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Op-Ed

Sokoto shows the way forward for Nigerian business

Dawn Spetale

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The election season in Nigeria has inevitably focused attention on the importance of creating jobs and supporting businesses. But if Africa’s largest economy is genuinely to thrive, and to provide a sustainable base for Nigeria’s emergence as a global power in the twenty-first century, the country’s politicians need to understand that promises and posturing about the economy should not be a vote-seeking indulgence. 

Nigeria’s politicians should not be singled out here; politicians the world over are guilty of promising the world in election campaigns. But few countries are more in need of business development and support than Nigeria, with its stubbornly high rates of poverty, systemic unemployment, emigration of high-skilled entrepreneurs and young, digitally savvy population. 

There needs to be a sea-change in the way business is viewed in Nigeria. It cannot any longer be considered the servant of politics. Instead, politicians need to serve business: not favour any one individual business over another, nor prioritise sectors, but create and nurture the conditions in which all businesses can grow, adding jobs and generating wealth. 

I’m part of a project based in Sokoto that aims to create a world-class leather industry. We’re aiming to take the artisanal craft skills built up over generations, and to add it to the best environmental, marketing and production practices to develop an integrated leather cluster that can show to the world Nigeria at its best. 

My involvement in Nigeria has grown over many years and many visits. It’s a society in flux, but one thing has always struck me: the huge possibilities of the country, and the untapped reservoir of talent in its greatest resource – its people. 

That’s why my company, Pan African Enterprises, has joined Governor Tambuwal and his team at the Sokoto Investment Company Ltd (SICL) to build a partnership to achieve this ambitious goal. In doing so, we not only want to place Sokoto on the global manufacturing map, but we also want to provide inspiration to other businesses in Nigeria, and to shape a model for successful public-private cooperation. 

SICL’s leadership understands the importance of maximising its economic potential. As a relatively dry, frontier state, its position as a crossroads for intra-regional trade has been essential to its history. And while the state’s low rainfall limits the possibility of growing cash crops, the livestock sector has traditionally been strong, hence Sokoto’s centuries of experience in the leather trade.

It’s this comparative advantage that SICL’s chairman, Tukur Umar, and its managing director Muhammadu Buhari Dasuki, want to build on. I’m not alone in seeing the tremendous opportunity in Nigeria. The World Bank is enthusiastic about our vision, and we’re in discussions about long-term support. We have brought on board some world-class experts in all aspects of the leather production chain, from livestock through to sales of finished products.

In particular, given our focus on developing Sokoto as a focal point in Africa for high-quality footwear, we have engaged leading shoe design experts to conceive innovative new products. What enthuses me most is that our partners and Sokoto share a vision of a socially and environmentally responsible project: one that creates jobs but pays good wages, and that gives the community a genuine stake in the success of the business.

We are pushing for the most stringent environmental standards to ensure that the industry competes on quality with other global leather hubs. Nigeria’s business community is progressively moving towards a more inclusive, responsible model, and through our project in Sokoto we hope to accelerate that process. 

I’m proud to be active in business in Nigeria – a resilient, enterprising country full of committed, innovative individuals. I’m grateful for the strong political support we have received from Governor Tambuwal and his dedicated colleagues.

Nigeria’s economic future surely lies in a closer relationship between politics and business, but one in which the public sector acts as a facilitator and partner for businesses of all shapes and sizes.  

This is the depth of support we have received in Sokoto. Let our project be the start of something big: not only to create a centre of excellence in leather, but to show the way towards sustainable, inclusive business across Nigeria.

The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect News Central’s editorial stance.


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Op-Ed

Wanna meet your match?

Here are some recommendations that could come in handy when you go makeup shopping, unsupervised

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Wanna Meet Your match? Use These Unbeatable Tips | News Central TV
Photo credit: House of Tara International

One of the most difficult things for women when getting their makeup done by themselves is getting their foundation shades right.

Most times, the shade appears correct but the texture is all wrong, leaving them with a ‘cakey’ finish or simply a dripping hot mess! Sometimes, it oxidizes during the day and leaves an ashy shade.

It’s almost like we never win!

Well, we spoke to some makeup artists to get tips that would save you from this recurring facial misadventure.

5 Best Makeup Tips

Here are some recommendations that could come in handy when you go makeup shopping, unsupervised.

