Wednesday, 17 January 2018
Business and Economy

Business and Economy (749)

Arik Air, Nigeria’s largest carrier said on Friday it would resume daily flight operations between Abuja and Accra, Ghana on July 17.

The airline’s Chief Executive Officer, Capt. Roy Ilegbodu, disclosed this on Friday in Lagos that the resumption of flights between the two countries was part of efforts to satisfy the company’s customers.

Ilegbodu said flights were suspended on the Abuja-Accra route in March following the closure of Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, to pave way for the rehabilitation of the runway.

He said the Abuja-Accra flight would operate daily at 5.30 p.m. (local time) departure out of Abuja with a departure time of 7.40 p.m. (local time) in Accra.

“The re-introduction of the Abuja-Accra operation is part of the management’s strategy to optimise flight schedule and respond to the needs of our valued customers.

“Arik Air has been in the forefront of providing customer-centred services since our inception and we will continue to respond to the needs of our customers,” the CEO said in a statement.

Posted On Saturday, 01 July 2017 11:49 Written by

Ghana's President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has reiterated that unless the economies of African countries industrialise, with the goal of adding significant value to its primary products, they cannot create the necessary numbers of good-paying jobs that will enhance the living standards of their peoples.

According to the President, “raw material producing economies do not create prosperity for their people. The way to that goal, the goal of ensuring access to prosperity, is value addition activities in a transformed and a diversified modern economy.”

President Akufo-Addo was speaking at the opening of the 53rd Zambia International Trade Fair, on Thursday, June 29, 2017, the last day of his official State Visit to that country, when he made this known.

Speaking on the theme “Innovation for Industrialisation”, the President stated that it is for this reason that one of the flagship programmes of his government is the “one district, one factory” initiative.

Through public-private partnerships, President Akufo-Addo told his Zambian audience that his government aims to establish at least one industrial enterprise in each of the 216 Districts of Ghana, and ensure that Ghana no longer becomes a retailer of cheap imported goods.

“The establishment of these factories will mean that each district becomes an economic growth pole, the centre for the creation of jobs, and, thereby, halt the phenomenon of rural-urban migration of our nation’s youth,” he added.

However, the process of value-addition to Africa’s raw materials, the President stressed, “starts with adding value to our human capital through an education system that provides every child with the skills to realize their full potential.”

Africa, he explained, needs a confident, educated workforce to be able to compete effectively in the global economy.

“This is why, for my part, I have made education one of the foundations of my vision to build a knowledge-based, industrialised economy in Ghana. Access to free, universal, quality, basic education is the key to participation in the new global economy,” he said.

Africa’s problems present us with opportunities

With Africa’s hopes for prosperity and attaining a proper place among the comity of nations remaining unfulfilled, President Akufo-Addo stated that the problems confronting the continent are largely the result of the failure of leadership.

“You could, if you were so minded, look on the extent of the problems that face our continent and region and feel overwhelmed. We should not be. These problems, in my view, present us, in Africa, with opportunities to bring progress and development to our continent,” he said.

He continued, “With the aid of science and technology, the promotion of enterprise, innovation and creativity, and the spread of democratic values, we can construct a new era of prosperity for all the peoples of Africa.”

President Akufo-Addo also stressed the crucial importance of small and medium scale enterprises to the economies of Africa, with nearly 95% of all businesses on the continent being small-scale enterprises.

“They are the heartbeat of our economy, and are at the core of Africa’s private sector. In every city, town, village or hamlet in our respective countries, these small and medium scale enterprises support the livelihoods of our communities. At the national level, they contribute significantly to our gross domestic product and taxes. Indeed, the survival of most countries on the continent is directly anchored in the success of small and medium-scale enterprises,” he added.

Promoting access to digital technology for SMEs, particularly for our youth, he stressed, will enable them realise their full potential, the ripple effects of which would see huge economic gains in the shortest possible time. 

In concluding, the President reiterated his conviction that Africa can engineer its transition from poverty to prosperity in a generation.

“We are determined to do that in our generation, and ensure that succeeding generations will be neither victims nor pawns of the international economic order,” he added.

