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Why the court ruled against Ecobank in the N3.5 billion case with Honeywell 

A Federal High Court in Lagos has ruled that Honeywell Group Plc’s payment of N3.5 billion between 2013 and 2014 constitutes the full and final settlement of its indebtedness to Ecobank Nigeria Limited.

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Ecobank, Ayo Adepoju's appointment, Ecobank Transnational Inc. records 24% increase in Profit After Tax for Q4 2020.

A Federal High Court in Lagos has ruled that Honeywell Group Plc‘s payment of N3.5 billion between 2013 and 2014 constitutes the full and final settlement of its indebtedness to Ecobank Nigeria Limited.

Reason for the Ruling: While making his ruling, Justice Olayinka Faji noted that a valid agreement was reached at various meetings between representatives of Honeywell and Ecobank. It was based on the outcome of the meetings that Honeywell made the final payments to the bank.

The Justice went further to stress that while Honeywell held on to its end of the bargain,  the same cannot be said for Ecobank who, rather than keep to the terms of the agreement, sought to introduce new terms.

According to a press statement obtained by Nairametrics, the bank did not raise any objections all through the time Honeywell made repaid the debts in installments.  The additional amount that was later claimed by the bank was not at any point mentioned in the course of the meetings and a series of correspondence between the companies.

The Backstory: The protracted lawsuit was instituted by Anchorage Leisures Ltd, Honeywell Flour Mills Plc, and Siloam Global Limited (all members of the Honeywell Group), in August 2015. The aim was to determine whether or not the companies still owed Ecobank following the payment of the sum of N3.5 billion as the full and final settlement of their obligations to the bank. Note that this payment was based on a mutual agreement between the companies.

Apparently, the agreement required Honeywell and its subsidiaries to pay the bank the sum of N3.5 billion; albeit in installments. According to Honeywell’s Head of Treasury and Finance, Oluwakemi Owasanoye, the company complied with the agreement. However, after completing the payment, Ecobank proceeded to demand for further payments in respect of the debt which had been fully liquidated for over a year.

Ecobank’s Position: While being cross-examined prior to Justice Faji’s ruling in favour of Honeywell, Ecobank’s Head of Corporate Communications, Mr Elemi Agbor, was supposedly unable to substantiate Ecobank’s claim/demand.

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Famuyiwa Damilare is a trained journalist. He holds a Higher National Diploma (HND) in Mass Communication at the prestigious Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ).Damilare is an innovative and transformational leader with broad-based expertise in journalism and media practice at large. He has explored his proven ability in the areas of reporting, curating and generating contents, creatively establishing social media engagements, and mobile editing of videos. It is safe to say he’s a multimedia journalist.

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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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