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Mojec International: Blazing The Trail In Sub-Saharan Africa With Electricity And Innovative Power

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True Nigerian Experience Interview with Chantelle Abdul.

1. For 34 years, Mojec International holdings have gone from Power, Energy, Technology, Real Estates to mining. Kindly run us through your trajectory from 1985 to 2019.

MOJEC Group of Companies is an international holdings company headquartered in Lagos with operations in Power, oil and gas, Renewable Energy, Smart Homes, Mining and the retail sector. Its Subsidiary, Mojec Meter Company is the largest meter manufacturer in Nigeria.

Mojec international’s rich history is rooted in its provision of key products and services to the consumers. Mojec has its roots in FMCG (Fast Moving Consumers Goods), it began as a commodities company, distributing and marketing Michelin tyres, through its partnership with the French owned Michelin tyres; papers and foods to Nigerians, via its partnership with NORSE paper and WAPCO respectively.

Mojec eventually became Michelin tyres’ leading Distributor and was nominated Michelin Ambassador for West Africa in the year.

By the early 90’s the company had ventured into the Nigerian Power sector and was the first to introduce prepaid meter technology to the then NEPA (National Electric Power Authority) turned PHCN (POWER HOLDINGS COMPANY OF NIGERIA), the nationalised government parastatal which had the responsibility of  generating, transmitting and distributing power in Nigeria.

The biggest issue with the national utility was revenue protection; its inability to collect payments on bills issued to customers. A prepaid meter afforded them the opportunity to collect payments ahead of consumption. At the time there was a 90% metering gap in the country as such Nigerians were given estimated bills by the Utility which led to a distrust of the utility by customers. Mojec took on the gigantic task of helping bridge the metering gap in the country.

In 2010, MOJEC introduced smart Meters into the country and by 2013 pre-privatisation of the power sector, Mojec International built the largest meter assembly facility with an installed capacity of 1.2 million meters in the heart of the commercial capital of the country, Lagos. Today the firm is tripling its production capacity by building a state-of-the-art manufacturing plant located in its ‘’SMART ELECTRIC-CITY’’ Project, the largest of its kind in sub-Saharan Africa.

By 2016, three years post- privatisation, Mojec had a 50% penetration into the market and by 2018 the company had footprints in over 75% of the metering market, serving 8 out of the 11 Utilities in the country. Mojec meters was the first firm in the power space to roll-out mass meters into the Nigerian market, providing multi- year financing payment options to the utilities to enable them deploy hundreds of thousands of meters to eager customers. Mojec pioneered the vendor financing of large meter contracts to utilities with minimal collateral requirement and as such Mojec Finance was born out of the necessity to provide financing options to the utilities in Nigeria. Mojec Meter company has the largest installation fleet in the country by virtue of the size of its meter production contract with the Discos.

Mojec Meter is now a leading indigenous manufacturer and contractor to power utilities in Nigeria and across the western hemisphere, and has won several awards such as West Africa Power Industry awards, in 2016. In 2019, Mojec achieved another milestone. The company got listed in the London Stock Exchange as one of the companies to inspire Africa. This accomplishment which the company is very proud of prides itself on hard work, great team of experts, innovation, great customer service and excellent service delivery.

Today, as part of its smart electric city project, Mojec is venturing into the local production of meter boxes, circuit breakers and other components that are used in metering to serve the 70% metering gap in the country which is initially estimated at between 5-10million meters.  The company has also made great strides in mining assets in the country with intent to explore and refine produce for exports. Lastly, its greatest pride is in empowering young people and building Africa of the Future and to do so, Africa needs to leverage on technology to leap sing it the 22nd century.

At Mojec, we are committed to building a world of possibilities. We are building Africa’s future and building the future in Africa.

2. The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission recently introduced Meter Assets Provider Scheme to fast track the roll-out of prepaid meters to the Electricity consumers. Consequently, Mojec Meters Assets Management company signed the retail financing with 8 Nigerian Banks for electricity consumers, how well have you gone with this initiative

 The Nigerian Electricity Regulation Commission (NERC) introduced a new regulation called MAP (Meter Asset Provider Scheme) in May 2018. The scheme which was subsequently implemented in 2019 was designed to fast track the closure of the metering gap which extricates consumers from plight of dealing with estimated electricity bills given by the utilities. It also encouraged the development of independent and competitive meter services in the industry.