Posted On Saturday, 01 July 2017 01:48 Written by

Chairman of Etisalat Nigeria, Mr Hakeem Bello Osagie, has resigned his appointment following the approval of a restructuring plan for the telecommunications firm.

The Chairman of Etisalat Nigeria, Mr Hakeem Belo-Osagie, has resigned his appointment following the approval of a restructuring plan for the telecommunications firm.

The resignation is effective immediately, according to an insider source.

“Although the chairman had planned to leave immediately the banks made the take-over move, he opted to tarry until a road map for the company was finalised. The timing of the resignation was strategically delayed till now when stakeholders have agreed on a plan and come more than a week after Mubadala Development Company directors tendered their resignation.

The development also reflects Mr Belo-Osagie’s deep commitment to protecting the interest of all stakeholders. It is now expected that Etisalat Nigeria under its new shareholding structure will navigate through its current loan repayment challenge with minimum impact. “ the source added.

“Over the last several months, the chairman has worked extensively with critical stakeholders to prepare clearly articulated strategies and robust road maps that will mitigate the impact of the new shareholding restructuring and realignment on the operations and management of the 4th largest telecoms player in Nigeria.

With this development, the new board will assume control of Etisalat.

This is coming following interventions, which have been roundly applauded, from regulatory agencies, including the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) and Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and other stakeholders to ensure that the best decisions are taken in the interest of the subscribers, employees and the Nigerian economy.

Further announcements on the composition of the new board are expected from the stakeholders,” the source remarked.

Posted On Saturday, 01 July 2017 01:17 Written by

Claudio Bravo was Chile’s hero on Wednesday as they beat Portugal 3-0 in a penalty shoot-out in the Confederations Cup semi-finals.

The Manchester City goalkeeper saved all three penalties from Portugal’s Ricardo Quaresma, Joao Moutinho and Nani, while Arturo Vidal, Charles Aranguiz and Alexis Sanchez nailed their spot-kicks for the South Americans.

Chile progress to Sunday’s final in St Petersburg to face either Mexico or Germany, who meet Thursday in Sochi in the other semi-final.

Losers Portugal will contest Sunday’s third-place play-off in Moscow.

Chile almost settled Wednesday’s match in the dying stages of extra-time when both Vidal and substitute Martin Rodriguez hit the woodwork as Portugal hung on to take the game to a shoot-out.

The defeat in Kazan will be bitterly disappointing for Portugal’s superstar forward Cristiano Ronaldo.

The Real Madrid star, who is facing doubts about his future in Spain as he prepares to answer allegations of tax evasion in a Madrid court next month, had won man-of-the-match awards in all three group matches.

Before kick-off in Kazan, Manchester City’s new signing Bernardo Silva shook off a foot injury he suffered in the 4-0 drubbing of New Zealand to make Portugal’s starting line-up.

With Pepe suspended, Jose Fonte partnered Bruno Alves at centre-back.

Up front, AC Milan’s 21-year-old striker Andre Silva partnered Ronaldo, but the pair endured a frustrating night at the hands of Chile’s defence.

Chile’s coach Juan Antonio Pizzi named the same team which drew 1-1 with world champions Germany last Thursday as centre-back Gary Medel and midfielder Aranguiz both shook off knocks.

The game got off to a frantic start which demanded early saves from both goalkeepers.

With just six minutes gone, Sanchez put a superb pass in behind the defence, which landed just in front of Eduardo Vargas, but Portugal’s goalkeeper Rui Patricio blocked the shot.

At the other end moments later, a low Ronaldo cross put Andre Silva in space, but Bravo smothered the effort at close range.

Aranguiz twice went close with efforts on the Portugal goal in the opening half and it was end-to-end stuff again after the break.

Chile’s Vargas forced Patricio into another reflex save, while Ronaldo fired at Bravo when Portugal counter-attacked immediately.

Then Vidal’s long-range effort went screaming just high and wide of the Portugal goal.

Ronaldo sent a free-kick just over and had a shot blocked as both sides attacked relentlessly, but the scores remained goalless and the game went to extra time.

There was no let up in the pace as Portugal’s Andre Gomes went close while Sanchez headed Mauricio Isla’s cross from the left just wide of the post.

