Thursday, April 15

Business

BUA Refinery: Pres. Macron Lauds Abdul Samad Rabiu As BUA Signs Deal With Axens
Business

BUA Refinery: Pres. Macron Lauds Abdul Samad Rabiu As BUA Signs Deal With Axens

The French President, Emmanuel Macron, has commended the Chairman of BUA Group, Abdul Samad Rabiu for his commitment to developing lasting relationships between French and Nigerian businesses. This came as the French Minister for Foreign Trade and Economic Attractiveness, Franck Riester, paid a visit to the BUA Group HQ in Lagos Nigeria where he handed over a personal invitation from President Macron to Abdul Samad Rabiu to attend the Choose France Summit in June in Paris representing business leaders from Nigeria and Africa. The French minister also witnessed the signing of a progress acknowledgement statement between BUA Group and Axens of France for BUA’s proposed 200,000barrels per day refinery in Akwa Ibom. During the visit, it was also announced that the Chairman of BUA Group ...
Shoprite Sells Nigerian Business To Property Company
Business

Shoprite Sells Nigerian Business To Property Company

A Nigerian property company will be taking over Shoprite’s local business in Nigeria, Reuters reported on Wednesday, citing multiple sources. Persianas is buying Shoprite’s Nigerian business after the South African retailer decided to retreat from other African markets. Shoprite, with more than 2,300 stores across Africa, is awaiting regulatory approval on the sale of its Nigerian supermarket operation, though no further details about the deal have been disclosed. The company in August 2020 announced that it will be exiting the Nigerian market after over 15 years. Shoprite said that its business in Nigeria operated under Retail Supermarkets Nigeria Limited “may be classified as a discontinued operation.” The company said it has been approached by potential investors willing to...
Our Cement Price Is Lower In Nigeria Than Other Countries – Dangote
Business

Our Cement Price Is Lower In Nigeria Than Other Countries – Dangote

Management of Dangote Cement Plc has said yesterday that the price of its product per bag from the factory was between N2,450 in Obajana and Gboko, and N2,510 in Ibese, inclusive of VAT. The clarification came against the backdrop recent insinuations that the company sells cement in Nigeria at significantly higher prices relative to other countries, particularly Ghana and Zambia. Dangote’s Group Executive Director, Strategy, Portfolio Development & Capital Projects, Devakumar Edwin, who gave the clarification at an interface with journalists in Lagos, revealed that while a bag of cement sells for an equivalent of $5.1, including VAT in Nigeria, it sells for $7.2 in Ghana and $5.95 in Zambia ex-factory, inclusive of all taxes. He said that though the company has direct cont...
BUA’s Sugar Plantation: A Reply To Chika Mbonu By Perry Okolugbo
Business

BUA’s Sugar Plantation: A Reply To Chika Mbonu By Perry Okolugbo

BUA Sugar Plantation: Dangote, Flour Mills And Chika Mbonu’s Lies Busted Whilst banker turned TV analyst, chika mbonu was busy spewing lies about satellite imagery reminiscent of the infamous iraqi weapons of mass destruction saga, unbeknownst to him, journalists were on an unpaid media tour of the BUA Sugar Lafiagi plantation to see for themselves and also take pictures and videos that completely debunked his fake, clumsy claims of nothing being on ground. Lol. The truth was far different from what Mbonu was saying on TV. The plantation is being developed, the ethanol plant is completed and awaiting commissioning, construction of the sugar refinery is at 68percent and shoould be completed alongside the sugar mill in Q1, 2021. Nigerians begin to wonder why the continued onslaught...
Sugar: Dangote Can Do More, BUA Has Not Done Enough – Chika Mbonu
Business

Sugar: Dangote Can Do More, BUA Has Not Done Enough – Chika Mbonu

Chika Mbonu, an analyst on Arise TV’s business report, this morning took a quick drive into the current national conversation on local sugar production. The analyst took viewers through the key details of the plan while assessing the performance of all three stakeholders. His conclusion is the passion and drives that Dangote Sugar displays towards its refining business must be replicated in expanding its sugar production business. While acknowledging that Dangote actually has an operational sugar mill in Adamawa, Chika felt it should be much bigger right now, given Dangote’s profile. On BUA, He noted that there were gaps in the figures reported by BUA in its latest performance report and the satellite images obtained Arise TV. These satellite photos actually show that BUA has not...
USSD: Banks Deny Owing MTN Nigeria, Other Telcos
Business

USSD: Banks Deny Owing MTN Nigeria, Other Telcos

Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) in the country are not indebted to MTN Nigeria and other phone companies for using Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) platforms to provide payment services, the Chief Executive Officer, Access Bank, Herbert Wigwe has said. Bloomberg yesterday quoted him as saying on an investor call on Thursday that: “There is no such thing as an obligation due from banks to telcos. We chose not to make a public statement out of it because it is not appropriate for us to be found fighting with telcos in public.” Wigwe is the chairman of the Body of Bank CEOs that has been in discussion with MTN Nigeria to resolve a dispute that led some banks to cut off the company from their banking platforms last week. This was after MTN, the nation’s biggest telecom se...
SEC On Proliferation Of Unregistered Online Investment And Trading Platforms
Business

