NIGERIA: Enterprise Bank is Up for Sale

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Read Time:5 Minute, 22 Second

By putting Enterprise Bank Limited first among the three bridged banks to be sold, the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) may be testing the waters of privatisation with the doctrine of the smaller the size, the smaller the risk.

From all indications, the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) is having a smooth sail in its bid to hand over the three bridged banks- Enterprise Bank Limited, Keystone Bank Limited and Mainstreet Bank Limited- to prospective buyers latest by the third quarter of next year.

Enterprise Bank was created from the defunct Spring Bank, while Keystone Bank Limited and Mainstreet Bank Limited emerged from the ashes of defunct Bank PHB and Afribank respectively in 2011 by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) following the expiration of the deadline given to a number of sick banks to get buyers.

The corporation had acquired them in August 2011, after the intervention by the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) and the CBN.
Although the three

banks have demonstrated their readiness to put their recent history behind them and compete favourably with their peers, AMCON insisted it must follow the timetable for the sale of the banks, which it drew in 2011 when the affected banks were bridged.
The process, expected to be concluded by the third quarter of 2014, according to AMCON, would lead to the full divestment of its shares in the three banks.

Enterprise Bank First
It was therefore a relief for members of the banking public a fortnight ago when AMCON, the main shareholder for the three banks, announced the plan to start the process by offering Enterprise Bank for sale in June. The corporation, which disclosed this in a statement, also explained that the sale of Keystone Bank Limited and Mainstreet Bank Limited would follow sequentially in order to ensure orderly and transparent transactions.

AMCON’s Managing Director Mustafa Chike-Obi, who spoke with THISDAY on the sale of the banks, explained that Enterprise Bank was picked because it is the smallest of the three affected banks.

“Enterprise Bank is the smallest and the cleanest of the three banks and anything learnt from the process of its sale can be applied in subsequent efforts. There is nothing magical about it,” he said.
No Official Discussion with Potential Buyers Yet

THISDAY sought to know the number of investors seeking to buy the bank, but Chike-Obi said AMCON has not been discussing with any investors officially, given the fact that such negotiations could only start after the report of the financial advisers to the bank is submitted.

According to him, financial advisers to work on the sale of Enterprise Bank would be announced in two weeks’ time while the sale of the bank is to take place in less than 30 days.

He, however, admitted that despite the determination of AMCON to stick to its timetable, quite a number of people and organisations, at informal level, have expressed their interest in buying over the banks.

“It is true that we have been receiving calls from interested investors,” Chike-Obi who insisted the timetable for the sale of the banks must be strictly followed said.

Watchers of the unfolding development, however, pointed out that the decision of the AMCON to use Enterprise Bank as a launch pad in its drive to divest from the bridged banks must have informed why it is the only bank of the bridged banks to make public its financial reports as it revealed that its gross earnings increased significantly to N40.4billion as at December 2012, compared to the N10.5 billion achieved in the five-month period ended 2011.

A Profitable Bride
The bank also realised a profit before tax (PBT) of N11.3 billion as at December 31, 2012, as against a loss of N5.2billion recorded in the five-month period it operated as at December 2011. Enterprise Bank’s deposit also grew from N162. 6billion in 2011, to N208.4 billion in 2012, just as its total assets climbed from N198.5 billion as at end of 2011 to N261.1billion in the year under review.

Speaking during its recent annual general meeting, the Chairman of Enterprise Bank Limited, Mr. Emeka Onwuka, attributed the achievement of the bank to the sustained growth in quality risk asset creation, which equally engendered growth in interest income.
The chairman stated that in addition to “improvements in our other banking income items such as commissions, fees, electronic banking income, significant improvements in trade-related transactions, facilitated through our strategic focus on Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) helped in boosting our fees and commission income.”

Onwuka said by the performance, “a solid foundation has been built by the bank to ensure a sustainable growth in its business activities.”

Commenting on some of the structures that had been put in place by the management of the financial institution, he said: “Renovations were carried out on the corporate head office and branches of the bank, which will enhance the competitiveness of the bank in the industry

“Several brand management initiatives were implemented in the year, in a bid to create more awareness about the bank in the marketplace. The bank’s electronic banking platform has been further enhanced by capital investments in Automated Teller Machines (ATMs), Point of Sale (PoS) terminals and several variants of electronic cards.”

