Three months after Mastercard and Visa pulled out of Libra, a cryptocurrency owned by Facebook, it seems the exit door is still open as another member of the Libra Association takes a bow. The new member exiting Libra is a telecommunications company, Vodafone.
Vodafone joined the growing list of Libra Association members, which have abandoned their quest to be part of a cryptocurrency projected to revolutionalise the currency world due to its backers. Before Vodafone, Paypal and eBay had also withdrawn their roles in Facebook’s digital currency.
This means about five members, which Facebook disclosed it would be launching Libra with, have exited in seven months of its announcement. To join the Libra Association, an upfront payment of $10 million is required.
Why is Vodafone leaving? The company said it wanted to focus on its mobile payment company, M-Pesa which leads the mobile payment market in Africa. Vodafone also said its leaving didn’t affect its commitment to financial inclusion goal.
Vodafone said it would contribute to the financial inclusion agenda through its mobile payment arm, M-Pesa.
“Vodafone Group has decided to withdraw from the Libra Association. We have said from the outset that Vodafone’s desire is to make a genuine contribution to extending financial inclusion. We remain fully committed to that goal and feel that we can make the most contribution by focusing our efforts on M-Pesa,” Vodafone’s statement read in part.
Vodafone might return in the future to pick up from where it left off, as it didn’t rule out a future return to the Libra Association.
“We will continue to monitor the development of the Libra Association and do not rule out the possibility of future co-operation.”
The controversial reason behind the exits? After Facebook announced its intention to go into digital currency, it was vehemently rejected by political leaders around the world. These governments believe Facebook’s Libra is a threat to their currencies.
There have been doubts that Libra might not get the regulatory approval needed to operate and already, public perception is against the digital currency, as the outburst from governments has portrayed it as a dangerous currency not to be used for trade.
The criticism is believed to be overwhelming for some of these Libra Association members. Also, fear of government clampdown on their other businesses is compelling some of them to rethink their association with Libra, factoring cost of a face-off with the government.
So, while Vodafone didn’t cite the face-off with the government as the reason for its exit from Libra Association, it’s believed to be a contributing factor that made the company quit the building of what is expected to be the biggest digital currency.
Floods disrupt operations in Flour Mills’ Sugar Estate
Heavy floods at Flour Mills’ Sunti Golden Sugar Estate has disrupted its operations.
Sunti Golden Sugar Estate (SGSE), owned by Flour Mills, has suffered some disruptions to its operations as floodwater breached the Sugar Estate.
This information was gathered by Nairametrics from a notification sent to the Nigerian Stock Exchange and signed by the Company’s Secretary, Umolu Joseph A. O.
The largest miller by market capitalization, explains that the floods were as a result of the long rainfalls recorded recently at the northern and central parts of the Niger basin, as the floods were triggered by severe downpours at the Sokoto Rima basin, and as a consequence, the Kainji and Jeba dams witnessed an upsurge in the lateral flow of water.
The Management stated that SGSE has suffered some disruptions to operations, as the resulting high inflows in the downstream Niger River caused a breach to the extensive and properly designed dyke systems at Sunti Golden Sugar Estates (SGSE).
This development is expected to delay the expansion project, geared towards increasing the area under cultivation to 4,000 hectares by mid-2021.
The Miller assures stakeholders, that there is no immediate threat to the earlier indicated earnings projections of FMN, as immediate safety protocols have been instituted to safeguard employees, property and equipment. Hence the breach is not foreseen to impact the overall performance of the Group.
The company informs investors and other key stakeholders that the actual state of damage to the current sugarcane crop at Sunti, can only truly be assessed once the floodwater subsides, and ensures that it will release further details in due course as the need arises.
Shares of Flour Mills at the end of the trading session on Friday closed at N21.50, and this is 6.70% higher than the market opening price for the day, 8.59% higher than the market opening price for the week, and 14.36% higher than the market opening price for the month. While the YTD gains stood at 9.14%.
