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MIPAD Educates Entrepreneurs on Dynamics of Accessing Capital

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Most Influential People of African Descent (MIPAD), has called on entrepreneurs to build the profiles of their companies in order to facilitate their access to capital. This call was made by a panel of notable business leaders at the annual reception organised in Lagos by (MIPAD) for its current year honourees, Class of 2019 100 Under 40, held at the Nigerian Stock Exchange on Friday, 30 August, 2019.

The panelists, past and current honorees, who spoke on the theme, ‘Raising Capital in Africa’ comprised of Abayomi Awobokun, CEO, ENYO Retail and Supply; Dr. Ola Brown, Managing Director, Flying Doctors Nigeria; Obi Ozor, Managing Director, Kobo 360 (represented by Samuel Riou); Bunmi Akinyemiju, CEO, Venture Garden Group and Ukinebo Dare, Head, Edo State Skills Development Agency (EdoJobs), who moderated the session.

Emphasizing on the need to tell a consistent story about the company, Bunmi Akinyemiju told entrepreneurs, who are looking for investors, to first build their profiles and the profiles of their companies before approaching their prospective investors.

While informing the audience that investors invest, not just for returns, but also for the novelty of the business, he said: “Entrepreneurs looking for prospective investors must have a good story, a consistent story that show their promises kept, and not just turning up at the investor’s door with a request for investment.”

Abayomi Awobokun, another panelist, noted that investors are always looking at the market realities and would go for businesses that are poised to maximally exploit these realities. “You must show the problems they are solving as well as show passion and energy to solve those problems in order to attract investments.” He listed other enablement to include a dedicated team to scout for investors, entrepreneurial resilience, a long-term investment horizon, the integrity of entrepreneur and in-house of corporate governance structure.

Dr. Ola Brown, in her intervention, insisted that ideas are not enough to attract investors but also the viability of these ideas in the market. According to her, “it is true that investors look for those companies that can fill the gaps in the market but they also ensure that there is enough market in the gap to ensure good and timely returns on investment.” She called on entrepreneurs to enlarge their business and social circles to include people with clout and social stature in order to ease their search for investors.

Earlier in his opening remarks of the event, Abayomi Awobokun informed the audience that MIPAD is focused on changing the narrative about Africa and he encouraged honourees worldwide to leverage this global network to make major changes in the way Africa and Africans are seen by the world. 

Kamil Olufowobi, Founder & CEO, MIPAD, while congratulating the 2019 honourees of the group for their exploits in their various fields of endeavours, noted that these leaders will be representing Nigeria, the largest country in the world of People of African descent, at MIPAD Recognition Week on the side-lines of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York, slated for September 27th – Oct 3rd 2019.  “Honourees are decision-makers from over 60 countries worldwide, selected based on their political clout, business acumen, social media following and humanitarian endeavours in support of UN International Decade for People of African Descent (IDPAD) and UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),” he explained.

The week’s activities will include an intense personal development and leadership training workshop, the unveiling of the Most Influential 100 First Ladies Edition and the launch of exclusive private club for past, present & future female honorees, named the W Club, where high power female honorees get access to capital, power networking events and executive coaching. The week’s activities will end with a recognition ceremony in honor of the 2019 honorees with a showing of documentary at the UN Headquarters in New York City.

This event in Lagos was also used to launch the organisation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) platform where MIPAD honourees and the global community can discover their primary SDGs numbers. “We are excited to align all MIPAD honorees with creating social impact because influence can only be understood when it is manifested in making real change and impact in society,” he went on to disclosed his primary SDG number is 17 and encouraged others to discover their primary social impact number within the frameworks of UN SDG at sdgs.mipad.org

Another highlight of the occasion was the presentation of a free Ethiopian Airlines ticket to the UNGA in New York City to a lucky winner.

ABOUT MIPAD

Most Influential People of African Descent (MIPAD) publishes a unique global 100 list that identifies outstanding individuals of African descent worldwide, pairing those based in the Diaspora with their counterparts inside Africa across four categories: Politics & Governance, Business & Entrepreneurship, Media & Culture, and Humanitarian & Religious and various themed editions.

MIPAD leverages its global network of influencers to mobilize the world to support Africa to achieve the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals and the global African Diaspora to achieve the goals of UN International Decade for People of African Descent.

For more information about the schedule of MIPAD Recognition Week on the sidelines of the 74th United Nations General Assembly, please visit events.mipad.org

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BUA SUGAR REFINERY LATEST: TRADE & INDUSTRIES MINISTER ADEBAYO REVERSES EARLIER DIRECTIVE ON SUGAR IMPORTATION FROM FREE TRADE ZONES INTO NIGERIA

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Days after, sending out an earlier letter to the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed prohibition the importation of sugar from free trade zones, in Nigeria, the Minister of Trade Industries and Investment, Adeniyi Adebayo has backtracked and reversed himself.

