FEBRUARY 4, 2013
Telecom operators fleece subscribers of N31bn in drop calls value.
By PRINCE OSUAGWU
No respite in sight Meanwhile, the situation may still linger as both the operators and the regulator are trading blames and spoiling for war against each other. Late last year, the Director, Public Affairs, NCC, Mr Tony Ojobo had declared that the operators may be sanctioned this quarter over poor services if the Key Performance Indicator, KPI, which the commission put in place, indicated that their services were still poor. Ojobo had said that the regulator would not fold its arms and watch millions of Nigerians who depend on the services of the operators to communicate to loved ones, friends and business associates to suffer losses due to poor telecommunications
N a rough estimate, Nigerian subscribers may have spent well over N31.02bn on dropped and unconnected calls since January last year, owing to poor quality of services from the telecom operators. Most networks in the country claim to have upgraded their network to 3g and 4g that never deliver services. Nigerians using ipad are worse off as downloads are so frustrating that in a day, a subscriber may not be able to connect or download music or video. This figure of N31.02 billion was roughly estimated from the Average Revenue Per User, ARPU spending of 102.3 million subscribers (as at June last year) which amounted to about N103.4 bn, in relation to an opinion poll conducted by this reporter which saw many subscribers claiming that 30 per cent of their call costs were wasted. From major part of last year, mostly during the yuletide period and even till now, telecom subscribers in the country have had to resort to hanging on the trees and roof tops to complete their calls. The only time this was the case was at the early stage of GSM operation in Nigeria in 2001 when the networks were just building. Then, in addition to hanging on the trees, Nigerians resorted to high antennas to receive strong signals and incidentally, many buildings and other structures were dotted with embarrassing poles, antennas that did not beautify the Nigerian air space. The situation compelled the operators into making massive investments in network and backbone infrastructure that launched the country into the top spot of African telecom market and spiralled into branding Nigeria as one of the fastest emerging markets in the world. Although the quality of service after
Continues on page 18
116.63 +1.08 97.61 the investments cannot be described as perfect, subscribers lament that call completion has never been as bad. 30 per cent call costs wasted? Although the operators have given both human and natural causes of the problem, the reality is that subscribers are still at the receiving end, spending hard earned money on calls that did not deliver value. In fact, it is believed that over 30 per cent of call costs in recent times are wasted in either
dropped calls or entirely unconnected calls. Nigerian subscribers, according to the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, hit 102.3 million mark as at June last year, with an Average Revenue Per User, ARPU, of N1.011 and spent about N103.4 bn in call cost within that period. If 30 per cent of this is wasted, like many subscribers have alleged, that means that about N31.02b was wasted on calls that did not connect or deliver
CURRENCY BUYING CENTRAL DOLLAR POUNDS EURO FRANC YEN CFA WAUA RENMINBI RIYA KRONA SDR
154.74 155.24 244.9689 245.7604 211.0963 211.7784 171.059 171.6118 1.6803 1.6857 0.3007 0.3107 237.7412 238.5094 24.8466 24.9273 41.2607 41.394 28.2775 28.3688 238.5008 239.2714
SELLING 155.74 246.552 212.4605 172.1645 1.6912 0.3207 239.2776 25.008 41.5273 28.4602 240.0421
CBN Exchange rate as at 1/02/2013
18 — Vanguard, MONDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2013
Youth restiveness and unemployment in Nigeria: The Way Out - Part 5
*Vice-President Namadi Sambo (r), welcoming the Chairman, General Electric International Operations Nigeria Ltd., Mr. Jeff Immelt during an audience at the Presidential Villa, Abuja. Photo by Abayomi Adeshida
Telecom operators fleece subscribers of N31bn in drop calls services, adding that operators should either shape up or face the hammers of the regulator. According to him, "we will, however, take into account all those times the operators suffered disasters that were no fault of theirs. We know that there were times the operators suffered natural disasters but if the KPI says they had performed below par before those times, we will penalise them and I don’t think they should have any quarrel about that because the KPI is an agreement we made with them.”
ut in a swift reaction, Chairman of the Association of Licensed Telecom Operators of Nigeria, ALTON, Engr. Gbenga Adebayo said that the operators would employ every legal means to resist any penalty from the regulator which did not take into account the spate of attacks and vandalisation the operators have suffered. According to Adebayo, from wilful damages to vandalisation, flood and bomb attacks, the operators have been at the receiving end and on each occasion, they would be left to lick their wounds. Adebayo said that although the damages on the operators’ facilities could not be quantified on the immediate, it, however, ran into hundreds of millions of dollars. “Key performance indicators or not, I don’t think that the government would be fair to talk about sanctions now.
Continued from page 17
We will, however, take into account all those times the operators suffered disasters that were no fault of theirs
Everybody is aware of the problems we have been facing, including the recent bomb attacks on our facilities. I think that the government should even be talking of giving us some form of compensation to help us recoup. We are not talking of cash compensation, rather some form of tax or import waiver to enable us import back some of these facilities which actually run into several hundreds of millions of dollars to replace. “But in any case, we will employ every legal means to resist any penalty we deem as unfair to us by the government,” he added. Where are the investments on new tech? The irony of the whole situation is that these are happening despite recent announcements by almost all the mobile telecommunications operators in Nigeria that they have embarked on mas-
sive investments on their networks. Subscribers have had to contend with teeth-gritting call completion rates and fluctuating network stability on their mobile phones in recent months. These, notwithstanding the millions of dollars the operators say they are expending on upgrading their networks to energy efficient and environment-friendly solutions.
or instance, MTN in June, announced a major development in its network expansion programme when it told journalists that it had began a comprehensive network overhaul that would gulp about $1.3bn, approximately N204bn. MTN tagged the exercise, network modernisation and swap out exercise, meaning that old legacy equipment it started business with, 10 years ago , would be phased out for a more recent and hybrid ones. In fact, the company ’s Corporate Services Executive, Mr. Wale Goodluck, who announced the development with his team including Chief Technical Officer, Mrs Lynda Saint-Nwafor and General Manager, Corporate Communications, Mrs Funmi Omogbenigun, among others, said the aim of the exercise was to increase capacity and improve services to its over 45 million subscribers. He even promised that MTN‘s radio and transmis-
Continues on page 19
HE Minister of State for Education, Chief Nyesom Wike, has said the Federal Government will invest in technical and vocational education to create about one million jobs through collaboration with educational institutions in Taiwan, South Korea and United Kingdom to create access to functional vocational education for Nigerian youths. He says the focus is to use technical and vocational education to create jobs for Nigerian youths The World Bank advocates a “three-lens approach” to youth empowerment involving • Working for youth as beneficiaries • Engaging youth as partners • Supporting youth as leaders. According to the World Bank, policymakers should frame correct social as well as economic policies based on these “youth lenses.” To bring this about requires the following broad initiatives: Changing the Policy Environment: The policymakers need to expand access to and enhance the quality of education and health services. The policymakers need to give young people a voice to articulate the kind of required assistance and the opportunity to participate in the delivery of assistance policies. Develop Youth Capabilities: To help the young people to choose the best from these opportunities, policymakers need to develop the youth’s capabilities. To do this, the policymakers first have to recognise the youth of their country as a strategic resource and vital decisionmaking agents. They also need to make sure that the youth are well-informed, sufficiently resourced and judicious while making their decisions. Provide Second Chances: The policymakers have to provide the young people with an effective system wherein they should grant the youth second chances. For this, they have to implement target programs that would provide hope to the younger people as well as provide them incentives to
positively reshape their destinies. Increase Investment in Youth: If done properly, investment in youth especially during the five life transitions of youth will develop, safeguard and put in place proper human capital. As the youth undergo each transition from learning, work, health, family and citizenship, public policies and investments in youth can determine their directions and can prevent the youth from going off-track especially when there are economic crises and markets do not provide sufficient economic opportunities. Create a Productive Working Life: Once youth obtain the necessary skills, it is important to deploy those skills.
makers first have to recognise the youth of their country as a strategic resource and vital decision-making agents
This should be done by framing policies and implementing programs that would benefit the rich and poor so that there is fair and even competition. The states have to realise that freeing up their economy to foreign investment not necessarily restricts their role but in fact increases their role in the economic affairs. The policies that open up the economy will become youth- friendly only if the government is able to direct proper resources towards the youth and provide them access to jobs that are created due to liberalization of the economy.
Vanguard, MONDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2013 — 19
PDP public functionaries past and present, stop making Nigeria a laughing stock N
IGERIA is fast becoming a laughing stock. No thanks to the Peoples Democratic Party members who have held top political positions in the past and now. They have a way of passing the buck to pull the wool over the eyes of Nigerians to divert attention from the way and manner they pillage the resources of the country. Last week, (former Minister of Education and former VicePresident, Africa, World Bank), Oby Ezekwesili stirred the hornet’s nest. The former minister accused the Yar’Adua and Jonathan administrations of squandering Nigeria’s foreign reserves. She said that both governments misapplied about $45 billion external reserves left by the Obasanjo administration and another $22 billion from the excess crude account. My concern as a Nigerian is not how much was squandered but which of the PDP-led government has not illegally spent the excess crude account money which is part of the external reserve that can be spent by government. To the curious minded Nigerian, the first question to ask is, what is foreign reserve? Going by international practice, foreign-exchange (also called reserves) in a strict sense are the foreign currency deposits held by central banks and monetary authorities. If this is what Oby is referring to, it is not being spent by government in any guise.But the term foreign-exchange reserves in popular usage as it is known in the World Bank circle, commonly includes foreign exchange and gold, special drawing rights (SDRs) and International Monetary Fund (IMF) reserve position of member-countries as this total figure is more readily available. It is accurately
deemed as reserves or Foreignreserves. The special drawing rights and the IMF position of the reserve are accessible to government but under the strict supervision of the IMF. Nigeria during this period, did not take any IMF facilities, so it could not have spent this much from the reserve. Foreign Exchange reserves in what ever forms are assets of the central banks which are held in different reserve currencies such as the U.S. dollar, euro, yen and pound and in recent time, in yuan. These foreign currencies held by central banks are used to back its liabilities, e.g., the local currency issued, and the various bank reserves deposited with the central bank, by the government or financial institutions. In Nigeria, because 90 per cent of its foreign exchange earnings is from crude sales, whenever crude is sold, the dol-
lar proceed that is within the budget bench mark is converted into naira and shared monthly by the Federal Revenue Allocation Committee to the three tiers of government.
nce the money is con verted into naira and shared, the CBN takes possession of the dollar in trust for the nation. The CBN holds this dollar as foreign reserves. This aspect of the reserves cannot be spent the second time. It is only when either the government or the individual wants to buy foreign goods that he or she now approaches the CBN with naira equivalent of the foreign exchange he wants before he can have access to the money kept in the reserve. This is why the CBN conducts a bi-weekly foreign exchange auction. However, there is a component of the reserve that can be spent, the excess crude revenue account.
That is where the dollar earned from oil above the budget bench mark is saved. The curious thing about this storm in a tea cup (the current forex debate) is that both Oby and the Federal Government are running away from the truth. The excess crude account from which the Federal Government has been drawing from, under what condition was money to be withdrawn from it? It is when the prices of crude oil fall below the bench mark? The withdrawal is meant to cushion the price differential. All the PDP-led Federal Governments, for which Oby was a principal advocate of due process, never respected the provisions of the guideline setting up the excess crude account. Oby was in government when President Obasanjo withdrew $12 billion to pay Nigeria’s creditors in the name of seeking debt relief. It was not squandering in her time to have done that. Up to this moment, civil society groups still
believe that if $12 billion was invested in infrastructure at that time, the multiplier effect would have impacted positively on the economy. Yar’adua and Jonathan have followed the same pattern of unilaterally withdrawing from the account without prices of crude falling below the budget bench mark. These PDP personalities just want to confuse Nigerians and take their attention away from the real thing - non-performance. Prices of crude have been favourable to Nigeria right from the days of Obasanjo, but each of these governments led by PDP’s political actors has spent Nigerians’ money saved in the excess crude account irresponsibly. PDP is the culprit because they have no idea of what to do with the economy. Oby and the president’s spokepersons should stop disturbing our peace. Nigerians will one day realise their mistake and throw this bunch of economic pillagers out of the corridors of power.
List of states by foreign-exchange reserves The list below is based on IMF data Rank
People’s Republic of China Japan Eurozone ASEAN Saudi Arabia Russia Switzerland Republic of China (Taiwan) Brazil Republic of Korea Hong Kong India Germany Singapore Algeria France Italy Thailand Mexico United States Malaysia United Kingdom Turkey Indonesia
3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21
Foreign exchange reserves (Millions of US$)
3,285,090 1,270,848 932,675 779,100 621,490 537,618 526,226 403,170 378,560 326,091 305,207 294,510 256,455 255,769 200,000 189,580 186,783 181,627 168,286 151,866 139,061 134,261 118,362 111,285
Figures as of
Sep 2012 Nov 2012 Nov 2012 Nov 2012 Sep 2012 Dec 2012 Nov 2012 Dec 2012 Nov 2012 Nov 2012 Nov 2012 Nov 2012 Nov 2012 Nov 2012 May 2012 Nov 2012 Nov 2012 Nov 2012 Nov 2012 Dec 2012 Nov 2012 Dec 2012 Nov 2012 Nov 2012
22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45
Iran Poland Denmark Philippines Israel Libya Canada Peru Netherlands Norway United Arab Emirates Iraq Sweden Spain South Africa Australia Lebanon Romania Czech Republic Hungary Argentina Chile Colombia Nigeria
Foreign exchange reserves (Millions of US$)
109,700 108,900 89,737 84,250 75,849 71,990 68,222 61,106 56,095 55,599 55,290 53,470 52,301 51,247 50,812 48,168 47,870 47,005 44,761 43,977 43,290 39,719 36,501 35,210
Figures as of
Dec 2011 Dec 2012 Nov 2012 Dec 2012 Oct 2012 Dec 2011 Nov 2012 Oct 2012 Oct 2012 Sep 2012 Dec 2011 Dec 2011 Nov 2012 Nov 2012 Nov 2012 Nov 2012 Dec 2011 Oct 2012 Dec 2012 Nov 2012 Dec 2012 Nov 2012 Nov 2012 Dec 2011
Cover Story Telecom operators fleece subscribers of N31bn in drop calls Continued from page 18 sion infrastructure as well as the core network would be fully optimised, adding that major cities, such as Lagos, Abuja, Ibadan, Kano and Aba would be given special attention. However, Goodluck did give the hint that there may be some technical hitches which may disrupt the network quality due to the exercise, but pleaded that customers bear with
the situation for the gains that would accrue at the end of the exercise. He also assured that part of the massive project involving three technical partners, Ericsson, Huawei and ZTE, would be carried out at night to minimise impact on the quality of service. Just about that time, Airtel Nigeria had also announced investment of over $600m in just one year to expand the capacity and enhance the robust-
ness of its network in pursuit of world class Quality of Service.
t the launch of the company’s Green Site in Lekki, Lagos, the company’s Chief Operating Officer and Executive Director, Mr. Deepak Srivastava, hinted journalists that Airtel had entered into a landmark deal with Ericsson to upgrade 250 diesel-powered stations in Nigeria to Greensites, adding that it was all to
enable the company harness solar energy to operate its base stations. According to him, the Green sites will contribute to a considerable reduction in carbon dioxide emissions and prevent network outages associated with inconsistent power supply. Srivastava regretted that non-availability of regular grid power supply to sites across the country was responsible for over 70 per cent
of down time resulting in poor QoS, adding that the Greensite would go a long way in addressing this critical challenge. Meanwhile, Globacom and Etisalat also had a fair share of network optimisation to achieve better performance. In addition to the mega bucks Glo1 submarine cable investment, Globacom also, shelled out early this year, a whopping
Continues on page 20
20 — Vanguard, MONDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2013
Business & Economy BRIEF IMF Executive Board reports on the quota formula review
HE Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has submitted its report on the outcome of the quota formula review to the IMF’s 188-member Board of Governors. The Board of Governors had requested as part of the 2010 quota and governance reforms that a comprehensive review of the quota formula be completed by January 2013. In its report to the Governors, the Executive Board notes that “Important progress has been made in identifying key elements that could form the basis for a final agreement on a new quota formula.” The report concludes that “The Executive Board’s discussions under the review have provided important building blocks for agreement on a revised quota formula that better reflects members’ relative positions in the global economy. The outcome of this comprehensive review of the quota formula will form a good basis for the Executive Board to agree on a new quota formula as part of its work on the 15th Review, with a view to building a consensus on a reform package that can garner the broadest possible support.” IMF Managing Director, Christine Lagarde, stated: “The Board has had an enlightening series of discussions during the past year, and the membership is now in a good position to agree on an improved quota formula in the context of the upcoming 15th General Review of Quotas. We will be working actively with the Board and the membership in this regard, with the ultimate goal of reinforcing the legitimacy and effectiveness of the Fund.” Each IMF member country is assigned a quota based broadly on its relative position in the world economy. Quotas determine a country’s maximum financial commitment to the IMF, play a role in decisions on members’ access to Fund resources, determine members’ shares in general allocations of Special Drawing Rights (SDRs), and are closely linked to their voting power.
Nigeria's External reserves rise by $1.6bn in one month By BABAJIDE KOMOLAFE
HE nation’s external reserves rose by $1.68 billion to $45.86 billion in January while the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) sold $833.5 million at its bi-weekly foreign exchange auction. Data published by the CBN showed that the external reserves rose from $44.178 billion as at December 28, 2012 to $45.858 as at January 29 th , representing 3.8 per cent increase. The increase was higher than the $289 million increase recorded in December. During the month, external reserves rose by 0.6 per cent from $44.467 billion. Meanwhile, foreign exchange sold by the CBN through bi-weekly Wholesale Dutch Auction System (WDAS) sessions fell by 15.8 per cent. Results of the auctions show that the amount sold by the apex bank fell to $833.501 million from $990 million in December. The decline in amount sold however did not impact the value of the naira as the exchange rate remained relatively stable. From N155.77 per dollar at the end of
December, the exchange rate appreciated to N155.74 per dollar, indicating three kobo appreciation for the naira. In Its review of the external reserves and foreign exchange market in 2012, the Monetary
Policy Committee (MPC) of the CBN noted that, “The relative stability recorded in the foreign exchange market could be attributed to the combined effects of improved supply of foreign exchange by oil
*From left: Herve Chomel -Vice-President, MoneyGram, Kemi Okusanya - Business Development, MoneyGram Nigeria, Francois Peyret - Regional Director, Maghreb & West Africa and Kunle Olamuyiwa, Operations Manager, MoneyGram West Africa, at the flag-off of the MoneyGram “share the passion and win big” activation in Lagos.
companies and enhanced capital inflows from portfolio investors during the period under review. Also, oil revenue increased at an average of 2.73 per cent monthly throughout 2012. In the first eleven months of 2012, oil receipts totalled US$40.087 billion. “The committee expressed satisfaction with the sustained accretion to external reserves which stood at US$43.849 billion as at December 31, 2012, representing an increase of US$1.682 billion or about 3.98 per cent from the level of US$42.167 billion at endOctober 2012. Relative to the end-December 2011 level of US$32.915 billion, the external reserves at the end of December 2012, had risen by US$10.934 billion or 33.21 per cent. The increase in the level of foreign reserves was driven mainly by proceeds from crude oil and gas exports and crudeoil-related taxes as well as reduced funding of the WDAS on account of the huge inflow of foreign portfolio investments, which was about 77.0 per cent of total inflows through the CBN. The foreign reserves level could finance about nine months of imports.”
Telecom operators fleece subscribers of N31bn in drop calls Continued from page 19 $6m to contract wireless backhaul giants, Ceragon, to manage the end-to-end deployment of its Fibre air IP-10 and IP Evolution long haul systems across Nigeria. Etisalat Nigeria also announced a deal with Aviat Networks which charged Aviat to specifically establish a Network Operations Center (NOC) to operate 50 hops of Etisalat’s Enterprise Data Network, comprising 100 radios of the Eclipse Packet Node microwave networking solution, on its network nationwide. In addition, the company will implement its element management system (EMS), for total network surveillance, fault escalation and reporting with up to six months of performance data stored for analysis; and quick replacement of mission-critical components in the field. This was in addition to the already existing two-year managed services contract with Alcatel-Lucent covering the South-West of the country including Lagos, which is due to expire in May 2013.
Promos take a toll However, just about when these investments were making meaning to the subscribers, almost all the subscribers also introduced grand campaigns and tempting customer-related promotions to get more customers onto their networks.
TN came up with a pocket of promos including the Ultimate Wonder promo which promised to give one lucky MTN subscriber, an aeroplane. Airtel debuted with the Airtel 2Good series among others prospected to give subscribers cheaper tariff. Etisalat and Glo were not also left out as they introduced many. But the NCC said that as good as these promotions were, the untold effects on the networks culminated in the collapse that gave subscribers anguish. On November 8, 2012, the regulator banned all telecomrelated promos, saying it was to save subscribers from further anguish. Subscribers still lament However, two months after,
subscribers still lament that unless they climbed to the roof of high rise buildings or tree tops, getting better services were almost impossible. An angry subscriber, who simply introduced herself as Ms. Clara Nduka told this reporter, “I don’t know how my operator manages to do it, but whenever I load air time on my phone, it disappears even without making a single call. Also, I am regularly overbilled to the extent that I once made a call that finally dropped at 3 seconds but I was billed N15 for it. I think these are outrageous practices. The most annoying aspect is that when I complained, the customer service of my operator said it was because I never had a plan for my iPhone. Whatever that means, I don’t know but I have just resorted to loading N100 or N200 units only, whenever I need to make a call. It is as embarrassing as that,” she added. Also, a Lagos State University, LASU, student, Kenneth Okpebho, described network congestion in Nigeria as a ‘culture’ adding that
the best way to overcome it was to live with it. “I have learnt to live with the network congestion because that is the only way to overcome it. You can't imagine the heartache, when you need to get to your parents over demanding issues in school and you are stuck with a piece of metal in your hand instead of a mobile phone because no matter how hard you try, you hardly get through. Even in those rare times you get through, you will never get your father or mother to understand what you are saying because the line boils like hot water. It has become a culture here in school and we have learned to live with it.” The situation is even biting hard on recharge card dealers who are complaining bitterly that something must be done quickly before they go out of business. Some of them complained that recharge card business was no longer attractive as many people refuse to patronise them.
