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NEWS NEWS Stocks lose N108bn to profit taking From Kayode Ogunwale, Lagos Profit takers took over trading activities on the Nigerian bourse yesterday to take…



Stocks lose N108bn to profit taking

From Kayode Ogunwale, Lagos

Profit takers took over trading activities on the Nigerian bourse yesterday to take advantage of increase in stocks in the last six trading days.

The equities market closed on a negative note, as market capitalization of entire 190 equities listed depreciated by N108 billion from N8.539 trillion to end with N8.431 trillion.

Consequently, the NSE All Share Index depreciated by 1.26 per cent to close at 24,514.91 basis points, compared with the 0.56 per cent appreciation recorded previously.

However, the year to date returns currently stands at -14.41 per cent.

Market turnover closes positive as volume moved up by 2.62 per cent against 9.01 per cent decline recorded in the previous session.

Portland Paints Plc leads the list of active stocks that recorded impressive volume spike at the end of the trading session.

Banking stocks were the toast of investors at the end of yesterday trading as Guaranty Trust Bank Plc traded 100.477 million worth N1.658 billion, followed by Zenith Bank Plc with 35.906 million with N413.631 million. Fidelity Bank Plc traded 33.897 million valued at N43.724 million and FCMB Plc transacted 15.000 million at N58.497 million. Zenith Bank Plc and Guaranty Trust Bank Plc topped market value list.

On the top on gainers’ log was GlaxoSmithKline Plc with a gain of N1.04 kobo to close at N21.93 kobo, followed by Portland Paints Plc with N0.16 kobo to close at N3.90 kobo, FBN Holdings Plc with N0.14 kobo per share to close at N3.91 kobo.

On the other hand Dangote Cement Plc topped the losers chart with N5.99 kobo to close at N146.00 kobo, 7-Up Bottling Company Plc with N4.50 kobo to close at N170.00 kobo per share, and Nestle Nigeria Plc with N3.00 kobo loss to close at N667.00 kobo per share.

Kaduna Electric explains power outages

From Andrew Agbese, Kaduna

Kaduna Electric, the operator of Kaduna Electricity Distribution Company has attributed the current intermittent interruption of power supply in the company’s franchise area to low power allocation from the national grid.

The firm said the low power allocation was occasioned by the vandalism of gas pipelines and other oil facilities in the South-south and South-west regions of the country.

Chief Engineering and Technical Services Officer of the firm, Engr Bello A. Musa, while fielding question from newsmen in Kaduna, said the Transmission Company of Nigeria announced a drastic shortfall in the national power generation and mandated all distribution companies, including Kaduna Electric, to maintain limited power allocation.

He said the distribution companies are also being directed at short notice to further drop load to avert complete system collapse, hence, the power rationing embarked upon by the company.

Musa explained that “the frequency in the national grid has been fluctuating and highly unstable lately, adding that “Kaduna Electric was allocated only 181 megawatts today (yesterday) for distribution in Kaduna, Kebbi, Sokoto and Zamfara States, the operational territory of the company as against 410 megawatts that was hitherto being allocated to the company,” he said.

NNPC begins concessions for pipelines, depots in March

By Daniel Adugbo with agency report

The federal government would advertise concessions for pipelines and depots beginning from next month, minister of state for petroleum resources Ibe Kachikwu has said.

He had late last year hinted government’s intention to privatize the country’s over 5000 km pipelines in order to enhance efficient management of the infrastructure and bring pipeline vandalism to the barest minimum.

Kachikwu, who is also the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) told Reuters in an interview that Nigeria is also in talks with oil majors and banks to raise capital for new drilling and to repay up to $4bn in debt that NNPC has accumulated over years.

Nigeria produces oil with foreign and local firms through production-sharing contracts and joint ventures (JVs) but investments have been held up because NNPC has been unable to pay its part: bills have been piling up since 2012.

“The target is that over 2017, we’ll begin to look at zero,” he said in the interview, referring to debt and the goal of ending the need for JVs to depend on NNPC cash.

