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Court Freezes Oyo Accounts in 10 Banks over N3.5Bn Debt

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A High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja has issued an order freezing the accounts of the Oyo State Government in 10 commercial banks in the country.

Court Freezes Oyo Accounts in 10 Banks over N3.5Bn Debt

 

The order was issued by Justice Anitte Ebong in a ruling on a garnishee proceeding initiated by ex-council chiefs in Oyo State, sacked on May 29, 2019, by Governor Seyi Makinde, and who in 2021 got a N4.9bn judgement against Makinde and other officials and agencies of the state.

The garnishee proceeding is intended by the ex-council chiefs, led by Bashorun Majeed Ajuwon, to recover the balance of N3.5bn which is outstanding from the actual judgement sum, from which Makinde paid only N1.5bn in 2022.

The banks in which the Oyo State Government’s accounts are blocked are Zenith Bank, United Bank of Africa (UBA), Wema Bank, First Bank of Nigeria, Ecobank, Guaranty Trust Bank, Access Bank, Polaris Bank, Jaiz Bank and Union Bank.

In a ruling, Justice Ebong ordered the banks to file affidavits and attend the court on the next adjourned date to show cause why the garnishee orders nisi hereby granted should not be made absolute.

The judge awarded N300,000.00 as a cost against the judgement debtors and ordered that a copy of the order be served on Makinde and others and adjourned till January 5 next year for hearing.

On May 7, 2021, when the Supreme Court gave judgement, voiding Makinde’s sack of elected Local Government Chairmen and Councillors in Oyo State, the apex court gave a similar judgement in respect of Katsina State and ordered both states to pay the salaries and allowances of the effected ex-council chiefs.

Justice Ejembi Eko, who delivered the lead judgment in the Oyo State case, condemned the decision by Makinde to unlawfully sack the elected council chiefs before the end of their tenure.

While the Katsina State Government has since paid its ex-council chiefs, who were unlawfully sacked, the Oyo State Government, under Makinde has failed to pay the ex-council chiefs he sacked before the end of their tenure, and which sack the Supreme Court voided in its May 7, 2021 judgement.

 


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Tinubu Has Surrendered Nigeria’s Sovereignty to IMF, World Bank – HURIWA

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Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has condemned President Bola Tinubu’s recent economic policies, saying they have undermined Nigeria’s sovereignty.

Tinubu Has Surrendered Nigeria’s Sovereignty to IMF, World Bank – HURIWA

Bola Tinubu

HURIWA noted that the condemnation comes in the wake of Tinubu’s dramatic policy shift, which starkly contrasts with his previous stance against similar policies under former President Goodluck Jonathan.

In a press statement, HURIWA recalled that before ascending to the Presidency, Tinubu was a vocal critic of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank’s economic prescriptions.

According to the group, during Jonathan’s administration, Tinubu, and other prominent figures, including then-opposition leader Muhammadu Buhari, fiercely opposed the IMF and World Bank’s recommendations such as the removal of subsidies and the devaluation of the Naira, arguing that these policies would harm Nigeria’s economic stability and undermine the nation’s sovereignty.

“However, since taking office, Tinubu has adopted and intensified these very policies, leading to accusations of hypocrisy from various quarters.

“Critics have criticized Tinubu for this reversal, labeling it a betrayal of his earlier principles. According to them, Tinubu’s current endorsement of the IMF and World Bank measures, which he previously opposed, represents a significant departure from his earlier stance and effectively compromises Nigeria’s economic independence,” HURIWA stated.

HURIWA echoed these concerns, arguing that the devaluation of the Naira and the implementation of foreign-influenced economic policies weaken Nigeria’s financial sovereignty.

The association pointed out that by aligning Nigeria’s economic strategy with foreign interests, the current administration is ceding control over the country’s financial system to external forces, stressing that this shift not only diminishes the nation’s economic autonomy but also places Nigeria at the mercy of international economic pressures.

In addition to criticizing the economic policies, HURIWA also linked these measures to broader security concerns.

The association contended that the failure of Nigeria’s security agencies to effectively protect the country’s borders is directly related to the administration’s economic strategies.

According to HURIWA, inadequate border security has allowed armed non-state actors and criminals to infiltrate the country, further threatening Nigeria’s sovereignty. This situation, HURIWA argues, is a consequence of prioritizing foreign economic directives over national stability and security.

HURIWA’s critique extended to a call for the government to adhere to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Act, which obliges the administration to stabilize the Naira.

The association emphasized that protecting the national currency is crucial for maintaining Nigeria’s economic sovereignty and stability. Additionally, HURIWA urged the government to improve efforts to secure Nigeria’s borders, reinforcing measures to prevent the infiltration of terrorists, arms smugglers, and other illicit actors.

Drawing comparisons with other nations, HURIWA highlighted how countries like the United States, Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom have successfully defended their economic and territorial sovereignty.

“These countries have implemented policies that prioritize national interests, maintaining strong control over their economic systems and borders. For instance, the United States has resisted external pressures to devalue the Dollar, ensuring a stable currency that supports its economic strength. Similarly, Australia and Canada have fortified their borders against illegal entries, safeguarding their territorial integrity”, HURIWA added

HURIWA further argued that Nigeria’s political leaders should adopt similar strategies to protect both economic stability and national security.

The association suggested that by resisting foreign-imposed economic measures and focusing on strengthening border protection, Nigeria can safeguard its sovereignty and ensure a more secure and prosperous future.

