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N1.5 billion Probe: Contractor could land in EFCC net for abandoning CCB project 

A contractor may be probed by antigraft agencies for deserting a CCB project after collecting N1.5 billion to commence the project. 

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Senate urges FG to diversify from crude oil to natural gas production , Senate seeks textile importation ban , Senate receives six aviation sector bills from Buhari , PenCom: Constitute a board, NASS and pension operators tell FG, Nigeria’s total debt now N33trn —Senate, Senate confirms appointment of board members for NDIC, law reform commission, Senate to confirm reappointment of Danbatta as NCC boss, Senate investigates claims of NELMCO, AEDC over govt asset

A contractor may be probed by antigraft agencies for abandoning a Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) project after collecting a whopping sum of N1.5 billion to commence the project.

The Details: Nairametrics learnt that the contractor in question was given the money as mobilization fee in 2015 to construct the headquarters of CCB. However, he defaulted on the agreement after receiving the supposed money, abandoning the structure at foundation stage.

[READ MORE: Lafarge dismisses Alleged SEC probe]

The National Assembly Joint Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions were unhappy with this development, therefore, they sought the help of anti-graft agencies to get to the bottom of the matter.

Senator Ayo Akinyelure, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions made this public when the CCB, Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT), and the Public Complaints Commission (PCC), appeared at the federal parliament to defend their 2020 budgets.

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His worry heightened when he realized the CCB was unperturbed by the issue. He wondered why the management of the CCB or other government agencies chose to close their eyes to the issue for over four years.

The Federal Government paid N1.5 billion to a contractor in a bid for the nation to have a befitting headquarters for the Code of Conduct Bureau in the Federal Capital Territory. As of 2015, the project was still at the foundation stage and nothing has been done since then.

We want you (CCB) to furnish us with the project details, and if any refund has been made by the contractor. We expect the relevant anti-corruption agency to have started the probe of the contractor before now,” Akinyelure said.

[READ ALSO: Heads could roll as President Buhari orders for immediate probe of the NDDC]

Further Details: The lawmakers were surprised when the CCB Chairman, Mohammed Issa and the Chairman of the CCT, Danladi Umar disclosed that capital votes have eluded them since 2018. This disclosure made the Senate Committee place the three agencies – CCB, CCT and the PCC on first-line charges. The committee said this is one of the ways the agencies will enjoy more funding to carry on their activities.

Considering the current complaints about poor revenue accruable to the Federal Government, the budgets of the CCB, CCT and the PCC should be on first line charge under statutory transfers.

We are going to communicate that to the Executive so that whatever is approved for them would be released to them 100 per cent so that they could do their work effectively. We need to do this to show Nigerians that we are serious about corruption war in this country,” Akinyelure added.

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

FG inaugurates Committee on the Commercialization of the Nigeria Film Corporation

The Minister said that the FG is repositioning the NFC for effective service delivery.

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FG increases hate speech fine from N500,000 to N5 million, moves against monopoly and antitrust, Coronavirus, covid-19, Minister of information briefing

The Federal Government inaugurated a Steering Committee on the Commercialization of the Nigeria Film Corporation (NFC), with the aim of making Nigeria’s film industry a continental entertainment power.

This inauguration was performed by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed in Abuja on Monday. The Minister added that the FG is repositioning the NFC for effective service delivery.

“What we are doing today is to simply reposition the NFC in a manner that will enable it to play the role statutorily assigned to it,” he said.

The Minister added that Nigeria’s film industry is a major boost for Nigerian soft power and entertainment, citing the need for repositioning by the FG as a means to enable effective service delivery for the film industry to grow.

The Minister added that Nigeria lags behind her film making counterparts in the film production value chain, citing Nigeria’s 142 movie theaters compared to 782 in South Africa and 11,209 in India and many others. He urged state governments to invest a part of their infrastructure budgets for the entertainment industry as a means to generate jobs and grow the GDP.

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“It is important to appeal, especially to our state governments, to invest in infrastructure in the industry. I don’t think it will be too much for the state governments to ensure they build at least one cinema house in each local government area of their state. That will give us additional 774 cinema houses, ” he said.

The Minister added that the role of the NFC is to regulate Nigeria’s film industry and organise professional practice in the sector and also addressed challenges facing the NFC like the inability to produce its own films for commercial purposes due to the law establishing the Corporation limits on its operational functions.

Lai Mohammed said the NFC will be repositioned as the FG has engaged the services of a Business Development Consultant to conduct due diligence on the corporation and the sector and recommend a strategy that is suitable for its reform and commercialization.

“Dear members of the SC, your appointment into this committee comes with huge trust and belief in your ability and capacity to make this reform happen. I therefore urge you to consider this a critical national assignment that requires unflinching commitment and zeal,” he stated.

