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WACOT Rice Completes Transformational Argungu Outgrower Expansion Programme

Monday February 19, 2024

WACOT Rice Limited, a member of the Tropical General Investments (TGI) Group, has successfully concluded the Argungu Outgrower Expansion Programme (AOEP), a collaborative initiative with the USAID-funded West Africa Trade and Investment Hub aimed at enhancing rice production in Nigeria. The outgrower expansion programme, initiated in 2020, was designed to leverage the company’s existing outgrower […]

WACOT Rice Limited, a member of the Tropical General Investments (TGI) Group, has successfully concluded the Argungu Outgrower Expansion Programme (AOEP), a collaborative initiative with the USAID-funded West Africa Trade and Investment Hub aimed at enhancing rice production in Nigeria.

The outgrower expansion programme, initiated in 2020, was designed to leverage the company’s existing outgrower programme to improve the livelihoods of smallholder farmers by providing access to essential agricultural inputs, financing, and training on Yield Enhancement Techniques (YET), and Good Agronomic Practices (GAP).

Aside from the provision of support to over 5,000 farmers, notable achievements of the programme include job creation, increased inclusion of youth and women, improved food security, enhanced agricultural yield, sustainable land management, and expanded access to financing, all contributing to the sustainable growth of rice production in Nigeria.

The Program’s closing ceremony, held on Tuesday, February 13, at Fraser Suites, Abuja, featured speeches from dignitaries, including the Minister of Budget and Economic Planning, Senator Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, Kebbi State Governor, Dr Nasir Idris, and the Emir of Argungu, His Royal Highness Alhaji Samaila Muhammad Mera.

The speakers commended the transformative impact of the outgrower programme on the local agricultural landscape.

Having overseen the launch of the Outgrower Expansion Programme during his tenure as Kebbi Governor, Senator Bagudu emphasized the positive outcomes achieved through the collaboration between TGI Group and the West Africa Trade and Investment Hub, underscoring the potential of public-private partnerships in driving sustainable development.

He said, “this programme is laudable as it showcases the potential of Kebbi state. We have a history of rice farming but live in an ever-changing environment where you have to respond to issues relating to climate change and environmental challenges with sustainable, inclusive models that can work. This project by WACOT and USAID in Kebbi State has created a successful model that connects effort and opportunity.”

The Kebbi State Governor, Dr Nasir Idris, represented by his Chief of Staff, Alhaji Attahiru Maccido, echoed similar sentiments, highlighting the significant contribution of the outgrower programme to the development of Kebbi State.

He said, “The presence of WACOT and USAID in Kebbi has helped answer various questions and address certain challenges regarding agriculture, and today, we can see over 80% success rate of the initiative. The partnership ending today is one that the state is missing already, and work is ongoing to replicate it in other parts of the state. This emphasizes the partnership between the private and the public sectors in nation-building. Kebbi state is always ready to provide an enabling environment for companies like WACOT Rice, and you would always find a decent Return on Investment.”

Farouk Gumel, Chairman of WACOT Rice and Executive Vice Chairman (Africa) of TGI Group, expressed gratitude to the Minister, Governor, Emir, farmers, and all stakeholders for their support. He reaffirmed TGI’s unwavering commitment to promoting food security and economic growth in Nigeria through substantial investments across various sectors.

“I will start by appreciating our partners on this successful project. This Program started at a challenging time in Nigeria, in 2020, when COVID-19 was manifesting its impact. Despite the odds, this $10 million initiative was aimed at transforming the lives of 5,000 people over four years, and today we can see the impacts it has made.

“I want to assure our partners from the United States that we will continue to push this initiative and ensure that the successes recorded are spread around all other value chains. Together, let’s keep driving positive change and prosperity for all.”

Speaking on the Program’s impact on the Argungu people and community, the Emir highlighted the positive changes to the community, including employment generation and improved living standards for farmers.

He stated, “The Programme has been a beacon of hope for the Argungu people, ushering in a new era of prosperity and empowerment. Through its initiatives, we have witnessed tangible improvements in employment opportunities, uplifting the livelihoods of our farmers and enhancing the overall quality of life in our community. We appreciate WACOT and USAID for transforming our society, economy and the people’s well-being in the Argungun community. This is indeed a collective success.”

Melissa Jones, Mission Director for USAID Nigeria, underscored the significance of the partnership between WACOT Rice and the USAID-funded West Africa Trade and Investment Hub, emphasizing the transformative potential of collaborative efforts in driving sustainable development and fostering economic growth in the region.

She said, “With $1.48 million from USAID West Africa Trade Hub, WACOT Rice successfully leveraged $8.6m of their funds, demonstrating their commitment to address the challenges faced. As a direct result of this partnership, WACOT Rice engaged over 7,600 outgrower farmers – far above the original target of 5,000. It provided them with extension services and high-quality inputs to ensure improved rice yields and a quality product.

“We are very proud of your achievements and determination to deliver results under this partnership. We look forward to even greater results for your company. Our collaboration has proven that transformation is possible.”

The Chief of the Party at Trade Hub, Robin Wheeler, also provided insights into the Program’s achievements and contribution to the local economy. He stated, “The USAID’s Trade Hub is one of the largest blended finance initiatives in the region, partnering with visionary private sector companies like WACOT Rice Limited to foster market-driven solutions, enhancing food security through sustainable advancements in local rice production. We are proud of the remarkable outcomes achieved thus far with WACOT Rice, and I look forward to witnessing their continued excellence in the food sector space in Nigeria.”

