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Bank investors gain N106bn this week



The market capitalisation of Nigeria’s tier-1 banks, otherwise known as FUGAZ, appreciated by 4.58 per cent to close at N2.41 trillion on Friday, as investors gained a total sum of N106 billion.

At the end of this week’s five trading days, the five tier-1 Nigerian banks enjoyed positive market sentiments, with First Bank Holding of Nigeria PLC leading the gainers.

According to data from the Nigerian Exchange (NGX), the market capitalisation of the top five banks rose to N2.41 trillion after appreciating by 4.58 per cent during the week.

First Bank Holding of Nigeria share price appreciated by 8.3 per cent to close the week at N11.8, with its market capitalisation at N423.5 billion amid sell-offs and buy-interests at the end of the trading week.

FBNH Plc’s earnings report for the 9-month ended 30th September 2022, showed that interest income grew by 45.3 per cent Y-o-Y to N144 billion from N99 billion recorded in the same period of 2021. Similarly, profit after tax grew by 1155 per cent Y-o-Y to N34 billion during the period under review, from N2.7 billion.

United Bank for Africa Plc share price appreciated by 2.7 per cent to close the week at N7.5, with its market capitalisation at N256.4 billion amid sell-offs and buy-interests at the end of the trading week

UBA Plc released its Q3 2022 financial statements, revealing that net interest income appreciated by 29 per cent to N105 billion from N81.1 billion, while total assets grew to N9.31 trillion from N8.45 trillion recorded during the comparable period in 2021. In addition, the company’s profit after tax rose by 3.85 per cent to N45.708 billion from N44.014 billion in the same period of 2021.

GTCO Plc’s share price appreciated by 7.4 per cent to close the week at N22.45, with its market capitalisation at N660.7 billion amid sell-offs and buy-interests at the end of the trading week.

The bank’s financial statements for the period ended 30th September 2022 revealed a growth of 23.71 per cent in net interest income from N68.94 billion as of Q3 2021 to N85.29 billion in the current period. However, post-tax profit appreciated by 5.61 per cent to N52.79 billion from N49.98 billion in the current period.

Access Bank Plc’s share price appreciated by 2.4 per cent to close the week at N8.65, with its market capitalisation at N307.4 billion amid sell-offs and buy-interests at the end of the trading week

Access Bank Plc released its latest earnings report for the period ended September 2022, which revealed a profit of N48 billion. This is a 31 per cent increase compared to the profit report during the comparable period in 2021. The financial report also showed that interest income rose by 34 per cent from N154.941 billion to N115.543 billion in the current period.

Zenith Bank Plc gained N14.1 billion w-o-w after its market capitalisation appreciated to N770.7 billion from N756.6 billion at the end of the week. The appreciation can be attributed to the 1.9 per cent increase in its share price from N24.10 to N24.55.

The bank’s Q3 2022 financial result for the period that ended September revealed that interest income for the period grew by 24.7 per cent to N215.81 billion from N173.114 billion in the corresponding period of 2021. Profit after tax for the period also grew by 15.5 per cent from N54.475 billion in 2021 to N62.924 billion in the current period.

The Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) closed positive week-on-week as ASI appreciated by 0.41 per cent to close at 49,706.09.

The FUGAZ banks make up over 70 per cent of the NSE Banking sector index, hence, strongly influencing the growth or otherwise of the index; however, the NGX banking index appreciated by 1.46 per cent from 414.63 last week to close at 422.80 points.


NCC pledges support to Meta on digital economy initiatives



By Blessing Emmanuel, Abuja

The Nigerian Communi cations Commission (NCC) has pledged its readiness to support digital economic initiatives of investors, including Meta (formerly Facebook), that align with Nigeria’s vision for a robust digital economy.

During a visit to the NCC’s headquarters in Abuja, a delegation from Meta, led by Kojo Boakye, the company’s Vice President for Africa, the Middle-East, and Turkey, met with Dr. Aminu Maida, the Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (EVC/CEO) of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

The NCC EVC emphasised the importance of compliance with industry laws, regulations, and guidelines for creating a level-playing field that encourages healthy competition and sustainable growth in the Nigerian telecoms sector.

