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Companies

OPay’s Country Manager reacts to ORide’s role in Gokada’s temporary shutdown

The Country Manager of OPay, Iniabasi Akpan, has finally reacted to the role ORide played in the temporary shutdown of Gokada’s operation.

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Opay, OPay's Country Manager reacts to ORide’s role in Gokada’s temporary shutdown

The Country Manager for OPay in Nigeria, Iniabasi Akpan, has finally reacted to the role ORide played in the temporary shutdown of Gokada‘s (its ride-hailing rival) operation in August 2019. Although the shutdown lasted for two weeks, ORide was identified as one of the reasons it happened.

ORide and Gokada have been involved in the gradual transformation of Nigeria’s public transportation through ride-hailing services. Though ORide is the most recent entrant into the ride-hailing market, the competition they provide has not only affected traditional operators of motorcycle business (Okada riders) but also the bike-hailing rivals who have not been spared by its onslaught.

[READ MORE: OPay’s Country Manager reveals banks that will fizzle out to MTN, other Fintechs]

Should Gokada and Max.ng be afraid of ORide?, OPay reacts to office shutdown, N25 million license fee 

In pursuit of better opportunities

Nairametrics had reported how Gokada lost some of its top staff members to ORide. Four staff, including co-founder and COO of Gokada, left the company for ORide. While Gokada said the poaching was nothing significant, Akpan told Nairametrics the company wouldn’t stop any staff of rivals seeking better opportunities in ORide.

“If you are in a market, people always seek better opportunities, so we can’t say people are engaging us and we turn them back, obviously not.

“If there are opportunities or openings and people who work for the competitors want to work for us, I mean that’s not erm (bad). You expect that kind of thing in a competitive market.”

He added that, “In the banking industry, it happens quite often. People move from banks to banks to move up the ladder, it’s been there. It’s a global practice. When people want to advance their career, they look for opportunities in new places, in places where they think the vision is right and know where they are going.”

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Akpan talks of new strategy

Akpan said Gokada’s intention was to remain operational in Lagos rather than expand its market base to other States in Nigeria. His statement came after Gokada informed Nairametrics it was not in a rush to conquer new grounds like its competitors but would rather offer better bike-hailing service.

According to Akpan, ORide is expanding aggressively with no time to be distracted by competitors. He said if ORide had paid attention to its rivals, it would not have expanded beyond Lagos.

“We focus on our business as much as possible, you don’t want to be distracted. When you look around too much, you get distracted.

“So, we focus on the goal which is to grow our business, expand our business, and we are doing that aggressively. So within May and now, we have eight cities. So if we are looking at our competitors, we would still be in Lagos. While the competition is still in Lagos, we’ve gone beyond Lagos.

“If we are driving financial inclusion, then we can’t be looking at (just) Lagos because more and more, the people who need the service are the guys (people) who are excluded. They need to have access to smartphones, (e)-wallet, to things that will give them access to financial services and enabling environment to improve the quality of their lives.

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“So that’s why for us, beyond Lagos is very important. So while the competitors are still there trying to do stuff in Lagos, we’ve gone beyond Lagos.”

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ORide is currently operating in Kano, Aba, Abeokuta, Akure, Ilorin, Asaba and Uyo four months after establishment. The company also plans to expand into Kaduna as it sees the Nasir El-rufai-led State as revenue potential but other bike-hailing companies, Max.ng and Gokada operate only in Lagos State.

Gokada, OPay's Country Manager reacts to ORide’s role in Gokada’s temporary shutdown

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Challenges since establishment in June

While ORide has enjoyed acceptance and recorded growth in its number of trips which Akpan projected at six figures, the company has not been immune to challenges since starting operation in June 2019.

“Lot and lot of challenges. You know there are vested interest in some of these things.

“Almost every sector has vested interest, Unions are there, regulators are there. And I think that generally also if you look at the infrastructure that we also have, I mean sometimes the services just don’t work; you make calls, the call doesn’t go through.

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“These are all basic challenges that we face, but we are responding to almost every one of them. Making sure that the technology is efficient and has the right customer support, engage the regulators…. We just have the right structure to tackle every one of them. We have a great team. We have different people engaging different stakeholders to make sure we overcome or surmount these challenges.”

