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PepsiCo Appoints Segun Agbaje as Board Member

Managing Director of Guaranty Trust Bank of Nigeria (GTBank) Plc, Segun Agbaje, has been elected as an independent member of the board of directors of PepsiCo, the American owners of popular beverage, Pepsi and Moutain Dew.

A press release by PepsiCo on Tuesday stated that Mr Agbaje, 56, will join the board and the audit committee effective July 15, 2020.

PepsiCo chairman and CEO, Ramon Laguarta, expressed delight in welcoming Agbaje to the PepsiCo board.

“Segun is a well-respected and proven business leader with a deep understanding of complex businesses and fast-growing markets, particularly Sub-Saharan Africa where we recently acquired Pioneer Foods as part of our strategy to expand in the region. His experience in business transformation and passion for delivering consumer value will serve PepsiCo well as we continue our journey to be the global leader in convenient foods and beverages by winning with purpose,” Laguarta said.

The chairman of PepsiCo’s board’s Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee, Daniel Vasells, said: “We look forward to Segun joining the PepsiCo Board and to the valued global perspective he will add to our team..His knowledge and experience of embracing and scaling new technologies and critical capabilities will be valuable as we continue to invest in opportunities that create shareholder value and deliver long-term sustainable growth.”

Agbaje also currently serves as a director of MasterCard Advisory Board Middle East and Africa.

He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting and a master’s in Business Administration from the University of San Francisco.

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UBA Group Announces Appointment of Deputy Managing Directors for Nigeria and Africa

United Bank for Africa Plc (UBA) has announced the appointments of Ayoku Liadi and Oliver Alawuba as deputy managing directors in charge of its Nigeria and Africa businesses respectively.

The creation of the new positions, reporting to Group CEO, Kennedy Uzoka, represents further strategic recognition of the growth of UBA’s pan-African business, now representing in excess of 40 per cent of group revenue, and the critical importance of Nigeria, the group’s largest market.

Commenting on the appointments, Group Chairman, Tony Elumelu, said: “In 2005, we set out our pan-African vision. Fifteen years later, we are present in 20 African countries, serving over 20 million clients, leveraging our service culture and technology platform, to provide an integrated and seamless customer offering across the continent.

“In Africa, we lead in innovation and service, whilst our International Business, operating from New York, Paris and London, provides global and African clients access to treasury, trade finance and corporate banking products, uniquely tailored to the African opportunity. These senior appointments represent our commitment to optimise our management structure to best serve our clients and drive our business success.”

Mr Alawuba has worked with the UBA Group for almost 20 years and was appointed in January 2020 as CEO for the Group’s Africa operations. He previously held the role as CEO of UBA in Ghana and more recently, as Regional CEO for UBA in Anglophone Africa.

Mr Liadi, on the other hand, joined the UBA Group in 2014 and was appointed the executive director of Lagos and West bank in Nigeria, two years later. Ayo is widely recognised for his innovation in driving business development.

Also announced by the UBA Group Board is the retirement of Dan Okeke from the board with effect from August 01, 2020.

Mr Okeke has been with the UBA Group for 22 years. He served on the board as an executive director for three terms and a total of nine years.

Mr Elumelu said: “Dan was born for UBA. He has worked tirelessly for the Group and achieved so much in the past two decades. We will miss him, but he will still be very much around us.”

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JUST IN: OPay Confirms It Is Shutting Down ORide, OCar, OFood

Ride-hailing platform, OPay, has announced it is suspending some of its Nigerian operations including ORide, OCar and OExpress.

In a statement on Thursday, the company said it is pausing some of its operations “due to the harsh business conditions which have affected many Nigerian companies, including ours, during this COVID-19 pandemic, the lockdown and the government ban.”

OPay is part of several ride-hailing platforms which have suffered losses due to the ban on tricycles and motorcycles in some parts of Lagos.

“During the pandemic, we have seen continued demand for our offline mobile money agency, and online digital payment, which remain the core of our business,” it said.

The company assured it will continue to grow and invest in the e-commerce space.

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NPA Tackles Whistle-Blower Over $1bn Secret Account Claim

The management of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has refuted allegations that it operates a secret account containing over $1 billion with Unity Bank Plc.

A man identified as John Okpurhe had petitioned President Muhammadu Buhari, accusing the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, of refusing to reward him over the supposed revelation.

In a statement on Monday by NPA spokesman, Jatto Adams, the authority said the account number 0013680344 which Mr Okpurhe alleged the NPA operated with Unity Bank did not exist as evidenced by a letter from the bank.

“The NPA operates an account with Unity Bank Plc with account number: 0013670344 with a total sum of $1,057,772.03 (One Million, Fifty-Seven Thousand, Seven Hundred and Seventy-Two Dollars, Three Cents) as of December 4, 2019, and not $1,034,515,000.00 (One Billion, Thirty-Four Million, Five Hundred and Fifteen Thousand United State Dollars) as alleged by the petitioner,” the statement read.

“The authority hereby states that allegation that it operates such an account is untrue.

“However, the NPA account has not been in operation since August 27, 2010 due to a Suit No: FHC/L/CS/582/2010 GARNISHEE ORDER NISI in AMINU IBRAHIM & CO & ANOR. VS. NIGERIAN PORTS AUTHORITY where a garnishee order was placed on it following a case, which went from the Federal High Court to the Supreme Court over a period of eight years.

“Upon the determination of the case at the Supreme Court, the judgment creditors continued with the Garnishee process which resulted in the credit of the amount $1,057,772.03 (One Million, Fifty-Seven Thousand, Seven Hundred and Seventy-Two Dollars, Three Cents) in favour of Suit No: FHC/L/CS/582/2010 GARNISHEE ORDER NISI- AMINU IBRAHIM & CO & ANOR. VS. NIGERIAN PORTS AUTHORITY on December 4th 2019 in line with the Garnishee Order absolute.

“It is therefore obvious that there is no cloned account as speculated in the alleged whistle blowing effort of Mr. Okpurhe.

“The account under discussion was frozen on the strength of a court order in August 2010, following the completion of the case; the money was consequently transferred to the judgment creditor on December 4, 2019 in line with the Garnishee Order Absolute.”

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FBNHoldings Wins World Finance Best Corporate Governance In Nigeria Award

FBN Holdings Plc has won the 2020 Best Corporate Governance in Nigeria Award by the World Finance.

World Finance is renowned for its comprehensive coverage and analysis of the global financial services industry, international business, and the global economy.

FBN Holdings Plc is winning this award for the second consecutive year on the back of its strong corporate governance practices and outstanding leadership in the Nigerian financial services industry.

Commenting on the award on behalf of FBNHoldings, its Group Managing Director, UK Eke, said: “Winning the award in quick succession is a demonstration of not only the strength of our corporate governance practices but also its resilience. As a holding company, we emphasize the highest standards in corporate governance across all operating entities in our quest to deliver value to our numerous stakeholders.”

For the past 13 years, World Finance has been celebrating corporate achievements in the areas of corporate governance, innovation, and market leadership in the financial services sector across all the regions of the world.

