P&ID Ltd, the Irish firm that was awarded $9.6 billion in arbitration against Nigeria, says it will continue its efforts to identify and seize Nigerian assets “to satisfy the debt”.
The company said if the Nigerian government is serious about negotiating a settlement, it must do so in “good faith” and stop the campaign of “baseless slander and sham investigations” against its founders.
P&ID had gone on arbitration against Nigeria in 2012 following the failure of gas and supply processing agreement (GSPA) contract it signed with the ministry of petroleum resources in January 2010.
In May 2015, Nigeria agreed to pay $850 million in settlement to avoid a liability award but did not follow through.
In July 2015, the country was found liable by the arbitration tribunal for the failure of the project.
In January 2017, P&ID got an award of $6.6 billion for “loss of income” over the 20-year lifespan of the project and $2.3 billion in interests.
Nigeria’s efforts to stop the enforcement have failed so far, with a British court recently dismissing Nigeria’s objections, but the federal government has vowed to go on appeal, describing the project as a fraud and launching a probe of those said to be involved in the “scam”.
Demonstrators stormed the UK high commission in Abuja on Monday demanding a reversal of the judgment.
In the short statement, sent by e-mail to TheCable on Monday, a spokesman for P&ID said: “If the Nigerian government is serious about a willingness to negotiate then it must do so in good faith. The means that the Buhari Administration must acknowledge the reality of the rulings of the independent Tribunal and the English Commercial court, desist from its campaign of baseless slander and sham investigations against P&ID and its founders and instead appoint an authorized party to enter into real negotiations. The coming days will tell if the Nigerian government is serious, or if this is simply another delay tactic. In the meantime, P&ID will continue its efforts to identify and seize Nigerian assets to satisfy the debt.”
Nigeria’s foreign reserves, most of which are domiciled with US and UK banks, as well as oil tankers from the country are at the risk of being seized by P&ID.
Buildings and other physical assets belonging to Nigeria abroad are also at risk.
A former Cross River State Governor Donald Duke on Monday told a Federal High Court in Lagos that he would pay his N537, 334,360.77 debts to Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) in less than 12 hours.
Duke, through his counsel, Mr Edoigiawerie Omoruyi, told Justice Nicholas Oweibo that he had approached AMCON with a promise to liquidate the debt before the end of yesterday, September 2.
He prayed for an adjournment to enable him settle the case out of court.
AMCON, on August 8 through its counsel Juliet Reeds obtained the court’s order to take interim possession of Duke’s Ikoyi home.
The court also authorised AMCON and United Bank for Africa (UBA) to, in the interim, take possession of funds in the accounts of Duke and others in any bank.
The judge made the order pursuant to AMCON and UBA’s August 8, 2019 ex parte application, marked, FHC/L/CS/1373/2019.
The applicants listed Stonehedge Investment Ltd, Duke and his wife, Owanari Bob-Manuel Duke, as first to third defendants in the suit.
When proceedings resumed yesterday at about 2pm, Omoruyi said Duke was willing to liquidate the debt before yesterday’s midnight deadline for repayment of the loan.
AMCON’s counsel Mr Austin Erhabor of Benson Reeds Legal Practitioners, confirmed that Duke approached the corporation with a pledge to pay the debt before the expiration of midnight.
Erhabor added: “In the spirit of trust and fairness, we will concede to an adjournment to enable us finalise the possible settlement.”
Justice Oweibo upheld Duke’s prayer and adjourned till September 11, for a report of settlement.
AMCON and UBA, on August 8` prayed the court for “an order of interim attachment, possession and custody of the property being No. 3, Temple Road, Ikoyi, Lagos.”
They averred that the property was mortgaged by Duke “as collateral in securing the 1st respondent’s indebtedness to the applicants.”
They urged the court to grant them possession of the property “pending the institution and disposal of proceedings for recovery of debt against the respondent, pursuant to Section 49 of the AMCON Act 2010 (as amended).”
They also prayed the court for an interim Mareva injunction to take possession of funds in the accounts of Duke and others in any bank “pending the institutional and disposal of proceedings for the recovery of a debt of N537,334,360.77 made up of the principal debt and interest against the respondents pursuant to Section 50 of AMCON Act 2010.”
