Stanbic IBTC to provide N18bn facility for Eland Oil & Gas

Stanbic IBTC, working with its group brand, Standard Bank Group of South Africa, has partnered Eland Oil & Gas,  West Africa with an initial focus on Nigeria, to provide a new accordion facility and increased borrowing base of $50m (about N18bn).

In a statement on Thursday, the bank said this was in line with its resolve to enhance business growth and expansion.

The facility is being underwritten by Stanbic IBTC Bank and Standard Bank, while Stanbic IBTC Capital Limited would act as a joint book runner, the statement said.

“An accordion facility is essentially an incremental facility, which allows a borrower to take an additional facility over and above what was originally agreed with the financier on the same terms as the original facility for expansion purposes,” the bank explained.

In November 2018, Eland Oil & Gas announced that it had successfully refinanced its existing reserve-based lending facility with a new five-year syndicated RBL facility in an amount of $75m, with the option to increase it to up to $200m through an accordion, subject to incremental production and reserves.

Speaking during the announcement, Stanbic IBTC said the deal was an opportunity to support Eland Oil & Gas’ business expansion drive in the oil and gas industry.

According to the financial institution, it will continue to leverage its excellent investment banking pedigree as well as the strength of its franchise in the Standard Bank Group, the largest financial institution in Africa, to consummate such big ticket deals that will not only help businesses grow but also help deepen key industries.

The oil and gas company announced that following a re-determination, the borrowing base amount increased from $103m to $134m and an initial accordion increase of $50m was being underwritten by Standard Bank of South Africa and Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc, resulting in the commitments under the facility increasing from $75m to $125m. Of the commitments, $50m was currently drawn, it added.

Chief Financial Officer, Eland Oil & Gas, Ron Bain, who spoke on the deal, said, “I am pleased to announce the large increase in borrowing base on our RBL facility, which demonstrates the hugely accretive quality of the new wells drilled on the OML 40 asset and the growth in value they bring to our shareholders.

“Since refinancing the RBL in 2018 into a longer-term facility, we have the flexibility to diversify the capital structure of the company leveraging our position comfortably within our debt parameters and lowering the overall cost of capital.”

Climate change: World Bank, AfDB pledge $47.5bn for Nigeria, others

World Bank

The World Bank and the African Development Bank said on Thursday that they would together commit $47.5bn by 2025 to help African countries tackle the effects of climate change.

Despite contributing four per cent of the global greenhouse-gas emissions, more than 65 per cent of Africa’s population is directly impacted by climate change, according to the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa.

The World Bank said it would spend $22.5bn over five years from 2021, to help Africa tackle the dangers posed by climate change.

The Interim President, World Bank, Kristalina Georgieva, told BBC Africa TV’sMoney Daily programme that Africa remained vulnerable to the effects of climate change through prolonged drought, floods and destructive storms.

“Unless we make Africa more resilient, we will see by 2030, 100 million people more falling into poverty rather than being pulled out of poverty,” she said.

Georgieva said the World Bank had also stepped up its efforts to mobilise investments in renewable energy such as solar, which contributes just 1.5 per cent of the continent’s electricity needs.

The AfDB said it would double its climate finance commitments for the period 2020 to 2025, pledging at least $25bn.

The President, AfDB, Akinwumi Adesina, made the announcement at the One Planet Summit in Nairobi.

Speaking at a plenary in the presence of Heads of State, including President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya, and French President Emmanuel Macron, Adesina also announced that the bank was on course to achieve its target of allocating 40 per cent of its funding to climate finance by 2020, a year ahead.

The bank’s commitment on the target, the highest among all multilateral development banks, has progressed steadily from nine per cent in 2016 to 28 per cent in 2017 and 32 per cent in 2018, according to a statement.

It said considering Africa’s high vulnerability despite contributing the least to climate change, the AfDB had successfully raised its adaptation finance from less than 30 per cent of total climate finance to parity with mitigation in 2018.

Adesina said, “The required level of financing is only feasible with the direct involvement of the entire financial sector. Consequently, the bank launched the African Financial Alliance for Climate Change to link all stock exchanges, pension and sovereign wealth funds, central banks and other financial institutions of Africa to mobilise and incentivise the shift of their portfolios towards low carbon and climate resilient investments.”

He said it was not good enough to simply ask countries to stay away from polluting technologies.

“We have to be proactive in exploring alternatives. We will, therefore, be launching the ‘green baseload’ facility under the Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa, to provide concessional finance and technical assistance to support the penetration and scale-up of renewable energy, to provide affordable and reliable renewable energy baseload,” Adesina added.

According to the statement, several donors, including Canada, Denmark, Germany, Norway, Italy, the United Kingdom and United States Agency for International Development have indicated their interest in the instrument, which will also help to replace coal.