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First Bank Donates 20,000 Digital Devices to LASG to Support E-Learning

First Bank of Nigeria Limited on Thursday donated 20,000 digital devices to public schools in Lagos to improve e-learning.

The devices were personally handed over to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu by the bank’s Chief Executive Officer, Adesola Adeduntan, at a ceremony held at the State House in Marina.

With the gesture, Mr Sanwo-Olu said the state had found a “real development partner” in FirstBank, noting that the intervention came at a time the government was massively deploying technology to transform the conventional mode of teaching and learning.

While pointing out that the gesture touched the heart of his administration’s vision to leverage technology in delivering quality education, the governor said the digital tools supplied by the bank would further scale up interventions already rolled out in education sector, while also raising the capacity of the government to achieve its vision.

He said: “When we were developing our vision to change the face of education in Lagos, we knew from the outset that we could not achieve much progress in improving the quality of learning without using technology as a strong enabler. So, it is not out of place that we are witnessing more infusion of technology in learning and this intervention by First Bank could not have come at a better time.

“It feels great when you have people and organisations share in your vision and working with you to realise it. I’m glad to say that we have found a real development partner in First Bank, which has supported us to actualise the vision we have signed to achieve. Many years back, nobody foresaw Coronavirus (COVID-19) would come and disrupt our ways of life. These devices will be useful to our pupils in the current circumstances we have found ourselves.

“First Bank and all technical partners that worked on this project have written their names in the heart of students that will be using the device to learn. They will be forever grateful for passing future to them.”

With schools still shut across the state due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Sanwo-Olu said the devices would be useful to keep school children busy and focused on their studies, while the government and stakeholders meet to agree on protocols for re-opening of schools.

He said the donation of the tools would engender a win-win situation in the state’s education sector, as teachers, students and education partners would benefit from the output of the tech tools.

He said: “As a Government, we understand that partnership cannot be one-sided. We will be supporting the First Bank’s CSR to achieve a win-win situation to make teachers, pupils and stakeholders happy. We shall be ramping up the number of devices delivered by the First Bank, so that other partners can support the initiative.”

Sanwo-Olu charged Commissioner for Education, Tutors-General and heads of the Education Districts across the state to deploy the devices with the desire to achieve improved learning outcome.

Adeduntan said the bank sealed the partnership with Lagos Government to support public schools with one million digital learning tools, given disruption of education occasioned by the outbreak of COVID-19, which led to closure of schools across the state.

He said the 20,000 tools donated in the first tranche of the supply was an indication of the bank’s commitment towards supporting the government’s education vision. He promised the bank would ramp up the number of the devices in the coming month.

He said: “As the oldest bank in Nigeria, First Bank is woven into the fabric of the society. We carefully selected this CSR and extended our resources to this project, which we believe will directly benefit the people and the vulnerable.”

Commissioner for Education, Folashade Adefisayo, described the intervention as “new mileage” for the state, noting that a number of private firms had reached out to the government for technical and learning support.

Sherifat Umar, a Senior Secondary School (SSS) 2 pupil of Elegbata Senior High School in Apogbon, who represented beneficiaries at the event, said the devices would aid pupils to advance in their academics while at home.

She hailed the state government and First Bank for not allowing the academic disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic to delay their education.

The digital learning tools is a KaiOS enabled mobile phones, using free mobile data provided by MTN. The devices have Road to Education (RODUCATE) applications installed on them to allow users learn from all approved curricula.

The tools also have restrictive apps that will prevent other usage apart from study. They also have parental controls keys.

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Bala-Usman: NPA To Save Nigeria multimillion Dollars By Promoting Local Dry-Docking

Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Hadiza Bala Usman, has stated that the NPA will save the country multimillion dollars spent on ship repairs abroad if vessel owners dry-dock their vessels in Nigeria.

She disclosed this while speaking at a webinar on Wednesday titled, “COVID-19 and the Nigerian Maritime Sector: Lessons and Way Forward,” organised by maritime lawyer, Mike Igbokwe.

According to her, “NPA has given a waiver for vessels that are meant for servicing and dry-docking and this has enabled vessel owners to competitively dry-dock in Nigeria. This is important for us to build that sector and retain jobs in Nigeria. We have done our bit in promoting that sector and I call on the associations to bring up any other areas where government can intervene and help keep that business in Nigeria and develop skill to retain job and grow the industry.”

She also said the NPA will discuss with ship owners on the issues of applicable policies around berthing of vessels in the West African region, stressing that the NPA is keen to resolve the matter in a timely manner.

She also called for the lifting of the order to detain vessels from countries with over 1,000 COVID-19 cases.

The Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 had directed a close watch on countries with high rate of infection, as flights were banned from countries with over 1,000 cases.

The NPA boss said crew members from the vessels are those who ought be detained to check the spread of the virus, and not the vessels themselves.

“We need to remain at alert, conscious and dynamic enough to go with the flow however it goes. But importantly to ensure that the gateway to the economy is to ensure that the ports remain open, recognising that the flow of infection into the country is not the vessel that has the infection as it were. It is not to detain vessels,” she said.

“Some of the submissions that we have had from the presidential task force around having vessels wait for 14 days from any country that has above 1,000 infection. We have been engaging with the PTF to lift that because almost every sub-region has passed these numbers.

“So we cannot say vessels should now stay for an additional 14 days. This is a big concern that has been ongoing with shipping companies.

“I keep saying that it is better for us to have those around the crew because the crew could be the ones that have any form of infection as it were, and ports health and NCDC have the necessary protocol applicable to that.”

Usman added that efforts are in top gear to ensure that a single-window cargo clearing platform is established in the nation’s seaports in order to drive efficient and automated port operations needed at this time of the outbreak of coronavirus pandemic.

According to her, the establishment of a single-window would ensure that Nigeria has less human interventions in cargo clearing system.

“We are pushing to ensure that this automation is deployed within the shortest period to reduce cost for port users. Though, the critical component of this platform lies with the Nigeria Customs Service,” she said.

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Aeroflot: passengers must change face masks every three hours inflight

Russian carrier Aeroflot has published new guidelines for travel on its flights in the light of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The airline says that passengers and crew must wear face masks for the duration of their flight (crew will also be required to wear gloves), and passengers must replace these with fresh masks every three hours. It’s not clear how this will be enforced inflight, but Aeroflot said that masks will be provided by crew if needed

Prior to boarding passengers will be offered hand sanitiser, and during flights all “outerwear” must be stored in overhead bins. The carrier said that “It is prohibited to take out outerwear during the flight without notifying cabin crew and unless there is a justified reason to do so”.

Seatbelts must be kept fastened at all times inflight, and passengers will only be allowed to leave their seats in order to use the lavatories (which will be regularly disinfected during flights).

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Dancer Kaffy Loses Grandmother

The grandmother of dancer, Kafayat Ameh, popularly known as Kaffy, has died at the age of 82.

Kaffy, 39, made this known on Instagram on Monday.

“Mama has gone to Rest! #82,” she wrote.

