New Dangote Promo To Make 21 Million Cement Users Rich

In an unprecedented move to empower millions of its product consumers economically, leading cement manufacturer, Dangote Cement Plc yesterday launched a jumbo consumer promo tagged “Dangote Cement Bag of Goodies”, which is designed to produce 21 million winners across the country.

The promo, which runs between July and September in which prizes worth billions of Naira would be won, was formally unveiled to the media at a news briefing in Lagos. Lucky consumers are to win 43 cars, 24 tricycles, 24 motorcycles, 550 refrigerators, 400 television sets, 300,000 Dangote foods goodies packs and recharge cards for all networks worth N200,000,000.00

While unveiling the promo, the Group Managing Director of Dangote Cement Plc, Engr. Joseph Makoju, who was represented by the Group Executive Director of Dangote Industries Limited, Knut Ulvmoen said the company decided to run the biggest promo ever in Nigeria as a way of contributing to the economic wellbeing of the consumers of its products given the prevailing economic situation.

He said the promo is to reward valued consumers for their unflinching partnership in ensuring that our range of cement products remains today the first choice for construction purposes across the country, and added that the consumer promotion gives opportunities for existing and new consumers to get a step ahead of their struggle for economic emancipation by winning any of the give-away items which has economic value.

“We have made it so transparent that you don’t have to go through any raffle or draw associated with many other promotions in the country. You win instantly because what is revealed in the scratch card is what you win”, he stated.

Explaining why Dangote Cement launched such a humongous promo, Mr. Knut explained that Dangote Cement is the largest in Africa with the largest production capacity and therefore decided to reward the consumers in the biggest way ever experienced in the country. Mr. Aliko Dangote who is the richest man in Nigeria own Dangote cement, in fact, he became one of the richest people in the world through Dangote Cement.

In her presentation on the promo, Dangote Cement Marketing Director, Mrs. Funmi Sanni stated that “Consumers are at the heart of what we do; without them there is no business. Consumers are important and a fundamental factor of production without which production process is incomplete and our ability to remain in business becomes impossible.

“To grow our business, we must constantly create value in terms of quality product and service, competitive pricing and depositing in consumers’ emotional bank accounts in order to become their preferred choice of brand at the point of purchase.”

The Marketing Director said as a business, the management of Dangote Cement recognizes the importance of every member of its value chain, distributors; wholesalers; and retailers, “and as such we have invested in growing their businesses through various empowerment schemes.”

According to her, the new Dangote cement promo bags have been shipped to all distributors and sellers nationwide and therefore there is no fear of scarcity of the new cement product.

She added that “every promo bag of cement contains a scratch card carrying winning items carefully inserted in each bag. Consumers need to be educated to scratch gently so as not invalidate their wining card.” She disclosed that the promo cuts across all Dangote Cement’s brands which include 3X, Falcon and BlocMaster.

Mrs. Sanni explained that the consumer promo was in line with the mission of the company which is to touch the lives of the people by providing their basic needs, and pointed out that the consumer promotion is another huge investment to help the customers improve their rate of sales and make more profit while at the same time improve the consumers’ quality of life. “We are doing this for the sake of our consumers who have not really benefitted much from our previous promo.”

The promo was also endorsed by the National Lottery Regulatory Commission. The Deputy Director and Coordinator of the Lagos Liaison Office of the NLRC, Mrs. Nkiru Onuzulu said the promo had been approved and registered with the Commission and can assure that it would be transparent, free and fair all through the processes.

“I can assure you that what you win is what you will get because we are monitoring and regulating the promo, and given the calibre of the company running this promo which is Dangote Cement, there won’t be any undercut.”

Also attesting to the inherent transparency in the promo, President of Blockmakers Association of Nigeria, Alhaji Rasidi Adebowale said Dangote has done a lot of promos that benefited the blockmakers in the past where there was no issue. He said this cannot be an exception.

