Nigeria is lagging behind in the agricultural sector

I do agree with Senator Shehu Sani, that the Governor of Ondo, Rotimi Akeredolu, should shift attention to partnering with other states in the production of ginger, beans, yam and other agricultural products rather than asking the federal government to encourage the cultivation of medicinal cannabis.

Last year, Omoyele Sowore also advocates for the production of marijuana, he even said Nigeria will export marijuana if he gets elected as president of Nigeria. Governor Rotimi Akeredolu and Omoyele Sowore believed that some countries are generating billions from the plant while Nigeria is lagging behind, but they failed to realize that Nigeria is lagging behind generally in the agriculture industry, not just on cannabis.

In the 1950s and 1960s and in 1970 Ondo was among the major states that produce cocoa and then cocoa production was a major foreign exchange earner for Nigeria but not anymore. Côte D’Ivoire supplies 30% of the world’s total cocoa. Nestle and Cadbury receive much of their cocoa from the Ivory Coast while Nigeria is lagging behind.

Indonesia and Malaysia are making billions from Palm Oil while Nigeria is lagging behind even the CBN Governor asking the Federal Government to attach premiums to palm oil production because its price is higher than crude oil’s. Ondo State government can invest massively in palm oil production, being that Oil Palm is one of the state’s agro raw materials rather than the production of marijuana.

 

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50% discount window for MSMEs name registration still open in Nigeria

 

In October 2018, the Federal Government through the Corporate Affairs Commission opens a 50% discount window for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises to register their company names, which involved reducing the fee for the registration of a business name from N10,000 to N5,000 to help MSMEs formalise their operations.

The 50% discount window is still open, the Federal Government has extended the programme by three months and this would be the second time the government extended the programme by three months. If you operate a small-scale business and you haven’t registered a business name, you have the opportunity to do that with N5,000 in the next three months.

Micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) play a central role in any economy. They are a major source of entrepreneurial skills, innovation and employment. In Indonesia, the informal sector remained an important part of the workforce, accounting for 57.27%, 74.08 million people, of nationwide employment, though the informal sector has declined by 0.95%.

However, the CBN in collaboration with the Bankers’ Committee has developed a Creative Industry Financing Initiative (CIFI) to boost job creation for Nigerian youths, particularly in Fashion, Information Technology, Movie and Music.

Please visit: www.cbn.gov.ng.

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Grab’s electric scooter is now available in Indonesia

 

 

On Thursday, a two-wheel vehicle service, in the modern residential areas of BSD City in South Tangerang, Banten, Indonesia. App users can rent the electric scooters by scanning the barcode on the vehicles’ parking spots with their smartphones and currently, there are five GrabWheels parking spots in the office park compound in the BSD City.

Even though GrabTaxi Holdings Pte. Ltd. is a Singapore-based technology company, Indonesia is Grab’s largest market and its target to double the number of micro-entrepreneurs in its system this year in Indonesia, in which Grab has secured US$1.46 billion from Japanese venture capital firm SoftBank in March even Anthony Tan (CEO Grab) has recently been spending more than 70% of his time in Indonesia. Indonesia accounts for 40% of Southeast Asia’s GDP; it’s a marketplace for investors, not for expats.

Grab aims to expand its Indonesian network of merchants, agents and drivers of at least 4.5 million individuals to 9 million by the end of the year and its contributed US$3.3 billion to Indonesia’s informal economy last year in the form of additional income for drivers and food merchants. The contribution comes from the company’s three business units: GrabBike, GrabCar, and GrabFood.

 

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The Direct Sale of Crude Oil and Direct Purchase of Petroleum product (DSDP) in Nigeria

 

 

In 2016, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) eliminated the Offshore Processing Agreement (OPA) through the introduction of the Direct Sales and Direct Purchase (DSDP) scheme and the DSDP scheme was to enable sustained petroleum products supply in the country, in which petroleum products to be delivered shall be equivalent in value to the Crude Oil received from NNPC subject to the general terms and conditions.

According to the NNPC, since the inception of the DSDP scheme in 2016 until March 2019, about 29.5 million metric tons (39.6 billion litres) of petroleum products have been supplied under the scheme representing over 90 per cent of the national requirement, that through a transparent competitive bidding and evaluation process, the scheme has enlisted a robust supplier mix comprising of the big international players and strong Nigerian downstream companies for supply flexibility and local capacity development, likewise, the scheme has over the years ensured a significant reduction in product demurrage cost in the range of 84% and cost savings of about 2.2 billion dollars. As for the 2019 – 2020, Direct Sale of Crude Oil and Direct Purchase of Petroleum product (DSDP) 132 companies have indicated interest to bid for about 14 billion litres of products under the scheme.

