Union Bank of Nigeria Plc announced earlier today that it will pay a final dividend of N0.25 for every 50 kobo share held by its shareholders.
This is the first time the lender’s shareholders would be receiving any dividends in recent times, no thanks to years of dividend drought.
It should be recalled that despite a 39% rise in Union Bank’s 2018 net profit to N18.1 billion, it still could not declare dividends. This happened because of the lender’s retained deficits. There are extant laws in place that forbid companies with retained deficits from declaring dividends.
More details: A statement that was signed by the Company Secretary, Semuyiwa Sonubi, as seen on the website of the Nigerian Stock Exchange, disclosed that the dividend is subject to appropriate withholding tax as well as shareholders’ approval.
Qualification and payment dates: This has been fixed for the 24th of April, 2020. In line with this, shareholders whose names appear in the register of members as of May 1st, 2020, should expect their dividends transferred to their bank accounts on the 6th of May. Shareholders who are yet to complete the e-dividend registration process should not expect any payment.
Consequently, shareholders who have not completed the e-dividend registration process have been advised to do so. Some part of the statement by the company said:
“Shareholders who are yet to complete the e-dividend registration are advised to download the form from the Registrars’ website www.cardinalstoneregistrars.com, complete, and submit to the Registrars or their respective banks.”
Shareholders can smile again: As noted earlier, Union Bank was unable to pay out dividend for some years. The situation has left some of its shareholders frustrated as you can see I. The picture below.
The lender’s inability to pay dividends can be traceable to some of the challenges it has had to grapple with in recent years; including a financially difficult period that was occasioned by the 2009 banking sector crisis.
At some point, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) even had intervened in the company’s affairs. After a temporary handover of ownership to the Asset Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON), the sum of $500 million was eventually used to recapitalise the bank.
However, all the troubles did not go away immediately after this. As Nairametrics noted in a previous article, numerous losses incurred from legacy transactions hindered Union Bank’s shareholders from getting dividends; until now.
In June 2019, the lender proposed to write off the sum of N54.458 billion, being accumulated permanent losses arising from legacy asset depreciation as of December 31st, 2018.
Electricity tariff increase is suspended for 2 weeks
The FG and the Nigerien Labour Unions have agreed to suspend the electricity tariff increase for a period of two weeks.
The Federal Government and the Nigerien Labour Unions have agreed to suspend the electricity tariff increase for a period of two weeks. This was part of the agreement reached betweeen Labour and the Government as they deliberated to avert a nationwide strike that would have grounded an already deterioating economy.
While the strike was over two major issues, an increase in electricity charges and fuel price respectively, the decision to call off the strike was based on the suspension of the electricity bills. The following terms of reference underpinned the agreement between Labour and the Government.
Terms of reference for suspension of electricity increase for 2 weeks.
Terms of reference “The Terms of Reference (ToR) are as follows: To examine the justification for the new policy on cost – reflective Electricity Tariff adjustments. “
- Both parties are to examine the justification for the new policy on cost-reflective tariff adjustment
- To look at the different Electricity Distribution Company (DISCOs) and their different electricity tariff vis-à-vis NERC order and mandate.
- Examine and advise government on the issues that have hindered the deployment of the six million meters.
- To look into the NERC Act under review with a view to expanding its representation to include organized labour.
- The Technical sub-committee is to submit its report within two weeks.
- During the two weeks, the DISCOs shall suspend the application of the cost-reflective electricity tariff adjustments. “The meeting also resolved that the following issues of concern to Labour should be treated as stand alone items:
- The 40% stake of government in the DISCO and the stake of workers to be reflected in the composition of the DISCOs Boards.
- An all-inclusive and independent review of the power sector operations as provided in the privatization MOU to be undertaken before the end of the year 2020, with Labour represented.
- That going forward, the moribund National Labour Advisory Council, NLAC, be inaugurated before the end of the year 2020 to institutionalize the process of tripartism and socio dialogue on socio-economic and major labour matters to forestall crisis.
What this means: The decision reached between the government and labour means the service refelctive tariff regime which started on September 1 2020 is effectively suspended. Customers are therefore no longer required to pay the service reflective tariffs and will revert to the previous MYTO tariffs of 2015.
