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Sterling Bank Plc

  •  2 men to know fate on Sept 13 over N1 8bn oil fraud
    2 men to know fate on Sept.13 over N1.8bn oil fraud
     2 men to know fate on Sept 13 over N1 8bn oil fraud
    2 men to know fate on Sept.13 over N1.8bn oil fraud
    General news2 weeks ago

    2 men to know fate on Sept.13 over N1.8bn oil fraud

    An Ikeja Special Offences Court on Friday reserved judgment in the case involving  two men: Ogbor Eliot, and Kelvin Chris, charged with attempted N1.8bn oil fraud for Sept.13. Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo adjourned the case following  the adoption of the final written address of the counsel.

    The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the defendants are standing trial, alongside a company, Danium Energy Services Ltd., on a five-count charge bordering on conspiracy, forgery and obtaining by false pretence.

    The defendants, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges.

    At Friday’s proceedings, in adopting the final written addresses, counsel to the defendants, unanimously prayed the court to discharge and acquit their respective clients.

    They urged the court to hold that the prosecution had not proven the case against their clients beyond any reasonable doubt.

    The Economic and Financial Crimes  Commission (EFCC) counsel, Mr Rotimi Oyedepo, in adopting his final written address, urged the court to dismiss the arguments of the defence counsel, arguing that they lacked  merits and  prayed the court to convict the defendants as charged.

    “The case against the defendants before your lordship is such that it is visible to the blind and audible to the deaf.

    “I urge the court to take into cognisance, the fact that the defendants created an impression that Total Nigeria Plc, issued to the defendants local purchase order, Ref. Nos 330 and 33,  for the supply of Automotive Gas Oil (AGO).

    “These two local purchase orders gave the impression that Total Nigeria Plc contracted the third defendant to supply to it, 10,000 metric tonnes per each of those LPOs for a particular sum.

    “And so, the third defendant, armed with these LPOs, contracted Sterling Bank Plc to finance the purported documents emanating from Total Nigeria Pl “The prosecution has shown to my lord, that the LPOs were forged, and the original of the documents which Total said that the referenced documents in contention, were not issued to the third defendant, ” he said.

    EFCC had alleged that the defendants and the company had attempted to fraudulently deceive Sterling Bank Plc into lending them money through a fraudulent scheme.

    This was on the pretext to finance Local Purchase Orders (LPO) for 20,000 metric tonnes of AGO, to be  supplied  to Total Nigeria Plc. The prosecution submitted that the defendants and the company had sometime in February 2016 in Lagos, with intent to defraud, conspired amongst themselves to obtain the sum of N1.8 billion by false pretence from Sterling Bank Plc. EFCC also alleged that the defendants, with intent to defraud, induced Sterling Bank Plc to deliver to Danium Energy Services Ltd., the total sum of N1.8 billion.

    It added that it was under the false pretence that Total Nigeria Plc vide Purchase Orders (PO), with Ref. No. 0216330 and 02331 dated Feb.3 2016, contracted Danium Energy Services Ltd to supply 20,000 metric tonnes of AGO in two tranches of 10,000 metric tonnes, each valued at the aggregate sum of N2.3 billion.

    The defendants, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges.

    The prosecution said that the alleged offences contravened Section 1(1) (a) (b) and 1(3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act 2006.
    NewsSourceCredit: NAN

  •  EFCC confirms return of N19 3bn Kogi salary bailout fund to CBN
    EFCC confirms return of N19.3bn Kogi salary bailout fund  to CBN
     EFCC confirms return of N19 3bn Kogi salary bailout fund to CBN
    EFCC confirms return of N19.3bn Kogi salary bailout fund  to CBN
    General news9 months ago

    EFCC confirms return of N19.3bn Kogi salary bailout fund  to CBN

    The Economic and Ficial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has confirmed the return of N19. 33 billion Kogi state salary bailout funds, recovered , to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

    Spokesperson for EFCC, Mr Wilson Uwujaren, disclosed this in a statement in Abuja, on Friday.

    The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the money was meant for the payment of Kogi state workers, but was allegedly domiciled in an interest-yielding account with Sterling Bank plc.

    The Kogi state government, through the Commissioner for Fice, Budget and Economic Planning, Asiwaju Idris Asiru, denied knowledge of the fixed deposit account with the said bank.

    also reports that the EFCC has withdrawn its suit seeking the forfeiture of the N20 billion bailout funds granted to the Kogi state government .

