Earn money for reading, posting and commenting on news. Click here to sign up

Registered Users: 1,766

GTBank shareholders endorse N2.75 total dividend for 2018
4/18/2019 7:22 PM | 34 views

 GTBank shareholders endorse N2.75 total divided for 2018  Shareholders of Guaranty Trust Bank (GTBank) Plc, on Thursday unanimously endorsed the payment of a total dividend of N2.75 per share for the financial year ended Dec. 31, 2018.                              Newsmen report that the shareholders gave the approval at the bank’s 29th Annual General Meeting (AGM) held in Lagos.                                                               The bank had proposed a final dividend of N2.45 per unit of ordinary share held by shareholders in addition to the interim dividend of 30k interim dividend earlier paid in June 2018.                                                         Speaking at the meeting, Mr Sunny Nwosu, Emeritus, Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria, lauded the bank’s board and management for sustaining profit and dividend payment in spite of challenging economy.                                                      Nwosu said the bank had shown resilience with enhanced profit and sustainable dividend during the period under review. He, however, urged the bank to sustain the trend and ensure enhanced dividend payouts in the years ahead. Mr Nona Awoh, another shareholder, urged the bank to map out strategies aimed at reducing its unclaimed dividend figure which stood at N18.23 billion during the period under review. Financial inclusion, savings promos yield 15m new accounts for banks Awoh said the amount was huge as far as retail Nigerian shareholders were concerned. According to him, the bank must liaise with its registrars and Investors Relations Officer to bring down the figure. Awoh said that regulators should stop shortchanging shareholders through levies and fines, noting that shareholders would resist such acts going forward. Mr Segun Agbaje, the bank’s Managing Director, said the bank would continue to offer shareholders impressive dividend but would not declare bonus to avoid over bloating of its shares. Agbaje said the bank would continue to invest in empowering small businesses and promoting enterprise. According to him, the bank will continue to support its communities, large and small by creatively expanding certain flagship Corporate Responsibility programmes such as the GTBank Food and Drink Fair and GTBank Fashion Weekend. Also speaking, Mrs Osaretin Demuren, the bank’s chairman, said that it would continue to pay critical attention to the development of its staff by providing them with professional training and connecting them with extensive learning opportunities.                              Demuren said that GTBank would remain resolute in taking advantage of opportunities inherent in the industry to grow earnings, improve profitability and deliver returns to its esteemed shareholders.       Journalists gathered that the bank posted a profit before tax of N215.6 billion as against N197.7 billion recorded in the corresponding period of 2017, representing an increase of 9.1 per cent.                                   Gross earnings for the period under review grew by 3.7 per cent to ₦434.7 billion from ₦419.2 billion reported increase in 2017. Its customers’ deposits increased by 10.3 per cent to ₦2.27 trillion from ₦2.06 trillion in the comparative period of 2017. Also, loan book dipped by 12.9 per cent from ₦1.45 trillion recorded as at December 2017 to ₦1.26 trillion in December 2018. The result showed that the bank closed the 2018 financial year with total assets of ₦3.29 trillion and shareholders’ funds of ₦575.6 billion. An analysis of the bank’s assets quality showed that Non-performing loans and cost of risk improved to 7.3 per cent and 0.3 per cent during the review period from 7.7 per cent and 0.8 per cent in December 2017. Related GTB to deepen SME banking in 2013 - Chairman *Shareholders approve N45.62bn dividend ... Outgoing Chairman of Guarantee trust Bank Plc, Mr. Oluwole Oduyemi, said that the bank would witness the emergence of a virile small and medium scale banking business in 2013. April 29, 2013

Zenith Bank Posts N50.234bn Q1 Profit
4/18/2019 12:21 AM | 30 views

Lagos – Zenith Bank Plc yesterday informed the management and stockbrokers of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), in its unaudited financials for the first quarter ended March 31, 2019, that its profit after tax rose by 6.7 per cent from N47.079 billion to N50.234 billion.There was a decline in gross earnings, even as management successfully reined in on its cost elements, while improving asset quality, leading to a decline in impairment charge for credit loss.These helped to ensure marginal growth in profit before and after tax for the period, as well as the balance sheet, with total assets recording N203.368bn or 3.58 per cent growth, helped by the loan book, which stood at N1.792 trillion, up from N1.757 trillion.Propelled by the N175.188 billion or 5.16 per cent increase in customer deposits, total liabilities grew by N157.726 billion or 3.19 per cent from N4.94 trillion to N5.098 trillion. Shareholders’ funds, therefore, rose to N780.888 billion, up from N735.246 billion.Gross earnings dropped marginally by N11.081 billion or 6.55 per cent to N158.111 billion between January and March 2019, derived mainly from its Nigerian operations, which accounted for N134.184 billion.Mr Peter Amangbo, MD/CEO of Zenith Bank said the Group’s on-going commitment to cost optimisation on the income statement and statement of financial position ensured earnings per share increased by 7 per cent to N1.60 compared to Q1 2018.The growth in net interest income and operating income by 23 per cent and 1 per cent respectively mitigated the decline in gross earnings. The effective management of cost-to-income ratio, cost of funds and cost of risk offset top-line declines to deliver an enhanced operating income in the period.His words: “Our risk and asset quality continues to improve as cost of risk dropped significantly by 52 per cent from 0.9 per cent in the prior year to 0.4 per cent for the period. This was achieved as impairment charges declined by 54 per cent (N2.5 billion year on year reduction). Our cost of funds also improved, declining by 25 per cent from 4 per cent in Q1 2018 to 3 per cent at quarter-end.This was supported by a 22 per cent decrease in interest expense of N10 billion over the same period, affirming the Group’s robust treasury and liquidity management. Our prudent cost management led to a 5 per cent decline in our cost-to-income ratio by 5 per cent from 53.3 per cent in 2018 to 50.9 per cent in the period with an absolute reduction in operating expenses by N2.3 billion Year-On-Year.“The Group’s retail franchise continues to increase as retail deposits grew by N80bn between December 2018 and March 2019 representing a 9% growth notwithstanding the fact that total customer deposits dropped marginally by 3%.“The drop in customer deposits was as a result of rebalancing of the deposit mix as expensive purchased deposits were forgone in favour of cheaper and stickier retail deposits.“The volume and value of transactions across our electronic and digital platforms continue to grow as new customers are being acquired. Our balance sheet continues to strengthen as liquidity ratio is at 66.7%, loan to deposit ratio closed at 43%, and capital adequacy ratio ended the period at 25% respectively and remain above the relevant regulatory thresholds as at 31 March 2019.“Going into the rest of the year and with improving economic fundamentals, we are confident of delivering value to all our stakeholders on our commitments even as we create more opportunities for businesses by supporting them through selective risk asset creation. We shall continue our investments in the retail segment of the market as we consolidate our leadership position in the corporate segment while maintaining a strong balance sheet”, Amangbo said. (Independent Nigeria)

SAHCO To List Shares On NSE
4/18/2019 12:11 AM | 30 views

Skyway Aviations Handling Company LimitedFollowing the completion of its initial public offering (IPO), Skyway Aviation Handling Company (SAHCO) Plc, will this week list its shares on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).SAHCO will be the second ground handling company to be listed at the stock market, after Nigerian Aviation Handling Company (Nahco) Plc.SAHCO had floated an IPO of 406.074 million ordinary shares of 50 kobo each at N4.65 per share.The IPO was an offer for sale, implying that the net proceeds of the IPO would go to the existing majority core investor in SAHCO, which was divesting partially to allow retail minority ownerships. Ten per cent of the shares offered for sale were earmarked for staff of SAHCO under an Employee Stock Ownership Plan to be set up and administered by a Trustee.Ayila’s benevolence  to Mecca-bound MuslimsSuper Eagles and Dynamo kyiv Defensive midfielder, Yusuf Ayila who, has set up a foundation…Pipeline Vandalism: IPMAN Constitutes Committee To Curb The MenaceThe Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, IPMAN, on Monday, said it had constituted a…The IPO, which opened on November 5, 2018 and was scheduled to close on December 19, 2018, was extended for 12 working days to January 09, 2019.The IPO was, however, undersubscribed by 35.35 per cent as the company was only able to raise N1.22 billion out of IPO value of N1.89 billion. Official final allotment report for the IPO showed that a total of 1,212 applications were received for 262.52 million ordinary shares of 50 kobo each at N4.65 per share, totaling N1.22 billion.SAHCO was privatised by the Federal Government in 2009. Sifax Group acquired the entire share capital of the company. The Share Sale Purchase Agreement (SSPA) however mandates the majority core investor to divest 49 per cent of the shares of the company to the general Nigerian investing public.The board of the company had stated that SAHCO planned to ride on the back of the success of its IPO to further push its vision of becoming the leading provider of aviation handling services in the West African region. (Independent Nigeria)

Wolf culture, state finance and bribery: Huawei's rise to the top wasn't pretty
4/16/2019 5:40 PM | 64 views

