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Nigeria Loses Fortunes to Over-dependence on Lagos Ports

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  • Nigeria Loses Fortunes to Over-dependence on Lagos Ports

The over-dependence on the Lagos seaports may be doing the economy more harm than good, as investigations revealed that Nigeria is losing fortunes to the underutilisation of other ports across the country.

The huge concentration on Lagos ports being the commercial nerve centre of the country may be limiting the maritime sector’s contribution to national earnings, which contributes as much as 30 per cent of Nigeria’s gross domestic product (GDP).

According to report, the diversion of cargoes to Lagos has impacted significantly on the ageing infrastructure at the Apapa and TinCan Island ports due to overwhelming cargo handling.

With dilapidated facilities, unfriendly environment and poor ports access roads, more importers are now seeking solace in neighboring countries, while the landlocked countries such as Chad and Niger, shun Nigerian seaports.
The fact that the TinCan Port earns over N1.2 billion and Apapa Port over realizes N220 billion yearly, show that the Federal Government is loosing fortunes for failing to promote other seaports.

This is because the more active the ports are, the higher the ability to create employment opportunities for the teeming youths and development of integral facilities that would fast-track economic development, as seen in the Chinese examples.

Statistics obtained from the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) showed that Lagos ports complex claimed 97 per cent of the containers that are berthed in Nigeria in 2016.

The Container traffic provisional figure of NPA showed that TinCan Island port received 179,443 Twenty-foot Equivalent Units (TEUs), while Apapa Port had 136,543 TEUs. Rivers port had 2,053TEUs. Onne had 44,961TEUs; Delta had 1,961TEUs while Calabar recorded zero container traffic in 2016. Calabar is currently handling only liquid cargo, due to shallow water challenges.

Stakeholders blamed the concentration on Lagos ports on shallow waters, long channel of other ports, politics and industrialisation, which necessitated the choice of Lagos as the port of destination for most cargoes.

Acting President, National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), Increase Uche, told The Guardian that the concentration on Lagos Ports is the architecture of the government’s political strategies on wealth control.

He also blamed lack of political will and distance from the ocean to low patronage of the Eastern ports, noting that although Lagos ports are prioritised because they are close to the ocean than other ports. They also have longer river channel, and as such, government needs to strategise to boost operations in other ports in order to have balanced trade across regions.

Over concentration on Lagos ports, according to him is posing unnecessary migration into the Apapa area and resulting to overwhelming pressure on the infrastructure facilities.

“The reason people give is that the Lagos and Port Harcourt ports are very close to the ocean, other ports are far from the ocean. It, therefore, takes longer time for the vessels to move from the anchorage at the high sea to other ports, but here in Lagos, it takes less time for any vessel to access that area.

“Owners of vessels will prefer Lagos ports to the other ports, but one will be tempted to ask, what if the ports in the eastern part are the only one we have in the country? How will the economy survive? We need to put all hands on deck to ensure that those ports are not wasted, because most of those structures are now rotting away because they are not put to use, while the ones in Lagos are over used and then it becomes generic problems,” he said.

The Speaker, House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, recently said Nigeria was losing N1 trillion yearly due to bad roads in the country, where the Federal Government is estimated to have spent about N73 billion on roads maintenance and repairs last year.

Stakeholders believed that the huge burden on the roads created by haulage of imported goods from Lagos to other parts of the country are taking toll on the longevity of the roads, thereby necessitating high expenditure on maintenance.

Meanwhile, businessmen from the eastern part of the country are irked about the need for them to import through Lagos and incur additional expenses coupled with the risk involved in transportation.

An Onitsha-based businessman and Managing Director, OkayGod Investments Limited, Augustine Okechukwu, said the situation is worrisome and have a huge impact on the cost of production, coupled with the risk of transporting the goods through terrible roads from Lagos to Onitsha.

He said: “We all imported through the Port Harcourt ports before, but we decided to change to Lagos as our port of destination because clearing goods from Port Harcourt seaport is very hectic and cumbersome. You cannot get your goods easily from Port Harcourt. I think it is deliberate so as to make people patronise Lagos than other ports.”

On the cost of clearing and transporting the goods between the Lagos and Port Harcourt ports, Okechukwu said: “Cost of transportation from Lagos is high and it is affecting businesses here. But we still prefer it because if you import through Port Harcourt, it takes two to three months to clear, meanwhile, it take a few weeks to clear in Lagos. Although, there is the risk of an accident due to the bad roads, but we are compelled to use Lagos ports because we see it as a better alternative.”

