Ex-Im Bank offers a range of financing solutions for Nigerian buyers as part of the US Government programme to expand trade between the United States and sub-Saharan African countries. These programmes offer Nigerian businesses increased access to working capital, while protecting their United States’ suppliers against commercial and political risk, and the ability to offer financing on competitive terms.

Using Ex-Im Bank’s medium-term insurance policy, RZB Finance LLC insured the sale of newspaper printing press equipment worth $2.8 million. This deal allowed Vanguard Media Ltd of Nigeria to purchase the equipment from Webleader International Inc.  Fidelity Bank in Nigeria guaranteed the transaction.

Impex of Doral, Inc. located in Miami, Florida, was able to sell disposable products valued at $100,000 to its customer, Everyday Supermarket Ltd of Nigeria. A multi-buyer, small business insurance policy was approved in April, 2006 by Ex-Im Bank in order to support this transaction.

Via a bank letter of credit policy, Sovereign Bank of Boston, Massachusetts was able to accept a letter of credit from First City Monument Bank Plc of Nigeria on behalf of Balog Technologies, Nigeria for the purchase of computer components and peripherals.  This transaction, approved in April, 2006, supported this sale valued at $250,000 by Max Group Corp. headquartered in Los Angeles, California and ASI Corp of Fremont, California who supplied the equipment.

DWD International Ltd of Houston, Texas through the use of Ex-Im Bank’s multi-buyer, small business insurance product was able to execute a deal with its customer, Intercontinental Bank, Plc of Nigeria.   This transaction, approved in April, 2006, supported the sale of an air conditioning system valued at $250,000.

Through Ex-Im Bank’s letter of credit policy, Sovereign Bank of Boston, Massachusetts was able to accept a letter of credit from Intercontinental Bank of Nigeria.  This allowed the sale of a dredge valued at $593,000, from Baltimore Dredges, located in Baltimore, Maryland to its customer, Dynamic Energy and Marine in Nigeria.  This transaction was approved in May, 2006.

Via an Ex-Im Bank multi-buyer, small business insurance policy, House of Cheatham located in Stone Mountain, Georgia, was able to sell $100,000 of health and beauty aids to CITEX Holdings Ltd of Nigeria.   This transaction was approved in May, 2006.

Ex-Im Bank approved a request from Sovereign Bank, Boston, MA, for a five-year, medium-term guarantee in the amount of $5,000,000 to support the sale of transportation equipment to Sonic Global Resources Ltd, a company located in Nigeria. This shipment of buses will be used to start the first public transportation service in the country’s capital city of Abuja. The primary source of repayment will be Oceanic Bank who has provided a local bank guarantee for this transaction.

Through Ex-Im Bank’s short-term, multi-buyer comprehensive insurance policy, ABRO Industries, Inc. of South Bend, Indiana was able to execute a deal with its customer, Coshcharis Motors Limited of Nigeria.  This transaction, approved in June 2006, supported the sale of new ABRO branded automotive/industrial supply products valued at $10,000,000.

Via an Ex-Im Bank multi-buyer, small business insurance policy, House of Cheatham located in Stone Mountain, Georgia, was able to sell $100,000 of health and beauty aids to Kuddy Cosmetic International of Nigeria. This transaction was approved in July 2006.

Through Ex-Im Bank’s letter of credit policy, Sovereign Bank of Boston, Massachusetts was able to confirm a letter of credit from Intercontinental Bank Plc of Nigeria.   This transaction, approved in May 2006, supported the sale of wheat and other grains valued at $10,000,000 to Intercontinental Bank’s clients, Flour Mills of Nigeria; Honey Wells Flour Mills Ltd and Unikem Industries Ltd by of Wayzata, Minnesota and Wilton, Connecticut, respectively. Cargill and Louis Dreyfus.

Through Ex-Im Bank’s small business multi-buyer insurance policy, Bluefield Associates of Ontario, CA was able to execute a deal with its customer, Diplomat Investment Products of Nigeria.  This transaction, approved in October 2006, will support the sale of cosmetics and toiletries valued at $100,000.

Through Ex-Im Bank’s short-term single sale policy, Robert & Pat Engineering of Newtown, PA was able to execute a deal with its customer, Coastal Equipment Sales Ltd of Nigeria.  This transaction, approved in November 2006, supported the sale of used trucks and heavy construction equipment valued at $45,000.