SEC On Proliferation Of Unregistered Online Investment And Trading Platforms

SEC NIGERIA Proliferation of Unregistered Online Investment and Trading Platforms Facilitating Access to Trading in Securities Listed in Foreign Markets 08/04/2021. The attention of the Securities and Exchange Commission (the Commission) has been drawn to the existence of several providers of online investment and trading platforms which purportedly facilitate direct access of the investing public in the Federal Republic of Nigeria to securities of foreign Companies listed on Securities Exchanges registered in other jurisdictions. These platforms also claim to be operating in partnership with Capital Market operators (CMOs) registered with the Commission. The Commission categorically states that by the provisions of Sections 67-70 of the Investments and Securities Act (ISA)...
Sugar War: Dangote Demands Sanction Against BUA
Business

Sugar War: Dangote Demands Sanction Against BUA

Facts have emerged on how Nigeria's biggest sugar producer, Dangote Industries Limited, alongside another producer, flour mills of Nigeria plc, approached the federal government to reprimand BUA, their rival in a bid to shut down its business. Correspondences exchanged between the companies and the federal ministry of trade and investment were exclusively obtained by POLITICS NIGERIA. Their grouse is against BUA's most recent sugar refinery plant in the Bundu Free Trade Zone, Portharcourt, Rivers state capital, which they accused of importing raw materials against regulations and the National Sugar Master Plan (NSMP) hinged on the backward integration plan. The development of NSMP commenced in 2008 under the administration of the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua but was approv...
LG Electronics To Shut Down Its Mobile Phone Business
Business

LG Electronics To Shut Down Its Mobile Phone Business

The South Korean electronics manufacturer, LG, is closing its loss-making mobile phone business. The board of directors approved the move on Monday, LG Electronics said in a statement released in Seoul. The shutdown of LG’s mobile phone sector is expected to be completed by the end of July. “LG’s strategic decision to exit the incredibly competitive mobile phone sector will enable the company to focus resources in growth areas such as electric vehicle components, connected devices, smart homes, robotics and artificial intelligence. “It will also focus on business-to-business solutions as well as platforms and services,’’ the statement added. LG wants to “continue to leverage its mobile expertise and develop mobility-related technologies such as 6G to help further strengt...
USSD War: Banks Unblock MTN, Reconnect Telco To Banking Channels
Business

USSD War: Banks Unblock MTN, Reconnect Telco To Banking Channels

After 48 hours of disconnecting MTN customers from banking channels including the Unstructured Supplementary Service Data and banking apps, commercial banks on Sunday have reconnected MTN customers to banking channels. Our correspondent gathered that the development followed the intervention of the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami; and the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele. The PUNCH had reported that the banks blocked MTN customers on Friday, leaving millions of MTN subscribers frustrated as they were unable to recharge airtime via USSD amid the Easter celebrations. MTN, with about 77 million subscribers, making up about 45 per cent of the total telecommunication market share in Nigeria, is arguably the largest telecommunicati...
USSD: MTN Snubs Banks, Links 77 Million Subscribers To FINTECH Platforms
Business

USSD: MTN Snubs Banks, Links 77 Million Subscribers To FINTECH Platforms

MTN customers in Nigeria now have alternative electronic payment platforms to recharge their phones as the mobile network operator on Saturday announced that customers can recharge airtime through payment solutions platforms such as Flutterwave, Jumia Pay, OPay, Kuda, Carbon and BillsnPay for customers to recharge virtually. MTN in a statement on Saturday by its Senior Manager, External Relations, Funso Aina, also said customers could recharge airtime by dialing *904# and *606#. This is coming barely 24 hours after commercial banks on Friday disconnected MTN customers from banking channels including the Unstructured Supplementary Service Data and banking apps, leaving millions of MTN subscribers frustrated as they were unable to recharge airtime via USSD amid the Easter celebrati...
Shoprite Workers Embark On Protests In Ibadan, Shut Down Company Indefinitely
Business

Shoprite Workers Embark On Protests In Ibadan, Shut Down Company Indefinitely

Shoprite workers at Ring Road branch, Ibadan, on Friday, embarked on another round of protest, shutting down the company indefinitely. The workers, under the aegis of National Union of Shop and Distributive Employees (NUSDE), vowed that the company would remain shut until management acceded to their demands. The chairman, NUSDE, Shoprite branch, Mr Williams Peter, said the union was using the Easter period to press home its demands since dialogue had failed. He stated that all Shoprite stores had been shut down nationwide because the negotiation between the union and the management had been deadlocked. Peter attributed the indefinite strike to the alleged refusal of the management to meet up with the demands of the union. He said that although the planned transfer of Sho...
FG Intervenes As MTN, Banks Trade Blame Over Shutdown
Business

