17 Aug

Daily Watch – BDCs get bigger slice of pie, Lagos knocks Uber

  • Nigeria is looking for $7 billion in mining and steel investment over the next decade as it seeks to develop gold and iron ore extraction industries to diversify its oil-dependent economy. The government has made it a priority to meet annual steel demand pegged at 6.8 million metric tonnes, from a current output of a third of that, produced mainly from scrap iron, Solid Minerals Development Minister Kayode Fayemi said. “About $5 billion will kick-start the mining sector,” Fayemi said. This comes as the Mining Cadastral Office announced that the duration for the award of mining licenses has been reduced to 40 days.
  • The CBN has said that it will raise the amount of weekly foreign currency volumes which banks are authorised to sell to BDCs to $50,000 from the initial $30,000. Also, the regulator said the special intervention fund drawn from banks’ cash reserves will now be disbursed to support the real sector, particularly primary agricultural projects and core manufacturing.
  • Customs has sealed off the warehouses of NAHCO and SAHCO at the international terminal of the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos over stolen donkey skins from Kenya. Customs sources at the airport said that export warehouses were sealed off after a plot to export the contraband to China by some Chinese nationals was uncovered. The NCS says Chinese nationals were using Nigerian airports and seaports to smuggle Kenyan animal products to Asia.
  • PZ Cussons announced a dividend of 50 kobo per share for its shareholders for the year ended May 31, 2016. The company said in an NSE filing that the closure period for the dividend is from September 19 to 23, while payment will be made on October 7, after its AGM in Abuja. Although details of its audited financial results were not immediately available, the 50 kobo dividend is lower than the 61 kobo per share paid in 2015, with a challenging operating environment weighing down on earnings. In Q3 ending February 2016, PZ Cussons reported a 41 percent drop in profit after tax to ₦1.647 billion, from ₦2.787 billion in the corresponding period in 2015.
  • Lagos says that vehicles without its franchise being used for taxi operations will be seized, in what is sure to be seen as a blow to ride sharing services like Uber. The Special Adviser to Governor Ambode on Transportation, Anofiu Elegushi, said that the government was determined to regulate taxi operations in the state to ensure safety and security of passengers. The Director of Public Transportation and Commuter Service, Olubunmi Odukoya, said the terms of taxi operations were contained in the Lagos State Road Traffic Law, 2012, with subsequent regulations approved in January 2016.