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Companies

Aiteo Group & Benedict Peters announce appointment of Nigerian legal team

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Further to his recent announcement engaging international law firms to lead the global effort to address legal and political-based issues, the Aiteo Group (www.AiteoGroup.com) and Benedict Peters, its Executive Vice Chairman have appointed top Nigerian lawyers to complement their international representation efforts within the country.

The team, led by Chief Wole Olanipekun, Senior Advocate of Nigeria (“SAN”), a former leader of the Nigeria Bar, comprises senior lawyers Kanu Agabi SAN and Chief Akin Olujinmi, SAN, both former Attorneys General and Ministers of Justice of the Federation, reknown Constitutional and Human Rights Lawyer Chief Mike Ozekhome SAN, Messrs Paul Usoro, SAN, Rotimi Ogunesi SAN and A U Mustapha, SAN.  All Senior Advocates (the equivalents of Queen’s Counsel in the United Kingdom) are distinguished practitioners at the apex of legal practice in Nigeria.  Others lawyers include Ebenezer Obeya, Chief Andrew Oru, Mrs Boma Alabi, Messrs Chidi Nobis-Elendu, Emeka Ozoani and Joseph Nwatu.

Olanipekun, who is described as Nigeria’s Avant-Garde lawyer, is referred to as of Nigeria’s leading trial lawyer.  Kanu Agabi, an accomplished litigator, served Nigeria twice as Attorney General as did Akin Olujinmi whose core practice is also litigation.  Mike Ozekhome’s reputation as one of Nigeria’s foremost Constitutional Law and Human Rights advocates draws from a lifelong career of fighting oppression and injustice through courts and social advocacy.  Paul Usoro is a nationally acclaimed litigation and transaction expert whose core areas span the gamut of commercial law practice. Excellent all-rounders Ogunesi (of the stable of Abdullahi Ibrahim, SAN, also a former Attorney General of the Federation) and Mustapha make up the team of Senior Advocates.  Others in the team include Security law expert Ebenezer Obeya, dual qualified and former President of the Commonwealth Lawyers Association Boma Alabi as well as the combative Andrew Oru.

Announcing these appointments, Andrew Onyearu, Aiteo Group Executive Director and General Counsel said

“The Group’s belief in the Rule of Law and the legal processes in Nigeria require engagement with both commitment and premium resources.  Recently, our conviction in the infallibility of our judicial processes continues to be vindicated by judicial pronouncements deprecating the unjustified calumnious attacks on our business and personal outlook. Our respect for this process mandates that those who advocate positions on our behalf possess and demonstrate the type of world-class credentials that our lawyers clearly possess.”  He further observed that “…at the fulcrum of this stance is that desire to ensure that the course of justice is charted with the utmost sense of application, responsibility and expertise”.  Quite significantly, he states that “…the Group has been adversely affected by a lithany of unsustainable unlawful developments affecting both reputational and commercial integrity in a manner that has negatively impacted its operations.  The Group can no longer allow this situation to continue and as such, has resolved to take steps to protect all its legal interests. Recent positive – and ground breaking – outcomes from judicial interventions that we have achieved serve as clear pointers about the direction that we are now pursuing.  Increasing the successful utilization of the judicial process in areas where we have been wronged will be the main objective of the team we have now put together.”

 

The scope of the work to be undertaken by the team will span the breadth of contentious legal work.  It is understood, specifically, that one of its early mandates is to review defamatory publications commonly referred to as “open source” materials in which Aiteo and Peters have been featured in the last few years and to redress these fabricated insinuations by all available means including court actions, a process which appears to have already started.

Christopher B. Pemu has a degree in Political Science from the University of Lagos. He joined Nairametrics in 2014 as News Editor and later as Managing Editor. He currently serves as the General Manager of Nairametrics.He takes pleasure in traveling, enjoys world politics and in sport, he loves watching football and tennis.