Through Ex-Im Bank’s letter of credit policy, Sovereign Bank of Boston, Massachusetts was able to confirm a letter of credit from Intercontinental Bank Plc of Nigeria. This transaction, approved in November 2006, supported the sale of a hydraulic crawler crane valued at $275,000 to Onne Port in Nigeria, by Pioneer Equipment Company.

Through Ex-Im Bank’s short-term multi-buyer comprehensive policy, Bondo Corporation of Atlanta, GA was able to execute a deal with its customer, Tagbo Technologies Ltd of Nigeria.  This transaction, approved in November 2006, supported the sale of automotive paint and after market products valued at $200,000.

Under the recently established $300 million Nigerian bank facility, Ex-Im Bank approved a request from M&T Bank, Baltimore, Maryland for a five-year, medium-term guarantee in the amount of $3,954,132 to support the sale of a thermal oil recovery system to Specialty Drilling Fluids Ltd., a company located in Nigeria. The primary source of repayment will be Access Bank Plc. The exporter is Brandt, of Houston, Texas.

Ex-Im Bank approved a request from Diebold Global Finance Corporation, Canton, Ohio for a five-year, medium-term guarantee in the amount of $5,000,000 to support the sale of Automatic Teller Machines to The ATM Consortium Ltd – a consortium of Nigerian banks. Under the recently established $300 million Nigerian bank facility, Diamond Bank Plc guaranteed this transaction.

Ex-Im Bank renewed a $10,000,000 short term single buyer policy for Abro Industries of South Bend, Indiana to sell automotive/industrial supply products to its customer, Coscharis Motors Ltd. of Lagos, Nigeria.  This comprehensive policy is used to support sales to Coscharis for its Nigeria, Ghana and Ivory Coast subsidiaries and was approved in November 2006.

Under the $300 million Nigerian bank facility, established in 2007, Ex-Im Bank approved a request from HSBC Bank of London for a five-year, Medium-Term Comprehensive Guarantee in the amount of $9,337,522 to support the sale of oil drilling equipment to Drillog Petro Dynamics Ltd., a company located in Nigeria. Diamond Bank Plc guaranteed this transaction and would be the primary source of repayment. The U.S. exporter is Halliburton Energy Services of Houston, Texas.

Through Ex-Im Bank’s Multi-buyer Small Business Policy, House Of Cheatham of Stone Mountain, Georgia was able to execute a deal with its customer, Kuddy Cosmetic International of Nigeria This transaction, approved in November 2006, supported the sale of health and beauty aids valued at $150,000.

Through Ex-Im Bank’s Letter of Credit Policy, Citigroup Global Projects of New York, New York was able to establish a $2,500,000 short-term credit limit with Intercontinental Bank Plc of Nigeria. This credit line enabled Citibank to confirm letters of credit issued by Intercontinental Bank, which will go to support the sale of various U.S. goods and services to multiple Nigerian buyers.

In April, 2007 Ex-Im Bank provided short-term insurance policy to Impex of Doral, Inc. of Miami, in support of their sale of disposable products valued at $100,000 to Everyday Supermarket Limited of Lagos, Nigeria.

In April, 2007, Ex-Im Bank approved a request from Sovereign Bank of Boston, MA for a five-year, medium-term comprehensive guarantee in the amount of $1,630,028 to support the sale of two Dragon Series Dredges to H S Petroleum, a company located in Lagos. There were several corporate guarantors on this transaction. The U.S. exporter is Baltimore Dredges, LLC of Baltimore MD.

Xechem Pharmaceutical Nigeria Limited of Abuja, Nigeria received pharmaceutical manufacturing and laboratory equipment from several U.S. suppliers including American Plastics Technologies, Inc. of Shiller Park, IL, Fisher Scientific Company of Suwanee, GA, and the Nitra Group of Aventura, LF. This $9,389,000 loan was supported by a guarantee from the Bank PHB of Lagos, Nigeria, and the loan was provided by UPS Capital Business Credit of Hartford, CT. Ex-Im Bank provided a five-year comprehensive guarantee to the lender.

Through the use of an Ex-Im Bank medium-term loan guarantee, HSBC Bank Plc of New York, was able to provide financing to its client, A. O. IYERE Motors & Co, Ltd of Nigeria. This transaction, approved in June 2007, supported the sale of used Mack trucks and spare parts valued at $1,500,000. Capital Trailer & Equipment Co, Inc, located in Montgomery, Alabama was the supplier. This transaction was supported by a guarantee issued by Union Bank of Nigeria, under the recently established Ex-Im Bank Nigerian banking facility.