Mainstreet, Keystone in Good Standing
Meanwhile, a source disclosed that apart from Enterprise Bank, the other two bridged banks, Mainstreet Bank and Keystone Bank, have also lived up to expectation.

“I can tell you that these three banks have done their homework well. You will be pleasantly surprised by the time the results of the other two bridged banks are made public.

“What we are seeing is the result of adequate supervision of the affected banks by the CBN and AMCON. In the case of Mainstreet Bank, the management has been able to use the bank’s rich history, wide spread and rich culture not only to improve on its customers’ base but also to grow its profit.

“Keystone Bank is a dynamic institution and a lot of innovations have been put in place by the current management. It is therefore not a surprise that these institutions are being sought after by investors ahead of the time earmarked for their sale,” the source said.

About Post Author

Anthony-Claret Ifeanyi Onwutalobi

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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MPR: Fear over Liquidity Risks Persists as CBN Maintains Statusquo

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Read Time:9 Minute, 0 Second

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) last week continued with the culture of rate tightening as it voted for the retention of the existing Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) at 12 percent. Analysts, however, share in the fear of the CBN that the prevailing political and economic conditions could trigger unrestrained spending with the attendant strains on the economy, reports Festus Akanbi

Up till Tuesday when the Central Bank Governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi announced the decision of the apex bank’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) at the end of its meeting, opinions were divided as to whether or not the time was ripe for the committee to soften its stance on the prevailing Monetary Policy Rate (MPR), the benchmark rate for banks to lend to their customers. This is because for almost one and a half years, the statusquo had been an MPR of 12 per cent with a corridor of +/-200 basis points around the midpoint.
However, with a vote of seven members to three, the committee did not only retain MPR at 12 percent, it also left the Cash Reserve Requirement (CRR) unchanged at 12 per cent and Liquidity Ratio at 30 per cent, with the Net Open Position at 1.0 per cent.

CBN’s Explanations
The CBN Governor, who faulted the claims that the existing MPR was a constraint to lending because of the corresponding high interest rate, listed the ongoing military action in three states in the North-east and the attendant increase in spending as one of the reasons why the financial regulators has to be firm as far as the monetary policy is concerned.

“The recent military action in the North-east will result in additional spending. Although the government has announced that there will be no supplementary budget, the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance (Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala) has already announced that there would be a drawdown on a Contingency Vote embedded in the 2013 Budget to cover emergencies. Overall, the committee is of the view that government spending will constitute a major risk to the inflation and exchange rate outlook, thus advising prudence in monetary policy action at this time,” Sanusi said. He warned that there could be further tightening if the crisis escalates.
Besides, Sanusi disagrees with those who believe the existing MPR is tight, saying emerging fundamentals in the nation’s economy do not support the claims of some of these critics, hence the reason for maintaining the status quo.

He said, “Personally, I don’t think we should change rates for the sake of changing rates. I think we should respond to situations. The government will spend money. We will keep monetary policy very tight. If the spending gets excessive, we will respond appropriately. The risks, if there is any from the fiscal side, are that we may actually have to tighten policy further if this warrants. I don’t think that at this point in time, a reduction in rates is not imminent.”

To support the CBN’s stance on MPR at 12 percent, Sanusi said the committee noted that in spite of increased borrowings, yields on FGN bonds have been declining steadily, signaling the impact of increased inflows while equity prices have been on an upward trend.
He added that the evidence did not, therefore, support claims of monetary policy being too tight.

What to Expect
Managing Director, Cowrie Assets Company Limited, Johnson Chukwu, explained that the implication of the retention of Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) at 12%, liquidity ratio and Cash Reserve Ratio by the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) is that the current pricing of financial assets – loans, deposits, bonds, T/Bills, etc will remain largely unchanged. “That means that lending rates in the economy will remain pricey and the supply of credits to small and medium scale enterprise will continue to be scarce,” he added.

He believed the military action in the North-east is bound to affect agricultural activities in the zone. Given that agriculture accounts for over 40% of the Nigeria’s nominal Gross Domestic Product (GDP), any factor that limits agricultural production such as the ongoing war in North-east will certainly affect the nation’s GDP.

In addition to the impact on GDP, the economy may experience an uptick in inflation rate as a result of shortage of food supply from the North. This was partly the reason for the increase in inflation rate to 9.1% in April, up from 8.6% in March; and may worsen in subsequent months with the ongoing arms conflict between the Federal Government and Boko Haram.

