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businessday market monitor

Biggest Loser

Biggest Gainer MTNN N135.00 4.45pc

STANBIC N34.30 -9.97pc 27,052.93

Foreign Reserve - $44.45bn Cross Rates - GBP-$:1.21 YUANY-N 51.70 Commodities Cocoa




₦3,548,055.67 -3.42pc

Foreign Exchange



$-N 357.50 358.50 £-N 439.00 442.00 €-N 399.00 402.00

Crude Oil

$ 58.01

news you can trust I **FRIDAY 16 AUGUST 2019 I vol. 19, no 373 I N300

FMDQ Close

Everdon Bureau De Change




Spot ($/N)

I&E FX Window CBN Official Rate Currency Futures





fgn bonds

Treasury bills

363.46 306.90

3M -1.06 10.26

NGUS OCT 30 2019 362.03

6M 0.22


10 Y 0.00

20 Y 0.00






NGUS JAN 29 2020 362.48


NGUS AUG 26 2020 363.53


How executive interference erodes CBN’s independence as FG order on FX for food imports may be illegal MICHAEL ANI


resident Muhammadu Buhari’s directive to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to stop providing foreign exchange for importation of food into the country is a trampling of the independence of the apex bank, according to leading Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SANs) who spoke to BusinessDay on the matter. The President had on Tuesday said he had directed the CBN to

stop providing foreign exchange for importation of food into the country, claiming there has been a “steady improvement in agricultural production and attainment of full food security”. “Don’t give a cent to anybody to import food into the country,” Buhari said, according to Garba Shehu, presidential spokesman, in a series of tweets. But the legal luminaries faulted the Presidential directive, saying it

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MTN closes in on Dangote Cement for most capitalised stock …as telco’s shares rally to 2-month high ahead dividend payment OLUWASEGUN OLAKOYENIKAN & SEGUN ADAMS


arely three months after a blockbuster listing on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), MTN Nigeria is riding on its imminent inclusion to the Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI) Frontier Markets Index to narrow the market

capitalisation gap with Dangote Cement to N12.7 billion. Shares of the telecoms firm

MARKETS jumped 4.45 percent Thursday to N135, the highest since June 14, ahead of an interim dividend pay-

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“As things will be, perhaps unknown to the Presidency, the law no longer allows executive control of the CBN. Indeed, the President has no constitutional, legal or executive powers over the CBN that enables a directive as to the operational activities of the CBN - in the way he has over his general staff.” - Prof Konyin Ajayi, SAN “Legally, the president cannot order an independent entity like the central bank of Nigeria to do what he wants even if that which the president wants done might be a good thing to do. The CBN is independent. The governor of the bank can listen to the president but subject to the act, he does not have to take orders from the president.” - (SAN who wants to be anonymous) “On a final note, the CBN ought to be seen as an independent institution and as such the President ought not to convey the impression that he controls the CBN.” - Osaro Eghobamien, SAN


Friday 16 August 2019


news El-Zakzaky departs India, returns to Nigeria INNOCENT ODOH, Abuja, & ABDULWAHEED ADUBI, Kaduna


ollow ing lack of breakthrough in the impasse that ensued in the treatment in New Delhi of the leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky, the Sheikh embarked on a return journey to Nigeria on Thursday. In a v i d e o m e s s a g e sent through his office, the Sheikh said it was decided that he and his wife would be taken to the airport to be flown back to Nigeria. A statement signed by Ibrahim Musa, president, Media Forum of the IMN, and made available to our correspondent in Kaduna on Thursday evening, prayed that the Sheikh’s return may be the best option in the circumstance. “The Nigerian government’s interference and scuttling of the whole process rather than supervision as ordered by the court is the direct cause of the impasse,” the statement said. “The government never

wanted the medical leave in the first place, and did whatever to stop it by all means possible,” it said. El-Zakzaky and his wife had on Monday departed for India to seek medical attention and were to be attended to at Medanta Hospital, New Delhi. Abubakar Abdulrahman, chairman of the Free Zak Zaky Committee, had said in a statement that the duration of the stay of the IMN leader and his wife would only be determined by their doctors in India. Zakzaky, who has been detained by the Department of State Service (DSS) for about four years, was released following an order of the Kaduna State High Court granting him and his wife leave to undergo treatment at an Indian hospital of their choice. The IMN leader, according sources, is suffering from partial stroke and other complications as a result of his prolonged incarceration allegedly without proper medical attention in the country.

Banks may reject customer deposits in response to CBN’s 60% LDR – Agusto & Co HOPE MOSES-ASHIKE


s part of strategies to meet up with the 60 percent Loan Deposit Ratio (LDR) directive by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), deposit money banks may begin to reject customer deposits, leading to reduced interest expense, according to Agusto & Co, a Pan African Credit Rating Agency and a leading provider of industry research. The CBN has mandated all DMBs to maintain a minimum loan to deposit ratio (LDR) of 60 percent by September 30, 2019. The focus of the minimum LDR requirement is to drive demand for consumer and mortgage credit . In meeting up with the requirement, the rating firm foresees price war in the banking sector where tier I banks that are more advantaged in terms of low cost funds could cherry-pick customers of tier II banks. and negotiate for a lower interest from such clients. Ada Ufomadu, senior banking analyst at Agusto & Co said most Tier 2 banks comply with the new LDR minimum requirement, but not all Tier 1 banks do. “We do not foresee a significant increase in loan book due to a potential increase in credit risks,” Ufomadu said

while unveiling the banking industry report in Lagos on Thursday. She explained that before the new regulation of 60 percent LDR there used to be a maximum loan to deposit ratio of 80 percent for the banks. “Banking industry as it is now is made up of 27 operators. There were five new licenses by the CBN so we are looking at an industry with more than 30 players as at date.” The industry is still very much controlled by five banks – GTBank, Access, UBA, Zenith and First Bank. These banks accounts for about 57 percent of the industry’s asset and about 59 percent of the industry loan book. According to the firm’s report, in 2018 the asset of banking industry was about N33.3 trillion and growth in 2019 will be driven largely by the fact that a lot of banks are raising capital. Access Bank plc has already concluded the process for the issuance of a N30billion Tier 2 Bond due 2026. The bank in an August 2 notice told the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) ‘No Objection’ to the Bond issuance as well as Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) approval has been obtained.

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L-R: Desmond Aregbesola, deputy regional director, Lagos/Ogun, Dangote Cement; Tunde Mabogunje, regional director, Lagos/ Ogun, Dangote Cement; Iyowun Ezekiel, star prize winner; Adeyemi Fajobi, national sales director, Dangote Cement, and Olukayode Akin-Bamidele, head, route to market, Dangote Cement, during the star prize presentation in the Dangote Cement “BAG of GOODIES” promotion in Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State, yesterday.

Nigeria: 3 implications of an FX ban on food imports LOLADE AKINMURELE & ENDURANCE OKAFOR exchanges for N360, but it won’t be long before it beigerian Presicomes more expensive than dent Muhamthat if the parallel market has madu Buhari’s to now cater for the dollar somewhat demand of food importers. “unconstituThe parallel market rate tional” directive to the Cenhas weakened to as low as tral Bank to stop providing N520 per US dollar someforeign exchange to food time in 2017 and that caused importers holds weighty imuntold hardship for houseplications for the economy. holds, businesses and the Naira depreciation at broader economy. parallel FX market “The policy will push FX The Central Bank of Nidemand to the parallel margeria said Thursday that reket and restore multiple exstricting food importers from change rate margin leading buying dollars from banks to manipulation and arbiwould lead to preserving $20 trage,” said Taiwo Oyedele, billion annually. an economist and partner Audu Ogbe, former minat PricewaterhouseCoopers ister of agriculture, claims (PWC). Nigeria imported $22 billion “High FX rate in the alterworth of food in 2018, which native market will increase is about half of the current cost of imported foodstuffs external reserves. leading to high food inflaIf that much demand is tion,” Oyedele added. This redirected to the parallel leads nicely into the second market, it is sure to put presimplication. sure on the exchange rate. More expensive food Currently, one US dollar Nigeria has not attained


food sufficiency in any meaning of the word. Truth is no country has. Countries simply produce what they have comparative advantage in and import other foods. This implies that Nigeria would continue to import food irrespective of a foreign exchange restriction. That then means food importers will have to source dollars at the parallel market which would be more expensive. If the cost of sourcing FX is higher, it feeds into production costs which food importers would have to pass on to consumers. And there you have it, food prices would rise, which is bad news for consumers, who are already reeling from shrinking purchasing power. It’s also bad news for the central bank, which has been struggling to curb stubborn inflation rates. At 11.2 percent in June,

inflation remains above the preferred band of between 6-9 percent. Higher food prices will put pressure on the food index and drive the CBN’s inflation target farther away. “The biggest negative for now will be higher food prices,” Ayorinde Akinloye, a consumer goods analyst at Lagos-based CSL Stockbrokers, told BusinessDay, adding that because Nigerian consumers are struggling to manage stagnant incomes, “the last thing they would welcome is higher food prices”. Smuggling and lower government revenue The last thing the federal government wants would be to see a further reduction in already thinning revenue or a wider budget deficit. But that’s what an FX ban on food imports could lead to.

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CBN resumes OMO auction with N150bn offer to investors HOPE MOSES-ASHIKE


he Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Thursday resumed Open Market Operation (OMO) auction offering N150 billion to investors in the secondary market, but the short and medium-term instruments were gripped with low patronage due to high rates. OMO simply means the buying and selling of government securities, which enables a central bank to control the supply of money in the banking system. Godwin Emefiele, governor of the CBN, said in London this week that the regulator would offer more OMO auctions to counter

...yields fail to attract investors the upcoming maturities due in September/October. There have been fewer OMO auctions of late. In fact, there may be a requirement to increase yields a bit here to maintain Nigeria’s relative attractiveness to Egypt for fixed income flows (CBN argues Nigeria could remain attractive to Egypt on slightly lower yields given the FX stability). Of the amount offered on Thursday, a total of N115.89 billion was subscribed by investors but the sum of N88.66 was sold. “This is due to more attractive rates in the secondary market. Offshore investors have continued to take profit on their fixed income invest-

ments in Nigeria,” Ayodeji Ebo, managing director, Afrinvest Securities Limited, told BusinessDay. The breakdown of the OMO auction shows that N20 billion was offered for 84-day tenor and it was undersubscribed by N5.89 billion. Investors’ bid range was between 11.79 percent and 12.68 percent, but there was no sale and no stop rate. For the 175-day tenor, the CBN offered a total of N30 billion at a stop rate of 11.8 percent, although investors earlier sought to buy at a bid range of between 11.25 and 12.48 percent. The offer which matures on February 6, 2020 recorded a total sale of N0.69 billion. @Businessdayng

The sum of N100 billion was offered for 364-day tenor but a total of N87.97 billion was sold at a stop rate of 12.88 percent after the investors earlier bid at a range of between 12.25 percent and13.50 percent. The instrument was oversubscribed by a total of N106.27 billion and will mature on August 13, 2020. The CBN on Wednesday, after the two-day holiday, conducted a Primary Market Auction (PMA), rolling over maturing bills worth N34.4 billion across 91-, 182- and 364-day tenors. Ayodele Akinwunmi, head, research, FSDH Merchant Bank Limited, said over N9.6 trillion worth of govern-

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Friday 16 August 2019





Friday 16 August 2019


news Congo’s oil discovery opens new horizon for indigenous players

L-R: Lai Koiki, executive director, Greensprings School; Delia Azuzu, senior manager, PwC; Folawe Omikunle, CEO, Teach For Nigeria; Tauhida Zayyad, advisor, government & business relations, Exxon Mobil, and Jokotade Agbatiogun, deputy director quality assurance, SUBEB Ogun State, at the Teach For Nigeria 2019 pre-service training closing ceremony in Lagos.

…but Nigeria’s face dwindling debt financing STEPHEN ONYEKWELU


he Republic of Congo is again in the news but this time, it is not about civil unrest but some significant oil and gas discovery and substantial government effort to promote the participation of Congolese companies in the industry. In Nigeria, indigenous players struggle to raise funds in the form of debt to finance projects. The Oyo discovery in Congo is the result of indigenous efforts made by Congolese companies. This speaks to the value that local content development can create when local companies and entrepreneurs are given an opportunity to contribute to their industry. Mohamed Rahmani, marketing director of SARPDOIL, the company producing the new field, developed in la Cuvette region, said this is a major development for the company. “This is our first onshore discovery and it gives us a lot of hope that we shall make more discoveries especially now that we are to award more blocks for oil exploration in the ongoing oil licensing round,” said Jean-Marc ThystèreTchicaya, minister of Hy-

drocarbons of the Republic of Congo. The African Energy Chamber looks forward to seeing the full development of the license creating jobs for Congolese, and opportunities for Congolese companies and entrepreneurs to service one of Central Africa’s largest upcoming onshore developments. Such discovery has the potential to spur considerable economic growth for Congo and its central and Northern provinces, especially as the country keeps recovering from a recent economic crisis due to plummeting oil prices. Nigeria’s story is different. Smaller indigenous oil and gas companies face significant financial challenges trying to get oil and gas programmes off the drawing board. Nigeria needs over $20bn in new financing to ramp crude oil production to 2.5million barrels per day (bpd). It hovers around 1.80 million barrels per day currently. But with local banks exhibiting a low appetite for lending to the sector due to high non-performing loans (NPL) estimated last year to constitute about 40 percent of banks NPLs, local players say they are being forced to task their brains for new solutions.

SMEDAN partners Facebook, Google to provide digital skills for MSMEs HARRISON EDEH, Abuja


he Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) has entered into partnership with Facebook and Google towards providing quality digital skills training for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in Nigeria. This latest move is in line with global practice in linking and bridging the communication gaps between MSMEs and the global market place. Available statistics revealed that there are currently about 41 million MSMEs in the country, employing over 50 percent of the nation’s workforce. A statement from the Corporate Affairs Unit of the Agency stated that the training will commence on Monday, 19th August, 2019 in 19 states and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. The statement further

quoted the director general and chief executive officer of SMEDAN, Dikko Umaru Radda, as saying the training programme was a topmost priority of the Agency considering the importance of information and communication technology (ICT) to the development of MSMEs worldwide, adding Nigeria cannot be an exception. Radda also added that the agency partnered with Facebook and Google to bridge the gaps between MSMEs and the global market. “We have witnessed how small businesses are making their impact felt in the social media using Facebook, Instagram and even Twitter. They make huge sales. This training will further build their capacity in making more inroads into the market,” he said. The SMEDAN boss pointed out that the digital skills would be handled by Google and Facebook while SMEDAN would take charge of the entrepreneurship development aspect of the training.

Experts see investment opportunities in AfCFTA for real estate investors …but patient capital with long-term view of market needed CHUKA UROKO


esides facilitating job creation and greater competitiveness of African micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) experts say there are also opportunities for real estate investors in the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), a trade agreement in force between African countries. The trade agreement, created as a crucial ingredient in lifting people out of poverty and invigorating the continent’s growth trajectory, has made Africa one of the biggest economic bloc in the world, meaning that the continent is now borderless such that businesses can now move from one country to another.

Free movement of businesses from one country to another means there will be increased demand for both residential and commercial real estate, including office, retail and industrial space in which investments could be made,” noted Mustapha Njie, CEO, Taf Africa Global, in an interview. Taf Africa Global is a real estate investment firm with footprints in eight African countries including Nigeria, Gambia and Senegal. Nije believes that with AfCFTA, real estate investors could tap into the emerging opportunities in various countries which, according to him, are immense. MKO Balogun, the chief executive of PFI Global, agrees, adding, “the free trade agreement allows entities across markets to ex-

plore opportunities across markets. Real Estate opportunities abound in most African countries waiting to be developed and tapped; many Sub-Saharan African countries have shown huge potential for real estate.” Balogun pointed out, however, that there were challenges. He explained that Nigerian real estate developers have had bad reputation of killing markets, citing Ghana where over investment by Nigerians have had negative impact on the local economy and created investor-apathy “When Ghana real estate market started booming, Nigerians flooded and got involved and got the market clogged in recession; there were too many properties; value started going down. Govt didn’t do anything

other than to direct that property should be valued in Ghana currency and not US dollar,” he said, recalling that he warned them in 2012. Though Kenya is beginning to see falling demand and price decline, Ayo Ibaru, Director, Real Estate at Northcourt, insists Nairobi is still an investment destination, giving as high as 8 percent yield year-on-year on mixed use developments comprising office, retail and residential apartments. Ibaru noted four nodes in Nairobi, the country’s capital, where because of developed infrastructure, demand is relatively high from the expatriates. They are also attracted by retail malls and security in those nodes which include Kiambu, Limuru, Ridgeway and Chinbingwa.

Local QSR brands create new menus, better ambience to win market share BUNMI BAILEY


t the close of work on a cool Friday evening, Bayo Akinwale, an accountant, decided to treat his colleagues to a sumptuous meal at a popular restaurant in Lagos. On arriving there, they could not easily gain access as there was a large queue of people rushing to order their meals. Then a friend suggested Sweet Sensation or Tastee Fried Chicken (TFC). At Sweet Sensation, they were marvelled by the additional new menus, nice ambience and the games arena. It was a departure from the old and boring meals of the past. “We started this change six months ago in a bid to offer pocket-friendly meals, nice environment and better quality

services to please our customers,” John Idems, social media manager at Sweet Sensation, told BusinessDay. But not only Sweet Sensation, TFC is also changing with the times. Sweet Sensation and TFC are amongst the pioneers of the Quick Service Restaurants (QSR), or fast food restaurants, in Nigeria. Between 1994 and 1996, when Sweet Sensation and TFC (both local brands) started, they were spots for those who wanted to impress their lovers and for family outings. They used to roll out limited menu of pastries, beef, chicken, apple pies, sausage rolls, doughnuts and ice cream. And also food menu like jollof or fried rice, salad and chicken, a far cry from the extensive menu on offer today. But after some time, new

and foreign QSRs like The Place, Dominos, Mega Chicken, etc. started springing up by introducing more varieties of delicious, nutritious food to consumers and also created a comfortable and fun environment for lovers of fun. According to consumer experts, the pioneers have realised that in order to stay relevant to their customers and fight for market share in the QSR industry, they have to be innovative by creating more delicacies and a comfortable and fun environment. “They are competing with their peers and staying in tune with the current trends. Consumers go for QSR for three main things, namely, the food, the comfortable environment and the innovation of its meals in terms of varieties,” said Abiola Gbemisola, consumer @Businessdayng

analyst at Chapel Hill Denham. “One of the important things to a customer is that even if he or she gets to a QSR to get a particular food, he or she might change his mind based on what he or she sees,” Gbemisola said. Ayorinde Akinloye, a consumer analyst at CSL Stockbrokers, said the pioneers are trying to get into consumers’ psychology and that rather than allow them to just buy food and go, they create a nice and comfortable environment so that they cannot just buy food but also sit and gist with friends and family. “That is why stores at Shoprite will attract more people because of the kind of environment they have and that appeals to consumers’ psychology”.

Friday 16 August 2019



news VerifyMe Introduces First Integrated Buhari promises better ID Verification and KYC Platform health care delivery

Forex for food: NECA suggests 5-year buffer period

...launches smart self-managed verification portal


Jumoke Akiyode-Lawanson


erifyMe Nigeria, a ver ification platfor m that enables seamless, real-time ID verifications backed by the Nigerian Identity Management Commission (NIMC), Bank Verification Number (BVN), and Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) Driver’s Licenses, has launched a revolutionary verification product that will enable industry growth through trust. The Self-Managed Verification Platform (MVP) is the first integrated ID Verification and KYC platform in the country. The portal enables seamless verification requests and real-time ID verification. Speaking on the launch, Esigie Aguele, Chief Executive Officer, VerifyMe Nigeria, said: “the platform is a proprietary solution that offers real-time ID verifications integrated with em-

ployment history reports and other key people data points to enable faster decisions for Nigerians to get services. Anyone looking to engage in a person-to-person or business-to-person transaction can benefit from VerifyMe reports. If you are an employer, landlord, loan or service provider, requesting a VerifyMe OneIdentity Report is the first step to a successful interaction.” Explaining how the portal works, Aguele said: “Our OneIdentity Report” delivers real time ID authentication with secure last mile verification checks that meet CBN tier 3, and international Anti-Money Laundering (AML) directive standards. We deliver all results in one report or over API for our business customers. Our goal is to solve the trust issue so businesses can process and deliver more real-time services to their customers, while making the verification process painless and efficient.”

Tony Ailemen, Abuja


resident Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday said Federal Government would redouble efforts to improve health facilities, equipment and services in the country, listing people living in rural areas as top of the priority for better health services. The President stated this at the commissioning the 60-bed capacity Nigerian Air Force Reference Hospital in Daura, adding that the Federal Government had, in the last four years, invested resources in the health sector, with increased budgetary allocation moving from N259 billion (Two hundred and fifty nine billion naira in 2015 to over N340 billion (Three hundred and forty billion naira) in 2018. “Accordingly, significant strides have been made to life expectancy and reduce some of the killer diseases associated with child and maternal mortality to less than 70 deaths per 100, 000 live births by the year 2030, as planned in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. “Despite this, more efforts

are needed to fully eradicate a wide range of diseases and many persistent and emerging health issues in our society,’’ he said. President Buhari said dependence on foreign countries for medical treatment can be reduced by turning around the health sector in the country, noting that health services in the rural areas deserved more attention. “To achieve this, we must now redouble efforts to focus on providing more efficient funding of the health sector, improve sanitation and hygiene, and increase access to medical care in the rural areas in order to save lives of millions of Nigerians. “There is therefore no more auspicious time to commission this Reference Hospital than now,’’ he added. President Buhari commended the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar for situating the Reference Hospital, with state-of-art medical equipment for radiodiagnosis, cancer screening, dialysis, laboratory diagnosis and research, in Daura to serve the aligning states and communities.


igeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA) has suggested a five-year buffer period and gradual withdrawal of foreign exchange from food importation as against what it termed “blanket knee-jack” approach being pursued by the Federal Government. Timothy Olawale, the Director-General of NECA, who reacted to the recent directive by President Muhammadu Buhari to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to withdraw forex on importation of food items, warned of the dire consequences of implementing the directive. According to Olawale, Nigeria currently lacks the capacity to meet its food requirement, saying that the demand that would be created as a result of this directive would be met by smuggling, especially given the fact that the country recently signed on to the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) intended to open up its


borders. The DG said although the directive may be well intended, it however, leaves much to be desired in the absence of a buffer period to enable businesses adjust. “Rather than a blanket knee-jack withdrawal of forex on food importation and indeed milk importation as announced by the government, a gradual withdrawal with a buffer period of not less than five years should be given. This will ensure the proper and strategic implementation of government’s ‘Agricultural Promotion Policy’ that was established less than five years ago, said Olawale.” He further contended that the timing for the policy calls for concern, noting that while in the long run, with consistent support and policy stability, local food production might meet demands and also provide foreign exchange through exports, the reality, however, is that the country currently lacks the capacity for sufficient food production to meet local demand.


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Friday 16 August 2019


news Creatives, tech ecosystem potentially most powerful pressure group in Africa - Ezekwesili FRANK ELEANYA


ormer vice president of the World Bank’s Africa region, Obiageli Ezekwesili, has said that the creative industry and the tech ecosystem could become the most powerful pressure group if they unite on a regional level. The public policy analyst and also a former minister of education in Nigeria, was the guest speaker at the AfCFTA Ecosystem Meetup held on Thursday, 15 August, 2019 in Kigali, Rwanda. The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) is a free trade agreement with the objective of creating a single continental market for goods and services as well as a customs union with free movement of capital and

business travellers. Although the African Union agreed to create the document in 2012, it finally took eight rounds of negotiations, beginning in 2015 and lasting until December 2017, to reach an agreement. (Read more With AfCFTA, its swim or drown for tech startups ) The 54 members out of 55 of the AU that have signed on to the AfCFTA, including Nigeria, expect the agreement to fast-track regional integration and address the overlapping membership of the continent’s regional economic communities (RECs). The agreement has generated a lot of enthusiasm in the tech ecosystem and creative industry most of whom see it as an opportunity to take their innovation

beyond their local shores. However, Ezekwesili believes that the two segments cannot ignore the role of good governance in setting the stage for growth. She defined good governance as an environment where there are sound policies, strong institutions, effective and efficient investment in public goods and services. “Your group has enough to force government to listen to you,” she said. She observed that already millions of Africans - the majority of whom are trapped in governance that do not work - are directly affected by the products and services from creatives and the tech ecosystem. Thus, the players have to realign their strategy on a regional level for deeper impact.

UBA partners LCCI for 2019 Lagos International Trade Fair ...promises customers 20% discount on registration SEGUN ADAMS


an-African financial services institution, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, and the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) have partnered to organise the 2019 edition of the Lagos International Trade Fair. The Fair, which holds between November 1st and 10th, 2019, is the 33rd edition and is expected to provide an avenue for networking and other business opportunities that will assist to raise business activities in Africa’s largest and busiest city, Lagos and in Nigeria. UBA, the headline partner, will be working together with LCCI to provide a veritable platform that is intend-

ed to grow both domestic and international trade. It further presents participants and visitors with opportunities to seal medium and top business deals. In line with UBA’s unflinching support to the growth of small and medium enterprises (SMEs), the bank is giving a 20 percent discount to its Small and Medium business customers who register to attend the fair. UBA’s Group Head, Marketing, Dupe Olusola, who expressed excitement at the partnership, noted that the bank, with its extensive spread across Africa and other major economies of the world, is always on the lookout for partnership opportunities that will benefit

the business environment and the economies where it operates. Olusola noted that the Bank was delighted as this year’s Lagos International Trade Fair is coming after a very successful organisation of UBAmarketplace by the Bank in Abuja, where over 120 SMEs from 20 African countries exhibited their products, attracting over 50,000 footfalls. She said, “UBA, the PanAfrican financial institution, has branches in 20 African countries, the United Kingdom, the United States of America and France, and has always been involved in activities that aim to strengthen business connections and networks across key economies.

NNPC targets China to boost crude oil reserves Olushola Bello


he Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) says strategic partnership and new investments from China in the Upstream Petroleum Sector are essential for it to actualize the nation’s crude Oil reserves and 3m barrels per day oil production target by 2023. Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mallam Mele Kyari, disclosed this yesterday when the Executive Vice President of China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC), Lu Yan Ji, paid him a business visit at the NNPC Towers

in Abuja. The NNPC boss said there was a need to improve the nation’s revenue profile through new investments in the Petroleum Sector. He commended CNOOC for its plan to expand its investment in the Nigerian Petroleum Industry and assured it of the corporation’s support. “To have investment of $16bn in Nigeria is clearly an indication of your confidence in us. We have a target to grow production to 3m barrels per day by 2023, to do that, we need partners like you. You can count on us because we have a common interest,” the Mele Kyari stated. I n h i s re m a r k s, t h e CNOOC Vice President, Lu

Yan Ji, said Nigeria was one of his company’s largest investment destinations with investment outlay standing at about $16bn. He called for NNPC’s support in securing the investments, adding that there was need for both National Oil Corporations to work closely together. He disclosed that CNOOC currently produces 800,000bpd worldwide with a target to hit 1.2 million barrels per day, adding that Nigeria was one of the targeted places to actualise the target. CNOOC started business in Nigeria in 2005. It currently has interest in Oil Mining Lease (OML) 130 in partnership with NNPC, Total and Petrobras.




Friday 16 August 2019


news Maritime sector remains great untapped economic reserve of Nigeria -Reps James Kwen, Abuja


he House of Representatives has asserted that the Nigerian maritime sector, regrettably, remained one of the great untapped economic reserves of the country. The Green Chamber also said that operating and maintaining efficient and functional ports in the country would help to develop the economic potential of the communities where these ports are located and beyond. Speaker of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila, gave these indications Thursday while declaring open a

Public Hearing by the Ad Hoc Committee to determine why the Warri, Port Harcourt, Calabar, Onne and Onitsha Inland Port Complexes are not being put to maximum use. Gbajabiamila reiterated the priority of the House to get these ports working at their absolute best to create jobs, facilitate trade, attract investment and contribute to the steady growth of Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product, GDP. The Speaker who was represented by Peter Akpatason, House Deputy Majority Leader, emphasized that “it is the responsibility of this Committee to deliver a policy framework and make substantive proposals for legislative and

executive action to drive the increased utilisation at these ports for the socioeconomic benefit of the Nigerian people”. While calling on stakeholders in the industry to assist the Committee in the execution of this urgent national assignment, he said that “it is from the collation and analysis of your various ideas and contributions, perspectives and expertise that the Committee will be able to make the right recommendations, and guide this House of Representatives in our efforts to support the full utilisation of these very important national assets and the actualisation of the very high ambitions we hold for our national

economy”. Yusuf Yakubu, Chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee in a welcome address, noted that the public hearing was organised to determine why some of the Port Complexes had continued to operate below their setting-up capacities. Yakubu added that “it also seeks to question why, in spite of the many efforts of Government over the years, which have come by way of building more Port Complexes, concessioning and the complete involvement of the private sector in some aspects of operation in our nation’s maritime sub-sector, the congestion in the Lagos Port Complexes in Apapa and Tin Can Island still persists”.

Insecurity: Ondo bans motorcycle operators on Ore-Benin expressway YOMI AYELESO, Akure


he Ondo State government has banned the operations of commercial motorcyclists popularly known as Okada riders along the OfosuAjebamidele stretch of the Benin-Ore Expressway. Donald Ojogo, the Commissioner for Information, in a statement on Thursday said the government was disturbed about the spate of insecurity in the area. He added that the Okada operators hide under the guise of doing business to engage in kidnapping, armed robbery, and killings along the expressway. Ojogo said, “Government has observed with serious concern, the activities of some unscrupulous elements who have hidden under the guise of engaging in the motorcycle business, popularly known as Okada, to perpetrate crimes on the Ofosu-Ajebamidele route along the Ore Expressway.

“Disturbed by the activities of these criminal elements which include armed robbery, kidnapping, their mode of operations as well as the heightening cases of loss of lives, the Ondo State Government has placed a total ban on commercial motorcycles (Okada) along the entire stretch of the route in question. This action is with immediate effect and shall suffice until further notice,” he said. “By this development, all activities of commercial motorcyclists are henceforth restricted to internal confines of Ore town and other communities in the area. Security agencies, especially the Nigeria Police, are consequently directed to apprehend forthwith, anyone who flouts this restriction order. “Government appeals to the general public to cooperate with security agencies in the enforcement of this action in order to stem the growing rate of criminal activities along the area,” he concluded.