The judge granted the prayers, in addition to an order restraining the respondents from “transacting, transferring, changing or howsoever dealing in any manner or interfering with the applicants’ possession” of the Ikoyi property. (NAN)
A Federal High Court in Lagos Monday heard that a former Petroleum Resources Minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke allegedly paid $865,300 in cash for jewellery from a seller on Banana Island, Ikoyi, Lagos.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) told Justice Nicholas Oweibo that Mrs. Alison-Madueke did not acquire the items with her salary or any part of her legitimate income.
The anti-graft agency made the claims while seeking the permanent forfeiture of 2,149 pieces of jewellery and a customised gold iPhone, valued at $40m, recovered from her Abuja home.
But Diezani opposed the commission’s prayer on the ground, among others, that the seizure of the items amounted to a violation of her constitutional right to own property.
The court, on July 5, ordered the temporary forfeiture of 2,149 pieces of jewellery and a customised golden iPhone recovered from Alison-Madueke’s home.
According to the EFCC, which obtained the order, the items were suspected to be bought with illicitly acquired funds.
Justice Oweibo fixed yesterday to hear pending motions.
When the matter was called, prosecuting Counsel Rotimi Oyedepo told the judge that it was in the best interest of justice for the jewellery and the gold iPhone to be permanently forfeited to the Federal Government.
He said the court was empowered to make such forfeiture order under Section 17 of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Related Offence Act 2006, because “the respondent’s known and provable lawful income is far less than the properties sought to be forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria.”
He supported his application with, among others, an affidavit deposed to by an EFCC investigator, Rufai Zaki.
Zaki recalled that Alison-Madueke was appointed Minister of Petroleum Resources on April 12, 2010.
He said EFCC findings showed that she started acquiring the jewellery in 2012 from one Bukola Oyewumi of Trinket Box Bespoke Jewellery at Ikeja City Mall, Alausa, Lagos.
The investigator said the commission was in possession of details of the United Bank for Africa (UBA) account through which Alison-Madueke received her salary as a minister.
“The respondent did not utilise her salary or any part of her legitimate income to acquire the assets sought to be forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria,” Zaki said.
He averred that a “damning intelligence report” received by the EFCC led to a search of Alison-Madueke’s house at No. 10 Fredrick Chiluba Close, Asokoro, Abuja.
Zaki’s said the EFCC invited Oyewumi and she made a statement, saying she started selling jewellery to Diezani in 2012.
According to Zaki, Oyewumi also made available to the EFCC the invoices issued in respect of the jewellery in which ‘Aunty D’ was written as the buyer.
He said the EFCC also discovered that apart from Oyewumi, Alison-Madueke also bought jewellery from one Minal Ratanani of Bella Vista Apartment, Banana Island, Ikoyi, Lagos.
According to him, Ratanani admitted during questioning by the EFCC that Alison-Madueke bought jewellery worth $865,300.00 from her over a period and the former minister paid cash.
But Alison-Madueke, through her counsel, Nnamdi Awa-Kalu, challenged the court’s jurisdiction to hear the suit.
She insisted that the seizure of the items amounted to a violation of her right to property under sections 43 and 44 of the 1999 Constitution and “to appropriate them at her discretion”.
She further contended that the EFCC should not have the power to barge into any Nigerian’s home, seize their property and come to court to claim that the property is illegal.
Mrs. Alison-Madueke, who is said to be under investigation in the United Kingdom (UK), urged the court to reject EFCC’s prayer to permanently forfeit the jewellery and the golden iPhone to the Federal Government.
The former minister contended that the court lacked jurisdiction to grant the interim forfeiture order, besides the EFCC did not charge her with any crime or serve her with any summons.
Following the conclusion of hearing, Justice Oweibo adjourned till September 10, 2019 for ruling.
According to a schedule attached to the application, the jewellery, categorised into 33 sets, include “419 expensive bangles and 315 expensive rings”.
Others are: 304 expensive earrings, 267 expensive necklaces, 189 expensive wristwatches and 174 expensive necklaces and earrings.