War or No War, No Threat to GDP
Regional Head of Research, Africa, Global Research, and Standard Bank Razia Khan did not believe the war against terror in some parts of the country could jolt the economy in a serious manner.

According to her, the state of emergency in three states in the North may weaken agricultural sector performance in a fairly localised way (this is unlikely to impact on Nigeria-wide GDP, but risks to the price level should be watched). She is of the opinion that the prevailing tight monetary policy is yielding results with the continued inflow of foreign investments into the country.

“In all, by voting to keep interest rates on hold for now, the CBN has once again demonstrated its willingness to continue with a policy that has largely worked for it.  Monetary policy is not overly tight, but the credibility of policy has allowed for greater inflows into Nigeria, triggering a rally in bonds, and allowing for the accumulation of FX reserves – or a more substantial buffer against future shocks.
“Nonetheless, the MPC vote, 7-3 in favour of keeping interest rates unchanged, demonstrates that there is a subtle but important shift underway on the MPC.  Should inflation risks continue to be benign, then calls for greater easing are likely to grow.

In our view the period from July on, which would normally provide more evidence on whether food price inflation will remain capped, as well as a reduction in seasonal pressure on the naira, will provide the key indications on whether policy is likely to change,” Khan said.

Asked to be specific about the seriousness of the fear over the state of emergency in three states in the country, the Standard Chartered official said, “At this point in time, it’s a relative unknown.  If the operations are only needed in the short-term, then it is conceivable that fiscal costs will be contained.  According to Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, a contingency reserve will be used to finance the operations, meaning that no new budget stresses are envisaged.

However, should operations drag on for longer than anticipated, then existing budgetary resources may not be sufficient?  A supplementary budget would then be needed, in our view. At this point it is difficult to tell.”
Another question posed bordered on the rigid position of the CBN on rates, which critics said are not in support of the clamour for economic stimulation.

Interest Rates not High in Nigeria
She said, “I am not of the opinion that a real interest rates are very high in Nigeria, given the inflation and growth backdrop and that even cutting interest rates 50 or 100 bps might make much difference to growth in the current circumstances, that the CBN necessarily has a ‘rigid’ position. Therefore, the accusation that ‘tight policy’ has been responsible for straining the real sector is overdone.

“By maintaining credible policy, the CBN has attracted greater foreign inflows, and precipitated a rally in bonds that has driven interest rates to much lower levels than might have been possible otherwise.

“So market interest rates – which might be used as a reference point for longer-term lending  (the kind that really matters for the real economy) are actually lower than might have been the case if say, they had cut 100 bps in a way that might make investors doubt the credibility of monetary policy in Nigeria.

“If people look at things clearly, the CBN’s monetary policy credibility should help to bring about sustained, lower interest rates in Nigeria eventually – this is what will benefit the real sector the most.
“Cutting recklessly today, having to reverse that with more tightening tomorrow – such a policy would be very damaging.  The CBN should receive plaudits for its consistency.”
She insisted that the CBN did the right thing.  They are doing the right thing for Nigeria in the long-term, rather than over-reacting to calls for short-term populist measures

“The criticism of the CBN’s so-called rigidity is not based on any appreciation of the factors that lead to overall development (It is precisely the relative dearth of that sort of long-term approach that has held Nigeria back for so many decades.  Investors are right to be concerned about what things might look like once Sanusi moves on),” she said.

Concerns over External Reserves
Is there any prospect of growing the nation’s external reserves in the face of the rising incidence of oil theft?
Khan, who said theft of Nigeria’s oil remains a key concern, said Nigeria is still essentially an economy that is overly dependent on a single resource for its forex earnings, and if those earnings are pressured, the continued accumulation of forex reserves might be called into question.

“In the short-term continued portfolio inflows into Nigeria might help, but if the oil output shock is sustained, even these may slow over time.  “There are no easy fixes and the challenge for the authorities remains to deal with the oil theft.  It is a bigger risk than Nigeria can afford,” she stated.

The investment and financial company, Financial Derivatives Company Limited, in a special report on the MPC decisions, believes there will be no impact in the money market since rates are already disconnected from the MPR. It, however, raised the prospect of increased portfolio inflows in the capital and forex market, following the recent interest rate cut in Europe.  The entry of foreign capital in the forex market will continue to help maintain a strong and stable naira.