Habiba Suleiman, Head of strategic partnerships at TGI Group, also highlighted some of the achievements of the outgrower programme. She said, “During the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic and widespread floods devastating rice farms, our $10 million Argungu Outgrower Expansion Project emerged as a lifeline for distressed smallholders. We surpassed our goals through collaborative efforts and innovative strategies, including leveraging the Wacot Rice Outgrower Program. With a focus on sustainability, inclusion, and job creation, we exceeded expectations, witnessing a remarkable increase in women’s participation, triggering over $19 million in paddy sales, achieving significant yield increases, and generating over 7500 new jobs. Our deliberate efforts in empowering young women as agronomists and field officers have further enriched our community impact.”

Some beneficiaries of the initiative expressed profound gratitude for its multifaceted impact. A male beneficiary, Ibrahim Alhassan, said,” throughout the programme, we got financial advice, which has been instrumental to our business and life. Also, the programme improved our wellbeing and personal hygiene, and we learned new ways to address preventable diseases. And most importantly, my output tripled. I appreciate the organizers of the programme.”

One of the female beneficiaries, Rabiu Umaru, said, “before, women weren’t farming a lot, but now, thanks to WACOT Rice and Trade Hub, we are farming more land than ever before, from half a hectare to 2 hectares. They helped us to manage water better with canals, and they gave us machines to make our work easy. They also helped us to open bank accounts and get money, making it easier to save and spend,”

WACOT Rice cemented its commitment to the expansion of rice production by signing a co-investment partnership worth $10.5 million with the West African Trade and Investment Hub to support the Argungu Rice Outgrower Expansion Project in Kebbi State in December 2020.

 

News

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.

Blog News

SPECIAL RELEASE – Union Bank Acquisition

Sunday December 24, 2023

Lagos, December 24, 2023.   Union Bank of Nigeria Acquisition Our attention has been drawn to media reports emanating from purported documents allegedly submitted to the President by the Special Investigator probing the activities of the Central Bank of Nigeria, where he linked our ownership of Titan Trust Bank and Union Bank of Nigeria to […]

Lagos, December 24, 2023.

 

Union Bank of Nigeria Acquisition

Our attention has been drawn to media reports emanating from purported documents allegedly submitted to the President by the Special Investigator probing the activities of the Central Bank of Nigeria, where he linked our ownership of Titan Trust Bank and Union Bank of Nigeria to former CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele. We want to categorically state that some of the assumptions made in the purported document were incorrect, thereby resulting in a conclusion that may not necessarily reflect the actual reality. The true facts of the case are as follows:

Tropical General Investment Group (TGI) is the majority owner of Titan Trust Bank and Union Bank of Nigeria. We have been doing business in Nigeria for close to 45 years and have 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. As of 2022, we have over ₦3.75trilllion in assets and our annual revenues stood at over ₦1.74 trillion. Our companies and entities are exemplary corporate citizens of Nigeria and pay over N50 billion annually in taxes to the Federal Government. The acquisition of Union Bank of Nigeria 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.

A USD 300 million 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 two banks in question. Such declarations based on incorrect assumptions portray Nigeria negatively, especially when the President is tirelessly seeking to court foreign investments into the country.

TGI operates in 13 countries, including Nigeria, India, Morocco, Germany and the United Arab Emirates in agribusiness, industrial chemicals, consumer products, real estate development and financial services. The opening of our USD75 million dairy factory in Dubai, UAE 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.

TGI’s commitment to Nigeria’s economic development and President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s Renewed Hope agenda is evident by our activities across the country. We are a partner with Lagos state government on the 32 metric-tonne Imota Rice Mill in Ikorodu and were 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.

Only 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.

Our 45-year corporate history clearly illustrates our credentials as a leading private sector partner to the
Nigerian government, across industries critical to driving inclusive development for all Nigerians.
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 is a well-known fact that Mr. Vink, who has been investing 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.

TGI’s capital, ownership and selling of Chi Ltd 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.

Thank you.

 

Signed:
Ms. Rafiat Gawat
Head of Corporate Communications
Tropical General Investments (TGI) Group
Lagos

News

TGI Employees, DashMe Foundation Organise Charity Drive

Thursday September 1, 2022

In yet another show of support for our communities, TGI CARES Foundation, our employee-led social welfare driver, has organised a charity drive for the less privileged in collaboration with DashMe Foundation. DashMe Foundation, owned by a former Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, was established to raise funds and resources for orphaned and vulnerable children, […]

In yet another show of support for our communities, TGI CARES Foundation, our employee-led social welfare driver, has organised a charity drive for the less privileged in collaboration with DashMe Foundation.

DashMe Foundation, owned by a former Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, was established to raise funds and resources for orphaned and vulnerable children, disadvantaged youth, and victims of domestic violence.

Across some of our subsidiaries in Lagos, including WACOT Ltd, ORC Fishing and Food Processing Ltd, TGI Distri, Cormart and Chi Pharma, we sought and put together donations in form of household items, electrical appliances, kitchenware, shoes and clothing items for the Foundation for charity sales, proceeds of which will be used to cater to the welfare of the less privileged.

Our TGI CARES Foundation will continue to collaborate with like-minded organisations as we reiterate our commitment to supporting our communities as best as we can. The TGI CARES X DashMe charity drive is yet another way we have chosen to demonstrate our commitment to this cause.

Receiving the items on behalf of DashMe Foundation, Tomisin Akinwunmi, Head of Operations applauded the donations and contributions of TGI Group’s employees while expressing gratitude and solicited support for future collaborations. DashMe Foundation’s goal of changing lives, one gift at a time, creatively raising funds through charity sales is in alignment with our desire to help the plight of the neediest member particularly around our business communities.