The United State Diplomatic Mission in Nigeria on Saturday issued a statement concerning the Twitter ban. This came on the heels when the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, announced the suspension in a statement issued in Abuja on Friday, citing the persistent use of the platform for activities that are capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence.

However, the US government opined through the Mission’s statement that the ban is undermining Nigerians ability to exercise their fundamental human right.

The excerpt;

Nigeria’s constitution provides for freedom of expression. The Government’s recent #Twitterban undermines Nigerians’ ability to exercise this fundamental freedom and sends a poor message to its citizens, investors and businesses.

Banning social media and curbing every citizen’s ability to seek, receive, and impart information undermines fundamental freedoms. As President Biden has stated, our need for individual expression, open public conversation, and accountability has never been greater. The path to a more secure Nigeria lies in more, not less communication, alongside concerted efforts toward unity, peace, and prosperity

The CBN has sacked the entire members of the board of First Bank of Nigeria.

First Bank Nigeria, First Bank branches in Nigeria, First Bank revenue, First Bank financial statement

The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele has announced the sack of the entire board of directors of FBN Holdings Plc and its subsidiary First Bank of Nigeria Ltd. The announcement was made via a television broadcast in the early evening of Thursday, April 29.

Godwin Emefiele cited insider abuse, insider credit and breakdown of corporate governance as the reason behind the sacking of the board of FBN Holdings, Nigeria’s largest bank. The CBN governor further announced the reinstatement of Dr Sola Adeduntan as the Managing Director of the interim Board after he was removed by the now sacked board of First Bank Plc.

According to the Governor, “First Bank of Nigeria is one of Nigeria’s systemically important banks given its historical significance, balance sheet size, large customer base and high level of interconnectedness with other financial service providers.”

Following the sacking of the board, the CBN appointed the following people as directors of the holding company, FBNH, Dr. Fatade Abiodun Oluwole, Kofo Dosekun, Remi Lasaki, Dr Alimi Abdulrasaq, Ahmed Modibbo, Khalifa Imam, Sir Peter Aliogo, and UK Eke (Managing Director) as Directors of FBN Holdings Plc. Remi Babalola was appointed as Chairman.

For First Bank Ltd, Tokunbo Martins, Uche Nwokedi, Adekunle Sonola, Isioma Ogodazi, Ebenezer Olufowose, Ishaya Elijah B. Dodo were appointed directors while Tunde Hassan-Odukale was appointed Chairman.

The CBN also confirmed the reinstatement of Sola Adeduntan as Managing Director; Gbenga Shobo as Deputy Managing Director; and Remi Oni and Abdullahi Ibrahim as Executive Directors of First Bank of Nigeria Limited. Gbenga Shobo was just yesterday announced as MD/CEO of First Bank setting the stage for the CBN intervention; while Remi Oni would soon proceed on terminal leave having been appointed Chairman of PENCOM.

In the press briefing, Mr Emefiele stated that the apex bank had been keeping close tabs on First Bank over the past 5 years having discovered that the bank was in “grave financial condition with its Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR) and Non-Performing Loans ratio (NPL) substantially breaching acceptable prudential standards.”

According to Emefiele, “The insiders who took loans in the bank, with controlling influence on the board of directors, failed to adhere to the terms for the restructuring of their credit facilities which contributed to the poor financial state of the bank. The CBN’s recent target examination as at December 31, 2020 revealed that insider loans were materially non-compliant with restructure terms (e.g. non perfection of lien on shares/collateral arrangements) for over 3 years despite several regulatory reminders. The bank has not also divested its non-permissible holdings in non-financial entities in line with regulatory directives.”

Emefiele also reassured First Bank of Nigeria depositors, creditors and other stakeholders of the bank of its commitment to ensure the stability of the financial system insisting that it acted to protect 31 million customers, minority shareholders of First Bank of Nigeria Ltd.

Beef up Story

On Wednesday, the Board of Directors of First Bank of Nigeria Limited announced it had appointed Gbenga Shobo as its Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer (CEO). The appointment was disclosed in a statement made by the bank’s Chairman, Ibukun Awosika

However, in an apparent leak, a letter from the central bank to First Bank revealed a query from the former to the latter expressing concern that the appointment of Shobo was done without the approval of the apex bank.