It said the AfDB had played a critical role in building Africa’s clean energy capacities, adding that the bank’s last investment in a coal project was 10 years ago.

The statement said, “Additionally, and in line with its ambitious New Deal on Energy for Africa, 95 per cent of all bank investments in power generation over the 2016-18 period have been in renewables.”

Bank plans zero interest rate loans for women entrepreneurs

Women in Business at First City Monument Bank Limited have said they plan to introduce a proposition that offers zero-interest rate on loans to small and medium scale enterprises.

In a statement, they said women entrepreneurs in Nigeria who desired affordable and convenient funding to boost their respective businesses would have access to such funds.

The statement added that the development was in line with the commitment of the bank to empower women-owned SMEs (existing and start-ups), through financial support, advisory and value-added products to enhance customer experience and overall contribution to the growth of the country and its economy.

FCMB, it added, had established a dedicated desk for women-owned businesses under its Business Banking Group and equipped the unit with professional personnel to meet the needs of the segment.

The bank explained that the zero-interest rate product, which was for an initial period of three months, was designed as an all-round programme structured to prepare and equip the bank’s female owned SMEs’ customers to take their business to greater heights.

It added that the product came with additional benefits, such as capacity building programmes through training and financial advisory services.

The statement said, “80 women, every quarter, will have access to mentorship and training and 40 of these women will benefit from the loan. This means that by the end of the year, we will have mentored 320 women and 160 women will have enjoyed the facility.”

Commenting on the product, the Executive Director, Business Development,FCMB, Mrs Bukola Smith, noted that women had become important assets for social and economic growth, going by their business undertakings and exploits in the establishment and management of SMEs.

She said, “At FCMB, we recognise and appreciate the noble efforts of women entrepreneurs in the areas of job and wealth creation, poverty reduction, empowerment and the overall socio-economic development of Nigeria.

“Our zero-interest loan product is tailored to offer sustainable benefits and increase the productivity and contributions of women-owned SMEs. It will further unravel and unleash the true potential of women in entrepreneurship so that they can take their respective businesses to greater heights and compete favourably in the global environment.

“We have also put in place structures and processes to ensure transparent selection of the beneficiaries. We will, hopefully, increase the number of beneficiaries on a yearly basis and keep enriching the other value-added advisory services to cater to the emerging and pressing challenges women face in their businesses.”

FG paid N1.62tn cash call in 11 months –NNPC

The Federal Government paid a total of N1.628tn in the joint venture cash call from January to November 2018, latest data from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation have shown.

The dollar allocation to the JV cash call account was $3.712bn while the naira portion was N496.703bn, according to the corporation.

The nation’s oil and gas production structure is split between JV (onshore and in shallow waters) with foreign and local firms and Production Sharing  Contracts in deep water offshore.

The NNPC owns 55 per cent of the JVs with Shell, and 60 per cent of all the others, and the JVs are jointly funded by the private oil companies and the Federal Government through the corporation.

The Group Managing Director, NNPC, Dr Maikanti Baru, said in June last year announced that the corporation had settled all outstanding cash call arrears amounting to $5bn, and that this had restored confidence in the country’s oil and gas industry.

In 2016, the international oil companies operating in Nigeria agreed to give the Federal Government a discount of $1.7bn from the $6.8bn cash call indebtedness of the NNPC to them.

The federation crude oil and gas lifting are classified into equity export and domestic, both of which are lifted and marketed by the NNPC and the proceeds remitted into the Federation Account.

The equity export receipts, after adjusting for JV cash calls, are paid directly into Federation Account domiciled in Central Bank of Nigeria.

The NNPC said, “Total export receipt of $605.71m was recorded in November 2018 as against $640.35m in October 2018. Of the export receipts, $159.02m was remitted to Federation Account while $446.70m was remitted to fund the JV cost recovery for November to guarantee current and future production.

“Total export crude oil and gas receipt for the period November 2017 to November 2018 stood at $5.91bn. Out of which the sum of $4.24bn was transferred to JV cash call as the first line charge and the balance of $1.67bn was paid into Federation Account.”

From the naira proceeds got from the sale of domestic crude oil and gas from November 2017 to November 2018, a total of N569.99bn was transferred to the JV cash call account.

The NNPC recently said it had signed two sets of alternative financing agreements with NNPC/Chevron Nigeria Limited JV and NNPC/Shell Petroleum Development Company JV on JV projects.

Heritage Bank supports startups, offers $25,000 grants

Heritage Bank Plc says it has adopted a focused approach that removes barriers and spurs the critical sector of the economy to grow with the introduction of its innovation accelerator programme tagged, ‘HB LAB’.

In a statement, it said the maiden edition of HB LAB was a 12-week programme, expected to provide technology startups with enabling environment, resources and support required to innovate and accelerate impactful solutions with the potential to radically improve financial inclusion, agriculture and other related problems affecting critical sectors of the economy.

