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Tony Elumelu, Chairman, Board of Directors, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, has been named among the “100 most influential Africans of 2015.”

The list published by pan African magazine ‘New African’ presents Africa’s definitive power list and profiles the continent’s top game changers in eight different fields: Politics, Public Office, Arts and Culture, Business, Civil Society, Technology, Media, and Sports.

Elumelu’s role as a game changer making a difference, changing perceptions and shaping our definition of what is possible in this increasingly global and interconnected world is why he made the cut.

Also on the list are President Mohammadu Buhari and former President Goodluck Jonathan. Both President Buhari and Jonathan made the list for the significant role they played in Nigeria’s 2015 elections, which saw the first successful transfer of power from a ruling government to an opposition party in Nigeria. Jonathan’s humility in defeat and Buhari’s magnanimity in victory ensured that Nigeria avoided a post-election crisis.

Other Nigerians recognized include:

Minister of Environment and former UN Special Advisor on Post Development Planning, Amina J Mohammed for her contributions to the shaping of the new 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals.
AfDB’s new President and former Minister of Agriculture, Akinwumi Adesina, for his contribution in curb corruption of the fertilizer distribution scheme and improvement in agricultural production.

Nigerian Diasporan, UK MP and Labour Party leadership hopeful, Chuka Umunna for the significant positive recognition he has brought Nigerians in the UK.

Arumah Oteh, World Bank Vice-President and Treasurer for her elevation to one of the most significant positions at the World Bank.
According to the Group Publisher, New African, Omar Ben Yedder, the list of “100 Most Influential Africans” celebrates the “men, women and organizations that have shaped our beloved continent, the trail blazers, influencers and the rising stars who are redefining Africa’s future in the various spheres in which they operate.”

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As one of the most well-known sharks on 'Shark Tank,' Mark Cuban didn't get where he is with luck alone. However, just like any other entrepreneur and investor, he had plenty of stumbles along the way.
 Are you willing to take the advice Mark Cuban has to offer? If so, you can streamline the entrepreneurial process and maybe even surpass his success one day. Just imagine how successful Cuban would be had he been able to give his younger self advice. Here are 10 tips he would have given to his younger self that you can repurpose for your own goal setting:

1. On tunnel vision

"Stay focused and believe in yourself and trust your own ability and judgment," says Cuban. There will always come times when you doubt yourself, but they should be few and far between. Having a bit of tunnel vision can be very helpful to entrepreneurs as long as you're looking down the right tunnel.

2. On preparation

"If you're prepared and you know what it takes, it's not a risk. You just have to figure out how to get there. There is always a way to get there." Of course, that doesn't mean there won't be plenty of obstacles. Unfortunately, too many people give up too soon. It's the figuring out how to get there that separates entrepreneurs from wantrepreneurs.

3. On wealth

"Being rich is a good thing. Not just in the obvious sense of benefiting you and your family, but in the broader sense. Profits are not a zero-sum game. The more you make, the more of a financial impact you have." There is no shame in wealth or wanting to be wealthy, but make sure you look beyond the apparent pluses of it.

4. On tech versus business

"There's way too much hype on the technologies and not enough attention on the real businesses behind them." Pay more attention to the businesses and the people, and you'll bypass a lot of the white noise the products make. You need both tech and business for a success story.

5. On work

"Work harder and smarter than most people in the businesses," says Cuban. It sounds obvious, but so many people want to take short cuts. If you do more, you get more. It's actually a pretty simple equation.

6. On improvements

"Continuously look for ways to improve all of your companies, and always be selling. Always." There is no such thing as an entrepreneur who is not also a great salesperson. There is no such thing as a perfect company. Keep moving up and forward.

7. On sweat equity

"Sweat equity is the most valuable equity there is. Know your business and industry better than anyone else in the world. Love what you do, or don't do it." This is the kind of sage advice you'd expect from someone a little "softer" than Cuban. However, if he's pushing passion projects, you know it's a winning strategy.

8. On customer service

"Treat your customers like they own you. Because they do." You won't have a business without customers--period. No matter how much success you enjoy, without customer service you won't reach your top potential.

9. On professional relationships
 "You can accomplish much, much more with direct relationships than by using an intermediary. And that cash you keep in the bank can be the difference between staying alive as a small business or not." This is where those customer service skills come into play again. Networking and relationships are the backbone of an entrepreneur's success.

10. On guaranteed returns

"If you've got $25,000, $50,000, $100,000, you're better off paying off any debt you have because that's a guaranteed return." Debt can destroy a business. Get in the clear before you branch out.

