- BoI Decries N5.81bn Unpaid Omatek’s Loan, Seven Years After
Omatek Ventures Plc’s indebtedness to the Bank of Industry has entered its seventh year as the bank claimed the company has not serviced the N5.81bn credit facility since 2012.
Responding to our correspondent enquiries on the status of the credit facility, BoI said every effort to ensure payment by the company had not been successful.
“The customer has not made any payment on its account since the inception of the loan till date as every effort to get the customer to pay was not fruitful,” BoI said.
“The new management made promises to make some commitment payment as a sign of goodwill in 2017. Till date, no payment was made to the bank towards settling its indebtedness.”
Omatek, which was founded by the late Chief Executive Officer, Mrs Florence Seriki, locally assembles computer cases, speakers, keyboards and mouse, computer systems and notebooks, among others.
BoI said it granted a term loan and working capital facilities totalling N5, 808,429,033.95 to the company in December 2012, for the purpose of financing the procurement of assembly components for the production of laptops.
As part of the requirement for obtaining the loan, the development finance bank said it requested for the Irrevocable Standing Payment Order arrangement with the defunct Skye Bank Plc in favour of BoI, all assets debenture and an Irrevocable Personal Guarantee of the late Seriki.
The bank explained that there was an absence of corporate governance in the company under the leadership of its late CEO, adding that this became evident after her demise in 2017.
BoI management said, “Following the burial ceremony of the chief promoter, several meetings were held with the Ag. Managing Director of the company, Mr Yemi Ogundipe, which confirmed the initial reservations of the bank that the company had issues bordering on corporate governance under the leadership of the late chief promoter.
“Though the current management of the company agreed to strategise and commence repayment after settling in, it was obvious that there was no clear plan on the ground to actualise that commitment.”
It was gathered that the bank appointed Ade Oyebanji as a receiver, who took inventory of all items located at the Omatek’s premises at Plot 11, Kudirat Abiola Way, Oregun , Ikeja, Lagos, in January 2017.
In a letter to shareholders last month, the management of Omatek Ventures said it was exploring out of court settlement with BoI in order to reach an amicable agreement on the loan default. The letter was signed by the Company Secretary, Femi Ikotun.
According to the technology firm, it received a Federal High Court’s judgment striking out the suit filed by BOI against Omatek and had directed the bank to release Omatek property that it had locked up.
However, up till now, Omatek said the bank had refused to release its property.
FG Asks Customs to Ground Private Jets over Failure to Pay Import Duties
The Federal Government of Nigeria has instructed the Nigerian Customs Service to ensure the grounding of 91 private jets, which are owned by some particularly rich Nigerians, over the payment of import duties.
The individuals in question have allegedly refused to pay their import duties, which are running up to about N30 billion. This has prompted the Federal Government to make the call to ground their private jets.
The Comptroller-General of the Nigerian Customs, Col. Hameed Ali (retd.) has since written a letter to the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) instructing the agencies to ground the concerned private jets with immediate effect.
The letter was dated November 2, 2021 and was addressed to the Director-General of the NCAA, Capt. Musa Nuhu. The same letter was also sent and addressed to the Managing Director of the FAAN, Capt. Rabiu Yadudu and the Managing Director of NAMA, Capt. Fola Akinkuotu.
In the letter, the three addressed agencies were instructed to ground the private jets by refusing them proper administrative and operational flight clearances until further notice.
The letter went ahead to state that the indefinite refusal of administrative and operational flight clearances will be lifted once the Nigerian Customs Service has issued an Aircraft Clearance Certificate, and the certificate is provided to the agencies as evidence of cooperation.
Nairaland’s findings report that some of the private jets which are victims of the grounding order are owned by senior pastors of some Pentecostal churches across the country, Chief Executive Officers of some earlier oil companies, the Chairmen of some Tier-1 banks in the country, as well as some Tier-1 banks themselves with one of said banks owning two upmarket jets themselves.
However, some of the owners of these jets have written letters of protest to the Customs Service, stating that they cannot pay import duties because the private jets in question are under lease payments.
Seplat Energy to Acquire ExxonMobil’s Nigerian Shallow Water Business
Seplat Energy Plc, Nigeria’s leading indigenous energy company, has confirmed that it is in the process of acquiring ExxonMobil’s Nigerian shallow water business.
ExxonMobil has been selling off its businesses in Europe, Africa, and Asia in recent years to focus on a few mega-projects at home and abroad.
The statement reads, “Seplat Energy Plc, a leading Nigerian energy company listed on the Nigerian Exchange and the London Stock Exchange, notes the recent press speculation and confirms that Seplat Energy, together with a partner, is in competitive discussions to acquire ExxonMobil’s Nigerian shallow water business.”
According to Seplat, there is no certainty as to the outcome of the ongoing discussions.
“Deliberations are ongoing and accordingly, there can be no certainty as to the outcome. A further announcement will be made as and when appropriate, in line with regulatory requirements,” Seplat stated.
The announcement is coming a few days after Seplat Chairman, ABC Orjiako resigned from his position as the Chairman of the company following a debt scandal with Zenith Bank Plc.
Uber to Halt Services in Parts of Belgium
Uber will stop its ride-hailing service in most parts of Belgium tomorrow after a court ruling on Wednesday which extends an order given in 2015, banning its p2p (Peer to Peer) UberPop service to also cover professional drivers who provide its ride-hailing service.
Uber told TechCrunch that it is currently closely examining the details of the ruling, in order to arrive at a decision on whether or not to appeal the decision with the country’s Supreme Court.
This also follows a temporary decision to discontinue Uber’s service in Brussels, a decision which was referred to as “exceptional and unprecedented” by the tech giant. The company said that it was merely taking a step to complain about the lack of reform rules which forbid drivers from using smartphones.
After the ruling by the Brussels appeal court, private hire vehicle drivers have been obstructing a major tunnel in the capital of Belgium.
In a statement made concerning Friday’s impending shutdown, the chief of Uber in the country, Laurent Slitsagain criticized the government for not providing a reform which it has been soliciting for, stating that the decision was made depending on regulations which are now outdated as they were written before smartphones.
The company stated that the government has promised a reform but has failed to deliver said reforms for the last seven years.
According to Bloomberg, the shutdown will not be applicable to a small number of drivers who are licensed in the Flemish region of Belgium, and are therefore still permitted to use the application. Uber confirmed that the Appeal Court ruling only applies to drivers with Brussels licenses.
In another statement, Slits stated that the tech giant is hugely concerned about the 2,000 possessors of LVC licenses (rental car with driver licenses) who according to the country chief will lose their ability to generate earnings.
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