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Gas shortage: Dangote Cement, BUA Turn to Coal

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Economic Diversification

Dangote Cement Plc and BUA Group have turned to locally-mined coal to fire their cement plants and to lower its production costs.

The decision, the companies said, was because of gas shortages due to militant attacks on Nigerian facilities.

“All our cement plants have been converted to coal,” the Chairman, Dangote Cement Plc,  Aliko Dangote, told a business conference on Thursday, adding that they would use 12,000 metric tonnes of coal each day.

Dangote is shifting to coal rather than gas to fire the kilns which produce clinker, an ingredient of cement,Reuters said.

BUA Group said it is also switching one of its plants in northern Nigeria to run on coal to fire its kiln to address fuel shortages.

It said technological advances had helped in the processing of coal to reduce emissions.

Dangote’s main cement plant is located in Nigeria’s Kogi State.

BUA Group said its other plants in the south of the country still ran on gas to heat the kilns.

Coal’s use to generate the United States electric power fell in April to its lowest monthly level since 1978, the US Energy Information Administration said in a June report.

Natural gas, meanwhile, surpassed coal as the US’ top fuel source for the third straight month, the EIA said.

But gas shortages have plagued Nigeria, with militants in the oil heartland of the Niger Delta regularly disrupting the West African nation’s oil and gas production.

Dangote, Africa’s biggest cement producer, has an annual production capacity of 43.6 million tonnes and targets output of between 74 million and 77 million tonnes by the end of 2019, and 100 million tonnes of capacity by 2020.

The company has invested more than $5bn to expand outside its home market in the past few years.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

Company News

Guinness Nigeria Returns to Profitability For the Quarter Ended September 2021

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Guinness - Investors King

The financial results of Guinness Nigeria for the third quarter (Q3) ended September 2021 show a return to profitability for the Beverages Giant during the period compared to a loss made in the prior period.

This return to profitability was driven by a huge jump in revenue from N30 Billion in Q3 of 2020 to N47.4 Billion in Q3 2021, although the cost of sales also increased from N23 Billion in Q3 2020 to N32.2 Billion filed in Q3 2021 thereby giving an increase in gross profit from N7 Billion in Q3 2020 to N15.2 Billion in the quarter under review

Guinness Nigeria increased its marketing and distribution expenses during the period, marketing and distribution expenses rose from N4.6 Billion in Q3 2020 to N6.5 Billion in Q3 2021. This led to a huge jump in Operating profit for the period, operating profit jumped from just N586 Million in Q3 2020 to N6.5 Billion in Q3 2021. This culminated in profit for the period rising to N4 Billion from a loss of N841 Million posted in Q3 2020.

The Chairman, Board of Directors of Guinness Nigeria Plc, Dr. Omobola Johnson maintained that the Company will keep up with its growth strategy to continue on its path of profitability. He said “We are confident that our strategy is comprehensive and robust. We are keen on making the right investments that will drive growth across the board and ensure our competitiveness, despite the challenging business environment. We thank our shareholders for their confidence in the Board and Management of our dear company and we are committed to ensuring that we sustain the momentum.”

Guinness Nigeria is the Nigerian subsidiary of the Irish brand Guinness. Its principal activities continue to be brewing, packaging, marketing, and selling of Guinness Foreign Extra Stout, Guinness Smooth, Malta Guinness, Guinness Gold, Harp Lager, Smirnoff Ice, Satzenbrau Lager, Dubic Malt, Snapp, Orijin Spirit Mixed Drink, Orijin Bitters, Smirnoff Ice Double Black with Guarana, Orijin Zero, and Orijin Herbal Gin, Baileys Delight, Gordons Moringa among others.

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Appointments

FBNHoldings Renews Adesola Adeduntan Tenure, Appoints Nnamdi Okonkwo as GMD

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Dr. Adesola Adeduntan - FirstBank CEO - Investors King

The Board of FBN Holdings Plc (FBNHoldings) has appointed the immediate past Managing Director of Fidelity Bank Plc., Mr. Nnamdi Okonkwo as its Group Managing Director.

Okonkwo’s appointment takes effect from January 1, 2022.

His appointment followed the retirement of Mr. U.K. Eke, who has completed his two-term tenure.