Kaffy’s mother died of an eye infection in March 2015.

“I remember every smile I remember every wink of your eye I remember how you move and turn heads in parties I remember how heavy you were with my brother in your womb yet you organised the best one year birthday for me.

“I remember the good, the bad, the wealth of experience. I remember a lot more than tears will allow my shaking hands write. And I thank you, for everything has made me who I am today. It hurts that this day has come sooner than expected but God knows best. Rest well as you are now in His care forever. Goodbye Mum. My dance queen,” she wrote in an Instagram tribute to her.

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Firstbank Cardholders Record N1.18trn In Transactions Value During Lockdown

First Bank of Nigeria Limited says Nigerians with its cards used them 105 million times to make payments or withdrawals worth about N1.18 trillion throughout the lockdown.

FirstBank’s Chief Executive Officer, Adesola Adeduntan, also disclosed that the bank’s 53, 000 agents across the country processed about N512 billion worth of transactions with differing values while the lockdown lasted.

He noted that the bank was “able to actively support her customers, their families and businesses through these challenging times.”

Adeduntan further noted that approximately 12.6 million withdrawals to the tune of N156 billion were carried out across FirstBank’s ATMs nationwide.

“Our customers made transfers over 106 million times with a total value of about N8.18 Trillion across our digital channels. We have also recorded over 275,000 new sign-ups to alternative channels covering our Firstmobile, USSD and First-Online platforms,” he said.

While calling on lovers of stress-free banking to get on board, the FirstBank CEO assured existing customers of the bank’s relentless efforts to ensure that banking transactions continue seamlessly, adding that COVID-19 will not slow down her activities and efforts at staying true to her brand promise to her customers.

FirstBank cards come in a wide range of categories, each fulfilling tasks which are flexible, offer comfort and stress-free banking.

The range of cards available to customers of FirstBank are categorised into three broad groups — Debit, Credit and Prepaid cards. The grouping covers outstanding cards offerings such as Naira MasterCard, Verve Card and the pioneering Visa Multi-Currency Card.

Others are Expressions MasterCard, Platinum MasterCard, Visa Infinite Credit Card, Visa Gold Credit Card, Naira Credit Cards (Visa Classic and Platinum), Visa Prepaid Card and Verve Prepaid Card.

FirstBank’s Naira MasterCard and Verve Card are secured by Chip and PIN technology with local POS/Web limit increase available upon request. The Naira denominated MasterCard comes with various benefits such as online purchases, bills payments and cash withdrawals at ATMs world-wide. The various transaction limit(s) on Naira MasterCard issued by the bank are N150,000 for ATM transactions, N2,500,000 for POS and N1,000,000 for web transactions.

The FirstBank Verve Debit Card works with Chip and PIN technology to secure transactions. It allows the cardholder to conveniently pay for goods and services and is accepted by all ATMs, POS, Web, Mobile, Kiosk, and bank branch connected to the Interswitch network in Nigeria.

It is available to all account holders and enables daily transaction limits of N150,000, and N500,000 on ATM and POS channels respectively. Customers can transact up to N1 million on the web in a single transaction.

FirstBank cards also offer the Card Protection Transactions feature, which allows the cardholder to activate or deactivate it for all types of transactions, channels and locations, through the Card-in-Control Service on the Firstmobile app.

Another card innovation service by FirstBank is the Visa Gold Card, which offers higher daily spending capacity and limit on ATM, POS and Web. With the Visa Gold Card, the customer is assured of $1,000 daily ATM withdrawal, $10,000 POS transaction and $5,000 on the web at any location around the world. It is a dollar denominated international Premium Credit Card issued in partnership with Visa International.

Moreso, it guarantees access to international emergency services such as Emergency Card Replacement and Emergency Cash Advance in situations where the card gets lost or damaged. The Visa Gold card comes handy when making airline bookings with its smooth seamless purchase options.

Also, among FirstBank’s super cards is VISA Debit Multi-Currency Card. First of its kind to be offered by any financial institution in Nigeria, the card is an enhancement to the existing Visa Debit Dual Currency card and can be linked to any or all NAIRA, USD, EURO and GBP accounts. It is an international card with Chip and PIN technology which can be used to make payment anywhere in the world and across all channels – ATMs, POS & Web.

With the Visa Debit Multi-Currency card, cardholders can make daily withdrawals to the tune of N150,000 (local) and $1,000 (international) from the ATM. However, on the web, a total of N1,000,000 is permitted locally while $6,250 is allowed on the international corridor daily. POS transaction limit is N2,500,000 (local) and $2,500 (international).

The Platinum Debit MasterCard is a premium Debit Card denominated in Naira. It is linked directly to a customer’s Naira denominated current and/or savings account. It offers a convenient alternative to the use of cash, and cheques by giving direct access to funds in cardholders’ accounts across all channels like ATM, POS, web etc.

Like other card types, its transactions are easily monitored via the FirstBank FirstMobile App or FirstBank Internet Banking service and offers 24-hour access support for all card-related complaints through First Contact. It is a card linked to a Naira denominated account, and it is valid for three years.

It is designed to suit the lifestyle of senior and management executives of multinational companies and leaders across various industries and sector of the global economy. Its daily limits include; ATM: N300,000; POS: N3million; Web: N2,000,000 as well as Cross-border TXN limit: $500 monthly.

Speaking further, Adeduntan highlighted that the contactless capability of the bank’s Visa and MasterCards support less human-to-human contact in executing transactions, in the same way that the debit cards have remained the base channel for self-onboarding to any digital channel such as USSD, Firstmobile, FirstOnline etc.

FirstBank has also initiated value added services attached to the cards including discount at merchants location such as Jumia Friday, Health Plus, among others.

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NLNG Signs EPC Contracts With SCD JV Consortium

Nigeria LNG Limited (NLNG) MD, Tony Attah
As part of plans to facilitate its Train 7 Project, Nigeria LNG Limited (NLNG) has signed Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contracts with SCD JV Consortium, comprising affiliates of Saipem, Chiyoda and Daewoo.

The execution of the EPC contracts now triggers the commencement of the detail design and construction phase of the project expected to increase the capacity of NLNG’s current six-train plant by 35 per cent from the extant 22 Million Tonnes Per Annum (MTPA) to 30 MTPA.

Reacting to the contracts’ signing, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of NLNG, Tony Attah, said the EPC contracts represents yet another milestone in NLNG’s journey towards achieving its vision of being a global LNG company helping to build a better Nigeria.

He said: “With the award of the EPC Contracts to our preferred bidders (SCD JV), we are guaranteeing that our country remains significantly on the global list of LNG suppliers. This singular act clearly demonstrates our shareholders’ determination and resolve to sustain the economic dividends that NLNG’s monetisation of our vast natural gas reserves offers our great country Nigeria.”

He expressed confidence in SCD JV Consortium’s proven competence, adding that the demonstration of an understanding of NLNG’s business philosophy by the consortium will positively influence the execution of the project and ensure zero harm to people, environment and host communities.

Also, the Group Managing Director (NNPC) and a director on the NLNG board, Mele Kyari, remarked on NLNG’s successes and its operating model.

