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Mixed reactions as court stops DSTV from price hike

Court orders DSTV to not increase subscription prices.

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MultiChoice suspends sack of 2000 employees, MultiChoice to sack 2000 employees

Justice Nnamdi Dimgba of a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja,yesterday granted an interim injunction halting the hike in DSTV subscription by MultiChoice Nigeria Limited.

The order was granted in Suit No: FHC/ABJ/CS/894/2018 Federal Republic of Nigeria v. MultiChoice Nigeria Limited on Monday, August 20.

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Following the court’s injunction, Nigerians have come out en masse reacting to the news.

As some expressed gratitude to the Consumer Protection Council (CPC), a regulatory body that challenged the DSTV’s subscription hike, others sounded a note of caution.

@ChukaTheBoss tweeted, “Would you look at that, which regulatory body has multichoice within their purview? price hikes have to go through them. Reasons for any increment must be made public, at least! Thank you to Tunde Irukera and the CPC. Now we know someone has our backs”

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@Andrewfootie tweeted, “Nigerians complain about DSTV prices and not cement prices that affect the basic necessity which is housing. We just hate foreigners. We complain about DSTV while paying the most expensive prices for cement. DSTV is not a right and it can be sold for 100,000.”

https://twitter.com/andrewfootie/status/1031517608145813505

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@KingAurthur9ja tweeted, “Pay TV Operators in this “Monopolistic” market – Consat TV, African Cable Television ACTV, DStv, GoTV, Startimes, CTL, Metro Digital, Montage Cable Network, Mytv, MultiTV, Daarsat, TSTV and Trendtv. Just find one that suits your pocket.”

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According to a Twitter user, @llsaAida who made a thread on the DSTV saga, there are allegations of possible unfair trade practices that make it possible for DSTV to have exclusivity on contents, gain market dominance and fix price as it likes.

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The Twitter user revealed that while these allegations were yet to be given proper address and solved, DSTV ignored government’s request for critical documents.

Addressing the issue, CPC Director General, Babatunde Irukera said the Pay TV preempted investigations and acted in bad faith by agreeing to a consent order to hold terms and conditions in 24 months, but increased prices on the eve of signing Consent Order to undermine regulatory process.

MultiChoice had earlier announced the increase of prices on its digital satellite platform, DSTV from August 1, 2018.

The subscribers on DStv Premium package was expected to see a price increase from N14,700 to N15,800; Compact Plus from N9,900 to N10,650; Compact from N6,300 to N6,800; Family from N3,800 to N4,000 and on Access, N1,900 to N2,000.

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The increase, according to the company, was due to the spike in inflation rates.

Multichoice has a history of increasing prices arbitrarily. Between 2009 and 2017, prices have increased eight times, averaging a change in their prices every two years.

A timeline of past price hikes 

  • The first increase was in September 2009 which coincided with the introduction of a low-cost bouquet, DStv Access at N1,500 and an increase in the prices of DStv Compact and Premium.
  • In April 2011, prices went up again. DStv premium went from N9,500 to N10,300 as well as other bouquets except for Access which was left unchanged at N1,500.
  • August 2012 saw a 10% increase in all its bouquets. DStv Premium was increased from N10,000 to N11,000. Access was again left unchanged at N1,500. The increase was attributed to the rise in inflation and operational costs.
  • August 2015, witnessed a 20% increase in all its bouquets. DStv went from N11,650 to N13,980. DStv Access subscribers now had to pay N1,800 as against the previous rate of N1,500.
  • A careful look at the increase shows DStv Premium has increased by 55% in eight years from N9,000 in 2009 to N13,980 in 2017.
  • DStv Access has gone up by 26% from its inception in 2009.

Famuyiwa Damilare is a trained journalist. He holds a Higher National Diploma (HND) in Mass Communication at the prestigious Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ). Damilare is an innovative and transformational leader with broad-based expertise in journalism and media practice at large. He has explored his proven ability in the areas of reporting, curating and generating contents, creatively establishing social media engagements, and mobile editing of videos. It is safe to say he’s a multimedia journalist.

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Economy & Politics

How N400 billion ecological funding can save Nigeria’s coastline

The waves of current from the ocean have become more violent, eroding the nation’s coastline which poses a serious threat.

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How N400 billion ecological funding can save Nigeria’s coastline

With the higher rainfalls predicted for the year 2020, states in Nigeria may have to worry about something more serious than a flood – the erosion of the coastlines.

