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Product Review: The Nigerian Cigarette market has only one winner

Figures from the World Health Organization show that over 1.1 billion people light up cigarettes worldwide

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Cigarette

Figures from the World Health Organisation (WHO) show that over 1.1 billion people light up cigarettes worldwide. By implication, more than 1/6 of the world’s total population is addicted to smoking, including tobacco’s main component – nicotine. Tobacco companies produce trillions of cigarettes sticks annually, and the consumption rate keeps increasing across the globe.

In Nigeria, despite the age restriction and government regulations that forbid smoking in public places, manufacturers have continued to churn out new cigarette variants to further appeal to the emotions of their expanding consumers. The increase in demand by Nigerian consumers is boosted by the growing population, urbanisation, and westernisation.

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Cigarettes come in blends of tobacco encased in paper, glue and also with cellulose acetate-based filters. The tobacco utilised in numerous cigarette brands includes more than one hundred substances, like additives and diverse flavourings.

Welcome to this week’s edition of product review, a weekly analysis where Nairametrics features products contending for leadership and prominence in Nigeria’s consumer market. This week, we take a look at the cigarette brands and how they are competing for profitability and visibility in the market space.

Facts and Figures

In a report by GulfTobacco.com, Nigeria produces an average of 19-21 billion cigarettes annually. It also revealed that on average, just one person smokes 162 cigarettes annually in Nigeria.

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A Nairametrics research as at 2016 suggests that about 21 billion sticks of cigarettes were produced in the country. While 12 billion of these sticks were sold in Nigeria, the rest were sold in West African markets.

Brands in the market

Major brands in the Nigerian market include Benson & Hedges, Rothmans, St Moritz, Aspen, Pall Mall, and London. The Nigerian market is dominated by British American Tobacco (BATN) which controls over 78% of the market share and closer to 82% of the West African market. The reduction in illicit trade of cigarettes has also helped it to solidify its leadership position. The company’s range of brands is very strong and BATN is probably the only company to have a complete presence across the length and breadth of the country.

However, over the last five years, the company’s sales share has fallen, particularly due to competition from brands offered by multinational, Japan Tobacco Inc. (manufactured in Nigeria by International Tobacco Co Ltd).

Philip Morris Limited, maker of Marlboro and L&M brands, recently entered into a strategic partnership with International Tobacco Company for the local manufacturing of the products in Nigeria.

SWOT Analysis of the market

Strength

The increasing population and growing socialisation culture among adults offer a good market for cigarettes in Nigeria. Though the industry is highly regulated – the National Tobacco Control Act 2015 was signed into law by the last administration in 2015. The law provides an effective regulation and control of production, manufacture, sale, labelling, advertising, promotion and sponsorship of tobacco products in Nigeria.

Weakness

The Nigerian market is prone to strict government regulation. Recently, in its bid to discourage people from smoking, the Federal Government announced a new tax regime for tobacco and other alcoholic beverages. Under the new rates for tobacco, each stick of cigarette will attract N1 specific rate per stick, that is N20 per pack of 20 sticks in 2018. While by next year, it will attract N2 tax per stick or N40 per pack of 20 sticks.

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Opportunity

The main raw material, tobacco is widely grown in the country with manufacturers such as BATN actively involved in responsible tobacco leaf cultivation. According to the company, the volume of tobacco produced has increased from 2,088 tons in 2004 to over 2,500 tons in 2013, and about 10,000 people are currently directly involved in the tobacco growing operation.

Threats

The serious health implications attached to smoking of cigarettes, ban on single stick sales of cigarettes to the under aged, cultural and religious teachings against smoking, pose threats. Though so far, that has not really hampered the growth of cigarette sales in the country.

The emergence of substitutes in the market

The Nigerian market has also witnessed a growing market for e-cigarettes otherwise called vaping. Users see it as an alternative to smoking and it has been on the increase in the last five years. Many believe that it is less hurtful than smoking.

