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$2.14m: Atiku’s lawyer, son-in-law remanded in EFCC’s custody

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$2.14m: Atiku’s lawyer, son-in-law remanded in EFCC’s custody

Justice Nicholas Oweibo of a Federal High Court in Lagos yesterday ordered that Uyiekpen Giwa-Osagie, a lawyer to former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar and his brother, Erhunse Giwa-Osagie, be remand in custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over alleged laundering of $2 million in the build-up to the 2019 general election.

The judge also made similar order against one Abdullahi Babalele, a son-in-law to Atiku, alleged to have engaged in the laundering of $140,000 in the build-up to this year’s polls.

The court’s order was as a sequel to the arraignment of the trio on separate charges bordering on money laundering by the anti-graft agency.

While Giwa-Osagie brothers were arraigned on a three-count charge by EFCC, Babalele was docked on two counts, all bordering on alleged money laundering. They however denied all the counts.

After the defendants’ arraignment, their lawyers drew the court’s attention to their bail motions, which they said have been served on the prosecution.

The lawyers, however, urged the court to remand their clients in EFCC’s custody pending when they will receive the anti-graft agency’s response to the bail motions.

Responding, EFCC’s lawyer, Rotimi Oyedepo, promised to serve his response to the motions on the defence lawyers on Wednesday.

He was also opposed to the defence lawyers’ request for the remand of the defendants in EFCC’s custody. He said the Commission’s facility is overstretched.

However, in a Bench ruling, Justice Oweibo overruled Oyedepo’s objection and ordered that the defendants be remanded in EFCC’s custody till today when their bail motions will be heard.

In the charge against Babalele, EFCC accused him of procuring one Bashir Mohammed to make cash payment of the sum of $140,000 without going through any financial institution.

The offence was said to be contrary to Section 18(c) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 as amended and punishable under Section 16(2)(b) of the same Act.

The charge against Giwa-Osagie brothers however reads:

“That you Uyiekpen Giwa-Osagie and Erhunse Giwa-Osagie, sometimes in February, 2019, in Nigeria, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, conspired to commit an offence to wit: making cash payment of the sum of $2 million without going through financial institution, which sum exceeded the amount authorised by law and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Sections 18(a) and 1(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 as amended and punishable under Section 16(2)(b) of the same Act.

“That you Uyiekpen Giwa-Osagie on or before the 12th day of February, 2019, in Nigeria, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, procured Erhunse Giwa-Osagie to make cash payment of the sum of $2 million without going through financial institution, which sum exceeded the amount authorized by law and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 18(c) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 as amended and punishable under Section 16 (2) (b) of the same Act.

“That you Erhunse Giwa-Osagie sometimes in February 2019 in Nigeria within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court made cash payment of the sum of $2 million without going through financial institution, which sum exceeded the amount authorized by law and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Sections 1(a) and 16(1) (d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 (As Amended) and punishable under section 16 (2) of the Same Act.”

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Election: Canada’s Trudeau vows to cut cellphone bills

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Election: Canada’s Trudeau vows to cut cellphone bills

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised on Sunday to reduce cellphone bills by 25% if his Liberals are re-elected next month and warned major providers he could force them to take action.

Affordability is a key issue ahead of the October 21 election and Trudeau said Canadians paid among the highest wireless bills in the Group of Seven industrialized nations.

“Canadians shouldn’t have to choose between having a cellphone and heating their homes,” he told a news conference in the Ontario city of Brampton, saying the average Canadian family of four would save up to C$976 ($735) annually after four years.

Opinion polls show the Liberals face a tough battle against the opposition Conservatives, especially after the emergence of images last week showing Trudeau in blackface.

The main wireless providers – BCE Inc’s Bell unit, Rogers Communications Inc and Telus Corp – account for around 90% of the market and complaints about high prices are commonplace.

The Liberals said they would work with the firms to ensure they offered plans comparable with global prices. They also promised to allow more Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNO) to enter the market.

MVNOs lease wireless capacity at wholesale prices and resell it at reduced retail prices.

That idea alarms the telecommunications firms, which say the MVNOs are not required to make any of the major investments needed to ensure cellphone service in what is a huge, thinly populated country.

Reuters reported in August that the Liberals would move to cut cellphone bills and make it easier for MVNOs to operate.

