President Muhammadu Buhari has commended the efforts of Nigerian billionaires that have supported the government in its battle against the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the statehouse press release sent via the official Twitter handle of the presidency @NGRPresident, Buhari appreciated Tony Elumelu, Aliko Dangote, Abdulsamad Rabiu, Femi Otedola, Herbert Wigwe, Segun Agbaje and Jim Ovia for contributing N1 billion each, to aid the efforts to curb and combat the spread of the Coronavirus.
The President commends members of the Nigerian Private Sector Coalition Against #Covid19, made up of people like @AlikoDangote, Abdulsamad Rabiu of BUA Group, @realFemiOtedola, @TonyOElumelu, @HerbertOWigwe, Segun Agbaje & Jim Ovia of UBA, Access, GT, & Zenith Banks, respectively
— Presidency Nigeria (@NGRPresident) March 27, 2020
Under the auspices of the Private Sector Coalition Against COVID-19, they had contributed N1 billion each.
(READ MORE: President Buhari tests negative to coronavirus)
The President also commended former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, who pledged N50 million, and the United Bank for Africa (UBA) group which donated N5 billion to Nigeria and Africa.
First Bank of Nigeria also received a commendation for partnering with the Nigerian government, the United Nations (UN) and innovative technology firms to provide e-learning solutions to keep students engaged while the lockdown continues.
.@UBAGroup has equally donated the sum of N5 billion to Nigeria and Africa, former Vice President @atiku has pledged N50 million, while @FirstBankngr is partnering with government, the @UN, and innovative technological firms to provide e-learning solutions…
— Presidency Nigeria (@NGRPresident) March 27, 2020
The tweet read: “President extols every other helping hand that has been lent by individuals, groups, and organizations, which may not necessarily be in the public domain, noting that God who sees all things will abundantly recompense.
“@MBuhari recommends these laudable strides to other high net-worth Nigerians and organizations, stressing that hand in hand, the country will overcome the challenges brought by the pandemic, and chart a new course in nationalism and brotherhood.”
READ ALSO: Crude Oil: Unsold cargoes forces price slash
Why this matters: There have been recent speculations that Nigeria could lose the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic due to insufficient resources, resulting in inadequate testing, and isolation facilities for treating infected patients.
Nairametrics had reported the arrival of medical supplies promised by Jack Ma, co-founder of the Alibaba group, to give Nigeria an edge in the fight against COVID-19.
Nigerian billionaires and corporate organizations in the private sector came together to also support the government by pooling together resources and making donations to provide adequate funding for the relevant health bodies and help Nigerians cope better with the lockdown.
FG reveals amount spent on school feeding program during lockdown, denies spending N13.5bn monthly
The FG said it had only spent about N523.3 million on the programme during the lockdown.
The Federal Government has denied some media reports that it spent the sum of N13.5 billion monthly on the homegrown school feeding programme across the 36 states of the federation and Abuja during the lockdown period when school children were at home.
The FG said it had only spent about N523.3 million on the school feeding programme during the lockdown.
The disclosure was made by the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Farouq, during the daily briefing of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on Covid-19, on Monday, August 3, in Abuja.
The minister said that there had been a lot of rumours and speculations about one of the key government interventions, the Home Grown School Feeding Programme.
She explained that the programme was modified and implemented in three states following a March 29th Presidential directive, while also stating that it was done in consultation with stakeholders.
The minister said, “It is critical at this juncture to provide details that will help puncture the tissue of lies being peddled in the public space. The provision of ‘Take Home Rations’, under the modified Home Grown School Feeding programme, was not a sole initiative of the MHADMSD.
“The ministry, in obeying the Presidential directive, went into consultations with state governments through the state Governor’s Forum, following which it was resolved that ‘take-home rations’, remained the most viable option for feeding children during the lockdown. So, it was a joint resolution of the ministry and the state governments to give out take-home rations.
“The stakeholders also resolved that we would start with the FCT, Lagos and Ogun states, as pilot cases.”
Going further, she revealed that each take home ration was valued at N4,200 and that the figure was arrived at after proper consultation.
The minister said that the figure was generated from data provided by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) and the Central bank of Nigeria (CBN).
She said, “According to statistics from the NBS and CBN, a typical household in Nigeria has 5 to 6 members in its household, with 3 to 4 dependents. So, each household is assumed to have three children.
“Based on the original design of the Home Grown School Feeding programme, long before it was domiciled in the ministry, every child on the programme receives a meal a day. The meal costs N70 per child.
“When you take 20 school days per month, it means a child eats food worth N1,400 per month. Three children would then eat food worth N4,200 per month and that was how we arrived at the cost of the ‘take-home ration.”
The Minister said that it was agreed that the federal government would provide the funding, while the various state governments would handle the implementation. She said that in order to ensure a transparent process, the government had to partner with the World Food Programme (WFP) as technical partners.
She also said that her ministry invited government agencies like the EFCC, CCB, ICPC, DSS and some NGOs to monitor the process, just as TrackaNG also monitoring and giving daily updates, thereby validating the programme.
Giving a further breakdown she disclosed that in the FCT, 29,609 households were impacted, 37,589 households in Lagos and 60,391 in Ogun, making a total of 124,589 households that benefited from the programme between May 14, and July 6.
She said, if 124,589 households received take-home rations valued at N4,200, the amount would be N523,273,800.
A media report had suggested that the Federal Government claimed it was spending the sum of N679 million daily or N13.5 billion on the school feeding programme across the country even during the lockdown period when school children were at home.