Ex-Im Bank approved a request from UPS Capital of Windsor, Connecticut, for a five-year, medium-term guarantee in the amount of $11,000,000 to support the sale of petroleum refining equipment to Amakpe International Refineries Nigeria.  The primary source of repayment will be Sterling Bank of Nigeria.  The U.S. exporter was Ventech Engineers Inc., of Pasadena, Texas.

Ex-Im Bank approved a request from HSBC Bank Plc of New York, New York, for a five-year, medium-term comprehensive guarantee in the amount of $13,117,330 to support the sale of advanced Logging While Drilling (LWD) technology and equipment to Drillog Petro Dynamics Ltd., a company located in Nigeria. Diamond Bank PLC of Nigeria issued a local bank guarantee to support this transaction.  The U.S. exporter was Halliburton Energy Services of Houston, Texas.

Through Ex-Im Bank’s Multi-buyer Small Business policy, Olson Inspection Services Inc of New Orleans, Louisiana executed a deal with its customer, Chevron Nigeria Ltd. This transaction supported the cost of inspection and consulting services valued at $1,000,000.

Via an Ex-Im Bank Multi-buyer Small Business policy, Strength of Nature LLC of Savannah, Georgia was able to sell $20,000 of cosmetics and hair care products to Kuddy Cosmetics International, Ltd in Nigeria.

Through the use of an Ex-Im Bank Medium-term Loan Guarantee, M&T Bank of Buffalo, New York was able to provide financing to its client, Karlflex Fisheries of Nigeria. This transaction supported the sale of three used fishing trawlers valued at $2.6 million, Mr. Vic, Incorporated located in Bayou, Alabama was the supplier. This transaction was supported by a guarantee issued by AfriBank, Nigeria under the Ex-Im Bank Nigerian Banking Facility.

Under the established Nigerian Bank Facility, Ex-Im Bank expedited the approval of a request for a Medium-term Loan Guarantee to First National Bank of Omaha.  The financing from First National Bank of Omaha supported the purchase of 45 used Mack trucks in the amount of $3.4 million by Roadmarks, a company located in Nigeria. Zenith Bank provided a local bank guarantee on this transaction and is the primary source of repayment. The U.S. exporter was Global Truck and Equipment Information of North Miami, Florida.

The Pioneer Equipment Company of Jacksonville, Florida exported $3,030,762 worth of new and refurbished rock crushing equipment to Japaul Oil & Maritime Services, Plc in Nigeria.  Assured through Ex-Im Bank’s Medium-Term Loan Guarantee policy, Sovereign Bank lent the money to Japaul Oil & Maritime Services’ bank, Intercontinental Bank PLC of Nigeria, was the guarantor.

Ex-Im Bank guaranteed a medium-term loan for $321,499 to purchase communication broadcasting equipment.  Electronics Research, Inc of Chandler, Indiana and BSW of Washington, DC exported the equipment to Megalectrics, LTD of Nigeria.  M&T Bank lent the money to Megalectrics with Diamond Bank, PLC of Nigeria as the guarantor.

Ex-Im Bank guaranteed a long-term loan that involved over 16 suppliers.  The $19,634,327 transaction allowed the suppliers to export an aluminum can manufacturing facility to GZ Industries of Nigeria.  Fidelity Bank, Nigeria, provided a local bank guarantee to support HSBC’s loan.

Globe-Re Returns Money For Unalloted Private Placement Shares

After series of denials on the possibility of returning money to investors who took part in the company’s 2006 Private Placement (PP), there are strong indications that Globe-Reinsurance has commenced returning money for un-allotted shares in its private placement.

However, market trend watchers said that the commencement of returned money to investors may trigger some more confusion in the market because many investors that had bought into the private placement through third parties might not even get their money back because the third parties through whom they bought the Globe-Re Private Placement did not file for purchase of the shares on behalf of the investors.

Most of the guilty third party go-between had held down the anxiety of the investors on the excuse that the reinsurance had not concluded its private placement allotment. For the other investors that may be fortunate to be allotted shares, their investment had been locked down in the company for upward of three years without dividend, neither the extreme possibility of capital appreciation because the shares are yet to be listed on the Daily Official List of the Exchange.

Globe-Re in 2006 sought to raise fresh funds by way of placement and offered to investors six billion ordinary shares of 50 kobo each at 85 kobo per share. Afribank Capital Markets Limited was joint issuing house to the placement.


