Friday, December 30, 2011

Happy New Year, 2012.

We are here for you as always.

Our email address remains:

Saturday, December 3, 2011

BANGALORE…miles ahead of the rest!

Bangalore has moved on from pensioner's paradise to one of the top hi-tech cities of the world.

From Indian IT majors like Infosys, Wipro, Tata consultancy Services and Microland to the world's leading IT companies like GE, Texas Instruments, CISCO, Digital, IBM, HP, Compaq, Motorola, Lucent Technologies, Microsoft, Sun Microsystems, Oracle, Novell and several others in business process outsourcing (BPO) have made Bangalore their home.

With nearly a thousand software companies employing over a hundred thousand IT professionals and 1000 IT companies including more than 150 multinational giants, Bangalore is certainly the undisputed IT capital of India, and is true with the whole of Asia. The city is also home to top of the line companies in other sectors like engineering, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, food processing, apparel, electronics and automobiles.

Bangalore's transformation has been swift and sensational; with a population of 5.54 million spread over 530 sq. km. The city is teeming with restaurants, clubs, pubs, health spas, amusement parks, supermarkets, theatres, cinemas, shopping malls, discotheques and other 'necessities' of a modern-day metropolitan lifestyle. With fantastic healthcare facilities comparable with the best anywhere in the world, it is also known for the large number of excellent scientific and research institutes located there.

Whatever be the business you're in, Bangalore is the best place for it in India, Asia and perhaps the whole World. IBG Nigeria and SRK Affiliates, Bangalore proposes a business visit to Bangalore, May 1-4, 2012.

Come with us to Bangalore…the IT capital of India and one of the leading global hubs of technological innovation (United Nation’s Human Development Report). Call Ndudi on 01 878 2864, 0809 353 0007 or email for more info.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Infoplus/IBG Nigeria Services Offering in 2012 (Wetin IBG Nigeria Dey Do Sef)?

Welcome!Knowing us is a wise step in your plan to enter the Nigerian marketplace in 2012.Let us be your guide. We speak the language of the people; I mean the language of the Nigerian people. We understand you too!

We are international business facilitators and market research consultants. Our mission is to help you with ease of doing business tools to facilitate your entry into the Nigerian marketplace.

Our core competences include the provision of valuable market information, doing feasibility studies and locating agents and business partners.

We propose to offer to you the following services:

•International Business Consulting
•Basic Marketing Assistance

In-Country Representation:
•Short to Long Term Contracts
•"Walk the Floor"

Business Logistics
•Ground support

Market Research
•Business Verification
•Customized Market Analysis

•Agent/Distributor Searches
•Trade Fairs Participation
•Foreign Trade Mission
•Market Intelligence/Trade Leads
•Market Entry Strategies

Our in-house legal and tax advisors would answer to your inquiries and address your concerns at affordable fees on the following:

•Temporary Work Permit
•Expatriate quota
•Repatriation of funds
•Company incorporation
•Annual returns
•Work related issues such as recruitment of staff and car hire.

A place to find help.

•Proposing a business visit to Nigeria and wish to be met at the airport?
•Require some help with airport protocol, hotel reservations and security escorts?
•Need a car and a driver service?
•Want to hire temp or permanent staff?
•Need assistance with getting an office accommodation in the country?
•Do you have other needs?

Our Office can help at a minimal cost.
Contact us by email on or call our office on +234.1.878.2864.


Monday, October 17, 2011


This is how we address your inquiry:

a. LOCATE prospective agents and distributors:

• Advertise in relevant newspapers for national coverage
• Access database of registered members of various chambers of commerce
• Seek directory assistance
• Engage in telephone contacts

b. SCREEN companies by scrutinizing their information based on their expertise, experience, geographical spread and yearly sales turnover

c. VERIFY companies registration and visit to the corporate offices of select companies

d. INTERVIEW qualified companies

e. CONDUCT business reputation analyses

f. RECOMMEND not more than four qualified companies for your assessment, delivered within 26 working days.

The following services are provided at extra charges:

a. Market Research.

b. Agency Performance Audit

Contact us on or call +234 1 878 2864; +234 809 353 0007.

Monday, October 10, 2011

South-South Economic Summit 2011, Asaba, Delta State.

It's 4 days of thrilling paper presentations, breakout sessions, discussions, networking and a concluding gala night! Target Participants include: Economic Development Consultants and Facilitators, Bilateral and Multilateral Organisations, Governments and Investors.

Email us on or call +234 1 8782864 for more information.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

World's best and worst cities to live, work and invest

Have you heard?

Melbourne has vaulted Vancouver to become the best city in the world to live, according to the latest Economist Intelligence Unit’s Global Liveability Survey.

Country City

Top 10
Australia Melbourne
Austria Vienna
Canada Vancouver
Canada Toronto
Canada Calgary
Australia Sydney
Finland Helsinki
Australia Perth
Australia Adelaide
New Zealand Auckland

Bottom 10
Cote d'Ivoire Abidjan
Iran Tehran
Cameroon Douala
Pakistan Karachi
Libya Tripoli
Algeria Algiers
Nigeria Lagos
PNG Port Moresby
Bangladesh Dhaka
Zimbabwe Harare

A liveable city is one that is pleasant to live in, fun to spend time in and creates a desire to invest. In these economic hard times and dwindling federal government allocations, good liveable indices put a city ahead of the competition for scarce investment capital.