PlayMuteDuration Time2:35Loaded: 0%0:14Progress: 0%FullscreenGoogle's Wing launches drone delivery in AustraliaWhy Walmart wants robots, not workers, stocking shelvesHow influencers keep their #ads and their audiencesConspiracy theorists attacked them. Then they fought backWill memes be illegal? EU's copyright overhaul, explainedHow 5G will change the farming industryDoes OPEC really control oil prices?This fashion giant is under siege by imitators. Here's why it's legalNOW PLAYINGHuawei suing US government over federal banCoke's new Star Wars products look like little droidsSee all 3 of Falcon Heavy's boosters land after launchSee what Disney's new streaming service will look likeRide shotgun with Ferrari's official test driverInside K-Pop's multi-billion dollar industryTrump's economic adviser: 'Respect the independence of the Fed'Rep. Velázquez and JPMorgan's Dimon spar over income inequalityGoogle's Wing launches drone delivery in AustraliaWhy Walmart wants robots, not workers, stocking shelvesHow influencers keep their #ads and their audiencesConspiracy theorists attacked them. Then they fought backWill memes be illegal? EU's copyright overhaul, explainedHow 5G will change the farming industryDoes OPEC really control oil prices?This fashion giant is under siege by imitators. Here's why it's legalHuawei suing US government over federal banCoke's new Star Wars products look like little droidsSee all 3 of Falcon Heavy's boosters land after launchSee what Disney's new streaming service will look likeRide shotgun with Ferrari's official test driverInside K-Pop's multi-billion dollar industryTrump's economic adviser: 'Respect the independence of the Fed'Rep. Velázquez and JPMorgan's Dimon spar over income inequalityWolf culture, state finance and bribery: Huawei's rise to the top wasn't prettyBy Sherisse Pham, CNN BusinessUpdated 0523 GMT (1323 HKT) April 16, 2019Hong Kong (CNN Business)Huawei is one of the biggest and most controversial tech companies on the planet. Its products are at the heart of a clash between the United States and China that is straining longstanding alliances and may define the future of the internet.The company started out small, selling cheap telephone switches in the 1980s in rural China. The story of how it grew into a business with annual revenue of more than $100 billion is one of naked ambition, government support and questionable business tactics.Huawei is now battling a US campaign that aims to shut the Chinese company's equipment out of the next generation of wireless networks, known as 5G. Ultra-fast 5G networks will be used to connect everything from mobile phones to self-driving cars.Mobile operators like the UK's Vodafone (VOD) and Canada's Telus(TU) say banning Huawei could disrupt the rollout of 5G and undermine technological progress. But the US government claims Huawei gear could be used by Chinese intelligence services for spying on other countries. Huawei's founder said the company has not been asked to share "improper information" and that it works independently of the government; the Chinese government denies stealing intellectual property and committing unfair trade practices.If history is anything to go by, Huawei will fight tooth and nail to protect its business around the world.Hungry like the wolfRen Zhengfei, a former engineer in the Chinese army, founded Huawei in 1987 and has been its CEO since 1988. His military background strongly influenced the company's management style, resulting in what became known as Huawei's "wolf culture."Ren wants his employees to stay hungry. He told CNN in an interviewthis month that the US campaign against Huawei will be good for employees that have become "lazy, corrupt and weak" after decades of success.The CEO often talks about "wolf spirit" and has in the past told colleagues "to be shameless" in their efforts to secure business, according to "The Huawei Story," a book about the company co-authored by Tian Tao. Tao is a member of the Huawei International Advisory Council, an organization affiliated with the company, and works at Zhejiang University in eastern China.Huawei employees are expected to emulate wolves' bloodthirsty nature, fearlessness, resilience to harsh conditions and ability to work as a team.Huawei started out selling other companies' products, but eventually decided to develop its own technology, throwing a lot of money and people into the effort.According to "The Huawei Story," the company outfitted a large industrial building with work spaces and a kitchen. Beds were set up against the walls and mattresses placed on the floors. Employees worked grueling hours, sleeping and eating on site.Huawei employees often work long hours because of the generous financial incentives for growing the business.The relentless work paid off. Within a year, Huawei had built its own telephone switching system.Huawei's early products were cheap and often broke down. But the company made a name for itself with its attentive customer service, getting equipment up and running again quickly.In the decades that followed, Huawei continued to improve its products and introduce new ones, such as smartphones. And it began expanding internationally, sending executives to developing markets in Africa, South America and Asia.Huawei CEO: 'Huawei has not and will never plant backdoors' 01:51Employees were offered generous financial incentives — those who hit or exceeded targets were well compensated for their efforts, according to several people who previously worked for the company.A former project director who was based in several emerging markets in the late 2000s and mid 2010s, told CNN Business that his bonuses and annual dividends from company shares far outstripped his base salary. It was an effective way to recruit top talent because China's other tech companies didn't have such rich incentives, he said. Huawei recruited him from another Chinese telecommunications company, trained him briefly in Shenzhen, then sent him abroad."Money motivation is the only thing that works," he said. "We are called 'wolf culture.' That means we're wolves, we need meat, we need money." He asked to remain anonymous because of fears of retribution from Huawei.Employees were expected to keep cell phones on 24 hours a day. If customers called with problems at midnight, engineers were immediately deployed, according to the former project director.He said the relentless schedule could burn people out. After nearly a decade with the company, he left because he was exhausted and rarely saw his family.Huawei said employees have been known to work long hours, because if they grow the business they are rewarded enormously.Backing from BeijingThe name Huawei roughly translates to "China is able."In the late 1970s, China's telecommunications infrastructure wasn't able to do much. The country lagged far behind other nations. Less than 0.5% of households had a telephone, according to the World Bank.The poor infrastructure was a barrier to development. In the 1980s, Beijing opened the market to foreign companies like Japan's Fujitsu(FJTSF), Sweden's Ericsson (ERIC), France's Alcatel, America's Motorola(MSI) and Finland's Nokia (NOK).Huawei founder says the fight with America could be good for the companyIt also nurtured domestic players. Two eventually emerged as leaders in China and around the world: ZTE(ZTCOF) and Huawei.ZTE is state-controlled and publicly traded, while Huawei is a private company owned by its employees. But critics say Huawei has unfairly benefited from generous government support, according to Philippe Le Corre, senior fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School and co-author of "China's Offensive in Europe.""There's only one reason Huawei is so powerful, it's because they received loans without interest from [Chinese state banks]. And that helped them to penetrate European markets," he said.Asked about Le Corre's claims, Huawei spokesman Glenn Schloss said the company "has been transparent about financing.""There has been some misunderstanding about financing from state-related financial institutions, leading to an inflation of the role played in Huawei's growth," he said."This financing is usually provided to governments or operators of networks which undertake procurement or other activities to secure suppliers including Huawei," he added.Indeed, other global companies benefit from state investment or export-import banks that provide financing at favorable rates. But experts say China is just a lot more generous."While export credit programs are available in many countries, the United States, Sweden, and Japan included, the sheer size of the Chinese loans dwarf comparable programs in other countries," according to a Center for Strategic and International Studies case study.Between 2005 and 2011, China Development Bank agreed to provide as much as $40 billion to potential Huawei customers, according to Schloss.Huawei said 35 global projects tapped into the available lines of credit between 2005 and 2011, with about $3 billion actually being extended."Huawei's sales globally during that period were more than $145 billion. So the proportion attributable to credit lines has not been significant," Schloss said.Osvaldo Coelho, a veteran of the telecommunications industry who previously worked for Huawei as a project director in Mauritius and South Africa, says Beijing's support was key to the company's success.Huawei's first product was a telephone switching system, but the company has since expanded into other products like smartphones."When you have a big market, and you have the backing of a big government all-powerful like the Communist Party of China, of course you're going to grow," he said. "This isn't a startup in some garage."In 2012, the European Commission was set to launch a trade case against Huawei and ZTE, alleging that the Chinese state was illegally subsidizing the companies. The case stalled because rivals at the time reportedlydeclined to cooperate, fearing retaliation from Beijing. China's foreign ministry at the time said Huawei and ZTE conform with international trading regulations.Breaking the rules to grow the businessLike other global tech companies before it, Huawei has taken an aggressive approach to winning international business, even if that sometimes meant breaking the rules.In 2003, Cisco (CSCO) sued Huawei for copying software and violating patents. Huawei later admitted in US courts that some of its router software was inadvertently copied from Cisco. The American rival dropped the suit after Huawei promised it would modify its products.Huawei's global track record is dogged by "allegations of bribery, corruption and the pursuit of foreign political interference," according to a February 2018 report from RWR Advisory Group, a Washington-based consulting firm that tracks China and Russia's global business transactions.In 2012, an Algerian court found Huawei and ZTE executives guilty of bribery and sentenced them to 10 years in prison.In 2014, Huawei launched its own anti-graft campaign, and more than 4,000 employees admitted to violating various company policies, ranging from small misdemeanors to bribery and corruption. The employees came forward after Huawei promised leniency, Ren said in 2015 at the World Economic Forum."Huawei is committed to strictly adhering to all laws and regulations and to the highest standard of business ethics. This commitment is integrated into our Code of Business Conduct which governs the policies and practices that our employees are required to follow. We have zero tolerance for breaches," the company said in a statement.The US Justice Department disputes that claim.The United States has been leading a global campaign against Huawei.In January, the department brought two cases against Huawei. US prosecutors are accusing the company of stealing intellectual property from US carrier T-Mobile(TMUS) and violating US sanctions on Iran. Court documents in the IP theft case detail an alleged scheme to pay employees to steal trade secrets.Huawei said at the time that it was "disappointed" by the US move to bring charges against it. "The company denies that it or its subsidiary or affiliate have committed any of the asserted violations of US law set forth in each of the indictments," it said in a statement.Accusations of stealing intellectual property and bribing government officials are hardly limited to Huawei.Global rivals including Alcatel, Ericsson, Samsung and Siemens have faced bribery and corruption scandals.But Coelho says Huawei's willingness to do whatever it takes to secure business stands out."If you're hungry, you can do quite a lot of things, you can go really dirty," he said. "They do in extreme what [others] used to do in their hay days."Huawei has employees in "very fast growing markets going out to do business with the rest of the world. We have 180,000 employees, we have a strict compliance policy, but things happen," said Schloss."And when they do, we discipline or fine employees, and work with local authorities," he added.http://ceesty.com/wNYOGt

Nigeria’s largest online marketplace Jiji buys OLX business in 4 African countries and redirects users in Nigeria!
4/16/2019 4:22 PM | 81 views

Jiji.ng - the largest classifieds marketplace in Nigeria – has reached an agreement to redirect OLX users in Nigeria to Jiji and to acquire OLX businesses in four other countries, building a leading pan-African classifieds business.Jiji and OLX today announced that both companies have reached an agreement under which Jiji will acquire OLX businesses in Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda, pending certain regulatory approvals, and OLX users in Nigeria will be redirected to Jiji.Joining Jiji's family will allow OLX users in these countries to benefit from Jiji’s market-leading products and services. OLX reach, combined with Jiji’s own proprietary search and delivery algorithms, will create a beneficial combination, giving users a radically streamlined experience and making the buying and selling process more convenient.  Anton Volyansky, CEO and co-founder of Jiji commented: “Users will always come first for us. We warmly welcome OLX’s customers to the Jiji family and we look forward to our new customers joining Jiji on its journey to empower the lives of its customers by providing a safer, more secure and enjoyable online shopping experience”.Yuliy Shenfeld, Jiji Nigeria's country manager, said “This acquisition is the next step to fulfill our promise in making the Nigerian economy thrive by helping each and every Nigerian take their business online. So far, thanks to Jiji, more than 300,000 businesses have increased their sales and improved their family fortunes. This was made possible by millions of customers who placed their trust in Jiji for the best prices and the widest range of products and services. In the wake of this transaction, the Jiji team of more than 500 people is excited to build a truly Pan-African classifieds empire with Nigeria being the epicenter.”Sjoerd Nikkelen, General Manager of OLX in Africa, Middle East and Asia comments "We are proud of our achievements in Africa, including the sustainable businesses we have built in Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda. We continually evaluate our portfolio of classifieds businesses to ensure a disciplined approach to how and where we allocate capital and management time. With our focus on accelerating the growth of other markets, now is an opportune time to sell our interests in these markets. We are pleased that Jiji will continue to provide the exceptional quality of products and services that the customers in these countries have come to know and enjoy from OLX.”Following closing of the transaction (which is expected to occur once certain regulatory approvals have been obtained), all users of the sell-and-buy classifieds websites of OLX Nigeria, OLX Ghana, OLX Kenya, OLX Tanzania, and OLX Uganda will be redirected to Jiji. The Jiji team will strive to make the transfer seamless and to provide a high-quality user experience across all geographies.In light of this expansion, Jiji is expanding its Sales team in Lagos. To apply, forward your CV to careers@jiji.ng with the subject ‘Sales Dream Job’.About Jiji. Jiji is a leading classifieds marketplace in Africa. Starting from Nigeria, the company expanded to four new geographies in 2019. The consolidated audiences of Jiji and OLX will reach by end of the year a single user base of more than 10,000,000 monthly unique users. Currently, more than a million ads are live on Jiji at any given time. In 2018, the Jiji app was #1 by downloads in the Shopping category for Android users in Nigeria, and it is currently the highest rated app in Nigerian e-commerce.About OLX. OLX is part of OLX Group, a global tech company which operates a network of market-leading online classifieds platforms across five continents. OLX Group is a Naspers company, a global consumer internet group and one of the largest technology investors in the world. Around a fifth of the world’s population improve their daily lives by using the products and services from companies that Naspers operates and invests in.

Fuel scarcity: DPR blows hot over hoarding, diversion of petrol
4/15/2019 3:00 PM | 79 views

The Ibadan Field Office of the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has restated its commitment to check the ongoing hoarding and diversion of petroleum products.Mr Oluyemi Olaonipekun, Controller Operations, DPR Ibadan Field Office, told newsmen in Ibadan on Monday that the office would continue to intensify its surveillance on illegal petroleum activities.Olaonipekun said that DPR recently sealed five petrol stations suspected to be hoarding the Premium Motor Spirit (PMS).“We noticed that there ought not to be scarcity, especially with quantity of products being pushed out, so we intensified surveillance.“We suspected that the stations were hoarding products, they refused to sell, and refused our efforts to dip into their tanks,” he said.Olaonipekun stated that DPR would ensure that petroleum products distributed to stations were sold to members of the public.“Apart from ensuring that hoarding does not work, we shall ensure that sharp practices such as pump adjustment are stamped out,” he said.

VAT: Expert tells Buhari govt what to do
4/15/2019 2:58 PM | 70 views

A tax expert, Taiwo Oyedele, has urged the Federal Government to review its Value Added Tax (VAT) law and better policing of its borders to improve its VAT collections.Oyedele, Head of Tax and Corporate Advisory Services, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), West Africa, gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Lagos.He said the government could shore up its revenue through a review of VAT waivers and come up with a framework for VAT on imported services and digital transactions.“At the moment, we have a lot of issues with Nigerian VAT law because most times policymakers talk about the rate alone without saying anything about the rest of the law.“For instance, the country loses lot of revenue from the importation of a lawyer from Ghana who pays nothing for services rendered in Nigeria because he pays no VAT for such services whereas his Nigerian counterpart does.“The implication is that it makes the country’s lawyer less competitive because there is no legal provision in the VAT law that imposes five per cent VAT on such imported services.“The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has seen this loophole and it is trying to block the leakage through the back door by issuing circulars to that effect.“The truth is that you cannot use circulars to impose tax, it has to be by law, so the government needs to amend the law to block this leakage and others,” he said.Oyedele said that the government should also have a regulatory framework for generating revenue from digital transactions.NAN reports that digital economy (transaction) is the worldwide network of economic activities, commercial transactions and professional interactions that are enabled by Information and Communications Technologies (ICT).He said that though some of the digital transactions operators such as Uber, Bolt (Taxify), office sharing and even technology platform providers like Facebook, Google, online stores and blogs pay VAT, the taxes were not backed by law.According to him, people place adverts on these platforms.“The government should explore these opportunities and back it up with law to ensure that not just few people pay taxes but all operators,” he said.He said South Africa had just released a regulation on its digital economy, adding that Nigeria should follow suit.Besides, Oyedele noted that four per cent cost of VAT collection by FIRS was too high by global benchmark standards, while 15 per cent allocation of VAT to Federal Government was no longer justified.“VAT law was introduced in 1993 and took effect in 1994; all over the world, including Nigeria, consumption tax is usually a state and local government tax.“But along the line, it was discovered that some states do not have capacity to collect the tax and agreed that the Federal Government should collect the tax on behalf of states.“That is why the Federal Government gets 15 per cent as cost of administering it while states get 85 per cent.“Technically for VAT, Federal Government gets 15 per cent and FIRS gets 4 per cent bringing total accrued to the Federal Government to 19 per cent.”

The 2019 Forbes list of the World’s Billionaires features 13 black people.
4/13/2019 9:11 PM | 70 views

DangoteOf these 13, there are four people from Nigeria. They are Aliko Dangote, Mike Adenuga, Abdulsamad Rabiu andFolorunsho Alakija. Together, they have some of the wealthiest families in the country.Here are the three richest families in Nigeria:Aliko DangoteAs of today, April 8, 2019, the CEO of Dangote Group is worth $10.4 billion. This makes him Africa’s richest man as well as the wealthiest person in the country. It also makes his families one of the richest in Nigeria.It all started with Chief Al-Hassan Dantata, a Northerner who traded in kola nuts and ground nuts. He also distributed European goods. By the time he died, he was one of the wealthiest men in West Africa. His family has produced many of the most successful businessmen in the country including Mamuda Dantata, Mudi Dantata and now, Aliko Dangote. Aliko Dangote during a visit to the fertilizer plant under construction in Lagos State. Credit: ANDREW ESIEBO FOR BLOOMBERG BUSINESSWEEKHe founded and chairs Dangote Cement, the continent’s largest cement producer. He has a daughter named Halima Aliko Dangote, who is the 3rd in line of command as the Group Executive Director. His other daughter, Mariya Dangote, is reportedly one of the top managers in Dangote Group.Mike AdenugaMichael Adeniyi Agbolade Ishola Adenuga Jr, GCON is the second-richest person in the country. Forbes estimates his fortune to be worth $9.1 billion as of 2019.His company Globacom is one of the largest telecom operators in Nigeria. He owns stakes in the Equatorial Trust Bankand the oil exploration firm Conoil(formerly Consolidated Oil Company).  Mike Adenuga, second richest man in AfricaAdenuga’s daughter, Belinda, fondly called Bella, resumed at Globacom as a sales executive in 2004. She has since risen to the position of a group executive director.Abdulsamad RabiuRabiu is the son of the late Khalifah Isyaku Rabiu, who was one of Nigeria’s foremost industrialists in the 1970s and 1980s. After inherited land from his father, he started building his empire by importing iron, steel and chemicals in 1988.Abdulsamad, who is currently worth $1.5B, eventually founded the BUA Group, a Nigerian conglomerate active in cement production, sugar refining and real estate.

