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EXPOSED! How Jumia tricked investors, short-change IATA, CBN

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***MTN fingered in fraud report

 

When a couple of weeks ago, Jumia made headlines by listing in the New York Stock Exchange, not a few people saw it as a big deal and a welcome development. But no sooner had the company sold itself as ‘Africa’s first unicorn’ to trade in the prestigious NYSE than the fraudulent claim of being an “African company” began to fall flat on its face.

Records submitted by the ecommerce firm indicated clearly it is a German company with corporate structure spread across different cities in Europe. Nevertheless, the firm rode on the controversy of its initial public offer (IPO) as the value of its share rose, but only for a short time.

Besides operating in Nigeria as a business against which a lot of infractions have been reported, the fraud that Jumia is has now assumed a global dimension. Moving from a frim with a lot of skeletons in its wardrobe in that it operates an online travel business without an online IATA licence which is one of the requirements for such operation, and also does not have CBN mobile money licence though it operates like one, the Jumia brand is deeply enmeshed in corporate fraud with dire consequences as the NYSE would launch into series of investigations to mete out the right treatment to the firm.

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Citron Research, a US Based online investment Newsletter, has declared Jumia shares as “worthless” and that they had never “seen such an obvious fraud”. Jumia share price was down by over 18% as at closing of trading at the New York Stock Exchange. According to the report by Citron, Jumia forged its numbers ahead of filing documents for its listing in the US. Two of Jumia’s largest shareholders, MTN and Rocket Internet wanted to exit the company after it reported in 2018 that it has a year’s cash left.

The company’s revenue also declined from $145million to $131million while adjusted EBITDA loss went from $161million to $150million. Jumia removed certain information and went ahead to distort the figures and facts in its investment memorandum with a view get its stock overpriced that its actual value.

Citron, in its 18 years of publishing said it “has never seen such an obvious fraud as Jumia.” Cited as material discrepancies deliberately made up by Jumia include: inflating active customer base (from 2.1 million in October 2018 to 2.7 million by April 2-19) and active merchant numbers (from 43,000 to 53,000 between same period) which represented 20% to 30% growth – a claim which Citron suggests cold not have been true.

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It also claimed that “the most disturbing disclosure that Jumia removed from its F-1 filing was that 41% of orders were returned, not delivered, or cancelled. This was previously disclosed in the Company’s October 2018 confidential investor presentation,” implying that most of its orders were cancelled in 2018.

The damaging report is an absolute vote of no confidence in Jumia which it accused of corporate fraud. “When a company markets to investors ahead of its IPO and then a few months later omits material facts and makes material changes to its key financial metrics to make the business seem viable, this is securities fraud,” the report says.

Source: TheCapital

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Ibukun Awosika’s Other Love

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Ibukun

 

Love for children naturally come with women. This is a fact.

 

However, there are women whose affection for children is exceptional and unexplainable.

 

Respected Ibukun Awosika, the Chairman of First Bank Nigeria and Chief Executive Officer of The Chair Center Group is such a woman.

 

A success story in several business fronts, the woman has found a way of effectively finding time for her other love, children.

 

Renowned for her women conferences, her undying love for children has also drawn her into the board of some primary schools. 

 

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FIRST BANK: TOWARDS REVIVING NIGERIA’S TEXTILE INDUSTRY

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By Chinyere Joel- Nwokeoma (NAN)

For many years, until the early 1980s, the Nigerian textile industry was the highest employer of labour, after the public sector. Sadly, the industry is in dire straits battling for survival in recent times.

Among the challenges that confronted the sector were policy inconsistency leading to closure of many textile companies occasioned by poor power supply, smuggling, poor access to finance and high operating cost, among others.

It is unarguable that the closure of many textile companies contributed to the rise in the country’s high unemployment rate, rising insecurity and other social vices.

It is against this backdrop that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, recently lamented the country’s descent from being a textile giant to a mediocre player in the world economy.

Emefiele said Nigeria used to be home to Africa’s largest textile industry in the 1970s and early 1980s with the employment of over 450,000 people.

“The textile industry at that time was the largest employer of labour in Nigeria after the public sector, contributing over 25 per cent of the workforce in the manufacturing sector.

“The industry was supported by the production of cotton by 600,000 local farmers across 30 of Nigeria’s 36 states.

“This sector supported the clothing needs of the Nigerian populace, as our markets were filled with locally produced textiles from companies such as the United Textiles in Kaduna, Supertex Limited, Afprint, Texlon, Enpee and Aswani Mills, among others.

“In addition, the cotton growing sector has gone dead, thereby depriving thousands of smallholder farmers the chance to earn a living.

Furthermore, a large proportion of our clothing materials today are imported from China and countries in Europe,” Emeifele stated.

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It is against this background that First Bank of Nigeria Ltd, in line with its celebratory 125th anniversary , themed, “Woven into the Fabric of Society”, on Oct. 2 commemorated the country’s independence with a locally made textile attire.

Specifically, the bank set aside Oct. 2 to have all staff wear a locally made textile attire adorned in its 125 anniversary logo and over 18,000 staff across the bank and FBN Holdings participated.

The bank in a statement attributed the initiative to moves to celebrate the country’s 59th Independence anniversary and at the same time support the textile industry.

