State governments recently restated their commitment to initiate and implement Doing Business reforms that will positively impact on businesses and stand them out among their peers in the World Bank sub-national rankings. This commitment was made in Abuja at the kick-off mission for the Sub-National Doing Business (SNDB) in Nigeria project organised by the World Bank and the Enabling Business Environment Secretariat (EBES).
Opening statements to the workshop were made by the Honourable Minister of State, Budget and National Planning, who is Chair of the Nigerian Economic Council (NEC) Implementation Monitoring Committee, through a representative; and the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr. Aminu Bisalla.
Welcoming participants to the event, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Jumoke Oduwole, thanked state governments for their willingness to drive the sub-national rankings project. She noted that some states are already implementing reforms, but a lot more could be achieved by applying best practices like efficiency, transparency and performance management. According to Dr. Oduwole, “the key barometer on whether the various reforms are working will be the testimonials of small and medium business owners across the country.”
The workshop had commissioners of trade and commerce, budget and national planning, heads of investment agencies and other focal persons from nearly 20 states in attendance.
A Reform Leader at the Enabling Business Environment Secretariat (EBES), Mrs. Toyin Bashir, stated that Doing Business reforms at the state level “will lead to job creation, as MSMEs currently make up 90% of registered businesses in Nigeria; better living standards; and increased foreign direct investments at a time when the country is grappling with a decline in oil prices.”
Bashir explained that removing bottlenecks around the 11 indicators on which states are to be ranked will provide relief for business owners and signal to the world that Nigeria is open for business.
“The 11 indicators affect firms throughout their life cycles. ‘Starting a Business’ and ‘Regulatory Environment’ affect firms at startup phase; ‘Infrastructure’ and ‘Growth & Productivity’ affect firms in their daily operations; while ‘Registering Property’, ‘Access to land and property’ and ‘Dealing with Construction permits’ affect the firms when trying to get a location,” Bashir said. Furthermore, she explained that “‘Enforcing Contracts’ is a relevant indicator for when things go wrong, while ‘Transparency and accessibility to information’ is crucial at all phases of the business.
The World Bank Doing Business Country Adviser for Nigeria, Ms. Cemile Hacibeyoglu, listed some common features of successful reformers. Sharing best practice experiences from countries like Colombia, Costa Rica, Rwanda and Korea, she said “high-level leadership and ownership of the reform agenda, long term vision with clear objectives, inclusive reform process, detailed goals, private sector commitment and effective communication” are essential for a successful reform process.
In an interactive panel session, three states shared experiences on ongoing reform efforts and challenges – Kaduna State represented by the Commissioner of Commerce, Industry and Tourism, Dr. Manzo Maigari; Sokoto State by Commissioner of Commerce, Mr. A. Aminu; and the Special Adviser to the Governor of the State of Osun on Public Service Productivity, Mr. Ademola Adeyinka.
The World Bank sub-national rankings of Nigerian states is expected to be released in 2018. It will be the fourth in the series, with the most recent conducted in 2014. The Enabling Business Environment Secretariat (EBES) and the Nigerian Investment Promotion Council (NIPC) have both committed to supporting the state governments by facilitating collaboration and knowledge sharing workshops among the states as they implement their priority reforms..
It will be recalled that at the July 2017 National Economic Council (NEC) meeting, the Honourable Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah, and the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Jumoke Oduwole, had made a presentation seeking the buy-in of governors for the sub-national rankings. The project was unanimously endorsed by the governors at the meeting.
US Capitol complex temporarily shut down
The US Capitol complex was shut down temporarily on Monday as a precautionary measure after a small fire broke out nearby.
The US Capitol complex was shut down temporarily for about an hour on Monday as a precautionary measure after a small fire broke out nearby, highlighting the security concerns that are being raised days before the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden.
The security concerns and the lockdown follows the January 6 attack on the US Capital by supporters of the outgoing US President, Donald Trump, after his encouragement and inciting comments, calling the Presidential election a fraud without any proof of evidence.
Some of them even called for the death of the US Vice President, Mike Pence for presiding over the certification of Joe Biden’s November election victory.
While making the disclosure in a statement, the Capitol Police said that the lockdown has been lifted and the nearby fire contained.
The Acting Chief of the Capitol Police had said that the complex which comprises of the Capitol, its grounds and several buildings were shut down as a precautionary measure.
