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Dr. Felix Ohiwerei: From Boardroom Guru to the Pulpit

It is widely believed that one of the biggest challenges the continent faces is the dearth of leadership.

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Felix Ohiwerei

It is widely believed that one of the biggest challenges the continent faces is the dearth of leadership. However, across the continent and of course in Nigeria, there are some men and women in corporate organizations, government, and other spheres of life, changing the narratives and inspiring others to do the same.

On this week’s edition of founders profile, we take a look at Dr. Felix Ohiwerei, a respected and well-known Nigerian boardroom guru. He is a living legend in the corporate world. That he is a successful businessman is not in doubt and among his peers in the business circle, he is held in high esteem.

Early life and education

Felix Omoikhoje Aizobeoje Ohiwerei hails from Uzebba in Owan Local Government of Edo State. He was born on the 18th of January, 1937. He attended St. David’s School, Avbiosi New Site, and Government Secondary School, Owerri, for his primary and secondary school education respectively. He later proceeded to the Nigerian College of Arts, Science, and Technology Ibadan.

He obtained his B.A. in Geography from the University of Ibadan, formerly University College, Ibadan in 1961.

Professional career

On graduating from the University College Ibadan in June 1961, he worked briefly as a teacher at Remo Secondary School, Sagamu. Ohiwerei later got offers from popular multinationals like Nigerian Breweries (NB) and Nigerian Tobacco Company (NTC). According to Ohiwerei, he settled for NB because he was more comfortable with their products (beer and soft drinks) than those of the NTC which deals majorly in tobacco.

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He joined NB in April 1962 as Manager-In-Training. Initially, members of his family had misgivings about him working at Nigerian Breweries seeing as it produced alcoholic beverages, but his father, a catechist, supported him, noting that the training he had received from home would guide him. These words from his father kept him on the narrow path, as he did not want to let the old man down.

Shortly afterward, he was promoted to the position of Field Sales Manager and in that capacity, he served in the West and Mid-West and returned to Lagos in 1965 as Promotions Manager.

In 1966, he was sent on attachment to Elida Gibbs (a Unilever Company in the UK). He returned to Lagos eighteen months later to assume the position of Star Product Manager. Before becoming Marketing Manager in 1974, Mr. Ohiwerei held the positions of Lager Product Group Manager and General Brands Manager.

Board member of blue-chip companies

He was appointed to the Board of Nigerian Breweries in 1977 as Marketing Director, and in 1982 was seconded to UAC Foods Division as General Manager. In June 1986, he went to UAC International, London (a Unilever Company) as a Senior Manager in Nominated African Territories Regional Management.

Dr. Ohiwerei was appointed Deputy Chairman/Managing Director of Nigerian Breweries Plc in 1987, became Chairman/Managing Director in June 1989 and Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of the company in 1997.

He retired from the service of Nigerian Breweries in June 1999, was appointed Non-Executive Chairman of the company in July 1999 and retired from the Board in December 2007. He also served as Chairman of Fidson Healthcare Limited.

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Of note was the significant improvement in the financials of NB when he was at the helm of affairs. Before he was appointed the Managing Director and Vice Chairman of Nigeria Breweries Plc, the turnover was N207,476 million, and by the time he stepped down as Chairman, the turnover had soared to N111,748 billion – an increase of 54,284. 9%, while the profit after tax grew from N27,567,000 to N18,943,000,000.

He was also Chairman of Unilever Nigeria Plc from January 1998 to December 2007. He was a Director of Shell Closed Pension Fund Administrator Ltd until April 2009.

Dr. Ohiwerei recently stepped down as the Chairman of e-Tranzact Plc in January this year.

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He is also on the boards of several blue-chip companies including Coates Brothers (West Africa) Limited, Jubilee Mortgage Bank Limited, Bankers Warehouse Limited, World Dove Media Plc and Ashford and McGuire Consulting. Currently, he is the Chairman of Asset & Resource Management Holding Company Ltd.

Awards received 

He has an honorary Doctor of Laws Degree (LL.D) from the University of Ibadan.

He is a recipient of the Zik’s Prize in Leadership Award.

The Order of Orange Nassau by the Queen of the Netherlands.

