Seplat CEO, Roger Brown, steps down over allegations of racism
Seplat Energy says Roger Brown, its chief executive officer (CEO), has stepped down from his position.
In a statement on Friday, signed by Basil Omiyi, the board chairman of Seplat, the company said the decision followed the court order of a federal high court in Lagos.
Yesterday, we reported that the court had restrained Brown from carrying out his official duties pending the determination of a suit filed against him and other respondents by aggrieved stakeholders of the company over allegations of racism, favouring of expatriate workers, discrimination against Nigerians, and breach of good governance.
The court restrained Brown as well as his proxies, privies, and agents from continuing to participate in the “day-to-day running and management of Seplat Energy or in any manner whatsoever pending the determination of [the] hearing and determination of the petitioners’ motion on notice for interlocutory injunction”.
In response to the court ruling, Seplat said Brown has delegated his authority to Samson Ezugworie, the chief operating officer of the company.
According to the statement, Ezugworie will continue to act as CEO during the period that Brown is required to step back from his executive duties.
“Seplat Energy Plc reports that on March 9, 2023, it was served with court processes and ex-parte interim order of the honourable Justice C. J. Aneke of the federal high court, Lagos, Nigeria, restraining the chief executive officer, Mr. Roger Brown from participating in the running of the company [for a period of seven days],” the statement reads.
“The interim orders are premised on allegations of unfair, prejudicial, and offensive acts by the chairman, CEO and all of the independent non-executive directors (INEDs) of Seplat Energy.
“The allegations include that the CEO organised a site visit for a number of its major shareholders to the company’s operations, cancelled some catering and landscaping contracts, and introduced a new job performance rating.”
‘NIGERIANS HAVE BEEN APPOINTED TO SEPLAT’S MOST IMPORTANT POSITIONS’
Seplat had on Thursday, described the allegations against Brown as a “spurious and vindictive reaction” to the enforcement of corporate governance standards in the company by its board.
Reiterating its position, the firm refuted the allegations, noting that since Brown became CEO in 2020, Nigerian nationals have been appointed to the “company’s most important positions”.
These positions include chairman, senior independent non-executive director, chief financial officer and chief operating officer, it said.
“The board believes these allegations are a spurious and vindictive reaction to the board’s enforcement of corporate governance standards and a determination to continue to uphold their fiduciary duties and loyalty to the company. The board of Seplat Energy has unanimously passed a vote of confidence in Mr. Brown as the CEO,” Seplat said.
“The order allows the chairman, Mr. Basil Omiyi, and all the INEDs of Seplat Energy to continue running the affairs of the company on the basis that it is in accordance with Nigerian law. Mr. Brown has delegated authority to Mr. Samson Ezugworie, chief operating ffficer, to act as CEO during the period that he is required to step back from his executive duties.
“The injunction was filed by Messrs. Moses Igbrude, Sarat Kudaisi, Kenneth Nnabike, Ajani Abidoye and Robert Ibekwe, who purport to have shares in Seplat Energy Plc.
“Seplat will follow the due processes of law in responding to the allegations before the courts.”
The company added that it will continue to maintain its operational excellence and act in line with the best corporate governance standards.
Meanwhile, Rauf Aregbesola, minister of interior, had revoked the work permit, visa, and residence permit of Brown following a petition sent to the minister of interior (against Brown) by employees of Seplat.
‘They will be resolved quickly’ — Emefiele apologises for failed electronic transactions
Godwin Emefiele, governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has apologised to Nigerians for the rise in failed electronic banking transactions.
The CBN boss spoke at the end of the two-day monetary policy committee meeting in Abuja on Tuesday.
Since the implementation of the naira redesign policy and subsequent cash shortage, Nigerians have had a terrible time experiencing successful banking transactions made through their mobile apps, USSD platforms and debit cards.
Speaking on the matter, Emefiele said the apex’s bank payments system management department made efforts to ensure that downtime on electronic banking channels were quickly resolved.
“I must apologise. Yes, online channels fail. But no doubt it is as a result of the deluge of online transactions that hit the banking industry. But it is being resolved,” Emefiele said.
“On a daily basis, our payments system management department monitor the online payment platforms so as to make sure that when there is a downtime, they are quickly resolved so that transactions can go on smoothly.”
He also praised fintechs for facilitating smooth transactions for Nigerians by reducing the strain on traditional banks.
On money supply, Emefiele said the implementation of the naira redesign policy has resulted in the reduction in currency outside the banks.
“At the beginning of the naira redesign policy we said that there was about N3.23 trillion in circulation out of which only N500 billion was held in the banking system, while N2.73 trillion was outside the banks,” the CBN governor said.
“It was published yesterday that currency in circulation is close to N1 trillion. CBN will continue to pump the newly redesigned currency into the market.
“The truth is that at some point we will need to reassess to know whether the currency in circulation has attained an optimal level so as to put in place measures to ensure that we don’t go to the level where we were when people kept money outside the banking system for their own benefits”.
