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CBN Warns Public Against Rising Fraudulent Loans, Investment Schemes

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CBN Tells Small Businesses to Disregard Text Messages and Videos of Fraudulent Loans, Investment Schemes

The Central Bank of Nigeria on Thursday warned Nigerians against the rising number of fraudulent loan offers and investment schemes.

Osita Nwanisobi, the Acting Director, Corporate Communications, CBN, made the disclosure in a statement titled “Beware of Fraudulent Loan Offers, Investment Schemes”.

The statement said the apex bank attention had been drawn to several fraudulent messages and videos across social media requesting unsuspecting loan seekers and small business owners to apply for loans or investment schemes purportedly facilitated by the central bank.

He, therefore, said while the apex bank had numerous development intervention programmes to help small businesses, it did not engage in direct interaction with prospective applicants.

He said, “For the avoidance of doubt, there are clearly spelt out procedures for accessing CBN intervention funds, which are disbursed through Participating Finance Institutions, such as Deposit Money Banks, Development Finance Institutions and Microfinance Banks.

“The bank also does not facilitate investment schemes.

Nwanisobi advised small business owners and the youth to disregard video or tex message proposing investment schemes or requesting them to pay fees on the pretext that their organisations were endorsed by the apex bank.

These videos and messages are fraudulent and anyone who enters into correspondence with those behind them does so at his or her own risks,” he stated.

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.

Finance

Lafarge Africa Sustains Growth in Third Quarter, Reports N53.3bn Revenue

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Lafarge Africa

Lafarge Africa Grows Revenue by 31.4 Percent to N53.3bn Revenue in Q3 2020

Lafarge Africa Plc, a cement manufacturer headquartered in Lagos, sustained its strong growth in the third quarter (Q3) ended September 30, 2020.

In the company’s financial results released on the Nigerian Stock Exchange on Friday, the cement manufacturer’s revenue rose by 31.4 percent from N45.172 billion posted in the third quarter of 2019 to N59.337 billion in the third quarter of 2020.

Similarly, operating profit grew by 7.2 percent from N7.746 billion in the corresponding quarter to N8.302 billion in the quarter under review. This strong performance continues across the board as net income expanded by 2.8 percent to N4.867 billion, up from N4.734 billion posted in the third quarter of 2019.

Lafarge earnings per share rose by 2.8 percent to 30 kobo in the third quarter, again up from the 29 kobo posted in the same period of 2019.

On the outlook for the company going forward, the company said:

 Market demand is expected to remain strong in Q4.
 Naira devaluation and inflation remain a concern in Q4.
 The implementation of our “HEALTH, COST & CASH” initiatives would continue to deliver
improvement in our performance.
 We will maintain a healthy balance sheet.

Speaking on the company’s performance, Khaled El Dokani, CEO, Lafarge Africa Plc, said “Our robust results for the first 9 months reflect the strong recovery of the demand in Q3 and the successful implementation of our “HEALTH, COST & CASH” initiatives. Both have delivered considerable improvement in recurring EBIT, net income and free cash flow, despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and Naira devaluation, particularly in Q3.

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Despite COVID-19 Pension Assets Hit N11.4 Trillion

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pension funds

Total Pension Assets Expand to N11.35 Trillion

The National Pension Commission has revealed that the total pension assets rose to N11.35 trillion as of the end of August 2020 despite the COVID-19 pandemic that disrupted businesses and economic productivity.

According to the latest figures from the National Pension Commission,  the commission assets expanded from N11.08 trillion in June 2020 to N11.3 trillion in July.

The report noted that 66.27 percent or N7.51 trillion of the funds had been invested in the Federal Government’s securities.

While some of the funds were also invested in domestic and foreign ordinary shares, corporate debt securities, local money market securities and mutual funds.

In the commission’s second quarter (Q2 2020) report, it said that following “the issuance of demand notices to some defaulting employers whose outstanding pension contribution liabilities had been established by recovery agents, 16 of the affected employers remitted N261.33 million during the period.

“PenCom said this represents a principal contribution of N152.79 million and penalty of N108.54 million during Q2 2020.”

In the commission’s Q2 2020 report, it said “the pension fund administrators (PFAs) 2,839 contributors under the micro pension plan, remitted a total of N7.4 million to the RSAs as pension contributions.

Also in the same quarter, it said the PFAs recaptured 56,990 RSA holders and uploaded their data to the enhanced contributory registration system (ECRS).

PenCom further said the growth in the industry’s membership was driven by the RSA scheme, which had an increase of 41,147 contributors, representing 0.46 percent.

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Airtel Grows Customer Base by 12 Percent to 116.4m in H1

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Airtel Africa Increased Customer Base by 12 Percent to 116.4m in the First Quarter of 2021

Airtel Africa Plc, one of the leading telecommunications companies in Africa, grew customer base by 12 percent to 116.4 million in the first half of the year that ended September 30, 2020.

In the financial results signed by Simon O’Hara, Group Company Secretary, and released through the Nigerian Stock Exchange on Friday, the telecommunication giant reported a 10.7 percent increase in revenue to $1,815 million with second-quarter growth of 14.3 percent.

Similarly, revenue growth in constant currency was 16.4 percent in the first half of the year but 19.6 percent in the second quarter during the peak of COVID-19 locked down.

The report also showed growth was recorded across all regions with Nigeria rising by 20.2 percent. East Africa followed with 21.9 percent growth while Francophone Africa expanded by 4.4 percent.

Services with voice revenue grew by 7 percent with data and mobile money appreciating by 33.4 percent and 30.4 percent, respectively.

Airtel operating profit increased by 19.5 percent to $472 million, representing an increase of 28.3 percent in constant currency. The company’s free cash flow stood at $319 million, up from $210 million filed in the same period of last year.

Raghunath Mandava, chief executive officer, on the trading update: “The first half of our fiscal year included the peak impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in the countries where we operate, as lockdown measures were swiftly implemented to stem the initial spread of contagion. In these unprecedented times, the telecoms industry has emerged as a key and essential service for these economies, allowing customers to work remotely, reduce their travels, keep them connected and allow access to affordable entertainment. In these exceptional circumstances, in the first half, we delivered a strong set of results and as lockdown restrictions eased during Q2 our performance continued to improve with constant currency revenue growth of 19.6%, up 6.6% from the prior quarter.

“Importantly, the fundamentals of our business remain strong and revenue growth further benefitted from the execution of our strategy with a specific focus on expanding distribution in the rural areas, investing in our network and increasing 4G coverage, as well as benefitting from the fact we provide an essential service to consumers. In Q2, performance in our mobile money business also significantly improved with constant currency revenue growth of 33.9%, up 8% from prior quarter, as lockdown restrictions were eased and fees on certain transactions, which had been previously waived, were largely reintroduced. We also continued to enter new partnerships with leading institutions such as WorldRemit, MoneyGram, Standard Chartered Bank, and Mukuru to increase use cases and improve customers’ access to digital
payments and financial services.

We remain alert to the potential for further disruptionsfrom a second wave of COVID-19 across Africa, and the associated actions of governments to minimise contagion. Nevertheless, we are in a strong financial position to capture the opportunities in a fast-growing region that is vastly underpenetrated in terms of mobile and banking services. We remain confident of delivering long term sustained growth for our shareholders.”

Airtel’s full financial year starts from April of the current year and ends in March of the following year.

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