The President, National Council of Managing Directors of Licensed Customs Agents (NCMDLCA), Lucky Amiwero, said the components that determine the choice of port such as freight cost, the draft and cargo destination do not favour other ports, hence the use of Lagos ports.

“Why you are having more traffic in Lagos ports is because most of the cargoes are consumed around Lagos area, while the other places don’t have many industries. Many of the ships that are coming to Lagos are based on the request by the importers, who are businessmen around Lagos.

“If you want your cargoes shipped to the East, you might not see a ship going to the East, besides, the freight to the East is too expensive and it is not as requested as Lagos, because Lagos has a concentration of market,” he said.

The General Manager, Public Affairs, NPA, Effiong Etim Nduonofit, assured that NPA is putting machinery in place to promote the use of all the ports, but added that the choice of cargo destination is determined by the importer.

He said the management is giving incentives in terms of rebate to promote the eastern ports, adding: “Also, the Authority is giving preference to rehabilitation of infrastructure such as the quay apron, maintenance of the channel and provision of navigational aids to guide the vessels sailing to those ports.

“Besides, the management has emphasized that they are going to promote operational efficiency at those ports to ensure that turnaround time is reduced to the barest minimum as well as ensuring that other key performance indicators are in charge.

“Over time the management has continued to do both maintenance and capital dredging of the ports in line with international best practices to encourage operations at those ports,” he said.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

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Business

MultiChoice Nigeria Expands Product Offerings, Unveils 3 New DStv Business Packages

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Leading Pay-TV service provider, MultiChoice Nigeria has rolled out new features and expanded the product offerings on its DStv Business packages for businesses and corporate organizations in Nigeria.

The new DStv Business packages are DStv Work, DStv Play and DStv Stay.

Chief Executive Officer, MultiChoice Nigeria, John Ugbe said: “We always ask ourselves how we can make our customers experience better for businesses. We have revamped our DStv Business packages, offering business owners the right mixture of entertainment to enhance the experience of guests and staff. At the end of the day, your guests will always remember how you made them feel.”

The DStv Work, tiered into 2 categories, DStv Work Ultra with 48 channels and DStv Work Essential with 75 channels, has been tailored to suit the businDStv Work, DStv Play and DStv Stay.ess environment including banks, offices, and other corporate organizations with specific offerings such as the latest news headlines from across the world, sports, weather updates and other work-related entertainment which sets the tone and keeps everyone well informed.

Commenting on the revamped DStv packages, Head of DStv Business, Abayomi Famakinwa said: “For the Work category, we have taken into consideration all our offices and different organizations. For Stay, we have considered all organizations across accommodation offerings such as hotels, B&Bs, Guesthouses and the likes; for Play, we are taking into consideration the Pubs, Clubs, lounges, restaurants, bars and the likes.”

The DStv Play package, tiered into 3 categories, DStv Play Ultra with 86 channels, DStv Play Essential with 61 channels, and DStv Play Basic with 40 channels aims to enhance guest experiences and ensure that they are always entertained with their favourite sports programmes and other first-class entertainment.

Famakinwa stated further: “A lot of our customers used to complain to us that there is only one package across the different bouquets so they couldn’t move from one package to the other, and we have listened as we always do and we have now tiered our packages into different categories for each of the segments. Secondly, we have factored in all the add-ons into our different packages; and from the decoder perspective we have bundled our decoders, which means, for each and every decoder that you have you can talk to MultiChoice and tell us what channels you would like to have on the decoder.”

The DStv Stay package, tiered into 3 categories, DStv Stay Basic with 77 channels, DStv Stay Essential with 99 channels, and DStv Stay Ultra with 139 channels are best suitable for hotels, motels, lodges, resorts, B&B and serviced apartments as it gives each guest – whether a kid, adult or elder – a memorable in-room experience due to the vast array of channels available to them during their stay.

Meanwhile, Chief Customer Officer, MultiChoice Nigeria, Martin Mabutho said: “At the centre of what we do and the key characteristics that we live by day in day out is innovation. And a company that prides itself in innovation, not only from the point of view of what we do with our hard work, or the point of view of content ideas that are groundbreaking, but clearly also from the point of view of all we have seen in the communities and economies that we operate in, and how different businesses can also become our partners.”

