Access Bank Plc. said on Monday that a five-year Fixed Rate Senior Unsecured N15 billion Green Bond, the first climate bond to be issued in Africa, had been fully subscribed.
The bank’s Group Managing Director, Mr Herbert Wigwe, stated this at the bond-signing ceremony in Lagos.
Green bond is a bond specifically earmarked to be used for climate and environmental projects. It is typically asset-linked and backed by the issuer’s balance sheet, and are also referred to as climate bonds
Wigwe said that the Green Bond offer was achieved by way of Book Building, a systematic process of generating, capturing, and recording investor demand for shares during an initial public offering (IPO), or other securities during their issuance process.
This is in order to support efficient price discovery.
He said that the bond, priced at a coupon of 15.5 per cent, had participation from a wide range of asset managers and pension fund administrators.
Wigwe said that the bank supported the global climate change mitigation and adaptation agenda and was seeking to promote responsible green lending globally.
According to him, the Green Bond issuance demonstrates the bank’s commitment to sustainable operational practices, being a pioneer operator both in domestic and international capital markets.
He added that the bank viewed the global drive for responsible and sustainable green financing as an opportunity to raise capital for the creation of assets through climate change financing.
Wigwe maintained that the bank had a strong track record of deploying environmental and social risk management tools as well as working closely with local and international agencies to deliver a greener outcome from investing activities.
“With our pace-setting experience in the mainstreaming of sustainability in our business operations.
“We are confident that this issue with further help in supporting environmentally friendly investors to meet their investment objectives whilst simultaneously supporting the bank’s customer towards realising growth opportunities in fast-developing low carbon economy,” Wigwe said.
He noted that the new funding would be directed toward financing new loans and refinancing existing loans in accordance with the bank’s Green Bond Framework, and support projects directed at flood defense, solar generation facilities, and agriculture.
Guaranty Trust Bank Plc on Wednesday announced its audited results for the financial year ended Dec. 31, 2018 on the Nigerian and London Stock Exchanges.
The company in the result released by the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) posted profit before tax of N215.6 billion against N197.7 billion recorded in the corresponding period of 2017, an increase of 9.1 per cent.
Gross earnings for the period under grew by 3.7 per cent to ₦434.7 billion from ₦419.2 billion reported increase 2017.
Its customers’ deposits increased by 10.3 per cent to ₦2.27 trillion from ₦2.06 trillion in the comparative period of 2017.
Also, loan book dipped by 12.9 per cent from ₦1.45 trillion recorded as at December 2017 to ₦1.26 trillion in December 2018.
The result showed that the bank closed the 2018 financial year with total assets of ₦3.29 trillion and shareholders’ funds of ₦575.6 billion.
An analysis of the bank’s asset quality showed that non-performing loans and cost of risk improved to 7.3 per cent and 0.3 per cent during the review period from 7.7 per cent and 0.8 per cent in December 2017, respectively.
The bank is proposing final dividend of ₦2.45 per share in addition to interim dividend of 30k per share, bringing the total dividend for 2018 financial year to ₦2.75k per share.
Commenting on the result, Mr Segun Agbaje, the bank’s Managing Director, said that the result represented the fundamental strength of its brand.
“In 2018, our focus on staying nimble, strengthening customers’ relationships and driving our digital-first strategy paid off.
“We successfully navigated the pressures of our challenging and radically changing business environment, recorded growth across key financial indices and reaffirmed our position as one of the best performing and well managed financial institutions in Africa.
“This result reflects, not just the fundamental strength of our brand, but also commitment to our values of excellence, creating value for all stakeholders and putting our customers first in everything that we do.
“Driven by these values, we are building the bank of the future by pairing the best of our business with the massive potential of digital technologies to create Africa’s first integrated and trusted platform,” Agbaje said.
The Federal Government of Nigeria is again offering for subscription savings bonds with a tenor of two and three years, a circular on Monday from the Debt Management Office, DMO, has urevealed.
