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FCMB Wins SME Development Award

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  • FCMB Wins SME Development Award

First City Monument Bank (FCMB) Limited, has been named the ‘Best African Small and Medium Enterprises Development Bank’ of the year by the African Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (AASME).

The pronouncement was made at the 2nd Edition of African International Small and Medium Enterprises Economic Summit and Award (AFRI-SMEs 2016), which recently held in Aba, Abia State.

AASME is a coalition of micro, small, medium businesses, associations, operators, owners and individual manufacturers within Nigeria, extended into some African countries but headquartered in Aba. Some of the members include entrepreneurship and skill development cooperatives, palm kernel producers, import and export groups, garment, textile manufacturers, dealers, investment and development cooperatives as well as leather and allied products cooperatives among others.

Commenting on the award to President General AASME, Darlington Onuoha Kalu, was quoted in a statement to have said FCMB did not deserve and merit anything less, considering its pedigree and volume of support to SMEs over the years.

“Its speed and positive response in various partnerships leading to the establishment, growth and development of small and medium scale businesses is very commendable. The bank is helping to solve the problem of unemployment, leading to skills acquisition and in turn, the nation’s economic development.

“FCMB is the first bank to respond to and cooperate with us, among all other Banks that we called. The bank’s level of commitment towards the economic development of Nigeria through its quality and volume of support to small businesses, starters and growing firms, has not been equaled by any other bank,” Kalu stated.

Acknowledging the award on behalf of the Regional Director, FCMB in the South-east and South-south,the Vice President and Zonal Head, Owerri Zone, Mr. Okey Ogelle commended the organisers and the governing council of AASME for their commitment, desire and the level of organisation towards realising their main objective of truly transforming and growing small businesses into mega firms.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

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FG Asks Customs to Ground Private Jets over Failure to Pay Import Duties

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The Federal Government of Nigeria has instructed the Nigerian Customs Service to ensure the grounding of 91 private jets, which are owned by some particularly rich Nigerians, over the payment of import duties.

The individuals in question have allegedly refused to pay their import duties, which are running up to about N30 billion. This has prompted the Federal Government to make the call to ground their private jets.

The Comptroller-General of the Nigerian Customs, Col. Hameed Ali (retd.) has since written a letter to the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) instructing the agencies to ground the concerned private jets with immediate effect.

The letter was dated November 2, 2021 and was addressed to the Director-General of the NCAA, Capt. Musa Nuhu. The same letter was also sent and addressed to the Managing Director of the FAAN, Capt. Rabiu Yadudu and the Managing Director of NAMA, Capt. Fola Akinkuotu.

In the letter, the three addressed agencies were instructed to ground the private jets by refusing them proper administrative and operational flight clearances until further notice.

The letter went ahead to state that the indefinite refusal of administrative and operational flight clearances will be lifted once the Nigerian Customs Service has issued an Aircraft Clearance Certificate, and the certificate is provided to the agencies as evidence of cooperation.

Nairaland’s findings report that some of the private jets which are victims of the grounding order are owned by senior pastors of some Pentecostal churches across the country, Chief Executive Officers of some earlier oil companies, the Chairmen of some Tier-1 banks in the country, as well as some Tier-1 banks themselves with one of said banks owning two upmarket jets themselves.

However, some of the owners of these jets have written letters of protest to the Customs Service, stating that they cannot pay import duties because the private jets in question are under lease payments.

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Merger and Acquisition

Seplat Energy to Acquire ExxonMobil’s Nigerian Shallow Water Business

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Seplat Energy Plc - Investors King

Seplat Energy Plc, Nigeria’s leading indigenous energy company, has confirmed that it is in the process of acquiring ExxonMobil’s Nigerian shallow water business.

The company disclosed in a statement signed by Mr. Emeka Onwuka, Chief Financial Officer, and accessed by Investors King.

ExxonMobil has been selling off its businesses in Europe, Africa, and Asia in recent years to focus on a few mega-projects at home and abroad.

The statement reads, “Seplat Energy Plc, a leading Nigerian energy company listed on the Nigerian Exchange and the London Stock Exchange, notes the recent press speculation and confirms that Seplat Energy, together with a partner, is in competitive discussions to acquire ExxonMobil’s Nigerian shallow water business.”

According to Seplat, there is no certainty as to the outcome of the ongoing discussions.

“Deliberations are ongoing and accordingly, there can be no certainty as to the outcome. A further announcement will be made as and when appropriate, in line with regulatory requirements,” Seplat stated.

The announcement is coming a few days after Seplat Chairman, ABC Orjiako resigned from his position as the Chairman of the company following a debt scandal with Zenith Bank Plc.

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Company News

Uber to Halt Services in Parts of Belgium

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Uber will stop its ride-hailing service in most parts of Belgium tomorrow after a court ruling on Wednesday which extends an order given in 2015, banning its p2p (Peer to Peer) UberPop service to also cover professional drivers who provide its ride-hailing service.

Uber told TechCrunch that it is currently closely examining the details of the ruling, in order to arrive at a decision on whether or not to appeal the decision with the country’s Supreme Court.

This also follows a temporary decision to discontinue Uber’s service in Brussels, a decision which was referred to as “exceptional and unprecedented” by the tech giant. The company said that it was merely taking a step to complain about the lack of reform rules which forbid drivers from using smartphones.

After the ruling by the Brussels appeal court, private hire vehicle drivers have been obstructing a major tunnel in the capital of Belgium.

In a statement made concerning Friday’s impending shutdown, the chief of Uber in the country, Laurent Slitsagain criticized the government for not providing a reform which it has been soliciting for, stating that the decision was made depending on regulations which are now outdated as they were written before smartphones.

The company stated that the government has promised a reform but has failed to deliver said reforms for the last seven years.

According to Bloomberg, the shutdown will not be applicable to a small number of drivers who are licensed in the Flemish region of Belgium, and are therefore still permitted to use the application. Uber confirmed that the Appeal Court ruling only applies to drivers with Brussels licenses.

In another statement, Slits stated that the tech giant is hugely concerned about the 2,000 possessors of LVC licenses (rental car with driver licenses) who according to the country chief will lose their ability to generate earnings.

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