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Shareholders Approve N1.4bn Profit As Conoil guarantee Improved Returns

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The Shareholders of Conoil Plc has approved a dividend of N1.4 billion for the 2019 financial year, just as the company has expressed optimism about sustaining its tradition of delivering higher dividend. The shareholders gave the approval at the 49th annual general meeting (AGM) in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.

For the financial period ended December 31, 2018, Conoil PBT rose by 11.4 per cent to N2.567 billion from N2.305 billion in 2017, while PAT grew faster by 13.8 per cent to N1.796 billion.

Commenting on the company’s performance, the shareholders expressed satisfaction with the growth path which the board and management have charted for sustained profitability.

“I must commend the board and management of Conoil for sustaining profitability and also able to pay dividend to its shareholders notwithstanding the very tough operating environment during the financial year in review. I know of some companies in the downstream oil sector that could not pay dividend to shareholders,” Founding National Coordinator, Independent Shareholders’ Association of Nigeria (ISAN), Sunny Nwosu, said.

In his address, the Chairman of Conoil Plc, Mike Adenuga, stated that despite the challenges of tough operating environment in the downstream petroleum sector, the company continued to record progress towards delivering superior shareholder value.

“Every segment of our business will continue to receive the desired attention with a view to maintaining world class levels of operating and capital discipline. We believe that the future holds a lot of promise for our shareholders, the company will surely reward them for their steadfastness and unwavering faith in its prospects,” Adenuga said.

He attributed Conoil’s achievement in the financial year under review to the commitment of the board and management of the company to deliver solid financial results in spite of the enormous challenges that confronted operators in the downstream oil sector, including the prohibitive cost of procuring petroleum products.

“We managed the challenges properly and ended the year creditably. We embarked on strategic cost reduction, while ensuring that the future growth potential of our business was not sacrificed. The company would not relent in its efforts to maintain its leading position in the downstream petroleum sector, through new initiatives in product development, service delivery and best practices, while delivering value to all our stakeholders,” Adenuga added.

 

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SPDC disburses N41.1bn on Rivers, other states’ projects

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The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited has spent a total of N41.1bn ($228m) to fund development projects in Rivers, Delta, Bayelsa and Abia states in the last 13 years.

The General Manager, External Relations, SPDC, Mr Igo Weli, disclosed this during the inauguration of one of the projects in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State. The event was organised by the Tarakiri Cluster Development Board and the Oporomor Cluster Development Board.

The SPDC is the operator of a joint venture agreement involving the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Shell, Total Exploration and Production Nigeria Limited and Nigerian Agip Oil Company Limited.

At the events, 24 completed projects for 2019 valued at N496.9m were handed over to Tarakiri Cluster communities while those of Oporomor Cluster communities for 2019 were valued at N737.4m.

Beneficiaries of the Tarakiri Cluster communities were given as Ayamasa, Agbere, Isampou, Ofoni, Agbidiama and Egbemo-Angalabiri communities, all in the Ekeremor Local Government Area of the state.

The benefiting communities under the Oporomor Cluster are Peretorugbene, Amambolou, Oweigbene, Ndoro I, Ndoror II, Tamogbene and Norgbene, also in the Ekeremor LGA.

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AfDB Advocates disclose $1.8tn AUM for Investment

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In line with driving development in Africa, the President of the Africa Development Bank (AfDB), Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina, has announced the need to mobilise mutual funds and other Assets Under Management (AUM) in the continent put at $1.8 trillion, to drive Africa’s development. He disclosed this in an interview on the sidelines of the just-concluded 2019 Annual Meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund in Washington DC recently.

He also said commercial banks who desire to get credit lines from the AfDB would have to increase lending to women-focused businesses, saying the bank was set to launch a rating for women- focused lending.

Through mobilising capital to accelerate growth in the continent, he stated: “Africa today has in its pension funds, sovereign wealth funds and insurance mutual funds $1.8 trillion of asset under management.

“Those sovereign wealth funds and pension funds are being invested outside of Africa in money market instruments that are generating negative real yield of returns.”

He added: “So what we are working on at the AfDB is how do we get the pensions and sovereign wealth funds to invest in Africa.

“Africa Sovereign funds shouldn’t be invested in other sovereigns, it should be invested in Africa to create better wealth and better environment and quality of lives for our people. For me that is very important.”

Speaking further, he said: “The other thing is in terms of stimulating growth is the role of capital markets. The AfDB is supporting strongly the development of capital markets to be able to mobilise domestic savings and to drive investments in the economy.”

The AfDB boss mentioned that, the bank has been able to mobilise $3 billion for small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs). And AfDB was planning to launch what he described as a Women Financing Index for Africa.

Under the arrangement, all financial institutions in Africa would be rated based on their lending to women. The ratings, he said would be both in terms of the volume of lending and in terms of the lending that they give as well as its impact on women.

In addition, he said, “So, those who lend more to women will get more resources from us and those who are lending more can get more resources at a discounted rate from the bank; so, you can lend more and have more impact for women.

“I will like to see financial institutions in Africa being held fully accountable when it comes financing women. The reason for that is very simple. For me, women run African economies and I think we need to support them and helping them get the financing that they need.

“It is part of a bigger agenda that we have where we are supporting women, this in particular is very strategic. We would help to minimise $3 billion for women businesses.

“I think when Africans get the issues of women right, we can get everything right. We provide funding through Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa (AFAWA) that will help to mobilise funding for women in Africa.” He noted.

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Access Bank’s hits N1bn digital lending Daily

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As part of its achievements, the leading financial institution Access Bank has expanded digital lending portfolio through  given Nigerians instant and  access to funds for insurgencies without any collateral, and has hit N1bn daily in loan value.

The Executive Director, Retail Banking, Access Bank Plc, Victor Etuokwu, said in a statement, “We are at the forefront of digital lending across the continent. This is a deliberate choice we made when we introduced the first USSD based digital lending product in Nigeria based on our deep understanding of our operating environment.

“In the past two years, we have disbursed loans to over 3.5 million  individuals. We acknowledge it is no mean feat when compared to where the market is coming from, but this is still a scratch in the overall potential of this market.

“This year alone we have disbursed over N45bn in over 2 million disbursements to individuals and have recently witnessed a spike in our volumes hitting N1bn daily. This achievement and our focus on retail lending reiterate our commitment to democratise access to financial services leveraging digital technology.”

Since the launch of Access Bank’s digital loan portfolio with PayDay Loan as the flagship product, Access Bank said it had continued to expand its loan portfolio using its proved innovative algorithms and deep machine learning capabilities.

The bank’s retail innovation journey had led it to expand its digital loan offerings to other multi-tenured variants to fit the needs of its diverse retail customer segments, it added.

Access Bank also launched a dedicated loan application platform known as QuickBucks in the third quarter of 2018; a Mobile Banking Application for digital loans aimed at improving customers borrowing experience for retail loans.

As part of its commitment to deepening digital finance, the bank said it had gone a step ahead to provide access to phone ownership as it recently launched a 12-month device ownership scheme where any salary earning customer could select a phone of his choice from its QuickBucks app and walk into any of its partner outlets across the country to pick up the phone.

The Head Digital Banking Business Development, Access Bank, Chinedu Onuoha, said, “Our objective is to ensure that there is a digital loan product for every adult Nigerian who has proven means of livelihood because we know that every individual at one point or another requires some form of financial support.”

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