Guinness Nigeria Plc has said its profit after tax rose by 249 per cent to N6.7bn for the year ended June 30, 2018, compared to the N1.9bn reported in the previous year.
 
The firm announced a 14 per cent growth in its revenue from N125.92bn in 2017 to N142.98bn in 2018.
 
This is as the firm declared a dividend of N4.03bn following the approval by its shareholders at the 68th Annual General Meeting held recently in Abuja.
 
According to the firm, the dividend declared translates to a payment of 184 kobo gross per share to the shareholders, representing 318 per cent increase over the dividend paid in the previous financial year.
 
It said the 2018 financial year showed impressive growth as it recorded a 31 per cent improvement in operating profit from N10.2bn to N13.4bn.
 
Addressing shareholders at the AGM, the Chairman, Board of Directors, Guinness Nigeria, Mr Babatunde Savage, said the firm had demonstrated business resilience, adding that its performance showed its commitment to ensure returns on shareholders’ investments.
 
“The company’s performance for the year ended 30 June, 2018 shows impressive growth and resilience. Although the challenges in the operating environment are yet to ease, the execution of our strategy is working well as we delivered both top line growth and margin expansion while also increasing investment behind our brands,” Savage added.
 
He told shareholders that the firm would continue to focus on the three strategic pillars of productivity, expansion of its portfolio, and the execution of the commercial footprint initiatives to drive the business forward.
 
Savage noted that as the economy continued to improve, Guinness was determined to ensure sustained and steady growth in its operations to achieve improved returns on investments.
 
 
Source: The Punch
The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) on Tuesday lifted the suspension it placed on trading in the shares of four listed companies after over a year.
 
This was contained in a notice to issuers on Tuesday by NSE Head of Listings Regulation Department, Godstime Iwenekhai.
 
Lifting of suspension placed on the shares of a company implies investors and shareholders of the company could resume trading in their equities.
 
The NSE had on July 5, 2017, August 2, 2017, and October 4, 2017 suspended trading in the shares of seventeen (17), one (1) and four (4) listed companies, respectively for noncompliance with Rule 3.1 of the rules for filing of accounts and treatment of default filing.
 
The rule provides that, “If an issuer fails to file the relevant accounts by the expiration of the cure period, the exchange will: send to the issuer a second filing deficiency notification within two business days after the end of the cure period; suspend trading in the issuer’s securities; and notify the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the market within twenty-four hours of the suspension.”
 
 
According to the notice, the NSE however said four (4) of the twenty-two (22) companies suspended on three different occasions last year submitted their respective financial statements.
 
The four companies include Premier Paints Plc., Ekocorp Plc., Austin Laz & Company Plc. and Academy Press Plc.
 
The exchange explained that the suspension was lifted in view of the submission of the companies’ respective accounts and pursuant to Rule 3.3 of the default filing rules.
 
The rule provides that, “The suspension of trading in the issuer’s securities shall be lifted upon submission of the relevant accounts provided The Exchange is satisfied that the accounts comply with all applicable rules of The Exchange. The Exchange shall thereafter also announce through the medium by which the public and the SEC was initially notified of the suspension.”
 
“The general public is hereby notified that the suspension placed on the trading of the company’s shares has been lifted effective today, 6 November 2018,” NSE stated in the notice.
 
 
Source: RipplesNigeria…

President Muhammadu Buhari said on Thursday in Abuja that his administration will continue to implement policies that will make Nigeria’s economy, which is already looking good, better.

Speaking at an audience with Mr Jesper Kamp, the new Ambassador of the Kingdom of Denmark to Nigeria, President Buhari said Nigeria welcomes further strengthening of relations with countries, especially in the areas of agriculture and trade.

President Buhari told the Danish Ambassador he was pleased that relations between Nigeria and Denmark have remained strong; noting that in the economic sphere there is still some more work to do.

‘‘The Nigerian economy is looking good and we look forward to making it better,’’ the President told the Danish Ambassador after receiving his Letter of Credence.

President Buhari who also received Letters of Credence from Major General (Retd) Waqar Kingravi, the new High Commissioner of Pakistan to Nigeria, Mr Babacar Ndiaye, the new Ambassador of Senegal to Nigeria and Mr Vyacheslav Beskosky, the new Ambassador of Belarus to Nigeria, told them that Nigeria valued the existing cordial and friendly relations with their countries.

The President described the long-standing military cooperation between Nigeria and Pakistan as very commendable and beneficial to both countries.

‘‘Given the vast experience of the Pakistani military, your commitment in assisting us to develop our military is commendable,’’ he told the Pakistani High Commissioner:

The Nigerian leader recounted that as a former military officer, several of his colleagues who trained in Pakistan still have very fond memories of the country.

