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L-R: Chuka Emerole, treasurer, Union Bank; Abdulrahman Yinusa, member, governing council, Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN); Doyin Salami, renowned economist; Emeka Okonkwo, head, corporate banking and treasury, Union Bank; Uche Olowu, president, CIBN, and Samuel Ocheho, president, Financial Markets Dealers Association (FMDA), at the quarterly general meeting of the association sponsored by Union Bank in Lagos.

Egypt’s $653m solar farm shows what Nigeria can do with sunshine

Interest rates fall further as E portfolio investors flood market I


gypt has taken advantage of the abundant sunshine it receives thanks to its geographic position in Africa’s largest desert, while Nigeria continues to complain about desert encroachment and power outages. The Benban Solar Park spans 36 square km of desert and


nterest rates in Nigeria’s fixed income market have been further lowered following the influx of foreign investors after the general elections. The interest rate which the

CBN auctions N89.5bn T-Bills at 10.75%-12.84% Inside Oversubscribed by N200.17bn FG’s N150bn intervention

Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) offered for the Nigerian Treasury Bills (NTB) auction on Wednesday was between 10.75 percent

and 12.84 percent for the various tenor days, as against 11.9 percent and 15 percent in February. Consequently, the CBN on

Thursday allotted a total of N89.5 billion Treasury Bills, which it Continues on page 34

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fails to lift moribund P. 2 textile industry







Friday 15 March 2019

London property market struggles as Brexit, tax take toll …experience mirrors situation in Nigeria CHUKA UROKO


his is not the best of times for property investors in London, among which are many buy-to-let Nigerians. The market is struggling under the weighty impact of Britain’s planned exit (Brexit) from the European Union as well as unfavourable tax regime. The dominant and significant economic, social and political discourse in London today is Brexit, more so as the parliament sets to vote for this historic ‘no-deal’ exit. It is not difficult to see a correlation between the Brexit impact on the London property market and the partly concluded, partly inconclusive general elections on the Nigerian property market, especially that of Lagos, which is the country’s largest and most thriving property investment destination. Activities leading up to the elections came with so much uncertainty and apprehension that investors had to hold back investment just as both buyers and sellers adopted a waitand-see attitude, creating a lull that was not seen before in the market in over 10 years after the economic meltdown in 2007/2008. Similarly, in the London market, potential buyers and sellers, and particularly investors, continue to hold off on their plans until political uncertainty has eased and there is a clearer idea of the post-Brexit market. However, Propertywire, an online house market tracking platform, notes that there is still movement in the market, and properties priced correctly are selling well while the current market is being driven by ‘needs-based’ buyers looking for value rather than investment. Tax is another major issue in the London market as it continues to stifle investment in central London, but according to Winkworth, anoth-

er market tracker, Brexit negotiations, or lack of, remain at the forefront for investors. As obtains in the Nigerian market where investment focus has shifted to small-size and multi-family units, Ray Clancy, Propertywire editor, reports that small to medium-sized flats have dominated transactions not just in the past quarter of 2018, but over the year. MKO Balogun, CEO, Global PFI, confirmed to BusinessDay in an interview that new investment interests favour small-size apartments of one- and two-bedroom apartments, pointing out that over 60 percent of home-buyers today are not looking for three- or four-bedroom apartments. “This is where opportunities exist in the market at the moment,” Balogun said. “Unlike the largesize apartments market, there is no vacancy here, because demand is here. Start a development that will deliver these small-size apartments and in less than six months, they will be sold out.” Clancy said there is a shortage of supply of good size-family homes, which means that they are being snapped up immediately they become available. But fewer of these are coming to market as a result of uncertainty. “Despite the slower market, the quality of homes coming to market has improved and this is reflected in the average price per square foot which has increased while actual asking prices have decreased,” Clancy said. “Overall, although sentiment is very different to this time four years ago, it’s evident that there is still stability in the market and the firm expects it to remain much the same for some time until a clearer outlook for the UK is given,” he said.

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Lack of political will to demolish defective structures puts more lives at risk – experts …say marking immaterial to prevention of collapse TEMITAYO AYETOTO


ollowing the collapse of a three-storey building that cut short 18 lives and left 41 others injured at Massey Street, Ita-Faaji area of Lagos Island, professionals in building and construction have warned that the state government’s lack of political will to demolish defective structures will only enroll more Lagosians for abrupt death. Some of the experts who spoke to BusinessDay described the excuse of marking buildings identified to be structurally weak without proactive action of demolition as inadmissible, saying it signposts the government might only be paying lip service to its fight against building collapse. At the scene of the gory incident, the Lagos State Government Building Control Agency (LABSCA) admitted knowing that the building was distressed since 2018 but hinged its failure to act on residents’ refusal to evacuate the building.

Governor Akinwunmi Ambode in his message against the practise of erecting poor structures also affirmed that the collapsed building had been marked, among several others structure on the Island that failed integrity test, noting that whoever was culpable would face the penalty. That approach has not only been counted as medicine after death, it has also raised questions about LASBCA’s priorities in ensuring fundamental standards are maintained in construction and renovation. The agency’s negligence so far is seen to have contrasted its objective of ensuring safe, healthy, accessible and habitable buildings that can stand the test of time. According to the Building Collapse Prevention Guild (BCPG), it is important to eliminate faulty buildings if the government must give way to urban renewal and protect lives while so doing. Kunle Awobudu, president,

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L-R: Seye Awojobi, registrar/CEO, Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN); Obeahon Ohiwerei, group managing director/CEO, Keystone Bank Limited; Uche Olowu, president/chairman of council, CIBN, and Abubakar Sule, group deputy managing director, Keystone Bank Limited, at the stakeholder engagement visit to Keystone Bank by CIBN, yesterday.

FG’s N150bn intervention fails to lift moribund textile industry ODINAKA ANUDU & BUNMI BAILEY


igeria has developed a series of interventions to save the textile industry from extinction, but most of them have turned out to be misplaced, leading rather to the death of the sub-sector. “None of the interventions trickled down or lifted the sector from its present moribund state largely due to poor monitoring, implementation lapses and corruption,” Vincent Nwani, an investment consultant and director at the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), said. “For now, it is very difficult to find a textile company that produces 90 metre or more length for bedding in Nigeria,” Nwani added. In 2009, the Federal Government floated a N100 billion Cotton, Textile and Garment Fund to enable key players to have access to cheap funds. Sixty percent of this fund (N60 billion) has been disbursed by the Bank of Industry (BoI), according to

the bank which manages the fund, yet the number of full-fledged textile firms has reduced to three since this intervention came. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) recently set up an additional N50 billion intervention fund to facilitate the takeover of existing debt and offer additional long-term loans and working capital to existing companies in the cotton, textile and garment sector. As of 2016, N3.4 billion had been disbursed to local firms. BusinessDay learnt that companies that usually access intervention funds are mainly those manufacturing rugs, sweaters, towels, handkerchiefs and other related products. Experts say the government is simply throwing money at problems, especially knowing that money is not the biggest need of the industry. They add that only African Textile Manufacturers (ATM) Limited, Angel Spinning and Dyeing Limited, and Spinners and Dyers Nigeria Limited are textile-producing firms in Nigeria.

“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, Nigerian Textile Manufacturers Association (NTMA), at a Made-in-Nigeria stakeholders’ meeting in Lagos. “We had the revival loans but these didn’t work because our biggest problem has never been money,” Adereti said. According to the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), the hitherto manufacturing hubs in Kano, Kaduna and Lagos are now solitary camps with most of their factory sheds used as event centres and warehouses to store smuggled textile materials. Last week, the CBN placed access to FX for all forms of textile materials on the FX restriction list. What, however, stood out is that most economic managers refer to fashion

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Nigeria’s 50% drop in HIV prevalence signals progress fighting epidemic ... as FG, others invest $90m to tackle disease ANTHONIA OBOKOH & CYNTHIA EGBOBOH


50 percent reduction in the HIV prevalence level in Nigeria is a signal of the progress by Africa’s most populous country in the fight against the epidemic, a report released on Thursday by the government has shown. The prevalence of the epidemic in Nigeria dropped to 1.4 percent among adults aged 15-49 years, from a prevalence level of 2.8 percent, according to the report, ‘Unveiling of Nigeria HIV/AIDs Indicator and Impact Survey’. Nigeria has recorded a steady progress on access to treatment for people living with HIV, with the adoption of a test-and-treat policy in 2016. This revelation came as President Muhammadu Buhari disclosed that Nigeria, the United States government and others in 2018 invested a

total of $90 million in the fight against HIV epidemic in Nigeria. “The result of this survey, which is the largest of its kind in the world, is a welcome development. It shows that our various contributions were not in vain as the survey has promoted availability of accurate and reliable data that will further enhance our fight against HIV/AIDs in Nigeria,” Buhari said. Announcing the decline in the number of persons living with HIV from 3.1 million to 1.9 million, the president said his administration would ensure easy access to comprehensive healthcare services and promote proper handling of HIV eradication programme in states. He added that there was need for the private sector to partner with the government. “For the first time, the end of AIDs as public health threat by 2030 is truly in sight for our coun-

try. I will urge all of us not to relent but to increase the momentum, let us work collectively and push for the last mile,” he said. The new data differentiate HIV prevalence by state, indicating an epidemic that is having a greater impact in certain areas of the country. The South-South zone of the country has the highest HIV prevalence, at 3.1 percent among adults aged 15-49 years. HIV prevalence is also high in the North Central zone (2.0 percent) and in the South East zone (1.9 percent), but lower in the South West zone and the North East zone, each having a prevalence level of 1.1 percent, and the North West zone (0.6 percent). Buhari said that there are fewer people living with HIV in the country than previously estimated and

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Friday 15 March 2019




NANTA blames NCAA’s weak regulations for surge in fraud, IATA’s unfavourable rules IFEOMA OKEKE


ational Association of Nigeria Travel Agencies (NANTA) of Nigeria has blamed the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) for not implementing regulations to protect the downstream sector. The association says the absence of laws guiding the sector has continued to impact negatively, leading to increase in fraudulent activities and enforcement of unfavourable rules by International Air Transport Association (IATA). They say these challenges have continued to drive genuine travel agencies out of the market. Speaking at the Aviation Safety Round Table Initiative (ASRTI) in Lagos, Bernard Bankole, president of NANTA, says the new Gen ISS introduced by IATA al-

lows anyone in and out of Nigeria to issue tickets, thereby depriving the government its 5 percent remittance, and revenues meant for local travel agencies. Bankole says while IATA promised that the system will be faster, safer and more cost effective, the reality is that the system is only killing local travel agencies and increasing the level of fraudulent activities by impostors across various countries. NANTA president stresses that all these challenges may not have emanated in the first place if NCAA had put in place laws to protect the downstream sector. “IATA should not come into our country and dictate for us how to run our business. There must be laws put in place for IATA to adhere to. We don’t want foreigners coming into the market and taking over our businesses,” Bernard states.

He advises that to properly regulate the sector, travel agencies will have to register with NCAA and NANTA, so as to properly monitor activities of the travel agencies. In response, Edem Uyo Ita, director, Air Transport, NCAA, says NANTA needs to put its house in order if it needs to be properly regulated by NCAA. Uyo Ita discloses 600 travel agencies in Nigeria do business with IATA, 200 travel agencies are registered with NANTA, while only 157 are registered with NCAA, thus revealing the inconsistencies in the downstream sector. “We cannot regulate someone that is not registered with us. This is a wake-up call for us all. Why should IATA be violating Nigeria regulations? NCAA has not even heard of IATA’s new Gen ISS platform.”

Int’l Consumer Day: Lagos insists manufacturers deliver wholesome products JOSHUA BASSEY


agos State government says it is imperative that manufacturers of goods and services in the state deliver safe and wholesome products to their customers or collide with the laws. The state commissioner for commerce, industry and cooperatives, Olayinka Oladunjoye, stated this at a briefing, Thursday, to commemorate the 2019 International Consumer Day, noting that Nigeria cannot operate in isolation from the rest of the world. The International Consumer Day is marked annually on March 15 and meant to raise awareness on the rights of consumers of goods and services around the globe. The theme for this year’s cel-

ebration is “Trusted Smart Products.” In the last one year, the state government had been seen upping efforts at ensuring that consumers of goods and services get value for their money, following the establishment, in 2018, of the Lagos State Consumer Protection Agency (LASCOPA). Oladunjoye told newsmen that this year’s celebration would be specifically dedicated to raising awareness on the danger of substandard products, especially phones and related smart devices, hence the decision to take the campaign to the Ikeja Computer Village, today (March 15). According to Oladunjoye, in line with the 2019 theme, trusted smart products should be such that deliver value to the consumers or users. “Smart products can con-

nect, share and interact with its user and other devices via different internet and communication connections. They’re devices that collect and analyse user data and transmit it to other connected devices in a network of internet of things,” Oladunjoye said. She said given the expectations of a user or consumer when buying these smart products, they should be such that can indeed be trusted to maximally deliver on their functions. “As a stakeholder in the business of ensuring that consumers’ rights are protected, as encapsulated in the Lagos State Consumer Protection Agency Law, Lagos State government is set to ensure that consumers in the state enjoy full benefits of smart products even from the first use after purchase,” she said.

Obaseki flags off EU/FG water reticulation project in Uromi


do State governor, Godwin Obaseki, has flagged off the Uromi-Ugboha Water Reticulation project in Uromi, Esan North East Local Government Area of the state that will provide potable water to over 500,000 people in Edo Central Senatorial District. The 9 million litres per day capacity water plant was completed by the Federal Government in 2018 and handed over to the Edo State government. Speaking on the efficient management of the facility, Obaseki said water from the plant would be metered to regulate usage and check leakages. “The scheme was designed to bring water to

the homes of everybody in Esan land. To ensure sustainability of the water project, it will be paid for; we will give you meters and you will pay a token to ensure you continue to have water in your houses,” the governor told beneficiaries of the project. He urged the contractors handling the project to ensure that greater percentage of the workforce was drawn from the host community. Technical assistant team lead, Niger Delta Support Programme 3, Albert Achten, said the project, an extension of the European Union/Niger Delta Support Programme, was a win-win for all stakeholders. “This is a remarkable

triple win project; a win for the federal government of Nigeria, a win for the EU which seeks improved water service delivery and a win for Edo State, as it will serve a significant number of people,” Achten said. Minister of budget and national planning, Udoma Udo Udoma, commended Governor Obaseki for embarking on the reform of the state water and sanitation sectors. “The newly adopted Water Supply and Sanitation Policy and the state’s new water law are highly commendable,” Udoma said. The minister, represented by a Director in the ministry, Elizabeth Egharevba, said the Uromi reticulation project would be completed in six months’ time.



Friday 15 March 2019

Friday 15 March 2019




Nigeria’s current account declined 49% in 2018 on higher merchandise import levels DAVID IBIDAPO


nalysis of Nigeria’s current account surplus level in 2018, according to data compiled from the official website of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), shows country’s annual current account surplus level declined by 49 percent year-on-year. Nigeria recorded a surplus of $5.33 billion in her current account transactions for the year 2018 against a 3-year-high level of $10.39 billion in 2017. This shows a reversal of Nigeria’s current account balance as a percent of GDP by 1.42 percent to 1.34 percent against 2.76 percent recorded in 2017. Further analysis reveals that annual merchandise import transaction in 2018 increased significantly by 25 percent to $40.75 billion, first

annual increase since 2014. During the period 2014 to 2017, goods import transactions declined annually consistently at an average of 15 percent. Meanwhile, Nigeria’s current account recorded a surplus in the fourth quarter of the year 2018 after account dipped into the deficit zone in the third quarter of 2018. In Q4 2018, Nigeria’s current account recorded a surplus of N338.19 billion ($1.10bn), which is equivalent to just 1.0 percent of GDP, compared with a downwardly revised deficit of -1.4% the previous quarter. The improvement of the current account in Q4 2018 was due to a decline by 19.9 percent in importation of merchandise during the period. Merchandise imports in Q4 2018 stood at $9.86 billion against $12.43 billion in the previous quarter, di-

vided between $2.4 billion and $7.45 billion on oil and non-oil transactions, respectively. Also, transactions in the current account recorded an improvement in merchandise exports by 2.8 percent to $16.65 billion compared with $16.19 billion in the previous quarter. Contributing to the surplus also was a decline in the net income outflow by 10.8 percent balanced by a substantial deterioration on the net services account 16.5 percent. According to a report by FBNQuest, while the current account has returned to surplus in Q4, the long-term trend is one of deterioration. “If we look back to the start of the data series in 2008, and so cover periods of high and low oil prices, we see that import growth has outpaced export growth,” the report stated.

RIMA engages FMDQ on risks, development of derivative market HOPE MOSES-ASHIKE


isk Management Association of Nigeria (RIMAN) has collaborated with the FMDQ OTC Securities Exchange in sensitising members on the development of a robust derivative market and the inherent risks. Derivative, according to Allan Ralph Thomson, managing director/CEO, Dreadnought Capital, is a financial instrument that derives its value from underlying asset. He explains that derivatives, which also is Futures, Forward, or Swaps, is a bilateral agreement between the buyer and the seller whose respective values are

derived from the value of an underlying asset. The naira-settled OTC FX Futures product was introduced in 2016, with the Central Bank of Nigeria as the pioneer seller of the OTC FX Futures contracts. Magnus Nnoka, president of RIMAN, says the Association is advancing in the effort to extend risk management education to all sectors of the economy and African countries, with the recent establishment of RIMAN Risk Management Institute. Speaking at RIMAN’s quarterly risk round table programme themed ‘Derivative Risks: The Role of FMDQ in the Development of the Derivatives Market in Nigeria,’ Jumoke Olani-

yan, vice president, market architecture, FMDQ, states that the total asset of the top 10 banks stood at N36.5 trillion last year and that the percentage in product – instrument that are impacted by market rate include 70 percent in treasury bills, 24 percent in bonds and 4.75 percent in equity. Olaniyan notes that part of what the FMDQ has done in derivatives market was to carry out a feasibility study where it discovered that there is no netting law, no law that protected market transactions. She notes that the FMDQ, among others, established the Central Counter Party (CCP) system to be able to clear all types of derivatives.

Investment in infrastructure can eradicate poverty in Africa - UK adviser MIKE OCHONMA


former UK International Development Secretary of State and strategic adviser, Douglas Alexander, says further investment in infrastructure development could play a significant role in helping Africa eradicate poverty in the continent. Speaking at Pinsent Masons’ inaugural Africa Infrastructure Conference, in Johannesburg, South Africa, this week, Alexander emphasised that infrastructure development in the continent had been too slow to ensure African countries reached their economic growth targets and eradicated poverty. According to Alexander, Africa needed to attract more private capital for infrastruc-

ture development, as the considerable infrastructurefinancing gap was growing. He also urged African countries to use their limited resources wisely and strategically, such as on investing in the maintenance of existing infrastructure. On his part, Gareth Haysom of the University of Cape Town African Centre for Cities agreed that infrastructure development was critical to spurring growth in Africa. He stated that the infrastructure built in African cities in the next decade would shape these cities for the next 100 years. Haysom challenged the perception that population growth in African cities was predominantly from rural migration, saying that while this does occur, much of Africa’s urban growth was the result of natural growth, with cities

characterised by very young populations. This youth bulge has implications for urban development, such as demand for education, new forms of education and new types of technology, as well as presenting new ways in which citizens use cities. He also challenged the perception that African cities are largely poor, with many boasting an emerging middle class. However, this growth is precarious, which could challenge the provision of infrastructure, he said. While there are still high levels of poverty in many African cities, he indicated that this does not affect the ability and willingness of citizens to pay for services, with many poor households actually paying more for services than those living in wealthier neighbourhoods.



Friday 15 March 2019

Friday 15 March 2019





SGF, others flag off preparations for Buhari’s inauguration Quality, manufacturer’s warranty top … inaugurates committee consumers’ complaints on smart products TONY AILEMEN, Abuja

…as world marks Consumer Rights Day BUNMI BAILEY


he quality of smart products, manufacturer’s warranty and after-sales support are the top complaints of consumers in Nigeria as the world marks International Consumer Rights Day (WCRD). The WCRD, marked annually on March 15, is meant to raise awareness on the rights of consumers of goods and services around the globe, and the theme for this year’s celebration is “Trusted Smart Products.” Over the years, as a result of this knowledge imbalance, consumers had suffered in the hands of producers and suppliers of goods and services with whom they were engaged in trade relationships in terms of supplying sub-standard

goods and services, fake and expired products. Sola Salako, founder, Consumer Advocacy Foundation of Nigeria (CAFON), said most of the complaints from consumers had been around the quality, aftersales support and manufacturer’s warranty. “Many times, a lot of products are mislabelled or deliberately passed off as smart and it is only after you buy them you will find out that they don’t function effectively or efficiently,” Salako said in a telephone interview. “A lot of products that comes into Nigeria don’t have the manufacturer’s warranty. And by the time the consumers buy the products and a problem occurs with no warranty and the consumer wants to return it back, the retailer will not take it back to the manufacturer to get it fixed

because he or she will not want to bear the cost. But if a warranty was involved then the retailer will get it fixed,” Salako said further. To further protect the rights of consumers, Salako suggested that a lot of consumer awareness, better regulatory enforcement and educating the retail market should be enforced. “Sometimes in trying to protect the consumer, the government, agencies and Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) like ours need to work with the channels of trade and educate them on what to expect and demand for,” she said. The advocate also said that the reason why retailers don’t give the consumer the kind of quality service that they expect is because they don’t have enough backing themselves from the manufactures.


reparations for second term inauguration of President Muhammadu Buhari commenced Thursday with composition of a committee that will handle the May 29 inauguration for the second term in office. The inauguration of the inter-ministerial Presidential committee on Thursday by Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, flagged off the commencement of the activities for the May 29 event. The SGF, while inaugurating the committee at the SGF conference room, reminded members of the committee of the importance of the forthcoming event and charged them to deploy their wealth of experience to ensure the event was successful. “Let me remind all members of the importance of this assignment and that no stone should be left unturned to ensure

that this 2019 Presidential Inauguration Committee delivers on its mandate. We must therefore deploy our wealth of experience and show unwavering commitment to this exercise,” the SGF stated. President Buhari was recently declared the President-elect after defeating his main rival and People’s Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar Mustapha recalled how Buhari government had since 2015 committed itself to working hard to achieve sustainable economic growth as well as a secure and corruption free nation. “Preparatory to the inauguration of the new administration, Mr. President approved the constitution of this Presidential InterMinisterial Inauguration Committee (PIC-2019) to plan, organise and execute all approved programmes for the series of activities

that would be undertaken,” he said. The SGF himself is serving as chairman of the committee, other members of the committee, which include, Chief of Staff to the President, Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Minister of Budget and National Planning, Minister of Finance, Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Other members of the Committee include the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Minister of Transportation, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Minister of Water Resources. The committee also has the governor, Central Bank of Nigeria, National Security Adviser, Permanent Secretary, Cabinet Affairs Office and Deputy Chief of Staff to the President who will serve as secretary, respectively.

AfDB to provide $25bn to fight climate change in 5 years

T L-R: Ogbonnaya Onu, minister of science and technology; Talson Bege, representing minister of state for petroleum; Gloria Elemo, DG, Federal Institute of Industrial Research Oshodi (FIIRO), and Peter Ekweozoh, DG, Nigeria Natural Medicine Development Agency,  at the stakeholders consultative meeting to present The report of   the technical committee on introduction of Methanol Fuel Technology in Nigeria, yesterday in Lagos. Pic by Pius Okeosisi

Illicit maritime activities undermine food security, economic development – US director of Intelligence


ear Adm. Heidi Berg, Director, Directorate of Intelligence, U.S. Africa Command says illegal maritime activities undermine food security, the rule of law and economic development in the Gulf of Guinea (GOG) region. Berg made this known on Thursday in her remarks at the opening ceremony of the sea exercise Obangame Express at the Naval Dockyard Limited in Lagos. The News Agency of Nigeria reports that no fewer than 31 African and Allied countries are participating in the 9th edition of the exercise. Berg who lauded the commitment of the 31 nations scheduled to participate in the year’s exercise, said mari-

time illegalities undermined the rule of law in the region. “Maritime illegalities such as illegal fishing, trafficking of weapons, narcotics and people, as well as the ongoing threat of piracy, undermined the rule of law, food security, and economic development in the region. “This exercise is a clear demonstration of the U. S. dedication to combat these illicit activities and help our partners in the GOG to provide security for their resources, their economy, and their people. “Obangame Express 2019 will make the region a safe place for maritime commerce and ultimately help increase prosperity of the region,” Berg said.

The United States Consul General John Bray noted that Obangame Exercise had grown in leaps and bounds, both in complexity and accomplishment. “We note the efforts by regional navies to work together in the spirit of the Yaoundé Code of Conduct. “This togetherness is designed to improve regional cooperation, maritime domain awareness, and informationsharing to enhance the collective capabilities of GOG and West African nations to counter sea-based illicit activity,” Bray remarked. The Chief of the Naval Staff (CNS), Vice Adm. Ibok- Ette Ibas, addressing delegates from 31 countries of the world said this year’s exercise pro-

vided another unique opportunity to appraise operational and tactical scenarios akin to real life challenges commonly experienced within the region. “I must therefore specially commend the navies of the Kingdom of Morocco, Portugal and the United States that have dispatched warships, as well as other regional navies that have sent personnel to participate in this year’s Exercise Obangame Express. “I am pleased to mention that the navy along with the navies of ECOWAS Zone E and the Gendarmerie of Niger Republic have been in the vanguard of efforts to build synergy across boundaries necessary to mitigate maritime security challenges within the zone.

he African Development Bank (AfDB) on Thursday said it would provide $25 billion (2.5trn shillings) over the next five years to help in the global fight against climate change. Akinwumi Adesina, president of AfDB said the bank currently provides 34 percent of its overall lending portfolio to projects aiming to boost the fight against climate change. Addressing the One Planet Summit during the 4th session of the UN Environment Assembly, Adesina said that there was need to create home-made financing mechanisms to enable local communities cope with climate change. Adesina said the financing required to deal with climate change should come from the private sector.

He said that the funds should be directed towards renewable energy solutions to enable millions of people still unable to access electricity to be connected. “Africa needs indigenous models to finance climate change,” Adesina said. He said that AfDB had created the Africa Financial Alliance for Climate Change, meant to pool financial resources towards investing on efforts to fight climate change. Adesina said that under the financial initiative, the bank was working with central banks to direct money to the climate change action. According to the AfDB, the central bank owns some 1.2 trillion dollars worth of reserves which can be redirected toward renewable energy financing initiatives to help fight climate change effects.

Capital market operator tasks Buhari to reconstitute SEC board after 3 years


capital market expert, Ambrose Omordion, on Thursday said reconstituting the board of Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) should be a priority of President Muhammadu Buhari in his second tenure. Omordion, chief operating officer, InvestData Limited, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos on expectations from the new government. NAN reports that Buhari dissolved the board of the commission on July 16, 2015, and

two months later set up an eightman panel, headed by former secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal, to reconstitute them. Omordion said Federal Government’s failure to reconstitute the board for over three years had serious implication for operational efficiency of the apex capital market regulator. He said SEC should be strengthened with the appointment of board of directors for growth and development of the capital market, saying the development was affecting.




Friday 15 March 2019

Petrol sold the cheapest in 17 months at N145.30 Six Nigerians to represent Africa at Huawei … as per litre cost of diesel hits 22-month high



he average price paid by consumers for premium motor spirit, otherwise known as petrol, slumped 0.3 percent month-on-month in February 2019 to N145.3, the lowest since October 2017, figures from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) show. Meanwhile, per litre cost of automotive gas oil or diesel on the average grew slightly month-on-month by 0.23 percent to N225.61 in February 2019, the highest since the fifth month of 2017. There was an increase in the number of states that sold petrol above the official pump price of N145, which stood at 24 in the review month, compared with 22 states in January. Year-on-year, average per litre declined 15.8 percent to N145.30 in the review month compared with N172.50/litre sold in the similar month a year earlier. Taraba, the third largest state by land area, reported

the highest average price of petrol at N150.55 in the review month, indicating 25.21 percent decline over N201.29 sold a year ago. States with the least average prices in February include Ogun (N143.06), Imo (N143.18) and Ekiti (N143.47). These three states recorded contraction year-on-year as well as month-on-month. Across regions, petrol sold the highest in the North-East (N145.74) followed by North Central (N145.53) and North-West (N145.41). Meanwhile, per litre price was below the N145 regulatory price in South-West (N144.90) and South-East (N144.98). Recall that in May 2016, the Federal Government jerked up the pump price of petrol from N86.50 to N145 with the motive of boosting availability, encourage investment in refineries and downstream and prevent diversion of petroleum products. Last month, the Independent Petroleum Market-

ers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) directed its members nationwide to reduce pump price from N145/litre to N140 in a bid to encourage Nigerians to exercise their franchise after the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) cancelled election six hours before votes on February 16. Report for diesel showed that Borno, an insurgencyafflicted state, had the highest average price of diesel at N243.67, while Kwara at N239.55 and Osun at N237.14 ranked the second and third places diesel sold nationwide. On the other hand, states with the lowest average price of diesel were Plateau N207.5, Ekiti N205.72, and Adamawa N204.38. Lagosians paid N233.06, an increase both month-on-month and yearon-year by 0.98 percent and 14.51 percent, respectively. The product (diesel) sold the highest in the SouthEast region (N230.99) and cheapest in South-South and North-Central at N222.64 and N220.88, respectively.

ICT global competition in China JUMOKE AKIYODE-LAWANSON


igeria, at the heart of development, is playing a key role in representing Africa on the global scale of ICT knowledge and capacity building. With a growing youth population and rapid advancement in innovation and technology, Nigeria scales high and is noticeably growing in building technology hubs. The Yabacon Valley, which attracts global presence, is a typical example of how far Nigeria has come in its understanding of ICT and innovation. This March, a team of Nigerian students emerged first place alongside Tanzania, Kenya and Angola to represent Africa at the global stage to compete for the world ICT title in Huawei Technologies’ flagship ICT development programme set to hold in China, May 2019. The Nigerian team of students ranked number one

L-R: Ada Udechukwu, head, women banking, Access Bank plc; Herbert Wigwe, group managing director/CEO, Access Bank plc; Laure Beaufils, British Deputy High Commissioner, and Ayona Aguele-Trimnell, coordinator, women banking, Access Bank plc, at the W Initiative International Women’s Day conference 2019 in Lagos, yesterday.


pated in theory and practical examinations on cloud computing, artificial intelligence, mobile networks and big data. Together with second prizewinners, Angola and Kenya, the four teams will travel to China for the global finals, which will see 40 teams from around the world compete for the championship title. The 6 Nigerian students have also been offered job opportunities in Huawei Technologies Co. Nigeria Limited to further improve their skills and experience. This ICT competition developed by Huawei Technologies comprising of a national preliminary contest, regional semi-final and Global final was first launched in 2015. It will be recalled that in October 2018, Huawei launched the ICT competition in Nigeria in partnership with local universities aiming at cultivating local ICT talents, promoting a greater understanding of and interest in ICT, and developing a healthy ecosystem for the sustainable growth of ICT sector.

FG, private sector to partner on labour -friendly policies

World Glaucoma Week: Obaseki assures on responsive policies to tackle ailment



‘Over 1, 000 buildings are unfit for human habitation in Lagos Island’

ational president, Building Collapse Prevention Guild (BCPG), Kunle Awobodu, says there are over 1,000 buildings unfit for human habitation in Lagos Island. Awobodu made the disclosure in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Thursday in Lagos, saying BCPG had brought such distressed buildings to the notice of the Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA) for demolition. He spoke against the backdrop of a three-storey building located at Massey Street, Ita-Faaji, Lagos Island, that collapsed on Wednesday, killing some

leading with a dominant score of 790.4, followed by Tanzania with 745.6, then Kenya with 737 and Angola with 700.8. The regional competition finals consisted of 14 teams (with 42 students) from 11 countries in Africa, which participated in theory and practical examinations on cloud computing, artificial intelligence, mobile networks and big data. The Nigerian students, Abdulqadir Babagana Musa, Muhammad Mustafa Maihaja, Fahad Danladi, Shuaibu Abbas Usman, Kamaludeen Umar, Abdulqudus Adebayo Temidayo all from Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), first emerged winners of the Huawei ICT national competition that involved a participation of 13,600 students from 30 universities across Nigeria before proceeding to represent Nigeria at the just-concluded sub-Saharan regional finals held in Johannesburg, South Africa. The regional finals consisting of 42 African students divided into 14 teams partici-

school pupils with many others injured. In the collapsed building, no fewer than 45 pupils said to be on the last floor of the building were rescued from the rubble. According to Awobodu, the collapsed building was one of the many buildings that were unfit for human habitation in Lagos Island. “There are over 1,000 distressed other buildings of this nature in Lagos, which, if nothing is done to demolish them, they will still collapse, resulting to more calamities in the state. “The collapsed building had been marked for demolition about three times, but the building regulatory agen-

cy has not demolished it. We are moving round the circle and this has to stop. “Let the building control agency take the bull by the horn, by ensuring that all distressed buildings in the state are identified and demolished. “Let the state government look for preventive measures, rather than spending money for evacuation, investigation and remediation after the calamities and damages have occurred,” he said. He said all the agencies responsible for monitoring buildings should be more proactive in discharging their mandates, if the issue of building collapse must stop. The architects, building

engineers, bricklayers and the end-users must also live up to the expectations by complying with the construction rules and regulations guiding the industry, he said. Also speaking, Adelaja Adekanmbi, chairman, Nigeria Institute of Building (NIOB), Lagos chapter, called for a Town Hall Meeting, comprises the government, professionals, developers and end-users in the built environment. Adekanmbi said the meeting was necessary as a platform for comprehensive deliberation among the players, on how to tackle the issue of building collapse in Lagos State.

ederal Government and the Organised Private Sector (OPS) are to partner towards the enunciation and implementation of labour-friendly policies. Permanent secretary, Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, William Nwankwo Alo, who said this, believed that the synergy would add to further promote industrial harmony in the country. Alo spoke in Abuja on Thursday when he received the director-general, Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA), Timothy Olawale. He described NECA as a critical and dependable partner in maintaining industrial harmony in Nigeria, and encouraged the employers’ body to join hands with government to move the country forward. The permanent secretary pledged government’s continued support to NECA, and appreciated the association’s outstanding performance in providing the platform for private sector employers to engage and interact with the government. He assured NECA that government placed a lot of score on the private sector, and appreciated its support, and also expressed the optimism that government and NECA would continue to have a robust relationship, which would bring peace and tranquillity in the work environment.


do State governor, Godwin Obaseki, says the state government will continue to advance responsive healthcare delivery policies that will help curb glaucoma and reduce the incidence of blindness in the state. The governor said this in commemoration of the 2019 World Glaucoma Week held annually between March 10 and 16, and championed by the World Glaucoma Association and the World Glaucoma Patient Association. According to Odaseki, “As the World marks the Glaucoma Week, I want to assure our people in Edo State that we are working round the clock to ensure that necessary policies to promote efficient healthcare delivery are put in place, including those that would help fight glaucoma. “Even with a focus on primary healthcare, we are also very keen on ensuring that ailments like glaucoma get the needed attention. We are strengthening the healthcare system in the state to promote awareness creation and efficient management of the ailment and are ready to work with health missions.” This is made possible with the siting of healthcare centres closer to the people in rural areas, as much work has been done with the Edo Healthcare Improvement Programme (Edo-HIP) to ensure that efficient healthcare is provided for the people, he said.

