Monthly Archives: April 2017

Goodluck Jonathan, Godwin Emefiele, Ibrahim Magu To Be Questioned Over N13B Loot

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A former president, Goodluck Jonathan, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele; and anti-corruption chief, Ibrahim Magu are amongst some high-profile personalities that are expected to be questioned by a presidential panel investigating the mysteries surrounding the over N13 billion recovered from an apartment in Lagos last Wednesday, PREMIUM TIMES has learnt.

The panel will also question the suspended Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency, NIA, Ayodele Oke, and his predecessor, Olaniyi Oladeji.

The owner of the building where the money was found and the EFCC official who led the operation will also be questioned by the three-man panel, which was convened on Wednesday, PREMIUM TIMES understands.

The National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno, who is also a member of the investigating committee is also expected to brief the committee on what he knows following reports that Mr. Oke briefed him on the NIA operation prior to the discovery of the money.

President Muhammadu Buhari named Vice President Yemi Osinbajo to lead the committee, with Attorney General Abubakar Malami and Mr. Monguno being the remaining two members, the presidency said in a statement.

The constitution of the panel came as the presidency announced the immediate suspension of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal, and Mr. Oke for their respective roles in the grass cutting scandal and the over N13 billion recovered in Lagos respectively.

“The president also ordered a full-scale investigation into the discovery of large amounts of foreign and local currencies by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, in a residential apartment at Osborne Towers, Ikoyi, Lagos, over which the National Intelligence Agency, NIA, has made a claim,” presidential spokesperson, Femi Adesina, said Wednesday.

Mr. Adesina’s statement appears to indicate that the presidency has already accepted the NIA’s argument that the money belongs to it.

The recovered funds had the packaging and inscriptions of the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Company on them, indicating that they might have come directly from the CBN. The dollar denominations were also itemised with serialised bar codes.

On his part, Mr. Jonathan is expected to be questioned over claims that he approved the operation for which the NIA allegedly obtained the money

SOURCE: Premium Times

Isime Esene, managing editor of Y!/YNaija.com speaks at the London School of Economics Africa Summit

LSE Africa Summit Ibukun Awosika

Isime Esene, managing editor of Y!/YNaija.com speaks at the London School of Economics Africa Summit

Managing Editor of Y! /YNaija.com, Isime Esene was a speaker at the LSE Africa Summit which held at the London School of Economics and Political Science from March 31 to April 1, 2017.

Themed ‘Built for Africa: African solutions to African issues’, the summit is a platform to engage and explore cutting-edge research and business trends across Africa’s rapidly changing socio-economic environment.

Esene who spoke on the topic, ‘Law and Development: Citizen-Led Accountability’ cited social media as a tool to mobilize people, provoke thought, and establish cultural and socio-political movements.

Chaired by lawyer and open governance activist, Lolan Sagoe-Moses, the discussion panel include research specialist for the International Budget Partnership (IBP), Andile Cele; assistant professor at Keele University and former Lord Kelvin/Adam Smith Scholar at the University of Glasgow, Awol Allo; and director of Lawyers for Justice in Libya, Elham Saudi.

A research paper was also presented on ‘Local Media Monitoring of Mozambique’ by Joseph Hanlon, a visiting Senior Fellow at the Department of International Development of the London School of Economics and visiting Senior Research Fellow at the Open University, Milton Keynes, England.

Powered by Red Media Africa as official media partners, the Summit is organized to highlight African solutions to pressing issues facing the continent.

STRESS TEST: ZENITH, LARGER BANKS MORE RESILIENT, FITCH SAYS

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The stress test conducted by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has confirmed the resilience of large banks to withstand stresses over smaller banks, even as it singled out Zenith Bank Plc for its strength in comparison to others

Citing a Financial Stability Report for December 2016, published recently, rating agency, Fitch, said in its review of the regulatory test highlighted disparities in capital strength in the Nigerian banking industry. The apex bank’s test showed that 3 big banks failed, with their capital adequacy ratio haven significantly fallen below the regulatory requirement.

The rating agency said in its analysis of the CBN report: “… medium and large banks collectively could withstand a 100% increase in non-performing loans (NPLs) but small banks (assets less than NGN500 billion) would struggle to withstand even modest NPL deterioration.

