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AMCON Engages Asset Tracing Experts for Debt Recovery

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As part of its aggressive debt recovery drive, the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) has engaged the services of asset tracing experts to help recover assets from its debtors that have investments outside the country.

Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, AMCON, Mr. Ahmed Kuru, who said this in response to enquiry from THISDAY on how the corporation had been handling cases of debtors that have assets outside the country, said the corporation engaged the services of lawyers outside the country to help it carry out the task of assets tracing.

“You know gradually, the world has become a global village. What you need to do is that once you have a local judgement, you engage a lawyer that will go and file the case over there. That is why in some of our cases, we do assets tracing.

“And because over there, they are familiar with what happens here, once you have a local judgement, we engage a lawyer outside to file it in the court over there and they give us access to what we need. You see, these people outside, they know what is happening here because they have people that report to them regularly. So, we follow the law, we appoint lawyers and get those assets,” Kuru explained.

The AMCON boss said President Muhammadu Buhari is passionate about the recovery effort in AMCON. This, according to him is because the president doesn’t want the burden of AMCON’s debt to be passed on to ultimately taxpayers in the country.

He added: “The president is very keen that it doesn’t become the taxpayers’ responsibility. That is why the government is giving us all the support they could to ensure that we achieve our objective.

“We thank the judiciary for their support because whatever we do, we have to go to the judiciary because we are a law abiding organisation. Quick dispensation of justice is also very key when it comes to the future value of money. We appreciate the effort we get from the EFCC, Nigeria Police Force, the NNPC, the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Ministry of Finance.”

Speaking on the economy, he faulted the rebasing of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) that was done by the previous administration, saying if the economy was growing at about seven per cent, “for anything to shake the economy, it must be volcanic eruption.”

Therefore, Kuru argued that “all those were figures they were just throwing all over the place.”

According to the former Enterprise Bank boss, an economy can’t just collapse because there was a change in government.

As a nation, we must address the governance issue, he said, adding that if we don’t build institutions, if we don’t support governance structure and if we don’t remove impunity in Nigeria, “you can bring anybody from Wall Street, World Bank, London Stock Exchange, etc, and they would fail because there is no institution to support what they want to do.”

“And I think we must all support government to help in building institutions because no matter the economic permutation, if you don’t have institution to execute and support those policies, you will still have to go back and be talking about same thing. So, we have to be patriotic and see how we can support government. So, we need to re-orientate ourselves and see how we can help each other to grow the economy,” he said.

According to him, Nigerians have not considered what would have happened after the 2008/2009 financial crisis if the intervention of AMCON did not take place.

He said by the intervention by AMCON, the government was able to protect financial assets of almost N9.1trillion, saying that if they had allowed the crisis to affect the financial institutions, depositors would have lost money in excess of N4trillion.

“This is aside the unemployment that would have happened, the social unrest and a lot of other things. So, whatever you may lose on the financial side, obviously there are lots of gains on the social side. Primarily, AMCON was set up to provide liquidity to the financial sector, to provide financial stability and also support some of the businesses that are in the key sectors of oil and gas, power and agriculture.

“From our own perspective, I think that objective has been achieved because we were able to come out of that financial crisis due to the intervention. For us, we consider that as the first phase of the intervention and the first phase of the life of AMCON,” he said.

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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Appointments

Former Goldman Sachs Managing Director, Gurbhej Dhillon Joins Flutterwave as New the CTO

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Flutterwave, Africa’s leading payments technology company, today announced the appointment of former Goldman Sachs’ Managing Director, Gurbhej Dhillon as Chief Technology Officer (CTO).

Gurbhej joins at a key time for Flutterwave, following its recently completed Series D funding round, valuing the company at over USD 3 billion, and maintaining its rapid expansion.

As the new CTO, Gurbhej will be responsible for the further development of Flutterwave’s innovative technology platform which currently supports integrations with key technology partners like VISA, Mastercard, Discover Card Networks, and customers like Uber, Flywire, Booking.com etc. He will focus on improving the architecture and infrastructure, as well as providing leadership enabling other engineering and product leaders to create the best solutions that support business growth for customers.

Gurbhej joins Flutterwave from Marcus by Goldman Sachs, where he was the CTO and Head of Lending Engineering. He has extensive experience in enterprise application architecture across financial services and consumer businesses. At Marcus, he was responsible for launching platforms to significantly grow businesses while improving customer experience and established strategic partnerships with several Fortune 500 companies.

