Summary of the top buisness, economic and political news in Nigeria.
- The Managing Director of Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), Umaru Ibrahim, has urged the public to ignore rumours of financial distress in some banks. He said the NDIC had continued to closely monitor the challenges facing the industry in order to further safeguard depositors’ interest in the banking system. He listed challenges affecting the banking industry to include poor corporate governance, insider loans and non-performing loans. Link
- As the 2016 budget closes, the Federal Ministry of Finance says N1.2 trillion capital releases have been made in line with government’s increased focus on capital expenditure. “The following releases were made: Power, Works and Housing received the largest allocation of N307.4 billion. “This is followed by Defence and Security, N171.9 billion and Transport and Aviation, N143.12 billion. “Other sectors were Agriculture and Water Resources; and Education and Health,” it stated. Link
- The apex regulator of the Nigerian capital market, the Securities and Exchange Commission, has said shareholders who buy shares with fake and unverifiable names and cannot provide clear proof of ownership, will lose their entire holdings covered in the deals. Link
- The Federal Government on Wednesday at an auction raised N110 billion worth of bonds to mature in 2021, 2027 and 2037, the Debt Management Office, DMO, said in Abuja. According to DMO’s auction result obtained from its website on Thursday, fewer bonds were sold at the auction than the N140 billion anticipated. The website stated that subscriptions from investors for the July 2021 bond, stood at N17.29 billion, while that of March 2027, which was reopened, stood at N52.5 billion. Also, subscriptions for the April 2037 bond, which was also re-opened stood at N91.67 billion. Link
- Direct cash payment is now compulsory for all investors in the capital market effective from September 1st 2017. This verdict was given yesterday by the Capital Market Committee (CMC), the umbrella body of all capital market stakeholders under the leadership of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Once those shares are sold, payment is made directly into the client’s account. This is in contrast to the current practice where proceed from sale of securities is paid directly into the stockbroker’s account and the stockbrokers then deduct transaction fees and remit the balance to the client’s account. Link
- Nigerian telecoms regulator, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) will soon develop a regularly-published ranking index for telecoms companies as part of measures to firm up healthy competition among telecoms firms. Link
- Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC, yesterday, disclosed that it has set aside N5 billion as seed capital for the take off of the proposed Nigerian Capital Market Development Fund, NCMDF. Link
- Nigeria’s dollar liquidity constraints are likely to persist for the foreseeable future, despite the recent improvements in foreign exchange earnings and availability, Moody’s Investors Service has said. “Oil prices are highly unlikely to return to the $100 per barrel level that would lead to greater foreign exchange inflows,” Moody’s Vice President (Senior Credit Officer and co-author of the report), Aurélien Mali, said. Link
- The N2 billion long-term facility Heritage Bank Plc and Central Bank of Nigeria under the Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme (CACS) gave to Triton Aqua Africa Limited (TAAL) has continued to boost job creation. The fund was disbursed to enable TAAL expand its aquaculture businesses- nursery/hatchery for the production of fingerlings and brood stock in Ikeja; and earthen ponds for catfish and tilapia in Asejire, Iwo and Gambari towns in Oyo. Link
- The Bank of Industry (BoI) has reduced its interest rates for corp members under its Graduate Entrepreneurship Fund (GEF) programme, to zero per cent interest charge from 9%, as part of measures to encourage entrepreneurship and aid business growth. According to the BOI, the GEF scheme being implemented by it in partnership with the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) Directorate is currently on the second edition and has recorded over N262.9 million disbursements to 177 successful candidates. Link
- Three subsidiaries of a Nigerian oil and gas conglomerate, Obijackson Group – Nestoil, Energy Works Technology (EWT) and B&Q Dredging have been listed on the London stock exchange. Link
- Barely a few months after Zenith bank shareholders rejected the proposed capital raising exercise, the bank has come up with another method of raising capital. In a note to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), the bank signified its intention to raise$500 million in the second tranche of its Global Medium Term Note Programme. Link
- The board of directors of Capital Hotels Plc has announced the appointment of Chief Victor C N Oyolu has the new Chairman of the Company following the retirement of Mr. G.M. Ibru and also the appointment of Mr. Robert Itawa as the new Executive Director of the Company. Link
- Unilever Nigeria Plc., has declared a dividend of N378 million following the approval of the company’s shareholders at the 92nd Annual General Meeting of the Company held in Lagos on Thursday, May 11 in Lagos. The dividend declared amidst a challenging operating year and environment translates to a dividend payout of 10 kobo gross per share to the shareholders Link
