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The Time is Now to Invest in Africa and African SMEs, Tony Elumelu Tells Global Investors in Paris

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Tony O. Elumelu, Founder of the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) and Chairman, United Bank for Africa (UBA) and Heirs Holdings opened the “Ambition Africa” conference organised by the France Invest Africa Club in Paris, France.

As Elumelu delivered the opening address, he urged French investors to look to Africa for long term investment opportunities.

The French Minister of Economy and Finance, Bruno Le Maire, as he introduced Tony Elumelu to the audience stated that France could position itself and direct investment towards Africa to end the cycle of poverty and to accelerate development globally. He commended Elumelu’s stance on strengthening the SMEs in Africa to catalyse development. “We share the same ambition in Supporting African SMEs and entrepreneurs as this is essential for the economic development of Africa,” he said, referring to Elumelu’s passion to create wealth on the African continent.

Reiterating the stance to partner with Africa on long-term investments, Mr. Le Maire said “We will ensure that investments in Africa are sustainable, exemplary and environmentally friendly. We want to go fast, go quickly in the race against poverty and renunciation, throughout the continent”.

Tony Elumelu on his part stated “We need to do much better and be much smarter in channelling funds to emerging markets. These markets present huge opportunities – as well as risks for investors, but investors need to fulfil a critical need to catalyse and improve the economy. We salute companies like Total, Bouygues, Accor, Orange, and Bolloré as well as others who have accepted this challenge, but there is room for many more” he said.

Elumelu stressed the importance of private equity inflow into Africa, with a focus on investing in small and medium scale businesses, the lifeblood of the African economy. He stated that Africa has the youngest workforce in the world, with over 60% of its population below the age of 25. This he said was a potential demographic doom that could be turned around to become the continent’s greatest asset if the youths have jobs and economic opportunities.

According to him: “Africans do not need aid. Rather, our young people need investments’.

“Private equity is a force for positive development in Africa. We have a large youth population, who are eager and innovative. They are looking at solutions to problems in their communities but are hampered by the access to capital and investment, mentoring and training. When done right, this kind of investment can bring not just capital but can also strengthen job creation, corporate governance and help improve sustainable business practices”.

He cited the impact and growth rate of the beneficiaries of the Tony Elumelu Foundation as evidence of the potential of SMEs in Africa today. His Foundation has endowed $100 million dollars of his family wealth, to fund over 10000 African entrepreneurs in ten years.

Mr. Elumelu commended The French President, Emmanuel Macron’s initiatives for strengthening the relationship between France and Africa and concluded by inviting investors to consider investing in Africa for the long term.

“The key phrase here is long term investment – no one should come to Africa for short term gain. The time is now to invest in Africa. Private equity has to be part of it. We need it for all,” he concluded.

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Adeboye Sacks Top Redeemed Pastor For Sleeping With Member’s Wife

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The Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) has sacked Pastor Gideon Bakare, a pastor in one of the Akure, Ondo state branches for trying to have a canal knowledge of a member’s wife.

In a statement, RCCG spokesperson Olaitan Olubiyi said Bakare was sacked for attempted adultery and for putting the church in a bad light.

The statement read;

“The Redeemed Christian Church of God has excommunicated Mr Gideon Bakare and relieved him of all ministerial duties in the Mission.

“Bakare, who was an Assistant Pastor in the Church was recently accused of attempted act of adultery with a woman in her matrimonial home in Akure, Ondo State.

“The Church dissociated itself from such immoral act of Mr Bakare and described it as being completely contrary to the core values, doctrines, beliefs and practices of the RCCG and the undiluted word of God.

“The Church, after reviewing the report of her investigation, noted that by his conduct, Bakare has not only tainted his personal reputation but has portrayed the Church in a bad light.

”Mr Bakare has therefore been directed to return all official items in his custody and stay off all associated connections with the Mission with immediate effect.”

A video showed Pastor Bakare naked in the bedroom of a married female church member in Akure over the weekend.