According to Mr Kabiru Abdullahi, Lagos State Commissioner for Water Front Infrastructure Development, the waves of currents from the ocean have become more violent, eroding the nation’s coastline and compounding environmental degradation, and flooding.

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This development is already posing serious threats to several parts of Lagos state, which is known to be a coastal city.

According to NAN, the state government had already constructed 18 groins to wade off the violent currents from the oceans, but Abdullahi admitted that given the current situation, there is a need to construct at least 60 more groins.

These groins, he explained, would act as breakers, trapping sand from moving down the beaches.

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(READ MORE:Lagos State conducts social media poll on whether to lock down or not.)

What can N400 billion do to save the situation

Coastline erosion is a seasonal problem which will always occur when there is a rise in sea level, as is expected during the rainy season. If the government does not armour the shorelines with seawalls, jetties and groins, there could be more property and land losses.

How N400 billion ecological funding can save Nigeria’s coastline

According to the commissioner, N400 billion would be just enough to construct groins to cover another 60 kilometres in addition to the 7.2 kilometres done so far.

“On the Eko Atlantic City Project, so far, 18 groins have been constructed at 400 metres intervals covering a distance of about. We still have about 60 kilometres to go which is estimated to cost about N400 Billion,” he said.

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The Ecological fund is an intervention fund set up by the Federal Government to address the various environmental challenges in communities across the country, but interestingly, the Lagos state government has not accessed any ecological fund on this project so far.

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(READ MORE:Fourth Mainland Bridge to begin before December)

Lagos state budget for 2020 was put at N1.17 trillion with environment getting N66.586 billion of the sum. With this sum, there is no way the ministry of environment can take on the task of funding a N400 billion project on coastline and shoreline protection, and this is only one of the numerous environmental challenges the state has to deal with. The state budget has even been reviewed downwards in view of the COVID-19 induced economic challenges.

Illegal dredging activities and land reclamation for urban development are also creating serious environmental issues for Lagos and left on its own, and without intervention funding from the federal government, the coastline situation could be left to deteriorate even further with the onset of the rain

As the commissioner suggested, the federal government might want to consider allocating some of the “recently released tranche of Abacha loot of about $313 million” for this purpose, as it no doubt qualifies as a critical infrastructure for the country.

 

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Economy & Politics

New OPEC+ output cut proposal may stall if Russia …

OPEC is weighing the possibility of continuing with the current level of OPEC+ production cuts till the end of the year in order to support the oil market.

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OPEC+ Alliance, US, Russia, Canada, Mexico reach historic deal to cut 13.4 million bpd, Oil market still uncertain over the OPEC+ deal as prices react positively, 7 oil producing countries most affected by covid-19, see where Nigeria is placed

Some members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Country (OPEC) and Saudi Arabia are considering extending the historic production cuts of almost 10 million barrels per day beyond June.

They are weighing the possibility of continuing with the current level of OPEC+ production cuts till the end of the year in order to support the oil market; however, they are yet to get the support of Russia.

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Russia could be a stumbling block to sustaining the output cut deal beyond June, though OPEC+ and top oil-producing countries had pledged in April to restrict production to 9.7 million barrels per day in May and June, and then 7.7 million barrels from July to December.

According to reports, Saudi Arabia is pushing for the deeper 9.7 million barrel per day output cut to be extended beyond June up to the end of 2020, in order to rebalance the oil market, which is still bedevilled by a lot of uncertainty and volatility.

(READ MORE: Now that Oil is back)

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Russia on its part, which is a key ally to OPEC has been non-committal on this plan. The Russian government on Tuesday approved a plan to increase oil production as soon as the OPEC+ deal ends. This they hope to achieve by having new oil wells drilled this year and in 2021 for 2022 production.

According to a report from oilprice.com, Saudi Arabia believes the oil market still needs support and wants to continue with the current output cut until the end of the year. Russia wants the same, but the major challenge is with the oil companies who had failed to reach any agreement at their meeting on Tuesday.

About half of the Russian oil firms support the extension of the current output cut while the other half are against the extension but rather calling for the continuation of output cut that was earlier agreed by OPEC+. As a result, Russia is typically non-committal and would wait to see how much oil demand will recover.

 

 

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Business News

MTN, Dangote Cement, Nestle, others top best dividend stocks in 2019

MTN Nigeria, Dangote Cement, Nestle Nigeria, Stanbic IBTC, GT bank and Zenith bank were the highest paying dividend stocks on the floor of the NSE in 2019. 

