Strides Group has dropped billions of Naira to acquire the mortgaged assets of troubled Rivers Vegetable Oil Company Limited (RIVOC).
A consortium of four banks – United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, Guaranty Trust Bank GTBank) Plc, Diamond Bank Plc, and Zenith Bank Plc – were, over the weekend, led by UBA Capital Trustees during the signing of the deal.
Apparently, RIVOC took out loans from the above-named banks. It is, however, unclear whether the loans were used to acquire the “mortgaged assets”, or if the assets were used as collateral for the loan. But one thing is clear, and that is the fact that the company failed to repay the loan. This led to the seizure of the assets and eventual sale to Strides Group.
The deal is expected to help save about five hundred direct jobs for Nigerians, while also guaranteeing more than five thousand indirect jobs.
According to Moritz Abazie, Chairman of Strides Group, the newly-acquired manufacturing plant would commence production in two months. He described the plant as one of the biggest in the Nigerian fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) sector.
The acquisition will also facilitate the company’s growth aspiration, Abazie said.
“We are leveraging our capital strength, talents and good reputation, to take advantage of identified opportunities in the food and other fast moving consumer goods, manufacturing and distribution sectors.
“In accordance with this diversification goal, we have acquired the entire production assets of Rivers Vegetable Oil Company Limited in a multi-billion naira transaction, as a fast route to actualizing our market entry strategy.” – Abazie
Once state-owned and a major player in Nigeria’s FMCG sector, RIVOC engaged in the processing of crude palm kernel to extract the oil and market to Nigerians. About five hundred people were engaged in its operations. Unfortunately, the company began to experience crisis by 2013, even as its main foreign investors divested their stakes.
It is now expected that Stride Group’s intervention would bring RIVOC’s past glory, restore jobs, and ensure profitability. As a matter of fact, Stride Group is hoping to achieve more with RIVOC than what the original stakeholders were able to achieve.
Meanwhile, the consortium has expressed delight that RIVOC has eventually been purchased by an indigenous company. According to Tokunbo Ajayi, the CEO of United Capital Trustees:
“we are happy an indigenous company like Strides Group took over the plant, we look forward towards a speedy conclusion of the transactions and the speedy revival of the business complex.”
It is yet to be disclosed whether Strides Group intends to change RIVOC’s name or retain it.
Strides Group is the owners of Strides Energy and Maritime Limited (SEML), which operates in Nigeria’s oil sector. The company offers dredging services, petroleum terminal tank farm construction/rehabilitation services, and offshore oil & gas pipeline construction/installation etc.
The acquisition of RIVOC marks a shift from the company’s core focus on crude oil. That notwithstanding, the company still stands a chance to compete against the likes of UAC’s Grand Oil, PZ Wilmar’s Mamador and Sunola etc.
Strides Group will, however, need to put in a lot of work in order to favourably compete
Just-in: Air Peace to recall some sacked pilots after Minister’s intervention
Air Peace had trained over 80 pilots, giving its staff the best remuneration package.
Air Peace would soon recall some of the pilots that were sacked recently. This coming after the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika had intervened.
This was disclosed by the Ministry of Aviation via its Twitter handle on Tuesday.
The recall was the fall-out of an intervention meeting called by the Minister between the airline management and the leadership of the National Association of Airline Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE) held in his office on Tuesday.
Back story: Nairametrics reported as Nigerians woke up to the news that Air Peace had sacked about 70 pilots under its employment across its fleet and also reduced staff salaries by 40%. The airline said the exercise was due to the devastating impact of the Coronavirus pandemic on its business.
It added that the move was made to protect the majority of the existing jobs and the possibility of creating new ones in the future, as well as ensuring the survival of the airline.
In the verbal agreement, Chairman, Air Peace, Chief Allen Onyema acceded to the Minister’s appeal for the recall of the maximum number of pilots that the airline can accommodate without going under.
Chairman, NAAPE, Galadima Abednego explained that as a union it was a painful thing to see a large number of their members thrown into the labour market, and further appealed to employers of labour to see the union members as partners, and not adversaries.