On the negative side, FDC said in terms of growth, maintaining a tight monetary stance would continue to slow down credit to the private sector and stifle growth. Already, the NBS reported a decline in GDP growth from 6.99% in Q4’13 to 6.56% in Q1’13.

About Post Author

Anthony-Claret Ifeanyi Onwutalobi

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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Big Brother Africa: The Chase Begins

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Read Time:4 Minute, 40 Second

The wait is over! The die is cast for a potentially thrilling Big Brother Africa, this year dubbed The Chase. There is no need for fortune-telling anymore, because tonight on AfricaMagic, AfricaMagic Entertainment, AfricaMagic World as well as DStv channels 197 and 198,

Zimbabwe's representatives in the reality show will be unveiled.

So far, we know that 14 African countries are taking part in this year's edition while 28 participants will be unveiled at 7pm.

As anticipation and speculation mount, the big question is: who will represent Zimbabwe in the house this season?

Over the years, Big Brother Africa (BBA) has been known to pluck from the "wilderness" some of the most unimaginable characters, among them Bertha Zakeyo, Itai Makumbe, Vimbai Mutinhiri, Tapuwa Mhere, Maneta Mazanhi and Wendall Parson, the unknown white boy who went on to win the big prize.

Therefore, it would not come as a complete surprise if some drop-dead, hyperactive but brainless beauty ends up in the house or a sharp, uncharismatic, boring character that can last the distance but not bring the prize home.

That is the unpredictability of the game – it always brings fresh, new concepts which are not always popular with the audiences, but are all the same refreshing.

For instance, since Munya Chidzonga's re-introduction into the game in 2011 in what was dubbed the BBA All Stars and last year's inclusion of the celebrities house (Upperville), there has been a move towards "celebrity" characters.

Audiences, especially Zimbabweans, would want to see another Rockford "Roki" Josphats representing the country.

Which is probably why a name like Pokello Nare would be thrown into the hat. People believe she is "made for Big Brother". Despite a leaked s*x tape, the dazzling well-groomed socialite held her fort and still continued to live a public life and even convinced people that she is a shrewd businesswoman.

Efforts to track her down through her cellphone and that of her on-and-off boyfriend, Stunner, whom she starred with in the distasteful tape, were unfruitful. But if she was indeed in Zimbabwe last week, then it is highly unlikely she will be in the Big Brother House today.

Big Brother contestants usually go into "hiding" a week or two before the game commences, which is why another hot favourite, Lady Squanda, a 21-year-old reggae-dancehall artiste who has also been touted as "the one" on social networking sites and in the mainstream media, is also doubtful.

Investigations by this paper showed that Squanda picked up her performance cheque from a local promoter last week and by Thursday she was still in the country.

But, who knows, what with former two-time Big Brother UK housemate Makosi Musambasi revealing that she was headed to South Africa, but could not reveal the nature of her business.

"All I can say is that I am leaving for South Africa tomorrow (Friday). But that is all I can say for now, everything else you will discover on your own," she quipped when phoned about her role in BBA.

However, ex-BBA contestant Munya Chidzonga, who came close to winning the big prize on his second attempt, dismissed the rumour-mill, saying Big Brother was a game shrouded in mystery.

"I know the nature of the game; it is built on secrecy and surprise. Let us just wait for Sunday evening — I am confident Biggie has something special for us, because without the element of surprise, Big Brother isn't Big Brother at all," he said.

Munya stressed the importance of Zimbabweans taking a more positive attitude to BBA.

"People still have a negative view of Big Brother, so we need someone who will go out there and embrace the show, represent our country well, entertain Africa, but, above all, bring the prize home," added Munya.

On the qualities required for a BBA contestant, Elizabeth Dziva, a spokesperson for MultiChoice Zimbabwe, said producers look for persons who are fluent in English, are entertaining, open-minded, adventurous, bold and passionate about the BBA experience. "One has to be tolerant, determined and enthusiastic," she said.

Whoever represents the country this year, Zimbabweans will rally behind him or her as they have done over the years. So as the glamour of the limousines and red carpets take centre stage tonight, Zimbabweans will wait with bated breath to see who will be the face of their beloved country.