FG Intervenes As MTN, Banks Trade Blame Over Shutdown

The Nigerian government says it has intervened in a feud between Nigerian banks and MTN, which left millions of phone users unable to buy airtime Friday. Talks to resolve a row over the sharing of fees on airtime sales between the two sides “reached an advanced stage” for suspended services to be restored, the Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, announced on Twitter late Friday. “On the fallout between @MTNNG and some banks on USSD services today, I engaged with both regulators, the Governor of @cenbank and EVC @NgComCommission. We have reached an advanced stage of resolving the issues, for the services to be restored to our citizens. Many thanks,” he said. Banks removed the telecom giant from their platforms, disallowing MTN users from accessing their ...
NIN: TELCOs Record 11.8 Million Loss Of Internet Subscribers In 4 Months
Business

NIN: TELCOs Record 11.8 Million Loss Of Internet Subscribers In 4 Months

Broadband penetration in Nigeria has been on a free fall since November last year. According to the recently released industry stats, broadband penetration fell to 42% in February, its lowest in the last 6 months. The drop was compounded by the reduction in subscriptions caused by the Nigerian Communications Commission’s (NCC) temporary embargo on registration and activation of new Subscribers Identification Module (SIM) cards in the country. This followed the initial directive that all operators should integrate NIN to all SIMs currently in use. Telco subscriber losses hit 11.63M in 3 months The report shows that MTN, Airtel and other Telcos lost over 4.13 million subscribers in the month of February. This follows an earlier loss of about 4.2 million in January and 3.3...
Banks, MTN Dispute Over USSD, Airtime Fees Deepens
Business

Banks, MTN Dispute Over USSD, Airtime Fees Deepens

There were strong indications last night that some commercial banks may have yanked off their USSD, airtime purchase, and other online services from MTN network due to the disagreement between the financial institutions and the telecommunication company on the amount to be charged. THISDAY gathered that the bank Chief Executive Officers had at a recent meeting agreed to shut down purchase of MTN services across all their channels beginning from 11 pm last night until further notice. Attempt by THISDAY to purchase airtime from GTBank last night showed that the commercial bank had removed MTN among the network its customers could purchase airtime from. However, Fidelity Bank was still offering the service as of midnight. A source close to the banks explained that the disagree...
Access Bank Acquires Grobank, South African Bank
Business

Access Bank Acquires Grobank, South African Bank

Access Bank paid about $60 million to purchase a controlling interest in South Africa’s 74-year-old Grobank, its CEO said Tuesday, signalling the culmination of the tier 1 lender’s aspiration to foray into Africa’s most industrialised nation and tap its market. The move makes it Nigeria’s first bank to do so, with Access Bank ploughing in both equity and debt in Grobank as part of the grand plan to explore trade banking deals on its way to becoming “Africa’s Gateway to the World”, Managing Director Herbert Wigwe told CNBC Africa. It will open up the means to widen trade finance capacity in Grobank, which is presently increasing its attention on the country’s agriculture industry. No mention was made of the precise stake size but the lender said in a note in September “the firs...
Brewery Named Biggest Taxpayer In Kaduna, Despite Sharia
Business

Brewery Named Biggest Taxpayer In Kaduna, Despite Sharia

The Nigerian Breweries Plc (NB) has been recognised as the biggest taxpayer in Kaduna, bagging the Kaduna State Internal Revenue Service (KADIRS) 2020 Highest Taxpayer, Pay-As-You-Earn Award. The company engages in the brewing and marketing of Lager beer, Stout and non-alcoholic malt drinks. The company’s product range includes Star, Gulder, Legend Extra Stout, Maltina and Malta. Adjudged as the political capital of Northern Nigeria, Kaduna is one of the 12 northern states to have adopted the Shari’a Law which prohibits the sale or consumption of alcoholic beverages. There have been many instances of destruction of alcoholic beverages in states such as Kano, Bauchi and Jigawa where Shari’a Law is practiced, to the chagrin of citizens who wonder why states who share from revenu...
American Fast-Food Franchise, Burger King Set To Open Outlets In Nigeria
Business

American Fast-Food Franchise, Burger King Set To Open Outlets In Nigeria

International burger franchise, Burger King has announced interest and plans to open outlets in Nigeria. This was revealed by Antoine Zammarieh, the Franchisee of Burger King in Nigeria. He stated that the hamburger maker in a show of interest in the Nigerian market had signed a development agreement for the Nigerian market. Antoine Zammarieh said, “It is with great pleasure that we announce our signing of a development agreement with Burger King for the Nigerian market. I believe this would be a tremendous step towards giving more confidence to the Nigerian market and consumers in general, especially during these hard times. I always believed in Nigeria and in its people. I am confident this venture will go a long way and prove successful for Burger King, Nigeria and our comp...
Nigerian Man, Chukwuma Ezeh Narrates How He Became A Millionaire With Wheelbarrow Business
Business

Nigerian Man, Chukwuma Ezeh Narrates How He Became A Millionaire With Wheelbarrow Business

