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Diamond Bank, Skye Bank, Others Jostle To Acquire Enterprise Bank … Real Reason Behind Enterprise Bank Chairman, Emeka Onwuka Resigned Unveiled. + Customers Flee to Make withdrawal…

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It is no longer news that the Chairman of Enterprise Bank Ltd, Mr. Emeka Onwuka stepped down from the Board but information filtering alleged that he is set to buy the ailing bank from Asset Management Corporation Of Nigeria (AMCON).

It is said that Emeka Onwuka in a letter of resignation addressed to the Managing Director AMCON had referred to his earlier declaration of interest, intimated the management of his interest with a group of investors who intends to acquire AMCON’s shares in Enterprise bank ltd.

Reliable sources alleged that Emeka who was Group Managing Director/CEO of Diamond Bank Plc from May 2005 to February 2011 approached the board of Diamond bank to release fund to secure the purchase of the bank. It was gathered that Diamond bank doesn’t want to come out to bid for the purchase but prefer to use Emeka to penetrate the deal.

Insider of the bank who craved anonymity alleged that the resignation notice was less than normal period expected on an executive like Emeka.

Skye Bank Plc, on the other hand has indicated interest in acquiring Enterprise Bank Ltd., Timothy Oguntayo, the Group Managing Director of the bank, said in Lagos on Thursday.

Oguntayo made the development known at the bank’s pre-Annual General Meeting media briefing, adding that the bank had submitted a bid and scaled through various stages of due diligence.

“We are in the race for the acquisition of Enterprise Bank, we have scaled through the first hurdle stage and in the last due diligence stage,” Oguntayo said.

Those in know alleged that some of the ‘dirty things’ going on in Diamond Bank include bribing of top executives of both Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) and chartered Institute of Bankers (CIBN) who will facilitate the speedy acquisition by Diamond bank as other organizations are jostling for the same bank, Enterprise. It was gathered that a top executive of AMCON was given close to N200million to cede the bid in favour of Diamond bank.

An insider of Diamond bank alleged that the bank has given over N1billion to their connections in both Central Bank of Nigeria and Federal House of Representatives who are behind acquisitions of such transactions.

Finding revealed that the board of directors of Diamond bank has spent whooping amount of customer’s money to facilitate the purchase and this is affecting smooth operation in the bank. A customer who prefer anonymity divulged to us that she visited atleast two branches of Diamond bank within one week on different day to collect her money saved in the bank but met excuses that the network is down only for a her friend, a staff of Diamond bank to revealed that there is no cash on ground to pay anyone who wanted to collect huge amount of money.

To confirm the allegation, we visited two branches of Diamond bank in Lagos, a branch at Pedro B/stop in Gbagada and Abeaokuta expressway, Iyana Ipaja. The situation met confirmed what was reported as angry customers reacted to the inability of the bank to pay cash and mammoth crowd waiting to get there transactions done.

Though there were more than 20 bidders that have indicated interests in the purchase of Enterprise Bank, which not only underscored the attractiveness of the bank but vindicated the decision of the corporation to start with the bank, Diamond bank’s strategy to make the acquisition a reality is making the management to sack staffs to reduce overhead on staffs.

Additional report has it that, Jimoh Ibrahim who was one of the latest investors to bid has been shopping for a real investment in the banking industry to revitalize some of troubled companies which had nosedived.

Sources said that, Jimoh who is still a big player in the oil & gas business, newspaper publications, insurance, hospitality among others is still angry due to the way his investment in the aviation sector collapsed and has been making several moves to invest in a better industry.

Meanwhile, Femi Obateru is spearheading the interest of Obat Oil in the deal.

He is the Managing Director of Obat Petroleum and in charge of extensive operations of the family investment with a growing hold in the aviation sector. To succeed, interested parties need to pay all the debt of AMCON, including the 100% stake in Enterprise Bank and Femi is said to have put all machineries in place in achieving this project.

Findings revealed that Daimond bank has lay off over 500 staffs since inception of the idea to acquire Enterprise bank. According to investigations, Diamond bank is also involved in extortion scam, deducting money from customer’s account without approval.

