Connect with us

News and Report

Tony Elumelu Promotes Nigeria as top Investment Destination to the French Business Community

Published

on

Serial entrepreneur, philanthropist and promoter of Africaptalism, Tony O. Elumelu on 27 May 2016, delivered an inspiring speech in Paris, France, selling Nigeria as an investment destination to the French business community.

Elumelu, who is the Chairman of Pan-African banking group, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc and proprietary investment firm, Heirs Holdings delivered the speech as a guest speaker at the 1st ‘Colloque Nigeria’, a colloquium on doing business and investment in Nigeria, which was organised by the French Senate at the exquisite Palais de Luxembourg in Paris, France.

Speaking at the conference, the Founder of the Tony Elumelu Foundation said that like every part of the world, investors in Nigeria and Africa are faced with a myriad of challenges, but amidst these challenges no other destinations provided more opportunities and return on investment as do Nigeria and Africa. “Nigeria remains a very viable, attractive and important investment and export destination for French companies. As a matter of fact, I would argue that now is a good time to come and invest in Nigeria, because it is an investor’s market. The fundamentals of the Nigerian economy remain strong,” he said.

According to Elumelu, some of the trends supporting long – term growth in Nigeria are the increased use of technology by the Nigerian population, high consumerism, young demographic and increasing urbanization. Whilst encouraging French businesses to come and discover Nigeria, he advised the would – be investors to find the right partner that would help them navigate the environment and stated that they need be committed to invest in Nigeria for the long haul.

“Nigeria has always been a unique country. We are not only the most populous country on the continent of Africa, we are amongst the best educated and most-traveled people in Africa. We Nigerians are well known for our positive outlook and can-do spirit. Even more importantly, we have a strong culture and spirit of entrepreneurship. The smart investor, knows that this is the time to enter our market because the fundamentals of the Nigerian economy remain strong, and where others perceive risk and challenge, the glass is actually half full rather than half empty” Elumelu said.

He asserted that despite the current challenges faced by Nigeria which have been brought about by the sharp drop in commodity prices, the country still offers one of the highest returns on investment on the continent

iting the example of what UBA has been able to achieve in Nigeria, Elumelu said that UBA has operated profitably in Nigeria for the past 70 years and in the last decade, increased its footprint into 18 other countries in Africa as it set up business offices in Paris, New York and London. “UBA is helping to finance major projects in infrastructure, as well as in the agriculture and construction sectors of the African countries in which we operate, most of these being francophone countries. We have continued to open more UBA branches of our subsidiaries and we have become better established in those markets. The second stage of the roll out on the continent begins later this year”.

“The large Nigerian economy plays an important leading role in West Africa and beyond. So when you invest in Nigeria, the benefits spill over to our neighbours in dozens of countries” he continued.

He thanked the investing community for their enthusiasm about investing in Nigeria and he encouraged them to “believe in Nigeria; come to Nigeria; discover Nigeria; invest in Nigeria; help develop Nigeria and prosper with Nigerians; and most importantly, take an Africapitalist approach to entering and investing in Nigeria because what we are looking for are sustainable partnerships that will deliver sustainable development through the private sector going about its normal commercial activities,” he concluded.

Also speaking at the Colloque Nigeria summit, the President of the French Senate, Mr. Gerard Larcher stressed that the summit is strategic to French business interests as Nigeria remains the first destination of French investment in sub Saharan Africa. ” We want to strengthen these privileged links, said the President.

He thanked Mr Elumelu for his sterling contributions to the economic development of the continent, and especially in the area of entrepreneurship where the Tony Elumelu Foundation – through its Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme – has been engaging in promoting start-up businesses across the continent.

Continue Reading
Advertisement

News and Report

Alleged N1.4bn Fraud: Witness Reveals How Kogi Assembly Candidate, Atumeyi Fraudulently Benefitted N681m from Union Bank Customers’ Accounts

Published

on

The first prosecution witness, PW1, Olusegun Falola, in the ongoing trial of Ismaila Yousouf Atumeyi, a Kogi State House of Assembly candidate of the New Nigeria Peoples Party, NNPP, and two others, on Monday, January 31, 2023, told Justice Tijani Ringim of the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos how the sum of N681m (Six Hundred and Eighty-one Million Naira) was paid into Atumeyi’s business account.

Atumeyi is standing trial alongside Ngene Joshua Dominic and Abdulmalik Salau, a former employee of Union Bank Plc, on an 18-count charge bordering on alleged cybercrime and money laundering to the tune of N1.4bn.

Led in evidence by the prosecution counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, SAN, Falola, an Internal Auditor and Team Lead, General Investigations, Union Bank Plc, told the court that “sometime in October 2022, during the periodic internal review of accounts of customers, we observed that some accounts that were placed on No-debit were debited.

“In the course of our review, it was observed that the methodology employed in debiting the said accounts was different from the way accounts are being debited in the normal banking activity.

“Based on this, the case was assigned to me for further internal investigation. During the review, I observed that beyond the few accounts that were referred to me for investigation, there were other numerous accounts that were being debited.

“Furthermore, the debits on these accounts were traced to two beneficiaries, Atus Homes Limited account and Fav Oil and Gas Limited.

“These two accounts received the sum of N681m and N1.38bn, respectively from the account of 429 customers.”

He also told the court that further investigations revealed that Atumeyi is the signatory to the Atus Homes Limited account, while the signatories to Fav Oil and Gas are Shuaibu Yusuf and Nurudeen.

According to him, all illicit debits on the customers’ accounts were done via internet banking on one of the bank’s platforms known as Union 360.

