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Privatisation: Discos Fail to Deliver Five Years After – FG

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Electricity - Investors King
  • Privatisation: Discos Fail to Deliver Five Years After – FG

Five years after the privatisation of Nigeria’s power sector, electricity distribution companies have still not met their various performance agreements, the Federal Government has said.

Speaking through its agencies in the sector – Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, Niger Delta Power Holding Company and Bureau of Public Enterprises, the government stated that power distributors had defaulted on several agreements since they took over the power assets on November 1, 2013.

This is coming as the National Union of Electricity Employees demanded that investors in the power assets should pack and leave the business if they do not have enough funds to revamp the utilities.

The Managing Director, NDPHC, Chiedu Ugbo; Commissioner, Legal Licensing and Compliance, NERC, Dafe Akpeneye; Director, Energy Department, BPE, Yunana Malo; and Deputy President, South, NUEE, Christian Omoneh, wondered why Discos were defaulting in many aspects, while speaking at the Nextier Power Dialogue in Abuja.

Ugbo stated that while power generation had recorded a huge success since the sector was privatised, distribution had not been impressive.

He said, “On average you can say generation is a huge success. However, because Nigerians don’t have electricity the way they intended if you use generation and distribution, they say it is below expectation. But with generation standing alone, is in my view, a success.

“For the distribution companies, they have performance targets in terms of the ATC&C (Average Technical, Commercial and Collection) loss reduction, in the number of connections they have to do, number of metering they ought to do and some others within this five-year period.”

The NDPHC boss added, “Now have they reduced their technical, commercial and collection losses? We all know the answer, because I’ve been doing distribution expansion and rehabilitation work since I took over at the NDPHC but that is what they are supposed to do.

“However, we’ve spent all of our resources doing that for distribution companies which is through government intervention. So I don’t think they’ve met that. Have they done the metering? I think they were supposed to meter about 1.7 million customers, have they done that? These are facts and figures.

“Also, have they done the required expansion work for distribution across the country? Why haven’t they done these things? What does the agreement say? I know they often talk about a cost reflective tariff, but it is not just a figure you pick in the air. There are a number of factors inbuilt in it.”

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.

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Merger and Acquisition

Verdant Capital Advises Baxi, a Leading Super-agent in Nigeria, on its Sale to MFS Africa

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Edmund Higenbottam, MD of Verdant Capital - Investorsking.com

MFS Africa is acquiring Baxi to expand its network into Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy and perhaps its most fintech dynamic market. Nigeria is also the largest remittance market in Africa representing one-third of intra-Africa remittance flows, and is home to the largest number of SMEs.

Verdant Capital views the two businesses as highly complimentary:  Baxi simplifies and integrates online and offline payments for SMEs and merchants in Nigeria through its omni-channel distribution network; MFS Africa simplifies cross-border payments, integrating payments via one hub. The transaction further extends Verdant Capital’s track-record of advising on transactions shaping the fintech sector in Africa.

The sale of Baxi is Verdant Capital’s fifth successful fintech transaction of the year, having advised Retail Capital, a leading tech-enabled SME-financier in South Africa on a USD 10 million capital raise; Zeepay, a leading pan-African digital remittance and mobile payments business on its USD 8 million Series-A and on its acquisition of Mangwee in Zambia; and Tugende, a leading tech-enabled SME-financier in East Africa on its USD 10 million Series-A.  The transactions cover West, East and South Africa.  In part because of its successful track-record in transactions in the fintech sector, as well as because of its leading private equity franchise, Verdant Capital was named the best independent advisor of the year, pan-Africa, by Africa Global Funds, for the second year running in October 2021.

Founded in 2014 by Degbola Abudu and Folu Majekodunmi, Baxi is one of Nigeria’s largest independent SME-focused electronic payment networks. Baxi provides a comprehensive range of services to the last mile including cash-in/cash-out, account opening, money transfer and bill payment. Through its network of more than 90,000 agents, Baxi processed over USD 1 billion in transactions in the first nine months of 2021.  Following the close of the transaction, MFS Africa plans to build Baxi into a key node on its digital payment network, allowing customers to make regional and global payments to and from Nigeria. MFS Africa also intends to expand Baxi’s proposition for offline SMEs to select markets within MFS Africa’s footprint of 320 million mobile wallets across more than 35 African countries.

Strong agent networks are the crucial interface for fintechs to reach Nigeria’s circa 100 million financially unserved or underserved population. Supporting and nurturing SMEs is crucial to Nigeria’s economy, as they contribute 50% of Gross Domestic Product and provide 76% of jobs (source:  Federal Ministry of Information and Culture).  With its presence in all 36 Nigerian states, Baxi fills a critical gap by providing informal SMEs and other unbanked Nigerians access to financial services.  Verdant Capital is proud to support the leading businesses that support SMEs across the Continent.

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Company News

Cadbury Nigeria Recognised For Human Resource Management

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Cadbury Nigeria

Cadbury Nigeria Plc announced that it had been recognised as a top employer by the Netherlands-based Top Employers Institute, even as it stressed the importance of employee well-being.

Cadbury Nigeria, a subsidiary of Mondelēz International, made the announcement in a statement released on Wednesday as part of the celebration of its third annual purpose day.

The consumer goods manufacturer said it held a webinar for its employees anchored by experts in healthcare management.

The Managing Director, Cadbury Nigeria, Mrs. Oyeyimika Adeboye, said the company takes the well-being of its employees seriously, adding that they would give their best if they had the right mental attitude.

“That is the reason we organised the webinar by bringing in experts from Helen Keller International to speak to us on well-being, as part of our Purpose Day,” she said.

Adeboye added that the growing importance of holistic well-being made the company focus its annual Purpose Day activities this year exclusively on well-being in the areas of mind, body and connection.

The Country Director, Helen Keller International, Ms. Philomena Orji, was quoted as saying during her presentation, “Helen Keller is dedicated to scaling up evidence-based, cost-effective solutions to improve care practices and ensure that basic health interventions reach vulnerable people, with a focus on women, youth, and children.”

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Appointments

CSCS Reappoints Haruna Jalo-Waziri As CEO

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CSCS-Investors King

The board of the Central Securities Clearing System has approved the re-appointment of the Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Haruna Jalo-Waziri, for another five-year term.

CSCS disclosed this in a statement on Tuesday, saying the company had seen a major boost in its revenue base and had also built strong strategic alliances with other financial market entities across Africa during Jalo-Waziri’s tenure.

It said Jalo-Waziri led the company’s profit growth by 18 percent compound annual growth rate and delivered a 20 percent return on average equity in the 2020 financial year amidst the pandemic.

The Chairman, CSCS, Mr. Oscar Onyema, said the board was impressed with the CEO’s performance and that the foundation built by the team had positioned the firm for its next growth phase.

Onyema said, “That is why we are aiming to consolidate on our gains and diversify the business for sustainable growth.

“On behalf of the board, I congratulate Mr. Jalo-Waziri on this reappointment, which reflects our vote of confidence and greater expectations from him in creating value for shareholders and broader stakeholders of CSCS.”

Jalo-Waziri appreciated the board for the reappointment.

“I am tremendously proud of the talent pool we have built here at CSCS. As we set out to diligently execute our next growth strategy, I am super excited at the future of this great institution and look forward to deepening our partnership with different stakeholders for mutual prosperity,” he said.

He added that he would continue to count on the support of the Securities and Exchange Commission, the board, participants and other stakeholders in deepening the Nigerian capital market.

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