The rest are: 78 expensive bracelets, 77 expensive brooches and 74 expensive pendants. (The Nation)
As Nigeria continues to drive at an improved economy, experts at the next NECCI PR Roundtable are set to provide practical suggestions and solutions for a pragmatic approach to success for the country. Nkechi Ali-Balogun, the Chief Executive Officer at NECCI Limited gave this assurance as the company announced plans for the 19th edition of the NECCI PR Roundtable in Lagos.
According to Ali-Balogun, diversification of the Nigeria economy and optimally utilizing the country’s potentials are ready-made solutions for bringing out Nigeria from what appears to be an economic slumber. The roundtable will hold on Friday, October 17, 2019 at the Four Points by Sheraton in Victoria Island, Lagos.
“The theme for the 19th edition of the NECCI PR is “Awakening the Blue Giant: Catalyzing the Growth of Nigeria’s Maritime Economy through Public Relations”. Several studies have shown that with the potentials in the maritime sector, all we need to do as a people and government is to put in an effective strategy and be committed to an effective execution of such strategies. That would ensure that we fully tap into the economic benefits of the blue giant; the sleeping but sometimes restless oceans surrounding us”, Ali-Balogun said.
She added that “we have been so dependent on oil for a long time. However, the present global economic situation appears not to be in favour of what is gradually becoming a dangerous dependence on a mono-economy. However, to ensure that all stakeholders align and contribute their quota towards achieving the objectives of diversified economy, the communication must be right within the scope of effective public relations by the government”.
Consequently, discussants at the event will explore the potentials of Nigeria’s Maritime Economy, Study the Challenges and Proffer sustainable solutions that will engender greater influx of Foreign Direct Investment into the Maritime Sector. The Roundtable will create strategies through which a systemic transformation of the maritime sector will be achieved through the methodologies of public relations.
The Lead paper will be presented by His Excellency, Dr. Benedict Oramah, President of the African Export-Import Bank, AFREXIM, Cairo, Egypt. The Chairman of the occasion is none other than the highly dynamic Director-General of NIMASA, Ama Okusenibo Dakulu Peterside. A special panel on “Creating Synergies towards Catalyzing a Government and Private Sector Driven Development of the Nigerian Blue Economy” will feature panelists will including the Executive Secretary/CEO, Shippers Council, Hassan Bello, Femi Awoyemi, MD Proshare, Mr. Bashir Jamoh, Executive Director, NIMASA, Dr. Jumoke Kassim, Executive Director, Earthshield International Foundation, Squadron Leader Ibikunle Daramola among other distinguished personalities
Since its inception in the year 2000, the NECCI PR Roundtable has helped broker the assimilation of global trends within the Nigerian Public Relations sector by opening the eyes of critical stakeholders to case studies from around the world from which the country may tap experiences. Past Speakers include but not exhausted; The Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, Professor PLO Lumumba of Kenya, His Excellency Donald Duke, Dr. Oby Ezekwesili, Mrs Ibukun Awosika, Mr Femi Awoyemi.
Dino Melaye, Nigerian politician and member of the eighth senate, has hosted seven evicted housemates who featured in the 2019 edition of the Big Brother Naija (BBNaija) reality TV show at his Abuja home.
The team of ex-housemates including Gedoni; Jackye; KimOprah; Ella; Joe; Nelson and Jeff, were at Melaye’s Abuja residence on Saturday, August 31, 2019.
The senator, who represents the Kogi west senatorial district, took to his social media platforms to share a clip of himself alongside the reality TV stars.
He also thanked the team for the visit.
“Thank you evicted BBN crew for coming around today,” he wrote.
In August, the Kogi state national assembly/state assembly election tribunal had sacked Melaye as the senator representing Kogi west.
It also ordered a fresh election in the senatorial district over claims made by Smart Adeyemi, the candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in the February 26 election.
Adeyemi had approached the tribunal and challenged Melaye’s victory on the grounds that there were cases of irregularities including over-voting and non-compliance with the electoral act.
“We’ve decided to fight the results of the elections in the tribunal court because constitutional injustices must not be allowed to stand,” Adeyemi wrote.
Melaye, while reacting to the tribunal’s decision, said there was no cause for alarm. He added that efforts are already in place to appeal the judgement in court and secure his mandate.
