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Five Commercial Banks Lose N312m To CBN’s Contraventions In 2014

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The shareholders funds of five commercial banks dipped by N312 million in 2014, following fines they paid to Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for contravening the Banks and Other Financial Institutions Act.
Investigations by our correspondent showed that they are GT Bank, Zenith Bank, First City Monument Bank (FCMB), Access Bank and Sterling Bank.
A breakdown of the figure as contained in the banks’ annual reports showed that Access Bank paid the highest fine of N184 million for various contraventions in the period under review.
The bank was fined N184 million for not obtaining approval from CBN for the additions to investment in properties of N5.15 billion, non-compliance to implementation of the recommendations of a financial services provider, PricewaterhouseCoopers.
It was also fined for contravening the CBN’s foreign exchange manual and weaknesses noted in internal control and know your customer procedures.
A further breakdown of the fine indicated that Access Bank contravened the minimum documentation in the credit file and reporting of public sector deposit in line with CBN guidelines.
Sterling Bank followed by paying N50 million for under reporting of public sector deposits as at Aug. 29, 2014.
Zenith Bank came third in the list of corporate offenders with a fine of N48 million for non disclosure of date of last lodgment on credit print out, appointment of a deputy general manager and incomplete reporting of all transactions of politically exposed persons.
The bank was also fined for incomplete reporting of international funds transfer, incomplete reporting of some currency transactions and misclassification of some public sector deposit among others.
GT Bank during the review period paid N24 million as fine for the appointment of top management without CBN’s approval and infraction arising from anti-money laundering/combating the financing of terrorism spot checks among others.
Similarly, FCMB Group was penalised N6 million for not implementing prior year’s external auditors recommendations, incorrect returns to CBN and failure to comply with ATM operation standards.
Speaking on contravention, National Coordinator, Independent Shareholders Association,Mr Sunny Nwosu,  expressed concern about the various amount paid by banks for contraventions in 2014.
Nwosu said the amount would have translated to higher dividend for shareholders, noting that banks should be very careful and avoid wastage of shareholders’ funds.
“If we have a very punitive regulator, we should learn how to manage them,’’ he told  newsmen in Lagos.
Nwosu said that the board and management of the banks should bear the cost because of their negligence and not the shareholders.
President, Progressive Shareholders Association of Nigeria (PSAN),Mr Boniface Okezie,  said that the apex bank was killing the banks with fines and various regulatory headwinds.
Okezie said that some of the contraventions would have been resolved administratively as against the depletion of shareholders and banks operational funds.
He urged the CBN to temper justice with mercy and allow banks to survive and give investors’ value for their investments.

Pastor Felix Okoroafor (right) winner of Mimi’s Bakery Promo  receiving the symbolic car key from the CEO of Mimi’s Bakery Ibierembo Lawrence-Nemi(left) during the Mimi’s Bakery Promo, at Amadi-Ama, Port Harcourt, yesterday

Pastor Felix Okoroafor (right) winner of Mimi’s Bakery Promo receiving the symbolic car key from the CEO of Mimi’s Bakery Ibierembo Lawrence-Nemi(left) during the Mimi’s Bakery Promo, at Amadi-Ama, Port Harcourt, yesterday

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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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