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businessday market monitor

Biggest Loser

Biggest Gainer CUSTODIAN N6.20 3.33pc

TOTAL N105.8 27,083.11

-7.84pc

Foreign Reserve - $44.61bn Cross Rates - GBP-$:1.21 YUANY-N 51.70 Commodities Cocoa

US$2,204.00

Gold

$1,529.30

Foreign Exchange

₦3,716,549.02 -5.22pc

Buy

Market

Sell

$-N 357.00 360.00 £-N 438.00 450.00 €-N 393.00 404.00

Crude Oil

$ 58.94

news you can trust I **THURSDAY 15 AUGUST 2019 I vol. 19, no 372 I N300

FMDQ Close

Everdon Bureau De Change

Bitcoin

NSE

Spot ($/N)

I&E FX Window CBN Official Rate Currency Futures

($/N)

g

363.22 306.90

3M

6M

-0.98 11.31

NGUS OCT 30 2019 362.03

L-R: Michael OlawaleCole, past president, NigerianBritish Chamber of Commerce (NBCC); Kayode Falowo, president, NBCC; Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Lagos State governor; Alan Davies, deputy president, NBCC, and Bisi Adeyemi, vice president, NBCC, at a courtesy visit to the governor by the Chamber in Lagos.

1.17

-0.11

10 Y 0.19

20 Y 0.12

13.94

14.03

14.28

14.46

5Y

NGUS JAN 29 2020 362.48

NGUS AUG 26 2020 363.53

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Treasury bills

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Insurers receive N353.7bn premium from CPS annuity

Stocks see red as GTB, Oando, I Total, UACN hit new 52-week lows

Modestus Anaesoronye

juicy dividend yields signal buying opportunity

SEGUN ADAMS

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s Nigeria’s equity market falls to the lowest levels since May 2017, big-cap stocks open up opportunities for growth investors to position in sound fundamentals. Trading resumed in the equities market after the long break, and stocks closed 0.82 percent lower, dragging this year’s re-

turn to -13.83 percent. Big stocks caught in the wave of pessimism have now established new 52week low with opportunities for a good buy, analysts say. “You never can tell how low some of these stocks can go but anyone buying a GTB or Zenith at this level is getting a good bargain,” Paul Uzum, a broker on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), told BusinessDay.

Fola Abimbola, equity analyst at Lagos-based FBNQuest, said the opportunity to buy has been available for weeks but investors are unwilling to take significant

MARKETS positions to drive the market. “What would drive the opportunities is the big question because all these stocks are offering a lot of upsides,” Abimbola said.

Analysts say there is panicselling in the market and foreign investors have moved more to the sell side, which is affecting the most liquid stocks in the market. “But I advise that investors be careful. I wouldn’t advise longterm investors to sell off at this point,” Uzum added. A 52-week low refers to the lowest a stock has traded during

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nsurance companies under taking life business have received a total sum of N353.7 billion as premium from retirees in the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) who opted for annuities. The figure covers total premium paid for life annuities from inception of the CPS, up to first quarter of 2019. Annuity for life, as it is popu-

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TOMORROW: What do three of the leading SANs say about Buhari’s directive to CBN

Inside Emefiele launches charm offensive to woo foreign investors P. 2


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news Congo could rival Nigeria for Africa’s top oil producer spot with new discovery

L-R: Adesola Adeduntan, chief executive officer, First Bank of Nigeria Limited; Kofo Akinkugbe, managing director, SecureID Limited, and Seyi Oyefeso, group executive, commercial banking group, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, during the bank’s delegation visit to SecureID Limited’s smart card manufacturing plant in Lagos.

…as poor fiscal, regulatory environment delays new investments ISAAC ANYAOGU

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i t h ov e r 1 . 8 million barrels per day (bpd) oil production, Nigeria is Africa’s biggest oil producer. But this status may be up for contention in as little as six months as the Republic of Congo could ramp production to over 1.3 million bpd from new discoveries. Mohamed Rahmani, a marketing director of SARPDOIL in Congo’s la Cuvette region, told Reuters that the field is estimated to hold 1 billion cubic metres of hydrocarbons, including 359 million barrels of oil, with a potential for daily output of 983,000 barrels. Congo currently produces 350,000 bpd. The Delta de la Cuvette deposit covers an area of 9,392 square metres, has four wells, the first of which has been drilled since March, according to the African Society for Petroleum Research and Distribution (SARPD-OIL) and the PEPA company which are in charge of the operation. Both firms are owned by Congolese businessman, Claude Wilfrid Etoka, a close business associate to the Congolese government. Exploration studies indicate that the deposit could produce over 1 billion cubic metres of

hydrocarbons, including 359 million barrels of oil, being 983,000 barrels per day. Production from all the discovered wells could add the Republic of Congo to the list of contestants for top oil producer spot in Africa which includes Nigeria and Angola. Nigeria’s 1.855 million bpd production in June is the highest in the past four years, according to data from the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). Nigeria’s output averaged 1.6 million bpd in 2017. Angola currently produces 1.4 million bpd. This development casts an uncomfortable light on Nigeria’s inability to guide new projects, which would raise production and grow reserves, to Final Investment Decision (FID) many years after oil discoveries were announced. Shell’s plan to expand 225,000 bpd Bonga South West/Aparo, has been unable to reach FID based on disagreement over fiscal terms. The project has been suspended every year since 2016. Other projects that have stalled include 120,000bpd

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Banks intensify credit push to costumers as Sept. 30 deadline nears HOPE MOSES-ASHIKE

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eposit Money Banks (DMBs) are aggressively pushing credit to consumers in compliance with the directives of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). The CBN had given the banks September 30 as deadline for attaining a minimum loan to deposit ratio (LDR) of 60 percent, which was targeted at increasing credit to the real sector of the economy. The LDR is a ratio between a bank’s total loans and total deposits, which is generally expressed in percentage terms. A high loan to deposit ratio means that the bank is issuing out more of its deposits in loans and vice-versa. Some banks have unveiled to the public their loan portfolio plans, targeting key sectors of the economy, while some others are sending SMS to their customers for access to quick cash of

up to N5 million. For instance, one of the messages from a tier-one bank reads: “Dear customer, need cash urgently? Dial ….. to get QuickCredit of up to N5 million instantly. Repay, at 1.75 percent monthly. No collateral. No hidden charges.” Polaris, a tier-2 bank, announced yesterday that it has launched a collateralfree salary advance solution, where customers can access up to 50 percent of their net monthly salary capped at N500,000 for a 30-day tenor or next salary date by dialling *833*12#. The service is available 24/7 on all telecommunication networks. “FSDH Research has observed that many banks and other credit providers in Nigeria have recently begun aggressively pushing credit to their customers,” said Ayodele Akinwunmi, head of research, FSDH Merchant Bank Limited.

•Continues online at www.businessday.ng www.businessday.ng

Emefiele launches charm offensive to woo foreign investors

…in London, says CBN will meet all FX demand …Amid rising backlog put at $400m-$500m HOPE MOSES-ASHIKE, OLUFIKAYO OWOEYE & OLUWASEGUN OLAKOYENIKAN

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he Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) will meet all dollar demand as long as foreign reserves are above $30 billion and oil prices are not below $45 per barrel. The CBN also aims to maintain price and monetary stability, amid a bid to achieve higher growth rates for the next five-year term of Godwin Emefiele, even as bond yields are expected to remain elevated. This was disclosed by Emefiele in London this week in a meeting with select foreign investors, who are being wooed anew amid signs of a growing backlog of foreign exchange (FX) demand, which sources tell

BusinessDay is between $400 million and $500 million. Market sources add that about $200 million worth of the FX demand is a ‘permanent’ backlog from people who are always waiting for better rates from the CBN, which can be cleared at the Investors and Exporters (I&E) forex window. However, the balance of backlogs, between $200 million and $300 million, is said to be demand coming from corporates and airlines. Em e f i e le d u r i ng t h e confidence-building trip assured investors that his reappointment as CBN governor signals continuity of various policies. “The market should know what he is about by now and for better or worse, more of the same is expected,” a source at the meeting said.

The CBN will offer more open market operations (OMO) auctions to counter the upcoming maturities due in September/October (having had fewer auctions of late) and could tighten liquidity to increase yields to maintain Nigeria’s relative attractiveness to Egypt for fixed income flows. The governor also gave assurances that the CBN will not devalue the currency unless reserves dip below $30 billion (on a gross basis), at which point there would be an FX adjustment by 10 percent to about N400/$1, in line with current Purchasing Power Parity levels. But otherwise the naira peg to the dollar will be maintained and the apex bank will spend reserves first to meet dollar demand. The CBN estimates that

there are some $15bn in foreign fixed-income funds held onshore (in Nigeria), which it can handle. Ayodele Akinwunmi, head, research, FSDH Merchant Bank Limited, said over N9.6 trillion worth of government securities are expected to mature in the financial market between August and December this year. Sources present at the meeting say the CBN governor’s only evasiveness was on the progress of reserve build year to date (YTD), which he avoided when twice asked why reserves have been largely flat against strong inflows YTD and a generally healthy oil price.

•Continues online at www.businessday.ng

PFA assets surge 165% to N9.33trn in 6 years on higher compliance Endurance Okafor

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he ass ets under management (AUM) of Nigeria’s regulated pension industry jumped 165 percent to an alltime high of N9.33 trillion in June 2019, from N3.52 trillion in the second quarter of 2013, driven by a surge in compliance and contribution level. However, pension assets have only slightly surpassed 2013 levels in dollar terms as they are up just 15 percent to $25.5 billion ($1/N365) today from $22 billion ($1/N160) in 2013. According to data by the National Pension Commission (PenCom) analysed by BusinessDay, the nominal growth in the assets of PFAs translated to an increase of

…up only 15% in dollar terms N5.81 trillion in the space of six years. “The compliance level has increased and also the number of people contributing to pension funds has also increased,” Dayo Obisan, president, Fund Managers Association of Nigeria (FMAN), said. Obisan noted that the increase in contributors’ income may have also driven the asset managed by the PFAs to its current levels. Pension funds assets are defined as assets bought with the contributions to a pension plan for the exclusive purpose of financing pension plan benefits. The pension fund is a pool of assets forming an independent

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legal entity. As at June 30, 2019, the asset managed by PFAs was up 13.3 percent, year-on-year, from N8.23 trillion a year ago to N9.33 trillion in the second quarter of 2019. On monthly comparison, the AUM of the regulated pension industry increased marginally by 1.1 percent between May and June 2019. BusinessDay analysis of the recently released PenCom data shows there were a total of 8.68 million contributors as at end-May, implying an average portfolio size of N1.06m. Growth in the AUM of the pension industry in the period under review may look inspiring, however when @Businessdayng

compared to some African countries like South Africa and Kenya, Nigeria still lags. Despite the solid growth, asset under management accounted for just 8 percent of 2018 Nigeria Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of $375.8 billion, running behind many emerging markets. According to data by investment firm FBNQuest, the South African industry dates from 1996 and its AUM represents more than 70 percent of GDP, while the latest figure for Kenya is 15 percent. “The industry in Nigeria is in need of several new products and innovative leadership,” FNBQuest said.

•Continues online at www.businessday.ng


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news Regulatory reforms workshop for digital media holds in Lagos GBEMI FAMINU

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tw o-day w orkshop designed to keep regulatory, policy and stakeholder management personnel within the telecoms, media and technology ecosystem abreast of current trends takes place at Radisson Blu Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos, on August 15 and 16. The special regulatory compliance and stakeholder management programme is designed to focus attention on the challenges and opportunities of regulating the digital media ecosystem, to assist compliance and regulatory professionals manage the complexities of Over-The-Top (OTT) video services. Presented on the broad theme ‘Regulatory Reforms for the Digital Media Ecosystem: Challenges of Regulating OTT and SVOD Services’, the workshop will help attendees learn the fundamentals of digital media regulation, gain exposure to industry practices and discover practical applications to develop analytical skills required to manage change in a period of rapid disruption. The workshop will also consider practical strategies to develop skills and culture that support in-

novation whilst delivering regulatory outcomes. Through the compact period of learning, the attendees will understand that regulations and regulatory institutions should be redesigned around the concept of functionality, rather than legacy technologies or industry sectors. A formidable faculty led by keynote speaker, H. Sama Nwana, a professor, will deliver these capsules of knowledge. Other faculty members include Katherine Righi, Emeka Okafor, Basil Udotai, Tope Egunjobi, Sam Amadi, Mary Ojiah and Emmanuel Ataguba. The workshop is packaged by Alexis Xavier and Associates, a company established by regulatory experts dedicated to helping organisations manage all kinds of risks and provide compliance guidelines with specialisation in media, telecommunications, technology, health and environment sectors. It will be managed and curated by Emeka Mba, former directorgeneral of the Nigeria Broadcasting Commission (NBC), whose regulatory experience spans over 25 years across media, entertainment, technology and communication industries.

Nigeria tourism industry’s growth hinges on security of lives, property - Adenuga ... as ten Glo customers win tricycles at OjudeOba Festival RAZAQ AYINLA, Abeokuta

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hairman of Nigeria’s indigenous telecoms, Globacom, Mike Adenuga, has placed a strong request before Nigerian governments at federal, state and local levels to work harmoniously and devise strategies that effectively address series of security challenges facing the country. The Glo chairman, whose goodwill message was read by Folu Aderibigbe at the 2019 Ojude-Oba Festival held on Tuesday at Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State, said the vast tourism potentials available across the 36 states of Nigeria could only be harnessed and grown if security of lives and property was guaranteed. While congratulating the Awujale and the paramount ruler of Ijebuland, Oba Sikiru Kayode Adetona, on the success of 2019 Glo-sponsored OjudeOba Festival, Adenuga assured Nigerians of Globacom’s support at all times to grow and develop noble courses such as Ojude Oba and festivals in the country, which had assumed international status with the support of the telecoms firm. He congratulated the Awujale for the numerous achievements during his reign, adding that Ijebuland was lucky to have him as a King without compare. Adenuga felicitated with all Ijebu for being alive to witness this year’s Ojude Oba Festival. He also assured Nigerians of constant delivery of optimum quality service and products

as the game changer in the telecommunication industry, saying: “We are proud that the Globacom brand has, in the last 16 years, transformed into a household name with innovative solutions and pocket-friendly rates that have been enabling Nigerians to breathe easy in various ways. Our products and services are second to none and ahead of the pack”. Meanwhile, 10 persons have emerged winners in the Glo Raffle Draw held at the Ojude-Oba Festival to reward customers for their loyalties over the last 16 years of Globacom existence in Nigeria as the ten winners went home with 10 tricycles popularly called ‘Keke Marwa’ in Lagos, Nigeria and other Yoruba states. The 10 lucky winners were picked at the draw conducted by the Awujale of Ijebu, Oba Sikiru Kayode Adetona at the end of the colourful and boisterous age-grade and family parades, complemented with a durbar, masquerades and gun displays which were the main event of Ojude-Ode, Ijebu Festival. BusinessDay reports that over a hundred customers were given raffle tickets as they purchased items from any Gloworld in Ijebu-Ode and environs in Ogun state weeks before and during the main event of the festival, but ten winners emerged, including Isaac Olawale, Michael Adeniyi, Johnson Olakitan, Henry Olayemi, Julius Agofure, Daniel Adebambo, Kazeem Mustapha, Shola Gbilesanmi, Monsurat Sebiotimo and Asiwaju. www.businessday.ng

L-R: Olufunke Oluseyi, managing director, UTL Trust Management Service; Tokunbo Ajayi, president, Association of Corporate Trustees (ACT); Mary Uduk, acting director-general, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and Isyaku Tilde, acting executive commissioner, operations, SEC, during a meeting between SEC and ACT in Abuja, yesterday. NAN

Global construction industry to grow 6.5% in 7 years, says Frost & Sullivan MIKE OCHONMA

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esearch firm, Frost & Sullivan, says growth opportunities in the global construction additives market look promising over the next six years. It expects the market to expand at a compound annual growth rate of 6.5 percent from 2018 to 2025 with the Asia-Pacific predicted to lead in the growing global construction additives market. The firm explains in a statement that a global uptick in construction activity, stringent building codes and environmental standards, as well as the increased use of concrete admixtures, were key factors driving global construction additives market revenues towards almost

$17 billion by 2025. This is also creating higher demand for products such as super plasticisers and ironoxide pigments. “With a constantly evolving regulatory landscape, manufacturers should look towards adopting more environmentally sustainable and regulatory compliant additive solutions and manufacturing processes,” noted Frost & Sullivan mobility and infrastructure chemicals and materials senior analyst Prathmesh Limaye. Limaye said this would enable participants attract customers that were focused on high durability and environmental sustainability, as well as harness lucrative revenues in the more mature markets of Western Europe and North America. From a regional perspec-

tive, Frost & Sullivan expects Asia-Pacific to be the biggest market for construction additives and the fastest-growing sector, owing to the region’s industrialisation, urbanisation and high economic growth. These factors are also expected to boost growth in Latin America. Further, Europe is expected to witness robust demand for construction additives owing to new construction activities within Eastern Europe and remodelled construction in Western Europe. The Summer Olympics in Paris in 2024 will expand France’s infrastructure prospects. Limaye said North America would experience the slowest growth among the regions, as construction activity was still being impacted by

the 2008 recession; however, activity was slowly picking up. The Middle East will also witness strong growth, with the Dubai Wold Expo in 2020 and the 2020 FIFA World Cup, in Qatar, acting as key enablers. Suppliers should also aim to improve their portfolios with products that could be customised to end-user specifications, he advised. Limaye recommended that market participants look towards the development and supply of products that could be manufactured from locally sourced raw materials, to enable the supply of pricecompetitive products. He said this would avoid dependency on traditional manufacturing practices, which had the potential to be restricted in the future by regulatory authorities.

AXA Mansard reports N22.5bn shareholders’ funds for H1 2019 MICHAEL ANI

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XA Mansard Insurance plc, a member of the AXA Group, has announced its unaudited financial results for the period ended June 30, 2019, showing a growth of 8 percent in the amount of equity in the company, which belongs to the shareholders. The shareholders’ funds for the group rose to N22.49 billion, up from N20.90 billion reported as at the end of December 2018. Similarly, the shareholders’ funds of the Insurance arm also increased to N18.2 billion up from N16.7 billion in the same period under review. Commenting on the re-

sult, Kunle Ahmed, CEO, AXA Mansard Insurance, said, “The performance bodes well for our insurance business and puts us in a very good place for the future in terms of the impending change in capital requirements. AXA mansard will continue to operate as a composite insurance company, delivering service to our teeming customers across both general and life businesses.” At the end of the half-year, the company succeeded in growing gross written premium by 25 percent and underwriting profits by 9 percent, with no growth in operating expenses compared with the previous year.

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Gross written premium for the insurance firm increased to N29.36 billion from N23.54 billion in June 2018, thanks to the firms cost management strategy as operating cost within the period remained flat at N3.52 billion. Underwriting profits for the firm jumped to N2.5 billion from N2.2 billion the previous year. This positive performance is an indication that our efforts to continually grow the business profitably are on track, according to Ngozi Ola-Israel, chief financial officer for the insurance firm. However, despite the growth in the gross written premium and a zero increase in its operating expenses, the company’s @Businessdayng

Profit before Tax was down by 16 percent from N1.87 billion to N1.57 billion. This made the Profit After Tax for the firm dip 8 percent to N1.42 billion from N1.54 billion in June 2018. The reason for the drag in pre-tax profit the company noted was as a result of a oneoff loss on the sale of part of its investment property. Investment and other income within the period were down by 13 percent from N3.28 billion to N2.84 billion. Ahmed explained that prompt claims payment remained critical to the actualisation of insurance companies’ promise to return clients to their pre-loss financial position.


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Nigeria committed to agreed OPEC+ production adjustments - NNPC Olusola Bello

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ollowing the recent instability in the price of crude oil, Nigeria has reaffirmed its unwavering commitment to production adjustments agreed upon under the Declaration of Cooperation (DoC) between member countries of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and Non-OPEC countries at the last Ministerial Meeting, known as OPEC Plus, held on July 2, 2019, in Vienna, Austria. Nigeria’s representatives on the OPEC Economic Commission Board and group managing director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mele Kyari, made this known in a statement issued in Abuja. According to the statement signed by the OPEC Representative, Nigeria is totally committed to full compliance with the agreement reached by the parties to the DoC. “Right now we are not only committed to the agreement but

… as crude oil prices fluctuate we have elevated our attitude towards it to the point of complete devotion to the adjustments and we urge other parties to follow suit,” the OPEC Rep stated. Kyari expressed strong optimism that the momentary and artificially induced bearish trends would naturally correct itself based on the strong market fundamentals that had remained steadfast, despite the price slid. He enthused that with a visible steady decline in commercial stock overhang propelled by healthy demand, it was only logical for all advocates of oil price stability like the OPEC Plus allies to comply strictly with the agreed production adjustments. He concluded that with the increasing volatility of the oil market, it had become commonsensical for Nigeria and all other parties to the agreement to entrench an attitude of unwavering devotion to the deal anchored on full and timely conformity to their obligations.

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Crude oil markets hit a major resistance barrier during the trading session this week, as the market continues to witness a lot of back and forth movement. The West Texas International (WTI) Crude Oil market went back and forth during the trading session on Monday, as it continues to see a lot of confusion as to demand and of course supply. It is believed that if the Iranian tensions and loosening monetary policy around the world can’t pick up the idea of demand for crude, then there is trouble, analysts say. “Brent markets went back and forth during the trading session as well, stalling at the $59 level. This is the beginning of an area that has been previous support that extends all the way to the $60 level. At this point, the market looks as if it is going to continue to struggle, and therefore we could turn around and reach towards the $55 level given enough time,” says Christopher Lewis

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USA, Lagos to strengthen partnership on health, education

Creditville positions to provide best lending services in Nigeria

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reditville, a fast-growing finance firm specialising in consumer loans, lease and investments, wishes to announce a corporate strategic move aimed at strengthening and repositioning the company as a leading financial services firm in the country. In a recent social event, the company unveiled its new logo, website and slogan. In a press statement, Richard Rotoye, general manager, Creditville Limited, states that the company is transiting into a holding company, which will include Redwood Asset Management Company Limited, a whollyowned subsidiary company licensed by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as Fund and Portfolio Managers. Also speaking, Abraham Awe, the principal asset manager, explains that the company is in the final stages of acquiring a microfinance bank based in Lagos, which will help its already existing customers as well as new customers ac-

cess more services. He indicates his belief that the company’s growth is one that will continually be on an upward trajectory. With six branches, and operating in eight states of the federation, Creditville has steadily grown in the last six years, providing leading-edge services in consumer loans, asset and vehicle financing as well as Real Estate. According to Rotoye, the company intends to deploy the latest financial technology tools to align with the Federal Government’s objective of increasing financial inclusiveness in the country. He says the company is constantly exploring ways to provide finance at competitive interest rate and quick processing time at their convenience. The company is embarking on a strategic corporate and brand awareness campaign to make Creditville a household name and leading financial services institution.

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overnments of the United States of America and Lagos, Nigeria, are leverage their existing relationship to further boost investment in education, healthcare, security, among others, in Lagos State. This was disclosed when Governor Babajide SanwoOlu received Claire Pierangelo, the new Consul-General of the United States Consulate in Lagos, at Government House, Ikeja. Both are of the view that the collaboration will serve their respective

interests. The visit was Pierangelo’s first official call on any Nigerian public officer since she arrived in Nigeria about two months ago. The new envoy succeeded John F. Bray as Consul-General. “I am at Lagos House on a visit to a friend of the U.S. government and our strategic development partner in Africa. We have had good working relationship and we believe this could be further strengthened for greater impacts on areas of collaborations. “Maintaining a cordial relationship with Lagos government is critical to the

success of the U.S. Mission in Nigeria. In the coming days, we will be sharing our plans on how to strengthen our shared partnership for the future,” Pierangelo said. She specifically listed e d u c a t i o n , h e a l t h, a n d security as areas for partnership, restating the US commitment to deepening bilateral relationship with Nigeria through “active collaborations.” She also said the consulate sought the support of the Lagos government in enabling ease of moving its office to a new site on Victoria Island. She noted that the consulate decided to move

its office to a new site to allow space for more bilateral engagements. Governor Sanwo-Olu said Lagos and the US Consulate shared a long history of collaboration beneficial to both parties. He said his administration would not hesitate to welcome any plan that would further improve the partnership the state has had with the American government. “Our long history of partnership with the American government has resulted in positive growth for the state. I believe there is a lot of collaboration we can still work on for the benefit of the people,” said Sanwo-Olu.

SystemSpecs offers free tech training to young Nigerians at Remita Summer Coding Camp Endurance Okafor

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ndigenous Fintech and human capital technology company, SystemSpecs, is offering IT training to secondary students to help prepare their minds for their future careers. The fully funded camp training, which started August 12, 2019, is conceived to equip participants with digital skills in an accelerated and practical learning environment that aims to improve access to technology education in Nigeria. The two-week Remita Summer Coding Camp, taking place in both Lagos and Abuja, is going to empower participants in various aspects of computer programming such as the fundamentals of the web, animation, robotics, and game design, among others. According to the organisers, the use of various tools and a curriculum that helps participants have an accelerated understanding of the concepts being taught opens their minds to the limitless technology possibilities and actively prepares them for the innovations of the future. “At SystemSpecs, we recognise the rising impact of technology in our world today and the even more significant place it would occupy in future. We also are aware of the importance of building ICT capacity across the technology ecosystem, not only for the present but for the future,” Deremi Atanda, executive director, SystemSpecs, said. With each participants picked from the huge numbers that applied to represent different secondary school, the programme offers 20 openings for the inaugural edition. Parents, students, teachers or friends were given till August 7, 2019, to apply for the twoweek IT training camp by

submitting their details on the programme’s application site and selected participants were announced and contacted on August 9, 2019. Commenting, Lawal Olajide, a parent of Lawal Temitope, one of the participants, said he saw the entry online and applied on behave of his daughter and few days later, “we got a mail that she has been selected. For long we have been looking for such opportunity that can help prepare our children to be competitive in the technology industry, so I am grateful to SystemSpecs.” A c c o rd i n g t o At a n d a , through the Remita Summer Coding Camp, SystemSpecs continues to invest in the next big technology innovators from Africa to the rest of the world as it has done in the past; working with Lagos State on Code Lagos, and other partners on the Girls-in-ICT initiative, among many others. “We know that technology is advancing at a very rapid pace, and every nation needs to be positioned today in way that they can provide solution tomorrow, and so we are equipping the young ones with IT skills that can help them make those decisions,” the CSR coordinator for SystemSpecs said. Oduse Ilerioluwa, a 15-year-old student of Queens’ College, Yaba, who is also a participant, said she wants to become an Aerobotics engineer, “so this training is a good foundation for me. So far I have learnt how to code, and I realised I have to write the code for every step of any project I want to do.” In his comment, Adgun Wareez, one of the participants, said through the programme, “I learnt how to design games and the training has been fun and interesting.”

L-R: Jude Ilo, head of office, Open Society Initiative West Africa (OSIWA); Hamzat Lawal, chief executive, Connected Development (CODE), and Joseph Amenaghawon, project coordinator, Open Society Initiative West Africa, during the visit of CODE delegation to OSIWAS’s Office.

AIICO appoints Tunde Fajemirokun as MD/CEO OLUWASEGUN OLAKOYENIKAN

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IICO Insurance plc has appointed Babatunde Fajemirokun, the insurance firm’s second-largest shareholder after Sobandele David Sobanjo, as the managing director/CEO, with effect from August 14, 2019. The appointment followed the approval of the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), the insurance sector’s apex regulator, AIICO said in a statement filed Wednesday on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE). Fajemirokun started his career in 2001 as a visiting lecturer in the Division of Economics & Enterprise in Glasgow Caledonain University. He joined Accenture Financial Services Unit in 2003 as an analyst and specialised in Mergers and Acquisition projects. He joined Capgemini Consulting (UK) Business Information Strategy Unit (cross-industry) in 2008 as a Senior Consultant, and worked on UK government transformation projects. The newly appointed Man-

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aging Director joined AIICO’s life division in 2009 and was responsible for key company projects in its maiden transformation projects. He served as the Chief Operating Officer and is responsible for key shared service functions and strategic growth in subsidiary companies. Prior to joining AIICO, he worked in Accenture and then Capgemini Consulting (UK). In both companies, he provided consulting/advisory services to financial services and government clients predominantly in mergers and acquisitions (postmerger integration) and then the UK government transformation programmes. He earned an MBA with a concentration in Finance from University of Chicago Booth School of Business, a Business Information Technology Systems Master’s degree with distinction from University of Strathclyde and a Bachelor’s degree in Business Economics from Glasgow, UK. He is a Chartered Insurer (ACII, UK) and a Senior Member of the Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria.

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Polaris launches collateral-free salary advance solution to customers

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n line with its commitment to creating innovative financial solutions, Polaris Bank has launched a quick credit solution called “Polaris Salary Advance”. Polaris Salary Advance is a customer-led product that enables employees get up to 50 percent of their net monthly salary to meetbasicneedsbeforetheirnext payday. The product is designed to provide short-term financing to its customers via convenient and accessibledigitalchannelssuchas the mobile phone. Explaining the key features that set the new solution apart from competition, Adebimpe Ihekuna, the bank’s group head, products/markets development, said the product was designed to provide leverage for consumers to meet pressing financial needs such as paying their child/ward school fees, emergencies requiringfunding,billpayments,among other needs. “Beyond the financial empowerment that Polaris Salary Advance offers to our customers, access to such soft loans improve consumer lifestyle and help them to be in charge of their resources rather than banking on uncertain @Businessdayng

sources.” Continuing,Adebimpenoted, “The social impact of the Polaris Salary Advance solution cannot be over-emphasised given its ability to meet customers’ needs on the go.” On the process of accessing the funds, she explained that it has been affirmed to be the fastest in the industry as one can easily access the salary advance solution andgethis/heraccountcreditedin a minute, with no documentation required.Customerscanaccessup to 50% of their net monthly salary capped at N500,000 for a 30-day tenor or next salary date by dialling *833*12#. The service is available 24/7 on all telecoms networks. Commenting on the new development, Tokunbo Abiru, the bank’s managing director/ CEO, noted: “Our commitment to the road not travelled, has led to the development of several product innovations beginning with the salary advance initiative. Over the next few weeks, we will be unveiling other tailor-made products targeted at making life moremeaningfulandconvenient for our customers and the general banking public.


Thursday 15 August 2019

BUSINESS DAY

RESEARCH&INSIGHT

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In association with

A WEEKLY PUBLICATION OF BUSINESSDAY RESEARCH & INTELLIGENCE UNIT(BRIU)

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How Nigeria consumed 6.77 bn litres of petroleum products

spirit (PMS) was imported in Q2 2019; 1.38 billion litres of automotive gas oil (AGO); 12.22 million litres of household kerosene (HHK); 131.36 million litres of aviation turbine kerosene (ATK); 77.24 million litres of base oil; 41.79 million litres of bitumen and 27.68 million litres

declined 18.77 per cent whereas bitumen and low pour fuel oil (LPFO) more than doubled by 130.62 per cent and 10.40 per cent respectively. According to the data supplied by the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), nationwide distribution

of all the petroleum products chunked out in the quarter under review. Over 1.6 billion litres of PMS were distributed in the region on 44,346 trucks; 539.33 million litres of AGO were distributed via 19,345 trucks; 48.12 million litres of HHK via 1,912 trucks and 141.26 million litres of ATK were equally distributed on 3,581 trucks in the states within the region. The next is the north-central region with 1.14 billion litres of petroleum products were distributed within its states. Further analysis showed that 21,358; 4,952; 615 and 490 trucks distributed 897.22 million litres, 196.63 million litres, 22.32 million litres and 21.21 million litres respectively of PMS, AGO, HHK and ATK respectively in the period under review. Next is the south-south region with 21,396; 6,109; 995 and 81 trucks distributed 850.21 million litres, 241.38 million litres, 27.25 million litres and 3.37 million litres of PMS, AGO, HHK and ATK respectively in the period under review. Within the north-west region, 901.17 million litres; 153.38 million litres; 10.42 million litres and 9.01 million litres of PMS, AGO, HHK and ATK were distributed via 19,967, 3,792, 279 and 209 trucks

of low pour fuel oil (LPFO) were imported into the country in Q2 2019. In comparison to the previous quarter, Q2 2019 saw petroleum products including premium motor spirit (PMS) increase in volume by 15.06 per cent; automotive gas oil (AGO) increased by 14.64 per cent; household kerosene (HHK) at 12.22 million litres; aviation turbine kerosene (ATK) was less by 42.14 per cent; base oil

of truck out volume for Q2 2019 showed that 5.18 billion of PMS were distributed by 127,660 trucks; 1.28 billion litres of AGO were distributed by 38,025 trucks; 131.42 million litres of HHK were distributed by 4,448 trucks; and 176.14 million litres of ATK were distributed by 4,391 trucks nationwide during the period under review wherein Lagos had the highest percentage of all the fuel distributed in all the states. Across regions, the south-west region had 2.34 billion litres (the largest capacity among other regions) of truck out volume

respectively. The distribution capacity within the states in the south-east region was fifth as 582.74 million litres, 89.9 million litres, 20.42 million litres and 1.13 million litres of PMS, AGO, HHK and ATK were distributed respectively. Whereas the least distribution of petroleum products was recorded in the north-east region where a total 8,818 trucks were responsible for the distribution of 336.49 million litres, 57.13 million litres, 2.88 million litres and 113 thousand litres of PMS, AGO, HHK and ATK respectively within the period under review.

ADEMOLA ASUNLOYE

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igeria, among other countries, consumed over 6.7 billion litres of petroleum products at states level in Q2 2019. More than half of its liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), popularly called cooking gas was imported to make up for national demand in the country within the second three months of the year: April, May and June 2019. Unlike the first quarter of 2019 (Q1 2019) where Nigeria’s local supply of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) far exceeded import by over 112 per cent, local supply of LPG (currently at 137.2 million litres) was less than its imports in the second quarter of this year (Q2 2019). The quantity of LPG sourced locally represents 63.06 per cent of the total volume imported alone in the quarter under review. Data obtained from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed that 61.33 per cent of the total 354.70 million litres of LPG supplied in the country in Q2 2019 was imported while the remaining 38.67 per cent (164.71 million litres) was pro-

12734BDN

duced locally. The country, which has the largest natural gas reserves in Africa and the ninth largest in the world, imported 217.5 million litres of LPG from April to June: 39.89 million litres in April; 84.70 million litres in May and 92.94 million litres in June 2019. The petroleum products importation statistics for Q2 2019 showed that 5.61 billion litres of premium motor

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Thursday 15 August 2019

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Ninth NASS; Sinators, horribles and an old peoples’ home! (2)

IK MUO

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ast week, we discussed how senator Abboh announced his arrival as the youngest member of the house of sin (Sinate) by assaulting a pregnant woman, one of those Nigerians for whom he is supposed to be making laws and conducting oversight functions. The Red Chamber as a group has also committed the ‘sin’ of turning the serious business of lawmaking into one huge joke. They created the local and global record of approving the whole ministerial nominees submitted by the President (23 of them without any questions) including the one who unabashedly declared that he had a right to decide when and when not, to obey court orders. A member who had a corruption case dangling around his neck was made a ranking member of the committee on EFCC, just like those with electoral cases were in the past asked to overseas INEC! That was why Senator Abaribe referred to the exercise as an endorsement hearing, rather than a confirmation hearing! The Senate has also been transformed from a retirement home for former governors and party leaders to an old people’s home of sorts. Analogue oldies who were in charge while I was shouting Ali-Must Go at UI in more than 30 years ago, are now our lawmakers. What do old people do? They dream (Acts 2.17; Joel 3:1) and how do they dream? They sleep! Young ones also dream but when

they dream, they wake up and pursue the dreams and that is why it is a vision. The oldies dream and dream on. You want me to name names? Just go to the net and search for sleeping Sinators! Some have been in government for the past 40 years and having been retired and tired, they sought accommodation in the Senate, the only OPH funded directly from the federal purse! And this is because of the caliber of the old people there. Our people say that when the shegoat is chewing cod, the kids watch and learn. While those in the house of sin are retired, tired and old, and thus respond to natural imperatives by sleeping, the young ones in the Green Chamber are younger, more agile, full of energy and are still seeing visions. Therefore, they have to find ways of using these youthful attributes and thus they transform themselves to horrible boxers and wrestlers. In the Senate, the President listened to the voice of the opposition party (did you say parties…?) while constituting its leadership team. In the Green Chamber, the Speaker spoke only to his own interest and decided to appoint minority officers for the minority party. The ‘winners’ are Mr Elumelu (Minority Leader) Toby Okechukwu (Deputy Minority Leader) Gideon Gwani (Minority Whip) and Adesegun Adekoya (Deputy Minority Whip). This is against the nominees of the PDP for these posts (Kingsley Chinda, Minority Leaders; Chukwuka Onyema, Deputy Minority Leader, Yakubu Barde, Minority Whip and Muraina Ajibola, Deputy Minority Whip). I must admit that I don’t know how this is usually done either constitutionally or politically. Members of the opposition party took exception to that. It is a normal political and social tendency for people to take offence whenever they feel cheated. However, the members reacted in a way that is far from honourable. They engaged in first class

pugilism and free-style wrestling in which there was neither a referee nor a linesman and everything was thrown into the ring! It was a horrible scene acted by horrible members! My heart beat widely when I heard the name, Chinda, as I immediately remembered the River State House of Assembly crises of about 6 years ago. But I don’t think it is the same Chinda and I can’t confirm whether both of them are related. However, if I were in that house, I would have been very cautious when that name cropped up. If you want to know why, go and review what happened in Port Harcourt during that wild-wild legislative era, when five became the majority against 26 and there were up to three maces in ‘attendance’. The Rivers State scenario of old is also repeating itself at Edo and Bauchi states where the simple gammatical mathematics of minority and majority has become difficult to interpret. On Bauchi, two Speakers emerged while in Edo; only 9 out of 24 were inaugurated and shared all the offices among themselves. Honourable indeed! Other Matters: Checkpoints, security and the ease of travelling The gods are angry, a sacrifice must be performed and the white chalk is needed! This is what a policemen, detailed to provide security along the Benin bypass told me thrice, on Thursday 8 August 2019. The man was a Yoruba man, who spoke a good dose of Igbo, which he claimed to have learnt while serving in Lagos. However, let me begin the story from the beginning. I had to go home for a thousand and one engagements, the key one being the Igbo-Ukwu 2019 Ili-ji (new yam festival). On my entourage were my beloved, the Acting President of Igbo-Ukwu Development Union, and a driver I had hired to drive me down for that day (You see, the son of man is going down gradually and that was why the man who drove effortlessly from Enugu to Jos, to Gombe,

The Senate has also been transformed from a retirement home for former governors and party leaders to an old people’s home of sorts. Analogue oldies who were in charge while I was shouting AliMust Go at UI in more than 30 years ago are now our lawmakers

to Maiduguri Kano, Kaduna Abuja and back to Enugu) is now finding it difficult to drive from Lagos to the east). We had left Lagos around 5.30am and our estimated arrival time (EAT), barring any traffic gridlock, was circa 12noon. However, the Nigerian Policemen were on duty! Between Ijebu-Ode and Benin, we encountered more than 50 police roadblocks. At a stage, it was so bad that while you being harassed at roadblock X, you would notice roadblock Y, about 500m away. And each contingent would search the booth of the car, check your particulars, and ask for your tinted permit and all that. The consequence was that despite the free flow of traffic, we got home around 3pm! And the extra 3 hour delay was due to the activities of the policemen who were searching for herdsmen in the boot of our car. And one of them was the man who demanded for white chalk with which to make sacrifices to the gods of Benin! Is that how the catch the herdsmen who emerge from the bush, strike and disappear? Do the herdsmen wear red caps; drive along the expressway and particularly on Sagamu-Benin Expressway? How do stationary police teams, whom everybody knows where they are stationed, provide security? Why do policemen allow easy passage to unregistered cars who pay 200 naira per checkpoint but asks those whose cars are duly registered for documents? And which one is better: the policemen, who stop, search and ask asinine questions or soldiers who just block the road with logs of wood and watch as you people struggle over the consequential artificial traffic? And back to my police friend, who made him a priest of Bini Kingdom and why must he be the priest to demand for white chalk for the sacrifice...along the expressway? . We have been measuring ease of doing business. It is time we start measuring ease of travelling because ease of travelling is also related to ease of doing business!

