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Company news thread for the week ended August 19th 2017 by @Ugodre

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This is Nairametrics roundup of all the major company news from Nigeria as reported by Nigerian Newspapers and other electronic news sources. This roundup is for the week ended August 19th 2017.

  1. Lagos State Infrastructure Maintenance and Regulatory Agency (LASIMIRA) said it would soon carry out comprehensive regulatory inspection & towers across the state & have identified 20 others for decommissioning over illegal installation & non-compliant to regulatory standards. This is a state that is hoping to ease doing business in the country. Anyway, they claim the move, to decommission mast was a fall- out of the collapsed building with an illegal and unapproved roof-top mast on Massey Street, Lagos Island, about two weeks ago, killing several people. Thus, the exercise is highly necessary to protect lives and property of residents.
  2. Globacom, reported last week that it has partnered with the Federal Civil Service to supply “Free Access telephone lines” to the entire Federal workforce. The phone lines will operate under a CUG & also includes a service that allows government officials to hold meetings via Globacom’s tele conferencing. Pls don’t laugh. It will be interesting to see how Globacom gets paid for it and if government officials will ditch estacodes for teleconferencing.
  3. The NCC has said that it has now appointed a “strong team of financial experts and auditors” who are looking into the books of critical operators in order to determine their financial health. According to the NCC, this is to ensure that the NCC does not get into tight corners again with any financial institution. The NCC executive commissioner who berated the operators for poor services, also said that the health check exercise would include checks on drop calls and unsolicited messages. Let me quote them “We know the services they provide are wishy-washy, yet they are making money. We know they have drop calls, but we want to know the amount of drop calls and see how the trend can be reversed. “We want to know the cities with the highest number of drop calls and ascertain why such has continued, and then seek ways to urgently redress the factors necessitating such unpleasant services”. Make what you wish of that statement.
  4. Last week, Airtel introduced a new product called Home Broadband Service (HBS). According to them the internet services provides its users with unlimited broadband internet connection and comes in packages such as Unlimited 10, Unlimited 15 and Unlimited 20, which are offered at different rates and valid for 30 days. It also claims that the “unlimited” broadband service is “truly unlimited” as it will have stretched the threshold to deliver up to “100GB to telecoms” consumers. We can’t help but wonder whether we need to redefine the meaning of the word “unlimited”
  5. PayU Nigeria Limited announced last week that it has introduced a product that allows payment for recurring bills and subscription. The product allows merchants to offer subscription and recurring based services to their clients. Unlike what is available abroad, most Nigerians cannot set recurring payment options for products or services that they use, meaning they always have to renew every month. Are there other platforms that you know that are offering recurring payments? Pls share your experiences
  6. Embattled Skye Bank last week announced its foray into the world of digital banking. The bank which is currently owned by CBN, following an injection of over N100 billion in the last two years, said its digital banking product called Skye Xperience is the most advanced digital financial solution that will make banking a hassle-free and provides exciting lifestyle for both the young and the old. I think we now need to be careful about this digital banking thingy.
  7. The Joint Tax Board (JTB) and the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) have started sharing data of high net worth individuals to profile income earners and taxpayers and get them to pay tax. 12 states have signed the MoU under the Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS). This govt is not smiling about tax o. The JTB also announced that it had hired a consultant to ensure that the databases of states’ tax authorities & the FIRS speak to each other.
  8. The Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, has said that the FG has so far recovered N11.6 billion from the tips they received since the Whistleblower Policy was launched in December 2016. Adeosun said that out of the 5,000 tips received government only acted on 365 of them and that N375.8 million had been paid to 20 whistleblowers who provided information that led to the recovery.
  9. Cryptocurrency, The Billion Coin (TBC), got a major booster last week after the launch of an initiative tagged MoPAS MarketPlace. The MoPAS MarketPlace was launched by Sembic International Limited. According to reports, the scheme now allows holders of the TBC to shop on e-commerce platforms including Jumia and Konga using naira and the TBC. Pls let me know if this works as I would expect the CBN and other regulators to come down hard on them as cryptos are not legal tenders here. And I am not quite sure if TBC is used to facilitate transactions anywhere in the world. Pls correct be if I am wrong.
