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TSA: FG Begins Audit of Banks’ Remittances to CBN

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  • TSA: FG Begins Audit of Banks’ Remittances to CBN

The Federal Government has commenced an independent audit of remittances of its funds into the Treasury Single Account by Deposit Money Banks.

The TSA is a platform used by the government to unify all its accounts by ensuring that all funds belonging to the Federal Government are kept with the Central Bank of Nigeria.

The initiative, which began fully in September 2015, has been complied with by over 900 agencies of the government with 20,000 bank accounts closed while over N5tn has been moved from banks to the CBN.

There was a discovery last week that about seven banks had yet to remit a total of $793m government funds into the TSA.

But speaking in Abuja at a two-day workshop for finance journalists on the TSA and other public financial management reforms, the Director, Funds, Office of the Accountant General of the Federation, Mr. Alexander Adeyemi, said a comprehensive audit of the remittances by banks was being carried out by the office.

He said the audit, which was being conducted by renowned accounting firms such as Pricewaterhouse Coopers and Ernst and Young, would focus on how much of the government’s funds was in banks before the Presidential directive was given; how much was actually moved; and what was still being held by banks.

He said, “The AGF (Accountant General of the Federation) has given the approval for the audit of the entire TSA, and we have reputable accounting firms like Pricewaterhouse Cooper, Ernst and Young that are now doing the audit of the entire TSA so that any money that is still remaining in commercial banks would be discovered.

“They are doing three-leg reconciliation. We are starting out with the balance of the MDAs (Ministries, Departments and Agencies) before the Presidential directive. Then, we are proceeding to the CBN in terms of how much was moved. Was it the total money in banks? We are also auditing the balance in these various accounts.

“So, it’s a real comprehensive thing. I must say that some of the lapses that we are seeing, especially among the banks not adhering to the Presidential directive, the truth will surely come out. There is no easy way for them because some few weeks ago, more money was discovered from some of those commercial banks and they are taking steps to ensure the money is brought back into the TSA.”

Adeyemi also said that the government was putting in place a mechanism to monitor and ensure that the funds were paid back into the government coffers.

He said the entire funds in the TSA could not be used to fund all the programmes of government as they belonged to the agencies of government, some of which were for projects of previous years.

He, however, said there were some idle funds of about N300bn in the TSA, which had been invested in the Federal Government treasury bills.

He also spoke on the delay in the payment of the consultancy fees of SystemSpec, the firm whose software was used to move the funds, stressing that a Presidential approval had been given for the release of the funds.

He, however, said what was approved might not be up to N12bn being demanded by SystemSpec due to the huge transaction involved in the movement of the TSA funds.

He said, “The President has approved the amount to be paid to Remita (SystemSpec) for its services and we have been working in line with that Presidential directive. The only problem is that Remita is looking at the agreement with the government before the directive.

“But we are saying that looking at the quantum of transaction of the TSA, if you calculate it based on that, the money that will be paid will be running into over N12bn.

“Initially, when it started, nobody knew it would be like this and we looked at it again, and the government said let us look at it again, and that is why the government has put a committee to work round the clock on this and I believe between now and next week, all that will be cleared.”

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

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Finance

Nigerian Ports Authority Secures $700m Loan from Citibank for Lagos Ports Rehabilitation

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The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has successfully secured a $700 million loan from Citibank to facilitate the rehabilitation of the Lagos ports.

The finance was facilitated by the UK Export Finance to revitalize the Apapa and Tincan Island Ports, two pivotal gateways for maritime trade in Nigeria.

The announcement was made during a signing ceremony held in Lagos, marking a pivotal moment in Nigeria’s efforts to modernize its port infrastructure.

Mohammed Bello-Koko, the Managing Director of the NPA, expressed optimism regarding the prompt commencement of the reconstruction efforts following the finalization of the funding agreement.

The rehabilitation project is expected to address longstanding challenges faced by the Apapa and Tincan Island Ports, including congestion, inadequate infrastructure, and operational inefficiencies. By modernizing these key maritime hubs, Nigeria aims to bolster its trade capabilities, enhance port efficiency, and stimulate economic growth.

Speaking at the ceremony, Bello-Koko highlighted the strategic significance of the Citibank Facility, citing its favorable terms and affordable interest rates as key advantages for the NPA.