How drinking habits are changing worldwide

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iageo last week took a majority stake in Seedlip, a non-alcoholic spirit sold as an alternative to gin — a move seen by analysts as the drinks giant’s attempt to grab more of the growing teetotal market. The young are more abstemious than their elders, and manufacturers and marketers need to keep up. For those of us who don’t drink or, in my case, only occasionally, a reduction in others’ drinking, along with a fall in the antisocial consequences, is a welcome development. At a wedding in Italy this summer, I marvelled as a group of Italian and French guests partied under a hot afternoon sun and late into the night, without anyone staggering or slurring in the way they would inevitably have done in the UK. But how much less are people drinking? Is overdoing the booze really on the decline? Alcohol is largely confined to certain countries. Much of the world does not, for religious or cultural reasons, drink at all. Worldwide, in 2016, 57 per cent of those aged 15 or over had not drunk alcohol in the previous 12 months, according to World Health Organization figures. Much drinking is confined to certain

parts of the world. The only regions where more than half the over-15 population drank alcohol were the Americas, Europe and the western Pacific, the WHO said. The highest per capita consumption was in Europe, although European drinking had decreased, from 12.3 litres per person in 2005 to 9.8 litres in 2016. There are signs of increasing teetotalism in drinking countries. In the UK, where Diageo is headquartered, one in five people aged 16 and over said they did not drink at all in 2017, according to the Office for National Statistics. The trend is particularly noticeable in the younger generation. Among 16- to 24-year-olds, the proportion who claimed not to drink rose from 19 per cent in 2005 to 22.8 per cent in 2018. Among 25- to 44-yearolds, non-drinkers rose from 15.5 per cent in 2005 to 20.6 per cent in 2017. The over-65s showed a different pattern: 24.2 per cent said they were non-drinkers in 2017 but that was a fall from 29.4 per cent in 2005. The consequences of a drop in drinking are difficult to assess. While alcohol is often implicated in street fighting, domestic violence and accidents, it is not the only factor.

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The sober can be guilty of causing them too. One way of looking at drinking’s effects is who ends up in hospital. In England, the number of hospital admissions where an alcohol-related condition was either the primary or contributory reason has increased every year since 2008, according to Public Health England. But, again, there were generational differences. Among those admitted to hospital for reasons that were primarily alcohol-related, the biggest increase was in the over-65s, followed by 40- to 64-year-olds. There has been a significant reduction in alcoholrelated hospital admissions among teenagers. “Alcohol-specific hospital admissions in the under 18s have been falling every year over the past decade,” Public Health England said. So does this make the case? Are youngsters drinking so much less that we can call them the sober generation? Not quite. When they do drink, they are more likely to do it to excess than their parents and grandparents. While the number of over-65 teetotallers had fallen, theirs was the generation least likely to binge-drink, the ONS said. And “despite finding that those aged 16 to 24 years were

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MICHAEL SKAPINKER the least likely to say they drank in the week prior to interview, when they did drink they were the most likely to binge.” Nor is this just a British phenomenon. Alcohol consumption in France is actually higher than in the UK: 12.6 litres per head in 2016, compared with Britain’s 11.4 litres, according to the WHO. (Italy’s consumption was 7.5 litres.) But while the over-65s were more likely to drink every day, with a small glass of table wine, the younger French generation also tended to drink less often but more when they did, Viet Nguyen Thanh, head of the addiction unit at Santé publique France, told the Europe 1 radio and news site. So it is probably best not to over-romanticise my views of continental European drinking habits, or of the growth in teetotallers. There is a market for non-alcoholic drinks. But there are still plenty of drinkers, even among the young.

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Thursday 15 August 2019

BUSINESS DAY

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The offside rule for young leaders POSITIVE GROWTH WITH BABS

BABS OLUGBEMI

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was sad when I heard that Seun Kokolari (a pseudo name) asked one of his staff at the morning meeting if her brain is correct. Seun is one of the young leaders leading a team of five sales staff and twenty operation staff of a retail merchandising company. He is expected to grow fast and far given his calm nature, ability to express himself clearly and his zeal to deliver the result for his branch. However, I can tell this behaviour will put a limitation on Seun’s ability to achieve the result for himself and his company if he continues to use derogatory words on his team members. My assertion is in line with one of the profound laws of leadership: the sustainability of your results and the effectiveness of your work as a person will never rise above your ability to influence and lead others. Unfortunately, Seun in the process of trying to make his team accountable for the results for which he would be assessed has copied the style of his ultimate leader, Adeoye Mosafejo (a pseudo name). For young leaders, the journey to leadership is personal. You are to take personal responsibility for the type of leaders you will be, be it good or

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bad. In your leadership journey, you must be aware of the need to learn from leaders within and outside your company. Your ability to learn is not as important as your ability to discern what to learn and what not to emulate from other leaders. In your journey to being a leader, you need to be guided by the fact that your leadership effectiveness will be measured by the results you are delivering for your company. In most cases if not in all the circumstances, the results are not the direct efforts of the leaders. It is the coordinated efforts of others through the influence of the leaders that produce results for the team. For example, a football coach is the leader of the team, just as the team captain. However, the coach has to rely on the team members to do their part of the bargain for the result to be achieved. In getting to the point where your leadership efficacy can be relied on, you must know that beyond your position, you need the permission, production and the development of the people you are leading. Without their permission, production and personal development, your result will not be sustainable. Using the words of Seun as copied from his mentor, Adeoye is behaving like an artisan who treats his working tools with disdain and expects the best performance from the tools. You cannot expect the best from a staff you emotionally abused and condemned. Your ability to inspire others to do their job without regular monitoring of the process but the result they achieved is the hallmark of effective leaders. The likes of Seun should be mindful of who and

what they learn in their leadership development journey. Seun and other aspiring leaders should emulate Graham Potter, an Englishman who is the current manager of Brighton FC in the Premiership football league. I love how Graham selects the leadership journey that had helped him in creating a positive atmosphere in all the clubs he had managed. Aside from being a master’s degree holder in leadership and emotional intelligence, he selected his football philosophy after studying coaches with little records of emotional abuse of players. He is known for adopting a progressive and unconventional approach to managing off the pitch activities. He encouraged his players during his days at Östersund FC to engage in community services and activities like music, theatre production and other social engagements. Graham put his players and staff ahead by treating them with respect and refocusing them to achieve the set objectives for the team. In Brighton FC first game this season and a 3-0 win against Watford FC, the team’s captain praised Potter for creating a positive environment at the club. Equally, Graham Potter, in his post-match interview, gives all the credits to his team, the goose that laid the golden eggs for Brighton. Young leaders are, therefore reminded to be mindful of what they learn and replicate from their leaders. You cannot emulate unruly behaviours like lack of transparency, insulting subordinates, micro-managing, absence of empathy and close-

For young leaders, the journey to leadership is personal. You are to take personal responsibility for the type of leaders you will be, be it good or bad. In your leadership journey, you must be aware of the need to learn from leaders within and outside your company

mindedness from your leaders and expect to be a good leader delivering sustainable results for your team. The effects of adopting negative leadership attribute are high staff attribution, dysfunctional behaviour and epileptic performance. Where leaders with these negative tendencies are not checkmated, they tend to replicate the ‘garage’ kingdom where bus touts speak freely with derogatory words. To treat people like machines in this emotional and information age is to be in the offside play of the leadership game. The era of machine age where people are treated like robots is gone. Young leaders must, therefore, be aware of what they are learning and who they are emulating to avert growing to be a leader without influence, results and followership. Top executives and business owners will be helping the society if they are determined to build institutions out of the existing organisations. Building institutions is to respect the culture and core values of the organisations; it is to ensure people achieve results without violating the rights of others and in manners sustainable for the business. The best the board members could do to ensure the young leaders are supported to be leaders with dignity is not to reward the leaders who achieve results in ways that violate the culture of the organisations. Olugbemi FCCA, the Chief Responsibility Officer at Mentoras Leadership Limited and Founder, the Positive Growth Africa. He can be reached on babs@babsolugbemi.org or 08025489396.

Currency manipulation charges against China are unfounded

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n August 6, the US Treasury department designated China as a currency manipulator, dealing a fresh blow to the world economy and global financial markets that are already grappling with multiple uncertainties. This move has not only violated international rules; it also contravened domestic law in the US. It is a worrying development. Since the start of reform and openingup, China has consistently and unswervingly pursued reform of the renminbi exchange rate regime. As a result, market supply and demand has played a decisive role in the pricing of the renminbi against other currencies. Reforming the exchange rate regime has been an important part of the programme of market-based reforms designed to allow the market to play a decisive role in resource allocation in the Chinese economy. We in China recognise that although the short-term effect of currency manipulation is a subject of much debate, from a longterm perspective such behaviour violates the natural laws that govern the functioning of the market. We also know that it will always eventually invite punishment from the market. China has stayed true to the spirit of the declarations of successive G20 summits in refraining from competitive devalua-

tions and not targeting exchange rates for competitive purposes. In the 1997 Asian financial crisis, and the global financial crisis of 2008, China kept its commitment to maintain the stability of the renminbi exchange rate. This contributed to the stability of international financial markets and the global recovery. In 2016, during China’s presidency of the G20, and with China’s lead, finance ministers and central bank governors agreed to “consult closely on exchange markets” and reaffirmed a commitment to “refrain from competitive devaluations” and “not [to] target our exchange rates for competitive purposes”. This was an exemplary instance of the G20 working together to promote policy in a co-ordinated way. The escalation of trade tensions since 2018 has posed major challenges to the Chinese economy. However, China has refrained from competitive devaluations and has not used the renminbi as a way of dealing with the trade dispute and other external shocks. We have made tremendous efforts to maintain international financial stability. To address downward pressure on the exchange rate, the People’s Bank of China has increased its communications with the media and market participants in an effort to keep the renminbi exchange rate

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basically stable. In 2018, the renminbi devalued only 4.8 per cent against the US dollar, and 1.7 per cent against a basket of currencies. Since early 2019, the renminbi weakened by just 2.01 per cent and 1.38 per cent against the dollar and a basket of currencies, respectively. In an era of economic and financial integration, concerted collective effort is required to ensure market stability. Escalating trade tensions have inevitably put the renminbi under pressure. On several occasions, it fluctuated by large margins, each time following the US announcing additional tariffs on Chinese goods. On August 1, the US announced a 10 per cent tariff on $300bn worth of Chinese goods. It was this unexpected external “manipulation” that exposed the renminbi to a sudden intensification of downward pressure. The subsequent fluctuation of its exchange rate was a market response to this stress. The use by the American administration of the label “currency manipulator” runs counter to basic economics and flouts an international consensus. It may also have a further impact on the renminbi. The IMF provides authoritative assessments of exchange rates. Since 2015, it has concluded, after almost every one of its annual “Article IV” consultations with China, that the renminbi exchange rate

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LIUGUO QIANG

was broadly in line with the economic fundamentals. China’s current account surplus as a percentage of gross domestic product was 0.4 per cent in 2018 — well within the internationally acknowledged acceptable range. Even when measured against the criteria set by the US itself, China’s behaviour cannot be characterised as currency manipulation. Since 1994, the US Treasury has never charged China with currency manipulation in its semi-annual currency policy report. The international community is currently in dire need of a stable economic and financial environment. Rather than resorting to protectionist measures, such as currency devaluation and tariff rises, countries should work together to promote economic growth and rebuild confidence of global markets.

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BUSINESS DAY

Thursday 15 August 2019

EDITORIAL PUBLISHER/CEO

Frank Aigbogun EDITOR Patrick Atuanya DEPUTY EDITOR John Osadolor, Abuja NEWS EDITOR Chuks Oluigbo EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, OPERATIONS Fabian Akagha EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, STRATEGY, INNOVATION & PARTNERSHIPS Oghenevwoke Ighure GENERAL MANAGER, ADVERT Adeola Ajewole ADVERT MANAGER Ijeoma Ude FINANCE MANAGER Emeka Ifeanyi MANAGER, CONFERENCES & EVENTS Obiora Onyeaso BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT MANAGER (South East, South South) Patrick Ijegbai COPY SALES MANAGER Florence Kadiri DIGITAL SALES MANAGER Linda Ochugbua GM, BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT (North)

Bashir Ibrahim Hassan

GM, BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT (South) Ignatius Chukwu

SMEs need more access to loans at reduced costs

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ccess to and the cost of loans frustrates small and medium Nigerian businesses seeking funds for expansion. Coupled with an oppressive economic environment it’s no wonder they fail to be economic growth-generators. Financial technology companies’ (fintechs) foray into this territory as however increased access but interest rates need to reduce. In Nigeria, the conditions for getting a loan of 15 million naira are onerous – a plot of land worth almost twice the amount, 23 percent interest rate and repayment within a year. Hence repaying the loan could shut down a business; defeating the purpose for which it was taken. Despite the cost of these loans some businesses take the risk. But commercial banks in

Nigeria are risk averse thus the bottlenecks for granting a loan. Besides because of the humongous cost of doing business in Nigeria it is safer, and cheaper, to loan the money to government. In addition, the money available in commercial banks are mostly for transactions which are short-term whereas entrepreneurs need long-term capital. Between 2013 and 2017 85 percent of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) were unable to access external financing, according to a National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) report. Only 5.3 percent of SMEs had access to bank credit. The interest rate set by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is another reason loans are out reach from SMEs. At 13.5 percent Nigeria has one of the highest benchmark interest rates in Africa; it’s 10.25 percent in Zambia and 3.5 percent in Mau-

ritius. In Ethiopia, Kenya and South Africa the rate is 7, 9 and 6.5 percent respectively. This market gap is what fintechs have ventured into. They are dominating a space where commercial banks have dared to tread. Individuals and business owners are turning to fintechs who deploy technology to assess the risk of default and cut costs of serving this segment of the market. Loans, from a few thousands to millions of naira, are disbursed in hours with minimal paperwork and over the internet. Some of the biggest banks in Nigeria have now joined the party offering loans secured to the borrower’s cash flow and approved in minutes. Borrowers are catching on. Despite the high interest rates on the loans from both the fintechs and the big banks. They find the speed to market and convenience more attractive

than the cost. Loans with low interest rates are available however, for those with a credit rating. For market segment once considered a no-go area startups have shown what is possible when technology is used innovatively to solve pain points peculiar to doing business in Nigeria. This development is not lost on the CBN. To get banks to loan to SMEs, the central bank ordered banks last June to lend at least 60 percent of their deposits to the real sector before the end of September. This could create an additional 1.5 trillion naira in loan assets. Only the biggest banks have responded; others wary of the risks involved will stay away. Beyond a circular telling banks what to, bolder monetary policy and structural reforms from the CBN that reduce the benchmark interest rate will spur lending to small and medium businesses.

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BUSINESS DAY

Thursday 15 August 2019

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No end in sight for suffering pensioners in Nigeria

BISI OGUNWALE

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igerian pensioners suffer mainly because past governments have been irresponsible in meeting their obligations to those who have used their productive life to serve the country. Although Nigeria’s pension system has witnessed significant growth and development since the Pension Reform Act (PRA) came into effect in 2004, not so much has changed for pensioners. The recently released Quarterly Report by the sector regulator, National Pension Commission (NPC), gives strong indications that the agony of pensioners is not likely to abate soon. Before we examine the NPC’s 2019 Q1 Report, let us look at the applicable provisions of the PRA (2004) and (2014) respectively. Before PRA (2004) took effect in August 2004, Nigeria practised Defined Benefit Scheme; a scheme that allowed employers to determine retirement benefits for her employees based on the number of years in service and salary earned before retirement. Under this scheme, employees were at the mercy of their employers even years after they might have stopped working for the organisation. However, with the PRA (2004), the story changed, and Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) took effect. Under this scheme, as the name suggests, em-

ployers and employees are required by law to contribute a percentage of monthly earnings to a fund manager, called Pension Funds Administrators (PFA). Employers contribute 10 percent while employees contribute 8percent of their salaries. Employees are also encouraged and allowed to contribute more to their retirement savings voluntarily. Also, an employee reserves the right to choose the PFA to manage her Retirement Savings Accounts (RSA). If this scheme has been operational for fifteen years, why then is the suffering of retirees likely to persist into the future? The law permits the state and local governments to choose between DBS and CPS. However, the Commission encourages the sub-national government authorities to adopt the contributory scheme. Besides, the PRA (2014) mandates that employers must provide group life insurance to cover employees. When compared with the pre-CPS era, the potential misfortune awaiting government workers in different states across the country is so enormous going by the NPC 2019 Q1 Report. According to the report released in June 2019 by Nigeria NPC, the Commission has been engaging all the states to encourage the sub-national governments to domesticate the law in their respective states dating back to the year 2010. However, as of first quarter 2019, only twenty-seven states out of the thirty-six (including Federal Capital Territory) have enacted laws on Contributory Pension Scheme. In eight out of the remaining nine states, the bill has been sitting with the legislators for a different number of years, while one state is yet to commence the process at all. The trophy winner of the noncompliant states is Yobe State! Jigawa State, in its own wisdom, has decided to stick to Defined Benefit Scheme, and it has been contributing

the funds to some selected PFAs. However, her neighbouring big brother, Kano State, though deducting pension contributions from its employees, has decided to manage the funds in-house and has therefore not transferred the funds to any Licensed Pension Operator. It will be helpful for the Kano State government to explain the structure it runs because as a regulator, NPC does not seem to have any information on what the state government does with the funds deducted from employees’ salaries as pension. Edo, Lagos, Kaduna, and FCT are the only sub-nationals that are regular and up to date in the remittance of pension contributions for their workers. Ekiti State has remitted contributions for both state and Local Government (LG) workers up to January 2019. Niger State stopped remitting contributions since 2015. Also, Ogun State has stopped remitting with huge arrears while its counterpart in Osun has been very inconsistent in its remittance. Delta & Zamfara states are up to date with remittance of pension contributions for state workers but only remits employees’ portion for LG workers. In Anambra State, the dynamics are different as the state has remitted both employer and employee pension contributions for LG workers up to March 2018. While employees’ pension contributions for state workers have been remitted up to February 2019, remittance for employer’s portion stopped in December 2016. Kebbi and Rivers states have been remitting only the employee’s portion of the pension contribution with huge arrears of unremitted employer’s portion. Ondo State’s case is even more complicated in the sense that, Akure remits pension contributions for only core civil service workers employed from September 2014. In essence, besides enacting the law on CPS, only twelve states and the FCT

Edo, Lagos, Kaduna, and FCT are the only sub-nationals that are regular and up to date in the remittance of pension contributions for their workers

have commenced and are remitting pension contributions into the RSAs of their employees. The remaining states do not remit any form of pension contribution. Apart from the monthly deductions from workers’ salaries toward CPS, there is also the issue of accrued rights. Accrues rights refer to the pension deductions before the advent of PRA 2004. Every employer is expected to fund the RSA of their employee with pension entitlements earned up to when CPS took effect. The only states that are regularly funding accrued rights for all their employees are Lagos, Kaduna and FCT only. Delta, Osun, Rivers and Anambra also fund accrued rights but with huge arrears, while the remaining states do not make any provision for funding accrued rights. There are even more worrying revelations from the report. Of all the states, only Kaduna, Lagos, Anambra and FCT have ever put in place a Group Life Insurance policy for their employees. However, at the time of the report under review, only Kaduna State and FCT have valid Group Life Insurance for their employees. So, the question is what happened to the Life Insurance policy Lagos and Anambra had in place? Across the country, we have witnessed different former governors institutionalising pension for themselves and deputies through the State Houses of Assembly. We are now beginning to see Speakers and Deputy Speakers as well as members of several state legislature seeking to pass pensions for serving those offices. However, there are millions of workers who might never receive their entitlements, but with many states having new governors, one can only hope that the new administration prioritises some of these pending issues. Ogunwale is a public policy analyst

What kind of superhero would succeed as a corporate leader? “

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ou almost need a Marvel superhero to run the bank,” one analyst commented last week after John Flint was suddenly ousted as chief executive of HSBC. It made me wonder: when senior executives gather, do they speculate about the superpower they would most like to possess? And if headhunters were to prepare a shortlist of superheroes for the next big corporate job, which ones would they try to tempt away from saving the world with the promise of an annual trip to Davos and a benchmark-busting longterm incentive plan? The enhanced abilities of some superheroes and supervillains come straight from leadership handbooks. Inspirational Avenger Captain America is an expert military tactician, blessed with extraordinary agility, a quality much sought after in would-be corporate leaders. Evil robot Ultron boasts strength, speed and stamina to overcome the energy-sapping long-haul travel schedule that reportedly helped do in HSBC’s Mr Flint. (Ultron can also “make calculations with superhuman speed and accuracy”, according to one fan site, which might recommend him for chief financial officer if the top job is unavailable). Chief executives are always receiv-

ing glib advice to spot patterns in weak signals, so Spider-Man or Black Panther’s powers of “precognition” would come in handy. Such traits would make it easier for a new HSBC chief executive to monitor a global company with nearly 250,000 staff. Any chief executive would envy The Thing’s rocklike skin, an important defence against the rough and tumble of volatile markets, not to mention the brickbats of analysts and the media. Just occasionally, after a particularly poor quarter, they may even want to draw on the Invisible Woman’s signature superpower or the shape-shifting abilities of anti-hero Loki. Then there are the superfluous powers. Some superskills — I’m thinking of Ant Man’s ability to communicate telepathically with insects or even Spider-Man’s web-shooters — are of less use in the weekly strategy meeting. Others are positively counter-productive. There will be times when, as the boss, you might yearn for the retractable adamantium claws of Wolverine, if only to put a bit of force behind your often ignored commands. You may even wish to fix colleagues with the hellfire of a “penance stare” like Ghost Rider, who visits his wrath on the wicked like an overzealous compliance officer. A gentler style of management is

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generally preferred in the boardroom these days, though. Staff may whisper “you wouldn’t like him when he’s angry” about the ambitious and seemingly mildmannered middle manager, but Hulk-style vengeance-seeking tends to disqualify candidates from the leadership fast track. As for “genius-level intellect”, a quality shared by many Marvel characters, this is more of a handicap to achieving high corporate office. EQ is as important as IQ for the 21st century chief executive. John Cryan, the ill-fated former chief executive of Deutsche Bank, was noted for his “enormous brain” — an attribute shared with Avenger Iron Man — but he could not think the German lender out of its predicament. Mr Flint himself was “respected for his quiet intelligence”, according to a damning-with-faint-praise note by the Financial Times Lex column. Let’s face it, most corporate bosses fall into the category of more minor characters listed on Marvel’s official website, which include an Administrator and “the woman known as Appraiser”, whose lessthan-thrilling role seems to have been to determine the value of mutants. A job at one of the Big Four audit firms awaits her. Similarly, everybody knows a longserving chief executive who has “performed his duty for untold millennia”

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ANDREW HILL

like the sorcerer called Aged Genghis, whose mind was “long ago consumed by mystic forces”. It is to protect against such superannuated superheroes that the UK governance code suggests a nine-year limit on directors before they are deemed to be no longer independent. In truth, though, while the analyst’s comment was a throwaway line, it says more about the unmanageably broad scope of some modern multinationals than it does about the dearth of executives with the superhuman skills to lead them. The collective strength and cohesion of the whole team at the top is the true organisational superpower. Irrespective of title or place in the nominal hierarchy, teams perform better when the chief executive defers to fellow executives best-equipped to tackle a particular challenge. Marvel’s fantasy world has a model and a motto for this, too: Avengers, assemble! FT

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Thursday 15 August 2019

BUSINESS DAY

Retail &

consumer business Luxury

Malls

Companies

Deals

Spending Trends

COMPANY

Quick Service Restaurants scramble for space at combo party to maintain market share BUNMI BAILEY

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maka Okon, a secretary who works with an audit firm at Victoria Island, Lagos state, usually goes to Chicken Republic and Tastee Fried Chicken (TFC) for lunch. Amaka earns about N100, 000 monthly and budgets N3, 000 weekly for lunch. On a daily basis, she budgets between N500-N700. During her lunch hours, she either goes to Chicken Republic, for a combo meal which comprises jollof and fried rice and a piece of chicken for N500 or TFC’s combo meal for N650. But on this particular day, during her 20 minutes commute to her usual place for lunch, she discovered that Tantalizers had also joined the combo trend. Amaka also found that Tantalizers was not the only Quick Service Restaurants (QSRs) jumping into this combo party. Sweet Sensation, Mass Cass, Kobis Foods amongst others, has also recently joined. Combo meal is

usually a combination meal which typically includes food items and beverage. The introduction of combo packs is not a new development as it started with Chicken Republic and TFC in 2016 when Nigeria was hit with an economic recession which had a negative impact on consumer’s wallet. According to consumer experts, the weak purchasing power and the success of the combo meals from the initial starters have made other QSRs follow suit. Abiola Gbemisola, consumer analyst at Chapel Hill Denham said, “This just shows that they are competing to stay relevant in the QSR industry and survive Nigeria’s fragile economy.” In 2016, Chicken Republic started with a combo meal tagged “Refuel Meal” which consisted of jollof or fried rice and a piece of chicken for N500 and TFC came along with another tagged “Value meal” which consists of jollof and fried rice for N650. While others like Tantalizers, Sweet sensation, Mass Cass, and Kobis Food have started in 2019.

Tantalizers introduced their combo meal two months called “Super Saver” which comprises one piece of chicken and jollof or fried rice for N500 and Sweet Sensation’s combo called “Real Deal” meal which comprises jollof or fried rice, star chicken, drink and a pack for N650 was introduced 6 months ago. Then four or five months ago, Mama Cass brought its own combo meal which con-

sists of a 35 cl pet coke, jollof or fried rice or Spagatii and a piece of chicken for N700 and Kobis Foods ‘s combo called Delight combo has a piece of chicken, jollof or fried rice, a 35cl coke, and water for N800. The move is seen capable of establishing a long-term relationship with low-income customers to whom affordability really matters, according to experts. “Going retail with the

products is the next niche for players to come down to the level of the economy as the country struggles with high poverty rate and rising population,” Ayorinde Akinloye, a consumer analyst at CSL Stockbrokers said “Consumers are becoming poorer and most of the QSRs are trying to introduce the combos to encourage people to buy. So they are trying to key into the success of com-

bos by targeting that segment of the market rather than the premium market because right now they are not doing well as before,” Akinloye further said. According to experts, the success of the combo meals is one of the reasons why Chicken Republic is currently opening more branches in Nigeria. “Most QSRs are trying to increase the volumes of food that they sell, so they offer combo meals and also let people have value for their money. I feel Combo meals is the way to go for QSRs,” Eronmosele Aziba, Consumer analyst, Tellimer Group said. Domino’s and Debonairs, the two biggest players in Nigeria’s pizza market and Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) companies are going retail. Domino’s introduced ‘Smallie Combo” for N550 and Debonairs, a slice of pizza goes for N1,200. FMCG companies have also been rolling out sachet products to enable them penetrate the larger low-income market which has been hit by the harsh contraction breeze.

COMPANY

Nestle, Cadbury utilize asset to generate more sales than peers BALA AUGIE

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estle Nigeria Plc and Cadbury Nigeria Plc are utilizing property, plants, and equipment in generating revenue than peers even as they operate in an industry beset by monumental challenges. Investors pay attention to the ratio because it shows the extent to which their resources have been used to magnify their earnings, and a higher metric indicates some stocks are a good investment bet. Nestle, the third largest company by market capitalization, saw fixed a 1.89 percent in June 2019 from 1.86 percent as at June 2018; this indicates that the company generates revenue of N1.80 on every N1 of assets it employs.

Cadbury’s FAT increased to 1.49 times in the period under review from 1.29 times the previous year; this means the company generates revenue of N1.49 in every N1 of assets it employs. However, Nascon Allied Industries FAT declined to 1.21 times in in June 2019 from 2.87 times the previous year as revenue dipped by 50.28 percent as seen in its half year results. Dangote Sugar’s FAT fell to 1.20 times in the period under review from 1.36 times the previous year while sales dipped by 4.41 percent in the same period. Dangote Flour Mils’ FAT ratio fell to 2.26 times in June 2019 from 3.23 percent the previous year as half year sales have fallen by 14.15 percent. The miller has been recording losses since the start of the year, while its owner may dispose it and www.businessday.ng

focus on core business. Olam International Limited had offered N120 billion for the purchase of all outstanding and issued shares in Dangote Flour Mills not currently owned by it, contrary to its N130m billion initial offers. The operating environment has been torrid for consumer goods firms in Africa’s largest economy as they have been on the receiving end of a slowing economy. The road to higher margins and profitability for the firms appear to be increasingly uphill as economic

recovery has been sluggish since the country existed a recession in the third quarter of 2017. Post-recession, growth in real household consumption peaked at 3 percent in the final quarter of 2017, before falling to 1 percent in the second quarter of (Q2) 2018. Nigerians are getting poorer as over 50 percent of a population of 200 million live on less than $1.98 dollars a day, as the country overtook India to become the world’s poverty capital. The country’s GDP ex-

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panded by 2.01 percent in the three months through March 2019, from a year earlier; that compares with 2.4 percent expansion in the fourth quarter. While inflation figure for the month of June fell to a 12 months low of 11.22 percent, the figure, however, falls below the central bank’s target range of 6 percent and 9 percent. The near term outlook for the consumer goods firms is unimpressive. The macroeconomic environment has not supported growth in revenue. And those growing revenue are not efficient, according to Opeyemi Ani, consumer goods analyst at Cordros Securities Limited. Amid these monumental challenges, Nestle and Cadbury have been using their product portfolio to deliver @Businessdayng

higher returns to shareholders. Nestle’s Milo Ready To Drink pack and Maggi seasoning continues to gain widespread acceptance in the market place, adding impetus to earning. Last year, the company opened a N4.10 billion RTD factory in Agbara Ogun State, and it has invested N74.10 billion on its operations in 5 years. Cadbury re-launched its iconic cocoa beverage drink, Bournvita, with a new improved taste in line with consumers’ tastes and preferences. The company’s Cadbury Hot Chocolate 3-in-1 brand, its treat portfolio, recorded substantial growth, driven by its unique offering, while the gum and candy brands also recorded success in their respective categories.


Thursday 15 August 2019

BUSINESS DAY

Retail &

15

consumer business

COMPANY

Phone maker, Transsion, to deepen Africa markets with Shanghai listing

trance into the Nigerian and African markets over a decade ago, its low-budget

phone brands have continued to dominate the mobile phone market, eroding the

market share of premium brands such as Samsung and Apple.

Transsion’s listing would likely be a boom as the phone maker looks to double down on deepening its operations in Africa as it continues to compete for market share. Transsion could raise up to 3 billion yuan (or $426 million) and plans to spend the bulk of its STAR Market raise (1.6 billion yuan or $227 million) on building more phone assembly hubs and around 430 million yuan ($62 million) on research and development, including a mobile phone R&D center in Shanghai, It has a major factory in Addis Ababa, Ethopia, where its smartphone components are assembled, tested and completed. It also has research and development centers in Nigeria and Kenya. The Ethiopian factory, first opened in 2011, has expanded to 1,600 employ-

ket, average prices ended the month lower, moderating by 2.03percent Monthon-Month. The lower price largely reflected declines in the price of Dangote Sugar down 16percent. These outweighed increases in Golden morn and Golden penny sugar, elsewhere, prices in the brewery basket printed flat with muted increases observed

across several beer brands. Prices in the commodities basket ticked higher over the month 0.46percent Month-on-Month, June 0.15percent Month-onMonth largely reflecting increased price of crude palm oil. Notably, after moderating for three consecutive months, price of crude palm oil advanced higher

by +2.0% MoM, reflecting a shortage across different markets in line with its seasonal trend. Elsewhere, price movement across both rice

and vegetable oil was largely muted, ending the month at same prices compared to the previous month. In the month of July, Ce-

OLUFIKAYO OWOEYE

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hinese phone maker, Transsion has announced plans to list in an IPO on Shanghai’s recently opened STAR Market technology board, a securities trading board run by the Shanghai Stock Exchange for technology companies in China. The Shanghai Stock Exchange STAR market is China’s Nasdaq-styled exchanged aimed at encouraging tech companies to easily list their shares on the Shanghai bourse under less rigorous conditions required on the main listing board. The company is the maker of the three top mobile devices dominating the African market in the form of TECNO, Infinix, and Itel. Since making its en-

ees with a production capacity of a million phones per month Data from the International Data Corporation shows the firm generated 22.6 billion yuan ($3.29 billion) in revenue in 2018, up from 20 billion yuan a year earlier. Net profit for the year plummeted to 654 million yuan, down from 677 million yuan in 2017. It s o l d 1 2 4 m i l l i o n phones globally in 2018, in Africa, Transsion holds 54% of the feature phone market — through its brands Tecno, Infinix and Itel — and in smartphone sales is second to Samsung and before Huawei. Transsion, was founded by Chinese entrepreneur Zhu Zhaojiang in 2006 and plans to issue at least 80 million shares, though it has not set exact terms yet, that would give the company a valuation of at least 30 billion yuan ($4.4 billion).

ment prices advanced higher by 1.9% Month-on-Month with, Wholesale and Retail prices printing at N2,550 and N2,750 respectively.

