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Google cuts ties with Huawei

US internet giant Google, whose Android mobile operating system powers most of the world’s smartphones, said Sunday it was beginning to cut ties with China’s Huawei, which Washington considers a national security threat.

In the midst of a trade war with Beijing, President Donald Trump has barred US companies from engaging in telecommunications trade with foreign companies said to threaten American national security.

The measure targets Huawei, a Chinese telecoms giant in Washington’s sights that is listed by the Commerce Department among firms with which American companies can only engage in trade after obtaining the green light from the authorities.

The ban includes technology sharing.

“We are complying with the order and reviewing the implications,” a Google spokesperson told AFP.

The move could have dramatic implications since Google, like all tech companies, must collaborate with smartphone makers to ensure its systems are compatible with their devices.

Google will have to halt business activities with Huawei that involve transfer of hardware, software and technical services that are not publicly available — meaning Huawei will only be able to use the open source version of Android, a source close to the matter told AFP.

Huawei will no longer have access to Google’s proprietary apps and services, such as the Gmail email service.

Huawei did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Huawei is a rapidly expanding leader in 5G technology but remains dependent on foreign suppliers.

It buys about $67 billion worth of components each year, including about $11 billion from US suppliers, according to The Nikkei business daily.

Huawei is the target of an intense campaign by Washington, which has been trying to persuade allies not to allow China a role in building next-generation 5G mobile networks.

US government agencies are already banned from buying equipment from Huawei.

Huawei founder and CEO Ren Zhengfei said Saturday that “We have not done anything which violates the law,” adding the US measures would have a limited impact.

Dozie, Odili, Dasuki… the billionaires who own MTN Nigeria

After going public on Thursday, MTN Nigeria has brought itself under the scrutiny of the investing public; all its progress and otherwise will now be subject to the corporate governance laws of the Nigerian Stock Exchange.

The identities of some shareholders, who now own billions in the second biggest company on the Nigerian Stock Exchange have now emerged.

While the MTN Nigeria is still controlled by MTN Group, the parent country, some notable Nigerians hold billions in the telecommunications company.

HERE’S A FULL LIST OF THOSE WHO OWN MTN NIGERIA AS AT MAY 17, 2019:

SHAREHOLDER VALUE IN NAIRA PERCENTAGE HOLD
MTN International Limited 1.68 trillion 76.08
Stanbic IBTC Asset Management Limited 213.7 billion 9.64
Mobile Telephone Network 60.95 billion 2.75
Government Employees Pension Fund 38.69 billion 1.75
Victor Odili 87.87 billion 3.96
Pascal Dozie 37.07 billion 1.67
Sani Mohammed Bello 28.87 billion 1.30
Babatunde Folawiyo 23.83 billion 1.08
Gbenga Oyebode 19.80 billion 0.89
Ahmed Dasuki 19.35 billion 0.87
Karl Olutokun Toriola 100.10 million 0.005
Total 2.22 trillion 100

As expected for a money minting enterprise being the largest telecoms network in Nigeria, MTN shares are being snapped up.by investors.

Listed at N90 per share, the price has gained 21 percent in just two days trading.

FG to shut Enugu airport for ‘security reasons’

Hadi Sirika, Minister of State for Aviation, says the Akanu Ibiam Airport in Enugu will be shut down due to security reasons.

Speaking on Friday at the stakeholders’ forum in Lagos, the minister listed the security challenges at the airport to include bad runway, proximity to a market and the wrong location of the state’s radio mast.

He said the challenges pose a great risk to lives, hence the need to shut down the airport.

He appealed to the state government to remove the market and radio masts.

The minister also said the government had contracted Julius Berger to renovate Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) in Lagos at the project cost of N14bn.

“The Lagos airport was built to handle N200,000 people but today Lagos airport is handling eight million people. So it must collapse. Julius Berger will help give it the new look it requires,” he said.

“The airport generates most of the income, so it is only right we give it facelift it requires.”

He said the new Lagos airport terminal will be completed by the end of the year so some airport operators will be moved to the new terminal.

UNN confers honorary degree on Emefiele

The Central Bank Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, has been conferred with a Honorary Doctorate Degree in Business Administration by the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN).

Emefiele was honoured on Friday in Nsukka at the Special Convocation of the institution, where 50 people were also conferred with doctoral degrees in different fields of studies.

On the occasion, Emefiele gave a lecture entitled “From Recession to Growth: The Story of Nigeria’s Recovery from the 2016 Economic Recession.”

He spoke on the actions the CBN took to address recession, which included a combination of monetary and foreign exchange policies, as well as development finance interventions and bailout programmes to states.

The apex bank governor said that due to its policies, the country’s GDP had been steadily growing, inflation going down, the nation’s foreign reserves growing and the foreign exchange market stable at N360 to a dollar.

