Buhari Blames Poverty, Insecurity On Decades Of Resource Mismanagement

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has blamed the current economic and security challenges being experienced in the country on decades of neglect and mismanagement of resources.

The President believes that if assets and resources available to the country had been properly managed in years past, it would have been a prosperous and peaceful nation.

He was quoted to have said this in a statement issued on Tuesday by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina.

According to the statement, President Buhari made the remarks at the State House, Abuja, while receiving in audience the board of Ecobank Transactional Incorporated, led by the Group Chairman, Mr Emmanuel Ikazoboh.

Addressing the delegation, he, however, noted that despite the challenges, the government remains committed to the goals of securing the country, inclusive economic growth, and fighting corruption.

He also stressed that Nigeria was in a unique position as the most populous and resource-rich nation on the African continent, adding that the resources would be harnessed and properly managed, to engender a prosperous and peaceful country.

Speaking further, he said his administration had made progress in some areas such as agriculture, while stating that his government was determined to reverse the trend of squander-mania and mismanagement.

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He, therefore, appealed to Ecobank Transnational Incorporated to “institute a special fund to develop agriculture, which will cement your legacy as a bank that helped to transform this region’s economic fortunes.”

President Buhari commended Ecobank for “being active in promoting financial inclusion”, noting that it is key to the government’s diversification agenda.

On requests by the bank for decongestion of the Apapa ports, and rebuilding of the transnational Lagos-Badagry-Seme road, the President results would be visible as he commences his second term.

“We are aware and are working in all those areas, and by the grace of God, you will start seeing results during my second term in office,” he said.

Senate Committee Investigates Cecilia Ibru’s Siezed Assets

senateThe Senate has begun investigating an allegation made by stakeholders that the Asset Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON) failed to remit funds and assets of former Managing Director of the Defunct Oceanic Bank, Mrs Cecilia Ibru to shareholders, as well as Eco Bank, the company that took over Oceanic Bank

At an investigative hearing organized by the Senate Committee on Drugs, Narcotics and Financial Crimes, the committee observed that four years after entering into a plea bargain with the office of the Attorney General of the Federation, Mrs Cecilia Ibru is yet to remit N16.1 million to AMCON.

However, the Acting Managing Director of AMCON, Mrs Foluke Dosunmu said AMCON had not taken up Mrs Ibru over the N16.1 billion, because it had not ascertained her unwillingness to pay it, saying once it is confirmed that she’s not ready to pay, the corporation would take her back to court.

The Acting MD Also maintained that AMCON does not owe the Oceanic or Eco Bank.

The Senate Committee also faulted AMCON over its failure to follow due procedures in the sales of some recovered properties, as they revealed how the corporation had failed to advertise the property before embarking on sales as required by the rules governing sales of government property.

The Senate Committee, headed by Senator Victor Lar had entertained a petition said to have been filed by a Nigerian whose name was not disclosed, said that the sale of the properties by (AMCON) were questionable.

The seized assets, worth N569 billion, were taken over by the Federal Government, following a plea bargain entered into by Mrs Ibru. The committee said that the mode of disposal of the assets located within and outside Nigeria was shrouded in secrecy.

Senator Victor Lar said on Monday that Ibru had pleaded guilty, during the course of her prosecution and entered into a plea bargain with the government, while handing over assets allegedly bought with depositor’s funds.

CBN Explains Rationale Behind ‘Too Big To Fail’ Banks

Speaking on the CBN’s motive for designating 8 commercial banks as ‘too big to fail,’ the Director, Banking Supervision of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mrs. Agnes Tokunbo-Martins said the named banks are systemically important to the economy as their failure could have far reaching effect on Nigeria’s financial stability.

The implications of the designation for the banks is that banks are permitted to have 50% off their capital as subordinated debts or loans but if considered systemically important, they are required to have a capital that is 75% common equity.

This is because common equity is considered to be higher loss absorbency.

In terms of liquidity: “you’d have to have about 5% above the regulatory minimum which is 30%. She added that the average banks have about 50%, so their pronouncement does not place extra burdens on the said banks.

The MD of Cowry Assets Management Limited, Johnson Chukwu, avers that there is no bank that is too big to fail but the CBN has only identified banks whose failure could affect the banking system.

“Any bank could fail if they don’t manage their risk asset portfolio very well or if there’s a major fraud,” he said.

The banks named ‘Too Big To Fail’ are First Bank of Nigeria, Guarantee Trust Bank, Skye Bank, Access Bank, Diamond Bank, Zenith Bank, United Bank of Africa and Eco Bank.

Three Dead As Gunmen Raid Banks, Police Station In Kwara

Three banks were yesterday raided in Omu-Aran, the headquarters of Irepodun local government area of Kwara state, killing three people and escaping with an unspecified amount of money.

The banks’ invasion started some minutes after six in the evening as sporadic gun shots rented the air in an operation that lasted for more than an hour.

The armed robbers,  an eye witness said, 20 in number, first attacked the Police Division and the barrack then deflated the tyres of the police armoured carrier packed outside.

They were said to have thereafter invaded the banks which include First Bank, Union Bank and Ecobank all located on Aperan Way in the town using grenades and dynamite to break the door and the bank’s vault.

An accountant with Union Bank identified as Gade and a driver were felled by the armed robber’s bullets.

Also a member of a vigilante in the town identified as Dapo alias Igbin was also gunned down before the armed robbers escaped with an unspecified amount of money.

Meanwhile, youths in the town stormed the Omu-Aran Police Division as well as the area commander office to protest the armed robbery invasion.

The youths, who were hauling stones and other items at the station, were protesting the invasion of the banks with no response from the police.

A police patrol vehicle was also set ablaze by the youth while the police had to respond with tear gas to disperse the surging youths.