Sunday, 30 June 2013

NSE Cap To Hit $1tr With Power, Telecoms Listing

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has said market capitalisation of the Nigerian Stock Exchange is expected to hit $1 trillion when the power, telecommunications and oil and gas companies list their shares.

Currently, the market capitalisation is standing at $107 billion, buoyed by the introduction of market making on the Exchange in the fourth quarter of 2012.

Speaking at a press briefing in Lagos, the Director General of the commission, Ms Aruma Oteh appraise the market making on the Exchange so far, saying that things have gone quite well.

On the removal of taxes on market transaction, she said that the implementation blueprint for the removal of Value Added Tax (VAT) and removal of stamp duty is being reviewed by the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF).

On the implementation of Stamp duty and VAT, she said that President Goodluck Jonathan has instructed the AGF to look into it and the process is being reviewed, adding that once it has completed the review process, the implementation will commence.

The Federal Government had last year decided to eliminate stamp duties and VAT on stock market transaction fees as part of measures to improve the confidence in Nigeria’s capital market Mean while, equities continued to recoup losses at the exchange as the market capitalisation closed higher at N11.52 trillion while the All Share Index closed higher at 36,468.25 basis points.

Source: Leadership

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Mobile Money Transactions Hit N64bn in One Year – CBN

Mobile Money Transactions Hit N64bn in One Year – CBNThe Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) says a total cumulative transaction by the mobile payments operators in the last one year is well above N64 billion, and more than 60 percent of this amount was recorded in the last three months.

Mobile money is one of the alternative means of payment, which the banks and acquirers have deployed and implemented. Other means for e-payments include Point of Sale (PoS) terminals, Automated Teller Machine (ATM) and the web.

Tunde Lemo, deputy governor, operations, who was represented by Dipo Fatokun, director, banking and payments system department, CBN, at a conference organised by DENovo and Reach Legal in Lagos, said the CBN has licensed about 18 mobile payment operators to offer payment services via the mobile phone. 

He said the transfers done through mobile phones helped to promote “financial inclusion and by extension, made Nigeria a cashless one.”

Source: Daily Times NG

Nigeria: CBN Sells U.S.$500 Million to Stabilise Naira

Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, yesterday sold $500 million at the bi-weekly foreign exchange auction to forestall depreciation of the naira.

The amount sold represents 66 percent increase when compared to $300 million sold per previous foreign exchange auctions. The increase represents a strong signal from the apex bank about its determination to stabilise the naira.

However, despite this increase, the naira depreciated by 10 kobo at the inter-bank foreign exchange market yesterday.

From N159 per dollar, the interbank exchange rate rose slightly to N159.10 per dollar. But at the official market, the naira remained stable, as the official exchange rate remained N155.75 per dollar.
According to the result of the bi-weekly Wholesale Dutch Auction System, WDAS, CBN offered $500 million, and sold millions of dollars to 21 banks.

NSE Moves 461.2m Shares

A total of 461.27 million shares worth N5.4 billion were exchanged in 7,382 deals on Tuesday on the Nigerian Stock Exchange.

This was against 414.03 million shares valued at N4.1 billion traded in 7,187 deals on Monday.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the All-Share Index, which opened at 36,464.35, depreciated by 712.96 points or 1.9 per cent to close at 35,751.39. Similarly, market capitalisation depreciated by N226 billion to close at 11.29 trillion against N11.52 trillion archived on Monday.

NAN reports that Total led the price losers’ chart with N8.07 to close at N157 per share. Cadbury followed with a loss of N5 to close at N50 per share, while Nigerian Breweries lost N4.99 to close at N150 per share. PZ Cussons depreciated by N4.50 to close at N40.50 per share, while UACN dipped by N4.25 to close at N53 per share.

On the other hand, Nestle topped the price gainers’ chart with N2 to close at N993 per share. NNFM gained 59k to close at N26.50 per share, while Champion rose by 53k to close at N5.85 per share. Dangote Sugar appreciated by 52k to close at N10.35 per share, while ETI grew by 49k to close at N14.99 per share. NAN reports that Access Bank was the most active, recording 70.1million shares valued at N722.81 million. Zenith followed with 41.97 million shares worth N793.45 million.


Trade, investment seen as major focus of Obama's Africa trip

U.S. President Barack Obama speaks about his vision to reduce carbon pollution while preparing the country for the impacts of climate change while at Georgetown University in Washington, June 25, 2013. REUTERS/Larry Downing
U.S. President Barack Obama speaks about his vision to reduce carbon
 pollution while preparing the country for the impacts of climate
change while at Georgetown University in Washington, June 25, 2013.
Credit: Reuters/Larry Downing
(Reuters) - Leveraging the power of the huge U.S. market to spur increased trade and investment with Africa will be a major focus of President Barack Obama's trip to the continent this week, U.S. Trade Representative Mike Froman said on Tuesday.

"Much of what the president will be doing on this trip - from meeting with jurists about the rule of law and governance to conferring with leaders about some of Africa's key security challenges - is tied back to trade and investment as key drivers of Africa's economic growth story," Froman said in a speech.

Obama leaves on Wednesday for his first extended trip to Africa since taking office. It comes as members of Congress are urging his administration to step up engagement with the region in response to increased competition from China.

The trip will take Obama to Senegal, South Africa and Tanzania, all countries with functioning democracies that will help him make the point that democratic institutions are a building block for sustained economic growth.

Monday, 24 June 2013

Online retail begins to click in Nigeria

Online retail begins to click in NigeriaLAGOS (AFP) - Silicon Valley? Not even close. This emerging world Internet company, called Jumia, is now located in Nigeria, and the founders of the business here say there is no better place to pursue their strategy.

Nigeria, Africa's biggest market of 160 million people, has seen Internet access expand rapidly in recent years, opening opportunities for companies to exploit.

While major obstacles remain here for any business, from deeply rooted corruption to a lack of electricity and widespread fraud, both online and elsewhere, the potential is enormous.

Online retailers like Jumia, which is present in a handful of other African countries, are seeking to unlock the possibilities, developing plans that cater specifically to the local market.

"I doubt there are many markets in the world with 160 million people, a growing middle class and nothing in terms of organised retail," said Tunde Kehinde, a 29-year-old Nigerian and Harvard graduate who co-founded what would become the Nigerian branch of Jumia.

"And so for us, that's the vision that Jumia has: to help build organised retail here in the largest country in Africa."

NSE loses N926billion in 2 weeks •Reviews composition of stock market indices

The Nigerian Stock Market recorded a loss of N926billion for the second week running as the market capitalisation of the listed equities on the main board continued its bearish performance.
The market capitalisation of the listed shares fell by 7.33 per cent or N926billion from N12.641trillion in June 7, to close at N11.715 trillion last week Friday.

