- Vitafoam Recommends N125m Dividend for Shareholders
The Board of Directors of Vitafoam Nigeria Plc has recommended a dividend of N125 million for the shareholders for the year ended September 30, 2016. The dividend translates to 12 kobo per share.
The recommendation of the dividend was contained in a notification to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), made available yesterday. Although full details of the audited results for the period were not made available, the dividend is in line with the recent assurance by the company, which said that despite the economic recession, shareholders would receive dividend.
The Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Vitafoam, Mr. Taiwo Adeniyi last week explained that 2016 was a very tough period, saying the most difficult problem was how to make realistic business decision in the face of continuous uncertainty in view of insecurity, exchange rate, interest rate, devaluation of the Naira and insecurity of lives and property.
He, however, expressed optimism that his company’s board and management had learnt how to operate profitably under recession assured the shareholders of dividend.
“Our shareholders are our pride. We have an obligation to work very hard to ensure that they are rewarded. We have consistently paid dividend. We shall pay dividend for 2016 despite the recession. We have always sustained our culture of shareholder value and we shall continue to appreciate our shareholders’ advice on how to move the company forward.
It has been difficult to plan under recession. But we have mastered the terrain. We can now do better planning. Our strategic focus is now to plan by the day. We plan as they come. At least we can now forecast some variables. This is helping us,” Adeniyi said.
Speaking on the manufacturing sector, Vitafoam boss noted that companies that import most of their raw materials had challenges with the exchange and availability of Dollars due to improper alignment of fiscal and monetary policies.
According to him, the federal government’s policy of preferential allocation of Dollars to genuine manufacturers did not achieve desired result because it is cashed backed. He explained that the manufactures could not take advantage of the special window for forex because many of them could not back their high demand with cash while the banks who are supposed to lend money had liquidity problem.
COVID-19 Plunges Nigeria’s Oil Revenue by 41% in the First Nine Months of 2020
Nigeria’s oil revenue declined by 41.44 percent in the first nine months of 2020 to $2.033 billion, according to the latest data from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC.
This represents a decline of 41.44 percent from $3.47 billion filed in the same period of 2019 when there was no COVID-19.
In the September 2020 edition of NNPC’s Monthly Financial and Operations Report (MFOR), revenue from oil and gas rose by 16 percent to $120.49 million in the month of September, a 66 percent or $234.81 million drop from $355.3 million posted in the same month of 2019.
The global lockdowns caused by the COVID-19 pandemic plunged Nigeria’s crude oil sales and global demand for the commodity. This was further compounded by Nigeria’s high cost of production compared to Saudi Arabia, Russia and others that were offering discounts to boost sales during one of the most challenging periods in human history.
Experts like Prof. Yinka Omorogbe, President of Nigeria Association of Energy Economics, NAEE, were not surprised with the drop in earnings given the effect of COVID-19 on the world’s economy.
She, however, called for the revamp of the nation’s petroleum sector laws and diversification of the economy away from oil revenue dependence. She said “Covid-19 made 2020 a very hot year and it battered the oil industry internationally and we are not an exception; so we could not have been unaffected”.
She also said the effect of the fall “is definitely a wake-up call; we have to diversify, strengthen our other resources and capabilities”.
Omorogbe, a former NNPC Board Secretary, urged the government and the operators in the sector to look inward and think strategically, stating: “think medium term, think of where they want to be and the government, above all, must think of how best we can utilize our resources, so that we can achieve our objectives once we know and define them.
“It is a clear wake-up call, if not we will just sit here and find that we have become one of the poorest nations in the world”, she noted.
Crude Oil, Other Commodities Closing Price for Monday
Brent crude oil, Nigeria’s crude oil benchmark, gained 47 cents to $55.88 per barrel on Monday, while the US crude oil expanded by 50 cents to $52.77 per barrel.
Gold for February delivery fell $1 to $1,855.20 an ounce. Silver for March delivery fell 7 cents to $25.48 an ounce and March copper was little changed at $3.63 a pound.
The dollar fell to 103.80 Japanese yen from 103.83 yen. The euro fell to $1.2139 from $1.2167.
Wholesale gasoline for February delivery rose 1 cent to $1.56 a gallon. February heating oil rose 2 cents to $1.59 a gallon. February natural gas rose 16 cents to $2.60 per 1,000 cubic feet.
Gold Gained Ahead of Joe Biden Inauguration 2021
Gold price rose from one and a half month low on Tuesday ahead of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration on Wednesday.
The precious metal, largely regarded as a haven asset by investors, edged up by 0.2 percent to $1,844.52 per ounce on Tuesday, up from $1,802.61 on Monday.
He said, “The key factor appears to be the (U.S.) currency.”
As expected, a change in administration comes with the change in economic policies, especially taking into consideration the peculiarities of the present situation. In fact, even though Biden, Janet Yellen and the rest of the new cabinet are expected to go all out on additional stimulus with the support of Democrats controlled Houses, economic uncertainties with rising COVID-19 cases and slow vaccine distribution remained a huge concern.
Also, the effectiveness of the vaccines can not be ascertained until wider rollout.
Still, which policy would be halted or sustained by the incoming administration remained a concern that has forced many investors to once again flee other assets for Gold ahead of tomorrow’s inauguration.
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