- Reps Summon Emefiele Over Foreign Exchange sale to Oil Marketers
The House of Representatives on Monday summoned Central Bank of Nigeria Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, over alleged sale of foreign exchange to International Oil Companies.
Emefiele’s invitation by the House’s Ad hoc Committee on the Review of Pump Price of Petrol followed the committee’s rejection of the records of the foreign exchange transactions presented to it.
The committee, which continued its public hearing on the issue in Abuja, ordered that the CBN governor should appear with details of all beneficiaries of the foreign exchange deals.
He is also expected to give insight into the banks used by the apex bank in the transaction with the oil marketers.
In the rejected record presented on behalf of Emefiele by the Director, Financial Market Department of CBN, Dr Alvan Ikoku, he told the committee why the bank acted as third party to oil companies and importers of petroleum products.
He said that the CBN took over the purchase of dollars from the IOCs and began to sell directly to petroleum marketers seeking foreign exchange to import products.
It was, however, not revealed in the records how much the apex bank sold the currencies to the companies even when it stated that Emefiele determined the rate the currencies were sold to oil marketers.
The committee Chairman, Rep Raphael Igbokwe, directed that the CBN boss should prepare explanations on the legal grounds or provisions that allowed IOCs to operate as financial institutions selling foreign exchange to Nigerians.
According him, by so doing the IOCs acted as parallel financial clearing houses.
The committee demanded explanation on the criteria for the allocation of foreign exchange to dealers as well as necessary documents to show such allocations to the marketers.
It also ordered the appearance of Managing Director of Duke Oil and other oil marketers, who were invited.
Igbokwe explained that the order was important as the representatives of the oil marketers were not in the capacity to respond to some allegations levelled against the companies.
Commodore P.A. Efedue, who represented the Nigerian Navy, explained that multiple charges by government agencies operating at the ports were responsible for most oil importers avoiding Nigerian ports.
Efedue said that the charges were part of the reasons why some of the oil marketers preferred to deliver their products through ports in neighbouring countries.
He said that the development was in spite of security which had improved tremendously at Nigerian ports.
He said, “The oil marketers come to my office every day and I ask why Lome, not Lagos port. They said the reason is that charges in Lagos are higher.’’
He, therefore, advised that the charges at the ports should be addressed to attract oil vessels to Nigeria’s ports, saying that the rate of insecurity in the country’s waterways had reduced.
He said, “Cases of piracy have reduced, so it is the charges that are the issue with the marketers.”
He also said that the navy did not charge any money to grant approval to marketers, adding that the collaboration between navy and NIMASA was helping in securing the water ways.
On his part, Commodore A.O. Bamidele of the Operations Directorate, Naval Headquarters, also reiterated that insecurity was not the reason for marketers preferring neighbouring countries’ ports.
He said, “It is not security; look at Lagos harbour and anchorage, we don’t have security challenges.
“It is only in Bayelsa and Rivers area but we are making efforts to put it in check.”
CBN Freezes Another 194 Accounts of firms, BDCs, Others
The Central Bank of Nigeria on Thursday said it got orders from the Federal High Court, Abuja division, to freeze 194 bank accounts belonging to firms and Bureaux de Change to enable it to conduct investigations into suspicious activities.
It disclosed this on Thursday in three separate documents on its website.
In one of the documents, the CBN said it got an order to freeze 60 bank accounts of Bluebeam Capital Limited.
The accounts were domiciled in 13 different banks, the CBN as the plaintiff stated.
Bluebeam, as the respondent had eight accounts each in Access Bank and Keystone Bank; seven each in First Bank and Ecobank; five each in UBA and GTBank; four each in Fidelity Bank, FCMB and Sterling Bank; three accounts in Polaris Bank; two each in Wema Bank and Heritage Bank; and one in Providus Bank.
In another document, the CBN said it got an order to freeze 84 accounts in 17 banks.
The third document revealed that the banking regulator had the court order to freeze 50 accounts domiciled in different banks.
The motions exparte which were signed on different dates sought the orders of the court to direct the banks to freeze all other bank accounts of the defendants for a period of 180 days, pending the outcome of investigation and inquiry being conducted by the CBN.
In the document signed by the Presiding Judge, A.R. Mohammed, the court empowered the CBN to direct the banks to freeze all the bank accounts for a period of 45 days only, pending the outcome of the investigation.
It added that the order may be extended upon good reasons shown.
