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CBN, EFCC to Punish Forex Policy Violators

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Naira - Investors King
  • CBN, EFCC to Punish Forex Policy Violators

SANCTIONS await banks, their customers and businesses that abuse the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN’s) policy restricting foreign exchange (forex) allocation to 41 items.

Culprits are to be investigated and sanctioned, the apex bank said yesterday through its Director, Financial Policy & Regulation Department, Kelvin Amugo.

The investigation will be carried out by the Economic Intelligence Unit of the CBN in collaboration with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Amugo said in a letter to all banks.

As part of its developmental objective on employment generation and inclusive growth, the CBN had on July 1, 2015, stopped foreign exchange allocation to the importation of 41 items, which could be produced locally.

The bank said that the policy had been abused by some banks and their customers.

According to the trade information available to the CBN, the policy is being abused as the restricted items are being dumped in the country.

Such sanctions will, among others, include blacklisting the institutions and their directors; closing of their accounts; and restricting them from maintaining accounts in any bank under the can remit. Banks that provide their platforms for such economic abuses are to be sanctioned.

The letter reads: “The CBN views this development with trepidation. The Economic Intelligence Unit of the CBN in collaboration with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) would commence immediate investigation of the accounts of the corporates and entities engaged in this unwholesome act with a view to visiting severe sanctions on all the culprits.”

According to the apex bank, the implementation of the policy has resulted in massive investment and the establishment of cottage industries that now engage in the production of the restricted items across the country. The growth and development benefits have been phenomenal.

It said: “Unfortunately, the trade information available to the CBN indicates the circumvention of the policy as the restricted items are being dumped in the country. The implications are that the growth and employment benefits arising from the policy may be eroded if not checked.

“Banks are by this notice, advised on strict compliance with the Know Your Customers (KYC) and Know Your Customer Business (KYCB) requirements and be properly guided.”

CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele had at the 53rd annual Bankers dinner in Lagos, said the CBN’s policy restricting forex access to 41 items that can be produced locally has helped to move the economy out of recession adding that there even calls that the list of 41 items be increased to cover more goods that can be produced locally.

Emefiele said: “As I have always emphasised, it is our collective duty to ensure that the potentials and prospects of the Nigerian economy is optimally realised.

“The ongoing economic recovery requires the joint efforts and wise counsel of everyone, if we must make giant strides forward. The CBN is more determined now than ever to remain at the forefront of the effort to ensure that the rebound is not overturned.

“There has been considerable discourse particularly on whether the restriction on access to foreign exchange for 41 items is driving local production, with some nay-sayers stating that it has constrained productivity and growth in the economy.

“Based on our internal research conducted at the Central Bank of Nigeria, there is strong support that the recovery of our economy from the recession may have been much weaker or even negative, without the implementation of the restriction on 41 items.

“Our research supports the conclusion that the combination of the restriction on 41 items along with other measures imposed by the fiscal and monetary authorities has helped to promote the recovery.

“Any attempt to reverse the course of this actions may have untold consequences on the growth trajectory of our economy particularly in our push to diversify and restructure our economy.

“In fact, recommendations are being made to the CBN that the list of 41 items be expanded to include other additional items that can be locally produced.”

In a separate circular by Director, Trade and Exchange Department, Ahmed Umar, the CBN said: “In the continued effort to sustain the achievement recorded from the classification of 41 import items as ‘Not Valid for Foreign Exchange’ in the Nigerian Foreign Exchange market, authorised dealers and the general public are hereby notified of the inclusion of fertilizer on the list effective Friday December 7, 2018.

“However, the CBN will ensure that transactions (Form ‘M’) on fertilizer for which payments are outstanding are settled at the appropriate settlement dates.”

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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Business

MultiChoice Nigeria Expands Product Offerings, Unveils 3 New DStv Business Packages

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Leading Pay-TV service provider, MultiChoice Nigeria has rolled out new features and expanded the product offerings on its DStv Business packages for businesses and corporate organizations in Nigeria.

The new DStv Business packages are DStv Work, DStv Play and DStv Stay.

Chief Executive Officer, MultiChoice Nigeria, John Ugbe said: “We always ask ourselves how we can make our customers experience better for businesses. We have revamped our DStv Business packages, offering business owners the right mixture of entertainment to enhance the experience of guests and staff. At the end of the day, your guests will always remember how you made them feel.”

The DStv Work, tiered into 2 categories, DStv Work Ultra with 48 channels and DStv Work Essential with 75 channels, has been tailored to suit the businDStv Work, DStv Play and DStv Stay.ess environment including banks, offices, and other corporate organizations with specific offerings such as the latest news headlines from across the world, sports, weather updates and other work-related entertainment which sets the tone and keeps everyone well informed.

Commenting on the revamped DStv packages, Head of DStv Business, Abayomi Famakinwa said: “For the Work category, we have taken into consideration all our offices and different organizations. For Stay, we have considered all organizations across accommodation offerings such as hotels, B&Bs, Guesthouses and the likes; for Play, we are taking into consideration the Pubs, Clubs, lounges, restaurants, bars and the likes.”

The DStv Play package, tiered into 3 categories, DStv Play Ultra with 86 channels, DStv Play Essential with 61 channels, and DStv Play Basic with 40 channels aims to enhance guest experiences and ensure that they are always entertained with their favourite sports programmes and other first-class entertainment.

