Business News in Brief

AMCON Denies Plan to Cede Arik to Ethiopian Airlines

The Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) has denied reports that it was negotiating with Ethiopian Airlines to manage Arik Airline.

The corporation debunked the report in a statement signed by Mr Jude Nwauzor, Head of Corporate Communications, in Lagos.

Nwauzor said AMCON was not aware of any current discussion or negotiation with the management of Ethiopian Airlines regarding Arik Air Ltd.

Ethiopian Airline Bids to Take Over Arik Air

Africa’s leading airline, Ethiopian Airlines, has submitted a formal offer to take charge of troubled carrier Arik Air, which accounts for more than half of Nigerian air passenger traffic, the CNN has reported.

“We have outlined our terms and conditions to the Nigerian government and we are waiting to see if they agree,” Esayas WoldeMariam, Ethiopian’s managing director of international services, told CNN.

“We are capable and desirous of handling the airline.”

Fitch Affirms Nigeria Sovereign Ratings at B+; Negative Outlook

Fitch Ratings has affirmed Nigeria's Long-Term Foreign-Currency Issuer Default Rating (IDR) at 'B+' with a Negative Outlook, Reuters reports.

Nigeria's ratings are supported by its large and diversified economy, significant oil reserves, its net external creditor position, low external debt service ratio and large domestic debt market. These are balanced against relatively low per capita GDP, an exceptionally narrow fiscal revenue base and a weak business environment.

Nigeria Asks Britain for Gear to Fight Islamists

Britain is considering a request to sell military equipment to Nigeria to help it fight Boko Haram Islamist militants, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said on Thursday.

British soldiers were already training Nigerian 28,000 troops confronting the militants in the northeast, Johnson told Reuters in the commercial capital Lagos.

“They have put out a request for more help with materiel - equipment of one kind and another. We are going to look at that,” he said.

Germany’s Allianz Takes Over Nigerian Insurer

Germany’s Allianz plans to pay $35 million for 98 percent stake in Nigerian insurer Ensure Insurance in a push for growth in Africa, where many people are uninsured.

Foreign insurers are banking on growing premiums as the continent develops its infrastructure and a consumer class demands protection from risk.

Allianz said that it would acquire the stake from UK-based holding company Greenoaks Global Holdings. Ensure Insurance offers life and non-life cover to businesses and retail clients and generated 11 million euros ($13 million) in gross premiums last year.

The Cost of Clean Water: $150b a Year, Says World Bank

Countries need to quadruple spending to $150 billion a year to deliver universal safe water and sanitation, helping to reduce childhood disease and deaths while boosting economic growth, said the World Bank.

Investments should be better coordinated and targeted to ensure services reach the most vulnerable, and governments need to engage the private sector more closely to meet the high costs, said the World Bank in a report released on Monday.

Samsung Boss Jay Lee Jailed for Bribery

A court on Friday sentenced the billionaire head of South Korea’s Samsung Group, Jay Lee, to five years in prison for bribery.

After a six-month trial over a scandal that brought down the then president, Park Geun-hye, a court ruled that Lee had paid bribes in anticipation of favours from Park.

The court also found Lee guilty of hiding assets abroad, embezzlement and perjury.

Conmen sell Fake Nigerian Oil Allocation Papers

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has raised the red flag on the activities of conmen who specialise in circulating phantom letters of crude oil allocation with the intent of defrauding unsuspecting would-be buyers or members of the public.

The Group Managing Director of the Corporation, Dr. Maikanti Baru, said the activities of the international fraudsters created an unnecessary distraction for staff of the COMD who were compelled to deal with huge turnover of scam mails on a regular basis.

Diezani Surrenders more Houses to Nigerian Govt

Former Nigerian oil minister, Diezani Alison Madueke has temporarily surrendered properties located in Lagos, Port Harcourt and Abuja, valued at about N2.6 billion to the Federal Government of Nigeria.

Justice Abdulaziz Anka of the Federal High Court in Lagos gave the forfeiture order in Lagos today, ruling that the houses were acquired with proceeds of unlawful activities.

Buhari Returns from Sick Leave

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has returned from London on board Nigeria Air Force One jet, after spending more than 100 days receiving treatment.

The President who left Abuja on May 7, for the British capital to receive medical care arrived at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International airport in Abuja on Saturday and walked briskly to the podium to receive the national salute.

Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, his Vice, who acted as president during his absence led the delegation that received Buhari at the crowded airport.