Fuel queues return, NNPC, marketers allay scarcity fears
4/13/2019 3:50 PM | 93 views

 Filling stations in some parts of Lagos experienced queues on Friday amid a supply hitch that slowed down the distribution of the Premium Motor Spirit (petrol).Our correspondent learnt on Friday that the hitch was resolved on Thursday, with more vessels expected to arrive in Apapa and discharge the product over the weekend.The pockets of fuel queues in Lagos emerged a day after the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation restated its commitment to the sustenance of the seamless supply and distribution of petroleum products across the country.The NNPC, on Friday, appealed to Nigerians to disregard trending social media report of an impending fuel scarcity due to purported refusal by some oil marketers to lift products from depots.The Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Mr Ndu Ughamadu, explained that the tale was fabricated by mischief makers with intent to create undue panic in the prevailing sanity in the fuel supply and distribution matrix across the country.According to the statement, the corporation has over one billion litres of petrol in stock, and there was no need for panic buying or hoarding of petroleum products in anticipation of a phantom scarcity.The Chief Executive Officer, Mr Clement Isong, in a telephone interview with our correspondent, said the hitch led to the loss of a couple of hours in the transition of products between a vessel and the stations.“But that hitch was resolved yesterday (Thursday), and we are pumping out as much as possible. Hopefully, the queues should have been cleared by tomorrow (Saturday) morning,” he said.According to him, major markets have products in their tanks in Apapa and are loading out.He said, “A vessel is currently offloading and we are expecting two vessels tomorrow. So, we will have three vessels pumping fuel into our tanks, and we will work throughout tonight to supply to the stations. So, if the public just live their lives as normal and there is no panic buying, there will be no queues.“There is no problem in the supply chain; we just have got to focus to make sure that all the stations have products at the same time, and that the public do not resort to panic buying.”The Group Managing Director, NNPC, Dr Maikanti Baru, on Thursday, stated that “the present zero queues in the country would be sustained, especially as Easter approaches,” adding that no fewer than 55 depots across the country were fully stocked with petrol.He explained that 23 depots in Lagos, seven in Port Harcourt, 11 in Warri, six in Calabar and eight in Kaduna, were stocked with petrol.

China enlarges its circle in Europe, and tries to convince Europeans it comes in peace
4/13/2019 8:56 AM | 38 views

BRIJESTA, CROATIA (NYTIMES) - China's premier surveyed construction of a long-sought bridge over Croatia's Mali Ston Bay, home to China's largest infrastructure project in Europe - built by a Chinese company with Chinese workers, and financed in large part by European Union money.A driving rain lashed the hills while the premier, Li Keqiang, was there Thursday. But, Li declared. "This bridge will be a rainbow on earth." The reassuring language was part of a broader effort to convince increasingly skeptical European nations that China comes in peace.Fresh from a summit meeting with European Union leaders this week, Li, who as premier is China's second-highest official after President Xi Jinping, arrived in Croatia for the annual meeting of an economic bloc that China has forged with 16 Central and Eastern European nations.ADVERTISEMENTGRAB YOUR TICKETS NOW!The thickening ranks of China's economic allies have left European officials increasingly wary. Last month, Italy formally signed on to China's vast Belt and Road Initiative, a new Silk Road into Europe.On Friday (April 12), the summit meeting was capped by Greece's announcement that it had joined, too.That does not mean that all is roses even between China and its newly forged economic allies in the group. But by aggressively courting the nations on Europe's eastern and southern flank, Western officials worry that China is stoking division within the European Union.Li has tried all week to allay those concerns, promising progress on fair-trade issues with Europe, even as he pursues deeper cooperation.Related StoryEU firms in China will not have to share know-how, says Premier LiRelated StoryJuncker steps up criticism of Chinese trade practicesRelated StoryChina wooing Italy - amid challenging times with EURelated StoryEurope-China summit gets off to precarious start"This is not Game of Thrones," Li said upon arriving in Croatia this week, referring to the HBO hit series, which was filmed in part in Dubrovnik, where the summit meeting was held. "This is a reflection of win-win cooperation."The 16 plus 1 Group was formed after Premier Wen Jiabao's historic visit to Poland in 2012. At the time, many countries in the region felt left out of Brussels' negotiations with China. The grouping was framed by Beijing as an opportunity to give them a greater voice.Sceptics immediately suspected that China had other intentions, but the economic benefits of trade with China have been hard to resist. That has been so even for Germany and France, which have not formally signed on to Belt and Road, let alone Italy or Greece, which are desperate for investment.China has already moved ahead with plans to make the Greek port of Piraeus the "dragon head" of its infrastructure push, and it has stepped up investment in Greece, which is still smarting from the austerity measures imposed by its European partners."I think that the fact that today we became 17 plus one is the good news of the day," Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tspiras said on Friday. "I look forward to working with all of you in the framework of this initiative in full respect of the rules and procedures of the European Union."China's presence is no longer a novelty in this part of Europe, where its track record is decidedly more complicated than it was when the economic bloc was formed.For instance, after years of investments failing to materialise, Poland, the largest nation in the group and once one of its biggest champions, has cooled on China. The arrest in Poland of a Chinese regional director of the tech giant Huawei underscored the changing nature of the relationship.Similarly, the Czech Republic, led by the avowed Sinophile President Milos Zeman, has traditionally been among Europe's most solicitous nations. But calls by its cybersecurity agency to limit the use of Huawei as well as the tech giant ZTE in critical infrastructure have infuriated Beijing.In Hungary, Prime Minister Viktor Orban declared his China friendly "Opening to the East" policy in 2010, and has sought to use the prospect of a flood of money from China as leverage in his ongoing battles with Brussels over his government's authoritarian drift. Yet there have been no major new Chinese investments for the past seven years.A high-profile plan for China to build a railroad from Belgrade to Budapest remains hopelessly stalled.In fact, the pace of Chinese investment in Europe has slowed for the past two years, according to the Mercator Institute for Chinese Studies. In 2018, there was more than US$19 billion (S$25.7 billion) in direct Chinese investment in Europe, a decline of 40 per cent from 2017, and more than 50 per cent from the 2016 peak of around US$42 billion.And this was before the European Commission published its "EU-China, a Strategic Outlook" in March, labelling China a "systemic rival" and a "strategic competitor". "Instead of engaging endlessly with China and pleading for it to change its ways," said François Godement, a senior adviser for Asia at the Institut Montaigne in Paris, "the Commission suggests that Europe should change track and adopt a set of robust defensive policies, some of which will have an effect whatever China's response may be."Li used the summit meeting to push back against those who accuse China of not playing by the same set of rules as other nations, demanding that Europe respect Beijing's "One China" policy as it relates to Taiwan, while China does not respect the idea of "One Europe.""China will continue to firmly support the European integration process," Li promised on Friday. "We will take a fair and nondiscriminatory approach to treat each others companies with openness and transparency."Philippe Le Corre, a senior fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School, said new stringent screening measures for Chinese investment within the EU were a significant development that could test how much the rhetoric matches the reality.Already, he said, it was clear that China was fairing much better in the five Balkan nations that are not a part of the EU."This is why it is critical that Brussels continues to work to bring these countries into the fold," he said.The choice of Croatia to host the summit meeting, he said, was significant because as the newest member of the European Union, joining in 2013, it has forged one of the strongest partnerships with China, best seen in the bridge project.Construction of a bridge over the Mali Ston Bay, linking the southern Peljesac peninsula with the rest of the country, had been stalled for decades.In June 2017, the European Union announced an allocation of 357 million euros (S$546 million) - about 85 per cent of the bridge's cost.The next year, a state-owned Chinese construction firm, the China Road and Bridge Corp (CBRC), undercut its nearest competitor by some US$100 million to secure the bid. Construction began last summer and it is expected to be completed in 2021.Li, who arrived to a band of traditional Croatian singers and a phalanx of Chinese workers in CBRC rain slickers lining the road, said the bridge was evidence that China could work in partnership and harmony."The bridge is a pilot project not only for 16 plus 1 initiative cooperation, but also for our cooperation with the EU," he said.http://ceesty.com/wNYOGt

Google canvasses AI adoption in businesses, government
4/12/2019 6:40 AM | 49 views

Android outside Google office. Photo SamMobileSearch giant, Google, has called for the deployment of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in business developments and various governments’ engagements.Google noted that AI is becoming a global weapon for development, and its earliest adoption, especially in developing economies including Nigeria, Ghana, and others would increase the active participation in the Industry 4.0, otherwise known as Fourth Industrial revolution.According to Google, AI’s economic promise will only become reality if it is applied in a meaningful way by industry. Doing this, the USA firm, said this requires a thorough understanding of the kinds of problems that AI is good at tackling, current or inherent limitations, and the resources (tools, data, expertise, computing power) needed to implement AI solutions.It stressed that governments can act as a useful signpost in nudging businesses to explore and invest in AI opportunities. Another important lever is government backing to facilitate training in applied AI, and dissemination of best practice and standards.AI is the theory and development of computer systems being able to perform tasks normally requiring human intelligence, such as visual perception, speech recognition, decision-making, and translation between languages.Google, which launched the first AI lab in Africa, in Accra, Ghana, yesterday, said the team is working on building AI-powered solutions to real-world problems, including helping communities in Africa and beyond to improve their lives.Speaking at the event, Head, Google AI Centre, Accra, Ghana, Moustapha Cisse, said the firm uses Machine Learning (ML), and AI in all of its products, stressing that these two – AI and ML, are used every day by people across the world, many of who don’t even realise they’re using it.“Machine learning is used for everything from filtering out the spam in your email to powering the Google Assistant on your smart speaker, from taking the perfect low-light photos on the Pixel 3 to helping the world speak the same language through Google Translate,” he stated.According to him, Google recognises that it is important for everyone to recognise that emerging technology is socially beneficial, and upholds the highest standards of scientific excellence.He noted that based on its seven guiding principles for ethical use of AI and ML, Google is taking a thoughtful approach to help nurture an emerging technology, which is outlined in depth here.“Google’s AI Centre was opened in Ghana because in order to build technology that benefits people everywhere, it needs to be built by people with a diverse range of backgrounds, experiences and viewpoints. The researchers of Google AI centre in Accra bring a fresh perspective and expertise to build new technologies in Africa that can contribute positively to life here, as well as around the globe.“Google AI Accra forms part of the company’s structured efforts to explore and integrate more diverse experiences/learning beyond present-day centres of innovation. ‘AI by Africa, for the world’ helps us highlight the crucial role that this new centre will be playing in our vision of using AI to solve problems for everyone, in every part of the world,” he stated.To him, a strong focus area for Google is how AI and ML can be used for social good, which is seen in how machine learning is improving people’s lives, from protecting people from spam and fraud to making devices more accessible via speech.Cisse noted that working with partners from such diverse fields as medicine, transportation, environmental groups and small businesses can help to evolve AI and ML tools to meet real-world challenges. “This is why Google shares its machine learning tools, so that organisations outside of Google can benefit,” he stated.He listed Google’s AI for Social Good program to include projects such as: flood prediction; earthquake aftershocks; environmental protection; healthcare and biology, among others.Cisse explained that floods affect up to 250 million people, causing thousands of fatalities and inflicting billions of dollars of economic damage every year. He said Google has developed a system that combines physics-based modelling with AI to produce earlier and more precise flood warnings.In the areas of healthcare, Google developed an algorithm to predict heart attacks and strokes simply from images of the retina – no needle or blood draw required!He said Google researchers have helped doctors detect the spread of breast cancer tumours — the doctors and machine learning system are better working together than either is alone.Curtailing earthquake aftershocks, Cisse said: “existing predictors are a little better than chance. So we partnered with Harvard researchers to apply AI to seismic data, and created a model that while far from fully accurate, can now do a much better job than previous models of predicting where aftershocks will occur.”

