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Business News

Lagos Terminates Controversial Afriland Properties Falomo Shopping Mall Project

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The Lagos State Government may have finally terminated the controversial Falomo Shopping Mall project being developed by Afriland Properties formerly known as UBA properties.

An Expression of Interest (EOI) advertised today by Lagos State and signed by Professor Ademola Abass a special Adviser to the Governor of Lagos State, says

A. FORMER FALOMO SHOPPING COMPLEX

“Lagos State Government is seeking proposals under PPP model on how this site can be redeveloped. The project must be a world class residential condominium complex with a full complement of lifestyle enhancing facilities and complete communities Direction Strategy. The site is intended to be developed as a low density, mixed use residential development that will include the integration of the multi use nature of the area.”

Now while this is all well and good for Lagos Sate, the questions that arise is what does this mean for Afriland Properties and their shareholders?

Afriland Properties PLC and the Lagos State Development Property Corporation (LSDPC), acting on behalf of the Lagos State government, had earlier established a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) which is jointly owned by the parties for the specific purpose of developing the Falomo project.

Under the terms of the agreement, the SPV- Falomo Shopping Centre Development Company Ltd – was granted a concession to, amongst other things, develop, build, operate and maintain the Project on a Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) basis.

Afriland paid N50m (fifty million naira) to LSDPC as an expression of interest in the redevelopment project.

The LSPDC would have received a 35% interest in the SPV for its land contribution.

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A statement released in August 2015 and signed by Uzo Oshogwe, MD/CEO Afriland Properties Plc, said:

“Afriland is obliged to fund the entirety of the development costs which is projected to exceed N30 billion without recourse to the Nigerian taxpayer.”

The new facility was to comprise a state-of-the-art shopping mall, office complex and generous parking facilities.

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It remains to be seen how much Afriland properties has committed to this project, whether they will be compensated by the Lagos State Government, and if this will deter investors from partnering with the State Government in the future.

Sources tell Nairametrics that the new Government of Akinwunmi Ambode raised concerns that the concession terms signed by former Governor Fashola were “grossly detrimental” to Lagos State and its residents.

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Business

CBN includes sugar, wheat on FX restriction list

The CBN is set to include sugar and wheat in the forex restriction list.

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CBN forex restrictions on food itemsCBN approves new cheque standard for banks

The Central Bank of Nigeria has announced plans to place sugar and wheat on its FX restriction list.

The plan was disclosed by the apex bank via its verified Twitter handle in a statement credited to the CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele.

The tweet stated: “Sugar and Wheat to go into our FX restriction list. We must work together to produce these items in Nigeria rather than import them. #Emefiele.”

It would be recalled that over the years, the CBN has been reviewing its list of restricted food items to include more items, with the most recent being the addition of maize, a widely-consumed staple food in the country.

What you should know

  • The CBN governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, had earlier (on Thursday) given this hint while on an inspection visit to the proposed $500 million sugar processing facility in Nasarawa state, belonging to Dangote Sugar.
  • In 2015, the CBN listed 41 items that had been placed on its FX restriction list citing that the move was necessary to conserve the nation’s foreign reserve and boost local production of the items on the restriction list.
  • Some of the items which made the 2015 list are margarine, poultry and eggs, rice, and cement.
  • In 2020, the apex bank included maize in its FX restriction list as it directed all authorised dealers to immediately discontinue the processing of Forms M for maize/corn importation into the country.
  • Nairametrics had also earlier explained in its publication following the new policy shift, that the government’s premise for deciding to restrict FOREX on food is faulty, especially since Nigeria has not attained full food security and the agricultural sector is still struggling.

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Atsu Davoh is building ways for Africans to easily acquire and spend cryptocurrency

Atsu Davoh has gone from failed projects to running one of Ghana’s most innovative startups.

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In recent times, the tech space in Africa has experienced immense growth, with the introduction of several key players and disruptors across various sectors. One sector that is also rising is the cryptocurrency space with Africa experiencing greater crypto ownership and trade volume.

The number of Bitcoins processed on a single day reached its highest value at the beginning of 2021, as more people displayed interest in the cryptocurrency. Due to its fast adoption, more fintech players have created platforms that have made trading with cryptocurrency easier. One of such players is Atsu Davoh who calls himself the “product guy.”

Atsu Davoh dropped out of college (Carleton College) in the United States and moved back to Ghana to help innovate on Africa’s financial infrastructure. Atsu first discovered Bitcoin in 2017 during the first boom when it became mainstream. Before then, he and his co-founder Samuel Baohen had been involved in many failed projects.

He developed a USSD system where people could buy bitcoin through their phone numbers, like tying crypto to phone numbers in a native way. This was one of the first iterations of Bitsika.

Atsu was invited to Join Binance Labs Incubator by Yele Bademosi where he got $150,000 after graduating from the incubator. Bitsika went on to raise around $900,000 from investors. This brought the total seed raised to $1,050,000.

This USSD system worked in Ghana but didn’t work in Nigeria. Atsu and his team then pivoted the platform to a donation crowdfunding platform, which allowed people living in other countries to send donations to African nationals in need of the funds before finally building it into a cross-border crypto remittance platform.

Bitsika users can deposit and remit money across multiple currencies using the app, with all monies deposited in Bitsika stored in USD credits or stable-coin.

Bitsika has over 50,000+ downloads on Playstore and processed nearly $40 million in 2020 with $18,872,474 in deposits, $17,890,807 in payouts (withdrawals), and $3,189,834 in internal peer-to-peer transfers.

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Despite a few unfavourable regulations surrounding cryptocurrency in Africa, the market has shown no signs of slowing down as more people are building products that will make trading seamless.

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