“In our own assessment of the banks we rate, which are mostly large (assets more than NGN1 trillion), capacity to absorb losses through capital varies considerably.

“Zenith Bank Plc is stronger than the rest, while capital weaknesses at First Bank National and Diamond Bank have a significant influence on their ratings,” it added.

“All Nigerian bank ratings are in the highly speculative ‘B’ range, but even so capitalisation is an important differentiator. The scores we assign, based on capitalisation and leverage metrics across the sector, are low, but vary considerably,” the agency explained.

The apex bank’s stress test focused on the ability of banks’ capital adequacy ratios to withstand a number of impairments arising from Non-Performing Loans and Fitch noted in its analysis that small banks were particularly badly hit in the stress tests.

“They already had very weak starting capital positions, with an average capital adequacy ratio (CAR) of just 3.14% at end-2016, following sharp falls in 2016 due to rises in NPLs. Medium and large banks had stronger starting positions, with CARs of 12.75% and 15.47%, respectively, at end-2016,” the agency stated.

The agency also stated: “CBN figures show that NPLs represented 14% of total sector loans at end-2016, a very sharp increase on 5.3% at end-2015. Unreserved NPLs represented a high 38.4% of total end-2016 regulatory capital (end-2015: 5.9%), signaling considerable weakening in the overall capital position of Nigeria’s banking sector.

“Reported NPL ratios do not tell the whole asset quality story. Restructuring, particularly of loans extended to the troubled upstream oil sector, is fairly common practice in Nigeria, and restructured loans at some rated banks account for as much as 20% of total loans,” it added.

It further noted that there was good ground to belief that that capital buffers at banks may be weaker than reported ratios suggest.

The banks, the agency noted, remain profitable, with results boosted by wide margins and currency revaluation gains, large in some cases.

“These are one-off gains but they have been realised and provide a strong boost to capital, which is positive, especially in light of weak asset quality,” it said.

The CAR is the ratio of bank’s assets to its risks. It is placed at 10 per cent for national banks and 15 per cent for banks with international subsidiaries and 16 per cent for Systematically Important Banks (SIBs).

ZENITH BANK TO REWARD*966# EAZYBANKING CUSTOMERS WITH AIRTIME GIVEAWAY

Following the success of the campaign to reward its customers last year, Zenith Bank Plc has returned with another *966# Eazybanking airtime giveaway for the Easter season.

The bank’s *966#promo offers *966# Eazybanking customers and others a 20% discount for airtime purchased everyday within two three hour belts in the mornings and evenings.

Bigger and better than the first promo, the *966# promo will reward 966 customers from 6am to 9am and another 966 from 6pm to 9pm everyday, making it a total of 1,932 winners everyday.

The promo, which will run from Monday April 10, 2017 to Friday, April 28, 2017, will see 966 customers paying 20 per cent less for all airtime purchases, subject to a minimum of N100 and a maximum of N2,000by dialingthe *966#code. The previous campaign rewarded nine hundred and ninety-six (966) customers every hour between the 6am to 9am.

However, on Easter Monday, the giveaway gets even bigger, with a 100% bonus on all airtime purchases made between 6am and 9am for the first 996 customers who to use the 966*amount*phone number code to buy airtime.

To benefit from this promo, customers must dial the unique code, 966*amount*phone number to make their airtime purchases while non-account holders who do not want to be left out can dial *966*0# to open a Zenith Bank account, fund it and get in on the action.

The Zenith Bank *966# Eazybanking is a convenient, fast, secure, and affordable way to access your Zenith bank account 24/7 through mobile phones without internet data. The service is available to all individual account holders with any phone that runs on the Global System for Mobile (GSM) platform.

Unstructured Supplementary Service Data(USSD) is aGSM communication technology that is used to send text between a mobile phone and an application program in the network.

Using the *966# Eazybanking application, users can open accounts, check their account balances, buy airtime, transfer money to zenith and other banks account, pay bills, as well as perform other transactions.

Zenith’s*966# Eazybanking is secure as it requires registration and PIN authentication on all banking transactions.

Zenith Bank consistently plays a leading role in payment innovation, and deploys products that are consistent with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) financial inclusion policy.