In Lagos and Nigeria, liveable indices challenges could be opportunities for discerning investors. Nigeria needs massive infrastructure development...power, housing, transportation and security etc. Grab the opportunity NOW!

Let us be your guide. Email or call +234 1 8782864.

Sunday, July 31, 2011


The Free Trade Zone is a catalyst to business growth and economic expansion. It is also known as the export processing zone, free export zone and special economic zone.

Whatever name it is called should not bother us, as it has been noted that the different terms over time and space often reflect the specific activities carried out within a particular zone. What should bother us is why we have not taken advantage of this opportunity to grow our economy?

Clearly defined, a free trade zone is one or more special areas of a country where normal trade barriers such as taxes, tariffs and quotas are eliminated and bureaucratic requirements are lowered to attract new business and foreign investments.

Corporations operating within a FTZ may also be granted certain host country income tax breaks or holidays as an additional incentive. These zones are often located in an underdeveloped part of the host country, and the zones are expected to promote economic activities and thus reduce poverty and unemployment.

Research has established a strong correlation between the presence of FTZs and increasing export trade, and it appears clear that FTZs have become increasingly popular as a policy instrument for the promotion of export oriented foreign direct investment.

So, what are we waiting for?

It is noted that economies that have efficient customs, good transport network and fewer document requirements, making compliance with import and export procedure faster and cheaper are more competitive globally. It translates into more exports and exports are associated with faster growth and more jobs.

Could this be the reason why countries such as Singapore and UAE are enjoying unparalleled economic growth? In the World Bank Doing Business report, 2010, Nigeria ranked 146 in trading across borders. Ghana and Benin Republic ranked 83 and 128 respectively.

In July, consultants from the Ras Al Khaimah Free Trade Zone (RAK FTZ)invited Nigerians to Sheraton Hotel in Lagos to discuss the opportunities available in setting up business in their FTZ. They informed the participants that the costs of living and doing business in RAK are markedly lower than in other Emirates, allowing for greater margins for investors.

As if that was not enough, they went further to inform the Nigerians and other foreign nationals present that the FTZ, barely eleven years since its founding serves as the SME hub to emerging markets and is now home to more than 5,000 companies from 106 countries. Can you beat that?

While Nigerians looked on in amazement, the young consultant reeled out the reasons why RAK FTZ is now the preferred business address. Among the 15 reasons given include the following: simple and fast registration, state of the art communication facilities, transparent laws and regulation, 100% foreign ownership, 100% income and corporate tax exemption, 100% capital and profit repatriation and furnished offices with ‘flexi’ and standard facilities packages etc.

It was not a surprise when it was revealed that RAK’s GDP stood at US$5 billion in 2009, an increase of 8% on the previous year, despite the global economic challenges. Remember 2009 in Nigeria…tumbling oil prices, stock market crash and massive capital flight etc.

The poor performance of many African economies has been associated with low growth of exports in general and of manufacturing exports in particular.

The establishment and effective running of Free Trade Zones in Nigeria would promote export and open up the country for further development and growth. By this singular action, the country would have the opportunity to join other export oriented economies such as Singapore and Dubai, UAE and in sub Saharan Africa, Mauritius, Botswana, South Africa and to a lesser extent, Ghana.

For more inquiries on the RAK FTZ opportunity, email Infoplus/IBG Nigeria on

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Nigeria's potential as outsourcing destination is great

Nigeria’s potential as a Business Process Outsourcing destination is very bright, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Airtel Nigeria, Mr. Rajan Swaroop, has said in a report by the Punch Newspapers.

Swaroop, who said this at an interactive session with newsmen in Abuja, added that the mobile operator with Indian origin would help Nigeria to harness the possibilities of BPO in the country.

According to him, through outsourcing, Nigeria can create over one million jobs within a short period of time if the potential is harnessed.

The Airtel boss disclosed that one of its partners, Spanco, a specialist in BPO, planned to establish in Nigeria and use it as a hub of its outsourcing operations in the African region.

He added that with increasing wages in India, which had a reputation as global outsourcing destination, Nigeria stood a good chance to reap from the global outsourcing business reckoned to be worth multi -billion dollars per annum.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

In Nigeria, Cars have nicknames...

In Nigeria, preowned cars take on the gloss of status symbol and have developed nicknames. The 2000 Honda Accord is widely known as "Baby Boy." The flashy 2003 Accord earned the sobriquet "End of Discussion." Then came the redesigned, equally impressive 2007 Accord: "The Discussion Continues."

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Citigroup, Goldman Sachs and others offer tips on investing in Nigeria and the African Continent

Business experts at the just concluded West Africa Global Trade & Investment Forum in London advised current and potential investors in Africa "not to be caught up in the (business) hype" common on the continent reports 234next newspapers.

