Not too long ago, I broke the news that the Nigerian mutual fund asset had hit and surpassed the trillion Naira mark. A review and detailed analysis of the NAV Summary Report, a publication by the Securities and Exchange Commission, has disclosed that Nigerian mutual funds attracted N520 billion in contributions in 2019. That makes 2019 the year with the highest yearly contribution ever.
Increased awareness and the search for yield
The gigantic amount of contributions that the industry recorded in 2019 is not unconnected with the increase in awareness, occasioned by the numerous publications on mutual funds as well as enlightenment campaigns and advertisements by bloggers and fund managers.
Another factor that might have contributed to the increased contribution is the search for yield. The overall stock market was not that good in 2019, in fact, the Nigeria All Share index made a loss. The lackluster performance of the stock market pushed some investors to mutual funds, especially money market funds, thereby leading to increase in contributions to such funds.
Money market funds continue to be the darling of Nigerian mutual fund investors and the heartbeat of the industry. This resulted in much of the contributions making their way into money market funds. Of the three funds that attracted the highest contributions in 2019, Stanbic IBTC money market fund generated the highest contribution of N117.7 billionwhile FBN Money market fund gathered N109.6 billionin contributions.
Stanbic IBTC Dollar fund is the only non-money market fund that made it to the top 3 with a contribution of N59.4 billion. In all, money market funds saw a total contribution of N364.17 billion representing about 70% of the entire new money that was poured into mutual funds in 2019.
[READ MORE: The State of the Nigerian Mutual Funds Industry)
Fear of depreciation
Motivated by the desire to hedge against the depreciation of the local currency, the Nigerian Naira, investors seem to be getting to know and embrace Nigeria’s Euro bond funds, or funds that are denominated in foreign currency. The Euro Bond fund category generated a total contribution of N77.07 billion.
As noted already, Stanbic IBTC Dollar fund recorded the highest contribution in this category with N 59.4 billion. Currently, there are 7 Eurobond funds in Nigeria, according to the SEC NAV Summary Report. One advantage of investing in foreign-denominated mutual funds is that investors stand to gain not only from the performance of the funds but also from exchange rate changes.
Bond and fixed income funds not left out
Another category of mutual funds that attracted a sizable amount of new investments is Bond or Fixed Income funds. This category of mutual funds took in N44.47 billion in fund inflows, thanks to Stanbic IBTC bond fund that generated N10.88 billion to place itself on the record as the bond fund with the highest contribution in 2019.
Chapel Hill Denham Nigeria Infrastructure fund, the only fund in the infrastructure fund category, amassed total contribution of N23.05 billion to double its asset value in 2019.
There were redemptions too
It was not all that particularly rosy for the industry, as investors pulled out approximately N140 billion by way of redemptions from various mutual funds. FBN Money market fund suffered the largest redemption of N45.45 billion while Chapel Hill Denham Nigeria Infrastructure fund saw about N13 billion leaving.
Abacus Money market fund and Stanbic IBTC money market funds also witnessed an elevated amount of redemptions in the sums of N10.6 and N9.8 billion respectively. Just like money market funds recorded the highest amounts of contributions, they also suffered the highest amount of redemptions, although in no proportionate terms.
All said and done, the industry ended the year 2019 with net positive flow of N380.5 billion, to hit an all-time high of N1.042 trillion in asset value, placing the industry on a better footing for the future.
NUPENG gives reasons it directed petroleum tanker drivers to embark on strike in Lagos
NUPENG said its members are being consistently extorted, intimidated, harassed and victimized by different groups.
The National leadership of the Nigerian Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) has disclosed the 3 major reasons why it directed Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD) to withdraw their services from Lagos.
NUPENG revealed that the 3 major challenges that were being faced by Petroleum Tanker Drivers include; Extortion of money from the petroleum tanker drivers by various security agents, the menace of containerized trucks at Apapa, Kirikiri and Beach Land axis of Lagos State and the harassment and extortion by area boys and area godfathers.