Receiving the Senegalese Ambassador, President Buhari commended President Macky Sall of Senegal for his roles in the progress achieved in the political process in Guinea Bissau.

Noting that he was aware of the economic progress taking place in Senegal, President Buhari stressed the need for stability in the West African region to ensure rapid socio-economic development, particularly in the key areas of education, health and infrastructure.

‘‘The bigger we are the bigger the problems, so we must continue to do our best to surmount our challenges in the region,’’ President Buhari, who is also the current Chair of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of States and Government, told the Senegalese envoy.

In his audience with the Belarus Ambassador, President Buhari harped on the need for improved economic ties, while commending the Eastern European country for accommodating international students from Nigeria in their tertiary institutions.

The President wished the four Ambassadors very successful tenures, reiterating Nigeria’s commitment to continue to partner with their countries in areas of mutual concerns.

 

Source: PmNews

The Ghanaian High Commissioner in Nigeria, Alhaji Rashid Bawa, has clarified the controversy surrounding the closure of 400 Nigerian businesses in Ashanti, Ghana.
 
Bawa made the clarification while speaking at a programme organised by the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Wednesday in Lagos.
 
The envoy, who was represented by the Minister, Counsellor for Trade and Investment, Sintim Asare, explained that contrary to reports that 400 Nigerian businesses were closed, only 117 were shut in Ghana.
 
According to him, the businesses were closed because they were not registered, evaded tax, their owners did not have work permits and a large percentage of them dealt in fake drugs.
 
Bawa noted that the closure of the businesses did not affect only Nigerians but other nationals, including Chinese and Indians.
 
He said the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre Act, under which the businesses were shut, was meant to protect small businesses in the country by preventing non-Ghanaians from engaging in petty trade, adding that some of the closed businesses have been reopened.
 
“We are committed to the ECOWAS Treaty and we cannot fight Nigerians, because they are our brothers. Some of the 117 businesses have been reopened.
 
“For those that are still shut, the owners were given time to regularise their papers and they are doing that, while others have simply shut their shops out of fear of attacks or in solidarity with their brothers who have not opened theirs,” the envoy said.
 
Reacting, the representatives of various Nigerian businesses in Ghana said the reasons presented by the Ghanaian envoy were not true.
 
Also speaking, the President of Nigeria Union of Traders Association, Ghana (NUTAG), Chukwuemeka Nnaji, while citing similar occurrence in 2007, said the attacks on Nigerian businesses in Ghana have become a recurring trend.
 
Nnaji argued that the Act completely eroded the rights of other Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) citizens in Ghana, even as Ghanaian citizens continued to enjoy privileges all over West Africa.
 
 
Source: NAN
Nigeria’s Minister of Labour and Productivity, Dr. Chris Ngige, on Wednesday said the Federal Government cannot accept the N22,500 minimum wage proposal by the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF).
 
“The governors have not even done enough. I told them that this N22,500 is even rejected by the Federal Government,” says the minister in a phone interview on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily.
 
Ngige’s comments come 24 hours after NGF unanimously agreed to pay Nigerian workers N22,500 as the new minimum wage as against the current N18,000.
 
Chairman of the Forum and Zamfara State Governor, Abdul’Aziz Yari, said that the decision of the governors was based on the current realities on the ground.
 
But Ngige criticised the governors for the figure, saying N22,500 is even below the N24, 000 agreement by the Federal Government.
 
He, however, said that all parties on the ground would resume back on negotiations to see that the welfare of the workers was met.
 
“The national minimum wage is a national legislation being driven by the Federal Government of Nigeria in pursuance to item 34 of the Exclusive Legislative list. But you don’t go and make a law which people will disobey at the initial.
 
“If you make a law and hoax a figure that is not agreeable, which people don’t have the capacity or ability to pay because the International Labour Organisation (ILO) says in those negotiations, the principle is the ability to pay,” the minister stated.
 
Ngige lamented that the Chairman of the Tripartite Committee, Ms. Amal Pepple was not in the country, explaining that despite her absence for two weeks for a medical check-up, the Federal Government would convene partners involved in the minimum wage to deliberate on the issue and arrive on the same page.
 
Although workers are demanding N30,000 as minimum wage, the minister said that any industrial action being embarked on the aggrieved workers would not resolve the issues at stake.
Nigeria has ranked fourth among other African nations in the list of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) Projects to Africa, as the United States, the single largest country investing into the continent, remained confident in the market.
 
The nation, with a total of 64 FDI projects in 2017, was ranked behind countries like South Africa with 96 FDI projects; Morocco, 96 projects; and Kenya, 67 projects occupying the first, second and third position respectively.
 
