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38—SATURDAY VANGUARD, FEBRUARY 4, 2017 Stories by Moses Nosike Quality specie of plantain and banana can make emerging farmers successful, and they also have a large local and foreign market. The plantain thrives under harsh farming conditions in en vironment where the quality of soil is poor. The specie develops bigger fruits at very low cost, enabling plantain farmers in these areas to farm commercially. Managing Director, Jovana Farm, Prince Arinze Onnebuna, said, “In 2010, demand for plantain increased by 280% and since then till now the demand has steadily increased. The increase in demand has affected the price in Nigeria, and there is shortage in supply because farmers are only few growing it. According to him, plantain farming is money spinning and at the same time, can create jobs for our teaming unemployed youths. We must look in the direction of agriculture to solve the challenges of unemployment in the country, reduce crime and promote economic growth. However, “our concern and efforts this season is to meet the ever increasing demand for quality plantain suckers to enable farmers produce more. Not only is the production capacity low, most plantain farmers are not producing up to standard. They’re still farming Group Managing Director/ CEO, Eliel Group of Companies, Mrs Damilola Adefemi has urged the Federal Government to initiate schemes that will provide shelter for the citizens considering the country’s growing population. Speaking with Saturday Vanguard, Mrs Adefemi said a subsidiary of the company, Shadop International Properties Limited has been encouraging Nigerians in abroad to invest at home by acquiring and developing landed property. The company which operates in Nigeria, Ghana, Dubai and US provides services and consultation BUSINESS GUIDE ranging from planning, design, approvals, construction, renovation, sales, letting and property facility management. Its years of integrity and trust in providing building services has attracted Nigerians in diaspora to invest in the country and many Nigerians abroad are now owning properties at home while in the US, Canada, France, UK, etc. through Shadop International Properties Limited. Plantain ain sucker ers, most t lucrative aspect of farming •snail with poor quality specie of plantain that is not sustainable”. “As at the moment, we have huge orders to supply plantain suckers, fruits, flour, etc to many farmers and food processors. This is a huge supply that has kept us working harder on ways to meet the demand because there are not enough farmers. When I looked at the capacity of my farm and the farms we have setup and the ones we are currently managing, I see the huge gap between the quantity buyers need and what I have. Also not all farms have what the market needs. Currently, we have thousands of Cameroon hybrid plantain and banana suckers available for sale to farmers. This is to encourage more people to venture into plantain business. Plantain occupies a strategic Shadop building dream homes for Nigerians in diaspora According to Damilola Adefemi, “we also help clients determine fair values for property to be sold or purchased to ensure proper values for money spent”. In addition, Adefemi said, “since we realised the importance of investing at home from any part of the world especially acquisition of landed properties and development, Shadop International Properties, a specialist in building houses for Nigerians in Diaspora has helped many of them to think home and their families with the country benefiting from such investment”. So, “we take up the full responsibility from land acquisition in viable areas or specific locations required by our clients and we provide the necessary designs and government building approvals and subsequently develop the properties according to cash flow pattern and financial ability of the clients. And we ensure that our services are absolutely affordable and cheaper than other options. Discussing further on the position for rapid food production in Nigeria; it is ranked third among starchy staple foods. Production still remains largely in the hands of small scale producers who, over the years, have ingeniously integrated into various cropping systems. Plantain farming has tremendously increased the income of farmers in the last few years, unlike some other starchy food that demand tends to fall with rising income. In addition, there exists suitable plantain farming sites in different parts of the country. As little as one plot of land or more could be engaged under small or large scale farming, while several hectares have the potential of producing many tonnes per hectares a year with the right species of plantain. Our high-yielding plantain suckers is creating millionaires. Plantain suckers are one of the m o s t lucrative aspects of plantain farming. T h e multiplication is high as o n e mature plantain economic value of the company’s service in Nigeria, Adefemi, said, “we are adding substantial economic value to Nigeria in