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Also, it is not uncommon to see people smoking shisha at parties and night-clubs. Shisha smoking, also called narghile, water pipe, hookah or hubble-bubble smoking, has its origin from the Middle East and certain areas of Asia but has recently become more popular in the country, especially among young people. It involves smoking tobacco from a bowl through a hose or tube attached. The tube has a mouthpiece that the smoker uses to inhale the smoke.

Experts believe that shisha smokers are at risk of developing the same health problems as cigarette smokers, such as cancer and heart disease. A World Health Organisation study also suggested that a one-hour session of smoking shisha can be the same as smoking 100 or more cigarettes.

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To further enhance its acceptability in the market, most shisha solutions come in various flavours such as peach, chocolate, mint, strawberry, and apple.

What consumers are saying

Nairametrics spoke with some consumers of cigarettes in Lagos. Most of them expressed divergent opinions on their choices of brands.

Muhammed Bashir, a trader, enjoys smoking and he doesn’t believe it is harmful to his health. “I love Benson.” he said with a smile.

Nairametrics also noticed that cigarette brands have very loyal consumers.  According to Femi, a banker in one of the first-generation banks:

“I have been taking Benson all my life and I am addicted to the brand.”

Mallam Isa, a trader at the popular Ikeja market, revealed that the largest consumers of cigarette brands are mainly youths, although old men also buy from him.

“The market dey sell fast. All these young boys and even mature men buy their favorite brands.”

Tunde, another respondent, said that he loves the Rothmans brand and enjoys it anytime he smokes it.

According to him:

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“When u smoke it, your lips will be sweet like forever…you will just keep rolling your tongue around your lips.”

The verdict

In a Twitter poll by Nairametrics, Benson & Hedges got 40%, Rothmans got 13%, while Marlboro got 10%.

https://twitter.com/Nairametrics/status/107249811334304153

The Nigerian market offers a lot of opportunities to manufacturers and growers of tobacco leaves in Nigeria.

The recent influx of flavoured cigarettes into the Nigerian market, which is mostly targeted at luring children, calls for concern. The regulators must double down to rid the market of illegal brands and also step up its enlightenment campaigns on the implications of smoking.

Also, manufacturers must ensure strict adherence to international standards and global best practice. The country should not be a dumping ground for illicit tobacco products.

Patricia

Fikayo has a degree in computer science with economics from Obafemi Awolowo University. ITIL v3 in IT service management. An alumnus of Daystar Leadership Academy. Prior to joining Nairametrics had stinct in Project management, Telecommunications among others. Also training in Consulting and Investment banking from Edubridge Academy. He has very keen interest in Politics, Agri-business, private equity and global economics. He loves travelling and watching football. You can contact him via [email protected]

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Currencies

Daily Parallel Market exchange rate – ₦480/$1

The US dollar stands at ₦480/US$1 in the parallel market

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Forex, NIGERIA: Daily Parallel Market, Exchange Rate

The exchange rate between the naira and the US dollar as of Tuesday, August 4th 2020 stands at 480/US$1 on the parallel market. The exchange rate closed at 480/$1 on Monday 3rd August 2020.

  • Naira:480
  • Dollar: $1
  • Date: August 4th, 2020

The exchange rate between the naira and the British pound sterling stands at  ₦570/₤1 on Tuesday 4th August same as recorded on Monday 3rd August 2020.

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  • Naira: ₦570
  • Pounds Sterling: ₤1
  • Date: August 4th, 2020

Explore Economic Research Data From Nairametrics on Nairalytics

The exchange rate between the naira and the European euro stands at ₦530/€1 on Tuesday 4th August 2020. The exchange rate also closed at ₦530/€1 on Monday 3rd August 2020.