Also, the NSE All-Share Index (ALSI) went down by 7.84 per cent or 3,100.40 basis points from 39,564.79 to 36,464.39 points.

Information gathered from the NSE revealed that a turnover of 1.631 billion shares worth of N21.680 billion in 30,952 deals were traded last week by investors on the floor of The Exchange in contrast to a total of 3.725 billion shares valued at N75.874 billion that exchanged hands in 39,060 deals the previous week.
The Financial Services sector led the activity chart with a turnover of 1.103 billion shares valued at N10.552 billion traded in 16,479 deals.

The sector represented 67.67 per cent, 48.67 per cent and 53.24 per cent of the total traded volume, value and deals respectively.

Akindele, Nigerian young entrepreneur taking on the fashion industry

This week, we’ll be looking at two young Nigerian entrepreneurs, Akintola Akindele and Saheed Adepoju, and what made them successful. There’s also a success story from a young American entrepreneur, Derek Pacqué, plus why this African American businesswoman, Indigo Johnson, stopped firing her employees. Read on, you may find what you’re looking for. Cheers.

Akintola Akindele is a 26-year-old business administration graduate and the founder of Bandit Urban Clothing – a relatively new, youthful fashion brand in Nigeria. Akindele got the inspiration to start his clothing company from the desire to create something different from what’s the norm, he said in an interview.

How did he go about getting his initial financing? He got it from personal savings, friends and family. Last year, an aunt invested in the business, making it possible to move production to China, where other top brands all over the world get their production done, majorly because he wants his products to maintain their international standards.

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Multiple taxes may force Nigerian hotel proprietors out of business – Association

The association called for better understanding from the government.

The Hotel Owners Forum Association (HOFA) said on Saturday that multiple taxes on hotel proprietors by government agencies could cripple Nigeria’s hospitality industry.

The President of the Association, Onofiok Ekong, gave the indication in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.

He said the multiple taxes could force hotel proprietors out of business in the country, if immediate solution was not provided.

“Hotel operators are faced with daunting challenges; apart from losing members of the association through closure and outright change of purpose.

“The lamentations of the existing ones over multiplicity of taxes can only be ignored to the detriment of the economy,” he said.

Mr. Ekong said government needs to engage all stakeholders in a holistic discourse to enable it understand the magnitude and dimensions of the challenges facing the industry.

Obama to seek return for investment in Africa

Germany US Obama
US President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama
wave goodbye from Air Force One at the Tegel airport
in Berlin Wednesday, June 19, 2013.
Obama was for a two-day official visit to Germany.
(AP Photo/Michael Probst)
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama's upcoming weeklong trip to Africa will mark his most significant personal investment in the developing region since taking office.

The White House is hoping the return on that investment will be an increased foothold for U.S. businesses on a continent where China and other emerging economies are already major players.

Casting a shadow over Obama's trip will be the health of beloved former South African President Nelson Mandela, who has been hospitalized for two weeks. Family and government officials say the 94-year-old's condition is improving, but the White House said it would defer to Mandela's family for decisions on whether the anti-apartheid leader will be able to meet with Obama.

"We want whatever is in the best interest of his health," said Ben Rhodes, Obama's deputy national security adviser.

Nigeria Stock Exchange Weekly Report for the Week ended June 21, 2013

A turnover of 1.631 billion shares worth of N21.680 billion in 30,952 deals were traded this week by investors on the floor of The Exchange in contrast to a total of 3.725 billion shares valued at N75.874 billion that exchanged hands last week in 39,060 deals. The Financial Services sector (measured by volume) led the activity chart with a turnover of 1.103 billion shares valued at N10.552 billion traded in 16,479 deals. The Financial Services sector represented 67.67%, 48.67% and53.24% of the total traded volume, value and deals respectively.

Click here for full details.

Thursday, 20 June 2013

An ecosystem in turmoil: inside South Africa’s startup problems

- Ventureburn

When you think about the number of tech communities popping up everywhere, the question no one seems to ask is whether or not the ecosystem they are in is sustainable. When you think about it scientifically, in a bacteria or marine ecosystem, if one element is defective the entire ecosystem suffers.

It is easy to watch the meteoric rise of a growing tech scene, full of promise, innovators and 10-million people ready to make the same mistakes. It’s easy to get caught in the savoir faire because everyone has the right words every time.

Things seem to be that way in South Africa’s tech ecosystem. It is a place where newness and sameness have become common place, things are happening but at the same time things aren’t. Innovators are rising but they seem to be the same people. The world is taking notice, but of all the wrong things.

Global Forum Recognizes African Entrepreneurs


Two African entrepreneurs were recognized at the “Dragons’ Den” competition during the fifth Global Forum on Innovation and Technology Entrepreneurship, which took place in East London, South Africa sponsored by World Bank’s infoDev and the South African Department of Science and technology.

Stella Njoki Kariuki and Kariuki Githitu of Kenya’s Zege Technologies took the $10,000 second place prize for Mpayer, an application that enables financial transactions using mobile money as well as cash.

Third place and $8,000 went to the South African company Afroes, founded by CEO Anne Shongwe, for its mobile applications delivering positive educational messages.

The competition mirrored the internationally acclaimed TV series “Dragons’ Den,” which, like the U.S. show “Shark Tank,” places entrepreneurs before a panel of judges who determine whether or not a business plan is worthy of investment, according to a blog at

African Entrepreneurs Deflate Google’s Internet Balloon Idea

Kenyan tech leaders say the high-flying Internet balloons may not be a realistic networking solution for their continent.

Google balloon
High flyer: Google has begun testing its high-altitude balloons.
Google’s latest pet project, called Loon, is meant to deliver the Internet to new parts of the world via solar-powered balloons soaring through the stratosphere. Yet some technologists in Africa say the project may be unrealistic as a competitive networking solution for their continent.

For one thing, the service would only provide 3G connectivity, meaning that it would need to compete with cellular networks that are expanding and becoming ever cheaper to use. “In Kenya, most parts of the country have 3G access,” says Phares Kariuki, previously a technology consultant to the World Bank, who now leads an effort to build a supercomputing cluster at iHub, the tech startup space in Nairobi.

And even if Google managed to deliver faster speeds from future balloon fleets, they’d be solving the wrong problem, Kariuki adds: “The barrier to Internet adoption is not so much the lack of connectivity. It’s the high cost of the equipment.” People in poor areas simply can’t afford laptops and smartphones, Kariuki says, and generally prefer cheap feature phones.

Deloitte increases investment in Nigeria

As a demonstration of its commitment to the Nigerian and African market, Deloitte, one of the leading professional services firms in the world, has announced the formation of an integrated practice across Africa with Nigeria playing a strategic role in the new growth process.

