A rights and transparency group, Nigeria for All Nigerians (NAN), has raised an alarm over the payment of N754.87 million as compensation to three Executive Directors of the Nigerian Exchange Group Plc (NGX).
The group raised the alarm, following the publication of the NGX’s 2021 full year report. According to the group, NGX made an operating profit of N320 million in 2021 but paid its three Executive Directors N750m.
“Shareholders value was massively eroded by a cost structure that serves these executives to the detriment of shareholders. The reason this is taking place is because the shareholding base of the NGX is terribly fragmented thus allowing management a free rein”, a source said.
The General Secretary, NAN, Mr. Dele Ajanaku recalled that the group had, in October last year, called on concerned regulatory authorities to stop violation of the Nigerian Investments and Securities Act by not allowing Mr. Oscar Onyema to serve as MD/CEO of NGX Group and also a non-executive director on the NGX Ltd.
“The highest paid board member, the MD/CEO as revealed in 2021 audited financial report earned N160.02 million as remuneration from N156.2 million in 2020. The Nigerian capital market is supervised by the Federal Ministry of Finance.
“One of the biggest issues allowing the emergence of these scandalous earnings by the three NGX directors is poor governance.
“In an economy where a majority of the population are poor and inflation has made their spending power weak, it is scandalous that three directors of NGX would earn the kind of amount reported in their report, while its non-management staff dropped to 176 from 241 recorded in prior year”, Ajanaku lamented.
He further noted that the NGX directors were tending towards fiscal irresponsibility by taking care of themselves in good times, but reducing the number of management staff.
“The disclosure of the earnings of the three NGX directors as “early warning signs showing a strong indication of the imminent direction they are taking the NGX, which is why we call on the Federal Government to act now before the NGX’s credibility is damaged as we are in a fragile period”, he added.
Toyota Marks 25th Anniversary of Sienna, Lauches Limited Edition
Toyota launches Sienna 2023 to celebrate the model’s first quarter-century of popularity with a limited edition to mark its 25th Anniversary.
The ultra-sporty XSE model, on which the Toyota 25th Anniversary Edition is based, features dark 20-inch split-5-spoke wheels, bolder front and rear bumpers, black-painted caps, and a sport-tuned suspension that is exclusive to the XSE. The XSE Plus Package adds roof rails, Premium Audio with JBL speakers and GPS, wireless charging, and a 1500-watt converter to the Sienna 25th Anniversary Edition, which is available in front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive.
The Sienna 25th Anniversary Edition is available in Celestial Silver and Wind Chill Pearl, both of which are appropriate for the occasion. The two exterior colors are accented by special black badging and exterior trim, including mirror caps and shark fin antenna.
The external mirrors with memory, auto-dimming, puddle lights, power-fold, and reverse-tilt down function are among the amenities added to this celebratory model from the Limited grade.
The Limited additionally includes heated and ventilated front seats with memory, as well as black leather-trimmed seating with silver-colored stitching.
Onboard comfort is enhanced by the Limited’s memory steering column and second-row seats with ottomans, while lighted door sills greet front passengers.
A customized black key fob cover with silver-colored stitching bears a “25th Anniversary” logo, and special “25th Anniversary” floormats pamper the feet.
Also, the Toyota Audio systems in the 2023 Sienna provide a plethora of connectivity and entertainment options, with something for everyone. The LE grade’s base Toyota Audio system comes with a 9-inch touchscreen, six speakers, Android AutoTM, Apple CarPlay, and Amazon Alexa compatibility, seven USB media ports, hands-free phone capability, and music streaming via Bluetooth wireless technology, SiriusXM with a 3-month Platinum Plan trial subscription, Safety Connect with a 1-year trial, and Wi-Fi Connect with up to 3 GB within a one-month trial.
When minivans initially became popular in the 1980s and 1990s, Toyota first imported its rear-drive Van and then the more market-friendly Previa. Meanwhile, Toyota was working on a far more focused entry, the Sienna, which debuted in 1998.
