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Business

Shoprite looks set to completely dispose of its Nigerian subsidiary

Arrangements leading to the eventual disposal of Shoprite Nigeria is at the final stage.

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Shoprite controls 22% of Nigeria’s formal retail, future to be driven by indigenous retailers

Africa’s retail giant, Shoprite holdings Limited, has revealed that arrangements on the complete disposal of its Nigerian Subsidiary, retail Supermarkets Nigeria Ltd was being completed.

The South African based retail behemoth had first disclosed its intention to leave the country last year, owing to the streak of losses it made from its investments in Nigeria.

After due consideration by the Board of the Group in April 2020, the intention to dispose of a majority stake in its Nigerian operations was approved.

Following this move, the management of Shoprite holdings received interest from potential buyers, and after key talks with buyers, it is at the approval stage in terms of the sale of its Nigeria supermarket operation.

This move became possible after the company embarked on a process to identify a strategic partner that will improve the performance and operational efficiencies of the business in Nigeria.

According to a report by The Punch, the Chief Executive Officer of Shoprite Holdings Limited, Pieter Engelbrecht revealed that Shoprite’s exit arrangement from the Nigerian market is at the final stage.

From here, our capital allocated to the region remains at a minimum and we continue to manage costs as best as we can,” he said.

What you should know

Shoprite Nigeria in 2020 made a total loss of R87 million rand, down from R345 million loss it made in 2019, when converted to naira using the conversion rate indicated in the company’s financial statement for 2020, the subsidiary made a loss of about N1.98 billion in 2020, and a loss of N8.85 billion in 2019 from its operation.

The cumulative foreign currency losses recognized in other comprehensive loss in relation to Shoprite’s discontinued operations in Nigeria as of 28 June 2020 was R488 million; this in naira is valued at N21.47 billion.

As of June 2020, the total assets of Shoprite’s subsidiary in Nigeria are put at N74.8 billion (R1.701 billion), while its total liabilities in naira run to about N84.1 billion (R1.911 billion).

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In case you missed it

The South African retail giant is a famed employer of labour in Nigeria, with approximately 2,000 employees who are 99% Nigerians, across about 26 outlets in the country.

Based on Shoprite’s status in the country, there have been reactions on social media on the group’s move to discontinue its operations in Nigeria after 16 years of operations, as Nigerians understand this will further compound the prevailing level of unemployment in the nation.

Recently Nairametrics reported that workers of the retail giant, Shoprite embarked on a nationwide industrial strike action to demand proper information on staff benefits as well as terms of sale to interested investors who are on course to acquire the Nigerian subsidiary of the South African retail outlet.

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Omokolade Ajayi is a graduate of Economics, and a certificate holder of the CFA Institute’s Investment Foundation Program. He is a business analyst, and equity market researcher, with wealth of experience as a retail investor. He is a business owner and a stern advocate of Financial literacy, who believes in the huge economic prospect of the Nigerian Payment channels and Fintech space.

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Business

Sanwo-Olu flags off Red line rail project as Lagos compensates property owners

The 37-km Rail Mass Transit Red Line will traverse from Agbado to Marina, moving over 1 million commuters daily.

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FG inks $3.9 billion deal with Chinese firm for construction projects

The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has flagged off the construction of the 37-km Rail Mass Transit Red Line, which will traverse from Agbado to Marina, moving over 1 million commuters daily.

This is as the state started the compensation of identified project-affected persons of the Lagos Rail Mass Transit Red Line project with the Governor handing over cheques to displaced property owners who were affected by the right-of-way.

The groundbreaking ceremony which took place at the Ikeja Train Station on Thursday was witnessed by the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, who was represented by the Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr Bashir Jamoh, and the Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Dr Obafemi Hamzat.

What the Lagos State Governor is saying

Sanwo-Olu said the Red Line project which is to be fully operational in the last quarter of 2022 with 8 train stations from Agbado to Oyingbo, is another initiative of his administration to deliver enduring infrastructure for the transport system and make Lagos a competitive megacity.