Friday 15 March 2019







Friday 15 March 2019


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Root cause and nimbleness

Olamide Balogun


rust you are all well and are well on the way to achieving what you set out to achieve in the first quarter of the year. This is because the end of the said first quarter is already upon us. The secret is to have a project manager (outsourced or in-house) whose main job is to ensure the strategic path (laid down at the beginning of the year or three years ago) is followed strictly. If this does not happen and members of staff are expected to add strategy follow through to their usual jobs, many things will not get done. The strategy document will remain in someone’s drawer unimplemented until it becomes obsolete or until the next strategy session. Whether you are a new company or an old company, you must always be sure that you are solving a root cause problem and not a symptom-problem. Serious entrepreneurs will usually set up a business where they identify a need. Usually, this need should be to solve the root cause and not the symptom of a problem. When you solve a symptom only and not the root cause the problem will not only remain but it will get worse. I always like to use the example of the treatment of Malaria symptoms. One of

the symptoms is a bad headache. If just the headache is treated the patient will either get worse and eventually die or will just die immediately. Whatever way the patient will die if the root cause of the ailment is not diagnosed and treated. I will give you the example of the pharmaceutical industry that built a nine billion dollar income industry round a symptom. For many years, there was a condition called ulcer. This condition was the perforation of the lining of the stomach. Not only was this condition excruciatingly painful it could also lead to death from peritonitis or the person could bleed to death. The doctors who did not really know what caused it decided they would in conjunction with the pharmaceutical industry treat the symptoms. They told patients not to eat certain foods that would aggravate the condition. Told them not to be stressed out because stress also aggravated the condition. They then prescribed stuff that never cured anybody but alleviated the symptoms. For very many years the pharmaceutical companies cashed in on this and built a very huge and highly profitable industry out of this. Anyway, almost by accident, there was a man who then won a Nobel prize for his discovery, when he discovered that ulcers were actually caused by bacteria that could easily be destroyed by some antibiotics and the patient would be completely cured. The same bug was apparently responsible for some types of stomach cancer. Needless to say, very many people had died from “ulcers” because the root cause was going untreated. My point is that when you are deciding on what you want to set up a company around, be sure you are dealing with

the root cause and not just a symptom. Only solving a root cause will make your organization relevant forever. How you find out what a root cause problem is, takes more than just thinking through data. You may need to use various management planning tools that will help you quickly zero in on the true root cause. Without proper tools and a facilitator, symptoms may masquerade as root causes. Even when you are solving a root cause problem, your organization must also be nimble enough to recognize when the problem you are created to solve is no longer root cause and move on to an equally relevant root cause. So take a bank for example. The initial reason they were set up was to be a safe place for people to keep their money. From when banks were set up to now, even though they are still a place to keep your money safe, they have also become a place where you can do so many different transactions that they are much more than just a place to keep your money safe. The reason you want to be nimble is also to ensure you remain relevant. Even if you are solving a root cause problem, there is the possibility that needs change because times have changed but there is also the possibility that someone with a better idea can come and overtake your reason for existence. Can you pre-determine everything? Not so, especially these days that one invention can make a huge section of the economy obsolete. There are times that deciding everything before you start may not save you but the nimbleness of the organisation will. An example of this is the American telegram service that was initially set up to send communication very quickly

Whether you are a new company or an old company, you must always be sure that you are solving a root cause problem and not a symptomproblem

from a person to another person. We can now all do this using our phones. When the technological age began, the telegram service was made obsolete until they decided to start wiring money long distances by using the same means as sending a telegram. For weeks now I have dwelt on vision, the why and now the accuracy of the company solutions to solving root cause problems. You are probably wondering when I will start talking about the management of human resources. The truth is that so many things have to be put in place and agreed upon before you start talking about the people. We are told that everything we would ever need was created before God created man. I find it intriguing when I realize that Coltan the main part of what goes into the making of a mobile phone today is mined from what was created at creation in DRC. The more work that goes into the thinking of the why, the vision, the root cause and the nimbleness of our organisation, the easier it will be to draw up what jobs the organisation will need, what sort of personnel will be required, how and where to find them, how to recruit and engage, retain and make the personnel fulfilled and therefore an asset. All this preparation before launching into the activities of the organisation will impact on the type of brand to be built which again directly impacts on the type of people to be employed. They have to be those who will be sure to deliver on the brand promise of the organization. Balogun is the founder of Box & Cedar Ltd a boutique Recruitment and HR Consulting firm

Arbitration in Nigeria: 2018 review and 2019 outlook (Part I) Joseph Onele


018 was a very interesting year for the arbitration community in the world over. We witnessed several momentous developments for international arbitration in Africa and particularly, in Nigeria. As will be shown in this post, 2018 marked the pre-birth of an era in the history of arbitration in Nigeria, which if allowed to thrive, take its full course, and followed through conscientiously, will ensure that Nigeria,not only becomes one of the preferred seats for arbitration in Africa, but also the world over. Matters arising on proposed changes to arbitration law in Nigeria One of the major significant events for arbitration in Nigeria for the year 2018, happened in the first quarter of 2018. In February 2018, the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (FRN) passed the much-anticipated Arbitration and Conciliation Act (Repeal and Re-Enactment) Bill 2017 (The Bill). The Bill has, since Quarter 1 of 2018, been pending before the House of Representatives (HoR) of the FRN (the second legislative chambers) and awaiting the passageas well as the concurrence of the HoR. It is hoped that the Bill will be passed and concurred to by the HoR, upon taking on board,apt comments received fromconcerned stakeholders of the arbitration community in Nigeria. Upon the final passage of the Bill and its coming into force, further to the Presidential assent given, the Bill portends great potentials, for not only increasing foreign investments in Nigeria, but also boosting the confidence of investors. This is because the advent of the new Arbitration Act will position Nigeria become one of the preferred seats of

arbitration. Consequently, ensuring an early passage of the much awaited and promising Bill in the First Quarter of 2019 or better still, before the end of the Second Quarter of 2019, will be quite helpful in setting the tone on the readiness of the Nigerian government, to charm the attention of foreign investors. This will equallydemonstrate to all, Abuja’s commitment to building a friendly business environment in Nigeria. It may further be safely asserted that the passage of the Bill, in either Quarter 1 or 2 of 2019, has the tendency to make more (foreign) investors to consider Nigeria for investments. It will also encourage themtogravitate more towards making Nigerian law - the governing law of their contracts. This is in addition to such investors choosing Nigeria as the preferred seat of arbitration. Matters arising on the $8.9 billion arbitration award against the Nigerian government Another notable incident of 2018 which has already surfaced in 2019 is the $8.9 billion arbitration award issued against Nigeria. As things currently stand, Nigeria risks losing a whopping $9 billion worth of assets in the UK to a British firm, Process and Industrial Developments Limited (P&ID). It remains to be seen whether P&ID, through the English Court, will seize Nigeria’s commercial assets in England, in a bit to levy execution of the award earlier obtained. By way of background, it will be recalled that the Nigerian government was accused of reneging on its obligation to supply gas to P&ID under an agreement to build and operate an Accelerated Gas Development Project (Gas Project) to be located in Cross River State, Nigeria. It was P&ID claim that the negligence of the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) frustrated the construction of the Gas Project, and as a result, depriving P&ID the potential benefits expected from 20 years’ worth of gas supplies. It is worth

noting that the Award against Nigeria was about $6.59 billion but following the refusal by the Nigerian government to enter an appeal for over five years, the arbitral award attracted additional $2.3 billion in accumulated interest at 7 per cent rate per annum, making the entire sum due from the Nigerian government - $8.9 billion award. The final award notwithstanding, an outof-tribunal agreement for the payment of $850 million (about 9.6 per cent of the $8.9 billion award) was successfully reached with P&ID during the erstwhile President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan government. However, the responsibility for the disbursement of funds to P&ID was passed on to the then incoming administration of President Buhari. However, rather than take the recommended action, the President Buhari led administration opted to set aside the settlement agreement, directing its lawyers to return to the tribunal for renegotiation with the engineering firm, while seeking to set aside the award completely. In 2019, it will be interesting to see how the lingering issue stemming from the final award will be resolved. Third party funding in Nigeria and the Queen Mary University of London 2018 International Arbitration Survey 2018 also saw the emergence of Third-Party Funding (TPF) as a contemporary issue amongst arbitration enthusiasts in Nigeria and even beyond. For instance, The Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) in conjunction with White & Case, conducted the 2018 QMUL White & Case International Arbitration Survey. In the International Arbitration Survey(the Survey) conducted, concerns were raised by different stakeholders with respect to disclosure obligations and potential pitfalls when dealing with TPF.Views for the Survey obtained from a sundry pool of participants in the international arbitra-

tion community, including but not limited to arbitrators, private practitioners, representatives of arbitralinstitutions, academics with keen interests in arbitration, in-house counsel,experts, third-party funders alike and non-alike, reveal that: 97% of respondents chose international arbitration as their preferred dispute resolution method; “Cost” continues to be seen as arbitration’s worst feature; there is a seemly “lack of power in relation to third parties;” the five most preferred seats of arbitration are London, Paris, Singapore, Hong Kong and Geneva; preferences for a given seat continue to be primarily determined by its “general reputation and recognition;” followed by users’ perception of its ‘formal legal infrastructure;’ the national arbitration law; the neutrality and impartiality of its legal system; and its track record in enforcing agreements to arbitrate and arbitral awards. Riding the waves of the foregoing and taking into accountthe increased preference by the international arbitration community for pro-arbitration legislative regimes such as Hong-Kong and Singapore, one could then understand why the strategic move made in Quarter 1 of 2018 is deserving of special mention and commendation. One sure needs no soothsayer to come to conclusion that Nigeria has, by the introduction of the Bill, stepped up her game in arbitration law and practice. It also needs not telling that the end game of Nigeria becoming a force to reckon with amongst the comity of preferred global arbitration regimes, is likely to be increased by the imminent arbitration regime.

Note: The rest of this article continues in the online edition of Business Day @https:// Onele is a Legal Practitioner based in Lagos. He wrote via –

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Disruptive innovation: How businesses rise and fall



ne of the best advices I have ever gotten is, “Eizu, no one is loyal to you, but their needs that has to do with you”. With this, I never let a win get to my head and a loss to my heart. I have seen empires rise and fall. It starts off when we grow too big to think small and in details to the detriment of our stakeholders. It’s called neglect. From politics to relationship to business, we see this every time. It comes from strategy without tactics. And like the Art of War puts it “Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat”. Bear that in mind as you build, as you grow and scale, ensure you stay relevant by always tactically putting the customer first. Every customer gets edgier, lazier and more price conscious with time. The antidote will be convenience and cost saving for him. Staying relevant means being disruptively innovative. There are different types of innovations, but there is one that cuts cycle time and cost for the customer. That’s what Prof Clayton of the Harvard

Business School defines as Disruptive Innovation. Disruptive Innovation is when a company (most times startups) produces and eventually masters the marketing of products that seems to be simpler, superior and more affordable than the prior products in the market place, thereby creating a new value network. It’s mostly by the new comers. At this point this underdogs takes a neglected market place that the incumbent leader isn’t interested in because its focus is to make better products at a better price for profit. While they are it, the underdog sneaks up and takes them out. Disruptive Innovation is a strategy game of the underdog. Let’s take a look at these underdogs and how they took out brands: Google Map: Took out compass, asking for directions and a need for maps. Wikipedia: they took out Encyclopedias, libraries and even Encarta. Apple/ITunes: it took out millions of CDs and Tapes from music. Netflix: It’s taking out television and cable networks. Evernote: is currently taking out jotters and your need to remember anything. Google: it took out your ignorance, and any need for your local library. Uber: currently taking out cabs in major cities. YouTube: it is taking out TV. Drop Box: it took out the need for an external hard drive Instagram: it took out photo albums. Space X: is helping human’s com-

mercially escape out of earth. In these examples, what we see is a lean underdog carrying out a successful coup in the market place. Disruptive Innovation usually starts from lean underdogs who can build strong marketing concepts for new value market space. More African SMEs must learn about it and how to apply it. In a world where we all want to scale up fast, we are either ashamed of being small; we treat small business as if it’s a disease. It is not. It’s actually a good and stealth place to be. It’s the best position from which to disrupt the market as it requires speed which is something SMEs have but don’t know how to use best. In comparison between a truck and sports car, checking out of a large mall versus buying from a neighborhood store, or in the biblical story of David and Goliath, what we consistently see is how being a plus size can make you slow. And being small means you’re not always in a disadvantage. At least you have speed and can be more intimate and closer to the ground. Startups and SMEs are like this but tend to not realize how powerful that is. For big businesses, it’s so easy to forget to look at what you do in the eyes of the customer or any other stakeholder at that. It’s a Golden Rule of life that business people forget, which makes them lose intimacy and value, and eventually the market! In my years of studying innovation, I have come to the summary that what kills companies is widening the gap between corporate (executives) and the operational (client serving) level

…what kills companies is widening the gap between corporate (executives) and the operational (client serving) level teams

teams. And also when they move strategic decision making from customer facing departments to back ends, say the accounting department. They make strategic decisions now dependent on ROI(return on investment) with higher IRR (Internal Rates of Returns) and NPVs (Net Present Values);that is when the concern is now mainly on Returns on Investments with higher Internal Rate of Returns and Net Present Values with shorter Pay Back Periods as against how truly users lives can be made easier, more exciting and better with their products. This keeps them distracted till a new company comes from the bottom. And then provides that more intimately and more affordable experience. Disruptive Strategy isn’t only valid for businesses but our individual lives. We complicate things for ourselves. We neglect the simpler yet more important things. For such I ask, what are we doing right now to make our lives better and easier in the coming years? Personally, the amount in profit we make today at the detriment of better capital budget equivalents in our lives; I mean variables like health, spirituality, mental/emotional state and family may not in any way equal that. Same way we watch our cost of sales, we need to watch our cost of success. In any sphere, success is the greatest enemy of success.

Note: The rest of this article continues in the online edition of Business Day @ Uwaoma is a start-up, corporate restructuring and strategy consultant. He writes via

Transportation: A major catalyst in stimulating growth in Nigeria’s tourism sector

Festus Okotie


ransportation is an integral part of the tourism industry. it links tourists with the various destination attractions within any society and acts as a stimulus in the growth of the tourism industry. Tourism expands more efficiently when there are better transportation systems in place. For tourism to expand and grow there has to be proper maintenance of the existing roads network, construction of standard and quality roads, construction of more rail networks, water and air transportation network facilities which includes construction of strategic local airports, enhancement of local flight operations, adequate functioning of security networks and systems. Tourism development can even grow bigger, if more provisions are made in the various elements of the transport systems. In Nigeria, it’s very important for all its stakeholders such as Government and the Private companies to be actively involved in the development of tourism across the entire nation which has the potential of opening up the economy of any nation. Many developed nations across the globe take advantage of covering the budget deficit and add more value to its economy with the help of the tourism sector, that is why

tourism is called ‘a factory without chimney’. The tourism sector has its own unique features that differentiates it from other sectors because the customers who are the tourists,comes to the destination where the tourism services they need are available and with proper functioning transportation systems which could be by road, rail, water or air mode of transportation,which makes a successful tourism system connected to a viable transportation system. Its impossible to think or dream of viable tourism industry without good transportation systems in place. Transportation is the number one means to carry passengers or tourists to the actual site when tourism services are performed and the development of transportation infrastructures such as good transportation vehicles, airports, rail systems, water transport systems.Modern infrastructures and technologies are used in driving the sector which accelerates the development of any society or nation. The statistics of World Tourism Organizations shows that there was tremendous growth in the sector between 2005 and 2015. According to United Nations World Tourism Organizations, it stated that international tourists arrival grew by 4.4% in 2015 to reach a total of 1,1184 million in 2015 according to the 2015 UNWTO World Tourism barometer, some 50 million more tourists travelled to international destinations around the world in 2016 as compared to 2014 and 2015 which indicated the above average growth and with international arrivals increasing by 4% or more every year since the post crisis year of 2010.International tourism level hit new heights in 2015 with Europe +5% leading growth in this sector even with weaker Euro, followed by Asia Pacific, the Americas and the middle east.Limited available data made Africa’s performance more difficult to

accurately quantify, but UNWTO pointed to a -3% decrease that was primarily attributable to weak results in North Africa, the organization said overall results were influenced by exchange rates, oil prices, natural and man-made crisis in many parts of the world, meaning that a mixed performance was recorded across individual destinations, but UNWTO projected a rise in international tourists arrivals in 2016. As one of the world’s largest economic sectors, Travel & Tourism creates jobs, drives exports and generates prosperity across the world. In the annual analysis of the global economic impact of Travel & Tourism, the sector is shown to account for 10.4% of global GDP and 313 million jobs, or 9.9% of total employment in 2017,the right policy and investment decisions can only be made with empirical evidence andfor over 25 years, the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has been providing this evidence, quantifying the economic and employment impact of Travel & Tourism. The 2018 Annual Economic Reports cover 185 countries and 25 regions of the world, providing the necessary data on 2017 performance as well as unique 10-year forecasts on the sector’s potential. 2017 was one of the strongest years of GDP growth in a decade with robust consumer spending worldwide. This global growth transferred again into Travel & Tourism with the sector’s direct growth of 4.6% outpacing the global economy for the seventh successive year. As in recent years, performance was particularly strong across Asia, but proving the sector’s resilience, 2017 also saw countries such as Tunisia, Turkey and Egypt that had previously been devastated by the impacts of terrorist activity, recover strongly. This power of resilience in Travel & Tourism will be much needed for the many established Travel & Tourism destinations that

were severely impacted by natural disasters. While data shows the extent of these impacts and rates of recovery over the decade ahead, beyond just numbers, International tourists associations and its Members are working hard to support local communities as they rebuild and recover. Inclusive growth and ensuring a future with quality jobs are the concerns of governments everywhere. Travel & Tourism, which already supports one in every ten jobs on the planet, is a dynamic engine of employment opportunity and over the past ten years, one in five of all jobs created across the world has been in the sector and with the right regulatory conditions and government support, nearly 100 million new jobs could be created over the decade ahead. Over the longer term, forecast growth of the Travel & Tourism sector will continue to be robust as millions more people are moved to travel to see the wonders of the world. Strong growth also requires strong management and global tourism bodies have continued to take a leadership role with destinations to ensure that they are planning effectively and strategically for growth, accounting for the needs of all stakeholders and using the most advanced technologies in the process and are proud to continue to provide the evidence base required in order to help both public and private bodies make the right decisions for the future growth of a sustainable Travel & Tourism sector and for the millions of people and nations who depend on it economically.

Note: The rest of this article continues in the online edition of Business Day @https:// Okotie, a maritime transport specialist, writes via fokotie., Fokotie@bernardhallgroup. com



Editorial Publisher/CEO


Bashir Ibrahim Hassan

GM, BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT (South) Ignatius Chukwu



Friday 15 March 2019

Time to solve Nigeria’s electricity challenge


ith the conduct of the governorship and houses of assembly elections on March 9, the curtains are being drawn on politics and preparation for governance should begin in earnest. For the Buhari regime, the next four years will give it opportunity to correct mistakes of the past and solve Nigeria’s most existential problems. One of such problems is fixing the power sector. More than five years after the privatisation of the sector, there has been no noticeable improvement in the power situation in the country and almost all analysts of the sector are in agreement that the privatisation of the sector is yet to translate to power for consumers. Last time out, the minister of power, works and housing, Babatunde Fashola, sought to absolve government of blame saying since the sector has been privatised and so it is no longer the responsibility of the government to supply electricity. While this is technically true, the honourable minister knows it is not the entire truth and he was only playing politics with the issue. Despite the privatisation of the sector, the government

has refused to let go, bugging the sector down with over-regulation and tariff caps that discourage investments and continues to keep Nigerians in darkness. There is nowhere in the world where you ask a company to sell its product below cost price without appropriate subsidy to make up the cost and provide profit for the producer. The same government that now wants us to believe it is not responsible for power outages is still the same government that has put an arbitrary cap on tariffs, forcing the Discos to sell electricity below the cost price of producing it, making power generation and distribution much more expensive than what is being charged. We believe the government took this route for populist and political reasons; not to be seen to be increasing or allowing the Discos increase power tariffs, especially close to election time. Now that the elections are over, it is the right time to allow proper costing of power and the review of electricity tariffs to reflect the cost of production of electricity. The cost reflective is good for Nigeria on several fronts. The obvious advantage is that it will enhance power delivery as it will enable distribution companies (discos) pay the generation companies (gencos) for power generated. Gencos too will be able to

pay gas suppliers to enable them generate more power. Besides it will also enable both the discos and gencos to make more investments in their networks and in power generation. Gas suppliers also will be able to invest in more gas production. Similarly, it will enable the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) to strengthen their weak transmission lines so that they can be able to evacuate more power. We understand the misgivings of many Nigerians and especially the labour unions who are arguing that there should be an improvement in power supply before the tariff increases take effect. In fact, in a normal market economy, that should be the order. Payments are made for services delivered and not promises. However, the unique problem with the power sector is that without a cost reflective tariff plan, it is difficult to secure funding with which the needed investments that will guarantee regular power supply can be made. The banks are generally not willing to fund projects without a clear cut recovery price. The situation in the power sector mirrors the situation in the oil and gas sector where several dozen licences have been issued for the construction of refineries since 2003 and yet no refinery has been built. The simple reason was

that banks – who were the major financiers of the projects – refused to finance the building of refineries without a proper pricing of petrol and diesel. Nigerians, on their part, refused to allow for the removal of subsidy and for petrol to be sold at market price. The effect was that for more than 20 years after the return of civil democratic governance and the determination of the government to make Nigeria self-sufficient in refined petrol, the country still continues to import almost all its refined petrol spending billions of dollars in the process. What is more, billions of dollars – monies that could have built several refineries many times over – have been spent on subsidising of petrol. Nigerians must not allow the same thing to happen again with the electricity sector. The need for regular power supply cannot be over-emphasised. The multiplier effect on the economy – job creation, businesses and improvement in the quality of life of the people – are too obvious to ignore. With the privatisation of the distribution and generation companies, a progressive tariff plan that adequately reflects the cost of generation of electricity is required to get banks and other investors to finance the massive investments in generation and transmission of electricity that Nigerians demand.


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Friday 15 March 2019



Ekiti releases N28m grant to schools AKINREMI FEYISIPO


kiti State government has released the sum of N27.9 million grant to 208 public secondary schools the state. The permanent secretary, ministry of education, science and technology, Ayodeji Ajayi, disclosed this in Ado Ekiti, the state capital, adding that the grant was meant for the first term of 2018/2019 academic year. Ayodeji Ajayi said the benefitting schools also include three special schools for the deaf; the blind; and the mentally retarded and physically challenged at Ikoro, Ikere, and Ido-Ekiti respectively. According to him, the state government will do everything but within available resources to ensure that quality education reaches all students irrespective of where their schools are located. In another development the ministry has been presented with the interim report on the unruly behaviour of the football team of the AUD Comprehensive High School, Ado- Ekiti that is currently participating in the on-going Principals’ Soccer Cup Competition. Consequently, the school has been banned from participating in any sporting activities for the next three years for involving in a violent act against match officials. The school, according to the ministry, will not benefit from any sports grant/ equipment from the ministry for the period of the ban. The decision, according to the permanent secretary, followed the recommendation of the steering committee set up to handle the 2019 edition of the Principals Cup Competition which is currently in group stages. Deji Ajayi, who described sports as a major tool that can foster positive relationship and healthy rivalry among schools, warned that any school or team found engaging in violent acts will be sanctioned.

A victim recued from the collapsed building at Itafaji, Lagos Island yesterday. Pic by Olawale Amoo

LAWMA to invoke laws against illegal dumping of refuse in Lagos JOSHUA BASSEY


agos Waste Management Authority (LAWMA) has raised concern over increasing rate of illegal dumping of refuse in the state and vowed to bring the full weight of the law against the perpetrators. The waste management agency, through its public relations officer, Obinna Onyenali, also strongly advised the residents to embrace the habit of proper waste disposal, as this will go a long way in further promoting a cleaner and healthier Lagos.

Living below poverty line:

‘I don’t want to limit myself to cooked indomie alone’


mmuanel Edet is a 38-year food vendor who deals in cooked indomie noodle in Apapa, Lagos. Edet is married with a wife and two children. Edet told BusinessDay that sales had not been booming due to low purchasing power from consumers. “Patronage has really reduced and the cost of indomie is really causing a problem. I remember when I used to buy the small carton of indomie at N800, but now it is about N1, 500 while the big size is N2, 300. I sell two packs of cooked indomie, garnished with onions, pepper and egg for N300. This business is not booming as before,” Edet complained. Edet ventured into the business when he served as a cook for a commander who is based in Apapa. “I was an errand boy for the commander before becoming his cook later. That was when I took interest in kitchen activities. The commander was also a cook so I guess I learnt from him as well. Unfortunately I needed to leave the man to start a good business on my own. In 2002, I came to Apapa to start this indomie business,” Edet said.

The agency restated the commitment to restoring the former status of Lagos as one of the cleanest cities in the country through the implementation of its already established blueprint on waste management. Lagos, a megacity, and Nigeria’s most populous state, accommodating an estimated 21 million people, is said to be generating over 13,000 tons of waste daily. This poses a huge challenge to the environment due to improper disposal by the residents and weak evacuation system. But LAWMA says it is going back to its abandoned template to contain the situation. “The template is what we are looking at right now and it is to take us to that level where Lagosians will be proud of the city”, he said. The waste management agency re-

EFCC arraigns man over internet fraud in Kwara SIKIRAT SHEHU, Ilorin


Edet hopes that Nigerians can help provide support for the expansion of his business. “I don’t want to limit myself to preparing cooked indomie alone due to low demand from consumers. I have plans to start preparing porridge yam, beans, sandwiches, tea, bread etc. And if you look around this environment, nobody is really selling these things that I mentioned. If I can do these delicacies then at least I will do well. I don’t like borrowing money from people. You need to have enough money or capital to be able to support yourself,” he said.

emphasised the need for the residents to imbibe the culture of waste containerisation and bagging to facilitate easy evacuation by registered PSP operators, a system it believes has over time proven effective in curtailing rising cases of black spots in the metropolis in recent times. “What we want Lagosians to do right now is to go back to that habit of 2015 where households had their own containers in front of their houses,” the statement said, adding that the PSP operators had been empowered to visit tenements across the state to collect wastes at least once in a week. “We want Lagosians to expect that the PSPs will always come and pick their wastes at the appointed time and if the PSPs are not meeting up with expectations, LAWMA is there to respond”, the agency said.

conomic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) has arraigned one Ajayi Temitope Charles at the Kwara State High Court on a five-count charge bordering on internet fraud. The accused person, who pleaded not guilty to all the charges before Justice M. Abdulgafar on Wednesday, was allegedly caught with document in his possession with intent to defraud unsuspecting members of the public. In the first count against the accused person, who is also known as Teresa Simon, it was gathered that, on February 28, 2019 in Ilorin, he had in his possession document containing false claims in his gmail account, with intent to defraud, and thereby committing an

offence contrary to sections 6, and 8 (b) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other related offences. It was also said that the accused person in the second and third count had in his possession document titled, Hangout with Rodney Dean, and Hangout with Paul Thompson, respectively, which he allegedly printed out from his gmail account. Temitope Charles, who pleaded not guilty to all the charges, said in his statement that the male adult finder site on his system was meant to appear as woman to find friends and nothing more. The presiding judge, who adjourned the matter till March 21, 2019 for further hearing, also asked that the accused person be kept in prison custody till trial date against the plea of the defence counsel who had asked for bail.





Friday 15 March 2019

Friday 15 March 2019






‘Developing Nigeria’s agriculture requires serious investments, not aid’

Pg. 16



Jumia targets expansion with New York IPO ...As MTN set to exit retail business SEGUN ADAMS


frica’s first Tech Unicorn, Jumia has filed for a New York Initial Public Offering to raise funds which it says would help the business take advantage of a growing market in Africa while it faces the imminent exit of largest shareholder, MTN Group. Amid a loss of 170.4 million euros ($192.4 million) in 2018, compared with 165.4 million euros in 2017, the e-commerce firm believes that increasing internet penetration and smartphone adoption presents an opportunity for expansion ahead of competition. “We intend to benefit

from the expected growth of e-commerce in Africa through the investments that we have made and the extensive local expertise that we have developed since our founding in 2012,” Jumia said. Jumia’s competition includes in Egypt, a company affiliated with Amazon, Konga in Nigeria or Takealot, Superbalist and Spree in South Africa, which may seek to intensify their investments where they operate and also expand their businesses to new markets. Asides the local players, the possibility of global players like Alibaba and Amazon, eyeing the continental market, as well as other payment and trans-

actions platforms including debit and credit card service providers, threatens intense competition for Jumia. Consequently, the online retailer is pushing for an IPO in New York which is being led by Morgan Stanley, Citigroup, Berenberg and RBC Capital Markets in what experts believe could see Jumia’s valuation reach at least $1.5 billion. Although the number of shares and the price being offered have not been disclosed, the move to go public, if successful, would see Jumia as Africa’s first startup on the New York exchange. Formerly Africa Internet Group, ex McKinsey

consultants, Jeremy Hodara and Sacha Poignonnec founded Jumia along with Tunde Kehinde and Raphael Kofi Afaedor in 2012. Four years after, Jumia emerged Africa’s first unicorn when it was valued at $1 billion. The e-commerce headquartered in Lagos, Nigeria, expanded operations into Morocco, South Africa and Egypt in 2012 and currently operates in 14 African countries including Uganda, Ivory Coast, Tunisia and Tanzania. As at the end of 2018, Jumia boasts of a customer base of 4 million Active Consumers, up from 2.7 million Active Consumers as of December 31, 2017.

The online retail giant’s platform includes Jumia travels, Jumia food, Jumia pay, and Jumia deals although it sold off Jumia house Nigeria and Jumia house Ghana in 2017. Jumia says it makes its money from commissions received from third parties, direct sales of goods, fulfilments; fees settled upon delivery of goods purchased on the Jumia platform, marketing as well as other value-added services it offers. Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) increased by 63.3% to €828.2 million in 2018, mainly due to a 74.7% increase in GMV from third-party sales with particularly strong contributions from West Africa

and Egypt, Jumia revealed. ‘’ The increase in GMV led to an increase in revenue by 38.9% from €94.0 million in 2017 to €130.6 million in 2018 ‘’ the company said. Meanwhile, MTN Group which holds 31.28 per cent shares in Jumia, last week revealed that it would be selling off its interest in the online retailer alongside some other businesses in what is to be a $1 billion asset-disposal plan. Other shareholders in Jumia include Rocket Internet, Millicom International, AXA Africa Holding and Goldman Sachs.


Airbus shares rally to record high as Boeing lose $27bn in historic stock rout OLUFIKAYO OWOEYE & OLUWASEGUN OLAKOYENIKAN


hese are not the best of times for aircraft manufacturer, Boeing, as the ill-fated Ethiopian Airlines flight 302 that crashed on Sunday morning may have brought great harm to the fortunes of the company. However, Boeing’s rival Airbus seems to be riding on the catastrophe to stardom among global planemakers. Airbus stock rallied to its record highs of €114.58, Tuesday, at the Paris bourse after a widespread grounding of Boeing 737 MAX planes over safety concerns after a second fatal crash in less than five months which killed 157 people on board. This is despite assurance by the United States Federal Aviation Administration that the aircraft is safe and reliable to fly. Consequently, Boeing recorded its biggest two-day decline in almost a decade after shedding 6.15 percent to $375.41, Tuesday, extending its Monday losses and causing the stock to close at 11.15 percent lower at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) with over $26.62 billion wiped out of the company’s market value since the disaster occurred. “When the demand appetite of an essential product dwindles – as a result of whatever variable – there is an envisaged demand shift to a closely linked substitute of similar quality,” said Uchenna Minnis, chief market analyst at

Eagle Global Markets. “Investors reacting to this fundamental downturn are diverting investments to the next available quality aircraft producer – Airbus.” In an emailed response to BusinessDay, Andrew Nevin, chief economist at PwC Nigeria said it is difficult to know the

long-term consequences for Boeing. Although an investigation into the cause is yet to be finalised, concerns are being raised over the use of a new flight control system by the U.S-based plane manufacturer. “Markets have to react quickly, as often reacting to rumours

as facts,” Nevin said. “In this case, there is speculation that Boeing cut corners with simulator training with 737 Max, and that this may be a contributing factor to the two tragedies.” Boeing and Airbus owned by European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company (EADS) are

the two global market leaders in aircraft manufacturing with both having over 95 percent of the entire market share. Interestingly, most airline companies choose only one manufacturer in their fleet. This is because they want to be cost and operationally efficient and effective. Choosing one manufacturer also affords them the privileged of one training program for its pilots and technical staffs, the same set of spare parts and maintenance checks on aircraft. There are also reports that Indonesian’s Lion Air is already looking at scrapping the Boeing deal after one of its own Max planes crashed on Oct. 29, killing 189 people on board. According to the reports, Indonesia’s Lion Air is making plans to drop a $22 billion order for Boeing Max 737 jetliners and switch to rival aircraft from Airbus SE as a rift between the companies widens following this week’s crash in Ethiopia. Also, Kenya Airways is also re-evaluating proposals to buy the latest version of the single-aisle workhorse and could switch to Airbus SE rival A320 or upgrade to Boeing’s larger 787 Dreamliner. The 737 model was launched into service in the late 1960s. It is the aviation industry’s bestselling model and Boeing’s top earner, while the re-engined Max version has made more than 5,000 orders worth in ex-

cess of $600 billion. Last Sunday’s crash has plunged Boeing into huge crisis as aviation authorities around the world ground the plane. Nigeria’s minister of state for Aviation, Hadi Sirika, has issued a statement banning the 737 Max 8 in nation’s airspace. Also regulators from Australia, Mexico have denied it access to their airspace. However, in a dramatic turn of events, the European Aviation Safety Agency has split with the Federal Aviation Administration in banning the Max, leaving the U.S. regulator isolated in insisting that it’s still safe to fly. Over the past 20 years, the commercial aviation industry has come to be dominated by these two heavyweights. Airbus is relatively new when compared to Boeing, which has been around since 1916. According to reports by Financial Times, Boeing beat Airbus in the 2018 commercial aircraft delivery race and the U.S. planemaker appeared on track to triumph over its European rival in the competition for orders as well. The Chicago-based group has consistently won the deliveries race, while Airbus has been ahead on orders since 2013. Boeing delivered 806 aircraft last year, below its 2018 target of 810 to 815 but above 2017’s 763 and higher than Airbus, which said it delivered 800 planes, meeting its target of “around 800” subject to final auditing.

