It is a known fact that Nigerians eat a lot of fish. Much like it is the case in many parts of the world, fish is a staple, often used for the preparation of pepper soup, fish stew, and even soul food. Due to the high rate of fish consumption in Nigeria, there is an ever-growing demand for the commodity in the country. This is why Ellah Lakes Plc is important.
It should be noted that Nigerians consume an average of 3.32 million metric tonnes of fish per annum, according to statistics obtained from the Fishery Committee for West Central Gulf of Guinea. Unfortunately, most of the fish consumed in Nigeria is imported. This is despite the fact that the country is one of the most naturally endowed places on earth to breed the aquatic animal. As a matter of fact, the country has all it takes to locally produce the commodity and be self-sufficient enough to export to other parts of the world.
While there are many subsistence fish farmers operating smallholder fish ponds across the country, Ellah Lakes Plc is one of the few fully-established corporates that are engaged in this business. Upon inception, the company set about redefining this area of agriculture through the use of sustainable and technologically-enabled approaches. Unfortunately, the company is now at risk of being liquidated, even though efforts are being made to salvage the situation.
For this week’s company profile on Nairametrics, our focus is on this company. Get to know everything about it, its many years of operation in Nigeria, the board of directors, ownership structure, competition, and most especially, how it has been able to maximise the immense opportunities at its disposal towards ensuring profitability.
A corporate overview of Ella Lakes Plc
Ellah Lakes Plc is a Port Harcourt-based Nigerian company specialised in the breeding, packaging and sale of fish. The company also engages in other related agricultural activities, specifically palm plantation. It was founded on August 22, 1980, by Nigerian politician, Senator F.J. Ellah. Although initially incorporated as a limited liability company, Ellah Lakes later converted to a public liability company on June 16th, 1992. By January 14th, 1993, the company’s shares were listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).
As one of the leading freshwater fish producers in Nigeria, Ellah Lakes prides itself as an environmentally-conscious company. In other words, it imbibes sustainable means in its fish farming processes by “ensuring that nature will continue to be able to replenish herself to meet the demands of the growing population who will want to continue to enjoy fish and fish-based products.”
About the company’s segmentation and services
As already noted above, Ellah Lakes Plc is broadly divided into two major segments: fish farming/processing and oil palm plantation. Under the fish farming segment, the company breeds assorted freshwater fish (but mainly catfish) and processes same for final distribution to the market. This segment, which also consists of fish conditioning, smoking and storing services, generates much of the company’s revenue.
Meanwhile, the company also complements its fish farming activities with palm tree plantation. It should, however, be noted that Ellah Lakes has yet to fully explore the potentials inherent in oil palm business. This could serve as a viable option, especially so at this point in time when the company is struggling to keep afloat.
The company’s target market
Ellah Lakes Plc primarily targets Nigerian fish consumers, offering a wide range of freshwater fish in order to ensure a nourished Nigeria. It is one of the few indigenous companies that has dedicated effort towards ensuring that fish importation into the country is reduced. It now appears to be failing in this bid.
A brief look at the company’s Board of Directors
According to information available in the company’s full-year 2018 financial report, there are eight members on the Board of Directors. They are:
- Mr. Frank Ellah: Managing Director/CEO
- Deacon Tom O. B. Ogboi: Director
- General Zamani Lekwot (Rtd): Director
- Mallam Suleiman Buda Usman: Director
- Mr. O. Adeyemi Wilson: Director
- Mr. Umar Munir Abubaka: Director
- Mrs. Patricia Ireju Ella: Director and
- Dr Chiamaka Mine Cookey-Gam: Director
Is the company faced with any competition?
Of course, Ellah Lakes Plc has no choice than to contend with competition, especially in view of the fact that much of the fish consumed by Nigerians are imported. Asides importation, the company also faces competition posed by other smallholder fish farmers including the likes of Everest Farms Limited, TeeMartins Aquaculture, Amolese Aquaculture Nigeria Limited, etc.
Meanwhile, in the area of oil palm plantation farming, Ellah Lakes also faces stiff competition posed by dominant players such as Okomu Oil, and Presco Plc, amongst others.