Sunu Assurances backs recapitalisation

The ongoing move to recapitalise Nigerian insurance sector will lead to emergence of a more virile, productive and competitive insurance sector that will contribute more to national development.

Managing Director Sunu Assurances Nigeria Plc  Mr Samuel Ogbodu, at the weekend praised the new policy on minimum capital requirements for insurance functions recently released by the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), noting that the move was in the best interest of the insurance sector.

NAICOM had in May 2019 released new capital requirements for insurance businesses with a 13-month compliance period for operators to shore up their minimum capital base to the required level. The minimum paid-up share capital of a life insurance company was increased from N2 billion to N8 billion, non-life insurance from N3 billion to N10 billion, composite insurance from N5 billion to N18 billion while re-insurance companies were directed to raise their capital base from N10 billion to N20 billion.

Ogbodu spoke in Lagos at the Capital Market Correspondents Association of Nigeria (CAMCAN) Quarterly Forum themed, “Deepening insurance penetration through effective broker engagement”.

He said the recapitalisation would lead to consolidation of the insurance sector and provide more opportunities for large ticket transactions while positioning Nigerian insurance companies as big players, as against the current trend of being agents to foreign insurance underwriters.

He added that insurance brokers would have more creative roles to play towards harnessing the benefits of the new capital base requirement.

According to him, the recapitalisation will help to reposition the Nigerian insurance sector to take its rightful place in the country’s economy as insurance companies would at the end of the recapitalisation be able to take up opportunities hitherto taken by foreign companies.

He said various efforts aimed at boosting the insurance sector’s contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) from its present 0.1 per cent level would be accelerated with the implementation of the new capital base.

Ogbodu was optimistic that insurance penetration in the country would surpass one per cent with proper implementation of the capital raising exercise as players would be forced to harness new grounds.

He assured shareholders that Sunu Assurances Nigeria would surpass the new capital base of N10 billion.

“Sunu is positioned to take up the new challenges, having been rightly placed to meet up with the new capital requirement of N10 billion, even as the framework for the new policy is yet to be released,” Ogbodu said.

He said the new era would open doors for new products, reduce challenges posed by liquidity in the sector, strengthen financial inclusion and as well re-open new regulatory windows for regulators.

He pointed out that Sunu Assurances with its presence in over 14 countries, combined robust product offerings and a unique technology-driven platform, provides insurance management solutions at competitive costs to individuals and institutions.

Executive Director, Strategy and Performance, Sunu Assurances Nigeria Plc, Mr Karim Dione, also lauded the recapitalisation effort, noting that recapitalisation was the right step to take.

He said the players needed to have profitable businesses adding that the potential in Nigeria in terms of size, potential, and resources was enormous for the Sunu Group, which is ready to meet the new capital base.

“SUNU is here to stay because Nigeria is the real market in Africa in size, potential, resources and population,” Dione said.

He noted that the company’s fully paid capital presently stands at N7 billion against N10 billion required for general insurance.

Dione said the company would fully comply with the Naicom’s policy but urged the Commission to make clarification on whether total shareholders’ funds or paid-up share capital will be used to measure the minimum capital base.

Dione said enforcement of the new capital requirement would boost penetration, and also enable companies to take bigger risks.

“Nigeria is extremely competitive, when there are too many players in the industry, it will lead to price dumping. We need to reduce the players in the industry to boost the reputation of the industry,” Dione said.

He said Nigerian insurance brokers were largely professional and ethical contrary to insinuations in some quarters.

Stressing the role of brokers in the sector, Ogbodu said the sector’s earnings were mainly due to the contributions of the brokers that stood at 80 per cent.

“Without the brokers, there won’t be insurance; they contribute about 80 per cent of the earnings. We place very high premium on brokers,” Ogbodu said.

He also commended the efforts of brokers in the industry in strengthening insurance penetration.

