Updated: EFCC to investigate MTN’s listing 

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MTN Nigeria says it received a letter from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Thursday May 23, requesting information and documentation related to the listing of its shares on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).
In a statement signed by Uto Ukpanah, MTN’s company secretary, the telecommunications company says it has not been accused of any wrong doing by the EFCC.
“We wish to reiterate that we received all regulatory approvals required to list our shares on the NSE, as publicly declared by the Nigerian Stock Exchange and Securities Exchange Commission (SEC),” Ukpanah said.
BusinessDay learnt that on Friday May 24, operatives of the EFFC visited the MTN head office in Falomo Ikoyi Lagos, disrupting work activities.
Our source confirmed that the visit was pertaining to alleged issues on the genuineness of MTN’s recent listing which the EFCC would need to investigate.
“I believe the EFCC was informed that MTN was manipulating figures and also, maybe because of fraud pertaining to the company’s listing,” the source said.
However, MTN denies any fraudulent activity.
“As a law abiding and responsible corporate citizen, we are co-operating fully with the authorities. We are committed to good governance and to abiding by the extant laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” MTN said in its statement.


Jumoke Akiyode-Lawanson

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NIMC begins enrollment in US Tuesday

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In continuation of enrolment of Nigerians in diaspora into the National Identity Database, the National Identity Management Commission, NIMC will begin the exercise in the United States of America on Tuesday, 28th May.

Diaspora enrollment is currently going on in South Africa, the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom.

The new phase of the exercise will involve the demographic & biometrics data capture of all Nigerian citizens residing in the USA, is in collaboration with Thebez Global Resources Ltd, Defcon Systems Limitedand National eAuthentication Limited (NeAL), Nigerian Companies licensed by the NIMC to serve as its agents, and carry out enrolment services across the globe.

Aliyu Aziz, NIMC Director General/CEO reiterated that the extension is in line with NIMC’s mandate to ensure that all Nigerian citizens in Nigeria, those in the Diaspora and Legal Residents in Nigeria are enrolled into the National Identity Database and issued the unique National Identification Number (NIN) to applicants upon successful enrolment.

“The programme will make it easier for Nigerians in Diaspora to be identified, as the Federal Government of Nigeria has made the possession of NIN a mandatory requirement for elections, Bank account opening, Land Transactions, access to Legal/health services, acquisition/renewal of the International Passport, Driver’s License and the ECOWAS travel document, amongst others”, Aziz stated.

Loveday Ogbonna Head, Corporate Communications, NIMC in a statement said, “the programme is scheduled to go live from Tuesday, 28th May, 2019 in Washington DC at 11900 Parklawn Drive, Suite 160 Rockville, MD 20852.

“Other locations and commencement dates across the United States are: 1001 Texas Avenue, Suite 5050 (Level 5) Houston, Texas, Tuesday 28th May, 2019; 9894 Bissonet Street, Suite 745 Houston, Texas, TX 77036, Tuesday 28th May, 2019; 370 Lexington Avenue, Suite 1505, New York, NY 10017, Thursday 30th May, 2019; … Read More...

EdFin Microfinance Bank commences operation with focus on education

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EdFin Microfinance Bank on Thursday officially kicked-off banking operations, focusing on providing savings, loans and value-added services to stakeholders in the education sector of the economy.

The lender, which is Nigeria’s number first specialised bank focused solely on education finance, is an initiative of Gray Matters Capital through their investment company Gray Matters Mauritius (GMM) together with Bunmi Lawson and Adetayo John–Fishers.

The bank is designed to improve learning outcomes by providing financial services to private schools, school contractors and other stakeholders in the sector. EdFin will enable schools become sustainable businesses, develop linkages to education solution providers for innovative apps and technologies to supplement school curriculum.

Speaking at the launch of the bank, Oby Ezekwesili, former minister of education, advised the banks to direct their services to bridge the gap in skills and knowledge of schools, to enable the students transform the economy and compete with their counterparts across the world.

