- Zinox Chief Seeks Fed Govt’s Partnership to Boost S/E Economy
Technology entrepreneur and Chairman, Zinox Group, Leo Stan Ekeh has called on the Federal Government to partner credible businessmen and entrepreneurs from the Southeast to save the region from the looming effects of mass unemployment currently plaguing the zone.
He made this call at a two-day convention organised by the Owerri People’s Assembly (OPA), an apex socio-cultural organisation held in Owerri, the Imo State capital yesterday.
Ekeh, who chaired the occasion, said the unemployment situation in the region is a ticking time bomb, describing it as a social problem which may see all-inclusive peace elude the nation, if not urgently addressed.
“The problem of massive unemployment facing the Southeast region is one that requires concerted efforts from the Federal Government and other stakeholders. A situation which thousands of qualified graduates, most of them with upper class degrees, are still looking for their first jobs 10 or 12 years after leaving school is highly worrisome. It is a frightening situation, one that will potentially explode in disastrous consequences, if not immediately addressed.
“If you rely on statistics, there are over a million of such unemployed graduates in the Southeast. Having such a huge number of active yet unengaged youths concentrated in the region is a serious cause for concern and the Federal Government has a role to play in nipping this situation in the bud.”
While saying a lot is being done by private individuals and entrepreneurs from the region to ameliorate the situation, Ekeh noted that this was insufficient and urged the Federal Government to partner with such well-meaning Nigerians to achieve more.
He said: “What is required is a joint effort to save our youths. In reality, the state governments cannot do it alone. Also, a number of entrepreneurs, businessmen and other well-meaning Nigerians from the region are equally doing their best but it is hardly enough. Personally, I have been quietly supporting the Imo State government for many years in creating jobs for youths in various communities in the state. These investments often exceed N1billion yearly but it is like a drop of water in an ocean.”
“The Federal Government must come to the aid of these youths by partnering with other well-meaning individuals from the state in creating platforms that will generate employment opportunities for the unemployed and equip them with the right mindset and confidence to take their place in today’s knowledge economy,” he said.
In attendance were a host of dignitaries from the state including renowned politician and businessman, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu; Deputy Governor of Imo State, Prince Eze Madumere; First Lady of Ondo State, Mrs. Betty Akeredolu; former Min. of Education, Prof. Chinwe Obaji and Senator Chris Anyanwu, among several others.
While commending the members of OPA for their commitment in improving the lot of the people, Ekeh called for a united front in achieving the political ambitions of the zone.
“I am not a politician and not remotely interested in contesting any elective position. However, I identify with the wishes and aspirations of the people of Owerri zone to have one of their own emerge the next governor. For this to be possible, however, the zone must forge a common front and put forward their best candidates for each elective position. I recently engaged Governor Owelle Rochas Okorocha on this matter and he has also declared his willingness to help actualise this dream, provided the zone provides a credible candidate. Only a fool will agree to hand over to an incompetent successor or someone who will come and destroy the legacies he has put in years of hard work to build,” he said.
Counselling the youths on the need to embrace humility as one of the core virtues to success, the Zinox chairman, whose tech conglomerate recently concluded the acquisition of e-commerce giant Konga, reiterated his determination to create more capacity-building avenues to support the youths through the creation of a finishing school and digital skills acquisition centre in the zone, pledging to use the facilities as a proof of concept for the 27 local governments in the state.
Aliko Dangote Remains Africa’s Richest Man With $12.1 Billion Net Worth -Forbes
Nigerian industrialist, Aliko Dangote, is Africa’s richest person for the tenth year in a row.
In the Forbes Africa latest billionaires list, Dangote’s total net worth stood at $12.1 billion, a $2 billion increment when compared to last year. Thanks to the 30 percent increase in the price of Dangote Cement share.
Nassef Sawiris of Egypt followed Dangote with $8.5 billion net worth with the majority of his investments coming from construction and other investments.
In third place was Nicky Oppenheimer of South Africa with an $8 billion total net worth.
Portland Paints, Chemical and Allied Products Plc Agreed to Merge
Portland Paints and Products Nigeria Plc and Chemical and Allied Products Plc have agreed to merge, according to the latest statement from both companies.
In a statement released through the Nigerian Stock Exchange, the Board of Directors of CAP said we are “pleased to inform you that following discussions and negotiations, the Boards of CAP and Portland Paints have reached an agreement to undertake a merger between both entities (the “Merger” or the “Proposed Merger”).
Accordingly, we “hereby present to you the terms and benefits of the Proposed Merger for your consideration and seek your support and approval to effect the Proposed Merger.
“The Proposed Merger presents a compelling opportunity to create significant value for shareholders of CAP and achieve the company’s strategic growth objectives as a larger company with a broader product portfolio, more corporate owned brands and diversified revenues.
“The resultant entity is also expected to benefit from enhanced distribution capabilities in addition to economies of scale and operational efficiencies.”
Tony Elumelu Acquires Shell, Total, ENI Stakes in OML 17
Tony Elumelu owned Heir Holdings Limited and its related company Transnational Corporation of Nigeria Plc on Friday announced it has completed the purchase of 45 percent stake in Oil Mining Lease (OML 17) through TNOG Oil and Gas Limited.
The acquisition includes all assets of Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (30 Percent), Total E&P Nigeria Ltd (10 percent) and ENI (five percent) — in the lease.
It was further stated that TNOG Oil and Gas Limited will also have the sole right to operate OML 17.
The field presently has a production capacity of 27,000 barrels per day. Also, there are estimated 2P reserves (proven and probable) of 1.2 billion barrels and an additional one billion barrels in possible reserves — all of oil equivalent.
A consortium of global and regional banks and investors provided a financing component of $1.1 billion for the largest oil and gas financing in Africa in over a decade.
In a statement released on Friday, Shell said the completion was after all the necessary approvals have were received from authorities.
“A total of $453m was paid at completion with the balance to be paid over an agreed period. SPDC will retain its interest in the Port Harcourt Industrial and Residential Areas, which fall within the lease area,” the SPDC said.
Speaking after the completion of the deal, Elumelu said “We have a very clear vision: creating Africa’s first integrated energy multinational, a global quality business, uniquely focused on Africa and Africa’s energy needs. The acquisition of such a high-quality asset, with significant potential for further growth, is a strong statement of our confidence in Nigeria, the Nigerian oil and gas sector and a tribute to the extremely high-quality management team that we have assembled.
“As a Nigerian, and more particularly an indigene of the Niger Delta region, I understand well our responsibilities that come with stewardship of the asset, our engagement with communities and the strategic importance of the oil and gas sector in Nigeria. We see significant benefits from integrating our production, with our ability to power Nigeria, through Transcorp, and deliver value across the energy value chain.
“I would like to thank Shell, Total and ENI, for the professionalism of the process, the Federal Government of Nigeria, the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, and the NNPC for the confidence they have placed in us.”
Tony Elumelu is the Chairman of Heirs Holdings Limited, Transcorp and United Bank for Africa Plc.
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