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Royal Exchange subsidiary receives investment from German Government

Royal Exchange Plc announced yesterday that InsuResillience Investment Fund has completed the acquisition of 39.25% equity stake in its subsidiary.

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Royal Exchange completes acquisition deal between German Fund and subsidiary , Royal Exchange subsidiary receives investment from German Government

Royal Exchange Plc announced yesterday that German-owned InsuResillience Investment Fund has completed the acquisition of 39.25% equity stake in its subsidiary – Royal Exchange General Insurance Limited.

The InsuResilience Investment Fund was set up by Germany’s state-owned development bank – KfW – on behalf of the German Government. The fund is managed by Blue Orchard Investment Ltd, a Swiss impact investment manager.

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Royal Exchange Plc appoints new Directors, Royal Exchange, subsidiaries fail to release 2019 financial result again, risk financial sanction

According to a statement that was made available to the public by Royal Exchange, the investment would enable Royal Exchange General Insurance Ltd to expand on its underwriting capacity, particularly so in the agriculture underwriting space. This is probably coming at the perfect time, considering the fact that Nigeria is approaching its farming season.

Royal Exchange also claimed that the investment has now strategically put it in a vantage position, which will enable it create value by catering to the needs of many under-insured small-scale farmers in the country. Part of the statement by the company said:

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“We assure our shareholders and the investing public that the Company is strategically positioned to capture the opportunity by over 30 million under-insured small scale farmers by leveraging on technology to increase the resilience of small scale farmers to climate change. 

“We also reiterate our commitment to continue to develop innovative products and services to meet the insurance needs of the general public.”

[READ MORE: Royal Exchange, subsidiaries fail to release 2019 financial result, risk financial sanction)

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Established on February 28 1918, Royal Exchange Plc is also one of the oldest companies in Nigeria. It is also the oldest insurance company in Nigeria where it offers wide-ranging services, including life insurance, health insurance, and general insurance, etc.

Yesterday, the company informed stakeholders about its inability to meet the March 31st deadline to disclose its audited 2019 financial statement. As Nairametrics reported, the company blamed the late submissions by its subsidiaries for being responsible for the delay.

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The company’s unaudited 2019 financial report shows that it reported a loss after tax of N215.3 million. This is worse than the N156.2 million loss after tax the company recorded in full-year 2018.

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Emmanuel holds an MSc. in International Relations and a B.A in Philosophy & Logic, both from the University of Ibadan. He is a communications professional. As a Lead Business Analyst at Nairametrics, he focuses mostly on quoted companies, their products/services, and the economy in which they operate. Emmanuel is also experienced in the areas of corporate communication, brand communication, corporate storytelling, public relations, business research, management/strategy, etc. You may contact him via his email- emmanuel.abara@nairametrics.com.

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Coronavirus

COVID-19 now a national security threat, as 2020 fiscal deficit exceeds FRA Standards

Reports from the Addendum to the 2020-2022 MTEF/FSP reveal that the revised fiscal deficit is estimated at N4.58 trillion from N1.85 trillion

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Covid-19 Regarded As Threat To National Security With 2020 Fiscal Deficit Higher Than FRA Standards

Given the vulnerability of Nigeria to the current global economic disruption, a series of key adjustments have been made to the 2020 fiscal framework. One of such is the fiscal deficit and deficit financing strategy following revisions to projected revenue and planned expenditure.

Reports from the Addendum to the 2020-2022 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper (MTEF/FSP), reveal that the revised fiscal deficit is estimated at N4.58 trillion from N1.85 trillion in the 2020 Budget Framework passed by NASS.

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This level of deficit is 3.29% of GDP and this is above the threshold of 3% of GDP as stipulated in the Fiscal Responsibility Act (FRA), 2007. Section 12 of the Fiscal Responsibility Act (FRA), 2007 (as amended), stipulates that:

(i) “the estimates of aggregate expenditure and the aggregate amount appropriated by the National Assembly for each financial year shall not be more than the estimated aggregate revenue plus a deficit, not exceeding three% of the estimated Gross Domestic Product or any sustainable percentage as may be determined by the National Assembly for each financial year”; and,

(ii) “aggregate expenditure for the financial year may exceed the ceiling imposed by the provisions of (i) above, if in the opinion of the President there is a clear and present threat to national security or sovereignty of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”

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(READ MORE: FG discloses how it will finance N5.36 trillion budget deficit)

According to the report, when the revenues and expenditures of the 10 GOEs as well as expenditures financed from project-tied loans are captured in the FGN’s budget, the aggregate fiscal deficit for 2020 will be N4.95 trillion, which is 3.55% of GDP.”

