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Business News

Despite COVID-19, Lagos State Government says Q1 budget performance rose to N163.2 billion

This performance, according to the Lagos State Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, Mr. Sam Egube, “is higher than the 68% (N148.3 billion) recorded for the same period in 2019.”

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Despite COVID-19, Lagos state raised ₦163.2 billion in revenue in Q1 2020, N14.9 billion higher than Q1 2019

In spite of the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Lagos State Government recorded a 56% budget performance in Q1 2020 with N163.2 billion in revenue, N14.9 billion more than Q1 2019.

This performance, according to the Lagos State Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, Mr. Sam Egube, “is higher than the 68% (N148.3 billion) recorded for the same period in 2019.”

Speaking at the press briefing on Wednesday, Egube noted that the downside of the COVID-19 pandemic had necessitated a 21% reduction in the go-forward budget size, to make the budget realistic.

In preparation for the post-COVID-19 economy, the government is working out terms to harness public and private investments towards creating a strong mixed-sector economy, expanding social services, and environmental stability.

(READ MORE:Lagos State partners Microsoft to train 18,000 teachers)

According to Egube, “the government will also restart the Lagos State economy by focusing on job creation, economic stabilisation, and fiscal consolidation, in addition to re-imagining the way Lagos operates, focusing on digitisation, business environment reforms and economic diversification.”

All of these are geared towards neutralizing the adverse effects of the pandemic on the economic planning of the state, and building a strong response focused on food security, economic intervention, and public safety.

The government had also assured that the impact of the pandemic on the economy of Lagos state will be minimal, as palliatives have been structured to ensure that residents thrive beyond the crisis.

READ ALSO: UPDATED: Nigeria received $5.85 billion capital inflows in Q1 2020 –NBS

Creating a resilience committee

The commissioner added that during Q1 2020, the government inaugurated the Lagos State Resilience Committee which worked with the ministry of economic planning and budget to assess the state and develop a resilience strategy.

(READ MORE:COVID-19: Lagos receives N200 Million, 5 ambulances from BUA Foundation)

“The initiative is aimed at improving the resilience of the State and its ability to bounce back from adversity”, Egube explained.

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The strategy entails building “efficient power, effective mass transit systems, access to potable water and key infrastructure to support a growing economy and achieve social progress”. 

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Ruth Okwumbu has a MSc. and BSc. in Mass Communication from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, and Delta state university respectively. Prior to her role as analyst at Nairametrics, she had a progressive six year writing career.As a Business Analyst with Narametrics, she focuses on profiles of top business executives, founders, startups and the drama surrounding their successes and challenges. You may contact her via [email protected]

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Appointments

Cornerstone Insurance Plc appoints Ogechi Adeola as Director

Dr Ogechi Adeola has been appointed as an Independent Non-Executive Director at Cornerstone Insurance Plc.

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Cornerstone Insurance Plc has appointed Dr Ogechi Adeola as its new Independent Non-Executive Director, subject to ratification by members at general meeting.

This is according to a notification sent to the Nigerian Stock Exchange platform, dated 24th of February, 2021, as seen by Nairametrics.

Dr. Adeola’s profile

Dr. Adeola has over two decades of work and consulting experience in the Nigerian Financial services sectors. She is an Associate Professor of Marketing at the Lagos Business School and an alumna of the Manchester Business School, United Kingdom.

On the other hand, Cornerstone Insurance closed trading today (24th of February, 2021) at the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange with a share price of N0.59.

Results from the recently released FY 2020 financials posted by the firm showed that gross premium written increased from N13.06 billion in 2019 to N17.6 billion. However, profit for the period declined to N1.6 billion, from N4.11 billion recorded in 2019.

What you should know:

Cornerstone Insurance Company Plc is a Nigerian-based insurance company offering services in the life and non-life categories.

It was incorporated on the 26th of July, 2021, initially as a private limited liability and subsequently became a public limited liability after its listing on the Nigerian Stock Exchange in 1997.

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Corporate Press Releases

Court vindicates Zinox, TD Africa in N170m FIRS contract fraud

Zinox and TD Africa have been vindicated as court rules on N170 million FIRS contract scandal.

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Leo Stan Ekeh

An Abuja High Court has vindicated the long-held position of Zinox Technologies Ltd., and TD Africa, two of Nigeria’s leading technology giants, that its Chairman, Leo Stan Ekeh and its staff, Company Secretary, Barr. Chris Eze Ozims and two others, Shade Oyebode and Charles Adigwe respectively, had no wrongdoing in a long-drawn court case involving a N170m Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) contract.