NGO set to unveil old people’s home, fashion line for aged IFEOMA OKEKE


L-R: Oreoluwa Lesi, executive director of the Women’s Technology Empowerment Centre W.TEC; Matilda Kerry-Osazuwa, senior resident community health department, Lagos University Teaching Hospital; Kemi Ogunyemi, commissioner at the Lagos State Health Service Commission; Oghenevwoke Ighure, executive director strategy, Innovation and Partnerships Businessday; Delphine Misan-Arenyeka, executive director, Startrite Mayton and Company Nigeria Limited; Olayinka Akindayomi, service director, Childrens Developmental Centre; Chioma Nwosu, founder/executive director, Olamma Cares Foundation; Tade Akere, director of Psychological Services, Raphael Medical Services  Chicago, USA; Angela Emuwa, president, Autism Parents Association International/chairman Punch Nigeria Limited; Adebola Idowu, strategy, Finance and Leadership Expert; Emmanuella Otiono, director of School Centro Escolar Educational, at the 2019 Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Workshop organised by Olamma Cares Foundation in partnership with Children’s Developmental Centre.

Lawmakers resume screening of Sanwo-Olu’s Masari’s development strides excite Buhari The road, he said, was first Tony Ailemen, Abuja constructed by the defunct would-be commissioners, advisers resident Muham- Petroleum Trust Fund, which JOSHUA BASSEY


he 16-man committee of the Lagos State House of Assembly has resumed the screening of the final list of 13 commissioner and special adviser nominees forwarded to the House by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Tuesday. Recall that the committee on August 1 commenced the screening of the first batch of 25 nominees sent to the house in July, and concluded the exercise on August 3, pending the confirmation of the whole house. At the resumption of the screening on Thursday, Rotimi Abiru, the committee chairman, said that the committee had been mandated by the assembly to continue the screening. “We’re taking seven of the nominees on Thursday while

the remaining six will be taken on Friday. Among the 13 new nominees being screened are Oladele Ajayi, Oluwatoyin Fayinka, Yetunde Arobieke, Olanrewaju Sanusi and Joe Igbokwe. Others are Bonu Solomon Saanu, Kabiru Ahmed, Lola Akande, Anofi Elegushi, Solape Hammond, Moruf Fatai, Shulamite Adebolu and Tokunbo Wahab. The 25 nominees earlier screened are Toke BensonAwoyinka, Aderemi Adebowale, Tunji Bello, Adekemi Ajayi-Bembe, Wale Ahmed, Akin Abayomi, Hakeem Fahm and Gbenga Omotoso among others. Abiru said that the committee would present its report to the larger assembly of 40 members before a final decision on their confirmation or otherwise would be taken.


madu Buhari Thursday in Daura, Katsina State, applauded the developmental progress recorded by Governor Aminu Masari in the last four years. The President commended the Governor for taking good care of the people of his state. The President, speaking at the commissioning of the redesigned and re-constructed Fago-Katsayal-KwasarawaJirdede-Koza Road, one of the numerous projects executed by the State government, said “Thank you, Governor Masari, for taking care of the people of my constituency’’. The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, in a statement, said the road covered about 38 kilometres and links four local government areas.

was then headed by President Buhari, and it was extended to Dangwara, Jirdede and Koza towns. The road has the benefit of increasing mobility that would enable the predominantly farming population to optimally utilise the Koza dam and serves as a vital route option from Kano, Jigawa and Yobe States to the famous Mai’Adua International Border Market. President Buhari also commissioned another 16km road that links 20 agrarian communities of Kwanar Sabke, Sabke, Kokutu, Makangara, Haukan Zama, Nareje, Madoma, Nasarawa, Magamiyo, Dan’Aunai, Kwanar Dila, Gurje, Magale, Sabon Garin Kogon, Burtu, Dado, Minawa, Subashi, Dutsawa, Nafasa and Dutsi.

he Olori Aderonke Omolola Erinle (OAOE) Foundation, a not-for-profit and nongovernmental organization that advocates and propagates the need to help, invigorate and rehabilitate the Senior Citizens (Old people) the society plans to commence an Adult Care Centre (Old People’s Home). Alongside this, it also intends to run a fashion line for the aged which has been created to sustain the Foundation. The foundation is also calling on passionate organizations to come to sponsor the foundation at its Charity and Fundraising Ball scheduled to hold on September 14, 2019, at the Oriental Hotel, Victoria Island Lagos by 4 pm. This event which encompasses a number of novel programmes around the aged especially the official unveiling of the Adult Care Centre (Old People’s Home) and a fashion line for the aged has been created to sustain the Foundation. The home promises provide a decent and wholesome environment for the vulnerable aged. Speaking at a press conference to announce the unveiling of the home, Aderonke Omolola Erinle, founder, OAOE Foundation, said going forward, the foundation was putting measures in place to build a sustainable home that offers value and pulls in the resources to effectively carry @Businessdayng

out our mission. “The OAOE Foundation is an idea and thought that was borne out of the passion I have for the elderly, having watched my late mother (whom I took over from) being there for my grandparents, tending and attending to their everyday needs. “It was this that I grew with and after the death of my grandfather particularly, this led me to adopt the idea of caring for the elderly in my Church, and from there I took it into the larger Society. It was this attitude of mine way back that gave birth to what we have come to brief you about today,” she disclosed. Erinle stressed that with the foundation’s Motto being ‘Positively Affecting Lives (PALs), its mission to ‘Dispense total care by providing financial assistance and emotional support to the vulnerable, and its vision ‘Touching lives, Creating Change, Redefining hope and Dispensing hope’, it engages, helps and grants all forms of support to the aged. According to her, the Foundation is also actively involved in various charity programmes geared toward assisting widows, the motherless children and physically challenged in society. “Our work so far has been self-sponsored, support from a few companies and passionate individuals who share in the vision of the Foundation,” Erinle explained.

Friday 16 August 2019





Friday 16 August 2019



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ne of the biggest challenges facing humanity today is freedom of worship and religious belief. In many parts of the world, people are being persecuted for their belief. Many of my readers, I am sure, felt the pain and outrage last year when, a madman opened fire on worshippers at a mosque in Christ Church, New Zealand, killing 50 and injuring many more. It was not too long before another madman went into a Catholic cathedral in Colombo, Sri Lanka, massacring hundreds. There is a lot of Islamophobia around the world these days. Islamists have also not helped matters. The downing of the Twin Towers in New York by Al-Qaida in September 2001 was a turning point. It encouraged neo-Nazis and fascists all over Europe and the Americas to attack their law-abiding Muslim neighbours. Over the past decade, Christians in Nigeria have come increasingly under persecution. In many parts of the Sharia north there is intolerance against Christians. Man is born free, but he is everywhere in chains, so argued the French philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948 states, “Everyone shall have the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion.

This right shall include freedom to have a religion or whatever belief of his [her] choice.” Similar provisions can be found in Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights 1966, which states that, “Everyone shall have the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. This right shall include freedom to have or to adopt a religion or belief of his choice, and freedom, either individually or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in worship, observance, practice and teaching.” The 1999 constitution of Nigeria (section 38) adopts the UN Covenant on Civil and Political Rights verbatim. And as a signatory to the UN and its various treaties and instruments, we are deemed to have subscribed to the Universal Declaration and subsequent human rights conventions, including freedom of faith, religion and worship. During July 16-18 these issues came under scrutiny at the International Ministerial Summit on Religious Freedom which was held in Washington DC. The summit brought together more than 1,000 civil-society organisations and some 106 delegations from across the world. In his welcome address, Vice-President Mike Pence declared: “We’ve gathered here, 106 nations strong, because we believe in the freedom of conscience, the right of all people to live out their lives according to their deeply held religious beliefs”. In his own opening remarks, Secretary of State Michael Pompeo declared that, “The protection of religious freedom is central to the Trump administration’s foreign policy…Religious freedom is a foundational American value… a universal and inalienable right that should be afforded to all, not just a privileged few ”.

The focus of the summit was on exploring the various trends in religious freedom, ranging from anti-Semitism to Islamophobia and persecution of Christians. The meeting also sought to advance the necessary building blocks for effectively combating religious intolerance and ideological extremism while ensuring religious freedom and human rights across the world. The presentations ranged from persecuted Yezidi Christians in Iraq to Uighur Muslims in China. Nigeria was well represented at the summit. The Trump administration has named Sam Brownback as its Ambassador-at-Large for Religious Freedom. The summit was appraised of the fact that 80 percent of the world’s peoples live in “religiously restricted” environments. The International Religious Freedom Fund, established during last year’s ministerial summit, provides some emergency financing to support victims of religious persecution and abuse across the world. Under Pompeo’s Potomac Plan of Action unveiled last year, the UN was persuaded to set aside 22 August as the international day of remembrance for victims of religious persecution. Five exceptional leaders were given the much-coveted International Religious Freedom Award: Mohamed Yusaif Abdalrahan of Sudan, for working tirelessly to protect the rights of religious minorities in his strife-torn country; Imam Abubakar Abdullahi of Nigeria, for risking his life to protect Christians in his mosque when they were in dire risk of being killed in Jos, Plateau State; Ivanir dos Santos of Brazil, for arduous sacrifices in working to promote interfaith dialogue, combating discrimination and protecting vulnerable groups; William and Pascale Warda of Iraq, for devoting their lives to promotion human rights and religious

The protection of religious freedom is central to the Trump administration’s foreign policy… Religious freedom is a foundational American value… a universal and inalienable right that should be afforded to all, not just a privileged few

freedom in Iraq; and Salpy Eskidjian Weiderud of Cyprus for her leadership in spearheading the Religious Track of the Cyprus Peace Process and for tireless work in peace-building and interfaith dialogue in Cyprus. Our country Nigeria scores very low in the ranking for religious freedom. For decades, an atmosphere is being created that makes it difficult for Christians to practise their own religion with absolute of freedom and good conscience. Leah Sharibu, the teenager who rejected the offer to renounce her faith in exchange for freedom is the iconic symbol of religious persecution in Nigeria. In most parts of the north no land is ever allowed to build churches for the teeming number of worshippers. In federal universities in the north, churches are not allowed. They have to use lecture halls for Sunday worship. It was in these circumstances that in Bayero University Kano, on Sunday 30 April 2012, faceless gunmen went into a Sunday service and gunned down indiscriminately professors, students, women and children. Some 16 people were killed and dozens sustained varying levels of injury. What former President Olusegun Obasanjo alleges as a project of “Fulanisation and Islamisation” may be more real than we imagine. The Ruga fiasco and the new bill aimed at appropriating rivers and waterways appears looks like a sinister plan to handover choice pasturelands to murderous killer herdsmen, many of them foreigners. We are beginning to look like a government of foreigners, run by foreigners, in the interest of foreigners. 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)

Wellness in the office


elcome back from a long weekend. I just asked someone if she enjoyed her long weekend off and she said she was bored and was happy to be back at work. Bored or not, she may not realise it but her body and mind got some rest. Rest is of utmost importance. Rest repairs your body and keeps you looking young and makes you alert. Rest helps your concentration, your creativity and helps you refocus to relaunch. Rest restores and renews. Rest is essential. On that note I am going to talk about wellness today. Wellness is defined as the state of being in good health, especially as an actively pursued goal. So when we say wellness in the office, it is a misnomer because one cannot be well if one only actively pursues it in the office. Today’s topic is about how the organisation can promote a state of wellness for their staff. Why is this important? A good way to understand this is to take another factor of production and use that as an example. Let’s take hardware like a computer. Most organizations have people who maintain them to ensure optimum service delivery. They don’t just use them till the crash and die. They have to download updates and ensure they keep them in the best condition possible. Nobody will leave their computers in the rain or use the computer to hoover the carpet or even as a dust pan. Ensuring your workers have all round wellness is to ensure a robust bottom line at the end of the day. This will happen because the staff will be alert and excited to work. They will be focused, passionate and creative. They will be eager to learn and to go the extra mile. They will be entrepreneurial. How do I know this? These things are the opposite of what happens when people are unwell. Research has shown that a lot of the complaints

employers have about the behavior of employees is almost a direct correlation with the level of their wellness. What then is wellness? We must understand that it is not just the absence of disease. Wellness includes the good state of the spirit soul and body. Wellness includes the quality of your sleep, quality and frequency of what you eat, your stress levels, the state of your finances, your exercise regimen and exercise levels. Finally your career and stress levels. What can the organisation do to ensure wellness of staff actually goes back to the objective of the company? This cascades down to culture and finally job description, people specification and appraisals. From the beginning you have to have your employees in mind when you are creating the objectives of your company. Ensuring there is a good reward system and a good conflict resolution system. Grievance procedures must be available and indeed you must have a detailed handbook so employees are not left guessing. There are some objectives that clearly don’t have the interest of the staff at heart. If one of your objectives is to make money no matter what it may already be an indication the kind of culture the organization will promote. Once a culture of doing things in extreme the wellness of staff will be threatened. The culture of the organization needs to give staff freedom to speak and be themselves. The culture needs to within reason allow staff to express themselves and allow creativity. The job description should be properly crafted and adhered to. Like in my example above, nobody will use a computer as a dust pan; if they do, not only will the job be done improperly but it will also destroy the computer. Therefore don’t employ someone for one thing and then use them for something else.

Deadlines have to be reasonable. What is reasonable then needs to be worked out as per the industry, the level of the person and the job that needs to be done. Appraisals have to be carried out as and when due. Many people don’t understand what an appraisal really is. They think it is the time to tell the employee what he is not doing right meanwhile it is a time to review overall performance Yes, give feedback but also lay down a plan of support and mentoring so that the next appraisal period will be even better. There should be a culture of almost instant feedback on the job just to ensure the confidence of the employee is built up and not eroded over time. There are times we have made a mistake in hiring someone who does not fit the job nor the organisation. In such an instance to help the person’s sanity and the wellness of all the people who have to work with him, the best thing is to let the person go. How do we ensure, staff are getting rest and enough sleep? Educating them regularly about what adds up to total wellness. Also telling them about exercise and all those things the office cannot control directly. A fair wage for work done is also another way to ensure wellness. When people don’t have enough money they can become unwell. Some organizations don’t have a fair wage structure and you get paid what you can negotiate. Invest in a proper wage structure. This not only ensures the right amount is paid for quantity of work and responsibility but you also eliminate the office grape vine which in itself causes ill-health. Deliberate team building helps sustain wellness. When an employee knows he is a legitimate member of a good cohesive team, he thrives because he knows he can rely on his team to deliver when the chips are down. I remember many years ago when I ran a health maintenance organization. When we tried to sell


the scheme to an organisation, the CEO said his people are never ill because he spends money on deliberately building a team and they never felt they had to pull any project off alone, they could always rely on the team. That said, it is good to get them good medical packages also. The physical environment is important. Damp and musty places cause sickness. Dirty and disorganized spaces don’t help the mental state of the people. Too much clutter and broken down things all scattered everywhere and anywhere definitely does not help wellness. Poor work tools also lead to being unwell because anxiety builds every time that tool needs to be used. Deadlines will not be met and the quality of work done will almost always be poor. Recognising when someone is unwell and showing care also helps total wellness. We show care by allowing the person time off to get better and letting them know how much the organisation is relying on them. This is not all we can do to ensure that our employees are well which in turn swells the bottom line. However, they are just some tips to help. Have a great weekend and think wellness. Balogun is the founder of Box & Cedar Ltd a boutique Recruitment and HR Consulting firm


Friday 16 August 2019




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The Nigerian army at the Edinburgh tattoo


dinburgh is a city that occupies a place of special affection in your heart, and in the hearts of your family. Living in that city, where most of the prominent events revolve around the Castle – an ancient hilltop redoubt with a lot of history, and Princes Street, on its perimeter, where all the high street shops are located, you had a great transformative experience which you could not completely process until several years later. They were years spent reading Sigmund Freud, Karl Gustav Jung and Melanie Klein, struggling to understand the intricacies of the human mind and to become a different type of psychiatrist. Among its many distinctions, which include breakthrough achievements in Medicine, Artificial Intelligence and virtually all fields of human endeavour, Edinburgh is known all over Europe as a City of Culture. Since 1947, and usually in the month of August, it has hosted the Edinburgh International Festival that is rated by many as the preeminent cultural celebration in all of Europe. In the early years, the festival consisted of mainstream events such as musical performances and

drama in various venues in the city. Over time, other, less-mainstream activities were added, creating ‘The Fringe’ – which in time became even larger than the festival itself. Later still, a Jazz Festival latched on to the festivities, creating a heady mix. The Fringe featured everything and encompassed everybody – from hungry students from Tokyo exhibiting weird body paintings on The Royal Mile to a group from Albania cavorting about in a war dance reminiscent of Genghis Khan. In a small hall off the Leith Walk, you could listen to Maya Angelou bringing her audience to tears as she rendered ‘I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings’. Just around the corner, in a dingy little place, two South African men in rumpled Johannesburg street wear would be performing ‘Sizwe Banzi Is Dead’. The period of the festival was always a time to cut class and savour the world, enjoying what little sun there was in that perpetually cold and blustery city. One of the staples of the festival has always been the Tattoo, a military parade – or rather a set of military parades and displays held in the foothills of the Castle. The Tattoo displays the proud military tradition of the Scots, with soldiers attired in kilts marching in formation as they blow their bagpipes. Guest bands from different countries are invited to enrich the diversity. The audiences, from all over the world, sit in tiered rows, watching the floodlit performance with the haunting hulk of the Castle in the background. There is a trending video of a contingent from the Nigerian army performing at this year’s Edinburgh Tattoo. The commentator, clearly a

Nigerian soldier, walks the audience through the performance, which commences with a sprightly marchin. The soldiers form and re-group in different formations, not missing a step. They go into a square formation. In comes a cultural troupe, representing, by their dress and manner of dance, the different ethnic groups of Nigeria. There is a wedding ceremony, with exchange of kolanuts. There is drumming and dancing. The uniformed men form a circle. The gaily-dressed ‘civilians’ charge through the circle, mingling effortlessly with the soldiers. There is much symbolism in the performance, according to the commentator. It shows that civilian and soldier are united and living in harmony in Nigeria. The Nigerians exit to the marching tune of a popular Yoruba song ‘Iya ni wura iyebiye … …o r’oyun mi f ’osu m’esan…’ The audience is clearly delighted. There is much clapping. The easy mingling of the civilians in the protective circle formed by the marching soldiers is intended as a metaphor for the reality of the Nigerian nation. Sadly, and irrespective of whatever the enthusiastically patriotic commentator may say on the matter, it is not so – at least not yet. That easy amiability, the love and trust displayed in the dance formation, is, at best, a ‘work in progress’ on the ground. The Nigerian army is fighting a difficult war in the north east of the country, and there is much emotional support and sympathy from all across the nation for the nation’s gallant soldiers. But, in perspective, the relation-

The Nigerian army is fighting a difficult war in the north east of the country, and there is much emotional support and sympathy from all across the nation for the nation’s gallant soldiers

ship of the Nigerian with his army has been a fraught one, from the first incursion of soldiers into the nation’s affairs in 1966. The military have ruled Nigeria in one form or another for all too many of the years since Independence. In that time, the nation has played like a broken record, going back to the beginning every time. It has been a rather less than happy story, if the truth be told, from the draconian regime that wanted to impose ‘Law and Order’, and nothing else, to the ‘Military President’ who fancied himself as a cross between Ataturk and Mahathir, followed by a ‘Maximum Ruler’ who cornered the Central Bank and conquered the Yoruba – or so he thought. Now in an ostensibly civilianled Fourth Republic, the story is of herdsmen and hoodlums kidnapping and killing people all over the place, and a rather less-than-stellar response from the nation’s protectors. The recent incident in Taraba State where soldiers killed policemen who had gone to arrest a kidnapper is emblematic of, not just the fears, but the living reality of the people. The Nigerian military gave an excellent performance at the Edinburgh Tattoo, 2019 edition, and Nigerians should be truly proud of them. For their dramatic depiction of joy and love to have any bearing on reality, they must raise their game and root out rogue elements who are giving citizens cause to doubt and worry about their intentions and their ability to protect the people they are sworn to serve. Femi Olugbile is a Writer and Psychiatrist. Comments to’

Building an exceptional customer experience


ere’s an interesting definition of a customer. A customer is a person who indirectly pays your bills, vacations and hobbies and still, gives you the opportunity to better yourself. He can fire everyone in an organisation from top down, from the boss to the janitor, simply by deciding to spend his money elsewhere. Most fallen organizations got to that point unknowingly through a constant decline in customer satisfaction, poor customer engagement and eventually extremely bad experiences that spreads and opens you up faster than Google’s homepage. In today’s transactional driven world, one of the best competitive advantages any business can have is that point where customers are treated differently. They should feel something more than a transaction, perhaps a connection, an experience, a strong stimulation they’ll be engaged and addicted to. Not a lot firms provides this. In winning competition, you can only win through three means, cost leadership, niche focus and differentiation. In most cases cost leadership and price wars only favour large firms with economies of scale. Most times, your prices can’t be lower. In other words, “If our prices are higher, then why should they buy from us?” Well, maybe if there are a set of other Unique Selling Points, especially through superior customer relationship and experience, customers will be stuck with you. Once upon a time, customer service used to be a department. But now, it is the competitive advantage. It is everyone, it is everything. Customer service is the service provided to customers before, during and after a transaction. Good customer service provides an experience that doesn’t just meet, but surpasses customer expectations. It produces satisfied and repeat transactions which is the bedrock for business growth. The start of superior customer service begins

before a transaction, around marketing by understanding the needs and expectation a customer. In the words of the management guru Peter Drucker, “the aim of marketing is to know, engage and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself.” It starts off right when we structure out our market, not just by demography, but by psychographs. In other words common baselines for connections, between, you, the customer and their needs. Understanding customer needs and their levels of aspirations and expectations is important. There have been a lot of theories around this, but for us at Hexavia, one of the most effective models still remains the Kano model. Let me break it down at this point. The Kano model is a theory for product development and customer satisfaction. It talks about satisfying customer’s need, but clearly states that not all customer needs are equal. Because of that, it tries to categorise and prioritise customer needs and breaks them into four touch points. From Minimum Value Proposition (MVP) to Onedimensional quality to Attractive quality and over time, based on competition and the experience of customers, that attribute will drift over time from Exciting to Performance and then to Essential. The drift is driven by customer expectations and by the level of performance from competing products. Must-be Quality (MVP) Simply stated, are the requirements of the customers that are taken for granted. When done well, customers are just neutral, but when done poorly, customers are very dissatisfied. Kano originally called these “Must-bes” because they are the requirements that must be included and are the price of entry into a market. An example is when you travel on a flight and meet your luggage at the

carousel ready for pick up. It’s expected, so you’re unsatisfied; but if you didn’t see it you’d be dissatisfied. This can also be referred to as the MVP. One-dimensional quality These attributes result in satisfaction when fulfilled and dissatisfaction when not fulfilled. An example of this would be a milk package that claims to have ten percent more milk for the same price but only contains six percent; the customer will feel misled and dissatisfied. Attractive quality These are exceptional qualities. These attributes provide satisfaction when achieved fully, but do not cause dissatisfaction when not fulfilled. This is the point at which out-of-the-world brand promises are made. These are attributes that are silent, the ones in which companies compete on. These are attributes that are unexpected, for example, a thermometer on a package of milk showing the temperature of the milk. Since these types of attributes of quality unexpectedly delight customers, they are often unspoken. Indifferent quality These attributes refer to aspects that are neither good nor bad, and they do not result in either customer satisfaction or dissatisfaction. For example, thickness of the wax coating on a milk carton. This might be important to the design and manufacturing of the carton, but consumers are not even aware of the distinction. It is interesting to identify these attributes in the product in order to suppress them and therefore diminish production costs. Reverse quality These attributes refer to a high degree of achievement resulting in dissatisfaction and to the fact

EIZU UWAOMA that not all customers are alike. For example, some customers prefer high-tech products, while others prefer the basic model of a product and will be dissatisfied if a product has too many extra features. People and organizations buy a product for its functional and non-tangible benefits. The functional benefits of a product within an industry and grade are usually the same. Take for example, a car, the functional benefit is transportation. But the non-tangible benefits differ; say “comfort, trust, and prestige”. This makes a brand, it makes the brand. This differentiates a Benz from a Kia. The former may be the more expensive, but still the preferred choice. That difference should be the promise, the perception and customer experience we offer. As industries get organized and standardized, most battles for competition can only be won through non-tangible benefits. We are practically seeing this through the rating mechanisms and strategies by Uber, Bolt and the likes.

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Uwaoma is a start-up, corporate restructuring and strategy consultant. He writes via



Friday 16 August 2019




Politicians and independence of the Central Bank


he presidential directive to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) not to stop providing foreign exchange for food importation is worrying. It is a continuation of the nowestablished practice of the current administration to interfere and usurp the independence of the CBN. The practice is not only dangerous and unlawful, but detrimental to the growth and development of the economy, and ultimately, the image of the country before investors and international financial institutions. History has taught us – and scholars are now documenting the lessons – that a great deal of the difference between developed/prosperous societies and those that are not are traceable to the presence and quality of institutions. For instance, Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson – in their

highly acclaimed book “Why Nations Fail” conclusively show that the reason why some nations are rich and others poor, is as a result of the quality of institutions in the former and its absence or weakness in the latter. Take Korea – a remarkably homogenous nation – yet the people of the South are among the richest while those of the North are among the poorest in the world. The contrasting fortunes of the two Koreas are in the nature and quality of their economic and political institutions. While those of the South are open, encouraging innovation and full participation in the economy coupled with a workable political system that is fully accountable and responsive to citizens, those of the North are closed, dependent on individuals and unaccountable and responsive to citizens. That is why countries that seek to build prosperous and

sustainable societies anchor them on strong institutions rather than on personal rule or strong men. Institutions are impersonal and enduring and not subject to the whims and caprices of leaders. They outlive individuals and guarantee progress regardless of the people inhabiting them at any point in time. And the literature on political economy has been quite clear: central banks have had the greatest impact in maintaining economic stability when they act independently and free from political interferences. In Nigeria however, though our law books guarantee the independence of the CBN, politicians (more particularly the Buhari administration) usurp its powers and determine monetary policy. Early in the life of this administration, the president made it quite clear who was in charge of monetary policy decisions. The President has voiced his

ignorance of economics, and unconvinced of an “economic explanation” for devaluing the naira, shown his displeasure for the D-word. He has pointedly said devaluation is not good for a country that imports toothpicks. Despite the shortage a rigid administration of available dollars and multiple exchange rates has caused. Consequently, the preoccupation of the CBN has been to tailor all its policies to the disposition of the president. The results of all these interferences in the economy have been negative. They portray the CBN as a rudderless institution that relies on the body language of its political masters for important decisions. Decisions that are normally the exclusive preserve of professionals. This administration must realise that prosperous and sustainable societies are built on strong institutions not the whims of a strong man. It never works!


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Friday 16 August 2019




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Nigeria: Lack of discernment as a national malaise TALES FROM THE MAIN ROAD



et us start on a good footing before we return to the matter at hand. Happy Sallah to all our Muslim brothers and sisters and I hope the rest of you had a good holiday. For all of us collectively, I hope you had time to reflect and ponder as to where we are as a nation and where we are going. Indeed, for me it was particularly a time for deep reflection. I have been away for a little over three weeks and I apologise to all our readers who continue to keep the faith. But I am back. While I was away I had some thoughts which I would like to share concerning our collective heritage as Nigerians and how we manage information and intelligence generally. As a people we like parties. We like enjoyment but we also like to talk and therein lies a national problem. Talk is good when it is productive. It is not when it is unsolicited and it becomes an arsenal, a ticking bomb. I will give you a backstory before we get where we are going on this. When I was a little girl, my father would say, not everything you hear is to be repeated and not everything you see is to be spoken about. Some things, he would say, are best kept to your chest. I am generally a very discerning person and could keep information for the longest if I am trusted with it. But I find that aside the internet

where everything is fair play including but not limited to where you are going, who you are sleeping with, how you feel and other such private and unsolicited information, Nigerians tend to carry on when it is not required. Take the British for instance. They are quite capable of talking to you about the weather and culture and new music throughout a cocktail party that lasts two hours. We, on the other hand are talking about our troops and their exact location as told to us by a senior security officer who is a friend or a cousin serving in some security zone who has given you high level information which you now share at a social gathering crawling with members of the international community. Merde! How does a nation come back from a difficult security situation as we are in when there are leaks everywhere from beer parlours to salons? And sometimes in the media, with a lot of journalists with no training in discernment, foreign policy and national security? Not all information is cannon fodder. Our troops are at risk when we speak casually about what is going on and discuss what we know and what we don’t. It is disheartening when we cross the lines on security and describe it as investigative journalism. But sections of the media are not alone in dealing with this complete lack of discernment in relation to matters of national security. It has become a national sport. So you are seating at an airport and a self-entitled man decides to discuss Boko Haram and other insurgencies in the country. Speaking at a high pitched tone, he proceeds to lecture us all in the waiting room about how he is a security expert and how he could have done better than everyone else in the security apparatchik if he were given a chance. He

dismisses everyone in the hierarchy and proceeds to say unprintable things. All in a waiting room with a select group of Indians, Chinese, Lebanese and one American. A sense of shame washes over me. My mum would slap you if you spoke out of turn and out of place in front of strangers. There are appropriate places for such a discussion and certainly not an airport lounge where you are the only one speaking to no one in particular. Then there are taxi drivers who serve as a major source of intelligence, if properly deployed all over the world. Some Nigerians proceed to make phone calls about large sums of money and discuss private and security matters in a taxi with their phones on speaker. Ehm... do you recall that this taxi driver is not your family? Some of the most incredible stories about what the security situation, where I should or should not go at night and where I can find persons drunk and sharing money from God knows where have been told to me by taxi drivers. Imagine! When I was still in service, I used to be gobsmacked by the amount of information junior officers told me from meetings they did not attend. Mostly sensitive issues, sometimes they were promotion issues. While I kept my mouth shut about these issues until they are pronounced officially, it was difficult for me to understand why a subordinate officer would come to thank me for some official trip, promotion or opportunity which I felt was still been processed and which can in fact be reversed if a better candidate was found or if a pending candidate was found wanting. The grins and gesticulations and profuse thankfulness to embarrassed me. Someone from within the inner echelon of the meet-

Gathering and protecting intelligence in Nigeria is a tough call. There is a lot of flippancy and believe me it’s not from the street boys and girls, but some high ranking and respected

ing had spilled the beans; sometimes your very words from a meeting are played back especially if it concerned a disciplinary matter. Many secretaries are no longer discerning and give out sensitive documents for the beer. And pray tell, how do sensitive documents not meant for circulation make their way online from the highest offices in the land? Something is wrong with a nation where word of mouth gossip and loose talk, internet spillages of sensitive information and high level security matters are falling in the hands of taxi drivers. How is information to be managed in Nigeria? How should civil servants behave in the face of sensitive material? The rule books tell us but we find memos been used to wrap corn and bean cake across the land. Something is wrong and is deeply affecting intelligence, security and diplomacy. How can we relearn that not everything is post-worthy, that talking loudly about sensitive issues on your phone in a taxi is a no-no? How do we tell people who attend social events at embassies not to discuss Nigeria’s security issues? Really all they offered was meat pies, fruits, suya and a couple of drinks. This should ordinarily not loosen your tongue. How do we protect ourselves and halt this malady? Gathering and protecting intelligence in Nigeria is a tough call. There is a lot of flippancy and believe me it’s not from the street boys and girls, but some high ranking and respected members of the community. Can we pause and talk about the weather please? Eugenia Abu is a broadcaster, writer, trainer, band and multimedia strategy expert and media consultant. Contact.

