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Ugo Obi-Chukwu @ugodre
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Hello everyone, welcome to @Nairametrics Corporate News roundup for the week ended October 13, 2018. This thread is BTU by @BluechipTechNG

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1. Euromonitor confirmed during the week that Transsion Holdings, the maker of Tecno and itel phone brands, dominates the feature phones sales market in Nigeria.
According to its August report, this is due to “strong presence, productive output, availability, distribution network, and a variety of affordable feature phones which targets the low and middle-income consumers in Nigeria.”
The report also claimed that Transsion understands the African smartphone market space and that because the average Nigerian consumer does not have steady electricity supply,
the mobile phone is a convenient alternative for entertainment, which TECNO and itel Mobiles provide users in the form of phones that boast amazingly good battery life.
This in turn adds to reasons why the demand for these phone brands skyrocket, according to the study. In summary, Tecno has been a success because of its affordability emanating from its unique targeting of low and middle-income earners.
2. The Nokia comeback appears to still be on course. Last week, the former mobile phone giant launched the Nokia 6.1 Plus phone.
According to its Head of Marketing, HMD Global, Olumide Balogun, “Early this year, we introduced some devices and our fans around the world made it very clear that they wanted to see more of the same from us.
This excitement for cutting-edge smartphones with contemporary designs prompted us to introduce a device using the same formula."
It’s probably a very long road back for Nokia, considering how the likes of Apple & Samsung have dominated the premium market for smartphones. As the previous story explains, Transsion also dominates the value segment for smartphones, so I wonder where Nokia stands in all of this
No questions about its durability and the unique features of its latest phones, but this is not 2005. The smartphone market is highly competitive and it will take years before Nokia can once more gain a foothold in the market.
According to a report I read from Counterpoint Research, “Q4 of 2017 saw the Android-powered Nokia smartphones from HMD Global sold around 4.1 million units, giving it a market share of one percent.”
Overall, in Q1 2018 the smartphone market saw an annual decline of 3% with 360 million smartphones shipped.
The top spot was taken by Samsung (21.7%), followed by Apple (14.5%) and Huawei (10.9%). The fastest growing brands in Q1 2018 were Nokia HMD, iTel, Xiaomi, Tecno, OnePlus and Huawei, according to Counterpoint.
3. Another week, another new gaming company in town. A company, Koborise App technologies Ltd, launched its online consumer sales promotion platform, called Ekojara during the week.
According to the co-founder/CEO of the company, Mr. Hillary Nwaukor, “Ekojara is a unique platform that gives users the opportunity to win big value items and
cash with minimum risk of 0.20 per cent of the published value, which is a predetermined amount of money that any user pays for each ticket they purchase.
For instance, if we publish a cash game of N10,000, each user that wants to bid to win the prize will be required to play with 0.20 per cent of N10,000 which is equal to N20 per chance.
After downloading app, the user is required to sign up, then top-up their wallets a minimum of N500 naira before taking a chance to play the advertised games.”
What is it with Nigerians and always trying to replicate proven business models? Maybe it is a good thing, but I believe that we are approaching a gaming bubble.
4. A technology startup, launched during the week as a platform for training and mentorship of technology startups. What is interesting about the launch was that it was unveiled by the Managing Director of SystemSpec, owners of Remita, John Obaro.
The company also featured an array of strong partners with Konga and Swift also listed as key enablers. According to the co-Founder of, Chukwuemeka Fred Agbata Jnr, aka CFA, “We will be announcing our incubation programme in the next three months.”
The company charges, N2k, N8k and N24k per day, week and month respectively for its standard rates and N5k, N20k and N80k daily, weekly and monthly for its Platinum range of services. I’m not sure if this is just for one person or a limited number of people.
5. The CBN Gov. Godwin Emefiele met with representatives of MTN during the week as they discussed a possible resolution of the $8.1 billion repatriation.
Emefiele has fanned hopes of investors, remarking that he did not “think it will be staying at $8.1 billion” and that “I want to believe that the figures will reduce. Whether they will be dropped completely, I honestly cannot say at this time.”
As investors awaited the outcome of the meeting, the shares of MTN slid over uncertainty about the outcome of the meeting. According to reports, executives from MTN and the four lenders involved in the case – Stan Chart, Stanbic, Citibank & Diamond Bank – held talks with the CBN.
6. AMCON stated during the week that it wants a quick sale of Polaris Bank. The CEO of AMCON, Ahmed Kuru, said that the divestment would be quick, as the agency had met with the management of Polaris Bank and would sell the business in less than two years.
