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Meter Manufacturers Seek Single Digit Credit Line

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prepaid meter
  • Meter Manufacturers Seek Single Digit Credit Line

Momas Electricity Meter Manufacturing Company Limited (MEMMCOL) Chairman, Kola Balogun has appealed to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to create an advancement credit line of single digit to meter manufactures for effective execution of the Meter Assets Providers (MAP) scheme.

Balogun, who spoke in Lagos, at the weekend, identified paucity of funds as a major challenge to the execution of the projects for meter manufacturers.

He said: “Essentially, for this scheme to be successful, we will need between N10 billion and N20 billion for each of the manufacturers.

“It’s a huge capital outlay. We urge the CBN to offer us the credit and allow us to pay back in single digit interest rate. We are more than ready to commence because we are well prepared for it.

“It is just that for us to start execution, we still require the CBN support because of the capital outlay that is required to have efficient deployment. We need the CBN to intervene.”

Balogun said meter manufacturers were at the position of negotiation, in terms of the execution of the MAP scheme, with the electricity distribution companies (DisCos)

“We are just waiting for letters of engagement and the extent of the volume we are going to be deploying. The capacities are there, but the funding that it requires is the major constraint and that was the reason why we are appealing to the CBN to intervene.

“This is for providing advance credit line to meter manufactures so that they can buy raw materials ahead of time.

“The bottlenecks on agreement of terms and condition also slow down the commencement of the projects. You know that there are so many variables involved such as insurance, ability to support the scheme in terms of infrastructure and logistic arrangement.

“These are the things DisCos want to ascertain before they would conclude on the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to be submitted to the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC).

“It is after the signing of the MoU that NERC will now give licences to the operators,” he added.

Balogun said the project would benefit electricity consumers when it finally kicks off, adding that issues of estimated billing and over-billing would also be abolished.

He said electricity consumers would pay exactly for what they consume and they would be able to read their consumption rates without prejudice.

“Once the scheme commences, consumers will now pay into the joint MAP account that will be managed by the meter manufactures and DisCos under the Meter Asset provider scheme. It is expected that the scheme will commence before May and the deployment of meters to customers will commence in earnest.

“After the signing of the MoU, we don’t know when NERC will give us the licence so that rollout schedule will be agreed upon as well as mapping of the area. What NERC wanted to do is the totality of substation; all consumers attached to the substations would be metered 100 per cent, in other to get exact value to the energy auditing process.”

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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