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Business Economist, Awwal Garba Philanthropy gesures



Economic and corporate financial genius, Awwal Garba is set to launch a new charity soon as part of his philanthropy gestures to the less privileged in the society. The British trained economist is one of the biggest exports of Nigeria to the outside world.

Awwal Garba A. D. attended the Bayero University Kano, Nigeria and the City University, London, UK, from which institutions he meritoriously obtained his first and second university degrees. He is a Member of the Nigerian Institute of Management (NIM) and a Member of the Chartered Institute of Business Management UK. Since gaining his Masters in Business Economics from Britain, he has in practice majored in the oil and gas sector of the global business environment, with particular in Nigeria.

He has, without any doubt carved a sizable niche for himself and all the organizations he represents within this very important global sector, oil and gas and particularly for Nigeria, which rely heavily on oil related revenues for its survival and development as a nation. He has developed a proclivity for discovering the untapped resources within the sector and has successfully over the years tapped from those to the benefit of his chain of business interests, nationally and globally.

Awwal is a rare kind of Entrepreneur with peculiar kind of business instincts which have enabled him to discern uncommon opportunities that are not often apparent in orthodox feasibility studies. This rare disposition has enabled him to excel in countless ventures and investments, especially within the sector under consideration. His major areas of focus cuts across sectors like, finance, management consulting, marine, oil and gas exploration and production (OEP), oil refinery and real estate development amongst others. He is a consummate professional with strong interpersonal and effective communication skills, reasonable level of integrity, tenacity and strength of character.

Awwal Garba, in his commitment towards achieving efficiency of organizational goals and objectives, has been courted and is enjoying the confidence of plethora of business organizations, especially within the oil and gas sector. He seats comfortably on the management position of numerous companies. These include: Magma Petroleum Investment Limited; Magma Exploration Production Limited; Magma Agro-Allied Limited; Magma Logistics Limited; Magma Gas and Power Spectrum Limited; Magma Pipe and Coating Limited. Others include: Vaja Group of Companies Nigeria Limited; Kannous Projects Limited; Britannica HDD Refinery Limited and its Branch of Nigeria Limited. Also, he sits on the board of several companies as Director. This include: Augusta Energy Nigeria Limited; Blue Strip Consult Limited; Anglo-Africa Energy Limited; Aquashield Marine Global Limited; Afri Allied Services Limited; Rhone Petroleum Limited; and H. Oil Limited.

Awwal is vastly traveled and has in the course of his quest for excellence availed himself of several national, regional and global Professional, Executive Management Training Programmes on Leadership, Entrepreneurship, Oil and Gas Economic Management, etc.

Awwal is a great Philanthropist and a man in tune with his people. Deservedly, he is honoured with the prestigious traditional titles of Galadima Talban, and Talban Dan Hausa Daura. He is happily married and blessed with children.

One of the interesting things about Galadiman Talban is his genuine concern about the development and growth of his fatherland, Nigeria. He has demonstrated this in so many ways, and at any given opportunity. He is a firm believer that though many Nigerians are qualified, and sometimes, more qualified than many of the Expatriates that come to do business in the nation’s most valuable and possibly the most lucrative oil and gas sector, the successive leadership of the country have always preferred to patronize foreign corporations and organizations against their own equally qualified and versatile players within the sector.

According to Awwal, Nigeria and its people would benefit more when they are given the desired opportunity to operate in the important sectors of the nation. For instance, while Nigeria has oil as its mainstay of revenue and resources for existence and development, other countries like United States of America may have nuclear power, science and technological structures and resources as their mainstay. Awwal argues how often do the developed countries of the world allow foreigners to come into their countries, and grant them unhindered access to understand, and actively participate in those areas? That is very rare, or even impossible. In the same vein, Awwal, who isa British trained Business Economist, and who has had the privilege of traveling around the world, has come to appreciate that most progressive nations protect the interests of their citizens and their expertise first.

