Connect with us

Business

US returns another $20.6m Abacha loot to Nigeria

Published

on

The United States government has returned another $20 million to Nigeria as part of the loot traced to Sani Abacha, former Nigerian military leader and his co-conspirators.

In August, the US government signed an agreement with the federal government to repatriate $23 million tagged ‘Abacha-5’.

In a statement on Thursday, the US government said, “this repatriation brings the total amount forfeited and returned by the United States in this case to approximately $332.4 million.”

“In 2014, a judgment was entered in the District of Columbia ordering the forfeiture of approximately $500 million located in accounts around the world, as the result of a civil forfeiture complaint for more than $625 million traceable to money laundering involving the proceeds of general Abacha’s corruption,” the US government said.

“In 2020, the department repatriated over $311.7 million of the forfeited assets that had been located in the Bailiwick of Jersey. Last year, the U.K. government enforced the U.S. judgment against the additional over $20.6 million.

“Under the agreement signed in August, the United States agreed to transfer 100% of the net forfeited assets to Nigeria to support three critical infrastructure projects in Nigeria that were previously authorised by Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari and the Nigerian legislature.

“The $20,637,622.27 marks a slight reduction from the $23 million announced in August due primarily to exchange rate fluctuations between British pounds sterling and U.S. dollars.

“The funds governed by this agreement will help finance the second Niger bridge, the Lagos-Ibadan expressway, and the Abuja-Kano road – investments that will benefit the citizens of each of these important regions in Nigeria.”

Business

JUST IN: CBN bows to pressure, extends deadline for old naira notes

Published

on

By

The Central Bank of Nigeria has finally extended the deadline for the exchange of old naira notes by 10 days.

In a press statement issued on Sunday, Godwin Emefiele, the CBN governor, said the new deadline is February 10, 2023.

Continue Reading

Business

Old Naira notes deadline: CBN direct banks to work today

Published

on

By

In the bid to mop up all the unwanted old Naira notes still in circulation, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has directed all banks in the country to also work today (Sunday).

The Director of Currency Operations, Ahmed Umar disclosed this to journalists during a press conference in Katsina yesterday.

He also said that the apex bank ruled against banks issuing the new notes from across the counters but through ATM machines to avoid discriminating between big and small customers.

“We believe that using the ATM machine will give people equal opportunity to have access to the new notes.

“We are also able to track the volume of disbursement that is done through the ATM because of the log on it,” Umar said

On how they are ensuring that those in Katsina rural areas have access to the new notes, the CBN Director said:

“In Katsina there are over 750 registered agents who are tied to three banks. We disbursed N120 million to these banks to issue to these agents.

Each agents is expected to receive N500,000 per week to disburse in their communities. We have been monitoring the agents around here to ensure that they do the needful with the new notes issued to them.

“We are riding on the back of the agents to help those from far distance and communities without banks nor ATMs to receive the new notes.

“We have teams monitoring the disbursement and distribution of the new notes. The monitoring exercise covers checking ATMs machines to ensure that money is loaded on the ATM machines for people to withdraw.”

In the same vein, Umar said the apex bank is currently carrying out additional cash swap programmes to local government in the state in order to ensure that everyone particularly those people who have less than N10,000 exchange their old notes for new ones to enable them continue with their lives.

Meanwhile, on the appeal from different quarters for extension of the deadline, the CBN Director of Currency Operation said: “There is no new directives on that till this moment. The deadline still remains 31 January 2023. So, we advise people to adhere to the deadline and deposit their money.”

Continue Reading

Business

Delta State House of Assembly approves Governor Okowa’s N100 billion loan request 4 months to end of tenure

Published

on

By

The Delta State House of Assembly has approved Governor Ifeanyi Okowa’s request for an N100 billion credit facility.

The N100 billion loan approval which is coming barely 4 months to the tenure of the current administration, is part of the N150 billion earlier approved Consolidated Syndicated Loan.

The loan approval followed the adoption of a motion moved by the Majority Leader of the Assembly, Hon. Ferguson Onwo, and seconded by the member representing Ughelli North I constituency, Mr. Charles Oniyere at the Assembly’s plenary in Asaba on Thursday.

The Governor had transmitted a letter for the N100 billion loan request to the lawmakers through the Speaker, Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori duly presented the same to the House.

Oborevwori, who is the state’s 2023 Governorship Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), noted that the assembly had on April 26, 2022, received and had subsequently approved the governor’s request of N150 billion consolidated syndicated loan from Zenith Bank.

Okowa said in the letter, “With the change of Lead Arranger from Zenith Bank to Premium Trust Bank Limited, alongside other participating banks willing to accede to the pricing terms and further documentations, Premium Trust Bank Limited has insisted that in line with the prudential guidelines and extant regulations, a House of Assembly’s resolution was required to enable the bank to consummate the transaction.


”Consequent on this, the State Executive Council at its first meeting held on Monday, January 16, 2023, considered and approved for the state government to obtain N100 billion out of the earlier approved N150 billion consolidated syndicated loan led by Premium Trust Bank Limited in line with the reverse terms and conditions.”


The governor explained that the loan will be used for the payment of contractors and funding of various crucial ongoing projects across the state.

In a related development, the House of Assembly also approved another request by the governor for an N2 billion bank facility to fund an additional investment of 3% equity in the UTM Offshore Limited Floating Liquefied Natural Gas (FLNG) Project.

This similarly followed the adoption of a motion moved by the Majority Leader of the Assembly, Hon Onwo and seconded by the Minority Leader, Hon Innocent Anidi.

Okowa in the letter written to the House said, “I wish to state that in order to further diversify the economic base of the state and take advantage of the increased demand for natural gas in Europe and other parts of the world due to the shortfall in the supply as a result of the Russian-Ukrainian war.


”UTM Offshore Limited, which in the first instance offered 5 (five) percent equity shares to Delta State under a term loan facility from Fidelity Bank, has offered additional 5 (five) percent equity to the state.


”In view of the bank’s commitment to partner with the state government on this investment with an offer of N20 billion loan facility.

The State Executive Council at its first meeting held on Monday, Jan. 16 considered and approved for the state government to accept the offer by Fidelity Bank Plc.


“The terms and conditions for the loan include; an interest rate of 21 percent per annum, management fees of one percent flat, three years tenure of payment, and facility amount of N20 billion.


”Also, the facility is to be secured by the issuance of an Irrevocable Standing Payment Order (ISPO) authorizing the Accountant General of the Federation to deduct from the State FAAC allocation monthly.”

Continue Reading

Most Read...