David Cowan, chief economist and director of Africa at Citigroup, a multinational financial services company, said while "gold rushing (seeking for investment opportunity)" is important for investors in Africa, there are "simple rules" that need to be observed in order to succeed in business.

"The first is, don't get caught up in the hype," Mr Cowan said. He said that the big hype at the moment around Africa is meeting the need of the middle class. "But there is no real middle class in Africa. There is growing wealthy elite and there is very rapidly growing poor population which in itself provides huge market opportunity for discerning investors," he added.

Mr Cowan also said that investors should always think about the exchange rate before carrying out a project in Africa. "Once you get the exchange rate forecast right, it will make a big difference in your projects," he said, adding that although the rate of return on investment in Africa is "very high," investment in the continent requires patience and accurate time-frame.

China Onyemelukwe, managing director, Goldman Sachs, said current and potential investors in Africa should not "follow or be put off by hype."

Mr Onyemelukwe said investors should have local knowledge and local partners before embarking on any project. He said some important qualities that investors need to have in order to succeed in business in any part of the world include transparency, corporate governance and professionalism.
Meanwhile, some investors doing business in Africa said while they are trying to contribute to the economic growth of the continent, "African governments should provide, as a matter of importance, support and real participation in projects, including the guaranteeing of the completion of those projects."

Phil Baines, chief operating officer, HSBC Bank, said, "The only thing that Africa lacks is basic infrastructure in terms of power generation, transportation, telecommunication, and refining capability for oil." However, Mr Baines said if African governments can tackle the issue of infrastructure, the region would attract more foreign investment.

"Africa is a huge emerging market and Africa generally possesses natural resources and people who are entrepreneurial by nature," he said, adding that with efforts from various governments "the retail development banks and Africa development banks will play crucial roles in financing developmental projects."

Arnold Ekpe, group chief executive officer of Ecobank Transnational Incorporated, said the aftermath of the global financial crisis saw foreign investment in Africa dip by about 14 percent on the average.

However, Mr Ekpe said, "Policy makers in West Africa in particular have worked consciously to improve the investment and the banking environment in those markets as we see interest rate, for example, in single digit and inflation in single digit; a development that has not happened for a very long time."

He said with the "intense competition" across the world in terms of attracting available trade and investment capital, there is need for "a more coordinated and organised approach by African leaders to trade and investment issues in order to attract foreign investors into the region."

He said the demand for cars, electronics, mobile phones and other consumers variables which is on the increase in Africa is a good signal for investors to take advantage of, adding that the increase in demand was "due to the emergence of a young technology-driven society with growing disposable income and great expectations."

Monday, June 6, 2011

Positioning in an emerging market: YOUR OFFICE IN LAGOS AND NIGERIA.


Definition: A Representative Office is an office established by a company to conduct marketing and other non-transactional operations, generally in a foreign country where a branch office or subsidiary is not warranted.

Representative offices are generally easier to establish than a branch or subsidiary, as they are not used for actual "business" (e.g. sales) and therefore there is less incentive for them to be regulated.


• Coordinate your company’s activities and schedule appointments
• Establish contacts with local clients by personal visits, phone calls, emails etc
• Assist in business networking and liaison with local clients and prospects and attend meetings
• Provide local logistics support including hotels and vehicles reservations, airport protocols, security escort arrangements and visas facilitation
• Relate with relevant professionals, trade associations and government institutions
• Offer market research assistance; provide security advice and cultural information.

BENEFITS: You commence business from Day One! How?

• It takes away the burden of your company recruiting local staff and planning logistics
• It shortens your learning curve of a new business environment and its cultural nuances
• It fast tracks your market entry
• It saves you the stress of dealing with government bureaucracy
• It provides you with instant access to a pool of relevant professionals

Our Office as your office

Our experience in and exposure to international business facilitation and our understanding of the local business environment (the organized private sector and the tiers of government) put us in a good position to offer these services at affordable fees to you.

Call us on +234 1 878 2864 or email for more information.

Visit our website on or check out our blogs on

U.S. Companies Race to Catch Up in Africa

This has become a familiar storyline...

During a series of trips to Africa last year, Tim Solso had a realization: China was beating him at his own game. So the chief executive of Cummins Inc., a maker of truck and machinery engines, vowed to catch up. He plans to quadruple the company's sales in Africa to about $1 billion within five years, investing $15 million annually to train staff and build sales offices from Johannesburg to Casablanca. The company recently installed in South Africa an executive to oversee Africa operations, previously supervised from Europe and Indiana.