Banks’ non-performing loans fall to 9% – CBN

The non-performing loans of the banks fell by six per cent from 15 per cent in June 2017 to nine per cent in May 2019, the Central Bank of Nigeria said.

It stated that Capital Adequacy Ratio for the banking industry improved from 11 per cent in June 2017 to over 16 per cent in May 2019 and liquidity levels had also increased by over 20 per cent within the same period.

The bank said, “In addition, the ratio of non-performing loans in the banking system has reduced from 15 per cent in June 2017 to nine per cent in May 2019, due to concerted efforts by the CBN and the Deposit Money Banks, although more work is being done to moderate NPL levels to the maximum prescribed level of five per cent.

“Our financial institutions are well-positioned to perform their intermediation role, which will ultimately help in supporting the growth of our economy.”

According to the bank, the drop-in commodity prices affected a good number of banks given their exposure to the oil and gas sector.

Unfortunately, it added, these resulted in an increase in non-performing loans of its banks.

As a result of risk management measures embarked upon by the CBN, it added, capital adequacy and liquidity ratios of commercial banks were now above the prudential level.

Banking sector’s non-performing loans stood at N1.676tn as of the end of March 2019, the latest statistics from the National Bureau of Statistics revealed.

The gross loans recorded in the banking sector stood at N15.480tn, while the loans after specific provisions stood at N13.739tn in the period under review.

The ratio of the non-performing loans to total loans was 10.83 per cent, while non-performing loans to total loans after specific provisions was 12.2 per cent.

The figure of non-performing loans at the end of 2018 was N1.792tn, while the gross loans and loans after specific provisions were N15.353tn and N13.562tn respectively.

SEC urges defunct Skye Bank shareholders to claim dividends

The Securities and Exchange Commission has issued a circular, reiterating its earlier directives to shareholders of defunct Skye Bank Plc to claim their dividends.

The acting Director-General, Ms Mary Uduk, said the directive was part of its investor protection programme to ensure that shareholders got the benefits of investing in the capital market.

She said, “We have informed shareholders of the defunct Skye Bank that unclaimed dividends declared by the bank are being held in trust on their behalf. This will further help reduce the volume of unclaimed dividends in the market and boost investor confidence

“Investors that have unclaimed dividends are, therefore, advised to contact Cardinalstone Registrars to process their dividend payments.”

Uduk said the commission has also directed Cardinalstone Registrars and STL Trustees to ensure that all genuine claims of beneficiary shareholders were addressed forthwith.

She said since the company was no longer in operation, the unclaimed dividends had to be made available to the rightful owners as it would go a long way in boosting investor confidence in the market.

“They invested in a company and since the company has gone under, there is no reason why they should not have access to their unclaimed dividends. That is why we are calling on them to take advantage of this opportunity and claim their dividends,” Uduk stated.

PenCom assures retirees of prompt pension payment

 The National Pension Commission on Monday assured retirees of prompt payment of their pension. The Acting Director-General, PenCom, Mrs Aisha Dahir-Umar, gave the assurance during the opening session of a pre-retirement workshop for Federal Government workers that are due to retire in 2020 under the Contributory Pension Scheme.

She said the commission considers contributors who are about to join the CPS retirees as very important stakeholders, adding that everything was being done to ensure they enjoy life after retirement.

The PenCom boss said the objectives of the Pension Reform Act of 2014 was to ensure that every person who worked in either in the Public Service of the Federation, Federal Capital Territory, States and Local Governments or the Private Sector receive his or her retirement benefits as and when due.

She said through the Pension Reform Act,  the commission had been able to establish uniform set of rules, regulations and standards for all aspects of pension administration, including payment of retirement benefits to retirees among others. As part of of its annual regulatory activities, Dahir-Umar said the commission had finalised arrangements to commence the verification of prospective retirees who would be retiring in the by next year from the public service of the federation.