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Dividend payment is one of the very few ways available for investors to earn a constant stream of income. It is also the main reason shareholders hold unto their shares in a company. Therefore, it brings great satisfaction to investors when these companies declare dividends to their shareholders.

According to data gathered by Nairalytics, the research arm of Nairametrics, MTN Nigeria, Dangote Cement, Nestle Nigeria, Stanbic IBTC, GTBank, and Zenith bank were the highest paying dividend stocks on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange in 2019.

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With a combined value of N691.23 billion, these six companies make up a diverse list that includes the telecommunication, food and beverage, industrial manufacturing, and banking sectors.

Here’s a breakdown

MTN Nigeria Communications Plc posted a total dividend per share of N7.92k (interim – N2.95k, Final – N4.97k), summing up to N161.21 billion. A dividend payment was made on May 19, 2020, to shareholders whose names appeared on the Register of Members as at April 17, 2020.

(READ MORE: Why these companies remain on NSE’s delisting radar)

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The telco giant’s revenue of N1.17 trillion in 2019 against N1.04 trillion in 2018 represents a 12.6% increase. Profit after tax (PAT) also increased significantly by 38.7% from N145.7 billion in 2018 to N202.1 billion in 2019.

MTN, MTN, Dangote Cement, Nestle, others top best dividends stock in 2019

Dangote Cement Plc declared a total dividend payout of N272.65 billion. This breaks down to every shareholder of the company earning N16 on every share held. A payment expected to be made after the company’s annual general meeting is scheduled for June 16, 2020, with a qualification date of May 25, 2020.

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It is worth noting that the cement manufacturing giant posted a profit after tax of N200.52 billion, a 48.6% decline when compared to a profit of N390.33 billion recorded  in 2018.

Nestle Nigeria Plc declared a total dividend of N70 per share to its shareholders, indicating a total payment of N55.49 billion. The leading consumer goods maker generated N284.04 billion in revenue for the year ended December 2019.

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The multinational’s profit after tax stood at N45.68 billion, a 6.22% increase compared to N43.01 billion posted in 2018.

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(READ MORE: List of Dividends announced so far in 2020 (May))

The management of Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc proposed a total dividend per share of N3 (interim – N1 and final – N2) per ordinary share of 50 kobos each, which summed up to N31.57 billion. The interim dividends (N10.47 billion) was paid on October 3, 2019, while the final dividend of N21.01 billion is expected to be paid by June 18, 2020.

The bank’s full-year result shows that the group’s gross earnings increased by 5.2% from N222.36 billion in 2018 to N233.81 billion in 2019.

Stanbic IBTC’s profit after tax for the period  recorded a marginal increase of 0.8% to N75.04 billion compared to N74.44 billion in 2018.

Guaranty Trust Bank Plc declared a total of N82.41 billion to shareholders on March 30, 2020 as dividends for the year ended 2019. This indicates a total dividend payment of N2.8 per 50 kobo ordinary shares to shareholders. Final dividend was paid on March 30, 2020 to shareholders whose names were registered in the company’s register of members as at March 18, 2020 which was the qualification date.

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GTBank, which is Nigeria’s most capitalized bank, posted a profit after tax of N196.85 billion, showing a 6.5% increase compared to N184.71 billion recorded in the preceding year.

GTBank declares dividend payment for FY 2019

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Zenith Bank Plc also paid N2.8 dividends per ordinary share to its shareholders, summing up to N87.91 billion (interim – N9.42 billion, Final – N78.49 billion) for the year ended 2019. The bank posted profit after tax (PAT) of N208.84 billion in the year under review.

(READ MORE: CFOs of FUGAZ and their 3-year performance record)

The final dividends were paid to Shareholder in March 2020 whose names appeared in the Register of Members as at close of business on 9th March 2020.

What is dividend?

A dividend is a payment by a company to its shareholders, which is paid at the end of a quarter or year. Note that dividends are usually cash payments, although they can sometimes be paid out in company stock.

(READ MORE: NSE Set to Host Sustainable Capital Markets Forum to Promote Green Finance in West Africa)

What to look out for in dividend stocks

The following are what you should look out for in dividend stocks:

Payout Ratio: The dividend payout ratio is the percentage of a company’s earnings it uses in paying out dividends. This is an important metric to use when digging into dividend stocks you are considering to buy.

Dividend History: This is simple. All a potential investor needs to do is to check the track record of the company. Many of the companies mentioned above have trackable and impressive track records, including long records of paying annual and interim dividends.

Industry Strength: Here, it is better to own shares in a decent company in a great and lucrative sector than owning shares of a great firm in a tough industry.

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