A publication of Nigerian-British Chamber of Commerce
A New Economic Agenda for Nigeria with
Nigeria Beyond the Oil Industry Konyin Ajayi SAN on New Legal Reforms and the Justice System Maki Oh Lagos, a Historical Nest of Colonialism NBCC MONTHLY | APRIL 2015
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A publication of the Nigerian British Chamber of Commerce APRIL 2015
From the President
4 5 5 6 6
Mission & Vision Statements, Core Values Member Spotlight, Upcoming Events Executive & Council Members From the Director-General Editorâ€™s Note
In the News
February and March Events in Pictures
A New Economic Agenda for Nigeria with Mohammadu Buhari
TRADE AND INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITIES
Nigeria Beyond the Oil Industry
LEGAL & TAX ISSUES
Prof Konyinsola Ajayi SAN on New Legal Reforms and the Justice System
ARTS, CULTURE & ENTERTAINMENT
Lagos, a Historical Nest of Colonialism
NBCC MONTHLY | APRIL 2015
THE NIGERIAN-BRITISH CHAMBER OF COMMERCE is the foremost bilateral chamber of commerce in Nigeria. The chamber is accredited under the NACCIMA/CIPE, Washington, D.C. USA accreditation programme. There are over 350 corporate members who are found in all sectors of the Nigerian economy. Our membership base ranges from the small and medium enterprises to large scale multinational corporations and government agencies. We organize workshops, business luncheons, seminars, trade fairs, trade mission, members’ evening and other such activities that aid trade and investment.
Mission To continuously encourage and promote mutually beneficial trade relations between Nigeria and Britain
Vision To be the foremost channel of trade and commerce between Nigeria and Britain
Core Values Integrity Co-operation Commitment Respect THE NIGERIAN-BRITISH CHAMBER OF COMMERCE Olubunmi Owa Street, off Admiralty Way Opposite CBC Towers, Lekki Phase 1, Lagos P. O. Box 9803, Marina Lagos, Nigeria T: +234 1 4540395 www.nbcc.org.ng
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Greetings from the President March was a busy month for the Nigerian-British Chamber of Commerce (NBCC), culminating in an Extra-ordinary General Meeting, which considered and approved the delayed 2013 accounts. The EGM also considered and approved a new articles and memorandum of association, which marked the end of the old constitution that has governed its activities for nearly 40 years and was last reviewed in 2002. The comprehensive review is significant for many reasons. It has now brought the governance of the chamber to the level of similar organizations in other parts of the world and is a symbol marking the end of an era and the beginning of a reformed and re-engineered NBCC. Your chamber is now ready for global accreditation with the British Chamber of Commerce and for operation on the world stage. March also marked the beginning of intense politicking with elections holding into the state and national assemblies and into the presidential and governorship positions of most states. During this period of high-wire political drama, the eyes of the world were on Nigeria and the nation was caught in a nerve-racking and intense politicking the end of which remained uncertain. To say business has been at a standstill since the beginning of the year is an understatement. Interestingly, the 1st of April this year was no day for fools. The emphatic statement of the day was the emergence of Major General Muhammadu Buhari as the President-elect of the Federal Republic of Nigeria after the fiercest election in Nigeria’s history. It was an upset of the 16-year uninterrupted reign of the PDP and the beginning of a new dawn. It is also the first time in Nigeria’s 55-year history that one democratically elected government will hand over to another of a different party, as well as the first time a defeated presidential candidate will gallantly concede victory. In many ways, 2015, Nigeria’s most dreaded year, has become its year of destiny. President Goodluck Jonathan was at his best in the tricky days of the election. He was presidential, assuring and timely, and in the process, saved Nigeria considerable pain. He deserves new gratitude. Under him, our fledging democracy reached its age of maturity and the sovereignty of the electorate to make a choice was established. He did not fail when it mattered most! Today, no one should be in any doubt on the relationship between politics and business. The link between the two is symbiotic. Policies must be grounded in the economic and social school on which the political order rests. In advanced democracies, the electorate knows the kind of policies to expect from a particular political grouping. In such societies, they are under no illusion of the central position of politics in their
Having now voted for the emergence of a new government, the job is by no means over. We now have a duty to demand compliance through pressure, advocacy and other means to ensure that the new government does not only keep its electoral promises but must remain business friendly and listen to the OPS in the formulation and implementation of its policies. The era of uncertainty occasioned by inconsistent business policies and selective application must come to an end. The world has always desired to do business with Nigeria, a land of limitless opportunities. We unwittingly kept them out through corruption, inept policies and a shilly-shally approach to governance and the enforcement of rights. The day Nigeria, the sleeping giant, gets it right, the influx will be mammoth.The new government must appreciate that capital is a beautiful damsel, it must be assured, courted and wooed. Unfortunately, General Buhari has no time for a deserved holiday. His government will have no time for a honeymoon. The expectations of the electorate and businesses are high, even as the state of the economy is desperate. The naira, against all foreign currencies, is heavily devalued, oil revenue remains low, productive capacity is broken, the country’s external reserves have plummeted, public infrastructure is in a parlous state and confidence in public institutions, including the judiciary, is at an all time low. Before a cynical world, Nigeria has lost too much respect and squandered its goodwill. This government will quickly have to put together a highly skilled team to take such steps that will show leadership and clarity of purpose, restore investors’ confidence, as well as dignity to the common man. While public confidence in Major General Buhari is high today, he will have to work extra hard to justify it. The NBCC congratulates the people’s general and all Nigerians for the spirit of resilience, a never-say-die spirit, which remains a significant national asset. This, indeed, is a momentous stage of our democracy coming of age. Now that the battle is over, let us all roll up our sleeves for the hard work of re-building the broken walls of our nation and of taking her to her rightful place in the comity of nations. Prince Adeyemi Adefulu, MFR
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lives. This year, probably more than any other period in Nigeria’s history, the Organized Private Sector (OPS) found its teeth. The two main parties, at various fora, tried to unravel their economic policies before the business communities and the OPS. This is as it should be; Nigerian business must come to terms with the fact that politics rule the world. “The punishment for the wise who refuse to take part in the government of their people”, said a Greek philosopher, “is to be ruled by fools.” Taking part in politics needs not to be partisan. But self survival dictates that unless our businessmen take interest in the quality of the policies enunciated by politicians, then support and vote accordingly, they will have no choice but to follow laws and policies made by idiots and will be “ruled by fools”.