Cummins joins a growing number of U.S. companies vying for a stronger foothold on the continent. Caterpillar Inc., the giant maker of construction equipment, is selling more trucks to Mozambique and Zambia. Harley-Davidson Inc. is opening dealerships in Botswana and Mauritius. General Electric Co. has its first aircraft-leasing office in Ghana for Central and West African airlines. Google Inc., Archer Daniels Midland Co. and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. are among the dozens of other U.S. companies moving in or expanding.
U.S. companies' game of catch-up shows the perils of waking up late to the next big frontier market, Africa. The continent's economy is forecast to grow to $2.6 trillion in 2020 from $1.6 trillion in 2008, fueled by booms in mining, agriculture and development of ports, roads and other infrastructure, according to McKinsey Global Institute. The middle class is growing, and total household spending now exceeds that of India.
Getting in early to a developing market allows companies to build up strong brands and sales channels that can reap big profits in the long run. That's what China has done in Africa over the past two decades. It has aggressively promoted trade and investment, courting countries by offering aid in exchange for favorable trade terms. China's exports to Africa last year totaled about $54 billion, up from $5.6 billion a decade before, according to the IMF. U.S. exports to Africa totaled $21 billion last year, up from $7.6 billion in 2000.

The status quo is likely to change as many U.S. companies (and Europeans too!) now are "starting to wake up to the African opportunity," says Acha Leke, a Lagos-based director of the McKinsey Global Institute. To succeed, he says, they will need to find good local partners..."

Take for instance, Cummins. For decades, Africa wasn't a priority. However, in 2010, Africa accounted for about $264 million of sales for Cummins as it hopes it can now become a leader in power generators in African countries whose electricity supplies are notoriously unreliable.

Nigeria, where Cummins has a 50-50 joint venture with a local company, AG Leventis PLC, is among the most attractive African markets. Cummins estimates that only 40% of Nigeria's 150 million people have access to electric power.

Many businesses and wealthy homeowners buy diesel-powered generators either as primary or backup sources of power. Generators also power cell-phone towers, street lights and various types of equipment. Some 30,000 generators were sold by various companies in Nigeria in 2010, according to Cummins estimates, bringing total industry sales in the country to about $420 million. Of that, the Cummins joint venture has just an 8% market share, according to the company.

Expanding that share means overcoming the challenges to doing business in Nigeria. In Lagos, one of sub-Saharan Africa's biggest cities, grinding traffic means service vehicles take longer to arrive at customers' doorsteps, and employees have grueling commutes. "Just to get to work is a big challenge," says Koulis Schizas, general manager for Cummins power projects in Nigeria. "The average employee has a two-three hour drive to get here in the morning and a four-five hour drive to get home. It does affect the business."

Having a Representative Office goes a long way in reducing most of the teething problems of setting up in Nigeria. We have experience with two US federal states as Country Representatives, East Mediterranean Regional Office. We can help! Contact Ndudi Osakwe on +234 1 8782864 or email for more information.

Article written by James Hagerty and Will Connors, Correspondents, Wall Street Journal with contributions from Peter Wonacott and Jacqueline Bischof.



Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Dean Foster's perspective on doing business in Nigeria

London, England (CNN) -- In a business culture where negotiations are fluid and what's agreed on Monday might not necessary mean the same thing on Tuesday, how do you get the job done? It's a challenge some foreigners encounter when doing business in Nigeria.

However, things don't have to be difficult explains Dean Foster, president of the cross-cultural training company Dean Foster Associates and author of "The Global Etiquette Guide to Africa."

According to Foster, as long as you understand the cultural etiquette, doing business in Nigeria can offer vast opportunities. But, he says, success comes down two key factors: contacts and commitment.

"The bottom line is that you cannot expect to go into Nigeria, make the deal, turn around, walk out and expect things to go as planned," Foster told CNN.

"If you're committed to business in Nigeria you have to know that you're entering an environment that requires your constant attention and constant renegotiation. Adaptability and flexibility on your part is key," he continued.

Knowing the right person is also fundamental, according to Foster, who says personal relationships are often more important than regulations and laws. It's something, he warns, many outsiders may feel uncomfortable with.

"You have to be wary of the old tradition of 'dash,' which in Nigeria essentially means putting money in the hands of an individual," he said. "It is of course in many respects illegal, but it is still quite a common convention. And the degree to which you, as a business person, want to co-operate with this will determine to a great degree the success you have in Nigeria."

But despite the challenges, Foster is adamant business in Nigeria can be a rewarding experience -- and not just financially. "The people are fantastic -- you realize that the social networks and relationships you put so some much energy and time into, are in fact is part of the great reward. You'll build friendships and relationships that will last a life," he told CNN.

Our 50 cents.

Most Nigerians of the caliber that you are likely to do business with speak some level of English language. It is the lingua franca in Nigeria. Greetings are by handshake and occasional embrace if already familiar with the host. Pecks and hand-kissing are rare, except among those that have lived in societies where such practice is commonplace. While in a meeting, avoid discussing politics, puns, tantrums or condemnation of any politicians and government as you may never know where the allegiance of your host lies.

Do not be surprised to listen to your host make frequent reference to God during the meeting. Nigerians are deeply religious and are mainly Christians and Muslims. There are more Christians in Southern Nigeria and vice-versa. They are very optimistic people and have once won the top spot as the happiest people on earth.

Nigerians like to be told that their city and country is good and you look forward to another visit. They also like being told that they are hospitable and kind people. If you must discuss extra business issues, let it be sports, especially football and the European league! These may earn you more attention and possibly quicken the negotiation process. Any gift, no matter how small, from your country is appreciated. Nigerians are great hosts and you would be amazed at the reception that you may be accorded, especially if on their invitation.

