18 May

Daily Watch – Lagos pledges to meet Paris emissions target, Lafarge on the prowl for bonds

  • The FG paid a total of ₦22.45 billion to pensioners under the defined benefit scheme in the first quarter of 2018. The Executive Secretary of the Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate, Sharon Ikeazor, said that ₦6.66 billion was paid to Civil Service Pensioners, ₦12.25 billion to Parastatal pensioners, ₦1.86 billion to The Customs, Immigration and Prisons Pension Office and ₦1.68 billion to police pensioners from January to March, 2018. Ikeazor said the federal government is still yet to clear the outstanding 33 per cent arrears for Civil Service pensioners (12 months outstanding), Parastatal pensioners (18- 36 months outstanding) and Police (12 months outstanding).
  • Unidentified gunmen killed the Ethiopia country manager of Dangote Industries on Wednesday after he was attacked in the restive Oromiya region while returning to the capital from Ethiopia’s largest cement factory, officials said. Oromiya, which surrounds the capital Addis Ababa, has been plagued by violence for more than two years, fuelled by a sense of political and economic marginalisation among its young population. Dangote’s cement factory was inaugurated in 2015 and protesters have torched its vehicles at demonstrations. The company has been in negotiations with regional authorities over creating more jobs at the plant. Ethiopia remains under a state of emergency imposed in February, a day after prime minister Hailemariam Desalegn resigned.
  • Eight of Africa’s biggest cities pledged to deliver their share of emissions cuts needed to meet Paris Agreement targets to limit climate change. Accra, Addis Ababa, Cape Town, Dakar, Dar es Salaam, Durban, Johannesburg, Lagos and Tshwane committed to achieving “zero carbon” city economies by 2050 – with climate-changing emissions eliminated or dramatically reduced and any small remaining emissions offset by other green actions. Two other cities – Nairobi and Abidjan – are expected to submit their plans to take part soon, said Mark Watts, executive director of the C40 Cities Alliance, a global network of cities tackling climate change. According to the World Bank, of the top 10 big world cities with the lowest climate-changing emissions, only one – Johannesburg – is in Africa.
  • Shareholders of cement maker Lafarge have approved plans of the company to issue a ₦100 billion bond later in 2018. At the company’s AGM held in Lagos on Wednesday, the company said the bond’s proceeds will be used to refinance the company’s debts. Company chairman Mobolaji Balogun said the overall drop in domestic cement demand was instrumental to the group’s ₦34.3 billion Loss Before Tax in FY 2017. Balogun said the company’s sales in 2017 were lower by 15.6 percent compared with 2016 and, as a result, operating profit plummeted to ₦7.9 billion from ₦12.4 billion in FY 2016. Group turnover rose 36 percent to ₦299.2 billion from ₦219.7 billion recorded in 2016. He assured shareholders that the capital restructuring of the company carried out in 2017 would help to significantly reduce the cost of financing and currency translation risk. The company also said it would pay shareholders ₦13.01 billion as dividends for FY 2017.