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Dangote Rejigs Executive Management Team for Better Efficiency

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Dangote Sugar

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

In order to strengthen the group’s Executive management team and sustain its strategic business growth trajectory, Africa’s foremost indigenous conglomerate, Dangote Industries Limited (DIL) has announced new appointments.

In the new organizational rejig, Olakunle Alake the erstwhile Chief Operating Officer (COO) is now the Group Managing Director and Dr Adenike Fajemirokun, the Group Chief Risk Officer has been elevated to the office of Group Executive Director, President’s Office, where she will take on new roles in addition to her schedule as the Risk Officer. She is the first ever female executive director in Dangote Group.

The management also announced the appointment of Austine Ometoruwa as Group Executive Director, Corporate Finance and Treasury.

Earlier the Board of Dangote Cement Plc, global, announced the appointment of Cherie Blair and Mick Davies as Independent Non-Executive Directors.

President/Chief Executive of Dangote Group, Mr Aliko Dangote, speaking on the new appointments said “it is exciting seeing a female occupy such a high position. We are gender sensitive and create equal opportunities for both male and female to get to the top.”

“The new appointments are to strengthen the Group’s executive management team and to consolidate on its strategic business growth trajectory”, he added.

Alake has been the Chief Operating Officer of Dangote Industries Limited since 2007. He serves on the board of Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc, NASCON Allied Industries PLC, Dangote Cement PLC and Dangote Flour Mills PLC.

Mr Alake’s experience spans 34 years which covers banking, management consultancy and manufacturing industries.

He joined Dangote Group in July 1997 and served as its Financial Controller and Head of Strategic Services till 2001 when he was appointed to the board of Dangote Industries Limited as Executive Director/ Group Strategist.

He started his working career at PricewaterhouseCoopers, a firm of Chartered Accountants in September 1984 and left in 1990 to join Liberty Merchant Bank Limited as the Financial Controller for three years.

Between August 1993 and July 1997, Mr Alake served as the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Liberty Merchant Securities Limited and was part of the team that provided consultancy services for the smooth take-over of the International Trust Bank Plc, by Dangote Group in August 1996. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria.

Mr Alake holds a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife in 1983.

Dr Fajemirokun, a consummate Risk Management & Insurance specialist has over 18 years diverse experience in developing and implementing risk management strategies in Financial, Engineering, Manufacturing and other industries.

She started her career with Ove Arup and Partners as a Fire Engineer where she was responsible for carrying out qualitative and quantitative risk assessment of various assets and developing risk assessment frameworks for quantifying identified risks.

She later joined Deutsche Bank AG, UK, and served in senior leadership roles such as Director and Global Head Operational Risk, Head of Transaction Management Group for leverage finance at the Corporate and Investment Bank. Prior to specializing in the Risk Management field, she held positions in finance as a front office quantitative analyst at Goldman Sachs London and New York.

Dr Fajemirokun worked with First Bank of Nigeria where she developed the operational risk management framework for the bank as well as its Business Continuity Certification by the British Standard Institute. She also managed and tracked the firm’s risks across all directorates, transaction services and alternative investments.

In 2010, she founded and headed AFRisk Management Consultants Limited which developed the enterprise risk management frameworks for some of the country’s major institutions including Central Bank of Nigeria, First Bank Nigeria and First Bank Capital Plc.

She was appointed Chief Risk Officer of Dangote Group in 2013 and leads the Risk Management Functions for the Group and its various Businesses where she oversees the company’s governance model and enterprise risk program. She develops and manages processes to identify, assess, monitor and reduce risks that could interfere with the achievement of the company’s goals and objectives. She is also responsible for managing the Group’s Insurance, Procurement Portfolio and Logistics.

A holder of B.Eng. in Civil, Structural and Fire Engineering and a Ph.D. in Risk Informed Engineering both from the University of Manchester, UK, Dr. Fajemirokun is a Fellow of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and Specialist member (SIRM) of the Global Institute of Risk Management. She is also a visiting professor at the University of Manchester, UK. She has been recognized globally for her work with the Operational Riskdata Exchange Association (ORX), Institute of Risk Management, UK. She is a member of the Lagos State Research and Innovation Council.

Ometoruwa is an accomplished international investment banker. Prior to joining the Dangote Group as the Group Executive Director, Corporate Finance and Treasury, Austine Ometoruwa provided advisory services to the Dangote Group over the past 25 years in his capacity as the Executive Chairman of his firm, Boston Trico Capital LLC.

