The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Wednesday, said a staggering sum of $217.7 billion was illegally taken out of Nigeria between 1970 and 2008.
 
The anti-graft agency revealed this in Abuja through its acting Chairman, Ibrahim Magu at the one day conference organised by the Online Publishers Association of Nigeria (OPAN) in Abuja.
 
Magu, who was represented by the commission’s acting spokesman, Tony Orilade, said the various investigations, arrests, prosecution and assets recoveries over the years had confirmed that the level of corruption in Nigeria had been truly staggering.
 
Insisting that corruption in Nigeria was being perpetrated by individuals and groups both in the private and public sectors, Magu identified former state governors, ministers, high ranking military officers, chief executives of parastatals and top bureaucrats in state and federal agencies as culprits involved in the public sector theft.
 
Magu said: “The alarming rate of corruption committed by these unpatriotic elements can be partly seen in the number of convictions secured by the EFCC from Nigerian courts since I assumed duty as the head of the commission in 2015.
 
“The figure stands at 103 in 2015, 195 in 2016, 189 in 2017 and 312 for the period of January to December 2018. The total figure for the period of 2015 to 2018 is a mind-blowing 799 convictions. In the process of such convictions, the EFCC recovered N794.5bn, $261m, £1.1m, €8.1m and CFA86, 500.
 
“One of the most graphic ways through which the absence of democratic accountability manifests itself in Nigeria today is through the prevalence of rampant corruption at all levels of governance. For example, Transparency International reported that Nigeria was the most corrupt country in the world for years: 1996, 1997, 2000 and second in the line for remaining years up to 2003.
 
“In February 2015, a high-level panel on illicit financial flows from Africa constituted by the African Union, under the chairmanship of a former President of South Africa, Thabo Mbeki, revealed that Nigeria ranked first among ten African countries by cumulative illicit financial flows between 1970 and 2008. The total outflow from Nigeria for the period was $217.7bn constituting about 30.5 per cent of Africa’s total share.”
 
 
Source: NAN
The Nigerian Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS) has said that Nigeria’s electronic payment (e-payment) services recorded transactions worth N56.85 trillion from January to September 2018.
 
This is contained in a report the NIBSS released recently.
 
The report showed an increase of N16.4 trillion when compared to the N40.45 trillion that was recorded in the corresponding period of 2017.
 
The report also showed that most of the electronic transactions were done through the NIBSS Instant Payment (NIP), Point of Sale (PoS), Automated Transfer Machines (ATMs), Mobile Money, Electronic Bills Payment (E-Bills) and Web payments.
 
Breaking down the transactions, the report showed that ATMs transactions grew from N4.61 trillion in 2017 to N4.76 trillion at the end of the third quarter of 2018.
 
Also, the volume of transactions on ATMs under the period in review grew from 560.86 million in 2017 to 650.06 million in 2018.
 
The report also showed that the use of PoS as a means of payment by Nigerians grew by about N635 billion.
 
Under the reviewed period, 98.73 million transactions worth N975 billion were carried out using PoS in 2017, while in 2018, the volume grew to 196.83 million, valued at N1.61 trillion.
 
The volume of transactions carried out by Nigerians, using mobile money also rose from N795.18 billion in 2017 to N1.22 trillion as at September 2018.
 
Also, using the web payment channel, the total value of transactions under the reviewed period rose from N129.24 billion in 2017 to N183.07 billion in 2018.
 
The value of transactions on e-bill payments, which allowed customers to pay utility bills such as power, cable and so on online, however declined from N420.73 billion in 2017 to N370 billion in 2018.
 
 
Source: The Ripples
Beginning Tuesday, customers of Access Bank Plc and Diamond Bank Plc will have free access to 3,100 Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) for seamless banking services.
 
This revelation is contained in a statement issued by the banks on Monday.
 
The move follows the planned merger of the banks which is expected to be concluded in the first half of the year.
 
The banks, in the statement, said the merger will give customers access to the largest ATM network in the country.
 
Diamond Bank Plc in a follow-up message on Tuesday said all its customers across the world can now use their bank cards on Access Bank Automated Teller Machines without paying the customary N65 per transaction.
 
“Wishing everyone a happy new year. Now with over 3100 ATMs free to use for all our customers,” the bank said via its official Twitter handle.
 
The Central Bank of Nigeria had in 2014 announced that cash withdrawal at another bank other than an account holder’s bank would cost N65, although withdrawal at the ATMs of a customer’s bank is free.
 
According to the apex bank’s directive, the first three transactions in a month by the customer of another bank are free for the card holder but paid for by the issuing bank.
 
