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Railway Workers Seek Repeal of NRC Act

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rail project- Investorsking
  • Railway Workers Seek Repeal of NRC Act

The Nigeria Union of Railway workers (NUR) has called for the repeal of the Nigeria Railways Corporation (NRC) Act of 1955. The law gives the corporation the monopoly of rail transportation business. The union is praying the government to encourage private investment in the sector.

It called for a law that would ensure a level playing field for public and private investors.

Its President, Saidu Garba, said the union would not stop the government from selling its assets, but the sale should be done transparently in a way to address the infrastructure deficit in the sector.

He expressed the hope that the National Council on Privatisation (NCP), which was headed by Acting President Yemi Osinbajo would address breaches of due diligence in NRC’s planned privatisation.

“We have not been fortunate enough to get privatisation or concession really right in this country probably because of our policy inconsistency, corruption and lack of political will. With the hasty way railway concession is being pursued, we feel that caution should be taken.

“We wonder why all the inventories on the entire assets of Nigerian Railways should be handed over to a preferred concessionaire whose document of expression of interest predates the newspaper advert for the bidding,” Garba said.

The union alleged that the Ministry of Transportation (MoT) dubiously concessioned the corporation’s 3,505-kilometre narrow gauge system to the American consortium, General Electric (GE).

Its Secretary-General, Segun Esan, in a statement, praised the government for NCP’s reconstitution, stating that the council would curtail MoT’s excesses in concession of NRC to GE.

It alleged that the ministry unilaterally concessioned the NRC to GE for 30 years.

The process, said the union, was not transparent and workers were not carried along in the exercise.

The NUR called on Prof Osinbajo to probe the process.

“GE’s expression of interest was dated September 2016 and advert for expression of interest for the bidding was in January 2017. Apart from this, GE requested for a zero per cent transfer of workers, while the Ministry of Transportation is saying that 20 per cent of the workforce would be absorbed by GE and the remaining 80 per cent of the workforce will be sent to a University of Railway Technology that will be established by the concessionaire,” said the workers’ union.

It argued that this was bizarre and indicated dishonesty. “An honest and public-spirited concession would squarely address all labour engagement and disengagement issues. It would be transparent enough to accommodate the workers’ union representatives to determine what happens to them before and after concession,” the NUR said.

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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Prestige Assurance Grows Profit by 25.17 Percent to N776.500 Million in H1 2021

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Prestige Assurance - Investors King

Prestige Assurance Plc, one of Nigeria’s leading insurance firms, grew profit after tax by 25.17 percent from N620.348 million recorded in the first quarter (H1) of 2020 to N776.500 million in the first half of 2021.

The insurance firm disclosed in its unaudited financial statement released on Tuesday and obtained by Investors King.

Gross premium written increased by 38.86 percent to N5.434 billion in H1 2021, up from N3.913 billion achieved in the corresponding period of 2020.

Net premium income also grew by 34.82 percent from N1.916 billion in H1 2020 to N2.584 billion in H1 2021. While underwriting expenses expanded to N2.262 billion in the period under review, up by 51.43 percent when compared to N1.494 billion filed in the same period of 2020.

Similarly, interest income jumped by 59.40 percent from N232.924 million in H1 2020 to N371.279 million in H1 2021. Other investment income and other operating income appreciated by 30.96 percent and 83.74 percent from N145.803 million and N7.264 million in H1 2020 to N190.947 million and N13.347 million in H1 2021, respectively.

Profit before tax inched higher by 14.22 percent to N970.624 million in H1 2021 from N849.792 million in H1 2020.

Profit after tax rose by 25.17 percent to N776.500 million in the period under review.

Total assets expanded to N19.423 billion in the first half of 2021, representing 4.96 percent when compared to N18.505 billion.

Basic earnings per share and diluted earnings per share grew by 25.17 percent each to N5.86 each.

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Coca-Cola Creates Its First Collection Of Brand-Inspired NFTs

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Coca-Cola NFT- Investors King

Coca-Cola has partnered with digital art and avatar company Tafi to launch its first collection of NFTs, or non-fungible tokens. NFTs are unique digital collectibles that exist on the blockchain and represent different types of files like images, audio, and video.

The collection, which Coca-Cola is offering to celebrate International Friendship Day on July 30, features an NFT “loot box” which contains digital wearables designed by Tafi.

Buyers can bid on the Coca-Cola Friendship Box, a digital version of a collectible vending machine, which comes with three one-of-a-kind digital assets: a custom Coca-Cola Bubble Jacket Wearable, which can be worn in virtual world Decentraland; The Sound Visualizer, which captures different audio cues like the pop of a bottle opening or the sound of the soda being poured over ice; and The Friendship Card, a digital design inspired by the company’s friendship-inspired trading cards released in the 1940s.

“Each NFT was created to celebrate elements that are core to the Coca-Cola brand reinterpreted for a virtual world in new and exciting ways,” said the president of the global Coca-Cola trademark, Selman Careaga. “We are excited to share our first NFTs with the metaverse where new friendships are being forced in new ways in new worlds.”

Besides the one-of-a-kind collectibles, the winning bidder will also have access to “additional unique and valuable surprises,” which will be unveiled when the loot box is digitally opened.

The sale, which will take place on popular NFT marketplace OpenSea, will open on July 30 and close on August 2. All bids must be placed with ETH.

All Coca-Cola proceeds from the auction will be donated to Special Olympics International, a global sports organization that provides children and adults with intellectual and physical disabilities, with year-round training and activities.

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Merger and Acquisition

PiggyVest Acquires Savi.ng To Expand Operations

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PiggyVest- Investors King

The Nigeria-based wealth management app giant, PiggyVest announced that it has acquired a smaller competitor Savi.ng.

Until the acquisition, Savi.ng was a wealth management app launched in 2018 that allowed users to save via various features like automated savings, fixed deposits, joint savings and PAYE.

According to the company, discussions to buy Savi.ng which started earlier this year has now been completed. However, the cost of acquisition was not disclosed.

Under the deal, all existing Savi.ng users will be automatically migrated to Piggyvest. Savi.ng was founded in 2018 by VFD Microfinance and currently has ten thousand plus downloads on Google Playstore. PiggyVest’s android app on the other hand has got one million-plus downloads.

Speaking on the acquisition, PiggyVest says it is in line with its vision of providing financial freedom for all. “It’s more of a team acquisition,” PiggyVest co-founder, Joshua Chibueze, explained to TechCabal over a call.

The team behind Savi are reputed to have solid expertise in finance and are savvy with financial tools. This talent quality prompted PiggyVest’s move to acquire the wealth management startup.

“Fintech is two things. Fin and tech. We believe we are as good at tech and customer acquisition so we need as many financial players as possible to consolidate what we are trying to do,” Chibueze adds.

The acquisition consolidates PiggyVest’s growth and capacity to dominate Nigeria’s hotly competitive savings and investment space. Last year, it paid back NGN90 billion ($220 million) to users which currently numbers up to 3 million.

The move also signals a positive trend for Africa’s local startup ecosystem – that it is possible to build for the sole purpose of selling to a larger player in the same sector.

Earlier this year, Piggyvest partnered uduX to help Nigerians invest in their favorite musicians. This shows how broadly the company is looking to expand its investment opportunities.

PiggyVest revealed that there are more acquisition announcements to come in the year.

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