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BusinessDay 16 Apr 2018

36 BUSINESS DAY

36 BUSINESS DAY C002D5556 Monday 16 April 2018 ECONOMY ENDURANCE OKAFOR Source: NSE,BusinessDay port Group Plc with a market capitalisation of N8.879 billion, traded at N 2.65 per share in the NSE and recorded 105.43percent gain as it YTD return. Making it the third best performing stock in the nation’s bourse. NPF Microfinance Bank Plc made the list of Business- Day’s best five performing stock YTD as it gained some 61.60 percent as at the close of market Friday, April 13, 2018. Markets Intelligence These stocks made money for investors last week The stocks of Cement CO. of North Nig. Plc, Caverton Offshore Support Group Plc, Unity Bank Plc, NPF Microfinance Bank Plc, and Wema Bank Plc were the best performing stocks on a year-to-date (YTD) basis, as they had the highest return at market close Friday, April 13, 2018. Cement CO. of North Nig. Plc was the best performing stock with the highest return YTD on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE). It gained 112.63 percent alone so far this year and it close the market with N20.20 per share and has a market capitalisation of N25.385 billion. Unity Bank Plc is one of the best stocks so far for this year among lenders. Shares gained 109.43 per cent to date. The bank which provides a range of financial products and services to personal and business customers has a market capitalization of N12.975 billion and traded N1.11 per share, as at market close for the week. Caverton Offshore Sup- Dangote Cement, CCNN beat industry average... Five states hardest hit by rising inflation amid potential food shortage in March DIPO OLADEHINDE Nasarawa, Ebonyi, Bauchi, Kaduna and Gombe states are the top five states in March 2018 that have recorded the highest level of inflation rates compared to the previous month of February, data from Nigeria Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed. According to the NBS data, the state with the highest inflation rate Month on Month was Nasarawa State with inflation rate of 2.20 percent, followed closely by Ebonyi State with an inflation rate of 2.10 per cent, while Bauchi, Kaduna and Gombe states had 1.87 percent, 1.76 percent, and 1.57 percent inflation rate respectively to complete list of top five states with the highest level of inflation in March 2018. Dolapo Ashiru, CEO of Mega Capital Financial services Limited said the high cost of doing business in these states is the reason for the high level of inflation and further tasked the government to do more in increasing investment. “Basically, it has to do with government driving investment in infrastructure, power, technology and other important amenities with the purpose of bringing down the cost of doing business in these states,” Dolapo told BusinessDay by Phone. Speaking on how states can generate more revenue, Ashiru added,” State government should drive their IGR and implement policies that will drive investment in area of specialization or strength, also Government need to cut wastage and reduce recurrent expenditure.” BusinessDay’s investigations showed food inflation Month on Month was highest in Nasarawa State at 3.22 percent followed closely by Ebonyi state with 2.97 percent, while Jigawa state had 2.37 percent respectively to make up the top three states with highest food inflation rate among the 36 states in Nigeria while Kebbi, Imo. Niger, Kwara, Lagos, Rivers and Yobe states all recorded food price The microfinance Bank which provides a wide range of banking products and services to consumers traded at N2.20 per share in the NSE and it has a market capitalization of N4.619billion. Wema Bank Plc was one of the lenders that made the list also as the bank gained 76.92 percent as it YTD return. The bank with a market capitalization of N 35.489 billion, traded at N 0.92, as compiled from the Bloomberg data. deflation or negative inflation which is the general decrease in the general price level of goods and services or a negative inflation rate in March 2018. Food security is an aspect of government that no nation that is worth its salt can afford to take for granted. It is defined by the United Nations’ Committee on World Food Security, as the condition in which all people, at all times, have physical, social and economic access to sufficient safe and nutritious food that meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life. Benue State, the famed Food Basket of Nigeria, for instance has in recent times suffered unimaginable setbacks oc- The Nigerian Stock Exchange All Share Index (NSE ASI) appreciated Friday, April 13, 2018, as it recorded a gain of 0.29 percent to close at 40,928.70 points Similarly, the Market Capitalization appreciated by 0.29 percent to close at N14.78trn, compared with the marginal depreciation of 0.09 percent recorded the previous day. Week-on-week, the NSE ASI appreciated by 0.21 percent. casioned by frequent farmers and herders’ clashes, so much that fears have been expressed that if not checked, we might be running a serious risk of famine in the near future. The National Economic Council (NEC) at one of its meetings had said that there will be food crisis in Nigeria unless the displacement of farmers resulting from incessant conflicts between them and pastoralists is immediately addressed. The Council after a closed door meeting at the Presidential Villa reportedly said it was worried about the displacement of farmers and felt that unless it was immediately addressed, there would be shortage of food in the entire country in the near future. Continued from page 35 billon in December 2017 from N615.10 billion as at December 2016. A breakdown of sales by region shows the Nigerian business make up 68.59 percent (N552.36 billion ) of total revenue while Pan Africa make up 32.08 percent (N258.44 billion). The company’s cement volume stood at 21.22 million metric tonnes as at December 2017, which represents 5.81 percent drop from 22.53 million metric tonnes for last year. Cement production capacity increased slightly by 2.35 percent to 43.55 million metric tonnes in the period under review from 42.55 million metric tonnes. Dangote Cement A