- Oando Sells 49% Stake in Midstream Unit for N35bn
Oando Plc, an indigenous energy group, has announced the completion of a $115.8m (N35.3bn) partial divestment of its midstream subsidiary, Oando Gas and Power Limited, to Glover Gas & Power B.V., a special purpose vehicle owned by Helios Investment Partners LLP, an Africa-focused private investment firm.
The deal, according to a statement on Tuesday, will see Helios acquire 49 per cent in voting rights, while injecting cash into OGP and the larger Oando Group.
The Group Chief Executive Officer, Oando, Adewale Tinubu, was quoted as saying, “The commencement of this strategic partnership underlines Oando’s status as the indigenous partner of choice for international firms in our industry, while also acknowledging the group’s unwavering commitment to improving access to gas and power solutions for industries, consumers and commercial counterparties in the sub-region.
“This partnership will firmly leverage OGP’s local knowledge and expertise, alongside Helios’s global network and financial capabilities, to optimise our existing operations and expand our footprint.”
The Co-founder and Managing Partner, Helios Investment Partners, Tope Lawani, said, “The completion of the transaction underscored Helios’ commitment to investing in businesses that deliver energy access solutions to industries and consumers across the continent.
“We look forward to working closely with the OGP management team and other industry stakeholders to consolidate the company’s position as a premier provider of cost-effective and reliable gas and power infrastructure.”
According to the statement, the new partnership with Helios is also testament to Oando’s legacy of continuous growth through audacious acquisitions and successful partnerships, most notably its landmark $1.5bn acquisition of ConocoPhillips Nigeria in 2014.
The statement described the OGP as the pioneer developer of Nigeria’s foremost natural gas distribution network and had subsequently grown to become the largest private sector gas distributor in the country, delivering at peak 70 million standard cubic feet per day to over 175 industrial and commercial customers via a vast network of gas infrastructure.
According to it, with over 260km in pipeline infrastructure built, OGP provides energy solutions in the South-East and South-West primarily through its subsidiaries, Gaslink Nigeria Limited, Gas Network Services Limited and Central Horizon Gas Company.
“Amid a global downturn and pressured crude oil prices, the deal is another defining moment in Oando’s optimisation of its balance sheet and asset portfolio. By proactively implementing a strategic direction centred on self-sustaining entities, the company is addressing its immediate objective of aggressive debt reduction, while remaining a viable player in the sector,” it added.
According to the statement, since 2011, Helios has made investments in the African oil and gas sector, and partnered Vitol to purchase an estimated $1bn 40 per cent stake in the African downstream fuels business of Royal Dutch Shell.
Oando also completed a $210m recapitalisation of its downstream business with the consortium earlier in the year.
FG to Earn N462 Billion from Electronic Money Transfer Levy in 2021 – World Bank
The World Bank has said the Federal Government of Nigeria will earn an estimated N462 billion from electronic money transfer levy in 2021.
The leading multilateral financial institution disclosed in its ‘Resilience through Reforms’ report.
The Federal Government had introduced a levy on electronic money transfer in the Finance Act 2020 to take advantage of the growing electronic transfer in the country and up revenue generation.
The electronic money transfer levy is a single one-off charge of N50 on electronic fund transfer in any deposit money bank or financial institution on any type of account on sums of N10,000 or more.
Akpan Ekpo, the Chairman of the Foundation for Economic Research and Training, who spoke in a telephone interview voiced his concerns on the levy.
He said, “The levy is remitted to the government, which is fine. But I think the savers, the people who use the transfer channels, are over-levied. You pay maintenance fee, transfer fee, and I think if this level of levying continues, it will discourage people from using electronic channels.
“Personally, I think the EMT levy should be out of the Finance Act. There is too much burden on the citizens, although the government is making great money from it. Let us hope they use the money wisely, but it shouldn’t have been put there in the first place.
“It is a law now; there is nothing that can be done about it. But I hope it is used wisely, and they would be transparent about how the money is being used.”
Akpan said the EMT levy would discourage individuals outside the formal banking net.
He said, “With the EMT levy, more people are discouraged from using the banks and its services. A lot of Nigerians sell in rural areas, and are outside the financial system net.