According to the DMO, it was authorised to receive applications for the savings bond on behalf of the Federal Government.
The statement also disclosed that the two-year savings bond will be due on March 13, 2021 and has an interest rate of 11.62 per cent per annum, while the three-year savings bond, which has an annual interest rate of 12.62 per cent, will be due on March 13, 2022.
The DMO statement also said the offer for subscription opened on Monday and will close on Friday, March 8, adding that the settlement date had been scheduled for March 13, while the coupon would be paid on June 13, September 13, December 13 and March 13, 2019.
The statement reads: “The bonds are offered at N1,000 per unit, subject to a minimum subscription of N5,000 and in multiples of N1,000 and a maximum subscription of N50m.
“The bonds, which are backed by the full faith and credit of the Federal Government of Nigeria and charged upon the general assets of the country, qualify as securities in which trustees can invest under the Trustee Investment Act. Interest is payable quarterly and the bullet repayment is on the maturity date.”
According to the DMO, the bonds also qualify as government securities within the meaning of Company Income Tax Act and Personal Income Tax Act for tax exemption for pension funds, among other investors, adding that the bonds would also be listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange and would qualify as a liquid asset for liquidity ratio calculation for banks.
“Interested investors should contact the stockbroking firms appointed as distribution agents by the Debt Management Office,” the statement added.
The Chartered Institute of Forensic and Investigative Auditors of Nigeria (CIFIAN) has said that the volume of fraud in Nigerian banks increased to N25 billion in the last five years.
This was disclosed by the Protem President of the institute, Dr. Victoria Enape in Abuja on Friday at the opening of intensive training for forensic and investigative auditors.
She noted that the training had become necessary going by the global acknowledgment of corruption in most government and financial institution and its (corruption) rejection by the United Nation, World Bank and International Monetary Fund.
“Government at all levels are losing billions of Naira every day and most of these criminal cases bordering on fraud, corruption and cyber-crimes are partly because there are no forensic and investigative auditors in Nigeria to prevent fraud from taking place.
“The place of training of forensic and investigative auditors cannot be overemphasised because the whole world has embraced this current trend years ago which has assisted them in the fight against fraud.
“Chartered Institute of Forensic and Investigative Auditors is an anti-fraud organisation, saddled with the responsibility of providing skills to relevant professionals on the use of science and technology to prevent, detect and investigate fraud of all kinds.
“The Institute also has mechanism to block illicit financial flows in the country; it therefore becomes indispensable in Nigeria if Nigerians and the future generation must experience peace and economic development,” Enape said.
Enape noted that scandalous collapses, financial loses, loss of employment, investment and investors, loss of earnings and means of livelihood are some of the consequential social dislocations and risks of corruption and fraud.
According to her, fraud and corruption weakened the institutional capacity of governments and organisations as well as impedes trade and investment.
New figures released by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has shown that the Federal Government recorded a deficit of N3.4 trillion in its financial operations in 2018.
The 2018 budget, signed by President Muhammadu Buhari on June 20 last year, had total spending of N9.1tn, comprising of N2.87tn for capital expenditure, N3.51tn for recurrent (non-debt) expenditure while N2.01tn was budgeted for debt servicing.
Government had planned to fund the budget by generating N658.55bn from Companies Income Tax, N207.51bn from Value Added Tax, N324.86bn from Customs while N57.87bn was expected to come from federation account levies.
Also, the government planned to raise N847.95bn through independent revenue from its agencies, while tax amnesty income, signature bonus and unspent balance from previous years was to provide N87.84bn, N114.3bn and N250bn respectively
However, the CBN Economic Outlook Report for the fourth quarter of 2018 showed that the government’s revenue target was not met, as it was able to generate enough to meet its expenditure.
In the first quarter of last year, the Federal Government’s retained revenue was put at N884.88bn while it’s expenditure was N2.01tn. This resulted in a fiscal deficit of about N1.13tn.