Editor: LOLADE AKINMURELE ( Graphics: David Ogar





Friday 15 March 2019


‘Developing Nigeria’s agriculture requires serious investments, not aid’ Food and beverage company, Guinness Nigeria has been directing its agri commodities sourcing to the fields of local farmers, in the last 20 years, to support the import substitution drive of the government. In the last 15 months, it has deployed its alliance with some private sector bodies to solve some of the biggest challenges to farmers: finance and input supply. From her experience combing green fields in Katsina, Adamawa and Kebbi, JACQUELYNE YAWA, Guinness Nigeria’s head of agribusiness in this interview, tells TEMITAYO AYETOTO that neither grants nor aids will address problems in agriculture. Real investments will.


an you bring me up to speed with Guinness forays in agriculture lately? We are a food and beverage company; so that means that our primary source of raw material is agriculture. Over the last 20 years, we have graduated into using local grains within the borders of Nigeria. In the last 7 years, we have also helped our millers to become world class as it pertains to milling of sorghum - the raw cereal that we use. If you look at the value-chain, it’s got agriculture on one end; and us at the other end. We also have our millers. We needed to peel the onions further for our millers and go one or two steps further to trace where our grain is coming from. For us, traceability is very important. In the last 15 months Guinness Nigeria has been actively involved in the upstream of the agricultural value-chain. We have been working with the downstream of the agricultural value-chain which are the millers. We have gotten to where we are very comfortable with our millers. We have developed their capacities and worked with them to ensure they get the right tools. Of course buying the grains from them means they would have more money to invest in their businesses. We did not just start with them and leave them where they are. So we grew with them in terms of technical capacity and the machineries they have used over the years. Some of them have fantastic silos and a lot of them can check for alpha-toxins in grains on the spot in their milling factories. If you started someone with 60 metric tonnes and today you are doing 12,000 metric tonnes with the same person, that’s capacity building. We worked with eight flour millers but four of them are top liners. So that’s what we did with the downstream. What about the upstream in quote? The upstream is where the work lies. Nigeria is still predominantly an agricultural country with about 25 percent of our GDP from it. The upstream is unstructured and fragmented in the sense that the small holder farmers are

predominant. Some of them might have land, but they don’t have money to farm. Some of them do not have up to one hectare. A lot of them still have one to two acres of land as against a hectare. It means that if someone has just one hectare, they are living below poverty line to be honest. We have done the numbers and saw that if we can work with them to get them to five hectares; they can live above the empowerment line. A lot of people playing in the downstream are unlettered as they have no basic education. So the kind of education they have always used is the one their fore-fathers gave. Some of them work fantastically, but then, they are still out-dated and are still stuck on those things. Another issue is that they have no access to finance. So we looked at it and said our value chain must be solid. We want to be able to link the farmers to the millers and then the millers to ourselves. We decided to form a private sector alliance and looked at how we can begin to fix it. It is not going to happen in one-year. It could probably happen in the third year because the space is unstructured and fragmented. So we have got the fertiliser and seed company; including finance by the federal government at single digit which is very fantastic. So what the alliance did was to give farmers supplier credit and gave as much as 90 to 120 days. We worked with 5,000 farmers located in eight states including Kogi, FCT, Nas-

sarawa, Kaduna, Katsina among others. The bulk of our farmers’ works are in Katsina, Adamawa and Kebbi. The whole idea about being involved in the upstream is to improve yields. Nigeria’s yield is still below par. But then yield is not just an agronomy issue, it is also a seed issue. So we linked the farmers to input providers and also linked them with finance at single digit. And we are hoping that over the next three years, we will build a trust relationship. Currently our local raw material stands at 80 percent.


We also need advocacy by the development agencies and of course, we need the regulatory bodies to be up and doing. Let seed be seed; let certified seed be certified seed. If you say a fertiliser is NPK 15, let it be so and not 7 when tested

What results are you hoping to hatch? We expect to add value. One of the results is credit at single digit. The other is supplier credit. Another we expect is increase in yield but we didn’t quite get that because it is a composition of several things. Of course there is the part of the farmer behaviour. It is something we need to address in this country. After getting everything to farm their grains, they sell on the side. So I’m also looking to improved farmer behaviour. And I don’t want a situation where it is just the government intervention we can get. We also want to create a market for that segment of the economy so that three years from now, the bank will not come to me. The bank will be comfortable to do business with them. After financial inclusion, we also want to create credit history for farmers. It’s a pocket of things we need to do. How does this impact the economy? With 5,000 smallholder farmers, we are looking at half a billion naira (N500 million) in terms of input. We have also created jobs for the extension workers. We had about 40 extension workers on this project. The logistics of moving them from the farm field to the miller’s location is one value added. How much have these efforts gulped in terms of investments? In our downstream, the value in the grains alone is in excess of N5 billion annually. If you look at the upstream, we did only 18 percent of our requirement because we needed to build capacity. With the millers, we started some of them at 60 metric tonnes and today, we gradually disengaged our importers. I’m looking forward to the day where there will be sanity in some parts of country that we can do barley. They grow barley in Kenya. It means we can grow barley in Taraba and in Jos, Plateau. For the entire circle, we are looking at a value chain that is about N10 billion just for the cereal. Now that you are pursuing import substitution, has it reflected lower cost of producing on your record? I’m going to speak generically in terms of the cereal. It doesn’t

necessarily mean that because the grains are grown here, it is cheaper. To be honest with you, the grains that are imported are cheaper. It is more about ensuring that the local economy where we have got our factory thrives. For us the benefit is not just quantity. It is qualitative. We have helped to improve the carbon-footprint. We have created employment for several other people. If you talk about a N7 billion value chain, the money is within the economy. What would you say is the biggest challenge facing agriculture? It is investment. And investment is going to come from the bank supporting a brilliant idea by brilliant Nigerians i.e. Farmcrowdy. For instance, I know a bank that supports mechanisation. So they give loan to the companies to buy machineries and they do mechanisation on a fee for service basis. So the farm doesn’t necessarily need to own those machineries. You see this giving of grants to farmers, I am against it. I do not accept it. It makes farmers needy and dependent on those grants. What we need is policy advocacy; put the torchlight on the value chain and adopt new practices. The NGOs needs to stop these. They need to train agronomist in school, pay extension workers, adopt information technology (IT) tools, but not give them money. We don’t need aid. We need investments. How does the country move to the next point? The farmers are not complicated people; all they want is a feeder road to move their produce instead of using wheel barrow. Manual labour is expensive. You trek sometimes for two to three kilometres from the nearest access roads into farms. We need alliances that are public and private partnerships. We need investment in little technology. Investment by stakeholders is important but government should respect the Maputo Declaration requirement of 10 percent of the budget for the agricultural sector. We also need advocacy by the development agencies and of course, we need the regulatory bodies to be up and doing. Let seed be seed; let certified seed be certified seed. If you say a fertiliser is NPK 15, let it be so and not 7 when tested.

Friday 15 March 2019



Business Event




Consumer Goods

FTN Cocoa updates Exchange on hurdles in revitalising business …optimistic of turning the corner GBEMI FAMINU


antastic Traders Nigeria (FTN) Cocoa processors Plc, a Lagos-based processor of Cocoa beans, palm kernel seeds, marketer and exporter of cocoa products has announced to its shareholders and stakeholders through a public statement to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), the reasons for irregularities in the company’s activities as the company for some time has not recorded any progressive successes. In the statement the company pointed out that its efforts in securing working capital both locally and internationally has not generated fruitful results while its foreign partner abroad had been liquidated due to financial difficulties. The company explained that it owed various debts to the exchange, auditors, staff salaries which resignations of staff members, and other financial obligations.

Furthermore, the company’s head office was taken over by lenders for failure to pay back loans. Analysis of the company’s financials shows that the company has incurred more losses than profit overtime although the Cocoa Processing company expressed optimism that it would soon come out of its financial problems as it has recorded some level of progress in raising fund. The company is also hopeful of holding its outstanding Annual General Meeting during the current financial year, the notice stated. BusinessDay analysis of the company’s financials for six months to June 30, 2018 shows that the company’s revenue recorded as at June 2018 was N241 million which was a 1200 percent increase from the 18 million recorded in the same period of 2017. The company’s profit after tax witnessed a decline by 26 percent having had N 211 million in 2018 as against the N 286

million recorded in the same period for 2017. The total assets of the firm dropped by 0.03 percent having had N 4.813 billion in 2018 and N 4.815 billion in 2017 while its liabilities dropped by 1.19 percent to 4.341 billion in 2018 and 4.426 in the same period for 2017. Earnings per Share dropped by 26 percent in six months 2018 to 9.62K per share as against the 13.00k recorded in 2017, while its manpower dropped by 2.73 percent having had 110 employees in 2017 and 107 employees in 2018. It can be recalled that in 2018, the company was suspended by the exchange for failure to file its relevant accounts when due. The suspension was later lifted after the company submitted its outstanding and interim financial statements. The company is still hopeful that the current year will be better than the previous years and it will be able to fulfil all its corporate obligations. The company was incorporated on August 26th 1991.

L-R: Seye Awojobi, registrar/CEO, Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIB); Herbert Wigwe, group managing director/CEO, Access Bank Plc; Uche Olowu, president/chairman of Council, CIBN, and Roosevelt Ogbonna, deputy group managing director, Access Bank Plc, during the stakeholder engagement visit to Access Bank by CIBN in Lagos.

Company Release

Nosak Group seeks empowerment of women employees


s part activities to promote gender parity, the management and staff of Nosak Group have joined the rest of the world to celebrate the women in the Group in a remarkable event which held at the head office in Lagos. The annual International Women’s Day (IWD), celebrated on March 8, is a global celebration of the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. This year’s theme is “Balance for Better” is a reminder that every facet of life will work better where there is a balance. In his welcome address, Thomas Oloriegbe, the group chief operating Officer, congratulated the women of Nosak Group on the celebration of IWD. “We are excited that a day is set aside annually to celebrate the strength and beauty of women, the world over. It is most exciting that year after year, the world has given due recognition to women in various spheres of life and has continued to recognize the importance of women in the society and work place to buttress why they should be given equal opportunities for self-expression,

development and accomplishment”, he said. He continued that the theme, ‘Better the Balance, Better the World’ is a reminder that the world will do better when there is fairness and equality of rights. It is therefore a call to every organisation to continue to provide room for gender inclusiveness to attain #BalanceForBetter. Delivering her key note address on the theme, Risi Ogunbor, , managing director, CCD Superstores who was represented by the executive director, CCD Superstores, Iyobo Innih expressed her delight to see the Group celebrate all the Nosak Women. Innih said, “there is no better time to have such a theme as this is a call-to-action to drive gender balance across the world” She added that the IWD is also set aside to celebrate the rights and achievements of women all over the world as well as to drive home the need to give opportunities to the girl-child to make valid contributions across all spheres of life. She therefore called on women to strive to be excellent in whatever they do as home makers and in the work place. This is the yardstick that will create room for the place

of women to be valued and appreciated in the world. “The world is fast on the move to achieve #BalanceForBetter; a gender-balanced boardroom, a gender-balanced government, a gender-balanced media coverage, a gender-balance of employees, amongst others. All these will be possible when women across careers distinguish themselves to be excellent”, Innih said. Earlier in his address, Osagie Ogunbor, group executive director, disclosed that the Group is constantly working to have an inclusive workforce that will #Balanceforbetter in the systems of operations. In a panel discussion, Nosak Group Company Secretary/Legal Adviser, Judith Aikhoje and Compliance Manager, Nosak Farm Produce Limited, Ngozi Kaura, also charged women to be significant in their service and always do the right thing to become excellent. Nosak Group is a diversified business group with interests in key sectors of the Nigerian economy. These includes agriculture, manufacturing, international trade, logistics and supermarket. The Group also offers services in real estate, leasing and insurance with a network of local and international alliances.

L-R: Serah Makka, ONE Campaign, Nigeria; Kemi DaSilva, founder, Women At Risk International Foundation (WARIF); Angela Adebayo, council member, Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE); Tinuade Awe, executive director, regulation, NSE; Eme Essien, country manager, IFC Nigeria, at the 2019 Nigerian Stock Exchange International Women’s Day Programme which took place in Lagos.

L-R: Bode Ijarogbe, immediate past president, Nigerian Dental Association (NDA); Remilekun Williams, Dental surgeon/founder, Faces and Braces Dental Clinics; Evelyn Eshikena, president, Nigerian Dental Association (NDA); Toluwaleke Salu, category manager (Oral Care), Unilever Nigeria; Bola Alonge, head, dentistry division, Federal Ministry of Health, and Oluwaferanmi Muraina, brand manager, Pepsodent, during Pepsodent 2019 World Oral Health Day press briefing/oral health awareness walk held in Lagos.

L-R: Maniatis John, deputy GM, Golden Sugar Company Limited (An FMN Company), Veronica Kalu-ufe, quality assurance manager, Golden Sugar Company, at a press briefing held recently in Lagos to announce the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) Awards earlier presented to Sugar in Nice, France.

L-R: Titilayo Famodimu, category and channel manager, Nigerian Breweries Plc; Isreal Inaede, winner, All Expense Paid Trip To UEFA Champions League 2019 Semi-Final, and Anthony Ohiro, regional business manager, Port Harcourt, Nigerian Breweries Plc, at the Heineken UEFA Champions League premium viewing event in Port Harcourt.



Friday 15 March 2019

Friday 15 March 2019

Harvard Business Review





Spotlight on educating the next generation of leaders: the future of leadership development MIHNEA MOLDOVEANU AND DAS NARAYANDAS


he need for leadership development has never been more urgent. Companies of all sorts realize that to survive in today’s volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous environment, they need leadership skills and organizational capabilities different from those that helped them succeed in the past. There is also a growing recognition that leadership development should not be restricted to the few who are in the C-suite. With the proliferation of collaborative problem-solving platforms and digital “adhocracies” that emphasize individual initiative, employees across the board are increasingly expected to make consequential decisions that align with corporate strategy and culture. It’s important, therefore, that they be equipped with the relevant technical, relational and communication skills. The leadership development industry, however, is in a state of upheaval. The number of players offering courses to impart the hard and soft skills required of corporate managers has soared. And yet organizations that collectively spend billions of dollars annually to train current and future executives are growing frustrated with the results. There are three main reasons for the disjointed state of leadership development. The first is a gap in motivations. Organizations invest in executive development for their own long-term good, but individuals participate in order to enhance their skills and advance their careers, and they don’t necessarily remain with the employers who’ve paid for their training. The second is the gap between the skills that executive development programs build and those that firms require. Traditional providers bring deep expertise in teaching cognitive skills and measuring their development, but they are far less experienced in teaching people how to communicate and work with one another effectively. The third reason is the skills transfer gap. Few executives seem to take what they learn in the classroom and apply it to their jobs — and the farther removed the locus of learning is from the locus of application, the larger this gap becomes. The good news is that the grow-

ing assortment of online courses, social and interactive platforms, and learning tools from both traditional institutions and upstarts — which make up what we call the “personal learning cloud,” or PLC — offers a solution. Organizations can select components from the PLC and tailor them to the needs and behaviors of individuals and teams. The PLC has been taking shape for about a decade. Its components include massive open online courses and platforms such as Coursera, edX and 2U for delivering interactive content online; corporate training and development ecosystems from LinkedIn Learning, Skillsoft, Degreed and Salesforce Trailhead; on-demand, solution-centric approaches to leadership development from the likes of McKinsey Solutions, McKinsey Academy, BCG Enablement and DigitalBCG; and talent management platforms such as SmashFly, Yello and Phenom People, which make it possible to connect learning needs and learner outcomes to recruitment, retention and promotion decisions. The PLC has four important characteristics: 1. LEARNING IS PERSONALIZED: Employees can pursue the skills-development program or practice that is right for them, at their own pace, using media that are optimally suit-

ed to their particular learning style and work environment. The PLC also enables organizations to track learner behaviors and outcomes and to commission the development and deployment of modules and content on the fly to match the evolving needs of individuals and teams. 2. LEARNING IS SOCIALIZED: Learning happens best when learners collaborate and help one another. Knowledge — both “knowwhat” and “know-how” — is social in nature. It is distributed within and among groups of people who are using it to solve problems together. The PLC enables the organic and planned formation of teams and cohorts of learners who are jointly involved in developing new skills and capabilities. 3. LEARNING IS CONTEXTUALIZED: Most executives value the opportunity to get professional development on the job, in ways that are directly relevant to their work environment. The PLC enables people to do this, allowing them to learn in a workplace setting and helping ensure that they actually apply the knowledge and skills they pick up. 4. LEARNING OUTCOMES CAN BE TRANSPARENTLY TRACKED AND (IN SOME CASES) AUTHENTICATED: The rise of the PLC does not imply the demise of credentialing or an end to the signaling value

of degrees, diplomas and certificates. Quite the contrary: It drives a new era of skills- and capabilitiesbased certification that stands to completely unbundle the professional degree. Indeed, in more and more cases, it’s no longer necessary to spend the time and money to complete a professional degree, because organizations have embraced certifications and microcertifications that attest to training in specific skills. And seamless, always-on authentication is quickly becoming reality with the emergence of blockchains and distributed ledgers — such as those of and Learning Machine. Microcredentials are thus proliferating, because the PLC enables secure, trackable and auditable verification of enrollment and achievement. The PLC makes it possible for chief learning officers and chief human resources officers to be precise both about the skills they wish to cultivate and about the education programs, instructors and learning experiences they want to use. It is also proving to be an effective answer to the skills-transfer gap that makes it so difficult to acquire communicative and relational proficiencies in traditional executive-education settings. Meaningful, lasting behavioral change is a complex process, requiring timely personalized guidance. Startups

2017 Harvard Business School Publishing Corp. Distributed by The New York Times Syndicate

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such as and Butterfly Coaching & Training are providing executive teams with a fabric of interactive activities that emphasize mutual feedback and allow them to learn on the job while doing the work they always do. For learners, the PLC is not just an interactive learning cloud but also a distributed microcertification cloud. Microdegrees that are awarded for skill-specific coursework allow individuals to signal credibly to both their organizations and the market that they are competent in a skill. Finally, the PLC is dramatically reducing the costs of executive development. Traditional programs are expensive. By contrast, the PLC can provide skills training to any individual at any time for a few hundred dollars a year. The PLC is making it possible to measure skills acquisition and skills transfer at the participant, team and organizational levels — on a per-program, per-session, perinteraction basis. That will create a new micro-optimization paradigm in leadership education — one that makes learning and doing less distinct. The payoff will be significant. And as platforms change the nature of talent development, leaders will emerge with the skills to do the right thing, at the right time, for the right reason, in the right way.




Friday 15 March 2019

Ghana’s primary healthcare system has lessons for Nigeria Nominations open for the 6th Nigerian dent Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), the key of the problem of the health sector is at the level of the primary healthcare centres where the majority of 70 per cent of Nigerians live.   “There is a need for the government to hasten their plans for the primary healthcare centre in area of prevention of many of the diseases that will cause more complications at the secondary level. So if we can meet it at the board, at the primary healthcare centre, it will improve it,” he said.   Roughly 95 per cent of Nigerians are accessing health care through outof-pocket payment to meet their health needs. This is not only left with less than 5 percent  of Nigerians covered by National Health Insurance Scheme, according to a 2014 study by the World Bank reveal huge health inequality gaps with stretching the attainment of the Universal Health coverage. Umar Sanda, president, Healthcare Providers Association of Nigeria (HCPAN) believes that mandatory health insurance in Nigeria is “the only way forward for health sector in the country. “This will reduce all price indices and many people will have access to quality HealthCare. It will enable Nigerians to access care in the hospital without the fear of paying out of pocket. “When you are on the health insurance scheme, it means you have prepared yourself for any unforeseen health issues, because your health insurance will take care of it when you are sick,” said Sanda.



igeria can learn from Ghana’s healthcare model to increase financial protection and access to the needed health services in order to make progress towards strengthening the primary health care in achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC). The following opportunities exist to strengthen the primary health care system in Nigeria  reducing outof-pocket payments by increasing enrolment in the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).  Because NHIS coverage is still low, and out-of-pocket payments are high, devoting attention to increasing enrolment in the NHIS will help reduce out-of-pocket payments.   Another lesson Nigeria can also learn is increasing attention to promoting preventive services at the primary health care level in NHIS coverage should be critical including services such as family planning and health education.   Strengthening the primary health care system with government investment will improve efficiency in recognising the funding task in the health sector and also gives opportunity to shift some of the at the tertiary level to PHC.  Provide guaranteed universal package of primary health care services, by reviewing the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS). However, this approach will increase the population coverage, ensuring access

to the poorest and most vulnerable. Reflecting on Ghana’s primary healthcare model, analysts say there is a need to devote more funds to primary healthcare while also training and re-training medical personnel who will take pre-eminence in this task are important.   Primary health care is the first point of contact for most Nigerians. It is mainly provided by general practitioners, but community pharmacists, opticians and dentists are also primary healthcare providers.   Data show that 70 per cent of health burden and deaths in Nigeria are as a result of primary health care issues.   A recent survey shows that compared to peer countries in Africa (Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania, and Senegal), Nigeria ranks the lowest or second lowest in all Primary Health Care Performance Initiative (PHCPI) indicators but has high levels of health facility density and health worker density, which are often thought to be the major cause of underperformance of PHC systems.   This is despite that in

the country today, there are many PHCs spread across the states, and 744 local governments of the federation. Doyin Odubanjo, chairman, Association of Public Health Physicians of Nigeria, Lagos Chapter, said there is need to make the primary healthcare centre functional so as to make them available to provide some level of delivery services when needed.  “The current backdrop and next steps for improving the quality of health care in Nigeria is through collaboration and addressing the gaps in the primary healthcare,” said Odubanjo.   The federal government, on January 10, 2017, through the Saving One Million Lives Initiative, desirous of reversing the poor health indices and ensuring universal health coverage initiated the revitalisation of 10, 000 primary healthcare centres (PHCs) nationwide by inaugurating Kuchigoro Clinic, Abuja.     This model was supposed to be financed by NHIS since attaining universal health coverage was one of the core mandates of the scheme. Francis Faduyile, presi-

Mouth sores: Everything you need to know


here are many potential causes of mouth sores. When these sores appear, they are often painful and can make everyday activities, such as brushing the teeth or eating hot food, more difficult. In most cases, mild irritation causes a sore to appear. Avoiding the irritant can help a person prevent mouth sores in the future. In other cases, sores form due to underlying health conditions. As some mouth sores can be contagious and may require treatment, anyone who is concerned about chronic or long-lasting sores should speak to a doctor. In this article, learn about the possible causes of mouth sores as well as the treatment options. Causes Most mouth sores occur as a result of irritation. Many things can irritate the mouth and lead to sores, including poorly fitting dentures, a sharp or broken tooth, braces or

other devices, such as retainers, burning the mouth on hot food or beverages, tobacco products In other cases, mouth sores may develop due to certain medications, including betablockers,  highly acidic foods, quitting tobacco, hormonal changes during pregnancy, stress, vitamin and folate deficiencies Diagnosis In most cases, a person can determine the cause of their mouth sore themselves. For example, a person who has had a canker sore before will recognize another one if it appears. A person who bites their cheek will know that the sore came from this incident. People with diagnosed conditions, such as herpes of the mouth, may recognize their symptoms and have a plan of action to address the flare. If a person has recurrent or unexplained mouth sores, a doctor may be able to identify

the cause of the sores by carrying out a visual check. They may also perform some tests, such as swabs and blood tests. If a doctor suspects that a sore is the result of serious illness, they are likely to perform a biopsy of the area to test for the presence of cancer or other health issues. Treatment In many cases, mouth sores will heal without treatment. Sores from minor injuries will typically clear within 1–2 weeks. While their sores are healing, people can try gargling with salt water, excluding hot or spicy foods from their diet, abstaining from using tobacco products, avoiding alcohol, avoiding eating citrus fruits or salty foods, as they may cause sores to sting, using mouthwash, taking oral pain relievers and applying baking soda and water to the sore. If home remedies are not enough or the sore does not heal on its own, a person may

wish to talk with their doctor about further treatment options. A doctor can prescribe stronger anti-inflammatory or pain-relieving medications and ointments. If an underlying condition is causing the mouth sores, a doctor will develop a treatment plan for this too. Prevention Some steps that a person can take to help prevent mouth sores include avoiding hot foods and beverages, chewing carefully and slowly, practicing good dental hygiene, decreasing stress, avoiding smoking and other tobacco use, limiting or avoiding alcohol consumption, drinking plenty of water, speaking to a dentist if a dental device is causing irritation, using barrier protection during sex and using lip balms with SPF to avoid sun damage.

Culled from Medical News Today

healthcare excellence awards ANTHONIA OBOKOH


he Nigerian Healthcare Excellence Awards (NHEA) 2019 has announced the opening of nomination for the 6th edition of the Oscar of Nigeria healthcare award with stakeholders in the health sector. This was made known by Wale Alabi, project director, NHEA.  In a release made available to BusinessaDay, Alabi says, “NHEA is the Oscar of Nigeria healthcare awards. In the last six years the award has grown to become a point of reference in the industry. We would continue to do our best in order not to abuse the confidence placed on us.”  Alabi advises various stakeholders to visit the award website, www.nigeriahealthawards. to make their nominations.    He said that nomination will close on midnight of May 24, 2019 while the event will take place on June 21, 2019 at the Convention Centre, Eko Hotel & Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos. Nominations can be made for corporate or individual categories by any member of the public. You can either nominate online or download the nomination form.   Moses Braimah, NHEA director of Marketing, Communication and Strategy explains further “Our theme for 2019 is ‘bringing standard to Nigeria healthcare’. This narrative is to help bring focus to continuous improvement of Nigeria healthcare delivery and stan-

dards. On our part we have improved the technology tremendously for managing our collation, nominees’ evaluation and eventual voting process.” About 23 awards and recognitions will be presented at the ceremony. It is made up of four main categories; Special Awards, Healthcare Delivery Services, Biomedical Technology and Pharmaceuticals.   However, Some of the awards up for grabs include; The Lifetime Achievement Award, Outstanding State Government Healthcare Programme of the Year, Outstanding CSR Health Project of the Year, Healthcare Media Excellence (print, broadcast and electronic), Private Healthcare Provider of the Year, PharmAccess Innovative Healthcare Service Provider of the Year, SafeCare Facility of the Year, Laboratory service provider of the Year, and Radiology Service Provider of the Year. Others are; Biomedical Engineering Service Company of the Year, IVF Service Provider of the Year, Dialysis Service Provider of the Year, Eyecare Service Provider of the Year, Laboratory Equipment Marketing Company of the Year, Nursing & Midwifery Excellence Award of the Year, Pharmaceutical Retail Outlet of the Year and many more.   NHEA  is organised by Global Health Project and Resources (GHPR) in collaboration with  Anadach Group, USA. 

Experts canvass more education to tackle discrimination against persons with HIV/AIDS JOSEPHINE OKOJIE


xperts in the Nigerian healthcare sector have called for more education on HIV/AIDS to enable the country achieves zero discrimination against person living with the virus. The experts who spoke at a media and youth forum organised by the Nigerian Business Coalition Against AIDS (NIBUCAA) in collaboration with Hacey Health Initiative and Access Bank in commemoration of the 219 Zero Discrimination Day against persons living with the disease also called for concerted actions to tackle the issue. “We have amazing laws protecting people living with HIV/AIDS in Nigeria but the implementation is the issue. We do not walk the talk in Nigeria and many of the people living with the virus do not even know if such laws that protect them exists,” Elizabeth Williams, founder, Sustainable Impact and Development Initiative for Adolescent and Youth said at the forum. “We need to educate our p e o p l e a b o u t t h e w ro n g misconceptions and myths against people living with HIV/AIDS which have continued to fuel discrimination,”

Williams said. She urged persons living with HIV/AIDS to always fight for their rights within the law. Also speaking, Adegboye Fredrick, a reporter with the Nation Newspapers who has been living with the virus since 2003 said he has faced lots of discrimination since knowing his status. “I faced lots of stigmatisation then when I just realised then but I was able to conquer it,” he said. Fredrick says he has not experience any work place discrimination since working but narrated his ordeal as a student in the in the Nigeria Institute of Journalism. He stated that is admission was revoked when he disclosed his status his status to the school administration and was later reinstated after an NGO came to his recuse to fight for his human right. Th e j ou r na l i st n o te d that he was able to conquer stigmatisation because he never stigmatise himself. “Stigma and discrimination is an affront to human rights and puts the lives of people living with HIV and key populations in danger,” Adegboye said.

Friday 15 March 2019




Go for glaucoma screening if you have family history – expert warns ANTHONIA OBOKOH


n view of the World Glaucoma Week, ophthalmologists have advised individuals with a family history of this ocular condition to go for screening because early detection prevents blindness. These experts disclosed this in interview with BusinessDay. They said it is mandatory and important not only in Nigeria, but the world over to go for check up with an ophthalmologist yearly. Glaucoma is the leading cause of irreversible blindness worldwide. World Glaucoma Week is a global initiative aimed at raising awareness. It was first observed on 6th march 2008 and this year it will hold between the 10th and 16th of March, 2019.

“This awareness week alerts people about the need to consult their specialists well in time as there are few diseases that are difficult to treat. The role of screening cannot be over emphasized” said Temitope Tijani, Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon, medical director Skipper Eye-Q Super specialty Hospital. “Everyone who has an identifiable risk factor and even people without should have their eyes screened from time to time.” Tijani said, everyone over the age of forty should have an eye examination annually and this should be done earlier in the presence of risk factors. “Earlier diagnosis and treatment will reduce visual disability, improve patient quality of life and decrease overall cost of treatment. Treatment is mainly tailored towards lowering of intraocu-

lar pressure through the use of medications, laser treatment and sometimes surgery,” she said. According to the Nigerian National Blindness Survey done between 2005 -2007, glaucoma is the second most common cause of blindness affecting 16.7percent with a prevalence of 0.7 percent and the most common cause of irreversible blindness. Tijani explained that the

cause of glaucoma remains yet unknown but some risk factors have been identified such that presence of these factors increases the need for routine eye examination adding that risk factors include elevated intraocular pressure, increasing age, and African descent, family history of glaucoma, vasospasm, low blood pressure and high myopia. “The projected figures are

quite alarming and lay emphasis on the public health significance of this disease. Glaucoma causes irreversible nerve damage. It is usually a slow progressive disease especially the type common in people of African descent, Primary Open Angle Glaucoma, going on unnoticed by the patient,” she said. However, global picture emerged with a systematic review and meta-analysis done by Yih-Chung Tham and colleagues and published in the American Academy of Ophthalmology journal 2014, ‘Global Prevalence of Glaucoma and Projections of Glaucoma burden through 2040’. According to the review, in 2013, the number of people (aged 40–80 years) with

glaucoma worldwide was estimated to be 64.3 million, increasing to 76.0 million in 2020 and 111.8 million in 2040. The number of people living with glaucoma worldwide will increase to 111.8 million by 2040, disproportionately affecting people residing in Asia and Africa. These estimates are important in guiding the designs of glaucoma screening, treatment and related public health strategies. She added that Glaucoma can be controlled, because the fact is whatever vision that is lost to it cannot be gotten back. “I urge Nigerians to change their orientation about health seeking habits because your health is your wealth and your eye is the key to your body,” Tijani advised.

15% adults suffer depression yearly, more women than men - Expert SIKIRAT SHEHU, Ilorin


SeekMed redefines Nigeria’s healthcare with medical app ANTHONIA OBOKOH


eekMed has launched a telemedicine mobile application to improve access and availability of healthcare services in Nigeria. The mobile application, home to a host of doctors who are recipients of Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri, the third and fourth highest civilian award in the Republic of India respectively, is set to offer Nigerians the choice of getting impeccable medical diagnostics from the comfort of their homes. With improved medical and pharmaceutical advances in Cardiology (Disorders of the heart), Oncology (Cancer related ailments), Neurosurgery (Nervous system disorders), Nephrology (Kidney disorders) and Orthopedics (Bone disorders) – India has become a medical hotspot for different countries, most especially Nigeria. Speaking on some of the unique features of the telemedicine App, Alok Awasthi, founder of SeekMed said that in 2015, it was reported that 5,994 Nigerians made up a small percentage in the 460,000 people who visited


India, half of which reportedly visited for medical reasons. “With SeekMed, you can easily send an appointment request to your trusted doctor, make an online payment, share scans/reports and have video consultation from the comfort of your home, thereby eliminating the often gruesome yet unavoidable decision of travelling long distances for just a few minutes of consultation; a considerably cheaper alternative” Awasthi said. According to him, over the past three years, this figure has increased. It is estimated that about 20,000 Nigerians have visited the Nation for medical tourism due to the sheer volume of medical experts and easy accessibility to top-notch medical infrastructure in the Asian nation almost 8,000 kilometers away. “India’s medical sector contributed $79 Billion to the country’s GDP in 2012 and this figure was doubled in just five years rising as high as $160 Billion in 2017, making up 17 percent of the country’s generated revenue”. Whereas Nigeria’s law-

makers said a year ago that Nigerians spend $1 billion annually on medical treatments abroad and India was notably the top destination for Nigerians seeking medical attention abroad. However, SeekMed, a user-friendly mobile interactive medicine application which is available for download on Google Play Store, allows patients and physicians to communicate in real-time while maintaining HIPAA compliance. The mobile app is set to curb the amount of money spent on medical diagnosis and travel plans whilst offering Nigerians access to a host of top-ranked physicians’ right from the comfort of their home and on their mobile phone. Sharad Dubey, co-founder SeekMed expanding on the merits of the app said that “The unique features of this mobile App includes and not limited to access to India’s leading physicians who will send reports and write prescriptions as well as an unlimited upload of files; you can also mark your favourite physician for quicker identification and seamless follow-up” he added.

bdulrasheed Odunola, a medical practitioner and the director of the Health Services Unit, University of Ilorin, disclosed that statistics has proven that, at least, 15 percent of adults are affected with depression yearly and women are more likely to witness disease than men.  The medical expert however, advised Nigerians to always seek medical attention in addressing challenges of depression.  Odunola, gave the advice in Ilorin, while presenting a paper on “Causes of Depression and its Preventive Measures” at the send-forth ceremony organised by the Faculty of Physical Sciences for some of its former staff members.  According to him, depression is a mental illness that

causes feeling of sadness, lost of interest, loss of drive, energy and motivation, and loss of appetite, among others.  He described depression as the occurrence of behavioral irritation, hallucination, withdrawal, loss of appetite, cognitive impairment, insomnia, and energy reduction.  Odunola, informed that depression in Africa is not as diagnosed as other nations due to our culture, adding that depression could arise as a result of genetic, environmental and social causes.     He said: “We need to be conscious of it and seek medical attention as soon as possible if the need arises.  “Depression could be as a result of genetic, environmental and social causes, its prevalence is because of our culture,”  Speaking on depression treatment, he said any treatment for depression should

coincide with a healthy diet and regular sleep schedule. It may sound simplistic, but the importance of taking care of the body cannot be overstated. The medical expert further explained that exercise especially, is helpful for the depressed mind. It enables patient to handle stress better, and the endorphins released during exercise gives a mental boost. He pointed out that meditation is a highly effective way of clearing your head and calming your body. It’s also easy to do, with guided meditations available. Earlier in his remarks, Abdulwahid Adekola the Dean of the Faculty of Physical Sciences thanked the staff for the well organised event and enjoined them to keep up the good work and be diligent in their duties to the Faculty and the University at large.

WellNewMe joined 16 other startups selected from across Africa to pitch their businesses to an influential Audience at Pitch@Palace Africa 3.0 held at St James’s Palace in London Recently.

