Access Bank Plc has debunked reports in some major daily newspaper on plans to acquire Diamond Bank. In a statement by the bank, it noted that it has not entered into any discussion with Diamond Bank.
The Nation Newspaper had earlier today announced plans by Access Bank to add Diamond Bank’s assets to its list of portfolio by the first quarter of next year, noting that both financial institutions have reached an agreement in broad terms on the acquisition.
Recall that Bloomberg had reported plans by a major investor to inject funds into Diamond Bank on condition that the CEO, Uzoma Dozie, exits his position. The report attributed to the Chairman, Seyi Bickersteth, has since been denied by the bank.
According to the statement
“the Board wish to clarify that the company has not received an offer from an investor to inject cash. Further to the Company’s announcement of 26 October 2018, Diamond Bank and its Board of Directors continue to review all strategic options on a regular basis.
“Diamond Bank would also like to clarify it enjoys the support of its major shareholders, including The Carlyle Group and Kunoch Holdings who are, as ever, working in cooperation with the Board and management as appropriate to ensure the successful operation of its business in Africa’s most dynamic banking market.”
The bank revealed that the sale was in line with the bank’s objective of streamlining its operations and focus its resources on the immense opportunities in Nigeria’s retail banking market. It had earlier announced its divestment from the West Africa business, Diamond Bank S.A. for 61 million Euros to Manzi Finances S.A in November 2017.
H1 2018 financial statements for the year ended 30 June 2018, it recorded gross earnings of ₦98.5 billion compared to ₦97.9 billion reported for the period ended June 2017. This represents 1% increase year on year. The bank’s profit after tax for the half year ended 30th June 2018 was ₦1.80 billion, a 78% decrease compared to a profit of ₦8.02 billion recorded in H1 2017.
Diamond Bank Plc commenced operations as a private limited liability company in 1991. By 2005, its shares were listed on The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).
Tax on rents and Certificate of Occupancy is valid – Akabueze
FIRS had announced that stamp duty will be paid on house rent and C of O.
The Director-General of the Budget Office of the Federation, Ben Akabueze, announced that the recent FIRS taxes on Certificate of Occupancy and rents is not new and has been around since the 1980s.
He disclosed this in the 2021-2023 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper (MTEF&FSP) on Friday, adding that ever since the 80s, his landlord had always given him a postage stamp on his rent receipts, and that the law was not just recognized for a long time.
“Over time, because the culture of postage has dropped off and that was not being implemented. What FIRS has done now is to make that into electronic stamp that you can still use to comply with the existing law,” Akabueze said.
Last week, the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) announced that stamp duty will be paid on house rent and Certificate of Occupancy (C of O), in line with its new adhesive duty. The new duty was inaugurated in Abuja at the official inauguration of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Audit and Recovery of Back Years Stamp Duties.
FIRS Director for Communication and Liaison Department, Mr Abdullahi Ahmad, said the new policy was necessary so as to give the instruments the legal backing required and make them legally binding on all parties involved in such transactions.
Consequently, Ahmad asked Nigerians to ensure that documents that related to rent and lease agreements for homes or offices, C of O, and other common business-related transaction instruments were authenticated with the new FIRS Adhesive Stamp Duty.
He also advised Nigerians to make sure that any document related to leasing agreements and rents related to offices and homes, including C of O and other transaction instruments used in these seals were authenticated with the new FIRS Adhesive Stamp Duty.
Port-Harcourt International airport resumes flight operations
The first flight to Port Harcourt was conducted by Air Peace 5N EUV from Lagos.
The Port Harcourt International Airport formally resumed flight operations on Saturday, July 11, with the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), restating its commitment towards a zero coronavirus transmission.
This was disclosed by the Regional Manager South-South and South-East of FAAN, Abayomi Akinbinu, on Saturday, July 11, during the arrival of the first flight after 3 months of shutdown due to the coronavirus outbreak.
The first flight, which was conducted by Air Peace 5N EUV from Lagos, arrived Port-Harcourt International Airport terminal at 7.50 am.
He said the Port-Harcourt airport management was ready to ensure zero chances of the coronavirus transmission with the management giving no room for default of the COVID-19 safety guidelines by regulatory authorities as flight operations resume at the airport.
He frowned at the non-adherence to physical distancing rule, while also commending safety compliance level by service providers and passengers at the airport.
According to Abayomi, “Our markings of 1.5 metres apart are visibly on the floor, but maybe because of excitement it’s not being properly followed; so we need to make quick enforcement in that regard.”
He said although there was low turnout of passengers, he expected a gradual increase in the coming days.
He said, “On the departure section, we are gradually getting more passengers and I believe that going forward passengers’ turnout is going to increase. My message to prospective passengers is that the Port Harcourt International Airport terminal is safe.”
On his own part, the Head of Aviation Medical Clinic of the airport, Dr Nuhu Mwabi, said that the Port Health is seriously conducting mandatory temperature checks on both service providers and passengers before allowing them into the airport terminal building.
Nuhu said, “This is because we want to fish out persons with a temperature of 38 degrees Celsius and above, so that we can isolate such individual. Our cardinal objective is to ensure that we contain the spread of COVID-19 as well as other communicable diseases within the airport.”
He added that the World Health Organization and the various medical teams were ready to professionally handle any suspected case, should the need arise.
It can be recalled that the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, had last week announced the resumption schedule for flight operations for the various airports across the country. The Murtala Muhammed Airport Lagos and the Nnamdi Azikiwe International airport resumed flight operations on July 8.
Lagos Govt Seals Acouns Medical Lab for conducting illegal COVID-19 tests
The lab conducted COVID-19 tests without required government approval.
The Lagos State Ministry of Health has sealed a private medical laboratory that was conducting illegal COVID-19 tests inside a pharmacy at Banana Island in Ikoyi, Lagos.
The ministry stated that the laboratory, Acouns Medical Laboratory and Diagnostic Centre, conducted COVID-19 tests without required government approval.
Yesterday, @LSMOH through @HEFAMAA_LASG sealed a private laboratory located on Banana Island, Ikoyi for carrying out #COVID19 tests without the required government approval. The lab; Acouns Medical Laboratory and Diagnostic Centre was also situated in a pharmacy! @followlasg pic.twitter.com/KkMzxYDBFq
— LSMOH (@LSMOH) July 11, 2020
According to a NAN report, the laboratory was sealed on Friday, July 10 by one of the agencies of the Ministry of Health – Health Facility Monitoring Accreditation Agency (HEFAMAA).
The ministry warned in its Saturday morning tweet, that such health facilities posed a danger to their communities and staff, and discouraged residents from patronising facilities that had not been duly accredited for such purposes.
“It is illegal to manage COVID-19 cases outside of an accredited facility. We implore the public not to go for tests or treatment in a private facility that has not been accredited by government.
“It is dangerous and it might put you at more risk,” it said.
The ministry promised to ensure that health facilities in the state adhered strictly to the standards put in place, and urged residents to cooperate with the authorities.
Recall that a few weeks ago, the Lagos State government announced it has added Seven Private Laboratories into its testing strategy to expand capacity in Nigeria’s commercial capital.
Lagos state has, through its accredited health facilities, conducted over 45,000 COVID-19 tests, with over 7000 confirmed cases from the number.
The ministry had also recently announced the private health facilities accredited for the purpose of COVID-19 testing.
The approved private labs are;
📍Total Medical Services
📍Medbury medical Services
📍Biologix Medical Services
📍02 Medical Services
📍Clina Lancent Lab pic.twitter.com/GS2f1FfP5j
— Prof. Akin Abayomi (@ProfAkinAbayomi) June 30, 2020