Enugu Internal Revenue Board Seals Off Eight Banks

enugu-boardThe Enugu State Board of Internal Revenue has sealed off eight banks in the metropolis, for failure to remit about 1Billion Naira tax to the government.

The exercise which started on Monday morning at about 5:30am, affected Access Bank PLC, Stanbic IBTC Bank, Skye Bank, Union Bank, Unity Bank, Heritage Bank, Keystone Bank and Sterling Bank, in the metropolis.

The Chairman, Enugu State Board of Internal Revenue, Mr Emeka Odo made this known to newsmen in Enugu, that the board obtained an order from the state High Court to seal the affected banks.

Mr Odo, said sealing of the banks which is the first phase of the enforcement exercise on the major companies and institutions will remain under lock and key, to ensure that they perform their civic obligations to the state government.

He however called on customers of the affected banks not to panic as the banks are expected to take necessary actions, to enable the government serve them better.

Absence of EFCC Counsel Stalls Trial Of Jonathan’s Aide

Judges, Court, Judges, Court, Absence of EFCC Counsel Stalls Trial Of Jonathan's AideThe trial of Waripamo-Owei Emmanuel Dudafa, the former Special Assistant on Domestic Affairs to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, could not go on Tuesday at the Federal High Court in Lagos, owing to the absence of the EFCC’s counsel, Mr Rotimi Oyedepo.

Presiding judge, Justice Muhammad Idris, told the court that he received a letter from the EFCC counsel seeking for an adjournment.

In the letter, Mr Oyedepo asked the court to grant the adjournment to enable him attend to an appeal filed by Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr Ricky Tarfa against the commission

Counsel to Mr Dudafa, Gboyega Oyewole, did not object to the request for an adjournment. He however informed the court that he was surprised that his client was not present in court.

Upon enquiry from the prison’s officials, Mr Oyewole said he was told that Dudafa is seriously sick.

He complained about the EFCC treatment of his client.

Justice Mohammed Idris has granted the prosecutor’s application and adjourned the matter till Thursday November 10, for the continuation of the defendants’ trial.

Dudafa and one Iwejuo Joseph Nna, are standing trial before Justice Mohammed Idris on alleged 5.1 billion naira fraud.

In the first count, the defendants on or about June 11, 2013 in Lagos allegedly conspired amongst themselves to conceal the sum of 1.667 billion Naira said to be the proceeds of crime.

The Offence was said to be contrary to Section 18(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) (Amendment) Act, 2012 and punishable under Section 17(a) of the same Act.

In the other charges, Mr Waripamo-Owei also allegedly used six companies – Seagate Property Development and Investment Limited, Avalon Global Property Development Company Limited, Ebiwise Resources, Pluto Property and Investment Company, Rotato Interlink Services and De Jakes Fast Food and Restaurant Nigeria Limited  – to conceal varying sums of money between June 2013 and April 2016.

The EFCC’s Prosecuting Counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, had listed 21 witnesses to testify against the defendants, including Representatives of some banks.

EFCC Charges Jonathan’s Aide, Waripamo-Owei

EFCC, Dudafa Waripamo-Owei, Goodluck JonathanThe Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has filed a 23-count charge against the Senior Special Assistant on Domestic Affairs to former President Goodluck Jonathan, Dudafa Waripamo-Owei.

Channels Television’s judiciary correspondent, Shola Soyele, who obtained a copy of the charge, said that Mr Waripamo-Owei was charged alongside one Iwejuo Joseph Nna, also known at various times as Taiwo Ebenezer and Olugbenga Isaiah.

In the first count, the defendants on or about June 11, 2013 in Lagos allegedly conspired amongst themselves to conceal the sum of 1.667 billion Naira said to be the proceeds of crime.

The Offence was said to be contrary to Section 18(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) (Amendment) Act, 2012 and punishable under Section 17(a) of the same Act.

In the other charges, Mr Waripamo-Owei also allegedly used six companies – Seagate Property Development and Investment Limited, Avalon Global Property Development Company Limited, Ebiwise Resources, Pluto Property and Investment Company, Rotato Interlink Services and De Jakes Fast Food and Restaurant Nigeria Limited  – to conceal varying sums of money between June 2013 and April 2016.

The EFCC’s Prosecuting Counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, had listed 21 witnesses to testify against the defendants, including Representatives of some banks.

The accused have been scheduled for arraignment on Wednesday before Justice Mohammed Idris of the Federal High Court in Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital.

