- Nigeria’ll Become Leader in Yam Production —IITA
The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, Ibadan said Nigeria will soon become one of the leading yam producing countries with the current breakthrough recorded by the research institute, expected to help farmers achieve mass production.
A yam seed system specialist at the IITA, Abuja, Dr. Beatrice Aighewi, said in Ibadan that the project was aimed at ensuring food security in the country, adding that it was targeted at helping farmers earn significant share of the global foreign currency accruing from yam exportation.
The new yam seedling technology involves the production of improved and healthy tubers from yam vines (stem). IITA is also partnering several harvest seed companies for mass production of the new seedling, targeting 600 million pieces for farmers.
According to Aighewi, “The aeroponic system is used to produce clean yam. It’s like growing yam in the air. What we plant is yam vine popularly called stem to produce tubers for farmers to plant. We want seed companies to use this technology to produce seedling for farmers in large quantity. The advantage is that instead of losing a lot of tubers during planting, farmers can approach seed companies and get a bag of seedling to plant on a vast land.
“We already have some seed companies that we are training to reproduce this new seed technology. We have installed the system in Ibadan and Abuja and we are going round the nation, targeting more yam belt. We cannot reach all farmers but we can do so through the companies we are working with. We will also demonstrate to farmers so that they can spot the difference between their traditional yam planting system and the new system.
“In the end, millions of Nigerian yam farmers will benefit. Harvesting period will depend on climatic condition but after five months, farmers can start harvesting. This will translate to food security and improved earning on exportation. In Nigeria, we have a huge advantage when it comes to exporting and becoming a major yam producing country.”
The Managing Director of Context Global Development, Mark Nelson, said the company was delighted with the breakthrough, adding that it was committed to building business modules for seed companies.
The company, he added, was working with the IITA to achieve successful multiplication of the new technology.
Verdant Capital Advises Baxi, a Leading Super-agent in Nigeria, on its Sale to MFS Africa
MFS Africa is acquiring Baxi to expand its network into Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy and perhaps its most fintech dynamic market. Nigeria is also the largest remittance market in Africa representing one-third of intra-Africa remittance flows, and is home to the largest number of SMEs.
Verdant Capital views the two businesses as highly complimentary: Baxi simplifies and integrates online and offline payments for SMEs and merchants in Nigeria through its omni-channel distribution network; MFS Africa simplifies cross-border payments, integrating payments via one hub. The transaction further extends Verdant Capital’s track-record of advising on transactions shaping the fintech sector in Africa.
The sale of Baxi is Verdant Capital’s fifth successful fintech transaction of the year, having advised Retail Capital, a leading tech-enabled SME-financier in South Africa on a USD 10 million capital raise; Zeepay, a leading pan-African digital remittance and mobile payments business on its USD 8 million Series-A and on its acquisition of Mangwee in Zambia; and Tugende, a leading tech-enabled SME-financier in East Africa on its USD 10 million Series-A. The transactions cover West, East and South Africa. In part because of its successful track-record in transactions in the fintech sector, as well as because of its leading private equity franchise, Verdant Capital was named the best independent advisor of the year, pan-Africa, by Africa Global Funds, for the second year running in October 2021.
Founded in 2014 by Degbola Abudu and Folu Majekodunmi, Baxi is one of Nigeria’s largest independent SME-focused electronic payment networks. Baxi provides a comprehensive range of services to the last mile including cash-in/cash-out, account opening, money transfer and bill payment. Through its network of more than 90,000 agents, Baxi processed over USD 1 billion in transactions in the first nine months of 2021. Following the close of the transaction, MFS Africa plans to build Baxi into a key node on its digital payment network, allowing customers to make regional and global payments to and from Nigeria. MFS Africa also intends to expand Baxi’s proposition for offline SMEs to select markets within MFS Africa’s footprint of 320 million mobile wallets across more than 35 African countries.
Strong agent networks are the crucial interface for fintechs to reach Nigeria’s circa 100 million financially unserved or underserved population. Supporting and nurturing SMEs is crucial to Nigeria’s economy, as they contribute 50% of Gross Domestic Product and provide 76% of jobs (source: Federal Ministry of Information and Culture). With its presence in all 36 Nigerian states, Baxi fills a critical gap by providing informal SMEs and other unbanked Nigerians access to financial services. Verdant Capital is proud to support the leading businesses that support SMEs across the Continent.
Cadbury Nigeria Recognised For Human Resource Management
Cadbury Nigeria Plc announced that it had been recognised as a top employer by the Netherlands-based Top Employers Institute, even as it stressed the importance of employee well-being.
Cadbury Nigeria, a subsidiary of Mondelēz International, made the announcement in a statement released on Wednesday as part of the celebration of its third annual purpose day.
The consumer goods manufacturer said it held a webinar for its employees anchored by experts in healthcare management.
The Managing Director, Cadbury Nigeria, Mrs. Oyeyimika Adeboye, said the company takes the well-being of its employees seriously, adding that they would give their best if they had the right mental attitude.
“That is the reason we organised the webinar by bringing in experts from Helen Keller International to speak to us on well-being, as part of our Purpose Day,” she said.
Adeboye added that the growing importance of holistic well-being made the company focus its annual Purpose Day activities this year exclusively on well-being in the areas of mind, body and connection.
The Country Director, Helen Keller International, Ms. Philomena Orji, was quoted as saying during her presentation, “Helen Keller is dedicated to scaling up evidence-based, cost-effective solutions to improve care practices and ensure that basic health interventions reach vulnerable people, with a focus on women, youth, and children.”
CSCS Reappoints Haruna Jalo-Waziri As CEO
The board of the Central Securities Clearing System has approved the re-appointment of the Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Haruna Jalo-Waziri, for another five-year term.
CSCS disclosed this in a statement on Tuesday, saying the company had seen a major boost in its revenue base and had also built strong strategic alliances with other financial market entities across Africa during Jalo-Waziri’s tenure.
It said Jalo-Waziri led the company’s profit growth by 18 percent compound annual growth rate and delivered a 20 percent return on average equity in the 2020 financial year amidst the pandemic.
The Chairman, CSCS, Mr. Oscar Onyema, said the board was impressed with the CEO’s performance and that the foundation built by the team had positioned the firm for its next growth phase.
Onyema said, “That is why we are aiming to consolidate on our gains and diversify the business for sustainable growth.
“On behalf of the board, I congratulate Mr. Jalo-Waziri on this reappointment, which reflects our vote of confidence and greater expectations from him in creating value for shareholders and broader stakeholders of CSCS.”
Jalo-Waziri appreciated the board for the reappointment.
“I am tremendously proud of the talent pool we have built here at CSCS. As we set out to diligently execute our next growth strategy, I am super excited at the future of this great institution and look forward to deepening our partnership with different stakeholders for mutual prosperity,” he said.
He added that he would continue to count on the support of the Securities and Exchange Commission, the board, participants and other stakeholders in deepening the Nigerian capital market.
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