The application portal, which was launched at the end of January 2019, closed recently, it stated.

The bank said about 154 applicants who applied were reviewed and 24 of them scored above 60, while the final selection would produce seven successful applicants and the winner would emerge.

Speaking on the HB LAB, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the bank, Ifie Sekibo, observed that in Nigeria, technology startups still accounted for a relatively small share of all businesses, but had an outsized impact on economic growth because they provided better-paying, longer-lasting jobs than other start-ups, and they contributed more to innovation, productivity, and competitiveness.

He disclosed that the team with the most compelling solution would be awarded a $25,000 grant alongside access to workspace and Information Technology infrastructure for solution testing and development for a defined period.

According to him, the HB Innovation Lab Programme is open to product development teams and technology-driven startups across Nigeria.

Sekibo stated that the critical areas of focus were financial technology, agriculture, education, digital, security and power.

He noted that the application requirements comprised names, ages, genders, contact numbers, home and email addresses of the participants.

Participants who had previously enlisted to participate in any entrepreneurial/innovation programme with a current website or demo reference point, were expected to discuss idea/solutions not more than 140-character limit.

It added that such participants discussed problem statement (not more than 140-character limit), ideation/solution stage (not more than 140 characters), target market (maximum of 150 words), any challenge(s) faced requiring professional intervention (maximum of 150 words), introduced its team (maximum of 150 words) and upload business plan.

Eko Electricity Distribution Company (EKEDC) Plc, Chief Execultive  Officer, Mr Adeoye Fadeyibi, has assured electricity consumers within EKEDC’s network of safe and reliable power supply.

Fadeyibi, who gave the assurance when EKEDC signed conditions of service with the National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE) and Senior Staff Association of Electricity and Allied Companies (SSAEAC) in Lagos, lauded the successful conclusion and agreement reached with the labour groups in the power sector to sign the conditions of service. He urged the unions’ support to ensuring workers conditions of service in the DisCo implemented without rancour.

The talks on the conditions of service, it was learnt, started since 2016 but the agreement on the side of the Eko DisCo management and the labour was achieved this month.

Fadeyibi said the official signing of the documents was a great success to the company and power sector in general, and urged workers to reflect that in ensuring effective service delivery to consumers. “Today marks another turning point in the company. It is a good day because the issue had lingered for years now.

“I’m celebrating today because both the management and the unions are agreeing on mutual understanding for the betterment of the company and workers. This would foster better understanding and mutual working relationship between the workers and management,” he said, adding that leaders of both labour groups had agreed to sign for the development and growth of the organisation geared towards improved power supply.

He reiterated the management’s support to the growth and improvement of workers welfare in the organisation. The EkEDC’s boss said activities within the  company have increased, adding that everybody should be committed to the job in ensuring better services to the teaming consumers.

He added that the company has improved its customer’s service delivery and boosted consumers’ confidence, which have boosted revenue.  “Therefore, I urge workers to put in their best in ensuring effective service delivery to electricity consumers to retain Eko DisCo’s position as the number one distribution company in Nigeria.”

United Labour Congress (ULC) President and General-Secretary, National Union of Electricity Employees, Comrade Joe Ajaero, led junior staff union members and the Deputy President, SSAEAC, Comrade Jacob O. Adetunji, led the senior staff union members to the signing ceremony. They said with the signing of the conditions of service, “we (EKEDC management and the labour unions) are bound by certain rules and regulations and we will follow the law to the later”.

Other NUEE officers in attendance are NUEE  President Martin Uzoegwu; NUEE National Treasurer, Mercy Oronsanye and NUEE Chairman, Lagos Chapter Bisi Idowu, among others.

Newrest ASL seeks to delist from NSE

Newrest ASL Nigeria Plc has filed application seeking to delist its entire shares from the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).

The NSE yesterday confirmed that it has received application from the board of directors of Newsrest ASL, kick-starting the formal regulatory approval process for a voluntary delisting of its shares from the Exchange.

In the application filed by Newrest ASL’s stockbroker, Helix Securities Limited, the company is seeking to voluntary delist its entire 634 million ordinary shares of 50 kobo each from the Daily Official List of the Exchange.

Head, Listings Regulation, Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Godstime Iwenekhai, stated that the voluntary delisting was due to inability of Newrest ASL to meet up with the 20 per cent free float requirement of the Exchange.

The company stated that in line with the provisions of extant rules, it has opened and deposited sufficient funds to settle minority shareholders in an Escrow Account with Zenith Bank Plc to be managed by Meristem Registrars Limited.

