- Govt Okays 90-day Special Window for MSME Registration
The Federal Government has approved a 90-day special window to register businesses at a reduced rate of N5,000 in a bid to further ease the process of registering Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises in the country.
Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, who made the disclosure on Tuesday at the launch of the 19th edition of the National MSMEs Clinics in Enugu, Enugu State, said the special window of 90 days was from October 1 to December 31, 2018.
Osinbajo was quoted in a statement made available by Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Office of the Vice-President, Laolu Akande, as saying, “It was observed during some of the earlier editions of the MSME Clinics that a lot of MSMEs were finding it difficult to register their businesses as a result of cost.
“The practice since we began the MSME Clinics is that most agencies offer price reductions, especially for registration and all other pre-investment approvals during the clinics.
“So, I am pleased to announce that the Federal Government, through the Corporate Affairs Commission, has approved a special window of 90 days from Monday, October 1 to December 31, 2018, to register businesses at a considerably reduced rate of N5,000 only, down from as much as N10,000 previously. This will afford more MSMEs an opportunity to formalise their businesses.”
Speaking on other initiatives by the Federal Government designed to consolidate the gains of the MSMEs Clinics, Osinbajo said, “We will be establishing shared facilities for MSMEs based on a partnership between the Federal Government, interested states, the Bank of Industry, NEXIM Bank, FIRS, NAFDAC, SON and interested private sector partners, as part of our efforts at deepening the impact of the clinics.
“The purpose of these shared facilities is to have a fully-equipped place with machinery and equipment required for various trades and businesses. The MSMEs can then do their businesses at those locations at a reasonable cost.
“This way, MSMEs are spared the financial burden of having to buy their own equipment in order to be able to do business. Where possible, these shared facilities would have been pre-certified by relevant agencies, removing the need for the MSMEs to pursue these certifications by themselves.”
He also announced the Federal Government’s willingness to partner state governments in establishing more one-stop shops to further enhance business registration and facilitate seamless interaction between owners of small businesses and the relevant regulatory agencies.
He added, “We are also aware that some states have gone on to set up one-stop shops after the clinics. These one-stop shops bring all the relevant agencies together in one place so as to enable the MSMEs access their services on an ongoing basis.
“The Federal Government is also willing to partner your state government to immediately set up one such place for the good use of MSMEs in Enugu State.”
Osinbajo also stated that there were follow-up plans to “ensure that all the finalists from the maiden edition of the MSME Awards are supported with publicity and media exposure to enable them to reach even larger markets at home and abroad.”
He added that the ongoing disbursement of collateral-free loans to petty traders under the GEEP TraderMoni programme would soon be launched in Enugu.
Earlier in his remarks, Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu said the state government had already keyed into some of the social investment programmes initiated by the Federal Government, adding that the state would continue to cooperate with all federal authorities to improve the well-being of the people.
He thanked the Federal Government for the launch of the National MSMEs Clinics in the state, noting that they would greatly improve the lives of many youths, especially those seeking employment opportunities.
Shoprite: New Investor Assures Nigerian Consumers of Improved Services
Following the acquisition deal between Retail Supermarkets Nigeria Limited (RSNL), owner and operator of the Shoprite stores in Nigeria, and Ketron Investment Limited, the new investor has assured consumers of robust services in the years ahead.
Ketron, a Nigerian company owned by a group of institutional investors led by Persianas Investment Limited, recently acquired the supermarket brand.
The divestment by Shoprite International was in line with its strategy to change from an ownership model to a franchise model. This change in ownership has also received the approval of the Nigerian regulator the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC).
Speaking on the acquisition, Chairman, Ketron Investment Limited, Tayo Amusan said, “We are thrilled to complete the acquisition of Shoprite, ensuring the continued operations of one of the biggest retail success stories in Nigeria. We look forward to building an even stronger company following our acquisition and are excited about the greater impact we will achieve to the benefit of our customers and other stakeholders now and well into the future.”
Since its launch in Lagos in December 2005, Shoprite has expanded to 25 outlets across eleven states and Abuja, FCT.
According to the terms of the acquisition, Ketron acquired 100 per cent ownership of Shoprite in Nigeria and will continue operations across all existing outlets. It also plans to open additional stores and introduce more Nigerian-made products in the stores. This he noted, will also result in more opportunities for Nigerians.
“It is our vision to create fundamental change for the better within Nigeria,” said Amusan. “With benefits from our knowledge of the ever-evolving Nigerian retail marketplace, well-grounded social and economic research, and hands-on experience from our team, we are confident that this acquisition will foster a robust and sustainable business model for the ultimate benefit of all stakeholders,” he concluded.
