I would print N10, 000 notes if I was in charge – Peterside Atedo

The Chairman of Stanbic IBTC Bank and a member of the Economic Management Team, Peterside Atedo on Tuesday said that he supports the move by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to introduce the N5000 note in the country.

Speaking to journalists after this week’s Economic Management Team’s meeting presided over by President Goodluck Jonathan in Abuja, Mr Peterside said “Last year Nigeria spent N47 billion printing these small notes.”

The renowned banker said if the country was printing bigger notes “you will print a fewer number of the notes and you will make a phenomenal saving.

“If I was the one in charge, I will print N10, 000 notes,” he declared.

Reacting to questions on the relationship between inflation and printing of higher denominations, Mr Peterside said printing higher currency does not result in inflation.

“There is no inflationary impact,”” he said. He describes as “Voodoo economics” the argument by some critics that the introduction of the proposed N5000 note will result in inflation in the Nigerian economy.

Meanwhile, Business mogul and another member of the Economic Management Team, Aliko Dangote said “the introduction of the N5000 really has nothing to do with inflation as people have been saying.”

He said the CBN has explained and convinced the Federal government on the need to print the N5000 notes.

“Actually it is just to protect the currency. It is not going to cause any inflation. The cost of printing the N5000 is not different from that of printing the other currencies.

Economic management team endorses proposed N5000 note

The move by the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Sanusi Lamido Sanusi to introduce N5, 000 notes as legal tender in Nigeria may have received the endorsement of the Economic Management Team.

A Cross section of the members of the Economic Management Team during their meeting in Abuja on Tuesday.

After its weekly sitting presided over by President Goodluck Jonathan some of the members of the team who spoke to state house correspondents said that the move was in the right direction and remains the prerogative of the CBN.

The Minister of National Planning, Shamsudeen Usman, who was the first to speak after the meeting, said that the CBN merely proposed the introduction of the N5000; the president approved it while the economic management bteam endorsed.

“Obviously, the discussion today was basically to endorse. Mr. President had already approved; that is the only requirement by law. The CBN is to propose and Mr. President is to approve. And since Mr. President has approved, really what is important is to just explain. I personally had some concerns about the coins but since some discussion with the CBN governor, he has actually clarified that even the media didn’t get it”, Mr Usman said.

Arguing that the N5000 note, unlike some people were misrepresenting it, was not going to lead to higher inflation, Mr Usman also hinted that CBN was going to communicate to Nigerians that the coins will run concurrently with the naira notes they are replacing as a form of test-run for Nigerians to accept them first.

He said, “There is absolutely no link. I am an economist. I have been deputy governor operations of the Central Bank. In the last review of the introduction of N1000 note and the various coins I was deeply involved; it was my responsibility at the central bank. There is absolutely no link between inflation and the currency denomination.

“The coins are being introduced on an introductory basis so that if people accept them and are using them, then gradually they will withdraw the other notes but they will run concurrently with the notes. Those were my concerns initially because you remember during my time in the CBN; we introduced the one naira and two naira coins. Unfortunately, they were not utilized at all. Part of that is really the value of one naira and two naira today. What can you buy?”

On the contention that there is a link between the N5000 note and corruption, he said, “It is an area that I obviously know nothing about. I think people alleged that part of that corruption is being done in dollars. A $100 bill is N16, 000 and N5000 note will be $30. So, which one is bigger to carry if you are doing corruption?

“So, I don’t think it is necessarily going to increase the level of corruption. Those doing corruption will probably find that too small. $100 bill is still bigger than the N5,000 note”, the minister added.

Also speaking, some members of the team from the private sector including Peterside Atedo, business mogul Aliko Dangote and Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede said the introduction of the N5,000 notes has nothing to do with inflation.

On his part, the governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi said that what Nigerians should concern themselves with is how to increase improvement in manufacturing and agriculture.

Dangote Cement pre-tax profit rises by 23 per cent

Nigeria’s biggest company by market capitalization, Dangote Cement PLC recorded a 24.2 per cent profit for the six months through June, led by growth in revenue.

Dangote Cement recently opened a new $1 billion plant

The company in a report to the Nigerian Stock Exchange on Thursday, showed its net income increased to N71.1 billion from N57.3 billion a year earlier while turnover advanced to N142 billion  from N112.7 billion.