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Officer of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (OFR).

More on his Personal life

Dr. Ohiwerei acknowledges his father as his mentor while growing up, adding that his father’s strong character had a great impact on him.

According to him:

”The very first mentor that I had was my father. He had a very strong character. He was a catechist. He was also a strict disciplinarian and his lifestyle impacted very strongly on me as a child. As much as he understood, he brought us up to fear God. ”

In his career, Dr. Ohiweri mentioned Dr. C.E. Abebe, Dr. Michael Omolayole and Mr. Akintola Williams as his role model.

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According to him,

” All these role models stood out because they were achievers and men of integrity.  Later on in life, I met a man of God, Pastor E.A. Adeboye. His humility, lifestyle and unimpeachable character challenged me. He is my spiritual role model.”

In his biography, “Winning by his Grace”, he described the death of two of his children as the two worst experiences in his life.

”The two hardest knocks I have had in life are the loss of a daughter at 22 and later on, the loss of a son who was in his 30s.”

At 81 years old, the boardroom titan is an Elder and Member of Board of Trustees of the Redeem Christian Church of God. He attributed his success story to hard work, perseverance, and determination to succeed.

Dr. Felix Ohiwerei is happily married with three children.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fikayo has a degree in computer science with economics from Obafemi Awolowo University. ITIL v3 in IT service management. An alumnus of Daystar Leadership Academy. Prior to joining Nairametrics had stinct in Project management, Telecommunications among others. Also training in Consulting and Investment banking from Edubridge Academy. He has very keen interest in Politics, Agri-business, private equity and global economics. He loves travelling and watching football. You can contact him via [email protected]

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Official: Imo State is unemployment capital of Nigeria

According to NBS, 75.1% of the total employable people in Imo State are either underemployed or unemployed.

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Ogun, Imo States give free hand sanitizers

Data from the National Bureau of Statistics reveal Imo State, located in the South-Eastern part of Nigeria has the highest unemployment rate in the country.

In contrast, Anambra State is the state with the least unemployment in the country with 13.1% unemployment rate. The national average for the unemployment rate is 27.1%

Imo State has an unemployment rate of 48.7% as at the second quarter of 2020, by far the highest when compared to any other state in the country.

According to the data, 75.1% of the total employable people in the state are either underemployed or unemployed.

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  • Total number of employable people – 2.48 million
  • Fully employed people – 618, 481
  • Unemployed people in the state – 593. 347
  • Underemployed – 656, 394

Imo State is largely a civil service town and has been unlucky with state governors over the last 20 years. Private sector jobs are hard to come by in the serene state with most industries setting up show in nearby cities like Aba, Port Harcourt, and Onitsha.

The city was once notorious for ritual motivated murders and kidnappings but has since overcome these challenges.

States Unemployment Rates – Q2 2020

Other States

Akwa Ibom State is next on the list with an unemployment rate of 1.14 million people. The state’s underemployed population is about 551k people while the unemployment and underemployment rates combined is 66.9%.

The best: The state with the lowest unemployment rate in Nigeria is Anambra State with 13.1% out of the total working population of 2.25 million people. The state was 37 out of 37 states in the ranking of unemployment by state. About 1.9 million people in Anambra State are either fully employed (1.57 million) or under-employed (384k) in the state.

Lagos State, Nigeria’s commercial capital and where most graduates rush to for jobs currently has an unemployment rate of 19.5% and sits at 27 in the state by state unemployment ladder. The data shows about 6.8 million people make up the labour force population in Lagos State out of which 3.99 million people are fully employed and another 1.5 million people are underemployed. About 870k Lagosians who are employable did absolutely nothing.

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Concentration: In terms of the concentration of unemployed people, Rivers State came first with a whopping 1.7 million people out of jobs in the state. The state as a working population of 3.9 million. Rivers State unemployment rate is 43.7 and ranks third as the worst. 21.7 million Nigerians are unemployed.

Lagos State had the most employed persona with about 3.99 million people out of a total of 35.5 million.

 

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Julius Berger’s rebound contingent on full economic bounce back

Julius Berger’s construction portfolio includes infrastructure, industry, building, and facility services solutions.