By looking at the “different Electricity Distribution Company (DISCOs) and their different electricity tariff vis-à-vis NERC order and mandate” it appears labour might be looking to recaliberating the tariffs for some Discos. According to documents on the tariff order published by the NERC, some Discos have tariffs for residential customers that are as high as N62/kWh while it’s just under N54 for others.
Labour could also get involved in determinng the veracity of the tariff bands that determines which customers pay what as electricity tariffs.
Just-in: NLC, TUC suspend nationwide strike, as FG reverses hike in electricity tariff
Hike in electricity tariff to be suspended for 2 weeks, while new pump price of petrol remain unchanged.
The Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) have suspended the planned nationwide strike and protest that was to commence on Monday, September 28, 2020, over the recent hike in electricity tariff and petrol pump price.
This follows the agreement reached between the Federal Government and the organized labour during the meeting held by both parties which started on Sunday night and dragged on till the early hours of Monday morning.
The disclosure was made by the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo, through a tweet post on his twitter handle.
In the agreement between the Federal Government and organized labour, the hike in electricity tariff is to be suspended for a period of 2 weeks, while the new pump price of petrol is to remain unchanged.
According to the agreement, which was seen by Nairametrics, both parties agreed to set up a technical committee on Electricity Tariff reforms, comprising Ministries, Agencies, Departments, NLC and TUC, which will work for a duration of 2 weeks with effect from Monday, September 28, 2020, to examine the justification of the new policy in view of the need for the validation of the basis for the new cost-reflective tariff.
This is due to the conflicting field reports which appear different from the data presented to justify the new policy by NERC, metering deployment, challenges, timelines for massive rollout.
The technical committee is to be headed by the Minister of State for Labour and Labour, Festus Keyamo.
The terms of reference for the technical committee include;
- To examine the justification for the new policy on cost-reflective electricity tariff adjustments.
- To look at the different Electricity Distribution Companies (DISCOs) and their different electricity vis-à-vis NERC order and mandate.
- Examine and advice government on the issues that have hindered the deployment of the 6 million meters.
- To look into the NERC act under review with a view to expanding its representation to include organized labour.
FG & LABOUR reach agreement at 2:53am. Deregulation to stay as Govt rolls out palliatives for labour (details in 2 weeks); Electricity tariffs suspended by Govt for 2 weeks with a joint Committee headed by @fkeyamo to examine the justification for the new policy. Strike suspended pic.twitter.com/9tOTlJ9o1l
— Festus Keyamo, SAN (@fkeyamo) September 28, 2020
COVID-19 Update in Nigeria
On the 27th of September 2020, 126 new confirmed cases and 2 deaths 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 58,324 confirmed cases.
On the 27th of September 2020, 126 new confirmed cases and 2 deaths were recorded in Nigeria, having carried out a total daily test of 3,011 samples across the country.
To date, 58,324 cases have been confirmed, 49,794 cases have been discharged and 1,108 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory. A total of 505,556 tests have been carried out as of September 27th, 2020 compared to 502,545 tests a day earlier.
COVID-19 Case Updates- 27th September 2020,
- Total Number of Cases – 58,324
- Total Number Discharged – 49,794
- Total Deaths – 1,108
- Total Tests Carried out – 505,556
According to the NCDC, the 126 new cases were reported from 12 states- FCT (30), Lagos (24), Rivers (23), Ogun (13), Katsina (9), Plateau (9), Ondo (6), Kaduna (4), Kwara (4), Imo (2), Bauchi (1), Edo (1).
Meanwhile, the latest numbers bring Lagos state total confirmed cases to 19,239, followed by Abuja (5,674), Plateau (3,388), Oyo (3,254), Edo (2,624), Kaduna (2,397), Rivers (2,347), Ogun (1,836), Delta (1,802), Kano (1,737), Ondo (1,631), Enugu (1,289), Ebonyi (1,040), Kwara (1,032), Abia (891), Gombe (864). Katsina (857), Osun (827), Borno (741), and Bauchi (698).
Imo State has recorded 568 cases, Benue (481), Nasarawa (449), Bayelsa (398), Jigawa (325), Ekiti (321), Akwa Ibom (288), Niger (259), Adamawa (237), Anambra (234), Sokoto (162), Taraba (95), Kebbi (93), Cross River (87), Zamfara (78), Yobe (76), 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.