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Spotlight Stories

CORPORATE ACTIONS: More Drama and a New MD

Here is a rundown of corporate actions expected on the @nsecontact this week

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Corporate Actions

Corporate actions are decisions taken by companies’ boards of directors or management teams, that could have impacts on the firms themselves or shareholders.

Examples of corporate actions include the release of quarterly and full year results, payment of dividends, closing of shareholders’ registers, announcing qualification dates and Annual General Meeting (AGM) dates.

Here is a review of corporate actions that took place last week, and those expected in the week ahead.

Corporate actions from last week

Oando drama continues

The tussle between Oando Plc and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) continued this week. SEC, in its argument, maintained that the company’s  Annual General Meeting had been suspended following the court suit filed by Wale Tinubu and Mofe Boyo against the commission.

The court instructed both parties to maintain the status quo.

In its response, Oando Plc maintained that:

The actions contained in the SEC’s letter to the Company dated Friday, May 31, 2019 was effectively put in abeyance by the Ex-parte Order of the Federal High Court, which was granted on Monday, June 3, 2019.

Later in the week, the company provided an update to its court case. The court directed that the duo’s preliminary objection and the substantive application for enforcement of fundamental rights should be taken together at the next adjourned date fixed for the 24th of June, 2019.

A New MD

Ellah Lakes Plc has appointed Mr. Chuka Mordi as Managing Director, effective June 12th, 2019. Mr. Mordi takes over from Mr. Frank Ellah, who moves on to new pursuits. The appointment was made at a board meeting of the company held on the same date.

Mordi is a partner at CBO Capital, which has had limited success with Union Dicon Salt Plc.

The firm also announced the acquisition of Telluria Limited. Telluria was the investing vehicle that Mordi used to take a stake in the agricultural firm.

In the notice, Ellah Lakes stated that the move was in a bid to diversify its products in the Agribusiness space. Telluria is into the development of cassava and oil palm plantations.

News from Lafarge

In a notice sent to the Nigerian Stock Exchange, Lafarge Africa Plc provided guidance as to the release date of its FY 2018 results.

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The cement giant attributed the delay to pending actions required for the resolution of key matters relating to the closure of the company’s Annual Audited Financial Statement for the year ended 31st December, 2018. It expects to submit the results not later than the 28th of June, 2019.

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A Greenlight 

Shareholders of Union Bank of Nigeria Plc at an Extra Ordinary General Meeting held within the week gave approval for the bank to write off N54.4 billion in retained losses using its share premium account.

Corporate Actions taking place this week

Facts Behind the Listing

Ellah Lakes Plc will hold a Facts Behind the Listing presentation on Monday, June 17, 2019. The company had listed 1.8 billion shares, a few months ago. The shares were issued to shareholders of Telluria Limited following its acquisition.

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Annual General Meetings

Dangote Cement Plc kicks off the group’s Annual General Meetings (AGMs) scheduled for this week, with it holding on the 17th of June. Sister company, Dangote Sugar Refinery, is next with its AGM taking place on the 18th of June. Greif Nigeria Plc, Regency Alliance Insurance, Veritas Kapital Assurance Plc and Japaul Oil and Maritime Plc will hold theirs on the same day.

Stanbic IBTC Holdings and Linkage Assurance Plc will hold their AGMs on the 19th of June. Julius Berger Nigeria Plc, CAP Plc, BOC Gases Nigeria Plc, and Meyer Paints Plc will have theirs on the 20th of June , 2019.

Cadbury Nigeria Plc rounds up the AGMs for the week, as its AGM will hold on the 21st of June.

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Extraordinary General Meeting

FBN Heritage Fund will hold an EGM on the 20th of June.

Onome Ohwovoriole has a degree in Economics and Statistics from the University of Benin and prior to joining Nairametrics in December 2016 as Lead Analyst had stints in Publishing, Automobile Services, Entertainment and Leadership Training.He covers companies in the Nigerian corporate space, especially those listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).He also has a keen interest in new frontiers like Cryptocurrencies and Fintech. In his spare time, he loves to read books on finance, fiction as well as keep up with happenings in the world of international diplomacy.You can contact him via [email protected]

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Coronavirus

President Buhari, Osibanjo to take Covid-19 vaccine on Saturday

President Buhari and his Vice, Yemi Osinbajo will receive shots of AstraZeneca/Oxford COVID-19 vaccines on Saturday.

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The Federal Government has announced that President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, will receive shots of AstraZeneca/Oxford COVID-19 vaccines on Saturday to demonstrate vaccine safety to the public.

This follows the country’s receipt of the first batch of about 4 million doses of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine under the COVAX initiative and the planned launch of the national vaccination campaign.

This disclosure was made by the Executive Director of National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr Faisal Shuaib, at the second edition of the State House briefing in Abuja on Thursday, which is focused on Nigeria’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic and the country’s national vaccination strategy.

He said that the exercise will boost the confidence of Nigerians to receive the about 4 million doses of AstraZeneca/Oxford Covid-19 vaccine that arrived in the country 2 days ago.

Shuaib said, “The next step in the vaccination programme given that we’ve now received the vaccines is a launch that will be taking place at the National Hospital tomorrow. The time scheduled for that launch is 10 am. The launch will be conducted by the Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, (Boss Mustapha).

“The plan is to vaccinate the frontline health workers that work in the treatment centre of the National Hospital, those will be the first people just like we’ve communicated that frontline health workers will be the first people to take the vaccines.