The court on Wednesday, February 24, 2021, discharged and acquitted the duo of Princess Kama Onyeoma and Chief Onny Igbokwe, partners to Mr. Benjamin Joseph, who were accused of fraudulently executing the N170m contract awarded to Citadel Oracle Concepts, an Ibadan-based ICT firm owned by Joseph.

In addition, the sum of N20m was awarded as damages against the complainant, Mr. Joseph, for frivolous and malicious petitioning and prosecution.

In his ruling, the trial judge, Hon. Justice Senchi of the FCT High Court, Abuja, dismissed the case as lacking in merit, adding that the prosecution failed to establish the case of criminal conspiracy, forgery and fraudulent use of Mr. Joseph’s documents as alleged. Further, the judge acquitted the duo of all four count charges; even as he absolved both defendants, Kama, a long-time associate of Mr. Joseph, and Chief Igbokwe of the criminal charges levelled against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). The four-count charges are forgery; false board resolution of Citadel Oracle Concept, with intent to commit fraud and commission of fraud; using the forged documents as genuine and fraudulent use as genuine of the forged board resolution.

Mr. Joseph had petitioned the EFCC, the Police and later the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, alleging that his board resolution and other corporate documents were forged to execute the N170 million FIRS contract without his knowledge, even when he appointed the said Princess Kama to execute the contract on his behalf by issuing her a duly executed Power of Attorney and other corporate documents, all presented to the FIRS.

However, Mr. Joseph had also surprisingly accused top officials of TD Africa and Zinox, including its Chairman, Leo Stan Ekeh, of involvement in the alleged fraud, even when Zinox or Mr. Ekeh had never met or transacted any business with Mr. Joseph.

Indeed, after winning the contract, Joseph and his partner, Princess Kama had agreed to domicile the FIRS computer supplies transaction worth N170m with Sub-Saharan Africa’s foremost tech distribution giant, TD Africa, the biggest HP authorised distributors for funding, with a promise to pay immediately they received payment from the FIRS, with additional guarantee from Princess Kama’s uncle, Chief Igbokwe as Citadel Oracle Concepts Ltd. was not qualified to enjoy credit from TD Africa. When the FIRS paid for the supplies, Mr. Joseph had allegedly tried to divert the fund but his partner, Princess Kama refused and paid TD Africa the pre-agreed invoice sum of the laptops supplied on credit.

This move apparently saw Mr. Joseph take offence and he started writing all sorts of petitions to blackmail the Zinox Chairman, accusing him and other top officials of TD Africa, including Ozims, Oyebode and Adigwe; as well as Access Bank of criminally conniving to execute the contract without his knowledge.

However, investigations by the EFCC and the Police had absolved the aforementioned officials of Zinox and TD Africa, with the Commission later charging the staff/representatives of Citadel Oracle Concept Limited, Princess Kama and Chief Igbokwe, due to their own internal issues in Charge no. CR/244/2018 before the FCT High Court.
The ruling by Justice Senchi on Wednesday upheld the unflinching position of Zinox and TD Africa, which had repeatedly insisted on the innocence of its officials, especially in the face of a barrage of sponsored media attacks by Mr. Joseph and led by Premium Times, an online news medium.

Recently, the medium had come up with a report claiming that an unsubstantiated Police report had indicted the Zinox Chairman, Ekeh, which had been debunked by the Police Force and on the basis of the same case which Justice Senchi had ruled on Wednesday.

‘‘We are delighted to see justice finally run its course in this long-drawn case,’’ said Reginald Obiakor, a Senior Special Assistant (Legal) to Mr. Ekeh. ‘‘Despite the obviously sponsored attacks and campaign of calumny by Benjamin Joseph and Premium Times, we had remained steadfast in our conviction that Mr. Ekeh, Zinox and TD Africa had no case to answer, as TD had only extended a facility to Citadel and her partners. This case has caused us quite some embarrassment, especially considering the potential damage to the hard-earned reputation of an industrious/exemplary Nigerian and globally respected digital icon who has enjoyed over 35 successful years in business.

‘‘We wish to thank our local and international partners, friends and well-wishers who have continued to show us support, even when the attacks persisted. This judgment further strengthens our belief in the validity of the courts as the bastion of justice and hope of the downtrodden,’’ he concluded.

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