Investors King has put together the latest news in Nigeria today, August 17, 2023, to ensure you stay atop trending news and happenings in the business world.
AFREXIM Bank and NNPC Sign $3 Billion Agreement to Bolster Naira
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Ltd. and the African Export-Import Bank (AFREXIM Bank) have joined hands to secure an emergency crude oil repayment loan amounting to $3 billion.
The commitment letter, officially signed at AFREXIM Bank’s headquarters in Cairo, marks a significant milestone in Nigeria’s fiscal journey. Read more here.
Naira Plummets to N790 from N925 Amidst CBN’s Market Intervention
The exchange rate of the Nigerian naira improved against the United States Dollar to N790 from N925 it was sold on the black market on Tuesday.
The shocking drop unfolded amidst a carefully orchestrated intervention by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), leaving both financial experts and everyday citizens grappling with the magnitude of the market turmoil. Read more here.
Airtel Africa Announces Historic Capital Reduction, Paving the Way for Shareholder Windfall
Airtel Africa, a telecommunications and mobile money services provider operating across 14 African countries, has successfully secured the approval of the High Court of England and Wales for its unprecedented move to cancel and extinguish all of its deferred shares.
This visionary step, known as the “Capital Reduction,” was greenlit by the company’s shareholders during the annual general meeting on July 4, 2023, and marks a monumental shift in Airtel Africa’s financial architecture. Read more here.
FBN Holdings Appoints Billionaire Olufemi Otedola as Non-Executive Director
The board of FBN Holdings Plc has approved and appointed Mr. Olufemi Otedola, CON as a non-executive director of the bank.
The approval was endorsed by the Shareholders at the Annual General Meeting held on August 15, 2023. The appointment is effective August 14, 2023. Read more here.
FBI Analysis Reveals Shocking Details in Mompha’s Trial
A Lagos High Court recently admitted into evidence a comprehensive report from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) during the trial of Ismaila Mustapha, popularly known as Mompha.
This report sheds new light on the alleged fraudulent activities of the accused, including the use of his iPhone in a series of financial transactions.
The FBI report, presented by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) as evidence, has revealed a string of suspicious activities carried out through Mompha’s iPhone.
According to the report, Mompha’s phone was used to send account details to a United Arab Emirates telephone number, searched for Swift Codes of a bank, and, shockingly, had a compromised Microsoft 365 account.
The charges against Mompha and his company, Ismalob Global Investment Limited, include conspiracy to launder funds, retention of proceeds from criminal conduct, money laundering, failure to disclose assets, possession of documents containing false pretense, and the use of property derived from an unlawful act.
The prosecution alleges that they conducted financial transactions amounting to over N5.9 billion with the intent of promoting unlawful activities.
During cross-examination, the witness from the FBI revealed that Mompha’s iPhone was employed in changing payment delivery methods from cheque to wire transfer after two failed attempts, ultimately succeeding on the third attempt.
The defense counsel, Kolawole Salami, initially objected to the admissibility of the FBI report, arguing that it needed certification by the United States Consulate.
However, the objection was overruled by Justice Mojisola Dada, who deemed the documents to be in their original state and not requiring certification.
As the trial progresses, these shocking revelations from the FBI analysis have cast a new light on the case against Mompha.
The courtroom drama continues, with the case adjourned until Wednesday, November 1, leaving both the prosecution and the defense with much to consider in the days ahead.
Nigeria Holds $783 Million in Blocked Funds, IATA Engages with Government for Resolution
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) reported that as of August Nigeria holds approximately $783 million in blocked funds belonging to various airlines.
This significant financial concern was communicated via an official statement released by the trade association.
Kamil Al Awadhi, IATA’s Regional Vice-President for Africa and the Middle East, has been actively engaged in discussions with the Federal Government in an effort to find a resolution to this pressing issue.
Foreign airlines operating within Nigeria have faced ongoing challenges in repatriating their commercial revenues due to a prolonged shortage of foreign exchange in the country.
The official statement from IATA stated, “Mr. Al Awadhi also held discussions with Nigeria’s newly appointed Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, the Honorable Minister Festus Keyamo. During these discussions, he urged the new government to maintain and strengthen consultations with the industry while developing both short-term and long-term solutions to address foreign exchange access issues for both domestic and foreign carriers.”
Highlighting the severity of the situation, the statement said, “As of August 2023, Nigeria accounts for $783 million of airlines’ blocked funds.”
According to the statement, IATA commends the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) for its commitment to enhancing infrastructure and service standards at Lagos’s Murtala Muhammad International Airport within a twelve-month timeframe.
In related news, IATA had previously raised concerns about safety, security, and passenger service levels at Lagos Airport in the past year.
A recent high-level meeting between IATA and FAAN, represented by Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer Kabir Mohammed, concluded with FAAN committing to expedite improvements in these areas as part of a corrective action plan.
Kamil Al Awadhi, IATA’s Regional Vice-President for Africa and the Middle East, said, “We welcome FAAN’s commitment to upgrade Lagos Airport, which serves as a vital domestic and international hub connecting Nigeria to the rest of Africa and beyond. This strategic focus not only strengthens the aviation sector but also acts as a catalyst for Nigeria’s broader economic and social progress. IATA is ready to provide support and expertise to FAAN to ensure that international standards are met through the corrective action plan. Safety, security, and efficient infrastructure are crucial for a well-functioning air transport system, as is the ability of airlines to access the revenues they generate in Africa.”
Federal Government Reopens D Wing of Murtala Muhammed International Airport
In a bid to address the escalating flight disruptions and enhance the efficiency of air travel, the Federal Government has officially reopened the D Wing of the old international terminal at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos.
The move is part of a broader effort to tackle the challenges faced by both travelers and airlines operating in Nigeria.
This challenge emerged following the sudden relocation of foreign airlines from the international terminal of the Lagos airport to an adjoining new terminal that opened in March.
The announcement of the reopening of the old international terminal, which had temporarily closed for renovation, was made by the Minister of Aviation, Mr. Festus Keyamo, on Monday.
According to a statement signed by the Director of Public Affairs & Consumer Protection at FAAN (Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria), Abdullahi Yakubu-Funtua, Minister Keyamo emphasized the government’s unwavering commitment to improving the aviation sector and ensuring passengers enjoy a seamless travel experience.
The statement reads in part, “We are pleased to inform the traveling public that Hon. Minister of Aviation, Mr. Festus Keyamo, has graciously permitted the use of the D Wing of the Old Murtala Muhammed International Terminal to complement the New International Terminal, aimed at facilitating the smooth movement of passengers through the airport.”
Minister Keyamo had originally ordered airlines to relocate to the new terminal starting on October 1, 2023. However, FAAN took the initiative to forcibly relocate the international carriers to the new facility on Wednesday.
The sudden relocation by FAAN coincided with a fire incident that occurred in part of the baggage hall of MMIA on the same day. This incident compelled the agency to evacuate passengers and personnel from the facility.
In response to the situation, Mr. Abdullahi Yakubu-Funtua, the Director of Media at FAAN, stated that the airport fire and other developments affecting power supply had necessitated the abrupt relocation of foreign carriers. He assured the public that FAAN is actively addressing the situation.
The utilization of the D Wing for passenger processing has already commenced, promising improved travel experiences for all passengers.
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