Emefiele said that since the Anchor Borrowers Programme, the country had been able to save over $800 million, due to decline in the importation of rice.

“So far, the programme has supported more than 1,059,604 small holder farmers across all the 36 states of Nigeria in cultivating 16 different commodities over 1.114 million hectares of farmland.

“It has also supported the creation of over 2.5 million jobs across the agricultural value chain.

“A key emphasis was placed on improving rice production, given the considerable weight importation of rice had on Nigeria’s import bill,” he said.

Emefiele said that because the GDP growth remained slow, the CBN would give support to domestic production of goods in the country which, according to him, was the way to improve economic growth.

“Addressing the constraints of farmers, SMEs and manufacturers will be critical, to drive sustainable growth of the Nigerian economy and reduce our reliance on proceeds from the sale of crude oil.

“In addition, there is need to forge partnerships between universities, research institutions, the private sector and public sector institutions.

“This will aid in developing and implementing solutions that will support productivity in the agriculture and manufacturing sectors to build a sustainable productive base for the nation,” he said.

Earlier, the Vice-Chancellor of UNN, Prof. Benjamin Ozumba, called on philanthropists and alumni of the university to join hands with the Federal Government in funding the school.

Ozumba said that UNN had a couple of innovative ideas which, if developed, would create jobs and add to the country’s economic development.

“As a vice-chancellor, I have a first-hand experience of the consequences of the poor funding being experienced by universities in the country.

“Universities all over the world receive huge periodic support from donors, philanthropists and alumni to fund their research and implement the development agenda of such universities.

“I urge us all to remain committed to the task of preserving the traditions and standards, for which our university is known for,” he said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Deputy Governors of CBN, Mr Joseph Nnanna and Mrs Aisha Ahmad, CBN board members and members of the Monetary Policy Committee were present at the occasion. (NAN)

MTN signs 7-year N200bn medium term facility

MTN Nigeria Plc, has announced the signing of a seven-year N200 billion medium term facility deal with a consortium of Nigerian banks.

Chief Executive Officer of the company, Mr Ferdi Moolman, announced this after signing the agreement at the law offices of Aluko & Oyebode in Lagos on Friday.

He said that the signing was with a consortium of seven local banks, with Citibank acting as co-ordinator and Quantum Zenith, as facility agent.

Moolman said the facility would enable MTN to fund its evolving business opportunities while assisting with capital expenditure and working capital, to deliver enhanced customer service.

He said that the new facility followed the successful establishment of a similar seven-year N200 billion facility by the company in 2018, and formed part of the company’s wider programme to raise domestic debt.

“I am happy at the completion of the agreement; it signposts MTN’s commitment to, and confidence in Nigeria, and the strength of the strategic collaboration between MTN Nigeria and local financial institutions.

“This will help to deepen and broaden the provision of ICT services in Nigeria.

“This facility expands our existing successful domestic debt programme which we are using to fund increased network capacity, and the expansion of Voice and Data services on our network to customers in new areas.

“We have enjoyed remarkable funding support from Nigeria’s financial institutions since our first facility in 2003 and this has been critical to the development of one of the largest telecoms network in Africa, with over 60 million subscribers.

“ I am delighted that, so soon after our successful listing on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, we are able to compliment it with such an important addition to our portfolio of debt,” he said.

Moolman lauded the participating financial institutions for staying committed to MTN, adding that the loan syndication showcased the strength of Nigerian financial institutions and their confidence in MTN’s vision “and both parties’ ability to stimulate significant economic growth’’.

He said that the facility was structured with a two-year moratorium and a repayment plan of seven years, and was denominated in Naira.

He said that this was the eighth syndicated loan agreement by MTN in Nigeria since its inception 18 years ago.

The MTN chief listed member-banks of the facility consortium as Access Bank, Guaranty Trust Bank, Zenith Bank, Fidelity Bank, First City Monument Bank, United Bank for Africa and First Bank. (NAN)

Elumelu: Why African youths leave for other countries

Tony Elumelu, chairman of Heirs Holdings and Tony Elumelu Foundation, says African youths migrate because of a lack of economic hope.

Speaking on Thursday in Paris at Tech for Summit organised by Emmanuel Macron, president of France, Elumelu advised world leaders to pay attention to African youths so that they are not left behind in the technology era.

“Africa needs this type of gathering – we are a continent with over 60% of its people under the age of 30 – they need economic opportunities, they need hope,” he said.

“I represented the African continent to draw attention to our young ones who seek economic hope and opportunity via technology.

“Technology is a great employer of labour, technology drives inclusiveness, technology helps to alleviate poverty, but we must not forget that in Africa we are just starting out and we cannot afford to lag behind.

“We need the world to pay attention to Africa so that young Africans are not disenfranchised and left behind in this new technology era. We need the world to pay attention to the plight of young Africans so that issues of migration can be addressed in a more fundamental way – by tackling the root cause which is a lack of economic hope.”