Providing entertainment tonight will be South Africa's leading Afro-pop  group Mafikizolo, Kenya's award-winning artiste STL and Nigerian music heavyweights Don Jazzy, D' Prince and Wande Coal.

With several albums and awards under their belt, Mafikizolo have enthralled their fans with such hits as Sibongile, Ndihamba Nawe, Nisixoshelani and, most recently, the dance hit Khona.

Their performance on the BBA stage is surely going to remind audiences why the chart-topping group remain the best in their field, with experience spanning 15 years. The line-up will also include a slot for some comic relief from Kenyan stand-up comedian Daniel Ndambuki, popularly known as Churchill. The highly talented entertainer has also become a household name with his television show called Churchill Live.

BBA, Africa's biggest reality series, will be screened live for 91 days, 24 hours a day on DStv channels 197 and 198 while GOtv audiences will be able to view highlights on AfricaMagic World.

About Post Author

Anthony-Claret Ifeanyi Onwutalobi

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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Big Brother Africa Winner Karen Igho Gives Quick Tips on How to Survive the Big Brother House

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Read Time:1 Minute, 16 Second

With the new “Big Brother Africa- The Chase” just around the corner, the crew at Africa Magic tracked the BBA: Amplified Winner, Karen Igho to get a few pointers on how she survived the Big Brother house and emerged a winner.

When asked how to evade eviction, she said,

    “LOL, you can’t! Everyone goes through that chopping board or hot seat. If you are good they nominate you and if you are bad, the same thing happens, so just keep it real and leave everything to God.”

And, when asked how to survive the Big Brother House, she said,

    “Nice question, to be honest I don’t know. God kept me going”.

 They went to take about a few other things, but her parting words and advice to new housemates was:

    “be real because Africa is watching and they can tell when you are faking it. Don’t go with a game plan, let God’s plan unveil for you, it is what it is at the end of the day. Good luck to this season’s housemates and may the best man or woman win.”

For the full interview from Africa Magic, {click here}. Finally, I guess we can come to the conclusion, from Karen‘s words, that what the housemates really need in the Big Brother House is God.

Best of luck to the new housemates!

About Post Author

Anthony-Claret Ifeanyi Onwutalobi

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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Big Brother Africa 8-THE CHASE gets Airtel’s backing

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Read Time:1 Minute, 12 Second

Leading telecoms service provider in Africa and Asia, Airtel is now the official sponsor of the eighth edition of Africa’s biggest reality series, Big Brother Africa (BBA), dubbed The Chase, set to kick off May 26th, 2013.

Big Brother Africa is a revolutionary project that connects diverse audiences across Africa. It is the most successful television franchise ever seen on the continent, which grows every year.

The seventh edition, which was dubbed ‘Big Brother StarGame’, broke all records with its massive domination of TV screens and online space.

BBA ‘The Chase’ is expected to build on the huge success of the StarGame, a statement from Airtel Ghana said

It quoted Managing Director of Airtel Ghana, Philip Sowah as saying “Africa’s viewers are known for their passion for Big Brother Africa and we look forward to developing a number of exciting initiatives during season 8. I am delighted to welcome AfricaMagic and DStv into our family of commercial partners. We are also pleased to be associated with Big Brother Africa 2013. The show presents huge opportunities for Airtel to make an emotional connection with our customers.”

Big Brother The Chase will feature 28 housemates from 14 countries. The housemates will need to gain acceptance from viewers in order to survive evictions.

After 91 days of drama and thrills, the winner will pocket a massive USD 300,000 prize.

SOURCE: ghanaweb

About Post Author

Anthony-Claret Ifeanyi Onwutalobi

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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Zimbabwe Big Brother Africa star released on $200 bail

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Read Time:1 Minute, 8 Second

A Zimbabwean court has granted former Big Brother Africa (BBA) winner Wendall Parson $200 bail after he was arrested for alleged insurance fraud involving over $23,00.

Parson was on Tuesday not asked to plead to the charges of trying to defraud an insurance company of $23,750 after he was involved in a car accident in March.

Harare magistrate Donald Ndirowei remanded him to June 3.

According to the prosecutor Tungamirai Chakurira, on March 16, Parson’s brother William was involved in an accident while driving the BBA star’s Ford Ranger vehicle in Harare and a report was made to the police.

On March 18, William allegedly approached an insurance company to insure the accident damaged vehicle and a trailer.

