- Reps Panel Asks SEC to Take Over Capital Oil
A sub-committee of the House of Representatives on Capital Market and Institutions on Thursday asked the Securities and Exchange Commission to take over Capital Oil Plc for allegedly defrauding shareholders of more than N5bn.
The committee, which is chaired by a lawmaker from Lagos State, Mr Tony Nwulu, is investigating the level of compliance with operational and regulatory requirements by publicly-quoted companies in the country.
Speaking at the committee’s hearing at the National Assembly in Abuja, Nwulu said the panel had information detailing “shocking revelations” on how successive management teams of Capital Oil had allegedly mismanaged shareholders’ funds.
He said SEC must sanction the company and other firms involved in insider abuses to serve as a deterrent.
“We are extending this warning to all the publicly-quoted companies in Nigeria. Wherever we see incompetence, we will expose them and ensure that SEC takes them over and where forensic audit needs to be done, we will make sure that it is carried out,” Nwulu stated.
Commenting specifically on the situation in Capital Oil, the chairman added, “We are mandating SEC to take over the management of Capital Oil. We will invite SEC to come and tell us what they know about what has become of Capital Oil.
“We will be inviting all the past management of Capital Oil Plc to come and explain how come a company that Nigerians invested their hard-earned money in can just go this way without explanations.”
Nwulu told the session that the House would follow the matter to a logical conclusion by ensuring that those who committed the abuses would be punished.
Besides the abuse of shareholders’ funds, the committee also found out that the company was in tax deficit of over N70m.
Nwulu said, “We are not going to back down, no matter how highly-placed they are. It is disheartening that a Plc can go down without any explanation being made to Nigerians.
“Anybody who played a part in this has explanation to make to Nigerians. It is pathetic to look at Nigerians in the face and tell them that their hard-earned money is gone.
“All those who are guilty will make account. That is what we are telling Nigerians. We assure them that justice must be served.”
Among former top officials of Capital Oil that the committee said would appear to testify are former managing directors, Dr Tunji Sobodu and Mr Ayo Fanimokun; Executive Director, Finance, Mr Enoor Osubele; and Mr Jerome Ikhine.
Meanwhile, the Speaker of the House, Mr Yakubu Dogara, has blamed the jinxed on the dredging of the River Niger on the activities of cartels with vested interests.
He said the cartels had vowed never to allow the dredging see the light of day so long as the project would not address their interests.
Dogara spoke in Abuja when he granted audience to the Managing Director of the National Inland Waterways Authority, Senator Olurunnimbe Mamora, at the National Assembly on Thursday.
The Speaker informed his guest that since 2015, he had personally intervened to see to the successful implementation of the National Transport Master Plan to no avail.
Recalling his role in the past soon after the administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo initiated the plan, Dogara stated, “I was part of the development of the National Transportation Master Plan. I don’t know what has happened to it.
“How I wished we implemented that plan; by now, we would have gone very far because the master plan’s vision is a seamless integration of multi-modal transportation into one hub.”
Mamora urged the National Assembly to give legislative backing to his agency so that it would succeed in delivering on its core mandate.
Peter Obaseki Retires as Chief Operating Officer of FCMB Group Plc
The Board of Directors of FCMB Group Plc has announced the retirement of Mr. Peter Obaseki, the Chief Operating Officer of the financial institution, with effect from March 1, 2021. He was also an Executive Director of the Group.
His retirement was approved at a meeting of the Board of the Group on February 26, 2021. This has also been announced in a statement to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) by the financial institution.
The Chairman of FCMB Group Plc’s Board of Directors, Mr Oladipupo Jadesimi, thanked Mr. Obaseki for his valuable service and excellent support to the Board for many years.
FCMB Group Plc is a holding company divided along three business Groups; Commercial and Retail Banking (First City Monument Bank Limited, Credit Direct Limited, FCMB (UK) Limited and FCMB Microfinance Bank Limited); Investment Banking (FCMB Capital Markets Limited and CSL Stockbrokers Limited); as well as Asset & Wealth Management (FCMB Pensions Limited, FCMB Asset Management Limited and FCMB Trustees Limited).