Rule 1.10 of the Rules for Delisting of Equity Securities from the Daily Official List of the Exchange states that: the Issuer shall set aside funds sufficient to purchase the interest of all shareholders who expressed their dissent to the resolution to de-list the Issuer; and the funds shall be domiciled with a Registrar or a Custodian duly registered by and in good standing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has disclosed that over N688.35 billion has been recorded as the value of moveable assets registered on the National Collateral Registry  platform since inception.

CBN Governor,  Godwin Emefiele made this disclosure yesterday in Abuja at the 11th Annual Banking and Finance conference organised by the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria.

According to Emefiele, “since the commencement of active cooperation in May 2016, 552 financial institutions have registered 32,645 financing statements valued at over N688.35 billion, $33.4 million and €60 million on the platform.” The CBN Governor described the National Collateral Registry as one of the programmes that makes funds available to the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises sub-sector of the economy.

He said the National Collateral Registry “is a financial infrastructure introduced to support the crippling market by enabling micro enterprises to use their moveable assets as collateral for bank loans.”

He said, “I am very optimistic that the collateral registry will have tremendous impacts on MSME lending in Nigeria and in the foreseeable future. “This is especially considering with the recent launching of the economic recovery and growth plan which intends to leverage on the power of the private sector in its economic recovery and transformative growth by prioritizing all MSME’s in all critical sectors as a significant source of long term growth.”

Other intervention programmes initiated to support the development of MSME funding in the country he said include: Small and Medium Enterprise creative guarantee scheme; and the Entrepreneurship Development Center.

Godwin Emefiele then challenged banks and other financial institutions to come up with innovative ways to fund the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises sub-sector of the economy.

The CBN governor urged all participants at the conference to debate constructively on the ways to further support MSMEs in Nigeria to be able to perform their primary role of enhancing economic growth and inclusive development.

Akwa Ibom acquires three aircraft for Ibom airline

As part of the industrialisation policy of the Governor Udom Emmanuel administration, the Akwa Ibom State has taken delivery of three aircraft for the take-off of Ibom Airline.

Speaking at the inauguration of the aircraft at the Victor Attah International Airport in Uyo yesterday,  Emmanuel said the airline was a monumental achievement in the state.

He said the aircraft, C-FWNK is only six years old with a sitting capacity of about 90 persons and constitutes the newest and modern fleet of the Canadian airbus.

He said  that Akwa Ibom is the only state in the country to run a state-owned airport and run an airline, adding that the government is running Ibom Air as a business.

He said Ibom Airline will operate routes that would give preference to Akwa Ibom people, and that the government would soon launch one of the best terminal buildings in the country.

He said the government is  focussing on development of the economy on land, air and water, saying so far, the government has constructed over 1,000 kilometers of roads across the state.

Governor Emmanuel said one other aircraft would arrive on Friday in addition to the already unveiled two, pointing out that the Ibom Deep Seaport will soon commence operations before the expiration of his second term in 2023.

He said the launching of Ibom Air is a monumental achievement in Akwa Ibom and indeed Africa. The journey to achieve Ibom Airline started in 2016 and today, it is a reality.

“If we were to search the minds of people, this day would have been frustrated but we give glory to God for making this day a reality.

“I want to charge my people that we can achieve a lot if we come together. This is the only state across the country that runs and operate an international airport. We are the only state that runs a category two runway.

“I want to reassure the former governor, Obong Victor Attah that very soon the MRO will be a place that will maintain fleet of aircraft across the country,” he said.

We are running Ibom Air as a business, paying particular attention to Akwa Ibom people,” he said.

The Senate President, Bukola Saraki, who was the first passenger that arrived the airport in the new aircraft, unveiled the airplane and commended the leadership qualities of the state governor, noting that he has been able to create an environment viable for development.

NCC, ONSA go tough on fraudulent mobile devices

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) have resolved to go after unscrupulous elements who use mobile devices to defraud unsuspecting telecoms subscribers.

To achieve this, the two agencies, working in collaboration with others, yesterday in Abuja, set up two joint committees. The committees are the Project Steering Committee (PSC), comprising the Infrastructure Concession & Regulatory Commission (ICRC), the Federal Ministry of Communications and the NCC; and the Project Delivery Team (PDT) which draws representation from the Federal Ministry of Communications, the ICRC, the Federal Ministry of Finance and the NCC.

The committees, with specific terms of references, are to work together to ensure the implementation of Mobile Devices Management Systems (DMS), a Public-Private Partnership project, aimed at combatting the proliferation of fake, counterfeit, substandard and cloned mobile communications devices in the telecommunication industry.

While inaugurating the committees in Abuja, CEO of NCC,  Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, said the move was in line with the mandate of the Commission, as enshrined in the Nigerian Communications Act (NCA), 2003, to type-approve all devices used in the telecommunications industry and to ensure that all devices used in the telecommunications industry are in line with agreed standards and specifications.