The Federal Government of Nigeria has reiterated its interest towards keeping existing investors while also seeking to attract potential investors in the country.
Vanguard reports started that the announcement was made by the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Adeniyi Adebayo, during the 2019 USA-Nigeria Business and Investment Summit held in Atlanta, Georgia, United States.
Adebayo who was represented by the Director of Infrastructure Investment and Policy Matters, Olajide Bamidele, said that Nigeria is committed to addressing issues of corruption, political instability and insecurity in the country.
He said that the government was fully aware of the challenges in the country’s investment and business environment and was making concerted efforts to tackle them.
Speaking further, Adebayo highlighted various reform initiatives by government to further ease the country’s business environment and protect investments. While stating that Nigeria’s improvement in the latest World Bank ease of doing business index, which has seen the country move 15 steps upward, was evidence of government’s efforts, he said the summit was timely, as it came amid the implementation of the Federal Government’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP).
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Adebayo also stated that the United States was key among 20 nations identified as critical to the actualization of the ERGP, hence the need for deeper economic and business ties between both countries.
While commenting during the summit, the Consul General of Nigeria in Atlanta, Aishatu Musa, urged Americans to invest in Nigeria saying it was a wise choice to make.
“Nigeria is Africa’s biggest economy and most populous nation with estimated Gross Domestic Products of 375 billion dollars, and a strong human capacity of about 200 million people. Nigeria is strategically positioned in the development equation of the West African sub-region and indeed the entire African continent.
“With all the indicators pointing to a desirable future, and abundant human and material resources, investing in Nigeria will not only be the right thing to do but the wise thing to do,’’ she said.
What you should know: The summit was a three-day event organised by the Nigerian consulate in Atlanta in collaboration with the ministry to promote investment opportunities in Nigeria. It hereby provided a platform for private and public sector players from both countries to exchange, compare policies, network and review economic relations, among others.
It also attracted officials of the host state of Georgia, American business leaders and entrepreneurs, and government representatives from Nigeria at the federal and state levels.
GMD, 2 Executive Directors buy 5 million additional units of Zenith Bank Plc shares
In three separate transactions, major stakeholders purchased 5 million units of Zenith Bank’s shares.
Zenith Bank Plc, Group Managing Director, Mr Ebenezer Onyeagwu, and two Executive Directors, Messrs. Dennis Olisa and Ahmed Umar Shuaib, have purchased an aggregate of 5 million units of additional Zenith Bank Plc shares.
This was disclosed by the bank, in a notification sent to the Nigerian Stock Exchange, and seen by Nairametrics.
According to the notification, signed by the Company’s secretary, Michael Osilama Otu, the purchase was made in the bourse, over three transactions on the 16th and 17th of September, 2020.
As part of the regulatory requirements, the disclosure must be reported to the Nigerian Stock Exchange, especially when the trade is executed by a major shareholder or director of a listed firm.
Breakdown of the deal
According to the details of the deal verified by Nairametrics, Mr. Dennis Olisa pulled the highest deal as he purchased 2,000,000 additional units of Zenith Bank Plc’s shares at an average of N17.18 per unit, totaling N34.36 million. Mr. Ahmed Umar Shuaib also purchased 2,000,000 additional units of the Bank’s share, at an average price of N16.99 worth N33.98 million. Completing the trio was, Mr. Ebenezer Onyeagwu who purchased 1,000,000 additional units at an average of N17.05 worth N17.05 million.
This major purchase boosted the total number of trade deals (Volume) posted by the Bank in the NSE market, as the deals contributed about 11.61% of the Bank’s total deals between 16th and 17th of September, 2020.
What this means
Based on the recently released H1 2020 Financial Results of Zenith Bank, Mr. Ebenezer Onyeagwu had 45,500,000 direct shares as of June 30, 2020. Mr. Ahmed Umar Shuaib had 7,577,343 direct shares, while Mr. Dennis Olisa had 7,122,316 direct shares. All these remained unchanged from their reported shares in H1 2019.