Brexit from the perspective of a Commonwealth citizen THE PUBLIC SPHERE WITH CHIDO NWAKANMA


any people support or oppose Brexit for different reasons but having lived in the UK for the past nine years and seen how the system has marginalised Commonwealth citizens, I see Brexit as levelling the playing field for everyone. People will no longer be discriminated against because they are non-EU citizens, especially when it comes to job opportunities.” That is the opinion of Dr Stella Oluwaseun, a lecturer at the University of Nottingham, on the significant issue of the day in Britain for all who have dealings with that country. During my three weeks in the UK, Brexit was the elephant in the room. It is a huge animal described differently by various respondents depending on which part of it they are holding. Brexit has now seen off two British Prime Ministers. David Cameron was against it and lost the polls, so he followed his heart and head and resigned. Theresa May was for Remain, got the nod of her party but could not execute the Leave plan. The party forced her out three years on. What do ordinary citizens think? What are the concerns of immigrants? Many contend that at the heart of Brexit is a backlash against immigration. Stella Oluwaseun is an example of the kind of immigrants Nigeria now sends out: highly qualified, technocratic and able to hold their ground

anywhere in the world. The then Stella Ndubuisi earned a BSc in Food Science and Technology at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka and a Post Graduate Diploma in Manpower Economics and Planning from the University of Lagos. We met as part of the alumni network. Stella was gravitating away from the sciences to a keen interest in the social sciences and the public sphere. She left full-time work to run an NGO, Ray of Hope Foundation. Her platform brought hope to street children by taking these disadvantaged ones off the streets and enrolling them in school. They were the urban underclass who sold little confectionery and stuff to support their families. At her request and following my interest and encouragement, I served as Chairman of the Board. Corporate governance was critical for us as professionals and because Ray of Hope Foundation relied on donations from individuals as well as the scholarships and support of the schools. As opportunity beckons to the prepared, Stella earned the Ford Foundation scholarship for a master’s degree in International Development Policy at the Ivy League Duke University in the United States. While there, she got the Vice Chancellor’s International Research Excellence Scholarship that covered her fees for the PhD in Sociology and Social Policy at the University of Nottingham Dr Stella Oluwseun teaches at the University of Nottingham and would be starting on a new academic post at the University of

Leeds in September. Is pulling yourself up by the bootstrap part of the appeal of conservatism, I ask this young academic enamoured of Boris Johnson and the Conservative Party? She responded, “For someone who has benefited immensely from globalisation, I am not anti-immigration, as some people tend to see those who support Brexit. I am all for meritocracy. And it was the Leave campaign that positioned Brexit as levelling the playing field for all by recounting how Commonwealth citizens who should have a stake in Britain were left marginalised by EU policies. For example, EU citizens have freedom of movement within the EU, whereas Commonwealth citizens pay through their noses to gain visas to visit or remain in the UK. Secondly, Commonwealth citizens, regardless of how qualified they are, fell down the pecking order and could only get a job if there was no eligible EU citizen for that role. It got so bad that some employers didn’t bother going through the rigours of meeting the requirements for employing non-EU citizens. “I remember applying for a job while still a PhD student, but the system was such that couldn’t proceed with the application after the first question, which was if I had British or EU citizenship. But since the Brexit vote, such discrimination in employment is no longer overt because the focus is more on attracting the best talents to the UK these days. Now Commonwealth citizens pay Immigration Health Surcharge yearly so they can have access to the National Health Service in

addition to the taxes they already pay whereas EU citizens are not subjected to these laws.” With her responses, a lesson in citizen response to policy and how it varies, Dr Oluwaseun sums up. “Some support Brexit to take back their sovereignty in terms of the UK no longer being subject to the EU laws and the European Courts of Justice. Some support it because they want to limit immigration to the UK because they believe their social services – schools, healthcare, housing, etc. – are at breaking point. Some because they feel their culture is being eroded, others because they see immigrants as a drain on their welfare system. None of these reasons works for me. My take is to shift the balance and stop the discrimination suffered by non-EU citizens, especially Commonwealth citizens whose countries gave so much to build the British Empire in the past. “Leave supporters see many advantages in Brexit. They include control over their laws, freedom to trade with whomsoever across the world and control of immigration using the points-based system. Dr Oluwaseun submits that “Commonwealth countries can build mutually beneficial trading relationships with the UK after Brexit. I think the onus is on Commonwealth countries to start being strategic in terms of how they can benefit from the post-Brexit UK”. A significant date and decisions await the UK concerning Brexit in October. Deal or no deal?



Friday 16 August 2019


cityfile NSCDC arrests 4 suspected vandals in Kaduna


The Tiv Youth Council and civil society organizations staging a peaceful protest in Abuja on Wednesday (14/8/19), to end the killings in Taraba. NAN

Group decries spate of killings in Nigeria


Civil Society Oranisation known as ACT has decried the spate of extrajudicial killings in the country and called for proactive measures by government to halt the trends. Kolawole Johnson, the acting Director, Research, Strategy and Communications, ACT made the call in Abuja, saying the measures were urgently required to re-ignite the confidence of the citizenry. According to Johnson, there is also the need to investigate reports of killing of civilians by security agents to curb the menace. “The Friday preceding the Salah holiday, a lot of Nigerians spent over nine hours on Kaduna-Abuja

road because a trigger happy policeman killed a driver. There were some other killings in some other parts of the country in the past week; the indiscipline in the force today is very unhealthy for our nation. “When the policemen were killed in Taraba, our organisation was worried, because every Nigerian is important, in the same vein, we cannot gloss over the killings of innocent Nigerians by the police.’’ Johnson called on President Muhammadu Buhari to bring his experience to bear on the nation’s security apparatus to curb the indiscriminate killings, adding that it was capable of truncating Nigeria’s democracy.

This, he said was the reason the group clamoured for fresh hands as security chiefs for the next level of Buhari’s administration. “Perhaps, we should seize the opportunity to appeal to the president to ensure that we have round pegs in round holes in allocation of ministerial portfolios. “When you have appropriate hands in the right places, you do not struggle with performance. The nation cannot afford to crawl at present, the ministers should take the batons and run as fast as our ideas and resources can take us,’’ he said. Johnson said that in setting agenda, it was absolutely necessary to retool the office of the Secretary

to the Federal Government to monitor policy and programmes implementation across the ministries and set the right indexes for periodic evaluation. He said that the office of research and statistics should also be strengthened to perform its duties to the benefits of the nation. According to him, this will make it easier for government to keep tabs on policy implementations, impacts and further needs assessment. He said that one of the best forms of effective and efficient implementation was to appoint the right person thus enhancing performance and that way the President would leave legacies behind.

Foundation urges support for widows, orphans ENDURANC OKAFOR


he Chinwe BodeAkinwande (CBA) Foundation, a non-governmental organisation has empowered hundreds of windows and orphans with business grants, food-items, clothing and scholarships, while also stressing the need for them to be given special attention. According to the NGO during a one-day outreach supported by First Bank of Nigeria, the empowerment was in recognition of the 2019 United Nations International Widows’ Day.

The foundation rekindled the hope of the widows, within Okun-Ilado community of Ibeju-Lekki, Lagos, as it provided the women and their families with free medical treatments. The founder of the foundation, Chinwe Bode-Akingbade, said that the gesture was to boost the confidence of the widows and empower them economically. “I decided to do this because I am led by God. Also, I have watched closely, listened to some of the victims of widowhood and I realised that less attention is paid to them. I have friends who are

victims and I can tell you, the dehumanisation and injustice meted to widows in the country is unimaginable, hence, I decided to contribute my little quota to alleviate their pains.” She explained that the NGO currently has over 600 widows on its care, and about 90 percent of the children have dropped out of school because of lack of funds. “We are able to give to them what they can build on. We don’t want children who should be in schools on the streets because their mothers cannot afford school fees. Who knows if the future

president is among them?” She queried rhetorically. She further called on the government to implement and enforce the Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Act (VAPP) which has the protection of widows in the country for widows to know their rights and for people to thread with caution. The traditional ruler (Baale) of the Okun-Ilado community, Ologbon Oladehinde Oloye, said that the gesture would go a long way in salvaging the wretched situation of widows in the community.

h e Ni g e r i a S e curity and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Kaduna command, said it had ar reste d four cr iminal suspects on Aug. 8, in Jere town of Kagarko local government area, Kaduna State. Spokesperson of the command, Orndiir Terzungwe, who briefed journalists on behalf of the commandant, Babangida Dustima, on Wednesday, said the suspects were arrested in connection with conspiracy, vandalism and theft in a farm centre on Kaduna-Abuja expressway. “The four suspects criminally conspired, broke into and vandalised a store container at a farm centre, SCC, Jere belonging to Replenish Farm and the incidents were reported by the store

keeper and supervisor. He listed the items carted away by the suspects to include 40 bags of NPK fertilizer, 132 litres of Atrazine chemicals, 108 litres of striker and nine sachets of caterpillar force. He added that the total net value of the items was N813,300. Also recovered from the suspects were hacksaw, pa d lo ck, th re e m o bi le telephones and empty cartons of Atrazine and caterpillar force. He said that after investigation the suspects would be charged to court for prosecution. He therefore appealed to the public to cooperate with security agencies and always give useful infor mation for proactive action. The four suspects ages are 25 years, 30 years, 37 years and 40 years, respectively.

Police nab cultists in Anambra


he police in Anambra have arrested four suspects, including chairman of a market association alleged to be behind recent cult-related killings in the state. Police public relations officer, Anambra command, Haruna Mohammed, who stated this in Awka, said the suspects were arrested by a team led by the Police Commissioner (CP) in charge of the state, John Abang. He recalled that on August 10 and August 11, two rival cult groups, Black Axe and Vikings Confraternities, clashed at Dike Park near Eke Awka in Awka South area of the

state. The incident, according to Mohammed, claimed the life of two persons. He explained that following the incident, the command’s “Operation Puff-Adder’’ led by the CP launched a manhunt for the suspects. According to Mohammed, the suspects were eventually caught at Dike Park and Umukwa village, leading to the arrest of the four suspected “sponsors/ members of Black Axe and Vikings confraternities’’. He said efforts were being intensified to track down other fleeing gang members involved in the killings for prosecution. NAN

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


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

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

Friday 16 August 2019






Olam International’s net income slides 8.5% in H1 on higher costs, SFRS adoption …expects Dangote Flour acquisition to be finalized in Q4 ISRAEL ODUBOLA


lam International, a food and agri-business company headquartered in Singapore with presence in 70 countries including Nigeria, saw net income slid 8.5 percent in the first half of 2019, according to the firm’s midyear earnings report released on Wednesday, August 14. The company’s profit after tax and minority interest trended southwards to S$230.3 million in the first six months of 2019, from S$251.9 million a year earlier on the heels of higher depreciation and amortisation, higher net borrowing cost and exceptional losses. The agro-business giant noted that the adoption of Singapore Financial Reporting Standard (SFRS) which took effect January 1 also weighed on bottom-line; saying excluding exceptional losses and the impact of SFRS, net income would have jumped 3.6 percent to S$261 million. Olam’s sales revenue grew 16.2 percent to S$ 15.9 billion from S$13.7 billion realized in the preceding comparable period. Sales of goods spiked 40 percent to 19.1 billion metric tonnes on increase in grain trading volume. Also, earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) jumped 14 percent due to improved EBITDA from all

segments except industrial materials, infrastructure and logistics. “We delivered a steady set of results amid growing political and macroeconomic uncertainties affecting most of our markets” said Sunny Verghese, the Group’s CEO in a note to investors. Verghese noted that the improvement in EBITDA reflects the effectiveness of the group’s differentiated and defensible strategy. “We are making good progress in executing our new strategic plan, and also investing in several new initiatives to offer differentiated solutions to our customers”, he said. Meanwhile, the Board of Directors declared an interim dividend of 3.5 Singaporean cents per share, in the first six months of 2019, the same it declared in half year 2018. Olam bettered performance in terms of cash flows and gearing. The firm generated positive cash flows to equity worth S$864.2 million half-year 2019 compared with deficit S$167 million posted last year, hinging it on lower deployment of working capital. Anantharaman Shekhar, Olam’s Chief Operating Officer, stated that the improvement recorded in gearing and free cash flows helped strengthen the group’s balance sheet. “We are well positioned for H2’19 as we approach the peak of the procurement season for several of our com-

modities with likely increases in working capital deployment”, Shekhar said. He noted that the group is focused on divesting the identified non-core assets to complete its planned fixed investment. The move to acquire Nigeria’s most-capitalized miller, Dangote Flour Mills Plc, is to support the strategy of Olam’s Grain & Animal Feed business to expand its wheat milling capacity in high-growth market like Nigeria. Olam says acquisition would also provide enhanced manufacturing capacity and create synergies with the

Group’s existing business. Recall that in August 5, Dangote Flour said it received a revised N120 billion offer from Olam Int’l through Crown Flour Mill to acquire the entire shares of the former excluding the ones held by Crown Flour Mill through Olam. This equates to a consideration fee of N24 for each share of Dangote Flour following the adjustment. The Group expects the transaction to be finalized during the fourth quarter of the year. A further dive into the company’s earnings report showed mixed performance

across its four business segments. While proceeds from food staples & packaged food and industrial materials, infrastructure & logistics rose some 38 percent and 15 percent respectively, cash from edible nuts & spices tanked 1 percent and 10 percent respectively. Olam in early days of the year unveiled a 5-year strategic plan to capitalize on key trends shaping the sector. The firm cited increasing demand for healthier foods, traceable and sustainable sourcing, e-commerce and rise of purpose brands as trends it seeks to leverage.

Going forward, the group expressed optimism for full year 2019 performance despite political and economic uncertainties in the global economy. “We believe our diversified and well-balanced portfolio provides a resilient platform to navigate challenges in both global economy and commodity market”, Olam said. Olam Int’l began operations in Nigeria in 1989, and has evolved to a multinational agribusiness giant today, supplying food and industrial raw materials to over 23, 000 consumers globally.


Uber’s $5.2bn quarterly loss shows deviation from profitability path

…stock hits new all-time low MIKE OCHONMA


ide-hailing company Uber has failed to assure investors of its growth potential or that it can turn a profit anytime soon. This follows the reported second-quarter adjusted sales that fell short of estimates even as the company posted a net loss of $5.24 billion, which is by far the largest ever for the business. Most of that loss was attributed to stock-based compensation associated with the initial public offering in May,

a routine expense for newly public companies. The adjusted loss; a more commonly used metric for ride-hailing companies, which excludes interest, tax and other expenses more than doubled to $656 million but was not as large as the $979.1m analysts expected. Consequently, shares of ride-hailing firm fell to a new all-time low of $33.36 during intraday trading on Wednesday in extension of its bear run which saw the stock price drop below $36 for the first time.

The stock plunged more than 6 percent of its market value, bringing its market cap below $60 billion. This is more than $10 billion shortfall from its listing value after its first trading day in May. What really raised concerns, though, was Uber’s disappointing sales growth. Adjusted revenue in the second quarter increased 12 per cent from a year earlier, the slowest rate in the company’s history. The San Franciscobased company generated $2.87bn in adjusted revenue for the second quarter, below

the estimates of $3.05bn. Uber hasn’t even been public for three months, but investors are wondering how long it can keep growing. Chief executive of the company, Dara Khosrowshahi suggested the business had a broader problem last week, when the company said it would cut about 400 employees in marketing. Khosrowshahi acknowledged those concerns, while defending the business as one with “growth rates that companies at our scale would kill for”. He emphasised the signs

of growth potential. Gross bookings, a number used to track customer demand, rose 31 percent to $15.76bn and Uber expects to maintain that growth rate for the year, forecasting $65bn to $67bn in gross bookings. Meanwhile a US-based company Lyft has reported losses and revenue figures that both exceeded estimates and boosted its annual forecast. Lyft, which operates the number two ride-hailing app in the US, indicated that the price war with Uber is abating and that the company expects to

lose less this year than in 2018, which was welcome news to investors. Both stocks saw a bump as a result, but much of Uber’s gains were wiped out after it reported results. “We are definitely seeing the competitive environment improve,” he said. Still, Uber forecasts an adjusted loss of $3bn to $3.2bn this year. “We think that 2019 will be our peak investment year,” Khosrowshahi said. “In 2020, 2021, you’ll see losses come down.” He also confirmed that the battle for market share is easing.

Editor: LOLADE AKINMURELE ( Graphics: Samuel Iduh


Friday 16 August 2019



Business Event


Nigerian logistics startup Kobo360 raises $30m for expansion SEGUN ADAMS


igeriantechstartup Kobo360 has successfully raised capital for expansion in a round of funding backed by United States-based Investment Bank, Goldman Sachs on prospects of the freight company successfully replicating its business across different markets. Nigerian banks also participated in financing the startup. The capital is made of $20 million Series A round led by Goldman Sachs and $10 million in working capital financing from Nigerian commercial banks, TechCrunch reports. Kobo360 is a tech-enabled digital logistics platform that aggregates end-to-end haulage operations. The company which currently operates in Nigeria, Togo, Ghana, and Kenya would use the fund it has raised to explore opportunities in ten new markets across Africa. Obi Ozor, CEO and cofounder of Kobo360 told TechCrunch the logistics startup

would conclude on the new African countries it would be operating in by the first quarter of next year but still has global expansion in mind. “We’re definitely thinking global, we just want to make sure we close out our home market first, then we’ll start looking outside,” Ozor said. Kobo360 would invest part of the capital in creating its blockchain enabled system Global Logistics Operating System (GLOS), which would enable increase the company’s presence in supply-chain business. The startup would be also looking to take advantage of the recently signed Africa Continental Trade Area (AfCTA) agreement, the success of which according to Ozor depends on logistics. “We’re going to do some policy work through the IFC so we can help shape AfCTA. The key to the deal is really logistics, so if the logistics component doesn’tworkoutthedealisn’tgoing to work,” the co-founder said. Ife Oyodelo and Obi Ozor launched Kobo360 in 2017 and

early last year was accepted into Y Combinator’s summer 2018 batch and received $120,000 for 7 percent equity. Y Combinator is an American seed accelerator. The Nigerian startup also in December last year raised $6 million for its operations and expansion into Ghana, Togo and Cote D’Ivoire. Expansion across the continent would intensify the rivalry between Kobo360 and Kenyan-based Lori Systems, both e-logistics firms which have entered the primary market of the other. Africa’s logistics industry is worth some $150 billion, although it still mostly relies on telephones, opaque pricing and full of expensive middlemen. Since its establishment, Kobo360 has supported 2,345 businesses and moved 300 million kg of packages across its markets. The company also operates a fleet of 10,879 and has been awarded Top 100 SMEs in Nigeria, 2018 by BusinessDay and Disrupter of the year award 2019 by African CEO Forum.


Shareholders of Red Star Express approve N253m dividend payment …as turnover rises by 20% HOPE MOSES-ASHIKE


ne of Nigeria’s foremost logistics providers reported impressive numbers across all performance indicators, in spite of the operating challenges encountered during its financial ended March 31, 2019. The company’s turnover rose by 20 percent to N10 billion in 2019 from N8.4 billion recorded in the last financial year of 2018. Suleiman Barau, Red Star Chairman, attributed the increase to some growth platforms which were established by the company including the West African expansion initiatives. Consequently, the shareholders of the company approved the payment of N253 million at 43kobo for every 50kobo per share, subject to

withholding tax, as declared at its annual general meeting by the chairman. Based on the company’s current earnings per share of 79 kobo, an improvement over 59 kobo in the business year ended March 31, 2018, dividend payout ratio for Red Star stands at 54.43 percent. Red Star Management also reiterated its commitment to seeking new opportunities for revenue generation and expansion and also investing wisely in appropriate resources. In light of plans to grow, the logistics firm plans to raise additional capital through Rights Issue, and has received the approval of shareholders at the Annual General Meeting held on August 31, 2017. The purpose of the Right Issue is to enable Red Star Express to expand its current

operations, implement new growth opportunities already identified and optimize its use of technology. The company revealed that the Right Issue would be open in a couple of weeks and it will be issued on the basis of one (1) new ordinary share for every two (2) ordinary share held. “I therefore enjoin you all to take up your Rights to enable the company achieve its goals and create more wealth for shareholders,” Barau said. A Right Issues is a process by which a company raises capital by offering additional new shares in the company to existing shareholders. The additional shares are offered at a discount to the market price on a stated future date and in proportion to their existing holdings.

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Muyiwa Gbadegesin (2nd r), MD/CEO, Lagos Waste Management Authority (LAWMA); Ibrahim Odumboni (r), executive director; Kemi Sulaimon (2nd l), coordinator, LAWMA central district operations, and Folashade Kadiri (l), assistant director, public affairs, LAWMA, at the inspection of LAWMA operations at Marine/Apapa bridge, Ijora, Lagos.

L-R: Niyi Odukomaiya, sergeant at Arms, The Bikers with Attitude and Determination Gang (BADGANG); Oriola Oluwadarasimi, digital marketing executive, Dufil Prima Foods Plc; Linda Dominguez, social director, BMW Club, and Segun Solanke, president, BADGANG, at the BADGANG Jollof and Palmie 3.0 event supported by Indomie Relish in Lagos.

L-R: Segun Obagbemi, creative director, Metamorphostyle, and Steve Babaeko group CEO, X3M Ideas, at the Cocktail reception held in honour of Babaeko on his selection as one of Adweek’s Global Creative 100 in Lagos


‘Better Life Billionaire Promo’ officially unveiled to create 130 millionaires


he Better Life Billionaire Promo (or “BLB Promo”), a novel initiative of NNB Capital & Investments Limited, a financial and investment advisory firm, has been officially launched in Nigeria. The maiden edition of the Better Life Billionaire Promo, a unique promotional lottery campaign is set to change lives of Nigerians for the better, irreversibly, says the Director of the Campaign, Mr. Celestine Achi.

According to Mr. Achi, “the BLB Promo is not only novel in its idea but also its prizes are unprecedented as participants stand the chance of being one of 10 people to win N5 million each, every week or the lucky winner of the N200 million grand prize in the 13-week campaign”. In his words: “The Better Life Billionaire Promo (or “BLB Promo” in short), is a novel initiative of NNB Capital & Investments Limited, a financial and investment ad-

visory firm, that that develops creative financing schemes, and deploys same to facilitate socio-economic development in Nigeria through the facilitation of execution of key Infrastructural Projects in the country while improving the welfare of Lucky Nigerians. “It is in line with the above that the Company created the BLB Promo with a vision to ultimately: Make Nigerians “irreversibly” wealthy, and facilitate the provision of key infrastructure in the country.

L-R: Olajide Lawal, parent of one of the participating students; Deremi Atanda, executive director, SystemSpecs, and Taopheek Adigun, guardian of one of the participating students, at the ongoing 2019 edition of Remita Summer Coding Camp for secondary school students sponsored by SystemSpecs in Lagos


Friday 16 August 2019




Tumblr’s tumble from $1b to $3m valuation holds lessons for Nigerian startups FRANK ELEANYA


t’s like the Yahoo fall in 2016 all over except this time it has Tumblr, a free service that hosts millions of blogs where users can upload photos, music and art, written on it. The Wall Street Journal reports that the company which was once sold for a whopping $1.1 billion in 2013, is being bought by WordPress owner Automattic Inc for just $3 million. Interestingly, Verizon the principal seller in the transaction is also the owner of Yahoo. Verizon has had a checkered history of investing in startups. Its most famous was the purchase of Yahoo in 2016. Once the king of the internet with a mammoth valuation of $125 billion, a badly handled data breach forced Yahoo owners to sell at $5 billion to Verizon. The case of Tumblr is slightly a reverse for Verizon. It is finding itself in the same position Yahoo owners were in 2016. Yahoo had paid a stunning $1.1 billion in 2013 to acquire Tumblr. It was later moved under Verizon in 2017 following the acquisition of Yahoo. Fast forward to 2019, Verizon is eager to offload the company and Nigerian startups could learn a thing or two from it.

“Tumblr is a marquee brand that has started movements, allowed for true identities to blossom and become home to many creative communities and fandoms,” Verizon Media CEO Guru Gowrappan said in a statement. “We are proud of what the team has accomplished and are happy to have found the perfect partner in Automattic, whose expertise and track record will unlock new and exciting possibilities for Tumblr and its users.” Gowrappan’s newfound optimism in Automattic may belly the relief Verizon will be feeling from letting go an asset that has in recent times become a major source of worry. In fact, Verizon’s desire to

sell Tumblr had been previously known, but as of May, Pornhub had been the only bidder to show public interest. Tumblr’s founder story The company was founded in 2007 by David Karp from the bedroom of his mother’s apartment in New York, to help people get their thoughts and images up as quickly as possible, and to lower the barrier to publishing even more. In a 2011 interview with .net magazine, Karp said, “I had all these cool videos, links and projects that I wanted to put out there, and I had a really hard time doing it. I wanted to do something different. I was determined not to compete with

WordPress.” Soon after its launch, Tumblr gained 75,000 users in the first fortnight. By 2010, Tumblr was landing 100 million impressions every month and eventually closed the year with 3 billion impressions from over 42 million blogs covering politics, music and entertainment among many others. Fashion blogs were arguably its biggest product and eventually led to the company hiring a fashion director in addition to sending bloggers to high profile events like New York Fashion Week. So what happened to Tumblr? Tumblr’s efforts to constantly second-guess itself to stay relevance in a social media market dominated by the likes of Facebook, Twitter, meant that it had to experiment with a lot of ideas - some outrightly bizarre. In that sense, the company’s troubles probably began from the day it was founded in 2007. The service literally had no red lines or boundaries. Users could post anything on Tumblr. Hence, from the day it was launched, porn pictures or videos were tacitly allowed on the platform. From that period the company created a product it had little knowledge of how to manage. However, its free-for-all approach brought it

fame and more youthful subscribers but limited advertisers. MOst corporate organisations with conservative consumers were averse to advertising on a platform where it is associated with explicit contents. When Tumblr failed to reach advertising goals set by former Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, $230 million of Tumblr’s value was written down. Another $482 million was further removed from its value after a quarter of poor performance. Tumblr’s woes increased when it was removed from Apple’s App Store sometime in late November over discovery of child pronography on the site. Karp, the founder also left the company following the Apple App Store ban. Tumblr eventually pulled the plug on all forms of adult content in 2018 directly affecting blogs owned by artists, sex workers, and other who rely on the platform as an inclusive space to discuss and depict diverse expressions of sexuality. Tumblr lost 30 percent of its fan base after the porn ban. WordPress acquisition may bring a level of stability to the company but the coming months would reveal the direction the new owners would steer the sinking ship.

DECAGON transforms Nigeria’s software development landscape with new model Maximising data insights tops expected discourse at Hitachi Vantara’s Data Insight forum STEPHEN ONYEKWELU


ecagon, a training institute that focuses on developing Nigeria focused software engineers who can favourably compete with developers in Ukraine, Poland and India has set sight on ten years to bring Africa’s most populous nation up to speed. The Institute has partnered with Sterling Bank in providing highly subsidised student loans, a first of its kind in Nigeria, with payback upon securing a job. Most Nigerian universities offer computer science and software engineering courses, but most developers have to acquire a lot of personal practise to get from a curious computer kid to becoming a full developer. Decagon plans to in ten years get Nigeria to the same level of tech development as India by recruiting smart people with sound character, offering them the right environment, instructors, curriculum and within six months produce accomplished software engineers that can hold their own anywhere in the world. “To setup MTech, eight years ago, I worked with a team of young Nigerian engineers. Nobody from America or Europe wanted to come to Nigeria. I worked with local talents and had confidence in them” Chika Nwobi, founder, Decagon Institute said. “You only need to offer them an opportunity to do so. I decided to start a company that reproduces my experience.” Nwobi has been in Nigeria’s tech start-ups space for about two decades, since he graduated from



L-R: Ibi Cookey, project manager, ACA Foundation Tech Grant; Tayo Ashiru, head of marketing, MainOne; Khafil Animashaun, head of strategy, Sterling Bank; Chika Nwobi, Founder, Decagon; Dipo Adebayo, head of talent acquisition, Sterling Bank

a university in Tennessee America. Nigeria has a natural advantage and can service Europe and America. This is because, in terms of time zone, it has a similar one as Europe and five or six hours difference from America. Nigerians speak English and brilliant Nigerians have fewer options. Decagon is on a mission to help high potential Nigerians contribute meaningfully through technology by transforming fast learners into world-class software developers and connect them to job opportunities. Decagon’s programme takes a year’s worth of learning and compresses it into six intensive months. The physical learning experience, coupled with a comprehensive welfare package that includes accommodation, feeding, internet, laptop and some stipend. This keeps students focused solely on learning, thus producing well-rounded engineers; possessing broad technical

knowledge and deep problemsolving skills. The Decagon programme is very rigorous, and getting into the programme is strictly based on merit. Successful applicants are trained on technical skills to be able to perform exceptionally well at the core tasks, and are equipped with leadership and soft skills to be able to think and act strategically as team members and leaders. Decagon facilitates job placements with a growing network of hiring partners comprising the best organisations to work in Nigeria. This offers the Decadevs - as they are fondly called – a strong foundation to build their careers upon. Some of these include Terragon, Sterling Bank, Workforce Group and Seamfix. Our hiring partners derive the benefit of access to a pool of talented and capable engineers who bring immediate value to the

job; saving organisations time and money spent sourcing and upskilling talent. Decagon trained 7 engineers in the 1st cohort, and another 22 in the 2nd. The 3rd cohort of 43 started Monday, August 5, 2019. Applications are currently open for the 4th cohort that will resume in the next 2 months. MainOne supports Decagon by providing free high-speed broadband internet which enables the students to access critical resources online. Africa Capital Alliance supports the programme by providing scholarship grants to the best students right from the boot camp phase of the programme. Decagon aims to train 5,000 engineers over the next 5 years, with each engineer training and mentoring at least 1 individual as well. This will create a ripple effect of at least 30,000 world-class Nigerian engineers in the next 5 years. @Businessdayng

data analytics insight forum where Nigerian business and technology leaders will converge in Abuja, is being organized by Hitachi Vantara, as part of efforts to enhance their knowledge on data maximisation The event is part of a global drive for the next wave of multiplied innovations using data driven insights to empowerandmanagemodernworkforces. TaggedHitachiForum,whichholdsnext week Tuesday at the Transcorp Hilton, Abuja, the event will engage specific organizationsinboththepublicandprivateinstitutionsonhowtobecomemore effective at leveraging data and analytics to power their business models. Adenike Omojokun, Hitachi’s account manager for West Africa, said the event will offer a high-touch environment with meaningful interaction with experts from many industries. “The purpose is to help people scale into the untapped potential of data riding on Hitachi Vantara’s experience on how they store, enrich, activate and monetize data from the business landscape,” said Omojokun. Inthesamevein,ErhagbaiUduokhai, another account manager with the company, said participants will have the opportunity to network, contribute and learn from data experts within and outside the country on specific data issues related to their industries. He said the event will help participants achieve smarter, faster insights with integrated data services and proven blueprints that make the most of their data.