  • Naira: ₦530
  • Euro: €1
  • Date: August 4th, 2020

Activity: USD sells for an average of 480/US$1 in the parallel market

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READ ALSO: The risk of buying Forex at black market rate of N460/$1 

DateCurrencyBuy(AM)Sell(AM)Buy(PM)Sell(PM)Volatility
8/4/2020Dollar470480
8/4/2020Pounds560570
8/4/2020Euro520530
8/3/2020Dollar470480470480Low
8/3/2020Pounds560570560570Low
8/3/2020Euro520530520530Low
7/31/2020Dollar470480470485High
7/31/2020Pounds570582575585Low
7/31/2020Euro500520505520Low
7/30/2020Dollar470490470485High
7/30/2020Pounds550570550580High
7/30/2020Euro495520500525High
7/29/2020Dollar468475467475Low
7/29/2020Pounds575585580590Low
7/29/2020Euro530540530545Low
7/28/2020Dollar469475467475Low
7/28/2020Pounds575593580595Low
7/28/2020Euro550560540550Low
7/27/2020Dollar465473466473Low
7/27/2020Pounds570580575583Low
7/27/2020Euro510520515530Low
7/24/2020Dollar465472464472Low
7/24/2020Pounds570580572582Low
7/24/2020Euro510520505520Low
7/23/2020Dollar460472465472Low
7/23/2020Pounds565575565580Low
7/23/2020Euro510520505520Low
7/22/2020Dollar465472465472Low
7/22/2020Pounds565575560578Low
7/22/2020Euro510525510528Low
7/21/2020Dollar461472462472Low
7/21/2020Pounds560573560575Low
7/21/2020Euro498515500520Low
7/20/2020Dollar460473462473Low
7/20/2020Pounds550570555575Low
7/20/2020Euro495505500510Low
7/17/2020Dollar462470460470Low
7/17/2020Pounds560570558570Low
7/17/2020Euro490500490500Low
7/16/2020Dollar460470460470Low
7/16/2020Pounds558565560570Low
7/16/2020Euro485495485499Low
7/15/2020Dollar455465455470Low
7/15/2020Pounds560565558570Low
7/15/2020Euro485495488498Low
7/14/2020Dollar448462455470Low
7/14/2020Pounds540550557570Low
7/14/2020Euro485495489498Low
7/13/2020Dollar450460448462Low
7/13/2020Pounds540550540550Low
7/13/2020Euro485495485495Low
7/10/2020Dollar453460458465Low
7/10/2020Pounds520525550555High
7/10/2020Euro465467510520High
7/9/2020Dollar455461455463Low
7/9/2020Pounds550558550562Low
7/9/2020Euro495504498505Low
7/8/2020Dollar455461455461Low
7/8/2020Pounds550558550558Low
7/8/2020Euro495504495504Low
7/7/2020Dollar455461455461Low
7/7/2020Pounds550558550558Low
7/7/2020Euro495502495502Low
7/6/2020Dollar455462455461Low
7/6/2020Pounds550562547555Low
7/6/2020Euro495502496502Low
7/3/2020Dollar455462454461Low
7/3/2020Pounds548560550560Low
7/3/2020Euro495505495502Low
7/2/2020Dollar455462454461Low
7/2/2020Pounds548560550560Low
7/2/2020Euro495505495502Low
7/1/2020Dollar455462455462Low
7/1/2020Pounds548560548560Low
7/1/2020Euro495505495505Low
6/30/2020Dollar452460452460Low
6/30/2020Pounds547560547560Low
6/30/2020Euro495505495505Low
6/29/2020Dollar450460450460Low
6/29/2020Pounds547560547560Low
6/29/2020Euro495505495505Low
6/26/2020Dollar452457452460Low
6/26/2020Pounds547557547560Low
6/26/2020Euro490498490502Low
6/25/2020Dollar452457450455Low
6/25/2020Pounds547557547560Low
6/25/2020Euro490498490499Low
6/24/2020Dollar450460450455Low
6/24/2020Pounds545555545555Low
6/24/2020Euro490495488498Low
6/23/2020Dollar450460445455Low
6/23/2020Pounds545555545555Low
6/23/2020Euro490495490495Low
6/22/2020Dollar450455450455Low
6/22/2020Pounds545555545555Low
