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Hogan Lovells Leads Dialogue on Energy, Technology and Logistics as Catalyst for Growth in West Africa

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As part of the firm’s commitment to advancing resilient sustainable-led growth in Africa, Hogan Lovells held the West African edition of its inaugural Africa Business Leaders series to explore key sectors and industries projected to spearhead Africa’s economic recovery.

Private-sector experts and investors across the sub-region, led by core members of Hogan Lovells Africa practice, gathered virtually on May 19 to discuss the prospects for Africa’s economic revival.

Facilitated by Andrew Skipper, Head of Africa practice at Hogan Lovells, the session featured thought leaders who shared industry knowledge to help facilitate growth in West Africa. Among them was Yvonne Mhango, Head of Research – Africa, Renaissance Capital who shared insight into the current state of the region and avenues for growth.

Arun Velusami, partner in Hogan Lovells energy and natural resources group, spoke extensively on the recent challenges that have confronted the continent since the pandemic and how they have affected the Infrastructure and Energy sectors in Africa. Arun is highly experienced and has advised governments and developers in a variety of energy projects with particular focus on power projects in Africa, including renewable energy, thermal, and hydro-power projects.

Former Prime Minister of Benin and Co-Chair of SouthBridge, Lionel Zinsou, spoke at the fireside chat on financing African economies and the impact on the population. He shared that the private sector is a major contributor to job creation and the most important power behind sustainable growth in Africa. Speaking further, he stated that infrastructure and logistics remain key areas for investment in Africa to unlock productivity.

A panel consisting of Oti Ikomi, Chief Executive Officer, Proton Energy; Joseph Alain Saraka, Chief Strategy Officer, ARISE; Michelle Patrick-Akinrinade, Investment Advisor – Anglophone West Africa, U.S International Development Finance Corporation (DFC); and Sangu Delle, Chief Executive Officer, Africa Health Holdings discussed the new paradigm for Africa and what it means to the different business activities in the continent.

The Africa Business Series continues with East Africa on June 16 and will explore new investment opportunities in the Agriculture sector and provide insight into the new wave of investments in technology and data infrastructure in the region. The North Africa and Southern Africa events will be held on July and November 2021, respectively. The former will invite leading industrialists and investors for discussion and debate on the future, while discussing the booming manufacturing ecosystem in the region, and the latter will welcome private sector leaders operating in tourism, hospitality and FMCG to draw a plan for economic recovery as well as analyse the services sector in the region.

Speaking on the West African edition, Head of Africa practice at Hogan Lovells, Andrew Skipper said,

“The insights shared from these industry leaders have proven that Africa continues to increase its potential for growth.  Dialogues like this help to build affinity between private sector leaders and investors while examining growth prospects for Africa. At Hogan Lovells, we continue to be committed to understanding, operating in, investing in and respecting the continent, and we are excited to champion the journey to economic recovery and sustainable growth. Infrastructure, renewable energy and technology are key sectors to the economies in West Africa and with consistent collaboration and support, the region will get back to full recovery in alignment with the needs of its citizens, business and Government’’.

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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Business

NCDMB and NEXIM Sign $30 Million Agreement to Support Oil and Gas Services Firms

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The Nigerian Content Development Monitoring Board (NCDMB) and the Nigerian Export-Import Bank (NEXIM) yesterday signed a $30 million agreement on working capital and capacity building fund to support oil and gas services firms.

Simbi Wabote, Executive Secretary, NCDMB and Managing Director, NEXIM Bank, Abba Bello, signed the funding agreement at the Abuja office of the Nigerian content monitoring agency.

Wabote said the Oil Producers Trade Section, Independent Petroleum Producers Group and Petroleum Technology Association of Nigeria had raised concerns over funding challenges confronting oil services firms, as this had made most of the companies to consider downsizing their staff.

He said, “The OPTS and IPPG had at some point raised before the NCDMB the inability of most indigenous contractors to provide services to them due to challenges of funding.

“This was especially when we got struck by the COVID-19 pandemic. I recall receiving several letters particularly from IPPG trying to see how we can support this.”

