EFCC Denies Raiding Standard Chartered Bank

EFCC Secures 139 Convictions In Six Months
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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Friday denied raiding the head office of Standard Chartered Bank in Lagos.

“There was no raid on the bank by its (EFCC) officers,” EFCC’s Head of Media and Publicity, Mr Wilson Uwujaren, said in a statement after media enquiries.

The enquiries followed reports that about 20 operatives of the anti-graft agency raided the headquarters of the bank, which was one of the four banks that were fined by the Central Bank of Nigeria for allegedly aiding the illegal repatriation of funds from Nigeria by MTN.

Such a move contradicts the operational procedures of the bank, according to the statement.

The statement read in part, “The raid by operatives purportedly wearing the jackets of the Commission might have been the handiwork of errant officers who acted without authorisation,”

“The action is in flagrant violation of the standard operation procedures of the Commission as it is not the style of the EFCC to openly raid the offices of banks and other financial institutions.”

“Officials of such institutions who are wanted by the commission, are usually invited for questioning after discreet investigation. Over the years, banks have been cooperative in releasing their officers to the Commission for questioning.”

Although the EFCC denied ordering a raid on the bank, it did not rule out the possibility that its “errant officers” might have carried it out.

As a result, it plans to investigate the reported raid.

“The Commission will investigate the circumstances leading to this illegal raid by errant officers and those found culpable would be subjected to the internal disciplinary mechanism of the Commission,” it said.

“EFCC again reassures Nigerians that it is an agency which adheres strictly to the rule of law and will, as much as possible, avoid draconian measures in its fight against corruption.”

Nigeria Appoints Transaction Parties To Execute Eurobond Programme

fecThe Nigerian government on Wednesday approved the appointment of five transaction advisers to run handle issuance of the proposed one-billion-dollar Eurobond in the International Capital Market which will commence in January 2017.

Nigeria Citigroup, Standard Chartered Bank, Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC, White & Case LLP, Banwo & Ighodalo and AfricaPractice are the five parties approved by the Federal Executive Council during its weekly meeting in the nation’s capital, Abuja.

Before the approval, the Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, told the Council members that the companies were expected to run all issuance programmes for the country for the next three years.

$1-Billion-Dollar Euro Bond

The minister said that the one-billion-dollar Euro Bond was part of the funding for capital projects in the 2016 budget which runs till March 2017.

kemi_adeosun
The selection of the advisers was an open and transparent one, Mr Kemi Adesina told Council members

Mrs Adeosun told the Council that the team of five advisers, would run all Euro Bond issuance programmes until 2019, to cut out the cumbersome process of re-tendering and selection for the programme which is already generating significant investor interest.

She stated that the selection was based on an open and competitive bid process in line with the Public Procurement Act, 2007 and a certificate of “No Objection” was received from the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) to award contracts to the recommended Parties.

“We have so far, received strong commitment from the international community. Investors believe in the long-term economic outlook for Nigeria, as we continue with our structural reforms and increased focus on infrastructure development to diversify the economy and grow the non-oil sector.

“Stable oil prices and steadying foreign reserves will support our plans and we expect high demand for this issue to further push down yields. We are confident that this will be a successful outing in January, 2017,” she stated.

The approval was part of two memos that were discussed and approved at the Federal Executive Council meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The other memo was for the amendment to the gazette for the establishment of the Hydrocarbon Pollution Restoration Project (HYPREP).

Amina Mohammed, Renewable Energy, Jatropha
Amina Mohammed Minister of Environment

On the hydrocarbon pollution project gazette amendment, the Minister of Environment, Amina Mohammed, pointed out that it was necessary to establish crucial government structures to manage the clean-up of the Niger Delta region is reason for council’s approval.

According to him, the government’s intention is to rollout a training plan for women on livelihood in the contaminated areas in Ogoni, recruit young people in the area for the clean-up process.

The government had few months ago launched a clean-up programme in Ogoniland, to save the land from adverse effect of oil exploration activities.

Bankers Committee endorses N5000 note

The bankers committee on Tuesday endorsed the plan by the central bank to introduce N5000 note and the coining of lower denominations.

Addressing journalists after the committees meeting in Abuja, the Managing Director of the United Bank for Africa, Philip Oduoza said that the move by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) will not in any way affect the nation’s economy as currently speculated.

“If it will take you 100 pieces to fit into an ATM for a N100, it will take far lesser than that if you are feeding the N5000 notes into the machine. If you are moving cash as banks normally do between various locations, you’ll find out that you’ll do less number of runs,” Mr Oduoza said.

The bank boss said that all the cost saved from handling more cash will be passed on to the end users, who are the customers of the banks.

Mr Oduoza assured Nigerians that lending rate will drop as charges for the printing of higher denominations reduces.

“One of the things that leads to high interest rate is the cost of operations, so as that goes down, you’ll find out that the benefit will also goes to the customers of the bank,” he said.

On her part, the Managing Director of the Standard Chartered Bank, Bola Adesola said that the N5, 000 note will not be imposed on any customer who wants to be paid in lower denominations.

“It is important for the banking public to also know that the Central Bank or any bank is not going to impose the N5000 note on its customers. It will be based on demand,” she said.

She said the customers will have the choice as to what denomination they would like to receive their cash.