The establishment of the integrated Deloitte Africa and the dedicated investment in Nigeria by Akintola Williams Deloitte (AWD) will ensure clients are served seamlessly in Nigeria and across the entire continent.

Lwazi Bam, the CEO of Deloitte Africa, asserts that as part of this integration, Deloitte has designated Nigeria a “Priority Market.” “As a Priority Market, AWD will receive substantial financial investments aimed at enhancing the quality and breadth of services provided to its local and cross border clients. This will leverage off the great depth of expertise already on the continent and across the globe” he aded.

4 West African Countries To Invest In $4 Billion Railway Project

WEST AFRICAVENTURES AFRICA – Four West African countries will invest an estimated $4 billion on the construction of a railway line to boost intra-African trade, a source revealed yesterday.

According to Ibrahima Cheikh Diong, the Founder and CEO of Africa Consulting and Trading in Senegal: “As we speak we’ve been mandated by four countries Burkina Faso, Niger, Benin and Côte d’Ivoire to basically help them organise and structure and eventually raise some money for a railway project which is going to be tremendously helpful in boosting the countries’ infrastructure and economies.”

Diong said a number of West African countries are investing a lot of money in infrastructural development which is crucial in attracting foreign direct investment.

“We see a lot of demand particularly in the government side with the projects that have been sitting in the backbone; railway projects, infrastructure projects and other projects where the government needs some structural support, resource mobilisation and in some case what we call chain management by bringing in some specialised skills to get the transactions moving forward,” Diong added.

Solid rise in SA’s private equity industry spurs confidence

Erika van der Merwe, CEO of the South African Venture Capital and Private Equity Association. Picture: FINANCIAL MAIL
Erika van der Merwe, CEO of the South African Venture
Capital and Private Equity Association. Picture: FINANCIAL MAIL
NEARLY R20bn of undrawn private equity capital commitments are expected to be invested in South Africa over the next few years, KPMG Services’ head of private equity markets for Africa, Warren Watkins, said on Wednesday.

Private equity companies raise third-party finance to deploy primarily into private companies, investments which they later dispose of for capital gain and to return capital, usually over a 10-year cycle.

An annual survey by KPMG and the South African Venture Capital and Private Equity Association shows South Africa’s private equity industry assets under administration increased 10.4% to R126.4bn as at December 31, compared with the previous year.

Of that, R35.5bn was undrawn commitments, with R19.9bn of the undrawn commitments expected to be invested in the local market. An amount of R15.4bn was scheduled for investment in South Africa and other African markets.

NIPOST, CBN To Collaborate On Cashless Policy

NIPOSTThe Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST) said it was collaborating with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), in the execution of the bank's cash less policy.

The Area Postal Manager in Jigawa, Mr Pascal Ijara, made the disclosure in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Dutse on Wednesday.

He explained that the effort would harness the wide reach of post office services to ensure financial inclusion for the un-banked and under banked rural population.

The Manager said that NIPOST is currently remodelling its post offices to be Information and Communications Technology compliant so as to take advantage of the new opportunities.

He said under the partnership, NIPOST would roll out new services such as cash transfer, as well as warehouse Point of Sale Terminals especially in rural communities.

The Manager said: ``The era of information technology has brought enormous competition to bear on NIPOST mandate and operations.

``We therefore need to redouble our efforts to create an efficient and profit-oriented postal service that would guarantee customer satisfaction and improved revenue generation.''

Ijara urged wealthy individuals to venture into the system, to serve as NIPOST agents to enhance access to more fanacial services at the grassroots.

According to him, the gesture would encourage people to patronise the services in payment of salaries, pension and loans to farmers in rural areas. (NAN)

Source: Leadership

G8 Pledges Strong Support for AfDB Infrastructure Agenda

The Group of Eight most industrialized countries (G8) has expressed strong support for the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group's priorities, especially its initiative on infrastructure and the African Legal Support Facility - which helps countries negotiate better contracts in the natural resources sector.

In a final communiqué after meeting in Northern Ireland, the G8 also called for strong replenishment of theAfrican Development Fund - which supports a range of poverty reduction programmes, including infrastructure development and capacity building.

"The G8 urges multilateral development institutions to establish and prioritise, as part of ongoing work on International Development Association-17, African Development Fund 13 and European Development Fund-11 replenishments, more effective mechanisms for collaboration on project preparation, funding and risk mitigation for Africa's regional infrastructure programmes, such as the Programme for Infrastructure Development (PIDA). The G8 recognises the work being done by the G20 on financing for infrastructure in Africa," the G8 communiqué said.

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Entrepreneurs face difficulties in Kenya

June 18 - Kenya's government is encouraging youth and women to take advantage of funds set aside to support small and medium scale businesses. But entrepreneurs face many hurdles.

Kenya - Even though Kenya’s government has set up funds to support small and medium scale businesses, many young entrepreneurs still face many hurdles.

What stands between a business idea and a profit making business in Kenya are some stringent, long and expensive protocols.

These include company registration, government duty stamps, tax registration, business permits and insurance.

To get a government seal for a small business takes at least 31 days and costs about $245.
“Too much red tape. It's like our government is keeping us stupid, it’s so hard to start business here, so much bribery and corruption.

"It’s so hard to break free of that because we don't have finances to do that,” said Shamit Patel, an entrepreneur.

Shamit Patel and his friends started MYROB in 2011.

They design and print funky T-shirts and sell their products in Kenya's chain stores and supply to corporates.

Patel said it's a challenge to trade with corporates as they are set in their ways, making it almost impossible to inject fashion into work clothing.


Wired for Efficiency

Wired-for-Efficiency-Managing-StaffJust what is efficiency? If you, as a business owner, can’t define just what you mean and expect when looking for more efficiency in your business, you’ve already lost the battle.

In my work as a corporate trainer – whether I’m working with a single employee, a department, or a team – I like to define efficiency as the work or tasks not just undertaken, but actually completed in a given timeframe.

Whether that timeframe is a single day, a week, or the duration of a project is irrelevant – efficient employees work hard to complete their tasks. This means the company gets more from that employee, at the same rate of pay.
The question remains though, whether you as an employer inspire this in your workforce. There can be only one answer to this.

Getting started

It’s understandable that as a manager one looks to the overall functioning of your business, department or team, however, inspiring a work environment where efficiency is the norm requires more than that.
Employees need attention on an individual level. Efficiency, or its breakdown, begins there.
If an employee is bored with his or her work, or doesn’t feel motivated to complete the tasks at hand, the efficiency in the entire office will decrease and before you know it deadlines are pushed back and being missed.
Having defined what ‘efficiency’ means to you, the first step in inspiring this environment is identifying the reasons employees aren’t being efficient.
If you’re coming up with a single reason, chances are you haven’t looked hard enough. Some employees may be less efficient as a result of boredom, whereas others may be your classic procrastinators.
To truly get to the bottom of what the causes of inefficiency are, you need to talk to your employees on a one-on-one basis.

