Western Metal Products Company is planning to exit Nigeria, according to BusinessDay, as it has plans to sell its flagship five-star Oriental Hotel. The paper reported that WEMPCO was offering to sell the hospitality business for ₦90 billion (about $250 million). WEMPCO’s intention is not unconnected to unfavourable business environment, corporate governance, debts and others. The group has fallen on hard times and it is considering the exit from Nigeria with its steel plant, which has 700,000 tonnes-capacity and employs about 14,000 people. Founded by Lewis Tung and his brother Robert Tung, the WEMPCO Group has been doing business in Nigeria for over four decades with established manufacturing companies that produce roofing sheets, galvanised pipes, wire nails, plywood, ceramic tiles and sanitary ware. It is also actively involved in agricultural and hospitality sectors through which it currently employs over 13,000 workers across its 11 subsidiaries. 14,000 workers, mostly Nigerians may lose their jobs by the exit.
The NNPC says that 132 companies have bid for the right to swap the country’s crude oil for fuels as a tender for the deals closed on Thursday. The state oil firm had earlier opened 2019 Direct Sale of Crude Oil and Direct Purchase to its local and international business partners, and potential off-takers and suppliers. The tender for the one-year contracts, was issued in March. The NNPC extended the 2018 contracts through June of this year. Nigeria has depended heavily on the swap arrangements to get fuel, particularly gasoline, since it almost entirely reliant on imported fuel as a result of its dilapidated refineries. The DSDP scheme, according to the NNPC chief, Maikanti Baru, was introduced in 2016 with efficient and cost effective systems and processes to plug the value eroding loopholes of the January 2015 OPC contracts. Since its introduction, the scheme replacing another programme that paid subsidies to importers, Baru said it had saved the country $2.2 billion and supplied some 90 percent of its import requirements.
All of Nigeria’s states and the FCT generated a total of ₦1.16 trillion as Internally Generated Revenue in 2018, a growth of 24.82 percent year-on-year from 2017. Lagos maintained its top spot by some distance as it recorded the highest IGR of ₦382.1 billion in 2018, followed by Rivers with ₦112.7 billion, and Ogun which generated ₦84.5 billion last year. A breakdown of the report from the NBS shows that all the states and FCT generated a total of ₦324.59 billion in Q4 2018 compared to ₦264.34 billion recorded in Q3 2018, a growth of 22.79 percent. 31 states and the FCT recorded growth in IGR while five states recorded decline in IGR q-o-q at the end of Q4 2018. The NBS put the net FAAC allocation in Q4 2018 at ₦2.56 trillion while the total revenue available to the states including the FCT is put at ₦3.74 trillion. However, the value of foreign debt stands at $4.23 billion while domestic debt hits ₦3.85 trillion at the end of the year 2018 respectively.
The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria has announced the withdrawal of its services, including Aviation Security and Aerodrome Rescue and Fire Fighting personnel, from Gombe and Kebbi airports over alleged indebtedness of up to ₦732 million. FAAN spokesperson, Henrietta Yakubu, said that the withdrawal of FAAN services to both airports, which technically grounded flight operations, took effect from midnight of 1 May. Gombe’s state-owned airport owes ₦607.9 million, while Kebbi airport is owing ₦124.5 million. In April FAAN threatened to withdraw services from the airports and others indebted to the agency with a deadline of 30 April to clear their outstanding debts.