Member Spotlight UPCOMING EVENTS Nigerian-British Chamber of Commerce is proud to be participating in this year’s Going Global Expo, providing vital information in the UK on “Accessing Business Opportunities in Nigeria”. Going Global is the leading UK national exhibition for businesses that are looking to expand internationally, export products or set up overseas operations. The show consists of a comprehensive list of world-renowned suppliers and a content rich programme with a focus on the BRICs Markets, MINT Economies, CEE (Emerging Europe), Africa, the retail sector and the manufacturing sector. Visitors can gain this insight into how to succeed overseas for absolutely free on 13th and14th of May at the ExCeL, London. If you would like to attend, register for your free tickets here! Venue: ExCeL, London Date: Wednesday 13th May, 10am – 6pm Thursday 14th May, 10am – 5pm Info: www.goinggloballive.co.uk Member-to-Member Oﬀers Members are offered 10% discount on British Airways. Interested members should get in touch with the secretariat. NBCC MONTHLY | APRIL 2015
EXECUTIVE MEMBERS President Prince Adeyemi Adefulu, MFR Deputy President Prince Dapo Adelegan Vice Presidents Mr. Kayode Falowo Mr. Ray Atelly Mrs. Theresa Ananyi Hon. Treasurer Mr. Uwami Igein Members Mr. Dotun Adegboyega Mr. Akin Olawore Barr. P.C. Abuka Chief Fola Osibo Iyalode Alaba Lawson, MFR, JP Mrs. Bisi Adeyemi Pastor Ituah Ighodalo Dr. Ikenna Nwosu
COUNCIL MEMBERS Engr. M.O.Aminu Mrs. Ladun Lawal Dr. Obiora Chukwuka Mr. A.I. Ogilo Dr. S.O. Oyefeso Mr. Babatunde Bello Chief Bintan Famutimi Mr. Mutiu Sunmomu Mr. Mike Purves Mr. Tunde Ogunde Dr. Ikenna Nwosu Mr. M.O.Adeleye Alhaji I.A. Bello Pastor Ituah Ighodalo Mr. Ladi Balogun Mr. Joe Dada Mrs. Bisi Adeyemi Mr. Seni Adetu Mr. Alan Davies Mr. Roger Woodbridge Mrs. Bola Adesola Dr. A.B.C. Orjiako Mr. Kolawole Olayinka Mrs. Owanari Duke Chief Keith Richards, OBE Princess Sarah Sosan Mr. Victor Ezenwoko 6| NBCC MONTHLY | MARCH 2015
Esteemed Members, Welcome to the third edition of the NBCC Monthly. I believe our March edition was interesting and informative, and we have endeavoured to make this edition even more so. The past month has been an eventful one for the chamber. During the month of March, we held an Extra-Ordinary General Meeting to consider the 2013 accounts, which had been long overdue. We also had a breakfast meeting, with the Director-General of the National Automotive Council, Engr. Aminu Jalal as our guest speaker. He threw light on the activities of the council and efforts made at revamping the automotive industry. The auto sector is a key component of the Nigerian Industrial Revolution Plan (NIRP), a 5-year programme developed by the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Investments to diversify Nigeria’s economy and revenues through industry, and to increase manufacturing’s contribution to the GDP from 7% today, to 9% by 2015, and above 13% by 2017. As a nation, we also welcomed a new dawn in our growing democracy with the emergence of the opposition party as winner of the presidential elections, after harrowing campaigns and stiff competition. We look forward to the new dispensation and the promise it holds while wishing the new government all the best in what will be a difficult task. Like our promise at the beginning of this journey, we will strive to always bring you enlightening and professionally relevant information. Highlights of this edition include trade and investment opportunities in Nigeria, the architecture of Lagos in the colonial era, as well as an interesting interview with the internationally acclaimed Nigerian fashion designer Maki Oh. As always, feel free to pass on any suggestion to us at the secretariat on how to serve you better. Happy reading!
E D I TO R I A L
Editorial Board Editor-in-Chief PASTOR ITUAH IGHODALO MR RAY ATELLY MR OLIVER ENWONWU MRS YEMISI MOKUOLU MRS JOYCE AKPATA MRS ABIMBOLA NWOZURU BUKOLA DOSUNMU MR GODY AMADI ART DIRECTOR MR YUSUF ARIYO PHOTOGRAPHER
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Let me start by congratulating all Nigerians on the success of the March/April 2015 general elections that saw the emergence of Major-General Muhammadu Buhari as the president-elect. The incoming government certainly has an arduous task ahead in building Nigeria’s economy, which at the present time is largely sustained by crude oil. Little wonder this issue is clearly focused on a new economic agenda for the nation. Provided for you are interviews and opinions with key experts in the various sectors of the Nigerian economy, like Prof Konyinsola Ajayi SAN, Dr Ernest Odior and Dr Hakeem Olaniyan, both of the University of Lagos.
from sources believed to be reliable, but published without responsibility for errors or omissions. Revilo accepts advertisements from advertisers believed to be of good repute, but cannot guarantee the authenticity
Under our social section, we take you round on a visit to some of our esteemed members like CAPL, NAHCO and Vita Foam Nigeria Limited. We round up the section with exquisite photos of the recently held Premium Member’s Evening and Extra General Meeting (EGM).
or quality or objects or services advertised in its pages. The NBCC Monthly does not assume responsibility for unsolicited manuscripts, photographs or illustrations.
In the trade and investment section, Peter Owunna highlights investment opportunities in Nigeria beyond the oil industry while Prof Konyisola Ajayi SAN, again advises the incoming government on judicial reforms in our segment on legal and tax issues.
Copyright worldwide of all editorial content is held by the publishers, Revilo Company Ltd. The name, NBCC Monthly is a registered trademark owned by The Nigerian-British Chamber of Commerce and cannot be used without its express written consent.
Art and culture in this issue also promises to be most entertaining as we engage the phenomenal Maki Oh, one of the Nigeria’s fastest-rising fashion designers. In such a short time, she’s already established herself on the local scene and is carving her niche on the international stage. On a final note, we also take you around historical Lagos to view the architectural remains of a colonial past and a huge part of Lagos’ cultural heritage.
There’s all these and more. Here’s wishing you a happy read! Pastor Ituah Ighodalo
Photo: Kelechi Amadi-Obi
NBCC MONTHLY | APRIL 2015
Luciano Uzuegbu holds a Bachelor of Art degree in English Language from Abia State University. He is the Senior Programme Officer of The Ben Enwonwu Foundation, a member of the curatorial team of the Omenka Gallery, as well as Contributing Editor to Omenka magazine. Since coming on board the Foundation, he has been involved in several projects including general organization of the annual lectures and various symposia.
Olumide Aderibole is Project Officer at Revilo Company Ltd. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics and Electronics from Adekunle Ajasin University, Ondo State, Nigeria. Aderibole has written on art, business and luxury life-style.
Peter Owunna is CEO of Bluebird Capital Ltd, a Lagosbased investment banking firm and issuing house. He has over 16 years experience in financial services, gained working at Diamond Bank, Plc Nigeria, Credit Suisse First Boston London and Temenos UK Ltd, Broad Bank Ltd (now Union Bank Plc), and FutureView Financial Services Ltd. Owunna holds a MSC in Management and Information Systems Strategy from the London School of Economics.
Moni Agbedeh is a writer and has worked as a consultant for Compass Consultants and Creative Associates International. She was also a script writer for the TV soap by Bates Cosse titled, Melodies of the Heart. Agbedehâ€™s articles have been published in several high profile magazines. She has also worked as a writer for The New Awakening now Omenka magazine.
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IN THE NEWS
SEC Tasks Pearl Awards on Corporate Governance which he said is very important so that communities will see companies giving back to them. Speaking earlier, President of PEARL Awards, Tayo Orekoya, commended the management of the SEC on its efforts to return the market to the path of sustainable growth and development adding that the giant strides and remarkable achievements of the new management within a short period of time cannot be over emphasized.