Vanguard, MONDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2013 — 21
Business & Economy BRIEF
BY GODFREY BIVBERE
irector General of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Patrick Akpobolokemi, has expressed his frustration for the inability of the agency to convict suspects apprehended for their involvement in oil theft and piracy along the nation’s waterways. Akpobolokemi who stated this in Lagos when top management of Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corp (NSCDC) led by its Commandant General, Ade Abolorin, paid him a courtesy visit in his office in Lagos, said so far all those caught by the agency and handed over to other security agencies have not been convicted. He explained that people caught with guns and other items used in various crimes by the agency were handed over to other security operatives for persecution but were either set free for lack of evidence or for compromise. The NIMASA boss pointed out that some of these people later turn around to sue the agency for breached of fundamental human rights. He said sometimes it seem like looking the other way is better but assured that he will continue the fight. The painful thing, he continued, is that NIMASA does not have the power of persecution and therefore had to rely on other security agencies with such powers to persecute their suspects. As a result, he stated that the agency’s management had to write a letter to the leadership of NSCDC for collaboration knowing that the Civil Defence Corp knowing that it has the power of persecution.
More Nigerian engineers to participate in oil sector — FG By KUNLE KALEJAYE
L-R: Dr Leke Pitan, former Commissioner for Health, Lagos State; Bola Adesola, Managing Director/CEO, Standard Chartered Bank, Nigeria; Osolake Ayodele, Regional Branch Manager, Lagos Island and Carol Oyedeji, Regional Head, Consumer Banking, West Africa, SCB, during a Branch Commissioning of the bank on Adetokunbo Ademola, Victoria Island, Lagos.
Piracy, oil theft: Non conviction is frustrating — DG NIMASA He noted that though it is not their direct responsibility to fight against oil theft, he decided to do so because such activity if non-checked will deprive NIMASA of its three percent revenue entitlement from all cargoes coming in and going out of the country. Commandant General of
NSCDC, Ade Abolorin, assured the NIMASA boss that they will work closely together for the benefit of the nation’s economy. Abolorin noted that both bodies are working to achieve the same goal. He pointed out that the problem of oil theft on the
PTML Customs seizes 18 Containers, vehicles BY EDIRI EJOH
n a bid to rid the country off sub-standard smuggling products, the PTML Command of the Nigerian Customs Services (NCS) has confiscated a total
of 18 containers of fake drugs, pirated books, and other sub-standard products. The Command also seized a total of three vehicles, as at the second half of 2012, indicating an increase over the previous year.
Govt should not have controlling shares in new National Carrier — Aligbe By LAWANI MIKAIRU
nation’s economy is huge and that it is not only being carried out on the high sae but also along the small rivers across the nation. He sited as example the case of vandalisation at Arepo, Ikorodu and others, stressing the need for effective policing of the nation to curb these incidents.
HE Managing Director, Belujane Konsult and former spokesman of Nigeria Airways, Mr. Chris Aligbe, has cautioned that the Federal Government should not have controlling equity in the proposed Nigerian national carrier. He said government should not have more than five per cent equity stake in the carrier. This is coming just as he commended the pilot of the MedView plane that made an air return last Sunday on his Abuja-bound flight. Mr. Aligbe said these while fielding questions from aviation correspondents at Ikeja. He said the only way Nigeria can become a hub in Africa Aviation industry is to have a national carrier that can compete with other foreign airlines coming to the country, but for the airline to succeed, government should not have
controlling shares as that will lead to undue interference in the running of the airline. He said the decision by the government to scrap the defunct Nigeria Airways was a major mistake that has taken the Nigerian aviation industry back. He contended that the defunct airways was inefficient because of corruption, but it was government's undue interference and control that led to the collapse of the airways. The Managing Director of Belujene Konsult said; ‘’For the new national carrier to succeed, we must learn from the pitfalls and mistakes of the past. Government should not have controlling equity in the proposed national carrier. It should not have more than five per cent equity stake. This will reduce the level of control and interference by government.’’ He pointed out that it was a mistake to have invited Virgin Atlantic to come and help Nigeria set up a national carrier.
Eight of the seized Containers are 40 feet while seven were 20 feet. A further breakdown shows that two 40 feet containers with fake drugs has been handed over to the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC), whereas the National Copyright Commission has since taken possession of the three 20 feet containers containing the pirated books. However, despite the drop in volume of importation during the second half of last year, the Command under the leadership of Comptroller Zakari Jibrin, collected a 39% increase in revenue amounting to N71, 267, 589, 007 as against the sum of N51, 264, 053, 039 collected in 2011. This shows an increase of N20, 003, 535, 698. According to a Statement made available to Vanguard on the year’s full report of the Command’s activities, a total of N43, 835, 737, 872 of the said amount was forwarded to the Federation account while N27, 431, 851, 135 went into the Non Federated account.
S part of proactive measures by the Federal Government to generate more employment in the country ’s petroleum industry through the Local Content Initiative, President Goodluck Jonathan-led administration has reiterated its plans to engage more Nigerian engineers in the sector. The commitment is sequel to the successful completion of Oredo OLM 111 gas plant constructed by indigenous engineers. The gas plant project, which is estimated at over $350,000, approximately N54, 950,000, was funded by an indigenous contractor, Network Oil and Gas Nigeria Limited. While commissioning the project in Edo State, Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Allison Madueke, expressed satisfaction with the Nigerian engineers that handled the project. She also expressed the resolve of the President Goodluck Jonathan-led administration to the local content initiative with a view to encouraging Nigerian engineers to participate in the oil industry. “ We c o m m e n d t h e leadership of the president for giving the support and providing the resources and political leadership without which today would not have been a reality ”, she noted. On his part, the Executive Director of Network Oil and Gas Nigeria Limited, Mr. Osawaru Clifford, commended the Federal Government and the management of the NNPC for making the project a reality, explaining that apart from the fact that the gas plant was purely an indigenous initiative, over 1,000 Nigerians are expected to gain employment in the plant.
22 — Vanguard, MONDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2013
Banking & Finance BRIEF Nigeria offers Rusal’s Smelter to BFI Group after court ruling
IGERIA offered to sell Aluminum Smelter Co. of Nigeria to Bancorp Financial Investment Group after the country ’s Supreme Court ruled last year that an earlier decision to cancel the transaction was invalid. “This development follows the directive of the National Council on Privatisation,” Chukwuma Nwokoh, a spokesman for the Bureau of Public Enterprises, said in an emailed statement. Bancorp “is expected to execute the share-purchase agreement.” A sale of the smelter, known as Alscon, would shift ownership from Russia’s United Co. Rusal (486), which bought a 77.5 per cent stake in 2007 for $160 million, court filings show. Bancorp said it had already offered $410 million for the plant, which is based in Ikot Abasi in the southeastern state of Akwa Ibom, and that it had been selected as the preferred bidder. The Supreme Court ruled last July that the privatisation agency didn’t have the right to cancel the sale to Bancorp, a U.S. company with a unit based in Lagos, Nigeria. The Bureau of Public Enterprises expects Bancorp to pay 10 per cent of the $410 million offer price within 15 days of the execution of the share-purchase accord, Nwokoh said. Rusal said November 5 it was seeking arbitration in London over ownership of the smelter and wanted a ruling blocking the court judgment or damages in the event of lost ownership. It has estimated its investment in the facility at $500 million. “Rusal is a legal owner and a good-faith owner of Alscon,” the Moscow-based company said in an e-mailed statement. Rusal has filed a petition to a California court demanding it make Bancorp disclose information on the privatisation process and expects a decision as soon as next month, it said.
Banks rip off customers via ATM charges, 2 months after approving removal Stories by PETER EGWUATU
ARELY over two months after the Bankers’ Committee of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) approved the immediate removal of N100 charge on customers who use the Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) of banks other than theirs, most banks are still surcharging customers, thus defeating the objectives of cashless economy initiated by the apex bank. The CBN had in November 2011 rolled out new guidelines for the deployment of offsite ATMs by banks and Independent ATM Deployers (IAD), giving banks and other ATM deployers the authority to charge customers a maximum of N100 per transaction on their ATMs. According to the circular by the CBN to all banks, IADs, Cash-in-Transit companies and Switches, the guidelines was in line with its cashless policy objectives and in view of the critical role ATM deployment and availability play in ensuring the success of the policy. However, the Bankers’ Committee of the CBN had on Tuesday, November 13, 2012, approved the immediate removal of the N100 charge on customers who use the Automated Teller Machines of banks other than theirs. Investigation by Vanguard revealed that some banks, especially the first generation banks are still charging N100 fee for the use of their ATMs by other customers. It was gathered that some of the banks have not reprogrammed some of their ATMs since the announcement to remove N100 charge was made by the CBN. According to impeccable sources close to some of the banks, “Yes, it was agreed that there will be no charge for the use of ATM, but the modality for complete removal has not been collectively agreed but some of the banks on their own had started to implement it.” A customer who does not want his name mentioned, said, “I went to two banks ATMs (name withheld) to withdraw money and immediately I got alert debiting my account to the tune of N100. So, you can see that many of these banks are ripping off their customers
through these sundry charges. At my bank, I paid for ATM card and for every N20,000 withdrawal I make with the card, the bank charges N100. Even when the CBN told banks to stop deducting N100 for ATM withdrawal, they are still doing it.” Other customers who complained to Vanguard on the same issue said that the CBN should sanction banks that do not comply with the directive, saying, “This will make them
take appropriate steps to reprogramme all the ATMs.
he Managing Director of First Bank, Bisi Onasanya had told newsmen at the end of the Bankers’ Committee meeting in Abuja that the decision was in line with “popular trends” in other parts of the world. According to him, “Presently, when you use the ATM of a bank other than your bank, there is a charge of
N100 which is borne by the account holder. We have decided that we will work out the modality and ensure that with immediate effect, we would pass on this cost to the respective banks which bear the cost of providing services. No matter where you are withdrawing your money from, you will not be subjected to any charge for using the ATM.”
*From left: Senior Manager,International Tax Services, Ernst $ Young, Josh Bamfo; Partner, Financial Services, Ernst & Young, Dayo Babatunde;Director, Federal Inland Revenue Services, Julius Ajayi Bamidele,and Tax Services Leader for West Africa, Ernst & Young, Abass Adeniji at the Transfer Pricing Workshop, organised by Ernst & Young in Lagos on Wednesday,30th January2013. Photo: Olumide Hammed.
New National Tax Policy has commenced — FIRS
HE Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS) has disclosed that the implementation of the new national tax policy for the country has commenced following the approval of the final draft of the regulation by the Federal Government which was gazetted on September 21, 2012. Director, LTD (OIL & GAS) of FIRS, Mr. Ayayi Bamidele, who disclosed this in Lagos at a workshop organised by Ernst and Young, tagged Transfer Pricing, said, “The Nigerian Income Tax (Transfer Pricing) Regulations No.1, 2012 have been released by the FIRS. The initial draft of the regulations was issued in April 2012, and subsequently the final draft was approved and gazetted on 21 September 2012. So in effect, its implementation has continued depending on the accounting period of individu-
al organisations. For instance, if an organisation's accounting period ends in December 2012, it means from January it will begin to apply the new policy.” He further said that, “Nigeria, being an integral part of the larger world that wants to be one of the 20 most developed countries in the year 2020 cannot afford to be left behind in tax development. In the era when cross border businesses are on the increase, the share of the apple should not be allowed to be skewed against Nigeria. The international community requires certainty in our tax system to meet one of the canons of taxation and to gain their confidence in doing business with Nigeria.” While commenting on Transfer Pricing regulation, Bamidele noted that the regulations gave effect to the provisions of-(a)section 17 of the
Personal Income Tax Act, CAP P8, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 (as amended by the Personal Income Tax (Amendment) Act, 2011);(b) section 22 of the Companies Income Tax Act, CAP C21, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 (as amended by the Companies Income Tax (Amendment) Act 2007; and (c) section 15 of the Petroleum Profit Tax Act, CAP 13, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004. The objectives, according to him, include: to ensure that Nigeria is able to tax on an appropriate taxable basis corresponding to the economic activity deployed by multinational enterprises in Nigeria, including in their transactions and dealings with associated enterprises; to provide the Nigerian authorities the tools to fight tax evasion through over or under-pricing of controlled transactions between associated enterprises etc.
Vanguard, MONDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2013 — 23
Banking & Finance
ROWTH in emerging markets and developing economies is on track to build to 5.5 per cent in 2013, International Monetary Fund, (IMF) has said. According to IMF, “Nevertheless, growth is not projected to rebound to the high rates recorded in 2010–11. Supportive policies have underpinned much of the recent acceleration in activity in many economies. But weakness in advanced economies will weigh on external demand, as well as on the terms of trade of commodity exporters, given the assumption of lower commodity prices in 2013 in this update. Moreover, the space for further policy easing has diminished, while supply bottlenecks and policy uncertainty have hampered growth in some economies (for example, Brazil, India). Activity in Sub-Saharan Africa is expected to remain robust, with a rebound from flood-related output disruptions in Nigeria contributing to acceleration in overall growth in the region in 2013.” Against this backdrop, the projections in this World Economic Outlook (WEO) update imply that global growth will strengthen gradually through 2013, averaging 3.5 per cent on an annual basis, a moderate uptick from 3.2 per cent in 2012, but 0.1 percentage point lower than projected in the October 2012 WEO. A further strengthening to 4.1 per cent is projected for 2014, assuming recovery takes a firm hold in the euro area economy. The IMF further noted that policy action is needed to secure the fragile global recovery. According to IMF; “The policy requirements outlined
BRIEF US jobs, factory data point to steady growth
*From left; Brand Operations Integration Leader, P&G, Mokutima Ajileye; Celebrity Endorser, Sidney Esiri (aka Dr. SID); and Brand Operations Integration Manager, P& G, Titilola Adetunji at the on-going Oral-B mobile dental clinic program organised to support oral health by Procter and Gamble Nigeria held in Lagos recently.
IMF forecasts growth for Nigeria, other emerging markets Stories by PETER EGWUATU in the October 2012 WEO remain relevant. Most advanced economies face two challenges. First, they need steady and sustained fiscal consolidation. Second, financial sector reform must continue to decrease risks in the financial system. Addressing these challenges will support recovery and reduce downside
risks. “The euro area continues to pose a large downside risk to the global outlook. In particular, risks of prolonged stagnation in the euro area as a whole will rise if the momentum for reform is not maintained. Adjustment efforts in the periphery countries need to be sustained and must be supported by the center, including through full deployment of European firewalls, utilisation of the
LCCI doubts CBN’s double digit growth projection
HE Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has doubted the manifestation of the projection of a double digit growth for the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) made by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). The Director-General of LCCI, Muda Yusuf, explained that the prediction was not realistic even if some reforms in the economy were successful. According to Yusuf, there are many challenges confronting the power and oil sectors and these challenges are unlikely to be resolved this year.“There is the nonpassage of the Petroleum Industry Bill and with January out of it, that forecast is not realistic. “I am not too optimistic that this can happen this year. We have just 11 months to go in 2013,” he said Yusuf said that even if the PIB was passed, the investment needed to accelerate growth was not easy to come by. “We are talking of billions of dollar investment in the oil and gas sector and there
is the problem of labour issues.The forecast may be possible in the near future when these issues are resolved, but not in 2013,” he said. The Governor of CBN, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, made the forecast at a panel discussion on emerging markets at the just concluded World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Sanusi said that the growth was attainable if the current reforms in the oil and gas sector and the privatisation of the power sector were allowed to scale through. Meanwhile, the Director of Public Relations, Nigerian Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (NASME), Mr Nerus Ekezie, said 65 per cent of new businesses in Nigeria go moribund within the first three years. Ekezie said that the figure was derived from researches on lifespan of businesses in Nigeria. He said that some of the researches identified the harsh business environment in the country as a major setback for their survival.
flexibility offered by the Fiscal Compact, and further steps toward full banking union and greater fiscal integration. In the United States, the priority is to avoid excessive fiscal consolidation in the shortterm, promptly raise the debt ceiling, and agree on a credible medium-term fiscal consolidation plan, focused on entitlement and tax reform. In Japan, the priority is to underpin the renewed emphasis on raising growth and inflation with more ambitious monetary policy easing, adopt a credible medium-term fiscal consolidation plan anchored by the consumption tax increases in 2014–15, and raise potential growth through structural reforms. In the absence of a strong medium-term fiscal strategy, the stimulus package carries important risks. Specifically, the stimulus-induced recovery could prove short-lived, and the debt outlook significantly worse. In China, ensuring sustained rapid growth requires continued progress with market-oriented structural reforms and rebalancing of the economy more toward private consumption. In other emerging market and developing economies, requirements differ. The general challenge is to rebuild macroeconomic policy space.
Employment in the U.S. grew modestly in January and job gains in the previous two months were larger than first reported, a counterpunch to recent data that suggested a tepid economic recovery had stalled at the end of last year. Adding to that optimism, separate reports on Friday showed factory activity hit a nine-month high in January as new orders rebounded, while car and truck sales surged and consumer confidence perked. The reports, which helped propel U.S. stock markets to their highest levels in more than five years, contrasted markedly with a government report earlier in the week that said the economy shrank unexpectedly in the final months of 2012, albeit for what most economists consider fleeting reasons. “It is clear that the economy has a forward momentum. Most pistons in the economic engine are firing, pointing to sustained economic growth,” said Sung Won Sohn, an economics professor at California State University Channel Islands. Employers added 157,000 jobs last month and 127,000 more jobs were created in November and December than previously reported, the Labor Department said. Revisions performed each January to the prior year ’s data showed the labor market was healthier in 2012 than initially thought. While the unemployment rate rose 0.1 percentage point to 7.9 percent, the closely watched report showed an increase in hourly earnings and solid gains in construction and retail employment. Separately, the Institute for Supply Management said its index of national factory activity rose to 53.1 last month, the highest level since April, from 50.2 in December. A reading over 50 suggests expansion in the manufacturing sector. Activity was boosted by a bounce back in orders and inventories, as well as gains in employment. That offered hope manufacturing will continue to support the economy. A third report on Friday showed consumer sentiment on the rise even as households faced up to smaller paychecks.
24 — Vanguard, MONDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2013
Corporate Finance BRIEF 7-Up Bottling Co: Analysts predict higher share price growth By NKIRUKA NNOROM The share price 7-up Bottling Company plc, an i n d e p e n d e n t manufacturer and distributor of nonalcoholic beverage products, has the potential of rising to N53.35 per share in the next six months, given increased activities on the stock, analysts at BGL Securities & Investment have said. Consequently, they urged investors to take advantage of the expected upward movement to position in order to reap from the capital appreciation. The shares currently trade at N44.50 per share. They observed that numerous change strategies supposed to be undertaken by 7-up to reduce its operational costs and improve the market share in order to boost profitability were taken into consideration in arriving at the target price. They however, said it was necessary for 7-up to ramp up its products offering in view of increasing competition from some upstart companies and other bottlers like of Nigerian Bottling Company, NBC. They said, “We are strongly of the opinion that unlike other global multinational food, drink and confectionery makers in Nigeria, Seven-Up’s product range is too narrow and unexciting for the fast changing consumption pattern in the country. “Despite having achieved a respectable presence in Nigeria for over five decades, 7-up has failed to evolve in its product offering and its existing product portfolio does not seem to have captured the changing tastes of consumers which seem to be aligning with global trend. “The company has six products in the Nigerian market. While each of these have achieved a respectable market share, the rising competition from more aggressive brands like indicates that in the face of market share, it is the firms with greater flexibility to adapt to fast changing customer preference that will prevail.”
NSE seeks stockbrokers’ support on fixed income retail trading By NKIRUKA NNOROM
he Nigerian Stock Exchange, NSE, Friday appealed to Dealing member firms of the Exchange to assist in getting more of their clients to partake in the fixed income market through the newly introduced retail window. The NSE officially commenced retail trading programme on fixed income securities on Friday, February 1 st , 2013, with investors taking up 510,000 units of fixed income instruments valued at N600,000 in 13 deals. The transaction cut across the three fixed income asset classes listed on the NSE’s official list, which include the FGN bonds, State Government bonds and corporate bonds. The NSE’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Oscar Onyema, who addressed journalists at the end of transaction on Friday, said that the volume recorded was impressive, adding that it proved the concept that bonds trading could be done in small units. “We want to appeal to you to reach out to your clients and inform them that trading on fixed income securities has commenced today. Though the number we saw
today was small, but I am sure that it can only get better as patronage improves,” he said. “Actually, there were lots of quotations in the system. If you look at the system, the market makers were quoting. So, if there were natural orders coming, we would have done a lot more trading than what we did today. Today is really the beginning, and we are expecting that we should see
bigger volumes and values traded as time goes on,” he added. He noted that he is optimistic that it would drive activities in the primary market, especially from the corporate with the knowledge that they can actually participate on a retail basis from the floor of the Exchange. Speaking on how stockbrokers and market
makers view the new avenue to bonds trading, Onyema said, “We are all excited that we have another product to trade and to offer our clients asset classes to get appropriate diversification. As you know, we did about 13 trades, totaling a little over N600, 000. So, it is a small beginning, but it proves the concept that people can do bonds trading in small units and that people can actually take position, because it cuts across the market makers and broker dealers and that actually participated in the market today.