1. Know your skin type

Wanna Meet Your match? Use These Unbeatable Tips | News Central TV
Photo credit: House of Tara

Sometimes, your skin can be oily, dry or a combination of both. Whilst knowing your skin type will not automatically help you pick your right shade, it would help you know the right foundation type for you.

To narrow down your options:

  • Choose cream or stick foundation if you have dry skin
  • Choose a matte finish or oil-free liquid or powder foundation if you have oily skin.
  • Choose a powder foundation if you have combination skin
  • Choose a foundation that offers full or medium coverage if you have an uneven complexion and want to cover most of your skin

2. Test under natural light

Find a door or window to see how the foundation holds up in daylight.

Sometimes, what you see isn’t always what you get.

3. Test before buying

Wanna Meet Your match? Use These Unbeatable Tips | News Central TV
Photo credit: House of Tara

Choose the foundation shade that looks closest to your skin tone. Test by swathing on your jawline (it is the closest to your natural tone and would show you better how the foundation matches against your neck).

The idea here is to find one that blends in perfectly, not one that you can easily see.

The best foundation will disappear into your skin and provide an even canvas for your other makeup application.

4. If it’s broken (or wrong), fix it

Some of us have multiple bottles of wrong shades of foundation- too light or too dark. Don’t throw them away because you now know the shade is wrong. Fix it and use it!

When it is too light, customize to get your right shade by mixing the foundation with a darker shade of concealer, foundation or powder.

When it is too dark, mix with a lighter shade.

5. Choose a Beauty Store that has artists or beauty experts

They would help you narrow down your options and even teach you some cool tricks.

Some helpful tips:

  • Change makeup sponges regularly if you use them to apply foundation because they can harbour germs and bacteria.
  • Always remove makeup and apply moisturizer before bed. Your skin will repair itself when you sleep.
Wanna Meet Your match? Use These Unbeatable Tips | News Central TV
Photo credit: House of Tara

There are over 21 shades of foundation and 15 shades of powder to choose between.

Hopefully, with our tips and tricks, you would find your match in this mix and maze of shades.

Now you never have to use your face as a permanent testing ground. Find your match and make your move.

The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect News Central TV’s editorial stance.

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All rights reserved. This post and other digital content on this website may not be reproduced, published, broadcasted, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without prior express written permission from News Central.

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Op-Ed

Nigeria’s economy: Preview of the week ahead

This week’s major risk event will be Thursday’s annual meeting at Wyoming where leaders from major central banks gather

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Nigeria's economy: Preview of the week ahead | News Central TV
(File photo)

Lingering concerns over a global recession will continue influencing market sentiment in the week ahead, with world equities, emerging markets and riskier currencies in the direct firing line.

Although treasury yields are recovering from record lows, the movements in bond markets are poised to be closely monitored by investors.

In Nigeria, there will be a strong focus on the second-quarter GDP report which should provide fresh insight into the health of the Nigerian economy.

A disappointing figure is seen fuelling expectations over the Central Bank of Nigeria cutting interest rates. Markets are predicting growth of 1.8% during the second quarter of 2019.

READ: Will oil prices help or harm Nigeria’s economy in Q3?

Across the Atlantic, Dollar traders will be closely looking at July’s FOMC minutes for clues on the future pace of rate cuts. Market expectations over a September rate should rise if the minutes are presented with a dovish touch.

However, some are still questioning whether the Fed will move forward with further rate cuts given how US retail sales grew 0.7% in July and the latest job report suggested moderate growth. 

This week’s major risk event will be Thursday’s annual meeting at Wyoming where leaders from major central banks gather. If major central banks express a readiness to cut interest rates further and implement new quantitative easing programs, the mood across markets has the potential to improve.

READ: Gold: Positioned to thrive in low-interest-rate environment

Appetite towards Gold will be influenced by trade developments, the Dollar’s valuation and global growth concerns. The precious metal could still hit $1550 once bulls can secure control above $1530.

The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect News Central TV’s editorial stance.

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All rights reserved. This post and other digital content on this website may not be reproduced, published, broadcasted, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without prior express written permission from News Central.

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Op-Ed

Gold: Positioned to thrive in low-interest-rate environment

Rising concerns surrounding the health of the global economy is another one of the engines that will help drive Gold prices

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Gold: Positioned to thrive in low-interest-rate environment

The investment case for Gold is set to remain robust as speculation mounts that major central banks will ease monetary policy in an effort to counter a global economic downturn.

