“I am impressed with what I have seen. This project is heading in the right direction, utilizing the farm produce from local farmers for raw materials. The government stands ready to support initiatives like WACOT Rice, recognizing their potential to create jobs and improve livelihoods. As part of our strategic focus, we are actively considering creating a farm land for WACOT Rice, further enhancing our agricultural capabilities.” he said.

Chairman of WACOT Rice and Vice Chairman (Africa) of TGI Group, Farouk Gumel emphasized WACOT Rice’s unwavering commitment to Nigeria’s food security. He highlighted the inclusivity of the outgrower program, supporting farmers of all demographics with certified seeds, agrochemicals, and training sessions to enhance productivity and income.

Gumel expressed enthusiasm for hosting special guests at the project site, acknowledging that the general understanding of their initiatives might be limited. He stated, “Whenever we have special guests visit us here, we get very excited. The feedback we receive encourages us to intensify our efforts in production. The community here is peaceful, inclusive, and accepting, and what we’ve achieved is not just a result of hard work but also the love shown by the host community. This encouragement is what propelled us to undertake some of the initiatives we have implemented. If more investors in Nigeria extend their reach into the rural economy and replicate similar projects, our country could gain an unparalleled competitive advantage.”

Expressing gratitude to the Honorable Minister for the visit, Gumel also thanked the Federal Republic of Nigeria, particularly the President, for dedicating a Ministry to not just agriculture but also food security. He reassured the nation, saying, “We are here to assure him and the rest of Nigeria that we will play our part in bringing peace and prosperity to the nation through our agricultural endeavors.”

Over 10,000 registered farmers including a large number of women and youth in the state, will receive agri-inputs, water pumps, training sessions and extension support during the dry season farming period.

Commenting on the activity, one of the farmers Hajia Nafisa from Augie Local Government area also appreciated WACOT Rice for the initiative.

“Prior to this time, It has always been hard for us carry out our duties as female farmers, but with the intervention of WACOT Rice, we have been able to carry out our farming duties easily because we were given some inputs like fertilizer, water pumps, alongside trainings and guidance.” she said.

Ibrahim Alhassan, a Dabuzama Rice Farmers Association member,  expressed heartfelt gratitude by acknowledging the significant impact of WACOT Rice through its Agri-input loan program. Alhassan emphasized that WACOT Rice’s support has been pivotal. He said, “WACOT Rice’s continuous assistance, from providing essential inputs showcased in the display stand to comprehensive training and capacity building, has transformed our lives”.

Despite these strides, Alhassan shed light on a pressing challenge – the escalating energy cost for irrigation. Foreseeing difficulties sustaining dry-season farming, Alhassan appealed to the Honourable Minister for support. Specifically, Alhassan advocated for assistance in acquiring solar water pumps, recognizing their potential to address the current energy cost challenges.

Furthermore, Alhassan emphasized ensuring that support reaches genuine farmers directly. He proposed leveraging the trustworthy partnership with WACOT Rice to ensure the effective and transparent distribution of agricultural support.

News

Ogun Governor, Minister of Industry Inaugurate TGI’s Expanded Sagamu Factory Complex

Thursday January 11, 2024

We have completed and inaugurated the expansion of our state-of-the-art Sagamu Factory Complex housing WASIL Limited and WACUB Limited. Eminent guests, including the Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr Doris Uzoka-Anite, and other industry stakeholders were guests of TGI at the ceremony, which was held on Tuesday, […]

We have completed and inaugurated the expansion of our state-of-the-art Sagamu Factory Complex housing WASIL Limited and WACUB Limited.

Eminent guests, including the Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr Doris Uzoka-Anite, and other industry stakeholders were guests of TGI at the ceremony, which was held on Tuesday, January 9, 2024, at TGI’s Flowergate Mixed Development Complex, Sagamu, Ogun State.

The Minister’s visit to the Complex is part of the first phase of her nationwide tour of manufacturing facilities as she rolls out the Ministry’s Strategic Roadmap.

Leading the delegation during the commissioning, Group Managing Director of TGI Group, Rahul Savara said receiving the Governor and the Minister was an honour.

He said, “It is our distinguished honour and privilege to have two of you together today to see what is happening here formally and also to commission some of our expansions that have happened in the recent past. Thank you very much for coming. We appreciate your visit.”

Speaking at the ceremony as he commissioned the second phase of the WASIL factory where Golden Terra Soya Oil is made, Governor Abiodun congratulated TGI Group for being a classic example of the success of Ogun State.

He said, “You are a reference point in the Industry. A shining example of Foreign Direct Investment coming to Nigeria and doing things excellently.” He added that the project attests to the state’s vision to create an enabling environment for private investors, leading to an improved state economy and the people’s standard of living.

Prince Abiodun noted, “If we are not genuinely implementing that vision, you won’t be expanding capacity here. The Group has also tried to reduce the state’s unemployment rate. By this project, there would be more employment for citizens and an increase in taxable citizens.

“I must commend your deep sense of Corporate Social Duties as well because I recall that during COVID, you were among those who rose to the occasion and supported us, and that is why you would continue to grow in leaps and bounds.”

The Minister, who inaugurated the new extension of WACUB Limited, makers of Terra Seasoning Cubes, commended TGI for its significant contributions to employment and Nigeria’s economic development.

She said, “I am delighted and happy that we are witnessing this expansion of our industries. I specially want to applaud the Governor of Ogun State for making this happen. President Bola Ahmed Tinubu knows about the challenge of unemployment, pressure on manufacturing and economic diversification, and is determined to tackle it conclusively. The cost of inaction is high, and we cannot afford it. This project will go a long way in addressing some of these challenges. We appreciate TGI for this project and for being futuristic.”

Dr Uzoka-Anite added that the project will significantly increase the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and economic development.

Executive Director and Vice Chairman of Africa, TGI Group, Farouk Gumel, expressed the conglomerate’s gratitude to the governor and the Minister. He assured the guests of TGI’s commitment to Nigeria’s growth with its extensive investments in sectors including food and beverage production, chemical manufacturing, poultry farming, marine aquaculture (covering both fish farming and deep-sea trawler operations), pharmaceutical manufacturing, real estate, agribusiness, and financial services.

“We appreciate our guests not just for today but because they have been with us for a very long time. They are good listeners and always take action afterwards. TGI is committed to providing solutions in agriculture. We are also building our fertilizer and Agro chemical plants nearby, which tells you we are progressing well.

“On behalf of the TGI group, we say thank you very much, and I wish Nigeria all the best going forward as we strive to do what we need to do, to deliver ourselves from all our problems; thank you very much,” Gumel said.

Also present at the ceremony were TGI Group’s founder and Chairman, Mr. Cornelis Vink, Dr Ifeanyi Okeke, Director General S.O.N, Mr. Kamar Bakarin, ES/CEO Sugar Council, Dr Rabiu Olowo, CEO of Federal Financial Reporting Council, Muhammed Bala, Director IDD Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, and members of management at TGI Group.