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Skye Bank, Sterling Bank Lose N18bn To Bad Loans

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Skye Bank Plc and Sterling Bank Plc have recorded net loss of about N18 billion as provisions for classified loans ate deep into profitability. Audited report and accounts of the two banks for the 12 month period ended September 30, 2009, showed that the two banks altogether recorded exceptional items totaling N45 billion as provisions and write downs for bad loan assets.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has insisted that all banks must fully disclose and make adequate provisions for non-performing loans, a directive that has seen many banks account in the red.
Skye Bank’s report showed a net loss of about N13.3 billion in 2009 as against profit after tax of N15.13 billion in 2008. Pre-tax loss stood at N12.63 billon in 2008 compared with pre-tax profit of N20.45 billion in corresponding period of 2008. The bank, however, expanded the top-line by 36 per cent with gross earnings of N101.45 billion in 2009 as against N74.62 million in 2008.
In the same vein Sterling Bank recorded net loss of about N4.6 billion in 2009 as against net earnings of N6.58 billion in 2008. Pre-tax loss had stood at N4.35 billion in 2009 compared with profit before tax of N7.98 billion in 2008. Sterling Bank also reported marginal increase in gross earnings from N36.30 billion in 2008 to N37.77 billion in 2009.
Both banks indicated that provisions for bad loans adversely affected their performance during the period. Skye Bank indicated that it recorded an exceptional item of N34.18 billion while Sterling Bank reported exceptional item of N10.83 billion. Both Skye Bank and Sterling Bank have been cleared as sufficiently in stable condition for sustainable operations by the recent audits of the CBN. The apex bank had on August 14, 2009 cleared Sterling Bank Plc in the first batch of the industry-wide audit, the same day it took over and replace the management of five banks adjudged to be in grave situation.
The first batch of troubled banks include Union Bank of Nigeria (UBN) Plc, Intercontinental Bank Plc, Oceanic Bank International Plc, Afribank Nigeria Plc and Finbank Plc. The CBN on October 2 released the report of the second batch of its special examination giving nine banks including Skye Bank clean bill of health while taking over the management of three other banks. Two other banks were given deadlines to recapitalize their operations.
The nine banks that were cleared included Access Bank Plc, Citibank Nigeria Limited Ecobank Nigeria Plc, Fidelity Bank Plc, First City Monument Bank Plc, Skye Bank Plc, Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc, Standard Chartered Bank Limited and Zenith Bank Plc. All the Public Limited Liability Companies are quoted on the NSE. The apex bank stated that Unity Bank, another quoted bank, was adjudged to have insufficient capital but not in grave situation because it has a healthy liquid position. Both Unity Bank and Wema Bank have been directed to recapitalize their operations by June 30, 2010.
The apex however, took over the management of three other banks including Bank PHB Plc, Spring Bank Plc and Equitorial Trust Bank, bringing to eight total number of banks under the management of CBN appointed management.
Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, governor, Central Bank of Nigeria, has blamed banks for huge concentration of their exposures to the stock market and oil and gas sector, poor corporate government and depleted capital.

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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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