“HURIWA’s criticism of President Tinubu’s policy reversal underscores the broader implications of adopting IMF and World Bank directives. Our call for adherence to the CBN Act and the enhancement of border security highlights the interconnectedness of economic policies and national sovereignty.

“As Nigeria faces ongoing economic and security challenges, Our recommendations offer a pragmatic approach to achieving stability and defending the nation’s interests against external influences,” the statement added.

 


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Overlapping Regulations, Major Challenge for Manufacturing — CPPE

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The Centre for the Promotion of Private Enterprise, (CPPE), has lamented the crippling effect of the overlapping regulatory policies of government on businesses, and called for the adoption of good regulatory governance principles to unlock the full capacity of businesses and industries.

Speaking on the theme, “Harmonising Regulatory Compliance: The impact of overlapping regulatory functions on business operations”, at Chief Executive Officer’s Breakfast Meeting of the Ikeja Branch of the Manufacturer Association of Nigeria (MAN), Dr. Muda Yusuf, the Director of the Centre for the Promotion of Private Enterprise, (CPPE), said the call was particularly important as this was not the best of time for manufacturers and investors in the country.

Yusuf said regulatory risk was one of the biggest risks that businesses had to cope with in the Nigerian economy.

This, he noted, could manifest as overlapping regulatory regimes with too many regulations, both sporadic and frequent regulatory changes and absence of dispute resolution mechanism between business and regulators have several cases of overlapping regulatory functions creating challenges for manufacturers, hence, the need for regulatory needs to be kept to the barest minimum.

He stressed that the regulators’ purpose and objectives should be clearly defined and communicated to the regulator, the regulated and the general public.

He said stakeholders should be able to predict with a high degree of confidence what decision a regulator is likely to make in a particular circumstance.

In his remarks, President of MAN, Francis Meshioye, said while regulations were essential for safety and quality, the overlapping and sometimes contradictory regulations increase operational costs and ultimately hinder business growth.

He noted that Nigeria’s regulatory landscape was characterised by a multitude of agencies with its own set of rules and requirements.

“These bottlenecks have adverse effects such as operational inefficiencies, increase compliance cost, delayed production and risk,” he said.


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CIBN Commences Tutorial Session for Agency Banking Certification Examination

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Tutorial sessions for the students registered for the October 2024 diet examinations for Agency Banking Certification of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) have begun.

The first in the series of the tutorial session commenced on Saturday July 20, 2024 and  will end on Sunday July 28, 2024.The dates for subsequent sessions being jointly organised by the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria and FIC Professionals Network Plc, will be announced later.

The organisers are being supported by the industry associations comprising of the Association of Mobile Money and Bank Agents in Nigeria (AMMBAN), Association of Mobile Money Operators of Nigeria (AMMON) and Association of Mobile Bank Operators (AMBO).

The sessions will focus on the four modules of the Foundation level of the Certification and avail the students the tips on how to prepare for and pass the examinations.

It would be recalled that CIBN unveiled the agency banking certification programme last year for Point of Sales (POS) agents, NIN /BVN agents, Agent network managers, customer service officers, agent banking personnel in the banks and Fintech companies.

One of the organisers, Mr. Segun Shonubi,  Executive Director, FIC Professionals Network Plc stated that the main purpose of the tutorial sessions was to help the students to better understand the course and enhance their performance in the examinations.

The examinations which have been scheduled for Tuesday, October 8, 2024 and Wednesday, October 9, 2024 will be conducted through Remote Online Proctoring to enable students write from the comforts of their homes or any place of their choices.

In addition, plans are being put in place for practice questions to be made available for the students on the Institute’s e-learning platform. This is to enable the students to practice and get acquainted with the format to aid their preparations.

Registration for the examinations is still open to interested students via www.myabc.ng till September16, 2024.

Mr Ken Opara, former President and Chairman of Council, CIBN, said the Agent banking certification program (ABC) was introduced to address capacity challenge in the ecosystem.

“Agent banking has been the key driver of financial inclusion, which creates financial access points and ultimately eradicating poverty.

“It is democratizing banking services, taking it to the grass root and connecting to the nooks and crane of the country.

“The certification programme, which details provides all round knowledge, practical engagement with industry experts and participation in standard procedures for conducting Agent banking business in Nigeria,” he said.

Fasasi Sarafadeen Atanda, member, CIBN sub-committee on Agent Banking Certification programme, said that Nigerians can now look forward to more knowledgeable and professional POS Agents, mobile money agents, bank customer service desk that knows what to do when you are debited by POS, more understanding from security agents that will see certified agents and treat cases from agent transaction professionally etc.

“It has been a lot of work from the ideation, to conception, to proposition, to adoption and to commission in the programme.

“There is a lot of complains about proliferation of unregistered agents in the ecosystem. What we are doing is banking because when you are doing cash -in cash- out, account opening among others. Most of these services require professionalism.

“The account opening that we pushed for, resulted to not palatable experience because greater per centage of accounts opened at agent location were used for fraud. This actually made some banks to stop account opening at agent location.

“Not every agent can handle Biometric Verification Number and National Identity Number, any agent that wants to handle these registrations must be certified by CIBN. We have seen that most of the error seen in the process are from agent location.

“They do sharp practices, unethical practices, not doing due-diligence due to poor training and lack of professionalism, if they had pass through this process of certification, they would have been trained on maintaining ethical standard,” he said.

 


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