Canvassing for gender equality, he said United Bank for Africa currently has 30% female representation on its boards while the Tony Elumelu Foundation has 50% female representation on the board and 100% representation in senior management.

CBN plans to revive 20 textile companies

Plans are underway by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to revive at least 20 textile companies before the end of the 2019.

The apex bank had taken the first step in the journey to revive the sector with the flag-off of input distribution to 100,000 cotton farmers, as well as cultivating 100,000 hectares in 23 states of the federation.

To realize this ambitious dream, the CBN Governor Mr. Godwin Emefiele has inaugurated the Textile Revival Implementation Committee.

Members of the committee are drawn from the CBN, Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL), Kaduna State, Federal Ministry Power Works and Housing, Nigeria Customs Services, Federal Ministries of Finance and Agriculture and Rural Development, Ministry of Industry Trade and Investment and Nigerian Export Promotion Council.

The committee which was inaugurated on Thursday in Abuja was charged by the CBN Governor to resuscitate at least 50 textile firms by the end of 2023; collaborate with stakeholders to identify, name and shame textile smugglers in Nigeria as well as develop a framework for eradication of smuggling and dumping of textile products into Nigeria, facilitate the production of 200,000 hectares of cotton fields by 2020 and maintain an annual increase of 100,000 hectares over the next three years.

The Committee is also expected to “work assiduously to deliver a minimum of 50 megawatts of captive power to Cotton, Textiles and Garment (CTG) firms in the interested states by 2021, and facilitate the effective pricing and delivery of gas, black oil and diesel to CTG firms in Lagos and other interested states to enhance their power generation and consumption.”

Speaking at the event, the CBN Governor lamented that “the CTG sector within the last 20 years had suffered a lot of difficulties especially, low cotton production, poor power and transport infrastructure, obsolete production lines, smuggling and counterfeiting, inadequate local patronage, high cost of production, and multiple taxation among others.”

According to Emefiele, “smuggling of textile goods alone has been estimated to cost the nation over $2.2 billion. Today, most of the textile factories have all stopped operations and the workforce in Nigeria’s textile industry stands at less than 20,000 people. In addition, a large proportion of our clothing materials are imported from China and countries in Europe.”

Speaking on the rationale behind the inauguration of the textile revival committee, Emefiele noted that “a consolidated approach of this magnitude will afford us economies of scale, synergy in resource utilization and provide a holistic solution to harnessing the potentials of the CTG sub-sector in Nigeria.”

He was optimistic that “the CBN would resuscitate the cotton belts nationwide and grow the value chain till the last mile of textile production. We will need to set timelines for these deliverables and charge the technical committees to develop road maps that must be achieved within the set timelines,” he added.

FG to improve cattle breeding, signs MoU with farms

The Federal Government through the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Kiyasa Farm Ltd, on cattle breeders Improvement Project, and Cikasoro Farm Ltd, on Livestock Market.

The ceremony was performed at the Minister’s conference hall Thursday in Abuja.

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh signed on behalf of the Federal Government, the Managing Director Kiyasa Farm Ltd, Alh. Mohammed Sambo Bashar signed on behalf of Kiyasa Farm Limited, while Amb. Abubakar Cika signed on behalf of Cikasoro Livestock Market Limited.

Chief Ogbeh said that for over 50 years, Nigeria has never paid enough attention to improve livestock production in the country which was the major problem Nigeria is facing for over two years which generated to Farmers/Fulani-Herders clash.

He was very delighted that Kiyasa Farm Ltd has started planning ahead on cattle breeders improvement programme in Sokoto and Zamfara states to compliment the present administration’s efforts in livestock value chain.

The Minister assured Kiyasa Farm Ltd that the Ministry will give the farm Bio-Gas production machine and federal government support and assistance whenever the need arises.

Chief Ogbeh commended the vision and foresight of Cikasoro Livestock Market Ltd for the establishment of livestock market at Tunga Maje, Abuja to supply wholesome meat to Abuja and its environs, adding that this will surely minimize the transportation of cattle in trucks from the North to the Southern parts of the country.

The Minister assured Cikasoro Livestock Market Ltd. that government will complement its efforts by the provision of infrastructures (roads, water and electricity) in the market and offer ideas and technical support to ensure the market is of international standard.

Speaking earlier, the Managing Director Kiyasa Farm Ltd, Alh. Mohammed Sambo Bashar said that Kiyasa Farm Ltd is engaging on Cattle Breeding Improvement Programme in Sokoto and Zamfara states with the aim of promoting modern beef and dairy industry in the two states.

He further said that the farm is creating necessary incentives for nomadic herders towards government efforts by providing modern facilities for training and production in new ranch initiative as transition to modern cattle farming.

Alh. Bashar said that they are here to sign the Memorandum of Understanding and to solicit for support and collaboration from the Ministry for the successful implementation of its programmes.