Flour Mills shares are currently trading in the overbought zones, going with the agreement of Technical Momentum Indicators, like the William Percentage Range, the Relative Strength Index and its stochastic variant, as the shares of the company are driven by strong fundamentals.
In like manners, the company shares currently trade at 21.15x earnings per share (EPS), and 0.57x book value per share (BVPS), with a Market capitalization of N81.628 billion.
Aviation Unions threaten to shut airspace on Monday, as NLC insists on strike
All aviation workers are directed to withdraw their services at all aerodromes nationwide on 28th September 2020.
Major aviation unions in Nigeria have threatened to shut the nation’s airspace in support of the Organised Labour nationwide industrial action expected to commence on Monday, September 28, 2020.
The unions are the National Union of Air Transport Employees, National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers, Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria and the Association of Nigeria Aviation Professionals.
This was disclosed by the General Secretary of the National Union of Aviation Employees, Aba Ocheme, in a statement, according to Vanguard.
The unions reportedly asked their members to withdraw services from all aerodromes nationwide indefinitely.
He said, “As such all workers in the aviation sector are hereby directed to withdraw their services at all aerodromes nationwide as from 00hrs of 28th September 2020 until otherwise communicated by the NLC/TUC or our unions. All workers shall comply.”
Meanwhile, the Nigeria Labour Congress on Friday also insisted that it will go on with its planned mass action scheduled for Monday, September 28.
In a communique by its General Secretary, Comrade Emmanuel Ugboaja, the NLC asked its members across the nation to come out in large numbers to protest the increase in fuel and electricity prices.
The order was given despite a fresh court order obtained by the Federal Government, barring the NLC and the Trade Union Congress from embarking on their planned strike scheduled to commence on Monday.
Ugboaja explained that the NLC has asked all National Leadership of affiliates in Abuja to mobilise at least 2,000 of their members to Unity Fountain, Abuja for the mass rally which takes off at 7am.
Also, affiliates are expected to mobilise the same number of members to the NLC Sub-Secretariat, 29, Olajuwon Street, Yaba, Lagos, which is the take-off point for the Lagos action at 7am also.
It would be difficult to find loans to finance rail to Niger Republic – Cheta Nwanze
Finding loans to finance rail to the Niger Republic would be difficult, says Cheta Nwanze.
Cheta Nwanze, Lead Partner at socioeconomic research firm, SBM Intelligence, says that it would be difficult to find loan financiers for the proposed $1.9 billion rail project from Kano to Maradi in Niger republic.
Cheta, in an interview with Nairametrics on Friday, explained that it appears that Nigeria is more keen on the project than Niger Republic.
Back story: Nairametrics reported this week that the Federal Executive Council has approved the disbursement of $1.96 billion, for the railway line from Kano in Nigeria to Maradi in Niger Republic.
According to the report, the President is also expected to commission the Warri-Itakpe standard gauge rail line, running through Kogi, Edo, and Delta States.
“Nigeria is investing so much in this rail line, given that we are Niger’s 4th largest trading partner,” Cheta said.
He added that Niger, although being landlocked already, has an existing infrastructure for its imports and export services, which is much better utilized than Nigeria’s export infrastructure.
“The majority of their imports from France, China, and the USA come in via the port of Lome, precisely because the port in Lome works, and the rail link in Togo is much better than ours.
“Nigeria, on the other hand, has let its Apapa port to become a wreck, while transportation between Lagos and Kano/Jibia is a nightmare, if we’re being charitable with words.”
According to him, with the reality of the Apapa congestion and other factors, finding fund for such project, when debt to service ratio is high and amidst reduced oil revenue, will be difficult.
“With these realities in mind, I find it difficult to imagine who will extend such a loan to Nigeria, especially since, as far as all the information available to me indicates, Niger does not seem as keen on pushing this as Nigeria does,” he added.
However, the media aide to President Buhari, Garba Shehu, disclosed that the Federal Government is not constructing a rail line from Nigeria linking Kano-Dutse-Maradi into the Niger Republic, as it will only stop at the designated border point.
Maradi is 55km from the Katsina border Town of Jibia.