“The attention of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has been drawn to media reports that the Board of Directors has approved the removal of the current Managing Director of the bank, Dr. Sola Adeduntan, and appointed a successor to replace him. The CBN notes with concern that the action was taken without due consultation with the regulatory authorities, especially given the systemic importance of First Bank Ltd.”

The CBN also claimed that the tenure of Mr. Adedutan was yet to expire (bank MD’s have a maximum 10 years) and that they were also not aware of any misconduct of the former MD and as such there was no justification for his removal.

Given that the tenure of Dr. Adeduntan is yet to expire and the CBN was not made aware of any report from the Board indicting the Managing Director of any wrongdoing or misconduct, there appears to be no apparent justification for the precipitate removal.”

Full statement of Emefiele’s sacking of FBN Holdings Board

CBN Bans Maize Importation

CBN GOVERNOR’S STATEMENT ON THE PURPORTED MANAGEMENT CHANGE AT THE FIRST BANK OF NIGERIA LTD

1.0 Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen.

2.0 The media has been awash with commentaries on the purported management changes at First Bank of Nigeria Ltd (FBN) and the related regulatory inquiry by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to the Board of First Bank of Nigeria Limited. It has therefore become necessary for me to address the public to clear any misconceptions.

3.0 Ordinarily the board is vested with the authority to make changes in the management team subject to CBN approval. However, the CBN considers itself a key stakeholder in management changes involving FBN due to the forbearances and close monitoring by the Bank over the last 5 years aimed at stemming the slide in the going concern status of the bank.

It was therefore surprising for the CBN to learn through media reports that the board of directors of FBN, a systemically important bank under regulatory forbearance regime had effected sweeping changes in executive management without engagement and/or prior notice to the regulatory authorities. The action by the board of FBN sends a negative signal to the market on the stability of leadership on the board and management and it is in light of the foregoing that the CBN queried the board of directors on the unfortunate developments at the bank.

4.0 As you may be aware, FBN is one of the systemically important banks in the Nigerian banking sector given its historical significance, balance sheet size, large customer base and high level of interconnectedness with other financial service providers, amongst others. By our last assessment, FBN has over 31m customers, with deposit base of N4.2trn, shareholders funds of N618bn and NIBSS instant payment (NIP) processing capacity of 22% of the industry.

To us at the CBN, not only is it imperative to protect the minority shareholders, that have no voice to air their views, also important, is the protection of the over 31m customers of the bank who see FBN as a safe haven for their hard-earned savings.

5.0 The bank maintained healthy operations up until 2016 financial year when the CBN’s target examination revealed that the bank was in grave financial condition with its capital adequacy ratio (CAR) and non-performing loans ratio (NPL) substantially breaching acceptable prudential standards.

6.0 The problems at the bank were attributed to bad credit decisions, significant and non-performing insider loans and poor corporate governance practices. The shareholders of the bank and FBN Holding Plc also lacked the capacity to recapitalize the bank to minimum requirements. These conclusions arose from various entreaties by the CBN to them to recapitalize.

7.0 The CBN stepped in to stabilize the bank in its quest to maintain financial stability, especially given FBN’s systemic importance as enumerated earlier. Regulatory action taken by the CBN in this regard included:

i. Change of management team under the CBN’s supervision with the appointment of a new Managing Director/ Chief Executive Office in January 2016.

ii. Grant of the regulatory forbearances to enable the bank work out its non-performing loans through provision for write off of at least N150b from its earning for four consecutive years.

iii. Grant of concession to insider borrower to restructure their non-performing credit facilities under very stringent conditions.

iv. Renewal of the forbearances on a yearly basis between 2016 and 2020 following thorough monitoring of progress towards exiting from the forbearance measures.

8.0 The measures had yielded the expected results as the financial condition of FBN improved progressively between 2016 when the forbearance was initially granted to the current financial year. For instance, profitability, liquidity and CAR improved whilst NPL reduced significantly.

9.0 Notwithstanding the significant improvement in the bank’s financial condition with positive trajectory of financial soundness indicators, the insider related facilities remained problematic.