The members of the Steering Committee are: Honourable Minister, Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, Alhaji Mohammed as Chairman; Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, Deaconess Grace Isu-Gekpe; Director-General, BPE, Mr. Alex Okoh; Managing Director, NFC, Dr. Chidia Maduekwe, and Director, Industries and Communications, BPE, Abdullahi Dikko, as Secretary.

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Company Results

Briscoe Motors: Pioneer dealer of Toyota automobile in Nigeria suffers N1.27bn loss

The Auto dealer has a working capital deficit of N14.76bn, driven by a bank overdraft of N15.76bn 

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Pioneer dealer of Toyota automobile in Nigeria suffers a N1.27bn loss

The Nigerian Stock Exchange has released the audited financial results of Briscoe Motors. The results revealed that the auto dealer suffered a loss of N1.27 bn in 2019. 

According to the report released by the exchange today, the company’s performance is an improvement, when compared with thN2.18bn loss, the company reported in 2018. 

Highlights 

  • Revenue increased by 33.9% 
  • Cost of sales increased 41.8% 
  • Operating profit increased by 94.5% 
  • Finance costs decreased by 37.3% 
  • Loss for the year decreased by 41.7% 

cursory view of R.T. Briscoe’s performance, revealed that revenue increased from N5.18bn in 2018 to N6.94bn in 2019. This increase was driven by the improvement in the dealer’s core business segment, as the proceeds from the sale of Motor vehicle and accessories in 2019, rose by 59.7%. 

This improvement in revenue is a consequence of the board’s decision in 2017, to return the company back to profitability, with avid steps taken to restructure the business for greater efficiency and economic rewards, via a strategic positioning of the company’s business segment to customers. This has helped the core business segment of Briscoe in recent years. 

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Despite this improvement, it is noteworthy that the 61% increase in the cost, coming from the company’s activities in the Motor vehicle and accessories segment, continue to pressure the growth prospect of the dealer. 

(READ MORE: OPay and WorldRemit partner to offer International Mobile Money Transfer Service)

In like manners, the rising cost of sales from this segment was compounded by a N1.45 billion finance cost, which the company incurred during the year, as the company is aggressively geared with bank overdraft of N15.76bn, representing 86% of the total liabilities of the company. 

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With recoverability of the trade and other receivables of the company long overdue, the Toyota Automobile dealer is exposed to credit risk, as trade and other receivables accounted for 31% of the total assets value of N8.914bn. 

Key issues facing the company  

It is noteworthy that the auto dealer has a massive working capital deficit of N14.76bn, driven by a current debt of N15.76bn.  

With bank overdraft and other debt unpaid, the company faces penalty charges by banks and court litigations. All these issues have led to winding-up cases of the company, from the banks and other creditors. 

As a result of both current and previous losses incurred over the years, the shareholders’ fund has been completely eroded, to the tune of N9.5bn and N9.9bn deficit for the group and company respectively, as at December 2019. The widespread vulnerability in the company’s book has cast doubts on the goingconcern of the company. 

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Corporate Press Releases

Pan-African software company AirSmat raises $100,000 investment

The new product innovation is a crucial area of focus for AirSmat.

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AirSmat, a Pan-African Software company, has received a boost of $100,000 from Zetogon, a UK-based company, as pre-seeding investment to help the organization on the journey to deliver world-class service in the African continent.

The Nigerian-based firm will use the funds to get the flagship product, SmatCrows, to customers in Nigeria and support the product launch.

Speaking on the investment, the Chief Technology Officer, Adeoluwa Ibikunle, said:

“The new investment will enable AirSmat to further build on its position as a startup that helps customers to proactively take business decisions backed by intelligence obtained from AirSmat AI-based platform. We are starting out with food security for the continent; our solution allows smart farmers to gain control of their crop yield and general farming activities. Our innovative and creative approach will use world-class AI-powered software aimed at improving the efficiency of African farmers in terms of yields and productivity using the power of AirSmat Artificial Intelligent (AAI) driven software. The software will provide timely information about the state of their crops and general operations on their farmlands.”

On new markets, “Nigeria comes first with an official launch of our flagship product called Smatcrows in October and a similar launch would be carried out in other African countries by Q2 2021,” Ibikunle said.

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In a statement issued by the management of Zetogon, it was said that, “The funds will be used to support the launch of the software services designed to change the agricultural landscape by providing AI driven data that will add value to farming and all agro-allied businesses.”

The new product innovation is a crucial area of focus for AirSmat, which will enable farmers to get more information about their farmlands, thus ensuring timely decision making and, ultimately, increase crop yield.

AirSmat is a software company founded on the belief that drones will shape the future. The company aims to provide cutting edge software solutions to many rapidly growing industries adopting drones into daily operations by helping to transform the way businesses collect, manage, and interpret drone data. AirSmat  desires to help businesses unlock the power of drone data.

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