The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has created a new department that will regulate the activities of the financial Technology Companies (Fintechs) and other financial institutions under the digital development.
The Payment System Department of the Apex bank has been charged to oversee and regulate the activities of Financial Technology Companies in Nigeria. The creation of the department is for the CBN to understand the global realities of the digital world.
Why CBN is regulating Fintechs
The Central Bank of Nigeria instituted the department for checks and balance of the Fintech companies. The Payment System Department, through regulation, will ensure Fintechs understand what is expected by them while also helping them address their challenges as well.
Lack of regulation led to Nigeria being blacklisted: The Group Head, ML Safety, Central Bank of Nigeria, (CBN), Joseph Gina, while addressing the purpose of the department during the Annual Retreat of Chief Compliance Officers with the theme: ‘Digital Revolution; Repositioning Compliance Function in Nigeria Banks’, said lack of effective regulation led to Nigeria being blacklisted by countries as one of the none corporative countries.
“In the area of compliance, I think we are doing well that is why you will notice that the CBN is constantly collaborating with the operators and the financial institutions so that we are all in tune with what is happening in the world and making sure that nobody is left behind.
“We are strong as our weakest link and we cannot take things for granted. What is certain is that all their challenges are addressed; also they understand that what is expected of them and once they are able to do that, then they are able to carry out their functions effectively.
“In the area of compliance, you will recall that there was a time Nigeria was placed on the blacklist as one of the none corporative countries because it was discovered that our sanction regimes were not proportionate and dissuasive enough,
“therefore what CBN did in 2018 was to come up with the anti-money laundering/administrative sanction regime which came into effect in February, 2018 and that was to put things in focus and make sure that things are working appropriately.”
Compliance Officers urged to understand digital revolution for effective performance
To perform their duties better, compliance officers have been urged to brush up their skills and be open to learning new skills that will make them more efficient in their responsibility.
According to the Chairman, Association of Chief Compliance Officers of Banks in Nigeria, (ACCOBIN), Opeyemi Adojutelgan, digital revolution needs to be understood by the compliance officers, and that’s the reason the retreat was organised.
Leading practitioners in cryptocurrency and artificial intelligence were invited to educate the Compliance officers on the digital revolution as it pertains to the banks they represent. This, he said, will ensure they are up to speed with recent global developments and remain relevant in their various organisations.
President Buhari directs Ministries of Power, Finance, BPE to seal Siemens deal
Presidency has approved the release of funding for the first part of Phase 1 of the PPI, to kick-off the pre-engineering and concession financing workstreams.
President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the Ministries of Power, Finance, and the Bureau of Public Enterprise (BPE) to conclude the nation’s engagement with Siemens AG over regular power supply.
The directive, which was issued via the Presidency’s Twitter handle on Wednesday, was to start the pre-engineering & concessionary financing aspects of the Presidential Power Initiative (PPI).
PPI is a power infrastructure upgrade and modernization Programme agreed to by the Federal Government and Siemens AG of Germany, with the support of the German Government. The ultimate goal of the initiative, according to the government, is to modernize and increase the Nigerian electricity grid capacity from its current capacity of about 5 GW to 25 GW, over three phases.
How it works: Under the PPI, Nigeria on behalf of the other shareholders in the Electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos), will invest in infrastructure upgrades in the form of improved payment systems, distribution substations, transformers, protection devices, smart meters, and transmission lines among others.
The President explained that all DisCos have, directly and through the BPE, been diligently carried along over the last 15 months to understand in detail the challenges in the electricity systems.
Funding: The funding for the PPI will be secured under concessionary terms (up to 3-year moratorium and 12-year repayment at concessionary interest rates) through the German Euler Hermes cover, which Nigeria will on-lend as a convertible loan to the other shareholders in the DisCos.
According to the statement, President Buhari has approved the release of funding for the first part of Phase 1 of the PPI, to kick-off the pre-engineering and concession financing workstreams.
The ultimate goal of the #NigeriaPPI is to modernize and increase the Nigerian electricity grid capacity from about 5 GW currently to 25 GW, over three phases.