She said that if a country wants to improve the economic and social wellbeing of its citizens, it must be done through quality education.

“Those who have the capacity to pay should pay the right price for tertiary education and for those without the capacity to pay, edufinance and a subsidy from the federal government that is well designed will ensure that they are not left out of education,” Ezekwesili said.

It’s the bank’s vision to be the globally recognised bank of choice for education financial solutions in Africa and its mission is the provision of financial services to the education ecosystem for the realisation of human potential.

The bank believes that by providing appropriate financial services plus value added solutions to education providers and users, the human potential will be realised.

Bunmi Lawson managing director/CEO, said the launch of the bank marked the … Read More...

NEPC says Port Harcourt ready for export drive

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Officials of the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) say Port Harcourt is ready to join export drive, as about 42 persons from the South-South geo-political zone have benefited from the zero to export training organised by the NEPC.

Congratulating the participants, the project coordinator, Kola Awe, enjoined them to bring what they learnt to bear in the quest for diversification of Nigeria’s economy by assiduously searching for markets for their products, assuring them of support.

“Port Harcourt has shown itself to be ready for export. Port Harcourt is the flagship of the South-South,” he said. The 42 persons received their certificates of participation on Thursday at a graduation ceremony held at Aldgate Hotel, Sani Abacha Road, Port Harcourt.

Addressing the graduands during the ceremony, Joe Ita, who represented the CEO of NEPC, Segun Awolowo, urged them to apply the knowledge they acquired during the training towards the quest for diversification of Nigeria’s economy by exploring the export business.

The CEO said NEPC would continue to create opportunities for Nigerians to imbibe the culture of exportation through capacity building training programmes as it celebrates the passing out of 42 trainees of Zero to Export Capacity Building Programme.

Awolowo made this known at the Batch 5 Zero to Export Graduation Ceremony in Port Harcourt. He said that the Zero to Export Programme had been part of the Council’s efforts to reposition the non-oil sector, enforcing the narrative of the Council through job creation and inclusive growth – thereby making it a major contributor to the Gross Domestic Product of Nigeria.

“There is no doubt that the essence of our gathering today underscores the crucial role that non-oil export sector plays in the present administration’s effort at diversifying the Nigerian economy away from over reliance on oil as its … Read More...

Finance minister calls for intensified efforts to boost revenue

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Nigeria’s minister of finance, Zainab Ahmed, has called for intensified efforts to boost revenue generation in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s emphasis at his 2019 budget speech.

Speaking at the quarterly world press conference held in Abuja, the minister discussing the trends and achievements of the economy over the last quarter, underscored the vital role of domestic revenue mobilisation for continued economic success and inclusive growth in Nigeria.

Pointing to the directive of the President for the acceleration of all revenue initiatives, Ahmed said, “The time to act is now – if we do not address the long standing issue of ‘unsatisfactory revenue performance’ in our country, particularly in the non-oil sector, we will never realize our shared goal of ensuring appropriate financing for critical sectors such as health, education, infrastructure, and ultimately to co-creating a Nigeria leaving no one behind.”

As minister of finance, Ahmed has taken on the President’s important call to action by prioritising revenue generation and formally launching in January 2019 the Strategic Revenue Growth Initiatives (SRGI), a suite of comprehensive cross-cutting interventions aimed at boosting revenue performance.

Since the launch of the initiative, revenue performance, in her opinion, continues to show improvements, with revenues amounting to N3.96trillion as at the end of fourth-quarter (Q4) 2018, this represents a 31percent increase over the performance in 2017. However, this performance of 3.96 trillion still falls short of this Administration’s budgeted target as the aggregate revenue performance is still only 55percent of the projected revenue of N7.16 trillion.

Consequently, the Ministry of Finance would continue to prioritize revenue generation, and the implementation of the Strategic Revenue Growth Initiatives (SRGI).

Whereas there has been progress since the launch of the initiatives, the global economy, as anticipated, has slowed down in 2019 with a revised growth … Read More...