Speaking on what informed the Pay TV’s decision to expand its offerings, Martin noted: “As content is consumed on different platforms, mobile devices, phones, tablets, and computers, the people that own those contents have started to tighten around usage rights; the people that regulate us as pay-TV service providers also start to expect that we hit the right notes when it comes to the issue of morality, political correctness, and religion amongst others. It is for that reason that we saw it fit that we sit down and categorise our packages of big chop of contents and say, those that use DStv in offices what is the content that we have, that firstly we have the rights to, and secondly, would be deemed appropriate.”

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Company News

Total Nigeria Rebounds from 2020 COVID-19 Damages, Grows Profit by 1,601 Percent to N8.1 Billion in H1 2021

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Total Exploration - Investors King

Total Nigeria Plc, a subsidiary of Total, grew revenue by 42 percent from N106.705 billion recorded in the first half (H1) of 2020 to N151.333 billion in the first half of 2021.

In the company’s unaudited financial statements for the period, the cost of sales inched higher by 33.4 percent from N94.305 billion filed in the first half of 2020 to N124.83 billion in the period under review.

Total Nigeria’s gross profit appreciated by 105.7 percent to N25.504 billion in the first half of 2021, up from N12.400 billion in the corresponding period of 2020.

The company grew operating profit to N12.526 billion in the first half from -N716.812 million achieved in the first half of 2020 during the peak of COVID-19.

Profit before minimum tax jumped by 2,358 percent from -N523.898 million in H1 2020 to N11.779 billion in the period under review.

Total Nigeria paid N3.713 billion as income tax in the first half of 2021 to take the total profit after tax to N8.1 billion, a 1,601 percent increase from -N537.188 million posted in the corresponding period.

Shareholders’ funds expanded by 17 percent to N32.821 billion from N28.151 billion in H1 2020.

Total Nigeria’s share price grew by 49 percent during the period under review to N145.00 a share, up from N97.50 a unit in the first half of 2020.

Earnings per share jumped from -N1.58 in H1 2020 to N23 in H1 2021.

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Appointments

Wema Bank Announces Prince Olusegun Adesegun and Mr. Adeyemi Adefarakan as Non-Executive Directors

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Wema Bank- Investorsking

Wema Bank Plc has announced the appointments of Prince Olusegun Adesegun and Mr. Adeyemi Adefarakan as Non-Executive Directors of the Bank, effective July 19, 2021.

The announcement was after the Central Bank of Nigeria had approved both appointments, the lender disclosed in a statement signed by Johnson lebile, Company Secretary and Legal Adviser, Wema Bank Plc.

Prince Olusegun Adesegun Background

Prince Olusegun Adesegun is a Psychologist with a Masters’ Degree in Industrial Psychology from the University of Ibadan. He served and worked in Pyramid Products Limited as Manager in Training and rose to become the General Manager of the then Eastern Zone in 1988.

He retired and engaged in private business and has overtime garnered experience in marketing administration, management, and supply chain logistics solutions. He eventually became the CEO of Pecol Ventures Limited – a cash crop export and paper products company where he transformed the company from a small producer to a large, world-class Agric-Export firm.

He combined his private business with public service to become Commissioner for Works and Housing in Ogun State twice, and later served as the Deputy Governor of Ogun State between 2011-2015.

He currently serves as a Career Counsellor and Consultant for high quality investment decisions.

Adeyemi Adefarakan Profile

Adeyemi Adefarakan is a seasoned executive with strong global investment banking, portfolio risk, asset and financial management exposure.

He graduated with a BSc (Hons) in Economics & Accountancy from the prestigious City University, London, and holds a Masters degree in International Securities, Investment & Banking from the acclaimed ICMA Centre at the University of Reading, U.K. He is also an alumnus of the Emerging CFO: Strategic Financial Leadership Programme at Stanford Graduate School of Business, USA, and currently pursuing a Global CEO Africa Programme in the triumvirate of business schools comprising of Lagos Business School, Strathmore Business School (Nairobi, Kenya) and Yale School of Management (Connecticut, USA).

Yemi currently serves as the Group Chief Financial Officer and an Executive Director on the board of CBSL (Continental Broadcasting Service Limited). He holds other boards positions where he continues to create and extract shareholder value through active board engagement.

Prior to joining CBSL, Yemi forged his career on the trading floors of some of London’s financial powerhouses, to wit; State Street Global Markets, DRW Investments, JP Morgan Chase, Deutsche Bank and HSBC Global Asset Management, where he traded both vanilla and complex instruments and riskmanaged multi-billion-dollar multiasset portfolios.

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