Joao Moutinho came on for Adrien Silva, who had worked tirelessly in midfield for Portugal, in the first period of extra time.

With time almost up, Chile had a penalty appeal turned down when substitute Francisco Silva appeared to be fouled by Fonte in the area before Vidal, then Rodriguez rattled Portugal’s woodwork.

Posted On Thursday, 29 June 2017 01:11 Written by

President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto on Monday evening stepped up their bid for re-election by citing their achievements as  they accused the Opposition of “copying” them.

During a session preceding the official launch of the Jubilee manifesto, the two leaders argued that they had achieved a lot within a short period.

“We should be happy with what we have achieved. We need to work harder for what lies ahead of us,” said Mr Kenyatta.

“There are many things they said we can’t accomplish, which we have. I am sure if given time, there is more we can accomplish.”


The President was defending his record, citing Huduma centres, free maternity healthcare, regional integration and improving relations with the outside world.

“You were told that if you elect us, the world will reject us. Today, people from various countries want to visit Kenya. There is no country that has refused to accommodate a Kenyan president,” he argued, referring to the image issues surrounding their cases at the International Criminal Court.

President Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto during the launch of Jubilee party Manifesto at Safaricom Kasarani stadium on Monday, June 26, 2017. PHOTO DENNIS ONSONGO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

“This is a government that works for the people. We also work with the people. We do so because at the end of the day this country belongs to 45 million people.”


Before the launch of the manifesto, the two leaders and Cabinet Secretaries engaged the audience when they outlined their achievements over the past four and-a-half years.

Foreign CS Amina Mohamed and her counterparts Aden Mohamed (Industrialisation) and Joe Mucheru (ICT) presented their figures, arguing for the Jubilee Party.

President Kenyatta relied on the ministers to tell the story of the achievements of the Jubilee administration.

Ms Mohamed described Kenya’s global picture as one that could only get better.


“We have risen from a country of essential contacts to one that welcomes the President of the United States, His Holiness the Pope and over 50 global leaders,  and hosts 16 summits and 15 major conferences,” said Ms Mohamed.

She added: “In four-and-a-half years, we have increased foreign investment by 400 per cent.”

Mr Mohamed described what he said was opening up of the trade sector and removal of bureaucracy in the conduct of business

“We have made it very easy to do business and we have been cited by the World Bank as the third most improved country on ease of doing business,” said Mr Mohamed.


Mr Mucheru focused on improving Kenya’s IT services. He explained how the government was helping the youth secure jobs through online searches.

Narok Governor Samuel Tunai (left) and Nairobi Senator Mike Sonko during the launch of Jubilee Party manifesto. PHOTO | DENNIS ONSONGO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

But it was always going to be a government-versus-Opposition affair. Mr Ruto was the first to criticise opposition leaders, saying they want to do things like what the government has done.

“Our record of the last four- and-a-half years speaks for itself. We are the only political party that has a track record,” he said.

“We have a superior plan for our country, which our competitors can only copy and we welcome them to copy because it is the best.”


The President chipped in: “The difference between us and them is, as my brother, the Deputy President has said, is like day and night. The difference is this — there are those who seek leadership by blaming others.”

“Then there are those who seek leadership by seeking to correct mistakes and offer hope, opportunity and the future.”

The President said he was voted in when some individuals were questioning his ability to lead, especially in light of the case he and his deputy were facing at the International Criminal Court.

Posted On Tuesday, 27 June 2017 00:00 Written by

The Global Competitiveness Report 2016-2017, which was published on Wednesday September 28, has ranked Rwanda the most improving nation in Sub-saharan Africa.

The report, published by the World Economic Forum, says Rwanda has risen 6 places to 52- closing in on the region’s traditionally most competitive economies; Mauritius and South Africa, despite the two countries registering more modest improvements, climbing to 45 and 47 respectively.

In 2014-2015 report, Rwanda improved its world ranking to 62nd position in the world, up from 66th last year.  In Africa, Rwanda retained 3rd position and number one in the East African Community. This improvement comes particularly from labor market efficiency and institutions pillars where Rwanda ranked 9th and 18th in the world respectively.