This was contained in the press statement that was issued by NUPENG on Friday, August 7, 2020, and signed by its National President, Comrade Williams Akporeha, and its General Secretary, Comrade Olawale Afolabi.
While directing petroleum tanker drivers to withdraw its services, the national leadership of NUPENG said it cannot afford to fold its arms while its members are being consistently and continually extorted, intimidated, harassed and victimized by different groups and segments in Lagos.
On the extortion of money from Petroleum Tanker Drivers by various security agents; NUPENG said that it is really disturbing that security agents who are expected to ensure free-flow of traffic and protection of road users now use their uniforms and arms to intimidate, harass and extort money from Petroleum Tanker Drivers. The union pointed out that this reprehensible conduct by the security agents is taking serious tolls on the psychological, emotional and financial state of Petroleum Tanker Drivers and their capacity to effectively and efficiently deliver services to the nation.
On the menace of Containerized Trucks at Apapa, Kirikiri and Beach Land axis of Lagos State and collusion of government officials hindering Petroleum Tankers from loading activities at depots and tank farms;
The union said that the persistent traffic gridlock and indiscriminate parking of containerized trucks on major Lagos roads and bridges leading to Apapa port, Kirikiri, Beach Land, Satellite Town, Ijegun, are another major setbacks bedevilling the smooth running of the operations of Petroleum Tanker Drivers in Lagos State.
NUPENG disclosed that as at today, MRS depot has been held captive for more than 3 months from discharging products to Petroleum Tanker Drivers despite heavy availability of Petroleum products stockpiled in their tank farm facilities.
They explained that for safety reasons, Petroleum Tanker Drivers cannot continue to struggle with these containerized trucks in these corridors considering the inflammable nature of the products their members carry and cannot afford to undermine safety standards, procedures and protocols in the course of rendering their services.
Some of the locations faced with this situation include Oshodi/Apapa Expressway, Ojuelegba Bridge, Iponri, Constain roads, Ikorodu road through Funsho Williams Avenue (formerly Western Avenue) to Ijora inward Apapa and Oshodi-Apapa Expressway through Mile 2 to Berger Yard inward Tincan Island. These locations have been overwhelmed with indiscriminate parking of these articulated vehicles, aggravating the gridlock faced by Petroleum Tanker Drivers that ply the roads daily to lift products.
On the harassment and extortion by Area Boys and Area god-fathers; The union said that it was really worried that Lagos State which is known to be a megacity and centre of excellence has now become a safe haven for area boys and area god-fathers who now see Petroleum Tanker Drivers as soft targets, extorting money from them on a daily basis, assaulting them and vandalizing their trucks in some instances, especially when some of the Tanker Drivers show restraints in paying them illegal fees and levies.
They said that the Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD) now battle with both Area Boys and Area God-fathers amidst the deplorable state of the roads in Lagos State, and this is really causing PTD lots of havoc on a daily basis.
The union pointed out that a distance of just about 10 kilometres, now takes 7 to 8 hours of manoeuvres by petrol tankers, many of which break down in the process, upturning their contents, killing PTD members and endangering the lives of several other Nigerians who traverse the roads.
They revealed that Tanker Drivers whose activities cut across Oguntedo, old Ojo road, Ijegun-Egba, Abule Ado and its environs in Satellite town, Oriade Local government Area, and Apapa corridor of Lagos state have continued to work in fears, following incessant attacks by members of various notorious groups who have developed a penchant for extorting money forcefully from Tanker Drivers.
They are known for operating unchallenged and freely around Apapa, Kirikiri, Mile 2, Maza-Maza and Abule-Ado, near Trade Fair flank and so on.
NUPENG said that they decided to embark on the indefinite strike after consultations with the different leadership organs of the union and stakeholders in the oil and gas industry.
MRS Oil announces resignation of its MD, appoints an acting MD
The disclosure was made in a notification by the oil marketing giant.