But, by this development, customers who have accounts with both banks would be exempted from the interbank charges.
 
This implies that customers using the ATM can presume that the banks are one, even as their merger negotiations still remain ongoing.
 
“Access Bank and Diamond Bank Customers now have access to over 3,100 ATMs free of charge,” the statement said Monday.
 
 
Source: The Premium Times
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said it would henceforth sanction banks who fail to adhere to its orders on customers complaints resolution.
 
The CBN stated this in a circular signed by a Director at the bank, Kofo Salam-Alada on Friday.
 
In the circular titled ‘Deployment of the Consumer Complaints Management System’, the CBN said it would apply the necessary sanctions on infractions.
 
The circular read in part: “The Central Bank of Nigeria, in furtherance of its mandate to promote a stable financial system, embarked on the development of the Consumer Complaints Management System, and an automated system aimed at easing complaints management to engender public confidence in the financial system.
 
“With effect from 2nd January, 2019, banks and other financial institutions are required to: Assign tracking number for every complaint received from their customers, issue an acknowledgement which shall contain the assigned tracking number to the customer, and commence upload of complaints to the CCMS on a daily basis.”
 
The CBN, in the circular, also added that the BOFIs are enjoined to always comply with the timelines stipulated in the CCMS for resolution of the various categories of complaints.
 
“Please note that non-compliance with this circular shall attract sanctions in line with the Banks and Other Financial Institutions Act, Cap B3, LFN 2004.
 
The apex bank had reported in its half-year report that the number of complaints it received from consumers of financial services rose to 1,439 in the first half of 2018 from 1,141 in the corresponding period of 2017.
 
According to the report, the complaints were mainly in respect of excess charges, frauds, dishonoured guarantees and unauthorised deductions/transfers, among others.
 
It also disclosed that a total of 2,451 complaints, including those outstanding from 2017, were resolved in the review period, compared with 1,270 complaints resolved in the same period of 2017.
 
The CBN further disclosed that total claims in the review period in local and foreign currencies amounted to N20.5bn, $163,479, £2,889.98 and €32.82, compared with N14.72bn, $2.42m and €6,940 in the corresponding period of 2017.
 
The CBN stated that the sums of N6.80bn, $119,349, £2,889.98 and €32.82 were refunded by financial institutions to their customers, compared with the sum of N7.21bn, $2.40m and €6,940, refunded in the same period of 2017.
 
 
Source: Business Insider

Bankers Warehouse in Nigeria said the two persons arrested by EFCC with $2.8m cash in suitcases were not money launderers

Bankers Warehouse Limited has asked the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to apologise and return the $2.8m seized from two of its staff at Akanu Ibiam Airport in Enugu on 20 December.

The company which said it is licensed by the Central Bank of Nigeria to carry out Cash/Asset movement and Currency Processing said the men arrested were not involved in any money laundering and were carrying out a legitimate movement of cash.

Here is the statement by the company’s management:

On Thursday evening, December 20, 2018, while providing a legitimate Currency movement service for one of our Bank clients from their branch at Onitsha to their branch at Lagos, our Couriers were stopped at the Enugu airport, detained and interrogated by agents of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), despite providing their identification details.

The documents provided also included a covering note from the bank, authorising the team to move the consignment; which is the standard practice.

We hereby state emphatically that the movement of this currency was a legitimate exercise, being carried out on behalf of a legitimate Financial Institution.

We emphasize that our employees are in no way criminals, carrying out any act of illegality as the EFCC has tried to portray. The young men whose character and reputation have been deliberately soiled by the EFCC operatives were conducting their legitimate duties as requested by a bank customer of our company.

We request for the swift and immediate release of our employees and our customer’s currency, both detained without proper cause.

We also demand an immediate retraction by the EFCC and an apology issued to our company and our employees whose images have been maligned.

Our client who has been unfairly exposed and accused of implied illegality, and whose money is still being improperly held by the EFCC operatives, deserve a very special apology for the disclosure of their business and damage done to their image.”

However, the EFCC said it is investigating the company’s claim.

Acting Spokesman, Mr Tony Orilade, made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Saturday.

“Upon their arrests, they were caught with consignments of two suitcases, containing $1.4 million each, totalling $2.8 million, at the departure lounge of the airport while about to board an Arik Air evening flight to Lagos.

“During interrogation, the suspects confessed that they have been in the business of conveying cash for “some notable banks” for over six years and were in the process of doing same” for another bank when they were caught.

Orilade said the bank refused to honour EFFC’s invitation from the time of the arrest until the commission “had to go out with the story”.

“That was when they suddenly realised they need to honour the invitation.

“The two men arrested with the money were detained because they have to offer relevant information.