Reps Okay 2019-2021 MTEF/FSP, Adopt $60.O/B As Crude Benchmark Price
4/10/2019 8:37 PM | 63 views

The House of Representatives, on Wednesday, passed the 2019 to 2021 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP) for the 2019 fiscal year.This followed the adoption of a report of the Joint Committees on Finance, Appropriations, Aids, Loans and Debt Management, Legislative Budget and Research and National Planning and Economic Development on the“ MTEF and FSP documents at a plenary presided over by Speaker Yakubu Dogara in Abuja’.’The lawmakers, who adopted the recommendations of 2.3 million per barrel as the daily production output of crude oil in 2019, also adopted the recommendations of $60 per barrel as the crude benchmark price for the 2019 Budget.Rep. Babangida Ibrahim (APC-Katsina), Chairman, House Committee on Finance, during the debate, urged the House to adopt the recommendations of the joint committees so that 2019 Budget could be expeditiously considered and passed by the legislature.He argued that the projection of 2.3 million per barrel as daily production output of crude oil was achievable due to the continuous effort of all stakeholders in checkmating the issues of oil facilities vandalism and other vices associated with such regard.Ibrahim said that the committees also adopted the recommendation of N305 to $1 as the official exchange rate for the 2019 fiscal year.He said the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) should be encouraged to vigorously develop strategies that would strengthen the naira and bridge the gap between the official and parallel market rates.“On debt management/new borrowing, the committee adopted the recommendation of N1.64 trillion as new borrowing to fund the budget deficit.“It advised relevant agencies to continue exploring ways of generating additional revenues for government to bring down the fiscal deficit’’.He enjoined the Federal Government to harness the full optimal potential of the Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development in terms of revenue generation to minimise the level of new borrowing.The lawmaker urged the Federal Government to consider reducing the granting of waivers and exemptions, also called on the Federal Inland Revenue Service to consider increasing tax on luxury goods and services.“The Federal Government should ensure that the Nigerian Customs Service personnel are at all oil terminals for accountability,” he added.According to him, 20 per cent operating surplus to be remitted by government-owned enterprises should be deducted at source.“The committees adopted the sum of N500 billion as Special Intervention Fund and enjoined the cooperation of relevant committees and other relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies in ensuring that the funds are judiciously utilised to provide a positive tangible impact of the funds on the Nigerian people,” he said.The Speaker, Mr Dogara, who chaired the Committee on Supply, however, urged the Federal Government to shelve the idea of heavy taxation on Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) “if employment generation would be a factor for economic development’’.He said that the government should rather consider lowering the tax on SMEs to boost the economy.According to him, increasing tax on SMEs would lead to unemployment as the sectors have the capacity to create more employment if the economic environment is conducive.When the speaker put the bill on a voice vote, the lawmakers unanimously adopted it.The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that President Muhammadu Buhari had, on Nov. 6, 2018, transmitted the MTEF/FSP document to the House for consideration. 

Lagos-Ibadan railway: CCECC complains of machine breakdown, says FG
4/9/2019 10:31 AM | 105 views

The contractor handling the construction of the Lagos-Ibadan rail project, China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation, has complained of the breakdown of some of its machines.The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, disclosed this to journalists on Monday, adding that the contractor claimed that this was due to the pressures from the government for completion of the project earlier than scheduled.Amaechi, who spoke after inspecting the ongoing work on the project, said the contractors complained that their machines were broke down due to the Federal Government’s pressure on them to speed up their construction work.The minister said, “We discussed about the machines and they (contractors) have no excuse. Their excuse was that the machines have broken down and are in the workshop.“They said based on the pressure of speed, the machines are being affected and that if we reduce this pressure, the machines will take their time to work during the three-year term of the contract.“But because we are pushing for it to be completed within one year plus, the machines are put on extra jobs and are breaking down, which is why they (machines) are at the workshop.”On whether the government was rushing the project because of the just concluded elections, Amaechi replied, “The rush wasn’t all about APC. I’ve always known that we will win.”READ ALSO: Police arrest man with 'roasted' human head in Ekiti StateHe explained that the government wanted to clear the congestion at the Lagos seaport and that the rail project would help achieve this.

Dangote Sugar posts N35 billion profit, plans N1.10 kobo dividend
4/9/2019 5:20 AM | 72 views

[FILE PHOTO] Dangote Sugar RefineryDangote Sugar Refinery has announced a profit before tax of N34.6 billion for the financial year ended December 31, 2018.A breakdown of the result released on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) indicated that while gross profit stood at N39.7 billion, the refinery earned revenue of N150.4 billion.According to a statement from the company, seasonal sugar production at Savannah Sugar was 12,375 tonnes; full year refinery production at Apapa 564,785 tonnes, while Group sugar sales volume was 581,504 tonnes. The Chief Operating Officer, Dangote Sugar Refinery, Ravindra Singhvi, said: “Though we maintained our market leadership position in the sugar sector, year 2018 was very challenging due to the impact of unlicensed sugar, smuggled and sold in our key markets nationwide, and the logistics challenges brought about by the continued Apapa traffic gridlock.“The gridlock constrained availability of trucks required daily to evacuate the production volumes, while the influx of smuggled sugar exerted a downward pressure on selling prices.“Despite efforts being deployed by the regulators to stem the tide, the influx of smuggled sugar into the markets spread further across our key markets in the North East and North West. We are currently focusing on process optimisation and the realisation of our Sugar Backward Integration Projects targeted at the production of 1.08 million metric tonnes of sugar in six years; from our various projects across the country.”Dangote Sugar is Nigeria’s largest producer of household and commercial sugar with 1.44M MT refining capacity at the same location. The refinery located at Apapa Wharf Ports Complex, refines raw sugar imported from Brazil to white, Vitamin A fortified refined granulated white sugar suitable for household and industrial uses.Its subsidiary, Savannah Sugar Company Limited, factory located at Numan, in Adamawa State, is an integrated sugar production facility, with an installed factory capacity of 50,000 tonnes. Covering 32,000 hectares, the Savannah estate has considerable opportunity for expansion, which is underway as part of the Dangote Sugar for Nigeria Project, campaign.“Our Backward Integration goal is to become a global force in sugar production, by producing 1.5M MT/PA of refined sugar from locally grown sugar cane for the domestic and export markets” in 10 years, he added. During the year, the following companies, which form part of the Backward Integration Project (BIP), were incorporated and consolidated in the Financial Statements of the group, which is indicative of the progress being made in BIP. They are Nasarawa Sugar Company Limited, Dangote Taraba Sugar Limited, Dangote Adamawa Sugar Limited and Dangote Niger Sugar Limited. These companies have a combined landmass for agriculture of about 110,000 hectares.The greenfield sites like Savannah Sugar, will be integrated sugar production facilities with new plantation and modern facilities that are located closer to the consumers.The board has recommended a dividend payout of N1.10 kobo per ordinary share of 50k to be paid to shareholders for the year ended 31st December 2018. This is subject to shareholders’ approval at the 13th yearly general meeting of the company.

Nigeria, Islamic Development Bank Seal N188m Deal
4/8/2019 6:12 PM | 94 views

The Islamic Development Bank (ISDB) and the Nigerian government has sealed an N188m-deal on Sunday, gistoftheday.com reports.This online news medium understands that the deal was concluded and signed at the 44th ISDB Group Annual Meeting in Marrakesh, Morocco, on Sunday.Nigeria’s Finance Minister, Zainab Ahmed, revealed in a statement that the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) will get $243,823 (N87.8 million) as the country sealed a $523,823 (N188,576,280) Technical Assistant Agreement grant with the Islamic Development Bank (ISDB) Group.The minister signed the agreement on behalf of the Nigerian Government while Bandar Hajjar, president of the ISDB Group, signed on behalf of the group.“TA agreement grants would be used to address capacity building and equipment, as well as logistics upgrade in the Hajj Commission,”  she said.“The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria would get $243,823.0, while the federal ministry of industry, trade and investment would receive $280,000.“The Technical Assistant Agreement Grant of $243,823.0 to the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria is for capacity building/equipment and logistics upgrade.”She added that the “TA grant of $280,000 to the Federal Ministry of Industry Trade and Investment is for the improvement of cotton, textile and garment value chain.“State governments in Nigeria are adopting cluster farming which has eased access to funds by farmers, increased growth and allows access to facilities without collateral.” 

Oil prices spike; Tech pressure; Warren Buffett's tip for Wells Fargo
4/8/2019 11:40 AM | 69 views

Oil prices spiked to their highest level in five months on Monday.US crude futures advanced 0.4% to trade at $63.30 per barrel. Brent crude, the international benchmark, also rose 0.4% to $70.60 per barrel.Crude prices have been boosted by continuing production cuts by OPEC and its allies, US sanctions on Iran and Venezuela, as well as easing worries about weaker global trade.A worsening security situation in Libya has also sparked concerns that supply from the major oil producer could be disrupted."The volatile nature of the situation means that the risk of fighting spreading towards the oil fields is increasing by the day," said Jasper Lawler, head of research at the London Capital Group, a broker.2. Britain pressures tech: The UK government is proposing new rules that would make internet companies legally responsible for unlawful and damaging content.Tech executives could be hit with substantial fines and criminal penalties under the proposal.The government said that an independent regulator would be created to enforce the new rules, which focus on removing content that incites violence, encourages suicide or constitutes cyber-bullying. Content related to terrorism and child abuse would face even stricter standards.The government said it would consult on its plan over the next 12 weeks before introducing it as legislation.3. Warren Buffett's tip for Wells Fargo: Legendary investor Warren Buffett has urged Wells Fargo (WFC) to look outside Wall Street for a new chief executive.Buffett, the largest shareholder in the battered US bank, told the Financial Times that the new CEO "probably shouldn't come from JPMorgan or Goldman Sachs."Wells Fargo CEO Tim Sloan stepped down suddenly last month. Sloan said his decision to relinquish control of Wells Fargo could help the bank overcome a litany of scandals.The bank's board has pledged to find an outsider to replace Sloan, who will retire at the end of June.4. Global market overview: US stock futures were pointing lower.European markets opened down, following a mixed trading session in Asia.The Dow Jones industrial average closed up 0.2% on Friday. The S&P 500 gained 0.5%, rising for the seventh trading session in a row. The Nasdaq jumped 0.6%.Before the Bell newsletter: Key market news. In your inbox. Subscribe now!5. Companies and economics: Nissan (NSANF) shareholders have voted to remove Carlos Ghosn from his role as a director, the last title the carmaker's former chief held at the company.The extraordinary shareholders' meeting in Tokyo picked Renault (RNLSY) chairman Jean-Dominique Senard to take Ghosn's position on the Nissan board.The US Census Bureau will release its report on February factory orders at 10 a.m. ET.German exports slumped more than expected in February, increasing worried about the health of Europe's biggest economy.6. Coming this week:Monday — US February factory ordersTuesday — US February JOLTS job openings report; IMF world economic outlookWednesday — Delta Air Lines (DAL), LVMH (LVMHF) and Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY) earnings; US March consumer prices; Fed minutes; ECB rate decision; UK GDP and EU summit on BrexitThursday — Rite Aid (RAD) earnings; Disney (DIS) investor day; India election polling beginsFriday — JPMorgan Chase (JPM) and Wells Fargo (WFC) earnings; China export data, Britain's current deadline to leave the European Union.(CNN)

Buhari: ‘Baba Go Slow needs to hurry up’ – Bloomberg mocks Nigerian govt over failed economy
4/8/2019 10:51 AM | 73 views

American news agency, Bloomberg, has described President Muhammadu Buhari’s record over the last four years as discouraging.The New York-based international news agency further stated that it wonders if ‘Baba Go Slow’ “is up to the task” of reviving the economy in his second term.The news agency noted that in the year 2000, over 1.4 billion people lived at or below the global poverty line of $1.90 a day.In its editorial published on April 7, 2019, Bloomberg stated that one of humanity’s most hopeful developments in recent decades has been the dramatic drop in extreme poverty, adding that Nigeria needs growth to defuse poverty time.It added, “Today, the number is about 600 million. This remarkable change is mainly due to growth in China and India. Much of sub-Saharan Africa, particularly Nigeria, has failed to share in the success.“A decade ago, Nigeria had far fewer people in extreme poverty than either China or India; today, according to data compiled by the World Data Lab, it has more than both combined. The count stands at more than 90 million, and has risen both in absolute terms and as a share of the total.“Nigeria’s young and fast-growing population is projected by the United Nations to double in size by 2050, making it the world’s third-biggest. Even assuming that the proportion of Nigerians living in extreme poverty stops rising as quickly as it has in recent years, it’s on course to remain extraordinarily high for the foreseeable future.“Nigeria’s success or failure in confronting extreme poverty will be pivotal for the rest of Africa, too — partly because of its huge population but also because of its outsize influence over its neighbors.“The government led by President Muhammadu Buhari, recently re-elected to a second and final four-year term, bears a grave responsibility. One wonders whether a politician known as “Baba Go Slow” is up to the task.“His record over the last four years is discouraging. Economic growth has barely recovered following the 2014 crash in the price of oil, which remains Nigeria’s biggest export and source of government revenue.“Per capita gross domestic product is less than it was when he took office. Joblessness has more than tripled. Efforts to spur agriculture and other non-oil parts of the economy have failed. Foreign direct investment has fallen by more than half since 2010.”

