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Bill on Ease of Doing Business Ready – Osinbajo

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  • Bill on Ease of Doing Business Ready 

The Presidency has developed an omnibus bill on the ease of doing business and is set to present it to the National Assembly.

The Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, said this in Lagos on Thursday during the 2017 Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry Presidential Policy Dialogue Session.

Osinbajo, who was represented by the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah, acknowledged that in view of the recent report by the National Bureau of Statistics on the state of the economy, it was obvious that Nigeria still faced challenging times.

He said there was a need to broaden the reforms established by the government on the ease of doing business and hasten their implementation.

Osinbajo said that the Federal Government was committed to building a robust and diversified economy, adding that one way the government was going about the task was by systemically removing constraints to doing business.

He said, “We are working with trade associations and the private sector to implement the ease of doing business reforms.

“We have begun the process of developing an omnibus bill, which we will work with the National Assembly to pass into law in the near term.

“Before the end of this year, we will revamp all the special economic zones in the six geopolitical zones of the country to complement the industrial city being built by the private sector. We are also making policies to increase local production and value addition to our products.

“We have developed a number of sectoral policies such as tomato and cement policies and we plan to develop policies for other products where we have comparative advantage such as palm oil, leather and garment.”

He added that the government was planning to hold a special investors’ conference where about 50 investors would be brought together to discuss with the President and captains of industry on the specific things that could be done to attract investment to the country.

While acknowledging the role of the private sector in moving the economy out of the recession, Osinbajo said that the input of the private sector players in past policy dialogues were useful in establishing the new reforms on ease of doing business.

In her opening remarks, the President, LCCI, Dr. Nike Akande, said that the current short to medium-term outlook of the economy was better than what it was in 2016.

She attributed this change to policy initiatives of the government, the engagement and consultations with key stakeholders and some positive developments in the external sector.

She said, “Investor confidence is on the upswing and liquidity in the forex market has increased; there is a better clarity in policy direction.

“We are also very confident that the recent government initiatives on the ease of doing business will impact positively on the economy.

“Building economy is typically work in progress. We will continue to collaborate with the government to ensure quality outcomes from these policy measures.”

In his goodwill message, the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, who was represented by the state Commissioner for Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives, Mr. Rotimi Ogunleye, said that the state government was working to transform Lagos into the first “smart city” in Africa to make it more conducive for business because of the amount of private sector investments that the state was attracting.

The Kaduna State governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, who was also represented by the state Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Mr. Mantu Maigari, stressed the need for the private sector to work with the government to determine policies that would move the nation forward.

He said that the private sector must engage government at all times and advise it instead of assuming that the government should know everything.

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.

Brands

Eat’N’Go Expands To East Africa, Projects 180 Stores By Year End

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In a bid to further extend its tentacles beyond the West African market, Eat’N’Go limited, one of the leading Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) operators in Nigeria and master franchisee for world-class food brands – Domino’s Pizza, Cold Stone Creamery, and Pinkberry Gourmet Frozen Yoghurt, announced its expansion into the East African market.

This development comes after the successful acquisition of the franchisee which operated Cold Stone Creamery and Domino’s Pizza in Kenya. This acquisition will see Eat’N’Go limited become the largest Domino’s pizza and Cold Stone Creamery Master Franchisee in Africa with operations in Nigeria and Kenya.

Since its entrance to Nigeria in 2012, the QSR company has grown exponentially and has continuously nurtured the drive to extend its footprint across the African market. This acquisition provides them their first foreign market expansion, making them a Pan African company with a total number of 147 outlets across Africa and a projection to reach 180 stores by end of 2021.

Group Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director Eat’N’Go Limited, Patrick McMichael said that expanding into East Africa represents a very exciting time in the growth of the organization and also a strategic investment for the firm and its stakeholders. “Over the years, we have fostered the mission to not just bring the best QSR brands to Africa, but to directly impact on Africa’s economy and we are glad we are finally on the way to making this happen. Studying the growth of the Kenyan market in the last couple of years, we are convinced that now is the time to extend our footprint into the country.”

