Frontline Digital Terrestrial Television service, GOtv, and SuperSport, the leading sports promoter and broadcaster on the DStv and GOtv platforms, have won big at the 25th anniversary celebration of the National Institute for Sports(NIS).
While GOtv emerged the Outstanding Grassroots Sports Programme Television Station 2019, SuperSport won in two categories as Outstanding Sports Promoting Television Station of the Decade (2019) and the Outstanding Television Sports Programme of the Decade. MultiChoice Nigeria also emerged the Outstanding Sports Promoting Company of the Decade.
While receiving the awards on behalf of MultiChoice Nigeria, Martin Mabutho, Chief Customer Officer, MultiChoice, said the awards are in recognition of MultiChoice’s effort in delivering the best content across its various platforms. He added that the company remains committed to providing quality services for its subscribers.
“MultiChoice will continue to make great entertainment more accessible to Nigerians by delivering quality sports and local content to its customers,” said Mabutho.
Speaking on youth development, Mabutho explained that MultiChoice has empowered thousands of Nigerian youth through the GOtv Sabimen initiative.
“GOtv Sabimen is a programme that trains participants on the rudiments of service activation, response to customer enquiries and resolution of GOtv service issues,” he explained.
The Chief Customer Officer further noted that participants receive practical training from both internal and external facilitators on how to handle various enquires by customers and eventually grow on to become their own bosses, which is the main objective of the programme. Today over 5000 Nigerian youth in various parts of the country have been employed through this initiative.
Prior to the awards presentation, the Minister for Youth and Sports Development, Mr. Solomon Dalung, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mr. Olusade Adesola, commended corporate bodies supporting the development of youth and sports in Nigeria. He also appealed to other corporate bodies to emulate the kind gesture of companies like MultiChoice in youth and sports development.
A tomato-paste factory owned by Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, resumed production in Nigeria’s northern state of Kano after staying idle for more than two years over a supply disruption partly caused by a price dispute with farmers.
The factory, with a capacity for 1,200 metric tons of tomato paste daily and targeted at meeting domestic demand, restarted production last week processing about 100 tons a day. It will ramp up output as tomato supply improves, according to Abdulkareem Kaita, the managing director of Dangote Farms Ltd, which owns the factory.
“Our major challenge is the scarcity of the tomato,” Kaita said in an interview at the factory in Kadawa, outside the northern city of Kano. “The local tomato growers could not meet our production demand, we also could not agree with the farmers on the price of tomato per basket.”
Under a new deal with the farmers, the factory will buy tomatoes at prices pegged to what local markets are selling.
Dangote is also developing its own farms with a special tomato strain that could yield 60 tons per hectare, compared with the yield of 10 tons per hectare being recorded by the local farmers, Kaita said. The company plans to distribute the seedlings to growers to boost their output.
The plant, which started production in 2015, was to help Africa’s most populous nation cut paste imports of 300,000 tons a year from China by using an estimated 900,000 tons of tomatoes lost after harvest every year for lack of storage and processing facilities.
Dangote Farms is part of Aliko Dangote’s diversified group of businesses, of which cement manufacturing is the main one. The 61-year-old tycoon, who is currently building a vast $12 billion oil refinery close to the commercial hub of Lagos, is also invested in sugar and flour. (NAN)
Over 1,000 African entrepreneurs from African 54 countries to participate in the 2019 Cohort
- Event to be live-streamed on TEFConnect – Africa’s digital entrepreneurship hub
The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF), the leading African philanthropy committed to empowering African entrepreneurs, will announce the selected applicants for the 2019 cohort of the Foundation’s flagship Entrepreneurship Programme on March 22, 2019. The event, which marks the 5th round of the Foundation’s Entrepreneurship Programme, will take place at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja.
Every year, the Tony Elumelu Foundation opens its application portal to African entrepreneurs, with businesses of less than three years old. Through its $100million Entrepreneurship Programme, the Foundation empowers 1,000 entrepreneurs annually, who receive $5,000 in non-refundable seed capital, access to mentors, a 12-week training programme and opportunities to promote their businesses to a global audience. All applicants receive access to TEFConnect, Africa’s digital entrepreneurial hub, which provides access to networks, training, further capital sources and business opportunities.