On April 5, the cement manufacturing company announced plans to raise its output to N46.3 million metric tons by 2015 as it’s expands across Africa.

Output in Nigeria will advance to 32 million tons by 2015 from 20 million tons this year.

Shares in the cement firm gained 0.42 per cent to N123 on the news.

AP shareholders ask Supreme Court to restrain Dangote as NSE President

Shareholders of African Petroleum, (AP) PLC, have asked the Supreme Court to set aside the judgment of the Court of Appeal, Lagos, which allowed Mr Aliko Dangote resume as President of Nigerian Stock Exchange, NSE.

The aggrieved AP shareholders, through their counsel, Mr Onyebuchi Aniakor submit that the appellate court erred in law, in its proceeding.

The shareholders want the Supreme court to restrain Mr Aliko Dangote from taking any step and/or further steps to occupy and/or assume the duties & rights of President of NSE, in pursuance of the decision of the Court of Appeal pending the hearing and final determination of the appeal at the Supreme Court.

They also want the appellate court to restrain the defendant from parading himself and/or allowing himself to be paraded as President of NSE, pending the hearing and final determination of the appeal at the Supreme Court

Dangote resumed back as the president of the NSE on Tuesday, June 19 following a Court of Appeal ruling which reversed a federal high court judgement that nullified his election as the president of the nation’s bourse.

Africa’s richest man was in August 2009, elected the 17th president of the NSE based on a unanimous acclamation by the council members.

Justice Muhammed Liman of the Federal High Court, Lagos, nullified the election, ruling that it was in clear violation of an order of August 4, 2009, which directed all parties to maintain status quo in a suit by aggrieved shareholders of AP Plc.

The suit was against Dangote, Nova Finance and Securities Limited; a stock broking firm, and others on allegation that AP’s share prices were manipulated.

Dangote appealed against that decision and urged the Court of Appeal to set aside the ruling of the lower court.

In its judgment, the Court of Appeal held that since the federal high court was wrong to order parties to maintain status quo, there was no need to annul the election.

The court also held that Mr Dangote cannot be held for contempt over the elections.


Court of Appeal returns Dangote as President of Stock Exchange

Africa’s richest man, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, will on Tuesday return back to the office of the President of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), following last Friday’s ruling by the Court of Appeal in Lagos upholding his three appeals against cases that led to the nullification of his election as president of the exchange in March 2010.

Dangote was elected the 17th president of the NSE in August 2009 based on a unanimous acclamation by the council members immediately after the conclusion of its 48th Annual General Meeting.

However, his election was nullified by the Federal High Court in Lagos in March 2010 following the application made to the court by some shareholders of African Petroleum Plc (now Forte Oil Plc), who had sued him, Nova Finance and Securities Limited, NSE and others, over alleged manipulation of AP shares.

But the business mogul challenged the suit and filed appeals which were upheld by the Appeal Court presided over by Justice Helen Ogunwumiju last Friday.

Delivering judgement on the appeal filed against the August 4, 2009 order, the court set aside the judgement of Justice Mohamad Liman, saying a ‘status order’ is like an injunction and the conditions for granting an injunction must exist.

The court emphasised that there was no identifiable reason or urgency to warrant the order of status quo to be made.

The second ruling was on the challenge to the Justice Lambo Akanbi ruling of March 12, 2010 nullifying the election. The court relied on its earlier judgement to set aside the order on the grounds that since the status quo order allegedly breached should not have been made, there was no question of it being breached.

The third judgement was on the appeal challenging the contempt proceedings and the bench warrant issued against Dangote on July 22, 2010. The whole proceeding was also set aside as having been conducted in error on the grounds that the very order leading to the contempt proceeding was invalid.

Reacting to the judgement, Dangote in an interview stated that he was very happy with the ruling, as it had vindicated his position all along that he should not have been removed as president of the stock exchange’s council.

He said his first priority would be to continue with the reforms started by the present NSE director-general, Oscar Onyema, to improve governance and transparency, and restore confidence in the market.

“You know the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) had been running the NSE like it was an agency of government. But the stock exchange is a private exchange limited by guaranty.

“So, I will be meeting the SEC appointees on the council of the stock exchange on Tuesday and taking over that day,” he said.

He added that a new council for the stock exchange with him as its president would be reconstituted next week and that the slots allotted to stockbroker members on the council would be increased from four to six.

