Police Confirm ‘Simultaneous’ Attack On Three Banks In Kogi

A file photo of a police van on patrol.

 

Police authorities in Kogi have confirmed the attack on three banks in Ankpa, a town and one of the local government areas of the state.

In a statement late Tuesday, Mr William Aya who is the Police Public Relations Officer in the state said the raid on UBA, First Bank, and Zenith Bank branches in Ankpa was carried out simultaneously.

“The Commissioner of Police, Kogi State Police Command CP Edward Egbuka, psc immediately led a team of tactical operatives to the scenes for on-the-spot assessment and has equally ordered the deployment of additional operational assets consisting of operatives of the Police Mobile Force, Counter Terrorism Unit, Quick Response Unit, State Intelligence Bureau in synergy with other security agencies to restore normalcy in the area,” he said.

The gunmen were said to have stormed Ankpa in large number on Tuesday afternoon, causing panic in the area as residents run for safety.

According to reports, the armed robbers raided the banks in an operation that lasted several hours with no interference from the security operatives.

While they reportedly moved from one bank to the other and left the town in bullet shells, a student of the Kogi State University was alleged to have been shot dead at the scene of withdrawing cash from one of the banks’ automated teller machine (ATM).

Although Aya did not state whether anyone was killed or injured during the raid, he gave a contrary account regarding the presence of the security operatives.

“The police personnel on duty both at the station and the banks quickly recovered from the sudden attack and gallantly repelled the attackers who were forced to flee – some into nearby bushes, others with their vehicles,” he said. “The hoodlums abandoned three vehicles used for the operation in their haste to escape, some of them with bullet wounds.

“The CP use this medium to call on the people of Ankpa and its adjoining communities to be on the lookout and report anybody seen with bullet wounds to the Police or any other security Forces nearest to them.”

The police commissioner, according to its Aya, is committed to working in synergy with other security agencies and patriotic stakeholders in the onslaught against crimes and criminality to make the state a safe and secure place for all and sundry.

He also tasked the Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of the Investigation Department (SCID) to commence investigations into the remote and immediate cause of the incident, as well as trail the hoodlums with a view to apprehend and bring them to book.

Egbuka appealed to residents to go about their lawful businesses and continue to support the police and other security agencies with credible and timely information on the activities of criminal elements in their environs.

UPDATED: Six Killed As Gunmen Attack Banks In Edo State

Suspected terrorists abducted an unspecified number of traders travelling along the Kaduna- Birnin Gwari Road
A file photo of three armed men.

 

Six persons were killed following a gunmen attack on commercial banks in Uromi, Esan North East Local Government Area of Edo State, a police official said. The affected institutions include Zenith Bank, UBA, Union Bank, and First Bank. 

The incident took place on Thursday afternoon, according to the spokesman of the Edo State Police Command, Bello Kontong.  The affected persons include two police officers and four civilians.

He said the attack led to substantial damages to the affected banks, noting that details about the incident will be communicated later.

Videos of the attack trended on social media. Residents of the community were seen scampering for safety as the attackers shot sporadically.

CBN To Stop Sale Of Forex To Banks By Year End

 

The Central Bank of Nigeria has revealed that it would stop the sale of foreign exchange to banks by the end of the year.

CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, said the banks must begin to source their forex from export proceeds.

Read Also: How Diaspora Remittances Increased From $6m Weekly To Over $100m – Emefiele

“The era is coming to an end when, because your customers need 100million dollars in foreign exchange or 200 million dollars, you now want to pack all the dollars and pass it to CBN to give you dollars.

“It is coming to an end before or by the end of this year. We will tell them don’t come to the Central Bank for foreign exchange again go and generate your export proceeds.

“When those export proceeds come, we will fund them at 5% for you and they will earn rebait. Then you can sell those proceeds to your customers that want 100 million dollars. But to say you will continue to come to the Central Bank to give you dollars, we will stop it,” the CBN boss said.

