One of the most exciting things to see in 2019 is the fact that there are more and more companies originating from Nigeria that are starting to become more successful But, the most exciting thing to see is that they are not just starting to be successful locally, but are starting to make international connections. International connections are not significant just because they bring attention to the country, but because these are able to access larger pools of investment capital and thus are able to offer their better services to more people and, possibly even internationally. In order to bring the good news to everyone who needs to hear them, we are giving you a list of companies that have managed to garner some international attention and international clientele. The number and variety of companies are all over the place, so we are not going to be going into detail about them. We are just going to talk about how some of the companies are managing to get international attention by providing a list of games at Playamo Australia, getting investment from large international banks, or other interesting stuff.
Nigerian startups making international connections
Kobo360 is a Nigerian freight logistics company that is aiming to change how things are transported in, out and around the country. It has a fleet of strong vehicles that transport freight goods all across the country and it has been active for a relatively short time. But this time, it has managed to garner the attention of local businesses as one of the most reliable businesses to deal with if you are looking to transport goods from one point in the country to the other. So, when the company decided to go looking for financial investment, it was easily able to show off its capabilities and portfolio to some of the biggest international investment banks. While there were companies that were not really interested in investing in the African region, there were those who saw value in it. After all, the local economy is one of the growing ones in the world, and it is showing quite a lot of promise. Which is where Goldman Sachs decided to intervene. It is not easy to transport freight goods across Africa. There are many issues that a driver faces on the way. Lack of infrastructure, issues with local bureaucracies, corruption often get in the way of a successful business. But, Kobo360 has somehow managed to avoid having to deal with these problems on a day to day basis successfully. This became enough of an impressive feat for the investment bank that it decided to invest $20 000 000 into the company, thus giving it the ability to grow to a size that would allow it to serve not just the entire country, but the entire region. The company is thus expected to become much more profitable over the next few years and contribute to the local economy in a much more significant way. With more people employed, more trucks deployed and more work to be done, this i\ a great development for Nigeria and the Nigerian economy, as much as it is an incredible success for Kobo360.
But the logistics companies are not the only ones getting attention on the international stage. Some of the most successful companies from Nigeria and some of the most successful start-up industries within the country have been the FinTech companies that are springing up left and right within the country. These Fintech companies are looking to start offering new kinds of services to Nigerians in order to make their lives and their work easier and cheaper. It is a hard thing for FinTech to take off in a country where a significant portion of the population does not employ electronic devices, but the population that does have these devices is demanding these apps. As a result, more and more Fintech companies are starting to appear within the industry, and it is getting crowded.
But while people do not know what to expect of the industry and don’t think it will be successful in any significant way, the proof of the success of the industry is rearing its head on its own. According to reports, recently the industry within Nigeria managed to raise around $300 000 000 within a year, and grow by 60% without much international help. And as the growth continues, so will the international attention continues to increase. It is an exciting time for the Nigerian Fintech companies that are looking to expand, as international investment banks are starting to look into getting to work with them, in order to produce positive results for the company. It seems like the Fintech industry within Nigeria is only going to be growing, as companies move outside of the borders of the country and expand their operations to other areas of Africa with significantly enough developed infrastructure to handle the internet and electric requirements to support this industry.
IPPIS: Oil Workers Threaten To Shut Down, Sunday
Senior oil workers under the aegis of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association (PENGASSAN) and Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) have threatened to shut down all oil operations by Sunday, if the Federal Government failed to pay their salaries latest today.
The oil workers, who had embarked on a peaceful warning protest since Wednesday issued the threat when they gathered at the Petroleum Training Institute (PTI), Effurun in the continuation of the agitation, yesterday.
The protesters, who adorned red T-shirts carried assorted placards with inscriptions such as “No To Forceful Enrollment into IPPIS”; “Release Our Salaries Now or No Dialogue”; and “We Are Not Against IPPIS but Create Another Platform That Address Our Peculiarities”, amongst others.
Addressing the protesting workers, the Vice Chairman, Warri Zonal Council of PENGASSAN and Secretary of Regulators Forum, Prince Audu Oshiokhamele, warned that “if the salaries are not released by Friday, then all oil operations will be shut down by midnight of Sunday.”
He declared, “I want to assure you, our union members, that if our salaries are not released before Friday (tomorrow), by 12 midnight, on Sunday we will shut down the whole nation. What we are just doing now is a warning protest but by Sunday, the music will change”.
Also addressing the protesters, Oshiokhamele, who was in company of Mr. James Esiomor, PTI branch Chairman of PENGASSAN and Mr. Ejokirhie Jahpurpose, Chairman of PTI branch of NUPENG, expressed surprise that the Federal Ministry of Finance claimed ignorance of non-payment of their salaries in the last three months.
Rivers Commissioner Harps On Petroleum Prices Stability
The Rivers State Commissioner for Energy and Natural Resources, Dr Peter Meede, has stated the need for the Federal Government to ensure stability in the pump price of petrol in the country.