    Uwujaren said the return of the money to the CBN would effectively put to rest the campaign of misinformation and unconscionable denials state government that no funds were recovered from its bail out account.

    He added that the CBN in a letter referenced, DFD/DIR/CON/EXT/01/099 and dated Nov. 9, 2021, confirmed to the EFCC Chairman, Mr Abdulrasheed Bawa, that it had received the money.

    The letter reads in part: “We refer to your letter dated Nov. 5, 2021 with Ref. No: CR:3000/EFCC/LS/CMU/REC-STE/VOL.4/047 on the above subject and wish to confirm the details of the receipt of the amount as stated below: Bank: Sterling Bank Plc; Amount:  N19, 333, 333,333.36; Date of receipt: 04 Nov., 2021.

    “The return of the money to the apex bank  is in compliance with the Oct. 15, 2021 order of a Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos.

    “The court directed the unfreezing of the Kogi state salary bail-out account to enable Sterling Bank to remit the balance in the account to the CBN.

    “Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke gave the order pursuant to an application filed , ” he said.

    Uwujaren added that the commission had told the court that the management of Sterling Bank Plc, where the account was domiciled, had acknowledged the existence of the said account with the staggering sum in its books.

    “The Commission further brought to the attention of the court that the said amount is still standing in the credit of the account frozen.

    “The management of Sterling Bank PIc, has, pursuant to a letter dated Sept. 15, 2021, signed Director, indicated its intention to return the total amount back to CBN, ” he said.

    He noted that the EFCC prayed the court that it “is expedient for the instant suit to be discontinued and the account unfrozen”.

    This was to enable the management of Sterling Bank effect the transfer/ return of the sum of N19, 333, 333, 333.36 back to the coffers of the CBN, from where the said bailout funds were disbursed.

    The transfer, according to Uwujaren, has put a stop to any further controversy regarding the source and ownership of the funds and most importantly, aborted the funds dissipation.

    Justice Tijani Garba Ringim, a vacation Judge, had on Aug. 31, 2021, ordered the freezing of the account, following an ex-parte application filed .

    The EFCC, in a 13-paragraph affidavit in support of the ex-parte application, had stated that it received a credible and direct intelligence, which led to the tracing of the funds reasonably suspected to be proceeds of unlawful activities in account No. 0073572696 domiciled in Sterling Bank, with the name of Kogi State Salary Bailout Account.

    After listening to the EFCC’s application, Justice Ringim on Aug. 31, 2021, ordered the freezing of the account and directed the publication of the order in a national newspaper .

    Source: NAN

  •  N19 3bn Kogi salary bail out funds hidden in Sterling Bank returned to CBN
    N19.3bn Kogi salary bail-out funds ‘hidden’ in Sterling Bank returned to CBN
     N19 3bn Kogi salary bail out funds hidden in Sterling Bank returned to CBN
    N19.3bn Kogi salary bail-out funds ‘hidden’ in Sterling Bank returned to CBN
    Headlines9 months ago

    N19.3bn Kogi salary bail-out funds ‘hidden’ in Sterling Bank returned to CBN

    The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, has acknowledged receipt of the sum of N19,333,333,333.36 recovered by the EFCC from the Kogi State Salary Bailout Account domiciled at Sterling Bank Plc.

    This effectively ends the Kogi State government's campaign of misinformation and unwarranted denial that no funds were recovered from its bailout account.

    The umbrella bank, in a letter referenced DFD / DIR / CON / EXT / 01/099 and dated November 9, 2021, informed EFCC Executive Chairman Abdulrasheed Bawa that it had received the money.

    The letter reads in part: “We refer to your letter dated November 5, 2021 with Ref. No: CR: 3000 / EFCC / LS / CMU / REC-STE / VOL.4 / 047 on the above subject and would like to confirm the details of receipt of the amount as shown below: Bank: Sterling Bank Plc; Amount: N19, 333, 333,333.36; Date received: 04 November 2021 »

    The return of the money to the umbrella bank complies with the October 15, 2021 order of a Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi Lagos ordering the thaw of the Kogi State salary bailout account to allow Sterling Bank to return the balance to the account at the Central Bank of Nigeria. Judge Chukwujekwu Aneke issued the order following an application filed by the EFCC.

    The commission had told the court that the management of Sterling Bank Plc, where the account was domiciled, had admitted the existence of the said account with the staggering sum of N19, 333 333 333.36 in its books.