Yoruba Ronu, It's Never Too Late
4/7/2019 6:12 PM | 77 views

HOW SAD FOR THE YORUBA NATION!Did the Igbos put guns on anybody's head before buying up Alaba, Ajegunle, isolo and Oshodi in Lagos?Did they use juju before the Ibadan surrendered Iwo Road to them?And what were we looking at before the Igbos took over Isida and Adeti in Ilesa ?Where were the YORUBAS when the Igbos thrived and built 90% of the Hotels in Abuja. Was there a law that excluded the YORUBAS from selling building materials? Dei Dei building materials market in Abuja is 90 % Igbo owned.So the more we point one finger at the Igbos, the more we have the other four fingers pointing at our laziness and lack of initiative as a society.The YORUBAS should have been better with all our education, but we may be worse than the Fulanis who just roam around the bush.Why? Because we lack the entrepreneurship spirit. We just want salaries from doing 8am to 5pm job. We proceed in foolishness and we persist in hoping to reap plenty without sowing hard. The Igbos are different, hence we are now jealous and envious.We love wasteful parties and Aso Ebi. Just a little business without even making any profit yet, we usually call musicians to spray money like coffetti .Where are all the Board Members of Ebenezer Obey today? Where is lawyer Omoyinmi and Lanre Badmus? Where is Oroki Social Club of Osogbo? Where is Felates of Ilesa and the likes whose trade mark was to bring Sunny Ade to Ilesa every Xmas, to waste all income gathered for the year?The Yoruba society wasted their leading lights on excessive consumption and wasteful attitudes. We wasted our capital on frivolous social gatherings.We took religion to ridicoulous levels, such that the wealthiest pastors and churches are now Yorubas. But all the wealth extracted by the churches from the Yoruba nation is also merely flaunted to show whose God is the most miraculous.So we have become paupers and destitutes, as the Yoruba nation cannot now pay salaries. Pensions are owed for years.Tell me, is Osun State filled with human beings or goats to have tolerated Aregbesola, when they rejected Akande. Say it loud, is the Constituted Authority of Ibadan sane to just bring about 21 Obas from nowhere to receive salaries, where there is no money to reopen Ladoja Akintola University?Are the Ondos so wise to have allowed Mimiko to devastate their terrain as to be now saddled with 12 months salary arrears? What of Ekiti with rabble rousing Fayose and the intellectually arrogant Fayemi?But the Igbos are hard workers. Let us not continue to deceive ourselves. 20 of their young boys can live in the shop from where they sell goods. There is no place too dirty or remote for them to hibernate and incubate their ideas. Give them 5 years, you will see them buy and take over all shops and lands.True, some of them are criminals, but majority of the Igbo youths build and build physical structures always, while the YORUBAS are content with looking for salaried jobs, so that they can have siesta in the afternoons and then attend parties on Saturdays. Then spend Sundays in church wishing and praying for divine miracles.How foolish! As the Igbo youths are meeting and strategizing on Sundays, so that they can gather money and buy the houses and lands owned by our Yoruba fathers, the Yorubas youths are busy in churches on Sundays praying for miracles.Whether we like it or not, Obokungbusi Town Hall will soon be on concessional PPP sale. The Igbos will buy it. The proceeds will be used to pay backlog of salaries owed to impoverished Ijeshas. It will come willy nilly.It will happen even in a declared Oduduwa Republic. Afterall, the Chinese, the Lebanese and the South Africans are buying us out with reckless abandon. See how ShopRite is buying up everywhere. I heard that they bought Owena Motel estate in Akure. How come we did not sell it to the Igbos?We shall continue to grumble and hate the Igbos until eternity. Unless we spy on them, copy their ways and imbibe their 'can do' attitude.The Yoruba nation and society have been pauperised and destituted. In desperation, we shall soon start to behave like the Almajiris in the North.In grinding poverty and out of jealousy, the Almajiris of the North regularly loot Igbo shops and businesses. Very soon Yoruba urchins will start looting too to show that they hate the Igbos.Even some of us here will defend it to show our hatred for the Igbos. Whereas, the looting is as a result of hunger and uselessness of our society.How sad for the Yoruba Nation.

BREAKING!! Access Bank Unveils New Brand Identity
4/6/2019 8:59 PM | 103 views

Access Bank Unveils New Brand IdentityObinna ChimaandRaheem AkingboluAccess Bank Plc will today launch its new brand identity with 400 branches.This followed the successful merger between the bank and Diamond Bank.A statement from Access Bank disclosed that the new brand was unveiled in front of an elegantly-clad invited audience in Lagos last night.According to the bank, the merger created a Nigerian banking powerhouse and a pan-African financial services champion.“Access Bank today is the largest retail bank in Africa by customer base. One bank with 27,000 staff across 592 branches, spanning three continents, 12 countries and with 29 million customers,” it explained.Providing insight into the new brand identity, the bank disclosed that the new visual identity fuses together the best of Access Bank and Diamond Bank.According to it, “It builds on the layers of meaning that were built into two iconic brands. Diamond Bank’s was youthful, vibrant and human.“Access Bank’s was trusted, global and fast.  Bringing them together to capture the strength created through the merger meant drawing from the essence of each logo but refreshing them to create a sense of energy and forward momentum.“The diamond shape is fused into the three chevrons, which radiate in all directions to create layers around a core.”Continuing, the bank explained that the retention of the access typeface, colour and font was complemented by the orange logo, which draws from the colour palettes of both banks.It stated that the use of the diamond colour palette was further emphasised with the dominance of green in its retail application, ensuring continuity for retail customers, while the dominant orange in the corporate application provides the same sense of familiarity to Access Bank’s customers.It stated further: “To accompany the new logo, there is a new brand promise: access. more than banking. This is more than a tag line.  It is a philosophy.“Almost 20 years ago Access Bank set out to change the face of banking in Nigeria. Its goal was to lift the continent of Africa through what it called sustainable banking, showing individuals and businesses across the country that ethical business was good business.“Providing African businesses with access to intra Africa trade and global markets.  Giving budding entrepreneurs the tools to build a business.“Offering families the opportunity to realise their dreams. Across the country, another entrepreneur was also building a bank, with a dream that went beyond banking.“He wanted to respond to changing lifestyles by using innovation and technology to support societal shifts. With a focus on personalised service that understood people’s desires and ambitions and made them possible.“These two banks, one a corporate titan, the other a digital retail powerhouse, have come together to create Africa’s largest bank.  For both, the philosophy remains unchanged.“They want their 29 million customers to be able to access. more than banking. They want them to access their dreams and, in doing so, putting Africa in its rightful place on the world stage.”Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Access Bank, Mr. Herbert Wigwe, had said: “Together, we would have 27 million customers, which is the largest customer base of any bank on the continent. We would have 33,000 point of sale (PoS) terminals, 3,300 automated teller machines (ATMs) and all of that.“Access Bank has grown over time and has built a very strong wholesale banking capability. We have also shown significant expertise as far as treasury is concerned, risk management as well as our capital management plan.“We created and pushed a very strong value chain strategy which was our own way of building our retail business.“This was because we realised that the creation of a large diversified bank is critical, not just for Nigeria, but in Africa and the world. If you go to any part of the world, what you tend to see is that the top three or top five banks technically control market share.”Speaking further, Wigwe said the combination of Access Bank and Diamond Bank would ensure that “we are able to take and solve customers’ issues right from the wholesale end, down to the man in the village, just because of the use of technology.”

Aliko Dangote Has Given Reasons Why States in Northern we Remains Poor
4/6/2019 11:18 AM | 81 views

Why Northern States Will Always Be Poor- DangoteGlobal News NGFollowAfrica's richest man and one of the leading entrepreneurs in Nigeria, Aliko Dangote, has given reasons why states in Northern Nigeria will always remain poor despite their agricultural strength.Dangote gave the reasons yesterday April 3rd when he spoke at the fourth Economic and Investment Summit in Kaduna. The businessman said;“Northern Nigeria will continue to fall behind if respective state governments do not move to close the development gap and that is why we are always saying that the biggest challenge we have and what we are always praying for is to have 10 governors like Nasir el-Rufai.READ ALSO: Dangote, The Man That Used Cement To Build His FortuneIt is instructive to know that the 19 Northern states, which account for over 54 per cent of the country’s population and 70 per cent of its landmass, collectively generated only 21 per cent of the total sub-national internally generated revenue (IGR) in 2017.The North should focus on harnessing its massive agricultural potential in terms of production and processing. No region with such agricultural potential should be this poor. We have what it takes to turn around our fortunes and I pray all the 19 governors of the Northern states will wake up and follow the Kaduna State example."By AgnesREPOR

Banks becoming money laundering institutions, EFCC boss alleges
4/6/2019 7:04 AM | 60 views

[FILE PHOTO] Ibrahim Magu, Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes CommissionThe Chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, has declared that banks were being turned into fraud and money laundering institutions in Nigeria.The EFCC boss said some bankers give cover to fraudsters, corrupt politicians and foreign nationals to operate, adding that recent discovery by the Commission showed that some foreign nationals sponsor terrorism through banks in the country.Magu stated this yesterday in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, during a meeting with officers of banks in the South-South Zone. He, however, affirmed that the Commission would surely stamp out the ugly menace from banks as machineries have been positioned in strategic places.Magu said: “You cannot fight corruption in isolation; that is why we are having this meeting today with compliance officers of banks. We have to join hands, including the journalists, to succeed in this fight.“A lot of laundering activities today are going on in the bank. This is because of what a lot of them do with Bureau De Change agents. We have discovered that many of these operators of Bureau De Change are foreign nationals.“Banks give them chance and they launder our money and they finance terrorism. Banks also help politically exposed persons to steal funds. They give life to internet fraudsters through Money Gram and Western Union.“Unfortunately, we now have fraudsters working inside the banks. They subject people’s account into intimidation and extortion. We want to put our machinery to deal with such bankers.”He also disclosed that the Commission has within the first quarter of 2019 secured 194 convictions, stressing that it was committed to ending corruption in the nation.The EFCC boss said: “From January 1 till today, we have secured 194 convictions. All our cases were at the High Courts. We have to follow the rigours of High Court. Most of the cases did not start this year but we concluded them this year.”Magu also disclosed that the Commission would go after ex-governors and politicians who had been fingered in corruption acts, noting that the EFCC did not go after them during their tenure because of their constitutional immunity.He also stated that the Commission’s involvement in this year’s polls would enthrone sanity and eradicate vote-buying, adding: “Yes, the 2019 polls was the first time EFCC got involved in election monitoring because we are determined to fight all round corruptions. I cannot disclose our achievements because we need not blow our trumpet by ourselves but I’m sure by our actions, vote buying and other political fraud will stop.”

NSE market capitalisation increases by N24bn
4/5/2019 6:33 PM | 122 views

Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE)The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) market indicators reversed negative trend on Friday with a marginal growth of 0.21 per cent.Specifically, the All-Share Index which opened at 29,553.12 grew by 63.26 points or 0.21 points to close at 29,616.38 due to marginal gains by some blue chips.Also, the market capitalisation which opened at N11.100 trillion appreciated by N24 billion to close at N11.124 trillion.Cement Company of Northern Nigeria led the gainers’ table, increasing by 80k to close at N17 per share.Dangote Flour Mills followed with a gain of 55k to close at N8.55, while Cadbury gained 50k to close at N10.50 per share.Union Bank of Nigeria added 35k to close at N7.09, while Africa Prudential grew by 21k to close at N3.76 per share.On the other hand, GlaxosmithKline dominated the losers’ chart , dropping by 65k to close at N9.50, while Fidson trailed with a loss of 45k to close at N4.50 per share.Flour Mills lost 25k to close at N17.30, while UACN was down by 15k to close at N7.35, while United Bank for Africa declined by 15k to close at N6.20 per share.Sterling Bank was the most active stock, exchanging 59.87 million shares worth N149.86 million.Chams followed with an account of 56.01 million shares valued at N13.22 million, while FBN Holdings traded 55.49 million shares worth N409.23 million.Guaranty Trust Bank sold 37.75 million shares valued at N1.32 billion, while Access Bank traded 35.56 million shares worth N203.26 million.In all, a total of 401.19 million shares valued at N3.49 billion was exchanged by investors in 3,575 deals.This was in contrast with a turnover of 499.09 million shares worth N2.89 billion achieved in 4,133 deals on Thursday.

Oil prices edge lower on economic concerns
4/5/2019 12:43 PM | 104 views

Oil explorationOil prices declined on Friday with Brent slipping away from the 70 dollars mark reached the previous day, but both main contracts were set for weekly gains due to mounting geopolitical risks.Brent crude futures dropped 16 cents to 69.24 dollars a barrel by 0856 GMT, having touched 70.03 dollars in the previous session, the highest since Nov. 12.U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude fell four cents a barrel to 62.06 dollars, having hit their highest since Nov. 7 on Wednesday at 62.99 dollars.Brent and WTI are on track for their second and fifth consecutive weeks of gain, respectively.Weighing on prices are concerns that an economic slowdown could dent fuel consumption.“At the heart of this late retreat in oil prices were lingering trade jitters,” said Stephen Brennock of oil brokerage PVM.The United States and China, the world’s two biggest oil consumers, could be close to ending their trade dispute though some hurdles remain.U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday said the two sides were “very close to making a deal,” though the United States remains hesitant to lift 250 billion dollars in tariffs that China is seeking to have removed.“The geopolitics around Libya and Venezuela, alongside the possible reflation of risk appetite on positive U.S.-China trade talks may well pull the market out of its morning doldrums,” Harry Tchilinguirian, global oil strategist at BNP Paribas, told the Reuters Global Oil Forum.Eastern Libyan commander, Khalifa Haftar, ordered his troops on Thursday to march on the capital Tripoli, escalating a conflict with the internationally recognised government.Any potential oil outages in Libya would “noticeably increase the pressure on Saudi Arabia to open up the oil tap again, as it did in the autumn,” Commerzbank said in a note.The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and producer allies such as Russia agreed to cut output by 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd) this year to prop up prices.Venezuela’s deputy foreign minister said on Thursday he did not rule out that more Russian military personnel may arrive in Venezuela under agreements already concluded between the two countries.Somewhat undermining the OPEC-led effort to prop up the market is surging U.S. oil production, which rose to a record 12.2 million bpd last week, official data showed.As a result, U.S. crude oil stockpiles soared last week, the Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday.

