Following the Central Bank of Nigeria’s intervention in foreign exchange, the Naira traded N400 to a dollar at the black market on Wednesday in Abuja.
The Naira has also appreciated against the Pound Sterling and Euro rate as it traded at N510 and N415 respectively.
One of the Bureau de Change operators, simply known as Tijanni Jos, said that the development had caused operators to lose a lot of money.
According to him, operators did not envisage a quick downfall of the dollar which has caused them to buy at an expensive rate hoping to make returns.
The Nigerian currency also traded at N307.5 at the interbank window.
In other segments of the market, Deposit Money Banks and Travelex, an International Money Transfer Services Operator, sold the Naira at N381 to a dollar.
The Governor of CBN, Mr Godwin Emefiele, had on Tuesday, while briefing newsmen on the outcome of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting in Abuja, said the apex bank was determined to see the convergence of rates at the foreign exchange market.
Emefiele said that the CBN was optimistic that the rate between the official and parallel market would converge further.
He also said that the bank could sustain the policy, adding that those who doubt the ability of the bank to take decisions and implement it were taking a great risk.
He noted that the nations’ foreign reserves were trending further to $31bn.
Emefiele had also warned speculators to desist from stocking dollars at home because the CBN intervention would crash the price of dollar, which was already happening.
The CBN had in the last few weeks injected about $1. 7bn into the foreign exchange market.
The shareholders of Zenith International Bank Plc on Wednesday authorised the board and management and board to raise additional capital of N100 billion.
The shareholders gave their mandate for the fresh capital at the bank’s 26th Annual General Meeting (AGM) held in Lagos.
The shareholders also authorised that the additional capital of N100 billion should be raised by way of a public offering, rights issue or any other method deemed fit by the board in local or international market or combination of both.
They also authorised that the bank’s share capital be increased to N25 billion comprising N20 billion by the creation of additional 10 billion ordinary shares of 50k each.
Speaking at the meeting, Mr Sunny Nwosu, founder, Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria (ISAN), commended the bank for the improved performance and final dividend of N1.77 per share in spite of unfriendly operating environment.
Nwosu said that the bank needed to map out strategies aimed at bringing operating expenses to reduce operating cost.
He said that the management must put machineries in place to ensure all loans were recovered.
Mr Nona Awo, a shareholder, said that the bank needed to drive down its unclaimed dividend figure of N3 billion as at Dec. 31, 2016.
Awo said that the bank should increase deposit drive by extending tentacles across the country, especially to unbanked areas.
Mr Peter Amangbo, the bank’s Group Managing Director, said that the bank was working closely with registrars to bring down the unclaimed dividend figure.
Amangbo assured the shareholders that the bank would continue to work hard to grow deposit base.
He stated that the company’s focus was on ways to satisfy its esteemed customers with efficient and effective service delivery mechanism.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the bank declared a profit after tax of N129.65 billion for the financial year ended Dec, 31, 2016 as against the N105.66 billion posted in the preceding period of 2015.
The profit represented an increase of 22.7 per cent when compared to figures for 2015.
Its profit before tax stood at N156.75 against the N125.63 billion declared in the preceding period of 2015.
The bank’ gross earnings grew by 17.4 per cent to N507. 99 billion compared to N432.54 billion recorded in 2015.
Its non-interest income increased by 45.9 per cent to N25.59 billion due to an 809 per cent increase in foreign exchange revaluation gains of N25.6 billion.
This, however, declined by 10 per cent from the N8.2 billion reported in nine months of 2016.
The impairment loss on financial assets rose significantly by 106.4 per cent to N32.35 billion in 2016 and 34.6 per cent based on quarter-on-quarter to N10.2 billion in the fourth quarter of 2016.
NAN reports that the board of directors declared a final dividend of N1.77 per share to all its investors against a final dividend of N1.55 per share paid in 2015 and interim dividend of 25k.
The bank had earlier in 2016, paid the sum of 25k as interim dividend, bringing the total dividend in 2016 to N2.02 per share against N1.80 per share declared in 2015
The labour unions in the aviation sector have threatened to shut down the operations of Arik Air on Thursday over the airline’s management’s failure to reinstate its sacked members and other issues.
The unions are the National Union of Air Transport Employees, Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria and the National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers.
The Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria had on February 9 taken over the airline.
The takeover was as a result of the airline’s huge indebtedness to the company and other creditors, both local and foreign.
AMCON had thereafter appointed Capt. Roy Ilegbodu, as manager of the airline, under the receivership of Mr Oluseye Opasanya, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN).
