The controversy over the acquisition of GSK Nigeria Plc by its parent company, GSK UK through a special arrangement has been put to rest as an option has been given to it to buy the shares of the company through the secondary market of the Nigerian Stock Exchange, NSE.
Chairman of GSK Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Osunkeye, disclosed to Vanguard during a chart in Lagos, saying, “following the suspension of the initial scheme of acquisition by GSK UK to increase its stake in Nigeria, the foreign partner can now increase its stake in Nigeria by going through the floor of the NSE just like other investors interested in increasing their stakes in the company.”
Glaxo Smithkline UK, said it wanted to support its Nigeria arm to improve its facility, but it added that in order to do this on a continuous basis it (GSK UK) would like to increase its shareholding in (GSK) Nigeria from 46.4 per cent to 80 per cent. But the price to exit became an issue as Nigerian shareholders insisted that the current price at the stock market be prevailed rather the initial proposed price of N48.
Are we now going to see a major rally in the share price?
– Source Vanguard
COVID-19: Moderna set to launch a new vaccine for virus strain found in South Africa
Moderna said it is accelerating work on a covid booster shot to guard against the recently discovered variant in South Africa.
American biotechnology firm, Moderna Inc. on Monday announced that it is launching a trial of a new Covid-19 vaccine as it warned that its current shot was less effective in tackling the strain that emerged in South Africa.
Moderna said it is accelerating work on a covid booster shot to guard against the recently discovered variant in South Africa.
According to the company, Laboratory tests show Moderna’s Covid-19 jab still works against the variant named 501Y.V2, which emerged in South Africa, and B.1.1.7, which was first discovered in the UK.
It however warned that the neutralising antibody response to 501Y.V2 was sixfold lower compared to the original variant, raising concerns that immunity to it may wane significantly, particularly in older people.
“Out of an abundance of caution and leveraging the flexibility of our mRNA platform, we are advancing an emerging variant booster candidate against the variant first identified in the Republic of South Africa into the clinic to determine if it will be more effective to boost titers against this and potentially future variants,” Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel said.
What you should know
- On Thursday, Dr. Anthony Fauci, White House health advisor said that new data had shown that the Covid-19 vaccines currently on the market may not be as effective against new and more contagious strains of the coronavirus.
- Also, a team of researchers working with South Africa’s National Institute for Communicable Diseases stated that the 501Y.V2 shows substantial or complete escape from neutralising antibodies in COVID-19 convalescent plasma.
- According to reports by South African researchers, the 501Y.V2 variant is 50% more infectious than previous ones. It has already spread to at least 20 countries since being reported by the World Health Organisation in late December.
- Meanwhile, the total confirmed cases of the virus is currently at 99.85 million with over 2 million deaths worldwide.
Local content – A driving force for African oil and gas sector sustainability
There is a wave of change coming and COVID-19 is the first of the determinants that oil and gas investment will gradually be reducing.
With 2020 being a year of uncertainties in the oil and gas sector and some of the decisions, activities and market trends that took place last year, I reflect on what some of the activities pre-COVID-19 and now means for the African energy sector.
Following the reform of the African Petroleum Producers’ Organisation (APPO) Fund, I was opportune to witness the equally newly reformed Africa Energy Investment Corporation (AEICORP). The AEICORP is to provide “a Solid Capital Base and Liquidity Profile, a Preferred Creditor Status, Developmental Impact, Strong Financial Performance Returns to Investor,” for investors to participate in a low-risk pan-African growth.
With one of the objectives of APPO seeking to ensure member countries cooperate, I believe for African countries to reap the maximum benefits from oil and gas, investment in energy technology through institutions like AfDB and AEICORP will help to achieve this aim. The thought of African investments in the hydrocarbons sector takes my mind to a familiar place – de-carbonization of fossil fuels, as opposed to abandonment.
De-carbonising fossil fuels through technology developed by Africans might take a while to embrace but it is worth the long-term investment. At the moment (or for the next 20 years), Africa is not ready for zero-carbon emission energy sources. Almost all of the oil-producing countries on the African continent depend on revenues from oil and gas to fund their budgets and keep their economy moving. It cannot be denied that the energy security of Africa is highly dependent on decarbonisation.
This is because most of the African countries export their crude to countries abroad and the countries abroad are moving towards adopting the terms of the Paris climate accord which aims to see low carbon emission.
New discoveries of oil and gas are still being made daily with a large part of prospective areas still underexplored. All the countries on the continent cannot boast of 24 hours steady supply of electricity. The West is embracing decarbonisation because they have gotten to a stage where all of the basic social amenities are working, Africa isn’t there yet.