  10. iflix, a South African based entertainment company, that is into subscription video on demand Ilike Netflix), has completed a $133 million additional funding round, bringing the total amount raised this year to over $220 million. iflix Co-founder/CEO Mark Britt said the proceeds from the funding round would be invested in the company’s local content strategy. iFlix had announced plans to launch services in Nigeria and other African countries this year as part of strategy to compete with Neflix which launched in Nigeria a few years back. We understand that some of the funds will be used to acquire local content suggesting more money for Nollywood.
  11. In a continued sign that this government either does not trust Nigerian banks or itself, they have appointed PricewaterhouseCooper as well as Ernst and Young for a comprehensive audit of banks’ remittances to the Treasury Single Account, TSA. The FG said its decision to audit the banks’ remittances was based on financial intelligence that some of them had failed to remit all federal government funds with them to the TSA domiciled in the Central Bank of Nigeria.
  12. Capital market operators revealed they were in talks with the SEC, to give stockbrokers what they called a Universal license. According to the plan, the plan will give stockbrokers access to CBN’s discount window, which could help boost liquidity in the stock market. From all indications, it appears that the measure will allow stockbrokers to tender securities like treasury bills in exchange for cash from the CBN. Banks currently have access to the CBN window at MPR plus margin. Is this another form of state sponsored margin lending?
  13. The CBN pegged the amount any bank can disburse under its Commercial Agricultural Credit Scheme (CACS) to N2 billion per obligor. This means no farmer or investor in the Agric sector can get more than N2 billion loan from any participating banks. The CBN also pegged the interest rate for this scheme at 9%. %. CACs funding is coming from the N200 billion 3-year bond raised by the Debt Management Office, DMO, and is meant for players in the agricultural value chain.
  14. Reports suggest the CBN, through the Bank of Industry (BOI), has approved the disbursement of $500k towards the establishment of the first bio-diesel refinery in Kogi. The refinery, when completed, is expected to produce about 100,000 liters of bio-diesel from Jatropha plant which is an eco-friendly fuel, which does not constitute hazard to the environment. Biodiesel is basically oil from plant while the diesel you and I know if made from fossil fuel. Btw I hear the state governor has declared Monday, August 21 a public holiday and thanksgiving for the safe return of PMB.
  15. The Corporate Affairs Commission, CAC, last week said that it has deleted about 44,000 companies from its database. It said the criteria it used for deciding companies to delete are those that have not been filing their returns, , not a going concern and after they write you first, second and third letter without reply you are delisted from their database. It said the criteria it used for deciding companies to delete are those that have not been filing their returns, , not a going concern and after they write you first, second and third letter without reply you are delisted from their database. First batch deleted was 9,000 while the second was 35,000. Guys, better check that the company you registered years ago still exist btw, the CAC says it has about 1.5m companies registered in its database.
  16. Alhaji Aliko Dangote had some good new for the people of Niger State last week. He said his company, Dangote Group is going to invest $450 million in the state by establishing a large scale rice processing mill for out growers. He also said his company plans to establish a state of the art fully integrated sugar industry involving the development of over 30,000 hectares of sugar cane plantation and the production of about 500, 000 metric tonnes of refined sugar. Dangote also reminded the people of Niger State that the company is very excited about these investments and look forward to kick starting this “mutually beneficial partnership” with the “government” and good people of Niger State.
  17. The Courier Regulatory Department (CRD) of NIPOST, has revealed plans to disengage “illegal courier firms” in Nigeria operating without valid licences or yet to renew their permits. The affected 11 companies include, 21st Century Courier, ABX Air Business Express Nigeria Limited, Concorde Express, Denca Global Courier, Glintz Express Limited, Maxi Express and Logistics, Saferman Courier, Somadek Global Services Limited, and Souche Parcel Service. Others are Starlite Courier Express Nigeria Limited, and Urban Rural Courier, while those that were sealed were On Time Express, Integrated Dispatch Express, and Time Code Services all of which have offices in Lagos, and other parts of the country. Be sure to note those names if your business involves delivery of parcels and other goods. Government and fees sha
  18. Primero Transport Services Limited, operators of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) has agreed with a Chinese automobile conglomerate Yutong Group to set up a multi-million-dollar plant for the assemblage of high occupancy vehicles (HOV) in Lagos. The Managing Director of the company, Mr. Fola Tinubu disclosed in Ikorodu last week, noting that Primero had signed all papers with Zhengzhou Yutong Group Co. Limited. Tinubu disclosed that the brand name of the joint venture “W.P. Industries and the plant will start vehicle assemblage in 2018