Final Thought: Dean Foster may be right in his assessment of Nigerian culture in relation to conducting business in the country but this assessment may not be deep enough as Nigeria is highly multi-ethnic, therefore multi-cultural. It takes a local analyst as a product of the environment to provide a true assessment of Nigerian business and culture. This is where our consultancy, Infoplus Business Services come in handy to offer assistance to discerning business people looking to enter the Nigerian market. 'Don't do it all alone, take a local with you' should be your watchword.

You may reach us on or call us on +234 1 8782864.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Are you daring? Come over to Africa for business!

Harvard Business Review: Did you know that Africa is one of the fastest-growing economic regions? Check out this infographic for reasons why:

Come over to Africa for business

HarvardBiz: Did you know that Africa is one of the fastest-growing economic regions? Check out this infographic for reasons why:

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

United States Commercial Service, Lagos CTO 2011 Beckons

CTO 2011 -- Computers/Peripherals, Computer Software, Computer Services, Telecommunications Eq., Telecommunications Services
Location/Date: MUSON, Lagos, Nigeria 05/09/2011 - 05/13/2011

Event Summary:
The U.S. Commercial Service Nigeria will host CTO/NUSA 2011 from May 9- 13, 2011, at the MUSON Center in Lagos with a focus on the technology solutions available to the financial services sector.

The CTO/NUSA exhibition is a market development tool of the U.S. Commercial Service in Nigeria that showcases the best technologies that U.S. companies and their Nigerian partners have to offer the region and this will be its 21st running.

While the show began back in 1989 with a focus on encouraging office automation in Nigeria using computer and telecommunications technologies, it has since expanded to include the entire spectrum of high-tech U.S. products that often utilize a whole host of hardware, software, telecommunications, and on-line solutions that enhance trade and investment as the world increasingly globalizes. It is the largest exhibition of its kind in West Africa.

The exhibition and seminars are open to the public, but attendees younger than 18 years old are not permitted on the exhibit floor, except on Thursday, May 12, 2010, when college and university students are permitted to attend. CTO/NUSA seminars and Exhibition help professionals from both the public and private sectors better understand the challenges they face and the array of technology-driven solutions available to successfully meet these challenges.

The seminars provide a unique platform for local and international experts to interact on critical issues, especially those related to technology diffusion, alliances and partnerships between firms, service delivery, and entrepreneurship.

At CTO/NUSA2011, financial organizations – banks, insurance firms, stock brokers and trade facilitators will learn and directly experience technology solutions from the United States that could help meet their challenges. The event will offer local firms representing U.S. suppliers, an opportunity to gather market intelligence, identify potential end-users and to interact with their peers and policy makers.

Anayo Agu, Lagos
Senior Commercial Specialist
Phone: 234-1-4603400 x 3654, 4704693

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


To help governments especially in the Less Developed Countries have a policy direction in the pilot of affairs in their countries, the UN provided development templates referred to as the Millennium Development Goals and with a timeframe, 2015 to achieve these goals. The ‘mother’ of all the goals is universal education because of its multiplier effects. An educated person is less likely to suffer extreme poverty but more likely to embrace changes that bring about improved quality of life.

One of the tools that is available in the 21st century and capable of fast tracking the process of achieving universal education is Information and Communication Technology, a combination of newer technologies of wireless phones, networked computer and the internet.

According to Frances Caincross, 2001, in her book, The Death of Distance, ‘the revolution that have arisen as a result of communication is simply democratic and profoundly liberating as it levels the imbalance between large and small, rich and poor, urban and rural, old and young, male and female, educated and uneducated among other exclusions’. She went further to state that communication revolution has the power to change social and physical space, capacity to amplify brainpower and the ability to enhance a knowledge based society…the kind of society that Nigerians are craving for.

In a meeting by the International Telecommunications Union held in Geneva, Switzerland, to find ways to use ICT to advance the MDGs, several targets were set. One of the targets set was to connect villages with ICTs and establish community access points to connect universities, colleges, secondary and primary schools. By so doing, educational materials would be available to the population irrespective of location and time through a process now referred to as electronic learning (e-learning).

Simply put, e-learning is a computer based teaching system that is distributed over the internet. It is a teaching process that can take place at any location, at any time and in accordance with the student’s learning rate using personal computers, cellular devices and the internet to design, deliver and manage information. It has several benefits, some of which include absence of borders, convenience, skill development, improved retention and personalized learning etc.

To the Ministries of Education at the three tiers of government and private schools administrators, Bynet’s e-learning solution based on the View-Core System, an integrated software solution that manages and delivers content electronically and interactively, enabling on-demand services is highly recommended.

Email us on or call us on +234 1 878 2864, +234 802 353 0007 for more information.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

World Water Day: Combating the Incidence of Cholera in Nigeria.

Water-related diseases such as Cholera are among the most common causes of illness and death, affecting mainly the poor in developing countries. They kill more than 5 million people every year, more than ten times the number killed in wars.