A Nigerian man identified as Chukwuma Ezeh has narrated his inspiring story of how he became a millionaire through starting a wheel barrow business. Chukwuma Ezeh, with Twitter handle @Gemdeconq7, took to Twitter to explain how he repackaged the unappealing wheel barrow business using modern business ideas. He stated that he was a houseboy in the Igbo apprenticeship system in Delta state, where he met a business genius and they brainstormed different business ideas together. They eventually started the wheelbarrow business with only 6 barrows, and it grew over a period of time after rebranding it with innovative ideas. Eventually, the business raked in millions of naira and they have 20 barrow pushers in their employment. Read his post below. ”Let me tell you a story. A s...
Digital Transformation Is The New Normal – Ized Uanikhehi
Business

Digital Transformation Is The New Normal – Ized Uanikhehi

Ized Uanikhehi is the CEO of Loose Media Limited, an experiential 360° marketing, and technology company agency in Lagos, Nigeria. With over 13 years of experience, Ized has led and served variously as Director of Marketing, PR, and growth at Metro Africa Xpress (MAX), Social producer at CNN Africa bureau, and Head of digital at Indigo Arya. She has worked for and with multi-billion naira brands, international and local, developing and working on a number of creative digital and offline marketing strategies to propel their brands forward. In 2019 she co-founded TORA Africa, to recruit, train, verify vehicle drivers for businesses. TORA was short-lived, as government policy changes and the pandemic effectively upended the TORA business model and market. In this interview, Ized sha...
Bandits, Terrorists Cause Of Nigeria’s Inflation – Emefiele
Business

Bandits, Terrorists Cause Of Nigeria’s Inflation – Emefiele

Mr Godwin Emefiele, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has attributed the country’s rising inflation to worsening insecurity, caused by bandits, terrorists and armed herdsmen. Emefiele stated this on Tuesday while presenting the communique from the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting which started on Monday. Emefiele explained that the inflation, which has increased for the 18th consecutive month, was exacerbated by food inflation. He said that insecurity in many food producing areas of the country was a major contributing factor. “The MPC noted with concern the continued uptick in inflationary pressure for the 18th consecutive month as headline inflation continued on an upward to 17.33 per cent at the end of February 2021 from 16.47 per cent in January 2021...
Dangote Cement To Pay Over ₦97 Billion In Corporate Tax For 2020 Financial Year
Business

Dangote Cement To Pay Over ₦97 Billion In Corporate Tax For 2020 Financial Year

Africa's largest cement producer, Dangote Cement Plc has remained a major contributor to the economy with a tax charge of N97 billion for the financial year ended 31st December 2020, even as it proposed a dividend of N16 per share. According to the cement group's audited results released on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), the tax charge represents an increase of 95 per cent over the sum of N50 billion recorded in 2019. Dangote Cement's Nigerian operations during the period sold 15.9Mt for the full year 2020, compared to 14.1Mt in 2019. This includes both cement and clinker sales, which implies a 12.9 per cent growth for the full year 2020. Looking at the domestic sales alone, Nigerian operations sold 15.6Mt, up by 14.3 per cent year on year and resulting in an inc...
Report Banks Hoarding FOREX, CBN Tells Nigerians
Business

Report Banks Hoarding FOREX, CBN Tells Nigerians

In view of the lingering foreign exchange scarcity in the country, the Central Bank of Nigeria has urged Nigerians not to panic, saying there is enough forex for business owners, travelers and parents with students abroad to meet their obligations. CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, stated this on Tuesday at the 278th MPC Press Briefing in Abuja. He also said at least $80m are disbursed to banks on a weekly basis to enable Nigerians meet their forex responsibilities. He, therefore, charged Nigerians to report any bank withholding forex to a special call centre of the apex bank. The PUNCH had reported that the lingering foreign exchange scarcity in Nigeria was taking a heavy toll on foreign tuition payment, as many parents and guardians groan over difficulty in paying their children...
My Refinery Will Be Completed By The End Of 2021 – Dangote
Business

My Refinery Will Be Completed By The End Of 2021 – Dangote

President, Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote yesterday said the multi billion dollars and 650,000-barrel per day (bpd) integrated refinery and petrochemical project will be completed by the end of this year, just as granulated urea fertiliser plant at Ibeju Lekki corridor will begin production of fertiliser products next week. This was even as the Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu promised to support the ongoing multi-bilion dollars investments on the axis with massive road infrastructure to further open up the economy of the axis and create a more conducive environment for the industries springing up in the area. The duo spoke with journalists during Governor Sanwo- Olu’s two-day working visit to the Lagos Free Zone, saying that the investments would turn around the ...
Cryptocurrency: Nigerians Are Free To Use Bitcoin – CBN
Business

Cryptocurrency: Nigerians Are Free To Use Bitcoin – CBN

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) said there was no time the bank banned the activities of Cryptocurrencies in the country. The Governor of the bank, Godwin Emefiele, disclosed this in Abuja at the 30th seminar for Finance Correspondents and Business Editors organised by the bank. Emefiele, who was represented by Adamu Lamtek, Deputy Governor, Corporates Services, said what the bank did was to protect the banking sector from the activities of Cryptocurrencies and not a ban on its activities. "The CBN did not place restrictions from use of Cryptocurrencies and we are not discouraging people from trading in it. What we have just done was to prohibit transactions on Cryptocurrencies in the banking sector."
Union Bank Reports 1.2% Rise In Profit After Tax To ₦24.7 Billion In 2020
Business