He added, “I also recall receiving similar letters from PETAN when the COVID-19 struck and most of their members had nothing to do anymore.

“This is because companies were shut down and their members were threatening on how to downsize and take Nigerians off their payrolls.

“Based on this, we then set up a committee to say how do we support these firms with the provision of working capital.”

Wabote noted the roll-out date for the fund would be July 1, 2021 and that the fund size of $30m would be boosted by matching funds of the same amount to be provided by NEXIM in naira (to be converted at prevailing official exchange rate).

“The scheme shall cover loans for working capital support and capacity building, oil service contracts, invoice discounting including acquisition of low-end equipment to service short-term contracts/service obligations,” he stated.

He said the target market comprised Nigerian oil service providers which belonged to a professional association in the Nigerian oil and gas industry and commercially viable with a business relationship with either an international oil company or a major Nigerian oil firm.

“Maximum amount that can be borrowed by a single obligor is $1m or its naira equivalent at the official exchange rate prevailing at the time of borrowing,” Wabote said.

He added, “Tenor shall be up to 12 months for working capital loans and up to three years for capacity building loans with moratorium of up to 12 months.

“The applicable interest rate shall be five per cent per annum all-in for dollar-denominated loans and eight per cent all-in per annum for naira-denominated loans and the rate shall be fixed throughout the tenor of the loan.”

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LivingTrust Mortgage Bank Appoints Mr. Timothy Olorunsogo Gbadeyan as Company’s Secretary

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LivingTrust Mortgage bank has appointed Mr. Timothy Olorunsogo Gbadeyan as company secretary/head of legal services.

The bank disclosed in a statement signed by Ikechukwu Omuku, the Finance Officer/Head, Investor Relations, LivingTrust Mortgage Bank Plc.

The statement reads “We wish to notify The Nigerian Stock Exchange and the investing public of the appointment Mr. Timothy Olorunsogo Gbadeyan as Company Secretary/Head, Legal Services of LivingTrust Mortgage Bank Plc.

“Mr. Gbadeyan is a consummate corporate attorney with experiential background in deals advisory, real estate finance, facioring, general commercial transactions, corporate governance, company secretarial services and regulatory compliance. Until his appointment, he was the Head of Legal Services of Infinity Trust Mortgage Bank Plc.”

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Farmforte, Others Signs MoU To Strengthen and Sustain Growth in Agricultural Sector

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Farmforte Limited has signed a strategic Memorandum of Understanding with the Agricultural Fresh Produce Growers and Exporters Association of Nigeria; HYBR, a pan-African innovation firm; and ALTS, a consulting and strategy development firm.

The firm said in a statement on Sunday that the partnership would strengthen common interest cooperation and stimulate inclusive and sustainable growth within the agricultural sector, by capitalising on the synergy and comparative advantage offered by each organisation.

Speaking during the signing ceremony, Farmforte Co-Chief Executive Officer, Osazuwa Osayi, said, “Our mid to long-term strategic goals are further reaffirmed, as this partnership will facilitate the sharing of knowledge, ideas, and expertise across the agricultural sector.

“We will collectively address initiatives and approaches concerning agricultural investments, food security, and the overall robustness of the value chain.”

He said the collaboration would also unlock the full potential of the sector and place it on a renewed path for success, especially within a post-pandemic economy.

The President of AFGEAN, Tajuddeen Dantata, said, “By creating dialogue and fostering investment in the horticulture sector, this partnership will endeavor to support Farmforte in its exporting efforts by improving operational efficacy and cost-savings, while ultimately driving socio-economic growth in the country.”

The Chief Executive Officer, HYBR, Charles Ojei, said to drive inclusion, sustainability, job creation, and Nigeria’s overall economic growth, the optimisation of the agriculture value chain was critical.

“This collaboration is a fusion of the complementary capabilities of all partners to move a bigger agenda forward.”

The Managing Partner, ALTS, Akintunde Sawyerr, said, “The goal of this partnership is to support Farmforte’s vision of becoming the largest agribusiness by 2035 via scalable and world-class innovation across its enterprise.”

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