The big companies say some wireless rates decreased 35% from 2016 to 2018 and note they all introduced unlimited plans this year.

The Liberals said that if they did not see prices coming down in two years’ time, they would consider lowering the entry and investment threshold for MVNOs.

They also said they could strengthen the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) – which regulates the industry – to allow it to make affordable pricing for consumers a core objective.

The Liberals also want to change the way the government auctions off spectrum needed for wireless services.

Access to spectrum is awarded to the highest bidders, but a re-elected Liberal government would focus on consumer choice, affordability and broad access.

The Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association industry group was not immediately available for comment, reports Reuters.

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Election: Canada’s Trudeau vows to cut cellphone bills

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Election: Canada’s Trudeau vows to cut cellphone bills

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised on Sunday to reduce cellphone bills by 25% if his Liberals are re-elected next month and warned major providers he could force them to take action.

Affordability is a key issue ahead of the October 21 election and Trudeau said Canadians paid among the highest wireless bills in the Group of Seven industrialized nations.

“Canadians shouldn’t have to choose between having a cellphone and heating their homes,” he told a news conference in the Ontario city of Brampton, saying the average Canadian family of four would save up to C$976 ($735) annually after four years.

Opinion polls show the Liberals face a tough battle against the opposition Conservatives, especially after the emergence of images last week showing Trudeau in blackface.

The main wireless providers – BCE Inc’s Bell unit, Rogers Communications Inc and Telus Corp – account for around 90% of the market and complaints about high prices are commonplace.

The Liberals said they would work with the firms to ensure they offered plans comparable with global prices. They also promised to allow more Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNO) to enter the market.

MVNOs lease wireless capacity at wholesale prices and resell it at reduced retail prices.

That idea alarms the telecommunications firms, which say the MVNOs are not required to make any of the major investments needed to ensure cellphone service in what is a huge, thinly populated country.

Reuters reported in August that the Liberals would move to cut cellphone bills and make it easier for MVNOs to operate.

The big companies say some wireless rates decreased 35% from 2016 to 2018 and note they all introduced unlimited plans this year.

The Liberals said that if they did not see prices coming down in two years’ time, they would consider lowering the entry and investment threshold for MVNOs.

They also said they could strengthen the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) – which regulates the industry – to allow it to make affordable pricing for consumers a core objective.

The Liberals also want to change the way the government auctions off spectrum needed for wireless services.

Access to spectrum is awarded to the highest bidders, but a re-elected Liberal government would focus on consumer choice, affordability and broad access.

The Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association industry group was not immediately available for comment, reports Reuters.

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2023 presidency: North intensifies plot to remain in power

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2023 presidency:  North intensifies plot to remain in power

 

T

he scheming for the 2023 presidency has continued to gather momentum and there seems to be no end in the sight to the raging war of words between the North and South over which of the country’s two divides will produce the next president.

 

 

Some Northern political leaders have continued to make case for their region to retain power beyond 2023, but their Southern counterparts are insisting that the North would not succeed itself after eight years in power.

 

The Northern 2023 political agenda, which started in form of a kite, is fast gaining ground with prominent political leaders in the region as well as groups buying into it. But, most power brokers in the South, comprising South-West, South-South and South-East are not giving to any chance to ensure the power shifts to their area after President Muhammadu Buhari.

 

Buhari, hails from Katsina State (North-West) and was first elected as president in 2015, when he defeated an incumbent – Goodluck Jonathan. He was re-elected in the last presidential election and having been sworn-in as president for two times, he is expected to bow out on May 29, 2023 after serving out the constitutionally allowed two terms of eight years.

 

But, more than three years ahead of the poll that will see the emergence of Buhari’s successor, Nigeria’s political landscape is already agog with permutations for the 2023 general election as to which zone will produce the next president.

Some zones and even names are being touted at the moment, but the belief in most quarters is that power should shift to the South in 2023 given the zoning deal between the country’s two political divides – North and South.

 

The arrangement took effect with the country’s return to civil rule in 1999 and has guided successive presidents, but recent developments in the polity points to the fact that the battle for the 2023 presidency might pitch the North and South as each of the two regions is not ready to let go.

While opinions seem to be divided among northerners on the approach to the 2023 presidency project – another four years in power (2023-2027) to catch-up with the South almost 14 years in power or jettisoning of zoning, which offers the region advantage to retain power given its voting strength, most members of the political class in the South are of the view that the North’s retention of power after Buhari might spell doom for the country.

