Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Why we shut markets, hotel in FCT— Army

The Nigerian Army has said some hotels and markets in the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, were shut down because they failed to put in place counter-Improvised, Explosive Devices, IEDs, measures. It would be recalled that in the aftermath of the Banex Plaza bombing, which claimed scores of lives and damaged property, security agencies in the FCT directed business concerns, plazas, markets and shopping centres to put in place measures to counter such attacks. Reacting to the development, Director of Army Public Relations, Brigadier-General Olajide Laleye, said: “The Nigerian Army conducted a vulnerability survey of the Federal Capital Territory and asked certain high risk spots to emplace a series of counter-IED measures. “They refused and, as such, they have been shut until they comply. You will notice that Banex and Emab Plazas have complied and are opened. “Hotels, markets, recreation centres and worship places are included.” Vanguard recalls that some of the shopping plazas and places of business have been shut since last Friday.

Nigerians divided over confab’s outcome

ABUJA—AHEAD of the August 4 re-convening of the National Conference following its abrupt adjournment last Monday, some stakeholders are divided over the outcome of the talk shop. The plenary of the Justice Idris Kutigi-led National Conference ended in deadlock over resource control and proposed intervention fund for states facing security challenges. The conference adopted the report of the Committee on Devolution of Power, but without conclusive decision on the vital issue of derivation principle. Following the logjam, the conference referred the problems to President Goodluck Jonathan and urged him to set up a Technical Committee that would advise the Federal Government on revenue sharing formula, the percentage of derivation to oil producing states, mineral resources development fund and special fund for the reconstruction and rehabilitation of areas affected by problems of insurgency and internal conflict. Council of Retired Federal Permanent Secretaries, yesterday, hailed the Chairman of the conference, Justice Kutigi, the leadership and delegates over what they described as the success of the conference which final report is expected in less than two weeks. However, Minority Leader, House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, said: “We said it that it was tailored to fail and we were called nay sayers; seven billion Naira has gone down the drain.” Adamawa State governorship aspirant and PDP stakeholder, Dr. Umar Ardo said: “The fact that the confab failed to resolve the most contentious national issue, which is the issue of derivation/resource control, is indicative that it has not fully succeeded.”

Edo Pdp lawmakers want Efcc to probe state/LG joint account

BENIN—PEOPLES Democratic Party, PDP, lawmakers in the Edo State House of Assembly have passed a resolution directing the Economic and Finance Crimes Commission, EFCC, to investigate the state/local government joint account effective from May 12, 2014. Comrade Adams Oshomole The state legislature, which was presided over by the factional Speaker, Chief Festus Ebea, also directed the Accountant General of the Federation, and the Revenue Mobilisation and Fiscal Commission, RAMFAC, to withhold the revenue allocation accruing to the 18 local government areas of the state. They also asked the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs to bring before the House, evidence of revenue receipts from the Federation Account as it earlier directed. It will be recalled that the Edo State House of Assembly has been factionalised following the suspension of four PDP lawmakers, who had defected from the All Progressives Congress, APC, on June 9, with Speaker Uyi Igbe also leading 15 other APC legislators. The resolution of the PDP lawmakers was sequel to a motion of urgent public importance moved by the member representing Etsako West constituency I, Mr. Abdulrazaq Momoh, who drew the attention of the House to the refusal of the state Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Mr. Lucky James, and council chairmen to furnish the House with receipts and expenditures of revenue allocations. Momoh said that Section 129 of the 1999 constitution empowers the legislators to procure all evidence or summon any person living in Nigeria to come and give evidence. He said: “Local governments are being constantly shortchanged as less than half of the Federal Allocation only gets to them,” and therefore, urged the House to take necessary steps as part of its oversight functions to stop what it described as rip off of Edo councils. Seconding the motion, the Minority Whip of the Assembly, Mr. Kingsley Ehigiamusoe, said the legislators have a duty to procure evidence and summon any official, adding: “We must summon them by whatever means. The Revenue and Fiscal Mobilisation Commission should look into the statutory receipt so that the fraud of the ministry could be checked.” Factional Speaker of the legislature, Ebea, thereafter directed that clean copies of the resolution could be sent to Governor Adams Oshiomhole, the anti-graft agencies, the Ministry of Finance and other relevant state and Federal Government agencies for their actions.

Monday, 21 July 2014

Pension Fund May Hit N6.9tn by 2015

A report has predicted that the contributory pension fund will rise to N6.9 trillion before the end of 2015. It also said that the number of savers on the contributory pension scheme would increase by 9.8 per cent to about 6.5 million by the end of 2014.

In addition, the report projected a growth of 9.9 per cent to 7.14 million pension savers by the end of 2015.

FirstBank Issues $450 Million Eurobond

FirstBank of Nigeria Limited has successful issued a $450 million tier-2 Eurobond, THISDAY learnt at the weekend. The debt instrument with a seven-year tenor has a call option after five years.

According to a reliable industry source, the Eurobond also has a coupon of eight per cent and 8.25 per cent yield to maturity.

The debt instrument is expected to continue to extend the tenor of the bank’s dollar funding profile and support its continued lending to the corporate sector. It is also expected to raise the bank’s capital base.

FirstBank had in 2013, issued a $300 million Eurobond.