Monthly Archives: January 2019

NGTheCandidates*** Atiku_Obi 30th Jan. ’19

Image Credit: NTA2

#NGTheCandidates*** Peter Obi on borrowing “Let’s stop borrowing and learn what they (other countries) are doing to grow their economy.”

#NGTheCandidates***Atiku on age: “I am a candidate for the future because I try to bridge the current generation with the future generation.”

#NGTheCandidates***Atiku on tax payment: “All my companies are paying tax, you can go and verify. The tax that I’m paying personally is from what I earn as an individual.”

#NGTheCandidates***Atiku on the Shites: “I don’t understand how the military got involved in the Shiites issue. I think if there’s any issue with the group, it should be handled by the Police.”

#NGTheCandidates***Atiku on looters: “Is it not better to have an amnesty to bring money and use the money to create jobs than for looters to join another party and it becomes a safe haven and you can keep the money?”

#NGTheCandidates***Atiku on Anti-grazing law: “The constitution does not restrict the movement of people in Nigeria, so any law that restricts people from moving freely and doing their legitimate business can’t be upheld”

#NGTheCandidates*** Obi on damming corruption allegations by Obasanjo: “Haven’t you seen a situation where the referee will say this is a penalty, but after going through the replay TV, he will realize that it is not a penalty?”

#NGTheCandidates*** Obi on leaving APGA for PDP: “If I have a car that can’t take me from Onitsha to Lagos State, what’s wrong if I decide to board an aeroplane?”

#NGTheCandidates*** Atiku on Jennifer Atiku and the U.S Congress Report on corruption allegations: “My wife is an American, she’s been visiting the U.S”

#NGTheCandidates***Atiku on Poverty alleviation: “If in Adamawa state I could lift about 45,000 people out of poverty through a small microfinance bank I set up, then we can do same in the centre.”

#NGTheCandidates*** Peter Obi on public savings: “While I was governor of Anambra state, I invested $50m in the oil sector. I also invested several million in banks. I was investing in the future of the state.”

#NGTheCandidates***Atiku on the private sector-led economy: “If you don’t move the economy to private sector-driven, you are clearly wasting everybody’s time… In lifting people out of poverty, we must be private sector-driven.”

#NGTheCandidates*** Peter Obi on investment in private education: “Atiku built a private university. Tell me who else in his class built one.”

PZ Cussons Nigeria PLC: “we may leave amid “extremely challenging” Conditions”

Image Credit: Leadership Newspaper Nigeria

A few days ago, the management of PZ Cussons Nigeria hinted that the company is considering limiting the depth of its exposure to the Nigerian market in the midts of what they describe as “extremely challenging” trading conditions.

PZ Cusson’s shares were down 11% in early trade in London on Tuesday at a price of 187.58 pence each. PZ Cussons is a the consumer products firm with a wide range of products that have become household names in Nigeria feor decades.

This is, in addition, to the fact that they had registered a 23% fall in revenue to GBP111.3 million in Africa for the six months leading to November. At constant currency, revenue slipped 13% and the like-for-like decline was also 13%.

PZ Cusson’s Group revenue fell by 10%, or 4.6% constant currency, to GBP335.1 million. Like-for-like revenue also slid 4.6%. Adjusted operating profit fell 3.8%, or 1.1% constant currency, to GBP35.4 million, while statutory pretax profit sank 20% to GBP26.7 million. PZ Cussons declared an interim dividend of 2.67 pence per share, flat year-on-year

While awaiting further details on thier recent disclosure, in an interview reported by Leadership Newspapers Nigeria, the company’s managementz addded the follopwing:

“The group continues to make pleasing progress in Europe and Asia, with new product development and increased support across our key brands delivering positive momentum,” said Chair Caroline Silver.

“Disappointingly, however, the macroeconomic conditions in Nigeria remain extremely challenging and continue to have a significant negative impact on overall group performance. Reflecting this, we now expect group adjusted profit before tax for the year to be towards GBP70 million.”

PZ Cussons posted adjusted pretax profit of GBP80.1 million in its year ended May 2018.

“We anticipate consumer demand in all our key markets will remain subdued,” Silver continued.

“Whilst these conditions prevail, we will maintain our strong market shares in key product categories in Nigeria until growth returns to the market.”

To help streamline its activities and focus on Personal Care and Beauty operations in Europe and Asia, the company has begun some strategic initiatives, it said, which include “limiting exposure to Nigerian volatility”.

Italy is in recession

Image Credit: Bloomberg

After experiencing a 0.2% negative growth in the last quarter of 2018, coming after a similar contraction in the previous quarter, Italy entered a recession.

