27 Oct

Daily Watch – NUPENG sounds the battle cry, Nigerian online banking is a tear

  • NUPENG has issued a 21-day ultimatum to the Federal Government to prevail on international oil companies operating in the country to stop an ongoing mass retrenchment exercise of industry workers to avoid further job losses. Its National President, Igwe Achese, said many oil companies, including Chevron, ExxonMobil, Pan Ocean and Ground Petroleum were leaving the country following the prevailing economic recession, which has led to the sacking of about 3,000 oil workers.
  • Nigeria’s power supply maintained an average of 4154 MW in the first three weeks of October, with generation for the period under review recording a peak of about 4362 MW on October 12, according to data from both the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission and the Transmission Company of Nigeria. It will be recalled that the country’s power generation attained its peak of 5074.7 MW and also the highest maximum daily energy wheeled nationwide of 109,372 MWh on February 2, 2016. The nation’s power grid recorded 21 collapses in the first half of the year – 16 total collapses and five partial collapses. Over the past two years, the grid collapsed 10 and 13 times respectively, with four partial collapses in both years, indicating a worsening power situation in the country.
  • The Dangote Group says it is currently driving six major projects, which will yield foreign exchange earnings of about $15 billion annually for the country. The group, according to its President, Aliko Dangote, is investing a total of $20 billion in six key projects. According to a statement by the African conglomerate on Tuesday, the projects include a refinery and petrochemical plant, subsea gas pipeline, fertiliser plant, rice production, sugar production and capacity expansion of the cement production subsidiary. In his words, “The fertiliser project, at a cost of $2 billion, will contribute to national food security and sufficiency for Nigeria. It will produce 2.8 million tonnes of Urea per year. The EWOGGS pipeline project, on which $3 billion will be sunk, located near Bonny Island to the Lekki Free Trade 4 zone will unlock significant gas supply for industry, and supply gas to generate 12,000 MW of power.” He further added that “The rice project, a fully integrated rice production and processing operation with a capacity to produce 960,000 metric tonnes of milled rice per annum, will meet 16 percent of Nigeria’s rice need. It has two rice mills of 240,000 MT per season and two crop seasons in a year.” Dangote says the rice project, estimated to cost $1 billion, would cover 150,000 hectares of land in Adamawa, Edo, Jigawa, Kano, Kebbi, Kogi, Kwara, Nasarawa, Niger, Sokoto, Taraba and Zamfara states, with 40 percent of the paddy to be provided by the Dangote Rice Outgrower Scheme.
  • A new KPMG report says 42 percent of Nigerian bank customers use online banking platforms to carry out transactions. Speaking at the presentation of the report in Lagos, the Head of Financial Services Africa at the firm, Adebisi Lamikanra, said much has changed across Africa’s banking industry in the past three years, adding that from their report they found out that retail customers were most concerned about the financial stability of their banks. The report noted: “Nigerian banking customers are more than twice as likely to use an ATM as they are a branch, with almost half of Nigerian respondents (47 percent) saying their ATM preference is related to the proximity and closeness of the machines. Interestingly, while 86 percent say they prefer ATMs for cash withdrawal, 66 percent say they prefer the machines for balance enquiries.” The bank branch remains the preferred channel for banking, despite the presence of alternative channels on the rise across the continent, adding that the usage of all other banking channels increased significantly between 2013 and 2016, presenting numerous opportunities for banks.
  • Unity Bank has announced a total assets size of ₦476.15 billion for the quarter ended 30 September 2016, a 7.4 percent increase or ₦32.6 billion over ₦443.3 billion recorded as at 31 December 2015. According to the company’s NSE filing, the bank grew customer deposits to ₦263.91 billion at the end of the quarter ended September 30, 2016, indicating an increase of ₦32.5 billion or 14 percent from ₦231.4 billion as at 31 December 2015. The bank saw operating expense plummet by 14% or ₦3.1 billion to ₦19.6 billion against ₦22.8 billion recorded in Q3/2015. Overall, the lender posted a PBT of ₦3.8 billion for Q3/2016, despite the challenging operating environment and economic headwinds. The posted PBT for Q3/2016 was lower than the corresponding Q3/2015 of ₦10.3 billion. While commenting on the result, its MD/CEO, Tomi Somefun noted that “economic headwinds stifled business growth during the period accompanied by increased inflation and foreign exchange illiquidity. Nevertheless, the Bank remains firmly committed to delivering value to our stakeholders as the Bank made a profit on the back of an efficient balance sheet and cost containment initiatives”.
  • The Initiates, a waste management company serving various sectors of the Nigerian economy with significant strides in handling hazardous waste has listed on the NSE. A total of 889, 981, 552 ordinary shares of 50 kobo each of the company were listed at ₦0.85 per share by an introduction on the Alternative Securities Exchange Market (ASEM) of the NSE. Capital Limited, acted as the Lead Financial Adviser and the Designated Adviser while Partnership Securities Limited acted as joint advisers on the transaction. According to the company’s CEO, Reuben Ossai, the listing is part of the management’s strategic plan to promote inclusive growth, transparency and price discovery. According to him, economic growth “will be accompanied with increased waste yield and complexity, more public demand for environmental protection and waste management services. These changes stress the need for the revision and implementation of environmental laws and policies that will improve the commercial value of waste management services.”