L-R Chief Emeka Wogu, Minister of Labour, Dr. Alex Otti, GMD/CEO, Diamond Bank, Gov. Theodore Orji of Abia state, his deputy, Sir Emeka Ananaba and Ms. Arunma Oteh, DG, Securities and Exchange Commission pose for photograph when they visited the governor in Umuahia.
Fixed Income Securities: Stanbic IBTC allays fears over poaching By BABAJIDE KOMOLAFE & NKIRUKA NNOROM
tanbic IBTC Stockbrokers has described as unfounded the claims that its appointment as government stockbroker for FGN bonds will make it possible for it to poach the customers of other stockbroking firms. Mr. Dele Sotunbo, Managing Director, Stanbic IBTC Stockbrokers gave the assurance while presenting a paper on ‘The Role of Government Stockbrokers’ at a one day training organised by the Nigerian Stock Exchange, NSE, in preparation for the take-off of retail bonds trading on NSE and commencement of Fixed Income Market Making programme. Sotunbo explained that being a government stockbroker will not expose
the customers of other stockbroking member firms to Stanbic IBTC, adding that just like in equities market, it would conduct transaction with stockbrokers who will trade on behalf of their customers. His words, “It is not true that because we are the government stockbroker for FGN bonds, we will have access to your clients and perhaps take over your business. Stockbrokers whose clients are interested in bidding for the FGN bonds can submit the completed forms to either their settlement banks or any of the primary dealers which in turn submits same to DMO for onward transfer to the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN. It is, therefore not compulsory that such forms must be passed through Stanbic IBTC, but if a stockbroker wishes to do so, sorry, I will gladly accept because I am open for
business.” It would be recalled the DMO had in 2012 appointed Stanbic IBTC Stockbrokers its sole dealer on FGN bonds. The engagement empowers the Stanbic IBTC to provide prices for FGN bonds on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) to enable retail investors in particular, buy or sell FGN bonds. Director General, DMO, Mr. Abraham Nwankwo, had said during the signing ceremony that the appointment permitted the broker to act as a liaison between the DMO, NSE, stockbrokers and other market participants to ensure that all activities in FGN bonds and other FGN securities that may be listed in future are smoothly affected. Nwankwo said: “Investors can now access FGN bonds on the NSE; the investing public can now diversify their portfolio further by
introducing bonds. It will provide an opportunity for investors to earn regular income on their investments through coupons paid on FGN bonds and it will be an additional and assured means through which investors can sell their FGN bonds before maturity.” He added that further stimulus would be introduced for the bond segment as well as higher volume of transaction, adding that both of which would benefit the capital market. He expressed optimism that the newly-appointed government stockbroker would bring about an improved savings culture by providing access to high quality investment for a wider segment of the population and gives the retail investors the opportunity to contribute to government’s development activities including infrastructure, education and health.
Vanguard, MONDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2013 — 25
By CHINEDU IBEABUCHI
etail trading in fixed income securities (bonds) official took off on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange, NSE on Friday, with 510,000 units traded. The securities were traded in 13 deals were valued at N600,000 and cut across the three fixed income asset classes listed on the NSE’s official list, which include the FGN bonds, State Government bonds and corporate bonds.
Retail bond market takes off with 510, 000 units *Stock market appreciates by N267.43bn
In addition, the Over-TheCounter (OTC) market for fixed incomes recorded 610 units of FGN bonds valued at N76, 432 were traded in 14 deals. However, there were no transactions in the State/ Local Government Bonds and
TOP 10 WEEKLY TRADES
Top 10 Gainers of the week
Top 10 Losers of the week
Corporate Bonds/Debentures sectors. Meanwhile, the value of shares listed (market capitalization) on the Exchange appreciated by N267.4 billion last week to close at N10.37 trillion from N10.10 trillion it opened. Also, the All-Share Index in the week under review rose by 2.62 per cent or 828.37 points to close at 32,411.86 points from 31,583.49 points. Stocks experienced increased market volatility on Monday, dipping by 0.34 per cent to open the week on negative note as speculators scrambled for early profits. However, the key benchmark indices erased previous losses on Tuesday as market closed with moderate gains by 0.31 per cent on the back of renewed optimism. Furthermore, market sustained the rally as the key benchmark indices climbed further on Wednesday and Thursday by 0.77 per cent and 0.12 per cent respectively on the back of growing commitments. Subsequently, equities sustained healthy breadth on Friday as market traded above the line despite increased volatility to end the week with aggregate gain of 2.62 per cent. A review of the equity price movement indicated that 55 equities appreciated while 27 equities recorded depreciation and one hundred and fifteen equities remained constant. When compared with the preceding week, 49 equities gained while 31 equities lost and one and hundred and seventeen equities remained constant. Also, the volume of equities transaction in the week under review moved up by 8.10 per cent as 2.81 billion shares valued at N22.19 billion in 33,123 were traded compared with 2.61 billion shares valued at N19.51 billion
exchanged in 27,186 deals penultimate week. Financial Services sector emerged the most traded sector in the week in terms of volume. The volume traded in the sector this week alone closed at 2.24 billion shares valued at N14.76 billion and exchanged in 19,656 deals
compared with 1.97 billion shares valued at N11.08 billion and exchanged in 16,303 deals in the preceding week. The volume traded in the sector accounted for 79.34 per cent of the entire market compared with 75.37 per cent of the ratio recorded last week.
Dangote acquires majority stake in Savanna Sugar BY NKIRUKA NNOROM
angote Sugar Refinery, DSR, has announced the acquisition of 95 percent equity stake in Savanna Sugar Company limited, SSC, in a bid to maintain its dominant position in the Nigerian sugar industry. The deal, according to notice filed with the Nigerian Stock Exchange, NSE on Friday, was executed through a Share Sale and Purchase Agreement, SSPA, with Dangote Industries Limited, DIL, by acquisition of 2.14 billion ordinary shares of N1.00 each in Savanna Sugar. The acquisition therefore represents 95 percent of the issued share capital of Savanna Sugar. Dangote Sugar explained that the execution of the SSPA was consequent upon earlier approval obtained from the board of DSR, Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC, and shareholders of the company. The company further stated that the desire to acquire SSC was borne out of the need to sustain its market leadership, adding that it was also in line with the company’s goal of attaining the status of a fully integrated sugar company via backward integration strategy. “DSR is confident that the acquisition of SSC will provide the company with a solid platform to supplement its existing sugar refinery capacity; reduce input cost, substantially scale its business with new business opportunities, including the generation of bio-ethanol fuel from the production of molasses and development of
a bagasse-based coal generation plant,” DSR said in the statement. The statement added that the acquisition would increase Dangote Sugar Refinery’s margins, boost its export potential, as well as provide a valued basis for further profitable growth of the company. It is also expected that the deal would go a long way in enhancing shareholders’ value. Savanna Sugar Company Limited is a fully integrated sugar producing company located in Numan, Adamawa state and established by the federal Government of Nigeria in 1971. SSC was subsequently privatized in 2001 by the FGN with DIL emerging as the preferred bidder. The privatization was completed in 2003 wherein 95 percent ownership of SSC was transferred to DIL through Bureau of Public Enterprises. The principal activities of SSC include growing and processing of sugar cane with product offerings spanning white crystalline refined sugar (finished product), molasses (by-product), bagasse (consumed for company-owned boilers), and filter press mud (used as manure in the fields). SSC has 32,000 hectares of land for cultivation of sugar cane, out of which 5,200 hectares are currently under cultivation. The company has a cane crushing capacity of 4,000 metric tones of canes per day.
1.60 5.42 1.30 5.81 47.00
Livestock/Animal Specialities Livestock Feeds Plc
CONGLOMERATES Diversified Industries A.G. Levents Nigeria Plc SCOA Nigeria Plc Transnational Corporation Chellarams Plc UACN Plc
CONSTRUCTION/REAL ESTATE Non-Building/Heavy Construction Julius Berger Nig Plc Roads Nigeria Plc
10.03 33.96 4.46 2.88
11.10 0.64 0.57 6.84 13.00 3.16 0.50 15.05 4.90 24.57 1.07 0.70 1.15 5.70 0.88 7.30 2.89 6.87 8.40 0.65 0.86 20.50
0.82 0.93 0.50 0.50 0.50 1.77 0.50 0.50 0.50 1.55 0.50 0.61 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.52 0.50 0.50 0.76 0.50 0.50 0.66 0.50 0.52 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50
0.50 2.02 0.50
Household Durables Beta Glass Co Plc Nigerian Enamelware Plc Vitafoam Nig. Plc Vono Products Plc
Personal/Household Products PZ Cussons Nigeria Plc Unilever Nigeria Plc
FINANCIAL SERVICES Banking Access Bank Plc Afribank Nigeria Plc Bank PHB Plc Diamond Bank Nigeria Plc Ecobank TRANSNATIONAL INCORPORATION Fidelity Bank Plc FinBank Plc First Bank of Nig. Plc First City Monument Bank Plc Guaranty Trust Bank Plc NPF Micro-Finance Bank Plc Intercontinental Bank Plc Oceanic Bank International Plc Skye Bank Plc Spring Bank Plc Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc Sterling Bank Plc UBA Plc Union Bank Nig. Plc Unity Bank Plc Wema Bank Plc Zenith Bank Plc
Insurance Carriers, Brokers and Sector AIICO Insurance Plc Continental Reinsurance Plc African Alliance Insurance Cornerstone Insurance Company Consolidated Hallmark Insurance Custodian and Allied Insurance Plc Equity Assurance Plc Goldlink Insurance Plc Great (Nig) Insurance Plc Guaranty Trust Assurance Plc Guinea Insurance Plc Intercontinental Wapic Insurance Plc International Energy Insurance Plc Investment and Allied Assurance LASACO Assurance Plc Law Union & Rock Insurance Plc Linkage Assurance Plc Mutual Benefits Assurance Plc NEM Insurance Co. (Nig) Ltd Niger Insurance Co. Plc OASIS Insurance Plc. Prestige Assurance Co. Plc Regency Alliance Insurance Sovereign Trust Insurance Staco Insurance Plc Standard Alliance Insurance UNIC Insurance Plc Universal Insurance Plc
Mortgage Carrier, Broker and Sector Aso Savings and Loans Plc Resort Savings & Loans Plc
Other Financial Institutions Crusader (Nigeria) Plc Deap Capital Management & Trust Plc Royal Exchange Assurance
0.50 2.02 0.61
0.84 0.89 0.50 0.50 0.50 1.82 0.50 0.54 0.50 1.60 0.50 0.61 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.73 0.50 0.50 0.72 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50
11.42 0.64 0.55 7.00 13.00 3.29 0.50 15.08 5.03 24.99 1.07 0.70 1.15 5.90 0.88 7.30 2.85 7.08 8.40 0.66 0.92 20.99
10.03 33.96 4.26 2.88
Food Products-- Diversified Cadbury Nigeria Plc Nestle Nigeria Plc
9.00 7.60 80.91 2.89 9.40 0.82
9.50 7.15 89.90 3.04 9.59 0.82
Food Products Dangote Flour Mills Plc Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc Flour Mills Nigeria Plc Honeywell Flour Mill Plc National Salt Co. Nig Plc UTC Nigeria Plc
Beverages-Non-Alcoholic 7-UP Bottling Company Plc
4.15 292.03 22.71 165.00 0.89
1.60 5.42 1.11 5.71 47.10
0.50 53.60 26.29
Closing Price (N)
4.15 293.00 22.71 160.80 0.89
HEALTHCARE Medical Supplies Morison Industries Plc Healthcare Providers Union Diagnostics & Clinicals Services
Beverages-Brewers/Distillers Champion Breweries Plc Guinness Nigeria Plc International Breweries Plc Nigerian Brew Plc Premier Breweries Plc
Real Estate Investment Trusts Skye Shelter Funds CONSUMER GOODS Automobile/Auto Parts DN Tyres & Rubber Plc
0.50 53.60 26.00
1st fTier Securities AGRICULTURE Crop Production FTN Cocoa Processors Plc Okomu Oil Palm Plc Presco Plc
Real Estate Development UACN Property Development
Oil and Gas and Products Petroleum Prod ucts Capital Oil Plc
Opening Price (N)
22,000 5,000,000 3,096,064
4,674,061 2,429,650 500 1,033,833 200 645,703 50,000 62,500 3,200 1,698,475 100,000 1,172,778 154,000 1,670,890 91,600 5,429,315 500 5,000 11,942,400 9,625,618 2,000 37,748,630 100 250,000 309,020 600 150 1,034,800
4,600,046 646,608 13,287,533 17,646,192 1,069,172 14,544,227 1,000 16,944,327 11,015,490 11,331,718 56,000 73,200 91,000 5,856,262 1,006,032 173,300 10,673,586 32,946,653 1,193,029 31,447,041 37,184,940 16,324,549
225 1,730 837,088 2,000
870,412 10,248,843 2,211,757 6,354,690 462,973 3,500
25,000 321,182 403,074 1,260,860 1,000
33,783 540 18,635,994 50 458,184
166,000 68,546 494,972
0.61 2.02 0.66
1.06 1.20 0.50 0.50 0.50 3.51 0.50 0.69 0.50 0.95 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.90 0.50 2.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50
11.10 3.39 2.30 9.27 4.30 3.20 9.50 16.12 8.30 20.50 1.78 1.78 13.50 10.17 2.18 11.38 2.91 11.70 5.38 1.92 1.75 16.70
15.58 42.66 6.75 3.67
19.90 16.20 95.00 6.60 6.70 0.88
255.00 7.10 100.00 1.01
2.54 8.28 1.82 7.60 42.50
0.50 24.58 8.30
0.50 2.02 0.50
0.50 0.85 0.50 0.50 0.50 2.00 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.95 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 1.90 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50
4.26 0.64 0.53 2.05 1.65 1.20 0.00 7.95 3.60 11.64 0.00 0.87 0.00 3.90 0.73 6.30 0.95 2.17 1.96 0.50 0.52 11.45
12.71 36.19 4.78 2.66
4.31 4.02 57.00 2.31 3.80 0.50
186.00 5.23 72.50 0.93
1.45 5.52 0.50 6.43 28.70
0.50 14.53 6.40
0.00 0.00 0.13
0.05 5.85 0.00 25.00 0.00 0.22 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.08 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.02 0.00 0.01 0.03 0.10 0.37 0.14 0.02 0.06 0.04 0.10 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
1.42 0.00 0.00 0.90 2.81 0.43 0.00 2.03 0.00 2.10 0.00 0.18 0.00 0.71 0.47 0.47 0.54 0.67 0.00 0.00 1.34 2.09
3.90 1.61 0.54 0.00
0.00 0.91 4.09 0.39 1.01 1.13
9.95 0.41 5.08 0.00
0.16 0.35 0.24 0.26 6.89
0.10 7.33 2.75
0.00 0.00 16.67
5.56 10.20 0.00 0.00 8.33 4.88 0.00 0.00 0.00 17.25 0.00 0.00 0.00 25.00 8.33 5.00 0.00 1.39 1.39 50.00 50.00 6.43 16.67 7.14 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
5.83 0.00 0.00 0.00 25.91 6.68 0.00 6.96 6.20 8.74 0.00 5.44 0.00 5.07 5.44 14.81 4.68 19.23 0.28 4.82 0.43 7.83
3.26 22.48 7.34 0.00
16.91 14.38 16.89 16.92 5.75 8.83
19.98 16.29 22.22 0.00
5.18 15.77 3.64 20.74 4.14
50.00 2.77 4.37
IT Services NCR (Nig) Plc Tripple Gee and Company Plc
4.90 4.20 7.99
Speciality Interlinked Technologies Plc Transport-Related Services Airline Services and Logistics Plc Nigerian Aviation Handling Company
2.82 2.20 4.20 4.77 Road Transportation Associated Bus Company Plc
0.50 Printing & Publishing. Academy Press Plc Learn Africa Plc Longman Nigeria Plc University Press
Media/Entertainment Daar Communications Plc
Hotels/Lodging Capital Hotel Ikeja Hotel Plc
Courier/Freight/Delivery Red Star Express Plc Employment Solutions C & I LEASING PLC
Automobile/Auto Part Retailers Incar Nig. Plc RT Briscoe Plc
20.50 0.50 22.01 4.87 16.73 120.44 23.70 139.00
Petroleum and Petroleum Products African Petroleum Plc Beco Petroleum Plc Conoil Eterna Oil and Gas Plc Forte Oil Nig Plc Mobil Oil Nigeria Plc MRS Oil Nigeria Plc Total Nigeria Plc Hospitality Tantalisers Plc
Intergrated Oil and Gas Services Oando Plc
3.98 10.47 13.28 4.30 1.05 2.92 0.66
INDUSTRIAL GOODS Packaging/Containers Abplast Products Plc Beta Glass Co. Plc Greif Nigeria Plc Nampak Nigeria Plc Poly Products (Nig) Plc Studio Press (Nig) Plc W.A. Glass Ind. Plc OIL AND GAS Energy Equipment and Services Japaul Oil & Maritime Service
Mortgage Carriers, Brokers and Se Abbey Building Society Plc Union Homes Savings and Loans
Processing Sysetms Chams Nigeria Plc Electronic and Electrical Products Cutix Plc Nigerian Wire & Cable Plc
Non-Metalic Mineral Mining Multiverse Plc
Paper/Forest Products Thomas Wyatt Nig. Plc
Metals Aluminium Extrusion Ind Plc
20.70 9.50 30.61 10.22 139.90 0.50 1.26 65.50 4.20 1.90 10.93
NATURAL RESOURCES Chemicals BOC Gases Plc
Tools and Machinery Nigerian Ropes Plc
Packaging/Containers Avon Crowncaps & Container Nigerian Bags Manufacturing Company
INDUSTRIAL GOODS Building Materials Ashaka Cement Plc Berger Paints Plc CAP Plc Cement Co. of Northern Nig. Plc Dangote Cement Plc First Aluminium Nigeria Plc DN Meyer Plc Lafarge WAPCO Plc Portland Paints & Products Nig Plc Paints & Coatings Manufacturers Premier Paints Plc
ICT Telecommunications Starcomms Plc
Computers and Peripherals Omatek Ventures Plc
5.05 0.98 1.25 47.01 1.91 0.95 8.17 2.47
ICT Computer Based Systems108 Courteville Investment Plc
Pharmaceuticals Ekocorp Plc Evans Medical Plc Fidson Healthcare Plc Glaxo Smithkline Consumer Nig May & Baker Nigeria Plc Neimeth International Pharm Nigeria-German Chemicals Plc Pharma-Deko Plc
Opening Price N
2.82 2.31 4.20 4.77
20.50 0.50 22.00 4.63 17.54 120.44 24.88 139.00
3.98 10.00 12.98 4.30 1.05 2.78 0.66
20.70 9.17 30.61 9.71 144.87 0.50 1.26 68.00 4.20 1.90 10.93
5.05 1.02 1.27 47.01 1.97 0.95 8.17 2.30
Closing Price N
25,040 5,311,862 4,322 58,016
82,191 109,803 106,196 10,032,473 671,162 46,868 59,380 114,783
6,888 147,604 11,087 29,198 200 84,311 2,749,340
386,259 205,100 370,148 1,503,224 1,271,632 26,000 10,000 592,711 5,000 150,000 1,000
1,000 50,702 1,813,000 89,095 515,972 7,400 29,000 4,000
8.00 6.82 0.80
141.00 63.86 195.50
163.50 2,100 240.00 200
0.50 0.50 5.71 3.89
3.98 12.71 13.97 3.60 1.05 2.92 0.63
12.00 8.10 15.16 4.16 95.00 0.50 1.02 36.58 5.11 0.51 10.93
5.31 0.70 0.83 2.58 3.61 0.95 0.95 4.28
0.25 0.30 0.00 0.54
6.11 2.98 14.63
4.93 0.00 4.25 0.61
0.00 3.90 0.90 1.22 0.30 0.07 0.00
2.14 1.09 2.28 1.47 7.56 0.00 0.00 4.10 0.44 0.23 0.00
0.19 0.44 2.62 0.20 0.09 0.00 0.00
11.11 19.23 17.07
0.00 3.26 0.00 3.52 6.18 41.71 0.00
7.86 4.97 8.88 2.31 13.17 0.00 0.00 42.86 14.19 2.89 0.00
9.05 14.13 0.00 0.00
88.50 0.00 3.07
as at February 1, 2013
37.10 0.70 32.60 5.59
3.98 15.58 15.03 4.30 1.86 2.92 0.63
30.00 12.57 43.98 15.49 132.51 0.75 3.51 48.05 5.28 3.36 13.40
5.31 1.45 3.20 23.11 5.61 1.96 12.91 200
Daily Stock Market Report
26 â€”Vanguard, MONDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2013
Vanguard, MONDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2013 — 27
28 —Vanguard, MONDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2013
Are the current volumes in the market sustainable, some stock prices are hitting the roof? Is another bubble not in the making in the market? As you know, an efficient market really needs to take into consideration different buying effective, trading strategies and investment philosophy. So, in terms of raw volume, I will say they are sustainable; we need even more activity in the market because liquidity and depth is something we are trying to build. In terms of price movement, the indices we have shown you are a reflection of fundamentals. Those sectors that are not doing well, you saw a decrease in their accounts like insurance and oil & gas; and those that are doing very well, it is seen in their financial statements and other things, like banking and consumer goods. Their indices are showing that they are doing very well. So, I will say that the market is reflecting the pricing and if you look at this pricing and where the All Share Index is today, it is not where it was in 2008 or the previous years. I will also beg to argue that the quality of companies we have in the market today is virtually higher because we are trying to cleanse the market to make sure that the financials that are out there and the companies that are coming into the market are of high quality. Is the Nigerian Stock Exchange following up on large ticket transactions to make sure that there are no hostile take-over bids? We have a surveillance department that we created and it is an arm that acts as detective. So, they do a lot of work that you shouldn’t know about, except if you break the rules and regulations and they start asking questions. So far, we are satisfied with
We don’t want to list companies that cannot pay our fees – Onyema By NKIRUKA NNOROM
the number of cases they have brought because actually the people that were perpetuating the crime did not know that we were watching them. So, let me use this opportunity to warn anybody that wants to manipulate the market that we are watching very closely and, we will come after them with everything we have. This market needs to be a market where people are playing on level playing field and things like insider trading and general market manipulation will not be tolerated any more. For clarity purpose can you give details of the newly introduced fixed income market making programme, some investors are asking if it is just another way of reducing the pressure on the equity market. The idea of introducing fixed income market making programme into the market is not a new one. What is new is the approach to doing it. So, we believe that the OTC market is already taking care of institutional side of the equation in the fixed income market in Nigeria. There is no feasibility into the pricing; the pricing of sovereign bond, especially at the retail level was not there and that is the shortcoming that we are trying to plug by introducing a retail market for fixed income. What we announced recently, that there will be market makers in fixed income was to actually launch the real th trading on the 4 of February. Is it designed to take the heat off the equities? Not necessarily. What we are trying to do is to give investors a plate of asset classes that they can use to construct a well diversified portfolio. Remember my mantra is you must have asset class allocation and within which each asset class, you must have diversification, so that if you look at equities, you can now invest in large, mid or small capitalised companies. If you look at fixed income, you can now invest in FGN, State or Corporate Bonds or a combination of them. You can also begin to look at Exchange Traded Funds, ETF,s as well as more ETFs. The current ETF we have gives investors
exposure to gold. I don’t know of any other security that we have right now in the market that gives you exposure to gold because we don’t have listed gold mining company. So, those are the kinds of innovations that we want to bring in that allows you to construct a well balanced portfolio with the existing products that we already have. You said you want to address the cost of activity in the secondary market this year, what is the Exchange doing to reduce the cost i n t h e primary market
because that in itself is a problem? The truth of the matter is even though you may think that the cost of activity in the primary market is high, if you benchmark it with other markets I have worked in, it is really low actually. So, the total amount by law that an issuers can be asked to pay in the primary market, I think is 4.35 percent of value of the transaction. In America, an
t the media interactive session organised by the Nigerian Stock Exchange, NSE, to appraise its performance in 2012, as well as make projections into the New Year, the Chief Executive Officer, Oscar Onyema, spoke on several issues bordering on stocks price movement, making the Exchange a public company (demutualisation exercise), the one trillion market capitalisation outlined for 2016 and other initiatives to further stabilise the market. He disclosed that the newly inaugurated market makers in the equity sector have not achieved enough depth as their participation is still below one percent. EXCERPT:
let use this opportunity to warn anybody that wants to manipulate the market that we are watching very closely and if we catch you, we will come after you with everything
investment banker alone will charge five to six per cent of the value of the transaction; forget about other parties to the transaction. So, in the primary market, I think a lot of work needs to be done to make the listing of shares and other products more efficient, but in terms of costing, we are very competitive actually. Some delisted companies from the exchange have pointed to high cost as reason for delisting. What is the exchange doing to keep those that are listed on board? When a company lists on the Exchange, there are certain reasons why it lists. It wants to raise funds, diversification of ownership in the security, and to change the balance of equity and debt. It wants to reduce the cost of landing. There are so many reasons, legacy issues and all kinds of things. When a company lists, there is a barge of honour that it gets as a listed
company because it has gone through lots of documentations and a lot of reviews. It has opened its books, we have looked at its properties, and we have sent people to its factories to make sure that the factories are there and all of that. We don’t want to list any company that cannot pay our fees; our fees are very reasonable. If a company cannot pay the fees, it means that they are not doing enough business to even be listed. What we also want to do is to have a clean plate of companies that are good quality companies that can be the next barge of African Champions. By definition, an African champion is the company that is doing more than one billion dollar business. A one billion dollar company cannot be complaining of high fees, I think our highest fee is N4.2 million; that’s our highest fee.
