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Economy

Dangote Cement Intensifies Efforts to Meet Strong Market Demand

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Dangote Cement stocks

By Dipo Olowookere

The strong market demand for cement in Nigeria as a result of significant investments in real estate by private investors and the government’s efforts to bridge the infrastructural deficit in the country has pushed Dangote Cement to increase the supply of cement.

According to the firm, it has now ramped up production at its newest plant in Okpella Edo State to ensure a timely supply of products to customers in the South-South and Southeast geopolitical regions.

Dangote Cement is Africa’s leading cement producer with nearly 51.6Mta capacity across Africa, with Nigeria accounting for 35.25Mta.

Its factory in Obajana, Kogi State is the largest in Africa with 16.25Mta of capacity across five lines; followed by the Ibese plant in Ogun State with a combined installed capacity of 12Mta across four cement lines. The Gboko plant in Benue State has 4Mta, while the Okpella plant has 3Mta.

The decision of the management to increase its investments to stop the dependence of Nigeria on imported cement has yielded results as reflected in the first-quarter results of the firm.

According to the financial statements for the period ended March 31, 2022, Dangote Cement sold a total volume of 7.2Mt of cement across the group with the Nigerian operations accounting for 4.8Mt and the rest of Africa contributing 2.4Mt.

This supported the increase in the group’s EBITDA, which rose by 18.6 per cent to N211.0 billion, while the EBITDA margin improved by 51.1 per cent, with the profit after tax expanding by 18 per cent to N105.9 billion and the earnings per share (EPS) increasing by 16.8 per cent to N6.18.

The chief executive of Dangote Cement, Mr Michel Puchercos, described the performance of the firm as impressive, especially when the uncertainties brought by a very volatile global environment are put into consideration.

He said, “The volatile international context is strengthening our efforts to ramp up the usage of alternative fuels and execution of our export-to-import strategy. Reducing our dependence on imported inputs and making our markets self-sufficient has never been more relevant from a regional perspective.

“Our continuous focus on efficiency, meeting strong market demand and maintaining our costs leadership drives our ability to consistently deliver superior profitability and value to all shareholders.”

Speaking further, he disclosed that “On the operational side, we are ramping up production at our Okpella plant and are progressing well to deploy grinding plants in Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire.

“Demand remained strong across all markets, and we remain confident that Dangote Cement is positioned to meet customers’ expectations despite these temporary challenges.”

“Continuing our efforts to deliver shareholder value, Dangote Cement completed the second tranche of its buyback programme.

“Following the completion of both tranches, Dangote Cement has now bought back 0.98 per cent of its shares outstanding. This share buy-back programme reflects the Company’s commitment in finding opportunities beyond dividends to return cash to shareholders,” Mr Puchercos added.

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

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Economy

Dollar Shortages Strike Again…Nigeria Indexes in Crosshairs

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dollar shortages

By Lukman Otunuga

Despite oil prices surging to multi-year highs, Nigeria has failed to cash in.

The destructive combination of sub-optimal oil production, poor infrastructure, and fuel subsidies have drained oil revenues that account for roughly 90% of foreign exchange earnings.

Lower oil revenues and falling foreign exchange reserves are forcing Nigeria to ration dollars. The negative impacts continue to be reflected across the economy and local currency. But now the dollar shortages have attracted the attention of MSCI Inc. which is considering downgrading the MSCI Nigeria indexes to the status of a standalone market from frontier markets.

It is worth keeping in mind that a developed market is the highest ranking, followed by emerging markets, frontier markets, and then finally standalone markets at the bottom.

Given the difficulty in repatriating funds from Nigeria, this has placed the MSCI Nigeria Indexes in the crosshairs. Such a negative development may hit sentiment toward the county’s assets at a crucial period where economic growth remains fragile.

To add insult to injury, the NGX All Share Index has gained roughly 20% this year in local currency terms. A blockbuster performance when compared to the MSCI Emerging market Index which is down roughly -19%.

In other news, the Naira was trading around N419 versus the dollar on the official spot rate and has weakened only 1.3% year-to-date. However, on the Peer-to-Peer (P2P) segment of the FX, the Naira ended Thursday at N620 versus the dollar and N602 on the black market. Nigeria still faces the issue of multiple exchanges but this will be a discussion for another time.