Lower down the ranking, Kenya climbs to 96, Ethiopia holds steady at 109 while Nigeria slips three to 127.

Two countries in Latin America and the Caribbean make it into this year’s top 50. Chile, the outlier in the region on 33, climbs two places although the gap is closing with the second highest ranked economy, Panama (up 8 places to 42). Next comes Mexico which performs strongly with a 6-point climb to 51. Argentina and Colombia, the third and fourth largest economies in the region, ranked 104 and 61 respectively.  According to the rankings, Rwanda is followed by Botswana (64), Namibia (84) and Kenya (96).

The report is an annual assessment of the factors driving productivity and prosperity in 138 countries. The degree to which economies are open to international trade in goods and services is directly linked to both economic growth and a nation’s innovative potential.

The trend, which is based on perception data from the Global Competitiveness Index (GCI)’s Executive Opinion Survey, is gradual and attributed mainly to a rise in non-tariff barriers although three other factors are also taken into account; burdensome customs procedures; rules affecting FDI and foreign ownership.

It is most keenly felt in the high and upper middle income economies.

“Declining openness in the global economy is harming competitiveness and making it harder for leaders to drive sustainable, inclusive growth,” said Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman, World Economic Forum.

The report also sheds light on why quantitative easing and other monetary policy measures have been insufficient in reigniting long-term growth for the world’s advanced economies.

The report finds that interventions by economies with comparatively low GCI scores failed to generate the same effect as those performed in economies with high scores, suggesting that strong underlying competitiveness is a key requirement for successful monetary stimulus.

The report offers insight into how priorities may be shifting for nations in earlier stages of development. While basic drivers of competitiveness such as infrastructure, health, education and well-functioning markets will always be important, data in the GCI suggests that a nation’s performance in terms of technological readiness, business sophistication and innovation is now as important in driving competitiveness and growth.

The Global Competitiveness Index in 2016 for the eighth consecutive year, Switzerland ranks as the most competitive economy in the world, narrowly ahead of Singapore and the United States.

Following both countries is Netherlands and then Germany. The latter has climbed four places in two years. The next two countries, Sweden (6) and the United Kingdom (7) both advance three places, with the latter’s GCI score being based on pre-Brexit data.

The remaining three economies in the top ten; Japan (8), Hong Kong Special Administrative Republic (SAR) (9) and Finland (10) all move backwards.

While European economies continue to dominate the top ten, there remains no end in sight for the region’s persisting north-south divide. Spain improves by one point climbing to 32, however Italy drops back one place to 44 and Greece reverses 5 places to 86.

France, the Eurozone’s second largest economy, climbs one place to 21. For all economies in Europe, maintaining and improving prosperity levels will depend heavily on their ability to harness innovation and the talents of their workforces.

There is some sign of convergence in the competitiveness of the world’s largest emerging markets. China, on 28, remains top among the BRICS grouping although another surge by India – which climbs 16 places to 39 – means there is now less of a gap between it and its peers. With both Russia and South Africa moving up two places to 43 and 47 respectively only Brazil is declining, falling six places to 81.

Culled from: News of Rwanda -

Posted On Saturday, 24 June 2017 16:04 Written by

PRESS STATEMENT: Foremost financial institution, Guaranty Trust Bank plc, has launched GTPATRIOT, a unique Salary Account Package which offers Nigeria’s servicemen and servicewomen subsidized banking products and dedicated value added services. The GTPatriot Account allows serving members of the Military and Paramilitary institutions to open accounts with zero minimum balance whilst offering reduced Current Account maintenance fees and access to loans at reduced interest rates, amongst other value added services. 

GTBank has been at the forefront of providing innovative account packages designed for the unique needs of various segments of the society. Among these account packages are the GTCrea8 e-Savers account which offers young people, especially undergraduates, benefits beyond banking, such as scholarships and career master classes, and the GTBank Seniors Account which offers senior citizens aged 65 years and above free banking services. With the introduction of the GTPatriot Account, the bank will expand and deepen its relationship with another core segment of the society in line with its goal of enriching the lives of all customers and the communities in which it operates.