Union Bank Reports 1.2% Rise In Profit After Tax To ₦24.7 Billion In 2020

Union Bank has released its audited financial statements for the year ended 31st December 2020. The Bank’s results for the period show sustained growth in key income lines and significantly improved fundamentals notwithstanding a constrained operating environment largely due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. Union Bank’s investments in technology and building a progressive work culture over the past eight years enabled a swift response to the pandemic that allowed our workforce to transition to remote working while maintaining the productivity required to deliver this strong set of results in 2020. Bank Financial Highlights: - Profit before tax: up 2.8% to N25.4bn (N24.7bn in FY 2019). - Profit After-tax: up 1.2% to N24.7bn (N24.4bn in FY 2019). - Gross earnings: d...
Banks, Telcos To Make Over Half A Billion Naira On New USSD Charge
Business

Banks, Telcos To Make Over Half A Billion Naira On New USSD Charge

Nigerian banks and telecommunication companies will realise at least N564 million in the next 12 months as proceeds from the new mobile banking fee approved by the Central Bank of Nigeria, according to PREMIUM TIMES estimates. The CBN and the Nigerian Communications Commission this week settled a prolonged row between banks and telcos by imposing a new fee for the banks’ short-code service, known as USSD, which allows millions of Nigerians to use their mobile phones to access financial services daily. The Association of Licensed Telecommunication Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) said its members were owed N42 billion by banks and threatened to suspend the service. Starting Tuesday, March 16, subscribers now pay a flat rate of N6.98 each time they use the USSD for banking transacti...
EFCC To Demand Bankers’ Asset Declaration Forms June 1
Business

EFCC To Demand Bankers’ Asset Declaration Forms June 1

The Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Abdulrasheed Bawa, on Tuesday said the commission will from June 1 be demanding the asset declaration forms of bankers. He said the decision was in line with the provisions of the Bank, Employees Declaration of Asset Act. Bawa disclosed this in an interview with State House correspondents after a meeting he had with the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.). The EFCC boss said he was working hard towards creating a new commission that will be different in the way it handles cases. He said he would do his job to ensure that Nigeria is free of financial crimes. He said, “We understood that at the tail end of every financial crime, it is for the criminal to have access to the funds that he or she has ...
Business

Naira-4-dollar Scheme Ends May 8, Banks Tell Customers

Deposit Money Banks have informed customers that the Central Bank of Nigeria’s ‘Naira-4-dollar scheme’ will end on May 8. This is as they continued to woo their customers to take advantage of the incentive introduced by the regulator, which took effect on March 8. Fidelity Bank, in a mail to its customers, said, “Did you know that all recipients of diaspora remittances through licensed International Money Transfer Operators will be paid N5 for every $1 received as remittance inflows? “The new initiative tagged ‘Naira-4-dollar scheme’ is part of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s efforts to incentivise senders and recipients of international money transfer. “This offer ends on Saturday May 08, 2021. So, hurry now and take advantage of the wonderful opportunity to get extra naira ...
CBN’s NIBSS Launches Payment Solution, NQR To The Financial Sector
Business

CBN’s NIBSS Launches Payment Solution, NQR To The Financial Sector

Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System Plc (NIBSS) today announced the launch of the NQR payment solution; an innovative payment platform implemented on behalf of all financial service providers. The New Quick Response code solution offers a robust platform that delivers instant value for P2B and P2P transactions by simply scanning to pay. It is a solution that will unify the available closed QR Code schemes in the country for consistent user experience and accelerated digital adoption. This Payment Solution designed to be "low cost" for merchants would see shoppers scan a QR code generated by a seller to pay for an item. Each code will have unique details containing the information relating to the transaction and would link with a customer's Banking App, already enabled on their sma...
Nigerian Stock Exchange Completes Conversion To Public Company
Business

Nigerian Stock Exchange Completes Conversion To Public Company

The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) has received final approvals for its ongoing conversion from a mutual, member-owned company to a public limited liability company, paving the way for the public listing and trading of the shares of the Exchange in the nearest future. Nigeria’s apex capital market regulator, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the regulatory body for corporate affairs, Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) gave the final approvals for the conversion, otherwise known as demutualisation. With these approvals, the Exchange has now completed its demutualisation process. Under the demutualisation plan, a new non-operating holding company, the Nigerian Exchange Group Plc (‘NGX Group’) has been created. The Group will have three operating subsidiaries: Nigeri...
Nigerian Cleantech Startup, Havenhill, Raises $4.6 Million Funding
Business, Tech

