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HealthPlus: Business owners call for more protection from FG against ‘dubious’ foreign investors

Business owners have called on government to protect them from alleged forceful takeover by some private equity firms.

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HealthPlus: Business owners call for more protection from FG against foreign investors

Following the crisis that is rocking HealthPlus Nigeria, entrepreneurs have called on the Federal Government to protect their businesses from what they described as alleged forceful takeover by some private equity firms.

The business owners also identified foreign equity firms as major threats to the well-being of Nigerian entrepreneurs and their businesses.

They disclosed this at the recent interactive session organised by Business Founders Coalition (BFC) in Lagos.

During the session, Coordinator, Business Founders Coalition, Dr Richardson Ajayi, explained that private equity firms are preying on Nigerian businesses and are seeking to push their founders out.

READ: Nigerian firms expect to start employing again in August – CBN survey

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This, according to him, threatens the nation’s dream to build and nurture vibrant private sector businesses capable of competing with global brands and also reduce employment opportunities for the youth.

He said, “The government and other stakeholders need to understand the plight of Nigerian entrepreneurs who out of sweat and grit started their businesses but at some point in the pursuit of growth, have had to access venture capital funds or foreign investments.

“Our experiences have largely been tales of woe, which have the possibility of stunting the growth of indigenous businesses like ours. We are also hoping that through this coalition, government can enact policies and laws that will correct that apparent lop-sidedness.”

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READ: Are SMEs the solution to Nigeria’s wailing economy?

According to Ajayi, who is also the Founder of former Parthcare, now Synlab, most local businesses have been struggling due to unfavourable operating environment and lack of access to finance to grow their business, hence they approach foreign investors and venture capitalists to invest in their businesses.

While he acknowledged that there are many good private equity companies that have accomplished successful private equity transactions, as well as those that understand the challenges of the market and are patient with their local partners, Ajayi noted some others seek controlling rights as a major condition to invest and in the long run forcefully takeover the businesses.

Also at the session, Founder, HealthPlus, Bukky George, called for evolution of policies that would regulate activities of private equity firms.

READ: Why is the US stock market index going up even as COVID-19 remains unchecked?

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According to her, bringing a private equity firm into the operation of HealthPlus was to enable the company to meet the demand for high quality yet affordable healthcare and beauty supplies through distribution centres in Nigeria.

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She said, “Unfortunately, the pledged funds were never fully disbursed in order to implement our strategic objectives.

“Our partnership has been fraught with serious challenges and unmet expectations, jeopardising operations and relationships with our stakeholders.”

READ: The game is changing, as entrepreneurs are thinking globally for their small businesses.

George urged the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) make flexible loans available to the health sector such that cash flows of companies would be considered as against only collateral.

She said that doing so would enable businesses scale up in order to achieve their potentials, enhance the economy and development of the health sector.

Managing Director, CMC Connect Ltd, Mr Yomi Badejo-Okusanya, explained that the coalition was not about a single organisation, but about changing policies to assist businesses to thrive and boost investment.

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Abiola has spent about 14 years in journalism. His career has covered some top local print media like TELL Magazine, Broad Street Journal, The Point Newspaper. The Bloomberg MEI alumni has interviewed some of the most influential figures of the IMF, G-20 Summit, Pre-G20 Central Bank Governors and Finance Ministers, Critical Communication World Conference. The multiple award winner is variously trained in business and markets journalism at Lagos Business School, and Pan-Atlantic University. You may contact him via email - [email protected]

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Coronavirus

COVID-19 Update in Nigeria

On the 30th of October 2020, 170 new confirmed cases and 3 deaths were recorded in Nigeria

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The spread of novel Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) in Nigeria continues to record significant increases as the latest statistics provided by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control reveal Nigeria now has 62,691 confirmed cases.

On the 30th of October 2020, 170 new confirmed cases and 3 deaths were recorded in Nigeria, having carried out a total daily test of 3,008 samples across the country.

To date, 62,521 cases have been confirmed, 58,249 cases have been discharged and 1,141 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory. A total of 620,758 tests have been carried out as of October 30th, 2020 compared to 617,750 tests a day earlier.

COVID-19 Case Updates- 30th October 2020,

  • Total Number of Cases – 62,691
  • Total Number Discharged – 58,430
  • Total Deaths – 1,144
  • Total Tests Carried out – 620,758

According to the NCDC, the 170 new cases were reported from 11 states- Lagos (106), FCT (25), Oyo (14), Edo (7), Kaduna (7), Ogun (4), Bauchi (2), Benue (2), Kano (1), Osun (1), Rivers (1)

Meanwhile, the latest numbers bring Lagos state total confirmed cases to 21,212, followed by Abuja (6,053), Plateau (3,630), Oyo (3,447), Rivers (2,810), Edo (2,664), Kaduna (2,648), Ogun (2,031), Delta (1,814), Kano (1,747), Ondo (1,666), Enugu (1,314),  Kwara (1,069), Ebonyi (1,049), Katsina (952), Osun (926), Abia (898), Gombe (883).  Borno (745), and Bauchi (713).

