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Tower Aluminium Floats N4.6bn Bond

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The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) last week listed N4.6 billion bonds floated by Tower Funding Plc on its daily Official list.

The bonds, series one tranche A and series one tranche B, were raised by Tower Aluminium Group   from the capital market under its N9 billion (Medium Term Note) last year.

The company  issued N3.630 billion bond due  on September 9, 2018 (series one tranche A) with a floating rate  of Monetary  Policy Rate(MPR) plus seven per cent and  the N1 billion MPR plus five per cent floating rate bond due September 2018 (series one tranche B).

The  funds were raised  through  a book-building exercise spear headed by Dunn Loren Merrified (DLM) Limited, which acted as financial adviser, issuing house and lead book runner to the transaction.

The N9 billion MTN programme is undertaken by Tower Funding Plc, which is  a captive finance vehicle for the Tower Aluminium Group.

The Series N3.63 billion   was 331/3 guaranteed and assigned an ‘A-’rating by Global Credit Rating and DataPro Limited while the   N1 billion  bond was 100 per cent guaranteed with a provisional rating of AA- and AAA from Global Credit Rating and DataPro Limited respectively.

According to  the Chief Executive Officer(CEO) of DML,  Mr. Sonnie Ayere, the proceeds of the bond were  applied towards the funding of  the member companies of the Tower Aluminium Group comprising: Tower Aluminium (Nigeria)Plc; Queensway Aluminium Limited; Asaba Aluminium Limited; Tower Roofing Systems Limited; Borno Aluminium Limited and Kolorkote Nigeria Limited.

“The rich history of the Tower Aluminium Group spanning over 50 years in Nigeria contributed in no small measure to the success of the Series 1 bond issuance,” Ayere had said.

Ayere noted that  the bonds  were  the first internationally  guaranteed  bond by a real sector corporate entity in Nigeria.

The guarantee was given by GuarantCo Limited, a development finance institution regulated by the Financial Services Commission (FSC) of Mauritius with the key objectives of encouraging private sector involvement in the local currency financing of infrastructure projects and promoting local capital market development in low-income countries.

Chairman of GuarantCo, said: “This ground-breaking financing is a material advance in developing the local corporate bond market. Nigerian companies deserve the same access to long term funding from their capital markets as in other major economies and we look forward to more issuers accessing the market.”

Specfically, the Tower Group  had explained that the  proceeds of the bonds would  be used  for  the   refinancing of maturing bank debt obligations utilised by the Group to build the multi-million-dollar aluminium factory at Otta in Ogun state.

According to the company, the factory has been designed to convert scrap aluminium into new and usable aluminium hence reducing its reliance on imports and therefore significantly reduces cash flow vulnerability due to exchange rate fluctuations.

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Stakeholders Meet To Assess Nigeria’s Preparedness For AFCFTA

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Stakeholders are expected to converge in Lagos today to take a look at the Nigeria’s preparedness to maximize the gains of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). 
The Tide learnt that stakeholders will be converging at the instance of a popular online newspaper, Primetime Reporters, to assess the progress made so far by the Federal Government through the National Action Committee on AfCFTA agreement.
The event which is the Third Annual Lecture and Awards of the online medium has as its theme: “Assessing Nigeria’s Preparedness to Maximize the Gains of AfCFTA.” 
The event will also witness conferment of awards on eight eminent Nigerians who have distinguished themselves in various fields of human endeavours.
The Managing Director/Editor-In-Chief of Primetime Reporters, Mr. Saint Augustine Nwadinamuo, made this known in a statement made available to The Tide in Lagos on Monday.
According to him, the event will hold at the National Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), Kofo Abayomi Street, Victoria Island, Lagos beginning from 10.00am.
Nwadinamuo said that the event would be chaired by a renowned legal practitioner, Barr. Osuala Emmanuel Nwagbara of the Maritime and Commercial Law Partners, Lagos, while the Director General, Lagos Chambers of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Dr. Muda Yusuf, would be the lead paper presenter.

By: Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos

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EFCC Nabs 419 Kingpin Over N250m Fraud

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has arrested a leader of a deadly 419 syndicate, Abayomi Kamaldeen Alaka (a.k.a Awise) over an alleged attempt to swindle an innocent Nigerian of N250 million. 
The Tide learnt that the syndicate operates from a shrine at Ashipa Town, near Abeokuta, Ogun State.
According to a statement made available to The Tide in Lagos on Sunday, by the EFCC, Awise’s arrest followed a petition by his victim, Juliet Bright who lost N250m to the fraudster after she was tricked to provide money for sacrifices and invocations to heal her of an ailment.
The statement said Bright was introduced to Alaka by one Akinola Bukola Augustina (a.ka. Iya Osun) whom she met on Facebook in the course of her search for solutions to her health challenge. 
What drew her to Augustina was the latter’s post under the name, Osunbukola Olamitutu Spriritual Healing Centre.
 Once Bright contacted Augustina, the latter promised to heal her if she could pay N16 million. 
The victim paid the money through an Access Bank account belonging to one Mohammed Sani, who later turned out to be a Bureau De Change Operator.
After paying the money without receiving healing, Augustina transferred the victim to other members of the syndicate, notably Awise. 
Bright revealed that she met Awise at his shrine in Ashipa Town and was hypnotized and subsequently transferred various sum through bank accounts and in cash to the suspect and his syndicate members, until she lost N250 million to them.
Despite all the monies collected from her, her health conditions has never improved.

By: Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos

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Expert Wants Farmers To Grow Plant Produce For Export

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An expert in Quarantine Agriculture, Dr Vincent Ozuru, has advised Nigerian farmers to give more attention to growing plants produce that could be exported.
He said that plant like the hibiscus, popularly known as Zobo is on high demand in some countries around the world, today.
Ozuru who gave the advice while speaking to aviation correspondents at Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa, noted that some plants produce, particularly hibiscus, had yielded huge revenue to the Federal Government through export.
According to him, Nigeria exported about 1,983 containers of hibiscus to Mexico alone in 2017 and earned $35 million within nine months of that year.
The agricultural quarantine expert explained that the export of the plant had a setback as a result of storage pest discovered by the Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service in some consignments.
“The issue has now been taken care of and the export is resuming again, and all matters have been resolved with the stakeholders across the value chain.
“Mexico is the largest importer of Nigerian hibiscus, and our farmers should brace up to the challenge.
“The good news is that Nigeria has a vast growing belt in hibiscus, and the harvest is available all year round.
“We need to take advantage of this opportunity to earn foreign exchange for ourselves and for the country at large, even with the commitment of the present administration to diversify the economy”, he said.
Ozuru called on Nigerian farmers to show more commitment to the growing of export produce and also endeavor to get ready information on it in order to increase their income.

By: Corlins Walter

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