In a recap of the character of the stock market in the closing days of 2008, a market expert has revealed that the sudden but short burst of upward price movement witnessed in the banking sector of the Nigerian Stock Exchange in December, 2008 may not be unconnected with the efforts of some banks with December year end.

“The matter is simple enough, by December, 2008, prices of many banking stocks had fallen by more than 100 per cent of the prices at the same time in 2007. This naturally affects their capitalization as it would reflect in the financial reports, it was later we realized that some of these banks deliberately pushed liquidity towards targeted stocks, especially their own, to boost the price movement which would also reflect an impressive capitalization position in the financial report to impress their shareholders and other stakeholders,” the market expert said.

“But then, it would seem as if the short gains on some of these stocks confused some retail investors that fell prey to this manipulation. They thought the hitherto falling market prices had bottomed out (the prices of stocks have reached the lowest possible price) but they were wrong. The upward swing was artificial and they bought into it only to be held in that position as prices continued to crash,” the expert confided.

Nigeria Needs Oil above $40 for Offshore Fields

Global oil prices need to stay above $40 a barrel to keep deep offshore oil production and exploration economically viable in Nigeria, the Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation has said.

Oil’s sharp drop in the last six months and the global credit crunch have raised concerns that many offshore projects may be delayed or cancelled in the world’s eighth largest oil producer.

“Deepwater developments in the region, particularly in the ultra-deep, require a sustainable crude price in excess of $40/bbl to support continued production, exploration and development,” Mohammed Sanusi Barkindo, head of the NNPC, said at an offshore oil and gas conference.

Oil prices have tumbled from a peak of around $147 a barrel last July to $44 on last Tuesday.

At the same time, costs of construction, labour and security, have risen significantly in the last few years for domestic and international oil companies operating in Nigeria like Royal Dutch Shell and Exxon Mobil.

“Given the uncertainty in crude prices in the long run, the industry needs to examine ways of achieving a steep reduction in costs,” Barkindo said.

Nearly all of Nigeria’s oil production growth is expected to come from offshore, which already represents 40 per cent of current output of less than two million barrels per day.

Desperate brokers dump shares

Stockbrokers are reportedly becoming increasingly desperate with the near stalemate of transaction activities on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange. It is said that increasing state of illiquidity in the market is telling on the lifestyles and operations of most stock brokers and their firms. In desperation many of the brokers are selling off stocks in their portfolio to keep a marginal liquidity position.

Market experts, however, argued that this desperate dumping of stocks by operators would further aggravate the bearish situation in the market because as more shares are dumped on the market the more shares prices head southward.

Brokers divert Honeywell public offer subscribers’ money

This is like sounding the alarm, Fortune&Class Weekly has been informed that some cash strapped stock brokers have had to divert funds paid to them by investors to purchase the recently concluded Honeywell Flour Mills public offer.

Market trend watchers said beside those brokers that deliberately expropriated the funds to their own use because of the paucity of funds in the market and the near non-existence of transactions in the secondary market, bankers to brokers are impounding, more or less, all money lodged in the accounts of brokers.

“You know that the bank accounts of some brokers are at the moment committed to huge default margin from the banks which the banks on the other hand are desirous of recovering. So, what is happening now is that the public offers like the one conducted by Honeywell provides opportunity for liquidity. What I have heard is that once a debtor-broker pays an investor’s cheque into a bank account, the bank almost certainly confiscates the fund at the matured date of the cheque to offset their exposure to the broker.

Das Auto ist Wunderbar!

In a collection of many toys, there is always a preference of one to others; BMW Z4 is simply a cynosure of the eyes. Simple definition, no more, no less!

The rascality of BMW designers always reinforces the belief that das Auto, manufacturers never disappoint, yet you keep guessing what the next surprise would be. The magnificent design of the new 2009 Z4 will definitely hasten the production of the 24th edition of the James Bond film. A look at the extra-ordinary beauty actually explains more why the film maker worked out a product placement deal with the manufacturers which started with Z3, Golden Eye in 1995; 750iL, Tomorrow Never Dies 1997 and the Z8’s inclusion in The World is not Enough.

Unlike the previous soft-top models, 2009 BMW Z4 convertible comes with a more refined (and better looking) retractable hard-top that lowers in 20 seconds. And wondering what this means for a potential Z4 coupe, I think the new Z4 has eliminated the need for one. Driving with the roof down, this two-seater offers a refreshingly intense experience of the sunshine and the wind rushing by, and driving with the hardtop closed, it provides all the comfort of a sporting coupe in the premium segment. Combining elegance, agility and supreme comfort, this outstanding two-seater offers a light weight two-piece aluminum shells, which rest in the roof compartment, saving maximum space in the process.

