CHILD’S TEETHING PROBLEMS, MY PIKIN TEETHING MIXTURE AND WHERE MOTHERS GOT IT WRONG

Dateline 1990, locations, University of Jos Teaching Hospital and the University College Hospital, Ibadan; 109 Children died after administration of Paracetamol Syrup. This was 57 years after the infamous 1937 Elixir Sulphanilamide disaster in the United States of America in which 107 people died after taking sulphanilamide dissolved in diethylene glycol.

Eighteen years after, My Pikin Teething Mixture, a product registered by NAFDAC may have been fingered as the ‘killer‘ drug that has claimed the lives of not less than 25 children. The drug is manufactured by Barewa Pharmaceuticals Limited, a certified manufacturer by NAFDAC. The national drug law enforcer has, however, shut down the company in the wake of the death allegedly in consequence of the administration of the drug.

Barewa, has, since then, spiritedly defended the contents of My Pikin Teething Mixture as a Paracetamol based drug containing Paracetamol B.P. 120 mg and Diphenhydramine HCL B.P. 6.25 mg per 5mls. But a preliminary test carried out by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, has revealed that besides Paracetamol, the drug contains Diethylene glycol as against propylene glycol which is the commonly used excipient. Incidentally, Diethelyne glycol was also implicated in the 1990 deaths in Jos and Ibadan

What is more worrisome with this type of poisoning is the fact that the original chemical entity, Paracetamol is naturally poisonous to the kidneys and liver in high doses. Marry this with the toxicity of Diethylene glycol, what do you have? Bomb!! Instant death.

These, however, are 25 deaths too many. While we await the report of more detailed investigations from the appropriate authorities, so many questions are begging for answers;

Is the drug registered by NAFDAC?

Is the factory currently certified by NAFDAC?

When was the last audit of the factory carried out by NAFDAC?

When was the last time NAFDAC independently surveyed this particular drug in the market?

Has NAFDAC a structured process/procedure to routinely carry on surveillance on ALL products in the market or does the agency randomly pick products?

What do all the agencies, LUTH, UCH, NAFDAC want to achieve by ‘issuing alert’? What in specific terms have they done? What have they put in place to ensure positive outcome? What has been the distribution route of all products from this factory in the last Three months?

Does this ‘alert’ consider the chaotic nature of our drug distribution channels which the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria has been talking about over the last several years?

Over the years, regulatory bodies have scaled up their regulatory oversight on pharmaceutical excipients. Pharmaceutical excipients – are inactive ingredients used to formulate active ingredients into finished dosage forms

“…For example, excipients can:

• aid in the processing of the drug delivery system during its

manufacture,

• protect, support or enhance stability, bioavailability or patient

acceptability,

• assist in product identification, or

• enhance any other attribute of the overall safety, effectiveness

or delivery of the drug during storage or use…”

It may interest the Nigerian public to know that since 2007, European regulatory agencies have initiated steps to improve the quality and regulatory aspects of all excipients used in pharmaceutical products all over Europe because of the risks associated with pharmaceutical excipients. Some of the documented evidence of risk includes:

Fraudulent product obtained from broken supply chain and distribution routes leading to contamination cases and tragedies as outlined below:

1990 Nigeria: Cough syrup contaminated with solvents (47 reported deaths)

1986-1998 India and Bangladesh: Paracetamol syrup contaminated with diethylene glycol from propylene glycol origins (236 reported deaths)

1996 Haiti: Glycerine contaminated with diethylene glycol (88 reported deaths)

Potential exposure:

• Use of inappropriate grade of materials for critical route of administration (e.g. pyrogene-free requirements)

• Excipient variability between suppliers

It is a known general requirement of Good Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Practise to analyse ALL inputs to the production process. We need to know what is contained in the production process submitted by the company while registering My Pikin Mixture as submitted by the company and approved by NAFDAC. Is this process complied with by the manufacturer?

Some pharmacists have long questioned the rational for our regulatory body to continue to register teething formulations. Teething is a well known non specific condition that is common with children and the usual practise is to symptomatically manage the child.