6/22/2020Euro488498488498Low
6/19/2020Dollar445455445455Low
6/19/2020Pounds540553540553Low
6/19/2020Euro480490480490Low
6/18/2020Dollar445452445452Low
6/18/2020Pounds537550537550Low
6/18/2020Euro475490475490Low
6/17/2020Dollar445452445452Low
6/17/2020Pounds540553537550Low
6/17/2020Euro475490475490Low
6/16/2020Dollar440450445452Low
6/16/2020Pounds540550540553Low
6/16/2020Euro475485475490Low
6/15/2020Dollar440450440450Low
6/15/2020Pounds540550540550Low
6/15/2020Euro475485475485Low
6/12/2020Dollar440450440450Low
6/12/2020Pounds538550538550Low
6/12/2020Euro470485470485Low
6/11/2020Pounds538550538550Low
6/11/2020Dollar440450440450Low
6/11/2020Euro470485470485Low
6/10/2020Pounds538550540553Low
6/10/2020Dollar440450445452Low
6/10/2020Euro470485475490Low
6/9/2020Pounds538550540550Low
6/9/2020Dollar440450440450Low
6/9/2020Euro470485475485Low
6/8/2020Pounds540550540550Low
6/8/2020Dollar440450440450Low
6/8/2020Euro475485475485Low
6/5/2020Pounds535545535545Low
6/5/2020Dollar440450440450Low
6/5/2020Euro460472460472Low
6/4/2020Pounds530543530543Low
6/4/2020Dollar440447440447Low
6/4/2020Euro460470460470Low
6/3/2020Pounds530540530540Low
6/3/2020Dollar440445440445Low
6/3/2020Euro460470460470Low
6/2/2020Pounds535545535545Low
6/2/2020Dollar440450440450Low
6/2/2020Euro460472460472Low
6/1/2020Pounds530543530543Low
6/1/2020Dollar440447440447Low
6/1/2020Euro460470460470Low
5/29/2020Pounds530540530540Low
5/29/2020Dollar440445440445Low
5/29/2020Euro460470460470Low
5/28/2020Pounds535545535545Low
5/28/2020Dollar440450440450Low
5/28/2020Euro460472460472Low
5/27/2020Pounds530543530543Low
5/27/2020Dollar440447440447Low
5/27/2020Euro460470460470Low
5/26/2020Pounds530540530540Low
5/26/2020Dollar440445440445Low
5/26/2020Euro460470460470Low
5/25/2020Pounds535545535545Low
5/25/2020Dollar440450440450Low
5/25/2020Euro460472460472Low
5/22/2020Pounds530543530543Low
5/22/2020Dollar440447440447Low
5/22/2020Euro460470460470Low
5/21/2020Pounds530545530545Low
5/21/2020Dollar450460450460Low
5/21/2020Euro460470460470Low
5/20/2020Pounds530550530550Low
5/20/2020Dollar445460445460Low
5/20/2020Euro450470450470Low
5/19/2020Pounds528540528540Low
5/19/2020Dollar445460445460Low
5/19/2020Euro450465450465Low
5/18/2020Pounds528540528540Low
5/18/2020Dollar445460445460Low
5/18/2020Euro450465450465Low
5/15/2020Pounds530540525535Low
5/15/2020Dollar435450440455Low
5/15/2020Euro450460450465Low
5/14/2020Pounds530540530540Low
5/14/2020Dollar435450435450Low
5/14/2020Euro450460450460Low
5/13/2020Pounds525535525535Low
5/13/2020Dollar430450430450Low
5/13/2020Euro440455440455Low
5/12/2020Pounds525535525535Low
5/12/2020Dollar435450435450Low
5/12/2020Euro445455445455Low
5/11/2020Pounds510530525535Low
5/11/2020Dollar430445435445Low
5/11/2020Euro440450445455Low
5/8/2020Pounds510530510530Low
5/8/2020Dollar425437430445Low
5/8/2020Euro425440440450Low
5/7/2020Pounds510530510530Low
5/7/2020Dollar425437425437Low
5/7/2020Euro425440425440Low
5/6/2020Pounds510520510520Low
5/6/2020Dollar425437425437Low
5/6/2020Euro430450430450Low
5/5/2020Pounds510525510525Low
5/5/2020Dollar410430420430Low
5/5/2020Euro425435425435Low
5/4/2020Pounds500510510525Low
5/4/2020Dollar435450410430Low