With a trunk capacity variation from 180 to 310 litres, you definitely can’t complain of space inadequacy, while a pass-through hatch between the seats allows for the storage of enough surprises to make her love you till the end, when you finally decide to send that proposal in a Be-My-Wife style.

Not only is precision gone into the making of the fine line darling, the choice of engine for the converty houses the reigning International Engine of the Year and range topping, twin-turbo 3.0-litre in line-six, which has its history rooted in the BMW lineage. The twin-turbo I6 replaces the 3.0 litre in the outgoing car and is featured in the Z4 sDrive35i model. With a rotational compelling force of 295lb-ft and mechanical horsepower equated braking of 306bhp, the sDrive35i eats the miles in one hour at the rate of 62mph topping in 5.2seconds with the manual transmission car and 5.1 seconds with the fantastic 7-speed Dual-Clutch transmission equipped Z4; are you Being My Wife?!

Other engine choices include the non-turbocharged 3.0-litre in the sDrive30i and the 2.5-litre in the sDrive23i with 258 bhp and 204 bhp respectively.

More evolutionary in design, the new-Z4 lines are taught and much more refined without forgetting to carry out enough design language from the new 2009 7-Series, you definitely can’t call it a bastard!

Remember, if you forget to own any particular brand of car, never die without using a BMWagen. Short of words to describe this beauty, I didn’t know when I shouted Das Auto ist Wunderbar! That is, wonderful; speaking German with intuition.

Nobody wants to change the winning team

Emmanuel Anyanwu

Emmanuel Anyanwu

Hyra Motors introduced and markets the now popular Geely and Brilliance car brands in Nigerian auto market. In this chat with ol’VICTOR OJELABI, Mr. Emmanuel Anyanwu, the company’s sales/marketing manager, presented an expository overview of the world of Asian made vehicles.

How many years have you been working for Hyra Motors as sales/marketing manager?

I’ve been with Hyra Motors for quite a while. Thank God, Hyra Motors has been around for three years. A company which was duly registered on 13th April 2006, and putting that into consideration, within a short period of time, we’ve witnessed tremendous progress.

As a marketing manager, what has been your greatest challenge since you joined the company?

Well, the biggest challenge has been how to develop a marketing campaign, especially changing the mind-set or perception of the average Nigerians towards the Chinese automobiles. It has not been easy, going by the history and heritage of Asian cars. Most people, of course, know that before now anything out of China was probably not the best. But I can say now that in the Nigerian automobile industry, the Chinese have done well. Given the antecedent, they have just been around for less than a decade in comparison to brands that have been here for quite longer. So I had a serious challenge of building awareness for the brand I represent, that is, Geely and Brilliance Autos. It took a lot of strategic planning to reposition ourselves to, at least, win the confidence of the average Nigerian buyer.

In the last two years, what manoeuvre as a sales/marketing manager has led to your greatest achievement?

Eh, I give all the glory to God who makes man what he is. Well, one particular act that I consider my greatest achievement is my resolution from day one not to give up on Chinese brands. And since I’ve decided not to give up, then I can look back and say thank God for the resilience, the steadfastness and focus. That is the most striking achievement, the fact that I didn’t give up on the Chinese brands.

How have the sales of your brands been like?

In fairness to you, what we’ve achieved less than three years, is probably what someone else has done in five to 10 years with the popular brands. And for this, I don’t want to take credit for it, but to God. We put up many strategies, but victory came from the Almighty. Permit me to be a bit spiritual because that is the ultimate. You know, sometimes you can plan so well, but it is still only God that gives you the grace to succeed. If we compare our stand, I mean in this our gestation period to what was obtainable by most popular brands, I think we’ve done very well.

We have something that most people are becoming very used to, which is the way we deal with them, taking care of their vehicles in terms of maintenance and any other necessary repairs.

In essence, you are saying that facilities like after-sales service attract or help increase your sales volume?

Three things are responsible for the growth of our sales volume, one is the fact that we are appropriately priced. We have offerings that are competitive in price for its range in its category, I can beat my chest to say they are about the most affordable four door salon cars in Nigeria. But that is not the key reason why we’re experiencing growth in sales. I also mentioned the fact that our after sales services are the best; no wonder, we were declared the best new automobile company in year 2007/2008. Of course, there is this other part of us that is becoming the toast of everybody. The parts of our vehicles are just the most affordable. You see, three things make a very good auto deal: performance, after sales service and affordable price. If you can’t buy the car, there is no point thinking about the pleasure you cannot afford.

