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CNN International learns about the energy sector in Nigeria

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On Marketplace Africa, CNN International travels to the largest power plant in Nigeria to see how the energy sector is adapting to meet the demands on the country. Presenter Eleni Giokos speaks to the co-founder and Executive Director of the Sahara Group, Temitope Shonubi, to learn more about the energy company’s plan for the future and Babatunde Fahola, Nigeria’s Minister for power, works and housing.

In Nigeria not enough energy is produced to meet demand which prevents the economy and jobs from growing which in turn limits the quality of life as explained by Babatunde Fashola, Nigeria’s Minister of power, works and housing: “Available capacity is 7000 megawatts but the actual distributed capacity that reaches the end user is hovering between 4000 – 5000 because of distribution inefficiency.”

Nigeria is moving towards privatisation which will double energy capacity in five years. Fifteen generation and distribution firms were sold to private investors but transmission remains in the Government’s hands. Fashola says to CNN: “When this administration took over we had all sorts of issues to deal with from regulatory to financial to infrastructure to governors to energy theft – the entire value chain just needed to be reformed… The generation side is doing well, the transmission side is doing well… we need the uptake on distribution as well.”

Electricity theft in Nigeria is a widespread problem due to poor infrastructure and illegal connections aren’t always easy to identify as explained by Kola Adesina, Chairman of the Sahara Group. Adesina believes his expansion plans can help solve the problem by providing sufficient energy for the country, he explains: “Well the vision we have from the outset when we made the investment was not only to double the capacity but equally to go beyond Nigeria and establish footprint across Africa — we still believe it can be done if the model behind electricity is made right.”

During the programme, Eleni Giokos also speaks to the co-founder and Executive Director of Sahara Group, Temitope Shonubi, about how the company has grown and its aims for the future. Shonubi tells Marketplace Africa: “In the past, it was about size. It was about finance. But today’s changed, it’s now more about your corporate social responsibility. It’s now about corporate governance. In Sahara, what we’re looking at is adding more volume. Putting more on the table being aware of the environment.”

Shonubi describes where the company saw success:  “The big turning point was when we realized that what we were selling actually had value, integrity, service, sustainability, and once we saw that it was a niche market. A lot of companies have come in and not delivered what they promised to deliver and for us once we could achieve this we realize, hang on.”

Technology has also helped Sahara Group grow as Shonubi says: “It has reduced costs. It has brought in efficiency, transparency, and it’s also ensured sustainability of a lot of things we do. We see technology mostly as that system that makes things better. Makes it easier, more customer focused, customer delivery efficiency, and obviously effectively.”

On the future goals of Sahara Group, Shonubi explains: “We’re working on refining, revamping certain refineries… We started to expand in terms of storage. We’re working on power. Alternative energy, clean energy. We’re working on environmental transactions, in terms of saving the environment. And what we see is where we can be a technology based company delivering energy efficiently.

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UBA Partners LCCI for 2019 Lagos International Trade Fair

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Pan African financial services institution, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, and the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry(LCCI), have partnered to organize the 2019 edition of the Lagos International Trade Fair.

 

The Fair, which holds between November 1st and 10th, 2019, is the 33rd edition and is expected to provide an avenue for networking and other business opportunities that will assist to catapult business activities in Africa’s largest and busiest city, Lagos and in Nigeria.

 

UBA, which is the headline partner will be working together with LCCI, to provide a veritable platform that is intended to grow both domestic and international trade. It further presents participants and visitors with opportunities to seal medium and top business deals.

 

In line with UBA’s unflinching support to the growth of small and medium enterprises (SMEs), the bank is giving a 20% discount to its Small and Medium business customers who register to attend the fair.

 

UBA’s Group Head, Marketing, Mrs Dupe Olusola, who expressed excitement at the partnership, noted that the bank, with its extensive spread across Africa and other major economies of the world, is always on the lookout for partnership opportunities that will benefit the business environment and the economies where it operates.

 

Olusola noted that the Bank is delighted as this year’s Lagos International Trade Fair is coming after a very successful organisation of UBAmarketplace by the Bank in Abuja, where over 120 SMEs from 20 African countries exhibited their products, attracting over 50,000 footfalls.

 

She said, “UBA, the Pan African financial institution, has branches in 20 African countries, including the United Kingdom, the United States of America and France and has always been involved in activities that aim to strengthen business connections and networks across key economies.

