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Business News

Embattled MTN pursues out-of-court settlement with CBN

MTN to resolve $8.1 billion alleged repatriation with CBN

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Embattled telco giant, MTN has decided to resolve the $8.1 billion fine the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) slammed on it in an out-of-court settlement.

MTN had filed a suit to challenge a directive by the CBN directing it to return the $8.1 billion, which the apex bank said was illegally repatriated.

The telco was alleged to have illegally transferred the $8.1 billion out of the country with the help of four banks, including CitiBank, Diamond Bank, Standard Chartered Bank and Stanbic IBTC Bank.

Although, MTN and the affected banks all denied this claim, even as new evidence soon emerged that the telecoms company is owing Nigeria the sum of $2 billion in back taxes.

When the case was called, MTN’s lead counsel, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), said his client had decided to pursue an out-of-court settlement with the CBN.

According to Olanipekun, his client had approached CBN for an amicable settlement and this was confirmed by Seyi Sowemimo, CBN’s lead counsel, who told the court that the negotiations were already in an advanced stage.

Olanipekun said, “May it please your lordship, the matter today, is slated for hearing of pending applications, but we owe the court a duty to inform it that parties are engaged.

“Counsel have conferred, and in view of this, we are asking for a short date for report,”

On his part CBN counsel, Sowemimo, said, the apex bank has advanced stages towards settlement, adding that it remains to cross the Ts and dot the Is; it is just for the report of settlement.

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Nairametrics had reported that the legal tussle between the telecommunications giant, and the CBN may be close to a settlement.

CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele disclosed this in a question and answer session held after the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting held in Abuja.

Meanwhile, the Justice Saliu Saidu of Federal High Court, Ikoyi, Lagos, adjourned till December 12, a report on the settlement.

Famuyiwa Damilare is a trained journalist. He holds a Higher National Diploma (HND) in Mass Communication at the prestigious Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ).Damilare is an innovative and transformational leader with broad-based expertise in journalism and media practice at large. He has explored his proven ability in the areas of reporting, curating and generating contents, creatively establishing social media engagements, and mobile editing of videos. It is safe to say he’s a multimedia journalist.

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Business

FG explains why Lagos-Ibadan rail line was not linked to the sea

The government in its explanation said that the delay was due to disruption by trucks going in and out of the port complex.

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FG needs $656 million to complete Lagos-Ibadan railway project – Amaechi, Nigeria loses N150 billion annually to shipping tariffs, Ibadan to Kano rail construction

The Federal Government has stated why the China Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC) Nigeria Limited could not link the final part of the Lagos-Ibadan rail line to the sea.

The government in its explanation said that it was due to disruption by trucks going in and out of the port complex.

According to a press statement signed by the Director, Press and Public Relations of the Federal Ministry of Transportation, Eric Ojiekwe, this disclosure was made by the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, while on a routine tour of the Lagos-Ibadan rail line project on Saturday, April 10, 2021.

The Minister pointed out that the original blueprint for the Lagos-Ibadan rail line project was not adhered to by CCECC Nigeria Limited and TEAM consortium and therefore warned that the master plan of the soon to commence Ibadan-Kano rail line project should not be changed.

The statement from the ministry partly reads, “The Nigerian Government has restated its commitment to connect the whole country by rail with the soon to commence Ibadan-Kano Standard Gauge Rail project.”

Amaechi forewarned that the master plan of the soon to commence project should not be changed as the original blueprint for the Lagos-Ibadan wasn’t adhered to by Messrs CCECC Nigeria and TEAM consortium. The Minister who rode the train from Ebute-Meta to the 8.72 km Apapa Port Spur line, informed the media that the inability of Messrs CCECC Nigeria to link the final part of the rail line down to the sea is rather due to disruption by trucks going in and out of the port complex.’’

The Minister had noted that the Federal Government has paid its share of the counterpart funding of the Ibadan-Kano rail line project and is waiting for China-Exim bank to ratify its side of the agreement for the project to commence.

He also advised the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) to acquire more land around the train stations and the rail tracks for future development adding that this will be near impossible to do in the future as whatever space available now would have been taken over by businesses attracted to the rail line.

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In case you missed it

It can be recalled that full commercial train services commenced on the Lagos-Ibadan rail line after train operations commenced on December 7, 2020, with only Lagos, Ibadan and Abeokuta residents enjoying the train services.

This is because other minor and major stations along that route were yet to be completed.

 

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Manufacturing

Industrial Index loses -12.39 points, as BUA and Lafarge Cement shares top losers list

The NSE Industrials index lost 12.39 index points in the first trading week in the month of April.

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Manufacturing: Activity levels pick up albeit readings still below water

The Nigerian Stock Exchange Industrial Index at the close of trading activities for the first week in the month of April closed on a bearish note, following a 0.66% decrease in the shares of BUA CEMENT and Lafarge.

At the close of trading activities on the Nigerian Stock Exchange on the 9th of April 2021, the industrial index depreciated by 55.01 index points, to close lower at 1,928.18 index points for the week.

When compared to the overall performance of the market, the NSE Industrial index underperformed, noting that the NSE All-Share Index and Market Capitalization depreciated by 0.66% to close the week at 38,866.39 and N20.3350 trillion respectively.

READ: COVID-19, VAT, FX scarcity adversely impacted our operations in 2020 – Nigerian Breweries boss says

What you should know

The NSE Industrial Index was designed to provide an investable benchmark to capture the performance of the Industrial Sector. It comprises the most capitalized and liquid companies in the industrial sector and is based on the market capitalization methodology.

The index tracks the performance of ten industrial companies on the Nigerian Stock Exchange which includes Dangote, BUA, and Lafarge Cement.

The overall performance of the companies for the week was bearish, as the index closed on a negative note driven by the decrease in the share price of BUA Cement and Lafarge.

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MEYER (19.51) was the only gainer for the week, while BUACEMENT (-1.09%) and LAFARGE WAPCO (-3.00%) were the only losers for the week.

GAINER

  • MEYER up by19.51% to close at N0.49.

LOSER

  • WAPCO down by -3.00% to close at N21.00.
  • BUACEMENT down by -1.09% to close at N72.70.

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