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Tribunal Affirms MultiChoice’s Right To Increase Prices

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Tribunal Affirms MultiChoice’s Right to Increase Prices

Olushola Okunlade Writes

The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) Tribunal sitting in Abuja, on Tuesday, affirmed the right of pay TV service provider, MultiChoice Nigeria, to fix prices for its services.

The three-member tribunal, in a unanimous ruling read by its Chairman, Thomas Okosun, also ruled that though MultiChoice occupied a dominant position in the Nigerian digital satellite television market, there is no evidence that it is abusing its position to the detriment of consumers.

The Tribunal made the assertions while delivering its judgment in the suit filed by an Abuja-based lawyer, Festus Onifade, and the Coalition of Nigerian Consumers against MultiChoice.

Onifade and the Coalition of Nigeria Consumers had dragged MultiChoice, the operators of DStv and GOtv platforms, to the Tribunal following the announcement by the company in March 2022 that the subscription rates for the various bouquets on its platforms would go up on 1 April 2022.   

In the suit in which the FCCPC is the second defendant, Onifade prayed the tribunal for an order restraining MultiChoice from increasing the subscription rates for its services and other products pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice dated and filed on March 30.

The claimant also asked the Tribunal to make an order directing MultiChoice to adopt pay -as- you -view subscription model for its services.

But while delivering its judgment on Tuesday, the Tribunal affirmed that Nigeria is operating a free-market economy and as such, the FCCPC or any other body cannot fix prices for services and products. The Tribunal said only the President is empowered constitutionally to fix prices for products in Nigeria under stipulated conditions, which are not available currently.

The Tribunal also rejected the demand for N10million compensation by the claimants over alleged abuse they have suffered as subscribers to services of the company, ruling that the claimants did not present sufficient facts to prove that they have suffered abuse in any way as subscribers to MultiChoice services.  

It, however, asked the FCCPC to investigate claims that MultiChoice is operating Pay-as-You-Go television services in its home country and other lingering issues concerning the services of the company in Nigeria within six months and get back to it.   

The Tribunal had earlier dismissed a challenge by MultiChoice that it has no power to hear the suit. It also found the company guilty of contempt for going ahead to increase its subscription rates in April 2022 despite its ruling on the ex-parte appl on 30 March directed the parties to maintain the status quo pending the determination of the whole suit.

Consequently, it ordered the management of MultiChoice to appear before it with the company’s audited 2021 financial report for violating its restraining order on tariff increase on 8 September.

The sanction to be imposed on the company will be based on section 51 of the CCPT Act, a corporate body is liable upon conviction for contempt of a fine not less than “N100 million or 10 per cent of its turnover in the preceding year.”

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Dangote Wins ECOWAS’ Manufacturing Brand Of The Year Award

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DANGOTE WINS ECOWAS’ MANUFACTURING BRAND OF THE YEAR AWARD

…Cement, Sugar win Brands of the Decade

Olushola Okunlade Writes

Africa’s largest business conglomerate, Dangote Industries Limited has been adjudged the Outstanding Indigenous Conglomerate of the Decade, carting home eight different Economic Community of West African States Manufacturing Excellence Awards (EMEA) in the process.

In the same vein, two subsidiaries of Conglomerate, Dangote Cement Plc, and Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc also received awards from the renowned Marketing Edge magazine’s Brands of the Decade.

While the EMEA awards were given by Nigeria’s Daily Independent Newspaper and its BusinessDay Ghana counterpart, the Brand of the Decade for Dangote Group subsidiaries were received at the 10th edition of the leading brand magazine, Marketing Edge’s 2022 Summit and Award Night themed “Technological explosion in the digital Age – Imperatives for the marketing communications industry”, which held in Lagos.

It was a gale of accolades as the Dangote brand was named number one brand by all standards with its Sugar and Cement brands as the two brands, which company has contributed tremendously to the infrastructure development not only in Nigeria but Africa in the last 10 years.

Speaking at the event, Mr. John Ajayi, Publisher/CEO of Marketing Edge Publications described this year’s awards as one with a special attraction and uniqueness, designed to reboot, restart and re-energize the social, intellectual, and entrepreneurial landscape of the Nigerian Integrated Marketing Communication (IMC).

While eulogising the management of Dangote Group for the business strategy that has helped in positioning the brand well ahead of others in the industry, he explained that the award event was organised to “celebrate the best and brightest brands”

According to him, the award to Dangote brands are in recognition of its leadership and domination in the various market segments and categories, adding that the recognised brands are brands that “continue to make the Nigerian consumers happy and satisfied”.