Commenting on the launch of the GTPatriot Account, the Managing Director of Guaranty Trust Bank Plc said, “As an institution that deeply believes in service, we are excited to introduce this premium account that recognizes, applauds and appreciates the invaluable service that members of military and paramilitary institutions offer to the nation. The GTPatriot Account Package goes beyond providing best in-class banking products to servicemen and women, it includes a wide range of value added benefits that guarantees a superior banking experience and genuinely enriches their lives.”

He further stated that “We will continue to create innovative and specially targeted products and services in order to ensure long-term value adding relationships with several segments of our customers and the communities in which we operate.”

Guaranty Trust Bank plc has always been at the forefront of industry innovations within the Nigerian financial services sector and plays a leading role in Africa’s banking industry. The GTBank brand is regarded by industry watchers as one of the best run financial institutions across its subsidiary countries and serves as a role model within the financial service industry due to its bias for world class corporate governance standards, excellent service, quality and innovation.

Posted On Saturday, 24 June 2017 15:29 Written by

Tanzania's President John Magufuli has been condemned for comments that girls who give birth should not be allowed to return to school.

An online petition has been set up and a pan-African women's organisation is mobilising to get the president to apologise and reverse his comments.

Mr Magufuli warned schoolgirls at a rally on Monday that: "After getting pregnant, you are done."

A law passed in 2002 allows for the expulsion of pregnant schoolgirls.

The law says the girls can be expelled and excluded from school for "offences against morality" and "wedlock".

Women's rights groups have recently been urging the government to change the law.

Mr Magufuli, who was speaking at a public rally in Chalinze town, about 100km west of the main city Dar es Salaam, said that young mothers would be distracted if they were allowed back in school:

"After calculating some few mathematics, she'd be asking the teacher in the classroom: 'Let me go out and breastfeed my crying baby.'"

He said that men who impregnate the schoolgirls should be imprisoned for 30 years and "put the energy they used to impregnate the girl into farming while in jail".

'I was a teenage mother': Jackie Leonard Lomboma, who runs a centre for teenage mothers in Morogoro

Jackie Leonard Lomboma with her daughter Rose, aged 15Image copyrightJACKIE LEONARD LOMBOMA
Jackie Leonard Lomboma with her daughter Rose, aged 15

I had just finished my primary education; I was supposed to go to secondary education but could not afford the fees.

I met this smart boy, who promised that he would ask his parents to help me go to secondary school if I agreed to be with him.

I didn't date him, like girlfriend and boyfriend.

The first time I met him was the first time I got pregnant and that was the last time I saw him.

Because I was kicked out of school, my grandfather chased me out of home.

I eventually found work as a maid. When the family left, they asked me what I would like as a goodbye gift.

I said I wanted to go to school. It was a shock but they eventually agreed.

It is a big disappointment to hear such a statement from our president. It is only education which can help any country in this world overcome poverty.

President Magufuli also criticised rights organisations who have been pushing the government to reverse the law:

"These NGOs should go out and open schools for parents. But they should not force the government [to take back the pupils].

"I'm giving out free education for students who have really decided to go and study, and now you want me to educate the parents?"

The BBC's Sammy Awami in Tanzania reports that the crowd at the rally applauded the president's comments.

At least 8,000 Tanzanian girls drop out of school every year due to pregnancy, according to a Human Rights Watch report. 


The online petition says that the president's support for the expulsion law would end the education of many girls and "propagate more discrimination".

It instead calls for the girls to be protected from early pregnancies while in school.

The African Women's Development and Communication Network, Femnet has also expressed its outrage.

"With all the work we have done to emancipate Africa's girl-child from the shackles of discrimination and violation, a sitting president turns around to "re-victimze" and treat their situation like a terrible infectious disease which other girls must be protected from," said its head Dinah Musindarwezo.

Lawyer Kavinya Makau called Mr Magafuli's sentiments a" betrayal of the highest order."

Two weeks ago, Tanzania's Vice-President Samia Suluhu called for young mothers to be readmitted to school, saying they should not be denied a right to education.