Friday 16 August 2019



Products Review

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Like Nigeria, 5 countries with VAT on online transactions and lessons to-Consumer) and B2B (Business-to-Business) sales - all are subject to a 14 percent charge. This is where it could become necessary for FIRS to consult with local industry players to know which model works best. Perhaps a breakdown of the VAT into chinkc could fast track the buy-in of small businesses.



he proposed plan by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) to begin collecting 5 per cent Value Added Tax (VAT) on online transactions from customers using bank cards continue to draw the ire of many Nigerians. While some see it as undermining efforts to deepen a cashless culture in Nigeria, others say it amounts to double taxation giving that online transactions attract some charges from shipping, processing to bank charges. There are those who also believe it could lead to increase in prices of online goods. “There shouldn’t be any implications,” says Adedeji Olowe, CEO of Trium Networks. “VAT of 5 percent is assumed to be part of what people pay for digital transactions. We get charged N2.50 for interbank transfers.” BusinessDay findings show that the proposed 5 percent VAT is not new as many would want to believe but it goes back to 2007. Specifically, the Value Added Tax (VAT) Act 2007 governs the administration of VAT in Nigeria. The VAT is levied at each stage of the production chain at 5 percent of the value of the taxable good or service supplied, but it is eventually borne by the final consumer, being a consumption tax. The VAT collection is also not exclusive to Nigeria. There are several countries

with different approach to taxing online purchases. Here, we have selected five states in the world with taxes imposed on online transactions. United States It is not clear which country started the practice of taxing online transaction or internet sales tax as it is known in the US. however we know that consideration for taxation of internet sales goes as far back as 1998 when the US government imposed a 3 year moratorium on any new internet taxes, leading experts to speculate that the internet’s days as a no-tax zone were numbered. Although the US government shied away - still does from imposing a national tax on online transactions, states

however took the initiative. The US Supreme Court ruled in 2018 that internet sales tax was a state problem. By December 2018, 24 states were collecting taxes on internet transactions. Most states in the US only collect taxes on sellers who have 200 or more transactions or $100,000 in sales during a year. States like Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire, Alaska, and Oregon still have no internet sales tax. FIRS could do well to get the buy-in of the states if the proposal is going to be successful. States need to be educated, guided and probably giving the latitude to decide whether to tax directly or use a no-tax environment to create other revenue sources, like attracting investors.

South Africa If the US is too far from Nigeria, South Africa, which has vied with Nigeria for the seat of the largest economy and is the most innovative country on the continent, should be closer to relate with. Unlike the US, South Africa has a national tax law which was updated in July 1, 2014 to capture online transactions and compel foreign merchants to pay a 14 percent VAT. As a result of the amendment, a foreign ecommerce site that provides electronic services to South African consumers or receives payment from a local bank with revenue exceeding R50,000 a year, must be registered with SARS. However, unlike other countries, South Africa does not separate B2C (Business-

Angola Nigeria’s kin in terms of oil economy dependency, Angola charges a 14 percent VAT on all sales like South Africa. Unlike South Africa, however, Angola does not have a threshold for foreign providers of digital services. Inasmuch as you are a business with a single customer, you must register for VAT. Kenya The home of the famous MPesa began to collect taxes on mobile phone airtime and related financial services from 2003 and 2013 and later increased it in 2018. The Kenyan VAT Act became effective in September, 2013. The tax however did not capture foreign providers of digital services. In May 2019, the Kenyan Revenue Authority (KRA) publicly acknowledged that some taxpayers engage in online business and they do not file returns or pay taxes on the transactions. The agency mandated that unless income or supply is expressly exempt in the law, appropriate taxes should be paid. Currently, a foreign sup-


plier who provides electronic services to VAT non-registered customers in Kenya would attract a 16 percent VAT. European Union Online businesses in European Union member states have been paying EU VAT since January 2015. In fact, the Union requires digital businesses who sell to European consumers to apply, collect, and remit VAT against all customer invoices. However there is no national VAT rate. The rate a business charges is the rate of the country in which the customer resides. This means you need to be set up to apply the correct VAT rate to the right country. While it should be acknowledged that the internet has brought about vast opportunities for businesses and entrepreneurs, it has also raised new tax headaches for authorities. The FIRS in moving to address this headache may have to engage stakeholders every step of the way. “Some of the attendant challenges that need to be addressed before the implementation will include how to differentiate trade and nontrade transactions, handling of refunds when a purchased item is returned by the customer, how to drive card payments among customers who might prefer cash on delivery to avoid paying the VAT, and how to prevent double taxation,” said a spokesperson for Jumia in an interview with BusinessDay.

Friday 16 August 2019





Friday 16 August 2019


HEALTH BUSINESS&LIFE Ghana, Thailand point way for Nigeria to revitalise primary healthcare centres



igeria can draw on considerable practical lessons from other countries’ reforms in managing primary healthcare centres (PHCs) with positive equity outcomes. Since the flag-off of the Federal Government revitalisation programme on primary healthcare, services are still on the blink. Experts say that Nigeria must move beyond the phase of planning, policy making and health system strengthening activities to putting into place legal and institu-

tional frameworks and systems to aim effective and efficient implementation in primary healthcare reforms which is countries like Ghana and Thailand are adopting. Also, experts say there must be more attention in promoting preventive care at the primary healthcare level such as family planning and health education which should be covered by the National Health Insurance Scheme. According to experts, strengthening the primary healthcare system with government investment will improve efficiency in recognising the funding task in the sector and also gives opportunity

to shift some of the at the tertiary level to PHC. “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,” Doyin Odubanjo, chairman, Association of Public Health Physicians of Nigeria, Lagos Chapter said. Reflecting on Ghana’s primary healthcare model, analysts say there is a need to devote more

funds to the centres while also training and re-training medical personnel who will take pre-eminence in this task are important. Similarly, Thailand has a very deep primary care system with over 10 000 public health centres (approximately 1/6 000 population). In addition to nursing and public health officers, each health centre has up to 30 community health volunteers who also work closely with health centres and local government on prevention and promotion. The Thai capitation system used an interesting contracting unit called the CUP (Contracting Unit for Primary Care), which is the district hospital along with its referring primary care centres. Also, substantial investments were made in infrastructure for rural health centres, often using attractive but standardised design options, lowering infrastructure costs. In a far-sighted funding arrangement, every CUP and therefore district hospital and health centres receives a dedicated funding stream for prevention and promotion activities from the Universal Coverage (UC) Fund. Francis Faduyile, president

Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) said that the key 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,” Faduyile, said. Nigeria has been ranks the lowest or second lowest in all Primary Health Care Performance Initiative (PHCPI) indicators in a recent survey compared to its African peers (Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania, and Senegal) 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. 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.

Drinking bleach will not cure autism, cancer or AIDS, FDA warns amid reports of people falling ill Multigenerational impacts of cancers in children are on rise in Nigeria - Experts ANTHONIA OBOKOH


igeria has seen cancer cases on the rise among children, this medical expert in the oncology branch of medicine have attributed to multigenerational impacts. They experts say that there is need for parents to better understand that epigenetic changes of DNA methylation could trigger the risk that causes rise in cancers cases among children. To better manage the situation in the country, the experts call for more awareness and counselling sessions for parents across the country. BusinessDay gathered that different tertiary intuitions in Nigeria including Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) and National Hospital Abuja, Usmanu Danfodiyo University Teaching Hospital, Sokoto (UDUTH) records at least 6-10 new cases childhood cancer are diagnosed very month, making about 120 new cases each in a year. Also, the 0–4-year age group had the greatest contribution with most of the children dying during their course of treatment. Prevalence rates are increasing in Nigeria for certain types of children cancers such as rhabdomyosarcoma, followed by lymphomas, which in children Burkitt lymphoma is the commonest. There is also nephroblastoma, neuroblastoma, kidney and leukaemia. These are the commonest types we see in

our area. Another common type is retinoblastoma (cancer of the eye). “It’s actually becoming rampant. In our centre in Sokoto, what we presently record is 6 – 10 cases per month. So per year, it would be 60 – 100 at a rough estimate,” said Aliyu Usman Malami, Department of Radiotherapy and Oncology, Usmanu Danfodiyo University Teaching Hospital, Sokoto, Nigeria. “The ‘hereditary’ here means that children inherited an abnormality in the sequence/arrangement of gene from the parent(s) which can transform to cancer. Li-Fraumeni Syndrome is an inheritance of a disorder that would make some parts of the body cells to grow because they lack the ability to control the growth of cancer cells.” Malami said that cancer is a combination of factors as it is difficult to pinpoint a single cause of cancer. “What we talk about instead, are the predisposing factors; the factors that exposes children to come up with cancer. In children between the ages to 0 – 15 years the commonest implicated cause of cancer is usually hereditary.” However, in addressing the multigenerational impact of cancers in children, a number of studies have also linked parents’ exposures that occur before their children are even conceived to increased risk of childhood cancer for their children. He explains that if the children’s system loses the ability to stop the replication of those cells, then that part of the body would continue to produce

cells, which subsequently becomes too much and result into malignancy. “Some are attributing other cancers to what the parents do, like parents working in chemical industries, and all these could lead to changes/ abnormality within the DNA, which can be transferred,” he explained. He advised parent to report any abnormal swelling on their children to the nearest hospital. If detected at an early stage and it is confined to a particular area, it can be cured and the patient can continue life normally,” he said. “Parents’ should cut down alcohol, smoking or generally lifestyle that can cause disorders and also have a heavily negative impact on children,” Habeebu Muhammed, Head of Department Oncology at LUTH advised. He added that Nigerians should not live a sedentary lifestyle and should engage in regularly exercise which according to him is very cheap to prevent cancer. Muhammed advocate for the inclusion of cancer treatment in National Health Insurance Scheme so that it can be affordable for patients. “The payment for this treatment is so high and they do not have the capacity to go and work while their wards are on treatment because the treatment has great side effect, we need urgent policy change to include treatment of cancer in National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) policy so that we can access these machines,” he stressed.


ome people are reportedly drinking bleach products in the hopes that it will cure them of a myriad of diseases, including autism, cancer, hepatitis and HIV/AIDS, prompting the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to issue a warning Monday that doing so is not only dangerous, but potentially life-threatening. This isn’t the first time that the FDA has had to urge consumers not to ingest sodium chlorite products — the agency has been doing so since 2010 — but because these products continue to be sold online and marketed on social media as medical “treatments,” consumers are still using them to treat ailments and diseases and many are getting sick as a result. The renewed warning from the FDA comes in response to new reports the agency has received that people are experiencing severe vomiting, severe diarrhea, life-threatening low blood pressure caused by dehydration and acute liver failure after consuming these products. The FDA has issued a warning urging people to stop drinking bleach products marketed at miracle treatments for disease and illness. “Some distributors are making false—and dangerous—claims that Miracle Mineral Supplement mixed with citric acid is an antimicrobial, antiviral, and antibacterial liquid that is a remedy for autism, cancer, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis, flu, and other conditions,” the FDA warns. “The FDA is not aware of any research showing that these products are safe or effective for treating any illness.” Sodium chlorite products such as Miracle or Master Mineral Solution, Miracle Mineral Supplement, MMS, Chlorine Dioxide (CD) Protocol and Water Purification Solution (WPS) become a strong bleaching chemical when mixed according to package @Businessdayng

directions. Product directions instruct users to mix sodium chlorite solution into a citric acid, such as lemon or lime juice, before drinking the mixture. Many sodium chlorite products are sold with a citric acid “activator,” which mixes with the acid to make chlorine dioxide, a powerful bleaching agent. The EPA specifies that chlorine dioxide can be used as an additive to drinking water to help destroy bacteria, viruses and parasites as long as the content is .8 parts per million or less. Anything above that level can cause nervous system defects in infants and children, as well as anemia. In higher concentrations, the adverse side effects are much worse. Drinking chlorine dioxide products can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and symptoms of severe dehydration, and can also be fatal. Some product labels list vomiting and diarrhea as common side effects and state that having such reactions means the product is working effectively. “That claim is false,” the FDA said definitively. “The FDA’s drug approval process ensures that patients receive safe and effective drug products. Miracle Mineral Solution and similar products are not FDA-approved, and ingesting these products is the same as drinking bleach. Consumers should not use these products, and parents should not give these products to their children for any reason,” said FDA Acting Commissioner Ned Sharpless, M.D. “The FDA will continue to track those selling this dangerous product and take appropriate enforcement actions against those who attempt to evade FDA regulations and market unapproved and potentially dangerous products to the American public.” • This story was reported from Los Angeles.

Friday 16 August 2019




General advice to business travellers

Dr Ade Alakija Medical director Q-life Family Clinic


usiness travel usually refers to those going on short trips and usually (but not always so) involves staying in good standard accomodation. Good preparation for a business trip leads to less stress, is better for your health, and it is also a sign of an organised and alert mind. The businessperson who is able to think ahead and prepare well for a trip benefits both themselves and the company they represent positively. Allow yourself time to adjust on reaching your destination, especially if you are flying across time zones. If you travel frequently, it is advisable to have a regular checkup. Checking your weight, blood pressure and cholesterol levels is always

good practice. Allow plenty of time to prepare Make a schedule of the intended trip. It helps to have a checklist in your scheduler of items needed for the trip. Start as early as possible. (Dont forget your toothbrush). With proper pre-travel planning, you will be mentally and pyschologically prepared to deal with stresses of frequent travel. Have your Flight plans and all necessary details in writing (seperate from your phone organizer) eg hotel address and booking code, important phone numbers etc. Get information on the area you are visiting, for example Brazil were there are recurring outbreaks of Dengue fever which you can protect yourself from with the proper advice. Getting your visa early and awareness of local laws and culture is usually helpful. Plan to visit your family Doctor or Travel Clinic nearby to discuss your travel health needs. If vaccinations are compulsory for your destination, your vaccine card should be attached to your passport if possible so as not to loose it. (Rubber band or staple) Dealing with Fears Any fears you might have in regard to travel, at your destination, on route or with regards to loved ones being left behind ideally should be sorted out at home in a relaxed and

calm environment. Stomach Upsets and Diarrhea These are very common. Contaminated food and water is a major cause of illness and care is especially important when eating out and in countries where local hygiene is poor but also be carefull in developed countries were you can also get diorrehea eg the Noroviruse (Winter Viruse). Certain spices or oils in food as well as alcohol can also lead to stomach upsets. You should consider taking an anti-diarrhoeal preparation with you. Sunburn This is possible for fair skinned Nigerians and is preventable. Limit your exposure and cover up especially aroud noon when the sun is at its greatest intensity. Suncream may be neccesary in some cases depending on activity. Accidents Unfamiliar surroundings and alcohol consumption often result in accidents. Sharp objects and discarded glass on beaches can injure your feet. Take special care crossing roads and beware of sea currents when at the beach. Jet Lag and Tiredness A recent study in the USA indicated that performance can be lowered by as much as 20 percent when travelling across time zones. Rest before travel is necessary for

optimum performance and limiting activities on arrival will help. These problems may be underestimated and affect business efficacy. Some medications exist that can aid you if necessary. Consult your Doctor. If on regular medication, such as diabetic drugs, watches should remain on home time until you are able to adjust your medication to local time. Exercise has been proven to improve productivity, so get active on arrival as soon as possible. If your need also take short naps. It will help refresh you. Loneliness Cultural differences, family problems at home or losing touch with head office can cause anxiety. Many of these difficulties can be overcome with experience and sympathetic support from family and friends. Personnel and occupational health departments should take this into account. Unsafe sex Casual sex and failure to use a condom with new partners, particularly with professional sex workers, puts you at risk of serious infections including HIV/AIDS. Culture Shock This is a very real problem even for short-term travellers. Family or social problems at home and psychological problems, including alcoholism make adapting to a

new and different culture difficult. Maintaining contact with family and friends may also be complicated because time differences between continents may cause communication difficulties. A situation that is exciting and welcome to one person may be daunting to another. Problems encountered may include adjusting to a different climate, religious and cultural differences, changes in living standards and different social amenities. Other problems such as language differences, coming to terms with poverty and begging, and compulsory movement restrictions for safety or political reasons. Being patient rather than critical is helpfull. Vaccinations For most Nigerian business travellers you will need some off the regular travel vaccines, but first of all make sure your National Child hood vaccines are up to date. Some vaccines you may need depending on your Destination include Yellow Fever: This is mandatory for some countries so check before you travel. It may be advisable to take it especially if you are visiting certain rural areas in some countries. Meningococcal Type A, C, W135 & Y vaccine (Quadrivalent Vaccine).

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DUFIL sponsors 2019 IIDA winner’s relative to India for medical treatment ANTHONIA OBOKOH


ufil Prima Foods Plc, has fulfilled its sponsorship promise made to Nigerians toward the surgery and treatment of one Master Daniel Pepple, who was diagnosed with cerebral palsy. Cerebral Palsy (CP) is a permanent disorder of movement and posture causing activity limitations, attributed to non-progressive disturbances in the brain occurring early in development. About one in 323 children has been identified with CP, according to estimates from CDC’s Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network. According to the press statement made available to BusinessDay, Daniel’s story commanded the attention of Dufil in 2018 when his brother - David Nengi Ayomide Pepplewon the social bravery category at the 11th edition of the Indomie Independence Day heroes award (IIDA), a corporate social responsibility initiative from Dufil Prima Foods. Nine year old Pepple from Port Harcourt won the social bravery category for using his artistic talent to seek financial assistance for the treatment of his younger brother, Daniel Pepple, who had been diagnosed with cerebral palsy and needed a surgical operation outside the country to enable him walk. While David Pepple went home with a million naira cash scholarship award at the event, Dufil Prima Foods promised in addition to fully fund the treatment of David’s young-


er brother, Daniel, abroad. Today, it’s a happy story and a day filled with joy for the Pepple family as Dufil Prima Foods has fulfilled its promise as Master Daniel Pepple has travelled to Sir H. N. Reliance Hospital, Mumbai in India for Surgery. Commenting on this gesture, Girish Sharma, the Chief Operating Officer, Dufil Prima Foods, said this is a promise kept by the organisation. According to him, “Dufil is proud to be a part of the process of restoring the health of young Daniel and also a way of lending a hand to his family in taking care of him.” “As a brand, we will continue to encourage children such as David, who has a dream of setting up a foundation to cater to those in need of medical assistance, not to relent in their efforts. At Dufil, through our dedication to the growth and development of the Nigerian child, we will continue to cater to their well-being, making them strong and healthy,” said Girish. Appreciating the brand for its support, Daniel’s father, Hamilton Tamuno Pepple, commended Dufil for fulfilling her promise in the treatment of their son. “Full sponsorship of such an expensive surgical procedure by Dufil within the current economic climate, is an indication that the company is indeed out to make life better for everyone. You are our angel of help. God bless you!” he said. The surgery and treatment is expected to last for about two months. With the assurance from the team of surgeons, the brands along with the Pepples are trusting for a positive response from the treatment.

Dysfunctional healthcare system, poverty fuels medical quackery – Akpeh DESMOND OKON


ames Akpeh, Head, Department of Otolaryngology, University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital (UNTH), Enugu State, has said that failure to prosecute medical quacks, dysfunctional healthcare system, poverty, fuels the dangerous practice of quackery in the health sector throughout the country. He said this while speaking on ‘The Menace of Quackery and the Contemporary Medical Practice’ at the Annual General Meeting/ Scientific Conference of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) in Enugu in recently. Akpeh also stated that inability of government to bring quality healthcare within the reach of all increased the vulnerability of the people, particularly the rural segment.

He added that ignorance, lack of medical personnel at the grassroots, desire to get rich quick, double taxation on hospitals, faulty loan system and high import duties on medical equipment and consumables sustained quackery in the health sector. According to the otolaryngologist, who doubles as chairman, of the Anti-quackery Committee of Enugu NMA, government was either doing little or nothing in ridding the country of fake doctors. He also cited cases of suspects arrested in the past for quackery without prosecution. It was learnt that to contain the spread of quackery in Enugu, the NMA is reportedly indexing all private hospitals and health facilities in the state, and that three illegal hospitals were shut down for operating without any form of registra-

ANTHONIA OBOKOH / Reporters. Email:

tion with the ministry of health, and their operators now at large. The state is duty-bound to safeguard citizens’ rights by providing basic services, adding that control of quackery was a matter of public education, effective monitoring and regulation, According to Akpeh. Similarly, Ike Okwesili, the state chairman of NMA, said healthcare delivery through out-of-pocket payment would not guarantee access to quality and affordable healthcare for the people. He commended the state government for setting up a reforms committee on the health sector, stressing that adoption of the committee’s report and full implementation of the state’s health sector reform law would advance the cause of healthcare delivery in the state.

I Samuel Iduh, Graphics


Friday 16 August 2019



Aishetu Fatima Dozie, proving success is attainable and beyond gender KEMI AJUMOBI


ishetu is Founder and CEO, Bossy Cosmetics, Stanford DCI Fellow, Board Director and African Female Executive. Aishetu’s passion for global finance began in the equities division of Goldman Sachs on the international desk in New York over 20 years ago. She went on to work for a USAID-funded project with the Nigerian government in its privatization program. Her passion for demonstration development impact and understanding the intersection of the public and private sectors ability to stimulate economic growth led her to the World Bank in Washington, DC, where she focused on financing businesses in the manufacturing, infrastructure, and service sectors in regions such as Central and South America, Eastern Europe, and Eastern Africa. Aishetu has worked for Lehman Brothers, Morgan Stanley, Standard Chartered Bank, and Rand Merchant Bank as a senior investment banking executive, having closed $130 billion in M&A, financing, and capital market transactions. Over the past two decades, she’s lived in New York, Johannesburg, London, Chicago and Lagos. She founded a first-of-its-kind children’s play and activity centre in Lagos and authored a children’s picture book entitled ‘Paloo & Friends in Imaginaria”. In 2016, she filmed ambitious and successful African women on the continent and in diaspora to showcase their lives and amplify their voice. The project is called African HERstory. She currently lives in Palo Alto, CA with her husband and three superhero sons where she was a Fellow at the Distinguished Careers Institute at Stanford University in 2018. She is currently the founder of Bossy Cosmetics, an empowering and mission-driven beauty company. Aishetu holds a BA from Cornell University, a MBA from the Harvard Business School, and participated in the Leaders in Development Program at the John F. Kennedy School at Harvard University. Where it all began My early years were spent in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where my mother was a student. I definitely didn’t have a lot of play dates as a young girl but I think that’s something that this generation of young kids gets to enjoy that we didn’t back then. We lived in one of three high-rise buildings in our neighbourhood and all the children met in the playground and played in a completely unsupervised manner. Looking back, it feels like there were hundreds of kids playing without a care in the world. Those were some really great days. I went to school on the school bus and when school was over, I went to my friend’s house, and then we played until it was supper time and my mom came to get me. My mom was an incredibly hard worker and so I grew up knowing that hard work was expected of me. My earliest memories of my mom are of her going to work and never complaining about it. (At least to me). She did what needed to be done and I still

felt an immense amount of love and support. I would say that watching my mother as a teenager has had a major impact on my life. I thought she was an amazingly glamorous and beautiful woman (she still is) and she was a boss. She dressed so nicely and worked in a Bank. I think I secretly wanted to be her when I grew up and in a way that’s exactly what happened. Experience working with Goldman Sachs and lessons learnt I started working at Goldman Sachs as a first year analyst straight out of university. I was around 21 years old and really thought I was cool when I landed the job. I was very grateful because a number of classmates of mine had interviewed for the same role and weren’t successful so I definitely felt privileged to be there. I had no idea that college doesn’t teach you much about the real world! Everything you need to know will be learned on the job. I realized very quickly that my education and qualifications (what little they were at the time) meant nothing on “the desk.” It was fast paced and exciting. I developed a real knack for numbers and a maniacal obsession for detail. On the trading floor, every single digit or basis point counts, so precision is critical. I loved working at Goldman. It was exhilarating. Because I was the most junior person on the desk, I had to get to work around 5:15 am every single morning. It was

brutal. It was pretty much always dark when I went to work. It could get depressing! I worked on the international desk for the first two years and I developed a passion for global markets and how events in one market affects others. I started a few days before the Thai Bhat devalued and that was a major event in the global markets back in 1997. It was like being back in school but getting paid to learn and have fun. Involvement with USAID and achievement I wasn’t involved directly with USAID rather they provided funding for a number of experienced staff to work within the Nigerian government. I believe it was in the form of a grant and I was one of the recipients of the grant working for the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) in Nigeria. As you know, the BPE is the privatization agency of the Federal Government of Nigeria and I worked alongside the then Director General of the agency. It was definitely an exciting time for me. I had just graduated from business school and was pretty naïve about life and what my own individual achievements could be. That being said, I worked harder than I had ever worked at that time in my life. My boss, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, was a true reform-minded technocrat and the entire team rallied around him to ensure that our policies and transactions stood the test of time and held up to international best practice standards. I didn’t appreci-

ate how different working within the civil service (or at least adjacent to it) would be to working at Goldman Sachs. Hence my comment about my naiveté! Eventually, politics got in the way and we experienced the proverbial ‘two steps forward and three steps back’. It was an exciting time personally and professionally. I got to work directly with President Obasanjo, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Obi Ezekwesili, and other truly amazing minds. It was definitely a testament to Mallam Nasiru in allowing his key staff access at the highest levels. How was your experience being a senior investment banking executive? Busy!! Oddly enough, what I love most about banking is talking to my clients. I really enjoy listening to their concerns and helping them think through strategic solutions. A lot of being a Banker is using the financial system to support business growth. This is what I did on a daily basis in varying degrees depending on the role that I occupied. I have been fortunate enough to have served in a number of different capacities in finance. I had a really great opportunity to work with the World Bank in their International Finance Corporation, so through that role I got to travel a lot in Central and South America and work with manufacturing companies that needed debt to finance their growth stage. I’ve worked at traditional investment banks where I have provided @Businessdayng

advice for a fee or helped companies to raise money for any number of corporate purposes. What I also really love about banking is that you always work in teams. It’s one of the best parts of the job actually. Working in an environment that demands excellence with people who are also pushing themselves to do better for their clients. You learn a tremendous amount as an investment banker. $130bn in Mergers & Acquisition This number means nothing to me in my current life and that’s fantastic. As an investment banker, especially when you are midlevel, you gauge your professional progress by the total close deal value size. It’s all you think about in the earlier days, because it gives people an understanding of the depth and breadth of the calibre of work you’ve executed on in your career. But now that I am not a banker, it means nothing! I first worked on an M&A deal when I was at Lehman Brothers in New York (before the bankruptcy). It was pretty gruelling work. Nonstop work hours crunching numbers and talking to lawyers. I loved it because I learned how to think about value destruction and creation. Sometimes, businesses combine for clear and obvious synergies and other times, there are deeper issues at play. I learned the intricacies of merger accounting (all of which I have forgotten now) and how to spin-off, merge, IPO, and capital raise for large global corporates. That figure just means that if you add the value of all of the various deals that I have worked on (as a member of a team) you’ll get a number north of $130 billion. Basically, I’ve been lucky, blessed, and busy. Bossy Cosmetics is a very young company We launched March 8th this year on International Women’s Day. I often say that Bossy is a women’s empowerment and mission driven business that happens to sell cosmetics. I would love to be part of a conversation that looks at the intersection of work and beauty for ambitious women. Our vision is to change the way women think about beauty with respect to their careers. We sell beauty products but we also want to create content and provide services for professional working women. We have a lot up our sleeves and it’s just an exciting time to be building this business. We launched with lipsticks, lip glosses, and lip liners and we have several additional products that we will launch in the coming months. Greatest lesson of life Advocate for yourself. Speak up for yourself. Protect yourself. Love yourself. Say no more than you say ‘yes’. I went through a period in life where I did what I thought was right and acceptable. Not what I actually wanted to do. I was scared of being shunned to a large extent. The biggest lesson is that those that shun you aren’t meant to be on this journey of life with you and that’s ok. Read the concluding story of Aishetu’s inspiring story on our website as she graces our Women’s Hub cover for this week. You are just a click away!

