Oil marketers nationwide are planning to go on an indefinite strike, thereby shutting down all depots. They claim the Federal Government has refused to settle accumulated subsidy debts of over N800 billion.
This decision is contained in a joint communique issued by the marketers on Tuesday, after their joint National Executive Council (NEC) meeting held in Lagos.The oil marketers are bitter over what they describe as the continuous deteriorating welfare of its members working in the various companies owned by oil marketers.
The marketers made up of various unions such as the Independent Petroleum Products Importers (IPPIs), Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN), and the Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association (DAPPMA) have acknowledged receipt of the planned strike by the unions, have also threatened to shut down their depots, until the liquidity problems in the downstream sector by the Federal Government is resolved.
The oil marketers disclosed that the Federal Government through the intervention of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo(while acting as President) had in June 2017 made a commitment to pay the outstanding bills before the end of July. According to them, Osinbajo had ordered a reconciliation exercise between the marketers and the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA).
“For the banks, their action is to see how they can avert another round of banking system failure that could be triggered by this huge outstanding non-performing loans owed the banks by oil marketers who cannot pay because the government is yet to pay them,”
“Further to the reconciliation, it was gathered that the Federal Executive Council had approved the payment. However, the payment framework was said to have been sent to the National Assembly for approval and up till now there has been no feedback.
“We gathered from reliable sources that the National Assembly claimed that they are yet to receive any such request from the finance minister,”
According to the marketers as stated in the communique, part of the N800 billion debt arose from the non-payment of the balance of over N300 billion under-recoveries on the basis of the PPPRA importation template. They explained that only about 20 per cent of the amount provided for in the 2016 budget was actually paid to marketers in August 2016, while government had promised to pay the balance within three months, adding that nothing further has been paid despite reassurances from government.
US Capitol complex temporarily shut down
The US Capitol complex was shut down temporarily on Monday as a precautionary measure after a small fire broke out nearby.
The US Capitol complex was shut down temporarily for about an hour on Monday as a precautionary measure after a small fire broke out nearby, highlighting the security concerns that are being raised days before the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden.
The security concerns and the lockdown follows the January 6 attack on the US Capital by supporters of the outgoing US President, Donald Trump, after his encouragement and inciting comments, calling the Presidential election a fraud without any proof of evidence.
Some of them even called for the death of the US Vice President, Mike Pence for presiding over the certification of Joe Biden’s November election victory.
While making the disclosure in a statement, the Capitol Police said that the lockdown has been lifted and the nearby fire contained.
The Acting Chief of the Capitol Police had said that the complex which comprises of the Capitol, its grounds and several buildings were shut down as a precautionary measure.
The US Secret Service in a tweet post on its official Twitter handle said, “Out of an abundance of caution the U.S. Capitol complex was temporarily shutdown. There is no threat to the public.’’
The city’s fire department in its tweet post said that firefighters put out a fire outside near the Capitol complex.
The fire department said, “There were no injuries. This accounts for smoke that many have seen.”
What you should know
- President-elect, Joe Biden is expected to be sworn in at the US Capitol on Wednesday amid an unprecedented cordon of security, with strict physical distancing measures in place due to threats of violent attacks in Washington and the rising cases of coronavirus infections.
- Donald Trump, who is just fresh from a historic second impeachment from the congress had said he would not attend, although his deputy, Vice President Mike Pence, had given an indication that he would attend.
Kinyungu Ventures Research calls for changes to cut-and-paste VC strategy in Africa
The Paper recommends investment structures and approaches tailored to African operating conditions.
East African venture advisory firm, Kinyungu Ventures has published a white paper Chasing Outliers: Why Context Matters for Early Stage Investing in Africa that has found that there continues to be a wide misalignment between traditional venture capital models and the African market. The team behind the report is now calling for a broadening of approaches to institutional investment on the continent. Speaking with 100 Pan-African founders, investors, and LPs across 15 African countries, the research suggests investors should prioritize investing structures and practices that reflect the realities of operating in Africa. This includes adopting more flexible investing structures with longer time horizons.
According to the paper, there are multiple mismatches between key characteristics of Silicon Valley VC and African markets, which influence how startups and funds maneuver as well as what results they expect and produce. Findings show that African markets are large, but also fragmented, and its consumers have limited purchasing power. Furthermore, consumers on the continent are difficult to acquire and retain, yet the sheer size of the African market also presents a real opportunity for profit once the environment is clearly understood. The paper’s key recommendations for funds include:
- Adopting more focused investment strategies, such as investing in b2b companies or cross-subsidizing a portfolio with less risky, steady return assets.
- Considering non-unicorn investing models geared at more resilient companies, with returns distributed more widely across the portfolio
- Using flexible structures such as debt or PCVs to accommodate market-level changes, where feasible
- Allowing a longer time horizon for returns, understanding that growth could be slow and difficult to achieve for many companies
Kinyungu Ventures catalyzes resilient businesses for local intergenerational prosperity. The East African-centric investor focuses on entrepreneurship in East Africa, startups, seed funding, debt financing, impact investing and angel investing.
Speaking on the launch of the white paper, Tony Chen, Managing Director of Kinyungu Ventures and co-publisher of the report says, “Capital in Africa is scarce and pursuing a “growth at all costs” strategy where capital pools are shallow presents huge risks for companies. We’ve also found that many great businesses don’t fit the typical VC profile, but have tremendous unfulfilled potential”.
Tayo Akinyemi, lead researcher and writer of the report added: “In our conversations with numerous investors and founders, it is clear that nuances in variables such as consumer behavior, cultural norms, and business practices impact startups significantly and being on the ground is crucial for success. While African markets aren’t always able to provide the outsized returns that Silicon Valley typically looks for in high-growth companies, a more focused strategy here could unlock real gems, as has been proven by some of the startup successes the continent has seen over the years.”
Neimeth Pharmaceuticals to raise N5 billion in additional equity
The Board of Neimeth is set to raise N5 billion additional equity upon the approval by shareholders of the company at the AGM.
The disclosure is part of the resolutions reached at the Board of Directors meeting of 15th January 2021. At the end of the meeting, it was resolved that the company would raise additional equity to the tune of N5 billion.
In line with this development, a board resolution proposing to raise equity will be presented at the Annual General Meeting of the Company scheduled to hold on 9th March 2021.
What you should know
- The Board of the Company is yet to disclose if the additional equity would be a rights issue or a private placement, as the details of the additional N5 billion equity set to be raised are yet to be finalized.
- The fund will help the company’s management to execute key strategies that will reposition the company as a leader in the healthcare industry, with the hope to deliver better returns on investment to shareholders.
- The additional equity financing will also increase Neimeth’s outstanding shares, which will dilute earnings and impact the Company’s stock value for existing shareholders.
- The move has the potential to trigger a sell-off of the company shares on the Nigerian Stock Exchange.