According to him, although it is a known fact that some foreign experts on the oil and gas sector in Nigeria may be better than some of the indigenous players, the truth still remains that in other climes, the leadership of the country ensure that its citizens and experts are placed in a position where they can easily measure up with the expatriates. This situation is not meant to last forever, rather they leaders of most nation would find a way of empowering its citizens until they are able to compete favourably with their foreign counterparts. For instance, United States of America would not say because China is ahead of the US in any particular area of interest, that the Chinese companies should come and become leaders in any such sector in the US. No. Rather, the US government would keep encouraging their own, until they would become as good or even better their major competitors.
He is a firm believer that Nigerian leadership, especially those who are saddled with the management of the oil and gas sector, should, as matter of deliberate and effective national policy ensure that Nigerians and Nigerian companies are evenly involved in the management, operation and development of the oil and gas sectors of the nation’s economy.

Still reflecting on current happenings around the world, the United States of America’s leadership, has in the last two years maintained a policy of ‘America First’, and rightly so. Even though their President insists that America First does not mean ‘America Alone’ the truth is simple. He wants to protect the interests of Americans, American Companies and Institutions first, before looking outside the world, and many Americans love their president’s disposition. Also, the British last year left the European Union for good. In a nationwide Referendum, the British voted to exit EU. It is not because they hate their hitherto age long Allies, no, but there is growing need for people to reassess the benefits of major world preoccupations to see how it affects their people.

Mr. Garba is of the conviction that when expatriates and foreign companies come to Nigeria and make huge profits, they simply send the profits back to their country, many times without paying the right taxes, but in sharp contrasts, when indigenous companies have the privilege of executing multimillion dollar contracts and possibly make huge profits, they naturally give it back to the Nigerian society. They pay correct taxes, invest in their country and as a result give employment to teeming Nigerian youths, and by extension contributing more to the development of the society in general. It is simple, because for the foreign companies, it is all about the gain and profit to their companies, but for the indigenous companies, it is for the gain and for the love of the country, Nigeria. Foreigners would never come to love or show love to the country. They simply come to make profit, and then go to their own country to show love to their people.

There are indeed so many competent and expert Nigerian companies in virtually all the critical sectors of Nigeria across sectors like construction, oil and gas, telecommunication, management, marine and military hardware procurement, agriculture and allied products and equipment, etc. These indigenous companies rely heavily on Nigerians for most levels of involvements in their operations. They understand the people and the operational environment better, and are likely to contribute more committedly towards the overall development of the society besides their particular area of interest.

One of such companies is Britanica Horizontal Directional Drilling Limited, an indigenous oil and gas company with particular interest on drilling, exploration, pipe construction and laying, oil pipeline maintenance services. The company is a true national and global player within the oil and gas sector. Ranging from exploration, drilling, construction of oil and gas pipes and other related materials, and equipment needed within the oil and gas sector, including training Nigerians in various fields of the sector. The company has several collaborative agreements, memorandum of understanding and strategic partnership agreements with many nationally and globally acclaimed expert organizations, which are very active and current within the global oil and gas environment. It is equally proficient in the maintenance of the various oil and gas machines, equipments and pipe. Its experience in the management, maintenance and security of the various oil and gas equipment has given the company an age over most competitors in the sector.

In its almost ten years of operation across the oil and gas sector, Britanica Horizontal Directional Drilling Limited, has made it a duty to empower smaller Nigerian oil and gas players, with the requisite skills from the beginning to finish in any given field. It is on record that at the end of every project which the company has executed, many Nigerians, especially the youths within the locality would not only benefit from the money paid for their labour, but they would always be taken into confidence in the nitty-gritty of the oil and gas sector, which most non-indigenous companies always try to keep them in the dark. Infact, to the surprise of most Community Leaders of where the company has operated, many of the youths are trained on the operation of most of the oil and gas equipment. As a result, the company has never recorded any incidence of disturbance or disruption of its operation, because of the understanding and respect of the management towards the community, including the Traditional and Opinion Leaders within the community in question. Also, for any contracts or services rendered in any part Nigeria, the company always insists on giving the opportunities to the indigenes, within the skill and unskilled levels of its operations. Besides, the company always use every of such opportunity to educate many of the indigenes of the areas on the ways to cope with whatever effect of the operations of national and multi-national oil and gas corporations operating within their environment.

Many opinion leaders and traditional rulers of most communities, including the youths and women have on several occasions voiced their feelings that they were more appreciated, treated better and with more respect, and assisted more by the management and officials of Britanica Horizontal Directional Drilling Limited than many other companies that have executed projects around them.