“We are very thrilled about this expansion as this move avails us more opportunity to provide Jobs to more Africans, especially in times like this. We remain thankful to all our customers, partners, and stakeholders who have supported us this far and we are more than ready to strengthen our dedication in satisfying the needs of our customers” Patrick added.

Eat’N’Go has over the years maintained its position as the leading food franchisee in Nigeria. As it expands its presence to other parts of Africa, the organization also places a strong focus on the quality of its products and services of all its three brands. The expansion to this new region is in line with the company’s plan to reach 180 stores across Africa by the end of 2021.

The milestone achievement and development will better position the company in its contribution to Nigeria and Africa’s economy. Currently home to over 3000 staff members across Africa, the company is committed to continuously provide job and business opportunities across the continent.

Eat’N’Go launched in 2012 in Nigeria with the vision to become the premier food operator in Africa. Today, the company has over 147 stores in Nigeria and Kenya and it continues to deliver on this promise by successfully rolling out the globally recognised brands Cold Stone Creamery and Domino’s Pizza across Africa. The company continues to expand its presence in key markets by fusing company goals with new strategic development goals and is projected to reach 180 stores across Africa by end of 2021.

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Brands

Shoprite Exit: LCCI Explains Challenges Hurting Business Operations in Nigeria

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Following the recent announcement of Shoprite, a leading South Africa retail giant, that it is leaving the Nigerian market due to harsh business environment and tough business policies, Dr Muda Yusuf, the Director-General, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has explained some of the challenges responsible for such decision despite Nigeria’s huge population size.

Yusuf said while such decision is negative for the Nigerian economy, several factors like harsh business environment could have forced the company to make such decision. He said it also could be due to intense competitive pressure.

He said, “Shoprite is an international brand with presence in 14 African countries and about 3,000 stores. The comparative analysis of returns on investment in these countries may have informed the decision to exit the Nigeria market.

“The opportunities for retail business in Nigeria is immense. But the competition in the sector is also very intense.

“There are departmental stores in practically every neighbourhood in our urban centres around the country. There is also a strong informal sector presence in the retail sector. It is a very competitive space.”

According to the Director-General, there are also important investment climate issues that constitute downside risks to big stores like Shoprite.

He said, “These include the trade policy environment, which imposes strict restrictions on imports; the regulatory environment, which is characterised by a multitude of regulators making endless demands.

“There is also the foreign exchange policy, which has made imports and remittances difficult for foreign investors. There are challenges of infrastructure which put pressures on costs and erodes profit margins.”

The LCCI boss added, “But we need to stress that Shoprite is only divesting and selling its shares; Shoprite as a brand will remain. I am sure there are many investors who will be quite delighted to take over the shares.

“It should be noted that there are other South African firms in Nigeria doing good business. We have MTN, Multichoice, Stanbic IBTC, and Standard Chartered Bank, among others. Some of them are making more money in Nigeria than in South Africa.”

He added that some sectors are more vulnerable to the challenges of the business environment than others.

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Appointments

Afrinvest Appoints Mrs. Onaghinon As COO

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Afrinvest West Africa Limited, has appointed the former head of public private partnership agency of the Edo State, Mrs Onoise Onaghinon as its chief operating officer.

Onaghinon joined Afrinvest in 2003 as an analyst in the firm’s investment banking division, rising through the ranks to become an associate, then vice president and eventually executive director & head of investment banking.

She is a seasoned veteran in the Nigerian capital markets and investment landscape with over 18 years of experience in capital raising, mergers and acquisitions, and restructurings across many industries.

In 2017, Onaghinon took a sabbatical from the Firm to head the Public Private Partnership Agency of the Edo State Government. Having acquitted herself creditably in the public sector, she has rejoined the Firm to resume as the new COO.

Speaking on the appointment, group managing director of Afrinvest, Ike Chioke, said: “over the years, Onaghinon has demonstrated great leadership, professional excellence and outstanding client commitment in driving the firm’s business units, particularly our investment banking division. We are delighted to have her back and we look forward to leveraging her cross-disciplinary experience across the Afrinvest group”.

In her new role, Onaghinon will oversee human resources, legal & compliance, internal control and general services while leading the firm’s initiatives to improve efficiency across its subsidiaries.

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