He started his professional career as a credit analyst at Chase Manhattan Bank. He thereafter progressed to Bank of Boston as the General Manager in Nigeria before moving on to Standard Bank of South Africa (Stanbic) as Strategy Consultant.

Mr Ometoruwa was the first Nigerian appointed as Executive Director to the Board of Citibank Nigeria leading its West Africa investment banking and subsequently as CEO and Regional Director of Corporate & Investment Bank, Citibank Middle East North Africa (MENA) operating in Cairo, London & New York.

Mr Ometoruwa setup and launched the Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) as the founding President and CEO.

He was awarded the Dean’s Prize and First Class Honours Bachelor’s Degree in Banking and Finance from the University of Lagos, Lagos, Nigeria.

Cherie Blair CBE, QC is a leading barrister with over 35 years’ experience in arbitration, mediation, public international law, human rights, employment law and European Community law. She studied law at the London School of Economics (LSE) and graduated with a First Class Degree in 1975. While studying for her Bar examinations she also taught Law at the University of Westminster. Cherie came top of her year in her Bar examinations and was called to the Bar in 1976. She was appointed Queen’s Counsel (QC) in 1995.

In 2000, shortly before the implementation of the Human Rights Act, Cherie and 21 other prominent Barristers set up a ground breaking legal practice, Matrix Chambers. She has also argued cases in the House of Lords, one of the most well-known being the Begum case. She is an accredited Advanced Mediator under the ADR Chambers/Harvard Law Project and an Elite Mediator with Clerksroom.

Cherie Blair has appeared in the European Court of Justice and in multiple Commonwealth jurisdictions and also lectures internationally. She is the Chancellor Emeritus and Honorary Fellow of Liverpool John Moores University; Governor Emeritus and Honorary Fellow of the LSE and the Open University (D.Univ.Open 1999); LLD (Hons), University of Liverpool (2003); Hon.D.Lit UMIST (2003); Doctor of Laws (Westminster University).

Cherie Blair is the Founder and Chair of Omnia Strategy where she focuses on strategic international legal and advisory work and practices as a barrister, representing over 30 governments as well as numerous multinational corporations in international disputes.

In 2012, she was designated to serve on the ICSID panel of arbitrators and is a panellist at the Kuala Lumpur Regional Centre for Arbitration. She continues to work independently, primarily as an arbitrator and mediator

Cherie is closely involved with various charities and is a strong advocate for women’s rights. She is the founder of the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women, which runs programmes to support women entrepreneurs across the developing world, including Africa. She is also Vice Chair of the International Council on Women’s Business Leadership founded by Secretary Hillary Clinton.

Cherie sits as an Honorary Chair of the World Justice Project. In 2007, she received the Eleanor Roosevelt Val-Kill medal in recognition of her high ideals and courageous actions.

In 2013, she was awarded the CBE in the New Year Honours for her services to women’s issues and to charity in the UK and overseas.

Cherie is also an active campaigner for prison reform and was ‘President of The Commission on English Prisons Today’ between 2007 and 2009, under the auspices of the Howard League for Penal Reform.

She is an adviser to “B Team,” a not-for-profit initiative formed by a global group of leaders, to be a driving force for social, environmental and economic benefit. She is wife of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

Sir Mick Davies is currently Chairman of Macsteel, a global trading shipping company, and Chief Executive of the Conservative party of the United Kingdom.

Davies has occupied several directorship positions. From 2001 to 2003, he was Chief Executive of Xstrata Plc, one of the world’s largest global diversified mining and metal companies; executive director and chief financial officer of Billiton Plc; Chairman of Billiton Coal and Executive Director of South African State-owned Eskom.

With extensive capital markets and corporate transaction experience, he has raised over US$40 billion from global capital markets and successfully completed over US$120 billion of corporate transactions. He participated in the creation of the lngwe Coal Corporation in South Africa; listing of Billiton on the London Stock Exchange; merger of BHP and Billiton into the largest diversified mining company in the world and the successful merger of Xstrata and Glencore amongst others.

Sir Davies is the immediate past President of the Council of Members and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Jewish Leadership Council in the United Kingdom, member of the Brookings International Advisory Council and a Trustee of the Institute of National Security Studies, Israel.

He is a Chartered Accountant by profession and an alumnus of Theodor Herzl School in Port Elizabeth. He holds an honours degree in Commerce from Rhodes University. South Africa, and an Honorary Doctorate from Bar llan University. In the 2015 Queen’s birthday Honour’s list, he was made a Knight’s Bachelor

Modupe Gbadeyanka is a fast-rising journalist with Business Post Nigeria. Her passion for journalism is amazing. She is willing to learn more with a view to becoming one of the best pen-pushers in Nigeria. Her role models are the duo of CNN's Richard Quest and Christiane Amanpour.