    The commission further drew the court's attention to the fact that "the sum of N19,333,333,333.36 is still credited to the frozen account", adding that "the management of Sterling Bank PIc has, in accordance with a letter dated September 15, 2021, signed by its Managing Director, indicated its intention to return the total sum of N19,333,333,333.36 to the Central Bank of Nigeria.

    The EFCC urged the court that "it is appropriate that the immediate prosecution be dropped and the account released to allow the management of Sterling Bank PIc to effect the transfer / return of the amount of N19, 333, 333, 333,36 to the vault of the Central Bank of Nigeria, where said rescue funds were disbursed.

    The transfer put an end to any new controversy regarding the source and ownership of the funds and, more importantly, aborted the dissipation of the funds.

    On August 31, 2021, Judge Tijani Garba Ringim, a judge on vacation, ordered the account to be frozen, following an ex parte request filed by the EFCC.

    The EFCC, in a 13 paragraph affidavit in support of the ex parte claim, stated that it had received credible and direct information, which led to the tracing of funds reasonably suspected of being the proceeds of illegal activity on account number 0073572696. domiciled at Sterling Bank, Plc with the name Kogi State Salary Bailout Account.

    After hearing the EFCC's petition, Judge Ringim on August 31, 2021 ordered the account to be frozen and the order published in a national newspaper by the EFCC.

  •  4 banks complied with order on freezing Benue govt accounts AMCON tells court
    4 banks complied with order on freezing Benue govt accounts – AMCON tells court
     4 banks complied with order on freezing Benue govt accounts AMCON tells court
    4 banks complied with order on freezing Benue govt accounts – AMCON tells court
    Headlines10 months ago

    4 banks complied with order on freezing Benue govt accounts – AMCON tells court

    Four commercial banks in the country have complied with the order of a Federal High Court, Abuja, ordering the freezing of all bank accounts of the Benue government.

    The four banks include First City Monument Bank Plc, Standard Chartered Bank Nigeria, Suntrust Bank Nigeria Ltd and Wema Bank Plc.

    The attorney for the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria, AMCON, Ogechukwu Okeke, told presiding judge Judge Inyang Ekwo on Tuesday when she presented the report on compliance with the court order.

    On October 26, Judge Ekwo issued an interim order, freezing all Benue government bank accounts maintained at some of the country's banks following its failure to repay the 333 million naira loan borrowed in 2008.

    The judge, who made the order following an ex parte motion by AMCON, also ordered that the bank accounts of HPPS Multilink Services Ltd be frozen pending the hearing and ruling on the background.

    NAN reports that the relevant bank accounts of the two interviewees are domiciled with Access Bank Plc; Citibank Nigeria Limited; Eco Bank Nigeria Plc; Fidelity Bank Plc; First Bank Nigeria Plc; First City Monument Bank Plc and Guaranty Trust Bank Pic.

    Others include those of Heritage Bank Plc; Keystone Bank Limited; Polaris Bank Limited; Stanbic IBTC Plc; Standard Chartered Bank Nigeria Limited; Sterling Bank Plc; Suntrust Bank Nigeria Limited; Union Bank of Nigeria Plc; United Bank for Africa Plc; Unity Bank Nigeria Plc; Wema Bank Plc and Zenith Bank Plc.

    NAN also reports that if AMCON is the requester, the company and the state government are the 1st and 2nd respondents respectively.

    However, in the affidavit to prove cause of compliance filed in court, all banks were listed as 1st to 18th garnishment.

    When the case was called, Okeke informed that the case was scheduled to be mentioned and for the banks to show compliance.

    She said, however, that so far only four banks had been able to demonstrate compliance.

    “These are the 6th, 12th, 14th and 17th respondents. We ask that they be relieved of the proceedings, ”the lawyer told the court.

    Judge Ekwo then issued an order releasing the four banks.

    Okeke subsequently requested a date to hear the lawsuit and to take another opportunity for the rest of the banks.

    But state government attorney Terkura Pepe, SAN, told the court that even though they had not been briefed on the legal proceedings, it stemmed from the respect the defense had for the court.

    "We have seen the posting and due to our respect for the court we have requested a certified copy of the processes in court and before the end of the day we will file our processes," he said. .

    The judge then adjourned the case until November 22 for a hearing.

    NAN reports that AMCON filed an ex parte motion on October 26, with the prosecution number: FHC / ABJ / AMC / 74/2021 dated and filed on September 30 by its counsel, Darlington Ozurumba.

