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Shareholders Laud Transcorp Hotels’ performance, Approve dividend payment

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Transcorp Hotels Plc has announced a profit after tax of N4b at its 3rd Annual General Meeting which took place at Transcorp Hilton Abuja. At the meeting, the Shareholders of Transcorp Hotels Plc   commended the management and staff of the Company for recording a strong financial and operational performance in the financial year ended 31st December 2016, with improvements across all indices despite the economic recession which took a hefty toll on hospitality businesses generally.

The Shareholders gave the commendation at the 3rd Annual General Meeting of the Company held at Transcorp Hilton Abuja on Wednesday March 15, 2017, attributing the feat to the quality of Transcorp Hilton Hotel as the leading hospitality destination in Nigeria. They also described the management of the Company as visionary and dedicated, as demonstrated by the Hotel’s constantly improving quality of service.

The Shareholders unanimously approved the Board’s recommendation of a final dividend of 40 kobo per share, stating that they are confident that as the Company continues to make progress, it will not relent in meeting their expectations.

Speaking on behalf of shareholders, Mr. Boniface Okezie, Chairman, Progressive Shareholders Association of Nigeria (PSAN), expressed appreciation to the Company’s Board and Management for paying dividend at a period when the country’s economy is in dire straits, leading to significant drop in hotel occupancy. He said, “At a time when a lot of companies prefer to cut dividend with a ready excuse in the current state of the economy, we are delighted that our Company has paid dividend which will go a long way in meeting our financial needs”.

Also speaking, AlhajiMuktarMuktar, President, Trusted Shareholders Association, commended Transcorp Hotels for what he termed “a stellar financial performance” amid a challenging period and the dividend payout which he said was equally laudable. According to Muktar, Transcorp Hotels has not relented on its oars and has continued to shine brightly delivering world class service to an ever growing clientele of top notch guests across the world. Little wonder it has consistently won numerous awards and most recently bagged a long list of honours in 2016 that will make even its competitors go green with envy. “We are proud of this achievement and encourage the MD and the Board to continue in this direction”. At this point, the shareholders gave a standing ovation to the MD/ CEO  for not just winning the Seven Stars 2016 CEO of the Year at a global event, but for also leading Transcorp Hilton to win the Seven Stars Seal of Excellence Award for the first time.

Earlier, Chairman of the Company, Olorogun O’tega Emerhor explained to shareholders that the strong performance recorded by the Company is because the Company continued to re-invent its offerings, in keeping with service excellence. He noted that the Company was relentless in maintaining market leadership in its flagship property, closing the year with an occupancy of 60%, well ahead of competition. This according to him ensured Transcorp Hotels delivered a resilient performance even in the face of the impact of economic recession on the hospitality industry which has seen occupancy for large hotels dropping below 35%.

“2016 was a year of notable achievements for Transcorp Hotels Plc, despite the strong economic headwinds. The upgrade of Transcorp Hilton Abuja is underway in line with our commitment to stakeholders to build Africa’s choice hospitality assets”, Emerhor said.

He noted that, in validation of Transcorp Hilton Abuja as the prime hotel property in Abuja, the Hotel won numerous awards in 2016 and for the fourth year in a row emerged the proud recipient of five prestigious awards at the 23rd World Travel Awards; the laurels include Africa’s Leading Business Hotel; Nigeria’s Leading Business Hotel, Nigeria’s Leading Hotel and Nigeria’s Leading Hotel Suite (the Presidential Suite). The World Travel Award is recognized globally as the hallmark of quality, with winners setting the benchmark to which others aspire. The Hotel also went on to clinch the 2016 TripAdvisor Travellers’Choice Awards and the 2016 Seven Stars Luxury Hospitality and Lifestyle awards, Emerhor said.

In his review of the 2016 results, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Transcorp Hotels Plc, Mr. Valentine Ozigbo said that the Company recorded a 10 percent growth in gross revenue at N15.31bn as against N13.98bn in 2015.  This according to him was largely driven by key events including visits by very high profile guests, many foreign heads of government and representatives of consulates. All this he said was due to aggressive business development.

He said the Company recorded a Profit Before Tax of N5.24bn in 2016, maintaining 2015 performance of N5.38bn while the Profit After Tax for the year surpassed 2015 performance of N3.5bn by 17 percent to N4.10bn in 2016. “Our major priority now is creating value for our stakeholders, improving customer service for our guests and maximizing shareholder value, and we believe very strongly that the foundation that we are laying, with the current upgrade and refurbishment of the Transcorp Hilton Abuja and repositioning of Transcorp Hotels Calabar, is certain to yield very positive results.” He said.

