The Federal Government says major tech giants.including Google, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube have shown interest in investing and exploring business opportunities in Nigeria’s digital space.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed said this on Saturday in Epe, Lagos state at the 49th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria (AAAN).
He said that the giant tech and primary digital media platforms which had been exploring the country’s digital media space had been holding meetings with relevant government agencies.
Mohammed said the Federal Government was committed to exploring all the opportunities offered by the techies for the benefit of the people.
The minister said the theme of the AGM, ” The New World Order: Technology as a Game Changer”, was apt.
According to him, the realisation of the power of technology in brand communication necessitated the setting up of the Ministerial Task Team on Audience Measurement System.
He said audience measurement in broadcasting would give accountable and data-driven understanding of the impact of communication on consumer behaviour.
The minister charged relevant parties in the ministerial task team to complete the tasks in order to initiate the legislative processes necessary for the implementation of the audience measurement before the end of the present administration.
Besides audience measurement, the minister said government had given approval for the implementation of other reform initiatives of the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON).
He said the reform would strengthen the advertising ecosystem, encourage inclusive growth as well as attract investment to the industry.
In his address of welcome, the President of AAAN, Mr Steve Babaeko, commended the minister for his untiring efforts toward repositioning the advertising ecosystem in Nigeria.
The minister was accompanied to the event by the Executive of APCON, Dr Olalekan Fadolapo, and the Director-General of the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation, Mr Falorunso Coker.
The Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI), has appointed Dr Chijioke Ekechukwu, Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Bristol Group, as its Vice President-Industry.A statement issued on Friday in Abuja by Olayemi John-Mensah, ACCI Officer, said that the appointment is subject to ratification at the ACCI 2022 Annual General Meeting (AGM).According to the statement, the President of ACCI, Dr Al-Mujtaba Abubakar, announced the appointment of Ekechukwu at the 16th EXCO meeting.The appointment which is subject to ratification at the 2022 AGM would elevate the foremost economist to the Executive Committee of the Chamber.“Ekechukwu is to replace the late Ichie Jude Igwe who occupied the position till his death on October 15, 2021.“Ekechukwu served as the Director-General ACCI between 2017 and 2018.“During his tenure, he turned around and initiated a good number of pragmatic restructuring policies that changed the fortunes of ACCI,’’ the statement said.According to the statement, he holds a BSc Degree in Economics, MBA in Management, M.Sc Degree in Finance and a Doctorate Fellowship of the International Certified Risk Management Professionals of the U.K.“He had many years of experience in banking and rose to top management level before exiting in 2008 to join Bristol Investments Limited as the Managing CEO.“He is on the Board of First Generation Mortgage Bank Ltd, Abuja, Bristol Academy Ltd and Dignity Finance and Investments Ltd. He is also the Chairman of Oriental Rice Mill Ltd.“Ekechukwu, a former President of Rotary Club of Abuja is happily married with children,’’ the statement said.NewsSourceCredit: NAN
The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Ibadan Branch on Tuesday swore in its first female chairman in 70 years.
The new Chairperson, Mrs Folashade Aladeniyi, took her oath of office during the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the branch, held at the Aare Afe Babalola Bar Centre, Ibadan.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Aladeniyi received the mantle of leadership from her predecessor, Mr Olayinka Esan, who led the organisation for two years.
Esan remarked that his administration, which came into being on June 27, 2020, was the first to hand over to a female in the last 68 years.
The erstwhile chairman said his administration did its best to build on the foundation laid by its predecessors and improved the Bar in all spheres, despite all odds.
“As promised, we renovated the facilities of the Bar Centre; the robbing room was transformed into a better state for use of members.
“We took absolute care of members, even during COVID-19, as vaccinations were given to interested members. We also received tremendous support from the state judiciary.
“Among many achievements, we provided telephone lines for all High Courts and the Customary Court of Appeal to dispense with physical attendance, with respect to information seeking from registrars,” he said.
Mrs Folake Solanke, SAN, acknowledged the Esan-led administration for its efforts and commitment toward moving the association forward.
Solanke urged the new administration to build on the legacy laid down by its predecessors.
Mrs Oluyemisi Bamgbose, SAN, also commended the immediate past administration, describing the team as wonderful.
