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Halima Alao steps down from UPDC Board  

UACN Property Development Company Plc (UPDC) has announced the resignation of its board member, Halima Alao.

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Halima Alao

UACN Property Development Company Plc (UPDC) has announced the resignation of its board member, Halima Alao. Before Alao’s resignation, she was a member of the Statutory Audit Committee, the Risk Management Committee and the Remuneration and Governance Committee. 

Alao’s resignation as Non-Executive Director of the company was announced in a statement signed by the Secretary/Legal Adviser of the company, Folake Kalaroon and published on the website of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE). 

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Reason for Alao’s resignation? The real estate company didn’t disclose what led to the resignation of Alao. 

[READ MORE: Onoro appointed as acting MD, PAL Pensions]

However, her resignation was accepted, as the company expressed a deep appreciation to her for her valuable contributions over the years 

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Halima Alao’s profile: Architect (Mrs.) Alao graduated with B.Sc. (Hons) and M.Sc. (Architecture) from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. She also holds a Master Degree in Public Administration from the University of Ilorin. She is an alumnus of the Advanced Management and Leadership Programme of Oxford University Business School. 

She is a member of the Nigerian Institute of Architects. She served the nation variously as Sole Administrator/Chairman, Ilorin South Local Government; Permanent Secretary, Kwara State Ministry of Land & Housing; Permanent Secretary, Kwara State Ministry of Works and Transport; Executive Secretary, Kwara State Commission for Women; Honourable Minister of State for Education; Minister of State for Health, and Honourable Minister of Environment, Housing and Urban Development. She is the director of Tham Girl-Child Foundation. 

She joined the Board on 13th January 2010 as a Non-Executive Director. She is a member of the Statutory Audit Committee and the Risk & Governance Committee. 

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Prior to this developmentUAC Nigeria announced to spin off its shareholding in UPDC to its shareholders. Figures from UPDC’s FY 2018 results, however, show that UAC holds 64.16% or 1.6 billion of the 2.5 billion outstanding shares.  

[READ ALSO: Banjo Adegbohungbe appointed Deputy Managing Director, Coronation Merchant Bank]

Similarly, UPDC has, through its Stockbroker, Stanbic IBTC Stockbrokers Limited, submitted an application to The Nigerian Stock Exchange for the approval and listing of a Rights Issue of N15.96 billion. 

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The rights issue is of Fifteen Billion, Nine Hundred and Sixty One Million, Five Hundred and Sixty-Three Thousand, Two Hundred and Sixty (15,961, 563, 260) ordinary shares of Fifty Kobo (N0.50) each at One Naira (N1.00) per share, on the basis of forty-three (43) new ordinary shares for every seven (7) ordinary shares held. 

Patricia

Reincarnated as a lover of stocks, Angel investors, seed funds, and anything aligned to tech or startups raising money, Joseph's work at Nairametrics involves following the money to wherever it leads. Before joining Nairametrics, he won an investigative journalism fellowship with ICIR, appeared in several national dallies, with hard-hitting opinions, features and investigative pieces. He has also engaged in content marketing and copywriting for a top e-commerce firm in Nigeria.

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Business

UPDATED: Court rules ICAN members do not need CITN license to file tax returns

The suit, which was filed some years ago by CITN, was basically struck out for lacking merit.

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ICAN

Justice S. A. Onigbanjo of the High Court of Lagos State has ruled that members of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) do not need to be licensed by the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN) before they can file tax returns.

The ruling on July 2nd followed a suit filed by CITN trying to restrain ICAN members from filing tax returns for their clients unless they have a practicing CITN license.

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A notice to ICAN members regarding this development, as seen by Nairametrics, noted that Justice Onigbanjo struck out the suit after describing it as “an abuse of court process and an embarrassment to the judiciary.”