He made the comments at a briefing during the launch of the bank’s new forex repatriation scheme, RT200, held after the Banker’s Committee meeting on Thursday, in Abuja.

According to Emefiele, the decision is in line with the CBN’s new commitment to boost the country’s foreign reserves through proceeds from non-oil exports.

“Nigeria cannot continue to depend on FX earnings to fund its import obligations from revenue coming from earnings from products where we cannot determine both price and quantity,” he also said.

Revenue Leakage: Reps Threaten To Issue Warrant Of Arrest On Erring Banks

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, speaks during a meeting in Abuja on February 5, 2020.

 

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila has frowned at the refusal of some banks to honour the invitation of the Joint Committee on Finance, Banking and Currency.

According to the Speaker, the house will not fail to invoke the weight of the law against the banks, if needed.

The committee is investigating the alleged over $30billion annual revenue leakage in the country.

More to follow…

Niger Governor Eases Lockdown, Directs Markets, Banks To Open

A file photo of Governor Abubakar Bello of Niger State.

 

 

Niger State Governor, Abubakar Bello, has ordered the easing of the lockdown and other measures put in place to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the state.

While briefing reporters on Tuesday at the Government House in Minna, he directed markets, banks and other places of business activities to reopen, but with strict adherence to all safety measures.

The governor, however, stated that there would be strict enforcement of the compulsory use of face masks in public places and adherence to physical distancing.

He also asked the police and other security agencies to arrest and prosecute persons not wearing face masks in public places.

Governor Bello explained that the government took the decision to relax the lockdown after reviewing its strategies and assessment of the current realities.

He revealed that the state Ministry of Education has been directed to liaise with all stakeholders in the educational sector to develop a workable strategy for the reopening of schools in the state.

The governor asked all civil servants to remain at home except those on essential services and thanked the people of the state, especially frontline workers for their effort in the fight against COVID-19.

Read the full text of the governor’s briefing below:

MEDIA BRIEFING BY ALHAJI   (DR.)   ABUBAKAR SANI BELLO,   GOVERNOR, NIGER   STATE AND CHAIRMAN NORTH-CENTRAL GOVERNORS FORUM ON EASING OF COVID-19 LOCKDOWN   IN   NIGER   STATE AT THE   GOVERNMENT HOUSE,   MINNA; TUESDAY 9TH JUNE 2020.

PROTOCOLS:

Once again I thank all Nigerlites, particularly the frontline workers who have been making sacrifices for the containment of COVID-19. We, in our different roles, we have all demonstrated our commitment to the collective wellbeing of all, even in the face of outright discomfort.

As at today, the state has recorded 46 cases of COVID-19 and one death, out of which 26 of them have been discharged and reunited with their families. This represents more than half of the cases we have had to manage.

All confirmed cases so far are limited to nine LGAs of Chanchaga, Suleja, Rafi, Bida, Shiroro, Borgu, Bosso, Mariga, and Kontagora.

However, we have established additional quarantine centres in Minna and Suleja to cater for humane repatriation of Almajirai to reunite with their families and curtail the chances of contracting the virus and its spread.

After reviewing our strategies and assessment of the current realities, the following guidelines shall be used going forward:

All measures earlier put in place shall be eased – nonetheless,   there shall be enhanced enforcement of the compulsory use of facemask in public places and adherence to Physical distancing;

Henceforth, markets, banks and other places of business activities should be opened with strict adherence to all safety measures;

There shall be no more lockdown days, hence restriction of movement shall be from 10pm to 4am;

The ban on inter-state travels except for the movement of agricultural produce, petroleum products, manufactured goods and essential services will remain in force;

All intra-state travels are to be eased and the internal security checkpoints should be dismantled;

The ban on commercial motorcycle operators shall remain;

Public motor parks and other public transportation centres must continue to abide by the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Transport for their operations;

State government to support IBB University to establish a testing centre to include antibody and antigen tests.

