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Lagos, Delta, Rivers Lead in Sub-National Competitive Index

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  • Lagos, Delta, Rivers Lead in Sub-National Competitive Index

The National Competitiveness Council of Nigeria (NCCN) has ranked Lagos state top among the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory, in its first ever Sub-National Index.

Lagos was closely followed by Delta, Rivers, Niger, Enugu, Edo, Jigawa and Abia states, in that order.

The index covered four key areas which included human capital, infrastructure, economy and institutions.

The NCCN’s National Competitiveness Report that was launched in Lagos yesterday, also ranked Borno and Gombe, 36th and 37th respectively.

While Imo state was ranked 32nd among the 36 states and the FCT, Adamawa was placed 33rd, Kwara – 34th and Yobe 35th.

According to the report, all the states performed strongly in at least one of the four broad themes and 23 indicators.

The Chief Executive Officer of the NCCN, Mr. Chika Mordi explained that the index aims to present a significant platform for research and discussion.

Mordi pointed out that a couple of northern states were quite strong in areas of infrastructure.

“In aggregate, Nigeria remains challenges in its competitiveness,” the NCCN boss stressed.

He added that NCCN anticipates that the index would “have a catalytic effect in competitive state policies which will ultimately lead to greater business productivity, resulting in job creation and poverty reduction.”

Meanwhile, data collection for the index was done by NCCN in collaboration with the National Bureau of Statistics and private surveying agencies. They conducted a household survey across all 36 states and the FCT, resulting in a sample of 8,147 households.

They also conducted a business climate survey, collecting information from 2000 private business establishments chosen at random, and using probability proportional to size (PPS) within each sector. Out of this number, 1,820 businesses responded to the survey, representing a 91% response rate.

“The index is a culmination of 20 months of intense work,” Mordi added.

“We’ve worked rigorously to ensure objectivity and transparency in our methodology, data collection, analysis and interpretation. Where possible we applied effective tools for cross-validation, and ease of replicability. It is by no means perfect, but we envisage improvements with subsequent iterations of the index.”

In his contribution at the event, former Cross River State Governor, Mr. Donald Duke, expressed disappointed that present political leaders across the country were more interested in politics than governance.

“And if you don’t get the economics right, then governance cannot work,” he said. “You cannot be competitive when you are not productive. The first thing is how do we get productive?”

“So, we have a country, where a blessing (exponential population growth) is turning into a curse, because in the next three years, our population will be 200 million, yet all the productive indices are going down. Lagos may be crowded out; every year, 750,000 new people come to Lagos to reside; the economy cannot support that. So, if you don’t get the rest of the country working, Lagos itself will collapse,” he warned.

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

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Lafarge Africa Board Proposes N30.60bn Dividend, Lower Than Previous Year

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Lafarge Africa - Investors King

Lafarge Africa’s Board of Directors has recommended a dividend payout of N30.60 billion for the year ended December 2023, a reduction from the previous year’s dividend.

The proposed dividend translates to N1.90 per unit of shares and awaits approval from shareholders at the upcoming Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the company.

In a corporate announcement filed with the Nigerian Exchange Limited, Lafarge Africa disclosed that the proposed dividend is payable from the Pioneer Reserve to shareholders registered as of March 28, 2024.

Despite the lower dividend proposal, Lafarge Africa recorded an increase in revenue to N405 billion, marking an 8.6% rise from the previous year’s N373 billion.

However, the company’s post-tax profit experienced a 4.7% decline, amounting to N51.14 billion, attributed mainly to the devaluation of the naira.

Lolu Alade-Akinyemi, the Chief Executive Officer of Lafarge Africa, expressed confidence in the company’s performance despite economic challenges.

He highlighted the growth in revenue and an improved operating margin, despite pressures from inflation and currency devaluation.

Looking forward, Lafarge Africa remains optimistic about the construction sector’s growth in Nigeria, despite prevailing economic challenges.

The company aims to leverage its market opportunities while maintaining a focus on sustainability and stakeholder value.

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Business

South African Billionaire Christo Wiese Predicts Return of Major Players to Nigeria Despite Recent Exodus

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Christo Wiese

South African billionaire Christo Wiese remains optimistic about Nigeria’s economic prospects, predicting the eventual return of major players despite a recent exodus from the West African nation.

In an interview with Bloomberg TV, Wiese explained that it is impossible to ignore Nigeria’s large and growing population, “how do you ignore an economy like this?”

Wiese, the former chairman of Shoprite Holdings Ltd., acknowledges the challenges faced by businesses in Nigeria, where recent currency woes and policy missteps have contributed to an exodus of international companies.

Procter & Gamble Co. and Shoprite are among the global conglomerates that have announced their departure from Africa’s most populous nation.

However, Wiese sees the recent exits as temporary setbacks rather than a long-term trend. He believes that the allure of Nigeria’s vast consumer market and its economic potential will eventually draw major players back.

Despite the current uncertainty, Wiese remains confident in Nigeria’s future, emphasizing the need for governments to adopt correct policies and for investors to exercise patience.

While acknowledging Nigeria’s single-commodity economy vulnerabilities, Wiese highlights the resilience of the nation’s economy and its potential for growth and development.

He suggests that foreign investors, including South African ones, are adopting a wait-and-see approach, anticipating a time when the economy stabilizes and favorable policies are in place.

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Appointments

Seplat Energy Names Udoma Udo Udoma as Independent Non-Executive Chairman, Bello Rabiu as Senior Independent Non-Executive Director

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Seplat Energy Plc - Investors King

Seplat Energy, a prominent Nigerian energy company listed on the Nigerian Exchange Limited and the London Stock Exchange, has made significant changes to its board leadership.

In a recent announcement, the company revealed that Udoma Udo Udoma has been appointed as the new Independent Non-Executive Chairman, succeeding Basil Omiyi, who is set to retire on March 31, 2024.

Udoma Udo Udoma, a distinguished lawyer and seasoned board administrator, brings a wealth of experience to Seplat Energy.

He holds degrees from St. Catherine’s College, Oxford, and has had a remarkable career spanning various sectors, including petroleum, energy, and natural resources.

Udoma has served on numerous large-sized company boards, including UAC Nigeria Plc and Union Bank Plc, and held key public sector appointments, such as Chairman of the Corporate Affairs Commission and Minister of Budget & National Planning.

In addition to Udoma’s appointment, Seplat Energy announced the selection of Bello Rabiu as the new Senior Independent Non-Executive Director, effective April 1, 2024.

Rabiu, a seasoned professional with extensive experience in the petroleum industry, holds multiple degrees and has served in various capacities at the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

The appointments come as part of Seplat Energy’s commitment to upholding strong corporate governance practices and ensuring a smooth transition of leadership.

Both Udoma Udo Udoma and Bello Rabiu are expected to play pivotal roles in guiding Seplat Energy as it continues to expand its operations and consolidate its position as a leading energy company in Nigeria and beyond.

In a statement, Basil Omiyi, the outgoing Chairman of Seplat Energy, expressed confidence in the newly appointed leaders, emphasizing their capabilities to steer the company towards further growth and success.

The appointments underscore Seplat Energy’s dedication to fostering excellence and innovation in the energy sector while meeting the evolving needs of its stakeholders and contributing to Nigeria’s energy transition efforts.

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