The Securities and Exchange Commission, (SEC) has said that it will continue to collaborate with relevant stakeholders to sensitise investors on the need to regularise their multiple accounts as well as claim their dividends.
Uduk who spoke during in Abuja, said the Commission has taken various steps to ensure that shareholders benefit from their their investments in the capital Market.
She said the volume of unclaimed dividend is still huge but the commission is doing a lot to bring it down.
According to her, “Only recently, in our determination to reduce the quantum of unclaimed dividends in the Nigerian Capital Market and encourage beneficiaries of deceased investors to step up efforts to claim such dividends, the Commission exposed an amendment to our Rules which reduced the time, processes and costs of the transmission of shares from a deceased to the beneficiary.
“The timeline for the transmission of deceased’s shares has been reduced from three weeks to one week. Going by that, registrars shall ensure that shares of a deceased are transmitted within a week of receiving the request from the administrators or executors.This effort will ensure seamless transmission and claim of a deceased’s shares by heirs and administrators.
Uduk said it is also the quest for investors to get the benefit of their investments that prompted the Commission to release a circular to shareholders of defunct Skye bank to claim all outstanding dividends.
She said sensitisation efforts are going on with other stakeholders to enlighten members of the public on the need to go and claim their shares through regularization of multiple accounts.
“If you cannot claim your shares, there is no way you will be talking about claiming your dividends.
One of the things the Commission has done is to encourage these people to come and regularize their accounts. As I speak about 2.6 million account holders have registered for e-dividend and many can testify that they are getting their dividends promptly” she said.
She also said the SEC has informed shareholders of the defunct Skye Bank that unclaimed dividends declared by the bank are being held in trust on their behalf and urged them to claim their dividends.
This she stated, will further help reduce the volume of unclaimed dividends in the market and boost investor confidence.
Uduk said the Commission has also directed Cardinalstone Registrars and STL Trustees to ensure that all genuine claims of beneficiary shareholders are addressed forthwith.
The Acting DG said since the company is no longer in operation, these unclaimed dividends have to be made available to the rightful owners that are the shareholders, as that will go a long way in boosting investor confidence in the market.
“They invested in a company and since the company has gone under, there is no reason why they should not have access to their unclaimed dividends. That is why we are calling on them to take advantage of this opportunity and claim their dividends” Uduk stated
She stated that the Commission has put in place a complaint management framework to ensure that investors get attended to promptly.
“So, once you approach your registrars for your dividends to be paid and there is reason for complaints, you can always contact the Commission for the issue to be resolved” she added.
Senate seeks 5-year ban on importation of textile materials
…asks Buhari to hold on to border closure
he Senate, yesterday, urged the Federal Government to totally ban the importation of textile materials into the country for five years, to support local manufacturers.
This was as the apex legislative chamber, based on what it perceived as enormous benefits of the current land closure by President Muhammadu Buhari, urged the President to maintain the closure to a reasonable time period.
It also urged the Federal Government to encourage local textile manufacturing companies by providing them with soft loans and easy access to credit facilities through the Bank of Industry (BoI).
The Chamber further requested the Federal Government to provide necessary infrastructural facilities, especially power supply to local textile manufacturing companies.
The lawmakers made these resolutions following their consideration of a motion, “Urgent need to revamp the Nation’s Comatose Textile Industry”, sponsored by Senator Abdullahi Barkiya (APC, Katsina Central).
Presenting the motion, Barkiya noted that the textile industry in Nigeria played a significant role in the manufacturing sector of the economy with a record of over 140 companies in the 1960s and 1970s.
He lamented that the textile industry witnessed massive decline in the last two decades with many textile companies such as Kaduna Textile, Kano Textile, Aba Textile, United Nigeria Textiles, First Spinners amongst others, closing shops and throwing their workers into the job market.
The politician pointed out that the discovery of oil in Nigeria also greatly affected the Textile Industry as a result of decline in the production of cotton which was a major source of raw materials for the industry.
He said that the high cost of production and trade liberalization resulted in massive importation of Textile materials, which in turn negatively affected the production of local textiles.