5/4/2020Euro430440425435Low
5/1/2020Pounds500510500510Low
5/1/2020Dollar435450435450Low
5/1/2020Euro430445430445Low
4/30/2020Pounds500510500510Low
4/30/2020Dollar435450435450Low
4/30/2020Euro430445430445Low
4/29/2020Pounds500520500520Low
4/29/2020Dollar440460440460Low
4/29/2020Euro450465450465Low
4/28/2020Pounds495510500520Low
4/28/2020Dollar430450440460Low
4/28/2020Euro435450435450Low
4/27/2020Pounds495510495510Low
4/27/2020Dollar430450430450Low
4/27/2020Euro435450435450Low
4/24/2020Pounds490500490500Low
4/24/2020Dollar428450428450Low
4/24/2020Euro430440430440Low
4/23/2020Pounds490500490500Low
4/23/2020Dollar420430420430Low
4/23/2020Euro425435425435Low
4/22/2020Pounds490500490500Low
4/22/2020Dollar420425420430Low
4/22/2020Euro425435425435Low
4/21/2020Pounds490500490500Low
4/21/2020Dollar420430420430Low
4/21/2020Euro425435425435Low
4/20/2020Pounds490500490500Low
4/20/2020Dollar420430420430Low
4/20/2020Euro425435425435Low
4/17/2020Pounds490500490500Low
4/17/2020Dollar420430420430Low
4/17/2020Euro425435425435Low
4/16/2020Pounds490500490500Low
4/16/2020Dollar420430420430Low
4/16/2020Euro425435425435Low
4/15/2020Pounds490500490500Low
4/15/2020Dollar420430420430Low
4/15/2020Euro425435425435Low
4/14/2020Pounds490500490500Low
4/14/2020Dollar420430420430Low
4/14/2020Euro425435425435Low
4/13/2020Pounds490500490500Low
4/13/2020Dollar420430420430Low
4/13/2020Euro425435425435Low
4/10/2020Pounds490505490505Low
4/10/2020Dollar420430420430Low
4/10/2020Euro425435425435Low
4/9/2020Pounds490505490505Low
4/9/2020Dollar420430420430Low
4/9/2020Euro425435425435Low
4/8/2020Pounds490500490500Low
4/8/2020Dollar420430420430Low
4/8/2020Euro425435425435Low
4/7/2020Pounds490500490500Low
4/7/2020Dollar420430420430Low
4/7/2020Euro425435425435Low
4/6/2020Pounds492497492497Low
4/6/2020Dollar402412402412Low
4/6/2020Euro410415410415Low
4/3/2020Pounds485490492497Low
4/3/2020Dollar400410402412Low
4/3/2020Euro410415410415Low
4/2/2020Pounds485490485490Low
4/2/2020Dollar400410400410Low
4/2/2020Euro410415410415Low
4/1/2020Pounds480485480485Low
4/1/2020Dollar395400395400Low
4/1/2020Euro407412407412Low
3/31/2020Pounds480485480485Low
3/31/2020Dollar395400395400Low
3/31/2020Euro407412407412Low
3/30/2020Pounds480485480485Low
3/30/2020Dollar390395395400Low
3/30/2020Euro407412407412Low
3/27/2020Pounds480485480485Low
3/27/2020Dollar385390390395Low
3/27/2020Euro405410407412Low
3/26/2020Pounds480485480485Low
3/26/2020Dollar385390385390Low
3/26/2020Euro405410405410Low
3/25/2020Pounds475480480485Low
3/25/2020Dollar380385385390Low
3/25/2020Euro400405405410Low
3/24/2020Pounds475480475480Low
3/24/2020Dollar380385380385Low
3/24/2020Euro400405400405Low
3/23/2020Pounds474478474478Low
3/23/2020Dollar380385380385Low
3/23/2020Euro400403400403Low
3/20/2020Pounds475480475480Low
3/20/2020Dollar370375365367Low
3/20/2020Euro395400395400Low
3/19/2020Pounds475480475480Low
3/19/2020Dollar370375370375Low
3/19/2020Euro395400395400Low
3/18/2020Pounds471475471475Low
3/18/2020Dollar370375370375Low
3/18/2020Euro390395390395Low
3/17/2020Pounds470475470475Low
3/17/2020Dollar375380375380Low
3/17/2020Euro400403400403Low
3/16/2020Pounds470475470475Low