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Economy

Wema Bank, Champion Breweries Weaken Stock Market by 0.74%

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wema-bank-logo

By Dipo Olowookere

Another loss was recorded at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) on Friday as a sell-off in financial, consumer goods and industrial goods equities weakened the market by 0.74 per cent.

As a result, the All-Share Index (ASI) decreased by 295.60 points to 39,799.89 points from 40,095.49 points, while the market capitalisation reduced by N154 billion to N20.824 trillion from N20.978 trillion.

Business Post reports that the insurance sector depreciated yesterday by 2.32 per cent, the banking index lost 0.48 per cent, the consumer goods space fell by 0.40 per cent, while the industrial goods counter depreciated by 0.19 per cent, with the energy sector rising by 0.25 per cent.

It was observed that the investor sentiment, which is measured by the market breadth, was negative at the last trading session of the week due to the 24 declining stocks and 17 advancing equities.

Wema Bank and Champion Breweries depreciated by 10 per cent each on Friday to settle at 63 kobo per share and N2.52 per unit respectively.

Sunu Assurances depleted by 9.59 per cent to 66 kobo per share, Africa Prudential lost 5.74 per cent to N5.75 per unit, Axa Mansard Insurance dropped 5.36 per cent to settle at N1.06 per share.

After recording losses for a few days after its share reconstruction, Lasaco Assurance gained 9.82 per cent yesterday to top the risers chart, closing at N1.23 per share.

Mutual Benefits appreciated by 8.11 per cent to 40 kobo per unit, Courtville grew by 5.00 per cent to 21 kobo per share, Oando improved by 2.99 per cent to N3.45 per unit, while NAHCO gained 2.70 per cent to settle at N2.28 per share.

Wema Bank witnessed a significant trading volume on Friday, emerging as the most traded stock after it sold 304.5 million shares worth N197.3 million.

FBN Holdings exchanged 30.8 million shares for N226.1 million, Zenith Bank traded 26.6 million stocks valued at N677.4 million, Transcorp transacted 22.9 million equities worth N20.7 million, while United Capital exchanged 17.2 million stocks for N104.6 million.

At the close of transactions, the trading volume rose by 55.58 per cent to 507.3 million from 326.0 million, while the trading value reduced by 34.22 per cent to N2.4 billion from N3.7 billion, with the number of deals declining by 2.23 per cent to 4,465 deals from 4,567 deals.

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Economy

NASD Exchange Extends Stay in Flat Domain Friday

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NASD Exchange bullish

By Adedapo Adesanya

Unlisted securities admitted on the trading platform of the NASD Over-the-Counter (OTC) Securities Exchange extended their stay in the flat territory on Friday, February 26.

On the preceding trading day, stocks on the exchange closed flat and yesterday, they remained unchanged as none of them recorded any price movement.

As a result, the total value of securities at the OTC market, which is measured by the market capitalisation, remained static at N512.24 billion, while the NASD Unlisted Security Index (NSI) ended at 713.91 points, the same level it was at the previous trading session.

However, there were movements on the activity chart as the volume of securities transacted by investors at the bourse dropped again by 15.6 per cent to 4,220 units on Friday from the 4,998 units recorded on Thursday.

Equally, the value of transactions dropped by 51.5 per cent as the market participants to traded securities worth N321,600 compared to N662,700 of the previous day.

But the number of deals executed by the traders increased by 200 per cent to six deals in contrast to the two deals carried out a day earlier.

These deals were executed on FrieslandCampina WAMCO Nigeria Plc (five deals) and Central Securities Clearing Systems (CSCS) Plc (one deal).

By the time the market closed for the day and week, the company with the highest number of shares traded by investors on a year-to-date basis was UBN Property Plc with the sale of 15.5 million units valued at N16.8 billion. CSCS Plc was in second place with 4.7 million units worth N73.2 million, while FrieslandCampina held the third position with 2.3 million units worth N285.1 million.

On the other hand, FrieslandCampina ended the session as the most traded stock by value (year-to-date) with 2.3 million units valued at N285.1 million. Niger Delta Exploration and Production (NDEP) Plc trailed with 604,249 units of its securities valued at N196 million, while CSCS Plc has traded 4.7 million units worth N73.2 million.