Price Tracker

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etail prices ended the month of July on a higher note recording a modest increase of 0.28percent Month-on-Month to 113.1 pts compared to 0.16percent Month-on-Month in June. Price increases were more evident in the commodities, cement and oil & gas baskets. In the consumer bas-

Team Lead: Bala Augie, Olufikayo Owoeye; Analyst: Bunmi Bailey; Graphics: Fifen Eyemisanre Famous www.businessday.ng

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Thursday 15 August 2019

BUSINESS DAY

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Thursday 15 August 2019

BUSINESS DAY

COMPANIES & MARKETS

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COMPANY NEWS ANALYSIS INSIGHT

CONSUMER GOODS

Flour Millers: Industry players see improvements despite headwinds ISRAEL ODUBOLA & SEGUN ADAMS

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espite spendi ng s ig n i f i cantly on inputs, Nigerian Millers in the first quarter of 2019 saw improvements in bottom-line than a year ago although experts see modest growth in revenue for industry participants amid industry-wide challenges. While the fruits of ongoing backward integration are yet to be reaped, high cost of importing wheat alongside infrastructure deficit especially logistics remain a bane to the millers. Industry players, however, show resilience in delivering value to owners in the period. In their respective first quarters, the profit of three listed millers excluding the second-biggest firm by market value, Dangote Flour, grew some 19 percent to N4.4 billion even though the firms spent 89 percent of sales proceed on direct cost. The analysis covered listed flour millers on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE): Flour Mill of Nigeria, Dangote Flour, Honey Well, and Northern Nigeria Flour Mills Plc. INDUSTRY OVERVIEW The Nigerian flour industry is structured along oligopolistic lines with each player striving for a greater market share. Flour Mill of Nigeria is currently the industry

some 32 percent if the deal works out. The third biggest miller on the Nigerian Exchange, Hone yw ell Flour Mill, controls 10 percent share among listed players and equally holds 12 percent in the entire mill industry.

leader with a market share of 32 percent according to a KPMG wheat sector report. FMN is also currently the world’s second-largest flour miller according to USDA Foreign Agricultural Service. The Miller doubles as Nigeria’s largest importer

of Soft Red Wheat (SRW), Hard Red Winter (HRW), and Hard White (HW) wheat types. Among listed players, FMN controls over 70 percent of the market Dangote Flour holds 8 percent among listed and unlisted players. The sec-

ond-biggest listed flour miller currently holds 16 percent, but the potential acquisition offer revised to N120 billion by Olam International through Crown Flour Mill might elevate the Singaporean-owned agroallied firm’s market share to

Analysts say consumer goods firms are the worst hit by the sluggish recovery of the Nigerian economy, which has been stuck in a low growth cycle. Moreover, the income of Nigerian populace which is still dampened coupled with tough operating environment mean a tough time for industry players. However, some listed millers were able to better margins amid economic and industry-related headwinds. Of the four firms considered, only FMN and NNFM recorded higher net margin in the review quarter. The net margin of FMN and NNFM rose to 3.1 percent and 0.9 percent respectively from 2.7 percent and -15.8 percent a year earlier. Honeywell Flour’s margin remained almost unchanged at 0.57 percent, while Dangote Flour bottomed competitors with a negative net margin of 12.6 percent. Unlisted players in the industry include OLAM International, Dufil and the Seaboard Life flour Mill. The USDA FAS estimates Nigeria’s wheat imports in Mid-Year 2019/20 at 5.6 MMT, up some four percent compared to Mid-Year 2018/19 based on growing food, seed and industrial (FSI) usage. Nigeria’s wheat consumption in the period rose almost four percent to 5.26 million metric tons (MT)

from 5.06 million metric tons (MT) a year ago. Despite significant headwinds, analysts at Afrinvest expect revenue of millers to see modest growth in 2019 given the inelasticity of staple foods derived from wheat. Bread, semolina, and durum pasta and other wheat flour-based products are common in food items ion Nigerian households. According to USDA FAS, Seventy percent of the flour milled from wheat in Nigeria goes into bread production; pasta and other wheat flour-based products (including semolina) account for the balance, however, the flour milled from local wheat is not economically suitable for the manufacture of bread, pasta, and noodles. Ne ve r t h e l e s s, L o ca l wheat flour is however used in the preparation of more traditional/customary meals in Nigeria and the Sahel region. SHARE PERFORMANCE So far in the year, only Dangote flour has returned positive capital gains for investors among peers. Shares of the miller has advanced some 200 percent since January with price at N20.60 per share when the market closed last Friday. Flour Mill has a year’s return of -34 percent approximately while Honey well and NNFM are down 26 and 10 percent respectively since January.

FIXED INCOME

Over N9.6trln government securities to mature in 5 months says FSDH HOPE MOSES-ASHIKE

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ver N9.6 trillion worth of government securities are expected to mature in the financial market between August and December according to FSDH Research, an arm of FSDH Merchant Bank Limited. A total inflow of about N1.54 trillion is expected to hit the money market from the various maturing government securities and

the Federal Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) in August 2019. The firm estimates a total outflow of approximately N1.45 trillion from various sources, leading to a net inflow of about N89.81 billion. Ayodele Akinwunmi, head of research, FSDH disclosed this in Lagos during the firm’s monthly economic and financial markets outlook presentation titled ‘Easy Money: Time to Create Buffers’. He added that the CBN may use Open

Market Operation (OMO) to mop-up this expected huge inflows. He said the Federal Government may take advantage of the current low interest rate to access long-term debt and channel it specifically towards building the capacity of the economy to generate more revenue. Many Central Banks in both advanced and developing countries are adopting expansionary monetary policy stance in order to stimulate economic growth.

Specifically, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) of the U.S Federal Reserve System cut the interest rate in July 2019, the first rate cut since 2008, the Bank of Japan maintains a negative policy rate, and the European Central Bank keeps its interest rate at zero. Furthermore, the Bank of England maintains the interest rate at 0.75 percent, which is considered low compared with the historical average of 3.89 percent between 2006 and 2009 the South African

Reserve Bank lowered its interest rate in July 2019 and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) also lowered its interest rate in March 2019 and has indicated its preference for low interest rate, causing yields on fixed income securities to drop. The CBN in March 2019 cut its benchmark interest rate by a 50 basis point to 13.5 percent from 14 percent since July 2016. FSDH Research warns that the current developments in the global financial

market may change, leading to rising interest rate and possible capital flight, particularly from developing countries. Therefore, companies and countries need to build buffers to protect themselves. “If the current trade tensions between the US and China subside and the economic growth in the two countries returns to an upward trend, there may not be a need for excessive expansionary monetary policy”, Akinwunmi said.

Editor: LOLADE AKINMURELE (lolade.akinmurele@businessdayonline.com) Graphics: Samuel Iduh


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Thursday 15 August 2019

BUSINESS DAY

COMPANIES&MARKETS

Business Event

ENTERTAINMENT

RAVE TV unveils new logo to celebrate 5yrs in business MICHAEL ANI

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igeria’s first interactive and youth focused channel, RAVE TV, last week unveiled a new logo to mark her 5th year on national digital terrestrial television. The new logo would help in repositioning the firm for another journey that promises to be youthful, insightful, approachable, timeless and fit for the 21st century audience, the firm said. “The first five years for us was like trying to find footings as we’re not really sure of where we were going. Now, we have reached a stage where we can boldly say that we have a clear vision of what we want to do, where we want to go, who we should be talking to and who we want to address,” Agatha Amata, managing director/CEO Inside-Out media Ltd, said. According to Amata, most of the inputs that happened in

the first five years of the business were seen as a one man idea. However, the relaunch was necessary given the fact that the business has evolved overtime to a point where it has taken ideas and perspectives from different people which her aided to her growth. She noted that her passion for human development and empowerment of the youth has been what has kept her going as the first five years was full with challenges. She explained that the major reason why businesses die in their first year is due to the fact that very few persons are willing to support and invest in new ideas. “To get this business to where it is today, I sold lands, houses, cars just to keep it afloat because nobody is willing to invest in a new thing which is sad and speaks a lot to why a lot of young people and start-ups cannot take off or survive their first five years in business,” she said “When I started, i said that

Rave TV would be a platform where young people would be given a voice not just to express their views but also to be part of the process. I am proud to say that over the five years, we have taken people who are first timers as 90 percent of the people here have never worked before but they are very creative because ones they show they can do it, they are invited on board,” she said at the side-line of the event The relaunch took place in Nigeria’s commercial hub, Lagos and graced the presence of heads of media agencies, brand managers, content producers and celebrities to a 2 hour luncheon to feel the Rave. According to the TV station, other activities to mark the anniversary include: A Football Re-Match with TVC on the 9th of August at DBI, Oshodi; CSR Initiative themed: “Traffic Safety” on the 15th of August at Odi-olowo LGA, Ilupeju; and a wrap up with a “Mentoring Series” on the 9th of September.

L-R: Gbenga Olujitan, trade marketing manager, Nipen; Susie Onwuka, head of FCCPC, Lagos Office of consumer protection council; Adeyemi Ojo, business development manager Nigeria, BIC; Adeniyi Adeleke, assistant enforcement unit, National Lottery Board; Patrick Bello, trade marketing manager, BIC, and Abideen opeyemi, official from Consumer Protection Council, at the draws for the third edition of BIC Shave, Play and Win Promotion in Lagos.

COMPANY RELEASE

Goldberg Lager pulls off stunning finale to Ariya Repete

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ne of Nigeria’s leading beer brand’s Goldberg Lager has successfully capped off the 2019 edition of its proprietary music talent hunt, Ariya Repete. After 3 months of exciting musical performances, Ariya Repete 2019 finally came to an exciting conclusion on the night of Friday, the 9th of August. The finale was hosted at the car park of the Ikeja City Mall and it was packed full with thousands of music lovers who turned out en-masse to witness the grand finale. All 9 finalists treated the audience to some spectacular performances as they showed why they have gotten this far in the competition. It wasn’t an easy call for the Judges who had the near-impossible task of selecting the 3 finalists to win their share of the 20 million Naira grand prize. Hosting the night was the

ever hilarious Odunlade Akinlade as well as Naija Ninja, Sound Sultan, and Energy god, Do2un. These hosts as well as the star-studded Judges including, Puffy Tee, Yinka Davis, and King Sunny Ade, added further star power to the exciting event. King Sunny Ade graced the stage and delivered amazing performances fitting of the occasion. However, the night belonged to the 3 amazing talents who etched their names in Ariya Repete history. All contestants had two performances to impress the Judges, as they all performed original songs. At the end of the night, Suliamon Adeyemi, Yomi Johnson, and Mayowa Alayo emerged victorious in the Fuji, Juju, and Afro-pop category. All 3 winners could not hold their joy as the trio got very emotional when receiving their prizes. Mayowa Alayo,

who has had a topsy turvy run to the final, particularly after dealing with the tragic death of his infant child who passed away on the day of his audition, was clearly elated saying, “I still think I’m dreaming, I can’t believe I won, I’m so grateful to everyone who has supported me and Goldberg Lager, Thank you!”. Speaking after the final showpiece, Goldberg Lager, Brand Manager, Olufunmilayo Ogunbodede remarked on the occasion, saying, “It’s been a great show, and I’m glad to see these talented acts emerge as winners. I believe, however, that everyone who has come on the show is a winner, and we are proud of the talents we have uncovered over the course of these 3 months. We thank the consumers for always coming out and cheering the contestants, and we can’t wait to delight our consumers with more initiatives such as these.”

Lagos set for Power Nigeria Exhibition & Conference

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ll is set for the 8th edition of West Africa’s largest annual power and renewable energy event, Power Nigeria Exhibition and conference. The annual event widely recognised in the industry as a match-making platform and bringing together key stakeholders from across Nigeria and West Africa to meet manufacturers and suppliers from over 24 different countries. Expectedly, this year’s edition which will hold at Landmark event centre La-

gos from September 2426th by 10.00am will bring together key delegates from regional Government bodies and infrastructure and public utilities including, the Federal Ministry of Power, Works & Housing; Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN); Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC); Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC); Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC); Eko Electricity Distribution Company; IKEJA Electric; Ibadan Electric Distribution Company (IBEDC),

and others. Events scheduled for the event include the Power Nigeria Agenda, a three-day CPD Certified Conference involving industry leaders who will be discussing critical topics such as: Customising existing power plants for the greatest ROI, Capitalizing on the digitalisation of Nigeria’s power sector, Deployment of Financing & Funding Effectively, Key Trends & Change Management in Procurement Performs. Continue online @www. businessday.ng

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L-R: Funke Adekola, business director Dare Create; Celestine Achi, director-general, BLB Promo; Sunisola Munire, senior legal officer, Lagos State Lottery Board; BLB brand ambassador, and Kenneth Shanki, product manager, payment solution, MTech Communications Limited, at the media unveiling of the Better Life Billionaires Promo in Lagos.

L-R: Jimi Tewe, CEO, Jimi Tewe Company; Tricia Ikponmwomba, lead trainer, Business Lab Africa, and Romoke Oladejo, project manger/community manager, Business Lab Africa, at the official unveiling of Business Lab Africa in Lagos, recently.

L-R: Ojuba Mezisashe; Adele Chuka; Ndidi Christabel; Ugboma David; Andrew Ulan, and Aderibigbe Peace, all Top 6 finalist of the 2019 PZ Cussons Chemistry Challenge, at their visit to the PZ Cussons factory, before the grand finale of the competition

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Thursday 15 August 2019

BUSINESS DAY

19

ENERGYREPORT Oil & Gas

Power

Renewables

Environment

Why Dangote refinery is not a threat to smaller refineries OLUSOLA BELLO & DIPO OLADEHINDE

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takeholders in Nigeria’s oil and gas sector has said the much-awaited Dangote refinery will not be a challenge to other smaller modular refineries coming on board in 2019. The $12billion Dangote Refinery an hour east of Lagos will begin to stream and is due to hit full capacity by mid-2020. It will be the world’s largest single-train 650,000 bpd refinery. Still, many stakeholders have raised concerns about the market fate of other smaller modular refineries who might struggle to sell their refined products. Modular refineries are usually available in capacities ranging from 1,000 to 30,000 barrels per day (bpd). They provide flexibility and can be constructed in a phased manner, also the relatively low capital cost and flexibility for upgrades can make it a costeffective supply option for investors, especially if diesel is planned to be the lightest yield. Layi Fatona immediate past managing director of Niger Delta Exploration & Production Plc owners of Ogbele Refinery said the upcoming Dangote refinery does not pose a threat to modular refineries

because of the huge market demand. “Our products don’t come to Lagos. Roughly about 20 to 24 million litres of our products disappear into the local economy of southeastern states legitimately,” Fatona told BusinessDay. Fatona noted that Ogbele Refinery is certainly not in any competition with Dangote Refinery because the market is too large for Dangote alone to operating in. “So we are not under any threat or in any competition at all,” Fatona said. Also, CEO of Crown Refinery and Petrochemical limited Kassim Adeleke said there are lots of uncovered vacuum in

the petroleum downstream sector while also adding that upcoming refineries can fill lots of uncovered vacuum in the downstream sector. “ The market is deep enough! For us, it is more of contributing to an industry output that will meet the demand,” Adeleke said when asked how his company would compete successfully in this market, considering the number of like modular refineries springing up in the country. Recall, Former Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu, said there are strong indications that three out of the 40 planned modular refineries would come on stream by end of 2019.

Gas, power sectors brace for cyber-attacks OLUSOLA BELLO

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s digitisation progresses in the gas and power sectors, it is bringing the internet closer to the operational environment – and with that comes a growing threat of cyber-attacks. Apart from data theft and other regular cyber-threats faced by all businesses, interference in the gas and power sector can cause major disruption and damage, and severely affect many aspects of daily life. Cybersecurity ranks second among corporate treasuries’ top areas of concern for the next three years, according to a recent survey by the Association for Financial Professionals. The issue is moving up the agenda as it grows in scale, with one aspect – data theft – projected to balloon to around 33bn records in 2023, up from 12bn in 2018, according to Cybercrime & the Internet Olusola Bello, Team lead,

of Threats 2018 from Juniper Research. In the gas and power sector, however, the risks extend well beyond the theft of data. Critical assets can be taken offline or even physically threatened by cyberattacks, with the impact potentially influencing markets and prices. They can also impact the security of power supply – which is crucial to so many aspects of life today, including internet operation and wider communication. So, the challenge raises questions of national/ economic security and stability, as well as the more mundane privacy issues. Industry analysts have said that oil and gas companies should go far beyond their annual attack and penetration testing and should engage a firm to provide adversary attack simulation services, threat hunting and acquire threat intelligence focused on their most critical assets.

Graphics: Joel Samson.

Accenture’s approach for these sorts of solutions is to perform reconnaissance of an energy company, gain access to systems and navigate to critical operational technology and ICS (industrial control) systems. As potential gains in reducing energy operations and business costs through automation continue to emerge, IT and OT convergence will further grow throughout the energy value chain, despite the potential increase in security vulnerabilities to the IT and OT environments. According to Deloitte, it says Nigerian companies were not immune to the spree of cyber-attacks and data breaches. “We had a mix of cases originating from phishing attacks, malicious software embedded at payment interfaces and ransomware. Although these attacks did not receive heavy media coverage, billions of Naira was lost”.

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“Out of the 40 licenses issued, only 10 have shown progress by submitting their programmes and putting something on the ground. “By end of 2019, we are assured that three private modular refineries would come on stream,’’ he said. For decades, fuel scarcity and high cost of it have made Nigerian about the world’s worse country for economic gravity despite the massive availability of crude oil in the country. Federal Government subsidy on fuel had increased to N2.4 billion daily since May last year from N774 million in March 2018, as a result of the high price of crude oil in the

Indian refiner helps mop up Nigeria’s excess crude oil international market, according to a Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) report. For investors in the downstream oil sector, Nigeria is a large market with a high demand for petroleum products. For example, there is an estimated local consumption of petroleum products in Nigeria of about 55 million litres per day. Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) and diesel account for 35 million and 12 million litres respectively. Dual Purpose Kerosene (DPK) demand is put at about 8 million litres per day. Stakeholders said with many modular refineries jumping into the fray, Nigeria will soon heed the call by International Monetary Fund (IMF) advice for removal of fuel subsidy which is popularly referred to as landing cost and cost of transportation. Meanwhile the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC has stated that it would encourage more private individuals to invest in setting up crude oil refineries in the country to end the importation of petroleum products. This was even as the Dangote Group disclosed that 53 per cent of its soon-to-becompleted 650,000 barrels per day capacity refinery would be dedicated to the production of premium motor spirit, also known as petrol.

OLUSOLA BELLO with Agency Report

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fter experiencing a lull in the sale of it cargoes, an Indian refiner came to the aid of Nigeria when it took a greater than usual volume in its latest buy tender, helping to mop up excess Nigerian crude in the increasingly competitive Altantic Basin. Around five cargoes were still said to be available from the September loading programme. The October programme is expected to emerge today. Over 30 cargoes of Nigerian crude were still available for September loading, weighing on differentials. Nigerian crude has been selling slower than usual as U.S. exports of similar specification crude ramp up further. In a sign of even more competition to come, a major new U.S. pipeline has just started deliveries. The country’s oil suffered its slowest sales of the year in August as U.S. exports of competing light, sweet grades flood traditional markets in Europe and Asia. Traders said that India’s IOC took around 5 million barrels of West African crude with Agbami from Chevron, Agabmi and Girassol from Glencore and the remainder from Vitol. Traders added that the volume was unusually high for the short time period. IOC has issued two tenders for Oct. 9-18 and 18-27 loading.

IBEDC sensitizes customers on MAP, assures service scaling up SIKIRAT SHEHU, Ilorin

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he Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC) has sensitized customers in Kwara State on the Meter Asset Provider (MAP), established to bridge metering gap and end estimated billing. The meter asset provider scheme established under the MAP regulation 2018 was introduced by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), to address challenges between IBEDC and its customers. Speaking at the MAP customers town hall meeting for Ilorin, Baboko and environs recently, Angela Olanrewaju, Head, Branding and Corporate Communication of IBEDC revealed that MAP stands to put a stop to Incessant complaints over estimated billings by customers and as well accelerate metre roll out to enhance revenue

generation. She said: “The meter providers drawn from Nigerian private sector are licensed by NERC to encourage the development of independent and competitive meter services. “MAP scheme is not only for the provision of meters but also responsible for the installation, maintenance and replacement of faulty meters.” Olanrewaji had while assuring customers of improved service delivery, affirmed that IBEDC is committed to ensure that its customers get metered with ease at the rate of N38,325 for single-phase meter and N70,350 three -phase meter, including VAT. The customers according to her have the options to apply for MAP online or visit any IBEDC offices to get MAP form for their meters. She explains that payment could be full upfront or installment at any Banks in Nigeria but “NERC approved full upfront payment for now, by Sep-

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tember this year, installment payment would be allowed. Olanrewaju disclosed that MAP has already been programmed with durability of 10 years. “In order to avoid customers falling victim of some fraudulent tricks, I want to urge our customers to go through proper channel and obtain their meters.” MAP business hub for Kwara State is Computer Warehouse Group Plc (CWG), -Baboko, Omu-Aran and Jebba. In his welcome address, Musbau Bello, the regional Head IBEDC in Kwara noted that the meeting was to educate customers on MAP and their plans to improve quality service to Nigerians. He identifies estimated billing as the major problem between the company and their customers, saying with the availability of MAP, the meter will serve as measuring power unit.


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Thursday 15 August 2019

BUSINESS DAY

cityfile Nigerian Air Force medical personnel attending to a woman, at a two-day medical outreach in Sandamu Local Government Area of Katsina State. NAN

Zazzau Emir wants Kaduna to tackle youth restiveness WAHEED ADUBI, Kaduna

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mir of Zazzau and chairman of Kaduna Council of Emirs and Chiefs, Shehu Idris, has appealed to the state government to create more cottage industries within the Zazzau Emirate so as to positively engage the locals and curb restiveness. According to him, such cottage industries will not only create job opportunities for the youth but also the teeming unemployed citizens roaming the streets. Idris made the appeal while addressing the people of Zazzau who converged on his palace in Zaria, Tuesday, to pay Sallah homage. The emir also advised his subjects, especially the beneficiaries of agriculture loan scheme, to redouble efforts towards repayment, to enable others benefit from

the scheme. He observed that other Nigerians would only benefit from the loan when beneficiaries refund what they have collected. “If you collect the loan with the intention of paying back, Almighty Allah will certainly open way for you to refund, but those who collected with no intention of paying back will not have the means to pay back. “You should not allow yourselves to be left behind, endeavour to collect the loan. Government has introduced several loan schemes and earmarked huge amount for such schemes. “Kindly collect the money with the intention of paying back and practice farming as a business. The royal father also advised farmers to report any security challenges, especially those that were

threatening their farming business. According to him, when such incidences are reported on time, necessary security measures would be put in place to ensure that they practice their farming business peacefully and accordingly. Idris called on government to redouble efforts towards early provision of agricultural inputs, adding that fertiliser had become a critical element in recording bumper harvest. He expressed satisfaction with the establishment of three new fertiliser blending plants in the state, assuring that the new plants would reduce overdependence on foreign firms for the commodity. Idris encouraged his subjects to go into different businesses, adding that banks are directed by the federal government to dis-

burse loans to enable people participate in businesses to eradicate poverty. On frequent accidents on Abuja-Kaduna-ZariaKano expressway, the emir pleaded with motorists to exercise some degree of caution while on driving. He observed that most of the accidents on the highways were as a result of impatience and desire to reach destination quickly. The monarch, however, said ongoing road reconstruction was not meant to cause any havoc on people, but it was being carried out in good faith to provide a platform for smooth vehicular movement on the expressway. While appreciating his subjects for the prevailing peace in the area, the emir urged them to support government at all levels to enable them benefit more from dividends of democracy.

Lawyers want special courts for defilement cases

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ome lawyers in Lagos have urged state governments across the country to establish more special courts that to effectively handle increasing cases of defilement of minors. They also urged the governments to introduce confiscation of assets of offenders. The lawyers, who in interviews lamented that despite life imprisonment as punishment for offenders, sexual exploitation of children was still on the increase. They advised that setting up special courts would considerably improve speedy disposal of such cases just as the confiscation of assets would tremendously deter offenders. According to Daniel Idibia, a Lagos-based lawyer, defilement cases are on the rise because the criminal procedure for trying offenders had suffered a lot of setbacks. He said that parents should be encouraged to report such cases to human rights’ centres and nongovernmental organisations when such offences occurred. He, however, advised parents to pay more atten-

tion to their girl-child and create a bond between them so that they and their daughters would be free to discuss any issues affecting them. “At present, several perpetrators are still roaming the streets freely and committing the same heinous crime due to poor policing and investigation coupled with poor administration of the criminal justice system. “Also, the questions asked by the police when such cases are reported do not encourage parents to report cases of defilement in our society. “The most uninteresting aspect is that some defilement cases are not reported by parents due to societal norms thus leaving the victims with the traumatic effects,” Idibia said. Another lawyer, Chibuikem Opara, said that a policy of refusing bail to anybody standing trial for defilement should be put in place to deter would would-be offenders. “It is not enough that life imprisonment is in the books. First, there should be a policy of refusing bail to anybody standing trial for such offences,” Opara said. NAN

Ogun LGs to benefit from World Bank projects RAZAQ AYINLA, Abeokuta

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he World Bank is to extend its interventions in critical infrastructure like roads, bridges, water supply among others to six local government areas of Ogun State. The councils to benefit from interventions include Ado-Odo/Ota, Abeokuta North, Ipokia, Yewa North, Remo North and Odeda local councils. The project is aimed at improving the standard of living of the people. Speaking on the World Bank’s interventions in Abeokuta recently, Sakirudeen Salaam, the general manager, Ogun State Com-

munity and Social Development Agency (CSDP), noted that the micro projects would be executed by the state government with the supervision of World Bank and the designated supervisors in the selected communities. Salaam said that the programme which covers education, water supply, hygiene, health, road construction, among others. Yinka Amosun, the operations manager, revealed that Ogun and 29 other states in the country were chosen for the programme, just as he urged the benefiting local government areas to make the best use of the opportunities offered by the World Bank.

Lagos plans more bus corridors to boost transportation

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he Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA) is planning to introduce more bus corridor within the metropolis to further tackle transport challenges. External relations manager of LAMATA, Kolawole Ojelabi, disclosed this while speaking with newsmen in Lagos.

According to him, the state government is aware of the need for improved transport service as a direct consequence of migration to the state. “In Lagos State, we have the issue of bus routing. When you look at the number of buses we have, you will discover that they are not enough to service the population,” he said. www.businessday.ng

The official said that the state had a population of more than 21 million people. “The past government brought in about 880 buses in a bid to improve the transport system. These buses are currently being redeployed by an agency of government known as the Lagos Bus Services Ltd., which also in charge of asset management,” he said.

According to him, this will take effect before the end of the year, noting that Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) services had not got to every part of the state; hence, the need for creation of the corridors. Ojelabi said that where the BRT services were not available, the government would provide new mediumsized buses to service the

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transportation needs of the people. According to him, these will come with bus terminuses and shelters to ensure easy access. “Currently, work is ongoing on the LagosBadagry Expressway. By the time this is completed, we deploy BRT buses there, while we also carry out testing on the rail project. Ojelabi said that comple@Businessdayng

tion of the road and rail projects would discourage residents of the area from driving their cars to Lagos Island as they would prefer using train or BRT. Once this is done, it will also reduce cases of attacks by hoodlums on commuters who will now have the opportunity of riding in BRT or train.


Thursday 15 Augsut 2019

BUSINESS DAY

Investor

21

In association with

Helping you to build wealth & make wise decisions Market capitalisation

NSE All Share Index

NSE Premium Index

N11.721 trillion

Week open (26– 07–19)

31,924.51 27,630.46

N13.464 trillion

27,630.46

Week close (02– 08–19)

27,306.81

N13.307 trillion

27,306.81

Year Open

Percentage change (WoW) Percentage change (YTD)

-1.17 13.12

2,241.37

The NSE-Main Board

1,456.29 1,111.26 1,100.62

-0.52

-0.96

3.32

23.56

NSE ASeM Index

NSE 30 Index

NSE Banking Index

NSE Insurance Index NSE Consumer Goods Index NSE Oil/Gas Index

130.95

723.46

NSE Lotus II

NSE Ind. Goods Index

NSE Pension Index

291.84

2,272.45

1,254.54

1,212.79

801.09

1,438.19

426.64

779.54

1,133.34 1,099.52

328.09

112.20

549.04

226.73

1,786.07

1,073.06

962.89

308.23

107.85

545.48

223.05

1,781.07

1,087.24

947.54

779.54

0.00

-2.17

23.56

-2.98 22.41

22.74

-3.88 14.73

-0.65

-1.62

-27.16

-26.20

-0.28 -20.27

1.32

-1.59

-12.17

21.53

Stock market sentiments still favour bears …investors lost N157bn last week Iheanyi Nwachukwu

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h ou g h t h e re i s t h e possibility of seeing some bargain hunting in early trades this week –supported by positive earnings releases on some stocks –but considering the paucity of foreign portfolio investors (FPI) participation in the local bourse, the lingering bearish sentiments would still drive the market to a negative close. Out of a record N1.087trillion worth of equities exchanged in the first-half (H1) trading period to June 30, 2019, foreign investors accounted for only N472.78billion or 45.84percent while domestic investors accounted for N614.73billion or 54.16 percent, according to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) trading figures from market operators on their Domestic and Foreign Portfolio Investment flows. Disappointingly, foreign inflow stood lower at N214.97billion in the six months period as against foreign outflow of N257.81billion. Lagos-based Afrinvest research analysts had in their August 5 note said they expect the index

to continue to wander within the negative territory. “But why are we pessimistic? All indicators strongly suggest there are no possible triggers to herald a rebound,” they added. The Nigerian equities market remained pressured in the trading week ended Friday August 9 as market bellwethers dropped to their new lows. Stock investors lost approximately N157billion due to value loss recorded in 43 equities, which caused the market to end the review week with negative year-todate (YtD) return of -13.12percent. As the general sentiment around

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the stock market remains weak, some other market watchers expect a similar bearish pattern to continue this week after resumption from the Eid-el-Kabir break. “Our expectations for weak economic growth suggest suppressed investor appetite for Nigerian equities for the rest of the year, especially with the dearth of clear fiscal and structural reforms”, said CardinalStone Research analysts in their second half (H2) outlook. Summary of equities price changes in the review trading week

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shows only 12 equities appreciated in price, lower than 32 equities in the preceding week. Meanwhile, forty-three (43) equities depreciated in price, higher than 27 equities in the preceding trading week, while 113 equities remained unchanged, higher that 109 equities recorded in the preceding week. The shares of Continental Reinsurance Plc which opened the review week at N1.72 decreased to N1.39, after losing 33kobo or 19.19percent. Law Union and Rock Insurance

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Plc followed after its share price decreased from 47kobo to 39kobo, losing 8kobo or 17.02percent. Unity Bank Plc also made the top laggards list after its share price dropped from 74kobo to 64kobo, losing 10kobo or 13.51percent. “We cannot overrule potential bargain hunting on stocks that now trade at significant discounts to their fair prices”, said equity research analysts at Vetiva Securities. They expect the banking stocks to remain pressured until the release of their first-half (H1) 2019 results, “if the results are positive.” “However, the current prices of the big names in the sector create an ample opportunity for long term investors on the back of attractive dividend yields,” the analysts stated in the August 9 note. Forte Oil Plc was also on the losers list after it moved down from N19.45 to N17, losing N2.45 or 12.60percent. On the gainers table, Cement Company of Northern Nigeria Plc occupied topmost position, having moved up from N12.35 to N14, adding N1.65 or 13.36percent. Dangote Flour Mills Plc followed, rising from N18.50 to N20.60, adding N2.10 or 11.35percent. B.O.C. Gases Plc also advanced from N5.07 to Continues on Page 22


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BUSINESS DAY

Investor Helping you to build wealth & make wise decisions

Nigerian equities will remain at discount in H2 –CardinalStone researchers …foresee Fixed Income investors staying short in the near-term

ecently, research analysts at CardinalStone re l e a s e d t h e i r second-half (H2) 2019 outlook titled ‘Fish or Cut Bait’. Amongst other areas touched in the report, they aired their views on Nigeria’s equities and the fixed income (FI) markets in H2. They noted that their expectations for weak economic growth suggest suppressed investor appetite for Nigerian equities for the rest of the year, especially with the dearth of clear fiscal and structural reforms. In line with the Philip Anegbe-led team of research analysts’ expectations for sustained moderation in yields in third-quarter (Q3) 2019 and higher yields in fourth-quarter (Q4) 2019, they believe fixed income (FI) investors are likely going to stay short in the near-

of 13.8x and 12.2x respectively. This implies that the c o mb i n e d p r i c e o f t h e constituents of the ASI was almost 7.4 times the net earnings produced over the past year. That said, as at end of H1’19, the earnings yield of Nigeria’s equities market (-13.5percent) slightly lagged the 14.3percent yield on the 10-year NGN bond, suggesting a largely bearish equities market and scope for some stock market selloffs in the future. Such selloffs may force the PE to remain at a discount to peers in H2’19, in our view. Thus, in arriving at our projection of equities market performance for 2019, we review some key factors which are likely to shape the direction of markets in H2’19. “We consider base and bear scenarios against a backdrop of several factors such as: the monetary policy orientation in developed markets and MPC reactions; MCSI Review and corporate

term. The risks to their expectations in the FI market include “lower than expected government borrowing, a possible unwinding of CBN’s balance sheet, and sharper than expected US rate cut and an unlikely devaluation of the Naira”. Nigeria’s ASI is likely to continue trading at a greater discount to peers in H2’19 In view of the selloffs, the Nigerian equities market is now trading at a significant discount to emerging and frontier markets, from a price to earnings standpoint. Specifically, as at end of first-half (H1) 2019, the price earnings (PE) for Nigeria’s broad equity index stood at 7.4x compared to MSCI Emerging and Frontier Market averages

earnings performance across sectors; the trajectory of crude oil prices; the pace of macro recovery in Nigeria; the possibility of a transition to cost-reflective electricity tariff,” CardinalStone research analysts said. “A l l i n , w e h o l d t h e view that growth stocks are likely to perform well in an environment of economic recovery such as Nigeria and remain wary of stocks with justifiably low PEs. Given the current bearish sentiment in the market, we recommend a staggered approach to equities purchase with a positive bias for industrials, materials, information technology, and financial sectors,” the analysts stated in the report. Fixed income in H2’19

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“ We f o r e s e e f u r t h e r moderation of yields in the third-quarter (Q3) 2019 predicated on lower inflation and an expected rate cut by the Fed. Furthermore, we expect the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to continue to utilise its low Open Market Operation (OMO) sales to keep system liquidity elevated”, they further stated. However, in response to expected robust maturities from September, the CBN may increase rates and its mop up activities in the final quarter of the year. Federal Government plans to finance the 2019 budget deficit by borrowing N1.61trillion, split evenly between domestic and foreign borrowing (N802.5 billion each). “A key concern for us remains the strong likelihood that the FGN will be pushed to issue more debt as we expect revenue projections to fall below budgeted estimate. “Though, we do not expect the CBN to source all the expected shortfall through local borrowing, we foresee higher bond issuance than forecasted in the budget and in the Medium Term Expenditure Framework, (MTEF) of 20192021.We expect such a shortfall to increase the borrowing needs of and thus place slight upward pressure on yields”, CardinalStone noted. Although the Federal Government looked to CBN overdrafts to finance part of the deficit (N530.1 billion13percent of previous years’ actual revenue), domestic bond issuances still rose to circa N597.1billion in H1’19 (circa 65percent of total issuances in 2018). Meanwhile, the Debt Management Office (DMO) recently revealed its plans to borrow an additional N435 billion in Q3’19. These expected borrowings and CBN’s potential response to liquidity build up from September onwards, is likely to put upward pressure on yields in Q4’19E. “A l t h o u g h t h e C B N g ove r n o r ha s a i re d h i s reservation over a further rate cut in H2’19, we expect the CBN to continue to use its policy tools (particularly the OMO instrument) to drive rates lower.

Investor’s Square •Have you been shabbily treated by your registrar, stockbroke r or other capital market operators? Let us know and investor will help you investigate and report back. E-mail: iheanyi.nwachukwu@businessdayonline.com

Economy & markets

Food Concepts eyes N3.6bn from Rights Issue …11 new ordinary shares for every 28 Iheanyi Nwachukwu

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ood Concepts Plc is currently offering to its existing shareholders 5,831,553,981 ordinary shares of 50kobo each at 62kobo per share in the ongoing Rights Issue. Food Concepts Plc is one the unlisted securities admitted for tradable on the NASD OTC Plc. It is currently trading at its 52-week high of 70kobo as against 52 week low of 62kobo. T h e c o m p a ny w h i c h commenced operations in 2001 aims to revolutionise the food sector in West Africa and to deliver extraordinary satisfaction to its stakeholders. The Rights Issue which opened on August 12, 2019 will close on August 23, 2019. FCMB Capital Markets Limited is the Issuing House, while the Registrars are Meristem Registrars and Probate Services Limited. The company is offering existing shareholders 11 new ordinary shares for every 28 ordinary shares they held as at the close of business on

May 17, 2019. Food Concepts Plc which was admitted to trade on NASD OTC Securities Exchange market on July 15, 2013 with security code SDFOODCPT is engaged in the provision of restaurant services, bakery and confectionery products. It has an issued and fully paid capital of 5.7 billion Ordinary Shares of 50 kobo each. The Rights document seen by INVESTOR shows that it will be tradable between August 12 and August 23, 2019 at the price quoted on the NASD OTC Securities Exchange. The NASD Central Securities Clearing System (C S C S) accounts of the shareholders will be credited no later than 15 working days from the day of allotment. No share certificates will be issued in accordance with the SEC Directive on Dematerialisation of Share Certificates. Shareholders who do not provide valid NASD Clearing House Number (CHN) and NASD CSCS account numbers on the Acceptance/Renunciation For m can subs e quently arrange for allotted shares to be transferred to their respective stockbroking a c c o u nt s t h ro u g h t h e i r

stockbrokers. Recall that the company’s journey began with its pioneering of the food court concept in Nigeria – a new and exciting offering for the local market. At the same time, it also imported welldeveloped QSR (Quick Service Restaurant) brands from South Africa. Food Concepts has since concentrated on developing its own brands, which already occupy prime market positions. Chicken Republic, as its flagship brand, is a classic success story. Since launching in 2004, Chicken Republic has already opened 55 stores in Nigeria and Ghana. On this basis, the company is proud of the brand’s hard-earned reputation as the fastest growing chicken QSR in West Africa and the number 1 chicken QSR in Nigeria (both in revenues and number of outlets). In a d d i t i o n , C h i cke n Republic was ranked as one of Nigeria’s top 20 brands across all categories (Financial Standards Awards 2009). Its multifaceted business also comprises an Operational Division, Central Kitchen Unit and Supply Chain Division.

Stock market sentiments still... Continued from Page 21 N5.57, adding 50kobo or 9.86percent ; while NCR (Nigeria) Plc moved up from N5.30 to N5.80, adding 50kobo or 9.43percent. In the review trading week to August 9, the NSE All-Share Index depreciated by 1.17percent to close the week at 27,306.81points from preceding week high of 27,630.46 points. Similarly, all other indices finished lower with the exception of NSE Industrial Goods index which appreciated by 1.32percent while NSE ASeM index closed flat. The value of listed equities decreased from N13.464trillion recorded as at August 2 to N13.307 trillion at the end of the review trading

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week. The index movement shows the NSE-Main Board Index decreased by 0.96percent last week, NSE 30 Index (-2.98 percent), NSE CG Index (-3.95percent), NSE Premium Index (-0.52percent), NSE Banking Index (-6.05percent), NSE Pension Index (-1.59percent), NSE Insurance Index (-3.88percent), NSEA F R B a n k Va l u e I n d e x (-6.12percent), NSE AFR Div Yield Index (-4.37percent), NSE MERI Growth Index (-2.25percent), NSE MERI Value Index (-3.04percent), NSE Consumer Goods Index (-0.65percent), NSE Oil/Gas Index (-1.62percent), and NSE Lotus II (-0.28percent). Stock traders exchanged @Businessdayng

1.081 billion shares worth N12.014 billion in 16,246 deals in contrast to a total of 759.266 million shares valued at N14.038 billion that exchanged hands the preceding week in 16,209 deals. The Financial Services industry (measured by volume) led the activity chart with 900.334 million shares valued at N9.076 billion traded in 8,693 deals; thus contributing 83.30percent and 75.54percent to the total equity turnover volume and value respectively. The Conglomerates Industry followed with 51.224 million shares worth N64.388 million in 897 deals; and Consumer Goods Industry with a turnover of 40.906 million shares worth N946.210 million in 3,090 deals.