Nigerian Cleantech Startup, Havenhill, Raises $4.6 Million Funding

Nigerian cleantech startup, Havenhill Synergy Limited, has raised $4.6m from Chapel Hill Denham Nigeria Infrastructure Debt Fund (NDIF) to aid the construction of 22 smart solar mini-grids in Nigeria. Founded in 2010 by CEO Olusegun Odunaiya, Havenhill focuses on improving access to electricity in rural areas using mini-grids. The company also offers renewable energy services for businesses in Nigeria’s industrial and commercial hubs. Havenhill’s solar mini-grid solution promises to connect up to 70,000 people as well in establishments in various communities to clean and reliable energy. In a statement, the NDIF asserts that the recent funding round was in line with the Nigeria Electrification Project. According to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), access to electric...
Flutterwave Raises $170 Million, Now Valued At Over $1 Billion
Business, Tech

Flutterwave Raises $170 Million, Now Valued At Over $1 Billion

The proliferation of fintech services across Africa remains in full swing as investors remain bullish about the opportunities that abound in the sector. Today we behold another unicorn: African payments company Flutterwave announced that it has closed $170 million, valuing the company over $1 billion. New York-based private investment firm Avenir Growth Capital and U.S. hedge fund and investment firm Tiger Global led the Series C round. New and existing investors who participated include DST Global, Early Capital Berrywood, Green Visor Capital, Greycroft Capital, Insight Ventures, PayPal, Salesforce Ventures, Tiger Management, Worldpay FIS 9yards Capital. The Series C round comes a year after Flutterwave closed its $35 million Series B and $20 million Series A in 2018. In tota...
Banks Lose N5bn To Fraudsters In Nine Months – NDIC
Business, News

Banks Lose N5bn To Fraudsters In Nine Months – NDIC

The Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) yesterday said banks in the country lost over N5 billion to fraudsters between January and September 2020. It said the losses, for only nine months, was comparable to the financial losses insured institutions suffered for the entire 12 months of 2019. The NDIC’s executive director, corporate services, Mrs. Omotola Abiola-Edewor, stated this at the Corporation’s annual capacity building programme for law enforcement agencies. The programme with the theme: “Effective investigation and prosecution of banking malpractices that led to the failure of banks in Nigeria”, was held in Lagos. Abiola-Edewor, who was represented by an NDIC director, Joshua Etopidiok, referenced a report recently released by the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settleme...
Square Acquires Majority Stake in Jay-Z’s Tidal for $297M
Business, Entertainment

Square Acquires Majority Stake in Jay-Z’s Tidal for $297M

Square has agreed to buy a majority stake in Tidal, the streaming music service led by rapper Jay-Z, as part of an effort to expand the company’s suite of financial tools to musicians and emerging artists. Square will pay $297 million in a mix of cash and stock to become Tidal’s “significant majority” owner, though Jay-Z and Tidal’s other existing artist-shareholders will retain some ownership in the company. Tidal will operate independently within Square, according to a company release, and Jay-Z will join Square’s board of directors. “New ideas are found at intersections, and we believe there’s a compelling one between music and the economy,” Square Chief Executive Officer Jack Dorsey said in a prepared statement.
Shoprite On Shutdown, As Workers Go On Strike Over “Sale To Palms Mall Owners”
Business

Shoprite On Shutdown, As Workers Go On Strike Over “Sale To Palms Mall Owners”

Dozens of Shoprite outlets in Nigeria have been shut down as workers commenced an industrial strike action. Workers of retail giant, Shoprite have embarked on a nationwide industrial strike action demanding 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. A report by the Foundation for Investigative Journalism (FIJ) suggests that all 25 outlets of Shoprite in Nigeria have been shut down by workers. The report revealed further that the workers embarked on industrial action over claims of sale of the retail company to Palms Mall owners, Tayo Amusan and Persianas Properties Limited, without appropriate information on the terms of the acquisition, and the i...
Startimes Risks Winding-Up Court Order Over $11m Football Rights Debt
Business

Startimes Risks Winding-Up Court Order Over $11m Football Rights Debt

StarTimes, a Chinese electronics and media company with businesses in sub-Saharan Africa, is at risk of getting a winding-up court order, GlobalData is reporting. The sports market intelligence platform reports that StarTimes has not paid BeIN Media Group for broadcasting rights to Ligue 1, the French football league. In 2018, StarTimes signed a deal with BeIN Media Group which holds international Ligue 1 rights from 2018-19 to 2023-24 to broadcast English- and local-language Ligue 1 in sub-Saharan Africa. The pay-TV operator is reported to now owes BeIN $11 million, including interest. A monthly payment plan was agreed upon between both parties after the matter was taken to court in Hong Kong before the start of the 2019-20 season, but StarTimes missed the first instalment...
Northern Tomato Farmers, Traders Lose Over ₦10 Billion In One Week, Cry Out
Business

Northern Tomato Farmers, Traders Lose Over ₦10 Billion In One Week, Cry Out

Following the blocking of foodstuff by northern traders to Southern part of Nigeria, MCI has gathered the traders have lost over 10 billion naira in one week. MCI had reported that members of the Amalgamated Union of Foodstuff and Cattle Dealers of Nigeria across the Northern part of the country have started diverting their goods and all consumables to the neigbouring countries of Niger Republic and Cameroon They have also begun blocking trade routes to the South by stopping food item-laden trucks from going south. Speaking via telephone, a trader, Musa Tijani said they have lost over N10Billion in just one week and pleaded with the group to allow them bring their foodstuff to the Southern part of the country. According to him, "most of the perishable foodstuff have spoiled...
Femi Otedola Visits ‘Dangote Wonderland’ Second Time in One Month
Business