  19. Cement Manufacturers in Nigeria have said that the lack of gas supply in the country has reduced their production output by as much as 36% of their installed capacity. According to them, the situation has forced the company to turn to local waste materials such as used motor vehicle tyres, saw dust, palm kernel shaft and wood for firing cement kilns. To put the implication of this into perspective, Segun Soyoye, the plant manager for Lafarge’s Ewekoro plant explained that 6 years ago, they were running our captive power plant on gas 95.5% but as gas price went up from N550 per gigajoule to over N2, 000 per gigajoule which forced them to change to diesel. As if that was not enough, the price of diesel increased from N120 per liter to above N250 per liter this compelled them to go to Kogi state to source for coal all of which has contributed to the cost of production and the price of cement. Maybe we are cursed with power in this country. Use the grid wahala, go solo, wahala.
  20. Dangote Industries limited (DIL) has signaled interest in selling another stake in Dangote Cement Plc. DIL had early this month sold 416 million shares in a deal valued at N86.1 billion. Alike Dangote still owns about 90% of Dangote Cement
  21. The Director of Agriculture at the Kano office of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Muhammad Adamu said Nigeria now produces 15million Tonnes of local rice annually. He made this claim in Kano last week while inaugurating the Rice Miller Association of Nigeria, RIMAN. According to him, this development implies that the country will now be saving about N300 billion billion it used to spend annually on importation of the commodity. He said in Kano alone, 1.2m metric tonnes of rice was produced in 2016. It’s hard to verify some of these numbers, so we hope one day the NBS will help in this regards.
  22. In what might interest those who are in or plan to go into the Agicultural sector, The Nigeria Expanded Trade &Transport (NEXTT) project funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has announced the launch of eight model business/industry studies for processing, export and subsequent development of their value chains in Nigeria. The research will focus on these commodities, cassava, ginger, kenaf, moringa, sesame, shea, soya milk and yam flour. They claim the commodities form a great deal of staple food consumed across Nigeria as well as export market.
  23. In some good news to the people of Kaduna State, The New Nigeria Development Company (NNDC) is partnering Sur International Textile (SIT), a Turkish firm to invest $15 million to reactivate the collapsed Kaduna Textile Company. NNDC GMD, Dr Ahmed Musa made this known last week said the NNDC and SIT would invest the amount to revitalise the textile company. According to the proposal, the Turkish firm will provide 35% of the amount, the Federal Government, 45%, and KTL will give 20%. In case you are wondering what is in it for the Turkish firm, Musa explains succinctly, “We held a private meeting with a team of delegation from Turkey. . They want to invest in Kaduna Textile and turn it around…. In summary, they want to start producing military and paramilitary uniforms for members of the Nigerian Armed Forces.”
  24. Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has engaged the services of MSP Secure Technologies Nigeria Ltd, the Nigerian affiliate of an Indian international security printing outfit, Mandras Security Printing Private Limited of India, to introduce a product authentication scheme in Nigeria. SON says the scheme is aimed at assisting consumers to determine the genuineness of products before purchase. They claim the scheme is also in use in some East African countries. One imagines this product will come in the form of a sticker and will have to be mandatory to buy with cost eventually passed on to you & I.
  25. The United States Trade Development Agency (USTDA) last week said it has provided $797,343 initial funding for the take-off of Eko Petrochemical and Refining Company Limited. The refinery is located in Tomaro Industrial Park and Free Trade Zone, Lagos. According to the agency, the grant is for a feasibility study supporting technologies and development of an implementation plan for a modular refinery on Tomaro Island in Lagos.
  26. The Kano State government, Dangote Group of Companies and Black Rhino Group, last week in Kano, signed a $150 million Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on solar power project. The power project, expected to generate 100MW of clean electricity, to industries & citizens of the state will be completed in 24 months. The project, which would be jointly financed by the Dangote Industries Limited and Black Rhino Group and is expected to provide a state of the art renewable energy plant that will convert the abundant energy of the sun into high quality clean electricity.
  27. In another power news, Alternatio Navitas, a Lagos-based company with presence in the United Kingdom and China, last week unveiled its off-grid solar home system in Nigeria to meet the electricity needs of households as power from the gird continues to disappoint. The company said the SunGO Power System, comprised a 350W solar power supply system and a 5W solar home system. With the way companies are venturing into this solar space, within 5 years, DisCos may find themselves completely disrupted in this space.

