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FG Okays $1.5m Loan for Lagos-Abidjan Highway

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  • FG Okays $1.5m Loan for Lagos-Abidjan Highway

The Federal Executive Council on Wednesday approved the plan by the Federal Government to get $1.5m loan from the Africa Development Bank to be spent on the Lagos-Abidjan Expressway.

The Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, disclosed this to reporters at the end of the council’s meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari.

She said, “Today (Wednesday), the Ministry of Finance went to council to obtain approval for a loan of $1.5m from the African Development Fund to finance the multinational Abidjan-Lagos corridor highway development project study.

“The multinational project that is running on the Abidjan-Lagos corridor will be a highway project that will be in six lanes, a dual carriageway highway that will involve five countries, the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the Federal Republic of Benin, Republic of Cote d’Ivoire, Republic of Ghana and the Togolese Republic.”

Ahmed added, “At the 42nd ordinary session of the Heads of State meeting of the ECOWAS countries in 2013, this project was discussed and approved; the African Development Bank in 2016 approved the total sum of $13.5m for the whole of the project to finance the study in the form of a loan as well as grant.

“So, this $13.5m has been distributed among the participating countries and the component for Nigeria is $1.5m.

“The FEC has approved that we accept this facility so that the project study can be commissioned towards the planning of the execution of the highway project itself.”

The council also approved a contract for the rehabilitation of the Lagos-Badagry Expressway, specifically the 46km section from Agbara through Badagry to the Seme Border.

The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, disclosed this to reporters.

Fashola said the approval for the rehabilitation of the road excluded the part under contract by the Lagos State Government from Eric Moore to Okokomaiko.

He stated, “Council approved 46 kilometres from Agbara through to Seme Border. And out of that 46 kilometres, 24 kilometres will be six lanes and 22 kilometres will retain the current four lanes without expansion of the three construction and the contract price is N63.023bn.

“Just for clarity, this road is part of the Lagos/Abidjan highway corridor, so the Nigerian section is the Lagos, Eric Moore to Badagry to Seme Border. So, we are constructing our part.

“Ghana have done theirs, I think Ivory Coast have done theirs too, Togo and Benin have something in place. Some of them have to move because of coastal erosion by the Atlantic Ocean and how to reintegrate all of that is part of the studies that are been funded by the African Development Bank and also how to ensure single and efficient border control.”

Fashola also said the council approved the construction of the road linking Gwarzo to Karaie in Kano State, a 20km project at the cost of N1.029bn.

He stated that the FEC also terminated and re-awarded the contract for the 10 megawatts Katsina Wind Energy Project.

He said the project, with 37 turbines, had 15 already completed, while 22 were in different stages of completion.

According to the minister, the 15 completed turbines are already generating about 4MW of electricity.

He said, “We have decided to terminate the contract and use the balance to pay the local contractor, who has done 15, to install the remaining 22. Council approved that at N121.073m out of the existing contract. So, it is not a new contract. It is so that the contractor can complete the work in the next five months.

“Council also approved the African Trans Sahara highway project from Algiers to Lagos. The Nigerian section is the Lagos to Katsina border side, which transverses Ibadan, Oyo, Ogbomosho, Ilorin , Katsina, Abuja, Kano etc.”

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.

Banking Sector

COVID-19: CBN Extends Loan Repayment by Another One Year

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Central Bank Extends One-Year Moratorium by 12 Months

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has extended the repayment of its discounted interest rate on intervention facility by another one-year following the expiration of the first 12 months moratorium approved on March 1, 2020.

The apex bank stated in a circular titled ‘Re: Regulatory forbearance for the restructuring of credit facilities of other financial institutions impacted by COVID-19’ and released on Wednesday to all financial institutions.

In the circular signed by Kelvin Amugo, the Director, Financial Policy and Regulation Department, CBN, the apex bank said the role-over of the moratorium on the facilities would be considered on a case by case basis.

The circular read, “The Central Bank of Nigeria reduced the interest rates on the CBN intervention facilities from nine per cent to five per cent per annum for one year effective March 1, 2020, as part of measures to mitigate the negative impact of COVID-19 pandemic on the Nigerian economy.