He said: “Nigeria LNG’s successes since it started operation in 1999 continue to prove that the company operates a unique business model that is profitable to all its stakeholders. NNPC and the other shareholders — Shell, Total and Eni — are proud to be a part of this exceptional Nigerian brand that stands out in the global market.”

“It is for this reason that our President, Muhammadu Buhari instructed through the Honourable Minister of State for Petroleum Resources that NNPC as a shareholder must do everything possible to support all the other shareholders and NLNG’s management to secure the much-needed public confidence from all critical stakeholders, especially the critical agencies of the Federal Government of Nigeria and international investors, to pursue the company’s ambition of adding a 7th train to its existing production capacity. I encourage every stakeholder involved in execution of the Train 7 Project, especially the SCD JV Consortium, NLNG Train 7 Project Team and the company’s management to leave no stone unturned in making this project a reality,” he added.

NLNG says the project was in fulfilment of its vision of “…being a global company, helping to build a better Nigeria.”

The project upon completion will support the Federal Government’s drive to generate more revenue from Nigeria’s proven gas reserves of about 200 Trillion Cubic Feet (Tcf) and further reduce gas flaring in the country’s upstream oil and gas industry.

The construction period is expected to last approximately five years with first LNG rundown expected in 2025.

NLNG is an incorporated Joint-Venture owned by four Shareholders, namely, the Federal Government of Nigeria, represented by Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (49%), Shell Gas B.V. (25.6%), Total Gaz Electricite Holdings France (15%), and Eni International N.A. N.V. S.àr.l (10.4%).

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COVID-19: Expert Demands Financial Intervention For Industries

A financial controller with Sunlight Resources Limited, manufacturer of cheese balls, cornflakes, choco champs and others identified as Effiong James has impressed the Federal Government on the need to do sectoral allocation of funds for manufacturing companies across the country as part of measures to cushion the impact of Coronavirus pandemic on economy of Nigeria.

This was stated by James in Lagos during the company’s presentation of 1000 cartons of its products as palliative to the state government.

The financial expert noted that scarcity of forex and infrastructural constraints exacerbate cost of production in Nigeria, which according to him, government needs to curtail.

“We are here to support the government of Lagos state in providing our own support in form of palliative. We discovered that the COVID -19 lockdown has been a very challenging time for the poor and we also discovered that Lagos state government has been doing a lot in alleviating the suffering of the masses by providing palliative and that is why we decided to contribute our own quota by presenting 1000 cartons our own products”.

Receiving the products on behalf of Lagos state government, the state Commissioner for Agriculture, Hon. Gbolahan Lawal expressed gratitude to the donor for their good gesture, saying the role of private sector is crucial to stop COVID-19 in Nigeria.

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UBA Rewards 100 Customers With N100,000 Amid COVID -19 Meltdown

United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc has rewarded its loyal customers with N100,000 each in the UBA Bumper Account draw.

The draw, which took place at the UBA Head office on Tuesday, was held via the Facebook platform in strict compliance with social distancing rules as directed by the Federal and Lagos State Government where 100 more customers emerged winners through a transparent draw witnessed by representatives of the Consumer Protection Council, National Lottery Regulatory Commission and the Lagos State Lottery Board.

UBA’s Group Head, Consumer and Retail Banking, Jude Anele, who addressed the customers following the draw spoke about the bank’s excitement to be able to put smiles on the faces of as much as 100 customers at this critical time when livelihoods and lives are being threatened by the pandemic.

“These are difficult times indeed with little to cheer about because people are going through trying times. However, for us in UBA, we want our customers to know that we are in these together, that is why we have taken it upon ourselves to reward those that have kept our business going with their loyalty. With this reward, we want to encourage them to stay happy and safe even as they continue to aim for their dream regardless of the present challenges,” Anele said.

He noted that the bumper draw is also in line with the bank’s mission of creating superior value for its stakeholders while encouraging saving cultures among Nigerians.

Explaining the modalities for the draw, Anele said that all new and existing customers need do to qualify for the draw is to ensure that they have a minimum deposit of N5,000 in their UBA Bumper Account.

“Current UBA customers are to dial 91920*1# to migrate to the UBA Bumper Account whilst potential customers should dial *919*20# if interested in opening a UBA Bumper Account,” he added.

In the first draw which was held live during the official launch in Lagos, a total of 100 customers emerged winners as the ‘Bumper to Bumper’ Crooner, Wande Coal, serenaded guests with his famous hit songs to the delight of all present.

The Group Head Marketing and Customer Experience, Michelle Nwoga, explained that the bumper account was created specifically with the customer in mind, adding that UBA truly puts its customers first and will stop at nothing to ensure they have the right solutions to support their needs.

“We are committed to delivering exceptional service and will always seek to excite our customers at every interaction. We back our words with action and that is why a total of 100 customers emerged winners at the last draw which also took place here,” she said.

Nwoga added that a monthly shopping allowance of N100,000 for a year is also up for grabs.

“No fewer than 50 account holders will get a whopping N2 million each across all participating regions. This account is open to both existing and new customers of the bank who save a minimum of N5,000,” she added.

When contacted, the customers who emerged winners of the draw agreed that the total reward of N10 million was timely and would be very useful in assisting them especially in the face of the coronavirus pandemic currently ravaging the world with attendant effect on incomes of individuals.

One of the winners, Mafulul King, told the bank on phone: “I am still very amazed. I never knew I could get lucky and win. All my life, I have never won anything like this, and I am very happy that I won this time. What a time to get lucky than now when this corona pandemic has affected my business severely. You can’t imagine how relieved and delighted I am. God bless you guys, thank you so much UBA.”

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GTBank Re-opens More Branches Nationwide

Guaranty Trust Bank (GTBank) Plc says it has reopened over 40 more branches across the country from Wednesday as governments begin the gradual easing of the coronavirus-induced lockdown.

The bank said in a statement on Wednesday that it has also extended its banking hours from 9am to 3pm in order to attend to as many customers as it safely can.

Expressing its commitment to observing precautionary measures to keep customers and its employees safe, GTBank said: “When visiting a branch, kindly protect yourself and our staff by wearing a facemask at all times. It is also very important that you keep a safe distance when in a queue inside or outside the branch.

“We would also like to implore you to be patient as it might take a bit more time to serve you at our branches during this period.”

It also said customers can withdraw up to N200,000 at its ATMs.

“You can do most of your banking from the safety of your home through the GTWorld Mobile App or by simply dialling *737# from your phone,” it said.

“You can also visit www.gtbank.com/help-centre for complaints, enquiries and information about all our products and services.”

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Kaduna Govt. Seals Keystone Bank, FCMB Over N295m Taxes

The Kaduna State Internal Revenue Service (KDIRS), on Tuesday sealed the premises of Keystone Bank and First City Monument Bank (FCMB) in Kaduna over alleged unpaid taxes.

The Executive Chairman of the Service, Dr Zaid Abubakar told newsmen in Kaduna that the banks allegedly owed the state government to the tune of N294.85 million.