 

Those who hold this belief, particular made a case for the South-East, which is yet to occupy the country’s number one position since 1999.

 

 

No doubt, the South-East has a strong case and many analysts and even political leaders, especially those of southern extraction have dismissed the plot by the North, but discerning political minds are of the view that it would be wishful thinking that the North will relinquish power without a fight.

For the likes of Kaduna State governor, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai; Second Republic lawmaker, Dr. Junaid Mohammed and even pan Northern group, Arewa Consultative Forum, their region (North) should retain power after Buhari.

 

However, southern political leaders such as former governor of Abia State and Chief Whip of the Senate, Senator Orji Kalu; Secretary General of Yoruba Council of Elders (YCE), Dr. Kunle Olajide, as well as apex Igbo body, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, insists on no going back to power shift to the South in 2023.

But, Second Republic governor of old Kaduna State, Alhaji Balarabe Musa, who sounded a note of warning, said Nigerians will suffer if zoning is jettisoned.

 

He told New Telegraph in an interview that it was in the interest of the country to adhere to the zoning arrangement between the North and South.

His words: “It is dangerous, but it would not break Nigeria. But, I can tell you that it will make every part of Nigeria to suffer. We are suffering under the leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and President Muhammadu Buhari that are northern based, but the suffering will be worse if we jettison zoning.”

Further warning on the dangers of North perpetuating itself in power, Musa advised politicians against playing with the level of economic, political as well as social and religious integration the nation has achieved.

 

 

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FG overwhelmed by insecurity, say Catholic Bishops

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FG overwhelmed by insecurity, say Catholic Bishops

T

he Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) has expressed concerns over the continued insecurity in the country, saying that the Federal Government appeared overwhelmed by the development.

 

 

The episcopal body, which noted that various security challenges have made living in Nigeria very precarious, called for proper decentralization of security agencies for effective results.

 

 

Rising from the CBCN second plenary meeting held in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, the bishops said in a communiqué that there can be no stability and enabling environment for meaningful development without adequate security of lives and property.

 

 

The communiqué, titled “Moving beyond precarious living in Nigeria,” was jointly signed by the CBCN President, Most Rev. Augustine Akubeze and the Secretary, Most Rev. Camillus Umoh.

 

 

It observed that the nation’s democracy was fast derailing, noting that the qualities of accountability, transparency, independence of the judiciary, respect for fundamental rights, observance of the rule of law, and fair and credible electoral process were still lacking.

 

 

It appealed to the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration not to allow ethnic or religious hegemony to prevail in the country, adding that there should be fairness in appointments to positions of national importance, sharing of resources and distribution of social amenities.

 

 

While acknowledging efforts being made to fight insecurity in the land, the Catholic bishops declared that a lot more still needs to be done.

 

 

The CBCN urged governments at all levels to provide the enabling environment for the creation of job opportunities for teeming youth population, noting that this would minimise the menace of insecurity in the country.

 

 

The body also called on the government and security agencies to do all they can to secure the immediate release of Leah Sharibu, the remaining Chibok girls and all other persons still in captivity.

 

 

The communiqué partly read, “There are, unfortunately, still many instances of killings as a result of banditry, kidnapping, assassination, armed robbery, reckless use of force by security agencies and lynching. Lately, too, there is an upsurge in the cases of suicide, even among our youths.

 

 

“Furthermore, the clashes between herdsmen and communities, and the activities of Boko Haram insurgents have continued, in which many innocent people lost their lives. These make living in Nigeria very precarious.

 

 

“We recognise the efforts being made by the government to fight insecurity in the land. However, we emphasize that a lot more still needs to be done in this regard.

 

 

“We observe that the Federal Government, in which the power to control the major security agencies is vested, is overwhelmed. There is, therefore, need for proper decentralization of these agencies for effective results.

“We call on all citizens to be law abiding and vigilant, be one another’s keeper, live by sound moral principles and, above all, obey the commandments of God. We urge governments at all levels to provide the enabling environment that would make it possible for both the government and the private sector to create job opportunities for our teeming youth population. This would certainly minimise the menace of insecurity in our land.

