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Economy

Ardova Unsure of Paying Dividend to Shareholders in FY2020

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Ardova free cash flow

By Dipo Olowookere

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Ardova Plc, Mr Olumide Adeosun, has hinted that shareholders of the company may not receive a dividend in the current 2020 financial year.

Mr Adeosun made this disclosure last Thursday when he engaged members of the investing community at a virtual Facts Behind the Figures (FBF) hosted by the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).

The event was put in place by the exchange to allow companies on its trading platform present their financial performance, strategic and operational developments, and future plans to the capital market community.

During the event, which had Business Post as one of the participants, Mr Adeosun said the board and management were still monitoring events and would review the company’s overall performance at the end of the year before taking a decision on the cash reward to investors.

However, he pointed out that last year, the company, while still operating as Forte Oil, paid a dividend to its shareholders and this was an interim dividend of N1.15 for the period ended March 31, 2019.

In June 2019, business mogul, Mr Femi Otedola, completed the sale of Forte Oil to another businessman, Mr Abdulwasiu Sowami, who is the Chairman of Ignite and Chief Executive of Prudent Energy Services Limited. The deal was worth about N65 billion.

After the sale of his entire 982,971,950 ordinary shares of 50 kobo each to the new owners, Ignite Investments and Commodities Limited, at N66.01 per unit, shareholders, at an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) held on Tuesday, December 17, 2019, in Lagos, approved the name change of the company to Ardova Plc.

At last Thursday’s event, the CEO said, for now, the firm was making efforts to deliver more value to investors by moving from being an oil company to becoming an integrated energy company.

“In line with our vision of being the most reputable African energy solution brand, committed to driving the continent’s growth, we will leverage innovative technology and commit strongly to delivering superior customer experience.

“In the second half of 2020, our focus will be on: operational efficiency, building a superior customer experience, innovation, and partnerships,” he said.

In his presentation, the Executive Director, Finance and Risk Management, Ardova Plc, Mr Moshood Olajide, stated that in the second quarter of this year, the company grew its gross margin significantly to 7.3 per cent from 5.4 per cent in Q1:2020 and from 6.3 per cent in the corresponding period in 2019.

“This sterling performance in gross margins reflects our resolve to maximise our core earnings and minimize cost.

“Shareholders’ funds also grew by 5.8 per cent YTD to N17.5 billion in H1:2020 (N18.6 billion FY: 2018) as a result of an 11.5 per cent growth in retained earnings.

“Our gearing ratio also improved to 37.8 per cent in H1:2020 compared to 88.6 per cent while our earnings-generating capacity remained sufficient to cover existing debt/borrowing with normalised interest cover printing at 4.3x in H1:2020 relative to 0.7x in H1:2019,” Mr Olajide said.

Dipo Olowookere is a journalist based in Nigeria that has passion for reporting business news stories. At his leisure time, he watches football and supports 3SC of Ibadan. Mr Olowookere can be reached via dipo.olowookere@businesspost.ng

Economy

FG Raises N130bn from Sukuk Sales for Road Infrastructure

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Sukuk road infrastructure

By Aduragbemi Omiyale

A total of N130 billion has been raised from the sale of Sukuk for the construction and rehabilitation of road infrastructure across the country.

Business Post reports that on November 21, 2022, the Debt Management Office (DMO) opened for subscription N100 billion Sovereign Al ’Ijarah Sukuk.

However, because of the strong appetite shown by the diverse investors, the size of the offer was increased to N130 billion.

According to a statement issued by the DMO, the exercise recorded over 165 per cent subscription level.

The agency described this as “evidence of investors’ confidence in the use and impact of Sukuk in the construction and rehabilitation of road infrastructure across the country.”

It stated that offers were received for the debt instrument, sold at a rental rate of 15.64 per cent per annum, from retail investors, banks, pension fund administrators, assets/fund managers, insurances companies, ethical funds, Takaful operators/non-interest banks, stockbrokers, government agencies, high net worth individuals, trustees and unit trusts.

The DMO assured subscribers of the Sukuk that “the proceeds of the 2022 Sovereign Sukuk, like the previous Sukuk issue proceeds, will be used solely for the construction and rehabilitation of key road projects through the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing and the Federal Capital Territory Administration.”

It thanked the investors for supporting the federal government’s infrastructure development efforts through Sukuk financing.