“Be that as it may, thorough investigation has to be carried out as to the source and legitimacy of the money because we are not unaware that some financial institutions have yielded to being used to launder money.

“The way forward is that investigation is ongoing.

“Further investigation will reveal the next line of action,” Orilade said.

 

Source: NAN

Bankers Warehouse in Nigeria said the two persons arrested by EFCC with $2.8m cash in suitcases were not money launderers

Bankers Warehouse Limited has asked the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to apologise and return the $2.8m seized from two of its staff at Akanu Ibiam Airport in Enugu on 20 December.

The company which said it is licensed by the Central Bank of Nigeria to carry out Cash/Asset movement and Currency Processing said the men arrested were not involved in any money laundering and were carrying out a legitimate movement of cash.

Here is the statement by the company’s management:

On Thursday evening, December 20, 2018, while providing a legitimate Currency movement service for one of our Bank clients from their branch at Onitsha to their branch at Lagos, our Couriers were stopped at the Enugu airport, detained and interrogated by agents of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), despite providing their identification details.

The documents provided also included a covering note from the bank, authorising the team to move the consignment; which is the standard practice.

We hereby state emphatically that the movement of this currency was a legitimate exercise, being carried out on behalf of a legitimate Financial Institution.

We emphasize that our employees are in no way criminals, carrying out any act of illegality as the EFCC has tried to portray. The young men whose character and reputation have been deliberately soiled by the EFCC operatives were conducting their legitimate duties as requested by a bank customer of our company.

We request for the swift and immediate release of our employees and our customer’s currency, both detained without proper cause.

We also demand an immediate retraction by the EFCC and an apology issued to our company and our employees whose images have been maligned.

Our client who has been unfairly exposed and accused of implied illegality, and whose money is still being improperly held by the EFCC operatives, deserve a very special apology for the disclosure of their business and damage done to their image.”

However, the EFCC said it is investigating the company’s claim.

Acting Spokesman, Mr Tony Orilade, made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Saturday.

“Upon their arrests, they were caught with consignments of two suitcases, containing $1.4 million each, totalling $2.8 million, at the departure lounge of the airport while about to board an Arik Air evening flight to Lagos.

“During interrogation, the suspects confessed that they have been in the business of conveying cash for “some notable banks” for over six years and were in the process of doing same” for another bank when they were caught.

Orilade said the bank refused to honour EFFC’s invitation from the time of the arrest until the commission “had to go out with the story”.

“That was when they suddenly realised they need to honour the invitation.

“The two men arrested with the money were detained because they have to offer relevant information.

“Be that as it may, thorough investigation has to be carried out as to the source and legitimacy of the money because we are not unaware that some financial institutions have yielded to being used to launder money.

“The way forward is that investigation is ongoing.

“Further investigation will reveal the next line of action,” Orilade said.

 

Source: NAN

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Tuesday intervened in the wholesale segment of the foreign exchange market, supplying about $100 million to dealers in that window.

In the latest round of intervention announced in Abuja, the CBN said it also injected about $55 million each in the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and Invisibles segments to meet the needs of customers.

The Director, Corporate Communications Department at the CBN, Isaac Okorafor, again assured of the Bank’s continued mediation in the interbank foreign exchange market in order to guarantee stability.

Last week, the CBN also intervened in the wholesale segment of the inter-bank foreign exchange market on Wednesday, November 21, 2018 to the tune of $210 million.a

Meanwhile, the Naira continued its stable run against the United States dollars on Tuesday, November 27, 2018, exchanging at an average of N362/$1 in the BDC segment of markets across Lagos and Abuja.

Source: Premium Times

The Nigerian Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) has disbursed a total of N6.226 trillion to federal, states and local governments in the country in the first three quarters of 2018.
 
This follows a steady rise in the amount of revenue that been going to the three tiers of government, with N2.28 trillion shared in the third quarter.
 
The breakdown shows that the Federal Government received the highest sum of N904.8b, followed by states, which received N718.5bn and Local Governments Areas receiving the lowest disbursement of N432.1bn.
 
This was contained in the latest edition of the Nigeria Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative Quarterly Review released in Abuja on Sunday.
 
NEITI said: “Total FAAC disbursements in the third quarter of 2018 amounted to N2.28tn, representing a 17.6 per cent increase over the N1.938tn disbursed in the first quarter of 2018 and 13.5 per cent higher than the N2.008tn disbursed in the second quarter.
 
“It is interesting that with the exception of July, the lowest amount disbursed so far in 2018 is higher than disbursements in all other months in 2016 and 2017.”
 
