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NEWS UPDATE (Tues.21.01.20)


The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) says that the sector’s capacity utilisation slowed to 54.1 per cent in the first half of 2019, compared to 54.50 per cent recorded in the first half of 2018, indicating 0.4 percentage point decline during the period under review.
The Director-General (MAN), Segun Ajayi-Kadir, revealed this in the association latest report, themed, “Executive summary of 2019 manufacturing outlook.”
He disclosed that “It also declined by 6.9 percentage point when compared with 61.0 per cent recorded in the second half of 2018. The fall in capacity utilisation of the sector in the period is as a result of poor macroeconomic, regulatory and infrastructure conditions in the economy.”
He noted that there was a decline in capacity utilisation in Food, Beverage and Tobacco group at 55.3 per cent, Wood & Wood Products at 49.4 per cent, Chemical & Pharmaceutical at 47.4 per cent and non-metallic at 52.7 per cent, among others.”Capacity utilisation declined in Food, Beverage and Tobacco group (55.3 per cent), Wood & Wood Products (49.4 per cent), Chemical & Pharmaceutical (47.4 per cent), Non-metallic (52.7 per cent) and Domestic/Industrial Plastic and Rubber group (52.2 per cent). However, it increased in the Textile Apparel & Footwear group (56.5 per cent), Pulp, Paper, Printing & Publishing (67.0 per cent), Electrical Electronics (48.2 per cent) and Motor Vehicle & Miscellaneous Assembly group (56.3 per cent). “In the second half of 2019, Capacity utilization in Textile Apparel & Footwear group increased by 6.13 percentage point when compared with 50.17 per cent recorded in the corresponding half of 2018. However, the group declined by 3.4 percentage point when compared with 59.9 per cent recorded in the preceding half.”
The report revealed that industrial zones analyses presented a mixed-bag of performance, adding that while capacity utilisation in most of the zones increased in the first half of last year against the performance of the corresponding half of 2018, others declined when compared with the second half of 2018.
“Capacity utilisation in most of the zones increased in the first half of 2019 against the performance of the corresponding half of 2018 but declined when compared with the second half of 2018. Consequently, in the period under review, capacity utilization in Ikeja zone increased to 68.14 per cent; Ogun (69.19 per cent), Apapa (69.46 per cent), Kano Sharada/Challawa (55.11 per cent), Kaduna (49.5 per cent), Anambra/Enugu (43.8 per cent) and Rivers (54.07 per cent). Conversely, capacity utilization in Imo/Abia zone declined to 34.72 per cent, Kwara/Kogi (44.13 per cent) and Abuja (39.13 per cent) in the first half of 2019.


Nigeria’s foremost e-commerce giant, Konga, has made significant strides which have positioned it as the clear leader in the competitive e-commerce market, its Co-Chief Executive Officer, Prince Nnamdi Ekeh, has said.
Prince Ekeh spoke to CNN Marketplace Africa on the sidelines of the first Creative Africa Exchange weekend in Kigali, Rwanda. The Konga CEO was one of the speakers at the event which brought together over 1500 participants from 68 countries and over 250 exhibitors.
He said Konga’s omni-channel structure which sees it taking a percentage of the retail outlay in the online (formal) and offline (informal sector), self-owned tech-driven logistics solution, Kxpress through which it handles deliveries to customers as well as external parties.
He added that the firm’s state-of-the-art regional warehousing facilities enabled it to retain inventory in diverse states and locations in the country as well as sound knowledge of the local business terrain are factors that have placed the company in front.
‘‘Konga is best positioned as the leader in the Nigerian e-commerce market. We are not just an e-commerce company but we run an omni-channel model with over 30 physical stores spread across Nigeria. So, we are closest to the people. Also, we are seeing huge growth in the business and in our customer base. Between last year and this year, the business grew by almost eight times,’’ he said.
‘‘The key is growing your revenue while being able to manage your costs. That is the only way for sustainable growth. In the last year, we have been able to grow revenue by eight times but we have also been able to reduce our costs by 65per cent. That is quite huge,’’he said.
Sharing his thoughts on how Konga is creatively resolving the challenge of logistics which has hobbled other players in the market, Prince Ekeh noted that the company had relied on its deep understanding of the Nigerian terrain – a factor which he emphasized has distinguished Konga in the marketplace.
‘‘The starting point for us was identifying the problem. There is a huge problem in Nigeria where the informal market is so huge, so massive; in fact, almost 98% of the market. This means that people don’t have access to quality products; they don’t have access to quality after-sales services.
‘‘So, we identified this problem when we came into the market. What we hold ourselves on is integrity and making sure that we are supplying quality products and as quickly as possible. We had to look internally and invest in a logistics platform for ourselves.
So, we built a logistics platform working with franchisees in local areas. If you understand the dynamics of local villages in Nigeria, most people know each other. As long as we had the name and the phone number of the person who requires the product, someone in the local village knows that person. So we partnered with local people and empowered them to deliver to the last mile for us.
‘‘Today, we have built Kxpress, our logistics platform, to the point where we are not only delivering for Konga but for other partners. That’s where you begin to add value because not only Konga has that problem.
A lot of people have the same problem. People who sell on social media have that problem too. So, we are building a platform not just for ourselves but for the entire industry. With that, we are able to scale much quicker.’’
Quizzed by the CNN’s Eleni Giokos on Konga’s expansion plans, Prince Ekeh disclosed that the goal is to dominate Nigeria, which the company has all but achieved, before expanding to other African countries.
‘‘Nigeria is one of the largest markets in Africa. We are looking at consolidating in Nigeria and ensuring our customers get the best services and then rolling out across Africa.
If you are able to scale to the point where you can solve a lot of the problems in Nigeria, it makes it easy to take on other markets outside Nigeria. Definitely, Nigeria is the focus for now. That’s where we started and that’s where we hope to scale and once that is done, we can begin to expand to other African markets.’’
Continuing, he stated: ‘‘We have a lot of things going on. We are also adding a lot of business units. We recently launched our travel business in February 2019 and also have a Central Bank of Nigeria-licensed mobile money platform called KongaPay. We also have KXpress, our logistics business.
We are a platform and as a consumer, we want to connect you to all these different services we provide. We also plan to roll out a lot more services so that our customers stay within that platform as we continue to grow the customer base.’’