Vanguard, MONDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2013 — 29
We are still in the roll out period and we only have 39 companies that have been rolled out. We are very fixated on the fact that we want to complete the roll out within six months. So, once we complete the roll out, we will hold them to the obligations and then we start working on the roll out of complementary market makers
complete the roll out, we will hold them to the obligations and then we start working on the roll out of complementary market makers. So, the complete thing is that you have primary market makers and you have complementary market makers. In the roll out, we have been collecting and sharing data with each market making firm and fathoming out where we think they can do more or where we think they can move in. So, it is a collaborative set up. However, in terms of market participation rate, the last set of number I looked at, the market participation rate was less than one percent for the primary market makers. However, I can tell you that their presence has brought a lot of confidence that there is somebody willing to make you a market such that you can get in and out at their prices. You said that with the inauguration of SEC board, more activities will be seen in the demutualisation exercise. Is it that the NSE is depending on SEC to demutualise the Exchange? No! You will recall that there was a technical committee that was set up last year to work out a framework that the SEC can approve that will then allow anybody that wants to do a demutualisation to go
I think there are some other reasons, but I don’t want to go into specific companies, but for a number of them, I would have given you the reason why they are delisting. They haven’t even met the delisting requirement and we want to enforce our rules. Some companies listed on the exchange have not submitted their results yet the Exchange is insisting that their share prices cannot go below par. Don’t you think it is advisable for the NSE to allow free fall where possible, especially when information is not available? Is it not also likely that the present structure is encouraging more abuses? There will be a shift on the statute. We are going to set up a working committee to work with the industry, the companies and everybody else to see if the market structure today, when you have par value as the lowest you can go is the right market structure. We will see what other markets are doing and actually come up with something. You talked about cooperation with other like organisations, will you be willing to cooperate with another Exchange operating in Nigeria market space? If a new Exchange comes up in Nigeria whether we will collaborate with them? I will need more explanation on that. Are you saying if an Exchange that wants to compete with us comes up we should be giving them tools to fight us? I don’t understand. When I say collaboration, I mean international Exchanges so that we can get best practices from them and in some cases, their technical know-how in some of the areas that we want to go into. How has the primary market makers performed in relation to the mandate given to them at inauguration? I will give you some numbers, but I want to put a context to the numbers. You remember when we started the market making in September; we said it was a six months roll out period. In those six months, we said we will not be holding the market makers to the private obligations that we want to give them because we want them to complete their roll out and get some experience on how to do market making. Even the market structure that we had introduced, which was unique in Nigeria, has never been done before. We are still in the roll out period and we only have 39 companies that have been rolled out. We are very fixated on the fact that we want to complete the roll out within six months. So, once we
So, we appeal to the National Assembly to approve the PIB bill even if they have to make changes to it, but to pass. This is because the oil and gas sector is kind of slowed down because everybody is waiting to see what gets passed.
through and implement a demutualisation process. So, let me give an example, if we decide that we don’t want to wait for the rule from the SEC to demutualise and we go ahead and do so and come up with a document that says we are now demutualised and we take it to the SEC for approval, on what basis are they going to be doing the approval? So, the technical committee’s report is at the SEC waiting for their board to review and come out with the guideline on how demutualisation will occur. Then the Exchange will then take a decision whether we want to demutualise or not and then follow the law that has been set down to achieve the demutualization exercise. The exchange very often places a company on either technical or full suspension for not meeting post-listing requirements. Don’t you think the Exchange should look at the companies’ management instead of just slamming them with suspension? If you have been following the market, you will know that last year, we introduced markers. We said we will no longer be doing technical suspension right away. We will first of all, put a mark – Below Listing Standard, BLS, and three other marks depending on what it is next to the symbol of the company so that the buyers will know that this company is either below listing standard, restructuring or in delisting process or this company is awaiting regulatory reapproval as the case may be. That’s the first thing. Then the second thing is that we increased the fine from N10, 000 to N100, 000 and then we brought in all the company secretaries and their Chief Finance Officers, CFOs. We told them we are not interested in their money; we are interested in them submitting their financials on time. We also told them that will work with them proactively to submit their financials on time. So, we started calling them two months before time that their financials were becoming due. What are the challenges you
•Oscar Onyema are having; let’s see whether we can help you. So, we have done a lot of things, because it is a whole programme. Technical suspension is the last option. If we see that the exchange has tried its best, the affected company has also tried its best but can not meet the standard, that’s when the company is placed on technical suspension. When a company goes on technical suspension, it is the first step in delisting such a company. A company on technical suspension will not be there forever. It will progress from there to full suspension and be delisted. When a company is delisted, the shareholders suffer. Now why do the shareholders suffer? It is because they are the owners of the company. When you see your company on technical suspension, you should call the management. You are the owners of the company. If you want to know why they are on technical or full suspension or why they are getting delisted, you can call them for clarification. If we follow corporate governance and if we have interest on how the companies are being run, it will benefit all of us. Now going after the management individually, we will look at that and see whether it makes sense and whether it is even possible. Beyond saying that a listed company wears a barge of honour, what else does it get as a listed entity from the system? Companies benefit many things, I have told some of the reasons why they list. We have also increased the buyer by introducing value added services. So, we are giving visibility to the companies, we are helping them in terms of
institutional service, which helps them to meet corporate governance standards, structure themselves very well for continuity. There are so many reasons companies come to the market. Do we need to do more by advocating for improvement and additional government benefits for listing on the Exchange? The answer is yes and we are doing a lot in those areas. I think we have written a position paper to the government talking about things like listed companies should have a first bite of the apple on government contract. For example, listed companies should have a low tax rate. So, if you are a listed company, you get a lower tax rate. We have made that argument and we will continue to pursue it. Don’t you think there is need to increase the depth of the market? We agree to that. We believe that the value we have seen is on the back of foreign investors. We are happy to note that local investors are beginning to come back to the market. We are working very hard to bring in new products. We are also working hard to bring in new quality companies and we believe that what we saw in the market in 2012 is encouraging for issuers. Hopefully, we will see a lot more companies coming into the market this year. Already, we have listed two and the projections are higher. However, the listing decision is entirely that of the companies, it is not the Exchange’s decision. So, we do not want to give you numbers. We are actually very bullish that the primary market will pick up this year. We are two year away from 2016, and you are targeting
30 — Vanguard, MONDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2013
Homes & Housing Finance BRIEF Stakeholders seek alternative building process
TAKEHOLDERS in the building industry are seeking to explore the use of alternative building process as a means of tackling the huge housing deficit in the country. Towards this end, they have planned a summit with the theme: “Bridging the 16 million National Housing Deficit: The Dry Construction Solution”, to help create a new platform for discussion and education on the challenges of realising the dream of housing for all by the year 2020. In a statement by Marketing Director of Nigerite, Mr. Toyin Gbede, said stakeholders at the summit will take a holistic look at the present challenges posed by wet construction in achieving the housing for all by the year 20:20:20 and offer solutions to these challenges. “The proposed summit will enable industry operators and practitioners to rub minds together and adopt alternative building processes while also proffering solution on the benefits of Dry Construction in the sector. The summit is also intended to reveal and offer opportunity to compare the wide array of advantages of Dry Construction,” he stated. Dry construction a of building or construction without the use of plaster or mortar. It involves the use of dry materials such as gypsum board, plywood or wallboard in construction. The use of dry materials speeds the construction process and allows earlier occupancy. Also in the statement, Managing Partner of Redwood Consulting, Mr. Femi Olaiya, said: “With a population of well over 160 million, Nigeria cannot effectively provide durable housing for its citizens, hence we have decided to gather a wide array of professionals in the industry to come together and discuss, with the hope of proffering solution to this challenge.” Facilitators at the forum include a Professor of Architecture, E.A Adeyemi a quantity surveyor, Segun Ajanlekoko, President, Nigeria Institute of Building (NIOB) Chuks Omeife, David Majekodunmi, an architect and principal partner, Kenning Homes, Head of Department, and senior lecturer, Department of Estate Management, University of Lagos, Professor Timothy Nubi.
FG, World Bank, IFC move to boost mortgage in Nigeria
•Increased mortgage facilities will enhance access to homeownership. By CHRIS OCHAY I & JOHNBOSCO AGBAKWURU
HE Federal Government has commenced a working relationship with the World Bank and the International Finance Corporation, IFC, to boost mortgage financing in Nigeria. Director General of Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC, Ms Arunma Oteh, disclosed this in Abuja, last week, at the end of a three day training of SEC staff on securitization, mortgage-backed securities, covered bonds and liquidity facility. She said the initiative will support housing with medium and long term financing, by increasing the number of mortgage holders in the country from 20,000 to 200,000. Oteh said the tripartite initiative known as the Mortgage Refinancing Facility is being packaged by the Coordinating Minister of the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, who has brought in the World Bank and the IFC to help increase mortgage in Nigeria. According to her, the federal government, in looking at social housing, has embarked on an initiative to support housing with medium and long term financing. She said the initiative is to address concerns with the cost of mortgage financing. “Mortgage rates are very expensive now, the federal government is working on the initiative that will be launched later this year,” she said. The SEC DG expressed shock that Nigeria has only 20,000 mortgages, but said that with the planned securitization, banks can move mortgage out of their books. She added that securitization is an important tool for transformation which compelled SEC to organize the training for its staff to understand securitization which is an area of
opportunity. Oteh also disclosed that there is about “N100 million in collective investor fund” and she encouraged retail investors to leverage their participation in the collective investor fund to enable them diversify their investment portfolio in the market.” She revealed that the Board of SEC has set up a National Collective Investor protection fund, to protect investors in the capital market against sharp practices. “Whenever there is any complaint the complaints are resolved immediately. But we are waiting for the market to adopt it. We also want the resolutions to happen quicker than they do
now.” She said SEC receives over a thousand complaints a year. To address this problem, Oteh stated that “there will be severe consequences for infractions in the capital market, SEC will not permit any wrongdoing and will match words with action.” Nigeria’s capital market she said must have stringent enforcement regimes to build integrity. The main facilitator at the training, Prof. Graham Penn of the University College, London said securitization relates to securities that are issued and collateralized or backed by hard assets e.g. income stream from power and road projects.
Minister inaugurates board to restructure FHA Stories by YINKA KOLAWOLE
INISTER of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Ms Ama Pepple, has inaugurated a 12-member technical board to supervise the process of restructuring and commercializing the operations of the Federal Housing Authority (FHA). Pepple said the move followed recommendations made by a committee set up in 2012, to examine the current structure, operations and challenges of the organisation, as part of efforts to re-position and strengthen the company for more effective service delivery. She said the committee submitted its report recommending an 18-month transition period for structural overhaul and commercialisation of the company to be supervised by the Bureau for Public Enterprises (BPE), which government accepted. Speaking during the inauguration of the board, Pepple said the decision to appoint a technical board to supervise the restructuring of FHA was taken by President Goodluck Jonathan following a submission she made to him requesting re-organisation of the organisation. “Today’s inauguration is a major milestone in our collective and determined effort to make housing delivery more robust and efficient, in accordance with
the new National Housing Policy and the Federal Government’s transformation agenda,” she said. The minister declared that the planned restructuring is to enhance the capacity of the company to serve Nigerians better. “We are bearing in mind the country’s current efforts to reduce the alarming housing deficit of about 16 million. In carrying out this exercise we must endeavor to make FHA more efficient, effective and cost conscious. The authority was conceived as a model agency that would satisfy the yearnings of Nigerians in the delivery of adequate and affordable housing. Today, as we reflect on its 40 years of operations, the agency’s achievements have remained low and its dreams not attained,” she asserted. According to Pepple, after 40 years FHA has delivered only about 37,000 housing units in 80 estates in the country. She noted that the company has not been able to generate enough income to meet its wage bill, pay retirement benefits to its 816 pensioners and fulfill all aspects of its operational needs. She said FHA was carrying out its activities with a N7.2 billion Federal Government loan granted between 1996 and 2001, adding that it also received a N1.09 billion loan from the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN).
Vanguard, MONDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2013 — 31
Homes & Housing Finance
97.5% of Nigeria’s land not registered — Presidential Committee •Experts seek review of titling process
•Mass housing development using local materials. slowing down the pace of the nation’s development. The participants maintained that in order to harness most of the benefits derivable from land, it must be transformed into capital asset through effective titling and registration in order to create secure tenure and bestow property rights on the owner. They agreed that conventional means of administering land in Nigeria have failed to deliver the desired result with respect to secure tenure and rights. In his remarks, Adeniyi noted that the abysmal land titling situation in the country prompted the federal
government in April 2009 to inaugurate a technical committee to collaborate with states and local governments on a comprehensive cadastral mapping nationwide and to determine ‘possessory’ rights of individuals, using the best practices and most appropriate technology. He asserted that without titling, land loses its ability to empower the owner. “Land is something that if you have and you don’t have title on it, you will not be able to use it to empower yourself. But if you have title for it, you can use it as collateral, you can sell part of it to develop part of it
FG seeks data on housing development
HE Federal Government has initiated moves aimed at collating data on the actual housing deficit in Nigeria, to enable government monitor the number of units being added to the country’s housing stock. Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Ms. Ama Pepple, stated this during an inspection visit to a housing estate being developed by a private firm in partnership with the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN), comprising of 700 units at an estimated cost of N1.86 billion, along Kubwa Expressway in Abuja. According to the minister, she had written letters to the 36 states and FCT to furnish her office with accurate data on the number of houses they had built since 2011 up until now. She noted that while various housing deficit figures are being bandied about in the country, little is known about efforts being made by government to reduce the deficit. Pepple attributed the lack of accurate information on the number of housing units being added to the country’s housing stock
to the absence of a proper database in the housing sector. “First of all, we need to get our data together. I have just written to our state governors to help in collecting data on houses that are built since 2011 when we came on board. We don’t have data in the sector. They keep telling us there are 16 to 17 million housing deficits. Nobody is telling us about how many we are adding to the housing stock. We need that first,” she stated. The minister attributed the increasing number of homeless people across the country to high cost of building, noting however that her ministry had entered into partnerships with some private investors with a view to bringing down the cost. “You have housing estates everywhere that are not being inhabited, particularly in FCT. It is so partly because some of these buildings are not within the reach of average Nigerians, who desire quality shelters. In our ministry, what we are doing is to see how much we can bring down the cost. Everything we do now is private sector-driven.”
US home prices post yearly gain since 2006
Stories by YINKA KOLAWOLE INCE formal land registration began in Nigeria in 1863, not more than 2.5 per cent of the land in the whole country has been registered. Chairman, Presidential Technical Committee on Land Reform (PTCLR), Prof. Peter Adeniyi, made the remark during a dialogue on “Legitimising Systematic Land Titling and Registration in Nigeria”, held in Abuja, recently. Meanwhile participants at the forum called on state and federal governments to review the process of land titling, to allow for proper framing and execution of land policy. The gathering which was made up of experts on land management, included former chairman of PTCLR, Prof. Akin Mabogunje; Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Ms Amal Pepple, Chairman, Senate Committee on Lands and Housing, Senator Bukar Abba Ibrahim, President, International Federation of Surveyors (FIG), Mr. CheeHai Teo, who delivered the keynote address; and members of professional bodies. They noted that what is obtainable in many states of the federation, as far as land documentation is concerned, is not business friendly and
or use it personally. What is happening today in the country, with regards to people’s inability to empower themselves, is because when people don’t have title, they cannot use it to raise fund to develop themselves, but when you title your land, you are likely to engage other people because you have the resources,” he said. The PTCLR chairman said that the main goal of the dialogue was to identify and address legal issues and other constraints that may arise in, or impede the process of implementing the systematic land titling and registration in Nigeria within the context of the Land Use Act and to proffer practical and pragmatic solutions that will legitimize the process and the outcome. Also speaking at the forum, Teo reiterated that land as a scarce resource involves rights as well as responsibilities, noting that when poorly managed, land becomes contentious and could lead to disputes, conflicts and degradation, all of which are pointers to poverty and underdevelopment. On the other hand, he declared that tenure security could among other benefits, boost food security.