5 best places to live in Lagos
We’ll be ranking this based on crime and safety, accessibility, quiet and peaceful domain and ideal environment for families.
Currently planning on moving or buying a house in Lagos? Then you should consider this places in Lagos, especially if you have kids.
We’ll be ranking this based on schools, crime and safety, accessibility, quiet and peaceful domain and ideal environment for families.
Ikoyi is one of the best neighbourhoods on the coveted Lagos Island. It has some great schools and plenty of choices to make a pick from, from nursery through secondary. Crime and safety rank favourably, and the quiet and peaceful feel of the place makes for just the ideal environment for families.
Yaba located on Lagos mainland is known as the Silicon Valley of Nigeria. Majority of internet start-ups like Co-Creation hub, Andela and others has turned Yaba to one of the most sought-after locations.
Yaba may not be better than many places in terms of housing and economics, but it has good public schools and generally an ideal environment for families. The nightlife is unlike any other, with trendy eateries, hip bars and stylish clubs aplenty.
It also accommodates major schools in Lagos like The University of Lagos located in Akoka, Queens College and Yaba College of Technology making Yaba a place for the younger generation.
Ikeja is regarded as the central business district of Lagos. It houses most government parastatals with both the Governor’s office and government house located in Ikeja.
Ikeja is also a highly industrial area with several companies and really good schools.
Let’s not fail to mention the Government Residential Areas that are very conducive for your children.
Although Magodo lies toward the outskirts of Lagos in close proximity to Ikeja and Ojodu Berger. Magodo is basically a residential area that is known to be home to some affluent people of society.
It may not be better than many places in terms of accessibility, but it has good public schools and generally an ideal environment for families.
5. Lekki – Ajah
Lekki to Ajah axis is another area in Lagos that offers an excellent setting for families looking to settle in the state.
Ajah might sound like some remote middle-of-nowhere place, but it actually does offer some great employment opportunities.
When you throw in additional perks such as friendly residents, great schools and jobs that are just around the corner, and top-notch medical facilities, you couldn’t wish for more.
Buhari has approved exemption of telecoms sector from 5% excise duty, says Pantami
Isa Pantami, minister of communications and digital economy, says President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the exemption of the telecommunications sector from the proposed 5 percent excise duty.
Isa Pantami, minister of communications and digital economy, disclosed this on Tuesday at a news conference organised by the presidential review committee on excise duty in Abuja.
In May 2022, Buhari had approved the collection of a 5 percent excise duty on telephone recharge cards and vouchers.
The charge was part of new items on the list of goods liable for excise duty in the country’s Finance Act.
Excise duty is a levy charged at the time of manufacturing. It is also a form of indirect tax on the sale or consumption of certain goods, products, services or activities such as tobacco, alcohol, narcotics, gambling etc., mainly to discourage their use and consumption.
Nigeria’s Finance Act has extended the list to include beverages, non-alcoholic drinks and many others.
Zainab Ahmed, minister of finance and national budget, had in July last year, said the government would begin the implementation of the 5 percent inclusive excise duty on telecommunications services in Nigeria.
The statement triggered widespread criticism from Nigerians, including telecom operators, and Pantami who faulted the timing and process of implementation, saying he was not informed.
In September, the minister announced that the 5 percent excise duty on telecommunications services had been suspended.
‘NO NEED FOR EXCISE DUTY IN TELECOM SECTOR’
Speaking on the issue at the press briefing on Tuesday, Pantami said Buhari had on March 6 approved the exemption of the digital economy sector on from the 5 percent excise duty because it would harm Nigerians.
He said 41 categories of taxes, levies, and charges are already in the digital economy sector; hence there is no justification for an additional excise.
“There is no need for excise duty in the telecom sector because the industry is already heavily taxed up to 41 taxes,” the minister said.
“The sector has been contributing hugely to Nigeria’s economy; more tax burden destroys the industry.
“We increased revenue generated by 594 percent from N51 billion quarterly to N481 billion quarterly.
“This is the only sector where the prices of services have been reduced. There is no justification for the government to impose more burden on its poor Citizens.
“Many micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and small medium enterprises (SMEs) depend on the sector for survival; if the tax is increased, the impact will take a toll on these businesses.”
On his part, Umar Danbatta, executive vice-chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission, (NCC), reiterated the commission’s commitment to improving the telecom industry.
Danbatta said the reduction of data had been the main target of the commission, adding that the average 1 gigabit of data had dropped to N335 from N350.
He also urged Nigerians to report mobile network operators charging exorbitant prices for data.
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Bodex F. Hungbo, SPMIIM is a multiple award-winning Nigerian Digital Media Practitioner, Digital Strategist, PR consultant, Brand and Event Expert, Tv Presenter, Tier-A Blogger/Influencer, and a top cobbler in Nigeria.
She has widespread experiences across different professions and skills, which includes experiences in; Marketing, Media, Broadcasting, Brand and Event Management, Administration and Management with prior stints at MTN, NAPIMS-NNPC, GLOBAL FLEET OIL AND GAS, LTV, Silverbird and a host of others
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