Nestle Nigeria PLC’s shareholders have approved a final dividend of N30.517 billion, which translates to N38.5 per share for the 2018 financial year. The approval was given during the company’s 50th Annual General Meeting which recently held in Lagos.
Shareholders are Excited: The dividend payout excited some of the shareholders, many of whom commended Nestle‘s consistency in this regard.
Reacting to the development, the National Coordinator of the Progressive Shareholders Association of Nigeria, Mr Boniface Okezie, stated that the payout was rather on the high side. He also advised that Nestle Nigeria Plc should devise measures aimed at reducing the huge unclaimed dividend figure.
Shareholders’ Advice: Speaking further, Okezie called on the company to consider decentralising its processes for the sake of cost-effectiveness. He made this remark specifically in light of the N43.4 billion marketing and distribution expense the firm recorded in the 2018 financial year which, according to him, was rather on the high side.
Meanwhile, other shareholders used the occasion to urge the company’s board and management to consider issuing bonus shares to the investors, henceforth.
The Chairman’s Speech: Nestle‘s Chairman, David Ifezulike, while reviewing the company’s performance in FY 2018, stressed that it was beset by economic challenges. He stressed that “on the average, spending power further decreased due to the elevated inflationary pressures as we witnessed more value-driven consumption decisions.”
He also acknowldged the challenges posed by competitors, noting that the proliferation of competing products presented a challenge as well as an opportunity for innovation.
Despite the harsh economic realities, the company’s revenue and Profit After Tax rose by 9% and 28% respectively.
On the dividend: The Chairman further stated that the board recommended a final dividend payout of N30.517 billion in compliance with the policy of making the shareholders the ultimate beneficiaries of the company’s business growth.
Commenting on Nestle‘s expectations for 2019, Mr Ifezulike said the company “will continue to leverage our research and development capacities to delight our consumers while creating value for our business and everyone across our value chain.”
COVID-19: Russia to start mass inoculation of vaccine this month as it insists on its safety
The vaccine is said to be undergoing Phase 3 trials, which is the final stage.
Russia has announced that it was going to start mass vaccination of the world’s first COVID-19 vaccine this month before the completion of clinical testing. This is just as it waved off concerns by the international community and some scientists about the safety of the vaccine.
These views were made known by the Russian Health Minister, Mikhail Murashko, on Wednesday, August 12, 2020, during a press briefing.
The Health Minister in his statement said, ‘’Western colleagues, who can sense the competitive advantage of the Russian drug, are trying to express some opinions that are completely unjustified in our view. This vaccine is a platform that is already well-known and studied,” he said, adding that other countries have developed antidotes under accelerated testing programs.’’
Murashko also said that the authorities plan to start inoculating medical workers and other risk groups within 2 weeks on a voluntary basis while pointing out that the vaccine will be made available to the general public from October.
Nairametrics had reported yesterday that the Russian President, Vladimir Putin, in a televised meeting, announced that Russia has registered the first COVID-19 vaccine in what they see as a propaganda coup amid the global race for the development of a vaccine against the coronavirus disease.
This announcement has raised a lot of international concerns with the German Health Minister, Jens Spahn, saying on Wednesday, that Russia’s COVID-19 vaccine has not been sufficiently tested, adding that the aim was to have a safe product rather than just being first to start vaccinating people.
He said in a radio chat that it’s not about being first but rather about having an effective, tested and safe vaccine.
Experts have expressed their concerns over Russia’s decision to grant approval before the final trials of the vaccine have been completed.
He said that as much as he will be pleased to have a good vaccine for the virus, he pointed out that the Russians are not disclosing much about this vaccine.
This vaccine which is developed by Gamaleya Institute in collaboration with the Defence Ministry and the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), is said to be undergoing Phase 3 trials, which is the final stage.
However, a World Health Organization (WHO) database still lists the vaccine as still only in Phase 1 trial, which is the earliest stage.
The RDIF said that it can produce over 500 million doses of the new vaccine in a year in 5 countries, just as it disclosed that a minimum of 20 countries are currently interested in having access to these vaccines.
The WHO had earlier revealed that it is currently discussing with Russia and pointed out that in granting prequalification of the vaccine, a detailed review of data from clinical trials will be required.
FG completes 11 projects to drive Digital Economy
The government has been pushing the Digital Economy in a bid to diversify economic productivity.
The Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy announced that it has completed 11 projects to drive its Digital Economy programme.
This was announced by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami, during the phase 2 commissioning of Nigeria’s Digital Economy drive.
The Nigerian Government has been pushing the Digital Economy in a bid to create growth and diversify economic productivity in the nation, starting with the Digital Economy drive which was added to the portfolio of the Ministry of Communications.
Nairametrics reported last month that the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) also approved the creation of a Digital Economy Department, which will be responsible for promoting the digital economic agenda of the federal government. The department will renew the commission’s strategy for delivering its programmes and policies, and give the necessary push to promote the national digital economy.
The projects were launched with the supervision of the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy and would be operated by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), National Information Technology Development Agency, (NITDA) Nigerian Postal Services (NIPOST ) and The Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF) and would be located nationwide.
The 11 projects are:
- Emergency Communications Centre (ECC) llorin, Kwara State.
- Emergency Communications Centre (ECC) Calabar, Cross River State.
- School Knowledge Centre (SKC), Gombe State.
- Information Technology Innovation Centre, Kogi State.
- Tertiary Institution Knowledge Centre (TIKC), Delta State.
- New Neighborhood Post Office, Delta State.
- Remodelled National Mail Exchange Centre, Bayelsa State.
- e-Health/Data Sharing Centre, Bauchi State.
- Virtual Examination Centre, Borno State.
- Information Technology Capacity Building Centre, Jigawa State.
- Information Technology Capacity Building Centre, Imo State.
Over 5 million Nigerians apply for N-Power Batch C
The Minister assured Nigerians that transparency would be applied during the selection process.
Nigeria’s Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs Disaster Management and Social Development said a total of 5,042,001 Nigerians applied for the Batch C of N-Power. Applications commenced on the 26th of June and closed on the 9th of August.
This was announced by Halima Oyelade, a Special Assitant on Strategic Communication, in a statement released Tuesday night. The Ministry said that the application date was meant to close on the 26th of July, but was extended by two weeks to enable those who were unable to apply to do so.
The Backstory: Nairametrics reported in June that the Federal Government announced the reopening of the application portal of the social investment scheme for fresh registration of the June 2020 Batch C intakes.
We also reported that as at last month, the Federal Government said that it had received 4.48 million applications from beneficiaries for the Batch C of the programme within the first 2 weeks.
The Minister, Sadiya Umar Farouq, assured Nigerians in the statement that transparency and due diligence would be applied during the selection process to ensure that the qualified applicants are selected.
“The Honorable Minister further added that the N-Power program is aimed to provide the Nigerian youths with opportunities to gain skills for employability and entrepreneurship which will also go along way in assisting the country towards the post-Covid 19 economic recovery,” she said.
She added that the Ministry would comply with the administration’s promise of lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in ten years and the N-Power scheme would be one of the means to do so as women and persons with disabilities would be prioritized in the selection.