Africa looks to be one of those who will suffer climate change the most. We cannot follow the same paradigm as the advanced countries and we will take a longer time to achieve what they will achieve. The COVID-19 pandemic is a trigger for many African countries to begin to gradually embrace diversification and invest in other sectors of their economy. If African countries do not fully depend on the revenues from oil and gas, we can begin to talk carbon decarbonisation. For now, it is a gradual process and we still have a long way to go.
The West will not come and save us. The West will save the West and Africa should save Africa. In November 2019, the European Investment Bank (EIB) announced that it will no longer grant loans for crude oil, natural gas and coals project from January 1st 2022, with a few exceptions for gas projects. Also, in October 2020, the United Nations asked world’s publicly funded development banks to bring their lending policies in line with the Paris Agreement, and a few weeks later, many of the institutions including the African Development Bank Group (AfDB) said they will reduce investment in fossil fuels related project.
This is to show that it would soon be every investor for themselves. And if China follows suit, the African market will break.
When all of these lenders stop funding fossil fuel projects in the country, most African countries will have little or no advantage when it comes to negotiations. Chinese authorities have been big players in the development of oil and gas resources in Africa and one of the biggest lenders to African countries. If by 2025 that all of the world’s publicly funded development banks would have joined the EIB in halting the disbursement of funds for fossil fuel projects, an indication that they are only willing to do embark on projects that are in line with their net- zero commitments, China will be the only option left.
Many African countries have already signed agreements that will see them forfeit important state-owned assets if they fail to meet up on their repayment plan for loans obtained from China. Let us not forget that China is also a signatory to the Paris climate accord. So if in the future, China decided to also stop funding fossil fuel projects, most of our countries in Africa who do not start planning for the unexpected now will be left with a wrecked economy and with no option than to forfeit out of the little they have to pay their debts.
French Group, Total, ‘totally’ dominates the oil and gas sector in some African countries. What happens to us when Total pulls out its resources and stops funding fossil fuel projects, because being a French company, it is one of the companies expected to fully commit to the terms of the Paris Agreement?
Is the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) the saviour?
Yes, we do have a genuine opportunity through the AfCFTA. The AfCFTA was formed in 2018 to eliminate tariffs on intra-African trade, to make it easier for African businesses to trade within the continent and cater to and benefit from the African market. It creates a single market for goods, services, facilitated by movement of persons to deepen the economic integration of the African continent, under the Pan African Vision of an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa. The benefits are:
To improve the intra-African trade landscape and export structure;
- To create a sound global economic impact;
- To develop better policy frameworks;
- To foster specialisation and boosting industrialisation;
- To strengthen regional and inter-state cooperation;
- To increase employment and investment opportunities, as well as technological development;
- To provide the opportunity to harness Africa’s population dividend.
In a few years, the AEICORP and AfCFTA may, alongside a few lending bodies and China, be the only creditors willing to invest in the African energy scene. The continent needs to embrace its own Funds and platform and invest in technology in the African energy scene, in preparation for the future of the oil and gas industry.
One of the solutions to energy security is for African countries to make a case for themselves. Why is the West ignoring the gas sector, which is cheaper and safer and the least-polluting fossil fuel to a more expensive and less reliable source like renewable energy? If African forces start to condemn the decision of these lenders to stop financing fossil fuel projects, under a uniform voice and umbrella body like APPO, negotiations will take place and better resolutions that will favour all parties can be reached.
Countries with huge natural gas reserves such as Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, Algeria, Ghana, Equatorial Guinea, Ghana, Senegal, Cameroon etc. should follow in the footsteps of Mozambique and attract investors to invest in that sector. Equatorial Guinea also has projects lined up for its ‘Year of Investment’. Egypt has also been investing heavily in the gas sector and alongside Mozambique, it would become one of the biggest players on the continent, in a few years.
African countries can also take advantage of the fact that an African, H.E Mohammed Barkindo is the Secretary-General of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to lead negotiations in ensuring that fossil fuel projects are still catered for by lenders.
Countries on the continent should also trade between themselves in the areas of energy. It is remarkable what the East African countries are doing together to ensure electricity supply in each other’s countries. Last year, Nigeria also announced it will be importing Niger’s surplus oil. African countries need to get from Africa what is present in Africa. This is the way by which we can help the cause of the AfCFTA, APPO, and each other to reach our full energy potentials and have adequate energy security.