DEAL: Custodian Investment agrees to buy majority stake in UPDC
Custodian Investment announced on Monday to acquire a 51% stake in UPDC, a real estate company owned by UACN.
Custodian Investment announced on Monday to acquire a 51% stake in UPDC, a real estate company owned by UACN. This is confirmed in a press release posted on the website of the Nigerian Stock Exchange.
UACN announced plans to spin off its investment in UPDC in 2019 after multiple years of losses and value accretion threatening to undermine the going concern status of the parent. Last June, UPDC announced it has raised N16 billion from the right issue as it prepared for its unbundling.
In separate press releases between Custodian and UACN, the duo agreed to a sale of 51% or 9, 465, 584, 668 ordinary shares of UPDC in a transaction that will occur in two phases.
- An initial sale of 5.1% of UPDC will be sold to Custodian Investment
- The second sale of 45.9% of UPDC will then be sold to Custodian Investment
- The companies did not reveal timelines for the consummation of the deal
- Due to this deal, UACN will stop its unbundling plans for UPDC
- The deal is subject to regulatory approvals.
- The purchase consideration was yet to be disclosed, however, UPDC has a market capitalization of N15 billion while Custodian has a Market Capitalization of N30 billion as at press time.
What they are saying
The CEO of Custodian, Wole Oshin and his counterpart in UACN, Folasope Aiyesimoju also commented on the transaction providing reasons for consummating the deal.
- According to Wole Oshin of Custodian Investment, “The rationale for the Transaction is that Custodian and UAC share the view that their ambitions for capturing opportunity in the real estate industry will be better achieved working in partnership.”
- Custodian also believes the transaction “will provide Custodian with a platform to capture arising real estate opportunities. It also immediately provides recurring cash flow visibility and attractive yields as a result of its direct exposure to Nigeria’s leading real estate investment trust (“UPDC REIT”) with a track record of profitability and annual dividend distribution which offers a good compliment for our product portfolio.”
- According to Folasope Aiyesimoju, Group Managing Director of UAC, “UAC received a credible offer from Custodian. The terms of the offer compelled the Board to re-evaluate the planned approach to de-consolidate UPDC and influenced the Board’s decision to proceed with the sale of a portion of UAC’s interest in UPDC to Custodian, effectively putting an end to the UPDC Unbundling.”
What they stand to gain from this deal
The two companies also revealed what they stand to gain from this transaction. According to Custodian, it decided to acquire for the following reasons;
- The company claims it is attracted to the ‘recurring cashflow visibility from UPDC REIT citing the huge cash flow it hopes to enjoy from rental income
- “The UPDC REIT is highly cash generative with recurring income streams. It has distributed an average of N1.4 billion p.a. over the last five years. Rental income from UPDC REIT is underpinned by leases with first-tier tenants. This presents a good match for our business.”
- Custodian also mentions the N10 billion in assets for sale on the books of UPDC which it will focus on “realising”.
- For UAC, while it will no longer be pursuing its deconsolidation strategy for UPDC, it will still retain part ownership of the company but will cease to have it as a subsidiary of UAC operating as a standalone.
- UPDC will now be a subsidiary of Custodian Investment.
- UPDC reported a loss after tax of N15.8 billion in 2019 and has accumulated over N33 billion in losses since 2016.
- However, its REIT business has faired better reporting a pre-tax profit of N816.5 million in the first half of 2020. It has consistently declared dividends.
- UPDC collected about N956 million in cash distribution from UPDC Reit in 2019 alone.
- UPDC has undergone several restructuring since Themis Capital acquired majority ownership in UACN in 2018. However, it was unable to stop the hemorrhaging of losses.
NNPC announces sudden death of former Group Managing Director
Dr Dawha was the 16th GMD of the state oil giant.
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), has announced the sudden death of its former Group Managing Director, Dr Joseph Thlama Dawha. He passed away after a brief illness.
His death was confirmed in a press statement that was signed by NNPC’s Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Dr Kennie Obateru, on Monday, August 3, 2020.
The statement noted that the Group Managing Director, Mele Kyari, expressed shock over the sudden death of Dr Dawha, who was the 16th GMD of the state-owned oil giant. According to him, the NNPC family seriously mourned the death of the former GMD, who led the corporation from August 1, 2014, to August 4, 2015, during the President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration.
NNPC in the press statement, said, “The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) regrets to announce the demise of its former Group Managing Director (GMD), Dr. Joseph Thlama Dawha. Dr Dawha died after a brief illness, NNPC Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Dr Kennie Obateru stated in a release today.
“The release said NNPC Group Managing Director, Mallam Mele Kyari, expressed shock over the sudden death of Dr Dawha who was the 16th Group Managing Director of the corporation,’’ the NNPC said.
Mele Kyari also noted that Dawha provided astute leadership and made immense contributions to the progress of the corporation. He described Dr. Dawha’s death as a great loss not only to NNPC but also to Nigeria as a whole.
Recall that just two months ago, Nairametrics reported about the death of the immediate past GMD of the NNPC, Dr Maikantu Baru, who died at a hospital in Abuja after a brief illness. Baru, who was the 18th Group Managing Director of the corporation, and was in office between July 4, 2016, to July 7, 2019.
Press Release: @NNPCgroup Mourns Passing of Former GMD, Dawha
1. The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) regrets to announce the demise of its former Group Managing Director (GMD), Dr. Joseph Thlama Dawha.
— NNPC Group (@NNPCgroup) August 3, 2020