 

 

“We thank God for making it possible for our country to continue to exist as a sovereign nation. Yet, much effort is required from both government and citizens in order to have a nation in which everyone and every part, irrespective of differences of tribe or religion or political affiliation, will have a sense of belonging.

“We note with dismay that many months after the general elections, many parts of our nation are still in disarray. The country is badly divided. This is evident in appointments to positions of national importance, sharing of resources and distribution of social amenities.

“We urge especially the Federal Government to ensure that it does not allow ethnic or religious hegemony to prevail in our multi-religious and secular state. No one religion should be favoured over another.

 

 

“There should be fairness, justice and neutrality in relation to all religions and ethnic groups, for where there is no justice; there can be no peace, unity and development. We, therefore, enjoin all Nigerians to see themselves as one united people and work for justice in order to ensure a peaceful and united nation.

 

 

“While praying for solutions to our problems, we must endeavour to be just in our dealings with others, work hard in fulfilling our duties, and collaborate with others in the social transformation of our country.

“We, therefore, urge all politicians, businessmen, religious leaders, public servants and, indeed, all citizens to live out the values of their faith for the common good.”

 

 

The second plenary meeting was held between September 11 and 20 at the Divine Mercy Pastoral Centre, Agbamaya, Obada-Oko, Abeokuta.

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OML 65: FG targets fresh $6.35bn taxes, royalties

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OML 65: FG targets fresh $6.35bn taxes, royalties
  • NNPC signs $875.75m alternative financing deal for oil bloc’s expansion

 

 

T

he Federal Government, yesterday, declared its plan to increase royalty and taxes from the oil sector with a fresh $6.35 billion.

 

The government declared this through the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), maintaining that the target would be met through the expansion of Oil Mining Lease (OML) 65.

 

The corporation announced the closure of $875.75 million alternative financing deal for the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) operated OML 65 through the funding and technical services agreement with CMES-OMS Petroleum Development Company (CPDC).

 

A statement from the NNPC said that the Chief Financial Officer, Mr. Umar Ajiya, disclosed that the project, which scope cuts across exploration, development, production and provision of facilities with incremental first oil targeted for Q4 2020, was estimated to have potential reserves of 800 million barrels of oil equivalent (mboe) with an ultimate recoverable reserve of 244mboe and cumulative production of 44mboe from the Abura Main and Abura SE fields.

 

Ajiya explained that, “over the project’s life, it was expected to generate over $6.35 billion in taxes and royalties to the federation to support government’s medium to long term economic development agenda,” the statement issued by the Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs division, NNPC, Ndu Ughamadu, read.

Speaking at the closing meeting with the financing partners in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Ajiya described the contract financing model as an innovative approach by NPDC to funding its operations in response to the challenging economic environment, saying the approach would fast-track the development of NPDCs’ under-developed assets.

 

He informed that the project was expected to ramp up production at OML 65 from 900barrels per day to 60, 000 barrels per day with an average production over field life at 40,000 barrels per day.

 

Throwing more light on the financing strategy, the CFO explained that the package entailed comprehensive financing solution that addresses the complex issues involved in growing NPDC’s production, minimises its cost of capital, and maximises its value preservation, adding that it also strikes a balance between risk and reward, which gives investors a rate of return that is commensurate with funding a brownfield project that has significant exploration risk.

 

 

He said the expectation was that this collaboration between NPDC and CPDC would translate in real terms into efficient execution of scope of activities for the optimal development of the OML 65 asset within cost and schedule, whilst maximising value to all the stakeholders.

 

 

He said it was projected that the collaboration would enhance operational and financial performance strictly guided by the pre-agreed Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), which remains critical to determining incentive payment due to CPDC.

 

 

On CPDC’s right to provide technical services, the CFO listed the field of consideration in this regard to include drilling and completion services, building capacity and technology transfer, generating employment opportunities for youths with attendant positive multiplier effect on the nation’s economy, among other considerations.

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Olakunrin: Police investigation shoddy, says Afenifere

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Olakunrin: Police investigation shoddy, says Afenifere

T

he Yoruba socio-cultural organization, Afenifere, has decried what it described as poor handling of investigations into the murder of Mrs. Funke Olakunrin, the slain daughter of its leader, Chief Reuben Fasoranti, by the police.