3/16/2020Dollar370375370375Low
3/16/2020Euro400403400403Low
3/13/2020Pounds470475470475Low
3/13/2020Dollar372377372377Low
3/13/2020Euro400403400403Low
3/12/2020Pounds475485490495High
3/12/2020Dollar365380375404High
3/12/2020Euro405412410420Low
3/11/2020Pounds470475475485Low
3/11/2020Dollar360366365375Low
3/11/2020Euro387403405412Low
3/10/2020Pounds468472470475Low
3/10/2020Dollar358360360362Low
3/10/2020Euro390398387403Low
3/9/2020Pounds468472468472Low
3/9/2020Dollar358360358360Low
3/9/2020Euro392398392398Low
3/6/2020Pounds468472468472Low
3/6/2020Dollar358360358360Low
3/6/2020Euro390398390398Low
3/5/2020Pounds468472468472Low
3/5/2020Dollar358360358360Low
3/5/2020Euro390397390397Low
3/4/2020Pounds468473468473Low
3/4/2020Dollar358360358360Low
3/4/2020Euro387392387392Low
3/3/2020Pounds468472468472Low
3/3/2020Dollar358360358360Low
3/3/2020Euro387392387392Low
3/2/2020Pounds468472468472Low
3/2/2020Dollar358360358360Low
3/2/2020Euro387392387392Low
2/28/2020Pounds468472468472Low
2/28/2020Dollar358360358360Low
2/28/2020Euro387392387392Low
2/27/2020Pounds467471468472Low
2/27/2020Dollar358360358360Low
2/27/2020Euro386390387392Low
2/26/2020Pounds468472467471Low
2/26/2020Dollar358360358360Low
2/26/2020Euro386390386390Low
2/25/2020Pounds467472468472Low
2/25/2020Dollar358360358360Low
2/25/2020Euro388392386390Low
2/24/2020Pounds467472467472Low
2/24/2020Dollar358360358360Low
2/24/2020Euro388392388393Low
2/21/2020Pounds467473468473Low
2/21/2020Dollar358360358360Low
2/21/2020Euro388392388392Low
2/20/2020Pounds467473467473Low
2/20/2020Dollar358360358360Low
2/20/2020Euro388392388392Low
2/19/2020Pounds467473467473Low
2/19/2020Dollar358360358360Low
2/19/2020Euro390394390394Low
2/18/2020Pounds467473467473Low
2/18/2020Dollar358360358360Low
2/18/2020Euro390394390394Low
2/17/2020Pounds469473467474Low
2/17/2020Dollar358360358360Low
2/17/2020Euro390394390394Low
2/14/2020Pounds469473469473Low
2/14/2020Dollar358360358360Low
2/14/2020Euro390394390394Low
2/13/2020Pounds470475470475Low
2/13/2020Dollar358360358360Low
2/13/2020Euro390396390396Low
2/12/2020Pounds470475470475Low
2/12/2020Dollar358360358360Low
2/12/2020Euro390396390396Low
2/11/2020Pounds470475470475Low
2/11/2020Dollar358360358360Low
2/11/2020Euro390396390396Low
2/10/2020Pounds470475470475Low
2/10/2020Dollar358360358360Low
2/10/2020Euro390396390396Low
2/7/2020Pounds471475471475Low
2/7/2020Dollar358360358360Low
2/7/2020Euro390396392396Low
2/6/2020Pounds473476473476Low
2/6/2020Dollar358360358360Low
2/6/2020Euro392397392397Low
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2/3/2020Euro393397393397Low
1/31/2020Pounds473476473476Low
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1/31/2020Euro393397393397Low
1/30/2020Pounds472478472476Low
1/30/2020Dollar358361358360Low
1/30/2020Euro394398394398Low
1/29/2020Pounds472476472476Low
1/29/2020Dollar358360358360Low
1/29/2020Euro394398394398Low
1/28/2020Pounds472476472476Low
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17/04/2019Pounds470475470475Low
17/04/2019Dollar357360357360Low
17/04/2019Euro402406402406Low
16/04/2019Pounds465470470475Low
16/04/2019Dollar360365357360Low
16/04/2019Euro400405402405Low