The Chief Executive Officer, Cikasoro Livestock Market Ltd, Ambassador Abubakar Cika disclosed that the objective of establishing the Livestock Market was to supply wholesome meat to Abuja and its environ.

He further said that it will also minimize the transportation of cattle and other livestock from the North to the Southern part of the country.

Amb. Abubakar further disclosed that have secured enough land from FCTA with Certificate of Occupancy and also imported some machinery from Turkey, adding that civil work has already commenced at the site.

He further explained that Cikasoro Livestock Market Ltd is seeking for non-binding MoU with FMARD for exchange of ideas and technical support.

Nigeria, China partner to enhance development, security, others

China has said it stands ready to enhance its security cooperation, expand inclusive development, improve connectivity and deepen people-to-people understanding with Nigeria through the Belt and Road initiative (BRI).

Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Zhou Pingjian, said this at the Abuja-Beijing Consensus Roundtable in Abuja on Thursday.

Zhou said his government’s commitment to work with Nigeria was to bring “more tangible BRI cooperation benefits” to both countries and peoples.

“The Belt and Road cooperation is entering a new stage, bringing enormous opportunities for high-quality BRI cooperation between China and Nigeria.”

The envoy recalled that the Belt and Road Forum held in Beijing in April was fruitful with the signing of agreements of over 64 billion dollars with different business representatives from participating countries.

The ambassador said China also signed over 100 bilateral and multilateral cooperation documents with relevant countries.

He added that the Coordinators’ Meeting on the implementation of the follow-up actions of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) summit would be held in Beijing in June.

Zhou said the meeting would facilitate prompt and efficient implementation of the eight major initiatives of the Chinese Government with African countries over the next three years.

The initiatives announced by Chinese Government at the FOCAC summit in Sept. 2018 covered areas ranging from industrial promotion, facility connectivity, trade facilitation, green development, capacity building, among others.

Also speaking, Mr Shuijin Ye, President, China General Chamber of Commerce in Nigeria, said the roundtable provided a forum to explore Nigeria-China cooperation and the BRI.

Shuijin said the Economic Recovery Growth Plan of the Federal Government was closely aligned with the policy direction of the BRI.

“The ERGP aims to achieve sustainable and high-quality development by strengthening infrastructure, expanding financing channels, promoting private sector development and focusing on solving the problems of energy, electricity.

“It also focuses on solving the problems of foreign exchange shortage, unfriendly business environment and lack of technology which hinders development.

“ERGP is a choice of the Nigerian Government and people to meet the needs of social development.”

He added that Nigeria-China cooperation had huge opportunities and potential and the ERGP, FOCAC and BRI were the driving platforms for enhanced cooperation between the two countries.

The former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Amb. Aminu Wali, said Nigeria should embrace the BRI and build a new framework to promote inclusive governance and for international cooperation.

“Nigeria should naturally welcome and work assiduously for a new framework for international cooperation and an inclusive global governance process such as the BRI that meets the earnest and legitimate struggle of African nations.”

Wali added that the participation of nearly 40 African countries in the second Belt and Road Forum held in April sought to promote issues at the core of the BRI. (NAN)

MTN listed on NSE….adds N1.83trn to market capitalisation

MTN Nigeria has finally been listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange.

The telecommunications giant was listed on the industries sector of the national bourse, 18-years after its first investor call was made by Pascal Dozie, the brain behind the Diamond Bank.

“Our MTN Chairman & CEO have been presented with the official plaque, commemorating this monumental milestone in yet another historical moment for us,” the telco said Thursday.

The listing was concluded at the Nigerian Stock Exchange on Thursday in Lagos.

Speaking at the event, Oscar Onyeama said the telecommunications company has added N1.83 trillion to the market capitalisation of the Nigerian exchange.

“I congratulate the Board and Management of MTN Nigeria on its successful listing on NSE Premium Board. We are delighted to welcome MTN Nigeria to the Exchange,” he said.

“Today’s listing is a promising development in the country’s telecommunications sector and we encourage other players in the sector to explore the different opportunities in the capital markets for raising long term capital.

“As a listing platform of choice, today’s listing will add to our bouquet of diverse investment offerings to the public. Having MTN Nigeria listed in our market is a testament of The Exchange’s commitment to building a dynamic and inclusive market and creating channels for sustainable investment.

“This listing will promote liquidity for MTN Nigeria, enhance its value and increase transparency, as our platform remains one of the best avenues for raising capital and enabling sustainable growth for national development”.

The listing was part of negotiations with Nigerian authorities to reduce the NCC fine of N5.3 trillion for misdeeds with sim card registrations by MTN.

Thursday’s listing was consummated by introduction of 20,354,513,050 ordinary shares of MTN Nigeria at a listing price of N90.00 per share.