“I really commend and congratulate the outgoing chairman and his team for leading successfully.
“He was too strict and good, even to a fault; his administration always stood for justice and made sure that money was never spent anyhow,” she said.
Responding, Aladeniyi pledged to build on the legacy she met on ground, as laid by her predecessors.
While appreciating her family members, friends and colleagues for their support, she, specifically, thanked God for the grace of being elected as the new and the first female chairman of the branch. (
Industrial and Medical Gases Nigeria (IMG) Plc, a leading manufacturer of gases, has declared a net profit of N372 million for 2021 financial year.
The profit represented an increase of 27 per cent when compared with N292 million achieved in 2020.
IMG Chairman, Mr Abiodun Alabi, made the disclosure at its hybrid 63rd Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Friday in Lagos.
Its shareholders also endorsed the declaration of one bonus share for every five ordinary shares.
Alabi, represented by IMG Non-Executive Director, Mr Adebayo Adeleke, said the bonus shares underlined the company’s strategic decision to reinvest its profit to build a stronger financial base in the nearest future.
He, reviewing the industrial gas market, noted that in spite of the inclement operating environment, the company posted remarkable profits.
He said some of the challenges in 2021 were foreign exchange to maximise opportunities, plant breakdowns and increase in energy cost.
“Total revenue for the period was N3.69 billion up from N3.17 billion achieved in 2020 while profit after tax for the year also rose to N372 million from the N292 million achieved in 2020.
“Focus on operational efficiencies, tight cost control measures, improved service delivery, generation of new business and determined efforts by management and staff were responsible for the increase in our bottom line.”, he said.
Its Managing Director, Mr Ayodeji Oseni, explained that the company’s strategic objectives were to position for global competitiveness and enhanced shareholder value through creation of innovative products and services.
Oseni expressed optimism that the company would continue to operate optimally, irrespective of the nature of the operating environment.
“Our strategic objectives in the short and medium term will continue to align with the dynamism prevalent in the marketplace today even as we keep our eyes on the future and expansion of the business.
“Management and staff will continue to focus our efforts and resources on the growth opportunities within the food and beverage, oil and gas, healthcare, energy, and agricultural sectors of the Nigerian economy.
“As an organisation, we will continue to position our business to capitalide on opportunities in these sectors and boast our performance in 2022,” he said.
Meanwhile, shareholders of the company gave their commendations over its performance in the face of the tough operating environment.
Speaking on behalf of other shareholders, Mrs Bisi Bakare said that they were happy at the company’s good performance in all metrics.
“We are quite happy with IMG because with the challenges in the operating environment, the company made profits all round.
“The bonus shares declared is even more than dividend in value and this is commendable, going by where the company is coming from.
“We believe the future of the company is bright,” she said.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that recent divestment of Linde Group from the company and acquisition of its 60 per cent holding by T.Y. Holdings, increased the Holding’s stake to 72 per cent.
The development led to the change of the company’s name from BOC Gases to IMG as part of brand positioning.
Nigeria’s energy solutions provider, Oando has finally released its long-anticipated full-year 2019 and 2020 financial statements.
The company confirmed the development in a statement issued on its website on Wednesday and obtained by the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos.
The statement said the three-year delay in the release of the company’s results was precipitated by the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) suspension of Oando’s 2018 Annual General Meeting (AGM).
It said this was due to a dispute with an indirect shareholder, Ansbury Investment Inc.
“The suspension of the company’s 2018 AGM and attendant issues prevented shareholders from being kept abreast of business operations, a move decried on numerous occasions by Oando and her executives as not being in the best interests of the market.
“In July 2021, Oando entered into a settlement with the SEC on all matters subject to litigation and other issues flowing therefrom, thus putting an end to one part of the dispute with Ansbury.
“Key for Oando was that the SEC did not find the company guilty of any wrongdoing and by way of a settlement, was able to prevent further market disruption and harm to Oando Plc’s shareholders,” the statement said.
According to the statement, after 12 consecutive quarters of profits up until third quarter, 2019, the company reported in its 2019 audited financials a loss-after-tax of N207.1 billion.
It said this was largely attributable to impairments for goodwill and loans associated with the indirect shareholder dispute.
“The settlement of this long-running dispute led to an impairment of N148 billion on financial assets but forms the final resolution and settlement of the dispute with Ansbury.