‘We are confronted with cases of mothers using various teething formulations at once usually resulting in a child taking about 4X the dose of paracetamol’ says a colleague during our brain storming section on Teething mixtures some Six months ago. Cases abound where mothers administer these teething formulations (which usually contain Paracetamol 120mg/5ml) with standard Paracetamol syrup. This health risk is further compounded as they are both Over The Counter (OTC) medicines without regulatory restriction/control of use. While this school of thought has spoken against the outright ban of Paracetamol, some have advocated more stringent packaging alert and warning to parents


This should not be the time for agencies and institutions to trade blames or to start defending themselves. The Federal government should consider these deaths a national tragedy. The loss of defenceless innocent children is not taken lightly in countries where citizens are considered supreme

One thing is clear, the way NAFDAC is currently constituted underscores the fact the agency is a reactionary agency. The agency should be reformed to anticipate problems and prevent them from happening. Life is too precious to be treated the way we currently do, particularly that of Innocent Children

It is the responsibility of the Federal Government to protect the health of the Nigerian Population and I believe that this is one of the reasons NAFDAC was set up. Parents should not just take this as another case of an ‘act of God.’ They should consider this as another case of the carelessness of the state through her agencies against the citizen. This may just be an opportunity for the victims to challenge this callous act through our judicial process. This may just be the wake up call we need to usher in a new healthcare system that really cares for the Nigerian citizens

The dry weather is back again. This is usually the period for high prescription of chloramphenicol eye drop. Has this been prescribed for you. Below is the prescribed way to administer it for maximum benefit.

ADVICE TO PATIENTS

(1) Chloramphenicol Eye Drop;

1. Chlopramphenicol is an antibiotic used to treat eye infection.

2. It is important to use this eye drop as frequently and for as long as the doctor has prescribed and advised by your pharmacist.

3. Do not wear contact lenses while using this drug.

4. If using two drops, for each dose wait for a minute or two between applying the first and second drop. Using more than two drops will not help because the excess will run out of your eye.

5. Pressing your finger against the inner corner of the eye (by the nose) for about a minute after using the drops can help to stop the drops draining into your nose and throat.

6. Discard any unused and left over content three (3) weeks after opening.

7. You may feel a brief stinging after using this eye drop. If this is prolonged for more than three days or your eyes do not get better please see your doctor or pharmacist.

NIGERIAN COMPANIES AND THE HERD MENTALITY

Philip Kotler, in his book, Marketing Management, posited that “all companies must look beyond their present situation and develop a long-term strategy to meet changing conditions in their industry. They must develop a game plan for achieving their long-run objectives.” He further opined that there is no one strategy that is optimal for all companies. Each company must determine what makes the most sense in the light of its position in the industry and its objectives, opportunities, and resources”.

This principle was applied by some notable companies in the United States and Japan in varying degrees to strengthen their operations as well as markets and hence improved revenue base. Companies like Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co., Uniroyal and Armstrong Rubber Co. in the US and Toyota in Japan applied this strategy to perfect their operations and products.

In the tire industry where all the major players adopted it, it was so used efficiently that each of the company got something and was, in a way, content retaining its distinct character and having to run to the other for assistance at any given time.

Here in our dear country, Nigeria, any thing and every thing runs on the herd mentality, This is why any strategy employed by company A to shore up its operations is automatically copied by company B irrespective of the differences in objective, resources and opportunities available to the two companies and to some extent, experience in their respective fields?

It is for the same reason that our telecom providers are all in the race to promote one event or the other usually in the entertainment sector that in a way alter and pollute our culture. No thought is given to the education sector by way of empowering the youths through scholarships as the oil companies do nor assisting with social projects that benefit the majority across economic strata.

During the re-capitalization efforts by banks, the stock market became the centre of attraction to all the banks. And they are yet to leave that market till date, not even the crisis in that pot of confusion is discouraging them, no. When it was the turn of the insurance sector to shore up their capital base; they too turned to the capital market for succor. The irony in this as it concerns the insurance companies is that the sector that is supposed to invest more in the capital market and in such other critical areas of our economy because of its potential to raise more money than other financial institutions, is the one begging for money. A direct opposite of what obtains in other climes is what our insurance sector represents here in Nigeria. Too bad.

By some slips arising from misconceptions or miss-application of strategy, our banks are increasingly finding it difficult to match reality with expectations. Rather than attempt a review of business plans and carry out some radical changes, marketing plans are being updated and probably are now made to replace business plans the result of which are the various panic measures being put in place to hunt for deposits even from school children as if that is what will give value and stability to their business.

