- Court Orders MTN to Pay ex-Nigerian Operations Manager N4.8billion
The National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NICN), Akure Division, has ordered MTN Nigeria Communications Limited and MTN International, Mauritius, to pay its former Network Group Operations Manager, Mr Paul Odunewu, $13,419,728.54, £10,000 and N2,540,000 (totalling N4, 825,036,735.9) following wrongful termination of employment.
Justice Oyejoju Oyewunmi made the order on Wednesday, September 27, 2017 following Odunewu’s suit challenging his 2006 termination and the deprivation of his entitlements including share options valued at $13,144,512.00.
MTN Group Limited, South Africa; MTN Nigeria and MTN International, Mauritius were first, second and third defendants in the suit which lasted 10 years from the Lagos State High Court to the NICN. Justice Oyewunmi ordered that the sums be paid by the second and third defendants, “except the issue of costs which is to be paid by all the defendants.
” The judge ordered MTN to make the payments within 30 days following which the sums would appreciate at 21 percent interest per annum. In reaching judgment, the court agreed with the submissions of Odunewu’s counsel, Mr Kemi Balogun (SAN) that MTN unfairly imposed a restraint of trade on Odunewu, thus preventing him from working for a period. The judge upheld Mr Balogun’s submission that the evidence showed that Odunewu neither committed any serious, persistent breach of the provisions of the agreement or the company’s code, nor was ever summoned to a disciplinary committee or found guilty of any misconduct or non-performance.
Justice Oyewunmi observed, among others, that the defendants failed to controvert the testimony of a former MTN Chief Executive Officer, Mr Adrian Wood, regarding the offers made to Odunewu which persuaded him to quit his job in The United Kingdom and join MTN. Odunewu, a UK-based chartered engineer, was employed by MTN Nigeria in 2001. He said MTN pleaded with him to return home from the UK and help the company to develop its telecommunications in Nigeria. He averred that he was promised, among others, a Share Option, a long-term incentive scheme being developed by MTN. Odunewu said when he complained that the Share Option was not contained in his offer letter, MTN persuaded him to accept the job, adding that he would be entitled to the shares after three years.
Odunewu said he worked at MTN for over four years, and was responsible for the network’s outstanding achievements, which continues till date. The former manager said he was responsible for the company’s pre-paid and post-paid revenue, subscription, voucher management and real-time charging. Odunewu commenced the suit against the defendants in 2007 before the High Court of Lagos State, but in 2012, it was transferred to and began afresh at NICN which had exclusive jurisdiction. Trial commenced on January 29, 2014.
Flour Mills of Nigeria Repays N51.64 Billion Series 2 Commercial Paper
Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc (FMN) has successfully repaid its N51.64 billion Series 2 Commercial Paper as revealed in a statement issued by the company.
This follows the earlier repayment of its N13.33 billion Series 1 Commercial Paper in August 2023.
Both the Series 1 and Series 2 Commercial Papers, totaling N64.97 billion, were initially issued on February 22, 2023, under FMN’s N200 billion Commercial Paper Programme.
The Series 1, with a yield of 13.0%, raised N13.3 billion, while the Series 2, with a yield of 14.0%, raised N51.64 billion.
FMN had launched its N200 billion Commercial Paper Programme on February 10, 2023, reflecting the company’s strategic financial planning.
The Group Chief Finance Officer, Mr. Anders Kristiansson, expressed satisfaction with the timely and successful repayment of the Series 2 Commercial Paper.
He emphasized FMN’s commitment to financial prudence and acknowledged the confidence placed in the organization by the investing public.
Kristiansson expressed gratitude to stakeholders for their continuous support, reiterating FMN’s dedication to delivering sustainable value and upholding the highest standards of corporate governance.
In addition to the successful repayment, FMN tapped into the market for its Series 3 Commercial Paper in June 2023, with subscriptions from banks and Pension Fund Administrators, contributing 39.7% and 40.8%, respectively.
The transaction was managed by FBNQuest Merchant Bank Limited as the Lead Arranger, with ChapelHill Denham Advisory Limited, FCMB Capital Limited, and United Capital PLC serving as Joint Arrangers.
African Airlines Projected to Cut Losses to $400m in 2024, Says IATA
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has forecasted a reduction in losses for Nigerian and other African airlines from $500 million in 2023 to $400 million in 2024.
The Switzerland-based IATA made this projection while presenting the global airline industry outlook in Geneva, Switzerland, on Wednesday.
IATA’s Director-General, Willie Walsh, shared the outlook, stating that global airlines are expected to generate approximately $964 billion in revenue in the coming year.
The report indicated that airline industry net profits are anticipated to reach $25.7 billion in 2024, reflecting a slight improvement over the projected $23.3 billion net profit for 2023.
Despite the challenges faced by the aviation industry in recent years, IATA sees the $25.7 billion net profit in 2024 as a testament to aviation’s resilience.
Walsh acknowledged the impressive speed of recovery but emphasized that the net profit margin of 2.7% remains below industry expectations.
IATA estimates that around 4.7 billion people will travel in 2024, surpassing the pre-pandemic level of 4.5 billion recorded in 2019.
However, Walsh highlighted ongoing challenges, including regulatory burdens, fragmentation, high infrastructure costs, and a supply chain populated with uncertainties.
He emphasized the need for the industry to build a resilient future, given its significant contribution to global GDP and livelihoods.
Fuel prices are expected to average $113.8 per barrel in 2024, accounting for 31% of all operating costs, totaling $281 billion.
Walsh concluded by expressing optimism about more normal growth patterns for both passenger and cargo in the post-pandemic era.
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