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Lagos Lauds Ecobank for Active Role in Artisanal Fisheries

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Ecobank Lagos Artisanal Fisheries

By Adedapo Adesanya

The Lagos State Government has lauded Ecobank Nigeria for its active role to uplift the artisanal fisheries value chain in the state.

This was made known by Ms Abisola Olusanya, the Commissioner for Agriculture in her remark at the presentation of 34 fibreglass boats with outboard engines and other ancillary fishing equipment to cooperative societies of 680 youth fishermen.

She said the partnership with Ecobank has been phenomenal in helping to develop business models suitable for the fishermen, stating that the ministry was partnering with Ecobank and Old Mutual Assurance to provide banking services, track cash flow in the business and aid fleet expansion for the fishermen.

Ms Olusanya disclosed that the empowerment was under the 2021 Agricultural Value Chains Enterprise Activation Programme, inaugurated by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu in July as part of the government’s commitment to supporting the fishery value chain.

She said that it was envisaged that the deployment of the fishing assets would create over 2,000 jobs in the upstream and downstream sub-sectors of the artisanal fisheries value chain, as well as produce 4,531 metric tonnes of fish annually, adding that each cooperative group comprising 20 members each would receive a boat.

The Commissioner further explained that the partnership with Ecobank was aimed at monitoring the activities of each cooperative group to ensure that they make judicious use of the equipment.

She said, “Today, we are distributing the fibreglass boat to 34 cooperative groups free of charge, under the 2021 Agricultural Value Chains Enterprise Activation Programme.

“We need to monitor your activities to ensure that you utilise the equipment very well and also expand and increase the number of your fleet with the support of the financial institution. The banks are here to plan your business and increase opportunities for the generations to come.

“We want you all to grow your business and become multinational companies. We don’t want people to come from Japan, the Netherlands and other foreign countries to talk about fish more than our people from the local fishing communities,” she said.

On his part, the Head of Agriculture Desk at Ecobank Nigeria, Mrs Moji Oguntoyinbo, said that the bank was delighted to partner with the state government on the fisheries value chain.

Mrs Oguntoyinbo said that it was an intentional action for the bank to partner with Lagos state due to its coastal region with a lot of opportunities in fisheries.

“We have seen Lagos state as a coastal region with a lot of opportunities in fisheries and we are delighted that the government has picked us as a focus in food sustainability to start development in this sector.

“Today, we are very delighted to be a partner on this laudable project. This is an intentional investment and incentive to fishermen in Lagos, to promote this sector to the extent of making it possible for fish production and exportation, in the very near future, from the state.

“This is very laudable for us and we are delighted that this will be a role model plan and action that we will also try to replicate in other coastal regions of Nigeria.

“Lagos is always taking the lead and we are delighted to partner with you on this project,” she said.

She then urged the beneficiaries to be consistently focused to ensure that the project would continue to revolve and would be extended to many more beneficiaries in the nearest future.

Also, Mr Adekunle Fasasi, President, Lagos State Fishermen Cooperative Society, commended the government for its continuous support and empowerment to the value chain.

He noted that in the whole of Nigeria, Lagos state was first in terms of fish production and promised to increase its number with the new empowerment.

“Lagos is a coastal region; we have oceans and seas and it is important that we take advantage of this for economic benefits.

“I am particularly happy that this initiative is focused on the youths because these are the people that will take over from us aged fishermen.

“I, hereby, implore the farmers to use the property as if they paid for it and prayed that God would continue to give them wisdom and strength needed to be better fishermen. Do not take it with levity because it is a gift,” he advised.

Adedapo Adesanya is a journalist, polymath, and connoisseur of everything art. When he is not writing, he has his nose buried in one of the many books or articles he has bookmarked or simply listening to good music with a bottle of beer or wine. He supports the greatest club in the world, Manchester United F.C.

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Economy

NEM Insurance Seeks Regulatory Approval for Share Reconstruction

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NEM Insurance

By Dipo Olowookere

The board of NEM Insurance Plc is seeking regulatory approval for its proposed share reconstruction, a notice from the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Plc has confirmed.

Ms Lilian Dako, who signed the disclosure on behalf of the Head of Listings Regulation Department at the NGX, said the underwriting firm filed its application through its stockbroker, Apel Asset Limited.

NEM Insurance intends to redenominate the nominal value of its stocks from 50 kobo to N1 and then turn every two shares of 50 kobo into one share of N1.00 each.

At the moment, the total authorised shares of the company stand at 10,400,000,000 units of 50 kobo each but this will change to 5,200,000,000 units of N1.00 after the exercise.

However, the authorized share capital will remain at N5.2 billion both before and after the share reconstruction, according to the statement.