What about durability?

Durability is all about performance. It is all encompassing. Performance in terms of the car performing below specification, if a car could do XYZ, that is, talking about the basic features. And of course, we look at the fact that this car has been on the road for three years without anybody complaining. Now, I know of some brands, I would not mention their names, which came into this country that couldn’t survive two years. I remember people telling us that in less than a year, all your cars would be off the road. As I speak, our cars have been on the road for much longer.

Aside from Geely and Brilliance, what other brands are in the company’s portfolio?

For now, we deal only in Geely and Brilliance, talking about the saloon cars. But we also have in the pipeline other brands we would be showcasing very soon. These are all other categories of vehicles…

Can you be more specific?

Yes, we are looking at some other categories like truck, saloon cars, and any other category that would attract you to us.

And don’t you think the commitment in trying to sell the Geely and Brilliance would wane, if you digress into selling all these categories you mentioned?

No. You see, Geely and Brilliance having done so well, we would leverage on our expertise. We look at the human resource angle to our business. We have gotten the best hands, satisfying the maxim of the right people in the right place. We also have the will and the determination to move the industry forward. We aren’t just in the business to make profit, we are in the business to add value to basic operations as far as the marketing of automobile is concerned. And that is why we are already in some other West African countries. Our ultimate objective is not just to sell cars, we want to deploy the expertise in technology of those who have been in this thing for decades.

Despite the good looks of Geely and the claims of your marketing department, some users still complain about the durability of some interior components like the door knobs and fragile backrest. What is your take on this?

Well, I am very surprised to hear these because these are not complaints that I’ve documented. If customers do complain, I document it, I don’t know how this complaint came about and where. But between you and I, what we are realistically aware of in terms of customers’ complaints, is that if they travel out of Lagos, they weren’t sure if they would get an outlet to service their vehicle. And we quickly put up more service centres to cater for this. But for the door knob and the rest, I stand to be corrected, there has never been any record on those. No Geely door knob has fallen off and no headrest as dangled as you said. We are in Nigeria where anything is possible, people say all sorts of things because they don’t want competitors.

Okay, all said and done, let’s talk about the new bride, Geely CK2. What makes it worth the noise?

Well, Geely as a brand is worth the noise. And for the new Geely CK2, it gives us joy to have in the stable another version. CK2 1.3GL is an improvement on the former CK 1, which is our fastest selling model because it meets the requirement of an average Nigerian. Bearing in mind the purchasing power, the new Geely is just some few thousand naira above the CK 1. Then, looking at the structural improvement, there are lots of changes. When you look at the interior of the car, the quality of the materials that have been used is much better than what it used to be. The fabric used is easier to clean, while the body boasts of impact repelling material. The CK 2 comes with a lot of things which take the car to the level we can say it is satisfactory.

What is your market projection for the car?

We are looking at over 200 per cent growth in volume because as we speak, the orders we have on ground is about 90 per cent before the final unveiling.

And what do you think is responsible for that?

Actually, as I told you, when you give people what they want, they always want to say ‘thank you’ by being dedicated to the brand. We’ve won the confidence of the average Nigerian users. We’ve represented ourselves very well in giving cars that have performed well, that are durable, the parts are affordable. What else do you expect the man to do but to commend you as far as automobile is concerned. So they are saying, ‘hey! Hyra Motors, we stick to you,’ because the troubles they’ve gone through in the past, Hyra Motors has been able to fill that gap. Nobody wants to change the winning team.

How many cars did Geely sell globally in 2008, and what fraction of it accrued to Hyra in Nigeria?

At this point, it’s like somebody is asking how much profit you made last year. Anyway, Geely has done very well. From the Far East to core Asia, to Europe and Africa, Geely has been able to do well over 45,000 units. And then you see, for us in Nigeria, we are proud to say our contribution to that is commendable compared to the chance we have.

How do you intend establishing dominance of your brands in luxury sport car segment?

The main thing is that we are not driven by passion that is not traceable to reality, but one that is traceable to reality. We would always try not to be left behind in the technology advancement of our auto industry.

Will you allow Nigerian reviewers to test drive your cars?

Sure, we do. In fact, a team of journalists left my office a while ago, and they were here to test drive one of our new models. Well, I believe it is necessary to establish all the parameters, whether it is on emission or transmission. Due to the bad state of most Nigerian roads, whatever facts that might have been recorded for any vehicle, will definitely be attacked by the Nigerian context, which necessitates the need for Nigerian auto journalists to test drive.