MTN Nigeria, a part of the MTN Group, Africa’s leading cellular telecommunications company, is the first telecommunications network provider to be listed on the NSE Premium Board.

Senate panel endorses Emefiele for second term, dismisses ‘stolen’ N500bn allegation

The senate committee on banking, insurance and other financial institutions has approved of a second term for Godwin Emefiele, governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

While screening Emefiele on Wednesday, members of the committee dismissed the allegations of stolen N500 billion at the apex bank.

Rafiu Ibrahim, its chairman, said the allegations were targeted at “bringing you (Emefiele) down because  you are  a good person”.

Last week, President Muhammadu Buhari nominated Emefiele for a second term.

During the screening, the committee expressed satisfaction over Emefiele’s first tenure at the CBN.

According to Ibrahim, “I do not have any question for the Governor. I am overwhelmed. I wish you well and pray for you. May God continue to guide you.

“Now, we know the reason why there are some videos on social media because in Nigeria, once you are a good person, some people will always try to bring you down. We will expeditiously take a report to the chamber for consideration. You can take a bow.”

Kurfi Umaru representing Katsina central also commended the CBN governor for “a job well done.”

“Let me start by congratulating the governor for his second term and also congratulate you for your article presentation. I commend you for a job well done,” he said.

Philip Aduda from FCT said: “Mine is to wish you well and to pray to God almighty to grant you wisdom so that you can put the economy of this county on a pedestal of hope and prosperity. Congratulations.”

In his remarks, the Emefiele said the apex bank will continue to do its best, admitting, however, that “the road ahead is still very tough.”

He said Nigeria has workable policies but “implementation has been neglected because we see sabotaged activities.

“CBN will ensure that those who seek to undermine the policies of Nigeria will be brought to book. Pray for us because the road ahead is tough,” he said.

“On Agriculture, the credit should go to the President. It was what he said ‘eat what we produce’, that birthed the anchor borrowers programme.

“We have started looking at palm oil. The price of a barrel of palm oil is more than a barrel of crude oil. We will grow that market again. After palm oil, we will focus on cocoa in the south-west.”

FEC approves $1bn Chinese loan for power project

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved a fresh $1 billion Chinese loan for a power project.

The approval was given at a meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the presidential villa, Abuja, on Wednesday.

Confirming the loan approval, Suleiman Adamu, minister of water resources, said it will be obtained from the China-Exim Bank for the Gurara II Hydropower project.

According to him, the project is aimed at generating 360 megawatts of electricity.

In 2017, the federal government concluded plans to secure a loan of $550 million from the China Import Export Bank for the acquisition of two new communications satellites for the Nigeria Communications Limited.

In 2018, the federal government had also negotiated a loan of about $6 billion with the Chinese bank for the construction of the Ibadan-Kano rail line.

Speaking on Monday in Nairobi, Kenya, Rotimi Amaechi, minister of transportation, allayed fears over reports that assets built with Chinese loans in some African countries would be taken over by the Asian giant if the countries default.

He said the loan agreement between Nigeria and China does not involve forfeiture of some Nigerian infrastructure if the country failed to pay back.

“I don’t know the arrangement these countries made with Exim Bank, I do not think we will have any problems with repaying our loans,” the minister said.

“The countries that they are talking about are Kenya, Somalia and Sudan. These are countries that have not been able to repay their loans, I think. So what they (China) are doing is that they are taking over to manage and get their money. But it is not so in Nigeria.”

Nigerians should brace for petrol pump price hike – Rewane

Bismarck Rewane, chief executive officer of Financial Derivatives Company Limited, has asked Nigerians to brace for an increase in the pump price of petrol.

In 2016, the Buhari administration increased a litre of petrol from N87 to N145, sparking criticism among citizens.

But making a presentation  at the Lagos Business School, Rewane said there were indications that the price of fuel would rise because government is working towards reducing subsidy payments.

He described subsidies as a huge drain on government’s revenue, adding that the World Bank put Nigeria’s total subsidy bill in 2018 at N731 billion.

“A gradual reduction in subsidy payments is anticipated. Only N305bn set aside for under-recovery in 2019 budget; expect an increase in the pump price of fuel,” he said.

“Forty per cent shortfall in provision for subsidies (under-recoveries) points to possible price increases.”

Rewane added that hike in price of petrol would result in high inflationary pressure.

He described the 2019 budget as counter-cyclical, saying the economy was in dire need of a boost.

He said with expenditures much higher than sustainable revenues, the fiscal deficit had widened by 2.15 per cent to N1.9tn, adding that the supplementary budget could not be avoided.

“Oil revenues are projected to decline due to the impact of OPEC quota on Nigeria’s oil output level,” he added.

On the new minimum wage, he said internally generated revenue remains the key to funding it, adding that it is not sustainable to rely on the federal accounts allocation committee (FAAC).

Rewane said the capacity of the economic management team will determine the success of President Muhammadu Buhari in the second term.