Police and other security agencies to arrest and prosecute anyone not wearing face masks in public places within the state;

The State Ministry of Education is directed to liaise with all stakeholders in the educational sector towards developing a workable strategy for the reopening of our schools;

All civil servants are to remain at home except those on essential services.

 

We are redoubling our efforts to operationalize a molecular testing laboratory at General   Hospital Minna, to increase our testing capacity and reduce the turnaround time for the release of results.

Our surveillance systems are being enhanced to quickly detect any case of coronavirus including investigation, monitoring and management of positive cases.

As we strengthen our sensitization efforts to improve case search within our communities to mitigate against community transmission among others, I wish to call on our traditional leaders, religious clerics, market associations, transport unions, youth groups, NGOs, CBOs, to deepen community outreach so that collectively we will curtail this pandemic.

While we continue to do our part, I appeal to everyone to continue to adhere to personal hygiene procedures as well as other precautionary measures.

Thank you all and stay safe.

Govt Offices, Banks Can Open From Monday, Says PTF

 

The Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 has announced that government offices and banks can resume operations from Monday the 4th of May.

This follows the approval of a phased easing of the lockdown in Lagos, Ogun and the Federal Capital Territory, by President Muhammadu Buhari, to allow for the restoration of socio-economic activities.

However, there would be a 6:00 am to 8:00 pm curfew to regulate the movement of people.

Giving a breakdown of how the easing of the lockdown will be implemented, the National Coordinator of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Aliyu Sani, during Wednesday’s briefing, said all government offices and banks can resume operations from Monday.

“For government offices, staff will be allowed to resume from the 4th of May but it will be based on specific grade levels and specific days, so that we can reduce the amount of congestion that we might have in the offices,” he said.

For financial institutions such as banks, the PTF coordinator noted that they will be allowed to open but only between 8:00 am and 2:00 pm, while also ensuring that staff and customers adhere to the hygiene and social distancing measures.

Aliyu stressed that the easing of the lockdown is actually just a shift from one set of interventions to another.

“The most important thing I want to emphasize is, even though we talk about easing the lockdown, in actual fact, we are not really easing, we are just shifting from one set of interventions to another because we are really still far from controlling this epidemic,” he said.

For general movements outside the curfew periods, the PTF coordinator said: “people may go out for work, to buy necessary food and for exercise but we strongly advise persons to restrict themselves to their local government areas except for those that live in metropolitan areas”.

Interstate travel, according to him, will be restricted to only those involved in the supply chain and services such as goods, agricultural products, petroleum products, courier services and relief items etc.

On the other hand, for intrastate movement, services and businesses were advised to provide hand sanitizers for customers.

The general public was also advised to imbibe the use of face masks and other hygiene measures.

On the issue of mass gatherings, Aliyu said there shall be no gatherings of more than 20 persons anywhere per time so as to ensure adherence to physical distancing.

For the manufacturing sector, “we encourage shift work for manufacturing and pharmaceutical companies and limiting staff to only 30-50% to maintain physical distancing and pharmacy shops may remain open overnight,” he said.

Restaurants have been asked not open to the public but will be allowed to engage in home deliveries of food items.

While partial operations will be allowed for the above sectors, academic institutions were, however, advised to remain closed until further evaluation is done.

“Schools are encouraged to continue with e-learning and virtual teaching”, the PTF coordinator added.

CBN To Slam Fine On Banks For Breaching Counterfeit Notes Law

CBN’s Director of Currency Operations, Priscilla Ejeje

 

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) says it will slam a fine on commercial banks found culpable of breaching the law on counterfeit notes.

While appearing on Channels Television’s Business Morning on Thursday, CBN’s Director of Currency Operations, Priscilla Ejeje, said the move is part of the apex bank’s reforms to ensure there are clean notes in circulation.

“Once notes are unfit, they are expected to be withdrawn from circulation. That is our job as a Central Bank. We have told them (commercial banks), we have been engaging them.