Abubakar said that the amount accumulated from unpaid Pay-As-You-Earn (PAYE) and withholding tax since 2007.

According to him, Keystone Bank owed unpaid taxes amounting to N222.8 million between 2007 and 2018, while FCMB owed more than N72 million from 2007 to 2016.

“When you put these together, the total liabilities amounted to N294.85 million, which we want them to pay.

“We carried out the tax audit along with the banks officials, sent them our report, assessment and demand notices.

“KDIRS also wrote to the management of the banks several times, but they refused to come for reconciliation and failed to respond to our demand notices.

“Therefore, we had no option but to seal off the branches according to relevant tax laws,’’ he said.

Also speaking, KDIRS’ Head of Enforcement Unit, Mr Ado Garba, said that sealing the banks’ premises was to ensure compliance to relevant tax laws.

Ado said that the branches would be reopened as soon as they pay the taxes.

According to him, the affected backs are equally expected to pay N250, 000 each, being the cost incurred to enforce the law.

The KDIRS Secretary and Legal Adviser, Mr Frances Kozah, said that the banks had 14-day window to remit all the tax liabilities, adding that if the failed to comply, the agency would take the next step to ensure compliance.

He said that part of the resolution of KDIRS in 2020 was to ensure full implementation of tax laws in the state. 

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BREAKING!!! CBN Slashes Banks’ ATM Withdrawal Fee From N65 To N35

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has reviewed downward electronic transfer and ATM fees as well as card maintenance fees.

The new charges were contained in the latest Guide to Charges by Banks and Other Financial Institutions just released by the CBN

According to the CBN, bank customers will now pay N10 for electronic transfers below N5,000, and N25 for electronic transfer between N5,000 and N50,000. Only electronic transfer above N50,000 will attract N50 charge.

Previously, bank customers pay N50 charge for electronic transfers below N500,000.

Further, the CBN in the new Guide to Bank Charges slashed charges for cash withdrawal via Other bank’s ATM to “maximum of N35 after the third withdrawal within the same month” from “N65 after the third withdrawal within the same month”.

The CBN also removed Card Maintenance Fee (CAMF) on all cards linked to current accounts, a maximum of one Naira per mille for customer induced debit transactions to third parties and transfers or lodgments to the customers’ account in other banks on current accounts only.

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Nigerian Ports Denies Wrongdoing In Decommissioning Rivers Ports Terminal

The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has denied claims made by BUA Ports and Terminal Limited that it (NPA) ran against the rule of law in decommissioning Rivers Ports Terminal B, operated by the company.

The NPA in a statement obtained by Leakers.ng on Tuesday, denied all allegations of wrongdoing listed in newspapers adverts paid for by BUA.

The full statement reads: “On Monday September 30, 2019, the management of BUA Ports and Terminal Limited took advertisements in some major newspapers where it alleged that the Nigerian Ports Authority NPA ran against the rule of law in decommissioning Rivers Ports Terminal B, operated by the company.

“As a responsible government agency, which holds itself accountable to Nigerians, the management of the Nigerian Ports Authority hereby refutes all allegations of wrong doing suggested in the said adverts.

“Management also asserts that this is an attempt to blackmail, intimidate and prevent the Authority from performing its rightful regulatory oversight as well as malign the name of the Managing Director.

“BUA Ports and Terminal Limited became concessionaires for Rivers Port Terminal B for a 20 -year tenure in line with the Port Reforms policy of the Federal Government through a concession agreement contract dated May 11, 2006. The Terminal was handed over to them for use with effect from August 10, 2006.

“As part of the terms of agreement for the concession, BUA Ports and Terminal Limited was required to commence full reconstruction of berths 5-8 within 90 DAYS of hand over of the facility.

“As of February 2016, TEN YEARS after the handover of the premises to BUA Ports and Terminal Limited, the company had failed to commence the reconstruction of berths 5-8 as required by the agreement. The Authority then issued a letter drawing their attention to this non-compliance.

“Despite receiving the letter, dated February 3, 2016, the company refused to honour this fundamental and material term of the lease agreement which compromises the integrity of the other adjoining berths in the ports.

“Consequent to the above, the Authority served a default notice dated February 11, 2016 and another one dated July 27, 2016 on the Terminal operator.

“The letter reminded that the non-compliance, which led to the deterioration of the berths 5-7 and the total collapse of berth 8 constitutes a breach of the concession agreement and a threat to the safety of lives around the terminal.

“Committed to stop the flagrant abuse of the terms of its operating agreement and save users of the ports from any untoward incident, the Authority, on November 11, 2016, issued a three-month termination notice to the company, citing default notices served on them in relation to the non-fulfilment of the obligations under the lease agreement.

“On receipt of the notice of termination, BUA Ports and Terminal sought and obtained a restraining order from the Federal High Court, Lagos on January 18, 2018 barring the Authority from giving effect to the termination.

“In compliance with the restraining order of the Federal High Court, the Authority, thereafter allowed BUA Ports and Terminal Limited full access to the premise for peaceful operation, without any interference whatsoever.

“However, on May 16, 2019, after eighteen months of having peaceful use of the Terminal, the Authority received a letter from BUA Ports and Terminals Limited, informing us of the dilapidated state of the berth and stating amongst others:

“The jetty is in a state of total dilapidation and in urgent need of repair or reconstruction…

Our engineers have advised us that the jetty is liable to collapse at any moment…”

“The Authority found the state of the jetty as described by BUA Ports and Terminals Limited themselves as very risky, posing a safety hazard to all users in the Terminal and demanding of urgent attention.

“This is more so because the complaint is coming 13 full years after BUA Ports and Terminals Limited committed to embark on this reconstruction by virtue of the lease agreement with the FGN.

“As a result, the Authority found it necessary to decommission the terminal out of safety concerns. This is a measure to forestall imminent danger as highlighted by BUA Ports and Terminal themselves and to allow for a comprehensive conditional survey of the state of the Rivers Ports in totality. All these steps are in line with international best practices on safety at port locations.

“The Authority, as a responsible regulator having received that alarming letter on the state of the jetty by the operators was compelled to act in the manner it did to safeguard infrastructure at the Rivers Port and the ensure the safety of its users.

“It is pertinent to note that the process for the default notices issued to BUA commenced in February 2016 before the appointment of the current Managing Director.

“However, in line with her commitment to the rule of law, she proceeded to implement the recommendations to safeguard the sanctity of the agreement and protect the FGN from a defaulting concessionaire seeking to defraud the FGN by using its facilities without making the due investment enshrined in the development plan of the concession agreement.

“Resultantly, any inference of vendetta against the Chairman of BUA Group is another of the numerous tactics aimed at distracting the Authority and stopping Nigerians from seeing the flagrant disregard of the contractual agreement by BUA.

“The NPA therefore states that the decision to decommission Rivers Ports Terminal B results from its unwavering commitment to the rule of law as well as the safety of all Nigerians.

“Nigerians should regard these allegations as attempts by BUA Ports and Terminal Limited to blackmail and intimidate the NPA and stop the law from taking its course in the current situation.”