Prior to that, Gurbhej was CTO for Goldman Sachs’ Investment Banking Capital Markets team, responsible for the design, architecture, and build-out of strategic platforms that enabled clients to execute equity and debt product offerings.

Gurbhej is a great supporter of the Developer Community in Africa and admires the work they have done in recent times, building creative solutions at a world-class standard.

In his role as CTO of Africa’s leading technology company, Gurbhej hopes to support the Community to attain higher levels.

Olugbenga ‘GB’ Agboola, Founder and CEO of Flutterwave, said: “I look forward to working closely with Gurbhej as we continue to expand rapidly. With the needs of our customers constantly evolving, we remain focused on driving further innovation across the business and continuing to develop our cutting-edge technology platform that simplifies payments and connects the African market with the world. Gurbhej’s experience and deep expertise in developing financial technology platforms will be instrumental in Flutterwave’s further growth.”

Commenting on his appointment, Gurbhej Dhillon said: “I am delighted to be joining the Flutterwave team at such an exciting time for the company. As a leading financial technology company in Africa, Flutterwave is well-positioned to capitalise on the global trends in payment digitisation and continues to drive Africa’s digital transformation, creating further opportunities for customers and merchants alike. It is a very crowded market with lots of new entrants so it is vital that we as a company continually look to innovate our products and services, improve our existing architecture and create endless possibilities for everyone.”

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Merger and Acquisition

Bankman-Fried’s FTX Says no Talks to Acquire Robinhood

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Sam Bankman-Fried’s FTX crypto exchange said it is not in talks to acquire Robinhood Markets Inc, after a report on Monday claimed the exchange was exploring such a deal.

Bloomberg News reported on Monday FTX was discussing internally how to buy the app-based brokerage and that Robinhood had not received a formal takeover approach, citing people with knowledge of the matter.

“There are no active M&A conversations with Robinhood,” Bankman-Fried said in an emailed statement.”We are excited about Robinhood’s business prospects and potential ways we could partner with them.”

Robinhood declined to comment. The retail-trading platform’s shares were down 5% in extended trading after jumping over 14% on the report.

Last month, the founder and chief executive of FTX revealed a 7.6% stake in Robinhood but said he did not have any intention of taking control of the retail-trading platform.

Robinhood’s dual-class shares give its founders control of 64% of the voting shares outstanding, making it virtually impossible for takeovers without their support.

The popular trading platform has come under pressure this year as trading volumes ease from 2021’s frenetic pace – when retail investors used it to pump money into shares of so-called meme stocks such as GameStop and AMC Entertainment.

That slowdown, along with a sell-off in high-growth technology stocks, has driven a near 50% slump in Robinhood shares this year. The company had a market valuation of nearly $7 billion as of Friday’s closing price.

FTX’s U.S. arm announced in May it would launch a stock trading platform by the end of the summer. Last week, it acquired partner Embedded Financial Technologies for an undisclosed amount, which would add custody, execution and clearing services to its equity trading platform.

FTX and its billionaire founder Bankman-Fried have rescued other players during the crypto market’s recent crash. It provided crypto lender BlockFi with a $250 million revolving credit facility to help the firm avoid a liquidity crunch.

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Business

Heavy Rains Help Ivory Coast Cocoa, But Some Farmers Fear Flooding

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Above-average rains last week in most of Ivory Coast’s cocoa regions were good for development of the next October-to-March main crop, but much more moisture could be damaging, farmers said on Monday.

The world’s top cocoa-producing country is in its rainy season from April to mid-November, with farmers reporting unusually heavy rains last week in the western region of Soubre, the southern regions of Agboville and Divo and the eastern region of Abengourou.

It was difficult to harvest pods on trees for the mid-crop, and also to dry and store beans after harvesting, farmers said.

“The rains were very strong. It’s hard to keep the beans in good condition,” said Alexandre Boni, who farms near Agboville, where 128.1 mm of rain fell, 70 mm above the five-year average.

“There is also a risk that some fields will be flooded,” he added.

Similar fears were voiced in Soubre and Abengourou, both of which had more than 99 mm of rain last week, 47.5 mm and 46.7 mm above their respective five-year averages.

In the west-central region of Daloa and in the central regions of Bongouanou and Yamoussoukro, where rains were also above average, farmers said they were happy because flowers were proliferating on trees for a strong start to the main crop in October.

“The weather is good. We could be getting a lot of cocoa from September,” said Amani N’Guessan, who farms near Yamoussoukro, where 71.8 mm fell last week, 44 mm above the average.

Weekly average temperatures ranged from 24.8 to 27.7 degrees Celsius.

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