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Bill Gates Sexual Harassment Allegations Bring Microsoft Under Spotlight

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Bill Gates

Shareholders of Microsoft have started pressuring the company to increase transparency over its sexual harassment history after recent allegations against Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates.

More than 75% of investors at the company’s annual meeting voted in favour of the tech giant publishing a report on the efficacy of the company’s sexual harassment policies, going against the company’s recommendations to reject the proposal.

Bill Gates, who is 66, resigned from the Microsoft board last year after an investigation was opened into a relationship that Gates had with a colleague, which started in 2000. This affair was only brought into the light in May this year, a few weeks after Bill Gates and Melinda Gates announced to the world their plans to get a divorce.

Since then, multiple reports have come out that Bill Gates, who co-founded the company had made repetitive unwanted advances to Microsoft employees after he and Melinda got married in 1994. Reports further stated that Bill Gates was warned about his inappropriate conduct back in 2008.

The shareholder proposal was submitted by investor Arjuna Capital, and made a call for Microsoft to put out a report on transparency which would contain details of investigations into the conduct of individual employees.

Arjuna Capital had mentioned that reports of Bill Gates’ inappropriate affairs and unwanted sexual advances made towards Microsoft employees have only magnified concerns, putting under question the culture which had been set by the very leadership of the company, as well as the role of the board in holding those responsible accountable for their actions.

The company board had encouraged shareholders to reject the proposal, with the argument that it was throwing more resources into fighting sexual harassment. It is rare to see shareholder proposals that are strongly opposed by the company pass by such a large margin.

Natasha Lamb said that while the accusations against Bill Gates are only the most recent revelations in what has been a long-standing problem, it is significant and encouraging that Microsoft is now listening to shareholders while committing to transparent and unbiased reporting.

 

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C&I Leasing Plc Targets 45% Revenue From Non-Marine Sectors

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Ugoji Lenin Ugoji

Nigerian public limited maritime company, C&I Leasing Group PLC is targeting about 45% to 50% of its revenue from the non-marine sectors in 2022.

The newly appointed Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the company, Mr. Ugoji Lenin Ugoji disclosed this during an interview with CNBC Africa.

Ugoji, who was appointed on 1st of January, 2022 following the retirement of Mr. Andrew Otike-Odibi on 31st of December 2021 disclosed that the company would also go into more collaborations, as interest rates are expected to rise this year.

“We do expect interest rates to rise this year and we factored that into our projections for the year. We also expect a much more bullish market in terms of the leasing industry”, he said.

According to him, the company would push a lot of digital offerings into the market with more investments coming from various sectors of the economy.

“C&I is going to make a concerted effort to increase the percentage of its non-marine business in our overall total portfolio.

“Currently, the marine gives us about 52% of our total revenues. We expect increase in the non-marine size to something close to about 50% to reduce the impact of the marine sector just in case things don’t pan out as we expect”, he explained.

Investors King had earlier reported that Ugoji holds a Bachelors’ Degree in Estate Management from the University of Lagos, and an MBA in Banking & Finance from the ESUT Business School, Enugu. He is also a Chartered Pension professional, and an associate of the Certified Pension Institute of Nigeria.

His extensive experience in the Leasing Industry commenced in 2005 as a Pioneer member of the Aquila Capital Group where he served as the pioneer Group Head Treasury & Wealth Management. He was responsible for creating the Group’s Equipment Leasing focused Funding and Investment structure, which was targeted at attracting Capital from Private Equity, Foreign Development Financial Institutions and Local sources.

C&I Leasing Plc was incorporated in 1990 as a limited liability company and was subsequently licensed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) as a finance company, to provide amongst other services, operating and finance leases. The company has since grown to be one of the largest equipment leasing and rentals company in Nigeria with 2016 revenues of N17 billion, a staff strength of over 5,500 people and subsidiaries in Nigeria, United Arab Emirates and Ghana. The company also has three main business lines namely; Fleet Management, Personnel & Business Process Outsourcing and the Marine business.

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SEC Gives Dangote Cement Waiver to File AFS Within 60 Days of Year-End

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Dangote Cement - Investors King

Dangote Cement Plc has received approval from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) not to file its fourth-quarter unaudited returns within thirty days of its period end.

