03 Aug

Daily Watch – Cameroon feels cocoa blues, Rensource’s off-grid solar business raises €500,000

  • The legal battle over the constitutionality of key sections of the Cybercrimes Act 2015 has reached the Supreme Court. Three CSOs, Media Rights Agenda, Paradigm Initiative and Enough Is Enough Nigeria are asking the apex court to expunge Sections 24 and 38 of the Cybercrimes Act 2015. The organisations filed a notice of appeal with the Supreme Court on 31 July. According to Tope Ogundipe, Paradigm Initiative’s Director of Programmes, “It bears repeating here that Section 24 of the Cybercrimes Act is about cyberstalking and that section has been repeatedly used to harass and persecute journalists and critics.” The respondents in the case are the Attorney General of the Federation, the Inspector General of the Police and the National Assembly.
  • Shell and its partners will decide next year on whether to go ahead with the development of the Bonga Southwest offshore oilfield, a senior company official said this week. The project, one of Nigeria’s largest with an expected production of 180,000 barrels per day, will generate profit at below $50 a barrel, Bayo Ojuli, managing director of the Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company, told reporters. Shell is currently negotiating a production sharing contract with the FG which will determine the viability of the project, he said. The negotiations are expected to finish this year.
  • Rensource Energy has raised €500,000 (₦235 million) to contribute to solving Nigeria’s problem with electricity by helping small and medium-sized enterprises to replace the heavy usage of fossil fuel-powered generators with solar systems. This loan from investors on Trine will provide at least 4,000 Nigerian shops access to electricity. In January this year, Rensource Energy raised $3.5 million in bridge financing to hire more personnel, expand operations into Kano and Abuja and expand its product base. The round was led by Mauritius Amaya Capital Partners with participation from Omidyar Network and South Africa’s CRE Venture Capital. The firm previously raised $1.1 million led by CRE Venture Capital and Sissili Limited and was also part of the XL-Africa acceleration program. In total, the firm has raised $5.5 million in external equity since 2016 from shareholders. Founded in 2015 with over 1500 customers, Rensource’s aim is to make Nigeria the first country in the world to rely predominantly on distributed, renewables-based power generation.
  • Cocoa bean arrivals at Cameroon’s main port of Douala stood at 223,413 tonnes by 31 May from the start of the season in August, down 10 per cent on last season owing to growing violence in its Anglophone region, the cocoa regulator said on Thursday. In the same period of the 2016/17 season, 249,573 tonnes were delivered, official data shows. Cameroon’s cocoa regulator, the CICC, attributed the fall to “non-evacuated volumes in crisis areas,” it said in a statement. Cameroon has been gripped by worsening violence since November 2016 which has cut many Cameroonian buyers off from parts of the Southwest cocoa-growing region. A lot of beans have been smuggled into neighbouring Nigeria instead.
  • Fertiliser maker Notore Chemical Industries listed 1.61 billion ordinary shares on the NSE at ₦62.50 each on Thursday, valuing the company at ₦100.75 billion, the company said on Thursday. The free float is 16 per cent of the company, which produces fertiliser for sale within Nigeria and for export to West Africa, Southern Africa and Europe. Active trading will start from Friday. The company plans to add a second train to Notore’s existing facility in Onne, Rivers.
  • The Lagos Building Investment Company increased its gross earnings from ₦176 million in 2016 to ₦285 million for FY 2017. In addressing the company’s 13th AGM in Lagos, the board chairman Adeshina Soyebo said the company also increased its assets by 17 per cent. Soyebo said the company increased its shareholders’ fund to ₦2.9 billion, above the CBN minimum capital requirement of ₦2.5 billion. Soyebo said the LBIC’s future “remains bright as the management team are working to lay a solid foundation in order to retain profitability.” The company announced the automation of its bank software, a system upgrade and the construction of a data centre, as well as successfully carrying out estate renewal projects at Ogba-Ijaye, Isolo Amuwo-Odofin, and Abesan Low-Cost housing estates.