 

“Thus, we have decided to partner with LCCI to promote this year’s fair which is in its 33rd edition because the Lagos International Trade Fair has become a genuine avenue for both domestic and international trade through business to business meetings, product launches, enlightenment opportunities for government agencies’ programmes, and international trade partnership deals across borders” she explained.

 

She added that the partnership will also offer the bank the opportunities to showcase its array of products to its teeming and new customers, adding that the bank will set up stands at various points to serve its customers and attend to various concerns.

 

The Director General of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mr. Muda Yusuf who praised the collaboration between both institutions, noted that it is a partnership that is expected to yield great benefits, owing to the fact that the LITF hosts an average of 2,000 exhibitors annually, with over 200 foreign exhibitors from 16 countries.

 

He also added that arrangements have been put in place to make this year’s fair even bigger and better than the previous editions, adding that already, existing and potential exhibitors have been responding positively to register and participate at the Fair.

 

“We at LCCI believe that this is part of the bold initiatives of the bank with a corporate culture founded upon strong organizational values and performance-driven operating standards”, Yusuf said.

 

Yusuf stressed that the Chamber would maintain the brand promise of the Fair, with the theme ‘Connecting businesses, Creating value’, adding that this will be sustained this year in all its marketing campaigns.

 

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CABINET TO BE INAUGURATED THIS WEEK – SANWO-OLU

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Lagos State Executive Council will be fully inaugurated on Tuesday, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has said.

The Governor said he would not delay the swearing-in of Commissioner- and Special Adviser-designates already cleared by the State House of Assembly. He spoke at the weekend while receiving a body of retired top civil servants under the aegis of the Association of Lagos State Retired Heads of Service and Permanent Secretaries (ALARHOSPS).

Sanwo-Olu said that the wheel of governance would be in full gear before the end of the coming week, in fulfillment of his campaign promise to inaugurate his cabinet within 90 days. He added that new Permanent Secretaries would also be sworn in on Monday to complement the activities of Commissioners and Special Advisers.

He said: “Next week, by God’s grace, we are swearing in all other complements of cabinet and also Permanent Secretaries to have the engine of governance on full swing. At that point, we believe that all the campaign promises we made can come to reality and Lagosians can benefit more from the choice they made at the last election.”

The cabinet members are expected to be allocated their individual ministries during the inauguration ceremony, scheduled to start at 9am.

The Governor described the body of retired civil servants as “valuable assets” to the state, noting that their actions while in service contributed to the “enviable height” Lagos attained among states in the nation.

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YAM FESTIVAL: OONI CHARGES FARMERS, HERDERS TO EMBRACE PEACE TO ENHANCE PRODUCTIVITY

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The Arole Oodua & Ooni of Ife, Ooni Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi Ojaja II on Sunday played host to thousands of Ile Ife natives and guests from other parts of the country to celebrate the 2019 edition of the annual yam festival.

While addressing the multitude at his Ile Oodua Palace in the town, the Ooni who was flanked by his beautiful queen, Olori Naomi Silekunola Ogunwusi, Ife High-Chiefs, priests, farmers and traders across the land noted that peaceful coexistence is the secret to economic prosperity.

The foremost African traditional ruler who lamented that the country has suffered economically from the clashes between farmers and herders charged the two groups to embrace peace as a tool to enhance productivity.

“Both farmers and herders are two critical stakeholders in food production, I want to advise them to use peace to boost productivity.

“The government has been trying and has even promised to step up the fight against insecurity in the country. So I call on all stakeholders in food production especially the farmers to be patience with the government’s approach towards stabilizing peaceful coexistence across the country.” Ooni said.

On the motivation behind the recent economic boom across Ile Ife markets, Ooni described the ancient city as the one prominent for countless economic activities earlier before modern civilization.

“The abandoned Ile Ife market also known as Oja Ejigbom’ekun which is the first market in the world and others like the Itakogun and Ajifowobaje markets as well as Oja Tuntun have been revived to bring back the lost economic glories of Ile Ife.” The Ooni noted.

Afterwards, he offered prayers and sliced a tuber of yam which is a declaration that farm produce can now be consumed across the land, after which tubers of yam and other farm produce were shared among the excited participants.

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