It could be recalled that Onwuka has had a successful career in the banking industry. He has contributed immensely in the development of the banking industry in the last 20 years and Diamond bank in particular. It was his pedigree that earned him his appointment as the Chairman of Enterprise Bank Ltd, one of the nationalised banks. This singular appointment is in recognition of his sterling banking qualities and his ability to turn around and reposition the bank for greater heights.

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Olabode Olawuyi:s Dedication, Passion Will Forever Serve As An Inspiration To Us All-NBCA

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The Nigeria Biodiversity Conservation Alliance (NBCA) has stated that the dedication and passion of Mr. Olabode Olawuyi, the late veterinary technologist killed by a lion at the Zoological Garden of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), would forever serve as an inspiration.

 

NBCA stated this in a statement released on Wednesday, February 21, adding that Olawuyi’s dedication to his chosen field shone for all to see.

 

In the statement signed by Mr. Dipo Bali, NBCA said that it was deeply saddened by the tragic passing of Olawuyi, who was the former Public Relations Officer for the National Zoological Agency (NAZAP).

 

“In memory of Mr. Olabode Olawuyi, we pledge to redouble our efforts towards promoting responsible wildlife management practices and fostering a robust safety culture within the zoological and animal care fields. His dedication and passion will forever serve as an inspiration to us all.”

 

The group which described the deceased as a pillar of the Nigerian zoological community, also noted that he was lauded for his unwavering commitment to wildlife conservation and exceptional service.

 

“He had dedicated years to the OAU Zoological Garden, providing exemplary care to its resident lion, whom he had nurtured since its birth. NBCA acknowledges the ongoing investigation into the circumstances surrounding Mr. Olawuyi’s passing.

 

“We extend our deepest condolences to his grieving family, friends, and colleagues at OAU during this difficult time. Our unwavering support stands with them as they navigate this profound loss.

 

“As an organization dedicated to wildlife protection and preservation in Nigeria, we recognize the inherent risks associated with working with wild animals. We remain steadfast in advocating for the strictest adherence to safety protocols and established guidelines to ensure the well-being of both wildlife caretakers and the animals under their care.*

 

Also, NBCA said that it remains committed to closely monitoring the situation and collaborating with relevant authorities to prevent similar tragedies from unfolding in the future, while also extending its unwavering support to the OAU Zoological Garden and its staff during this period of immense loss.

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NASRE Advises FG On Food Crisis, Forex Shortage Amid Calls To Suspend Import Ban

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As Nigeria finds itself at a critical crossroads, grappling with simultaneous challenges of a food crisis and a foreign exchange (forex) shortage.

 

This is even as the nation seeks solutions to mitigate these pressing issues, the debate over whether to open its borders for importation has intensified.

 

The food crisis gripping Nigeria has raised concerns about food security and access to essential nutrition for millions of citizens.

 

Adverse weather conditions, supply chain disruptions, and other factors have contributed to dwindling food supplies and soaring prices, placing a significant strain on households and exacerbating the vulnerability of already marginalized communities.

 

Meanwhile, the forex shortage has hampered Nigeria’s ability to import essential goods and raw materials, further exacerbating supply chain disruptions and exacerbating inflationary pressures.

 

Industries reliant on imported inputs, including agriculture, manufacturing, and healthcare, have been particularly hard hit, impeding economic growth and development.

 

In response to these challenges, some stakeholders advocate for opening Nigeria’s borders to facilitate the importation of food and other essential commodities.

 

Proponents argue that increased importation could help alleviate immediate food shortages, stabilize prices, and provide relief to vulnerable populations facing hunger and malnutrition.

 

However, others caution against the potential risks of opening borders amid a forex shortage. Critics raise concerns about the impact on domestic production and self-sufficiency, as well as the long-term consequences of relying heavily on imported goods. They emphasize the need to prioritize investments in domestic agriculture and infrastructure to build resilience against future crises.

 

As Nigeria navigates these complex issues, the government faces the daunting task of balancing short-term relief efforts with long-term strategies for sustainable development and economic resilience.