10.0 The insiders who took loans in the bank, with controlling influence on the board of directors, failed to adhere to the terms for the restructuring of their credit facilities which contributed to the poor financial state of the bank.

The CBN’s recent target examination as at December 31, 2020 revealed that insider loans were materially non-compliant with restructure terms (e.g. non perfection of lien on shares/collateral arrangements) for over 3 years despite several regulatory reminders. The bank has not also divested its non-permissible holdings in non-financial entities in line with regulatory directives.

11.0 Following further review of the situation and in order to preserve stability of the bank, so as to protect minority shareholders and depositors, the Management of the CBN in line with its powers under BOFIA 2020 has approved and hereby directs:

i. Immediate removal of the all directors of FBN Ltd and FBN Holdings Plc.

ii. The appointment of the following persons as directors in FBN Ltd and FBN Holdings Plc

Holdco

  1. Chairman – Remi Babalola
  2. Dr. Fatade Abiodun Oluwole
  3. Kofo Dosekun
  4. Remi Lasaki
  5. Dr Alimi Abdulrasaq
  6. Ahmed Modibbo
  7. Khalifa Imam
  8. Sir Peter Aliogo
  9. UK Eke – Managing Director

Bank

  1. Chairman – Tunde Hassan-Odukale
  2. Tokunbo Martins
  3. Uche Nwokedi
  4. Adekunle Sonola
  5. Isioma Ogodazi
  6. Ebenezer Olufowose
  7. Ishaya Elijah B. Dodo
  8. Sola Adeduntan – Managing Director
  9. Gbenga Shobo – Deputy Managing Director
  10. Remi Oni – Executive Director
  11. Abdullahi Ibrahim – Executive Director

12.0 The CBN hereby reassures the depositors, creditors and other stakeholders of the bank of its commitment to ensure the stability of the financial system. There is therefore no cause for panic amongst the banking public, given that the actions being taken are meant to strengthen the bank and position it as a banking industry giant.

Some marketers have said that the price of fuel in Nigeria may hit N190 or above following the current realities in the global crude oil market. 

Petrol in Nigeria is currently sold at between 160 and 165 naira per litre at many filling stations across the country. But according to the marketers, the pump price of petrol may fall between 185 and 200 per litre.

It is one thing to make money and another to invest your money wisely, but in this part of the world, only very few people truly understand the latter hence the unending sad stories of investment scheme scams. Investment as we all know is a great way to wealth building and pathway to generational wealth if executed wisely and as a shrewd and cautious business owner or individual, before you invest in any platform or scheme you must first of all, perform thorough research about the platform to get to know how they work, their terms and conditions and other necessary information. This is to avoid “stories that touch the heart” as there are a lot of fraudulent platforms, groups, individuals masked under the umbrella of Investment platforms yet their major aim is to swindle innocent people of their hard-earned money.

Recently, a Nigerian took to Twitter to publicize after months of fighting depression how he allegedly lost the whopping sum of 150 million Naira to an investment platform which according to him is owned by one Mr. John Okechukwu from Abia State. Narrating his ordeal, the Twitter user who is identified as Samuel Daniel on the bird app stated that he met John Udochukwu Akokwu in July 2019 at Federal Government NPower NCreative Scheme where he tutored over a hundred students on 3D animation for a month. According to him, John Udochukwu was one of his students back then so they exchanged contacts and became friends. Narrating further, he revealed that In May 2020, Udochukwu approached him and made him believe he was a Forex trader while promising him a certain interest in weekly investments.

“I started investing with him, and also got friends to send me their money so I could help them invest. These friends also collected money from their friends and so the chain grew” he said. Fast forward to things, at the end of August, John Udochukwu Akokwu started giving excuses about his bank account being frozen which I announced to the investors numbering about 500 of them. According to him, after some days Udochuchukwu gave that claim, he got friends to check his bank account and they found out that his account is very fine and nothing is wrong with it as he had claimed. Sensing a possible scam tactics from Udochukwu he had to report the case at State CID, Alagbon Police Station, Antifraud department, where he was charged a lot of money to sign a petition against John and for numerous bank freezing court orders, yet nothing significant has been done about the case till date.