That’s it for the week. Remember, you can get this compilation direct to your email box by subscribing to our Newsletters. You can also follow our tweet thread every Sunday at 9:30pm when we tweet this compilation.

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Patricia

Mudeerat Olawunmi is a graduate of Business Administration with over 5 years experience in online data gathering and analysis. Wunmi is a data analysts at Nairametrics and helps ensure that our readers get some of the most important macro and micro economic data required to help make investing decisions.

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Companies

Lafarge Africa Plc. announces its board meeting and closed period for Q2 2020 

The notification which was duly signed by General Counsel & Company Secretary.

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Lafarge Africa

Lafarge Africa Plc. notified the Nigerian Stock Exchange and the investing public that he closed period will commence on Wednesday, 8th July 2020 until the unaudited financial statement for the second quarter ended 30th June 2020, is released to the Nigerian Stock Exchange. 

In a disclosure on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, it wrote: “We hereby notify the Nigerian Stock Exchange and the investing public that a meeting of the Board of Directors of Lafarge Africa Plc has been scheduled to hold on Thursday, 23rd July 2020 to consider the second quarter financial results of the Company for the quarter ended 30th June 2020.”  

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The notification which was duly signed by General Counsel & Company Secretary, Mrs. Adewunmi Alode explained further stating that “Accordingly, no Director, employee, persons discharging managerial responsibility and Advisers of the Company and their connected persons may directly or indirectly deal in the shares of the Company in any manner during the closed period.” 

Over the past few months, it made a few board changes with the retirement of two of its Non-Executive Directors, as well as the appointment of three new DirectorsIt had also spun off its South African subsidiary, Lafarge South Africa Holdings (LSAH), last year. 

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READ MORE: NSE’s statement in reaction to the Visionscape Municipality Bond Default

Lafarge Africa’s Q1 2020 revenue was up 9.8% year-on-year to N63.7 billion, driven by higher Cement Sales (a figure up 11% year-on-year to N62.3 billion) which offset the weakness in Aggregate and Concrete (down 21% y/y to N1.4bn). Its EBITDA grew by 2.4% year-on-year to N19.3 billion as well. As at Tuesday the 7th of July, the share price of the company was N10.00 

 

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AXA Mansard Insurance Plc gives notice of Annual General Meeting 

The AGM will be live-streamed to enable shareholders and stakeholders participate.

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AXA Mansard Insurance Plc

Insurance firm, AXA Mansard Insurance Plc., has given notice of its board of its Annual General Meeting (AGM) scheduled for Wednesday, July 29, 2020, at 10:00 a.m.  