“Gross domestic product in the eurozone‘s third-largest economy fell 0.2 per cent between October and December, following a 0.1 per cent decline in the third quarter, Italy’s national statistics office ISTAT reported on Thursday”, the Independent reports. .

As reported by the Reuters, experts had predicted a 0.1 per cent fall quarter-on-quarter.

Italy’s economy has been weakening since early 2017 and has recently been hit by a slowdown in key trading partners including Germany and China.

CORRUPTION Still on the rise

The recently released 2018 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) presents a largely distressing picture for Africa (as with earlier reports) – only eight of 49 countries score more than 43 out of 100 on the index. The index (rightly or wrongly) ranks 180 countries and territories by their perceived levels of public sector corruption according to experts and businesspeople using a scale of 0 to 100, where 0 is highly corrupt and 100 is very clean.

Seychelles (66), Botswana (61), Cape Verde (57), Rwanda (56), Namibia (53) and Mauritius (51) are leading lights in Africa, making above the 50 mark. Côte d’Ivoire and Senegal seem to continue to make progress in their anti-corruption drive even though they still do not hit the 50 mark! Nigeria remained unchanged on the CPI since 2017 with a score of 27 and a global ranking of 144/180.

Denmark overtook New Zealand with scores of 88 and 87 respectively. North Korea, Yemen, South Sudan, Syria and Somalia rank lowest with scores of 14, 14, 13, 13 and 10 respectively. While the best performing region still remains Western Europe & the European Union (maintaining an average score of 66), the worst performing region is Sub-Saharan Africa (similarly maintaining a score of 32).

For the Nigerian government which anchors her electoral mandate on anti-corruption initiatives, this report may not represent a lot of progress and may be a scale with which to assess the success or otherwise of this regime. Having said that, the latest CPI report confirms that the majority of countries (including the high-ranking countries) are making little or no progress in ending corruption. Nuhu Ribadu (the former Chairman of Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission) must therefore have been right when he said, “when you fight corruption, it fights back”!

src: John Asokhia (Energy Lawyer and Consultant)

‘Corruption is much more likely to flourish where democratic foundations are weak and, as we have seen in many countries, where undemocratic and populist politicians can use it to their advantage”
Delia Ferreira Rubio
Chair Transparency International

The US has Charged Huawei on Trade Stealing Secrets and Money Laundering

The US have charged Huawei with stealing trade secrets, money laundering and fraud. The Chinese telecom giant faces yet another severe blow to its reputation with the barrage of indictments the US released today.


The news: The US Department of Justice (DOJ) has brought criminal charges against Huawei in two different cases. The company and its CFO, Meng Wanzhou (the daughter of Huawei’s founder and president Ren Zhengfei), are accused of money laundering, bank fraud, wire fraud, and conspiracy. Huawei is also accused of conspiring to obstruct justice.

Speaking at a press conference announcing the charges, Christopher Wray, the head of the FBI (pictured right, above), said the charges “lay bare Huawei’s alleged blatant disregard for the laws of our country and standard global business practices.”

The details: In the first case, the DOJ says Huawei, Meng, and a Hong Kong–based company called Skycom Technologies committed wire fraud and other offenses in contravening US trade sanctions against Iran. In the second case, Huawei is accused of stealing trade secrets from T-Mobile USA. The charges relate to a civil lawsuit filed by T-Mobile in 2014, which alleged that Huawei had stolen information relating to a robot called Tappy that the US firm uses to test smartphones.

The DOJ also said it has filed paperwork for Meng’s extradition from Canada, where she was arrested in December and is now on bail. Huawei has denied any wrongdoing and has called for Meng’s release. Update: Huawei says it didn’t commit “any of the asserted violations” leveled by the DOJ and that the allegations of stealing trade secrets were the subject of a settled civil lawsuit in which a jury had found “neither damages nor wilful and malicious conduct”.

Dial H for Headaches: Huawei is under fire on other fronts, too. The company recently fired an employee in its Polish operation after he was accused of spying for China. And a growing number of countries, including Japan and Australia, have been urging local telecoms operators to shun Huawei’s 5G equipment because of fears that the Chinese government could use it for spying.

Things could get even worse. The White House is reportedly preparing an executive order that would bar US telecom firms from using equipment supplied by Huawei and ZTE, another Chinese firm. Draft legislation has been floated in Congress that would make it illegal for US companies to sell chips and other components to either firm.

Charm offensive: Huawei insists fears about spying are unfounded, and the company’s products are still popular in many markets. The notoriously secretive company has even been on a PR push recently to convince potential customers—and foreign reporters—that it can be trusted, making its little-seen founder available for interviews and giving tours of its new campus in Dongguan. But this charm offensive looks likely to be overshadowed by the current legal one.
Credit: Spallanzani

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