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Naira scarcity protests: Abiodun visits stray bullet victim at FMC, urges Ogun residents to be calm

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The Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun, on Wednesday, paid a visit  to Gabriel Michael, who was hit by a stray bullet during the protest on the cash scarcity which rocked Abeokuta, the state capital, on Tuesday.

Speaking with journalists shortly after ascertaining the recovery of the victim who is receiving treatment at the Federal Medical Centre, Idi Aba, Abeokuta, Abiodun urged the residents of the state not to resort to violence as a result of cash crunch, noting breaking, looting banks and smashing ATM terminals will not solve the problem.

The state helmsman who also pleaded with the people of the state to remain calm as the government was doing its best to rescue the situation in the state, insisting embarking on civil unrest would worsen the the already tensed situation.

He noted that the supply of the new currency seems to be the major problem, urging the people of the state to be patient and refrain from attacking bank staff, who he said are also human beings and in need of cash.

“I want to plead with everyone in Ogun State, your governor is doing everything humanly possible at this time. We’ve spoken to Mr President and the Governor of Central Bank, I have been to the Central Bank, I have met with the bankers and you can see the situation is evolving positively, I have met with our Royal fathers and Baales, please, bear with us.

“We cannot result to violence,looting banks and breaking ATMs will not solve the problem. You will only create fear in the minds of the bank staff and they won’t open the banks. So, if there is supply of cash in the banks and they are not open, we will still be just as frustrated. Please do not take it out on the bankers.

“The money is not there, the supply is the problem, think about it, three to four weeks ago, you didn’t have to break any bank, you didn’t have to stand in queue at any ATM because there was supply. So, obviously, it is the speed with which CBN is replacing the new notes with old notes, that is the problem and I am sure that as you can see, all hands are on deck to ensure that this is dealt with and resolved.

“Please, do not resort to any form of violence, this is not who we are in Ogun State.

We are a peace-loving people, we are the Gateway State, we are the industrial capital of Nigeria, we are not violent people, we are going to get over it, let us continue to join hands together, let us be peaceful and orderly,” the governor stated.

Abiodun, while acknowledging the staff of the Federal Medical Center for responding quickly when the victim was rushed to the hospital, noted that such situations could have been averted if the people were patient with the government.

He, however, called on the Federal Government to continue to invest in human resources and match the investment with the much needed equipment.

“One of the take aways from this is that we have local capacity, if the government can continue to invest in our human resources and match it with equipment, we can save lives of our people.

“And I believe that from COVID-19 and the experience we learnt from COVID-19, we have continued to build capacity and that is why we’ve been able to intervene like we have done with this boy’s life,” he said.

Abiodun, who also charged parents, guardians, youths and students to ensure that the protests do not degenerate into an unpleasant situation, submitted that “you can see what has happened yesterday, we almost lost a life. Thank God that he is alive, we do not want to lose any life, the life of every citizen of Ogun State is very important to me.”

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Hardship: FG kicks off N100bn consumer credit scheme

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…Civil servants to benefit in first phase

By Grace Olatundun

The Federal Government of  Nigeria has kicked  off the N100 billion Consumer Credit Scheme for Nigerians as a tool to alleviate the escalating economic hardship in the country.

In a press statement on Wednesday by the President’s spokesperson, Ajuri Ngelale, he disclosed that interested Nigerians are expected to visit the portal of Nigerian Consumer Credit Corporation before May 15, 2024.

The President noted that the “consumer credit serves as the lifeblood of modern economies, enabling citizens to enhance their quality of life by accessing goods and services upfront, paying responsibly over time. It facilitates crucial purchases, such as homes, vehicles, education, and healthcare, which are essential for ongoing stability and the pursuit of their aspirations.

“Individuals build credit histories through responsible repayment, unlocking more opportunities for a better life. The increased demand for goods and services also stimulates local industry and job creation.”

The President stated further that every hardworking Nigerian should have access to social mobility, with consumer credit playing a pivotal role in achieving this vision.