Bello-Koko outlined the NPA’s broader strategy to upgrade port facilities beyond Lagos, with discussions underway to secure additional funding for the enhancement of Eastern Ports such as Calabar, Warri, Onne, and Rivers Ports, as well as the reconstruction of Escravos Breakwater.

The collaboration between the NPA and Citibank underscores the importance of public-private partnerships in driving infrastructural development.

Ireti Samuel-Ogbu, Managing Director of Citibank Nigeria Limited, reaffirmed the bank’s commitment to supporting the NPA and the Federal Government in bridging the infrastructural gap.

Samuel-Ogbu commended the NPA’s strategic initiative and underscored Citibank’s dedication to facilitating the project’s success.

 

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UBA Announces Final Dividend of N2.30 per Share for FY 2023, Totaling N95.8 Billion

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UBA (United Bank for Africa) shareholders are set to receive dividends as the bank announces a final dividend of N2.30 per share for the fiscal year 2023.

This translated to a total payout of N95.8 billion, more than the N37.6 billion paid out in 2022.

Despite the robust increase in dividend payments, UBA’s dividend payout to profit after tax (PAT) ratio experienced a decline of 6.3 percentage points, dropping from 22.1% in 2022 to 15.8% in 2023.

Shareholders will receive the dividends based on their shareholdings as of the close of business on Friday, May 10, 2024. The payment is scheduled for May 24, 2024.

UBA urges shareholders who have not completed the e-dividend registration process to obtain the E-Dividend Mandate Form to ensure a smooth disbursement process.

The bank’s unclaimed dividends increased to N14.9 billion in 2023, an 18% increase from the previous year.

The bank reported a profit after tax of N607.7 billion, representing a 257% increase from the N170.3 billion recorded in 2022. This increase in profitability includes a net FX revaluation gain of N26.6 billion.

However, it’s worth noting that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) directive prohibits banks from utilizing FX revaluation gains for dividends payment or operational expenses.

Shareholders are advised to complete the e-dividend registration process or contact the registrar, Africa Prudential Plc, for assistance regarding outstanding dividend warrants or share certificates.

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President Tinubu Launches National Single Window Project

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Bola Tinubu

President Bola Tinubu inaugurated the National Single Window Project to streamline trade processes and combat bureaucratic bottlenecks.

The initiative promises to unlock significant economic benefits and bolster Nigeria’s position as a global trade leader.

Addressing stakeholders at the Council Chamber of the State House in Abuja, President Tinubu outlined the transformative potential of the Single Window Project.

He explained that Nigeria stands to gain approximately $2.7 billion annually by implementing the initiative, while also saving an estimated $4 billion lost to inefficiencies and corruption plaguing the trade sector.

The National Single Window Project, codenamed a digital trade compliance initiative, will serve as a cross-government website facilitating trade by providing a unified portal for Nigerian and international trade actors.

This centralized platform will offer access to a full range of resources and standardized services from various Nigerian agencies, promising to expedite cargo movement and optimize inter-African trade.

President Tinubu’s directive to dismantle obstacles hindering trade efficiency reflects a commitment to fostering a transparent, secure, and business-friendly environment.

He underscored the urgency of eliminating red tape, bureaucracy, delays, and corruption at Nigerian ports, asserting that the economy cannot afford to sustain such losses.

The President’s call to emulate success stories from countries like Singapore, Korea, Kenya, and Saudi Arabia highlights the transformative potential of the Single Window system.

By joining the ranks of nations that have significantly improved trade efficiency through similar initiatives, Nigeria aims to unlock new avenues for economic growth and prosperity.

Tinubu stated that the National Single Window Project transcends Nigeria’s borders, presenting opportunities for regional integration and inter-African trade optimization. By linking Nigeria’s system with those of other African nations, the initiative seeks to expedite cargo movement and enhance trade facilitation across the continent.

Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority, Bello Koko, provided insights into the practical implications of the Single Window initiative.

He affirmed that imports would be cleared at all seaports within 24 hours, a significant improvement compared to neighboring countries where clearance often takes up to 72 hours.

Koko outlined how the initiative would streamline paperwork, enhance information sharing among government agencies, and foster greater efficiency in trade transactions.

With representatives from key government agencies and bodies forming the project secretariat, the National Single Window Project reflects a collaborative effort to drive comprehensive reform in Nigeria’s trade sector.

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