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Heritage Bank Highlights Potential in Non-oil Exports

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Heritage Bank Limited has identified major commodities that can boost Nigeria’s foreign exchange earnings in the non-oil sector for the country.

Some of the export potential products as listed by the bank in the agriculture sector are: cocoa, cashew, groundnut, fish, horns, sesame seed, ginger, cassava and snails. Others include tobacco, coffee, cotton lint, rubber, among others. Under Vegetables and spices, the lender identified Bitter leaf, plantain flour, Ground melon, Ground Crayfish, Ground Maize among possible foreign exchange earners.

Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer, Heritage Bank Limited, Mr. Ifie Sekibo said farmers and exporters of agricultural produce should seek more knowledge in order to increase the quality and quantity of their products because export business involves dealings with other world players.

The bank chief who spoke at the 2016 Annual Conference organised by Finance Correspondents Association of Nigeria (FICAN) in Lagos recently said the 10-year tenor export stimulation facility provided by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) at nine per cent interest rate is a laudable incentive for exporters.

According to him, although the lenders would want the economy to grow by lending to farmers and other productive sectors of the economy, farmers/borrowers/exporters on their part should know that banks want their monies back and that “there is need for competence, commitment and confidence in the process.”

Speaking on the topic: “Providing Finance for Exports: Expectation & Experience,” Sekibo said Nigeria can also export such manufactured Goods as: Cocoa cakes, butter, powder & liquor, detergents, Malt drinks Palm kernel cakes & oil, baby clothes, confectioneries, leather. In the category of handicraft, Sekibo noted that Nigeria can export Talking drums, Calabash, Wood carvings, Raffia products among others, not forgetting the ever flourishing Nollywood which is even being watched by Militants (like Gendam) in neighbouring countries.

Represented by the Group Head, Agriculture Finance, Project & Development Finance Department of Heritage Bank, Mr. Olugbenga Awe, Sekibo regretted that exporters from Nigeria are not competitive enough, such that some Nigerian exporters go to Cameroun to bring in products, blend them to Nigerian products so that they can export. For instance, Yams that are consumed in London are from Ghana, not Nigeria.

As a country, Nigeria cannot afford to continue going backward in terms of non-oil export he reiterated.

The banker therefore advised exporters to master the steps to getting funding for export. He said, the first step is to know the difference between funds required for financing the business between the commencement of the manufacturing or procuring process and the dispatch of the goods, known as pre-shipment finance; and that of post-shipment finance, which are funds required for financing the exporter between the dispatch of goods and the receipt of payment.

It should be recalled that in recognition of Heritage Bank’s commitment to promoting non-oil export business, the African Export Import Bank (Afreximbank) recently provided a $150 million funding support for the lender.

Afreximbank, a frontline African financial institution believes in the uniqueness of the business strategy of Heritage Bank especially the Small Growing Business focus of the bank which aligns with the founding mission of Afreximbank.

According to Sekibo, exporters should also know that banks look for certain criteria for financing.

“There must be history of previous performance in terms of volume of export handled in the past; Frequency of Export; Payment methods; Payment Terms; how Products are sourced and how risk are mitigated,” he said.

Banks according to him also look at seasonality of the products; product destination; transaction cycle and buyer’s payment history.

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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JUST IN: Abuja to Kaduna Train Service to Resume by December 5

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The Federal Government has announced that services along the Abuja–Kaduna rail corridor would resume on Monday, December 5, 2022.

This was disclosed by the Managing Director of Nigeria Railway Corporation, Fidet Okhiria. 

While speaking to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) yesterday, Okhiria noted that all is now set to open the train corridor to passengers. 

He, therefore, advised passengers wishing to utilise the service to commence updating their mobile app from December 3, to enable them to successfully book the ride. 

Investors King earlier reported that the resumption of the Abuja to Kaduna train service will commence last Monday. The resumption was however postponed due to ongoing security work on the trail track as well as coaches. 

It could be recalled that the Minister of Transportation, Mu’azu Sambo stated during the test run of the train on Sunday that Nigerians without a National Identification Number would not be allowed to board the train.

The Minister added that the government is doing everything to stop a re-occurrence of the event that happened early this year when terrorists attacked Abuja to Kaduna. 

An event that led to the death of no less than nine people while several others were kidnapped. 

Speaking further on the new development, the NRC boss noted that the services will commence with two train rides from Abuja-Kaduna and vice-versa.