The announcement which was disclosed by Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) in a corporate disclosure on July 7th, 2020 and signed by Company Secretary, Omowunmi Mabel Adewusi read, “Notice is hereby given that the twenty-eighth annual general meeting of AXA Mansard Insurance Plc. will hold at the Oriental Hotel, no. 3, Lekki Road, Victoria Island, Lagos on Wednesday, July 29, 2020, at 10:00 a.m.” 

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READ ALSO: AXA Mansard divests from its pension and real estate ventures

As noted, the purpose of the AGM is to transact the following business: 

  1. To receive the Audited Financial Statements for the year ended December 31, 2019, and the Reports of the Directors, Auditors and Statutory Audit Committee thereon 
  2. To authorise Directors to fix the remuneration of the Auditors 
  3. To elect Directors and 
  4. To elect members of the Statutory Audit Committee.  

In order to ensure that all relevant stakeholders can be a part of the AGM, the company will also be streaming the AGM live. It noted that “This will enable shareholders and other stakeholders who will not be attending physically to follow the proceedings.” 

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The link for the live streaming of the Meeting will be made available on the Company’s website at www.axamansard.com. 

READ MORE: Sterling Bank’s earnings to remain pressured but valuations still attractive

Recall that a few months ago, in March, the company’s Board of Directors announced the appointment of John Dickson as the company’s new Non-Executive Director. A month earlier, it also disclosed its plan to sell its pension management subsidiary (AXA Mansard Pensions Ltd) and some undisclosed real estate investments. 

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Its unaudited financials for the period Q1 2020 reveal a growth across revenue and profit lines. Gross written premium grew by 21% from N17.4 billion earned in Q1 2019 to N21 billion in Q1 2020. Profit for the year for the group grew by a commendable 120% from N890 million in Q1 2019 to N1.9 billion in Q1 2020. 

As at Tuesday, the 7th of July when markets closed, the share price of the company was N1.59. The company’s EPS stood at 0.33 while its price to book ratio stood at 0.6082. 

 

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NSITF board to investigate suspended MD and others over financial misconduct

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NSITF, FG moves to scrap hazard allowances earned by State Governors

The board of directors of the Nigerian Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) has revealed that it will investigate the activities of the suspended Managing Director, 3 Executive Directors, and 8 other senior management staff over financial breaches and gross misconduct.

This was disclosed by the Chairman of the board of NSITF, Mr. Austin Enajemo-Isire, in a statement in Enugu on Sunday July 5, 2020.

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Enajemo-Isire said that the Managing Director and other top management staff of the organization would have the opportunity to clear themselves of any wrongdoing with the probe panel which was being set up.

READ MORE: Ecobank appoints Aissatou Djiba Diallo to oversee its fintech initiatives 

While reacting to claims that the suspension did not follow due process as President Muhammadu Buhari did not approve it, Enajemo-Isire said that the approval for the suspension of the affected staff had been conveyed to the Labour Minister in a correspondence referenced SGF. 47/511/T/99 of June 30, 2020.

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According to the Chairman, “The minister has conveyed this approval and directives to me for necessary action in terms of setting up a board-driven investigative panel.

READ MORE: Nigeria’s debt rises to $79.5 billion, as debt to revenue ratio worsens

“This is to give the affected officers the opportunity to clear themselves of the financial and procurement breaches and acts of gross misconduct and other infractions that gave rise to their prima facie indictment.

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“It is in this light that I have decided to call a virtual meeting of the management board on Tuesday, July 7, 2020, to consider the modalities for our action.”

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He, therefore, appealed to staffers of NSITF and their social partners to keep calm and exercise restraint.

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A few days ago, Nairametrics reported the suspension of the Managing Director and some senior management staff over corruption allegations. However, the management in its reaction debunked that claim and said that the President did not approve their suspension but that rather, it was the sole decision of the Labour Minister, Chris Ngige, who they said was overreaching himself.

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