While all these comedies are playing out, some of the banks are declaring mind boggling figures and mouth watering figures as profits, some as high as 98% over the previous year. And if we are to believe these fantastic performances it then becomes very difficult to reconcile the crazy hunt for deposits that now bothers on desperation. Worst still is the fact that daily, our highly performing banks are being accused of cheating their customers maybe to make up for the big profits declared.

Understandably, and in line with the bandwagon behavior, the new craze has shifted to the micro finance sector with virtually all the major banks falling over themselves to take vantage (?) position in that area. The obvious fact that that sector is also banking at the low level makes no meaning to the extent ‘deposit money’ will be sourced there.

While commending our banks for their innovation and ingenuity in what is gradually becoming a phenomenon in the way we do business in this country, it is better some good thought is given to carry out a review of operations based on reality. It will be a better strategy for each bank to look inward and turn its distinctive competence into its competitive advantage as IBTC used to be. Cutting an edge for your business will be a better strategy to this uniformity approach. Harassing people on the streets for deposits sends a signal that all is not well with our banks.

Can we be more creative in doing these things? Enough of these pretensions.

DEMAND FOR NEW CARS HITS THE HIGH…INTENDING CAR OWNERS NOW ON WAITING LIST

Nigerians now seem to prefer new cars to used ones a FORTUNE&CLASS Weekly survey has shown. A snap survey conducted by the magazine’s correspondents across new cars dealers shows that there is a strong demand for new cars, especially, the Japanese and Korean brands.

Most intending buyers are now placed on waiting list. FORTUNE&CLASS correspondents explained that demand is now high that customers can’t just walk into a dealers shop to pay and drive off with a car. “It takes an average one month or more to get a car after a commitment to buy is made to the dealers.” One of our correspondents that conducted the survey said.

Three brand names are reported to be in high demand; Toyota, Kia and Hyundai. Giving reason for the demand pile up for these brands, a marketing manager with a popular Toyota sales outlet said the desire by Nigerians to acquire new vehicle may not be unconnected with the long term financing provided by banks.

“The five years vehicle repayment plan on a 10 per cent down payment being spearheaded by First Bank Plc has created a new demand push for new cars.” An official of a car dealership said.

The emerging preference for new cars is in sharp contrast to the choices of Nigerian car owners until three years ago when most intending vehicle buyers would rather buy second hand vehicles, this, in fact, gave impetus to the thriving ports in Benin Republic, Nigeria’s neighbouring country, from where the second hand cars known as Tokunbo are smuggled into Nigeria through bush paths and unmanned border points.

INVESTMENT EXPERT SAYS BANKS EXPANSION TO OTHER AFRICAN COUNTRIES IS ANOTHER RAT-RACE

An investment expert, Mr. Jide Ogunleye, has questioned the rationale of Nigerian banks newly found fervor for expanding their operations into African countries with low economic generation capacity. Ogunleye, who is the Chief Executive Officer of Denaro Capitals, said the acquisition and establishment of Nigerian banking brands in countries in West and East Africa lacks appropriate investment judgment.

“I believe that the establishment or acquisition of Nigerian bank brands in these countries is simply an ego tripping by most of Nigerian banks that want to join in the feel of internationalizing their operations. It’s like another rat race to determine which of the banks can boast of establishing its brand outside the country.” Ogunleye said.

“But sincerely, I don’t think it makes investment sense to spend so much money to construct a bank branch in a country where the Gross Domestic Product is not up to that of Lagos State. This is beside the fact that most of the citizens of these countries have been shown by reports to prefer their own banks. I can tell you that a new branch in any urban centre in Nigeria will yield better returns for the banking brand than those outposts they are establishing in the other countries.”

“I am not saying that there is something generically wrong with establishing branches in other countries, but in the case of most Nigerian banks, I feel the choice of those countries do not make a good investment decision. I do not know how the Nigerian bank brands want to take on the indigenous financial institutions in those countries with their solitary single branch. This is beside the regulatory hurdles and fees they have to pay to get the branches established.

“Now, if the argument is to serve the needs of Nigerians resident in those countries, we would need to know the population of Nigerians in the countries, and I can tell you that with the exception of neighbouring Benin Republic and to a little extent, Ghana, the population of Nigerian residents in these countries does not provide for a flourishing bank branch.

“If a Nigerian bank opens a branch in London, South Africa or in the United States of America I think that would be understandable because of the obvious dynamics available in these countries. The population of resident Nigerians are not only appreciable but given the natural inclination for Nigerians to identify with their home brands when they are in the diaspora one can easily conclude that such branches in these countries would be beneficial to shareholders of the banks and Nigerians in those countries.” Ogunleye argued.

