11 Aug

The spirit of entrepreneurship in Nigeria

Nigeria

An ode to Lagos’s (Nigeria) numerous bridges, this pidgin expression basically says – “I am here to make money and not to waste time” – epitomises the ‘hustle’ in every Nigerian.

Every visit to Nigeria is fascinating and telling of peoples’ sheer drive and energy to do more to uplift themselves. Yet, Nigeria is very misunderstood. Take the infamous 419 scam. Commonly in the form of emails masquerading as potential windfall gains from helping a deposed ‘prince’, this scam is often first associated to Nigeria and Nigerians but really has its origins outside the country, the US to be exact – a fact that the public at large are oblivious and care to be oblivious about.

If one has a genuine interest in diversity and how people shape their lives, so many insights can unfold during a normal working day, that shed light on even the most misunderstood of places – and a chat with a taxi driver between meetings did just that. Breaching our security protocol and opting not to use the company car, I struck a deal with a local cab driver, Samuel to get me to the mainland following my meeting in Victoria Island.

Sam, who works for a hail-taxi multinational, rents his ride from the head of international trade of a leading financial services institution in Nigeria and he is a wealth of information. A software engineer by education and profession, he was part of the bank’s IT team. They had let him go as part of the bank’s recent retrenchment drive. Even specialised roles like Sam’s are at risk in a market like Nigeria – talk about competitive. Even for the less biased, finding out software engineers are in high supply in Nigeria is a surprise.

Telling me this wasn’t an attempt to elicit sympathy, I was nosy and had prodded him for more information, to which he gave in and decided to shut me up for the long ride.

Sam seemed to have taken his misfortune in his stride, partly because his full-time job was a ‘part-time job’, or rather just one of a few part-time jobs.

Take a gander at the number of business pies our friendly driver had his fingers in:

1. Acting as a facilitator for applications and permits processing for prospectors looking to work within the fabled Nigerian oil and gas industry

2. He and his software buddies are building a loyalty platform/engine and already have some interested clients (in his own words – ‘a loyalty platform similar to the Starwoods Preferred Guest programme’)

3. Along with a friend, he also runs a crude-oil pipeline-unblocking outfit. His friend, a sub-sea engineer with an oil and gas company, saw an opportunity in the millions that his employer spent flying engineers into Nigeria when oil pipelines got blocked. Having invested in US$20,000 pumps, they now reach out to oil and gas majors as an alternative to flying down specialist services from countries like Norway.

I cannot help but leave Sam a sizable tip. Who wouldn’t? Part of my conventional conditioning could not help but wonder how much of the story was true. Either way it was worth writing about.

Since these stories are more than commonplace in Nigeria – what can prospective investors potentially infer or learn from this?

Perhaps that there is local talent, aspiration and ambition in abundance in this market. Perhaps that conventional recruitment might not be the way to go and it is time to rethink local talent-sourcing and engagement strategies.

A key consideration factor should be that there is no safety-net for most people, only a keen sense of survival and determination that would be a worthy addition to any business looking to grow on the continent.
From HowWeMadeItInAfrica

08 Aug

Nigerians Bound to Impact Global Arena, Says Osinbajo

Nigeria will impact the global arena

Abuja — Acting President Yemi Osinbajo has declared that Nigeria will impact the global arena in various ways if the citizens continue to do what is right in public service.

A statement signed by his Senior Special Assistant on media and publicity, Laolu Akande yesterday said Osinbajo made the declaration at the Presidential Villa, Abuja when he received Dr. Oluyinka Olutoye, a U.S.-based Nigerian doctor who successfully led a medical team that operated on a foetus, winning U.S. and global acclaim for the feat.

Olutoye had also been an active member of another medical team that had separated a set of conjoined twins successfully in the U.S.

That team included two other Nigerian female doctors including his wife, Dr. Toyin Olutoye, an anesthesiologist, and Dr. Oluyemisi Adeyemi-Fowode, a paediatric gynecology fellow.

Osinbajo told Olutoye who was accompanied to the Villa by members of his family that “our country continues to shine in various ways, your achievement is remarkable in every sense.”

Olutoye attributed his medical successes to his Nigerian training and education up till the university. He is a graduate of Medicine from the then University of Ife.

Read more

24 Jul

The top 10 wealthiest cities in Africa: AfrAsia Bank & New World Wealth

AfrAsia Bank and New World Wealth recently reviewed the 10 wealthiest cities in Africa by total wealth held.

“Total wealth” refers to the private wealth held by all the individuals living in each city. It includes all their assets (property, cash, equities and business interests) less any liabilities. We exclude government funds from our figures.

Top 10 Cities:

  • Johannesburg: Total wealth held in the city amounts to US$245 billion. Home to 18,200 millionaires (HNWIs), 970 multi-millionaires and 2 billionaires. Our figures for Johannesburg include Sandton. Major sectors in the city include: financial services (banks, accountancies, insurance), professional services (law firms), construction, telecoms and basic materials.
  • Cairo: Total wealth held in the city amounts to US$140 billion. Home to 8,900 millionaires, 480 multi-millionaires and 5 billionaires. Major sectors in the city include: real estate & construction, financial services and basic materials.
  • Cape Town: Total wealth held in the city amounts to US$135 billion. Home to 8,200 millionaires, 440 multi-millionaires and 2 billionaires. Major sectors in the city include: real estate, financial services (fund management), retail and tourism. Cape Town is also a second home hotspot for the wealthy with over 1,500 multi-millionaires living in the city during peak holiday months (many of these individuals are from outside South Africa).
  • Lagos: Total wealth held in the city amounts to US$120 billion. Home to 6,800 millionaires, 360 multi-millionaires and 4 billionaires. Major sectors in the city include: real estate & construction, telecoms, transport, financial services and basic materials.
  • Nairobi: Total wealth held in the city amounts to US$55 billion. Home to 6,800 millionaires and 280 multi-millionaires (no billionaires). Major sectors in the city include: financial services, real estate & construction, retail, tourism, FMCG, telecoms and basic materials.
  • Luanda: Total wealth held in the city amounts to US$48 billion. Home to 4,100 millionaires, 240 multi-millionaires and one billionaire. Major sectors in the city include: real estate & construction, transport and basic materials (oil & gas).
  • Durban: Total wealth held in the city amounts to US$46 billion. Home to 3,200 millionaires, 130 multi-millionaires and one billionaire. Our figures for Durban include Umhlanga, Ballito, Zimbali and La Lucia. Major sectors in the city include: real estate, finance, healthcare, construction, retail and transport.
  • Pretoria: Total wealth held in the city amounts to US$42 billion. Home to 2,600 millionaires and 110 multi-millionaires (no billionaires). Major sectors in the city include: basic materials, manufacturing and financial services.
  • Casablanca: Total wealth held in the city amounts to US$40 billion. Home to 2,300 millionaires, 110 multi-millionaires and 2 billionaires. Major sectors in the city include: basic materials, manufacturing and financial services.
  • Accra: Total wealth held in the city amounts to US$35 billion. Home to 2,300 millionaires and 100 multi-millionaires (no billionaires). Major sectors in the city include: basic materials, manufacturing and financial services.

Read More: African Business Central