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Oando executive delegation visits Prime Minister of Sao Tome & Principe, commits to more partnership

The upstream subsidiary of Oando PLC recently paid a courtesy visit to the Prime Minister of Sao Tome and Principe (STP).

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Oando executive delegation visits Prime Minister of Sao Tome & Principe, commits to more partnership

The Chief Operating Officer, Dr. Ainojie Alex Irune and General Manager, Commercial, Akinbambo Ibidapo-Obe, of Oando Energy Resources (OER), the upstream subsidiary of Oando PLC recently paid a courtesy visit to the Prime Minister of Sao Tome and Principe (STP), Jorge Bom Jesus, and the Minister of Infrastructure, Natural Resources and Environment, Osvaldo Abreu.

Oando has been operating in STP since 2005 through its subsidiary Equator Exploration Limited and has built mutually profitable cooperation over the last 14 years.  At the meeting, Dr Irune extended gratitude to Prime Minister Jorge Bom Jesus for the opportunity to discuss further cooperation between STP and Oando as well as exchange views on future development prospects.

During the meeting, Dr Irune reaffirmed Oando’s commitment to support STP in building a sustainable economy through successful exploration and drilling projects, knowledge transfer and social impact investments.

The Prime Minister commended Oando, specifically on their social impact projects including the donation of school buses and ambulances, the building of schools, awarding scholarships to tertiary students in the University of Accounting, Administration and Information Technology, Sao Tome City, construction of road networks and the funding of training for local entrepreneurs amongst others.  He said:

“I recall vividly your company logo on school buses around the city. I worked on some of the projects then as Minister of Education. I thank Oando for being a good corporate citizen to STP.”

[READ ALSO: British firm moves to seize Nigerian oil cargoes, others over $9 billion Court ruling]

Oando Plc

Oando plant

Oando’s projects in Sao Tome and Principe are in line with the company’s commitment to establish a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) with the ultimate goal of making the STP economy more robust and in turn, improve the lives of its citizens.  The successful relationship between the country and company reinforces PPP as one of the most viable instruments in moving the continent forward. What’s more, Oando’s commitment to PPP is evident not only in its operations in STP but also in Nigeria.

Dr Irune emphasized the need for African countries to diversify their economies in order to have a more sustainable economy. He said:

“Nigeria is a mono-product economy and this hasn’t been advantageous to the economy. Hence our actions to date in supporting STP as we also do in Nigeria, through a diverse range of commercial and community activities, to boost other areas of the economy.”

The amiable partnership between Oando and STP serves as an exemplary model of PPPs seamlessly working to serve the public’s interests by spurring capacity-building efforts locally, creating a sound environment for the vital build-up of infrastructure and supporting the country in building a sustainable local content model.

Referring to Oando’s social impact projects in STP, specifically the donation of ambulances Dr Irune said, “You can educate people but if they are not healthy, they can’t meaningfully contribute to the economy.” He further commented on one of the reasons the company is invested in funding and supporting education across Africa. He said:

“In Nigeria, approximately 60% of our population is below the age of 35. It is, therefore, crucial to invest meaningfully to this sector of the population through good education. The future is digital, but if we fail to prepare and are therefore unready, we as Africans will experience another wave of colonization. The onus is on us as Africans to continually work together to develop solutions to our unique challenges.”

The Minister of Infrastructure, Natural Resources and Environment, Osvaldo Abreu commended Oando on its efforts in the country to date saying “Small things make big difference.”  He further requested for more support in the area of the environment and Oando increasing its efforts in Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) Blocks 5 and 12 to hit first oil in the very near future.

[READ ALSO: If this doesn’t encourage you to start investing today, nothing ever will!]

Speaking on the prospects of oil in the country, the Prime Minister said: ‘The oil sector is still our hope and our desire is that we can start to see and reap the benefits in the near future.”

Oando’s operations in STP began in 2005 through its subsidiary Equator Exploration Limited.  In a joint venture with Petroleum Geo-Services ASA (ÔPGSÕ), Equator partly funded the acquisition in 2001 and 2005 of 10,000 kilometres of 2D seismic data within the Exclusive Economic Zone (ÔEEZÕ) of STP. In return for the risk taken in investing in the seismic acquisition programme, the joint venture gained the right to acquire a 100% interest in two blocks of its choice – EEZ Blocks 5 and 12. Subsequently, Equator bought out ÔPGSÕ to gain rights wholly for itself for Blocks 5 and 12.