Meede said this while addressing the head of Port Harcourt Zone of the Petroleum Product Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPRA), Mr Ikien Sika, who paid him a visit in his office in Port Harcourt.
The commissioner said the instability in the pump prices of Petroleum products was responsible for the sharp practices some marketers engaged in.
He noted that the ministry would not tolerate the activities of dishonest marketers in the state, adding that it was not good for economic planning
According to him, “a situation where today we have a different price, next month we have a different price, the other month again you have a different price is not good for planning. We will not allow them to take advantage of Rivers people in terms of under dispensing of products, selling fake products that would undermine the security, safety and lives of Rivers people.
“I want you to collaborate with the ministry, let the people operating this industry in Rivers State understand that the ministry is alive and ready to support them to do their business but in a situation where they will compromise the standard of the product, we will not take that.”
He furthermore, said that the state governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, had ensured a conducive environment for doing business in Rivers State, which he pointed out would benefit petroleum marketers and warned that any attempt to short change Rivers people would not be tolerated.
He said, “you can hear that there is problem in Lagos and other states, but th-e sector in Rivers State here is relatively safe, but we need that collaboration. You can see that we’re partners in progress and we would appreciate that you continue to support us. A situation where people demarket Rivers State is over, the days where people would say ‘don’t go to Rivers state, is over. His Excellency has worked so hard to ensure that the environment of Rivers state, security of Rivers State, the economy of rivers state is on the front burner, that’s why you see the best we were doing in ensuring that peace and other forms of businesses thrive in Rivers State.’’
Responding, the head of Port Harcourt Zone of the Petroleum Product Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), Mr Ikien Sika said the agency was pleased with the peaceful co-existence between petroleum marketers and the state.
“We have to commend the governor and then of course the honourable commissioner, but there is still something and we have to tell ourselves the truth. In my house today I cannot open the windows, because of the soot. These are some of the things which I have noticed, but other things I was told that has actually reduced to a large extent”, he said.
He observed that the fluctuation of pump prices in petrol is an indication that the federal government will soon deregulate the petrol sector.
On his part, the Zonal Chairman of the Petroleum Product Retail Outlet Owners Association of Nigeria, Prince Sunny Ugbe, said that federal government was wrong to allow petroleum product marketers to determine the price of petroleum products in the country.
Prince Ugbe also noted that the PPPRA recently increased Ex-depot price of petrol and left the marketers to fix the retail price
He called on the federal government to fix the moribund refineries across the country as part of measure to ensuring a smooth process of deregulation of the petroleum sector
By: Tonye Nria-Dappa
FG To Deduct Illegal Mining Fees From States’ Allocations
The Federal Government on Wednesday resolved that henceforth, it would be deducting any illegal fees imposed on mining companies by state governments from the allocation of such states.
It has therefore directed the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, to begin to implement the directive.
The decision was reached at a meeting of the Federal Executive Council presided over by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.).
The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, disclosed this to State House correspondents at the end of the meeting held at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Mohammed said the decision was taken to eradicate double taxation in the mining sector and also gain investors’ confidence.
He said, “On the issue of double taxation whereby mining companies are taxed by local and state governments, two decisions were taken.
“One is that the council directed the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning to deduct directly from federal allocations of states which have deprived Federal Government of Nigeria’s revenue due to it by imposition of illegal taxes and levies on mining companies in their states.
“In other words, if a particular state engages in double taxation, you are imposing illegal taxes on a duly registered mining company, and it is reported to government, the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning will deduct that money from your allocation.
“The intent is to ensure that we don’t scare away investors, be they local or foreign. This will go a long way to reassure the investors that Nigeria is a safe place to invest now.”
The minister added that FEC also directed the National Economic Council to dialogue with the state governors in order to make them understand that states can participate in mining as corporate bodies by registering companies.
He reiterated the position of the law that the Federal Government had the exclusive right to mine and manage all mineral resources.
Mohammed added that the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Olamilekan Adegbite, who presented a memorandum to the council, also identified insecurity in certain parts of the country as one of the major challenges facing the mining sector.
He noted that in the North Western part of the country, mining had been suspended because of the activities of bandits and kidnappers.
He added that the industry was also faced with the problem of collision between some stakeholders, sometimes the traditional rulers.
He also reported certain decisions of past government in the area of storage of explosives that were used for mining.
Mohammed said, “Before now, the position is that any miner that wants to use explosives for mining must store them in either the military barracks or police facilities.
“So, he (Adegbite) asked for special dispensation to build special facilities at least one in each of the geo-political zones of the country. He also complained about extortion, the position of community development agreement, and the issue of many illegal miners.”
The minister said the council noted that insecurity and illegal mining had led to a huge loss of money and directed the National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno, to set up a special unit domiciled in Abuja to carry out targeted operations at identified and confirmed illegal mining sites nationwide.
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