With the addition of 1,000,000 shares, Mr. Ebenezer Onyeagwu’s stake increased to 46,500,000, indicating an increase of 2.19%. Mr. Ahmed Shuaib’s shares also leaped by 26.39% to 9,577,343, while Mr. Deniss Olisa’s shares increased by 28.08% to 9,122,316 direct shares.
This deal may signify that the Bank’s insiders expect an increase in share price. It is a positive signal to outsiders, coming from top insiders who are abreast with latest information on the Bank’s prospects.
This can play a vital role in stimulating a bullish trend. Zenith Bank’s share price is currently trading at N16.70 on the NSE.
Regardless of the impact of the pandemic on the income and revenue of banks, Zenith bank still remained one of the high-flying financial organizations in Nigeria. For example, the tier-1 bank’s gross earnings grew by 4.37% from N331.5 billion in H1 2019 to N346.1 billion in H1, 2020. Its Profit After Tax increased by 16.81% from N111.7 billion to N114.1 billion within the period under review. The aforementioned factors might have been the reason behind the recent bullish trend for its stock.
FG apologizes, says Self-Certification directive is not for everyone
The Federal Government has made clarifications concerning earlier announced Self-Certification Forms.
The Nigerian government has backtracked on its earlier issued guidelines on the new banking Self-Certification Forms, saying the notice does not apply to everyone.
On Thursday, the Nigerian government ordered all persons holding accounts across financial institutions and insurance firms, to complete and submit self-certification forms to their respective financial institutions.
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It stated, “This is to notify the general public that all account holders in Financial Institutions (Banks, Insurance Companies, etc.) are required to obtain, complete, and submit Self – Certification Forms to their respective Financial Institutions. Persons holding accounts in different financial institutions are required to complete & submit the form to each one of the institutions. The forms are required by the relevant financial institutions to carry out due diligence procedures, in line with the Income Tax Regulations 2019.”
However, on Friday morning, after receiving expected backlash on social media, FG attempted a clarification stating, “We apologize for the misleading tweets (now deleted) that went up yesterday, regarding the completion of self-certification forms by Reportable Persons,” and that, “the FIRS will clarify Nigerians on the objectives of the directive.”
We apologize for the misleading tweets (now deleted) that went up yesterday, regarding the completion of self-certification forms by Reportable Persons. The message contained in the @firsNigeria Notice does not apply to everybody. FIRS will issue appropriate clarification shortly pic.twitter.com/KBiPh0lCwJ
— Government of Nigeria (@NigeriaGov) September 18, 2020
The FIRS earlier today made a statement, that the guidelines are only for non-residents, and people paying tax in more than one country.
and other persons who have residence for tax purposes in more than one jurisdiction or Country. Financial Institutions are expected to administer the Self Certification form on such account holders when information at its disposal indicates that the Account holder is a person
— FIRS Nigeria (@firsNigeria) September 18, 2020
“The Self Certification Form is basically to be administered on Reportable persons, holding accounts in Financial institutions, that are regarded as “Reportable Financial Institutions” under the CRS. Reportable persons are often non-residents and other persons, who have residence for tax purposes in more than one jurisdiction or Country.”
“The information that indicates an account holder is a resident for tax purposes in more than one jurisdiction, is expected to be available to Financial Institutions during account opening processes, for the KYC and AML purpose.” the statement read.
This is a copy of the Self-Certification form govt. wants targeted account holders to fill
The FIRS posted a copy of the self-certification form on its website.
The Nigerian government on Thursday tweeted an order to all persons holding accounts across financial institutions and insurance firms to complete and submit Self-certification forms.
This was announced by the Federal Government in a social media statement on Thursday. The FG warned that failure to comply may include a monetary penalty or inability to operate the account.
The Government also urged Nigerians to comply with the requirements and execute all forms needs, if not sanctions may be introduced in the forms of monetary penalty or inability to operate the account.
The government however deleted the tweet on Friday, explaining that it does not apply to everybody, contrary to what it had earlier tweeted. The FIRS claims those affected are non-residents.
Nairametrics has seen a copy of the “Self-Certification Forms” detailing the information that account holders are meant to share. See below;
NB: This article has been updated to reflect new information regarding who the accounts holders (reportable persons) are.