Oil marketing giant, MRS Oil Nigeria Plc, has announced the resignation of its Managing Director, Mrs Priscilla Thorpe-Monclus with effect from August 5, 2020, and the subsequent appointment of Mr Marco Storari as the Managing Director in an acting capacity.
The oil firm also announced the resignation of one of its directors, Mr Christopher Okorie, also with effect from August 5, 2020.
The disclosure was made in a notification by the oil marketing giant, which was sent to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) on August 7, 2020, and signed by its Company Secretary O.M. Jafojo.
The statement from MRS Oil Nigeria Plc reads:
“At the Board Meeting of August 5, 2020, the Board of Directors of MRS Oil Nigeria Plc, considered and approved the resignation of Mrs Priscilla Thorpe-Monclus as Managing Director and Director of the Company, and the resignation of Mr Christopher Okorie as Director of the Company, effective August 5, 2020.
“The Board of Directors also considered and approved the appointment of Mr Marco Storari as Director and Managing Director (Acting) of the Company.’’
According to the statement, Mrs Thorpe-Monclus, during her tenure as the Managing Director, showed great commitment and dedication in her drive for the new MRS Brand, which resulted in the unveiling of three new retail outlets in Lagos, one in Owerri, two in Kano and two new outlets in Abuja. It also resulted in an overall business turnaround for the oil company.
The board commended the efforts of Mrs Thorpe-Monclus and Mr Okorie to the growth of the company and wished them the best in their future endeavours.
Mr Marco Storari, on the other hand, is a seasoned leader with more than 3 decades’ experience in the management, shipping, trading and terminal operations in the industry. He has held various high-level positions where he recorded business successes in companies in Italy, Monaco and Nigeria.
He was, until his appointment as Acting Managing Directors, the Group Executive Director, Storage and Terminal for MRS Holdings Limited. He has been a driving force in the transformation of the MRS Group over the last 10 years.
The Board of Directors of MRS has expressed its confidence in the ability of Storari to bring to bear his wealth of experience in the industry, to improve business efficiency.
MRS Oil Nigeria Plc is a fully integrated and efficient downstream player, with leading positions in the Nigerian Oil Industry. The oil firm, with its head office in Nigeria’s commercial capital, Lagos, previously traded under the name Texaco Nigeria Plc. It has 3 business units namely sale of petroleum products at retail outlets, sale of aviation fuel, and blending of lubricants.
Ogun State initiates tax relief scheme to cushion effects of COVID-19
Governor Abiodun urged taxpayers in the state to make use of the relief packages.
The Ogun State Government has announced that its Internal Revenue Service would launch tax relief packages to cushion the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on taxpayers in the state.
This was announced by the State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, on Saturday morning through a statement that was issued via his official Twitter handle.
Governor Abiodun urged taxpayers in the state to make use of the relief packages which include a 6 month extension of the 2019 income tax returns deadline for self-employed residents from March 31, 2020 to September 30, 2020.
He also granted an “8-month extension of filling of 2019 annual PAYE returns by PAYE operators/tax agents from January 31, 2020 to September 30, as well as complete waiver of interest and penalty for late filling for the extension period.”
I have approved certain tax reliefs to be immediately effected by the Ogun State Internal Revenue Service towards cushioning COVID-19 economic effects on our taxpayers. These include: pic.twitter.com/SIyEBt26G4
— Prince Dr. Dapo Abiodun – MFR (@dabiodunMFR) August 8, 2020
Other packages include a total waiver of interest and penalties for late remittances of PAYE for the extended period, and a waiver for late payment of Personal Income Tax, which would run from January 1, 2020 to December 31.
Finally, the state granted a waiver on weekly tax payments by operators of betting and pool businesses from April 1 to June 30, 2020.
The Governor said that the state’s Tax Audit Reconciliation Committee (TARC) would run its operations through video conferencing to “continue ensuring ease of doing business while maintaining physical distancing.