Decision-Making 101: How to Be Productive About Regret

Being-Productive-About-Regret-Business-LeadershipWe cannot, for example, avoid regretting losing out on opportunities that were almost in our grasp. Recall gymnast McKayla Maroney’s crestfallen face at the London Olympics after winning a silver medal – an image that went so viral, it inspired President Obama to tweet a picture with her in the same “I am not impressed” pose.

Why did Maroney feel so bad? Research shows that for silver medalists, it is a case of “too close, yet too far.” What is true for athletes is true for entrepreneurs – especially those who were locked in close finishes or were working on opportunities that became big. For them, regrets are not only unavoidable – they are expected.

In a study at Syracuse University that was recently published in Entrepreneurship Theory & Practice, my co-authors and I examined these issues at some length. Several entrepreneurs in our study reported regrets along the lines of: “I failed to launch an idea due to a personal setback. Now I get emotional when I see so many players in my space.” Can we really avoid regretting missed opportunities? And is it even necessary?

Africa’s Got Talent?

Africa's-Got-Talent-Business-LandscapeThe answer’s not simple when we’re not talking about a dance television show. At the moment, emerging African markets are frequently being touted as the solution to the current financial crisis. If companies can just ‘crack’ Africa, then they can turn themselves around and sail on with a profit-making wake behind them.

But it’s just possible that Africa doesn’t crack that easily, and that this time around countries won’t be so quick to play the aid-for-trade game. Those companies looking for a quick fix through exploitative behaviour are not those companies that will prosper through expansion into Africa.
What will count is investment in people, and a commitment to doing things properly. And many African countries are ensuring that investment and commitment through legislation.

African leadership models

Currently there are predominantly two models of top company leadership in Africa. The first type of leader is a thoroughly African entrepreneur, who has built up a business on the continent through hard work, shrewd negotiation and exploiting an extensive network. These players, among which we can number such entities as Oando, the largest Nigerian-owned oil company, rely heavily on the talent of a single individual.
The second model is the expat model. Companies wanting to ‘expand into Africa’ establish a base in one or more African countries and bring in an expatriate who has company or industry experience, but no local knowledge or context.
The problem with both these models is that they are short-term and do not cater for succession planning. In the case of the entrepreneurial leader, it is very rare that those same leaders who are so skilled at creating an effective business also have a talent for developing and nurturing a skilled management team, from which a successor may be chosen.
In the case of the expat, it may actually work against their own interests to create a succession plan – should an expatriate successfully transfer leadership skills to a local person, they have then worked themselves out of a job – and re-integration once you have been on the expat circuit is another whole can of worms, to be explored in a different column.
Furthermore, increasingly, and rightly, countries in Africa are limiting expat workers, either through insisting on a certain number of locals being employed or through only offering time-limited work permits for expatriates.

Jersey based Ashburton to become part of South African parent’s new investment business

Ashburton (Jersey) Limited is to form the international arm of a new asset manager that will become the fourth financial services franchise of FirstRand Limited alongside existing brands FNB, RMB and WesBank.

FirstRand group chief executive Sizwe Nxasana The new business takes its name from Ashburton, which has a long established track record of providing traditional products in developed and emerging markets, and which will now form part of Ashburton Investments. 

These traditional offerings – currently managed on behalf of both international and Southern African investors – will be supplemented by the integration of the investment management businesses of BJM, RMB Private Bank and RMB Global Market Funds Solutions, all part of the wider FirstRand Group. Total assets under management of the combined business exceed USD10bn.

FirstRand group chief executive Sizwe Nxasana (pictured) says: “By accessing the origination capabilities of our existing franchises, we can bring new investment and asset classes to retail and institutional investors. This will be in the form of both alternative and traditional products, which will provide investors with a far wider investment choice than currently exists, offering more sources of return and making it easier to save.”

Jonathan Lays Foundation for GE’s $1bn Manufacturing Plant

020912F2.Goodluck.jonathan.jpg - 020912F2.Goodluck.jonathan.jpg
President Goodluck Jonathan
President Goodluck Jonathan Tuesday performed a groundbreaking ceremony for the General Electric’s $1 billion service and manufacturing facility in Calabar, the Cross River State capital.

The ceremony was sequel to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the federal government and General Electric in January.
The MoU was signed by the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr. Olusegun Aganga, for the federal government, and the Global Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of GE, Mr. Jeff Emmelt, on behalf of the world’s renowned company.
Jonathan, who was represented by Vice-President, Namadi Sambo, noted that the groundbreaking ceremony would not only boost the administration’s transformation agenda, it would also further strengthen the confidence in the Nigerian business environment by both local and foreign investors.

NSE, NASD and Emerging Battle in the Capital Market

041112F.Oscar-Onyema.jpg - 041112F.Oscar-Onyema.jpg
NSE DG, Oscar Onyema
The plan by the NASD Plc to commence trading on its Over-the-Counter (OTC) market, where it plan to trade a broad range of instruments, which include derivatives like options, unlistedequities, on July 1, this year, will further deepen the Nigerian capital market. However, given that the survival of the NASD depends on companies remaining unlisted on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), what lies ahead is difficult to predict, writes Eromosele Abiodun.

Today, there are three exchanges in Nigeria. They are: the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), The Abuja Securities and Commodity Exchange (ASCE) and the NASD Plc. Like in other clime, these exchanges were set up for different reasons. For example, the NASDAQ was created in response to concerns from the United States Congress in the 1960s that its Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) had been lax in supervising stock trades, and had not adequately enforced rules against large securities companies.

Banking Stocks Maintain Lead at Stock Market

Sanusi Lamido Sanusi.jpg - Sanusi Lamido Sanusi.jpg
CBN Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi
Nigerian banks have continued to improve on their 2012 performance as the sector has maintained its lead over the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) All-Share Index or ASI in year-to-date (YTD) return by as much as 9.6 per cent.

On average, the sector has gained 42.3 per cent YTD compared with the All Share Index’s 32.7 per cent. In 2012 the banking sector appreciated 44 per cent as against the ASI’s 35.5 per cent.

The recovery in the Nigerian banking sector gathered momentum in 2012, resulting in a 1,610-basis-point expansion in ROAE.
However, analysts at FBN Capital Limited have warned that while the sector was now on a more solid footing for the longer term, “We believe the time is right to pause for some breath.”

NSE Moves 268.8m Shares

Investors on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) on Tuesday exchanged 268.85 million shares worth N3.49 billion in 6,500 deals.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the volume of shares traded declined by 4.22 per cent compared with 280.69 million shares valued at N2.68 billion traded in 6,245 deals on Monday.