The backstory: Nairametrics understands that the disagreement between ICAN and CITN stemmed from the misinterpretation of a 2015 Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and Terms of Settlement (ToS) between the two organisations. Consequently, CITN had filed a suit before the High Court of Lagos State, seeking the following:

  • A declaration that the Memorandum of Understanding and Terms of Service both dated February 12, 2015 between the CITN and ICAN are valid, subsisting, and binding on the CITN and ICAN.
  • An injunction restraining ICAN whether by its agents, privies, assigns, or whosoever called, from repudiating, resiling from or acting in any manner or doing anything that is inconsistent with, contrary to or is a violation of the Memorandum of Understanding and the Terms of Settlement dated February 12, 2015, between the CITN and ICAN.
  • Determine whether the Memorandum of Understanding and Terms of Settlement both dated February 12, 2015 between the CITN and ICAN are valid, subsisting, and binding on CITN and the ICAN.

However, last week’s ruling by Justice S. A. Onigbanjo which, by the way, was delivered virtually due to COVID-19, has made it impossible for the CITN to implement the terms of the 2015 MoU and ToS. The ruling also aligned with ICAN’s earlier objection to the MoU and ToS.

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The status quo: In view of this development, ICAN has informed its members that they do not need to obtain any license from the CITN before they can file tax returns for their clients with the Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS.

ICAN members were also informed that an earlier ruling by the Federal High Court on the case does not affect the status quo. This is because “the earlier ruling by the Federal High Court in Suit No. FHC/L/CS/125/2019 did not make pronouncement on the memorandum and terms of settlement between ICAN and CITN.” More so, regulation 5 of the FIRS Act was not reflected in the earlier judgment of the Federal High Court.

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China more willing to restructure Africa’s debt than private creditors

Agreements have been easier to reach with Chinese lenders than with private creditors.

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A recent study by John Hopkins University reveals it may be easier for African Nations to raise debt and also get debt relief from China than private creditors.

The report of the study comes a day after China promised to cancel interests from loans to African nations and restructure debt to Africa. The study also revealed that China has restructured $15 billion of African debt and written off $3.4 billion in the past ten years.

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After 1,000 Chinese loans, including restructured Mozambican and Republic of Congo debt, were analysed, the researchers concluded that “the agreements have been easier to reach with Chinese lenders than with private creditors”.

The Paris Club recently agreed to pause debt payment valued at $11 billion for the poorest 73 nations freeing up capital to tackle the coronavirus pandemic. However, not all eligible nations signed up citing fears of default ratings if debt obligations are not met.

The study discovers difficulties in renegotiating terms on International Bonds for African countries due to the disparate ownership structure making private creditors unwilling to grant complete debt relief, citing warnings on rating downgrades.

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China accounts for about 20% of Africa’s external debt and lent over $150 billion to the continent between 2000-2018 the study reveals. Chinese President, Xi Jinping has urged global leaders to be more pragmatic with debt suspension for Africa.

The study says much of the terms of Chinese debt to Africa has not been transparent and the relief negotiations may follow the same path.

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Orange, France’s largest telco operator, may come to Nigeria in months

Orange would also be looking at bolstering partnerships with health companies or institutions.

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Orange, France's largest telco operator, may come to Nigeria in months

France’s largest telecom operator, Orange, is set to extend its tentacles to Nigeria and South Africa.

Chief Executive Officer, Orange, Stephane Richard, who disclosed the news, said that the firm would make the move in a few months.

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He said, “It could make sense to be in economies such as Nigeria and South Africa. If one considers there are things to do, the time frame I am considering is rather a few months than a few years.”

READ ALSO: French telco inks investment partnership with MainOne

The Middle East and Africa, where Orange has a presence in 18 countries, is the company’s fastest-growing market.

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What you need to know: There are chances that the company may eye payment transfers (mobile) in Nigeria.

That is because it makes the largest chunk of its revenue from payment transfers (Middle East), a key part of the group’s diversification into financial services, and Nigeria, which is the most populous black nation, is always an attraction.

READ MORE: Multichoice to integrate Netflix, Amazon contents into decoder

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Meanwhile, earlier in 2020, Orange had stated that it was bringing its operations in the Middle East and Africa into a single entity, paving the way for a potential listing of the operations that could raise cash to invest in overseas expansion.

“Orange would also be looking at bolstering partnerships with health companies or institutions,” he added.

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