A few days later, Parson allegedly filed an insurance claim and indicated that the accident occurred on March 28 not 16.

The company processed the claim and indications were that Parson was entitled to $23,750.

But before releasing the money the company conducted investigations and discovered that the accident occurred before the car was insured.

Parson was arrested on May 17 when he went to collect the money from the company.

Wendall who won the popular television reality show two years ago was given $50,000 cash by President Robert Mugabe in addition to the $200,000 prize money.

SOURCE: africareview

About Post Author

Anthony-Claret Ifeanyi Onwutalobi

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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Big Brother Africa star arrested on insurance fraud charges

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Read Time:1 Minute, 1 Second

Zimbabwean police have arrested former Big Brother Africa (BBA) winner Wendall Parson on fraud allegations involving $25,000 in car insurance.

Police spokesperson Superintendent Andrew Phiri on Sunday said Parson was arrested on Friday.

He is accused of forging documents that he used to claim insurance for his Ford Ranger vehicle that was involved in an accident on March 16.

Police suspect that the car was not insured when it crashed while Parson was travelling from the city of Bulawayo to the capital Harare.

“I can confirm that we have arrested Wendall Parson on allegation of lodging a false insurance claim with Alliance Insurance Company,” Supt Phiri said.

“On 16 March this year the accused, traveling in a Ford Ranger from Bulawayo, had an accident, he then insured the same vehicle on 18 March and tried to claim an amount of $25, 000 as insurance for the vehicle.

“Alliance then got suspicious and launched an investigation which led to his arrest.”

Supt Phiri said the BBA star will appear in court soon.

Wendall was given $50, 000 cash by President Robert Mugabe in addition to the $200, 000 prize money he received for winning the popular television reality show two years ago

About Post Author

Anthony-Claret Ifeanyi Onwutalobi

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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NIGERIA: BoA, Agric Ministry Seal N3.5bn Financing Pact for Mechanisation

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Read Time:1 Minute, 9 Second

The Bank of Agriculture (BoA) has sealed a N3.5 billion finance pact with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to improve agricultural productivity.

The deal was finalised in Abuja,  Friday, at the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwumi Adeshina and the Managing Director, BoA, Dr. Mohammed Santuraki.
The MoU prescribed the establishment of an Agricultural Equipment Hiring Enterprise and it would help in the acquisition of 400 units of tractors.

Speaking at the event, Santuraki said the financing would be done through Public Private Partnership (PPP), as the bank had undertaken to finance the interested Service Providers Operators (SPOs).

He said President Goodluck Jonathan’s directive by that the bank be recapitalised to N15 billion would enable it “refocus the institution on its core mandate of agriculture and rural financing.”
He said: “We have reviewed our operating model, modernised the institution and retrain the staff to create a more sustainable and impactful institution."

He added that BoA was now positioned to review its operating model to conform to international best practices of successful agricultural development.
Adeshina, however, said the agreement would help to put additional 152,000 hectares of land under cultivation, which would in turn add 760,000 tons of food to the country’s national output per annum.

About Post Author

Anthony-Claret Ifeanyi Onwutalobi

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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Nissan Lines Up Seven New Exciting Models In Battle To Upstage Toyota

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Read Time:3 Minute, 40 Second

NISSAN STORMS THE NIGERIAN MARKET WITH PLANS TO ROLL OUT SEVEN NEW EXCITING MODELS  IN THE COMING MONTHS AS IT PARTNERS STALLION NISSAN MOTORS NIGERIA (NMN)  IN THE BATTLE TO UPSTAGE TOYOTA AS THE MARKET LEADER.

The battle for supremacy in the Nigerian automobile market is becoming more interesting as the competition for a good chunk of the market is getting stiffer and stiffer by the day.
And in what appears to be an ambitious move never seen in the history of the automobile business in the country, Japanese automaker, Nissan, on Wednesday in Lagos, took the Nigerian market by storm as it formalisedits new partnership with Stallion Nissan Motors Nigeria (NMN) in what observers consider as a bold move to wrest the market leadership from Toyota.
Nissan, a truly world leader and robust automaker with vast range of vehicles, cutting across various segments, is  currently the sixth largest automaker in the world and one of two Japanese auto manufacturers in the grouping.