He projected that Buhari would have unveiled his cabinet by June, saying “the post cabinet selection squabbling will lead to splintering of the All Progressives Congress”.

Rewane added that the election tribunal results will “upset at least four governorship races”.

NSE listing values MTN Nigeria at N1.83trn

The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) on Tuesday finally approved the listing of MTN Nigeria shares on the nation’s bourse.

A senior official at the NSE, who pleaded anonymity, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that MTN Nigeria application for listing was approved on Tuesday.

The source said that the company, barring unforeseen circumstances, would be listing a total of 20, 354,513,050 at N90 per share on May 16.

The source told NAN that the company had completed all the necessary steps required by the exchange for listing which led to the approval.

NAN reports that MTN Nigeria shares, when listed at N90 per share, will emerge the second largest company on the nation’s bourse after Dangote Cement with market capitalisation of N1.83 trillion.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently confirmed the approval of MTN Nigeria application to be listed on NSE by way of introduction.

Efe Ebelo, SEC Head Corporate Communications, said that the commission had approved the company’s application to be listed on the nation’s bourse by way of introduction.

She said that the company had successfully completed the registration of 20,354,513,050 ordinary shares of N0.02 each with the commission.

NAN recalls that MTN Nigeria on May 6 filed an application with SEC and the exchange for listing by introduction.

MTN Nigeria recently changed its status from a private company to a public liability company (PLC) ahead of its listing on the exchange.

NAN reports that the conversion was one of the requirements for listing on the exchange.

The company had previously announced that it looks to list on the NSE before July, saying it plans to enter the market by way of listing by introduction.

Speaking on the conversion, Fredi Moolman, MTN Chief Executive Officer, said the listing was part of its commitment to localisation in the markets in which it operates.

“Our conversion to a Plc is a major step towards listing by introduction on the Nigerian Stock Exchange in the first half of 2019.

“It is a reaffirmation of our long-term commitment to expanding investment opportunities for Nigerians, in addition to providing everyday services to them.

“We look forward to continuing our engagement with the SEC and NSE to take forward the listing process,” Moolman had said.

NAN reports that listing on the NSE was one of the conditions reached in the resolution of a N330 billion fine placed on the telco by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) for its inability to disconnect improperly registered SIM cards.

Senate threatens to order shutdown of Bet9ja over refusal to honour invitation

The Senate Committee on Youth and Sports, on Tuesday, threatened to order the shutdown of Bet9ja office if the company failed to honour its invitation for a second time.

Bet9ja is the biggest online sports betting company in Nigeria with revenues running into.the tens of billions.

The Chairman of the Committee, Senator Obinna Ogba, made the remark at the National Assembly, Abuja during the verification of loto companies with licence to operate in Nigeria.

Ogba (PDP Ebonyi Central) said it was unfortunate that Bet9ja refused to honour the committee’s invitation.

“Clerk, write to Bet9ja again. If they did not honour our invitation, we will ask the National Lottery Commission to seal their offices,” he said.

According to him, the Senate is making efforts aimed at assisting the Lottery Commission to generate money for the Federal Government.

”We want to see bet9ja. They can’t run away,” he said.

The chairman explained that the verification followed series of complaints against the betting companies, adding that ”some don’t even have offices while others have not been making remittances to the government.”

”Some got the licences but they are not operating. The new regulation only give them one year to start operations,” he noted.

Meanwhile, about 20 other betting companies appeared before the committee for the verification.

NNPC recovers $1.6bn from companies

The Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Maikanti Baru, on Tuesday said the Corporation had recovered $1.6 billion from some companies fleecing one of its subsidiaries.

Mr Baru disclosed this in Abuja while fielding questions from journalists after a visit by officials of the Chartered Institute of Forensic and Investigative Professionals of Nigeria (CIFIPN)

The Institute conferred an award of Honourary Fellow and Patron to Mr Baru and solicited partnership with the corporation during the visit.

CIFIPN is an anti-Fraud organisation saddled with the responsibility of providing skills to professionals from relevant fields on the use of science and technology to detect, prevent and investigate fraud and also put some measures to prevent future occurrence.

He said its upstream subsidiary fleeced was the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC).

He also said under his watch, the corporation had made significant progress in terms of fraud detection, prevention and control.

“There is a lot of sanity that has happened in the industry as a result of this. Recently, due to the work, we were able to get the Atlantic companies who were fleecing the NNPC subsidiary, the NPDC, and we got an award for them to refund 1.6 billion dollars to the NPDC, through the arbitration process.

“We have also been able to stem fraud. High profile court cases were being set up to defraud the NPDC.

“If you see the amount of money involved, if you do not have people who are determined to fight corruption, our chances would have been compromised by over 1.6 billion dollars.

