A few days ago, Nollywood enthusiasts cheered as Canal+, a French film/TV studio, and distributor, made a move to penetrate the African movie market with its acquisition of ROK, one of the leading film studios and international TV networks in Africa. This is the first of its kind acquisition in Nollywood’s billion-dollar industry.
The brains behind ROK
So far, ROK has been capturing the minds of African movie enthusiasts globally, and Nairametrics found it imperative to profile the brains behind this innovative company. On this week’s Founder’s Profile, we present to you Mary Njoku, a movie entrepreneur whose excellence is top-notch in a male-dominated industry.
Asides being the pillar of ROK, Mary Njoku is a famous Nollywood actress, producer, and TV personality. Her ventures in the entertainment industry have made colleagues and stakeholders label her as one of the richest actors in the country.
She is among the few celebrities in the entertainment industry who have so far struck a laudable balance between their families and businesses. Not many can explore the idea of running a business venture with their spouses. Njoku isn’t just running a business with her husband, Jason Njoku, who is a film magnate but running a successful business that is essential to the Nollywood industry.
Njoku’s early life and education
Mary Njoku was born on March 30, 1985 in Mile 2 Estate, Amuwo Odofin, Lagos State, where she had her primary school education. She attended Amuwo Odofin High School, National College Gbagada, and Navy Town Secondary School, all in Lagos.
In 2010, Mrs. Njoku, who hails from Nsukka, Enugu State, enrolled to study English Language at Lagos State University (LASU). She also attended London Film Academy in the United Kingdom (UK), where she took a course in Producing: ‘Movie Magic Budgeting & Schedule.’
Mary Njoku debuted her acting career in 2004, when she featured in a Nollywood movie ‘Home Sickness’, alongside Chioma Chukwuka Akpotha. She came to the limelight after featuring in a Nollywood blockbuster, ‘Blackberry Babes‘ in 2011.
Between 2011 and 2013, Mrs. Njoku produced iROKtv, a YouTube platform that featured interviews with Nigerian celebrities, as well as coverages of Afrobeats and Nollywood events. In 2015, she became Chief Content Officer at IROKO Partners. In the same year, she held the first world premiere for her film, ‘Thy Will Be Done’ at the BFI IMAX London, the first-ever Nollywood film premiere in IMAX.
[READ ALSO: CANAL+ Group Acquires ROK]
Njoku’s ROK at a glance
In August 2013, Mary Njoku founded ROK Studios. Since the company has been launched, it has produced Nollywood movies and TV series, that include Festac Town, Single Ladies, Body language, Losing Control, Husbands of Lagos, amongst others.
In 2016, the movie entrepreneur launched ROK on Sky, a network airing across the UK at the Nigerian High Commission in the UK.
To meet ROK’s growing demand on DSTV, ROK Studios launched two channels, ROK 2 and ROK 3. While the former delivers content showcasing the origins of Nollywood, the latter showcases a variety of Ghanaian talents and has a music channel feature in addition to the 24hrs movie and series selection.
Her personal life
On August 18, 2012, Njoku married British-born Nigerian entrepreneur, Jason Njoku, in Festac, Lagos. They are blessed with 3 children: Jason Obinna Njoku (July 30, 2013), Nwakaego Annabelle Njoku (August 24, 2015), and Amber Nnenna Njoku (August 4, 2017).
President Buhari charges newly appointed Service Chiefs to secure the country
President Buhari has decorated the newly appointed Service Chiefs at the State House, Abuja.
President Muhammadu Buhari has issued charges to the newly appointed Service Chiefs, ordering them to identify competent officers irrespective of seniority and paper qualifications and work with them to secure Nigeria.
Buhari disclosed this at the State House in Abuja on Friday during the decoration of the Service Chiefs.
“I have charged the new Service Chiefs to keep in mind that the nation is looking to them for rapid relief. They must identify competent officers irrespective of seniority and paper qualifications, and work with them to secure this country,” President Buhari said.
“As I assured at our last security meeting, I have taken responsibility as C-in-C for them to go out into the fields and every part of the country, to ensure peace and security. I have accepted responsibility for all actions taken in fulfillment of the mandate to secure Nigeria,” he added.