 

Adebayo, acting on a controversial petition written to him by the Chairman Dangote Industries Limited, Aliko Dangote and Chairman, Flour Mills of Nigeria PLC, Mr John Coumatros had written a letter which he copied the Managing  Director Nigeria Ports Authority, Comptroller General of Nigeria Customs Service as well as the Secretary to the Government of the Federation prohibiting the importation of sugar from the country’s Free Trade Zones. This move was targeted at BUA sugar refinery as well as investments.

 

Recall that BUA Group Chairman, Samad Rabiu had reacted to the petition by revealing that his investments in sugar, especially the Port Harcourt project did not pose any threat to the country’s sugar policy. According to Samad Rabiu, his was project  indeed, meant to checkmate arbitrary increase in prices and which will ultimately benefit the ordinary Nigerian on the street.

 

 

 

 

Curiously, some agencies of the Federal Government especially  the NPA, had acted on the Minister’s directive by directing all Terminal  operators to ensure strict compliance with the Minister’s order, despite a court injunction refraining not only the Ministry but all government agencies from disturbing it’s operations pending the determination of a suit filed by BUA group.

 

The move to disrupt BUA’s activities depsite the injunction clearly embarrassed the government, hence Adebayo’s quick reversal of his earlier stance and letter to the Finance Minister directing that the action be stopped.

 

As for Hadiza Bala Usman who was in a hurry to overlook the court order, she has since been suspended from office as the Managing Director of the Nigeria Ports Authority while an Acting CEO has been appointed in person of Mohammed Koko, the erstwhile Executive Director, Finance and Administration.

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THE COMPLICITY OF NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER IN CORRUPTION AND BANDITRY IN ZAMFARA STATE

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NATIONAL SECURITY

During the 8-year reign of former Governor Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara State , there is hardly a week the state is not in the news for either killings of scores of Zamfarans or kidnapping of them in large numbers. So bad it was during his tenure that the only presence of security is the escort services provided by security agents for workers on Yari’s farm.

 

It is despicable and rather unfortunate that a man who is battling to clear his name from many allegations of fraud and unprecedented corruption in Zamfara is seen flying around in a Nigerian Airforce Jet.

 

Mungono’s lackluster performance to rejig the security architecture which has led to breakdown of law and order has portrayed the Presidency in bad light as failing in its duty to provide security and welfare of its citizenry.

 

The approval of the use of NAF jet by Abdulaziz Yari which allegedly came from the office of the National Security Adviser further lent credence to the claims among Nigerians that the APC-led government is not serious about fighting corruption and insecurity.

 

 

Assuming without conceding that Yari facilitated the use of the aircraft on his own, one wonders an emergency situation that would warrant a former governor enjoying such luxury even when the allegations of corrupt enrichment is still hanging on his neck.

 

 

The National Security Adviser has yet again confirm the call for his removal over incompetence and that the reason for his call and advise for the declaration for a “No fly Zone” in Zamfara is unprofessional, partisan and may not be to secure the country as he would want people to believe.

 

By Hamid Shinkafi

Public affair analyst

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Rural Resident Expresses Satisfaction On Jumia Service Delivery

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Jumia

At the current pace, there’s no denying the improved fortune of eCommerce in Africa. Even the most ardent doubters of eCommerce viability on the continent will accept that the online shopping business is gaining momentum on the continent, contrary to their forecast and expectations.

 

Major African markets like Nigeria and Kenya are improving their internet penetration while the number of mobile phone users is rising exponentially. This, in turn, is boosting the online market entrants in urban locations and gradually rubbing off on rural settlements.

 

As a result, the conversation around eCommerce in a major market like Nigeria has gravitated from doubts on feasibility and acceptance to quality of service delivery, customers expectations and satisfaction. With at least 87 e-commerce platforms in Nigeria, the online shopping community is increasing by the day with innovation and bespoke approaches to address the challenges of the market and meet customers expectations.

 

In the thick of this, some customers are already having a glimpse of what eCommerce offers at its peak, thanks to the effort of key market players. Iteshi Prince Izuchukwu, a businessman based in Rivers State said he likes shopping online because of the price slash. Based on his experience with several online shopping platforms, he was quick to acknowledge the extra effort of Africa’s market leader on its quality of service delivery. “Things I order include Television, Wristwatches and others. When I buy these items on Jumia, they deliver on time and in good condition,” he stated.

 

In today’s market where customers demand value for every penny spent, a well thought out packaging that meets the aesthetic taste of the customers can spell a huge impact on the eCommerce business. It can help reduce the volume and cost of return, foster customer loyalty and put the brand in the face of prospects. “I always feel happy when what I ordered is being delivered to me. And as a businessman, I want value for money which I can say I am getting on a platform like Jumia,” Izuchukwu said.

 

With continuous effort by eCommerce brands to meet customers’ quality, timely and packaging expectations in their service delivery, testimonials like this will go a long way in getting more people onboard the online shopping train.

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