Since hindsight is 20/20, why not rely on the laser-focused perspective of someone who's been there, done that? There is no reason to reinvent the wheel, especially in the realm of entrepreneurship. Let a shark show you the way and you'll avoid a lot of hassles.
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According to the principal partner of Gaca Awards, Mr. Robinson Koyoyo, the Garden City Advancement Awards is aimed at celebrating virtues of excellence. This year, the theme was ' Attaining Industrialization Through Good Governance.'

Amongst the list of recipients was the prestigious and reputable NIGERIA AGIP OIL COMPANY(NAOC) which was honored at the Garden City Advancement Awards & Summit as an Organization Making a Difference in the MULTINATIONAL COMPANY OF THE YEAR award category was presented to Paolo Carnevale GMD NAOC JV . This award is in recognition of NAOC tremendous contributions in the promotion of Local Content, Community Development Project, Value Chain and Local Communities Relations with the aim of supporting SMEs/entrepreneurship. The award was also given for their involvement in socio-economic activities , the high level of professionalism and excellent leadership role demonstrated over the years in the oil and gas industry having over 90% of her staff strength as Nigerian Industries with great percentage (90%) of indigenous contractors is worthy of emulation.

The event which took place at the Hotel Presidential, Port Harcourt on the 31st Oct 2015 was highly successful and was hosted by Mr Benson Uwheru a corporate governance expert. In attendance was CP Musa Kimo Commissioner of Police, Rivers State who spoke on Peace and Security: A Panacea to Economic Development. Also in attendance was Mrs Titi Horsfall an Oil & Gas Expert and Novelist, who delivered a mind blowing keynote speech on mentoring the Youth for Strategic Leadership: Issues and the way forward.

Other award recipients at the ceremony included Sir Mike Elechi ,Dr (Mrs) Ngeri Benebo , Bro Felix Obuah, Mrs Titi Horsfall, Mr Elvis Donkemezuo, Sir Wilcox Abereton, EPEANAL Group, El-Totuama International Services LTD, Jephthah Comprehensive Sec. Sch. Ph, VIP Express Tourism LTD,AIT Port Harcourt, VIEW POINT-Rhythm 93.7 Ph and Family Love FM Ph, Cosmo Lounge, Community Initiative For amongst others. HERITAGE-PLUS official organizer of the event sincerely appreciate Amano Image, EZ Comm Resources LTD, Orange Magazine & MTN for their support to make the event a reality.

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Nigerian newspapers have reported a N1billion fine slammed on Guinness Nigeria Plc by Nigeria’s regulatory agency, the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC).

Guinness was accused of re-validating expired raw materials without approval.

NAFDAC also accused the company, which has been operating in Nigeria since 1962, of maintaining poor documentation and not complying with some of its regulations.

According to Punch newspaper, the local unit of Diageo has a  two-week deadline to pay the fine.

But the the report said Guinness has  denied the accusation and opened  talks with NAFDAC over the sanction,

“As a responsible corporate organisation, we take these allegations which relate primarily to raw materials stored in one of our raw materials stores very seriously,” Peter Ndegwa, managing director of Guinness Nigeria PLC, said in a statement issued on Thursday.

“We are engaging NAFDAC for clarifications and resolution of the issues. “The high quality of products from Guinness Nigeria’s breweries,” he said, “has been attested to repeatedly not only by NAFDAC but also by the Standards Organization of Nigeria, as well as the internal quality controls of the Diageo Group.
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According to Dangote Oil Refinery Company Limited who has its plant that produces 600,000 barrels of crude oil per day (bpd) situated at the Lekki Free Trade Zone, Lagos, has said the refinery would soon be the world’s largest. This was announced by Mr. Madhav Kelkar, the company’s Senior General Manager, Civil and Structural while on a facility tour of the plant recently.

The Dangote refinery sits on a 2,600 hectares of land and the plant will produce, slurry as raw material for carbon black, gasoline, diesel, aviation fuel and kerosene for households.

Mr. Madhav Kelkar said, “Most companies build refineries in phases and porches and on different locations across the globe. But for the Dangote Refinery, everything is situated on one site. Most of the refineries you see around are 20 to 30 years old, but for the first time, we will be seeing the first of such in the world and in Africa.

“This has never been done anywhere in the world before. Dredging from the high sea with a very high level of precision while bringing in state-of-the-art equipment alongside top-notch expertise from everywhere across the world.”

He further said that the vision of the Chairman of the Dangote group, Aliko Dangote was not only to supply the local market alone but also to have a nation that will be self-sufficient in the production of petroleum products.

“We have in place state-of-the-art technology and equipment to ensure the value chain, which consists of crude reception facility to the processing facility are adequately integrated,” he said.

The company’s General Manager, Dangote Fertilizer, Jaiswal Anurag, said that the plant is has reached 90% of engineering work and 80% of the the equipments needed to complete the site have arrived Nigeria.