Giving further testimony, he said: “As at the time of investigation, over 600m had been withdrawn from the account of Atus Homes Limited and over N800m withdrawn from Fav Oil and Gas.

“We also realized that they were able to make those fraudulent transfers because the bank system was fraudulently manipulated.

“It was this realization that made us know that only a person with privileged information on the bank’s information technology could have carried out such illicit transactions.

“It was based on that knowledge that we reported the matter to the EFCC for further investigation.”

Oyedepo sought to tender the petition written to the EFCC, the correspondences between EFCC and the bank as well as the defendants’ statements of account that had been identified by the PW1.

However, counsel to the third defendant, Babatunde Ogunwo, objected to the admissibility of the attached statement of account on the grounds that the prosecution had not sufficiently complied with Section 84 (2) 2(4) of the Evidence Act.

“I strongly believe that the prosecution has not satisfied the provisions of Section 84 (2) 2(4) of the Evidence Act. All I heard the witness say is questions put to him by the prosecution.

“However Section 84(2) of the Evidence Act gives conditions more than what the witness has stated.

“There are four legs as stated by the Evidence Act and the witness has only answered one. These conditions have to be complied with.

“I humbly submit that the prosecution has not complied with the conditions stated for the admissibility of the statements of account”, Ogunwo argued.

Responding, Oyedepo said that the argument of the defence counsel was misconceived and also missed its target.

He, therefore, urged the court to discountenance the objection of the defence.

He also submitted that the certificate of identification as enshrined in the Section of the Evidence Act “is not a ritual that must be performed in achieving admissibility of computer-generated evidences.”

He further argued that “where the issue is as to the failure to comply with procedural steps towards admissibility, the order the court will make is not to reject the document, but to urge the tendering party to regularize.

“This document is relevant in the determination of this matter and I urge my Lord to so hold.”

In a short ruling, Justice Ringim overruled the objection of the defence and admitted the evidence in exhibit.

Justice Ringim also granted the second defendant, Dominic, bail on the same terms of the 3rd defendant, as granted on January 6, 2023.

The matter was adjourned to February 2, 2023 for continuation of trial.

Continue Reading

News and Report

Transcorp increases power generation to the National Grid as it commissions rehabilitated GT Unit 20

Published

on

TransAfam Power Ltd, a subsidiary of Transcorp Group, has announced the completion of the rehabilitation of its Afam 5 GT unit 20 Gas Turbine power-generating unit located at Okoloma – Afam, Ndoki in Oyigbo Local Government Area of Rivers State. The rehabilitated unit, which has been successfully commissioned and synchronized to the national grid, bringing an additional 138MW to its existing capacity.
Engr. Vincent Ozoude, MD/CEO of Transafam Power Limited expressed his delight about the newly rehabilitated unit, which is able to power up to 100,000 homes in a year. “Since the administrative handover of the Afam Power Plant in March 2021, we have been working diligently to realize the full potential of the plant. We are pleased to have successfully completed the rehabilitation of GT20, having been out of service for over 15 years prior to our takeover. We are glad to have achieved this feat, using a combination of our in-house resources and other local technical support, with about 20% of foreign expert support in the rehabilitation project, showing our commitment to local content development,” Ozoude said.
“It is impressive how far we have come from 48MW average generation, when we took over, to raising production to 120 MW generation within the first two months,” Ozoude added, as he expressed appreciation to the company’s host community, Okoloma-Ndoki, and other stakeholders.
Dr. Owen Omogiafo, President and Group CEO of Transcorp, who was accompanied by the members of the Technical Committee of the Board of Directors, expressed delight at the commissioning of the rehabilitated Afam 5 GT 20 power generating unit, stressing its significance to Transcorp Group and their commitment to transforming the power sector in Nigeria.
“Our purpose at Transcorp Group is to Improve Lives and Transform Africa, one investment at time. We are pleased at the progress we are making to expand access to electricity in Nigeria through our investments in the power sector,” Dr. Omogiafo said. “You cannot achieve sustainable economic transformation without reliable power supply. It is that understanding that has led us at Transcorp, under the leadership of our Group Chairman, Mr. Tony O. Elumelu CFR to invest in the power sector. We are happy with the progress we are making in our power plants and strive to continue to optimize our available generation capacity, with improved gas supply, which has become increasingly challenging. We will also continue to build our local capacity by investing in human capital development and positive engagement with our host communities and stakeholders” Omogiafo added.
Transcorp Group had in 2013, through its power subsidiary, Transcorp Power Limited (TPL), acquired the 972MW gas-fired Ughelli Power Plant, which has since been phenomenally transformed. With the acquisition of Afam Power Plc, Transcorp has further cemented its position as a key player in the power sector.

Continue Reading

News and Report

Banks Will Accept Old Naira Notes After Deadline, Says Emefiele

Published

on

Godwin Emefiele, governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), says banks will continue to accept old naira notes after the stipulated deadline.

Emefiele spoke on Tuesday when he appeared at an interactive session with the house of representatives ad hoc committee on the currency redesign and naira swap policy.

He said the CBN will also accept the old naira from banks after the February 10 deadline.

Emefiele made reference to the CBN act mandates the apex bank to continue to accept old notes after it’s expiration.

Section 20 (3) of the CBN act states: “Notwithstanding sub-sections (1) and (2) of this section, the bank shall have power, if directed to do so by the president and after giving reasonable notice in that behalf, to call in any of its notes or coins on payment of the face value thereof and any note or coin with respect to which a notice has been given under this sub-section, shall, on the expiration of the notice, cease to be legal tender, but, subject to section 22 of this act, shall be redeemed by the bank upon demand”.

Continue Reading

Trending