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Nigerian Ports Denies Wrongdoing In Decommissioning Rivers Ports Terminal

The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has denied claims made by BUA Ports and Terminal Limited that it (NPA) ran against the rule of law in decommissioning Rivers Ports Terminal B, operated by the company.

The NPA in a statement obtained by Leakers.ng on Tuesday, denied all allegations of wrongdoing listed in newspapers adverts paid for by BUA.

The full statement reads: “On Monday September 30, 2019, the management of BUA Ports and Terminal Limited took advertisements in some major newspapers where it alleged that the Nigerian Ports Authority NPA ran against the rule of law in decommissioning Rivers Ports Terminal B, operated by the company.

“As a responsible government agency, which holds itself accountable to Nigerians, the management of the Nigerian Ports Authority hereby refutes all allegations of wrong doing suggested in the said adverts.

“Management also asserts that this is an attempt to blackmail, intimidate and prevent the Authority from performing its rightful regulatory oversight as well as malign the name of the Managing Director.

“BUA Ports and Terminal Limited became concessionaires for Rivers Port Terminal B for a 20 -year tenure in line with the Port Reforms policy of the Federal Government through a concession agreement contract dated May 11, 2006. The Terminal was handed over to them for use with effect from August 10, 2006.

“As part of the terms of agreement for the concession, BUA Ports and Terminal Limited was required to commence full reconstruction of berths 5-8 within 90 DAYS of hand over of the facility.

“As of February 2016, TEN YEARS after the handover of the premises to BUA Ports and Terminal Limited, the company had failed to commence the reconstruction of berths 5-8 as required by the agreement. The Authority then issued a letter drawing their attention to this non-compliance.

“Despite receiving the letter, dated February 3, 2016, the company refused to honour this fundamental and material term of the lease agreement which compromises the integrity of the other adjoining berths in the ports.

“Consequent to the above, the Authority served a default notice dated February 11, 2016 and another one dated July 27, 2016 on the Terminal operator.

“The letter reminded that the non-compliance, which led to the deterioration of the berths 5-7 and the total collapse of berth 8 constitutes a breach of the concession agreement and a threat to the safety of lives around the terminal.

“Committed to stop the flagrant abuse of the terms of its operating agreement and save users of the ports from any untoward incident, the Authority, on November 11, 2016, issued a three-month termination notice to the company, citing default notices served on them in relation to the non-fulfilment of the obligations under the lease agreement.

“On receipt of the notice of termination, BUA Ports and Terminal sought and obtained a restraining order from the Federal High Court, Lagos on January 18, 2018 barring the Authority from giving effect to the termination.

“In compliance with the restraining order of the Federal High Court, the Authority, thereafter allowed BUA Ports and Terminal Limited full access to the premise for peaceful operation, without any interference whatsoever.

“However, on May 16, 2019, after eighteen months of having peaceful use of the Terminal, the Authority received a letter from BUA Ports and Terminals Limited, informing us of the dilapidated state of the berth and stating amongst others:

“The jetty is in a state of total dilapidation and in urgent need of repair or reconstruction…

Our engineers have advised us that the jetty is liable to collapse at any moment…”

“The Authority found the state of the jetty as described by BUA Ports and Terminals Limited themselves as very risky, posing a safety hazard to all users in the Terminal and demanding of urgent attention.

“This is more so because the complaint is coming 13 full years after BUA Ports and Terminals Limited committed to embark on this reconstruction by virtue of the lease agreement with the FGN.

“As a result, the Authority found it necessary to decommission the terminal out of safety concerns. This is a measure to forestall imminent danger as highlighted by BUA Ports and Terminal themselves and to allow for a comprehensive conditional survey of the state of the Rivers Ports in totality. All these steps are in line with international best practices on safety at port locations.

“The Authority, as a responsible regulator having received that alarming letter on the state of the jetty by the operators was compelled to act in the manner it did to safeguard infrastructure at the Rivers Port and the ensure the safety of its users.

“It is pertinent to note that the process for the default notices issued to BUA commenced in February 2016 before the appointment of the current Managing Director.

“However, in line with her commitment to the rule of law, she proceeded to implement the recommendations to safeguard the sanctity of the agreement and protect the FGN from a defaulting concessionaire seeking to defraud the FGN by using its facilities without making the due investment enshrined in the development plan of the concession agreement.

“Resultantly, any inference of vendetta against the Chairman of BUA Group is another of the numerous tactics aimed at distracting the Authority and stopping Nigerians from seeing the flagrant disregard of the contractual agreement by BUA.

“The NPA therefore states that the decision to decommission Rivers Ports Terminal B results from its unwavering commitment to the rule of law as well as the safety of all Nigerians.

“Nigerians should regard these allegations as attempts by BUA Ports and Terminal Limited to blackmail and intimidate the NPA and stop the law from taking its course in the current situation.”

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Nigerian Ports Denies Wrongdoing In Decommissioning Rivers Ports Terminal

The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has denied claims made by BUA Ports and Terminal Limited that it (NPA) ran against the rule of law in decommissioning Rivers Ports Terminal B, operated by the company.

The NPA in a statement obtained by Leakers.ng on Tuesday, denied all allegations of wrongdoing listed in newspapers adverts paid for by BUA.

The full statement reads: “On Monday September 30, 2019, the management of BUA Ports and Terminal Limited took advertisements in some major newspapers where it alleged that the Nigerian Ports Authority NPA ran against the rule of law in decommissioning Rivers Ports Terminal B, operated by the company.

“As a responsible government agency, which holds itself accountable to Nigerians, the management of the Nigerian Ports Authority hereby refutes all allegations of wrong doing suggested in the said adverts.

“Management also asserts that this is an attempt to blackmail, intimidate and prevent the Authority from performing its rightful regulatory oversight as well as malign the name of the Managing Director.

“BUA Ports and Terminal Limited became concessionaires for Rivers Port Terminal B for a 20 -year tenure in line with the Port Reforms policy of the Federal Government through a concession agreement contract dated May 11, 2006. The Terminal was handed over to them for use with effect from August 10, 2006.

“As part of the terms of agreement for the concession, BUA Ports and Terminal Limited was required to commence full reconstruction of berths 5-8 within 90 DAYS of hand over of the facility.

“As of February 2016, TEN YEARS after the handover of the premises to BUA Ports and Terminal Limited, the company had failed to commence the reconstruction of berths 5-8 as required by the agreement. The Authority then issued a letter drawing their attention to this non-compliance.

“Despite receiving the letter, dated February 3, 2016, the company refused to honour this fundamental and material term of the lease agreement which compromises the integrity of the other adjoining berths in the ports.

“Consequent to the above, the Authority served a default notice dated February 11, 2016 and another one dated July 27, 2016 on the Terminal operator.

“The letter reminded that the non-compliance, which led to the deterioration of the berths 5-7 and the total collapse of berth 8 constitutes a breach of the concession agreement and a threat to the safety of lives around the terminal.

