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CBN Fine: Disbelieve, Shock Trails Citibank, Standard Chartered Bank, Stanbic-IBTC Others




Disbelieve is what is trailing Citibank, Standard Chartered bank, Stanbic-IBTC and another financial institution days after the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), ordered them to pay a total sum of N5.87 billion, as fine.

The banks were fined for allegedly being involved in the issuance of irregular certificates of capital importation (CCIs) on behalf of some offshore investors of MTN Nigeria Communications Limited.

Since the fine, reactions that have been trailing the financial institutions have been that of shock and disbelieve, as many wonder how they reduced themselves to such a level.

In the international business sphere, Citibank, Standard Chartered bank, Stanbic-IBTC respected financial institutions considered of international repute; however the fine now put a dent on their image.

In a letter by the CBN dated 29 August 2018, and bordering on Certificates of Capital Importation (CCIs), MTN Nigeria was alleged to have ran foul in respect of the conversion of shareholders loans in MTN Nigeria to preference shares in 2007. The communication company was informed by the apex bank that the CCIs issued had been improperly done, as such the apex bank claimed that the historic dividends repatriated by MTN Nigeria between 2007 and 2015 amounting to $8,1 billion need to be refunded to the CBN.

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However, reacting to the letter, MTN Nigeria strongly refutes the allegations and claims. “No dividends have been declared or paid by MTN Nigeria other than pursuant to CCIs issued by our bankers and with the approval of the CBN as required by law,” a statement said.


The statement further said, “We will engage with the relevant authorities and vigorously defend our position on this matter and provide further information when available.”


The issue over the CCIs is not new, as it was subject of an enquiry by the Senate of Nigeria. In September 2016, the Senate mandated the Committee on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions to carry out a holistic investigation on compliance with the Foreign exchange (monitoring and miscellaneous) Act by MTN Nigeria and Others.


The report of the enquiry issued in November 2017, stated that MTN Nigeria had not collude to contravene the foreign exchange laws and there were no negative recommendations made against MTN Nigeria.

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However, there were questions surrounding the report, as some Senators frowned at the questionable investigation.

Industry Experts did not understand why the report largely condemned the CBN while MTN and named commercial banks which transferred money overseas were barely reprimanded, said one of the people familiar with the investigation.

A financial expert who reviewed the outcome of the report, but spoke on the condition of anonymity described the document as “poorly investigated report full of indecent holes”.

Subsequently, the Senate withdrew the report which exonerated the MTN in the alleged FX transfers.

One of the high points of the questionable report which was withdrawn was the fact that it gave no recommendations for punitive measures against MTN.

This new fine is coming after MTN paid 30 billion naira ($98 million) to the Nigerian government in part settlement of a 330 billion naira fine imposed on the telecoms group for not disconnecting unregistered SIM cards, an MTN source told Reuters in March.



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Nigeria has potential to feed Africa’s 1.2bn people – Ecobank




Leading pan-Africa financial institution, Ecobank, has revealed that Nigeria has the capacity to feed Africa’s estimated 1.2 billion people if it harnesses the gains of the agricultural value chain.

According to the bank, success in Nigeria’s agricultural sector means the reduction in the demand for foreign exchange to import food items into the country and the development of the agribusiness value-chain with a resultant effect in the creation of a new breed of entrepreneurs as well as jobs for the teeming population.

Ade Ayeyemi, Group Chief Executive Officer of Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI), stated this on Thursday at the Ecobank Agribusiness Summit in Lagos. The summit had its theme “Unlocking Productivity and Investment Opportunities Across Nigeria’s Agribusiness Value Chain”

According to Ayeyemi, Ecobank decided to create a platform of a Summit to enable thought-leaders who are passionate about agriculture and its importance to Nigeria’s economy to put heads together and find ways to maximize the significant potential gains of boosting agribusiness in Nigeria.

He said Ecobank works with various governments and businesses within its footprint to provide support in harnessing and mining value from the huge natural resources across the continent. “The success of this Summit and its objectives is therefore important to Ecobank, as we do know Africa remains fully committed to contributing to its economic development – a core objective of our founders”.