    The motion called for five increases.

    The court, which granted the reparations, also issued an interim order "freezing and tying up the JAAC (Joint Account Allocation Committee) bank accounts, internal income generated accounts, all current bank accounts, savings, term deposits and / or investment accounts of The 2nd defendant (the Benue government) maintained with all of the banks mentioned above pending the hearing and determination of the lawsuit on the merits.

    “An Interim Order is hereby made prohibiting all banks and / or other financial institutions mentioned above in Nigeria from releasing or otherwise dealing with monies held in any account to which the Defendants are signatories pending pending. the hearing and the decision of the prosecution on the merits.

    "An Order is hereby made directing all banks and / or other financial institutions in Nigeria to, within seven (7) days of the date of service of this Order, file and serve an Affidavit of Compliance disclosing a statement on each account, however designated, held and / or maintained by the Respondents and all accounts to which the Respondents are signatories for a period of six months prior to the date of service of this Order until the date.

    Meanwhile, in the affidavit in support of the petition filed by Abubakar Isa, an AMCON staff member, the company described the loan as a toxic loan of qualifying bank assets that were transferred to it by the law to recover.

    AMCON told the court that the 1st defendant (the company), which has its office in Kaduna State, collected a loan facility of 333 million Naira from Bank PHB PLC (now Keystone Bank Ltd) on January 31. 2008 “for the purpose of purchasing 5,000 pieces of motorcycles from Defendant 2 and his workers through his State Nigeria Labor Congress, subject to an irrevocable standing payment order (ISPO}).

    “That the 2nd defendant is the government of the State of the beneficiaries which also gave the ISPO the guarantee of the repayment of the loan by deduction from the salaries of its employees and made the payment to the bank, but did not managed to do it.

    “That the loan was for the agreed period of 24 months at an interest rate of 19% per annum.

    NOPE

  •  N20bn bailout fund Make your findings public Kogi tells EFCC
    N20bn bailout fund: Make your findings public, Kogi tells EFCC
     N20bn bailout fund Make your findings public Kogi tells EFCC
    N20bn bailout fund: Make your findings public, Kogi tells EFCC
    General news10 months ago

    N20bn bailout fund: Make your findings public, Kogi tells EFCC

    By Stephen Adeleye

    The Kogi government has challenged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to release the report of its investigations into the alleged fraud of the N20 billion bailout fund.

    The EFCC in August alleged that the Kogi N19.3 billion bailout fund domiciled at Sterling Bank was partly misappropriated and the state account frozen on the orders of a High Court in Lagos.

    The Njgeria news agency recalls that the EFCC on Friday withdrew its complaint, demanding the confiscation of the 20 billion naira rescue fund.

    However, the Kogi government had opposed the EFCC's withdrawal, instructing the anti-corruption body to make public its findings on the fund.

    In a statement Sunday by Information Commissioner Kingsley Fanwo, the state government said the EFCC, despite the withdrawal, should be able to provide the facts of its investigations.

    He also urged Nigerians to ask the EFCC in whose custody he found part of the bailout fund that was said to have been dissipated.

    Fanwo insisted that the alleged naira 19.3 billion that Sterling Bank pledged to transfer to the EFCC at the Central Bank of Nigeria does not belong to the Kogi government, and that the state has not entered into any agreement, nor with Sterling. Bank or the EFCC, to return any rescue funds to the CBN as described.

    "We believe that the EFCC's withdrawal from the prosecution without informing the Court of the facts is a deliberate and face-saving effort, all with the aim of 'nailing down' the Kogi government at all costs and tarnishing its image, ”Fanwo said.

    He said the EFCC violated an earlier court order because it did not report its findings to the court, but instead withdrawn the prosecution unceremoniously, without the facts of its investigation being known to the court and the public. .

    According to him, residents of Kogi and even Nigerians in general, should instead ask the EFCC to publish on its official platforms, the report of its investigation into the ownership of the said sum of N19.333.333.333.36, and the location of the sum of N666,666,666.64, which they believed had dissipated.

    The commissioner added: “Nigerians should further ask the EFCC if a commercial bank can simply agree to transfer a customer's money from the customer's account without a court order ordering a such transfer or confiscation?

    Nigerians also deserve to know what happens to the criminal allegation made by the EFCC, when it informed the Federal High Court that the sum of 666,666,666.64 naira on the 20 billion bailout loan naira had been dissipated and the same was being traced.