The US Secret Service in a tweet post on its official Twitter handle said, “Out of an abundance of caution the U.S. Capitol complex was temporarily shutdown. There is no threat to the public.’’
The city’s fire department in its tweet post said that firefighters put out a fire outside near the Capitol complex.
The fire department said, “There were no injuries. This accounts for smoke that many have seen.”
What you should know
- President-elect, Joe Biden is expected to be sworn in at the US Capitol on Wednesday amid an unprecedented cordon of security, with strict physical distancing measures in place due to threats of violent attacks in Washington and the rising cases of coronavirus infections.
- Donald Trump, who is just fresh from a historic second impeachment from the congress had said he would not attend, although his deputy, Vice President Mike Pence, had given an indication that he would attend.
Kinyungu Ventures Research calls for changes to cut-and-paste VC strategy in Africa
The Paper recommends investment structures and approaches tailored to African operating conditions.
East African venture advisory firm, Kinyungu Ventures has published a white paper Chasing Outliers: Why Context Matters for Early Stage Investing in Africa that has found that there continues to be a wide misalignment between traditional venture capital models and the African market. The team behind the report is now calling for a broadening of approaches to institutional investment on the continent. Speaking with 100 Pan-African founders, investors, and LPs across 15 African countries, the research suggests investors should prioritize investing structures and practices that reflect the realities of operating in Africa. This includes adopting more flexible investing structures with longer time horizons.
According to the paper, there are multiple mismatches between key characteristics of Silicon Valley VC and African markets, which influence how startups and funds maneuver as well as what results they expect and produce. Findings show that African markets are large, but also fragmented, and its consumers have limited purchasing power. Furthermore, consumers on the continent are difficult to acquire and retain, yet the sheer size of the African market also presents a real opportunity for profit once the environment is clearly understood. The paper’s key recommendations for funds include:
- Adopting more focused investment strategies, such as investing in b2b companies or cross-subsidizing a portfolio with less risky, steady return assets.
- Considering non-unicorn investing models geared at more resilient companies, with returns distributed more widely across the portfolio
- Using flexible structures such as debt or PCVs to accommodate market-level changes, where feasible
- Allowing a longer time horizon for returns, understanding that growth could be slow and difficult to achieve for many companies
Kinyungu Ventures catalyzes resilient businesses for local intergenerational prosperity. The East African-centric investor focuses on entrepreneurship in East Africa, startups, seed funding, debt financing, impact investing and angel investing.
Speaking on the launch of the white paper, Tony Chen, Managing Director of Kinyungu Ventures and co-publisher of the report says, “Capital in Africa is scarce and pursuing a “growth at all costs” strategy where capital pools are shallow presents huge risks for companies. We’ve also found that many great businesses don’t fit the typical VC profile, but have tremendous unfulfilled potential”.
Tayo Akinyemi, lead researcher and writer of the report added: “In our conversations with numerous investors and founders, it is clear that nuances in variables such as consumer behavior, cultural norms, and business practices impact startups significantly and being on the ground is crucial for success. While African markets aren’t always able to provide the outsized returns that Silicon Valley typically looks for in high-growth companies, a more focused strategy here could unlock real gems, as has been proven by some of the startup successes the continent has seen over the years.”
Neimeth Pharmaceuticals to raise N5 billion in additional equity
The Board of Neimeth is set to raise N5 billion additional equity upon the approval by shareholders of the company at the AGM.
The disclosure is part of the resolutions reached at the Board of Directors meeting of 15th January 2021. At the end of the meeting, it was resolved that the company would raise additional equity to the tune of N5 billion.
In line with this development, a board resolution proposing to raise equity will be presented at the Annual General Meeting of the Company scheduled to hold on 9th March 2021.
What you should know
- The Board of the Company is yet to disclose if the additional equity would be a rights issue or a private placement, as the details of the additional N5 billion equity set to be raised are yet to be finalized.
- The fund will help the company’s management to execute key strategies that will reposition the company as a leader in the healthcare industry, with the hope to deliver better returns on investment to shareholders.
- The additional equity financing will also increase Neimeth’s outstanding shares, which will dilute earnings and impact the Company’s stock value for existing shareholders.
- The move has the potential to trigger a sell-off of the company shares on the Nigerian Stock Exchange.