In 2022 all eyes will be on many Nigerian businessmen and corporate organisations whose decisions in the preceding year will greatly impact the country The year 2021 saw major mergers and acquisitions involving quoted companies which operations will have significant impact on the economy.
Aliko Dangote/Dangote Refinery
Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, will expectedly be of much influence on Nigeria’s economic scene this year. This is the year that the 650,000 b/d Dangote Refinery will begin production.
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Dangote Refinery will fill a large vacuum in Nigeria’s products market that authorities hope will help stabilise the local supply of refined oil products. This will surely help to stop the country’s dependence on imported refined products. In doing this, it will help reduce Nigeria’s perennial foreign exchange (forex) crisis which is due in part to the huge amounts spent on the importation of refined petroleum products.
Karl Tariola/MTN and Mafab to deploy 5G
MTN Nigerian was awarded a 5G license in 2021, paving the way for the continent’s largest wireless carrier to supply faster internet to consumers and businesses.
In line with the objectives of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) 2020-2030 for a Digital Nigeria and the positioning of the country as an early adopter of digital technology in the growing global digital economy, the successful and timely deployment of 5G is crucial.
5G is expected to facilitate several emerging technologies, generate innovative use cases, spur significant socio-economic growth and create jobs.
It will be critical because it will enable unprecedented levels of connectivity, upgrading 4G networks with five key functional drivers: superfast broadband, ultra-reliable low latency communication, massive machine-type communications, high reliability/availability and efficient energy usage.
Like MTN Nigeria, Mafab Communication will be one of the companies to watch in 2002 Led by Musbahu Muhammad Bashir as chairman, Mafab emerged on the scene to snatch one of the two 5G licences.
Mrs Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed
Nigeria’s Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed, will be in the news this year for various reasons. Her ministry will superintend some of the policies that will have significant impacts on the lives of Nigerians.
The ministry will implement the planned removal of the subsidy on petroleum products, increase in import tariffs, increase in taxes and increase in electricity tariff. These are policies that by their nature are bound to be unpopular with the Nigerian masses because of the expected impact they will have on the average consumer’s welfare.
Mrs Ahmed will also be the one whose ministry will implement the N5,000 a month transport allowance for about 40 million poor Nigerians as a palliative for the expected impact of the subsidy removal. Zainab alongside other ministers and critical stakeholders would work hard to actualise the National Development Plan 2021-2025 which succeeds the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP 2017-2020). The federal government said this would require N348.1 trillion.
The federal government is expected to provide N49.7 trillion or 14.3per sent, while the private sector will provide the balance of N298.3 trillion or 85.7per cent. The government believes these measures will increase revenues and by extension additional infrastructure for social and economic development.
Titan’s acquisition of 104-year-old Union Bank
This followed an agreement by Union Global Partners Limited, Atlas Mara Limited and majority shareholders to divest 88.39 per cent shareholding in Union Bank to Titan Trust Bank.
The board of Union Bank, in a notification to the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) and the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) on Thursday, explained that the agreement, which is subject to regulatory approvals and other financial conditions, would upon completion transfer of 89.39 per cent of Union Bank’s issued share capital to Titan Trust Bank.
According to the Chairman of Titan Trust Bank, Mr Tunde Lemo, “Our stakeholders are delighted as this transaction marks a key step for Titan Trust in its strategic growth journey and propels the institution to the next level in the Nigerian banking sector.
Abdulsamad Rabiu/BUA Group
The BUA Group will be one of the dominant players in the nation’s economy in the New Year.
The highly diversified group led by Abdul Samad Rabiu is expected to expand its cement output to 20 million metric tons by next year from three cement plants being constructed in three states: Sokoto, Edo and Adamawa.
The group also plans to list its consolidated food business on the NGX within the year. The food business includes flour and pasta, sugar, edible oils and rice.
Mangal Industries, owned by the Katsina-born industrialist, Alhaji Dahiru Mangal, in 2021 signed a contract with China-based Sinoma International Engineering for the delivery of a 3Mt/yr new integrated cement plant in the northern state of Kogi. The plant will cost US$600m and generate thousands of jobs during construction and when inaugurated in early 2024. Sinoma International Engineering will also build a dedicated 50MW power plant for the plant.
Mangal had said during the signing of the contract: “This investment is part of an ambitious investment programme under implementation by Mangal Industries. The factory will rely on the best available technology for cement production in line with the highest environmental standards.”
Mangal, who is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of AFDIN Group of companies Nigeria Limited comprising Max Air Limited, Katsina Dyeing, Printing Textiles Limited, AFDIN Football Club, AFDIN Construction Company Nigeria Ltd, Manasawa Oil, Mangal Oil and Manasawa Enterprises, a clearing and forwarding firm has also sold his 1,968,452,614 shares in Oando PLC.