The Governor said: “Today’s flag-off of the construction of infrastructure for the standard gauge Red Line is another promise kept and it demonstrates, in practical terms, our commitment to achieve the objectives of traffic management and transportation pillar in our development agenda. This is because we recognise the role which an efficient transportation system plays in enhancing people’s quality of life and as a major driver of socio-economic development.

The State’s Strategic Transport Master Plan, which encompasses a number of projects that are germane to achieving our vision for a Greater Lagos, is founded on imperatives that seek to increase transport choices for all users and make the transit system integrated, attractive, convenient, affordable and accessible.

Since efficient transportation is the backbone of any economy, we are happy to be committing this investment in our transport infrastructure, so that our people can meet their daily targets and aspirations. This all-important transport project we are all gathered to witness today represents a major step in this direction.

Sanwo-Olu said that in order to facilitate smooth operations of the Red Line, the State Government would be constructing ancillary infrastructure, including 6 overpasses at strategic level crossing points along the rail corridor to eliminate interactions between the rail system, vehicular and pedestrian traffic.

The overpasses will provide grade-separated crossings that will enhance safety for the rail system and road users.

He said: “The unique characteristics of the Red Line is its integration with the Ikeja Bus Terminal, Oshodi–Abule Egba Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) lane, the future Orange Line, which goes from Ikeja to Agbowa, and the General Aviation Terminal One of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport through a skywalk.

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Another unique feature of the Red Line is that all the stations have elevated concourses with either at grade island or side platforms for easy boarding and alighting of passengers. The Red Line also integrates with our Bus Terminals at Oyingbo, Yaba, Oshodi, Ikeja and Iju, giving modal options to our people in their daily commute, either for business or leisure.”

The Governor presented cheques of different amounts as compensation to 25 residents whose properties, businesses and accommodation will be affected by the project. Over 263 properties are affected with many of the property owners and tenants smiling as they got their cheques.

What you should know

  • The Red Line is part of the state government’s vision of an integrated multimodal transportation system contained in the State’s Strategic Transport Master Plan (STMP), developed by LAMATA, which aims ultimately to birth a world-class transportation network that will support the state’s profile, as the economic capital of Nigeria and Africa.
  • It is to raise mass transportation capacity in the State, complementing the Blue Line that traverses from Okokomaiko to Marina.
  • The rail corridor will be constructed in three phases. The first phase (Agbado-Iddo), which will be completed in 24 months, will be sharing the track with the Federal Government’s Lagos-Ibadan Railway Modernisation Project up to Ebute – Metta and will have its dedicated track from Ebute – Metta to Oyingbo and reduce travel time from about two and a half hours to just 35 minutes.

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Business

CBN includes sugar, wheat on FX restriction list

The CBN is set to include sugar and wheat in the forex restriction list.

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CBN forex restrictions on food itemsCBN approves new cheque standard for banks

The Central Bank of Nigeria has announced plans to place sugar and wheat on its FX restriction list.

The plan was disclosed by the apex bank via its verified Twitter handle in a statement credited to the CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele.

The tweet stated: “Sugar and Wheat to go into our FX restriction list. We must work together to produce these items in Nigeria rather than import them. #Emefiele.”

It would be recalled that over the years, the CBN has been reviewing its list of restricted food items to include more items, with the most recent being the addition of maize, a widely-consumed staple food in the country.

What you should know

  • The CBN governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, had earlier (on Thursday) given this hint while on an inspection visit to the proposed $500 million sugar processing facility in Nasarawa state, belonging to Dangote Sugar.
  • In 2015, the CBN listed 41 items that had been placed on its FX restriction list citing that the move was necessary to conserve the nation’s foreign reserve and boost local production of the items on the restriction list.
  • Some of the items which made the 2015 list are margarine, poultry and eggs, rice, and cement.
  • In 2020, the apex bank included maize in its FX restriction list as it directed all authorised dealers to immediately discontinue the processing of Forms M for maize/corn importation into the country.
  • Nairametrics had also earlier explained in its publication following the new policy shift, that the government’s premise for deciding to restrict FOREX on food is faulty, especially since Nigeria has not attained full food security and the agricultural sector is still struggling.

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