Pay television operator, MultiChoice, has announced the return of its “Step Up” for its DStv and GOtv customers
The Step Up offer, which runs from Monday, 2 September to Thursday, 31 October, provides subscribers on both platforms the opportunity to subscribe to a higher viewing package and get upgraded to the package above that.
The offer is designed to give all active and disconnected DStv Compact, Family and Access customers the opportunity to pay for a package a step above their current package and get a boost to view programming on an even higher package.
Also, active and disconnected GOtv customers, especially those on GOtv Plus, Value and Lite packages, are opportune to upgrade to GOtv Max and have access to quality programming on the package.
Martin Mabutho, Chief Customer Officer, MultiChoice Nigeria, said the campaign, which ran initially from 15 January until 15 April 2019, is back just in time for customers on lower DStv and GOtv packages to enjoy all the exciting content lined up on higher packages at reduced costs.
“When we launched this first-of-its-kind offer back in January, the objective was to give our customers the opportunity to experience great entertainment on DStv and GOtv packages they normally would not have been on. The campaign was well received by our customers, and we are pleased to announce a second instalment of the offer,” Mabutho said.
Explaining the details of the offer, Mabutho said DStv customers currently on the Access package who pay N4,000 for Family package will get boosted to view programmes on the Compact package, while customers currently on the Family package who pay N6,800 for Compact package will be given Compact Plus package. Likewise, Compact customers who pay N10,650 for Compact Plus package will, in turn, get Premium package programming.
Also, customers on GOtv Plus, Value and Lite will get upgraded to GOtv Max when they pay a reduced fee of N2,600 while GOtv bridges the gap with a N600 ‘top up’. GOtv Max customers can also take advantage of this limited-time offer to renew their subscription for N2,600. This campaign offer is open to both active and disconnected DStv and GOtv customers with all upgrades taking effect within 48 hours.
Subscribers who upgrade to DStv Premium, DStv Compact Plus and GOtv Max will have unlimited access to games of the 2019/2020 football season of the Spanish LaLiga and Italian Serie A. Similarly, selected games of the English Premier League and the UEFA Champions League, Europe’s elite club football competition would also be broadcast live.
Also on offer are the 24-hour WWE SuperSlam pop-up channel and the UFC, the world’s premier mixed martial arts (MMA) event, available to DStv subscribers.
Quality African entertainment is not left out for subscribers as brand new local shows and series, surprise pop up channels, including award-winning international series and blockbuster movies, would be shown on all Africa Magic channels, BET, FOX Entertainment, StarLife, ROK 2 and CBS Reality amongst others.
The Step-Up offer is open to both active and disconnected customers on DStv Access, Family and Compact while customers on GOtv Lite, Value, Plus and Max are also eligible for participation.
Brilliant outings from their representatives raised the stakes and pushed Ogun, Osun and Kaduna states into the semi-finals of the on-going Season 5 of the Cowbellpedia Secondary Schools Mathematics Television Quiz Show sponsored by Cowbell Milk, the flagship brand of Promasidor Nigeria Limited.
In the junior category preliminary Group D contest last weekend, Master Alonge Esmond of Scholars Universal College, Ota, Ogun State and Sirajo Salihi Mohammed of the Nigerian Tulip International College, Kaduna boys , Kaduna State smashed the barrier to cross into the semi-finals.
The duo shrugged off the fierce challenge from Azubuko Ekene from Baptist High School, Nagaruta, Jos, Plateau State; and Nwakpu Augustine, a student of Community Secondary School, Amana, Ebonyi State.
Others contestants who fell by the way side include Okwuego Ugochukwu of the Nigerian Tulip International College for Boys, Abuja and Olaogun Doyin from Petoa City College, Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State.
The senior category battle produced Famuyiwa Henry of Model Secondary School Alagbaka, Akure, Ondo State and Olabisi Ilesanmi Hezekiah, a student of Bibo Oluwa Academy, Ilesha, Osun State as semi-finalists.
The feat by the duo left four of their counterparts out of the contest. These include Chibueze Okejiri from Marist Brothers’ Juniorate, Uturu, Abia State; Mohammed Isa from Quintessential College, Ibadan, Oyo State; Ogundele Favour of Chapel Secondary School, Ilorin, Kwara State and Okario Michael of Glory Kids Academy, Kaduna, Kaduna State.