 “We believe that the COVID-19 crisis poses a threat to national security within the contemplation of the FRA 2007, and therefore the President can legitimately approve a deficit in excess of 3% of GDP.” 

The deficit will primarily be financed by new borrowings estimated at N4.17 trillion – N1.98 trillion from external (multilateral) concessional sources like the IMF, World Bank, & African Development Bank, and new domestic debts of about N593.89 billion. N126.04 billion will also be derived from Privatization proceeds, N263.63 billion from the Federal Government’s Special Accounts to fund covid-19 expenditures, and N387.30 billion will be drawn down on multilateral/bilateral loans obtained for specific development projects.

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Economy & Politics

Here is what Akinwunmi Adesina said about allegations against him

Akinwumi Adesina has denied allegations made against him by a group of whistleblowers describing them as frivolous and not based on solid facts. 

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AFDB partners DFID to unveil $80m infrastructure financing for Africa , AfDB invests $600 million in Africa’s renewable energy, discloses de-risk plan , Nobody eats GDP – AfDB President, Adesina tells African leaders , Africa’s Debt Problem: AfDB replies World Bank, accuses it of misleading public , The responses to allegations against me – AfDB President, Akinwumi Adesina

The President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Akinwumi Adesina has denied allegations made against him by a group of whistleblowers describing them as frivolous and not based on objective and solid facts.

This was contained in his response dated April 8, 2020, to the bank’s ethics committee on the allegations against him.

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Nairametrics had reported the probe of the activities of Adesina, some allegations from a group of whistleblowers. Here are his responses to some of the allegations.

On the appointment of Mrs. Chinelo Anohu-Amazu. Adesina explained that she was recruited through a globally advertised, open and competitive recruitment process that was carried out by a top-notch external recruitment firm, Russell Reynolds of the UK. He disclosed that she was one of two top candidates that were recommended to him for consideration by the panel and so the allegations of single-handedly appointing her is not true.

On the appointment and promotions of Martin Fregene, the AfDB boss pointed out that he is not his brother-in-law. He said Fregene was hired as a consultant by the Bank Vice President for Agriculture, Human and Social Development, Jennifer Blake, to support her in the development of the Bank’s Feed Africa strategy. He admitted approving the recommended hire which was entirely within his power to do.

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(READ MORE:AfDB’s Akinwumi Adesina hits back, denies allegations against him)

On the mismanagement of the TAAT programme, he said that he did not violate the Code of Conduct. In his words, ‘’Although some staff made some mistakes in the procurement process, this is being investigated by the Bank and no findings have been made yet. There was no impropriety. The president does not get involved in contractual issues in the Bank, except in cases involving matters that may affect the image, reputation, and interests of the Bank’’.

On the appointment and promotion of Mrs Maria Mulundi. Adesina said that she worked with him prior to joining the Bank. Going further he said, ‘’She was part of my transition management team as I prepared to take office at the bank following my election as President, and she very ably led all engagements with the Bank with my transition team. All Presidents of the Bank are allowed to bring in and appoint their own Chief of Staff and advisers, to help them to implement their mandate’’.

On the contracting and appointment of Victor Oladokun, Adesina pointed out that they went to the university together and have been very close friends since then. He said that there is nothing in the Bank rules that says that being a friend of anyone in the Bank who gets recruited at the bank is against Bank rules.

On the allegation that a Nigerian, Mr Ezinwa was found guilty of sexually harassing a colleague during his probation period; and despite his misconduct, I requested that his contract be confirmed, thus forcing the HR Director, Mrs Frauke Harnischfeger to resign is false. He said,

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‘’The truth is that I do not know Mr. Ezinwa and have never met him in the Bank. The President does not get involved in any staff appraisals except for Vice Presidents and direct reports. The then HR Director, Mr. David Ssegawa, evaluated the staff and there was nothing about sexual harassment. Mrs Frauke Harnischfeger was not the HR Director in 2018. The HR Director in 2018 was Mr David Ssegawa, who evaluated the staff and recommended the staff, as per the standard procedures of the Bank, to the President. Ms Harnischfeger joined the Bank in 2019, one year after a confirmation recommendation made by the predecessor HR Director’’. 

