HealthPlus says that its founder and former CEO, Mrs. Bukky George, owns 48.9% of HealthPlus Africa Holdings and that she is the only Nigerian registered Pharmacist shareholder and director in the company.
This was revealed in a statement by HealthPlus on Tuesday, in a bid to educate the public on the squabbles going on between it and Alta Semper Capital over the removal of George as CEO, and the appointment of Chidi Okoro as Chief Transformation Officer.
Ejes Gist Media had reported last week that HealthPlus Limited appointed Okoro as Chief Transformation Officer. According to the statement earlier released by the company, Okoro’s mission is to optimize day-to-day management and elevate the business to novel scale and profitability, while the founder of the Company, George continues to be a director and a shareholder.
George however, issued a counter press release, denying that she had been removed as MD/CEO. According to her, the press release was not authorized by the company and was therefore false.
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Alta Semper, in a follow-up press release, alleged that the decision to remove Mrs. Bukky George “was made in full compliance with Nigerian laws, and follows a long and drawn-out process of engagement,” through which the Board sought to address multiple issues concerning the way the company was being managed.
Health Plus also reported Alta Semper directors to the police last week, as observed in a document obtained by EJES GIST MEDIA.
In today’s statement, HealthPlus said that it had partnered with Alta Semper Capital LLC UK in 2018 to inject fresh capital to grow the business.
“The investment in HealthPlus was to enable the company to capture the pent up demand for high quality yet affordable medicines … expand the company’s footprint across Nigeria, establish a distribution centre, develop B2B channels and e-commerce.
“Alta Semper undertook to commit $18 million into HealthPlus whilst retaining Mrs. Bukky Geroge as CEO,” the statement partly read.
HealthPlus says that Mrs. George, at the time of the investment, transferred 95% ownership of the business to a new entity called HealthPlus Africa Holdings Limited, incorporated in Mauritius, whilst retaining 5% equity to her name.
“HealthPlus Africa Holdings is owned by Mrs. Bukky George (46.2%) and Idi Holdings ( 53.8%), Idi Holdings is Alta Semper’s investment vehicle”
“In essence, Mrs. Bukky George owns (directly and indirectly) 48.9% of HealthPlus and is the only Nigerian registered Pharmacist shareholder and director in the company.”
HealthPlus also said that Alta Semper’s initial $10 million investment achieved several initiatives in its business plan.
“However, it soon appeared that they (Alta Semper) were unable to come up with the balance of the equity investment.”
It argued that in May 2020, after 15 months of delayed funding, unmet expectations and dwindling inventory, “Mrs Bukky George instituted legal action at the Lagos Division of the Federal high Court [in suit No: FHC/L/CS/609/2020] seeking relief aimed at stopping Alta Semper from running and managing the company.”
HealthPlus says after Alta Semper was served the court process, they did not file any defense but appealed for dispute mediation.
It was added in the statement that the mediation was truncated after 3 meetings within a period of 3 months, “Their intransigence frustrated Mrs. George’s other nominee for director and Chairman into resigning from the board”
HealthPlus’ statement cited that the board, now with just 3 directors, had not met in six months and that the last time Mrs. George heard from Alta Semper was when they wrote last week stating her termination as CEO, “which in fact they had no authority or power to do so.”
HealthPlus says Mrs. Bukky George remains the founder and CEO, and continues to run the company.
The Federal Government has announced that all routes leading to the Eagle Square in Abuja would be closed from midnight 30th September, ahead of the parade to mark Nigeria’s 60th Independence Anniversary on Thursday, 1 Oct. 2020.
This was disclosed by the Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, in a statement. He said the measures were put in place to further enhance security in and around the venue.
“Consequently, Shehu Shagari Way, Ahmadu Bello Way, outward and inward-bound Airport Roads and adjoining roads will be blocked to traffic,” Mohammed said.
The FG announced that the Federal Secretariat Complex would be evacuated by 2.00 pm on Wednesday, 30 September 2020, “which means all workers within the precinct of the Eagle Square are expected to vacate their offices from that time,” Mohammed added.
The Central Bank of Nigeria on September 29, 2020, virtually launched the framework of advancing women’s financial inclusion. This was disclosed in an online event tagged “Access to Finance Framework for Women” and anchored by Dr Paul Olukpe.
The framework was conceptualized by the Financial Inclusion Special Intervention Working group and developed by the CBN in collaboration with EFInA and Women’s World Banking with input from over 50 stakeholder institutions.
The overarching vision of the framework is for Nigeria to be globally recognized, with an inclusive financial sector that has closed the gender gap by 2024. The framework further itemizes 8 strategic imperatives for driving improved access to finance for women in Nigeria.
According to the online event monitored by EJES GIST MEDIA, the Deputy Governor, Financial System Stability of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mrs. Aisha Ahmad justified the new initiative by citing EFInA’s last report on financial inclusion in 2018 as a yardstick.
Recall that EFInA 2018 Financial Inclusion report indicated gender imbalance and a clear need to attend to the issue of growing female financial exclusion. For example, the report stated that 40.9% of females were financially excluded as against 32.5% of males. Mrs. Ahmad remarked that perhaps, the figures might even be wider if unattended to especially in this period of crisis.
Mrs. Ahmad urged financial institutions to address structural issues limiting women’s access to finance by understanding and developing products that are specifically tailored to address such issues.
Why this matters
Empirical studies have shown that supporting a stronger role or empowering women is a key enabler in reducing poverty, stimulating economic growth and ensuring sustainable development. Citing ‘’The Power Parity Report by McKinsey’’, the Director of development finance department of CBN, Mr Yusuf Philip Yila, stated that the economic consequences of pursuing gender equality include a potential addition of $28trillion to global annual GDP by 2025.
This framework is a big boost to achieving SDG’s goal of gender equality and Nigeria’s financial inclusion targets simultaneously.
Nigerian Pharmacy Chain, HealthPlus Ltd which is in a battle for control with private equity firm Alta Semper Capital took a new twist as Health plus reported Alta Semper directors to the police last week, as observed in a document seen by Nairametrics.
In a letter sent to the Assistant Inspector General of Police on the 25th of September, HealthPlus stated, “We had the presence of unknown persons around our head office locations.”
The locations stated were 4 HealthPlus branches in Lekki, Lagos.
HealthPlus stated further, “We are aware that there are unauthorized and illegal plans by certain persons to take over our company premises to steal sensitive company property and assets, and ultimately take over operations of the company”
The 4 persons mentioned by HealthPlus are; Zachary Fond and Ivan Genadiev (both Alta Semper Directors), Ernest Eguasa, CFO of company and an unidentified middle-aged white man.
HealthPlus Limited appointed Chidi Okoro as Chief Transformation Officer last week.
However, the announcement set off a chain of allegations and counter-accusations, including online media mudslinging with both sides trying to court public sympathy for who is in control of the company.