Summary of the top business, economic and political news in Nigeria today.
- The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, has assured Nigerians that the skyrocketing prices of foods in the country will soon crash, saying specifically that that of rice will happen within the next two weeks. Link
- The federal government lost an estimated $6 billion as a result of the Department of Petroleum Resources’ (DPR) poor administration of the expiring oil blocks, which were sold by the international oil companies (IOCs) between 2010 and 2015 to local firms, Nigerian exploration and production (E&P) operators have said. Link
- The Assets Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON) has said it has drawn the battle line with some recalcitrant debtors who have refused all entreaties to repay their loans, totaling N2.5 trillion. Link
- The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has disclosed that over N1 billion has been spent to power street lights and acquire about 22 generating sets to support lights in Abuja. The FCTA said five of the generators were already installed and used to ensure a brighter city all through the night. Link
- Nigeria’s inflation rate rose by 16.1% for the month of June 2017 compared to 16.5% in the month of May 2017. This is the 5th consecutive month of a drop in monthly (year on year) inflation rate in Nigeria. Link
- The Federal Government has announced its support for the establishment of a 327,000-tonne iron and steel plant as part of its plan to diversify the economy away from oil. The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Okechukwu Enelamah, gave the indication on Friday during a facility tour of Standard Metallurgical Company Limited in Sagamu, Ogun State, where the plant is being built. Link
- Manufacturing companies listed in the Nigerian Stock Exchange’s top 30 index gained over N160 billion in revenue in the 2016 full year financial statements despite foreign exchange devaluations and the difficult micro-economic environment that impacted sales. Link
- Following the dearth of cheap capital in the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, MSMEs, in the country, the NASD OTC Securities Exchange Plc, has announced plans to create a window, Enterprise Platform, that will enable MSMEs access funds to power their businesses. Enterprise Platform, which will be launched before the end of third quarter of the year, Q3’17, will give MSMEs operators the opportunity to enjoy funding support from venture capital firms upon confirmation of viability of such business. Link
- Aba-based dealers in leather and garment fabrication made excess sales of N1 billion in 2016. Speaking at a press conference in Abuja, yesterday, on a fashion show slated for today in Abuja, the Special Assistant to the Governor of Abia State, Chinenye Nwogu, said over 1 million pairs of shoes were exported weekly from Aba to the West African region alone. He said this was an indication of the growing acceptance and admiration of Made in Aba products which were in line with the Federal Government’s local content policy. Link
- The European Union says it has so far committed over €700m for the development of sustainable energy in Nigeria and other ECOWAS countries from 2014 to 2020. Link
- The Chairman of DAAR Communications Plc, Chief Raymond Dokpesi (Jnr), has blamed the huge operating loss of N2.13bn for the 2016 financial period on the harsh operating environment, which was caused by economic recession. He told the shareholders who attended the combined 2015 and 2016 Annual General Meeting of the company which was held on Friday in Abuja that the company’s operating loss grew from N1.51bn in 2015 to a new height of N2.13bn. Link
- The number of indigenous insurance companies acquired by foreign investors will soon rise to 12, findings have revealed. Information obtained from the National Insurance Commission on Friday showed that 10 foreign firms had already acquired Nigerian underwriting firms and two were about to be taken.“There were three foreign acquisitions into the sector in 2014; two in 2015; five in 2016 and two companies are now in progress,” according to NAICOM. Link
- The House of Representatives Committee on Public Accounts has issued a 30-day ultimatum to the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun to return to the federation coffers, the sum of N11.2 million allegedly cornered by ministry officials to organise a fictitious seminar for some stakeholders at an undisclosed location within the country. Link
- The scarcity of funds experienced in the financial system in recent times led banks borrowing N4.05trillon from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) through its Standing Lending Facility (SLF) window in the month of May, data from the apex bank’s Economic Report for the period shows. Link
- Power distribution companies did not remit N4.62bn revenue due to the sector in May, the latest report on the monthly performances of the Discos obtained from the electricity Market Operator has shown. Link
- The Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Aisha Abubakar, said an estimated N7 trillion was spent by Nigerians to import consumables and household items into the country in 2015. She said the staggering amount on importation of goods was unacceptable to the present administration hence the national orientation to change the attitude of Nigerians towards patronising locally made products. Link
- Importers are expected to pay N55 billion as transportation and port charges on one million metric tons of Muriate of Potash (NPK) being shipped from Morocco to Nigeria before the end of the year. The amount translates to an extra 50 per cent the end users would pay on the factory price of the product. Currently, Nigerian farmers are paying N5,500 on 50-kilogramme bag of imported fertilizer from Morocco. Link
- Heritage Bank Plc is set to boost Nigeria’s oil palm production with its recent signing of N232million Pilot phase of Out-growers Agreement with Biase Plantations Limited (BPL) and its joint venture partner, PZ Wilmar Limited. Link
- Ahead of the 2019 target date for the cessation of petroleum products importation by the Federal Government, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has announced that its three refineries in Port Harcourt, Warri and Kaduna now supply 60 per cent of kerosene consumed in the country. Link
- The Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Plc (NBET) has paid out N17,801,337,671 from the N701 billion power supply payment guaranteed loan it got from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to 20 out of the 22 electricity generation companies (Gencos) that produce the electricity as the first tranche of disbursements for power they generated and supplied in January. Link
- The board of director of MRS Oil Nigeria Plc has announced the appointment of Mr. Patrice Alberti as the new Chairman of the board. His appointment follows the resignation of Alhaji Sayyu Dantata as the chairman of the board of directors of the company. Link
- Members of Association of Mega Filling Station Owners of Nigeria (AMFSON) across the country have vowed and concluded plans to embark on peaceful public protest to shut down headquarters of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Abuja. The filling station owners, had in a letter, addressed to the Group Managing Director (GMD) of NNPC, Dr. Maikanti Baru, notified him of their intention to embark on the protest. Link
- Prestige Assurance Plc has introduced a travel insurance called Prestige Overseas Mediclaim Policy. The company explained that POMP was specially designed to indemnify the legal residents/citizens of Nigeria travelling temporarily outside Nigeria for the purpose of business/holiday/employment/study. Link
- In order to further deepen financial inclusion in the country and promote better regulatory framework for the Microfinance Banks, (MFBs), Financial Technology (Fintech) solutions provider, Inlaks, is collaborating with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to deploy a single core and agent banking solution for almost 1000 MFBs in Nigeria. The project would be implemented as the National Association of Microfinance Banks Unified IT Platform (NAMBUIT) starting from July 2017. Link
- Interstate Securities Limited, a dealing member of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) has appointed Adeniyi Falade and Ademola Ajuwon into its board of directors. Link
Meristem features Nike Okundaye in Campaign titled “The Journey”, highlights the importance for partners
Meristem taps into Okundaye’s creative energy, highlighting the shared story of growth and collaboration.