EXPERTS PREDICT BLEAK XMAS FOR STOCK MARKET PLAYERS…NSE DG SAYS CNN FRIGHTENED NIGERIAN INVESTORS

In an extension of the warnings of FORTUNE&CLASS Weekly to investors not to be quick to excitement in the wake of the sudden resurgence of stock prices at the stock exchange, some stock market analysts have predicted a bleak Christmas season for stock investors that are hopeful of making some gains in the market to supplement their expenditures during the Yuletide season.

FORTUNE&CLASS Weekly, had, in a special review of the stock market in its issue 43, informed the investing public to be wary in rushing to the market in the expectation of reaping a bounty because of the surge in price. The report revealed that the ascendancy of the bull in the market was merely a machination of the early birds institutional investors and financial institutions that had, in collaboration with selected stockbrokers, driving market prices of targeted stocks with intention to dump when prices of the selected stocks attain pre-determined price threshold.

With the market reversal to the pre-eminence of the bears as characterized by persistent price declines, market analysts have dared to warn that the market till the second quarter of next year (2009) will be a play ground for institutional and financial sector speculators that have some liquidity to play the market to recoup losses earlier incurred.

“An overview of the market shows that most institutional players and financial sector investors are only interested in salvaging what they can of the loses they made when the market started experiencing the downturn.” One of the analysts reasoned.

“The fact is that this category of investors entered the market when stock prices were at the bullish high, just at about that time prices commenced dramatic fall. So, what these investors are doing now is to raid the market which, in truth, has many fundamentally strong stocks that are selling at rock bottom prices. Before the return to the recent round of price decline, you will observe that about eight stocks appreciated by 25 percent and above, so, it made good business for these speculators to dump their shares and take profit. This is what led to the market slip to the bears once again.”

Speaking on the prospect of a stock market rebound as the Christmas season approaches, another market analyst said the illiquidity in the market still persist just as confidence building by regulatory authorities falters.

“The hope of a rebound in the market as Christmas approaches is quite bleak. Do not forget that we have two major celebrations in December, that is, the Idel Fitri and Christmas. Now, most people would want to raise money for the pleasure of these two celebrations. Either the market is low or not, there are so many investors whose store of wealth is actually locked-in in their stocks, so naturally, they will approach the market to sell what they can dispose off. This will add to the surfeit of stocks in the market and, of course, when there is a continuation of stock dumping, the market appreciates in the negative.

“I must, however, say that this review is not absolute, government may decide to intervene before then or the Central Bank of Nigeria may introduce some revolutionary approach to salvage the market from the bears, however, if this is not done, I think market speculators would become set in their ways. The scenario I see is that a number of high profile stock broking firms with the banking of some commercial banks can target selected stocks, conduct a raid on them and once the prices appreciate to a certain level, they sell off within a short period. This is what we experienced about two weeks ago.” The analyst posited.

Meanwhile, the Director-General of the Nigerian Stock Exchange, Prof. (Mrs.) Ndi Okereke-Onyuike has argued that Nigerian investors were frightened away from the capital market by the global influence of the Cable News Network (CNN).

In a chat with Proshare Nigeria, an online investment focused platform, Prof. (Mrs.) Okereke Onyuike explained that the global phenomenon ought not to affect the nation’s capital market.

“What happened the last time was a global phenomenon; which ought not to affect our market; because the fundamentals of quoted companies in our Nation’s Stock Exchange are strong and resilient. Investors always join the bandwagon; however, the global influence of the CNN actually frightened our investors and caused the panic selling.” The Stock Exchange DG said.

“As these investors observed events, every market in the world was coming down, they did not realise that these Markets were coming down due to certain fundamental issues that went wrong in the Western economy. Investors in Nigeria believed that as things were coming down in places like New York, London, Paris and other advanced economies; that Nigeria would also be affected and maybe worst hit. They didn’t realise that in our case we are not too exposed to foreign investors. Maybe their (foreign) participation in the market is less than nine percent (9%). This coupled with Portfolio Managers who dumped shares and even then, the dumped shares were bought over by Nigerians. Therefore, it was the media panic; specifically CNN that frightened our investors.” Prof. Okereke-Onyuike further affirmed.