 

 

In a statement issued yesterday by the organisation’s Publicity Secretary, Mr Yinka Odumakin, Afenifere said police have not done any serious investigations into the murder after over two months as they have not contacted the family and those that needed to be questioned over the death.

 

He said: “It is now over two months that Mrs. Olufunke Olakunnrin, the daughter of Afenifere leader, Chief Reuben Fasoranti was murdered around Ore in Ondo State and we are compelled to speak out over the lackadaisical attitude of the police over the gruesome assassination.

 

 

“Mr. Kehinde Fasoranti, the younger brother of the deceased had stated openly a day after the incident that the police in Ore told him his sister was killed by Fulani herdsmen when he went to collect her body the day she was killed and challenged the police to bring out the statement he wrote at their station.

 

 

“They have not contradicted him till date. The first sign we got that there was no attempt to launch any serious investigation into the murder was when the car in which she was killed was released to the family from Ore police station the day after the murder without any forensic investigation into the most prized evidence at the scene of the crime.

 

 

“It was when we engaged the police high command that they came to pick the car six days later. The car has now been returned to the family with no report on the examination report.

“Indeed, there was no attempt to carry out any autopsy on the corpse until we also demanded one from the police before the burial. One was carried out and only the report was given to the family when they went to collect the car.

“Beyond this, the police have not made any briefing to the family on their investigations into this dastardly act.

 

“There are other bizarre developments that worry us on police investigations into this murder. For instance, the driver of the car in which Mrs. Olakunrin was killed has not been asked a question by the police till date.

 

“All the above put together suggest to us clearly that the police have not done any serious investigations into this murder. And it worries us that we are seeing all the signs of lethargy that usually attend high profile murders with powerful masterminds in our country.

“Afenifere, therefore, calls on all those who respect human lives in Nigeria and across the world to join us in asking the police where are the killers of Mrs. Olakunrin?” he added.

 

But contacted, the Force Headquarters said that the Commissioner of Police (CP) in charge of Ondo State Command, Mr. Undie Adie, was the appropriate authority to respond to allegations made by Afenifere.

 

Asked to respond to allegations of “lackadaisical attitude”, the Force Public Relations Officer, Mr.  Frank Mba, a Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), said: “Please call CP Ondo. He is the right person to respond”.

 

 

Reacting to the allegations raised by Afenifere, the Police Public Relations Officer, Ondo State Command, Femi Joseph, stated that “it is unfair for Afenifere to allege that the police are not doing anything as regards the killing of the daughter of the Afenifere leader.

 

 

 

 

“We will soon address the press in order to intimate the public with the progress made so far. We are on top of the situation,” the PPRO stated.

 

 

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H1’ 19: 11 banks earn N242.9bn in fees, commission

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H1’ 19: 11 banks earn N242.9bn in fees, commission
  • Lenders set to reap from new cashless measures

 

W

ith the sluggish economy impacting lending, thereby generally leading to a decline in interest income from loans and advances, Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) in the country, are focusing on non-traditional alternative income sources, especially fees and commission income, to boost their bottom lines.

New Telegraph’s analysis of  H1’ 19 results for 11 lenders, for instance, shows that while most of them reported a drop in net interest income, they all posted improved net fee and commission income.

 

 

Specifically, the 11 banks’ total fee and commission income increased  by 20.1 per cent to N242.9billion in the first six months of this year, from N202 billion in the corresponding period of 2018.

 

 

The 11 lenders’ H1’19 results reviewed by New Telegraph were those of Access Bank, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Zenith Bank     and Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB).

Others were mid-sized DMBs – Fidelity Bank, Stanbic IBTC, First City Monument Bank (FCMB), Union Bank, Sterling Bank, Wema Bank and Unity Bank.

 

 

Banks generally derive their fees and commission income from account maintenance fees, Automated Teller Machine (ATM) charges, fees from other electronic banking channels, letters of credit commission, remittances fees, card-based fees, fees from brokerage commission and financial advisory fees, among others.

In the wake of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) recent introduction of higher deposit and withdrawal charges under its cashless policy, analysts are already predicting that the move would enable lenders to further increase the income they are garnering from fees and commissions.

 

 

A breakdown of the eleven lenders’ H1’ 19 results shows that Zenith Bank led others, as its net fees and commission income increased by 33.62 per cent to N55.82 billion in the period under review, from N41.77 billion in the comparative period of last year.

