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Fortis Microfinance Bank liquidates

The Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) has informed the public of the official liquidation of Fortis Microfinance Bank and its branches nationwide, a statement on NDIC official website disclosed.

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Fortis Microfinance Bank, Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation, Liquidation, Shutdown, NDIC

The Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) has informed the public of the official liquidation of Fortis Microfinance Bank and its branches nationwide, a statement on NDIC official website disclosed.

The official liquidation was announced on February 3, 2019, through the office of the corporation’s Director, Claims Resolution Department. In the press release, NDIC also assured payment to the insured depositors.

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“The Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), the official Liquidator of Fortis Microfinance Bank whose license was recently revoked, has concluded arrangement to close the bank and its branches and pay the insured Depositors.

“We are therefore calling all depositors of the bank to visit the bank’s branches and meet NDIC officials for the verification of their claims, commencing from Monday, 4th February, 2019 till Friday, 8th February, 2019.”

Recall that Fortis had disclosed in a statement in February 2018, that the company is working with a reputable firm of turnaround experts working in concert with a revitalized Management team to quickly restore the Bank on the path of sustainability and profitability, through the adoption of a revised business model and rejigging of the existing Five-Year Strategic Plan.

The restructuring news was followed with a notice to the Nigerian Stock Exchange, (NSE), where Fortis Microfinance Bank announced the appointment of an Interim Management Committee by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to pilot the affairs of the bank.

A litany of controversies

Nigerian Stock Exchange suspended Fortis’ shares of trading due to failure to submit its 2016 audited accounts. The Bank complained that the delay was due to the CBN, which required that banks submit their accounts for prior approval before results are filed at the exchange.

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The bank was also reported to be owing lenders as much as N7.5 billion in on lending facilities and is reportedly facing difficulties meeting the payment obligations. Directors of the bank were also made to relinquish real estate assets worth about N640 million in exchange for shares.

Fortis Overview

Fortis Microfinance Bank was licensed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in 2007 and listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) as the first private sector-led Microfinance Bank in 2012, had its shares suspended from being traded on the floor of the NSE for failing to adhere to standard corporate governance and extant post-listing requirements that make it mandatory for quoted companies to submit their financial statements within stipulated timelines.

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Olalekan is a certified media practitioner from the Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ). In the era of media convergence, Olalekan is a valuable asset, with ability to curate and broadcast news. His zeal to write was developed out of passion to shape people’s thought and opinion; serving as a guideline for their daily lives. Contact for tips: [email protected]

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Around the World

President Trump dumps plan to force foreign students to leave the US

Trump administration had attempted to order foreign students to depart the country.

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guidelines for foreign students returning to US schools

U.S President, Donald Trump has put aside a plan that was to order foreign students to leave the country. The Trump administration had attempted to order foreign students to depart the country to their own country if their classes are to be taught online.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University sued President Donald Trump over the policy, arguing that “the measure was unlawful and would adversely affect their academic institutions.”

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According to details of the suit, one aspect of the modified guidelines, which has thus far proven to be quite controversial, requires foreign students to remain in their home countries if their courses are going be taught online. Foreign students who are already in the US were also directed to leave the country if their courses are online-based.

Allison Burroughs, U.S District Judge in Massachusetts who sat on the suit announced that the US government along with Harvard and MIT came to a settlement after the Ivy League Schools sued over the new policy for foreign students.

The suit alleges that the modifications made to the Students and Exchange Visitor Programme (SEVP) by the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) came without warning.

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It would be recalled that by March the US government waived the F-1 and M-1 Visas that had a limit on online classes foreign students can take. The policy was reversed on July 6 by President Trump, as it would have affected University preparations for the coming semester.

Harvard alone has about 5000 foreign students, including Nigerians, revising the US immigration guidelines on foreign students would cause disruptions in the coming autumn semester for foreign students.

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Economy & Politics

FG inuagurates 2nd National Voluntary Review Report on SDGs

The report enables member countries to exchange experiences and knowledge on Sustainable Development.

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Federal Government has inaugurated the second National Voluntary Review Report on Sustainable Development GoalsThis was disclosed by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals, Mrs Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire on Tuesday. 

The report was launched after a virtual presentation session of the High-Level Political Forum of the United Nations (UN). 

