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Standard Bank Express Confidence in Banking Industry

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Standard bank has expressed confidence in the Nigerian banking industry as well as commend the current banking sector reforms embarked upon by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
Despite the impact of the global financial crisis on the economy, the bank said the Nigerian banking system is still a key market with high prospects.
According to Mrs. Sam Moss, the spokesman of the bank, the actions and steps taken by the Central Bank of Nigeria was appropriate and constructive given the challenges in the Nigerian banking industry.
Mrs. Moss reiterated the First Rand strategy to position itself to benefit from investor-friendly economic environment in the African continent and its increased opportunities for financial services as contained in its interim results presented few days ago. She added that Nigeria has been listed as one of the key markets that offer good prospects and that it was already staffing up its representative office in Nigeria.
In a similar development, Mr. Ben Kruger, Deputy Group Chief Executive, Standard Bank, (which operates in Nigeria as Stanbic IBTC) said the difficult economic terrain in Nigeria does not pose enough deterrent to its continued interest in Nigeria.
Speaking prior to the bank’s presentation of its 2009 financial result, Mr. Kruger labeled the Nigerian business environment as “difficult” and full of challenges. This, not withstanding, “we think Nigeria still remains a very attractive and exciting market in terms of size and so cannot be ignored.”
Mr. Kruger enthused that Stanbic IBTC has a very strong brand and assets management franchise, which the bank is proud of, and reiterated the willingness of the bank to participate in the next round of banking consolidation

 


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MAN Seeks Harmonisation of Regulatory Agencies

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Manufacturers Association of Nigeria has urged for an end to the activities of multiple agencies hurting their businesses, urging the government to fix the overlaps by harmonizing regulatory compliance.

Member companies of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, Ikeja Branch, in a meeting of CEOs and MDs on Thursday, presented their demands for harmonisation to the federal and state governments.

The manufacturers dialogued with the Lagos State Government through directors representing the state government’s Ministers of Commerce and Industry, and Environment and Water Resources.

In his keynote speech, the CEO of the Centre for the Promotion of Private Enterprise, Dr Muda Yusuf, said one of the biggest risks that businesses have to cope with in the Nigerian economy is regulatory risk that comes in the form of overlapping regulatory agencies.

He said, “Regulatory risk could manifest in the form of overlapping regulatory regimes, too many regulations, sporadic and frequent regulatory changes, poor interpretations of regulations and the absence of dispute resolution mechanisms between businesses and the regulators.”

Yusuf stated that instances of overlaps exist in the regulatory functions of quality and standards, environmental issues, transportation and logistics, taxation, and international trade.

He said the agencies with an overlap of quality and standards functions include the Standards Organisation of Nigeria, the National Agency of Food Drug Administration and Control, Plant Quarantine, Weights and Measures and the Nigeria Drug Law Enforcement Agency.

He decried some agencies that he claimed forced business owners to pay for flight tickets for their agents to visit foreign suppliers whose goods are imported into Nigeria for certification.

“Some of them (agencies) practically have the power of life and death over investors. Which is why engagement with the regulators is often very challenging. Some of them can be very overbearing, intimidating investors and sometimes extorting them,” the CPPE boss said.

Yusuf said the overlap in environmental issues is found among agencies, including the Federal Environmental Protection Agency, The Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency and other subnational equivalents, the Ministry of Environment at the federal and state levels.

Others are the National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency, Lagos Waste Management Authority, and Local Government Environmental Unit.

Further, Yusuf said overlap of functions happens in logistics and transportation, through agencies such as the Vehicle Inspection Office, Police, Federal Road Safety Corps, Lagos State Traffic Management Authority and other state traffic management agencies; Local Government Traffic officials and Task Force.

For tax administration, Yusuf said there was an overlap between the Presidential Committee on Fiscal and Tax Reforms and the other major institutions in the tax environment, including the Federal Inland Revenue Service, State Internal Revenue Service, Nigeria Customs Service and Local Government Tax Units,

The CPPE CEO said the Presidential Committee on Fiscal and Tax Reforms was mandated to prune down the number of taxes to less than ten, as there are 40 different kinds of taxes and levies exacted from Nigerians currently.


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Africa Global Logistics Unveils Strategies for Transformation

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Africa Global Logistics (AGL), the logistics solutions provider in Africa, has been formally launched in Lagos with the company unveiling its strategic plans for transformation and growth of the logistics landscape in Nigeria.

Formerly known as Bolloré Africa Logistics, AGL in Nigeria represents a pivotal advancement in reinforcing the company’s footprint on the continent and harnessing the potential of Nigeria’s dynamic logistics sector.

Speaking at the unveiling ceremony in Lagos,  the Country Managing Director of AGL Nigeria, Etienne Rocher, said, “Today marks more than just a rebranding for us. It symbolises our evolution, our growth, and our dedication to shaping the future of logistics in Nigeria.

