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‘Why Shareholders Rejected UTC’s Dividends’

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Many described it as a rare occurrence that Nigerian shareholders, who are always yearning for dividends, no matter how small, could advise a company to plough back money meant for dividend payment into the business. But that was what shareholders in UTC Plc did recently.
UTC had recently, in its audited account for the year ended December 31, 2008 declared as dividend of N0.03. However, the shareholders, at the AGM held recently unanimously resolved that the dividend be kept in its reserve. Giving reasons for the unusual action, the shareholders have said they did so for UTC in understanding of the company’s plight and in expectation of better dividends in subsequent years.
The National Chairman of Progressive Shareholders Association of Nigeria, Mr. Boniface Okezie, who spoke on the shareholders’ decision, said the company had suffered liquidity crunch in recent times which almost led to its liquidation, adding that as a result, the shareholders felt that whatever money it makes should be re-invested in the business for better future performance.
He said in recognition of the UTC’s liquidity needs, shareholders decided that it would be better for the company to deploy the N160 million meant for the dividend payment rather than going to the bank for loans, which would attract huge interests.
His words “We know where we are coming from; we are fortunate that the company did not die because the company still surviving till today is a miracle. As a result of cash deficiency, we resolved that they should not resort to borrowing from the bank, which will attract huge interests. And we decided that instead of paying that N160 million, they should put it in the business.”
Okezie added that apart from the need to help the company, the N160 million, if shared, would amount to nothing to the shareholders while huge expenses would also be incurred by the company in posting the paltry sum. “If you consider the expenses that would be incurred in sending the dividend and the withhold tax of 10%, at the end of the day what shareholders will be getting may not be up to two kobo”, he said.

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ICT Skills’ll Deliver Economic Independence To Nigerian Girls – NITDA

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The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has said that if Nigerian girls are taught relevant Information and Communication Technology (ICT) skills at a young age, they will be set up for economic independence in future.
The Agency who made this remark through a press release signed by its Head, Corporate Affairs and External Relations, Mrs Hadiza Umar, joined the global community to mark the “Girls in ICT Day.” The day which is marked annually on the fourth Thursday in April falls on the 23rd April this year.
In the statement, Mrs Umar said that the Agency is highlighting the need to promote technology career opportunities for girls and women in ICT, the world’s fastest growing sector.
She said, “During this year’s celebration, NITDA is drawing attention to the critical need for more girls and women to participate actively in the ICT sector of our economy. The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) had estimated skills shortfall of over two million jobs in the ICT sector within the next few years. This opens a huge opportunity for girls and young women who have the ability to learn Coding, Apps Development, Computer Science and other ICT related courses.
“This will not only make them ready for a successful career in the ICT sector, but ICT skills are rapidly becoming a strong advantage for students in just about any other field they might choose to pursue. With technology playing vital role in all manner of careers, from Arts to Social Sciences, and from Law to History, to Graphic Design, learning ICT skills at a young age will set girls up for economic independence. Furthermore, the ICT sector needs more girls and women and celebrating a day like this reminds us that ICT helps to improve the lives of people everywhere.
“It contributes significantly towards better healthcare, better environmental management, better communication, and better educational systems that transform the way children and adults learn. NITDA, in its proactive manner and in line with the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy as well as in furtherance of bridging the gender imbalance in ICT in Nigeria, has embarked on series of Capacity Building programmes for women and girls across the country. Girls with ICT skills can expect to earn good wages and enjoy huge career opportunities.

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Keystone Bank Disowns Ex-staff, Fake Investment Company

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Keystone Bank Limited has alerted customers of the activities of one Mr. Obinna Onuselogu, who parades a company, Triple C Investment Limited, as an affiliate of the bank with the aim of defrauding unsuspecting members of the public.
The bank, in a statement yesterday, said Onuselogu, who used to be a staff, was no longer in its employ.
It added that anyone who transacts any business with him purportedly in the name of the bank does so at his/her own risk.
“Please note further that Keystone Bank is neither related nor affiliated to any company known as Triple C Investment Limited, which Mr. Onuselogu claims to be its chief executive officer.
“Anyone who transacts any business with him purportedly in the name of Keystone Bank does so at his/her own risk,” the statement said.
It was learnt that the ex-staff has been using the name of the bank and its executives claiming to be in partnership with the bank with the intent of defrauding unsuspecting members of the public.
The bank said it was working on a legal process and security agents to put an end to the unscrupulous activities of the so-called Tripple C Investment and its agents.

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Fishermen Union Warn Against Dead Floating Fish Consumption

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The Bonny Indigenous Fishermen’s Cooperative Union has set up a 20-man task force to work with the police and arrest any person or group of persons found with the polluted floating fish along Bonny sea and creeks.
President of the union, comrade Promise Bristol, made this known in a chat with newsmen in Bonny.
Bristol observed that a large quantity of different species of fish were found dead, floating on the sea, from the Atlantic Ocean to the communities and fishing ports in Andoni and Bonny Local Government Areas.
According to him, the species of fish included croaker, popularly known as “broke marriage”, “shine nose”, mackerel, among others.
Bristol lamented that the incident had brought untold hardship to the fishermen in the areas, saying that fishing is their only source of livelihood and appealed to government at all levels to come to their aid.
Bristol said the cause of the death of the fishes was unknown and warned members of the public against their consumption, pointing out that consumption of such fishes could be detrimental to human health.

 

Tonye Nria-Dappa

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