Alhaji Dangote, will now be taking over from Mallam Ballama Manu, who has been the interim president of the council since August 5, 2010 when SEC intervened in the running of exchange.

Prior to his election in 2009, Dangote was the council’s first vice-president. He joined the council in February 2008, as the chairman, Kaduna/Kano/Yola Zonal Council.


Dangote aims $40 billion listing on London Stock Exchange

The Chairman of Dangote Cement, Aliko Dangote has revealed that he is targeting a market capitalisation of $35-40 billion for the cement company, when he lists it on the London Stock Exchange next year.

Aliko Dangote, President and Chief Executive of Nigeria's Dangote Group speaks during the final session of the World Economic Forum on Africa meeting in Cape Town June 6, 2008.

The money will be used to pay off investors including himself, he revealed in an interview on Wednesday.

“It depends on the market, but it should be something like $35 to $40 billion dollars. We are targeting something like that,” Dangote said of the secondary listing in London that is planned for late next year.

Dangote cement as at the end of 2011, was the most capitalised company on Nigerian Stock Exchange at N1.716 trillion.

Mr Dangote also revealed that Dangote Cement had raised its capacity target to 60 million tonnes a year by 2015 from a previous 50 million tonne target.

The business mogul, who was recently named the richest man in Africa, owns a cement empire stretching from Senegal to South Africa.

He commissioned the largest cement plant in Africa on Monday, located in Obajana, Kogi state, with a production capacity estimated at 20 million tonnes per annum.

Dangote opens Africa’s biggest cement plant

The biggest cement factory in sub-Saharan Africa, Obajana cement plant, was on Monday commissioned by President Goodluck Jonathan in honour of Aliko Dangote.

Located in Kogi State, Obajana cement is expected to produce about 10 million tonnes of cement per annum.

President Jonathan in his remark, called the plant a “quantum leap” for that nation’s construction sector.

The president noted that the success of this factory was as a result of the government’s policy on public-private partnership.

“To sustain the achievement, government is working with the private sector to launch a Cement Technology Institute, which Aliko Dangote will be the chairman” he said.

The president also revealed that a backward integration policy will soon be implemented for the automobile and garment sectors as well as sugar and rice, “so that by 2016, we not only be producing for our consumption, but also export.”

Mr Aliko Dangote, who was recently crowned, the richest man in Africa by Forbes magazine, in his speech stated that “Nigeria is the best place in the world to invest”, adding that there are immense investment opportunities in the nation’s power and infrastructural sectors.

Invest opportunities abound in various sectors of the economy, such as power, infrastructure, oil and gas. Discerning investments are aware that this is the place to invest and they screaming over each other to come and invest here.

He enjoined the government to replicate similar policies that encourage his cement factory in other sectors of the economy, saying, “if the federal government can improve on policies such as the one that allowed this cement factory, we will be there in no time. “

It is estimated that the Dangote group has invested about $6.5billion in the sector in recent years.



Dangote to spend $7.5 billion on expansion

Billionaire industrialist, Aliko Dangote said on Thursday his conglomerate needed to spend $7.5 billion in the next four years to expand operations in a range of sectors.

“We are going into something big. We are going into mining, petrochemicals, cement and infrastructure. We need to spend $7.5 billion in the next four years, so definitely we need a lot of concentration,” he told a Reuters on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Addis Ababa.

Mr Dangote said this changing focus was one of the reasons he was looking for a partnership for his flour business, Dangote Flour Mills, with Tiger Brands, South Africa’s biggest consumer foods maker.

“We are actually trying to have a partnership between us and Tiger Brands,” he said. “We believe they are much better than us in terms of the retail business.”

Banking and company sources told Reuters that Tiger Brands was bidding for an 80 percent stake in Dangote Flour Mills, which makes pasta and flour in Africa’s most populous country.

Buying all or part of Dangote Flour Mills would give the maker of bread, breakfast cereal and energy drinks a substantial presence in the Nigerian food market. Dangote said a deal was about partnership, not offloading assets.

“We are not selling. If it was to raise money, we would have … sold the whole business to them. But no. What we are trying to do is actually to have them so that we can now enjoy the downstream of the business,” he said.

Nigeria’s population of more than 160 million is a massive potential retail market, although corruption and the government’s focus on oil exports still deter many investors.