— Presidency Nigeria (@NGRPresident) March 5, 2021
What you should know
- Nairametrics reported in January that President Muhammadu Buhari has appointed new Military Service Chiefs, and congratulated the outgoing Service Chiefs for efforts of “enduring peace to the country.”
- The new service chiefs include Major-General Leo Irabor, Chief of Defence Staff, Major-General I. Attahiru, Chief of Army Staff, Rear Admiral A.Z Gambo, Chief of Naval Staff, Air-Vice Marshal I.O Amao, Chief of Air Staff.
- Meanwhile, the Nigerian Senate endorsed the nomination of the past serving Military Service Chiefs as Non-career Ambassadors.
NERC issues order to DisCos on replacement of faulty, obsolete meters
NERC has issued a directive to DisCos on the structured replacement of faulty and obsolete meters for their customers.
The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has issued a directive to the electricity distribution companies (DisCos) on the structured replacement of faulty and obsolete meters for their customers with effect from March 4, 2021.
This is to remove the bottlenecks that had previously impeded the rapid deployment of meters to unmetered customers and the receipt of complaints from metered customers in fourth-quarter 2020, that they had been served meter replacement notices by DisCos when all stakeholders were preparing for the National Mass Metering Programme (NMMP).
The directive from NERC is contained in Order No. NERC/246/2021, Titled, “In the matter of the order on structured replacement of faulty and obsolete end-user customer meter in Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI),” issued on March 4, 2021.
The commission noted that over 7 million customers are currently unmetered as indicated by the customer enumeration data. It also estimates that an additional 3 million meters are currently obsolete and due for replacement.
NERC pointed out that the existence of unmetered customers contributes to the threat affecting the financial viability of the NESI as unmetered customers expressed their displeasure with the estimated billing methodology.
The statement from NERC partly reads, “The Commission notes that over 7 million customers are currently unmetered as indicated by customer enumeration data. It is also estimated that an additional 3 million meters are currently obsolete and due for replacement.
“The existence of a large population of unmetered customers contributed to threats affecting the financial viability of NESI as unmetered end-use customers expressed deep dissatisfaction with the estimated billing methodology.
“The revenue assurance objectives of DisCos have also been challenged by being unable to properly account for the utilisation of electricity by end-use customers”.
Following the review from both the metered and unmetered customers, NERC issued the following order;
- DisCos shall grant priority to the metering of unmetered customers under the National Mass Metering Program.
- DisCos may replace faulty/obsolete meters under the National Mass Metering Program but these replacements must be done in strict compliance with the Metering Code and other regulatory instruments of the Commission.
- DisCos shall inspect meters of metered end-use customers and the replacement notice shall contain the following –
- The date of the inspection
- Name, designation and signature of the officer that inspected the meter.
- The fault identified in the meter.
- The date for the installation of the replacement meter
- The Commission shall be copied on all replacement notices issued to end-use customers for the purpose of conducting random reviews of the replacement
- New meters must be installed upon the removal of the faulty/obsolete meter and under no circumstances shall the customer be placed on estimated billing on account of the DisCo’s failure to install a replacement meter after the removal of the faulty/obsolete meter.
- The customer and DisCo representative shall jointly note the units on the meter being replaced and the customer must be credited with these units within 48 hours after the installation of the meter.
- Customers shall only be billed for loss of revenue where the DisCo establishes meter tampering, by-pass or unauthorised access as contained in NERC Order/REG/ 41/2017 on Unauthorised Access, Meter Tampering and Bypass.
- Activation tokens shall be issued to customers immediately after replacement of the faulty/obsolete meter.
- DisCos shall file monthly returns with the Commission on the replacement of faulty/obsolete meters along with their proposal for the decommissioned meters.
This Order may be cited as the Order on the Structured Replacement of Faulty/Obsolete Meters of End-Use Customers.”
What you should know
- NERC was mandated in the Electricity Power Sector Reform Act to maximize access to electricity services, by promoting and facilitating customer connections to distribution systems in both rural and urban areas and establish appropriate consumer rights and obligations regarding the provision and use of electricity services.
- Meters serve as a revenue assurance tool for NESI service providers and a resource management tool for consumers that receive services with the Meter Asset Provider (MAP) Regulations coming into force on April 3, 2018.
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