Viathan Inaugurates CNG Plant 

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Hamid Ayodeji 

Viathan has completed the construction of a Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) plant operated by GasCo Marine, (a member of the Viathan Group) and located in Oke-Sokori, Abeokuta, Ogun State. 

The plant which has an installed capacity of 144,000 SCM per day, extends virtual pipeline for gas supply to emerging corporates in one of the fast-growing industrial hubs in the south-western region, with the ultimate objective of enhancing productivity and easing the cost of doing business for medium scale enterprises in the real sector. 

 

Backed by InfraCredit’s guarantee, Viathan Group successfully accessed the local debt capital markets for the first time in 2017, issuing a debut a 10 year N10 billion corporate infrastructure bond, with part of the proceeds utilised to finance the construction of the CNG plant. 

According to a statement, GasCo Marine, to which about 21 per cent of Viathan’s  bond proceeds was dedicated, has been able to backward integrate. 

The bonds were largely subscribed by Nigerian pension funds (which accounted for 75 per cent of the bonds subscription), thus affirming the appetite and commitment of local pension funds to providing domestic credit to the private sector to finance long term, impactful infrastructure projects.  

“The successful financing of this plant from the debt capital markets also affirms InfraCredit and pension funds’ commitment to supporting new infrastructure that will provide access to cleaner and affordable energy supply for commercial, industrials, and households, in line with Nigerian government’s aspiration of reducing environmental pollution and conserving foreign exchange utilisation on imported fossil fuels. 

“The plant is expected to increase the utilisation of natural gas as feedstock to power plants and manufacturing plants by providing gas to areas without pipeline infrastructure (virtual pipeline). 

“This will reduce gas flaring and Green House Gas (GHG) emissions, thereby promoting environmental sustainability, as companies and vehicles switch from expensive diesel to cleaner and affordable gas. GasCo aims to target up to 1 million vehicles/trucks to switch to natural gas from diesel and petrol thus increasing its market share, whilst the mother station will account for 15 per cent of established plant capacity in the Southern region,” a statement explained.

The project had led to the creation of direct and indirect employment. The construction of the CNG mother station led to the creation of one 137 new jobs.

Ecobank Committed to Wealth Creation for Customers, Says Akinwuntan

Nume Ekeghe

The Managing Director, Ecobank Nigeria Limited, Mr. Patrick Akinwuntan, has said his bank remains committed to supporting businesses to achieve sustainable wealth passed down from one generation to another, through its advisory arm.

Akinwuntan, said this at the weekend, during a breakfast session organised for its premier banking customers in conjunction with its Securities, Wealth and Asset Management (SWAM) in Lagos.

He said Ecobank was committed to having regular sessions to educate its premier customers on ways to ensure their businesses outlive them and successfully transit to another generation afterward. 

He also added that as a bank that has footprints in 36 countries in Africa, the financial institution could also advice and give access to customers to other African markets. 

He said: “We believe that successful individuals, companies and businesses are ensuring that they endure generations to generation mostly be of significant interest to most of us. 

“So what we are trying to do is to expand the network or thought process and the access to information and access to markets and access to opportunities that can further improve the wealth creation, wealth generation and wealth sustenance and how to expand the coast further.

“At EDC, we know how to provide relevant advisory to help work with our customers to protect the value of your wealth to growing it and sustaining it from one generation to another.”

Speaking on what prompted the bank to organise the forum, he said: “Ecobank has experience across 36 countries in Africa and one of the key areas we identify is that in Africa, it is not that we don’t create wealth, the challenge is how to sustain and make sure that the wealth moves from generation to generation. 

“And this is an issue across Africa and Nigeria being the powerhouse of Africa, it is only appropriate that Ecobank in Nigeria brings together our premier banking customers and have this type of session where we talk about the real issues.

“We know our clients know how to make money, but we are there to support them to be able to expand the base of the wealth that they have. “However, we know that our clients would like to see how that wealth is retained from one generation to the other and that is why we have brought experts to share knowledge on how other parts of the world have been able to create families whose wealth have transited from one generation to the next and therefore the wealth of the nation is actually sustained.”

On his part, the Chief Investment Officer, EDC Fund Management Limited, Mr. Akinola Sowemimo said: “One of the key things that is special about Ecobank and the group is the that our clients of you have across to all the other countries in Africa. 

He added: “What we are trying to enable our customers to be able to secure their future. We found that there hasn’t been enough education of customers of how to plan for the future and how to plan their wealth for their children, secure it and make it tax efficient through a number of our products.”

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Economic Summit to Focus on Rising Population Growth 

James Emejo in Abuja 

Organisers of the Nigerian Economic Summit (NES) have disclosed that the 25th edition billed for October will focus on the concerns posed by the country’s increasing population. 

Owing to this, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Budget and National Planning, Mr. Ernest Umakhihe, said the theme of this year’s summit would be, “Nigeria 2050: Shifting Gears”.