— Presidency Nigeria (@NGRPresident) May 27, 2020
“To ensure fairness and transparency of the intervention, the President has also directed that the nation engage the International Finance Corporation (‘IFC’) to assist in developing the commercial structure of the intervention…
“The President has also directed that to ensure value for money and preserve the integrity & transparency of the procurement process under the Govt-to-Govt framework, Siemens AG shall be solely responsible for nominating its EPC partners to perform all onshore works; NO middlemen.
“Our goal is simply to deliver electricity to Nigerian businesses and homes… Our intention is to ensure that our cooperation is structured under a Govt-to-Govt framework. No middlemen will be involved, so that we can achieve value for money for Nigerians,” President Buhari added.
The PPI journey started on August 31, 2018, when Chancellor Angela Merkel visited Nigeria and met with President Buhari. Then the Chancellor brought along with her a business delegation that included the Global CEO of Siemens.
Nigeria and Germany agreed to explore cooperation in a number of areas, including Power.
“Our goal is simply to deliver electricity to Nigerian businesses and homes… Our intention is to ensure that our cooperation is structured under a Govt-to-Govt framework. No middlemen will be involved, so that we can achieve value for money for Nigerians.” — President @MBuhari
— Presidency Nigeria (@NGRPresident) May 27, 2020
PPI was designed to deliver improved power supply nationwide, with attendant results in job creation, investor confidence, cost and ease of doing business and economic growth. The partnership is also expected to guarantee training & capacity building for thousands of young Nigerians (non-graduates, students & graduates).
Other goals include the creation of economic opportunities for Nigerian engineering companies that will serve as local vendors for the provision of manpower and equipment. Overall, the partnership will guarantee inflow of additional investment into the power sector.
Endeavour honours founders of Kobo360
Fixing Africa’s supply chain is clearly important for commerce on the continent.
Endeavour, a leading global movement for high-impact entrepreneurship, has honoured the founders of Kobo360, Obi Ozor and Ife Oyedele as Endeavor Entrepreneurs.
Kobo360 is a digital logistics platform that uses big data and agile technology to reduce friction and improve efficiency in the African logistics ecosystem.
Managing Director, Endeavor in Nigeria, Gihan-Mbelu, explained that the company is excited to welcome Kobo360 into Endeavor’s network which includes some of the world’s most exciting scale-up entrepreneurs and most experienced mentors and investors.
He said, “Fixing Africa’s supply chain is clearly important for commerce on the continent, and Kobo360’s rapid growth over the past 3 years is evidence that the company’s valuable services are in critical demand. Obi and Ife are inspiring founders and their relentless focus on scaling Kobo360 serves as an inspiration to high-impact entrepreneurs everywhere.”
Meanwhile, since launching in 2017, Kobo360 has surpassed several milestones, including a $30 million Series A in August 2019.
“It’s an honour to be joining this global network of high-impact entrepreneurs and to have Endeavor recognise our efforts to transform Africa’s logistics sector using technology. As entrepreneurs, we wanted to turn African problems into African opportunities.
“Focusing on logistics, Ife and I started Kobo360 to not only fix the inefficiencies that exist, but to build opportunities for the businesses we serve and most importantly, the hundreds of thousands of truck drivers across Africa. This is a fundamental milestone in Kobo360’s journey; our Global Logistics Operating System [GLOS] will revolutionize supply chain across emerging markets, Ozor, Co-founder & CEO of Kobo360.
Why these companies remain on NSE’s delisting radar
The Regulation Committee of the National Council of The Exchange (RegCom) has given approval to The Exchange to proceed with the delisting process.
Data obtained from the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) has revealed that about seven companies have been on the delisting radar of the Exchange since December 2019.
They have been either in the process of delisting their issued shares from the bourse or on the delisting watchlist of the Exchange. This was stated in the Exchange’s X-Compliance report.
The report, which is released by the Exchange every Friday and seen by Nairametrics, stated that the Regulation Committee of the National Council of The Exchange (RegCom) has approved for the Exchange to proceed with the delisting process of Evans Medical Plc, Tourist Company of Nigeria, Anino International Plc, Nigerian German Chemicals Plc, and Roads Nigeria Plc since last December.