The Production Sharing Contract (PSC) for Block 5 was signed with the National Petroleum Agency on 18 April 2012 triggering the payment of a signature bonus of US$ 2 million, the provision of a performance guarantee for US$ 5.2 million and commitment to a four-year work programme of seismic acquisition and studies. From 2005 to date, Oando’s community development activities in STP have been embedded in its PSC agreement with the country. As a country virgin to the oil and gas sector, Oando is actively working to ensure STP gets it right the first time by applying the lessons learnt from being a leading indigenous oil company operating in Africa’s largest oil-producing country.

In his closing remarks to the Oando delegation, the Prime Minister of STP said, “I appreciate your willingness to help, and I hope that we can continue to partner on initiatives that will move the country and continent forward.”

[READ ALSO: Nigeria’s foreign reserves to increase by $150 billion in 10 years – FG ]

 

 

 

 

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CHI Limited celebrates its maiden Hollandia Dairy Day

The Hollandia Dairy Day Conference is a public interest initiative created to highlight the importance of dairy in everyday nutrition and healthy living in Nigeria.

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Nigeria’s leading dairy brand, Hollandia, is set to hold the maiden edition of its Hollandia Dairy Day. The event which will be celebrated on the 18th of May 2021 will provide a veritable platform to drive national discourse on the unrivaled health and nutrition benefits of dairy consumption to people of all ages.

Set to be hosted as a conference, the theme of this year’s event is “Dairy Nourishment to Support Healthy Living”, and it focuses on the vital role dairy consumption plays in our everyday nourishment, its benefit to our overall health, and why dairy products should be included in our diets every day.

This conference, which is designed as a hybrid of physical and virtual event, will feature presentations, interviews and panel discussions from health experts and nutritionists as they provide insights and share perspectives to guide informed decisions about dairy consumption as part of a daily balanced diet. The event is opened to the public through the brand’s multiple social media platforms.

According to a report by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 2019, Nigeria has low dairy consumption levels per head – 15 to 20 liters’ per capita consumption. This is partly attributable to low purchasing power of the average Nigerian household, who rank milk and dairy products as non-essential luxuries and prioritize other staple foods such as rice, beans, and yam.

By provoking the conversations and stimulating public action/intervention, Hollandia aims to drive consciousness for dairy consumption and its importance to achieving optimum health, and to get many more Nigerians drinking, using, and consuming dairy products.

The past year has presented unprecedented shocks and disruptions, including a global COVID-19 pandemic. As communities throughout the world look for ways to minimize the risk of COVID-19, maintaining and boosting good health is top of mind for many. Dairy foods such as milk and yogurt contain essential nutrients, including Vitamins A and D, Zinc and Protein, which support immune function.

The Hollandia Dairy Day Conference is a public interest initiative created to highlight the importance of dairy in everyday nutrition and healthy living in Nigeria.

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Mastercard New Payments Index: Consumer appetite for digital payments takes off in Nigeria

78% of consumers in Nigeria say digital payments methods help them save money.

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  • 96% of consumers in Nigeria are considering emerging payments such as wearables, biometrics, digital wallets and currencies, and QR code, in addition to Contactless, according to the Mastercard New Payments Index
  • 86% of Nigerian consumers have access to more ways to pay compared to this time last year
  • 78% of consumers in Nigeria say digital payments methods help them save money
  • 81% say they are more loyal to retailers who offer multiple payment options and would shop at small businesses if offered more diverse ways to pay

As the world went into pandemic lockdown in 2020, consumers shifted their spending habits to embrace contactless tap-and-go payments and online shopping. As stores closed and social distancing took hold, retailers worldwide moved their businesses online, embraced e-commerce and explored the potential of new ways to pay. More than a year later, research from Mastercard shows that the adoption of new payment technologies is rising, and consumer appetite for new, fast and flexible digital experiences continues to grow.

The Mastercard New Payments Index shows 96% of Nigerian consumers will consider using at least one emerging payment method, such as cryptocurrency, biometrics, contactless, or QR code, in the next year.

Over two-thirds of respondents (66%) agree they have tried a new payment method they would not have tried under normal circumstances, but the pandemic has galvanized people to try flexible new payment options to get what they want, when they want it. With this interest and consumer demand also comes a greater expectation for businesses to provide multiple ways to shop and pay. In fact, 81% of Nigerian consumers say they are more excited about shopping at retailers who offer the latest payment methods.  Additionally, (78%) Nigerian consumers say that digital payment methods help them save money.

