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N33bn Probe: PenCom Ignoring Demands for Bank Statement – Lawmakers



pension fund
  • N33bn Probe: PenCom Ignoring Demands for Bank Statement – Lawmakers

The House of Representatives’ Ad Hoc Committee investigating the activities of the National Pension Commission and Violation of the PenCom Act has alleged that the regulatory body has refused to provide the statement of its accounts with the Central Bank of Nigeria.

At the investigative hearing of the committee in Abuja on Tuesday, there was also a mild drama when PenCom told the panel that it operated an account with the CBN but the apex bank said the commission operated five with it.

Appearing before the committee were the Head, Contributory Bond and Redemption Department, PenCom, Mr Lana Loyinmi, who represented the acting Director-General, Aisha Dahir-Umar; and a Director in the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation, Olusegun Olufehinti, who represented the AcGF, Mr Ahmed Idris.

There were also representatives of the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation and Civil Society Organisations in attendance.

The lawmakers particularly grilled Loyinmi during the sitting, saying that they were satisfied with the presentations made and defences filed by other stakeholders, whom PenCom had asked the panel to clarify some of the issues from.

The panel accused PenCom of failing to provide series of documents demanded, noting that the statement of account provided by the CBN had contradicted the earlier submission by the commission on its remittances.

The Chairman of the committee, Mr Johnson Agbonayinma, had noted that there were irregularities between the information provided by PenCom and the statement of account of the commission provided by the CBN.

Loyinmi, however, said what PenCom presented to the panel was a remittance schedule and not account statement.

“I am not aware that we submitted a specific account, what we submitted is a schedule. If your letter had asked for bank statement, he would probably have reproduced this from CBN for you,” he said.

The hearing took a dramatic turn when the PenCom boss was asked how many accounts the commission operated with the CBN, and he answered, “I think it is about three.”

Shocked by Loyinmi’s indefinite response, a member of the panel, Mr Wole Oke, asked for his position in PenCom, asking him again if he knew the number of accounts the commission had with the CBN, urging him to state if he did not know.

Responding, Loyinmi said, “I don’t know the exact number.” He added that the Director of Finance of PenCom, who was not at the venue, could provide the information.

Commenting, Agbonayinma said, “We have the CBN here. We asked them and they told us the number. During the last public hearing, the Acting DG also specified it. In her submission, she told us they had one but the CBN came and told us that you have five accounts. You (Loyinmi) said they are three; if you don’t know, you don’t know. Don’t assume. If you are here to represent the Acting DG and you don’t know how many accounts PenCom operates with CBN, there is a problem.”

He added, “We have written several letters…’submit your bank statement and all transactions with CBN.’ Up till now (no response). Every request that we have made, they are just manoeuvring. Is there anything else you want us to do to get your attention to submit it? Look at the CBN, everything we requested they have submitted.”

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

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Shoprite: New Investor Assures Nigerian Consumers of Improved Services



Shoprite - Investors King

Following the acquisition deal between Retail Supermarkets Nigeria Limited (RSNL), owner and operator of the Shoprite stores in Nigeria, and Ketron Investment Limited, the new investor has assured consumers of robust services in the years ahead.

Ketron, a Nigerian company owned by a group of institutional investors led by Persianas Investment Limited, recently acquired the supermarket brand.

The divestment by Shoprite International was in line with its strategy to change from an ownership model to a franchise model. This change in ownership has also received the approval of the Nigerian regulator the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC).

Speaking on the acquisition, Chairman, Ketron Investment Limited, Tayo Amusan said, “We are thrilled to complete the acquisition of Shoprite, ensuring the continued operations of one of the biggest retail success stories in Nigeria. We look forward to building an even stronger company following our acquisition and are excited about the greater impact we will achieve to the benefit of our customers and other stakeholders now and well into the future.”

Since its launch in Lagos in December 2005, Shoprite has expanded to 25 outlets across eleven states and Abuja, FCT.

According to the terms of the acquisition, Ketron acquired 100 per cent ownership of Shoprite in Nigeria and will continue operations across all existing outlets. It also plans to open additional stores and introduce more Nigerian-made products in the stores. This he noted, will also result in more opportunities for Nigerians.

“It is our vision to create fundamental change for the better within Nigeria,” said Amusan. “With benefits from our knowledge of the ever-evolving Nigerian retail marketplace, well-grounded social and economic research, and hands-on experience from our team, we are confident that this acquisition will foster a robust and sustainable business model for the ultimate benefit of all stakeholders,” he concluded.

