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AMCON Takes Over Three More Arumemi-Ikhide’s Firms

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  • AMCON Takes Over Three More Arumemi-Ikhide’s Firms

The Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria has taken over Rockson Engineering Limited, Ojemai Investment Limited and Ojemai Farms, two firms linked to the former Chairman of Arik Air, Sir Joseph Arumemi-Ikhide.

According to the corporation, Rockson Engineering is indebted to it to the tune of N107bn; Ojemai Investment, N1.9bn; and Ojemai Farms, N8.6bn.

Arik Air’s total debt is also put at about N387bn.

The Head of Corporate Communications, AMCON, Mr. Jude Nwauzor, confirmed the takeover of the firms to one of our correspondents in Lagos on Wednesday.

In an affidavit deposed to by the Receiver Manager of Arik Air, Mr. Oluseye Opasanya, before a Federal High Court in Lagos, the airlines’s total indebtedness was put at N387bn.

According to the affidavit, in addition to about N375bn owed locally, the airline also owes aviation authorities in the West Coast of Africa about $6.5m and Lufthansa Technik Group about €31m.

A breakdown of Arik’s debt within the country showed that the airline owes N418m as arrears of unpaid insurance premium for its airplanes, due on February 10, 2017.

According to the document, a demand letter from the National Pension Commission also showed that the airline failed to remit pension contributions of its employees despite making the necessary deductions from their salaries, and so owes the commission the sum of N4.586bn.

Other debts by the airline are N28.364bn to Zenith Bank Plc; N9.447bn to Access Bank Plc; N632m to Amadeus Marketing Nigeria, an aviation service provider; and N3.8m to Marriot Hotel and Best Western Hotel for the accommodation of its engineers and members of staff.

It was also revealed that the erstwhile management of the airline obtained N2bn to retrofit from AMCON without documentation.

The affidavit alleged that the former management of Arik was basically gambling with the lives of millions of people that patronised the airline, because it did not care about safety as critical issues such as having a simulator to ensure that Arik pilots undertook mandatory training as required to improve their efficiency, were non-existent.

It added that the airline had inadequate equipment to facilitate its operations, which was reflected by the insufficient laptops available at its check-in counters to conduct basic checks.

Nwauzor stated, “The airline uses a minimum of 48 tyres every month, but when AMCON took over, there were no spares.

“As a matter of fact, the salaries of the expatriate and local staff of Arik were unpaid, while the airline owed premiums on its insurance policy because the previous management of Arik took insurance on a monthly basis instead of annually in accordance with aviation global best practices for the insurance of aviation assets.

“Arik operations would have been grounded indefinitely if AMCON did not intervene as the insurance policy of Arik was to lapse on February 10, 2017. As of that date, Arik owed a total of N418m in arrears of unpaid premium, just as its employees’ health insurance had also expired and as a result, the pilots and other members of staff of the airline were to halt operations as well.”

He added that AMCON took over to underscore the government’s decision to instil sanity in the nation’s aviation sector and prevent a major catastrophe, adding that it underestimated the rot in the airline’s system before the takeover.

According to him, the government has so far spent about N1.5bn since AMCON took over in February to revive the airline, which he said was on the verge of shutting down.

“Even if we had given the former management the next 25 years, they will still not have been able to get out of debt. The National Assembly wanted AMCON to move in, liquidate the company and recover the debts owed. That option is still open to us,” Nwauzor added.

The court document stated that among other shortcomings, Arik operated without any pattern of corporate governance, had a very poor business judgment, poor record keeping and lacked proper accounting and auditing.

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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Stanbic IBTC Appoints Mrs. Sola David-Borha as Non-Executive Director

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Stanbic IBTC Bank

Mrs. Sola David-Borha is Stanbic IBTC Non-Executive Director

Stanbic IBTC board on Thursday announced the appointment of Mrs. Sola David-Borha as a non-executive director effective from 24 September 2020.

The lender disclosed this in a statement released through the Nigerian Stock Exchange.

In the statement signed by Chidi Okezie, Company Secretary, Stanbic IBTC, the lender said the appointment is subject to regulatory approvals.

According to the bank, “Mrs. David- Borha is currently the Chief Executive, Standard Bank (Africa Regions). Prior to that, she served as Chief Executive of Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC (2012-2017) as well as the Bank (2011-2012), after holding various executive positions in Corporate Banking; Corporate & Investment Banking; and Investment Banking Coverage for Africa (excluding South Africa). She is also an Independent Non-Executive Director on the Board of CocaCola Hellenic Bottling Company.