Lukman Otunuga is a Senior Research Analyst at FXTM

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Economy

Binance, Cristiano Ronaldo to Release Exclusive NFTs

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Binance Cristiano Ronaldo

By Adedapo Adesanya

Binance, the world’s leading blockchain ecosystem and cryptocurrency infrastructure provider, has announced the signing of an exclusive and multi-year NFT partnership with football icon, Cristiano Ronaldo.

Through this partnership, Binance will launch a global campaign aiming to give Ronaldo’s fans an introduction to Web3 with a compelling entry point into the world of NFTs.

The company disclosed that over the course of the agreement, Cristiano Ronaldo and Binance will create a series of collections for sale exclusively on the Binance NFT platform.

The first collection of the exclusive NFTs will be released later this year and will feature designs created in collaboration with Ronaldo.

Speaking on the deal, Binance founder and Chief Executive Officer, Mr Changpeng “CZ” Zhao said, “Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the world’s best footballers, and has transcended sport to become an icon in multiple industries.

“He has amassed one of the world’s most dedicated fan bases through his authenticity, talent, and charity work.”

“We are thrilled to provide his fans with exclusive engagement opportunities to connect with Ronaldo and own a piece of iconic sports history,” he added.

“My relationship with the fans is very important to me, so the idea of bringing unprecedented experiences and access through this NFT platform is something that I wanted to be a part of,” said Ronaldo.

“I know the fans are going to enjoy the collection as much as I do.”

The Cristiano Ronaldo NFT collections will be available exclusively on Binance NFT at www.Binance.com/en/nft/home.

Binance is the world’s leading blockchain ecosystem and cryptocurrency infrastructure provider with a financial product suite that includes the largest digital asset exchange by volume.

The Binance platform is dedicated to increasing the freedom of money for users, and features an unmatched portfolio of crypto products and offerings, including trading and finance, education, data and research, social good, investment and incubation, decentralization and infrastructure solutions, and more.

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Economy

Cellulant Wins Payment Platform Solutions Provider of the Year 

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Cellulant

By Adedapo Adesanya

Cellulant, Africa’s leading payments company, has been awarded the Payment Platform Solutions Provider of the Year in Nigeria at the 13th Beacon of ICT Awards 2022.

This award is a recognition of Cellulant’s work in providing a payments platform that focuses on driving merchant business and digital payments for local, regional and global merchants in the continent.

It was also lauded for digitising both online and offline payments.

The award was presented to Cellulant Nigeria by Communication Week Media Limited, the publishers of Nigeria Communications Week.

The annual event, which recognises leading players in the ICT sector in Nigeria whose outstanding achievements contribute to the industry’s growth, was themed Impact of Blockchain Technology in a Digitalized Nigeria. 

Renowned businesses such as Emirates, GIG logistics, Coldstone, Bolt, Dominos and Ethiopian Airlines to name a few, have partnered with Cellulant to use their Tingg digital payments solution as a single collection gateway in Nigeria.

Cellulant simplified their product, unifying their offering into Tingg — a digital payments platform that addresses the complex needs of managing different payment channels for a business.

This has made it easy for businesses to conveniently and affordably accept payments from a single integration.

Customers can make payments for goods and services using locally relevant payment options.

Founded in 2003, Cellulant has more than 18 years of experience providing locally-relevant payment solutions for businesses and their consumers. Its evolution over the years, from a digital content business to mobile banking and now to payments, has allowed the company to build an expansive network, strong relationships and partnerships.

Cellulant provides a unified, single-contract, and single API payments platform – named Tingg- that makes it easy for businesses to receive and make payments; while allowing anyone to pay from their mobile money, local and international cards or directly from their bank.

Today, Cellulant has an office presence in 18 countries, including Nigeria, with a payments platform connecting thousands of businesses with 257 payment options across 35 countries. The platform powers payments for 200 million consumers on a single inclusive network for interoperability across Africa.

Speaking on the recognition, Mr Opeyemi Fowler, Cellulant’s Head of Enterprise Sales stated “the digital payments landscape in Nigeria and Africa is evolving rapidly with differing payment channels such as card, mobile money, bank transfer and cash – with volatile currency fluctuations and no single settlement framework.

“This is creating a highly fragmented landscape for businesses whose customers increasingly request to pay for their purchases using digital payment options. Every day, our job at Cellulant is to work with our customers and partners to solve this fragmentation in payments.”

“This award is a testament to our work in providing a payments platform that is transforming the way people do business in Nigeria and beyond; and a reflection of the hard work done by our people.”

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