Indeed, the testimony of the operations of Britanica Horizontal Directional Drilling Limited is also a testimony of the character, personality and integrity of the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Company, Alhaji Awwal Garba, A. D., Talban Dan Hausa Daura. This British trained Business Economists appreciates the natural connection between people and environment. There is need to foster a strong synergy between the two. The people must benefit from the operation of what is happening in their environment and vice versa. He has maintained this ideology all through his professional and business career. He is an amazing Ambassador of indigenous players within the nation’s all important oil and gas sector.

It would be appropriate for the federal government through its regulators, managers and operators of the oil and gas sector to seek out Nigerians, who are qualified, and who have demonstrated unquestionable performance and requisite professional and personal integrity within the sector to involve them more as a way of keeping the nation’s treasured resources within the nation and its good people.

In this regard, I can state without any fear that Alhaji Awwal Garba A. D., indeed represents such Nigerians, who are indeed scattered across the country. He is truly an Indigenous Genius with a Global Capacity.


CBN reduces Monetary Policy Rate



CBN goes tough on Nigerian banks, announces fines for failed transaction reversals, others


Nigeria’s central bank (CBN) has slashed the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) from 14 per cent to 13.50 per cent.

The decision was reached at the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting of the CBN on Tuesday.

The MPR is the rate the CBN lends to commercial banks. It had remained unchanged at 14 per cent for 30 consecutive months or 15 meetings of the MPC, since July 2016. It moved from 12 per cent in June 2016.

The cut in the MPR is the first time since the CBN decided in July 2016 to pursue a tight monetary policy to bring stability to the financial market and engender growth in the country’s economy.

In announcing the committee’s decision at the end of its 122nd meeting in Abuja, the CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele, said the committee, however, resolved to retain other parameters unchanged.

He said Cash Reserve Requirement (CRR) was left at 22.5 per cent, while the liquidity ratio was kept at 30 per cent.

The CRR is the funds kept with the CBN as a minimum deposit a commercial bank must hold as reserves, rather than lend out.

Prior to the meeting, most analysts expected the MPC to retain the rates unchanged.

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NASCON posts N4.4bn profits; to pay 100k dividend




The Management of NASCON Allied Industries (formerly National Salt Company), a member of the Dangote Group over the weekend released itsfinancials for the year ended December 31, 2018 with a revenue of N25.8 billion and a profit after tax of N4.4 billion. The shareholders will however be paid a dividend payout of 100 kobo per share for every 50kobo share held.

Analysts have attributed the decline in revenue and profitability to the company’s idling vegetable oil and tomato plants for straight two years.

It has however been projected that the shareholders will gain a bumper harvest in the preceding year as latest reports say the company’s Kano-based tomato paste plant has resumed operations. It would be recalled that Tomato paste has been idle for over two years owing to a supply disruption partly caused by a price dispute with farmers
The 1,200 metric tons per day factory, meant to meet domestic demand, reportedly restarted production last week processing about 100 tons a day.

Abdulkareem Kaita, managing director of Dangote Farms Ltd said the major challenge was the scarcity of tomato, because “the local tomato growers could not meet our production demand, we also could not agree with the farmers on the price of tomato per basket.”

Under a new deal with the farmers, the factory will buy tomatoes at prices pegged to what local markets are selling.
Dangote is also developing its own farms with a special tomato strain that could yield 60 tons per hectare, compared with the yield of 10 tons per hectare being recorded by the local farmers, Kaita said.

The company plans to distribute the seedlings to growers to boost their output.

A further breakdown showed that sale of salt remained its biggest business, contributing N20.761bn, down from N22.247bn in 2017, out of which N12.565bn was incurred in cost of sales, as against N11.62bn in prior year, leaving segment profit of N8.195bn from N10.627bn. It was followed by freight income of N4.084bn, compared to the previous N3.858bn, incurring N4.442bn costs in the process, resulting in a loss of N500.245m, down from N583.36m a year earlier. The seasoning segment was however better than freight business, contributing N924.167m income, N839.022m cost that left segment profit at N85.145m; which was a far cry from the profit of N125.732m recorded in 2017 from a lower revenue of N765.295m and N639.564m sales cost. The vegetable oil segment did not contribute to the top and bottom-line in 2018, unlike in 2017, when it contributed N192.904m, but incurred N335.623m as cost, resulting in a N142.719m loss. Tomato paste did not however report any revenue for the year, and yet there was N32.84m in cost and segment loss.