The banking stocks remained the toast of investors with Access Bank emerging the most traded stock with 25.03 million shares worth N279 million.

Unity Bank came second on the activity chart, accounting for 21.27 million shares valued at N13.85 million, while investors staked N416.09 million on 20.16 million shares of Zenith Bank. FBN Holdings recorded a turnover of 19.09 million shares worth N352.09 million, while Skye Bank accounted for 14.22 million shares valued at N66.64 million.

The market capitalisation was down by N20 billion or 0.17 per cent to close at N11.89 trillion from the N11.91 trillion recorded on Monday due to profit -taking.

NAN also reports that the All-Share Index dropped by 60.4 points or 0.16 per cent to close at 37,024.72 against 37,085.12 recorded on Monday.

Flour Mills topped the losers' chart, dropping N10.40 to close at N93.60 per share. Flour Mills was trailed by Guinness with a loss of N5.90 to close at N259.10, while Nestle lost N5.89 to close at N993 per share. Nigerian Breweries dipped by N4.80 to close at N150.30, while Okomu Oil decreased by N1.80 to close at N48 per share.

Presco led the gainers' table, gaining N2.95 to close at N37.95 per share. Lafarge Cement WAPCO followed with a gain of N2.56 to close at N91, while Zenith grew 90k to close at N20.90 per share. Dangote Sugar rose by 46k to close at N10.97, while Access Bank gained 41k to close at N11.05 per share.


Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Nigeria: Analysts, Stockbrokers Doubt Sustainability of Equities Rally

A view of the trading floor at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) at the end of trading hours in Lagos April 24, 2012. (Akintunde Akinleye/Courtesy Reuters)As equities listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, NSE, continue to record upward movement, stock market analysts are afraid that the current rally may not be sustained as most of the stocks that have recorded high returns this year may not be supported by adequate fundamentals.

Over the past one year, the stock market has been on a roller coaster, beating the expectations of those that had projected that the 2008 meltdown would take a little longer to ebb. Just in the month of May, the NSE All Share, ASI, Index has risen by nothing less than 7.64 percent. From rock bottom of N8 trillion in 2011, the NSE's market capitalisation has risen to over N12 trillion marks, reaching almost the height it was before the market crashed. The All Share Index has also crossed the 39,000 basis points.

Analytst believe that the recent surge in the market, which comes after a slight pullback in April, has been dominated by bellwethers (the top 10 most capitalised stocks have increased by an average of 8.8 percent in the month). They noted that the development makes the current rally a defensive one rather than a risk-on risk-off rally as was witnessed at the beginning of the year.

America Falls Behind in Creating Rich Entrepreneurs

The creation myth of American wealth is almost always rooted in the entrepreneur.

Mats Silvan | Flickr Open | Getty Images
It's the two kids who start a computer company in their garage or dorm room. Or the former standup comic who creates form-shaping undergarments, or the South African immigrant who creates a new electric car and private space program.

But despite the high-profile examples, America may actually be falling behind the rest of the world when it comes to creating entrepreneurial wealth. A new study from Barclays, "Origins and Legacy: the Changing Order of Wealth Creation," finds developing countries now lead the U.S. when comes to wealth creation by entrepreneurs.

Worldwide, 40 percent of millionaires (which is defined as those with investable assets of $1.5 million or more) cited a "business sale or profit" from their business as their source of wealth. Only a quarter of the millionaires cited inheritance as their wealth source.

Emulate European nations, Canada on extractive industry transparency, group tells Nigeria

Publish What You Pay says Nigeria should pass a law to compel extractive companies report on revenue payments.

Faith O. Nwadishi
Publish What You Pay, PWYP, Nigeria, the coalition of civil society organizations committed to the promotion of transparency in extractive industries, has urged Nigeria to emulate Canada and other European nations in passing a law that would make it mandatory for the country’s extractive industries to report on revenue payments.

The European parliament recently followed the footsteps of the U.S. Congress by voting to approve a law making it mandatory for oil, gas and mining industry operators to disclose details of payments for their activities to the government as a way of promoting transparency and accountability in the management of natural resource revenues.

The National Coordinator, PWYP Nigeria, Faith Nwadishi, said the group is excited that the huge veil of non-disclosure by European and American oil, gas, and mining companies has finally been removed to lighten the burden of advocacy for the extractive industry transparency.

Warburg Pincus leads $600 mn investment in Delonex Energy

Africa-focused energy exploration, production firm to tap opportunities through direct awards from host governments

A file photo of Delonex Energy chief executive officer Rahul Dhir. Photo: Bloomberg
Mumbai: Private equity (PE) firm Warburg Pincus is leading a $600 million investment in newly formed Africa-focused energy exploration and production company Delonex Energy Ltd. Warburg Pincus will be the largest shareholder in the London-based Delonex Energy, which is headed by former Cairn India Ltd chief executive Rahul Dhir.
Dhir was recently executive-in-residence at Warburg Pincus, where he worked in close collaboration with the PE firm over the past several months to formulate the Delonex business plan.
Delonex Energy, which has subsidiaries in the UK, India and Kenya, is focused on using technology and market access to discover, develop and commercialize hydrocarbons efficiently and effectively. Its areas of focus include the East African Continental Rift System, which extends from the Red Sea through Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania to Mozambique; the Central African Rift System from Chad to South Sudan; and the coastal margins of East Africa.
The company plans on accessing opportunities in these areas through farm-in and direct awards from host governments.

South Africa Wealth Fund To Expand Investment In Dangote Group

PICVENTURES AFRICA – Public Investment Corporation (PIC), South Africa’s biggest sovereign wealth fund, on Monday said last week’s transaction with Dangote Cement will open up new acquisition prospects in Dangote’s other operations.

Head of Resources at PIC, Fidelis Madavo, said these operations included Dangote’s sugar, flour, oil refinery and port operations.

Last week PIC said it had bought 1.5 percent of Dangote Cement, Nigeria’s largest listed company, in a deal valued at $289.3 million. PIC bought the shareholding at 179 naira a share.

Last week, Ventures Africa reported that PIC’s latest move was a sign that the JSE’s biggest investor is now committed to diversifying its geographic investment spread.

PIC made the announcement last week after it had bought 19.58 percent of pan-African bank, Ecobank Transnational, in a transaction worth $250 million.

This was its initial main transaction outside of South Africa.

It is understood that PIC has about $7 billion to be splashed in the African continent.

According to Leadership, the money will be invested in almost 20 listed firms in the consumer, infrastructure, telecommunications and agro business as growth rates in the continent continue on an upward trajectory.

Lanre Buluro, head of research at Primera Africa Securities, told Leadership it would be interesting to check if the PIC will investigate other opportunities outside Dangote in Nigeria.

“That would be positive for our market,” Buluro told Leadership.