She said the verification exercise which was scheduled to hold next month in 15 centres across the country, necessitated the need to undertake adequate sensitisation and public enlightenment in order to prepare prospective retirees on the steps to take towards a hitch-free retirement life.

The Acting DG urged the prospective retirees to make suggestions during and after the workshops on issues that may further help to make retirement life more comfortable for the future retirees.

“There is nothing to fear at retirement. We expect the session to be interactive, make suggestions. “We appreciate all our contributors; without contributors, no pension industry. You will become even more important to us at retirement. And I hope this relationship continues even in retirement,”Dahir-Umar said.

NPA sets up committee on Apapa gridlock

The Nigerian Ports Authority has set up a committee to look at the contending issues surrounding the Apapa gridlock, its effect on stakeholders and mitigating steps.

The General Manager, Corporate and Strategic Communications, NPA, Jatto Adams, disclosed this to our correspondent over the weekend.

Also during the weekend, reports had surfaced that the agency might be prevailed upon to grant a-30 per cent waiver on lease and container throughput fees to terminal operators in order to cushion the effect of the Apapa traffic.

The report had quoted the Executive Secretary, Nigerian Shippers Council, Hassan Bello, as stating this when he said the traffic situation in Apapa called for special sacrifice from all stakeholders involved in the port process.

Bello was quoted to have said that the NSC was currently in talks with NPA on the need to grant the 30 per cent waiver in port dues to terminal operators.

He said “We are also talking with NPA to relax and make the charges and give 30 per cent waiver of certain charges within the period contemplated. This is a temporary measure, but this is what I call general average sacrifice in order to save the situation. When a ship is about to capsize, we have a general average situation where the heavy cargoes are jettisoned and thrown overboard in order for the ship to survive.

“This is what we have been doing, everybody is coming along. Why the usual taskforce failed at that time was because there was no coming together of minds. It was just touching of one thing. Meanwhile, the problem of the port is a hydra-headed monster, when you cut one, another three will spring up.”

Adams, however, said a decision had not been taken concerning a-30 per cent waiver on the agency’s lease.

“I am not aware of this 30 per cent waiver on our lease, but talks are ongoing and a committee is in place to look at contending issues. So, until the report of the committee is made available to the management for an informed decision, no waiver has been granted,” he said.

Stock market slumps by N479bn in June

The nation’s stock market slumped by 3.55 per cent in June as investors recorded losses totalling N479bn.

The market, which opened the month of June with a market capitalisation of N13.685tn, a value recorded on May 31, 2019, closed 1102.5 basis points lower at a market capitalisation of N13.206tn on Friday, June 28, which was the last trading day in the month.

After three consecutive weeks of losses, investors in the stock market gained N50.9bn in the last week of the month, which is also the last week in the first half of the year.

The market opened the year with a market capitalisation of N11.721tn, dropping to its lowest point during the year at N10.627tn on May 15, a day before MTN Nigeria Communications Plc’s listing on the Nigerian Stock Exchange.

MTN listed its shares on May 16, driving the market capitalisation up to N12.526tn as it added N1.8tn to the total market capitalisation.

The market capitalisation climbed further to N13.400tn on May 21 and N13.864tn on May 23, after which it started declining, dropping to as low as N13.048tn on June 26.

The market witnessed a rebound on June 27 as the market capitalisation gained N62bn to settle at N13.110tn, and a further N96bn on June 28 to settle at N13.206tn.

Analysts at Vetiva Capital Management Limited said while the election season and MTN listing were the two major factors that shaped market performance in H1, they believed the second half of the year would be primarily driven by economic policy direction (early appointment of cabinet members) and expected the listing of large corporates, among others.

They said, “While current cheap valuations on the exchange support an expectation for a market correction in H2’19, we expect the market to continue to exhibit a mixed trading pattern as investors remain wary of unimpressive macroeconomic conditions.”