    “Nigerians will want to know if the EFCC found the money, if so, in whose custody was it found? Have charges been brought against the custodian of said funds?

    "Or did the EFCC also drop this lawsuit?" Nigerians deserve to know the truth.

    “In October 2019, we fully disbursed our rescue funds and are already religiously repaying the loan to Sterling Bank Plc,” he said.

    The government spokesman said covering up these inalienable facts of the case would be misleading and unethical.

    “Finally, while we reserve all of our legal rights against the EFCC, we reiterate our request for an unqualified apology from the EFCC, as set out in our letter to the President of the EFCC on September 6.

    "We hope that the EFCC will honor the said request to regain the confidence of Nigerians," Fanwo said.

    He revealed that the Kogi government had, as newly released documents reveal, sought further clarification from Sterling Bank to assert its innocence in the matter.

    The Commissioner said: “In the strength of our innocence, the Kogi government wrote on October 4 to Sterling Bank, requesting further clarification of the disputed account. The Bank has not only strengthened its earlier position that the account is a mirror account; he also made it clear that the Kogi government has nothing to do with opening or running the account.

    “All these facts are in their response received by the Kogi government on October 5th.

    "The state government again urges the commission to issue a public apology and to refrain from any action that may further damage the image of the nation," Fanwo said.

    Source: NAN

  •  NIRSAL supports poultry cocoa production in Cross River
    NIRSAL supports poultry, cocoa production in Cross River
     NIRSAL supports poultry cocoa production in Cross River
    NIRSAL supports poultry, cocoa production in Cross River
    General news11 months ago

    NIRSAL supports poultry, cocoa production in Cross River

    By  Benson Ezugwu

    The Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL Plc) has restated its commitment to realising its vision of “transforming the economy, delivering inclusive growth and positively impacting the lives of Nigerians”.

    Aliyu Abdulhameed, NIRSAL Plc’s Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, said this in a statement  made available to newsmen on Sunday.

    He is quoted as making the commitment during the official launch of the Gbagolo Integrated Farms Limited and TOAJ Nigeria Limited projects in Akpabuyo Local Government Area of Cross River State.

    Abdulhameed said the NIRSAL, in its bid to actualise its vision, supports all sizes of businesses, whether small, medium or large across the length and breadth of the country, and both projects were testaments to this.

    With both projects, the poultry and cocoa value chains in Cross River State received a boost that is expected to generate significant gains for the local and national economies.

    This follows the issuance of a 50% Credit Risk Guarantee (CRG) and 20% Interest Drawback (IDB) by the NIRSAL Plc on the respective loans of Gbagolo Integrated Farms Limited – a livestock producer and TOAJ Nigeria Limited – a cocoa dealer.

    Leveraging on its CRG – an instrument that NIRSAL Plc utilises to share agribusiness risks with ficiers – NIRSAL Plc facilitated the approval and disbursement of N81.8 million and N150 million from Union Bank Plc and Sterling Bank Plc respectively.

    Gbagolo Integrated Farms Limited will use its N81.8 million Term Loan to fice the purchase of 25,000 Point of lay birds, 25,000 capacity battery cages and feeding compliments.

    TOAJ Nigeria Limited, on its part, will channel its N150 million Export/Trade Fice facility towards the sourcing and purchase of cocoa for export.

    “The injection of these fices into the poultry and cocoa value chains in Cross River State will create a positive knock-on effect for players along each segment of both value chains and the agribusinesses’ host communities at large.

    “Specifically, the purchase of 25,000 Point of Lay birds by Gbagolo Integrated Farms Limited will impact poultry feeds sellers & other inputs suppliers in the pre-upstream Value Chain segment; producers/sellers of Point of Lay birds in the upstream segment, and consumers of Eggs and Spent Layers in the downstream segment,” the statement said.

    Abdulhameed said that, as a guarantor, NIRSAL Plc’s intervention positively impacts both the lender and the borrower, as well as the overall economy.

    This, according to him, implies that the lender invests safely and earns competitive returns; the borrower’s capacity utilization and productivity is increased, and the economy reaps the benefits of the backward integration occasioned by increased local production at the expense of importation of essential goods.

    He urged all agricultural value chain stakeholders in the South-South region and the entire country to leverage NIRSAL’s CRG as the collateral required for getting commercial bank ficing for their agribusinesses.

    The TOAJ Nigeria Limited’s facility is expected to support the thousands of farmers who supply its inventory by providing them with a secure, sustainable, and guaranteed offtake market.