A comparison with the disbursed sums for 2016, 2017 and 2018 showed that the disbursements in the third quarter of 2018 (N2.28tn) were 31 per cent and 18 per cent higher than disbursements in the third quarters of the last two years.
 
NEITI also stated that the last time total disbursements exceeded the N2.5tn mark was in the second quarter of 2014 (N2.51tn).
 
A further analysis of the increase as reported by the NEITI Quarterly Review showed that the Federal Government’s receipt of N904.8bn in the third quarter of 2018 was 11.3 per cent and 7.8 per cent higher than the amounts received in the first (N812.8bn) and second (N839.5bn) quarters respectively.
 
NEITI said: “The amount disbursed to states represented an increase of 5.1 per cent over the N683.5bn disbursed in the first quarter, and an increase of 3.8 per cent over the N692.1bn disbursed in the second quarter.
 
“For LGAs, the amount received was 9.8 per cent and 7.5 per cent higher than the respective amounts of N393.4bn and N402.1bn received in the first and second quarters.”
 
 
Source: NAN

Two commercial banks in the Nigeria, Diamond Bank Plc and Access Bank Plc have denied reports that the two banks are in merger or acquisition talks.

The banks, in seperate statements on Monday, notified the Nigerian Stock Exchange and the general public that the report circulating in some media is false.

According to Company Secretary of Diamond Bank, Mr Uzoma Uja, the bank was not in discussion with any financial institution at the moment on any form of merger or acquisition.

Uja, who, in the statement noted the attention of Diamond Bank had been drawn to the rumour in the media stating that the bank was purportedly in discussion with Access Bank to acquire the bank said: “We wish to state categorically that the bank is not in discussion with any financial institution at the moment on any form of merger or acquisition.

“We trust that the above clarifies the position of the bank with regards to the rumour on the various media platforms,” Uja said.

The Company Secretary of Access Bank, Mr Sunday Ekwuochi, in his own statement, said the bank had not entered into any such discussion with Diamond Bank or any other institution.

“As a publicly quoted company built on best practice, the bank is fully cognisant of its disclosure obligations in respect of any such corporate action and will always discharge its obligations in the most professional manner.

“Consequently, any statement regarding any such corporate action that is not issued by the bank should be disregarded,” Ekwuochi said.

The Nigerians National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) said it transferred the sum of N128.40billion into the federation account in August.
 
The Corporation disclosed this in its monthly Financial and Operational report released in Abuja on Wednesday.
 
It said that between August 2017 and August 2018, the federation and joint ventures (JV) received the sum of N879.02billion and N651.4billion respectively.
 
The NNPC explained that the Federation Crude Oil and Gas Revenue, Federation Crude Oil and Gas lifting, were classified into Equity Export and Domestic crude.
 
It explained that this crude were lifted and marketed by corporation and the proceeds remitted into the Federation Account.
 
It noted that Equity Export receipts, after adjusting for Joint Venture Cash Calls, were paid directly into the Federation Account domiciled in Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
 
The corporation explained that domestic crude oil of 445,000 bpd was allocated for refining to meet domestic products supply, and payments were effected to the Federation Account by NNPC.
 
This, it said was done after adjusting crude and product losses and pipeline repairs and management costs incurred during the period.
 
On the crude oil and gas export sales, the report noted that sales for the month of August stood at 470 million dollars.
 
According to the report, the sales indicate an upsurge of about 78million dollars in relation to July oil and gas export figures of 391.91million dollars.
 
It further indicated that crude oil export sales contributed 337.62million dollars which represented 71.83 per cent of the dollar transactions compared with 283.43million dollars contribution in the previous month.
 
“Export gas sales during the period amounted to 132.38million dollars.
 
“The August 2017 to August 2018 crude oil and gas transactions involved crude oil and gas export worth 5.26billion dollars,” it said.
 
The report explained that based on the above sales figures, a total export receipt of 450.24million dollars was recorded in August 2018 as receipt against 382.65million dollars in July 2018.
 
“Contribution from crude oil during the period, amounted to 336.43 million dollars, while gas and miscellaneous receipt stood at 101.33million dollars and 12.48million dollars respectively,” the report noted.
 
A further breakdown of the figures showed that out of the export receipts, 142.31million dollars was remitted to the Federation Account.
 
The sum of 307.93million dollars was remitted to fund the JV cost recovery for the month of August, 2018 to guarantee current and future production.
 
“Total export crude oil and gas receipt for the period August 2017 to August 2018 stood at 5.23billion dollars out of which 3.74 billion dollars was transferred to JV Cash Call as first line charge and the balance of 1.49 billion dollars paid into the Federation Account,” it added.
 
(NAN)
 
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