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Firm drags Union Bank to court over N6.7bn

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A Lagos based oil and gas firm, Petrocam Trading Nigeria Plc., has dragged Union Bank of Nigeria Plc (UBN). before a Lagos High court over a breach of contract. The firm slammed a N6.7 billion suit against the lender.

In the case before the High Court in Lagos, Petrocam’s lawyer, Barrister Gboyega Oyewole (SAN) contended in the filed statement of claim that Union Bank flouted the joint venture agreement entered with the plaintiff to jointly collaborate in opening letters of credit confirmation lines for the importation of petroleum products.

The plaintiff averred that it had sometimes in 2014 secured an import finance facility from Union Bank for importation of petroleum products and raised letters of credit to utilize this import facility. The initial facility of $45 million was increased to $100 million. The company duly provided bank guarantees for the facility. There was also an understanding that the facility would be repaid from sales proceeds and oil subsidy reimbursements.

Under the agreement, Union Bank would secure foreign exchange for the company to enable it finance its international oil purchases. The company however claimed that the bank defaulted by failing to secure forex from the CBN during the 2014/.2015 period when 90 percent of the company’s import transactions were being conducted thereby causing the company to suffer huge losses.

It further claimed that out of the $76 million it required to finance the transactions covered by the agreement, Union Bank was only able to produce about $22 million, meaning that Petrocam could not complete a large percentage of the deals, leading to huge profit loss.

The company contended further that Union Bank failed to bid for foreign exchange when the exchange rate was between N155-160 to the dollar but only bided when the rate had increased to N288-320 per dollar, thereby deliberately inflating the costs of maintaining the dollar credit facility.

In light of these claims, Petrocam is seeking a declaration that Union Bank’s breach of duty under extant laws resulted in unlawful debits and exorbitant interest charges on the company’s current accounts with the bank, and an order compelling the bank to reverse all wrongful debits on the company’s current account.

It is asking the court to compel Union Bank to credit the company’s current account to the tune of N6.7 billion plus interest on the sum at the rate of 22% per annum from commencement of suit to date of judgement, and thereafter &% per annum from date of judgement to final liquidation of the sum. It is also seeking N50 million in general damages.

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BUSINESS

Airtel rolls out 4G LTE in Anambra State

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·        4G Service now live in Onitsha, Awka, Nnewi, other key towns

 

Airtel Nigeria today reaffirmed its positioning as a leading mobile Internet services provider as it announced the deployment of 4G LTE (Long Term Evolution Service) in Onitsha, Awka, Nnewi and other major cities and towns in Anambra State.

Airtel says the switch to an upgraded 4G network in Anambra will boost trade and commerce; empower entrepreneurs, improve productivity, enhance personal effectiveness as well as enable telecoms consumers in Anambra to connect to their dreams.

Speaking during a launch event at Soprom Hotel in Onitsha, on Wednesday, 19th September, Regional Operations Director – South Region, Dapo Dosunmu, who represented the Chief Executive Officer & Managing Director of Airtel Nigeria, Segun Ogunsanya, said the 4G roll-out reaffirms Airtel’s commitment to empower more Nigerians, stimulate economic activities across all sectors as well as provide unfettered access to affordable and reliable mobile Internet services in Anambra.

“Today, we are unveiling our 4G service in Onitsha, Awka, Amawbia, Nkpor, Obosi, Ogidi, Ogbunike, Umuoji, Nsugbe, Onitsha and Nnewi. With this launch, we will power people, businesses and aid governance through technology.

“Specifically, our 4G launch in Onitsha will help boost commerce and also provide entrepreneurs a veritable platform to connect with more stakeholders,” he said.

Also speaking at the event, the Deputy Governor of Anambra State, Dr. Nkem Okeke, commended Airtel Nigeria for modernizing its network infrastructure in Anambra State.

“This event calls for celebration as Airtel’s current upgrading and modernizing of its network infrastructure across manor cities has come into Onitsha, the major commercial city in Anambra State.

“It is my sincere hope that the Board and Management of Airtel will continue to be committed to the empowerment of Nigerians in general and Ndi Anambra in particular; advancing the telecommunications’ infrastructure that stimulates accelerated economic activities across all sectors as well as provide affordable and reliable mobile network to your teeming customers.”