Boakye congratulating Dr. Maida on his appointment, shared Meta’s ongoing efforts to land the 2Africa submarine cable in Nigeria.

According to Boakye, “The 45,000-kilometer-long cable, scheduled to go live in 2023, will be one of the world’s largest subsea cable projects, interconnecting Europe (via Egypt), Asia (via Saudi Arabia), and Africa.

“With a design capacity of up to 180 terabytes per second (Tbps), the 2Africa cable aims to deliver much-needed Internet capacity and reliability across Africa, supporting the growth of 4G, 5G, and fixed broadband access.”

Boakye sought NCC’s support in navigating legal and regulatory processes for the cable’s landing in Nigeria, emphasising the positive impact it will have on connectivity and affordability.

The Meta delegation also outlined plans to simultaneously land the 2Africa cable in Lagos and Akwa-Ibom States through a consortium.

Boakye emphasised that this approach aims to connect those currently without access while enhancing and providing affordable access for those already connected.

Responding, Dr. Maida assured Meta of NCC’s commitment to supporting initiatives that align with Nigeria’s digital economy agenda and welcomed the potential benefits the 2Africa cable could bring to the country’s telecommunications landscape.

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NPA, Intels agree to new terms, commission on pilotage reduced to 24.5%



Following an interim injunction by the Federal High Court in Lagos to prevent the termination of Intels’ role as a managing agent in various pilotage districts and a presidential directive to extend the boat operation contract of Intels, the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and Intels have agreed to new terms.

The new terms which include the reduction of the agency commission on pilotage collections from 28 percent to a lower commission of 24.5 percent, among others are contained in a statement by NPA titled, “Setting the Record Straight in Respect of Service Boat Monitoring Operation in Nigerian Ports Authority: Reinstatement of INTELS Nigeria Limited as Management Agent.”

Aside from the reduction of the agency commission on pilotage collections from 28 percent to a lower commission of 24.5 percent, both parties also agreed that all revenues collected by the logistic company must be paid into the designated Treasury Single Account (TSA) of the NPA at the Central Bank of Nigeria.

Furthermore, both parties agreed to a waiver of the sum of $100,000,000 part of the accrued interest as of 31 July, 2023 on the indebtedness to Deep Offshore Services Limited under the Phase 4B Agreement.

In addition, there’s an agreement to a further waiver of the interest which shall accrue on the outstanding debt under the Phase 4B Agreement for two years commencing on 1 July 2023, and ending on 30 June 2025, which is currently estimated in the sum of US$93,317,556.

There is a reduction of the interest rate on the indebtedness to Deep Offshore Services Limited from six-month LIBOR rate + 6.5 percent to 6-months SOFR rate + 3 percent effective from the date of execution of the supplemental agreement.

“The Authority will be saving a total sum of $ 326,895,226 as a result of a waiver of a part of accrued interest and reduction of interest rate from 6.5 percent to 3 percent on the debt over the next 15 years,” a part of the reinstatement statement read.

NPA further said that, “The proposed spread of the debt of $522,433,453.25 to be paid back over 15 years will, of itself, earn for the Authority a huge benefit in terms of preservation of funds to meet its other operational needs over the period.”

NPA, however, admitted that the legal impasse created by the dispute with Intels and Deep Offshore Services Nigeria Limited caused the federal government to lose enormous revenue in the period it took over the management of pilotage.

“After the expiration of the Service Boat Management Agreement, the Authority took over the performance of the service through various Departments and Divisions.

“However, due to the constraint of not having the requisite technology to monitor the operations, the expected revenue dwindled and it resulted in the drastic reduction of revenue generation for the Authority.

“An analysis of its impact on the authority’s revenue showed a sharp decline from $216 million and $209 million in 2014 and 2015 respectively under the INTELS agency to $130 million and $99 million in 2020 and 2021, respectively, after taking over by NPA.