“The company has been resolute in reiterating that all actions taken to date have always been in the interests of all Oando shareholder.
“Furthermore shareholders have consistently asked the company to take all necessary steps to resolve this dispute and move the business forward.
“The actions of both SEC and the indirect shareholder contributed largely to eroding its stock’s value significantly from its listing price of an average of N9 per share in 2017, to an average N3 per share in 2022,” it said.
It said despite the loss, this one action had far-reaching and positive implications – the settlement finally takes Ansbury out of the picture and would be a welcome relief for the company, shareholders and market.
The statement said it would finally allow the management to focus their efforts on setting a new path for growth and value creation for her shareholders.
It said with 2019 behind it, the company faced a new challenge in 2020 in the form of the COVID-19 pandemic which negatively affected all corporates not just those operating in the oil and gas sector.
“In the company’s 2020 full year end financials, a loss after tax of N132.6 billion, a 36 per cent drop from 2019, was reported. A positive skew in results from the previous year,” the statement said.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed says the creative industry has been identified as the only hope of Africa from its economic woes, unemployment and fragmentation.
The minister said this on Tuesday in Abuja while speaking to the News Agency of Nigeria on his recent visit to Cairo, Egypt to attend the 49th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Afreximbank.
Mohammed said though the AGM was primarily to give the scorecards of the bank activities, a day was, however, set aside to discuss the creative industry in Africa.
He said from the report of the Afreximbank and the conclusion at the special session, the creative industry was adjudged the only hope for Africa in the sense that “it is a resource which is limitless, renewable and can easily create wealth and jobs’’.
“When you look at the development of the creative industry in Africa today, you will realise that we are sitting on a goldmine.
“In most African countries, the creative industry has developed with less contributions from government, this is because we have the population and the talents.
“The ceative industry is gender friendly, engages both male and female old and the youth.
“The importance of creative industry is not just in terms of creating jobs or wealth but can be used as soft power in maintaining peace and harmony.
“This is very important in Africa where we have a fragmented society along religions and ethnicity,’’ he said.
The minister said that the position at the bank’s AGM confirmed what he said some years back that “creative industry is Nigeria’s new oil’’.
Narrowing it down to Nigeria, he said the country had many advantages including the youths’ population of about 52 million who are between the ages of 18 to 25 largely talented and digitised.
“We have about 33 million Nigerians who are internet users and this is a huge advantage to us.
“Nigeria has what others do not have to leverage on in the creative industry, especially in movie, music, arts, fashion and gastronomy.
“It is amazing today that Nigeria fashion, music, movies are making waves all over the world,’’ he said.
The minister, however, underscored the need for governments across Africa to invest in creative industry’ infrastructure like creativity hubs, better internet connectivity and cheaper data.
He said there was also the need for reliable data on the contribution of the creative industry to the economy in order to attract funding.
The good news, according to the minister, is the readiness of the Afreximbank to devote special attention to the creative sector in the continent in the years ahead.
The minister said the bank announced at the event a 500 million dollar finance portfolio for the media and the creative industry in the continent.
He assured that Nigeria would work on it to see how it could benefit from it
Mohammed also said that the support pledged by the Afreximbank to Nigeria for the completion of its Digital Switch Over project was on course.
The International College of Surgeons (ICS) has called for the establishment of a Health Services Development Bank with single digit interest rate as applicable in agriculture sector and industrial development.
This is contained a communiqué issued at the end of the ICS Annual General Meeting (AGM), the Nigerian Section and Scientific Conference on Monday in Abuja.
The communiqué was signed by Dr Maurice Ezeoke, President ICS Nigerian Section and Prof. Lucky Onotai, Secretary-General, both fellows of ICS.
The communiqué said that such measure would enable easy access and affordable capital for investors utilising the model.
It observed that medical brain drain of the country had reached alarming proportions and urged the government to take urgent steps to stem the tide.
It further frowned at the alarming security situation in the country, which was impacting negatively on the health status of Nigerians.
The body, therefore, appealed to the government to act decisively to mitigate the situation.
“Brain drain and alarming security situation in the country have impacted grossly and negatively on the health of Nigerians.
“This health issues seem at the moment to be catered for by the private sector and free medical outreaches as conducted by ICS.