Industry watchers believed that he would channel the money into some of his businesses.
Allen Onyeama/Air Peace
Air Peace is a star to watch. In 2021, the airline received the third of its brand new Embraer 195-E5 aircraft at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, and disclosed that it would receive all the 13 aircraft it ordered from the Brazilian planemaker before the end of 2022, adding that it would create about 17,000 jobs.
The Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Air Peace, Allen Onyema, made this known in a speech just before the aircraft touched down at the Abuja airport from the Embraer facility in Sao Jose Dos Campos, Brazil.
“In addition to the order of 13 aircraft, which we would have receive before the end of 2022, we would make a further commitment of 10 additional aircraft, and by the time we have 30 aircraft we would employ about 17,000 personnel,” Onyema explained.
He said the airline would deploy the aircraft to international, regional and domestic destinations as it had started opening new routes in Nigeria.
He further said the new aircraft would hit the West Coast and African region as it extended its West Coast destinations to include Douala (Cameroon), Kinshasa (Congo), Niamey (Niger), Dakar (Senegal), as well as Monrovia (Liberia).
What Airtel/MTN PSB licence approval could mean for financial inclusion in Nigeria
On Friday, November 8, 2021, telecom giants, MTN and Airtel, in separate statements, revealed that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had approved in principle to operate Payment Service Banks (PSBs).
PSBs accept deposits from individuals and small businesses, carry out payment and remittance services within Nigeria, issue debit and prepaid cards, operate electronic purses and other activities prescribed by the CBN.
While the telcos would not offer a full suite of financial services, they would be able to provide users with entry into the financial system.
A significant reason for the optimism shown is the potential of telcos to fast-track the CBN’s financial inclusion goal. This is mainly due to their comprehensive coverage of the country, especially in rural areas that house most of the unbanked population.
With the infrastructural cost of setting up branches and security, banks are not opening branches in new locations, and in some cases, are shutting down operations.
According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Nigerian banks closed 234 branches and 649 Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) in 2020; bringing the number of banks in the country to 5,158 in 2020 from 5,392 in 2019.
Furthermore, MTN and Airtel have the largest and third largest subscribers at 67.5 million and 42 million respectively. Even accounting for multiple SIM cards as is common in the country; those figures are significantly higher than the top three Nigerian banks by customer base. According to data from the GSM Association, there were 97.5 million unique mobile subscribers in 2018.
It is not clear what will happen to thousands of Point of Sale (POS) operators working closely with other banks when the new entrants fully deploy their resources.
Tiamin’s N18bn rice farm
Tiamin Rice Limited is setting up an N18bn rice farm in Udubo, Gamawa Local Government Area of Bauchi State.
The company, which has a big rice mill in Kano, has remained a big player in the industry, employing hundreds of people, and has also contributed towards reducing rice importation in Nigeria.
The Managing Director (MD) of Tiamin Rice Limited, Aminu Ahmed, during the foundation laying ceremony of two blocks of six classrooms at Begu Village of Gamawa LGA in mid-December, said the farm was the largest modern farm in Nigeria, with 10,000 hectares, with a projection to produce 120,000 metric tons of rice per annum and other farm produce like maize.
He added that the land was fully acquired through the Bauchi State Government after payment of premium charges.
Jim Ovia, the man behind Zenith Bank, will be in the news again in 2022. Ovia is currently building $1.5bn Quantum Petrochemical Complex in Ibeno, Akwa Ibom State.
The petrochemical plant will support the local economy by supplying products to sectors such as construction, packaging, pharmaceuticals, agriculture and textile. This is in addition to creating jobs.
Cosgrove Smart Estate
Towards the end of 2021, the federal government inaugurated 160 furnished homes at the newly developed Cosgrove Smart Estate in Abuja.
The FCT Minister, Muhammad Bello, and the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, jointly expressed delight at the ability of the indigenous company to achieve a great leap in the evolution of the housing sector.
“Cosgrove is leading the pioneering of integration of technology in real estate, and we are very proud of the good work the company is doing,” the FCT minister said.
In his remark, the CEO of Cosgrove Investment Limited, Umar Abdullahi, said the delivery and commissioning of Cosgrove Smart Estate, Wuye, represented a long-held dream of both management and staff of Cosgrove, assuring that the firm would continue to focus on pioneering the integration of technology in real estate development in Nigeria.
“Cosgrove will remain committed to providing housing solutions to a discerning clientele who desire a high standard of living and seek to maximise the potentials of 21st Century technology,” the chairman added.
Daily Trust further reports that there are many players in agriculture, oil (like A.A.Rano, Shafa oil), mining, energy and other sectors that will undoubtedly shape Nigeria’s economy this year.
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