“With the EMT, more people are further excluded. There really was no need to introduce the EMT; it will discourage those who are not already in the formal banking sector from even coming into it. It is likely to further deepen the financial exclusion of many Nigerians.”
Hope PSBANK Collaborates With FG To Create 100 Jobs In Each Local Government
Hope Payment Service Bank, a subsidiary of Unified Payment Services Limited and Nigeria’s premier digital bank is collaborating with the Federal Government through the Ministry of Labour and Productivity to create jobs for no fewer than 77,400 people across the country.
The employment opportunity is part of the exit strategy of the Federal Government’s Special Public Works Programme being executed alongside the bank by empowering 100 Nigerians in each of the 774 local governments.
Speaking at the official kick-off of the collaboration, the Managing Director, Hope Payment Service Bank, Mr. Ayotunde Kuponiyi noted that the digital bank serves as an enabling platform that would interface with 77,400 beneficiaries selected from the Special Works Programme of the FG to exit them into self-employment.
Kuponiyi stressed that the focus of the collaboration is geared towards empowering beneficiaries through the agency banking platform in carrying out financial services such as account opening, bills payments, fund transfer, cash in/cash for Nigerians while they earn commission in return with just the use of their smartphones.
According to him, this initiative comes at no cost to the beneficiaries as they can use their phones to carry out agency banking activities for which they earn commissions on each activity carried out. “Once on board, these beneficiaries will become HOPE PSBANK agents. They will undergo training on the various activities by the bank at no cost to them”, he added.
“We are very excited about this collaboration with the Ministry, which is in line with the thrust of the social objectives of Hope Payment Service Bank – poverty reduction through financial inclusion and diffusion of digital financial services”, he said.
Airtel Partners AXA Mansard, Unveils Mobile Health Insurance via USSD
Airtel Nigeria and AXA Mansard, have entered a strategic partnership to deepen access, participation and enrolment in health insurance for more Nigerians.
The partnership by Airtel and AXA Mansard is in response to the Federal Government’s goal, through the National Health Insurance Scheme, to provide easy access to healthcare for all Nigerians by leveraging on the USSD channel, an easy-to-use and interactive platform.
By dialing the shortcode, *987*7#, Airtel customers can now conveniently enroll for affordable and robust health insurance plans from AXA Mansard, with access to over 1,000 hospitals nationwide for quality healthcare services.
Commenting on Airtel’s partnership with AXA Mansard on the Mobile Health Insurance, the Head Mobile Financial Services, Airtel Nigeria, Muyiwa Ebitanmi, said the mobile health insurance initiative demonstrates Airtel’s commitment to providing innovative and relevant solutions that will empower more Nigerians to conveniently access best-in-class health insurance value offerings.
“Airtel Nigeria is always exploring innovative ways and platforms that will make life easier, more meaningful and more enjoyable for Nigerians. With this initiative, we are not just delivering bespoke health insurance services to the doorstep of more people, we are also leading a quiet revolution that will drive and deepen health insurance inclusion by removing the many barriers that have hitherto excluded many well-meaning Nigerians from participating in the sector.”
Speaking about the Mobile Health Insurance initiative, the Head, Emerging Customers and Digital Partnerships Group at AXA Mansard, Mr. Alfred Egbai, stated that “our research has shown the value and importance of having a health insurance plan to the public especially for the emerging customers in the country, but for many reasons, the uptake of insurance products has been low”.
He continued, “In order to mitigate these challenges and satisfy the health needs of the retail consumer whilst also encouraging the uptake of health insurance in the country, we have partnered with Airtel Nigeria to provide a solution that gives users a convenient way to purchase and manage their AXA Mansard micro-insurance plans.”
Malaria Cover, Inpatient, Outpatient, Specialist medical consultations, Immunizations, Family planning, Ambulance services, Dental care and more are some of the covers provided in the AXA Mansard Health plans.
“The challenges to the implementation of health insurance schemes hitherto include a low level of awareness, affordability, ineffective distribution systems and inefficient payment models.
“The partnership between Airtel Nigeria and AXA Mansard is aimed at solving these challenges and assisting Nigerians to access a viable Health Insurance Scheme,” he said
Airtel Nigeria, as a socially responsible organization, will continue to partner with industry leaders to bring products and services that will touch the lives of its subscribers in very positive ways.
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