Pleading with investors to resume participation in the Nigeria stock market, the DG said: “I am urging Nigerian investors to come back to the Market, there is no need running away from it. We are trying to rebuild the confidence in the Nigerian Capital Market because our quoted companies are resilient with strong fundamentals. Take for instance an organisation like Union Bank of Nigeria Plc (UBN). What are the reasons investors would not want to buy shares of the Bank? The Union Bank stock is selling and has strong fundamentals coupled with a superlative performance.

“Most of our quoted companies, about 90 percent (90%) of them, are doing well. They have not really been affected by the global meltdown. The glut of shares in the market that contributed to its temporary meltdown was due to the fear created by media like CNN on issues relating to the Western World, with this development, like I said earlier on, the Nigerian investors thought that it would be worst in the country; thereby they started dumping their shares.

“However, I think that investors are beginning to gain back confidence in the market and they are also observing that there is nothing wrong with our quoted companies. Those in the Manufacturing, Banking and other sectors are doing well bringing out their results. There goods and services are more in demand than supply, so there is nothing wrong with the market like I said earlier.” The DG elucidated

Noting that it would be a while before the stock market drives its way back to the highs it attained before the decline, Prof. Okereke-Onyuike said: “This is the best time to invest though it will take a little while for the share prices to go back to the original levels they were. Therefore, I advise investors who have liquidity to buy shares in the nation’s stock market; the best time to buy is when prices are low,” She explained.

ADENUGA’S EXPATRIATE DIRECTOR RESIGNS FOR FEAR OF NIGER DELTA MILITANTS

Mr. Pandanam, an Indian expatriate who holds a high ranking office in Dr. Mike Adenuga (Jnr) Equitorial Trust Bank (ETB) was not intended on leaving Nigeria in a hurry. The Indian, who, until he left Nigeria in a hurry, was the bank’s Regional Services Director, decided to bid farewell to his job at ETB when he was posted to the Port Harcourt office of the bank.

Inside sources in ETB informed FORTUNE&CLASS Weekly that the expatriate was shocked by the posting to a city which he claimed is the hotbed of militant activities in the Niger Delta. The sources further confided that Pandamanam made strenuous efforts to appeal to the management of the bank to reconsider the decision to post him to Port Harcourt.

“We even heard that he made efforts to get Otunba Adenuga to persuade the management to rescind the decision on account of the risks an expatriate working in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria is exposed.” A source said. “He also argued that he did not have the millions of naira kidnappers in the Niger Delta region are likely to demand for and, as such, he should be saved from the imminent danger he will be exposed to by the transfer to work in Port Harcourt.” The source explained.

Nobody was, however, persuaded with the pleas of the expatriate: “The management had the backing of Otunba on the posting and it was affirmed to him again that he should proceed to resume in Port Harcourt. But when he realized he could not convince anybody in the top hierarchy of the bank’s management, he tendered his resignation and left the service of the bank. I understand he packed his belongings and moved out of the country.” The source added.

FINANCIALBRIDGE: HOW TO DO BUSINESS WITH THE AMERICAN INVESTMENT COMPANY THAT FACILITATES OFFSHORE FUNDING FOR NIGERIAN BUSINESSES

When Patrick Fournie, Senior Advisor with FinancialBridge, Inc. made his presentation on the “Private Ownership of Modular Refineries in Nigeria: The New Trend in Building Petroleum Refining Capacity: The Financialbridge Experience” at a seminar organized by the Energy Industry Development Initiative at the Federal Palace Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos State, this past Tuesday, 11 November, 2008, seminar participants listened with rapt attention.

Fournie presentation, was for the Nigerian and other foreign participants at the seminar, a revelation of a new vista in financing strategies on the pivot of offshore financing, he informed the seminar of how FinancialBridge is facilitating funding for a Pharmaceutical Project in Abuja, at a cost of $12.2 million and an aluminum roofing sheet & allied project at Onna in Akwa Ibom State at a cost of $6.6million. FinancialBridge, he said, is also involved in funding for an amusement park project at Isheri, Ogun State, at a projected cost of $22.3 Million, a pit quarry mining project at Oyebiyi, Oyo State at a projected cost of $7.5 million and a 5-Star luxury hotel in Abuja at a projected cost of $55.8 million.