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Companies

COVID-19, VAT, FX scarcity adversely impacted our operations in 2020 – Nigerian Breweries boss says

NB Plc’s operations in 2020 were adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, VAT increase and FX devaluation.

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Heineken scoops more Nigerian Breweries shares in insider disclosure

The management of Nigeria’s leading brewer, Nigerian Breweries Plc has revealed that its operations in 2020 were adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, VAT increase, FX devaluation and scarcity of foreign exchange.

This statement was made by the Managing Director of Nigerian Breweries, Mr Jordi Borrut Bel, at the company’s pre-AGM media briefing for the financial year-end 2020, which held in Lagos this week.

He noted that the increase in the brewer’s cost in 2020 was due to the COVID-19 pandemic which disrupted the company’s operations, as well as the increase in VAT, devaluation and FX scarcity which has put pressure on input cost.

READ: Alcoholic beverage makers on NSE lose a total N27.7 billion in a single day

The Nigerian Breweries boss explained further that the increase in cost could not be fully attributed to currency devaluation and foreign exchange scarcity.

He explained that the increase in costs of goods sold, as reported in its audited financial results, could also be linked to the increase in the volume of goods sold, as the company’s sales volume in 2020 increased by almost the same percentage as the cost of goods sold.

To deal with this challenge going forward, he revealed that the company is focused on the supply chain, and will continue to seek out ways to mitigate any of the price increases coming from FX scarcity.

READ: Brewery sector: A quarter to forget

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The company’s profitability in question?

An analysis of the company’s result revealed that despite the 4.3% increase in net revenue from N323.00 billion recorded in 2019, to a total of N337.01 billion in 2020, the company’s profit declined significantly by 53.3% to N7.53 billion.

Speaking on this, Jordi Borrut in his statement at the press briefing noted that the brewer’s business performance in 2020 was quite impressive especially in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic and economic recession. Despite these challenges, the company maintained a strong and healthy balance sheet.

There was a slight reduction in profitability but compared to the previous year, the business witnessed an improved growth in revenue. The significance of this is that the business became more stable and healthier,” he said.

READ: Nigeria’s triangular beer war on the rise with the arrival of Budweiser

What you should know

  • Nigerian breweries, being the largest brewer in the country, maintained its stance in terms of generating profits year-on-year. The company emerged as the only brewer to record a profit of N7.37 billion from its operations in 2020, 54.3% lower than 2019 figures (N16.1 billion).
  • From this, the leading brewer was able to pay shareholders a total dividend of N7.5 billion, translating to a dividend of 94 kobos per share – a dividend payout in which exceeds 100%.
  • While Guinness and International Breweries made a loss of N12.6 billion and N24.9 billion respectively, this reality impacted their ability to pay their shareholders dividends in 2020.

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Highest paid Nigerian bank MD/CEOs of 2020

Bank MD/CEOs in Nigeria earned a combined N1.5 billion in salaries in 2020.

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The banking sector, especially commercial banks, is one of the most profitable sectors of the Nigerian Economy churning out profits of close to a trillion in 2020 alone. They are also one of the highest employers of labours in the country employing over 93,000 Nigerians.

Sitting at the helm of affairs is the Chief Executive/Managing Director, the highest-ranking executive in the organization saddled with the responsibility of making the best corporate decisions, oversight of the execution of the organisation’s corporate strategies and most importantly increasing the shareholders’ return. The buck basically stops on their table.

Thus, these enormous responsibilities also come with a considerable executive compensation for their service making them ostensibly the highest-ranking staff of the bank.

READ: Jim Ovia: From a clerk to founder of Nigeria’s most profitable bank

In typical Nairametrics fashion, we bring to you a list of the highest-ranking bank CEOs for 2020 based on their executive compensation (exec comps). The bank MD/CEOs under our review earned over N1.5 billion in salaries in 2020.

The data was sourced from the published audited accounts of the bank and verified by Nairametrics Research.

 

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