“Credit facilities, availed through participating banks and OFIs, were also granted a one-year moratorium on all principal payments with effect from March 1, 2020.

“Following the expiration of the above timelines, the CBN hereby approves as follows:

“The extension by another 12 months to February 28, 2022 of the discounted interest rate for the CBN intervention facilities.

“The role-over of the moratorium on the above facilities shall be considered on a case by case basis.”

It would be recalled that the apex bank reduced the interest rate on its intervention facility from nine percent to five percent and approved a 12-month moratorium in March 2020 to ease the negative impact of COVID-19 on businesses.

To further deepen economic recovery and stimulate growth, the apex bank has extended the one year-moratorium until February 28, 2022.

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Finance

MTN Nigeria Generates N1.35 Trillion in Revenue in 2020

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MTN Nigeria Grows Revenue by 15.1 Percent from N1.169 Trillion in 2019 to N1.35 Trillion in 2020

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic and challenging business environment, MTN Nigeria realised N1.346 trillion in revenue in the financial year ended December 31, 2020.

The leading telecommunications giant grew revenue by 15.1 percent from N1.169 trillion posted in the same period of 2019.

Operating profit surprisingly jumped by 8.5 percent from N393.225 billion in 2019 to N426.713 billion in 2020.

This, the telecom giant attributed to the surge in finance costs due to increased borrowings from N413 billion in 2019 to N521 billion in 2020.

MTN Nigeria further stated that the increase in finance costs was the reason for the decline in growth of profit before tax to 2.6 percent.

MTN Nigeria grew profit before tax by 2.6 percent to N298.874 billion, up from N291.277 billion filed in the corresponding period of 2019.

The company posted N205.214 billion profit for the year, a 0.9 percent increase from N203.283 billion recorded in the 2019 financial year.

Share capital remained unchanged at N407 million. While Total equity increased by 22.3 percent from N145.857 billion in 2019 to N178.386 billion in 2020.

MTN Nigeria’s market price per share increased by 61.8 percent from N105 to N169.90.

While market capitalisation as at year-end also expanded by 61.8 percent to N3.458 trillion, up from N2.137 trillion.

The number of shares issued and fully paid as at year-end stood at 20.354 million.

MTN Nigeria margins were affected by Naira devaluations and capital expenditure due to the new 4G network coverage roll-out.

Margins were adversely affected by the effect of naira devaluation and expenses associated with new sites’ roll-out to boost 4G network coverage in FY’20.

“On the former, we note that MTNN expanded the scope of its service agreement with IHS Holding Limited and changed the reference rate for converting USD tower expenses to NAFEX (vs CBN’s official rate previously). Thus, over the full-year period, the company’s operating margin contracted by 1.9 ppts YoY to 31.7%,” CardinalStone stated in its latest report.

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Finance

Nestle Nigeria Approves Final Dividend of N35.50k per 50 Kobo Ordinary Share for 2020

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Nestle Nigeria Approves Final Dividend of N35.50k per 50 Kobo Ordinary Share for 2020

Nestle Nigeria, a leading food and beverage company, has declared a final dividend of N35.50k per 50 kobo ordinary share for the year ended December 31, 2020.

The beverage company said N24.50k of the amount declared was from the after-tax profit of 2020 and N5 and N6 were from the after-tax retained earnings of the years ended December 2019 and 2018, respectively.

Nestle Nigeria stated that the amount declared is subject to appropriate withholding tax and approval at the Annual General Meeting of shareholders.

It also noted that payment will be made only to shareholders whose names appear in the Register of Members as at the close of business on 21 May 2021.

Dividends will be paid electronically to shareholders whose names appear on the Register of Members as at 21 May 2021, and who have completed the e-dividend registration and mandated the Registrar to pay their dividends directly into their Bank accounts.

Shareholders who are yet to complete the e-dividend registration are advised to download the Registrar’s E-Dividend Mandate Activation Form, which is also available on their website: www.gtlregistrars.com, complete and submit to the Registrar or their respective Banks.

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