Dangote said he hoped to list his $11 billion cement company on the London stock exchange by the third quarter of 2013. Dangote Cement trades on the Nigerian stock exchange and is West Africa’s largest listed company.


Dangote to invest $7 Billion in Nigeria’s electricity

Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, plans to lead a $7 billion investment in Nigeria’s power, petrochemical and mining sectors over the next four years, Ventures Africa has reported.

Aliko Dangote, President and Chief Executive of Nigeria's Dangote Group speaks during the final session of the World Economic Forum on Africa meeting in Cape Town June 6, 2008.

Mr Dangote, who disclosed his intentions during a send-off party for Thierry Tanoh, the IFC Vice-President for Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and Caribbean and Western Europe on Sunday in Lagos, said that he will be investing in the construction of a 2,000 megawatt power-generation facility.

“We want to do power that will be about 2,000 MW, that is infrastructure.” He did not disclose details about the planned mining and petrochemical investments.

Dangote’s largest investment is currently in cement, via his company Dangote Cement, which listed on the Nigerian stock exchange in 2010. He also owns stakes in publicly-traded companies operating in sugar refining, flour milling and salt processing.

This new investment would mark Dangote’s first large-scale foray into power generation.

Dangote donates $500, 000 to Congo blast victims

Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, has donated $500, 000 to victims of last month’s munitions blasts in Congo which killed at least 282 people, his group said on Tuesday.

Aliko Dangote, President and Chief Executive of Nigeria's Dangote Group speaks during the final session of the World Economic Forum on Africa meeting in Cape Town June 6, 2008.

Mr Dangote made the donation at the weekend in the Congolese capital Brazzaville with a pledge to increase his charity works as well as create more jobs for Africans this year.

“About this philanthropy, I think from this year, I personally want to take it very seriously. I want to be much more aggressive than what we have had in the past,” he said in a statement.

Speaking at the occasion, Congolese President Denis Sassou-Nguesso said that his government has started reconstruction of houses affected in the blasts, adding that “this contribution will go a long way in building new houses for the victims,” the statement said.

Mr Dangote, rated by Forbes as Africa’s richest man with vast interests in oil and gas, banking, flour, sugar and food production in Nigeria, also operates in about a dozen other African countries.

The powerful March 4 blasts in Brazzaville, blamed on a short-circuit and fire, killed at least 282 people, injured 2 300 more and destroyed hundreds of homes around the munitions depot, leaving 14 000 people homeless.

Dangote Cement plans London listing

Africa’s richest man Aliko Dangote plans to list his $11 billion cement business, Dangote Cement, on the London Stock Exchange next year, the Financial Times reported on Monday.

Dangote is cited as saying the company was on track to meet the corporate governance requirements for a premium listing, and that he would give up his current role as chairman.

Dangote is cited by the FT as saying he intends to free-float a 20 per cent stake in Dangote Cement to finance its rapid expansion.

“We want to list in London next year. By then the upside to our business will be much bigger than today,” Dangote is quoted as saying.

Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan have been appointed as co-leads for the London share issue, according to the FT.

Dangote is cited as saying the company was on track to meet the corporate governance requirements for a premium listing, and that he would give up his current role as chairman.

Dangote, Adenuga remain on Forbes billionaire list

Nigerian business tycoon Aliko Dangote has moved down 25 places on the Forbes list of billionaires for March 2012 claiming the 76th position from 51st he occupied last year.

The downward movement was as a result of a $2.6 billion loss in his fortune from $13.8 billion in 2011 to $11.2 billion in 2012.

He is however still the richest man in Nigeria as the chairperson of Dangote Group which spans food processing, cement manufacturing, and freight.

Mr. Dangote is not the only Nigerian who stayed on the Forbes list.

The fortunes of telecoms billionaire, Mike Adenuga moved from $2 billion in 2011 to $4.3 billion as at March 2012, making him the second richest man in Nigeria.

Mr. Adenuga who was Forbes 597th richest man in 2011 moved up to 595 as at March this year.

Meanwhile Mexican business mogul, Carlos Slim once again topped the annual list of the world’s richest billionaires.

The magazine estimates that Mr. Slim, whose business interests range from telecommunications to construction, is worth $69 billion.

He is followed by Microsoft founder, Bill Gates on $61 billion dollars and US investor Warren Buffett on $44 billion.