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has tasked the board of governors of the Performance, Earnings And Returns Leadership (PEARL) Awards Nigeria to include Good Corporate Governance in its criteria to reward quoted companies in Nigeria. The commission also assured of its readiness to collaborate with the PEARL Awards in encouraging companies towards high performance. Acting Director-General of SEC, Mounir Gwarzo stated this when he received the membership of the governing board of PEARL Awards, Nigeria in his office in Abuja on Wednesday. He said it was in a bid to ensure that companies operating in Nigeria’s capital market do
well and that SEC is set to launch its Corporate Governance scorecard. Gwarzo explained that the scorecard will ensure compliance of these companies with the tenets of Corporate Governance, which will in turn translate into better returns and better service delivery among others. “One issue that is very critical in this market is that of Corporate Governance. I appeal that in your selection process, emphasis be given to companies that are complying. SEC is the only regulator that has developed its Corporate Governance scorecard, which has been approved by the board and we will launch it very soon,” Gwarzo declared. The Ag. DG also enjoined the PEARL Awards team to look at issues of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) by quoted companies,
Orekoya said, “There is no doubt that expectations are high, with investors earnestly looking forward to continuous pragmatic positive changes in the stock market under your leadership. We are convinced that with your experience and exposure both as operator and regulators, the Nigerian Capital Market would be steadily stabilized and witness remarkable growth.” He explained that PEARL Awards basically identifies and rewards actual performance of companies quoted on the stock exchange saying that the awards process was based on veritable facts and figures assessed utilizing credible and globally acceptable parameters for data evaluation. The president disclosed that since inception, over 75 quoted companies have been rewarded in various categories of the awards. Source: Daily Sun 19/3/2015 Photo: http://sunnewsonline.com
CBN: Micro-finance Firms, Key to Economic Growth The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said the role of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) to the growth and stability of the economy can not be over-emphasized. Director, Development Finance Department of the CBN, Dr. Mudashiru Olaitan said this at a three-day workshop on the N220 billion MSME Development Fund organised by the Bankers’ Committee sub-committee on Economic Development, Sustainability and Gender. He also said the importance of MSME remained a driving force to sustaining economic growth.
The N220 billion MSME Intervention Fund was launched by President Goodluck Jonathan in August 2014 to stimulate growth in the sector as a means of strengthening the link between enterpreneurs and across financial services. But speaking at the workshop, Olaitan who was represented by the Assistant Director, MSME Development Fund, Mr. Tobin Jonathan, said the workshop was conveyed in line with vision of the CBN Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele to promote financing for the MSME sector.
Central Bank of Nigeria, Abuja
He said the workshop was also organised to cross fertilize ideas and bridge the knowledge gap about the MSME sector by the leading institution and to also correct the wrong perception of the risky nature of the sector. Source: Saturday Telegraph 21/3/2015 Photo: http://www.nigeriancurrent.com
NBCC MONTHLY | APRIL 2015
March Events - Presentation of Membership Plaques to Premium Members at the Premium Membersâ€™Evening
Extra-Ordinary General Meeting
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February Events NBCC Visit to CAPL
NBCC Visit to NAHCO
NBCC Visit to Vita Foam
NBCC MONTHLY | APRIL 2015
C OV E R S TO RY
A NEW ECONOMIC AGENDA FOR NIGERIA WITH MUHAMMADU BUHARI Tega Kumapayi
Photo: Kelechi Amadi-Obi
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C O V E R S TO RY
Boko Haram, it would be at the expense of industrialization, infrastructure and education. He advises that efforts to deal On the 29th of May, General Muhammadu with the scourge be aimed at uprooting Buhari would be sworn into power as Nigeria’s the core of the problem; mis-education, 4th democratic president. This is the ﬁrst poverty, destitution, forlornness and an time an opposition party would unseat an absence of hope. He also stressed the incumbent leader in Nigeria’s political history. need for the encouragement of “private As Nigerians anticipate the commencement public partnerships, undergirded by sound of a new administration, an antidote is needed public procurement principles to provide an for the failing economy. important part of the solution to Nigeria’s infrastructure deficit.” NBCC Monthly speaks to Prof. Konyin Ajayi SAN, a Lagos-based attorney, as well as Dr. Dr. Ernest Odior, a senior lecturer in the Ernest Odior and Dr. Hakeem Olaniyan, both Department of Economics at the University senior lecturers at the University of Lagos, of Lagos, offers a contrasting view. He about the incoming government’s priorities. believes that the Buhari administration must first focus on corruption as Nigeria can First Priority cope with all infrastructural development Major sectors of the Nigerian economy needs with the current oil revenue. are in dire need of attention including; According to him, “The revenue from oil exportation is quite enough to take education, health, power, agriculture, care of our infrastructural development. security, transportation, communication, commerce and industry. With an ambitious Some countries are not lucky enough to manifesto, Buhari has been described as have oil, yet they have enough revenue to a miracle worker, but how would he live cover their infrastructural development. up to his promises and fulfill the hope of The problem in Nigeria is that the money every Nigerian for economic growth and allocated to those sectors goes into private prosperity? purses. These sectors cannot function properly because people in power In responding to the questions, Prof. mismanage and steal the funds. Looking Ajayi warns that Nigeria can only achieve at agriculture, the vote for agriculture is meaningful economic growth if the so high but we don’t see the effects. If the Buhari-led administration first recognises incoming government can fight corruption, its constraints based on limited revenue it would definitely lead to growth in various from crude oil. “The new administration’s sectors over time.” first priority is, at the risk of seeming pedantic, identifying priority areas across Corruption sectors and regions. Notwithstanding the Many would agree that General Buhari rode broad objectives set out in manifestoes to victory at the polls on his reputation as a and campaign promises, it is crystal clear, stern disciplinarian and his perceived ability as has now been widely recognized, that to tackle corruption in Nigeria. One of our flailing economy, with its unhealthy the failures of the Jonathan administration dependence on a struggling mono-product, was its inability to combat this scourge. can simply not support an effort, no Dr. Hakeem Olaniyan, an attorney and matter how well-intentioned, to address lecturer in Law at the University of Lagos all problems across all Nigeria’s key talks about Buhari’s famed role as an antisectors, and across all our federating units. corruption crusader, “He definitely would Recognizing the boundaries within which not condone it, but he may be too harsh in it is constrained to operate, will for me, be his fight. We know Buhari has always been this administration’s first priority; on the associated with discipline. We only pray he back of which, it can identify milestones will surround himself with good advisers and chart out, with as much certainty as who will not constitute a nuisance, and if Nigeria’s contradictions permit, the silk road they do, he would have the character to to true change.” part with them.” Ajayi explains further that though he recognizes the need to prioritize national security and conflict resolution as outlined in Buhari’s manifesto, given the country’s horrors at the hands of
Speaking on corruption, Prof. Ajayi stressed the need for the incoming government to defend institutions and eliminate the mediocrity of oligopoly and nepotism, citing the suspension of Sanusi Lamido Sanusi,
Prof.Yemi Osinbajo SAN, Vice President-Elect Photo: thecable.ng
one-time governor of the “supposed independent Central Bank of Nigeria, for shining light on corrupt practices in the economy.” Dr Odior further buttresses this by pointing out immunity as the primary reason for administrative corruption. He argues that the removal of immunity by the legislation will ensure that offenders are brought to justice. Boko Haram (Islamic State’s West Africa Province) Much international furore has been raised in the wake of massacres by the Boko Haram that have left many dead, communities sacked and displaced, and a year ago, the kidnapping of over 200 Chibok girls from Borno State. They are yet to be found. Nigeria’s former President Olusegun Obasanjo has heavily criticized Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan’s administration. While speaking to CNN, he slammed the current administration for its slow response to the kidnapping, “On the kidnapping or abduction, the president didn’t believe that these girls were abducted for almost 18 days. If the president got the information within 12 hours of the act and he reacted immediately, I believe these girls would have been rescued within 24 hours, maximum, 48 hours. Don’t forget they are almost 300 girls.” While speaking with The New York Times, Buhari stated, he can not promise the return of the Chibok girls but pledged, “With absolute certainty, from the first NBCC MONTHLY | APRIL 2015
Major General Muhammadu Buhari. Photo: http://onobello.com
day of my administration, Boko Haram will know the strength of our collective will and commitment to rid this nation of terror, and bring back peace and normalcy to all the affected areas.” However, Prof. Ajayi advises on the need for the incoming government to reenergize and equip the military, as well as create regional task forces to fight and uproot Boko Haram from its core. Currency and Oil Prices In 2014, Nigeria became Africa’s leading economy with the rebasing of her Gross Domestic Product (GDP). In consideration of contributions made by every sector including telecommunications and entertainment, her GDP rose by a whopping 89%, from 42.3tn naira in 2013 to 80.3tn in 2014. However, dwindling global oil prices 14| NBCC MONTHLY | APRIL 2015
Many would agree that General Buhari rode to victory at the polls on his reputation as a stern disciplinarian and his perceived ability to tackle corruption in Nigeria. One of the failures of the Jonathan administration was its inability to combat this scourge.