Data is collated from various black market dealers on the mainland and island of Lagos State where forex is sold. The price quoted daily on this page represents the average price obtained by our Research Team. Our prices are a guide and could be slightly different from the price you get when you eventually decide to buy or sell. This is a daily tracker and updated close of business. See table below for parallel market exchange rate dating to 2019.

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FEATURED

Edo, Rivers, Ondo, Katsina, 17 others attract zero investment in 4 months

Lagos topped the list of states that attracted investments during the period under consideration.

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Ekiti, Jigawa, Abia, 10 others record no investment in 2019

About 21 states in Nigeria attracted zero investments in the last 4 months according to data from the Central Bank of Nigeria.

According to data, the following states, Rivers, Ondo, Edo, Sokoto, Oyo, Abia, and Anambra recorded zero capital importation in the last 4 months. Others are Adamawa, Bauchi, Benue, Borno, Cross River, Delta, Ebonyi, Enugu, Imo, Kastina, Kogi, Kwara, Osun, Oyo, Yobe, and Nassarawa states.

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This information is contained in the Capital importation report obtained from the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN. The report also detailed the total amount of fresh investments attracted to the Nigerian economy during the period.

[READ MORE: States’ IGR hits N691 billion as Osun, others recorded biggest growth]

Note that most of the states that failed to attract investments during the period under review also failed to attract any investments in 2019. This means that it is either the necessary steps were not taken by the governments, or foreign investors could not find attraction in the states or the environments were simply not conducive for investment.

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Lagos outshines FCT, Niger, 5 other states

As expected, Lagos topped the list of states that attracted investments during the period under consideration. Lagos attracted the highest amount of $5.39 billion during the period. The investment inflow into the state represents over 87% of the $6.17 billion.

Lagos is followed by the Federal Capital Territory which attracted a total investment inflow of $754.01 million.

Niger State attracted a total investment inflow of $11.60 million. Sokoto State also attracted $2.50 million, while Kaduna State attracted the sum of $1.98 million and Ogun attracted $1.70 million.

Kano and Akwa Ibom states recorded investment inflow of about $700,000 and about $237,000 respectively among others.

The limited investment inflows into some of these states clearly indicate that the states are not really attractive to the investors, even before the pandemic. The Managing Partner, FA Consult, Peter Adebayo, explained that the nation’s economy is not attractive enough to pull investments to states that lack the desired viability.

“Most of the investors are scared of insurgencies in the country, though such is limited to some parts of the nation, except for the well-connected investors that are given special attention,” he said.

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Back story: Last March, Nairametrics reported that Ekiti, Kogi, Sokoto, Bayelsa, Ebonyi, Gombe, Jigawa, Abia, and five other state governments failed to attract investments in 2019.