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Analysis

H1’19: Lease rental income contributes 70.6% of C&I Leasing earnings …eyes rights issue for business expansion, loan refinancing Iheanyi Nwachukwu

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he management of C&I Leasing Plc will today Thursday August 15 host a conference call for investors and analysts to discuss the Group’s unaudited financial results for the half-year (H1) 2019 ended June 30 and other business developments. The half-year results C&I Leasing Plc reported group gross earnings of N16.3 billion in the review period, up 27.2percent year-on-year (H1 2018: N12.8 billion). Lease rental income of N11.5 billion, represents 30.9percent year-on-year increase (H1 2018: N8.8 billion). Personnel outsourcing income increased year-on-year by 22.6percent to N4billion (H1 2018: N3.2 billion). Lease rental expense grew by 36.4percent year-on-year to N5.5 billion (H1 2018: N4.0 billion). The group’s net operating income of N4.6 billion represents an increase of 24.7percent year-on-year (H1 2018: N3.7 billion). Also, its profit before tax (PBT) of N909.2million, indicates year-on-year increase by 25.8percent (H1 2018: N723.0 million); while profit after tax (PAT) of N866.9 million, up 27.1percent year-on-year (H1 2018: N682.2 million). The result also shows basic earnings per share of N2.14 kobo, up 397.8percent yearon-year (H1 2018: 42.2 kobo). Consolidated Statement of Financial Position The group’s total assets of N57.2 billion, indicates an increase of 8.7percent year-todate (Dec. 2018: N52.6 billion). Operating lease assets of N30.2 billion decreased by 1.5percent year-to-date (Dec. 2018: N30.7 billion). Shareholders’ funds of N12.8 billion, represents an increase of 8percent yearto-date (Dec 2018: N11.8 billion). Three business lines C&I Leasing Plc (the Group) is managed along three business lines: C&I Fleet Management; C&I Outsourcing; and C&I Marine. C & I Fleet Management, with the Hertz car rental franchise both adequately supported by its owned service centre and Citracks telematics solutions service – is a one-stop brand where the company offers superior fleet management service to clients. The Fleet Management business saw significant increase in fleet size by 10percent due to increase in operating lease and car rental business. Larger percentage of this increase came from new contracts. This business provides technology-based, end-to-end tracking and other logistics and fleet management solutions for vehicles and various marine vessels. The Group’s Ghanaian subsidiary, Leasafric Ghana, is the largest provider of outsourcing and fleet

Andrew Otike-Odibi, Managing Director, C&I Leasing Plc

management services in Ghana. Leasafric Ghana has commenced the process to raise a 100 million Ghc domestic bond in tranches of 20 million Ghana Cedi each; regulatory approval is ongoing. In addition, there is also a plan to list the company on the Ghana Stock Exchange. During the year, Leasafric launched a brand called “SWITCH” to strengthen the Ghana market. It was launched to explore and exhaust all market opportunities in Ghana Leasing Industry. C & I Outsourcing specialises in human resource outsourcing for blue chip organisations along with the Group’s SDS training centre which focuses on human capacity development for existing outsourcing clients and others. The Group’s Outsourcing business continued to add new clients while renewing existing client contracts. The company has seen increased demand in HR Business Process Outsourcing requests especially in financial institution. In addition, the Company launched a recruitment portal and job application site, “GETAJOBNG”, with focus on providing employable candidates of the right quality to our clients and other interested corporate bodies at short notice. C & I Marine, a division of C & I Leasing Plc is a duly certified marine entity with licenses to operate in the maritime sub-sector of the Nigerian oil and gas Industry. The Group achieved 92percent utilisation of its

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vessels for H1 2019 as against 90.8percent in Q1 2019. This was due to proactive measures to handle maintenance challenges through deployment of electronic plan maintenance system and efficient supply chain management. It possesses 20 owned vessels and 7 chartered. This unit is structured to provide a wide range of both onshore and offshore services to take advantage of the opportunities in the Nigerian Local Content laws. These services include line and hose handling, berthing and escort services, mooring support, firefighting, pollution control, security and floating and self-elevating platforms. To minimise downtime due to major maintenance and drydocking work on its boats, they ensure that well-structured maintenance plans are put in place with adequate stocking of spare parts to forestall stock-out. The Group’s focus across all its businesses is to leverage superior service with cuttingedge technological solutions to manage risks associated with rapid growth, while diversifying revenue streams and providing opportunities for client growth and retention. The subsidiaries contribution to topline The Groups gross earnings for H1 2019 which increased by 27.2percent to N16.3 billion (H1 2018: N12.8 billion) was driven by the growth of its lease rental income (which represents 70.6percent of total gross earnings).

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The growth in lease rental income is attributed to the expansion of its lease rental portfolio, both in the marine and fleet management services respectively. Lease rental income comprising Fleet Management earnings and Marine earnings was up 30.9percent to N11.5 billion in H1 2019 (H1 2018: N8.8 billion). The growth in earnings from the lease rental business is the result of reduced vehicle downtime and new contracts signed during the period. Marine provided ‘operate and maintain services’ on vessels owned by third parties, while Fleet Management saw an increase in earnings from the open rental business. Personnel Outsourcing earnings rose by 22.6percent to N4billion in H1 2019 (H1 2018: N3.2 billion) and represents 24percent of total gross earnings. This was driven by increasing demand for professional services especially by the International Oil Companies, which resulted in higher volumes on existing contracts through the provision of expanded services such as enhanced logistics and trainings. Tracking income was up by 16.6percent to N115.8million in H1 2019 (H1 2018: N99.3million) due to increase in demand for tracking services reflected in increased customer uptake of our devices. CEO’s comment “Despite stringent operating environment, we continued to create more business opportunities, which allowed us to deliver more value for all stakeholders,” said Andrew Otike-Odibi, managing director/chief executive officer of C & I Leasing Plc. He said, “As at H1 2019, our Group capital adequacy ratio stood at 18.5percent, well above the CBN minimum requirement of 12.5percent. The improvement in this ratio is a result of our constructive attempts to make the Group more stable to external fluctuations in the industry.” “We remain focused on our key priorities for 2019, including validation of our business expansion, growth objectives of meeting and exceeding client’s expectation, increasing demand for our products and services and recapitalising the Company’s capital base”, he said. Business expansion The Company had in the first half of the year entered into a Joint Venture (JV) arrangement with OCS Integrated Services Nigeria Limited, an Integrated Local Service Company, established to provide comprehensive operations and maintenance solutions for offshore Oil & Gas fields. It is a complete asset management which involves offshore asset maintenance and manpower solution. The company plans to raise equity via a Right Issue for the purpose of business expansion, loan refinancing and working capital need.

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Thursday 15 August 2019

BUSINESS DAY

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Nigeria’s cannabis question: balancing the tripod of law, commerce and politics AO2 LAW

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n May 20, 2019, the news hit the airwaves that His Excellency, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, the Executive Governor of Ondo State, in company of the Chairman of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (“NDLEA”), Colonel Muhammad Mustapha Abdallah, had engagements in Thailand on medicinal cannabis development. Akeredolu indicated that Ondo State may explore cannabis cultivation for medicinal purposes in controlled plantations in the State. The ensuing uproar in Nigeria, particularly in the corridors of politics, is best left to imagination. The arguments largely border on the notoriety of cannabis’ addictive tendencies and usage by criminals. While noting that Ondo

INSIDE Law firms warned of Saudi Arabia human rights ‘outrages’

26 Rights organisation moves for implementation and enforcement of HIV workplace policy

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Disconnection of parts of gown estate from distribution network by Ikeja electric Plc

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State is relatively the hotbed of cannabis cultivation in Nigeria and a legalization of cannabis cultivation would generate employment for its teeming youth, the Governor surmised that it would be a gaffe for Nigeria to miss out on participating in the global cannabis market with

estimated potential earnings of $145 billion by the year 2025. In the succeeding paragraphs, we embark on a brief exposition of the legal framework for cannabis cultivation in Nigeria for medicinal or recreational use and conclude with highlighting the relevant conversations that

should be had considering the potential annual N52.3trillion market opportunity available for Nigeria’s participation. Cannabis: The Plant and the Drug Commonly known in Nigeria as marijuana, Indian hemp, weed or igbo, cannabis is a generic name for a species of plants with an estimated 483 known compounds, 65 of which are essentially cannabinoids. It is a tall flowering plant with a stiff upright stem and may include three species namely: sativa, indica and ruderalis. Its psychoactive properties, together with its mental and physical effects, endears it for any of medicinal, recreational or religious use. It is typically used for smoking, cooking or by extraction of its juices. Its direct side effects, short and long term, include any or all of the following: heightened mood, paranoia, anxiety, impairment of physical coordination, increase

in appetite, decreased mental ability and addiction. There are medical assertions which consider cannabis effective in the treatment of: nausea and vomiting as side effects associated with antineoplastic therapy, anorexia and cachexia particularly in patients of AIDS and Alzheimer’s disease, spasticity, movement disorders, glaucoma, pain and tremors from Parkinson’s disease amongst others. Regulating Cannabis Cultivation in Nigeria – The Legal History The Dangerous Drugs Act, 1935 (the “DDA”) is the first notable legislation against cultivation, trafficking and abuse of cannabis in Nigeria. The DDA defines Indian hemp as any plant or part of a plant of the genus cannabis; the separate resin, whether crude or purified, obtained from any part Continues on page 28

NBA 2019: sexual harassment in the workplace takes front burner …As lawyers look inward for solutions

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exual harassment is increasingly gaining prominence in global and national discourse nowadays. This may not be unconnected to the widening dissemination of information through the social media platforms, most especially, the twitter and Facebook. Through these platforms, the world has become a global village, where happenings in any part of the globe are shared across the ‘four corners’ of the globe in a matter of seconds. We are besieged everyday with stories of allegations from victims of sexual abuses and convictions of felons who committed sexual offences from all around the world, with some of these offences having been committed decades earlier. So, we hear of priests, actors, musicians and so on being convicted of paedophilia, producers being convicted of sexual quid pro quo and many other forms of sexual abuse against upcoming www.businessday.ng

The Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, is flanked by a delegation of of the NBA Technical Committee on Conference Planning (TCCP) led by the President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Paul Usoro, SAN, during a courtesy call on the governor at Government House, Port Harcourt.

artistes both in the movie and music industries. Despite the fact that sexual offences know no boundaries, the issue of sexual harassment in the office, especially, the nine-to-five establishments, are heavily under-reported and

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under-discussed, hence, mostly under-tackled. While there could be a dearth of information on the prevalence of the issue in Nigeria, studies conducted in some other countries show that at least one-in-four women (25 percent) and one-in-ten @Businessdayng

men (ten percent) are victims of sexual harassment cum abuse in workplaces. This is one reason to look forward to the 59th Annual General Conference of the Nigerian Bar Association, scheduled to Continues on page 27


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LegalBusiness

Law firms warned of Saudi Arabia BUSINESSDAY, Nigeria’s foremost financial daily, is pleased to human rights ‘outrages’

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aw firms opening offices in Saudi Arabia must remember they are ‘guardians of the rule of law’ and should not ignore human rights ‘outrages’ in order to preserve business arrangements, the director of the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI) said last week. Baroness Kennedy of The Shaws (Helena Kennedy QC) was speaking at the launch of her hard-hitting report on the death penalty in Saudi Arabia. So far this year, the Saudi authorities have carried out at least 134 executions, mainly by public beheadings. Of these, 55 were of non-violent drug offenders and 37 were political activists killed en masse on 23 April following lengthy periods of detention, torture, and ‘grossly unfair’ trials. Should executions continue at this rate, the 2019 death toll will

far exceed all previous recorded totals, the report notes. As of last month, 24 people face execution for non-violent or protest-related crimes. Three of these were under 18 at the time of their alleged offending. Baroness Kennedy said ‘deeply disturbing themes’ emerged when writing the report, including Saudi Arabia’s contraventions of international law. ‘Our focus is on political activists and minors,’ she said. ‘A number of people were underage at the time of their alleged offending.’ She added that capital charges are often ‘risible’ because they

lack any detail. Saudi Arabia prescribes the death penalty for a wide range of crimes, including ‘terrorism’ which can encompass any opposition to the government. The IBAHRI calls on Saudi Arabia to impose a moratorium on executions ‘with a view to ultimately abolishing the death penalty’. Meanwhile, the kingdom should publish accurate information about persons on death row and allow an international factfinding mission by an independent organisation to investigate further. On law firms operating in Saudi Arabia, Baroness Kennedy said: ‘As lawyers we are guardians of the rule of law. This goes much further than passing laws. I hope that those opening law firms in that part of the world keep this in mind. ‘We cannot, simply in the name of trading, turn a blind eye to this.’

announce the launch of its LEGAL BUSINESS PLATFORM

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platform which provides authoritative market/ business insight, analysis and commentary to lawyers, law firms and legal institutions; based on the highest quality research; data on market trends; analysis of sectors and emerging markets; report on law firm economics; legal business risk analysis, data on legal hiring

and recruiting; legal department compensation benchmarking; as well as, comparative legal guides, designed to help the in-house community understand and navigate the toughest business challenges. Please visit www.legal.businessday.ng for more. Or Scan the barcode below: BAR CODE HERE

Top law firms show growing commitment to living wage NBA 2019: sexual harassment in the...

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he number of legal employers committed to paying workers an independently assessed ‘living wage’ has increased by almost half in the past three years. Two-thirds of the UK’s top 30 firms by revenue are signed up, including all the magic circle, Gazette analysis shows. Some 135 law firms, barristers chambers and related organisations have signed up to a scheme run by charity the Living Wage Foundation, up from 91 at the end of 2016. The commitment also encompasses onsite contractors. The foundation’s ‘real’ living wage stands at £9 an hour across the UK and £10.55 in London, compared with the government’s statutory minimum ‘National Living Wage’ of £8.21 for people over 25. The government minimum for under 25s is £7.70. Last week Addleshaw Goddard, which is not accredited, was notified of strike action by cleaners over their employer’s failure to pay the real London living wage of £10.55. The cleaners plan a ‘day of protest’ on Friday outside the international firm’s City offices. The cleaners work for facilities management contractor Incentive FM Group. The Cleaners & Allied Independent Workers Union called on Incentive to pay night cleaners at Addleshaw the London living wage, and to offer them an equal

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number of annual leave days and a contractual sick pay agreement. ‘Addleshaw Goddard specialises in “employee incentives”, yet they are not demanding that its cleaners enjoy even basic rights,’ the union added. Addleshaw responded: ‘We are in regular dialogue with our thirdparty suppliers and Incentive FM will be bringing the night shift team in line with the LLW when salaries are reviewed in the early autumn.’ Other leading firms not accredited by the foundation include Eversheds Sutherland, DAC Beachcroft and Bird & Bird. The Gazette asked if they are considering accreditation or are already committed to paying all workers – including subcontractors – at least £10.55 in London. Eversheds said it contracts its www.businessday.ng

cleaning via a third-party and ‘does pay for the London living wage which, in turn, the third party pays the cleaning operatives as the minimum’. DAC Beachcroft said it is working towards accreditation in November, adding: ‘We take pride in ensuring we are a responsible business, being voluntary living wage-compliant is important to us.’ Bird & Bird said it had ‘observed LLW as a minimum for all staff, including contractors, and is committed to doing so on an ongoing basis’, adding: ‘We introduced the LLW as an internal policy in 2010 before the establishment of the London Living Wage Foundation in 2011, and as such have never felt the need to seek accreditation.’ ---LAW SOCIETY GAZETTE.

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hold in Lagos, from 23 to 29 August, 2019. The organizers of the conference have put sexual harassment in the Legal/Justice community on the front burner for discussion by the lawyers at the summit.  Sexual harassment in the workplace could be defined as any type of unwanted sexual advances, comments, actions, jokes, or physical touch that occurs in one’s place of work. It could also include coercion or requests for sexual favours in exchange for employment or promotion opportunities or any other sexually explicit verbal or visual actions, such as being exposed to pornographic

materials. The inclusion of this issue in the Conference’s agenda is, in part, an admission by the organizers of the existence, if not a large prevalence, of sexual harassment in their field of practice which includes the Bar, Bench, Police and other agencies and bodies that play a role in the delivery of justice in the country. For the uninitiated, this seems unimaginable as it is generally believed that these professionals, a recourse group for the victims of sexual harassment/assault who wish to seek redress in the law courts, not only know their rights and how to pursue them but could also Continues on page 27

NBA President, Paul Usoro, SAN (R) briefing the Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike (L) about the forthcoming Annual Conference of the Nigerian Bar association during a courtesy call on the governor at Government House, Port Harcourt. @Businessdayng


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LegalBusiness RIGHTSWATCH Rights organisation moves for implementation and enforcement of HIV workplace policy BD

…Institutes action against Federal Government

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non-governmental organisation, Lawyers Alert Nigeria, has instituted an action against the Federal Government over the non-implementation of HIV workplace policy by employers of labour in the country. The group through its Director of Programmes, Roseline Oghenebrume, stated that the action became very necessary so that the office of the Attorney General of the Federation would do the needful. Oghenebrume explained that the HIV and AIDS (anti-discrimination) Act was enacted in 2014 to discourage discrimination against persons living with HIV and AIDS particularly at the workplace. She wondered why the Federal Government has not implemented it since then. “The law stipulates that agencies and employers must put in place a workplace policy on HIV/ AIDS in their institutions so as to prevent discrimination. “Section 21 (1) of the HIV/ AIDS (anti-discrimination) Act,

2014 stipulates that an employer that employed five or more persons shall, in consultation with the employees or their representatives, adopt a written workplace policy that is consistent with the National HIV and AIDS workplace policy for its working environment. She added that Subsection 2 of the same section goes further to state that the workplace polic-

es shall be lodged with the Minister for Labour and Productivity, currently known as Minister for Labour and Employment. While Section 24 (1) of the same Act has reposed the duty of ensuring compliance and enforcement of the entire provisions of the Act on the Attorney General of the Federation. “The Act, has therefore specifically reposes the duty to ensure

compliance with the entire HIV and AIDS (anti-discrimination) Act, 2014, including section 21 (1) of the same Act on the Attorney-General of the Federation,” Oghenebrume stated. She further explained that by virtue of section 150 (1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), the AttorneyGeneral of the Federation who is also the Minister for Justice, is the Chief Law Officer in Nigeria, and therefore responsible for and oversees all legal affairs of the nation. Oghenebrume said, “Lawyers Alert under our free legal assistance project for vulnerable groups is in court in several cases, where persons living with HIV are discriminated against and either denied employment even when qualified and able, or out-rightly dismissed on account of their status and no more. This is a gross violation of their human rights, and the right to work.” Lawyers Alert recently won a case in court in favour of a man

that was sacked by his employer because he is HIV positive. The National Industrial Court held that dismissing employees on the basis of their perceived or actual HIV-status is unlawful and discriminatory. Justice Agbakoba of the Abuja Industrial Court found that the 2014 HIV and AIDS Anti-Discrimination Act is clearly applicable against private employers and prohibits discrimination against existing and prospective employees. Oghenebrume said that Lawyers Alert is witnessing increasing acts of discrimination against Persons Living with HIV and AIDS in workplaces in Nigeria, as evidenced by more uptake of similar cases by Lawyers Alert. She said that the current situation compelled Lawyers Alert to approach the National Industrial Court of Nigeria, Abuja, with a suit against the Attorney-General of the Federation for neglecting and not overseeing his duty to ensure compliance with section 21 (1) of the HIV and AIDS (anti-discrimination) Act, 2014.

NBA 2019: sexual harassment in the workplace takes front... Continued from page 25

easily fight for themselves. These people seem not to understand that the rich also cry, that the pillar of support also needs support. The issue of sexual harassment has existed in legal workspace for as long as it has been in other sectors and professional spaces. As with the larger society, a greater percentage of victims are the younger legal practitioners, who bear the greater burden of this ill practice. What makes the issue more terrible in the justice system is that the perpetrators of this injustice are those who are versed in the laws of the land. They, not only have the clout to ‘silence’ their victims, but also know all the loopholes there could be in the law books that they could take advantage of to avoid persecution. The inclusion of the issue in the agenda of this august gathering is timely for several reasons. It would serve as a wake-up call to the perpetrators of this inglorious act to retrace their steps to avoid the ugly consequences that may befall

Co-Chair of the Technical Committee on Conference Planning (TCCP) and Templars Partner, Olumide Akpata (R) in a handshake with Governor Wike during the courtesy visit to the Governor in Port Harcourt.

them if they continue in their immoral behaviour. It would also embolden the victims of sexual harassment/assault to square up with their harassers, who are either their supervisors or higher-ranking employees, www.businessday.ng

and fight for their rights. The larger society would also benefit from the discussion as it will bring to the public space the harmful effects of the issue both to the individual psychologically and physi-

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cally, as well as to the business and will also chart a course on how the other victims could c o p e w i t h s e x u a l a b u s e s. While psychologists list anxiety attacks, insomnia, loss of self-esteem, post-traumatic @Businessdayng

stress disorder, depression, or thoughts of suicide as some of the psychological effects of sexual harassment, doctors list high blood pressure, headaches, gastrointestinal disorders, sexual dysfunctions, eating disorders, including weight loss or weight gain as effects of sexual harassment. Sexual harassment in the workplace, which is a form of employment discrimination, also has some negative effects on the establishment and the workers. These effects include low personnel morale, decreased performance, increased personnel turnover and reduced profitability etc. As legal practitioners gather to discuss this ugly reality in the industry, one could only hope that the outcome would greatly reduce the prevalence, if not completely eliminate the practice of sexual harassment in the legal community as well as set a standard that other establishments/industries could deploy to address the hydra-headed monster that robs employees of their job satisfaction in their chosen careers.


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Nigeria’s cannabis question: balancing the tripod of law, commerce... Continued from page 25

of the genus cannabis; or any preparation containing any part of cannabis. The DDA confers right on the President to make regulations and prohibitions on the control, importation, exportation, production, possession, sale and distribution of cannabis; except by persons or premises licensed or authorized in that behalf. The DDA allows any person, upon production of an import certificate issued by the competent authority in any country, to be issued an export authorization further to which he may lawfully export Indian hemp from Nigeria. The DDA provides that an import certificate will not be necessary where the intended exportation is destined for a country which is not a party to the Geneva International Convention relating to Dangerous Drugs, 1925 or the Geneva Convention for Limiting the Manufacture and Regulating the Distribution of Narcotic Drugs, 1931. The Indian Hemp Act, 1966 (the “IHA”) retains the definition of Indian hemp in the DDA. A sentence of death or imprisonment for not less than twentyone years is prescribed, upon conviction, for a person who knowingly plants or cultivates cannabis. Importation, possession and or sale of any medical preparation of cannabis is permissible provided no offence against the DDA is committed thereby. A person who exports cannabis is liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term of not less than twenty-one years. It is notable that the IHA fails to repeal the provision of the DDA which permits exportation of cannabis upon satisfaction of certain conditions by the prospective exporter. A number of other amendments were made to the IHA with the enactment of the Indian Hemp Amendment Act in 1975 and the Indian Hemp Amendment Decree, 1984. In 1989, the NDLEA was established pursuant to the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency Act, 1989, as amended and currently compiled as Cap. N30 Laws of the Federation 2004 (the “NDLEA Act”) to enforce laws against the cultivation, processing, sale, trafficking and use of hard drugs and to empower the NDLEA to investigate persons suspected to have dealings in drugs and other related matters. By the NDLEA Act, a person who, without lawful authority, manufactures, processes, plants, grows or exports cannabis is liable upon conviction to a sentence of imprisonment for life. The burden lies on the accused person to prove that he has lawful authority to carry out any of

the prohibited activities. The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control Act, 1993, as amended and currently compiled as Cap N1 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (LFN) 2004 (the “NAFDAC Act”) was enacted to create a National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control responsible, inter alia, to ensure that the use of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances are limited to medical and scientific purposes and grant authorisation for the import and export of narcotic drugs. A measured study of the highlights of the cannabis related legislation in Nigeria outlined above would reveal that the IHA is at the vanguard of the criminalisation of cannabis cultivation and exportation in Nigeria. While the other laws, DDA, NDLEA Act and NAFDAC Act, admit the possibility of obtaining some authorization for lawful cannabis cultivation, sale, possession, importation and exportation in Nigeria, the IHA expressly prohibits these commercial activities save for the importation, possession and or sale of any medical preparation of cannabis, provided no offence against the DDA is committed in the process. It is also noteworthy that the possible authorization under each of the DDA, NDLEA Act and NAFDAC Act relate to the cultivation, sale, possession, importation and exportation of cannabis for medicinal purposes as none of the laws contemplate the use of cannabis for recreational purposes. Sizing the Global Cannabis Market and International Trends: A CNBC News report of March 14, 2019 indicates that the marijuana industry in the United States of America added 64,389 jobs in www.businessday.ng

2018. According to the New Frontier Data’s analysis, released in the Global Cannabis Report: 2019 Industry Outlook (the “Report”), the global total addressable cannabis market is presently worth USD$344 billion worldwide. The top five regional markets are Asia (USD$132.9 billion), North America (USD$85.6 billion), Europe (USD$68.5 billion), Africa (USD$37.3 billion) and Latin America (USD$9.8 billion). Over 260 million cannabis consumers currently make up that worldwide market. The worldwide demand is exponentially increasing. There are an estimated 1.2 billion people worldwide who suffer from medical conditions for which medical cannabis has shown potential therapeutic value. Interestingly, as acceptance is further assured by positive feedback from the patients, leading health organisations have validated the medical efficacy of cannabis derivatives further strengthening the global interest and adoption of medical cannabis and lowering the utility of upholding blanket prohibitions. Regulatory Disposition in other Jurisdictions: Uruguay: In December 2013, Uruguay became the first country to legalize recreational cannabis by a legislation signed by President Jose Mujica. In a bid to reduce the large profits earned by cannabis traffickers which occasions violence, organized crime, cartelization and its attendant societal problems, the Uruguayan Government implemented a plan to cultivate cannabis for non-commercial uses and licensing professional farmers for large scale production by applying and grant of licenses from the government. A prospective farmer must be

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registered with the government; and with fingerprint recognition, a Uruguayan citizen may purchase up to 40 grams of cannabis for monthly use. To prevent sale of cannabis to foreigners and non-registered consumers, the Uruguayan Government tightly controls price, quality and maximum production volume. Canada: On 17th October 2018, the federal Cannabis Act came into effect in Canada thus formally legalising the cultivation, possession and consumption of cannabis and its’ derivatives. Prior to the passage of the Cannabis Act, regulated medical use of cannabis was legal in Canada under the Access to Cannabis for Medicinal Purposes Regulations (ACMPR) issued by Health Canada in 2001. Only growers licensed by the government are allowed to produce cannabis. Cannabis companies are prohibited from promotions through television commercials, billboards, magazine advertisements and sponsorship events. Lesotho: In 2017, Lesotho became arguably the first African nation to grant a license for the cultivation, processing and sale of cannabis for medical and scientific purposes in the country. International firms are granted licenses at a steep cost (USD$10,000) to ensure government control and high entry level for interested parties. Our Concluding Thoughts: Given international trend, regulated cannabis cultivation in Nigeria may hold great possibilities. From economic diversification, foreign exchange earnings, job and wealth creation to a better health outlook for its citizens stemming from a greater awareness of medical cannabis use, it is @Businessdayng

arguable that there are no downsides to a Nigerian participation in the global cannabis trade. As opined above, the tenor of the IHA represents a major impediment to the cultivation and processing of cannabis in Nigeria for medical and scientific purposes. The IHA unreservedly criminalizes the planting, cultivation and or exportation of any plant of the genus cannabis in Nigeria. In contrast, the importation, possession and or sale of any medical preparation of cannabis is permissible under the IHA, provided no offence against the DDA is committed in the process. A few questions arise: what is the nexus between an absolute bar on planting, cultivation and exportation of cannabis as in the IHA; and the provisions of the DDA, NDLEA and NAFDAC Acts which contain permissive provisions for these activities? Is there a need for an amendment of the IHA which is a federal legislation, being that Part II of the Second Schedule of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria vests the House of Assembly of a State with the power to make Laws for that State with respect to industrial, commercial or agricultural development of the State? Can Ondo State, being desirous of exploiting the commercial benefits of cannabis cultivation for medical purposes, decide to enact its own agricultural development laws which permit regulated cannabis cultivation and exportation in alignment with the DDA, NDLEA and NAFDAC Acts? Is cannabis a plant which may be concurrently legislated upon by the Federal and States’ legislatures or a drug within the exclusive legislative list of the federal legislature? Where the resolution is that it is both, is it then not arguable that since a plant requires cultivation then the cultivation of cannabis should be a matter for State Governments while its use, either for medicinal or recreational purposes be left to the Federal Government? Is the Nigerian sociocultural context mature enough for a policy consideration of legalizing cannabis for regulated recreational use in order to participate in the global cannabis trade boom? What measures may be instituted by the [Federal] government to avert abuse if a framework for regulated cannabis cultivation is adopted? The answers to these posers, we believe, would shape policy direction for Nigeria to determine whether to explore this blossoming market. We may, like Lesotho, find that a ganja revolution was all we needed to take Nigeria to the next level. Bidemi Olumide and Ifure Udofa AO2 LAW


Thursday 15 August 2019

BUSINESS DAY

PERSPECTIVE with AYODELE ONI

BD

29

LegalBusiness

Disconnection of parts of Gowon Estate from distribution network by Ikeja electric Plc … Matters arising

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n Fe b r u a r y 1 7 2017, it was reported by the tabloids that residents of Gowon Estate (the “Estate”) located in Idimu, Lagos State disrupted the operations at the Ikeja Electric Plc (“Ikeja Electric”), Akowonjo Business Unit over a three (3) week blackout allegedly occasioned by the indebtedness of a military quarters situated in the Estate. The members of the Estate, in barricading the offices of the Akowonjo office of Ikeja Electric asserted that the Estate had been disconnected from the feeder by Ikeja Electric and thrown into darkness as a result of Ikeja Electric’s inability to collect outstanding electricity bills from the military quarters. It is unclear how this dispute was resolved between the parties. Fast forward to June 2019, it was reported that Ikeja Electric had disconnected and cut off power supply to seven streets in the Estate in protest against the alleged manhandling of one of its officials by a customer. Additionally, it was reported that apart from disconnecting the affected streets from the 33KVA high-tension line, Ikeja Electric also shut down the transformer. The actions of the Ikeja Electric in disconnecting the seven (7) streets within the Estate have created widespread outcry as to the rights of a distribution utility to unilaterally disconnect a community from the distribution network. The purpose of this article is to outline the provisions of Nigerian electricity laws vis-àvis the actions of Ikeja Electric as well as proffer suggested solutions to the larger issues relating to the acts of violence meted out staff of power utility companies. It proceeds to consider the propriety or otherwise of the action of Ikeja Electric in disconnecting all those affected and its general implication on the Nigerian power sector. RIGHT OF A DISTRIBUTION COMPANY TO DISCONNECT A COMMUNITY FROM ITS DISTRIBUTION NETWORK According to members of the Estate, Ikeja Electric officials had a problem with a particular building which was initially used as a hotel but later converted to a residential premises. The reports indicate that the owner of the

building in question was upset that Ikeja Electric was still billing the building as if it was still being used as a hotel as opposed to a residential unit. The owner is purported to have assaulted an official of Ikeja Electric and this was what prompted Ikeja Electric to disconnect the seven (7) streets within the Estate. This then raises the pertinent question as to the legal basis for a distribution utility to disconnect a community from its distribution network plunging the community into perpetual darkness. General Obligation of the Distribution Companies to provide Customers with Electricity The primary legislation guiding the Nigerian power sector, and the connection of end-users is the Electric Power Sector Reform Act 2005 (the “EPSRA”). Section 67 (1) (a) of the EPSRA stipulates the one of the primary obligations of Distribution Companies (“Discos”). It provides that a Disco shall be licensed to (amongst other things) carry out the “connection of customers for the purpose of receiving the supply of electricity”. Furthermore, the licence terms and conditions issued to the Discos mandates that a Disco shall supply electricity to every customer connected to its distribution system except for distribution system constraints or shortage conditions. Condition 30 of licence terms and condition additionally requires that the supply of electricity to www.businessday.ng

the customers shall be in an efficient and economical manner. Flowing from the above, there is a primary responsibility on the part of the Discos (including Ikeja Electric) to ensure that customers are duly connected to the distribution network so as to get electricity from the national grid. Can Distribution Companies Disconnect Customers from the Distribution Network? The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (“NERC”) established by the EPSRA as the regulator of the Nigerian power sector, has been granted the authority (via section 32 of the EPSRA) to make regulations governing the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (“NESI”). One of such regulations is the Connection and Disconnection Procedures 2007 (“NERC Connection Regulations”), which provides in succinct details, the circumstances under which a Disco is allowed to disconnect a customer from the supply of power. Specifically, Regulation 5 of NERC Connection Regulations contemplates that a customer may be disconnected ONLY in the event that a customer has not paid the amount correctly billed for that supply address provided by the customer. It further provides for the prerequisites before such disconnection can take place. For the avoidance of doubt, Regulation 5(1) NERC Connection Regulations reads: “A Distribution Company

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may only disconnect supply to a customer’s address when the Customer has not paid the amount correctly billed for that supply address by the relevant payment date: PROVIDED the – Payment date is clearly shown on the bull; Payment date is at least 10 working days from the date of delivery of the bill to the supply address or a delivery address provided by the customer, which is acceptable to the Disco; Payment date has not been suspended by a subsequent payment date issued to the same Customer for the same supply address; Period between the payment date and the date of disconnection is not less than 3 months; Disco has verified from its records that the bill has not been paid; and Disco has given the Customer a written warning that the electricity supply shall be disconnected if payment is not made by the payment date and the warning contains the date of its delivery to the supply address or any other address provided by the customer and a telephone number and/or addresses acceptable to the Disco, where the customer can request assistance for paying the outstanding bill. Aligned with this, the Disco licence terms and conditions provides that a Disco shall not lessen or discontinue the supply of electricity to a customer except in the following cases: The customer has failed to pay charges lawfully due; The customer has failed to comply with conditions of supply and has failed to remedy such default within a period of fourteen (14) days of notice to do rectify such default. A careful reading of Regulation 5(1) NERC Connection Regulations and the Disco licence terms and conditions will reveal that Ikeja Electric is precluded from resorting to self-help by unilaterally de-energizing paying customer(s) in a bid to ‘punishing’ certain customer(s). Furthermore, Regulation 6 of the NERC Connection Regulations provides that a customer may be disconnected by a Disco without notice where: (i) the customer is connected to the Disco’s network illegally; (ii) where the Disco determines that the customer’s installation is dangerous to its network or capable of interrupting supply to end-users; (iii) where the customer’s meter

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cannot be read for 3 consecutive months. By implication, the actions of Ikeja Electric in disconnecting the 7 streets within the Estate may be deemed to be arbitrary particularly as it has not been established that: The 7 streets were in default of payment to Ikeja Electric. The 7 streets were connected illegally to the Disco’s network; The connections of the 7 streets have not been adjudged to be dangerous to the Disco’s network The meters of the households on the 7 streets have not been read for 3 consecutive months. It is important to note that the provisions of the laws and regulations do not permit a distribution utility operating in Nigeria to disconnect a community due to acts of violence carried out on staff/personnel of such distribution utility. What Options are/were available to Ikeja Electric? It is important to mention that from a regulatory perspective, the draft NERC Regulation on Electricity Theft and Other Offence permits officers authorized by NERC to enter into any place or premises where such officers believe that electricity has been, is being, or is likely to be used unlawfully. This Regulation is however in draft form and is yet to be promulgated into law. On the state level, section 52 (5) of the Lagos State Electric Power Sector Reform Law 2018 (the “Lagos State Law”) provides that “any person who willfully or unlawfully obstructs, restrains, prevents and harasses or injures any person lawfully carrying on his duties of generation, transmission and distribution of electricity commits an offence and on conviction is liable to a pay a fine of not less than N 1,000,000 or a term of imprisonment of not more than 5 years or both”. There are also provisions in the relevant penal laws and under tort principles and rules. Thus, penal provisions of several laws including those of the Lagos State Law ought to have been the proper recourse of Ikeja Electric for claims on harassment of its officials being that the Lagos State Law would be applicable to the affairs of the Ikeja Electric. They may also sue for torts. Would Distribution Companies incur liabilities for unlawfully Disconnecting Continues on page 30


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Thursday 15 August 2019

BUSINESS DAY

MARKET INSIGHT

BD

LegalBusiness

Outlook on global legal market

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igeria is Africa’s largest economy. The country recorded a GDP of US$397,270 billion in 2018 and real GDP is projected to grow by more than 2% over each of 2019 and 2020. The legal services industry plays a significant role in achieving this growth in two key ways. Firstly, the industry provides a framework of law and certainty that supports all social and business interactions in the country. GDP growth is impossible without the legal fabric provided by the law and its practitioners and adjudicators. This enables commercial transactions to be undertaken and disputes to be resolved and help investors to interpret and navigate legal and regulatory requirements. Secondly, the legal services industry by itself is a significant contributor to the GDP of the nation. Unfortunately, there is insufficient data to indicate the exact contribution of the legal services sector to Nigeria’s GDP. By comparison, in the United Kingdom in which there is an abundance of data, the legal services sector contributed 1.4% of the UK economy’s gross value added (GVA) in 2017, employing 342,000 people and contributing GBP 26 billion to the economy (City UK’s UK Legal Services 2018 report) Direct extrapolation of these numbers would estimate the contribution of the legal ser-

Kingdom (the CityUK). So we estimate Nigeria’s legal services industry to be significantly smaller than a direct extrapolation with the UK will ordinary suggest. However, the sector is still a large, significant business sector whose significance is measured, not only by the Naira or Dollar size of the market, but also by the fact that it also provides the fabric that supports all social and business interactions happening in or impacting the country. The need to undertake the research and analysis to gather, collate and analyse the relevant data, and measure the impact of the legal services sector, as well as the nature and structure of the operations of practitioners in it cannot be overemphasized. The research, analysis and reports will be useful for all that are concerned with the Nigerian legal services industry – law firms and other practitioners, investors, business owners and managers, and other users of legal services, etc.

vices sector to Nigeria’s GDP at significantly more than US$5.5 billion. Note that this is not a perfect comparison and we should not do a direct extrapolation for several reasons, not least of which is that the UK is the world’s leading centre for international legal services and dispute resolution. In addition,

English law is used in 40% of all global corporate arbitrations. In fact, some of the dispute resolution and arbitration services that are exported to the UK come from Nigeria. And more than 200 large foreign law firms from around 40 jurisdictions – employing over 10,000 people – have offices in the United

Introducing BD’s Legal Business BusinessDay’s Legal Business Platform will work with the legal services industry in particular, and the business sector in general, to provide the research, analysis and reporting required to illuminate the Nigerian legal services sector. We will obtain and provide the data, intelligence, insight and analyses that will enable

practitioners and students of law, researchers, clients and users of legal services to make intelligent decisions on matters affecting the sector. The process Based on BusinessDay’s bestin-class research methodology, Legal Business will conduct independent research on Nigeria’s Legal Market. We will maintain our independent of focus and opinion whilst leveraging relationships with law firms, individual practitioners, in-house legal teams and other legal service organisations. Our methodology is designed to capture and report, as accurately as possible, fully researched data and insights into the sector. Of course, no information or data will get published without independent verification and appropriate sourcing. Amongst other areas of focus, Legal Business will research and provide intelligence on – business and financial data for and on top law firms; law firm economics, highlighting key metrics such as billing standards in the legal industry; firms’ competitive advantage in industry sectors; trends in law firm marketing and business development activities; law firm and in-house legal department compensation and benchmarking; legal hiring or recruitment, and how this affects performance; and law faculty rankings, etc.