As a means of cascading its proven entrepreneurial tool kit to the huge numbers of applicants, the Foundation launched in 2018, TEFConnect, the digital networking platform for African entrepreneurs. The platform, which has currently over 400,000 users, providing opportunities for entrepreneurs to network, receive training and forge business partnerships to scale their businesses beyond physical borders.
In the five years since the Foundation launched its Entrepreneurship Programme, it has empowered 4,000 African entrepreneurs directly and an additional 470 entrepreneurs supported by the Foundation’s partners. The Foundation recently appointed Ifeyinwa Ugochukwu as CEO effective from April 1. Mrs. Ugochukwu succeeds Parminder Vir, OBE, who will continue to lend her experience and expertise as a member of the Foundation’s Advisory Board.
The incoming CEO, Ifeyinwa Ugochukwu, emphasised the importance of partnership in reaching additional entrepreneurs beyond the Foundation’s annual commitment of 1,000 entrepreneurs.
“Each year we see a significant uplift in applicants. Our execution partner, Accenture Development Partnerships, are currently reviewing and finalising the applications. Over 215,000 African entrepreneurs applied from across 54 African countries, up from 151,000 applications last year, with an increase in female representation from 62,000 in 2018 to 90,000 in 2019. These rising figures demonstrate the burning desire of the African entrepreneur to develop our continent, and we must urgently convert this passion into viable businesses to develop our continent.
Our Programme has developed a robust mechanism for directing capital effectively and efficiently, to those who can deploy it in local communities with the greatest impact. We are looking forward to working with partners to collaborate with us, to scale the platform and process we have created. Empowering African entrepreneurs must be a shared responsibility to create economic prosperity for all,” she said.
Speaking on the Entrepreneurship Programme, Osato Noah, West Africa Lead, Accenture Development Partnerships, said: “We have worked with the Tony Elumelu Foundation since the inception of the Entrepreneurship Programme. In 2015, the first round of the Programme saw us review 20,000 applications for the Foundation and this year we reviewed over 215,000 applications. The sheer diversity and speed at which applications have scaled in the last four years have been incredible. We commend the Tony Elumelu Foundation for their commitment to the transparency of the programme, and Accenture is proud to partner in the delivery of this Pan-African project.”
The Selection Announcement will also feature a Nigerian TEF Alumni Meet up, as well as an interactive dialogue with TEF Founder, Tony O. Elumelu, CON.
In line with its resolve to enhance business growth and expansion, Stanbic IBTC, working with its mother brand Standard Bank Group of South Africa, have partnered with Eland Oil & Gas, an oil and gas production and development company operating in West Africa with an initial focus on Nigeria, to announce a new accordion facility and increased borrowing base of $50 million (about N18 billion).
The facility is being underwritten by Stanbic IBTC Bank and Standard Bank while Stanbic IBTC Capital Limited will act as a joint Bookrunner. An accordion facility is essentially an incremental facility, which allows a borrower to take an additional facility over and above what was originally agreed with the financier on the same terms as the original facility for expansion purposes.
In November 2018, Eland Oil & Gas announced that it had successfully refinanced its existing reserve-based lending facility (the ‘RBL Facility’) with a new 5-year syndicated RBL facility in an amount of US$75 million, with the option to increase it to up to $200 million via an accordion, subject to incremental production and reserves.
Speaking during the announcement, Stanbic IBTC said the deal was an opportunity to support Eland Oil & Gas’ business expansion drive in the oil and gas industry. According to the financial institution, it will continue to leverage its excellent investment banking pedigree as well as the strength of its franchise in the Standard Bank Group, the largest financial institution in Africa, to consummate such big ticket deals that will not only help businesses grow but also help deepen key industries.
The oil and gas company announced that following a redetermination, the borrowing base amount increased from $103 million to $134 million and an initial accordion increase of $50 million is being underwritten by Standard Bank of South Africa and Stanbic IBTC Bank PLC, resulting in the commitments under the facility increasing from $75 million to $125 million. Of the commitments, $50 million is currently drawn.