Nigerians Willing To Pay For Stable Power Supply

Power Supply ReformThe Chairman of Power Group, Lagos Chamber Of Commerce and Industry, Mr Effiom Edet, has said that Nigerians are willing to pay for stable supply of electricity if they could see visible improvements in the sector.

Speaking on Channels Television’s programme, Business Morning, on Wednesday, Mr Edet said that to record a recoverable capacity in the power sector, infrastructure and gas needed to be put in place, with the upgrading of the east network prioritised.

Also, the head, Development Finance, Heritage Bank, Segun Akanji, said that the power sector required both the private sector and the government intervention.

To boost the power supply in Nigeria, Mr Akanji emphasised that the government had a responsibility to the people to create a stronger attraction by providing its own balance sheet for the people to access a larger share of funding from the international capital market, private equities and international investors.

Mr Akanji stressed the need for the government to give a lot of consideration to the sector by creating an atmosphere that would attract investors while it could leverage on that as a means of growing the economy.

“Basically it is the way we handle event that would determine whether it could be a crisis or not. But for me I do not think this would be a crisis because, power is important. Without power we cannot have a transformation agenda fully realised,” he said.

He further explained that If there was consistency in delivery of power supply in homes and industries in Nigeria, there would be a strong and massive economic development in the country.

Although the banking sector is exposed to giving out loans to investors and which may lead to crisis, Mr Akanji said that the pattern used in handling the loan process and usage of funds could lead to crisis.

“If the government will be willing to use its balance sheet as a form of guarantee for the power sector to secure the financing or negotiated with potential investors, it will further open up power sector for investors to come in. If this is done the sector facilities can be restructured and the crisis in the banking sector will not emerge,” Mr Akanji said.

 

Experts Laud Government’s Plan To Partially Privatise Bank Of Industry

Segun Akanji and Johnson ChukwuFinancial analysts say the Nigerian government’s planned partial privatisation of the Bank of Industry, is a commendable development that will make available more funds for development of the economy.

The Chief Executive Officer of the Cowry Asset Management Limited, Johnson Chukwu, told Channels Television on Friday that the bank was limited in terms of funding due to the poor capacity of the government to provide funding.

He further said that the planned partial privatisation did not come as a surprise, as the bank had over the years showed signs of limited access to funds.

Mr Chukwu explained that the development would enable the institution attract private capital that could enable them expound their coverage area.

“The capital will enable them increase the number of customers that they can attend to. They are constrained by the fact that they cannot access private capital,” he said.

The head, Development Finance, Heritage Bank, Segun Akanji, said that the privatisation would open a vista of opportunities, empowering the institution to create wider access to knowledge and competitiveness.

“At the moment the finance that is needed to push other institutions is not available and the partial privatisation will make the funds available,” he said.

Mr Akanji pointed out that the government should not be involved in activities that involve raising money for businesses development in any economy, but should only be involved in the control and policy making that could empower the system to function well.

The planned partial privatisation is one of government’s efforts to make more funds available for individuals to get access to loan form the institution.

Analysts Task Emefiele To Develop Economy Through Increased Employment

business3The CEO of Cowry Asset Management Company limited, Mr. Johnson Chukwu and Head, Development Financing, Heritage Bank, Segun Akanji, have reiterated the need to develop and finance the economy.

While speaking as guests on Channels Television’s Business Morning, they commended the CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, on his strategy to stimulate growth in the economy through increased employment.

They believe the introduction of a broad spectrum of financing for various sectors such as agriculture, small and medium enterprises amongst others is critical to the growth of the economy.

However, they are of the opinion that targeting predetermined sectors can create jobs on a mass scale and significantly reduce Nigeria’s import bills.

They also urged him to come up with appropriate incentives to empower innovative entrepreneurs to drive growth and development.

Political Will Is Key To Developing Nigeria’s Infrastructure Base

web_prog_businessmorningNigerian government needs political will and selfless service if it must develop its infrastructure base. This is the view of two development finance experts who appeared on Channels Television’s business programme, Business Morning.

Mr Segun Akanji, Head Development Finance at Heritage Bank maintained the importance of sector focused development fund, adding that government can float an infrastructure bond.

He also advocated for devolution of infrastructure to the community levels.

On the other hand, a financial and management consultant, Mr Orji Udemezue, noted that Nigeria can survive without foreign aids to its economy considering the size of its population and stressed the need for the public and private sector to collaborate.

And for the partnership to work, he has asked the government to put up a strong and direct regulatory framework and advocated for a mechanism for good public enlightenment.

Meanwhile, the Federal Government has said it needs $2.9 trillion which is about n464 trillion for infrastructural development in the next 30 years (2014-2045), under the national integrated infrastructure master plan.