- NNPC Shuts Down Ejigbo Depot over Missing Petrol
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has shut down the Ejigbo Depot to investigate persistent disappearance of petroleum products pumped into the facility.
Investigation revealed that before the depot was shut down following persistent reports of missing petrol, the facility had resumed loading activities in March after the efforts of NNPC to tackle vandalism had yielded results with the repairs of the vandalised portion of the pipelines linking the depot with Atlas Cove Depot, also in Lagos.
Ejigbo Depot is one of the depots under NNPC’s System 2B Pipeline Network, which is the most active network, accounting for 60 per cent of fuel supply and distribution in the country.
Under the System 2B, the NNPC pumps imported products from the Atlas Cove Depot in Lagos through pipelines to Ejigbo Depot also in Lagos and Mosimi Depot in Ogun State.
From these two depots, the products are pumped further through pipelines to Ibadan Depot in Oyo State, Ore Depot in Ondo State and Ilorin Depot in Kwara State, for petrol tankers to lift products from these depots.
Check showed that most of these depots have been inactive as a result of the vandalism of the feeder pipelines between the Atlas Cove Depot and Arepo in Ogun State.
A source at Ejigbo Depot said at the weekend that with the improvement recorded by the NNPC in repairing the pipelines and tackling vandalism, the depot resumed loading activities in March.
“It started loading in March but it has been shut down because NNPC complained of missing products. Each time they pump petrol into the depot, they will discover during loading that there is shortage. So, they shut down to investigate,” he explained.
Group General Manager in charge of Group Public Affairs Division of NNPC, Mr. Ndu Ughamadu said at the weekend that the rehabilitation of the depots was an ongoing exercise.
Ughamadu, who was silent on the condition of Ejigbo Depot, added that the most important thing is that the ‘train has left the station,’ obviously referring to the ongoing nationwide reactivation of the depots following the success recorded by the corporation in reducing vandalism.
“And we are progressing. Today, depots that were not wet are filled with products. We shall get to your target,” Ughamadu said. He was however, silent on the issue of Ejigbo Depot.
Western Zonal Chairman of the Nigerian Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) to which the Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD) is affiliated, Alhaji Tokunbo Korodo, said that tanker drivers would be glad to load at all the depots in System 2B.
“If there is fuel in the other depots under System 2B, the tanker drivers will go there and load. As, I am talking to you now, no loading is taking place in Ibadan, Ore and Ilorin. Even Mosimi and Ejigbo are just doing skeletal loading. So, there is more pressure on Apapa, which was worsened by the closure of Capital Oil. If Capital Oil is loading, it will also reduce pressure on Apapa,” Korodo explained.
THISDAY gathered that the situation at Ejigbo is worsened with the absence of enough parking spaces for the tankers waiting to lift products.
Nasdaq Set To Launch Options Trading For Coinbase Global
Less than a week after the largest crypto exchange in the U.S. Coinbase was listed, Nasdaq is set to start trading options for Coinbase Global.
According to Reuters, a representative for Coinbase stated that the COIN.O options will start trading on Nasdaq on Tuesday, April 20.
The launch of equity options will offer a new way for investors to bet on the fortunes of Coinbase. Equity options represent the right, but not the obligation, to buy or sell a stock at a certain price, known as the strike price, on or before an expiration date.
The news follows Coinbase’s direct listing, which saw the firm’s stock fluctuate between a valuation of $429.54 and $310 on its first day of trading.
It was reported that the Chief Executive Officer of Coinbase, Brian Armstrong sold less than 2% of his holdings which worth about $292 million in shares on COIN’s first day of trading. According to filings made with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Armstrong sold 749,999 shares in three batches at prices ranging from $381 to $410.40 per share for total proceeds of $291.8 million.
It was also reported that insiders dumped nearly $5 billion in COIN stock shortly after it was listed. Filings on the Coinbase Investor Relations website showed a total of 12,965,079 shares were sold by insiders, worth over $4.6 billion at COIN’s $344 share price at close on Friday.
Yahoo Finance reported the stock has slumped 22.5% from a high of $429.54 on April 14 to a current after-hours trading price of $332.75 where it appears to have settled after Monday’s trading session.
On April 20, Coinbase Pro announced that will add support for new trading pairs for Basic Attention Token (BAT), Cardano (ADA), Decentraland (MANA), and USDC from April 20. The four assets will be paired with three fiat currencies (USD, EUR, GBP), BTC, and ETH, with limited trading functionality to be made available while market liquidity is assessed at launch.
Unity Bank Grows Asset by 67.90% to N492.02 Billion, As Gross Earnings Hit N42.71 Billion in FY 2020
Unity Bank Plc grew its assets base to N492.02billion representing a significant increase of 67.90% from the N293.05 billion of total assets value recorded in 2019. This is even as the agric-focused lender declared gross earnings of N42.71 billion within the period under review.
