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AIG Reports Q1 Profit Since 2007

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American International Group Inc. reported its first quarterly profit since 2007 on Friday, as the government-controlled company saw stability in some of its businesses.
AIG shares jumped $4.26, or 18.9 percent, to $26.79 in pre-market trading.
The troubled insurer made $1.82 billion during the second quarter ended June 30. Of that, $311 million, or $2.30 per share, was attributable to common shareholders because the government owns 80 percent of the company after bailing it out last fall.
For the year-ago second quarter, AIG lost $5.4 billion, or $41.13 per share.
AIG now has received a government loan package worth up to $182.5 billion. The company has been aiming to spin off some of its assets to begin to repay the government money. It said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday that it expects proceeds of about $8 billion from sales so far this year, giving it about $4.6 billion to begin repaying debts, including what it owes the government.
Total revenue rose 48 percent, to $29.53 billion from $19.93 billion a year earlier. However, premiums fell during the quarter.
The company said its profit was driven by the stabilizing value of some of its riskier investments, including in its AIG Financial Products Corp. portfolio, the much-maligned division responsible for many of the transactions that prompted the government bailout last fall.
AIG’s near-collapse last fall was because of risky contracts such as credit default swaps, which act as insurance to protect an investor against default on an investment such as a mortgage-backed security. The financial-products division was able to increase the value of remaining swaps on its books by $636 million during the quarter, thanks to improving credit markets. In the second quarter of 2008, AIG cut the value of those holdings by $5.57 billion.
Meanwhile, its insurance results remained “challenged,” said Chairman and CEO Edward M. Liddy in a prepared statement, citing the weak economy and the lingering effects of AIG’s troubles.
Liddy said “performance trends stabilised from the first quarter,” but added that AIG’s financial results would continue to be volatile in future quarters because of accounting charges related to its restructuring.
Liddy is stepping down amid the company’s restructuring and management shuffle, with new President and CEO Robert Benmosche starting on Monday. AIG announced on Thursday that director Harvey Golub, the former chairman and CEO of American Express Co., will become non-executive chairman on Monday.
Liddy’s departure was first announced in May, and at the time it was also announced the CEO and chairman roles would be split, similar to what many financial firms have done over the past year. The former CEO of Allstate Corp., Liddy has served as chairman and CEO of AIG since the government rescued the insurer in September

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FOI Act Implementation Bothers BPST Boss

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The Director-General, Bureau of Public Service Reforms, Dr Dasuki Arabi, has expressed regrets that the implementation of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) has remained very low since the law was enacted.
The BPSR boss made the observation during a workshop held on Wednesday in Abuja on the appraisal of Freedom of Information Act.
Arabi said the Act was meant to entrench transparency and openness in governance through improved compliance to annual reporting obligations of public institutions.
“It is also expected to guide and improve compliance of public institutions in proactive disclosure of mandatory publication requirements, as well as empower citizens, the right to access information held by the state.
“Regrettably, since the introduction of the FOI Act, it is evident that the level of compliance among public institutions still remains low.
“While the level of engagement by citizens still remains insignificant and in some cases fraught with misunderstanding between the State and Non-State actors,” he added.
Arabi, therefore, said that the workshop was to resolve some of the grey areas around FOI, as well as foster a harmonious relationship between the State and Non-State actors towards the implementation of the Act.
He said good governance and transparency would only thrive in the country when citizens access to Information is assured.
The DG emphasised that the FOIA provided platform for inclusiveness that sought to hold leaders to account and feed into the decision making process.
Arabi said that the Bureau had worked assiduously towards the implementation of the Act and was making efforts to ensure that it was institutionalized across the public sector.
He said that the interventions were in the areas of training public service workers and development of feedback mechanism through which a portal for application and responses for FOI request were deployed.
Others, he said, are score-card for ranking the performances of websites of public institutions using specific benchmarks, including FOI portal.
“Creating platforms for citizens engagement with Civil Societies Organizations on topical issues of government through the BPSR flagship programmes such as the monthly Lunchtime Seminar series,” he added.
Arabi said that the Bureau had also deployed information technology to provide innovative means to improve record keeping and management using intranet and Electronic Data Management Systems.
He continued that they were working in conjunction with the Nigeria Economic Summit Group to gauge the perception of citizens on public policies.
In her remarks, the National Coordinator, Open Government Partnership (OGP), Nigeria, Dr Gloria Ahmed, said making information open was a hallmark of democracy and a basic human right.
She said that the FOIA has given citizens the opportunity to access information as regards government policies and reforms.

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FCTA Harmonises Mobile Adverts, Haulage System Against Double Taxation

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The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), Department of Outdoor Advertisement and Signage (DOAS), has launched the FCT/State Mobile Advertisement and Haulage permits for 2023 financial year.
Permanent Secretary, FCTA, Mr Olusade Adesola, while launching the system sought the cooperation of the business owners in the FCT, in order to achieve the objective of the initiative.
Adesola said the move was part of efforts to facilitate the ease of doing business drive in the nation’s capital.
He commended DOAS for the initiative. aimed at improving institutional cooperation and partnerships with the critical stakeholders.
Adesola warned: “FCTA would no longer tolerate acts of thuggery in the collection of taxes, as there are better ways of doing such, which will ensure the attainment of ease of doing business.”
He commended the leadership of Area Councils for resolving to synergise with DOAS to streamline the system.
The Permanent Secretary said the proliferation of collection authorities for mobile advertisements had led to serious loss of Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) in the FCT.
Earlier, the Executive Chairman, Kwali Area Council, Danladi Chiya, said although Area Councils have the constitutional right to collect such advertisements, they have no issue with FCTA over the establishment and mandate of DOAS.

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LASG Begins Vehicle Parking Lanes Demacation

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The Lagos State Parking Authority (LASPA) has revealed it will today commence creating additional Vehicle Parking Lanes in some selected locations across the State.
The Authority stated that all efforts have been geared towards improving the parking system of the State.
Speaking on the planned initiative on Friday in Ikeja, the General Manager of LASPA, Mrs. Adebisi Adelabu, stated that the vehicle parking lane mark exercise, which will begin with designated streets within Surulere, Ikoyi, Lekki, Obalende, Ikeja and Victoria Island axis of the State, is a step towards improving street parking from 2023.
Adelabu noted that the Parking Lane Markings will further guide motorists and pedestrians on appropriate parking regulations and spaces, minimise indiscriminate parking, confusion and uncertainty, while conveying a range of information to residents on parking procedures within each specified environment.
According to her, the lane markings will also include special consideration for people living with disabilities and signposts for parking directives, among other features.
The General Manager, however, solicited the understanding of residents within the locations who might be affected by any inconvenience the process might cause, assuring that the government is working rigorously in regulating and improving the parking culture as part of its Traffic Management and Transportation Agenda to ensure parking is convenient, safe and secure across the state.
Recall that the Authority had recently unveiled plans to begin full implementation of parking policy in the second quarter of 2023 and has continued to sensitise the public on the need to embrace the parking culture.

By; Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos

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