Nigeria’s leading retail pharmacy and beauty outlet HealthPlus has announced a partnership with London-based private equity manager Alta Semper Capital.
The new partnership will see Alta Semper investing US$18 million into HealthPlus, the new funding will enable the company to expand its retail footprint and enhance its competitive position. It currently has approximately 80 locations across the country.
Reacting to this new development Bukky George, Founder & CEO HealthPlus noted that the new partnership will enable the company to grow strategically across the country and further its mission of providing high quality and affordable healthcare products and services to a growing market in both the urban and rural areas of the country.
Afsane Jetha, Managing Partner & CEO of Alta Semper, revealed that the funding provides an opportunity to enter the Nigerian retail market and invest in a market-leading player such as HealthPlus.
He also noted that the company is well-positioned to take advantage of the grossly under-penetrated Nigerian pharmacy retail market and meet the growing demands of Nigerian consumers, as well as to expand regionally into neighboring countries.
HealthPlus was founded in 1999 by Mrs. Olubukunola (Bukky) Adewunmi George, FPSN, a Nigeria and UK-trained pharmacist with over 25 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry, who has organically grown the business into the leading pharmacy chain and retailer of beauty supplies in West Africa. The company’s outlets are strategically-located in residential areas, shopping center, and airports across 11 of the 36 states in Nigeria.
Alta Semper Capital LLP is an authorized and regulated investment manager based in London. Alta Semper was founded in 2015 by Afsane Jetha (former Managing Director of the Africa Private Equity platform at the Duet Group), Ronald Lauder (Former US Ambassador to Austria and current Chairman of Clinique Laboratories) and Richard Parsons (former CEO of Time Warner Group and current Chairman of the Board of the Rockefeller Foundation).
The investment in HealthPlus marks the firm’s second investment into the healthcare sector in Africa and its first investment in Nigeria, after its investment into Macro Pharmaceuticals in Egypt in 2017.
Trump administration acknowledges likely election loss, agrees to transition with Biden
Trump administration seems to have officially commenced the transition to Biden after weeks of delay and law suits.
The Donald Trump administration seems to have acknowledged the loss of the presidential election as the General Services Administration (GSA), after weeks of non-cooperation has informed President-elect, Joe Biden that the administration is ready to begin the formal transition process.
According to a report from CNN, this was disclosed in a letter from the Administrator of DSA, Emily Murphy on Monday afternoon, November 23, 2020.
The letter is the first major step taken by the Trump administration to acknowledge its defeat in the presidential election after over 2 weeks that Joe Biden was declared the winner.
Monday’s letter is coming hours after Michigan formally certified the election results and some Republican senators had called for the transition process to start. This is also as more lawsuits from Trump’s legal team were dismissed, and Georgia election earlier certified on Friday and Pennsylvania set to be certified as well.
While making the decision to cooperate with the President-elect, Murphy said she had not been pressured by the White House to delay the formal transition and did not make a decision out of fear or favouritism.
She said, “Please know that I came to my decision independently, based on the law and available facts. I was never directly or indirectly pressured by any Executive Branch official, including those who work at the White House or GSA, with regard to the substance or timing of my decision. To be clear, I did not receive any direction to delay my determination.”
The letter signifies Murphy’s formal acknowledgment of Joe Biden’s victory, a normally perfunctory process known as ascertainment. This action will allow the transition process, which has been delayed for some weeks, to officially commence, ensuring that current administration agency officials cooperate with the incoming Biden team, and providing millions in government funding for the transition.
For some weeks after his announcement as the winner of the presidential election, the Biden team who have been denied access to government information and agencies by the Trump administration, had worked informally to kick start the transition process with some actions which include setting up a coronavirus task force, consulting with public health officials outside the government, meeting with top corporate leaders, amongst others.
The delay in ascertainment meant that Biden’s team was denied access to government data and could not make contact with federal agencies, nor spend $6.3 million in government funding now available for the transition. A Biden official said the most urgent need was for the transition to be given access to Covid-19 data and the vaccine distribution plans.
The Biden team is expected to have access to additional office space inside the agencies and the ability to use federal resources for background checks on Biden’s White House staff appointments and Cabinet appointments.
Moments after the letter was sent, Donald Trump tweeted thanking Murphy for her work and affirming the decision to start the transition.
His tweet reads, “I want to thank Emily Murphy at GSA for her steadfast dedication and loyalty to our Country. She has been harassed, threatened, and abused — and I do not want to see this happen to her, her family, or employees of GSA. Our case STRONGLY continues, we will keep up the good fight, and I believe we will prevail!” Trump tweeted. “Nevertheless, in the best interest of our Country, I am recommending that Emily and her team do what needs to be done with regard to initial protocols, and have told my team to do the same.”
