Folorunso Muyiwa is the Chief Executive Officer of Divergent Enterprise, the parent company of Porkmoney. In this interview, he outlined the opportunities and importance of investing in the non-oil sectors for economic growth. Excerpts:
What did you set out to achieve when you established pig business?
Porkmoney was birthed in 2018 with an objective to create wealth for our financial partners through pig farming.
Federal Government maintains its determination to diversify the economy. Do you think that is achievable?
It is definitely achievable. The diversification of the economy is probably the only option left for development and growth. This is because the economy continues to be over-reliant on oil, the numbers speak for themselves. Oil accounts for 80% of government’s revenue and 90% of foreign exchange earnings. No country can totally depend on only one economic sector, especially one that is blessed with a lot of natural resources like Nigeria.
I believe that there are great opportunities for non-oil sectors to grow and this growth has been visible since 2001. Of course, the changes cannot be that quick and the transformation will not happen overnight. However, the federal government can develop different sectors by taking the important steps necessary for growth to take place. We can no longer be a mono-economic country.
What would you consider as the most limiting factor to entrepreneurship, especially for youths?
Lack of capital has to be one of them. Aside from the fact that the Nigerian environment is not too conducive and encouraging for budding entrepreneurs, raising capital and access to funds, has to be one of the biggest challenges for youth in business. Another is the unfavourable tax policies, poor management, corruption, lack of training and experience, poor infrastructure, and a lack of specialised skills to scale one’s enterprise, none of which is insurmountable for the determined person.
How would you rate Nigeria’s scale of Small Medium Enterprises, compared to Malaysia and other countries?
The SME sector is the backbone of major developed economies, as well as important contributors to employment, economic and export growth. Malaysia is doing remarkably well when it comes to the business scene. About 98.5% of Business establishments In Malaysia are SME’s which contributes to 36.5% of their GDP and 65% of the country’s employment. This is impressive. But despite the significant contribution of SMEs to the Nigerian economy(48%), challenges still persist that hinder the growth and development of the sector. Some of the overriding issues are access to funding, lack of skilled manpower, the multiplicity of taxes, high cost of doing business, among others. This proves that there is still much to be done.
What challenges did you encounter?
Every business comes with a few challenges. One of the challenges we constantly face is the need to micro-manage casual workers. From farm handlers, managers, production managers to other workers. Many of them compromise on set standards by cutting corners, especially in meat processing and livestock welfare. Another challenge is the religious sentiments in this part of the world towards pigs and pork products. However, this was a more pronounced problem at inception and it is gradually dissipating with time.
Knowing the religious sensibilities of the country, did aversion to pork cross your mind?
Not at all. In as much as there’s a religious proscription to the consumption of pork, we cannot ignore its usefulness and benefits to our health and nourishment and just how lucrative the pig farming industry is. I mean, Nigeria is a major consumer of pork and 80% of it is imported. This means that a lot of people enjoy this animal protein, all we are doing is localising its production.
Could that explain why you ventured into pig farming?
The idea for Porkmoney grew out of the desire to tap into an over neglected sector of livestock farming (Pigs) that has the potential to create value and change the agricultural ecosystem for good. Long ago before Porkmoney was launched in 2018, I had visited a pig farm in Ogun State. One of the biggest in the country and realised how fast the pigs grew and the viability of the pig farming system in general. I knew this was something I needed to be a part of and I’m glad for the decision that I made. We are currently the leading Pig farming enterprise in West Africa and our results speak for itself.
Did you derive the idea of establishing PorkMoney from that enterprise?
My visit to that farm was definitely a turning point for me. Before then, I was oblivious of the untapped goldmine that is pig farming.
Vaccines and disease surveillance have always been the bane of animal husbandry, how do you react to that observation?
Livestock is very prone to diseases, hence the need to constantly take precautionary measures such as the administration of vaccines and disease surveillance activities across the farm to prevent disease outbreaks. Very recently China witnessed it’s the biggest animal disease that claimed the lives of the livestock and cost the country to lose billions of dollars because of its flawed surveillance.
So, it’s important for other pork producing countries to take adequate disease surveillance and testing programs in order for these diseases could be detected early enough and prevent a fast spread. And so far our farm partners under our management have taken adequate measures that have seen us not witness any outbreak since our launch in 2018, we expect that with our measures this would continue to be the case.
Is it possible to alter negative public perceptions about pig farming?
Yes, one of our key responsibilities is to enlighten and educate the general public about the great side to pig farming and inform them of the many benefits of pork consumption. Somehow our environment and the kind of information we were exposed to as a people, have influenced our idea of certain things. There are a lot of things we might need to unlearn as time goes on. So by using all our platforms, from our social media, our website and even our adverts, we have ensured that we always show the good side to pig farming because they’re a lot.