According to experts at the National Council on Water Resources (NCWR) that met in Abuja recently, Nigeria currently has the highest prevalence of water borne diseases in the world. This, they added, has resulted in high infant mortality in the country; a discouraging report in the realization of the UN Millennium Development Goals on reduction of child mortality and improvement in maternal health by the year 2015.

Women Villagers leave their homes in search of water. AP/Pervez Masih

Tackling this epidemic should be of concern to all.The good news is that an Israeli company, CQM has come forward with a product capable of abating the incidence of water borne diseases especially in poor and rural communities where potable drinking water is rare.

However, to position itself in the market, the company seeks a Nigerian Representative company of good standing and geographical spread for its range of water technology products which include the SR-DW (Water Purification by Electro-chlorination System) with many applications including the disinfection of drinking water and process water in the food and beverage industry, high purity water for pharmaceutical companies and disinfection of water in pools and industrial processes etc.

Indicate your interest in this business opportunity to work with local government councils, state governments, the federal government and corporate bodies in their search for clean and potable water.

Email us on or call our office on 01 878 2864 or 080 2353 0007 for more information.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Standard Bank's Chris Newson 'keeps hope alive' for a stronger Nigerian economy

Mr Chris Newson, the chief executive officer of Stanbic IBTC, a subsidiary of South Africa's Standard Bank lent a voice to the growing number of voices proclaiming hope in the Nigerian economy. Check out the story below as reported by Next (

Stanbic optimistic on Nigerian loan growth

Nigeria’s banking sector could see 20-25 percent loan growth over the next three to five years as demand for both consumer and infrastructure finance increases, the chief executive officer of Stanbic IBTC said.

Chris Newson, head of the Nigerian unit of South Africa’s Standard Bank, said growth would be driven by Nigeria’s significant infrastructure finance needs as well as the emergence of small businesses and a growing middle class.

“If you think about what would be a reasonable level of growth within risk assets across the industry, our sense is a 20-25 percent is not completely unrealistic,” Newson said on Monday in an interview as part of the Reuters Africa Investment Summit.

Africa’s most populous nation has a huge infrastructure gap. The government has announced multi-billion dollar plans to privatise the power sector in a bid to end chronic electricity shortages, while new roads, bridges and homes are being built in cities including the capital Abuja and commercial hub Lagos.

“There is an advisory opportunity but there is also an asset opportunity. Where we have liquidity and capital, as we do, we’ll be looking to take on some of those assets on to our own books,” Newson said.

A widening middle class in the nation of 150 million people, combined with the potential for the growth in small business as infrastructure improves, also present opportunities for personal and small business banking.

“We think the engine room of growth coming out of Nigeria will particularly be in that business banking, individual environment,” Newson said in his office in Lagos.

“The question of consumer finance is very, very young in Nigeria and the opportunity there we think over time is very significant,” he said.

He said Stanbic IBTC had 151 branches in Nigeria, double the number it had in 2007, and was still in an “investment phase”.

Thursday, March 3, 2011


Twelve countries in the West African sub-region are to benefit from a World Bank-assisted regional agricultural project under the West Africa Agricultural Productivity Programme (WAAPP) reports Bassey Udo, Next Newspapers ( on its March 3, 2011 edition.

Nigeria is one of the countries to benefit from the $300 million facility. Other countries under the scheme include Ghana, Mali, Senegal, Cote d'Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Togo, Benin, Gambia, and Niger. The WAAPP project is expected to assist farmers in agro-processing and value addition for agricultural products.

A major problem in agricultural production within the sub region is post harvest losses as the farming community mostly consists of small and marginal farmers. These farmers do not have the economic strength to retain the surplus produce till favourable market price and often compelled to sell their produce immediately after harvest when the prices are low. The solution to this problem lies in providing safe and scientific storage of their produce.

In agriculture, post-harvest handling is the stage of crop production immediately following harvest, including cooling, cleaning, sorting and packing. The instant a crop is removed from the ground, or separated from its parent plant, it begins to deteriorate. Under tropical and sub-tropical conditions, the losses due to poor handling and storage are reported to be in between 40-50 per cent.

The most important goals of post-harvest handling are keeping the product cool, to avoid moisture loss and slow down undesirable chemical changes, and avoiding physical damage such as bruising, to delay spoilage. After the field, post-harvest processing is usually continued in a packing house.

A packing house is a facility where crops are received and processed prior to distribution to market. This can be a simple shed, providing shade and running water, or a large-scale, sophisticated, mechanized facility, with conveyor belts, automated sorting and packing stations, walk-in coolers and the like.

A Packing House in Israel

Typically, crops are delivered to the plant via trucks or wagons, where it is dumped into receiving bins and sorted for quality and size. The crops are then transported via conveyor belts to the grading tables where it is visually sorted into three grades: top quality, average, and orchard run, and is then carried via belts to the packing tables (Wikipaedia).