adversely affected the value of the naira, causing a forceful reduction in government expenditure, uproar at the Nigerian stock market and more seriously, difficulty in defending the naira. Consequently, Nigeria’s currency is at its lowest in 16 years. In hopes of strengthening the naira, the Central Bank of Nigeria devalued the currency and in the process emptied the country’s foreign reserves. In a recent interview, the governor, Dr. Godwin Emefiele, in his defence said, “Falling oil prices have consistently reduced the accretion to external reserves, thus constraining the ability of the bank to continually defend the naira and sustain the stability of the naira exchange rate.” However, several economists like Dr. Odior have seen this as a costly mistake, “It is the primary failure of the current CBN Governor. He should have studied microeconomic variables
before devaluating the currency. Nigeria is not a strong exporting country, we mostly import and when a country imports, she becomes a price taker in the international market. For example, the price of oil is not within our reach, OPEC sets the price as we don’t export anything other except oil.” Buhari, 72, will no doubt be facing an economic battle when he assumes power on May 29. His manifesto says little about how the rise in oil prices and currency strengthening will be achieved but he has chaired the Petroleum Trust Fund and run for the presidential seat 4 times, as such, the past 16 years must have equipped him with useful strategies and the international goodwill to carry out his agenda of developing the Nigerian economy. Foreign Policy As stated in his manifesto, General Buhari plans to, “Establish a special relationship with leading emerging markets like Brazil, Russia, India and China (BRIC) and other strategic partners around the world.” Of what essence are these relationships to Nigeria’s economy and should they be a priority? Dr. Odior of the University of Lagos had this to say, “Of course, no nation can be in a state of autarky. There are ways we can benefit from other nations; we can import what they have a comparative advantage in producing. I suggest these countries come to Nigeria, establish their industries and make Nigeria their base for production. Their produce would be cheaper for us, considering we have enough human capital and labour. If countries like China build their factories here, not just assembling products, it would be a lot cheaper for us, thereby increasing economic growth.” Agriculture Agriculture boasts over 70% of Nigeria’s labour force and was the major source of Nigeria’s revenue before the discovery of oil in 1956 at Oloibiri, Bayelsa State. Nigeria has since overlooked the agricultural sector, which was once a major source of revenue for the country and her people. In a recent interview, Buhari pledged his administration would tackle unemployment by investing in agriculture. Other major campaign promises include fighting corruption and Boko Haram,
as well as providing employment for graduates. “APC is a new party for Nigeria, I will provide job policies, and restore the dignity of work through the living wage. I will provide a national industrial policy, revive the manufacturing sector and encourage less dependence on import. We will have a robust agricultural policy and agricultural extension programme.”
Nigeria is presently facing dwindling oil prices affecting the value of her currency; the continued fall in oil prices has caused a forceful reduction in government expenditure, brouhaha at the Nigerian stock market and more dreadfully, has made defending the Naira difficult. APC’s National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has also reiterated the president-elect’s intended plans for agriculture including the creation of new jobs while speaking to Eniola Akinkuotu of The Osun Defender, “Agriculture is no longer what it used to be and we also explained how we intend to handle the issue in our manifesto. The economy is down. We will create three million jobs a year.” Power In an age where electricity and technology are vital to sustaining economic and commercial growth of any nation, electricity should be the least worry of Africa’s leading economy. However, irregular power supply still remains an
President Goodluck Jonathan. Photo: http://en.wikipedia.org
insurmountable challenge as Nigerians are faced with great difficulties, providing for their daily domestic and business energy needs. In the energy sector, reforms include the privatization of the sector over a year ago by the Jonathan administration, which led to an increase in power tariffs and mass retrenchment of workers. Nigeria’s power sector has been in private hands for over a year, but still produces below capacity. With the power sector generating less than 2,500MW in 2015, having been projected to produce 10,000MW by 2014, the sector is in comatose. Power sector stakeholders are however, of differing opinions regarding the privatization of the sector and the role of the incoming administration. Dr. Odior has stressed, “The only way out, is for the incoming government to step in and provide a lasting solution to this problem. Corrupt practices in that sector will not let us progress. The in-coming government needs to empty the sector by creating a new standard; new hands and new management should be brought in.” With the transition committee set-up primarily to ensure the smooth and transparent switch of administrations on May 29, 2015, Nigerians everywhere are hopefully it would be a historic day to remember, as the country treads the path to full economic recovery. NBCC MONTHLY | APRIL 2015
T R A D E A N D I N V E S T M E N T O P P O RT U N I T I E S
Nigeria Beyond the Oil Industry
Nigeria’s Norminal Gross Domestic Product (Nmillion) 2010-2013, before and after rebasing / re-benchmarking the National Account Series
100,000,000.00 80,000.000.00 60,000,000.00 40,000,000.00 20,000,000.00 0.00
Gross Domestic Product at basic 33,984,754.13 prices (Old series)
Gross Domestic Product at basic 54,204,795.12 prices (New series)
In the rebasing of Nigeria’s GDP from 1990 to 2010, basic prices highlighted a more diversified economy than previously estimated, with previously unavailable data from sectors like arts & entertainment, and information & communication. The rebased figures also showed a notable change in sector by sector contribution to the GDP. Sectors such as financial services, construction, entertainment, information and communication, have diluted the dominance formally controlled by the agric sector; with sector by sector percentage contribution as 30.4%, 34.1% and 32.5% for the agric, industry and services sectors respectively. Crude petroleum however, still accounts for about 60% of industry output. Notwithstanding this level of diversification, the oil sector remains the major source of foreign exchange for the country, as well as the major source of government financing. Approximately, 95% of foreign exchange earnings in 2012 and 75% of government revenue comes from the oil economy, according to the Nigeria Bureau of Statistics (NBS). This 16| NBCC MONTHLY | APRIL 2015
has continued to be a drag to the country’s fiscal planning, as well as the broad macroeconomic strategies. Consequently, the Nigerian economy is still volatile in the face of global economic sways. Firstly, commodity trading still dominates Nigeria’s participation in the international market (like most sub-Saharan countries). Unprocessed and semi-processed commodities like most raw materials do not command favourable foreign exchange earnings. The poor industry development shares the biggest blame for this disparity. The manufacturing sector of the economy contributed 6.81% to the new GDP data, equivalent to N5.47 trillion ($34.8 billion) out of the total 2013 GDP rebased estimate of N80.22 trillion ($510 billion). In recent years, the manufacturing sector has been receiving a tremendous boost through the Federal Government proactive policy formulations, especially in cement production, vehicle manufacturing and assembly, and agro allied industries. In spite of the rise in manufacturing contribution to the GDP from about 4% in the non-rebased benchmark to 6.81%