Given the train schedule, Okhiria stated that “AK 1 will depart Idu Station at 9:45 am and arrive at Rigasa Station at 11:53 am.

“KA 2 will depart Rigasa at 8:00am and arrive at Idu station at 10:17am.

“AK 3 will depart Idu Station at 3:30pm and arrive at Rigasa Station at 5:38pm.

He added that “KA 4 will depart Rigasa at 2pm and arrive at Idu Station at 4:07pm.

Okhiria noted that the federal government will continue to do all it can to protect both lives and properties on board its train at all times.

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Dominic Pizza Partners 9mobile on Food Service Delivery

The mother brand of Domino Pizza, Eat’N’Go Africa noted that the partnership is a demonstration of the company’s commitment to better serve the Nigerian market.

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Quick Service Restaurant (QSR), Domino Pizza has partnered with mobile telecommunication provider, 9mobile to improve its food service delivery.

The mother brand of Domino Pizza, Eat’N’Go Africa noted that the partnership is a demonstration of the company’s commitment to better serve the Nigerian market.

According to a statement released by the company, the partnership is aimed to increase customer satisfaction and provide quick service delivery to both individuals and retail offices.

Investors King learnt that customers can now easily and swiftly order domino pizza through the newly launched dedicated call center. 

The statement added that the Call Centre service was currently active in all Domino’s branches in Lagos State, with plans underway to activate it in other locations in Nigeria and would provide multi-lingual services.

Speaking at the event, the Group Chief Executive Officer of Eat’N’Go Africa, Mr. Patrick McMichael noted that customers’ orders will henceforth be delivered as much faster as possible. He added that the core responsibility of the company is to attain customer satisfaction through its products and service delivery. 

“As an organization, Eat’N’Go is committed to always being at the forefront of customer satisfaction and by adapting to innovative ways we will keep improving on our service delivery which the call centre avails us,” he said. 

Similarly, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of 9mobile, Juergen Peschel who was present at the event expressed delight and confidence in the prospect of the new partnership. 

He noted that with the new partnership, Eat’N’Go will be able to revolutionise delivery. 

The CEO affirmed that the collaboration shows the extent to which technology can be deployed to ease the way business is done.

Meanwhile, Eat’N’Go Africa is the mother company of a number of trademark products which include Domino Pizza, Cold Stone Creamery, and Pinkberry Gourmet Frozen Yoghurt brands. It is one of the leading Quick Service Restaurants (QSR) in Nigeria. 

The company currently has more than 190 outlets across the country with the goal to reach 250 outlets in 2023. 

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Aero Contractors to Resume Operations After Four Months of Suspension

Aero Contractors called off suspension, to resume operations in the first week of December

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Aero Contractors has disclosed plans to resume flight operations on the 5th of December 2022. The resumption is coming after more than four months of suspension owing to a lack of equipment capacity, foreign exchange scarcity, and other industry challenges.

Investors King could recall that in July 2022, Aero Contractors which is one of the oldest domestic airlines operating in Nigeria announced a voluntary withdrawal of service due to the numerous challenges facing the airline and the industry in general. 

“Due to the impact of the challenging operating environment on our daily operations, the management of Aero Contractors Company of Nig. Ltd. wishes to announce the temporary suspension of its scheduled passenger service operations with effect from Wednesday, July 20, 2022,” a statement issued by the airline in July partly read. 

The airline added that some of its aircraft were undergoing maintenance which made it a more complex situation to cope with the current reality in the aviation industry.

It highlights the high cost of maintenance, fuel, inflation, and forex scarcity resulting in high foreign exchange rates as some of the prevailing challenges which culminated in the suspension of service.

According to sources that are familiar with the new development, flight operations will resume with the Lagos to Abuja route while a check on the airline website showcases a confirmation. 

Meanwhile, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has cleared Aero Contractors to resume flight operations. 

The Director General of NCAA, Capt. Musa Nuhu confirms the resumption during a discussion he had with journalists earlier today. 

The DG clarified that the airline was not grounded and that it never had safety issues. Rather, he said the airline was faced with financial challenges which, if not quickly nipped in the bud, may degenerate into safety issues.

“Aero Contractors was not grounded based on safety issues. We did an audit of them…and we found out that the issue they had was financial sustainability,” Capt Nuhu noted.

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