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Customs denies spending N1.6 billion on recruitment exercise alone

The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has denied the claim of Ade Fadahunsi that it paid a consultant N1.6 billion to conduct recruitment exercise.

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The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has denied the claim of the Vice Chairman, Senate Committee on Customs, Ade Fadahunsi, that it paid a consultant the sum of N1.6 billion to conduct recruitment exercise for 3,200 people to the service.

NCS insisted that the N1.6 billion was paid to the consultant for both the recruitment and training for the entire period of the exercise.

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Fadahunsi had accused the Comptroller General of the NCS, Col. Hameed Ali (retd.), of paying N1.6 billion to a consultant for the recruitment of 3,200 persons to the service.

Fadahunsi, who is a retired Assistant Comptroller General of Customs, said, “The CG wants to recruit 3,200 persons and he paid N1.6bn to a consultant to recruit 3,200 persons. The money is not for training, but to just recruit them.”

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But the Public Relations Officer, NCS, Joseph Attah, explained that the funds covered the recruitment and training, which will last six months.

[READ MORE: Nigerian Customs: Apapa Command recorded N40.6 billion FoB in 2019)

Giving a breakdown of the figures, he said, “The feeding will cost N2, 000 per trainee a day (N6.4m/day and N192m/month), which is about N1.152bn for the 3,200 persons for the six-month training at the Customs Training College, Ikeja.

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“The process of recruitment and technical partners has a budget of about N300 million. We have not even talked about t-shirt, canvas, logistics, pay for resource persons and bonus for teachers (which are all part of the figure).” He said dropping the figure as recruitment fee was misleading.

In an interview with Punch, the lawmaker had alleged that the Customs headquarters, which was awarded for N2.7 billion then is going to about N30 billion.

He said, “The project has not been completed but the furniture contract for the uncompleted building has been awarded. Who is fooling who? If Mr President sees what the man is doing, he will run out of the country.

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“That is why I am saying that Mr President should put a technical person from Customs there; if not, the man will run the place aground. The CG wants to recruit 3,200 persons and he paid N1.6bn to a consultant to recruit 3,200 persons.

“I asked him if the Nigerian Army ever used consultants to recruit personnel and he said no. He said Customs officers are corrupt and he is bringing in a consultant to recruit 3,200 persons and he will pay the firm N1.6 billion. Are you recruiting five million people? The N1.6bn is even in the budget and that is one of the reasons the budget was being queried by the leadership of the Senate.”

Patricia

Abiola has spent about 14 years in journalism. His career has covered some top local print media like TELL Magazine, Broad Street Journal, The Point Newspaper. The Bloomberg MEI alumni has interviewed some of the most influential figures of the IMF, G-20 Summit, Pre-G20 Central Bank Governors and Finance Ministers, Critical Communication World Conference. The multiple award winner is variously trained in business and markets journalism at Lagos Business School, and Pan-Atlantic University. You may contact him via email - [email protected]

4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Kingsley Nkanu

    January 16, 2020 at 3:45 am

    Ex senior customs officers should be constructive in criticizing the present administration led by the present CGC. They are obvious restructuring, I mean tangible ones going on presently in Nigeria customs.In all areas especially officers welfare, today’s custom administration can not be compared to the previous ones.

  2. Anonymous

    January 16, 2020 at 2:04 pm

    The ex senior officer of the Nigeria customs service should stop criticize the present administration of customs, if I may ask him,what is the legacy that the previous administration letf behind intemes of officer’s welfare?but I can tell you now the little period that the present CG managing the service now,we thank God.

  3. Abubakar

    March 19, 2020 at 9:35 pm

    If something comes not me and

  4. Abubakar

    March 19, 2020 at 9:39 pm

    God guide you

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Financial Services

Zenith Bank and GTBank are considering paying interim dividends despite COVID-19

Analysts earlier predicted that banks may hold off on dividend payments as a way of cutting down on costs in view of COVID-19.

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Zenith Bank’s board of directors is set to meet on July 23rd, 2020 to consider the tier-1 bank’s audited financial statements for half-year 2020. The directors will also consider “the proposal for recommendation of interim dividend for shareholders,” said a notice that was sent by the company to the Nigerian Stock Exchange.

In a similar development, Guaranty Trust Bank Plc said in a statement to the NSE that “issues relating to half-year dividend may also be discussed” when its board of directors meet later this month.

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Zenith Bank and GTBank, which are two of the most profitable banks in Nigeria, have always paid interim dividends to their shareholders. However, analysts earlier predicted that many banks may hold off on dividend payments as a way of cutting down on costs, in view of COVID-19 and its attendant economic implications. It is, therefore, fascinating to see that Zenith Bank and GTBank are considering interim dividends nonetheless.

Elsewhere, banks around the world have either been warned not to pay dividends at all or to be careful with dividend payouts. In April, The Economic Times reported that the Reserve Bank of India advised Indian banks to suspend dividend payments in order to conserve their capital amid the pandemic. In a similar development, regulators in Europe also banned European banks from paying any dividend in 2020. In Australia, banks were advised to slash their dividend payouts. Meanwhile, over in North America, the US Federal Reserve announced in late June that it will temporarily restrict dividend payouts by some of the country’s biggest banks, the New York Times reported.

As Nairametrics had repeatedly reported, the COVID-19 pandemic is expected to adversely impact different sectors of the Nigerian economy, including the financial institutions. An earlier report by Nairametrics quoted Augusto & Co to have predicted how the pandemic would weaken Nigerian banks’ assets. An April report by PwC also highlighted some of the ways COVID-19 could impact Nigerian banks.