Disconnection of parts of gown estate from distribution network by... Continued from page 29

Customers from the Distribution Network? From the foregoing paragraphs, it can be rightly asserted that the customers of Discos, are not without legal protection under the extant legal framework, even when in default of payment for electricity supply. It is, therefore, rather disturbing that Ikeja Electric followed the path it did in disconnecting the 7 streets within the Estate. A careful reading of the extant provisions of NERC Connection Regulations suggest that Ikeja Electric failed to comply with the mandatory preconditions stipulated in the extant legal framework for electricity distribution in Nigeria before taking matters into its own hands and resorting to self-help in carrying out the disconnection activities.

Fortunately, the customers are not without remedy for the arbitrary actions taken by Ikeja Electric. Regulation 11 of the NERC Connection Regulations provides that any Disco which disconnects electricity supply to a customer’s premises in violation of the NERC Connection Regulations commits an offence and is liable on conviction to pay the customer a penalty of between N1,000 – N2,000 per day or part of the day depending on the customer classification. It remains to be seen if this provision would be bought to bear on Ikeja Electric. ROLE OF SMART METERS IN THE NESI It can be argued that the currently discord relating to the disconnection of the Estate largely stems from the fact that the particular customer in queswww.businessday.ng

tion did not have pre-paid smart meters installed on his premises. No doubt, the dispute as to the electricity bills being paid by the said customer arose from exorbitant estimated bills charged by Ikeja Electric. The NERC Smart Metering Regulations 2017 (“Smart Metering Regulations”) advocates for the adoption of smart metering systems operation in Nigeria. The NERC Meter Asset Provider Regulations 2018 (“MAP Regulations”) mandate that Discos shall be responsible for meeting its metering obligations. The MAP Regulations further require that Discos engage with Meter Asset Providers (for the procurement of adequate smart meters) to steer the NESI away from postpaid meters to prepaid meters, thereby improving collection efficiency of electricity bills by

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Discos. The combination of the Smart Metering Regulations and the MAP Regulations ought to drive the massive influx of smart meters into the NESI to ensure that issues such that that witnessed in the Estate can be avoided or totally eliminated. We understand the plight of Disco’s when it relates to the billing of customers and the ensuring effectiveness in the value chain by reducing energy loss and theft. However, it is crucial that these smart meters are deployed thereby allowing customers to “Pay as you Go” for electricity consumed and effectively scrap estimated billings by Discos. Taking into consideration these developments which have evolved as safeguards for participants in the NESI, particularly Disco’s, it is alarming to find that @Businessdayng

the Discos have resorted to selfhelp remedies in the recovery of their costs. CONCLUSION This article has provided a background to the legal issues surrounding the disconnection of customers in the Estate as well as access the legality of the actions taken by Ikeja Electric. It is important that distribution entities comply with the provisions of applicable laws in their operations. Additionally, the deployment of smart meters is essential to reduce incidents of customers venting out as a result of estimated bills which are considered outrageous by such customers.

• Ayodele is a Partner at Bloomfield Law Practice and specializes in international energy investment law.


Thursday 15 August 2019

BUSINESS DAY

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BUSINESS TRAVEL Nigerian Airforce, Mudiame partner to help reduce cost of aircraft maintenance, other equipment Stories by IFEOMA OKEKE

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he Nigerian Airforce and Mudiame International Limited, an indigenous oil servicing firm, Nigeria have entered into partnership, which will see to the reduction of capital flight in importing expatriates, oversee training and maintenance of equipment, especially for calibration, welding and nondestructive testing of aircraft and other equipment. The partnership which is aimed at manufacturing of equipment locally and helping other African countries, especially in the areas of oil and gas servicing and domestication of key skills needed in the Airforce, Naval Force and allied industries is an attempt to reduce over dependence on foreign countries, especially Europe and America. The development which is anticipated to grow local content in the country is coming at a time when the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board in conjunction with Nigerian Welding Institute are looking to domesticate over 90 per cent of skills. Speaking during a graduation ceremony for the first set of Airforce officials trained under the MOA, Sadique Abubakar, Chief of Air Staff,

Air Marshal said the Airforce has signed partnership with about 100 local firms as part of measures to design local solutions that would help reduce unnecessary spending of taxpayers money on foreign trips and conserve foreign exchange in the country. According to him, the Partnership with Mudiame would enable NAF to calibrate its equipment, conduct NDT and weld, thereby kick-starting the force centre located in Kaduna with limited or no assistance external bodies. Represented by Cosmas Ozougwu, NAF’s Director in charge of Aircraft Quality Assurance, Abubakar stated that the force has been taking most of its equipment out of the country for repairs and maintenance since the military arm is involved with a lot of aviation equipment, which require precision but decided to look in-ward to build local capacity. “Our equipment needs a lot of maintenance. Before now, most of the measuring equipment has been taking abroad for calibration and maintenance at a very exorbitant cost but the Chief of Air Staff said as long as we keep using foreigners to maintain our platforms, we not make any head way. These people are not always there when you need them and we cannot

Solomon Edebiri, President of the Nigeria Institute of Welding, (left); Cosmas Ozougwu, Air Commodore, Nigerian Air Force (NAF) director in charge of Aircraft Quality Assurance, and Sunny Eromosele, managing director, Mudiame International Limited, at the graduation ceremony of NAF officials trained on calibration and non-destructive testing at the Mudiame Welding Institute in Port-Harcourt.

call yourself a nation if we depend solely on foreigners to maintain our platforms. “The choice of Mudiame is the step for us because we didn’t have this level of equipment anywhere else. This development will help save taxpayers’ money,” he said. Being an ISO 17025 accredited Nigerian based testing, calibration and inspection company offering services basically to the oil, gas and ailed Industries, Managing Director of the

group, Sunny Eromosele, who disclosed that the group is strategically looking forward to addressing the challenges of skills in the Air and Naval in the country stated that the firm has open up relationship with other African countries to address similar challenges. Eromosele, who disclosed that the group is already at the verge of completing a university with the aim of meeting industrialisation demands in the country, added that the company would

donate equipment to the Airforce kick-start its calibration and testing centre. “This development has a lot of benefits to the country. Apart from the fact that we will conserve a lot of foreign exchange, we are supporting the Nigerian content act, empowering our own people, saving time that is needed to transport equipment abroad and it re-enforces the confidence that these things are doable in the country. “We started with the oil and

gas industry by supporting infrastructure development in the country because in the past most of the certification and training were done outside Nigeria and we find it difficult to find qualified Nigerians to participate in these projects. We lost a lot as country through. Now we are making another progress with the Airforce. “We are aiming at the manufacturing of some of these equipment in country. We cannot perpetually depend on other. We already signed partnership with leading organisations across the world, we have global standard Welding Institute and we are at the verge of completing Mudiame University. With these will contribute to greatly to other industries, especially the manufacturing and allied industries,” Eromosele said. Solomon Edebiri, President of the Nigeria Institute of Welding, who lauded the initiative, stated the country is current working on a national qualification system to integrate all skills thereby domesticating over 95 per cent skills incountry. He said: “We pay for international certification. Every certificate we issue under the foreign system, we pay for it and everybody that comes here to work from abroad we pay them in dollar. This capital flight is no longer acceptable.”

Turkish Airlines continues its journey Global air passengers’ load factor to the top with new cabin uniforms for June rise over solid demand

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urkish Airlines cabin crew will now greet passengers with “welcome onboard” while dressed in new uniforms on long haul flights of the national flag carrier. Flying to the most countries in the world, Turkish Airlines new uniforms will definitely take to the skies while redefining elegance. The new cabin crew uniforms were designed with the aim of celebrating the airline’s 85th anniversary and will be visible on the entire cabin crew on the long haul flights of the flag carrier.

The new uniforms in flagred and anthracite gray colours, which were rigorously tested on long-range flights in different climates, have been tailored to 25,000 employees in order for cabin crews to serve passengers comfortably. Inspired by many classical details in Turkish culture, from the currents of the Bosphorus to the artisanal glassware, ceramics and calligraphy patterns produced by local artisans, the cabin, cockpit, ground handling personnel and flying chef uniforms came to life under a single

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design in order to give their passengers a holistic brand experience. In his statement regarding the new uniforms, İlker Aycı, Chairman of the Board and the Executive Committee of Turkish Airlines said; “The elegance and comfort of our cabin crews, which constitute the most important element of our unrivaled service quality, are of great importance for our brand that continues to fly at the top of its industry. I believe that our brand’s presence in the skies will be much more impressive when the new cabin uniforms, which bear elements of our culture, are combined with the elegance of our cabin crews.” Italian haute couturier Ettore Bilotta designed the new cabin uniforms, which were specially sewn by Vakko, and the main fabrics were produced by Altınyıldız, based on the compliance of Turkish Airlines with flight standards.

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he International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced global passenger traffic results for June 2019 showing that demand (measured in revenue passenger kilometers or RPKs) rose by 5.0 percent compared to June 2018. This was up slightly from the 4.7 percent year-overyear growth recorded in May. June capacity (available seat kilometers or ASKs) increased by 3.3 percent, and load factor rose 1.4 percentage points to 84.4 percent, which was a record for the month of June. “June continued the trend of solid passenger demand growth while the record load factor shows that airlines are maximizing efficiency. Amid continuing trade tensions between the US and China, and rising economic uncertainty in other regions, growth was not as strong as a year ago, however,” Alexandre de Ju-

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niac, IATA’s Director General and CEO, said. June international passenger demand rose 5.4 percent compared to June 2018, which was an improvement from 4.6 percent annual growth recorded in May. All regions recorded increases in growth, led by airlines in Africa. Capacity rose 3.4 percent, and load factor climbed 1.6 percentage points to 83.8 percent. African airlines’ traffic soared 11.7 percent in June, up from 5.1 percent in May. Capacity rose 7.7 percent, and load factor jumped 2.6 percentage points to 70.5 percent. Demand is benefitting from a generally supportive economic backdrop, including improved economic stability in several countries, as well as increased air connectivity. European airlines saw traffic rise 5.6 percent in June compared to June 2018, in line with 5.5 percent demand growth the month @Businessdayng

before. Capacity climbed 4.5 percent and load factor rose 1.0 percent percentage point to 87.9 percent, tied with North America as the highest among the regions. The solid growth occurred against a backdrop of slowing economic activity and declining business confidence in the Euro area and UK. Middle Eastern carriers posted an 8.1 percent demand increase in June compared to the same month last year, which was well up on the 0.6 percent annual increase recorded in May. The timing of Ramadan which fell almost exclusively in May this year likely contributed to the strongly contrasting outcomes. Capacity rose 1.7 percent and load factor jumped 4.5 percentage points to 76.6 percent. Asia-Pacific airlines’ June traffic rose 4.0 percent compared to the year-ago period, which was down from a 4.9 percent increase in May.


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Thursday 15 August 2019

BUSINESS DAY

Corporate Social Impact

Onuwa Lucky Joseph (08023314782) Editor.

How The SERAs is becoming the Gold-Standard Recognition for CSR and Sustainability in Africa – Part 1 encouraging others to aspire to join the movement; and lastly to create a huge awards event that draws and sustains credibility, glamour, and attention on CSR and sustainability and its players and participants. In these regards, I would say to a large extent, our objectives have been met. Our biggest achievement is the fact that today we have gotten corporate Nigeria and Africa to that threshold where when they have competitive conversations around differentiation it is the difference they contribute to society, other than products and services. This realization has been an elixir moment for us at TruCSR.

Stories by ONUWA LUCKY JOSEPH

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en Egbas is one of those seemingly perpetually optimistic folks with the much coveted sunny disposition, something he’s learnt to deploy to good effect in life and business. In 2006, when CSR was not exactly an item on the Nigerian corporate map, it occurred to him that an award regime was necessary to fast-track its adoption as the way to do business in Nigeria. 13 years on, The SERAs, short for Sustainability Enterprise Responsibility Awards has waxed stronger with more and more companies embracing CSR and Sustainability as the way to go Every year, companies doing business from out of Nigeria, (and now incorporating Africa),having done their bit for their communities and for the ongoing survival of humanity, come to the SERAs to, as it were, get a report card on how well they fared, how well their impact resonated for that year. It has become a fixture on many a corporate calendar and serious efforts are made by participating organisations to ensure their impact is strong enough to secure the iconic SERA statuette for the mantelpiece. Corporate Social Impact (CSI) had a sit down with Ken recently in view of the countdown to the 13th edition slated for November 13th in Lagos Nigeria. We here serve you the first part of the two course delight. The history and thinking behind the SERAs My team and I conceptualized The SERAS in 2006. It was actually designed to be the biggest behavioral change movement focused on getting the corporate world in Nigeria and Africa who control as much as 60 percent of resources available to channel a fair percentage of these resources to drive development in Nigeria and other parts of Africa. Back then in 2006, as a consulting business, we looked ourselves in the mirror and asked ourselves the question that every start-up business must ask itself, “When it’s all said and done, what do we want people to remember us for? Where on this planet can we leave an indelible dent that our grandchildren could come and see that we made an impact or even created a difference?” As a consulting firm in the area of public relations, we had to look at the future, what it would be like to shape the future of the perception management business? The differentiation battles of brands, products, and organization was getting weary of ‘my colours are brighter than yours’ or ‘I am mar-

The Objectives of the SERAs Essentially, it is to increase the knowledge, adoption, and practice of CSR and sustainability; to provide the support for organizations that are willing to imbibe the ethos

On being described as a key leader in the CSR and Sustainability sector, and what effort goes into maintaining the leadership Yes, I hear people say that all the time, but in marketing terms, I would possibly say we were first movers into the CSR and sustainability opportunity in Nigeria. Like I said previously, we were able to look into the future, understand coming trends and position accurately for its advent. The SERAs is a means to an end, not necessarily the end in itself. Out of our activities have come The SERAs CSR Awards Africa, The Social Enterprise Report- which is meant to document best practices in CSR, Sustainability, Sustainable development, Innovation and Organizational Leadership. In October 2019 we will launch The Top 50 (Organizations Making a Difference in Nigeria), which is Nigeria’s very first concise ratings of leading players in the CSR and sustainability space. The list would

of CSR and sustainability, and encourage others yet to do so to join the train; to help aggregate the pool of resources from the private and public sectors to deal with issues highlighted in the development goals; to help raise, through careful and thoughtful documentation, the best practices and case studies to be shared around the world and used as a tool for

be made up of large, medium, and small scale, as well as notable nongovernmental or not-for-profits. This rating is a culmination of 13 years of field verification visits to over 3,780 locations and communities across Nigeria from entries for The SERAs submitted by participating organizations. As a matter of fact, you cannot find the extent of visual and numerical data in

Ken Egbas

ket leader and control the largest market share’, or ‘we employ the very best’, or ‘we make the highest quality products’ etc. The coming trend for differentiation was going to be fought along the lines of the human elements of love, care, support, affinity, empathy and other human emotions that the consumers were now beginning to place on brands and organization unconsciously. This we saw as the next battle ground. The more we interrogated the future, the more we realized that Nigerian brands and organizations were not prepared for this future. Therefore, our charge or mission became – getting Nigerian business environment out of the mindset of here-is-the-product-pay-me-themoney, to enabling a relationship of deeper meaning between brands, organizations and their target publics, and helping brands to grow larger than life, where they meant something more than their brand value propositions, but also meant something more to the customers, and are a part of the community. Being a socially responsible business gives you all that. CSR in Nigeria before the SERAs For many years, community development goals were seen as separate from business objectives, not fundamental to them; doing well and doing good were seen as separate pursuits. Any organization still harboring such mentality is living in the past. Why the SERAs? Organizations that are futuristic in approach know that cuttingedge innovation and competitive advantage result from weaving www.businessday.ng

social and environmental considerations into business strategy from the onset, and that this process can result in developing the next generation of ideas, markets, and even employees. This is why we founded The SERAS- which is an acronym for Sustainability, Enterprise, and Responsibility Awards with the vision to be the gold-standard recognition for corporate social responsibility and sustainability in Africa.

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our possession in any other entity regarding the industry in Nigeria. So, we decided to further create a valuable positioning for all players. Being first movers in any industry saddles one with enormous responsibilities. When we began talking about CSR in 2005, there were only three organizations in Nigeria with relevant policies in Nigeria, and all three were multinationals. Today, the story is different as nearly all the top 100 companies listed on the Nigerian stock exchange are on the various levels of their CSR and sustainability journeys. In 2005, there was virtually no skilled and knowledgeable man-power. Most organization just moved people from marketing to head the CSR desks. How the Global Leading Lights of CSR are helping to Light up the Domestic Space Between 2008 and 2011, we organized the very foundational professional trainings that certified practitioners and provided them with the knowledge to first understand the trend, then perform. We brought in notable global thought leaders like Maria Sillanpaa, who was a founding member of The Body Shop. We also brought in Wayne Visser, one of the world’s most notable authors on the subject matter, and also Deborah Leipziger who authored The United Nations Codebook on corporate social responsibility. It does fill me with a sense of joy when I look round and see nearly all of these individuals being the leaders in their various organizations and helping to drive the conversations even further up the ladders of their organizations. Out of all of these, an industry has evolved. I am talking of an industry, just emerging that was able to attract investments of over 30 billion naira between 2008 and 2014, with the leading spenders being the oil and gas sector, followed by the banking and telecom sectors in that order. Today, I run into many individuals who can today brandish credentials as CSR and sustainability consultants. This development gives me the most profound satisfaction for all the toils of the past years. There is definitely more to come. Our target is that in the next five years, when the world looks for best practices from Africa, they would turn to Nigeria. Are The SERAs encouraging more organizations to tow the ‘responsible business’ path? Definitely, The SERAS has enabled more organizations across board to adopt corporate social responsibility and sustainability practice. In fact, it goes without saying that The SERAS has become the key performance indicator for any organization that brandishes Conttinues on page 33

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Thursday 15 August 2019

BUSINESS DAY

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Thursday 15 August 2019

BUSINESS DAY

Live @ The Exchanges Market Statistics as at Wednesday 14 August 2019

Top Gainers/Losers as at Wednesday 14 August 2019 LOSERS

GAINERS

Company

Opening

Closing

Change

N114.8

N105.8

-9

MTNN

N131

N129.25

-1.75

FLOURMILL

N15.3

N14

-1.3

N14

N13.25

-0.75

N5.5

N4.95

-0.55

Company

Opening

Closing

Change

CUSTODIAN

N6

N6.2

0.2

CONTINSURE

N1.39

N1.45

0.06

AFRIPRUD

N3.55

N3.6

0.05

UBN

N6.75

N6.8

0.05

CCNN

N0.5

N0.5

0

ASOSAVINGS

TOTAL

UACN

ASI (Points)

27,083.11

DEALS (Numbers) VOLUME (Numbers)

3,922.00 235,117,057.00

VALUE (N billion) MARKET CAP (N Trn)

3.291

…Year-to-date negative return widens to -13.83% Stories by Iheanyi Nwachukwu

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L-R: Olufunke Oluseyi, managing director, UTL Trust Management Service; Tokunbo Ajayi, president, Association of Corporate Trustees; Mary Uduk, acting director General, Securities and Exchange Commission, and Isyaku Tilde, acting executive commissioner, operations, SEC during a Meeting between SEC and Association of Corporate Trustees in Abuja.

Other stocks that contributed to the market’s new lows include Cement Company of Northern Nigeria Plc which moved down from N14 to N13.25, losing 75kobo or 5.36percent while GTBank Plc declined from N26.5 to N25.95, losing 55kobo or 2.08percent. “This week, we expect dampened sentiments to remain in the absence of any positive catalysts. Also, financial results from major banks are still outstanding, as market participants are wait-

ing to see the impact of the relatively lower yield environment on Gross Income,” said Lagosbased analysts at United Capital Plc. In their August 14 note, the analysts asked investors to buy stocks like Unilever Nigeria Plc, Dangote Cement Plc, GTBank Plc, Nestle Nigeria Plc, and Zenith Bank Plc. These stocks and few others offer significant upside potentials for medium to long term investors. The Nigerian Stock Exchange All Share Index

FTSE 100 Index 7,147.88GBP -103.02-1.42%

Nikkei 225 20,655.13JPY +199.69+0.98%

Generic 1st ‘DM’ Future 25,619.00USD -695.00-2.64%

Deutsche Boerse AG German Stock Index DAX 11,492.66EUR -257.47-2.19%

S&P 500 Index 2,855.00USD -71.32-2.44%

Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite Index 2,808.92CNY +11.66+0.42%

13.198

Stock market loses N109bn as Total, MTNN, Flour Mills, others top laggards list

igerian stock market lost additional N109billion on Wednesday August 14, 2019 being the first trading day into this week shortened by public holiday for Eid-elKabir celebrations.​ The stock market dipped by 0.82percent justifying market watchers expectation that the record bearish trading pattern will persist, as the general sentiment around the market remains weak. The market remains pressured as the bellwether stocks continue to drop to new lows. The year-todate negative return increased to -13.83percent. The share price of Total Nigeria Plc recorded the highest loss, after moving down from N114.8 to N105.8, losing N9 or 7.84percent. MTN N followed after its share price dipped from N131 to N129.25, losing N1.75 or 1.34percent, while Flour Mills Nigeria Plc was also down, from N15.3 to N14, losing N1.3 or 8.50percent.

Global market indicators

(ASI) and Market Capitalisation stood lower at 27,083.11 points and N13.198trillion respectively as against a preceding trading day’s low of 27,306.81 points and N13.307 trillion. “Negative sentiment from last week filtered into the new week as investors continue to sell down bellwethers. In the absence of positive catalysts, we expect the equities market to remain relatively pressured,” Vetiva Securities said in their August 14 note.

London Stock Exchange Group posts strong financial performance in H1’19 …total revenue rises to £1.018bn; PBT at £363mn

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he London Stock Exchange Group Plc (LSEG) interim results for the six months (H1) period ended June 30, 2019 shows it recorded strong financial performance despite challenging market conditions. The Exchange continued good growth in Information Services and Post Trade; even as it focused on group-wide collaboration to drive product innovation and development of growth opportunities. While it expects to make further progress in secondhalf (H2) of 2019, summary of its first-half results show London Stock Exchange Group total revenue went up by 7percent to £1.018 billion (H1 2018: £953 million); total income was up by 8percent to £1.140 billion (H1 2018: £1.060billion). FTSE Russell revenue was up by 9percent to £315 million (H1 2018: £290 million) with growth in subscription and asset-based revenues. Post Trade revenue at London Clearing House (LCH) was up 12percent to £266 million (H1 2018: £237 million), driven by strong growth in OTC volumes notably in the SwapClear service. Operating expenses, excluding depreciation and amortisation, were flat and 2percent down on a constant currency basis, with good cost control while continuing to invest.

Adjusted operating profit went up 11percent to £533 million (H1 2018: £480 million); operating profit was up by 2percent at £399 million (H1 2018: £393 million); profit before tax (PBT) was also up by 1percent to £363 million (H1 2018: £360 million); while profit after tax (PAT) decreased to £265 million (H1 2018: £283 million). Adjusted earnings per share (EPS) went up 13percent to 100.6 pence (H1 2018: 88.7 pence); basic EPS was down by 1percent at 70.7 pence (H1 2018: 71.1 pence). Interim dividend increased by 17percent to 20.1 pence per share (H1 2018: 17.2 pence per share), in line with its stated dividend policy. While commenting on performance for the period, David Schwimmer, CEO, LSEG said: “The Group has delivered another strong performance with an 8percent increase in income during the first half of the year. In Post Trade, LCH’s OTC clearing services have achieved record volumes during the period and have seen strong growth in member and client clearing.” “In Information Services, we have acquired Beyond Ratings, a highly regarded provider of ESG data and analytics, which will accelerate our ability to develop differentiated multi-asset solutions in sustainable finance investing.

IOSCO set for 2019 World Investor Week

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L-R: Olawale Cole, past president & Patron of the Nigerian-British Chamber of Commerce, and Kayode Falowo, president and chairman of Council, NBCC; Babajide Sanwo-Olu, His Excellency, Governor of Lagos State, and Obafemi Hamzat, deputy Governor of Lagos State, during a courtesy visit by the executive council of the Nigerian-British Chamber of Commerce to the Lagos State Governor in Alausa www.businessday.ng

he International Organisation of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) is preparing to launch its third annual World Investor Week (WIW) from September 30 to October 6, 2019 after its successful organisation in 2017 and 2018. The WIW is a week-long, global campaign, which aims to promote investor education and investor protection, highlighting the various initiatives of securities regulators in these two critical areas. IOSCO members will provide, in their jurisdictions, a wide variety of activities such as launching publications or services,

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promoting contests and organising workshops, conferences and other events. Many members leverage the event to organise further investor education activities throughout the year. Given today’s digital environment, the WIW 2019 includes key messages regarding online investing, digital assets and Initial Coin Offerings, as well as re-emphasizing the basics of investing. In last year’s WIW, IOSCO members and stakeholders from some 90 jurisdictions on six continents undertook a range of activities, such as offering investor-focused information and services, promoting contests to increase awareness of investor educa@Businessdayng

tion initiatives, organizing workshops and conferences and launching local/ national campaigns in their jurisdictions. “I welcome this third edition of the World Investor Week which evidences IOSCO’s continuous efforts and commitment to investor education and protection, encouraging new initiatives among IOSCO members and preparing them for dealing with the challenges of increasingly interconnected and digitalised capital markets” said Ashley Alder, Chair of the IOSCO Board and the Chief Executive Officer of the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission.


Thursday 15 August 2019

BUSINESS DAY

35

POLITICS & POLICY Buhari will consolidate and improve on 1st term performance – Razak

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a n re R a z a k , a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has urged Nigerians to double their support for President Muhammadu Buhari with a view to assisting him consolidate and improve on his first term performance. Razak made the appeal at a media chat in Lagos where he expressed confidence that, “the Next Level mantra of the President is real and not an empty slogan,” pointing out that, “some steps Buhari has taken are clear testimony that he is all out to meet the needs and aspirations of the citizenry.” Buhari’s insistence that all states must pay N30,000 minimum wage for workers is part of his commitment to the welfare of the country’s workforce, he added. The astute politician said his belief that Buhari would move the country more forward is reinforced by the friendly 9th National Assembly which he said would not hold the whole country hostage and thereby deny the nation of economic progress and development like the 8th National Assembly. Citing an example of Buhari’s determination to steer

Razak

the ship of the country to a successful end, the elder statesman said that the President has taken concrete steps to rid the country of all forms of criminalities, ranging from banditry, kidnapping, robbery and all forms of insurgence like Boko Haram and cultism. “Having realised that the security challenges in the country have external connection and foreign backers,

Mr. President has met with all the heads of neighbouring countries with the sole aim of ending insurgency from all angles,” Razak disclosed. According to him, that step was in addition to the meetings with all the stakeholders in the country like the religious leaders, leaders of ethnic nationalities, security agencies and other leaders of thoughts, saying, “this all-inclusive policy of

Buhari has shown him as a leader that has the interest of the country at heart.” Speaking further, the Epe, Lagos State born-community leader, Razak, said: “Nigerians should continue to appreciate God for giving us Muhammadu Buhari at a time the country needed a messiah badly,” appealing that, “we should therefore, double our supports for him so that he could be encour-

aged to continue the good work he has started four years ago.” The APC stalwart also appealed to the citizenry to desist from any act that can distract the President from being focused, reminding that leaders can only perform well when having the right mood in a peaceful environment since no development can take place in a rancorous and chaotic atmosphere. The former Lagos State Commissioner for Public Transportation expressed delight that Buhari’s foundation-laying first term has “got the country out of the 16 years of mess of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP)”, assuring that, he would fulfil his promise of moving the country to the next level. “I mean next level in education, next level in good infrastructure, next level of good healthcare programme, next level of good agricultural development and programmes for Nigerians and next level of economic buoyancy,” Razak enthused. On the minister-designates, the elder statesman expressed enthusiasm that the President has walked his talk that he would pick those

he knows can do the job to move the country to a greater level in the comity of nations, saying, “the team he has put together is peopled by tested and trusted hands who know their onions.” On the crises bedevilling the APC in some states in the country, Razak submitted unequivocally that the party has an effective crisis-resolution mechanism that would smoothen all the rough edges in the party, reminding that “Bola Ahmed Tinubu, national leader of the party, the man with Midas touch would rally all the stakeholders round to make sure that normalcy returns to all the affected area.” According to him, with Tinubu’s quantum of selfless services to humanity and nation building vis-a-vis restoration of full democracy to the country, he would not allow the party he helped to build to collapse. Razak, who is of strong conviction that governance is not a one man business but a collective responsibility, appealed to all Nigerianshome and abroad- to rally round Buhari to succeed in the onerous task of moving Nigeria to the next level, adding that, “nobody can clap with one hand.”

Bayelsa guber: Restoration team will Taraba crisis: Group urges Ishaku to suspend traditional rulers of affected communities produce next governor - Okara ... Says legislators should live up to constitutional responsibilities SAMUEL ESE, Yenagoa

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emela Okara, immediate past secretary to the government of Bayelsa State, has assured that the Restoration Team of Governor Henry Seriake Dickson will produce the next governor of the state. Okara, who spoke at the Federated Correspondents’ Chapel Media Forum for Bayelsa State Governorship Aspirants on Wednesday in Yenagoa said: “The governor has a good team and from this team, one of us will certainly emerge.” A governorship candidate of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in 2011 and two-time commissioner for trade, commerce and investment, further said: “If Dickson has primed me as his successor, then I am eternally grateful to him.” He described succession as a delicate business and expressed the belief that Dickson

looked at his team and said “from the Restoration Team, these ones can break new frontiers.” There has been a lot of speculation on Dickson’s successor since he picked three members of the Restoration Team as preferred successors in what sparked protest among other aspirants under the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). Okara, one of the three preferred successors, said: “I have what it takes at this time to be governor. I believe I am the successor. I believe it fervently.” He however, explained that no two politicians are the same and he is a different politician from Dickson, but guided by clear vision to create prosperity for all, pointing out that he has learnt a lot from the governor who he described as a “man of passion and compassion.” According to him, he has also learnt to be bold and courageous and that whatever he would do, he would do in the fear of God as he has taken www.businessday.ng

the next important step to consolidate on the success of the Dickson administration. On the issue of zoning, Okara said he believed in zoning as Ijaw people are peculiar and republican, and that Yenagoa was next in line to produce the next governor and that they would hold it down for the next four or eight years before handing it over to the next person. He promised to “light up Yenagoa” in first six months, complete ongoing housing schemes to decongest Yenagoa, while pursuing the New Yenagoa City, tackle insecurity through job creation and also pursue industrialisation. A pastor with the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) and missionary, he said the Restoration Government did not do enough to boost the local economy and that there was still a lot of work to do to develop enterprise and business mindset of the people.

NATHANIEL GBAORON, Jalingo

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h e Ta r a b a S t a t e Youth Forum for Good Governance and Accountability (TSYFGGA) has urged the state Governor, Darius Ishaku, to suspend all traditional rulers whose communities are engulfed in communal crisis in the state. Mohammed Kwanti, president of the group gave the advice on Wednesday while briefing newsmen in Jalingo. The group also advised the members of the Taraba State House of Assembly to stand up to their constitutional responsibilities. Kwanti said that such decisive actions would serve as a deterrent to every traditional council that is adamant over conflicts within its domain.

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He said that the role of traditional council in maintenance of peace and security was crucial and paramount in every locality. Kwanti also advised the government to interact and give matching orders to youth leaders of those communities affected by crisis as another measure in resolving the lingering crisis in those areas. He also suggested quick resolution of the conflict to avoid further escalation to other parts of the state. He recalled that the crisis has led to the closure of the Federal University Wukari. The leader noted that the situation has led to shutting down of both primary and secondary schools in the southern part of the state, affected socio economic fortunes @Businessdayng

of the zone in particular and the state in general. He also advised the state House of Assembly to rise to the occasion and perform its duties to meet the expectations of the people. Kwanti challenged the legislature to live up to its expectations and avoid turning of the entire institution into a ‘one man show’. “We members of the Taraba State Youths Forum for Good Governance and Accountability are worried over the lingering communal crisis that engulfed southern part of the state in the last four months. “We also urge the legislative arm of the state to rise to the occasion and perform its constitutional role for the survival of our dear state”, Kwanti stated.


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Thursday15 August 2019

BUSINESS DAY

INTERVIEW ‘When you narrow your focus to what is important, you will not be distracted by competition’ Philip Akesson is the country manager, Travelstart Nigeria. He has set up the overall business strategy of the online travel company, turning around management and oversees the successful implementation to ensure business growth in Nigeria. In this interview, the graduate of the Stockholm School of Economics, who spent close to a decade building online businesses in Europe and Africa from the ground, speaks to Obinna Emelike on the feats, competition, why online is the future of Nigerian travel industry, among other related issues. Excerpt. Congratulations on leading Travelstart Nigeria. How has it been since assuming the position? joined Travelstart three years ago - just when the currency started depreciating. Despite the challenging period the whole industry found itself in, Travelstart has been on a great journey since then. Our team has grown both in headcount and capabilities, and we have established a great company culture. We are a very different company today from where we were three years ago. I am proud to say that Travelstart has already established itself as one of the country’s largest travel agencies and given the great potential of the growing Nigerian travel market - the future looks promising. What is the value of online travel business in Nigeria and the growth percentage? The online travel market is definitely growing. Similar to how Nigerians are increasingly adopting online channels in other parts of their lives, we see the same trend in how they plan, book and pay for travel. Lower fares, ease of finding the best suited flight options, a greatly simplified and stress-free experience in general are the main drivers from offline to online booking. Assigning a percentage to the growth is tricky, mainly due to the fact that online players in Nigeria typically operate hybrid models with added distribution through offline channels and through networks of sub-agents. Although we can easily quantify certain broader industry trends, it is more difficult to isolate how much of that growth is driven by ‘online’ alone. We see an increasing number of competitors and investments in the online sector as validation of our own view that online is the future of Nigerian travel and of its current growth trajectory. Do you think the online travel business is still impacted by the recession? I think we are still impacted by it to some extent. The depreciation of the Naira made it more expensive for Nigerians to travel but it is looking better. The local travel industry as a whole is much healthier today compared to what is was in 2016 and 2017, and the airlines demonstrate optimism both by increasing frequency on their existing routes and by adding new cities to their route networks. As an example, Turkish Airlines recently added Port Harcourt to their network.