Barkiya suggested that if the textile industry would be resuscitated, it would provide additional revenue and assist government in its bid to diversify the economy.
In his remarks, the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, said that for the country to overcome the challenges posed by the African Continental Free Trade Agreement entered into by the Federal Government, local producers must live up to the billing of the forces of a competitive market.
According to Lawan, until Nigeria addressed the issue of unsteady power supply and smuggling, there’s little that can be achieved through the closure of its borders to goods coming in from neighbouring African countries.
He said: “We have signed into the African Continental Free Trade Agreement. We cannot easily stop trading with other people. So, we need to be competitive.
“The problem of textile industry in Nigeria is not the market; the market is huge. The problem is largely the issue of power, because you need power to be competitive.
“Secondly, we have to stop smuggling. These two are twin evils that we must address really. But we have to be in a hurry, because by signing the trade agreement, we have consciously gone into an agreement where other countries will produce their goods in their country and bring them to Nigeria.
“We really need to push for the fixing of power sector in this country. I agree we should close the border, but that is going to bring only temporary relief for us. It is not going to be permanent while solving our problems.
“The executive and legislature must brainstorm on ways to fix these issues faster because time is of the essence here.
“Even if we stop the importation of textile produced outside for five years, what happens after that? If our companies in the country can’t produce competitively, then there would still be problem.”
Reps probe alleged corruption in N-Power scheme
he House of Representatives yesterday constituted an investigative panel to look into allegations of corruption in the N-Power programme of the Federal Government.
The decision was taken after the adoption of a motion of urgent national importance entitled “urgent need to investigate the arbitrariness and possible corruption in the N-Power programme of the Federal Government”, sponsored by Hon. Taiwo Oluga (APC, Osun).
The House consequently mandated the House committees on sustainable development goals and youth development to immediately investigate the alleged arbitrariness in the management of the scheme and report back within three weeks for further legislative action.
In her lead debate on the motion, Oluga noted that “in recent times, there are increasing cases of N-Power Beneficiaries/Teachers who are diligent in their places of official assignment and who have no queries or negative reports, yet at the end of the month, their payments are withheld and all efforts to get reinstated has proven abortive.”
She alleged that these N-Power beneficiaries, their school principals and the independent monitors have confirmed that there are no queries and yet some of the N-power beneficiaries have been blocked and exited from the platform for no reason whatsoever; yet, they keep reporting in their place of duty and have now been owed several months allowances, without pay.
Citing examples, Oluga disclosed that “In Osun State alone, over 400 N-Power beneficiaries/teachers are being owed monthly allowances, ranging from 12 months, 15 months and 18 months respectively due to arbitrary withholding of their account and unlawful exit from the platform, despite diligence at the place of official assignment, which is contrary to the objectives of the N-Power, N-Teach Programme.”
She observed that the National Social Investment Programme which was established in 2015 was in fulfilment of the administration’s campaign promises to Nigerians through the implementation of the N-Teach, N-Agro, N-Tech, N-Build and N-Creativity Programmes.
The lawmaker noted the N-Teach programme involves the engagement of educated Nigerians with minimum NCE, OND, HND, B.sc, M.sc and PhD Degrees who are engaged and posted to teach in different schools in the 36 States and F.C.T.
According to her: “The N-Power programme as a form of quality assurance and check, equally engaged independent monitors, one per local government, who monitor the attendance of the N-Power teachers at their various places of assignment, by paying unscheduled visits to them.
“The independent monitors are now required to investigate the teachers and report truancy, indiscipline or misconduct to the NSIP Office in Abuja through their electronic tablets.
“Upon receipt of the queries by the NSIP Office, they conduct an investigation to ascertain the merits of the query and now withhold payment of the erring N-Power teacher/beneficiary by holding his profile for 45 days and if there is no change or satisfactory response within the period, they are exited from the programme.”
She, however, regretted that in recent times, there are increasing cases of N-Power beneficiaries/teachers who are diligent in their places of official assignment and who have no queries or negative reports, yet at the end of the month, their payments are withheld and all efforts to get reinstated has proven abortive.