What is the company’s corporate service to your customers for the support given over time?

We’ve shown tremendous appreciation to customers in the area of sponsorship by taking part in what they do.

As a dealer and user, what are the challenges one faces in the process of owning a car in this country?

Well, it is very unfortunate that the major challenge people face is that of finance. Now that people desire brand new cars, their paycheck is not brand new. But we have a stop gap measure which is not tailored to satisfy individuals, because you have to be very careful not to incur bad debt. It is called the Hyra Auto Leasing Facility for corporate bodies. We allow them to make down payment of 40 per cent on the value of any car they want, then we spread the balance over six months. This facility is currently being enjoyed by corporate bodies that don’t want to tie their cash from the acquisition of their cars.

And the result?

It has paid off. More orders are coming in, although we have to screen them. All you need is to present a copy of your Certificate of Incorporation, guaranteed from your directors and some other arrangements. The main thing is that at the end of the day, with the presentation of your post dated cheques, you get your facility.

2009 Outlook: Key Questions for the Director-General of the Nigeria Stock Exchange

If you had an opportunity to ask the Director General of the Nigerian Stock Exchange a question, what would you like to know from her?

Some investors, fund managers and equity analysts have sent in their concerns/questions; some of which were addressed by the DG, NSE at the Annual Review held at the Nigerian Stock Exchange on Monday, January 12, 2009.

However, the following questions, submitted by our board of analysts remain unanswered:

1) Bail-Out: Why has the Federal Government refused to provide a concrete bail out plan for the capital market, not just lip service? Do we think this will change with a change in the Federal Ministry of Finance given that other forward looking economies recognised the need to re-build confidence in its capital markets by taking actions that would bring about the much desired liquidity needed, albeit; with much more emphasis on regulatory control and accountability?

2) Alternative Market Strategies: The NSE (an SRO) along with other regulators has been talking about the introduction of simple options to the capital markets for over two years now. Why has this not been implemented?

At the moment, there are only two strategies investors can use in trading the NSE (that is, buy or sell) and in a free fall or in a downtrend as we have currently, there are usually no buyers for willing sellers.

Even with the introduction of market makers and ‘funding providers’, the makers will not be willing to buy shares that they know are fundamentally weak (given that the incidence of corporate governance and believability of financial reporting in the country is subject to risk discounting risk here relates to poor observance of standards and reporting requirements). If options are available or other strategies, investors can play the market even in a downtrend. The limited options/alternatives for traders at the NSE is keeping sophisticated ‘international’ investors from the NCM. The market appears too one directional.

3) Margin Accounts: With banks not providing margin loans to investors, it appears difficult for the Nigerian Stock Market to maintain any upward momentum or traction.

Has the Director General looked into other alternative source of financing for investors and brokerage firms?

Can the Federal Government provide brokerage firms guaranteed loans which can be loaned to investors based on strict guidelines as an alternative to an outright bail-out?

4) Demutualisation of the NSE: How does the NSE intend to conclude this key 2009 internal goals during a market cycle where most investors are not able to fully participate? The conversion of the NSE into a listed company appears desirable and precedents in Eqypt, J’borg and New York support the viability of such a proposition but to do so in a year where strategic management changes and movements have taken place, and will take place, as well as the governance and process capacity issues/challenges taking place will require a broad range of investor support.

We are interested in knowing more about the conversion of the not-for-profit organisation to a value and profit driven one in such a way as to allow each willing and able investor to participate.

5) New Products: The NSE recently launched five new indexes (including the NSE 30) working with reputable firms that have a history of creating such. We believe it is a welcome development that forward looking firms may create products around.

When will this be introduced in the market and does it not portend a dire signal for firms not included in the index or their sector not considered profitable enough to have a sectoral index?

Is it possible for the criteria or/and weighting of the index be made available for equity analysts?

6) Dealing with Current Challenges: in the last few weeks, there has been a spate of occurrences, not on such a large scale as to pronounce it a major crisis but it is a crisis itself, given that it is occurring in a market with confidence at its lowest ebb. Dud cheques have been issued to investors and fellow fund managers alike. What does the aggrieved receiver of such cheque have to do and what measures are in place to address these challenges given that it goes to the heart of the ‘confidence’ question?

7) Investor Enlightenment: The astounding reality of the market and indeed our larger economy was best summed up by the former president, Olusegun Obasanjo, who in a departure from the less than believable comments of the CBN Governor, declared that the current crisis will visit the poor and rich alike.