terms of shelter by successfully building houses in various parts of Nigeria for all Nigerians in diaspora who at one point or the other had been frustrated and defrauded by friends and relatives in the course of trying to build houses on their behalf. These funds are coming from overseas into the Nigerian real estate sector of the economy and providing employment for Nigerians and generating sales to improve the country’s GDP”. However, because we deliver first class quality services and we don’t compromise our integrity because we want to remain on top of real estate market and competition in Nigeria and beyond, we work in collaboration with other global property companies like Damac Properties in Dubai and Christie’s International. We also work in tandem with our affiliated companies like Eliel Jerahmeal Nigeria Limited which handles our construction works and provide elevators and escalators to achieve desired results and that empowers us to deliver as at and when due with same standard as obtained in other countries we operate”. Shadop International Properties Limited is a subsidiary of Eliel Group of Companies and we solicit that the Federal Government should come up with schemes that would provide shelter for its citizens considering the growing population”, Adefemi said. Nobel Carpe pets and Floors partner VConnect on SME Nigeria’s leading carpets and floor solutions manufacturer, Nobel Carpets and floors has once again shown its commitment to the development of small and medium scale enterprises in Nigeria, as it recently partnered VConnect Global Services to host the first of its kind SME conference 1.0 held recently in Lagos. The event which brought together diverse budding entrepreneurs from different parts of the country, had facilitators from Paga, Businessday, Seedvest, and other small and medium scale entrepreneurs in attendance, and they spoke on topics ranging from essentials of starting a business to growing your business, accessing funds, business partnerships etc. The General Manager, Nobel Carpets and Floors, Mr. Jitesh •Plantain farming is part of agriculture that can benefit investors Pamnani who spoke at the event, said that the SME conference 1.0 is a platform through which the firm seeks to support and grow small scale businesses within the country through knowledge acquisition and mentoring from established entrepreneurs. “As an organization, we desire to eradicate the challenge of unemployment and business failure ravaging our society and this we plan to achieve through training and information gathering platforms such as this where young minds and start-ups can have the opportunity to interact with business leaders, thereby gain knowledge and strength needed to keep pursuing their ideas and growing their businesses no matter the challenges that may erupt over time,” Pamnani said. Pamnani added that, “with as little as Thirty thousand naira, individuals can also become partners with Nobel Carpets and Floors; and this is no doubt a viable business opportunity, as the brand is known, trusted and accepted across West Africa.” Pamnani therefore urged the budding entrepreneurs to remain focused and open-minded to ideas, information and opportunities which are essential for growth and success in the competitive world of entrepreneurship. Also speaking at the event, The Founder, VConnect Global Services, Mr. Deepankar Rustagi, stated that the conference was organized to teach small and medium scale enterprise owners on how to have an effective online presence and how to grow their businesses online to yield great returns on investment. can produce seven suckers or more. Plantain is a major source of carbohydrate for many people in Nigeria. In fact, all stages of the fruits from immature to overripe are used as a source of food. The immature fruits are peeled, sliced, dried and made into powder and consumed. The mature fruits are consumed boiled, steamed, baked, pounded, roasted, or sliced and fried into chips. A bunch of plantain cost between N1, 000 to N1, 300 depending on the size and specie. However, being a perishable food item, substantial quantities rot away in a short period after harvest because farmers plant, harvest and at the same time flood the markets with the produce. Investors can make huge profit by setting-up a suitable processing technology to convert plantain into powder form; as there is a ready market within and outside Nigeria for plantain flour. Choose also the nearest venue from the advert box in this page BUSINESS GUIDE Coca-Cola, World Economic Forum empower Uyo with $10,000 grant Coca-Cola, World Economic Forum recently announced Uyo 2016 Winner of the Coca-Cola Shaping a Better Future Grant Challenge. This competition was an initiative of World Economic Forum to promote education for sustainable development in communities. However, the Uyo Hub of the Global Shapers Community would receive a total of $10,000 grant for its educational project, “Education for Sustainable Development”. The funding from Coca-Cola would help build