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Rite Foods Seeks Court Order Committing NBC’s MD to Prison

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Rite Foods Limited, a Nigerian Foods and Beverages Company, has filed an application of committal against the Nigerian Bottling Company (NBC) and its Managing Director at a Federal High Court in Lagos, for contempt of court.

The Rite Foods’ application for committal states that the contemnors, the NBC and its Managing Director (MD), Mathieu Seguin, have disobeyed interim injunctions granted by Hon. Justice Aneke of the Federal High Court on 9th February 2021.

This is in accordance with the case of trademark infringement and passing-off of its Predator energy drink on the mark of Rite Foods’ Fearless Energy drinks, with the likely intent of confusing consumers to make the wrong choice.

In the application for committal, which was published in the ThisDay and Guardian Newspapers of April 6, 2021, the plaintiff, Rite Foods is seeking an order committing the contemnors to purge themselves of the contempt of court.

The court papers filed by Rite Foods through its lawyer, Muyiwa Ogungbenro of Olajide Oyewole LLP, shows that the court would be moved at the instance of Rite Foods for an order committing the contemnors to prison for disobeying a court order.

According to the application of committal in both national newspapers, the NBC and its MD are restrained from promoting or using any material for its Predator energy drink in a manner that infringes or passes off Rite Foods’ Fearless energy drinks.

The documents also states that NBC and its MD are in breach of the court order for failing to remove from public domain, promotion materials already released including those released through Taaooma.

It further mentioned that the NBC’s boss is responsible for the company’s breach of the court orders, as Rite Foods alleges that Seguin has the power to command its obedience.

On Form 48 of the Federal High Court, as published on Friday, March 19, 2021,in ThisDay and Guardian Newspapers, there was a notice of consequences of disobedience of order of court issued to the NBC’s MD and ex parte order restraining the company from promoting or using any sales promotion material for its Predator energy drink in a manner that infringes or passes off or that is capable of infringing or passing off the plaintiff’s Fearless energy drink, until the interlocutory application for injunction is determined.

In the suit No: PHC/L/CS/92/2021, the plaintiff, Rite Foods Limited, alleged that NBC has infringed on its trademark over its Predator energy drink, with a lion insignia in resemblance of the mark on its Fearless energy drinks.

The alleged trademark infringement, according to Rite Foods, has damaged its goodwill and it is seeking reliefs which include injunctions and damages for its loss.

And according to the provision of the Trade Marks Act, Cap T 13, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 and the Trademark Regulations 1990, the alleged infringement is against the holder’s right of Rite Foods Limited, as the exclusive owner of the mark for identification of its products within the country.

However, investigation reveals that the Plaintiff, Rite Foods’ Fearless energy drinks, which consist of the Red Berry and Classic brands, were launched into the Nigerian market in June  2017,  and has gained a wider market share before the NBC’s Predator brand which made entrant in June, 2020.

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Firstbank Hosts Webinar To Sensitise Individuals And Businesses On Staying Protected In The Information Age

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First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Nigeria’s leading financial inclusion services provider has announced a webinar to sensitise individuals and businesses with useful information on being protected in today’s digital age.

 

The virtual event is scheduled to hold by noon on Friday, 16 April 2021 with “Staying Protected Amidst the Pandemic Chaos” being the topic to be discussed at the event. Registration is ongoing for the event via the link https://firstbanknigeria.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_PUnqA7enTMG8o0OfOaWxlg

 

Today’s world, largely referred to as the digital age has been influenced by information technology which has optimised the way we carry out our individual and business activities.

 

However, the current age has been marred by illicit activities like identity theft, internet fraud amongst many others which poses a risk to the safety of individuals and businesses. Attending the webinar will have participants knowledgeably equipped with vital information that will ensure they make informed decisions, thereby promoting their safety whilst staying protected against possible risks and malicious attacks.

 

Tope Aladenusi, Chief Strategy Officer & Cyber Risk Services Leader, Deloitte West Africa; Confidence Staveley, Cyber Security Evangelist/ Founder, Cybersafe Foundation and Harrison Nnaji, Chief Information Security Officer, FirstBank will lead the discussion at the event.

 

Speaking on the planned Webinar, Dr. Adesola Adeduntan, CEO of FirstBank Group noted that “the world as a global village is associated with not just benefits but also risks of cyberattack and for individuals, businesses and governments to make the best out of the digital and online opportunities, they need to be deliberate in protecting themselves against cybersecurity threats”.

He further noted that, “in today’s digital age, which the pandemic has accelerated the embrace, cyberattacks are occurring at an alarming rate across the world. As such, no individual, business or government entity with digital and online presence is immune to cyberattacks; and the financial, physical and legal implications of an attack can be significantly upsetting.’’

In concluding, he enjoined everyone to participate in the forthcoming webinar as it is a viable opportunity to stay informed whilst being abreast with current trends that are pivotal to promoting safety in today’s world that is driven by information technology”.

 

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BREAKING! Massive Protest In Port Harcourt Over Hike In Electricity Bill

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TRIXX NG reports that some residents of port Harcourt have taken to the streets to protest against overbilling of electricity fee.

In a video shared by BBC, They were seen carrying banners against PHCN

WATCH VIDEO BY CLICKING HERE

https://web.facebook.com/bbcnewspidgin/videos/273338691079358

 

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Unlocking wheat production with high-yielding seed variety trials

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For Nigeria to become self-sufficient and drastically reduce the importation of wheat by 60 per cent over the next two years as targeted by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), there is need for a concerted effort by government and other critical stakeholders within the wheat value chain to galvanize and aggressively drive the wheat development programmes in the country.

