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N20b Export Grant Inadequate, says MAN

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  • N20b Export Grant Inadequate, says MAN

The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) has decried the N20 billion provision in the 2017 budget for the payment of backlog of Export Expansion Grant (EEG).

Its President, Dr. Udemba Jacobs, said it was grossly inadequate and should be increased in view of the huge outstanding payment that runs up to N230 billion.

Supporting its reintroduction after years of inaction, he said the scheme, when in operation contributed to the economy as evidenced by the 197 per cent increase in Nigeria’s non-oil export from $1billion in 2006 to $2.97billion in 2013, including visible industrial expansion, and market penetration of made-in-Nigeria goods.

Jacobs said the association is of the view that the 10-year stipulated for the recovery of the Promissory Note was too long a time and should be reduced.

He said the scheme also created jobs for about 11 million persons in the non-oil sector but, regretted that things changed within one year of the suspension of the scheme, resulting in the decline of Nigeria’s non-oil export by eight per cent from $2.97billion in 2013 to $2.71billion a year later.

While commending the Federal Government for lifting the suspension placed the scheme after nearly three years with slight modifications, he lamented that non-oil exports have not been able to make the desired significant impact due to the several challenges facing non-oil exporters.

On the challenges, he said manufacturers are facing enormous cost in doing business in addition to having a high level competition in the international market,from countries that tend to support exporters with incentives.

Others are loss of preferential market access to the European Union (EU) and the nature and components of export productsThe MAN chief lamented that Nigeria has the highest financial and energy costs when compared with her competitors such as India, Pakistan, China, Indonesia, Europe, Kenya, and others.

He said the Negotiable Duty Credit Certificate (NDCC) shall henceforth be settled by issuing Negotiable Export Credit Certificate (NECC) to the beneficiaries, valid for two years and is only transferable once.

He added that beneficiaries would be able to use the certificates to settle all Federal Government taxes such as company income tax, Value Added Tax (VAT) and With Holding Tax (WHT).

He also said in the modified guideline, the EEG payment rate was reduced to 15 per cent maximum from 30 per cent before the suspension of the scheme.

According to him, eligible new EEG applications in the year would be paid with NECC while the applications before 2017 and outstanding NDCC would be paid via a 10 year maturity Promissory Note.

He said: “The EEG Scheme is a veritable vehicle that has proven to be a strategic stimulant for non-oil export oriented activities that are required to trigger significant growth in non-oil export through meaningful diversification. The lifting of suspension on EEG by the government is timely, a step in the right direction towards restoring significant growth in non-oil sector. It is, however, expedient that the government considers and effectively implements the following critical measures to guarantee sustainable growth in the sector.”

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.

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BUA Cement Announces 24.6 Percent Increase in Profit to N43.4 Billion in H1 2021

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BUA Cement stock - Investors King

BUA Cement Plc, Nigeria’s second-largest cement manufacturing company, on Thursday reported a 22.7 percent increase in revenue in the six months ended June 30, 2021.

Revenue rose from N101.261 billion recorded in the first half (H1) of 2020 to N124.278 billion in the first half of 2021.

The company disclosed in its unaudited financial statements release through the Nigerian Exchange Limited and seen by Investors King.

As expected, the cost of sales inched higher by 19.1 percent from N55.539 billion in H1 2020 to N66.158 billion in H1 2021. While gross profit expanded by 27.1 percent to N58.120 billion in H1, up from N45.723 billion.

The cement manufacturing company grew other income by 52.3 percent from N47.653 billion filed in H1 2020 to N72.6 billion in H1 2021.

Administrative expenses rose to N4.17 billion in the period under review, representing an increase of 57.9 percent when compared to N2.643 billion recorded in H1 2020.

Operating profit increased by 23.8 percent from N40.809 billion in the corresponding period of 2020 to N50.524 billion in the period under review.

Profit before income taxes rose by 26.9 percent to N49.700 billion in H1 2021 from N39.165 billion in H1 2020.

The company paid N6.3 billion in income tax in the first half of 2021.