A review of the Bank’s audited results for full-year ended 31 December 2020, released to the Nigerian Stock Exchange, showed that the Bank improved its bottom line marginally as Profit After Tax, PAT stood at N2.09 billion. Profit Before Tax, PBT closed at N2.22 billion, in a year that was defined by the unmitigated impact of global pandemic characterized by disruptions in business activities and the general downturn that resulted in revenue/returns dip in major leading sectors globally.
The lender substantially grew its customers’ deposit portfolio to N356.62 billion, up from N257.69 billion in the corresponding period of 2019, representing a 38.4% growth. This affirms positive market uptake of the Bank’s product offerings, as well as the lender’s growing customer base to its recent aggressive push with agile customer-centric products, which has played a role in deepening financial services penetration, especially to a wider world, an underserved spectrum of the retail market.
Other major highlight of the audited financial statement relates to growth in its net operating income which rose to N25.46 billion from N23.21 billion in the corresponding period of 2019, representing a 9.71% increase. This is even as the net interest income recorded a significant jump, as it rose by 7.60% to N17.75 billion from N16.49 billion in the corresponding period of 2019. Earnings per Share closed at 17.85 Kobo.
The Bank’s gross loans portfolio increased by 92.9% to N206.2 billion in December 2020 from N106.9 billion in December 2019. The Bank’s lending strategy was specially tailored to support the nation’s food agenda. This had the added advantage of improving food security across the country, providing employment to thousands of youths and entrepreneurs, contributing to the conservation of FX stocks and mitigating security challenges by ensuring adequate empowerment of citizens and deepening skills acquisition across the value chain.
Commenting on the result, Unity Bank’s Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Mrs. Tomi Somefun stated that the results showed the resilience of the Bank during unprecedented times of uncertainties and our ability to innovate and focus on key balance sheet items that will enable us to maintain the growth trajectory.
She further opined that: “Consequently, for the year under review, the opportunities to significantly create more quality assets for the business, thought to have a sustainable impact, informed part of choices made and we have seen some encouraging market uptake in this regard, apart from the benefits to the enterprise bottom-line that have also started trickling in. Other key performance indicators especially on the liability side of the business were equally not left out. The Bank deployed new product features and augmentation supported by omni-channel, USSD promotions and other channels to enhance services delivery efficiency, drive income generation capacities and enhance steady balance sheet growth for the year”.
Looking ahead, Somefun stated: “we will latch on targeted strategies to deploy significant investment in technology in order to ride the waves of the COVID-19 pandemic. On the back of this, the Bank focuses on achieving major efficiency gains, deepening its retail footprints and penetrating identified cluster market segments, as bulwarks to tapping into various youth markets platforms, in addition to the mass market would get a further boost”.
While laying an outlook for the future, the Unity Bank’s Chief further stated: “The Bank is also looking to consolidate on the gains from its core business areas and niche in the agribusiness sector. The Bank has solidly financed over one million farmers over the past three years. These farmers cut across several primary crop production such as rice, maize, cotton, wheat, sorghum, etc coupled with their rich value chains, and we hope to continue to expand on this as we play our part in driving the country’s quest for self-sufficiency in food production.”
Analysts are of the view that has made an appreciable impact in the agribusiness and its value chains consistently, the market is excited that the current year performance and different initiatives of the Bank show that the agribusiness is bankable not only as a differential positioning but also for sustainable business performance and profitability.
Access Bank To Acquire BancABC Botswana
Access Bank Plc on Monday disclosed that it had entered into a definitive and binding agreement with ABC Holdings Limited to acquire 78.15 per cent shareholding in African Banking Corporation of Botswana Limited (BancABC Botswana).
The transaction, which is subject to regulatory approvals and customary conditions precedent, is expected to close before the end of this quarter.
ABC Holdings is a subsidiary of London Stock Exchange listed group – Atlas Mara Limited.
Access Bank disclosed this in a statement signed by its Company Secretary, Sunday Ekwochi.
Bostwana is renowned for its quality sovereign credit rating and stability. Access Bank’s market entry is expected to further solidify its strategy as, “a strong banking partner in key verticals across retail and corporate banking, including especially supporting trade in payments across southern Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa more broadly.”
Commenting on the deal, the GMD/CEO, Access Bank, Herbert Wigwe, said: “We remain committed to a disciplined and thoughtful expansion strategy in Africa, which we believe will create strong, sustainable returns for our shareholders and stakeholders at large, over the medium and long-term.
“The establishment of Access Bank through this acquisition in the Republic of Botswana will position the bank to deliver a more complete set of banking solutions to its clients active in and across the SADC and COMESA regions.
“This transaction complements our recent strategic growth acquisitions in South Africa, Zambia and Mozambique. We are building a bank of the future that Africans across Africa and the world would be proud of and look forward to welcoming the employees, customers and other stakeholders of BancABC Bostawana to Access Bank.”
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