In the second quarter of last year, the Federal Government earned N1.12tn while it’s expenditure was N1.63tn, resulting in a deficit of N504.8bn.
For the third quarter, the revenue of the Federal Government was put at N1.03tn with the expenditure of N1.89tn, leading to a deficit of N855.09bn.
For the fourth quarter, the fiscal deficit widened to N910.4bn as the government was only able to generate N916.44bn to take care of its total expenditure of N1.82tn.
The CBN said in the report: “The Federal Government retained revenue for the fourth quarter of 2018 was estimated at N916.44bn.
“This was below the proportionate quarterly budget estimate and the receipts in the preceding quarter by 51.5 per cent and 11.5 per cent, respectively.
“Of the total revenue, the Federation Account accounted for 90.4 per cent, while Value Added Tax, Excess crude/Petroleum Profit Tax,
“Federal Government Independent Revenue, Excess Non-oil and Exchange Gain accounted for 4.3, 3.5, 1.4, 0.3 and 0.1 per cent, respectively.
“The estimated Federal Government expenditure for the fourth quarter of 2018 stood at N1.82tn and was below the proportionate quarterly budget estimate of N2.37tn by 23.1 per cent and the level in the preceding quarter by 3.4 per cent.
“A breakdown of the total expenditure showed that the recurrent component accounted for 87.8 per cent, while capital and statutory transfers accounted for 5.9 and 6.3 per cent, respectively.
“A further breakdown of the recurrent expenditure showed that the non-debt component accounted for 53.8 per cent, while debt service payments were 46.2 per cent.”
A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, Southwest Nigeria has adjourned for further hearing of the N6,441,369,617.73 suit instituted against Zenith Bank Plc, by a Lagos businessman, Olusola Adejugbe and his company Tonique Oil Services limited over alleged excess and illegal charges.
By a further amended statement of claim accompanied by written statement on Oath sworn to by Adejugbe and filed before the court by Lanre Ogunlesi SAN, the businessman averred that in the course of his business engagements, his company Tonique Oil Services Limited obtained several credit facilities from Zenith Bank PLC while he pledged three of his properties as securities for the loan facilities.
The plaintiffs averred that three different transactions leading to this litigation occurred in the company’s current account whereby excess interest and charges were discovered. The company demanded for a reversal but the bank refused.
A forensic accounting firm was commissioned to scrutinize and analyse the Company’s account. It was then discovered that between August 2006 and December 2013, excess interest and charges on the Company’s account by Zenith Bank Plc amounted to N1,842,471,801.99.
By a letter dated 19th February 2008, the bank granted Tonique Oil Services Company commercial paper facility of N2,568,644,276.09 to finance the purchase of 30,000MT of Petroleum products, but N2,501,270,000 was credited into the account of the company.
However, it was alleged further that instead of Zenith Bank financing the purchase of 30,000 metric tons of Petroleum products for the company as per letter of offer, the entire sum of N2,501,270,000 was diverted by the bank for the purchase of its own shares during the bank’s initial public offer, a conduct that is unethical, unprofessional and reprehensive.
In addition, out of the sum of N104,363,212.03 assessed as dividends payable on the bank’s shares only N42,173,498.43 was credited into the company’s account leaving outstanding balance of N62,169,713.60.
The bank’s shares purportedly bought by the Tonique Oil Company with the facilities granted by Zenith bank were managed by the bank so much that the bank eventually liquidated the shares after the value has nose-dived and depreciated.
Another activity on the Tonique Oil Company current account with the bank was the sale and purchase of a property in Port Harcourt that belonged to one of the shareholders /customers of the bank who needed to clean up some of his obligations to the bank. It was the bank who introduce Tonique Oil company to the shareholders 50,000 square meters of land out of which the company bought 20,000 square metres for the purpose of expanding its business earnings.
