By Adedapo Adesanya
Lagos and seven other states attracted investments worth $8.41 billion into the country through 15 projects between January and March 2021.
This information was revealed by the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC) in its First Quarter 2021 media parley held over the weekend.
The agency disclosed that other states that attracted the investments were Bayelsa, Kano, Nassarawa, Delta, Edo, Bauchi and Akwa Ibom States.
Speaking at the event, the Director of Strategic Communications of NIPC, Mr Emeka Ofor, said the sources of the investments into the states are the United Kingdom, the United States, India, China, among others.
By sectors, the investments came from manufacturing, construction, mining & quarrying, agriculture and electricity, though they were severely affected.
The director stressed that other states in the federation need to wake up with sound investments ideas to attract both local and international investors to help their states become more viable and Independent without relying on federal allocations.
In his words, “Material Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) can only be driven by government policies both at state and federal levels.
“There is a need for bold and coherent policy changes to deepen economic reform to reverse the decline expected in 2020/2021.
“The gaps between announcement and actual investments need to be worked on, and a more proactive all of the government approach to investors’ support across federal and States’ government is required to convert announcement to actual Investments.”
He cautioned the media against escalating news particularly critical news capable of scaring and driving investors to other climes.
“We must not unnecessarily escalate news, let’s try to reduce the tempo because a single reportage may cause damage to the country, investment-wise, so we must be cautious about our reportage,” he added.
In his presentation, the Assistant Director, Incentives Administration Division of NIPC, Mr Uchenna Okonkwo, who gave the summary of Pioneer Status Incentive (PSI) for the Q1 2021, said a total of 17 PSI was granted in Q1 2021, comprising a total of capital investments worth N99.5 billion.
The commission revealed that a total of 4,026 jobs were created in the review period with Ogun State topping by destination while manufacturing tops by sector.
According to Mr Okonkwo, Anambra, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Kano, Lagos, Ogun, Oyo, and Kwara got NIPC’s PSI approval in the same quarter of the year under review with a cumulative capital investment worth N3.7 trillion.
The NIPC then called for more effort to help boost the Nigerian economy this year.
AfDB to Establish Onion Commodity Exchange in Sokoto
By Adedapo Adesanya
The Sokoto State Governor, Mr Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, has revealed that the African Development Bank (AfDB) will soon facilitate the establishment of an Onion Commodity Exchange in the state.
According to the Governor, this was part of the outcomes of a high-level meeting he and some of his Commissioners had with the management team of the bank last week in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire.
A statement signed by his media aide, Mr Muhammad Bello, said the Governor made this known at the closing of a three-day training for budding entrepreneurs in the state last week, adding that his administration was dedicated to supporting indigenous farmers.
The realisation of the plan will make such an establishment the 15th of its kind in Africa and the fourth in the country after the Abuja Securities and Commodity Exchange, Lagos Commodities and Futures Exchange; and AFEX Commodities Exchange Limited.
In economic parlance, trading in exchanges includes derivatives contracts, such as forwards, futures, options and spot trades- focusing on immediate delivery.
It could also be traded on interest rates, foreign exchange futures, freight contracts instruments and environmental instruments.
According to the statement, Mr Tambuwal revealed that “during our visit to the AfDB, we had engagements with them and agreed that an Onion Commodities Exchange will be established in Sokoto with the help of the bank on the framework and technical support.”
He said the potential for onions trade abounds in the state, thus putting it in the topmost position of states cultivating the commodity in the country.
He cited an example of an individual in Abidjan, who transacts over N2.8 billion onion trade annually from Sokoto-Côte d’Ivoire, elaborating that the result of a survey he commissioned has revealed that from onion trade alone, the state engages in an annual transaction of between N250 and N300 billion.
Over the past few months, several stakeholders have been looking at how to push the onion species produced in the country to one of the best in the world.
Experts note that because of its strong pungency, it is exported to many countries including France, Japan, India, Niger Republic, Ghana and others.
GSK Consumer Healthcare Business Not Worth Than £50bn—Unilever
By Dipo Olowookere
Unilever Plc has said it will not increase its £50 billion bid for the acquisition of GSK Consumer Healthcare business owned by GlaxoSmithKline, which was earlier rejected by the company.