This was contained in the 2018 Africa Attractiveness report released by EY on Monday titled, “Turning tides.” The report provides an analysis of FDI Investment into Africa over the past ten years.
 
According to the report, the number of FDI projects into Nigeria increased from 51 projects in 2016 to 64 projects in 2017, accounting for 9 percent share of the entire investment into the continent for the review year.
 
In view of this, the nation rose a step higher from the fifth investment destination in Africa in 2016 to the fourth in 2017.
 
The report shows that the performance was largely driven by increase in the number of projects invested by U.S. companies into the country, launching 22 projects against 10 in the previous year, just as South African, Chinese and UK investors also increased their FDI activity into Nigeria.
 
According to the World Bank, Nigeria was among 10 economies globally with the strongest improvement in their business environment last year. The country jumped 24 places on the Ease of Doing Business index.
 
FDI projects into Africa rebounded from their lowest level in ten years in 2017 as the continent recorded a growth of 6.2 percent to 718 inward investment projects compared with 676 projects recorded in 2016.
 
The report attributed the growth to interest in “next generation” sectors such as manufacturing, infrastructure and power generation.
 
“Foreign investors committed to 718 FDI projects in Africa in 2017, a 6% increase from 2016. This brings us back to 2014 levels of FDI projects, but considerably below the 10-year average,” it read.
 
East Africa emerged Africa’s major FDI hub for the first time as the region recorded 82 percent growth in the number of FDI projects compared with 2016. Countries in the region with the strongest gains include Ethiopia, Kenya and Zimbabwe.
 
 
Source: The Ripples
As part of its economic diversification drive, the federal government of Nigeria on Monday said it has issued the first gold refining license in the country.
 
Speaking at the ongoing 24th Nigerian Economic Summit (NES) in Abuja, the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udo Udoma, said the development was one of the outcomes of Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) Focus Labs.
 
Udoma said the government issued the license to Kian Smith Limited, adding that the ERGP plan has achieved its objective as it was conceived primarily to get the nation’s economy out of recession.
 
“As an outcome of the ERGP Focus Labs, we have also been able to accelerate the development of the National Gold Development Policy and the establishment of a Federal Gold Reserve Scheme in Nigeria.
 
“Today, I am happy to report that the first gold refining licence has been issued to a company called Kian Smith Limited, which was one of the companies that participated in the labs.
 
“Indeed, the Federal Government is finalising modalities to purchase gold from local refineries via a Federal Gold Reserve Scheme subject to international standards ,such as the London Bullion Market Association,” the minister said.
 
He added that a local automobile assembly in Imo State, Autodex Limited, was being supported to double its capacity for the production of farm tractors.
 
The NES is an annual event that brings together chief executives/top level operators from the private sector and very senior Government officials to discuss how best to develop the Nigerian economy and monitor the progress that is being made.
 
The main focus of the summit is the short to medium term policy direction while giving priority to the national interest in the context of the evolving global economy.
 
This year’s edition was themed “Poverty to Prosperity”, it commenced yesterday (Monday) and it is expected to end today (Tuesday), October 23, 2018.
 
 
Source: The Ripples
Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs) have invested a total sum of about N4.22 trillion in Federal Government of Nigeria Bonds in August.
 
Data obtained from the National Pension Commission (PenCom) on Sunday revealed that the amount represents 50.63 percent of the total pension assets of N8.33 trillion in the review month.
 
Besides, N1.48 trillion was invested in Treasury Bills, while Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN), Sukuk and Green Bonds got N10.91 billion, N53.15 billion and N6.95 billion, respectively.
 
This brings the total investment in Federal Government’s securities by the PFAs to N5.78 trillion as at August, representing 69.30 percent of the total pension assets.
 
State governments borrowed a total of N154.43 billion from the pension funds through issuance of securities. N400.45 billion was invested in corporate bonds, banks had N849.09 billion while corporate infrastructure bonds took N7.33 billion.
 
Others include commercial papers with a total investment of N116.76 billion; real estate properties, N226.64 billion; and supra-national bonds, N6.67 billion.
 
Mutual funds got N21.29 billion as open and close end funds and reits took N12.18 billion and N9.10 billion, respectively. Private equity fund, N38.57 billion; infrastructure fund, N16.07 billion; cash and other assets, N24.56 billion.
 
Furthermore, the pension assets were reclassified according to new structures of Retirement Savings Account (RSA) Fund I, II, III, and IV.
 
RSA Fund I recorded N4.55 billion; RSA Fund II, N3.69 trillion; RSA Fund III, N1.96 trillion and RSA Fund IV, N619.05 billion.
 
Also, Closed Pension Fund Administrators (CPFAs) Fund stood at N1.08 trillion while Existing Schemes (ES) was N957.50 billion.
 