Also speaking, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Mohammed Nanono affirmed that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari is committed to finding a lasting solution to issues bothering on food security affecting the country.

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Nanono who was represented by the Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Mustapha Baba Shehuri also stressed on the need for viable synergy and collaboration between relevant stakeholders in the agricultural sector, so as to further promote its contribution to the Gross Domestic Products (GDP) of the country.

“The aim of this submit is indeed very apt as it would contribute on creating a sustainable economy through the development of rural agricultural enterprises. It is gladdening that this forum has brought together small-holders, input dealers, agro-processors, development finance agencies, policy makers and the captains of industries under one roof to discuss the problems and challenges facing the sector, with the view to finding solutions and way forward.

“This summit also marks another milestone attraction in the journey of economic diversification in line with the vision of the economic recovery growth plan of the current administration of his Excellency, President Mohammadu Buhari, to boost agricultural production prosperity, promote innovative technologies and investment in the agricultural sector, in order to achieve poverty reduction and job creation.

“Nigeria’s potentials and prospects, makes the agricultural sector a pilot for economic stabilization, diversification and growth in the country. Indeed, the sector is a major contributor to the national Gross Domestic Product (GDP), contributing about 27 percent to the GDP and the biggest in job creation in the non-oil sector.

“As you are aware, the administration of President Mohammadu Buhari is committed to finding a lasting solution to addressing the issues of food security in the country, as well as encourage local farmers to produce more and better-quality food for all. The aim was to restore the glory of the country’s agricultural sector, which before the oil-boom was we all know, was the main driver of Nigeria’s economy.

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“Let me also reiterate, that under the current dispensation, the agriculture sector has engineered more farmers for providing the required raw materials for the development of the agro-allied industry in the country.

“With the noticeable growth in production in agriculture, agricultural and food sector, The has been on stimulating agricultural export, to increase our foreign exchange earnings. In doing this, we are giving attention to meeting the requirements of not only the locals, but also international market.

“At present, the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development is promoting and supporting the development of special agro-industrial processing funds, in collaboration with the African Development Bank (ADB) for value addition, import substitution, job creation and international market. Commitment and support would continue to be given to the areas of promoting foreign and local enterprise to advance level of credit and investment in agriculture as a veritable step to diversify the economy.

“Within the overall sets of policy principles, the federal government is concentrating on providing an enabling environment and enabling playgrounds for stakeholders at all levels, to enhance investment and capital flow into the sector,” he said.

The maiden Ecobank Agribusiness summit in partnership with Vanguard Newspapers had exhibitors and hundreds of participants from within and outside the country in attendance.

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Youth Empowerment: Fidelity Bank; Gazelle Academy Train 200 Undergraduates In Sokoto



Unswerving in its quest to create a veritable platform for building an entrepreneurial spirit in the country’s teeming youths, Fidelity Bank Plc has expanded the scope of the Fidelity Youth Empowerment Academy (YEA) in a bid to accommodate new areas of vocational training.

On February 10, 2020, the bank in strategic partnership with Gazelle Academy commenced the seventh edition of the highly successful YEA at the Sokoto State University (SSU), Sokoto. Apart from the typical training on tailoring and make-up, participants will also be provided with requisite skills and first-hand knowledge in Fashion Designing, Cloth Embellishment, Cocktail and Phone Engineering among others.

Over 200 undergraduates of Sokoto State University (SSU) will benefit from this programme. So, why does the bank invest in young people? When the Fidelity Bank says, “turn your passion into a pay cheque”, that’s a message of empowerment.  As a bank, it recognises that the youth look at the world with fresh eyes and such lively determination, and create much-needed change by throwing convention out the window. That’s why the bank, through its laudable interventions, continues to develop innovative programmes that unleash the creative energies of Nigerian youths which in turn represents formidable new frontiers for sustainable national development, says Fidelity Bank MD, Nnamdi Okonkwo.

YEA is a skills acquisition, training and productivity improvement scheme targeted at youths, especially undergraduates in Nigeria’s higher institutions. This empowerment programme, which is part of the Bank’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives, is primarily targeted at creating a new breed of entrepreneurs amongst Nigeria’s boisterous youth population.

