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Business

Honeywell seeks supreme court review over alleged N3.5 billion debt

Honeywell is seeking the Apex Court’s intervention following a judgment delivered by the Court of Appeal in its dispute with Ecobank.

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Honeywell flour mills plc, fy 2019

Honeywell has disclosed that it will be seeking the Supreme Court’s intervention and review of the Court of Appeal judgement, to put an end to its protracted case with Ecobank, over their N3.5 billion debt dispute.

This disclosure was made by the Counsel to Honeywell Group, Mr Olabode Olanipekun (SAN), today, Monday 14th December 2020, in a reaction to the decision of the Court of Appeal.

READ: Why the court ruled against Ecobank in the N3.5 billion case with Honeywell 

This is borne out of dissatisfaction brewing from the judgement delivered by the Court of Appeal today the 14th of December, which reversed the judgement affirmed by the Federal High Court, Lagos delivered in May 2019, that operating companies of Honeywell Group were not in any way indebted to Ecobank.

Honeywell Group’s General Counsel, Olasumbo Abolaji, reacted to the judgement of the Court of Appeal. She said Honeywell is convinced that it has a compelling case and it is ready to appeal the judgement of the Court of Appeal.

READ: FG asks UK court for more time to appeal $9.6 billion arbitration judgement

She said:

  • Litigants can seek relief up to the Supreme Court. Consequently, the decision of the Court of Appeal is definitely not final on this matter.”

READ: $9 billion UK judgement: Malami, Sylvia to face 17-man panel 

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In the course of the court action, according to her, at least 10 decisions had been the subject of appeals both at the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court stages, and that Honeywell largely recorded victories at those stages based on the strength of its arguments.

We believe in the Nigerian Judicial System and we will take our case further to the Supreme Court,” she concluded.

READ: Stanbic IBTC issues sober, yet optimistic message after losing N2.5 billion case

What you should know

  • Honeywell in 2015 approached the court to determine whether or not its three subsidiaries, Anchorage Leisures Ltd, Honeywell Flour Mills Plc, and Siloam Global Limited, were still indebted to Ecobank after having reached an agreement to pay the sum of N3.5billion as full and final settlement of the companies’ indebtedness.
  • However, according to a court statement by Honeywell Group’s Chief Finance Officer, Oluwakemi Owasanoye, told the court that, in line with an agreement reached at a meeting held on July 22, 2013, the bank agreed to merge the collective indebtedness of Honeywell’s three subsidiaries, which amounted to N3.5billion with the negotiations anchored by Honeywell Group Limited.
  • According to her, part of the agreement reached with the bank was that N500million must be paid immediately, while the balance of N3billion would be paid before the exit of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) examiners from the bank, without any specific stipulation on number of tranches.
  • According to her testimony, Honeywell complied with the terms of the agreement, and thereafter wrote to inform the bank of its compliance and the need for the bank to formally discharge the company of any further obligation.
  • However, the bank in its reply to the letter did not raise any objections. She disclosed that the Group was however surprised when the bank proceeded to demand for further payments in respect of the debt which had been fully liquidated for over a year.
  • Mrs. Owasanoye further stated in her testimony that when the dispute arose, the Company referred the matter to the Bankers’ Committee, which resolved the matter in favour of Honeywell.
  • In view of Honeywell’s decision to appeal the Court of Appeal’s judgement, the legal tussle which began in 2015, will now continue at the Supreme Court.

READ: CITN issues rejoinder to ICAN’s claim over court case

Omokolade Ajayi is a graduate of Economics, and a certificate holder of the CFA Institute’s Investment Foundation Program. He is a business analyst, and equity market researcher, with wealth of experience as a retail investor.

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Business

CBN’s Emefiele vows to reject the continuous importation of maize in Nigeria

The CBN has said that it will oppose all attempts to continue the importation of maize into the country.

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Banks' stakeholders express 4 main concerns bothering the sector right now, CBN, MARKET UPDATE: CBN’s historic agriculture lending; Is it yielding the desired results? 

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said that it will oppose all attempts to continue the importation of maize into the country.

This is geared towards encouraging local production as the apex bank believes that maize farmers in Nigeria have what it takes to close the maize demand gap of over 4.5 million metric tonnes in the country.