ANTHONIA OBOKOH and ANI MICHAEL / Reporters. Email: I David Ogar, Graphics




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Friday 15 March 2019

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‘Investing in agriculture was my retirement plan after 25 years’ YEMI LAWAL, MD/CEO of Xeed Business, returned to Nigeria to farm after working in the Telecoms industry in UK and other countries for 25 years. In this interview with CALEB OJEWALE, she gives insights into her early mistakes, which others can learn from, and her plans to start producing Nigerian chocolates.


rior to agriculture, you had 25 years’ experience in the Telecom industry, specifically in strategy and marketing. What informed your decision to venture into agriculture? I would say I am like a lot of Nigerians who have gone into agriculture. When I started out, it was very romantic. Two things led to that decision. One of it was that I was working outside Nigeria in Zambia, Cameroun and Uganda, and I realised that a lot of my colleagues who were in Telecoms whether they were finance managers or sales people, were also in agriculture. Therefore, they have this second stream of income. So I said to myself that I needed a retirement plan, and agriculture seemed to be one of the things I believed was suitable for the long-term future. I guess the other thing was, I knew I was going to come back to Nigeria at some point. So, whilst I was doing all this work outside of the country, I knew that I needed something to come back to. I had worked in Telecoms for 25 years and I just knew I did not want to continue in that field, because at some point I needed to be my own employer of labour. I looked at all the sectors and it occurred to me that agriculture is a space that has been neglected and we have so much resources. I think the combination of what do I do when I come back home, and seeing that there is this gap in agriculture in our nation, made me decide on it. How long were you outside the country for work? I worked in the UK for about 20 years, came back to Africa in 2013 and then for about 5 years I worked across all these other African countries: Gambia, Uganda, and Cameroun. Earlier, you mentioned something about agriculture being ‘romantic’ in the beginning. What changed? Many people that I have met ventured into agric in this sort of romantic way. I went into agriculture without doing my research other than everybody is going into it. It is estimated that Nigeria’s population by 2050 will be about 400 million. The world is growing and as I always say, there are few things every human being on earth does every day: breathing air, drinking water, eating, then other things follow. Eating is something everybody has to do. The reason why I used the past tense is because when I went into agriculture, I had the notion it is a good thing to do, but without doing the numbers. How did you start? I went into agriculture from the production side. I bought a farmland, staring planting, but I would be honest and say to you, I did zero commercial analysis, even though my background is in strategy and marketing. Early last year, I started thinking, what money am I going to make out of this? Then, I

in the first year I also had maize, but I realized the return on the maize was too poor, so I stopped. This year, I am preparing my beds for vegetables as well. The logic is this: cocoa is long term, plantain is sort of medium term, cassava also is a nine-month crop, so to sustain yourself in farming, and pay for your labourers, you need something that is giving turnover regularly, and that is why we are looking at vegetables. We are looking at doing peppers, kale, and everyday vegetables, nothing too fancy. A friend recently discussed greenhouses with me, but what I do now before venturing into


Yemi Lawal

started doing the numbers and a lot more analysis. Then I realised that actually, agriculture is beyond the production level, which is farming. Secondly, for you to get value out of agriculture there has to be some value addition. We have so much arable land, but we cultivate less than half of it. Someone said to me in Uganda that we have the type of land that if you put any seed there, it will grow. There is so much that we can do in Nigeria, and we are not like some countries where they have landslides, too much rain, too much drought, etc. In going into agriculture, I say to people that if I could go back two or three years, I would do a lot more analysis, rather than go in romantically. I would go in with information and insights, and I think maybe with that I would have gone a lot farther than I have today. Can you quantify the losses recorded by not adequately preparing before venturing into agriculture? I can’t put naira and kobo on it, but I’ll give examples of where I had losses. Remember I said I was doing cocoa when I was not in the country and I went into it thinking it is a four- to seven-year crop that does not need a lot of attention. I bought the land, planted and almost expected to literally come back in five years and start reaping cocoa as people say. But I realised that’s not true. Even cocoa needs everyday maintenance and one of the biggest mistakes I made on my farm for instance was I did not put an irrigation system, yet cocoa needs water. In estimation, I would say maybe I lost about 20 per cent of my crops as a result of that in the first year, from a four acre farmland. The other part of the education is how you prepare your land beforehand. People that traditionally do this advised us that they clear the land and just burn it. I did not do any form of soil testing etc. One year later with a lot of education, I bought

another piece of land, which is six acres, and implemented knowledge of those things I ignored in the past. Comparing the new plot with the previous one, the cocoa on it is performing better than the first one. So whilst I cannot put naira and kobo on it, those are some of the examples that I mean by saying there is a financial implication. I will still do cocoa if I had to start again, but I will do the numbers and prepare for the rest of the value chain, not just planting cocoa and when I harvest, I start worrying about what to do with it. What other crops are you currently producing apart from cocoa? On my farm, I have cocoa, and when you have it, there has to be plantain, because it provides the shade. Addressing the previous question, one of the things we did wrong was planting the plantain like a month before the cocoa, which also contributed to the 20 per cent or thereabout loss that we had, because the shade was not enough. So, I have plantain, cassava, and

If I could go back two or three years, I would do a lot more analysis, rather than go in romantically. I would go in with information and insights, and I think maybe with that I would have gone a lot farther than I have today anything is to determine whether it makes commercial sense. I do the numbers now and see if it makes commercial sense, and not just because an idea looks good. Cocoa remains one of our most exported agricultural goods, yet we import its refined products many times the value of the export. What are your own plans regarding that value chain? One of the key things for me is looking beyond primary production.

My involvement in cocoa is 100 per cent value addition. I looked at the value chain, about 6.6 per cent goes to the production side, another 6 per cent goes to the people doing transportation and trade, while the processing side gets about 80 per cent (of financial value) that is left. As you have noted, that is completely gone out of the country. So, for me, what I have started doing is small-scale production by processing cocoa into chocolates, which I am excited about. When I started, I actually thought not many people do it, but I have since realised there are people who are already producing smallto-medium scale and putting our chocolate out there. The ultimate aim is to have cocoa processed into chocolate and sold locally but also regionally and then start to export internationally. What are the challenges/ limitations in achieving scale? Part of the challenge we have is the cost of machinery to do this on a big scale. However, I am always a believer in starting somewhere; prove the principle you are promoting, prove that this works, prove that there is a demand, and then somehow you get the money to grow. Do not go looking for a billion dollars because there are companies that have already invested in billiondollar infrastructure in Nigeria in cocoa and are not producing to capacity for different reasons. For me, it is about starting small, and then growing. In addition, there is a wrong notion that Nigerians do not consume chocolates, which I disagree with. When you go to any duty-free shop at airports, you find Nigerians there stocking up on chocolates. The challenge though, is that Nigerian chocolate is not ver y popular. Today, there are at least four brands of Nigeria chocolate that have started on a small scale and what I am trying to do with this group is drive collaboration to have a bigger voice. At the moment because people are trying to do it individually, the voices are thinner, and we are not going very far. By the way, chocolate is actually healthy and would not make you fat. The things that make you fat are what I call candy bars, which is 90 per cent sugar, ten percent cocoa. If you have proper chocolate which is 70-90 per cent cocoa, it won’t make you fat and actually has better health benefits such as antioxidants. When will you be ready for the market? At the moment, I am “guinea pigging” my friends and family with my produced chocolate, and have promised them they won’t get fat by eating so much of it. We started in December and now working on packaging. I was hoping that by now, we would have been in the market, but I expect by the end of the second quarter this year we would be out in the market.

Friday 15 March 2019


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Nigeria risks losing cashless growth over rising PoS transaction declines Stories by FRANK ELEANYA


igeria could lose the strides it has made in terms of driving cashless economy if authorities continue to ignore consumers’ growing frustration over persistent transaction declines involving Point of Sales (PoS) machines and money reversals that are taking too long. Data from the Nigeria Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS) found that volume of PoS transactions in the first two months of 2019 have outpaced that of 2018 and 2017, an indication that more people are preferring to carry out their day to day transactions using their cards. The volume in January 2019 rose to 28,162 compared with 16,102 and 7,946 for the same in 2018 and 2017 respectively. Value for January 2019 stood at N222 billion compared with N152 billion and N91 billion for the same period in 2018 and 2017 respectively. The agency also reported that PoS terminals deployment nearly doubled in the months of January and February. As at February 225,924 terminals, the highest of any month, have been deployed across the country. Despite the growth in PoS adoption, transaction failures continue to be the order of

the day. To add salt to injury, when the transactions fail, the process of reversing debited money takes as much as 8 to two weeks. “Is anyone in the banks or higher up in authority addressing this recent surge in failed PoS transactions? Not so many can afford to wait 8 days to use cash as most banks require and it is utterly bad for our market” KingsThrones Limited, an investment advisory firm tweeted at BusinessDay on Tuesday. Omoniyi Elegbeleye, another bank customer tweeted

from his handle that his PoS transaction of January 19, 2019 was just reversed on Tuesday, March 12 - nearly three months after he was debited. Olukoya Oluwaseun also tweeted that he was debited the sum of N5,000 after a failed PoS transaction “two weeks ago” and is yet to receive the sum back from his bank. “I carried out a PoS transaction on February 25, I was debited N4,250 but the transaction was declined,” Love Afinni tweeted from his handle @loveafinni, “I issued a compliant at the branch in

Ijebu Ode on March 25, I was assured of a manual reversal within 8 days. I have been following up but I am yet to receive a reversal.” The PoS history in Nigeria The CBN introduced the Point of Sale system in 2012 to drive home its cashless policy. The volume of PoS transaction has grown since then at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 123 per cent between 2012 and 2016, according to NIBSS. The PoS system was used 146 million times representing a 130 per

cent increase from 64 million prior to 2016. It is believed that PoS transactions peaked when small businesses that already use their PoS machines to accept bank cards for payments of goods and services began to use it to debit customers’ account in exchange for the equivalent cash and a fee. NIBSS had noted in a report in 2015 that PoS is the most popular non-cash payment channel, preferred among the non-cash payment options by 93.6 per cent of merchants, and 38.8 per cent of consumers usage. However, at a July 2018 fintech conference in Lagos organised by Epayment Plus, stakeholders observed the speed with which most merchants were rejecting usage of point of sales for their daily transactions. The problem did not just begin in 2018; in 2016, NIBSS admitted that despite uptake in the adoption, barely half of the machines were in operation. Out of a total 120,000 PoS machines in Nigeria, only 62,000 were active, while a total of 100,000 terminals were registered with the company. At the conference in July, top on the list of complaints was the high transaction failure rate, high cost of operation and the length of time it takes to effect settlement with payment providers.

Why do transactions fail? There are several factors that could lead to a failed PoS transaction. One of the major culprits is poor network. Poor network could be a result of a bank having network issues, in which case the transaction will fail, or a malfunction on the NIBSS platform which will mean the platform will not function in all the banks. A NIBSS representative said the later part is very rare. Transaction failures have led some proactive commercial banks such as the United Bank for Africa (UBA) to take measures aimed at reducing failure rates. The bank in 2017 collaborated with INETCO Insight to monitor multi-protocol payments and service transactions originating from mobile banking, online banking, ATM as well as PoS channels, and proactively identify transaction slowdowns and failures before they impact customers. Why nothing is done about transaction reversal The CBN had in September 2018 directed banks to pay N10,000 for each failed transaction based on customers’ complaints not reversed within 24 hours. The fine however was only to be applied to the Nigerian Interbank Settlement System Instant Payment (NIP). Transactions involving individuals and their banks were not specified.

Paylater preps for full digital banking phase with $5m investment


ctivities in Nigeria’s digital banking segment is sure to increase with the massive boost given to Paylater’s ambitions to play in the space. O ne Finance (O neFi) owners of Paylater said on Friday, it has raised a $5 million debt facility for its consumer facing platform, Paylater. The facility which comes from Lendable, a New York and Nairobi-based technology funding provider will enable OneFi extend more loans to customers. A statement from the company disclosed that OneFi will also aim to double its size within Nigeria

before entering new markets in 2019. Users of Paylater will expect to see more features as the app transitions into a digital bank. There are also plans for a new brand name for the platform which will be announced in April, 2018. The news comes just two months after the company secured Africa’s first credit rating for a fintech platform, achieving a ‘BB’ Rating with a ‘Stable Outlook’ from Global Credit Rating Company. Since the platform was launched in 2016 by brothers ; Chijioke Dozie and Ngozi Dozie, Paylater which has been downloaded by over 1 million people has

deployed over $60 million across 750,000 loans, approving over 1,500 loans a day with an average of $80 per loan. “Securing this investment from Lendable represents the first internationallybacked commercial debt transaction for us, marking an important stage of our company’s development as we look to serve the “next billion”,” says Chijioke Dozie, OneFi CEO. The deal is also part of OneFi’s ambitions to play a major role in Nigeria’s financial inclusion drive. The country is in the World Bank Global Findex list of seven countries in the world that

are home to nearly half of the 1.7 billion people without bank accounts. In view of that, OneFi plans to launch new features that leverage the USSD mobile technology to enable people without smartphones to access its loan services. Dozie noted that a recent partnership with Visa is enabling the company launch its credit via QR codes at supermarkets, clinics and on public transports by the first half of 2019. Paylater is hoping to disrupt the Point of Sale (POS) market in the country. Nigeria currently has 120,000 active Point of Sale (POS) merchants, with over 50 per

cent of transactions occurring in Lagos alone. Paylater plans to leverage Nigeria’s 150 million active mobile connections to help millions of customers transact at their point of need and drive offline payments via lower cost QR installations. “We are incredibly excited to launch this partnership with OneFi, a market leader, as we build our presence in Nigeria,” says Daniel Goldfarb, Lendable CEO. “At Lendable, we build financial products to enable lending companies to scale, and we are proud to support OneFi’s mission of providing credit to the underbanked consumer and SME segments in Nige-

ria. They are an incredible example of a company that has found product market fit in a massive market, and are working tirelessly to provide a best-in-class service to those customers.” L e n d ab l e, b a cke d by Omidyar Network, KawiSafi Ventures, FMO, and other leading institutions provides credit facilities to consumers and SME credit providers operating in digital lending, microfinance, and a range of Pay-as-you-go (PayGo) services. This investment into OneFi marks the first Nigerian deal Lendable has signed, and one of a handful of new Nigerian clients for the company.





Friday 15 March 2019

Hotels Top BusinessDay Partner Hotels

Four Point Hotels (Oniru Chiefatancy Estate,Lekki)

Transcorp Hilton Abuja 1 Aguiyi Ironsi Street Maitama, Abuja Tel: +234-708-060-3000

The Wheatbaker #4 Onitolo(Lawrence Road), Ikoyi, Lagos. Tel: 01 277 3560

SOHO: A new brand for an old favourite OBINNA EMELIKE


f you are a lover of exclusive hideout, especially for Christmas and New Year holidays, Sun City, the foremost African resort in South Africa, is enticing you once again for a visit to savour its newly rebranded Sun City Hotel. Now rebranded as Soho Hotel, the luxury hotel built at Sun City; Sun International’s flagship resort, in 1979 still offers old favourites amid new spices for the discerning global guests. The rebranding encapsulates the essence of the renowned Soho destinations located in London and New York – known for their popularity with the in-crowd, eclectic vibe and non-stop action. The new brand launches the ‘always on’ Soho Hotel, boasting the iconic Soho Casino that started it all alongside a host of food and beverage outlets, revitalised bars and nightclubs. The Sun City Theatre inside Soho has been trans-

formed to make space for the millennial bar called Vibes and the nightclub Encore, a modern dance venue. The Revue Bar offers adult entertainment for discerning guests, while the Privé Salon welcomes high-rolling gaming guests. “The Sun City Hotel needed its own individual brand, one that reflects its changes. Soho is the destination within the resort that is ‘always on’; where the sun never sets and anytime is playtime”, Liam Oddie, group general manager, Hospitality Marketing, Sun International, explains. The Soho name and rebrand was inspired by these changes, as well as, the architectural octagon design of the hotel, with the geometric shape symbolising totality and balance, ultimately reflecting the encompassing experience. This design was then extended to the revised brand elements where the octagon informs the brands architecture and style. Soho Hotel’s transformation forms part of Sun City’s reimagining and ushers in the resorts new slogan, ‘a world within a city’.

A major part of the refurbishment is the Entertainment Centre, now Sun Central, offering a plethora of entertainment possibilities. The experiential zone hosts fast food, bars and themed food venues, which enhance the family environment within Sun Central. Cinemas, retail outlets, the Superbowl, a dedicated children’s area, a 10-pin bowling arcade are all there to ensure an interactive guest experience. The hotel is housed within the Sun Central Building is the Sun City Convention Centre. In the same area is the permanent interactive exhibition, Hall of Fame, where guests will be able to interact with their sporting and other hero’s – taking on Ernie Els on a virtual green or pitting one’s tennis skills against Serena Williams. Sun City still offers a myriad of outdoor activities to enchant, one of the most popular is the Valley of Waves which now boasts two new slides and a gastro pub, The Brew Monkey, providing sustenance during breaks.

“We are excited to share all these changes with our guests and unveil a rebrand that captures the evolution of Sun City,” concludes Oddie. However, Sun City’s other hotels – the Cabanas which opened in 1980, Cascades which also opened three years later in 1983 and The Palace of the Lost City in 1992 – each have strong identities and are independent brands under the Sun City banner. The rebranded hotel offering is now opened to discerning guests from across the world, especially during the forthcoming festive season and beyond for unique holiday outings. Often referred to as the Main Hotel, Soho hotel and casino was the first hotel to be built on the resort. This 4-star Sun City accommodation is located right at the heart of Sun City, and is central to all the activities and things to do at the resort. Top reasons to stay at Soho hotel and casino: The rooms and suites are near the Soho casino, keeping you close to the action. The 340 rooms are all pool and lake facing, and the hotel is on the edge of the world-famous Gary Player Golf Course. There are 6 luxury suites, 2 presidential suites, 14 ground floor luxury rooms, 20 superior luxury rooms, 36 ground floor superior luxury family rooms, 53 superior luxury family rooms, 85 luxury family rooms, 120 luxury twin rooms and 4 paraplegic suites. There is a free shuttle every 15 minutes taking you to the Valley of Waves, Sun Central entertainment centre and other activities within the resort.

Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham Abuja 1 Uke St, Garki, Abuja. Tel: +234 9 4603900, +234 805 7522500

Lagos Continental Hotel Plot 52, Kofo Abayomi St, Lagos Tel: 01 236 6666

Radisson Blu Hotel Ikeja #38/40 Isaac John St, Ikeja GRA100271, Ikeja Tel: +234-908-780 5555

Best Western Hotel Hotels 12, Allen Avenue C/O Funmi (Front Office Manager)

Radisson Lagos Ikeja #42-44 Isaac John Street, GRA Ikeja, Lagos

Radisson Lagos Ikeja #42-44 Isaac John Street, GRA Ikeja, Lagos

Radisson Blu Anchorage Hotel 1A,Ozumba Mbadiwe,Victoria Island.

Friday 15 March 2019




FEATURE Affordable housing: How FMBN is reforming operations to increase access In an economy where housing delivery is left almost 100 percent to private sector operators, affordability is always subjected to various, often skewed, interpretations, reflecting varying degrees of access by different income earners where low income class is excluded. But efforts by Nigeria’s apex mortgage bank geared towards increasing access to affordable houses by low income earners raise hope and expectations, writes CHUKA UROKO, Property Editor.


igeria is, arguably, one of the most expensive housing markets in the world and this explains why its housing demand-supply gap remains so wide despite observable activities in the housing sector. But poverty level is quite high here despite the country being the largest economy in Africa. A good number of citizens cannot afford the housing products put out on the market, creating an obtuse imbalance in the country’s homeownership structure. Efforts are, however, being made at individual and institutional levels to address this imbalance. At the forefront of these efforts is the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) which, in the last three years, has been upbeat with operational reforms and repositioning aimed to catalyse housing development and increase access to delivered units. The apex mortgage bank closed 2018 on a remarkably strong note. Under the leadership of Ahmed Dangiwa as MD/CEO, the bank has sustained a trajectory of impressive performance, notching several milestones in a renewed drive to turnaround the country’s apex mortgage institution and position it on the path of efficiency and greater impact. Some of the bank’s footprints in 2018 include the launch of the FMBN Digital Mobile Platforms which now provide real-time access to information by contributors to the National Housing Fund (NHF) and the massive downward reduction of equity for accessing NHF loans from 10 to zero percent for N5 million and below and 10 percent for loans of between N5 million and N15 million. Others are the introduction of the individual NHF construction loan product, under which contributors to the NHF can access up to N15million and pay back over a 15-year period at single digit interest rate of 7 percent, and the collaboration with labour unions to deliver decent, affordable and quality housing to Nigerian workers under the National Affordable Housing Delivery Programme (NAHDEP). Additionally, the bank also posted strong numbers. These include loan disbursements totaling N40.9 billion that created about 2000 mortgages and provision of home renovation loans totaling N14 billion to 16,031 Nigerian workers. Furthermore, the bank processed

Ahmed M. Dangiwa, MD/CEO, FMBN

refunds totaling N12.4 billion to 97,215 retirees and significantly expanded the pool of contributors to the NHF scheme. About 224,752 new contributors were added to the scheme. 2019 promises to be the year that might witness the consolidation of the long-awaited major structural and financial transformation of the bank. Expectation is that FMBN will boast a robust capitalization of up to N500billion that it could leverage severally to unlock trillions of investible funds from the Capital Market, institutional investors and development financial institutions to power its social housing mandate. This optimistic view of the country’s foremost mortgage institution in 2019 and possibly beyond is not far-fetched. Serious work has been underway, and a historic milestone recorded in the longstanding plan to revamp the bank. Specifically, in December last year, the National Assembly passed the amended extant FMBN Act. A notable feature of the bill is the provision for the recapitalization of the FMBN by N500billion. Other aspects include the comprehensive overhaul of FMBN and strengthening of its board to make it more

effective by including stakeholders such as the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), the Trade Union Congress (TUC), the Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA) and others. Although efforts to review the Acts establishing the FMBN and the NHF have been on for about twelve years, most of the progress was recorded within the past two years due largely to strong stakeholder rally, political push and personal industry of the bank’s management. As it stands, the bill is awaiting the assent of the President and there are many reasons he is likely to sign it into law, not least because, a stronger FMBN is essential for the realization of the goal of his administration to provide social housing and tackle the huge housing deficit as a part of the Economic Recovery Growth Plan (ERGP). Second, signing the bill, which has massive potential to revolutionize the structure and operations of the bank, impact of the over threedecades old FMBN, would rank as a major housing policy legacy for the Buhari administration.It is a solid opportunity for the President to unleash the potential of the housing and construction industry to spur overall economic growth in his

second term. The effect of the N500billion capitalization of the FMBN on its operations will be huge. Experts project that leveraging those funds would lead to the creation of about 100,000 affordable mortgages per annum. This is far more than the number of mortgages that the FMBN has created over the three decades of its existence. Creating such number of mortgages on an annual basis will, no doubt, have substantial positive impact on the housing, mortgage and construction industry. The surge in housing finance will empower developers to ramp up construction activities nationwide, housing stock will increase, and a greater number of Nigerian workers in the low-medium income brackets will have a better chance of accessing longer-term, low-cost housing loans to purchase or build their own homes. The economy will also benefit as thousands of skilled and unskilled jobs would be created and the flow of housing finance would boost economic activities within the industry. Tackling the problem of inadequate finance is key to growing the mortgage market. The implication is that government-backed institutions with the mandate to develop the mortgage market and drive delivery of affordable housing need to be properly empowered. Though critics have often cited statistics which show that the FMBN has delivered less than 50,000 houses since it was established in 1977, it has to be pointed out that at the heart of this seeming nonperformance is the weak financial capitalization of the bank. As at date, the equity base of the FMBN is only a paltry N5 billion. This is far less than the requirement for even primary mortgage banks that the FMBN on-lends to. Even at this, only a little over 50 per cent of it is paid-up. Equity in the bank is split between the Federal Ministry of Finance (FMF) and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). This gap, in many ways, explains the bank’s inability to make a serious impact on the nation’s alarming housing deficit, which is currently estimated at 20 million units and rising. Over the years, the FMBN has largely relied on the NHF’s pool of long-term funds mobilized from statutory deductions and contributions of self-employed and organized private and public service workers, to drive a suite of low interest housing loans to workers

and developers. Weak implementation and enforcement of provisions of the NHF Act has also watered down its potential for generating substantial longer term, low cost funds that the FMBN can leverage to drive extensive housing development at the scale and pace that will create the required impact. For example, according to the NHF Act, the Nigerian Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) and the insurance companies are mandated to invest a minimum of 20 per cent of their non–life funds and 40 per cent of their life funds in real estate development, of which not less than 50 per cent must be channeled through FMBN, at an interest rate not exceeding 4 per cent. In addition, all tiers of government are required to make direct budgetary allocations of not less than 2.5 per cent of their revenue to the national housing scheme. Statistics show serial defaults and tepid compliance by these agencies. Again, the implication is lesser funds in the till for the FMBN to do its work. This background provides context for a more expansive understanding and appreciation of the FMBN’s accomplishments since its establishment. More importantly, it lays the backdrop for the transformation that the institution is set to witness with the passage of the amended bills setting up the bank and the NHF and imminent signing into law by the president. However, it is important to note that more money alone is not enough basis for optimism and success. Competence is also key. Analysis of developments at the bank over the past three years show that the current management possesses the technical capacity and managerial expertise to efficiently manage a new, financially buoyant FMBN. The MD/CEO is a man of vision with impressive capacity for transformative leadership. As a consummate real estate professional with over 30 years’ experience in mortgage financing and housing development that span private and public sectors as well the academia, Dangiwa and his team of professionals have, through the series of bold initiatives, taken in the past three years, demonstrated that they have capacity to lead the bank at this historic moment of its transformation. Indeed, they deserve the support of all stakeholders as they work to reposition the bank on the path of efficiency, profitability and greater impact.




Friday 15 March 2019


Gidi Culture Festival to feature Wande Coal, DJ Cuppy, Sarz on main stage …Zlatan, Lax to headline next gen stage OBINNA EMELIKE


he Gidi Culture Festival has announced the second wave of acts for the April 20, 2019 event. Now in its 6th edition, Gidi Fest, the biggest one-day music festival in West Africa, which takes place at Landmark Beachfront, Victoria Island, Lagos, unveiled Wande Coal, DJ Cuppy and Sarz who will all be joining the already announced Patoranking, Niniola, Teni the entertainer, Moonchild Sanelly, DJ Neptune and more on the main stage. Wande Coal is ready to dominate with his debut at Gidi Fest this Easter. He offers a distinctive sound and a track record of releasing huge international hits. His collaborations include everyone from Wizkid, Burna Boy, and Patoranking - who also share the stage at Gidi Culture Fest this year. He assured of high tempo tunes and endless energy at the Gidi Fest stage this year. DJ Cuppy, the Nigerian DJ and producer, also joins the bill this year. Represent-

ing a new generation of African women with truly global reach, she launched her music career in 2014 as the resident DJ for MTV Africa Music Awards and has since made a name for herself in the scene. Sarz, Nigerian beat maker, is another leader in the industry, whose unique and inventive approach has seen him produce tracks for the likes of Drake and Wizkid, as well as, a host of street anthems for Tekno, Wande Coal and Burna Boy. Being the man behind Come Closer and One Dance - the first song ever to rack up over a billion

streams on Spotify - his credentials speak for him. Sarz is always working behind the scene on breaking new talent and is currently pushing Niniola forward for big things in 2019. The pair will be joining forces on the Gidi Culture Fest stage in 2019. Leading the movement for the progression of urban youth culture in Africa, Gidi Fest boasts a history of booking the biggest global stars including Wizkid, Davido, Diplo and Burna Boy - while providing a platform for the most exciting Next Gen artistes for 2019 including: LAX, Zlatan, Boogey, Mich Straaw, Organya, Fa-

Chief Daddy, another EbonyLife Films title, goes live on Netflix today


rom today March 15, 2019, Chief Daddy, a title from the stable of Ebonylife Films, would be available on Netflix worldwide. Produced by Niyi Akinmolayan, the movie, which enjoyed critical acclaim in Nigeria and Ghana, was third highest grossing movie in Nollywood box office history and No. 1 Nollywood film of 2018. Chief Daddy is the third EbonyLife Films title to be acquired by Netflix, a global streaming platform, following the successful acquisition of

Fifty (2015) and The Wedding Party (2016). With this partnership, Netflix takes another box office sensation from the EbonyLife Films stable to a global audience. Ebonylife Films has grossed over N1.4 Billion at the box office in less than 5 years. Speaking during the announcement of the acquisition deal in Lagos recently, Mo Abudu, executive producer of Chief Daddy, was excited that the African diaspora would finally be able to access Chief Daddy and other movies from the stable

of Ebonylife Films on Netflix. “We are extremely thrilled by this wonderful opportunity to bring another great movie to the global audience even while it continues its spectacular run at the cinema. We are pleased by the opportunity that this Netflix partnership provides to meet the huge interest in the diasporan community in Chief Daddy.” The synopsis is enthralling. It is about Chief Daddy, a Lagos-based billionaire, who keels over suddenly at the dinner table, and there is a scramble among family, mistresses and personal staff for a slice of his fortune. But there is a catch – a clause in his will requires that named beneficiaries work collaboratively on his funeral or risk losing everything. Chief Daddy tests rivalry and greed to the limit. It stars some of Nollywood’s biggest names. It will be available on Netflix from today, March 15, 2019.

mous Bobson, Andre Music, Oladapo, and Mo Believe. Others are; Flash, Barelyanyhook, Blaqbonez, Tems, Dunnie, Dami Oniru, DJ TMSKD, Goodgirl LA, Wani, Oma Mahmud, Psycho YP, DJ Krowd Krontroller, and DJ Nana. Speaking on the festival, Chin Okeke, co-founder, Gidi Fest and Eclipse Live, said: “We are excited by the sheer diversity of the acts we are announcing this year, it is going to be a big show. 2019 will see a return to our roots of promoting the future of African music with many returning artistes who have grown in

leaps and bounds since the last time they graced the Gidi Fest stage. Expect a beautifully curated experience with a big focus on the culture around the music.” Gidi Culture Fest offers an unrivalled opportunity to discover the culture and energy behind the music blowing up around the world right now - a place to experience the urban youth movement through the new school. Now in its 6th year, this is set to be the biggest yet, offering platforms to share the future of African music with even more international visitors than ever before. The Gidi Tribe reaches beyond the shores of Nigeria, from Africans to diaspora in Europe, Caribbean and American with African heritage. Gidi Fest aims to promote Lagos as a destination and expose the stories that captivate music fans and explorers from everywhere. Okeke also said that #migidi is a journey into the Lagos experience. “Gidi is home, and we welcome the world to our home”. The project will document the experiences of

some travellers from all over the world while they are immersed in Gidi Culture during Lagos Music Week. Speaking on the participation of Lagos State in the music festival, Steve Ayorinde, Lagos State Commissioner of Tourism, Arts and Culture said, “The Lagos State Government is happy to endorse and be associated with the Gidi Culture Festival for six consecutive years. The festival has been consistent with aligning with the mandate of the state’s Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture to use the musical arts and the creative energy of our teeming youths to further promote the image of our state as a prime destination and powerhouse of creative economy.” With an expected capacity of 10,000 fans, and more experiential programming still to be revealed, the Gidi Tribe hopes to offer something unforgettable during the Easter weekend. The event is sponsored by Budweiser, and Pepsi, brought by Eclipse Live and supported by Jameson, Red Bull, Mikano, and Lagos State Tourism.

Zoro, Small Doctor thrill at Coca-Cola/EPL partnership unveiling


oca-Cola, the world’s most iconic beverage brand, last Saturday, kicked-off an exciting new three-and-half year partnership with the English Premier League, the world’s most celebrated football league, with bullet header #LeggoNaija announcement party that had sports icons, cultural celebrities and media giants in attendance. Hosted by Coca-Cola, the announcement party took place at Filmhouse IMAX, Lekki, Lagos. The star studded event had football lovers like Folu Storms, Falz, Fade Ogunro, Uti Nwachukwu, Nedu Wazobia, Mozez Praiz and Frank Donga to bring down the roof. From red carpet to plush event, guests in EPL-inspired outfits were ushered into the immersive IMAX cinema to watch the enthralling 1:30pm match between Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal. Post-match, Coca-Cola treated guests to a high energy music event, with performances by ‘Energy gad’ Dotun, Small

Doctor, sensational lyricist Zoro, DJ Real and astounding dancer Kaffy - who had fans panting for more. Coca-Cola took the chance to thrill a lucky fan with an iPhoneX for correctly predicting the scores of the match. Also in attendance were; Bhupendra Suri, managing director, Coca-Cola Nigeria, and Gbolahan Sanni, franchise marketing manager. Speaking of the partnership, Sanni explained that, “The English Premier League unites lovers of the beautiful game like no other sport known to man. This aligns perfectly with Coca-Cola’s mantra to uplift, unite and bridge divides. It is why we are so proud of this opportunity to bring Nigerian

football fans closer to EPL action and expand our extensive track record of sponsoring and supporting football locally and internationally.” “With the slogan #LeggoNaija, it is our way of saying “Let’s go”. It is a call to all EPL fans in Nigeria to support their individual clubs and cheer them up to victory; and beyond football, it is a clarion call to all Nigerians to go out there and achieve their dreams, start something great, overcome all odds and make Nigeria proud.” With the refreshing partnership, Coca-Cola joins the likes of EA Sports, Barclays, Cadbury, Carling, Nike and TagHeuer as the seventh official partner of the EPL.

Friday 15 March 2019





Watch your table manners Business etiquette

Janet Adetu


t’s just a meal who would think you need to watch your manners at the table? More and more conduct at the table is seriously being taken for granted. Public places still do not provide the atmosphere for caution as we see series of etiquette breaches at the table. Research has shown that the best place to know if one is polished or not is through the way they dine and their conduct at the dinner table. I have seen various acts that today we take for granted but in many ways sabotage one’s image without you knowing. From sitting to talking or eating once you are dinning with other people you will either make good company or become an uncomfortable burden. Unfortunately, it is one area that people are not quick to tell you your fault, they will continue as if nothing is happening and immediately judge you for your breach. How do you rate yourself while at the table? Does it make a difference if you are at home or at work, at a social gathering or a formal affair? Table manners tells us a lot about your personality, your background and upbringing. They are skills that you learn about intentionally or acquire from your everyday experiences. They are gradually built upon each day and fine-tuned to suit the

environment, the people you are with, your status and circumstances. Table manners are not for special occasions they are part of your personal and professional image a routine that becomes the make up of you and the perception you want others to have of you. Essentially it makes no difference whether you are in a fine dining restaurant, a fivestar hotel dining room, a fast food eating place, a private or public event. A habit you cultivate today if negative becomes harder to get rid of. With dining in my dining workshops, I have a favourite popular quote I often say in a humorous manner. “Old habits die hard” “You cannot teach an old dog new tricks”. I still marvel at how people lack portion control when it comes to buffet dinning settings. Many people still do not feel the need to understand the

importance of table manners, or the impact it has on building or breaking relationships. Quite recently I attended a conference, where the lunch room was on another floor level. We were all directed to the venue which happened to be a huge hall for three thousand participants. We were consequently assisted towards our tables in an orderly manner. Just when I thought everything was going so smoothly, I saw people in the queue again in an orderly manner but hey now piling up their plates to the brim. There were signs saying please do not waste food you are welcome to come

again. As they sat on their respective tables it became so hard for them to watch their manners. eating and talking all in one. I can only say everyone was very hungry and the thought of joining the queue again was a no no. What manners to watch at the table Seating Savvy It is interesting when I see people sitting yards away from the table and still expect to have a comfortable dining experience. At times the begin to eat knowing fully well they are too far but still do not adjust themselves. When seated at the table a decent distance of 4 – 5 inches is fine for comfortable dining. You do not need to touch the table. Watch you’re the placement of your hands and go with the dining setting. Avoid taking your neighbours glass or eating your neighbours’ bread. As a lady your handbag has no business being planted on the centre of table, try to protect your bag accordingly by using a bag holder. Napkin Mania The first thing to consider when you sit at the table is to place your napkin over your lap. Some would argue that they are more comfortable placing the napkin at the neck like a bib as this appears to be a more protective measure. Today that is old fashioned and is unacceptable in formal or professional settings. The napkin indicates the start of your meal experience, the moment you do not use the napkin this shows your lack of dining etiquette savvy. Phone Frenzy One of the most common bad table manners we see all the time is the use of the phone at the table especially where one is in the company of others. It appears as if any free moment from waiting for the food to arrive to minutes between conversations people are simply glued to their phone. It may be to genuinely receive

I still marvel at how people lack portion control when it comes to buffet dinning settings

a call or while away free air space. It is now a spontaneous action to ssarily, check messages or emails or respond to information that could easily wait till later. This is an instant image killer as it shows no regard for the others you are socializing with. The table is a place for decent meaningful conversations with those around not on the phone. Keep phone conversations till later, the person or people with you at the table are more important at that moment. This can break a business deal if caution is not taken. Confident Conversations Conversation at the table should be with caution and meaningful. Confidential conversations in public places have consequences. They say again that “The walls do have ears” so be mindful. Some people do not watch the volume or tone of their voice when dining, so they may as well be speaking to everybody regardless of the topic. It is important that depending on who you are with and the environment topics to avoid at the table include elements of sensitive politics, health issues of another person, food likes or dislikes, weight gains or losses, sensitive topics as they come. As the conversation are ongoing be careful not to wield your fork in front of others. Hold that Sneeze Sneezing at the table is a no no, even when it may appear unexpected. Sneezing at the table without the use of a handkerchief is a health hazard and can upset many others eating at the table too. Any sign that is not hygienic at the table is frowned upon from makeup wearing, to brushing hair, coughing, talking with a mouth full of food, accidentally spitting food out and lots more. Please be kind to share your experience. Follow me on all social media platforms @Janetadetu or @jsketiquetteconsortium. Send me an email at

Movie Review – BABY MAMA

Linda Ochugbua


or all the ladies out there celebrating the month of March the women’s month themed balance for better, I am recommending that you see this movie “Baby Mama” as it will be worth your while. I was really kind of worried when I saw the trailer, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect or not and considering that it was a South African movie, that even made me more bias, but I must confess I was totally wrong. It was a very simple yet funny movie about 4 ladies with different relationship issues and goals, and how they all managed being baby mamas for their boyfriends who were never really available. This is a relatable movie, one most ladies would watch, laugh and also take away a few lessons. If we check out this present era, we will find out that most young ladies are tilting in this angle, either by choice or unforeseen circumstances beyond their control, presently you have most stars and celebrity with kids here and there but no wives, they want the kids but not their

moms, anyway I enjoyed it. This South African movie was directed by Stephina Zwane they had a very simple story that was easy for women to connect with, either being through one or in one, at some point it almost made me cry. “Please don’t judge me anyway”. Well for me it was an eye opener to what a lot of women go through and yet they have to stand up tall and strong, hold their heads up high and act like all was well, even though they were dieing in pain. I would share a bit of what I enjoyed in the movie, I was tripped with the topnotch production and choice of actresses and actors, each one blended perfectly into their roles, I loved the cinematography, the locations, costumes and the way they told the story, only hitch was that I noticed some scenes were kind of lengthy and some could have being skipped. “Baby Mama” told a story about 4 young ladies who were friends, with similar issues, maybe that was what kept them bound together. The first lady had a son that was about 7/8 years old, when she had him, the father ran away and denied him, years later he returns and wants them back in his life just like that. The second lady had a beautiful intelligent daughter, her Ex- boyfriend, was a nice guy, he paid her benefits and from time to time came around to see the daughter and take her out. She was very aggressive and domineering, she kept flaunting like she never liked him, but deep down in her heart she still loved him so much and kept hoping they could come back together. The third lady was very pretty and

successful, she had a guy she had being with for years, and hoping he would marry her despite receiving beating regularly, she was still ready to go on despite the advice from her friends. The fourth lady was the youngest of the clique, had a steady boyfriend till she informed him of her pregnancy and that was the last she saw of him for months till his mum talked sense into his little head. There was just something nice and sweet about each lady’s life that made it so easy to connect with, making it very emotional for most people, generally it was a simple well thought after story that was acted by the right

ladies, making it something to want to watch over and over again, I must also commend the way they blended the comedy and drama together, in as much as you would learn a few lessons, you would definitely have a very good laugh at some of the jokes and scene, I really enjoyed every bit of it. Cast: Dineo Ranaka, Pamela Nomvete and Salamina Mosese Genre: Comedy & Drama Director: Stephina Zwane Ratings: R (for language and sexual content throughout) Runtime: 93 minutes Release Date: March 1st 2019 To my verdict I am so delighted to award “Baby Mama” an 8/10. It might look like I am in a good mood this season and scoring everyone well right, but sincerely that’s not the case here. I was so surprised at how they were able to twist and transform this simple storyline into a beautiful relatable movie. For all the women out there, who would want to have a good laugh, have fun with the girls and still learn a few lessons, then this is one I recommend for you. Feel free to review any movie of your choice in not more than 200 words, please send us a mail to , also please do answer the question of the week on social media and stand a chance to win a free movie ticket. Linda Ochugbua @lindaochugbua





Friday 15 March 2019


Ronaldo’s UCL hat-trick shots Juventus shares by 30 percent Stories by Anthony Nlebem


uventus football club shares jumped by 30 per cent on Wednesday after Cristiano Ronaldo hat-trick that catapulted the Italian football club into the quarter finals of the Uefa Champions League. Three goals from the Portuguese striker in the second leg knockout fixture on Tuesday night see Juventus kick out Spain’s Atlético Madrid from the Champions League, despite coming into the game with a two-goal deficit after a first-leg defeat. Juventus share price rose as much as 30 per cent from a Tuesday close of €1.22 to a high of €1.59 in Milan in early Wednesday trading — boosting its market capitalisation by €373m to €1.6bn. By lunchtime its shares had settled around €1.42, marking a 17 per cent gain on the previous close.