If you consider the yearning of the hard working employee, market trader, artisans, aspiring manager, church goer and widower, who in the heat of the capital market boom were plastered all over with offers and media blitz on the viability and security of investments in the NCM, and who now have to worry about the expected income due from the market to meet obligations but cannot access it; you will know that the current meltdown will affect people differently.

Hope is a casualty in this market, so also is the believability of the operators because of their silence. Investors have simply been told to wait and allow ‘nature to take its course’. The caveat emptor that should have been ringing out in the first place now becomes breaking news at this tail end of market downturn.

These are the first death throes. The question is what sort of market will remain?

Yet, one heard not one expression of real remorse or accountability from any of them. They had nothing to offer except the time-worn counsel of confidence men: trust me. Instead of protecting our market or at least preparing the investors and players alike for the possible challenges, we did what we have always done best as a nation…deploy self denial as a shield from the truth.

Maybe not everyone was playing the ostrich game, at least not brazenly. While the CBN Governor embarked on a self effacing trip on being nominated to attend the world deliberations on the crisis, the Ministry of Finance was silent, shooting down everything pushed forward to ameliorate the situation without providing an alternative. The Director General of the NSE, to her credit, continued to show empathy, and spoke consistently about her heavy burden and desire to see that the ordinary citizen/investor is assisted to overcome the current challenge.

The question she has to provide now is: how do we hope to achieve this? What should the investor do from tomorrow?

Source: Proshare Nigeria

Removing the log in our eyes

It has never been difficult identifying the reasons Nigeria is not functioning as it should be. Neither are we in short supply of expert opinions and solutions to the perceived problems confronting the country. In fact, if there is anything we are good at, it is in the area of noisily pontificating on challenges facing Nigeria with no efforts at strategically diagnosing the challenges.

The most disturbing aspect in this Oyingbo market setting approach to this Nigerian like conduct is the re-statement of the issues, with analysts and commentators taking well known uniformed stand on the cause or causes of the problems, which is usually hinged on corruption.

Painfully, we are living witnesses to this recurring decimal with no one giving us the lead on how best to solve the problems once and for all. Even those who are paid or who should be in the vanguard of seeing function as a society are themselves more guilty in seeing to it that only solutions that favour their greed are posited as policy solutions for the attention of so-called leaders, who have long given up on their statutory role of being the keeper and enforcer of the ‘good’ of the ordinary citizen, who haplessly and hopelessly watched his dignity debased in the most bizarre manner so much so he now begins to wonder if he is truly a Nigerian.

Sadly, those who held offices at various times in the past but could not move the nation forward, or leave behind some form of policy direction to tackling the problems, are now talking of what should have been done.

For example, someone who once headed the Economic Planning Ministry coming out soon after he left office with an accusation of policy inconsistencies against government, leaves much to be desired. It is the more disturbing when the person with all his academic background, is equating a national plan drawn out of a ‘presidential agenda’ to a National Plan. We now know better why we have not gotten it right these past years.

What the Professor is inadvertently stating is that there is no need for a comprehensive plan of action to move Nigeria forward except this piece-meal approach occasioned on the ‘beliefs’ of the man at the moment. This was the role they had played in successive administrations particularly those of IBB and Abacha that compounded our economic malaise.

We, perhaps, need to remind our economic experts to take a look at the Theory of Development, a major topic in Economics as a discipline, so as to be moderated on this grand-standing of proffering solutions to our economic woes that are macro based which have opened our economy to haemorrhage and now getting into a state of atrophy.

Is it high time we changed strategy and focus so as to for once allow Micro policies dictate our economic plans? Must we continue to look at what the developed and semi developed economies are doing as a yard stick to measure our response to getting out of the woods?

I thought our experts do know that we produce what we cannot consume like the crude oil we cannot even refine, and consume what we cannot produce, as in the many automobiles competing for space on our dusty, bumpy roads.

May be we are happy that our manufacturing sector is comatose, and are happier that we are selling their assets to our economic parasites. After all, that is the beauty in privatization, the Nigerian way. We are much more happy to be helping the Asians run their economy, solve their unemployment problems, while shutting down our own with high unemployment, and our citizens turning destitute both at home and abroad.

In all areas of existence in Nigeria, be it socio-cultural, economic or political, it is hard to tell the direction we are heading. In the name of privatization and commercialization, our commonwealth has been appropriated by the people we believe should protect and preserve it for us.