“Committed to stop the flagrant abuse of the terms of its operating agreement and save users of the ports from any untoward incident, the Authority, on November 11, 2016, issued a three-month termination notice to the company, citing default notices served on them in relation to the non-fulfilment of the obligations under the lease agreement.

“On receipt of the notice of termination, BUA Ports and Terminal sought and obtained a restraining order from the Federal High Court, Lagos on January 18, 2018 barring the Authority from giving effect to the termination.

“In compliance with the restraining order of the Federal High Court, the Authority, thereafter allowed BUA Ports and Terminal Limited full access to the premise for peaceful operation, without any interference whatsoever.

“However, on May 16, 2019, after eighteen months of having peaceful use of the Terminal, the Authority received a letter from BUA Ports and Terminals Limited, informing us of the dilapidated state of the berth and stating amongst others:

“The jetty is in a state of total dilapidation and in urgent need of repair or reconstruction…

Our engineers have advised us that the jetty is liable to collapse at any moment…”

“The Authority found the state of the jetty as described by BUA Ports and Terminals Limited themselves as very risky, posing a safety hazard to all users in the Terminal and demanding of urgent attention.

“This is more so because the complaint is coming 13 full years after BUA Ports and Terminals Limited committed to embark on this reconstruction by virtue of the lease agreement with the FGN.

“As a result, the Authority found it necessary to decommission the terminal out of safety concerns. This is a measure to forestall imminent danger as highlighted by BUA Ports and Terminal themselves and to allow for a comprehensive conditional survey of the state of the Rivers Ports in totality. All these steps are in line with international best practices on safety at port locations.

“The Authority, as a responsible regulator having received that alarming letter on the state of the jetty by the operators was compelled to act in the manner it did to safeguard infrastructure at the Rivers Port and the ensure the safety of its users.

“It is pertinent to note that the process for the default notices issued to BUA commenced in February 2016 before the appointment of the current Managing Director.

“However, in line with her commitment to the rule of law, she proceeded to implement the recommendations to safeguard the sanctity of the agreement and protect the FGN from a defaulting concessionaire seeking to defraud the FGN by using its facilities without making the due investment enshrined in the development plan of the concession agreement.

“Resultantly, any inference of vendetta against the Chairman of BUA Group is another of the numerous tactics aimed at distracting the Authority and stopping Nigerians from seeing the flagrant disregard of the contractual agreement by BUA.

“The NPA therefore states that the decision to decommission Rivers Ports Terminal B results from its unwavering commitment to the rule of law as well as the safety of all Nigerians.

“Nigerians should regard these allegations as attempts by BUA Ports and Terminal Limited to blackmail and intimidate the NPA and stop the law from taking its course in the current situation.”

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Nigerian Ports Denies Wrongdoing In Decommissioning Rivers Ports Terminal

The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has denied claims made by BUA Ports and Terminal Limited that it (NPA) ran against the rule of law in decommissioning Rivers Ports Terminal B, operated by the company.

The NPA in a statement obtained by Leakers.ng on Tuesday, denied all allegations of wrongdoing listed in newspapers adverts paid for by BUA.

The full statement reads: “On Monday September 30, 2019, the management of BUA Ports and Terminal Limited took advertisements in some major newspapers where it alleged that the Nigerian Ports Authority NPA ran against the rule of law in decommissioning Rivers Ports Terminal B, operated by the company.

“As a responsible government agency, which holds itself accountable to Nigerians, the management of the Nigerian Ports Authority hereby refutes all allegations of wrong doing suggested in the said adverts.

“Management also asserts that this is an attempt to blackmail, intimidate and prevent the Authority from performing its rightful regulatory oversight as well as malign the name of the Managing Director.

“BUA Ports and Terminal Limited became concessionaires for Rivers Port Terminal B for a 20 -year tenure in line with the Port Reforms policy of the Federal Government through a concession agreement contract dated May 11, 2006. The Terminal was handed over to them for use with effect from August 10, 2006.

“As part of the terms of agreement for the concession, BUA Ports and Terminal Limited was required to commence full reconstruction of berths 5-8 within 90 DAYS of hand over of the facility.

“As of February 2016, TEN YEARS after the handover of the premises to BUA Ports and Terminal Limited, the company had failed to commence the reconstruction of berths 5-8 as required by the agreement. The Authority then issued a letter drawing their attention to this non-compliance.

“Despite receiving the letter, dated February 3, 2016, the company refused to honour this fundamental and material term of the lease agreement which compromises the integrity of the other adjoining berths in the ports.

“Consequent to the above, the Authority served a default notice dated February 11, 2016 and another one dated July 27, 2016 on the Terminal operator.

“The letter reminded that the non-compliance, which led to the deterioration of the berths 5-7 and the total collapse of berth 8 constitutes a breach of the concession agreement and a threat to the safety of lives around the terminal.

“Committed to stop the flagrant abuse of the terms of its operating agreement and save users of the ports from any untoward incident, the Authority, on November 11, 2016, issued a three-month termination notice to the company, citing default notices served on them in relation to the non-fulfilment of the obligations under the lease agreement.

“On receipt of the notice of termination, BUA Ports and Terminal sought and obtained a restraining order from the Federal High Court, Lagos on January 18, 2018 barring the Authority from giving effect to the termination.

“In compliance with the restraining order of the Federal High Court, the Authority, thereafter allowed BUA Ports and Terminal Limited full access to the premise for peaceful operation, without any interference whatsoever.

“However, on May 16, 2019, after eighteen months of having peaceful use of the Terminal, the Authority received a letter from BUA Ports and Terminals Limited, informing us of the dilapidated state of the berth and stating amongst others:

“The jetty is in a state of total dilapidation and in urgent need of repair or reconstruction…

Our engineers have advised us that the jetty is liable to collapse at any moment…”

“The Authority found the state of the jetty as described by BUA Ports and Terminals Limited themselves as very risky, posing a safety hazard to all users in the Terminal and demanding of urgent attention.

“This is more so because the complaint is coming 13 full years after BUA Ports and Terminals Limited committed to embark on this reconstruction by virtue of the lease agreement with the FGN.

“As a result, the Authority found it necessary to decommission the terminal out of safety concerns. This is a measure to forestall imminent danger as highlighted by BUA Ports and Terminal themselves and to allow for a comprehensive conditional survey of the state of the Rivers Ports in totality. All these steps are in line with international best practices on safety at port locations.

“The Authority, as a responsible regulator having received that alarming letter on the state of the jetty by the operators was compelled to act in the manner it did to safeguard infrastructure at the Rivers Port and the ensure the safety of its users.

“It is pertinent to note that the process for the default notices issued to BUA commenced in February 2016 before the appointment of the current Managing Director.

“However, in line with her commitment to the rule of law, she proceeded to implement the recommendations to safeguard the sanctity of the agreement and protect the FGN from a defaulting concessionaire seeking to defraud the FGN by using its facilities without making the due investment enshrined in the development plan of the concession agreement.

“Resultantly, any inference of vendetta against the Chairman of BUA Group is another of the numerous tactics aimed at distracting the Authority and stopping Nigerians from seeing the flagrant disregard of the contractual agreement by BUA.