Professional services firms, KPMG Advisory Services, MBO Capital Management Limited and Banwo & Ighodalo advised Ketron on the deal. CEO, MBO Capital, Jide Ogundare, stated that the deal signalled an opportunity for Ketron to uphold a thriving business.

“It will be hard work,” he said, “but with the plans we have in place, and with the support of the larger Shoprite family in Nigeria including our staff and every Nigerian shopper that walks through our doors, we are confident of success.”

Shoprite Holdings is Africa’s largest food retailer, operating 2,843 supermarkets in 15 countries and serving 35 million customers in Africa and the Indian Ocean Islands. At the moment, Shoprite Nigeria’s supply chain includes more than 300 leading Nigerian suppliers, and boasts small businesses and farmers among its partners and suppliers.

Ketron said Shoprite International will continue as technical advisers and Ketron will sustain the relationships established by Shoprite over the last decade and a half while ensuring a smooth “transfer of values.”

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CBN Offers Assistant In Printing Gambia’s Currency



Godwin Emefiele CBN - Investors King

The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, has said that the bank is willing to assist the Central Bank of the Gambia to print its legal tender.

Emefiele said this in Abuja on Tuesday during a two-day visit by a delegation from the Central Bank Of Gambia, led by its governor, Mr. Buah Saidy.

This was in response to a request by the CBG for a possible partnership to tackle acute currency shortages among other currency management challenges in the country.

Saidy informed the CBN governor that relying on its current printer, De La Rue of London, for its currency needs was expensive and unsustainable.

He explained that it costs the bank about £70,000 to lift printed currencies from Sri Lanka to the Gambia.

In response, the CBN Governor assured his visitors that the bank had an extremely competitive advantage to undertake the currency printing for  Gambia, adding that the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting had a lot of idle capacity to satisfy the demand of the CBG.

He said, “I note your point on currency management. The Nigerian mint was set up in the early 1960s and we’ve been producing our currency since the early 60s and we have a lot of idle capacity to ensure that instead of you going to Europe or other countries, you will be able to benefit from our ideas.

“Our colleagues will take you to the security printing facility. Our colleagues that came in from Liberia two months ago were fascinated by the kind of facilities we have at our security printing and minting facility and I am sure that you will also enjoy them.

“And I am sure they will follow you back to the Gambia to see how they can help you to structure your economic order quantities so we can also be of assistance in printing your currency.

“And I can assure you that we can be extremely competitive if only from the standpoint of logistics and freight from Europe but it’s just going to be a few hours from here to the Gambia and the rest of them.”

The CBG Governor also noted that one of the purposes of the visit was to benefit from the CBN’s vast experiences on how it had successfully regulated the financial system and sought assistance in the areas of information technology, modernisation, cybersecurity, forex shipping and management, among others.

Emefiele in response attributed the successes to the support which the apex bank had enjoyed from the National Assembly.

He said, “On the issue of the CBN independence, I thank you for the kind words. But I think the point is that we thank our own parliament. Our parliament has been extremely supportive of the CBN.”

He, therefore, advised the CBG to work with its parliament to create laws that would provide the independence needed.

Emefele further stated that the apex bank was not sparing any effort to address issues of supply management to ensure economic growth.

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Ardova to Acquire 100 Percent Stake in Enyo Retail and Supply Limited



Olumide Adeosun Ardova - Investors King

Ardova, an indigenous energy company headquartered in Lagos, Nigeria, with extended operations in Ghana, has reached an agreement with Enyo Retail and Supply Holding Limited to acquire a 100 percent equity stake in Enyo Retail and Supply Limited.

This announcement follows the execution of a share purchase agreement by the two companies.

The company disclosed in a statement signed by Oladeinde Nelson-Cole, Company Secretary/General Counsel, Ardova Plc.

The statement highlighted the parties’ commitment to closing the transaction in line with the share purchase agreement, as soon as agreed closing conditions are satisfied, and regulatory approval is received.

Stanbic IBTC Capital Limited and Banwo & Ighodalo are acting as Financial and Legal Advisers respectively to AP, while Rand Merchant Bank and Herbert Smith Freehills Paris LLP are acting as Financial and Legal Advisers to ERSHL and certain of its shareholders.

Olumide Adeosun, Chief Executive Officer of AP, stated that “On completion, this acquisition will lead to a stronger downstream energy group that benefits from the increased customer reach and service delivery excellence of both companies, with the combination expected to produce stronger financial results.”

Ardova Plc and Enyo Retail & Supply Limited will communicate details of future progress made on this acquisition.

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