Business News in Brief

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.

'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.