Abuja Securities and Commodities Exchange to be Privatised

THE federal government has promised to complete the proposed sale of the Abuja Securities and Commodities Exchange, SCE, by June this year. Arunma Oteh, director general, SEC, said that the government’s earlier commitment to complete the privatisation exercise by the end of last year could not hold  as it was unable to meet the deadline.

“The government wants to privatise the only commodity exchange and it was committed to doing it by the end of last year. It didn’t meet that deadline, but it’s planning to do something by the middle of 2014. We have a number of both domestic and international players, who are very interested. They would rather acquire the privatised exchange, so they’re trying to see how far the government is going with this initiative and if not, they are prepared to seek a registration for a new commodity exchange,” she said.

The Abuja commodities exchange was converted from a stock exchange to a commodities market in 2001 and has information on crops traded dated January 2008. Tony Elumelu, chairman, Heirs Holdings, wants to acquire the state-owned Abuja-based exchange when it is sold. He said last year that if he was unable to buy the exchange, Heirs Holdings would apply to the SEC to set one up.

Elumelu Invests in Planet Lab


THE Heirs Holdings, a pan-African proprietary investment company founded by Tony Elumelu, has announced its investment in US start-up Planet Labs’ innovative satellite manufacturing technology. Heirs Holdings is the only African investor in the project, which is based in San Francisco.

Planet Labs aims to transform the way imaging of the earth is carried out through the introduction of ultra-small satellites called “doves.” These “doves” circle the planet in low orbit and are significantly cheaper to produce and deploy than existing technology. Moreover, as they orbit closer to the earth, they are able to take higher-resolution images than traditional satellites.

According to Elumelu, chairman, Heirs Holdings, “as the only African investor in Planet Labs’ project, we are incredibly proud to have supported such an innovative and dynamic company, which has already achieved significant success. As part of our business philosophy of Africapitalism, we are committed to supporting entrepreneurs and start-ups to enable them to bring scale to their projects and we look forward to following Planet Labs’ achievements over the coming years,” he said.

The Planet Labs has already achieved some significant milestones. In 2013 alone, the company launched four satellites on three rockets, and delivered their first fleet of 28 satellites, which are expected to head into space shortly. Robbie Schingler, co-founder, Planet Labs’, said, “We are very excited to welcome Heirs Holdings to our team of investors and thank them for their support. The funding that they and other partners provide is vital for our development as a company and we are particularly pleased to be working with an African company, as our technology has the potential to support Africa’s development by monitoring and mapping the continent’s natural resources and agriculture.”

SON Seizes Containers of Gas Cylinders

Joseph Odumodu, DG, SON
Joseph Odumodu, DG, SON

THE Standards Organisation of Nigeria, SON, has seized three containers of gas cylinders and sealed four warehouses stocked with substandard generating sets worth N400 million in Lagos. Bede Obayi, head of inspectorate and compliance unit, SON, said the organisation’s taskforce made the huge seizure based on intelligence reports.

He said that the cylinders were being smuggled into the country when the task force intercepted it around Okokomaiko, a Lagos suburb. Obayi noted that the goods had been sampled and sent to the laboratory for a final test. On the spot examination showed that the goods did not have the necessary import documents and failed the basic standard parameters. We will take action against the importers by evacuating the goods from the warehouses. We do not want goods that do not meet the required standard to be in circulation.

“We have put a series of measures in place to deter importers of fake and substandard goods into the country. They no longer have any hiding place, the exit of SON from the sea ports, notwithstanding,” he said.  According to Obayi, the importers and manufacturers of substandard goods would be made to face the full weight of the law.

Compiled by Anayo Ezugwu

— Feb. 10, 2014 @ 01:00 GMT