On the other hand, Omatek Ventures and Deap Capital Management & Trust have been placed on the NSE’s delisting watch-list over their failure to comply with some post-listing requirements, including failure to file their quarterly and annual reports within a stipulated time.
Why companies delist
There are two main reasons why companies delist from the NSE or are forced to delist from the market. The first one entails punishment for companies that violate NSE’s listing rules.
The NSE periodically fines defaulting companies, whilst demanding that such companies address their corporate governance lapses. As Nairametrics reported recently, the latest X-Compliance report showed that the NSE made as much as N154 million by imposing fines on defaulting companies.
But sometimes, fines are not enough. The NSE is often forced to voluntarily delist companies whose infractions have become persistent.
On the other hand, a good number of companies have also voluntarily delisted from the NSE for various reasons, including the desire to become privately owned entities.
What you should know
In the case of Omatek Ventures, the company’s fate has been dwindling since the departure of its founder, Dr Florence Seriki. Nairametrics reported when it was accused of defaulting on its credit facility agreement with the Bank of Industry (BOI).
According to the development bank, the company has refused to service the N5.81 billion which it obtained in 2012. The bank disclosed that several measures had been employed to ensure that Omatek kept to the loan agreement, all to no avail. One of such efforts was the appointment of Ade Oyebanji as a receiver, who took inventory of all items located at Omatek’s premises at Plot 11, Kudirat Abiola Way, Oregun, Ikeja, Lagos, in January 2017.
Summary of the loan detail
In December 2012, the Bank of Industry loaned Omatek Ventures N5,808,429,033.95 in a term loan and working capital facilities agreement. The loan was disbursed to finance the procurement of assembly components for the production of laptops.
Also, as part of the requirements for obtaining the loan, the development finance bank said that it requested an Irrevocable Standing Payment Order arrangement with the defunct Skye Bank Plc in favour of BoI, all assets debenture, and an Irrevocable Personal Guarantee of the late Seriki.
Evans Medical Plc is a Nigerian pharmaceutical company that was established in 1954 and listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange in 1979. Over the years, the company has been plagued by many challenges, ranging from increasing competition to corporate governance lapses. The latest NSE X-Compliance report indicated that the company has not submitted any quarterly financial statement from 2016 to 2019. At this rate, the NSE may have no choice but to forcefully delist the company.
Nigeria-German Chemicals Plc has also not been obeying the listing rules of the NSE. The latest NSE X-Compliance report also noted that the company had not filed any financial statement since Q3 2014 till date. It will not come as a surprise if the company is delisted from the Nigerian bourse any moment from now due to regulatory reasons.
Note that the company is a chemical/healthcare company which was incorporated in 1964. It was initially known as Nigerian Hoechst Plc before it rebranded and changed to its name in 1995. It was listed on the NSE in 1979.
Amino International Plc is also in the process of delisting, primarily because it abused NSE rules by not disclosing its quarterly financial statements from 2015 till date. The company, which engages in manufacturing different kinds of personal and industrial products, was incorporated in 1981 and listed on the NSE in 1990.
Roads Nigeria Plc is a civil engineering firm that is in the business of construction of roads, bridges, dams, airfields, and real estate. The company was incorporated in 1974 and is headquartered in the Northern Nigerian city of Sokoto.
Unfortunately, the company has not released its quarterly financial statements since 2014. This is a major violation of the NSE listing rules, which could result in the company being delisted soon.
The delisting of the Tourist Company of Nigeria Plc from the Nigerian Stock Exchange may be a voluntary move by the company’s owners. The company has recently been plagued by ownership tussles, with some shareholders calling for it to be liquidated. The hospitality company was incorporated in 1964.
DEAP Capital Management Trust Plc was incorporated in 2002 and listed on the NSE in 2007. Though Nairametrics had reported earlier that it was unclear whether its delisting was voluntary or regulatory with the recent X-Compliance report, it appears that the company is struggling financially as it has failed to turn in its quarterly reports to the Exchange.