He also said that, “We will complete dredging, loading and offloading facilities this month (October). The dredging will link the facility from the lagoon to the sea. We are moving at a very high speed because we commenced work in July 2014 and this October, we shall be completing all the work,”
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The long-overdue 2014 FY results of one of Nigeria’s oil and gas giant, Oando Plc has been posted. It was posted alongside its Q1 2015 results, racking up record after-tax losses of N183.9 billion in FYE 2014, creating a wild hysteria on Twitter and Facebook.

The results announced by Oando at the NSE showed that mounting losses continued into 2015, with a N20.9 billion after tax loss in Q1.

According to THEWILL, Nairametrics reported that Oando’s FY 2014 total revenue fell by 5% to N424 billion from N449.8 billion, while Q1 2015 revenue increased by 83% to N33 billion, up from N18 billion in Q1 last year 2014.

Foremost financial analyst, Proshare said it had lost confidence in the financials released by the Oando, adding that it would no longer cover the company.
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Dangote Industries Limited, one of Africa’s largest business conglomerates is deepening its relationship with CNN International by renewing on-air and digital sponsorship of the prestigious ‘Facetime’ segment within ‘CNN Marketplace Africa’.

 â€˜CNN Marketplace Africa’ is a weekly show on CNN International, which offers a unique window into African business. The new edition of the show is hosted by British-Nigerian CNN anchor Zain Asher, who breaks down the economic trends affecting Africa, interviewing business leaders making and shaping the continent.

 The ‘Facetime’ element within the programme is a high-profile segment in which a major player from the global business community is interviewed about Africa business matters. On-air content is complemented by distinctive online editorial at a ‘CNN Marketplace Africa’ microsite, where popular and innovative content is shared across a range of social channels.

 Since taking over as full-time host in May 2015, Zain Asher has interviewed esteemed ‘Facetime’ guests including:Patrice Motsepe, founder and Executive Chairman, African Rainbow Minerals; Russell Stokes, CEO, GE Transportation; Kofi Anan, former UN Secretary General; Taleb Rifai, Secretary General, UNWTO and Maria Ramos, CEO, Barclays Africa.
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Director and CEO, UBA Plc, Mr. Phillips Oduoza has emerged the 2015 Ai Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) 30 CEO of the year at this year’s 8th annual Ai CEO Investment Summit.  he first won the award in 2013

He was named the winner from a long shortlist that included Nassef Sawiris, CEO, Orascom Construction Company, Sifiso Dabengwa, CEO, MTN Group, SA, Guillaume Roux, CEO, Lafarge Africa, Segun Agbaje, CEO, GT Bank, Graham Clark, GMD, Dangote Sugar and Ben Kruger/Sim Tshabalala, Co-CEOs, Standard Bank. The event took place in New York at the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.

Africa investor (Ai), is a leading international investment and communications group based in South Africa. Every year it organises the institutional investment summit as a platform for public and private sector leaders in Africa to dialogue with global counterparts on ways to invest and grow businesses in Africa. As an integral part of the summit, Ai also hosts the investment and business leadership awards to reward exceptional business practices, economic achievements and investments across Africa, whilst recognising the institutions and individuals improving the continent’s investment climate.
At the summit and awards ceremony attended by over 250 of Africa’s most prominent and influential business, government and development finance leaders, as well as five African Heads of State, the UBA CEO won the Ai SRI CEO of the Year award in recognition of his exceptional achievements over the last year which according to the summit organisers, is an “inspiration for business and government leaders working to raise Africa’s investment profile”.
The judging panel considered excellent leadership skills, enhanced organisational image, innovation and originality as well as alignment with the millennium development goals (MDGs) in choosing the Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) 30 CEO of the year.  Speaking on the award, Oduoza who has twice been recipient(the first time in 2013), said: ‘as Africa’s global bank, The United Bank for Africa, UBA, has operations in 19 African countries and 3 global financial centres –  New York, London and Paris, serving over 9 million customers. This award validates our efforts over the years in building a solid pan-African banking business that is profitable, sustainable and socially responsible. I dedicate it to all UBA people: customers, staff and other stakeholders in Africa and across the globe”

Other recognitions at the ceremony include: Venture Capital/Private Equity Award won by the Abraaj Group, whilst Institutional Investor of the Year and Investment Promotion Agency of the Year went to Public Investment Corporation of South Africa (PIC) and Centre de Promotion des Investissements en Côte d’Ivoire (CEPICI) respectively. The Leadership in Sustainable Investment in Africa Award went to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
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In achieving success, attitude is as important as aptitude. Attitude creates a gravitational force in the direction your business or career will go. The value of attitude is usually underestimated. It not only affects how you interact with others; it also affects how you perceive events and from which perspective.
Many success stories we have in history exist because the individuals had the right attitude.