On his own, Onyema expressed his sadness and disappointment over what he called the ingratitude of some of the airline’s pilots after everything is done to make them comfortable on their jobs.
He recalled how Air Peace had trained over 80 pilots and an equal number of aircraft engineers, giving its staff the best remuneration package within the sector only for them to disappoint at a time their understanding was needed.
He however commended Senator Hadi Sirika for providing the required leadership to the industry and promised his full cooperation in ensuring the growth of the aviation sector in Nigeria.
The Aviation Minister called for the understanding of everyone, especially the Labour unions, of the prevailing situation in the aviation industry, saying it was not the time for unnecessary upheavals.
AIR PEACE TO RECALL SOME SACKED PILOTS, AS SIRIKA INTERVENES
Respite has come the way of some of the pilots recently sacked by the management of Air Peace, as many of them would soon be recalled to their jobs.
— Federal Ministry of Aviation, Nigeria (@fmaviationng) August 11, 2020
He commended Chief Onyema for his enormous contributions in developing the industry, but appealed to him to recall the maximum number of the sacked pilots that the airline can comfortably accommodate in the prevailing circumstances to which airline operator agreed.
WHO gives condition for approving Russia’s COVID-19 vaccine as the vaccine gets a name
Russia has named its first approved COVID-19 vaccine, Sputnik V for the foreign markets.
The World Health Organization (WHO) said that any form of approval of prequalification of the Russian vaccine will require rigorous review and assessment of all required safety and efficacy data.
This disclosure was made by the spokesman of the WHO, Tarik Jasarevic, during a United Nations briefing in Geneva about clinical trials.
He said that the UN health agency and the Russian health authorities are currently discussing the process for possible WHO prequalification for its newly approved COVID-19 vaccine.
Tarik Jasarevic, during the UN briefing in Geneva said, “We are in close contact with Russian health authorities and discussions are ongoing with respect to possible WHO prequalification of the vaccine, but again prequalification of any vaccine includes the rigorous review and assessment of all required safety and efficacy data.”
Meanwhile, in a related development, Russia has named its first approved COVID-19 vaccine Sputnik V and it is available for foreign markets. The name references the world’s first satellite, which marked a symbolic accomplishment for the USSR during the cold war and space race era. Now, the Russian Government basks in its success at becoming the first country to approve a vaccine for COVID-19.
The head of Russia’s Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) pointed out that Russia had already received requests from more than 20 countries for 1 billion doses of its newly registered COVID-19 vaccine.
Nairametrics had earlier reported today the announcement of the registration of the first COVID-19 vaccine in what could be described as a step ahead of other vaccine developments. The Russian President, Vladimir Putin, who made the disclosure during a televised government meeting, said that Russia had become the first country in the world to grant regulatory approval to a COVID-19 vaccine after less than 2 months of human testing.
However, the speed at which Russia is moving to roll out the vaccine has prompted some western countries and international scientists to question whether the Russian government is putting national prestige ahead of solid science and safety.
Nigeria signs African Trade Insurance Agency agreement
The African Trade Insurance Agency was launched to provide risk solutions for investors.
President Muhammadu Buhari has signed the instrument of accession agreement for Nigeria for the establishment of the African Trade Insurance Agency. This was announced by the Federal Government on Monday night.
President @MBuhari has signed the instrument of accession of the agreement for the establishment of the African Trade Insurance Agency; sequel to the directive of the Federal Executive Council (FEC), that the instrument be prepared and forwarded for execution.
— Presidency Nigeria (@NGRPresident) August 10, 2020
The agreement is coming after the Federal Executive Council ordered that an instrument be prepared and forwarded for execution.
The African Trade Insurance Agency was launched in 2001, to provide risk solutions for investors, after the East African economic Union (COMESA) executed a World bank funded study to discover why Africa does not attract more Foreign Direct Investments.
The organization said it added credit insurance to its portfolio in 2006 after its members identified global trade as a major pillar of growth in the continent which has seen it grow as a market leader for risk mitigation in Africa. The ATI also attracts funding from the African Development Bank and World Bank
Nigeria joining the agreement would provide Nigeria with the necessary insurance financing to increase investment inflows into the country and improve economic productivity.