breakdown of the combined profit in the period under review showed Dangote Cement Plc, the largest producer of the building material recorded a net income of N204.24 billion, from N159.50 billion recorded in 2013. The largest producer of the building material in Africa’s largest economy has utilized each unit of sales in generating higher profit as margins improved. This means it is efficient amid a tough and unpredictable macroeconomic environment. Earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) margin For the 14th consecutive time since January 2017, inflation rate inched closer to the single digits target set by both monetary and fiscal authorities for the economy. Latest figures released on Thursday by NBS showed Consumer Price Index (CPI), which measures inflation level in the economy, increased by 13.34 per cent between March 2017 and March 2018. The statistics agency said the new figure was about 0.99 per cent points less than the 14.33 per cent rate recorded in February 2018. During the last Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting last week in Abuja, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Godwin Emefiele, said members resolved to retain all controlling policy rates at prevailing levels until inflation rate dropped to the single digits zone. Apart from Monetary Policy Rate (MPR), also known as lending rate, which was retained at 14 per cent, liquidity rate was maintained at 30 per cent. Also, cash reserve requirement, the amount of cash the banks are allowed to keep in their reserves, was kept at 22.5 per cent. The Asymmetric corridor was left at +200 and -500 basis points around the MPR as it was during the previous meeting in November 2017. increased to 37.76 percent in December 2017 as against 29.66 percent as at December 2016. Gross profit margins moved to 56.39 percent in the period under review as against 47.35 percent the previous year. Net margin increased to 25.35 percent in the period under review as against 23.22 percent as at December 2016. Cost of sales ratio fell to 43.66 percent in the period under review from 52.64 percent the previous year as the company switched to coal, a cheap source of energy to power plant at the factory. Dangote Cement’s sales grew by 30.96 percent to N805.58 billon in December 2017 from N615.10 billion as at December 2016. A breakdown of sales by region shows the Nigerian business make up 68.59 percent (N552.36 billion ) of total revenue while Pan Africa make up 32.08 percent (N258.44 billion). The company’s cement volume stood at 21.22 million metric tonnes as at December 2017, which represents 5.81 percent drop from 22.53 million metric tonnes for last year. Cement production capacity increased slightly by 2.35 percent to 43.55 million metric tonnes in the period under review from 42.55 million metric tonnes. In the NBS report, composite food index, which highlights the average of some food items, majorly staple foods, rose by 16.08 per cent (year on year) in March 2018, down from the 17.59 per cent rate recorded in February. The Federal Government, which represents the fiscal authorities, had equally set the target of single digits inflation rate. This is just as it continues the pursuit of policies and programmes to strengthen the economic recovery which analysts say remains fragile since the recent exit from recession. Nigeria’s Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), rose strongly in March from 54.7 percent to 59.4 percent, the production level index for the manufacturing sector grew for the thirteenth consecutive month in March 2018.The index indicated a faster growth and expansion in the current month, when compared to its level in the preceding month. The Naira remained stable in the period under review at the CBN official rate of N305 to the dollar. Looking ahead, dynamics in the oil sector will be vital to encouraging a faster recovery and higher oil prices should fuel stronger growth in 2018. However, still-high inflation, a weak business climate and security risks continue to cast a shadow over the country’s prospects.

Monday 16 April 2018 Start-Up Digest In association with BUSINESS DAY 37 Oluwatoyin Onigbanjo: From journalism to food processing Stories by ODINAKA ANUDU Oluwatoyin Onigbanjo is a journalist, but her enterprise poses a big challenge to men and women of the pen profession. The thinking of the majority of people is that journalists are only spectators and reporters of events, but Oluwatoyin and a few others are proving this notion to be false. She is today the founder and head cook of August Secrets, which produces baby foods such as Veggie Beans, Nutty Meal, Fish Powder and Crayfish Powder. She is also exporting these packaged baby foods to Ghana; New York and Atlanta in the United States, and other countries. Like all entrepreneurs, Oluwatoyin’s story is unique. After having a baby abroad, she returned to Nigeria only to notice that the child was reluctant to eat the available food. She started sharing her experience with neighbours and church members who offered different pieces of advice. A matron in one of the hospitals suggested two local foods she could give the child, and this worked. “At the end of the day, I realised that there was a lot of gap,” she tells Start-Up Digest. “I said to myself, ‘Why not package all of these foods and give them to Nigerian children?’ In the process of doing that, I realised that a lot of Austin Okere, the serial entrepreneur, has launched the long-awaited Ausso Leadership Academy (ALA) in Lekki, Lagos. ALA is an experiential entrepreneurship academy, which mentors and takes care of senior executives in large enterprises, multinationals and conglomerates as well as founders of big businesses. Speaking at the launch of the academy in Lagos last Thursday, Austin Okere, CEO of ALA, said many of the champions (established entrepreneurs) he had spoken to agreed that they wanted to have an opportunity to mentor people of that calibre all along but had no medium to do so. Okere said he had three reasons for setting up the leadership and entrepreneurship academy. “I wanted to advise others the same way I would have advised my younger self. If I had that kind of advice at the time I was starting my business, I would probably have avoided some of my mistakes. “The second inspiration was that I wanted to be for others, the Oluwatoyin Onigbanjo ing the next set of raw materials and setting up the factory. Fewer than two years down the line, this revenue of this firm (in the last 12 months) is about $100,000. “We are selling in about 24 Nigerian cities and states of the country now. We sell in Ghana; we sell in Atlanta, and we sell in New York. We sell outside Nigeria. It is amazing that we now take our foods to places where we bring in mothers also had the same problem. A lot of them wanted foods that were natural and from the African soil. That was a lot of motivation for me,” she explains. The entrepreneur started this business officially in July 2016 and has had a very good experience. The first raw materials she bought cost her N20, 000. She then spent between N200, 000 and N500, 000 on purchasour foods from,” she says. Oluwatoyin has 24 direct and indirect staff members and 24 distributors across the country. “We decided to fill in the gap when we realised that about 90 percent of what the Nigerian children ate were imported and were foreign goods. We are producing Nigerian foods, nutritious foods that are attractive and also nourish the Nigerian children across Africa,” she states. The entrepreneur has always been a good cook and loves children. In fact, before Oluwatoyin set up the food processing factory, she had established a kids’ store. “The interesting part for me is that I love coking and I love food. This is something I am passionate about, and right from time, I have always run a kids’ store. Even as a journalist, I run a children’s store for children that are malnourished. It is one thing to have a passion and another thing to do the right thing,” she explains. It was not completely easy for her when she started. She had to wade through the challenge of getting necessary certifications such as the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAF- DAC0 approval. Setting up the factory and office were no child’s play. The entrepreneur believes that there are more grounds to cover. According to her, a lot of produce from farmers are wasting away and need off-takers and people who will market them. Austin Okere launches Ausso Leadership Academy mentor I wish I had. “The third reason, which is personal, is to mentor entrepreneurs to scale their businesses geometrically. We need to create something that will bring back our children from abroad. If we all put our hands together, there will be jobs for our children to come back to,” he said. He said many Nigerians had contacted him, asking to attend the academy free. However, doing this would make people take ALA for granted and the academy would be unsustainable, he said. Okere is the founder Computer Warehouse Group (CWG), which is today the largest computer security firm in the Nigerian Stock Exchange. According to him, there was a need for Nigerian entrepreneurs to invest more in human capital as noted by Bill Gates. Okere said ALA was not a business school but a practical and experiential complement from experiences in business schools. “A billionaire is not necessarily someone who has amassed a billion dollars, but someone Austin Okere who has touched a billion lives,” he stated. Ernest Ndukwe, former executive vice chairman of the Nigeria Communication “The link between the farmers and the market is very weak. There are still a lot of issues in logistics. We also have a lot of market gap, and there is a gap in warehousing. Being a journalist, Oluwatoyin believes in the power of the digital media. Through various platforms made available by technology, she reaches 100,000 mothers at the moment. She is a strong believer in the made-in-Nigeria brands and wants the citizens to appreciate and buy locally made goods. “We are taking advantage of the digital media and it has really helped us. We are able to reach more people. Without digital media, we can hardly reach Ghana and other places.” Being a married woman, the entrepreneur appreciates the role played by her family and says a big ‘thank you’ to them. She says cost of production is high, but her firm has adopted a strategy to cut it. “It has really been tough. What we try to do is to watch when there is power and we quickly run our production,” she discloses. Oluwatoyin says moving from journalism to manufacturing was not easy and adds that she needs assistance in terms of technology and machinery. “We are looking to get support in terms of machines and the technology we need for production,” she tells Start-Up Digest. She has some pieces of advice for the upcoming entrepreneurs. “I was not cut out to be an entrepreneur. I would rather be in my house and string stories together as a journalist. But I realised that people needed my services. If you know how to cook, cook it, put it together and give it those who need it. Don’t just stay in your house. If anybody told me that I would be going out to speak in conferences and talk to people about entrepreneurship, I would not believe that,” she advises. Commission (NCC), who was chairman of the event, pointed out that there was a general agreement that business execution could be taught. Ndukwe said mentoring was a process, rather than a day’s affair, urging mentors or champions at ALA to make themselves available for the prospective mentees. He said he was now involved in raising a crop of leaders who would understood the intricacies of governance and global issues in a digital economy. Leo Stan Eke, chairman of Zinox Technologies Limited, said what made someone a billionaire was not the billions he or she acquired but legacies. Eke said this was time for old entrepreneurs to go back to entrepreneurship schools and gain knowledge of the modern system. Tosin Runsewe, chief operating officer of AXA Mansard Insurance Plc, said as Nigeria’s population kept growing, challenges also continued rising. Runsewe said the population could be a gift if properly harnessed, adding that the launch of the ALA would go a long way in enhancing the quality of manpower in the country.

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