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Aviation Experts Canvass Industry Growth Through Improved Policies

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  • Aviation Experts Canvass Industry Growth Through Improved Policies

Aviation stakeholders have said only improved government policies can drive growth in the industry.

The stakeholders noted that such policies must also be focused on achieving certain results that could be measured against international best standards and practices.

The President, Aviation Round Table Initiative, Mr Gbenga Olowo, said the policies must be made to drive investors, consumers and ensure safety and security as well as stakeholders’ satisfaction.

According to him, the industry needs policy thrust directed towards achieving solid objectives, adding that the industry’s regulatory framework must be stable, and the political environment should be favourable.

Olowo said, “Regulations shouldn’t be changing the way we change our dress. We cannot continue to be prodigal the way balance of trade against Nigeria is handled. If we cannot run our businesses, then we will not be able to manage even ourselves.

“If we say Nigerian aviators cannot give birth to solid and sound Nigerian airlines that means that a Nigerian shouldn’t be our governor; a Nigerian shouldn’t be our president or our legislator. But as long as Nigerians remain our president, commissioners, governors and local government chairmen as well as legislators, then Nigerians are available to run airlines for us. We have all the solid resources provided the policy thrusts are followed.”

Olowo and others, who spoke at a stakeholders’ forum in Lagos, noted that the issue of policy summersault resulting from change in government must be addressed.

A former Managing Director, Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, Mr Roland Iyayi, stated that to grow aviation, there should be a deliberate and consistent policy geared towards ensuring that the airlines survived.

“That you have airlines failing is not because they can’t run the airlines; it is because the environment in which they operate is extremely harsh and not conducive for growth,” he said.

He said the multiplicity of charges in the industry was inconsistent with the purpose of growth.

He added, “On the one hand, we have government agencies that are supposed to be cost-recovery agencies being encouraged to grow their Internally Generated Revenue, which is inconsistent with the industry growth. Unfortunately, most of the things we do in the industry are born out of knee jerk reactions.

“Something happens, we react, rather than being proactive. Essentially, when you put a policy framework in place, it is assumed to be proactive because you are looking at the issues and you are proffering solutions by way of articulating a chart. If you have inconsistencies, you can never see the benefit of any policy you put in place.”

The Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Air Peace, Mr Allen Onyema, said the government had been supporting airlines through tax waivers and other incentives but stressed that there should be policies in place to curtail the influx of foreign airlines.

He said, “The invasion of this country by foreign airlines, if not stopped, will continue to deplete our reserves through the money they take out of this country and pretend that they love us more than themselves.

“If we get it right, with the right policies in aviation, there are many rich people in this country that can turn aviation around. But many are not ready to come into the industry because they are scared of certain policies. Policies of multi designation of frequencies to foreign carriers will not encourage Nigerian investors to invest.”

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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