At a media parley to inaugurate Stallion NMN as the new Nissan sales company in Nigeria , an event which held at the Stallion NMN sales office in Gbagada, Lagos,  the General Manager, Sub Sahara Africa Regional Office, Jimmy Dando,  made no pretense about the objectives of the new  partnership following the dumping of an earlier deal with CFAO  Motors  .

This came as the Managing Director, Stallion NMN, Parvir Singh, described the event as  significant, saying  “our key objective in collaborating with Nissan is to position the brand as Nigeria’s most preferred automobile of choice.”

And displaying  an uncommon confidence, Dando said “The new partnership heralds a commitment to strong representation in Nigeria, a key market that is expected to deliver significant growth and contribution to Nissan’s global midterm plan, Nissan Power88.”

Stressing that the African automotive market, including Nigeria, continues to promise sustainable p rospects for growth over the coming years, Dando, who heads Nissan’s Sub Sahara Africa Division, said “Our Africa plans include the increase of our share from the current 7.9 per cent share in Africa, to double that, through new model introductions, brand building and retail network expansion.”

Maintaining that “The partnership with Stallion NMN will help us achieve these objectives,” Dando  said “We are pleased to be working with a strong team in Nigeria, which is able to understand and serve our customers and respond to a complex market.”

And banking on the strong presence of Nissan in Nigeria in the 1970’s and early 1980’s, with Nissan Urvan and Datsun 120Y and 180Y, Dando said “Stallion NMN is expected to re-ignite the brand in Nigeria, with a focused product innovation plan in years 2013 to 2016.”

Unfolding the plan for the  Nissan model offensive in the Nigerian market, Dando said seven new exciting models will be introduced before the end of the year. ”GT-R and Juke are en-route to Lagos as we speak , while the new generation Sentra , Tiida, Teana, Pathfinder and Qashqai will be introduced in the coming months, bringing cars packed with innovative features that reflect Nissan’s passion for bringing accessible technology to a broader audience,” he said.

In his remark, an excited Managing Director, Stallion NMN,  Singh, described the event as  significant, saying it was another milestone in the history of the Stallion Group in Nigeria.He said the inauguration of the Nissan facility in Gbagada is the first step in the company’s commitment to providing an extensive and world-class automotive experience to customers in Nigeria.

“Stallion has contributed to Nigeria’s economy with investments  in warehousing, factories, showrooms and workshops and the automobile subsidiary accounts for 20 per cent of the local automobile market share,” he said.

Singh also assured that “Stallion NMN has a firm belief in the Nissan brand and wishes to re-connect the local motoring public with Nissan’s heritage of solid engineering, ingenuity and aesthetic values, ” adding  “Through our network expansion plans and strong focus on the on-going development of our sales and service teams, Nigeria’s  consumers can expect consistent and innovative sales and service solutions.”

About Post Author

Anthony-Claret Ifeanyi Onwutalobi

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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NIGERIA: Court Grants Atuche, Others More Time to File No-case Submission

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 Justice Lateefa Okunnu of an Ikeja High Court, Friday, granted former Managing Director of Bank PHB, Mr. Francis Atuche and his wife, Elizabeth, an extension of time to file their no-case submission applications on the charges preferred against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The Atuches and the former Chief Financial Officer of Bank PHB, Mr. Ugo Anyanwu are standing  trial  over allegations of stealing N25.7 billion belonging to the bank.

The EFCC had closed its case against the accused persons on March 4, this year, after calling 12 witnesses, who gave oral evidence and issuing subpoenas to six other persons to present some documents, which were admitted as exhibits by the court.

Atuche and the co-defendants had insisted that the EFCC had failed to establish the charge preferred against them, based on the testimonies of witnesses and exhibits before the court.

Following the development, Justice Okunnu directed the defendants to file their no-case submission within 14 days.
At yesterday’s proceedings, counsel to the Atuches, Chief Anthony Idigbe (SAN), asked the court for an extension of time to file all the necessary processes.

Idigbe said the delay was necessitated by the crash of his computer, which resulted in the loss of valuable information relating to the matter.

The EFCC counsel, Kemi Pinheiro (SAN), who had earlier opposed the application, withdrew his objection and the judge granted the request.

The judge also granted the EFCC an extension of time to regularise its objection to the no-case submission filed by Anyanwu.
She adjourned the matter till June 26 for hearing of the pending applications.

About Post Author

Anthony-Claret Ifeanyi Onwutalobi

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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