    According to NIRSAL, the export of cocoa will increase Nigeria’s stake in the global cocoa market and boost the country’s foreign exchange earnings.

    The statement quoted Mr. Peter Akpaudoh, Union Bank Plc’s Area Business Executive, who was also present at the launch event, as stressing the value in the suite of NIRSAL’s value offerings.

    Mr. Uchenna Agbowo, Business Executive, Commercial, South-East, Sterling Bank Plc, ficiers of TOAJ Nigeria Limited, is quoted as saying that, at 10%, the bank had the highest loan book for agriculture amongst commercial banks in Nigeria.

    He stated that the bank had been enjoying NIRSAL’s support and would continue to count on it for the safety of their agribusiness investments.

    According to the Managing Director, TOAJ Nigeria Limited, Mr. Taiwo Sunday, NIRSAL’s support has helped the company to acquire a 5,000 MT-capacity warehouse in Osogbo.

    He said that the company had been expanding its frontiers to the South-West for the purpose of export and, with NIRSAL’s support, it can now engage more farmers, procure more cocoa, and employ more staff.

    Gbagolo Integrated Farms Limited and TOAJ Nigeria Limited are among hundreds of agribusinesses that have been supported by NIRSAL Plc to boost their operations.

    Only weeks ago, NIRSAL Plc said it supported ADT Russet Ltd in Lagos with a 50% credit guarantee on a N1.15 billion facility to source and export cocoa beans.

    With these projects, NIRSAL Plc says it has now facilitated over N128 billion for agriculture and agribusiness across the country since its inception.

    This, it said, translates to the creation of jobs, driving the growth of rural economies, and positively impacting Nigerian lives.(www.)

    Source: NAN

  •  N20bn bailout Kogi to seek legal redress says commissioner
    N20bn bailout: Kogi to seek legal redress, says commissioner
     N20bn bailout Kogi to seek legal redress says commissioner
    N20bn bailout: Kogi to seek legal redress, says commissioner
    General news12 months ago

    N20bn bailout: Kogi to seek legal redress, says commissioner

     

    By Lizzy Okoji

    The Kogi Government says it will seek legal redress over allegations of mismanagement of a N20 billion bailout loan meant to augment payment of workers’ salaries.

    A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos on Tuesday had ordered the freezing of a bank account belonging to the Kogi Government over a N20 billion loan obtained from Sterling Bank Plc.

    Justice Tijjani Garba Ringim ordered that the said account be frozen pending the conclusion of investigation or possible prosecution by the Chairman of the Economic and Ficial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Abdulrasheed Bawa.

    EFCC had approached the court for the order in an ex parte application brought pursuant to section 44(2) of the Constitution and section 34(1) of the EFCC Act, and under the inherent jurisdiction of the court.

    But addressing a press conference in Abuja on Thursday, the Kogi Commissioner for Information, Kingsley Fanwo, rejected reports of a section of the media claiming the state government mismanaged funds belonging to the state government.

    He said: ” His Excellency, Governor Yahaya Bello and his New Direction Administration in Kogi State would like to assure our citizens, partners, investors and the general public that our commitment to transparency, probity and accountability in office will remain unrivalled in the country.

    ” We shall continue to provide good goverce and the dividends of democracy without wavering, and in spite of unholy distractions such as this one.

    ” We shall also continue to expand our investments in the security, unity, peace and prosperity of all our people while promoting cooperation and integration, affirmative action, youthful endeavour equality, equity and justice as the basis for our co-existence as citizens of one state and one nation.

    ” Sections of the media ran with the EFCC’s fantastical tales – unverified, unexamined and unchecked.

    ” They serially reported that the alleged funds in the alleged account was a loan sought and obtained by the Kogi State Government from Sterling Bank Plc in 2019 for the purpose of paying salaries to workers which were later deposited in a fixed deposit account upon the instruction of the Kogi State Government, and allegedly to yield interest and with parts of it dissipated for other unascertainable purposes other than payment of salaries.”

    He said Kogi governor, Yahaya Bello, was the only one ever to score 100 percent in the States’ Fiscal Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability programme of Nigerian states.

    ” We recently received commendations from the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation for being one of the very few States to have adopted the IPSAS Accrual Basis Accounting which is to enhance transparency, and accountability in ficial reporting in the public sector,” the commissioner added. (www.)