“The ICS-NS therefore recommends that the Public Private Partnership (PPP) model of growing health services seems to be the best approach and therefore should be encouraged and strengthened,’’ it noted.
The communiqué recommended a favourable and conducive environment for retention of home base medical expertise and frequent visits or complete return of those in the diaspora.
It further urged the government to establish medical cities for ease of acquisition of land by investors in the medical field.
“Government should also be involved in sponsoring, training and development of medical expertise for the nation, which at the moment seems to be left in the hands of individuals and the private sector.
“To achieve this training and development of expertise, budgetary allocations for health needs to be significantly improved with a view to ultimately reaching the WHO recommended percentage of national budgets,’’ it said.
The communiqué appreciated the efforts of various governments towards enhancing the health of Nigerians through the recently gazetted National Health Insurance Act 2022.
The communiqué assured of the readiness of the college to support all policies and measures by government aimed at improving the health of the populace.
The Odu’a Investment Company Ltd. (OICL) will present its year 2021 audited financial accounts and also propose the declaration of dividend to its shareholder states at its 40th Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Wednesday.
According to a statement signed by its Head, Branding and Communications, Mr Victor Ayetoro, the AGM would hold at the Osun Hall of the Lagos Airport Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos.
The meeting will also serve as an opportunity to provide update on progress made toward repositioning the company as a world-class conglomerate as well as being an efficient engine of growth for the South-West region.
The six South-West shareholder states will be represented at the meeting by the Secretary to the State Governments (SSGs) of Oyo, Ondo, Ogun, Osun, Ekiti and Lagos states, while the meeting will be chaired by Dr Segun Aina, Chairman, Odu’a Investment Company Ltd. Board.
Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc has declared a turnover of N276 billion for the financial year ended Dec. 31, 2021, translating to a 29 per cent increase against the N214 billion recorded in 2020.
Its Chairman, Mr Aliko Dangote, said this at the company’s 16th Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Wednesday in Lagos.
Dangote revealed that the company’s profit before tax stood at N34.01 billion, while its profit after tax was N22.052 billion.
He said the Group’s Earnings before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortisation (EBITDA) decreased to N48.5 billion with a margin of 18 per cent, a 35 per cent decrease compared to 27 per cent (N58.03 billion) for the same period in 2020.
The Group also declared a dividend of N12.147 billion for shareholders for the year under review.
He stated that upon approval, the dividend would be paid to shareholders in the register of members as at June 1, net withholding tax at the standard rate.
Dangote stated that the company’s performance during the year under review was commendable amidst the challenges and the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on economic activities.
He expressed hope that the turnover for the year 2022 would be better given the strategies in place to reenergise distribution to serve its customers better in spite of infrastructural and environmental challenges.
“The goal of Dangote Sugar Backward Integration Master plan remains the achievement of 1.5 million metric tonnes annually from locally grown sugarcane in support of the quest for sugar sufficiency in the country by the Federal Government of Nigeria.
“This will be achieved in addition to the extended value chain benefits that will be derived from the projects including thousands of jobs that will be generated in the sector from these projects.
“We furthered the implementation of process optimisation, cost savings and product promotion strategies with the launch of our new brand identity and the pursuit of the Dangote Sugar Backward Integration Master Plan.
“The board and management will continue to implement strategic actions to sustain and surpass this performance while engaging with all stakeholders in the sector and our communities to ensure the realization of the objectives of the company,” he said.
He encouraged shareholders yet to embrace the E-dividend payment option to do so to ensure the prompt payment of their dividends.
Mr Ravindra Singhvi, Group Managing Director, Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc, said the company’s sales and production volume grew to 771,321 tonnes and 811,962 tonnes respectively.
This, he said, meant a 5 per cent and 9 per cent volume growth respectively when compared with the same period in 2020.
Singhvi noted that against the backdrop of COVID-19, the company’s continued implementation of operational efficiencies sustained its leadership position in the market in the face of various challenges.
He said to achieve this performance, the company continued the implementation of strategic actions towards its commitment to improve its performance and generate value for all stakeholders.
“During the year under review, we continued with the pursuit of our goals to create long term value for all stakeholders ranging from our employees, customers communities, investors, shareholders, etc.