In April 2019, Mojec Meter company partnered with Eight (8) banks to provide loans to customers to enable them purchase meters. These partner banks include Zenith Bank, Polaris Bank, First Bank, Sterling Bank, Wema Bank, Unity Bank and Keystone bank. Customers can now approach these banks to get their meter purchasing loans.

Mojec Meter Asset Management Company (M3AC) is the MAP subsidiary of Mojec International. M3AC is saddled with the task of providing meter assets, installation and maintaining financing of these meters to end users for 1-10 years., It is the largest MAP in the country today.

“In 2019, Mojec achieved another milestone. The Company got listed on the London Stock Exchange as one of the companies to inspire Africa. This accomplishment, which the company is very proud of, prides itself on hard work, great team of experts, innovation, great customer service and excellence service delivery.

M3AC won the award to provide meters to 3million Nigerians over the course of 3 years, as such M3AC and Mojec Finance must develop the in-house capacity to lend money to retail customers. The opportunity for investment here is Immense because it runs into revenues in the hundreds of Millions of dollars and it entails lending to the informal sector of the country which makes up about 60% of the population.

3. Beyond Metring of homes and commercial clients, Mojec Power is said to be leading the provision of renewable energy to commercial and industrial clients. Tell us more about your venture into the clean Energy space.

In a strategic move to further tackle the challenge of uninterrupted   power supply to Africans, 2019 was tagged ‘’ THE BEYOND METERING YEAR’’.  Virtuitis Solaris  is Mojec’s Portfolio company for the provision  of renewable energy solutions and smart Energy. The company seeks to use the power of abundant Sun in Africa to power people’s homes, offices, industries and cars. During the day while they are not home, the power generated by the panels  can be stored in smart energy storage  units called V-cube or the V-container (which stores up  to 100kv  of power).

Virtutis Solaris also offers clients smart home Solutions which includes automation, Energy measurement and Energy Management. Customers are able to remotely switch on and off appliances in their homes in the bid to manage their energy consumption. Solaris intends to deploy solutions nationwide.

Solaris is also involved in building embedded mini grids for large commercial, industrial, and utility customers.

4. In your opinion, six years down the line, how well have we fared with Nigeria Power Privatisation Program of 2013.

In my opinion, we have fared very well with the Nigeria Power Privatisation Program of 2013. The Federal Government took the very bold step of privatizing the Nigerian power sector in 2013 with the sale of majority shares in the Distribution and Generation companies to private investors.

The privatization was driven by the desperate situation of the sector, which affected businesses and all aspects of Nigerian life, thereby crippling economic growth as only 4,000 megawatts of power was available to 180 million Nigerians.

One major key to our success has been the willingness to identify industry issues and tailor solutions to them and address industry issues directly. Some examples include lack of finance in the sector, we designed to address this issue with the distribution companies (discos). We were able to get and offer vendor funding which made our meters attractive to our customers and the discos. Another example is our willingness to tailor our meters to address the needs of our customers, such as enhanced resistance to tampering. This helps to ensure adoption in the market. We also ensure that at all times we are the most cost effective and reliable solution to our client’s problems.

As we look into the future, while acknowledging the great challenges ahead, we continue to see opportunity for growth in the sector and are willing and able to partner with key industry stakeholders to face and surmount the industry problems head on.

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Invest in Rwanda, A Country With Unconventional Vision And Leadership

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Advertorial by Rwanda Development Board

Since the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Rwanda has risen from $752million to $9.5 billion in 2018, and the GDP per capita has grown from $125.5 to $787 during the same period. Due to Rwanda’s internationally recognized universal access to healthcare policy called ‘Mutelle de Sante’ life expectancy has risen from 29 years in 1994 to 67 years in 2016. Inflation has fallen from 101% in 1995 to 1.1% in 2018 and Rwanda has jumped over 100 places in the World Bank Doing Business Index, today ranking 38th globally and 2nd in Africa.