The company disclosed in a statement signed by Edward Imoedemhe, Deputy Company Secretary.

However, the company must file its annual audited financial statements within sixty days of its year-end.

Dangote Cement, therefore, announced that it will file its Audited Financial Statements for the period ended December 31, 2021, on or before February 28, 2022.

The statement reads “Dangote Cement Plc (“DCP”) hereby announces that further to its request for a waiver, the Securities and Exchange Commission has granted approval for DCP not to file its Fourth Quarter Unaudited Returns within thirty days of its period end, but to file its Annual Audited Financial Statements within sixty days of its year end.

“In view of this, DCP will file its Audited Financial Statements for the year ended December 31 2021, on or before February 28 2022.”

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Ardova Plc Commends Stanbic IBTC’s Support for LPG Storage Project

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Olumide Adeosun Ardova - Investors King

AP LPG terminal, a fully owned subsidiary of Ardova PLC, on Wednesday, 19 January 2022, performed the groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of a 20,000 metric tonne Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG) storage terminal at the project site in Ijora, Lagos. The ceremony signified the official commencement of construction activities which is expected to be completed in December 2022.

Upon completion, the project will be the largest LPG storage facility in the nation and will ease some of the existing bottlenecks in the value chain for the supply of cleaner and more efficient energy for domestic use (cooking gas) in Nigeria, amongst other strategic benefits.

Olumide Adeosun, Group Chief Executive Officer, Ardova PLC, expressed his appreciation to Stanbic IBTC Infrastructure Fund for its commitment to the project and noted that the importance of having formidable partners for project development, planning, execution, and investment support cannot be overemphasised.

“We are pleased to have the support of the Stanbic IBTC Infrastructure Fund for its pioneering role in a transformational project within the LPG value chain, which will undoubtedly accelerate the various energy transition initiatives currently underway at Ardova PLC. This support has helped us commence construction of this 20,000 metric tonne LPG storage terminal, which is expected to bring efficiency and reliability of LPG supply to Nigerian consumers as well as create long term value for our shareholders; and for this, we are thankful”.

He noted further that “Beyond the cleaner energy premise, approximately 600 direct jobs will be created during the construction of the project and there is a multiplier effect of about additional 1,400 indirect jobs that will be created during the construction period after which it settles to about 250-300 jobs once the project becomes operational.

Oladele Sotubo, Chief Executive, Stanbic IBTC Asset Management, noted in his remark that “Across the globe, cleaner energy investments have continued to be the focus. Given the environmental sustainability benefits of this project, Stanbic IBTC Infrastructure Fund’s investment philosophy is properly aligned, hence the support for the 20,000 metric tonne Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG) storage facility terminal”.

A portion of the first Tranche of the N100 billion Stanbic IBTC Infrastructure Fund, which closed in August 2021, was used to part finance the LPG storage terminal.

Sotubo went on to express his gratitude to Ardova for partnering with Stanbic IBTC Infrastructure Fund and used the opportunity to also commend all the Tranche 1 investors, including institutional investors such as Trustfund Pensions, Veritas Glanvills Pensions, NPF Pensions, Fidelity Pensions, Crusader Sterling Pensions, Agip CPFA, Progress Trust CPFA, AIICO Insurance, and other High Networth Individuals (HNIs), for the confidence reposed in the fund. He pointed out the impact their investment is making in terms of solving some of Nigeria’s infrastructure bottlenecks, creating jobs while earning returns. “As an organisation, we remain committed to bridging Nigeria’s infrastructure deficit through the provision of investment capital needed to develop projects”, he added”.

The Stanbic IBTC Asset Management Chief Executive highlighted that the Stanbic IBTC Infrastructure Fund remains dedicated to meeting the investment needs of its clients, providing them with the right investment vehicles, opportunities and professional investment services needed to achieve their financial objectives. He urged institutional investors such as pension fund administrators, insurance companies and asset managers to explore the unique opportunities of the Stanbic IBTC Infrastructure Fund in meeting their long-term financial goals.

Stanbic IBTC Infrastructure Fund remains committed to funding infrastructure projects with competitive return profiles, sustainable environmental practices, and the potential to positively impact the economy.

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