    (Edited by Mufutau Ojo)

    Source: NAN

  •  Group to support 200 000 farmers in Kano Plateau
    Group to support 200,000 farmers in Kano, Plateau
     Group to support 200 000 farmers in Kano Plateau
    Group to support 200,000 farmers in Kano, Plateau
    General news1 year ago

    Group to support 200,000 farmers in Kano, Plateau

    By Rabiu Sani-Ali

    A group, Makarios Global Resources, has unveiled plans to support 200,000 farmers this cropping season in Kano and Plateau States.

    This is contained in a statement by the Managing Director of the organisation, Mr Binchang Binfa, on Monday in Kano.

    Binfa said the group in partnership with Sterling Bank PLC under the Federal Government’s Anchor Borrower Programme (ABP)  has initiated an agricultural financing scheme, tagged ‘MAKFARMER REGISTER,’ to enhance farmer’s access to credit facilities.

    He said the scheme targeted over 200,000 farmers for participation in the programme in the two states, adding that the scope of the programme will be expanded to capture one million in six other states in the next three years.

    The manager listed the participating states to include Jigawa, Kaduna, Taraba, Nasarawa, Benue and Bauchi.

    “In its quest to provide holistic solution to the challenges faced by most farmers in Nigeria, the company has created an innovative platform called “MAKFARMERS REGISTER”.

    “The platform incorporates verified farm data; farmer profiles with real time support and access to finance, information and markets.

    “Smallholder farmers are linked with other actors along the value chain such as input suppliers, extension services, equipment providers, financial institutions, market information centres, etc.

    “With the aim of improving sustainability, efficiency and profitability for smallholder farmers and boosting agricultural production in Nigeria.

    “In tackling the challenge of access to finance and market, Makarios Global is partnering with Sterling Bank Plc through the bank’s unique and innovative agric finance product named (SWAY- Ag Fin).

    “The facility targets women and youths in agriculture aimed at addressing the challenge of finance which has been a major barrier to women and youths in agriculture as well as helping them with access to markets for the sale of their harvests on the Sterling Bank Sabexng.ng platform,” he said.

    Binfe said that Makarios, being a super agent to Sterling Bank, is stimulating rural financial inclusion of the unbanked verified farmers in its network.

    The platform, he said, enabled farmers to open Sterling Bank accounts in their locations, operate and access loans with ease.

    According to him, over 2,000 representatives drawn from farmer cooperatives attended a two-day interactive sessions held in Jos to create awareness on the programme.

    “This year, the programme plans to link 1,000,000 farmers with access to market and finance within the next three years in a more structured way.

    “The focus is on rice, maize, soya beans, hibiscus, sesame and ginger.

    “MAKFARMER REGISTER platform is poised to provide liquidity to commodity exchanges through effective aggregation of best quality agricultural commodities,” he added.  (NAN)

    (NAN)

  •  Sterling Bank grows trading income by 265 in 3rd Quarter despite COVID 19 CEO
    Sterling Bank grows trading income by 265% in 3rd Quarter, despite COVID-19 – CEO
     Sterling Bank grows trading income by 265 in 3rd Quarter despite COVID 19 CEO
    Sterling Bank grows trading income by 265% in 3rd Quarter, despite COVID-19 – CEO
    COVID-192 years ago

    Sterling Bank grows trading income by 265% in 3rd Quarter, despite COVID-19 – CEO

    Sterling Bank Plc has reported a trading income of N7.1 billion for the third quarter (Q3) ended Sept. 30, compared with N1.9 billion achieved in the corresponding period in 2019, notwithstanding the uncertainties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and recent fiscal reforms by government

    Mr Abubakar Suleiman, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the bank, said in a statement, made available to the News Agency of Nigeria on Thursday in Lagos, that the growth represented a 264.7 per cent increase.

    Suleiman said that the bank achieved the remarkable performance in spite of the prevailing uncertainties that characterized the macro-economic environment due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the attendant fiscal reforms by the Federal Government.

    The bank’s profit after tax dropped to N7.36 billion during the period under review as against N7.57 billion recorded in the corresponding period in 2019, just as gross earnings also fell to N106.07 billion during the period under review, against N109.7 billion achieved last year.

    According to him, with economic activity picking up in the third quarter, following the gradual ease in the nationwide lockdown, the bank would continue to leverage on existing remote work policy to enhance workforce productivity and ensure uninterrupted service delivery to both new and existing customers.

    “Our performance continues to reflect positive results of strategic decisions and investments in our focal areas as we continue to record significant improvement in both funding and operational costs.

