- FG to Reduce Agencies Operating in Ports to Six
The Federal Government is currently working towards streamlining the number of agencies operating in the nation’s ports to only six from about eight.
This is part of the decisions reached at an expanded meeting of the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council presided over by the Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Tuesday.
According to a statement by the council’s secretariat, the meeting approved a national action plan to be implemented across its three priority areas of entry and exit of goods; entry and exit of people; and government transparency and procurement over the next 60 days to deliver tangible changes for Small and Medium-scale Enterprises in Nigeria.
The reforms, the statement added, would also help improve Nigeria’s ranking in the World Bank Doing Business Index 2018.
The statement read in part, “The reforms are to be implemented by the Enabling Business Environment Secretariat, which became operational in October 2016 and has Dr. Jumoke Oduwole, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Industry, Trade and Investment as its coordinator.
“The Council was also briefed on the forthcoming EBES stakeholders’ engagement forum scheduled for Kano and Lagos on February 23 and 24, respectively. The forums are part of steps being taken to receive feedback and ensure widespread adoption of the PEBEC reforms.
“One of the reforms to be implemented to ease the process of starting a business is the upgrade of the CAC online portal to ensure document upload capabilities that will make it possible for new businesses to be registered online from start to finish without having to visit the CAC office.
“Also, work is ongoing to streamline the number of agencies operating at the nation’s ports to just six. Council also listened to updates on the proposed Single Window Initiative at the ports, which is expected to become operational by Q4 2017.”
On the entry and exit of people, the statement said the PEBEC observed that the visa on arrival and 48-hour visa processing procedures of the Nigeria Immigration Service were already operational with various levels of compliance.
It said the council was also collaborating with state governments like Lagos and Kano to make the processes for obtaining construction permits and registering properties faster, cheaper and easier.
It added, “In addition, PEBEC will work with the National Assembly to pass important bills like the National Collateral Registry Bill and the Credit Bureau Services Bill, which would ease access to credit for SMEs.
“To show their commitment to PEBEC’s reform agenda, the Senate President, Bukola Saraki; and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, attended Tuesday’s meeting.”
Lafarge Africa Board Proposes N30.60bn Dividend, Lower Than Previous Year
Lafarge Africa’s Board of Directors has recommended a dividend payout of N30.60 billion for the year ended December 2023, a reduction from the previous year’s dividend.
The proposed dividend translates to N1.90 per unit of shares and awaits approval from shareholders at the upcoming Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the company.
In a corporate announcement filed with the Nigerian Exchange Limited, Lafarge Africa disclosed that the proposed dividend is payable from the Pioneer Reserve to shareholders registered as of March 28, 2024.
Despite the lower dividend proposal, Lafarge Africa recorded an increase in revenue to N405 billion, marking an 8.6% rise from the previous year’s N373 billion.
However, the company’s post-tax profit experienced a 4.7% decline, amounting to N51.14 billion, attributed mainly to the devaluation of the naira.
Lolu Alade-Akinyemi, the Chief Executive Officer of Lafarge Africa, expressed confidence in the company’s performance despite economic challenges.
He highlighted the growth in revenue and an improved operating margin, despite pressures from inflation and currency devaluation.
Looking forward, Lafarge Africa remains optimistic about the construction sector’s growth in Nigeria, despite prevailing economic challenges.
The company aims to leverage its market opportunities while maintaining a focus on sustainability and stakeholder value.
South African Billionaire Christo Wiese Predicts Return of Major Players to Nigeria Despite Recent Exodus
South African billionaire Christo Wiese remains optimistic about Nigeria’s economic prospects, predicting the eventual return of major players despite a recent exodus from the West African nation.
In an interview with Bloomberg TV, Wiese explained that it is impossible to ignore Nigeria’s large and growing population, “how do you ignore an economy like this?”
Wiese, the former chairman of Shoprite Holdings Ltd., acknowledges the challenges faced by businesses in Nigeria, where recent currency woes and policy missteps have contributed to an exodus of international companies.
Procter & Gamble Co. and Shoprite are among the global conglomerates that have announced their departure from Africa’s most populous nation.
However, Wiese sees the recent exits as temporary setbacks rather than a long-term trend. He believes that the allure of Nigeria’s vast consumer market and its economic potential will eventually draw major players back.
Despite the current uncertainty, Wiese remains confident in Nigeria’s future, emphasizing the need for governments to adopt correct policies and for investors to exercise patience.
While acknowledging Nigeria’s single-commodity economy vulnerabilities, Wiese highlights the resilience of the nation’s economy and its potential for growth and development.
He suggests that foreign investors, including South African ones, are adopting a wait-and-see approach, anticipating a time when the economy stabilizes and favorable policies are in place.
Seplat Energy Names Udoma Udo Udoma as Independent Non-Executive Chairman, Bello Rabiu as Senior Independent Non-Executive Director
Seplat Energy, a prominent Nigerian energy company listed on the Nigerian Exchange Limited and the London Stock Exchange, has made significant changes to its board leadership.
In a recent announcement, the company revealed that Udoma Udo Udoma has been appointed as the new Independent Non-Executive Chairman, succeeding Basil Omiyi, who is set to retire on March 31, 2024.
Udoma Udo Udoma, a distinguished lawyer and seasoned board administrator, brings a wealth of experience to Seplat Energy.
He holds degrees from St. Catherine’s College, Oxford, and has had a remarkable career spanning various sectors, including petroleum, energy, and natural resources.
Udoma has served on numerous large-sized company boards, including UAC Nigeria Plc and Union Bank Plc, and held key public sector appointments, such as Chairman of the Corporate Affairs Commission and Minister of Budget & National Planning.
In addition to Udoma’s appointment, Seplat Energy announced the selection of Bello Rabiu as the new Senior Independent Non-Executive Director, effective April 1, 2024.
Rabiu, a seasoned professional with extensive experience in the petroleum industry, holds multiple degrees and has served in various capacities at the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
The appointments come as part of Seplat Energy’s commitment to upholding strong corporate governance practices and ensuring a smooth transition of leadership.
Both Udoma Udo Udoma and Bello Rabiu are expected to play pivotal roles in guiding Seplat Energy as it continues to expand its operations and consolidate its position as a leading energy company in Nigeria and beyond.
In a statement, Basil Omiyi, the outgoing Chairman of Seplat Energy, expressed confidence in the newly appointed leaders, emphasizing their capabilities to steer the company towards further growth and success.
The appointments underscore Seplat Energy’s dedication to fostering excellence and innovation in the energy sector while meeting the evolving needs of its stakeholders and contributing to Nigeria’s energy transition efforts.
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