Business News in Brief

'Tax Incentives not Enough to Attract Investors'

A tax expert, Taiwo Oyedele, says only tax incentives to industries without addressing other challenges will not bring about the desired economic growth in Nigeria.

Oyedele, Head, Tax and Regulatory Services at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), made the assertion in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos on Friday.

He said that the task in Nigeria should be how to attract investors based on the enabling environment and viability of the country’s business climate rather than luring them with Pioneer Status Incentive (PSI).

CBN to Raise ₦62.4b in Treasury Bills

Nigeria plans to sell 62.43 billion naira ($171 mln) of treasury bills at an auction next Wednesday, the central bank said on Wednesday.

The bank plans to offer 32.43 billion naira in three-month paper and 30 billion naira of a six-month bill. Results of the auction will be announced on the same day, Reuters reports.

The central bank issues treasury bills twice a month to help the government to finance its budget deficit, curb money supply growth and provide an avenue for lenders to manage liquidity.

Lafarge to Merge Nigerian Units to Simplify Ownership Structure

Lafarge Africa is consolidating its businesses on the continent to simplify its ownership structure and operations, its head of strategy told Reuters on Monday.

Wole Adeleke said the decision was made three years ago after Lafarge combined its Nigerian business with its South African operations and listed the combined entity, which it renamed Lafarge Africa, on the Lagos stock exchange.

Varsity Partner Firm in Honey Production

The University of Ilorin and a Lagos-based Company, Origin Group Nigeria Ltd. have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for commercial production of honey through the university’s Apiary Unit.

The university’s Vice-Chancellor, Prof. AbdulGaniyu Ambali, who spoke at the MoU signing ceremony on Wednesday in Ilorin, commended Origin Group for being the first company to invest in the Apiary Unit of the university.

He also thanked the company for donating a tractor to the institution.

Unilever Nigeria to Raise $162m in Share Sale

Unilever Nigeria has scaled back the amount it plans to raise from shareholders via a rights issue to 58.85 billion naira ($162 million), Reuters reports.

The household products maker, majority owned by Unilever, had planned to raise 63 billion naira through a rights issue and said in April it would ask shareholders to approve the share sale.

The company said on Tuesday it would issue 14 new shares to existing shareholders for every 27 held at 30 naira each, a 25.2 percent discount to Tuesday's market price of 40.13 naira.

Nigerian Banks to Extend 9mobile's Loan Pending Sale

A group of Nigerian banks has agreed an extension to a $1.2 billion loan made to 9mobile, formerly known as Etisalat Nigeria, pending the mobile operator finding new investors, FCMB bank said on Tuesday.

Nigerian regulators stepped in last month to save Etisalat Nigeria from collapse and prevent lenders placing the country's fourth biggest telecoms group into receivership, prompting a board, management and name change.

UN Allocates $10.5m to Assist in Northeast

The UN has allocated over $10.5 million to help thousands of vulnerable in need of life-saving humanitarian assistance in the devastated Nigeria’s northeast.

The UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, Mr Edward Kallon, said that the fund would prioritise life-saving assistance to victims of Boko Haram insurgency.

A statement by Mr. Abiodun Banire, National Public Information Officer, UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) quoted Kallon as saying in Abuja.

UAC to Sell Shares after H1 Profit Fell

Nigerian conglomerate UAC expects stronger results in the second half of the year and plans to raise 15.4 billion naira ($42.3 million) from shareholders after half-year profit fell, outgoing Chief Executive Larry Ettah said on Monday.

UAC, with interests in real estate, paints, foods and livestock feed, last week posted a 59 percent fall in pretax profit to 1.63 billion naira for the half-year to June.

Lagos Acquires Mega Rice Mill, to Create Jobs

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Friday in Zurich, Switzerland signed an agreement with Bühler AG (“Bühler”), a leading rice-mill producer in the world, for the acquisition of a 32 tonnes per hour Rice Mill.

The Governor, who spoke shortly after the signing ceremony, said the development was in furtherance of his vision of enhancing food security and creating employment in the State.

9mobile Seeks Concessions to Boost Revenues Ahead of Sale

The head of 9mobile, the mobile operator formerly known as Etisalat Nigeria, has asked the telecoms regulator for concessions on spectrum and foreign exchange access to shore up its revenues ahead of finding new investors.

On Tuesday, Central Bank Governor Godwin Emefiele said 9mobile had appointed advisers to find new investors after regulators stepped in to try to save the company from collapse due to it big debts.

Citigroup and Standard Bank have been appointed to manage a sale process and three major investors have shown interest.