[READ ALSO: OPay reacts to office shutdown, N25 million license fee]

ORide is not profitable yet

Despite its growth within the short space of four months, ORide isn’t profitable. However, the profit issue is not particular to ORide as the ride-hailing market is generally not profitable to the players – be it car-hailing or bike-hailing companies.

While responding to the revenue generation of ORide, Akpan told Nairametrics that the company was not focused on its profitability yet, saying its main target was to increase locations and trips.

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“Are we measuring revenue? Maybe not necessarily at this point. Revenue is secondary not a priority. Basically, what we look at is expanding the number of locations and also increase the number of trips. 

“Those are top priorities for us. If we are looking at revenue or looking at income, it’s not a profitable business for now, so profitability is not a major driver at this point. And it’s not as if we are a charity organisation, somewhere down the line, obviously, we would have to make returns to our shareholders, we have that in mind.

 “The very first thing is making sure people have access to quality service, the experience is different, get them to adopt the new technology that is available, and obviously, once they see the benefits, they begin to use it more and more. And down the line, longterm it pays off. That’s traditionally how most Fintechs work at this stage, but it’s a long road.”

Olalekan is a certified media practitioner from the Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ). In the era of media convergence, Olalekan is a valuable asset, with ability to curate and broadcast news. His zeal to write was developed out of passion to shape people’s thought and opinion; serving as a guideline for their daily lives. Contact for tips: [email protected]

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Companies

Africa Prudential proposes dividend of N1 billion for shareholders

Africa Prudential Plc has proposed a sum of N1 billion as dividend for shareholders.

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African Prudential could be worth more than N4.55

The Board of Directors of Africa Prudential Plc has proposed a sum of N1 billion as dividend to shareholders for the period ended 31st of December 2020.

This is according to a disclosure signed by the firm’s secretary, Joseph Jibunoh and sent to the Nigerian Stock Exchange, as seen by Nairametrics.

According to the notification, the proposed dividend will be paid electronically to qualified shareholders on the 26th of March, 2021, subject to appropriate withholding tax and approval from the company’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) scheduled a day earlier.

The breakdown of the proposed dividend shows that a sum of 50 kobo will be paid for each outstanding 2,000,000,000 ordinary shares of the company, held by its shareholders, totalling N1 billion. The proposed dividend is 28.6% lower than the 2019 figures of N1.4 billion.

The comparative decline in the company’s proposed dividend for the year might be attributed to a recent dip in profit and other key metrics recorded by the firm in its latest audited financial statement for 2020. For example, the firm posted a profit of N1.45 billion for the year, indicating a decline of 13.98% YoY. In addition, its earnings per share declined by 14.29% to print at 72 kobo.

What you should know

  • Africa Prudential had recently announced the appointment of Mrs Zubaida Rasheed as Director.
  • Africa Prudential Plc, formerly known as UBA Registrars Ltd, was incorporated as a private limited liability company on 23rd March 2006. It was listed in the NSE on 17th of January, 2013.

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Companies

Dangote Sugar proposes N18.2 billion as final dividend for 2020

Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc has proposed a sum of N18.2 billion as the final dividend for shareholders.

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Dangote Sugar proposes N18.2 billion as final dividend for 2020

The Board of Directors of Nigeria, Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc has proposed a sum of N18.2 billion as the final dividend for shareholders for the period ended 31st December 2020.

This announcement was contained in the audited financial statement of the leading integrated sugar company.

In line with the statement of the Board of DSR, the approval of this proposed dividend at the forthcoming Annual General Meeting will see Dangote Sugar pay out a final dividend of N1.50 for each of the outstanding 12,146,878,241 ordinary shares of the company, held by its shareholders.

The proposed dividend is 36.36% higher than the final dividend of N1.1 per share (N13.36 billion) the sugar company paid its shareholders in 2019.

What you should know

  • Dangote Sugar Refinery declared in its audited statement for the period ended 31st December 2020 that its profit for the year climbed to N29.8 billion, from N22.4 billion in 2019.
  • According to these figures, DSR’s earnings per share for 2020 are pegged at N2.45. Hence, with a dividend of N1.50 per share, Dangote Sugar is set to payout 61.2% of its profits for 2020.
  • At the close of trading activities on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange today, shares in Dangote Sugar Refinery declined by 0.83% to close lower at N17.85.
  • At this price, the dividend yield of Dangote Sugar shares is 8.40%.

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