Category Archives: BUSINESS

Firm Set to Complete Azuri Peninsula Project



ITB Nigeria Limited is set to complete its first steel and concrete building project known as the Azuri Peninsula, in Eko Atlantic City, Lagos State.

The Managing Director of ITB Nigeria, Mr. Ramzi Chidiac, the firm described the Azuri Peninsula project, which began in 2015 as a unique steel and concrete residential building project that consists of three set of over 30 storey towers.

The statement also noted that the project offers a unique collection of four-bedroom luxury and super luxury apartments, two and four-bedroom stunning Marina Town houses as well as s six-bedroom simplex (penthouses).Chidiac in the statement expressed satisfaction with the project, stating that it would be the first composite structure created by a combination of steel and concrete to form a single element.

“This helps to deliver performance that is more effective than when individual components are used together but not unified. This testifies to the excellent work that we do at ITB Nigeria,” he stated.

Chidiac explained that the firm is focused on fully understanding the needs of its clients and delivering on their promises, “regardless of the scale or complexity of the challenge at hand.”

“Steel and concrete structures involve a mix of steel and concrete together to form a single element. The tensile capacity of the steel and the compressive capacity of the concrete result in a standard structure.
“This gives rise to benefits like speed, performance and value. Additionally, concrete encasement protects the steel from buckling, corrosion and fire,” the statement added.

NACCIMA: AfCFTA Signing Will Integrate SMEs in Africa




The Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) has said the signing the Africa Continental Free Trade Area Agreement (AfCFTA) would serve as a platform to integrate small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) into the regional economy.

The pact would also accelerate women’s trade and economic empowerment.
Addressing a press conference in Lagos yesterday, the President of the association, Iyalode Alaba Lawson, noted that the immediate impact of the AfCFTA could be the loss of revenue from import duties and taxes which may impede the federal government’s current agenda to invest heavily in infrastructure and affect other spending activity.

Thus, the NACCIMA boss stressed the need for the government to step up efforts with policies that would ensure that Nigerian products and services are market ready for the African continent in the shortest possible time.

He added that in order to take full advantage of the AfCFTA when the country finally agrees to sign the agreement, the federal government must intensify current efforts to eradicate non-tariff and regulatory barriers to international trade. These include border delays, burdensome customs and inspection procedures, as well as ensure that multiple licensing and taxes are eliminated.

He argued that a situation where it was easier to import than to export in the continent would defeat the purpose of signing the AfCFTA.
Lawson said, “This is an issue on the top of our national agenda in the field of trade, and we must therefore say a few words about it. The AfCTA aims to create a common market of 1.2 billion people with an estimated GDP of $2.5 trillion.

“At present, over 40 African countries have signed this Agreement. Nigeria was deeply involved in the negotiations from the beginning and indeed we chaired the process.
“We therefore cannot afford to be excluded from a common African market because it is a veritable strategy to raise the competitiveness of African economies in the global economy.

“Clearly, NACCIMA’s position is that our dear country should sign the AfCFTA. We as a country have been closely and long involved with the vision of an African Free Trade Area right from the establishment of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) now known as the African Union (AU).”

The association urged that strategy for implementation should be worked out to tackle the inherent problems.
“While we continue to address the issues around the AfCFTA, and work on a strategy for implementation to tackle the problems and set up an all-embracing implementation committee in readiness for when it will finally take off.”

Insurance Operators Urged to Adopt Innovation


Insurance sector operators have been advised to prepare for the next generation of consumers and talents by embracing changes and responding to the economic, social and technological needs in the sector.

Stakeholders who spoke at the 2018 Presidential Valedictory Lecture to mark the end of the tenure of Funmi Babington-Ashaye as the 48th President and chairman of Council of the Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria (CIIN), stressed that the industry must embrace new ways of delivering its services to meet the expectation and speed of the new generation of consumers, and talents.

The lecture which was delivered by Babington-Ashaye had as its theme, ‘Insurance and Generation Next- Meeting the Needs of Stakeholders’.

Speaking at the event, the Chairman, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Mrs. Ibukun Awosika, who chaired the event said insurance model today is not sustainable.