Scottish oil and gas industry makes significant strides in Africa

A report released last month by Scottish Development International (SDI), Scotland’s investment promotion agency, revealed a 6 per cent growth in sales of oil and gas exports from Scotland to Africa in 2011/2012, with total international sales from both direct exports and overseas subsidiaries valued at £1,195 million.           

This investment in Africa reflects a +15 per cent swing in the growth rate of total sales into Africa from Scotland witnessed since 2009/2010.

The annual publication, published in conjunction with the Scotland Council for Development and Industry, analyses Scotland’s international activity and contribution to the global oil and gas industry, and examines the value and destination of international sales achieved by Scottish service/supply companies. The latest survey for 2011-2012 revealed:

Scotland’s oil and gas industry has experienced significant growth on the world market over the last 10 years.

76% Of Rural Dwellers Don’t Patronise Banks — NDIC

The Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) has said that about 76.8 per cent of rural dwellers in Nigeria do not patronise financial institutions, especially commercial and micro-finance banks in the country.

Managing Director of NDIC, Alhaji Umaru Ibrahim, disclosed this yesterday in Port Harcourt during the opening ceremony of a two-day workshop organised by the corporation for operators in the micro-finance banking sub-sector.

Ibrahim stated that the development showed that there was a huge untapped potential for financial services at the micro level of the Nigerian economy, pointing out that attempts by authorities in the past to fill the financing gap were not successful.“With an estimated population of over 160 million people in Nigeria, 70 per cent of whom are involved in the informal sector, 76.8 per cent of the rural residents are unbanked. It goes without saying that there exists a huge untapped potential for financial servces at the micro level of the Nigerian economy. Attempts by the authorities in the past to fill this financing gap were not successful,” he said.

Sterling Bank Seeks N12.5bn From Shareholders For Business Expansion

Sterling Bank Plc says it intends to raise N12.48 billion through the issuance of rights issue from its existing shareholders between June 24 and July 31.

Mr Yemi Adeola, the bank's Managing Director, announced the plan at a completion board meeting held on Monday in Lagos.

Adeola said that rights issue of 5.89 ordinary shares of 50k each would be sold at N2.12 per share for expansion of business operations.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the current price of the bank’s stock is N2.66k as at June 17.

He said that the rights would be issued on the basis of three new ordinary shares for every eight ordinary shares held by shareholders as at May 20.

Adeola said that out of the proceeds of N4.24 billion would be used for branch expansion, N1.82 billion for infrastructure upgrade, while N1.21 billion would go for information technology.
According to him, N12.13 billion will be used to increase the bank's working capital.

Monday, 17 June 2013

Margin Loans: SEC Approves 32 Securities, Excludes Banks’ Stocks

In a move to prevent a relapse to the 2008 stock market downturn, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has approved 32 securities that can be used as collateral for margin loans.
The approved 32 securities contained in the Margin List released by the regulatory authorities on Friday, however, excludes banks’ stocks from being used as collateral for margin transactions, but allowed other stocks in the market to be used in margin trade on the equities market.

The SEC and Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had earlier introduced a set of rules to regulate margin lending following the realisation that unsupervised use of margins to fund investment in listed equities contributed to the share price crash in 2008.

Unveiling the list of securities that could be used for margin loan facilities, SEC said the list was not an investment recommendation, but rather a guide to those who wished to engage in margin activities. The approved 32 securities include: Ashaka Cement Plc; Cadbury Nigeria Plc; Conoil Nigeria Plc; Custodian and Allied Insurance Plc; Dangote Cement Plc; Dangote Flour Mills Plc; Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc; Fidson Healthcare Plc; Flour Mills Nigeria Plc; Glaxo Smithkline Consumer Plc; Guinness Nigeria Plc; Honeywell Flour Mill Plc; International Breweries Plc; Julius Berger Plc.

Others are: Lafarge Cement WAPCO Nigeria Plc; Livestock Feeds Plc; Mansard Insurance Plc; Mobil Oil Nigeria Plc; National Salt Company Nigeria Plc; Nestle Nigeria Plc; Nigerian Aviation Handling Plc; Nigerian Breweries Plc; Oando Plc; Okomu Oil Palm Plc; P Z Cussons Nigeria Plc; Presco Plc; Seven-up Bottling Company Plc; Total Nigeria Plc; Trans National Corporation Plc; UACN Property Development Plc; Unilever Nigeria Plc; and UAC of Nigeria Plc. In a statement to the market community, the SEC head of media, Mr. Yakubu Olaleye, said SEC recognised the need to remedy the situation and chart a new course founded on the principles of risk-based supervision.
SEC advised investors to check the Margin List before entering into a margin lending arrangement with a broker or a bank, warning that only persons and entities who are knowledgeable about margin activities should engage in such transactions.

Source: Leadership

True entrepreneurs invest every part of them into building a company - Njoku, CEO iROKOtv

Jason Njoku
Last year, Jason Njoku, CEO of iROKOtv, an internet based business raised $8 million in venture capital from Tiger Global Management. Barely three months after, it closed on a $2 million round of funding from Swedish-based Kinnevik, with the aim of using the new investment from Kinnevik to grow iROKO Partners’ operations in New York, London and Lagos, as well as to purchase more content for iROKOtv, which launched three years ago. In this interview with RUTH OLUROUNBI, Njoku , who was on Forbes’ list of 10 young African millionaires to watch, reveals the process that led him up to this point.

How does it feel being on Forbes’ list of 10 young African millionaires to watch?
It’s a huge compliment, naturally, and I’m flattered to be recognised among other young high achievers, but my first priority each and every day is to build an awesome business. This is where 100 per cent of my time goes – accolades and lists are a welcome addition but I don’t dwell on them too much.

For the sakes of those who don’t know, what does iROKOtv do? - streams Nollywood (Nigerian Hollywood) movies online. We have over 5,000 Nollywood movies in our catalogue and absolutely anyone with internet connection can access the majority of movies for free. You just have to visit the site and click on a movie and it starts playing. For those who are Nollywood fanatics and want the brand new movies as soon as they’re available, then we have iROKOtv PLUS, a subscription service where for only $5 a month, they can access all the latest movies. We have almost one million unique views each month, with people watching iROKOtv from 178 countries around the world.

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Banks Frustrating Access To N450b Agric Fund – Agric Minister

Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr.Akinwumi Adesina
Dr Adewunmi Adeshina
The expected gains of the N450billion Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk-Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) special credit portfolio set aside by the Central Bank of Nigeria is yet to be seen due to high interest rates pegged on it by banks, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Adewunmi Adeshina has said.

Speaking at the inaugural meeting of the Nigeria Agribusiness Group (NAG), Adeshina said research carried out by the Agric Ministry and stakeholders have revealed that NIRSAL was yet to function proper and discharge its purpose due to the high interest rate pegged on it by banks allotted to disburse the funds to farmers.