The Marketing Edge publisher, while giving the business trajectory of the past 19 years, saluted the various winners and their managements for their roles in making Nigeria proud, citing an instance of how Dangote Cement and Dangote Sugar have made Nigeria self-sufficient in cement and sugar production.

In his response to the new awards, Mr. Anthony Chiejina, Group Chief, Branding & Communications Officer, Dangote Industries Limited (DIL), said the Group’s brand remains at the forefront of African enterprise and that the brand, since its inception, has touched the lives of many by providing their basic needs.

Expressing gratitude to the management of Marketing Edge publications for the recognition, Mr. Chiejina explained that consumers are loyal to brands that are purposeful and that is “why we have designed a strategy that creates that purpose.” “Because we understand the power of brands, we have positioned all our businesses to be consumer-centric so that it can inspire millions of people behind it”, Mr. Chiejina stated.

The ECOWAS awards won by the company included ECOWAS Manufacturing Company of the Year; ECOWAS Manufacturing Company CEO of the Year; ECOWAS Manufacturing CSR Company of the Year; ECOWAS Cement Manufacturing Company of the Year; ECOWAS Sugar Manufacturing Company of the Year; ECOWAS Salt Manufacturing Company of the Year and ECOWAS Fertiliser Manufacturing Company of the Year.

The awards won during Marketing Edge Magazine’s 2022 summit included Outstanding Indigenous Conglomerate won by the Dangote Industries Limited, Cement Brand of the Decade, and Sugar Brand of the Decade.

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World Champion, Tobi Amusan, Now Glo Ambassador

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World Champion, Tobi Amusan, now Glo Ambassador

Olushola Okunlade Writes

Nigeria’s Digital and Telecommunications services provider, Globacom, has announced the appointment of the current AfricanCommonwealth, and World Champion in the 100m hurdles, Tobi Amusan, as its latest Brand Ambassador.

She was unveiled to the media at a ceremony held on Thursday, September 29, 2022, at the company’s headquarters, Mike Adenuga Towers, in Victoria Island, Lagos.

World Champion, Tobi Amusan, now Glo Ambassador
Tobi Amusan, Glo Ambassador.

Tobi became the first Nigerian world champion in an athletic event when she won the gold medal in the100 meters hurdles event at the 2022 World Athletics Championships. She set a new world record of 12.12 seconds in the semifinal and followed this up with 12.06 seconds in the final to take the gold medal.

Speaking at the event, Globacom’s Regional Manager, Sales, Lagos, Lawrence Odediran, said that the company’s decision to make Amusan its ambassador was not just to reward her for her sterling accomplishments, but also to promote the growth of sports in Nigeria and encourage the country’s teeming youths to aspire toward realizing their dreams by looking up to the new ambassador as a mentor.

“At Globacom, we are very proud of what Tobi Amusan has achieved in her athletics career. She is an embodiment of the Nigerian spirit of resilience, hard work, and enterprise which enabled her to excel irrespective of the enormity of the challenges she encountered in her quest for success. These are qualities that Globacom identifies with”, Odediran stated.

World Champion, Tobi Amusan, now Glo Ambassador

He explained that Tobi Amusan has become a testimony to the famous saying by Malcom X that “the future belongs to those who prepare for it today”, adding that “she prepared very hard in the previous years and today belongs to her.”

“Tomorrow is also waiting for other determined Nigerian and African youths who begin their preparations today. We, therefore, urge them not to be discouraged by present challenges, but to continue to strive to realize their dreams”, he concluded.

Speaking at the event, a very delighted Tobi Amusan thanked Globacom for appointing her as its ambassador. She promised to be a good representative of the company and the youths at all times. The new ambassador also assured the company that she would continue to project a positive image of the brand across the world. “I am proud to be associated with Glo as its brand ambassador. It is a proudly Nigerian company doing great things and empowering Nigerians. I am grateful to the Chairman, Dr. Mike Adenuga, Jr., for giving me this amazing opportunity,” she declared.

A two-time African Games champion in the event,  Amusan who also won back-to-back African and Commonwealth titles in 2018 and 2022 in the 100m hurdles event wrapped up her long and successful 2022 campaign by competing in the 100m hurdles at the Zurich Diamond League event, which she won in 12.29 seconds.

The event was attended by top sporting personalities, the media, and the management of Globacom Limited.

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Top 50 Brands: Dangote Emerges Most Valuable For Fifth Consecutive Year

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World Water Day: Dangote, Others Make Case For GroundWater Protection

Olushola Okunlade Writes

Dangote Industries Limited (DIL), has emerged as the Most Valuable Brand in Nigeria for a record 5th year in a row at the outcome of the 2022 corporate brand evaluation, conducted by the leading brand and marketing research firm, TOP 50 BRANDS NIGERIA.

