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DAAR Comm narrows operational loss by 36%. Holds AGM

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With an eleven percent increase in the 2019 operating result, DAAR Communications PLC, Nigeria’s pioneer private and publicly quoted company has narrowed the loss suffered in the 2018 operation year by thirty six per cent.

The Chairman of the Group, Chief Raymond Dokpesi Jnr. made the disclosure at the Group’s 12th Annual General Meeting.

 

DAAR Chairman Raymond Dokpesi Jnr

The AGM held virtually in line with the Covid 19 protocols at the organization’s corporate headquarters at Kpaduma Hills, Asokoro, Abuja.

Dokpesi announced that the Company recorded a gross earning of N5.15 billion in 2019 as against 2018’s earnings of N4.63 billion, representing an eleven per cent improvement in earnings.

Chief Dokpesi gave further insight into the 2019 result, “The company recorded a loss after taxation of N1.37 billion during the year under review, compared to N2.17 billion recorded in 2018, representing a decrease of 36 percent.”

He apologised to shareholders for the inability to return the company to profitability as promised last year, blaming the cause on the impact of the harsh economic condition that attended the Nigerian Economy last year and the impact of the global Covid 19 pandemic.

The DAAR Group Chairman, however reassured shareholders of a brighter future going forward, saying mechanisms are in place to actualize the return to profitability project.

“Our most valued shareholder’s, I want to reassure you that the Board of your Company will not be deterred by the harsh economic reality in the country. During the year, the Board of your Company reviewed the earlier approved restructuring plan of the Company in line with the current realities in the global broadcast system environment and a new strategy of blueprint was fashioned out of it for implementation. The implementation of the strategy which is in progress has been tailored towards repositioning the Company to operate as autonomous business segment taking into consideration the current development in the new media and with new income streams so as to operate and profitably, “ Dokpesi further reassured.

Also, addressing the Shareholders on the Company’s future plans, the DAAR Group Managing Director, Mr. Tony Akiotu reassured that the Company will continue to close the loss gap to return the Group to full profitability through the strict implementation of the planned re-engineering agenda.

GMD Tony Akiotu

Akiotu said “As an organisation, we are doing our best to rejuvenate, re- energise, and re- engineer and repackage our entire operations, including the diversification of our business portfolios into some other new businesses which at the next Annual General Meeting, the thrust must have crystallised, “

 

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NESG, CBN feud worsens as three bank CEOs reportedly quit NESG board

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The chief executive officers of three banks have resigned from the board of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group, TheCable is reporting

The CEOs, Kennedy Uzoka of the United Bank for Africa (UBA); Abubakar Suleiman of Sterling Bank and Adesola Adeduntan of First Bank Plc, were reported to have resigned from the board in protest of the NESG’s criticisms of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s interventions.

Asue Ighodalo, the chairman of NESG, is also the chairman of Sterling Bank.

A source at the NESG on Thursday, said that the issues have not been finalised and that there has been no discord in the board whatsoever.

In a statement on Monday, the NESG had expressed concerns about how the CBN “carried on the business of foreign exchange transactions, loan disbursements (intervention funds) and price fixings without appropriate policy clarity”.

It also said the distortions in the liquidity and interest rate management is causing a grave disadvantage to domestic investors and pensioners.

The NESG had also urged the federal government to overhaul the management and support being given to the agricultural sector saying a huge gap exists between food production and requirement of Nigerians despite the huge sums disbursed by the CBN under its intervention programmes.

In response, the CBN had said its agricultural intervention programmes averted a major food crisis during the thick of the lockdown.

According to the CBN, 103, 189 beneficiaries of its development finance activities had received N59.12 billion through the NIRSAL Microfinance Bank as of August 2020.

The apex bank also refuted claims that its lending process did not have a proper framework explaining that participating financial institutions carry out due diligence of applicants following which an additional assessment process is embarked upon by the CBN before disbursements are provided.

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FG debt now N24.52tn, recorded N561.71bn deficit – CBN

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The Federal Government’s outstanding as of March 31 stood at the N24.52tn (excluding the states and the Federal Capital Territory Administration), the Central Bank of Nigeria has said.

The apex bank also disclosed that the Federal Government recorded a revenue deficit of N561.71bn in May.

It disclosed these in its ‘Economy monthly report’ for the month of May. The report was released on Tuesday.

The report said, “Federation account operations driven by the slump in crude oil prices in March 2020, federally collected revenue in May 2020 declined by 31.6 percent and 12.0 percent to N625.91bn, relative to its levels in April 2020 and May 2019 respectively.

“The receipt was 52.4 percent below the monthly benchmark.

“Retained revenue of the Federal Government in May was N276.99bn, while total expenditure was N838.71bn, resulting in an estimated deficit of N561.71bn.

“Total FGN debt outstanding at end-March 2020, stood at N24.52tn, 59.3 percent of which was domestic and 40.7 percent external.”

Although a gradual easing of lockdown measures and border restrictions began in May, the report said federally collected revenue (gross) was impaired by a continued slowdown in economic activities.

Revenue from oil sources fell below the benchmark and the level in April 2020.

