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52ND AGM: JULIUS BERGER DELIVERS HIGHEST DIVIDEND IN FIVE YEARS

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52ND AGM: JULIUS BERGER DELIVERS HIGHEST DIVIDEND IN FIVE YEARS

By Olorunfemi Adejuyigbe

 

52ND AGM: JULIUS BERGER DELIVERS HIGHEST DIVIDEND IN FIVE YEARS

L-R: Corporate Development Director, Tobias Meletschus, Company Secretary, Barr. Mrs Cecilia Madueke, Managing Director, Engr. Dr. Lars Richter, Chairman JB Nigeria, Mr. Mutiu Sunmonu, Director, Mrs Belinda Ajoke Disu, Chairman Julius Berger International, Dr. Ernest Azudialu-Obiejesi, Vice Chairman, Dr George Marks, Director Administration, Alh. Zubairu Ibrahim Bayi, and Financial Director, Christian Hausemann at the Julius Berger Annual General Meeting recently

Inside the venue of the 52nd Annual General Meeting of Julius Berger Nigeria Plc in Abuja recently, the excitement was pervasive and palpable. Dr Ernest Azudialu Obiejesi, chairman of Julius Berger International, beamed and buoyed in pride as the construction behemoth he superintends its international operations, once again, defied the headwinds of the 2021 financial year to meet its targets. His joy is understandable.

For the first time in five years, the foremost engineering construction company paid out its highest dividend to shareholders. Mr. Mutiu Sunmonu, Chairman of the Board of Julius Berger Nigeria PLC, said that although the company had challenges in the 2021 financial year, it excelled and overcame the challenges by dint of hard work and unflinching commitment to success by the management and staff.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While presenting the Consolidated Financial Statements of the year under review, Sunmonu said that Julius Berger Nigeria Plc performed positively despite the numerous macro-economic hiccups which affected businesses during the year. He added that the company achieved exceptional financial performance, meeting targets for both revenue and cash flow. “One for those challenges, of course, is COVID-19, which remains ever present in our personal and professional lives – with prolonged consequences. Unfortunately, we are unable to put this virus behind us just yet,” he said.

The chairman declared that while 2021 was certainly a challenging year, “It was also a dynamic and industrious year. Within our core construction business, we made meaningful progress across our portfolio of private and public projects.” He listed the projects to include the International Worship Centre, Uyo; the Office of the National Security Adviser in Abuja, and the Bodo-Bonny Road as well as infrastructure projects in Lagos and Rivers States, where Sunmonu added that the company supported the state governments “to achieve a remarkable infrastructure transformation within the year.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Underscoring the shining example of trust the federal government placed on Julius Berger, the chairman harped on the priority projects of the government being financed via the Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund, saying that the company forged ahead with all of them including the Second River Niger Bridge and the Abuja-Kano Road “with our values, standards and capacities remaining core to our competitive edge.”

He stated that Julius Berger Nigeria Plc closed for the year under review “with a Lost Time Injury Frequency Rate of 0.19, equivalent to our 2020 results,” and that the various subsidiaries of the group also made reasonable progress in 2021.
Sunmonu promised that in 2022, “We will continue to work hard, remain resilient and champion progress in regard to the potentials ahead of us. We do not underestimate the effort or the endeavour it will take to achieve our vision, but we also do not underestimate our collective diligence and determination.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In his remarks to shareholders at the AGM, the Managing Director, Engr. Dr Lars Richter disclosed that the company stood strong in the year under review as the shareholders approved a N2.50k per share dividends. He said that the three pillars of Julius Berger’s business strategy – the core business, group subsidiaries and diversification – have remained central to all operations even as he shared an update on the company’s sustainability and inclusivity efforts, as well as on the company’s outlook for 2022 and beyond.

Richter declared, “Julius Berger continues to stand strong, our values are firmly in place and our reputation for reliable and quality delivery remains unmatched…. And within our core business we continue to realize meaningful progress across our portfolio of projects as a foundation for our continued success and growth.”

 

 

 

 

On the business trajectory of the company, Richter said Julius Berger continues to acquire new projects for major clients such as the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Lagos and Port Harcourt State, the Federal Ministry of Works. Dr Richter also listed some successfully commissioned major projects to include the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation office, several flyovers and civil infrastructural works in Port Harcourt; and the Rehabilitated Control Towers at Tincan Island and the Lagos Port Complex.

