01 Aug

Daily Watch – Renewables eye ₦5 trillion generator market, Benue does a tax slash

  • Sanusi Ohiare, the executive director of the Rural Electrification Agency, says an estimated ₦5 trillion is spent yearly on importing, fuelling and maintaining generators by Nigerian businesses. In his presentation on the REA’s off-grid and mini-grid goals at the fourth national council on power in Edo, he said the agency seeks to channel the huge spend on generators into scaling up renewable solutions that would provide access to cheaper electricity, adding that this would require an annual investment of about $9.2 billion (about ₦3.2 trillion). According to its website, the REA insists that getting off-grid solutions to scale and commercial viability in Nigeria will unlock an enormous market opportunity.
  • The Benue State Internal Revenue Service, has reduced the tariffs on produce and forestry items to more than 50 percent. The BIRS Acting Chairman, Terzungwe Atser, who announced this during a meeting with lead revenue consultants in Makurdi, explained that it was unlawful that taxpayers are being charged ridiculous levies. He said the Board regrets that the high tax rates and multiple taxes had sent some multi-million naira companies, including Olam Farms, Benue Breweries and Ostrich Bakeries out of the state. “Indeed, some items were not taxable and those taxable ones were overtaxed,” he said, urging all contractors and tax collectors to ensure compliance with the adjusted tariffs.
  • Nigerian Breweries says it recorded a 22 per cent decline in profit after tax for HY 2018. This is according to the company’s unaudited result submitted to the NSE for the period under review. NAN reports that the company posted a profit after tax of ₦18 billion compared to ₦24 billion recorded in HY 2017. Profit before tax dropped by 19 per cent from ₦34 billion in 2017 to ₦28 billion in June 2018 while revenue dipped by five per cent to ₦173 billion from ₦181 billion. Overall operating activities declined by 20 per cent from ₦39 billion in 2017 to ₦32 billion in 2018. Uaboi Agbebaku, secretary and legal adviser, Nigerian Breweries, linked the company’s poor performance to the new excise duty introduced by the federal government. Agbebaku said the new excise duty regime and a higher rate of beer had an impact on “affordability” and consumption patterns during the reviewed period.
  • Uber has announced that it will be rolling out the Incident Response Team call-back line to all Sub-Saharan cities where it operates. In March 2018, Uber in South Africa announced this safety and security improvement for safety-related matters which connects riders with Uber’s dedicated IRT within minutes. The call-back line provides riders with 24/7 access to speak to Uber’s Global Incident Response Team. With the IRT call-back line, riders have been able to submit a ticket for a critical safety incident or accident through the app, including their contact number and a short description of the event, the rider then receives a call-back within minutes from Uber’s Global Incident Response Team.
  • Transcorp Hotels has announced its unaudited financial statements for HY 2018, with significant growth over same period last year, including revenue of ₦8.01 billion, profit before tax of ₦2.02 billion and earnings per share of 17.84 Kobo. The hotel chain delivered a commendable 29 per cent year-on-year revenue growth from ₦6.20 billion in HY 2017. Gross profit for the period grew by 31 per cent to ₦5.89 billion from ₦4.50 billion in HY 2017; Profit before tax increased from ₦1.10 billion in HY 2017, an 85 per cent growth. The group recorded a profit after tax of ₦1.38 billion, representing 83 per cent year-on-year growth over ₦760 million in HY 2017. CEO Valentine Ozigbo said the impressive numbers were primarily driven by the increase in occupancy, room inventory and aggressive marketing strategies.
  • Notore Chemical Industries says it is making progress in talks with Mitsubishi Corporation of Japan and other international investors for the construction of a new plant at its facility in Onne, Rivers. The planned expansion will add a second train to Notore’s existing plant, tripling capacity at the facility, in a bid to meet the company’s goal of aiding Nigeria in becoming a net fertiliser exporter. The company says that the Train 2 plant will co-produce 1,000,000 metric tonnes (MT) of fertiliser annually and 500,000MT of methanol. CEO Onajite Okoloko said Notore’s gas supply agreement with Eroton Exploration and Production Company, an indigenous oil and gas producer, gave it the confidence to proceed with the second train.