Business News in Brief

Air Peace to Begin London, Atlanta Flights

Air Peace has announced its plan to launch itself on the international route, following the training of four of its pilots in the handling of Boeing 777 aircraft, NAN reports.

The airline made the announcement in a statement issued by its Communications Manager, Mr Chris Iwarah on Thursday in Lagos.

Iwarah said the training, which took place at the Boeing Training Centre in the United Kingdom, was the first by any Nigerian airline

Dangote to Pump ₦106b into Sugar Refinery

Aliko Dangote, Chairman, Dangote Sugar Refinery (DSR) on Thursday said that N106 billion would be invested in the company to boost profitability and enhance dividend payment.

Dangote told shareholders at the company’s 11th Annual General Meeting (AGM) for 2016 financial year in Lagos that the money would be invested in the next four to six years.

He said the investments, when concluded, would boost the company’s market share as well as dividend payable to the shareholders.

FG Votes More Funds for Mining Sector

The Federal Government has earmarked additional funds to scale up mining activities from its current zero level in the country, Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Kayode Fayemi, has said.

Fayemi said on Tuesday in Enugu at a meeting with stakeholders in the mining industry, that the fund would be used to support small scale miners.

The minister disclosed that the government would also support the miners with technology and mining equipment.

U.S Spends $420m to Fight Malaria in Nigeria

The U.S. has spent more than $420 million in the fight against malaria in Nigeria since 2010, the Deputy Head of Mission, U.S. Embassy, David Young, said on Monday.

He said that $75 million was spent in 2016 alone.

Young, stated this in Abuja at the commemoration of 2017 World Malaria Day organised by the U.S. Embassy.

He said prevention and control remained a major U.S. foreign assistance objective.

Ecobank writes off ₦221.7b Loan, Posts ₦50b Loss

Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI), on Tuesday cleaned its books of non-performing loans, by making a provision of N221.7 billion in its 2016 audited accounts.

The bank said that its impairment charges, showed a jump of 110.7 per cent compared with N105.2 billion recorded in 2015.

It said that the results released on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) on April 18, showed that the bank recorded a growth of 22.3 per cent in gross earnings to N665 billion in 2016, from N542.7 billion in 2015.

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Fiscal Record: Uber Loses $2.8b

After a string of corporate crises, Uber is taking the unusual step of releasing financials to highlight its business growth.

Uber’s gross bookings for 2016 hit $20 billion, more than doubling from the year prior, according to financial figures the company provided to Bloomberg.

Its net revenue, after drivers took their cut, totaled $6.5 billion for the year.

But that rapid growth came at a cost. Uber says it lost $2.8 billion in 2016, excluding the China business it sold midway through the year.

FIRS to Introduce Electronic Tax Clearance Certificates

The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) says it will soon introduce electronic Tax Clearance Certificate (TCC) system to help reduce  fraudulent certificates.

Mr Kola Okunola, Director ICT, FIRS, said this in a presentation at the ongoing training by Ltd., in collaboration with FIRS on Thursday in Abuja.

He said that the implementation of the e-TCC verification system had reached an advanced stage, adding that it was undergoing user’s acceptance test before deployment to production.

Nigeria Sells Less Bonds than Planned to Keep Cost below Inflation

Nigeria raised less money than it originally planned through a domestic bond auction on Wednesday after investors demanded higher yields to buy the debt, the Debt Management Office (DMO) said on Thursday.

The DMO said it raised 105.32 billion naira ($335 mln) from the bond sale, 29.7 billion naira less than it wanted to raise.

Traders said investors demanded yields of up to 17.55 percent on the notes but the debt office offered the bonds at yields below 17 percent on an improving inflationary outlook in Africa's biggest economy.

Fresh Cash Uncovered by EFCC in Lagos Flat

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Wednesday uncovered yet another stash of foreign currencies and Naira notes in Lagos.

At the end of counting, the sums stood at 43.4 million dollars, £27,800 and N23.2 million, the commission said in a statement on its Facebook page.

This time, the monies were found in a four-bedroom apartment on the 7th floor of a residential building at Osborne Towers located at 16, Osborne Road, Ikoyi.

The facility is said to be owned by Osborne Towers Resident Association.