- Shareholders at the 48th Annual General Meeting of Union Bank Plc plans to launch a rights issue in the second quarter of 2017 to raise up to Fifty Billion Naira (N50 billion) in Tier 1 capital as it looks to accelerate business growth and position as a leading commercial bank in Nigeria. Link
- The Ogun State government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the a private firm, Sino-African Investment Free Trade Zone Company, for the construction of a four-lane, 10- kilometre Lusada-Igbesa Ogun Quangdong Free Trade Zone road in Ado-Odo Local Government Area. Link
- Oyo State Government Thursday said it has terminated its contract of 400 registered Private Waste Contractors in the state for lack of capacity to undertake the job awarded to them.The government said the termination of contract awarded in 2013 took effect from May 5, 2017. He said it was sad that the contractors were getting money from the public, but failed to render the services. Link
- The State of Osun received the least allocation from the Federation Account Allocation Committee between January and March, collecting N1.19bn. An infographics released by BudgIT on Thursday indicated that the Rauf Aregbesola-led state got the amount after debt deductions and other obligations amounting to N7.22bn. However, Akwa Ibom got the highest allocation for the first quarter, after deductions for debts and other obligations. It received N34.88bn ahead of Rivers’ N26.83bn; Bayelsa received N22.97bn; Delta got N21.54bn; N19.03bn was allocated to Lagos, while Kano received N14.02bn. Link
- The Bill for an Act to amend the Pension Reform Act to provide for definite percentage a retiree can withdraw from his Retirement Savings Account passed second reading at the Senate on Wednesday. The bill was meant to ameliorate the sufferings of retirees who found it difficult to withdraw their benefits after retirement. It would enable retirees to withdraw 75 per cent of their benefits as lump sum after retirement rather than the current provision which allowed for withdrawal of only 25 per cent. Link
Google threatens to remove its search engine from Australia due to media code
Google has threatened to remove its search engine from Australia due to the media code introduced by the government.
Google said that it will disable its search engine in Australia if the government proceeds with a media code that would force it and Facebook Inc to pay local media companies for sharing their content.
The code requires Google and Facebook to enter mandatory arbitration with media companies if they cannot reach an agreement over the value of their content within three months.
It also requires the platforms to give the news businesses 14 days’ notice of algorithm changes, and non-discrimination provisions have been put in place to stop the tech giants from taking retaliatory action such as removing content or punishing organisations that participate in the code.
Mel Silva, Google Australia and New Zealand VP told Australia’s Senate Economics Legislation Committee today that Google would shut off the search in Australia if the government’s proposed media bargaining code becomes law. According to her, “The code’s arbitration model with bias criteria presents an unmanageable financial and operational risk for Google”
Australia announced the legislation last month after an investigation found Alphabet Inc-owned Google and social media giant Facebook held too much market power in the media industry, a situation it said posed a potential threat to a well-functioning democracy.
Prime Minister of Australia, Scott Morrison said Australia would not respond to the threats as news media companies fired back at suggestions their content did not add value to the platforms. “Australia makes our rules for things you can do in Australia. That’s done in our Parliament. It’s done by our government, and that’s how things work here in Australia,” he said. “People who want to work with that, in Australia, you’re very welcome. But we don’t respond to threats.”
What you should know
- Google’s threats follow similar remarks made by Facebook Australia’s managing director, Will Easton in September, who announced plans to remove news articles from the social media’s main app if the media code is passed by Parliament.
- To avoid the operation of the code, Google and Facebook have no option but to cease linking to news altogether. If Google can’t reliably separate news results from other search results, then logically it may have to pull its entire search service from Australia.
- Google’s threat to limit its services in Australia came just hours after the internet giant reached a content-payment deal with some French news publishers.
- This new media code will affect millions of Australians who use Google Search and Facebook every month.
Flour Mills moves to diversify funding sources with N29.8 billion bond listing
Flour Mills Nigeria Plc lists N29.8 billion bonds to diversify funding sources from the Nigerian capital market.
Flour Mills Nigeria Plc’s fresh N29.8 bond listing will help the nation’s leading food business company to explore diversified funding sources from the Nigerian capital market, with the hope of enhancing growth and the development of the company.
This statement was made by the Group Managing Director of FMN, Mr. Omoboyede Olusanya, at the listing of the Tranche A and Tranche B bonds valued at N29.8 billion on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).
The food and the agro-allied company which has remained Nigeria’s largest and oldest integrated agro-allied business with a broad profile and robust Pan-Africa distribution issued these bonds under its N70 billion Bond Issuance Programme.