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Expatriates

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the economic impact of the measures put in place to slow the spread of it, many industries have experienced slower growth. The construction industry was not left out. According to reports by GlobalData, the construction output growth forecast for Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) has been revised to 2.3%, down from the previous projection of 3.3% (as of mid-April) and 6.0% in the pre-COVID-19 case (Q4 2019 update).

The reason for the contraction was noted by GlobalData to be as a result of the global slowdown and the outbreak of COVID-19 in the region. Other factors responsible include economic headwinds such as inflation, spending cuts, widening fiscal slippages, suspension of certain projects and more that could disrupt the construction sector. This contraction is projected to be 4.3% in South and Southeast Asia while France is expected to shrink by 9.4% in 2020.

Leading Construction Company, Julius Berger, had foreseen the contraction in the industry and commenced efforts to mitigate its impact and cushion the blow. One of such efforts was the reduction in dividend pay-out. After initially announcing a dividend pay-out of N2.75K per 50K share for the financial year ended December 31, 2019 and a bonus of 1 (one) new share for every existing 5 (five) shares held, the company eventually recommended a final cash dividend pay-out of N2.00K per 50k share.

It noted that the Group had “carefully considered the emerging social, operational, financial and economic impact of the COVID 19 pandemic, the outlook for Nigeria for the financial year 2020, and the impact on the business and cash flows of the Group.”

The company’s fears have been confirmed by its recent financials which, among other negatives, showed huge foreign exchange losses of N3.102 billion in the first half of 2020.

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Q2 was the hardest

Julius Berger’s construction portfolio includes infrastructure, industry, building, and facility services solutions. With companies and nations alike revising scheduled capital expenses as a result of the shrinkages in product demand (owing to global quarantine measures), uncertainties around supply logistics as well as supply of materials, the company had gotten hit. Q1 had its own issues, but Q2 birthed a new dimension of challenges for the company.

Revenue was down 33% from N68.9 billion in Q2 2019 to N46.1 billion in 2020. There was also a huge loss in profit after tax of around 200% from a profit of N2.3 billion in Q2 2019 to a loss of N2.3 billion and this can be attributed to lower revenue, and increased losses from the company’s many investments.

Exchange difference on translation of foreign operations for the quarter alone increased by 227% to N1.4 billion in Q2 2020 from N438.5 million in the comparative quarter.

Outlook for the company and for investors

The disruptions the construction industry is currently experiencing is expected to continue for the medium-long term. Reports by Beroe Inc., a procurement intelligence firm, reveal major concerns that companies in the industry will witness profits being hurt and may even incur losses on a number of projects.

Companies having worldwide supply chains could see tier 2 and tier 3 suppliers highly affected by disruptions related to the pandemic. Worse off, it explains that construction materials like “steel, wood, plaster, aluminum, glazed partition systems, cement and cementitious products, paints, HVAC equipment, electrical equipment, and light fixtures from China are expected to be delayed.”

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For the company, cost-cutting has never been more important. While there are a series of strategies it could explore to augment the challenges, its growth right now depends largely on the speed of global economic recovery. This is because both the company’s input needs as well as its output in terms of the recommencement of projects, depends on the speed with which business as usual commences and the amount of time it takes for the industry to find a new balance for its operations.

For investors, however, this presents a long term opportunity. Julius Berger currently trades at N15.05, falling 44.26% just within the last 3 months. The share price is also on the downside of its 52-week range (N14.42 and 22.92) and its price-to-book ratio of 0.6331 shows that the stock is undervalued.

While the company’s EPS is currently low at N2.52, investors who are willing to wait the time could find a gem in the stock particularly with the increased infrastructural needs born out of the population expansion which is taking place in many parts of the world in the years to come.

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List of Dividends announced so far in 2020 (August)

List of Dividends announced so far in 2020 (August)

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Dividends announced on the Nigerian stock exchange

As audited accounts start to trickle in, companies will propose dividend payments to their shareholders as recommended by their respective boards of directors. It is also important to track these announcements to know who is eligible to collect the dividend, when it will be approved and when it will be paid. Dividend payment also affects share prices.

This page will be updated from time to time.