It has been a long journey for financial services provider, Meristem Nigeria, having started out as a boutique stockbroking firm over 16 years ago and morphing into a capital market conglomerate offering an array of diversified service and product offerings. The tale is similar for the art and culture doyen, Nike Okundaye-Davies whose humble beginning in traditional weaving and dying practice annealed her to the art world and art lovers.
At a graceful age of 70, she has achieved over 102 solo art exhibitions, 36 group art exhibitions, a permanent display of two of her works in the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art, a Harvard recognition and many other global acclaims. With four (4) art galleries spread across the country, and the Lagos center being the biggest art gallery in West Africa, she once told a Forbes journalist that her dreams are driven by careful financial planning as she reinvests at least two-thirds of her income in her business and art centers.
Meristem taps into her creative energy in this campaign, highlighting the shared story of growth and collaboration for both institutions, and the need to onboard the right partners to achieve long term financial goals and investment security.
Meristem, a capital market conglomerate and diversified financial services provider offering stockbroking, wealth management, asset management, trustee services and financial advisory. Over the past 16 years, Meristem has been consistent in value creation and innovation within the capital market space. The Nigerian stock exchange awarded Meristem as the best digital broker of the year. In 2018 also, Meristem became the first Nigerian asset management firm to attain compliance with the Global Investment Performance Standards (GIPS) by the CFA Institute. In 2017, Meristem handled the single largest trade in the history of the Nigerian Stock Exchange.
Shell considers relocating its headquarters to the UK
Royal Dutch Shell has consistently pushed for the Dutch Government to stop taxes on dividends.
Oil and gas giant, the Royal Dutch Shell, is considering moving its corporate headquarters from The Netherlands to Britain. This could be a move against the implementation of dividend tax in The Netherlands.
The move was disclosed by the oil company’s Chief Executive Officer, Ben Van Beurden, during an interview with a Dutch newspaper on Saturday, July 4, 2020. According to him, the oil giant is not ruling out relocating its headquarters from the Netherlands to Britain. He said:
“You always need to keep thinking. Nothing is permanent and of course we will look at the business climate. But moving your headquarters is not a trivial measure. You cannot think too lightly about that.”
Further confirming the Chief Executive Officer’s comment, a Shell spokesman told Reuters that the oil giant is looking at ways to simplify its dual structure, as it had been doing for many years.
Royal Dutch Shell has consistently pushed for the Dutch Government to stop the tax on dividend paid to shareholders, as this makes financing dividend, share buy-backs and acquisition a lot more difficult.
An earlier attempt by the Dutch Government to stop the dividend tax as an incentive to convince Unilever to unify its dual structure in Rotterdam, was met with an outcry by the public, who see that as a gift to rich foreigners.
It can be recalled that Shell had announced a few days ago that it might likely write down between $15 billion-$22 billion in post impairment charges for the second quarter of 2020. The impairment, which is its largest since the merger with Shell Transport and Trading Company Ltd in 2005, shows the huge adverse impact that the coronavirus pandemic has had on the oil giant’s businesses.
Also, in a move that shocked investors, Shell for the first time since the Second World War, cut down the dividend that it paid to its shareholders by two-thirds due to the negative impact of the pandemic. The decision came as a surprise to many including shareholders of the oil company which is by far the biggest payer of dividend in the FTSE 100.
Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi tests positive for COVID-19
Umahi has directed those who worked in the budget review for 2020 to immediately test for COVID-19.
The Governor of Ebonyi State, David Umahi has tested positive for COVID-19, reported on Saturday afternoon.
Umahi’s Special Assistant on Media, Mr. Francis Nwaze, confirmed the news and also revealed that some associates of the governor also tested positive.
He also said that the Governor is not showing any symptoms of the disease, though he has isolated himself in line with the NCDC protocols.
“The governor has directed his Deputy, Dr Kelechi, to coordinate the state’s fight against the disease and appealed to the citizens to take the NCDC protocols seriously.
“He will currently be working from ‘home’ and will be conducting all meetings virtually,” Nwaze added.
David Umahi becomes the sixth Nigerian governor to test positive for the disease, Governors of Kaduna, El- Rufai, Bauchi, Bala Mohammed and Oyo, Seyi Makinde have fully recovered while the recent cases have been the Governors of Ondo, Rotimi Akeredolu and Delta, Ifeanyi Okowa.
On Thursday, Governor Umahi announced that the state’s Executive Council was finalizing the budget review required by World Bank and said “most us broke down and are being treated of malaria.”
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He also directed those who worked in the budget review for 2020 to immediately test for COVID-19 and admitted he is expecting a second test result after he initially tested negative in March.