Precious Adeho & Ngozi Deborah Atalor Win 2017 Shell LiveWIRE Entrepreneurship Prize

Two Nigerian business owners, Mr. Precious Adeho and Mrs. Ngozi Deborah Atalor, have emerged winners in the 2017 Shell LiveWIRE Top Ten Innovators competition, a global contest open to beneficiaries of Shell LiveWIRE, and aimed at rewarding shining cases of innovation in businesses supported by the programme.

The two Nigerians won the Merit prize along with four others in the same category, while businesses from the United Kingdom and Pakistan took the top and runner-up awards. The winners were announced during the Global Entrepreneurship Week holding November 13 – 17 in Freetown, Sierra Leone.

According to the General Manager, External Relations, The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Ltd (SPDC):

“We congratulate the Nigerians on this feat. Three Nigerians came up with creative ideas on energy efficiency and access to chemical and paint products, and were among 22 entrepreneurs from nine countries who vied for the prestigious prize. We are happy that young Nigerians have deployed the skills and funding assistance in our LiveWIRE training schemes and made a mark for themselves and our country.”

Mr. Precious Adeho and Mrs. Ngozi Deborah Atalor won $5,000 each, the only Africans to clinch the prize. The overall winner received $15,000 while the three runners-up got $10,0000 each. Shortlisted businesses for the LiveWIRE Top Ten Innovators competition were judged by an international panel of business leaders, chaired by Mark Gainsborough, Executive Vice President of New Energies at Shell.

Trained by Shell LiveWIRE Nigeria, Adeho got a start-up grant to reposition his company, Emobella Engineering Nigeria Limited, which provides engineering services with a USP of 24-hour availability and high-quality customer service. The business model integrates a training programme for young people facing employment challenges in the region.

Mr. Adeho said:

“This is the best thing that has happened to me and my business. Shell LiveWIRE has taken our business to the global stage, and I want to thank Shell for the opportunity to showcase our vision.”

Mrs. Atalor, a 2016 Shell LiveWIRE grant recipient, offers affordable solar energy solutions on a small scale to empower families and businesses in rural areas to adopt the technology. Her company, De-rahbs Energy Services, installs, services and repairs solar energy equipment, and provides a low-cost solar energy payment plan and training to future engineers and energy entrepreneurs.

She said of the Merit prize:

“I see the award as an encouragement to pursue my dream of taking solar energy to every home in Nigeria.”

Since its introduction in Nigeria in 2003, the LiveWIRE programme has trained 6,550 Niger Delta youths in enterprise development and management, and provided business start-up grants to 3,313.

Winners of 2017 BusinessDay Banking Awards

Winners have emerged in the 2017 BusinessDay Banking Awards held in Lagos.

The management of BusinessDay newspapers, led by the Publisher, Mr. Frank Aigbogun, said agencies, regulators, microfinance banks, deposit money banks, investment and merchant banks that were recipients this year were rewarded because they made excellence and dedication to quality delivery the core of their operations in 2016 financial year.

The 2017 BusinessDay Award Committee, which was made up of eminent industry analysts as well as the team from BusinessDay Research and Intelligence Unit (BRIU), meticulously examined the audited annual reports and investors’ presentations of banks to come up with the nominees and winners.

Winners of 2017 BusinessDay Banking Awards

Access Bank – Most Improved in Commercial Banking

Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) – Special Recognition and Commendation Award for Excellence in Banking

Coronation Merchant Bank – Merchant Bank of the Year

Diamond Bank – Best Bank in Financial Inclusion Services; Mobile Banking App of the Year (*770#)

Emeka Emuwa, GMD/CEO Union Bank – Bank CEO of the Year

Fidelity Bank PlcMost Improved in Corporate/Investment Banking; Best Bank in Mobile Money Services

First Bank – Best Bank in SME Banking Award

First City Monument Bank (FCMB) – Most Improved Retail Bank in Nigeria

First City Asset Management Limited (FCAM) – Best Managed Fund in Equity; Most Customer Friendly Bank

Infinity Trust Mortgage Bank – Mortgage Bank of the Year

Jaiz Bank – Non-Interest Bank of the Year

Lift Above Poverty Organisation (LAPO) – Microfinance Bank of the Year

Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) – Special Recognition and Commendation Award for Excellence in Banking (Public Service)

SFS Capital’s Skye Shelter Fund – REITs

Stanbic IBTC Asset Management Limited (Stanbic IBTC’s Money Market and Guaranty Investment Funds) – Best Managed Money Market; Fixed Income Funds

Stanbic IBTC Stockbrokers – Stockbrokers/Investment Bank of the Year

Sterling Bank Plc – Best Bank in Support of Agriculture

United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc – Best Bank in Support of the Real Sector

United Capital Plc’s Diaspora Bond for Nigeria – Deal of the Year

Wema BankDigital Banking Product of the Year (ALAT)

Zenith Bank – Bank of the Year; Most Customer Friendly Award

NATCA Endorse Air Peace As Best Domestic Airline of the Year 2016/2017

The Nigerian Air Traffic Controllers’ Association (NATCA) have endorsed Air Peace as the Best Domestic Airline of the Year 2016/2017.