The yellow metal shone with extreme intensity during the second quarter of 2019, rallying roughly 9 per cent to levels not seen above $1,435 in over six years, thanks to an environment that included ongoing global growth concerns, geo-politics, trade tensions and Dollar weakness.

Weak macro data, which reflects downward revisions in global growth over the past 12 months, is prompting a handful of central banks including the European Central Bank (ECB), Federal Reserve (Fed) and Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) to signal a willingness to ease monetary policy and increase economic stimulus to support growth.

In a low-interest-rate environment filled with chronic uncertainty, Gold can climb another 5 per cent over the course of Q3 – claiming the title as one of the high flyers among safe-haven assets, in competition with the Yen. 

Will Gold’s fortunes hang on the Fed’s actions?

Will Gold’s fortunes hang on the Fed’s actions?

What investors need to watch as the second half of the trading year gets underway are the actions of the Federal Reserve. Will the US central bank confirm market expectations and cut interest rates as early as July? If it fails to do so, Gold risks rapidly surrendering its second-quarter surge.

Essentially, if the Fed sits on its hands beyond July, profits will be taken from the table on the $120+ rally that transpired in Gold throughout June. 

Unfavourable global conditions to keep Gold in fashion

Rising concerns surrounding the health of the global economy is another one of the engines that will help drive Gold prices.

Although a sense of optimism has returned after the Trump-Xi Jinping meeting at G20 ended in a trade truce on tariffs, it does not change the reality that global growth is decelerating.

The World Bank recently downgraded it’s 2019 world growth forecast to 2.6 per cent from 2.9 per cent and if the recent disappointing PMI releases across the manufacturing sectors in Europe, China and the United States are anything to go by, global growth is moving towards the lower bound of 2 per cent as the decade draws to a close.

Warning signals over potential cracks in the largest economy in the world, indications of tepid growth in the EU, disappointing data from China’s manufacturing sector and lacklustre growth in the United Kingdom amid Brexit-induced uncertainties are likely to sweeten appetite for safe-haven assets. 

It’s all about central bank stimulus and lower yields 

In the longer term, Gold should also find support from lower treasury yields, especially if the 10-year treasury dips below 2 per cent again as persistent growth fears and trade developments result in lower interest rates across the globe.

While the outlook for the precious metal points to the upside, potential roadblocks on the horizon include easing trade tensions and signs of global growth stabilizing. Both outcomes would pose a challenge to buyers.

What do higher Gold prices mean for African markets?

What do higher Gold prices mean for African markets?

Gold-producing nations on the continent, like South Africa and Ghana will certainly benefit from higher prices.

Economic conditions in Africa’s most industrialised economy remain unfavourable thanks to a tornado of domestic and external risks. Economic growth contracted by 3.2 per cent during the first quarter of 2019 thanks to a sharp decline in manufacturing, agriculture and mining.

Given how Gold remains one of South Africa’s most valuable exports, rising Gold prices have the potential to stimulate growth – especially when factoring in how exports account for roughly 30 per cent of GDP.

Economic growth in Ghana remains robust with GDP expanding 6.7 per cent during the first quarter of 2019. With Ghana claiming the title of Africa’s top Gold producer, higher prices will be supportive of the mining sector which expanded 20.9 per cent in Q1.

When adding to the fact that roughly 5.7 per cent of Ghana’s GDP and 40 per cent of gross foreign earnings are acquired from the mining sector, Gold’s bullish outlook brightens Ghana’s growth prospects.

Gold bulls to dream big and reach for the stars 

Taking a look at the technical picture, Gold remains firmly bullish on the monthly charts as there have been consistent higher highs and higher lows.

Prices have scope to push higher on the monthly charts should $1360 prove to be reliable support.

For as long as bulls are able to defend $1360, there should be enough confidence to challenge $1430 and $1500 – a level not seen since April 2013. Alternatively, a decline back below $1360 will most likely swing open the doors towards $1324 and $1300, respectively.

This bullish setup becomes invalidated if prices find comfort below $1300.

The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect News Central TV’s editorial stance.

Copyright News Central

All rights reserved. This post and other digital content on this website may not be reproduced, published, broadcasted, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without prior express written permission from News Central.

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