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BoI partners Oxfam to empower 4,000 farmers

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  • BoI partners Oxfam to empower 4,000 farmers

The Bank of Industry under the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme has signed an agreement with Oxfam to disburse N200m to Oxfam’s Village Saving and Loan Associations in Nassarawa, Benue and Plateau states.

The money is expected to strengthen the living capacity and resilience of poor households in rural communities.

According to Oxfam, the partnership is born out of the need to target the most marginalised and hard to reach in the rural communities in line with the objectives of the Federal Government’s social intervention policy.

The initiative, tagged ‘GEEP MarketMoni’ provides the first batch of the loans meant to expand the activities of about 500 farmer groups in some communities in the three states.

“The BoI is executing the Federal Government’s micro-credit initiative, the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme; while Oxfam’s implementing partners, Young Men Christian Association, Nigerian Association of Women in Agriculture, and Cocin Community Development Programme, will be responsible for monitoring and supporting the beneficiaries to effectively utilise the funds in Nassarawa, Benue and Plateau states, respectively,” the Deputy Country Director of Oxfam Nigeria, Mr. Constant Tchona, said in a statement.

Tchona said Oxfam’s Village Savings and Loans Associations are self-managed community-based groups that provide their members access to basic financial services.

Each group is said to be made up of “self-selected 15 to 25 individuals who meet regularly (usually weekly or fortnightly) to save and, if desired, borrow for short periods, paying monthly interest at a rate set by the group,” he added.

According to him, apart from the primary goal of increasing access to credit to the ’unbanked’ at the bottom of the pyramid, the scheme has significantly improved community cohesion and active citizenship in communities where the project is being implemented while building the resilience of rural farmers towards saving for unforeseen circumstances.

He said women who hitherto did not have voice or engaged in community governance issues had become very vocal and confident as a result of their participation in the scheme, hence greatly improving their leadership skills.

The Executive Director, Microenterprise Directorate at the BoI, Mrs. Toyin Adeniji, said the funds were part of the Federal Government’s mandate to the BoI to achieve, amongst others, financial inclusion and access to credit for 1.6 million beneficiaries across target segments of market women and traders, artisans, enterprising youths, agricultural workers, agro-allied processors and other MSME categories.

This, she said, was in furtherance of the attainment of poverty eradication, employment generation, growth and development of micro enterprises in the country.

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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Company News

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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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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