Friday 16 August 2019





Experts/Industry Views

Commodities watch

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Takeaways from BusinessDay Agribusiness & Food Security Summit: What Nigeria can learn from Kenya, India Fake seeds, ‘ban’ on fertiliser: Inputs present in boosting milk production plethora of challenges for farmers (2) f comments by G odw in Emefiele, governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) are anything to go by, Nigeria will soon restrict the provision of foreign exchange for


government policies. The partnership increased the attractiveness of the east African nation’s diary sector, opening access to funds from financial institutions, developmental organizations and the government. The Smallholder Diary

In India, there is also has a diary board, which promotes investment friendly policies whilst protecting the local industry through the imposition of tariffs on importation of milk products. India, the world’s second largest milk producer organized dairy

the importation of Milk. However, the planned restriction appears to be less important for industry watchers, rather, the lack of adequate local production, which needs to scale up rapidly before such ‘ban’ as some have called it, comes into effect. There are expectations that when this restriction takes off, consumers would feel its impact as milk producers are expected to hike the price of milk-based products. To scale up production, there is a need for Nigeria to learn from other countries where the dairy industries have grown from obscurity to being relatively successful. A research by Sahel Consulting Agriculture and Nutrition Limited on “The Nigerian Dairy Sector” shows Nigeria can borrow a leaf from India and Kenya in laying a solid foundation to ensure a successful take-off of backward integration in the milk industry. Kenya, according to the report is Africa’s leading milk producer with an annual production of 5.2 million metric tonnes. This is 8.7 times Nigeria’s output. Kenya’s diary sector boasts of 1.8 million smallholder dairy farmers, 600 million litres of formally marketed milk per year, and 1.2 million jobs created directly and indirectly. The establishment of a diary board, the Kenya Diary Board (KDB) in 1958 paved the way for a public-private partnership, which allowed private capital inflows to complement conducive

Commercialization program which ran from 2006-2016 fostered market-driven development of Kenya’s informal dairy industry, working with poor smallholder dairy producers and traders to strengthen their capacity to respond to market opportunities. The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) led initiative cost $40.02 million, amounting to 88 percent of the project. The program helped improve understanding of the economics and agricultural best practices of diary production in Kenya where about 75 percent of milk trading occurred outside the formal sector. Between 2008 and 2018, the East Africa Dairy Development (EADD) program led by Heifer International helped increase milk yields and income of small holder farmers in East Africa countries including Kenya. The program which attracted funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, focused on building social capital, whilst encouraging partnerships with and investments from local processors and other private sector players. In following suit, Nigeria would have to set up policies as well as boost infrastructure spending to de-risk the milk sector and allow private capital from local and international investors. Nigeria would also have to organize its diary farmers into cooperatives and interest groups rather than the current nomadic system that is fragmented.

farmers into more than 130,000 cooperative societies at the rural level. These cooperatives aggregate the milk and sell to district cooperatives unions who in turn sell to state-level milk-marketing federations. Like in Kenya where government helped improve diary breeds by setting up Kenya Animal Genetic Resources Centre (KAGRC), India also has The National Dairy Research Institute, its premier institute for dairy research. Both countries now have small holder farmers with exotic breeds which offer more milk per cow than Nigerian counterparts. “There is no single breed of cow in Nigeria that compares with the production levels of exotic species,” said Chryss Onwuka, a professor of Ruminant Animal Nutrition at the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB) in an interview with BusinessDay. For Nigeria to go into the right production of milk, there is a need for cross breeding with the species that deliver high output. According to him, breeding is a long-term project that takes between 5 and 10 years or more to get an appropriate, competent breed. This however does not rule out conventional cross breeding (such as through mating) in the interim. While Onwuka supports the restriction on milk imports “in the interest of local production”, he also agrees that a buffer period is necessary for the right things to be put in place.


CALEB OJEWALE Twiiter: @calebtinolu


ertiliser usage in Nigeria is already among the lowest in the world, yet, its availability in the country is becoming increasingly difficult, making it less likely to correct the apathy of already disinterested farmers. “ Far m e rs ca l l me c r ying because they have invested millions, but don’t have the right fertilizers to apply on their crops,” said Wanger Barnabas Akaazua, operations manager, Afri Agri, while making inputs during a panel on “The Role of Quality Inputs”, at the BusinessDay Agribusiness and Food Security Summit. “They know the right thing to do, but the fertilizers are not available, there are restrictions here and there.” Akaazua explained he is “not against restrictions if there are laid down plans to help the farmers”. For him, however, there is currently a problem where one of the most important fertilizers for tomato, which is potassium, has become nearly impossible to procure by farmers. Even though solutions are being explored around NPK, where farmers can expect to get blends with higher quantities of

potassium, at present, getting even NPK fertilizers is a problem. “I can tell you, the losses on vegetables in Nigeria this year will be huge,” he said. These problems need to be urgently addressed to ensure that the already poor farm outputs do not get even worse. If farmers are left without a choice, they will settle for fertilisers of inferior qualities, just so they can apply something on their farm. “The restriction (of fertilisers) is a problem and is militating against availability of fertilizers especially the blends needed,” said Donald Madukwe, a senior agronomist at OCP Africa. According to him, restricting the importation of raw materials (for fertiliser blending), particularly the latest release from

the federal ministry of finance, prohibiting chemicals with two or more elements, “amounts to placing major restrictions for the production of blends in Nigeria”. “If you place that ( ban), Diammonium phosphate (DAP) is affected because it contains two minerals, and that is the most acceptable raw material for blending because we cannot blend Urea with Triple Super Phosphate (TSP) or Single superphosphate (SSP),” he said. As Madukwe further explained, due to chemical reasons, doing this will result to caking, and the quality of fertilizer will be terrible. At present, DAP is the only raw material that can be blended with Urea to produce good quality fertiliser. If other substitutes are used, there is a chance that the results will not stand the test of time. Going by the illustrations he provided, these restrictions will cause shortage of quality fertilisers in Nigeria, and this will tell on farmers and in the productivity of farms. “It does not matter the Good Agricultural Practice (GAP) knowledge you have, good seed put in place or crop protection chemicals you have, but if the right fertilizer is not there to provide required nutrients,” he noted outputs will be abysmal. Following the initial inclusion

of NPK 15:15:15 in the banned i mp o r t at i o n l i s t, Ma d u kw e explained that his company, OCP Africa, made plans for incountry production and with its blending plants coming up, these restrictions will still pose a problem for it to produce fertilisers in Nigeria. Apart from unavailability of fertiliser, which is currently discouraging usage, a major factor in low fertilizer usage e ven p re dat ing availabilit y is education and awareness. Many farmers, as panellists noted, still do not know what type of fertiliser they should be using, highlighting the need for increase in education and orientation, especially for smallholder farmers.



Friday 16 August 2019



Top BusinessDay Partner Hotels Four Points by Sheraton Hotel (Oniru Chiefatancy Estate,Lekki) Tel: +234 1 448 9444

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

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Ife Grand Resort; a pristine offering within OBINNA EMELIKE


n a typical visit to Ile Ife, you will appreciate the rich cultural heritage of the ancient town. While the rich heritage is a big draw for tourists, especially African Diasporas, there is another reason to visit the town famed as the cradle of the Yoruba race. The Ife Grand Resort & Leisure is worth experiencing while in the university town. Set on 250 acres of land on Kilometre 4, Ibadan Road, Ile-Ife, Osun State, the resort is a tropical paradise for leisure seekers and discerning guests who cherish tranquility and communion with nature amid personalised

services. From the entrance, fresh air greets you while the warmth at the concierge sets you in the mood for indulgence. For lovers of aesthetics, the locally crafted concierge table, the bespoke furniture decorated with local fabrics such as Adire and Ankara, the centre tables made from timber cuttings, and the walls dotted with beautiful artworks, combine to delight the five senses, especially sight. On offer at the resort are 68 rooms comprising 6, 8 and 10 room chalets and also single room option. The intrigue is that the furnishings are sourced locally and you do not need to probe further to discover that the doors are made from local wood variants such as bamboo. For the culture enthusiasts, the re-

sort hosts an African Village with 51 stylish huts named after the past Ooni’s (paramount rulers of Ile-Ife). The huts come in one-room in-suite amid world class facilities. Besides the huts, the African Village hosts Bamboo Restaurant and a local kitchen where guests can visit to witness how local food menus are prepared and also served to them in local pots; an offering said to interest African Diasporas most. While in the village, guests have access to a standard swimming pool and children pool. However, the resort hosts a big restaurant and a stylish open bar, a replica of the floating bar on the Lagoon at Inagbe Grand Resort Lagos. While enjoying a lavish stay at the resort, guests

who gain weight can also lose it by engaging in one of the numerous sports and fitness offerings including; lawn tennis, basketball, football at the mini stadium, which also hosts concerts, while children get busy as well at the wellequipped children playground. As patronage swells, the resort has some pipeline projects to carter to the growing demands. Work is ongoing at the 6,000 guests capacity civic centre, the Olympic size swimming pool is nearing completion, while works is also ongoing at the indoor spa centre offering service including manicure and pedicure. It is exciting moving around the resort vicinity and walking across streets named after some Yoruba towns such as Abeokuta, Ijebu, among others. However, the promoters of the resort seek to boost the economy of Ile-Ife, empower the people and use the resort to spotlight the ancient town on the world map by luring global tourists to the many attractions that abound in the town. Moreover, to heighten their experience at the resort, guests are urged to play with the monkeys, see the alligators or play local games at the African Village. The resort is promoted by Oba Enitan Adeyeye Ogunwusi, Ojaja II, the Ooni of Ife, and is set to rival offerings at Inagbe Grand Resort, in-between Lagos Lagoon and the Atlantic Ocean; also the brainchild of the Ooni.

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

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


Friday 16 August 2019

Harvard Business Review




The big idea: Divided we lead AARON CHATTERJI AND MICHAEL W. TOFFEL


eaders in all sectors — from business to sports to education — are publicly engaging in political and social debates they would have shied away from just a few years ago. Weighing in on divisive issues can alienate stakeholders — customers, employees and investors among them. Yet the past few years have seen a growing wave of leaders surging into activist roles. Consider the rush of activity in the wake of the deadly school shooting in Parkland, Florida, last year. The CEO of Dick’s Sporting Goods, Edward Stack, announced that his company would no longer sell firearms to people younger than 21, among other policy changes. Other business leaders joined the public debate, prompting a variety of responses. After Delta CEO Ed Bastian announced that the Atlanta-based airline would stop offering discounts to NRA members, Georgia lawmakers retaliated by killing a tax break that would have saved Delta millions. The ideological polarization in our political system has created a highly charged environment in which business leaders are increasingly on the spot to offer their views on complex issues. In fact, a Global Strategy Group report found that companies are now expected to respond to current events within 24 hours. To find out what strategies are being used to navigate these new waters, we interviewed three leaders. Marc Benioff, the founder and chairman of the software giant Salesforce, was one of the first corporate heads to speak out against Indiana’s 2015 Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which gave businesses the right to refuse to serve LGBTQ customers. Kathy Carter, the president until last year of Soccer United Marketing, is an outspoken advocate for gender equality. And Robert Zimmer, the president of the Uni-

versity of Chicago, has taken a public stand against prohibiting controversial speakers from visiting college campuses. Why do they speak out? Our interviews with these leaders revealed that they feel compelled to address hot-button issues and that careful reflection about their own values and the history and culture of their organization guides their action. They also complement their public activities with a “ground game” executed out of the limelight. VALUES INTO ACTION The leaders we spoke with consistently referred to the need for a “north star” and the importance of having a clear understanding of their own values, those of their employees and the traditions and culture of their organizations as they weigh the decision to take a stand. — SUPPORTING EMPLOYEES: Marc Benioff says he is often inspired to take action on issues at the urging — and in support — of his employees. “Anybody who says a CEO doesn’t have a right to say what they want for their company doesn’t understand what leadership is,” he told us. In fact, Benioff considers activism to be not a leadership choice, but a modern — and evolving — ex-

pectation. — ACTING ON PERSONAL CONVICTION: Kathy Carter’s outspokenness about equal respect, resources and opportunity for female soccer players comes from personal conviction. “For me, it starts with making sure you as an individual figure out where you stand morally and ethically,” she said. “Because what I’ve found is that who you are should never change.” — UPHOLDING THE MISSION: In 2014, in response to decisions by an increasing number of universities to disinvite speakers because of their politics, Robert Zimmer commissioned a group of faculty to “draft a statement reflecting the University’s commitment to and tolerance of multiple forms of free expression.” The group’s report reaffirmed the school’s 2012 “Statement on Principles of Free Expression.” Zimmer told us that an essential role of universities is to expose students to all views — even those they may disagree with or find offensive — and that the movement to protect students from unpleasant or troubling content violates the University of Chicago’s mission and deep tradition. THE GROUND GAME What tools do these leaders

use to mobilize their stakeholders and the public? They told us that although they engage on social media and make high-profile public speeches, they also rely on actions beyond the spotlight. — RECRUIT OTHER LEADERS: Benioff pushes other executives to take stands and calls on employees of other firms to encourage their CEOs to speak out. “My number-one goal is to help other CEOs recognize that they have permission to do this,” he told us. Zimmer takes a similar approach, reaching out to university presidents and provosts across the country to discuss — without the pressure of media coverage — the need for diverse perspectives on campus. He meets with high school principals to learn how they are “thinking about preparing students for an environment of open discourse and free expression when they go to college.” He also hosts informal dinners with university students to share experiences and learn their perspectives. — ENGAGE THE BOARD: When leaders speak out, it’s essential that their companies stand behind them. Benioff makes sure his board of directors understands why he’s speaking

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

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out on particular issues. “Your position can’t be a surprise in a board meeting,” he told us. “You have to bring them into the conversation.” — CONDUCT PUBLIC OUTREACH: The leaders we spoke with work to ensure that their organizations are positioned to influence decision-makers in Washington as well as members of the general public who might disagree with their missions. Benioff frequently speaks out on television. Zimmer wrote a widely hailed op-ed in The Wall Street Journal and has spoken at public events hosted by The Washington Post. And Carter took a highly public step, deciding to run for president of the United States Soccer Federation and launching a campaign that brought her voice to ESPN, CNN and USA Today. A NEW LEADERSHIP STORY Not all executives believe that activism is the right way to lead. In February 2018, responding to calls to separate Berkshire Hathaway from businesses connected to guns, Warren Buffett told CNBC that it would be a mistake to impose his own views on “370,000 employees and a million shareholders,” adding, “I’m not their nanny on that.” But fewer and fewer organizations will have the luxury of staying out of the political fray, and those that strive to remain neutral will face challenges. A polarized world demands new approaches to leadership. “Business is the greatest platform for change,” Benioff told us, “and CEOs have an obligation to use their leadership to create that change of the world.”

• Aaron Chatterji is an associate professor at Duke’s Fuqua School of Business and Sanford School of Public Policy and a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. Michael W. Toffel is a professor of environmental management at Harvard Business School.


Friday 16 August 2019



Trailing Angélique Kidjo’s passion and creative diversity OBINNA EMELIKE


hile rounding off a tw o-day holiday trip in Quidah, a coastal city in Benin Republic, a middle-aged man who guessed that our tour bus was about leaving approached us and said, “there is something the tour guide forgot to tell you guys”. The passengers who looked down on the man because of his weird look, particularly his unkempt dreadlocks, beckoned on the driver to move the bus. But the man still made further effort at passing his salient massage. “Brothers, this place is the home of Angélique Kidjo, the great African musician and that building is the family house”, the man said while pointing at an old building few metres away. The visitors still did not get the message because Africans often do not celebrate their own until outsiders do so. Born on July 14, 1960 in Quidah, Benin Republic, as Angélique Kpasseloko Hinto Hounsinou Kandjo Manta Zogbin Kidjo, the Beninese-American singer and songwriter who stages as Angélique Kidjo, is famous for her diverse musical influences and creative music videos that are appreciated across the world. Since 1982 when she debuted in the music scene, her career has blossomed with effortless march to stardom; wining prized laurels and global fans as well. Her creative diversity, versatility across all music genres and stage craft endear her to a global fan base. Starting with Afropop and Afrobeat, her first love, she easily delivers on others genres such as reggae, world music, world fusion, world beat, jazz, gospel, Latin, among others. The music icon, who speaks five languages, credits her versatility to her pa-

rental background. While her father is from the Fon people of Ouidah, her mother is from the Yoruba people, offering her opportunity to experience different cultures. Tracing her journey in the stardom, the African female music icon explains that she grew up listening to all genres of music, but was impressed with the sounds of the Beninese traditional music, Fela Kuti, Miriam Makeba, Hugh Masekela, James Brown, Manu Dibango, Otis Redding, Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Wonder, Osibisa, and Santana. She recalls that her early appreciation for traditional music and dance began at six years when she started performing with her mother’s theatre troupe. She went further to sing in her school band, Les Sphinx, and found success as a teenager with her adaptation of Miriam Makeba’s “Les Trois Z”, which played on national radio. As well, she set out to hone her passion for music when she re-

corded the album Pretty with the Cameroonian producer Ekambi Brilliant and her brother Oscar. It featured the songs “Ninive”, “Gbe Agossi” and a tribute to the singer Bella Bellow, one of her role models. The success of the album allowed her to tour all over West Africa. The then continuing political conflicts in Benin prevented her from being an independent artiste in her own country and led her to relocate to Paris in 1983. Of course, the Beninese twotime Grammy winner with over 10 albums to her credit, has worked with many record labels, especially Island, Mango, PolyGram, Columbia, Razor & Tie, and 429 Records across different music genres. As well, some global music greats such as Philip Glass and the Kronos Quartet, Peter Gabriel, Alicia Keys, Dr. John, Branford Marsalis, among others, who discovered her creative diversity, also collaborated with her in a number of music projects.

However, she rose to international fame with the release of Logozo; her album, which topped chart in 1991 in Paris and afterwards became a fixture of world music, pairing her unique multilingual fusion of Afrobeat, pop, jazz, reggae, and various African traditions with collaborators across several music genres. Her notable albums include; Logozo, Ayé, Fifa, Trilogy, Oremi, Black Ivory Soul, Oyaya, Djin Djin, Õÿö, Spirit Rising, EVE, Remain In Light, and CELIA. But of all the albums, two easily come to mind; Djin Djin and Eve. Djin Djin, a star-studded album released in 2007, and Eve, a culturally rich album released in 2014, both earned her Grammy Awards in 2007 and 2014 respectively. Djin Djin, which was released on May 1, 2007, featured many guest appearances including Josh Groban, Carlos Santana, Alicia Keys, Joss Stone, Peter Gabriel, Amadou and Mariam, Ziggy Marley, and Branford Marsalis. The title refers to the sound of a bell in Africa that greets each new day. The album, produced by Tony Visconti, won a Grammy for Best Contemporary World Music album and a NAACP Image Award for Outstanding World Music album. On the other hand, the album Eve is dear to her heart. The album, which was released on January 28, 2014, won the Grammy for Best World Music Album at the 57th Grammy Awards in 2014. Angélique Kidjo easily relates with the album Eve because it was dedicated to the women of Africa, to their resilience and their beauty. She travelled to Kenya and Benin, from South to North and back, armed with a six track field recorder, to capture the sweet rhythmic harmonies and chants of traditional women choirs. “Eve is an album of remembrance of African women I grew up with and a testament to the pride and strength that hide behind the smile that masks everyday troubles,” says Kidjo. Aside wining the Grammy for Best World Music Album at the 57th Grammy Awards, the @Businessdayng

album debuted at number 1 in the Billboard World Music chart that year, it was rated #1 in the Top 12 of World Music albums for 2014 by Radio France Internationale and “M’Baamba”, its opening track, featured in the New York Times′ “Top 10 songs of 2014” list. Though Eve won the Grammy, Angélique Kidjo always insists that part of the credit goes to the likes of Lionel Loueke, the Beninese percussionists from the Gangbe Brass Band, guitarist Dominic James, drummer Steve Jordan, bass great Christian McBride, and producer Patrick Dillett for their immense contributions to the world class production of the music. Others who helped the singer to fulfill her vision on “Eve” are a host of exciting prominent newcomers to her musical circle, including guitarist and keyboardist Rostam Batmanglij from Vampire Weekend, Nigerian Folk singer Aṣa on “Eva”, legendary pianist Dr. John, who adds his New Orleans magic to “Kulumbu”; The Kronos Quartet and the Luxembourg Philharmonic Orchestra, The traditional Congolese song “Bana” features the vocals of Kidjo’s mother Yvonne. Aside her music, she her written a memoir titled, ‘Spirit Rising, My Life, My Music’. The memoir was published by Harper Collins on January 7, 2014 with preface written by Desmond Tutu and forward by Alicia Keys. On the back cover, Bill Clinton is quoted as saying: “The only thing bigger than Angélique Kidjo’s voice is her heart. In this evocative memoir, Kidjo chronicles an inspiring life of music and activism, and raises a passionate call for freedom, dignity, and the rights of people everywhere.” On January 17, 2014, she collaborated with Philip Glass to premiere IFÉ: Three Yoruba songs for Angelique Kidjo and the Orchestre Philharmonique Du Luxembourg conducted by Jonathan Stockhammer at the Philharmonie hall in Luxembourg. Philip Glass wrote the orchestral music based on three creation poems in Yoruba sung by Kidjo. In the program notes, Philip Glass says: “Angelique, together we have built a bridge that no one has walked on before.” The piece made its American premiere with the San Francisco Symphony to a sold out crowd in the Louise M. Davies Symphony Hall on July 10, 2015. She is also lending her voice to global advocacy starting with Africa. She has been a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador since 2002. With UNICEF, she has travelled to many countries in Africa and the world. Today, Angélique Kidjo has come of age and is a veteran on her own right. She stages around the world, from major festivals to concert halls and clubs. Moreover, the foremost African musician still receives accolades for her creative diversity and willingness to push the envelope.

Friday 16 August 2019



ENTERTAINMENT Etiquette Advantage Strategies Surviving challenging economic times BUSINESS ETIQUETTE



he way you do things is key to creating that impression that is enough for the people that matter most to perceive you as trustworthy, confident knowledgeable, respectful, approachable and an authority in your field. That is the only way they will be willing to partner with their limited resources and believe in you. Remember you cannot survive without the relationships you build daily. The customers hold the key to your success and survival. Remember too everyone is your customer from your social to business relationships. It is time to invest in the etiquette advantaged to survive sizzling challenging times. Your etiquette advantage will establish your footing always challenging economic times. It is the forefront of developing your personal brand, to move forward it is essential you align your outward appearance, behaviour and communication; so that your brand image is consistent with who you really are. This is not to say that your image should be stagnant, you are work-in progress therefore you can alter it at any time. Your image will be influential at all stages of your life ultimately contributing to your true wealth. It is imperative to recognize that you will be judged no matter what. It is easier to save time and energy by just making that efforts to make a good first impression your polished image will fire your presence, highly influential for developing relationships with others. People will take

you more seriously, listen to your ideas and trust that you can add value. Well for the sake of understanding the etiquette advantage better do the following: 1. Establish a Competitive Advantage We have established that competition is so stiff and becoming stiffer by the day, it is important that you discover those strengths in you that will help you have that upper edge. It may be as simple as you love for talking or your gift of time keeping. Place yourself in a competitive environment like applying for a job and think of that one thing you want the interviewer to remember you by. Your smile can be an added plus. 2. Portray Confidence & Assertiveness Imagine being a marketing rep at a networking gathering with the responsibility of introducing a certain number of new clients to your company. You would have achieved nothing staying by the food or drinks table waiting to be introduced by others. Your confidence and assertiveness is the major personality trait that must be built so that in approaching others you appear trustworthy. Integrity is key when it comes to building relationships. 3. Exhibit Positive Impression Management Your body language says a lot about the impression you create of yourself. First impressions literally takes seconds to make unconsciously. Just looking at your personality now do you look your age, younger or older? Would you pass for a professional or an amateur, do you appear advanced in your knowledge or a new kid on the block? Putting your entire appearance, behaviour and communication style together would you consider yourself having impressive characteristics or could you be letting your guard

down? 4. Identify Your Leadership Traits A leader is easily identifiable because of the presence created around them. These traits are developed overtime and enhanced with experience. A good leader must show decorum, charisma and emotional intelligence for all others around. Having a vision is paramount but having the right idea as to which way to flow shows independence, direction and focus. Do not be afraid to make mistakes so long as you use them as learning curves for improved results in the future. Remember to lead does not imply you know it all but you have an added value which is is buttressed by team members. That leadership value is what will draw people to you. 5. Master Appropriate Conduct Standing in the middle of the airport screaming at a ground hostess maybe a spur of the moment thing at the time but can be an action that if seen by others may jeopardize your professional and personal image. As an entrepreneur raising your voice and losing control in the presence of your customer will kill your business if you rely on word of mouth. Your best judge of character will always be seen in your conduct and behaviour. Your attitude to everyday things around you will also play a major role in the way you react. The etiquette advantage will place you in the best position as to how to overcome most awkward situations by applying best practices.

“Etiquette is the balance of the old and the new ways of how you look, behave and communicate. It is your Panache Advantage. If you have it you can step into your next level, shine and survive these trying times.”

6. Dress Strategically for Results Is class or status important to you? Do you combine panache with your profession? A little more effort in your appearance can create the big impact required to move you forward. Many people admire power dressers even if they struggle to put

it together themselves. Your striking appearance does not mean expensive dressing but one that attracts in a positive way. One that inspires and motivates further synergy between others. Grooming must not be overlooked as it is the primary step to looking and feeling good. Pay attention to the fine detail from top to bottom, enhance your personality with your full ensemble. 7. International Presence Do not make the common mistake of accepting your local norms as internationally accepted standards. The quickest way to kill your business practice or to put yourself at a disadvantage professionally is to disregard the norms of the international environment you operate in. Business etiquette practices are according to the land, the culture and religion are major determining factors that need effort, adherence and adaptability for success. To survive the challenging economic climate you will need to pick up new ways outside the normal to conduct your business. In conclusion if you care about the way you look, behave and communicate others will think that you care about your work, your first step to surviving challenging economic times. This etiquette advantage will ultimately help in the following ways: • Gaining employment • Receiving promotion • Obtaining new business • Encouraging listening loyalty • Being entrusted with a leadership role • Increasing self-esteem, confidence and credibility To take the Eti-Test : email : janet.

Please share your experience with me by sending an email to or / Follow and like @janetadetu @jsketiquetteconsortium I look forward to hearing from you.

Chidinma celebrates World Friendship Day with Molped’s ‘Mo Girls’ in Lagos


olped Brand Ambassador, Chidinma Ekile headlined the activities marking the 2019 World Friendship Day on Saturday with the launching of ‘Mo Girls’, a party of 40 beautiful girls, by MOLPED Sanitary Pads, the flagship brand from Hayat Kimya Nigeria Limited. The 28-year-old Ekile popularly known by her stage name Chidinma, is a Nigerian singer and songwriter, who in 2010 won the third season of Project Fame West Africa. Following the release of the music video for her “Emi Ni Baller” single, she became the first female musician to peak at number one on the MTV Base Official Naija Top 10 chart in 2011. The ‘Mo Girls’ Hangout, which took place inside the cozy ambience of the Tea Room in Lekki- Lagos also had in attendance, healthcare specialists who addressed the ‘girls’ on key issues about life and living. The idea is to have a group of girls who will have each other’s backs and basically driving the ideals of friendship. Also speaking at the occasion, a general health specialist, Dr Doyin Olaosibikan,

L-R: Onyinyechi Nwosu, brand manager, Molped, sanitary pad category, Hayat Kimya; Chidinma Ekile, singer, and Doyin Olaosebikan, at the ‘Mo Girls hangout in Lagos.

highlighted the health benefits of the sanitary pads, especially in the area of absorbing flow during lady period no matter how heavy it is. According to her, since the MOLPED pad is made with hundred percent cotton, it is breathable, which allow air to circulate to the affected areas thereby preventing bacteria from being harmful to the users. Recently, Molped started its digital pages across the social media to reinforce its unique selling points, as well as, its brand personality. The brand personality is coiled around ‘Best Friends’ and aimed at growing a community of ladies online called Mo’girls who will drive the best friend narrative. The MOLPED, according to Onyinyechi Nwosu, Molped’s brand manager (Sanitary Pad Category) offers every lady the solution to irritation and roughness, because the range is produced with Nylon free materials and has a breathable back sheet, thus eliminating the burning sensation while in use and additionally providing comforting cottony feel. According to her, companion and friend-

ship are the two key words that best describe MOLPED with its audience, which are ladies, is personified by the brand. MOLPED Sanitary Pads was launched into the Nigerian market in April 2019, changing the narrative of the feminine care category in Nigeria. Since then, it has enjoyed growing presence in Traditional & Modern Trade channels. To further hasten this, the brand deployed a team of all girls “MOLPED Auxiliary squad” aimed at educating retailers on brands USP while leaving samples for the retailers to share to shoppers. The World Friendship day is a day to celebrate the beautiful bond of friendship that not necessarily be connected by blood, but is so precious. The first World Friendship Day was proposed for July 30, 1958 by the World Friendship Crusade, an international civil organization that campaigns to foster a culture of peace through friendship In 2011, the 30th July was declared as the International Day of Friendship by the General Assembly of United Nations.