The event was attended by several dignitaries including Igwe Mike U.N Okonkwo Etusi, Owelle of Eziowelle; Onowu Eziowelle, Obi J. Akukwe; Dr. Charles Nwufor, Senior Special Assistant to the Deputy Governor of Anambra State (Special Duties); Nze Uche Nwora, Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer, Anambra Broadcasting Service; Chief Ikechukwu Ekwegbelu, Chairman, Main Market, Osha and Desert Explorer, Chief Newton Jibunoh.

Airtel prior to the Onitsha 4G launch had unveiled its 4G LTE services in Ibadan and Abuja earlier in the year.

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Forex: CBN intervenes again with $210m

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has again intervened in the inter-bank Foreign Exchange Market to the tune of $210 million.

According to the figures obtained from the CBN on Tuesday, September 18, 2018, the Bank offered $100million to authorized dealers in the wholesale segment of the market, while the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) segment received the sum of $55 million. Customers requiring foreign exchange for invisibles such as tuition fees, medical payments and Basic Travel Allowance (BTA), among others, were also allocated the sum of $55 million.

Confirming the figures, the Bank’s Director, Corporate Communications Department, Mr. Isaac Okorafor reiterated the Bank’s commitment to continue to intervene in the country’s interbank foreign exchange market. Mr. Okorafor assured that the apex Bank will continue to ensure liquidity in the market and sustain the stability in the market.

It will be recalled that on Tuesday, September 11, 2018, the Bank injected the total sum of $303.91 million and CHY46.58 million into the spot and short tenored forwards of the inter-bank foreign exchange market with.

Meanwhile, the Naira, on Tuesday, September 18, 2018 exchanged at an average of N361/$1 in the BDC segment of the market.

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FBNQuest supports cancer awareness campaign in Nigeria

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In line with its commitment to deliver impactful community focused initiatives, FBNQuest Merchant Bank, the investment banking and asset management subsidiary of FBN Holdings Plc has continued to drive partnerships with reputable institutions to implement financial literacy programs, women empowerment initiatives, as well environmental and social projects as part of its Corporate Responsibility & Sustainability focus.

In furtherance of this, FBNQuest Merchant Bank joined the 2018 NSE Corporate Challenge to support the fight against cancer. The event was a one-day competitive 5-kilometer race aimed at creating awareness on early detection and fundraising for the cause. Proceeds from this year’s Corporate Challenge are planned towards the provision of free cancer treatment and screening facilities across Nigeria with the purchase of Mobile Cancer Centres (MCCs).

Through this sponsorship, FBNQuest Merchant Bank reaffirms its position as a socially conscious organisation. In the financial literacy space, the organisation trained over 1,800 students at secondary school level on the importance of saving and investing by leveraging platforms such as the Global Money Week and World Savings Day in support of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) financial literacy goals.  Its activities also extend to female economic empowerment and capacity building seen in support for the Women in Management and Business (WIMBIZ) annual lectures and conferences, which facilitate strategic discourse and highlight growth opportunities for women in an ever-changing economic landscape.

In support of education & skills development, the Bank recently partnered with the Teach First Nigeria (TFN) Training Institute, which recruits outstanding university graduates and young professionals of all academic disciplines to teach as full time teachers (Fellows) in underserved and low income schools. Through the program, Fellows will gain exposure to the realities of Nigeria’s education system, identify their role in building a wider movement for educational equity, and ultimately expand education and life opportunities for Nigeria’s most marginalised students.

Speaking on the organisation’s Corporate Responsibility & Sustainability footprint, Lolade Sasore, Head Communications and Knowledge Engagement at FBNQuest Merchant Bank said, “We have consistently supported the NSE Corporate Challenge, which is commendably in its 5th year, as it remains a strong platform committed to addressing cancer as a critical health issue.

“We have been proud to partner with them and other worthy causes over the years, and will ensure that we continue to develop and seek new partnerships that will increase our impact and contribution to society as a responsible corporate citizen. ” she added.

The NSE Corporate Challenge is an annual race which employees from organisations listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) as well as the capital market community are invited to participate. The Challenge is a CSR initiative of the NSE, which is aimed at promoting health & well-being in our operating community, while offering a platform for promoting teamwork and networking among industry players.

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