- Probe Skye Bank Directors, Minister Orders CBN, NDIC
The Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, has directed the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation to fully investigate and prosecute all the directors and executive management members, who contributed to the collapse of the defunct Skye Bank Plc as well as other Deposit Money Banks in liquidation.
The minister gave the directive during her familiarisation visit to the NDIC in Abuja on Friday, according to a statement by the Head, Communication and Public Affairs of the corporation, Mohammed Ibrahim.
The Managing Director and Chief Executive, NDIC, Umaru Ibrahim, and the Executive Director, Corporate Services, Omolola Abiola-Edewor, led the executive management of the corporation to receive the minister.
Ahmed expressed serious concern about the spate of non-performing loans in the banking industry, adding that while the bailout of distressed financial institutions was necessary in the interest of the stability of the banking system, emphasis should be placed on the investigation and prosecution of delinquent board directors and executive management of financial intuitions who abused the trust reposed in them by depositors.
The minister urged the CBN and the NDIC to use the recent failure of the defunct Skye Bank Plc as an opportunity to deal decisively with any of its directors and management staff found culpable in the course of investigations, so as to serve as a deterrent to other operators in the financial system, as the Federal Government was no longer prepared to treat such serious infractions with levity.
Earlier in his welcome address, the NDIC MD assured the minister that the corporation would do all it could to assist in the recovery of all the debts owed the defunct Skye Bank and other banks in liquidation.
He also expressed the corporation’s determination to ensure that the directors who perpetrated insider abuse and other illegalities in running the affairs of the bank were investigated and prosecuted by the appropriate authorities.
The primary concern of the NDIC, according to him, is to ensure the safety of depositors’ funds and minimise the disruption of banking services.
Ibrahim informed the minister that since 1991, the aggregate payment to depositors, creditors and shareholders of 46 closed banks amounted to N11.75bn, out of which the total payment to insured depositors of Deposit Money Banks amounted to N8.252bn.
He also stated that a total of N2.89bn was paid out to insured depositors of microfinance banks, covering 81,657 individual accounts, while N69.60m was also paid to insured depositors of Primary Mortgage Banks.
A total of 46 DMBs, according to him, are currently in liquidation.
The MD/CE assured the minister that the corporation used the most appropriate failure resolution option in the case of the defunct Skye Bank as it ensured that over 6,000 jobs were saved, while its depositors continued to operate their accounts with the new Polaris Bank Limited, which assumed the entire assets and liabilities of Skye Bank.
Responding, Ahmed commended the NDIC for the thoroughness of its bank examination reports, which she noted had become acknowledged in the banking system.
She also expressed appreciation to the corporation for the prompt payment of its contribution under the Fiscal Responsibility Act, adding that the Federal Government regarded the NDIC as a critical player towards the actualisation of its Economic Recovery Growth.
Oil Prices Decline on Rising COVID-19 Cases
Global Oil Prices Dipped on Friday as New COVID-19 Cases Jump Globally
Global oil prices decline on Friday as the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases surged across the world.
Brent crude oil, against which Nigerian oil is priced, declined from $43.47 per barrel it traded on Thursday during the Asian trading session to $41.60 per barrel on Friday at around 11:39 am Nigerian time.
Oil traders and investors are worried that the rising number of COVID-19 new cases would disrupt demand for the commodity and force refineries to shut down once again.
“I do not suspect many oil traders will be looking to place significant bids in the market today, suggesting prices may continue to wallow into the weekend,” said Stephen Innes, chief global markets strategist at AxiCorp.
Despite efforts by both OPEC plus and other top oil producers to halt falling oil prices and reduce global oil glut, the lack of a cure for COVID-19 remained global concerns.
As previously stated on this platform, until a cure is found the world would have to find a way to either work through COVID-19 or shut down activities completely.
This is coming a day after the Federal Government of Nigeria announced that it was putting school resumption plan on hold following the latest COVID-19 report that shows Nigeria’s confirmed cases crossed 30,000 on Wednesday.
In the United States, more than 60,000 new COVID-19 cases were reported on Thursday, forcing lawmakers to start contemplating the second phase of COVID-19 lockdown.
We Are Losing N13.9bn Monthly Because FG Caps Tariff – Discos
Discos Says it is Losing N14bn Monthly Because of NERC Capped Tariff
The Nigerian power Distribution Companies (Discos) have said they a losing N13.9 billion in revenue every month because the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, limited how much they can charge for consumption.
Ernest Mupwaya, the Managing Director, Abuja Electricity Distribution Company, made the statement during a presentation on behalf of the Discos to the House of Representatives Committee on Power.
The statement was after the Discos demanded realistic indices before the implementation of the proposed service reflective tariff, which was supposed to be implemented on July 1.
Mupwaya said there were some outstanding requirements before the service reflective tariff could be implemented.
“One of them is the removal of estimated billing caps. The financial impact of the Capping Order is an average loss of N13.9bn monthly, thereby, undermining or jeopardising the minimum remittance requirement,” Mupwaya stated.
The July 1 service tariff implementation was halted by members of the National Assembly, who prevailed on the Discos to shelve the date to the first quarter of 2021 due to the current economic challenges in Nigeria.
Gbajabiamila Says Nigeria Can’t Compete in AfCFTA With Weak Industries
Nigeria Must Ramp up Industrialisation to Prevent Dumping by Other Nations
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has said the nation can not compete effectively in the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) with weak industrialisation and manufacturing activities.
Gbajabiamila disclosed this while receiving Adesoji Adesugba, the newly appointed Managing Director of the Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority.
The details of the visit were made public on Thursday in a statement titled, “AFCFTA: House Speaker tasks Nigeria on industrialisation through free trade zones.”
Gbajabiamila was quoted as saying “We must act proactively so that we don’t become a dumping ground for other African nations.
“Our best option in this circumstance is to immediately set machinery in motion to ensure the effective functioning and flourishing of our export processing zones.
“We must remove all bottlenecks and perfect all stumbling blocks. We will then be fully prepared for AfCFTA and also generate massive jobs for our unemployed youths and enhance our foreign earnings.”
He added that the nation must as a matter of national emergency ramp up industrialisation through free trade zones and other effective means to compete with South Africa, Africa’s most industrialised economy and other African nations.
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