Earth Finds

Earth Finds

Labour Export: Premier Recruitment Promises 5000 Jobs To Youths

Premier Recruitment Limited, a labour export company, has unveiled its strategic plan to secure jobs for 5000 youths in the Middle East countries by the end of 2021.

Premier Recruitment Limited has already secured jobs abroad for over 2000 youth since it commenced operations in 2019. The number could have been if it weren’t for the COVID19 scare that saw global travel halted.

According to Kanak Shah, the general manager at Premier Recruitment, all company staff have been trained to be able to deliver a professional recruitment service.

Rajiv Ruparelia, the managing director of Premier Recruitment Limited, noted that the Uganda labour externalisation industry is a vital source of income for the people involved and the economy.

He called on the government to pass the Externalization of Labour Bill to regulate the export of labour from Uganda and also provide issuance of licensing to recruitment agencies.

He added that government needs to put much emphasis on empowering Uganda’s education sector by promoting educational programs that can compete with the rest of the world.

Rajiv also said, beyond direct economic gains, labour externalization had other benefits such skills transfer, mobilization of capital for investment and improving household incomes and standards of living for their dependents back home.

Former Crane Bank Employees Drag DFCU To Court With Several Troubling Demands

The mess that emanated from the dubious closure of Crane Bank in October 2016 and it eventually being sold to dfcu Bank in January 2016 rages on with the matter now sucking in former employees of the commercial bank that was founded by businessman Dr. Sudhir Ruparelia in 1994.

The former Crane Bank employees say they were unfairly and fraudulently dismissed by dfcu and now they are making a number of claims through a court suit No. 335 of 2020 among other things for dfcu Bank to be ordered to produce and permit the applicants and their advocates inspect and make copies key employment and transactional documents.

The documents being demanded for perusal are the Purchase of Assets and Assumption of Liabilities Agreement between the Bank of Uganda and dfcu Bank and lists of employees referred to in paras 5.4, 5.5(a)-e), 56, 5.7 and 5.8 of the Written Statement of Defence (WSD) and in the list of documents attached to the WSD, plus their respective contracts of employment with Crane Bank Ltd (CBL) and/or the respondent.

Others issues that the former employees of Crane Bank want addressed are written notices of resignation as referred to in para 5.4(b) of the WSD, all contracts of the “employees retained by the respondent, list(s) of former CBL employees that were laid off for reasons implied in para 5.6(a) of the WSD, all documents showing that the respondent promptly paid “appropriate termination packages.

The applicants contest many other issues that are contained in the WSD like demanding to prove that all documents showing that the respondent made an ex gratia payment of UGX 1,000,000/- to all laid-off employees as indicated in para 5.8(e) of WSD, and all documents notifying former CBL employees about the respondent’s grievance redress mechanism referred to in para 5.8(f) of the WSD and that costs of this application be paid by the respondent with a certificate for two counsels.

The ruling is set for April 28, 2021 at 11:00am

SOURCE: The Capital Times

Equity Bank Beats COVID-19 Stress To Register 51% Balance Sheet Growth

Financial services provider Equity Group Holdings, which operates the Equity Bank brand in the great lakes region, has weathered the COVID-19 disruption to register a 51% growth in its balance sheet with total assets growing to Kshs1.015 billion up from Kshs674 billion the previous year.

The growth delivered through both organic and merger & acquisition strategies saw the group become the first financial institution to cross the trillion shillings rubicon in East and Central Africa.

The growth has been driven by a 53% increase in customer deposits which grew to Kshs741 billion up from Kshs483 billion, while long-term debt financing grew by 71% to Kshs97 billion from Kshs57 billion with shareholders’ funds growing by 24% to Kshs139 billion up from Kshs112 billion.

Deployment of the 51% growth of funding enabled loans to customers grow by 30% to Kshs478 billion up from Kshs366 billion. Cash and cash equivalents grew by 186% to Kshs247 billion up from Kshs86 billion. Investment in Government securities grew by 26% to Kshs217 billion up from Kshs172 billion.

Net interest income grew by 23% to Kshs55 billion up from Kshs45 billion driven by a 30% growth on customer loan book and 26% growth in investment in Government securities.

Non-funded income grew at 27% to reach Kshs38 billion up from Kshs30 billion to contribute 41% of the total income. Forex trading income grew by 77% to stand at Kshs6.2 billion up from Kshs3.5 billion.