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Economy

Naira Crashes to N410.25/$1 at I&E, N482/$1 at Black Market

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Black Market

By Adedapo Adesanya

It was an unfavourable outcome for the Naira at both the Investors and Exporters (I&E) and parallel market segments of the foreign exchange market on Friday, February 26.

Yesterday, the local currency was further weakened against the United States Dollar at the two opposite market segments.

At the specialised market, the I&E, the Naira lost N1.58 or 0.39 per cent to finish at N410.25/$1 compared to N408.67/$1 of the previous day.

The depreciation came despite less pressure on the domestic currency as the turnover at the window reduced by 14.7 per cent or $6.48 million to $37.49 million from $43.97 million of the preceding session.

A looking at the performance of the local currency at the black market showed that it shed N2 or 0.42 per cent to close at N482/$1 in contrast to N480/$1 it traded on Thursday.

Also, at the same window, the local currency suffered a N2 loss against the Pound Sterling to close at N672/£1 versus the previous day’s N670/£1, while against the Euro, the Naira lost N3 to close at N583/€1 compared with the preceding day’s N580/€1.

However, at the interbank segment of the market, the domestic currency still remained flat against the US Dollar at N379/$1 and at the Bureaux De Change (BDC) window, the value of the Nigerian currency against the greenback remained at N395/$.

At the cryptocurrency market, most of the tokens tracked by Business Post on Friday closed bearish as only one finished stronger, based on data obtained from Quidax.

The Bitcoin (BTC) lost 0.3 per cent to trade at N32,100,018, Ethereum (ETH) depreciated by 3.6 per cent to sell at N1,015,000, while Litecoin (LTC) declined by 1.8 per cent to trade at N123,997.

Furthermore, the Dash (DASH) dropped 4.3 per cent to sell at N152,093.10, Ripple (XRP) fell by 2.1 per cent to trade at N300.62, while Tron (TRX) declined by 1.01 per cent to sell at N31.32.

The only coin which closed stronger was the US Dollar Tether (USDT) as its value went up by 5.7 per cent to quote at N721.88.

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Economy

Oil Dips on Stronger Dollar, Fear of Supply Increase

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oil weak dollar

By Adedapo Adesanya

Oil prices fell on Friday as gains in the U.S. Dollar and expectations that more supply will likely to come back to the market depressed the market environment.

Consequently, the Brent crude dropped 1.1 per cent or 75 cents sell at $66.13 per barrel, while the West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude dipped  $2.01 or 3.2 per cent to sell at $61.52 per barrel.

A stronger greenback makes US-Dollar priced oil more expensive for those buying crude in other currencies and this saw prices drop.

Despite the decline in prices on Friday, both Brent and WTI are on track for gains of about 20 per cent this month, as markets have grappled with supply disruptions in the United States, while optimism has built for demand to improve with vaccine rollouts.

Investors are betting that next week’s meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and allies, together called OPEC+, will result in more supply coming back to the market.

Oil prices have more than recovered to levels before the COVID-19 pandemic with global inventories trending down amid accelerating vaccine rollouts.

US crude prices on Friday faced a larger headwind due to the loss of refinery demand after several Gulf Coast facilities were shuttered during the winter storm last week.

Estimates show that this is about 4 million barrels per day of capacity still shut and it may take until March 5 for all of the shut capacity to resume though there is the risk of delays.

In other oil-related news, the OPEC+ group of producers complied at 103 per cent with the oil output cuts in January, higher than the estimated compliance in December, according to the sources with the cartel.

According to reports, in January 2021, the 10 OPEC members bound by the pact achieved 108 per cent compliance, while the non-OPEC group of producers, led by Russia, complied with the cuts by 95 per cent, up from 93 per cent in December.

The compliance figures will be reviewed by the OPEC+ panels next week, before the monthly meeting of the group’s ministers, expected to decide how the group will proceed with the supply management from April onwards

The leaders of the OPEC+ alliance, Saudi Arabia and Russia, are reportedly once again at odds over oil production policies, especially in light of the oil price rally so far this year.

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Economy

Osinbajo Opposes CBN Cryptocurrency Ban, Backs Regulation

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Osinbajo Cryptocurrency Trading

By Aduragbemi Omiyale

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has disagreed with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on the ban on cryptocurrency trading in the country.

A few weeks ago, the apex bank directed financial institutions in the country to close all bank accounts of persons or organisations trading the digital currencies.

It was speculated that the central bank prohibited crypto trading because the youths used the means to fund the 2020 EndSARS protests across the nation.