“The NPA therefore states that the decision to decommission Rivers Ports Terminal B results from its unwavering commitment to the rule of law as well as the safety of all Nigerians.

“Nigerians should regard these allegations as attempts by BUA Ports and Terminal Limited to blackmail and intimidate the NPA and stop the law from taking its course in the current situation.”

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Photos: Billionaire Businessman Dangote Opens Africa Centre In US

Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, on Tuesday opened the Africa Centre in New York, United States.

The opening of the centre comes on the sidelines of the commencement of the United Nations General Assembly in the US.

Some of those who attended the opening ceremony are president of the African Development Bank, Akinwumi Adesina, and billionaire businessman, Femi Otedola.

Others are the Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi I; Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu; and chairman of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), Abike Dabiri-Erewa.

See photos below;

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Photos: Billionaire Businessman Dangote Opens Africa Centre In US

Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, on Tuesday opened the Africa Centre in New York, United States.

The opening of the centre comes on the sidelines of the commencement of the United Nations General Assembly in the US.

Some of those who attended the opening ceremony are president of the African Development Bank, Akinwumi Adesina, and billionaire businessman, Femi Otedola.

Others are the Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi I; Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu; and chairman of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), Abike Dabiri-Erewa.

See photos below;

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Photos: Billionaire Businessman Dangote Opens Africa Centre In US

Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, on Tuesday opened the Africa Centre in New York, United States.

The opening of the centre comes on the sidelines of the commencement of the United Nations General Assembly in the US.

Some of those who attended the opening ceremony are president of the African Development Bank, Akinwumi Adesina, and billionaire businessman, Femi Otedola.

Others are the Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi I; Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu; and chairman of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), Abike Dabiri-Erewa.

See photos below;

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Photos: Billionaire Businessman Dangote Opens Africa Centre In US

Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, on Tuesday opened the Africa Centre in New York, United States.

The opening of the centre comes on the sidelines of the commencement of the United Nations General Assembly in the US.

Some of those who attended the opening ceremony are president of the African Development Bank, Akinwumi Adesina, and billionaire businessman, Femi Otedola.

Others are the Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi I; Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu; and chairman of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), Abike Dabiri-Erewa.

See photos below;

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Fashola Debunks BPP Allegation Of Contract Inflation

Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, has denied allegations of contract inflation levelled against his ministry by the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP).

The bureau had said in a report that it saved over N26 billion for the government in 2018 by revising down ‘inflated’ contract sums by government contractors.

It also said the highest reduction was made from the ministry of power, works and housing where N22.22 billion was cut from a request of N877.40 billion.

Fashola was in charge of power before it was removed from his portfolio by President Muhammadu Buhari in August.

The minister, however, in a statement on Monday by his spokesperson, Hakeem Bello, asked the agency to publish its rates and “clear the air on the lingering issue of alleged contract inflation reported in the media last week.”

The statement said: “Being a department of the same government, ordinarily this should not warrant a reply; however the misleading nature of the reporting in the media and the statements credited to BPP compel a response for the purposes of clarification and enlightenment of the public.

“Any person who takes time to read the provisions of the Public Procurement Act, which created the BPP will understand that no contract can be awarded until BPP certifies that it has NO OBJECTION.

“Therefore there was no INFLATED contract because BPP clearly stated that it reduced the costs, and according to BPP she ‘… saved over N26 Billion…’ And this is the heart of the matter because BPP’s ‘savings’ can only be a SUBJECTIVE assessment based on rates quoted by contractors, reviewed by the Ministry, and sent to BPP for certification.”

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SGF, Boss Mustapha Hails Nigerian Port Authority On Staff Welfare

Boss Mustapha, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), has applauded the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) for its commitment to the reward and recognition of excellence amongst its staff as well as the welfare of its entire personnel.

Mr Mustapha, made this known while speaking at the 201/2018 Long Service and Merit Award put together by the management of the NPA during the weekend where he was represented by Niyi Adebayo, the Minister of Trade and Investment.

“Nothing can be more gratifying to a dedicated worker than recognition and celebration, and I want to commend the Board and Management of the Nigerian Ports Authority for the foresight that birthed this occasion, which I understand has not held in a long time,” he said.

He noted that the initiative was in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s commitment to the welfare of staff as “evident in the commitment of the government to implement the new minimum wage as well as the payment of the pensions and gratuities of former employees of Nigerian Airways amongst others.

The administration will leave no stone unturned towards rewarding the dedication of its workforce.”

Mustapha congratulated the awardees and charged them to see the honour as an incentive for better performance.

NPA Managing Director, Hadiza Bala Usman, restated the management’s commitment to the welfare of staff emphasising that this was critical to the achievement of all the reforms aimed at bequeathing an agency for which all Nigerian would proud.

In her words: “Management considers putting in place a well-motivated workforce with the requisite character, competence and capacity to optimize our rich Maritime endowment towards the sustainability of the reforms we have undertaken so far.

Without this, the sustainability of the reforms we have undertaken so far as well as the audacious goals we poised to achieve as enunciated in the 25-year development plan would remain unattainable.”

Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chris Ngige, also praised NPA for aligning with the objective of the Federal Government in the area of improved welfare and appreciation for the workforce.

He added that the present administration would continue to invest assiduously in the welfare of the Nigerian workers.

This, he stressed has been exemplified through the recent approval of the National Minimum Wage and resolution of Industrial disputes.

Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, who was represented by Director of Human Resources at the Ministry, Nkiru Ejiofor; Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency(NIMASA), Dakuku Peterside; Former Minister of Transportation, Festus Porbeni; members of the board of NPA, past Managing Director of the NPA including Bello Gwandu, Omar Sulieman, Aminu Dabo and Felix Ovbude among hundreds of maritime stakeholders were present at the event where over three hundred staffers of the NPA were honoured.

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MTN Shuts Stores In Nigeria After Anti-South African Attacks

MTN Nigeria said on Wednesday it will shut all stores and service centres in the country until further notice after its facilities in three cities were attacked.

Leakers.ng reports that facilities were attacked in retaliation after days of riots in South Africa chiefly targeting foreign-owned, including Nigerian, businesses.

“The safety and security of our customers, staff and partners is our primary concern,” MTN Nigeria said in a statement.

“MTN condemns any acts of violence, prejudice and xenophobia.”

The latest wave of unrest in South Africa has raised fears of a recurrence of violence in 2015 aimed at foreigners and in which at least seven people were killed. Before that, some 60 people were killed in a wave of unrest around the country in 2008.

President Muhammadu Buhari said on Tuesday he was urgently sending a special envoy to meet with President Cyril Ramaphosa to secure the “safety of (Nigerian citizens’) lives and property”.

Police have yet to pinpoint what triggered the violence, which began on Sunday when protesters armed with makeshift weapons roamed the streets of Pretoria’s business district, pelting shops with rocks and petrol bombs and running off with goods.

Nigeria is MTN’s biggest market, with 58 million users in 2018 and accounts for a third of the South African group’s core profit.

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