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PZ Cussons not pulling out of Nigeria, says CEO

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PZ Cussons Plc, PZ Cussons Nigeria Plc

Global consumer goods manufacturer, PZ Cussons has debunked rumours of the company pulling out its operations in Nigeria. Chief Executive Officer of PZ Cussons Nigeria Plc, Christos Giannopoulos disclosed this when he said reports about the company’s intention to pull out are untrue.

While describing the viral reports about the company’s ‘unannounced pullout’ as false, Giannopoulos said regardless of the tough economic conditions, PZ Cussons remains committed to serving Nigerians.

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The PZ CEO explained that the trading statement issued to the London Stock Exchange (LSE) was clear on PZ Cussons’ continued operations in Nigeria. He stated,

“While these conditions prevail, we will maintain our strong market shares in key product categories in Nigeria until growth returns to the market.

“This year, 2019, we shall be celebrating 120 years of making life better and adding value to Nigeria. In our 120 years of doing business in Nigeria, we have faced different conditions and come out stronger at the end of each phase.”

PZ Cussons had disclosed that its financial performance for full-year 2019 (which ends in May) will not be very profitable. This situation, according to the company, is largely due to an underwhelming performance by its Nigerian subsidiary, PZ Cussons Nigeria Plc.

Sluggish demand and a number of other economic challenges in the country combined to cause poor performance. To this end, it expects profit before tax to be around £70 million and profit after tax to stand at £32.8 million.

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Recall that Nairametrics reported back in September 2018, PZ Cussons subtly hinted at low profitability prior to publishing its financial statement for the quarter ended August 31st of last year.

A statement by the company had acknowledged that PZ Cusson’s entire global operations were experiencing challenges in different markets, especially in Nigeria where people’s disposable income is lowered due to the upcoming general election in the country.

The company then issued yet another trading update in December last year, this time warning that its half-year financial result (which ended in November), could entail a loss.

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Patricia

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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Corporate Press Releases

NSE simplifies investing in the capital market with comic book

StockTown is dedicated to providing financial literacy education to Nigerians.

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The proliferation of dubious investment schemes that often result in loss of money by unsuspecting members of the public continues to make the role of financial literacy imperative. To play its part, Nigeria’s leading bourse, The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE or The Exchange) has issued the second edition of its comic, StockTown, dedicated to providing financial literacy education to Nigerians.

The comic, available in digital format on a dedicated website at www.nse-stocktown.com builds on The Exchange’s advocacy for safe and trusted investment schemes.

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The story picks up from the first edition, following the life of Mora Johnson as she seeks to liberate her family from their financial struggles by investing in the capital market. This second edition highlights some major lessons for potential and existing investors including the need for vigilance in avoiding Ponzi schemes and unregulated investments, whilst advising prospective investors to seek proper guidance before making investment decisions. Readers can look forward to a simplified explanation of the history of the capital market, its evolution over the years, and how anyone can start making investments today in the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) section of StockTown.

Commenting on the importance of this comic book, Head, Corporate Communications, NSE, Olumide Orojimi said, “Investor Education is a priority for us at The Exchange. We have identified the need to empower individuals across all levels to make good financial decisions and better their lives now and in the future. As the investment landscape continues to evolve to accommodate more retail participants, we are excited to leverage new and existing platforms to present investment products and processes in ways that are both appealing and easy to understand, particularly in this new normal. We hope that StockTown becomes a widely-read resource for potential and existing investors, the financially excluded, millennials and the larger public.”

StockTown is just one of the many ways NSE demonstrates its strong commitment to promoting financial literacy in Nigeria. Even amidst the Coronavirus pandemic and the temporary closure of The Exchange’s facilities, NSE continues to host virtual financial literacy workshops with students and young upwardly mobile professionals. Furthermore, The Exchange has hosted several webinars on various products including Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs), Green Bonds, and Securities Lending to provide more information to the market on available securities and how to trade them.

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It should also be recalled that NSE is a member of the Financial Literacy Technical Committee of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC); as well as the National Finance Inclusion Steering Committee led by the Central Bank of Nigeria with a mandate to reduce the level of financial exclusion in Nigeria to 20%.