Other projects FinancialBridge had been engaged to facilitate funding for by Nigerian entrepreneurs are the phase one of the 12,000Barrels per day modular refinery project at Eket in Akwa Ibom State at a cost of $43.7 million and the 12,000Barrels Per Day modular refinery project at Kolo Creek in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State at a projected cost of $121.3 million. A $197.5 million 18,000Barrels Per Day modular refinery project in Edo State is also one of the projects FinancialBridge is facilitating offshore funding for.

Fournie who flew into Nigeria to make further revealed how his company had structured funding and project implementation procedures for the soon to be streamed 12,000 Barrels Per Day Amakpe Refinery Project at Ikot Usekong – Eket in Akwa Ibom State and the Rehoboth Refinery, also a 12,000 Barrels Per Day Refinery Project in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.

Fournie, who, on behalf of Financialbridge, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) appointing Energy Industry Development Initiative as its representative in Nigeria, explained that FinancialBridge is an export finance and business credit consulting firm:

“We work with U.S. and international financial institutions to provide innovative funding solutions to private companies and government agencies, including: export trade finance, project finance, public sector financing and export working capital. We are also involved in equity financing and facilitation of bridging loans” Fournie said.

“We cooperate with Project Implementation and Management Companies in ensuring effective utilization of procured funds for successful planning and execution of related projects and trade transactions.”

Highlighting its primary sources of export funding in the United States financial market, Fournie said his company’s sources include: Export-Import Bank of the United States (U.S. Ex-Im), Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) and the Export Finance Banks and Credit Insurance Companies, among others:

“Ex-Im Bank is the official Export-Credit Agency of the United States that helps create and maintain U.S. jobs by financing the sale of U.S. Exports, primarily to emerging markets throughout the world. Ex-Im Bank provides Loan Guarantees, Export-Credit Insurance and Direct Loans, in fiscal year 2007, Ex-Im Bank authorized $12.6 billion in financing to support an estimated $16 billion of U.S. exports worldwide.” Fournie said.

Perhaps, of importance to Nigerian entrepreneurs, is the revelation by Fournie that the Ex- Im Bank has approved a $1.0 billion facility to guarantee Nigerian Projects (of which $800 million is still available) despite the global financial melt down.

Explaining the process for securing offshore funding for projects in Nigeria, Fournie said:

“Under the Ex-Im Bank Guarantee Program, the Promoter is required to provide Statutory Equity Contribution of 15% of U.S. Cost Content, while the U.S. Lender funds 85% of the U.S. Cost Content utilizing the Comprehensive Credit Guarantee of Ex-Im Bank. The Project Promoter is further required to provide Local Bank Guarantee to support the 85% portion of the U.S. Loan as well as finance local In-Country Costs requirements within the overall Project Cost.The U.S. Ex-Im Guaranteed Loans have Medium Term Tenure of 5 to 7 years at Interest Rates of +/- 2% above Six Months Floating LIBOR (London Interbank Offered Rate).

Some of the projects funding prospects of FinancialBridge include Oil and Gas (Modular Oil Refineries, Gas Gathering & Processing Plants, Downstream Petrochemical Projects, Pipelines, etc.), Energy (Gas Turbines and Diesel Powered Plants), Communications (Wireless VSAT Network VoIP Telephone, Fax, High Speed Broadband Internet Systems, Cable TV, etc.) and Solid Mineral (Quarrying & Processing).

Other funding prospects are: Manufacturing and Assembly (Small and Medium Scale Plants), Construction (Pre-engineered Buildings & Facilities, Stadiums & Arenas, Industrial Parks, etc.) Agro-Business (Farming & Food Processing), Medical (Pharmaceutical Projects, Supplies & Clinics), Tourism (Amusement Parks, Hotels/Resorts, etc) and Aviation (Used & New Passenger & Cargo Aircrafts, Helicopters, Airport Development & Expansion, Avionics & Spare Parts, etc.)

Highlighting the milestones already attained with the 12,000 Barrels Per Day (BPD) Amakpe Refinery as a case study, Fournie said:

“The Amakpe Refinery is being implemented in two phases, with Phase 1 – 6000BPD Refinery Plant originally estimated to cost about $36.5 million and now revised to cost $43.7 million, including Escalation, and revised Field Erection Costs. Construction of 12KM Dual Steel Pipeline connecting Exxon/Mobile QIT and Amakpe Tank Farm is estimated at $10 million of Additional Cost. The Project is expected to start production by October 2009. Out of the current revised Project cost of $43.7 million, $26.2 million has been expended while $17.5 million is outstanding to complete full funding of the Project.