The official unveiling of the AGL brand in Nigeria marks a new era of commitment to the country’s growth. It signifies a strong dedication to elevating logistics standards and driving Nigeria’s economic evolution where excellence in logistics meets the heartbeat of Africa.”.

Also speaking, Stanislas de Saint Louvent, CEO, Maritime Services and Chief Investment Officer of AGL, said Africa Global Logistics embraces the values of its parent company, the MSC Group. The values, according to him, include “humility, passion for our business, agility to adapt to our environment and clients’ needs and solidarity’’.

He stated further: “As the leading multimodal logistics operator in Africa with over a century of expertise offering global, customised, and innovative solutions, AGL’s ambition is to contribute substantially to Africa’s transformation.

“AGL is committed to enhancing end-to-end logistics supply chain continuity across Africa through its port terminals, railway operations and logistics set up in every African country.

“Our intention is also to support the development of the African Continental Free Trade Area, as we believe it is very important for the development of the continent,” Mr Stanislas de Saint Louvent said.

“This affiliation empowers us to improve our service offer in our port terminals, expand territorial service solutions, and invest in the professional development of our 23,000-strong workforce across Africa’’.

Also speaking, the CEO of Africa Global Logistics & Transport Nigeria, Sade Akanni-Shelle, said AGL has evolved with Nigeria’s development and remained committed to the country’s potential through both good and challenging times, “and we continue to invest in solutions to support the needs of our customers while adapting to changes in geopolitics and the macro economy”.

She said the official unveiling of the new AGL brand is a testament to the company’s commitment to Africa’s development.

“As we introduce the four key pillars of our strategy — digitalisation, energy transition, intra- African trade, and investment in local talent – we are excited to embark on this journey of growth and transformation in Nigeria,” she said.

 


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Bolt Hosts Second Edition of ‘Bolt Driver’s Football League’ to Foster Unity and Inclusion

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Bolt, a leading ride-hailing platform, continues to strengthen its bond with driver-partners by hosting the second edition of its ‘Bolt Driver’s Football League’ in Lagos on Wednesday.

The second edition tournament, themed “Fostering Unity and Inclusion”, aimed to enhance the relationship between Bolt and its driver-partners. The event underscored the platform’s commitment to the well-being of its drivers, recognising the essential role they play in the ride-hailing ecosystem.

Organised in partnership with the Lagos State Ministry of Transportation, OneHealth by AXA, Oraimo, and Mycovergenius, the event was a resounding success.

Bolt driver-partners from various locations across Lagos participated enthusiastically in the mini football tournament. The event featured knockout matches between four teams formed by the drivers, showcasing their sporting skills in a spirit of camaraderie and healthy competition.

In addition to the football matches, the event offered a safe and enjoyable playground for the children and families of the drivers. They spent the Democracy Day holiday engaged in games, activities, and entertainment, making the event a memorable occasion for all attendees.

Giving the opening remarks, the Director of Public Transport and Commuter Services (PTCS), Engr. Olusoji Adebayo said, “I would like to thank Bolt for organising this brilliant initiative.

“It is indeed an opportunity for Bolt drivers to meet and relate with transport regulators in an atmosphere that encourages cohesion and exchange of ideas, challenges and solutions that is peculiar to Bolt drivers in Lagos State.

“I hereby express my sincere appreciation for the efforts of the Bolt team for organising this event which is important to portray and ensure an attitude of excellence and professionalism among the e-hailing operators in Lagos State.”

Speaking at the event, Yahaya Mohammed, Bolt’s Country Manager said, “We believe in fostering a strong sense of community and building meaningful relationships with our drivers. Through initiatives like this, we are not just a ride-hailing platform; we are a supportive and vibrant community that values the contributions of our drivers.

“Together, we are driving towards a future of excellence in service and driver empowerment. I am thrilled to witness the incredible comradeship and passion displayed by our drivers today. This event exemplifies Bolt’s unwavering commitment to driver engagement and satisfaction”

Weyinmi Aghadiuno, Acting Head of Regulatory & Policy Africa at Bolt, expressed enthusiasm about the event, saying, “We are thrilled to host this novelty football competition as a way to bring our driver community together in a spirit of unity and inclusion.

“Our drivers are the backbone of our service, and this event is our way of showing appreciation for their hard work and dedication. By creating opportunities for our drivers and their families to connect and engage in a fun, relaxed setting, we aim to strengthen the bonds within our community and celebrate the diversity that makes us stronger.”

The event concluded with the presentation of medals and trophies to the top three teams, along with outstanding prizes for participants. The winning team received a cash prize of N500,000 plus an additional N200,000 from the Lagos State Ministry of Transportation.

The runner-up team was awarded N350,000 plus an additional N150,000 from Oraimo, while the third-place team received N250,000. In total, the cash prizes amounted to 1.3 million naira. Additionally, exciting prizes were won by female drivers and other attendees during the raffle draw.


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