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FG Urged to Develop ICT Capabilities for National Development



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  • FG Urged to Develop ICT Capabilities for National Development

The Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria (ISPON) has called on the federal government to refocus its priorities and begin to look at capacity building in the area of Information and Communications Technology (ICT), especially in software development.

President of ISPON, Dr. Yele Okeremi, who made the call at a tech capacity development forum organised by Girl Code Academy in Lagos, expressed concern that the federal government was not doing the basic things required to enhance national development. He was of the view that the federal government must begin to develop local ICT capacities for national development, if she must achieve her dream of becoming a smart city where activities are automated and driven by technology.

According to him, government should be able to support between five to ten technology hubs and start-ups and provide them with the opportunities to grow and compete globally. This would bring about national development and wealth creation for our county Nigeria. The idea of government borrowing money from other developed countries of the world to build national infrastructure may stop because Nigeria can become financially stable if it has up to ten powerful Nigerian technology start-ups that are doing well and creating wealth for Nigeria, he said.
“We therefore need leaders that have the vision to build capacity for national development,” he added.

“Government should resuscitate hubs that are financial weak and about to go down, including those hubs that have already gone into extinction like Ideas Hub, among others,” Okeremi said.

Citing successful hubs in developed countries of the world, Okeremi said those successful hubs belong to the private sector with support from government, while encouraging Nigerian government to do same instead of setting up government hubs or government ICT Parks.

He emphasised that those meant to run technology hubs are those with core technology skills and competence among private entrepreneurs.

Commenting on the smart nation initiative, Okeremi said they have do with lean government and large enterprise.
“Every successful nation in the world have the policy and vision of a smart nation, but in Nigeria the story is different, where we have large government and weak private enterprise, yet Nigeria is yawning for a smart nation that is driven by technology.

“What we see about government in Nigeria is not encouraging because government does not support the growth of private enterprise that is supposed the drive national development.

“For Nigeria to have a smart nation of her dream, government must give full support to the private sector in terms of growth and development,” Okeremi said.

According to him, “The wealth of a nation is not resident in the natural resources of that nation, but in the knowledge skills, especially Information and Communications Technology (ICT) skills that have been developed among citizens of that nation.”

Governments globally have shifted focus from oil to ICT and Nigerian government must do same because ICT skills drive global economies today.

In the past, the biggest companies of the world were in oil and gas industry but today, that have changed and the biggest companies in the world are now in the ICT space, Okeremi said and he stressed the need for Nigerian government to use technology in driving every aspect of human endeavour, and make Nigeria a truly smart nation.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

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Nigeria Appoints Four Global Banks To Oversee Eurobonds Issuance




Nigeria on Wednesday appointed four global lenders, JPMorgan, Citigroup, Standard Chartered and Goldman Sachs as book-runners for its forthcoming Eurobond issue, according to the Debt Management Office (DMO).

The debt office also appointed Chapel Hill Denham as Nigerian bookrunner and FSDH Merchant Bank as a financial adviser.

It said in a statement that the Transaction Advisers emerged from an Open Competitive Bidding Process as outlined in the Public Procurement Act, 2007 (as amended).

According to the debt office, 38 institutions jostled for the transaction advisers but chose to select eight after “rigorous evaluation to ascertain the technical capacities of the responders to execute the Transaction.”

The Eurobonds are aimed at raising the external borrowing portion of the N5.6 trillion deficits in the 2021 budget put at N2.34 trillion.

“Whilst the government expects a successful outing, it will be mindful of costs and risks in terms of tenor and pricing in determining the amount of Eurobonds to issue,” the DMO said.

The DMO said proceeds from the bond sale will be used to fund various projects in the budget with the resultant inflow of foreign exchange into the country which will boost Nigeria’s dollar reserves and support the naira.

Nigeria had planned a Eurobond issue early last year after its sixth sale in 2018 where it raised $2.86 billion. But it decided to defer the 2020 sale due to the turmoil caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The National Assembly last month approved the external borrowing of about $6.2 billion through the issuance of a Eurobond.

The government has said it wanted to moderate debt servicing costs by accessing relatively cheaper funds abroad, as global interest rates fall below 2020 levels while local rates rise.

Nigeria emerged from its second recession since 2016 in the fourth quarter of last year, but growth is fragile.

The government expects a 2021 budget deficit of N5.6 trillion to be financed largely from foreign and local borrowings in equal proportion.

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Nestle Nigeria Plc Appoints Two New Directors



Nestle Nigeria - Investors King

Nestle Nigeria Plc has appointed Mrs Adebisi Lamikanra and Mr Ibukun-Okun Ipinmoye as non-executive director and executive director respectively.

According to a statement signed by the Company Secretary, Bode Ayeku, Lamikanra, whose appointment was approved by the board, has over 30 years of professional experience providing advisory and consulting services to various public and private sector entities within and outside Nigeria.

The statement said before her appointment, Lamikanra was the head of the advisory practice of KPMG Nigeria consisting of management consulting, deal advisory, technology advisory and risk consulting business units. She had also led the financial services sector across Africa.

Lamikanra has a degree in economics and is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria. She attended various leadership programs over the years at Instead, Lagos Business School, Harvard Business School, Kellogg and many others.

She is currently the co-chair of Women Corporate Directors in Nigeria and the thematic leader for the non-banking sector for the Nigerian Economic Summit Group. She is a promoter of an NGO which focuses on providing employability training to Nigerian graduates.

On his part, the statement said Ipinmoye was currently the factory manager at, Agbara factory. He is a certified professional coach and a fellow of the Institute of Management Consultants.

He had joined Nestle Nigeria as a graduate trainee in 1993 and was appointed in 2016 to be the factory manager, Flowergate Factory, where he effectively built and sustained a high-performing culture at the factory.

He holds an M.Sc degree in biochemistry from the University of Ilorin and an M.Sc degree in management from Commonwealth Open University, United Kingdom.

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FrieslandCampina Re-Launches Olympic, Coast Milk Brands



FrieslandCampina- Investors King

FrieslandCampina WAMCO, Nigeria’s foremost dairy company and makers of Peak and Three Crowns milk, has re-launched Olympic, Coast, and Nunu milk brands into the Nigerian market through the ‘Word twist’ campaign.

The new ‘Word twist’ campaign requires consumers to compose meaningful sentences with Coast, Olympic, and Nunu for a chance to win fantastic prizes.

For example, “You can now Coast to natural goodness like the fastest man alive cruises to Olympic medals with one Nunu milk a day in your meal.”

Omolara Banjoko, marketing manager, FrieslandCampina disclosed that the campaign became necessary following FrieslandCampina WAMCO’s acquisition of PZ Nutricima and its brands; Olympic, Coast, and Nunu.

“These brands have an existing portfolio across different formats with varied strengths in the different regions of the country. Hence, with this campaign, we plan to strengthen the perception of the brands leveraging FrieslandCampina WAMCO’s strong heritage” Banjoko said.

She further explained that FrieslandCampina is committed to bringing affordable and readily available quality dairy products to Nigerians and with the acquisition, it will be able to meet the growing demands of its consumers.

“Coast Milk promises natural goodness and therefore it is a perfect match that will work well with consumers who wish to stick to natural-made products.

“Adults have a myriad of responsibilities to attend to daily and with Olympic milk, they are assured of getting the right nutrients that will cater to their energy needs and active lifestyle,” she said.

“Nunu offers nutrient-rich milk that can conveniently be used by consumers and businesses looking to upgrade their everyday meal and intermediate products. Olympic, Nunu, and Coast milk are back like they never left and we encourage people to look out for the brands in their neighborhood” Banjoko added.

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