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Corporate deals

DEAL: Custodian Investment agrees to buy majority stake in UPDC

Custodian Investment announced on Monday to acquire a 51% stake in UPDC, a real estate company owned by UACN.

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DEAL: Custodian Investment agrees to buy majority stake in UPDC

Custodian Investment announced on Monday to acquire a 51% stake in UPDC, a real estate company owned by UACN. This is confirmed in a press release posted on the website of the Nigerian Stock Exchange.

UACN announced plans to spin off its investment in UPDC in 2019 after multiple years of losses and value accretion threatening to undermine the going concern status of the parent. Last June, UPDC announced it has raised N16 billion from the right issue as it prepared for its unbundling.

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In separate press releases between Custodian and UACN, the duo agreed to a sale of 51% or 9, 465, 584, 668 ordinary shares of UPDC in a transaction that will occur in two phases.

Deal Details

  • An initial sale of 5.1% of UPDC will be sold to Custodian Investment
  • The second sale of 45.9% of UPDC will then be sold to Custodian Investment
  • The companies did not reveal timelines for the consummation of the deal
  • Due to this deal, UACN will stop its unbundling plans for UPDC
  • The deal is subject to regulatory approvals.
  • The purchase consideration was yet to be disclosed, however, UPDC has a market capitalization of N15 billion while Custodian has a Market Capitalization of N30 billion as at press time.

What they are saying

The CEO of Custodian, Wole Oshin and his counterpart in UACN, Folasope Aiyesimoju also commented on the transaction providing reasons for consummating the deal.

  • According to Wole Oshin of Custodian Investment, “The rationale for the Transaction is that Custodian and UAC share the view that their ambitions for capturing opportunity in the real estate industry will be better achieved working in partnership.”
  • Custodian also believes the transaction “will provide Custodian with a platform to capture arising real estate opportunities. It also immediately provides recurring cash flow visibility and attractive yields as a result of its direct exposure to Nigeria’s leading real estate investment trust (“UPDC REIT”) with a track record of profitability and annual dividend distribution which offers a good compliment for our product portfolio.”
  • According to Folasope Aiyesimoju, Group Managing Director of UAC, “UAC received a credible offer from Custodian. The terms of the offer compelled the Board to re-evaluate the planned approach to de-consolidate UPDC and influenced the Board’s decision to proceed with the sale of a portion of UAC’s interest in UPDC to Custodian, effectively putting an end to the UPDC Unbundling.”

What they stand to gain from this deal

The two companies also revealed what they stand to gain from this transaction. According to Custodian, it decided to acquire for the following reasons;

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  • The company claims it is attracted to the ‘recurring cashflow visibility from UPDC REIT citing the huge cash flow it hopes to enjoy from rental income
  • “The UPDC REIT is highly cash generative with recurring income streams. It has distributed an average of N1.4 billion p.a. over the last five years. Rental income from UPDC REIT is underpinned by leases with first-tier tenants. This presents a good match for our business.”
  • Custodian also mentions the N10 billion in assets for sale on the books of UPDC which it will focus on “realising”.
  • For UAC, while it will no longer be pursuing its deconsolidation strategy for UPDC, it will still retain part ownership of the company but will cease to have it as a subsidiary of UAC operating as a standalone.
  • UPDC will now be a subsidiary of Custodian Investment.

UPDC’s Challenges

  • UPDC reported a loss after tax of N15.8 billion in 2019 and has accumulated over N33 billion in losses since 2016.
  • However, its REIT business has faired better reporting a pre-tax profit of N816.5 million in the first half of 2020. It has consistently declared dividends.
  • UPDC collected about N956 million in cash distribution from UPDC Reit in 2019 alone.
  • UPDC has undergone several restructuring since Themis Capital acquired majority ownership in UACN in 2018. However, it was unable to stop the hemorrhaging of losses.

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