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Massive discounts offer for Indonesians during Ramadan season

In Nigeria Ramadan season often spiked the price of products, especially, the prices of fruit and vegetables and other perishable food items, according to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), prices of tomato and pepper have soared by 60% in some markets in Lagos as the fasting of Ramadan by Muslims commenced while the reverse is the case in predominantly Muslim countries, like, Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei etc.

 

During Ramadan in Indonesia, regardless of online or offline shopping preference, the majority of Indonesians will buy and Indonesians are price conscious, during this period, retailers, brands, companies, social merchants are all vying for the same consumers making competition fierce, even banks can offer a 50% discount for the owners of its credit and debit card during Ramadan, likewise, hotels and restaurants will offer extra discounts.

 

The more income made by Indonesians, the more they will spend during Ramadan and the more companies offer discounts and promotions on products and services during Ramadan, the more they will make sales. The middle-class household in Indonesia is expected to rise to 23.9m in the next 12 years from 19.6m in 2016, this is why companies are spending to build credibility as reliable brands and influence the behaviour of future generations.

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Artificial Intelligence for Business

 

There are tremendous applications of AI for business growth, ranging from chatbots for customer services to data analytics for making a predictive recommendation such as Amazon recommendation systems on amazon e-commerce, google email auto-completion, facebook user suggestions etc.

Many businesses are having a hard time to Integrate Recommendation systems and it’s associate into their existing services as a result of low or no data.

Leveraging on Transfer-Learning, many businesses can have a good model  Integrated into their services with a little amount of data, high model accuracy, reduce cost, and less model training time.

Internet of things devices has enormous potential for generating real-time data, clean and accurate data for model training which will in effect increase model score or accuracy, despite these advantages data generated by IoT devices are usually small as a result of latency and other factors. Leveraging on Transfer Learning business make effective use of data generated by IoT devices for Business Intelligence.

 

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Scoop: How  Amazon, Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Apple Make Their Money

 The biggest tech companies in the world — Amazon, Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Apple — are equal parts fascinating, terrifying, and mystifying. These companies touch billions of lives every day; they change the way we think, feel, and act. And their consolidating economic power is becoming the dominant business story of our time.

For all of their commonalities, it seems that there is less of a mold for how these tech giants end up generating cashflow. But before we get to how Big Tech makes its money, let’s start by looking at the financials at a higher level. The following data comes from the 2018 10-K reports filed last year.

These tech giants also have a consumer-facing aspect to their business that is front and center. With billions of people using their platforms globally, these companies leverage user data to tighten their grip even more on market share. At the same time, this data is a double-edged sword, as these same companies often find themselves in the crosshairs for mishandling personal information.

Together, the Big tech giants combined for just over $800 billion of revenue in 2018, which would be among the world’s 20 largest countries in terms of GDP.  Meanwhile, they generated a total of $139 billion of net income for their shareholders, good for a 17.3% profit margin.

Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Alphabet and Microsoft rake in a total of around $800 billion in revenues every year, but according to these graphs from Visual Capitalist, their revenue sources are surprisingly different.

From the graph below, you can see that the leading revenue stream at Apple is currently iPhones. It made up 62.8% of Apple’s revenues in 2018, while Mac and iPads contributed to 9.6 and 7.1%, respectively.

In the case of Amazon, online stores might have constituted more than half of the retail giant’s revenues, but Visual Capitalist points out that one of the fastest-growing sectors of Amazon is actually sales from its physical stores.

Alphabet, the parent company of Google, and Facebook are more similar in the sense that both companies rely on ads as their top source of revenue. Advertising from various Google properties, which include YouTube, forms 70.4% of Google’s revenues, while at Facebook it’s a staggering 98.5%.

Microsoft, which probably has the most diversified revenue streams among the Big Five. It No. 1 revenue source is Office products, but it also makes money from various avenues, including its search engine Bing.

Finally, all of these companies have a similar origin story: they were founded or incubated on the fertile digital grounds of the West Coast. The company that has the weakest claim to such origins would be Facebook, but even it has been based in Silicon Valley since June 2004.

 

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Nigeria government to raise US $700m for Assa North-Ohaji South joint gas project

 

Assa North-Ohaji South project is one of the seven gas production infrastructures in the West African Nation which is the continent’s largest crude producer. The government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has announced plans to raise US $700m for a joint gas project between Seplat Petroleum Development and Nigeria’s State oil company in bid to reduce the reliance on oil in the country.

The proposed Assa North-Ohaji South joint gas project

ANOH Gas Processing which is owned and managed by Seplat and the Nigerian Gas Co, a unit of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation will develop, build, operate and maintain the gas plant in Southeastern Imo State.

 According to Seplat CEO Austin Avuru, Seplat and Nigerian Gas will provide 60% of the funds as equity while on the other side ANOH will source the remaining balance as debt.