Senate, House of Reps task Niger Delta Ministry on budget implementation
4/5/2019 12:18 PM | 106 views

The Senate and House of Representatives Committees on Niger Delta had emphasised the need for effective implementation of budgetary allocations to the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs.They expressed this in a statement signed by Mr Stephen Kilebi, Deputy Director, Press/Public Relations of the ministry on Friday in Abuja.The Chairmen of the committees, Sen. Peter Nwaoboshi and Rep. Essien Ayi, disclosed this during the 2018 Budget Defence and presentation of the 2019 Draft Budget by the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Mr Usani Usani.Nwaoboshi said: “if we discover that you do not deserve the money allocated to you, we will ensure that such money is given to others that need it.“But if we also discover that the money allocated to you is smaller than what you require, we will source for other areas of raising funds for you.”Nwaoboshi added that the Ministry should ensure timely completion of projects that are beneficial to the people of the region.He said that findings of the committees during oversight visits would be the major deciding factors for the consideration of the Ministry’s 2019 Appropriation.Earlier, Ayi said his Committee was interested in the completion of ongoing capital projects in the region.He said that the committee witnessed a number of uncompleted projects during its visits to the region.He, however, advised that completed housing schemes in the region by the Ministry should be handed over to the beneficiaries to address their housing needs.Usani, while presenting a draft budget of N41,600,274,568 covering capital, overhead and personnel appropriation for 2019, said that about 80 per cent projects in the region were completed.He listed the projects to include roads, water, electricity, housing, blocks of classroom, food and cassava processing plants, health care centres and empowerment programmes.Others are sensitisation on peace and security, medical outreaches, land reclamation and erosion control, among others,He said all these were completed within the 2018 budget year across the nine states of the Niger Delta region.Usani said that the implementation of the 2018 Capital Budget was still on-going, adding that more capital projects would still be completed before June.He said that the Ministry was guided by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Administration’s determination to move the country to the Next Level, in preparing the budget.“The core projects earmarked for execution in the fiscal year 2019 are indeed consistent with the programmes spelt out in the budget guidelines,“ he reiterated.He also said that the Ministry would continue to ensure that quality jobs are delivered to the people and residents of the Niger Delta region by contractors.

Paga posts $4.6 billion deals, 12 million customers in 10 years
4/4/2019 1:01 PM | 79 views

Mobile money company, Paga, has said that in 10 years of its operations in Nigeria, it has successfully processed over 72 million transactions worth $4.6 billion (N1.2 Trillion), with a record of 12 million customers.Besides, it was able to raise $34.7 million since its inception, attracting investors such as Tim Draper, one of the earliest Internet investors; Flourish, a venture of the Omidyar Group; and the Global Innovation Fund, among others.Speaking in Lagos, at the 10-year celebration of the firm, Paga’s founder and Chief Executive Officer, Tayo Oviosu, said: “Today (yesterday) marks 10 years since we started the journey    that was born out of the frustration with needing to carry cash everywhere in Nigeria and the inability to make payments efficiently.”“While working in a Private Equity firm, the Stanford school of business graduate was bitten with the entrepreneurial bug and the strong need to start something big that will have a huge impact on the world. After making a list of about 20 ideas, the “cash” problem stood out like a sore thumb, and this is what he decided to dedicate his life to solving. “I started Paga with one goal: To solve the “use of cash” problem — Cash is still king around the world — and that needs to change. Cash is very expensive to clean, manage, and store. “In high-risk countries like Nigeria, carrying sums of cash around poses a security risk. Storing money digitally and transacting digitally significantly reduces friction, transaction costs, convenience, and improves livelihoods.”  According to him, the first market has been Nigeria- a country of about 200 million people, with over 90 per cent of transactions done in cash.“Though the company started in April 2009, we took our services to market in August 2012. It took us 25 months to get our license from the Central Bank of Nigeria, and then another seven months to close our Series A financing.  “A lot has happened since then- the trailblazing team of four has grown to 460 and counting. Paga has served over 12 million customers and processed over 72 million transactions worth $4.6 billion.”The company has also raised $34.7 million since its inception, attracting investors such as Tim Draper, one of the earliest Internet investors, Flourish, a venture of the Omidyar Group, and the Global Innovation Fund, amongst others,” he said.  Oviosu explained that since its commercial launch in August 2012, Paga has developed into a sophisticated omnichannel payments platform offering users a safe and convenient way to send and receive money, and pay their bills.According to him, customers are able to use Paga on any mobile phone by dialing *242# on any network, Paga’s mobile app or website, or through any Paga agent. The innovative wallet allows users to link multiple bank cards and also fund the wallet directly in order to access funds from one world-class secure location.He claimed that the company has established itself firmly as a pioneer in the Fintech industry and a leader in mobile payments, which is due in part to the foresight of the founders to solve the key challenges that came with mobile payments – how to include people who weren’t banked into the digital ecosystem.  “The answer was to aggressively build out an agent network; Relying on neighborhood stores where people could pay cash into digital wallets and make electronic payments. Paga now has over 20,000 agents in every region in Nigeria, particularly in rural and semi-rural areas. “We are very proud to celebrate this milestone. At Paga, we say we are making life possible for our customers. We want to make payments so seamless that you can focus on what you really care about — whether that is ensuring that your wife is admitted to the hospital for treatment, or ensuring your daughter is allowed into school because payment was made on time. I’m incredibly proud of what our team has achieved so far. Our investors have been fantastic partners and we won’t be here but for their belief in our big idea,” he added.  In the next decade, he said Paga is expanding its offering to include in-store and online e-commerce payments, and financial services such as savings, loans, and insurance in partnership with banks and other financial institutions.The company has also announced plans to expand to other emerging countries that have similar “cash” problems that the Paga multilingual and multi-currency platform is equipped to solve.

World stocks stall on trade jitters
4/4/2019 10:59 AM | 87 views

Business graph with arrows tending downwards.European and Asian shares stepped back from eight-month highs on Thursday as investors took money off the table amid fresh concerns about U.S.-China trade talks and as dire data from Germany signaled trouble for Europe.Germany’s figures showed industrial orders fell at their sharpest rate in more than two years in February driven largely by a slump in foreign demand.It compounded signs that Europe’s largest economy has had a feeble start to the year and left the euro stuck at 1.12 dollar, sent German Bund yields back below zero in the bond market and ended a four-day run of gains for share traders.MSCI’s broadest index of Asia shares also lost 0.4 per cent overnight after five straight days of gains had taken it to the highest level since late August.Losses were led by Australia and New Zealand, while Hong Kong, the Philippines and Indian markets were also in red.Chinese shares were firmer with the blue-chip index up 0.6 per cent, while Japan’s Nikkei paused near a recent one-month top.Analysts pointed to investor fatigue and a lack of fresh headlines on the Sino-U.S. trade talks for Thursday’s sell-off, while disappointing U.S. economic data this week also weighed on sentiment.“We are expecting quite a constructive agreement between the U.S. and China when it comes to trade,” said AllianceBernstein China Portfolio Manager John Lin.He added it was probably now a consensus view among major investors and if it proved right, would raise other questions such as whether China’s government would “keep its foot on the (stimulus) pedal or ease off a bit.”Risk sentiment has otherwise been supported this week by signs of progress in Sino-U.S. trade talks.White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said on Wednesday the two sides aimed to bridge differences during talks which could extend beyond three days this week.Investors are keen to see if ongoing talks lead to an earlier-than-anticipated meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping to sign an accord.

Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 pilots 'could not stop nosedive'
4/4/2019 10:12 AM | 90 views

A preliminary report into the crash of an Ethiopian Airlines plane last month says the aircraft nosedived several times before it crashed. Pilots "repeatedly" followed procedures recommended by Boeing before the crash, according to the first official report into the disaster.Despite their efforts, pilots "were not able to control the aircraft", Transport Minister Dagmawit Moges said.Flight ET302 crashed after take-off from Addis Ababa, killing 157 people.It was the second crash of a Boeing 737 Max aircraft in five months.Last October, Lion Air flight JT 610 crashed into the sea near Indonesia killing all 189 people on board."The crew performed all the procedures repeatedly [that were] provided by the manufacturer but were not able to control the aircraft," Ms Moges said in a news conference in Addis Ababa.In a statement, the chief executive of Ethiopian Airlines, Tewolde GebreMariam, said he was "very proud" of the pilots' "high level of professional performance"."It was very unfortunate they could not recover the airplane from the persistence of nosediving," the airline said in a statement.

Accountants induct forensic professionals, others
4/4/2019 5:22 AM | 87 views

RelatedMainstreaming women into developing agenda2 days ago  AppointmentsCBN tasks stakeholders on innovation, others2 days ago  AppointmentsISCDN nominates Dikwa for fellow award2 days ago  AppointmentsRazak JaiyeolaTo assist the Federal Government in its fight against graft, the Chartered Institute of Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) has inducted 71 additional certified forensic professionals into its fold making a total of 613 within the periods 2018-2019.Also 14 financial reporting experts with certificate of proficiency in International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS0), 16 insolvency-certified practitioners and eight corporate finance-certified accountants were welcomed into the profession.Speaking at the ceremony in Lagos, the President of ICAN, Alhaji Razak Jaiyeola explained that recent developments in the market call for a shift from being just generalist to specialist in any chosen field of accountancy as revolutions in information technology has significantly changed the methodologies of accounting processes and quality of deliverables of chartered accountants, hence, the need to expand the responsibilities of professionals beyond the traditional attestation function.In response to the changing times, he said the institute introduced, faculties of audit, investigation and forensic accounting, corporate finance management, financial reporting, insolvency and corporate re-engineering. He said its council created also created faculties of public finance management, consultancy and information technology and taxation and fiscal policy management.He charged the new fellows to make good use of the opportunities that the event provides, as they would be looked up to for professional advice in those special areas.   Jaiyeola charged them to discharge their roles in line with our tradition of high ethical disposition and continue to fly the profession’s flag of honesty, integrity and excellence with distinction in their respective spheres of influence, no matter the odds.“Except you continue to demonstrate these great ideals and thrive on the virtues of the profession through exemplary conduct, we cannot legitimately claim to be the conscience of the nation”. Your remaining at the frontiers of knowledge in the various sub-fields would largely depend on your ability to leverage technology for improved service deliveries. It is in line with this that I wish to inform you that ICAN is organising its first Accounting Technology Summit in April 2019, which will hold in Lagos.  The aim of the Conference is to have extensive discussions on the different emerging technologies and how they would impact the accounting profession while taking into consideration the peculiarities of the Nigerian business landscape”, he stated.According to him, specialisation would provide members opportunity to carve a niche for themselves as a professional in a particular field; effective and efficient deployment of skills and competencies for overall economic well being; creation of an avenue for the judicious use of human and material resources among others.He said: “ICAN Faculties are centres of Excellence that serve as breeding grounds for specialized professionals to contribute to the growth and development of the nation. As a case in point, graduates of the Audit, Investigations and Forensic Accounting Faculty continue to bring to bear their professional training in assisting government to achieving its goal of fighting corruption in the polity. The graduates from this Faculty are occupying strategic positions in both the public and private sectors of the Nigerian economy. Graduates of other Faculties are playing similar roles in the different fields of accounting such as taxation, financial reporting, consultancy and IT, insolvency and so on.”On what Nigeria stands to benefit from the new professionals, the chairman of the faculty of insolvency and corporate re-engineering, Mr Cyril Azobu said given the situation Nigeria went through as a result of recession, insolvency practitioners would offer solutions on ways by which companies could be revived and restructured as well as continue as a growing entities.Azobu posited that forensic accounting provides evidence and support for organisations that want to address issues that are related to frauds and matters requiring investigation. “To this extent we now have professionals who are competent and possess the right value and provide evidence in court or among disputing partners or corporates. They address issues of fraud risks, having clear policies in place and helping companies in instituting fraud prevention programmes in organization by professionals who are well trained. Government can leverage their competences in fraud case as they would be very useful”, he said.

