- Nigeria was among the 10 economies showing the most notable improvement in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business list published on Tuesday. It rose 24 places in the ranking of countries to 145th place. Nigeria this year introduced initiatives aimed at improving the business environment, such as new systems to speed up the processing of visas for executives. Local and foreign business leaders have long complained that red tape, mismanagement and corruption have made it difficult to operate in the country. It said Nigeria made the process of starting a business faster by introducing the electronic approval of registration documents, improved access to credit information and introduced a centralised electronic system to pay federal taxes.
- Oil minister, Ibe Kachikwu says the FG will begin tracking its crude oil production in 2019. NAN reports that Kachikwu, who made the disclosure in a podcast on Monday, said his ministry is working with the DPR to create an IT platform to monitor crude production. He added that Abuja was planning to conduct a licensing round for the award of oilfields in inland basins – in the Niger Delta, Chad, Anambra, Benue Trough, Benin, Sokoto and Bida basins – to companies to prospect for crude oil.
- The new terminal under construction at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja is 80 percent complete, the National Assembly, as well as the contractor handling the project said, its commissioning being delayed by a poor supply of water and electricity to the facility. The new terminal is one of the four being built around the country with a $600 million loan from the Chinese government by the China Civil Engineering and Construction Company. Members of the Joint Aviation Committees of the Senate and House of Representatives, who inspected the airport on Tuesday, expressed satisfaction with the ongoing work at the new terminal and assured air travellers that the facility would be ready for use by February 2018.
- Flour Mills of Nigeria plans to sell shares via a rights issue to cut debt and is registering a ₦70 billion ($223 million) bond programme to refinance short-term loans, the conglomerate said on Wednesday. The conglomerate, which has interests in food manufacturing, agro-business, packaging and logistics, said it was in the process of concluding the timing and size of the share sale. Flour Mills registered plans with regulators to raise up to ₦40 billion in equity over a three year period and obtained approval from shareholders last year to sell shares, but weak capital markets delayed its launch. Last year, it said it had $20 million in foreign currency loans and was exploring alternative financing sources to mitigate higher costs from a weak naira. The company posted a 53.1 percent rise in six-month pretax profit to ₦13.48 billion in September but said finance costs rose 48.9 percent to ₦16.27 billion. It said food manufacturing was the main driver of growth and accounted for 78 percent of its revenue.
- Oando, listed in Lagos and Johannesburg, announced unaudited results for the 9 month-period ended 31 September, with the group posting ₦3.6 billion in Profit After Tax. A separate statement for Oando’s oil and gas operations recorded a PAT of ₦13.3 billion against the ₦65.9 billion recorded at the end of September 2016. Similarly, the group grew its revenue to ₦383 billion in the financial period compared with ₦227 billion in Q3 2016. The revenue line dropped from ₦12.4 billion in Q3 2016 to ₦5.8 billion in Q3 2017. Cost of sales also increased sharply by over ₦98 billion from ₦214 billion recorded in Q3 2016 to ₦312 billion. The NSE and JSE had suspended trading in Oando’s based on an SEC directive, a decision the company has challenged in court.