Diaspora remittances commissions grew by 76% to Kshs1.5 billion up from Kshs0.9 billion. Volume of Forex trading increased by 51% to Kshs863 billion up from Kshs571 billion with Diaspora remittance contributing 32% of the volume of forex traded.

Total operating costs grew by 67% to Kshs71 billion up from Kshs42.5 billion driven by a 496% growth in gross loan provision of Kshs26.6 billion up from Kshs5.3 billion in the prior year, increasing the cost of risk to 6.1% up from 1.3% the previous year. The higher loan loss provisions enhanced NPL coverage to 89%.

As part of the Group’s commitment to support lives and livelihoods, keep the lights of the economies on by avoiding massive disruption of economic activities, the Group accommodated Kshs171 billion of loans for customers whose repayment capacity was adversely impacted by Covid-19. This represents 32% of the entire gross loan book of Kshs530 billion.

As at 31st December Kshs40 billion of the restructured loans had resumed repayments and normalized. A deep dive review of the entire Kshs171 billion accommodated loans revealed doubts on the future viability and quality on Kshs9 billion of loans promoting the downgrade of the said doubtful loans to NPL (IFRS 9 Stage 3) increasing the NPL portfolio to 11% up from 10.4% as at 30th September 2020, and 9% as at the end of the previous year and closing the year with 23% accommodated loan book equivalent to 11% of the balance sheet.

The Group’s cost income ratio improved to 48.5% from 51.1% the previous year driven by improvement in cost of funds from 2.9% to 2.8% and enhancement of yields on government securities from 10.1% to 10.7% despite realization of capital gains on the securities trading of Kshs3 billion up from Kshs1.1billion the previous year and 117% growth of mark to market gains to Kshs7.4 billion up from Kshs3.4billion.

Yields on loans declined from 12.6% to 12.4% due to increased suspended interest on increased NPL book and change of loan book mix of local currency to US$ currency to 57%:43% from 64%:36% ratio in favour of the local currency as a result of acquisition and merger of BCDC in DRC and increase of 186% on cash and cash equivalent. The profit after tax contribution from the business outside Kenya grew to 28% from 18%.

The Managing Director and CEO Dr. James Mwangi said: “The previous global pandemic was the Spanish Flu which occurred in 1919, a century back, and hence the world had lost its memory and had to re-learn, adapt and adjust making 2020 an exceedingly difficult and challenging year.

Our corporate purpose of ’Transforming lives, giving dignity and expanding opportunities for wealth creation’ became the guiding compass of the organization’s essence on how to navigate through the crisis and the challenging environment. Our results and performance became a human story of resilience and determination to live an ethical human purpose.”

Hoima - Kibiro Oil Spill Geothermal Drill Project Affected Persons Must Be Compensated

By Sandra Atusinguza

Government through Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development on 11th November 2019 contracted M/s Royal Techno Industries Limited to drill and test 16 temperature gradient wells in Kibiro and Panyimur areas. 

As the company’s  operations  were underway in  Hoima district at Kibiro landing site  an explosion that resulted into oil spillage happened on the night of 22nd  March 2020  on one of the eight drilling sites which was an bungle  and  led to social -economic and environmental  impacts not limited to pollution.

The oil spill was estimated to be less than 300 meters between Lake Albert shores and the historical and cultural Kibiro hot springs. These were ongoing without an environmental and social impact assessment study a violation of the National Environmental Act No.5 of 2019.

The Kibiro oil spill comprised of a mixture of clay, water, crude oil and smelling gas which contaminated waters of Lake Albert, fishing nets, the sand soil and one household’s property and land.

Government officials from NEMA, PAU and Hoima district local government visited the site and evaluated the damage on soil and water however the one household of Mr. Kiiza Julius Rubanjwa that was affected up to date has never been compensated. This has put at risk the lives of the family and the neighbors currently suffering with the rising water levels that have resulted into floods people.

In a press release issued on April 15th 2020, the Mineral of Energy and Mineral Development directed the   contractor to halted her activities, clean up and establish  remedial mitigation efforts to restore the environment among others . The MEMD but did not commit itself to compensating the affected household, one year down the road nothing yet has been done. Therefore government through MEMD should take compensation action to the affected family.

Sandra Atusinguza is the AFIEGO field officer

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