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Meanwhile, the UN had offered to assist the Nigerian Government to realize its developmental aspirations most especially those related to the SDGs. 

The UN Resident Coordinator in Nigeria Edward Kallonhad explained that he visited Nigeria to explore better ways of collaboration between the two agencies in line with the recent reforms going on in the UN, which are being driven by Amina Mohammed, the Deputy UN Secretary-General. 

According to him, UN is looking for innovative ways to come up with a robust collaboration framework that will foster a more solid and workable partnership by way of creating a platform for Nigeria to leverage on and support its developmental aspirations most especially, the implementation of the SDGs. 

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Why it mattersThe report enables member countries to exchange experiences and knowledge on Sustainable Development. It would feature Nigeria’s most important priorities as it is nearly impossible to achieve all SDG’s because of the limited economic challenges. 

According to Orelope-Adefulire, the goals prioritized by the governments were no poverty, health and wellbeing, education, economic growth, security & peace and partnerships. 

She said, “Poverty is more than the lack of income and resources to ensure a sustainable livelihood. Its manifestations include hunger and malnutrition, limited access to education and other basic services, social discrimination and exclusion as well as the lack of participation in decision-making. Economic growth must be inclusive to provide sustainable jobs and promote equality. 

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“Sustainable economic growth will require societies to create the conditions that allow people to have quality jobs that stimulate the economy while not harming the environment. Job opportunities and decent working conditions are also required for the whole working-age population.”

She added that the agency would prioritise seven goals and reached out to the private sector, women organisations, CSOs, youth groups, academia and people living with disabilities; finding out from them what needs to be done. 

 

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Tech News

TradeDepot raises $10 million in pre-Series B equity round

This is a major addition to the $3 million raised in the Series A led by Partech in 2018.

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TradeDepot raises $10 million in pre-Series B equity round

Nigerian based B2B e-Commerce platform for consumer goods in Africa, Tradedepot has raised a further $10 million in a pre-Series B equity round.

According to a statement from the company, the equity round was co-led by Partech, International Finance Corporation (IFC), Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (We-Fi), and MSA Capital.

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This is a major addition to the $3 million raised in the Series A led by Partech in 2018.

The company said in the statement that the new investment will be used to continue its integration of the fragmented informal retail supply chain in Nigeria, and further expand into other African cities.

Tradedepot also plans to launch a suite of financial products and credit facilities, to support its retailers in improving efficiencies in their businesses in order to scale and grow.

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In the statement, Onyekachi Izukanne, Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of TradeDepot said, “We are excited to strengthen our team and welcome on board some incredible strategic investors and partners, as we double down on our mission to digitize and simplify retail distribution for the continent.”

(READ MORE: Tech PR firm, Phyllion set to hold first of its kind Tech Conference online)

Izukanne noted that in the trillion-dollar offline retail market in Africa, the company is set to capture a greater market share through its strategy of driving down costs for the retailers and smoothening their processes.

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Many retailers lack sufficient funds and credit facilities to grow their businesses, and TradeDepot offers them a chance to leverage on its network, Izukanne added.

This has been the model of operation TradeDepot launched in 2016, and since then, it has built a network of over 40,000 micro retailers, making household supplies and store essentials more accessible and affordable for the informal retail network.

TradeDepot partners with major brands and distributors to make these products available for retailers to order via its mobile apps, (Android and Whatsapp), USSD or a toll-free number and have the goods delivered directly to their stores via the company’s fleet of vans and tricycles.

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(READ MORE:3 startups to get N3 million grant each in the COVID-19 virtual hackathon)

TradeDepot also provides a CRM and data management system that enables suppliers to plan and monitor their sales routes in real-time, as well as gain invaluable insights into trade and retail data.

Wale Ayeni, Head of Africa Venture Capital Investment at IFC notes that TradeDepot is helping to digitize a substantial underserved informal retail segment, which is the pillar of economic growth in Africa.

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Hanh Nam Nguyen, Program Manager, speaking on behalf of IFC as implementing partner of We-Fi, stated that, “We-Fi financing will incentivize TradeDepot to build stronger women-led small and medium enterprises (SME) retailer and distributor networks, which will support them to become drivers of economic growth in their communities.”

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