    “Overall, we delivered a 7.2 per cent increase in operating income and a profit after tax of N7.37 billion despite prevailing uncertainties around the COVID-19 pandemic and recent fiscal reforms.

    The CEO said a 26.2 per cent dip in fee income caused by the downward review of electronic banking fees coupled with slower loan origination, due to the protracted lock down, was moderated by a 264.7 per cent spike in trading income.

    “Growth in balance sheet was driven by a 26.5 per cent growth in low cost funds, which saw the bank’s CASA mix improve to 71 per cent from 60 per cent, delivering a 6.6 per cent growth in customer deposits.

    “Our cash and short-term balances increased in line with the higher regulatory reserves, while interest income also declined by 6.7 per cent, which was offset by a 17.0 per cent decline in interest expense. This delivered a 120-bps drop in cost of funds and, consequently, a 100-bps increase in net interest margin,” he said.

    In terms of asset quality, Suleiman noted: “We proactively increased our cost of risk by 100 bps to 1.9 per cent, while recording a marginal increase in NPL ratio to 2.9per cent, well below our target of 5 per cent.

    He explained that the decline in OPEX was achieved by moderating administrative expenses despite growth in other operating expenses, including AMCON and insurance fees

    The CEO said that the bank was also able to maintain a strong capital and liquidity position of 16.1 per cent and 32.5 per cent respectively, above regulatory benchmark.


    Edited By: Mouktar Adamu
    Source: NAN

  •  Sterling Bank launches single digit Agribusiness facility for women youths
    Sterling Bank launches single-digit Agribusiness facility for women, youths
     Sterling Bank launches single digit Agribusiness facility for women youths
    Sterling Bank launches single-digit Agribusiness facility for women, youths
    Economy2 years ago

    Sterling Bank launches single-digit Agribusiness facility for women, youths

    Sterling Bank Plc on Wednesday launched a new product, Sterling Women and Youths in Agriculture Finance code (SWAY-AgFin), to provide low-cost financing at single-digit rates to young men and women entrepreneurs in the agribusiness value chain across the country.

    Mrs Bukola Awosanya, the Group Head, Agric Finance and Solid Minerals Financing for Sterling Bank, said in a statement in Lagos that SWAY-AgFin was designed by the Bank, in collaboration with MasterCard Foundation.

    She said that the facility, which aimed to grow agribusinesses in Nigeria with an overall focus to impact local production, improve employability for young entrepreneurs, and ultimately grow the economy, has a maximum tenor of two years.

    Awosanya said that the SWAY-AgFin was also available to entrepreneurs seeking to scale the output of their agribusiness offerings.

    According to her, the opportunity will equip beneficiaries with the requisite knowledge and skills in financial management and good agricultural practices, while generating direct and indirect employment.

    She also said that the SWAY-AgFin offering was a testament of the Bank’s continued commitment to agribusiness financing, noting that Sterling Bank’s various interventions within the sector “have been made possible with the support of partners such as the MasterCard Foundation.”

    SWAY AgFin has become imperative because the effect of disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic has not only restricted access to sufficient and nutritious sources of food, but has also slowed down cash flow to farmers and food suppliers.

    “There has also been a shortage of labour for production, harvest, and post-harvest activities. All of these have resulted in higher costs of food prices and disruptions in crop production cycles.

    “The supply and distribution of agricultural inputs, such as improved seeds, herbicides, and fertilizers to rural farming communities have been severely hindered in the wake of the pandemic.

    ” Linkages between major cities in the various states in Nigeria have become difficult as harvested produce cannot reach markets and this has discouraged farmers from engaging in crop cultivation, leading to less production and shortages of staples,” she said.

    The Group Head said that the product would help increase productivity in the agribusiness sector, while easing the devastating effects of the pandemic on the lives of youths and women.

    Awosanya said that MasterCard Foundation’s involvement underscored the commitment of the two organizations to the growth of critical sectors in the Nigerian economy.

    She said: “The offering, therefore, targets youths and women who are involved in all levels in the agricultural value chain, inclusive of small-holder farmers who usually operate on one or two hectares, processors, input providers, and small-scale processors/SMEs whose businesses require cost-effective financing to help scale”.

    She said the fund could be accessed on www.sterling.ng/swayagfin; stating that it was open to all, especially those who have keen interest in advancing agriculture by using technological innovations.


    Edited By: Mouktar Adamu
    Source: NAN