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Security Agencies Clamp Down on BUA for Violating Stop Work Order

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BUA Sugar
  • Security Agencies Clamp Down on BUA for Violating Stop Work Order

The Edo State Government and security agencies comprising men of the Nigerian Army, the Police, Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC), Department of State Services (DSS) in the state Wednesday stormed the disputed Obu mine site and arrested two employees of BUA International Limited over violation of a Stop Work order issued by the Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel.

Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki ordered the arrest of the two employees of BUA International Limited when he visited the site and discovered that work was ongoing despite relaying directives from the Federal Government on a stop-work order pending the determination of a court suit over the ownership of the mine site.

Obaseki said that the state government was more interested in the security of lives and property and that much as there was need for investors to make returns on their investment, no money is worth any life.

He said: “There is a dispute over the ownership of this mine site. The dispute is in court. There was specific instruction from the Minister of Mines and Steel Development asking that work should stop pending the outcome of the matter before the court. I addressed a section of the Okpella community who came to me to express concerns about the growing tension in the community because of the dispute.

“At that point, I issued instructions that the work should stop in line with the Federal Government directive and the case in court. I said that status quo be maintained until the determination of the case in court. I think that is the simple, commonsensical thing to do. There is a quarrel and all parties should maintain peace and the status quo.”

He said it was regrettable that having gotten the directive, the management of BUA International Limited went on air to say that the state government has no authority and right to enforce a federal government directive.

According to him, “What they are saying in essence is that government does not matter. That sort of utterance and position is very dangerous for our country for a company that needs government to treat us with such disdain. With this, things will degenerate into anarchy. How can they operate in such an environment. We don’t care who owns what, but human life is more expensive than whatever money anybody can make.”

It was gathered that there are ten other mine sites aside the disputed one, and with the stop work order, BUA International Limited could mine from its other sites in the area to sustain its production.

The Commander of 4 Brigade, Major General Ibrahim Garba, who led the Army personnel to the enforcement exercise, directed that explosives being used for the mining activities be confiscated, adding, “We gave permission for the explosives to be used here. But now, they would be sent to the brigade headquarters.”

Speaking at the Palace of the Okuokphellagbe of Okpella, His Royal Highness, Alhaji Andrew Dirisu, Obaseki said the visit to the site was to assure the people of the area that government was on top of the situation and to ensure peace in the community.

“With the action we have taken now, we know there would be pressure on the concerned parties to resolve the situation,” he added.

Alhaji Dirisu reiterated that the people want peace in the area, noting, “There is no way we wouldn’t welcome people to invest. But what we want is for everyone to take what they get and no one should take from another. For now, as you have given your order, who are we to dispute it. I thank you for calling for peace in this matter.”

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.

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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Appointments

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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