in the rebased data, Nigeria still underperforms its peer countries in the sector. World Bank data shows the contribution of the manufacturing sector to the GDP in Austria, Thailand, South Africa and Iran, to be 19%, 34%, 12% and 13% respectively. In Nigeria, the high cost of capital and poor energy infrastructure still hampers exponential growth of the sector. It is estimated that under the current economic framework, the agro-allied industries alone, can contribute an additional input of about 60% to the sector. For instance, Nigeria is currently the world’s largest cassava producer. The crop is produced in 24 of the country’s 36 states with an average yield per hectare of 10.6 tonnes. Nigeria currently produces approximately 45 million tonnes of the commodity annually, which is almost 19% of the world’s production capacity. Cassava production is well-developed as an organized agricultural crop since the past decade. Nonetheless, it is generating little foreign exchange earnings for the country. Apart from the processing of cassava as local staples like garri, few industries are available for processing the commodity
T R A D E A N D I N V E S T M E N T O P P O RT U N I T I E S
for other purposes that would command better foreign exchange earnings like cassava flour processing, starch production, livestock feed production, and ethanol. Nigeria’s major import commodities include; Industrial Supplies–32%, Transport Equipment & Parts–23%, Capital Goods–24%, Food and Beverages–11%, and Consumer Goods. Table 2 presents the percentage contribution of the seven major Nigerian import commodities to the total annual import statistics between 2006 and 2010. From 2010, the Federal Government has sought to significantly reduce importation within these sensitive sectors with various high-level incentives including up to 10year tax holidays for investments aimed at shrinking the import portfolios of agro-allied products, chemical and petrochemical products, transport infrastructure, and capital equipment. A number of industries have emerged thence, taking advantage of the incentives to address the import-export disparity. Motor vehicle manufacturing has also soared with the establishment of Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing Plant, the establishment of Nissan Assembling Plant, as well as the revitalization of ANAMMCO Vehicle Assembling Plant. In addition, several other investments are due to be completed, for instance, Dangote Group in 2014 mapped out more than $9bn for the establishment of a refinery and petrochemical plant with operations to begin in 2018, as well as many other investments in the agro-allied industry. Vast opportunities still exist in the identified sectors especially in industries for the manufacture of capital equipment and component parts with the revitalization of steel production.
Table 1. Sector-by-Sector Contribution to the GDP
NEW SERIES (NM) 2010
Vechicles, Aircraft, Vessels & Associated Transport Equipment
Telecommunications & Information services
Motion picture, Sound recording
Total Nominal GDP
Secondly, the rebased GDP figures have not only shown highly improved output statistics but also one of the poorest tax to GDP percentages, globally. World Bank data shows that Nigeria ranks far below the global tax to GDP percentages with 2.3%, 1.8% and 1.6% for 1995-1999, 20002004 and 2005-2009 time series, whereas, advanced countries like United Kingdom, United States, Japan, Germany, and France maintained average ratios of 15.0%, 15.5% and 15.7%. Similar countries with Nigeria such as Brazil, South Africa, Egypt, and Malaysia, maintained average ratios of 17.0%, 17.7% and 17.8%. Similarly, fellow sub-Saharan nations like Ivory Coast, Ghana, and South Africa have maintained proportionately high average ratios of 17.8%, 17.3% and 20.4% for the same period. In most countries, the main source of government funding is taxation. These countries have reformed their tax regimes to perfectly mirror their output, consequently, they can always maintain relatively stable fiscal operations during various phases of global economic fluctuations. Poor tax returns have heaped the heavy
Table 2. Nigeria Major Import Commodities 2006-2010
Live Animals; Products Products Vegetable Products Products of Chemical Allied Industries Plastic & Articles There of; Rubber & Articles Thereof Base Metals & Articles of Base Metal Machinery & Mechanical Appliances; Electrical Equipment; Parts Thereof; Sound Recorders & Reproductions, Television Image & Sound Recorders & Reproducers, and Parts & Accessories of Such Articles
6.9% 9.2% 10.1% 8.5%
7.5% 9.7% 9.7% 9.2%
4.1% 3.5% 8.4% 6.8%
3.5% 5.7% 8.8% 8.0%
3.5% 5.7% 8.8% 8.0%
burden of government funding on only the remittances from the oil sector, thereby placing the fiscal plans on the probabilities of the international oil market. Some theorists believe that the high percentage tax demand is most likely to drive away investors. However, Nigeria has maintained a relatively world tax to profit and earnings to profit averages. The problem therefore, can best be tracked by the ability of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) to develop a better framework for revenue collections, dealing with corruption in the service, and prosecuting tax fraudsters. This can only be achieved in the long term through policy reformulations and institutional restructuring. Over the last three years, the Nigerian Government has implemented several reforms targeted at checkmating the endemic corruption in the Federal Civil Service including the FIRS. These reforms, if properly adapted by the states and local governments, are projected to rectify the current tax imbalance with up to a 400% increase from the current level. One of such policies is the introduction of tax on luxury goods, which is expected to raise current tax returns to 40%. Additionally, all other sectors of the economy have been growing far more than the oil sector. The real sector is estimated to double in a few years as the privatization of the power sector has set the tone for the eventual turn-around along with growth in generation and distribution. This will highly reduce the cost of doing business in the country, thereby spurring a surge in both the formal and informal sectors of the economy and the rise in the real sector. NBCC MONTHLY | APRIL 2015
L E G A L & TA X I S S U E S
Konyinsola Ajayi SAN on New Legal Reforms and the Justice System Olumide Aderibole
Professor of Law, Konyinsola Ajayi is a Senior Advocate of Nigeria and the Managing Partner of leading Lagos-based legal ﬁrm Olaniwun Ajayi LP. He has over 35 years of experience in banking, ﬁnance, capital markets, M&A, energy and natural resources, privatization and dispute resolution. He recently played a key role in the Nigerian banking sector reforms and the recent power sector privatization. He also advised on the largest single ﬁnancial transaction in Nigerian history—the NGN4.7 trillion AMCON bond issuance programme. In this interview with NBCC Monthly, Ajayi suggests reforms to an ailing judicial system. What improvements would you advocate for the justice system and judiciary in Nigeria? A lot has been said about the judiciary and the administration of justice in Nigeria, yet the most crucial challenges are not of delay or a lack of physical corruption but those that sully its soul. The first of these has been the unfortunate unifying Nigerian quality of corruption, among clients, lawyers and judges. The naiveté in assuming that lawyers and judges, because of their expressed duty to justice, are insulated from a social and cultural milieu that encourages corrupt practices, is everyday revealed in the curious and unusual judgments handed down by our courts. Another is a pervading inclination of lawyers and indeed, judges, to continuously dwell on the procedural at the expense of the determination of the actual issue in controversy. The overwhelming majority of cases currently before our courts have not, and may not for many years, proceed beyond interlocutory objections, which, depending on the appetite of legal practitioners for frivolous appeals, may all make the tortous climb up the ladder of our 18| NBCC MONTHLY | APRIL 2015
Crimes Commission Act.