 

Other measures include the adoption of high-yielding-seed varieties that promote local wheat production per hectare of land and boost food sufficiency in Nigeria. Wheat is used to produce staple foods such as semolina, bread, noodles and pasta, which form a regular part of meals in most urban and rural households in the country.

 

The importance of wheat foods to the national population therefore underscores the need to develop the domestic wheat value chain which currently is not delivering enough to meet the growing demand for wheat derivatives; hence, the need for interventions from government at different levels and other stakeholders in the wheat value chain to address the challenges in promoting local wheat production in Nigeria.

 

As it stands, increasing the total yield per hectare of national farmlands is critical to reaching food sufficiency levels that will meet the needs of over 200 million Nigerians.

 

In deepening the impact of the wheat development programme, the Flour Milling Association of Nigeria to which Crown Flour Mill is a major contributor to, is also working with the Lake Chad Research Institute (LCRI) in Maiduguri and the Institute for Agricultural Research (IAR) at the Ahmadu Bello University, to train local smallholder farmers on the latest agronomic practices.

 

The expanded wheat development efforts are yielding impressive results. Smallholder farmers that are participating in the FMAN wheat development programmes have shown remarkable technical improvement that is matched by impressive feedbacks and output.

 

A delegation from Olam, the parent company of CFM, travelled to Jigawa after participating in a wheat development webinar programme organized by the agribusiness conglomerate in Abuja, farmers attested to the impact of the high level of support provided by the millers’ association and its partners.

 

One of the wheat farmers remarked, “We were advised to plant at a particular time to get the best yield possible but I insisted on doing things my way. It nearly cost me the season, but I came back to the (FMAN) team for assistance and this time around, I heeded their advice and the result was unbelievable.”

 

Expatiating on CFM’s wheat development support drives, Ashish Pande, the Managing Director of the wheat milling firm said, “Our commitment to research and development is the key to why we’ve been successful as an organization over the years and have been able to consistently create better quality, safe, great-tasting and more reliable food produce/products which meet our customers’ needs and improve the livelihoods of our farmers.”

 

Meanwhile, in terms of seed varieties, it has been adjudged that the use of certified seeds of improved varieties and adoption of modern farming techniques by farmers are effective production improvement levers that can be utilized to enrich the domestic food landscape.

 

There is no better time than now to adopt the high-yielding-seed approach geared towards stimulating increased production of wheat on a national scale. Why is this so important? Despite having access to a large expanse of farming lands in places such as Borno, Bauchi, Yobe, Kano, Jigawa and Zamfara States, smallholder wheat farmers have not been able to meet domestic consumption demand for wheat. It is apparent that without removing the seed-variety barrier, the acute shortage of locally produced wheat will persist. Whereas this would necessitate the continued reliance on wheat importation to bridge the widening domestic production-consumption gap, it does not portend well for national food security.

 

The economic and social costs of relying on wheat importation are enormous. While foreign exchange is being sourced by local wheat millers to import the crop to meet national consumption demand, the exchange position of the local currency is affected and precious employment opportunities that could be generated by smallholder farmers if harvest reaches full capacity, are also lost.

 

Stressing the need to remove the seed variety barrier to improved domestic wheat production, Mohammed Salim, president of the Wheat Farmers Association of Nigeria (WFAN) said, “One of our challenges is getting quality seeds every two years. Wheat is an open-pollinated crop and the maximum you can do with a particular seed is four years or thereabout. So, if the government can finance the research institutes to come up with new varieties every two years, that will sustain production and keep the farmers in business.”

 

Going by this insight by Salim, providing sufficient finance to fund local research institutes to develop new seed varieties for local farmers biennially is key to bridging the domestic production-consumption gap in the wheat value chain.

 

However, Crown Flour Mill Limited (CFM), a subsidiary of the Olam Group and makers of the Mama Gold flour brand, in collaboration with other members of the Flour Milling Association of Nigeria (FMAN), is leveraging its agro experience, extensive industry network and deep investment portfolio to aggressively support the domestic agro research institutes to drive innovation and make high-yielding seed varieties available to local wheat farmers. The investment and innovative approach form a bold new drive to raising local wheat production levels while keeping smallholder farmers in business, as suggested by Salim.

 

As part of the collaborative approach to make high yielding seed varieties available to local wheat farmers, CFM, alongside other contributors and partners at the milling association, under the Certified Seed Production Programme, have established a research farm to nurture the seed varieties it brought into the country from the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre (CIMMYT) in Sudan and Mexico. These efforts add to an ongoing partnership that the millers are implementing with various seed production companies comprising Rahama Seed, Greenspore and Premier seed.

 

In the coming months, the massive partnership network is expected to lead to the distribution of 150 tons of wheat seeds to around 3,000 smallholder farmers in Nigeria.

 

The deliberate wheat development programmes embarked upon by CFM and others under the auspices of flour milling association, when fully optimized, will no doubt reduce the high dependence on imported wheat. It will also reduce the foreign exchange wheat import bill while boosting the national economic diversification agenda.

 

In the end, the Nigerian consumers are going to be the real beneficiaries of the increasing level of the various interventions and wheat development programmes undertaken by CFM and other leading millers. The consumers will continue to have access to their most cherished wheat foods such as semolina, pasta, noodles and bread at the right quality, quantity, nutritional value and most affordable shelf price.

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