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Group Lauds FG over Directive on Apapa Gridlock

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  • Group Lauds FG over Directive on Apapa Gridlock

The Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) has applauded the federal government’s recent directive that trucks should vacate the access roads leading to the port.

Speaking at the 22nd Governing Council meeting in Lagos, the Vice Chairman of CRFFN, Henry Njoku, said if the government had acted long time ago, it would have gotten a lasting solution to the infamous gridlock which had over the years defiled solutions.

He said the gridlock had not only affected operations of their members but has also crippled other businesses within the port over the years.

Njoku, said the ultimatum was achievable stressing that, “It is better to take action than not to take at all. We are happy that the President has given the directive and I believe the order is achievable.

“The problem is that we have laws but people don’t obey it. But with this present order, if fully implemented, it will work. The order will ease not just our operations but other ports users and operators.

“There must be solution. We can’t continue like this. People are suffering going to Apapa. The truck operators must find a place to keep their trucks so that the order could work.

“For you to get a truck to carry your goods from Apapa we are paying N300, 000 to N400, 000 locally whereas we used to pay N50, 000 to N60, 000 in the past.

“The importers will transfer the cost back to individuals who are buying the goods. So it is important that we know that whatever we do we come back to us,” he said.

On his part, the Chairman of the Council, Abubakar Tsanni, faulted claims that the council has been inactive since the new governing council was inaugurated.

He said the council had been working towards addressing operational challenges faced by practitioners even as he hinted of plans to commence collection of Practitioners Operating Fee (POF) in no distance time.

Tsanni, also denied allegations of financial misappropriation levelled against the council by the founder of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), Dr. Boniface Aniebonam.

According to him, “Collection of POF will start very soon and the council is doing its best to make sure we address both operational and internal issues within the associations.

“There is nothing like financial misappropriation in the council. I believe they (NAGAFF) have withdrawn their statement because they realise there is nothing like that. There members are here and I believe they are in the best position to say.”

He said with the gazetting of the POF by the Federal Executive Council (FEC), agents would now have the opportunity to get commission and percentage from their declaration.

Registrar of the Council, Samuel Nwakohu informed the board members of plans to mark his 100 days in office as means of engaging stakeholders and showcasing the achievements and potentials of the council.

He said his team was already reaching out to stakeholders including the media to reassure them of the renewed enthusiasm by his team to deliver on the mandate of the council to regulate and control activities of freight forwarding associations in the country.

In terms of capacity building, Nwakohu said it was expected to have all freight forwarders duly registered and seen to have acquired the FIATA Diploma in freight forwarding and Supply Chain Management by 2021 or stand the chance to be de- registered.

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.

Brands

Eat’N’Go Expands To East Africa, Projects 180 Stores By Year End

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In a bid to further extend its tentacles beyond the West African market, Eat’N’Go limited, one of the leading Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) operators in Nigeria and master franchisee for world-class food brands – Domino’s Pizza, Cold Stone Creamery, and Pinkberry Gourmet Frozen Yoghurt, announced its expansion into the East African market.

This development comes after the successful acquisition of the franchisee which operated Cold Stone Creamery and Domino’s Pizza in Kenya. This acquisition will see Eat’N’Go limited become the largest Domino’s pizza and Cold Stone Creamery Master Franchisee in Africa with operations in Nigeria and Kenya.

Since its entrance to Nigeria in 2012, the QSR company has grown exponentially and has continuously nurtured the drive to extend its footprint across the African market. This acquisition provides them their first foreign market expansion, making them a Pan African company with a total number of 147 outlets across Africa and a projection to reach 180 stores by end of 2021.

Group Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director Eat’N’Go Limited, Patrick McMichael said that expanding into East Africa represents a very exciting time in the growth of the organization and also a strategic investment for the firm and its stakeholders. “Over the years, we have fostered the mission to not just bring the best QSR brands to Africa, but to directly impact on Africa’s economy and we are glad we are finally on the way to making this happen. Studying the growth of the Kenyan market in the last couple of years, we are convinced that now is the time to extend our footprint into the country.”