 
Source: The Vanguard
 
 

The Nigerian Senate In Wednesday, passed a resolution calling on the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to suspend the excessive ATM card maintenance charges being deducted from customers.

The resolution came as part of a motion on the illicit and excessive bank charges on customers accounts, sponsored by Senator Olugbenga Ashafa (Lagos East, APC).

The Senate also called on commercial banks operating in the country to configure their machines to dispense up to N40,000 per withdrawal pending the outcome of the investigation by the Senate committees tasked with investigating the excessive and illicit bank charges.

Speaking on the Motion, the President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki said: “This is a motion that affects the lives of every Nigerian — irrespective of what part of the country you come from or whatever political affiliation you might have. This is why we are here: to always defend and protect the interests of the Nigerian people.”

The Senate President stated that the Senate must work to ensure that the resolutions on the excessive bank charges goes beyond the debate stage, so that whatever action the Upper Legislative Chamber takes, would come into effect.

“This Senate has done this many times before; when there was a hike in the mobile telecommunication data charges, we intervened and put an end to that. When there were discrepancies and increases in electricity prices, we also took action. We have done this on a number of similar cases. Therefore, on this, I want us to take effective resolutions,” Saraki said.

Other Senators who contributed to the debate, called on banks to review their charges.

“The common man is also a victim,” said Senator Emmanuel Bwacha, “Banks declare profits and you wonder where these profits are coming from — it’s from the sweat of the common man. Let us come up with a law that puts banks on their toes.”

“It won’t be out of place to institute a committee that will call on the CBN to tell us what these charges are about. The Senate by fiat should abolish charges if they can’t be verified,” said Senator Bala Ibn Na’Allah.

“The Senate must take a serious stand on this issue. Nigerians are really suffering. The banking system is not encouraging. I had an issue, took it to the bank and was refunded but how many Nigerians can do this? The issue needs to be addressed,” stated Senator Kabiru Gaya.

“For me, this is a major step that we are taking. This is because I introduced the first ATM machine that came into Nigeria over 25-years ago,” the Senate President, Dr. Saraki told his colleagues, “Now, after 25-years, we should have grown out of these excessive charges and moved on. So, I believe that this is something that we must address to create an environment that protects all Nigerians, because these kind of charges in this economy affects everyone.”

The Senate further directed its Committees on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions and Finance to conduct an investigation into the propriety of ATM card maintenance charges in comparison with international best practices and report back to the Senate.

The Senate also directed the aforementioned committees to invite the Governor of the CBN to appear before it to explain why the official charges as approved by the CBN are skewed in favour of the banking institutions as against the ordinary customers of the banks.

Finally, the Senate called on the Consumer Protection Council to look into the various complaints of excess and unnecessary charges by Nigerian Banks.

Source: The Ripples

The Federal Government of Nigeria has admitted that Nigeria is in debt distress as pointed out by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Thursday.
 
The Director of African Department at the IMF, Abebe Selassie, while addressing participants at a special session on African development at the on-going 2018 IMF/ World Bank Group Meetings in Bali, Indonesia, had categorised eight African countries as being in debt distress over rising foreign debt.
 
Selassie had stressed the need for African nations to constantly monitor their debts and make external borrowing sustainable.
 
He however did not mention the name of the affected countries, he simply described most of the oil exporting countries in Africa as being engrossed in the ensuing burden.
 
Africa’s oil producing countries in order of production capacity are, Nigeria, Angola, Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Congo, South Sudan, Chad, Cameroon, Ghana, among others.
 
The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Sen. Udo Udoma, who spoke at the presentation of the IMF Regional Economic Outlook Report for Sub-Sahara Africa at the ongoing event on Thursday, agreed with IMF’s position and said Nigeria’s debt vulnerabilities was an issue that should be adequately monitored.
 
A statement by his Special Adviser on Media, Akpandem James, quoted him as saying, “Even though we in Nigeria have one of the lowest debt levels among our African peers, we realise that we need to improve our revenues to bring down our debt service to revenue ratio to more comfortable levels.”
 
Udoma noted that the Federal Government was deploying some measures for domestic revenue mobilisation and maintaining fiscal discipline, adding that its tax reform policy such as the tax amnesty programme has helped in broadening the nation’s tax base.
 
“This, among, other measures, has resulted in the number of taxpayers rising from 13 million to over 19 million. We are also deploying technology in tax and customs’ collections to automate processes and enhance efficiencies.
 
“Our external debt is primarily concessional borrowing, representing 54 per cent of our external debt as of June 2018. The Debt Sustainability Analysis is conducted annually to reaffirm that our public debt stock is sustainable. In Nigeria, our borrowing is being utilised principally to fix our infrastructure,” Udoma said.
 
 
Source: The Ripples
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