The company is under threat
Perhaps Ellah Lake Plc’s major problem is not the competition it faces. After all, it is important that all hands be on deck in order to adequately cater to the fish needs of the one hundred and eighty million plus people that make up the population of Nigeria. Instead, the company’s major problem is the threat facing its fish farms in Omuaku, Rivers State.
According to an explanation given by the company for its financial performance in full-year 2018, the activities of militants around the Omuaku area has forced the company to shut down its farming activities. In their own words:
“As a result of militancy activities in the area where the farm is located, the company has suspended business activities until the environment is safe for business activities. The directors are exploring strategies to keep the company afloat.” – Ellah Lakes
The company’s finances have suffered
With no reasonable production activities taking place since last year due to the fear of militants, it is not surprising that the company has recorded losses. For instance, in the full year ended July 31st 2018, it made a loss of N10.788 million, a further decline compared to a loss of N5.961 million recorded in the preceding year.
Meanwhile, the company is taking major remedial action
As we reported, the company plans to request of its shareholders to grant permission for a capital raise to the tune of N5 billion. This permission is expected to be granted on September 27th during the company’s Annual General Meeting. The funds are expected to facilitate the other strategies, which the company’s Board is exploring in a bid to keep the company afloat. It should, however, be noted that the anticipated permission may not come easily as shareholders may disagree from fear that the move will result in a dilution of their shares.
Other possible solutions
It has become imperative that Ellah Lakes Plc really considers a complete reassessment of its entire business model. In view of the threat posed by militancy, for instance, it may consider relocating its farms to other places such as Lagos State. Moreover, the company should consider expanding its oil palm segment more because doing so could potentially position it for greater profitability.
Fairfax Africa Holdings enters purchase agreement with Helios Holdings Ltd
Fairfax Africa Holdings Corp. agreed to merge with Helios Holdings Ltd.
Canada-based Fairfax Africa Holdings Corporation has reached an agreement to merge with Helios Holdings limited, the Africa-focused private equity firm which was co-founded by Tope Lawani and Babatunde Soyoye. The purpose of the merger is to create a truly pan-African investment firm.
A statement made available by Fairfax, as seen by Nairametrics, noted that when the deal is finalised, Fairfax Africa Holdings Corporation will be renamed Helios Fairfax Partners Corporation. The company will remain listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange and the Helios co-founders will be joint Chief Executives of the new company.
The terms of the deal will also require Helios to exchange 45.6% of equity and voting interest in the new company. Helios will contribute its performance and management fees through its present and future holdings under the Helios funds, thereby making Helios Fairfax Partners Corporation one of the biggest Africa-focused asset management firms by complementing the experiences and funds of both companies under one umbrella.
The new company will also have a larger capital base for diversified investment inflows to the continent through years of experience in third-party investment management operations and the support of longer-term institutional shareholders.
The main objectives of this deal are summarised below:
- Helios Fairfax Partners Corporation to become the leading pan-Africa focused listed alternative asset manager with unique capabilities to invest across the continent
- Creates a diversified investment platform combining best in class third-party investment management capabilities with the strength of long-term shareholders in a permanent capital vehicle
- Provides an enlarged capital base, increasing capacity to invest as well as to launch additional and differentiated Africa focused asset management strategies and initiatives
- Reinforces the parties’ shared long-term commitment to be a consistent and trusted provider of capital to growing African businesses across market cycles
- Tope Lawani and Babatunde Soyoye, the co-founders and Managing Partners of Helios Investment Partners LLP, will become joint CEOs of the combined holding company, enabling the company to build on the track record they have established over the last 15 years
In his remarks, Tope Lawani disclosed that the deal will offer emerging market investors the opportunity to gain exposure to the continent through their portfolio.
“We take a long-term view on our investments, and many have proved resilient even in this pandemic with a number of our investments in sectors such as telecommunications, payments, and food,” Lawani said.
He added that the transaction will offer Helios access to permanent capital from equity markets that can be used to accelerate its product and growth strategy.
Helios, which was founded in 2004, has raised third party private capital for the past 15 years investing in Africa companies including First City Monument Bank (exiting in 2013), Interswitch, Vivo Energy and Helios Towers Plc.
Fairfax was founded by Canadian Billionaire Prem Watsa and will own 45.6% of the Helios Fairfax Partners Corporation. Before the merger, Helios was raising $1.25 billion for its Africa focused fund and had landed a commitment of $100 million from the U.K’s CDC Group.