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Hospitality & Travel

5th evacuation flight for Nigerians in the US scheduled for July 31; see details

The evacuees are to forward the details of tickets and contact addresses of their next of kin.

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5th evacuation flight for Nigerians in the US scheduled for July 31; see details

The Federal Government has approved the 5th Evacuation flight for Nigerians stranded in the United States of America, for July 31.

According to a tweet from the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, the Ethiopian airline, flight number ET547 will leave George Bush international airport Houston, Texas on Friday 31, July 2020 by 16:00 hours and arrive Murtala Muhammed International Airport Lagos on Saturday 1st August 2020 by 20:00 hours.

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An official statement released by the Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Atlanta, Georgia in collaboration with other Nigerian missions in the United States of America, states that Nigerians registered with any of the three Nigerian missions in the USA, and interested in boarding the flight, can purchase their one-way tickets.

“The airfare is $1,500 for economy class and $3,000 for business class for adult/child fare, including all taxes, with the usual percentage reduction for infants under 2 years,” it read.

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In addition, the intending evacuees are also expected to forward the details of purchased tickets together with the contact address of their next of kin in Nigeria to the consulate.

READ MORE: FG states international passengers to arrive 5 hours before departure, discloses other protocols

In line with the protocols announced by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, all of the returnees are to present a negative COVID-19 test result (not older than 14 days), and undergo a temperature check before boarding the evacuation flight, and upon arriving Nigeria, are expected to proceed on a 14-day self-isolation.

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In the last couple of months, the federal government, through the ministry of foreign affairs has evacuated hundreds of stranded Nigerians from different countries including the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Egypt, Malaysia, and Thailand.

The returnees bear the cost of their flight tickets and are expected to self-isolate for two weeks, upon their return to Nigeria. Returnees, who receive a clean bill of health after the isolation, are given their passports and allowed to go home.

 

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Tech News

Global digital population hits 4.5 billion

About 4.57 billion people were active users of the internet in April 2020.

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With Covid-19 confining within the four walls of their rooms and home, the internet becomes and is becoming a ready resource or platform for commercial and noncommercial interactions.  The implication of this is that more and more people are becoming prone to using the internet. That also has an impact on the global digital population. According to information from Statistica, about 4.57 billion people were active users of the internet in April 2020. This represents 59% of global population.

Among the global internet users, China, India and the United States of America recorded more internet users than the rest of the countries.  As Covid-19 makes it more obvious that much can be done through the internet without any physical presence, the current global online penetration rate of 59% will increase in no distant time. Places like Northern Europe are almost there with a 95% internet penetration rate, Other countries with high internet penetration rates include the United Arab Emirate (UAE), Denmark, and South Korea. Ironically, the next-door neighbour to South Korea, North Korea has almost zero internet penetration rate.

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Qua Vadis Nigeria:  Nigeria as a country and Nigerians as a people have not been doing too badly when it comes to the issue of digital population. According to available data from the National Bureau of Statistics, active internet users/subscribers total 136,203,231  as at the end of Q1 2020. That represents almost 51% of the entire population. Compared to a similar period a year ago, Nigeria recorded an increase in internet penetration rate of 17.1% on year on year basis and 8.03% increase on a quarter to date basis.

State-wide digital population: Lagos state has the greatest number of internet users in Nigeria, with slightly over 17 million users, followed by Kano state with 8.3 million users and then Ogun state with 8.03 internet users. The state with the least internet penetration is Bayelsa state where only 985 thousand people were connected to the internet as at Q1 2020.

MTN remains the carrier with the largest number of subscribers as 57.3 million internet subscribers in Nigeria are with MTN, while AIRTEL came second with 36.8 million subscribers but closely followed by GLO with 33.9 million subscribers. All those three benefits from 9Mobile, whose loss of a few of its subscribers added to the subscription growth of the bigger market players.

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Voice subscription: A lot more Nigerians are using their phones for voice services, though. According to the same data from the National Bureau of Statistics, 189, 282,796 Nigerians have voice subscriptions in Q1 2020.  This implies that about 54 million Nigerians have phones that are not internet-enabled. With Covid-19 and the need for students in the tertiary and secondary schools being required to do some or most of their assignments on the internet, that number will change very soon.

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