Qualification for the quarter finals brings with it a €10.5m windfall, according to Uefa, the governing body for European football. This comes on top of the €9.5m the club had already pocketed for its round of 16 appearances.

Juventus advanced to the quarterfinals of the competition, joining Amsterdam’s Ajax, Portugal’s Porto and English clubs Manchester United, Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur. A place in the semi-finals brings

Heineken shares UCL moments with football fans


n Tuesday, March 12th, 2019, International Premium Lager Beer, Heineken at Helena Haven Hotels and De Lift treated football fans in Port Harcourt and Enugu respectively. The vivacious event had eager fans troop in to catch the Manchester City Vs FC Schalke 04 and Juventus Vs Atletico Madrid matches. Equipped with impressive giant screens, the premium venue was teeming with over a hundred excited football fans, ready to cheer their

favourite clubs to victory, while they enjoyed unmissable match moments on the LED screens. Compere, Spaceman of Beat FM was also on hand to host the event, adding to the energy and excitement in the air as fans settled to watch the games. Football fans joined in on the match conversations by sharing their match predictions and their most memorable moments from the match. The evening ended with much banter and excited chatter amongst the fans in attendance, as Manchester City beat FC Schalke 04 7-0, and Juventus thanks to a hat-trick by star man Cristiano Ronaldo beat Atletico Madrid by 3 goals to nil. To wrap up the event, Heineken also rewarded two lucky consumers with an all expense paid trip to the UEFA Champions League Semi-Finals. This reward was given as part of Heineken’s effort to connect with its loyal consumer base and solidifying its partnership with the UEFA Champions League. “We wanted to reward our consumers in a way that only Heineken

can. We are excited to share all the unmissable moments in the 2019 UEFA Champions League with our consumers and we look forward to continually bring premium experiences to live as we take football viewing to the next level. This is our little way of saying thank you.” Those were the words of the Marketing Director, Nigerian Breweries Plc, Emmanuel Oriakhi at the Heineken semi-finals presentation in Port Harcourt. “I can’t believe it. I just came here to enjoy the game with some of my friends and I got lucky. This is such a surreal feeling. Thank you, Heineken.” – said Isreal Inaede, a winner of the all-expense paid trip to the semifinals who was presented with his cheque in Port Harcourt. UEFA Champions League fans in Nigeria can continue to look forward to enjoying such experiences at the different Heineken partnered outlets, as the brand will be hosting fans every week across cities, with a total of 13 live matches planned for the rest of the 2019 Champions League season.

with it a €12m payout, while an appearance in the final pays a further €15m. The winner of the Champions League will bank another €4m. The club made waves last month when it tapped international bond markets for the first time, raising €175m of five-year debt at a 3.5 per cent yield, after paying €100m to sign Ronaldo last year. It was the third remarkable comeback in just eight days for listed teams after Amsterdam’s AFC Ajax NV dumped Real Madrid out of the continent’s elite tournament despite losing the first game 2-1 and England’s Manchester United Plc overturned a two-goal first-leg deficit to defeat Paris St-Germain in the French capital. The wins have significant financial implications: Champions League quarter finalists receive an extra 10.5 million euros ($11.9 million) in prize money, with another 31 million euros potentially at stake if clubs progress further. Success in Europe’s most

prestigious tournament also tends to bring greater leverage with sponsors. Juventus’s progress is a boon for Exor NV, the holding company owned by the billionaire Agnellis, which owns 64 percent of the club’s stock. The family’s other investments include stakes in carmakers Ferrari NV and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. Juve’s shares have now risen about 140 percent since reports of a deal for Ronaldo began last summer. The stock’s performance saw it added to Italy’s blue-chip FTSE MIB benchmark in December, a rare feat for a soccer team. Banca IMI said in a report last year that Instagram’s most-followed person could triple the Italian club’s shirt sales by 2022, while spurring a 60 percent increase in annual sponsorship revenue from deals with the likes of Adidas AG. Playing for Juventus against Atletico Madrid, Cristiano showed that no price can be put on his head. Real Madrid made a monumental error.

Lagos SWAN congratulates Sanwo-Olu


he Sports Writers Association of Nigeria, (SWAN) Lagos State Chapter has congratulated the Lagos State governor-elect, Babajide Sanwo-Olu on his victory at the polls. In a statement, the Lagos SWAN Chairman, Debo Oshundun, said that the massive victory at the polls was a clear testament of the belief of Lagosians in the All Progressives Congress candidate to take the state to the next level. The apex sports writing body in Nigeria said the mandate to lead the Centre of Excellence for the next four years is a great opportunity for him to leave his footprints

body said that the victory of the only gubernatorial candidate to interface with the association and the general sports community in Lagos during his campaign is a call to service. “As a sports writing family and key stakeholder in the sports industry, we must commend the governor-elect for being the only candidate who gave Sports development a special mention during his campaign. “Recognizing sports as a key sector for a modern Lagos is something that is unprecedented and we are enthusiastic about what can be achieved in the next 4 years through sports in Lagos State.”

on the sands of time. “We sincerely congratulate Babajide Sanwo-Olu for this massive victory. Emerging as one of the chosen few to rise to the level of leading one of the leading economies in Africa is a massive achievement and an opportunity that can only come once in a life time.” Oshundun in his congratulatory message on behalf of the

Lagos SWAN therefore pledges its willingness to partner with the Governor-elect to take sports development to greater heights in the state. “We eagerly await a Lagos State of our dreams where grassroots sports development will play a major factor in youth empowerment in the state which boasts of over 20 million people,” Oshudun said.

Accreditation begins for Trophy 5-a-side tournament


ince the official launch of the Trophy 5-a-side Field of Honour, there has been a massive turn-out of interested would-be participants who want to be a part of the excitement. The in-bar activations which commenced March 7 will run through March 24, 2019, after which successful participants will be grouped into football teams in preparation for the knockout stages. The 10-week-long campaign will produce a final winner by May 12, 2019. The winning team will take home N3 million cash prize, meet with Samuel Eto’o, the renowned African football superstar and have the opportunity to participate in the continental finals taking place in Tanzania later this year. Winners at the knock-out stages will also be rewarded with various consolation prizes and memorabilia, in appreciation for their partici-

pation. Though the in-bar accreditation will take place in four states: Oyo, Ogun, Osun and Lagos States, football loving Trophy customers will be recruited as ‘Super-fans’ across the country via weekly questions and sweepstakes availing customers outside the four states, the unique opportunity to participate in the tournament as fans. Four lucky fans will

attend the Pan African regional finals in Tanzania, all expense paid, to cheer our team to victory. Kindly follow our social media handles to get updated on this live, (@Trophylager @TrophylagerNigeria) For more information on the tournament and to get a full list of accredited outlets closest to you, please visit

Friday 15 March 2019





Celebrating Nigerian women who have blazed the trail at the World Bank DESMOND OKON

Arunma Oteh

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

runma Oteh, Officer of the Order of the Niger (OON), was the Director General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in Nigeria in January 2010. In this position, she was responsible for regulating Nigeria’s capital markets, including the Nigerian Stock Exchange. In July 2015, after her tenure in the SEC, Jim Yong Kim, the president of the World Bank appointed Arunma Oteh, Vice President and Treasurer of the institution, a position in which she managed the organization’s US$200 billion debt portfolio, as well as an asset portfolio of almost US$200bn for the World Bank Group and 65 external clients, including central banks, pension funds and sovereign wealth funds. Before she joined World Bank, Oteh had worked for various institutions including the Harvard Institute for International Development and Centre Point Investments Limited of Nigeria in corporate finance, consulting, teaching and research. She joined the African Development Bank (AfDB) in 1992. She was also a Senior Investment Officer/ Senior Capital Markets Officer from 1993 to 1997, then Division Manager Investments and Trading Room from 1997 to 2001 when she was appointed the Bank’s Group Treasurer responsible for fund raising and investments in major international capital markets. She was again appointed Vice-President for Corporate Management at the ADB in March 2006, responsible for Language Services, General Services and Procurement, Human Resources, and Information Management and Methods. Arunma Oteh is of Nigerian/British nationality. She is from Abia State. In late 2018, Oteh left the World Bank to join St Antony’s



gozi Okonjo-Iweala, after serving as Finance Minister of Nigeria for two terms (2003-2006, 20112015) under the leadership of President Olusegun Obasanjo and President Goodluck Jonathan respectively, still gets credits for some of the economic reforms of her country, Nigeria. Before this happened, she had spent 25 years of her career at the World Bank in Washington DC as a development economist before rising to the position of Managing Director, in 2007. As Managing Director, she was responsible for the World Bank’s $81 billion operational portfolio in Africa, South Asia, Europe and Central Asia. She also spearheaded several World Bank initiatives to support low-income countries during the 2008 – 2009 food crises and later during the financial crisis. Still leading in that position in 2010, Okonjo-Iweala was Chair of the International Development Association (IDA) replenishment, the World Bank’s successful drive to raise $49.3 billion in grants and low interest credit for the poorest countries in the world. She was also she was also a member of the Commission on Effective Development Cooperation with Africa which was set up by the Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen of Denmark and held meetings between April and October 2008, during her stay at the World Bank. Aside from her company, NOI Polls, she is involved in many international development leadership and non-profit work. Her name resonates as Chair of the boards of organisations like African Union’s African Risk Capacity, an innovative weather based insurance mechanism for African countries; Nelson

Mandela Institution, an umbrella body for the African Institutes of Science and Technology; and African University of Science and Technology in Nigeria. What’s more? She is also a member of several boards and advisory groups including the Harvard University Advisory Council, the University of Oxford’s Martin School’s Advisory Council, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank’s International Advisory Panel, the International Commission on Financing Global Education (Chaired by Gordon Brown), the Japan International Cooperation Agency’s International Advisory Board, the Mercy Corps Global Leadership Council, Women’s World Banking, Results for Development Institute, the B Team (Co-chaired by Sir Richard Branson), the Commission on the New Climate Economy (also co-Chaired by Mr Paul Polman and Lord Nicholas Stern) and the Global Development Network amongst others. Okonjo-Iweala was born in Ogwashi-Ukwu, Delta State, Nigeria where her father Professor Chukwuka Okonjo is the King from the Obahai Royal Family of Ogwashi-Ukwu. She has many honours and awards linked to her name globally.

Sandie Okoro


andie Okoro, a British lawyer, was born in Fulham, London, in 1964. Her father was a teacher from Nigeria. She attended Putney High School and then studied law and politics at the University of Birmingham. After university she studied at the Inns of Court School of Law, now part of City, University of London, and joined Lincoln’s Inn, qualifying as a barrister in 1988. In a change of course she re-qualified as a solicitor and in 1990 joined Schroders as head of its trusts team. Consequently, Okoro worked at Schroders from 1990 to April 2007, rising to be head of legal for corporate services and then joined Barings as its global general counsel. After seven years at Barings she moved to become global general counsel at HSBC Global Asset Management Unlike the other Nigerian women, Okoro has no record of serving her country with her expertise. In November 2016 she was appointed senior vice president and general counsel for the World Bank Group. As World Bank Group Senior Vice President and General Counsel, Okoro is principal adviser and spokesperson on all legal matters. She is responsible for all legal services provided to internal and external clients in that capacity. Okoro has been listed several times in the Powerlist, a listing of the most influential black people in the United Kingdom. In the 2015 list she was at fourth place (or fifth, as third place was shared) according to records.

In 2014 City, University of London awarded Okoro an honorary doctorate for her “outstanding achievements in the legal profession and financial services”, noting that in her then role of general counsel at HSBC Asset Management “She is the only female lawyer from an ethnic minority holding such a position in the City”. In 2014 The Guardian listed Okoro as one of “10 women who are changing the face of the City”. At the 2016 UK Diversity Legal Awards, Okoro was given a BSN Lifetime Achievement Award

College, Oxford University, as an academic scholar and an executive-in-residence at Saïd Business School She graduated with a first class honours degree in Computer Science at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. She went on to the Harvard Business School where she obtained a master’s degree in Business Administration. She co-edited the book, “African Voices African Visions”. In 2011 Oteh was made an Officer of the Order of the Niger (OON) in “recognition of her contribution to economic development and to transforming the Nigerian capital markets”. In 2011 she received the “Distinction In Public Service” award from the Commonwealth Business Council/African Business. In 2014, Oteh won the CNBC Africa All Africa Business Leaders Awards (AABLA) Business Woman of the Year category for West Africa.

Obiageli Ezekwesili


biageli Ezekwesili popularly known as “Madam Oby”, is a chartered accountant from Anambra state. Oby came into prominence when she served as Minister of Solid Minerals and then as Federal Minister of Education during Olusegun Obasanjo’s administration. During her service, she was known as “Madam Due Process” because of her excellent performance as the Pioneer head of the Budget Monitoring and Price Intelligence Unit (aka Due Process Unit). Reforms like The Bureau for Public Procurement legislation, the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) legislation and the new Minerals and Mining legislation will be credited to her during her six and a half years stint in government. In March 2007, World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz announced the appointment of Ezekwesili as Vice-President for the Africa Region starting on 1 May 2007, where she was charge of the bank’s operations in 48 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and supervised a lending portfolio of over $40 billion. In 2012, she successfully completed her assignment as the World Bank Vice-President Africa Division, and was replaced by Makhtar Diop In May 2012. Ezekwesili was a co-founder of Transparency International and served as one of its pioneer directors, though, the record didn’t mention her name in the organisation’s history. Again, she advises nine reform-committed African heads of state including Paul Kagame of Rwanda and Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf of Liberia as a senior economic advisor for Open Society, a group founded by billionaire George Soros. Like Okonjo-Iweala, Oby knows a thing or two about sitting on boards of organisations. Bharti Airtel, a global telecommunications firm with operations in 20 countries, named Ezekwesili as a director on its board on 1 October. She is also on the boards of World Wildlife Fund (WWF), the School of Public Policy of Central European University, The Harold Hartog School of Government and Policy, New African magazine, The Center for Global Leadership at Tufts University. Ezekwesili was awarded an honorary Doctor of Science (DSC) degree by the University of Agriculture, Abeokuta in Nigeria in May 2012. She was selected as one of the BBC’s 100 Women in 2014. In July 2014, as she prepared to board a British Airways flight to London to appear on the BBC

programme Hard Talk she was detained by Nigeria’s secret service, the (SSS), who also seized her passport. She was later released that morning. Given the political scene at the time, many began considering to support a female, and who best fits that spot other than Oby who has been the space more the rest? So, in October, 2018, Ezekwesili declared for presidency under the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN). She promised to elevate 80 million Nigerians out of poverty. On 24 January 2019, when the politicking became hot, Oby stepped down from the presidential race because of varying values and visions within her political party. This action exposed her to attacks by Nigerians. She was rightly praised, and relatively mocked all together. Hence on 4 February 2019, Oby organised a World Press Conference in NICON Luxury Hall, Abuja where she opened up on her rough Political journey while campaigning for the office of the President of Nigeria under the political party of Allied Congress Party of Nigeria. Though she stepped down, her party’s logo still appeared on the ballot paper after Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) said it was too late for anyone to withdraw from the race because the ballot papers have been printed. Since then, not much is heard of her apart from her.






Friday 15 March 2019

Odunayo Oyasiji

Choice of name of a company under CAMA


hen registering a company or business name in Nigeria, one of the first steps that will be taken is the availability and reservation of name. At this stage, a thorough review of the name the company or business name will bear is done. The review is to ensure that the name complies with what is stated in section 30 of the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA)- under the subhead “Prohibited and Restricted Names”. Section 30 is broken down into two i.e. names that are absolutely prohibited and names that needs the permission of the commission before they can be used. Under section 30(1) of CAMA, the prohibited names area. Names that are identical or very similar to a name that has

already been registered. b. Names that can mislead as to the nature of the activities of the company. c. Names that will violate existing trademarks or business

Anti-Dumping Meaning of dumping umping is the importation of the products of a country into another country ‘at less than the normal value of the products.’ Dumping is regarded as an unfair practice aimed at causing injury to domestic companies. Therefore, anti-dumping frowns at the selling of foreign goods in another economy at a price that will cause injury to a domestic industry. Anti-dumping laws permit the imposition of temporary duties on goods that are guilty of dumping. Anti-dumping is usually employed as a tool to combat the adverse consequence of trade liberalization as local industries are open to competition from foreign products. Officially, anti-dumping laws are meant to guard against “predatory pricing.” Anti-dumping is the most used trade defence instrument in modern time.


Elements to establish dumping

When trying to establish that dumping exists and, as a result, invoke the provisions of anti-dumping laws, some important elements/features must be present. The elements that must be established are – i. That the price of the foreign product is lesser than the normal value. ii. Show that material injury is being inflicted on the domestic market. iii. There should be a causal link between the dumping and the injury. As simple as these three elements seem to look, they have been the subject of heavy criticism due to their unascertainable nature. More details will be given on the criticisms under a different subhead. The Criticism Anti-dumping as a trade defence measure have come under heavy criticism based on the ambiguity in the wordings of the law which has subjected its implementation to

the discretion of member states. Basically, the wordings that have introduced complexities into antidumping law are- ‘normal value’ and ‘material injury’. Due to the lacuna created by the ambiguity in the wordings of the law, anti-dumping duties are often imposed on very unreasonable grounds. In essence, this boils down to the fact that the success rate of an anti-dumping investigation will be high due to the loopholes in the law. In the United States of America for example, dumping has a conviction rate of 96%. To further buttress the foregoing point, most appeal against anti-dumping duties before the WTO Dispute Settlement Body ends in favour of the complainant. The requirement to prove that a good is being sold at a price below its normal value is a complex one. There is no straightforward way to decide what a normal price or normal value is. Often times, normal value means the value of the product in its home market. Therefore, a company that fixes a lower price for its product overseas than what it sells locally can be accused of dumping. Another huge lacuna in the anti-dumping law is in the fact that the law permits the country alleging dumping not to use the domestic price of the exporting country to determine the normal value of the product. Hence, the country alleging dumping is free to use the export price of a third country. China is a typical example of a country whose domestic price is usually not used to determine the normal value of a product having been classified as a non-market economy i.e. the domestic prices of Chinese products are not true reflections of what the normal value of a product should be. The investigating country usually opts for economies with high prices when determining the normal value of a product. This further increases the chances of arriving at a dumping decision.

name in Nigeria except where the consent of the owner has been obtained. d. Undesirable and offensive names which are contrary to public policies.

The names that fall under restricted names falls under section 30(2) of CAMA. These names need the consent of CAC before they can be used. The categories are-

a. Names that contains the words – Federal, National, Regional, State, Government or any other name which appears to the commission to suggest that it enjoys the support of government or its ministries. b. Names that contains the words- Municipal or chartered or that suggests a relationship with a local authority. c. Names that contains the words- Cooperative or Building Society. d. Names that contains the words- group or holdings. It is best to avoid the prohibited names when trying to come up with the name for the registration of a company. If the company must bear the names under the restricted category, then it is essential that the consent of the commission be sought and obtained.

What does the law say about selling a car financed by the bank without full repayment


his topic is a product of my recent experience when a friend contacted me on a similar issue. He bought a car from someone last year and he wants to sell it in order to buy another one barely a year after he bought it. At that point, he realized that he could not even do change of ownership as the purchase of the car was financed by a bank and the loan was yet to be fully repaid. He then observed that he had not taken a good look at the documents as the name of the bank that financed it is written in front of the name of the person that sold the car to him. The above formed the basis of the topic and this led to my search of what the position of the law is about the situation. Banks (Motor Vehicle Loans) (Miscellaneous Provisions Act) 1979 deals with the issue. Section 1 of the Act makes it an offence to sell a car financed by a bank without fully repaying the loan. Section 1(1) states- “As from the commencement of this Act, it shall be an offence for any person to sell, dispose or otherwise part with the possession of a motor vehicle on which a loan obtained from a bank is still outstanding without first obtaining the consent in writing of the bank prior to the sale or disposal.” Section 1(2) of the Act spells out the punishment for disposing such vehicle. It states- “Any person who fails to comply with the provisions of subsection (1) of this section shall be guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to a fine of N200 or six months’ imprisonment or to both such fine and imprison-

ment.” As stated, the punishment is a fine of 200 naira or six months imprisonment or both fine and imprisonment. It must be noted that a discharge certificate is to be issued by the bank upon the full repayment of the loan. This was stated in section 3(1) of the Act i.e. “Immediately after full settlement or repayment of a loan (including any interest thereon) is made by the borrower to the bank, the bank shall issue a discharge certificate to the person who obtained the loan and shall send a copy of the discharge certificate to the licensing authority.” Selling of the car can only take place after obtaining a discharge certificate from the bank. Section 3(2) of the Act states that “On the receipt of the discharge certificate, the licensing authority shall make an entry in that behalf in the register relating to the motor vehicle and thereafter the owner of the motor vehicle

shall be free to dispose of the motor vehicle without having to comply with the requirements laid down in the foregoing provisions of this Act.” It must be noted that a careful look and interpretation of the provisions of the Act does not totally prohibit the sale of a car financed by a bank when you have not fully repaid the loan. It only becomes an offence under Section 1(1) if the written consent of the bank is not obtained prior to the sale. The above simple shows that there can be an arrangement between the bank and the customer who obtained the loan. A bank is more interested in repayment of the loan with the interest charged. Therefore, the sale can be packaged in a way where part of the money will go into full repayment of the loan and interest. Contact your bank to know the form the transaction will take if you intend to do such.

Friday 15 March 2019



Politics & Policy



Ihedioha warns banks on ‘illegal last-minute’ transaction with Okorocha’s administration

…To set up transition team Iheanyi Nwachukwu


anks and other financial institutions that choose to engage in il l e ga l la st-mi nu te transaction with the Rochas Okorocha-led outgoing administration in Imo State, which may result in further burdening the state with unsustainable liabilities, will be doing so at their own peril. Chukwuemeka Nkem Ihedioha, governor-elect, Imo State, disclosed this in his victory speech in Owerri, the state capital, on Wednesday. On Monday, March 11, 2019, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) announced the results of the governorship election held in Imo State on March 9 and Ihedioha, a former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, was declared governor-elect. The Imo State governorship election is as epochal as its outcome is momentous. As governor, Ihedioha will run the affairs of Imo State for the next four years with Gerald Irona as the deputy governor. Irona is also a former member of the House of Representatives. The emergence of the duo is a fervent protest against impunity and the celebrations in all the nooks and crannies of the state is a testimony to the citizens’ belief in the rightness and wisdom of the governor-elect’s vision for Imo

State and the new path to progress which the incoming government shared with the citizens during the campaigns. Speaking further to Imo citizens, Ihedioha said he would set up in the coming days a “Transition team” with clear terms of reference. “The level of decay in the last eight years makes it imperative that the redemptive work starts immediately. To kick-start the rebuilding process, I shall set up in the coming days, a Transition team with clear terms of reference. This team will liaise with the outgoing government to collate and collect


uman rights lawyer, Olisa Agbakoba and former Minister of Transportation, Ebenezer Babatope, has faulted the decision of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to declare gubernatorial elections in six states across the country inconclusive. INEC Monday declared gubernatorial elections in Kano, Sokoto, Benue, Bauchi, Adamawa and Plateau States inconclusive. The commission had also stopped the announcement of results in Rivers State due to the violence that engulfed the state. Before the stoppage, the candidate of the main opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) was said to be leading in most of the states. But speaking in separate interviews with BusinessDay, Thursday, Agbakoba and Babatope stated that INEC’s decision was suspicious, stressing that the action needed to be carefully investigated. Agbakoba, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), however, said the

resounding victory for the good people of Imo State. “I thank all those who contributed in one way or the other through prayers, voluntary service and hard work of staying in the queue and voting. Yes, this victory belongs to the ordinary men and women in Imo – the traders, artisans, clergy, labourer, farmers, teachers, students, youth and women of all ages,” he said. “We will run an all-inclusive government and not a government of exclusion. Ours will be a government that will promote the unity of the state, rather than accentuate the fissures that have characterised

L-R: Moses Adeyemo, Oyo State deputy governor; Abiola Ajimobi, Oyo State governor; Seyi Makinde, state governorelect; and his deputy, Rauf Olaniyan, during his courtesy visit to the governor at the Government House, Agodi, Ibadan... on Thursday.

Agbakoba, Babatope fault INEC on inconclusive elections Iniobong Iwok

information on the state of affairs of our state,” Ihedioha said in the speech available to BusinessDay. “They will recommend the structure of our government. They will translate our campaign promises into actionable executive and legislative policies with clear time lines. In summary, they will be charged with making far reaching recommendations on the way forward for our dear state that has suffered from years of brigandage, lack of direction, Ad-Hoc approach to governance and lack of due process,” he added. Ihedioha noted that his emergence as governor-elect was a

commission’s action could only be justified if the number of void votes was more than the number of lead votes between the candidates in the states. According to him, “I can’t say the PDP do not have a point, but when you look at the states whose elections have been declared inconclusive, it raises eye-brows and you want to ask why is it that they are only states where the PDP candidates are leading? “INEC can only declare election inconclusive where the margin of lead is less than the vote cancelled”, Agbakoba said. But Babatope, who is member of the PDP Board of Trustees (BoT) however, noted that the party was concerned about the action of the commission, stressing that the will of Nigerians must prevail. “We are concerned about the action of INEC, you can see that our candidates were leading in these states; I hope that the APC magicians would allow the election to be free and fair. “But we would wait and see, the will of Nigerians must prevail”, Babatope said.

our relationship with each other in recent times. As the popular saying goes, ‘let us not listen to things that will divide us, let us rather listen to things that will unite us, for united we stand, divided we fall’. All we need to do to realise this vision is to aggregate our skills, talents, and sundry resources in our collective basket of goodwill in productive cooperation as Imo is indeed a land of peace, known for the political sagacity of its people,” he said. Ihedioha said his government’s priority would be the reclaiming of the dignity of Imo people. “We shall no longer be the laughing stock of Nigeria as only positive, productive and progressive stories will be told of the new Imo. Imo has always been known for the right things, with a huge reservoir of human capital waiting to be exploited for the great leap forward. The elections are over. What remains is the fulfillment of the promises we made to our people. We entered into a social contract with you with our manifesto and we shall remain faithful to our obligations in that contract,” he said. “This contract seeks to substantially improve the welfare, security, property rights, economic and social advancement of our people. We shall find creative ways of funding our ambitious infrastructural projects and give Imo the quality education, healthcare and general good governance that you desire”, he noted.

Ajimobi promises Makinde full support …As governor-elect visits Govt House Akinremi Feyisipo, Ibadan


overnor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State has assured the state Governor-elect, Seyi Makinde, of his administration’s full support towards a successful change of baton and smooth take off of the incoming administration. This is as he urged the incoming administration to sustain the peace and security that his administration had enthroned in the last eight years. He gave the advice during Makinde’s courtesy visit to him at the Government House, Agodi, Ibadan, on Thursday. Also with the governor were his Deputy, Moses Adeyemo; Secretary to the State Government, Lekan Alli, among other members of the State Executive Council. On Makinde’s entourage were the Deputy Governor-elect, Rauf Olaniyan; a former Senate Deputy Chief Whip, Senator Hosea Agboola; State Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party, Kunmi Mustapha; his spokesperson, Dotun Oyelade, and other PDP leaders.

“The peace and security that we have established must be sustained and I know you as a man of peace who is not criminally inclined. I commend you for coming and for me it is a reflection of your kind of person. You are of noble character,” Ajimobi said. The governor advised his wouldbe successor to be wary of sycophants and praise singers, stressing that all acrimonies that attended the general election should be consigned to the dustbin of history now that elections have been won and lost. Commending Makinde for initiating the visit, Ajimobi said that the incoming governor had demonstrated that he was of noble character and that his action was an indication that the interest of the state was paramount to him. “I congratulate you on the opportunity nature has given you to serve humanity. I commend your noble move which is different from the past when after someone loses an election, they will start making troubles and abusing each other. “I am so happy that we are moving this state to a high level. Our own was relatively peaceful and for

you to say you want to come and greet me, it is a departure from the past. For me, we must continue on this path. “Beware of praise singers and sycophants. It is always better to leverage on relationship instead of dwelling in acrimonies. Elections have been won and lost and we should forget all acrimonies that attended the elections,” he said. In his response, Makinde said the visit was to see the governor firsthand since the conclusion of the elections, adding that the incoming administration would be requiring the help of the incumbent in the interest of the state. Makinde said: “The visit is to see you firsthand since the end of the election. We will require your help. Electioneering is over and certain things that we might have said were just for the campaign talks, but now is the time to face reality. “You have done your own part. Our state is dear to all of us and we shall share your vision like I had said in one of our numerous interactions before the elections. We want to work together with you and make sure that the transition is as smooth as possible.”