Secondus to INEC: Act expeditiously on High Court judgement
he National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Prince Uche Secondus has called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to act quickly on the Abuja High Court ruling, which disqualified the deputy governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bishop Degi in the Saturday governorship election in Beyelsa State.
Secondus, in a statement by his Media Adviser, Ike Abonyi, said the electoral umpire should invoke the relevant sections of the Constitution and the Electoral Act to disqualify the APC candidate.
According to him, what the court ruling meant was that APC has no validly nominated candidate for the November 16 governorship election.
As the stage is set for the election, the PDP National Chairman, therefore, called on the military and other security agencies to show high level of professionalism in the Saturday’s governorship elections in Kogi and Bayelsa States respectively.
Senate probes N40bn abandoned Baro Port project
he Senate, yesterday, mandated its Committees on Marine Transport, Works and Public Procurement to investigate the National Inland Waterways Authority, NIWA, with regards to the abandoned Baro Port project, and make adequate recommendations to facilitate its early completion.
The Senate also urged the Federal Government to make funds available to contractors handling the Baro River Port project for final completion.
The Red Chamber further urged the Federal Government to transfer the roads project aspect of the contract to Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund (PIDF) for better funding and execution.
Similarly, the lawmakers advised the government to facilitate the rehabilitation of Narrow Gauge Railway in Baro to ensure rapid socio-economic growth of the country while there should be continuous dredging and maintenance by NIWA of the Rivers Niger and Benue to ensure its navigability.
The Senate’s resolutions were sequel to a motion, entitled: “Urgent need to complete all the necessary components of Baro River Port project of the Lower River Niger”, sponsored by Senator Muhammad Bima (APC, Niger South) and 22 other lawmakers during plenary.
While presenting the motion, Bima expressed concerns that over N40 billion had so far been expended on the various components of the Baro Port without achieving any significant progress towards utilisation of the port.
The politician wondered why such a laudable project with all its potential benefits would be so neglected.
He noted that the Federal Government awarded the contract for the dredging of the Lower River Niger, construction of the Baro Port, installation of cargo handling equipment and connecting access roads to ensure movement of goods and services to the Northern parts of the country in addition to the general improvement of socio-economic activities of the region.
According to him: “Baro Port project is expected to create 3,000 direct jobs and many more indirect jobs as well as improving our roads network by keeping heavy duty trailers and trucks off roads, thereby expanding the life span of the roads.”
He also hinted that the capital dredging of the Lower River Niger from Warri to Baro had been completed while the Baro Port and its cargo handling equipment had also been completed and commissioned on January 19 by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The legislator further stated that the access roads which would facilitate movement of goods from Baro to the Northern parts were awarded in 2015 and 2018 for Lambata-Bida and Agaie-Katcha-Baro respectively.
He however, lamented that the two major access roads, Lambata-Agaie and Agaie-Katcha-Baro had only achieved about 20 per cent and 2 per cent progress respectively.
He also regretted that funding of the access roads had been grossly inadequate as N670 million and N4.5 billion had so far been released for the project out of the contract sum of N17billion and N33billion respectively.
Contributing, Senator Adamu Aliero (APC Kebbi Central), noted that the project was awarded during the administration of late President Musa Yar’Adua to create jobs and ensure easy movement of goods from Baro to other parts of the North, but expressed surprise that it was abandoned by his predecessors despite its economic benefits.
Senator Mohammed Musa (APC, Niger East) while contributing, urged the Federal Government to ensure early completion of the project, noting that doing so would advance economic prosperity of the people and industrial growth in parts of the country.
Oyetola tasks lawmakers on effective roadmap for Osun
sun State Governor, Mr. Gboyega Oyetola has urged members of the state House of Assembly to design a legislative roadmap that will drive their visions and programmes for effective performance in the state chamber.
Governor Oyetola gave the charge yesterday at the opening of a three-day legislative retreat by the state House of Assembly held at Iloko- Ijesha area of the state.
He said, “Legislative representation is a position of responsibilities which would be considered effective if it is result-oriented, people directed, research backed, rules propelled, consensus enhanced and relationship-driven.”