The clock is ticking on this one…

BTW: Polaris Bank graduated its first set of trainees from its Polaris Business School in Ibadan.
7. A recent EIU report titled “Going Global: 12 Companies to Watch in Developing Markets” mentioned GTBank as one of the 12 companies to watch. It regarded the bank as one of the best run financial institutions in the country.
More importantly, GTB claimed that about 90% of its customers' transactions are now done outside their banking halls. I don’t know if this is by value or by volume as this could have put it into better context. Does this exclude ATM Transactions?
8. It appears that the lawsuit between Ecobank and Honeywell is yet to blow over. Last week, Ecobank reiterated that it will “strongly resist any attempt by the Honeywell Group to employ a frivolous N72 billion lawsuit to derail it
from pursuing the recovery of monies owed and overdue for payment by the latter.” Recall that Honeywell recently instituted a N72 billion lawsuit against the bank in a back and forth lawsuit that has spanned multiple years.
I guess in trying to also shape the narrative, Honeywell and Ecobank have both been in the media lately posting their respective sides of the stories.
9. During the week, Standard Chartered Bank hosted a “mortgage fair” in Lagos. According to Mobola Faloye, Executive Director, Risk of the bank, “Our mortgage proposition to our clients includes interest rates from 17.5 per cent; clients can secure loans of up to N100 million
and can make outright purchases of properties in Lagos and Abuja. In addition, we are also offering clients the flexibility of securing mortgages, not just as individuals but together with their spouses and with their parents, siblings or even children.”
Interesting to note that at 17.5% you would pay about N1.5 million monthly in loan repayment and by the time you are done on 20 years, the mortgage interest would have cost about N261.1 million. Compared to N716k and N71.9 million at an interest rate of 6% annually.
10. Interswitch announced during the week that its billers will no longer be charged the mandatory N100 for its Quickteller Paypoint. Currently, customers are expected to pay a fee of N100 per transaction but Quickteller has now paired with some organisations to bear this cost.
The list of billers that are partnering with Quickteller for this includes Eko Disco, Abuja Disco, Enugu Disco, Jos Disco WAKABET, BETWAY, Kwese, Ariaria Market Energy Solutions Limited, Rensource and Zola Electric. Quickteller has about 16,000 agents.
This is @Nairametrics Corporate News Thread BTU by @BluechipTechNG
11. Nipost reported during the week that it has opened about “36 banking centres” in the South-East zone of Nigeria. Nipost South-East Zonal Manager, Dr Asuquo Abianga, said that the essence of the centres was to provide financial facilities to the unbanked populace in the zone.
According to him, “with our manpower, millions of unbanked people are covered and we are leveraging on technology to achieve this.”
Nipost has recently been in the forefront of the CBN’s financial inclusion strategy, leveraging on its branches in remote parts of the country to serve banking to the unbanked.
12. Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc during the week launched what it termed, “another first in Nigeria’s banking industry” with the deployment of robotics to handle some segments of its operations.
The Stanbic IBTC BlueBots, as the robots are called, have been deployed to manage middle and back office activities at some selected branches across Lagos.
At the Bank’s operational centre in Ilupeju, Lagos, the robots will facilitate account origination and servicing for anti-money laundering transactions, processing and clearing for inward cheque confirmation.
While at the Idejo office on Victoria Island, the Credit Risk Management System robots will handle personal banking credit assessments, and at the bank’s headquarters in Lagos, the robots will be deployed in Global Market Operations to manage T-Bills processing.
This new deployment by Stanbic IBTC Bank will add to the growing lists of Artificial Intelligence applications used by financial institutions in the country. Several banks such as UBA, Diamond Bank, just to mention a few have
deployed their chatbots – artificial intelligence-powered conversational and transaction channels for rendering banking services to customers in a bid to improve their customer banking experience.
13. Still on chatbots, ADA, the chatbot introduced by Diamond Bank may start trading stocks soon. Titi Odunfa Managing Director of Sankore Investments (which designed the bot) disclosed this during the NSE Bloomberg roundtable held during the week.
The service will initially be in conjunction with one stockbroker, before being expanded to others. The move, if embraced by other operators could lead to a greater participation by retail investors.
Many of them are still reluctant to invest in the stock market due to memories of the huge losses they incurred in the late 2000s. For the younger generation, this could also serve as an introduction to the capital market.
They would be more trusting of trading, using a chatbot owned by their bank, than a stockbroker they are unfamiliar with. Wishful thinking?
14. Africa’s richest businessman, Alhaji Aliko Dangote has provided some insights on the much-awaited London public listing of Dangote Cement.