The woman had played along and pretended she was consenting to the sexual act and had asked the pastor to strip before inviting her husband and others to the scene

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DSS arrests EFCC Acting Chairman, Magu for ‘questioning’

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The Department of State Services (DSS) has arrested Ibrahim Magu, acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

TheCable understands that DSS operatives arrived the EFCC headquarters in Abuja Monday afternoon and quietly whisked him away without creating any scene.

His arrest comes a few days after Abubakar Malami, attorney-general of the federation (AGF), accused the anti-graft czar of gross infractions.

The AGF asked President Muhammadu Buhari to sack Magu over some “weighty” allegations, including the diversion of recovered loot.

In addition to allegedly re-looting the recovered loot, Malami accused the acting EFCC chairman of insubordination and misconduct.

TheCable learnt the EFCC chief travelled to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates without the authorisation of the president during the COVID-19 lockdown.

And when he was questioned, he said he went for an investigation.

He is also alleged to be living above his means.

In 2016, the senate declined to confirm the appointment of Magu as EFCC chairman after a DSS report indicted him of corruption.

The report read: “Magu is currently occupying a residence rented for N40m at N20m per annum. This accommodation was not paid [for] from the commission’s finances, but by one Umar Mohammed, air commodore retired, a questionable businessman who has subsequently been arrested by the secret service.

“For the furnishing of the residence, Magu enlisted the Federal Capital Development Authority to award a contract to Africa Energy, a company owned by the same Mohammed, to furnish the residence at the cost of N43m.”

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COURT JAILS UNION BANK HACKERS OVER N2.5BN FRAUD

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Lagos Zonal office, has secured the conviction of one Abass Mohammed and a Bureau De Change, (BDC) operator, Ibrahim Saidu Jogal, who connived to hack into the Flexcube database of Union Bank and defrauded the bank of N2,550,000,000 (Two billion Five hundred and Fifty Million Naira).

The Commission received a petition alleging that fraudsters had hacked into the bank’s database and diverted the sum of N2,550,000,000. Investigation into the petition revealed that the said money was fraudulently credited into the accounts of mostly BDC operators, including one Jaxmine BDC, Gona BDC and Great Well Communication.

It was further revealed that Mohammed sourced for the account details of Jaxmine BDC from one of his friends, Lawal Ubah, who was a signatory to the account, and subsequently gave the details to one Salisu Liman (aka Zico), the ring leader of the syndicate. The sum of N450 million was then credited into the account.

Subsequently, the sum of N79 million was transferred from the account of Jaxmine BDC into the account of Digare BDC owned by Jogal for the purpose of buying $500,000. Further investigations revealed that Jogal only paid $80,000 to Mohammed and kept the balance of $420,000.

Jogal, investigations also revealed, said that he got information that the money was not genuine but fraudulent, thereby prompting Mohammed to open up to him that the money was stolen.

They were arraigned before Justice K.A. Jose of the State High Court sitting in Igbosere, Lagos on three-count charges bordering on conspiracy, retention and use of proceeds of crimunal conduct contrary to Section 331(1)(b) of the Criminal Laws No. 11, Vol 44 of Lagos State 2011.

They pleaded “not guilty” to the charges, paving the way for the commencement of their trial.

In proving its case against them, the EFCC presented three witnesses – Vincent Agwu, a Union Bank official, and two investigators, Joseph Nkeson and Aliyu Abubakar. Several documents were also tendered in court by the prosecution.

Delivering judgment, Justice Jose found the defendants guilty on counts two and three, and discharged them on count one, which bordered on conspiracy to defraud. Mohammed was sentenced to a term of one year in prison.

The trial judge further ordered that the sum of $37,000 and $7,000 recovered from him by the EFCC should be handed over to Union Bank, while the car recovered from him should be sold and the proceeds given to the bank.

Justice Jose observed that Jogal showed no contrition, and failed to pay back a substantial sum of the money traced to him. Subsequently, he was sentenced to a term of three years, and ordered to return the sum of $220,000 and another $200,000 earlier recovered from him by the EFCC to Union Bank.

The judge also ordered that his property, whose title documents he gave to the Commission, should be sold and the proceeds handed over to the bank.

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