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FG, States Agree to Sell Five Power Plants to Fund 2023 Budget

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After a long disagreement, the Federal Government and all 36 States including FCT have agreed to sell five power plants under the National Integrated Power Projects and use the proceeds to fund the 2023 budget. 

This agreement is coming after over two years of disputes and legal tussles regarding the sale of the NIPP plants managed by the Niger Delta Power Holding Company, NDPH, Investors King understands. 

It would be recalled that all 36 states earlier disagreed with the Federal Government on the sale of the power plants to private investors. Leading to a legal tussle between the two. 

While speaking to newsmen, the Director General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises, Alex Okoh noted that the bureau has a target to raise N260 billion during the 2023 fiscal year most of which will come from the sale of critical assets.  

“The expectation (of BPE) in the fiscal plan for 2023 is N260bn, and the critical assets we are looking at are the power assets. Five of the NIPP plants; incidentally, we are reaching some understanding with the state governors for selling those five power plants.

“And that is what has dragged this transaction for at least the past two years; just getting a common stakeholder understanding on the critical need to realise value from these assets now, before they depreciate beyond value.

Thankfully, last week we were able to resolve the issues with the governors. So for those assets, we are likely to reach the financial opening of the bids before the end of the year, which is maybe next week,” Okoh said.

The DG added that the Federal Government will get 53 percent of the entire proceeds while the remaining 47 percent will go to the state governments. 

In April 2022, the National Council on Privatisation approved the adoption of a fast-track strategy for the privatisation of the five power plants which include Geregu, Omotosho, Olorunsogo, Calabar and Benin-Ihovbor.

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Banking Sector

UBA America Strengthens Commercial Diplomacy, Hosts Diplomats, Others at World Bank Summit

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UBA

UBA America, the United States subsidiary of United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc hosted diplomats, government officials and business leaders to a networking reception in partnership with the esteemed Business Council for International Understanding (BCIU) and the U.S. Department of States in Washington DC on Monday .

The event which was held on the sidelines of the ongoing IMF World Bank Spring Meetings was organised by the BCIU and US Department of State to enhance collaboration and fortify commercial diplomacy among nations, institutions and individuals.

Speaking during the event, UBA’s Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Oliver Alawuba, noted that the bank’s co-hosting of the event via its American subsidiary, underscores its commitment towards cultivating robust relationships within the development communities in the United States.

He said, “As a distinguished member of BCIU, a non-profit organisation providing customised commercial diplomacy services, UBA Group and UBA America share BCIU’s vision of actively pursuing strategic opportunities, contributing to global economic cooperation, deepening of economic diplomacy, facilitating ideas, forging partnerships, and adding value for all stakeholders.”.

“Our resolve to co-host this Networking Reception symbolises our dedication to fostering inclusive economic growth and partnership across borders. By leveraging platforms like this, we can collectively address shared challenges and seize opportunities for sustainable development,” he stated further.

BCIU is a non-profit Association comprising of policy experts, strategic advisors, and trade educators, and offers bespoke commercial diplomacy services to the world’s governments and leading organisations, from Fortune 100 companies to global investors and multilateral institutions.

Only last year, the CEO UBA America, Sola Yomi-Ajayi, was appointed to the Board of BCIU, where she collaborates with fellow board members to ensure the organisation operates in alignment with its by-laws and New York 501(c)3 non-profit legislation.

Yomi-Ajayi has been committed to nurturing long-term organisational growth and sustainability, thereby reinforcing the bond between UBA America, BCIU, and the broader international community.

UBA America is the United States subsidiary of United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, one of Africa’s leading financial institutions with presence in 20 African countries, as well as in the United Kingdom, France, and the United Arab Emirates. UBA America serves as a vital link between Africa and the global financial markets, offering a range of banking services tailored to meet the needs of individuals, businesses, and institutions.

As the only sub-Saharan African bank with an operational banking license in the U.S., UBA America is uniquely positioned to provide corporate banking services to North American institutions doing business with or in Africa.

UBA America delivers treasury, trade finance, and correspondent banking solutions to sovereign and central banks, financial institutions, SMEs, foundations, and multilateral and development organizations. Leveraging its knowledge, capacity, and unique position as part of an international banking group, the Bank seeks to provide exceptional value to our customers around the world.

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Banking Sector

Ecobank Pays Off $500 Million Eurobond

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Ecobank - Investors King

Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI) has announced the successful repayment of its $500 million Eurobond.

The Eurobond, issued in April 2019 with a coupon rate of 9.5%, matured on April 18, 2024, and was listed on the London Stock Exchange.

The repayment, totaling $524 million inclusive of principal and interest, underscores Ecobank’s commitment to financial prudence and investor confidence.

The bond garnered substantial support from a diverse group of global investors, including development banks, FMO, and Proparco, serving as anchor investors.

Mr. Ayo Adepoju, Ecobank’s Group CFO, emphasized the significance of the inaugural bond in broadening the institution’s investor base and enhancing its visibility in global capital markets.

Despite challenges in the operating environment, such as disruptions in the global supply chain and financial markets, Ecobank has demonstrated resilience through robust liquidity, a solid balance sheet, and effective leadership.

This repayment marks Ecobank’s commitment to fulfilling its financial obligations and maintaining strong relationships with investors.

While this Eurobond repayment closes a significant chapter, it also reflects Ecobank’s ongoing efforts to navigate challenges and sustain its position as a leading financial institution in Africa.

As Ecobank clears this debt, it reinforces its reputation for financial stability and prudent management, setting a positive trajectory for future growth and continued success in the dynamic global financial landscape.

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Finance

SEC to Guard Against Illicit Funds Influx Amid Banking Recapitalisation

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Securities and Exchange Commission

In response to the recent banking recapitalization exercise announced by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has reiterated its commitment to safeguarding the integrity of the capital market against the influx of illicit funds.

This announcement came during a symposium organized by the Association of Capital Market Academics of Nigeria, where the Executive Director (Operations) of SEC, Dayo Obisan, addressed stakeholders on the implications of the banking sector recapitalization for the Nigerian capital market.

Obisan expressed the commission’s determination to collaborate with stakeholders to prevent the entry of laundered funds into the capital market.

He stressed the need for fund verification exercises to ensure transparency and accountability in capital inflows.

While acknowledging that fund verification is not typically within SEC’s purview, Obisan stated the commission’s willingness to collaborate with other regulators to prevent the entry of illicit funds into the market.

He said it is important to engage institutions such as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) in verifying the legitimacy of funds entering the market.

Obisan also announced regulatory engagements aimed at enhancing the quality of filings and ensuring compliance with anti-money laundering regulations. These engagements seek to streamline the application process and mitigate the risk of illicit fund inflows from the onset.

Meanwhile, the President of the Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers, Oluwole Adeosun, maintained that the capital market can support the fresh capitalisation exercise.

He said, “The market is able and has expanded in the last ten years to be able to withstand any challenges with this capital raising exercise. It is important to know that investors have started to position themselves in the stocks of Tier 1 banks with the announcement of the planned recapitalisation last year.”

Adeosun also called on the banks to consider other options beyond the right issues, as had been seen in recent days in the sector, given the size of the funds needed to be raised as well as to bring in a fresh set of investors into the market.

“There should be more than a rights issue. We believe that some of them should go by private offer and public offer because the capital is huge so that we can bring in more shareholders into the market. We believe it is another opportunity for Gen Zs and millennial investors to come into the market.

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