“On this premise, I am happy to add that our turnaround initiatives for Transcorp Hotels Calabar are equally paying off as the Hotel recorded laudable profit for the first time since 2012”. This development, he explained, was predicated on strategy of increasing occupancy and proactive cost management” Ozigbo stated.

Speaking on 2017 prospects, Mr. Ozigbo maintained that the Company will keep up with the tempo to sustain the financial performance in 2017, despite the impacts of the temporary airport closure. He also confirmed that the Company is on track to deliver on the ongoing upgrade of Transcorp Hilton Abuja as preparations get on for the 30th anniversary of the Hotel in the 2nd quarter of this year.

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Just In: President Tinubu approves N70,000 minimum wage

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President Bola Tinubu has approved N70,000 as the new minimum wage for Nigerian workers with a promise to review the national minimum wage law every three years.

 

More details later…

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Gov. Zulum Clarifies Son’s Purported Killing Of Chinese National At Indian Nightclub

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The Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum, has denied reports alleging that one of the sons has been arrested and sentenced to prison for the murder of some Indian citizens.

Reports has it that there were unverified rumours, especially on social media platforms, alleging that the first son of the governor, Umar Zulum Umara, killed the Chinese national during a fight at an Indian nightclub.

However, the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on New Media, Abdurrahman Ahmed Bundi, dismissed the reports in a statement on Wednesday.

According to him, no son of the governor was arrested or charged with any crime.

The statement read, “attention of the Borno State Governor’s Media Unit has been drawn to rumours circulating that the son of the Borno State Governor has been arrested for the alleged murder of some Indian citizens.

“This misinformation was published in an online blog, Nairaland, titled “Son of Borno State Governor Murders Someone In India—Politics.” The blog claimed that the Governor also travelled to India, attempting to use diplomatic status to resolve the matter.

“It is on record that Governor Babagana Zulum was on a one-month vacation in Saudi Arabia for the 2024 Hajj and later travelled to Egypt to attend the annual ASUWAN forum conference in Cairo.

“The Media Unit would like to clarify and set the record straight that Nairaland and other online blogs have mischievously spread defamatory content without any speck of truth.

“We hereby warned Nairaland and all those who have spread the false information to pull down this misinformation from its website and platforms within the next 24 hours and offer an unreserved apology to Governor Zulum, his son, and the entire family, or risk legal action. The Governor shall also not hesitate to take legal action against any media outlet that continues to publicise this defamatory information on its platform.

“We would like to inform the public that none of Governor’s Zulum’s son was either arrested or charged with any crime, or involved in any unlawful activities anywhere.

“We urge the public to exercise caution when consuming and sharing information, particularly when it comes from unverified sources and blogs instead of credible media outlets.

“We enjoin all media organisations to engage in responsible journalism of truth and factual verification while recognising the potential harm and psychological trauma the spread of false information might have caused to the Governor’s family.”

 

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Over 600,000 Nigerians sought asylum abroad under Buhari – Report

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Over 600,000 Nigerians filed for asylum in other countries between 2016 and 2023, which were years under the administration of former President Muhammadu Buhari.

Buhari was President from 2015 to 2023 and handed over to President Bola Tinubu who was sworn in on May 29, 2023, after winning in the general elections the same year.

According to a report released on Wednesday, July 17, 2024, by Statisense, a data collection organisation, of a total of 664,384 in eight years, 355,792 persons sought asylum between 2016 and 2019 while 308,592 sought asylum between 2020 and 2023.

On a year-by-year basis, 66,862 sought asylum in 2016, 91,924 in 2017, 84,624 (2018), 112,382 (2019), 73,233 (2020), 83,105 (2021), 83,402 (2022), and 68,852 in 2023.

The figures indicate a surge from the past years, as Statisense noted that within 12 years – 2004 to 2015 – only 204,791 Nigerians filed for asylum in other countries.

In total, 869,175 Nigerians filed for asylum in the last 20 years, notably from 2004 to 2023.

The report was posted on the organisation’s X.com handle @StatiSense, citing the United Nations Refugee Agency.

In another report shared by the organisation on Wednesday, it was stated that the Republic of Niger topped countries with the most Nigerian refugees in 2023 with about 200,497 Nigerians and a total of 1,268,464 Nigerian refugees between 2015 and 2023.

Niger, a border country, shares proximity with Nigeria’s north, where residents battle a spate of insecurity in the region ranging from banditry, terrorism and herdsmen-farmers crisis.

Another report also revealed that Nigerians topped the list of African countries who sought asylum in Canada in 2023 with about 10,111 asylum seekers followed by Kenya with 1,345.  It stated that 1,345 Nigerians however sought asylum in the United Kingdom and 5,136 in the United States of America.

Source: The Punch

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