He lamented that the high interest rate has continued to obstruct its aim of establishment as the credit risk guarantee and interest drawback fund programme operated by the CBN to stimulate agricultural financing and trigger the nation’s agricultural industrialisation process.

Nigeria's mobile money providers to develop standards

Nigeria's central bank has been pushing mobile payments as a mechanism to address the nation's high rate of unbanked consumers. To that end, the country's Association of Licenced Mobile Payment Operators is looking to develop standards and build a framework for mobile financial services.

According to a story on, ALMPO will be working with the Central Bank of Nigeria to ensure cooperation among the various stakeholders and viability of mobile payments in Nigeria.
"We want to put the future of our mobile payments industry on a clear and firm footing, and an independent body comprising of all licence stakeholders is the logical first step," said Dara Owolabi, ALMPO chairman, in the story.

Nearly three-quarters of Nigeria's population is unbanked, lacking access to basic financial services. However, more than 100 million out of 170 million Nigerians have mobile phones.

Source: Mobile Payments Today

Vukile pulls back on plan to acquire Wingspan’s retail centres

CEO of Vukile Property Fund, Laurence Rapp. Vukile pulls back from acquiring Wingspan’s property portfolio comprising five regional shopping centres.
CEO of Vukile Property Fund, Laurence Rapp.
Vukile pulls back from acquiring Wingspan’s property
portfolio comprising five regional shopping centres.
JSE-Listed Vukile Property Fund Ltd (VKE) on Tuesday announced that its negotiations to acquire Wingspan’s property portfolio comprising five regional shopping centres had been terminated.
In April Vukile announced it had entered into negotiations for the acquisition, either alone or together with a third party, of the Wingspan property portfolio.

Blue-chip retail acquisitions have become a rarity in the sector, with property players looking to hold on to their assets that are in demand.

The Wingspan portfolio, which is Retail Africa’s regional shopping centre fund, houses the Irene Village Mall, Village Mall Hartbeespoort, Weskus Mall, Westwood Mall and Fountains Mall.

The deal would have pushed Vukile’s retail exposure to about 60% of its total portfolio — which is the diversified fund’s target for retail. Vukile was unable to comment further on Tuesday.
While an analyst says this may not necessarily be the result of recent listed-property price declines, general price weakness in the sector has made many potential property deals less attractive than before.

IHS, Wema, Transcorp Boost Trading On NSE

The equities rally being witnessed at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) continued yesterday as increased trading in the shares of IHS Plc, Wema Bank and Transnational Corporation of Nigeria boosted turnover.

Telecommunication service company, IHS recorded the highest volume of shares exchange with 299.19 million shares valued at N598.4 million in eight deals, having sold at N2.00 per share. It was followed on the activity chart by Wema Bank which had shed 1.67 per cent of its share price to sell at N1.18.

Investors had traded 170.54 million shares of the bank valued at N202.91 million in 50 deals, while 103.9 million shares of Transcorp worth N135.12 million shares were exchanged in 123 deals. At the end of the day, turnover on the bourse stood at 988.08 million shares valued at N5.69 billion that changed hands in 7,842 deals.

Value was also on the rise with market capitalisation closing higher at N12.85 trillion having risen by 0.69 per cent or N88.37 billion. Also, the All Share Index rose by 0.69 per cent to cross to 40,012.66 basis points from 39,737.80 basis points. The bull took over as 50 equities made price appreciations during the day as against 17 that depreciated in price.

Source: Leadership

NSE: Index Appreciates By 0.69% To Cross 40,000 Mark

Transactions on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) on Tuesday maintained the upbeat trend with the All-Share Index recording a growth of 0.69 per cent to cross the 40,000 mark.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the index advanced by 274.86 points to close at 40,012.66 in contrast to the 39,737.80 achieved on Monday.

Also, the market capitalisation rose by N88 billion to close at N12.85 trillion against the N12.77 trillion recorded on Monday.

Flour Mills recorded the highest price gain, appreciating by N9.51 to close at N104.67 per share.
Total and Guinness came second on the gainers' table, rising by N5 each to close at N170 and N293 per share, respectively.

Presco gained N3.40 to close at N37.40, while PZ Cussons rose by N3.02 to close at N56 per share.
On the other hand, Nigerian Breweries led the price losers, dropping N3 to close at N174 per share.
Larfarge Cement WAPCO lost N1 to close at N98, while Oando dipped by 90k to close at N14.17 per share.

Portland Paint dropped 47k to close at N4.31, while GT Bank decreased 30k to close at N28 per share.

In all, investors exchanged 988.04 million shares valued at N5.70 billion in 7,844 deals.
This was against the 735.29 million shares worth N50.95 billion traded in 6,897 deals on Monday.
IHS emerged the most traded stock, accounting for 299.19 million shares valued at N598.40 million.
Wema Bank trailed with 170.55 million shares worth N202.92 million, while Transnational Corporation of Nigeria sold 103.91 million shares valued at N135.13 million.

NAN also reports that Resort Savings and Loans sold a total of 48.20 million shares worth N24.10 million.

Source: Leadership

Budding entrepreneurs deliver on new mobile app for the District

The District has long been an area with a booming tech start-up industry and a vibrant entrepreneurial scene.

And local young African Americans are taking advantage of the rapidly expanding opportunities, developing tech LLCs, support groups and ventures to nurture their dreams.
Enter Ron Cade and Adrienne Sheares, two budding entrepreneurs who this week launched a delivery service mobile app for the Washington area.

Urban Delivery allows users to request carriable items for pickup or purchase and then have them delivered. Need your dry cleaning picked up before a business meeting but can’t get away? Urban Delivery will send a bike messenger to bring it to you. Need a small item, say an iPhone charger, bought and delivered? Tap the app on your iPhone or Android-powered device and request a courier.
Sheares, 26, a graduate of Spelman College, used her experience in communications to create the app. She and Cade met while playing on a kickball team and worked on the app for seven months last year. She said the idea started with a question.

Nigeria Diamond Bank asks BNP to market $550mn bond

imageLAGOS: Nigeria's Diamond Bank has asked France's BNP Paribas and Afrexim Bank to lead an investor road show to Europe, the US and Asia for a Eurobond that could go up to $550 million, a banking source with knowledge of the deal said on Tuesday.

The amount the bank raises will depend on market conditions, the banker said, noting that the mid-tier lender was aiming for yield of between 6-8 percent. Pricing for the bond was expected next week, he said told Reuters.

Diamond Bank CFO Abdulrahman Yinusa told a Reuters Africa Investment Summit in Nigeria's commercial hub of Lagos in April that the bank would use funds from the debt issue to increase lending to the oil and gas, power and infrastructure sectors in Africa's second biggest economy.

