Lekoil Oil and Gas Investments Limited has signed a $11.5 million facility with FBNQuest Merchant Bank. This was announced by the company in a statement sent to the London Stock Exchange.
Lekoil Oil and Gas Investments Limited’s parent company, LEKOIL Nigeria Limited, said it had agreed to guarantee the obligations of the latter in its pursuit of the facility.
[READ MORE: Lekoil to boost production output by listing on NSE]
Purpose of the credit facility: According to the company’s Chief Executive Officer, Lekan Akinyanmi, the facility would provide Lekoil with increased flexibility at a cost of capital in line with its existing facilities.
“I am delighted that we have agreed to this additional facility with FBNQuest, a key local lender in Nigeria. This facility provides us with increased flexibility at a cost of capital in-line with our existing facilities. We appreciate FBNQuest’s support and appreciate our growing long-term relationship with them.”
More details on the facility: As stated in the statement, the facility has a maturity of four years and is repayable quarterly with a margin of LIBOR + 10%. The company also said it expected to draw down on the facility as needed, which had no pre-payment penalty.
“The facility will be used primarily to pay all outstanding quarterly repayments (including principal and interest) due to Shell Western Supply and Trading Limited and payment of the licence/lease extension fees on OPL 276 (as announced on August 23 2019) and OPL 310 ($7.5m due by October 31, 2019).”
About Lekoil: Lekoil is an Africa-focused oil exploration and production company with interests currently in Nigeria and offshore Namibia.
The company was founded in 2010 by a group of leading professionals with extensive experience in the international upstream oil and gas industry as well as in global fund management and investment banking.
About FBNQuest: FBNQuest operates to be the leading Merchant Bank and Asset Manager in sub-Saharan Africa. More so, its aims to be a trusted, inspirational partner founded on innovation, deep local roots, and global insights in the country’s banking system.
Located in Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt, the broad range of FBNQuest services ensures a bespoke solution for everyone.
China more willing to restructure Africa’s debt than private creditors
Agreements have been easier to reach with Chinese lenders than with private creditors.
A recent study by John Hopkins University reveals it may be easier for African Nations to raise debt and also get debt relief from China than private creditors.
The report of the study comes a day after China promised to cancel interests from loans to African nations and restructure debt to Africa. The study also revealed that China has restructured $15 billion of African debt and written off $3.4 billion in the past ten years.
After 1,000 Chinese loans, including restructured Mozambican and Republic of Congo debt, were analysed, the researchers concluded that “the agreements have been easier to reach with Chinese lenders than with private creditors”.
The Paris Club recently agreed to pause debt payment valued at $11 billion for the poorest 73 nations freeing up capital to tackle the coronavirus pandemic. However, not all eligible nations signed up citing fears of default ratings if debt obligations are not met.
The study discovers difficulties in renegotiating terms on International Bonds for African countries due to the disparate ownership structure making private creditors unwilling to grant complete debt relief, citing warnings on rating downgrades.
China accounts for about 20% of Africa’s external debt and lent over $150 billion to the continent between 2000-2018 the study reveals. Chinese President, Xi Jinping has urged global leaders to be more pragmatic with debt suspension for Africa.
The study says much of the terms of Chinese debt to Africa has not been transparent and the relief negotiations may follow the same path.
Orange, France’s largest telco operator, may come to Nigeria in months
Orange would also be looking at bolstering partnerships with health companies or institutions.
France’s largest telecom operator, Orange, is set to extend its tentacles to Nigeria and South Africa.
Chief Executive Officer, Orange, Stephane Richard, who disclosed the news, said that the firm would make the move in a few months.
He said, “It could make sense to be in economies such as Nigeria and South Africa. If one considers there are things to do, the time frame I am considering is rather a few months than a few years.”
The Middle East and Africa, where Orange has a presence in 18 countries, is the company’s fastest-growing market.
What you need to know: There are chances that the company may eye payment transfers (mobile) in Nigeria.
That is because it makes the largest chunk of its revenue from payment transfers (Middle East), a key part of the group’s diversification into financial services, and Nigeria, which is the most populous black nation, is always an attraction.
Meanwhile, earlier in 2020, Orange had stated that it was bringing its operations in the Middle East and Africa into a single entity, paving the way for a potential listing of the operations that could raise cash to invest in overseas expansion.
“Orange would also be looking at bolstering partnerships with health companies or institutions,” he added.
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LIRS further extends deadline for filing annual tax returns by one month
“We constantly debated what other measures could be taken as an organization to support individuals and businesses at this time, hence, the additional one-month extension from June 1, to June 30, 2020.” – Ayodele Subair
The Lagos State Internal Revenue Service (LIRS) has again extended the deadline for filing of Annual Tax Returns from May 31 2020 to June 30, 2020.
This is part of the state government’s effort to provide relief to taxpayers in light of the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. With this development, annual returns for individuals, both employees and self-employed persons, can be filed anytime before June 30, 2020.
In a press release signed by Monsurat Amasa, the head of LIRS’ Corporate Communications Department, the agency urged taxpayers to take advantage of the magnanimity of the government and file their returns. The LIRS’ Executive Chairman, Mr. Ayodele Subair, explained the extension thus:
“As the Lagos State Government keeps abreast of global best practices in containing the Covid-19 pandemic and eases the effects of an economic downturn on taxpayers and residents of the State, LIRS had initially extended the deadline for filing annual tax returns for two months, from the statutory March 31st of every fiscal year to May 31, 2020.
“We constantly debated what other measures could be taken as an organization to support individuals and businesses at this time, hence, the additional one-month extension from June 1, to June 30, 2020.”
He further explained that taxpayers can file the annual returns from the comfort of their homes and offices using the LIRS eTax platforms. They can also generate assessment and payment schedule, and other tax administration matters on the same platform. Updates on business operations and alternative payment platforms are to be found on the verified handles, and the LIRS website.