Did you think about the possible health challenges in pork breeding?
Of course, we do. However, we ensure that we take the appropriate steps to mitigate any possibility. We also take proper hygienic measures like vaccination, quarantine, and biosecurity which keeps our weaners very healthy.
Are you saying there are no associated diseases?
Livestock farming comes with a risk of an outburst of diseases but if managed properly, can be prevented. And the great thing about pigs is just how resilient they are as compared to any other livestock for farming. They are simply incredibly disease resilient.
As an entrepreneur, how did you overcome initial apprehensions, especially funding, and what areas have you exerted your ideas so far?
When i was starting out in business, I had no capital, training or resources to start my journey. The brilliant ideas were there, all that was needed to execute them was finance. This was lacking but I had to start small and grow multiple businesses over the years till I was able to afford the capital needed to start my current pursuit.
Due to recent events, is Remitano P2P the remedy for Nigerians to buy Bitcoin in Nigeria?
Remitano P2P crypto exchange is an escrowed marketplace where crypto buyers meet crypto sellers.
It’s no longer news that the Central Bank of Nigeria popularly called CBN has placed a ban on cryptocurrency in Nigeria. With this ban in place, it is no more possible for Nigerians to buy Bitcoin from their usual exchanges with their debit cards or directly from their Nigerian bank accounts. What’s worse is that a lot of crypto traders now have their assets stuck in their exchanges as they can no longer withdraw directly to their Naira account. This sudden move by the CBN put the Nigerian crypto community in a state of frustration.
In compliance with the crypto ban, Nigerian commercial banks have begun to freeze the bank accounts of people that are associated with crypto. This ban on crypto placed by the Central Bank of Nigeria has indeed affected the people’s ability to buy bitcoin in Nigeria. A lot of people have now resorted to buying Bitcoin the old fashion way, offline purchase. Unfortunately, many of these people have been scammed of their hard-earned money simply because they had to deal with some unscrupulous few who set out to defraud those who want to buy Bitcoin. It’s like being stuck between the devil and the red sea!
So the question on every Nigerian crypto lover’s mind is – “How do I buy bitcoin safely without getting my bank account blocked or getting scammed?” Well, the answer to your question is – “Remitano P2P exchange!”
What is Remitano P2P Crypto Exchange?
Simply put, Remitano P2P crypto exchange is an escrowed marketplace where crypto buyers meet crypto sellers. With Remitano P2P, you can sell and buy Bitcoin in Nigeria from anyone without fear of being scammed or fear of your bank account being frozen. This is because Remitano acts as an escrow between the seller and buyer to ensure a smooth transaction process.
Remitano P2P is currently the leading P2P platform in Nigeria, South Africa, and several other countries. After being in existence for quite a number of years, Remitano has continuously evolved over the years to provide the perfect marketplace for both crypto buyers and sellers thereby creating a high level of trust in the crypto community.
Remitano is so confident in their ability to deliver that they guarantee all transactions are completed within 15 minutes of initiation. In the event that a transaction is not completed, compensation of 50% of the transaction fee will be refunded to the user.
In addition to this awesome service, Remitano offers the simplest and easy-to-use user interface that anyone with or without computer knowledge can interact with. Remitano also has a responsive and friendly customer service available 24/7 to provide help to buyers and sellers whenever needed.
It takes only a few steps to buy Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies on Remitano. All you need to do is to choose a buyer you would like to buy Bitcoin from, send the Naira equivalent to the seller’s bank account. Once receipt of payment is confirmed, Remitano releases the Bitcoin into your Bitcoin Wallet.
Remitano is a product of Babylons Solutions Limited based in Seychelles. Remitano’s purpose is to offer a robust, quality trading experience to all users as a fast-moving marketplace. With necessary safety standards in place, buyers and sellers can come together, store, trade, and withdraw assets, thus avoiding issues common to other crypto exchanges.
Launched in 2014, Remitano is a global cryptocurrency exchange serving international markets, such as Malaysia, China, Nigeria, Vietnam, Australia, Cambodia, and Indonesia.
Reach out to Remitano via:
Kimpton Kawana Bay offers African investors the key to global domination
At a time when African investors are pursuing global opportunities to improve their bottom lines and deliver greater value to their shareholders, their intentions are increasingly frustrated by the limited access of the Nigerian passport in regard to global travel.
Among other West-African passports, the Nigerian passport is restricted in its reach to only 54 visa-free destinations, many of whom are other African countries like Ethiopia. This modest number falls short next to that of Ghana, Cameroon and even Côte d’Ivoire, who have visa-free access to 73, 61 and 67 destinations respectively.