“Mrs. David-Borha has had an extensive career in the financial services industry, which has spanned over 30 years. Her executive educational experience includes the Advanced Management Program of Harvard Business School and the Global CEO Program of CEIBS, Wharton and IESE. She is an Honorary Senior Member of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria and winner of the CNBC African Woman of the Year Award for 2016.

“The Board is pleased to welcome Mrs. David-Borha back to the Board of the Company and will undoubtedly continue to benefit immensely from her wealth of experience.”

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Lagos Introduces Fuel Station on Inland Waterways to Enhance Ferry Operations

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Lagos State Waterways Intrdouces Fuel Station for Ferries Operators

The Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA) on Tuesday said it has introduced the first-ever fuel state on the Lagos inland waterways.

The fuel station was introduced to boost activities across Lagos waterways and increase transportation activities, according to a statement released by Nkechi Ajayi, the Public Relations Officer, LASWA.

Speaking at the five cowries terminal in Lagos during an event, Mr. Oluwadamilola Emmanuel, the General manager, LASWA, lauded the fueling station project, adding that it would boost ferry operators’ activities and help them expand.

Emmanuel was quoted as saying “This project is significant to us at LASWA being a responsible agency of government.

“We are concerned about the hardship and occasional harassment usually faced by ferry operators while using jerry cans to get fuel from filling stations to run their boats.

“With the opening of this fuel pump unit to serve both commercial and private boat owners, the safety of lives and property on the Lagos waterways will be greatly enhanced.

“To further promote the safety of all waterways users, we urge boat operators to desist from moving fuel with kegs.

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Why N-power Beneficiaries Should be Retained Permanently

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N-power Beneficiaries Must and Should be Retained Permanently

Poorly paid with little to zero job securities and economic provisions, thousands of Nigerian graduates and non-graduates continue to enroll for the social investment program, N-power, established by the Federal Government in 2016 to alleviate poverty and support the vulnerable.

However, two years later the program is experiencing a downturn with the government planning to throw beneficiaries (batches A and B) of the program back into the street despite the nation’s unemployment rate at a record high of 27.1 percent.

Participants, proudly referred to as beneficiaries by the government and its agents, have had to endure delays in inhumane stipends that can barely meet their daily needs to undefined or uncertain exit package plans for the participants of the program.

Despite all the limitations faced by volunteers, supervisors in schools and other places of assignments have said N-power beneficiaries played key roles in addressing a lot of their existing challenges and on numerous occasions and they have occasioned a new growth direction.

According to a Senior Special Adviser to the President on job creation, “What we have found out is that they are filling a lot of gaps in some places like schools, where they do not have enough teachers.In some schools where the N-Power are posted to, you discovered that it is only the principal and some NYSC members that are teaching students, the Npower teachers have helped to compliment their efforts.”

In Ekiti, a 34-year-old veteran teacher explained that “If not all of them, a majority of the N-Power teachers have mastery of the subject matter. They have not been found wanting also in the theoretical aspect of teaching. Especially the way they make use of teaching aid in classes; and that is actually very impressive.

“There is one of them who is a Physics teacher now, we have to keep deploying from one class to the other just because we don’t have adequate teachers to cover those classes.

“The one that is taking Christian Religious Knowledge is a born teacher, who is very efficient and very punctual in her classes.”

Another principal of Government Secondary School in Daurawa, Kano, Haliru Inuwa, said the eight N-power teachers posted to his school since December 2016 have been saving grace for both himself and the students.

He said “We have eight beneficiaries of N-Power posted to my school here.” 

“Most of them are handling core science subjects which most of the schools in Kano state are lacking generally. Yes, subjects like Mathematics, English etc. To our surprise, and against the earlier concern raised that they might not perform well in teaching, the N-Power volunteer teachers are not only committed to their teaching, but are also punctual,” he added.

These much were achieved in spite of the poor salary and working conditions. Graduates and non-graduates of the N-power program have exceeded expectations and raised the bar of dedication and service to the people.

The Nigerian government, just like the private sector operators, continues to take advantage of the high unemployment rate it created to exploit supposed high demand services. What does one expect? when they have been undermined from the onset as ‘privileged beneficiaries’ even with the pivotal role they played in the economy.

N-power volunteers, Batch A and B, as promised are to be absorbed into permanent job positions and their salaries and working conditions reviewed to further enhance their commitments and impacts across the board.

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