Friday 16 August 2019


INTERVIEW Failure to embrace ease of doing business hampering states’ viability - Kayode Akinsola Business Lawyer, Kayode Akinsola is not just a legal practitioner, but one with a touch of class and panache. In this interview with select journalists including BusinessDay reporter SEGUN ADAMS at his Victoria Island office in Lagos, the young, suave, and highly cerebral Business Lawyer, spoke on issues concerning Business Law in Nigeria, what it entails, Policy consultancy and its intricacies and sundry business issues, especially those pertaining to, and problems associated with ease of doing business. Excerpts: The Business aspect of law seems vague to most people out there, could you shed light on what it means to be a Business Lawyer? usiness Law is an aspect of law practice that covers the dayto-day activities of our respective businesses. It is a broad name for corporate and commercial laws. A business lawyer, however, attends to legal issues relating to business and organizations. What does it entail to be a Business Lawyer in terms of training? Carving a niche in the legal profession is what lawyers are delving to from the time immemorial. For me, I think such interested lawyer should start paying attention to corporate law as a course from the law School days; such aspirant will need to further his education to Business Schools, attend various courses that will aid his or her expertise at offering advice to clients. How does this aspect of law operate in Nigeria, in terms of regulation? There are Sections on business law of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) which ensures the growth and development of such practice. What is your view about the ease of doing business in Nigeria, especially the Federal Government’s recent moves? I think we are on course, but there are rooms for improvement. The 2018 reports of the World Bank Group, for instance, shows that some states in Nigeria are still lacking behind on the ease of doing business. The Federal G overnment through the Corporate Affairs Commission has taken some measures to make business registration less cumbersome, but when you get to each state of the federation, you will observe that more still needs to be done. These areas are procedures to acquire land and register it, obtaining construction and business permits as well as enforcement of contracts. Compare to 2014 reports of the World Bank, the


Kayode Akinsola

entities, policy document is the operational manual for the company to achieve what it sets out to do, how the employees and other players will operate will be documented. A policy consultant is the one to do this work and follow up to ensure compliance. For governments, a survey will be administered as to those areas they intend to work upon, and recommendations will be made from our analysis. How much understanding do business owners in Nigeria have about this area and why should

anyone engage professionals in policy consultancy? Many organizations have folded up because the policy for such a system was never created, or badly executed even before setting up their businesses. A policy consultant, therefore, measures up the healthiness of an enterprise and engenders that corporate objectives are achieved. Like I said earlier, it is not enough to have a business vision; you will still need to battle with Business Mission, Company Manual, and Employee Management without rancour, Compliance with

Most of the states today are not viable because they fail to embrace the ease of doing business. 70 percent of the 36 states in Nigeria cannot operate for six months without the monthly allocation from the Federal Government

political class might need to set up a one-stop-shop on these to make their respective States investmentfriendly. Are you saying states are not keying it into the FG’s initiative on ease of doing business? Honestly, most of the states today are not viable because they fail to embrace the ease of doing business. 70 percent of the 36 states in Nigeria cannot operate for six months without the monthly allocation from the Federal Government. I think governments at state levels engage more in politics than governance, hence my suggestion would be that they should begin to look inwardly to be more productive, and ease of doing business will be important in this regard. What does it mean for someone to be a policy consultant? Every organization and governments at all levels have a vision they wish to achieve within a reasonable time. For corporate


government regulators and so on. How would you assess the business environment in Nigeria? The Nigeria business environment is moving but at snail speed. Many factors answer for such rationale, for example, Power is one of the major challenges we have today. If we solve electricity problems today, our youths will be more engaged. Ease of doing business is another, which has been highlighted earlier. Others are the high cost of governance (salaries of the political office holders, duplication of government agencies), bad leadership and lack of awareness. Do you think the business aspect of law needs to be carved out as a separate professional field as may be obtainable in other parts of the world and why? Yes, if this is done it will streamline the specialization in the field of law practice. For instance, Solicitors work and Business law are fast gaining momentum, some litigants are no longer interested in going to court, rather they engage in the alternative dispute resolution because court processes take time and you might be unsure of what the outcome will look like. Professionals in the field of corporate law offer advice that safeguards you from legal risk or exposure. Pupilage and proper mentoring has been a major challenge among the lawyers, what do you have to say to this? The law profession is one of the oldest and a respected calling, any lawyer that wants to go far will not undermine the place of Pupilage and Mentoring. Even as the Managing Partner of a law firm, I still subject myself to mentoring because there will always be people who would have gone far ahead of you within the profession. So I encourage pupilage and mentoring among the young lawyers. You have consulted for organizations and governments, do you have any political ambition? I am not thinking in that line currently but God is the owner of time and season.

Friday 16 August 2019



INTERVIEW Approximately, 2 million metric tonnes of foreign rice smuggled into the country across various land borders every year - Adefeko

Olam Nigeria Limited is no doubt a trailblazer with many successful records to its credit in Nigeria’s agric and agro-allied sector. Some few years back, Olam Nigeria gained a foothold in the nation’s rice value chain. With the Nigerian government desirous of making the nation a net exporter of rice, BusinessDay Research and Intelligence (BRIU) team comprising TELIAT BIODUN SULE and ADEMOLA ASUNLOYE, in the process of producing Rice Industry Report 2019, sought the views of ADE ADEFEKO, Olam Nigeria’s vice president on the state of rice production in the country and how opportunities in that sector could be optimised. Excerpts:


holder farmers till date with the potential for further expansion in each consecutive year. The fact that there is exciting returns on cultivating a hectare of paddy should encourage more youths to take up farming as a serious profession. Government support on good road infrastructure, availability of proper irrigation facilities, access to quality and affordable seeds will go a long way in boosting this.

indly give us an overview of the rice value chain in Nigeria. Rice is grown in almost all the states in Nigeria. The value chain extends from the small holder farmers to the final consumers across the country. The key players in the middle are the paddy rice aggregators, various small to large scale rice millers, rice distributors, wholesalers and retailers (which form the entire trade channel for packed & branded rice). Olam’s operations in the rice industry in Nigeria span the entire value chain starting right from input supplies to small holder outgrower farmers to cultivating paddy rice on its own farmlands and then milling it to distribute the packed & branded rice in all regions of the country.

What is driving producers to cultivate rice and what are the main characteristics of rice producing households (e.g. in terms of their resource base, economic activities and scale)? The major driving force for the cultivation of rice has been the superlative price realization of the paddy crop harvest. In the last wet season’s harvest, farmers were able to get prices upwards of N110/kg which was a sharp improvement from a price of N 60/ kg prevailing only 4 years back. The small holder farmers with the support of an off taker and input finance from NIRSAL/CBN today earn the best returns per hectare of land cultivated. Most farmers have an average cultivation of 1-2 hectares of land which if utilized for 2 seasons in a year ensures subsistence for the family. What major technological changes have occurred in the nation’s rice farming sub sector? What factors determine producer’s efficiency? The major change has been in the usage of improved and purer seeds coupled with discriminatory fertilizer applications in various stages of the plant growth. The introduction of L series of seeds (L19 & L34) coupled with Faro 44 & Faro 52 varieties have been effective. However, irrigation facilities have remained limited only to some northern states of the country and are a major area where the government has to invest for the farming community. Agricultural land development has also seen some technological improvements in states like Kebbi, but more use of technology will be required in the future in keeping with global agricultural trends. What is the current national rice yield per hectare? Which paddy rice specie gives the nation the best yield per hectare and in what rice season? The current national rice yield is around 2-2.5 Mts per hectare. However, the northern regions of Kebbi and Jigawa states have produced yields far superior to national average. It is a combination of soil & weather conditions, farming practices, seed variety and good harvest & post-harvest practices which significantly influence the yield for a particular season. It has been observed that dry season farming (mainly Faro 44 variety) in irrigated farmlands of Kebbi and

For optimum productivity, which paddy rice species would you recommend to farmers in the different rice belts in Nigeria-North, West, East and South? Faro 44 has proved to be the most consistent of the varieties for most of Nigeria’s soil and climatic conditions. Hence, for optimum productivity, this type of seed with good fertilizer application can prove to be extremely useful to farmers in different regions of Nigeria.

Ade Adefeko

Jigawa states have produced the best yield results so far. When do you think the locally produced rice could compete with imported rice? Nigerian grown rice is already competing with the imported rice. However, it is not a level playing field with the imported rice (Thai or Indian) virtually all of which are smuggled into the country from the borders with Benin Republic, Niger and Cameroon. There are high level farm and mill subsidies or support programs which are a norm in countries like India, Thailand, Vietnam etc. which make their rice extremely competitive in export markets and generate surplus production for each of the countries in spite of high level of consumption. Hence, when compared to a Thailand or Indian rice, home grown rice in Nigeria is much costlier to produce. To bridge this gap, the price of paddy rice available in Nigeria’s markets needs to drastically reduce which will eventually lead to a lower price of finished rice thus helping compete with the cross border imported rice. Your organisation relates well with small holder farmers. What are the current crop management practices for rice in the country? Olam is very closely involved with the small holder rice farmers in the country. We provide inputs (especially certified seeds and appropriate fertilizer) to farmers and give them training on world class farming practices which go a long way in ensuring the best possible yields. Using purer seeds along with discriminatory fertilizer applications in various stages of the plant growth are essential. What portion of the rice that is produced

locally is consumed? What processing and marketing channels are used by players in this sector? What are the marketing problems farmers are actually facing? The consumption of home-grown Nigerian rice has picked up in the last 3 years. Today, one can observe popular Nigerian rice brands from the North, Central, Eastern and South western parts of the country. The perception and acceptability of Nigerian rice has really grown over the years due to the fast improvements in quality. Nigerian rice is still the best in taste according to most consumers in the country. Olam’s brands of Mama’s Choice and Mama’s Pride have become a favourite choice of consumers from all parts of the country. This is as a result of better understanding of paddy quality by the farming community to supply the rice millers the best quality and thus helping them to produce the best possible quality of branded rice in the country. Millers typically buy their raw paddy from various supplier or agents spread throughout the country and utilize the same to produce branded rice which is sold through wholesalers & distributors into the local retail markets. Today big retailers like Shoprite and Spar also patronize Nigerian rice in a major way. Rice farming is one of the activities the federal government intends to use to reduce unemployment. How do you think government can achieve this? How can Olam help in this regard? There are still vast areas of uncultivable agricultural land in Nigeria which the government can use to bring a large portion of the population into farming. Olam’s rice outgrower program for farmers has been in operation for the last 15 years and has now grown in strength to involve 16,723 small

In spite of the ban, rice smuggling is still a menace to rice producers in the country. How do you think this can be stopped? The land borders in Nigeria are extremely porous. Thus, foreign rice gets a free flow into the country across our south western, north and south eastern borders. Approximately, two million metric tons of foreign rice are smuggled into the country across various land borders every year. This trade of rice smuggling into Nigeria has seriously evolved over the years especially since the ban on direct rice imports into Nigerian ports. The smugglers have come up with newer and more innovative routes (sometimes even waterways). Smaller vehicles like cars, buses, motor bikes etc are also very popular modes of smuggling rice across the borders apart from the usual big trucks. Though, the Nigerian Customs has been in a long war with the smugglers, their tenacity has been truly tested in the last couple of years. So, apart from the strict border control policies, the solution lies in the economic policy of making Nigerian Paddy and finished rice price cheaper and passing on a strong message of advocating Nigerian rice to all consumers consistently through the mass media. Smuggling probably can’t be completely removed, but it can be drastically reduced if these two pronged strategies are implemented with zeal. Where do you see the nation’s rice farming in the next five years? What milestones should we watch out for? The future of the nation’s rice farming does indeed look bright with more participation from small holder farmers, medium sized agri-entrepreneurs and large corporates. However, the menace of smuggling needs to be curbed if investors are to continue patronizing the rice industry. Nigeria definitely has the potential to be self-sufficient in rice production in 5 to 10 years time maximum if farm expansions, yield improvements, a stable market environment and curb on cross border smuggling can be implemented. It is going to be a long and hard journey but one in which Nigeria is fully capable of coming out on top.



Friday 16 August 2019


Sports Rohr names 23-man squad for Ukraine friendly

Tecno renews partnership with Manchester City Jumoke Akiyode-Lawanson


fter a successful three-year relationship, Africa’s top smartphone brand, Tecno, has renewed its strategic partnership with the popular United Kingdom-based Manchester City Football Club at an event in New Delhi, India. The partnership is aimed at leveraging the global fan base of the two brands in order to ensure top of mind awareness for both parties. It also makes it possible for the brands to work together on a number of initiatives. Following the renewal ceremony in India recently, Tecno visited Nanjing, China for the first game during Manchester City’s 2019 Asia Tour. To crown the occasion, Manchester City recorded a 4-1 victory against West Ham United in the opening game of the 2019 pre-season tour of Asia. Stephen HA, VP of Transsion Holdings and general manager of Tecno said:” Tecno feels very honored that our brand will be with City players all through the 2019 Asia tour. We believe that our blue spirit will be a winner.” Damian Willoughby, senior vice president of partnerships at City football group, said: “Manchester City prides itself on partnering with some of the world’s leading organisations, so we are thrilled to be announcing the renewal of our established partnership with Tecno mobile. During the past three years, we have collaborated on a number of exciting initiatives that has engaged, connected and entertained our global fan base.” An obvious case of winners partnering with winners, the alliance is expected to help take the Tecno

Anthony Nlebem

S brand to new heights and lead to even better offerings in the Nigerian and African smartphone market. Although Nigerian football has come a long way, this partnership will further deepen the progress made as it will inspire a new generation of Nigerian footballers. Tecno executives also visited Hong Kong in time for Manchester City’s game against Hong Kong Premier League champions, Kitchee Sports Club at the Hong Kong Stadium. Premier League Champions, Manchester City got an easy 6-1 friendly win against Kitchee. Chidi Okonkwo, general manager of Transsion Holdings, the parent company of Tecno, said “We are thrilled at the success of our partnership with Manchester City Football Club. This renewal of our partnership is the start of even greater things to come for the two brands and for Nigerians at large because Tecno is for Nigeria.”

MultiChoice welcomes fans to new football season Anthony Nlebem


he New Gymnasium of the National Stadium, Lagos, on Sunday, hosted football fans, especially those of the prestigious European leagues, including the Premier League (PL). The occasion was a live screening of matches on the opening weekend for football fans by MultiChoice. As usual, the SuperSport studio broadcast live from the venue, giving football fans the opportunity to see their favourite analysts and other football personalities up close. Martin Mabutho, Chief Customer Officer, MultiChoice Nigeria, explained that the event was organized to annually to officially kick-off the new football season. “It is very important to flag-off the new season with a ceremony such as this. We picked today (Sunday, 11 August, 2019) because the fixtures were quite high profile and competitive. We have a lot of supporters of Arsenal FC, Manchester United and Chelsea here in Nigeria

and this is our way of getting everyone excited about the season. Mabutho also said SuperSport will broadcast all the 380 matches of the Premier League LIVE and in HD on DStv and selected matches on GOtv Max and Plus. Also on offer this season include La Liga, Serie A, Champions League, Euro 2020 qualifiers and UEFA Europa League. The event was an exciting one for guests, among whom were members of the media, fans of various football clubs and former Super Eagles stars like Joseph Yobo, Victor Ikpeba and U-17 FIFA World Cup-winning coach, Fanny Amun and amongst others. Arsenal fans in the crowd watched their team open the season with a solitary goal away victory over Newcastle. Manchester United fans also watched the team crush Chelsea 4-0 in a clash of big guns. For more information about the new football season including fixtures and analyses, visit You can also visit www. and to find out more about DStv and GOtv packages.

uper Eagles Technical Adviser, Gernot Rohr, has called up 23 players for the Super Eagles’ international friendly with the Senior National Team of Ukraine scheduled for Dnipro Arena on Tuesday, 10th September, with Saudi Arabia-based Skipper Ahmed Musa at the head of the roster. Tyronne Ebuehi, who missed the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations finals where Nigeria won bronze due to injury, has been recalled after recovering from injury, and Oluwasemilogo Ajayi Kelechi Iheanacho, cut from the roster just before the AFCON, have been told to fly to Ukraine. England –based duo Alex Iwobi and Iheanacho have been listed in midfield roles. Germany –based goalkeeper Emil Maduka Okoye has been invited for the first time, as Scotland –based midfielder Joe Aribo, but there is no place for South Africa –based goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi.

Goalkeepers Francis Uzoho and Ikechukwu Ezenwa, defenders William Ekong, Kenneth Omeruo, Leon Balogun and Jamilu Collins, midfielders Wilfred Ndidi and Oghenekaro Etebo and forwards Victor Osimhen, Moses Simon, Henry Onyekuru and Samuel Chukwueze have also been called. Ukraine is rated number 25 on the FIFA ranking while Nigeria is 33rd. 23 Eagles For Ukraine Friendly Goalkeepers: Francis Uzoho (An-

orthosis Famagusta, Cyprus); Ikechukwu Ezenwa (Heartland FC); Emil Maduka Okoye (Fortuna Dusseldorf, Germany) Defenders: Olaoluwa Aina (Torino FC, Italy); Tyronne Ebuehi (FC Benfica, Portugal); Chidozie Awaziem (FC Porto, Portugal); William Ekong (Udinese FC, Italy); Leon Balogun (Brighton & Hove Albion, England); Kenneth Omeruo (CD Leganes, Spain); Jamilu Collins (SC Padeborn 07, Germany); Oluwasemilogo Ajayi (Rotherham United, England) Midfielders: Alexander Iwobi (Everton FC, England); Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City, England); Oghenekaro Etebo (Stoke City FC, England); Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City, England); Joe Aribo (Glasgow Rangers, Scotland) Forwards: Ahmed Musa (Al Nassar FC, Saudi Arabia); Victor Osimhen (Lille OSC, France); Moses Simon (Levante FC, Spain); Henry Onyekuru (AS Monaco, France); Samuel Kalu (Girondins Bordeaux, France); Paul Onuachu (FC Midtjyland, Denmark); Samuel Chukwueze (Villarreal FC, Spain)

Eight teams battle for honour as RC3 kicks off in Lagos


n a bid to promote bonding among corporate organizations and encourage good and healthy living for more productivity at workplace, the 5th edition of the annual Remita Corporate Champions Cup, otherwise known as RC3, returns with more excitement and energy. The tourney, regarded, as the most prestigious league of all corporate football competitions in Nigeria will kick off at the Sports Pavilion of Yaba College Technology, Lagos, every Sunday from August 18 to September 1, 2019. The tourney which is in its 5th edition would feature eight leading corporate brands across various industries in Nigeria: Union Bank, First City Monument Bank, IHS Towers, MTN Nigeria, Nestle, Unilever, NEM Insurance, and Friesland Campina. The Remita Corporate Champi-

ons Cup 2019 would feature winners and runners-up of various sectorbased footballing competitions in Corporate Nigeria, covering banking, FMCG, insurance and telecoms. This information was revealed at a recent press conference held by the organisers of the tournament, MediaVision Limited, at the premises of the headline sponsor, SystemSpecs, the providers of the innovative payment solution, Remita and the leading human capital management solution, HumanManager. With attendance by representatives of participating teams and other stakeholders, the commencement of Remita Corporate Champions Cup was announced. “As always, we strongly believe that work-life balance is a necessity and can substantially contribute to a healthier, productive workforce. This is therefore a pivotal reason we have been a part of this tournament since

L-R: Jimmy Shogbesan, Chief Operating Officer, MediaVision Limited; Dr. Emmanuel Eze, Executive Director, SystemSpecs; Bimpe Ayo-Elias, Human Relations Manager, SystemSpecs; John Obaro, Managing Director, SystemSpecs, owner of Remita; Peter Rufai, Tournament Ambassador, Remita Corporate Champions Cup (RC3) and Deremi Atanda, Executive Director, SystemSpecs at a press conference announcing the commencement of the 2019 RC3 tournament in Lagos


its inception, and five editions running, we continue to promote team bonding, inter-company networking and wellness among employees from different firms, in an stress-free manner,” said John Obaro, Managing Director, SystemSpecs. “More so, we are convinced that a nation with a workforce able to maximise its time and energy for work and other important aspects of their life would be able to immeasurably contribute to national growth and advancement,” Obaro added. Legendary former Super Eagles goalkeeper and tournament ambassador, Peter Rufai, disclosing his hopes for the tournament, said: “Now in its fifth season and growing even stronger, the success of RC3 this year would surpass all four editions past. Personally, I expect a remarkable competition. I also anticipate a championship that would engender and strengthen camaraderie among the participating players, teams, organisations, supporters and other individuals across various walks of life.” Also speaking on his expectations from the competition, Jimmy Sogbesan, Chief Operating Officer of MediaVision, said: “It has been five whole seasons of spectacular soccer across Corporate Nigeria; we guarantee participating teams and spectators nothing short of that for them and their loved ones again this year.” With the best of football skills and passion by professionals in Nigeria on display, Remita Corporate Champions Cup is the pinnacle of Corporate Games in Nigeria. Its 2019 edition would bring together top brands and SystemSpecs customers in a friendly environment.


Friday 16 August 2019



Friday 16 August 2019



Live @ The STOCK Exchanges Prices for Securities Traded as of Thursday 15 August 2019 Company

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PRICES FOR MAIN BOARD SECURITIES (Equities) BANKING ACCESS BANK PLC. 209,716.83 5.90 -1.67 184 22,107,603 UNITED BANK FOR AFRICA PLC 188,096.82 5.50 -0.90 218 7,304,183 510,193.02 16.25 0.31 378 18,326,667 ZENITH BANK PLC 780 47,738,453 OTHER FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS FBN HOLDINGS PLC 165,118.35 4.60 -1.08 240 6,840,397 240 6,840,397 1,020 54,578,850 TELECOMMUNICATIONS SERVICES MTN NIGERIA COMMUNICATIONS PLC 2,747,859.26 135.00 4.45 119 10,758,571 119 10,758,571 119 10,758,571 BUILDING MATERIALS DANGOTE CEMENT PLC 2,760,562.20 162.00 -1.82 44 1,055,020 LAFARGE AFRICA PLC. 225,509.14 14.00 -4.11 69 1,639,865 113 2,694,885 113 2,694,885 EXPLORATION AND PRODUCTION SEPLAT PETROLEUM DEVELOPMENT COMPANY PLC 288,337.83 490.00 - 1 200 1 200 1 200 1,253 68,032,506 REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT TRUSTS (REITS) SKYE SHELTER FUND PLC 1,710.00 85.50 - 0 0 UNION HOMES REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT TRUST (REIT) 10,175.81 40.70 - 0 0 UPDC REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT TRUST 14,408.66 5.40 - 0 0 0 0 0 0 OTHER FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS NIGERIA ENERYGY SECTOR FUND 411.91 552.20 - 0 0 VALUEALLIANCE VALUE FUND 3,312.39 103.20 - 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 CROP PRODUCTION FTN COCOA PROCESSORS PLC 440.00 0.20 - 0 0 OKOMU OIL PALM PLC. 49,603.32 52.00 - 6 2,143 PRESCO PLC 44,800.00 44.80 - 3 3,400 9 5,543 FISHING/HUNTING/TRAPPING ELLAH LAKES PLC. 8,520.00 4.26 - 0 0 0 0 LIVESTOCK/ANIMAL SPECIALTIES LIVESTOCK FEEDS PLC. 1,320.00 0.44 7.32 12 442,458 12 442,458 21 448,001 DIVERSIFIED INDUSTRIES A.G. LEVENTIS NIGERIA PLC. 661.82 0.25 - 6 205,111 JOHN HOLT PLC. 179.01 0.46 - 2 69,807 S C O A NIG. PLC. 1,903.99 2.93 - 0 0 TRANSNATIONAL CORPORATION OF NIGERIA PLC 34,957.27 0.86 2.38 186 37,868,209 U A C N PLC. 12,965.83 4.50 -9.09 93 2,215,508 287 40,358,635 287 40,358,635 BUILDING CONSTRUCTION ARBICO PLC. 711.32 4.79 - 3 105 3 105 INFRASTRUCTURE/HEAVY CONSTRUCTION JULIUS BERGER NIG. PLC. 27,192.00 20.60 - 15 162,914 ROADS NIG PLC. 165.00 6.60 - 0 0 15 162,914 REAL ESTATE DEVELOPMENT UACN PROPERTY DEVELOPMENT COMPANY PLC 2,910.20 1.12 - 7 82,870 7 82,870 25 245,889 AUTOMOBILES/AUTO PARTS DN TYRE & RUBBER PLC 954.53 0.20 - 0 0 0 0 BEVERAGES--BREWERS/DISTILLERS CHAMPION BREW. PLC. 13,231.85 1.69 - 0 0 GOLDEN GUINEA BREW. PLC. 242.22 0.89 - 0 0 GUINNESS NIG PLC 90,681.85 41.40 - 13 4,576 INTERNATIONAL BREWERIES PLC. 103,150.34 12.00 - 11 1,169,056 NIGERIAN BREW. PLC. 399,845.10 50.00 - 99 369,757 123 1,543,389 FOOD PRODUCTS DANGOTE FLOUR MILLS PLC 104,000.00 20.80 1.46 272 3,444,837 DANGOTE SUGAR REFINERY PLC 114,600.00 9.55 - 49 245,570 FLOUR MILLS NIG. PLC. 52,484.86 12.80 - 52 310,793 HONEYWELL FLOUR MILL PLC 7,533.69 0.95 - 25 4,674,830 MULTI-TREX INTEGRATED FOODS PLC 1,340.10 0.36 - 0 0 N NIG. FLOUR MILLS PLC. 766.26 4.30 - 1 1,000 NASCON ALLIED INDUSTRIES PLC 37,092.14 14.00 - 7 3,800 UNION DICON SALT PLC. 3,321.07 12.15 - 1 2,000 407 8,682,830 FOOD PRODUCTS--DIVERSIFIED CADBURY NIGERIA PLC. 19,345.48 10.30 - 14 34,750 NESTLE NIGERIA PLC. 1,006,673.44 1,270.00 - 35 33,530 49 68,280 HOUSEHOLD DURABLES NIGERIAN ENAMELWARE PLC. 1,680.31 22.10 - 0 0 VITAFOAM NIG PLC. 5,366.12 4.29 - 24 226,323 24 226,323 PERSONAL/HOUSEHOLD PRODUCTS P Z CUSSONS NIGERIA PLC. 23,822.86 6.00 - 24 300,466 UNILEVER NIGERIA PLC. 165,456.16 28.80 -10.00 31 473,638 55 774,104 658 11,294,926 BANKING ECOBANK TRANSNATIONAL INCORPORATED 115,602.17 6.30 -10.00 85 2,494,630 FIDELITY BANK PLC 40,564.72 1.40 -4.76 170 19,375,687 GUARANTY TRUST BANK PLC. 757,852.87 25.75 -0.77 316 42,499,288 JAIZ BANK PLC 11,491.06 0.39 5.41 10 659,538 10,687.83 0.77 - 0 0 SKYE BANK PLC STERLING BANK PLC. 67,657.48 2.35 - 725 7,191,465 UNION BANK NIG.PLC. 203,845.27 7.00 2.94 23 946,872 UNITY BANK PLC 8,065.64 0.69 7.81 5 266,857 WEMA BANK PLC. 21,987.45 0.57 -1.72 18 583,944 1,352 74,018,281 INSURANCE CARRIERS, BROKERS AND SERVICES AFRICAN ALLIANCE INSURANCE PLC 4,117.00 0.20 - 0 0 AIICO INSURANCE PLC. 4,296.73 0.62 -1.59 16 583,298 AXAMANSARD INSURANCE PLC 18,900.00 1.80 - 5 460,000 CONSOLIDATED HALLMARK INSURANCE PLC 2,439.00 0.30 - 0 0 CONTINENTAL REINSURANCE PLC 15,040.48 1.45 - 4 150,000 CORNERSTONE INSURANCE PLC 2,945.90 0.20 - 3 274,813 GOLDLINK INSURANCE PLC 909.99 0.20 - 0 0 GUINEA INSURANCE PLC. 1,228.00 0.20 - 0 0 INTERNATIONAL ENERGY INSURANCE PLC 487.95 0.38 - 0 0 LASACO ASSURANCE PLC. 2,416.73 0.33 -2.94 15 2,354,649 LAW UNION AND ROCK INS. PLC. 1,546.68 0.36 - 0 0 LINKAGE ASSURANCE PLC 4,160.00 0.52 - 13 547,100 MUTUAL BENEFITS ASSURANCE PLC. 2,346.27 0.21 -4.55 3 169,509 NEM INSURANCE PLC 10,613.81 2.01 - 7 118,998 NIGER INSURANCE PLC 1,547.90 0.20 - 0 0 PRESTIGE ASSURANCE PLC 2,583.62 0.48 - 0 0 REGENCY ASSURANCE PLC 1,333.75 0.20 - 0 0 SOVEREIGN TRUST INSURANCE PLC 1,668.16 0.20 - 0 0 STACO INSURANCE PLC 4,483.72 0.48 - 0 0 STANDARD ALLIANCE INSURANCE PLC. 2,582.21 0.20 - 0 0 SUNU ASSURANCES NIGERIA PLC. 2,800.00 0.20 - 0 0 UNIC DIVERSIFIED HOLDINGS PLC. 516.46 0.20 - 0 0 UNIVERSAL INSURANCE PLC 3,200.00 0.20 - 0 0 VERITAS KAPITAL ASSURANCE PLC 2,773.33 0.20 - 0 0 WAPIC INSURANCE PLC 4,817.79 0.36 -7.69 28 2,233,102 94 6,891,469

