MTN Nigeria denies CBN claims on illegal repatriation of $8.1b



MTN Nigeria denies CBN claims on illegal repatriation of $8.1b



By Chiazo Ogbolu

Lagos, Aug. 30, 2018

MTN Nigeria on Thursday refuted the claims by the Central Bank of Nigeria that it illegally, in collusion with four Nigerian banks repatriated $8.1billion from its Nigerian operations to offshore investors.

The CBN said the remittances between 2007 and 2015, in tranches of of 2.63 billion dollars, 1.766 billion dollars and 348 million dollars were done in flagrant violation of the rule that says it can only be done with regular ‘Certificates of Capital Importation (CCIs)’ issued by the apex bank.

The CBN said MTN did the repatriation after illegally converting shareholders’ loan of $399, 594,146 to preference shares.

As part of the sanctions, four banks, Stanbic IBTC Nigeria, Citibank Nigeria and Diamond Bank Plc, were fined by the CBN.

Standard Chartered Bank would pay a fine of N2.47 billion, Stanbic IBTC, N1.88 billion, Citibank Nigeria, N1.26 billion and Diamond bank, N250 million.

“MTN Nigeria received a letter on Aug 29 from Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) alleging that Certificate of Capital Important (CCIs) issued in respect of the conversion of shareholders’ loans in MTN Nigeria to preference shares in 2007 had been improperly issued.

`As a consequence they claim that historic dividends repatriated by MTN Nigeria between 2007 and 2015 amounting to $8.1 billion need to be refunded to the CBN.

“MTN Nigeria strongly refutes these allegations and claims.

“No dividends have been declared or paid by MTN Nigeria other than pursuant to CCIs issued by our bankers and with the approval of the CBN as required by law,” he said.

Aina said that the issues surrounding the CCIs had already been the subject of a thorough enquiry by the Senate of Nigeria.

He added that in September 2016 the Senate mandated the Committee on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions to carry out a holistic investigation on compliance with the Foreign exchange (monitoring and miscellaneous) Act by MTN Nigeria & Others.

He said that in its report issued in November 2017, the findings evidenced that MTN Nigeria did not collude to contravene the foreign exchange laws and there were no negative recommendations made against MTN Nigeria.

“MTN Nigeria, as a law-abiding citizen of Nigeria, is committed to good governance and to abide by the extant laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“The re-emergence of these issues is regrettable as it damages investor confidence and, by extension, inhibits the growth and development of the Nigerian economy.

“We will engage with the relevant authorities and vigorously defend our position on this matter and provide further information when available.

CBN’s spokesperson, Isaac Okorafor, said the apex bank has written MTN Nigeria demanding a refund of the $8.13 billion, repatriated.

The Bank resolved to sanction the commercial banks following investigations in March 2018, which confirmed allegations of remittance of foreign exchange with irregular Certificates of Capital Importation (CCIs) issued on behalf of some offshore investors of MTN Nigeria.

Edited by Fela Fashoro


Group unveils online physiotherapy service to reduce medical tourism



Virtualphyisio, a global virtual physiotherapy service provider, has unveiled a virtual physiotherapy service to reduce financial implications of overseas treatment and to tackle medical tourism.

Mr Sam Eferaro, Virtualphyisio media consultant, said this in a statement on Tuesday.

Eferaro said that Virtualphyisio organisation had appointed international healthcare professionals and consultants to provide virtual physiotherapy services for Nigerians.

He said that the online platform would provide services for physical conditions such as stroke, arthritis, spinal/neck pain, mid-thoracic, and low-back pain of neural and muscular origin.

“This means that Nigerians requiring treatments now have the opportunity of being assessed by different specialists across the world just in one session and in the comfort of their homes.

“We are partnering with mobile telecoms operator, MTN, to facilitate link between patients in Nigeria and specialists in different parts of the world through short message services, phone calls and WhatsApp.

“Our consultants will provide comprehensive evaluations and follow up treatment, where possible, to save scarce foreign exchange by reducing financial implications of overseas treatment and reduction in health tourism.

“This will also result in a reduction in hospital burden of care, unnecessary waiting time, overcrowded hospitals and clinics, consultation time, and costs of treatment,” Eferaro said.

He added that the organisation had registered partner outlets in different parts of the country, where patients could be referred to continue a wide range of therapies when necessary.

Edited By: Kamal Tayo Oropo/ Chinyere Joel-Nwokeoma
Source: NAN
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NSE market indicators resume week with 0.01% growth



The market indicators of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) resumed transactions for the week on Monday with a marginal growth of 0.01 per cent, amid cautious trading.

Speficially, the market capitalisation which opened the week at N13.364 trillion rose by one billion naira or 0.01 per cent to close at N13.365 trillion.

Also, the All-Share Index appreciated by 1.78 points or 0.01 per cent to close at 25,574.35 from 25,572.57 posted on Friday.

The uptrend was impacted by gains recorded in large and medium capitalised stocks, amongst which are; Presco, UACN, International Breweries, MTN Nigeria Communications and Guaranty Trust Bank.

This week, United Capital Plc expected to see some buying interest in the equity market, ahead of third quarter 2020 financials.

Also, analysts at Afrinvest Limited said, “We expect to see positive performance in subsequent trading sessions on the back of buying interest in low-priced stocks.”

Associated Bus Company dominated the gainers’ chart in percentage terms, rising 10 per cent to close at 33k per share.

Wapic Insurance followed 8.11 per cent to close at 40k, while UACN appreciated by 5.79 per cent to close at N6.40 per share.

Mutual Benefits Assurance improved by five per cent to close at 21k, while Cornerstone Insurance appreciated by 4.92 per cent to close at 64k per share.