 

Proffering suggestion on how the government can address the unending inflationary pressures, Forex shortages, food prices hike and revitalise the nation’s economy, the Nigerian Association of Social and Resourceful Editors (NASRE), has advised the Nigerian government to adopt collaborative efforts involving policymakers, industry stakeholders, civil society organizations, and international partners to identify holistic solutions that address both immediate needs and underlying structural challenges.

 

On the debate over whether Nigeria should open its borders for importation amid the food crisis and forex shortage, the President of the advocacy group, Mr Femi Oyewale, underscores the urgency of coordinated action and innovative thinking.

 

According to him, now more than ever, solidarity, cooperation, and forward-thinking policies are needed to ensure the well-being and prosperity of all Nigerians.

 

“The question of whether Nigerian borders should be opened for food importation in the face of a food crisis is complex and multifaceted. However, there are factors to consider, which basically, Domestic Agricultural Capacity. Because opening borders for food importation could undermine domestic agricultural production by flooding the market with cheaper imported goods.

 

“However, if domestic production is insufficient to meet demand, importing food may be necessary to avoid shortages,” he said.

 

On the economic implications of borders opening, the President of NASRE, Oyewale, said: “Importing food can have economic ramifications, both positive and negative. On one hand, it can provide access to a wider variety of foods and potentially lower prices for consumers. On the other hand, it may negatively impact local farmers and exacerbate trade imbalances.”

 

The resourceful editors, while commenting on Food Security, pointed out that relying heavily on imported food leaves a country vulnerable to supply chain disruptions and price fluctuations in the global market. Therefore, it urged the federal government to develop a robust domestic agricultural sector, which is crucial for long-term food security.

 

According to Oyewale, the Nigerian government must consider its broader economic and agricultural policies when making decisions about food importation. This includes evaluating subsidies, tariffs, and investment in agricultural infrastructure.

 

“Importing food often involves long-distance transportation, which contributes to greenhouse gas emissions and environmental degradation. Promoting local production can help reduce the carbon footprint associated with food consumption.

 

“Food is not just a commodity; it is essential for human well-being. Government policies should prioritize ensuring access to nutritious and culturally appropriate food for all citizens, particularly those most vulnerable to food insecurity,” he added.

 

The Nigerian Association of Social and Resourceful Editors, NASRE, therefore, noted that the decision to open Nigerian borders for food importation during a food crisis should be approached cautiously, taking into account the country’s domestic agricultural capacity, economic implications, food security goals, environmental concerns, and social welfare considerations.

 

“A balanced approach that supports both domestic production and responsible trade practices may be necessary to address immediate food shortages while also promoting long-term food security and sustainability,” the Association stated.

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Lagos State Government to prosecute 11 suspects for extortion

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The Lagos State Government said 11 suspects arrested at the Ibeju-Lekki junction and Akodo area of the state will be prosecuted to serve as deterrents to others extorting residents and motorists in the state.

The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Transportation, Olawale Musa, disclosed this while addressing journalists on Wednesday.

He added that the suspects parade themselves as enforcement officers to extort unsuspecting motorists and residents in the state.

Musa said, “Lagos State Government has declared zero tolerance for extortion of unsuspecting residents, especially motorists, by miscreants parading themselves as enforcement officers at the Ibeju-Lekki junction and Akodo area of the state.

“We have announced severally that nobody is allowed to collect money for the local government on the street of Lagos, and the government has set up a team to ensure that anybody that does that is picked up and from that Lekki axis.

“They will be charged to court to explain themselves, and I want to sound a note of warning to others that do the same thing that we will not relent; the government is all out for them.”

He noted that it is unlawful for any local government area within the state to place personnel to conduct such operations on the highways.

“If you have any issues, you call us, and we will come and address them, but when you have people coming on the road on the guise that you want to have revenue at this hard time, collecting money from motorists on the road is not fair, and it is illegal in Lagos State to resist it.

“It is illegal for any local government area in the state to deploy people on the roads as it negates the Lagos State Road Traffic Law, Section 18, 2018, which empowers only the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority to carry out such operations on the roads,” he added.

In March 2023, The PUNCH reported that the Lagos State Government arrested four suspected hoodlums in some parts of the state over extortion.

The suspects were arrested in the Amuwo-Odofin area of the state while attempting to extort motorists.

 

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