The most customer focused bank in Nigeria, Zenith Bank is Nigeria’s largest bank by Tier-1 capital and has earned local and international reputation for the adoption of cutting-edge technology to deliver banking solutions.

Agony Of A Father: Miccom Golf Boss In Pains Over Son’s Arrest By EFCC

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The Chairman of Miccom Cables and Wire, Chief Michael Ponnle is not in a happy mood.

The septuagenarian who lost his wife and confidant, Olufunke just some years ago is angry with the arrest and detention of his first son, Abiodun by the EFCC over an alleged subsidy scam.

The younger Ponnle was recently arraigned alongside Adegbite Adetoye with Origin Oil and Gas Limited before Justice Silvanus Orji of the FCT High Court Apo, Abuja on an 11-count charge of fraud and abuse of Petroleum Support Fund to the tune of N735million.

Adetoye and his co-accused allegedly conspired and fraudulently obtained the sum of N735, 132, 076.18 (seven hundred and thirty five million, one hundred and fifty two thousand, seventy six naira, eighteen kobo) from the federal government as payment for the importation of 15,000mt of premium motor spirit (PMS) which they claim to have purchased from Vitol SA and imported into Nigeria through MT Silverie.

Subsidy Scam: Court Jails Socialite, Jubril Rowaye

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Justice Adebukola Banjoko of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory sitting in Gudu, Abuja, on Friday convicted Rowaye, his company, Brilla Energy Limited, and another firm, Alminnur Resources Limited of the charges preferred against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

They had been given the permit to import 10,000metric tonnes of Premium Motor Spirit (petrol) into Nigeria was issued in 2011.

Rowaye and Brilla Energy Limited were arraigned alongside Saminu Rabiu and his company, Alminnur Resources Limited, on October 17, 2012 on a 17-count charge of conspiracy and fraud.

However, the charge was amended following Rabiu’s death on October 7, 2014 after the prosecution had closed its case with 12 witnesses.

The other three (Rowaye, Brilla and Alminnur) were subsequently re-arraigned on February 12, 2016.

After diligent prosecution of the case by counsel to EFCC, Sylvanus Tahir, Justice Banjoko convicted and sentenced Rowaye on 14 out of 17 counts preferred against him by EFCC.

On Counts 1 and 2, Rowaye and the two oil companies (Brilla and Alminnur) were sentenced to 10 years imprisonment each without option of fine.

Additionally, on count 2, which bordered on how the convicts fraudulently obtained over N1.05billion from the Petroleum Support Fund as payment for importation of 10,000 tonnes of PMS, the judge ordered the convicts to pay by way of restitution the sum equivalent to the loss sustained by the victim, which is the federal government.

‘As A Child I used To Beat My Elder Brother’ -Femi Adebayo

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in this interview with ayotunde ayanda Nollywood actor Femi Adebayo recounts his childhood memories and the role his father played in making him an actor…

You are a Special Assistant to the Governor of Kwara State on Arts and Tourism, how do you fuse your job as an actor with being a governor’s aide?

We cannot rule out the fact that they will affect each other. They are two different lines, but I see being an assistant to the governor as a call to serve my people . It is an opportunity to give back to the society. We never can rule out the fact that when we remember our days in the primary school, the best way to teach is entertainment.

So entertainers are seen as people closer to those at the grassroots. They tend to listen to you and that is like a drive for information to be passed to the people. So, I see my call as coming from the Almighty. Then secondly, for easy relationship between our people at the grassroot and the government, I give priority to that now.

So I can tell you that it’s like 75 per cent to 25 per cent. I give 75 per cent to my appointment and 25 per cent to the entertainment industry.

You were supposed to take a role in the film “Diamond Ring” and the role was eventually taken by Teju Babyface. When you look back, how do you feel losing the role?

I simply believe the role isn’t mine because it wasn’t as if I had gotten the script. When I was on the set of Owo Blow then, Uncle Tade (Ogidan) was impressed with my acting. So he told me the story of Diamond Ring and said he would want me to be part of it. Unfortunately, when they wanted to roll Diamond Ring, it was one of the times I was writing my Law exams. I could not make it and, of course, it could not wait. I never regretted that I did not play the role because I still believe I am achieving what I want to achieve, both in the entertainment industry and the other aspects of my life.