I

Philip Akesson

Travelstart are very excited about as it means that we can actively contribute to building a stronger travel ecosystem in Nigeria, which all stakeholders will benefit from. Can you share some travel insights about your customers in terms of cabin class preferences, popular destinations and activities to do while travelling? From a cabin class perspective, most tickets we sell are economy class. It is natural as it is still early days for ‘online’ and the early adopters of online travel are typically those who first realize how much money we can help them save by making it a lot easier for them to find the most suitable flight for their budget and individual travel preferences. Our top destinations are in New York, London, Dubai and Johannesburg. A lot of our customers combine business with leisure (‘bleisure’) but if we were to name only one favorite activity, it would have to be shopping. The simple visa application – combined with

At Travelstart, we have chosen to focus on offering our customers a drastically simplified online shopping experience, low prices, a wide selection of flights and a great customer service experience www.businessday.ng

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The increased seat capacity means that the airlines have to compete harder to fill them, which typically results in lower fares for travelers. New travel companies are springing up every day, how does that affect your business? Travelstart has been in operation for 20 years globally and seven years in the Nigerian market. Online is the next frontier of Nigerian travel so we see it as a natural, healthy, step and a welcome development in the right direction with new entrants. By sharing our technology through our affiliate program, the subagent network, Travelstart is actively promoting this growth by offering both existing and aspiring travel agencies a number of tools that can help them conduct their business more effectively and without the expensive up-front investments normally required. Our affiliate program is free to join and is a product that both online and offline travel agencies utilize. It is something we at

its unparalleled shopping – makes Dubai the city of choice for Nigerian travelers. We have also seen a rise in staycations i.e. people traveling within Nigeria for their vacations. At Travelstart we are paying close attention to this trend and have steadily increased the number of local carriers we sell on our website. We are continuously working to provide our customers with the widest selection of local and international flights possible. Has the Nigerian middle-class increased traveling? Yes absolutely, now that the economy has stabilised. The Nigerian middle class are always finding new ways to spend their recreational time without breaking the bank. I would say the middle class are also the most likely group to take advantage of bleisure travel opportunities; that is a business and leisure travel hybrid. Most travelers are purpose driven people, who usually travel for a specific reason, and when they have the opportunity to go abroad they definitely get their money’s worth. When travelling for business, they will carve out time to make a holiday out of it - Nigerians are very savvy travellers. What edge does Travelstart have over other travel companies in Nigeria? Simplicity. At Travelstart we actively choose to do fewer things, but do them well. When you narrow your focus to what’s truly important, and you resist falling for the temptation of getting distracted by what the competition is doing, you typically end up with a much better product and healthier business as a whole. At Travelstart, we have chosen to focus on offering our customers a drastically simplified online shopping experience, low prices, a wide selection of flights and a great customer service experience. That is it. To achieve this we invest heartily in our relationships with airline partners, spend significant resources on technology and offer our staff extensive training programs and an inspiring work environment. We would never enter new verticals (e.g. visa services or tour packages) unless we’d be 100 percent sure that our customers would have a seamless experience. Until then we are happy to leave it in the hands of industry peers. Our discipline and habit of always setting the bar higher sets us apart from the competition and has helped us establish a reputation @Businessdayng

of being a stable and trustworthy agency both among our customers and industry partners. In addition, our team is backed by 20 years of experience building online travel businesses in diverse international markets and this is a great asset that gives us a clear edge too. What new innovations are you bringing to the table? The concept of online travel in Nigeria is still new, and would be seen by many as ‘innovative’ in itself. But innovation is also not necessarily about being the first in the world at doing something. We prefer to look at innovation from the perspective of identifying the areas that matters the most in each of our markets and strive to become the gold standard in each of them. Travelstart’s main aim is to offer our customers a cheap and simplified booking process and great customer experience. As such, most of our innovations take place behind the scenes and could include anything from finding new ways of using technology to improve internal processes, creative ways of adding value to our airline partners so we can offer our customers lower prices, ways of reaching new customer groups, eliminating friction points in the customer experience, among others. So, even if not always seen on the surface, there is a lot of innovations and continuous effort going on behind the scenes. More visible and typical ‘innovations’ include certain products we offer where you are able to get one free date change, select your seat and meal at the time of making your booking, automatic online check-in, $1,000 compensation if your bag gets delayed, among others. How do you see Nigeria as a country and what are the opportunities for tourism in Nigeria? Nigeria has incredible potential. Some of my all-time favorite travel memories are from when I travelled locally. A few breathtaking days at Obudu Ranch, watching Dambe boxing in Abuja and durbars in both Kano and Kaduna are among my most memorable. Nigeria is blessed with a rich culture and heritage, a beautiful coast line, lush mountainous regions, a favorable climate and warm welcoming people - elements that will help establish Nigeria as a great travel destination. I see great potential for Nigeria to achieve this and we at Travelstart look forward to playing our role in making it happen.


Thursday 15 August 2019

BUSINESS DAY

INTERVIEW

37

‘We have invested and will continue to invest in technology to enable us manage facilities end to end’ Technology remains the most disruptive agent in the world today that is penetrating virtually all facets of life and nations’ economies. In this interview, WOLE OLUFORE, managing director, Alpha Mead Facilities, explains how technology drives their processes and procedures. He also speaks on their training, partnerships and ambitious plans to expand their frontiers beyond the 10 African countries where they already have footprints. He speaks with CHUKA UROKO, Property Editor. Excerpts:

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rom a robust career in oil and gas you’ve found yourself in real estate space. Tell us about this growth trajectory that seems to have been aided by providence. My name is Wole Olufore, the managing director, Alpha Mead Facilities. I joined the real estate space by chance because the first 15 years of my career I was in the oil and gas industry. That was where our GMD, Femi Akintunde, and I met. We worked on some projects together. I was the contact man in charge of his projects. Often, we agreed to disagree, but one thing that resonated between us was mutual respect. As a project engineer, he wants his project done in good time while I, as a commercial person, would like to see the value he is bringing to the table. Our ways also crossed again when I was drafted to UBA from Shell where he was a director at the time. After UBA, I went back to oil and gas and that was when Femi started Alpha Mead. I joined Sentrica, an energy company from the UK where I spent four years. I was to join Seplat, but that was the time Alpha Mead invited me and that was how I found myself in the real estate space where we do maintenance services which, incidentally, I am the head.

What advantage or leverage does working in oil and gas industry gives you in your new assignment? On assuming office, my 15 years in oil and gas industry gave me a breather in terms of processes and procedures that I was familiar with. But I was initially scared because that was the very first time I was to work for a small company compared to where I was coming from. What I noticed was that all the things the GMD learnt working for the multi-nationals, he deposited them into this place and that is why this company is surviving and growing. I made a promise that I would take the company to the global stage. Since my days as GM Commercial with Business Development under me, I have been able to scale up the market for the company internationally. Today we have CEBRE, the biggest property management company in the world, as our partner in nine African countries. Next month, the 10th one will open. There will be many more because the opportunities are so huge for us that the I believe the only way to go is up. The Nigerian economy is struggling and that is impacting on many sectors, especially real estate. How are you coping? We have a good number of professionals around and regardless of what is happening in the economy, the facilities management space will always have its market. The real estate sector can be volatile as it has been in the last few years. Even when there was a slowdown and drastic fall in oil prices, the facilities management space remained. What we saw instead was that our clients in oil and gas industry were calling us to renegotiate our contracts terms and conditions to reflect the reality of the times. I told our people at the time that we were in a good environment because our work revolves around where people live, work and recreate. We make the facilities comfortable and convenient for them. So long as those properties continue to exist and the owners want them to be in good shape, the facilities manager has a role to play. Your industry in Nigeria is still evolving. What is the size/value of this market at the moment? Our target market is huge. The value of the facilities management market in the world is estimated at $1.1 trillion. This represents the cost of maintaining the built space globally. The

facilities end to end; from request to execution and even payment. We have a robust platform that we will continue to improve on. One of the things we are going to do is to ensure that all our technology platforms are in sync into one. We just want to have one platform and we are already on that trajectory right now. That is one of the things that will give us impetus to face the market.

Wole Olufore

share of the African market in this is 1.4 percent which is about $17 billion. So, even in Africa alone, the opportunity is quite huge. This opportunity aligns with our vision to globalise our business from a local Nigerian company to a pan African company. Today we operate in 12 African countries traversing West, North and East African regions. Tell us about your vision in terms of where you want to be and how you intend to get there? We already have the structures in place. All we need to do to get to where we are going is to build on those structures, be more innovative and more daring in terms of facing the market. Our strategy is training our people. We have a training arm and we are affiliated to the International Facilities Management Association (IFMA) and Institute of Workspace and Facilities Managers (IWFM). What we want to do going forward is to throw training teasers to some companies. Locally, we want to get some corporate portfolios because these are the people that understand our processes and procedures; they understand that we are not a break-and-fix company. Our aim is to educate the market and let them know that facilities market is not a cost-centre but one of those services you need to complement your productivity which leads to profitability. People often see facilities management as mere maintenance, break and fix services companies which it is not. What do you do differently that separates you from the public perception you have just pointed out? We are a full-fledged professional service company. The way we do what we do speaks volume about who we are and what we are. We don’t just go out and start doing something. Before we do anything, based on our standard processes and procedures, our people should be on site to call their agency partners to evaluate the risk in working at that site and put all the necessary structures in place. We do all these because we understand that one fatality zeroes all your gains. Because of these precautionary measures, we have won many health, safety and environment (HSE) awards. We believe that these awards come to us because those who give the awards know that we are process-driven. What the awards www.businessday.ng

tell us is that we are not in the wrong business and that we are doing it right. In specific terms, what are your next moves that will leapfrog you into the evolving new world of facility management? Going forward, we want to do more training because we believe that through training , you enlighten people and make them understand the narratives, especially what facilities management really means. Sometimes we drop our price because we want to partner with the client and make him understand the value in us. Now, we no longer deal on prices, but on value. Value-based FM is about aligning your objectives with those of the clients you want to serve and this, essentially, is at the core of what we offer. We believe that when we connect strategically with our clients, we can deliver tactically. You have a real estate development firm inhouse; what is the meeting point between your department and that arm of the business? Our real estate development arm started based on our experience in providing services across different real estate portfolios in Nigeria. We realized that a lot of houses were not well built; we realized too that plumbing works are in shamble. Same with electricity as shown in the way the wires are connected. The question we asked ourselves was, what can we do differently in real estate space? Our answer was a decision to build with technology where you will have minimum maintenance. We use materials that will be there for life and there will be no issues of licking pipes, dropping wires, fading paints, etc. Such a technology will be expensive but it will stand the test of time. We could have decided to build the conventional way and come back to manage it for profit. We decided against that motive. We considered the global trends in the real estate market. The most disruptive agent in the world today is technology which has penetrated every facet of life. How involved are you in this and what’s the size of your investment in it? We are a process and technology-driven firm. We have invested and will continue to invest in technology that will enable us to manage

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Alpha Mead is reputed to have developed a technology that monitors its outside operations. Tell us about that new innovation. The technology in question is an Alpha Mead App called Eye-on-Site. It enables us to supervise operations on our sites that are outside our vicinity. When we installed this App, there was improvement in our monitoring and compliance. But some of our people on site did not comply. Some will sit at home and give you report on what happens on site. That led us to install another App called DPS which tells you where somebody is at any particular time he is performing an operation. In Alpha Mead, we are not afraid of challenges because we have learnt to turn challenges into opportunities. I encourage my colleagues to work hard. The company may look small with its internal challenges, but the positives are immense. We should continue to build on those positives and the negatives will continue to drop off with time. What are the other challenges in this space besides the people you call pseudo practitioners or quacks? A major challenge is funding. We have just a few clients that can really afford to pay regularly and on time. Some of the companies we work for owe for up to six months. Banks no longer lend to everybody. They give their money to big companies. Both companies and individuals we work for owe and it is worse with residential facilities. When it is time to pay you, the owners would begin to complain that work done has gone bad again. But we will continue to do what we are doing. It is a whole lot of challenge for us and property owners. We have cases of facilities that are 60 percent occupied and 40 percent empty. The burden of maintaining the empty 40 percent is on the landlord and he is out of pocket because renting is not coming from there. So, he can only do for the 60 percent that is occupied. What we in such a situation is to ensure that the empty 40 percent will not attract 100 percent charge like the 60 percent that is occupied. We see it as a challenge too. Beyond these challenges, what are the prospects for you and the industry in a struggling economy? We are looking up to the government. We expect the government to create the enabling environment for every business to thrive. One good thing we have heard in the last six months is the directive by the CBN governor that 60 percent of bank deposits should be lent out to the real sector. It is our hope that if all the banks comply to this directive, there will be enough money to do business. Again, if treasury bill is made unattractive with low interest rate, it will all help private enterprise. All that will create a boom. There are people who have good ideas and they are just looking for money to translate such ideas into money making ventures. When that happens, the real estate space will also boom. What we need is the stimulus and that is funding. We hope the country will rise again but the best things need to be done.

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Thursday 15 August 2019

BUSINESS DAY

news

Buhari promises more investment in infrastructure …changes Nigeria Prison Service to Correctional Service …names Uni Agric Makurdi after J. S. Tarka TONY AILEMEN, Abuja

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resident Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday said his administration would continue to invest in infrastructure like rails, roads, bridges and waterways, which have started yielding positive results with tangible evidence for all to see. A statement by Garba Shehu, senior special assistant to the president on media and publicity, said Buhari made the commitment at the commissioning of the reconstructed Shinkafi-Yandaki-GafiyaAbdallawa-Dankaba road in Katsina as part of activities during his visit to the state. The president, according to the statement, said the special attention given to infrastructure by his administration would be intensified since the investments had been justified with more people benefitting. “Infrastructure is vital to economic development. As you are aware, this administration has given special attention to infrastructural transformation of our country,” Buhari was quoted to have said. “This is in consonance with the change philosophy of the administration. Such projects and programmes form part of our contribution to national development, which are tangible for all to see,” he said. He commended the strategy by Governor Aminu Bello Masari’s administration to make roads motorable throughout the year for citizens. “We all know that the economy of Katsina State is agrarian. Our wealth is farming and livestock rearing. Hence the need to open it up through and across all communities so as to maximally tap the abundant agricultural and livestock resources the state is endowed with,” he said. President Buhari, who is visiting the state as part of Eid El- Kabir celebrations, also disclosed that he would commission more projects in the state on Thursday (today). In his remark, Governor Masari said the government “had all along been mindful of the need for infrastructural development across the nooks and crannies of the state”. He said the decision had “efficiently and effectively facilitated smooth movement of people, goods and services on trade and com-

merce, not only within Katsina State but across other neighbouring states”. The governor noted that the economy of the state and wellbeing of the people had improved with the focus on infrastructure. President Buhari also signed the Nigerian Prison Service Bill passed by the 8th National Assembly that changes the name of Nigeria Prison Service to Nigerian Correctional Service (NCS). Under the new law, the Nigeria prison system will now operate as a correctional organisation, a development viewed as part of his administration’s effort at reforming the prison system in the country. The new law now commutes death sentence not executed after 10 years to life imprisonments. The signing of the law came two months after the expiration of the 8th National Assembly, thereby raising concerns as to the legality of the law and if the clerk of the National Assembly has such right to withhold bills and transmit them to the president months after the end of an assembly. Ita Enang, senior special assistant to the president on National Assembly (Senate matters), while briefing State House Correspondents on Wednesday, said the bill was transmitted to the President while it was signed in August. Enang said the essence of the bill was to keep the inmates in human conditions within the carrying capacity of the prisons. According to him, the new Act repeals the Prisons Act and changes the name from Nigeria Prisons Service to Nigerian Correctional Service, otherwise known as “the Correctional Service”. The Correctional Service is now made up of two main faculties: “Custodial Service and Non-custodial Service”. The Custodial Service, according to him, “is to take custody and control of persons legally interned in safe, secure and humane conditions; conveying remand persons to and from courts in motorized formations; identifying the existence and causes of anti-social behaviours of inmates; conducting risk and needs assessment aimed at developing appropriate correctional treatment methods for reformation, rehabilitation and reintegration”.

•Continues online at www.businessday.ng www.businessday.ng

L-R: Deremi Atanda, executive director, SystemSpec; Jimmy Shogbesan, chief operating officer, MediaVision Limited; John Obaro, managing director, SystemSpecs, and Peter Rufai, tournament ambassador, Remita Corporate Championship Cup, at a press conference announcing the commencement of the 2019 Remita Corporate Champions Cup (RC3) in Lagos, yesterday. Pic by Olawale Amoo

Insurers receive N353.7bn premium... Continued from page 1

larly called, is a type of annuity contract that provides, in return for a lump sum, a monthly or quarterly payment starting immediately after retirement and continuing for the rest of the retiree’s life. The contract is often purchased by retiring persons who want an income that is guaranteed to last for the rest of their lives, no matter how long that might be. The first quarter report released by the National Pension Commission (PenCom) shows that the Commission approved a total of 4,264 applications for retirement under life annuity during the quarter, bringing the total number of retirees receiving their retirement benefits through the annuity plan to 65,916 from inception. The 4,264 retirees during the first quarter paid premium of N24.81 billion to insurance companies and monthly annuity of N257.26 million. This resulted in total premium of N353.69 billion and monthly annuity payments of N3.52 billion as at the end of first quarter 2019. A lot of retirees have continued to show interest in taking up annuity for retirement benefits as provided in the Pension Reform Act 2014, resulting in monumental growth in life business of insurance companies. The insurance regulator, National Insurance Commis-

sion (NAICOM), had noted that increase in premium of life companies offering annuity has seen the industry life premium grow by 37 percent since the beginning of 2014. Tunde Fajemirokun, managing director/CEO, AIICO Insurance plc, said during a media interaction that annuity business was contributing a huge premium to the life insurance business in the country. Fajemirokun said AIICO would continue to take advantage of this opportunity, mainly by effectively managing its risk exposure to ensure it continues to add value to its portfolio mix. Section 7 (1a) of the Pension Reform Act 2014 states that an employee on retirement shall procure Annuity for Life Policy or Programmed Withdrawal. The lump sum for the procurement of Annuity for Life Policy or Programmed Withdrawal must have been accumulated through series of employer/employee contributions into the Retirement Savings Account of the retiring employee throughout his/her working career. Annuity for Life Policy is a retirement instrument option for retiring employee offered by a life insurance company licensed by NAICOM. Analysts say this is likely to grow over time given that a lot of the retirees under the CPS were beginning to be more aware of the benefits of annuity, but raised concern over the capacity of the market to absorb the size of the risk.

Congo could rival Nigeria for Africa’s top ... Continued from page 2

Zabazaba-Etan project ; 140,000bpd Bosi project ; 110,000bpd Uge project and 100,000bpd Nsiko deepwater project. The 1-billion-barrel Owowo field development is also waiting on the right fiscal terms among other

conditions. Yet these oil majors vacillating on completing these projects are investing in newer producers from Africa and other regions. Analysts say Nigeria is making its oil sector uncompetitive due to lack of committed action to improve the fiscal and regulatory en-

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Stocks see red as GTB, Oando, Total, UACN ... Continued from page 1

the previous year.

Zenith Bank plc, Nigeria’s sec ond-largest lender by

total asset, established a new 52-week low at N16.20 per share after dipping 0.92 percent on Wednesday. The stock which has shed some 30 percent is trading at levels last seen about two years ago. Another big bank, GTB, is at a new 52-weeek low of N25.95 per share. In spite of the lender having a profitable first quarter, investors’ bearish sentiment has not spared the tier-one bank, now trading at its lowest since May 2017. First Bank Holdings of Nigeria, another large cap financial, has established a new 52-week low of N4.65 per share, its cheapest valuation in a similar period as peers. The wave of pessimism has pushed other banking stocks like Fidelity, Jaiz, and Ecobank to new lows. Outside the banking sector, a big cap like United Capital has been weighed on by poor markets sentiment, trading at N1.8 per share as at close of trading Wednesday. Stocks like Oando at N3.06, Transcorp at 84 kobo, Dangote Sugar at N9.55, Law Union at 36 kobo, Total at N105.80 and United vironment and inadequate security of oil and gas assets in the Niger Delta. “In Nigeria, security is a big issue. There is also regulatory uncertainty and contracting issues which raise cost of production for oil companies,” said Chuks Nwani, an energy lawyer based in Lagos. These challenges are helping to cede investment dol@Businessdayng

Africa Company of Nigeria are also trading at new 52week low. Policy reforms are necessary to spur interest in Nigeria’s equity market valued significantly cheaper to emerging peers. The domestic bourse has a price to earnings (P/E) ratio of 6.9x compared to an average of 11x among peers. While Nigeria’s fiscal authority has been quiet, the monetary counterpart has embarked on a series of real sector interventions in attempts to support growth. Regulatory concerns, however, especially in light of recent policies by the Central Bank of Nigeria in increasing credit flows, may have resulted in the sell-off of lenders. Zenith Bank trades at 0.6526x price to book and offers 17.07 percent dividend yield, and UBA trades at a 2.36x PE, 0.3639x PB and offers 15.18 percent dividend yield, data from Bloomberg show. The policies of the CBN governor have seen the country’s foreign exchange market somewhat stabilise and the reserve situation can cover much of the outflow risks but the price is a restrictive monetary policy and juicy fixed-income returns continue to limit demand for equities, analysts say. lars to new producers on the African continent. Though struggling with an economy clobbered by civil unrest, corruption and debt, Congo’s energy industry has been boosted by major recent finds from Italy’s ENI and France’s Total.

•Continues online at www.businessday.ng


Thursday 15 August 2019

Innovation

Apps

BUSINESS DAY

Fin-Tech

Start-up

Gadgets

Ecommerce

IOTs

39

TECHTALK

Broadband Infrastructure

Bank IT Security

Ripple Labs eyes Nigeria expansion, taps local financial services adviser ...Says it’s not a cryptocurrency Stories by FRANK ELEANYA

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an-Francisco based Ripple Labs, a cryptocurrency platform for payment systems, has tapped Financial Trust Group, a Nigerian-based financial services firm, as principal adviser in moves to deepen its presence in Nigeria and Africa. In an interview with BusinessDay, Avant Global, an international business networking firm also operating as a holding vehicle for direct equity of preferred and common Series A and B shares in Ripple, disclosed that after observing growth in adoption of Ripple - also known as XRP - in Nigeria and across Africa, it is now ready to scale its presence on the continent. The firm had made a previous foray into the continent which it says was a learning opportunity to understand and think about ways the network could bring valuable opportunities and relationships there for successful ventures.

“Now, our company has matured to fulfill this mission and we have the right individuals to assist in the development of potential deals,” Thomas Carrol, chief investment officer of Avant Group told BusinessDay. Ripple is an open sourced platform designed to allow fast and cheap transactions. It was primarily created to solve the inefficiencies of SWIFT which handles the majority of global interbank

exchange activity, annually this is about $155 trillion dollars. SWIFT services overtime have been undermined by slow processing times which could take 3 to 5 days. Ripple on the other hand would take 3 to 5 seconds. Ripple is mostly seen as a digital currency, similar to cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum. In fact, in Nigeria almost everyone trade it the same way bitcoin is traded.

“Ripple is not a cryptocurrency,” Carrol told BusinessDay. “Cryptocurrencies are actively mined by computers processing huge amounts of energy. Ripple is a digital asset.” Anyone can access Ripple and everyone has an equal right to use it. Ripple Labs, the company does not control the network, collect fees, or limit access because Ripple is a distributed, real-time payment protocol

for anything of value. It is a shared public database, with a built-in distributed currency exchange, that operates as the world’s first universal translator for money. Unlike Bitcoin, Ripple is currency agnostic and has a foreign exchange component built right into the protocol. “There is a real conversation to be had in understanding the fundamental differences between Bitcoin and Ripple,” Carrol said. “Bitcoin maybe more actively used, but the potential for Ripple as an intermediary in the global financial settlement network is unrivaled. We believe that working through our in-country partners to provide this education is the best means of bringing Silicon Valley to the Nigerian people.” Where bitcoin has a continually growing tool with an eventual maximum, and Ethereum theoretically has no limit, Ripple was created with all of its 100 billion XRP tokens right of the gate. Ripple currently has three products that over 200 banks - including the majority of

the top 50 global banks - are suing actively. They provide a full suite of services that banks require when sending funds globally. The RippleNet is a network of institutional payment-providers such as banks and money services businesses that use solutions developed by Ripple to provide a frictionless experience to send money globally. The RippleNet platform with xVia, xCurrent and xRapid. XRP is leveraged on the xRapid platform. “Ripple’s adoption by central banks, banks, private institutions and digital asset exchanges has been phenomenal to see,” Carroll said. “In a heavily regulated and conservative environment, it is rare to see a tech company have so much success in a short amount of time.” Carroll however sees Facebook Libra facing incredible regulatory scrutiny as a result of trust issues has been associated with in recent times. He does not see Libra going live for at least a year until their consumer based platform is operating.

OPPO’s new budget smartphones Tech-enabled solutions required for $10,000 land restoration prize are all shades of smartness

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ppo is not usually known for selling cheap phones - the first smartphones the company publicly launched in Nigeria cost between N139,000 and N149,000 - but a fast changing competitive smartphone market have forced the company to come up with cheaper alternatives reputed to be tailored to the needs of Nigerians. Last week the company launched the OPPO A1k and A5s both priced at N50,000 and N70,000. OPPO, a global smartphone manufacturer ranked the fourth largest in the world, has seen its market share in Africa undermined by competitors who capitalise on widespread low income situation of millions of households and offer consumers devices sold at below market standard prices. Although OPPO told BusinessDay that it sold out all its four shipments to Ni-

geria in 2018, the company however, knows that it has to up its game to secure its position in Africa’s largest market. The good news is that in doing so, the A1k and A5s devices however do not lose much of the company’s innovative edge. There is still a lot of smartness packed in each device. The cheapest among them, the A1k comes with a 6.1-inch LCD waterdrop screen and a 1560x720 pixel and has a 4000mAh battery for longer lasting browsing time and a 32GB ROM making for more daily usage experience. The phone is also equipped with ColorOS 6.0, OPPO’s latest update to its intuitive operation system. The innovative borderless design further increases speed and overall ease of use. In addition, ColorOS 6.0 has multiple ‘smart’ functions, including OPPO Cloud Service, Notification Bar, Smart Assistant, Riding

Mode and Gesture Navigation, allowing users to experience a smarter lifestyle. Intelligent smart assistant provides users with a one-stop service portal, which directly presents the most important information in the form of a card on the Home screen. Users can view and use it at any time with no need to install a large number of apps. Supported card features include shortcuts, favorite contacts, schedules, step counter, and photo album, etc. The A5s screen at 6.2inch LCD waterdrop screen is slightly taller than A1k. the height advantage means there is more for viewers to see particularly on the screen design which draws its inspiration from a water droplet on the verge of falling. From gaming to watching videos to just plain web browsing, users can enjoy an immersive experience.

CALEB OJEWALE

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echnology is today the go-to resource in finding solutions to almost every facet of human existence, and now, a new challenge seeks to explore it in finding solutions to the issues of unprecedented land degradation, and the loss of arable land, said to be at 30 to 35 times the historical rate. Named the DOEN Land Restoration Prize, it offers $10,000 for young entrepreneurs who are using technology to solve environmental, social and financial challenges that are focusing on land restoration activities in Africa. The DOEN Foundation (Stichting DOEN), a Dutch fund supporting green, socially inclusive and creative initiatives that contribute to a better and cleaner world, is collaborating with Seedstars, a leading emerging market startup community and investor, to launch the DOEN Land Restoration Prize, in order to

find and award the best techenabled solutions in the land restoration and land degradation space. According to the World Resources Institute, for every $1 invested in land restoration it can yield $7-$30 in benefits, and now is the time to prove it, said organisers of the prize in a statement. The winner of the challenge will be awarded 9 months access to the Seedstars Investment Readiness Program, the hybrid program challenging traditional acceleration models by creating a unique mix to improve start-up performance and get them ready to secure investment. They will also access a 10,000 USD grant. “Our current economic system does not meet the growing need to improve our society ecologically and socially. The problems arising from this can be tackled only if a different economic system is considered,” said Saskia Werther, program manager at the DOEN Foundation.

Team: Frank Eleanya, frank.eleanya@businessdayonline.com; Caleb Ojewale, caleb.ojewale@businessdayonline.com www.businessday.ng

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“Through this challenge, DOEN wants to highlight the work of early stage restoration enterprises and inspire other frontrunners to follow suit,” Werther said. To enter the competition, start-ups should meet the following criteria: • Existing start-ups/young companies with less than 4 years of existence • Start-ups that can adapt their current solution to the land restoration space • The start-up must have a demonstrable product or service (Minimum Viable Product, MVP) • The start-up needs to be scalable or have the potential to reach scalability in low resource areas. • The start-up can show clear environmental impact (either by reducing a negative impact or creating a positive one) Applications are open now and will be accepted until October 15th. Start-ups can apply via http://seedsta.rs/doen


Thursday 15 August 2019

BUSINESS DAY

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Thursday 15 August 2019

FT

BUSINESS DAY

41

FINANCIAL TIMES

World Business Newspaper ERIC PLATT IN NEW YORK

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e Wo rk p u b lished its hotly anticipated prospectus on Wednesday, as the lossmaking property group races to complete an initial public offering that will see it raise billions of dollars to fund its global expansion. Th e pu b l i cat i o n c o m e s months after The We Company, WeWork’s parent group, filed its IPO paperwork confidentially with the Securities and Exchange Commission, and sets the stage for a stock market debut as soon as September. The group is hoping to raise between $3bn and $4bn through the IPO, according to people briefed on the plans, which would rank it as one of the largest new public listings this year. The documents revealed the financial toll of WeWork’s rapid global expansion. The company generated a net loss of $905m in the first six months of 2019, compared to $723m in the same period a year ago. It said $215m of its loss so far this year was attributable to other investors who have funded its growth in Asia. Revenues more than doubled in the first half of the year to $1.54bn and the company said that large companies were accounting for a larger portion of its growing membership base, which now numbers 527,000. The company was last val-

WeWork losses jump as $3bn-plus offering launched Property group sets the stage for market debut as soon as September

Adam Neumann, co-founder and chief executive of WeWork

ued at $47bn by the Japanese telecoms and technology group SoftBank, its largest investor. However, WeWork is not expected to clinch that same valuation when it floats publicly. Some early investors have marked

their shares down or cut their stakes this year. After successive infusions of capital from private market investors, notably SoftBank, WeWork and its co-founder and chief executive Adam Neumann

are testing public appetite for a business model offering shared office space on flexible terms — and for a wider corporate mission it says is to “elevate the world’s consciousness”. “We are reinventing the way

people work and transforming the way individuals and organisations relate to the workplace,” the company said in the filing. “When we started, it was obvious to us that the solutions available in the market were not meeting the needs of the modern workforce.” The listing is being finalised at the same time WeWork attempts to sew up another $6bn financing package. That part of the fundraising is to take the form of asset-backed loans, with a portion of it contingent on the expectation that WeWork will raise at least $3bn from its IPO. The We Company did not say how many shares it planned to sell or at what price it would list its stock. The group will list its class A shares under the ticker WE. WeWork has grown rapidly since its founding by Mr Neumann and Miguel McKelvey nearly a decade ago in New York’s SoHo district. It now counts more than 520 offices across 111 cities. In the process, it has become the largest tenant in New York and is one of the biggest in London.

Bond market flashes ominous warning over US and UK economies Trump retreat on some tariffs raises scant hopes

Move seen as only temporary reprieve in US-China trade war despite market enthusiasm

Key portions of yield curves invert and equities on both sides of the Atlantic tumble ADAM SAMSON AND TOMMY STUBBINGTON IN LONDON AND RICHARD HENDERSON IN NEW YORK

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he global bond markets have flashed an ominous signal for two of the world’s biggest economies amid mounting concern over a slowdown in growth and persistent uncertainty caused by the US-China trade dispute. The spread of key interest rates in the US and UK over different time horizons has inverted, with yields on longer-term debt falling below shorter-term bonds, moves often seen by investors as potential harbingers of economic downturns and recessions. The bond market action ricocheted into equities on both sides of the Atlantic. Wall Street’s benchmark S&P 500 index tumbled 2.3 per cent, while London’s FTSE 100 was 1.4 per cent lower. The panEuropean Stoxx 600 gauge shed 1.5 per cent. US 10-year Treasury yields dropped 1 basis point (0.01 percentage point) below that of the two-year, according to Tradeweb data. It marked the first time this has occurred since the lead-up to

the 2008-09 recession. A different part of the Treasury curve that compares three-month yields against 10-year yields had already inverted, but the shift in this area is the latest indication of growing unease in the fixed income market. Typically longer-term debt trades with higher yields to compensate investors for the risk of holding debt for a longer time during which it is more difficult to predict economic conditions. When the yield curve flips, it is generally seen as a strong signal that investors are expecting an economic downturn. “This is a warning sign about the global slowdown,” said Andrea Iannelli, investment director at Fidelity International. “There’s a lot priced in terms of bad news, but for now the momentum remains extremely strong.” Quincy Krosby, chief market strategist for Prudential Financial, said: “The two-year and 10-year inversion is very important — you dismiss this at your peril.” “Many who said the threemonth and 10-year inversion was not a viable warning sign were waiting for the two-year to invert — now it’s here.” www.businessday.ng

JAMES POLITI IN WASHINGTON

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onald Trump engineered a remarkably quick retreat on Tuesday from his latest aggressive move in the trade war with China, delaying some new tariffs on consumer goods that were set to take effect on September 1 for more than two months, until mid December. Yet there are scant hopes that the gesture will pave the way for a resumption of serious negotiations leading to a lasting peace in the trade war consuming Washington and Beijing. “This seeming de-escalation in ongoing tensions may be a temporary reprieve,” said Elena Duggar, associate managing director at Moody’s, the rating agency. “Relations between the world’s two largest economies will remain contentious, punctuated with occasional steps towards compromise,” she added. Mr Trump’s move was accompanied by an unusual acknowledgment that the deepening economic conflict with Beijing could have negative repercussions for US households, which he has so far strenuously denied.

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“We are doing this for the Christmas season, just in case some of the tariffs would have an impact on US consumers. So far, they’ve had virtually none,” Mr Trump said, as he prepared to board Air Force One to travel from New Jersey to Pennsylvania. The explanation suggested some anxiety within the White House about the political fallout heading into Mr Trump’s reelection campaign if the economy does take a hit because of the enduring stand-off with China. But the tariff delay also fit Mr Trump’s well-worn pattern of shifting to a less hostile stance after ramping up tensions and testing the market’s tolerance of his administration’s brinkmanship — suggesting that Tuesday’s action was a more limited, tactical withdrawal. The sudden reversal from Mr Trump — less than two weeks after he had announced the new tariffs were imminent out of frustration with Beijing’s unwillingness to make concessions — was greeted with relief by US equity investors. The benchmark S&P 500 rose 1.5 per cent on Tuesday. Markets were also encouraged by news that top US and Chinese officials spoke by phone @Businessdayng

on Tuesday in a conversation that Mr Trump described as “very productive” — and vowed to hold another call in two weeks. Yet the two sides still face huge hurdles to get an agreement back on track, amid mutual distrust including on very basic issues, such as the resumption by China of the purchase of US farm goods, which Mr Trump has continued to demand without any response from Beijing. The US president’s posture towards China is still tilting more towards escalation than accommodation. Mr Trump continued to attack Beijing on Twitter on Tuesday for the “massive devaluation” of its currency. In addition, although slightly more than half of the planned tariffs due to kick in on September 1 have been delayed, the rest will still be hit next month. On Capitol Hill, Democrats mocked the shift as disingenuous. “Postponing tariffs on video game consoles and pet toys is giving Trump the stock market bump he wants but he’s still going ahead with tariffs on books, school supplies and clothes that will hit working Americans the hardest,” said Ron Wyden, the Oregon senator and top Democrat on the finance committee.