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Abounding investment opportunities in the e-commerce value chain

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Abounding investment opportunities in the e-commerce value chain

Abounding investment opportunities in the e-commerce value chain

By Olorunfemi Adejuyigbe

 

Abounding investment opportunities in the e-commerce value chain

 

 

B2B platforms like Alerzo are changing the Nigerian retail market narrative by presenting the attractive investment opportunities therein to the world.

The federal government recently revealed the improving impact of e-commerce on the country’s economy, saying the current e-commerce spending in Nigeria has grown to $13billion per annum and expected to reach $75billion in revenue per annum by 2025.

 

 

 

 

Expressing passion about the growing investment opportunities in the e-commerce value chain, which are capable of contributing significantly to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the federal government also said e-commerce grew in Nigeria from 14% in 2019 to 17% in 2020.

Alerzo’s technology-based market penetration helps in reaching people beyond the urban settlements to rural areas and giving them access to extensive catalogue of products, in addition to free delivery. The leading e-commerce platform also facilitates development and financial inclusion through digital payment platforms.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For instance, Alerzo, through AlerzoPay, is contributing to the development of dematerialized payment solutions which are key to the success of e-commerce and an important asset for Nigeria when it comes to development prospects.

By their business models, B2B e-commerce platforms are a chain of activities that open up economic opportunities such as job creation, financial inclusion and technology advancement, as Alerzo’s Chief Executive Officer, Adewale Opaleye, made known that Alerzo directly employs more than 3,000 people in its operational chain.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

B2B e-commerce platforms also allow local retailers to improve their businesses and become profitable and thus enable them to hire more staff to support their production and/or distribution activities.

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VAT Row: Court of Appeal Rules In Favor of FIRS

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VAT Row: Court of Appeal Rules In Favor of FIRS

VAT Row: Court of Appeal Rules In Favor of FIRS

By Olorunfemi Adejuyigbe

 

VAT Row: Court of Appeal Rules In Favor of FIRS

 

The Court of Appeal, sitting in Lagos on Friday has upheld the appeal filed by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), against the Lagos Hotel Owners Association of Nigeria.

The Court of Appeal set aside the Federal High Court judgment in favor of the Association.

 

 

 

 

 

In 2019, the Association had gotten a judgment from the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, whereby the court had invalidated the powers of the FIRS to collect VAT from the members of the Association.

The FIRS thereafter appealed the judgment at the Court of Appeal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Court of Appeal also struck out the Counter claim of the Lagos State Government against FIRS. Yesterday’s judgment has therefore affirmed the authority of FIRS to collect VAT from all taxpayers.

Details later …

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FIRSTBANK LAUNCHES SINGLE-DIGIT LOAN FOR WOMEN-OWNED BUSINESSES, REINFORCES ITS ROLE IN STRENGTHENING GENDER INCLUSION IN NIGERIA

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FIRSTBANK LAUNCHES SINGLE-DIGIT LOAN FOR WOMEN-OWNED BUSINESSES, REINFORCES ITS ROLE IN STRENGTHENING GENDER INCLUSION IN NIGERIA

FIRSTBANK LAUNCHES SINGLE-DIGIT LOAN FOR WOMEN-OWNED BUSINESSES, REINFORCES ITS ROLE IN STRENGTHENING GENDER INCLUSION IN NIGERIA

By Olorunfemi Adejuyigbe

FIRSTBANK LAUNCHES SINGLE-DIGIT LOAN FOR WOMEN-OWNED BUSINESSES, REINFORCES ITS ROLE IN STRENGTHENING GENDER INCLUSION IN NIGERIA

 

 

 

 

The FirstGem fund (FirstGem loan) is a single-digit loan scheme, exclusively designed to put women at an advantage in contributing to the socio-economic development of the country.

The loan scheme covers female-owned or partnered SMEs in various sectors of the economy Launched in 2016, FirstGem has been impactful in driving financial inclusion, influencing women’s empowerment through gender-advancement programmes like savings culture, financial literacy, wealth management and building an investment portfolio.

 

 

 

 

 

In furtherance of its role in promoting female entrepreneurship across the country, Nigeria’s premier banking institution and leading financial inclusion services provider, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, has announced the launch of the FirstGem fund (FirstGem loan); a single-digit loan scheme, exclusively designed to put women at an advantage in contributing to the socio-economic development of the country.