NNPC was in talks with oil majors such as Italy’s Eni and oil traders Vitol and Gunvor, seeking partnerships to revamp assets such as refineries after decades of neglect.

“My ideal would be to bring in third party capital, do a joint investment and management of the refineries and work out a pay-out process over 5 to 6 years basically on lifting of some portion of the finished products,” Kachikwu said.

The NNPC boss said the firm would also restructure Strategic Alliance Agreements (SAA) held by Atlantic Energy to raise funds for oil blocks sold by Royal Dutch Shell.

NNPC, according to him, is expected to conclude a deal within two months for a new partner to pay up to $1.3 billion to take over the Atlantic agreements. The blocks were originally sold to indigenous oil companies by Shell.

“I’m saying to Atlantic, sorry, you’re out because there’s been a breach,” he said. “Whoever comes in has to give a sign-in fee almost equivalent to what I’ve lost … we’ll have a massive increase in volume out of those fields, we’re going to have 150,000 to 200,000 bpd from the current 40,000 to 50,000 bpd.”

Distributor sues Access Bank, Dangote over N40m bank guarantee

By Adelanwa Bamgboye

A distributor with Dangote Cement – Blueberry Integrated Concept Limited (BICL) has dragged Access Bank and Dangote before the FCT High Court, demanding for N250 million damages.

Before their relationship turned sour, Blueberry was appointed as one of Dangote Cement distributor.

Blueberry also obtained N40 million Bank Guarantee ( BG) from Access Bank which was given to Dangote to finance a contract for the supply of 90, 000 bags of 50 KG Dangote Cement.

The plaintiff said that the transaction did not go through and Dangote held on to the BG without returning the same which made it impossible to access other facilities from the bank.

In a 29 paragraph statement of claim, Sanusi Maikurdi Garba, CEO of Blueberry alleged that there was connivance between Access Bank and Dangote to frustrate it from enjoying the BG issued in his favor by Access Bank.

The plaintiff stated that Dangote deliberately refused to surrender the original BG, thereby making it impossible to obtain loan and overdraft from the Bank despite the exorbitant sum it paid to the bank before the said BG was issued.

The plaintiff said that he spent a lot of money before Dangote approved its request to be distributor only for Dangote to turn around to frustrate his company from doing business.

The plaintiff said that Access Bank fully charged his company for the BG that has not assisted it in any way up till now, adding that the bank also failed to amend the value of the BG as requested.

It was further alleged that Blueberry instructed the bank to pay its workers’ salaries. While the total sum for the salaries was deducted from plaintiff’s account it was alleged that only two employees out of 18 were paid by the Bank.

Meanwhile, the case has been fixed for May 6, by Justice Baba Useni while all effort to get the statement of defense has proved abortive.

NECA expresses concern over recurring strikes, seek reforms

By Daniel Adugbo

The umbrella union of employers in the organized private sector has expressed concern over the recurrence of industrial actions in the public sector.

The employers under the aegis of the Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA)have therefore called on the Ministry of Labour to drive the necessary reforms that will reduce the incidence of strike in the public sector.

Speaking after a failed meeting between members of the body and the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Dr. Chris Ngige on Thursday in Abuja, the Director General of NECA Mr. Olusegun Oshinowo said the association came to apprise the minister of key issues that needed to be addressed to promote industrial harmony in the country.

Some of the issues NECA said it wants to be addressed are the imperatives to promote social dialogue in the public sector.

“The public sector as of today is replete with industrial actions that do not follow the law of the land. We then felt that there is a whole lot of reform that the ministry can drive to make sure that we reduce the incidence of strike in the public sector in particular,” Oshinowo said.

The union said it expects the ministry to mobilize its capacity to ensure that the unions within public sector are well informed and empowered enough to be able to engage the ministries and agencies.

Representatives of Julius Berger, Leventis, Nigerian Breweries as well as executives of pensions and building industries were among NECA members who came for the meeting that eventually did not hold because the minister was said to be engaged at another meeting.

NECA is made up individual companies, industrial/sectoral employers’ associations engaged in business activities in the country.

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