The lion’s share of cost of sales for the year was the N10.66bn for raw materials consumed, up from N10.148bn.

Investment income rose to N468.379m from N354.745m, out of which fixed deposit rose to N381.835m from N309.776m, while treasury bills yielded N86.11m, a significant rise from N44.298m in 2017.
Other income rose 159.07% up from N11.3m in the preceding year to N29.27m, boosted by the N20.672m from insurance claim, which climbed from N10.004m; while sale of scrap soared from N1.292m to N8.593m. Other operating gains stood at N841.85m, from a loss of N1.87m in 2017, which was driven by the N992.058m net foreign exchange gains which did not occurred in the prior year, the impact of which was blighted by the N150.213m losses on disposals, scrapping and settlements property, plant and equipment, up from N1.868m.


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GTBank Dominates CBN E-Payments Awards, Wins 8 out of 12 Banking Honours




Guaranty Trust Bank plc continued its dominance of Nigeria’s most qualitative digital financial service awards for the fourth year in a row, winning eight of the twelve honours available to Banks in the 2019 edition of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Electronic Payment Incentive Scheme (EPIS) Efficiency Awards.

The foremost African financial institution, renowned for its innovative products and services, won awards for efficiency and excellent service delivery in virtually every E-payment channel.

The CBN EPIS Efficiency Awards is organized to celebrate financial institutions, merchants and other stakeholders at the forefront of driving electronic payment in Nigeria. Now in its fourth year, the awards are based on objective analysis of all E-payments data collated by the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS) over a full calendar year. With eight awards, GTBank took home two more honours than the six awards the Bank won the previous year and the highest number of awards presented to financial institutions, Fin-techs, merchants and other stakeholders in the Electronic Payment Incentive Scheme.

The eight awards won by GTBank include:

·         Best Customer Experience Award: for having the highest level of overall customer satisfaction rating in the delivery of electronic payment services to customers in2018.

·         Real-Time PaymentsTransaction Efficiency:for achieving the lowest failure rate in the processing of InstantPayments transactions in 2018.

·         Cashless Driver, USSD Channel Champion: for achieving the highest number of instant Payments transactions via the USSD channel in2018.

·         Cashless Driver, Point of Sale (POS)Transactions: for achieving the highest transaction count on Point of Sale(POS) Terminals in 2018.

·         Cashless Driver, Card Usageon Point of Sales (POS) Terminals: for authorizing the highest card transaction count on thePoint of Sale (POS) Central Terminal Management System in2018.

·         Direct Debit Driver Award: for processing the highest volume of successful debit mandates across all Payment Service Provider platforms in 2018.

·         E-Reference Operations Efficiency: for the Bank’s outstanding performance
in the processing of customers references received from other Banks for account opening purposes on the industry E-reference Platform in 2018.

·         ID Services Driver: for achieving the highest volume in the use of the BVN, e-Passport and NIN customer verification platforms in 2018.

Commenting on the Bank’s EPIS awards, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Guaranty Trust Bank plc, Mr Segun Agbaje, said; “We are proud to be recognised by the CBN EPIS Efficiency Awards for our efforts in driving excellence in electronic payments and providing customers with a superior banking experience across all digital touchpoints. These awards serve as extra motivation for us and we continue to find new and exciting ways to reduce our customers’ pain points and offer them benefits beyond banking.

He further stated that; “At GTBank we are passionate about building the bank of the future that connects our customers directly to all the everyday things that matter to them. That is why we are constantly leveraging the best of technology to, not only make financial services cheaper, more personal and readily accessible, but also to create amazing digital experiences in a way that adds real value to our customers’ lives.”

Guaranty Trust Bank plc is a foremost African Financial Institution with Total Assets of ₦3.287trillion and Shareholders’ Funds of ₦575.6Billion. With banking operations across 10 African countries and the United Kingdom, GTBank is regarded by industry watchers as one of the best run financial institutions in the countries in which it operates and serves as a role model in Africa’s financial service industry due to its bias for world-class corporate governance standards, excellent service delivery, and innovation.

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