The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) said it has fined four banks a total of ₦5.86 billion for breaching Nigeria’s extant laws and forex rules when they facilitated illegal repatriation of funds to South Africa on behalf of MTN.
The disclosure was contained in a press statement obtained by Nairametrics; a snippet of which had earlier been tweeted on CBN’s official Twitter handle.
The affected banks include:
- Standard Chartered Bank- ₦2.4 billion
- Stanbic IBTC- ₦1.8
- Citibank- ₦1.2 billion and
- Diamond Bank Plc- ₦250 million
#CBN Slams N2.4bn fine on Standard Chartered, N1.8bn on Stanbic IBTC, N1.2bn on Citibank, N0.25bn on Diamond Bank. All to also refund a total of $8.134bn for breaching Nigeria's forex regulations on MTN's illegal capital repatriation.
— Central Bank of Nigeria (@cenbank) August 29, 2018
The back story
CBN’s Director of Corporate Communications, Mr Isaac Okorafor said in the statement that the decision to sanction the banks became necessary after evidence emerged about how they used irregular Certificates of Capital Importation (CCIs) to remit funds on behalf of MTN’s offshore investors.
In view of this, the CBN has also asked the banks and MTN Nigeria to immediately repatriate a total of $8.134 billion; being part of funds that were illegally taken out of Nigeria by the telco.
“the investigations revealed that the sum of $3,448,119,321.72 was repatriated by Standard Chartered Bank on the basis of the illegally issued CCIs. Similarly, he said the sums of $2,632,005,623.78, $1,766,263,212.75 and $348,914,501.30 were repatriated by Stanbic IBTC Nigeria, Citibank Nigeria and Diamond Bank Plc, respectively during the period 2007 and 2015. Accordingly, he said the CBN had directed the affected banks to immediately refund the respective
sums to the CBN.” -CBN
Senator Dino Melaye was first to hint on this matter when proposed a motion before the Senate in 2016, alleging that MTN Telecommunications Nigeria Limited illegally repatriated about $14 billion to South Africa between 2006 and 2016.
His petition also implicated the above-mentioned banks and even alleged that Nigeria’s Minister for Trade and Investment, Okechukwu Enelamah, played a huge role in facilitating the infraction.
Although the matter was initially investigated following the petition, the Senate in July 2017 temporarily absolved MTN of any wrongdoing. It ordered for more investigation into the matter after it blamed the CBN for supposedly failing to properly regulate Nigeria’s Forex.
The Senate later directed the apex bank to sanction only Stanbic IBTC Bank over what it said was “improper documentation in respect to capital repatriation and loan repayments” on MTN’s behalf.
CBN investigated the matter
The CBN said it thoroughly investigated the allegations of illegal remittances levelled against the banks, at the end of which evidence of wrongdoing was found against them. Consequently, the apex bank sent letters to each of the offending banks; informing them of the discoveries against them.
This is bad for all the banks involved
From all indication, this is a development for all the banks involved in this scandal. Not only is it bad for their reputation, it is also not good for their finances. As one commenter observed on the CBN tweet above, it is the shareholders’ who will bear the brunt of it.
Massive! Shareholders wealth eroded already
— Milanístà (@NaijaMilanista) August 29, 2018
Another commenter asked shareholders to hold the Board of Directors of the four responsible for the fines.
The shareholders should hold their Boards responsible
— usman hamman tukur (@sheiktukur) August 29, 2018
Update: FG suspends reopening of schools, students won’t write 2020 WAEC
The Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, said that WAEC should suspend exams.
The Federal Government has just announced that schools under its control will not be reopening for the forthcoming West African Examination Council (WAEC) exams.
This was disclosed in a tweet post by the aide to President Muhammadu Buhari on New Media, Tolu Ogunlesi from his official Twitter handle on Wednesday, July 8, 2020.
According to Ogunlesi, the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, said that WAEC should suspend exams and also urges State Governments to toe the line of the Federal Government as this is not the right time to reopen.