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Over 3,000 students have benefited from YEA programs at University of Nigeria, Nsukka; Waziri Umar Federal Polytechnic, Birnin-Kebbi; Federal Polytechnic Oko, Anambra State; Rivers State University of Science and Technology, Port Harcourt; Bayero University, Kano and Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka.

Some beneficiaries who have since started their own businesses were recognized at the event. Fidelity Bank has also provided students with high-quality sewing machines, pressing irons and make-up kits to make sure that undergraduates utilise the skills and experiences garnered at the youth empowerment workshop to improve their lives before and after graduation.

In essence, the Bank has succeeded in making entrepreneurs out of students who will be financially responsible and independent. Through this programme, the Bank has earned a significant measure of goodwill with state and local governments that have in some cases translated to a business relationships and have contributed to the Bank’s bottom line.


L-R: The Head Recruitment, CSR & Sustainability, Fidelity Bank Plc, Chris Nnakwe exchanges pleasantries with the Commissioner of Youth & Sport Development, Aminu Bala Bodinga at the opening ceremony of the Fidelity Youth Empowerment Programme (YEA 7) held in Sokoto State for undergraduates and other selected participants Sokoto State University… Monday while the Regional Bank Head (RBH), North west 2, Salihu Jibrin, and the Founder/CEO, Gazelle Academy, Muna Onuzo look on.



L-R: The Regional Operations Services Supervisor (ROSS) North-West 2, Fidelity Bank Plc, Shaba Mohammed; Branch Leader, Birnin Kebbi, Fidelity Bank Plc, Musa Isa; Head Recruitment, CSR & Sustainability, Fidelity Bank Plc, Chris Nnakwe; Commissioner of Youth & Sport Development, Sokoto State, Aminu Bala Bodinga; Founder/CEO, Gazelle Academy, Muna Onuzo; Regional Bank Head (RBH), North-West 2, Fidelity Bank Plc, Salihu Jibrin;  and Branch Leader (BL), Sokoto, Fidelity Bank Plc, Bello Aliyu, at the opening ceremony of the Fidelity Youth Empowerment Programme (YEA 7) for undergraduates and other selected participants Sokoto State University… Monday


Fidelity Bank Staff present at the opening ceremony of the  Fidelity Youth Empowerment Programme (YEA 7) which took place at the Sokoto State University. Sokoto where vocational training in  Fashion Designing, Makeover, Cloth Embellishment, Wig making and Computer Coding were conducted for  undergraduates and other selected participants in the state… Monday

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Nigerian Media Monitoring and Measurement Agency Bags NMNA Award




The Nigerian media monitoring and measurement industry have P+ Measurement Services to thank for putting the Industry on the map once again. The innovative agency brought home the highly converted “Best Media Monitoring and Measurement Agency” award at the 13th Nigerian Media Nite-out awards (NMNA) held in Lagos State, Nigeria.

P+ upstaged four other media monitoring agencies to clinch the prestigious award; the first of its kind the media monitoring agencies in Nigeria have ever won.

The award which was done transparently and anonymously through a voting system before the winner was selected, received a loud ovation from the Marketing and Communications Industry. The event brought together governors, prominent personalities, media experts and publishers who witnessed the historic award.

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P+ Media Monitoring and Measurement agency is Nigeria’s leading PR measurement agency dedicated to a 24/7 monitoring schedule that instantly delivers media highlights as it happens. It is an independent PR measurement and evaluation consultancy that helps PR professionals understand and demonstrate the impact of PR activities.

Speaking of the win, the agency’s Chief Operating Officer Olufunke M. said “winning the best media monitoring and measurement agency at the Nigerian Media Nite-out award is an endorsement of the bold, effective and innovative work we do at P+ measurement services.

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P+ stands out and our portfolio is a testament to the strategies we implement on a daily basis. We are glad to be recognised as the first media monitoring and measurement agency in Nigeria to win this award. We will continue to stand out, innovate and deliver quality metrics within and outside Africa”, she said.

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