To facilitate the purchase of the land, the bank offered the company a term loan of N500,000 and it was part of understanding of the company and the bank that after the purchase of the land, the bank will finance the company’s Tank forms to be built thereon.
After the purchase of the land, the bank took possession of the title documents of the land as collateral but reneged on the promise and understanding to finance the Company’s tank farm on the land and since 2008 the land had been under the management of the bank and the same had been lying fallow.
In this circumstance, the plaintiffs contended that Tonique Oil Company was not indebted to the bank and any alleged indebtedness could only have been arisen as a result of the unconscionable and illegal acts of the bank’s officials in debiting the company’s account with astronomical spurious interest charged, consequently the plaintiffs also contended that such interest charges are illegal in that they contravene the Central Bank of Nigeria Monetary Credit and Foreign Exchange/Trade guidelines.
The plaintiffs financial consultant computed other charges that were passed into the account of the company, base on relevant policy circulars, guide to bank charges of Central bank of Nigeria and discovered that the bank excessively overcharged the company on interest on overdraft, COT, and VAT on COT, Management Fees, upcountry transfer fees, interest on commercial paper, foreign exchange purchases and letter of credits.
Consequently, the plaintiffs are contending that they are not indebted to the bank rather the bank has overcharged the plaintiffs to several billions of Naira.
The plaintiffs are urging the court to declare that Zenith Bank being a bank within the supervisions and control of CBN cannot charge interest on any facilities granted to them beyond the official approved policy rate of the Central bank of Nigeria.
The plaintiffs are also urging the court not only to restrain the bank from selling their property pledged as securities for the loan but to also compel Zenith Bank to pay Tonique Oil services company the sum of ₦6,441,369,617.73 being the total excess charges debited into the company’s account by the bank and interest on the same amount at the rate of 21% per annum from the date of judgement of the court until final liquidation.
However, by its further statement of defence accompanied with statement on oath sworn to by Senior Assistant Manager, Internal Control and Audit Department of Zenith bank, Vincent Ohanugo and filed before the court, the bank denied almost all the company’s claim and stated that the company was granted the following loans: ₦2.5 billion regular commercial paper , $36 million united state Dollars import finance facility, $6,648,000 commercial paper /usance facility $9 million Dollars import finance facility via usance facility $11 million Dollars short term import facility of ₦500 million.
The Federal Government of Nigeria has disclosed that it is collaborating with other oil and gas producer in Africa under the umbrella of African Petroleum Producers Organisation, APPO, to raise between $1 billion and $2 billion to finance energy projects and boost collaboration among African countries.
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu stated this while speaking at the Nigerian International Petroleum Summit, NIPS, in Abuja on Monday.
According to the minister, members of APPO are working at expanding the role of an existing financing body in the continent, which would be renamed African Energy Investment Corporation to undertake the function of energy financing.
Kachikwu said: “We are presently looking at expanding the role of a particular financing body we are going to be calling the African Energy Investment Corporation. The whole idea is to mobilise between $1 billion and $2 billion of resources to fund all the essentials necessary for us to properly collaborate.
“Today, most African countries are silos, everybody does their own thing; you build your own refineries, plants, gas turbines etc. If we could just cross the Rubicon and be able to extend hands of infrastructural relationship across Africa; build joint pipeline, plants and refineries; begin to protect the African market, we would have taken a huge step, not only in the development of Africa, but to the stabilisation of independent countries.
“We have finished that meeting and signed on to resolutions that endorsed all the changes that we have suggested. We are now going to move on the implementation stages.”
Also speaking at the event, the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Mr. Maikanti Baru, said an example of such collaboration can be seen in Nigeria’s collaboration with Morocco to construct a gas pipeline that would traverse at least 15 West African countries and connect the existing Europe gas pipeline.
According to him, the feasibility study had been concluded and the pre-Final Investment Decision, FID, greenfield optimisation study was currently ongoing.
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.”
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.