The equities market of the Nigeria Stocks Exchange (NSE) on Monday began this week trading activities on a positive note as gains in MTN, Guaranty Trust Bank (GTBank) and Zenith Bank Plc drove the All-Share Index (ASI) up 0.3 per cent to 29,710.56 points. This development, when considered Year Till Date (YTD) return, it represented appreciable per cent of 10.7 per cent.
Also, the market capitalisation climbed N47.4billion to N15.3trillion. Although, activity level was mixed as volume traded fell 17.9 per cent to 266.9m units while value traded rose 17.7 per cent to N4.2billion.
Leading the most traded stocks by volume were Access Bank with 37.8millio units, followed by Zenith Bank with 35.0million units and GTBank recorded a total unit of 33.6 million.
But GTBank top the leaders by value with a whopping N1.1billion, trailed by Zenith Bank with the total sum of N790.4million and DANGCEM with N439.9million.
Sector the performance was impressive as 5 of 6 sectors under our coverage ended the day in the green. The Consumer Goods index was the lone loser, down 3.1 per cent on the back of sell-offs in NESTLE (-6.1%) and UNILEVER (-2.7%).
On the flip side, the Industrial Goods (+2.0%) and Banking (+1.2%) indices led the bulls, following buying interest in WAPCO (+3.5%), GUARANTY (+1.5%), ZENITH (+2.1%) and ETI (+2.0%).

Meanwhile, gains in TOTAL (+9.4%), WAPIC (+5.7%) and LAWUNION (+10.0%) buoyed performance in the Oil & Gas (+0.3%) and Insurance (+1.1%) indices.


Foremost lender, Standard Chartered, is planning to disrupt the banking industry with its digital bank.
It said it has spent over $3 billion on technology.
Its Chief Executive Officer, Lamin Manjiang, who spoke at the unveiling of the bank’s first digital bank in the country, tagged: Capturing the Digital the Initiative (CDI), said though the lender doesn’t announce the breakdown of individual investments, over $3bilion has so far been spent between the last three and five years.”It is really about making easy, convenient and secure for our clients and we think we are spending what we need to spend to achieve this,” he said.
He said Nigeria is strategic to the bank’s business and will remain so.
According to him, the country is the bank’s biggest territory in terms of revenue and profit.
He also unveiled Burna Boy as the lender’s brand ambassador, saying he shared so much with the bank.
He said the digital platform will enable the bank to play in the retail area and will give it competitive advantage in the country.
“Africa is strategically important region where we have been investing steadily over the years. Nigeria is ranked the 26th largest economy in the world and the largest in Africa. Nigeria accounts for nearly 20 per cent of the continent’s gross domestic product (GDP) of about 75 per cent of the West Africa economy. We believe the CDI proposition is a great opportunity for a large market and one of Africa’slargest economy,” Manjiang said.
According to him, the country’s banking market is developed with FinTechs, banks as well as telcos playing active roles in the digital banking ecosystem.
He said: “USSD has pushed the envelope of mobile payments in the past 24 months and there would be more disruption in the financial space in the future.
A digital approach made sense for Nigeria given the market demand for technology and innovation in banking; growing youths demographic requiring informed guidance around creating and sustaining walth; and the opportunity to drive financial inclusion for the unbanked.”
He said Standard Chartered is on branch optimisation and efficiency drive where digital marketing, Web and mobile, artificial intelligence (AI), virtual and voice contact centre become the interface between the bank and the customer.
This strategy, he said is about empowering the customer to bank on their terms any time any where.


Market analysts predict that interest in IOT will increase in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region, with revenue expected to more than double by 2023, reaching an expected value of over $20-billion.
This is according to the Telco IOT Offerings and Market Opportunity Assessment in AME report released by global market analysis firm GlobalData.
The report suggests the MEA region will be the second fastest growing region for IOT revenue, second behind the Asia-Pacific.
While it is acknowledged that the technology is in its early stages of uptake across a number of vertical markets, utilities, government and manufacturing have been identified as the main drivers behind the revenue growth.
A statement by GlobalData quotes Houda Bostanji, EMEA Telecoms Director at GlobalData, said: “IOT expenditure in the region reflects the Gulf Cooperation Council’s (GCC’s) primary investment areas.
With some of the most high-profile smart city programs, government and transportation, spend is high.
There is a commonality across leading vertical industries, such as government, utilities and manufacturing in many regions.
These verticals account for significant spend, which is expected to continue throughout the forecast period.’’

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