Alonge who garnered 125 points to advance, aspires to become a Computer Engineer and habours high expectation of winning the ultimate prize. “I seriously desire to win. If I win, I will keep the money for my education,” he said.
Famuyiwa was confident of his chances to become the champion, adding that his expectation is nothing short of the ultimate prize to honour his school and his parents.
The quiz show which will run for 13 weeks is divided into nine preliminary stages and three semi-finals before the grand finale in November 2019. The organisers also promised that this year’s edition would be more educative and fun-filled as Cowbellpedia is committed to “nurturing great inventors”.
Aside the N2 million grand prize, Managing Director of Promasidor Nigeria Limited, Mr. Anders Einarsson disclosed that the winner in each of categories, (junior and senior) will enjoy an all-expense paid educational excursion outside the country at the end of the initiative.
In addition, the first and second runners-up in each category will receive N1.5 million and N1 million respectively, while the teachers of the top prize winners will be awarded N500, 000. Those of the first and second runners-up will receive N400, 000 and N300, 000 respectively.
The 2019 edition of Cowbellpedia Secondary Schools Mathematic TV Quiz continues this weekend. It will be aired on DSTV Africa Magic Family Channel, AIT Network and other six television stations across the country.
Africa’s leading financial institution, United Bank for Africa Plc has announced its audited half year financial results for the period ended June 2019, showing impressive growth across key performance indices as well as a significant contribution from its African subsidiaries.
In spite of the increasingly unpredictable environment witnessed in some of its countries of operations, the pan African financial institution delivered double digit growth in its profit before tax as it rose by 21 per cent to N70.3bn for the half year to June 2019, up from N58.1bn recorded in the similar period of 2018, just as the Profit after Tax also improved to N56.7 billion, a 29.6 percent growth compared to N43.8 billion achieved in the corresponding period of 2018. The profit for the first half of the year, translated to an annualised return on average equity of 21.7 per cent.
According to its results filed with the Nigerian Stock Exchange, UBA recorded a 14 percent year-on-year rise in top-line, with gross earnings of N293.7 billion, compared to N257.9 billion recorded in the corresponding period of 2018. Analysts say that this result emphasises the capacity of the Group to deliver a strong performance through economic cycles in spite of the overall challenging business environment.
As at 30 June 2019, the Bank’s Total Assets grew by 4.8% crossing the N5 trillion mark to N5.10 trillion. Customer Deposits also rose by 4.8 per cent to N3.51 trillion, compared to N3.35 trillion as at December 2018. This growth trajectory underscores UBA’s market share gain, as it increasingly wins customers through its revitalized customer service culture coupled with innovative digital banking offerings. The bank’s Shareholders’ Funds remained strong at N542.5 billion, reflecting its strong capacity for internal capital generation.
In line with its culture of paying both interim and final cash dividend, the Board of Directors of UBA Plc declared an interim dividend of N0.20 per share for every ordinary share of N0.50 each held by its shareholders.
Commenting on the results, the Group Managing Director/CEO, United Bank for Africa Plc (UBA), Mr. Kennedy Uzoka said: “I am pleased with the half performance of the Group, having delivered 14% growth in gross earnings and 21% growth in profit before tax. Despite the subdued yield environment in some of our large markets, we achieved a 9% growth in interest income and defended the net interest margin. We also achieved a 39% growth in our electronic banking revenues, as we broaden and deepened our digital banking play across Africa. Revenues from our remittance and funds transfer businesses grew 69% and 53% respectively. All these factors attest to the efficacy of our strategies and the resilience of our business model.”
He further stated “I am very optimistic that the ongoing Group-wide transformation program, will in the quarters ahead, enable the Bank deliver substantial operational efficiencies and best-in-class customer service, which will ultimately boost earnings. We sustained our asset quality with the NPL ratio down to 5.62%, from 6.45% as at 2018FY. We will continue to adopt best practice standards to grow and manage the portfolio in the quarters ahead.”