The glorification of the mundane, in turn creates a bandwagon effect, such that neither lawyers nor the courts, in whose breasts the law should reside, are steeped in the legal principles that should ordinarily be at their command.
It seems clear, as has been accepted, that the failure of the justice system to deal with corruption, principally lies, not with an absence of a legislative framework, but with the will to enforce the law. Together with this are challenges associated with judicial corruption, political interference and prosecutorial incompetence.
In attempting to solve these and other core problems, a few points quickly come to mind, including, one, the need to improve physical infrastructure, two, the importance of appeals reform including a requirement that all interlocutory appeals, as well as appeals from the court of Appeal, be by leave of court, three the importance of making the award of costs truly cost reflective, four, the need to punish frivolous actions and appeals with costs that both counsel and client would bear and, five, the importance of leveraging on technology, by introducing electronic filing and service. In what way is the Nigerian justice system equipped to deal with corruption and how would you advise the incoming government to battle the scourge? There is no shortage of instruments that are directed at punishing corrupt practices. The Criminal and Penal Codes, which have been in force for more than a century, penalize official corruption, which in this limited sense involves bribery or inducement of a public officer; and this is perhaps that sense in which stealing is not corruption! In addition to these codes, our statute books contain the Advance Fee Fraud and Related Offences Act, Failed Bank (Recovery of Debts) and Financial Malpractices in Banks Act , Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act 2000 and the Economic and Financial
It has not however, all been tales of woe – and the last decade has in particular, witnessed crucial innovations in our criminal jurisprudence, targeted at delivering justice to alleged perpetrators of financial crime. kkpm,The successful application of the doctrine of fugitive disentitlement for instance, and the extension of the mareva injunction from civil to criminal matters, have been some of the few innovations I have been privileged to be a part of. Against the backdrop of the present, the incoming administration must focus its efforts on strengthening the ability of existing institutions to perform their statutory functions of investigation and prosecution. In achieving this, which already appears to be a focal point of this administration’s agenda, there is much merit in fusing the EFCC and the ICPC, and guaranteeing their independence in terms of appointments and funding. The attitude of top leadership will also be crucial, as it will signal the boundaries that politicians, appointees, and public officers are expected to play in. Positive signals will include, for instance, aggressive investigation and prosecution of electoral fraud, money laundering and official corruption, particularly where committed by members of the administration.
L E G A L & TA X I S S U E S
NBCC MONTHLY | APRIL 2015
C A L E N DA R
scholars to gather and exchange ideas about economic issues in Nigeria.
The monthly breakfast meeting of the NBCC provides a platform to discuss topical economic and trade issues among key and prospective stakeholders of various sectors.
Dates • 16th April • 14th May • 9th July • 13th August • 10th September • 8th October • 12th November
The Nigerian-British Chamber of Commerce Breakfast Meeting is renowned as an important forum for policy-makers, business leaders and
QUARTERLY BUSINESS ROUNDTABLE The NBCC Roundtable is a platform for discussion of an array of business issues that impact on the Nigerian business environment. This by invitation discourse is highly practical, interactive, and open to a limited number of top management
QUARTERLY TRAININGS Dates • 22nd April - Developing Personal Leadership •
15th July - Improving Organisational Skills
28th October - Problem Analysis and Decision Making
QUARTERLY MEMBERS’ EVENING This is a networking event organized quarterly for members of the Chamber. A guest speaker is always invited to speak. The evening is a platform for members to interact and build business relationships with one another and with the British community in Nigeria. Dates • 16th June • 30th September 20| NBCC MONTHLY | APRIL 2015
of participating companies, quarterly. A communiqué is issued at the end of every roundtable. Dates • 11th June - Corporate Expectation on Employability Skills •
24th September - Corporate Expectations on Educational Development
C A L E N DA R
CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
EXPORT NIGERIA TRADE MISSION TO UK 15th -19th June, 2015 This EXPORT NIGERIA project is a private sector export initiative of the NBCC. It was borne out of the Chamberâ€™s resolve and determination to forge on with promoting the export business especially export of non-oil products to the UK. The Maiden Export Nigeria Study Tour held from 20th-24th October, 2014.
NBCC GOLF CLASSICS 30th & 31st October, 2015 The NBCC Golf Classics is an annual sporting and networking event held at the Ikeja Golf Club. This corporate golf tournament is aimed at providing a platform for members to fraternize and to further entrench close ties between members of the NBCC and the organized private sector. Participating companies at this great sporting and business-networking event can leverage on the unique opportunities provided to promote their business and relationships with existing and prospective customers.
NBCC ANNUAL PRESIDENTIAL DINNER AND AWARDS December 4th, 2015 The event marks the year-end of the NBCC and also an opportunity to recognize and celebrate outstanding achievements across various sectors of Nigerian business with the NBCC Awards. The NBCC Awards is designed to be a unique event on the Nigerian business landscape and a reflection on NBCC as a promoter and encourager of good business practice. NBCC MONTHLY | APRIL 2015
A RT S , C U LT U R E & E N T E RTA I N M E N T
MAKI OH Moni Agbedeh
It is no secret that the adire is Maki Oh’s favorite choice of fabric to work with for the simple reason that it is truly African in origin. This internationally acclaimed designer who loves creating “garments that are packed with hidden meanings”, enjoys her work so much that in just two to three years of arriving on the fashion scene, she snatched the title of designer of the year by the African fashion magazine, ARISE. With her photography exhibition late last year at the Miliki gallery in Lagos, Maki Oh has also earned the title of art photographer. In this interview with Moni Agbedeh, she tells the story of a professional journey ordained by destiny, embraced with zeal and blessed by fortune.