OME prices rose in November to rack up their best yearly gain since the housing crisis began, a further sign that the sector is on the mend. But data on consumer confidence was less encouraging, with moods falling to their lowest level in more than a year as Americans became more pessimistic about the economic outlook and their financial prospects in the wake of higher taxes for many. The S&P/Case Shiller composite index of 20 metropolitan areas gained 0.6 percent in November on a seasonally adjusted basis, in line with economists’ forecasts. Prices in the 20 cities rose 5.5 percent year over year, making for the strongest yearly price increase since August 2006 when prices were on their way down. The housing market became a bright spot for the economy last year as prices rose and inventory tightened. The sector is expected to contribute to economic growth in 2013. “What we’re seeing is really a gradual improvement in the overall economy,” said Anthony Chan, chief economist for Chase Private Client in New York. Rising home prices and recent gains in the stock market should blunt the impact of tax increases for consumers and spending should improve by the second half of the year, said Chan. Homebuyers also have been enticed by historically low interest rates. The Federal Reserve’s latest stimulus efforts are helping to keep rates low, as the central bank buys assets including mortgage-backed securities. It was the 10th month in a row that prices have increased, the longest string of gains since before 2006. Last year’s rise in prices beat a nine-month consecutive run in 2009 and 2010, when the market was boosted by a homebuyer tax credit. A number of challenges remain for the housing market, including tight access to mortgages and on-going foreclosures. Highlighting the hurdles on the path to recovery, separate government data showed the homeownership rate slipped to 65.4 percent in the fourth quarter from 65.5 percent.
32 — Vanguard, MONDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2013
Vanguard, MONDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2013 — 33
34 — Vanguard, MONDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2013
Insurance BRIEF SMEs best way out of Nigeria’s current challenges — SMEDAN boss
IRECTOR-General, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), Alhaji Mohammed Umar, has said that Nigeria’s security and unemployment challenges could be addressed with small businesses. Umar stated this in Jos at the presentation of the findings of the Enterprise Baseline Survey (EBS) 2012 Report. According to him, the current challenges are caused by “Population explosion without correspondent development of the economy. The gap between population explosion and small medium scale businesses accounts for the crises we are experiencing currently. Check every nation today; the small businesses sub-sector is the most important sub-sector. If it develops, the nation develops.” The SMEDAN boss expressed worry that much of the country’s developmental efforts were geared towards political development at the expense of the economy. “The country’s development has been concentrated on political development to the extent that one can say that we have over-developed politically which has landed us into crises. We should have given more attention to the economy, and in particular, small businesses. “No society can control the effects of population explosion if it has no small businesses to engage the youths.” Umar stated, however, that all hope was not lost as President Goodluck Jonathan’s transformation agenda had re-awakened the sub-sector for SMEs to thrive. He said that the EBS, powered by German International Cooperation (GIZ), was aimed at providing a direction towards developing the SMEs. Umar also advised the Plateau Government to make the best use of the survey to develop its private sector. “GIZ has conducted a detailed survey on SMEs. Plateau now has a reliable data and should use it to plan."
No premium, no cover: Insurers fear slow down in renewals By ROSEMARY ONUOHA
HERE are fears in the insurance sector that the ‘no premium, no cover’ directive could slow down the momentum of business renewals in the first quarter of 2013, Financial Vanguard has learnt. The slowdown in renewals, according to industry sources that choose to remain anonymous, will result from hesitation on the part of consumers that are used to renewing their policies early in the year only to pay at a later time, as has been the practice long before now. Industry sources also fear that renewals might be delayed due to the fact that some consumers could be waiting to see if insurers can really adhere to the directive. It will be recalled that the National Insurance Commission, NAICOM, mandated underwriters to commence enforcement of the ‘ no premium no cover ’ directive as stipulated in the Insurance Act, 2003, from the 1st of January this year. Although insurance consumers under the auspices of the Insurance Consumers Association of Nigeria, INSCAN, have pledged their support towards the success of the concept, operators are still
L-R: Company Secretary, Ms. Taiwo Ogunbajo; Chairman, Mr. Dere Otubu, and Managing Director/ Chief Executive Mr. Sakiru Oyefeso all of Staco Insurance Plc at the 17th Annual General Meeting of the company held recently in Ijebu Ode apprehensive. It will be recalled that INSCAN tasked insurance practitioners to establish a premium financing concept if they want the ‘no premium no cover’ directive to work. According to INSCAN, the premium financing concept as a line of business in the manner it obtains in other jurisdictions will solve the problem of outstanding premium, adding that an insurance company will be
justified to repudiate any claim as from the aforementioned date on which no premium has been paid except as provided in Sec 69 of the Insurance Act 2003 regarding third party liability claims and that an insured person need not pay the total annum premium debited at the inception of cover but the insurance company will be justified to pro-rate its cover to the extent to which the deposit premium is able to carry the risk.
Staco Insurance post N6b GPI in 2011 By RITA OBODOECHINA
TACO Insurance Plc. has recorded a Gross Premium Income, GPI, of N6.5 billion for the financial year ended December 2012. The figure represents a 23 per cent growth from N5.2 billion recorded the previous year. Addressing shareholders at the company’s annual general meeting in Ijebu Ode, Ogun State, Chairman of the company, Mr. Oritsedere Otubu, said as a result of potential investment losses in respect of certain shortterm placements, the company had to make provision for doubtful investments totaling N1.38 billion. Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the company, Mr. Sakiru Oyefeso, added that the company strives towards delivery of quality and exceptional customer service to gain competitive edge. He said, “We will continue to improve our internal processes towards meeting the standard within the industry. Continuing he said, “This we achieved through courteous staff, innovation and reliance on ICT platform to deliver prompt and efficient service delivery. Oyefeso noted that the company will also
improve its collection drive in the coming year in line with the resolve to ensure significant recovery of outstanding premium while ensuring that age analysis of debts for new transactions is reduced to the barest minimum in line with National Insurance Commission’s guideline. However, he said, “We are poised to increase our market share and sustain our position as a leading light in the insurance industry in Nigeria.” He added that the company’s marketing strategy is directed at enhancing product offerings, excellent operations and fulfilling customer’s financial needs as a company for all decision-making. “Market expansion through branch network also played a vital role in our quest to bring insurance to the doorstep of our numerous customer’s and deepen insurance penetration in the country, to this end we opened two branches in Abeokuta and Ilorin thereby bringing our branch network to nineteen” he said. As part of the company’s professional development strategy, Oyefeso disclosed that four staff were sent to the West African Insurance Institute, WAII for a professional diploma in Gambia, and not less than fifteen staff were also sent for the certificate in insurance programme in WAII.
The Association also charged insurance companies to recognise the fact that the effective date of the enforcement is 1st January 2013 and that it expects fairness, equity and good business relationship to prevail on all covers up to 31st December 2012 and thereafter. “Unless the ‘No premium no cover’ provision was endorsed on any policy document being the evidence of the contract relating to a claim before 1st January 2013 or any other endorsement to that effect, our Association will presume non–disclosure of a material fact on the part of any underwriter wishing to repudiate any legitimate claims on basis of this provision and we shall explore all legitimate means to pursue our members claims to logical conclusions. We hereby enjoin all insurance brokers in Nigeria to comply strictly with the provisions of sec. 41 (1) of the Insurance Act 2003 as regards remittance of premiums so that the interest of the insurance consumers will not be prejudiced before the underwriters,” INSCAN said. INSCAN also enjoined the insurance companies in Nigeria to comply with sec. 70 (1) of the Insurance Act 2003 on payment of claims saying that it in full support of all the recent reforms and initiatives of NAICOM in pursuit of its main duty of protecting the interest of the insurance consumers in Nigeria.
Vanguard, MONDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2013 — 35
Microinsurance to hit one billion mark by 2020 Stories by ROSEMARY ONUOHA
icroinsurance, which currently p r o v i d e s coverage to 500 million people, could pass the one billion mark by the end of the decade, Chairman of the Microinsurance Network and Head of the ILO’s Microinsurance Innovation Facility, Craig Churchill, has said. A statement by the Microinsurance Networks, said the microinsurance sector, which has shown a rapid growth over the last 10 years, is expected to double by 2020, as governments, insurance companies and providers worldwide broaden the geographic scope and range of insurance services available to low-income people. He noted that with this rapid expansion, the Microinsurance Network – an exchange and learning platform for microinsurance since 2002 – acquired its own institutional legal status in May 2012. “Becoming independent enables the Network to assume a greater leadership role in the sector, serving its mission of promoting the development and delivery of effective insurance services for low-income people,” explains the Network’s Executive Director Véronique Faber. According to her, since its inception the Network has benefited from the support of its diverse membership, the German Development Cooperation (BMZ), and particularly the Luxembourgish government which has assumed an increasingly important role in the global microinsurance sector. She added that in many developing countries, microinsurance providers are playing an important role in increasing resilience of low-income people to daily and catastrophic risks such as crop failure, illness and impact from climate change. “The expansion of the sector is being facilitated by the emergence of alternative distribution channels and public-private partnerships, the adoption of technological
innovations as well as an increased awareness amongst insurance companies of the business case for microinsurance says Eugenio Velasques from Bradesco Seguros e Previdência, one of the leading insurance companies in Brazil.
Furthermore, the development of appropriate insurance regulations and setting of standards measuring impact and client value, are playing a key role in achieving long term sustainability of the sector. Network said it will be
focusing on its four strategic outcomes in 2013 which includes increased supply; improved client value; conducive environment and enabling infrastructure, explains Ms Faber. Amongst other initiatives, this will entail the drafting of guidelines for agricultural microinsurance schemes and the compilation of lessons from health microinsurance.
From left: Jurgen Rigterink, Chief Investment Officer, Fmo; Andrew Alli, President & CEO Africa Finance Corporation; Oliver Andrews, Director & Chief Coverage Officer, Africa Finance Corporation, during the AFC FMO launch of Project Development Facility, at a ceremony held at FMO Headquarters in the Hague, Netherlands
Global pension fund assets hit $30trn G
lobal institutional pension fund assets in the 13 major markets grew by nine per cent during 2012 to reach a new high of US$30 trillion, according to Towers Watson’s Global Pension Assets Study. The growth is the continuation of a trend which started in 2009 when assets grew 17 per cent, and in sharp contrast to a 21 per cent fall during 2008 which took assets back to 2006 levels. Global pension fund assets have now grown at over seven per cent on average per annum (in USD) since 2002, when they were under half their current level. In the United States, institutional pension fund assets hit an all-time high of $16.9 trillion in 2012, having increased 10 per cent during the year.
The study reveals that the growth in assets helped to strengthen pension fund balance sheets globally during 2012. Furthermore, the ratio of global assets to GDP is just below the level reached in 2007. According to the study, pension assets now amount to 78 per cent of global GDP, which is significantly higher than the 72 per cent recorded in 2011 and substantially higher than the 61 per cent recorded in 2008. “Given the extreme economic and market volatility we have experienced during the past five years it was a relief for many pension funds to finish the year in better shape than when it started, for a change,” said Carl Hess, global head of investment at Towers Watson.
“While volatile markets are expected to continue for the foreseeable future, pension funds are now generally better equipped to deal with them. During the past five years we have seen many funds deal with their governance shortfalls and as a result a growing number of funds have either more qualified people working on their investments or they have outsourced the running of all or part of their portfolios to third parties. In addition, pension funds are implementing investment strategies that are more flexible and adaptable and which contain a broader view of risk so as to make greater allowance for extreme events,” he said.
BRIEFS Insurers should capture group business opportunities
he Managing Director RiskguardAfrica Nigeria Limited Yemi Soladoye, has urged insurance underwriters to develop products to capture business opportunities within professional groups and alliances. Soladoye said that there are enormous untapped business opportunities within professional and cultural groups which can boost the profitability of operators. He noted that the business culture of operators has stemmed the growth of the industry, adding that the operators are comfortable with going to brokers to collect cheques. He said, “The business culture of operators has not helped the situation. The operators like going to a broker to collect cheques, forgeting the fact that under the Market Development and Restructuring Initiative (MDRI) there is focus on groups and alliances. Take for an example, a group like the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), I am sure it has about 20,000 members, if an insurance company designs a product for all members of NBA, and each of them pays N10,000 in a year, that would amount to N200 million. “The cost on this type of business is always low. This and many other types of business initiatives are what the MDRI focuses, which the underwriters are slow and failed to adopt.” He noted that for the industry to thrive, the operators must embrace new trends and strengthen their retail marketing strategy.
36 — Vanguard, MONDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2013
Vanguard, MONDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2013 — 37
Governments move from lying about jobs to robbing job seekers fore any job offer was made. Bearing in mind that the N18,000 per month minimum wage was then very likely possibility, what Ohakim was proposing amounted to adding NI80 million per month, or N2.16 billion per annum, to the state’s already heavy wage bill. What was most baffling, about this birdbrain idea, was the fact that anybody visiting any Ministry in Imo State at the time, would observe hundreds of idle civil servants running down the clock everyday. Where, then, was the work for the 10,000 to do? Perhaps, something might have been done, something ill-advised undoubtedly, if Ohakim had been given a second term. His failure to secure the return ticket immediately placed the new recruits in danger. Most have since been retrenched. Meanwhile, the lucky consultant or collaborator in the scheme, was immensely enriched. The first hints that the Federal Government scam had got out of hand came to me two months ago. An unemployed graduate sent me a text message asking for assistance to pay for a slot in a ministry where vacancies existed. The sum was several hundred thousand naira – which I was promised would be repaid in less than two months because “The post is a lucrative one” – those were the exact words used. A few days after the first one, another one call was received asking for assistance to secure appointment in an-
other security outfit; and again with the promise to repay in a few months. That prompted me to undertake some checks. First, I went to find out if there were indeed vacancies in those government outfits. Second, I wanted to know what the starting salaries would be for the applicants seeking my assistance. The discoveries were as startling as the Imo scam turned out to be. In one, there were, indeed, vacancies, but all the “BIG” people in Abuja and the ruling party had sent
“Every governments is run by liars and nothing they say should be believed” I.F. Stone (VANGUARD BOOK OF QUOTATIONS p 80). The easiest racket to run in Nigeria today concerns job vacancies. Either by posters, or through adverts in newspapers or by word of mouth, scammers smile all the way to the bank offering jobs that oftentimes don’t even exist. Governments and their agencies account now for the lion’s share of this growing and lucrative crime. The scam started a long time ago; but because only a few people were involved at the federal level, it went unnoticed. Job applicants were required to pay for application forms and again to pay to attend interviews from which very few got the jobs. At the state level, the most notorious was the Imo State scam under Governor Ohakim – when applicants were asked to pay N10,000 to collect forms to undertake aptitude tests which would then be used to determine those to be engaged. I recollect calling one of Ohakim’s Senior Advisers, a respected colleague, to ask what was the reason behind what was obviously a great swindle given the number of applicants unlikely to get a job. His reply was so shocking, it took me weeks to get over it. Listen to him; “Do people expect to get jobs for nothing? After all they will be paid afterwards.” When I pointed out that not every applicant will be employed, he flared up, “That is the chance they have to take.” Till today, nobody has given a full account of how much was realised from the swindle and how much was paid into the state’s account. Even the “lucky ” few were, at first lured to appear at a campaign rally dressed in T-shirts – be-
As this column is being written, the PUNCH on January 30, 2013, pages 60 and 61, carried the pathetic story of doctors in state governments nationwide. Although, the report, by Bukola Adebayo, was titled Lagos Doctors Leaving for Saudi, Israel, it went beyond the plight of doctors in the Centre of Excellence. A statement by one of the doctors was heart-rending. According to her, “The politics involved in recruiting doctors into state government hospitals is very dirty. After my programme in LUTH, I was not
Job applicants were required to pay for application forms and again to pay to attend interviews from which very few got the jobs
in more names than there were vacancies. In the second, there was none. Yet, the heartless officials were still milking poor unemployed fellow Nigerians promising jobs that don’t exist. This sort of depravity is only possible in state and federal civil services where the Heads of Service have long since lost grip of the organisations under them. Where were the Heads of Service at Imo and the Federal Government when all these atrocities were being perpetrated? There could have been some excuses if we were confronted with “a few rotten mangoes in a basket”; but here everywhere in Nigeria, we are faced with a situation in which no state or Federal Government is clean.
retained.” Ordinarily, if the accusation was made against a non-progressive state, one would have been beating one’s chest that “It can’t happen here in Lagos.” However, because the focus was on Lagos State, it left one wondering like, Geoffrey Chaucer, 1342-1400, “If gold rusts, what then will iron do?” (VANGUARD BOOK OF QUOTATIONS p 78). The point needs to be made, repeatedly that governments alone cannot create all the jobs needed by the unemployed. What governments can do is to create a few jobs and then create the environment which will promote private, especially, small, medium and micro businesses;
which are the ultimate employers of labour. Unfortunately, virtually every government in Nigeria, at state or federal levels had declared war on “one-man” enterprises; they have also made it almost impossible for small businesses to grow. Let me explain how. Power supply is one issue which we cannot stop mentioning until the issue is laid to rest. In no other nation in the world is the responsibility for power generation assigned to the Federal Government alone. ECN, NEPA and, now, PHCN were organisations suited for the dark ages which included 20th Century Nigeria. We should have realised, more than 50 years ago, that centralising power generation was not in the national interest; neither would it support our collective aspirations to be a great economic power. Centralisation has meant that everything shuts down at once if there is a hitch in power supply. It was stupidity in the 1970s; it is economic lunacy now; and will be more insane in the future. Unfortunately, Jonathan and the state governors, all lost souls, have not yet realised that there is no point in rowing harder if your canoe is headed for a waterfall. Let us remove Lagos from the national grid and give it to three or four private power providers and suddenly one state will soon be enjoying the elusive uninterrupted free power supply. Then, the jobs we talk about can be created – not before.
Dana Air to resume Port Harcourt operations soon By DANIEL ETEGHE
HE management of Dana Airline last week disclosed its plans to resume flight operations on the Lagos-Port-Harcourt route in the next two weeks. Speaking to newsmen in his office, Head of Corporate Communications, Dana Airline, Mr. Tony Usidamen affirmed that plans were on top gear to re-open the airline’s offices in Port-
Harcourt in preparation for the commencement of its flight operations into the oil-rich region. “I can confirm to you that in about two weeks time, we should be resuming operations to Port-Harcourt city, plans are also on the way to resume operations to the other cities we fly to, in Uyo, Calabar but specific date will be announce in due course, it is our desire to take our quality services to all of these other cities, a lot of our loyal passengers on that route have
already sent in several mails, several requests asking us to come back.” According to him, since the resumption of Dana Air ’s operations on January 4, 2013, the rate of passengers’ patronage of the airline has been encouraging adding that he was very happy that the airline was back in the skies providing that quality services that Dana Air has become renowned for in the past four years. Mr. Usidamen, however, not-
ed that the airline would phase out the MD’s 83 aircraft and replace them with newer generation aircraft stressing that talks were on with Boeing and Airbus to ascertain the kind of aircraft the airline would finally settle for. “We are talking to different suppliers at the moment, Boeing and Airbus and shortly we will reach a decision as to which aircraft manufacturer we will go with, so in the coming months, we
will be able to add to our current fleet and over time, we are going to phase out the Mac Donnald Douglas MD’s 83 aircraft and we will replace them with newer generation aircraft,” he affirmed. Commenting on the greatest loss of the airline since the ill-fated crash took place in Iju-Shaga area of Lagos, the Head of Corporate Communication stressed that the greatest loss to the airline was the loss of over 153 passengers onboard its aircraft
38 — Vanguard, MONDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2013
FAAN, AIC land tussle: Security takes precedence By LAWANI MIKAIRU
HERE was major disagreement recently between the officials of Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN and A.I.C Limited owned by Chief Harry Akande over the land for the construction of A.I.C Hilton Hotel at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos. The question every-
body has been asking is what should take precedence: the profit motive of an individual or the collective security of the nation’s airport and its users? Vanguard was at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, (MMIA), Lagos and witnessed when officials of A.I.C Limited chased out FAAN officials from the landed property which was concessioned
to it to build the A.I.C Hilton Hotel in 1998. It was further gathered that FAAN had illegally broken into the landed property by destroying the fence and the gate house built by A.I.C Limited on the land against subsisting court order. After chasing the officials of FAAN out of the land, A.I.C officials erected the fence that was hitherto broken by FAAN which gave the
agency the opportunity of using the land as a VIP car park for sometime. Speaking to Vanguard, General Manager, Administration and Business Development, Chief Niyi Akande who spoke on behalf of the international business mogul, who was also present at the site, Chief Harry Akande said that A.I.C Limited got a bid from FAAN on February
17, 1998 to build an A.I.C Hilton Hotel in a concession agreement spanning 50 years but added that FAAN came all of a sudden to disrupt the project while the construction work was in progress which was against the initial agreement entered into by both parties. According to Chief Akande, both parties have been in the Federal High Court which
ruled in favour of A.I.C Limited restraining FAAN from taking over the landed property. He said; ”By bid that was dated 17 th February 1998, FAAN gave us a 50 years lease on this land stretching all the way down for the construction of our international fivestar hotel that will be connected to the airport terminal, this portion is where it is supposed to link the terminal and it has been peaceful since that time. But at a time when FAAN decided to determine the lease, we challenged it at the Federal High Court, you know they chased our men off the site around 2000, 2001, so we went to court and at the Federal High Court, Justice R.O. Nwodo gave an interlocutory injunction.’’ But the General Manager, Corporate Communications of FAAN, Mr. Yakubu Dati, said that the land being claimed by A.I.C Limited rightly belongs to FAAN. He said; “We wish to state in unequivocal terms that the parcel of land in question which is situated beside the international airport belongs to the authority and not to any concessionaire as claimed. About a decade ago, a concessionaire had requested for land for the development of a hotel and such was granted. ”However the transaction was subsequently enmeshed in controversy which resulted in arbitration. The arbitrator awarded damages to the said concessionaire while the land remained FAAN property. The concessionaire cannot therefore exercise legal right over the land but can pursue their interest i.e. monetary compensation as contained in the arbitrator award. The Lagos airport premises and land situated therein are sole property of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and by their location are of security significance,” he added. The head of Directorate of Legal Services of FAAN , Mr Mark Jacobs. has justified the withdrawal of the concession saying it did so for security reasons.