He said the topic was chosen given a recent United Nations report which had projected that the country’s population would double by 2050, to 410 million, making it the third most populous country in the world.

Speaking at the inauguration of the Joint Planning Committee (JPC) for the NES#25, the permanent secretary said

the disturbing population projection had “far-reaching implications on economic growth and development for Nigeria. It also raises critical questions.”

Among other things, he said the population forecast had thrown up questions about the kind of, “Nigeria we will like to see in 2050 and what are the possible scenarios on the path to the future we envision.”

He said it also raises questions of how to maximise demographic dividend for the growth and development of the country. 

Umakhihe, said given that the lifespan of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) of the present administration would end by 2020, it had become “imperative to look at the future and simulate long term scenarios for Nigeria based on 2050 projections around which we can formulate future short to medium term economic plans for the country.”

Speaking further, he said: “It is clear however, that Nigeria must shift gears to an economy led by a private sector that can compete regionally and globally. 

“In other words, only a competitive private sector-led economy can achieve a rising standard of living and economic prosperity for more than 400 million Nigerians, majority of whom will be under the age of 35 in 2050.”

He added that the gathering would focus on how to mobilise a multi stakeholder approach and evolve practical solution to issues to respond to growing population.

Also, speaking at the ceremony, Chief Executive, Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG), Mr. Laoye Jaiyeola, said the summit, which is organised annually by the NESG and the Federal Ministry of Budget and National Planning Commission, has turned out to be a credible platform for interrogating and understanding our national economic policy direction and economic growth strategies with a view to addressing challenges.

He maintained that the efficacy of public private partnerships exemplified by the summit platform was enshrined 25 years ago to promote public private dialogue towards accelerated national development. 

He described NES#25, holding between October 7-8, 2019, as, “a call to action for us all to further strengthen the existing partnership between government and the private sector in order to chart a sustainable course of action in the national interest.” 

He said: “I am confident that this partnership will produce the outcomes and impacts that will set Nigeria on the path of becoming a globally competitive economy in the shortest possible time.”

NIMN Inducts, Tasks 200 New Members on Integrity 

Raheem Akingbolu 

The National Institute of Marketing of Nigeria (NIMN) has charged members on integrity, saying its key ingredient to successful practice.

Speaking at the induction ceremony of new members into the institute held in Lagos recently, president NIMN and chair of the council, Mr. Tony Agenmonmen, said earning people’s trust should be their priority.

To market the brand Nigeria, he said, “we need to understand what Nigeria is made of and what makes us Nigerians, then we can present it to the world. It is unfortunate that we have so much positive but tend to dwell more on the negative.”

Agenmonmen, however, charged the members to be good ambassadors of the institute and Nigeria as a whole. Adding, “Membership is not for life, hence only active members reap the full benefits of being members.”

In her presentation on ‘Marketers Take the Lead,’ Head, Marketing, Nestle Water, Gloria Nwabuike, said marketers must develop strategies that deliver business results, and help the company achieve overall goal.

She pointed out some of the traits of a professional marketer to include, hard work, analytical thinking, strategic, courageous. She said, “how far you go depends on how much you put into what you do, enjoy what you do. Think about your result and your post evaluation.”

On the things that could hinder successful practice, Nwabuike highlighted lack of trust, sincerity of purpose, reliability, consistency in performance, commitment to work, integrity and competence as factors. She urged them not to commit to what they cannot deliver.

Dangote to Reward Consumers in New Promo

Raheem Akingbolu

 In the next few weeks, at least 21 million loyal patrons of Dangote Cement will be rewarded through its new promotion tagged, ‘Dangote Cement Bag of Goodies’.

While unveiling the promo, the Group Managing Director of Dangote Cement Plc, Joseph Makoju, who was represented by the Group Executive Director of Dangote Industries Limited, Knut Ulvmoen, said the company decided to run the  promo as a way of contributing to the economic wellbeing of the consumers of its products given the prevailing economic situation in Nigeria.

He added that billions of naira would be won in the promo which runs from July to September, adding that there were 43 cars, 24 tricycles, 24 motorcycles, 550 refrigerators, 400 television sets, 300,000 Dangote foods goodies packs and N200 million worth of recharge cards to be won.

In her presentation on the promo, Dangote Cement Marketing Director, Mrs Funmi Sanni, said the new Dangote cement promo bags had been shipped to all distributors and sellers nationwide and therefore there was no fear of scarcity of the product.

She added, “Every promo bag of cement contains a scratch card carrying winning items carefully inserted in each bag. Consumers need to be educated to scratch gently so as not invalidate their wining card.”

She disclosed that the promo cut across all Dangote Cement’s brands which include 3X, Falcon and BlocMaster.

The Deputy Director and Coordinator of the Lagos Liaison Office of the National Lottery Regulatory Commission, Mrs Nkiru Onuzulu, said the promo had been approved and registered with the commission, assuring consumers that the process would be transparent, free and fair.