The Twitter user further revealed that he has been getting a lot of threats and facing attacks even with cultists and soldiers since the incidents and thus he had to flee to an unknown location for the safety of his life. According to him, he’s currently going through depression and considering suicide.

“The case seems impossible to solve, I’m just tired. Suicidal thoughts have taken over me, I cry every single day. Please, help retweet till someone that can help sees this. Thank you, ” he added in the tweet.

See the full tweet

The controversy surrounding the loans obtained by Nigeria from China assumed a disturbing dimension as the House of Representatives on Wednesday uncovered N5bn waiver illegally obtained by a Chinese firm. 

Oke said that the waivers had a huge negative impact on the economy as it has left it bleeding. He urged the House’s various standing committees to step up their oversight functions to prevent such aberrations. 

He said, “The solution is that we should step up our oversight and ensure that nobody is undermining the revenue accruing to this country, either through these schemes I’ve mentioned or fraudulently.

“Like in the case of China Harbour, China Harbour got a contract in Nigeria through contract financing and then you are claiming Duty Waiver of over N5 billion on items and materials that are available in Nigeria. They are importing them; they kill local industries, you are injuring us from both ends. 

” We have to resolve that the MD of China Harbour should make an appearance. All they are trying to do is to cover-up. When it comes to capital flight, they don’t mind, but they are running away when it comes to accountability. 

“And those who granted the Duty waiver, we must ask them, and that’s why we invited the Ministry of Finance to defend the duty waiver they gave to you. 

Due to the different degree of insecurities in some South western state, most especially in Ondo and Oyo State. The Governor of Ondo State, Rotimi Akeredolu had came out in the beginning of this month to give a 7 days Ultimatum to Fulani Herdsmen in the forest reserve area of the state to vacate the place or face it’s consequences. While, Sunday Igboho as well had given ultimatum to some Fulani men in Ibarapa, another area of Oyo state to vacate the area or have him to deal with.

But it seems like the issue is already taking another turn as some group of people seems to be against the Ultimatum given by both Governor Rotimi Akeredolu and Sunday Igboho. Concerned Nigerians and legal bodies are already reacting to the Ultimatum and also giving their stand on the issue.

The new group that came out to give their opinion is a Fulani Congress known as Fulani Nationalist Movement (FUNAM).

A representative or coordinator of the Fulani Nationalist Movement (FUNAM) has passed strong message to Ondo State Governor, Akeredolu letting him know that he should be ready for war if the Fulani will leave the forest by all means.

In the report that was released by the West Africa Regional Coordinator of Fulani Nationally Movement, Baadu Saalisu Ahmadu, he had come out to warn Sunday Igboho and Rotimi Akeredolu to reverse their plan of evicting the Fulanis out of their State or face the consequences which could be a war.

He also stated that, the Fulani has every right to live anywhere they like since they are doing their business legitimately and the only institution that can send them out can be the National assembly or the President himself but not some political thugs like Sunday Igboho. See what he said below:

What’s your opinion about this article? Let’s hear from you in the comment section . Thanks!!

Source: Official Facebook Page Of Femi Fani Kayode

Fuel Subsidy: Open market price of petrol hits N183 per litre

The increment in the price of crude oil at the international market has pushed the price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) landing cost to N160 per litre.

Our correspondent learnt in Abuja that the landing cost was N160 as at Thursday , the open market price has also jumped to N183 per litre.

The open market price is the expected price at the pump stations. The additional N23 is the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) pricing template component.

With payment of additional N23 as contained in the PPPRA pricing template and national consumption figure of about 50 million litres daily, the Federal Government now offsets about N1.1 billion on consumption of petrol in the country daily if the situation remains the same going forward.

Meanwhile, a source in the petroleum industry has called for the establishment of a special account in the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for the importation of petroleum products.

He argued that such a special fund would make foreign exchange readily available to marketers that want to import the product as a smart move of breaking the state monopoly the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has assumed.

He said: “The creation of this special fund will ensure that the NNPC is no longer bogged down by importation of petroleum products which is not its core business. There are very serious businesses that the corporation should be engaging in that can benefit Nigeria as a country more than importing products, which the private sector is most suited to do. NNPC engaging in petrol importation is not without some underhand practices that are draining the country.