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In the meantime, the Banking Industry Risk Indicator (BIRI) in Nigeria stands at a score of 12.14 out of 100, according to a recent analysis by Fitch Solutions, as Nairametrics reported.


Do note that Zenith Bank Plc has declared a closed period for the trading in its stock starting from July 6th, 2020. The closed period will last until 24 hours after the company’s half-year 2020 financial report is released to the public. In the meantime, all persons with inside knowledge of Zenith Bank’s affairs shall be prohibited from buying and selling the company’s stock during the closed period. 

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Financial Services

GTBank declares closed period as directors meet July 22nd to consider H1 result

GTBank reported a net interest income of N64.28 billion in Q1 2020 as against N53.58 billion in Q1 2019.

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GTBank H1 2020 result

Guaranty Trust Bank Plc (GTBank) has declared a closed period ahead of the release of its audited half-year 2020 financial statements.

A corporate disclosure that was signed by the Company Secretary (Erhi Obebeduo) and sent to the Nigerian Stock Exchange said the closed period commenced on July 3rd, 2020. In line with the listing rules of the NSE, the closed period is expected to last until twenty-four hours after the bank’s financial statements have been released to the public.

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Note that the implication of the closed period is that all persons with insider knowledge of the company’s affairs are hereby prohibited from trading the company’s stock.

READ ALSO: Fidelity Bank announces closed period as it readies to release unaudited Q1 2020 result

Meanwhile, members of GTBank’s board of directors are scheduled to meet on July 22nd to consider the audited HI 2020 financial statements. A separate notice that was sent to the NSE said:

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“Pursuant to the post-listing requirements of the Nigerian Stock Exchange for quoted companies, Guaranty Trust Bank Plc hereby informs you that the board of directors of our bank is scheduled to meet on Wednesday, July 22, 2020, to consider the audited financial statement for the half-year ended June 30, 2020. Issues relating to half-year dividend may also be discussed at the meeting.”

The audited financial statements for half-year 2020 shall be sent to the Central Bank of Nigeria for approval prior to being made public through the Nigerian Stock Exchange.

READ ALSO: Analysis: GTB is minting profits but CBN is squeezing its cash.

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Recall that GTBank reported a net interest income of N64.28 billion in Q1 2020 as against N53.58 billion in Q1 2019. In the same vein, the tier-1 bank’s profit before tax grew by 2.1% to N58.2 billion, up from N57 billion in Q1 2019. Profit after tax also grew from N49.3 billion in Q1 2019 to N50 billion in Q1 2020.

GTBank closed last week’s trading on the Nigerian Stock Exchange with a share price of N20.80, according to trading reports seen by Nairametrics. Year to date, the stock has lost by more than -19%.

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Coronavirus

COVID-19: WHO stops hydroxychloroquine, HIV drugs trial after failure 

The WHO boss had earlier warned that the worst is yet to come from the coronavirus pandemic.

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Dr Tedros Adhanom, Head of the World health organization (WHO), COVID-19

The World Health Organization (WHO) has announced that it was going to abandon its trials of the malaria drug, hydroxychloroquine and combination of HIV drug, lopinavir/ritonavir on hospitalized patients that have coronavirus disease after they failed to reduce the death rate. 

This is a major setback for the WHO in the face of a second wave of the virus outbreak in US, China, Asia and some American countries. The United Nations (UN) health agency reported over 200,000 new cases of the disease globally, the first time in a single day. 

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According to a statement from the WHO, ‘’These interim trial results show that hydroxychloroquine and lopinavir/ritonavir produce little or no reduction in the mortality of hospitalized COVID-19 patients when compared to standard of care. Solidarity trial investigators will interrupt the trials with immediate effect.’’ 

READ ALSO: Nigeria’s ratings risk downgrade over rising debt and lower revenue

The WHO has hinged its decision on the recommendation of the trial’s international steering committee and does not affect other studies where those drugs are used for non-hospitalized patients. 

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Another aspect of the WHO-led trial is looking at the potential effect of Gilead’s antiviral drug remdesivir on COVID-19. The European Commission gave remdesivir a conditional approval for use on Friday after it was discovered that it helps reduce hospital recovery times. 

The trial which is led by WHO started with five branches looking at possible treatment approaches to coronavirus. They include, standard care, remdesivirhydroxychloroquinelopinavir/ritonavir, and lopanivir/ritonavir combined with interferon. 

The WHO Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, disclosed on Friday that almost 5,500 patients in 39 countries had been recruited into its clinical trials and that interim results were expected in the next two weeks. 

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There are about 18 experimental COVID-19 vaccines that are being tested on humans with almost 150 treatments under development. 

A top emergency expert from WHO, Mike Ryan, said it would not be wise to predict when a vaccine could be ready because while a vaccine candidate might show its effectiveness by the end of the year, the challenge might be how soon it could be mass-produced. 

READ MORE: Developing countries will pay less for COVID-19 drug – Gilead reveals 

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The WHO boss had a few days ago warned that the worst is yet to come from the coronavirus pandemic due to lack of global solidarity and the susceptibility of most people to the virus, which still has a lot of room to move. He stated that contact tracing of people that are infected with the virus is the most important step in fighting the coronavirus pandemic. 

The UN health agency had also revealed its plans with its partners to buy 2 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines for the most vulnerable people across the globe. The plan projects that the doses of the COVID-19 vaccine will be distributed to countries with special priority on high-risk persons like people above 65 years, health care personnel and other adults with ailments like diabetes.  

 

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