- Ecuador to Partner Nigeria on Trade Expansion
The Ambassador of Ecuador to Nigeria, Leopoldo Rovayo Verdesoto has pledged his commitment to boosting trade between Nigeria and his country with a view to improving the economic benefits of both countries.
He stated his when he led a delegation of embassy staff to the Port Harcourt Chamber of Commerce Industry Mines and Agriculture (PHCCIMA).
He added that he was hopeful of expanding new business frontiers and forging mutually beneficial partnership with the Chamber to promote Ecuadorian business interest in the state and region.
Verdesoto commended PHCCIMA’s effort at providing significant support to businesses and contributing to stimulating the local economy, which according to him, fall within the statutory objective of the Chamber.
He said PHCCIMA is strategic to his pursuit of healthy partnership as a chamber that has consistently maintained growth as the second largest and most active Chamber of Commerce in Nigeria.
Ecuador, according to him, has a lot of prospects, which have been enhanced with government’s effort to promote public policies focused on knowledge and innovation, diversification, partnerships, security and incentives for foreign public-private investments among others.
According to the Ecuadorian envoy, “We are interested in export/import from both countries in products like shrimps, tuna fish, straw hats, palm heats, all varieties of coffee, prawns even in the area of partnering to tap from the huge value chain in cocoa production, and chocolates which Ecuador is well-known for- as well as other products that can interest the state and Nigeria as a whole.
Verdesoto said the delegation had earlier visited Kano Chamber of Commerce, noting that Port Harcourt was the second visit aimed at deepening Ecuador/Nigeria business relationship, showcasing investment opportunities in Ecuador, and highlighting opportunities and policies put in place by the Ecuadorian government for smooth running of businesses for investors and the Chamber.
“Let me tell you a secret you don’t know, the hairs imported through the Panama canal is gotten from Ecuador, but because it is transported through the Panama canal, it is brandished Panama hair. Basically we can directly have an arrangement and collaboration to supply this hair in Nigeria because we are here to build bridges and partnerships and connect Ecuador to Nigerian businesses, “he added.
Receiving the Ambassador of Ecuador and his delegation, President of Port Harcourt Chamber of the Commerce, Dr. Emi Membere-Otaji expressed gratitude for forging a relationship and creating awareness about Ecuadorian investment opportunities and partnerships.
Membere-Otaji said it was evident that the Chamber has built significant reputation in partnerships even as she has the requisite knowledge, expertise and experience needed in virtually all areas of human endeavor.
He added that the chamber was committed to partnering with Ecuadorian investors in key areas that will be of mutual benefit.
”In PHCCIMA, our major objective is to ensure that businesses thrive and to create opportunities; we have listened to you, I want to assure you we will take this message to our members and begin to peruse into potent areas we can partner and invest. My distinguished Ambassador, you have come to the main stay of investors in the country, apart from being the capital of oil and gas, Port Harcourt is the commercial nerve centre for a variety of businesses, so this is home to businesses and we will partner with you and ensure we further strengthen the ties, ”he said.
Eat’N’Go Expands To East Africa, Projects 180 Stores By Year End
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.
Shoprite Exit: LCCI Explains Challenges Hurting Business Operations in Nigeria
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.
Afrinvest Appoints Mrs. Onaghinon As COO
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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