Governor Oyetola added that, “the aforementioned are crucial to legislative representation during debates, committee duties, oversight functions, bills sponsorship and advocacy on the sidelines such as lobbying, and other behind the scenes engagements.”
He further enjoined the lawmakers to remember that their performances will significantly determine their political future and fortunes.
In his address, the speaker of the Assembly, Hon. Timothy Owoeye promised that “quality legislations, modesty and transparency would be embraced by his colleagues to add more values to the development of the state.
Edo crisis deepens as APC suspends Oshiomhole
•APC chair loyalists demand Obaseki’s expulsion
he crisis in the Edo State chapter of the All Progressive Congress(APC) took a turn for the worse yesterday, following a gale suspension that highlighted the feud between Governor Godwin Obaseki and his estranged godfather and National Chairman of the party, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole.
Some members APC in the state announced the suspension of Oshiomhole, over his role in the crisis rocking the state chapter of the party.
Similarly, the State Chapter of the party also removed the State Secretary of the party, Mr. Lawrence Okah.
In a statement signed by the Assistant State Secretary, Mr. Ikuenobe Anthony Esq., some members said the decision was taken after a meeting of the State Executive Committee, where a vote of no confidence was passed on Okah.
Also, the decision to suspend Oshiomhole followed the vote of no confidence passed on him by the Chairmen of the APC in the 18 Local Government Areas (LGAs) of Edo State.
According to a statement signed by Edo APC Chairman, Anselm Ojezua and Assistant State Secretary, Ikuenobe Anthony: “Consequent on the development, the State Executive Committee has adopted the vote of no confidence passed on him and the subsisting suspension order from the organs of the party in the state.”
They said the decision was necessary to prevent a repeat of what happened in Zamfara State, where the party was unable to field any candidate in elections.
“Comrade Adams Oshiomhole is the one behind the crisis in Edo APC. We have passed a vote of no confidence in him and he stands suspended from the party.
“We don’t want what happened in Zamfara State or other parts of the country to happen in Edo State.”
Meanwhile, Ikuenobe said: “The State Executive Committee of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has this morning, 12th of November, 2019, passed a vote of no confidence in the State Secretary, Mr. Lawrence Okah, in accordance with Article 17 (v) of the constitution of the party.”
He stated further: “The effect of this is that Mr. Lawrence Okah ceases to be the State Secretary of the party henceforth.
“An appropriate replacement will be effected in due course in accordance with Article 17 (vi) of the said constitution.”
In another development, two members of the State Working Committee of the party yesterday narrated how they were forced to sign document to remove Ojezua.
They made startling revelations of how they were abducted and forced to sign a document to purportedly remove the state chairman of the party.
This followed a drama that played out in Benin the state capital yesterday that Ojezua had allegedly been removed from office by a group said to loyal to Oshiomhole.
The SWC members which include the State Auditor and Financial Secretary respectively said they were compelled under duress to sign what they described as the purported document with the aim of removing Ojezua from office.
State Auditor of the party, Timothy Osadolor, said he and his colleague, Princess Golda Oribhabor-Onwuka, who is the state financial Secretary were taken away in a commando fashion to the resident of the State Secretary of the party, Lawrence Okah, who had been removed as scribe of the party.
Osadolor said they were forced to append their signatures.
But in a separate statement signed by the chairman of the chairmen and chairman of the party in Etsako West, Mr Ibrahim Akokia and Suleman Bagudu (Etsako Central), said: “We are the chairmen of the party in the 18 LGAs and we are not aware of the meeting where a vote of no confidence was passed on the national chairman of our party, Comrade Oshiomhole, who is doing very well. Rather, we are aware that majority of the chairmen haven suffered intimidation, harassment and assault in the hands of the Governor Godwin Obaseki-led administration. Therefore, we chairmen have passed a vote of no confidence on Governor Obaseki, the suspended state chairman of the party, Anslem Ojezua. They have not only failed the party but the people of the state. Besides, from the disclosure from the some PDP leaders, Obaseki and Ojezua, have been involved in anti-party activities. Therefore, they lack the moral rights to remain in this party. Oshiomhole remains our leader and we pass vote of confidence in his leadership.”