Chief Financial Officer, Eland Oil & Gas, Ron Bain, who spoke on the deal, said: “I am pleased to announce the large increase in borrowing base on our RBL facility, which demonstrates the hugely accretive quality of the new wells drilled on the OML 40 asset and the growth in value they bring to our shareholders. Since refinancing the RBL in 2018 into a longer-term facility, we have the flexibility to diversify the capital structure of the company leveraging our position comfortably within our debt parameters and lowering the overall cost of capital.”
Standard Advisory London Limited and Stanbic IBTC Capital Limited (as Bookrunners) have been mandated to manage the primary syndication of the initial accordion increase. Principal repayments are expected to commence in the fourth quarter of 2019. This is consistent with the statement in the November RNS that there is a one-year grace period on principal repayments from execution of the facility, which occurred in November 2018.
Stanbic IBTC reiterated its commitment, in line with the Stanbic IBTC Group’s value proposition and investment banking pedigree, to continue to assist businesses with high quality advisory and arranging services that will enhance their growth and expansion prospects by providing access to a diverse range of financing options.
An investigator with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Okechukwu Akabue narrated before a Lagos High Court how a businessman, Ejere Kelvin Chris allegedly defrauded Fidelity Bank of N7.4B in a Local Purchase Order (LPO) scam.
Akabue, who is the fourth prosecution witness, told the court that Ejere acted alongside an accomplice, one Edoma Omagha.
The duo are standing trial on a 10 count charge bordering on fraud and conspiracy, charges which they both pleaded not guilty upon arraignment.
During the proceedings, Akabue who was led in evidence by EFCC Prosecutor, Idris Abdullahi Mohammed, told the court that the defendants allegedly forged LPOs and Shore Tank Reports Ibeto Tank Farm, and that of Total Nigeria Plc, and used same to apply loans from Fidelity Bank.
Akabue further said that the commission received a petition from Fidelity Bank detailing how it had been conned of N7. 4 billion by the defendants.
“We swung into action. The responses we got from Ibeto Tank Farm revealed that the Shore Tank Report had been forged.
“Upon interrogation of the two Fidelity Bank officials, Ikechukwu Iboko and John Paul Okire who approved the loan, they both said that they visited Total Nigeria Plc, seven times all between October 2016 and February 2017.
“They both claimed that for every visit at Total, they met with Kelvin, the 1st defendant who worked in the Supply Department of Total Plc and that he was the one that gave them access into the company.
“They also claimed that the 1st defendant took them to his office inside Total Plc and showed them the corresponding copy of the LPOs the bank had received from Total.
“The 1st defendant thereafter signed the documents and stamped it with Total Plc’s stamp to authenticate,” the witness told the court.
Akabue further stated that in the course of the investigation when Kelvin was shown the forged LPOs purportedly emanating from Total Plc, he claimed that that he was absent from work on the days the bank officials came for visitation.
“The 1st defendant also claimed that he was at a meeting when the bank officials visited. He even provided an alibi to show that within that period he was attending meetings in the office.
“We requested for the CCTV footage of 20th of February and when we viewed it, we saw the 1st defendant welcoming the bank officials to the premises and even leading them to his office.
“We went further to study the footages and saw when the 1st defendant signed the documents. There was an exchange of correspondence between the trio, “Akabue said.
Meanwhile, according to the EFCC, Fidelity bank paid the sum of N7.4B to Danium Energy Services to fund LPOs of Total Nigeria PLC following documents endorsed by Kelvin.
Kelvin, who joined Total Nig. PlC in 2012 as a supply analyst, was docked for endorsing forged documents
The EFCC alleged that Kelvin, sometimes in January 2017 at Lagos with intent to defraud forged a Total Nigeria PLC document titled: Re: Offer for sale of Aubtomobile Gas Oil (AGO) dated January 17, 2017 with Reference No: OPS/SUP/OI/17/1071.
The Antigratft agency alleged that the two defendants and others now at large forged an International Logistics and Fulfillment Service Limited (interlog) document titled: Shore Tank Quality Report and dishonestly converted and stole the cumulative sum of N7.4 Billion.