The World Bank facility should be utilised in adopting technologies that would boost agricultural production and reduce post harvest losses in the sub-region. To achieve this, additional incentives should be given to educated youths to encourage them to go into modern and scientific agriculture. It is the future of the sub-region.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Announcement: US Trade Mission to Nigeria, March 8-10

The U.S. Commercial Service is facilitating an Executive-led Trade Mission from the United States to Nigeria, March 8-10. Members of the Trade Mission will spend March 8-9 in Lagos and March 10 in Abuja. They are highly interested in meeting potential partners and associates to discuss trade and investment opportunities in Nigeria. While the mission is in Lagos and Abuja, members will like to hold one-on-one sessions with potential Nigerian partners and end-users like you.

If you or any of your members and associates is interested in meeting with members of the trade mission, please send your brief company profiles specifying your area of interest and the company you will like to meet to

The trade mission include participants from the following companies:

Agribusiness: Reinke
Aviation: Boeing
Construction:IMS Engineering,Structuracasa
Energy: MWP Industrial, Nilution
Medical: Alliance Bio-Med, Prime Health, Skelley and STF.
Security: Castle Shipboard Security, KDH Defence
Technology:I2 Document and Digital Solutions, Rockwell Automation
Telecommunications: Motorola,Net Tech
Transportation: Crown Auto Parts, Kofa International, Nationwide Equipment

Supermarket shopping hurricane to spread in Nigeria

From all indications, Nigerians growing preference for shopping in supermarkets is set to grow in coming years especially in the cities. With an expanding middle class, increasing number of repatriates and a rapidly growing number of foreigners living and working in the country, this hurricane would not abate soon.

Uzochukwuamaka Otoh of the Nigerian Guardian Newspapers ( threw more light on this emerging trend in a report on the implications of supermarket consumption on Nigerians. Read on ...

A walk into the Shoprite Supermarket at Surulere presents one with a steady stream of shoppers, who seem to have shunned the open market for the luxury of mega supermarkets. The long winding queue of people at the bakery section tells of Nigerian’s love and growing appreciation for the unique pastries, which can only be found in these mega supermarkets. The French Baget and German flat bread have come to be accepted as an especial variety and departure from the regular bread, which Nigerians are used to.

Supermarket, as it known today, was initially a phenomenon of independent and small regional chains. Eventually, large chains caught on as well, and they refined the concept, adding a level of refinement that had been lacking from the austere stores of the early 1930s. In the late 1930s, A&P began merging its thousands of small service stores into larger supermarkets, often replacing as many as five or six stores with one large new one. The result was a reduction in the number of stores and increased sales resulting in the success of the supermarket phenomenon.

In Nigeria, the 70s and 80s presented us with supermarkets of international repute; the Leventis, UAC and Kingsway are testimonial to Nigeria’s blooming and flourishing economy. Today, most of these stores have become extinct and have come to be replaced by foreign franchise. The Shoprite Stores of South African origin have come to assume a place of importance in the city of Lagos; other international mega supermarkets like Harrods and Walmart are said be considering penetrating the Nigerian market.

A survey of mega supermarkets in Nigeria show that the mega supermarkets all tend to have little points of differentiation and also seem to be concentrated in the city of Lagos, thereby excluding other major cities like Calabar, Port Harcourt and Abuja. This phenomenon, itself is a disadvantage, considering that Nigeria is still a virgin land for mega supermarkets.

Also, putting into consideration the business unfriendly environment, which the Nigerian terrain presents, the prospects for managing a mega supermarket seem daunting especially. This is more so considering the rising appreciation for leisure, which seems to be more profitable for an investor in the hospitality industry than in the retail supermarket industry.

The need for constant power and water, security considerations, steady supply of goods and political considerations associated with establishing a mega supermarket in Nigeria also stand as impediments. From the consumers’ perspective, mega supermarkets are here to stay and will definitely constitute a strong competition to the open market.

The way and manner by which Nigerians have accepted influx of mega supermarkets, especially in Lagos, is an indication that the attitude of supermarket has come to stay, and is a force to be reckoned with as far as retailing in Nigeria is concerned. These mega supermarkets will increase the standard of retail business in Nigeria and also define today’s business environment and consumers in Nigeria as time goes on.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Zambian Beef Processor Expands to Nigeria to Cater to New Tastes as Incomes Climb

Have you been reluctant in making that decision to do business in Nigeria or elsewhere in Africa? Then, read the success story of a Zambian farmer that took the plunge two years ago. Story was by Will Connors, Wall Street Journal Reporter in Lagos, Nigeria.

In a brief discussion with him at the 50th independence anniversary of Benin Republic in Lagos, he came across to me as someone with great hope in the future of Africa...Now he is showcasing the continent in his Africa Rising series for Wall Street Journal. Well done! Ndudi Osakwe

Zambian Beef Processor Expands to Nigeria With Aim of Spreading Out Across the Continent.

IKENNE, Nigeria—After driving two hours—skirting truck-size potholes, fording a flooded town and dodging a body—Pieter Swanepoel arrives at a dilapidated farm about 50 miles from Lagos, Nigeria. He has reached the launching pad for Zambeef Products PLC's $10 million expansion into Africa's most populous country. A few hundred yards from where the South African accountant stands, neat rows of soybeans grow and a new meat-processing facility buzzes with activity where once there was a collection of derelict buildings. "There was sweet blow-all in terms of infrastructure," he says.