“We have had cases, like NNPC versus IPCO, where they are demanding over 400 million dollars, and because of their activities, we were able to settle out of court with them for 37.5 million dollars, which is a saving of several percentages, about less than 10 per cent of the total amount.” he said

Mr Baru added that the recovery was possible as all staff of the corporation and its business partners had imbibe transparency in all areas of their operations.

Commenting on the honours, he assured that he would support the institute with his wealth of knowledge to help boost forensic investigation in the country.

“This institute’s intention is quite laudable and conferment of fellows on me will make me more determined to support them and being a patron will make me to share some of the knowledge I have,’’ he said

N100bn worth of bonds up for subscription on May 22 – DMO

The Debt Management Office (DMO) says N100 billion worth of Federal Government bonds will be up for subscription on May 22.

The DMO said in a circular on its website on Tuesday in Abuja that the five-year re-opening bonds of N35 billion to mature in April 2023, was offered at 12.75 per cent.
It said that the 10-year re-opening bonds also of N35 billion to mature in April 2029 would be auctioned at 14.55 per cent.

The website said the N30 billion 30-year bonds, introduced in April, which would be due in April 2049, would be auctioned at 14.80 per cent.

According to the DMO, units of sale is N1, 000 per unit, subject to a minimum subscription of N50 million and in multiples of N1, 000 thereafter.

The DMO explained that the bonds were backed by the full faith and credit of the Nigerian Government, with interest payable semi-annually to bondholders, while bullet repayment would be made on maturity date.

Nigeria issues sovereign bonds monthly to support the local bond market, create a benchmark for corporate issuance and fund its budget deficit.

Akeredolu seeks to tap into huge marijuana market

Rotimi Akeredolu, governor of Ondo state, says the state could diversify its economy by tapping into the marijuana market.

In a tweet on Monday, Akeredolu explained that with an estimated value of $145 billion in 2025, the state would be shortchanging itself if it ignores the marijuana business.

“We all know that Ondo State is the hot bed of cannabis cultivation in Nigeria,” he wrote.

“We know how to grow it and it thrives well in the Sunshine State. With an estimated value of $145 Billion in 2025, we would be shortchanging ourselves if we failed tap into the Legal Marijuana Market.

“Our focus now is Medical Marijuana cultivation in controlled plantations under the full supervision of the@ndlea_nigeria. I strongly implore the FG to take this seriously as it is a thriving industry that will create 1000’s of Jobs for our youth & spur Economic Diversification.”

Arakunrin Akeredolu

@RotimiAkeredolu

We all know that Ondo State is the hot bed of cannabis cultivation in Nigeria. We know how to grow it and it thrives well in the Sunshine State. With an estimated value of $145 Billion in 2025, we would be shortchanging ourselves if we failed t tap into the Legal Marijuana Market

Sahara Reporters

@SaharaReporters

Gov. @RotimiAkeredolu, NDLEA Boss, Abdallah In Thailand To Learn How To Grow Cannabis | Sahara Reporters
“We are here to study how cannabis can be of more advantage to the state and Nigeria at large just the way Thai Government has done.
READ MORE: http://bit.ly/2W4Wzgz 

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2,399 people are talking about this

Arakunrin Akeredolu

@RotimiAkeredolu

We all know that Ondo State is the hot bed of cannabis cultivation in Nigeria. We know how to grow it and it thrives well in the Sunshine State. With an estimated value of $145 Billion in 2025, we would be shortchanging ourselves if we failed t tap into the Legal Marijuana Market

Sahara Reporters

@SaharaReporters

Gov. @RotimiAkeredolu, NDLEA Boss, Abdallah In Thailand To Learn How To Grow Cannabis | Sahara Reporters
“We are here to study how cannabis can be of more advantage to the state and Nigeria at large just the way Thai Government has done.
READ MORE: http://bit.ly/2W4Wzgz 

View image on Twitter

Arakunrin Akeredolu

@RotimiAkeredolu

Our focus now is Medical Marijuana cultivation in controlled plantations under the full supervision of the @ndlea_nigeria. I strongly implore the FG to take this seriously as it is a thriving industry that will create 1000’s of Jobs for our youth & spur Economic Diversification. pic.twitter.com/L2pKhksPl6

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433 people are talking about this

The governor and Muhammad Mustapha Abdallah, chairman of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), visited Thailand to learn more about extracting cannabis.

At a programme held in Thailand on Monday, Akeredolu said they came to “study how cannabis can be of more advantage to the state and Nigeria at large just the way Thai Government has done. Cannabis is used for medical purposes; how can it be cultivated for specific purposes  and not be abused?”

Abdallah said that the current trend in the world is to look into the advantage of cannabis in the making of food and drugs.

During the electioneering, Omoyele Sowore, presidential candidate of the African Action Congress (AAC), had saidNigeria will export marijuana if he gets elected as president of the country.

He said people are making billions from the plant while Nigeria is lagging behind.