You studied fashion at the university, that’s an indication that you knew what you wanted early in life, what influenced your decision? I always knew I wanted to be an artist, more specifically a designer from a very young age because I was exposed to art and dress making quite early, so it only felt natural. My mother made all the garments my siblings and I wore while growing up. We sketched, she constructed. Why did you choose to study at the Art University Bournemouth and what’s the best thing that happened to you there? Even though I knew how to sew and I felt like I could design clothing before I went to fashion school, my mother insisted that if I wanted to be a designer, I should do things right by studying fashion. She was a self taught designer but she always believed that being self taught was not enough and thus was very happy to play a part in giving me an opportunity that she never had. The best thing that happened to me in fashion school was my friends. It sounds cheesy but it’s true. I always say this. A group of 3 very open minded, extremely talented, young designers with such wonderful perspectives on... everything! They helped me push my creativity further and further. Maki Oh will be five this year. Looking beyond the enviable measure of global goodwill you have obviously enjoyed, what have been some of the challenges you’ve encountered along the way? The abysmal lack of infrastructure and skilled labour in my home, Lagos ranks at the top of this list of challenges. 22| NBCC MONTHLY | APRIL 2015
The world has seen prominent women like Michelle Obama and Solange Knowles wearing a Maki Oh creation, and that is absolutely fantastic. But what about the average lady on the street, does your fashion label cater to noncelebs? Ha ha! That’s such a funny question. Um.. Yes it does. The nature of being a celebrity is that the world is watching you when you wear Maki Oh. The nature of being a ‘noncelebrity’ is that the world is not watching you when you wear Maki Oh. My favourite clients are the ladies who wear Maki Oh at home and at work... Just because! These actions simplify it all. I love it. What is it exactly about the Dipo rite of passage that inspired you at a time? It’s a traditional Ghanaian coming of age ceremony for young girls transitioning into womanhood. It was our first collection and I feel the brand had ‘come of age’ too. We were ready to get our message out there. Many African fashion designers love to work with ankara, but it’s adire that fascinates you, why? Purely because of its authenticity. I don’t care much for ankara because it is not Nigerian, it’s not African. It’s Dutch and Chinese and Turkish and even British. It’s not African. I don’t feel the need to promote and fund this fabric that has appropriated itself as African. We have too much that is ours to celebrate. Adire is purely Nigerian, purely African. Are you always involved in the process
of pattern creation for the adire materials you work with? Yes, very much so. Traditionally, the motifs all had a hidden meaning. These motifs were used as methods of communication and conversation, and have been passed down from generation to generation for over a hundred years. At Maki Oh, we use a lot of the old traditional motifs to keep this culture alive, as well as create new motifs to continue to carry on these conversations. What kind of outfits do you love designing most and why? Garments that are packed with hidden meanings. From the print, to the stitches, to the lining and even to the type of button used... the garment tells a story. I believe there is much more to life than the mundane and we must find meaning in everything that we do. How capital intensive is this business and how do you source for funds? Extremely capital intensive. How did you feel when you were named designer of the year by the African fashion magazine, ARISE? I never thought Maki Oh would win as we had only been in our 2nd or was it 3rd year of existence, and it’s usually an award that is given to brands that have been in existence for longer. Least to say, I was extremely surprised when I heard our name being called out. It was a rush of so many emotions. That validation in such a short time of existence was very encouraging.
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A RT S , C U LT U R E & E N T E RTA I N M E N T
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A RT S , C U LT U R E & E N T E RTA I N M E N T
Where do you think you are most celebrated, at home or abroad? I think the brand is equally appreciated at home and abroad. Recently you had a photography exhibition. Was it your first, and what was the theme of the exhibition? It was my first exhibition. However, I have been taking photos for many years before the exhibition. This exhibition was a spin off from the spring/ summer 2015 Maki Oh collection, which was inspired by the original meaning of the word ‘virgin’. It originally meant a woman who was independent, and could take as many lovers as she pleased. After the collection was released, I still felt it was a subject that I wanted to explore even more. Dig deeper into the truths. So I decided to do this through mixed media photography. It’s actually still a subject that remains on my mind. How long have you been taking pictures and what do you love to photograph? Maybe about 10 years. I enjoy fashion and art photography. Where are you going with photography? Where I was always going... a continuous journey of self expression. Do you have other latent interests you hope to explore in the future? Creativity comes in so many forms and I am very open, willing and excited to see where the need to express myself takes me in the future. And back to fashion, how would you rate the Nigerian fashion industry? I see it as one that is moving forward, slowly but surely. Other than yours, whose creative ingenuity do you admire in the fashion industry? Christopher Kane and Rei Kawakubo. Two different ends of the spectrum in my opinion, but two designers whose work I admire a lot. What advice would you give an aspiring fashion designer? Firstly, be true to yourself. Secondly, it’s not as glamorous as you think; it’s probably the exact opposite. And then know your woman or man.
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Lagos, a Historical Nest of Colonialism Luciano Uzuegbu
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Discussions about Lagos inevitably call to memory two schools of thought; a first that traces the Awori Yoruba fishing community located on the series of islands and peninsula that form the modern Lagos state, and whose ancestry is linked to a ruler called Olofin, with her modern descendants’ nobility being epitomized by the idejo or “white cap chiefs”. Second; the banishing of Aworis from Lagos Island by the Oba of Benin in the16th century during the kingdom’s expansionary phase in which Lagos was named Eko, a Bini name for “war camp”. However, most significant is the increased trading activities following the Oba of Lagos’ invitation of Portuguese slave traders to the island in 1730; and Lagos Island’s eventual emergence as a major centre for slave trade, amidst continuing internal strife and incursions from neighboring states. In fact, these Portuguese, having come from Lagos, a small port in southern Portugal, adapted the name to today’s Nigerian booming metropolis, Lagos. Subsequent events would alter this status quo, notably the abolition of slavery in 1833 by the British, and the deposing of the Oba of Lagos, Kosoko, by a naval expedition in 1851 to usher a more acceptable regime drawn from the Bight of Benin Consulate. Regarding this, a Yoruba emigrant, the catechist, James White, wrote in 1853, “By the taking of Lagos, England has performed an act which the grateful children of Africa shall long remember ... One of the principal roots of the slave trade is torn out of the soil.” We may at this point overlook the fight between the new ruler, Akitoye, and supporters of the deposed Kosoko in 1853, but observe the process by which the British extended their jurisdiction in the form of a protectorate over the hinterland–a process driven by demands of trade and security rather than by any deliberate policy of expansion. Two years after the CMS Grammar School was founded in Lagos in June 1859 by the Church Missionary Society, a British naval force entered the Lagos Bay and seized the town in the name of Queen Victoria, with the consul William Mc Coskry becoming acting governor. Lagos as a Colony became protected and governed directly from Britain with Africans born there assuming British citizenship with full rights, including access to the courts.
