11 Aug

Daily Watch – NCC freely crushes Glo ‘free data’ promo, Kano gets $150m solar project

  • The increase in the production of light sweet crude from Nigeria, the United States and Libya may contribute to a narrower price spread between light and medium crudes. The U.S. Energy Information Administration, in its Short-Term Energy Outlook, said that Nigerian production increased by six percent to 1.66 million barrels per day in July, from 1.56 million bpd a month earlier, while Libyan crude output jumped by 19 per cent to 1.01 million bpd in July, from 850,000 bpd in June. U.S. crude production increased to 9.43 million bpd, compared with 9.32 million bpd in June, the report said. The EIA noted that crude oil prices were further supported as Saudi Arabia announced a cap on its crude exports in August. It, however, said it was unclear how much extra crude oil this cap would remove from the market given the country’s typical seasonal decline in crude oil exports because of an increase in crude oil use for power generation. OPEC forecast higher demand for its crude in 2018 due to rising global consumption, its monthly report saying the world would need 32.42 million barrels per day of its oil next year, up 220,000 bpd from the previous forecast.
  • The Kano state government, Dangote Group and Black Rhino Group on Thursday signed a $150 million Memorandum of Understanding on a Solar Power project. The project is expected to generate 100 megawatts of electricity for supply to industries and people of the state. Speaking shortly after signing the MoU, the Secretary to the State Government, Usman Alhaji, said that the world is increasingly realising that solar power is the future. ”We need energy to make progress and development anywhere in the world, so we believe this is a right step in the right direction,” he said. The GED at Dangote Group, Mansur Ahmed, said the project was meant to improve the economy of Kano as a key centre of commerce in the sub-Saharan region.
  • Zenith Bank declared a profit after tax of ₦75.32 billion for the half year ended June 30. In the company’s half year result released by the NSE on Thursday, profit-after-tax increased by 112.35 percent when compared with ₦35.47 billion posted in the corresponding period of 2016. Profit-before-tax rose to ₦92.18 billion, compared with ₦53.91 billion in 2016. The bank also recorded gross earnings of ₦380.4 billion against ₦214.8 billion achieved in the comparative period of 2016, indicating a growth of 77 percent. Net interest income stood at ₦138.962 billion, as against ₦127 billion in 2016, while impairment charges increased by 196 percent from ₦14.2 billion to ₦142 billion. The bank’s trading income, realised from foreign exchange, jumped from negative ₦864 million to positive ₦65.318 billion; other operating income soared from ₦3.57 billion in 2016 to ₦15.11 billion in 2017. The bank also announced an interim dividend of ₦7.8 billion, which translates to 25k per share, the same amount paid in the corresponding period of 2016. According to the bank’s chairman, Jim Ovia, the lenders ensured that a good chunk of the profit was set aside for shareholders in line with its commitment to delivering superior returns to them.
  • The Nigerian Communications Commission has halted the plans of Glo to offer free data to all its subscribers today. In a letter signed by Sunday Dare, the NCC commissioner for stakeholder management, the promotion was a clear departure from what was approved by the regulator. The regulator summoned Glo CEO Gladys Talabi to a meeting at the commission’s headquarters in Abuja. The telco had announced that eligible subscribers would enjoy as much as 200 megabytes of data for free to enjoy what it called the “free data day”. The commission referred to a March letter approving of the promotion but said that the company should suspend it in view of the “clear departure from terms and condition of the approval given for the Glo overload promotion.”