“We have to start taking care of our weed (Igbo), such that we can also contribute to the GDP of the world,” he had said.

In November 2018, most stores in Canada were reportedly struggling to meet the demand for cannabis, two weeks after the Canadian government had approved it for recreational use.

SEC moves to ban companies from sharing gifts at AGMs

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) says it is working to create a subrule that makes the distribution of gifts at annual general meetings (AGM) illegal.

In a draft published on its website, the commission explained that the aim of the subrule is to reduce the cost of organising AGMs and ensure that investors get more value for their investments.

The sundry amendments are: Proposed amendment to Rule 42 (2)- Half-Yearly Returns, Proposed amendment to Rule 67(2)- Individual Sub-broker and Proposed amendment to Part N Rule 602 – Miscellaneous Rules.

The proposed rules also seek to make meetings with a select group of shareholders prior to an annual general meeting/extraordinary general meeting illegal.

“Some companies arrange meetings with select groups of shareholders ahead of general meetings to discuss proposed resolutions and agree on strategies which are often detrimental to the interest of other shareholders,” Efe Ebelo, SEC’s head of corporate communications, said.

“Public companies spend a significant amount of money on corporate gifts at AGMs/EGMs and this has a great impact on their profitability. Few of the companies are making reasonable profits and even fewer can afford to pay dividends.

“If the amount budgeted for gifts at AGMs/EGMs can be reserved for other relevant operational or administrative expenses, it would positively impact on their earnings per share.

Companies that violate these provisions, the SEC warned, “shall be liable to a penalty of not less than N10m”.

The proposed amendment will also lead to the creation of a rule that public companies should disclose some corporate governance information on their websites including governance structure, composition and structure of the board, shareholding and dividend analysis.

Shell targets 2,400MW electricity from new gas supply project

The ongoing Assa North/Ohaji South gas development project in Imo State, southeast Nigeria will produce 600 million standard cubic feet of gas per day,energy equivalent of about 2400 Megawatts.

This is enough to provide uninterrupted electricity to about 2.4 million homes, Managing Director, The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC) and Country Chair, Shell Companies in Nigeria, Osagie Okunbor said on Monday.

Okunbor spoke at the media launch of the 2019 edition of the Shell in Nigeria Briefing Notes, an annual publication detailing the activities of the business interests of the global energy giant in Nigeria covering SPDC, Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company (SNEPCo), Shell Nigeria Gas and the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas.

SPDC took the final investment decision on the Assa North/Ohaji South project last December giving a major momentum to the domestic gas aspiration of the Federal Government for increased power generation and industrialisation.

Giving a breakdown of the gas production, Okunbor said 300 million standard cubic feet of gas per day would be processed at a new gas processing plant owned by the SPDC Joint Venture while the remaining 300 million will go to a proposed gas processing plant by SEPLAT Petroleum.

Okunbor said, “The project would be a major game-changer in Nigeria’s quest for energy sufficiency and economic growth as we look to grow the domestic gas market.” He added that the SPDC and its joint venture partners – NNPC, Total and Agip – would continue to explore other areas of support for the expansion of domestic gas supply and continue to make investments under the right conditions.

The Assa North/Ohaji South Gas Development Project ranks top among the Federal Government’s Seven Critical Gas Development Projects aimed at accelerating Nigeria’s aspiration for energy sufficiency and diverse industrial growth.

Explaining the company’s gas development strategy, SPDC’s General Manager External Relations, Igo Weli, said Shell was transforming to a gas-oriented business and currently accounts for about 10 percent of Nigeria’s domestic gas most of which is used for power generation.

SPDC and SNEPCo continue to contribute tremendously to the Nigerian economy. They paid N515.14 billion to the Federal Government in 2018 in taxes, royalties and levies while contracts worth N393.94 billion were awarded to Nigerian companies in the same year.

These contributions, according the 2019 Shell in Nigeria Briefing Notes, are aside the N39.58 billion paid to the Niger Delta Development Commission and another N44.36 billion disbursed for various community-driven projects in the Niger Delta under the SPDC JV Global Memorandum of Understanding.

Shell Companies in Nigeria also made direct spending of N17.03 billion on social investment projects making Nigeria the largest concentration of social investment spending in the Shell Group.

Those who attended the Briefing Notes launch included the SNEPCo’s Managing Director, Bayo Ojulari; SNG’s MD, Ed Ubong and the SPDC’s General Manager External Relations, Igo Weli.

L-R: General Manager External Relations of Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC),. Igo WelI; Managing Director, Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company (SNEPCo), Bayo Ojulari; Managing Director, The Shell Petroleum Development Companies of Nigeria Limited and Country Chair, Shell Companies in Nigeria, Osagie Okunbor; Managing Director and Shell Nigeria Gas,  Ed Ubong at the Launching of the 2019 Shell Nigeria Briefing Notes.