Covenant Capital

20
Jul

Agribusiness Opportunities in Nigeria: Why You Don’t Have to Fail

Culled from AfricanFarmer Mogaji’s presentation at Covenant Capital Seminar titled ‘The Untapped Agricultural Potential of Nigeria’

Looking at the history and development of agriculture in Nigeria, it is not a coincidence that virtually all our past Presidents and Heads of State had passion for agriculture; this is not surprising as the state of oil sector in our economy was never so encouraging. With that understanding, you may agree that it is high time we went back to the drawing board to explore the gains of agriculture in order to fix our crawling economy.

We need to work together to fix our economy, but, how do we fix it? Agriculture is the way to fix it, and if your interest is already being aroused, below are some “food for thought” in Agriculture that may stimulate business idea(s) for you in your bid to make a business opportunity out of agriculture:

  1. Prohibited items: Do you know that Nigeria imports about One Hundred and Fifty Billion U.S. Dollar worth of rice every year?

It may interest you to also know that the Federal Government has made a drastic move to stop rice importation by putting in place measures which will give the local rice farmers opportunity to develop rice production in the country, so what do you intend to make of that?

  1. Untapped land opportunities: Are you aware that the river basin development project is in every State and offers the opportunity of access to several untapped land? Accessing this is not difficult as people think it is. All you need to do is to go to the Ministry of Agriculture and ask for the Department for the River Basin Project, they will guide you on how to access the lands. Most of these lands have irrigation facility that allows you to wet your crops in and out of the season, that is, wet and dry seasons. This benefit from the government has continued to be untapped because people are not aware of it. Some of the irrigation projects are found in Iseyin, Oyo State, and what more? Over seven hundred thousand acres of land have not been used by anybody! In Sepete, Saki local government, Oyo State, there are over three hundred hectares of land too there lying fallow and waiting for you to leverage on. The government also has irrigated lands in Jigawa State, Kwara State and so on that are waiting for you to leverage on.
  2. Untapped crops opportunities: There are many of them, but here are few among the list:                              a. Corn: Do you know that corn is one the untapped crops in Nigeria? Yes, it is true that corn is usually scarce between November and March, but do you know that the opportunity in corn lies in that very fact? Are you aware that with the help of irrigation which is readily available on government lands, this problem can be solved and you can produce corn all year round? Here is another food for thought: over sixty trailers loaded with corns supply Ketu market on daily basis for six months, yet supply is always lower than demand!

Read more

14
Jul

BENEFITS OF STARTING YOUR OWN BUSINESS

Culled from Managing Counsel of Templars; Ijeoma Uju’s presentation at Covenant Capital Seminar titled Establishing a business in Nigeria ‘What you need to know’ (Part 2)

Many people desire to start their own business and they wish to gather as many information as possible on how to go about the whole process.

To start with, there are several benefits for starting up a business in Nigeria- depending on the kind of structure you decide on. Some of these benefits include:

  1. Separate personality: This means you are separate from the business you set up (particularly where it is a company that is started). For example, Abimbola starts MonaMatthews Limited, but Abimbola is not MonaMatthews Limited; MonaMathews Limited can sue and be sued, it can own landed properties and so on, and it is considered to be an artificial person capable of enjoying most of the benefits of a natural person.
  2. Depending on the structure of your business, it can attract investors; A fascinating business idea or an existing business can attract lots of investors based on the structure of the business. With that kind of opportunity, you can diversify and also expand your business.
  3. There is limited liability connected to Value Added Tax. By implication, the tax and other obligations are on the company and not on you as a private person.
  4. It affords you perpetual life. In other words, the business can outlive you. You can therefore decide to retire while the business continues because there is an established value.
  5. If what you started is a company, you will have the opportunity to add your shares and other benefits in the business to the list of benefits to be divulged or willed out upon your demise. Therefore, you can divulge shares and other benefits to your family, your children, or other persons that you desire to assist.
  6. It gives you control. Where in particular the business that you started is sole proprietorship, you do not need to consult anyone before you can control your business; you have absolute control over the number of staff you want in your business; you can hire and fire staff without any consultation as such; you have control over what you want to produce, when, and where.