Therefore, profit after tax stood at N43.396 billion in the first six months of 2021, an increase of 24.6 percent when compared to N34.819 billion achieved in the same period of 2020.

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Seplat Energy Appoints Dr. Emma FitzGerald as an Independent Non-Executive Director

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Seplat Energy Plc - Investors King

Seplat Energy Plc has appointed Dr. Emma FitzGerald as an Independent Non-Executive Director of the Company, the company disclosed on Thursday.

Dr. FitzGerald will replace Lord Mark Malloch-Brown who retired from the Board of the Company on 1st August 2021.

Dr. Emma FitzGerald Profile

Dr. FitzGerald is a seasoned executive in Energy & Water, with hands-on experience in transformation through her many years of working at Shell, ranging from building its lubricants business in China to running its Global Retail network.

From 2007-2010, she was accountable for Shell’s Downstream strategy and played a key role in reshaping Shell’s renewables strategy including the creation of Raizen, a game changing biofuels JV with Cosan. From 2013 to 2018 she ran gas distribution and water & waste networks for National Grid and Severn Trent where she successfully
positioned them as sustainability thought leaders in their Industries.

Most recently Dr. FitzGerald served as CEO of Puma Energy International, a global energy company owned by Trafigura and Sonangol, which is focused on high potential developing markets in Africa, Asia and Central America. In 2020 she set up Puma’s Future Energies division to play a critical role in helping customers and communities find the right energy solutions to support the energy transition. Over the last 10 years she has served on various Boards in executive and non-executive capacities and currently sits on the board of UPM Kymmene, an international paper & biomaterials business focused on innovating for a future beyond fossil fuels.

Commenting on the appointment, Dr. A. B. C. Orjiako, Chairman of SEPLAT Energy said: “The Board of SEPLAT Energy is indeed delighted to have Dr. Emma Fitzgerald on board as she brings vast knowledge in important areas such as the energy sector, renewables and sustainability. SEPLAT Energy has a great future ahead and looks forward to the enormous contribution she will make towards its continuing global success.”

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Company News

Robinhood IPO Priced at Lower End of Range, Firm Valued at $32B

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Robinhood-Investors King

Stock and crypto-trading app Robinhood has secured a $32 billion valuation via its initial public offering (IPO) and is set to debut on the Nasdaq exchange on Thursday.

According to a press release on Wednesday, Robinhood has priced its offering at $38 per Class A common stock share.

The pricing is at the lower end of the $38-$42 per share price range the company had targeted and had planned on selling 5.5 million shares targeting a $1.89 billion raise.

Net proceeds from the sale will go toward working capital, capital expenditures, funding tax obligations, hiring efforts, customer support services, among others.

Shares will be listed on the Nasdaq Global Select Market on Thursday, according to the release.

Earlier this month, Robinhood began unconventionally offering a portion of its IPO to users via its app — a view some consider to be a risky gamble.

Known for its zero-fee trading structure, the company has continued to endure hits to its image as well as legal and political ramifications stemming from the fallout of the GameStop saga and limitations to users trading crypto.

The company is trying to reshape that image and is reportedly working on a new feature that will help protect users from crypto price volatility while hiring a former Google alumn to improve its overall product design.

“Robinhood intends to use the net proceeds for working capital, capital expenditures, funding its anticipated tax obligations related to the settlement of RSUs, and general corporate purposes including increasing its hiring efforts to expand its employee base, expanding its customer support operations and satisfying its general capital needs,” the firm said in the announcement.

Robinhood filed the public offering prospectus on July 1, noting at the time that 17 percent of its total revenue in Q1 came from crypto trading transaction fees, which represented a big jump from the 4 percent in Q4 2020.

“While we currently support a portfolio of seven cryptocurrencies for trading, for the three months ended March 31, 2021, 34 percent of our cryptocurrency transaction-based revenue was attributable to transactions in Dogecoin, as compared to 4 percent for the three months ended December 31, 2020,” the firm said in the initial filing.

Still, the company’s CEO Vlad Tenev is staring down allegations from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority over his failure to register Robinhood Financial relating to compliance issues.

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