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Finance

Senate Demands Explanation of N7.5B Secret Withdrawal From Minister of Finance and Others

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Zainab Ahmed

The Chairman, Senate Public Accounts Committee, on Wednesday gave the Ministry of Finance, Office of the Accountant General of the Federation and the Office of the National Security Adviser till Tuesday next week to explain an alleged ‘secret withdrawal of N7.5bn from the two percent National Automotive Council Design and Development Council Levy Account.

The account is domiciled with the Central Bank of Nigeria.

The Committee had two weeks ago while scrutinising the 2015 Auditor General for the Federation’s report summoned the affected agencies to appear before it.

The representatives of the affected agencies were not present at the scheduled meeting on Wednesday.

The Director General of NADDC, Jelani Tukur, presented the details of the withdrawal before the committee on Wednesday.

He said that the agency had already written to the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed and the Accountant General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris, on the issue.

He said N3.7bn was withdrawn as loan to NAFCON, N3.8bn for security personnel car loan scheme and another withdrawal of N2.3bn as loan to Steyrs Nigeria Limited.

He added that the agency had also written a letter to remind the Niger Insurance Plc on the agreement reached on July 9th 2020 as ordered by the committee.

The first letter was written to Minister of Finance and Accountant General of the Federation on 23 April, 2021 and were delivered to the minister and Accountant General of the Federation on 26 April.

The second was written to the Minister on 26th of April and was delivered to the Minister on 27th April while those to the Accountant General of the Federation were delivered on 26th of April.

The committee chaired by Senator Mathew Urhoghide said that all parties involved in the withdrawal of money must be in attendance next week Tuesday.

Banking Sector

Ecobank Partners NiDCOM to Mobilise Nigerians Abroad for National Development

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ecobank

In a bid to fulfill it’s objectives and mandate, the Pan African Bank has promised to support Nigerians living and working abroad through it’s partnership with NiDCOM.

The Managing Director, Ecobank Nigeria, Patrick Akinwuntan has stated that the bank is privileged to work closely with the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, (NiDCOM) and will continue to pursue one of its key mandates of helping to enhance the economic development and integration of Africa through its support to Nigerians living and working abroad.

Speaking at the maiden edition of the Diaspora Quarterly Lecture Series with Ecobank as the sole banking partner which took place on Saturday, 8th May 2021, he noted that Ecobank remains a critical bridge for Nigerians abroad, as it has made huge investments in the necessary platforms to enable them connect with home seamlessly. The event held online and had over 2000 participants from across all the continents in attendance.

“Nigerians in the diaspora play a major role in nation building, their contribution goes a long way to catalyse economic development. For us at Ecobank, we are a pan-African institution positioned to foster the economic growth and integration of our continent, so we are particularly pleased to work closely with the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM), ably led by the Chairman/CEO, Hon Abike Dabiri-Erewa”.

“We are committed to ensuring that every Nigerian living abroad is able to remit home seamlessly and affordably, access viable investment opportunities and as the financial institution of choice for Nigerians abroad, we have deployed the necessary resources to actualise this.” He stated.

The Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, who was also present, reiterated the readiness of the government to collaborate with Nigerians in the diaspora, highlighting the new processes put in place to facilitate passport issuance, noting that all backlog of passport applications would be cleared by the end of May 2021.

Also speaking, the Hon. Minister of State, Foreign Affairs Amb. Zubairu Dada said harnessing the human capital and material resources of Nigerians in the diaspora towards the socio-economic, cultural, and political development of Nigeria can no longer be ignored. He pointed out that the Nigerian diaspora community is well educated, resourceful, skilled, and exposed to global best practices.

The NiDCOM Chairman/CEO, Hon. Abike Dabiri- Erewa explained that the Diaspora Quarterly Lecture Series is projected to be a major aspect of national discourse, where Nigerians abroad can be kept abreast of the government’s policies, programmes and projects.

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Finance

Increase in Price Boosts Revenue of Dangote Sugar by 41.5 Percent in Q1 2021

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Dangote Sugar - Investors King

Revenue of Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc rose by 41.5 percent to N67.394 billion in the first quarter (Q1) of 2021 from N47.643 billion recorded in the same quarter of 2020.

According to the leading sugar manufacturer, the increase in revenue was a result of the increase in the price of sugar in the first quarter. The company claimed price adjustment was necessary to mitigate the negative effect of inflation and depreciation on the company.

Volumes only rose by 5.7 percent during the quarter despite a 41.5 percent increase in revenue, meaning the increase in price was the main sales catalyst.

In the company’s unaudited financial statements, gross profit grew from N12.721 billion in Q1 2020 to N18.044 billion in Q1 2021.

Similarly, operating profit stood at N15.884 billion, up from N10.747 billion posted in Q1 2020.

Finance cost more than double from N1.353 billion in Q1 2020 to N3.412 billion in Q1 2021.

Dangote Sugar’s profit before tax rose from N9.509 billion recorded in the corresponding quarter to N11.949 billion in the quarter under review.

The company paid N3.646 billion in income tax, slightly higher than N3.137 paid in the same quarter of 2020.

Profit for the period grew from N6.372 billion in Q1 2020 to N8.302 billion in Q1 2021.

Commenting on the company’s performance, Dangote Sugar said “EBITDA increased by 34.7% to N17.02 billion (2020: N12.64 billion) on account of increased earnings. Group profit after taxation for the period increased by 30.3% to N8.30 billion (2020: N6.37 billion) reflecting management’s unrelenting drive to deliver consistent shareholder value.”

On price increase, the company hinged it on series of devaluation carried out in 2020 by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), escalating inflation, port congestion and rising in price of global sugar. Dangote Sugar said its imported raw sugar from Brazil under Federal Government’s backward integration plan.

We have continued to witness high cost of raw materials, energy costs and other input costs due to rising inflation and FX rate fluctuation. Further cost escalation is anticipated in the year as inflationary pressure mounts,” the company said.

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Finance

FBN Holdings Suffers 39 Percent Drop in Profit to N15.6 Billion in Q1 2021

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FBN Holdings - Investors King

FBN Holdings Plc profit after tax declined by 39 percent from N23.140 billion recorded in the first quarter (Q1) of 2020 to N15.6 billion in the first quarter of 2021.

In the leading financial institution’s unaudited financial statements released through the Nigerian Exchange Limited, gross earnings declined by 14.5 percent to N137 billion in the period under review, down from N160 billion filed in the previous quarter.

Similarly, net interest income declined from N60.253 billion achieved in Q1 2020 to N52.793 billion.

Net interest income after impairment charge for losses also dipped from N50.547 billion in Q1 2020 to N39.619 billion in Q1 20201. While net fee and commission income rose from N20.773 billion in Q1 2020 to N28.427 billion in Q1 2021.

Profit before tax declined by 34 percent to N18.906 billion in the quarter under review, down from N28.680 billion posted in the corresponding quarter of 2020.

FBN Holdings paid N3.285 billion in income tax in the first quarter of 2020.

Therefore, profit for the period stood at N15.621 billion. While Net Assets contracted from N765.2 billion to N764.8 billion.

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