In a statement issued last Saturday, GSK confirmed that it “received three unsolicited, conditional and non-binding proposals from Unilever” for the acquisition of its consumer healthcare arm, which is jointly owned by GSK and Pfizer, with GSK holding a majority controlling interest of 68 per cent and Pfizer 32 per cent.
According to GSK, the acquisition value of £50 billion comprising £41.7 billion in cash and £8.3 billion in Unilever shares was below the true value of the business.
The offer was rejected, according to the company, because the consumer healthcare business was “fundamentally undervalued” as the business has great “future prospects”, which was not factored into the proposals.
“The board of GSK is strongly focused on maximising value for GSK shareholders and has carefully evaluated each Unilever proposal.
“In doing so, the board and its advisers assessed the proposals relative to the financial planning assessments completed to support the proposed demerger of the business in mid-2022, including the sales growth outlook,” a part of the statement noted.
But reacting to the rejection in a statement on Wednesday, Unilever said it does not feel that the value of the GSK consumer business is worth more than its £50 billion valuations and because of that, it would not increase it.
“We note the recently shared financial assumptions from the current owners of GSK Consumer Healthcare and have determined that it does not change our view on fundamental value,” the statement said.
Unilever said, “Accordingly, we will not increase our offer above £50 billion,” noting that it will continue to maintain “strict financial discipline to ensure that acquisitions create value for our shareholders.”
“Unilever also reiterates its commitment to continuing to improve the performance of its existing portfolio through its ongoing focus on operational excellence, its upcoming reorganisation and by rotating the portfolio to higher growth categories,” it added.
Unilever and GSK both have subsidiaries in Nigeria and are also listed on the local stock exchange.
Business Post reports that on Wednesday, shares of Unilever Nigeria closed flat N13.20, while GSK rose by 0.84 per cent to N6.00 from N5.95.
Airtel Africa, Others Lift NGX All-Share Index Above 45,000 Points
By Dipo Olowookere
The Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited appreciated by 1.73 per cent on Wednesday amid interest in some blue-chips equities trading on the platform, including Airtel Africa.
The stock price of the telco rose by the maximum 10.00 per cent at the midweek session to close at N1,155.50 and was trailed by Cornerstone Insurance, which gained 6.00 per cent to trade at 53 kobo.
Courtville appreciated by 5.26 per cent to quote at 40 kobo, Union Bank rose by 4.46 per cent to N5.85, while Seplat improved by 4.36 per cent to sell for N720.10.
On the flip side, FTN Cocoa topped the losers’ chart yesterday with a price depreciation of 7.69 per cent to trade at 36 kobo, Consolidated Hallmark Insurance lost 7.25 per cent to close at 64 kobo, Regency Assurance fell by 6.67 per cent to 42 kobo, Japaul depreciated by 4.76 per cent to 40 kobo, while Jaiz Bank went down by 4.55 per cent to 63 kobo.
At the close of business, a total of 16 stocks appreciated in price while 17 stocks depreciated in price, indicating a negative market breadth and a weak investor sentiment.
Business Post reports that only the consumer goods sector ended bearish as it dropped 0.02 per cent as the industrial goods sector closed flat, with the energy, insurance and banking counters appreciating by 2.21 per cent, 0.59 per cent and 0.50 per cent respectively.
When the closing gong was beaten by 2:30 pm yesterday, the All-Share Index (ASI) rose by 774.25 points to 45,430.14 points from 44,655.89 points, while the market capitalisation expanded by N417 billion to N24.477 trillion from N24.060 trillion.
It was observed that the activity level improved on Wednesday as investors traded 252.9 million stocks valued at N8.9 billion in 4,218 deals as against the 235.2 million stocks valued at N1.9 billion transacted on Tuesday in 4,151 deals, indicating an increase in the trading volume, value and number of deals by 7.53 per cent, 365.28 per cent and 1.61 per cent respectively.
GTCO emerged as the most active stock of the session with a turnover of 25.5 million units valued at N649.4 million, followed by Dangote Cement, which commenced its share buy-back scheme during the session with the sale of 24.5 million units worth N6.5 billion.
FBN Holdings traded 23.1 million shares for N277.2 million, Fidelity Bank exchanged 21.1 million equities worth N57.2 million, while FCMB exchanged 12.9 million stocks for N38.8 million.
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