Femi Otedola Visits ‘Dangote Wonderland’ Second Time in One Month

Billionaire Femi Otedola on Saturday visited the oil refinery and petrochemical plant sites under construction in Lagos by Africa’s richest man Aliko Dangote. This was his second visit to the place he calls the Dangote Wonderland since February 7. Mr Otedola captioned a photo from the visit posted to Instagram: Today I visited the DANGOTE WONDERLAND. The $15 billion oil refinery will be one of the world’s biggest on completion. It is designed to process 650,000 barrels of crude daily. The complex will also house a fertilizer factory is estimated at $2.5 billion. Meanwhile, Dangote Group has suggested for inclusion in the Petroleum Industry Bill a provision that the licence to import petroleum products should be assigned only to companies with active refining licences. ...
Bitcoin Can Be Used For ‘Illegal’ Purposes – US Regulators
Business

Bitcoin Can Be Used For ‘Illegal’ Purposes – US Regulators

Bitcoin tumbled Tuesday from its record-breaking run after US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned that the “highly speculative” unit could be used for “illicit” purposes. At about 1500 GMT, the digital currency slid 12.57 percent to $47,946, while rival Ethereum declined 15 percent to $1,539. Tesla boss Elon Musk — whose company has invested heavily in bitcoin — tweeted Saturday that the prices of both cryptocurrencies “seem high”. Yellen hit out Monday over bitcoin, claiming it was inefficient and required a vast amount of energy — and she expressed fear it was used for “illicit” reasons. “I don’t think that bitcoin… is widely used as a transaction mechanism. To the extent it’s used, I fear it’s often for illicit finance,” she said at an event hosted by the New York Tim...
Cryptocurrency: We Acted In Nigerians’ Best Interest – Emefiele
Business

Cryptocurrency: We Acted In Nigerians’ Best Interest – Emefiele

The Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele, has said the bank’s decision to prohibit deposit money banks, non-banking institutions and other financial institutions from facilitating trading and dealings in cryptocurrency is in the best interest of Nigerian depositors and the country’s financial system. Emefiele stated this yesterday while briefing a joint Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and Other Financial Institutions; ICT and Cybercrime and Capital Market, on its directive to institutions under the apex bank’s regulation. Describing the operations of cryptocurrencies as dangerous and opaque, the CBN Governor said the use of cryptocurrency contravened an existing law. He said given the fact that cryptocurrencies were issued by unregulated and unlic...
SEC Seeks Regulation Of Digital Assets, Says $2 Trillion Crypto Can’t Be Ignored
Business

SEC Seeks Regulation Of Digital Assets, Says $2 Trillion Crypto Can’t Be Ignored

Timi Agama, head of registration, exchanges, market infrastructure and innovation department of SEC, was speaking at a virtual lecture organised by the Association of Capital Market Academics of Nigeria (ACMAN) in Abuja, on Sunday. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had asked commercial banks to block accounts of cryptocurrency traders in their systems. After the directive, Nigerians took to social media to condemn the decision. NAN quotes Agama as saying cryptocurrency is a $2 trillion market that cannot be ignored. He said the world cannot be moving forward while Nigeria remains static. Agama said although SEC or the capital market would not accommodate or encourage any fraudulent practices that allowed for money laundering, cryptocurrency is a market worth looking into...
NTA To Display NSE Ticker Tape Across Its Network
Business

NTA To Display NSE Ticker Tape Across Its Network

Investors and viewers of the Nigerian Television Authority’s (NTA) will now be able to see the daily price information of securities listed on The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) on the various stations. This was announced at the NSE digital Closing Gong ceremony hosted on Wednesday, 17 February 2021, to officially mark the broadcast of the NSE “Ticker Tape” across the NTA Network. Speaking at the ceremony, the Chief Executive Officer, NSE, Mr Oscar N. Onyema, OON stated, “At The Exchange, we remain committed to providing issuers with a platform that allows them to meet their strategic business objectives and one way of backing that commitment is making price information available across as many credible channels as possible. The NTA runs the largest television network in Nig...
Crypto Restriction Opens Nigeria To Fresh Foreign Scramble
Business

Crypto Restriction Opens Nigeria To Fresh Foreign Scramble

Foreign techies and innovators have renewed the historic scramble for the Nigerian market, following official restriction of local transactions in cryptocurrencies. The Guardian learnt that the number and intensity of online meetings with young traders on how they can circumvent the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN)’s restriction on banks and other financial institutions from transacting have increased in several folds since last week. In one of the meetings in which The Guardian participated by proxy last week, Nigerian youths were invited to subscribe to a credit card launched a few months ago. The selling point of the card described as a lifestyle card is that it enables users to convert cryptocurrencies to five different benchmark currencies – dollar, pound, euro, yen and yuan....
Jeff Bezos overtakes Elon Musk to become the world’s richest person again
Business

