A European Investment Bank
The client, a major funder of a multibillion-dollar oil and gas project, wanted to ascertain the long term commitment of major international oil companies to Nigeria amidst media reports about the tension to leave Nigeria.
Our reports produced conclusive evidence on the Nigerian strategy of the oil majors that our client was interested in. The report was developed from the many hours of engagement with stakeholders at the highest level, including with five directors and eight senior managers of international oil companies as well as with nine senior officials in Nigeria’s national oil company and the oil industry regulator.
A Financier of Oil Projects in Ghana
All indications pointed to an election that would be keenly-contested. Our brief was to analyse the impact of voters’ perception of corruption and economic well being on the outcome of the election.
We correctly forecast the victory of the New Patriotic Party’s candidate – Nana Akufo-Addo. We analysed each party’s share of votes and the margins of victory in the previous three elections and opinion polls (on voters’ intentions) in the run-up to the 2020 elections. We then conducted extensive interviews on the impact of the perception of social policies, especially the free senior high school policy (FSHSP), on voters’ preferences. Our analysis of demographics who resented the rising incidence of corruption and those who supported the FSHSP (despite widespread problems with the implementation) allowed us not only to predict the outcome of elections correctly but also the margin of victory.
A multinational company in the built environment
Our client required a public affairs solution that enables it to initiate and lead discussion of important industry issues and that also enables it to make an important contribution to the economic wellbeing of Nigerians. The solution must also be a viable tool for creating vital relationships with very senior government figures.
After eight weeks of research, including consultations with professionals in relevant industries, we identified policy areas that are of paramount concern to the government while also having a high degree of resonance with the media and the general public. We then created and branded a quarterly public discussion series. The series has grown enormously in profile. It has attracted the participation of nine leaders of professional associations and key government officials including two Ministers and secured an editorial opinion and eleven feature articles.
The Nigerian Economic Summit Group/ Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning
Nigeria hosted the World Economic Forum for Africa for the first time in May 2014. Our task was to create awareness amongst direct stakeholders such as the organised private sector, international investors and government economic and security agencies and the media and general public. This was amidst heightened perception of government corruption and failure to curtail violent attacks on government targets and civilian populations by armed extremist groups.
We positioned the event as a marker of the success of Nigeria’s economic reforms since the advent of democracy and an opportunity for Nigerian stakeholders to explore with global investors how the reforms could be deepened. More than 60 Nigerians – investors, CEOs, economists, consultants, policy experts, youth activists, etc.-were engaged within a 4-month period to speak on radio and television or write newspaper articles on various themes exploring the links between foreign investment, economic reforms, and socio-economic development in Nigeria.
We largely avoided the pre-identified risk of the World Economic Forum for Africa being perceived as a Nigerian Government event, and communications around it being perceived as an image-laundering effort. We created a sustained discussion around reforms, investment, and growth.
An association of suppliers of a major agricultural produce
Foreigners dominate the $1.3 billion sector with only a handful of Nigerian major players. The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development decided to impose severe quantitative restrictions that would have wiped out the investment of the major players. We commissioned (economic) research that found out that the ban would trigger astronomical price increases and harshly impact poor Nigerians because of the inadequacy and extremely high cost of domestic substitutes.
We briefed 23 journalists on global and Nigerian production dynamics of the product, using our own research (interviews, surveys of production and import quantities, prices in Nigeria, etc) and research from the World Bank and relevant international development agencies. We also strengthened the sectoral association by organising meetings and working with the major actors to secure the participation of the smaller Nigerian players.
We secured 3 editorial opinions, 5 feature stories and 11 news stories which quoted our research and the opinion of subject experts we consulted in Tier-1 newspapers. The (revamped) association succeeded in securing a meeting with the Minister which led to the relaxation of the adverse policy measures.
A multinational oil company
Our client wanted to understand the likely direction of political and regulatory changes in the oil and gas sector six months after a new government was elected. Our brief was to speak to 40 highly placed bureaucrats and executives in Nigeria’s oil and gas industry.
We agreed a list of 10 questions to discuss with the interviewees; we also prepared a longlist of 65 potential interviewees for the client. We conducted 40 interviews of an average duration of 20 minutes with the 40 individuals agreed with the client over 6 weeks. We completed the analysis of the interviews in a week. It provided the client with a very clear picture of the impact on political change on the management of the state agencies in the sector and the likely policy and regulatory changes. We work for the next 4 years with the client checking and updating the key conclusions of the survey.
A London-based Investment Advisory
The client, representing a major European private equity group that was interested in buying into a Nigerian bank needed to understand the risk dynamics of the particular transaction and of the Nigerian banking sector in general. We undertook an exhaustive appraisal of the reputation of the target Nigerian bank and the risk issues around banking in Nigeria, especially as they concern the reputation of investors from a tightly regulated market. We interviewed a total of 29 high-profile banking sector professionals and analysts for the report.
Our report greatly improved client’s understanding of the risks involved in the transaction and how they could be navigated. The client proceeded with the transaction.
A Nigerian Oil & Gas Services Company
Our client had grown exponentially (benefitting from local content legislation) rendering services to foreign oil companies. The company wanted to raise capital and invest in the equipment required to deliver more complex technical services. It approached us for designs (brochure, website, stationery, etc.) and public relations/corporate social responsibility strategy which it felt would boost its corporate image.
We advised the client to reconstitute the Board of Directors. We assisted in searching for and inviting reputable Nigerians with high profiles in Nigeria’s oil and gas sector to serve on the board. We also advised and engaged a consultant to write a Corporate Governance Code for the firm. The CEO and senior staff felt much more confident in going about the fundraising.
Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)
ECOWAS needed to attract multinational and national companies operating in West Africa and ECOWAS member states’ government agencies as well as international investors to attend and exhibit at the India-West Africa Economic Summit. The organisation required an agency that could plan and execute a public relations campaign simultaneously in the 15 member states as well as design and place adverts in member states and in suitable European media.
We secured over 70 news stories, interviews, and feature stories in newspapers and magazines in the 15 ECOWAS member states during a four-month period. We also placed newspaper adverts in member states and in the international media. The critical success factor was working through different national Chambers of Commerce to build a network of journalists to work with us.