Famakinwa stated further: “A lot of our customers used to complain to us that there is only one package across the different bouquets so they couldn’t move from one package to the other, and we have listened as we always do and we have now tiered our packages into different categories for each of the segments. Secondly, we have factored in all the add-ons into our different packages; and from the decoder perspective we have bundled our decoders, which means, for each and every decoder that you have you can talk to MultiChoice and tell us what channels you would like to have on the decoder.”

The DStv Stay package, tiered into 3 categories, DStv Stay Basic with 77 channels, DStv Stay Essential with 99 channels, and DStv Stay Ultra with 139 channels are best suitable for hotels, motels, lodges, resorts, B&B and serviced apartments as it gives each guest – whether a kid, adult or elder – a memorable in-room experience due to the vast array of channels available to them during their stay.

Meanwhile, Chief Customer Officer, MultiChoice Nigeria, Martin Mabutho said: “At the centre of what we do and the key characteristics that we live by day in day out is innovation. And a company that prides itself in innovation, not only from the point of view of what we do with our hard work, or the point of view of content ideas that are groundbreaking, but clearly also from the point of view of all we have seen in the communities and economies that we operate in, and how different businesses can also become our partners.”

Speaking on what informed the Pay TV’s decision to expand its offerings, Martin noted: “As content is consumed on different platforms, mobile devices, phones, tablets, and computers, the people that own those contents have started to tighten around usage rights; the people that regulate us as pay-TV service providers also start to expect that we hit the right notes when it comes to the issue of morality, political correctness, and religion amongst others. It is for that reason that we saw it fit that we sit down and categorise our packages of big chop of contents and say, those that use DStv in offices what is the content that we have, that firstly we have the rights to, and secondly, would be deemed appropriate.”

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Company News

Total Nigeria Rebounds from 2020 COVID-19 Damages, Grows Profit by 1,601 Percent to N8.1 Billion in H1 2021

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Total Exploration - Investors King

Total Nigeria Plc, a subsidiary of Total, grew revenue by 42 percent from N106.705 billion recorded in the first half (H1) of 2020 to N151.333 billion in the first half of 2021.

In the company’s unaudited financial statements for the period, the cost of sales inched higher by 33.4 percent from N94.305 billion filed in the first half of 2020 to N124.83 billion in the period under review.

Total Nigeria’s gross profit appreciated by 105.7 percent to N25.504 billion in the first half of 2021, up from N12.400 billion in the corresponding period of 2020.

The company grew operating profit to N12.526 billion in the first half from -N716.812 million achieved in the first half of 2020 during the peak of COVID-19.

Profit before minimum tax jumped by 2,358 percent from -N523.898 million in H1 2020 to N11.779 billion in the period under review.

Total Nigeria paid N3.713 billion as income tax in the first half of 2021 to take the total profit after tax to N8.1 billion, a 1,601 percent increase from -N537.188 million posted in the corresponding period.

Shareholders’ funds expanded by 17 percent to N32.821 billion from N28.151 billion in H1 2020.

Total Nigeria’s share price grew by 49 percent during the period under review to N145.00 a share, up from N97.50 a unit in the first half of 2020.

Earnings per share jumped from -N1.58 in H1 2020 to N23 in H1 2021.

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Appointments

Wema Bank Announces Prince Olusegun Adesegun and Mr. Adeyemi Adefarakan as Non-Executive Directors

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Wema Bank- Investorsking

Wema Bank Plc has announced the appointments of Prince Olusegun Adesegun and Mr. Adeyemi Adefarakan as Non-Executive Directors of the Bank, effective July 19, 2021.

The announcement was after the Central Bank of Nigeria had approved both appointments, the lender disclosed in a statement signed by Johnson lebile, Company Secretary and Legal Adviser, Wema Bank Plc.

Prince Olusegun Adesegun Background

Prince Olusegun Adesegun is a Psychologist with a Masters’ Degree in Industrial Psychology from the University of Ibadan. He served and worked in Pyramid Products Limited as Manager in Training and rose to become the General Manager of the then Eastern Zone in 1988.

He retired and engaged in private business and has overtime garnered experience in marketing administration, management, and supply chain logistics solutions. He eventually became the CEO of Pecol Ventures Limited – a cash crop export and paper products company where he transformed the company from a small producer to a large, world-class Agric-Export firm.

He combined his private business with public service to become Commissioner for Works and Housing in Ogun State twice, and later served as the Deputy Governor of Ogun State between 2011-2015.

He currently serves as a Career Counsellor and Consultant for high quality investment decisions.

Adeyemi Adefarakan Profile

Adeyemi Adefarakan is a seasoned executive with strong global investment banking, portfolio risk, asset and financial management exposure.

He graduated with a BSc (Hons) in Economics & Accountancy from the prestigious City University, London, and holds a Masters degree in International Securities, Investment & Banking from the acclaimed ICMA Centre at the University of Reading, U.K. He is also an alumnus of the Emerging CFO: Strategic Financial Leadership Programme at Stanford Graduate School of Business, USA, and currently pursuing a Global CEO Africa Programme in the triumvirate of business schools comprising of Lagos Business School, Strathmore Business School (Nairobi, Kenya) and Yale School of Management (Connecticut, USA).

Yemi currently serves as the Group Chief Financial Officer and an Executive Director on the board of CBSL (Continental Broadcasting Service Limited). He holds other boards positions where he continues to create and extract shareholder value through active board engagement.

Prior to joining CBSL, Yemi forged his career on the trading floors of some of London’s financial powerhouses, to wit; State Street Global Markets, DRW Investments, JP Morgan Chase, Deutsche Bank and HSBC Global Asset Management, where he traded both vanilla and complex instruments and riskmanaged multi-billion-dollar multiasset portfolios.

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