A commodity trading, finance and investment company, the Lumière Group International LGI has begun operations in Nigeria with a focus on Cashew nuts processing which it said is an untapped gold mine. Chairman and Chief Financial Officer CFO of the group, Charles Douglas Opoku Fordjour said the group is registered and operating in association with Joint Venture (JV) Partners in West Africa, East Africa, Central Africa, Europe and the United Arab Emirates. he said that one can ordinarily make about 35 per cent profit from cashew nuts. Fordjour also said with the right processing technology, the profit margin for the same quantity of nuts could go as high as 85 percent. Explaining that Nigeria holds a lot of potentials for Africa, he said the country cannot afford to fail because it is the saviour of the continent.
He said; “With cashew, you can make 35 percent profit but if you roast and process it, you will make 85 percent profit and the roasting machine is just slightly over a hundred thousand dollars. We have seen a lot of opportunities in Africa but we have also seen a lot of challenges, but God has mandated us to subdue and dominate whatever turbulence we might find whether in the air, land or sea”, he stated. Recalling his early days in Nigeria, especially his first visit in 2006, Fordjour said though the country’s business landscape is not for the faint-hearted, with passion and persistence, one can readily hit a gold mine.
He said “In 2006, when I first visited Nigeria, I came with 1,000 phones and instead of going to Lagos, I went to Warri. I sold all of them and I didn’t lose a kobo because I sold through the banks. I am saying this because even if a place does not appear ‘shiny’ on the surface, if you have the passion, the place will yield to you. I see Nigeria as a flourishing place, as the saviour of Africa. The day Nigeria will rise is the day Africa will rise”. According the him, the challenge with start-ups in Africa is not product financing, but lack of concrete and implementable business ideas.
“Just of recent, we learned that there is over $2.5 trillion in hedge funds that banks could not give out because there were no viable ideas. Most times, the challenge is not funding but having great ideas”, he insisted. He said the Nigerian subsidiary, Lumiere Link Nigeria Limited would provide jobs for people as over 80 percent of the workforce would be Nigerians.