 

“As at now both parties have contributed US $100m in equity and there will also be another equity injection coming and the back end of it will be debt,” said Avuru.

 

The plant will process wet gas which has a capacity of US $300 standard cubic feet per day and will begin production works at the last quarter of 2020 with its major supply targeted to begin in 2021.

On the other side Seplat will double its capital spending to US $200m as it seeks to take advantage on relative stability in the Niger Delta region.The firm says it will spend 70% of its capital budget on drilling while the rest for facilities and gas development.

ANOH has the capacity to double production depending on the domestic demand available in the country, for this reason ANOH will target Nigeria growing population. 

The government of Nigeria is also encouraging investments in gas in order to increase supply to power companies and move the economy from over dependence in oil which currently accounts for the bulk revenue in the country.

 

 

 

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Technology-based innovation start-up platforms are shaping entrepreneurship in Africa

 

Technological innovations and development in the world today is at a rapid rate. African countries are not left behind on these changes through innovative youths in and out of the continent.

It is tempting to discount the possibility of executing disruptive innovations in Africa because of the many obstacles to innovation on the continent, including poor infrastructure, the difficulty of doing business, and the very low incomes on the continent. But when these obstacles are framed as opportunities, innovators can build truly disruptive companies.

These innovations transform the existing complicated and expensive products to simple to use, more affordable products, thereby making them more accessible to a larger set of people in society, such as M-PESA, the mobile money platform in Kenya. They serve as the engine of economic development in a society.

 

The technological innovations is now  moving from financial sectors to agriculture, communication, health, education and oil and gas.  In this piece, we have selected few innovative start-ups in Africa that are purely leveraging techonology to solve our continental problems that arises everyday.

 

Let us us look at Tala, a mobile credit app firm based in Santa Monica, United States, operates in Kenya and Tanzania, and is expanding into West Africa. Tala targets emerging markets and helps anyone with a mobile phone  build  a  financial  identity.  Through  its  mobile  app,  Tala  connects  more  than  10  000  data points per customer to create an instant credit score, deliver customised financial services and disburse loans directly to a customer’s mobile phone. Tala has already processed 275 000 loans in Kenya to a client base of 75 000 customers. The majority are small and micro-entrepreneurs who are in need of small loans to finance businesses, but are locked out by traditional banks, which deem them  high-risk  borrowers and demand collateral.

 

Mobile lending is developing rapidly in Kenya, with nearly a dozen major players in the market, including commercial bank platforms such as those of M-Shwari, M-Co-op Cash, KCB M-Pesa and Equitel. Oxygen  Africa  Limited,  based  in  Zimbabwe,  is  an  investment  advisory  company  that  assists foreign investors in Zimbabwe.

 

At mid 2013, Oxygen Africa partnered with Swiss-based Meeco Group, a  renewable  energy  company,  in  a  joint  venture  to  establish  Oursun  Energy  Zimbabwe.  This independent power producer specialises in the development, building, owning and operating of utility-scale solar photovoltaic energy projects in Zimbabwe. Oxygen Africa has raised USD 7 million and is currently developing two 5 MW grid-connected solar plants in Zimbabwe.

 

Efulusi  Africa, a Tanzanian based software  development  company  that  develops  custom software with a focus on mobile finance apps and aggregation. Efulusi is credited for developing and deploying Tanzania’s first mobile banking platform.

In 2014, the founder of Efulusi established the AIM Group, a leading digital agency in Tanzania. AIM Group now has 25 employees and some of the country’s most prominent brands as clients.

 

Ghana based mPedigree is the global leader in the use of mobile and web technologies to secure  products  against  fakes,  counterfeiting  and  diversion.  Its  services  enable consumers to  authenticate  products  via  unique  PINs  on  smartphones  or  SMS.  mPedigree  has  helped  to launch a movement that is empowering corporations to protect their brands and governments to  safeguard  regulatory  systems  from  the  effects  of  fake  and  harmful  products.  It  also  enhances human security by protecting medicines and agricultural products such as pesticides and seeds.

 

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CcHUB in collaboration with GoogleForStartups to host Pitch Drive II 

 

This August, Co-Creation HUB in partnership with GoogleForStartups is to engage ten of Africa’s top hardware and deep technology-based startups on a tour of five exciting tech cities in Asia: Singapore, Shenzhen, Hong Kong, Seoul, and Tokyo.

According to the company official website, the focus of the second edition of PitchDrive is to facilitate Africa-Asia collaborations and strengthen deep technology companies in Africa by creating a platform for startups to:

Take key learnings from the Asian technology market and apply them locally to improve their businesses, discover and engage suppliers or manufacturing partners to strengthen their businesses, and explore funding opportunities.

Interested startup teams and investors looking to forward to participate in the tour can find more information by visiting www.pitchdrive.xyz.

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