MICRO-FINANCE BANKS FORTIS MICROFINANCE BANK PLC 11,799.67 2.58 - 0 0 NPF MICROFINANCE BANK PLC 2,446.70 1.07 - 0 0 0 0 MORTGAGE CARRIERS, BROKERS AND SERVICES ABBEY MORTGAGE BANK PLC 4,158.00 0.99 - 0 0 ASO SAVINGS AND LOANS PLC 7,370.87 0.50 - 0 0 5,796.93 1.39 - 0 0 INFINITY TRUST MORTGAGE BANK PLC RESORT SAVINGS & LOANS PLC 2,265.95 0.20 - 0 0 UNION HOMES SAVINGS AND LOANS PLC. 2,949.22 3.02 - 0 0 0 0 OTHER FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS AFRICA PRUDENTIAL PLC 6,920.00 3.46 -3.89 59 1,901,069 CUSTODIAN INVESTMENT PLC 32,938.44 5.60 -9.68 13 154,757 DEAP CAPITAL MANAGEMENT & TRUST PLC 660.00 0.44 - 0 0 FCMB GROUP PLC. 28,911.96 1.46 -4.58 79 8,529,854 ROYAL EXCHANGE PLC. 1,131.98 0.22 - 0 0 351,250.97 34.30 -9.97 9 105,272 STANBIC IBTC HOLDINGS PLC UNITED CAPITAL PLC 10,740.00 1.79 -0.56 91 2,485,192 251 13,176,144 1,697 94,085,894 HEALTHCARE PROVIDERS EKOCORP PLC. 1,680.29 3.37 - 0 0 UNION DIAGNOSTIC & CLINICAL SERVICES PLC 781.69 0.22 - 0 0 0 0 MEDICAL SUPPLIES MORISON INDUSTRIES PLC. 494.58 0.50 - 2 3,161 2 3,161 PHARMACEUTICALS EVANS MEDICAL PLC. 366.17 0.50 - 0 0 FIDSON HEALTHCARE PLC 9,388.62 4.50 - 0 0 GLAXO SMITHKLINE CONSUMER NIG. PLC. 9,567.01 8.00 -3.61 21 2,254,958 3,536.73 2.05 - 15 356,455 MAY & BAKER NIGERIA PLC. NEIMETH INTERNATIONAL PHARMACEUTICALS PLC 1,044.54 0.55 - 7 131,285 NIGERIA-GERMAN CHEMICALS PLC. 556.71 3.62 - 0 0 PHARMA-DEKO PLC. 325.23 1.50 - 0 0 43 2,742,698 45 2,745,859 COMPUTER BASED SYSTEMS COURTEVILLE BUSINESS SOLUTIONS PLC 710.40 0.20 - 7 7,519,300 7 7,519,300 COMPUTERS AND PERIPHERALS OMATEK VENTURES PLC 1,470.89 0.50 - 0 0 0 0 IT SERVICES CWG PLC 6,413.06 2.54 - 0 0 NCR (NIGERIA) PLC. 626.40 5.80 - 1 500 346.47 0.70 - 2 2,000 TRIPPLE GEE AND COMPANY PLC. 3 2,500 PROCESSING SYSTEMS CHAMS PLC 1,033.13 0.22 -8.33 14 1,057,009 E-TRANZACT INTERNATIONAL PLC 9,996.00 2.38 - 2 14,000 16 1,071,009 TELECOMMUNICATIONS SERVICES AIRTEL AFRICA PLC 1,215,762.01 323.50 - 6 127 6 127 32 8,592,936 BUILDING MATERIALS BERGER PAINTS PLC 1,985.29 6.85 - 19 163,678 17,325.00 24.75 - 17 107,325 CAP PLC CEMENT CO. OF NORTH.NIG. PLC 190,580.76 14.50 9.43 37 3,103,369 313.43 0.59 - 0 0 MEYER PLC. PORTLAND PAINTS & PRODUCTS NIGERIA PLC 1,959.74 2.47 - 0 0 PREMIER PAINTS PLC. 1,156.20 9.40 - 0 0 73 3,374,372 ELECTRONIC AND ELECTRICAL PRODUCTS AUSTIN LAZ & COMPANY PLC 2,256.91 2.09 - 0 0 CUTIX PLC. 2,747.66 1.56 - 15 191,464 15 191,464 PACKAGING/CONTAINERS BETA GLASS PLC. 29,873.33 59.75 - 1 4,199 GREIF NIGERIA PLC 388.02 9.10 - 0 0 1 4,199 AGRO-ALLIED & CHEMICALS NOTORE CHEMICAL IND PLC 100,754.14 62.50 - 0 0 0 0 89 3,570,035 CHEMICALS B.O.C. GASES PLC. 2,318.48 5.57 - 2 178,127 2 178,127 METALS ALUMINIUM EXTRUSION IND. PLC. 1,781.64 8.10 - 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. 92.40 0.42 - 0 0 0 0 2 178,127 ENERGY EQUIPMENT AND SERVICES JAPAUL OIL & MARITIME SERVICES PLC 1,252.54 0.20 - 10 693,804 10 693,804 INTEGRATED OIL AND GAS SERVICES OANDO PLC 44,753.08 3.60 - 36 302,491 36 302,491 PETROLEUM AND PETROLEUM PRODUCTS DISTRIBUTORS 11 PLC 56,974.05 158.00 - 12 13,475 CONOIL PLC 12,248.25 17.65 - 12 16,062 ETERNA PLC. 3,390.78 2.60 - 11 23,854 FORTE OIL PLC. 22,142.18 17.00 - 38 82,252 MRS OIL NIGERIA PLC. 6,354.80 20.85 - 1 100 TOTAL NIGERIA PLC. 35,921.41 105.80 - 24 20,638 98 156,381 144 1,152,676 ADVERTISING AFROMEDIA PLC 1,820.01 0.41 - 0 0 0 0 AIRLINES MEDVIEW AIRLINE PLC 17,551.17 1.80 - 0 0 0 0 AUTOMOBILE/AUTO PART RETAILERS R T BRISCOE PLC. 341.14 0.29 - 0 0 0 0 COURIER/FREIGHT/DELIVERY RED STAR EXPRESS PLC 2,499.47 4.24 -9.98 2 1,195,920 TRANS-NATIONWIDE EXPRESS PLC. 361.01 0.77 - 1 800 3 1,196,720 HOSPITALITY TANTALIZERS PLC 642.33 0.20 - 0 0 0 0 HOTELS/LODGING CAPITAL HOTEL PLC 4,723.78 3.05 - 2 100,000 3,035.04 1.46 - 12 453,800 IKEJA HOTEL PLC TOURIST COMPANY OF NIGERIA PLC. 7,862.53 3.50 - 1 10 TRANSCORP HOTELS PLC 41,042.18 5.40 - 0 0 15 553,810 MEDIA/ENTERTAINMENT DAAR COMMUNICATIONS PLC 4,800.00 0.40 - 0 0 0 0 PRINTING/PUBLISHING ACADEMY PRESS PLC. 211.68 0.35 - 0 0 LEARN AFRICA PLC 1,072.32 1.39 - 1 50 STUDIO PRESS (NIG) PLC. 1,183.82 1.99 - 0 0 UNIVERSITY PRESS PLC. 690.26 1.60 - 12 370,662 13 370,712




Friday 16 August 2019


Delta rounds off 2018/2019 job creation cycle 4,274 youths put in business via STEP/YAGEP in 4 years MERCY ENOCH, Asaba


elta State Government has rounded off its 2018/2019 job creation cycle and wealth creation programme with 41 new set of entrepreneurs established under the STEP and YAGEP scheme. beneficiaries are known as STEPrenuers. The 41 STEPreneurs bring to 4,274 the total number of beneficiaries of STEP and YAGEP in four years under the state’s job and wealth creation programme. Eric Eboh, the state’s chief job and wealth creation officer said the 41 STEPreneurs who are the last set of the 2018/2019 cycle of the programme received their starter packs on Thursday, August 8. Their trades included fashion design and tailoring, welding and fabrication, electrical installation and repairs, photography and Information and Communications Technology (ICT). The beneficiaries are known as green-STEP, as they had no previous knowledge of the skills, but got enrolled in the programme, were trained and are now established with starter parks at the end of their six months training at the various vocational skills training centres across the state. The state government gave out the starter packs to the beneficiaries. Addressing them, the Commis-



sioner for Youth Development, Ifeanyi Egwunyenga, extolled the consistency of STEP and YAGEP programmes; stressing that such consistency had helped to redefine the youths in the state; and to change the narrative associated with such government empowerment programmes in the past. He urged them to think outside the box by investing in themselves, and to develop their skills to become the face of the programme in years to come. He equally advised them to have a mindset to succeed in their chosen enterprises. Eboh, the chief job and wealth creation officer congratulated the new entrepreneurs on the successful completion of the training programmes; and charged them

to remain focused and determined to sustain their enterprises. He noted that this batch of STEPreneurs were the first to embark on post training proficiency test (PTPT) to qualify to be established with starter packs. He disclosed that the PTPT was initiated after series of brainstorming by major stakeholders in the implementation of the programme such as the Members of the Job Creation Steering Committee, Job Creation Office and its trainers and the Directorate of Youth Monitoring and Mentoring. According to him, only beneficiaries who were successful in the PTPT were given starter packs; while those who did not would go for further training. He reiterated

Imo to partner with Heartland Professionals Network in development SABY ELEMBA, Owerri


he Imo State Governor, Emeka Ihedioha has said the state would witness a rapid development, as the state government collaborates with the Heartland Professionals Network (HPN) to entrench all- round socio-economic transformation in the state. Heartland Professionals Network, with the motto: “Shining the light,” is a group of technocrats and bureaucrats of Imo State extraction living in Nigeria and in the Diaspora, who are desirous of bringing their wealth of knowledge, ability and technical knowhow, to transform the state for the good of all. At the inauguration of the body at the Mega Event Centre, Akanchawa Road, New Owerri, the Deputy Governor, Gerald Irona said, government would collaborate with the HPN, which comprises Imo sons and daughters, to revitalize the moribund state-owned industries. He disclosed that in the oil and gas sector, Seplat and Shell are operating at Assa North in Ohaji/ Egbema Local Government Area of the State; and charged members of HPN to reposition for engagement.

Abia rice farmers appeal to FG over NIRSAL’s alleged refusal to release their anchor borrowers’ fund

The Imo deputy governor observed that a good number of the HPN members were experienced in the oil and gas sector; and appealed to them to see “how Imo can benefit maximally. Time is now because Shell and Seplat are still at construction stages of their projects in the state. On the tourism sector, Governor Ihedioha said he has done much since inception of this administration to encourage tourism by making sure that Imo environment was conducive for tourists and investors to come in. He decried the abysmally low and hostile business reputation and environment foisted on the state by the immediate administration of former governor, Rochas Okorocha (2011–2019). “In the 2018 World Bank’s Easeof-Doing Business ranking, Imo State faired very badly in almost all indices used, as it ranked 34th out 37 in the Ease-of-Starting a Business; 33rd in Ease-of-Registering Property and 37th in the Ease-ofEnforcing Contracts. He informed the galaxy of people gathered at the HPN launch event that the State government has set up a Business Desk in the state, in order to improve on the

NADDC trains 30 auto-mechanics on repair, maintenance of modern heavy-duty vehicles in Enugu REGIS ANUKWUOJI, Enugu

indices, promising that Imo will be a State where the rule of law will be the order of the day; and the government is ready to do everything possible to secure lives and property of the people. Chairman of the HPN, Chima Ibeneche commended Governor Ihedioha, saying that he has started on a good note. He promised that their HPN is ready to collaborate and partner with the State government to ensure the state was transformed socioeconomically for the betterment of the people. Some members of HPN include: Chima Ibeneche, (the chairman); Ben Onyenze, (general secretary); Chijioke Nwaozuzu (a professor and director of the Emerald Energy Institute, University of Port Harcourt); Charles Ugwuh, former minister of Industry; Leo Stan Ekeh, an industrialist and the CEO of Zinox Technologies, who can be likened in the mould of world technology icons like Bill Gates (Microsoft) and Steve Jobs (Apple). Others are Frank Nneji, the chairman of ABC Transport Plc; Paschal Ukpabi, who is the chairman of Diaspora branch of the HPN; San Ngah, a professor; Emukah ; Eddy Atomonyogo, among others.

the state government’s commitment to upscale, consolidate and sustain the programme without losing its core values of integrity, quality and discipline. He emphasized that with handing out of starter packs to the 41 STEPreneurs, the state government had completed its 2018/2019 programme cycle, bringing the total number of STEP/YAGEP beneficiaries to 4, 274 in the past four years. Responding separately, Ewere Iloba (Ika North East) in Fashion Design and Tailoring and Israel Uvwo (Ughelli North) in Welding and Fabrication, expressed gratitude to the state government, pledging to put the training and starter packs into judicious use.

embers of the Rice farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN) in Abia State have called on the Federal Government to intervene in an alleged non-release of their Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Anchor Borrowers’ Fund by the Nigeria Incentive Risk-based Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) to the crop farmers in the state. The CBN instituted the Anchor Borrowers’ programme to scale up rice production in various states of the country. The farmers are grouped under various cooperative societies. They voiced their frustrations in Umuahia while interacting with select journalists. One of the farmers, Emmanuel Oraekwute, who is the RIFAN anchor person for the programme in the state, disclosed that rice farmers were yet to access the fund released by CBN through NIRSAL to farmers in the state. He also alleged that the CBN had released the fund since June 2018 to NIRSAL for disbursement to farmers for the planting season; but wondered that up till date, no farmer in the state has received any money from NIRSAL. Also speaking, James Agbai, a farmer from Igbere community and Philip Okoro another farmer from Idima Abam community expressed worry over the non-release of the CBN Anchor Borrowers’ fund by NIRSAL to farmers in the state since 2018 when the money was allegedly paid into NIRSAL’s bank account.


bout 30 mechanics from the south east zone out of 225 in the six geopolitical zones have been trained mechanicsundertheNationalAutomobile Design and Development Council (NADDC). They were trained at the Chibuzo Motors Nigeria in Enugu recently. The 30 heavy-duty mechanics were selected from the five south-eastern states (Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo states) through the National Automobile Technical Association (NATA) and National Association of Transport (NATO). The beneficiaries graduated after a two-week refresher course, with a certificate each. They also benefited from with vehicle repair equipment worth over N2.5 million as starter parks. The director NADDC, Jelani Aliyu said the programme was put together as an intervention aimed at developing the capacities of heavy-duty auto mechanics, auto-electricians and other autoauxiliary service technicians across the six geopolitical zones of the country. “Today about 225 trainees drawn from the six geopolitical zones are leaving various training centres across the country as better individuals with admirable skills in the automotive sector,” he said. Represented by Jane Obikwelu from the Abuja office of National Automotive Design and Development Council, Aliyu also noted that in furtherance to recent outcry on rising cases of road traffic crashes involving heavy-duty vehicles that lead to great losses, contributed to the reason why the council



immediately stepped up to curb the challenge. “It is important for everyone here, especially the graduating trainees to know that technology in the auto sector advances continually; and at a very fast pace. Most heavy-duty vehicles today are built with a lot of electronically controlled systems. The only way to meet up with this advancement is through training and retraining, which fortunately is one at the mandates of the National Automotive Industry Development Plan (NAIDP),” he said. He said the plan is being driven by NADDC, believing that the two weeks training would have helped the beneficiaries in no small way to improve their knowledge, and change the narrative in handling modern heavy-duty vehicles both in maintenance and components. The director of Chibuzo Motors Nigeria, a well-equipped automobile technical workshop, Chibueze Friday Okolo advised the outgoing mechanics to put all they have learnt within the two weeks into practise to ensure that lives and property of citizens were secured. He commended the Federal Government for organising the programming; saying that it will go a long way in changing the analogue mechanics into keying into digital ways of doing mechanical and electrical works. Some of the graduating trainees thanked the Federal Government for the program, including the starter packs that worth about N800,000 each given to them. However, they appealed to the government to extend the training period to enable them to learn more things.

Friday 16 August 2019



news How executive interference erodes CBN’s ... Continued from page 1

amounted to usurpation of the powers of the CBN. “As things will be, perhaps unknown to the Presidency, the law no longer allows executive control of the CBN. Indeed, the President has no constitutional, legal or executive powers over the CBN that enables a directive as to the operational activities of the CBN – in the way he has over his general staff,” said Konyin Ajayi, a professor and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN). Ajayi explained that it would be a usurpation of powers if the statement credited to the President is seen other than as an opinion or desire in his overall view of government’s position on exchange controls of monetary policy. “As the courts are, for instance, granted independence, so has the CBN by virtue of the CBN Act which the President is under oath to uphold,” he noted. Another SAN, who does not want his name mentioned, agreed with Ajayi.

“Legally, the president cannot order an independent entity like the Central Bank of Nigeria to do what he wants even if that which the President wants done might be a good thing to do,” the SAN told BusinessDay. He, however, added that the CBN might be to blame for the development. “But we have a dilemma here. The CBN may have made itself amenable to supervision by the president by its foray into the fiscal space, the political space – on account of the demonstrable incompetence of the executive branch. So the president may now begin to see the governor of the bank as he sees one of his ministers and think he can order him around,” he said. Even though the constitution empowers the President to appoint a CBN governor subject to approval from the Senate, the CBN Act of 2007 provides the apex bank with the autonomy that makes it free from direct political or government interference in the conduct of monetary

policy. The monetary authority is usually in charge of attaining price stability by managing the interest rates as well as the total supply of money in circulation and is controlled by the central bank of a country, while a country’s fiscal policy is determined by the executive and legislative branches of the government, charged with the responsibility of influencing economic activities through taxes and government spending. Osaro Eghobamien, another Senior Advocate of Nigeria, said it was necessary to understand the context in which the President’s directive was given; whether “the directive issued was one that relates to fiscal policy (a statement to achieve full employment, price stability and sustained growth in the economy, with the intention of stimulating local demand) or whether it was one that relates to monetary policy (the mechanism for controlling the total supply of money in circulation)”. “If categorised as a statement tending towards fiscal policy, undoubtedly the

President has the powers to make such directives regarding economic policies just as the Minister of Finance would do. The complexity is that the Central Bank is not created to execute fiscal policies. The situation is different when dealing with issues relating to monetary policy in which case the President will not have the powers,” Eghobamien said. “The CBN is in control of the mechanism that regulates the FOREX and as a result there is some overlap in its functions. Under the law, whereas the CBN has the powers to hold FOREX, it is the executive that has the powers to decide the sector to which the CBN may allocate FOREX. The intricacy inherent in this issue is demonstrated in the intervention role that the CBN is performing. It is pertinent to note that the CBN has in the past assumed the role of allocating FOREX and it is must be presumed that it takes directives from the President in that regard,” he said. Eghobamien said the CBN is independent and its independence is in relation to its stated objectives.

“These objectives are as stated in the CBN Act including: (a) ensure monetary and price stability; (b) issue legal tender currency in Nigeria; (c) maintain external reserves to safeguard the international value of the legal tender currency;(d) promote a sound financial system in Nigeria; and (e) Act as banker and provide economic and financial advice to the Federal Government. (see section 2(a) of the CBN Act 2007),” he said. He said the provisions of section 1(3) of the Central Bank Act, 2007 must be viewed from that perspective and that if the President had made a directive in connection with any of the above objectives, it would be undermining the independence of the CBN. “We do not consider that the President’s statement undermines or relates to any of these objectives. Instead, the statement relates more to enhancing the agricultural sector, boosting employment and using the allocation of forex to re-enforce the enhancement of the sector. “Whilst it is readily conceded that the function of

maintaining external reserves to maintain the value of the legal tender (ascertain exchange rate) is a matter for the CBN, we take the view that the question as which sector is permitted to purchase the scarce resource is for the executive and not for the CBN to decide,” he said. “On a final note, the CBN ought to be seen as an independent institution and as such the President ought not to convey the impression that he controls the CBN. This is notwithstanding the fact that his comments were more of general economic policies. After all, the CBN is not statutorily mandated to execute fiscal policy. Better still such pronouncement should be left to the CBN governor after consultations with the President,” he said. Previous administrations had one way or the other meddled in the affairs of monetary authorities. While former President Goodluck Jonathan removed the then CBN governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua stopped Chukwuma Soludo from implementing some monetary policies.

MTN closes in on Dangote Cement for most ... Continued from page 1

ment of N2.95, bringing its market value to N2.74 trillion, while those of Dangote Cement fell 1.82 percent for a market capitalisation of N2.76 trillion.

“Since MTN Nigeria was added to MSCI Index, a lot of people tracking the fund would also need to buy MTN into their portfolios,” Ayodeji Ebo, managing director of Lagos-based investment house, Afrinvest Securities Limited, told BusinessDay. “MTN’s rally could be linked to its inclusion to the index.” As a result, the N782.52 billion market capitalisation gap between the top two Nigerian publicly-listed firms shrank to N12.7 billion, a development analysts say would reignite the contest for the most capitalised firm on the local bourse. “It’s an interesting race to watch out for,” said Gbolahan Ologunro, an equity research analyst at CSL Stockbrokers Limited. “Unlike what we had in the past when the most capitalised stock was held by Dangote Cement, both stocks would now rotate the title.” MTN Nigeria listed 20.35 billion existing shares on the NSE by a way of introduction at N99 per share on May 16 with the stock gaining 10 percent on that day, to close at N108.9 on the back of high demand, bringing its market value to N2.21 trillion as against N2.99 trillion market cap recorded by Dangote Cement. MTN’s rally did not come as a surprise as analysts at EFG Hermes, an Egyptianbased investment bank, had said the mobile network’s shares would rally in days leading to August 27 ahead of its official inclusion on the MSCI index.

The telco would join Dangote Cement, Guaranty Trust Bank, Nestle Nigeria, Zenith Bank, Nigerian Breweries, Stanbic IBTC Holdings, Seplat, First Bank of Nigeria Holdings, and Ecobank Transnational Incorporated on the index. “Based on our calculations we also expect MTNN to join the MSCM FM 100 index, as a result, we expect to see $5 million worth of passive inflows,” said Olamide Shonekan of the sales and trading desk at EFG Hermes. The trader estimated that MTNN should see $3.5 million from the Nigeria tracker at the close of business on August 27. Nigeria’s weight would climb to 19.4 percent from 17.4 percent among African countries excluding South Africa on the MSCI Frontier Index, bringing the country to third place ahead of Kenya although still behind Morocco and Egypt. Given Nigeria’s rapid population growth rate with a median age of about 18 years coupled with the country’s large infrastructure deficit, Ologunro pointed out that prospects for growth abound in both the telecommunication and cement industries. However, on a comparative analysis, the telecommunica-

tion industry in Nigeria has the potential to record stronger growth than the cement industry in the medium to longterm, according to Ologunro. Nigeria’s Telecommunications industry is structured along oligopolistic lines with the biggest three telcos controlling 90 percent of the mobile communications (GSM) market.

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Godwin Obaseki (r), governor, Edo State, addressing traders at the Benin Auto Spare Parts Market in Uwelu, during an on-the-spot assessment of the impact of the inferno on the market, in Benin City.

Investors dump Nigeria to open malls in other African countries BALA AUGIE


n economy in slow growth has hindered developers from building more shopping malls in Nigeria as retail chains are bypassing the country where the vast majority live in poverty to open stores in some African countries with rising consumer purchasing power. When Nigeria was at the cusp of an economic boom, investors had wagered that its rising middle class and young population that crave for consumption would spur growth. Developers had responded to such optimism by mimicking the American-

style malls, home to famous brand stores, movie theatres and large supermarket chains. However, the recession of 2016, brought on by a precipitous drop in crude oil price that stoked a severe dollar scarcity and paralysed business activities, has undermined economic growth. Consumer spending in Nigeria remains extremely subdued, with shoppers yet to recover from the effects of the naira devaluation, fuel price hike, and the strong price increases that were subsequently implemented. Post-recession, growth in real household consumption peaked at 3 percent in the final quarter of 2017,

before falling to 1 percent in the second quarter (Q2). Nigerians are getting poorer as over 50 percent of a population of 200 million live on less than $1.98 a day. The country last year overtook India as the world’s poverty capital. While inflation rate has fallen to a 12-month low of 11.22 percent in May, the figure is below the central bank’s target range of 6 percent and 9 percent. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in Africa’s largest oil producer expanded by 2.01 percent in the three months through March from a year earlier. That compares with 2.4 percent expansion in the fourth quarter. The median @Businessdayng

estimate of five economists surveyed by Bloomberg was for growth. Developers and landlords of shopping malls are feeling the pangs of the harsh and unpredictable macroeconomic environment as high income earners that patronise them have drastically dwindled, while the large chunk of shoppers only buy basic food items. Tenants are finding it practically difficult to meet their obligations to landlords. Most malls charge dollar rents – around $55 per square metre monthly. Tenants were soon paying more than before given the sharp fall of Nigeria’s currency, the naira.

Friday 16 August 2019





World Business Newspaper



ibraltar has released an Iranian tanker at the centre of a dispute between Britain and the Islamic republic after a court set aside a last minute US legal bid to seize the vessel. The decision will ease tensions between London and Tehran that spiked when British commandos and Gibraltar police seized the Grace 1 in July because it was alleged to be transporting Iranian crude to Syria in violation of EU sanctions. Fabian Picardo, Gibraltar’s chief minister, said: “In light of the assurances we have received [that the tanker was not now headed to Syria] there are no longer any reasonable grounds for the continued legal detention of the Grace 1 in order to ensure compliance with the EU Sanctions Regulation.” The Iranian supertanker is one of two vessels at the centre of a confrontation between the Islamic republic and Britain that has grown more tense as the Trump administration wages a “maximum pressure” campaign to hurt Tehran. Gibraltar’s supreme court was due to rule on Thursday on whether the Grace 1 should be released. But the process was complicated by a last ditch application by the US justice de-

Gibraltar releases Iranian tanker in defiance of US

Court in British overseas territory rules that Grace 1 tanker seized last month can be let go

Grace 1 has been detained in Gibraltar since British commandos and local police detained it on July 4 over suspicions it was planning to deliver Iranian crude to Syria in violation of EU sanctions © AP

partment to seize the ship. A senior US official said the move was in Washington’s interest as it would prevent revenue going to Iran and Syria. A senior US official said: “For us it makes strategic sense, be-

cause it denies the Iranian regime the revenues it uses to fuel its militant proxies in the region and it also denies the [Syrian] regime the revenue it’s using to fuel attacks against its own people.” Mr Picardo said the US jus-

tice department had requested that “a new legal procedure” for the vessel be started and that the Gibraltar authorities would consider the request separately. Iran had accused the UK of an act of piracy when it detained

the tanker. Two weeks later Iran’s Revolutionary Guards then detained a British-flagged tanker, the Stena Impero, in the Strait of Hormuz in apparent retaliation. Iran is still holding the Stena Impero and British officials had ruled out any barter for the ships, insisting that the two cases were distinct. Ahead of the hearing on Thursday afternoon, Iranian officials had said they expected the Grace 1 to be released, which would help ease tensions between the Islamic republic and the west. Gibraltar authorities have confirmed that the ship’s crew have been released. “Because the UK is so reliant on the US in its Brexit policy, it is under intense pressure to toe the line on policies critical to Donald Trump - particularly on Iran,” Jeremy Shapiro, research director at the European Council on Foreign Relations, said. He added that the US also sensed an “opening to drive a wedge between Iran and the Europeans” over their backing for the deal to rein in Iran’s nuclear programme.

China vows to take ‘necessary countermeasures’ against US tariffs Migrants at sea caught up in Italy’s political turmoil

Governing coalition’s fragmentation fuels row over whether to let boat land

Tensions escalate after comments from Trump on Beijing’s handling of Hong Kong TOM MITCHELL IN BEIJING, HUDSON LOCKETT IN HONG KONG AND MYLES MCCORMICK IN LONDON


he Chinese government announced on Thursday that it would retaliate against US president Donald Trump’s next round of tariffs on Chinese exports, which are scheduled to take effect in September. While the announcement by China’s State Council was consistent with Beijing’s earlier position that it would always respond in kind to US tariff rises, the statement dashed hopes that Mr Trump’s decision to delay implementation of about half of September’s planned increases until December would pave the way for a constructive round of trade talks next month. Since last summer, the Trump administration has imposed tariffs of 10-25 per cent on about half of all Chinese exports to the US. The September tariffs, initially set at 10 per cent, will target those products that had not previously been levied. In its statement, the State Council said Mr Trump’s decision to proceed with new tariffs next month represented “a serious violation of the consensus” reached in talks with his Chinese

counterpart, Xi Jinping, in their last two face-to-face meetings at the G20 meetings in Buenos Aires in December and Osaka in June. “[The US] has deviated from the correct track of consultation and settlement of differences,” the State Council said. “China will have to take necessary countermeasures.” Mr Trump’s announcement on Tuesday that he would delay half of the planned September tariffs until December, in part to help US consumers avoid higher prices during the Christmas shopping season, briefly boosted global markets, which have been spooked by the breakdown in USChina trade talks over the summer. European stocks fell following the State Council’s announcement, adding to losses on Wednesday. The Stoxx Europe 600 was down 0.7 per cent by late morning, while futures pointed to a 0.2 per cent decline on the S&P 500 when Wall Street opens. On Wednesday, Mr Trump further angered Beijing by linking a trade settlement between the world’s two largest economies to a resolution of the ongoing political unrest in Hong Kong. Protesters forced the closure of the territory’s airport this week in their ongoing campaign.



clutch of migrants who are stranded off the coast of Italy awaiting permission to land have become the latest focus of the political battle between the country’s warring coalition parties. The Open Arms, a Spanish NGO boat carrying 147 migrants, has been waiting at sea for 13 days in increasingly difficult weather, and living conditions on board are worsening. Interior minister and leader of the rightwing League party Matteo Salvini has made closing Italian ports to NGO boats one of his flagship policies and spearheaded a stringent new law passed earlier this month which allows for vessels to be fined up to a million euros for illegally entering Italian waters. He is refusing to sign the necessary paperwork that would allow the boat to come in to port, triggering a furious war of words with his coalition partners, the anti-establishment Five Star Movement and prime minister Giuseppe Conte. Until now Five Star had acquiesced to his harsh stance on migrants, and they voted in favour of the new security law. But on

Thursday Italy’s defence minister Elisabetta Trenta — a Five Star representative — refused to back Mr Salvini’s bid to block the Open Arms from landing at the southern Italian port of Lampedusa, in an open mutiny against her erstwhile political ally. Her move shows that government ministers have abandoned any semblance of unity and after months of bickering, the coalition, which came to power 14 months ago, is collapsing. Mr Salvini last week tabled a motion of no confidence in the prime minister Giuseppe Conte; that vote will take place next week. He has also called for fresh elections. An Italian court has ruled that the Open Arms should be allowed to enter Italian waters and Ms Trenta has sent a military escort to accompany the boat into port, but the two ministries are now deadlocked over whether it can disembark. In a statement, Ms Trenta said: “I have taken this decision motivated by solid legal reasons, listening to my conscience. We must not forget that behind the rows of the past few days are children and young people who have suffered violence and abuse of every kind.” Mr Conte, a figurehead leader who has no official political affiliation, attacked Mr Salvini’s ‘‘constant and obsessive focus on immigration @Businessdayng

reducing the argument to ‘ports closed’”. In an open letter to the interior minister on Facebook he reprimanded Mr Salvini, saying that “politics means not just power but enormous responsibility”. France, Germany, Romania, Spain and Luxembourg had all offered to take in migrants from the Open Arms, Mr Conte said. Mr Salvini retaliated, saying he “confessed my ‘guilt’, my ‘obsession’ with fighting every kind of crime including illegal immigration” and his job involved “defending borders, security, honour and dignity of my country”. Efforts are afoot in Brussels to try to distribute the refugees to other European countries. The European Commission said it was in talks with member states over what to do about the migrants on the vessel, but it has not yet received an official request from any member state to co-ordinate distribution of the rescued migrants. This ad hoc approach to dealing with migrant vessels has become the norm since Italy started refusing to let the boats land. But rights groups say the routine use of such arrangements is unsatisfactory and potentially dangerous, particularly if migrants need urgent help because they are sick or short of food and water.