Yet, Africans in the later protectorates of southern and northern Nigeria who were also protected people remained under the jurisdiction of their traditional rulers. After initial suppression by the British Government, the first issue of the Anglo-African newspaper was granted release on the 6th of June, 1863, while more natives enjoyed missionary engagements. Thus the first missionary house in Nigeria was completed in Badagri, which underscored architectural advancement as one of the indices for measuring development in the colonial Lagos. In general, the architecture of Lagos blended the Victorian and Brazilian styles, as skilled builders and masons who had returned from Brazil, infused their own ideas. But it was always up to the ruling British to determine what was acceptable, even though the alternative provided by others drew inevitable competition. In 1872, the population of the colony of Lagos was 60,000. This figure included the black English-speaking “Saros” from Sierra Leone and other emancipated slaves who had been repatriated from Brazil and Cuba, together with those of European origin who were just about a hundred. Following in like manner as the CMS, the Methodist community, including Charles Joseph George, opened the Methodist Boys School for their members in June 1877. They also laid the foundation stone for the Wesley Church at Olowogbowo, west of Lagos Island in 1881. More prosperous trading had flourished in the slave-free Lagos with attendant competition among foreign contractors, including the French and British. This competition had been political, warranting the British (Royal Niger Company) to enforce the signing of several treaties, even with neighboring western states including Ijebu and Oyo, in the 1890s, and opening the way for the construction of a railway from Lagos to Ibadan. Telephone links with Britain were also established by 1886. In 1887, the then Lagos Governor, Captain Maloney had outlined plans for a botanic station at Lagos for the purpose of developing indigenous trees and plants that had commercial value. Products such as, rubber, gum, coconut oil, fibres, camwood, bogwood
NBCC MONTHLY | APRIL 2015
on all government properties. It also has what used to be the Governor-General’s office intact. In 1898, electric street lighting was established. The emergence of King’s College in 1909, a boys-only secondary school on Catholic Mission Street, Lagos, introduced a new dimension by the British, which sought for value in learning citadels not necessarily ascribed to any church denomination. Walter Egerton, the last Governor of Lagos Colony, eagerly embarked upon the extension of the Lagos – Ibadan Railway onward to Oshogbo with a view to amalgamating the Lagos Colony with the protectorate of Southern Nigeria. In 1914, the Governor-General Sir Frederick Lugard amalgamated this territory with the Protectorate of Northern Nigeria to form the Colony and Protectorate of Nigeria. Lying just within a stretch of Catholic Mission Street is the Holy Cross Cathedral, a fine church built in 1932 by Cappa and D’Alberto. It replaced the original Pro-Cathedral of 1890 constructed by master mason Nobre with joinery by Balthazar dos Reis, both returnees from Brazil. The bricks are thought to have been hauled in by water, either from Iddo or Ebute Metta, through Marina to the present site by a ‘human chain’ under the strains of martial music organized by Governor Moloney. It is a clear example of the British-endorsed architecture of Brazil. and indigo were considered as having large potentials. This also prompted the construction of more railways, even with the impediments posed by swamps, canals and sand spits in Lagos. On Broad Street is Freedom Park, which occupies what was once the Broad Street Prison. This prison from inception in 1887 until it was closed in the 1960s was reputed to have held some of the nation’s foremost activists and politicians amongst other inmates. Personalities, such as Herbert Macaulay, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Michael Imoudu of the powerful railway union, Sir Adeyemo Alakija and many others all served time due to their political beliefs and activism. There was the celebrated case of a 22-year-old inmate, Esther Johnson, nee Ada Ocha 28| NBCC MONTHLY | APRIL 2015
Ntu, who was jailed for stabbing her British husband Mark Hall over his infidelity. Bagging a death sentence, she was later pardoned on a wave of public sympathy and released by Royal Prerogative upon the recommendation of the then Governor-General Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe. The old prison site was neglected for a long time until recently when it was rehabilitated, but not as a functional prison anymore.
Also the old Church Missionary Society bookshop dated 1917, annexes a low cost primary school, and opposite a larger school, both built in 1955 and 1958 respectively, as part of the free primary education scheme initiated in Lagos in 1954. The new Bookshop House and office tower was designed by architects Godwin and Hopwood, and built in 1973 by G. Cappa.
The Governor-General’s residence was completed in 1894, and had Sir Gilbert Carter as its first occupant. The old Secretariat completed in 1895, is arguably the most imposing colonial building in Lagos. It was built in imported bricks, each one stamped with the armorial bearings (‘broad arrow’) of the Quartermaster-General of Britain, which appeared
Generally, in the colonial public buildings, bricks imported as ship’s ballast were used and Portland cement was substituted for the softer lime mortar. Pre-fabricated elements such as windows, doors and jalousies purchased in Liverpool were shipped to make up the shortfall created by a building boom in Lagos in the 80s and 90s. Roofing materials
One of the few surviving old buildings is the Tafawa Balewa Square (TBS) built by the military government under General Gowon in 1967, along Race Course, a road named after this monumental arena inside the TBS. It was designed by Fry Drew Atkinson and built by Cappa and D’Alberto. As at today, TBS is no longer a racecourse, but a space for public and private functions.
An Oba of Benin from the late 17th century. Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oba_of_Benin
became more permanent with the use of wood shingles instead of thatch, clay and cement tiles. Eventually, corrugated iron known as ‘pan’ became the cheap universal covering. The British age-long influence in Nigeria is further sustained by such structures as the National Hall, a place where the first Federal Parliament sat at the formal opening by Princess Alexandra, representing Queen Elizabeth II during Nigeria’s Independence on October 1, 1960. The building was designed by Ken Purdom of the Federal Ministry of Works (FMW) and built by Heilmann and Litmann. An eminent British architect, Prof. John Godwin, described the 25-storey Independence House completed in 1961 as, “one of the most elegant office towers to be built on the West Coast.” This, contemplated as a parting gift by the British Government at independence, housed several of the ministries of the Federal Government. Designed by architects of the FMW and built by G. Cappa, a well-known local Italian contractor, it was once the tallest building in the country and founded directly on the hard yellow sand core of the island after consultation with A.W. Skempton, a British foundation engineer.
into the Yoruba language, and Herbert Macaulay, a civil engineer and Nigeria’s great nationalist. Crowther has now has been re-interred at Christ Church Cathedral, while Macaulay is laid at the Ikoyi Cemetery. In the new world, Lagos has flourished, becoming a cosmopolitan and delightful city, not to mention, large business destination. With a population of over 17.5million (in 2006), Lagos offers its own fair share of hustle and bustle, with the Island, Ikoyi and Victoria Island holding the most offices in a city, than any other in Nigeria. New buildings have sprouted to complement some historical structures, which have preserved the significance of Lagos.
On Marina lies the former headquarters of the Nigerian Ports Authority and the Electricity Corporation of Nigeria (now the Power Holding Company of Nigeria). Designed by Watkins Gray, they were built by Dys Trocca Valsesia in 1965. The latter at its frontage, a sculpture titled Sango (god of lightning) created in 1964 by celebrated Nigerian artist, Ben Enwonwu, who himself was British-trained at the Slade in London. Also in front of the Nigeria Telecommunications (NITEL) building on Marina is The Drummer, a 1978 bronze sculpture by Enwonwu. The NITEL House built in 1969 is 26-storey high, which together with its steel mast, was the tallest structure on the Island. Although burnt out in 1982, the mast has long been refurbished. Today, Lagos has become cosmopolitan, attaining the status of a mega-city. Uniquely, the city has retained much of its colonial past, a vital element, which underscores its historical importance amongst cities in Africa, and the world at large.
The British also dignified the dead with final resting places such as the Ajele cemetery where many Lagos notables, both African and non-African were buried. Among those there are Bishop Ajayi Crowther, who translated the Bible NBCC MONTHLY | APRIL 2015
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Published on May 7, 2015
The NBCC Monthly is the Nigerian-British Chamber of Commerce’s magazine produced by Revilo Company Ltd, leading Lagos-based publishers. It b...