 Furthermore, with the 9 Year Basic Education policy, Rwanda has seen the average expected years of schooling rise from 6.2 years in 1995 to 11.2 years in 2017. These numbers, both the increases and decreases, are not merely statistics on paper, they reveal a people who have taken the reins of destiny into their own hands. Following the defeat of the genocidal forces by the Rwanda Patriotic Army rebels led by now president, Paul Kagame, many highly qualified development experts believed that the fabric of Rwandan society was irrevocably torn asunder. Over one million people had been killed in less than 100 days, over 3 million had fled the country to refugee camps in Tanzania, Burundi and the DRC (then Zaire), the national treasury was looted and there weren’t even pens and paper in government departments.

 Speaking to members of the Australian chapter of the YPO (Young Presidents Organization) in May last year President Kagame was asked this question, “experts say that a turnaround from a cataclysmic event such as genocide is supposed to take a century or at least a generation, how was Rwanda able to do so in only twenty years”? President Kagame mentioned the main aspects of the Rwandan turnaround; thinking big, having a vision, refusing to get stuck in the status quo, believing in, and having faith in the vision and, lastly, making sure that the journey is inclusive by bringing people in and creating possibilities for them to make their contribution.

 Rwanda does not have the usual ingredients for economic transformation. It does not have a wealth of natural resources such as oil or diamonds, it is landlocked, it has one of the highest population densities in the world. However, Rwanda has a will to build a better, more prosperous nation.

 What Rwanda did was put together a development plan called ‘Vision 2020’. This plan envisioned a Rwanda that was middle-income and knowledge-based. With a GDP growth rate which was dominated by double digits over the last 10 years, we are reaping the fruits of the ambitious plan.

 One of the fruits is the emerging MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and events) sector. Who could have imagined that 25 years after the Genocide against the Tutsi, Rwanda would become home to one of the most iconic and most expensive buildings in Africa, the KCC (Kigali Convention Center)? The KCC, a venue that includes a five-star hotel and conference facilities that can host over 5,000 delegates, will this year host, among other world class events, the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM). To date, KCC has hosted the African Union Heads of State summit, the Transform Africa summit as well as a myriad of regional and international events and conferences.

 The KCC has not been the only such ‘out of the box’ investment that the Government of Rwanda has made to create value where no one expected. A decade or so ago, the Government insisted on building the country’s very first five-star hotel, the present-day Kigali Serena hotel. Our development partners baulked at the investment, saying that there was no need for such a high-end facility. The Government, believing in its vision, went ahead and built the hotel thereby creating the anchor accommodation facility that opened Rwanda to the opportunity of becoming a regional destination for business travel and MICE. The country now has five 5-star hotels and more are opening up this year. Furthermore, high end accommodation establishments have opened their branches across different parts of Rwanda. To create the ecosystem that a vibrant MICE sector needed, the national carrier Rwandair was established, investments in skills and capacity building were made and the private sector was encouraged and supported to invest in the sector.

 Because the Government refused to take a laissez-faire attitude to the development of the MICE and the overall tourism sector, investments that we have registered in the sector as the Rwanda Development Board have totaled $1.5 billion since the year 2000. Hotel rooms have increased from 623 in 2003 to 14, 866 in 2018, tourism revenues have jumped from $131 million in 2006 to over $300 million with MICE tourism revenue numbers growing from inconsequential numbers in 2000 to $55 million in 2018. We expect that all the numbers will grow by at least 10% per year and projections show that the tourism sector will be worth $800 million by the end of 2024.

 This might seem ambitious, but we believe in our vision and we are actively working towards fulfilling it. That is why we partnered with different partners, including but not limited to Arsenal FC and Paris Saint Germain, English and French football teams respectively, to market Rwanda as a destination for tourism, MICE and investment. That is why Rwandair is increasing both its fleet as well as its destinations in Africa, North America, Europe and Asia and that is why we are currently building a new international airport in Bugesera, on the outskirts of Kigali, in partnership with Qatar. In addition, we have taken an active role in building an Africa that freely trades with itself through the African Continental Free Trade Area (ACTFA) and internally we have reformed both our business environment and visa regimes.

