ABUJA – The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) says the Governor, Godwin Emefiele, and his teamat the Bank will not be deterred in their effort to steer the Nigerian economy away from the looming recession due to the global impact of the Corona Virus (COVID-19) pandemic, in spite of the push by some vested interests to impugn the integrity of the Bank.
The Bank’s Director, Corporate Communications Department, Isaac Okorafor made the declaration in Abuja in a chat with newsmen, disclosing that the Bank had uncovered sinister plans by some persons with selfish interests in Nigeria’s economic and socio-political space to distract the CBN and discredit the institution through deliberate misinformation, complete fabrications and outright lies.
He said that the Bank, in pursuit of its mandate enshrined in the CBN Act (2007), as Amended, will continue to strive to ensure accretion to the external reserves to safeguard the international value of the Naira, in addition to ensuring no individual or institution circumvents the system.
According to Okorafor, the Naira, in the past three years, had remained stable against other world currencies, due largely to strict measures put in place by the CBN to check cases of round-tripping. He said the Bank, working with other relevant agencies of government, had equally curtailed the activities of economic saboteurs neck-deep in smuggling and other economic crimes.
While noting that those opposed to the policies of the CBN will not relent in their effort to undermine the Bank, he said the Bank remained resolute to the dictates of its enabling Act and would not be distracted by subjective criticisms from persons who do not mean well for the general good of the Nigerian people and the economy.
He recalled that the CBN, under Emefiele’s leadership, had made genuine patriotic efforts at promoting economic growth and development through its intervention programmes, particularly in the agricultural sector,which he said led to the revamp of value chains across over ten agricultural commodities, including cotton, oil palm, fish, poultry, livestock and maize, among others. He cited the rice revolution under the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP) as a major contributor to shielding Nigeria from a food crisis when major rice producing countries of the world halted exports from their shores in the height of the corona virus (COVID-19).
Also alluding to the recent interventions of the Bank through the
N50 billion Targeted Credit facility (TCF) for households and small businesses affected by the corona virus and the N100 billion Credit Support for the Health sector, Okorafor said the Bank remained people-oriented.
Continuing, the spokesman bemoaned a situation where persons with vested interest in the economy of the country and its socio-political landscape continued to misinform unsuspecting members of the policies of the Bank as well as impugn the integrity of the institution and its key officers.
Okorafor assured that the CBN remained committed to transparently pursue its mandate in the interest of majority of Nigerians rather than for the selfish interest of a few, stressing that majority of Nigerians were better informed and would not indulge in unpatriotic economic acts for selfish purposes.
AMCON takes over assets Of Pan Ocean Group over N240billion debt
Hon. Justice A.M. Liman of the Federal High Court, presiding over the suit between the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) vs Everest Nominees Limited and Dr. Bolaji Ogundare a subsidiary of Pan Ocean Group has ordered AMCON and its assignee to take over all the assets of the companies. Pan Ocean Group is promoted by Dr. Festus Fadeyi, a flamboyant Lagos oil and Gas businessman whose total indebtedness to AMCON is over N240billion.
The court had also granted an order appointing AMCON as a Receiver Manager (in accordance with its 2019 Act as amended) and its designated human nominees (Mr. Kunle Ogunba Esq. SAN) its privies and assigns over the assets of Pan Ocean, their corporate guarantors, cronies and cohorts to take over a number of prime assets of Pan Ocean over some irreconcilable huge debt owed AMCON by both Everest Nominees Limited, Pan Ocean Group and their promoters as well as directors.
The court in suit No. FHC/L/CS/722/20 ordered AMCON and its assigned designate to take over several oil mining and oil prospecting licenses that are exemplified by OML 147 (formerly OPL 275), OML 152 and OML 98 respectively. The order also mandated AMCON to took over the property lying and situate at No. 33b, Adebayo Doherty Street, off Admiralty Way Lekki Phase One in Lagos State as well as the property lying and being specifically known as FF Towers, Plot 13/14 Ligali Ayorinde Avenue, Victoria Island, Lagos.
Others include another property lying and specifically known as No. 8, Modupe Alakija Crescent, Ikoyi, Lagos; the properly lying and specifically known as No. 10/12, Modupe Alakija Crescent, Ikoyi, Lagos christened and identified as Grand Villa; No. 14, Modupe Alakija Crescent, Ikoyi, Lagos; another property lying and known as Ark Towers situate at No. 17, Ligalli Ayorinde Avenue, Victoria Island, Lagos as well as Plot 5 and Plot 822, Samuel Manuwa Street, Victoria Island, Lagos.
Aside these prime assets of the obligors, Justice Liman also ordered AMCON to take over any other assets, businesses, affairs, undertakings, interests etc belonging to the defendants wherever same may be found. He also directed the Inspector-General of Police and his commissioners to assist AMCON and its designates as well as the Court Bailiffs in taking over the assets on behalf of the Corporation.