The Sienna has shown to be right on target for the market, evolving to a degree of family car perfection with each design iteration.
Toyota as a brand has retained a great lead in car sales globally despite chip shortages. Investors King explained that in 2021 Toyota surged by 10.1 percent, beating its German counterpart, Volkswagen, and Electric Vehicle, Tesla to having the highest sales record in the world.
Investors King gathered that maintaining the top sales record for two years in a row, Toyota Motor Co. stated that it sold 10.5 million vehicles in 2021, including those by affiliates Daihatsu Motors and Hino Motors. That is 5 percent fewer than the number sold in 2020, its lowest sales figures in 10 years, and more than 8.88 million vehicles delivered by Volkswagen AG within the same year.
Dangote Seeks Over N300 Billion To Complete Refinery
Business tycoon, Aliko Dangote has finalized plans to seek over N300 Billion ($750 million) through bonds to complete his refinery project in Lagos State.
Investors King gathered that the refinery project was supposed to be finished in 2019, but funding issues and the COVID-19 pandemic threw a wrench in the works, forcing the deadline to be moved back to 2023.
Dangote sought to raise $750 million from the Nigerian bond market with Dangote Oil Refining Company Limited and Dangote Fertiliser Limited, both Dangote Industries Limited companies, serving as co-obligors under the proposed programme, according to Fitch Ratings.
In order to prevent another extension and complete the refinery project next year, a portion of the funds will be used to cover the $1.1 billion needed to complete the refinery project while the remainder will come from either a Dangote Cement asset sale or the refinery project itself, equity sales.
“If the transaction is not successful, or should completion costs overrun or market conditions in the cement or urea sector deteriorate materially, we do not believe that DIL’s existing creditors would have further lending capacity.
“We believe that further asset sales, either in cement, or stakes in the projects, would be the more likely options to address funding of the refinery,” Fitch’s report reads.
About nine months ago, recall that Dangote opted to increase the workforce of his refinery by 17,000. Investors King reported that “the project currently employs 29,000 Nigerians and 11,000 foreigners at the 650,000 barrels-per-day world’s largest single refinery project located in the Ibeju Lekki area of Lagos. This is a ratio of around three Nigerians to one expatriate presently, which will increase local talent with the new additions.”
Speaking in a broadcast, Investors King quoted Dangote saying “When we started the project, we were supposed to bring a lot of foreign workers, but as we speak today, we have less than 11,000 expatriates. We have almost about 29,000 Nigerian workers that are getting massive training. We are also creating a lot of capacity in the country, which will be of great help for future oil projects in Nigeria, most especially with the opening up of the oil industry through the new Petroleum Industry Act….”
As a matter of fact, the idea of a successful Dangote Refinery project has been the expectation of both citizens of Nigeria and the Government, because, it will help bring a stop to the importation of crude oil.
Access Holdings Plc to Acquire Majority Stake in First Guarantee Pension Limited
Access Holdings Plc has agreed with First Guarantee Pension Limited to acquire a majority stake in the company in its drive to transform from a narrow banking business into a financial service company.
The leading financial institution stated in a press release obtained by Investors King on Thursday.
According to Access Bank, the transaction is in line with its strategy to evolve into a full-blown financial services company and gain relevant market share across Africa, global monetary centres and beyond banking verticals.
Speaking on the firm’s push to change the banking landscape, Dr. Herbert Wigwe, Group Chief Executive Officer, Access Corporation said “This transaction is a natural evolution for us. Over the last 20 years, we set our sights on and delivered ambitious plans to transform the African financial services landscape focusing on banking and have created the African leading Bank and largest bank by customer base.
“This large customer base both on the wholesale and retail segments makes the pension business a natural fit for the Corporation given its objective of ecosystem optimisation. We will leverage our well-established culture of strong corporate governance, risk management, cutting-edge technology, and digital capabilities to deliver high standards of professionalism in the management of pension assets to the benefit of our stakeholders.”
The firm added that the National Pension Commission and the Central Bank of Nigeria have given their no objection to the transaction.
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