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Business ‘Cooking gas scarcity now a thing of the past’

Barr. Nosa Ogieva-Okunbor, National President of the Nigeria Association of LPG Marketers (NALPGAM) in this interview speaks on the supply situation in the country presently.

What is the state of LPG (cooking gas) supply and what efforts are marketers making to ensure that the product circulates nationwide?

NALPGAM is doing its best to enlighten Nigerians on the use of LPG and that LPG has a great potential in the development of our economy. The efforts we have put in place have engineered the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Limited (NLNG) to put in place a deliberate policy to supply the Nigerian market with more of the product. As we speak now,  the issue of scarcity of the product in Nigeria is a thing of the past.

NLNG came in recently to remove the bottleneck we were having in Apapa by increasing the jetty we have there.

Before now, whenever there is fuel scarcity priority, is given to Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) but as we speak we have more jetties that LPG can come into the country to be discharged into the storage facility.

That is why most times in December, scarcity comes up but last year because of the effort put in by the NLNG, there was no scarcity. Scarcity from all indications is a thing of the past in the LPG industry.

 How has deregulation of the LPG market helped or crippled the industry?

What the government is doing now by bringing LPG into the front burner is not crippling but rather expanding and making the LPG industry to be further deepened in Nigeria.

The government is rather coming out to push the industry up to a higher level. As we speak, Nigeria is one of the lowest LPG consuming nations in Africa and if the policy being put in place now is properly implemented, within the next five years, we will be ranked as one of the most LPG consuming nations in Africa.

What are the challenges LPG marketers currently face?

In every industry, there are challenges. We have challenges of inadequate infrastructure, multiple taxes and they are things we are presently discussing with government.

Some of your members have come under the hammer of the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) for sharp practices. What is the association doing to ensure that marketers don’t infiltrate the market with off spec LPG?

Before you become a member of NALPGAM you must be licensed by the DPR. People who just wake up and set up gas plants are not members of my association. It is the unscrupulous Nigerians that are bringing in off spec product from other sources. Ninety per cent of what we consume in Nigeria comes from the NLNG. As at last year we were consuming 700,000 metric tonnes of LPG per annum and that is not our capacity, we are just scratching the surface. Our capacity is about 5 million metric tonnes per annum.

What is your association doing to enlighten Nigerians on the safety concerns around switching to LPG usage?

We are doing our best in that regard. Every month we hold meetings and enlighten our people on any new technology that comes up in the industry. We have a training school in our national secretariat where training is being conducted for our employees.

FCAM’s Legacy USD Bond Fund listed on NSE

Legacy USD Bond Fund, a mutual fund managed by First City Asset Management Limited (FCAM) and registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), is now listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).

The fund which recorded an impressive 244.44 per cent subscription in its Initial Public Offering (IPO), raised over $6m. The IPO was, therefore, 144.44 per cent oversubscribed. FCAM is a member of First City Monument Bank (FCMG) Group.

The Legacy USD Bond Fund is an open-ended investment vehicle registered with SEC and managed by FCAM. It gives investors the opportunity to invest in US dollar denominated fixed income securities on a continuous basis and aids currency diversification.

In his comments, the Chief Executive Officer of FCAM, Mr. James Ilori, said, “We thank the Nigerian Stock Exchange for working with us to list Legacy USD Bond Fund.

“We will continue to work with the NSE in creating opportunities for investors to efficiently access safe and value-adding investment products and services. Legacy USD Bond Fund has now re-opened to new and existing investors.”

Business

UBA shareholders approve 2017 final dividend of N22.23bn

UBA shareholders approve 2017 final dividend of N22.23bn

The United Bank for Africa (UBA), yesterday, endorsed the payment of N22.23 billion final dividend declared by the board for the financial year ended December 31, 2017.

The shareholders gave the approval at the bank’s 56th Annual General Meeting (AGM) held in Lagos.

The final dividend translated to 65k per share when compared with the final dividend of 55k paid in the corresponding period in 2016.

The dividend was in addition to the 20k per share paid as interim dividend earlier.

Speaking at the meeting, Mr. Boniface Okezie, the National Chairman, Progressive Shareholders Association of Nigeria (PSAN), commended the board and management for the dividend desspite an unfriendly operating environment.

Okezie lauded the bank for the enhanced dividend and its great work, as well as achievements in the continent.

Okezie, however, called on the shareholders to leverage on the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) e-dividend initiative in order to bring down the bank’s unclaimed dividend totalling about N7bn.

Mr. Nona Awo, a shareholder, urged the bank’s management on investors’ enlightenment on the benefits of e-dividend.

Awo said the bank should engage the company secretary and the registrar to tackle the unclaimed dividend figure.

He also commended the bank’s subsidiaries for improved contribution to the company’s performance indicators.

Mr. Timothy Adesiyan, Grand Patron, Nigerian Shareholders’ Solidarity Association (NSSA), appreciated the bank for the dividend and achievement during the year under review.

Adesiyan said that the bank should conform to regulatory rules and regulations to avoid payment of unnecessary fines.

Responding, Mr. Tony Elumelu, the bank’s chairman, assured the shareholders of enhanced returns in the years ahead.

Elumelu said the bank had opened a banking license few months ago to operate UBA London, noting that it would continue to increase its footprint across the globe.

On unclaimed dividend, he said the bank would continue to create e-dividend awareness in partnership with APR Registrars to reduce the figure.

Mr. Kennedy Uzoka, the bank’s Group Managing Director, said the bank would leverage its Pan-African platform to deepen and formalise intra-Africa trade through cross border synergy. NAN

Uzoka said the bank would focus on growing its market share and would remain committed to sustainable banking principles and risk management practices.

“Notwithstanding the ever-increasing competition from traditional peers and emerging Fintechs, we are approaching 2018 with strong optimism,’’ he said.

He said the bank had made a lot of investment in technology to drive business operations.

He assured the shareholders that the bank would ensure efficient service delivery in its operations. NAN

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