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Oil Marketer Forges Document to Obtain N963.7m

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Chidi Onyejekwe, a prosecution witness in the ongoing trial of an oil marketer, Rowaye Jubril and his company, Brila Energy Ltd over their alleged fraudulent activities in the fuel subsidy support scheme has told a Lagos High Court sitting in Ikeja that the oil marketer forged some documents to obtain the N963.7 million subsidy payments.

Onyejekwe,  branch manager of Inspectorate Marine Services Limited, told the court presided over by Justice Lateefat Okunnu that the inspectorate has a system of keeping records in connection to the importation of the petroleum product but there was no records of Brila Energy Ltd’s transactions in their system.

The witness, who is part of  a team of officials of the Inspectorate Marine Services Limited that investigated the allegation of  fraud in the fuel subsidy regime further stated while been led in evidence by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) counsel, Seidu Atteh that his signatures never appeared in  any of the documents issued to the marketer.

However, the defence counsel, Richard Oluyede during cross examination contradicted the witness by showing him some documents signed by the inspectorate and issued to his clients.

The documents allegedly signed by the officials of the inspectorate include, a certificate of cargo transfer  and a certificate of origin which according to the lawyer were appropriately issued and stamped by the directorate and could not be forged.

The prosecuting counsel Mr Atteh has informed the court that the EFCC will be filing additional proof of evidence against the oil marketer and his company.

According to the lawyer the additional proof to be filed and served on the parties before the next adjourned date will help the prosecution to prove its case against the marketer.

Further hearing on the  matter has been fixed for the 13th of June.

It will be recalled that another prosecution witness, Mr Lawal Ahmed had at the last adjourned date told the court that  Jubril did not import the petroleum products for which he obtained the subsidy payment.

Ahmed  was part of the special team set up by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to investigate the fuel subsidy fraud.

The witness alleged that Jubril had obtained the money from the Federal Government of Nigeria for the purported importation of 13,500 metric tonnes of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS).

According to the witness, it was discovered during investigations that Brila Energy had forged some documents which were presented to the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) to obtain the payment.

“The documents included Gasoline Analysis and Certificate of Quantity of the Mother Vessel, MT Overseas Lima, which was said to have been issued by Saybolt Nigeria Ltd.

“It also included Certificate of Quantity and Cargo Manifest of the Daughter Vessel, MT Defilna which was purportedly issued by Inspectorate Marine Services Ltd,” he said.

According to him, both companies later told the EFCC that the documents did not emanate from them.

He further stated that Llyod Lister, an agency which monitors the movement of international vessels, also confirmed that MT Overseas Lima was in Venezuela when the defendant claimed the vessel was being discharged in off-shore Cotonou.

He said:”The products were discharged but not imported into the country as claimed by the defendant.

“The inspectorate companies which were purportedly involved in the ship to ship transfer have denied ever participating in the transaction.” He added.


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NCC Threatens Illegal Users of GSM Boosters with Arrest, Prosecution

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Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) has warned telecom consumers to desist from using illegal GSM boosters.

NCC Threatens Illegal Users of GSM Boosters with Arrest, Prosecution

The commission also said that anyone caught using a GSM booster without obtaining approval of a duly licensed network operator will face arrest and prosecution.

GSM boosters are devices that transmit and receive telecommunications signals and can therefore interfere with other radio frequency equipment.

Ikechukwu Adinde, director, public affairs, NCC, said in a notice published on NCC website, that only licensed network operators are allowed to use GSM boosters.

The booster, also known as amplifier or repeater is made up of three main elements – exterior antenna, amplifier, and interior antenna.

They form a wireless system to boost cellular reception

“Members of the public should note that, willful interference with any wireless telegraphy is an offence under Section 16 of the Telegraphy Act, 2004,”it said

The agency said it will not condone any flagrant breach of this law.

It has also enforced measures to prosecute offenders.

Accordingly, monitoring mechanisms have been put in place and anyone caught using a GSM booster without obtaining approval of a duly licensed network operator will face arrest and prosecution.

“Any member of the public with useful information regarding the illegal use of GSM Boosters should contact the Commission on 09-4617000/7351 or send an email to [email protected],” the notice said.

“Individuals desirous of using GSM Boosters should note that they can only do so in conjunction with licensed network operators,” it added.

