21 Jun

Daily Watch – Buhari signs budget, Abraaj scent hangs over 8 Nigerian companies

  • President Muhammadu Buhari signed a record ₦9.12 trillion 2018 budget into law on Wednesday but said it required changes he would seek through a supplementary spending plan. The National Assembly passed the budget last month although the total sum was higher than the ₦8.6 trillion spending plan presented to parliament by Buhari in November because lawmakers increased the benchmark oil price to $51 per barrel from $45. “I am however concerned about some of the changes @nassnigeria (National Assembly) has made to the budget proposals I presented,” Buhari wrote on his official Twitter feed.
  • A Nairametrics analysis of annual executive compensation at some of Nigeria’s top listed companies showed that about ten companies pay their CEOs nine digit salaries. The top earner was Seplat CEO Austin Avuru who earns ₦476 million annually as the head of the oil company he co-founded. Other top earners which are populated by banks and manufacturers include Onne van der Weijde, Dangote Group GMD (₦407.4 million); Jordi Borrut Bel, Nigerian Breweries CEO (₦340 million); Wale Tinubu, Oando GCE (₦340 million); Michael Pucheros, Lafarge Africa CEO (₦257 million); Segun Agbaje, GTBank CEO (₦224 million); Akin Akinfemiwa, Forte Oil CEO (₦181 million); Kennedy Uzoka, UBA CEO (₦138 million); Urum Kalu Eke, FBN Holdings GMD (₦118 million) and Herbert Wigwe, Access Bank CEO (₦85 million).
  • Mauritius, Ghana and Tunisia are the leading African countries in terms of telecommunication services, a new report has revealed. Paul Budde Communication (BuddeComm) a research consultancy, launched a Telecoms Maturity Index (TMI) that analyses a country’s broadband, mobile and fixed-line markets. The index also analyses a range of economic parameters within a given country to rank it on a scale of 1 to 100. Mauritius was the top-ranking country in Africa with a TMI score of 43, “largely explained by the thriving tourism market which has stimulated the broadband sector,” according to the report, followed by Ghana (34) and Tunisia (31). The top three market challengers are Mauritania (13), Uganda (13) and Kenya (12).
  • The NCC has begun the process for the transfer of the license of Visafone Communications to its new owner and digital mobile operator, MTN Nigeria, according to multiple news reports. The move is said to include the transfer of Visafone’s frequencies. Once the CDMA segment leader, Visafone applied in 2016 for regulatory approval to be acquired by MTN by virtue of share transfer agreement without any request for the unified spectrum licence transfer. Per NCC data, CDMA operators comprise a mere 0.14 per cent market share of Nigeria’s telecom industry. Of this, Visafone had 30,305 internet subscribers as of April 2018.
  • Africa-focused private equity firm Abraaj’s imminent liquidation means its shareholding in eight Nigerian companies is hanging in the balance, according to BusinessDay. These companies include Indorama Eleme Fertilizers and Mouka Foam, where it invested an undisclosed amount under its Sub-Saharan Africa fund III in October 2016 and April 2015 respectively. The others are Bridge Clinic, which it invested an undisclosed amount in five years ago in 2013; Therapia Health, which received $5 million in April 2012; C & I Leasing, which got $10 million in September 2010, Computer Warehouse Group (August 2009), Custodian & Allied Insurance (August 2008) and AOS Orwell (in December 2006). “They may have to sell their holdings to pay off their clients depending on the strategy of the new fund manager,” a source told the paper.