If we consider the fact that the light bulb we know today was preceded by 1,000 failed attempts, which ultimately informed the successful conclusion, then we might understand that even failure can lead to success with the right attitude
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The African migrant crisis is in the global headlines and rightfully so. It is high time people were talking about this dire problem and searching for solutions.

The European Union has announced its 10 point plan, focused on tackling human smugglers and with a changed approach to the migrant vessels that traffic tens of thousands heading for Europe every year, often with tragic consequences.

While these are crucial steps, African leaders should also work with the EU to make progress on another track entirely: solving the problem at its roots – making fundamental changes to the factors that contribute to these migrations. Because the problem starts here in Africa.

As Africans, we must begin by looking inward. First, what has brought us to where we are now? Second, how can we fix it?

Why are people willing to risk their lives to escape our continent? Africa’s poverty rates are still the highest in the world. We are facing widening economic and social inequalities that have resulted from rapid, yet non-inclusive growth. Despite impressive economic progress over the past several years – currently five of the world’s 10 fastest-growing economies are located here – the reality is that 44 per cent of Africans still live on less than $1.25 per day. Nothing is more important than putting an end to poverty and thereby creating a sense of hope here at home. Our economic success needs to be shared – with prosperity for all – creating a more equal, stable, and peaceful continent.

We have exceedingly high levels of unemployment, leading to social, political, and economic fragility, with 53 per cent of Africa’s nations described as fragile states. In addition to triggering migration, fragility also breeds terrorism. We need to tackle the fundamentals of joblessness and economic exclusion.

Every year, 30m youths enter the market. Jobs need to be created for them. We must urgently address the fact that the economic growth we have today is often jobless growth. It affects the few and excludes the many. Working with partners like the EU, Africa’s leaders and its key institutions – namely, the African Development Bank – can change that. We should collaborate with the EU to pioneer a strategic, continent-wide approach to job creation.

To enable the private sector to flourish we need to work with governments to lower the cost of doing business across Africa. We need to implement processes and systems that are transparent and business-friendly, attracting global and regional investment and retaining African entrepreneurs and the talented workers they will hire. Venture capital and other funds must be given the right kind of encouragement and assurances to direct their financing to Africa’s private sector.

To generate jobs at scale, we need to dedicate significant resources to providing incentives for financial intermediaries to lend more to small and medium-sized enterprises. SMEs form the bulk of our growing economies and helping them expand and prosper will result in millions of jobs.

We also must launch a major effort to address the skills mismatch in the labour market through greater focus on skills and vocational training, and entrepreneurship development.

And you can’t develop without women. Investing in women is not just the right thing to do, but also the smart thing to do. Women are the primary source for growth in local economies. Yet today, 64m more women than men are unemployed in Africa. Women need access to education, technology, jobs and financing. This must be understood and prioritized by governments and the development community.

Africa has 65 per cent of all the arable land left to feed the 9bn global population expected by 2050. Of all possible interventions, transforming the agriculture sector will have the largest impact on growth on the continent, given that 70-80 per cent of the labour force is engaged in the sector but locked into poverty.

We must provide innovative financing instruments and direct private equity funds toward agri-business investment, particularly in the form of micro-finance. By reviving rural economies and empowering them with tools to connect their goods to viable markets, we will unlock incredible opportunities for growth and shared prosperity, as we lift millions out of poverty.

We need to diversify the economies in African countries that are rich in natural resources, to shield them from over-exposure to volatilities in global markets (as we saw recently with falling oil prices). Focusing on unlocking agriculture’s potential will go a long way toward diversification and building “soil wealth” rather than relying on oil and mineral wealth.

We also need to improve management of those natural resources. Africa is not poor, but its people are poor because money disappears into the wrong pockets. Africa has $85tn in natural resources, but it loses $60bn a year in illicit outflows. Imagine what $60bn could do for our people’s healthcare and education each year. We need to work at all levels to enforce transparency and accountability rigorously. Africa’s resources should not belong to the few, but should be for the benefit of all.

People should have no reason to flee a continent as rich as ours. While the EU’s 10 point plan could contribute significantly to addressing the issue of illegal migration, we must complete the strategy by confronting the problem at its core, at its origin. This will require bold actions, profound changes and a strong partnership between Africa and the EU. Let’s work together to create jobs, opportunity, and hope on the continent. Let’s create reasons to stay.

Akinwumi Adesina is the outgoing Nigerian minister for agriculture. He is a candidate for the presidency of the African Development Bank.

Article originally published by The Financial Times
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