Friday 16 August 2019




How hedge funds are thriving in a world of negative-yielding debt The unnerving world of sub-zero rates still offers managers ways to eke out gains LAURENCE FLETCHER IN LONDON


he growing pool of negative-yielding debt makes this a hostile environment for most bond investors. Yet some hedge funds have still managed to find ways to turn a profit from the advent of sub-zero rates. Concerns over weak global growth and drooping inflation have pushed around $15tn of bonds to trade with negative yields — meaning a buyer is sure to lose money if they hold the bonds to maturity. Some money managers trading these bonds have nevertheless chalked up big gains for the year. One of the most obvious strategies has involved simply riding the big rally. Yields fall as prices rise; managers who clung on to their holdings as yields tumbled below zero have reaped juicy profits. Among the biggest winners are computer-driven hedge funds that try to latch on to market trends. While many human traders may question the wisdom of buying or keeping a bond that apparently offers a guaranteed loss, robot traders that monitor price moves have no such qualms. GAM Systematic’s Cantab Quantitative fund has gained 36.1 per cent, according to numbers sent to investors, with the biggest gains coming from bets on falling bond yields. Stockholm-based Lynx Asset Management’s main fund is up 20.7 per cent while a smaller, more leveraged fund it manages has gained 30.6 per cent, according to numbers sent to investors. Lynx has been running close to the maximum bet it is permitted on falling bond yields, said a person familiar with its positioning. Meanwhile, Winton Group, one of the world’s biggest hedge funds with around $20bn in assets, has gained 3.5 per cent in its flagship fund this year, helped by bets on futures on German and Japanese bonds. Some human investors “focused on fundamentals have struggled to hold on to bonds” as yields have turned negative, said Anthony Lawler, head of GAM Systematic. Nevertheless, some high-profile human traders have done well from the fixed-income frenzy this year. Brevan Howard, headed by billionaire Alan Howard, has gained around 8.5 per cent in its main fund, while Caxton Associates is up 16.3 per cent and Greg Coffey’s Kirkoswald Capital Partners is up around 18 per cent, all helped by bets on falling yields. “Looking at negative yields can be a bit misleading,” said Emiel van den Heiligenberg, head of asset allocation at Legal & General Investment Management.

“There are ways of making money from it.” For starters, fund managers based outside the eurozone can profit from buying Europe’s negative-yielding government debt thanks to an uplift from hedging the currency. That is because such hedges are based on the relative levels of short-term interest rates. These are much higher in the US than in the euro zone, meaning dollar-based investors are effectively paid to hedge their euro exposure back into dollars. For instance, a two-year German Bund currently yields around minus 0.88 per cent. However, after hedging the currency, this becomes a positive yield of around 1.9 per cent for dollarbased investors. For a US-based investor, this is better than buying a two-year Treasury. Managers can also earn money from the steepness of yield curves. While German government bonds up to 30 years in maturity are now offering negative yields, the curve is fairly steep. That means a likely rise in price for an investor who buys a 10-year future, then waits until it becomes a nine-year, and then sells it and buys a 10-year again, pocketing a small gain. Some negatively-yielding corporate bonds also offer value, according to some investors. Take US chemicals company Huntsman. Its euro-denominated twoyear high-yield bond trades with a yield to maturity of 0.4 per cent, although its so-called “yield-tocall”— the income investors earn if the company exercises its right to repay the bonds early — is minus 0.35 per cent. Even then, that is still some distance above two-year Bunds, the benchmark safe asset, at minus 0.88 per cent. Fraser Lundie, head of credit at Hermes Investment Management, holds the Huntsman bond and said he would profit if the gap between the bond’s yield and Bund yields narrows. “You could create an argument that the bond is screamingly cheap,” he said. For euro-based fund managers sizing up how to bet on negativeyielding debt, the cold reality is that they are penalised for doing nothing. That is because of the negative rate of interest paid on cash held by custodians — the companies like State Street and BNY Mellon that look after a fund’s assets. That could amount to a drag of about minus 1 per cent a year, meaning that buying a bond with a smaller negative yield is more attractive than leaving cash in its account. “Even an investment in Huntsman 2021 bonds, which are slightly negatively yielding, is an enhancement on the starting point of cash,” said Hermes’s Mr Lundie. Additional reporting by Robert Smith

Jeremy Corbyn says he plans to table a vote of no-confidence in Boris Johnson © PA

Labour sets out plan for temporary government to avoid no-deal Brexit Corbyn seeks support for opposition pact aimed at toppling Boris Johnson



he UK Labour party has set out proposals to form a temporary government in early September that would request an extension to Article 50 in a bid to avoid a no-deal Brexit before calling a general election. Rebecca Long-Bailey, shadow business secretary, said on Thursday that the opposition would try to bring down Boris Johnson’s government within “days” of parliament returning from its summer recess on September 3. Labour would then seek to form a “timelimited temporary government” with the aim of calling an election. In a letter to the leaders of other opposition parties and senior backbench MPs on Wednesday evening, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn urged his counterparts in the Liberal Democrats, Scottish Nationalists, Plaid Cymru and Green parties — along with Conservative MPs opposed to a no-deal departure — to support his attempt to bring down the Johnson government and delay Brexit. “This government has no mandate for no deal, and the 2016 EU referendum provided no mandate for no deal,” he wrote.

Jo Swinson, leader of the Liberal Democrats, rejected the plan as being “not serious”. Mr Corbyn’s announcement came as Sarah Wollaston, the former Conservative MP who defected to the Independent Group for Change, announced that she was joining the Lib Dems, taking the party’s presence in the House of Commons up to 14 MPs. Dr Wollaston said she was joining the Lib Dems because they were “unequivocally making the case for us to remain at the heart of Europe, as well as campaigning for social justice, the environment and our public services”. Mr Corbyn said that, if the government was toppled, in the ensuing general election Labour would stand on a platform of holding a second referendum on the terms of leaving the EU, including an option to remain in the bloc. In response to the initiative, a Downing Street spokesperson said Mr Corbyn wanted to “overrule the referendum and wreck the economy”. “This government believes the people are the masters and votes should be respected, Jeremy Corbyn believes that the people are the servants and politicians can cancel public votes they don’t like,” the spokesperson added.

The proposal is the first attempt by Mr Corbyn to forge a crossparty consensus on stopping a no-deal Brexit since Mr Johnson became prime minister. While the majority of Labour MPs will support the move, some opposition MPs remain reluctant to work with him. Ms Swinson said: “This letter is just more red lines that are about him and his position and is not a serious attempt to find the right solution and build a consensus to stop a no-deal Brexit.” Instead of Mr Corbyn, the Lib Dem leader suggested that Conservative grandee Ken Clarke or Labour’s Harriet Harman could lead a caretaker government, as longstanding members of the House of Commons. Ms Swinson said that her first preference was for MPs to pass legislation to request a Brexit delay in order to hold a second referendum. But she admitted that Mr Johnson may ignore such a law and “we need to have the option of removing the prime minister”. However, Ian Blackford, the SNP leader in Westminster, welcomed Mr Corbyn’s proposal and said the party would support any no-confidence motion aimed at bringing down Mr Johnson’s government.

Alibaba revenues rise 42% on China online shopping surge Tech giant beats analyst expectations after Tencent disappointment LOUISE LUCAS IN HONG KONG


hina’s Alibaba trumped analysts’ expectations with a strong rise in sales, contrasting with its rival Tencent which one day earlier disappointed the market by falling short with a more modest quarterly growth. The tech giant reported a 42 per cent year on year jump in revenues to Rmb114.92bn ($16.74bn) in the three months to June, driven by a

rise in China retail, along with food delivery service — which was consolidated in May last year — and cloud. While Alibaba and Tencent are both tech conglomerates, Alibaba has its roots in ecommerce and has ridden the wave of rising online shopping while also coming under less regulatory pressure from the likes of gaming and videos. Net profit attributable to shareholders came in at Rmb21.25bn ($3.1bn). That was heavily above the year-ago figure of Rmb8.68bn, @Businessdayng

which was dented by an employee share compensation from payments affiliate Ant Financial following a fundraising that ratcheted up its valuation. Stripping that out that impact, operating profit would have been up 27 per cent. Revenues from cloud, a key area of growth for Alibaba, as it has been for US peer Amazon, was up 66 per cent at Rmb7.8bn ($1.1bn) as users increased their spending. However the unit continues to lose money, at a rate of 5 cents for every dollar.

Friday 16 August 2019






GE’s financials targeted by Madoff whistleblower Shares plunge on Harry Markopolos allegations that company calls ‘false and misleading’ GREGORY MEYER AND MAMTA BADKAR IN NEW YORK


n a c c o u n t i n g f ra u d “bigger than Enron and WorldCom combined” lurks inside General Electric, according to a whistleblower who raised flags about the Madoff Ponzi scheme, driving the industrial conglomerate’s shares down sharply. Harry Markopolos and colleagues released a 170-page report on Thursday alleging a $38bn fraud centred in GE’s insurance and oilfield services businesses. “I think that they’re a bankruptcy waiting to happen,” Mr Markopolos told CNBC. Mr Markopolos is known for his — largely unheeded —warnings about Bernard Madoff’s massive Ponzi scheme in the years before it imploded in 2008. His team provided an advance copy of the report on GE to a hedge fund and will share profits from any market moves it set off, it said in a disclosure. GE fell more than 14 per cent in New York to $7.68 following the release of the report. “While we can’t comment on the detailed content of a report

that we haven’t seen, the allegations we have heard are entirely false and misleading,” GE said in a statement. “GE stands behind its financials. We operate to the highest level of integrity in our financial reporting and we have clearly laid out our financial obligations in great detail.” Mr Markopolos is also seeking compensation from the government, having submitted his report to whistleblower programmes of the US Securities and Exchange Commission and the US Department of Justice, which share any financial penalties that arise from investigations launched because of tip-offs. The report argued that GE has understated its liabilities in its insurance business, said its cash situation is worse than disclosed in its filings and that it has not properly accounted for its acquisition of a stake in oilfield services provider Baker Hughes, which was completed in 2017. GE began to sell down that stake in 2018. By referencing Enron and WorldCom, Mr Markopolos invoked two of the most notorious accounting frauds of the early 21st century, both of which resulted in criminal penalties against top executives.

Renminbi retreat set to revive capital outflows pressure Breach of key threshold sees currency and its regulator face challenges on many fronts DON WEINLAND IN BEIJING


he renminbi’s fall through the closely watched and previously well-defended threshold of Rmb7 to the US dollar last week has added to pressure on the Chinese currency on multiple fronts — posing a challenge for the foreign exchange watchdog, which is keen to keep capital flight in check. Sudden declines in the value of China’s currency often prompt rich Chinese people to move money into US dollars or assets such as foreign real estate to avoid further wealth depreciation. In addition, as the currency loses value against the dollar, Chinese companies with large US dollar debts are forced to exchange greater amounts of renminbi to make payments on offshore bonds. Strategists also fear the country will attract less foreign investment, a crucial source of capital inflows that help underpin the currency. “Capital outflow pressure didn’t start on Monday [last week] but we expect it to see a strong increase,” said Alicia García Herrero, chief economist for Natixis in Asia Pacific. “This is going to cause people to recalculate investing in China this year.” Capital outflows jumped to $85bn in the second quarter of the year from about $21bn in the first quarter. How-

ever, there was only a small outflow in July from the country’s foreign exchange reserves, which remained relatively stable at $3.1tn. China has waged war on capital flight ever since the central bank’s shock 1.9 per cent devaluation of the renminbi in August 2015. In the year following that move, analysts estimated that more than $1tn flowed out of the country’s capital account, sparking concerns that its foreign reserves — a war chest for preventing a full-blown currency crisis — were running low. By January 2017, foreign reserves were below $3tn for the first time in five years. Since then the foreign exchange regulator has cracked down on backdoor channels for moving cash offshore, namely by stopping companies from making speculative real-estate and entertainment investments overseas — a campaign that has been largely effective in stemming serious outflows. “The days of easy tricks to move capital offshore from China are gone due to tighter restrictions by the State Administration of Foreign Exchange,” said Andrew Collier, managing director at Orient Capital Research in Hong Kong. “However, there are limits, as large adjustments could trigger massive domestic offshore pressure due to concerns about a substantial weakening of the currency.”

US retail outlook brightens with Walmart and new data Strong results from world’s largest retailer comes amid robust consumer spending ALISTAIR GRAY AND MAMTA BADKAR IN NEW YORK


merican consumers have kept up their spending despite doubts over the global economy, with Walmart raising its outlook for the US and the commerce department reporting an unexpectedly strong rise in retail sales. Walmart, long considered a bellwether for middle-class spending, posted a 2.8 per cent rise in second quarter like-for-like domestic sales. It warned of weakness in the Canada and the UK, where executives said Brexit uncertainty had hit non-food sales and prompted markdowns at its Asda chain. Shares opened up more than 5 per cent on Wall Street. The figures from the world’s biggest retailer, which has more than 11,300 stores and employs about 2.2m people worldwide, are being scrutinised particularly closely as investors fret about the outlook for the global economy. Downbeat data from China and Germany this week raised concerns that a global slowdown could spread to US consumer spending, which has

supported the domestic economy. And on Wednesday, US department store chain Macy’s issued its second profit warning of the year. But the commerce department data released on Thursday showed US retail spending rose 0.7 per cent in July from a month earlier, a bigger gain than analysts had expected. The jump was the most in four months and followed a more modest 0.3 per cent rise in June. Michael Pearce, an economist at Capital Economics, said that the July figures were probably “flattered” by Amazon Prime Day in mid-July. But he said the data still was a rare bit of positivity amid mounting gloom. “There’s no denying that consumption growth remains strong, which should prevent the weakness in manufacturing and business investment from dragging the economy into recession any time soon,” Mr Pearce said. The data could further complicate the Federal Reserve’s rate strategy. Consumer spending is a major driver of economic growth in the US, and the Fed last month cut rates by 25 basis points in what many economists believe is the start of a series of cuts to bolster an increasingly shaky outlook.

Walmart’s results on Thursday pointed to diverging fortunes globally. In the US, a stronger-thanexpected quarterly performance prompted executives to increase the outlook for domestic sales. It now expects like-for-like sales in the US to rise “towards the upper end” of a previous range of between 2.5 per cent and 3 per cent. However, the company reduced expectations for sales growth in its international business, from 5 per cent on a constant currency basis to a range of between 3 per cent and 4 per cent. The company said this was due primarily to “softness” in Canada and the UK, where it operates supermarket chain Asda. “The uncertainty surrounding Brexit continues to loom,” said Doug McMillon, chief executive. Roger Burnley, Asda’s chief executive, added in a statement that the quarter provided a “case study on the impact the mood of the nation has on UK spending habits.” Walmart had planned to sell Asda to its rival J Sainsbury, but competition regulators blocked the deal this year. To offset the pressures in the UK, he said Asda was pushing more into its own brand products and improving its online grocery offering.

US 30-year bond yield falls below 2% for first time Investors seek safety in fixed-income market as fears grow over global economy



sharp rally in government bonds set fresh records on Thursday, with the yield on 30-year US government bonds falling below 2 per cent for the first time as investors sought safety amid growing fears over the global economy and renewed trade tensions. Traders have dumped riskier assets such as stocks and crude oil and moved into perceived haven assets including bonds, driven by a growing list of interconnected fears

including trade tensions between the US and China and slowing global growth. “There is no doubt that the recession risk is rising amid further escalation of trade conflicts,” strategists at BNP Paribas said. In a new sign of the flight into bonds, the 30-year US Treasury bond yield dropped to as low as 1.96 per cent, its lowest level on records that go back to the 1970s and the first time it has fallen below 2 per cent. The UK 30-year gilt also set a new record, falling below 1 per cent for the first time. On Wall Street, the S&P 500 opened slightly higher after better than expected US retail sales fig@Businessdayng

ures provided some relief to investors worried about the health of the world’s largest economy, although European shares remained lower. The trigger for this week’s moves in the bond market was weak data from two trade-exposed economies, Germany and China, which raised fears of a global slowdown. This saw yields of US and UK 10year government bonds dip below those of shorter-maturity debt for the first time since the financial crisis — an inversion of their normal relationship that has historically been a harbinger of recession and which crimps banks’ profitability. The yield curve remained inverted in Thursday morning trading in London.


Friday 16 August 2019




America is failing the Hong Kong test Indifference to pro-democracy protests highlights degeneration of US foreign policy EDWARD LUCE


t would be nice to think that America’s indifference to Hong Kong begins and ends with its president. Donald Trump, to be sure, is failing badly. By insisting Hong Kong’s protest are “riots”, and that China “is going to want to stop that”, Mr Trump has given Beijing every reason to think Washington would not object to a crackdown. To ensure no misunderstanding, Wilbur Ross, Mr Trump’s secretary of commerce, said on Wednesday that Hong Kong was an internal matter for China. “What are we going to do — invade Hong Kong?” he asked. In a few words, Mr Ross captured the degeneration of US foreign policy: it has been reduced to a choice between doing nothing or going to war. The president has obliterated the space for diplomacy. Mr Trump’s solipsism has also reinforced America’s tendency to see everything as an extension of itself. Among Republican hawks this means celebrating the smattering of Stars and Stripes that have been spotted among the Hong Kong protesters. This is unhelpful since China alleges that America’s “black hand” is behind them. The last thing the demonstrators need is for Washington to portray their civil uprising as pro-US. On the American left this means ignoring what happens abroad unless Washington is to blame. Until the US is found responsible for Hong Kong’s mess, the liberal left will have no dog in the fight. That would change if Chinese president Xi Jin-

ping sent in the People’s Liberation Army to quash the protests. At that point, Mr Trump’s role in enabling Beijing’s repression would hit the US political radar. The more bodies on Hong Kong’s streets, the greater Mr Trump’s perceived culpability would be. America is the cause; the rest of the world is always an effect. In that sense, America has the president it deserves. Just as Mr Trump thinks everything is about him, America filters global events through itself. Every country is selfobsessed, of course. But we are in a new era where America can ill-afford to be consumed by narcissism. Hong Kong has three key lessons that America is in danger of missing. The first is that people always have the capacity to surprise. Nobody foresaw the Hong Kong protests. They are homegrown. As a reporter for the South China Morning Post in the early 1990s, I often heard complaints about how apolitical Hong Kongers were. All they cared about was materialism, went the refrain. Hong Kongers today are taking enormous risks for their autonomy. Nobody asked them to. Neither the CIA nor the arc of history is behind their protests. They may fail or succeed depending on how China reacts. The least they could expect is America’s moral support. The same applies to the fate of Xinjiang’s Uighurs, about 2m of whom are in detention camps. Again, Mr Trump has made it clear he could not care less. Since he is not to blame for their incarceration, America’s left cares less than it should.

US industrial production unexpectedly slips in July Report shows weaker manufacturing and mining output BRENDAN GREELEY IN WASHINGTON


S industrial production unexpectedly shrank last month, according to data released on Thursday, underlining how factories are struggling with economic uncertainty and the backdrop of a trade war between the US and China. The data, a measure of manufacturing and mining activity that has sometimes been touted by President Donald Trump, fell 0.2 percent in July from June, well below the survey estimates for a 0.1 percent gain. Manufacturing, the index’s single biggest component, fell 0.4 per cent, following an upwardly revised 0.6 per cent gain the previous month. The manufacturing index is down 0.5 per cent year on year. “Manufacturing is in recession, but not in meltdown,” said Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics. “It is nothing like deep enough to threaten the overall economy.” The index, produced by the Federal Reserve’s board of governors, is a crucial measure for its open market committee, which makes decisions on monetary policy. The index has been at times a favourite of the president, who tweeted out industrial production

numbers when they grew steadily in 2017 and 2018, driven by both a manufacturing recovery and an increase in oil prices that encouraged new oil rigs in America’s shale heartland. For the last several months, however, industrial production had been either stagnant or dropping, due in part to the trade war with China. “Much of the nation’s factory production goes to producing the goods that are exported overseas,” said Chris Rupkey, chief financial economist at MUFG. “It is natural that the reduction in world trade volumes between nations is taking a toll on manufacturing output.” In July, the production of consumer goods increased, reflecting the enduring confidence of American shoppers. Defence and space equipment rose as well, a consequence of the administration’s consistent defence spending. But the other major market groups declined. The production of construction supplies, a lead indicator for future building work, fell a full percentage point over the month. Fixed business investment in commercial buildings and hospitals had slowed in the second quarter of 2019; the drop in construction supplies points to further slowing in the third quarter.

Earnings of Central American workers in US become political sore point In the second part of this FT Series, we look at how Donald Trump has threatened to use remittances as leverage in migration tussle JUDE WEBBER IN CUILCO, GUATEMALA


ugusta Godínez Pérez gazes at a photograph of her family gathered around their old adobe-brick home, taken when her children were little. “I said: ‘God, give me a house.’ That’s what I longed for,” she recalled. “We lived in a sad little house. Sometimes we only had enough for coffee and tortillas.” Now, her white-painted home has eight rooms, a front yard filled with flowers, a giant flatscreen television, an oval bathtub and a kitchen with a new fridge — all thanks to one of the boys in the picture, and another son, whose earnings from construction work in the US paid for it. Hers is one of the many “remittances houses” that dot the hillsides in Cuilco, in the Guatemalan highlands. They are easy to spot: most homes in this rural area, where people scrape a living farming corn and beans, are grey cinder-block affairs with tin roofs. Those paid for by migrant dollars are mansions painted in hues of green, orange, blue and yellow, with arches, bays and balconies. The family is not alone in benefiting from the money sent back by working relatives abroad: remittances have become a significant part of Central America’s economy. Across the Northern Triangle nations — Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador — 15 per cent of gross domestic product came from remittances in 2018, according to World Bank figures. Seynabou Sakho, World Bank director for Central America, said remittances to the region “have fuelled domestic consumption which has been a big component of economic growth”. But as political tensions between Central American countries and the US ramp up, the cash flows are being caught in the line of fire. US president Donald

Trump has begun to use remittances as a political weapon; in July he threatened Guatemala that unless it agreed to act as a safe third country for refugees, he would slap taxes on the money that its citizens in the US send home. And Mr Trump’s crackdown on migrants in the US has hit their families’ pockets. Carlos Mauricio, a taxi driver in El Salvador, said his daughter in the US no longer dared go to work for fear of immigration raids. His son, who set up a trucking business in the US, “has done the impossible to go unnoticed” — but whereas he used to send home $250 a month, a quarter of his wages, he now only sends about $100 to $150. Carlos, 61, and his wife, who are bringing up their daughter’s five-year-old son, have abandoned their dream of building a second floor to their home in the capital San Salvador. Their treat of fried chicken at the Pollo Campero chain — a Central American institution — has also had to go. The poor jobs market in Central America means many people feel they have little choice but to travel northwards to find work. Manuel Orozco, a director at the Inter-American Dialogue think-tank, said that for governments in the Northern Triangle, migration “is a problem off their hands . . . the region has a very mediocre model of job creation . . . there is an opportunity in letting people go [abroad]”. And if they return home, they often find little in the way of opportunity to keep them there. Oscar — who did not want to give his full name — had lived in Texas for almost a decade, sending dollars to his mother and children in Honduras, when he was stopped by police last October. An illegal immigrant from the Caribbean coastal city of La Ceiba, he could not pay the needed $10,000 bond. “I had to @Businessdayng

ask to be deported,” he said. Back home, the 45-year-old rented a taxi but on his first trip he was told he had to pay “a quota” of 500 lempiras ($20) a week — a quarter of his salary — to the local gangs. “I realised that if I couldn’t pay, I’d be killed. I’d be better off migrating again,” he said. Now he lives in a migrant shelter in Mexico City, and he cannot afford to send money home. Under pressure from the US, Mexico has cracked down on migrant flows and is trying to provide alternatives for the tide of people heading north, such as Oscar. Although Mexico itself relies heavily on remittances — a record $35.7bn last year, 11 per cent up on 2017 — it is spearheading regional efforts to create jobs. Mexican president Andrés Manuel López Obrador is funding the rollout of two programmes — paid apprenticeships and treeplanting. “You can’t cut migration to zero overnight, but definitely by investing in places where these people leave from, especially rural areas, you can make a meaningful difference in the short-term,” said Julio Berdegué at the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization. “We need to invest in these people.” But such schemes seems a world away from Cuilco. Abigail Pérez Méndez, a workman finishing a remittances house for daily pay of 50 quetzals ($6.50), said his job was “building a beautiful house so that other people make up their minds to go to the US to support their families and create [construction] jobs back in Guatemala”. And for Ms Godínez Pérez, her 1m quetzal ($130,000) house is a status symbol. “Having such a beautiful house makes me proud my sons are there,” she said. “Everyone would want that.”

Women in Business

BUSINESS DAY Friday 16 August 2019

By Kemi Ajumobi

Opeyemi Oduwole

Nneka Osoka

Country Head, Private Banking, Sterling Bank

Manager, Compliance Risk Management department, Citibank


peyemi Oduwole is a seasoned wealth management professional with knowledge in both local and international wealth management and advisory services. Being someone who started out her life wanting to be an Engineer and who went on to read Chemical Engineering at the University of Lagos, being a banker and loving it came as a surprise to Opeyemi. Stumbling into Banking seemed like a coincidence but turned out to be the best career decision ever. Opeyemi is extremely passionate about the need to bridge the gap between development in Africa and the world, and also about increasing the wealth in Africa. Having spent over a decade managing High Networth Individuals (HNI) and Ultra High Networth individuals (UHNI) by providing wealth advisory and transactional services both locally and internationally, Ope is currently the Country Head of Private Banking for Sterling Bank, she had previously served as the Head of Privilege Banking for Diamond Bank. Women development is an area very dear to her heart, born out of watching so many women struggle through the years. Being an associate of Women in Management Business and Politics (WIMBIZ) has given her the opportunity to serve in this area. Ope served on the annual conference planning committee last year and is currently serving on the registration subcommittee for the 2019 annual conference. In 2018, she was nominated as one of the Leading Women in Banking by The Association of Professional Women Bankers (a chapter of the Charter Institute of Bankers in Nigeria) On why she switched from Engineering to Banking, she says it actually wasn’t a deliberate switch, because after studying Chemical Engineering, she decided she didn’t want to work on the rig but wanted to go into design. Though she got options to work with oil and gas firms but they were rig related work and she wasn’t interested. Ope had been at home for a year waiting

for her dream job (the optimism of a young graduate) when a close friend mentioned an opening to work as a personal assistant to senior management at a Bank . “I reasoned that a personal assistant job was better than sitting at home and would occupy me while I waited for my dream job so I went in for the interview. The result of the interview was an opportunity to work in Private Banking. I however took the job still thinking I was ‘buying time’ for my dream job but fell in love with helping people grow their wealth.” She said. In bridging the gap between development in Africa and the world, Ope has helped to increase wealth in Africa through Private banking. In her words,” Private Banking is a niche area of banking; It gives you the opportunity to not only interact with wealthy Africans in Africa but also Africans in the diaspora. One very evident fact in wealth distribution is a very significant portion of the wealth of Africans sits outside Africa. The wealth sits in different banks across Europe, America and the Middle East”. She revealed Due to the large gap in development present across Africa, there are varied investment opportunities to develop infrastructure, expand businesses and provide funding for African governments to effectively run their countries. To this, Opeyemi says risk is very perception-driven and to an African who understands how the African market evolves, the risk is worth the return. Being relevant in your field is what Opeyemi says will stand you out. According to her, you must ensure you are relevant in your field because money always follows value addition. “I will spend my money wherever I perceive I will or have received value. The interpretation of value differs from organisation to organisation and person to person. If an organisation feels they have received value from you and will receive more value, they will reward you for adding value and want to keep you to harness more value.”


neka Osoka (nee Mbonu) is a seasoned and highly skilled professional with a decade-plus of international banking experience across the U.S, U.K and Sub-Saharan Africa, covering fixed income trading, liquidity and investment management, corporate and public sector sales, and compliance risk management functions. She is currently a Manager at Citibank in the Compliance Risk Management department. Citibank Nigeria is the oldest existing international bank in Nigeria with branches spread across the nation. The bank continues to focus on competitively creating value and providing innovative and efficient service delivery to its clients while maintaining a robust risk and control environment. After graduating with a B.Sc. in Psychology from the University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, she had a short stint as a Credit Analyst at an American bank called PNC bank. She went on to complete her MBA (with a specialization in Finance and Strategy) at the same university, where she was directly recruited from campus by Citibank into their Management Associate program in New York city. Her strong analytical skills proved valuable in the program where she was one of the top associates in the training program and also received an award in her first year of the program. During the program, she had the opportunity to rotate within different departments in the bank and also in the London office. She accumulated considerable experience on the Fixed Income Securities Lending desk; the Securities and Funds Services department where she had the opportunity to be involved in infrastructure lift-outs and acquisitions deals; and in the Liquidity and Investment management services department where she managed short-term cash investments for Fortune 500 companies. She returned to Nigeria in 2011 and joined the Citibank Nigeria Custody team where she was opportuned to work closely with the Nigerian Stock Exchange and other leading banks on the successful rollout of Securities Lending in the Nigerian Capital markets. She went on to become Corporate and Public Sector sales manager for Abuja, where she was able to sharpen her relationship

management and presentation skills, and gain in-depth knowledge of the Nigerian market and its resilient public sector. In her current role as a manager, she assumes compliance risk management functions covering not only Sub-Saharan Africa, but also the Middle East and North Africa. This has allowed her expand her financial and regulatory knowledge beyond the Nigerian, US and UK markets. Compliance risk management is the process of managing corporate compliance to meet regulations within a workable timeframe and budget. Not every regulated company manages this particularly well, and some even consider noncompliance fines as a normal cost of doing business. Nneka is a CFA level 2 candidate, and an affiliate member of the Chartered Financial Analysts Institute and the Chartered Institute of Bankers Nigeria. She is also a Certified AntiMoney Laundering Specialist (CAMS) and an associate member of Women in Management, Business & Public Service (WIMBIZ). The Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist (CAMS) certification is the leading standard in AML certifications and recognized internationally by financial institutions, governments & regulators as a professional commitment to protecting the financial system against money laundering. Women in Management, Business and Public Service (WIMBIZ) is a non-profit organisation that has, over the last 18 years, implemented programs that inspire, empower and advocate for greater representation of women in leadership positions in the public and private sector. WIMBIZ has a contributory associate pool of over 768 accomplished women in management, business and public service and over 9,500 women in its database. WIMBIZ collaborates with credible domestic and international global organisations to deliver programs, which have influenced over 107,465 women since inception. Outside of work and family, Nneka is passionate about gender equality and inclusivity, and volunteers as a mental health counsellor at STER – a Nigerian NGO focused on genderbased violence.

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Profile for BusinessDay

BusinessDay 16 Aug 2019  

BusinessDay 16 Aug 2019