Friday 15 March 2019


Every Nigerian deserves to be connected to the Internet – Opeke In this interview, MainOne’s Chief Executive Officer, Funke Opeke, sheds light on the company’s recent partnership with Facebook and her company’s efforts to improve broadband outcomes for Nigerians starting with Edo and Ogun States. You recently announced a partnership with Facebook. Can you shed some light on that? es: we established a partnership with Facebook in 2018 to build and operate metro fibre infrastructure in Edo and Ogun States, two states with fast growing economies in Nigeria. MainOne has built approximately 750 kms of fibre network in major metropolitan areas in the states, including Benin City, Abeokuta, Sagamu and some smaller cities with co-investment by Facebook. These metro fibre networks will provide connectivity for MainOne Enterprise customers, as well as Mobile Network Operators (MNOs), Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and government and public locations including State Secretariats, MDAs, schools and hospitals. We believe this project has the potential to improve Quality of Service to over 2.5 million Internet users in these states and greatly improve broadband access with corollary benefits of improved economic opportunities via employment generation, increased productivity and access to knowledge resources.

nication Technology (ICT)-compliant pedagogy in primary schools; building the Edo Innovation Hub, where school leavers and graduates undergo beginner and advanced training in technology, as well as revamping technical education to increase productivity. Ogun State has emerged one of the states with fastest growing IGR in Nigeria due to the enabling environment created by the government for business, validated by 75% of National FDI attracted in 2018 (according to the Manufacturers’ Association of Nigeria). Ogun also has a vibrant young population and a high number of higher institutions in the State, the foundation for a robust and thriving ecosystem to enable digital leadership. The duo of Governors Godwin Obaseki and Ibikunle Amosun have identified ICT as critical themes for the transformation of their states and have been supportive of our fibre expansions. Governor Obaseki is truly focused on investment promotion and is committed to building a robust technology ecosystem in Edo State and Governor Amosun has implemented industrial and infrastructural policies that have attracted investors and private capital to Ogun State. Our investment in infrastructure will further improve digital literacy, technology adaptation and productivity across these states and enable their continued emergence as economic powerhouses in Nigeria.


the tools to build out networks to connect more people. Our partnership with Facebook has invested in building new infrastructure in states like Ogun and Edo that is open-access and can be used by all operators. You may recall that the major challenge impeding broadband proliferation in Nigeria is the limited access to distribution infrastructure to get the abundant Internet capacity available in submarine cables on the Nigerian shoreline in Lagos to the hinterland. With our fibre deployment in Ogun and Edo, MainOne now has infrastructure to provide services in those areas; infrastructure that is also open to MNOs, ISPs, government establishments and major Corporations to enhance their connectivity options. Operators such as the MNOs and ISPs can take advantage of the open-access infrastructure we have provided thus enabling them to deliver true 4G services and in the future even 5G. The benefits this provide are legion: broadband service made available to more young people and the ability to replicate the successes we have enabled in Yaba with the Innovation Technology ecosystem in Ogun and Edo states. Why Ogun and Edo States? MainOne has been an advocate of the National Broadband plan since its creation. As a service provider delivering services in all states of the Federation, we know how difficult and expensive that is today and how in most parts of the country, the ser-

vice quality is poor and inconsistent. Our work brings our team in contact with the leadership in many of the States. These particular states have leadership promoting the development of technology ecosystems and job creation in their states. When we had the opportunity to engage and shared with them our capabilities and accomplishments on previous projects in places such as the deployment of fibre infrastructure for Silicon Yaba with CCHub, the deployment of Express Wi-Fi with Tizeti in Lagos, as well as our aspirations for pervasive broadband everywhere in Nigeria, they welcomed us to build infrastructure in their states. The Edo State Government has prioritised technology as one of the cardinal pillars of the ongoing reform agenda in Edo State, introducing Information Commu-

What are the longer term implications of these projects for Nigeria? These projects bridge existing gaps in telecoms infrastructure deployment in Ogun and Edo States and could ultimately impact up to five million people. As a pilot project, it demonstrates what can be done when we have the cooperation of the local authorities. The projects

With our fibre deployment in Ogun and Edo, MainOne now has infrastructure to provide services in those areas; infrastructure that is also open to MNOs, ISPs, government establishments and major Corporations to enhance their connectivity options

Why is Facebook investing in fibre projects in Nigeria? Facebook is a company that has stated its mission as connecting people around the world via the Internet. The company realizes that almost 3 Billion people in the world do not have access to the Internet and it has committed to making the Internet more affordable and accessible where it can. Under its Connectivity division (Facebook Connectivity), Facebook announced an array of projects and partnerships at the recently concluded Mobile World Congress in Barcelona for bringing more people online, ranging from new devices and fibre networks to software. Some of these new projects include new open-access networks in Peru (with Telefonica, IDB Invest and the Development Bank of Latin America); 750km open-access fibre infrastructure in Nigeria (with MainOne); the launch of Magma, an open-source platform that makes mobile network deployments easier for carriers (with Telefonica and BRCK) and extension of its Express Wi-Fi service (with Cell C, Vodafone and Globe) in South Africa, Ghana and the Philippines. The overarching focus for Facebook is improving internet connectivity and empowering partner operators such as MainOne with

Funke Opeke

succeeded based on the cooperation we received in these states from Government and citizens who enabled access to the areas where we needed to deploy infrastructure. With such cooperation, we have been able to deploy these networks in record time in coordination with other public infrastructure works – roads existing and planned, other utilities, private property etc. If we are able to replicate projects like this across Nigeria, our broadband limitations will be a thing of the past. After Edo, Ogun; what next? Broadband hurdles in Nigeria still seem to largely come from the government; either by way of prohibitive Right-of-Way (ROW) charges by local and state governments for the laying of optic fibre networks and building out of base stations; or multiple regulations and regulators (with attendant taxes and levies) with oversight impact on the technology ecosystem. We can talk about successful deployment in Ogun and Edo states today ONLY because of the cooperation we received from those governments i.e. Governors’ Obaseki and Amosun and their teams. This shows how readily operators can bring the benefits of digital transformation to states that are true enablers. For example, a consortium led by MainOne called InfraCo Nigeria Limited, won the license issued by the NCC for the Lagos Fibre Infrastructure deployment in 2015. We are optimistic that given the successes in other states on a smaller scale, the state government will grant the necessary permits to allow us continue the work we have done building infrastructure in Yaba and other parts of Lagos. Our vision as an indigenous company is focused on improved broadband access across Nigeria which will increase the utilization of our submarine cable system and bring the benefits of digital transformation to our youthful and largely unemployed population. We have repeatedly shown our ability to attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) to achieve that. MainOne is not alone in this quest within the country and we will continue to work with different operators and partners to ensure that this vision is achieved. There is no silver bullet solution that works; but we believe that diverse and wide efforts such as the one recently undertaken by MainOne and Facebook to invest in critical infrastructure will result in good outcomes for Nigeria.

Friday 15 March 2019






‘Peace doesn’t always work, but violence never does’ In this interview, Dumo Lulu-Briggs, the Governorship candidate of the Accord Party in Rivers State, discusses the suspended Governorship election in that State and finding a sustainable solution to electoral disruptions, and violence in Rivers. How will you rate the performance of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) during the 2019 general election? he greatest challenge we face with our electoral process is really not INEC, but on the legitimacy of the elected Government. The legitimacy of a Government is under threat whenever the minority of eligible voters decide the fate of the majority. The responsibility we now have as leaders is to increase awareness, improve participation and promote the power of the ballot box. INEC also has to rebuild its image as not only an independent electoral body, but an effective and efficient one. There will be supplementary elections in some states, but Rivers is the only state that elections were suspended. What can be done to ensure that elections are free from violence? Why do peace charters fail (smiles)? It is because peace does not lie in charters and covenants alone. Peace lies in the hearts and minds of all people. We should not rely on signed documents alone, there has to be a genuine desire for peace, a readiness to work and commit towards building peace in each family and community. I believe that we can achieve this in Rivers State. Practical peace is enabling women and men to grow and to hope that they can build a better life for their children. This will not only create peace in our time but peace for all time. In your opinion, what led to the suspension of elections in Rivers State? Let me make myself clear: the elections were not suspended because of violence. The elections were suspended because the Rivers People had made up their mind to vote for peace. Our women and men voted for a doctor who can cure the virus of violence. My vision for making Rivers State the number one destination for jobs and prosperity in Nigeria gave me the edge above other candidates. Now, the evidence before us suggests that the other parties had a contrary vision. What INEC needs more than ever before is courage to do what is right.


Dumo Lulu-Briggs

Remember, elections are being funded with tax payers’ money. Parties that fund and promote violence should be disqualified. When elections are suspended, rescheduled or cancelled due to violence, tax payers are punished by paying for the crimes they did not commit. Rescheduling elections due to violence is the best example

of double taxation. The evidence that is available shows that the AAC and PDP in Rivers State were complicit in electoral disruptions across all the local government areas. They should be disqualified. Let us not allow the bullets of murder shoot down justice. Will it be fair practice for some parties or their candi-

Violence is not an option for me. But make no mistakes, peace does not mean an absence of conflicts; differences will always be there. Peace means solving these differences through peaceful means; through dialogue, education, knowledge; and through humane ways

dates to be disqualified? We need to adhere to rules and procedures. Every competition has rules. In Athletics if you jump the gun twice, you are disqualified. Usain Bolt, the fastest 100 meters runner, was once disqualified for breaking this rule. No party is above the law. In Rivers State, we must not reward the perpetrators of violence with another opportunity. In football, when there is a handball in the penalty area, the referee must give a penalty. INEC knows the parties that have handled the ball. I call on INEC to disqualify all parties that funded, promoted and participated in violence in Rivers State. In States that have history of violence, shouldn’t the military be used to protect voters and the electoral process? The law is clear on the roles of the security agencies during elections. Let us not subvert this. A n e l e c t i o n i s n o t wa r. Let’s heed the advice of Malala Yousafzai (17 year old Nobel

Peace Laureate) - “If you want to end the war then instead of sending guns, send books. Instead of sending tanks, send pens. Instead of sending soldiers, send teachers.” What is the way to guarantee peaceful elections in Rivers State? As long as people use violence to combat violence, we will always have violence. We cannot get peace through violence; it can only be attained through understanding. As Rivers State Governor, I will bring an end to the beginning of all violence. Remember, violence is the last refuge of the incompetent. Is this what motivates you to want to be the next Governor of Rivers State? A Government that cannot create jobs does not deserve to keep its job. The Rivers people now need less of the same. Our future lies in ideas. Fresh ideas! I pledge you, I pledge myself, to a new deal for Rivers People. Are you willing to work with all political parties and stakeholders to promote peace in Rivers? There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it. My campaign as Governor has been to spread light across all of the twenty three local government areas in Rivers. This is what the Lulu-Briggs family has always done. Violence is not an option for me. But make no mistakes, peace does not mean an absence of conflicts; differences will always be there. Peace means solving these differences through peaceful means; through dialogue, education, knowledge; and through humane ways. So, what should INEC do next in Rivers State? The Rivers people have voted. INEC now has to vote. INEC can either put their thumb on the ballot paper for the party called violence or peace. A vote for peace is to disqualify the AAC and PDP. A wise man once said, “There is a higher court than courts of justice, and that is the court of conscience. It supersedes all other courts.”



Interest rates fall further as portfolio... Continued from page 1

auctioned on Wednesday. The

NTB instrument was significantly oversubscribed by investors to the tune of N200.17 billion. “The recent demand can be traceable to the massive influx of FPIs after the elections. This has led to the decline in Treasury Bills rates. As a result, CBN is taking advantage

of this to lower the interest rates,” said Ayodeji Ebo, managing director, Afrinvest Securities limited. Before the general elections, Nigeria’s financial markets had witnessed a capital reversal as investors withdrew their funds following uncertainties surrounding the elections. This led to depletion of external reserves to as low as $42.30 billion as at February 27, 2019.

A breakdown of the auction summary revealed that the CBN offered a total of N70.50 billion for 365-day tenor at the rate of 12.85 percent. The offer was oversubscribed by N539.68 billion at the bid range rate of between 12.25 percent and 15.99 percent. The CBN offered N14 billion for 182-day tenor, which was also oversubscribed by N46.47 billion. It was bid at the range rate of between 12.00 percent and 14.00 percent and was sold at a stop rate of 12.5 percent.

For the 91-day tenor of the NTB, N5 billion was offered by the CBN at the stop rate of 10.75 percent as against 11.9 percent in February. The offer which was allotted to investors on Thursday was oversubscribed by N14.36 billion at bid range rate of between 10.5 percent and 13 percent. The apex bank has continued to use the sales of government securities to manage price stability in the country. The CBN and its Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) have kept policy rate unchanged since July 2016, when the committee voted by five to three for a 200 basis point-hike to 14 percent in a response that was aimed at fighting inflation. The next MPC meeting is scheduled to hold March 25 and 26, 2019, according to the meeting calendar on the CBN website. “We expect the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to main-

Friday 15 March 2019

tain the current tight monetary policy stance when it meets on 25-26 March, 2019,” said Ayodele Akinwunmi, head of research, FSDH Merchant Bank Limited. He said the CBN needs to maintain its tight monetary policy stance to ensure price stability and also consider the removal of the multiple exchange rate system. Nigeria’s external reserves have increased by 0.49 percent to $42.87 billion as of March 12, 2019 compared to $42.66 billion on March 8, 2019, data on the CBN website indicated. The external reserves dropped consistently in the month of February. The nation’s currency on Thursday depreciated marginally by 0.02 percent to close at N360.36k per dollar compared to N360.29/$ it traded the previous day at the investors and exporters (I&E) foreign exchange window, data from the FMDQ showed.

FG’s N150bn intervention fails to lift... Continued from page 2

L-R: Sani Aliyu, DG, National Agency for the Control of Aids (NACA); Boss Mustapha, Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF); President Muhammadu Buhari, and Isaac Adewole, minister of health, at the presentation of the Results of the Concluded Nigeria AIDS Indicator and Impact Survey (NAIIS) in Abuja, yesterday. Pic Tunde Adeniyi

Egypt’s $653m solar farm shows what... Continued from page 1

includes 32 individual solar projects operated by 45 different companies. When construction

ends later this year, Benban will be capable of producing 1,650 megawatts of electricity, enough to power hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses. This solar park is expected to avoid 2 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions a year, the equivalent of taking about 400,000 cars off the road. International Finance Corporation, advisory and asset management provider for the private sector in developing countries, and a consortium of other lenders have committed $653 million to support the project. “There are, by our estimates, 6.5 million solar panels that will be installed on this project,” said Hassan Allam, chief executive officer, Hassan Allam Asset and Property Services, the facility management company overseeing the project. The northern part of Nigeria

is bordered by a region known as the Sahel, which in Arabic means “shore”. The 5,000km stretch of Savannah, which forms the edge of the Sahara Desert next to Nigeria, has been a problem for Nigerian government and citizens. The Sahel stretch keeps on spreading and, in future, may even occupy all of Nigeria, Mauritania and Senegal territories. The states in this region can convert this abundant sunshine into power. It would require sustained political will to lure investments to these regions because of security concerns posed by Islamist insurgency, which has claimed hundreds of thousands of lives and hectares of farmland. However, Africa’s most populous nation needs cleaner sources of energy in an era of global push for low carbon future. “Many Nigerians and Nigerian businesses that can afford other alternative energy sources have resorted to the use of electric generators at exorbitant costs. It was estimated that

Nigeria’s 50% drop in HIV prevalence... Continued from page 2

launched the Revised National HIV and AIDS Strategic Framework 20192021, which will guide the country’s future response to the epidemic. “I urge all of us not to relent but to increase the momentum. Let us work collectively and push for the last mile,” he said. The data from the Nigeria National HIV/AIDS Indicator and Impact Survey (NAIIS) are based on a revised and enhanced methodology. The survey provides a clearer understanding of Nigeria’s HIV epidemic and shines a light on progress and the remaining gaps and challenges. Michel Sidibé, executive director of UNAIDS, welcomed the new estimates and said the improved

understanding of the country’s HIV epidemic would allow Nigeria to better reach people living with HIV and people at higher risk of acquiring HIV. “Let us use the results of this survey to better focus our delivery of HIV prevention, treatment and care services to the people in the greatest need and ensure that Nigeria gets on track to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030,” Sidibe said. At the national level, viral suppression among people living with HIV aged 15-49 years stands at 42.3 percent (45.3 percent among women and 34.5 percent among men). When people living with HIV are virally suppressed, they remain healthy and transmission of the virus is prevented. “The Nigeria National HIV/AIDS

in 2015, manufacturers spent as much as N3.5 trillion to generate alternative power due to the challenges in the supply of public electricity,” said Waheed Olagunju, executive director, Nigeria’s Bank of Industry. Nigerian governments have made efforts towards renewable forms of electricity in the country. For instance, in 2006, the Ministry of Environment implemented the Renewable Energy Master Plan (REMP), which was a strategy that aimed to increase the contribution of renewable energy to Nigeria’s total energy production by 2025. The government’s inability to achieve its objective is largely due to a weak commitment to the proposed plans. In line with the power sector privatisation objectives, the government could consider luring private investors into the renewable energy space. Negligence of the country’s renewable energy potential suggests that power output will remain below optimal, and this sub-optimality will remain a significant constraint to economic activities in the country unless clear action is taken. Indicator and Impact Survey (NAISS) findings provide Nigeria with an accurate national HIV prevalence measure of 1.4 percent. NAIIS also showed we are able to effectively provide antiretroviral treatment,” said Isaac Adewole, Nigeria’s minister of health. He said the survey had enabled the ministry to get the accurate documentation of the actual number of persons living with HIV, adding that the survey presented the cases from the different regions in the country. “Moving forward, the result of this survey will inform more programs towards the control of HIV AIDS, Hepatitis B and C, and we are confident that with these data we will achieve a HIV free generation,” Adewole added.

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and designing as textile production. This is not the first time that the government has planned a ban on textile. In 2008, it banned the importation of textiles and other fabrics but in 2015, the ban was lifted but a 35 percent import duty was placed on it. Kalu Aja, a financial planning expert, said the ban action of FX by the CBN is good in the short term but not good as a policy for the long term. “The ban on FX will reduce forex demand in short term. Then textile importers will devise new ways to pay for the forex from the CBN by possibly manipulating their request,” Aja said. Nwani of LCCI said the first set victims of this policy are over 1.1 million SMEs in the fashion and furniture industry whose raw materials consist of special textiles that are not readily available in the country. Nigeria had over 180 textile mills in the 1980s, which employed more than one million people. Some of the mills were United Nigerian Textile Limited (UNTL), Aswani Textile, Afprint, Asaba Textile Mills, and Edo Textile Mills. These firms disappeared in the 1990s as they were unable to compete in an atmosphere of smuggling and unbridled impor-

tation. Most of what are described as textile firms in the country today are fashion and design shops. According to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), trade report importation of textile and textile articles declined by 52.9 percent to N92.1 billion in 2015, from N196.0 billion in 2010. But it rose by 46.9 percent to N168.6 billion in 2018, from N114.7 billion in 2016. “Nothing much has changed in the market. The operating conditions have remained weak and if you take the fact that FX is now available, it give importers better position to resort to importation of textile materials,” Gbolahan Ologunro, an equity research analyst at Lagos-based CSL Stockbrokers, said. Aja suggested that the government should subsidise local textile production by giving the local textile companies a 90 percent rebate on cost of generated power. “Between 30 percent and 35 percent of textile and garment manufacturing costs are energy-related expenses. Thus, give textile plants zero percent CBN interest loan to build embedded power plants or pipelines to get gas to their factories and also apply strategic imposition of tariffs,” he said.

Lack of political will to demolish defective... Continued from page 2

BCPG, told BusinessDay after his visit to the site of the collapsed building that many of the buildings on Lagos Island, Isale Eko particularly, have deteriorated significantly that renovation should not be encouraged. “It is unacceptable for those houses to exist. This particular one was one out of many that were not properly constructed. The issue of marking is immaterial. There are over 1,000 that were not served on the Lagos Island and many of them are still standing,” said Awobudu. “It is a political statement to say the buildings have been marked. Marking a building might barely mean to present documents of building plans or building approval. Once you present those, they can permit you to continue your work. It is only when they seal towards demolition and verify for integrity that we can say and action has been taken. The matter is beyond marking,” he said. The Ita-Faaji building is the third to have caved in on the Lagos Island area in almost a year and the sixth collapse in Lagos State since February 2018. News of collapse has recently risen from Alagbado and Ikeja and appears to be imminent in other areas except preventive measures are adopted.

Offiong Ukpong, former chairman, Nigerian Institute of Estate Surveyors and Valuers, Lagos chapter, said building collapse will stop when experts are involved in building construction. “If our members who are experts were involved, I’m not sure this would have happened. Look at the sky-liners at Marina, people who are project managers and estate surveyors and valuers worked and most of the buildings are still standing,” he said. Ukpong, however, linked the failure to consult expert service in construction to poor condition of the economy and the profit-oriented nature of deals offered to indigent land owners by developers. He believes the monitoring of construction activities should be a joint effort between the government and independent professionals to ensure effective checks. “Developers look at the turnaround time of their investment and might do a shoddy job because the interest is not human beings but how much they can make in a particular location. As a member of the BSPG, we have been asking government to partner with us but all our efforts were not honoured,” Ukpong told BusinessDay.

Friday 15 March 2019





NDLEA arrests 35 drug suspects in Anambra EMMANUEL NDUKUBA


Godwin Obaseki, governor, Edo State (2nd r); Albert Achten, technical assistant team lead, Niger Delta Support Programme (NDSP) (r); and Elisabeth Egarhevba, representative of the Minister for Budget and Planning (l), and others, during the flag-off of the Uromi-Ugboha Water Reticulation project in Uromi, Esan North East Local Government Area in Edo State.

SOKAPU to Buhari: Declare state of emergency in Kaduna now WAHEED OLAYINKA ADUBI


ollowing the lingering killings in some parts of Southern Kaduna, especially in Kajuru, the Southern Kaduna Peoples Union (SOKAPU) has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to as a matter of national importance declare a state of emergency in order to put an end to the killings. This was contained in a statement signed by the national public relations officer of SOKAPU, Yakubu Kuzamani, just as the group noted that it could no longer trust Governor Nasir el-Rufai in guaranteeing the safety of the Adara people under his watch. According to the statement issued Thursday in Kaduna and obtained by our reporter, SOKAPU stressed that it was traumatised that the Kaduna State government under Governor el-Rufai could quickly arraign Adara elders over the alleged killing

of 66 Fulani, an allegation that was still unproven, but could not arrest and arraign those responsible for the killing of 117 Adara natives. The group, who frowned at the several killings in the region, said the mass killings had left untold devastation of lives and property in Kajuru. Part of the statement read: “As citizens of Nigeria who have the right to live in safety, the Union wishes to state that it can no longer trust Governor el-Rufai in guaranteeing their safety. “We call on men and women of good conscience, as well as the international community, to mount pressure on the federal government to end the killings. “We plead with the Adara nation to continue to maintain peace despite the unjustifiable arrest of the leaders and abolition of their Chiefdom. “As an umbrella organization representing the 53 ethnic nationalities in Southern Kaduna, we are traumatized that Kaduna state government can

quickly arraign Adara elders over alleged killing of 66 Fulani; an allegation that is still unproven, but cannot arraign those responsible for the killing of 117 Adara natives. “SOKAPU is confident that no matter the conspiracy that has foisted the culture of genocidal massacres on our land, the truth shall finally triumph. “It is clear from the nature of attacks that there is a deliberate plot to obliterate the Adara people whose only crime is being natives of the besieged communities. “We are stunned that despite these horrendous killings that send shock waves around the country and the world, Governor Nasir Ahmad el-Rufai has failed to ensure defence of the Adara people as well as to end the carnage. “His earlier allegations that Adara natives had killed 66 Fulanis; a death toll he later increased to 130 has continued to open a floodgate for more “reprisals” by terrorists over el-Rufai’s allegation that

is yet to be proven. “The governor is equally yet to go to the press with the statistics of the present attacks inflicted on the Adaras stating the ethnic nationalities of the victims. The terrorists are yet to be arrested,” SOKAPU lamented. SOKAPU also raised alarm at the increasing spate of mass slaughter unleashed by terrorists on innocent people living in Adara communities that have so far claimed the lives 117 Adara natives, including destruction of 140 houses and properties worth billions of naira within one month. According to the Union, “Since the commencement of this bloodbath by terrorists in Kajuru Local Government Area, Ungwar Barde in Maro ward has so far suffered two attacks, culminating in the murder of 10 persons, including a pregnant woman on February 10, 2019 and another invasion on Sunday March 10, 2019 that resulted in the killing of 17 persons.

o fewer than 35 drug suspects were on Thursday arrested by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) during raid in some motor parks in Anambra State. Sule Momodu, state commander of the agency, said the raid would be a continuous exercise to ensure the state was free of illicit drugs, especially in the parks. He said the substances suspected to be cannabis sativa, cocaine and heroin were recovered from suspects, saying the raid was carried out in a joint operation with soldiers, police, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Prisons Service and Nigeria Immi-

gration Service. The area raided included Nnewi, Ihiala, Aba, Obosi, Okija, Okpoko, Owerri, Lagos, and Benin City parks in the state. He said the raid would be a continuous exercise to ensure the state was free of illicit drugs, especially in the parks, and commended the Anambra State governor, Willie Obiano, for giving them the needed logistics to do the work. He said those arrested would be screened to determine their culpability in the crime before taking them to court, and advised parents to always monitor the activities of their children so as to know when they had gone astray. He said the agency would prosecute drug peddlers and abusers in the state.

Ethiopian Airlines crash: France to analyse Boeing’s black boxes IFEOMA OKEKE


he black boxes from the Boeing 737 MAX 8 that crashed on Sunday in Ethiopia have been sent to France for analysis, Ethiopian Airlines said on Thursday. “An Ethiopian delegation led by Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) has flown the Flight Data Recorder (FDR) and Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR) to Paris, France, for investigation,” the airline said in a statement. Ethiopia said on Wednesday it would send the FDR and the CVR to France because the east African country lacked the facilities to carry out the detailed analysis required to determine the cause of the deadly disaster. The devices from the

US made aircraft will be analysed by France’s BEA air accident investigation agency. Analysts backed the decision by Africa’s biggest airline to send the black boxes to France. “To send the data recorders to the USA would be to allow a party with a vested interest to be a judge in its own case,” Awo Allo, a lecturer in law at Keele University in the UK, said. “Boeing is more than just a company for the US and Ethiopia cannot reasonably expect a judicious outcome from a US investigation,” Awo said. Flight ET 302, heading to Nairobi from Addis Ababa, crashed about 50km outside the Ethiopian capital six minutes after taking off. All 157 people on board - 149 passengers and eight crew - died in the crash.

Ikot Ekpene, Jos get ‘power reactors’ to correct voltage problem Top 30 firms to pay N181bn in taxes in 2018 HARRISON EDEH, Abuja


ransmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) has confirmed procuring three power reactors, which have been deployed to Ikot Ekpene, Jos and Apir Transmission Substations for installation. The reactors, TCN says, are to help correct the voltage problem along the 330kV Ikot Ekpene-Ugwuaji-MakurdiJos Transmission Line axis. In a statement signed by Ndidi Mbah, general manager (public affairs), TCN, said the 330kV line had been exposed to constant voltage instability up to 360kV at the Ikot-Ekpene, Makurdi and Ugwaji end of the transmission line route due mainly to lack of reactors. TCN procured the three

new reactors that would be installed in the Ikot Ekpene, Jos and Apir substations, and once they are commissioned, the reactors would serve to substantially stabilise high voltage along that transmission line route. Two of the new reactors are already in Jos and Apir (Makurdi) substations, while the third one is on its way to Ikot-Ekpene. TCN noted that the 330kV transmission line however had other design errors that include lack of transposition of the 330kV lines and lack of fibre optic on the UgwuajiMakurdi part of the transmission line, necessary for effective SCADA operations. The company is however committed to attending to the problems in line with its Transmission Rehabilitation

and Expansion Plan, to ensure that voltage issue on the 330kV line is permanently solved. Last year, TCN engaged a contractor to produce a holistic mapping of its SCADA requirements nationwide; the report was subjected to an international workshop. TCN had since then progressed on its SCADA processes, which once completed and implemented, would solve the fibre optic problem on the Ugwuaji – Makurdi axis of the 330kV Ikot-Ekpene – Jos Transmission line. The transposition problem on the other hand is also being addressed. It would be recalled that on September 12, 2017, TCN lost a 150MVA 330/132/33kV power transformer in a fire incident in its Jos Transmission Substation.



he economy expanded by only 1.9 percent in 2018 but the government is not feeling the pinch just yet. Despite the shabby economic performance, taxes paid by 30 of the largest publicly listed companies are set to reach N181 billion for 2018 financial year, a decline of about 21 percent of last year’s tax bill. The decline in tax expense came despite the strong earnings performance observed in companies that have already posted their 2018 results and annualised performance of companies yet to officially release their 2018 financial performance. Profit before tax for the 30 largest com-

panies for 2018 is expected to be N1.49 trillion, compared with the N1.2 trillion achieved in 2017, representing a growth of 20.22 percent. The Federal Government projected to receive N779 billion in corporate income tax but could see as few as 30 companies contributing up to 25 percent of corporate tax revenue, showing how important these companies are to the government achieving its fiscal objectives. The 30 publicly listed companies with the highest tax bills in the country are SEPLAT (N35.7bn), Zenith (N34.2bn), GTB (N30.9bn), ETI (Est. N27.6bn) and UBA (Est. N23.1bn), while the lowest tax bill in the NSE 30 are Sterling Bank (Est.N395.01m), PZ (Est.

N386.39m) and UBN (Est. N256.69m). In 2017, the NSE 30 firms paid a combined tax expense of N229.168 billion and since one of the highest income-generating companies in Nigeria, Dangote Cement, posted a tax credit of N89.08 billion from NIPC, the total sum of income tax to be collected for the 2018 calendar year is estimated to be 20.97 percent less than the amount generated in the previous year. The banking industry in the NSE 30 is estimated to contribute a whooping N143.48 billion of the total N181 billion tax expense paid in the 2018 calendar year. This represents 79.28 percent of the total tax to be generated from the top 30 firms in the country.

Friday 15 March 2019







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WIMBIG, online raffle firm, berths in Aba GODFREY OFURUM, Aba


IMBIG, an online raffle firm, has launched its operation in Aba, the commercial hub of Abia State to offer opportunities to its customers to win wide range of products. Eze Chimezie Chukwu, general manager of WIMBIG explained that the company came with innovations that would change

the old way of doing raffle, to a digital platform where customers can stake with their mobile phones in the comfort of their homes. He explained that customers can only stake a game when they register and fund their accounts through banking channels; stressing that funding an account enables customers to take part in the online raffle where they can win items. The WIMBIG boss assured that the company has

the capacity to pay winners promptly, even as it continues to expand to other cities like Owerri, Port Harcourt, among others. According to him, “a group of young Nigerian entrepreneurs at home and in the Diaspora teamed up to form WIMBIG.COM Services Limited, which is duly registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC). “WIMBIG raffle is a digital raffle promotion platform that provides Nige-

rians with an opportunity to win big and have their local needs met. Items to be won include household wares, beauty products and cosmetics, electronics, real estate properties, cash, and even vacations. Customers can only stake on WIMBIG platfor m when they register and have an account. They have to fund their account through electronic banking channels (e-channels). Though WIMBIG is on a digital platform, custom-

ers don’t need an internetenabled phone to fund their accounts. “Funding your account enables you to take part on WIMBIG platform. Assuming you are staking for something worth N500, you must fund your account to do that. The winning is electronically generated, it can’t be manipulated,” Chukwu said. He stated that WIMBIG is not a ponzi scheme or betting site of sports activities; adding that WIMBIG

only provides a platform which has digitalized the old raffle system. Uzo Michael Osinachi, a staff of WIMBIG assured that the platform is secure from fraudulent activities; and urged raffle customers in Aba to make the digital switch to the WIMBIG platform. He further stated that WIMBIG has provided employment to teeming youths, as it has engaged over 500 persons who have hit the streets and markets in the city.

will have a massive bearing on the future of the nation, including our children yet unborn. “One thing we expect from Mr President on his second term of office is to carry all Nigerians along in the implementation of the policy implementation. He

should talk to the citizens to tell them where we are now, where we are going to, the direction of his policies, our potentials, inherent challenges, among others. It is also time for him to drop partisan politics and think Nigeria first,” Mutairu advised.

Buhari’s 2nd term: an opportunity to set Nigeria on economic progress – Mutairu EFEGADIRIM MADU, Port Harcourt


damu Mutairu, the managing director and chief executive officer (MD/CEO) of Sasu Oil Limited, a Port Harcourt oil and gas company has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to use his second term of office as an opportunity to reconcile the various tendencies in the country, and put Nigeria on the path of peace, unity, economic progress and all-round development. Mutairu noted that there was need to reconcile Nigerians in order to engender stability, which would in turn affect the economy on a growth path. “As a businessman, I am much concerned about the implication of our reactions to the election on the businesses and the economy at large. If we continue to raise so much post-election dust, without following the recommended routes of justice, we might have to scare away potential foreign investors, slow down the economy and worsen the economic woes of the country,” he said. The Sasu Oil boss spoke during a capacity building workshop organized by his company for youths of the Niger Delta in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, as part of the company’s corporate social responsibility (CSR). Mutairu, known as Etsako and the founder of Abbas Khalid Foundation, noted that the President’s victory speech was conciliatory and a good way to

start the new term. He urged the president to use the second term to consolidate on his achievements in the four critical areas of anticorruption war, boosting the economy, providing security and job creation; noting that the issue of job creation was quite important, as it is targeted at the youths and the poor. He said this transition was another opportunity to incline ourselves to a new direction, new frontiers and open new vistas of tolerance and new paths of prosperity for our dear country. The business magnate however, expressed disappointment that the voting pattern in the last presidential election clearly demonstrated a profound and deep-seated divisions tormenting the nation; considering that Buhari literally won in the North, where he is exceptionally loved, while Atiku Abubakar won liberally in the South and parts of the North-Central zones. “In any case, Nigerians have spoken with their votes, and only a competent court of justice can overturn this. We have to accept this result by the INEC, or better still seek justice in the most appropriate means devoid of violence and unlawful acts and provocations,” he said. Mutairu noted that for him and a whole lot of other patriotic Nigerians who think Nigeria first, it is time for us to come together as a nation, irrespective of our religious, sectoral, partisan or ethnic differences, and jointly help to steer this

WIMBIG team, at the launch of the online raffle in Aba.

Mutairu with beneficiaries of his Khalid Foundation.

ship of state on the path of progress. He urged President Buhari to carefully use his second term of office to fully embrace reforms and render a listening ear to the yearnings of the people, in order to enhance his rating, as well as

advance the country. “It is also a huge opportunity for the President to actually deliver more dividends of democracy in his party’s “Next Level” agenda. Nigeria, they say, is at the crossroads. However, the direction Mr. President takes in his second term

Friday 15 March 2019




MoneyInsight How UBA wants to redefine African flow of investment with UK launch CALEB OJEWALE


hree weeks after the UBA group launched its operations in Mali, the bank repeated the feat in London, the global financial centre where UBA UK was formally launched in the United Kingdom. This was sequel to the authorization of the Prudential Regulation Authority(PRA) and the Financial Conduct Authority(FCA) for UBA UK Limited to carry out full scale wholesale banking across the United Kingdom. At an event in London where UBA UK was formerly introduced to business leaders across Europe and Africa, emphasis was on how the new subsidiary could galvanise trade and commerce between Europe and Africa. The value of European trade with Africa is quite significant, and has been opened up as a viable market to be explored by UBA. The European Commission reported in 2017, EU imports of goods from Africa (which is mostly driven by primary goods) stood at EUR 131 billion, although they had been as high as EUR 187 billion in 2012. On the other hand, European exports to Africa as at 2017 stood at EUR 149 billion, with 72 per cent of these goods exported from the EU to Africa being manufactured goods. Even the UK on its own was the 7th highest European exporter of Goods to Africa, with a value of EUR 9.77 billion, and was the 5th European importer of goods from Africa with EUR 14.68 billion, having a trade deficit of EUR 4.9 billion with the continent. The British Office for National Statistics (ONS), in its 2016 report on trade and investment relationship with Africa, also noted that

L-R: Paul Gutmann, CEO, UBA UK; Aliko Dangote, president, Dangote Group; Tony Elumelu, chairman, UBA Group; Kennedy Uzoka, GMD/CEO, UBA Group; Victor Osadolor, CEO, UBA Africa.

UK’s trade balance with Africa returned to deficit in 2012 following an increase in imports. Brexit of course, remains topical particularly when considered from the economic perspective of potential transactions between Europe and Africa. However, for UBA, Patrick Gutmann, CEO, UBA UK explained “whether Brexit happens or not, the impact is minimal, and the reason is because we are not a bank that deals across European borders as such.” “We are a bank that deals with the emerging markets and in our case, the African continent, and those flows are not necessarily going to be interrupted by either of brexit or no-brexit,” he said. With this launch, the UBA Group described it as further consolidation of its unique positioning as the first and only SubSaharan African financial institution with banking operations in

both the United Kingdom and the United States, thus reinforcing its strong franchise as Africa’s Global Bank, facilitating trade and capital flows between Africa and the world. Tony Elumelu, chairman, UBA Group, said in an interview, it is the first time UBA is operating in UK as a full fledged bank. “One thing that is important to us is helping to link our customers to the financial centres of the world. We are the only African bank that operates in the US that is regulated in the US,” Elumelu said. For him, opening the UK subsidiary is important, because London, traditionally is the financial centre of the world. “To us, we are not just another Nigerian bank operating in the UK, we are Africa’s global bank. I say this because we operate in 20 African countries, and in the US, as it is important to support customers in New York, another

financial centre. According to Elumelu, at UBA’s customer service, most things are done to align with customers’ aspirations and their need to grow. “SMEs need to do well, they want to succeed, they want to do their business and pass it in the right direction, and we are here to support. In the same vein, when the big businesses come, we are coming to support them.” “I feel extremely fulfilled, that UBA is living up to its mantra of Africa’s global bank, that UBA is positioning itself in financial centres to be able to support investors,” he said. “If you want to be Africa’s global bank, you need to have presence in key financial hubs, and London is one of such,” said Gutmann, the CEO of UBA UK, corroborating the narrative on becoming Africa’s global bank. But, is there space for UBA in

the saturated financial market, Gutmann was asked during an interview. Responding in the affirmative, he explained that this would be facilitated on the back of the strength of the UBA group; the client base, flows that the group is involved in, and how the group is supporting its clients. As Gutmann explained, many of the investment decisions and flows have an angle in London because of the size of the financial centre there. From that perspective, Gutmann said in order to become Africa’s global bank, that supports both investment and trade flows into and out of Africa, then London is a hub UBA needs to be present, and it needs to be strong in it. According to him, the panafrican footprints UBA already has, clearly sets it apart, from some of the other banks that are already present in London but don’t have the footprints of 20 African countries to leverage on. Similarly, Kennedy Uzoka, GMD/CEO of UBA group, noted that since Africa is largely import dependent and because there are many Anglophone countries, the trade link between these countries and the United Kingdom is still very strong and will remain like this for quite some time. As Uzoka explained, before UBA got to the UK, and with the kind of license, it had before, it meant that if a business in any of the Anglophone countries is transacting with a partner in England, they had to deal with another bank. “Today, with our wholesale license, that is now a thing of the past. UBA is interconnecting businesses in Africa with not just United Kingdom but across the world,” he said. As Uzoka explained, what has been done is to create a UBA onestop-shop that whether a business is in Ghana, Nairobi, or elsewhere in Africa, by talking to any UBA in their countries, transactions will be consummated without going through any third parties. “We are taking away that boundary, that barrier that used to exist for Africans, to make their business easy. Truly, we are letting them know it is not just by saying it, but we are making it happen,” he said. Reiterating the view earlier expressed by Gutmann, Uzoka also explained that, regardless of Brexit or No-Brexit, businesses will always be linked between Africa and Europe, and UBA is positioning to service the flow of cash and investments.