“The Nigerian Consumer Credit Corporation (CREDICORP) achieves its mandate through the following: Strengthening Nigeria’s credit reporting systems and ensuring every economically active citizen has a dependable credit score. This score becomes personal equity they build, facilitating access to consumer credit, Offering credit guarantees and wholesale lending to financial institutions dedicated to broadening consumer credit access today and Promoting responsible consumer credit as a pathway to an improved quality of life, fostering a cultural shift towards growth and financial responsibility.

“In line with the President’s directive to expand consumer credit access to Nigerians, the Nigerian Consumer Credit Corporation (CREDICORP) has launched a portal for Nigerians to express interest in receiving consumer credit.

“This initiative, in collaboration with financial institutions and cooperatives nationwide, aims to broaden consumer credit availability.

“Working Nigerians interested in receiving consumer credit can visit www.credicorp.ng to express interest. The deadline is May 15, 2024.

“The scheme will be rolled out in phases, starting with members of the civil service and cascading to members of the public,” the statement read.

Recall that two months ago, a presidential spokesman, Bayo Onanuga, announced that the Federal Executive Council had given the nod for the establishment of the Consumer Credit Scheme.

He said the President’s Chief of Staff, Femi Gbajabiamila, will lead a committee that includes the Budget Minister, Attorney-General, and Coordinating Minister of the Economy and Finance to make the scheme a reality.

In March, the Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service Chairman, Zacch Adedeji, said the Nigerian government would unveil its proposed N100 billion consumer credit loan in a few days.

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EFCC goes after PtoP operators, hands over 14 forfeited properties to Enugu Govt

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The Economic and Financial Crimes  Commission (EFCC) has commenced a clampdown on users of Peer to Peer platforms for foreign exchange transactions.

Speaking at a meeting with media executives in Abuja on Tuesday, Chairman of the EFCC, Mr Ola Olukoyede disclosed that the EFCC,  in its bid to ensure the safety and stability of the foreign exchange market, has uncovered a new fraudulent scheme called P to P (peer to peer) trading scheme.

The platform, according to him, is operating outside  the official banking and financial corridors with more than 300 (three hundred) accounts linked to it already frozen by the EFCC.

He reaffirmed the commitment of the Commission to the economic growth and development of the country,  promising that the EFCC would not relent in the exercise of its mandate.

He also revealed that the Commission has recovered more than N120 billion from fraudsters within six months and secured more than 1300 convictions.

Meanwhile, the EFCC has also handed over 14 properties initially forfeited to the Federal government to the government of Enugu State.

The transfer of the properties to Enugu State governor, Dr Peter Mba was performed by the EFCC Chairman at the corporate headquarters of the Commission.

Speaking before the brief handover ceremony, Olukoyede who disclosed that the road to the forfeiture dated back to 2007, stated that event spoke of the mutually beneficial relationship  existing  between the federal government and states.

“What we are witnessing today testifies to a symbiotic relationship that should exist between the federal government and the state governments. The essence of our meeting here today is for us to handover properties that were forfeited to the federal government, which of course belong to Enugu State people back to the people. It shows that governance can work in Nigeria. Our people deserve the benefits of good governance and that is what is being evidenced here today.”

Speaking further, he said, “If you look at the history of this particular matter, it takes us back to 2007 when we started the prosecution. So we are looking at about 17 years since the matter has been on.

“Eventually some of the properties were forfeited and since then, the EFCC has been managing those properties even though the titles of quite a number of the properties have been revoked by the Enugu State government. What we are witnessing here today is the official handing over of the properties to the people of Enugu State through His Excellency, Dr Peter Mba,” Olukoyede said.

Earlier in his remarks, Governor Ubah expressed gratitude for the  handover and thanked the EFCC chair and the Commission for ensuring that the people of his state reclaimed their common patrimony.

“I would like to express my profound gratitude for the event we are witnessing today. The importance and significance of this event can never be lost on us and we do not also take it for granted.

“So I want to take this opportunity to convey my profound gratitude and deep appreciation to the chairman and members of the EFCC team that have brought us to where we are today.