Under Mr. Swanepoel's leadership over the last two years, Zambeef has built an efficient supply chain and opened a handful of bustling retail stores in one of Africa's toughest but most promising markets. His goal is to turn the Zambian meat-and-produce company into Africa's Coca-Cola for meat, with Zambeef's Master Meats brand in shops and market stalls across the continent.

With annual revenue of $162 million, Zambeef is a bite-size example of companies small and large expanding in Africa, transforming the world's next billion-person market in similar ways to how earlier economic booms changed China and India.While U.S. and European companies are waking up to the continent's accelerating growth, scores of African companies like Zambeef also are expanding.

Telecommunications company MTN Group Ltd. has scooped up 116 million subscribers in 21 African countries on the continent from its headquarters in South Africa. Nigeria-based Dangote Cement PLC has acquired land and opened plants in Ghana, Cameroon and Ethiopia. Togo-based Ecobank Transnational Inc. set up branches in 30 African countries, doubling its presence in five years.

While the economies of U.S., Europe and Latin American contracted in 2009, Africa's grew. The International Monetary Fund in October forecast that growth in the 47 countries of sub-Saharan Africa will reach 5.5% this year. That growth is creating legions of consumers.

Around 10 million Nigerians moved into the middle-income bracket, meaning they could buy more than just necessities, in the past five years, according to an estimate by London-based private-equity firm Actis LLP. Nigeria's estimated $9 billion market for red-meat products is the continent's second biggest, after South Africa, according to a recent study sponsored by the British government.

Zambeef expects that as the middle class in this country of some 150 million people grows, so, too, will the number of people shopping in Western-style stores. The company hopes to lure customers used to buying meat in open-air markets by offering clean, packaged products while charging only slightly more than the markets. While a pound of beef might cost around $4.10 at a Lagos open-air market, Zambeef might charge about $4.75.

Multinationals also have high hopes for Nigeria. "We see Africa, with its one billion inhabitants, as a continent of limitless possibilities," Nestle SA Chief Executive Paul Bulcke said last week as he opened an $80 million factory in the same state as Zambeef's farm.

No one, however, is discounting the perils of investing in a continent rife with corruption, short on dependable infrastructure and heavy with unstable governments, as Northern Africa has shown in recent weeks.

Mr. Swanepoel's experience as Zambeef's managing director in Nigeria shows that doing business in Africa will be just as messy as in other emerging markets. To deal with an unreliable power supply, Zambeef runs its equipment here on its own diesel-powered generators 24 hours a day at a cost of tens of thousands of dollars a month. As he travels among Zambeef's 11 stores and plants, Mr. Swanepoel (pronounced SWAH-nuh-pole) spends several hours a day stuck in Lagos traffic jams.

"A lot of the time you say to yourself, 'My god, how can we make this work?,' " Mr. Swanepoel says. "But eventually you figure the puzzle out. In Nigeria, you need logic and lots of patience. A bottle of good wine doesn't hurt, either."

For more on the Africa Rising series go to:

By WILL CONNORS, Wall Street Journal / Dow Jones Newswires Correspondent
Lagos, Nigeria

Saturday, January 8, 2011


Many of our clients are wondering why we have not reached them on possible areas to invest in Nigeria in 2011. Well, we waited to see the outcome of a gubernatorial rerun in one of the states whose election served as a litmus test to the newly inaugurated electoral body.

2011 is an election year in Nigeria and activities in this direction would commence with voters registration exercise, parties primaries, then campaigns for the elections slated for April, 2011. Reports emanating from various quarters indicate that this election would be like no other since the commencement of the fourth republic.

Some northern elements within the ruling party is insisting on keeping the presidency in the North based on a zoning policy while the Niger Delta people in the party is of the opinion that their candidate already in the saddle of leadership as the president should continue in office. The other political parties looking to wrest power from the incumbent government seek candidates with credible credentials rather than states of origin. In the states, while some governors seek second term in office, there are aspirants cross carpeting to parties with the best chances of their running against the incumbents and clinching the positions.

Politics in Nigeria has become a do or die affair as becoming a public office holder provides access to personal aggrandizement. In these circumstances, violence, kidnapping and political assassinations may be expected. Political campaigns come with so much money in circulation for electioneering. Therefore, in the first quarter leading up to the second quarter of the year, not much should be expected in the form of government spending. The economy would foot-drag during this period as business people and investors watch the political situation from the sideline.

Nevertheless, forget about these uncertainties, even with the elections, the economy is expected to grow at the rate of 5.8% this year. The new government would still be confronted with the old problems of infrastructure especially power, roads, hospitals and housing. Other issues the new administration would contend with are that of rising food prices and personal security. Investors may look in these directions.

Nigeria remains one of the countries to beat in terms of return on investment in sub Saharan Africa. With its huge market potential of over 150 million people, its educated workforce and gaping infrastructure needs, it is an attractive market to be ignored this year, 2011. Little wonder the hospitality sector has become a beehive…and various international franchises setting up in the cities.

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