“The native attire fashion statement by FirstBank and the FBN Holdings Group is rooted in our trust in the diverse opportunities the textile industry provides.

“And indeed its contribution to national growth and development, vis-à-vis the job opportunities, youth and women empowerment, as well as the entrepreneurship driven influence its creates cannot be overemphasised.

“The bank is indeed honored to have been woven into the Fabric of Society in the last 125 years and is committed to keep promoting activities and opportunities that contribute to the growth of the textile industry.” it added.

Apart from the above intitative, FirstBank also provide access to market and provide opportunities for entrepreneurs in the Small Medium Scale Enterprise (SMEs) of the fashion industry with an initiative tagged Fashion Souk.

The bank partners with Eventful Nigeria Ltd with Fashion Souk, a platform that creates an opportunity for players in the fashion industry to exhibit and sell their wares to the thousands of event participants.

Textile Industry

FirstBank Chairman, Ibukun Awosika The Octopus News

The bank also in a bid to ensure sustainability of the industry recently introduced fashion design loan specifically designed to offer financial support to the participants in the textile industry.

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The bank’s fashion design loan with a single obligor limit of up to two million naira is targeted at tailors, dressmakers and traders in clothing accessories with no tangible collateral required.

Textile Industry

CEO, FirstBank, Adesola Adeduntan

To be eligible for the loan, applicants must have been in line of business for a minimum of three years.

Commenting on the development, Mr Moses Igbrude,  Publicity Secretary,  Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria (ISAN), described the initiative as a wonderful concept.

“I hope those in the local textiles value chain will key into it and take advantage of this initiative.

“FirstBank should also ensure that the concept is properly communicated to the larger audience to ensure more patronage of locally made textile,” Igbrude said.

He noted that the Federal Government on its part should encourage institutions that are supporting our local industries by way tax incentives.

Also speaking, Mr Shehu Mikail, National President, Constance Shareholders Association of Nigeria, commended the bank’s support for local fabric and the textile industry.

Mikail said that the initiative would boost the morale of interested bodies who would like to venture into local fabric in promoting our culture to the world.

He said that the bank should focus on the fashion designers who would be ready to promote Nigerian mode of dressing to meet the world class in fashion design.

“This will help in promoting Made in Nigeria fabric and it will also encourage an interested investor to venture into textile industry business and this will tranform our economy,” Mikail stated. (NAN)

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UBA Honours Kola Jamodu after 12 Years of Service; Assures of Solid Governance Processes

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Kola Jamodu

 

Pan African financial institution, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc has assured investors and shareholders of her continuous adherence to solid corporate governance processes as the bank honoured its ex-director, Chief Kola Jamodu.

In a glitzy cocktail event and dinner in his honour at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja, on Thursday, Jamodu was celebrated for his service on the bank’s board for 12 years as a non-Executive director. Accolades were poured on him, for his remarkable contributions to the group over the period that have helped solidify the bank’s footprints in its many countries of operations. 

Speaking at the event, UBA’s Group Chairman, Tony O. Elumelu, commended Jamodu’s efforts at contributing towards the strong corporate governance policies which UBA currently boasts of.

He said, “Chief Jamodu is a great Nigerian, a respected man and a great non-executive director to UBA. He has been wonderful and instrumental to today’s current standing of UBA across our 20 presence countries in Africa as well as in America, United Kingdom and in Paris. He was on the board of UBA for 12 years, and in line with corporate practices, which says at the end of 12 years, you retire from the board, he is retiring and we are here to celebrate his contribution to the bank.”

While reeling off some of Jamodu’s many achievements, Elumelu said, “He has been extremely supportive to UBA; he served as Chairman of Board Risk Committee, and he has all the experience – a chartered accountant, extremely astute, chairman of Nigerian Breweries, chairman of PZ, chairman of Nutricima; former minister of industry; a great tax expert, financial and management expert and UBA has been extremely lucky to have him on our board for 12 years. So to him and his family, we say thank you for all the support, for the teachings, for being generous with knowledge and for asking those hard questions that made us solidify our governance processes here at UBA.”

On his part, the Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Kennedy Uzoka, explained in fine details the impact that Jamodu’s experience has had on the bank, adding that he was able to help UBA navigate through some challenges that have now made the bank come out even stronger.

He said, “Chief Kola Jamodu is a very astute financial manager with diverse experience; he is someone that has helped us as managers to look into areas that we may not have looked into. During his time, he helped us to navigate critical issues, and now UBA America is a bank on its own as is UBA UK. He was always asking the right questions which others would have missed, and this is what helped us be where we are today. He started with us when we had just a few countries of operation and now today, UBA is operating in 23  countries. Kudos to Jamodu, he will be missed.”

Jamodu, who attended the event with his beautiful wife Funmilayo, thanked the bank for the opportunity given to him to contribute to the growth of the UBA Group, adding that as a board member one should be able to have an impact in the way things are being done, in governance principles and much more.

Speaking on his most memorable achievements on the board, he said, “I am very happy today that loan loss provisioning in UBA is one of the lowest because of the way we have handled those issues. My door is quite open and I will continue to offer what I can to ensure that this bank which I am still very much a part of continues to flourish.  My advice to the board, is that they should continue to ensure good succession planning which is very important.”

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