• AMCON has said it wants a quick sale of Polaris Bank, the lender created to take over the assets and liabilities of the failed Skye Bank. AMCON CEO, Ahmed Kuru, told Bloomberg 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. Kuru said that AMCON had set a 2023 deadline for dissolving the operations of Polaris Bank, even as it was still struggling to recover non-performing loans. Kuru said the authorities intervened in the Skye Bank matter because of a lot of systemic issues, including saving more than 5,000 jobs and almost ₦1 trillion in deposits.
  • Odu’a Investment Company Limited, Olusola Akinwumi, has announced ₦698 million as the profit before tax made by the conglomerate for the financial year ending December 31, 2017. The company, owned by the six states in Nigeria’s South-West geopolitical zone, also approved the payment of ₦277.78 million as dividend. Odu’a chairman, Olusola Akinwumi, said that a sizeable number of clients and tenants in rented commercial, retail and residential properties defaulted in rent payment in the year under review. “Overall cost increase due to inflation and the devaluation of currency the previous year pushed operating costs upward. The group revenue of ₦4.06 billion in 2017 amounted to 3.8 per cent increase over the 2016 figure of ₦3.9 billion.” To earn more income, Akinwumi said the company invested in commercial cultivation of tomatoes on a portion of its 3,500 hectares of arable farmland in Imeko, Ogun State, noting that the ultimate goal was the establishment of a processing plant for tomato paste and concentrate for value addition and socio economic development of the community.
  • The World Bank president, Jim Yong Kim has said that the institution’s advice to countries, including Nigeria to invest hard infrastructure was a wrong approach. Commenting on Nigeria’s ranking while unveiling the bank’s first-ever Human Capital Index, Kim said, “Many African countries are in the red zone. I think that the World Bank has to take some responsibility for having emphasised hard infrastructure, roads, rails, energy, for a long time, and you know, that changed about 20 years ago. But there has still been the bias that says ‘You know, we’ll invest in hard infrastructure and then when we grow rich, we’ll have enough money to invest in health and education’. We’re now saying that that’s really the wrong approach, that you’ve got to start investing in your people right now.” The index measures countries’ contribution of health and education to the productivity of the next generation of their workers. Nigeria was ranked 152 out of 157 countries considered in the index.
  • Airlines operating at the Murtala Muhammed Airport 2 in Lagos have been forced to make alternative arrangements to fly their passengers as aviation unions continued their picketing of the terminal on Thursday. Despite a subsisting court order issued by Justice I. N Buba of a Federal High Court in Lagos restraining them from the action, the the National Union of Air Transport Employees, Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria and the National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers have continued to shut down flights and business activities at MMA2. Since Wednesday the unions have been protesting the alleged sack of 24 employees, who indicated interest to join unions by Bi-Courtney Aviation Services, operators of MMA2.