 

 

It was followed by Stanbic IBTC with fees and commission income of N37.71 billion in the first half of   this year, a slight increase from the N37.14 billion posted by the Tier 2 lender in the same period of 2018.

 

Access Bank reported that its fees and commission income rose by 24.82 per cent to N37.53 billion in the first half of this year, from N30.07 billion reported for the comparative period in 2018.

 

Similarly, UBA recorded a 10.61 per cent increase in net fees and commission income to N36.0514 billion in the first half of 2019 from N32.6 billion it reported in the corresponding period of last year.

 

 

GTB’s fees and commission for the period under review rose by 30.62 per cent to N33.84 billion compared with N25.91 billion in first half of 2018.

Leading Tier 2 lender, Fidelity Bank, reported a 30.88 per cent rise to N10.67 billion in its net fee and commission income in the first six months of 2019, from the N8.15 billion it posted for the same period of last year.

 

FCMB’s net fee and commission income slightly increased by 1.68 per cent to N10.10 billion in H1’19 from N9.93 billion in the corresponding period of last year.

 

Sterling Bank reported a significant 42 per cent increase to N9.8 billion in its fee and commission income in the period under review from N6.9 billion in H1’2018.

Union Bank’s fee and commission income in the first half of the year rose to N6.8 billion from N6 billion in the same period of last year.

 

Wema Bank and Unity Bank also reported improved fee and commission income for the period under review. The former said it raked in N3.8 billion in H1’19 compared with N3 billion in the corresponding period of last year, while the latter’s was N756 million as against N750 million it posted for H1’ 2018.

Analysts point out that given the dynamic nature of fee and commission income, banks will continue to explore all means to sustain bottom line growth with this source of income.

 

In fact, following the CBN’s recent introduction of higher deposit and withdrawal charges under its cashless policy, analysts at CardinalStone Research said that the fresh charges would boost banks’ fee and commission income.

 

 

The CBN had, in a circular a fortnight ago, directed that as from September 18, three per cent processing fees would be paid for withdrawals and two per cent for deposits of amounts above N500,000 for individual accounts.

 

 

Similarly, corporate accounts will attract five per cent processing fees for withdrawals and  three per cent processing fee for lodgments of amounts above N3 million.

 

 

The CBN said the charges would be in addition to already existing charges on withdrawals and will be aimed at encouraging its cashless policy.

 

The statement said the charge on deposits will, for now, apply in Lagos, Ogun, Kano, Abia, Anambra and Rivers states, as well as the Federal Capital Territory.

 

According to the Apex Bank, the nationwide implementation of the cashless policy will take effect from March 31, 2020.

 

Commenting on the development in a note issued last Thursday, the CardinalStone Research analysts stated: “Overall, we see the news as largely positive for banks’ fees and commission income, notably for cash and e-Business related transactions. Although banks already charge fees on withdrawals in excess of the regulatory limits, we believe the introduction of charges on deposits increases scope for additional income.

 

 

“First, an induced migration to alternative channels is likely to increase deployment of POS and ATM terminals as well as encourage debit card issuances. This is also likely to lead to increased adoption of banks’ USSD and online platforms by customers. Secondly, customers who fail to migrate will have to pay the required processing fees, which is also likely to be supportive of banks’ fee incomes. BDCs, petrol stations, traders and small businesses who handle a lot of cash are likely to be negatively impacted by the new charges,” they added.

 

 

 

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Osinbajo lauds Akwa Ibom’s achievements at 32

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Osinbajo lauds Akwa Ibom’s achievements at 32

 

It was a pleasant sight at Ibom Hall ground, Uyo, at the weekend, when citizens of Akwa Ibom State defied political divides as indigenes and friends of the state, including Vice- President Yemi Osinbajo and governors of some other states congregated to worship God on the state’s 32nd anniversary.

 

Preaching at the occasion, Osinbajo who said the celebration was not about the state as a living entity, but for the people of the state within and in the diaspora, maintaining that; “Every prayer and blessing we pronounce today, concerning Akwa Ibom State was for you as people of the state.”

 

He acknowledged the achievements of Governor Udom Emmanuel, particularly in the last few years, and asserted that even more records would be broken in subsequent years.

 

Taking his text from Deuteronomy 33.25, which says; “As your age, so shall your strength be,” the vice-president prophesied that for ‘those who believe, their strength shall be renewed with age.’

