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CBN Freezes 38 Firms’ Accounts Over Forex Infractions

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has instructed banks to place a post-no-debit on the bank accounts of 38 companies.
The affected accounts belong to betting companies, bureau de change companies and some logistics companies, according to a report by The Cable, last Saturday.
One of the companies, Premier Lotto, is owned by Adebutu Kessington, a Nigerian businessman popularly known as “Baba Ijebu.”
The report stated that the companies were being accused of forex infractions, moving forex abroad without the required authorisation and “economic sabotage.”
Sources said that one of the gaming companies moved $420m abroad under the guise of purchasing software but the funds were later traced to the foreign accounts of some of the directors of the company.
“The forex was sourced from the black market, thereby putting pressure on the exchange rate.
“The gaming companies are awash with naira which sit in their bank accounts, so they devised a way of moving the funds abroad,” a source said.
A memo signed by the Director of Banking Supervision, Bello Hassan, on September 4, read, “You are hereby required to place the under listed accounts on post-no-debit with immediate effect and revert with the account names, numbers, currencies and balances of all accounts placed on PND.”
A post-no-debit means that all debit transactions, including ATMs and cheques, on the accounts have been blocked but money can be deposited into the accounts.
Some of the affected companies are Premier Lotto Limited, 3D Scanners Bureau De Change Limited, Blue Wall Nigeria Limited, JNFX International Limited and Northline Limited.
Others are SV Gaming Limited, R&S Lotto Limited, TM Gaming Networks Limited, Escale Oil and Gas Limited, Barkoli Trading Company Limited, Godoni Enterprises Limited.
The apex bank said only the listed companies should be placed on PND, adding that all related accounts be excluded.

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NTVOA Promotes 24hr-Online Operations On Faulty Vehicles

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The National Towing Vehicles Owners Association (NTVOA) has commenced consultation with security agencies and stakeholders in the transport logistics chain system on the best way to respond promptly  to rescue articulated vehicles parked along major roads and highways nationwide through digitalisation .
The Trade Union Congress (TUC) affiliate association said plans are already afoot to introduce an app designed to respond swiftly to brokendown  vehicles in furtherance to ensure free flow of traffic.
NTVOA said it will test-run the app in  Lagos when completed  due to the predominant and peculiar nature of traffic, noting that the technological device would take the form of “Uber”
In a chat with the National Secretary of NTVOA, Comrade Sylvester Afonughe in Ogun State, he noted that the move would be an all inclusive app through which security agencies will also be alerted  in line with the technological innovation .
He said the operation when completed will encourage faster response to vehicles with technical hitches to be evacuated from the roads.
The scribe sad aggressive campaigns and sensitization mechanism would be put in place to enable stakeholders understand how to use the app upon completion.
Afonughe, an engineer and the Business Relationship Manager, Moniepoint, affirmed that: “It looks tasking, no doubt, but that is what we are looking at as a union because we have already commenced consultation for the website which will operate like Uber or O Pay in nature.
He said the union is also resolved to key into the automation system as part of efforts to address human contact and to promote seamless operations in modern day transport technology.
“We are looking at how we can improve on our operations because it is what I single-handedly initiated under the stable of my organization, then the national can take it up from there.
“So many factors are also considered in this project because we are looking at 24 hours online real time operations because we cannot rule out night activities.

“Security is key here so these are the things we are looking at because we need to carry security agencies along because security must not be compromises when we kick start this project.

By; Nkemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos

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NIWA Provides Waterways Ambulance For Search, Rescue

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The National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) has introduced a new ambulance boat to serve the Lagos waters.
Disclosing this in a statement made available to our correspondent in lagos, NIWA said “The decision to introduce the new ambulance was in response to critical empowerment of the search and rescue team in Lagos, and as strategic fulfilment to suggestions made by the cream of maritime media at a recent parley with the Managing Director of NIWA, Dr. George Moghalu .
“Dr. Moghalu noted that the new craft fitted with amber lights and two 175 Horse Power engines by Yamaha, with cream colour leather interior, fitted with medical equipment, first aid boxes, communication system and stretchers, will form the fulcrum rapid response to accidents on Lagos waterways.
“Rugged and built to  ferry accident victims and those who require immediate medical attention to the nearest hospital and Medical Hold Bay, the ambulance watercraft can travel at controlled timing without fear or anxieties of being buffeted by high impact waves”, it stated.

By: Nkemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos

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CBN Raises Savings Interest To 4.2%

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Bank customers in the country are now to be paid more interest on their savings after the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) reviewed upward minimum interest payable to 30 per cent of the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR).
At its last meeting in July, the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the CBN had raised MPR to 14 per cent due to the persistent rise in inflation rate in the country.
The upward review of interest on savings was stated in a circular signed by the CBN Director, Banking Supervision, Haruna Mustafa, and issued to all banks dated August 15, 2022.
With the new circular, banks are expected to increase interest rate on savings from 10 per cent of MPR to 30 per cent of MPR with effect from August 1, 2022.
Consequently, bank customers can now earn up to 4.2 per cent, which is 30 per cent of the 14 per cent MPR as against 1.4 per cent, which was 10 per cent of the MPR.
According to The Tide’s source, the circular states in part:  “It will be recalled that as part of the efforts to ameliorate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Central Bank of Nigeria reduced the minimum interest rates payable on local currency savings deposits from 30 per cent to 10 per cent of the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR).
“This was aimed at stimulating growth in the larger economy following the economic slowdown occasioned by the pandemic.
“However, following the return to full normalcy and considering the prevailing macroeconomic conditions, it has become necessary to effect an upward adjustment of the interest rate payable on local currency savings deposits.
“Accordingly, effective August 1, 2022, the negotiable minimum interest rate on local currency savings deposits shall be 30 per cent of MPR. This supersedes our letter dated September 1, 2020, referenced BSD/DIR/GEN/LAB/13/052 on the subject.”

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