You may read the full statement by Fairfax by clicking here.
COVID-19 Update in Nigeria
On the 10th of July 2020, 575 new confirmed cases and 20 deaths were recorded in Nigeria.
The spread of novel Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) in Nigeria continue to record significant increase as the latest statistics provided by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control reveal Nigeria now has 31,323 confirmed cases.
On the 10th of July 2020, 575 new confirmed cases and 20 deaths were recorded in Nigeria, having carried out a total daily test of 3,725 samples across the country.
To date, 31,323 cases have been confirmed, 12,795 cases have been discharged and 709 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory. A total of 175,656 tests have been carried out as of July 10th, 2020 compared to 171,931 tests a day earlier.
COVID-19 Case Updates- 10th July 2020,
- Total Number of Cases – 31,323
- Total Number Discharged – 12,795
- Total Deaths – 709
- Total Tests Carried out – 175,656
According to the NCDC, the 575 new cases are reported from 18 states- Lagos (224), Oyo (85), FCT (68), Rivers (49), Kaduna (39), Edo (31), Enugu (30), Delta (11), Niger (10), Katsina (9), Ebonyi (5), Gombe (3), Jigawa (3), Plateau (2), Nassarawa (2), Borno (2), Kano (1), Abia (1)
Meanwhile, the latest numbers bring Lagos state total confirmed cases to 12,051, followed by Abuja (2,433), Oyo (1,689), Edo (1,593), Delta (1,348), Rivers (1,343), Kano (1,303), Ogun (1,063), Kaduna (946), Katsina (655), Ondo (606), Borno (586), Gombe (527), Bauchi (519), Ebonyi (508), Plateau (499), Enugu (469), Abia (402), Imo (359), Jigawa (321).
Kwara state has recorded 311 cases, Bayelsa (299), Nasarawa (238), Osun (212), Sokoto (153), Niger (135), Akwa Ibom (134), Benue (121), Adamawa (100), Anambra (93), Kebbi (86), Zamfara (76), Yobe (62), Ekiti (46), Taraba (27), while Kogi and Cross River state have recorded 5 cases each.
Lock Down and Curfew
In a move to combat the spread of the pandemic disease, President Muhammadu Buhari directed the cessation of all movements in Lagos and the FCT for an initial period of 14 days, which took effect from 11 pm on Monday, 30th March 2020.
The movement restriction, which was extended by another two-weeks period, has been partially put on hold with some businesses commencing operations from May 4. On April 27th, 2020, Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari declared an overnight curfew from 8 pm to 6 am across the country, as part of new measures to contain the spread of the COVID-19. This comes along with the phased and gradual easing of lockdown measures in FCT, Lagos, and Ogun States, which took effect from Saturday, 2nd May 2020, at 9 am.
On Monday, 29th June 2020 the federal government extended the second phase of the eased lockdown by 4 weeks and approved interstate movement outside curfew hours with effect from July 1, 2020.
|Date||Confirmed case||New cases||Total deaths||New deaths||Total recovery||Active cases||Critical cases|
|July 10, 2020||31323||575||709||20||12795||17819||7|
|July 9, 2020||30748||499||689||5||12546||17513||7|
|July 8, 2020||30249||460||684||15||12373||17192||7|
|July 7, 2020||29789||503||669||15||12108||17012||7|
|July 6, 2020||29286||575||654||9||11828||16804||7|
|July 5, 2020||28711||544||645||11||11665||16401||7|
|July 4, 2020||28167||603||634||6||11462||16071||7|
|July 3, 2020||27564||454||628||12||11069||15867||7|
|July 2, 2020||27110||626||616||13||10801||15693||7|
|July 1, 2020||26484||790||603||13||10152||15729||7|