“UPS Capital/Ex-Im Bank Loan of $10.3 milion is being disbursed to Ventech, based on P&M Construction Progress Payment while Amakpe Refinery has fully paid required statutory Equity Contribution and continues to pay the Counterpart Funds. Akwa Ibom State Government Investment of $8.5 million has also been applied to the Project

“As at June 27, 2008, Ventech achieved 50% Mechanical Completion of the Refinery Plants and Machinery Fabrication, which was certified by visiting representatives of the Department of Petroleum Resources, including Mr. M.D.B. Ladan-Head Downstream, Mr. O.A. Adeleke- Assistant Director, Dr. D.M.E. Eradiri- Chief Environmental Officer, Mr. Oyedele Sangobowale and Mr. Hussaini Basaka-Site Representatives. Based on this development, Amakpe Refinery has qualified to receive $1.2million Security Deposit earlier paid to DPR as a requirement for revalidation of related Refinery Construction License.

“Sterling Bank has approved additional $9.3 million Loan Facility for the Project. Amakpe Refinery is planning to issue 15,000,000 Shares of Common Stock of the Company for sale to Private Investors. The Private Placement is being packaged by Financialbridge and Sterling Bank for issuance by Sterling Capital Markets (Issuing House).

To start -up the process of obtaining required funding, a Company is required to retain the services of Financialbridge which will develop a Bankable Business Plan that will satisfy U.S. Export Financial Market requirements and procure the Project Loan.

The retainership will further cover service coordination of Project Loan Packaging and Procurement that will involve the Borrower and the U.S. Lender. The U.S. Lender will underwrite the submitted statutory documentation leading to Loan approval, following which the Lender will request the U.S. Ex-Im Bank for issuance of Political Risk and Medium-Term Insurance/ Comprehensive Credit Guarantee before disbursement of related Loan. The process of underwriting the Loan through approval and disbursement could be concluded within 45-90 days after the U.S. Lender receives the complete statutory documentation as outlined.

Financialbridge be responsible in carrying out tasks that will result in the successful procurement of U.S. Loan for the implementation of the project which include: Conduct of Feasibility Study and preparation of Bankable Business Plan that will satisfy U.S. Export Financial Market requirements. The Business Plan will be concluded within 30-45 days from receipt of Engagement Fee, Data from Market Research as well as Borrowers information. The draft of the Business Plan will be forwarded to the Company for approval and possible input before production of final Document.

FinancialBridge also processes Due Diligence, Approval and Disbursement of Project Loan within 45-90 days of the U.S. Financial Institutions receiving and underwriting complete statutory documentation from the Nigerian company.

If required, Financialbridge can also be engaged to Package and Instrument Private Placement of Shares of Common Stock of the company to raise additional funds through Private Equity Investment, utilizing a local Nigerian Bank as Issuing House.

The Funds raised through the Private Placement could be applied to fund Local Project Site Development and In-Country Costs as well as required Equity Contribution, etc.

The Nigerian company shall be responsible for the following within the requirements for successful Loan Procurement, including: Obtaining Nigerian Bank Guarantee for 85% or 75% of the total U.S. Loan amount to fund the Project, depending on the Ex-Im Bank or OPIC requirement.

Securing all required Permits and Licenses from Nigerian Regulatory Authorities, submission of three years audited financial statements of the Nigerian bank as certified by a renowned accounting firm. Provision of Equity Contribution of 15% of total U.S. costs content within the overall Project cost for U.S. Ex-Im Bank Guaranteed Loan to be added to 85% of total U.S. cost content as Loan, or 25% as statutory Equity contribution of total Project

Confirming Energy Industry Development Initiative’s (EIDI) relationship with FinancialBridge, the organisation’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Tom Obaseki said FinancialBridge has already shown interest in facilitating funding for some project ideas it had forwarded to FinancialBridge.

“As we speak, we have forwarded project proposals for the establishment of 5-7 MMSCFD Modular Gas Gathering, LPG and Lean Gas Production Plant in Nigeria, the establishment of Integrated 55MW Power Plant, Natural Gas Gathering and LPG Processing Project in Nigeria and for Development of Pre-engineered Medical Clinic & Diagnostic Centers, Pharmaceutical Project and Customized Medical Trailers & Boat Clinics, complete with Outreach Medical Technicians Training Support.” Obaseki explained.