Friday 15 March 2019

MoneyInsight Absence of Legal Infrastructure is Bane of Consumer Lending ADEDEJI OLOWE, CEO of Trium Networks Limited BABATUNDE MAKANJUOLA, Coronation Merchant Bank Limited


f you ask the average Nigerian about his or her understanding of infrastructure, you are likely to get a response that depicts something tangible, like airports, railways, roads, etc. This is not wrong; however, it is not exhaustive. By definition, Infrastructure is the underlying systems and services, such as transport and power supplies, that a country or organization uses in order to work effectively. In short, infrastructure is the bedrock of any economy – it is just as hard to imagine traveling from Lagos to London without an airport (physical infrastructure), as it is to imagine civilization without laws and regulation (intangible infrastructure). Financial services play a key role in economic growth: one cannot emphasize how important it is that scarce resources are channeled to its most efficient use, or the role of banking plays in economic prosperity. But what is the current state of Nigerian banks? Banks stay profitable mostly by fees and commissions, and income from investment securities rather than their core business, lending. Persistent negative loan growth, and a corporate-concentrated loan book, for most banks, suggests that credit needed for economic expansion is not being extended to you and me, the everyday person, seeking capital to foster business and entrepreneurship. Figure 1 shows that credit (when considered as a percentage of GDP) to the private sector in recent times has been meager. To some extent, it is hard to blame the banks; only just recovering from an industry plagued

Source: CBN, Bloomberg

by poor asset quality and nonperforming loans, most bankers play safe by extending risk-free investments to the Federal Government at high double-digits interest rates while they shy away from creating risk-assets. You have to ponder: what can be done to address this? First, let’s consider the opportunities that lie in the Nigerian retail loan market. How big can retail lending be? In the United States of America, the retail market is estimated US$1.49 trillion in a US$19.3tn economy. Using the same inference for Nigeria, with an economy a fifth of the US (US$375bn), we can extrapolate about $28bn or approximately N10.2tn. This is a quick and rough estimate. Of course, some form of country discount will have to be applied to this number as most Nigerians have no access to banking and financial services, see Figure 2. However, it shows the potential of Nigeria’s retail loan market if things can be done right. As I said earlier, lenders hedge credit risks by lending to few big reputable corporates and invest

the rest of their liquidity in riskfree fixed income instruments. This means most individual borrowers are denied credit. If you have ever tried to secure a loan from your bank for business, then you probably know that most, if not all banks, require an arm, a leg and one of your kidneys before they are comfortable giving a line of credit to individuals. But this should not be the case in an ideal, businessfriendly, and growing economy. In a nutshell, banks are generally averse to lending to individuals and SMEs without an established reputation. The reason is simple: just the way the cost of power (fueling and maintaining a generator) is a massive headache to most businesses, the cost of due diligence, credit assessment, and setting up legal checks for unsecured lending make unrealistically expensive sense to banks – this is the bane of consumer lending. The government has failed to change this paradigm in many ways. On the one hand, the FGN crowds out private sector credit by persistently offering juices yields to local financial institu-

Figure 2: % of banked adults around the world - Nigeria lagging behind on financial inclusion

Source: World Bank Database

tions. Secondly, and more importantly, our government has failed to set up the infrastructure needed to facilitate unsecured lending; especially a legal system to protect lenders and borrowers. How can this be done? It would be helpful for the CBN and the banks, to work closely with legal professionals, to take responsibility of fixing this challenge by developing a framework for retail, SME lending and loan recovery within the scope of their existing regulatory capabilities. I dare say that our problems have already been partially solved with the introduction of the Bank Verification Number (BVN). The BVN is a unique identifier that links an individual’s bank accounts together and stores your personal and biometric data; think of it like a Social Security Number used in the US, but apparently not yet as elaborate. It is an elegant and modern identity infrastructure that has leapfrogged the Nigerian banking from rudimentary to top-class in just a few years. This framework should serve as the legal backbone for lending, such that there is appropriate recompense for anyone who does not pay his loans as at when due. Imagine that whenever a customer takes a loan and does not pay back as at when due, the lender is required to contact the customer and specify a grace period, perhaps three months, within which the borrower is to fulfill their outstanding obligation else they would be reported to a national registry of defaulters. Of course, banks must show evidence of this notice to the registry periodically. This is expected to prompt the borrower to pay back his outstanding loans before the grace

period elapses. If within the grace period the customer pays back, all well and right between the lender and borrower. However, if the debt extends beyond this period, more aggressive measures will kick in. The bank will push the data to the national registry which will then act on it with an automated warning with details of the consequences should the borrower fail to oblige. Punishment for defaulters will include preventing all of the debtor’s bank accounts from any further debits – this will also apply to guarantors of defaulters. Apparently, this will involve more details and a lot of fine tuning – we will also need a quick and reliable credit rating/ scoring system - but it presents a possible view of how we can get the banks more comfortable with retail lending. Furthermore, a lot needs to be done by the CBN and banks to ensure that potential borrowers are well informed about the benefits of taking loans and the consequences should they default. We recommend a campaign through various media platforms/outlets – analog and digital. How could this impact the economy? The potential cash injection to the retail and SME sectors will promote entrepreneurship, increase retail consumption which will subsequently drive manufacturing, wholesale, and retail distribution, etc. There will also be the increased rate at which money changes hands (velocity of money) which ensures improved cash flow for many businesses – this increased value will grow jobs, reduce unemployment and slowly pull many of the populace out of poverty. We all complain about that lousy road or local travel experience, or the lack of a rail system in a megacity like Lagos - this is valid and genuine issues regarding our infrastructure. But I don’t hear as much noise about how difficult it is to get a loan to start a business. Maybe we aren’t just looking at things right. Nigerians are a vibrant bunch of, full of ideas and entrepreneurial spirit (just look at the amazing leaps of the entertainment industry), and all that we need is a system that will give the required platform to showcase this to the world.

Friday 15 March 2019






World Business Newspaper

Donald Tusk open to long Brexit delay to give UK time for ‘rethink’ Remarks follow May’s warning that rejection of deal would spark extension of EU divorce ALEX BARKER AND LAURA HUGHES


he EU should be “open to a long extension” of UK membership if more time is needed for Westminster to “rethink” its approach to leaving the bloc, the president of the European Council has said. The remarks by Donald Tusk, which were tweeted on Thursday morning, will bolster Theresa May’s warnings to the House of Commons over the long delay to Brexit that MPs should expect if her withdrawal deal is rejected for a third time next week. During his discussions with EU leaders ahead of a crucial summit that begins on Thursday next week, Mr Tusk said he would “appeal to the EU27 to be open to a long extension if the UK finds it necessary to rethink its Brexit strategy and build consensus around it”. Simon Coveney, Ireland’s deputy prime minister, added that an extension of up to 21 months to the end of 2020 was a possibility — but agreed that under such circumstances Britain would have to hold elections to the European Parliament. The threat of Brexit being postponed into late 2019 or beyond is now a crucial element of the Brit-

ish prime minister’s effort to turn round two overwhelming defeats of her Brexit deal in parliament. But EU officials say there is little prospect of the bloc forcing the UK to remain a member for any longer than Britain wants. Mrs May is planning to hold a third vote on her deal next week, in the days before the EU summit. A motion the prime minister has proposed to the House of Commons says that if her deal is not approved it will be “highly likely” Britain would be forced by the EU to delay Brexit until after June 30 and hold EU elections in May. The motion adds that if, by contrast, Mrs May’s deal finally wins MPs’ backing, the government would seek a one-off delay of Britain’s EU exit from the scheduled date of March 29 to June 30. There is still no clear consensus among EU member states over how they will react to a UK extension request. Any delay to the exit date requires the unanimous consent of all 27 remaining leaders, a decision that may come with political conditions attached. In similar comments to Mr Coveney, Jean-Claude Juncker, the commission president, has made clear any delay beyond May 23 would require the UK to take part in the European Parliament elections

GE warns earnings to drop again this year Industrial group says adjusted profits could fall by up to 23%



eneral Electric, the US industrial group, has said it expects adjusted earnings to fall by as much as 23 per cent this year, continuing their decline before starting a recovery next year. The company also said in a presentation on its outlook for 2019 that it expected a net cash outflow from its industrial operations of up to $2bn. The projection gave a sense of the challenge facing Larry Culp, the new chief executive who took over last October after GE was hit by a barrage of problems including continuing costs for insurance businesses that it sold more than a decade ago and a sharp downturn in the market for gas turbines for power generation. The projected earnings were below the average of analysts’ forecasts, which had suggested they could be slightly above the 65 cents reported for 2018. The company is now projecting adjusted earnings per share of 50-60 cents this year. However, GE held out the prospect of “meaningfully better” performance next year and in 2021, with organic growth in earnings and positive free cash flow from its industrial operations. The prospect of free cash generation from GE’s industrial operations next year contrasted with the views of some of the more bearish analysts, who had suggested there could be a second year of cash outflows. Dray Deane, an analyst at RBC Capital Markets, described the prospect of positive industrial cash flow next year as “the biggest positive disclosure” in the announcement. GE shares dropped initially in pre-

market trading after the announcement, but then recovered, rising about 1 per cent to $10.15. Mr Culp said in a statement that GE was facing its “complex but clear” challenges “head on”, and was reducing downside risks. “We have work to do in 2019, but we expect 2020 and 2021 performance to be significantly better with positive industrial free cash flow as headwinds diminish and our operational improvements yield financial results,” he said. The company expects its revenues from its industrial operations to grow in the “low- to mid-single-digit range”, excluding the impact of disposals. It also expects the profitability of those operations to improve modestly, with an increase in the average margin of up to 1 percentage point. However, at the level of earnings per share, it expects that improvement to be offset by higher tax and interest charges and the impact of selling businesses, including the locomotive and mining equipment division that was merged with Wabtec, and assets sold by GE Capital, the financial services arm. Cash flows are expected to deteriorate markedly this year, to an outflow of up to $2bn from an inflow of $4.3bn in 2018, because of factors including restructuring costs and the timing of payments for wind turbines. By 2020 and increasingly into 2021, the company expects those factors to diminish and cash flow to turn positive again. Mr Deane wrote in a note: “We believe that having Mr Culp draw the line in the sand today with his targets and vision for the turnround should bolster the bull case.”

Donald Tusk, president of the European Council, says he will ‘appeal to the EU27 to be open to a long extension’ © EPA

that begin on that day. French president Emmanuel Macron has also been vocal in calling for a clear purpose to any extension, warning “it cannot be to renegotiate” the 585-page exit treaty agreed with Britain. “There will be difficulty agreeing to a tactical extension,” said one senior EU official, describing it as a situation where Britain says: “We don’t know what we are doing but could we extend by a few weeks?”

However, the EU is more open to a long extension if Britain needs time for a democratic process — such as a general election — or to enable a substantial change in position regarding its view of future EU-UK relations. In an apparent break with Mrs May’s insistence on her deal, Philip Hammond, the UK chancellor of the exchequer, said on Thursday the UK had “to explore other options for Parliament to express a view

about how we resolve this impasse”. Mr Hammond has long indicated he is open to a softer Brexit, possibly involving the permanent customs union advocated by the opposition Labour party. He added: “It is clear the House of Commons has to find a consensus around something, and if it is not the prime minister’s deal, I think it will be something that is much less to the taste of those of the hard Brexit wing of my party.”

Wall Street tries to clean up $8tn market for credit derivatives Industry buffs up code as regulators voice concerns over sharp practices JOE RENNISON AND SUJEET INDAP


ine months after Blackstone caused an uproar in a corner of Wall Street accustomed to sharp elbows, the firms which set the rules of engagement for the $8tn market for credit default swaps have tried to impose a little order. The International Swaps and Derivatives Association, the leading industry body for the swaps market, proposed last week that any payouts from the derivatives — which act as a kind of insurance, protecting investors against the risk of a company defaulting — should have a close link to the financial health of the business in question. This should not really be a controversial assertion. But ISDA’s eight-page proposal was widely seen as a bid to prevent a repeat of the furore last year involving GSO, a credit fund owned by Blackstone. The fund tried to make money from homebuilder Hovnanian’s CDS by promising the company cheap financing — but only on the condition it defaulted on one of its outstanding bonds. This incident, known as a “manufactured default”, seemed to bend one of the iron rules of finance: that a company defaults on its debt only if it is in genuine distress. Investors cried foul and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the main US derivatives regulator, made its view known that it considered such antics as possible market

manipulation. “This was an issue that the ISDA board and regulators have highlighted could negatively impact the efficiency, reliability and fairness of the overall CDS market, and we believe can be addressed by amendments to the definitions,” says Mark New, senior counsel for the Americas at ISDA. The episode has shone an uncomfortably bright light on the CDS market, which at its peak in 2007 had more than $60tn of contracts outstanding, according to the Bank for International Settlements. Since then the market has been in decline as crisis-scarred banks have pulled back, and as hedge funds pursuing complex trading strategies have scared off some of the more straitlaced asset managers. A bull market for bonds has also reduced the need for hedging using CDS, say investors, but that could change as the economic cycle approaches a turning point. That makes attempts to tighten standards more urgent. The market is unusual — regulated by the CFTC and the Securities and Exchange Commission but with day-to-day functioning governed by standardised contracts developed in part by the market’s biggest players. It means that some of the beneficiaries of dubious deals have been involved in the drafting of the new proposals, according to people familiar with the discussions — which could complicate efforts to have them adopted more broadly.

On top of that, some investors fear that the fixes fail to address a variety of problems that have arisen in recent years. One hedge fund manager in London describes ISDA as “a committee with a hammer looking for a nail”, noting that the proposals seem tailored to curtail just one type of trade that has proliferated in the market. Line chart showing GSO’s net position and Hovnanian’s 5-year CDS spread with annotations showing the early origins of GSO’s credit derivative bet “This is a good first step but there are more issues that still need to be addressed,” says Athanassios Diplas, of Diplas Advisors, a former Deutsche Bank banker known as one of the architects of the modern CDS market. One example: the case of Sears, the iconic US retailer which went bankrupt last year. Hedge fund Cyrus Capital Partners, which had sold protection on Sears’ debt via CDS, tried to limit the amount it would have to pay out after the retailer went bust. It did this by cutting a side deal with Sears, under which it would buy up a seemingly worthless class of bonds — with the effect of reducing the amount of debt that could be exchanged for a payout on the CDS. More recently, another retailer Neiman Marcus reached a settlement with hedge funds holding its distressed debt, in part by increasing the portion of its bonds that would be subject to a CDS payout should it default in the future.




Friday 15 March 2019


FT Hong Kong watchdog fines global banks $100m over China IPOs

Yazidi hostages traded to criminals as Isis loses ground

Regulator’s penalty on four financial groups, including UBS, is largest in its history

No liberation in sight for the religious minority enslaved by jihadists




azidi children and women abducted by Isis at the peak of its power are now being traded by criminal traffickers in Syria as the country’s eight-year civil war morphs into an era of violent lawlessness. Although the Syrian regime is claiming victory and Isis is close to losing its final scrap of territory, kidnap victims remained imprisoned in parts of northern Syria controlled by Turkish-backed rebels or jihadist militants, say families and would-be rescuers. The kidnap victims are from Iraq’s Yazidi minority — followers of an ancient monotheistic religion who Isis massacred and enslaved in 2014 in attacks the UN designated as a genocide. Now new captors are capitalising on Isis’s fall, taking control of victims who in some cases had been handed over by fleeing Isis fighters caught by other rebel groups. Captors are demanding up to $30,000 for each Yazidi’s release in a country where the average Iraqi earns $6,000 to $7,000 per year, according to the government. The post-Isis kidnap market reflects a breakdown of order in parts of Syria where control has shifted from opposition councils to armed groups harbouring criminal gangs. In areas controlled by President Bashar al-Assad criminality is also rampant. In Isis’s self-declared caliphate — which once spanned Iraq and Syria — fighters enslaved Yazidis and traded their victims in meticulously organised markets. Women were forced into sexual slavery and children used as servants or quasi-adopted. One young woman who fled Isis’s shrinking territory in north-east Syria was snatched as she sought protection at a civilian home in Deir Ezzor, according to Hassan Sulaiman Ismail, an education official trying to retrieve her. Yazidi families — among Iraq’s poorest people — are trying to locate a total of more than 3,000 missing relatives bought and sold by Isis members, according to Yazda, an advocacy organisation. Ahmed Burjus, Yazda’s deputy director, said the authorities had failed to help. “There is no plan from the international community or Iraq or Kurdistan government to rescue those people,” he said. The Assad regime has no control of areas where kidnap victims are being held. One father said he had rescued five of his children from kidnappers and five were still missing. He learnt via a video sent to him on WhatsApp that one daughter was no longer being held by her original captor, a Saudi Isis fighter who had died. Instead, he discovered that the 10-year-old had been taken by criminals and was now being transported through Syria. The girl’s new captors, their Syrian accents audible in the video clip, instructed the gaunt child in an abaya to repeat the day’s date. They sent messages demanding $13,000, then $20,000. “It’s very difficult to collect that much money,” said the man. The latest videos showed his daughter in a tent. “That means they are civilians,” said the man. “Or Isis pretending to be civilians.” In the absence of international rescue efforts, Yazidis have established networks of informants and smugglers within Isis’s territories to rescue the women and children or buy them from captors.

ong Kong ’s securities regulator has imposed its largest ever fine on a number of international investment banks for failing in their roles as sponsors for Chinese initial public offerings. The Securities and Futures Commission penalised UBS, Morgan Stanley, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Standard Chartered a total of about HK$786.7m ($100m). It also suspended for one year the Hong Kong licence of UBS Securities to advise on corporate finance, following an 18-month sponsorship ban it proposed last year. In a statement, Ashley Alder, SFC chief executive, said: “The sanctions send a strong and clear message to the market that we will not hesitate to hold errant sponsors accountable for their misconduct.” The record fines hint at an increased willingness by the watchdog to take on global banks after years of criticism for a lack of action on such issues. The regulator has been criticised in recent years for a lack of action on allegations of fraud and misreporting often connected to Chinese companies, as it tried to strike a balance with attracting world-class listings to the city. UBS was fined HK$375m and Standard Chartered HK59.7m, while Morgan Stanley was hit with a HK$224m penalty and HK$128m for Bank of America Merrill Lynch. The fine for UBS, Morgan Stanley and BofA was connected to the IPO of Tianhe Chemicals in 2014, which was flagged for fraud by short sellers soon after its listing that year. Morgan Stanley’s private equity arm stood by the deal and its $700m investment in Tianhe at the time. The regulator ruled that the three banks did not carry out adequate due diligence on Tianhe. In one case, the banks sought to interview Tianhe’s largest customer, a state-owned company referred to as “Customer X”, but were only able to speak with an unwilling and unverified representative in Tianhe’s offices. “At the end of the interview, the representative of Customer X refused to produce his identity and business cards and stormed out of the meeting room,” according to the SFC. UBS and StanChart sponsored the IPO of China Forestry in 2009, a timber company that has since been delisted for fraudulent accounting activities and put into liquidation. The SFC stated that both banks failed to verify the existence of China Forestry’s assets within China. UBS has been at the centre of the SFC’s increased enforcement. In March last year, the regulator said it would ban UBS from sponsoring IPOs for 18 months and fined it HK$119m.


Muhammadu Buhari has pledged to focus on fighting corruption, improving national security and diversifying the economy — issues he campaigned on before his first election victory in 2015 © AP

Nigeria ‘needs structural reform’ to escape low-growth trap Call for investment, energy shake-up and education push to stop GDP per head sliding STEVE JOHNSON


uhammadu Buhari’s re-election as president of Nigeria is likely to lead to a period of policy continuity in Africa’s most populous state. Mr Buhari, who comfortably beat his chief rival, the more probusiness Atiku Abubakar, by 56 per cent to 41 per cent in last month’s vote (albeit on a derisory 36 per cent turnout) has pledged to focus on fighting corruption, improving national security and diversifying the economy in his second fouryear term. While laudable, these issues are the ones Mr Buhari campaigned on before his first victory in 2015. Yet many believe more is needed. Assailed by a fall in oil prices, Nigeria’s key export (as well as, in many observers’ opinion, domestic policy errors), the country is heading for its fourth straight year of declining gross domestic product per capita this year. The IMF forecasts that the squeeze on real output per head will continue until at least 2023, as shown in the first chart, a painful prospect for a country with GDP per capita of just $2,700. To avoid this fate, the fund last year called for a package of

structural reforms to bolster capital spending, improve the business environment and increase electricity production in what is projected to be the third most populous country in the world by 2050. Fresh analysis by Renaissance Capital, an emerging marketsfocused investment bank, echoes the view that sharp increases in investment and electricity consumption are essential to drive stronger long-term growth — but that improving education is the third leg of a trio of priorities that Mr Buhari should seek to address. “Diversification from oil dependency is inevitable given how little oil Nigeria exports per capita [$0.30 per day per person], but is impossible given three structural constraints,” said Charles Robertson, chief economist at RenCap. “To diversify into manufacturing, or, we think, high productivity services, adult literacy in any language needs to rise from 60 per cent in 2015 to 70 per cent, we hope in 2024, and ideally 80 per cent. “Electricity consumption needs to treble from 139 kWh per person in 2015 to at least 300-500 kWh or preferably 500-1,000 kWh. Investment needs to double from 13 per cent of GDP in 2017 to at least 25 per cent.”

RenCap’s analysis from across the developing world suggests few countries have managed to industrialise while adult literacy remains below 70 per cent. Nigeria had reached 60 per cent by 2015, according to the UN. Based on a (potentially optimistic) assumption that 90 per cent of those now reaching adulthood attended primary school and are literate, Mr Robertson estimated that Nigeria would reach the 70 per cent threshold by 2024, and would thus struggle before then to diversify its economy beyond oil, which accounts for more than 90 per cent of export revenues and leaves Nigeria at the mercy of external factors outside its control. In reality, some southern states such as Lagos and Abia have already reached 70 per cent literacy, suggesting they could potentially industrialise. Nevertheless Mr Robertson called for an adult literacy campaign, both to accelerate progress towards the 70 per cent mark nationally (given a 20-year lag between improving primary schools and reaping any meaningful rewards from a more educated workforce), and to stem any further splintering of a country already riven by regional divides, given how far the north of the country lags behind in adult literacy.

Network appoints former Worldpay chief as it prepares for IPO Dubai-based payments group says it intends to float in London NICHOLAS MEGAW


etwork International, the Dubai-based payments group, has appointed industry veteran and former Worldpay chief executive Ron Kalifa as chairman as it prepares for a London initial public offering this year. Network is the biggest payments group in the Middle East and Africa region, providing services including merchant acquiring and pointof-sale terminals. The company said it would publish a registration document and potential intention to float with the London Stock Exchange on Thursday, confirming the latest in a wave of payments groups set to list in Europe in the coming months. Mr Kalifa is one of the best

known figures in Britain’s payments industry, having led Worldpay for more than a decade. He remains an executive director at the company, which was taken over by US group Vantiv in 2017. Mr Kalifa said: “The global payments sector is undergoing a period of rapid change. Experience has shown me that to succeed in this new environment, businesses have to demonstrate deep local market expertise together with sophisticated and innovative technology solutions. Network International has a long successful history of combining both these factors.” Network had been widely expected to list at some point this year. It joins peers including Nexi and SIA, which are gearing up for their own potential floats in the coming months.

Revenues at Network increased at an average rate of 13 per cent between 2016 and 2018, to $298m, generating an underlying net income of $98m. Like Nexi in Italy, Network is dominant in market share terms in its key markets. However, chief executive Simon Haslam said it stood to benefit from a “huge structural growth opportunity” as consumers move away from cash, a trend which is less advanced in the Middle East and Africa than in Europe. The potential IPO will not involve the issue of any new stock, but its current shareholders — private equity groups General Atlantic and Warburg Pincus, and Dubai-based bank Emirates NBD — will sell at least 25 per cent of the company.

Friday 15 March 2019







Dollar General forecasts slower sales growth for 2019 PAN KWAN YUK


ollar General cautioned on Thursday that sales growth would slow this year and issued a profit outlook that fell short of expectations, in a sign the company’s core lower-income customers may be turning more cautious amid a possible slowdown in the American economy. Shares tumbled nearly 10 per cent in early trading on Thursday — setting the stock up for its biggest one-day drop since August 2016 — after the discount retailer said earnings for 2019 will come in at between $6.30 to $6.50 per share, against the median analyst forecast of $6.65. The company’s predictions for a 2.5 per cent rise in full-year samestore sales and a 7 per cent increase overall sales are also a climbdown from the 3.2 per cent and 9.2 per cent pace recorded in 2018. Tennessee-based Dollar General has up until recently been a rare bright spot in the US retail sector, which has been battered by consumers’ pivot to online shopping. The company has bucked this by becoming a convenient stop for budget-conscious customers across the country, including in rural areas where few rivals have a physical presence. The company said it planned to spend between $775m to $825m

this year on new store openings and remodelings. It is ploughing money into improving store efficiency and ramping up its frozen and refrigerated food offerings. These investments come even as fourth-quarter results showed gross margins at the company were squeezed by discounting and the push into lower margin food sales. While net sales at Dollar General rose more than 8 per cent in the three months to February 1 to $6.65bn, ahead of the $6.61bn forecast by analysts, gross profit as a percentage of total sales fell more than 90 basis points to 31.2 per cent. “This gross profit rate decrease was primarily attributable to higher markdowns, lower initial markups on inventory purchases, an increase in the LIFO provision, a greater proportion of sales coming from the consumables category, which generally has a lower gross profit rate than other product categories, and the sales of lower margin products comprising a higher proportion of sales within the consumables category,” the company said. Shares in Dollar General gained more than 16 per cent in 2018 and hit a record high of $121.27 on Wednesday. They fell as much as 9.9 per cent on Thursday, but remain up 1.5 per cent for the year to date.

Oil prices touch 2019 high on sanctions expectations Record output from the US shale industry sparks doubt prices can rise DAVID SHEPPARD


il prices touched their highest level this year on Thursday, exceeding $68 a barrel as traders bet the market would tighten with US sanctions crimping supplies from Venezuela and Iran. Doubts remain, however, whether prices can rise much further given record US shale industry output. Brent crude, the international benchmark, gained almost 2 per cent in early trading to reach $68.14, but prices later reversed to near $67 a barrel, weighed down in part by forecasts suggesting Opec would need to maintain deep output cuts this year to keep the market supported. Traders said the oil market, while showing signs of breaking higher, remained caught between two big competing forces that have dominated the industry so far in 2019. Opec, led by Saudi Arabia, has slashed production to try and support prices after they plunged towards $50 a barrel in the fourth quarter of last year, while US sanctions are removing more barrels from Iran and Venezuela. At the same time, surging production in the US has largely capped price gains despite Opec’s efforts, with the four-year high of $86 a barrel hit last October — shortly before prices plunged — seemingly a distant memory.

Concerns about the health of the global economy have also weighed, with the focus on trade talks between China and the US, the world’s top two oil consumers. Ole Hansen at Saxo Bank said prices were grinding higher, however, as fears of an economic slowdown had not yet been realised. “Worries about growth and future demand for crude oil remain just worries at this stage with the market instead responding, albeit at a relatively slow pace, to the continued tightening on the supply side,” Mr Hansen said. Total production from Opec fell 221,000 barrels a day to 30.5m b/d in February, according to an assessment by secondary sources in the cartel’s monthly oil market report on Thursday, led by output declines in Venezuela and Saudi Arabia. But at the same time the group revised lower its forecast demand for its crude this year to 30.46m b/d, due to higher output from the US and other countries outside the group. While Opec output has likely fallen further since February as sanctions against Venezuela have hit, it nevertheless demonstrates that the market is not yet expected to tighten rapidly. The Opec report urged members and allies such as Russia to be aware of the “continued shared responsibility” to “avoid the relapse of the imbalance” in the market.

The absence of checks at the Irish border has been labelled a ‘smugglers’ charter’ © Neil Hall/EPA

FCA seeks industry-wide cap on fund supermarket exit fees UK regulator says charges are major barrier to competition among investment platforms KATE BEIOLEY


he UK financial watchdog said it would ban or cap exit fees charged by investment platforms such as Hargreaves Lansdown and proposed extending the crackdown to insurers, life companies and financial advice firms. The Financial Conduct Authority has been probing competition issues in the investment platform market used by investors and financial advisers and said exit fees, charged to customers switching providers, were a major barrier to competition. In its final report on the platform market the FCA said exit fees should be restricted and it would consult on the definition of such fees, whether to ban or cap them and how widely to apply the new rules. The consultation will last until June 14. The move will hit investment platforms like Hargreaves Lansdown, AJ Bell and Charles Stanley Direct, which charge investors up to hundreds of pounds each time they want to move portfolios to rival providers. Hargreaves Lansdown — the UK’s

largest fund supermarket — charges a fee of £25 per stock to those wanting to switch, which can add up to a cost of almost £800 for a 30-stock portfolio. The FCA said 7 per cent of consumers tried to switch at some point but failed to do so due to hurdles like exit fees and the complexity of the process. Exit fees are one of the top three barriers stopping investors swapping platforms, it said. Last year, Interactive Investor scrapped its own exit fees ahead of the expected ban this year. The regulator said in its interim report published in summer 2018 it was considering banning exit fees for online investment platforms. But it subsequently came under fire for failing to extend the crackdown to traditional wealth managers, life companies and insurers, many of whom charge exit fees on old-style policies. On Thursday the regulator said respondents had said “to achieve our aim, we need to consider the scope of any remedy, as platforms compete in a wider retail distribution market,”

adding “our current view is that this remedy should apply to platforms and firms offering comparable services”. The watchdog added: “We want to ensure that any ban or cap is applied appropriately to firms that compete with platforms, including those that do not necessarily operate via an online portal.” However companies including FTSE 100 wealth manager St James’s Place are likely to escape unscathed due to their vertically integrated structure. St James’s Place charges an upfront fee of 6 per cent on the value of a customer’s assets for those taking their money out in the first year, falling by 1 per cent a year over six years. However its structure means this is classed a “product-related fee” rather than an exit fee, and it is likely to be spared from a clampdown. Life companies and old-style pension providers are likely to be caught however. Rob Yuille, head of long-term savings policy at the Association of British Insurers, said the trade body was supportive of the move.

Bigi to celebrate women in a special way, promotes gender equality


n line with its cooperate vision to promote the feminine gender and create a platform highlighting the strength of a woman, and their survival, Rite Foods Limited makers of Bigi drinks will be commemorating this year’s International Women’s Day with a special women dinner for its customers across all works of life on Saturday 30th March. This year’s UN theme for International Women’s Day (IWD), celebrated on March 8, is think equal, build smart, innovate for change. Managing Director, Rite Foods Limited, Seleem Adegunwa, said that the company wants to use IWD as a time to reflect on progress made, call for change and celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women, who have played an extraordinary role in the history of the country and their communities. To this end, Adegunwa said, Rite Foods Limited is specially celebrating women in two categories. The first is targeted at Rite Foods

followers on social media platforms including consumers of Bigi products and individuals interested in women empowerment, international women’s rights, women rights in Nigeria and IWD 2019. The target audience for this campaign cuts across a vast number of people. The second arm of this campaign, he said, which is the main event, is targeted at women in the cocktail business in the country, specifically the Female Mixologist Association of Nigeria. These female vendors, who have pre-registered during the first wing of the second arm of the campaign, will display their mixology skills to attendees. Adegunwa, who stated that the event is to promote the feminine gender and create a platform highlighting the strength of a woman, their survival in the male dominated society, added that it provides a platform where women can interact, educate and pitch ideas to each other; as well as engage and have a personal relationship with the

brand’s female consumers. He added that March 30th is the grand finale in Lagos. The managing director said this would help improve brand visibility and awareness to prospective and existing consumers and ensure the consumers its unique ideas, activities and engagement to commemorate the International Women’s Day boost gender parity issues. Adegunwa lamented that women and girls who represent half of the world’s population are still subjected to all sorts of gender discriminative practices in Nigeria despite the country’s membership of the United Nations. He said: “Unfortunately, there is still a long way to go in achieving satisfactory equality of rights and opportunities between men and women. Therefore, it is of paramount importance to think equal, build smart and innovate for change, ending the multiple forms of gender violence and secure equal access to economic resources and participation in political life.”