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Thursday 15 August 2019

BUSINESS DAY

FT

NATIONAL NEWS

Shari Redstone takes on media industry after CBS victory The 65-year-old successor now sits unchallenged atop a $30bn entertainment empire ANNA NICOLAOU IN NEW YORK

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hree years ago, at a public event in New York, Les Moonves, the reigning king of television atop the most popular network in the US, said he did not want to combine his CBS with Viacom because he was “too old and too rich”. At the time, CBS insiders and investors agreed. The reunification of the sister companies was viewed as the pesky preoccupation of Shari Redstone, scion of the powerful family dynasty who had just inherited control of the companies from her ailing father. Mr Moonves went so far as to sue her to block the deal — describing Ms Redstone in legal documents as an “interfering presence”. The past year has seen a stunning reversal of fortunes. Less than six months after declaring war on Ms Redstone, Mr Moonves was out at CBS amid mounting allegations of sexual misconduct. At the same time, media megamergers left both CBS and Viacom looking vulnerable. Analysts suddenly viewed their reunion as logical, even necessary. This week’s $12bn deal to reunite the two companies has been Ms Redstone’s crowning victory. After fighting off two of the most powerful men in Hollywood — Mr Moonves and her own father Sumner, with whom she has intermittently feuded over the years — Ms Redstone now sits unchallenged atop a $30bn entertainment empire. The 65-year-old Bostonian, who speaks with a thick New England accent and espouses a love for the region’s Patriots football team, has made for a compelling victor in the #MeToo era. The family business is no longer in the hands of her father, now aged 96, a patriarch whose sexual affairs were litigated in courtrooms and the pages of New York tabloids. Under his daughter’s watch, the boards of both CBS and Viacom are now majority female. CBS hired a “chief people officer” and installed human resources managers on all of its sets to “confidentially discuss any potential workplace situation”. CBS’s news division, plagued by sexual harassment allegations against senior executives Charlie Rose and Jeff Fager, has its first female president, Susan Zirinsky, and a star female host in Gayle King. The new combined company will bear Ms Redstone’s imprimatur as well. Loyalist Bob Bakish has been named chief executive of the group — not Joe Ianniello, a former Moonves lieutenant who ran CBS in his absence. Mr Bakish told the Financial Times last year that he has “known Shari for a long time,’’ adding: “I’m not worried about my fate.” Ms Redstone has not crowed about her victory; indeed, those close to her say she has been intentionally lying low. “She took it all very hard and experienced a lot of sexist stuff,” said one person close to her, adding that while she still wanted CBS and Viacom to merge,

she “largely stayed out of” the negotiations. Ms Redstone has been spending time with family and visits the Viacom office a few times a week, but is not involved in daily decisionmaking, people close to her added. Her ascent has been unusual for a woman in the media industry, the third generation of a family whose dysfunction and drama helped inspire some of the characters in HBO’s Succession. Growing up in the Boston suburbs, she watched her father take her grandfather’s small theatre chain and turn it into a global media powerhouse, inventing the multiplex cinema and expanding into television with a hostile takeover of Viacom — owner of MTV Networks and Nickelodeon — in the 1980s. As an adult, she trained in corporate law like her father, and was the only woman in an all-male criminal law firm. But after having children, she prioritised being a mother and wife, speaking of the virtues of staying home and baking cookies. “The one thing I was determined to do was never work in the family business,” she recently told a conference. She did not follow in her father’s footsteps in earnest until her 40s, after a divorce, becoming executive vice-president of National Amusements, once the Redstone movie theatre chain that has since become the family holding company. But in the boardroom, Ms Redstone was often belittled, with detractors saying she lacked the skills and experience to oversee a large public company. Her own father has been known to share those sentiments. In a letter to Forbes magazine in 2007, Mr Redstone said his daughter had made “little or no contribution” to building the family-owned companies. In 2014, at age 91, he dismissed her prospects as the empire’s next chief, telling the Hollywood Reporter he would “not discuss succession . . . you know why? I’m not going to die.” While family succession has been commonplace in the media sector, it has almost always seen empires passed from father to son — the Newhouses of Condé Nast, the Sulzbergers of the New York Times Co, the Murdochs of News Corp and even Brian Roberts at Comcast. “There are certain presumptions about sons who take over jobs from their dad,” Ms Redstone said in June, noting how that was not the case when she took over from her father. Her testy relationship with Mr Redstone has thawed as his health deteriorated and he retreated from public view. In 2016, he was assessed by a doctor who told a Los Angeles court that he had difficulty recognising simple shapes and colours. The assessment came after his former girlfriend, Manuela Herzer, filed a legal petition challenging her removal as his primary carer. (“I wish he had made different decisions in his personal life,” Shari Redstone said of her father’s indiscretions.) www.businessday.ng

Police clash with anti-government protesters at the airport in Hong Kong on Tuesday night © Reuters

Hong Kong airport obtains injunction to stop further protests at hub

Cathay fires 2 pilots and police warn of stiff penalties for violence ALICE WOODHOUSE AND PRIMROSE RIORDAN IN HONG KONG

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ong Kong’s airport authority has obtained an interim injunction to stop protests at the airport and restricted non-travellers from entering after a rally at the aviation hub on Tuesday night erupted into violent clashes with police. The move came as Terence Mak Chin-ho, an assistant police commissioner, said that five men were arrested in relation to Tuesday’s protests. He said acts of violence in aerodromes carry a maximum penalty of life imprisonment under Hong Kong law. “According to the law . . . if any person commits . . . any act of violence which causes or is likely to cause death or serious personal injury, and endangers or is likely to endanger the safe operation of the aerodrome . . . they are liable on conviction to life imprisonment,” he said. The anti-government demonstrations at the airport, which have run for six successive days, are the latest chapter in Hong Kong’s worst political crisis since the handover of the territory from

the UK to China in 1997. The protests forced the mass cancellation of flights on Monday and Tuesday, hitting Hong Kong’s main airline, Cathay Pacific, and causing disruption for travellers in the world’s third busiest airport by passenger numbers. The protests, now in their third month, were triggered by an extradition legislation that would allow suspects to be sent to mainland China for trial. Although the bill has been suspended, protesters have expanded their demands to include democratic reforms that are unpalatable to Beijing. On Wednesday, Cathay said it had fired two pilots — one involved in “legal proceedings” and another for “misusing information”. The airline did not give further details. But it has previously suspended two pilots and fired two other employees for acts linked to the protest movement. During the angry scenes on Tuesday night, protesters grabbed at least two men they claimed were either undercover police or agents. Mainland China’s state-run newspaper the Global Times has said one of those men, who was beaten and whose hands were tied with cable ties, was one of its reporters.

Images of the incident immediately began to circulate on Chinese media and social media, where some users labelled the Global Times employee, Fu Guohao, a “hero”. Under the injunction, the Hong Kong’s airport authority said people could be arrested for “unlawfully and wilfully obstructing or interfering with” the airport, among other acts. The authority also said it would only allow passengers with a valid ticket or boarding pass for a flight scheduled for the next 24 hours into the building from Wednesday afternoon. China’s liaison office in Hong Kong, Beijing’s highest representative office in the territory, said on Wednesday that the “outrages” by the protesters at the airport on Tuesday were “no different” to those of terrorists. The Chinese government’s Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office in Beijing said it strongly condemned “these near-terrorist acts”. With a smaller number of protesters still at the airport on Wednesday, Cathay said operations at the airport, including its check-in counters, had returned to normal but warned of the potential for disruptions at short notice.

Macy’s issues profit warning as heavy discounts weigh on results Shares tumble 15% as department store chain’s sales disappoint ALISTAIR GRAY IN NEW YORK

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acy’s issued another profit warning on Wednesday after the department store chain was forced to offer hefty discounts to shed merchandise, the latest sign of pressure in the US retail sector. Shares dropped 15.6 per cent in pre-market trading to $16.34 after the S&P 500 company, which operates about 680 stores and employs about 130,000 people, said it expected

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full-year earnings to be lower than initially thought. “We had a slow start to the quarter and finished below our expectations,” said Jeff Gennette, Macy’s chairman and chief executive in a statement. Macy’s latest earnings downgrade, which follows a profit warning after the Christmas shopping season, brings to the fore concerns about how the company is coping with declining footfall in the age of ecommerce. The results showed sales ticked up only 0.2 per cent on a like-for-like basis to $5.55bn in the 13 weeks to @Businessdayng

the start of August, setting a downbeat tone for earnings reports from other department store chains. JCPenney, Kohl’s and Nordstrom are also due to report results over the next week. Mr Gennette blamed several factors for an increase in inventory levels at the company, which also runs Bloomingdale’s. He said sales of summer clothing had been slow, identified a drop in tourists visiting the US and also pointed to what he described as a “fashion miss” in its women’s sportswear brands.


Thursday 15 August 2019

BUSINESS DAY

43

FINANCIAL TIMES

COMPANIES & MARKETS

@ FINANCIAL TIMES LIMITED

Star fund manager Michael Hasenstab lost $1.8bn in a single day Emerging market bond guru was big loser from Argentina’s market slump COLBY SMITH IN NEW YORK AND ROBIN WIGGLESWORTH IN OSLO

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ond funds run by Michael Hasenstab, one of the fixed income market’s biggest investors, lost nearly $1.8bn in a single day during the stampede out of Argentine assets that followed the drubbing of President Mauricio Macri in the weekend primary elections. Mr Hasenstab, the star manager at California-based Franklin Templeton, has been one of the biggest buyers of Argentine debt, and six of his funds with the most significant exposure to the country suffered large drops in value in Monday’s rout, according to Financial Times calculations. Concerns of a return to populist Peronist rule after the presidential election proper in October sent the peso down more than 20 per cent versus the dollar at one point and the yield on Argentina’s shorterdated bonds surging to distressed levels. The odds of a debt default in the next five years also spiralled to 75 per cent. The Argentine turmoil both reflected and added to wider turbulence in emerging market currencies and bonds, which lost over 1 per cent on Monday, exacerbating the losses suffered by

several Franklin Templeton funds. M r Ha s e n s t a b’s $ 1 1 . 3 b n Templeton Emerging Markets Bond Fund, which has an exposure to Argentine debt of more than 10 per cent, according to Morningstar, fell 3.5 per cent on Monday, indicating a loss of about $400m. The $17.4bn Templeton Global Total Return Fund Class A saw a decline of 2.5 per cent. That fund, which has just over 6 per cent exposure to Argentina’s fixed income market, according to Morningstar, lost approximately $440m. Mr Hasenstab’s $33.1bn Templeton Global Bond Fund shed 1.8 per cent, leading to losses of roughly $592m. Three of the other funds he co-manages with notable exposure to Argentine debt saw losses totalling just under $362m. The FT’s calculations are based on asset-under-management figures and portfolio weightings as of July 31. Franklin Templeton declined to comment. Chaos gripped Argentine markets on Monday after a strongerthan-expected electoral showing by Peronist candidate Alberto Fernández and his running mate, former president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner. It continued on Tuesday, although to a smaller magnitude, amassing even more losses for investors.

German economy contracts as global trade slowdown takes toll Eurozone’s largest economy shrinks 0.1% in second quarter, adding to recession fears MARTIN ARNOLD IN FRANKFURT AND TOBIAS BUCK IN BERLIN

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he G erman economy s h r a n k i n t h e t h re e months to June as trade tensions weighed on its export-heavy manufacturing sector and intensified the pressure on politicians in Berlin to loosen the fiscal purse strings. Germany’s output fell 0.1 per cent in the second quarter from the previous three months, meaning annualised output growth slowed to 0.4 per cent in the year to June — its slowest for six years. The figures underline how Europe’s largest economy has gone from being the powerhouse of the region to one of its laggards, weighed down by a combination of turmoil in Germany’s carmaking industry, the escalating USChina trade war and the prospect of a chaotic UK exit from the EU. Historic GDP figures for the second half of last year were revised upwards, indicating that Germany did not come as close to recession as previously thought. But the second-quarter data represent a sharp reversal from Germany’s 0.4 per cent expansion in the first three months of this year,

and a notable underperformance compared with the 0.2 per cent second-quarter growth across the eurozone as a whole. A slowdown in foreign trade and a drop in construction investment were partly offset by growth in household and government spending, according to Germany’s federal statistics office. Peter Altmaier, German economy minister, described the data as a “wake-up call and warning signal” but insisted that Germany could avoid a recession. “There is no sign of a severe downturn. What we need now are not flash-in-the-pan measures but intelligent growth policies that secure jobs,” he told Bild newspaper. “These include tax breaks for companies, especially the Mittelstand . . . And we need investments in the digital economy and in technologies of the future, so that our economy remains competitive internationally.” Speaking before the release of the gross domestic product figures, Angela Merkel, chancellor, said she did not see the need for a stimulus package “so far”, while conceding that “it’s true, we’re heading into a difficult phase”. She added: “We will react depending on the situation.” www.businessday.ng

Some fear Mauricio Macri is in denial about his re-election prospects after this weekend’s poll defeat © Reuters

Argentina’s peso falls again as Macri tries to shore up support President unveils raft of emergency economic measures after major political setback BENEDICT MANDER IN BUENOS AIRES AND COLBY SMITH IN NEW YORK

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rgentina’s peso resumed its slide on Wednesday as President Mauricio Macri announced a raft of emergency measures aimed at providing relief to a population suffering from the impact of a sharp devaluation following his stunning defeat in primary elections. The measures, which will cost $740m, included increases in the minimum wage, loans for small and medium-sized businesses, student grants, subsidies for poor families with children and a floor for income tax, as well as a freeze on petrol prices for 90 days. The peso fell more than 5 per cent against the dollar on Wednesday morning to a record low of 58.75 pesos per dollar. The yield on the country’s government bonds climbed again, with one maturing in 2028 rising to 18.4 per cent. Yields move inversely to prices. Longer-dated debt, including the century bond maturing in 2117, failed to catch a bid as well. That once-celebrated issuance is now

trading at 48 cents on the dollar. The sharp move lower in the peso has heightened concerns of a coming debt default, with the odds of such a move within five years remaining elevated at 75 per cent. Four-fifths of the country’s debt is denominated in a foreign currency, meaning any weakness in the currency makes repayments a much more difficult task. Mr Macri has launched the new measures as he redoubles efforts to win presidential elections in October after losing by 15 percentage points in primary elections on Sunday to his Peronist rival, Alberto Fernández. The outcome took markets by surprise and leading to a collapse in Argentina’s asset prices. It also fuelled concerns that Mr Macri may be in denial about his election chances, and that the measures will do little to solve a looming governability crisis if the economic chaos worsens and there are no talks with Mr Fernández to smooth a transition, seen now by investors as inevitable. “It’s too little, too late,” said Siobhan Morden, head of Latin America fixed income strategy at Amherst Pierpont Securities,

arguing that it is “game over” for Mr Macri. “There’s very little that populism can do to change three years of recession. Voters delivered a vote of no confidence in the primaries. I can’t think of anything he could do or say to reverse the electoral outcome.” Observers doubted whether the measures, which officials insist will not affect the IMF-mandated fiscal targets, would have enough of an impact to change the election result, and saw them as doing little to calm exchange-rate volatility or inflation, along with the deeper reasons behind Mr Macri’s poor electoral performance. “These are all measures to compensate for the disaster of Monday. There is nothing that will change the reasons behind the disaster of Monday,” tweeted Carlos Rodríguez, a local economist. Government opponents were even more dismissive. “After insulting us on Monday because we didn’t vote for him, now ne announces a ‘bonus’ of $30 for two months. Clearly he takes us for fools,” tweeted Aníbal Fernández, who replaced Alberto Fernández as cabinet chief under Cristina Fernández de Kirchner.

Negative yields: Sweden leads the world below zero

Central bank argues that the policy has been a success but others are unconvinced

ROBIN WIGGLESWORTH IN OSLO AND KATIE MARTIN IN LONDON

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hen Stefan Ingves arrived at a finance industry event in central Stockholm this May, the moustachioed veteran governor of the Swedish Riksbank caused a stir. It was not the content of his speech on digital payments and “challenges to the Riksbank’s operational framework” that set the attending bankers and investors chatting. It was his arrival flanked by three bodyguards. “That’s just so sad,” lamented one local banker. The central bank declined to

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comment on the governor’s security detail, but attendees speculated that it appeared to reflect deepening public unease with a monetary policy that has held deposit rates far below zero for nearly five years and hammered the Swedish currency despite the broadly healthy economy. The krona has now depreciated about 15 per cent against the euro since negative rates were introduced in 2015, extending its decline from its post-crisis peak to 24 per cent. Even former prime minister Carl Bildt has weighed in, saying in a tweet: “It’s embarrassing and painful to see how the Swedish crown continues to weaken against the Euro. This is not @Businessdayng

good for our country!” At a time when the European Central Bank is expected to lower rates deeper into negative territory, the experience of Sweden — the first major economy to experiment with sub-zero rates — might be instructive. While it has not led to rack and ruin for the banking industry, as many feared, it is not obvious that the policy has been a success. And exiting it may be harder than expected. “The question is whether negative interest rates work, and the ECB clearly thinks that they do,” said Iain Stealey, a bond fund manager at JPMorgan Asset Management. “Not everyone agrees with that.”


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Thursday 15 August 2019

BUSINESS DAY

FT

ANALYSIS

Greta Thunberg’s influence grows as young activist heads for US Teenager is an inspiration for climate movement but also a lightning rod for criticism LESLIE HOOK IN LONDON, VICTOR MALLET IN PARIS AND YASEMIN CRAGGS MERSINOGLU IN PLYMOUTH

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hen Greta Thunberg started a solo climate protest outside Sweden’s parliament building last year, no one imagined it would spark a global movement that led to her being nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize. But as she sailed for the US on Wednesday, having quit flying for environmental reasons, the 16-yearold has become the figurehead for European climate activism as the continent experiences a groundswell in support for Green parties. Ms Thunberg’s prominence has grown during 2019 as she has crisscrossed the continent to lobby political leaders and rally her young supporters as part of the weekly “Fridays for Future” school strikes. Yet the number and vehemence of her detractors have grown with her. The teenager — whose fame can be measured by the fact that she is almost always referred to by her first name only — has become a lightning rod for criticisms that are likely to intensify when she arrives in the more politically charged US for next month’s UN climate summit in New York. “You can think of Greta as the new icon of climate change,” said Mike Hulme, a Cambridge university professor. “Over the past 12 months I suspect she has got a lot more air time than the polar bear.” The most vociferous attacks on Ms Thunberg have come from farright politicians and conservative writers. During a visit last month to France, when she addressed legislators, one lawmaker dismissed Ms Thunberg as a “prophetess in short trousers” who would win a “Nobel Prize for fear”, while another called her an “apocalyptic guru”. Days later, an Australian colum-

nist called her the “deeply disturbed messiah of the global warming movement”, prompting Ms Thunberg to hit back. “I am indeed ‘deeply disturbed’ about the fact that these hate and conspiracy campaigns are allowed to go on and on,” the teenage activist wrote in a Twitter post. “Where are the adults?” And yet Ms Thunberg’s message has resonated across much of Europe, striking a chord with young people and a public that is increasingly concerned about climate breakdown and environmental issues. This summer, the UK and France adopted targets to cut carbon emissions to net zero by 2050, and the Greens in Germany now have more political support than any other party. Ms Thunberg’s journey to New York on board the 60ft carbon-fibre racing yacht Malizia II, with a small crew including skipper Boris Herrmann and Pierre Casiraghi, nephew of Prince Albert of Monaco, is expected to take two weeks. “It will be quite an adventure,” she said on Wednesday as she began her journey in Plymouth on England’s south-coast. “I expect it will be challenging, maybe seasickness,” she said, before adding: “There are people in the world suffering more than that.” Ms Thunberg is far from a household name in the US, where opinion polls show growing concern about climate change but a wide gap between Republicans and Democrats on the issue. Richard Black, director at the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit and author of Denied: The Rise and Fall of Climate Contrarianism, said the US’s more polarised political discourse could result in her being targeted for criticism. “It will be interesting to see whether there is any paid-for antiGreta advocacy,” he said, pointing to the funding for anti-climate action lobbying in the US. “There will be one tranche that absolutely does not welcome her.”

Goldman Sachs rivals circle after top banker jumps to Elliott Steven Barg joins activist hedge fund which he used to advise companies on how to beat LINDSAY FORTADO, ORTENCA ALIAJ AND JAMES FONTANELLA-KHAN IN NEW YORK AND ARASH MASSOUDI IN LONDON

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ompetitors of Goldman Sachs’ market-leading activist defence advisory business have seized on an opportunity to snatch away corporate clients, after the head of the unit quit to join the hedge fund Elliott Management. The gamekeeper-turned-poacher move by Steven Barg, a Goldman partner who advised chief executives and boards on how to fend off attacks from activist hedge funds, is regarded as rare across the industry, after his resignation last week. Since then, Goldman’s competitors have approached some of Mr Barg’s top clients to pitch their own business and make reassur-

ances that their bankers will not jump to an activist fund, according to people with knowledge of the conversations. One rival banker said Mr Barg’s departure was “a great opportunity” to make inroads into Goldman’s sizeable book of business, which remains the largest on Wall Street. Evercore is its closest rival, while Morgan Stanley and Lazard are among the other banks with notable activist defence advisory businesses. Goldman’s shareholder advisory and activist defence group is one of the investment bank’s most sensitive businesses and a cornerstone in its efforts to solidify trust with companies who may then use its services for lucrative investment banking work. The top global investment banks eschew advising activists to demonstrate their trustworthiness to corporate clients. www.businessday.ng

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s support from Donald Trump might not be enough to shield Turkey from the consequences of what some fear is a shift towards Moscow © Reuters

Turkey: why Erdogan gambled on a pivot to Russia

The president’s arms deal with Russia jeopardises Ankara’s role in Nato and its relations with the US. Will the risk pay off? LAURA PITEL IN ANKARA, AIME WILLIAMS IN WASHINGTON AND HENRY FOY IN MOSCOW

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s the date for delivery of Turkey’s order of a Russian S-400 air defence system drew closer, president Recep Tayyip Erdogan faced louder and louder warnings. If the shipment went ahead, US officials and analysts cautioned, then Donald Trump would have no choice but to impose sanctions that could wreak havoc on the fragile Turkish economy. But in recent weeks, 30 planeloads of radars, missile launchers and support vehicles have arrived at an air base near Ankara, Turkey’s capital, and the threatened sanctions have not materialised. It has taken everyone by surprise. “No one expected this outcome” says Asli Aydintasbas, a senior policy fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations. “Erdogan took a huge gamble and it paid off — for now.” Observers are now asking whether Turkey, a Nato member, has got away with its bold decision to strike a $2.5bn defence deal with the alliance’s historical foe — or whether the fallout has merely been postponed. The picture is muddied by the chaotic policymaking that has become a defining feature of the Trump administration. Last summer, the US president was engaged in a Twitter dispute with Ankara over Andrew Brunson, a detained US pastor, that pushed the country to the brink of a financial crisis. A year later, he was stepping in to defend Mr Erdogan’s decision to buy the S-400 because the US would not sell its Patriot system to Ankara. Yet even if Mr Erdogan has the US president on his side, it might not be enough to shield Turkey from the consequences of what some in Washington fear is the start of a strategic shift towards Moscow. The Pentagon has already kicked Ankara out of the US-led F-35 fighter jet programme, risking long-term repercussions for the Turkish armed

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forces and their future co-operation with Nato. And there is still the danger that the US Congress — which is unusually united in its antipathy towards the Turkish president — could flex its muscles to make sure that his dealings with Russia do not go unpunished. “Erdogan has managed to postpone a crisis,” Ms Aydintasbas says. “But I don’t think it’s entirely gone away.” Turkey’s plan to buy the S-400 Triumf — the formidable, Russian, surface-to-air missile system — first became public in the autumn of 2016, in the febrile months that followed an attempted military coup. Mr Erdogan, who suspected the US of having had a hand in the bid to overthrow him, was drawn closer to his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin despite deep differences over the conflict in Syria. Within months, they had secretly signed a deal for Turkey’s military — the second largest in Nato — to acquire two regiments of the S-400 system that was built to shoot down American fighter jets. “People thought it was a joke,” says one US official who worked on the issue. “That initial surprise and confusion then started to turn to anger the more Erdogan dug his heels in.” The Pentagon was anxious that Turkey’s acquisition of the S-400 would pose risks to the F-35, a fifthgeneration aircraft that was due to become the backbone of Nato air operations. US defence officials acted to ensure that, if Turkey went ahead with the purchase, it would be blocked from receiving Lockheed Martin’s stealth aircraft. There was another major concern. In 2017 Congress passed the Countering America’s Adversaries through Sanctions Act, known by its acronym of Caatsa. Enacted as Mr Trump faced accusations of collusion with Moscow, the measure was aimed at binding the hands of the US president on Russia. But the implications for countries doing defence deals with Moscow soon began to dawn. “I thought: holy shit, they [Turkey] are going to get smashed by sanc@Businessdayng

tions,” says Aaron Stein, director of the Middle East programme at the Philadelphia-based Foreign Policy Research Institute. “The senate armed services committee, John McCain [the late Republican senator] — they were all talking about how serious this was.” A procession of US senators and unofficial intermediaries warned Mr Erdogan of the possible consequences should he go ahead with the deal. But the Turkish leader would not change course. Russia, seeing an opportunity to curry favour with a useful ally and stir up trouble between Nato members, sped up the delivery timetable, prioritising Turkey’s order over a delivery to China. “Why wouldn’t we?” says a senior Russian official, who characterised the deal as part of Moscow’s drive to expand its clout in the region. “We have a role to play in that arena and we have to decide what our priorities are.” With the first deliveries imminent, foreign investors — whose money is essential for sustaining the Turkish economy — grew more nervous. Turkey was badly hit by the 2018 currency crisis that knocked close to 30 per cent off the value of the lira. They feared that a fresh round of sanctions could trigger a new, even more painful, sell-off. Hedge fund managers and credit analysts pored over the Caatsa legislation trying to second-guess Mr Trump — who by law must choose at least five of 12 possible measures if a person “engages in a significant transaction” with the Russian defence or intelligence sectors. They tried to predict whether he would opt for the light end of the spectrum, such as denying US visas, or pick measures that could cripple the Turkish financial system. Mr Erdogan always insisted that Mr Trump would not sanction Turkey due to its geostrategic importance, straddling Europe and the Middle East. Shortly before the planned delivery, he said he would simply ask the US president not to impose punitive measures. “It’s that simple, since we are friends, since we are strategic partners,” he said.


Thursday 15 August 2019

BUSINESS DAY

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news

Nigeria, others chart investment path to sustain local content policies in Africa KELECHI EWUZIE

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mid the economic challenges that Nigeria and other African countries faceinlocalcontentpolicy,discussions around shaping the future through sustainable Local Content policies will take centre stage atthe3rdeditionoftheAfricaOil& Gas Local Content Sustainability Summit, (ALCSS 2019). The summit is an annual African policy gathering of decision makersfromallAfricanoilandgas producing countries to stimulate national industrial development through increased local capacity and build the local skills set across the hydrocarbon industry. The event scheduled for October 10 to 11, 2019, in Accra, Ghana, with the support of APPO and Lonadek to offer their members an exclusive 10 percent discount code on the ALCSS passes, will provide the best practical solutions for a sustainable national industry participation and domestic value addition through local enterprise, contractor and supplier value chain development. Jide Jadesimi, executive director, LADOL, says Africa’s future strength and stability hinge on sustainability local content policy, which he stresses need to be aligned with broader national development objectives. “For local content to be sustainable, a long term, end to end localisation approach must be followed from exploration through to decommissioning phases in the typical oil and gas lifecycle,” Jadesimi said. Jadesimi, who will speak on behalf of LADOL at the summit, opines that at ALCSS 2019, decision makers from African petroleum producing countries as well as senior stakeholders and government officials will gather to discuss strategies for local content policies and discover new investment plans, projects and programmes for natural resources in the country. Recent oil reports have shown that crude oil (petroleum) production from West African countries is expected to increase from 1935.90 in 2018 to 3006.24 thousand barrels per day in 2024. Such large extractions of oil will drive up the economy, as there will be a rise in the consumption of power and rapid growth of infrastructure development. Tofurtherestablishthisgrowth, the government must invest in skills, training and jobs for locals in the business. This will result in raising the concept of localisation inplacessuchasEthiopia,Rwanda, Nigeria and Angola. As a result a new foundation of regulatory frameworks and financial aspects for increasing local content in the oil and gas industry of Africa will become orthodox. The ALCSS programme will feature interactive discussions from panel of speakers around the following topics: Regulatory and policy frameworks that promotes public local content policies and corporate local content strategies; Financing local content across the oil and gas value chain.

SEC restates commitment to protect investors Iheanyi Nwachukwu

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ecurities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has restated its commitment to ensure that investors in the Capital Market are adequately protected in all transactions. Mary Uduk, acting directorgeneral, SEC, said this during a meeting with the Association of Corporate Trustees in Abuja, Wednesday. Uduk, who was represented by Isyaku Tilde, acting executive commissioner, operations of the SEC, said it was the responsibility of the SEC to ensure that investors were not short changed in any

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transactions in the market and therefore urged them to participate in the market to grow it. It is to this end that the Commission is taking steps to reduce transaction costs in a bid to ensure that investors do not bear unnecessary costs, Uduk said. “We are doing a lot to boost investors’ confidence in our market. But I want to say that both local and foreign investors are very good for the market. For instance, the foreign investors, because they trade their shares all of the time it leads to price discovery as against the local investors that just takes a long term view on their investments,”

the SEC stated. “Investors’ fears can be of two folds, firstly they could be afraid because they feel that capital market operators will mismanage their investments, secondly is looking at the volatility of the market that makes investors sceptical. “For the first scenario, we have a number of initiatives that we have put in place to boost investors’ confidence. We have the E-Dividend mandate system, the Direct Cash Settlement as well as multiple subscriptions in place. For the second category, investors have to take ownership of their investments. They have to

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be able to monitor their investments, attend Annual General Meetings as well as read the annual reports sent out to them. She said investors are also protected through the National Investors Protection Fund (NIPF) Risk Based supervision that enables the SEC to supervise the operators to ensure that they do not do what they are not supposed to do. According to Uduk, the Complaints Management Framework enables investors to know where to complain to and how long it takes for such complaints to be resolved. For those of the investors that are

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averse to risk, they should get their financial advisers to advise them properly on where to invest. “We also advise retail investors to invest in Collective Investment Schemes and Mutual Funds because those are managed independently by professionals and they are diversified thereby reducing risks. We are committed to protecting investors in the work we do. We will keep working on our rules and the possibility of amending them when the need arises, we want more transparency in the market so that investors will feel comfortable and the market can be better,” she added.


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news NNPC, NOSDRA pledge collaboration to stem oil spill HARRISON EDEH, Abuja

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igerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) have expressed their willingness to work closely with the aim of mitigating the incidences of oil spill across the country. Group managing director of the NNPC, Mele Kyari, made this known when he received the director-general of NOSDRA, Idris Musa, along with his management team, at the corporation’s headquarters in Abuja. Kyari in a statement on Wednesday noted that as a National Oil Company, the NNPC pipelines, flow stations and assets spread across the country were jointly owned by the Federation. The Corporation produces crude oil to maintain a balance sheet for the nation, he said, noting that the NNPC had taken several steps to deploy technology to stem incidences of oil spill. “We have taken a number of steps to stem oil spill by deploying technology in order to make sure that whenever there is an oil spill incidence, it is contained almost immediately.

We contain the incidences of oil theft, pipeline vandalism and acts of saboteurs and we intend to bring it to the barest minimum,” Kyari noted in a statement issued by the corporation on Wednesday. He averred that the NNPC operated both crude oil and petroleum products pipelines, adding that the Corporation was collaborating with all its partners to curb incidences of oil spill in all areas of its operation. The NNPC helmsman said the Corporation would also forge closer ties with NOSDRA to proactively forestall oil spill in areas prone to incessant incidences. Earlier, the director-general of NOSDRA, Musa, said the Agency was prepared to partner the NNPC in mitigating oil spill in all areas of its operation, stressing that the partnership would ensure a good operating environment for both the operators and the inhabitants. He added that breaking of petroleum products pipelines did not provide food, water and good environment for the people, rather the malaise bleeds the national purse of revenues that would have being used to provide developmental infrastructure for the various tiers of government.

IDP: Buhari hails Dangote, First Lady, StanbicIBTC, others for intervening TONY AILEMEN, Abuja

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resident Muhammadu Buhari has applauded Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, First Lady, Aisha Buhari, and Stanbic IBTC Bank for providing succour to Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and victims of armed banditry in Katsina State. A statement by Garba Shehu, senior special assistant to the president on media and publicity, said President Buhari gave the commendation on Wednesday when he visited IDPs drawn from seven local government areas that were affected in Katsina at Basari Council secretariat. Buhari, according to the statement, said the Federal Government was fully aware of the

plight of citizens and would remain focused on delivering on its mandate of securing the lives of citizens. He thanked the First Lady, Aisha Buhari, and her foundation for providing succour to those affected by banditry attacks. He also thanked Aliko Dangote, Dahiru Mangal, Stanbic IBTC, National Commission for Refugees and Displaced Persons as well as other philanthropic organisations. The state currently has close to 40,000 IDPs arising from recent increase in armed banditry attacks in neighbouring Zamfara and Katsina states. The President disclosed that he had already directed massive deployment of military hardware following reports by an assessment team on the security situation in the state and had

directed massive deployment of security personnel and military hardware, urging citizens to support the security agencies. He said: “I am very sad that the consequences of these actions have brought hardship and affected the socio-economic life of our people in the localities. Agriculture, which is the mainstay of the economy and source of livelihood, is worse affected. “I would like to assure you that the Federal Government is fully aware of your situation as I receive daily reports from security agencies and the Governor, Aminu Bello Masari, who personally visited and briefed me on the killings and wanton destruction by the armed bandits not only in Katsina but in other states as well. “Let me assure all and sundry that the protection of lives and

property of the citizenry is the prime essence of government. We shall be focused and determined to protect our citizens.’’ President Buhari said insecurity had reached a disturbing dimension globally, noting that only local, sub-regional and regional alliances will curb the spread of violence. While commending the government of Katsina State for supporting security agencies and facilitating some of their operations, President Buhari said he had directed service chiefs in a meeting last week to completely re-strategise operations and reposition for optimum results. The President directed the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to act fast and extend support to the victims in the affected frontline local councils.

Resuscitation of Warri Ports key to nation’s economic development Mercy Enoch, Asaba

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overnor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State, Wednesday, called for the resuscitation of Warri Ports, saying it was a key factor to the economic development of the state and the nation. Speaking when the Olu of Warri, Ogiame Ikenwoli I, visited him in Asaba, the governor observed that with the congestion of the ports in Lagos, the Federal Government should revive Warri Port and other seaports to boost the nation’s economy. There is no doubt that the Warri Port is a key economical factor for our state and the nation; the earlier we get it working the better for us, he said. Continuing, he said, “It is in the best interest of this nation to expand, create and develop port facilities because, Lagos ports are already congested and more ports means more boost to our economy.” The governor used the occasion to inform the Itsekiri monarch of his administration’s commitment to meeting the yearnings of the people through projects that would impact positively on them. He thanked his visitors for the partnership that existing between the kingdom and the state government, saying, “This partnership has helped the traditional council to grow and work together with the state government and it has made for a very peace-

ful state. “I have made it very clear that political appointees must go back home to pay their loyalties to their traditional rulers, work with them because, they cannot work from Asaba and not liaise with their traditional rulers and the kingdoms.” Such was important to the state’s commitment to execute projects in consultation with the monarchs and constituents, he said. “We are committed to the construction of Ugheye floating market; we have gotten a combination of the Ministries of Works, and Housing to do a complete assessment and budget breakdown, so that work can commence as quickly as possible on the market. “Trans-Warri road is a project that is very dear to me and we will do the best we can to achieve it. ``The contractors have been to site and there is not much that can be done during the raining season, so, we will endeavour to utilize the dry season and ensure that work commences,” the governor said. Earlier, the monarch had congratulated the governor on his electoral victory and thanked him for the appointments given to Itsekiri sons and daughters in his administration. He assured the governor that he would ensure that peace reigned in Itsekiri kingdom to engender development. www.businessday.ng

L-R: Seyi Makinde, governor, Oyo State; Rasheed Balogun, general manager, Shooting Stars Sports Club, and Edith Agoye, coach, during a visit of the club’s officials to the Governor in Ibadan, yesterday. NAN

Abuja youths move against repeat of 2017/2018 Bwari violent clashes James Kwen, Abuja

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ouths in Abuja have moved to arrest any situation that will cause the repeat of the December 25, 2017, and June 16, 2018, violent clashes in Bwari, a suburb of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), that led to destruction of lives and property worth over N500 million. The youths under the auspices of #I Stand for Peace in Nigeria, in Bwari, Abuja, and an Abuja-based non-governmental organisation (NGO) also vowed not to allow themselves be used by selfish politicians to cause violence anymore. John Anyebe, national coordinator of the NGO, who disclosed this during a Peace Walk to Esu Bwari and Sarkin Bwari’s

palaces, said the youths were the pillar upon which the country was built and warned against destruction of the youth in whatever form, for whatever purpose. Anyebe appealed to all the youths in the FCT and Nigeria to always pursue that path of peace in all their dealings and shun acts that would result to violence, pointing out that without peace, there would be no development and no future, and urged them not to fall prey to the divisive and violent antics of politicians, among others. While assuring the Esu and Sarkin of their commitment to peaceful coexistence in the FCT, he said: “As nation builders, we want to sustain the peace in the FCT. We do not want violence, we cannot forget the two incidents

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of 2017 and 2018 when Bwari was brought to a halt because of violence which unfortunately led to huge loss of property and lives.” Responding, Esu Bwari, Ibrahim Yaro, expressed delight that the youths had finally discovered that they were being used to foment violence in the FCT, especially Bwari, adding that they were the future leaders of the country and must stay away from drug abuse cultism and other societal vices. Represented by the Dami Dami of Bwari, Timothy Dakoyi, the Esu said: “I thank God you now understand that you are the fathers and leaders of tomorrow and have decided to amend your tomorrow. Stay away from drug abuse and cultism, it will not help you” and queried: “When you @Businessdayng

become fathers and are behaving like this, how are you going to train and take care of your children tomorrow?” On his part, Sarkin Bwari, Awwal Ijakoro also expressed gratitude to the youths for standing for peace in Bwari and Nigeria, stating that the elders could not have any meaningful life without the youths who would also one day become elders. Pointing out that Nigeria belonged to all Nigerians irrespective of religious leaning, Ijakoro advised the youths to take advantage of their upcoming peace summit to sensitise themselves on the imperative of peace, even as he reminded them not to allow a repeat of experiences of the past year’s, when the city was engulfed in crisis prior to festive periods.


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Garden City Business Digest

Terminal operators in Port Harcourt port brace up for boom Ignatius Chukwu

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ort Harcourt port was divided into two terminals in 2006 and each awarded to a terminal operator. Thereafter, the port went down in volume of operations as eastern ports dwindled and Lagos boomed. Now, eastern ports are bouncing back and terminal operators in the Port Harcourt port said they are preparing for expansion. The Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA) recently reduced fees to vessels calling at eastern ports by 10 per cent. Many importers told BusinessDay in Port Harcourt they now rerouted their cargo to Port Harcourt to enjoy the benefits. Also, attacks on vessels calling the Port Harcourt port are said to have drastically reduced. A source said it may be because most vessels come with hired security teams ready to do battle with pirates and other sea vandals. As a result, more vessels are said to be headed to eastern ports, especially, Port Harcourt port. The operator of ‘Terminal A’, Port & Terminal Operators (Nigeria) Limited (PTOL), told Energy an Maritime Reporters Corps (EMR) that paid a visit on Tuesday, August 6, 2019, that they have continued to acquire special equipment needed to handle different cargo types. The General Manager, Darrick Moss, who stood in for the Managing Director, Efoita Ephraim, said PTOL is anticipating more cargo activities at the Port Harcourt port. He said management was already seeking out space for expansion. PTOL officials have however not attributed the boom to the 10 per cent reduction or that the minister of transportation in recent past hails from Rivers State. The GM only said; “We expect expansion in Port Harcourt port. Port Harcourt port is the only multi-purpose port terminal in nearby areas. We have the lowest tariff around

EMR at PTOL

the region, too. “ Continuing, he said: “We are prepared to work with the EMR to disseminate information on Port Harcourt port and PTOL’s efforts in the port.’ Giving a background, Moss said PTOL was established in 2006 after the concessioning of ports in Nigeria and handing over of two cargo handling operations by the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA). Bua has Terminal B. He said: ‘It is a multipurpose terminal meaning that all types of cargo can berth here: bulk cargo, break bulk cargo and cargo on wheels. Note that container is no cargo type, but means of conveying it. Experts explained that general cargo in-

cludes frozen fish, bagged rice, bagged cement, project cargo, coated steel pipes, etc. Dry cargo includes bulk wheat, palm kernel shell, bulk cement etc; while liquid cargo includes AGO, DPK, PMS, tallow, crude palm oil, base oil etc. Moss pointed out that the port has a berth of 7.5 to 8.5, and that the terminal yard can contain 7000 boxes. “PTOL can handle any type of cargo.” Earlier, the chairman of the EMR group, Martins Giadom of Radio Rivers, said the group was glad to be well received here. “We know that PTOL acquired one of the best equipment in the industry. Training, seminars, forum series are our needs. We need support to make them a success. It will help

us to sensitise the industry”. He further explained how the EMR would want its members to specialize and deepen their knowledge of the industry because an ignorant press corps is not of any benefit to anybody. “We intend to build up capacity and knowledge and thus we rely on industry leaders to help out in this regard.’ He commended PTOL for acquiring specialized equipment to make work easier in the Port Harcourt port. He said the essence of the concession was to improve port logistics efficiency in terms of berthing of vessels, cargo discharge, storage and delivery. “This underscores the need for the terminal operator to invest in equipment and terminal capital development.”