Vanguard, MONDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2013 — 39
Small scale tr ader trader aderss lament demolition of ssttalls Stories by OBUH PROVIDENCE
mall scale traders, selling wares under the bridge at the popular tradefair complex, has lamented over the demolition of their Kiosk, The demolition was carried out penultimate week by officials of the Kick Against Indiscipline (KAI) at “under bridge” bus stop, outside the trading complex along Badagry express way. A trader, Mr. Francis Onyekachi told financial Vanguard that there was no official notice to the demolition, “even though the State Government has in 2009 ordered the demolition of shops at bus stops.” With a wife and five children to cater for, Onyekachi said that he was not against the demolition, but that the government should make provision for shops for the poor masses before taking such steps. According to him, “It is sad that we have a government who do not make provision for the people before asking them to evacuate their shops, and that is the system of government we are running in Nigeria and is a very bad thing. We are over one million and everybody can not pay for shop, we have to trade in places like this to feed our
family, they should make provisions for us by providing a place for us to sell, then we can leave the road. “Most of us do not have money left in our homes, we believe on a daily business to feed our family, the development is affecting us, affecting our families, because everyone trading here has a family, I have five children, is affecting business because we can not shade our wares, hence we do not know what will happen next. “There was no official notice that such a thing is going to be done within a space of time like this, though some people said that they heard over the Radio, but not everybody were opportune to get the information, we just saw the KAI officials, after shading our market, before we knew it, demolition started everywhere, that is how we rushed and packed our goods.” In addition, he said that the order was from the Lagos State government, Alausa, the Governors office, stating, “ way back in 2009, a similar destruction was carried out all over Lagos by the State Government that the shops of all those selling at the bus stop be destroyed.” Another woman in her late fifties, identified as Mrs. Rachael appealed to the government to allow them, owning to the fact that they
earn their living with the shops.“The government should allow us because this is where we get our daily bread, we do no have any other place, many of us here are widows, no husband and this place is the last hope of so many people. We were not given prior notice, I was sleeping when somebody came knocking and asking me to pack my things, which I did but they refuse me from carrying my table, they
destroy all our table, they did not destroy our goods, but the fish I bought for sale is breeding maggot because I could not sell them as a result of the demolition, it has started spoiling,” she said. However, most of the traders, especially the market leaders contacted, refused to grant interview to the press, but maintained that they were not going to quit, except the state gives them an alternative to keep their body and soul.
Ekiti, ICAN for corruption free society conference ... Appoints acting registrar/CEO
he Government of Ekiti State is set to partner with the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) to promote a corruption-free society through advocacy of cashless economy. Also the Institute has appointed Mr. Olusoji Olumide Odukoya as its Acting Registrar/Chief Executive following the retirement of Mr. Olutoyin Adeagbo Adepate on January 7, 2013, as the appointment, which was approved by the Council of the Institute, took effect January, 14, 2013. Prior to his appointment, he was Deputy Registrar, administrative services The conference tagged Ekiti 2013 with theme, “Promoting a Corruptionfree Society through a Cashless Economy – The Role of Chartered Accountants” is scheduled to hold at the Bimbo Owolabi
Hall, Afe Babalola University Ikare Road, Ado-Ekiti from Monday, February 11 to Thursday, February 14, 2013. According to ICAN, the
conference is expected to feature State Governors, professionals, stakeholders, business men and women in the country, among others. To deliver the lead paper on the topic, promoting a
Corruption–free Society through a Cashless Economy – The Role of Chartered Accountants, is Professor Taiwo Asaolu of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State.
Interswitch records N35bn growth in 10yrs, sees oppor tunity in Nigeria opportunity
nterswitch Limited, Nigeria’s leading integrated payment and transaction processing company, has in 10 years recorded a growth of N35,000 ,000 ,000, just as it marks 10 years of existence in the country. Also, the company has revealed that Nigeria has many mineral resources beyond oil and gas. “This country is blessed with so much endowment, and when we talk of endowment we think of oil and gas, but the greatest endowment that we have in this country is not oil and gas but people, not about number but quality,” Mr.
Adedotun Sulaiman, Chairman Interswitch stated. In his remarks at the “Interswitch 10 years of innovation anniversary dinner, Sulaiman said that the company started operations with N200 million in 2002, saying, “We have grown to N25 billion two years ago, and today that N25,000,000,000 have grown to N35,000,000,000, it is a remarkable thing. Interswitch started with N200 million and in 10 years, we have never borrowed a penny, eight years later we got valuation of N26 billion, that gives the magnitude of business that we can generate here.
“One thing about Nigeria is that there are many things that are wrong with this country, everything is down, nothing is working, but the truth is that, those things that are wrong with Nigeria are the very things that create the opportunities for us to create a market in Interswitch.” On the anniversary, he pointed that the company is celebrating three things, which includes, concept, that is vision, secondly the Nigerian youth, young people, attributed to have built Interswitch and lastly, the country which according to him, created the market for the company.
BRIEFS AITEC Banking & Mobile Money W/A holds in Lagos
frican Information & Communication Technology Exhibition & Conference (AITEC) Banking & Mobile Money West Africa has been scheduled to hold in Lagos between March 13 and 14, 2013. The two days conference has as theme: “Consolidating and Monetizing the Gains of Innovation” The event will focus on trends and challenges in mobile banking, regional banking, regulation, the role of microfinance institutions, international standards and Islamic banking practices. AITEC is an event m a n a g e m e n t , publishing, professional development and training firm with offices in Kenya and the UK. Founded in 1987, its goal is to spread knowledge of the internet, computing and telecommunications arenas across Englishspeaking Africa.
Minister: more bank branches set to be opened in rural areas Tanzanians living in peripherals will be reached more efficiently for financial services as the government works on final details of setting up more than 20 financial institution branches across the country. Deputy Finance Minister, Saada Mkuya told the parliament here on Monday when responding to a question by Nanyumbu lawmaker, Danstan Daniel Mkapa, who wanted to know when the National Microfinance Bank (NMB) branch of Mangaka will be fully operational in all working days in a week. “NMB established its small branch in Mangaka, Nanyumbu district in September 2011 and used to offer services three days a week, which is Monday, Wednesday and Friday as the bank was working on the business trend of the area,” the minister said.
40 — Vanguard, MONDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2013
Appointment & Promotion email@example.com 08033348923
BRIEFS Dragnet appoints Mediacraft its PR agency
DRAGNET Solutions, a computer-based testing and talent management firm, has appointed Mediacraft Associates as its Public Relations, PR, agency. This appointment, according to Dragnet’s Managing Director, Mr. Robert Ikazoboh, was a significant step in establishing the company as Nigeria’s most advanced computer-based testing company as well as a leading provider in technology based screening and integrity solutions. He said: “Without a doubt, we are Nigeria’s fastest growing computerbased testing and talent management company. In five years, we have grown to establish ourselves as a force to be reckoned with in computer based tests and examinations; technology based people screening solutions; erecruitment as well as scholarship and bursary management. Despite all our achievements, we remain driven to move to the next level. That is why we decided to engage the services of one of the most professional PR and IMC companies in the country. Also speaking on the development, Mr. John Ehiguese, Chief Executive Officer, CEO of Mediacraft Associates, said his firm was excited at the prospect of working with Dragnet Solutions that he describes as a young, vibrant and innovative brand with a vision of revolutionizing processes and systems.
Omisore bags Ph.D
ORMER deputy governor of Osun State and one time chairman of the Appropriation Committee of the Senate, Chief Iyiola Omisore, has bagged a doctoral degree of the International School of Management, Paris. According to a statement made available to the media, Omisore successfully defended a dissertation on Infrastructure Finance and International Business Management, with core specialty in Public-Private Partnership. The former deputy governor had enrolled for the program in April 2007, and defended his thesis on January 15.
Mohammed assumes office at Apapa Port N
asir Mohammed has assumed duty as Port Manager of the nation’s premiere port, the Lagos Port Complex, LPC, Apapa. Before taking over, Mohammed was introduced to stakeholders made up of representatives of shipping companies, shipping agencies, stevedoring companies, terminal operators and clearing agents at the port by the outgoing Port Manager, Mr. Joshua Asanga. The new Port Manager was also introduced to other members of the port community and representatives of government agencies including the Nigeria Customs Service and Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA staff at the port. After the introductions, Asanga expressed confidence in the ability of his successor to elevate the status of the premiere port and take its operations to greater heights, saying “I have had the opportunity of working closely with him and I was quite delighted about his appointment because I know
*Mr. Nasir Anas Mohammed (right), taking over from Mr. Joshua Asanga as Port Manager, Lagos Port Complex Apapa that he will do a very good port of running the port and he is quite aware of the strategic importance of the port to the nation’s economy.” Speaking, the new Port Manager, who described his predecessor as a selfless public officer, thanked him for the “ wonderful job” done at the port over the past five
years, saying, “the Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority, Mallam Habib Abdullahi, has a vision for the organisation and for our ports. I am here with a clear mandate from the MD and that mandate includes rendering effective customer service. So I am here to ensure that we improve on our
operations and processes. We will try to make the port much more efficient and responsive to our customers. Service is our watchword.” Before his appointment as Port Manager, Mohammed was Head, Servicom Unit at NPA headquarters. He had earlier served as Assistant General Manager Administration – combining the duties with his Servicom responsibilities. A Political Science graduate of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, he also obtained M.Sc International Relations & Strategic Studies from the University of Jos. The new manager has attended several trainings on maritime operations within and outside Nigeria including the National University of Singapore where he bagged a Graduate Diploma in Maritime & Port Management. He has chaired and served on several Committees including the Port Industry Anticorruption Standing Committee where he was the pioneer publicity subcommittee chairman.
GTBank bags award for Excellence in Health, Education
ANAGEMENT of College of Medicine University Teaching Hospital, CMUL, Idiaraba Lagos, has honoured Guaranty Trust Bank, GTBank with its award for excellence as part of activities to mark the college’s 50thAnniversary. CMUL explained the award was in recognition of the bank’s contribution towards improving education and health of Nigerians. In the educational sector, GTB has initiated what is known as “Adopt”, a programme aimed at improving child education by identifying, adopting renovating/rehabilitating dilapidated public school nationwide. Through the Orange Brightest and Best Campaign, the bank organised and supported the Orange Quiz competition, Train – the teacher seminars and the library education project among others. In health, GTBank has a programme aimed at improving healthcare at the grass root and support for neglected health challenges such as autism, cancer, sickle cell, psychiatry, and other child INANCIAL Markets health initiative like the Stop Dealers Association, Hunger in Nigeria project. FMDA, has elected a new Presenting the award to the seven-member governing bank, the Vice-Chancellor, council to run the affairs of Professor Shade Ogunsola, who noted GTB's contribution in educational and health sectors, encouraged the bank to help reposition the college for excellence. Ogunsola said the college was developing a curriculum that would be more impactful, saying the school needed strategic partners like GTBank to make it a success. According to him, “Facilities in the school have decayed over the years and will need to be rebuilt. We have recognised your contribution already in the education and health sector. We implore you to work with the college to improve quality healthcare personnel.” *Adegbesan
*From left; Dr. Sunny Kuku, Chairman, 50th Anniversary Committee, Prof. Folashade Ogunsola, Provost, College of Medicine, University of Lagos and Mr. Babatunde Sipe, Corporate Communications & External Affairs Executive, GTBank during the presentation of the Award of Excellence in Health & Education to the bank by the college.
FMDA elects new governing council F
the association for the next two years. In the s t election held at the 2 1 D e l e g a t e s Conference\Annual General Meeting, in Lagos, while Mr. Sola Adegbesan of StanbicIBTC was elected president, Mrs. Sumbo Adigun of GTBank was elected vice-president. A statement by ‘Abe, Secretary/Chief Executive Officer, CEO, of FMDA, named other elected members as Mr. Ayo Babatunde from Ecobank as member, Mr. Zeal Akaraiwe of Standard Chartered, as member, Mr. Akin Dawodu from Citibank as an ex-officio member, Mrs. ‘Femi Owopetu of Consolidated Discounts Ltd as an ex-officio member and Mr. Ini Ebong of First Bank as another ex-officio member.
According to the statement “the Association would like to thank all its member institutions for their continued support and assistance over the years. We wish to reiterate that the Association will continue to uphold its objectives, especially the selfregulatory role of providing rules, guidelines and codes of ethical and professional practice as well as market development. The Association would also continue to work with its member institutions, the regulatory authorities and other key stakeholders in ensuring the deepening of the various segments of the Nigerian financial markets in line with global standards that will make the country a first choice of investment destination in Africa.”
Vanguard, MONDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2013 — 41
People in Business
PIB is the foundation on which we can build this nation – Joseph Ezigbo By EBELE ORAKPO
rofessor Joseph Chukwurah Ezigbo is the Managing Director of Falcon Petroleum Limited, a company which provides a range of oil and gas engineering, design and consultancy services. In this chat with Financial Vanguard, the professor of medical parasitology and university lecturer tells the story of Falcon Petroleum, challenges of doing business in Nigeria, and says that Nigeria has no business flaring gas, adding that without the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), Nigeria will not really make progress. Excerpts:
Birth of Falcon Petroleum: ot one given to just talking, criticising and grumbling about situations without proffering solutions, Prof. Ezigbo went into action. “That situation spurred me basically to move into oil and gas. Again, I married a woman who has a flair for business and together, we partnered because we both have different sides to business. I tend to see a lot of what is happening and want to invest in them all but she has the capability to rein my excitement into business. So we teamed up in 1994 to create what is today, Falcon Petroleum. Initially, the company was to go into lubricants production but within that period, the tendency to explore gas business became paramount and we went into gas. We tried
everything possible to start gas distribution at Aba but for some reason, it failed. However, I think that is where I see the hand of God because we failed in getting Aba but when Gaslink started its gas distribution in Lagos, we moved our offices from Port Harcourt to Lagos and we were the only indigenous company that did internal piping and conversion of facilities for natural gas, so our forays into oil and gas started as an internal pipeline company. The first company to fire on natural gas then was Cadbury under the franchise of Gaslink. We did the internal piping for Cadbury,” he said. So far, Falcon has succeeded in building over 90 per cent of all the conversions for industries to fire on natural gas within Lagos. “When Shell Gas came on at Agbara and Otta, we also converted over 70 per
Motivation: rofessor Joseph Ezigbo is a former medical parasitology lecturer at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. “While at the university, I was fortunate to be appointed as a director at the Central Investment Company by Colonel Robert Akonobi, the then Governor of old Anambra State. During that period, I had the opportunity to review the investment opportunities in the country; I also visited Port Harcourt severally and saw the wastage of Nigeria’s gas. I think it is criminal that a country like Nigeria should flare about $2.2 billion everyday and as we speak, we are still flaring $2.2 billion a day. It is totally unacceptable. I went into gas business when I saw the wastage which is unprecedented anywhere in the world because no country will allow its oil and gas sector to flare the volume of gas we flare in Nigeria,” he said.
*Prof. Ezigbo...The challenges are huge but when you persist and believe in your God, then all things are possible. Journey so far: he Falcon Petroleum boss said the company has expanded its scope and reach and today, “from the initial 10 kilometres of gas infrastructure we established in Ikorodu, we have about 28 30 kilometres and from the seven initial companies we were delivering gas to, it has grown from 2006 to 17 industries today and we are still counting. Once you taste
But for the bureaucracy in government, there is no reason why we shouldn’t have gas pipelines running through the entire nation; they should have been everywhere and flares would have been a thing of the past
cent of the companies in Agbara and Otta to fire on natural gas. In 2002, Ikorodu became available so we bid for Ikorodu amongst other companies and we won the franchise. After a lot of arguments, the then President Obasanjo instructed that the franchise be given to Falcon Petroleum. It took us from 2002 to 2004 to get the award and within nine months, we delivered our first gas to Spintex and a host of other companies in Ikorodu,” Ezigbo stated.
gas, you will not leave it because the savings over diesel and low pour fuel oil can be incredible. We are trying to grow the company as much as we can and extend gas utilisation to as many companies as possible so as to reduce the amount of gas Nigeria flares on a daily basis with its environmental implications, the financial wastages and the degradation within the Niger-Delta region.” Way forward: he way forward is to
give Nigerians the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB). There are arguments everywhere against and for the PIB. What we should do first of all is to enact the PIB as it is and then we can see how it is functioning. We can then see what areas need a change, we can now sit down as a group and decide to amend, modify, change or restructure the PIB but as it is at the moment, the amount of money that this country is losing on a daily basis, the pollution going on in the Niger-Delta, the number of people disenfranchised from getting their dues, the volume of corruption in the system, these are things that if we put the PIB in place, it will reduce to the barest minimum. Without the PIB, there is no way we can get back to the basics. The PIB is central. It is the bedrock, the foundation on which we can build this nation.” Challenges: rof. Ezigbo named unavailability of levelplaying field in the oil and gas industry, lack of policies and lack of finance, as some of the challenges. “It took us three and a half years to wade through government bureaucracy in acquiring the licence and it took the President to put his foot down to give us that franchise. Having gotten the franchise, it
took us another six months to get the finances to run it because the banks were willing but they said we should pay for the licence and then they can fund our operations. But then, imagine a young company at that point in time having to cough up close to N80 million for the licence. We thank Capital Alliance for partnering with us to pick up the licence. They saw our engineering capability in delivering the project and also what it will do to the economy so they partnered with us to get the licence and then the banks came to our rescue and we were able to deliver the project within months.” He noted that because there are no policies guiding gas business in the country, “it becomes so difficult for one to get things done. But for the bureaucracy in government, there is actually no reason why we shouldn’t have gas pipelines running through the entire nation. They should have been everywhere and flares would have been a thing of the past and industries would have followed gas lines. That would have meant that there should have been industrial explosion in Nigeria because once they follow gas lines, you find industries everywhere and Nigeria’s teeming millions will be employed and there won’t be poverty and youth restiveness because once you engage these people, the chances that people will think evil is slim so that is the major thing. The challenges are huge but when you persist and believe in your God, then all things are possible. It is not because we are too smart but because we believe. I have faith in this country and I know this country is going somewhere,” he enthused. Giving back to society: Prof. Ezigbo praised the Lagos State Government and Ikorodu people for providing a peaceful atmosphere for the company to operate. As a result, the company decided to reciprocate. So apart from building them a town hall and repairing a 1.2km road within the area, they also came up with the Train a woman, train a nation project in which 48 women were selected from across Ikorodu. “This is the first batch of the people we are going to train in different vocations - dress-making, cakemaking, events planning etc.. It’s going to be a three-month intensive training, then they go for one month industrial attachment after which we give them starter packs to enable them set up their businesses. We will also look at the men and the youths and partner with them in any way possible,” he said.
42 — Vanguard, MONDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2013
Nigeria’s Fatima Ademoh wins Rockefeller’s $100k farming competition BY UDUMA KALU
igeria’s Fatima Ademoh has won the 2012 Rockefeller Foundation Innovation Challenge Competition in the “Farming Now” section. Ajima Farms and General Enterprises Nigeria Ltd. was awarded a grant to implement a project based on a proposal by Ms.Ademoh. Ademoh’s project aims primarily to promote youth participation in agriculture in Nigeria. Worth $100,000, the grant by The Rockefeller Foundation will enable Youth Agro Entrepreneur (YAE) to rebrand farming as a viable, profitable profession for a new generation of farmers. A press release from the the youth group to Vanguard says. YAE will be a social enterprise incubator that will teach youth the agricultural practices and business skills required to support the development of youth-led agricultural enterprises
Benue farmers want early distribution of inputs
armers in Benue during the week called on the state government to ensure early distribution of agricutural inputs this year. The farmers made the demand in separate interviews in Makurdi. They urged the government to procure and distribute the inputs ahead of each year’s farming season for maximum usage. They said that fertiliser, herbicides, tractors and implements as well as improved seedlings should be made available to them before the commencement of cultivation, to boost agriculture in the state. In his comments, the state Coordinator of All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Mr Kunti Adamu, claimed that since 2008, farmers could not to get good yields due to the late application of fertiliser or no application at all.