Speaking at a one-day economic summit, the Vice President advised the CBN to take a critical look into the policy and come up with ways to regulate the system.

According to him, rather than adopt a policy that prohibits cryptocurrency operations in the country, “we must act with knowledge and not fear” and develop a robust regulatory regime that is thoughtful and knowledge-based.

“I fully appreciate the strong position of the CBN, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and some of the anti-corruption agencies on the possible abuses of cryptocurrencies and their other well-articulated concerns. But I believe that their position should be the subject of further reflection.

“There is a role for regulation here. And it is in the place of both our monetary authorities and SEC to provide a robust regulatory regime that addresses these serious concerns without killing the goose that might lay the golden eggs.

“So, it should be thoughtful and knowledge-based regulation, not prohibition. The point I am making is that some of the exciting developments we see the call for prudence and care in adopting them, but we must act with knowledge and not fear,” Mr Osinbajo said at the event organised by the CBN, the Banker’s Committee and the Vanguard Newspaper.

At the summit themed Bankers’ Initiative for Economic Growth, the Vice President emphasised the need for monetary authorities to rethink their stand on cryptocurrencies.

“There is no question that blockchain technology generally and cryptocurrencies, in particular, will in the coming years challenge traditional banking, including reserve (central) banking, in ways that we cannot yet imagine. So, we need to be prepared for that seismic shift and it may come sooner than later,” he added.

“Already, remittance systems are being challenged. Blockchain technology will provide far cheaper options for the kind of fees being paid today for cross-border transfers.

“I am sure you are all aware of the challenge that the traditional SWIFT system is facing from new systems like Ripple which is based on the blockchain distributed ledger technology with its own crypto tokens.

“There are, of course, a whole range of digital assets spawned daily from block-chain technology. Decentralized finance, using smart contracts to create financial instruments, in place of central financial intermediaries such as banks or brokerages is set to challenge traditional finance.

“The likes of Nexo finance offer instant loans using cryptocurrency as collateral. Some reserve banks are investigating issuing their own digital currencies,” Mr Osinbajo stated.

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Economy

Imasayi Cashew Plant in Ogun Resumes Operations

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Imasayi Cashew Plant

By Adedapo Adesanya

The Ogun State government has revived its cashew processing plant at Imasayi by partnering with an indigenous agro-allied processing company, J22 Concerns Limited in Kajola.

The Commissioner for Industry, Trade and Investment in the state, Mrs Kikelomo Longe, explained that this was part of efforts to boost the processing and exportation of cashew nuts.

Represented by the Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Mr Olu Ola Aikulola, who presented the letter of award to the Chief Executive Officer of the company, Mr Yinka Akintola, at the Palace of the Olu of Imasayi, Imasayi, Yewa North Local Government Area, the Commissioner said the present administration decided to operationalise the plant which has been unused since 2018 to enhance the socio-economic development of the people.

Mrs Longe called on relevant stakeholders and the people of Imasayi to support the investor in enhancing the cashew nut value chain through increased production of cashew nuts and sale for processing instead of selling them raw.

“We should team up with the investor to ensure the best use of this cashew processing plant. We want a situation whereby the cashew nuts grown in Imasayi will be processed in Imasayi.

“This will boost the cashew value chain and bring about development for the people, create job opportunities and lead to an improvement in the people’s standard of living,” she said.

The Commissioner assured that the Mr Dapo Abiodun-led administration remains committed to making Ogun State investors’ prefererred choice of destination as well as promoting policies such as the Public-Private-Partnership which would lead to the development of the agricultural value chain.

Also speaking, the Trade Promotion Advisor/ Head, Abeokuta Smart Office, Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), Mr Samson Idowu, said only 10 per cent of the 240 metric tonnes of cashew nuts grown in Nigeria is processed.

Mr Idowu said the need to diversify the economy from dependence on oil through increased cashew nut processing and exportation made the council donate the processing machine to the state in 2018 and also train the farmers on the latest techniques in cashew nut processing, adding that increased processing of the cash crop has the potential of making the gateway state an export hub.

The Chief Executive Officer of J22 Concerns Limited, Mr Yinka Akintola, said the company intends to process 500 kilograms of cashew nuts daily noting that the utilisation of the machine would create employment opportunities for indigenes of the area and bring about human capital development among the people.

He added that his company would also help cashew farmers in Imasayi and its environs expand their acreage of cashew plantation and yield as well as help position farmers in groups so as to access more funding for their business.

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