Any person aggrieved by this order could apply to the court to have the order set aside, discharged or have the order reviewed upon good reasons without waiting for the 45 days to lapse, the document stated.
The CBN on Wednesday disclosed it got an order to freeze 11 bank accounts to enable it conduct investigations into suspicious activities.
It had listed the names of the defendants/respondents as Albert Austin Ugochukwu with two bank accounts; Belfour Energy & Allied Services; Belfour Oil and Gas Limited with three bank accounts; Circle Flow Integrated Services; Kacynaus Reality Nigeria Limited with three bank accounts; and Tasmara Integrated Services.
Insider Dealing: Henry Oroh, An Executive Director of Zenith Bank, Acquires N46.982 Million Worth of Zenith Bank Shares
Henry Oro, an executive director of Zenith Bank Plc, has dumped N46.982 million on shares of Zenith Bank, according to the latest filing with the Nigerian Stock Exchange.
The executive director purchased Zenith Bank’s shares of 724,527 on April 1st, 2021 at N22.05 each or N15.976 million.
On April 6th, Oroh added 612,573 shares at N22 a unit and another 400,000 units at N21.90 per share.
On the same day, he purchased another 400,000 units at N21.90 a share. Bringing aggregate purchase on April 6th to 1,412,573 at an average price of N21.95 a unit or N31.006 million.
Henry Oroh has spent a total of N46.982 million on Zenith shares in April.
Henry Oroh was appointed as Zenith Bank’s executive director on September 1st, 2019 and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting from the University of Benin, Edo State and an MBA from the Lagos State University as well as an LLB Degree from the University of London.
He is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) and an honorary member of the Chartered Institute of Bankers (CIBN), Nigeria.
He has over two decades of banking experience. He began his banking career in 1992 at Citibank where he served for seven (7) years in Operations, Treasury and Marketing.
He joined Zenith Bank in February 1999 and has worked in various Groups and Departments within the Zenith Group Office. His expertise spans Operations, Information Technology, Treasury, Marketing, including the Manufacturing, Food and Beverages, Pharmaceuticals, Oil and Gas, Public Sector, Consumer, as well as Corporate Banking and Business Development.
In April 2012, he was seconded to Zenith Bank Ghana Limited as an Executive Director and became the Managing Director/ Chief Executive in February 2016, where he successfully spearheaded the phenomenal growth of the Zenith Brand both within the Ghana market and the West African sub-region.
Henry has attended several Leadership Programmes and Executive Management Courses at the Harvard Business School, Columbia Business School, New York, University of Chicago, University of Pennsylvania, HEC Paris, JP Morgan Chase, UK and the Lagos Business School.
He comes to the Board of Zenith Bank Plc with strong competencies in Credit & Marketing, Operations, Information Technology, Treasury and impressive Leadership skills.
Access Bank Lagos City Marathon Adopts Virtual Audience For 10km Runners
In a bid to ensure the health and safety of all runners and essential service workers amid the global COVID-19 pandemic, the title sponsors of the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon, Access Bank PLC, has announced that the Lagos City Marathon will be held virtually for interested 10km runners this year.
The marathon, scheduled for April 10, 2021 can only accommodate 300 runners in line with the guidelines provided by the World Health Organisation (WHO), World Athletics and the Lagos State Ministry of Health.
Speaking on the development, Access Bank’s Executive Director of Retail Banking, Victor Etuokwu said, “Our primary consideration is the health and safety of participants, attendees and staff that will be a part of the Lagos City Marathon. This is why we decided to have an exclusive virtual event – that allows participants from all over the world to run the race wherever they are.
‘’While we regret that we can’t host the live 10km race and fanfare that have become synonymous with the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon, we continue to stand with the other sponsors to preserve public health as we look forward to hosting a successful marathon. We implore all well-meaning Lagosians to please adhere to the movement guidelines put in place by the Lagos State Government to ensure that the marathon fulfills its purpose of positively placing Lagos and indeed the whole of Africa on the global map,” he concluded.
Though audience participation may have changed, the organisers have also announced that the race route will largely remain the same. Runners will begin the race from the National Stadium, Surulere, opposite Teslim Balogun Stadium and finish at the Eko Atlantic City, Victoria Island.
Now in its sixth edition, the Silver – Labelled Access Bank Lagos City Marathon has featured over 200,000 registered athletes from over 12 participating countries collectively covering a distance of 42,000 kilometers.
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