“The time has come for the NNPC itself to push for its exit from importation of petroleum importation business to boost efficiency in its core business areas. The creation of a special fund will encourage more marketers to come into the fray and that is most likely to lead to reduction in the pump price.”

Indeed, from August 2020, there was a Federal Gazette that forbade the PPPRA from interfering in the prices of petroleum products. However, the gazette stated the role of the PPPRA to include intervention where the agency finds the prices too high and unjustifiable.

This scenario presents where all operators including marketers are able to defend their prices in clear manner to avoid sanctions by the PPPRA.

PPPRA’s PMS pricing is made up of two parts. The first part is the product/importation cost (cost, insurance and freight) and the second aspect is the local distribution margins (cost of distribution and return on investment).

Product cost is the cost of one metric tonne of petroleum product in US Dollars as quoted on Platts (S&P Global Platts). Freight is the average cost of transporting (30kt) cargo from North West Europe (NWE) to West Africa (WAF).

Lightering is the ship-to-ship local freight charge incurred on the trans-shipment of imported petroleum products from the mother vessel into daughter vessel to allow for the onward movement of the vessel into the jetty.

The Nigeria Port Authority (NPA) charges cargo dues (harbor handling charge) for use of its port facilities, while the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) charges for marine pollution prevention and control, and cabotage enforcement.

Jetty Throughput Charge refers to the tariff paid for the use of facilities at the jetty by marketers to move products from the jetties to storage depots. Storage charge is for depot operations covering storage charges and other services rendered by the depot owners.

Financing refers to stock finance (cost of fund) for the imported product. It includes cargo financing based on 25 per cent of landing cost details of the distribution margins on the PPPRA pricing template. These include Transporters Allowance (NTA), which entails the contribution to/reimbursement from the fund to defray the cost of local transportation of petroleum products within the same zone.

Local delivery is based on a transportation differential zone map and retailer is the allowable margin to retailers of petroleum products after considering the overhead cost and other running costs, while wholesale refers to the allowable margin to importers of petroleum products after considering the overhead cost and other running costs and administration charge goes to the PPPRA as payment for its interventions.

Maiden ship assembled in Akwa Ibom is expected to be ready come January 23, 2021.

With maritime development as part of the crux of the Completion Agenda of Governor Udom Emmanuel.
The Liberty Free Trade Zone licence and the Ibom Deep Seaport licence recently acquired through the ingenuity of Mr Emmanuel, attest to the readiness of the state to become a melting point in marine transport business.

Subsequently, berthing in Akwa Ibom is the first ship manufacturing yard in Oruk Anam, with capacity to produce security vessels, cargo ships, ferries and barges.

Norfin Offshore Shipyard, located at Oruk Anam local government, is ready to launch its first Nigerian produced vessel on the January 23, 2021. His Excellency, Mr Udom Emmanuel will be on ground to flag it open and further open the vista to more opportunities for the teaming youths of the state.

Charles Udonwa, an Akwa Ibom born ship merchant, is the chairman of the ship manufacturing factory has assured that in the next three years, the factory which is currently engaging 85 will have well over 3,000 young people in its workforce.

Members of Government House Media Team, including the Governor’s Special Assistant on Media (Research and Documentation), Mr. Essien Ndueso, visited the Shipyard to assess the progress of work at the factory.

Conducting the team round the facility, the Chairman and CEO of the company, Engr. Udonwa explained that finishing touches were being put to the vessel by the technical unit of the company, assuring that by next week, the vessel would wear a new look in readiness for its launch into the sea.

Also in the team were the Special Assistant to the Governor on ICT, Engr. Solomon Eyo and the Special Assistant on Project Monitoring to the Governor, Mrs. Josephine Bassey as well as members of the Research and Documentation Team.

Media Unit
Govt House,Uyo
12/01/21

The value of the Naira against the Dollar moved southwards on Thursday at the Investors and Exporters (I&E) and the black market segments of the foreign exchange market.

This was mainly influenced by the significant rise in the demand for forex at the market windows.