But it gets worse– when the Nigerian passport’s visa-free listings are viewed through the lens of La Vida’s Passport Value Report which combines metrics of GDP and international travel popularity to ascertain the true value of each country’s passport, it makes for even grimmer viewing as the access value is only a meagre 2.1% of the world’s GDP and 3.1% of the world’s international travel popularity.
For Africa’s most populous country preparing itself for a future without oil by leading the continental charge to export technology and talent globally, these numbers are simply unacceptable.
Global Opportunities lie in wait, yet remain gated by visa-restrictions
One instance of the myriad opportunities that exist beyond the continent for Nigerian business executives and buttresses the need for global travel is remittance. According to global Audit Firm, PWC, there are an estimated 15million Nigerians living in the diaspora whose remittance is projected to hit $34.8bn in 2023 with 40% of these remittances coming from 5 European countries alone.
This presents one of the greatest opportunities to set up banking and technology infrastructure across the EU to help more Nigerians and Africans send money back home, which even at a modest 0.1% margin could add around $17m in revenue to their bottom line.
To achieve this however, executives would need to jet in and out of Europe to set up, conduct business and oversee operations. But the limitations of the Nigerian passport mean they will require visa approvals to travel, which may not only delay the speed of execution, but also bring with it the possibility of their requests being outrightly denied.
Enter the need for a second passport and visa-free travel through Citizenship By Investment Programmes.
The Case For A Powerful Second Passport
As African countries grapple with insecurity, inflation and currency devaluation, the need for second citizenships have never been more apparent, especially as a ‘Plan B’ to hedge against whatever may come. And as the continent’s affluent middle class are becoming wealthier, their needs are evolving, from global business mobility, better visa-free travel to high-quality education opportunities abroad for their children.
It is at this juncture that the opportunity offered by La Vida Golden Visas to acquire a Grenadian citizenship through investment in the soon-to-be-completed Kimpton Kawana Bay Resort serves to transcend this existing gap and provide the much-needed hedge African HNWIs and executives need to expand and safeguard their earnings, businesses and families.
The Grenadian Passport is an instant value-add for Africans
Upon acquiring Grenada’s lifetime citizenship, the combined value for the Nigerian passport grows to 58.7% of the world’s GDP; with the Grenadian passport granting visa-free access to over 163 countries and territories including the UK, EU Schengen zone and uniquely China and Russia. At once, African HNWIs and leading execs gain unrestricted access to the countries at the forefront of global development.
“Grenada’s Citizenship by Investment (CBI) programme offers several added attractions that many of its competitor countries do not”, says Chief Executive Officer of La Vida Golden Visas, Paul Williams, in a recent interview. “The application takes only 60-90 days, has low family fees, and no interview, education, language test or management experience is required. There is no residency requirement and dual citizenship is permitted as well. Grenada also does not tax worldwide income, wealth, gift, inheritance or capital gains- which make it more attractive to business elites”.
Obtaining Grenadian Citizenship: Kimpton Kawana Bay Resort CBI
Grenadian citizenship can be obtained by investing in Government-approved real estate at a minimum of $220,000, as is the case with title deeded studios in the island’s prime project—Kimpton Kawana Bay Resort, the new beachfront 5-star luxury resort currently under construction in Grenada by True Blue Developments—a company with an impressive 20-year record in development.
“The resort, which is 79% sold out, is ideally positioned on Grand Anse Beach, voted by CNN and Condé Nast Traveller as one of the world’s best beaches. The hotel will feature an infinity-edge pool overlooking the turquoise Caribbean Sea, state-of-the-art gym and spa facilities, exquisite fine dining restaurant, roof-top bar, beach bar, lounge with terrace, and, water sports facilities,” says Tom Scott, Managing Director of Kimpton Kawana Bay.
The resort, heralded by forbes as one of the most anticipated luxury openings in the world is set to open in 2022 and will come under the operation of the internationally recognised hotel brand—Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, part of the InterContinental Hotels Group, one of the largest in the world.
The nature of the real estate investment also allows for personal accommodation usage for up to 2 weeks, while generating a projected rental income of 3-5% through the transparent revenue-sharing model. The investment also provides the option of recouping the initial investment after 5 years without effect to the acquired Grenadian citizenship.
In further providing global access, an investment in Kimpton Kawana Bay Resort would grant citizens access to live in the UK for up to six months every year, as Grenada forms a part of the commonwealth. Another peculiarity is the E-2 Visa option, which is a secondary application open to Grenadian citizens who want to live and work in the US.
Africa’s Battle-Ready Investors are finally unleashed
At a time when African investors have their sights firmly trained on the opportunities existing beyond the borders of the continent in search of growth and starring roles in shaping the present and future of global business, technology, medicine and so on, Kimpton Kawana Bay is finely positioned as the bridge between hopeful thought and ground-breaking reality.
For once, African investors are finally equipped for expansion and global domination. The rest of the world better take notice.
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