Summer has officially begun 🎉(not like it matters in Nigeria😑) and we are grateful for two things this week. One, Slack hasn’t killed email yet so you’re getting this email. Two, despite the controversial final group match against France, Nigeria’s female team made it to the next phase of the world cup. The end result they say is what matters!

Let’s dive into what happened this week 😊

Nigeria
 

How peaceful is it in Nigeria compared to other countries?


You might reply not so peaceful and you won’t be wrong because the Global Peace Index ranked Nigeria 148th among 163 countries.

Zoom out: The most peaceful country in the world is Iceland (since 2008) and the least peaceful country is Afghanistan.

Why so?

Climate Change: Ever wondered why northern cattle rearers moved all the way from the north down towards the south to cause clashes in the middle belt? Lake Chad, a major source of fishing and farming livelihoods has lost 90 per cent of its surface area in the past 40 years due to climate change and environmental mismanagement.

Unemployment: Gives people ‘reasons’ to engage in crimes and makes it easier for terrorist groups to recruit young people.

These things have ripple effects…


@tonyOWEI

Dig Deeper: Read Global Peace Peace Index 2019 Briefing or Global Peace Index 2019

Otedola leaves Oil for power

What’s happening?

Elections are over and he didn’t run for the office of the Governor of Lagos state but Femi Otedola, one of the richest men in Nigeria has sold his 75% shareholding in Forte Oil to focus on investment opportunities in the refining and power sector as the executive Chairman of Geregu Power Plc.

A bit about Forte Oil

Femi Otedola acquired a controlling stake in African Petroleum, a struggling petroleum marketer in 2008 and transformed it into Forte Oil. Since then it’s been going way up. In the first quarter of 2019, While Total Nigeria Plc and MRS Oil reported a loss after tax of N474 million and N730 million respectively.  
Forte Oil an outlier recorded a profit after tax of N3.3 billion, up by 13.79 per cent compared to Q1 of 2018. Its revenue also increased from N28 billion in Q1 2018 to N42 billion in a similar quarter of 2019.
 

Why this move?

Geregu is Profitable: Under Forte Oil, Geregu Power has brought returns as high as 40% boosting the company’s operating income since its acquisition in 2013.

Dangote’s already there: Otedola’s friend and business mogul, Aliko Dangote, is currently constructing a multibillion-dollar oil refinery and petrochemical plant in Lekki Free Zone, Lagos. Clearly, there’s a huge opportunity here.

Opportunity to meet a need: Nigeria could use some extra investment in increasing its access to Power rating from 53%, according to the world bank’s database to meet up with the likes of Ghana (79%) and Egypt (100%).

What we think: Surely the grass must be greener on the other side.

Like you pick beans, President Buhari is announcing appointments


The Story
It’s been three months since President Buhari was confirmed the winner of the presidential election and 3 weeks after his inauguration, yet there’s no word on the appointment of ministers. But he has announced the appointments of new NNPC’s GMD, CFO and six COOs, as well as the re-appointment of the Accountant General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris.
 

Who’s the new GMD of NNPC? 
Melo Kelo Kyari has been appointed as the 19th General Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). He will be replacing the outgoing GMD Maikanti Baru from July 7. Until his appointment, Kyari served as the GM of NNPC’s Crude Oil Marketing Division and, since May 2018, doubled as Nigeria’s permanent representative at the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). Because he’s yet to have a profile on Wikipedia or Bloomberg, Premium Times did their bit here.

What do we think? 
From his antecedents, we can say Kyari is a new sheriff in town that won’t do business as usual.

Zoom out: In nearby South Africa, barely four days after President Cyril Ramaphosa was sworn-in, he appointed his ministers. We’re a little worried that President Buhari has not appointed his ministers, considering the fact that he took him about six months to do the same in his first term.

Without Photoshop, pictures can’t lie


What’s going on?

President Buhari and the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) have received the result of the exams they wrote on February 23 and March 9 from external examiners, namely, the European Union Election Observation Mission (EU EOM) and the joint Nigeria International Election Observation Mission of the National Democratic Institute and the International Republican Institute (IRI/NDI).

What do the reports say?

The EU EOM report says ambiguity like the redacted Mueller report on Russia Interference in U.S. 2016 Presidential Elections. When APC loyalists read the EU EOM report, they said it vindicates their victory at the polls but they are angry that it lacks a definitive conclusion. Meanwhile, PDP also claims that the EU EOM report confirms the presidential election was rigged.

What about the IRI/NDI report?

PDP maintains its position on the IRI/NDI report that “that the electoral system is in danger and democracy is under threat” while APC says the report was sponsored by looters.