“Following the resolutions passed at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of NEM Insurance Plc on June 24, 2021, trading license holders are hereby notified that Nigerian Exchange Limited has received an application from Apel Asset Limited for a proposed share reconstruction of NEM Insurance Plc.

“The share reconstruction involves redenomination of the nominal value of the company’s shares from N0.50 to N1.00, resulting in the consolidation of every 2 shares of N.50 each held in NEM Insurance Plc into one share of N1.00 each.

Analysis of the Company?s share capital, pre and post share reconstruction, is provided in the table below:

Details Pre Share Reconstruction                                      Post Share Reconstruction

Authorized share capital (N)    5,200,000,000                   5,200,000,000

Issued Share Capital (N)          5,016,477,989                    5,016,477,989

Nominal Value per share (N)   0.50                                   1.00

Total Authorized (Units)          10,400,000,000                  5,200,000,000

Total Issued Issues (Units)       10,032,955,535                  5,016,477,989

“Further information regarding the share reconstruction will be communicated in due course,” the notice from the exchange today stated.

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Economy

OPEC Extends Compensation for Nigeria, Others to June 2022

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OPEC Crude

By Adedapo Adesanya

The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has extended the compensation period for defaulting countries in the ongoing oil cuts until June 2022.

This was contained in a statement by the group’s Secretariat, which noted that the extension was granted following requests by some of the underperforming countries.

Nigeria is one of the defaulters and the Vienna-based cartel had previously extended the deadline to submit their compensation plans latest by December 17.

The group reiterated the “critical” importance of adhering to full conformity and to the compensation mechanism.

For some of the countries involved in the Declaration of Cooperation, DoC had defaulted at trimming their cut quotas at some point in the agreement.

Reaffirming the decision of the 10th OPEC and non-OPEC Ministerial Meeting, ONOMM held on April 12, 2020, and July 18, 2021, the overall monthly production adjustment plan was adjusted by 400,000 barrels per day for the month of January 2022.

The group reaffirmed the continued commitment of participating countries in the DoC to ensure a stable and balanced oil market.

The biggest concerns were whether the emergence of a new variant of the coronavirus might torpedo the budding global economic recovery, and the restiveness of the United States and key Asian customers, including China, over high oil prices.

The 24th OPEC and non-OPEC Ministerial Meeting will be held on January 4, 2022.

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Economy

FarmTime Gets $50,000 to Boost Organic Fertilizer Production

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FarmTime Organic Fertilizer Production

By Dipo Olowookere

An agric-startup based in Tanzania, FarmTime Company Limited, has become the latest beneficiary of a new revenue-linked matching fund designed to incentivize investors to back younger entrepreneurs.

The firm, which was established in 2017 to recycle and repurpose plant and animal waste to produce organic fertilizers, delivering consistent and traceable nutrients at affordable prices, has secured a $50,000 funding support to expand its operations.

FarmTime, a new entrant to the organic fertilizer market in Tanzania, obtained the fresh capital in a round led by Umsizi Fund, which triggered a guaranteed match from the Young Entrepreneurs Fund (YEF).

YEF was launched in 2019 and provides matching investments of up to $50,000 to qualifying entrepreneurs. To date, over $250,000 has been invested across Africa with a growing pipeline of opportunities.

The scheme was designed to incentivise investments into very young entrepreneurs in Africa. It is a “guaranteed follow” fund that will match investments into ventures led by graduates of African Leadership Academy (ALA) programs, including The Anzisha Prize.

Rather than take equity positions, the fund has very intentionally chosen an innovative debt model with variable repayments linked to company revenues.

The founder of the latest beneficiary, FarmTime, Mr Jubilate Lema, disclosed that the new funds would be used to develop solutions to food security that balance human prosperity and the environment at large.

“I hope more funds take the approach of Umsizi and YEF with a revenue-linked debt instrument,” says Lema, “It was easy to understand, doesn’t load our cap table, and forced us to think about cash flow as well as growth.”

Josh Adler, Executive Director of The Anzisha Prize, which manages the fund on behalf of ALA, while commenting, stated that, “YEF is part of a growing move toward more structured exits from investors with a patient capital mandate.

“As a leadership development institution, ALA is able to draw in new forms of support for exceptional young leaders like Jubilate through the fund without having to build investment capabilities internally.”

As for Ed Brakeman from the Umsizi Fund, he said, “This one of the more exciting investments for us in some time with a revenue-linked loan in partnership with YEF.

“We’re eager to support FarmTime’s growth and are confident that we as investors will see returns while ensuring support for the business through the challenging period of product launch and revenue ramp-up.”

Since its inception five years ago, FarmTime has invested in research and product development, licensing and setting up a factory. It has already processed approximately 9,000 kilograms of coconut husks, 2,600 kilograms of fish waste, and 76 kilograms of seaweed, amongst other inputs.

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