The matter was thereafter adjourned till March 25th for continuation of trial.
- Nigerian Breweries Plc to install 650 kW of solar power at its Ibadan Brewery in 2019 using CrossBoundary Energy’s solar technology
- Project is the first solar Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) for a major company in Nigeria and for Heineken in Africa
- Solar energy plant will reduce Nigerian Breweries CO2 emissions by over 10,000 tonnes, while providing the site with cheaper power
Nigerian Breweries Plc (NB) and CrossBoundary Energy are today announcing the signing of Heineken’s first solar project in Africa. CrossBoundary Energy will be installing and operating a 650 kW solar plant located at NB’s Ibadan Brewery, the solar energy plant will become operational in 2019.
The landmark project is the first of its kind for Nigeria – a fully-financed solar Power Purchase Agreement for a major Nigerian business customer. CrossBoundary Energy will operate the rooftop facility on behalf of Nigerian Breweries as part of a 15-year solar services agreement. Under the agreement, NB will only pay for solar power produced, receiving a single monthly bill that incorporates all maintenance, monitoring, insurance and financing costs.
The solar plant will supply 1GWh annually to the Ibadan brewery at a significant discount to their current cost of power, while reducing the site’s CO2 emissions by over 10,000 tonnes over the lifespan of the plant.
Jordi Borrut Bel, Managing Director of Nigerian Breweries Plc stated “We are delighted to be a pioneer in the adoption of solar energy in Nigeria. The solar plant will help power our world-class brewery in Ibadan, enabling us to deliver on commitments under our ‘Brewing a Better World’ initiatives and supporting Heineken’s global ‘Drop the C’ programme for renewable energy.”
Heineken’s Drop the C programme for renewable energy aims to grow its share of productionrelated energy sourced from renewables from the current level of 14% to 70% by 2030. “NB’s Brewing a Better World initiative has further targeted a 40% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2030”, according to Martin Kochl, Supply Chain Director, Nigerian Breweries Plc.
Femi Fadugba, Head of Business Development for CrossBoundary Energy said: “We’re excited to be helping Nigerian Breweries go solar and to be providing the site with cleaner, cheaper power with no upfront investment or technical risk. I’m also proud that this flagship project – the first of its kind in Nigeria – will be launched in my family’s hometown of Ibadan.”
CrossBoundary Energy has commissioned TPN to design and build the plant as well as performing operations and maintenance immediately after commissioning. Ruud van Milligen, General Manager for TPN said: “We are grateful that we, as an Energy Solutions partner for Nigerian Breweries, and CrossBoundary Energy can contribute to the renewable goals of Nigerian Breweries with our custom-made energy solutions and best-in-class operations and maintenance operations.”
The plant will support the local employment of at least a dozen engineering, construction and maintenance professionals during installation and the 25+ year lifetime of the system, while supporting the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission’s (NERC) target of having 2,000MW of power capacity from renewables by 2020.
Through financing packages like the one being offered by CrossBoundary Energy, Nigeria’s renewable energy sector can provide much-needed green jobs, tap global capital, improve access to affordable, reliable power for businesses, and enable Nigeria to fulfil its enormous economic potential. Support for the project has come from Shell Foundation and the Solar Nigeria programme, an initiative implemented by Adam Smith International with funding from UK Aid.
The three-month long GOtv “Top Up” Campaign has entered its final phase and will end on 15 April. The campaign, launched by MultiChoice on 15 January, gives subscribers on GOtv Plus, GOtv Value, and GOtv Lite package the opportunity of getting an upgrade to GOtv Max by paying a reduced fee of N2,500 instead of N3,200, while GOtv ‘tops up’ with N700. The outstanding one month provides an opportunity for customers on lower GOtv packages to renew their subscription by paying N2, 500.
The upgrade will give customers access to a wide range of exciting contents on GOtv MAX. This includes football matches of the La Liga, Serie A, Emirates FA Cup, select matches of the Premier League and UFC; the world’s premier mixed martial arts (MMA) organization. It also gives access to entertainment content on BET, Fox Entertainment, StarLife, ROK 2, CBS Reality,
Also available for viewing are the critically acclaimed telenovela, Ajoche, and thrilling comedy series, Flatmates and The Johnsons, which debuts on GOtv this month on Africa Magic.
