Nigeria spends between $650 and $700 million yearly on water from alternative providers, according to the World Bank. This amount is four times more than the combined revenue of all 35 state water agencies. Comparing with much poorer African nations on the continent, a USAID consultant, Badamasi Abdulsalam, said that a lack of investment coupled with the lack of finances of most state water providers makes Nigeria’s water service unusually inadequate. Going by the expenses, less than a third of the municipal population will get water from SWAs at the cost of $1.5–$2 billion yearly for just basic water services, should the trend continue within the next 10 years.
The CBN’s Business Expectations Survey, carried out during the period of February 11-15, 2019 with a sample size of 1050 businesses nationwide, has shown that the overall confidence on the macro economy by Nigerian businesses declined to 22.1 index points in February compared to 25.9 points in January. The fall, according to analysts, is due to uncertainties in the 2019 general elections. However, the outlook of business firms on the macro economy for the current month of March showed a greater confidence of 58.5 index points, as the optimism was driven by the opinion of respondents from services with 12.9 points, industrial 7.3 points, wholesale/retail trade 1.0 points and construction sectors 0.8 points. The major drivers of the optimism for the month, the regulator’s data shows, were services 33.4 points, industrial 17.7 points, wholesale/retail trade 5.3 points and construction sectors with 2.1 points. The CBN data also shows that the positive outlook by type of business in the month of February were driven by businesses that are neither import- nor export-oriented with 14.3 points, import-oriented 4.0 points, both import- and export-oriented with 3.2 points, and those that are export-related with 0.6 points. However, the surveyed firms also identified major factors constraining business activity in February, which include insufficient power supply with 63.3 points, high interest rates with 55.2 points, unfavourable economic climate 55.2 points, financial problems 53.0 points, unfavourable political climate 51.8 points, unclear economic laws 48.9 points, insufficient demand 42.4 points and access to credit with 41.4 points.
The Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal has granted the request by the PDP and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, to be allowed to inspect the electoral materials used by INEC for the conduct of the 23 February election. The three-man panel led by Justice Abdul Aboki however rejected requests to, among others, photocopy and scan the electoral documents. The tribunal also refused their requests to be allowed to conduct a forensic examination and forensic analysis of the materials and have access to card reader data and information contained in the cloud and electronic storage used for the vote. Delivering the lead ruling, Justice Aboki said by virtue of the provision of section 151 of the Electoral Act on which the applicants’ motion ex parte was anchored, they were only entitled to inspection of the electoral materials and the certified true copies of all the materials used for the vote.
Seplat has released its financial statements for the year ended 31 December, 2018. The firm improved its revenue by 65 percent to ₦228 billion from ₦138 billion, but profit before tax jumped by 480 percent to ₦73 billion from ₦13 billion, the profit after tax depreciated by 45 percent to ₦45 billion from ₦81 billion. In 2018, the firm had its license renewed for OMLs 4, 38 and 41 blocks. With this, the company can now operate the facilities till October 21, 2038, adding that the $25.9 million renewal bonus paid ensured that all conditions have been met (renewal bonus included in 2018 capex). In Q1 2018, Seplat successfully concluded its debt refinancing, including debut $350 million bond which diversifies the long-term capital base and new four year $300 million RCF. Meanwhile, the board of Seplat has recommended for approval the payment of a final dividend of $0.05 per share for the financial year, which would be paid on 23 May, 2019.