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Failed Visionscape Bond received 4 FMDQ awards last year

Since news broke about the N4.85bn Municipality Waste Management Contractors Limited Bond, many have wondered how the bond was brought into the market.

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Visionscape Municipality Bond Default: An indictment on credit rating agencies?

Since news broke about the default of the terms of a N4.85bn (15.75% Series 1, Tranche B Secured Rate Medium Term Note due in 2022) issued by Municipality Waste Management Contractors Limited (MWMCL), many keen capital market players have wondered how this ‘orphaned’ bond was brought into the market in the first place.

Visionscape, FMDQ relationship

Who packaged this offer?

All pundits have yet to answer the question around who packaged the Offer, with a nominal face value of N1, 000 per unit, that opened on February 26, 2018, and closed on February 28, 2018, to investors.  The Issue price was 100% of par value and promised a coupon of 15.75% or N157.50 per unit.

FMDQ Backing

However, Nairametrics investigations indicate that FMDQ, and OTC Exchange, one of Nigeria’s latest entrants into the capital market may have also provided some backing for the defaulting bond. It will be recalled that Visionscape, the promoter of the bond was honoured with the FMDQ Debt Capital Market (DCM) Awards which was organized by the FMDQ OTC Securities Exchange, for this bond. At the award event, they received four awards for Innovation & Sustainability, Regulation & Compliance, Debts Products Listed & Quoted on FMDQ and Listings & Quotations Stakeholder.

Elated John

It was an elated John Irvine, Visionscape Africa, CEO that said “We are honored to be recognized by the management & Board of The FMDQ OTC Securities Exchange. Visionscape and its partners aim to be at the forefront of this historical project in Lagos, Nigeria and are proud to be part of the team bringing it to fruition. We will continuously strive to be the industry’s benchmark for social impact investments,”

Who should be blamed

The question that continue to plaque this transaction is who really should be blamed?

The apex capital market regulator, the Securities and Exchange Commission has issued a rebuttal. Part of the statement read “The Bond under reference was issued by Municipality Waste Management Contractors Limited, a private company promoted by Visionscape Sanitations Solutions Limited – under a N50Billion Medium Term Note Programme. But why did SEC not even query FMDQ on this transaction remain to be seen!

Culpable rating agency?

Other analysts have blamed the credit rating agencies of Agusto & Co  and GCR who awarded the Note an ‘A+’ Rating and an ‘A’ Rating respectively. Some other stakeholders have tackled the Lagos State Government that backed Offer by an Irrevocable Standing Payment Order (ISPO) of the Lagos State Government charged against the states Internally Generated revenue (IGR). Their grouse was that the government should come through with the payment irrespective of its internal dynamics or wranglings.

As usual, the investors are left to hold the short end of the stick in this transaction and Visionscape response has done nothing to ameliorate the situation.

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    Business

    The five-ingredient of a successful startup pitch

    Every great pitch has these 5 ingredients to help you maximize your chances when fundraising for your startup.

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    Startups typically prepare a pitch deck to present to potential investors for funding. A pitch deck is a brief presentation that provides investors with an overview of your business. It typically focuses on showcasing your product and business model. An excellent pitch is highly essential to the success of a startup seeking funding from investors.

    According to Romeen Sheeth, an angel investor who heard 200 companies pitch and invested over $1million last year, every great pitch has these 5 ingredients to help you maximize your chances when fundraising.

    • Problem:  Is this an issue?
    • Solution:  Do you have the fix?
    • Market:   Is this a big enough issue?
    • Business: Can you make money
    • Team:  Do you have the human resources to do it?

    The best pitches nail all 5. Good ones hit 4. Subpar hit 3 or less.

    Problem

    The problem statement is an explanation of why a set of circumstances is painful for a set of users. There’s one word in that sentence that is most important: painful. If your problem is not painful enough, it’s a vitamin. The best startups are pain killers.

    Solution

    The solution statement is an explanation of how you address the pain felt by your users. If you don’t have the right solution, you won’t get customer traction. Customers don’t buy your thesis on the pain point. They buy the actual thing that solves their pain point.

    Market

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    In tech, only businesses that have outsized potential get funded. To have outsized potential, you have to either be in a: (a) small, but rapidly growing market or (b) large existing market that can be resegmented. If not, the business is not venture backable.

    Business

    The business model defines how you print cash. What is the key insight you’ve figured out that other people haven’t? You don’t need to reinvent the wheel on everything to be a compelling business. Just explain the secret sauce that helps you capture the value.

    Team

    Everything else is academic if you can’t execute. Ultimately the investor is betting on your team’s ability to bring out the reality in the insights around the problem, solution, market, and business. Communicate why you are the best in the world to build the business.

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    Once you feel good about these 5, think through the connection points. Every topic that comes up in the conversation will be a function of a connection point. For example:

    • Problem-Market = Industry Dynamics
    • Solution-Market = Competition
    • Market-Business = Unit Economics

    Bottom line

    When you pitch, always keep it simple. Understand the 5 core ingredients, think through how they relate to one another, communicate with clarity, and don’t assume investors understand your business.

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    Business

    FG explains why Lagos-Ibadan rail line was not linked to the sea

    The government in its explanation said that the delay was due to disruption by trucks going in and out of the port complex.

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    FG needs $656 million to complete Lagos-Ibadan railway project – Amaechi, Nigeria loses N150 billion annually to shipping tariffs, Ibadan to Kano rail construction

    The Federal Government has stated why the China Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC) Nigeria Limited could not link the final part of the Lagos-Ibadan rail line to the sea.

    The government in its explanation said that it was due to disruption by trucks going in and out of the port complex.

    According to a press statement signed by the Director, Press and Public Relations of the Federal Ministry of Transportation, Eric Ojiekwe, this disclosure was made by the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, while on a routine tour of the Lagos-Ibadan rail line project on Saturday, April 10, 2021.

    The Minister pointed out that the original blueprint for the Lagos-Ibadan rail line project was not adhered to by CCECC Nigeria Limited and TEAM consortium and therefore warned that the master plan of the soon to commence Ibadan-Kano rail line project should not be changed.

    The statement from the ministry partly reads, “The Nigerian Government has restated its commitment to connect the whole country by rail with the soon to commence Ibadan-Kano Standard Gauge Rail project.”

    Amaechi forewarned that the master plan of the soon to commence project should not be changed as the original blueprint for the Lagos-Ibadan wasn’t adhered to by Messrs CCECC Nigeria and TEAM consortium. The Minister who rode the train from Ebute-Meta to the 8.72 km Apapa Port Spur line, informed the media that the inability of Messrs CCECC Nigeria to link the final part of the rail line down to the sea is rather due to disruption by trucks going in and out of the port complex.’’

    The Minister had noted that the Federal Government has paid its share of the counterpart funding of the Ibadan-Kano rail line project and is waiting for China-Exim bank to ratify its side of the agreement for the project to commence.

    He also advised the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) to acquire more land around the train stations and the rail tracks for future development adding that this will be near impossible to do in the future as whatever space available now would have been taken over by businesses attracted to the rail line.

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    In case you missed it

    It can be recalled that full commercial train services commenced on the Lagos-Ibadan rail line after train operations commenced on December 7, 2020, with only Lagos, Ibadan and Abeokuta residents enjoying the train services.

    This is because other minor and major stations along that route were yet to be completed.

     

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