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Ooni lauds Brazilian President, pledges African support

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…As Brazilian Minister appreciates Ooni

Jeleel Olawale

The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, CFR, Ojaja II, has lauded the new President of Brazil, Luiz Inácio LULA da Silva, for his love for the African people and his vow to integrate Afro-Brazilians in the inner system of his government, saying this will be unprecedented in the lives of Afro-Brazilians for which the Africans will give his government unflinching support.

Ooni, who is the co-chairman of the National Council of Traditional Rulers of Nigeria (NCTRN) made this assertion during the inauguration of the President at Brasilia, Brazil’s capital on Sunday.

Oba Adeyeye, who was represented by a 4-man delegation led by his Director of Media & Public Affairs, Otunba Moses Olafare, addressed Brazilians and world media at the occasion.

“His Majesty, the Ooni of Ife is delighted to have been invited to this epoch event for the inauguration of president LULA, who is our in-law in Africa. The Ooni of Ife who represents the African monarchy which is the world’s oldest monarchy would have been here himself but because today coincides with some Oduduwa Festival activities in Ile-Ife, the cradle of mankind, he decided to send us here,” Otunba Olafare said.

On the significance of the emergence of Lula, Olafare praised the new Brazilian leader for his pan-African speech in which he vowed to work for the masses, the African Brazilians, and productively partner with the African continent for development, especially in the area of cultural tourism and traditional religion.

“Well, the new president is a man of the masses, he’s a lover of Africa and as you may have heard him in his inaugural address here today, he has the plan to engage in productive partnership with the African continent and ensure adequate participation of the African Brazilians in his government administration.

“This, to us, is very significant, don’t forget that Africans represent not less than 60 per cent of the population in Brazil, so, if that’s what he has come to do, then, the entire African people worldwide will support him, if the government is about the masses here, it means that government is for Africa.

“Of course, Lula has always been one of us in Africa, that’s why you see that the continent is well represented here today; Angola, Ghana, South Africa, Tanzania, Kenya, Nigeria, and the rest.

“We are also here as a royal delegation representing the African monarchy which is the oldest monarchy in the world to identify with Brazil, particularly the LULA’s presidency which promises to focus on the masses and African partnership, and we are in tune with that,” Olafare said.

Olafare earlier held a meeting with two Federal Legislators who were members of President LULA’s inauguration committee; Hon. Regiment Luiz Otoni Santa Barbara, representing the State of Rio de Janeiro, Promoter of Twin City Law between Rio & Ile-Ife, and Hon. João Miguel representing Minas Gerais State at the National Assembly in Brasilia before leading the Ooni’s delegation to the venue of President Lula’s inauguration ceremony.

Accompanied by the House of Oduduwa’s Ambassador to Brazil & South America, Mr. Ajoyemi Osunleye, Ooni’s Liaison Officer in Brazil, Carolina Maira Morais, and Emese Seun Arasanmi, bearer of the Ooni’s Symbolic Royal Staffstick.

Similarly, Professor Silvio de Almeida who was inaugurated as Minister of Human Rights & Citizenship of Brazil appreciated Ooni for attending the swearing-in ceremony.

“Oh, my God! You were sent by my home continent to witness my swearing-in ceremony as Brazilian Minister in charge of human rights and citizenship. This indeed is the greatest of all the gifts I’ve gotten today.

“Please tell our people back home that President Lula is a Pan-Africanist who is ready to support Africa. Please tell them that he has now made one of them the minister in charge of human rights and citizenship and please assure the King, Ooni of Ife.

“I will not let him and my home continent down as I will use the necessary constitutional power given me by my President to protect the rights of our people and protect our traditional religions just the same way the rights of all peoples of Brazil and their respective religions will be adequately protected,” the Minister said.

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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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