The airline had recently emerged the winner of Interswitch’s ‘Payment Innovation Driver, Aviation’ award 2017.

Presenting the Best Domestic Airline of the Year award to Air Peace at the opening session of the 46th Annual General Meeting/Conference of NACTA in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, the group stated:

“[Air Peace] is consistently transforming to being the largest domestic airline in Nigeria within the very short period of time it came on board. While other notable airlines and businesses are closing down under the harsh economic conditions, Air Peace keeps emerging and giving hope to other investors that Nigeria is still an investment destination. While others are reducing their workforce, Air Peace keeps opening new destinations and providing more connectivity and employment to Nigerians.”

Receiving the award, Air Peace gave credit to its staff for toiling to sustain the high quality of its flight operations. The airline, which was represented by its Corporate Communications Manager, Mr. Chris Iwarah, commended NATCA for prioritising merit and guarding the integrity of its awards.

Air Peace described the award from NATCA as special, coming from a critical segment of aviation workers with the capacity to easily appraise the strengths and weaknesses of airlines in the country.

The carrier, which recently acquired two B777, six ERJ145 and a couple of B737 aircraft to bring its fleet size to about 24, assured that its expansion to the West Coast of Africa and international destinations, including Dubai, London, Guangzhou-China, Atlanta, Mumbai and Johannesburg, would ensure Nigeria did not continue to lose out in the open skies regime in the global aviation industry.

L&L Foods Wins $15,000 NES Startup Prize [2017]

L&L Foods, a peanut maker, have been named winner of the first ever Nigerian Economic Summit (NES) Group pitch contest.

The non-tech startup peanut producer emerged winner over seven other startups to emerge winner of the maiden contest and secure $15,000 in funding.

Accounteer, a cloud accounting tech startup was the first runner-up and winner of $10,000 prize. Mypaddy.ng a platform that helps students find campus accommodation got the third position and a $5,000 prize.

There were a total of 263 startups that applied to take part in the competition via Ventures for Africa platform. The number was later narrowed down to eight start-ups.

Six of the eight were tech solution providers such as African-Based E-library Academix, Accounteer, Ed-tech firms Insight Africa and Edusko; Mypaddy.ng and Fintech Startup Piggybank.ng. The two non-tech startups were L&L Foods and Condiments Producer Ojoro Kitchen.

Godwin Emefiele Wins 2017 Forbes Magazine Best Of Africa Innovative Banking Award

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor, Godwin Emefiele, has emerged the 2017 Forbes magazine Best of Africa Innovative Banking Award.

President of Forbes Customs Emerging Markets, Mark Furlong, said the award was in recognition of Mr. Emefiele’s courage and determination in using monetary policy to ensure financial stability in Nigeria.

Mr. Furlong said the CBN under Mr. Godwin Emefiele had also shown transparency, which had helped to stabilise the economy through interventions in the real sector of the economy.

He cited the CBN’s Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP) as a major boost to the development of the agricultural sector in Nigeria.

On receiving the award, Mr. Godwin Emefiele highlighted efforts since 2014 to stabilize the financial system and maintain the international value of the Naira.

He attributed the 2017 Forbes magazine Best of Africa Innovative Banking Award to the efforts of the CBN management and staff, the cooperation of government to check the negative impact of global shocks on the Nigeria economy between 2014 and 2016.

The monetary authorities, he noted were glad that its policies contributed in forcing inflation down from about 18 to 16 percent, adding he was optimistic inflation would further be lowered with other policies in place.

On CBN policy to restrict access to foreign exchange from the Nigerian foreign exchange market to some 41 items, Mr. Emefiele said the decision was to stop the country’s foreign reserves due to huge import bills, among other things.

He listed the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme as one of the Bank’s achievements, saying it helped increase the yields of farmers, create wealth and provided jobs for thousands of Nigerians.

He said President Muhammadu Buhari had asked the Federal Ministries of Agriculture and Rural Development and Employment, Labour and Productivity, as well as other interest groups, including state governors to work towards creating more jobs through agriculture.

On the management of the country’s foreign exchange, Mr. Emefiele said apart from the adjustments to the Naira value, an investors’ window created in the inter-bank market has attracted over $10 billion capital inflow into the country between May and October 2017.

The CBN governor, who described Nigeria as the largest market in Africa, urged foreign investors to come to the country.

In his words:

“Nigeria has huge potentials. The environment is good. The climate is good. Nigerians are hospitable and good people. Nigeria is good for business.”