There is a wave of change coming in the world and COVID-19 is the first of the determinants that oil and gas investment will gradually be reducing. African countries cannot afford to buy this change yet. We cannot afford to compare ourselves to the West as we lack what they have, and yes, we have some of the fossil fuels that they still want before their full switch to renewables. We have to take advantage of that gap and reach an agreement that favours all.
It will be great to see the terms of the Paris Climate Accord come to pass in the future. But for now, Africa needs the financing and investment in technology will help to still keep to the terms of the Accord while investing in the huge oil and gas potential here.
About the author
David R. Edet is an oil and gas expert, serving in the capacity of Business Analyst at Afric Energy Ltd, an Oil and Gas Company operating from Nigeria. Mr. Edet is a leading voice to youth involvement in African energy matters and campaigns for more involvement of local contact in the African hydrocarbons sector.
FITC wins BIZZ, IBX Global Awards for Business Excellence, Strategic Leadership
FITC was announced the winner of the two global awards in an elaborate virtual ceremony held in Doha, Qatar and Houston Texas respectively.
FITC, the world-class, innovation-led, technology-driven, knowledge and professional services institute has emerged winner of the 2020 Business Excellence Award (The BIZZ Awards) and the Strategy, Change, and Transformation Award (The IBX Awards).
FITC, which provides cutting edge Learning, Advisory and Research Services to organizations within the Financial Services and other sectors, was announced winner of the two global awards in an elaborate virtual ceremony held in Doha, Qatar and Houston Texas respectively.
The Nigeria’s premier knowledge institute, FITC, won the Gold category in The BIZZ awards and Silver category in Strategy, Change and Transformation in the International Business Excellence, IBX Awards in recognition of its phenomenal initiatives that have led to innovative and exceptional transformation within the organization.
Also presented with an award was the Managing Director and CEO, FITC, Chizor Malize, who won the IBX 2020 Award for “Inspirational Leader”. The award was in recognition of the innovative, dynamic and game changing work at FITC in 2020 at the height of the global pandemic resulting in the extraordinary organization wide transformation at FITC and positive impact on the Nigerian financial services sector, FITC’s primary focus area.
Other IBX 2020 Award winners include Microsoft and Virgin Mobile.
The International Business Excellence (IBX) Awards is part of a global business movement, giving organizations the chance to meet and compete with others from all over the world. Over the last twelve years, IBX Awards have been leading the way in recognising inspirational business practices, holding over 100 events and hosting more than 2000 companies.
Organized by Awards International, the IBX Awards recognises long-term sustainable profitability achieved through the practice of excellence, which occurs across a broad range of disciplines and defines the modern business agenda.
The BIZZ Awards gathers and recognizes leading businesses from different regions that contribute to the daily growth of their local economy and the world economy. THE BIZZ was created by World Confederation of Businesses (WORLDCOB), to offer to the global business community a range of benefits that further their development.
WORLDCOB was founded in 2004 in Houston, Texas, in the United States of America. Its primary mission is to promote business development worldwide, recognizing and boosting the growth of leading businesses and businesspeople in every country through the special tools and services that it offers its members. The organization has approximately 3,500 members representing over 130 countries.
Considered to be the most important business excellence award in the world, The BIZZ Awards is organized and given out to the most outstanding companies and businesspeople in each participating country. The award which targets small, medium and large enterprises was created to recognize businesses with practices worthy of recognition who end up being examples for other businesses to follow in their communities and internationally.
Speaking on the awards, Malize, said the organization would keep going beyond the ordinary in its effort to delivering innovative knowledge solutions to its clients in the Financial Services and other sectors.
“For 40 years, FITC has been an innovator, enabling people and organizations to excel and it was in line with our vision to build a world class innovation-led and technology-driven organization that we defined our six success pillars which are programmes, process, platforms, people, positioning and performance.
“We took deliberate and strategic steps by making significant changes across these key drivers of the positive transformation experienced today by our stakeholders, and which has also culminated to these awards and recognitions being given to our organization today. We are extremely delighted by these awards and we remain committed to helping our clients in the Financial Services and other sectors navigate and advance their careers, while building on our member firms’ successes through our clear vision, strong corporate values, and our culture of excellence,” Malize said.
Established in 1981 as a non-profit organisation limited by guarantee to provide capacity building and serve as a knowledge hub for the Nigerian Financial Services Sector, FITC is owned by the Bankers Committee, Central Bank of Nigeria, Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) and all deposit money banks in Nigeria.
Over the years, FITC has demonstrated delivery of best-in-class services using a large pool of multidisciplinary and versatile professionals, who provide business support to its numerous clients within the public and private sectors, most notably within the financial services sectors and public sector of Nigeria and Sub-Saharan Africa.