“The industry will die if it does not open itself to change and embrace the new space,” stating that there are lots of disruptors that are ready to take over the business and offer the same services the insurance companies or the brokers think they are offering.
She said the potential for growth was huge, saying the industry currently operates at the least of its capacity.

“There is a bit of complacency in the industry, so you might not survive the next generation if people and technology come in with the new things they have, she stated.
Babington-Ashaye, in her lecture said for the industry to catch-up with the generation next, players in the business must leverage technology, adopt new ways of working, repackage products, and improve products and pricing strategy, as well as data mining.

The insurance industry she further said, is at the threshold of its evolution in which developments in technology would significantly impact its products offerings, operations and the skill set of personnel required to deliver value to the diverse stakeholders, in the near future, which will be dominated by generation next.

“Given the declining inflow of new entrants into the profession, the fear of a talent gap is rife. We need to change the wrong perception by showcasing the career opportunities that exist, the product we develop, the risks we assume and the professional advisory services we provide, Babington-Ashaye stated.

Speakers at the event all agreed on the need for the industry to bring flexibility and varieties of offering, open up the sector for new talents, particularly from outside insurance, and improve on remuneration to make the sector attractive for generation next, enhance perception and increase trust. According to them, all of these will position the sector for sustainable growth and attract the generation next.

CIIN Inaugurates 49th President
The immediate past Chairman, Nigeria Insurers Association (NIA), Eddie Efekoha will today be inaugurated as the 49th president of the Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria (CIIN).
Efekoha, who is also the Managing Director, Consolidated Hallmark Insurance Plc, penultimate week handed over the baton of leadership of the umbrella body of insurance underwriters, the Nigeria Insurers Association (NIA) to Mr Tope Smart of NEM Insurance.

Addressing Journalist at hand over ceremony organised by the institute, the Chairman, investiture planning committee, Mr Sunny Adeda, said the institute prides itself in having a robust succession plan which has continued to ensure a seamless and rancour-free transition from one president to another.
He said any potential candidate to the office of the president was expected to have moved through the leadership ladder without blemish.
“The journey to the institute’s presidency engenders commitment, hard work and consistent membership of the governing council.

“Continuous membership is essential, but not adequate to make anybody the president of the institute. We ensure that such persons must be fit and proper and possess outstanding qualities as well as an uninhibited zest to serve selflessly”.

Reviewing the election, Adeda said “the election of Efekoha as the president of the institute by the governing council is an attestation to the fact that he has the outstanding qualities required of anybody to become the president of the institute.

“He therefore deserves to be celebrated for this recognition. The investiture committee which is chaired by me and 12 other members has done so much to make the celebration of Eddie Efekoha a memorable event.”

OAK Pension Grows Profit by 65%
OAK Pensions Limited said it grew its profit by 65.8 per cent, from N230.88 million in 2016, to N382.8 million in its 2017 financial year.
The Chairman of the company, Dr. Awa Ibraheem, disclosed this during the company’s 12th annual general meeting in Lagos.
While expressing OAK Pension’s commitment to serving its contributors and retirees, Ibraheem, said the company will continue to give them better returns on investment.

“Our duty is to manage the funds on behalf of the retirees and ensures the funds grow so that when they retire, they benefit more than what they contributed. Our retirees are happy with us with the rate of return on investment.”
He said that OAK Pensions tries to balance return with risk, by making sure that the interest of its retirees are well protected, and balancing the high returns with low risk.

To get closer to its stakeholders, he said that the company had extended its call centers so that its interaction with retirees will be more efficient and effective.
“We have also gone far by improving on our ICT, we have completely computerised now, and on the feedback we are getting from retirees, it is much easier for them to be served than in the past,” he said.

While observing that most of the contributors of the Contributory Pension Scheme were from the government and private sector, he said that the informal sector were actually the drivers of the economy.
“What we are doing now is to expand our informal sector department, to provide them with more facilities,” he said
adding that the company was committed to protecting the financial future of the Nigerian workers and will continue to enlighten the informal sector on the need to key into the CPS.