 

The FirstGem loan scheme is designed for female-owned or partnered SMEs in the following sectors Food/Beverage processing & Packaging, Beauty and cosmetics, Confectionaries, Catering & Restaurants, Transportation (Logistics) and Agric/Agro-Allied (retail value chain). With an interest rate of 9% per annum, FirstGem loan is a collateral-free loan that is available to the bank’s existing and prospective female customers. Based on eligibility, customers can access loans from N500,000.00 to N3,000,000.00.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To access the loan, Female owned or partnered SMEs can visit the Bank’s website – https://www.firstbanknigeria.com/personal/loans/more-financing-options/firstgem-funds/ – to download and fill out the Retail Loan Application Form. The completely filled form should be submitted to the nearest FirstBank branch with accompanying documents.

 

Speaking on the loan Folake Ani-Mumuney, Group Head, First Bank of Nigeria Limited said, “we are delighted with the role our FirstGem product plays in creating an avenue to enlarge the business activities and endeavours of female entrepreneurs across the country. Our FirstGem value proposition offers real solutions to constraints encountered by female entrepreneurs and working professionals, as it exposes women to opportunities for the advancement of their business. We implore every female business-minded individual to take advantage of the FirstGem loan as it puts them at an advantage to contribute their quota to the national economy.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Launched in 2016, FirstGem has been impactful in driving financial inclusion, influencing women’s empowerment through gender-advancement programmes like savings culture, financial literacy, wealth management and building an investment portfolio. FirstGem is designed specifically to meet the needs of the female gender, aged 18 years and above.

 

FirstGem is targeted at a broad spectrum of women, working professionals, entrepreneurs or market women through an array of benefits such as free business advisory services, access to finance, specialized training on business development initiatives (virtual and physicalevents), regular insights on business / investment opportunities. and mouth-watering discounts at partner merchant outlets (spas, salons, grocery stores) offering lifestyle products and services.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recently, FirstBank announced its partnership with CDC Group, the UK Government’s development finance organisation to economically empower women-owned and led businesses as well as local small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Nigeria. The facility, which is in the sum of US$100 million will have a minimum of 30% allocated in the form of credit lines to women entrepreneurs.

 

 

 

 

 

About FirstBank

First Bank of Nigeria Limited (FirstBank) is the premier Bank in West Africa and the leading financial inclusion services provider in Nigeria for over 128 years.

With over 750 business locations and over 150,000 Banking Agents spread across 99% of the 774 Local Government Areas in Nigeria, FirstBank provides a comprehensive range of retail and corporate financial services to serve its over 30 million customers. The Bank has an international presence through its subsidiaries, FBNBank (UK) Limited in London and Paris, FBNBank in the Republic of Congo, Ghana, The Gambia, Guinea, Sierra-Leone and Senegal, as well as a Representative Office in Beijing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Bank has been handy at promoting digital payment in the country and has issued over 10million cards, the first bank to achieve such a milestone in the country. FirstBank’s cashless transaction drive extends to having more than 10million people on its USSD Quick Banking service through the nationally renowned *894# Banking code and over 4.5 million people on FirstMobile platform.

Since its establishment in 1894, FirstBank has consistently built relationships with customers focusing on the fundamentals of good corporate governance, strong liquidity, optimised risk management and leadership. Over the years, the Bank has led the financing of private investment in infrastructure development in the Nigerian economy by playing key roles in the Federal Government’s privatisation and commercialisation schemes. With its global reach, FirstBank provides prospective investors wishing to explore the vast business opportunities that are available in Nigeria, an internationally competitive world-class brand and a credible financial partner.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FirstBank has been named “Most Valuable Bank Brand in Nigeria” six times in a row (2011 – 2016) by the globally renowned “The Banker Magazine” of the Financial Times Group; “Best Retail Bank in Nigeria” for seven consecutive years (2011 – 2017) by the Asian Banker International Excellence in Retail Financial Services Awards and “Best Bank in Nigeria” by Global Finance for 15 years. Our brand purpose is always to put customers, partners and stakeholders at the heart of our business, even as we standardise customer experience and excellence in financial solutions across sub-Saharan Africa, in consonance with our brand vision “To be the partner of the first choice in building your future”. Our brand promise is always to deliver the ultimate “gold standard” of value and excellence. This commitment is anchored on our inherent values of passion, partnership and people, to position You First in every respect.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Folake Ani-Mumuney

Group Head, Marketing & Corporate Communications

First Bank of Nigeria Limited

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