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(READ MORE: AfDB partners DFID to unveil $80m infrastructure financing for Africa)

On the allegation of preferential treatment for Nigeria and Nigerians, the AfDB President said that he did not introduce an organizational chart with a Nigeria Country Directorate. He said that decision was taken by the Board of Directors under the leadership of his predecessor, Donald Kaberuka.

Adesina said that the allegation on settlements for staff separations and that somehow the former Chief Economist, Mr. Celestine Monga, departed the Bank with improper payments is false. He disclosed that the Chief Economist was not dismissed while pointing out that contract non-renewal is not the dismissal of staff.

On the allegation of awards received by the President and costs borne by the Bank, Adesina said that although they were individual prizes, they brought great credit and prestige to the AfDB. He said that he brought further credit to himself and the Bank by donating these two cash awards for the establishment of the World Hunger Fighters Foundation and the Borlaug Adesina Fellows Fellowship for young African Agribusiness Innovators. He also disclosed that the expenses of the World Food Prize event, including musical entertainment (musical groups from Nigeria and the Glee Club from Purdue University (my alma mater) were defrayed by the World Food Prize Foundation.

On the resignation of Mr David Ssegawa, the HR Director, Adesina denied that he allowed him to resign when there was an investigation against him. He said there was absolutely no investigation of David Ssegawa when he resigned, nor was one contemplated.

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On the allegation of political lobbying and bribing of Heads of State to support his re-election, Adesina pointed out that the allegation essentially impugns the integrity, leadership and honesty of 16 African presidents and ECOWAS. He described the allegation as fanciful and baseless.

 

 

 

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Business News

Nigerians will now pay N50 stamp duty on electronic receipts – FIRS

“Any electronic receipt for, or electronic transfer of, money deposited with any bank or with any banker in any type of account of an amount from N10,000 upwards shall attract a singular or one-off duty of the sum of N50.” –FIRS

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7.5% VAT: Implementation to begin Feb 1 – FG, FIRS redeploys 50 directors in massive shakeup ,FIRS moves to stop tax evasion with newly launched intelligence system , FIRS boss, Nami discloses why FIRS failed to meet revenue target under Fowler, FIRS to scale up tax compliance with new policies , FIRS tighten noose on deduction of stamp duty, CIT, others , Nigerians will now pay N50 stamp duty on electronic receipts – FIRS

Nigerians will now pay stamp duties on all forms of electronic notifications acknowledging receipts of funds.

This includes SMS and messages on any electronic platform such as emails and Whatsapp messages.

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This is according to a circular that was signed by FIRS’ Executive Chairman, Muhammad Nami, as seen on the tax agency’s website. Part of the circular said:

“Any electronic receipt for, or electronic transfer of, money deposited with any bank or with any banker in any type of account of an amount from N10,000 upwards shall attract a singular or one-off duty of the sum of N50.

“Stamp duty upon receipt (written, printed or in electronic form) for transactions between corporate bodies or between a corporate body and an individual, group or body of individuals, which amounts to N10,000 and above, shall be denoted by payment of N50 per receipt to the service.”

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The FIRS circular also stated that stamp duties will be paid on “POS receipts, fiscalised device receipts, Automated Teller Machine (ATM) print-outs.”

(READ MORE:Nigerians react as FIRS Chairman asks companies to pay tax before due date)

The circular went further to categorically state that all receipts, either printed or electronically generated, or any form of electronic acknowledgement of money transactions, will attract the stamp duty of N50.

The agency also clarified that it is the only body authorised to collect such duties because “the Federal Inland Revenue Service is the only competent authority to impose, charge, and collect duties upon instruments specified in the schedule to this act if such instrument relates to matters executed between a company and an individual, group or body of individuals.”

The instruments subject to charge, as listed in the circular, include; fixed duty instruments such as Power of Attorney, Certificate of Attorney, Proxy forms, Appointment of receivers, Memorandum of Understanding, Joint Venture Agreements, Guarantors form, Ordinary agreements and Receipts; and Ad-valorem instruments such as Tenancy or lease agreements, legal mortgage or debentures, Sales agreements and Deed of assignments.

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