“We are very thrilled about this expansion as this move avails us more opportunity to provide Jobs to more Africans, especially in times like this. We remain thankful to all our customers, partners, and stakeholders who have supported us this far and we are more than ready to strengthen our dedication in satisfying the needs of our customers” Patrick added.

Eat’N’Go has over the years maintained its position as the leading food franchisee in Nigeria. As it expands its presence to other parts of Africa, the organization also places a strong focus on the quality of its products and services of all its three brands. The expansion to this new region is in line with the company’s plan to reach 180 stores across Africa by the end of 2021.

The milestone achievement and development will better position the company in its contribution to Nigeria and Africa’s economy. Currently home to over 3000 staff members across Africa, the company is committed to continuously provide job and business opportunities across the continent.

Eat’N’Go launched in 2012 in Nigeria with the vision to become the premier food operator in Africa. Today, the company has over 147 stores in Nigeria and Kenya and it continues to deliver on this promise by successfully rolling out the globally recognised brands Cold Stone Creamery and Domino’s Pizza across Africa. The company continues to expand its presence in key markets by fusing company goals with new strategic development goals and is projected to reach 180 stores across Africa by end of 2021.

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Brands

Shoprite Exit: LCCI Explains Challenges Hurting Business Operations in Nigeria

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Following the recent announcement of Shoprite, a leading South Africa retail giant, that it is leaving the Nigerian market due to harsh business environment and tough business policies, Dr Muda Yusuf, the Director-General, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has explained some of the challenges responsible for such decision despite Nigeria’s huge population size.

Yusuf said while such decision is negative for the Nigerian economy, several factors like harsh business environment could have forced the company to make such decision. He said it also could be due to intense competitive pressure.

He said, “Shoprite is an international brand with presence in 14 African countries and about 3,000 stores. The comparative analysis of returns on investment in these countries may have informed the decision to exit the Nigeria market.

“The opportunities for retail business in Nigeria is immense. But the competition in the sector is also very intense.

“There are departmental stores in practically every neighbourhood in our urban centres around the country. There is also a strong informal sector presence in the retail sector. It is a very competitive space.”

According to the Director-General, there are also important investment climate issues that constitute downside risks to big stores like Shoprite.

He said, “These include the trade policy environment, which imposes strict restrictions on imports; the regulatory environment, which is characterised by a multitude of regulators making endless demands.

“There is also the foreign exchange policy, which has made imports and remittances difficult for foreign investors. There are challenges of infrastructure which put pressures on costs and erodes profit margins.”

The LCCI boss added, “But we need to stress that Shoprite is only divesting and selling its shares; Shoprite as a brand will remain. I am sure there are many investors who will be quite delighted to take over the shares.

“It should be noted that there are other South African firms in Nigeria doing good business. We have MTN, Multichoice, Stanbic IBTC, and Standard Chartered Bank, among others. Some of them are making more money in Nigeria than in South Africa.”

He added that some sectors are more vulnerable to the challenges of the business environment than others.

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Appointments

Afrinvest Appoints Mrs. Onaghinon As COO

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Afrinvest West Africa Limited, has appointed the former head of public private partnership agency of the Edo State, Mrs Onoise Onaghinon as its chief operating officer.

Onaghinon joined Afrinvest in 2003 as an analyst in the firm’s investment banking division, rising through the ranks to become an associate, then vice president and eventually executive director & head of investment banking.

She is a seasoned veteran in the Nigerian capital markets and investment landscape with over 18 years of experience in capital raising, mergers and acquisitions, and restructurings across many industries.

In 2017, Onaghinon took a sabbatical from the Firm to head the Public Private Partnership Agency of the Edo State Government. Having acquitted herself creditably in the public sector, she has rejoined the Firm to resume as the new COO.

Speaking on the appointment, group managing director of Afrinvest, Ike Chioke, said: “over the years, Onaghinon has demonstrated great leadership, professional excellence and outstanding client commitment in driving the firm’s business units, particularly our investment banking division. We are delighted to have her back and we look forward to leveraging her cross-disciplinary experience across the Afrinvest group”.

In her new role, Onaghinon will oversee human resources, legal & compliance, internal control and general services while leading the firm’s initiatives to improve efficiency across its subsidiaries.

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