Uke, according to the board, tendered his Notice of Retirement on August 10, 2021

The Board further announced the renewal of the appointments of Dr. Adesola Adeduntan and Mr. Gbenga Shobo as the Managing Director and Deputy Managing Director of FirstBank respectively, for another term.

In the same vein, the Board announced the renewal of appointments of Mr. Kayode Akinkugbe and Mr. Taiwo Okeowo as the Managing Director and Deputy Managing Director of FBNQuest Merchant Bank Limited respectively, for another term.

“Uke’s retirement takes effect at the end of the current Financial Year on December 31, 2021. Mr. Eke’s retirement follows from a 35 years’ career in financial services, strategy, auditing, consulting, taxation, process reengineering and capital market operations.

“FBNHoldings Board has also announced that Eke will be succeeded by Mr. Nnamdi Okonkwo, a focused and result-oriented top banker, who will assume office as Group Managing Director, FBN Holdings Plc effective January 1, 2022,” Seye Kosoko, the Company Secretary said

Okonkwo, the immediate past Chief Executive Officer of Fidelity Bank Plc, brings to bear on the Board of FBNHoldings more than 30 years unbroken banking career spanning local and international experience. He has a wealth of experience in transformational leadership, business strategy development and visioning, innovative corporate governance and risk management.

He has led the transformation of banks, with the most recent being Fidelity Bank, where he led the management team for seven years to achieve remarkable results culminating in tripling profit and shareholder value.

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Business

Are There Better Ways to Help Consumers Tackle Social and Environmental Problems?

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Consumers - Investors King

Techniques used by online microfinance platforms to spur user involvement could be useful in helping organisations to persuade people to behave in ways that benefit both society and environment.

Microfinance platforms have popularised the idea that ordinary people can become bankers to the poor. Communities of lenders get together every day to crowdfund microloans to disadvantaged micro-entrepreneurs by investing small sums of around only 25 dollars.

A new study digs into the universe of these microloan platforms to investigate how they manage to attract investors and perpetuate their enthusiasm for responding to social problems such as poverty.

Researchers from the Universities of Birmingham and Southern Denmark have identified two major ways through which platforms maintain and potentiate lending. Their findings are published in the Journal of Consumer Research.

Firstly, the platforms assemble resources that function as an ‘apparatus of affirmation’ – providing first-hand evidence of impact that help consumers imagine the benefits of their actions, thereby creating a sense of empowerment.

Secondly, the platforms translate complex and distant social problems, such as poverty, into personal encounters between lenders and borrowers – creating a sense of connection and familiarity via photographs, stories and loan updates. This set of techniques is theorised as the ‘apparatus of relatability’.

Co-author Dr Pilar Rojas-Gaviria, Lecturer in Marketing at the University of Birmingham, comments: “Organisations such as microlending platforms, which strive to mobilise responsible consumers, face two key challenges – overcoming the powerlessness felt when facing daunting problems, and removing a sense of disconnection from ‘faraway’ problems.

“Supplementing the power of ideas and knowledge with personal stories that inspire hope and aspiration, affinity and connection are powerful techniques that could be useful in inspiring consumers to more actively participate in efforts to tackle social and environmental problems, such as climate change.”

Through storytelling, imagery, platform design and communication, the researchers note that online microlending platforms nurture a feeling that genuine change is possible through affordable actions. They also develop a sense of affinity and empathy among potential investors with aspiring micro-entrepreneurs, particularly those from Low-and Middle-income Countries (LMIC).

For example, the platforms publish loan requests to showcase individual borrowers with first names, photographs, and short biographies. This personalised strategy effectively frames microlending as a virtual encounter with a borrower and their story of micro-entrepreneurship. Celebrities, such as actor Natalie Portman, have over the past years helped the microfinance industry to promote microloans as an act of hope that empowers resourceful poor in their efforts to escape poverty.

Co-author Domen Bajde, from the University of Southern Denmark comments: “The advent of online microlending has expanded the pool of potential investors to anyone with internet access and $25 to spare.

“After learning that lenders were more interested in ’emotional returns’ rather than financial profit from their loans, platforms began to dramatise microlending as an act of aspirational hope and affinity toward the entrepreneurial poor.”

The research is also significant for charitable giving, noting that donors are more likely to contribute when they see their donations as a way of empowering the disadvantaged and when donations are experienced as impactful investments.

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