“Launch of National vaccination campaign will take place at the National Hospital Abuja, Friday, March 5, 2021, with Frontline health workers.

On Saturday, the plan is to vaccinate Mr President, Mr Vice-President and strategic leaders, to demonstrate vaccine safety to the public.

 Again, we are hopeful that when Nigerians see leaders like Mr President and Mr Vice-President take the vaccines; it will increase their confidence around the safety of the vaccines.

“As you are well aware that even before the vaccines arrived in Nigeria, there is a lot of hesitancy. It is a global phenomenon. Vaccine hesitancy is similar no matter where you are, you have to provide the right information and to those people who have questions, we cannot dismiss their cynicism.’’

The NPHCDA boss also said that state governments must certain requirements and obligations before the Covid-19 vaccines will be released to them.

He said, ‘’States have requirements and obligations to fulfil before the Covid vaccines will be released to them. They have to demonstrate they have taken steps to ensure proper storage, security, etc.’’

What you should know

  • It can be recalled that the much-awaited AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine arrived at Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja around noon on Tuesday, March 2, 2021, onboard an Emirates airline.
  • The receipt of the 3.92 million doses of the vaccine is the first batch from the over 16 million doses allocated to Nigeria through the COVAX initiative, aimed at vaccinating about 20% of the population.

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Energy

Nigeria’s long road to metering: Who bears the brunt?

While consumers remain unmetered due to the inefficiencies of the Discos, the Discos continue to charge outrageous estimated bills.

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One of the many challenges facing Nigeria’s electric power sector is the issue of metering. From being a pre-privatisation problem, lack of metering has evolved to be a more sophisticated post-privatisation feature skirting the corridors of the Nigerian power sector for the last few years.

Statistics show that the number of unmetered customers across Nigeria has continued to rise. In 2016, a metering status report from the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) showed that about 3 million of the registered accounts of customers were unmetered. In 2017, this number grew as NERC reported that over 4 million unmetered customers. In 2019, a NERC report showed that over 5 million Nigerians were unmetered and this number has continued to rise.

In a bid to address the metering gap, in 2013 at the onset of the privatised electricity sector, the Credit Advance Programme for Metering Implementation (CAPMI) scheme was launched. The purpose of the scheme was to relieve the Distribution Companies (Discos) of the burden of financing the cost of the meters. As such it enabled the customer to pay for the meter upfront while the Disco amortised the cost through electricity supplied to the customer over a period of time.

READ: Nigerian firm set to raise $1.2 billion to purchase electricity meters

The CAPMI removed the initial capital outlay for financing meters from the Discos and Discos were to provide the customer with a meter within 45 days of payment. However, the scheme failed to deliver on its objective. As noted by the then Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola in 2016, “Discos that collected money from their customers to procure and install meters at their homes have mostly failed to do so”. The CAPMI was eventually discontinued in 2016, leaving the sector with at least a 50% metering gap.

In April 2018, the Meter Asset Provider (MAP) scheme was introduced by NERC in a bid to address the same problem. Under this scheme, there were to be third party meter suppliers engaged by the Discos, effectively removing the burden of providing meters from the Discos. The Discos were mandated to engage MAPs within 120 days.

READ: Consumer Complaints: DisCos received 203,116 complaints in Q2 2020 – NERC

The scheme, unlike the CAPMI, ensures that the customer received a meter from the MAP without making any upfront payment, while the payment was sculpted into the customer’s monthly electricity tariff as an energy charge until it was fully amortized. The scheme also gave customers the opportunity to choose to pay upfront and get their meters installed within 10 days in return for energy credits. It turned out that more customers were taking the alternative approach rather than the original approach as the rollout was not very favourable to those who chose to go the energy charge amortization route.

The MAP scheme has not been as successful as was hoped, with Discos missing deadlines to engage MAPs and MAPs facing the challenge of increased import tariffs and lack of local manufacturing capacity. In October last year, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) launched its National Mass Metering Programme (NMMP) with a view to funding the local production, and in some, cases importation of meters by meter providers and Discos. Perhaps this was a case of putting the cart before the horse, since the facility came after the Federal Government had revised electricity tariffs upward of a 100%, not considering the fact that a teeming number of customers who had subscribed under either the CAPMI or the MAP scheme were yet to receive meters.

READ: FG to inject over N198 billion on capital projects in power sector in 2021

With the addition of the NMMP facility to CBN’s existing N213billion Nigerian Electricity Market Stabilisation Facility (NEMSF) advanced to the Discos in 2014, significant progress is yet to be seen from this facility gathering. While it is hoped that the NMMP will help close the metering gap, the brunt of the lack of metering since the privatisation of the sector has always been borne by the consumers, many of whom have had to pay exorbitant prices for meters under previous schemes, with nothing to show for it.

Interestingly, while consumers remain unmetered due to the inefficiencies of the Discos, the Discos continue to charge estimated bills even after the February 2020 NERC Order that capped estimated billing. While the Order may have merely reduced incidences of outrageous bills, Discos continue to bill customers outrageous amounts.

READ: NNPC to boost power generation with additional 5,000 megawatts to national grid

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It is unfortunate that almost a decade after the privatisation of the Nigerian electricity sector, the Discos are unable to tackle one aspect of Aggregate Technical, Commercial and Collection (ATC&C) losses and continue to put the burden of metering or estimated billing on the customer, added to the increased electricity tariffs the customer has to pay in spite of epileptic power supply. NERC must really sit up in mandating compliance by the Discos in seeing that the NMMP combined with the MAP meet the December 2021 deadline of closing the metering gap.

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