“The pandemic made us think differently, partly out of necessity,” said Craig Vosburg, Chief Product Officer at Mastercard. “To deliver the choice and flexibility that consumers need – and increasingly expect –retailers worldwide need to offer a range of payment solutions that are easy to access and always on.  As we look ahead, we need to continue to enable all choices, both in-store and online, to shape the fabric of commerce and make the digital economy work for everyone.”

Contactless technology was the digital catalyst to explore new payment options because of its fast, secure, and touch-free experience. Between the first quarter of 2020 and the same period in 2021, more than 100 markets saw contactless as a share of total in-person transactions grow by at least 50 percent.  A year into the COVID-19 pandemic, contactless is showing its staying power and dynamism – in the first quarter of 2021 alone, Mastercard saw 1 billion more contactless transactions worldwide as compared to the same period of 2020. All signs point to a continued growth path for contactless, with nearly 7 in 10 consumers globally anticipating using a contactless card this year.

“The world as we now know it has changed dramatically since the outbreak of the pandemic, accelerating long-term shifts in consumer transaction and payment methods. We continue to work with our merchants, fintechs and banking partners to rapidly innovate payment options that meet consumer needs while ensuring we drive financial and digital inclusion,” said Raghav Prasad, Division President, Mastercard, Sub-Saharan Africa.

Looking to the future, digital currencies and wallets, wearables, biometrics, contactless and QR codes are trending as emerging payments technologies as people’s comfort with them and understanding of them increases and the use of cash decreases. In fact, 86% of consumers in Nigeria have more ways to pay compared to this time last year. The exploding interest in new payment technologies may encourage businesses to expand their options at checkout. The Mastercard New Payment Index found:

  • Cryptocurrency1 Gains Ground – Today consumers can buy, sell, and trade cryptocurrency as a commodity or investment. Consumers are also increasingly showing interest in being able to spend crypto assets for everyday purchases. As global interest in digital currencies continues to accelerate, 6 in 10 people (65%) in Nigeria say they plan to use cryptocurrency in the next year, with 76% noting they are more open to using it than they were a year ago. While consumer interest in cryptocurrency – especially floating digital currencies such as Bitcoin – is high, work is still required to ensure consumer choice, protection, and their regulatory compliance. Earlier this year, Mastercard announced that it will start supporting select cryptocurrencies directly on its network.
  • Biometric Payments are More Trustworthy – Perceptions of safety and convenience have been front and center for people over the past year. 49% of Nigerian consumers say they plan to use biometric verification methods like gait or walk assessments and fingerprint authorization. In fact, over 6 out of 10 people (66%) feel safer using biometrics to verify a purchase than entering a pin.
  • QR Codes are Cleaner and More Convenient – Growing markets are leveraging QR-based options as a clean and convenient way to interact with merchants. Consumer desire for clean and convenient ways to pay will remain post-pandemic. 54% of people in Nigeria expect to use more payment technologies like QR codes in the next year. Consumers also find that that QR codes are cleaner (75%) and more convenient (77%) for in-person payments and have a significant potential to reduce cost of payment acceptance and increase financial
  • Digital Wallets Surge in Popularity – Nigeria is seeing a surge in the popularity of digital wallets. 73% of Nigerian consumers said they were likely to use digital wallets next year. 66% of shoppers even say that they feel safer storing their card information in one place such as a digital wallet.

To Meet People’s Demands, Businesses Forced to Jump into Emerging Payment Trends

With consumer interest around new payment technologies, the expectation for businesses to adapt for the long-term is here to stay. Over three in four Nigerian consumers (84%) say that they would shop at small businesses, if they offered more payment options, and 81% noted being more excited to shop at retailers that can offer the latest payment methods, and an equal proportion (81%) said they would be more loyal to retailers who offered multiple payment options.

This behaviour shift is reinforced by the desire for consumer choice – with 89% saying that they expect to make purchases when they want and how they want. The businesses that can provide multiple ways to shop and pay are best positioned to meet these expectations. As the demand for emerging payments and choice continues, it requires a wider range of payment solutions, insights, and products to meet the accelerating enthusiasm for the future state of pay.

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