Shareholders of the leading cement manufacturer, Dangote Cement Plc, have approved a dividend payment of N272.6 billion for the financial year ended December 31st, 2018. This translates to a dividend of N16 per every 50 kobo share held by the shareholders of the company.
The announcement was made by the company’s Chairman, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, who spoke during the company’s 10th Annual General Meeting (AGM) which held in Lagos on Monday.
Exciting news for shareholders: Speaking on behalf of the shareholders, Sunny Nwosu, the founder of Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria (ISAN) applauded the company for the impressive dividend declaration for 2018.
It should be noted that the N272.6 billion approved dividend represents a 52.4% increase over the N178.9 billion declared in 2017 at N10.50 per share.
2018 was good for the company: The Chairman further disclosed that 2018 was the most successful year in the company’s history. This apparently explains the company’s commendable dividend declaration, itself the highest the company has ever declared.
Specifically, Dangote cited the 7.4% leap in the group cement sales as the principal factor that informed increase in the proposed dividend. The group cement sales rose to 23.5 million tonnes with a corresponding rise in revenue to N901.2 billion.
Details of Expansion Plans: According to Dangote, the company’s operations would soon be extended to a minimum of 18 African countries. Similarly, the company’s flagship plant at Obajana, Kogi State would have its production capacity increased to 16 million metric tonnes. This will put the plant in the league of the biggest cement manufacturing plants in the world.
In the meantime, two new export terminals in Lagos and Port Harcourt are expected to earn the company and (by extension Nigeria) about $700 million in Foreign Exchange when completed.
“We have a lot of ongoing projects aimed at increasing capacity and by next year, we will not only export one million tonnes as we normally do now, we will be servicing both the domestic and other African countries from Nigeria. We will have a capacity of about eight million tonnes to export and that will generate foreign exchange of about $700m into the country.
“Later in 2019, we will open export facilities in Lagos and Port Harcourt that will enable us to export clinker, initially to our grinding plants we are building in West Africa. Not only will these generate useful foreign currency for Dangote Cement to support other expansion projects outside of Nigeria, but they will also help to increase the output of our Nigerian plants. They will also help to improve job creation and increase prosperity in Nigeria, something of which all stakeholders can be proud of.”
About Dangote Cement Plc: It is a leading cement manufacturing firm headquartered in Lagos Nigeria with operations in nine other African countries.
The business model entails manufacturing, preparation, import, packaging, and distribution of cement and other related products. It is reputed to be the most capitalised company on the Nigerian Stock Exchange.
The company has consistently declared dividends since it became a quoted company on the Nigerian Stock Exchange with N2, N2.25, N1.25, N3, N7, N6, N8, N8.50 and N10.50 declared for 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 financial years respectively.
Dangote Cement Plc’s share price is currently trading at N182.40 on the Nigerian Stock Exchange.
COVID-19: US to have enough vaccines for vulnerable Americans by end of 2020
The US said it is likely to have enough safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines to inoculate Americans by the end of 2020.
The United States, On Wednesday, revealed that the country is likely to have enough safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines available to inoculate the most vulnerable Americans by the end of 2020.
The U.S. government is cautiously optimistic that one or two vaccines, likely from Pfizer Inc or Moderna Inc, will be available by the end of the year, and can begin to be distributed to Americans, officials said during a news conference.
This was disclosed by the US Secretary of Health and Human Services, Alex Azar, on Wednesday, October 22, 2020.
Azar said he expected that all seniors, healthcare workers, and first responders would be able to receive vaccines as soon as January, with the rest of the American public able to get vaccines by April.
Companies participating in the U.S. government’s effort to develop vaccines for COVID-19, dubbed “Operation Warp Speed”, have begun developing manufacturing capabilities even before any vaccination has been authorized by regulators.
Nairametrics had reported that in an open letter, the Chief Executive Officer of Pfizer Inc, Albert Bourla, disclosed that it could seek emergency authorization to use the COVID-19 vaccine in the US by late November, after the US Presidential election.
The coronavirus outbreak has been worsening in recent weeks as cold weather pushes Americans indoors, raising the chance of contracting the virus. Some 38 U.S. states and two territories have reported rising case counts. More than 8 million Americans have been infected with the novel coronavirus and more than 200,000 have died.
What this means
This announcement rules out the assertion by US President, Donald Trump, that a COVID-19 vaccine would be ready before the Presidential election. However, this news is still a huge boost for the country, which has been one of the most hit globally from the pandemic.
IGP orders immediate withdrawal of police officers attached to VIPs
The IGP has ordered the immediate withdrawal of police officers attached to all VIPs across the country.
The Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu, has ordered the immediate withdrawal of Police Officers who are attached to all Very Important Persons (VIPs) across the country. The Police Officers exempted from this directive are those attached to Government Houses; the Senate President; and the Speaker, House of Representatives.
According to media reports, the directive was contained in a police wireless message dated October 21, 2020, that was sent virtually to Zonal Assistant Inspector General of Police and State Commissioners of Police with reference number, CB:4001/DOPS/SPU/FHQ/ABU/VOL./ORDER.
The statement said, “Any commander who violates this order will bear the consequences.”
This new directive comes barely 10 days after the police authorities disbanded the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), following nationwide protests against the squad for high handedness and extrajudicial killings.
The signal, which was signed by the AIG POL, Protect, Force Headquarters, Abuja, partly read, “Any protect personnel found escorting or guarding any VIP with or without a firearm is deemed to be deployed by the Commander and the Commander will be sanctioned.”
It further directed the affected personnel to report to their respective command Commissioners of Police.
It can be recalled that successive IGPs have issued similar orders in the past, which were barely implemented.
In another development, the IGP has sent emissaries to the Chairman, Police Service Commission (PSC), Musiliu Smith, in a bid to have a smooth working relationship with the retired police boss.
It was gathered that two former IGs, Mike Okiro, and Suleiman Abba, visited the PSC Chairman at his office in Abuja on Wednesday, following Smith’s refusal to meet with Adamu on several occasions.
A source explained that Okiro and Abba spent over three hours trying to persuade Smith to reconcile with the IG, who has been at loggerheads with the PSC over the recruitment of constables into the Nigeria Police Force.
What this means
This appears to be part of measures aimed at kick-starting the much talked about reforms in the Nigerian Police Force. The full implementation of this order will make more police officers available to provide security to Nigerians, as a huge number of the force provides security to private individuals and companies in a country that is greatly under policed.
COVID-19 Update in Nigeria
On the 21st of October 2020, 37 new confirmed cases were recorded in Nigeria
The spread of novel Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) in Nigeria continues to record increases as the latest statistics provided by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control reveal Nigeria now has 61,667 confirmed cases.
On the 21st of October 2020, 37 new confirmed cases were recorded in Nigeria, having carried out a total daily test of 4,648 samples across the country.
To date, 61,667 cases have been confirmed, 56,880 cases have been discharged and 1,125 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory. A total of 595,283 tests have been carried out as of October 21st, 2020 compared to 590,635 tests a day earlier.
COVID-19 Case Updates- 21st October 2020,
- Total Number of Cases – 61,667
- Total Number Discharged – 56,880
- Total Deaths – 1,1125
- Total Tests Carried out – 595,283
According to the NCDC, the 37 new cases were reported from 9 states – FCT (8), Lagos (7), Taraba (5), Rivers (5), Adamawa (4) Kaduna (3), Anambra (2), Osun (2), Ogun (1).
Meanwhile, the latest numbers bring Lagos state total confirmed cases to 20,733, followed by Abuja (5,943), Plateau (3,587), Oyo (3,421), Rivers (2,742), Edo (2,648), Kaduna (2,572), Ogun (1,987), Delta (1,812), Kano (1,741), Ondo (1,659), Enugu (1,314), Kwara (1,050), Ebonyi (1,049), Osun (918), Katsina (904), Abia (898), Gombe (883). Borno (745), and Bauchi (710).
Imo State has recorded 607 cases, Benue (484), Nasarawa (478), Bayelsa (403), Ekiti (329), Jigawa (325), Akwa Ibom (295), Anambra (277), Niger (274), Adamawa (248), Sokoto (162), Taraba (117), Kebbi (93), Cross River (87), Zamfara and Yobe (79), while Kogi state has recorded 5 cases only.
Lock Down and Curfew
In a move to combat the spread of the pandemic disease, President Muhammadu Buhari directed the cessation of all movements in Lagos and the FCT for an initial period of 14 days, which took effect from 11 pm on Monday, 30th March 2020.
The movement restriction, which was extended by another two-weeks period, has been partially put on hold with some businesses commencing operations from May 4. On April 27th, 2020, Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari declared an overnight curfew from 8 pm to 6 am across the country, as part of new measures to contain the spread of the COVID-19. This comes along with the phased and gradual easing of lockdown measures in FCT, Lagos, and Ogun States, which took effect from Saturday, 2nd May 2020, at 9 am.
On Monday, 29th June 2020 the federal government extended the second phase of the eased lockdown by 4 weeks and approved interstate movement outside curfew hours with effect from July 1, 2020. Also, on Monday 27th July 2020, the federal government extended the second phase of eased lockdown by an additional one week.
On Thursday, 6th August 2020 the federal government through the secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 announced the extension of the second phase of eased lockdown by another four (4) weeks.