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Imo State has recorded 616 cases, Benue (493), Nasarawa (482), Bayelsa (412),  Ekiti (332), Jigawa (325), Akwa Ibom (295), Anambra (277), Niger (274), Adamawa (257), Sokoto (165), Taraba (146), Kebbi (93), Cross River (87), Yobe (82), Zamfara (79), while Kogi state has recorded 5 cases only.

READ ALSO: COVID-19: Western diplomats warn of disease explosion, poor handling by government

Lock Down and Curfew

In a move to combat the spread of the pandemic disease, President Muhammadu Buhari directed the cessation of all movements in Lagos and the FCT for an initial period of 14 days, which took effect from 11 pm on Monday, 30th March 2020.

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The movement restriction, which was extended by another two-weeks period, has been partially put on hold with some businesses commencing operations from May 4. On April 27th, 2020, Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari declared an overnight curfew from 8 pm to 6 am across the country, as part of new measures to contain the spread of the COVID-19. This comes along with the phased and gradual easing of lockdown measures in FCT, Lagos, and Ogun States, which took effect from Saturday, 2nd May 2020, at 9 am.

On Monday, 29th June 2020 the federal government extended the second phase of the eased lockdown by 4 weeks and approved interstate movement outside curfew hours with effect from July 1, 2020. Also, on Monday 27th July 2020, the federal government extended the second phase of eased lockdown by an additional one week.

On Thursday, 6th August 2020 the federal government through the secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 announced the extension of the second phase of eased lockdown by another four (4) weeks.

READ ALSO: Bill Gates says Trump’s WHO funding suspension is dangerous

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Coronavirus

Cristiano Ronaldo now tests negative for Coronavirus

Cristiano Ronaldo tested negative for coronavirus after nearly three weeks that he tested positive.

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Cristiano Ronaldo tests positive for COVID-19

Juventus F.C. star, Cristiano Ronaldo, has tested negative for coronavirus, nearly three weeks after he tested positive.

This was disclosed by his club via its website on Friday.

It stated, “Ronaldo carried out a check with a diagnostic test (swab) for COVID-19. The exam provided a negative result.

“The player has, therefore, recovered after 19 days and is no longer subjected to home isolation.”

What you should know

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Ronaldo had tested positive for COVID-19 on October 13, while playing with Portugal. He had been in self-isolation since returning to Italy.

The 35-year-old missed four games including Wednesday’s 2-0 Champions League defeat to Lionel Messi’s Barcelona, and Juventus’s 2-0 win at Dynamo Kiev in their Group G opener.

The five-time Ballon d’Or winner’s return will be a boost for Andrea Pirlo’s faltering side who are fifth in Serie A, four points behind leaders AC Milan.

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Corporate Press Releases

Ikeja Electric launches mass metering programme

Ikeja Electric has announced the commencement of the rollout of Prepaid Meters under the National Mass Metering Programme.

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Ikeja Electric reacts to viral videos, declares war on anyone who assaults its staff

This is to notify our esteemed customers that Ikeja Electric has commenced the rollout of Prepaid Meters under the National Mass Metering Programme, approved by the Federal Government, with effect from today, Friday, October 30, 2020.

This programme is part of the Federal Government’s effort to further bridge the country’s metering gap and also cushion the effect of the Service Reflective Tariff on electricity consumers in Nigeria.

In line with this programme, Ikeja Electric Plc (IE) is committed to driving the rollout through a series of one-day metering initiative across different locations in its network. This metering initiative is designed to ensure a seamless metering process that allows customers to register and be metered on the same day after following due process.

For the first phase of the programme, which will run till the end of the year, Ikeja Electric is rolling out over 106,000 prepaid meters to customers across its six Business Units – Ikeja, Abule-Egba, Akowonjo, Oshodi, Ikorodu and Shomolu.

Beneficiaries of this programme, which will cut across all locations in IE network, will not be required to pay upfront for the installation of meters. Rather, the modalities of cost recovery for the meters will be clearly defined and communicated to the beneficiaries.

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The primary objective of the National Mass Metering Program is to increase the metering rate in the country and close the gap of unmetered customers. It is also expected that it will assist in reducing Collection losses, while at the same time, increasing financial flows to achieve 100 percent market remittance obligation of the DisCos.

Part of the objectives also includes the elimination of arbitrary estimated billing, improving network monitoring capability and provision of data for market administration and investment decision-making.

Apart from its job creation potentials in the Meter value chain, the program will further strengthen the local meter value chain by increasing local meter manufacturing, assembly and deployment capacity, all in support of Nigeria’s economic recovery plan.

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Once again, Ikeja Electric wishes to restate its commitment to bridging the metering gap by metering all its customers, to ensure an efficiently managed electricity supply industry that meets the yearnings of Nigerians.

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