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FCMB Records N16.8bn Profit In Nine Months

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The First City Monument
Bank Group (FCMB) Plc has said it recorded a profit before tax of N16.8 billion in its unaudited nine months results for the period ended 30 September 2014.
This represents an increase of 14 per cent over the N14.7billion realized in the same period prior year.
Also, the Group’s Gross revenue grew by 10 per cent to N106.7billion as against the amount recorded in the comparable period of 2013.
However, FCMB Limited, the commercial banking subsidiary was pivotal to the performance as strategic initiatives to improve service and customer experience, helped optimize its 274 branches and cash-centres serving 2.5million customers, notably in the retail segment.
A statement from the financial institution explained that strong performance in fees also helped to buoy its revenue as CSL Stockbrokers Limited grew its market share.
The statement also noted that FCMB Limited leveraged the services of the investment banking business, FCMB Capital Markets to generate record investment banking revenues.
Consistent with efforts to be supportive to its customers, FCMB Limited extended credit to customers growing its loans and advances by 29 per cent to N565 billion compared to the same period prior year.
“Loans accounted for 54 per cent of the Group’s total assets as against 45 per cent for the same period in the year thereby improving the Group’s earning capacity. The quality of the loan book was sustained with non-performing loans total loans at 2.7 per cent for both the current and prior periods,” it explained.
Managing Director of FCMB Group Plc, Mr Peter Obaseki said across all of the institution’s businesses, during the period, the strategy it pursued were designed to create a business which can accommodate external pressures whilst still being able to deliver sustainable performance.
This according to him, seems to have started paying off.
On his part, the Group Managing Director/CEO of FCMB Limited, Mr Ladi Balogun said the commercial and retail banking arm of FCMB Group Plc. made profit before tax of N157billion, up by 20 per cent from the N13 recorded in the comparable period of 2013.
“For the rest of 2014, we will continue to focus on improving operating efficiency and net interest margins whilst also continuing with our steady customer acquisition drive and migration to alternate service and distribution channels,” he said.

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Stakeholders Meet To Assess Nigeria’s Preparedness For AFCFTA

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Stakeholders are expected to converge in Lagos today to take a look at the Nigeria’s preparedness to maximize the gains of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). 
The Tide learnt that stakeholders will be converging at the instance of a popular online newspaper, Primetime Reporters, to assess the progress made so far by the Federal Government through the National Action Committee on AfCFTA agreement.
The event which is the Third Annual Lecture and Awards of the online medium has as its theme: “Assessing Nigeria’s Preparedness to Maximize the Gains of AfCFTA.” 
The event will also witness conferment of awards on eight eminent Nigerians who have distinguished themselves in various fields of human endeavours.
The Managing Director/Editor-In-Chief of Primetime Reporters, Mr. Saint Augustine Nwadinamuo, made this known in a statement made available to The Tide in Lagos on Monday.
According to him, the event will hold at the National Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), Kofo Abayomi Street, Victoria Island, Lagos beginning from 10.00am.
Nwadinamuo said that the event would be chaired by a renowned legal practitioner, Barr. Osuala Emmanuel Nwagbara of the Maritime and Commercial Law Partners, Lagos, while the Director General, Lagos Chambers of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Dr. Muda Yusuf, would be the lead paper presenter.

By: Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos

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EFCC Nabs 419 Kingpin Over N250m Fraud

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has arrested a leader of a deadly 419 syndicate, Abayomi Kamaldeen Alaka (a.k.a Awise) over an alleged attempt to swindle an innocent Nigerian of N250 million. 
The Tide learnt that the syndicate operates from a shrine at Ashipa Town, near Abeokuta, Ogun State.
According to a statement made available to The Tide in Lagos on Sunday, by the EFCC, Awise’s arrest followed a petition by his victim, Juliet Bright who lost N250m to the fraudster after she was tricked to provide money for sacrifices and invocations to heal her of an ailment.
The statement said Bright was introduced to Alaka by one Akinola Bukola Augustina (a.ka. Iya Osun) whom she met on Facebook in the course of her search for solutions to her health challenge. 
What drew her to Augustina was the latter’s post under the name, Osunbukola Olamitutu Spriritual Healing Centre.
 Once Bright contacted Augustina, the latter promised to heal her if she could pay N16 million. 
The victim paid the money through an Access Bank account belonging to one Mohammed Sani, who later turned out to be a Bureau De Change Operator.
After paying the money without receiving healing, Augustina transferred the victim to other members of the syndicate, notably Awise. 
Bright revealed that she met Awise at his shrine in Ashipa Town and was hypnotized and subsequently transferred various sum through bank accounts and in cash to the suspect and his syndicate members, until she lost N250 million to them.
Despite all the monies collected from her, her health conditions has never improved.

By: Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos

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Expert Wants Farmers To Grow Plant Produce For Export

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An expert in Quarantine Agriculture, Dr Vincent Ozuru, has advised Nigerian farmers to give more attention to growing plants produce that could be exported.
He said that plant like the hibiscus, popularly known as Zobo is on high demand in some countries around the world, today.
Ozuru who gave the advice while speaking to aviation correspondents at Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa, noted that some plants produce, particularly hibiscus, had yielded huge revenue to the Federal Government through export.
According to him, Nigeria exported about 1,983 containers of hibiscus to Mexico alone in 2017 and earned $35 million within nine months of that year.
The agricultural quarantine expert explained that the export of the plant had a setback as a result of storage pest discovered by the Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service in some consignments.
“The issue has now been taken care of and the export is resuming again, and all matters have been resolved with the stakeholders across the value chain.
“Mexico is the largest importer of Nigerian hibiscus, and our farmers should brace up to the challenge.
“The good news is that Nigeria has a vast growing belt in hibiscus, and the harvest is available all year round.
“We need to take advantage of this opportunity to earn foreign exchange for ourselves and for the country at large, even with the commitment of the present administration to diversify the economy”, he said.
Ozuru called on Nigerian farmers to show more commitment to the growing of export produce and also endeavor to get ready information on it in order to increase their income.

By: Corlins Walter

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