Dangote, while speaking at the FT Africa summit, revealed that Bank of America, Merrill Lynch and Standard Chartered could be among the banks organizing the IPO scheduled to take place sometime after Nigeria’s general election next year.
Recall we had reported in a past thread that Dangote Cement Plc could be considering a London listing in the next two years as it seeks more funds for its expansion.
Dangote Cement intends to spend heavily on expansion, with $350 million earmarked for capital projects this year. This includes the building of export facilities at Nigeria’s seaports to boost shipments to neighboring West African countries.
15. The board and management of Skyway Aviation Handling Company Limited (SAHCOL) has reached an agreement with the Bureau of Public Enterprise (BPE) and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to become a listed company on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).
Come November 2018, SAHCOL will be opened to public investors on the floor of the NSE. Recall that some of Nigeria’s privatised state-owned enterprises in which the FG had diluted a significant amount of its equity, may in two months’ time be listed on the country’s stock market.
The BPE plans to make Initial Public Offering (IPO) for Indorama Eleme Petrochemicals Limited, Skyway Aviation Handling Company Limited (SAHCOL), and NICON Insurance Limited.
16. During the week, the Vice President of the Nigeria Agribusiness Group (NAGB), Mr. Emmanuel Ijewere, has explained why companies like PZ Cussons Plc and Unilever Nigeria Plc continue to import oil palm into Nigeria despite
the presence of leading producers such as Okomu Oil Palm Plc & Presco Plc in the country. Mr. Ijewere, who was speaking during Crenov8 Consulting’s Meet the Farmers’ Conference, said the situation is necessitated by the inability of local oil palm producers to meet local demands.
He said that NAGB immediately intervened by summoning a meeting between the FMCGs and the two major palm oil producers, Okomu and Presco. During the meeting, PZ Cussons and Unilever explained that they need about 5,000 tonnes of oil palm as raw material.
Which is far more than the combined total of 800 tonnes that Okomu and Presco can make available. According to him “They need to import about 5,000 tonnes, but the little available is 800 tonnes.
So, we asked the local producers how long it will take them to complement their 800 tonnes. They said six months. We then said okay, we will allow the importation for one year. Just improve on the local production.” EOQ
These are some of the stories you read that just make you wonder whether we are a serious country. Is there anything we can execute at scale on our own?
17. In threat to the likes of Ikeja and Eko Disco, Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc has announced plans to proceed with the application for an Electric Generation License.
According to a release signed by the company’s secretary, Umolu Joseph, the new license is in compliance with section 70 (2) of the Electric Power Generation Sector Reform Act.
The license will enable Flour Mills to obtain an embedded electricity generation license to operate a 70MW power plant to be located in Apapa. Flour Mills Plc has been off grid for years now and provides its own power supply.
Golden penny power limited and Iganmu power company limited were incorporated to carry out independent power projects for the company.
18. Last week, UK-based Savannah Petroleum revealed that plans to acquire Nigeria’s Seven Energy Assets will be completed before the end of the year.
In a press release signed by the Savannah Energy CEO, Andrew Knott, the final approval is coming after the submission of revised terms on the transaction detailing the additional acquisitions, as announced by the company on 20 September 2018 to Nigeria's DPR.
Savannah Petroleum had last year completed a $125m fund-raise to help it fund its proposed acquisitions, drilling campaign in Nigeria and for general corporate purposes.
Seven Energy ran into troubled waters after several defaults on its debt-servicing obligations, so the company decided to enter into a transaction for a comprehensive capital restructuring, part of which is to sell most of its assets.
19. In what you can term as our “one-chance” story of the week, The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) announced during the week that it discovered N9.8bn belonging to the Federal Government which was hidden in Aso Savings and Loans Plc.
The ICPC said in a statement by its spokesperson, Mrs. Rasheedat Okoduwa, that the money which was realised from the sale of government assets between 2010-2014 was deposited in Aso Savings and Loans Plc instead of the federal treasury.
According to the ICPC, several officials of the bank have been invited for investigation, these include the current Managing Director of the bank, Mr. Kunle Adedigba, who revealed that the bank is currently experiencing paucity of funds,
and is willing to swap some of its properties located in Abuja and Lagos in exchange for the unremitted funds.
The commission stated that it is committed to the recovery of the full value of the unremitted N9.8 Billion by taking the properties offered in lieu for government, subject to satisfactory valuation by the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing.
I am a bit perturbed by this story. Being a bank, I suppose the CBN audits this bank at least 4 times a year, so how come no one noticed this? And even if this finding is true, can't the CBN debit their account from source?
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