“Our strategy is to achieve sustainable growth over the long term with the efficient management of operations in spite of the challenges for increased shareholders value through sound and responsible business decisions that deliver steady growth in earnings and dividends.
“During the year under review, we improved our brand visibility with the introduction of our brand new product packaging, which enhanced our market position, supported with improved service delivery to our customers,” he said.
Meanwhile, the company’s directors recommend for shareholders’ approval, a dividend of N1.00 for every ordinary share of 50 Kobo each for year ended December 31, 2021.
A shareholder, Mrs Bisi Bakare, commended the company for the food fortification award received for the year under review.
“I’m asking that we shore up on capacity utilisation to bridge the sugar demand gap locally and international to improve Nigeria’s export base,” he said.
Another shareholder, Mr Patrick Ajudua, expressed satisfaction with the performance of the company, particularly at a time like this with the various environmental operating challenges.
He charged the management to improve upon the capacity utilisation of the plant to be better positioned to meet local and export needs.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc is one of the largest sugar refineries in sub-saharan Africa with a 1.44 metric tonnes refining capacity.
The company has a strategic backward integration master plan to produce 1.5 million metric tonnes of refined granulated sugar from locally grown sugar across various sites in Nigeria.
International College of Surgeons (ICS) has identified Public Private Partnership (PPP) in the health industry as an evidence-based solution to ameliorate the effect of global pandemic.Dr Ibrahim Wada, Medical Director, Nisa Premier Hospital and Nisa groups, said this at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the International College of Surgeons, Nigeria Section, while delivering the 14th Eruchalu Memorial Lecture on Monday in Abuja.In his paper, tagged “The role of Public Private Partnership Value-Chains in Improving Healthcare Services in Nigeria during COVID-19 pandemic,” Wada described the pressure brought by COVID-19 on health system globally as enormous.Wada explained that the PPP arrangements secured the needed cold chains and rapid movement of goods and services to the required places.The partnership, according to him, helped in ameliorating the rapid growth of the pandemic as well as reduction in mortality rates.The theme of the conference is “Global COVID-19 Pandemic: Effects on Safe Surgical Services, Training and Research”.Wada said that through PPP arrangements and collaboration of all and sundry, the nation was able to mitigate the disruptions caused by the pandemic in the system.He identified the disruptions and inadequacies in the country’s health system due to the pandemic to include disruptions at the level of patients, hospital services, supply chains and availability of manufactured goods.Wada defined PPP as a cooperative venture between the public and private sectors, built on the expertise of each partner that best meets clearly-defined needs through the appropriate allocation of resources, risks and rewards.“In the healthcare provider environment, it became rapidly apparent that there were acute shortages of isolation wards and intensive care facilities.“Evidence of PPP which is collaboration emerged quickly whereby philanthropic organisations put up isolation centres and provided Intensive Care Unit (ICU) spaces in support of government efforts to contain the pandemic.“The government provided the lands, policies and license while the private organisations provided funds, buildings, personnel, training and equipment,” he noted.Wada further said that the private sector supported government hospitals to be able to float ICU facilities with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), facemask, ventilators and volunteer personnel.Wada, who decried the dearth of testing centres in the wake of the pandemic, said the gap resulted in several days of delays to obtain test results, referral and individual apathy.According to him, this gap was also closed through PPP as private testing centres were licensed by the government to complement what it had and this eased testing delays and allowed for quicker diagnosis.“There is no doubt that the licensing of private labs, working in collaboration with government committees, the NCDC and Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, eased the delays in obtaining results and improved treatment outcome for patients.“Also on vaccines production, foreign manufactured vaccines were obtained through COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access, a worldwide initiative aimed at equitable access to vaccines.“This was directed by GAVI vaccine alliance, Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and WHO alongside key delivery partner UNICEF”.He added “the critical collaboration aided the unprecedented large-scale distribution of the vaccines among others,” he said.Wada, who frowned at the death of 20 Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) members due to patients affected by the pandemic, blamed the number on inadequate testing and screening.According to him, had the public-private cooperation in the management of the pandemic started early enough, perhaps more lives would have been saved.He, however, called for local production of vaccines as well as medical implements and consumables like PPE, medication and hand gloves.Wada emphasised “this can be best achieved if the government enters into PPP arrangements with relevant manufacturers as quickly as possible.” (