Last month, rival lender Fidelity Bank issued a $300 million 5-year Eurobond paying a 7 percent yield.

Source: Reuters

Monday, 10 June 2013

Tackling liquidity challenges in Nigeria’s capital market

Mr Oscar Onyema
The place of liquidity in the survival of any capital market cannot be over emphasised. This is why the issue has continued to occupy the front row in the scheme of things in the nation’s capital market.
This also stemmed from the fact that the importance of the capital market in any economy cannot be undermined and so, for Nigerian economy to achieve its full potential, there is the need for the capital market to be strong, sustainable and function very well.

At some point earlier in the year, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Mr Oscar Onyema, called for a concerted effort to drive improvements in market participant experience.

This, he said, was necessary because according to him, “the Nigerian Capital market will continue to face challenges around liquidity and depth in 2013.

Tribune business gathered from the Exchange that a number of measures had been put in place by the management of the NSE to increase liquidity and investors’ confidence in the market.

Dangote Group subsidiaries pay N59bn dividend in 2012

Shareholders of three Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) listed subsidiaries of the Pan-African conglomerate, Dangote Group, are currently basking in the euphoria of good harvest as the companies made bumper returns on their investments.

Dangote Group subsidiaries pay N59bn dividend in 2012
Aliko Dangote

As at end of December, 2012 fi nancial year, Dangote Cement, Dangote Sugar Refinery and National Salt Company of Nigeria (NASCON) altogether paid a jumbo N59 billion as dividends.

The Group’s flagship, the Dangote Cement led the pack with a total dividend payout of N51 billion, Dangote Sugar rewarded the shareholders with N6billion while Dangote Salt (NASCON) paid out N2.3 billion as dividends.

As for Dangote cement, the dividend approved by the shareholders at the 2012 Annual General Meeting (AGM), held in Abuja translated to an unprecedented 300 kobo per share.

As for Dangote Sugar Refi nery enriched shareholders with 50 kobo for every one ordinary share of 50 kobo.

Structural deficiency in Nigeria’s budgeting system assailing economic plans, says Alufohai

Agele Alufohai is the President of the Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors who holds the belief that the competitiveness in Nigeria’s economic structure is currently being undermined by mediocrity and corruption. In this interview with Business Editor, ADE OGIDAN, he prescribed options capable of bailing the country out of the quagmire. Excerpts:
HOW would you assess the practice of quality surveying in the country today?

Agele Alufohai
My name is A. Alufohai. Today, we have very capable quantity surveyors handling the practice in the country. Quantity survey has grown tremendously from what it used to be decades ago. What is gratifying is that the quantity survey business in Nigeria is commendable. In the 60s to the 80s, quantity surveying fared considering other fields where you still have the domination of foreign firms. This is because of our hardwork and drive in terms of skills and capacity building both in Nigeria and Abroad.

What do you have to say about collaborations between Nigerian firms and foreign consortium?
Neigbouring countries and South Africa are seeking reciprocity in terms of issuance of certificates so that foreign firms can come and practice and are well acceptable in Africa with many Nigerians. Africans have not relented in their quest to obtain Nigerian certificates in order to make them practice here in the country. Nigerians abroad also go the extra mile to obtain international certifications, especially that of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and that has also been our strength. The emphasis is the background, knowledge that we acquired there.

Nigeria retires matured bonds, plans to curb rising local debt

Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala
THERE were indications that the nation’s rising debt profile may have raised serious concerns, as plans are now underway to reduce projected borrowing, while matured bonds are retired.

Specifically, Nigeria retired matured bonds worth N75 billion, which matured in February and unfolded plans to cut domestic borrowing to N500 billion ($3.1 billion) in 2014, as part of a move to reduce growing debt.

The Finance Minister and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, who made the disclosure in an e-mailed statement to Bloomberg at the weekend, said this year’s local borrowing target of N577 billion is expected to decrease next year.

She said that this was part of the strategies Africa’s biggest oil producer is using to retreat from the height reached in 2010, when it exceeded a target of N867.5 billion and sold N1.1 trillion of bonds, adding that the country will continue to do so to reduce debt.

Sunday, 9 June 2013

SA losing to Kenya in tech race

South Africa appears to be losing its status as the preferred investment destination on the continent for international technology companies. By Duncan McLeod.

Duncan McLeod
Duncan McLeod
South Africa appears to be losing its status as the preferred investment destination on the continent for international technology companies. That honour, increasingly, is going to Kenya, which may be on the cusp of a technology-fuelled era of economic growth.

When apartheid ended in 1994, there was a flood of investment into South Africa by international technology companies. Microsoft, IBM, Intel, Motorola, Xerox, Hewlett-Packard: they all poured millions into establishing local offices to serve not only South Africa but often markets across Southern Africa and even sub-Saharan Africa. The view was that South Africa was the gateway to the continent.

Twenty years later, and perceptions are shifting.
In South Africa, economic growth has flat-lined. In the technology space, a weak policy making and regulatory environment where fast and smart decision making just doesn’t happen, coupled with a disastrous education system that appears incapable of giving youngsters a solid grounding in foundational subjects such as mathematics and science, are undermining prospects.

Hope of Bumper Half-Year Results Spurs Rush for Banks’ Stocks

As investors await the release of the 2013 half-year unaudited results of quoted banks, investigations have revealed an increased appetite for bank stocks in the nation’s capital market.

The popularity of banks’ equities was also attributed to the impressive 2012 results of banks, which investors regarded as one major proof of the recovery of the banks after the 2008 fiasco.
THISDAY checks showed that the increase in share prices of banks is largely driven by the increased demand for banks stocks by institutional investors based on the half-year dividend history of some of the affected banks.
An analysis of the market performance in the last five months showed that chief among the banks, which performed creditably, are GTBank Plc and Access Bank Plc. The two stocks witnessed tremendous price appreciations in recent times.

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Microsoft rolls out white space Internet in Africa

Africa hides a huge technological potential that, with support from the private sector and cooperation between African regions, can transform the continent into a more competitive player in the global market, concluded speakers at the introduction of Microsoft 4Afrika Initiative in Brussels on 5 June.
The project was launched in February aiming to improve Africa's competitiveness worldwide, by focusing in three areas: world-class skills, access and innovation.

Microsoft 4Afrika
Credit: Microsoft 4Afrika

Fernando de Sousa, General Manager for Africa Initiatives at Microsoft, explained that by 2018 Africa will have a workforce of 500 million people. A big part of them will probably be entrepreneurs and will come up with new ideas, which can be turn into real projects and businesses if they have access to the necessary tools.

Microsoft's 4Afrika facilitates online and offline educational platforms, gives access to technology and cloud services, and works together with African entrepreneurs who want to innovate in their country of origin.