READ ALSO: Updated: Gender Balance, looking at the board composition of top banks on the NSE

Legend

Date Announced – The date the company announced dividends evidenced by a corporate action published on the website of the NSE.

Qualification date – Shareholders who own shares as of this date will receive dividends. If you buy shares and want to receive dividends make sure it is at least three days before this date. Shares get transferred to you on the basis of the T+3 rule (the date you bought plus 3 working days).

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Payment date – This is when the dividend will be paid to you, either via post (dividend warrants) or direct credit to your bank accounts (e-dividend).

Calculate Dividends

Closure of Register – Only shareholders who own shares listed in their register before this date will be paid dividends.

You can also scroll sideways to view the rest of the columns if using a mobile phone.

READ MORE: How to read stock market tables

2020 Dividends from companies quoted on the Nigerian Stock Exchange

CompanyDPSDate AnnouncedBonusClosure of RegisterAGM DatePayment DateQualification date
Northern Nigeria Flour Milss PLCN0.15k13th August 2020Nil25th - 28th August 20208th September 202010th September 202024th August 2020
Honeywell Flour millsN0.04k5th August 2020Nil17th - 23rd September 202030th September 202030th September 202016th September 2020
Presco Plc (Updated)N2.00k3rd June 2020Nil20th - 22nd July 20202nd September 20204th September 202017th July 2020
Cornerstone InsuranceNil4th August 20207 new shares for every 30 existing shares13th -17th August 2020NANA12th August 2020
Flour Mills of NigeriaN1.429th July 2020Nil17th August - 21st August 202010th September14th September 202014th August 2020
MTN Nigeria PlcN3.50k29th July 2020Nil17th August 2020NA24tb August 202014th August 2020
Cutix PLCN0.12K29th July 2020Nil16th - 20th November 202027th November 202030th November 202013th November 2020
C & I Leasing PLCN0.20k30th June 2020Nil14th - 16th July 202023rd July 202031st July 202013th July 2020
McNichols Consolidated Plc (Revised)N0.03k1st April 2020Nil2nd - 6th July 202030th July 20207th August 20201st July 2020
Dangote Sugar Refinery PlcN1.10k8th June 2020Nil22nd June 20209th July 2020within 48hrs after AGM19th June 2020
Jaiz bankN0.03k9th June 2020Nil29th June - 3rd July 202016th July 202016th July 202026th June 2020
UAC of Nigeria Plc (UPDATED)N0.10k20th April 2020Nil19th - 22nd May 202015th July 202016th July 202018th May 2020
Prestige Assurance PlcNil4th June 20202 New shares for every 11 existing shares22nd - 26th June 202030th June 2020N/A19th June 2020
Trans-Nationwide Express PlcN0.03k1st June 2020Nil6th - 10th July 202016th July 202020th July 20203rd July 2020
Nigeria Aviation Handling Company PLCN0.30k28th May 2020Nil1st - 3rd July 202016th July 202016th July 202030th June 2020
Skyway Aviation Handling Co. PlcN0.16k1st June 2020Nil17th - 23rd June 202030th June 202030th June 202016th June 2020
11 PlcN8.2528th May 2020Nil30th Sept - 5th Oct 2020to be announcedto be announced29th Sept 2020
Glaxo SmithKilne Consumer Nig. PlcN0.55k22nd May 2020Nil23rd June - 2nd July 202023rd July 202024th July 202022nd June 2020
Airtel Africa0.0313th May 2020Nil6th July 2020Not applicable24th July 2020NA
Caverton Offshore Support Group PlcN0.20k22nd May 2020Nil16th June 202025th June 202025th June 202015th June 2020
Nigerian Breweries Plc (Revised)N1.51k20th May 2020Nil5th-11th March 202023rd June 202024th June 20204th March 2020
BUA CementN1.75k19th May 2020Nil28th Sept - 2nd Oct 202022nd October 202023rd October 202025th September 2020