Most farmers don't understand what NIRSAL is all about — Faniyi D
r. Olufemi Faniyi is a Veterinary Medicine graduate of the Usman Dan fodio University, Sokoto with Diploma in Poultry Husbandry, Feed Manufacturing and H a t c h e r y Management from the world famous Barneveld (IPC Livestock) College in Holland. He is the Second Vice President of the World Poultry Science Association, Nigeria branch, the National Vice President of the Poultry Association of Nigeria and the immediate past chairman of the body in Ogun state. In this interview with JIMOH BABATUNDE, he shares his views on the country’s agriculture and the poultry industry concluding that the government needs to do more than the current ‘noise’. Here is an excerpt . On the assessment of the agricultural industry in the last one year It has all been noise and that is exactly what it is. Noise in most cases is nothing useful and that is what it is all about. Unfortunately, despite the best efforts of the current minister, in my opinion, only very few part of agriculture has actually benefited. I can name those areas that have benefited as rice, cotton, and fertilizers. Largely speaking, agriculture in its broadest term is still not enjoying what the noise is worth. Let me give you some example. The Commercial Agriculture Loan that was instituted by the Obasanjo regime has been discontinued. It was a single digit loan for large commercial farmers. Even with that program itself, farmers were not that happy as it excluded a lot of people, because farmers need to have assets worth over N200million or N300million, I am not too sure now excluding land , so it means your land is not valuable and the most valuable thing a farmer has is his land . If you are excluding land from his valuation, you are already taking a big slice of his valuation , so it affected a lot of farmers. Though, it has now been discontinued, there is another one called the
•Olufemi Faniyi Nigerian Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL). Honestly, I don’t even understand it. As I am talking to you, I don’t know of any farmer that has assessed it as the program is not clear. I was in Abuja when it was launched, but was more confused than before the launch. The very simple thing that people do all over the world is to register genuine farmers. Visit their facilities, look at their track records, give single
The best thing is to look at the farmers, register them, look at their proven records and give them moratorium
digit loans and give them healthy moratorium. If for example, I do oil palm, I have 90 hectare of oil palm farm, this is my fifth year and just getting first oil that is in commercial quantity, before then it was just trickle. If I get a loan, obviously it should be something that will give me between three – four years moratorium. For chicken farming, you are looking at about two years, depending on what you are doing. You don’t give somebody in agriculture three - four months moratorium. At that
stage he has not even finished putting infrastructure on ground. Let me say this clearly, we are not asking for hand outs, we are not asking for free funds. This is a business, we are just asking that you make the environment friendly for us by providing assess to loans for genuine farmers, provide extension workers to go round to lecture people on latest technology. I think by the time they review properly the GDP of this country, they will discover that agriculture will start falling in terms of 40% it is contributing to GDP, because people are getting disenchanted as most of us are not operating at full capacity, because of the uncertainty of the agriculture business. The best thing is to look at the farmers, register them, look at their proven records and give them moratorium . They talk of registering farmers, nobody has registered me, I am a farmer. I cultivate cassava and palm oil, nobody has registered me. Luckily, I know people in the ministry, whenever I tell them, all they say is that we will get there. I am sure if they are going to give their GSM phones tomorrow, I am sure they are not going to give me, because I am not on their data list. On government claims to have given palm seedlings to farmers Nobody gave me any seedlings, nobody came to me and I am in major oil palm plantation area in Ipokia Local government area of Ogun state. Major personalities in this country have oil palm plantation in this area. You
will not believe it that most of us get our machinery from Benin Republic. We buy machinery to crush our oil, it tells you in a simple manner how things are. The government has a tractor which you can hire. In that place, the government has just one tractor. We all have to queue to have this one tractor and it is so exorbitant. They charge about N50, 000 per hectare. On the prospect for agriculture this year I am not very confident that there will be any remarkable change. I am aware there is going to be an increase in the price of food, for example as I am speaking to you now, a ton of maize delivered to me in my farm is about N65 per ton and this is January. What happened is that once they harvest and it dries up by November to December price is at its lowest and gradually picks up. It picks up in June. So last year, the highest price was say N62 and that was June. This is January and already N65. So, you can imagine what happens in June when the grain stocks start finishing. Don’t forget we had flood in some part of this country last year , though they said they had harvested maize before the flood, but tell me if people don’t have rice , cassava, the pressure will be on the available crops. If the government says there will not be food scarcity as there are some food items that were not affected by the flood, it is not very right because if you can’t get local rice to eat, you will naturally move to what is available for you to buy On the relationship between maize and poultry feed It does have a relationship. Let me give you an example, six years ago, a bag of layer mash was N920 , I was selling a create of egg for N600, but today the same bag of feed is N2200 and yet, I am selling my egg for just N650 per create. Look at the wide gap in the feed and the difference in price of egg, so what does that tell you. The challenge is that most of us have invested so much in the business that it is difficult for us to pull out. That is why I said most of us are scared of putting our money back into the business, which is not good for agriculture. I should be able to re-invest in my business.
Vanguard, MONDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2013 — 43
*From left: Minister of State, Dr. Samuel Ortom, Minister of Trade and Investment, Olusegun Aganga and Canadian Minister of International Trade, Edward Fast, during the NigeriaCanada Bilateral Commission held in Abuja
Entrepreneurs laud Diamond Bank’s schemes for MSME sector STORIES BY FRANKLIN ALLI
ntrepreneurs from different parts of the country have lauded Diamond Bank PLC for its arrays of schemes supporting the Micro Small Medium Entrepreneurs (MSME) sector in the country. The entrepreneurs are Mr. Yusuf Kolawale, Creative Director of the bespoke label ‘KolaKuddus Couture,’ Mrs. Yemisi Imasi Victoria, CEO of Yellow-Point Media; Mrs. Alice Umoh Oluwaseun, founder of Switbud Global Service Limited-a Confectionary Company; Mr. Tope Osuntokun, Super Yarsh Toilet & Sanitary Services is a green social entrepreneur that provides public toilet and bathroom Services and Mr. Okpe Tobenna Charles, an Enugu-based farmer. The bank’s schemes for the MSME sector include the Diamond BusinessXpress Seminar, where entrepreneurs come to learn new ways of running successful businesses; Diamond BusinessClinic, where they get a one-on-one chance to meet with consultants in various business fields and the Diamond BusinessXpress Club which affords entrepreneurs the opportunity to network and exchange business ideas; the now running ‘Building Entrepreneurs Today’ (BET) programme, series two, is designed to teach budding entrepreneurs various skills for running profitable businesses. It is a threephased Entrepreneur Management Training programme. In the first phase, 50
entrepreneurs who were selected from a host of applicants undergo a 30-day intensive Entrepreneurial Management Training. In the second phase, 15 top entrepreneurs are selected and undergo a Business Development Support programme; while in the third phase, five outstanding entrepreneurs are selected for the Next Level Award and are presented with N3 million
grant each as seed money for their businesses and a nine month Support Service Provision by Diamond Bank. Yemisi Imasi Victoria, a former broadcaster with Channels Television, who is presently the Chief Executive Officer of Yellow-Point Media said: “I’m really grateful to the organisers and sponsors of the programme because they have enhanced my capacity and ability to operate
as an entrepreneur not just on the local level but also on the international scene.” “I went into business about one and a half-year ago and they have really helped me to improve my turnover with this training.” She called on other corporate organisations to emulate what Diamond Bank and Pan African University are doing by exposing budding entrepreneurs to programmes that will enhance their capacity. Okpe Tobenna Charles, CEO of Enugu based Noble Farm said, “I feel that I’m getting better. It’s one year and one month of hard work that has just paid off ”. Deep down inside me, I was filled with suspense when they invited me for the event because they kept the result of the five awardees secret. “When I left Enugu, I said that I have worked hard and the other 14 participants have equally worked hard and so any of us could have been the five that would win but the Good Lord should make me one of the awardees. I really appreciate it. I have been in this business of poultry farming for close to seven years now and my plans to expand to other aspect of agricultural business in the future would become a reality thanks to Diamond Bank.”
Persec urges Weight & Measure inspectors to deliver
he Permanent Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Trade and Investment, Mr. Dauda Kigbu has charged inspectors of Weights and Measures in the country to ensure that they perform their statutory responsibilities creditably. Mr. Kigbu made the call when he declared open the quarterly Assembly of inspectors of weights and measures at the Ministry’s headquarters, weekend, in Abuja. Declaring open the Assembly, Mr. Kigbu reminded the participants that the most vital and spirited component in the development of the principles of Legal Metrology in Nigeria and the enforcement of its extant laws and regulations. He pointed out that indeed, given the novelty and the technicality of Legal Metrology in Nigeria, it was of essence that inspectors who represent the finest and skilled of the profession today should come together at least once every quarter to appraise the challenges and prospects facing weights and measures. The Permanent Secretary said already a review of the
table of fees was underway which was expected to reduce the current friction between the inspectors and their client. He also announced that 30 Assistant Inspectors have been employed while employment of a further 200 inspectors has reached advanced stage at the Federal Civil Service Commission. Similarly, he said, efforts were underway to secure capacity building programmes abroad for weights and measures officers from various foreign and national institutions. He therefore charged the officers to work hard to ensure economic equity,
transparency and uniformity in commercial transactions in all sectors. The Director, Weights and Measures Alhaji Bashir Zoro explained that the quarterly Assembly of the inspectors of Weights and Measures was the highest advisory body in the Department. He stressed the importance of the Assembly in the formulation of policy in the sphere of Legal Metrology in Nigeria as it derives from the fact that it comprises of all inspectors of Legal Metrology in the headquarters, and these depending in the field at various states of the Federation.
WEMPCO set for cans production to discourage importation Western Metal Products Company Limited (WEMPCO) says it would soon commence the production of packaging materials (cans) for the dairy, brewery and food processed industry. “We are currently getting materials for the production of milk and beer cans in the country, rather than encouraging importation, the company is presently working on developing cans for the processed drinks and food to cater for local demands rather than continuing to encourage importation of cans into the country,” said the Group Managing Director of the company, Lewis Tung. “Many farmers are complaining of low utilisation of their farm produce. However, if processing plants were developed, combined with production of cans in the country rather than continued importation of such, the return on investment in the agricultural sector would improve.
BRIEFS LCCI reels out impacts of 12% MPR on business BY NAOMI UZOR
he Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has reeled out the likely negative impacts of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)'s 12 percent monetary policy rate on the business community, saying cash is the life blood of business. In a release by the Director General, Mr. Muda Yusuf, said retaining the current regime of tight monetary policy is likely to depress economic activities such as low sales, weak consumer demand, huge inventories by manufacturers, liquidity squeeze and tight cash flow conditions in the economy; high cost of funds which impede competitiveness of firms, high risk of loan defaults, poor access to credit, weak financial inclusion, limited capacity of firms to retain or create new jobs, crowding out of domestic investors by foreign investors and influx of hot money into the economy.
Distillers urge action against ethanol depots
he Distillers and Blenders sub group of Manufacturers Association of Nigeria says governments must not allow ethanol depots to spring up in every nook and cranny of the country without control. In a statement, Executive Secretary of the Association, Aare Fatai Odesile, said ethanol is supposed to be a controlled product because apart from using it to blend, it is used as diesel. “ We are asking government to restrict the use of ethanol to only trademark owners manufacturers who are NAFDAC registered and who have premises that have been inspected and certified for Good Manufacturing Practice(GMP); those are people that ethanol should be sold to.
44 — Vanguard, MONDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2013
ICT BRIEF Stanbic IBT C of IBTC offfer erss discount on DS DSTT V Mobile through MobileMoney
ajor sponsor of the AFCON 2013 tournament, Standard Bank and Stanbic IBTC Bank which represents Standard Bank in Nigeria, is in partnership with DStv Mobile to offer discounted rates on the DStv Mobile devices to its new and existing customers through MobileMoney. According to the Managing Director, MultiChoice Nigeria, Mr. John Ugbe soccer fans will enjoy all 32 matches from the 5 host cities of the tournament as they will be broadcast live on DStv Mobile. Also, General Manager DStv, Mr. Mayo Okunola, explained that the Stanbic IBTC Bank offer on the Drifta device is going for a very low rate of N11, 000, the Drifta USB at N7, 000; the Walka 3.5 is going at an amazing rate of N15 000; the iDrifta will be sold at N8,000 while the latest Walka 7 device is going for N17,000. All purchased devices come with three months free subscription as well as two dedicated SuperSport channels for the AFCON live matches. MobileMoney from Stanbic IBTC Bank is a mobile payment account, introduced for the customer ’s convenience which takes away the need to carry cash with you. You can purchase various products, make transfers, buy airtime, pay your bills, and get a free debit card. Meanwhile Head, E l e c t r o n i c Business, Stanbic IBTC Bank; Thabo Makoko, said that “MobileMoney is banking on the go and we trust that this partnership with DStv Mobile will make it easier and more affordable to purchase the products while giving soccer fans the convenience to watch the African Cup Of Nation games as well as their favorite TV shows, anytime and anywhere”.
STORIES BY PRINCE OSUAGWU
igeria seems to be having two major problems as far as internet penetration is concerned. One is that of low penetration, another is poor women participation on the web. Recently, the Minister of Communications Technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson lamented that Internet penetration was still low in the country. She was astonished that over 7.78 terabyte of internet capacity was lying untapped at the shores of the country, while Internet penetration in the country remains at the lowest ebb. For her, taking this capacity to the hinterlands through last-mile connectivity would remain the challenge to conquer to address the abysmal Internet penetration in the country. In addition to this headache, a recent research conducted by Intel and Dalberg, titled: “Women and the web,” presented at the just concluded Working Forum on Women Information and Communication Technologies And Development (WICTAD) conference in Washington DC, U.S.A, revealed that nearly 35 per cent fewer women than men in South Asia, the Middle East and North Africa have Internet Access, and nearly 30 per cent in parts of Europe and across Central Asia. The report also dropped a bombshell: “On the average, across the developing world, nearly 25 per cent fewer women than men have access to the Internet, and the gender gap soars to nearly 45 per cent in regions like subSaharan Africa. In rapidly growing economies, the gap is even enormous”. This means that despite the transformative power of the internet, in these fast growing
Star musician, Mr. Olubankole Wellington (Banky W), Managing Director, Samsung Electronics West Africa, Mr. Brovo Kim and Nollywood actress, Ms. Kate Henshaw, at the unveiling of Kate Henshaw and Banky W as 2013 Brand Ambassadors for Samsung Electronics West Africa and launch of Samsung Galaxy Grand Pre-order Campaign at Westown Hotel in Ikeja, Lagos.
Nigerian women kick, poise to bridge internet gender divides economies, including Nigeria, women and girls are being left behind in the revolution. According to a research In most higherincome countries, women’s Internet access only minimally lags that of men’s, and in countries such as France and the United States, it in fact, exceeds it. According to the report, “there are 600 million women and girls in developing countries using the Internet today, which is nearly 25 per cent fewer than men” The report couldn’t have been lying. Nigeria with about $7 billion investments in four major submarine cables including MainOne, Glo1, SAT3 and WACS carrying over 7.78 terabytes bandwidth capacity, still records low Internet penetration. This is considering that out of about
160 million Nigerians, only 45 millions have access to the Internet at the moment and this 45 million users are dominated by 90 per cent of the male folks, leaving the remaining, paltry 10 per cent for the women. That’s a huge gap. But right at the conference, Nigerian women rose to the occasion, kicking and promised to take the crusade up to relevant authorities to ensure the divide is bridged. 2012 statistics on Internet Usage and population, according to Internet World Stats ranked Africa least among continents with Internet penetration. Internet World Stats estimated that there are 2.4 billion Internet users globally, but access was not equally dispersed, stressing that developing countries in particular lag behind.
MTN backs NCC on Mobile N umber Por Number Porttability TN Nigeria, last week declared that it the whistle for the kick off of this project, we M was ready to implement Mobile Number will be ready.” Portability (MNP) in consonance with the policy of the industry regulator, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC). The declaration came at the heels of the regulator’s recent announcement that it would flag off Mobile Number Portability in the first quarter of this year. Speaking at an internal stakeholder forum recently, MTN CEO, Brett Goschen, said that the company had been ramping up efforts to make MNP a reality for mobile phone users in Nigeria. Goschen said: “We have made necessary investment in infrastructure and manpower and we are now finalising the process of making this project a reality,” said Goschen. “We are confident that when the NCC is ready to blow
He however disclosed that a series of tests had been carried out on the company’s systems and infrastructure, adding that more tests will be carried out in the days ahead to ensure that the project takes off without any hitch. ” We are excited that customers who wish to join the network with the most coverage of Nigeria will now be able to do so without worrying about losing their mobile numbers. As you know, we have made far more investment in our network than any other operator in Nigeria has done, with the result that we are today the clear leader with effective network coverage of more than 85 percent of Nigeria’s land mass and population.
President of Women in Technology in Nigeria (WITIN), Mrs. Martha AladeOmoekpen who was also a speaker at the WICTAD conference, said the Internet offers potentially transformative benefits, adding that there are myriads of concrete benefits for the female folks from the Internet She listed some of them to include access to improved education, job opportunities, access to health and other services. She said the Internet provides users more subtle but profound benefits related to empowerment, confidence, a sense of connection and participation, even a feeling of liberation. But she however noted that if the gap between men and women Internet usage must be bridged, there was need for adequate sensitisation on its benefits, She said that “once achieved, all these benefits to individual women and girls create positive outcomes for their communities and countries, through their impact on economic development, gender equality, and the growth that can result from a greater diversity of ideas and political participation” . The WITIN president also contended that access to the Internet can facilitate specific ends, stressing that Internet access provides more subtle, longer-term benefits around empowerment, such as increased confidence, external validation and expression.
Vanguard, MONDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2013 — 45
‘Etisalat Innovation Award’ll facilitate mobile broadband in Africa’ STORIES BY PRINCE OSUAGWU
he African mobile broadband market is growing at an incredibly fast rate. According to a recent forecast conducted by Richard Hurst, senior analyst in Ovum’s Emerging Markets team, broadband users are predicted to hit approximately 277 million by 2015. That represents a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 40 percent, from 2010 to 2015. Already, the growth rates of mobile broadband adoption which satands at 54% compounded annual growth since 2006 are much faster than fixed broadband adoption which is also at 11% compounded annual growth since 2006. There are three key areas that point to the potential for a speedy uptake of mobile broadband services: infrastructure, policy, and accessibility. This progress can be attributed to concerted efforts by government and stakeholders across the continent to boost the adoption of mobile broadband as it has been identified as the future of mobile technology usage. Africa has shown enormous potential for growth in mobile broadband services and analysts say that if the success in the GSM services is anything to go by, a boom in broadband services would soon happen in the continent. Already, the Federal Government of Nigeria is spearheading efforts at creating an enabling environment for the development of broadband in the country. NCC’s Executive Vice Chairman (EVC), Dr. Eugene Juwah, had said that “the fresh broadband plan is a confirmation of the ‘Open Access Model’ earlier initiated by NCC to help Nigerians plug into the global knowledge grid and stay competitive with other countries.” In the light of these developments, stakeholders in the telecommunications industry have made considerable efforts at encouraging the development of mobile broadband in the continent through the development of infrastructure and provision of services that bring broadband closer to the consumers. Etisalat Nigeria recently, instituted and sponsored the
‘Etisalat Prize for Innovation award’ for the most innovative product/service and idea at the 2012 edition of the Africa Com conference in Cape Town, South Africa. The company said the initiative was in recognition of efforts made by the government to facilitate and promote mobile broadband in the country. According to the CEO of the company, Mr Steve Evans, “the reason for introducing this award category to the Africa Com line up is to encourage and promote broadband adoption and usage in Nigeria and Africa in general”. The award was won by Sinelimit and iConnect Project, for the development of Mobile Maths Practice, a mobile application that helps students in preparing for
exams, and a second prize of $10,000 for the most innovative idea presented to Future Software for the iConnect Project, Mobile ICT Units proposed to supply mobile broadband internet vehicles to schools in various geographical areas. Evans believes that if the vision is maximised, Etisalat Prize for Innovation’ Award seeks to the facilitation and promotion of Mobile Broadband in Africa with the recognition of the fact that broadband is primarily mobile in the African continent and critical to its economic development. He further stated that the potential for growth in mobile is significant adding that the exponential growth recorded in voice services could also be achieved in the mobile
broadband sector. Winner of the most innovative idea category, Mr. Oyehmi Begho noted that the continent needs new ideas that would drive the growth of broadband across the continent. He said, “There are a lot of opportunities that exist in the area of Mobile Broadband and it will take innovative ideas to drive the successful growth across the continent”. Apart from the award, Etisalat also said it has been at the fore front of the campaign for the development of mobile broadband in Nigeria through participation in various efforts of the Federal Government. Etisalat has a lauded track record for innovation in the Nigerian market and it remains one of the pillars of its business strategy.
DG NCC, Mr. Afam Ezekude (3rd L), being briefed by the Commission’s Director of Prosecution, Abdul Ter Koho, Esq. while (L-R) Director, Finance and Accounts, Mr. Mark Obasi; Director and Legal Adviser, Mr. Jacob S. Fagbemi; Director, Administration, Mrs. Doris Osahon and Acting Director, Enforcement, Mr. Augustine Amodu, listen during the Media Briefing in Abuja.
IP THEFT IN 2012:
We convicted 29, impounded N4.38bn pirated goods – NCC DG
HE Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC), last week took stock of its activities in 2012 and revealed that it seized pirated goods worth over four billion thirty eight million naira, (N4.38b) in 2012. This was also in addition to securing convictions of up to 29 Intellectual property thieves from about 31 copyright cases it had in court. The Commission said the convictions which were secured between July 2011 and December 2012, were of criminals who pirated copyright-protected books, musical and movie works, broadcast signals and software products. The convictions, according
to the commission were phenomenal considering that it only recorded a paltry 10 convictions in 10 years, between 2000 and 2010. Director-General of NCC, Mr. Afam Ezekude at a media briefing at the weekend, also revealed that the Commission, during intensified anti-piracy operations last year, arrested a total of 85 suspected pirates and confiscated 3,621,787 million units of pirated goods worth about N4.38 billion . He however, highlighted the significance and deterrent implication of two major convictions of pirates during the year. The first, representing the highest fine
imposed for copyright piracy was in charge No. FHC/KD/ 8C/12, where he said that the Federal High Court, Kaduna sentenced the accused, one Sunday Ayodele, on February 23, 2012, to a year and six months imprisonment with the option of N250,000.00 (Two hundred and fifty thousand naira) fine. The second was the highest penalty imposed for copyright piracy so far, in case No. FHC/B/43C/2010 where the Federal High Court, Benin, December 17, 2012, sentenced one Godwin Kadiri to a total of six years and six months in jail without the option of a fine, on a four-count charge bordering on broadcast piracy.