This was because the price of Bonny Light crude dropped sharply from $55.66 in February to $32.01 in March; the reference price of crude oil sales for NNPC’s earnings in May 2020, it stated.

The report said the federally collected revenue in May 2020 was estimated at N625.91bn.

This represented respective declines of 52.4 percent and 31.6 percent, relative to the monthly benchmark estimate of N1.31tn and the April 2020 receipt of N915.28bn.

The observed shortfall reduced the revenue available to the three tiers of government in May 2020.

“Thus, the net sum allocated was N584.45bn (after statutory deductions and transfers) compared with N620.52bn shared in April,” it stated.

The report said the majority of the subnational governments generated minimal internal revenues, making them susceptible to fluctuations in federally collected revenue.

At the federal and sub-national levels, it added, the incipient fiscal crisis may not be steadied anytime soon.

Allocations to states and local governments in May 2020 fell short of their levels in the preceding month and corresponding month in 2019.

The allocations also remained significantly below the 2020 benchmarks by 46.6 and 39.8 percent for states and LGAs respectively.

Consequently, it added, some state governments set up committees to revise their budgets for 2020.

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Court stops NPA from terminating INTELS’ boat service

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A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has granted an interim injunction stopping the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) from terminating the role of INTELS Nigeria Limited as a manning agent in the Pilotage Districts of Lagos, Warri, Bonny/Port Harcourt, and Calabar.

The judge, Hon. Justice R.M. Aikawa granted the interim injunction in the suit number FHC/L/CS/1058/2020 based on an application filed by INTELS Nigeria Limited and Deep Offshore Service Nigeria Limited against the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA).

INTELS and Deep Offshore had requested the court to restrain NPA from preventing them from performing their duties as managing agents, pending the determination of ongoing arbitration proceedings.

The court order, which was issued on August 28, 2020, reads: “That an order is granted restraining the respondent, its servants, agents, and/or privies from giving effect to the purported notice of expiration issued it on 5th August 2020 or taking any other step to prevent the parties from performing their duties and obligations under the agreements between the 1st applicant and respondent dated  February 11, 2011, and August 24, 2018, pending the determination of the originating motion dated  August 12, 2020, seeking for interim measures of protection in support of the pending arbitration between the parties therein.”

The court adjourned the matter to September 15, 2020, for the originating motion on notice.

Consequent upon the court order, the management of INTELS, in a statement yesterday, asked the shipping community to disregard a Marine Information issued by NPA purportedly terminating its operation, as it was issued in contempt of the court.

INTELS’ statement reads: “We read with surprise, the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA)’s Notice 11 of 2020, dated 1st September 2020 circulated on different public fora today 3rd September 2020; titled “MARINE INFORMATION” wherein the NPA purported to give notice to all its stakeholders in Nigeria and abroad that the boat service operation ‘hitherto (Previously) handled by a Third-Party Company, the Integrated Logistics Services (Intels) Nigeria has been terminated. The NPA went on to further give notice that all Service Boats Owners and Operators are “to do transactions directly in each of the Port Complex of the Nigerian Ports Authority.

“NPA’s publication is highly selective, inaccurate, and should be disregarded, as it seeks to circumvent legal due process. Indeed, a dispute has arisen over NPA’s right to terminate our role as managing agent in the Pilotage Districts of Lagos, Warri, Bonny/Port-Harcourt, and Calabar. This dispute has been submitted to arbitration, and the arbitral proceedings have already commenced.

“Notwithstanding the pendency of arbitral proceedings, NPA issued a letter dated  August 5, 2020, wherein it asserted that our appointment will expire by  August 8, 2020, and that it will thereafter regard “all obligations arising” therefrom “as closed”.

“To preserve the status-quo pending the outcome of the arbitration, we instituted legal proceedings before the Federal High Court, Lagos; to restrain the NPA from placing reliance on this letter or from taking any other step to prevent Intels from performing its duties as managing agent, pending the determination of the arbitration proceedings.

“On Friday 28th August 2020; Honourable Justice R. M. Aikawa of the Federal High Court, Lagos granted an interim injunction against the NPA in the following terms:

“AN ORDER of interim injunction restraining the Respondent, its servants, agents, and/or privies from giving effect to the purported notice of expiration issued by it on 5th August 2020, or taking any other step to prevent the parties from performing their duties and obligations under the agreements between the 1st Applicant and Respondent dated 11th February 2011 and 24th August 2018, pending the determination of the Originating Motion dated 12th August 2020 seeking for interim measures of protection in support of the pending arbitration between the parties herein.

“On the same date, our solicitors dispatched a letter to the NPA to inform it of the existence of the suit and the orders granted by the court. Indeed, a certified true copy of the order has, today, been served on NPA by the bailiff of the court, and the suit will come up for further hearing by the Federal High Court on Tuesday 15th September 2020.

“Given its knowledge of the restraining orders of the Federal High Court, it is very unfortunate that the NPA would proceed to issue Notice 11 of NPA as well as any other communications of this kind to stakeholders. This publication clearly has no basis as it was issued in contempt of the court; and the general public is advised to entirely disregard it.”

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