Having identified some of the benefits of starting your own business, you may wonder next on the kinds of business structures that are available in Nigeria, and also on your own best option. Some guides are provided below:

  1. There is sole proprietorship business: As the name implies, this kind of business refers to one man/woman ownership of the business. For sole proprietorship, you are the business and the business is you. You are the boss of the business; you have all the control you want over the business except for some interference by the government. In other words, you bear the risks alone, and you enjoy the profit alone.
  2. The partnership: if you are not capable on your own or you like to have other person(s) come together with you to run the business, you can invite one or more partners to join you in the business administration. The law gives room for 20 people entering into partnership; while in law firm or accounting firm, you can have more than 20 people. In this kind of business structure, all the risks (as well as the profit of the business) will be shared amongst the partners.
  3. Limited liability company; it could be public or private limited liability company; both are regulated based on their membership. For private limited liability company, you can only have 50 members (although, there are exceptions); but for public limited liability company, you can have as many members as you decide on. Either ways, your liability is limited only to the extent of your unpaid shares.
  4. Unlimited Liability Company: This kind of structure is uncommon. Unlike limited liability company, the liabilities of members are unlimited and they are liable separately and jointly. By implication, in the event, for instance, that the company has accrued liabilities and it is being wound-up, the creditors can go after any or all of the members together.
  5. Non-profit or Non-governmental organization: This includes charity organization, cooperative societies as we have amongst taxi drivers, farmers, and so on. The interesting thing about this kind of structure is that the aim is not to transact business and make profits.

The most common structures in Nigeria for businesses that are going to be profit making ventures are the business name, and the Limited liability Company.

The business name could either be set up as sole proprietorship or partnership.

For sole proprietorship, you must bear in mind that you are the business, everything you will do is about the business, you have complete control of the business- but it may be difficult for you as a sole proprietor to raise a substantial capital for the business, and you are not also guaranteed that your business will continue- which means succession on the business is not guaranteed as a sole proprietorship business owner.

As for partnership, financial commitments are shared amongst the partners; where you seek to operate one, you and your partners must share the load of profit and every other benefit that come out of the business and the risks. The principal issue is where dispute arises in the business and the partners are put to the test of carrying on together.

Lastly is the limited liability company structure which benefits hinge on the facts that the company is a separate legal personality from its members, it can transact business in its name, it can sue and be sued too, and there is perpetual succession of the business, plus the brain of the business which is referred to as Board of Directors. Conversely however, the tax liabilities on companies are higher, and companies are obliged to keep records and file annual papers and audited report.

From all stated, you may agree that the decision on which business structure to adopt has to be made as early as possible because not all the structures will be appropriate for the kind of business that you intend to run.

…. to be continued.

 

12
May

The Making – Q&A Session (Evangelist Mike and Gloria Bamiloye)

Moderator: Thank you very much Evangelist. That was really insightful. Grew up, watching mount Zion movies and I really admired the Evang. Mike and Gloria. It’s a big privilege being here today. Sir, when we think of Christian film making, the mind of the business man thinks of a low economic opportunity.

Mike Bamiloye: Yes, I think there is that economic opportunity. I remember many years ago, when we did ‘Agbara Nla’ (Ultimate Power). It generated a lot of traffic even though it was on home video and wasn’t in the theatre. It was shown on every major TV station in the Western Region. Quite a number of marketers about 5 of them were competing to sell the home video and were fighting amongst themselves. The demand was high! Content is key and once it’s a solution based content, demand will come for it. However, presently a lot of things such as privacy and the likes have gotten involved.

Moderator: How did you know or trust that there were prospects in this line of ministry or trade and will eventually pay off that you committed your life to it?

Gloria Bamiloye: I think everything is by faith. We just believed it’s of the Lord and that we were called. I was a teacher before then, but when I discovered God, I followed him. Once you are faithful and don’t play games with God, you will prosper. So it has been by faith

Moderator: Tell us a little bit about your drama training school and what you intend to achieve through it?

Mike Bamiloye: It is called Mount Zion Institute of Christian Drama. It started in 1991 and was situated in Ile Ife. The essence of this, apart from film making and drama production, is that the Lord has given the vison of nurturing and training others in this line. My objective is building people up and majority of people making Christian movies now are directly and indirectly products of the institute all over the world.

Moderator: With high level of piracy and sophisticated media world, how do you make your money as a Christian movie maker?

Gloria Bamiloye: Firstly, I will advise you not to look at the money but believe in what you have (Vision) and launch into it. Piracy is everywhere. Even our movies were pirated and Government couldn’t do anything. A woman got angry and went to Onitsha and saw this pirates but couldn’t do anything. It’s more of a calling and a way of passing a message to the world. God himself will surely take care of you.

Moderator: What are the opportunities for stage drama and Christian drama in the environment? What are your views about alternatives to cartoons for kids?

Gloria Bamiloye: The alternative is having Christians producing cartoons that will promote God-like and moral values in a very interesting way. Every person in drama ministry have varied gifts. Christian producers should be able produce contemporary movies as well.

Thank you!

(Moderator: Obinna Nwachukwu)