Financial Reports: Looking Beyond Declared Profits
4/3/2019 9:39 AM | 75 views

The season of publishing 2019 audited annual accounts of companies came to an end on March 31. Only a few organisations among the quoted companies did not meet up. CHIMA NWOKOJI looks beyond profit to assess the performance of six banks through other parameters.Using a few financial ratios to assess the performance of any corporate entity is a way of painting clearer picture of financial statements. During the week ending March 29, 2019, 22 quoted firms declared their results.Fourteen firms declared growth in revenue. But when financial institutions among these firms are assessed using such tools as Cost to Income Ratio, Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR), Liquidity Ratio, and Return on Average Equity among others, it becomes clear that only profit does not tell the whole story.Financial experts have a consensus  that  stakeholders need not wait for the central bank or even analysts to tell if a bank is financially sound or not. There are ratios that the investors and regulators use to identify banks that are not in good financial state which are available for use.For example, there are minimum regulatory liquidity ratios of: 30.0 per cent for commercial banks; 20.0 per cent for merchant banks; and 10.0 per cent for non-interest banks, at end-December 2018. The ratios are indicators and not necessarily a confirmation that the banks are about to collapse; however, they are acceptable benchmarks.Indeed the financial system was awash with announcement of results  in which lenders said they recorded growth in their interest income, deposits, assets and overall profit, etcetera. A closer look showed that majority experienced decrease in interest income as the environment in which they operated remains restrictive to asset creation.Stanbic IBTC has Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR) which improved to 24.7 per cent relative to 23.5 per cent  the preceding year. This is well above the regulatory limit of 10.0 per cent for national banks and can accommodate the forecast growth in loan book for Financial Year (FY):2019.It also means that Stanbic IBTC Bank has ensured that the capital held is commensurate with the bank’s overall risk profile. In simpler terms, its qualified capital (equity) is about 24 times above total risk assets (money lent out by the bank).The CBN requires that banks with international subsidiaries maintain CAR of 15 per cent, while banks without international subsidiaries maintain CAR of 10 per cent.But the minimum requirement for the systemically important banks (SIBs) is 16 per cent. If it has less, then the bank will need to raise capital. Stanbic IBTC has not been counted among them.Stanbic’s cost-to-income ratio settled higher at 52.9 per cent relative to 49.8 per cent in FY:2017. This means that it cost the bank higher to generate money in 2018 than 2017. It probably spent N52.90k to generate N100.The NPL ratio trended downward from 8.7 per cent in FY 2017 to 4.0 per cent in FY 2018, below the regulatory benchmark of 5 per cent. CBN says NPL above 5 per cent is dangerous. Stanbic IBTC did well to bring its NPL ratio below 5 per cent.When a borrower has not made regular payments for at least 90 days, the loan is considered a non-performing loan, or NPL. The non-performing loan ratio, better known as the NPL ratio, is the ratio of the amount of non-performing loans in a bank’s loan portfolio to the total amount of outstanding loans the bank holds.Fidelity BankFidelity Bank’s Profit After Tax (PAT) of N20.7 billion implies a 2018 ROAE of 10.5 per cent.The bank’s 10.5 per cent ROAE means the lender is at the threshold of not creating added income for each Naira of shareholders’ equity, because anything below 10 per cent is poor according to experts. However, the lender says it is better positioned to generate higher returns this year through SME lending.Guaranty Trust BankGTBank’s cost-to-income ratio stood at 36.5 per cent relative to 37.5 per cent in the preceding year. This clearly shows that the lender has continued to apply cost reduction measures. GTBank is probably doing well by spending about N36.50kobo to generate N100 income.The bank’s PAT also translates to a healthy ROAE of 31.7 per cent.Liquidity ratio (LR) settled at 41.4 per cent in the year relative to 47.6 per cent in the prior year. GTBank’s LR are cash balances plus assets that can easily convert to cash, as a ratio of the total liabilities owed by the bank, which is typically deposits. Nigeria’s banks are supposed to have a liquidity ratio of 30 per cent.The Bank’s management noted that liquidity ratio came under pressure last year from issues bordering on effective Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) and customers’ preference for better yielding fixed income instruments show the cash levels of a company and the ability to turn other assets into cash to pay off liabilities and other current demands for cash on the bank.A high liquidity ratio indicates that a business is holding too much cash that could be utilised in other areas. A low liquidity ratio means a firm may struggle to pay short-term obligationsAccess BankAccess Bank’s cost-to-income ratio of 62.2 per cent in 2018 was higher than  61.9  per cent 2017 according to Capital Bancorp Plc analysis. However, this means that the bank perhaps spent N61.90 kobo to generate a N100 in 2018. Also, its loan-to-deposit ratio stood at 67.7 per cent in 2018 as against 75.5  in 2017, meaning that though, the lender slowed down on loan growth and lent roughly 67.7 per cent of customers’ deposits by the end of 2018.Return on Average Equity stood at 19.36 per cent in 2018 compared with 11.75 per cent in 2017.As earlier stated, a high ROAE means a company is creating more income for each Naira of shareholders’ equity, while a too low ROAE is the reverse. At 19. 36 per cent, Access Bank is actually increasing return to shareholders but has room for improvement considering that some of its peers are delivering 23 per cent and above.

ExxonMobil in further divestments from Nigeria
4/3/2019 6:19 AM | 69 views

more African countries’ oil finds threaten NigeriaBy Ediri Ejoh with Agency reportTHERE are indications that ExxonMobil has concluded plans to divest from some onshore and offshore fields worth $3 billion in Nigeria.Industry and banking sources that made this disclosure to Reuters, said: “The potential disposals are expected to include stakes in onshore and offshore fields and could raise up to $3-billion. Exxon is actively divesting in Nigeria.”ExxonMobil staffInvestigation by Vanguard, showed that this development is coming after the company had couple of years ago divested its downstream business to NIPCO Plc.Exxon’s oil output in the West African country reached 225,000 barrels per day (bpd) in 2017, adding: “Exxon officials have held talks in recent weeks with several Nigerian companies to gauge their interest in the fields.”Reuters disclosed that the discussions focused on a number of onshore fields Exxon shares in joint ventures with Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, including oil mining leases 66, 68, 70 and 104, one source said.Shell, ExxonMobil seek crude swap deals with NigeriaAfrica oil producers’ threatMeanwhile, the Nigeria Natural Resource Charter (NNRC) has expressed fears over current discoveries of crude oil in other Africa countries which posses threats to Nigeria’s competitiveness in the global oil and gas market.According to a presentation by the NNRC Programme Coordinator, Tengi George-Ikoli, countries like Ghana; Cote d’Ivoire, Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda, have all emerged as new hydrocarbon jurisdictions in the continent, offering investors better alternatives with market-driven reforms.George-Ikoli, explained that these countries and their offerings were threats to Nigeria’s competitiveness.

Experts list factors against market’s growth in H1 2019
4/3/2019 6:15 AM | 74 views

Aerial view of buildings and markets on Lagos Island.The pre-elections’ development, policy implementation slowdown and sell-offs by foreign investors in 2018, will slow growth in the stock market in this first-half (H1) 2019.Besides, the monetary tightening by members of the frontier markets, will play a part in the projected developments, the Chief Economist and Advisory Partner at Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PWC), Andrew Nevin, has said.“Overall, key drivers for the market from H1 2019 include commodity prices; exchange rate movement and stability; and inflation rate”, Nevin said in Lagos, at the breakfast meeting of Association of Corporate Treasurers of Nigeria (ACTN).The forum was for the Corporate Treasurers to have an in-depth discourse on the possible impacts of the business environment within the year and ways of restoring confidence in the financial markets.The Chairman of Interim Council, ACTN, Zeal Akaraiwe, noted that the association fosters the interests of corporate treasurers in Nigeria, by providing a platform for policy advocacy, discussions on issues of mutual interest, education and standard development of the corporate treasury function.Akaraiwe, who is also Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Graeme Blaque Advisory, said that as part of the efforts of the association towards the education and enlightenment of its members, it regularly host breakfast meetings where issues on economic policies as well as policy directions and their impacts on the activities of the corporates are reviewed and discussed with regulators, economists and financial markets experts as lead speakers/discussants.But at the meeting, themed: “2019 Economic and Business Outlook”, supported by FMDQ OTC Securities Exchange, Nevin noted that in 2018, his organisation predicted a moderate increase in foreign portfolio investment and a slowdown by first-half of 2018, driven by uncertainty ahead of the elections.“We expect portfolio investment growth in first-half of 2019 to remain low and lower than pre-2018 level, dampened by lackluster implementation of policy reforms,” he said.According to him, key risks to foreign investment in Nigeria are declining interest rate differentials, as advanced economies continue to tighten policy rates; political instability, following the 2019 elections; unfavourable investment climate; and broad macroeconomic instability.Global FDI flows fell by 19 per cent in 2018. However, 2018 FDI flows to Africa increased by six per cent from $38 billion to $40 billion. South Africa recorded growth; Egypt grew by seven per cent. Nigeria, on the other hand, fell by 36 per cent (to $2.2 billion) and was overtaken by Ghana with $3.3 billion.Nevin noted that Nigeria is not among the fastest growing economies in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) by percentage growth in GDP, as “the largest economies in Sub-Saharan Africa offer opportunities for business growth, particularly when considering an expansion into new regions.According to PwC’s estimate, Diaspora remittances to the country in 2018 were worth $25 billion, representing 6.1 per cent of the nation’s GDP.“This figure translates to 83 per cent of the Federal Government budget in 2018 and 11 times the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) flows in the same period. Nigeria’s migrant remittance inflows was also seven times larger than the net official development assistance (foreign aid) received in 2017 of $3.359 billion”, he noted.Nigeria, according to the PwC chief economist is not among the fastest growing economies in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) by percentage growth in GDP.“The largest economies in Sub-Saharan Africa offer opportunities for business growth, particularly when considering an expansion into new regions,” he said.He believes that rising oil prices will not be sustained in the long term as oil production increases globally and demand stagnates.“Fluctuating prices leave Nigeria’s oil-driven economy vulnerable to external shocks. The oil production curve continues to slope downward and below the 2 million barrels per day (mbpd) average target set by the central government.“OPEC has lowered Nigeria’s oil production level to 1.685mbpd. We expect this cut coupled with fluctuations in oil price and potential supply disruptions to impact the 2019 budget implementation”, he added.

Keystone Bank empowers Nigerian entrepreneurs
4/2/2019 2:33 PM | 111 views

In demonstration of its commitment to promote and support the growth and development of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) in Nigeria, Keystone Bank Limited, has empowered 10 Nigerian entrepreneurs in the maiden edition of its “Growing in Love with MSMEs Challenge” scheme.According to the lender, the initiative, which is open to all MSMEs across Nigeria (not necessarily Keystone Bank customers), is a core component of the Bank’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). The scheme enables each of the businesses that presents outstanding performance to receive N50, 000 grant that would be injected into their respective operations for expansion and product consolidation.Commenting on the development, the Acting Managing Director/CEO of Keystone Bank Limited, Mr. Abubakar Danlami Sule, said: “Globally, SMEs are established drivers of the strongest economies and Nigeria cannot be an exception. With over 15million SMEs dotting the Nigerian landscape, we are poised to ensure our customers in this segment actively grow their businesses through our partnerships and focused initiatives in the segment, and that is why we have strong support for the MSME sector.“We shall continue to partner with the government and other developmental agencies in making intervention funds available to the segment.“Our SME proposition, which is the “Growbiz Account” has three variants that address their cycles of growth from infancy through maturity and stability.“We are also empowering SMEs through our Agency Banking initiative by signing them up as agents for basic off-site cash-in/cash-out services.“This is the first edition of the “Growing in Love with MSMEs Challenge”, entrepreneurs can key into the initiative by following us on our social media platforms for updates on when the next challenge will take place,” Sule concluded.The 10 entrepreneurs who emerged winners are: David Anaezi – (Metal Works – Enugu State), Titilayo Sukurat (Variety Store – Lagos State), Henry Nnamani (Poultry farmer – Enugu State), Adeola Eunice (Fashion Designer – Ogun State), Micheal Sowemimo (Photography – Kaduna State), Rere Adetimehin (Shoemaker – Lagos State), Ajibola Oluwafunmilola (Catering Services – Lagos State), Ijeoma Chiamaka – (Organic products – Abia State), Sarah Fatunsin (Fashion Designer – Ondo State) and Cinderella Okubike (Organic products – Abia State).Since its recent acquisition by Sigma Golf – Riverbank consortium, Keystone Bank Limited, a technology and service-driven commercial bank, offering tailor-made convenient and reliable solutions to customer’s needs has been on upward swing.

'We may start selling petrol above N145' - IPMAN
4/2/2019 1:40 PM | 95 views

The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria has urged the Federal Government and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation to ensure that private depot owners maintain the official ex-depot price of Premium Motor Spirit (petrol) at N133.28 per litre.  The Chairman, IPMAN, Ore Depot, Shina Amoo, who said this in an interview with Punch, stated that independent marketers might soon start selling beyond N145 per litre if depot owners continued to sell between N136.50 and N137 per litre.Amoo urged the NNPC to prevail on depot owners not to sell beyond the official ex-depot price in order to enable marketers to sell to consumers at N145 per litre.  He said, “Private depot owners have increased the ex-depot price of PMS beyond N133.28 per litre. We bought a litre of PMS between N136.50 and N137 per litre from private depot owners last weekend. This can affect the pump price at which independent marketers will sell the product, and it will certainly be beyond the N145, which is the official pump price.  “We, independent marketers, are law-abiding. We don’t want to sell above the official pump price and that is why we are urging the government to do something about it and make the product abundantly available. They should monitor private depot owners to make sure they don’t sell above the official ex-depot price of N133.28.  “The NNPC is the sole importer and nobody has the right to increase the price but if they continue to sell to us above the official ex-depot price, we will have no option than to increase the pump price above N145 per litre. The increase in price by private depot owners will eventually push the burden on the marketers and final consumers.”  Amoo lauded the Federal Government for the rehabilitation of the Ilorin Depot of the NNPC while urging it to revive the Ore Depot as well in order to reduce the problem of transportation of petroleum products and to create more jobs in the area.The NNPC Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Ndu Ughamadu, had in a statement dated March 30 warned private depot owners against increasing the ex-depot price.  He said, “The subsisting ex-depot petrol price of N133. 28k per litre was consistent with the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency’s template and should be adhered to.”     Ughamadu stated that NNPC held stock of over one billion litres, adding that imports of 48 vessels of 50 million litres each had been committed for the month of April alone.

