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UK Group Supports 100 Nigerian Businesses, 38,000 Jobs with $425M2 minutes read

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The British Deputy High Commission in Lagos has disclosed that a UK group invested $425m to support 100 businesses and 38,000 jobs in Nigeria.

CDC Group, a UK development finance institution, confirmed this during a virtual visit to Nigeria by its board led by Chief Executive, Nick O’Donohoe, and Chairman, Graham Wrigley.

CDC also partnered with 40 investment funds, which included Afreximbank, African Capital Alliance and Indoram.

The UK Government-funded institution says all proceeds from its investments are reinvested to improve the lives of millions of people in Africa and South Asia.

“Nigeria plays a key part in our strategy of partnership and investment for economic growth in West Africa. “Hosting our 2020 board trip– albeit virtually – in both markets is a testament to our commitment.

“Looking forward, we will continue to prioritise the post COVID-19 recovery as part of the Build Back Better agenda.

“We are committed to supporting a deeper and more strategic bilateral partnership between the UK and Nigeria that is based on enhancing economic development, job creation, inclusion, trade and investment,” O’Donohoe said.

It said that the CDC team also paid a virtual visit to the Vice President Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, and British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing, to understand the impact of CDC’s support to its investees through the COVID-19 crisis and understand how to stimulate recovery and growth.

The discussions also focused on CDC’s own response to the pandemic through its preserved, strengthen and rebuild programme, the statement said.

In her response, British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing CBE said CDC played important role in creating jobs and supporting the growth of businesses by investing in the poorest countries across Africa, including Nigeria.

“CDC’s commitment to the country signals to other UK investors that investing in Nigeria is possible and should be prioritised in order to help Nigeria and indeed, Africa, mitigate the impact of COVID-19,” the envoy said.

During the virtual tour, CDC also met local businesses leaders, learning more about what they need to grow their companies and how investors can support their ambitions.

Business News

South Africa’s Pick n Pay To Open Store In Nigeria

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Pick n Pay, the second largest supermarket chain store in South Africa, plans to open its first store in Nigeria.

The retailer – which has stores in Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Namibia, and Swaziland will enter a market that rivals like Shoprite and Mister Price are withdrawing from.

Pick n Pay’s Nigeria venture will be a partnership with A G Leventis, a group with investments in West Africa ranging from agricultural equipment to property management.

The South African supermarket chain believes it can overcome problems that have hit competitors, like currency devaluations and logistical challenges, as well as barriers to repatriating profits.

Pick n Pay’s strategy in Nigeria will focus on opening small neighbourhood stores, whereas other foreign retailers have established flagship stores in large shopping centres.

On Tuesday the company reported a 56% drop in profits for the first half of the financial year, following constraints caused by South Africa’s strict lockdown, with reduced trading hours, a ban on sales of alcohol and tobacco, plus restrictions on sales of clothing.

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Business News

Anonymous Didn’t Hack Our Website – First Bank

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Anonymous, an online network known for launching cyberattacks against government institutions, has reportedly hacked the website of First Bank of Nigeria Limited.

But the financial institution has denied the hack.

A visit to the bank’s website at 01:30pm showed that it had been brought down completely.

In a string of tweets, Anonymous confirmed bringing down the bank’s website while alleging that the bank deducted money from the accounts of customers who are in support of the #EndSARS campaign.

Anonymous also accused the bank of instructing its staff not to join the #EndSARS campaign.

It stated, “Now #ENDSARSOPPRESSION Official website of First Banks Nigeria has been taken #Offline. You remove money from users because they support #EndSARS.

“We #Anonymous have taken-down your website in support of #EndSARS

“You will pay for your actions. you should have expected us!

“Enjoy your server taken down. no money is gone.”

Anonymous, however, said it would restore the website after it “keep it down for some time”.

However, First Bank said the website was never brought down in the first place.

The bank said, “Our attention has been drawn to the tweet making the rounds on social media on shutting down the FirstBank website following a false tweet that the Bank prevented staff from joining the ongoing protests in the country.

“As the largest banking institution in Nigeria, it is not unlikely that we may be seen as a target in circumstances such as these. This is rather unfortunate as we believe far-reaching reform is necessary and we have said as much on a number of occasions across our platforms.

“In the process of change, some pain will be borne by all and some anger may well be misdirected. We understand this as a part of the process of the struggle.

“”We have a large staff strength and an even larger customer base who may be affected by any disruption and this would be a pity as a number are also contributing in many ways to ensure that voices are heard and required action is taken.

“We have been consistent in our message on the need to end all brutality and carry out necessary reforms. We will continue to lend our voice accordingly.”

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Nigeria’s Bourse Sees N164Bln Growth

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After two days of cautious trading, the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) on Friday recorded N164 billion growth following renewed investors interest.

Specifically, the market capitalisation which opened at N14.815 trillion rose by N164 billion or 1.11 per cent to close at N14.979 trillion.

Also, the All-Share Index rose by 315.41 points or 1.11 per cent to close at 28,659.45, from 28,344.04 on Thursday.

Total led the gainers’ table growing by N10.20 to close at N112.20 per share.

Presco followed with N5.40 to close at N65.90, while Zenith Bank garnered N1.55 to close at N21.55 per share.

NASCO gained 90k to close at N13, while Guaranty Trust Bank added 85k to close at N30.35 per share.

On the other hand, Eterna topped the losers’ chart, dropping 39k to close at N4.90 per share.

Cutix trailed with 18k to close at N1.62, e Transact also dipped 18k to close at N1.73 per share.

Fidson Healthcare was down by 6k to close at N3.50, Red Star Express lost 5k to close at N3.25 per share.

In the same vein, the volume of shares traded rose by 42.52 per cent with an exchange of 489.11 million shares valued at N4.72 billion in 5,652 deals.

This was in contrast 343.19 million shares worth N5.04 billion transacted in 4,048 deals on Thursday.

United Bank for Africa was the most active stock, trading 100.23 million shares valued at N696.29 million.

Zenith Bank came second with an account of 73.93 million shares worth N1.56 billion, while FBN Holdings sold 54.22 million shares valued at N344.04 million.

Fidelity Bank traded 34.57 million shares worth N70.88 million, Access Bank exchanged 29.25 million shares valued at N229.97 million.

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