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First Bank Boost Revenue By 32%

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First Bank of Nigeria Plc recently announced its gross earnings of N128.1 billion for six unaudited result ended 30 September 2009.

This shows an increase of 32 percent compared with the N96.9 billion published last year September 2008.

The audited result which was released in the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), shows deposit liabilities of N1.2 trillion for the period under review, marking an increase of 41 percent as against N851 billion in September 2008.

Although, the bank’s profit before tax dropped to N3.2 billion, while its profit after tax also dropped to N2.2 billion as compared to N23.8 billion in 2008.

The total assets of the bank hits N2 trillion from N1.8 trillion in 2008, with its loans and advances at which is at N874 billion in September 2008.

The bank also recorded a strong and improved loan-to-deposit ratio of 73 percent as against 104 percent in September 2008, while its non-profit loan ratio hits eight percent in September 2008.

Also, the bank made conservative provision against loans and advances of N29.5 billion in September 2009, with a decline in shareholders funds of N308 billion, indicating a decrease of eight percent when compared with the September 2008 figure of N334 billion.

Commenting on the results, Group Managing Director of First Bank, Bisi Onasanya said: “2009 has been a tough trading environment for the Nigerian banking sector. While First Bank has not been immune to such challenges, we have emerged stronger from the financial crisis.

“In line with our conservative nature, we have taken provision in excess of the N20.1 billion mandated by the Central Bank of Nigeria. We believe that subsequent recoveries of these loans will be positive impact on our performance in coming periods.  Importantly, we continue to win market share as one of the long standing, trusted institutions in the country,” he said.

Onasanya affirmed that First Bank remains committed to capturing synergistic value through further diversification of the bank’s business model, supported by enhanced cost efficiencies and a strong capital base, sasying that First Bank strong capital adequacy ratio of 22 per cent and stable funding base allows it to withstand short-term pressures without deviating from our long term objectives.

On his part, Group Chief Financial Officer, Ola Oyelola said that the bank conservative approach to provisioning against doubtful debts is the correct one, as evidenced by the successful conclusion of the Central Bank’s audit.

“We cannot deny the impact the global financial crisis continues to have on our customer base, and we have made further prudent provisions against the value of loans and investments on our balance sheet.

This allows us to provide a transparent view of the bank’s assets at the end of the period, as well as look forward with confidence that the impact of the prevailing market environment has been largely recognised,” he said.

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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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