17 Oct

Daily Watch – Adeosun advocates for living with debt, Dangote ratchets up Pyxera tomato spat

  • Finance minister, Kemi Adeosun, has said that the country must borrow more in the short term to deliver critical infrastructural projects such as roads, rail and power. According to her, Nigeria currently has one of the lowest debt-to-GDP figures in the world and the administration has no plan to go into massive borrowing that it cannot sustain. Adeosun added that the government will soon institute luxury taxes. Addressing journalists at the annual meetings of the World Bank and IMF in Washington DC on Sunday, Adeosun said people with higher income must bear a greater part of the tax burden. In August, Adeosun announced that the federal government had signed a policy to tax first class and business class air tickets alongside other luxury goods.
  • Dangote Farms received only 356 tons of fresh tomato from Pyxera Global in 2016, not 2,073 tons, the company’s field maintenance and compliance manager, Jafar Sani, has said. Pyxera is implementing the Yieldwise Programme, a $130 million initiative aimed at reducing post-harvest loss in the tomato value chain in Nigeria funded by the Rockefeller Foundation. Sani was reacting to statements by Pyxera officials who said it succeeded in supplying the farm 2,073 tons of fresh tomatoes during a recent stakeholders’ retreat held in Kano. According to the Dangote official, “at the forum, Lekan Tobe, Pyxera’s Project Director during his presentation flaunted figures that were deliberately cooked to impress the audience especially the representative of the Rockefeller Foundation, funder of the project.” Sani told the Daily Trust that “they couldn’t supply a single kilo of tomato during the 2017 dry season. The factory operated during the 2017 season from the sole efforts of its staff with nothing from Pyxera.”
  • Nigeria LNG says it has formally issued a demand notice for a $315,598,823.29 judgement debt to NIMASA. NLNG says the sum represents the payments it made under protest to NIMASA since 2013, as well as direct and shipping losses it incurred due to the initial two-day blockade of the Bonny Channel by NIMASA in May 2013. The development followed the decision on October 3, 2017, by the Federal High Court, Lagos that the NLNG was not liable to make the said payments to NIMASA, and that all payments already made by it to NIMASA should be repaid forthwith. NIMASA had alleged that NLNG was liable to pay a three percent gross freight levy on its international inbound and outbound cargo, Sea Protection Levy; a two percent cabotage surcharge as well as other sundry claims, all of which the NLNG disputed. The NLNG in 2013 led the case at the Federal High Court against NIMASA, seeking a judicial determination on, among other things, the legality or otherwise of the levies sought to be imposed on the NLNG by NIMASA, and the consequent blockade of the Bonny Channel by NIMASA and its agents as a result of the dispute.
  • UBA has announced its unaudited Q3 financial results ended September 30, 2017, showing remarkable performance across key financial indicators. UBA’s gross earnings grew by 26 percent to ₦333.9 billion, as against ₦265.5 billion reported in September 2016. The group’s operating income stood at ₦236.9 billion, compared to ₦183.3 billion recorded in the corresponding period of 2016, a 29.3 percent increase. The group also delivered impressive profit before tax numbers of ₦78.3 billion, marking a significant growth of 33.2 percent from the ₦58.8 billion recorded in the same period of 2016. In the same vein, profit after tax grew to ₦60.9 billion representing an impressive 23 percent growth over the ₦49.5 billion recorded in the third quarter of 2016. While the group closed the third quarter with total assets of ₦3.77 trillion, a YTD growth of 7.6 percent, it grew net loans to ₦1.6 trillion, a 6.0 percent YTD growth in the loan book. Commenting on the result, CEO Kennedy Uzoka said, “Our Africa operations (ex-Nigeria) again grew strongly in the period, contributing a third of top-line and approximately 40 percent of earnings.”