Owerri-Port Harcourt danger zone:

- And, the honourable kidnapper Port Harcourt by Boat

IGNATIUS CHUKWU

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mmediately after Imo State boundary on the way to Port Harcourt, the first Rivers State town is Omerelu. From there, the traveler gets to Elele. The place has become the latest hotbed of kidnapping in Rivers State. Every four days, an 18-seater bus is captured and diverted to the forest. This is an inside account of what happens there, from the experience of a freed lady. It also reveals the mindset of some of the kidnappers and the missed road some are trdging on. There is one that has pleaded that it is condition that pushed him to such an enterprise. If the police were doing debriefing from victims, they would have gathered enough intelligence to form an opinion. The diary of a lady victim: It was Saturday, July 24, 2019. The brother of her boss dropped her off and she boarded a Sienna bus in Owerri, Imo State. They left at

about 8am. They were 18 passengers and the driver, 19 all. There was an old woman and a woman with a baby and two other ladies. They passed Imo boundary and about 20 minutes later, a group of boys jumped out from the bush, shooting. They were everywhere, fully armed. They marched everyone down out of the bus and into a footpath, blindfolded. Strange: How did the driver and four boys get off? The attack could not have given room for anyone to escape, so how did these ones get off? Suspicion: They must be accomplices. It means some of those traveling with you or even the driver is a kidnapper. In the bush, they passed many farmers going to their farms, not interested in strangers being marched to the forests. So, our farms now have human crops. They later settled at a spot and kept them in one place. Lesson: The villagers know everything. Why have the security agencies not harvested this source of information? They are waiting for the villagers to come to them and loge reports? Too bad; such a system of intelligence gathering! They stayed in the bush till night, then they were marched across a major road then to another camp far from there. Inside the camp, they kept them in a tent. Rains would fall, etc. Rape: Their leaders come and go. They do not reside in the bushes. When they came that morning, the two leaders picked two girls and asked them to bathe, and gave them sleeping

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gowns. They took them to a nearby corner. Everybody heard the screaming and the action noises. When they left, the ordinary boys began to grumble; that their juju was against raping their victims; that the one that raped was from another community, etc. They slapped the girl they raped severally for giving in. Imagine twisted logic. Process: The leaders come and go. They bring phone to any victim whose family members wanted to talk with. They go back to the towns to do the coordination. Loot: When they get paid, they bring shares to the boys in the bush; in one instance, N15,000 was shared to each of them. Release: Three persons were first to be released; the old woman, the woman with a baby and one other. Their people must have paid up. The second batch was six persons. They marched them to a bush near Elele town, asked them to keep straight, never to deviate to avoid being re-kidnapped. It was early in the morning. They entered the town and some vigilantes picked them up and helped some of them to make calls to their family members they could remember off hand. This was on the 6th day, Thursday: Five persons were still in custody. Hint: They discussed the UST a lot, spoke impeccable English. They arrange abductions in the city and keep boys in the bush and pay them peanuts. The boys in the bush threatened to turn any lady to sex slave if her people did

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not pay up quickly. “We will give you belle and you will born it here, we do not mind”, one said. In all of this, the police was not involved. The honourable kidnapper: After the haggling and threatening, the family paid N1m for this particular lady. Yet, she was not released. Instead, the boys demanded for another N500,000. They threatened kill her. The lady handling the transactions, the family’s first daughter with three children, now went hysterical, telling the guy calling her that her mum had just died. He asked why, she said because of the kidnap of her last daughter; and that the old woman had high blood pressure (BP), and that her husband is blind. Oh, the kidnapper shrieked; so, we have killed someone, we have killed her mum. Do I tell her? She said no, she is last born, she will die if she is told. Oh, he sorrowed. He now said, look, just send me N10k, I will free her. I tell you with honour, I will free her. Do not call this number again. It belongs to a victim. When she pleaded with him and called him sir, he said, oh no, don’t call me sir. I am a small boy oh. It’s condition that pushed us into this. Please pray for me. I will surely help you. And he did. She paid and waited, and waited, no sign. She tried the number but it was dump. Then, Thursday, her phone rang and it was her sister. She had been freed. Now, is this an honourable kidnapper or a last ditch effort to extort more money? Its your guess; and your life.

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Thursday 15 August 2019

BUSINESS DAY

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Investing in Rivers State OML 25: Gov Wike maintains stand, says it belongs to Shell Ignatius Chukwu

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ov Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has reiterated his stand on the controversial Oil Mining Lease (OML) 25 called the Kula oil field, saying the license belongs to Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC). The governor’s reaction came in the statement issued on Monday, August 12, 2019, from his only media aide at the moment, Simeon Nwakaudu, senior special adviser on electronic media. The aide’s clarification came in the heat of renewed media attacks on the governor for allegedly supporting Shell against an indigenous contractor seeking to acquire same oil field. The government clarification pointed out that it is the APC-controlled FG that renewed Shell’s license, not the PDP-controlled Rivers State government. The statement said Wike was only making sure that whoever got the license goes to location to drill oil and generate revenue for the country, and nothing more. Nwakaudu took a swipe on the former commissioner of information, Austin Tam-George who has been in the media lambasting Gov Wike for supporting Shell. Nwakaudu said: “The facts on OML 25 are very clear. The facility was shutdown in 2017 by some persons who were allegedly primed by an interest group. The Rivers State Governor made no attempt to intervene since this interest group claimed that an indigenous operator had also applied for the operating license. In October 2018, the APC Federal Government through the NNPC renewed the Operating License of SPDC. This operating license will remain valid for the next 20 years. “The position of the Rivers State Governor is simple. Due process of the law must be observed at all times. The company with the operating license for OML 25 should be allowed to carry out its legitimate business. He stated that if the indigenous firm is able to obtain the operating license from the APC Federal Government, then the State Government will fully back it. “But at present, the operating li-

cense of the SPDC has been renewed by the APC Federal Government. This renewal was not facilitated by the Rivers State Governor. All the Rivers State Governor has done is to continue to promote a conducive investment environment in Rivers State. Governor Wike has continued to create the right environment for international and local investors to operate. The Governor will never lay credence to illegal acquisition of businesses under any guise. There are laid down procedures for operating any oil facility. Tam-George should advise those who hired him to follow the approved procedures. “Is Tam-George saying that the Rivers State Government should support the forceful take over of businesses in the state? Of course, to Tam-George once the price is right, illegality should be the norm. “Tam-George forgot very conveniently that last year, he vehemently defended Shell and called out Gov Wike over the planned relocation of the Supply Base of Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company (SNEPCO) from the Oil and Gas Free Zone, Onne, Rivers State to Lagos. “At that time, he was not aware of several efforts that the Governor made to stop that relocation. Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike on that issue met with the top management of Shell Petroleum, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Oil and Gas Free Zones Authority (OGFZA) and other relevant stakeholders over planned relocation of the Supply Base of Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company (SNEPCO) from the Oil and Gas Free Zone, Onne, Rivers State to Lagos. To Governor Wike, the interest of Rivers State is paramount at all times. He takes actions to enhance the overall interest of the state. The media aide went on to explain that the chairman of Akuku-Toru Local Government Area, Rowland Sekibo, at the meeting convened by Governor Wike, said that Belema Oil management created the impression that they bought the OML 25 from Shell, but that the company refused to transfer the operational right. He said that a meeting with stakeholders at NNPC Abuja, it was discovered that the license of OML 25 was still under the ownership of Shell.

OML 25 agreement signing in ph govt house on Wike’s instance

He said though the owner of Belema Oil is from the area, it was illegal to shutdown the oil production facility in order to arm-twist the system to sell it to Belemaoil. He said such action would negatively affect other Rivers businessmen with oil operating licenses in other states. He went on: “The process initiated by the Govr Wike was managed by the Secretary to the Rivers State Government who is an indigene of AkukuToru Local Government Area. All stakeholders of the facility participated in the process to ensure that the concerns of the Stakeholder Communities are duly addressed. “Stakeholder Communities of OML 25 and SPDC have signed an MOU for the re-opening of the closed flow station and the payment of outstanding funds owed Stakeholder Communities under the extant Global Memorandum of Understanding (GMOU). The M.O.U. signed between Shell and the Stakeholder Communities also mandated Shell to pay into a dedicated account, the sum of N1.36Bn. The Settlement Agreement was signed on behalf of the communities by Traditional Rulers, Youth Presidents, Chairmen of Community Development Committees and Community Leaders. Those who signed the agreement include : the Stakeholder Communities of Kula, Belema, Offoin-Ama, Ibie-Ama, Boro and Opu-Kula. Shell and the other stakeholders have played their respective roles in

the agreement reached at the settlement meetings facilitated by the Rivers State Governor. Aside the OML 25, Governor Wike has intervened in several other challenging issues between host communities and business concerns. Most of these issues have been resolved amicably. The Governor intervened in the dispute between Mgbuesilaru Community of Obio/Akpor Local Government Area and Shell Petroleum Development Company . This matter has been finally resolved and SPDC has paid Mgbuesilaru Community their outstanding debt.” He went on to state that on 13th June, 2019, Gov Wike met with Chairmen of Cluster Developnent Boards of Asari-Toru, Akuku-Toru and Degema Local Government Areas, Oil Companies and Security Agencies at the Government House Port Harcourt. “At that meeting, Gov Wike directed the immediate revival of the State Steering Committee on Cluster Development Boards.” He said: “I will not support any company not to carry out their corporate social responsibilities to their host communities. However, communities must not take laws into their hands. They must not stop production by the operating companies. Such actions will negatively affect the finances of the Federal Government, the state and the local government areas”. He said in cases where companies failed to act within the expectations of the communities, the State Government would mediate through

the Steering Committee on Cluster Development Boards. “That Steering Committee on Cluster Development Boards has been inaugurated by the Secretary to the Rivers State Government. The meeting of June 13, 2019 led to the release of the Oil Rig of Eroton Oil and Gas Limited by the host communities. Both parties resolved their differences at the meeting. Issues of development and social services for the State are being handled by the Wike Administration. It is an ongoing process. Kula, like all other communities, have been accommodated by the Administration.” Wike’s aide condemned alleged calls by the former commissioner for violence and self in the settlement of disputes involving companies operating in their localities. “Governor Wike has adopted the most civilised method including following due process. He has involved representatives of stakeholder communities, security agencies and the Akuku-Toru political class to arrive at the solution. This is for the overall benefit of the Kula community.” To Tam-George that is accusing Gov Wike of collusion with Shell, he asked; “Is he saying that the APCcontrolled FG colluded with Shell in renewing their operating license? This is because it wasn’t Govr Wike that renewed the license. TamGeorge lacks the courage to blame the FG that aided Shell ahead of the indigenous firm. “In one breadth, Tam-George would rant that Gov Wike should intervene to stop Shell from living Onne and in yet another he shouts that Gov Wike should not intervene in Kula. Our country is suffering today because of individuals who dance to every tune, depending on the price. They never look at the bigger picture. In engaging the process, Gov Wike took into consideration, the needs and future of the Stakeholder Communities of OML 25. He is Governor to all Rivers people and he is exercising his mandate for the good of all, Kula inclusive.” The world is however waiting for the actualization of the seven day ultimatum given by the Rivers State government for the women occupying the platform to vacate and for SPDC to resume operations.

NDDC steps in to save Etche Road, Eleme collapsing bridge Ignatius Chukwu

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he Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has made decisions on two critical interventions in Rivers State on two roads that carry weight of the Nigerian economy. The Commission has just announced decision to rescue the Etche Road that leads to Okpala from Rivers to Imo State. The other is the collapsing bridge in Eleme, near Port Harcourt, Rivers State capital. The collapse of the Port Harcourt Aba Road has forced motorists mostly mass transit and trucking vehicles to revert to Okpala-Etche Road to sustain movement of goods and humans. Village vigilante groups keep vigil along the forest areas to discourage kidnapping, all in support of police units. The road began to collapse due to pressure lead-

ing to falling of trailers and blockage. Now, the Eleme Road is gateway to Nigeria’s only oil/gas free trade zone in Onne where over 200 companies dwell. Many have closed shop due to many factors including harsh economic conditions since 2014 and striping of the free zone of its oil port exclusivity. Intels, the promoter of the zone, has been mired in crisis following hostile political relationship between its major partner, Abubabakar Atiku of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and the ruling All progressives Congress (APC). The collapsing Aleto Bridge at Eleme located immediately after Indorama gate has caused huge pains on that key economic route that stands 40km between the Port Harcourt International Airport at Omagwa and the Onne sea port. Now, the NDDC says it is taking www.businessday.ng

steps to restore the inter-state road linking Etche Local Government Area of Rivers State and Okpala in Imo State. The Commission has also started

an assessment of the Aleto Bridge in Eleme with a view to saving it from imminent collapse. Speaking during the inspection of

Sinking bridge at Eleme to be rescued by NDDC

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the dilapidated portions of IgwurutaChokocho-Okomoko-Egwi-OkehiIgbodo-Okpala Road, the NDDC Acting Managing Director, the professor, Nelson Brambaifa, said that remedial work on the road and reenforcement of the bridge would begin immediately. Brambaifa, who was accompanied by NDDC directors and engineers, said that having inspected the dilapidated road and failing bridge, the Commission was going to ensure that work begins without delay to avoid a total breakdown of the critical infrastructure. He told the people of Etche: “I can assure you that in the next one month, this road will be restored to a standard that will stand the test of time. Your current pains and inconvenience will be a thing of the past. We will put all machinery in motion to achieve this goal.”


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Thursday 15 August 2019

BUSINESS DAY

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Thursday 15 August 2019

BUSINESS DAY

51

Live @ The STOCK Exchanges Prices for Securities Traded as of Wednesday 14 August 2019 Company

Market cap(nm)

Price (N)

Change

Trades

Volume

Company

Market cap(nm)

Price (N)

Change

Trades

Volume

PRICES FOR MAIN BOARD SECURITIES (Equities) BANKING ACCESS BANK PLC. 213,271.35 6.00 0.83 205 33,213,092 UNITED BANK FOR AFRICA PLC 189,806.79 5.55 0.90 151 7,432,123 ZENITH BANK PLC 508,623.20 16.20 -0.92 594 34,718,937 950 75,364,152 OTHER FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS FBN HOLDINGS PLC 166,913.11 4.65 -6.06 290 20,420,035 290 20,420,035 1,240 95,784,187 TELECOMMUNICATIONS SERVICES MTN NIGERIA COMMUNICATIONS PLC 2,630,820.81 129.25 -1.34 96 790,596 96 790,596 96 790,596 BUILDING MATERIALS DANGOTE CEMENT PLC 2,811,683.72 165.00 - 67 2,108,164 LAFARGE AFRICA PLC. 235,173.81 14.60 -2.67 92 1,151,214 159 3,259,378 159 3,259,378 EXPLORATION AND PRODUCTION SEPLAT PETROLEUM DEVELOPMENT COMPANY PLC 288,337.83 490.00 - 8 91 8 91 8 91 1,503 99,834,252 REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT TRUSTS (REITS) SKYE SHELTER FUND PLC 1,710.00 85.50 - 0 0 UNION HOMES REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT TRUST (REIT) 10,175.81 40.70 - 0 0 UPDC REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT TRUST 14,408.66 5.40 - 0 0 0 0 0 0 OTHER FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS NIGERIA ENERYGY SECTOR FUND 411.91 552.20 - 0 0 VALUEALLIANCE VALUE FUND 3,312.39 103.20 - 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 CROP PRODUCTION FTN COCOA PROCESSORS PLC 440.00 0.20 - 0 0 OKOMU OIL PALM PLC. 49,603.32 52.00 - 4 2,204 PRESCO PLC 44,800.00 44.80 - 0 0 4 2,204 FISHING/HUNTING/TRAPPING ELLAH LAKES PLC. 8,520.00 4.26 - 0 0 0 0 LIVESTOCK/ANIMAL SPECIALTIES LIVESTOCK FEEDS PLC. 1,230.00 0.41 - 5 51,100 5 51,100 9 53,304 DIVERSIFIED INDUSTRIES A.G. LEVENTIS NIGERIA PLC. 661.82 0.25 -7.41 4 169,569 JOHN HOLT PLC. 179.01 0.46 - 1 98,451 S C O A NIG. PLC. 1,903.99 2.93 - 0 0 TRANSNATIONAL CORPORATION OF NIGERIA PLC 34,144.31 0.84 -3.45 89 6,958,626 U A C N PLC. 14,262.42 4.95 -10.00 96 2,420,046 190 9,646,692 190 9,646,692 BUILDING CONSTRUCTION ARBICO PLC. 711.32 4.79 - 0 0 0 0 INFRASTRUCTURE/HEAVY CONSTRUCTION JULIUS BERGER NIG. PLC. 27,192.00 20.60 - 12 41,975 ROADS NIG PLC. 165.00 6.60 - 0 0 12 41,975 REAL ESTATE DEVELOPMENT UACN PROPERTY DEVELOPMENT COMPANY PLC 2,910.20 1.12 - 5 67,701 5 67,701 17 109,676 AUTOMOBILES/AUTO PARTS DN TYRE & RUBBER PLC 954.53 0.20 - 0 0 0 0 BEVERAGES--BREWERS/DISTILLERS CHAMPION BREW. PLC. 13,231.85 1.69 - 1 100 GOLDEN GUINEA BREW. PLC. 242.22 0.89 - 0 0 GUINNESS NIG PLC 90,681.85 41.40 - 26 29,225 INTERNATIONAL BREWERIES PLC. 103,150.34 12.00 - 9 1,199,628 NIGERIAN BREW. PLC. 399,845.10 50.00 - 262 5,956,065 298 7,185,018 FOOD PRODUCTS DANGOTE FLOUR MILLS PLC 102,500.00 20.50 -0.49 265 5,074,033 DANGOTE SUGAR REFINERY PLC 114,600.00 9.55 -3.54 69 550,293 FLOUR MILLS NIG. PLC. 57,405.31 14.00 -8.50 61 330,412 HONEYWELL FLOUR MILL PLC 7,533.69 0.95 - 19 735,160 MULTI-TREX INTEGRATED FOODS PLC 1,340.10 0.36 - 0 0 N NIG. FLOUR MILLS PLC. 766.26 4.30 - 0 0 NASCON ALLIED INDUSTRIES PLC 37,092.14 14.00 - 16 318,470 UNION DICON SALT PLC. 3,321.07 12.15 - 0 0 430 7,008,368 FOOD PRODUCTS--DIVERSIFIED CADBURY NIGERIA PLC. 19,345.48 10.30 - 21 65,326 NESTLE NIGERIA PLC. 1,006,673.44 1,270.00 - 47 15,989 68 81,315 HOUSEHOLD DURABLES NIGERIAN ENAMELWARE PLC. 1,680.31 22.10 - 0 0 VITAFOAM NIG PLC. 5,366.12 4.29 - 13 184,446 13 184,446 PERSONAL/HOUSEHOLD PRODUCTS P Z CUSSONS NIGERIA PLC. 23,822.86 6.00 - 24 148,583 UNILEVER NIGERIA PLC. 183,840.17 32.00 - 15 66,149 39 214,732 848 14,673,879 BANKING ECOBANK TRANSNATIONAL INCORPORATED 128,446.86 7.00 -3.45 61 5,640,115 FIDELITY BANK PLC 42,592.95 1.47 -2.00 77 10,658,952 GUARANTY TRUST BANK PLC. 763,739.10 25.95 -2.08 363 49,861,450 JAIZ BANK PLC 10,901.77 0.37 -2.63 15 3,270,766 SKYE BANK PLC 10,687.83 0.77 - 0 0 STERLING BANK PLC. 67,657.48 2.35 -2.08 56 3,101,198 UNION BANK NIG.PLC. 198,021.12 6.80 0.74 31 375,934 UNITY BANK PLC 7,481.18 0.64 - 8 136,220 WEMA BANK PLC. 22,373.19 0.58 -3.33 17 740,402 628 73,785,037 INSURANCE CARRIERS, BROKERS AND SERVICES AFRICAN ALLIANCE INSURANCE PLC 4,117.00 0.20 - 0 0 AIICO INSURANCE PLC. 4,366.03 0.63 1.59 15 349,518 AXAMANSARD INSURANCE PLC 18,900.00 1.80 - 7 511,970 CONSOLIDATED HALLMARK INSURANCE PLC 2,439.00 0.30 - 0 0 CONTINENTAL REINSURANCE PLC 15,040.48 1.45 4.32 18 2,581,371 CORNERSTONE INSURANCE PLC 2,945.90 0.20 - 2 21,000 GOLDLINK INSURANCE PLC 909.99 0.20 - 0 0 GUINEA INSURANCE PLC. 1,228.00 0.20 - 0 0 INTERNATIONAL ENERGY INSURANCE PLC 487.95 0.38 - 0 0 LASACO ASSURANCE PLC. 2,489.97 0.34 -5.56 18 1,439,240 LAW UNION AND ROCK INS. PLC. 1,546.68 0.36 -7.69 2 150,856 LINKAGE ASSURANCE PLC 4,160.00 0.52 - 1 200 MUTUAL BENEFITS ASSURANCE PLC. 2,458.00 0.22 - 24 6,199,500 NEM INSURANCE PLC 10,613.81 2.01 - 4 53,600 NIGER INSURANCE PLC 1,547.90 0.20 - 0 0 PRESTIGE ASSURANCE PLC 2,583.62 0.48 - 0 0 REGENCY ASSURANCE PLC 1,333.75 0.20 - 0 0 SOVEREIGN TRUST INSURANCE PLC 1,668.16 0.20 5.00 11 1,700,228 STACO INSURANCE PLC 4,483.72 0.48 - 0 0 STANDARD ALLIANCE INSURANCE PLC. 2,582.21 0.20 - 0 0 SUNU ASSURANCES NIGERIA PLC. 2,800.00 0.20 - 0 0 UNIC DIVERSIFIED HOLDINGS PLC. 516.46 0.20 - 0 0 UNIVERSAL INSURANCE PLC 3,200.00 0.20 - 0 0 VERITAS KAPITAL ASSURANCE PLC 2,773.33 0.20 - 0 0 WAPIC INSURANCE PLC 5,219.27 0.39 - 25 92,438 127 13,099,921

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MICRO-FINANCE BANKS FORTIS MICROFINANCE BANK PLC 11,799.67 2.58 - 0 0 2,446.70 1.07 -9.32 5 251,000 NPF MICROFINANCE BANK PLC 5 251,000 MORTGAGE CARRIERS, BROKERS AND SERVICES ABBEY MORTGAGE BANK PLC 4,158.00 0.99 - 0 0 ASO SAVINGS AND LOANS PLC 7,370.87 0.50 - 0 0 5,796.93 1.39 - 0 0 INFINITY TRUST MORTGAGE BANK PLC RESORT SAVINGS & LOANS PLC 2,265.95 0.20 - 0 0 2,949.22 3.02 - 0 0 UNION HOMES SAVINGS AND LOANS PLC. 0 0 OTHER FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS AFRICA PRUDENTIAL PLC 7,200.00 3.60 1.41 34 532,113 CUSTODIAN INVESTMENT PLC 36,467.56 6.20 3.33 5 51,600 660.00 0.44 - 0 0 DEAP CAPITAL MANAGEMENT & TRUST PLC FCMB GROUP PLC. 30,298.15 1.53 -7.27 55 5,840,945 ROYAL EXCHANGE PLC. 1,131.98 0.22 - 0 0 390,165.07 38.10 - 17 52,624 STANBIC IBTC HOLDINGS PLC UNITED CAPITAL PLC 10,800.00 1.80 -5.26 72 3,047,288 183 9,524,570 943 96,660,528 HEALTHCARE PROVIDERS EKOCORP PLC. 1,680.29 3.37 - 0 0 781.69 0.22 - 1 20,000 UNION DIAGNOSTIC & CLINICAL SERVICES PLC 1 20,000 MEDICAL SUPPLIES MORISON INDUSTRIES PLC. 494.58 0.50 - 1 2,500 1 2,500 PHARMACEUTICALS EVANS MEDICAL PLC. 366.17 0.50 - 0 0 FIDSON HEALTHCARE PLC 9,388.62 4.50 - 3 387 9,925.77 8.30 - 15 121,934 GLAXO SMITHKLINE CONSUMER NIG. PLC. MAY & BAKER NIGERIA PLC. 3,536.73 2.05 - 7 108,656 1,044.54 0.55 - 4 25,715 NEIMETH INTERNATIONAL PHARMACEUTICALS PLC NIGERIA-GERMAN CHEMICALS PLC. 556.71 3.62 - 0 0 PHARMA-DEKO PLC. 325.23 1.50 - 0 0 29 256,692 31 279,192 COMPUTER BASED SYSTEMS COURTEVILLE BUSINESS SOLUTIONS PLC 710.40 0.20 5.00 13 4,940,700 13 4,940,700 COMPUTERS AND PERIPHERALS OMATEK VENTURES PLC 1,470.89 0.50 - 0 0 0 0 IT SERVICES CWG PLC 6,413.06 2.54 - 0 0 626.40 5.80 - 0 0 NCR (NIGERIA) PLC. TRIPPLE GEE AND COMPANY PLC. 346.47 0.70 - 2 5,318 2 5,318 PROCESSING SYSTEMS CHAMS PLC 1,127.05 0.24 -7.69 5 408,500 9,996.00 2.38 - 0 0 E-TRANZACT INTERNATIONAL PLC 5 408,500 TELECOMMUNICATIONS SERVICES AIRTEL AFRICA PLC 1,215,762.01 323.50 - 5 311 5 311 25 5,354,829 BUILDING MATERIALS BERGER PAINTS PLC 1,985.29 6.85 - 12 39,597 CAP PLC 17,325.00 24.75 - 21 83,700 CEMENT CO. OF NORTH.NIG. PLC 174,151.39 13.25 -5.36 22 2,190,819 313.43 0.59 - 0 0 MEYER PLC. PORTLAND PAINTS & PRODUCTS NIGERIA PLC 1,959.74 2.47 - 0 0 PREMIER PAINTS PLC. 1,156.20 9.40 - 1 20 56 2,314,136 ELECTRONIC AND ELECTRICAL PRODUCTS AUSTIN LAZ & COMPANY PLC 2,256.91 2.09 - 0 0 CUTIX PLC. 2,747.66 1.56 - 8 65,003 8 65,003 PACKAGING/CONTAINERS BETA GLASS PLC. 29,873.33 59.75 - 1 5 GREIF NIGERIA PLC 388.02 9.10 - 0 0 1 5 AGRO-ALLIED & CHEMICALS NOTORE CHEMICAL IND PLC 100,754.14 62.50 - 0 0 0 0 65 2,379,144 CHEMICALS B.O.C. GASES PLC. 2,318.48 5.57 - 7 8,380 7 8,380 METALS ALUMINIUM EXTRUSION IND. PLC. 1,781.64 8.10 - 1 100 1 100 MINING SERVICES MULTIVERSE MINING AND EXPLORATION PLC 852.39 0.20 - 0 0 0 0 PAPER/FOREST PRODUCTS THOMAS WYATT NIG. PLC. 92.40 0.42 - 0 0 0 0 8 8,480 ENERGY EQUIPMENT AND SERVICES JAPAUL OIL & MARITIME SERVICES PLC 1,252.54 0.20 - 24 3,776,575 24 3,776,575 INTEGRATED OIL AND GAS SERVICES OANDO PLC 44,753.08 3.60 -2.70 59 918,601 59 918,601 PETROLEUM AND PETROLEUM PRODUCTS DISTRIBUTORS 11 PLC 56,974.05 158.00 - 13 11,211 CONOIL PLC 12,248.25 17.65 - 26 162,841 ETERNA PLC. 3,390.78 2.60 - 24 99,845 FORTE OIL PLC. 22,142.18 17.00 - 47 252,101 MRS OIL NIGERIA PLC. 6,354.80 20.85 - 3 115 TOTAL NIGERIA PLC. 35,921.41 105.80 -7.84 33 51,230 146 577,343 229 5,272,519 ADVERTISING AFROMEDIA PLC 1,820.01 0.41 - 0 0 0 0 AIRLINES MEDVIEW AIRLINE PLC 17,551.17 1.80 - 0 0 0 0 AUTOMOBILE/AUTO PART RETAILERS R T BRISCOE PLC. 341.14 0.29 - 0 0 0 0 COURIER/FREIGHT/DELIVERY RED STAR EXPRESS PLC 2,776.53 4.71 -1.05 4 400,810 TRANS-NATIONWIDE EXPRESS PLC. 361.01 0.77 - 0 0 4 400,810 HOSPITALITY TANTALIZERS PLC 642.33 0.20 - 0 0 0 0 HOTELS/LODGING CAPITAL HOTEL PLC 4,723.78 3.05 - 0 0 3,035.04 1.46 - 1 200 IKEJA HOTEL PLC TOURIST COMPANY OF NIGERIA PLC. 7,862.53 3.50 - 0 0 TRANSCORP HOTELS PLC 41,042.18 5.40 - 0 0 1 200 MEDIA/ENTERTAINMENT DAAR COMMUNICATIONS PLC 4,800.00 0.40 - 0 0 0 0 PRINTING/PUBLISHING ACADEMY PRESS PLC. 211.68 0.35 - 1 700 LEARN AFRICA PLC 1,072.32 1.39 -0.71 8 157,798 STUDIO PRESS (NIG) PLC. 1,183.82 1.99 - 1 283 UNIVERSITY PRESS PLC. 690.26 1.60 - 3 5,490 13 164,271

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industry Insight

BUSINESS DAY Thursday 15 August 2019 www.businessday.ng

Learning from India’s industrial journey ODINAKA ANUDU, MICHAEL ANI & GBEMI FAMINU

N

igeria can learn a number of lessons from India’s industrial journey. The Asian country is world’s seventh-largest economy by nominal growth domestic product (GDP) and the third-largest by purchasing power parity. Poverty rate is 22 percent, but unemployment rate is 6 percent. The country has since overtaken China as world’s fastest growing economy. All these achievements happened because the country followed a particular industrial path. In the late 90s, the Indian government flagged off economic policy reforms in the business, manufacturing and financial services industries, targeted at boosting economic growth. The reform was encoded in a model referred to as Liberalisation, Privatisation and Globalisation (LPG). The major aim of the LPG model was to remove government regulations hurting the growth of investments in the country. The government opened up economy for investments by removing unnecessary subsidies, entrenching market policies that would allow the private sector to invest and make money. State-owned assets were privatised and handed to competent companies with financial and technical capabilities. Companies were assisted to export to other markets to earn foreign exchange. With the reforms, the Indian economy grew the overall amount of overseas investment to $5.3 billion from a microscopic $132 million in four years. Today, the country is ranked the second highest destination for investment in the world, according to data from the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). India started by leveraging its areas of comparative and competitive advantage. India had always been known for silks and cotton. In fact, there was vast exchange of Indian silks with the western countries for spices in the era of barter system. Hence the country knew it had a comparative advantage in fabrics and textiles. In 2000, the India government came up with the National Textile Policy (NTP), targeted at manufacturing textiles for global export. The policy was also aimed at injecting competition through the liberalisation of stringent controls and encouragement of Foreign Direct Investment in the sector. The Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Textiles were given responsibilities to ensure that cotton and textiles exported reached global standards. Multiple taxes were removed and incentives were given to investors. Less than two decades after the policy, the industry has made a lot of impacts already on the economy. The country’s textiles industry is

estimated at $108 billion, contributing five per cent to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and 14 per cent to overall Index of Industrial Production (IIP), according to India Brand Equity Foundation. The industry attracted Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) valued at $2.41 billion between April 2000 and December 2016, creating 100 million direct and indirect jobs with over 350 textile mills working as against Nigeria’s three or four. There is cheap labour in India and it is easier for companies to get electricity as evidenced by the World Bank Doing Business index, which places the country at 26th position in Getting Electricity as against Nigeria’s 180 (out of 189). The Indian Government set up over 20 textiles parks where companies enjoyed economies of scale and brought 52 textile mills through nine subsidiary companies under the functional National Textile Corporation Ltd, the single largest Textile Central Public Sector Enterprise with headquarters at New Delhi. The Government of India provides assistance for creation of infrastructure in the parks to the extent of 40 per cent with a limit up to $ 6 million as well as subsidies for manufacturers of textile machinery. There is equally a 100 percent FDI allowed in the textile sector under the automatic route. “What we need is the enabling environment. We cannot compete with the level of smuggling and counterfeiting going on now. We used to have about 127 textile firms in Nigeria but that has come down to two or three now,” said Grace Adereti, president of the Nigerian Textile Manufacturers Association (NTMA) in Lagos at a Made-inNigeria stakeholders’ meeting in Lagos in 2018. More so, India’s pharmaceutical industry holds lessons for Nigeria. A work done by Shewalkar, Mukesh and Padmakar of Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University, India, shows that the Industrial Policy Resolution of 1956 classified industries in the country into three categories based on their priorities. ‘Schedule A’ industries were

reserved for the public sector while ‘Schedule B’ was made up of industries where the public sector was expected to play a leading role and the private sector a supplementary one. Also, ‘Schedule C’ comprised firms whose future development was left to the private initiatives. The pharmaceutical industry fell under Schedule B. Private industry was invited to invest, though strictly regulated through industrial licensing. In pursuit of these policies, the government of India established five public sector companies in India of which two played very important roles— Hindustan Antibiotics Ltd.(HAL) and Indian Drugs and Pharmaceuticals Ltd(IDPL) in 1954 and 1961 respectively. IDPL was established in with technical assistance from USSR, and HAL with the technical assistance of World Health Organisation (WHO)and United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF). The two firms played a major role in building up technical competence in the industry as well in establishing a strong bulk drug industry in the country These two companies adapted

technologies supplied by their sponsors to meet Indian requirements. Subsidies and infrastructural facilities were given by the government to enable them expand. As a result, a large number of new products in cardiovascular, neuro, psycho-somatic, gastrorenal, antifungal and anti-inflammatory segments came up .The sector started more exports of drugs to several markets Many more organisations were able to get USFDA and WHO certification that would enable them to compete better at the global market. By2010, 70 percent of the country’s demand for bulk medicines was fulfilled by Indian pharmaceutical companies. Due to an adoption of new technologies and modern scientific approach, the Indian pharmaceutical sector was ranked 3rd rank in the world in terms of volume and 14th in terms of value PriceWaterhouseCooper’s(PWC) report estimated that the value of the sector would reach $74 billion by 2020. “After 1991, however, the licensing of industries was abolished

and movement of international capital was liberalised,” said Shikha Chauhan and Indra Giri of Project Guru, India. In Nigeria, the textile industry is almost comatose while the pharmaceutical industry is shrinking. Only three or four firms are doing real textile production in Nigeria today. In the pharma industry, Evans Medical Plc has gone under, having been taken over by the defunct Skye Bank and the tier-one First Bank in 2017. Swiss Pharma sold its assets to Biogaran-Servier in March 2017. Those familiar with the company before its exit said the sale to the French company was based on financial crisis. In 2014, companies like Emzor, GSK, and a number of others earned $7.708 million from export of medicines to the African market, according to the International Trade Centre (ITC). Four years later, however, the companies made only $708,000. Naira has weakened from N199/$ in 2014 to N360/$ in 2018 (80.9 percent), but export earnings fell by a whopping 91 percent. “Local companies in the pharmaceutical industry are struggling to remain in business and some have gone into extinction. And to meet the shortfall in demand, import is increasing,” Gbolahan Ologunro, a research analyst at Lagos-based CSL Stockbrokers, said. Drug imports into Nigeria stood at $513.9 million in 2018, as against $397.8 million in 2014 and $492 million in 2016. Okey Akpa, chief executive of SKG Pharma Limited, recently said that Nigeria can adopt smart manufacturing to protect the pharmaceutical industry, especially in areas of medicines where Nigeria already has enough production capacity to satisfy market needs. “This industry is yet to be competitive. If it’s not competitive, then it is set to face challenges when you throw it open to initiatives such as the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), which is going to enlarge the market a lot more,”, said in an interview with BusinessDay in Lagos. He said the biggest issues in the sector are absence of petrochemical industry and poor infrastructure. “We need to have a petrochemical industry that will substitute what we are presently importing. It is a sector with a big potential, but this is largely unrealised because of lack of petrochemical industry,” he said. Ike Ibeabuchi, CEO of MD Services Limited, a manufacturing and services firm, said Nigeria has a lot to learn from India. “We have a lot to learn from India, China and Bangladesh,” he said. “Imagine that Bangladesh, as poor as they are, earn over $30 billion from export of fabrics and textiles, something we do not earn from all non-oil exports put together. We need to ask, what are they doing right that we can copy? We need to ask, why are we still relying on crude, when we can go back to palm oil, cocoa and other cash crops that are in high demand today?”

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