Data harvested by Business Post showed that at the I&E window, transactions worth $215.63 million were carried out compared with the $17.23 million recorded the preceding day, indicating a rise of $198.4 million or 1,151.5 per cent.

This put pressure on the local currency yesterday, causing it to depreciate by 0.34 per cent or N1.34 to close the day at N394.67/$1 as against N393.33/$1 it finished on Wednesday.

Also, at the parallel market, the Naira gave up N1 against the American currency as it sold at N475/$1 in contrast to N474/$1 it was exchanged on Wednesday.

At the same unregulated FX market segment, the local currency lost N3 against the Pound Sterling to settle at N640/£1 in contrast to N637/£1 it settled at the day before. However, the Naira remained unchanged against the Euro to close at N580/€1.

At the interbank and Bureaux De Change (BDC) segments of the market, the Nigerian currency further traded flat against the American Dollar, closing at N379/$1 and N395/$1 at respectively.

Meanwhile, at the cryptocurrency market, Bitcoin (BTC) rallied as its value moved up by 4.4 per cent to trade at N18,637,999.99. The Ethereum rose by 9.4 per cent to sell at N591,671, the Litecoin (LTC) appreciated by 5.5 per cent to trade at N73,885.08, while Tron (TRX) gained 1.7 per cent to sell at N14.42.

On the loser’s end, Dash (DASH) depreciated by 2.9 per cent to sell at N63,439.57, Ripple (XRP) went down by 1.5 per cent to trade at N141.97, while the US Dollar Tether (USDT) fell by 1.3 per cent to trade at N482.40.

<p class="has-drop-cap" value="<amp-fit-text layout="fixed-height" min-font-size="6" max-font-size="72" height="80">A Federal High Court in Lagos Monday ordered Emirates Airlines to pay $1.36million to a businessman Mr Orji Prince Ikem being the amount contained in his hand luggage which went missing in the airline’s custody during a 2007 China trip.A Federal High Court in Lagos Monday ordered Emirates Airlines to pay $1.36million to a businessman Mr Orji Prince Ikem being the amount contained in his hand luggage which went missing in the airline’s custody during a 2007 China trip.

Justice Muslim Hassan also ordered Emirates Airlines to pay Ikem N50million as damages for the “untold hardship and loss of earning” he suffered by the deprivation of use of his money from 2007 till date.

The judgment followed the plaintiff’s nearly 12 years battle to recover two hand luggage containing personal effects and $700,000, as well as $930,000 in 18 bundles of $50,000 wraps each and $30,000 cash not in wrap.

The court heard that the $930,000 belonged to another businessman, Olisaemeka Ugwunze, who wanted it delivered in China for purchases.

The plaintiff told the court through his counsel, Chris Ekemezie, that at the departure lounge of the Murtala Muhammad International Airport Ikeja, Emirates Airlines staff requested that he handed the luggage to them for safe keeping in the cockpit, but he refused and insisted on keeping them himself.

They insisted on keeping the luggage for him considering the huge amount of money contained therein and that on arrival destination, the two bags would be handed over to him.

After a prolonged argument and in order not to miss his flight he yielded and handed over the two hand carry-on bags to them, and they were tagged with tag numbers EK428682 and EK428683 respectively.

That was the last time he saw the bags and the money. On his arrival in Guangzhou, the airline could not account for his four pieces of luggage.

Ruling on the plaintiff’s prayers for the return of the $1.36m and N100m general damages, Justice Hassan observed that the airline, through its counsel Prof Awah Kalu SAN, failed to refute Ikem’s claims.

The judge held: “I have read all the processes filed by both parties as well as their agreements and resolved that the only issue for determination is whether the plaintiff is entitled to the reliefs sought before this court.

“A claim not controverted is deemed admitted, in this case the defendants did not call witness but rather rests it case on that of the plaintiff which mean that all what the plaintiff claimed and their pleadings are admitted.

“I hold that Emirate Airlines failed in his obligations to customer by not delivering the luggage containing the sum of $1.36m.

“On the whole I hereby make the following orders; an order that Emirates Airlines pay the plaintiff the sum of $1.36m.

“An order that the defendant pay the sum of fifty million Naira (N50m) to the defendant as damages.

“Parties shall bear their own respective costs.”