Zoom out: It is quite unfortunate that both political parties have reduced the two reports to just bants. Both reports make incontrovertible assertions and recommendations, which the government and relevant stakeholders must begin to work out their implementation if we don’t want a repeat (or worse) in 2023.

In a parallel universe, the election tribunal continues the pre-trial hearing of the PDP’s Presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar case, challenging the results of the election on June 24.

Africa

Zimbabwe wants a new currency

Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa wants a new currency by March 2020.

What’s the situation in Zimbabwe

In February in order to combat the worst economic crisis experienced in 10 years, a quasi-currency (RTGS dollars)  was introduced because the country didn’t have enough US dollars even though the US dollar is Zimbabwe’s official currency, along with the South African rand and the Chinese Yuan.

How does Zimbabwe plan to solve this problem?

The first step, settle about $1.2bn of arrears to the World Bank, African Development Bank, and the European Investment Bank via a bridge financing, then collect some loan from the IMF for the first time in the last decade.

What’s Bridge financing?

Also known as bridge funding, it’s is a form of temporary, intermediate funding typically taken out for a period of 2 weeks to 3 years,  intended to cover a business’s short-term expenses until long-term funding is secured.

What’s the word on the Street?

With Inflation on the rise, there are worries that locals won’t accept a new currency that is likely to lose value as quickly as the RTGS dollar has over the last four months. 😟

International

1 funny thing: You’ve got to be kitten me 😹

No one is above mistake. A volunteer added cat filter to Pakistani regional minister Shaukat Yousafzai’s face during the live stream of a press conference. 
 

UK Elections: We’re in the Finals 🎉

Boris Johnson (the former mayor of London and former foreign secretary) and Jeremy Hunt (current foreign secretary) have moved into the final round in Britain’s quest to find a new Prime Minister. Now that the race for the next PM is down to two. The party’s 160,000 members will decide on a final winner next month.

Are you ready to be “Librated”? Facebook is ready.

The Story
Facebook will be launching its own digital money [cryptocurrency], called Libra, in the first half of 2020. On Wednesday, Facebook Inc. the parent company of WhatsApp, Messenger, Instagram and the Blue app itself [Facebook] released a white paper detailing the plans, goals and mission of the “global currency”.

🤔How did we get here?

The journey began in 2014, when they employed David Marcus, former President of Paypal, to be their Vice President of Messaging Products. Marcus now leads the Libra team. In 2018, they launched WhatsApp Pay in India. And earlier this year, Facebook registered Libra Networks in Switzerland.
 

So, how do I get “Librated”?

Before that, you need to understand what makes Libra work: Libra Association, Libra Reserve & Blockchain, and Calibra.

  • Libra Association is the independent governing body Facebook established to oversee Libra. The 27 founding members include Uber, Visa, Mastercard, Andreessen Horowitz and Women’s World Banking. They reportedly paid $10 million each to join Libra blockchain.
  • Libra blockchain: Libra blockchain is the technology that powers Libra, like every other cryptocurrency [bitcoin, etc.]. Except that Libra blockchain has a special programming language, called Move.
  • Libra Reserve is the pool of real financial assets supported by a competitive network of exchanges that buys and sells Libra. Therefore, anyone with Libra can easily convert it to their local fiat currency at a stable exchange rate, unlike the volatile rates of other cryptocurrencies.
  • Calibra is the icing on the cake. It is the digital wallet that will enable you to send and receive Libra [to get Librated 🙂]. Calibra will be integrated with WhatsApp and Messenger, and function as a standalone app.

What does this mean for Africa?

Most African countries are hostile to cryptocurrency, including Uncle Meffy (that’s CBN). So, peradventure Facebook doesn’t get a nod from Uncle Sam ( the U.S. government), they could use Africa as lab rats like they are doing with WhatsApp Pay in India. But if it works out, then Libra will achieve its goal of being that “stable currency built on a secure and stable open-source blockchain, backed by a reserve of real assets, and governed by an independent association”.

Slack took the direct route

The Story

Slack, an American collaborative software company took a different route to Wall Street as it went public via a direct listing instead of an Initial Public Offering (IPO). Slack took a page from Spotify’s book becoming the first tech unicorn after Spotify to deviate from the conventional IPO track.

Huh, What’s the difference between an IPO and Direct listing?

With an IPO, middlemen (investment banks) help with stock pricing and hold the company’s hand throughout the process of making its shares available to the public.

While Direct listings are basically the Do it Yourself route. It’s a ballsy move but it’s cheaper. However, direct listings come with risk because unlike an IPO, there are no investment banks committed to buying the company’s shares at a certain price if investor demand is weak.

Dig Deeper: What’s a direct listing and why would a company do it?
 

How’s slack doing after the direct listing? 
Not slacking at all as the stock price immediately jumped 50%.


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