Speaking further on this mouthwatering offer, MultiChoice Nigeria’s Chief Customer Officer, Martin Mabutho says: “We are a frontline video entertainment company and our customers’ desires are at the core of the quality of content we have on GOtv. This explains why we don’t want them to miss out on it. So, I suggest they hurry and take advantage of the GOtv ‘Top Up’ offer.”
The Pan-African financial institution, United Bank for Africa Plc has announced its Audited 2018 Financial Results with impressive growths achieved across major financial lines. According to the 2018 financials filed at the Nigerian Stock Exchange on Tuesday, the Africa’s global bank’s gross earnings grew by 7.0 percent to N494.0 billion, compared to N461.6 billion recorded in the corresponding period of 2017. The Bank’s total assets also grew significantly by 19.7 percent to an unprecedented N4.9 trillion for the year under review.
These results, according to financial analysts largely demonstrates the benefits of the Group’s Pan-African footprints with continued growth in market share in key countries of operation across Africa. The contributions of ex-Nigeria subsidiaries at 40 percent, again confirms the strong footing of the Group’s franchise in Africa. Despite the challenging business environments in Nigeria and across key markets in Africa, the Bank’s Profit Before Tax was quite impressive at N106.8 billion, a 2.4 percent growth, compared to N104.2 billion in 2017 financial year.
In same vein, the Profit After Tax rose by 1.4 percent to N78.6 billion, compared to N77.5 billion recorded in 2017. Due to lower foreign exchange trading income, Operating Expenses grew by 4.1 percent to N197.3 billion, compared to N189.7 billion in 2017 Reflecting the modest appetite of the Bank in the year under review as well as impact of IFRS 9 implementation, net loans recorded a prudent 3.9 percent growth to N1.72 trillion while Customer Deposits increased by a remarkable 22.5 percent to N3.3 trillion, compared to N2.7 trillion recorded in the corresponding period of 2017, reflecting increased customer confidence and enhanced service channels.
Furthermore, Shareholders’ Funds decreased marginally by 4.8 percent to N502.6 billion, reflecting the impact of International Financial Reporting Standards 9 (IFRS 9) implementation. Commenting on the result, the Group Managing Director/CEO, Kennedy Uzoka noted that the year 2018 was important for the Group, as it gained further market share in many countries of operation. More so, the CEO was excited at strategic achievements made in the year, including the start of wholesale banking operations in London, as it seeks to leverage the Group’s unique network across Africa.
UBA also opened its 20th African operation. “Defying the relatively weak economic growth in Africa, earnings were positive and we grew our balance sheet by 20 percent, driven by the 23 percent growth in our deposit funding. In a period of economic uncertainty, we have focused on retail deposit mobilization, with exciting results. We recorded a 48 percent year-on-year growth in retail deposits and improved our CASA ratio to 77 percent, optimizing our funding mix, which will enhance our net interest margin (NIM), over the medium term,” Uzoka said. Uzoka remained confident that the Bank’s performance would be even stronger in the years ahead and shareholders would enjoy even greater dividends, as the Group is well positioned to take advantage of imminent fiscal reforms across many economies in Africa, a positive outlook which should stimulate new opportunities in infrastructure, manufacturing, agriculture and resource sectors. He continued: “Our operations in the United Kingdom now offer end-to-end trade, treasury, structured finance, wholesale deposit taking and ancillary services. With this development, we are better positioned to fulfill our aspiration of deepening trade and capital flows between Europe and Africa.
We are also pleased with the market acceptance of our new operation in Mali”. “Having said this, I am excited by the profitability of our ex-Nigeria subsidiaries, which now contributes an impressive 40 percent earnings to the Group. At the moment, our Nigerian business is benefiting from our product and operational focus, gaining market share – most importantly, the increasing penetration of our retail offerings is reassuring, as this fundamental progress aligns with our strategy of focusing on sustainable growth”.