 

The vice-president also said that God’s promise, which defies human knowledge, meant that rather than diminishing with age, belief in God can make His people to grow stronger physically and mentally.

 

 

Citing the case of Moses in Deuteronomy Chapter 34, he explained that despite being 120 years at the time of death, Moses was still physically strong, “his eyes were not dim and his natural strength was still as it was when he was a young man.

“Naturally when someone is older, he bears less fruit and becomes weak. But in your on case, you will remain more fruitful and you won’t be weaker, even in old age,” Osinbajo ministered.

He prayed, among other things, for multiplication and fruitfulness for the people.

 

He, however, implored the people to repent of their wrong doings, which he said could hinder God’s blessings in their lives.

Governor Emmanuel at the occasion said Akwa Ibom people had lots of reasons to celebrate, maintaining that God’s faithfulness had seen the state grow in leaps and bounds within the past 32 years.

He asserted that the Ibom Airline and other industries brought about in the last couple of years were indicators that the state was making steady progress.

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PDP chieftain congratulates Ihedioha on tribunal victory

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PDP chieftain congratulates Ihedioha on tribunal victory

A chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Imo state, Chief Remigus Nwaokonkwo has congratulated Governor Emeka Ihedioha on his victory at the Elections Petitions Tribunal.

 

Nwaokonkwo, who is the leader of PDP in Orsu Local Government Area (LGA) of the state, disclosed this while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Awka yesterday.

 

He said that the victory was not just that of Ihedioha but for the entire people of the state, saying the tribunal verdict was a further affirmation of the resounding victory of the governor who got overwhelming votes from the electorate.

Nwaokonkwo said the development would reduce distractions to the governor whom he said was on the right track to rebuilding the state.

 

 

He enjoined people especially the opposi  tion to see the victory as an act of God and rally around Ihedioha to enable him deliver good governance to the state.

 

 

 

Nwaokonkwo said: “With the judgment of the tribunal which dismissed all petitions against Ihedioha, the people have won again just as we already won on March 9.

 

 

“It is a happy day for us because, it is a victory for people, I want to on behalf of the PDP in Orsu LGA congratulate our governor on his victory.

 

“We have to move forward, the governor needs our support to succeed, I call on everyone especially those who went to court to see the state as our common heritage and join hands with the governor for common good.”

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P&ID: Nigeria’ll upturn $9.6bn award –Malami

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P&ID: Nigeria’ll upturn $9.6bn award –Malami

…as delegation departs Nigeria for UK

 

 

Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, has disclosed that the Federal Government was prepared to do everything legally possible to upturn $9.6 billion judgement awarded to Process and Investment Development (P&ID) by a Commercial Court in London, United Kingdom.

Malami stated this just as a Nigerian delegation departed for the United Kingdom ahead of the case coming up soon.

 

The delegation left Nigeria at the weekend to discuss with the legal team in the United Kingdom on strategies for dealing with the recent developments regarding the P&ID contract judgment.

 

According to Malami, “all cards are on table but it all depends on the beneficial one that has potency for setting aside the award having regards to the applicable law in the circumstances.”

 

The Minister was responding to enquiries as to whether the Nigerian delegation leaving for UK was to file a new case based on the new realities about the contract or would build on the previous judgment.

 

 

Malami said no possibility would be ruled out including “possibility of filling new case and or using existing proceedings to seek relief of setting aside the award (of the contract) nothing can be ruled out.”

 

The conviction of P&ID Limited and their Nigerian affiliates by a Federal High Court in Abuja has been interpreted in government circles as an indication that the $9.6 billion award granted to the company will not stand judicial scrutiny.

The conviction followed the arraignment of the two firms on an 11-count charge of fraud and tax evasion.

 

Malami had last week, hinted that the Federal Government’s delegation would be meeting with its legal consortium in the United Kingdom (UK) in preparation for the case against the Irish firm.

According to him, the judgement against the firms was a prelude to quashing the entire case which has been discovered to have been built on fraud and falsehood.

 

A Commercial Court in London had on August 16, awarded judgment of $9.6bn against Nigeria over a purported failed contract between P &ID and the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources in 2010.

 

The contract was for the piping of wet gas to a plant for the purpose of generating electricity in the country.

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