|June 30, 2020||25694||561||590||17||9746||15358||7|
|June 29, 2020||25133||566||573||8||9402||15158||7|
|June 28, 2020||24867||490||565||7||9007||14995||7|
|June 27, 2020||24077||779||558||4||8625||14894||7|
|June 26, 2020||23298||684||554||5||8253||14491||7|
|June 25, 2020||22614||594||549||7||7822||14243||7|
|June 24, 2020||22020||649||542||9||7613||13865||7|
|June 23, 2020||21371||452||533||8||7338||13500||7|
|June 22, 2020||20919||675||525||7||7109||13285||7|
|June 21, 2020||20242||436||518||12||6879||12847||7|
|June 20, 2020||19808||661||506||19||6718||12584||7|
|June 19, 2020||19147||667||487||12||6581||12079||7|
|June 18, 2020||18480||745||475||6||6307||11698||7|
|June 17, 2020||17735||587||469||14||5967||11299||7|
|June 16, 2020||17148||490||455||31||5623||11070||7|
|June 15, 2020||16658||573||424||4||5349||10885||7|
|June 14, 2020||16085||403||420||13||5220||10445||7|
|June 13, 2020||15682||501||407||8||5101||10174||7|
|June 12, 2020||15181||627||399||12||4891||9891||7|
|June 11, 2020||14554||681||387||5||4494||9673||7|
|June 10, 2020||13873||409||382||17||4351||9140||7|
|June 9, 2020||13464||663||365||4||4206||8893||7|
|June 8, 2020||12801||315||361||7||4040||8400||7|
|June 7, 2020||12486||260||354||12||3959||8173||7|
|June 6, 2020||12233||389||342||9||3826||8065||7|
|June 5, 2020||11844||328||333||10||3696||7815||7|
|June 4, 2020||11516||350||323||8||3535||7646||7|
|June 3, 2020||11166||348||315||1||3329||7522||7|
|June 2, 2020||10819||241||314||15||3239||7266||7|
|June 1, 2020||10578||416||299||12||3122||7157||9|
|May 31, 2020||10162||307||287||14||3007||6868||7|
|May 30, 2020||9855||553||273||12||2856||6726||7|
|May 29, 2020||9302||387||261||2||2697||6344||7|
|May 28, 2020||8915||182||259||5||2592||6064||7|
|May 27, 2020||8733||389||254||5||2501||5978||7|
|May 26, 2020||8344||276||249||16||2385||5710||7|
|May 25, 2020||8068||229||233||7||2311||5524||7|
|May 24, 2020||7839||313||226||5||2263||5360||7|
|May 23, 2020||7526||265||221||0||2174||5131||7|
|May 22, 2020||7261||245||221||10||2007||5033||7|
|May 21, 2020||7016||339||211||11||1907||4898||7|
|May 20, 2020||6677||284||200||8||1840||4637||7|
|May 19, 2020||6401||226||192||1||1734||4475||7|
|May 18, 2020||6175||216||191||9||1644||4340||7|
|May 17, 2020||5959||388||182||6||1594||4183||7|
|May 16, 2020||5621||176||176||5||1472||3973||7|
|May 15, 2020||5445||288||171||3||1320||3954||4|
|May 14, 2020||5162||193||168||3||1180||3815||4|
|May 13, 2020||4971||184||164||6||1070||3737||4|
|May 12, 2020||4787||146||158||6||959||3670||4|
|May 11, 2020||4641||242||152||10||902||3589||4|
|May 10, 2020||4399||248||142||17||778||3479||4|
|May 9, 2020||4151||239||127||11||745||3278||4|
|May 8, 2020||3912||386||118||10||679||3115||4|
|May 7, 2020||3526||381||108||4||601||2818||4|
|May 6, 2020||3145||195||104||5||534||2507||1|
|May 5, 2020||2950||148||99||5||481||2370||4|
|May 4, 2020||2802||245||94||6||417||2291||2|
|May 3, 2020||2558||170||88||2||400||2070||2|
|May 2, 2020||2388||220||86||17||351||1952||2|
|May 1, 2020||2170||238||69||10||351||1751||2|
|April 30, 2020||1932||204||59||7||317||1556||2|
|April 29, 2020||1728||196||52||7||307||1369||2|
|April 28, 2020||1532||195||45||4||255||1232||2|
|April 27, 2020||1337||64||41||0||255||994||2|
|April 26, 2020||1273||91||41||5||239||994||2|
|April 25, 2020||1182||87||36||3||222||925||2|
|April 24, 2020||1095||114||33||1||208||855||2|
|April 23, 2020||981||108||32||3||197||753||2|
|April 22, 2020||873||91||29||3||197||648||2|
|April 21, 2020||782||117||26||3||197||560||2|
|April 20, 2020||665||38||23||1||188||466||2|
|April 19, 2020||627||86||22||2||170||436||2|