“And we believe that they will do their bits. And this time around, we are giving a voice to the public. We have a having a lot of sensitisation all over the country so that the public will also know what their right is and that they have a right to complain to the Central Bank

“So we will go in and investigate a breach and of course we have told them that beginning with counterfeit, there is a penalty for a breach. And that penalty is one million naira per finding in any branch,” she stated.

READ ALSO: FG Has Disbursed Over N3.5tn For Infrastructure Development In Three Years – Osinbajo

Reacting, the Director of Corporate Communication at the apex bank, Isaac Okoroafor, said counterfeiting is a serious offence under the law.

While calling on the public to report any incident of fake or unfit currency, the CBN spokesman explained that the rationale behind it is to reduce the menace.

“It is the role of individuals to report any breach of this policy and guidelines to us and it is our role to take action.

“It is also the role of the banks to ensure that unfit notes are returned to us. It is our role to ensure we destroy that note and issue a new one to replace it.”

According to Okoroafor, the cost of currency management and minting by the Central Bank is enormous, hence the need to ensure that only clean notes are in circulation.

French Banks Call For End To ‘Yellow Vest’ Violence

Women march with balloons during a rally of the Women’s Yellow Vest protest movement (Femmes Gilets jaunes) near Place de la Bastille in Paris on January 6, 2019. France’s “yellow vest” protesters were back on the streets again on January 5 as a government spokesman denounced those still protesting as hard-liners who wanted only to bring down the government.
Bertrand GUAY / AFP

 

French banks called Saturday for an end to violence against branches, cash machines and personnel as the country braced for a 20th day of “yellow vest” protests.

Since the “yellow vest” anti-government protests began in November, more than 760 banks have suffered damage.

“It is time for all to condemn acts committed against banks,” the French banking federation’s executive committee said in comments published in the daily Le Monde.

“Yellow vest” demonstrations are expected Saturday in several French cities despite bans in hotspots such as the Champs-Elysees avenue in Paris and the centre of Bordeaux.

Banks have often been the targets of vandalism and arson during the protests, and last week 11 people were injured when a Banque Tarneaud branch was set on fire near the Champs Elysees.

“We must quickly put a stop to this unbridled and unjustified violence,” the federation said.

It called for order to be restored “so that our colleagues and shop owners can work safely” and meet their clients needs.

The call was echoed by the police union Alliance, which told AFP Saturday its members “were fed up” with critics that sought to blame them for the violence.

“Our duty is to maintain public peace, even if that sometimes means restoring public order,” Alliance secretary-general Frederic Lagache said.

The banking federation’s executive committee comprises the bosses of six large French banks; BPCE, BNP Paribas, Credit Mutuel, Banque Postale, Credit Agricole and Societe Generale.

“For a little more than four months, hundreds of local branches that are essential links in local life… have been targeted, vandalised, pillaged and burned, and bank officers physically threatened,” the federation said.

With taxes a key trigger in the initial protests, it said French banks were the primary contributor to fiscal revenues, paying 644 euros ($720) for each 1,000 euros in net profit, excluding social charges.

France counts 37,000 bank branches and the sector employs more than 360,000 people.

CBN Reviews Capitalisation Of Tier 2 Microfinance Banks

CBN Reviews Capitalisation Of Tier 2 Microfinance Banks

 

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has reviewed the minimum capital base of Tier 2 Microfinance Banks (MFBs) across the country to N50m, informing them to recapitalise by April 2021.

The apex bank, however, maintained the capital base of Tier 1 for State and National Microfinance Banks earlier issued on October 22, 2018.

In a circular to all microfinance banks on Monday by the Director, CBN Finance Policy and Regulations, Mr Kevin Amugo, the financial regulator Tier 2 MfBs must meet a N35m capital threshold by April 2020 and N50m by April 2021.

“The Central Bank of Nigeria has revised the categories of microfinance banks with a view to ensuring continued operations of microfinance banks in the rural, unbanked and underbanked areas of the economy,” the CBN said.

