07 Aug

Daily Watch – WellaHealth expands to 1,000 Nigerian pharmas, STACO fires CEO

  • The FIRS has asked General Electric’s Nigeria subsidiary for evidence that it remitted an excessive tax it withheld from Arco Group, a Nigerian oil servicing company for nine years, according to TheCable. The online news service had reported earlier that GE withheld tax of over $3 million from its payments to Arco for services rendered between 2006 and 2015. GE deducted 10 per cent as withholding tax for a servicing contract from 2006 to 2015 — as against the 5 percent stipulated under Nigerian law. Arco had petitioned the FIRS seeking an explanation over the deductions, and Executive Chairman, Tunde Fowler, wrote to confirm that the rate for technical services was 5 percent while the one for rental accommodation was 10 percent.
  • The Lagos State Government said it had credited ₦466.855 million into the Retirement Savings Accounts of 187 of its retirees under the Contributory Pension Scheme for the month of July. According to a statement from the Lagos State Pension Commission, more retirees from the State Universal Basic Education Board benefited from this batch of payment. During the presentation in Lagos, the Commissioner for Establishments, Training and Pensions, Akintola Oke said that 9,401 retirees had been paid about ₦38.5 billion under the Akinwunmi Ambode administration.
  • The board of STACO Insurance has dismissed its CEO Sakiru Oyefeso on grounds of financial misappropriation, abuse of office and breach of corporate governance best practices. Oyefeso had led the company since its inception in 1994. Bayo Fakorede has been recommended as his replacement subject to the approval of the National Insurance Commission. The company changed its name from Standard Trust Assurance to STACO Insurance on the 30 October 2006 following the merger of Standard Trust Assurance and Summit Insurance Company. STACO became a listed entity in 2007 and ten years later, three new entities emerged as core investors following the conclusion of a ₦1.6 billion private placement by the firm. STACO closed at ₦0.48 on 4 July, its most recent trading date. The stock is down 4 per cent for the year.
  • May & Baker Nigeria grew its profit before tax by 178.76 per cent to ₦388.90 million in H1 2018 compared to ₦139.51 million in the same period of 2017. Its profit after tax rose by 178.78 percent to ₦264.45 million from ₦94.86 million in 2017, while earnings per share increased to 26.98 kobo from 9.68 kobo. The company’s unaudited results for the six month period showed that total comprehensive income rose to ₦601.37 million from ₦94.86 million recorded in the corresponding period of 2017. The group operating profit increased by 29.9 percent from ₦452.25 million to ₦587.35 million, while gross profit rose from ₦1.34 billion to ₦1.52 billion. Its turnover appreciated to ₦4.61 billion from ₦4.47 billion in the same period last year, while finance costs fell by 36 per cent. MD, Nnamdi Okafor, said it was noteworthy that the company achieved a higher turnover in 2018 despite the discontinuation of its foods division, a significant arm of its business responsible for about 20 percent of its turnover last year.
  • MTN Nigeria, NIBSS and 16 partner banks and telcos are relaunching mCash, a mobile payment platform targeted towards low-income buyers and sellers. mCASH is a mobile payment system for making low-value retail payments designed to extend e-payment options to low-income buyers and sellers who deal in cash. The service was initially launched in 2016 but didn’t really take off. This USSD-based service delivers funds to merchants’ accounts based on USSD technology.
  • WellaHealth has introduced a service to provide rapid malaria care service to the Nigerian public at an affordable rate in partnership with almost 1,000 community pharmacies. WellaHealth is a health technology platform that provides software and logistical support to community pharmacies to help them better manage their clients and provide value-added community-based services to improve access to quality healthcare. The medical technology startup will work in collaboration with Advantage Health Africa to provide greater access to rapid malaria testing in local community pharmacies, towards the goal of improving the reach of quality malaria care across the country.