 

 


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Tizeti Selects Nokia to Provide LTE Fixed Wireless Access Solution for High-Speed internet Services in Nigeria

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Tizeti announced that it selected Nokia’s Fastmile Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology to enable usprovide superior internet services to over 1 Million subscribers in Port Harcourt, Edo and Ogun in Nigeria.

Tizeti Selects Nokia to Provide LTE Fixed Wireless Access Solution for High-Speed internet Services in Nigeria

Tizeti will deploy Nokia’s AirScale Base Station TDD-LTE and FastmileFixed Wireless Access (FWA) gatewaysto deliver premium internet and Virtual Private Network (VPN) services to Residential, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).

The solution will also enable Tizeti’sto deliver a more robust, high-speedinternet service to subscribers and the flexibility to seamlessly evolve to 5G Fixed Wireless Access when needed.

Nokia’s FWA solution enables Tizeti to fast-track broadband access and provide a best-in-class broadband experience to its subscribers.

Nokia’sAirScale Base Stations ensure high-quality connectivity and coverage and enablesTizeti to evolve the network in line with customer demand.

Nokia’sFastmilegateways connect wirelessly to the existing network to createa fastbroadband connection and enhanced Wi-Fi experience in the home.

The Nokia Network Services Platform will help Tizeti to simplify operations and quickly respond to changing market demands.

Kendall Ananyi, Tizeti, said:“We are committed to providing the best-in-class network experience to our subscribers. We are confident that Nokia’s proven technology and expertise will help us differentiate our services based on quality. This a crucial project for us as it introduces LTE in our networks and allows us to bring new and innovative services to our subscribers.”

Eniola Balogun, Nokia, said:“We are thrilled to work with Tizeti on the initiative to upgrade their network to bring the latest products and services to its subscribers. Nokia Fastmile will help Tizeti to cost-effectively enhance the customer experience.

The project will also enable them to delight their subscribers by providing more reliable data services.

On the other hand, Tizeti will benefit by adding new revenue streams.”

 

 


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Risk Assets Push Higher on Vaccine Hopes; Eyes on the Fed

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By Hussein Sayed, Chief Market Strategist at FXTM,

After two consecutive weeks of back-to-back declines, global stocks kicked off Monday with solid gains amid a surge in M&A activity and positive signs towards vaccine developments. Currency markets were little changed ahead of a busy week of monetary policy announcements, while Oil and Gold ticked slightly higher.

The two big deals announced over the weekend were Softbank’s plan to sell chipmaker ARM to Nvidia for more than $40 billion and Gilead Sciences to acquire Immunomedics for a price tag of $21 billion. Meanwhile, on the vaccine front, AstraZeneca resumed its phase-3 trial on Covid-19 after being suspended last week following a neurological illness developed in one participant, and Pfizer announced that its vaccine could be distributed before year-end if found safe and effective.

 

Central Banks will take centre stage this week with the Federal Reserve, Bank of England and Bank of Japan all due to announce policy decisions. Out of the three meetings, the Fed is likely to be the most watched following its historic shift towards average inflation targeting. The big question remains how will the FOMC put this policy into action?

 

From what we know now, the Fed is set up to keep interest rates near zero for a long time, possibly for several years. Given the new framework, any spike in inflation won’t translate into immediate rate hikes as the Fed wants to compensate for the lost years when they have failed to hit the target. The dot plot will be the key guide for investors and traders alike. If inflation projections remain at 2% or below for the foreseeable future, this will solidify market expectations for a low rate environment for many years to come. That said, Jay Powell would still have to explain in more detail how the new framework will be translated into policy action.

 

In June’s economic projections, the Fed anticipated unemployment would be at 9.3% by year-end, but, in August, unemployment was well below that forecast at 8.4%. Many other economic data surprised to the upside during the June – August period in a clear sign that most economists were overly pessimistic towards the strength of the recovery. However, there is still a considerable amount of uncertainty given the latest surge in Covid-19 cases worldwide and the US, especially as we get closer into the winter season. A second wave will undoubtedly put the recovery at risk in the final quarter of the year and it will be interesting to see the Fed’s view on that issue.

 

As for the market selloff over the past two weeks, the Fed isn’t likely to show any signs of concern. In fact, policymakers should be satisfied with the pullback as the risk of a bubble in several assets has been growing due to the Fed’s extremely accommodative policies. Unless we see another 10 -15% drop, do not expect the Fed to intervene.


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