Jeff Bezos overtakes Elon Musk to become the world’s richest person again

Billionaire Amazon owner, Jeff Bezos has reclaimed his title of world's richest person, ending Elon Musk's six-week reign on top of the list. Musk lost about $4.5 billion on Tuesday after Tesla (TSLA) shares fell 2.4%, taking him to second place on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index ranking. Bezos' net worth also fell by about $372 million but that was enough to take him to top spot, a position he has held for about three years. As at Wednesday, February 17, the Bloomberg Billionaire's index currently says Bezos is worth $191 billion compared to Musk's $190 billion. Musk's surge to first place happened in early January, when the 170 million shares of Tesla he already owns. Amazon CEO Bezos's stake in the company increased by $75 billion in 2020, to $173.3 billion, given th...
Marketers Raise Petrol Price To ₦170, Depots Suffer Shortage
Business

Marketers Raise Petrol Price To ₦170, Depots Suffer Shortage

Fuel marketers have started adjusting their petrol pump prices amid the supply shortage facing private depots in Apapa. Our correspondent observed that some filling stations in Lagos and Ogun states increased the pump price of petrol to N170 per litre on Tuesday from N162 per litre. Some of the stations were Capital Oil and Gas, Fatgbems and Amo Oil, all along the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway. Another station, Enyo Retail, adjusted its pump price to N165 per litre from N162. The National Operation Controller, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, Mr Mike Osatuyi, told our correspondent that members of his association had to increase the pump price because they bought the product at N160-N161 from depot owners. The PUNCH reported last Thursday that IPMAN members...
BUA Cement Declares Profit Of ₦95 Billion For Full Year, 2020
Business

BUA Cement Declares Profit Of ₦95 Billion For Full Year, 2020

BUA Cement, Nigeria’s second largest cement company, has announced full year revenues of N209billion in its unaudited 2020 Full Year financial accounts representing an increase of 19% from the corresponding period in 2019. The company also announced a 16% increase in gross profits to N95.4billion in 2020 from N82.4billion Naira in 2019. This further consolidates BUA Cement’s position as one of Nigeria’s most profitable companies – a position it is expected to strengthen further with the commissioning of its new 3 million Metric Tonnes Sokoto Cement Plant in 2021 and the addition of 3 new lines of 9 million metric tonnes total capacity in Adamawa, Edo and Sokoto States by 2023 for which it recently signed an agreement with Sinoma CBMI. This is expected to bring BUA Cement’s total capaci...
BPE to Concession TBS, Lagos Trade Fair Complex, Economic Zones
Business

BPE to Concession TBS, Lagos Trade Fair Complex, Economic Zones

  The Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) has named some Federal Government enterprises slated for concession. Amina Othman, Head of Public Communications, BPE disclosed this in a statement on Sunday. The list includes Tafawa Balewa Trade Fair Complex (aka TBS), Lagos International Trade Fair Complex (LITFC), Calabar Special Economic Zone (SEZ) and Kano Special Economic Zone (SEZ). The bureau will meet international investors later in February to showcase opportunities in the four enterprises. Last December, Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, clarified the roles of the BPE and the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) in Public-Private Partnership (PPP) engagements. He said the BPE acts on behalf of the Federal Government as a counter-party of all the...
Nigeria’s SEC Plans To Regulate Crypto On Hold In Light Of Central Bank Ban
Business

Nigeria’s SEC Plans To Regulate Crypto On Hold In Light Of Central Bank Ban

Nigeria’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced Thursday it has put plans to regulate cryptocurrencies on hold in light of the central bank’s decision to ban them, according to a report by the Guardian Nigeria. The regulatory body released a statement officially confirming any plans to regulate the cryptocurrencies are now on hold following a Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) directive ordering banks to close any accounts transacting with cryptocurrencies. “For the purpose of admittance into the SEC regulatory incubation framework, the assessment of all persons and products affected by the CBN circular of Feb. 5, 2021, is hereby put on hold until such persons are able to operate bank accounts within the Nigerian banking system,” the SEC said in a statement seen by the pu...
India Bans Cryptocurrencies, Gives Investors 6 Months To Liquidate Their Assets
Business

India Bans Cryptocurrencies, Gives Investors 6 Months To Liquidate Their Assets

India has become the second country to outrightly ban Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. This is coming after the Central Bank of Nigeria instructed all financial institutions in the country to block the accounts of all individuals and entities linked to cryptocurrency transactions. There has been a lot of drama surrounding India’s cryptocurrency stance. In 2018, the Reserve Bank of India issued a ban on all cryptocurrency transactions. The ban was lifted by the country’s Supreme Court in March 2020. In December 2020, government officials hinted that they were considering taxing Bitcoin transactions by up to 18%. Barely a month later and there were rumours that the country was mulling over banning all private cryptocurrencies. Apparently, officials were serious about banning ...

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