16 Nov

Daily Watch – NCC warns telcos on unsolicited calls, Lagos rail project delay to extend to 2017

  • NNPC says it has paid the sum of ₦827 billion to the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC) in 12 months. In its monthly financial report for September released in Abuja, the corporation said the payment was made between Oct. 2015 and Sept. 2016. “A total of eight hundred and twenty-seven billion naira was paid to FAAC in the past 12 months.” It added that NNPC, in the months under review, lifted 243 million barrels of crude oil for the Federal Government. 720 million was fiscalised. The report said that total gas sent to power between October 2015 and September 2016 stood at 208 BCF. “2,507 was the average Generation from Gas Fired power plant.” The report said that a total of 10.4 billion litres of Premium Motor Spirit was supplied by NNPC in 12 months. According to the report, NNPC has been operating in a challenging environment which limits its aspiration to profitability. “The Corporation can undeniably attain lofty heights with the support of Nigerians, especially in areas of Security and Infrastructural integrity. With restoration of NPDC production, NNPC can indeed post more impressive results,” the report said.
  • The $1.2 billion Blue Line light rail project under construction on the Lagos-Badagry corridor faces yet another setback as it can no longer meet the December 2016 completion date. A BusinessDay report says the construction work will not be completed until the middle of 2017 while actual commercial take-off is likely to be sometime in early 2018, as against December 2016 earlier projected by Governor Akinwunmi Ambode. The failed completion date is one of many projected in the past which could not be realised. This further slows down business and personal convenience of teeming corporates and individuals who had invested in real estate along the Lagos-Badagry corridor, on the calculation of the speed and reach and quality of commuting that the light rail would provide. The rail line spans 27.5 kilometres from Okokomaiko to Marina and the shuttle from end-to- end will take 25 to 30 minutes as against two to three hours by commercial bus. The Blue Line is a component of the Lagos-Badagry Expressway project being expanded from four lanes to ten, with a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) line running in the middle. The road project was projected in 2008, to cost about ₦220 billion.
  • UACN, one of the largest diversified businesses in Nigeria’s private sector is offering shareholders of Portland Paints and Products well over 200 percent premium on their share price as it (UACN) embarks on Mandatory Take-Over of up to 2 million ordinary shares of 50 kobo each in Port Paints. Stanbic IBTC Stockbrokers on behalf of UACN notified the NSE of the Mandatory Take-Over bid at ₦4.47 per share. The transaction, valued at ₦8.94 million implies that UACN Plc is paying shareholders a premium of ₦3.09 or 223 percent, considering the ₦1.38 current market price of Portland Paints and Products. UAC of Nigeria had in June 2013 acquired the majority equity stake of 51 percent in Portland Paints. Portland Paints & Products principally engages in the business of manufacturing and sale of paints, marketing of sanitary wares and marketing of Hempel marine and protective coatings for the oil and gas sector. NSE data show Portland Paints has a market capitalisation of ₦552 million and total shares outstanding of 400 million.
  • The NCC on Monday issued a last warning to telecoms operators who are currently not complying with the ‘Do Not Disturb’ (DND) directives given to them on April 20, 2016. NCC has given a week’s ultimatum from Monday, November 14, to Airtel, MTN Nigeria, Globacom, Smile Communications, Ntel, Etisalat, Visafone and others to stop sending unsolicited marketing messages to its customers or risk being fined ₦5 million per text message. “The FG has had series of meetings with telecoms operators in the past and it was agreed that a Do Not Disturb activation code will be introduced to stop customers from receiving promotion or marketing messages and calls from their network providers, but we have noticed that operators are not strictly adhering to the directives from the NCC and if they continue telemarketing after the one-week ultimatum, then they risk being sanctioned ₦5 million for every message sent,” Sonny Aragba Akpore, NCC assistant director told BusinessDay. Communications minister, Adebayo Shittu had earlier denounced the exploitation of subscribers by Nigerian telecoms operators through charges taken for unsolicited calls and spam messages.
  • EDC Fund Management, the asset management arm of Ecobank Nigeria has announced the launch of two mutual funds – The EDC Nigeria Money Market Fund, and the EDC Nigeria Fixed Income Fund. The mutual funds gives customers of the Corporation and other interested Nigerians the opportunity to diversify their investment portfolio with as little as ₦5,000 for the Money Market Fund and ₦50,000 for the Fixed Income Fund. Announcing the launch of the two funds in Lagos, EDC Fund Management Managing Director, Ibukun Oyedeji said the money market fund provides the benefits of pooled investment, allowing investors to invest in a diverse and high quality portfolio. Like other mutual funds, each investor in a money market fund is considered a shareholder of the investment pool. She stated that the Money market funds are managed within rigid and transparent guidelines to seek preservation of capital, liquidity and competitive yields. The Money Market fund has two classes – Class A caters for the retail investor while Class B is targeted toward corporate investors as a liquidity management solution.