Professional services firms, KPMG Advisory Services, MBO Capital Management Limited and Banwo & Ighodalo advised Ketron on the deal. CEO, MBO Capital, Jide Ogundare, stated that the deal signalled an opportunity for Ketron to uphold a thriving business.
“It will be hard work,” he said, “but with the plans we have in place, and with the support of the larger Shoprite family in Nigeria including our staff and every Nigerian shopper that walks through our doors, we are confident of success.”
Shoprite Holdings is Africa’s largest food retailer, operating 2,843 supermarkets in 15 countries and serving 35 million customers in Africa and the Indian Ocean Islands. At the moment, Shoprite Nigeria’s supply chain includes more than 300 leading Nigerian suppliers, and boasts small businesses and farmers among its partners and suppliers.
Ketron said Shoprite International will continue as technical advisers and Ketron will sustain the relationships established by Shoprite over the last decade and a half while ensuring a smooth “transfer of values.”
CBN Offers Assistant In Printing Gambia’s Currency
The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, has said that the bank is willing to assist the Central Bank of the Gambia to print its legal tender.
Emefiele said this in Abuja on Tuesday during a two-day visit by a delegation from the Central Bank Of Gambia, led by its governor, Mr. Buah Saidy.
This was in response to a request by the CBG for a possible partnership to tackle acute currency shortages among other currency management challenges in the country.
Saidy informed the CBN governor that relying on its current printer, De La Rue of London, for its currency needs was expensive and unsustainable.
He explained that it costs the bank about £70,000 to lift printed currencies from Sri Lanka to the Gambia.
In response, the CBN Governor assured his visitors that the bank had an extremely competitive advantage to undertake the currency printing for Gambia, adding that the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting had a lot of idle capacity to satisfy the demand of the CBG.
He said, “I note your point on currency management. The Nigerian mint was set up in the early 1960s and we’ve been producing our currency since the early 60s and we have a lot of idle capacity to ensure that instead of you going to Europe or other countries, you will be able to benefit from our ideas.
“Our colleagues will take you to the security printing facility. Our colleagues that came in from Liberia two months ago were fascinated by the kind of facilities we have at our security printing and minting facility and I am sure that you will also enjoy them.
“And I am sure they will follow you back to the Gambia to see how they can help you to structure your economic order quantities so we can also be of assistance in printing your currency.
“And I can assure you that we can be extremely competitive if only from the standpoint of logistics and freight from Europe but it’s just going to be a few hours from here to the Gambia and the rest of them.”
The CBG Governor also noted that one of the purposes of the visit was to benefit from the CBN’s vast experiences on how it had successfully regulated the financial system and sought assistance in the areas of information technology, modernisation, cybersecurity, forex shipping and management, among others.
Emefiele in response attributed the successes to the support which the apex bank had enjoyed from the National Assembly.
He said, “On the issue of the CBN independence, I thank you for the kind words. But I think the point is that we thank our own parliament. Our parliament has been extremely supportive of the CBN.”
He, therefore, advised the CBG to work with its parliament to create laws that would provide the independence needed.
Emefele further stated that the apex bank was not sparing any effort to address issues of supply management to ensure economic growth.
Ardova to Acquire 100 Percent Stake in Enyo Retail and Supply Limited
Ardova, an indigenous energy company headquartered in Lagos, Nigeria, with extended operations in Ghana, has reached an agreement with Enyo Retail and Supply Holding Limited to acquire a 100 percent equity stake in Enyo Retail and Supply Limited.
This announcement follows the execution of a share purchase agreement by the two companies.
The company disclosed in a statement signed by Oladeinde Nelson-Cole, Company Secretary/General Counsel, Ardova Plc.
The statement highlighted the parties’ commitment to closing the transaction in line with the share purchase agreement, as soon as agreed closing conditions are satisfied, and regulatory approval is received.
Stanbic IBTC Capital Limited and Banwo & Ighodalo are acting as Financial and Legal Advisers respectively to AP, while Rand Merchant Bank and Herbert Smith Freehills Paris LLP are acting as Financial and Legal Advisers to ERSHL and certain of its shareholders.
Olumide Adeosun, Chief Executive Officer of AP, stated that “On completion, this acquisition will lead to a stronger downstream energy group that benefits from the increased customer reach and service delivery excellence of both companies, with the combination expected to produce stronger financial results.”
Ardova Plc and Enyo Retail & Supply Limited will communicate details of future progress made on this acquisition.
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