- UN Backs AfDB’s $10bn Power Initiative
The United Nations has thrown its weight behind the quest of the African Development Bank to provide electricity to 250 million people in Africa through its ‘ Desert to Power’ electricity initiative.
A statement made available to our correspondent in Abuja on Wednesday revealed that the United Nations Secretary General, António Guterres, threw his weight behind the project at a meeting with the AfDB President, Akinwumi Adesina, in New York.
Development impact on the continent and security in the Sahel were among the top issues discussed by both multilateral leaders as they agreed to strengthen ties and push development agenda in Africa.
According to the statement, both leaders also agreed that current efforts must succeed in Africa, or risk failing globally, and they emphasised the need for deeper collaboration between their institutions to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.
Guterres signalled his strong support for the AfDB’s flagship ‘Desert to Power’ initiative.
The $10bn initiative to build a 10 GW solar zone across the Sahel aims to develop and provide 10 GW of solar energy by 2025 and supply 250 million people with green electricity including in some of the world’s poorest countries.
Adesina was quoted to have said, “Secretary General Guterres and I had a highly productive engagement and committed to enhancing strategic and operational partnerships between the UN and the AfDB.
“I am encouraged by the Secretary General’s generous support for the bank’s development initiatives, which we are certain will bear fruit across the continent.”
Adesina also briefed the Secretary General about ongoing discussions on the bank’s General Capital Increase designed to address Africa’s growing lending demands.
The Secretary General committed to advocating “the mobilisation of adequate resources in order to further the bank’s development goals.”
Investors Oversubscribed for FGN Bonds by N205.87 Billion in October
FG October Bonds Oversubscribed by N205.87 Billion
The Debt Management Office (DMO) has said investors oversubscribed for the Federal Government’s October bonds by N205.87 billion.
The DMO stated this after concluding the monthly FGN bonds auction on Wednesday.
Two instruments of 12.5 per cent FGN March 2035 re-opening 15-year bond and 9.8 per cent FGN July 2045 re-opening 25-year bond were auctioned.
The two bonds of N15bn each with a total auction figure of N30bn received a subscription of N235.87bn.
The 15-year tenor and 25-year tenor bonds received 99 and 67 bids but recorded 21 and 26 successful bids respectively.
The amounts allotted for each of the bids were N20bn and N25bn respectively.
According to the DMO, successful bids for the 15-year tenor bond and 25-year tenor bonds were allotted at the marginal rates of 4.97 per cent and six per cent respectively.
However, it added, the original coupon rates of 12.5 per cent for the 12.5 per cent FGN March 2035 bond and the 9.8 per cent for the 9.8 per cent FGN July 2045 bonds would be maintained.
Lafarge Africa Sustains Growth in Third Quarter, Reports N53.3bn Revenue
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.”
Despite COVID-19 Pension Assets Hit N11.4 Trillion
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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