libraries, educational infrastructure for underprivileged students in the country. Global Shapers seeks to improve infrastructure in schools, quality training and provide learning tools for education. Mmanti Umoh of the Uyo Global Shapers Hub, said, “Our hunger for better education in this state should never stop. We need to be focused to enable Akwa Ibom students pursue their right to education by eliminating those barriers facing them and ensuring that activities and programmes are innovative, evidence-based and sustainable. This is the foundation that would make Akwa Ibom great and the key ingredient for global competition. “Education in Akwa Ibom needs to become better to meet the demands of the global marketplace”. President, Coca-Cola West Africa, Peter Njonjo, said, “It is exciting to see young people demonstrate active interest and resourcefulness in developing innovative solutions for many of the challenges faced by our communities in Africa. This growing trend of social entrepreneurship is supported by the Coca-cola company in many ways, and I am particularly proud that two Global Shapers Hub in West Africa – Ghana and Uyo, Nigeria were selected as 2016 Winners of the Coca-Cola Shaping a Better Future Grant Challenge”.

Yinka Kolawole 08023722949 SATURDAY Vanguard, FEBRUARY 4, 2017—39 Elixir Global acquires 100% P&G’s Ibadan healthcare plant BY PRINCEWILL EKWUJURU Elixir Global Manufacturing Food Limited, a Nigerian entity operating under the Chanrai Summit Group, and a sister company of Fareast Mercantile Co Ltd, has made a 100 percent acquisition of the Procter & Gamble’s Ibadan Healthcare Plant. The plant covered by this transaction produces medicated throat drops well known and accepted in the Nigerian market under the brands Vicks Blue and Vicks Lemon Plus. Sivaswami Raghavan, a Director at Elixir, said that with the acquisition his company has also obtained the right to manufacture and sell these brands within Nigeria and the Sub- Sahara African markets, in exception of South Africa, through a Brand Licensing Agreement, BLA, valid up to 20 years. Additionally, the agreement also confers on the company “the rights to have these products and its variants manufactured in other third party manufacturing locations both within and outside Africa to meet with the specific requirements of the large market that it intends covering over the brand licensing period,” Raghavan said. The purchase of the Ibadan plant combined with the BLA, gives Elixir Global a ready made market to begin with and also provides the ability to launch both Vicks brands and other completely new brands in the large Sub-Saharan African marketplace including Nigeria. Khululiwe Mabaso, Head Corporate Communications/Associate Director, Procter & Gamble, Sub-Saharan Africa had this to say on this agreement: “P&G is delighted to partner with a local Nigerian party to continue building the Vicks brand not only in Nigeria but across many other parts of Africa.” Diamond Bank, Jumia Food set to delight customers Diamond Bank Plc has entered into partnership with Jumia Food to delight its customers with the food they love. The partnership kicked off with a customer loyalty campaign to ‘Diamond’s Xclusive’ customers in Lagos and Abuja from the 19th of January, 2017 for a twomonth period. Commenting on the bank’s decision to embark on the partnership, Mrs Aishah Ahmad, Head, Consumer Banking, said, “At Diamond, we are committed to our beyond banking ethos which seeks to integrate banking with our customers’ lifestyles. “With this partnership, our ‘Xclusive’ customers will enjoy 30 per cent off their first order on Jumia Food, giving them access to the finest cuisines from Nigeria and across the world via over 200 select restaurants, delivered to their door” she said. Reiterating Aishah, Olamide Bada, Managing Director of Jumia Food said: “We recognize Diamond Bank as a premier financial institution, often at the forefront of innovation in order to benefit its customers. Our common goal is great customer experience, which makes this partnership mutually rewarding”. ‘Unilever committed to Nigeria’s economic growth’ BY PRINCEWILL EKWUJURU Unilever Africa President, Mr. Bruno Witvoet, has said that the company is committed to actively contribute to the economy and growth of the manufacturing sector in Nigeria. He said this when the management of the company visited Governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, where he told the governor that the company was ready to enhance the growth of the manufacturing sector to help grow the country’s economy. Witvoet commended the development strategy of the Governor of Kaduna State in ensuring the state is inclusive in economic growth and socio-economic transformation which translates into substantial improvements in the quality of lives of Kaduna citizens. He signed a Memorandum Of Understanding with the governor on the Kaduna Emergency Nutrition Action Plan (KADENAP) which is an initiative championed by the Wife of L-R: Frank Le Bris, Managing Director, Nigerite