Also speaking on UBA’s results, the Group CFO, Ugo Nwaghodoh said; “We had a strong start in the year given the prevailing macroeconomic environment across our various markets. There is better diversification in profit contribution as our banking subsidiaries across Africa contributed 38% of the profit before tax, whilst our recently repositioned UK business contributed 4%. We expect this dispersion to continue, as the subsidiaries consolidate on their share of the various markets.”
“I am particularly delighted that the key ratios are trending in the right direction. The net interest margin is trending upwards and will continue to improve as we responsibly grow the risk asset portfolio and realign the funding mix to lower our cost of funds. The cost-to-income ratio trended down to 60% with our focus on balance sheet and operational efficiencies which should enable us deliver our medium term CIR target. Capital adequacy ratio increased to 28% from 23.6% in December 2018, providing a very strong buffer for asset growth,” he stated.
United Bank for Africa, Africa’s global bank, was founded 70 years ago in Nigeria and today, operates in 20 African countries and in the United Kingdom, the USA and with presence in France. UBA serves over 17 million customers across the globe with more than 1000 branches and touch points. In 2018, the bank received the award of Africa’s Best Digital Bank by the Banker’s magazine.
Despite the country’s challenging and fiercely competitive business environment, Fidelity Bank Plc delivered a solid financial performance in the first half of 2019, recording double-digit growth in key revenue lines whilst achieving significant traction in digital banking uptake.
Details of the audited half-year result for the period ended June 30, 2019, released at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) on Thursday showed a 15.7 percent rise in Profit Before Tax (PBT) from N13.0 billion in the earlier period to N15.1 billion in the reporting period. Profit After Tax (PAT) rose by 15.6 percent to close at N13.6 billion from N11.8 billion recorded in 2018, whilst gross earnings increased by 12.3 percent from N92.3 billion to N103.7 billion. In other indices, Total Assets rose by 12.8 percent to N1.940.2bn from N1,719.9bn in the previous period.
Total Deposits; a measure of customer confidence, increased by 12.0 percent to close at N1,097.0 trillion from N979.4 billion in 2018 Financial Year (FY).
Commenting on the results, Fidelity Bank CEO, Mr. Nnamdi Okonkwo expressed delight with the bank’s financial performance. According to Okonkwo, the bank remained focused on the execution of its medium-term strategic goals and targets for the 2019FY whilst promising that the bank would continue to sustain the momentum and deliver another strong set of results for the 9M 2019. He said, “Gross Earnings increased by 12.3 percent to N103.7bn driven by a 52.4 percent growth in our fee-based income and a 7.2 percent growth in Interest Income. Digital Banking, Okonkwo stated has continued to gain traction driven by new initiatives in retail lending segment and increased cross-selling of its digital banking products.
“We now have 45.0 percent of our customers enrolled in the bank’s mobile/internet banking products, 82.0 percent of total transactions now done on digital platforms and 29.0 percent of fee-based income now coming from digital banking”, he added. The Fidelity CEO pointed out that retail loans were steadily on the rise after the launch of the bank’s new digital lending product dubbed Fidelity Fastloan, further adding that the bank has deepened lending partnerships with select Financial Technology (FinTechs) companies.
Buoyed essentially by innovative digital technologies, Fidelity Bank’s retail strategy has become a major game-changer for the business. This was again evident in the H1 2019 results as savings deposits now account for about 22.6 percent of total deposits – a clear sign of the bank’s increasing market share in the retail segment. “We are on course to achieving the 6th consecutive year of double-digit savings growth”, he stated.
Total Deposits however increased by 12.0 percent to N1,097.0bn from N979.4bn driven by double-digit growth in both local and foreign currency deposits. Non-performing Loans (NPLs) Ratio improved to 5.4 percent from 5.7 percent in the 2018FY due to the growth in the loan book. With regulatory ratios such as the Capital Adequacy Ratio at 17.0 percent, Liquidity Ratio at 34.8 percent, well above required threshold, Okonkwo was optimistic that the bank will sustain this sterling performance in the second half of the year.
Fidelity Bank is a full-fledged commercial bank operating in Nigeria with over 4 million customers who are served across its 240 business offices and various digital banking channels. The bank which focuses on select niche corporate banking sectors as well as Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), has in recent times won accolades as the Best SME Friendly Bank, Best in Mobile Banking and the Most Improved Corporate/Investment Bank among several industry awards and recognition.