NASCON Allied Industries PlcN0.40k13th May 2020Nil15th - 16th July 202027th July 202029th July 202014th July 2020
Total Nigeria PlcN6.7113th May 2020Nil5th - 11th June 2020to be announced24hrs after meeting4th June 2020
Cadbury Nigeria PlcN0.49k13th May 2020Nil25th - 29th May 202024th June 202025th June 202022nd May 2020
May and Baker PlcN0.25k13th May 2020Nil27th - 29th May 20204th June 20208th June 202026th May 2020
NPF Microfinance Bank PlcN0.20k11th May 2020Nil17th - 22nd June 202030th June 202030th June 202016th June 2020
Okomu Oil Palm PlcN2.0023rd April2020Nil19th - 22nd May 202028th May 202029th May 202018th May 2020
Lafarge Africa PlcN127th April 2020Nil4th - 8th May 20203rd June 20203rd June 202030th April 2020
Wema Bank PlcN0.04k23rd April 2020Nil7th - 12th May 202018th May 202018th May 20206th May 2020
Union bank of NigeriaN0.25k13th April 2020Nil27th - 30th April 20206th May 20206th May 202024th April 2020
FBN HoldingsN0.38k6th April 2020Nil21st - 22nd April 202027th April 202028th April 202020th April 2020
Lafarge Africa PlcN1.00k6th April 2020Nil4th - 8th May 202026th May 202026th May 202030th April 2020
Ikeja Hotel PlcN0.023rd April 2020Nil2nd - 8th July 202030th July 20207th August 20201st July 2020
NEM InsuranceN0.15k1st April 2020Nil4th - 8th May 2020to be announcedto be announced30th April 2020
FCMB Group PlcN0.14k31st March 2020Nil15th - 17th April 202028th April 202028th April 202014th April 2020
Beta Glass Nigeria PlcN1.67k30th March 2020Nil15th - 19th June 20202nd July 20203rd July 202011th June 2020
Capital Hotel PlcN0.05k26th March 2020Nil20th - 24th April 202027th May 20203rd June 202017th April 2020
Sterling bank PlcN0.03k26th March 2020Nil5th - 8th May 202020th May 202020th May 20204th May 2020
Boc GasesN0.30k26th March 2020Nil8th - 10th June 202025th June 202026th June 20205th June 2020
Fidelity Bank PlcN0.20k23rd March 2020Nil20th - 24th April 202030th April 202030th April 202017th April 2020
Seplat Petroleum Dev. Company Plc0.0523rd March 2020Nil13th May 202028th May 20204th June 202012th May 2020
Julius Berger Nig. PlcN2.75k13th March 20200.0021st to 3rd June 202018th June 202019th June 202029th May 2020
Nigeria Energy Sector Fund (NESF)N75.0010th March 2020Nil20th March 20206th April 202019th March 2020
Access Bank PlcN0.40k6th March 2020Nil15th April 202030th April 202030th April 202014th April 2020
Nestle Nig PlcN45.00k28th February 2020Nil18th - 22nd May 20202nd June 20202nd July 202015th May 2020
Stanbic IBTC Holdings PlcN2.005th March 2020Nil19th - 26th March 202030th June 202018th June 202018th March 2020
Guaranty Trust Bank PlcN2.50k2nd March 2020Nil19th March 202030th March 202030th March 202018th March 2020
United Bank of AfricaN0.80k2nd March 2020Nil16th - 20th March 202027th March 202027th March 202013th March 2020
Transcorp PlcN0.01k28th February 2020Nil18th - 23rd March 202025th March 202027th March 202017th March 2020
MTN Nigeria PlcN4.97k28th February 2020NilFebruary 16, 19008th May 202019th May 202017th april 2020
Transcorp Hotels PlcN0.07k28th February 2020Nil13th-17th March 202024th March 202026th March 202012th March 2020
United Capital PLCN0.50k18th February 2020Nil9th-13th March 202024th March 202026th March 20206th March 2020
Infinity Trust Mortgage Bank PLCN0.035K30th January 2020Nil9th-13th March 20207th May 202014th May 20206th March 2020
Zenith bank PlcN2.50k21st February 2020Nil10th March 202016th March 202016th March 20209th March 2020
Africa Prudential PlcN0.70k25th february 2020Nil9th-13th March 202023rd March 202023rd March 20206th March 2020
Dangote Cement PlcN16.0025th february 2020Nil26th May 202015th June 202016th June 202025th May 2020
January 1, 1970

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