12 Oct

Daily Watch – Gas pipelines to connect SW states, Coronation lists on NSE

  • Oil minister Ibe Kachikwu and NNPC Group Managing Director, Maikanti Baru, met on Tuesday for the first since their disagreement broke out and agreed on one thing – a petroleum industry regulator free from the vagaries of politics. The two industry leaders met at a breakout session at the ongoing 23rd Nigerian Economic Summit and spoke on the controversial Petroleum Industry Bill. Kachikwu said it was important for the industry to have a minister who would not be very powerful as it was certain that no one would be a minister forever, adding that it was important that systems were built to drive the industry. Baru, who had spoken on the need for a strong independent regulator without any political interference, had an ally in Kachikwu, who agreed that an industry regulator should be insulated from politics.
  • Andela, a startup that trains developers in Africa and hires them out to global tech companies, has raised $40 million in Series C funding. The financing came from CRE Venture Capital, a pan-African venture firm, with additional participation from DBL Partners, Amplo, Salesforce Ventures, and Africa-focused TLcom Capital. Previous investors, including the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, GV, and Spark Capital, also joined in funding what is now one of the most highly funded African companies not based in Africa. Andela says it will use the money to fund aggressive expansion plans — including the launch of two additional offices in other African countries. Andela has campuses in Lagos, Nairobi and Kampala where coders are trained and then put them to work on projects for companies such as Mastercard Labs, Viacom, GitHub, and Gusto.
  • Axxela, a gas and power company, has disclosed its plan to build a 510-kilometre gas pipeline network across some western Nigerian states. According to the company, the project would commence in Ibadan, Oyo state and run through the towns of Osogbo, Ogbomosho, Ilorin, Ado-Ekiti, terminating in Jebba in Kwara state. The company said the proposed pipeline project was conceived as part of the Nigeria gas master plan to improve power generation and distribution to major cities. Saidu Mohammed, group executive director and chief operating officer, gas and power at the NNPC, said all hands were on deck to implement the project. Bolaji Osunsanya, chief executive officer of Axxela, said the project aligns with the FG’s aspirations to improve the power situation.
  • Coronation Merchant Bank says it is targeting an increased yield of N50 billion by the first half of 2018 on the three funds listed on the NSE. The Chairman of Coronation Asset Management and Managing Director, Coronation Merchant Bank Group, Abubakar Jimoh during a press briefing at the end of the listing, assured investors that the bank would ensure massive activity on the fund to hit the volumes desired. He described the funds-listing as another milestone in the history of the company and validation of its expertise in asset management, adding that: “By listing the N2.168bn raised from the three funds on the stock exchange today, we are demonstrating to our investors that we are determined and committed to offering better prospects for their investments across all market conditions. The bank had listed three mutual funds on the NSE for trading and accessibility by retail and institutional investors. The three listed funds are Coronation Money Market Fund; Coronation Fixed Income Fund and Coronation Balanced Fund.