Friday 15 March 2019



The eight men who will decide the future of German banking Key decision makers are divided over Deutsche Bank’s merger talks with Commerzbank OLAF STORBECK


he protracted takeover saga between Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank seems to be coming to a head, having already defied the conventional wisdom of corporate M&A battles. The potential suitor — Deutsche Bank — is the one dithering, while the target — Commerzbank — is keen. The outcome will be decided by eight men who all have very different agendas. The politician: Olaf Scholz German finance minister Germany’s finance minister is a pivotal character in the saga. Mr Scholz is a centrist Social Democrat with the ambition to become Chancellor. The former mayor of Hamburg, a trading city, is convinced that Germany needs a “national champion” in banking strong enough to support the country’s corporations. “We will only be able to seize our global opportunities if we have an efficient financial sector,” Mr Scholz said last year, calling for an industrial policy focused on strengthening banks. With a 15 per cent stake, the German government is the single largest shareholder in Commerzbank. The finance minister is keen to shore up both lenders ahead of the next recession, according to people familiar with his thinking. Together with his deputy Jörg Kukies, the former co-head of Goldman Sachs in Germany, Mr Scholz is pressuring Deutsche Bank to come to a decision on merging with Commerzbank. A domestic deal is the government’s first choice, people familiar with the matter say. However, should Deutsche Bank decide against this, Berlin is threatening to look for a European buyer for Commerzbank, such as BNP Paribas and Société Générale of France or the Dutch ING. The veteran banker: Paul Achleitner Deutsche Bank supervisory board chairman Deutsche Bank’s chairman has been one of the earliest and staunchest supporters of a merger. Since taking on the job in 2012, Mr Achleitner has gone through three chief executives and overseen a 73 per cent drop in the share price. The pre-tax profit of Deutsche’s all-important investment bank collapsed 87 per cent during that time. With potential annual cost synergies of €2bn and a 20 per cent share in the German retail market, a tie-up could in theory help the bank to earn its cost of capital. A key argument by Mr Achleitner, who also sits on the boards of Daimler and Bayer, is that Commerzbank’s large retail deposits of €290bn would help to lower Deutsche Bank’s funding costs, which have gone up in recent months. High funding costs erode its profit margins and undermine the trust of clients in its investment bank. Mr Achleitner — the Austrianborn former head of Goldman’s German operation — is also attracted to a grand vision of Deutsche Bank as the leading alternative to US-based

universal banks such as JPMorgan Chase. He has a history of grand deals, having helped to engineer Allianz’s ill-fated takeover of Dresdner Bank in 2001 when he was the insurer’s chief financial officer. The adviser: Matt Zames President and senior managing director of Cerberus JPMorgan’s former chief operating officer, who last year joined private equity group Cerberus, would welcome a deal under the right circumstances. Cerberus is one of the biggest investors in both Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank, with stakes of 3 and 5 per cent respectively. The private equity group sits on paper losses of about €600m from its investments in the two German lenders. Mr Zames is also advising Deutsche Bank on restructuring. Unfazed by the potential execution pitfalls of a merger, Cerberus is convinced its own experts led by Mr Zames can guide the combination to success, according to people briefed on its thoughts. The target: Martin Zielke Chief executive of Commerzbank While trying to keep a low profile on the matter in public, Commerzbank’s chief executive is another advocate of a quick deal. In February, Mr Zielke called speculation about consolidation “understandable” given the poor performance of German banks. Behind closed doors, he argues that due to Deutsche Bank’s historically low share price, Commerzbank shareholders would get a relatively good deal. The smaller partner would account for a third of the combined lender’s market capitalisation, compared with a long-term average of about a quarter. Moreover, a tie-up with its main

domestic rival is seen as preferable to the prospect of becoming the target in a cross-border deal, which would turn Commerzbank into the German annex of a larger foreign lender without any strategic influence. Mr Zielke, who started his career as an apprentice at Deutsche Bank but has worked for Commerzbank since 2002, was last month forced to admit that most of his performance targets were out of reach because of persistently low interest rates and tough domestic competition. The investor: Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al-Thani Former prime minister of Qatar The former prime minister of Qatar — known by his initials HBJ — and his cousin Hamad bin Khalifa AlThani together hold 6.1 per cent of Deutsche Bank’s shares and are among its largest shareholders. A deal would need their support. According to people familiar with their thoughts, both are not yet convinced as it would not address Deutsche Bank’s most pressing problem — its struggling corporate and investment bank. Another concern is that Deutsche Bank’s continuing integration of Postbank, the German retail bank it acquired almost a decade ago in an ill-fated transaction, could be derailed by a merger with Commerzbank. A third worry is that both lenders are using dated and inefficient IT systems which are not easily integrated. Several other big shareholders told the Financial Times that they have similar concerns. The regulator: Andrea Enria Head of the supervisory board of the European Central Bank The eurozone’s chief banking supervisor, together with his colleagues at Germany’s Bundesbank and the country’s banking regulator BaFin, play a crucial role. The European Central Bank has

for a long time argued in favour of more cross-border consolidation in banking to bolster the monetary union. Several of Deutsche Bank’s regulators say privately they would not block a deal that was backed by the banks’ shareholders and endorsed by the German government. There are preconditions, though. The new lender needs to have a convincing business model and a realistic strategy to quickly execute the merger. Moreover, the regulators stand ready to closely monitor the integration progress. Even if regulators approved a deal, they could undermine it by demanding that the enlarged bank has significantly higher capital buffers as it becomes even more important for the stability of the global financial system. This could weaken the financial case for the deal. The union boss: Frank Bsirske Chairman of Verdi Frank Bsirske The boss of Germany’s service sector union Verdi is a member of Deutsche Bank’s supervisory board, where employee representatives hold half of the seats — as they do in most listed German companies. Verdi staunchly opposes the merger idea, as it could put at least 20,000 German jobs on the line. “The public discussion [about a merger] is anything but helpful with regard to the challenges both banks are facing at the moment, as the employees are constantly distracted,” says Jan Duscheck, another Verdi representative who also sits on Deutsche Bank’s supervisory board. If all employee representatives on Deutsche’s supervisory board vote against making an offer for Commerzbank, the chairman Mr Achleitner may be able to carry the deal over the line with his casting vote — provided he can convince all shareholder representatives to back the transaction.

But such a brute-force approach would be at odds with Germany’s cooperative tradition and could poison the relationship with employees for a long time. Alternatively, management could buy the union’s support in a costly deal by promising to limit job cuts and to pay generous redundancy packages — which, in turn, would make it harder to realise the synergies. The predator: Christian Sewing Chief executive of Deutsche Bank Deutsche Bank’s chief executive holds the decisive vote. He recently dropped his fundamental opposition against evaluating a tie-up at this point in time. In mid-February, he asked Deutsche Bank’s executive board for a mandate to informally sound out the options in talks with the German government and Commerzbank. Mr Sewing is under pressure as persistently low interest rates hurt its domestic business while its investment bank continues to lose ground in a weak overall market, forcing him to consider alternatives to his standalone turnround plan. According to people familiar with his thoughts, this was driven by the concern that the German government may otherwise engineer the sale of Commerzbank to a foreign rival. If that happened, Deutsche Bank would lose the option of domestic consolidation and be left grappling with a new, stronger competitor at home. However, Mr Sewing has established a precondition for formal and detailed talks about a tie-up. According to people familiar with the matter, these will only start if politicians — in particular Social Democrats around Mr Scholz — informally promise not to back union opposition against the brutal jobs cull needed to make the merger work. This is already proving a big ask.

Friday 15 March 2019





Live @ The Exchanges Market Statistics as at Thursday 14 March 2019

Top Gainers/Losers as at Thursday 14 March 2019 LOSERS
















































ASI (Points)


DEALS (Numbers) VOLUME (Numbers)

2,635.00 177,630,694.00

VALUE (N billion) MARKET CAP (N Trn

2.559 11.638

Large cap stocks spur market’s new low …year-to-date return stands at -0.70% Stories by Iheanyi Nwachukwu


he Nigerian stock market furthered its negative trend on Thursday March 14, 2019, driven by values declines recorded by most largely capitalised stocks. At the sound of closing gong, no fewer than 8 stocks gained as against 20 losers. The value of listed stocks on the Nigerian Bourse decreased by N56 billion. Nestle Nigeria Plc led on the losers table after its share price declined from N1, 549.9 to N1, 545 losing N4.9 or 0.32percent; while Dangote Cement Plc followed from N192 to N190, losing N2 or 1.04percent. On the gainers table, Dangote Flour Mills Plc stock price advanced most from N9.5 to N10.3, adding 80kobo or

8.42percent; while Ikeja Hotel Plc followed after rising from N2.13 to N2.3, adding 17kobo or 7.98percent. The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) All Share Index (ASI) decreased by 0.48percent, while the Year-to-Date (ytd) return stood at -0.70percent. The All Share Index closed at 31,210.79 points as against the preceding day

close of 31,360.28 points. Market Capitalisation closed at N11.639 trillion as against preceding day close of N11.695trillion. The volume of stocks traded decreased by 52.9percent, from 377.49million to 177.63million, while the total value of stocks traded increased by 13.18percent, from N2.26billion to N2.56billion in 2,635

deals. Zenith Bank Plc, Sterling Bank Plc, FCMB Group Plc, GTBank Plc and Fidelity Bank Plc were actively traded stocks on Thursday. The Financial Services sector led the activity chart with 156.2million shares exchanged for N2.24billion; while Consumer Goods followed with 7.64million shares traded for N242million.

Thomas Wyatt reports wider loss margin in Q3’18 financials


homas Wyatt Nigeria Plc has released its financial scorecard for the nine months (9M) period ended December 31, 2018 which shows dismal performance across topto-bottom line figures. The company’s unaudited financial statements for the review nine months period show its revenue declined from a high of N77.35million in 9M’2017 to N45.29million in 9M’2018. Thomas Wyatt Nigeria Plc is the pioneer manufacturer of school and office stationery and large scale printers which hith-

erto was done in the United Kingdom and imported into the country. Further look at the results at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) revealed Thomas Wyatt Nigeria Plc recorded gross loss of N4.85million in 9M’2018 as against gross profit of

N23.14million in 9M’2017. The company’s loss before taxation (LBT) widened to N36.32million in 9M’2018 from loss before taxation of N5.8million in 9M’2017. Loss After Taxation (LAT) at N36.65million in 9M’2018 shows signifi-

cant increase from LAT of N6.2million in 9M’2017. A look at the company’s per 50kobo share data shows it recorded 17kobo loss per share as against 3kobo loss per share in 9M’17. The initial business of Thomas Wyatt Nigeria Plc was limited to the manufacturing of schools exercise books. Currently, the company’s policy of steady expansion of the product lines and manufacturing capacity has been given meaning in its product range which peaked at over 250 stationery items marked under the well-known APEX MILL trade mark.

JPMorgan steps closer to zero fees with cheapest-ever stock ETF


PMorgan Chase & Co. is still trying to make a buck while selling America’s cheapest exchange-traded fund. The New York-based bank plans to charge just 20 cents

for every $1,000 invested in a new stock fund, undercutting all 2,000 existing U.S. ETFs, a regulatory filing showed Monday. But for some even that price isn’t low enough, with analysts

predicting that a zero-fee ETF is only a matter of time. More than 97 percent of flows into ETFs last year went to funds that charge $2 or less, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Of

the 11 ETFs that JPMorgan started in 2018, eight charge less than $2. Those funds have lured more than $10.5 billion, doubling the firm’s ETF assets to $23 billion.

Global market indicators FTSE 100 Index 7,194.27GBP +35.08+0.49% S&P 500 Index 2,813.10USD +2.18+0.08% Generic 1st ‘DM’ Future 25,758.00USD -11.00-0.04%

Deutsche Boerse AG German Stock Index DAX 11,607.26EUR +34.85+0.30% Nikkei 225 21,287.02JPY -3.22-0.02% Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite Index 2,990.69CNY -36.27-1.20%

SEC Holds Budget Seminar


he Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC is set to host the 2019 edition of Budget Seminar at the Eko Hotels and Suites Victoria Island, Lagos. The theme of the event is “Budgets, Elections and Capital Markets: Risks and Opportunities in 2019”. The seminar, the third of its kind by the SEC, which is scheduled for Tuesday March 19,2019, will bring together experts with professional, policy and academic background in order to deliberate extensively on the implication of the budget to the capital market in Nigeria. Also to be examined are the ways in which the capital market could contribute more meaningfully to the growth and recovery process the budget is intended to promote. The Commission’s Budget Seminar Series has been established as a forum for evaluating the connection between the Nigerian capital market and the annual Federal Government Budget. A major aim is to identify how the capital market can contribute to and in turn benefit from the budget and its implementation. The Commission as the host of this event, gathers subject matter experts with incisive knowledge and experience on various

economic activities to deliberate extensively, with the aim of enlightening participants on the area of focus for the seminar. In addition to the learning of the day, which will equip participants, a communique will be drafted and forwarded as the capital market inputs to the appropriate government and private institutions. Presenter at the event is Afolabi Olowookere of the SEC, while panelists Include Hajara Adeola of Lotus Capital Limited, Toyin Sanni of Emerging Africa Capital Group, Patience Oniha Director General of Debt Management Office and Olu Ajakaiye of Africa Centre for Shared Capacity Development Building. Others are Ike Chioke of Afrinvest Management Limited,Mobolaji Balogun of Chapel Hill Denham, Uche Uwaleke of Nasarawa State University and Johnson Chukwu of Cowry Assets Management Limited.

NSE trains compliance, operations officers on derivatives


s part of its commitment to improving the capacity of professionals in the Nigerian capital market, The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) will organize a Derivatives Workshop on Monday, March 18, 2019 at the Stock Exchange House in Lagos. The workshop which is targeted at Compliance Officers and Operations Officers of Dealing Member firms, is designed to provide participants with insights into the structure and operating requirements of the

NSE Derivatives Market. It will also provide them with an understanding of the potential of the market, as well as risk management and return enhancement benefits. A derivative is a contract between two or more parties whose value is based on an agreed-upon underlying financial asset (like a security) or set of assets (like an index). Common underlying instruments include bonds, commodities, currencies, interest rates, market indexes and stocks.





Friday 15 March 2019

Friday 15 March 2019





Live @ the Stock exchange Prices for Securities Traded as of Thursday 14 March 2019 Company

Market cap(nm)

Price (N)





Market cap(nm)

Price (N)




PRICES FOR MAIN BOARD SECURITIES (Equities) BANKING ACCESS BANK PLC. 172,121.43 5.95 -0.83 94 3,074,109 UNITED BANK FOR AFRICA PLC 261,625.57 7.65 1.32 150 5,863,072 697,002.16 22.20 -0.89 212 80,784,438 ZENITH BANK PLC 456 89,721,619 OTHER FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS FBN HOLDINGS PLC 294,341.40 8.20 -1.20 156 4,207,499 156 4,207,499 612 93,929,118 BUILDING MATERIALS DANGOTE CEMENT PLC 3,237,696.41 190.00 -1.04 78 149,230 LAFARGE AFRICA PLC. 111,887.22 12.90 - 39 144,191 117 293,421 117 293,421 EXPLORATION AND PRODUCTION SEPLAT PETROLEUM DEVELOPMENT COMPANY PLC 351,242.56 596.90 - 13 8,067 13 8,067 13 8,067 742 94,230,606 REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT TRUSTS (REITS) SKYE SHELTER FUND PLC 1,900.00 95.00 - 0 0 UNION HOMES REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT TRUST (REIT) 11,300.89 45.20 - 0 0 14,408.66 5.40 - 2 11,785 UPDC REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT TRUST 2 11,785 2 11,785 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 2 11,785 CROP PRODUCTION FTN COCOA PROCESSORS PLC 440.00 0.20 - 0 0 OKOMU OIL PALM PLC. 76,312.80 80.00 - 10 31,506 75,000.00 75.00 - 4 1,740 PRESCO PLC 14 33,246 FISHING/HUNTING/TRAPPING ELLAH LAKES PLC. 511.20 4.26 - 0 0 0 0 LIVESTOCK/ANIMAL SPECIALTIES LIVESTOCK FEEDS PLC. 1,800.00 0.60 - 8 28,750 8 28,750 22 61,996 DIVERSIFIED INDUSTRIES A.G. LEVENTIS NIGERIA PLC. 820.66 0.31 - 3 13,185 202.36 0.52 - 3 2,686 JOHN HOLT PLC. 1,903.99 2.93 - 0 0 S C O A NIG. PLC. TRANSNATIONAL CORPORATION OF NIGERIA PLC 49,997.03 1.23 -0.81 56 4,070,808 22,474.11 7.80 1.28 52 670,881 U A C N PLC. 114 4,757,560 114 4,757,560 BUILDING CONSTRUCTION ARBICO PLC. 711.32 4.79 - 0 0 0 0 INFRASTRUCTURE/HEAVY CONSTRUCTION JULIUS BERGER NIG. PLC. 36,300.00 27.50 - 5 4,740 ROADS NIG PLC. 165.00 6.60 - 0 0 5 4,740 REAL ESTATE DEVELOPMENT UACN PROPERTY DEVELOPMENT COMPANY PLC 5,066.87 1.95 - 8 148,634 8 148,634 13 153,374 AUTOMOBILES/AUTO PARTS DN TYRE & RUBBER PLC 954.53 0.20 - 0 0 0 0 BEVERAGES--BREWERS/DISTILLERS CHAMPION BREW. PLC. 12,135.72 1.55 - 2 95,919 GOLDEN GUINEA BREW. PLC. 242.22 0.89 - 0 0 GUINNESS NIG PLC 140,184.50 64.00 - 29 56,289 INTERNATIONAL BREWERIES PLC. 206,730.48 24.05 0.83 20 2,248,047 NIGERIAN BREW. PLC. 599,767.65 75.00 - 63 337,658 114 2,737,913 FOOD PRODUCTS DANGOTE FLOUR MILLS PLC 51,500.00 10.30 8.42 69 3,257,517 DANGOTE SUGAR REFINERY PLC 167,400.00 13.95 - 32 337,477 FLOUR MILLS NIG. PLC. 78,317.25 19.10 - 42 206,783 HONEYWELL FLOUR MILL PLC 9,674.84 1.22 - 24 488,297 MULTI-TREX INTEGRATED FOODS PLC 1,340.10 0.36 - 0 0 N NIG. FLOUR MILLS PLC. 766.26 4.30 - 1 100 NASCON ALLIED INDUSTRIES PLC 54,843.37 20.70 - 13 109,429 UNION DICON SALT PLC. 3,676.41 13.45 - 0 0 181 4,399,603 FOOD PRODUCTS--DIVERSIFIED CADBURY NIGERIA PLC. 22,538.42 12.00 - 9 57,859 NESTLE NIGERIA PLC. 1,224,653.91 1,545.00 -0.32 32 70,813 41 128,672 HOUSEHOLD DURABLES NIGERIAN ENAMELWARE PLC. 1,680.31 22.10 - 0 0 VITAFOAM NIG PLC. 4,978.36 3.98 - 8 224,000 8 224,000 PERSONAL/HOUSEHOLD PRODUCTS P Z CUSSONS NIGERIA PLC. 43,675.25 11.00 - 21 78,817 UNILEVER NIGERIA PLC. 222,331.71 38.70 - 32 78,766 53 157,583 397 7,647,771 BANKING DIAMOND BANK PLC 57,669.37 2.49 - 29 562,274 ECOBANK TRANSNATIONAL INCORPORATED 250,471.37 13.65 - 46 669,327 FIDELITY BANK PLC 63,165.06 2.18 -0.91 63 5,985,315 GUARANTY TRUST BANK PLC. 1,041,863.74 35.40 -0.84 204 6,399,662 JAIZ BANK PLC 15,026.77 0.51 -1.92 37 4,597,368 SKYE BANK PLC 10,687.83 0.77 - 0 0 STERLING BANK PLC. 71,976.05 2.50 5.93 204 16,801,720 UNION BANK NIG.PLC. 199,477.16 6.85 - 27 162,487 UNITY BANK PLC 9,468.36 0.81 -1.22 9 459,793 WEMA BANK PLC. 30,473.83 0.79 -1.25 42 2,839,821 661 38,477,767 INSURANCE CARRIERS, BROKERS AND SERVICES AFRICAN ALLIANCE INSURANCE PLC 4,117.00 0.20 - 1 1,000 AIICO INSURANCE PLC. 4,920.45 0.71 -2.74 23 3,675,468 AXAMANSARD INSURANCE PLC 23,100.00 2.20 - 15 349,111 CONSOLIDATED HALLMARK INSURANCE PLC 2,357.70 0.29 - 6 56,189 CONTINENTAL REINSURANCE PLC 19,811.94 1.91 - 0 0 CORNERSTONE INSURANCE PLC 3,093.20 0.21 - 3 239,453 GOLDLINK INSURANCE PLC 2,001.98 0.44 - 3 1,300 GUINEA INSURANCE PLC. 1,228.00 0.20 - 0 0 INTERNATIONAL ENERGY INSURANCE PLC 487.95 0.38 - 0 0 LASACO ASSURANCE PLC. 2,270.26 0.31 -6.06 13 1,721,529 LAW UNION AND ROCK INS. PLC. 2,191.13 0.51 -8.93 6 302,636 LINKAGE ASSURANCE PLC 4,800.00 0.60 3.45 6 289,000 MUTUAL BENEFITS ASSURANCE PLC. 2,000.00 0.25 - 4 300,540 NEM INSURANCE PLC 13,201.26 2.50 5.04 14 671,530 NIGER INSURANCE PLC 1,702.69 0.22 - 2 18,690 PRESTIGE ASSURANCE PLC 2,691.28 0.50 - 2 20,711 REGENCY ASSURANCE PLC 1,667.19 0.25 4.17 8 496,200 SOVEREIGN TRUST INSURANCE PLC 2,085.21 0.25 - 4 573,579 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 2,912.00 0.21 - 4 261,000 WAPIC INSURANCE PLC 5,353.10 0.40 - 15 278,533

129 9,256,469 MICRO-FINANCE BANKS FORTIS MICROFINANCE BANK PLC 11,799.67 2.58 - 0 0 3,429.96 1.50 - 0 0 NPF MICROFINANCE BANK PLC 0 0 MORTGAGE CARRIERS, BROKERS AND SERVICES ABBEY MORTGAGE BANK PLC 3,780.00 0.90 - 0 0 ASO SAVINGS AND LOANS PLC 7,370.87 0.50 - 0 0 5,922.05 1.42 - 0 0 INFINITY TRUST MORTGAGE BANK PLC RESORT SAVINGS & LOANS PLC 2,265.95 0.20 - 1 2,500 UNION HOMES SAVINGS AND LOANS PLC. 2,949.22 3.02 - 0 0 1 2,500 OTHER FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS AFRICA PRUDENTIAL PLC 8,100.00 4.05 - 49 791,977 35,291.19 6.00 - 17 770,701 CUSTODIAN INVESTMENT PLC DEAP CAPITAL MANAGEMENT & TRUST PLC 660.00 0.44 - 0 0 38,813.31 1.96 -2.00 115 12,133,860 FCMB GROUP PLC. ROYAL EXCHANGE PLC. 1,646.52 0.32 - 4 161,770 491,546.54 48.00 - 15 28,217 STANBIC IBTC HOLDINGS PLC UNITED CAPITAL PLC 18,000.00 3.00 -0.66 52 707,578 252 14,594,103 1,043 62,330,839 HEALTHCARE PROVIDERS EKOCORP PLC. 1,680.29 3.37 - 0 0 UNION DIAGNOSTIC & CLINICAL SERVICES PLC 994.88 0.28 - 4 119,000 4 119,000 MEDICAL SUPPLIES MORISON INDUSTRIES PLC. 544.04 0.55 - 1 168 1 168 PHARMACEUTICALS EVANS MEDICAL PLC. 366.17 0.50 - 0 0 7,425.00 4.95 - 1 2,000 FIDSON HEALTHCARE PLC GLAXO SMITHKLINE CONSUMER NIG. PLC. 13,812.37 11.55 - 20 90,390 4,019.80 2.33 -2.92 7 262,197 MAY & BAKER NIGERIA PLC. NEIMETH INTERNATIONAL PHARMACEUTICALS PLC 1,234.45 0.65 - 1 1,000 NIGERIA-GERMAN CHEMICALS PLC. 556.71 3.62 - 0 0 325.23 1.50 - 0 0 PHARMA-DEKO PLC. 29 355,587 34 474,755 COMPUTER BASED SYSTEMS COURTEVILLE BUSINESS SOLUTIONS PLC 710.40 0.20 - 0 0 0 0 COMPUTERS AND PERIPHERALS OMATEK VENTURES PLC 1,470.89 0.50 - 0 0 0 0 IT SERVICES CWG PLC 6,413.06 2.54 - 2 1,050 NCR (NIGERIA) PLC. 648.00 6.00 - 0 0 381.11 0.77 - 0 0 TRIPPLE GEE AND COMPANY PLC. 2 1,050 PROCESSING SYSTEMS CHAMS PLC 939.21 0.20 - 0 0 E-TRANZACT INTERNATIONAL PLC 11,088.00 2.64 - 0 0 0 0 2 1,050 BUILDING MATERIALS BERGER PAINTS PLC 2,391.04 8.25 - 4 2,625 CAP PLC 26,180.00 37.40 - 14 25,199 249,726.52 19.00 - 15 112,215 CEMENT CO. OF NORTH.NIG. PLC FIRST ALUMINIUM NIGERIA PLC 612.00 0.29 - 3 41,560 MEYER PLC. 286.87 0.54 - 1 575 1,999.41 2.52 - 0 0 PORTLAND PAINTS & PRODUCTS NIGERIA PLC PREMIER PAINTS PLC. 1,279.20 10.40 - 2 200 39 182,374 ELECTRONIC AND ELECTRICAL PRODUCTS AUSTIN LAZ & COMPANY PLC 2,256.91 2.09 - 0 0 CUTIX PLC. 3,962.97 2.25 - 2 29,000 2 29,000 PACKAGING/CONTAINERS BETA GLASS PLC. 39,497.79 79.00 - 1 2,000 GREIF NIGERIA PLC 388.02 9.10 - 0 0 1 2,000 AGRO-ALLIED & CHEMICALS NOTORE CHEMICAL IND PLC 100,754.14 62.50 - 0 0 0 0 42 213,374 CHEMICALS B.O.C. GASES PLC. 1,577.57 3.79 - 0 0 0 0 METALS ALUMINIUM EXTRUSION IND. PLC. 1,803.64 8.20 - 0 0 0 0 MINING SERVICES MULTIVERSE MINING AND EXPLORATION PLC 852.39 0.20 - 0 0 0 0 PAPER/FOREST PRODUCTS THOMAS WYATT NIG. PLC. 50.60 0.23 - 0 0 0 0 0 0 ENERGY EQUIPMENT AND SERVICES JAPAUL OIL & MARITIME SERVICES PLC 1,252.54 0.20 - 9 900,372 9 900,372 INTEGRATED OIL AND GAS SERVICES OANDO PLC 71,480.62 5.75 0.88 60 1,363,253 60 1,363,253 PETROLEUM AND PETROLEUM PRODUCTS DISTRIBUTORS 11 PLC 59,498.22 165.00 - 10 2,036 CONOIL PLC 15,960.90 23.00 - 14 11,129 ETERNA PLC. 5,738.24 4.40 -8.33 13 261,870 36,469.47 28.00 - 12 38,549 FORTE OIL PLC. MRS OIL NIGERIA PLC. 6,354.80 20.85 - 7 9,422 TOTAL NIGERIA PLC. 67,904.37 200.00 - 17 15,321 73 338,327 142 2,601,952 ADVERTISING AFROMEDIA PLC 2,219.52 0.50 - 0 0 0 0 AIRLINES MEDVIEW AIRLINE PLC 16,576.10 1.70 - 1 100 1 100 AUTOMOBILE/AUTO PART RETAILERS R T BRISCOE PLC. 411.72 0.35 - 1 1,920 1 1,920 COURIER/FREIGHT/DELIVERY RED STAR EXPRESS PLC 2,947.48 5.00 - 6 17,925 TRANS-NATIONWIDE EXPRESS PLC. 304.75 0.65 - 0 0 6 17,925 HOSPITALITY TANTALIZERS PLC 642.33 0.20 - 1 50 1 50 HOTELS/LODGING CAPITAL HOTEL PLC 4,801.22 3.10 - 1 200 IKEJA HOTEL PLC 4,781.23 2.30 7.98 22 3,700,500 TOURIST COMPANY OF NIGERIA PLC. 7,862.53 3.50 - 0 0 TRANSCORP HOTELS PLC 41,042.18 5.40 -9.24 3 65,200 26 3,765,900 MEDIA/ENTERTAINMENT DAAR COMMUNICATIONS PLC 4,800.00 0.40 - 1 2,000 1 2,000 PRINTING/PUBLISHING ACADEMY PRESS PLC. 217.73 0.36 - 1 1,830 LEARN AFRICA PLC 1,010.60 1.31 -9.66 5 356,897 STUDIO PRESS (NIG) PLC. 1,183.82 1.99 - 0 0 UNIVERSITY PRESS PLC. 862.82 2.00 - 1 6,200 7 364,927


news you can trust I Friday 15 mArch 2019



Opinion Prospects for Africa’s industrial revolution THE NEW WEALTH OF NATIONS

Obadiah Mailafia


et me express how delightful I am to be among you in this beautiful city. Rabat is unique in its character and ambience as a combination of Africa, Europe and Arabia. I am encouraged by what has been achieved in Morocco in terms of social and economic development under a forward-looking and enlightened leadership. For centuries our relationship with Europe has been defined in terms of the exports of raw materials and imports of finished industrial products. Over the decade, there has been a secular tendency for raw materials to fall in price while industrial goods continue to do the opposite in terms of value. The “unequal exchange” thesis was propounded several years ago by radical political economists such as Aghiri Emmanuel, Paul Baran, Andre Gunder Frank and the late Samir Amin of blessed memory. Those developing countries that anchored their development on the basis of extractive raw materials experience not only the

volatility of international commodities but also long-term secular fall in the value of such products. They also miss out in terms structural transformation and economic diversification. The net outcome is falling income, worsening poverty, slower growth and generally diminished economic expectations. We need an Industrial Revolution for several reasons. First, modern industry contributes significantly to accumulation of physical and human capital; secondly, it provides a vehicle for mass job-creation for unskilled and semi-educated workers, most of whom are in the informal sector; thirdly, it increases household income, thereby boosting aggregate demand; fourthly, it enhances backward/forward sectoral linkages while providing opportunities for suppliers, distributors, retailers and business services; sixthly, it boosts demand for agricultural products, mining, and other raw materials, energy and ICT; seventh, it improves the external account balance by decreasing imports at the same time diversifying export earnings; and finally, it enhances resilience to external shocks as contrasted with dependence on monocultural primary commodity exports. Although African manufacturing grew impressively during the sixties and seventies, by the mid- 1980s, it was falling into terminal decline. This was largely on account of external shocks in terms of oil price increases, commodity price decreases, real interest rate rises

and worsening national debts. And if the truth be told, another factor was Structural Adjustment Programmes (SAPs) which were imposed on many of our countries by the Bretton Woods Institutions under pressure from Shylock international creditors. Uncontrolled liberalisation that came with such reforms led to many of our infant industries folding up. In the case of my country Nigeria and other African oil exporters, relatively high oil prices led to the Dutch Disease syndrome. This often meant keeping exchange rates artificially high. Cheap imports kept the urban elites happy while the relatively high price for exports meant that local farmers and manufacturers were discouraged. Africa started off with poor initial conditions in terms of lack of basic infrastructure, low level of human capital, lack of financial depth and structural barriers to entry. Not many of our countries, with possible exception of Tunisia and Mauritius, invested in the type of human capital that mattered or in the institutional reforms that could have accelerated industrial exports. Little or no attention was paid to special economic zones (SEZs) while real commitment to FDI was weak. In addition, economic reforms in those countries that implemented them were not accompanied by efforts to improve logistics trade and industrial competitiveness. Until recently, much of our geopolitical landscape was also marred by war, violence and bitter strife – hardly

Leveraging on fourth generation new technologies, I believe we in Africa have opportunity to accelerate economic transformation into higher rates of productivity and growth

the sort of eco-system in which manufacturing industry could flourish. Linked to this was the reality of macroeconomic instability, poor policy choices and lack of vision and leadership. Today, Africa lags way behind the rest of the world in terms of industrial development, particularly East Asia and the advanced industrial democracies. In 2017, Africa’s manufacturing value added (MVA) was a mere $145 billion dollars, with 70% of it concentrated in 4 countries, namely, South Africa, Nigeria, Egypt, Morocco. And much of our continent’s industrial production remains centred on resource-based manufacturing. Despite the bleak picture, there are signs of hope. Manufacturing in Africa has grown 3.5% annually from 2005 to 2014, faster than the rest of the world. As a matter of fact, Nigeria and Angola had annual increase in output of over 10 percent. Total manufacturing production in Africa has increased from $75 billion in 2005 to over $140 billion in 2017. The prospects look even stronger in the years to come. Continues online at

Dr. Mailafia is a former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, a development economist and public finance expert with a DPhil from Oxford; 08036590990 (text messages only)

A tale of two titans of Nigerian health (II): Michael Akintayo Bankole (1932-2018) HumanAngle

Femi olugbile


n the 27th of February 2019, an extraordinary event took place in the Medical Research Centre (MRC) auditorium of the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH). It was titled ‘A Choral Morning of Tributes’. Gathered in the spacious hall were an array of Chief Medical Directors – past and present, of the hospital and other hospitals, as well as management staff and other members of the hospital community. Some of the Bankole children and family were also there. Michael Akintayo Bankole, Professor of Paediatric Surgery, died in November 2018, at the age of 85 years. Looking round the packed hall, you sensed an atmosphere that was both solemn and celebratory. A choral band dressed formally in black and white sat on the stage. In 2003, Professor Bankole, aged 71, after ‘retiring’ from a distinguished career teaching and practising Paediatric Surgery, decided to join the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital as a Consultant. LASUTH then was a two-year-old Teaching Hospital, trying to punch above its weight. The Director of Clinical Services and Training had been Bankole’s student in the University of Ife and could attest to his exceptional brilliance and surgical prowess. But taking on a 71-yearold man was flying in the face of civil service regulations. It would take a passionate letter from the hospital management, all the way to the Governor of the day – Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, before the deal could be sealed. Everybody understood that the old man was there, first and foremost, to create and nurture a capability to treat surgically ill babies and older

children who previously had had to be referred to distant places or left to die in agony. But for Bankole himself, the scope of the mission was somewhat larger.He was embarking on the most impactful phase of his life. In perspective it would look as if all that had gone on before had been some kind of rehearsal for this. Professor Bankole would go on to spend fifteen years in LASUTH, far more years than he had spent serving anywhere else in his life. He would save far more children’s lives than he had ever been challenged to do before. He would train more people in the Art and Science of Paediatric Surgery, a surgical specialty where the doctor had the nerve and knowledge to open up a one-day old baby to save his life. He would create a department that would, in short order, acquire a reputation as one of the very best in Nigeria. There was more still. He would become a great source of energy for the LASUTH project itself, and a powerful influencer for the entire medical community, including generations of medical students of the Lagos State College of Medicine who would grow up in the penumbra of his greatness, become doctors and seek to take their skills all over the nation and all over the world. The event was in full flow. An opening prayer. A welcome address. A citation of Bankole, read by Dr Williams, a lady who had blossomed into a paediatric surgeon of some renown under the old man’s mentorship. She struggled to keep her composure as she read. Bankole was born in Ondo in 1932. He attended Government College Ibadan. He trained in a University College Hospital, Ibadan that was still affiliated to the University of London. He graduated with distinctions in Surgery and Medicine, winning several prizes. He became the first paediatric surgeon in Nigeria, and the first Nigerian surgeon to obtain the Fellowship of the American College of Surgeons. Back in UCH, he worked as a lecturer/consultant.He became a Professor of Paediatric Surgery at the age of 39. He was part of the founding faculty of the University of Ife. He was Dean, Faculty of Health Sciences from 1976 to 1979 and Chief Medical Director of the

Teaching Hospital Complex from 1978 to 1979. In 1985 he took on a fresh challenge as the Registrar of the newly formed National Postgraduate Medical College. Following his stint as Registrar, he joined the bandwagon of ‘economic migrants’ to Saudi Arabia. And then he returned to Lagos, already past the proverbial three-score-and-ten years, to achieve his ultimate goal - self-actualization. It fell to you to give the first tribute. You were, afterall, his employer. That he was a ‘large’ man was noticeable straight off, you told the audience. Once his huge and versatile knowledge of Life and Medicine became obvious, you were no longer content just to leave him to nurture and grow his specialization, which he was doing anyway. You put him to work improving medical records, improving quality, auditing medical incidents. His knowledge was encyclopedic, and it would have been a crime to an ambitious and growing hospital community to spare him.

Michael Akintayo Bankole

Bankole never asked to be spared. He threw himself into the work. His thick squat form with its receding hair-line became a regular feature of the hospital corridors and wards. He walked fast, as if he was always in a hurry to get somewhere – to see the next one-month old baby with intestinal obstruction, to teach the next set of medical students who always hovered around him. To correct the next set of badly written patient’s notes and gently chide the culprit house officer. Songs and tributes flowed apace. Chris Bode, Chief Medical Director of Lagos University Teaching Hospital, and himself a Paediatric Surgeon, spoke of how Bankole had been Dean when he was a medical student in Ife. His door was open to everyone. ‘We were members of his household, and even his parrot knew our names…’ Other speakers told human angle stories about the man. Professor Fabamwo, Bankole’s erstwhile student, now the CMD of LASUTH, spoke of the jubilation of medical students at Ife when it was announced that Bankole had won election to be Dean, at a time when their medical studies were going through a rough patch. At the close of proceedings, one of the Bankole children rose to acknowledge the large number of people who obviously regarded themselves as kith and kin of Michael Akintayo Bankole. He raised a laugh by using one of his father’s familiar expressions – ‘Oh, dear!’ touching his hand to his forehead in the familiar gesture. A man of great knowledge. First Paediatric Surgeon. First Registrar of the Postgraduate Medical College. A builder of people. A good man. One of his protégés would say something later that would resonate. ‘…He lived a full life and died empty…’ It was a description that sounded startlingly spartan to depict a man’s life. But it was actually the ultimate expression of the Christian spirit that Professor Bankole espoused and energetically pursued in his later years, with a great sense of fulfillment. May his soul rest in peace.

Femi Olugbile is a Writer and Psychiatrist. Comments to’

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