The business community has followed our lead. Last year, we registered over $2.4 billion in investments on the back of over 8% GDP growth. Leading global businesses such as Volkswagen, Motorola Solutions, Andela and Radisson today provide jobs to young Rwandans graduating from global institutions of learning that are based in Rwanda such as Carnegie Mellon University. In addition to the recent opening of the first smartphone factory by Mara Phones; companies including Volkswagen (in partnership with Siemens), Ampersand, and Safiride are also rolling out environment friendly transport solutions through electric vehicles and motorcycles on the street of Kigali and other parts of Rwanda.

 When we tell businesses that Rwanda is the right place to invest in, we are confident that they will find the right environment to thrive. Why? Because we built that environment.

Mr. Zephanie Niyonkuru is the Deputy Chief Executive Officer, the Rwanda Development Board. The Rwanda Development Board is a one stop shop for investors, bringing business registration, investment promotion, tourism, ICT development, SMEs, human capacity development, privatization and specialist agencies under one institution.

Zephanie Niyonkuru

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Africa’s Top Employers 2020

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Top Employers Institute is the global HR authority on certifying excellence in employee conditions. For over 28 years, our firm has been dedicated to accelerating the impact of people strategies to enrich the world of work through certification, benchmarking, and connecting Top Employers around the world.

Through our HR Best Practices Survey, we enable organisations to assess and improve their workplace environment. Recognition through our programme helps companies become elevated as an employer of choice. We certify organisations worldwide. We recognise Top Employers based on a global four-stage programme governed by a strict standardised process. The leading-edge international research we conduct each year determines whether an organisation meets the required standard of excellence for Top Employer certification.

Africa’s Top Employers for 2020 were officially announced in November last year at the annual Top Employer’s Certification Dinner. A record 230 organisations officially registered to participate in the 2020 programme, 210 organisations spanning 32 African countries and 23 industry sectors were certified throughout the evening. 96 organisations will now carry the South African certification, while 114 Top Employers from 31 other African territories will carry their country specific certification. Top Employers Institute also recognised 17 continental Top Employers who have achieved certification in 4 or more countries.

Billy Elliott, Top Employers Institute Regional Manager: Africa, says that the certification provides employers with an important quality metric that enables them to position their brands more effectively in the attraction, retention, and engagement of top talent. “The Top Employers Institute is not just about certifying Africa’s Top Employers. We have seen a progression of HR in Africa over the last few years, and it is our role to empower and advance people strategies across the world. We are driven not just to certify but to benchmark and connect outstanding employers around the world,” he said.

These are organisations of the highest calibre, continuously working hard to create, implement and advance their people practices. This group of Top Employers provide an outstanding workplace experience, empower employees, and make the working world a greater place.

Read more about Africa’s 2020 Top Employers in the Forbes Africa supplement [HERE]

Have you got what it takes to be a Top Employer?

Visit www.top-employers.com/en-ZA/get-certified for more information.

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BOSS X Meissen Capsule Collection Inspired by The Big Five

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Johannesburg, 6 December 2019. BOSS celebrated its holiday capsule with an exclusive event on the 4th of December in Johannesburg.

Two internationally recognized German brands BOSS and Meissen came together for the first time. Inspired by Meissen’s celebrated Big Five figurines, a groundbreaking new collaboration united the two brands’ shared passions for quality, design and creativity.

The Big Five collection, designed by sculptor Maximilian Hagstotz, features the African lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and buffalo, each decorated with a monochrome pattern placed to emphasize the animal’s characteristic traits.

These majestic creatures, depicted in an angular style inspired by traditional African wooden sculptures, are the starting point for a unique capsule collection of BOSS Menswear and Womenswear.  The fashion capsule collection includes both casual and formal pieces for men and women, all in a monochrome palette of black and white.

To honor this special capsule and collaboration, BOSS and a local franchise partner SURTEE Group hosted an exclusive dinner just in time for the holiday season, with a special guest in attendance – the founder of Elephants for Africa organization Dr Kate Evans.

Guests, dressed in black and white, were greeted by a life-sized white Meissen elephant statue with elegant black and white canapés and black martinis awaiting them. The sophisticated evening had everything from the food, to the décor, drinks and dress code following the monochromatic theme. The charismatic Mark Bayley and former Miss South Africa Jo-Ann Strauss kept VIP guests entertained as co-hosts.

The evening culminated with a private performance by South Africa’s much loved Mi Casa. 

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