“The strong participation of retail investors, ethical funds and non-interest financial institutions in this Sukuk offering attest to the fact that the Government’s objective of promoting financial inclusion through admitting more retail investors and ethical funds into the financial system is being achieved,” it stated.

The debt office promised to “work to sustain the laudable achievements recorded so far in the use of Sukuk issue proceeds for the construction and rehabilitation of Nigerian roads, and thereby, continue to enhance ease of commuting and doing business, safety on our roads, job creation, economic growth, and prosperity of our nation.”

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Economy

Nigeria Sells Retail Bonds for 13.26% at N1,000 Per Unit

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FGN Retail Bonds

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

The Debt Management Office (DMO) has commenced the sale of the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) savings bonds for December 2022.

The retail bonds are sold monthly to low-income earners and other interested investors as a way to raise funds from the capital market to finance budget deficits.

For this month’s sale, the debt office is offering the papers in the usual 2-year tenor and 3-year tenor at a coupon rate of 12.255 per cent and 13,255 per cent per annum, respectively.

Subscriptions for the notes started on Monday, December 5, 2022, and will close on Friday, December 9, 2022, according to details of the exercise released by the DMO.

The interest would be paid to subscribers quarterly, i.e., March 14, June 14, September 14, and December 14, while the bullet repayment would be made at the maturity date.

The savings bond is sold at N1,000 per unit, and investors are required to purchase at least N5,000 and a maximum of N50 million.

Intending investors would be expected to contact their brokerage companies on how to purchase the debt instrument.

The retail bonds are backed by the full faith and credit of the Nigerian government and are charged upon the general assets of the country.

The investment tool qualifies as a security in which trustees can invest under the Trustee Investment Act.

It is also a liquid asset for liquidity ratio calculation for banks and qualifies as government securities within the meaning of the Company Income Tax Act (CITA) and Personal Income Tax Act (PITA) for tax exemption for pension funds, amongst other investors.

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Economy

New Cash Withdrawal Limits Will Expose Tax Evaders—Oyedele

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expose tax evaders

By Adedapo Adesanya

The Fiscal Policy Partner and African Tax Leader at one of the country’s leading consultancy companies, PwC, Mr Taiwo Oyedele, has said the new cash withdrawal limits introduced by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) would expose tax evaders, individuals and micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in Nigeria.

In a series of tweets seen by Business Post, the tax maverick said that with the restrictions placed on cash withdrawals, many people would be forced to carry out transactions using electronic payments, and small businesses that currently operate mostly on cash would become visible to the tax authorities.

It had been reported the apex bank on Tuesday moved to limit the amount of cash withdrawals Nigerians can make with benchmarks placed at several channels, including over-the-counter, point of sales (POS), and automated teller machines (ATMs).

He explained that the policy would trigger various tax obligations, including income tax, value-added tax (VAT), and Pay-As-You-Earn for small businesses and individuals.

On Income tax, he wrote that “If your business is registered as a company, you may be liable to CIT depending on your annual turnover (i.e. no CIT if your turnover below N25 million, 20 per cent if your turnover is between N25 million to N100 million 30 per cent if your turnover is more than N100m) in addition to Education Tax at 2.5 per cent.

“If your business is not registered as a company, then you will be liable to personal income tax based on graduated taxable income bands between 7 per cent and 24 per cent.”

On VAT, he explained that, “All businesses are required to register for VAT and charge 7.5 per cent on their goods and services except those with annual turnover below N25 million.”

For PAYE, Mr Oyedele explained that employees earning more than N30,000 per month are liable to PAYE, which must be deducted and paid to the tax authority by the employer on a monthly basis.

To this, he noted, “You may also be liable to other statutory contributions such as pension depending on your staff strength.”

For individuals, he noted that as they carry out more transactions, this will make them susceptible to transparency as it will make it easier for the government to track those who are tax evaders.

“The more transactions you make electronically, the more the tax authorities will get the intelligence to track your income and net worth, making it easier to fish you out if you are a tax evader.”

He then advised small business owners to register with relevant tax authorities like the Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS) and the state internal revenue services where they operate.

Further, the PwC official called on SME operators to open a separate bank account for their business, “or dedicate one for that purpose if you already have a business account) and don’t mix business with personal transactions.”

The government, on its part, he said, needs to sensitise the general public, especially small business owners, adding that the CBN should ensure a proper handshake with the fiscal authorities.

“For instance, the conditions for excess cash withdrawals could include Tax Identification Number,” he opined.

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