Dangote emerged top with an aggregate score of 83.7 Brand Strength Measurement (BSM) Index score. This is followed by MTN, Globacom, and Access Bank in fourth place.

Others among the top 10 are Airtel Nigeria, Coca-Cola, Zenith Bank, GTCO, First Bank, and UBA at fifth to tenth positions respectively.

The annual top brands’ evaluation report which is now like a report card, with which top corporate brands have an independent opinion about their brand performance, from the consumers’ points of view has also become a sort of ‘bragging’ right and a source of pride for the brands that made the top 50 league table, particularly, those that took the lead.

In a press statement released after the public presentation, the rating firm said “The annual top brand evaluation is a qualitative, non-financial estimation of the value of top corporate brands in the country. A measure of consumers’ perceptions and how positive or otherwise towards a brand, and how this affects its overall strength, using the Brand Strength Measurement (BSM)index, a model that tests a brand’s ability to deliver on its promise to the consumers from the consumers’ points of view.

Chief Corporate Communications and Branding officer of Dangote Group, Anthony Chiejina said: “Dangote’s emergence, for the fifth year consecutively, did not come as a surprise to industry watchers. The brand has steadily increased its influence in many African nations through the establishment of cement factories. It operates in about 13 African nations making it one of the most visible, recognized, and admired brands in Africa”

In his address to the owners and promoters of the top brands, TOP 50 BRANDS NIGERIA CEO, Taiwo Oluboyede said, “Brand has become a critical differentiator that helps consumer’s choice and also separates the top corporate organisations from the others and even much more. It is also consumers’ buying choice justification” He likened the task of building a formidable and continuously strong brand to a flower, he said “When you plant a flower, you keep watering and pruning it to grow and until it blossoms, and this you do for its lifetime” If you omit or forget to prune or water, regardless of how beautiful it is at the beginning, it dies. The same is applicable to brands. That is why we have seen brands that dropped from the 50-league table in recent times, while new ones emerge.”

He said further “So, the responsibility lies with the owners and promoters to consistently maintain compelling propositions and live up to their promises. As we all know, it’s not just about making a proposition, but living up to its demands and consistently so. This is what makes a top brand.”

For the 2022 evaluation, Nigerian-owned brands again dominated the top 10, with 7 brands. Dangote leading the pack, followed by Globacom, Access Bank, Zenith Bank, GTCO, First Bank and UBA

Five brands among the top ten are banks while 3 are telecoms. Nine of the top ten were among the top 10 last year, with Access Bank making a dramatic leap to fourth place, effectively topping the Banking and Financial Services Categories.

Four brands, maintained their previous year’s position among the top 10, while six of the top 10 had maintained top 10 positions for 7 years consecutively. Overall, 28 or 56 per cent of the 50 Brands are multinational brands, while 22 or 44 percent are Nigerian. PZ Cussons Nigeria Plc emerged as the highest gainer this year by moving up 10 places, from 38 last year to 28th position. Rite Foods, another Nigerian brand emerged as the first entrant into the annual brand ranking this year.

Fifteen (15) brands maintained their 2021 position- these are (Dangote, MTN Nigeria, Globacom, First Bank, Nestle Nigeria Plc, Guinness Nig Plc, Nigerian Breweries, Seven-up Bottling Company, Julius Berger, FMN Plc, Chi Limited, Oando Plc, Energies, P&G, Axa-Mansard and TGI.

Furthermore, the Banking & Financial Services category had the highest entries with – 11 brands, that is, 22%.  Access Bank topped the category, and consumer goods followed with – 8 brands. That is 16%. Dufil Prima Foods topped the list.

Conglomerates had 7 brands. that is 14% with Dangote Group on top, beverages came at fourth place with 6 brands. That is 12%. Coca-Cola topped the category, Oil & Gas and the Insurance categories had 3 brands each, amounting the 6% each. Oando Plc and AIICO Insurance topped them respectively and electronics, mass media, and Building & Construction Services returned with 2 brands each which is 4% for each. Samsung, Multichoice, and Julius Berger topped their respective categories.

Meanwhile, agriculture and automobile have 1 brand each, an equivalent of 2% of the total top brands. Olam International and Toyota Nigeria topped their individual group.

In his contribution to the annual top brands’ evaluation, Mr. Olufemi Awoyemi, Chairman Proshare Nigeria said “First, it is commendable to see that in the evaluation process used in ranking the brands, professionals such as Chief Marketing Officers and Head of Corporate Communications and Reputation Managers. Eight (8) companies listed on the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) made the list of the top 10 brands in Nigeria. With the thorough evaluation process and degree of attention to detail evident in the report, the list indeed provides a true and fair representation of top brands by strength, popularity, and potential in Nigeria.

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