However, Mr Olayinka Abioye, General Secretary, NUATE, who spoke on behalf of the unions on Wednesday in Lagos, accused the new management of intolerance to unionism.
Abioye said workers seeking to join the unions had the right to do so under Section 40 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 and other International Conventions.
He, however, alleged that the new management, through a circular recently warned the workers not to join the unions in the industry and had refused to address all the pending issues, as they affected the workers.
“Among the issues are the review of conditions of service, remittance of necessary union deductions to their respective unions and the non-reinstatement of sacked union leaders in the airline,’’ he said.
Abioye recalled that the unions in December 2016 had issues with the former management of the airline, which led to the shutdown of Arik’s operations for a day, before the intervention of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority.
“Certain commitments were arrived at from the meeting and we were supposed to have a feedback early this year.
“When we got there, the former Arik Air management was not in sight and we later learnt that the AMCON management has taken over the airline.
“As expected from responsible union bodies, we wrote a letter to the new management seeking for a meeting with them, which was approved.
“We got to that meeting and the airline’s Receiver Manager, acted in an ‘uncivilised’ manner.
“He walked out the leaders of the three unions and asked his bodyguards to send us out.
“Contrary to expectation, a circular was issued by the carrier’s Vice President, Human Resources, to the effect that Arik workers should shun unionism.
“The circular said this is because the airline had zero tolerance for trade unions. That it was a criminal offence,’’ he said.
Abioye said after the scenario that played out, the same management wrote a petition against the unions to the Inspector-General of Police, claiming that the unions had threatened him.
Family confirms identity
After three days of being underwater, the body of Dr. Oji was recovered at about 4pm yesterday by the operatives of the Marine Police and his identity was confirmed by his family at about 5.25pm.
Confirming the incident, the General Manager, LASEMA, Mr. Adesina Tiamiyu, said, “At about 4pm, the body of Dr. Oji was recovered by the Marine Police and the body was identified by some of his family including the driver in the presence of the Commissioner of Police Lagos State, Mr Fatai Owoseni.
“The body will be handed over to the family while investigation continues. I met with the family members to express condenlences on behalf of the Lagos State Government and therefore declared the search closed
Kehinde Akinseinde-Jayeoba – Lagos
LAFARGE Africa Plc has reported in its full year 2016 results progress with its turnaround plan, with a significant increase in profit after tax in Q4 2016. Net sales and operating EBITDA also increased respectively by 12 per cent and by 288 per cent in Q4 2016.
In the quarter, the third-party syndicated loan of 88.4 million USD was pre-paid, through a loan refinancing arrangement with LafargeHolcim Group. This inter-company loan was hedged through a Non-Deliverable Futures (NDF) transaction. Consequently, overall 581 million USD debt was restructured, which removed the FX impact on Lafarge Africa’s results. Net debt was reduced to N108.3 billion, below the N120 billion announced notably supported by capex control and solid cash flows.
Operating EBITDA for FY 2016 reached N29.0 billion from N67.3 billion in 2015, on operational challenges in the first part of the year, while Profit after tax for 2016 financial year came to N16.9billion.
Commenting on the company’s 2016 performance, Michel Puchercos, CEO of Lafarge Africa said the turnaround plan delivered solid results in Q4 2016 in spite of the challenging environment in Nigeria and South Africa.
“Technical challenges have been resolved with all our plants operating at high reliability. Our energy optimization plan has proved successful with increased use of Alternative Fuel (AF) to offset gas shortages. Ewekoro 1 plant migrated from 100 per cent reliance on gas and LPFO to about 40 per cent use of alternative fuels at the plant. Logistics and commercial turnaround plans are in place and enabling to restore market share”.
Speaking further, he stated “Mfamosing line 2 was delivered ahead of time and above specification, and is now fully operational. The new Line contributed 338kt in Q4 2016 to cement production volume and is expected to deliver significant cost savings going forward”.
Looking ahead, the CEO however noted that the company’s immediate objective was to deliver fully on our turnaround plan by optimizing our processes, developing our alternative fuel strategy, reducing operational costs to deliver strong EBITDA margins returning to historic levels.
In the quarter, a tax credit of N39.7 billion was reported mainly resulting from deferred tax assets generated from Unicem operations. This contributed significantly to profitability in Q4 and for the full year 2016.
The Company proposed a dividend of 105 kobo, for approval at the Annual General Meeting scheduled for June 7th 2017