According to them: “It is sad that the governor and his cohorts are using money to induce our members but majority of them we are happy have resisted his moves to intimidate them. We call on the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party to expel Obaseki from APC because he is on a mission to destroy APC in Edo State but we will resist it.”
42 firms jostle for NNPC’s oil assets insurance deals
orty-two local and foreign firms yesterday joined the race to emerge as lead insurer for the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC’s) multi-billion dollars oil assets contracts for 2020/2021.
Group Managing Director of NNPC, Mallam Mele Kyari, who declared this during the public bid opening exercise for companies, maintained that the selection of the contracts’ winner would be transparent, “just as is the practice in other areas of the corporation’s operation nationwide.”
“I am reassuring this country and the rest of our stakeholders that we are poised to make sure that this company acts and works transparently; we will remain accountable to our stakeholders. As a matter of duty for me and the management team, we will deliver on this,” the GMD said.
Kyari advised the companies that participated in the bid to accept the results as only the best would emerge winner.
Also speaking at the event, the Chief Financial Officer of the corporation, Mr. Umar Ajiya, said a key attribute of an organization like the NNPC was the protection of human assets, adding that the exercise was in pursuance of that objective.
He disclosed that a total of 42 companies submitted bids for the lead insurer contract, adding that each of the bids would be assessed on its own merit.
On hand to witness the bid opening process to ensure conformity with the public procurement law were representatives of the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP), the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), National Insurance Commission, and civil society organisations.
S’Court orders NNPC to pay BCE N8.1bn damages
…over failed contract
he Supreme Court, yesterday, upheld its earlier judgement which ordered the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to pay N8.1 billion as damages to BCE Consulting Engineers over a failed Consultancy Service Contract.
The verdict of the court was premised on a suit filed by the NNPC praying the apex court to review its July 5 judgement over alleged error of fact.
The applicant had submitted that the court did not hear their preliminary objection and that their cross appeal was dismissed without hearing.
However, delivering judgement in the suit, Justice C. C. Nweze dismissed the appeal on ground that the apex court cannot be cajoled with such kind of application.
He held that the suit was an abuse of justice.
The court, therefore, awarded costs of N500,000 to be paid personally by counsel to the NNPC.
At the adoption stage, the Respondent, BCE filed a counter-affidavit, praying the court to disregard NNPC’s application.
It further prayed the court to uphold the award of the N8.1 billion judgement sum because NNPC breached an agreement with it.
BCE had, in July 1999, filed a suit at the Federal High Court, Lagos in Suit No. FHC/L/C/I316/2000 against NNPC following the Corporation’s termination of the contract at the directive of the Federal Government.
On March 7, 2002, the court directed NNPC to pay BCE the sum of N8.1 billion in damages for the illegal cancellation of the agreement.
When it approached the Court of Appeal, NNPC was, however, asked to deposit the said sum into court as condition for appeal to which the NNPC complied.
On June 9, 2011, the court upheld NNPC’s appeal on grounds that the Federal High Court lacked jurisdiction over disputes arising from simple contracts.
On June 13, 2011, BCE applied to the Supreme Court to set aside the previous judgement in favour of the Corporation.
Upon the delivery of the judgement of the Supreme Court, dated July 5, 2019, NNPC, alongside its counsel, Babalakin and Co, reviewed same and had good reason to believe that substantial miscarriage of justice had been done by the terms of the said judgment.
Accordingly, NNPC applied for Judicial Review, which is a procedure provided under the Supreme Court Civil Procedure Rules for review of extant judgements.
Also, the corporation submitted an independent request, addressed to the Chief Justice of Nigeria, seeking intervention to facilitate timely action.
Last-minute court judgements won’t affect Kogi, Bayelsa polls – INEC
he Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) said it has taken steps to ensure that this weekend’s governorship elections in Kogi and Bayelsa states were not affected “by any eleventh hour judgement.”
This is just as the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) wants the commission to come out clean on the modalities for the conduct of the elections, particularly on transmission of the results.
INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmoud Yakubu, at a stakeholders’ meeting in Lokoja, Kogi State yesterday assured that the commission’s preparations would not be affected by court judgements delivered few days ago.
A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, last week, ordered INEC to include the candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) in Kogi State on the ballot for this Saturday’s election.
But Prof. Yakubu said such judgement was at variance with the decision of another Federal High Court in Abuja delivered earlier, which affirmed the propriety of the commission’s action in a similar case by another political party.
“However, we will consider legitimate steps to address the conflicting judgements by courts of coordinate jurisdiction in the interest of our electoral jurisprudence,” he said.
The INEC Chairman further noted that there were still two more cases challenging the decision of the Commission on the validity of candidates’ nominations in Kogi and Bayelsa States for which the court has reserved judgement.
“In addition, there are 12 cases of intra-party disputes filed by aspirants from different political parties challenging the conduct of their own primaries and nomination of candidates, some of which have been reserved for judgement in the next few days.
“I must admit that the plethora of court cases and conflicting judgements delivered on the eve of elections in Nigeria are stressful to the Commission and costly to the nation.
“However, I wish to reassure the people of Bayelsa and Kogi states that learning from experience, the commission has taken steps to ensure that the elections on Saturday in the two States are not affected by any eleventh hour judgement,” Prof. Yakubu further assured.
The INEC boss also disclosed that Smart Card Readers (SCRs) to be used for accreditation have been configured, stressing that use the SCRs for voter accreditation and authentication in line with the Commission’s regulations and guidelines for the conduct of elections, is mandatory.
According to him, the recent reports of attacks on facilities and campaign materials in some parts of Kogi State reinforces rather than assuage the commission’s concern about violence during the election.
Meanwhile, PDP in a statement issued by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, said INEC’s failure to openly inform stakeholders on the election modalities raises questions on the sincerity of the commission to deliver a credible election.
Kogi: Thugs assault SDP chairman, as candidate escapes by whiskers
We are ready for you, IGP tells troublemakers
he frantic efforts by stakeholders to conduct a peaceful gubernatorial election in Kogi State this weekend, got another hitch yesterday following a physical attack on the state chairman of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), Muktar Atimah, by persons alleged to be political thugs of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
The incident which took place at the stakeholders’ meeting organised by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Lokoja, was attended by the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Mohammed Adamu and INEC chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu.
The meeting was organised to sign peace accord among the 24 political parties participating in Saturday’s elections. But at the full glare of these personalities, including the state governor and APC governorship candidate, Mr. Yahaya Bello and other gubernatorial candidates, the thugs came into the hall when the meeting was going on, dragged out the SDP chairman and beat him up.
It took the late intervention of the security personnel at the venue to rescue the chairman after he was completely messed up by the thugs.
The thugs also prevented the governorship candidate of the SDP, Barr Natasha Akpoti, from entering the meeting venue by the thugs.
The security personnel tried to prevail on her to go back because the governor was already seated but she rejected the plea, saying she was duly invited for the meeting. She was later whisked away by security attached to her, when the irate thugs rushed to her car to also beat her up.
However, the intervention of the security personnel on duty saved the situation as they used teargas to disperse the irate crowd.
Speaking shortly after the incident, Atimah said what happened showed the extent to which the society had got rotten.
This incident came barely 48 hours when the state secretariat of SDP was vandalised and set ablaze by unidentified thugs.
Meanwhile, the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Mohammed Adamu has warned those planning to disrupt this Saturday’s gubernatorial poll in Kogi State to be prepared to face the dire consequences.
The police boss warned hoodlums to steer clear of polling units, saying anyone caught causing trouble would be severely dealt with.
He pointed out that election is not war, and that those carrying arms would be doing themselves a lot favour by submitting same to the law enforcement agents, adding that anyone caught with arm before, during and after the election would face the full wrath of the law.
He further assured that the police has enough men on ground to confront challenges that might pop up as a result of the exercise, promising that a level playing ground would be provided for all contestants and political parties.
The IGP equally warned politicians not to move anyhow from one poling unit to another during the poll, just as he charged security agents against following some officials to polling booths, carrying arms.
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