READ ALSO: Emefiele, Three Governors Discuss How To Boost Palm Oil Production

It explained further, “Accordingly, the unit microfinance banks shall comprise two Tiers: Tier 1-unit microfinance bank which shall operate in the urban and high-density banked areas of the society; and Tier 2-unit microfinance banks which shall operate only in the rural, unbanked or underbanked areas.

“Tier 1-unit microfinance banks must meet a N100m capital threshold by April 2020 and N200m by April 2021.”

The apex bank noted that the Tier 2-unit microfinance banks must meet a N35m capital threshold by April 2020 and N50m by April 2021.

According to it, state microfinance banks shall increase its capital to N500m by April 2020 and N1 billion by April 2021.

“A national microfinance bank shall hold a capital of N3.5 billion by April 2020 and N5 billion by April 2021,” it added.

The CBN had raised the minimum capital base of MFBs on October 22, 2018, explaining that the revision became inevitable as the sector had been contending with challenges such as inadequate capital base, weak corporate governance, and ineffective risk management practices, among others.

Alleged Illegal Repatriation: CBN Deducts N5.61bn From Three Banks

Nigeria's Foreign Exchange Inflow Hits $91b In 2017 – CBN

 

The Central Bank of Nigeria has deducted a total of N5.61 billion from the accounts of three banks as fines it imposed on them last week for alleged illegal repatriation of funds for telecoms giant, MTN.

According to a report by Reuters, the three banks include Standard Chartered which was debited N2.47 billion, Stanbic IBTC N1.88 billion, and Citibank Nigeria N1.26 billion.

Although four banks were sanctioned last week by the regulator, it is not yet clear if the N250 million fine on Diamond Bank was deducted from its account by the CBN.

Meanwhile, Standard Chartered Bank and Citibank have confirmed the deductions and notified their parent companies in South Africa and the United States about the development, pledging full co-operation with the CBN to resolve the issue as soon as possible.

Stanbic IBTC also confirmed the deduction in a statement on Thursday.

The bank said, “Following our earlier announcement to The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) on 30 August 2018, in respect of the penalty of N1.886 billion imposed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on our banking subsidiary – Stanbic IBTC Bank PLC (the Bank) in relation to the remittance of foreign exchange on the basis of certain capital importation certificates issued to MTN Nigeria Communications Limited, we write to update the NSE that the CBN has debited the account of our banking subsidiary with the CBN for the full amount of the above-stated fine advised to the Bank.

“Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC, as well as our banking subsidiary, maintain our position on this matter, which is the fact that the Bank has done nothing illegal and accordingly the Bank will continue to provide CBN with documents and details in support of our contention that our actions in relation to these transactions were not illegal.”

Bank Loans To Private Sector Drop To N15.3tn

NBS

 

Banks reduced lending to the private sector from N15.6 trillion allocated within the first quarter of 2018 to N15.34 trillion in the second quarter.

The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) disclosed this in its 2018 Q2 report titled: Selected Banking Sector Data: Sectorial Breakdown of Credit, ePayment Channels and Staff Strength (Q2 2018).

The report also indicated that loans to the power and energy sector dropped to N416.34 billion, while that of the mining and quarry fell to N10.18 billion.

It, however, noted that total lending to the agriculture sector increased to N523.08 billion while the Oil & Gas and Manufacturing sectors got credit allocations of N3.45trn and N2.02trn to record the highest credit allocations within the period under review.

Furthermore, the NBS stated that a total volume of 509,668,433 transactions valued at N32.90 trillion, were recorded in Q2 as data on Electronic Payment Channels in the Nigeria Banking Sector.

Also, it said, Automated Teller Machine (ATM) transactions dominated the volume of transactions recorded, totalling N1,603billion in Q2.

The total number of bank staff increased by 13.67% from 89,608 in Q1 to 101,861.