NAFDAC suspends new tariffs on pharmaceutical products, others

Image result for NAFDAC suspends new tariffs on pharmaceutical products, othersThe National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control has suspended the implementation of the new tariffs on pharmaceutical, food and allied products.

NAFDAC disclosed this on Friday in a statement signed by its Director of Public Affairs, Dr Abubakar Jimoh.

It said the decision became necessary following the agitations against the new tariffs.

The implementation of the tariffs was expected to have commenced on June 1, but it was resisted by stakeholders.

To douse the tension, the council urged all the parties to maintain status quo, while it continued to dialogue with critical stakeholders on the review of tariffs.

The statement read in part, ‘In a decisive and quick move to douse tension and assuage the yearnings of stakeholders in the pharmaceutical, food and allied industries, the Governing Council of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control has suspended implementation of the new tariffs, which came into effect on June 1, 2019.

“After a marathon stakeholders’ forum and meeting of the Governing Council, it was resolved that all NAFDAC stakeholders affected by the new tariffs will henceforth revert to payment of the old tariffs until further notice.”

The statement quoted the Chairman, NAFDAC Governing Council, Mr Inuwa Abdul-Kadir, as saying that the status quo remained while the agency would continue to dialogue with all the concerned stakeholders on the tariff review and other regulatory issues.

Abdul-Kadir said the council had considered substantially the inputs of the stakeholders in arriving at a new tariff regime, which would soon be released by the agency after concluding all the necessary procedures,  including sensitising the public before it would become effective.

According to him, the suspension of the new tariffs is borne out of NAFDAC’s avowed commitment to the promotion of the growth of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises in the country.

MTN targets faster Internet speed, launches 4G+

MTN Nigeria Communications Plc has launched 4G+ in Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt.

A statement issued by the country’s largest telecommunication company on Tuesday described the MTN 4G+ technology as a 4G LTE advanced technology using a combination of the recently acquired 800 MHz spectrum and 2600 MHz.

The telco explained that the added spectrum and advanced technology extended the reach and capacity of its data network in Nigeria and enabled speeds of up to 200 megabytes per seconds.

According to MTN, the new technology means a 30-minute HD video could take as little as three minutes to download on 4G+, while the same video would take around eight minutes to download on standard 4G.

Commenting on the new service, the Chief Operating Officer, MTN Nigeria, Mazen Mroue, said, “It’s about the customer. We put the customer at the heart of everything that we do.”

He said the launch of 4G+ represented a natural evolution from MTN’s already fast and reliable 4G network and further demonstrated the company’s commitment to continued investment in technology that caters to the present and future needs of its customers and country.

Airtel offers shares at N363 on NSE

Airtel Africa has announced the successful pricing of its Initial Public Offering at N363 per share on the Nigerian Stock Exchange and 80 pence per share on the London Stock Exchange.

The telecom company, while announcing the offer price for the shares on Friday, estimated its market capitalisation at N1.4tn or $3.9bn or £3.1bn on completion of the offer.

Airtel Africa, a subsidiary of Bharti Airtel, said the offer was dominantly allocated to global strategic and pre-IPO investors only as well as Nigerian investors.

According to the company, the offer comprises 744,047,619 new shares  — being the total of 704,819,651 new shares in respect of the global offer to institutional investors in various jurisdictions outside of Nigeria and 39,227,968 new shares in respect of the offer to qualified institutional investors and high net worth investors in Nigeria, equating to a total offer size of approximately £595m (N270bn or $750m).

Airtel said the offer size represented about 19 per cent of the company’s issued share capital immediately following United Kingdom Admission and Nigerian Admission.

“The offer also came with a secondary listing on the Nigeria Stock Exchange with meaningful allocations to Nigerian investors,” it added.

Commenting on the announcement, the Chief Executive Officer, Airtel Africa, Raghunath Mandava, said, “We are delighted by the strong response we have received from the many high-quality investors from around the world.  This is a proud moment for the team that has built Airtel Africa into the second largest mobile operator in Africa.