Conversely, Champion Breweries led the losers’ chart in percentage terms, dropping 10 per cent to close at 81k per share.

Red Star Express trailed with a loss 9.20 per cent to close at N2.96, while Japaul Oil dipped 4.76 per cent to close at 20k per share.

Regency Alliance Insurance Company shed 4.17 per cent to close at 23k, while Jaiz Bank depreciated by 3.39 per cent to close at 57k per share.

The volume of shares traded increased by 1.36 per cent with a turnover of 196.12 million shares worth N1.73 billion in 3,542 deals.

This was against an exchange of 193.49 million shares valued at N1.85 billion transacted in 2,934 deals on Friday.

Transactions in the shares of FBN Holdings topped the activity chart with 43.39 million shares worth N214.45 million.

Chams came second with 26.21 million shares valued at N5.26 million, while United Bank for Africa sold 13.19 million shares worth N79.09 million.

Mutual Benefits Assurance accounted for 12.23 million shares valued at N2.51 million, while Zenith Bank sold 11.66 million shares worth N195.08 million.

Edited By: Oluwole Sogunle
Source: NAN
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Bargain hunting: NSE market indices rebound by 0.38%



The key market indicators of the nation’s bourse recorded first week gain on Thursday, rebounding by 0.38 per cent on renewed bargain hunting.

Specifically, the All-Share Index improved by 96.06 per cent or 0.38 per cent to close at 25,520.97 against 25,424.91 posted on Wednesday.

Similarly, the market capitalisation rose by N50 billion or 0.38 per cent to close at N13.313 trillion from N13.263 trillion achieved on Wednesday.

The upturn was impacted by gains recorded in large and medium capitalised stocks, amongst which are; Zenith Bank, MTN Nigeria Communications, Guaranty Trust Bank, C&I Leasing and Access Bank.

Capital market analysts noted that the local bourse recorded the first gain this week due to bargain in Zenith Bank, Guaranty Trust Bank and MTNN.

However, analysts at Afrinvest Limited expected the equities market to close the week on a bearish note.

A breakdown of the price movement chart indicates that 22 stocks gained in contrast with 12 laggards.

Eterna led the gainers’ chart in percentage terms, appreciating by 9.69 per cent to close at N2.49 per share.

C&I Leasing followed with 8.45 per cent to close at N3.85, while Wema Bank garnered 7.84 per cent to close at 55k per share.

Japaul Oil increased by five per cent to close at 21k, while Chams appreciated by 4.76 per cent to close at 22k per share.

Conversely, Associated Bus Company led the losers’ chart in percentage terms, dropping 7.69 per cent to close at 36k per share.

Cornerstone Insurance came second with 7.58 per cent to close at 61k while Consolidated Hallmark Insurance shed 5.88 per cent to close at 32k per share.

Unity Bank dipped 5.56 per cent to close at 51k, while FCMB Group lost 4.87 per cent to close at N2.15 per share.

In spite of the growth in market indices, volume of shares transacted declined by 12.29 per cent with an exchange of 236.48 million shares worth N1.65 billion in 3,251 deals.

This was against a turnover of 269.63 million shares valued at N2.87 billion traded in 4,155 deals on Wednesday.

Transactions in the shares of Zenith Bank topped the activity chart with 33.16 million shares worth N546.75 million.

Fidelity Bank followed with 29.97 million shares valued at N52.65 million, while Mutual Benefits Assurance sold 25.04 million shares worth N5.01 million.

Wema Bank traded 20.22 million shares valued at N11.03 million, while FBN Holdings transacted 20.06 million shares worth N100.29 million.

Edited By: Wale Ojetimi
Source: NAN
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Police arrest 259 suspected criminals in Kano



The Police Command in Kano State, says it has arrested 259 suspected criminals in continuation of the Operation Puff Adder in the past six weeks in the state.

The police also disclosed that it recovered 150 expired Coca Cola drinks worth N150,000.

The Commissioner of Police, Mr Habu Ahmad, made the discloseure at a news conference on Wednesday in Kano.

Ahmad said the arrests were made between July 23 and Sept.8, as part of effort to figth crimes, protect lives and property in the state.

He noted that the suspects were arrested at different times and locations within the period under review in the state.

Ahmad explained that the arrest was achieved as a result of the effective strategies under the directives of the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Mohammed Adamu.

“With sustained Puff-Adder Operations, community policing engagement and other crime fighting strategies, the command has to execute its policing mandate,”  he said.

Ahmad said the suspects included 45 suspected armed robbers; eight members of kidnapping gang, 14 motor vehicle thieves, seven tricycle thieves and 14 motorcycle thieves.

He listed other suspects to include eight suspected drug dealers, 28 fraudsters and 146 thugs, adding that the command also rescued four victims of solitary confinement and free five captives from their captors.

“The command recovered 10 rifles including one AK 47 rifle; two pistols, four locally made guns, three locally made pistols, 79 live ammunition and 84 knives.

“Other recovered items include 13 vehicles, seven tricycles, 9 motorcycles, and 914 percels of dried leaves suspected to be indian hemp weighing 548.4kg valued N4.5 million.

“Also recovered were three jerry cans containing narcotics, four cartons of rubber solution and 200 cartons of suspected fake cold drugs without NAFDAC nunber valued at N4 million, 82 bottles of codeine syrup, 73 cellphones, one Point of Sale (PoS) device, 985 used MTN SIM cards and 469 used SIM cards among others,” he said.

Acoording to him, the command also recovers 1,958 out of the 3,850 cartons of noodles valued at N4 million, adding that the noodles with labelled CA-COVID-19, was suspected to be diverted from Benue State palliative for COVID-19 pandemic.

While commending the people of the state for their cooperation and support to the command, Ahmad urged them to work toward promoting community policing at the grassroots.

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