Olusanya said that the company would continue to explore funding opportunities inherent in the capital market to ensure business growth and continuity.
While speaking about the Credit Rating of the Programme, he disclosed that FMN’s credit rating, as well as the operational financing of the Group, have improved considerably.
According to him, the bonds floated by Flour Mill will help to strengthen the company’s capital base and provide the needed working capital required by the Company. He added that Flour Mills Group will continue to deleverage and replace short term financing with longer-tenured and lower price funding to optimize capital structure and reduce financing cost.
He noted that Flour Mills will continue to explore opportunities to raise fundings via the capital market as this enables the company to diversify its funding sources and continue to play a role in the capital market as a significant player in it.
What they are saying
The Group Managing Director of FMN, Mr. Omoboyede Olusanya, at the virtual event, said;
- “We are delighted with the response from the market, we are happy to be listed.
- “We are introducing an N29.9 billion listing under an N70 billion bond issuance cover; we will continue to raise funding to diversify our funding sources.
- “The company remains passionate about feeding the nation to improve the quality of living for Nigerians through increased production and investments in backward integration.”
What you should know
- With the successful issuance of the new N29.8bn Tranche A and Bonds, FMN has utilized its bond issuance program registered in 2018.
- It is important to note that the Senior Unsecured bond listing includes an N4.89bn under Series 4 Tranche A of the bond issuance programme, at a 5.5% rate for 5 years, due by 2025, and a 25bn under Series 4 Tranche B of the same program at a 6.25% rate for a tenure of 7 years, due by 2027.
- The bond proceeds will be used to refinance existing debt obligations. It will also help the company take collaborative actions to diversify the company’s financing options beyond expensive short term debt.
Renewable energy critical driver of Africa’s post-COVID-19 recovery and prosperity
Renewable energy will be a critical driver of Africa’s post-COVID-19 growth recovery and economic prosperity.
Panelists in a 2021 UK Africa Investment Summit event have said that renewable energy will be a critical driver of Africa’s post-COVID-19 growth recovery and economic prosperity – calling for a stronger partnership between the United Kingdom and Africa.
The panel was themed, “UK & Africa: Partnering in Sustainable and Resilient Infrastructure Development.”
Discussions at the event covered British innovation and experience in the context of partnering with Africa to advance its economic development. Panel members said investment in large-scale electrification projects would be key.
What they are saying
Louis Taylor, CEO, UK Export Finance said, “African countries are building back better from the coronavirus, adding that this presents an “unalloyed opportunity for UK investors to be part of the African success story and for African countries to access the UK’s support for projects.
“The UK is still the ultimate one-stop-shop. The UK government is still the largest G7 investor in Africa. For instance, UK Export Finance is providing a £ 1.7 billion guarantee to support the development of Cairo monorail in Egypt – the UK’s biggest ever overseas infrastructure guarantee.”
Wale Shonibare, the AfDB Director for Energy Financial Solutions, Policy and Regulation, while calling for a structured approach to sustainable infrastructure development and the implementation of large-scale electrification programs, citing the Bank’s Desert to Power initiative as an example of a project likely to attract interest from UK businesses; stated that:
“Building on the City of London’s deep expertise in innovative financial solutions, the African Development Bank sees promising opportunities to further expand its program to securitize receipts from solar home systems providers.”
Nicholas Oliver, Business Development Director of UK-based NMS Infrastructure Ltd, urged that: “We need to create partnerships with governments and local businesses. It is a great time to invest in Africa. The African Development Bank estimates that climate change presents a $3 trillion investment by 2030. What an opportunity.
Olusola Lawson, Co-Managing Director of African Infrastructure Investment Managers, an infrastructure investment management firm, noted that: “In Africa, you can’t have transition without electrification. In this context, what we see is the trend from centralized large-scale power plants to a more distributive system.”
What you should know
- According to International Energy Agency data, scaling up Africa’s capacity to achieve universal access to energy by 2030 would require over $100 billion per year, of which 40% would be dedicated to solar, wind, and other low-carbon power generation projects.
- The African Development Bank has taken the lead in accelerating the electrification of the continent through its New Deal on Energy for Africa, a transformative partnership-based strategy that aims to increase access to energy for all Africans.
- The UK Africa Investment Conference, hosted by the UK Department for International Trade, brings together the UK and African businesses to explore the opportunities for partnership and investment.
- The UK has been a strong partner to the African Development Bank in the institution’s drive to attract greater private sector participation in African infrastructure investment. The Bank is currently working with a number of UK institutions to improve the enabling environment for infrastructure development in Africa.