“The situation in 2023 is even worse as the collection up to June 2023 was only $55.3 million,” the statement revealed.

The Federal Government, through the NPA, in September 2020, announced the termination of Intels’ boar contract before the expiration of the Service Boat Monitoring Agreement.

The NPA then commenced the procurement process for the engagement of service boat operations monitoring agents. Four companies, comprising Pacific Silverline Limited, Nexttee Oil and Gas Trading Company Nigeria Limited, ICA Logistics Limited, and Ishasha Investments Limited submitted bids for consideration by the Parastatal Tenders Board of the authority.

However, INTELS Nigeria Limited and Deep Offshore Services Limited instituted a suit no FHC/CS/L/1058/2020 at the Federal High Court, Lagos against the Authority seeking orders of the Court to restrain the authority from engaging new Service Providers to carry out the monitoring of Service Boat Operations in the Exclusive Economic Zone.

Shortly after the opening of the bids, Intels and Deep Offshore Services Limited instituted a suit no FHC/CS/L/1058/2020 at the Federal High Court, Lagos preventing the termination of Intels’ role as a managing agent in various Pilotage Districts, pending the resolution of arbitration proceedings.

The Federal High Court, Lagos on 24th July 2020, granted an Interim Injunction that restricted NPA from giving effect to the Public Notice calling for Expression of Interest for the provision of the Service Boat Operation from interested entities.

The procurement process was subsequently put on hold based on the advice from the Federal Ministry of Transportation that the authority should comply with the orders of the court.

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COP28: We are taking action to slash methane emission — World Bank



The World Bank President, Ajay Banga, says the Bank is taking action to decisively slash methane emissions to help increase agricultural yields and improve health outcomes.

Banga said this in his address at a High-Level Segment Summit on Methane at COP28 in Dubai, UAE, a copy of which was obtained on Sunday.

He said Methane was 80 times more powerful than carbon dioxide in warming the planet, making it a major driver of climate change.

“Yet, it is often subjugated to carbon dioxide, receiving less than two per cent of global climate financing. We do this at our peril.

“The good news is not all solutions require a herculean effort or a trillion-dollar price tag. Sometimes, the most impactful changes stem from our willingness to embrace the solutions that are well within our grasp.

“The frontier of methane reduction is one such area where the World Bank believes there are answers at our fingertips.

“That is why the World Bank is taking action, scaling proven and urgently needed strategies that can decisively bend the methane emission curve.”

The president said over the next 18 months, as part of a blueprint for methane reduction, the bank would help inaugurate15 national programmes that aim to slash methane emissions.

Banga said these programmes were built upon successful pilots that delivered transformative results for rice production, livestock operations, and waste management.

He said in Vietnam, rice farmers were embracing new techniques that slash methane emissions, while increasing incomes.

Banga said animal nutrition and breed management in India cut methane emissions and dramatically increased milk production.

“Simply separating organic waste in landfills in Brazil cuts nearly all the methane emissions by diverting it to provide electricity to 200,000 households.

“By deploying proven reduction methods from our blueprint, methane emissions from rice production can be reduced by up to 40 per cent, from livestock by 30 per cent, and waste by 80 per cent. The potential is huge.

“Taken together, this methane reduction blueprint could slash up to 10 million tons of methane.”

He said while these efforts would make considerable progress toward the methane goal, it would not be enough if simple and effective solutions for the emissions from the power sector were not embraced.

“That is why the World Bank has been working with Germany, Norway, the United States, and the UAE alongside the private sector to expand our long-standing efforts to significantly cut methane emissions across the whole energy value chain.”

Banga said in the fight against climate change, too often genuine impact was impeded by intractable challenges, considerable expenses, political challenges, and underdeveloped technologies.

“Methane is one rare, clear area where we know there are low-cost remedies, effective and simple solutions that can be replicated and scaled.

“But hope is not a strategy. We must act, and in doing so we can reduce emissions, enhance agricultural yields, and improve health outcomes all in one go.

“This is one shot that we should not miss,” he said.

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