“This is a journey that began several years ago and we are marking a formal closure to that journey here today.  A journey that saw the successful prosecution of certain companies in possession of assets belonging to the people of Enugu State.”

The Governor who noted that the properties were forfeited not to his state but to the federal government expressed gratitude to President Bola Tinubu for making it possible for them to be returned to the government and people of Enugu State.

“Those assets were forfeited to the federal government. And this brings me to another gratitude that I want to convey here today. I want to acknowledge and recognise the important role played by the President, His Excellency Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

“Without the proactiveness and speed at which he acted on our request to cede these assets back to the people and government of Enugu State, we wouldn’t have been here today. So I want to thank him most sincerely for granting our request for these assets that were forfeited to the federal government to be ceded back to Enugu State.”

He lauded Olukoyede’s initiatives at making the EFCC a strong institution and cautioned against attempts by some individuals to distract the Commission.

“I will not end this remark without acknowledging the work the EFCC chairman is doing in strengthening this very important institution. It is important that we do not weaken our institutions.

“Whatever we do in governance is transient. So I want to commend him for the efforts he is making in ensuring that this very important institution, the EFCC is strengthened. Thank you very much for all the great work you and your team are doing and particularly for the effort that you have put in to make today a reality,” the Governor stated.

The properties comprise houses, transmission equipment for radio and television stations, a building for medical operations, among others.

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MRS considers voluntary delisting from NGX, to hold EGM

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The management of MRS Oil Nigeria Plc is considering voluntary delisting from the Nigerian Exchange.

The company has called for an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) to make the decisions on the share buyback and voluntary delisting.

The EGM is scheduled to hold at the Civic Centre, Ozumba Mbadiwe Avenue, Victoria Island, Lagos, on May 21, 2024, at 11:00 am according to a corporate disclosure made by the company.

The corporate disclosure reads that the company will meet to transact the following special business:

“To consider, and if thought fit, pass, with or without modification, the following sub-joined resolutions as special resolutions:

“That the voluntary delisting of all the Company’s issued shares from the daily official list of Nigerian Exchange Limited (the ‘Voluntary Delisting’) be and is hereby approved on such terms and conditions (including but not limited to the timing of implementation, arrangements for dissenting shareholders (if any) and the fulfilment of specific conditions precedent to effectiveness (if any), that the Board of Directors of the Company deems appropriate in connection with the Voluntary Delisting; and subject to obtaining all requisite regulatory approvals.

 ”That the Memorandum and Articles of Association (“MemArts”) of the Company be and are hereby amended to authorize the Company to undertake a share buyback and share capital reduction.

“That the Company be and is hereby authorised to undertake a share buyback and share capital reduction in connection with any of its issued shares that may be purchased from dissenting shareholders where necessary as a consequence of the Voluntary Delisting; on such terms and conditions, in such volumes and at such times as the Board deems fit; subject to, and in accordance with, applicable laws and regulations.

“That the company’s MemArts be amended upon completion of the share buyback and share capital reduction to reflect the updated share capital.

“That upon conclusion of the Voluntary Delisting, and whilst the Company remains a public limited liability company, the Board be and is hereby authorised to take all such action as may be required to admit the Company’s shares on the NASD OTC Securities Exchange to ensure that dealings in the Company’s shares are implemented in accordance with the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Rules on Trading in Unlisted Securities.

“That the Board be and is hereby authorised to take all such lawful actions and steps (including but not limited to entering into/executing such agreements and documents, appointing professional advisers and other parties, and complying with directives of any regulatory authority) deemed necessary to give full effect to the above-referenced resolutions.

“That the Company Secretary be and is hereby authorised to make all such filings, take all necessary lawful actions and/or steps to give effect to the above-referenced resolutions and comply with all relevant regulatory requirements.

“A member of the Company entitled to attend and vote at the EGM is entitled to appoint a proxy in his/her/its stead. A proxy need not be a member of the Company. It is important to ensure that all proxy documents are properly stamped by the Commissioner of Stamp Duties and deposited at the Registrar’s Office, First Registrars and Investor Services before the EGM commences.”

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