Nigeria imported $227million worth of sugar in the first seven months of this year, according to the central bank.
The highest monthly value of imports of $79.1 million was recorded in June, a Central Bank of Nigeria monthly compilation of funds used for sugar imports obtained by Bloomberg News showed Wednesday.
The amounts are for raw sugar as well “chemically pure glucose and glucose syrup not containing fructose,” according to the document.
The central bank ditched its 16-month old peg on the naira in June and introduced a flexible exchange rate regime to allow the currency to trade freely on the interbank market.
But dollar liquidity has remained a concern in the system with periodic intervention by the central bank. The central bank has told lenders to set aside extra provisions against their dollar loans.
While the naira closed at N314.14 to the dollar on the interbank forex market yesterday, on the parallel market, the nation’s currency went for N394 to the dollar wednesday.
The central bank on Tuesday resolved to raise the amount of weekly foreign currency which banks are authorised to sell to Bureau de Change operators (BDCs) to $50,000 from the initial $30,000.
Speaking at the Bankers’ Committee meeting in Abuja on Tuesday, the Group Managing Director, United Bank for Africa (UBA), Kennedy Uzoka, said following the feedback from the market, the committee decided to effect an upward review in dollar sale to BDCs. He said the increase would make more cash available to BDCs and increase the supply which would help to drive down price.
Accessing forex had been a topical issue for Nigerians in recent times and the CBN had been evolving various methods to douse the situation.
Oil currencies have been hammered since crude prices crashed in mid-2014, and none more so than the naira, according to a Bloomberg report. It’s lost almost half its value against the dollar, the most among the currencies of OPEC members and more than Russia’s ruble, which is down 47 percent. For foreign investors, that may be a cue to re-enter the West African country as a weaker currency makes its bonds and stocks cheaper.
South African Government to Sell Stake in South African Airways to Takatso Consortium
The South African government is selling a 51% stake in South African Airways (SAA) to Takatso consortium, which will initially commit more than 3 billion rand ($221 million) to give the struggling airline a new lease of life.
SAA has been under a form of bankruptcy protection since December 2019, but its fortunes worsened during the COVID-19 pandemic and all its operations were mothballed in September 2020 when funds ran low.
The airline is one of a handful of South African state companies that depend on government bailouts, placing the national budget under huge strain at a time of rapidly rising debt.
The partnership with Takatso will alleviate that financial burden, public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan told journalists on Friday as the state would no longer provide any funding to the airline, which exited administration in late April after receiving 7.8 billion rand from the government. read more
Gordhan added that the government will retain a 49% stake with the intention of eventually listing the airline to address future funding requirements.
“The objective of bringing in an equity partner to SAA is to augment it with the required technical, financial and operational expertise to ensure a sustainable, agile and viable South African airline,” he said.
The consortium includes pan-African investor group Harith Global Partners and aviation group Global Aviation, Gordhan said.
Following the announcement, co-founder and consortium Chair Tshepo Mahloele told Reuters that 3 billion rand should be sufficient to operate the airline for 12 to 36 months.
The government could dispose of more of its ownership stake going forward, he added.
“They aren’t married to this 49%,” he said. “They won’t be putting more money into this asset.”
An initial public offering for the airline is unlikely to happen within the next three years, and SAA would first need to become profitable, Takatso Chief Executive Gidon Novick said.
Novick said Takatso would seek to relaunch SAA as soon as possible, prioritising first domestic service followed by regional destinations.
International long-haul routes would follow but would be selected carefully, and SAA would also work to forge partnerships with major carriers.
“We’re going to be competing with the greatest airlines in the world, and we need to be mindful of that,” Novick said.
The airline’s subsidiaries meanwhile will be evaluated, in particular Air Chefs, SAA Technical and low-cost airline Mango, Gordhan said, noting that “anything can happen” when asked if some could be shut down.
SAA will continue to be domiciled in South Africa and the government will have a “golden share” of 33% of the entity’s voting rights and certain areas of national interest, Gordhan said.
($1 = 13.5379 rand)
Coca-Cola Partners NGOs To Clear Plastic Waste In Nigeria
Coca-Cola Nigeria has said it partnered with non-profit organisations to reduce plastic pollution across the country.
In a statement on Thursday, it said it would be doing more to promote environmental sustainability as part of efforts to commemorate World Environment Day.
It stated that it had introduced initiatives to protect the environment through its philanthropic arm, the Coca-Cola Foundation.
Coca-Cola said that it supported the Statewide Waste and Environmental Education Foundation to launch the Eko Beach Race 2021 themed ‘A race against plastic pollution.’
The event had in attendance 2,000 youths, students and sports enthusiasts who participated in a marathon race and beach clean-up.
SWEEP Foundation’s President, Obuesi Philips, stated at the event that it “was geared towards recognising the growing contributions of sport to the realisation of societal development.”
The drink maker also partnered with the Aid for Rural Education Access Initiative to host the “Recycle and Win” festival.
It included community outreach and clean-up programmes in Kwara, Kano, Kaduna, Yobe and Oyo States. Coca-Cola said that 10 tons of plastic bottles were recovered through the process.
The Director, Public Affairs, Communications and Sustainability at Coca-Cola, Nwamaka Onyemelukwe, urged Nigerians to adopt more eco-friendly practices while emphasising the urgency of the current global situation.
Onyemelukwe stated, “At Coca-Cola, we recognise there is a packaging waste problem globally and especially in Nigeria, which is why we pioneered the World Without Waste initiative to engineer innovative solutions to tackle this challenge.
“World Environment Day presents an opportunity for us to act on this mandate as seen by the number of environmental sustainability initiatives we have supported in collaboration with local implementing partners.”
RAK Unity Petroleum to Shutdown as Shareholders Approved Liquidation
Shareholders of RAK Unity Petroleum Company Plc, at the company’s 18th Annual General Meeting, held on Friday, 4th June 2021, agreed that the company be wound up voluntarily in accordance with the provisions of the Companies and Allied Matters Act 2020.
The company disclosed in a statement signed by Olubukola Olonade-Agaga, ALSEC nominees Limited Company Secretary.
The liquidation is subject to the approval of the members of the Company in the general meeting.
The statement in part, “THAT Mrs Chinwe Chiwete of the law firm of EPIC Legal of Block 74, Plot 22B, Emma Abimbola Cole, Lekki Phase 1, Lagos be appointed liquidator for the purposes of winding up of the Company, subject to the approval of the members of the Company in the general meeting.”
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