Month: June 2018

Niger State Government issues blanket ban on sale and consumption of alcohol

BUSINESS
The Niger State government has withdrawn licenses issued to liquor dealers in the state because of what it describes as the refusal of liquor dealers to follow guidelines set by the government for the sale of liquor. The Niger State Liquor Licensing Board, the body that regulates sale and consumption of alcohol announced the outright ban in a statement signed by its chairman, Malam Muhammad Shafii. Shafii said liquor vendors caught contravening the order would be arrested and prosecuted. Niger State, located in the Northwest of Nigeria introduced Sharia legal system in the year 2000 under which sale and consumption of alcohol and related beverages was restricted to areas of major towns and cities in the state, and must be eight kilometers from the town. But on Monday, the State Government ...

AB InBev withdraws funding for alcohol study as industry’s influence is questioned

BUSINESS
The world’s largest brewer, Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev) said it is withdrawing its financial support for a controversial study that will look into whether there are any health benefits to drinking alcohol in moderation. The ten-year long clinical study which was announced last year had the financial support of the alcohol global heavyweights such as Diageo, Pernod Ricard, Heineken, Carlsberg and AB InBev. According to the New York Times, the total amount so far raised by the drinks companies for the study is $66 million, of which AB InBev gave $15.4 million. Enrolment in the study, which was being run by the U.S. National Institute of Health (NIH) and overseen by the U.S. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, was halted last month following an expose in the New York times

New excise duty rates not targeted at local manufacturers, says Finance Ministry

BUSINESS
The Federal Ministry of Finance came out on Sunday to defend its newly enacted excise duty rates on alcohol and tobacco, saying that they are not targeted at local manufacturers. In a statement released by the ministry’s Director of Information, Hassan Dodo, it said that contrary to claims in some quarters, the new excise duty rates, which came into effect from June 4, 2018, were not targeted at local manufacturers. The statement further said that the new excise regime sought to achieve the dual benefit of raising government’s revenue to support the nation’s growth. The policy is also targeted at reducing the health hazards associated with tobacco-related diseases and alcohol abuse, according to the ministry. “Contrary to claims that the rates were selectively imposed on local manufacturer

Brown-Forman hails full-year 2018 results as sales grow 8%

BUSINESS
U.S.-based spirits firm Brown-Forman Corp said that sales for its full-year results ended April 30, 2018 grew by 8% to $3.2bn. The fourth quarter alone saw growth of 6% to $733m. The firm best known for its whiskey and bourbon brands, Jack Daniel’s and old Forester said that the recent U.S. tax reform in the third quarter and the creation of a $70m charitable foundation in the fourth quarter had an adverse impact on 2018 earnings. It also notes that the phasing of expenses in the fourth quarter negatively impacted results, while full year net sales benefited by one percentage point from foreign exchange and one percentage point from estimated net changes in distributor inventories. Operating Income for the full year grew by 5% to $1.04bn. Paul Varga, the company’s Chief Executive Officer s