Limited; Arc. Adebayo Dipe, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Housing, Lagos State; Dirk Modderman, Managing Director, Emenite Limited and Banjo Abimbola, Sales Manager, Nigerite Limited, during the launch of KalsiClad by Nigerite at the company’s head office in Ikeja, Lagos the Governor, Hajia Aisha (Ummi) Garba El-Rufai aimed at tackling Anaemia/Malnutrition in the State. This is in furtherance to the company’s Sustainability Strategy- Unilever Sustainable Living Plan (USLP). In his response, Governor El- Rufai commended the company for their efforts in the sustainable development of Kaduna State. He reassured the team of the government’s assistance whenever there is an expansion plan within and outside the state. Dana bags air crew of the year award ADana Air crew member, Mrs Joy Odimgba, recently bagged the Air Crew of the Year award at the Nigeria Aviation Awards held at Welcome Centre, Airport road Lagos. Odimgba, while speaking to newsmen after the award said, “I am delighted to have won the award for Air Crew of the Year and this underscores the effort we put in daily to ensure that all our guests enjoy our award-winning hospitality on-board our flights. For us at Dana Air, our customers come first and we will continue to keep them smiling at every opportunity.” She dedicated the award to the entire Dana Air Crew and the Management for the constant training and retraining while urging passengers to take advantage of the airline’s customer-centric offers and rewards. Already in its 7th year, the Nigerian Aviation Awards is an annual award put together to recognize excellence in all spheres of the aviation industry. FirstBank gets global brands awards First Bank of Nigeria limited has won the “Best Banking Brand, Nigeria 2016” and “Best Banking Performer, Nigeria 2016” in the Global Brands Awards. The awards are instituted to identify and recognise the significance of exceptional service delivery and reward performance. According to Global Brands Magazine, the organizers of the award, the awards reflect the countless hours of time and efforts spent by FirstBank employees in achieving the vision of the company and making its customers happy. Group Head, Marketing and Corporate Communications, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Mrs. Folake Ani-Mumuney, in a statement said: “The awards are a testament to FirstBank’s unwavering commitment to put customers first and at the heart of our business in line with our ‘You First’ mantra. We will always deliver the ultimate ‘gold standard’ of value and excellence. “Our financial services knowledge and practices lead the market in ensuring that we understand our customers and surpass their expectations as we strive for a better way of delivering first-class service and experience.” NETSHOP rakes in N3m from half year operation BY PRINCEWILL EKWUJURU NETSHOP, an e-commerce and event ticketing platform, says it earned N3million ($6,000) in revenue by selling over 350 items, reached about a million people and listed over 20 products on its website. NETSHOP Founder, Ayeni Adekunle, during the review of the activities of the e- shop in Lagos, said the platform made N3million, ($6,000) from its six months of operation, sold over 350 items, reached about a million people and listed over 20 products on its website. “We are creating opportunities for those who love entertainment to be able to conveniently access the products they want; be it tickets to events, merchandise, books, and everything else. We wanted to place entertainment products right where there’s demand for them - on entertainment platforms where their consumers come to regularly,” he said. The netng has over 20 million users across our different platforms, so we thought there’s no better place to discuss, say, a new 2face Idibia perfume line, a Mercy Johnson hair product, a Wizkid concert, or a Julius Agwu book”, he noted. Usually, most event planners complain of poor corporate sponsorship with many artistes unable to go on tours or host their own shows, while those who do are unable to sell to their real fans until event day. Events in Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt are dominated by “VVIP” tables mostly sold to corporates and money-bags. In 2016, that trend changed a bit, with the coming of platforms like NETSHOP. From awards, shows to music concerts, over 45 percent of attendees bought their tickets online, with most of the NETSHOP events being sold out weeks before D-Day. As the trend continues, it is evident that growth opportunities still abound in Nigeria’s e-commerce sector for content publishers, particularly platforms that understand Nigerian entertainment consumers, and that have direct access to both fans and stars like NET does. NET is one of the few media companies placing a foot in e-commerce, testing the waters and hoping to develop new business areas to ensure survival at a time when advertising revenues continue to dwindle as seen in Google’s recent decision to pull 1.7 billion ads off its network, he stated.