According to the tweet post, ‘’Minister of Education has just announced that schools under control of the Federal Government will not be reopening for the forthcoming WAEC exams. Says WAEC should suspend exams and urges State Governments to toe Federal Government line. This is not the right time to reopen,’’
Adamu, while addressing state house correspondents after the virtual Federal Executive Council meeting on Wednesday, July 8, 2020, said that none of the schools under the control of his ministry will resume until schools are considered safe enough
The Minister appealed to the State Governments that have already announced the resumption of schools to reconsider that as it is not safe and the students should be protected. He said that he would prefer that students lose an academic year than expose them to dangers.
He also debunked an earlier report that claimed that the Minister of State for Education, Emeka Nwajiuba, announced that schools will be resuming on August 4, 2020. Adamu said that the Minister of State must have been misquoted as the schools under the supervision of the ministry will not be opening on August 4 or anytime soon.
Going further, Adamu pointed out that WAEC will not determine what Nigeria will do as he will rather have the country lose a school year than exposing the students to danger.
Tizeti reinstates Kendall Ananyi as CEO after investigation into alleged sexual misconduct
The investigations into the allegations could not establish a case of sexual harassment, .
Following the conclusion of the independent special investigation, Tizeti Board of directors have reinstated Kendall Ananyi as Chief Executive Officer.
With this development, the interim Co-CEOs Ifeanyi Okonkwo and Patricia Aiyedun, will return to their respective positions as Chief Operating Officer, and Chief Financial Officer.
According to a statement published on its website, the company stated that investigations into the allegations of sexual harassment could not establish a case of sexual harassment.
The board had on June 7 appointed an Independent Special Investigation Committee of its Board of Directors to investigate allegations of sexual harassment made against Kendall Ananyi, the embattled CEO.
To ensure the independence of the committee, the CEO stepped down and was walled off from communications with the Independent Special Investigation Committee and any matters related to the investigation, the statement read.
After a month of investigations, the committee led by Senior Advocate of Nigeria Olumide Sofowora, SAN, C.Arb. of Olumide Sofowora Chambers, stated that no clear case of sexual harassment had been established, and recommended that the CEO be reinstated.
According to the statement, the committee researched “what actions would constitute sexual harassment, gathered relevant information from a number of sources in both Nigeria and Ghana, and conducted a number of interviews, including separately interviewing both the accuser and Mr. Ananyi”.
It was based on this that the independent legal counsel concluded that a clear case of sexual harassment had not been established.
The company promised that a sexual harassment policy would be put in place going forward.
“Tizeti remains fully committed to high ethical standards, gender equality, providing a workplace that is free from sexual harassment and ensuring that its diverse team feels comfortable and safe at all times.
“Tizeti wants to ensure that it has best in class policies and procedures going forward. As a result, Tizeti will be updating its code of conduct and putting in place a sexual harassment policy that is in line with best practices and encourages the reporting of any potential incidents,” it said.
NNPC reports explosion on its production facility, 7 casualties recorded
7 people were killed in the explosion which occurred during the discharging of Gbetiokun production.
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has reported a major explosion in one of its upstream facilities on Tuesday July 7, 2020. The explosion incident occurred at Gbetiokun, OML 40, which is operated by the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC), on behalf of the NPDC/Elcrest Joint Venture.
The incident was confirmed in a press statement by the Group General Manager Group Public Affairs Division of NNPC, Dr Kennie Obateru, on Wednesday, July 8, 2020.
He revealed that 7 people were killed in the explosion which occurred during the discharging of Gbetiokun production.
In the statement, Obateru said, ‘’The incident, which occurred on Tuesday during the installation of a ladder on a platform (Benin River Valve Station) for access during discharging of Gbetiokun production, unfortunately caused 7 fatalities.’’
The release also stated that a detailed investigation of the cause of the explosion has started, while the Department of Petroleum Resources has been duly notified and Form 41 was being prepared for the Industry regulator as required in circumstances of this nature.
The bodies of casualties have been deposited in a morgue in Sapele, while families of the personnel involved are being contacted by their employers: Weld Affairs and Flow Impact, which are consultants to NPDC.
The release stated that all personnel onboard the platform had been fully accounted for.
Meanwhile, the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Mallam Mele Kyari, in the statement commiserated with the families of the bereaved, praying that God grants them the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss of their loved ones.