“With great optimism, we look forward to a more rewarding 2019 for our shareholders, as we further sweat our resources and optimize productivity towards delivering superior returns,” he concluded. Also speaking on the performance, the Group CFO, Ugo Nwaghodoh said that the improving mix of the Bank’s funding base and asset pricing, reinforce a positive outlook on Net Interest Margin(NIM) and broader balance sheet efficiency. “Whilst considerable investment in people, digital transformation and channel enhancement masked cost efficiency gains within the year, with cost-to-income ratio at 64 percent, we are convinced that our diligent execution of new initiatives will ensure the reduction of Cost to Income Ratio(CIR) towards our medium-term target.
Our balance sheet is being positioned to take full advantage of market swings and our strong 25 percent capital adequacy ratio provides headroom for growth, even under a BASEL III scenario. As it stands, UBA has started the year on a good note and should sustain the momentum, as we work towards improving our Return on Average Equity (RoAE),” Nwaghodoh said. United Bank for Africa Plc is a leading pan-African financial services group, operating in 20 African countries, as well as the United Kingdom, the United States of America and with presence in France. UBA was incorporated in Nigeria as a limited liability company after taking over the assets of the British and French Bank Limited who had been operating in Nigeria since 1949.
The United Bank for Africa merged with Standard Trust Bank in 2005 and from a single country operation founded in 1949 in Nigeria – Africa’s largest economy – UBA has become one of the leading providers of banking and other financial services on the African continent. The Bank which was awarded the Best Digital Bank in Africa by the Euromoney awards in 2018, provides services to over 17 million customers globally, through one of the most diverse service channels in sub-Saharan Africa, with over 1,000 branches and customer touch points and robust online and mobile banking platforms. The shares of UBA are publicly traded on the Nigerian Stock Exchange and the Bank has a well-diversified shareholder base, which includes foreign and local institutional investors, as well as individual shareholders.
Oil prices dipped on Monday amid concerns that an economic downturn may dent fuel consumption, but crude markets remain broadly supported by supply cuts led by producer group OPEC and U.S. sanctions against Iran and Venezuela.
Brent crude oil futures LCOc1 were at 67.03 dollars per barrel at 0231 GMT, down 13 cents, or 0.2 per cent, from their last close, but not far off the 68.14 dollars per barrel 2019-high reached last week.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures CLc1 were at 58.32 dollars per barrel, down 20 cents, or 0.3 per cent, from their last settlement, and also not far off their 2019-high of 58.95 dollars from the previous week. “The greatest downside risk to our oil price view is demand weakness on slower economic growth.
“Our base case is that global oil demand will increase by 1.3 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2019… A synchronized global slowdown in growth could push global demand growth to below 1 million bpd,” Bernstein Energy said on Monday.
U.S. manufacturing output fell for a second straight month in February, in a sign that the world’s biggest economy has been slowing down in the first quarter.
In Asia, Japan’s exports fell for a third straight month in February in a sign of growing strain from slowing global demand. In spite this, oil prices have gained around a quarter since the start of the year amid U.S. sanctions against Iran and Venezuela, and as the
Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and non-affiliated allies like Russia – known as OPEC+ – have pledged to withhold 1.2 million bpd in supply to prop up prices.
OPEC’s de-facto leader, Saudi Arabia said on Sunday that balancing oil markets was far from done as inventories were still high.
Russia also said production cuts would stay in place at least until June.
As a result, Bernstein forecast an inventory draw of 37 million barrels in the first quarter for the 36 member countries of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), which comprises most industrialized nations.
The International Energy Agency (IEA) said on Friday it expected oil markets to be in a modest deficit from the second quarter.
Key for the supply and demand balance will be the United States, where crude production has soared by around 2 million bpd over the past year, thanks largely to an onshore boom in shale formation drilling.
The number of rigs drilling for new oil production in the United States has been falling in ongoing year, and hit its lowest level since April 2018 last week, at 833 operating rigs.
However, U.S. crude oil production C-OUT-T-EIA still increased at the start of 2019, hitting a record 12.1 million barrels per day (bpd) in February, data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) showed. Output has since dipped back to 12 million bpd, but that still makes America the world’s biggest crude oil producer.