Only recently, the media was awash with news that the debt of Dr. Festus Fadeyi of Pan Ocean Group and his firms to Skye Bank Plc accounted for why the bank eventually collapsed. Skye Bank Plc officially collapsed in 2018 leading to its takeover by the Federal Government of Nigeria through AMCON, which injected a fresh cash of about N786billion. AMCON had to step in because the bank required urgent recapitalization, which at the time save thousands of jobs and depositors’ money.
Children’sDay: UnityBank announces 2020 One Minute Genius contest
By Ayo Fadimu
In line with the efforts to drive the financial literacy initiatives of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Unity Bank Plc has announced a One Minute Genius (OMG), an educational gameshow to engage students as part of activities to commemorate this year’s Children’s Day.
Over 120 winners are expected to emerge at the end of the 5-day contest that will kick off on Monday, June 1, 2020, and run daily till Friday, June 5th, 2020 on Beat FM 99.9 Lagos, Beat FM Abuja, 94.1, and online on the Bank’s Website (www.unitybankng.com/omg).
The One Minute Genius is an initiative that underscores Unity Bank’s belief in children. It connects with the Nigerian children’s aspirations and reinforces the importance of education as a vehicle to empower the child to succeed beyond their wildest dreams.
Every Child and student between the ages of 6 –12 years are welcome to participate in the game. The idea is to enable the participant to improve their intelligent quotient and unleash the genius in them. The game will be played as a blend of quizzes containing spelling Bee and Arithmetic questions.
The children that answer the questions correctly within the one-minute stipulated timeframe will be rewarded with cash prizes.
Commenting on the initiative, Head, Retail and SME Banking, Unity Bank, Funwa Akinmade said: “The One Minute Genius gameshow is a participatory learning and reward contest aimed at motivating students towards subject mastery using a branch of reinforcement model.
“At Unity Bank, we continue to look for innovative ways to impact the next generation. This year has proved very challenging because the world battles a pandemic, but we must continue to make deliberate and conscious efforts to cater to the needs of our future generation.
“This gameshow provides an invaluable opportunity to engage the young minds creatively to provide stimulating learning opportunities despite the pandemic.
“We hope that parents and guardians will avail their wards the opportunity to explore the opportunity that this provides.”
In previous editions of Children’s Day engagement, the Bank held Spelling BEE competition in 2019 while it hosted students of Kings College, Lagos to promote financial literacy, leadership, and advocacy against anti-social behaviour among youths in 2018.
ABCON advises CBN to establish Voluntary Offshore Asset Repatriation Window to Boost BDCs, I&E Forex Window Liquidity
The Association of Bureaux De Operators of Nigeria (ABCON) has advised the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to establish a Voluntary Offshore Asset Repatriation Window to allow more foreign capital inflows into the economy.
ABCON President, Ahaji (Dr) Aminu Gwadabe, who disclosed this in a statement released yesterday, said the proposed policy plan will be a monetary instrument of the CBN backed by an Act of the National Assembly for non-disclosure of the sources or basis of proceeds of the funds to be repatriated.
The ABCON boss said there was need for tougher measures to keep the forex market and economy going by fiscal and monetary policy makers at this extraordinary time ignited by the COVID-19 pandemic. He said the COVID-19 pandemic has led to drop in crude oil prices and drastic cut in Nigeria’s foreign exchange earnings.
According to him, the proposed window will boost liquidity in the Bureaux De Change (BDCs) sub-sector, Investors’ and Exporters’ (I&E) forex window and help the CBN sustain stability of the exchange rate.
According to him, the forex window, which differs from the previous Voluntary Offshore Asset Regularization Scheme backed by executive order 008 and tied to taxation, will be an incentive for owners of stashed funds abroad to be given an amnesty to repatriate their foreign cash holding into the window and to be traded at the prevailing rates in those windows.
Besides, owners of such funds should have one year amnesty to participate in the market and should be liable to pay a reduced corporate income tax of 20 per cent.
Gwadabe also advised that naira proceeds from the transactions in that window should be invested in the economy for a maximum of 10 years before it can be allowed to be repatriated back if the need arises.
According to him, the window will boost foreign exchange liquidity and stem the volatility in the market. It will also help in diversifying Nigeria’s foreign exchange earnings, support national planning, enhance backward integration and import substitution policies.
Continuing, Gwadabe said it will lead to reduction in the size of black and informal economy, boost sovereign credit ratings, improve living standards for the people and promote good corporate governance in institutions.
“Going by the dire consequences of COVID-19 on our economic indicators- decline in oil revenue, low tax to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ratio, increasing budget deficit, declining fiscal buffers and debt servicing challenges, among others, poor revenue problem and falling oil prices despite OPEC oil supply cut and debt rescheduling. These will trigger other macro economic challenges such as high interest rate, low level of investors confidence, shrinking Diaspora remittances inflows and increasing livelihood agitations,” he said.
He said the Nigerian economy outlook, when compared to global economic trends does not look positive, hence the need to find a turning point or face dire consequences of inaction.
He said that Nigeria is seen by other countries as an oil rich country, and a large part of the budget, exchange rate stability, balance of trade are determined by dwindling oil revenue, hence the need to diversify the economy.
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