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Business News

SEC: Unity Bank, Milost Global deal still under investigation

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Mary Uduk, SEC

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Monday said it is still investigating the alleged one billion dollars investment in Unity Bank Plc by Milost Global Incorporated.

Mrs. Ebelo, SEC’s acting Head, Corporate Communications, said the investigation into the Unity Bank/Milost case by the commission was still on, and that anyone found wanting in the case would be sanctioned appropriately in line with laid down regulations.

Milost Global had in February announced plans to conclude its acquisition of a large Nigerian bank following talks with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)

According to Bloomberg, Milost Global plans to invest $1 billion in Unity bank, $250 million was to have been invested immediately in the bank in exchange for a 30% equity stake. $750 million will then be invested over the next four years. The investment was also reported to be a mix of equity and convertible bonds.

Milost later released a statement terminating the planned $1 billion investment in the bank. The firm took the decision due to what it termed threat emails from an unnamed individual.

The Bank had insisted that there was no binding definitive agreement with Milost Global and that both parties were only engaged in a preliminary discussion.

Recall that Japaul Oil and Maritime Services Plc recently announced that it will pull out of the equity financing facility of $350 with Milost Global Inc citing some red flags associated with the planned equity injection

Tier two banks in the country have had to boost their capital adequacy ratios, Union Bank last year raised N50 billion through a rights issue and has signaled its intentions to raise a $250 million Eurobond this year.  Diamond bank another tier two bank had to sell non-essential assets. FCMB has hinted at an upcoming bond raise.

Milost Global, founded by Mandla J Gwandiso in 2015 is an American Private Equity firm that is headquartered in New York City, with more than $25 billion in committed capital.

Following the consolidation of Nigerian banks in 2004, Unity bank was founded in 2006 from the merger of 9 commercial banks namely; Intercity Bank Plc, First Interstate Bank Plc, Tropical Commercial Bank Plc, Pacific Bank Limited, Centre Point Bank Plc, Societe Bancaire Limited, NNB International Bank Plc, Bank of the North Ltd and New Africa Bank Plc.

Its shares are currently trading at 1.02 on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange with a one year return of 78.95%.

Fikayo has a degree in computer science with economics from Obafemi Awolowo University. ITIL v3 in IT service management. An alumnus of Daystar Leadership Academy. Prior to joining Nairametrics had stinct in Project management, Telecommunications among others. Also training in Consulting and Investment banking from Edubridge Academy. He has very keen interest in Politics, Agri-business, private equity and global economics. He loves travelling and watching football. You can contact him via [email protected]

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Real Estate

FG to unveil dedicated portal for sale of houses to Nigerians

The Federal Government has announced plans to launch a dedicated web portal for the sale of buildings to Nigerians in the next few weeks.

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Nigeria needs N1.5 trillion within the next 3 years to fix roads - Fashola

The Federal Government has announced plans to launch a dedicated web portal for the sale of buildings to Nigerians in the next few weeks.

The platform is expected to help contributors to the National Housing Fund (NHF) access mortgage loans on a first-come, first-serve basis.

This disclosure was made by the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola while speaking at the ninth meeting of the National Council on Lands, Housing and Urban Development in Jos, Plateau State.

Fashola, who was represented by the Minister of State for Works and Housing, Abubakar Aliyu, pointed out that the ministry is currently at the completion stages of the first phase of the national housing programme in 34 states of the federation, which provided land for it.

He said, “We urge the state governments to alert their residents to this opportunity for interested persons to apply.”

Fashola commended the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) for being at the forefront of the cooperative housing initiative at the federal level, adding that it has the advantage of allowing cooperative members to choose what they design and build to fit their budgets.

They can leverage their members to get group discount for the purchase of building materials as well as the engagement of contractors.

Fashola disclosed that FMBN as the driver of the housing initiative has engaged 86 co-operatives in projects; approved N35, 784 billion cumulatively; disbursed N10.95 billion; and processed as at January, 57 co-operative housing development loans.

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Fashola emphasized that what the Federal Government can do directly in housing is limited compared to what states can do, just as state governments are also limited, compared to what the private sector and individuals can do.

He said, “The majority of houses available for sale or rent belong to individuals and private companies compared to what states or Federal Government has available. Therefore, many of the tenants who owe rent, who face eviction or who seek to rent or buy property are dealing with private citizens or companies and less so with government agencies.’

My recommendation for improving access and affordability to housing in the Covid-19 era is for private companies and individuals to give back some of what they control to citizens in the way the Federal Government has given back to citizens some of what it controls.’’

He explained, “for example in cases where the rent of businesses or individuals are due for renewal, the private landlords can give back, by accepting monthly, quarterly or half-yearly rent instead of one year, two or three years rent in advance.”

Bottom line

Nigeria has been bedevilled by a housing crisis that has left Africa’s most populous nation ill-equipped to properly provide accommodation for its citizens and inhabitants.

Some of the housing problems in the country include unresolved rent tenure arrangements, high cost of building materials, access to infrastructure, deficiency of housing finance arrangements, stringent loan conditions from mortgage banks, time to process legal documents and inadequate government housing policies.

Jaiz bank

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Coronavirus

Covid-19: Nigeria committed to procuring 29 million J&J vaccines

The Nigerian Government is still committed to acquiring 29.59 million doses of Johnson & Johnson covid-19 vaccines through the Afrixem Bank AVAT initiative. 

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AstraZeneca suspends COVID-19 vaccine final stage trial over safety concerns, COVID-19: J&J starts vaccine trials on humans after success on monkeys

The Nigerian Government says it is still committed to acquiring 29.59 million doses of Johnson & Johnson covid-19 vaccines through the Afrixem Bank AVAT initiative.

This was disclosed Mrs Zainab Ahmed, Minister of Finance at the recent ‘Collaborative Africa Budget Reform Initiative (CABRI) General Assembly webinar.

What the Minister said

“Therefore, the supplementary budget for COVID-19 vaccines will cover the cost of additional vaccines over and above those provided by COVAX, as well as the full cost of operations and logistics for delivering the vaccines around the country.

Already, the sum of N29.1 billion has been released from the Routine Immunization budgetary provision (Service Wide Vote) to the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA) as an advance for the operational cost of deployment of the COVID-19 vaccines. The N29.1 billion represents about 52 percent of the amount required over 2021-22,” she said.

She added that FG plans to vaccinate 70 percent of eligible (18 years and above) Nigerians over the 2021 and 2022 fiscal years, with the COVAX agreement willing to cover 43.1 million of the eligible population.

In case you missed it

The World Health Organization (WHO)  announced the approval of China’s Sinopharm vaccine for Covid-19 vaccination. The vaccine is reported to have 79% efficacy against covid.

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