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Paris Club Refund: States Get N243.7BN

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  • Paris Club Refund: States Get N243.7BN

The Federal Government has released N243.79bn as the second tranche of Paris Club Refund to the 36 state governments and the Federal Capital Territory.

The Director of Information in the Federal Ministry of Finance, Mr. Salisu Dambatta, confirmed the release in a statement issued on Tuesday night.

With the fresh release of the second tranche of N243.79bn, the amount so far disbursed to states as refund under the Paris Club loan is now N760.17bn.

He said the approval for the payments was done on May 4 by President Muhammadu Buhari in partial settlement of long-standing claims by state governments relating to over-deduction from their allocations from the Federation Account for external debts service arising between 1995 and 2002.

A breakdown of the N243.79bn showed that five states received the highest amount of N10bn each.

The states are Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Delta, Kano, and Rivers.

The total amount of N50bn received by these five states represents 20.5 per cent of the entire amount released under the second tranche.

Interestingly, these five states also got the highest chunk of N135.09bn when the first tranche of N516.38bn was released by the government in December last year.

Further analysis of the payment schedule showed that Lagos received N8.37bn; Katsina, N8.2bn; Oyo, N7.9bn; Kaduna, N7.72bn; Borno, N7.34bn; and Niger N7.21bn.

Abia got N5.71bn, Adamawa, N6.11bn; Anambra, N6.12bn; Bauchi, N6.87bn; Benue, N6.85bn; Cross River, N6.07bn; Ebonyi, N4.51bn; Edo N6.09bn; and Ekiti N4.77bn.

In the same vein, the disbursement schedule showed that Enugu received N5.36bn; Gombe, N4.47bn; Imo, N7bn;Jigawa, N7.1bn; Kebbi, N5.97bn; Kogi, N6.02bn; Kwara N5.12bn; Nasarawa, N4.55bn; Ogun , N5.73bn; Ondo, N7bn; and Osun, N6.31bn

Others are Plateau, N5.64bn; Sokoto, N6.44bn; Taraba, N5.61bn; Yobe N5.41bn; Zamfara, N5.44bn; and Federal Capital Territory N684.86m.

The statement reads in part, “These payments which totalled N243, 795,465,195.20 were made to the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory upon the approval of the President on May 4, 2017, in partial settlement of long-standing claims by state governments relating to over-deductions from their Federation Account Allocation Committee allocation for external debt service arising between 1995 and 2002.

“The Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun explained that these debt service deductions were in respect of the Paris Club, London Club and Multilateral debts of the FG and states. While Nigeria reached a final agreement for debt relief with the Paris Club in October 2005, some states had already been overcharged.”

The funds, according to the statement, were released to the state governments as part of the wider efforts to stimulate the economy.

It added that the funds were specifically designed to support states in meeting salary and other obligations, thereby alleviating the challenges faced by workers.

The ministry said the releases were predicated on the condition that a minimum of 75 per cent of the money would be used for the payment of workers’ salaries and pensions.

It added, “The Federal Ministry of Finance is reviewing the impact of these releases on the level of arrears owed by state governments.

“A detailed report is being compiled for presentation to the Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, as part of the process for approval for the release of any subsequent tranches.

The Osun State Government, in a statement on Tuesday confirmed that it had received N6.314bn as the second tranche of the refund.

The state government, in the statement by the Director of Bureau of Communication and Strategy, Office of the Governor, Semiu Okanlawon, said the money was paid into the account of the state on Monday.

On its part, the Benue State Government said it received N6.4bn.

The Acting governor of Benue State, Mr. Benson Abounu, announced this on Tuesday in Makurdi, while briefing journalists at end of the state executive council meeting presided by him at the Government House.

Abounu stated that the money would be substantially utilised for salary payment after one or two processes would have been completed.

“I wish to inform you that we expected over N12bn as second tranche of the refund, but only half of the amount was released by the Federal Government due to paucity of funds,’’ Abounu stated.

The Ogun State Government also said it received N5.7bn as second tranche of the refund.

According to a statement by the state Commissioner of Finance, Wale Osinowo, the state Governor, Ibikunle Amosun, had approved N4.5bn for the payment of cooperative deductions arrears to all categories of workers in the state.

Oshinowo said N3.4bn had been disbursed for the payment of six months’ arrears of outstanding cooperative deductions to all categories of the workforce at the state level.

He stated that another N1.1bn was disbursed for the payment of three months of outstanding cooperative deductions to workers at the local government level.

He said another sum of N1.2bn would be expended on state expenditure.

The finance commissioner said the money came from the N5.7bn the state received from the Paris Club refund.

“Ogun State is apportioning 79 per cent to staff welfare and only 21 per cent on state expenditure, aside the fact that the state government, in its usual practice, has paid June 2017 salary to all categories of workers at both the state and local government levels,” Oshinowo added.

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.

Finance

CBN Freezes Another 194 Accounts of firms, BDCs, Others

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Godwin Emefile

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.

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Banking Sector

Insider Dealing: Henry Oroh, An Executive Director of Zenith Bank, Acquires N46.982 Million Worth of Zenith Bank Shares

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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.

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Banking Sector

Access Bank Lagos City Marathon Adopts Virtual Audience For 10km Runners

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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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