We may start selling petrol above N145 –IPMAN
4/2/2019 9:08 AM | 65 views

The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria has urged the Federal Government and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation to ensure that private depot owners maintain the official ex-depot price of Premium Motor Spirit (petrol) at N133.28 per litre.The Chairman, IPMAN, Ore Depot, Mr Shina Amoo, who said this in an interview with our correspondent in Lagos on Monday, stated that independent marketers might soon start selling beyond N145 per litre if depot owners continued to sell between N136.50 and N137 per litre.Amoo urged the NNPC to prevail on depot owners not to sell beyond the official ex-depot price in order to enable marketers to sell to consumers at N145 per litre.He said, “Private depot owners have increased the ex-depot price of PMS beyond N133.28 per litre. We bought a litre of PMS between N136.50 and N137 per litre from private depot owners last weekend. This can affect the pump price at which independent marketers will sell the product, and it will certainly be beyond the N145, which is the official pump price.“We, independent marketers, are law-abiding. We don’t want to sell above the official pump price and that is why we are urging the government to do something about it and make the product abundantly available. They should monitor private depot owners to make sure they don’t sell above the official ex-depot price of N133.28.“The NNPC is the sole importer and nobody has the right to increase the price but if they continue to sell to us above the official ex-depot price, we will have no option than to increase the pump price above N145 per litre. The increase in price by private depot owners will eventually push the burden on the marketers and final consumers.”Amoo lauded the Federal Government for the rehabilitation of the Ilorin Depot of the NNPC while urging it to revive the Ore Depot as well in order to reduce the problem of transportation of petroleum products and to create more jobs in the area.READ ALSO:Slain journalist, Jamal Khashoggi's children have received houses in Saudi Arabia and monthly payments as compensationThe NNPC Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Mr Ndu Ughamadu, had in a statement dated March 30 warned private depot owners against increasing the ex-depot price.He said, “The subsisting ex-depot petrol price of N133. 28k per litre was consistent with the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency’s template and should be adhered to.”Ughamadu stated that NNPC held stock of over one billion litres, adding that imports of 48 vessels of 50 million litres each had been committed for the month of April alone.

Exclusive Report: An Ordinary Guy From Lagos Earns $2000 daily
4/2/2019 8:59 AM | 102 views

My name is Samuel. I was born in a small village in the north of the country. I was the eldest of the seven kids in my family. To say we were dirt poor is not to say anything. Sometimes, we would have no proper food for several days; we would wear tatty rags and sleep almost in the open air. Well, I got fed up with all this and ran away from home when I turned 12. I joined a gang, got on the wrong path. I hate to even think now what we used to do – it’s appalling. I am surprised that I even managed to live long enough to reach that turning point. If not for that case, I would probably be either in jail or even in my grave now.Anyway, here is what happened. Only a year ago, my chums and I, well, how should I put it, borrowed a few things from a foreigner. I got his cell phone and it turned out to be unblocked. First, I intended to sell the phone but then decided to keep it. One night, when I was rummaging about in the phone I stumbled upon the OlympTrade app. I had not a slightest idea what it was and couldn’t even imagine it was possible.Anyway, I entered the app and started hitting buttons randomly. The balance turned out to be $100. But it didn’t do me much good – I ended up with only $10. Then I found a training section. I read through a few lessons and that helped me to learn some trading basics. Over one week, my $10 turned into $250, and over one month, into $5000. And off it went. I withdrew the money I had earned and rented an apartment in the Lagos. I severed all ties with my past life and got on the right path. Now I have a car, an apartment, and I don’t do my trading from a cell phone anymore but use a computer with a large monitor. My income starts at $2,000 a day.Today, I give away quite a lot to charities – this is the least I can do to pay for my past mistakes. OK, now I will reveal some secrets that might help someone make a little more money than they do now or maybe let someone else become a new millionaire. You can work comfortably from any place using only a special program on your laptop or smartphone.I think you will be able to earn as much as I do. There are a lot of training materials on this website that will help you to raise your first $500 or even $1000 after just a week! Good luck!So, to start earning, you need to do the following:That's how to start…www.motivation8success.info

Burger King is testing out an Impossible Whopper. This is why
4/2/2019 1:44 AM | 94 views

Burger King has a plan to bring in new customers and encourage existing ones to buy more often: Vegetarian Whoppers.The burger chain announced on Monday that it is testing out Impossible Whoppers, made with plant-based patties from Impossible Foods, in 59 locations in and around St. Louis. If all goes well, Burger King will roll out the Impossible Whopper nationally.With the Impossible Whopper, Burger King hopes to "give somebody who wants to eat a burger every day, but doesn't necessarily want to eat beef everyday, permission to come into the restaurants more frequently," Chris Finazzo, president of Burger King North America, told CNN Business. It's also a way to encourage vegan and vegetarian eaters to check out Burger King.The chain has been trying to figure out a way to add a plant-based burger option to its menu for about a year, Finazzo said."There's a lot of interest in plant-based burgers," he noted.Going meatless provides health benefits. The Impossible Whopper has slightly fewer calories than the original, beef-based Whopper, and is very low in cholesterol and has zero trans fats."What [customers] don't want to give up on is flavor," Finazzo said.Burger King is testing out a meatless version of the Whopper.The Impossible Whopper is supposed to taste just like Burger King's regular Whopper. Unlike veggie burgers, Impossible burger patties are designed to mimic the look and texture of meat when cooked. The plant protein startup recently revealed a new recipe, designed to look and taste even more like meat. That version is being used in Burger King's Impossible Whoppers.Other fast food and fast casual items are also appealing to eaters with dietary restrictions or preferences. Taco Bell said in January that it's testing out a vegetarian menu board in stores, and Chipotle (CMG) recently expanded its line of diet-based bowls to include vegan and vegetarian options. "Lifestyle bowls" launched earlier this year with Whole30 and double protein meals in addition to the keto and paleo bowls.Those promotions highlight items already on the menu at Taco Bell and Chipotle. The Impossible Whopper is new, and it costs more to consumers and to the restaurant. Buyers will pay about $1 more for an Impossible Whopper than a regular Whopper, Finazzo said, which will "more than offset the cost" of the Impossible protein.Impossible products are served at nearly 6,000 US restaurants — including White Castle and Fatburger locations — right now, but the Burger King partnership is a "milestone" for the company, said Impossible Foods COO and CFO David Lee."Burger King represents a different scale," he said. Lee noted that as the company matures, it should be able to reduce costs for clients like Burger King."The only thing we need to be affordable and at scale versus the incumbent commodity business is time and size," he said.(CNN)

New Addition to the HUAWEI Y Series: On-trend and fashionable HUAWEI Y7 Prime 2019 now on shelves in Nigeria
4/1/2019 10:06 AM | 102 views

Huawei Consumer Business Group announced today that its latest HUAWEI Y7 Prime 2019 is now available in Nigeria. Featuring the All-New HUAWEI Dewdrop Display, the newest flagship HUAWEI Y7 Prime 2019 offers an outstanding screen-to-body ratio in a symmetrical design that looks and feels premium. It also has a 16MP selfie camera that is Huawei’s smallest notch to date with hands-free methods of the triggering the camera and a 4000mAh battery, allowing it to keep up with Nigerians, with minimal downtime.Specifications of HUAWEI Y7 Prime 2019:6.26-inch HUAWEI Dewdrop DisplayThe new HUAWEI Dewdrop display incorporates a pearl-shaped notch into a 6.26-inch screen to achieve a massive 86.7 percent screen-to-TP ratio. This is one of Huawei’s smallest notches to date, providing the maximum amount of screen to users, much higher than the industry average. Situated in the middle of the device, the dewdrop notch does not disrupt the symmetry of the frontal view.16MP Selfie CameraThe pearl-shaped notch that houses the 16MP front camera is Huawei’s smallest notch to date; it is situated on the vertical axis of the device, and does not disrupt the harmonious symmetry of the near-full screen design. The HUAWEI Y7 Prime 2019 supports two hands-free methods of triggering the camera: Gesture Control and Smile Detection.13MP Dual AI Camera with f/1.8 Wide Aperture and Master AIThe HUAWEI Y7 Prime 2019 features 13+2MP dual cameras. The primary 13MP camera has a wide aperture of f/1.8 with 16 virtual f-stops (supporting f/1.8-6) to provide granular controls over depth of field effects. The HUAWEI Y7 Prime 2019 AI-powered real-time scene and object recognition technology can recognize 22 different categories of objects including blue skies, people, dogs and the beach. Once an object or a scene is identified, the smartphone automatically makes adjustments to produce the best possible results. Large 4000mAh BatteryThe HUAWEI Y7 Prime 2019 houses a large 4000mAh battery, providing more than one-day worth of usage even for the most intensive users. Thanks to Huawei’s breakthrough battery technologies, the cell inside the HUAWEI Y7 Prime 2019 retains at least 80 percent of its full capacity even after 700 recharges, which means the battery stays highly reliable even after two years of normal use. In addition, the battery supports 5V/2A charging.The HUAWEI Y7 Prime 2019 comes in three striking colors: Aurora Blue, Midnight Black and Coral Red and is available on Jumia and at Leading Retailers Nationwide for NGN59900.

GTBank reacts to Innoson’s takeover move
4/1/2019 3:18 AM | 82 views

  Guarantee Trust Bank says it is taking all necessary legal steps to ensure that no illegal or fraudulent execution is carried out by Innoson motors, with whom it has a long-drawn-out court case.On Friday, Innoson Nigeria Limited had announced that it obtained a writ of Fifa from the Federal High Court in Awka, Anambra State, against GTB to effect the judgment given by the Federal High Court in Ibadan and upheld by the Supreme Court of Nigeria.Cornel Osigwe, the Head of Corporate Communication of Innoson, made the announcement, saying: “The Chairman of Innoson Group, Chief Dr. Innocent Chukwuma, OFR has through a Writ of FiFa taken over Guaranty Trust Bank PLC for and on behalf of Innoson Nigeria Ltd as a result of the bank’s indebtedness to Innoson Nigeria Ltd. In a landmark decision on February 27th 2019, the Supreme Court of Nigeria dismissed GTB’s appeal — SC. 694/2014 — against the judgment of Court of Appeal, Ibadan Division.”“We have taken over GTBank in Awka and Nnewi,” Osigwe subsequently announced, adding that “other branches are coming soon”.However, the bank has moved to assure its customers of the safety of their funds, clarifying that the said judgement is applicable to the account of the Nigerian Customs Service Board domiciled with the bank, rather than the bank as an entity.“The attention of Guaranty Trust Bank PLC (“the Bank”) has been drawn to statements circulating in the news and social media in respect of a purported enforcement of a judgement of the Federal High court, Ibadan, Oyo state, at one of its branches in Anambra state,” it said in a statement on Friday night.“The Bank as a law-abiding corporate citizen is taking all necessary legal steps to address this situation and ensure that no illegal or fraudulent execution is carried out.“It is important to state that the Judgment allegedly in issue is in respect of a Garnishee Proceedings against the account of the Nigerian Customs Service Board domiciled with the Bank and not against the Bank as an entity.“The Bank remains committed to providing best-in- class customer experience to all its valued customers

Cryptopia hacker transfers over $4 million worth of stolen Ethereum [ETH] to unknown wallet
3/31/2019 10:00 PM | 124 views

 Cryptopia hacker transfers over $4 million worth of stolen Ethereum [ETH] to unknown walletCryptopia, the New Zealand-based cryptocurrency exchange, was in the news earlier this year after it was hacked in January, resulting in many customers losing their cryptocurrency funds. Now, new reports have emerged elucidating an update on the hacker’s activity, with regard to the stolen funds.WhaleAlert, a Twitter account that tracks transactions involving large sums, posted an alert on the stolen cryptocurrency recently. The alert stated that over $4 million worth of Ethereum tokens were transferred to a different address. The Tweet read,“30,789 #ETH (4,288,847 USD) transferred from Cryptopia Hack to Unknown wallet”Source: Whale AlertNotably, some of the funds were stolen from the exchange in the second hack. A part of the fund was reportedly transferred from the first address used by the hacker, to the other address, Cryptopia hack2. The second hack witnessed over 17K wallets being affected by the security breach, suggested a report by Elementus. Further, the report also stated that the exchange lost all control of its Ethereum wallet private keys.Source: EtherscanAdditionally, prior to transferring the 30,789 ETH to another wallet, the hacker made a transaction of 1 ether to a completely different address, making a total of two transactions this week. 

Seven (7) essential EMPLOYABILITY SKILLS
3/29/2019 2:26 PM | 105 views

Employability skills which are the skills, qualities and attitudes that employers say are essential for their workplace and I wish to quickly share them with you.1. Positive attitude.Having a positive attitude is like showing up to your team’s game ready to give it your best, excited and ready to go even if the chances of winning are low and it’s going to be hard work.2. CommunicationYou have good communication skills if you can listen well, you don’t swear at work or have a bad attitude, you can ask for what you want clearly and you’re not afraid to ask if you don’t understand something.3. TeamworkA good example of Teamwork is football. You help each other to get what the team want, you make sure you do your part, you get on with everyone. Nobody takes the glory but everyone does.4. Self-management.When you manage yourself you are in control of what you do and say in a way that doesn’t harm yourself or others. People can rely on you.5. Willingness to learnWillingness to learn is showing that you’re happy to learn new things and what you need to know to do your job. It also means that when, for example, your Boss says that you need to work on your performances or you should try a new approach to improve your actions or performance you don’t get too upset, but take it calmly and try hard to do better.6. Thinking skills (problem solving and decision making)Using thinking skills means that if you see a problem, you don’t wait for someone else, you find a way to fix it. When you make a decision, such as what to do when you leave school, you think carefully about all your choices and ask for advice.7. ResilienceMaybe you’ve worked really hard on a project and got a Not Achieved and feel like giving up?Resilience is accepting that life does get hard at times and does change. It’s about being able to change, ask for help and keep going.