This letter from GSA now means that the Biden team will now have access to government agency staff with regular briefings in addition to details of administrative issues that need to be addressed immediately.
The President-elect and his vice will also be receiving classified intelligence briefings as white house officials will start to cooperate.
It can be recalled that Murphy, who was appointed by Donald Trump, had refused to go ahead with the ascertainment process, despite Biden’s clear victory. She has faced intense scrutiny and political pressure from Democrats and, in recent days, Republicans calling for the start of a smooth transition.
COVID-19: FG to inaugurate 18-man vaccine task team
FG has announced plans to set up an 18-man Covid-19 Vaccine Task Team with the responsibility to acquire and deploy vaccines in the country.
The Federal Government has announced through the Ministry of Health, that it will inaugurate an 18-man Covid-19 Vaccine Task Team, in a bid to ensure vaccine security In Nigeria.
This was disclosed on Monday by the Health Minister, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, during the daily briefing of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 in Abuja.
He revealed that the need for a task force comes as vaccines would be made available globally. The responsibilities of the task force include the acquisition and deployment of vaccines in the country.
“Now that vaccines are known to be close at hand, the Federal Ministry of Health is taking measures toward vaccine security, for which an 18-man National COVID-19 Vaccine Task Team with seven Terms of Reference (ToR) will be inaugurated.
“The ToR will include generating strategies for acquisition, deployment, and options for licensed production by Biovaccine Nigeria Ltd.
“Our options with WHO/GAVI led Covax facility remains our first line of engagement,” he added.
What you should know
After news of the Pfizer vaccine went viral, Nairametrics reported that the Health Minister, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, said Nigerians will benefit early from COVID-19 vaccines when the product is made available for commercial use. He revealed that any vaccine that is deemed fit for commercial use in treating coronavirus will be made available early to Nigerians.
Nairametrics also reported plans by the Nigerian government to set up a vaccine production company in Nigeria to boost local COVID-19 vaccine production.
The G-20 nations announced a pledge to pay for vaccine distribution to developing nations that can’t afford it. The leaders also announced a debt extension programme to developing nations during the weekend’s G-20 summit.
Gov. Makinde presents N266 billion budget to Oyo State House of Assembly
Governor Seyi Makinde has presented a ₦266.64billion budget proposal to the Oyo State House of Assembly.
The Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, presented the Budget Proposal for the 2021 Fiscal Year to the Oyo State House of Assembly. The total budgeted sum is ₦266.64billion, with education expected to receive N56.35billion – 21% of the budget and a rise from N12 billion budgeted in 2019.
This was disclosed by Governor Makinde in a social media post on Monday.
It was my honour to present the Oyo State Budget Proposal for the 2021 Fiscal Year to the Oyo State House of Assembly, today. This Budget of Continued Consolidation was prepared with input from stakeholders in all seven geopolitical zones of our state. pic.twitter.com/6ys0XFOgh1
— Seyi Makinde (@seyiamakinde) November 23, 2020
According to NAN, Mr. Makinde disclosed on social media that the ‘Budget of Continued Consolidation’ was prepared with input from stakeholders in all seven geopolitical zones of the state.
“The total budgeted sum is ₦266.64billion The Recurrent Expenditure is ₦136.26billion, while the Capital Expenditure is ₦130.38billion. We are again, aiming for at least 70% implementation of the budget,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria also disclosed that infrastructure spending in the budget would be N46.06billion – representing 17.27% of the total budget and an increase of N33.66 billion over that of last year.
Other sectors include Agriculture which represents 3.6% valued at N9.58billion and Healthcare taking 4.9% of the budget with an N13.29billion allocation.
The Governor disclosed that Oyo has reduced its infrastructure deficit and made improvements in the areas of healthcare, education, and others.
“We have been able to lower our infrastructural deficit, make improvements in healthcare delivery, improve the quality of education, and achieve milestones in our security systems,” he said.
He also added that the state had recorded a 26% increase in IGR at N25.6 billion and hopes to increase IGR to over N100 billion for the 2021 budget.
“As of September, we had recorded an IGR of N25.6 billion. And using the half-year figures, it represented a 26.4% increase in IGR year-on-year. Oyo State’s IGR is presently about 32% of actual aggregate revenue.
“We still have not achieved a total dependence on the state’s income outside of the federal allocation to fund the budget. Slowly, but surely, we are getting there.
“For the 2021 budget, our plan is to increase our annual IGR to N102.82billion. We hope to achieve this by widening the tax net to bring in more taxpayers into the system,” he added.