|April 18, 2020||541||48||20||2||166||356||2|
|April 17, 2020||493||51||18||4||159||317||2|
|April 16, 2020||442||35||13||1||152||277||2|
|April 15, 2020||407||34||12||1||128||267||2|
|April 14, 2020||373||30||11||1||99||263||2|
|April 13, 2020||343||20||10||0||91||242||2|
|April 12, 2020||323||5||10||0||85||228||2|
|April 11, 2020||318||13||10||3||70||238||2|
|April 10, 2020||305||17||7||0||58||240||2|
|April 9, 2020||288||14||7||1||51||230||2|
|April 8, 2020||274||22||6||0||44||226||2|
|April 7, 2020||254||16||6||1||44||204||2|
|April 6, 2020||238||6||5||0||35||198||2|
|April 5, 2020||232||18||5||1||33||194||2|
|April 4, 2020||214||5||4||0||25||185||0|
|April 3, 2020||209||25||4||2||25||180||0|
|April 2, 2020||184||10||2||0||20||162||0|
|April 1, 2020||174||35||2||0||9||163||0|
|March 31, 2020||139||8||2||0||9||128||0|
|March 30, 2020||131||20||2||1||8||121||0|
|March 29, 2020||111||22||1||0||3||107||0|
|March 28, 2020||89||19||1||0||3||85||0|
|March 27, 2020||70||5||1||0||3||66||0|
|March 26, 2020||65||14||1||0||2||62||0|
|March 25, 2020||51||7||1||0||2||48||0|
|March 24, 2020||44||4||1||0||2||41||0|
|March 23, 2020||40||10||1||1||2||37||0|
|March 22, 2020||30||8||0||0||2||28||0|
|March 21, 2020||22||10||0||0||1||21||0|
|March 20, 2020||12||4||0||0||1||11||0|
|March 19, 2020||8||0||0||0||1||7||0|
|March 18, 2020||8||5||0||0||1||7||0|
|March 17, 2020||3||1||0||0||0||3||0|
|March 16, 2020||2||0||0||0||0||2||0|
|March 15, 2020||2||0||0||0||0||2||0|
|March 14, 2020||2||0||0||0||0||2||0|
|March 13, 2020||2||0||0||0||0||2||0|
|March 12, 2020||2||0||0||0||0||2||0|
|March 11, 2020||2||0||0||0||0||2||0|
|March 10, 2020||2||0||0||0||0||2||0|
|March 9, 2020||2||1||0||0||0||2||0|
|March 8, 2020||1||0||0||0||0||1||0|
|March 7, 2020||1||0||0||0||0||1||0|
|March 6, 2020||1||0||0||0||0||1||0|
|March 5, 2020||1||0||0||0||0||1||0|
|March 4, 2020||1||0||0||0||0||1||0|
|March 3, 2020||1||0||0||0||0||1||0|
|March 2, 2020||1||0||0||0||0||1||0|
|March 1, 2020||1||0||0||0||0||1||0|
|February 29, 2020||1||0||0||0||0||1||0|
|February 28, 2020||1||1||0||0||0||1||0|
Nigeria only hit 56% of its target revenue in first five of months of 2020
Nigeria’s earnings in the period were N1.48 trillion which is 56% off its main target.
Nigeria’s Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed revealed that Nigeria was only able to meet 56% of its target revenue from January to May as the global oil price crash affected government revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Nigeria’s earnings in the period were N1.48 trillion which is 56% off its main target, crude oil revenues accounted for half of Nigeria’s revenues, while non-oil revenues made up the rest in the first 5 months of the year.
On Friday, President Muhammadu Buhari signed the new 2020 revised budget of N10.8 trillion with the crude oil benchmark reduced from $57 per barrels in the earlier budget to $25 in the new budget.
The Minister said the budget had to be revised because of the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on Nigeria’s economy. She added that Nigeria’s crude oil production would be an average of 1.86 million barrels per day next year and rise to 2.09 million the following year.
“Although Nigeria’s total production capacity is 2.5 million barrels per day, current crude production is about 1.4 million barrels per day — in compliance with the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries’ production quota – and an additional 300,000 barrels per day of condensates, totaling about 1.7 million barrels per day,” she said.