This was made known by the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele while speaking in Katsina on Thursday during the unveiling of the first maize pyramid and inauguration of the 2021 maize wet season farming under the CBN-Maize Association of Nigeria Anchor Borrowers’ Programme.

READ: Nigeria must eat what we produce, agriculture is the way out – Buhari

Emefiele said, “With over 50,000 bags of maize available on this ground, and others aggregated across the country, maize farmers are sending a resounding message that we can grow enough maize to meet the country’s demand.’

He explained that the maize unveiled at the ceremony would be sold to reputable feed processors adding that this would in turn impact positively on current poultry feed prices, as over 60% of maize produced in the country were used for producing poultry feed.

Emefiele said that the apex bank was ready to provide support to the youths that are willing to engage in agriculture and encouraged them to embrace agriculture.

READ: Nigeria secures $1.2 billion loan from Brazil for agriculture modernization

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Speaking at the event, the Katsina State Governor, Bello Masari, said the state had suffered a setback in agriculture as over 60,000 hectares of farmlands were uncultivated due to insurgency, which hindered farmers from gaining access to their means of livelihood.

On his part, President Muhammadu Buhari, who was represented by the Kebbi State Governor, Atiku Bagudu, while unveiling the pyramids, reassured the farmers, processors and other value chain participants, of the support of government towards ensuring that they perform optimally.

What you should know

It can be recalled that in July 2020, the CBN included maize importation to its list of 41 items banned from assessing forex at the official market as it directed all banks/authorised dealers to immediately discontinue the processing of Forms M for maize/corn importation into the country.

The apex bank in its circular said that this measure is aimed at increasing local production of the commodity, stimulating a rapid economic recovery, safeguarding rural livelihoods and increasing jobs.

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FG releases N29.1 billion advance for deployment of Covid-19 vaccines

The FG has announced the release of N29.1 billion to the NPHCDA as an advance for the operational cost of deployment of the Covid-19 vaccines.

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Power: Mambilla Power Project not prioritised by Ministry of Power for 2021 Budget - Finance Minister

The Federal Government has announced the release of N29.1 billion to the National Primary Health Development Agency (NPHCDA) as an advance for the operational cost of deployment of the Covid-19 vaccines.

This is as the government has expressed its commitment to procuring 29.588 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine through the AVAT initiative, coordinated by AFREXIMBank,

This disclosure was made by the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed while speaking at ‘Collaborative Africa Budget Reform Initiative (CABRI) General Assembly webinar on Friday.

What the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning is saying

Ahmed in her statement said, “Therefore, the supplementary budget for COVID-19 vaccines will cover the cost of additional vaccines over and above those provided by COVAX, as well as the full cost of operations and logistics for delivering the vaccines around the country.

“Already, the sum of N29.1bn has been released from the Routine Immunization budgetary provision (Service Wide Vote) to the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA) as an advance for the operational cost of deployment of the COVID-19 vaccines. The N29.1bn represents about 52 percent of the amount required over 2021-22”, she said.

Mrs Ahmed stated at the 18th General Assembly of CABRI that the World Bank has indicated willingness to provide needed facilities in support of the country’s Covid-19 vaccination plan.

Considering key elements of Nigeria’s vaccine financing strategy, she said that the government is working on a supplementary budget to provide for the cost of vaccine procurement and delivery

She said, “The Federal Ministry of Health plans to vaccinate 70 per cent of eligible (18 years and above) Nigerians over the 2021 and 2022 fiscal years.”

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She noted that the nation has received commitments from COVAX for Covid-19 vaccines that could cover 43.1 million of the eligible population, as donations from some development partners.

On the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and the oil price crash on the Nigerian economy, she noted that prior to the pandemic, implementation of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan 2017-20, prudent resource management and fiscal policy implementation had resulted in 11 consecutive quarters of GDP growth, with GDP growth rising from 1.91% in 2018 to 2.27% in 2019.

Mrs Ahmed also noted that “the government had begun the process of moving our economy away from its primary dependence on oil for revenues and foreign exchange, and we’re making steady gains in addressing infrastructure and human capital challenges.”

 

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