Can apps replace teachers in Tanzania?
Posted On Saturday, 24 June 2017 00:04 Written by

Brighter days may lie around in the corner for prospective homeowners, following plans to introduce a public private partnership initiative that seeks to increase access to housing finance in Nigeria through mortgage guarantee insurance and microfinance scheme.

The scheme, ‘My Own Home’ comes as an offshoot of the Nigeria Housing Finance Programme (NHFP) set up by the Federal Government and implemented by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) with the support of World Bank’s $300 million loan.

NHFP is creating the enabling environment for strengthening the nation’s housing sector by setting up sustainable framework by mortgage originators to access long-term refinancing. The new scheme is expected to scale-up mortgage and housing finance awareness.

Under the ‘My Own Home scheme, eight micro finance banks have been selected to stimulate housing finance for low-income earners in the formal and informal sectors. They will benefit from a $15 million technical assistance, which LAPO Microfinance Bank is piloting in the housing sector.

Specifically, the eight micro finance banks are expected to facilitate access to flexible housing finance for low-income earners for incremental construction or home improvement. “It could be financing to buy a piece of land for building or laying foundation on an existing land and commence building stage by stage.

“After every stage of building, and with a good history of repayment, the microfinance bank keeps financing the customer until the building is completed. Housing microfinance is not a mortgage and is not for the purchase of homes.

“Housing microfinance is closer to our traditional sense of incremental construction. Not everyone has money to finance mortgage but under the microfinance scheme, a homeowner can stretch his building plan in such a way that he takes different tranches of loan as he builds,” according to Mr. Adedeji Adesemoye, CBN’s Head, Project Administration Team of the National Housing Fund Programme.

He revealed in Lagos that the technical assistance would be provided in partnership with the Frankfurt School of Management and AFC Consultants International, Germany. “The objective is to catalyse the growth of the housing sector through de-risking the housing finance value chain and improving access to finance,” he said.

Adesemoye stated that the programme is targeted at inspiring the younger generations of Nigerians on the need to key into mortgage process and start owning homes. “We need to educate our people that owning a home with a mixture of equity and debt is not a negative thing; having a home that you will live in the next 50 years does not require you to spend all your life savings,” he said.

Posted On Tuesday, 20 June 2017 01:57 Written by

Wife of billionaire kidnapper, Evans, arrested recently in Lagos has begged the authorities to temper justice with mercy and give her husband a second chance.

The wife, Precious, who is based abroad said she was not privy to the exploits of her dare-devil husband Chikwudubem Onwuamadike, a.k.a. Evans.

In a recent interview with Vanguard newspaper, Precious revealed that she could not believe all that she had heard about her husband, she said she did know he was a criminal because he presented himself as a God-fearing man who always led the family in prayer. In fact, his favorite bible verse is Psalm 23.

“I feel very bad because I did not know if he was doing all these or not. Even if he was into all these, why did he not stop because of me and his children? All the time when we pray, he used to promise God that he would tell Him his story later in life. Here reads psalm 23 a lot. Even his phone, he sets alarm for 12 noon to read psalm 23. He took part in our daily prayers in the morning, evening and night. He used to lead us in prayers. We attend Anglican Church. He has never given them money to show off. We used to give N5000 or N10,000 and the highest we have given so far was N50,000 when we baptized one of our children,” she told Vanguard newspaper.

Evans, after he was captured

She also asked for forgiveness on behalf of her husband, saying his wealth should be distributed back to his victims.

She also said she would be willing to come and see the Lagos state governor to explain her own part of the story.

“I am appealing to the powers that be to spare his life (crying), as I speak now, I am kneeling down with my children, crying and begging for forgiveness. Have mercy on us. He did not know what he was doing. He did not know what came over him. I am ready to come back to Nigeria and plead on his behalf. What I am reading in the news is shocking. Though, I have not heard that he killed anybody but all those he injured or took their money should please forgive him because of me and my children.

Happier times. Precious with Evans’ children

”They should kindly forgive him, he will repent. God knows I will not be alive and see my husband doing bad thing and keep quiet. All his wealth should be sold off and given to his victims. I am ready to come back and testify on his behalf. I will also like to see the Governor of Lagos state and explain the whole thing to him.”

Posted On Sunday, 18 June 2017 14:24 Written by
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