The Group and its subsidiaries are leaders in their respective segments with strong fundamentals.
For more information about FCMB Group Plc, please visit www.fcmbgroup.com.
COVID-19: CBN Extends Loan Repayment by Another One Year
Central Bank Extends One-Year Moratorium by 12 Months
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has extended the repayment of its discounted interest rate on intervention facility by another one-year following the expiration of the first 12 months moratorium approved on March 1, 2020.
The apex bank stated in a circular titled ‘Re: Regulatory forbearance for the restructuring of credit facilities of other financial institutions impacted by COVID-19’ and released on Wednesday to all financial institutions.
In the circular signed by Kelvin Amugo, the Director, Financial Policy and Regulation Department, CBN, the apex bank said the role-over of the moratorium on the facilities would be considered on a case by case basis.
The circular read, “The Central Bank of Nigeria reduced the interest rates on the CBN intervention facilities from nine per cent to five per cent per annum for one year effective March 1, 2020, as part of measures to mitigate the negative impact of COVID-19 pandemic on the Nigerian economy.
“Credit facilities, availed through participating banks and OFIs, were also granted a one-year moratorium on all principal payments with effect from March 1, 2020.
“Following the expiration of the above timelines, the CBN hereby approves as follows:
“The extension by another 12 months to February 28, 2022 of the discounted interest rate for the CBN intervention facilities.
“The role-over of the moratorium on the above facilities shall be considered on a case by case basis.”
It would be recalled that the apex bank reduced the interest rate on its intervention facility from nine percent to five percent and approved a 12-month moratorium in March 2020 to ease the negative impact of COVID-19 on businesses.
To further deepen economic recovery and stimulate growth, the apex bank has extended the one year-moratorium until February 28, 2022.
MTN Nigeria Generates N1.35 Trillion in Revenue in 2020
MTN Nigeria Grows Revenue by 15.1 Percent from N1.169 Trillion in 2019 to N1.35 Trillion in 2020
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic and challenging business environment, MTN Nigeria realised N1.346 trillion in revenue in the financial year ended December 31, 2020.
The leading telecommunications giant grew revenue by 15.1 percent from N1.169 trillion posted in the same period of 2019.
Operating profit surprisingly jumped by 8.5 percent from N393.225 billion in 2019 to N426.713 billion in 2020.
This, the telecom giant attributed to the surge in finance costs due to increased borrowings from N413 billion in 2019 to N521 billion in 2020.
MTN Nigeria further stated that the increase in finance costs was the reason for the decline in growth of profit before tax to 2.6 percent.
MTN Nigeria grew profit before tax by 2.6 percent to N298.874 billion, up from N291.277 billion filed in the corresponding period of 2019.
The company posted N205.214 billion profit for the year, a 0.9 percent increase from N203.283 billion recorded in the 2019 financial year.
Share capital remained unchanged at N407 million. While Total equity increased by 22.3 percent from N145.857 billion in 2019 to N178.386 billion in 2020.
MTN Nigeria’s market price per share increased by 61.8 percent from N105 to N169.90.
While market capitalisation as at year-end also expanded by 61.8 percent to N3.458 trillion, up from N2.137 trillion.
The number of shares issued and fully paid as at year-end stood at 20.354 million.
MTN Nigeria margins were affected by Naira devaluations and capital expenditure due to the new 4G network coverage roll-out.
“Margins were adversely affected by the effect of naira devaluation and expenses associated with new sites’ roll-out to boost 4G network coverage in FY’20.
“On the former, we note that MTNN expanded the scope of its service agreement with IHS Holding Limited and changed the reference rate for converting USD tower expenses to NAFEX (vs CBN’s official rate previously). Thus, over the full-year period, the company’s operating margin contracted by 1.9 ppts YoY to 31.7%,” CardinalStone stated in its latest report.
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