BRIEFS Paga on shor tlis or shortlis tlistt ffor Financial Times business aw ar ds 20 13 awar ards 2013 BY GABRIEL AMADIEGWU, AMAKA UGWU & QUADRI SHODIYA
ne of Nigeria’s money transfer service operators, Paga, has been shortlisted by the Financial Times and ArcelorMittal for its “Boldness in Business” Awards 2013 in the Technology category. The Financial Times is one of the worlds leading business newspapers based in the United Kingdom and ArcelorMittal is the worlds largest steel company. N ow in their fifth year, the globally recognised award, features companies, entrepreneurs and individuals who, through bold decisions, drive change and inspire innovation in their various business sectors. The Technology category of the awards specifically focuses on companies who are leading the push into new areas or applying existing technologies to transform existing business models and deliver outstanding economic and social impact. In Nigeria’s new but rapidly developing mobile payments landscape, Paga is said to be leading with over 60% market share. The F T-ArcelorMittal boldness in business awards committee, is recognising Paga for “leading the push towards harnessing and continually developing technology to deliver outstanding economic and social impact”. According to Lionel Barber, editor of the Financial Times,”against a backdrop of an exciting but tough year for the global economy in 2012, it is clear to us that winning businesses are those that make the boldest decisions to change, grow, launch, acquire, merge or simply do something different. The shortlist for this year ’s awards encapsulates that attitude to aspire to be bold and stand out, bringing positive impact on the way we do business.”
46 — Vanguard, MONDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2013
Advertising, Media & Marketing BRIEFS Don Simon fruit juice back in Nigeria BY ESTHER ONYEGBULA
kulo International Limited in conjunction with J. Garcia Carrion S.A of Spain has announced the comeback of once the favorite choice of Nigerians, Don Simon fruit juice. The juice which used to dominate the Nigerian market before a ban was imposed on importation of fruit Juices, in the year 2002, according to Ekulo and the Spanish brand owners, is now being produced in Nigeria with NAFDAC registered and brand promise to become an integral part of country’s daily nutrition requirements. During the product launch at Sheraton Hotel and Towers, Ikeja on Tuesday, both companies in a release said, “the merit to revive Don Simon Fruit juice goes to Ekulo International limited who, in conjunction with brand owners, J. Garcia Carrion S.A of Spain has clutched the challenge to establish the brand at par with its global image. Don Simon fruit juice is recognized world over, in more than 155 countries.”
Sony opens new ser vice service centre
ony Middle East and Africa has inaugurated a new Service Centre, Redington Isolo. The new Sony service centre, located in Afprint Industrial Estate, reinforces Sony ’s commitment to provide the best after-sales support to its valued customers in Nigeria. Speaking about the newly inaugurated service centre, Shinya Mukaida, Director, Area Management, Sony Middle East and Africa said: “This is a proud day for the entire team here in Nigeria. Customers will benefit from the services, support and added convenience that we can offer with an enhanced network of Sonyauthorized service centers across the country. These kinds of intensive and specialized services mean that our customers will receive the best support without any compromise in turnaround times.”
Stories by PRINCEWILL EKWUJURU
he reason for eating wheat has become apparent, no thanks to the increasing number of diabetic patients. Wheat consumption according to investigation by some diabetic patients say it helps to enhance the health and fitness of patients as a result of its fibre content, fast digestive tendency and its low sugar level, as it also helps to stabilise the body system they explained. While exhibiting some marketing stunts and employing Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) tools, the Wheat market is now filled with various range of wheat brands with each battling for consumers mind and market dominance. The deployment of media tools explains the reason consumers are head bent on having a taste of the Wheat brand, aside its heath benefit, for some time now the media be it Above-the -Line or Below-the-Line have been awash with marketing communications materials to drive sales for each product whilst targeting the same market. Some of the Wheat brands are; Golden Penny Wheat, Honeywell Wheat, Flour Mill Wheat and the locally processed. Today, the locally processed wheat meal is preferred more to the industrially manufactured wheat brands, because consumers say there are notices of sugar in them. Today, non-diabetic, prediabetic patients also eat wheat, this makes it more interesting that consumers aged 40 and above are now health conscious and aware of the ravaging effect of diabetics if unnoticed on time Dr. Ifedayo Odeniyi,Department of Medicine, University of Lagos at the 16th annual lecture on the sickness, titled, Diabetes; The emerging threat to human race, identified diabetes as a major cause of poverty and barrier to economic development, whilst urging government to grant wavers on importation of drugs for its treatment. Odeniyi said about 8.6 million people were leaving with diabetes worldwide, thus called for more education on diabetes, whilst noting that diabetes is a global health disaster with critical connections. He also described diabetes as a neglected cause of maternal hospitality and a household burden on girls and women caring for family
(Middle) Mr. Shyam Gangwani, Business Development Manager, Techblow Nigeria Limited, welcomes the Iyalode of Yorubaland, Iyalode Alaba Lawson MFR JP to Techblow’s stand at the Nigerian Turkish International Cosmetics Exhibition at Eko Hotels, Lagos yesterday with them is Mr. Olowojesiku Olusegun, Marketing Managing, Shongai Packaging Industries Limited.
Why consumers scramble for wheat meal *Manufacturers' strategy at work *The dangers -Cardiologist members with the ailment. According to him, “Diabetes is not only caused by what we eat, but insulin; it is a life-long disease that no cure has been discovered yet. He averred that by 2030, about 570 million people worldwide would be suffering from the disease, as Africa would experience 98 percent increase of diabetes patient, if the scourge was not adequately tackled. Chairman of Lagoon Hospital Friends, Dr. Adeola Onakoya, who also spoke at the event urged government to educate the public on diabetes to ward off the scourge in the society. “The government spend so much money on communicable diseases such as tuberculosis, HIV, AIDS etc. We are trying to get advocacy to the government, so as to reduce the cost of drugs and import duty paid for the importation of the drugs. Dr. Amusan James, a Medical Officer at Tolu Medical Centre, Ajegunle, categorised the sickness to type A and B, in Type A, he said is a situation the insulin level of the patient is low, thus requires an insulin injection to stay afloat and the type B is a situation where the patient has fat which does not allow the insulin to breakdown the sugar level in the body, thus the patient has to lose weight to allow the
insulin to function. He pointed out that
Dangers of wheat consumption
r. Williams Davis, an American Preventive Cardiologist, was contrary in his view, in his book, Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, and Find your path back to Health, had postulated that Wheat consumption causes heart disease. It’s not cholesterol, it’s not saturated fat that’s behind the number one killer of Americans; it’s wheat according to a research carried out in America. The nutrition community has been guilty of following a flawed sequence of logic: If something bad for you (white processed flour) is replaced by something less bad (whole grains) and there is an apparent health benefit, then a whole bunch of the less bad thing is good for you. Let’s apply that to another situation: If something bad for you—unfiltered Camel cigarettes—are replaced by something less bad—filtered Salem Cigarettes—then the conclusion would be to smoke a lot of Salems. The next logical question is what is the health consequence of complete removal? Only then can you observe the effect of whole grains vs no grains and from what I witness every day,
you see complete transformations in health. Consumption of wheat, due to its unique carbohydrate, amylopectin A, triggers formation of small, dense LDL particles more than any other common food. Small, dense LDL particles are the number one cause for heart disease in the U.S. The majority of adults now have an abundance of small LDL particles because they’ve been told to cut their fat and “eat plenty of healthy whole grains.” This situation of excessive small LDL particles can appear on a conventional cholesterol panel as higher levels of LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, along with low HDL cholesterol and higher triglycerides that often leads to statin drugs. When more sophisticated lipoprotein testing is obtained, then the explosion of small LDL particles becomes obvious. Compound this with the increased appetite triggered by the gliadin protein in wheat that acts as an appetitestimulant, and you gain weight. The weight gained is usually in the abdomen, in the deep visceral fat that triggers inflammation, what I call a “ wheat belly.” Wheat belly visceral fat is a hotbed of inflammation, sending out inflammatory signals into the bloodstream and results in higher blood sugar, blood pressure, and triglycerides, all adding up to increased risk for heart disease.
Vanguard, MONDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2013 — 47
Advertising, Media & Marketing
Loya milk retools, adopts promo as concept of route-to-market penetration Stories by PRINCEWILL EKWUJURU
RAND experts like Al Ries, Jack Trout, Kelvin Clark have posited in their various books that there are varying degrees of loyalty to specific brands and more reasons companies may decide to embark on a promotional effort. It could be to create awareness, cause impulse buying, communicate information about the brand, build brand loyalty and more. There is no hard feeling about which type of promotion a company adopts. The determining factor therefore is dependent on what the company intends to achieve for a particular brand. More importantly, the attitude or reaction of consumers towards the brand may trigger a conscious promotional effort, especially in a market riddled with competition. Recently, there’s been a spate of promotional efforts from different brands especially those within the Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) category. Notably, the dairy market, a wide range of milk brands, with each battling for consumers’ mind and pocket share. Some of the brands in this category are Peak milk, Loya milk, Three Crowns, Nunu milk, Dano milk, Olympic etc. Among these brands, consumers have different perceptions of them and are the ones qualified to determine which is good or better. After all, Al Ries & Jack Trout, all marketing gurus, have once said that marketing is not a battle of products, but rather, a battle of perception. In this light, it may be difficult to conclude that one brand is the best.
o determine the best, questions may pop up such as; The best in what sense? Is it by price?, Taste?, Quality?, Packaging?, Branding, fortification? Or what? No matter the level of research conducted to determine which is the best, one thing is sure: these brands have close similarities decked with unnoticeable differences as perceived by consumers. More so, ‘best’ is a thing of the mind. To command a sizeable portion of the market, some of these brands engaged some promotional efforts in recent times. And some are still running their promo. One of such is Loya milk, a brand from
the stable of Promasidor Nigeria Limited which has just launched a new promotion tagged What’s Inside That Matters, in which consumers have been promised cars and cash prizes, where he finds a coupon containing amounts ranging from N1,000 to N20,000 in the next three months. To further power this promo, Loya milk had embarked on an online campaign with galaxy tabs as gifts. The Loya milk brand had
once exited the diary market. No one can point to the factor that led to its exit. However, with the relaunch in September 2010, the brand is now building on its on-going promo, second in a space of a year plus, insinuations are evident that it is repositioning itself as well as fanning the embers of competition in the market. Nobody knows the exact motive until the brand launched its advertising campaign for the recent promo.
The campaign saturated virtually all the electronic media with one key message: Loya Premium is a brand of full cream powdered milk with a new calcium formulation called Hi-Calcium. To communicate this additional benefit to consumers, Promasidor decided to embark on a consumer sales promo which is geared towards encouraging consumers to try the milk formulation with 50 per cent calcium.
*From Left: Commercial Director, Promasidor Nigeria, Mr. Kachi Onubogu, Loya Milk Brand Ambassador, Don Jazzy, and Managing Director, Promasidor Nigeria, Chief Keith Richards at the launch of the ‘It’s What Inside That Matters’ Loya Milk promo in Lagos.
Ad industry will experience good times in 2013 — Chini Productions
HE Chief Executive Officer of Chini Productions and Cannes Lions representative in Nigeria, Mr. Nnamdi Ndu, has said that the nation’s marketing communications industry would soar in 2013, by building on some of the significant achievements recorded in the industry in 2012. Describing 2012 as a year for advertising in the country, Ndu, noted that the industry would, in the new year, witness some ground-breaking events, adding that one of the top priorities of his outfit in the new year, is to provide the best services that would ensure that Nigerian creatives compete favourably with the best in the world, through an array of programmes packaged for the year.. He stated that the campaign for the 2013 Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity began in earnest late last year, with a road show; visiting clients, institutions, associations and agencies; enlightening them on the opportunities available, as well as screening highlights of Cannes Lions 2012, with the Road Show expected to continue till February 2013. Besides, he disclosed that the annual Roger
Hatchuel Academy, Young Lions and Miami Ad School Scholarship competitions will get underway in the first quarter of the year., with the Roger Hatchuel Academy and Young Lions Competition holding between the 25th and 30th of March, while the climax will be an Awards Night on the 30th in Lagos. Moreover, the Archive Creative Club will be held periodically throughout the year with the first session beginning on the 9th of February with both nationally and internationally acclaimed speakers participating. According to him, the 60th anniversary celebration of this year’s Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity will kick off in March in Lagos, with a high-profile gathering of members of the Nigerian Advertising and Marketing Communications industry, with the winners of the Roger Hatchuel Academy competition, moderated by the Advertising Practitioners’ Council of Nigeria (APCON), will see thev president present the winning teams awards the Young Lions Film Competition, Young Lions Design Competition, Young Lions Marketers Competition and Young Lions Media Competition.
BRIEFS Nokia Asha promo produces more millionaires
EVEN more millionaires have emerged in the Nokia Asha Millionaire Promo organised by Nokia. With the emergence of these seven lucky winners, the Nokia Asha Christmas Millionaire Promo has produced a total of 21 lucky winners of N1 million cash prize having produced a total of 14 winners in the previous draws. Speaking during the presentation of cheques to the winners in Lagos, ‘Ladi Oyatayo, Head of Sales Operations, Nokia West Africa described the Nokia Asha Christmas Millionaire promo as another way of connecting with the customers and entrenching affinity with the brand. “Nokia is always willing to give back to our esteemed customers and since the Christmas season is usually a period to share joy and make people happy, we introduced the Nokia Asha Christmas Millionaire promo to share the joy and happiness with our customers,” he said.
NIM, HBS sign MoU on capacitybuilding
IGERIAN Institute of M a n a g e m e n t (Chartered) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Harvard Business School, (HBS)USA, under its Top Executive Leadership Programme. In a statement signed by the President and Chairman of Council of the Institute, Dr. Michael Olawale-Cole, it said the collaboration is one of the numerous initiatives taken by the institute to expand its frontiers internationally. “Under the Top Executive Leadership Programme, NIM takes the top executives and decision-makers of the nation’s private and public organisations outside the shores of the country to share management experiences with their foreign counterparts and also learn latest ways of managing resources better in line with best international management practices,” he said.
48 — Vanguard, MONDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2013
Email:firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com Blog page:www.lesleba.com/blog2 Website: www.lesleba.com
Tel:0817 002 3569
OBY VS GOVERNMENT:
Minister for Solid Minerals and later for Education. The unyielding decay in these sectors is probably indicative of her inability to make positive change even with the over N350bn allocated for education during her tenure! The ‘Due Process’ office for which she was better known reportedly saved over N60bn from audit of hundreds of billion of naira government contracts; however, in view of the undisguised depravity in public finance, the World Bank guru should probably have done much better! Oby may have mischievously misled Nigerians to believe that the greater the reserve balance, the better it is for the economy and the people; this may, however, not be so in a model in which CBN always claims the lion’s share of reserves. In reality, the bigger the size of CBN’s share of reserves, the weaker will be the naira rate of exchange, as higher CBN’s dollar reserves distort naira/dollar rate of exchange in favour of the dollar, as less dollars are curiously auctioned by CBN to chase the surfeit of excess naira created by CBN’s substitution of naira allocations for dollarderived revenue. This weird payment system has disastrous implications for inflation and consumer demand, and ultimately deepens poverty nationwide. Obviously, this is not Oby’s business!
THE POT AND THE KETTLE to upgrade capacity and transmission. In fact, in an article titled “2006 Budget, Debt Management & VAT” (see http://www.lesleba.com/ 09012006.doc ), we noted as follows: “… the burden and impact of the current national domestic debt is worrisome; … over 70% of total domestic debts of N1,500bn consist primarily of borrowings with
ublic discourse recently focused on the charge by Dr. Obiageli Ezekwesili (Oby), a former Senior Assistant and Minister in Obasanjo’s administration, that the Ya r ’ A d u a / J o n a t h a n Presidency had frittered away accumulated reserves of about $67bn since the change of baton in 2007. The government has stoutly countered the accuracy of the alleged reserves balance of $67bn with statistics purportedly obtained from the Central Bank that total reserves was barely $47bn in 2007! Dr. Ezekewsili’s charge does not really bring fresh information to national consciousness with regard to waste and corruption in public finance; however, in defence of her allegation, the former Education and Solid Minerals Minister could argue that, in view of fairly steady crude oil revenue over time, it would be reasonable to expect reserves to have presently risen above the ‘authenticated’ 2007 CBN balance. In reality, this may be so, but then, Dr. Ezekwesili would need to provide detailed and incontestable evidence of mismanagement of such fortuitous dollar inflows! Regrettably, the over $12bn Paris Club debt payment did not stimulate foreign direct investment as promised, while the power sector remains crippled, even after exPresident Obasanjo withdrew over $13bn from our reserves
external debt burden, there was little or no domestic debt to manage, until the establishment of the Debt Management Office (read as Debt Creation Office) in Year 2000! However, domestic debt inexplicably galloped after the creation of the DMO. Consequently, we condemned government’s reckless monetary policy
Nigerians are accustomed to the culture of sitting public servants, who see nothing wrong with bad governance, but who quickly turn around to decry the same policies they condoned, once they left office!
treasury bills and bonds…. Incidentally, the debt service charges increased by 18% from N186bn in 2005 to N220bn in 2006”. C o n s e q u e n t l y, we observed that “it is an anomaly for almost 70% of domestic debts to comprise treasury bills and bonds with coupon rates in excess of 15% for such risk-free sovereign debts”. Incidentally, aside the
strategy in which most of the funds raised through treasury bills and bonds are simply sterilised with no direct benefit to the economy; besides, we noted that the protocol of unending liquidity mop up had also become a perennial obstacle to the operation of a conducive economic policy with socially inclusive growth. Indeed, no real growth is possible with double-digit inflation rate,
and cost of funds to the real sector at over 20%! Paradoxically, Dr. Oby Ezekwesili found nothing wrong with such shenanigans in our economic and monetary policies, and surprisingly acquiesced to their perpetration! Indeed, one may rightly conclude that the seeds of our current horrid economic predicament were sown and nurtured in the years that Oby and her other celebrated indigenous co-travellers from the world bank served in Obasanjo’s administration, regrettably, they also had no answer to the rising scourge of unemployment! Nigerians are accustomed to the culture of sitting public servants, who see nothing wrong with bad governance, but who quickly turn around to decry the same policies they condoned, once they left office! The Obasanjo regime could never mirror the fabled Court of Camelot, where leaders designed and assiduously implemented exemplary policies that would enrich the people, as Oby and her comrades would want us to believe; the reality, of course, was that poverty actually deepened between 1999 and 2007! Regrettably, there may also be no enduring positive legacy from her stints as
SAVE THE NAIRA, SAVE NIGERIANS!!
Business & Economy
Samsung gains tablet market share as Apple lead narrows S
amsung doubled its share of the tablet PC market in the last three months of 2012, research firm has said. Samsung, which makes the Galaxy range of tablets, sold 7.9 million units, up from 2.2 million a year ago, taking its market share to 15.1 percent. Market-leader and iPadmaker Apple saw its share slide to 43.6 percent from 51.7 percent, despite also seeing a jump in sales. The two have been competing to get a greater share of the tablet PC market, seen as key to their overall growth. Global shipments of tablet PCs surged 75 percent in the final quarter of 2012 to a record 52.5 million units. “We expected a very strong fourth quarter, and the market didn’t disappoint,” said Tom Mainelli, research director of tablets at IDC. “New product launches
from the category ’s top vendors, as well as new entrant Microsoft, led to a surge in consumer interest and very robust shipments
totals during the holiday season.” The numbers are in sharp contrast with the traditional personal computer market,
which saw shipments decline during the quarter for the first time in more than five years. The tablet PC market is expected to grow further in
the coming years. A number of firms have launched tablets in an attempt to cash in on the booming
Dangote reopens Gboko cement plant *To operate at half capacity
anagement of Dangote Cement Plc has announced the reopening of its Gboko cement plant in Benue State. The factory which is to operate at half capacity was closed down last year as a result of the glut in the domestic cement market. The decision to reopen the plant was reached immediately after a meeting between President Goodluck Jonathan and Chairman of Dangote Cement Alhaji Aliko Dangote in Abuja last week. Giving reasons for the
reopening, a source from Dangote Cement said, “Since the shutdown of the Gboko Cement Plant, Government has been engaging local cement manufacturers in discussions, trying to find solutions to the challenges facing the industry.” According to the source, Dangote was in an upbeat mood after the meeting with the president and in appreciation of the President’s concern and willingness to intervene; he gave immediate directives to restart operations at the Gboko Plant.
Omoh Gabriel Babajide Komolafe Clara Nwachukwu Peter Egwuatu Yinka Kolawole Favour Nnabugwu Godwin Oritse Godfrey Bivbere Michael Eboh Oscarline Onwuemenyi Franklin Alli Amaka Abayomi Ebele Orakpo Ifeyinwa Obi
Group Business Editor Acting Finance Editor Energy Editor Head, Capital Market Snr Bus. Correspondent Insurance Correspondent Maritime Correspondent Maritime Correspondent Capital Market Reporter Energy Reporter Industry/Agric. Reporter Money market Reporter Energy Reporter Maritime Reporter
CONTRIBUTORS Princewill Ekwujuru Naomi Uzor Providence Obuh LAYOUT
Media/Marketing Industry Micro Finance Graphics Department