Volume II, Issue 18

Magazine cover 18This week on the June 08, 2009 edition of Fortune&Class Weekly:

  • FIRS bars ETB, Spring Bank, Wema Bank – The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has barred three banks from collecting taxes and other revenue due to the federal government on its behalf.

The banks, Equitorial Trust Bank (ETB), Spring Bank and Wema Bank were given the marching order because they refused to accede to the request by the FIRS to sign the mandatory collection agreement, a source in FIRS has confided in Fortune&Class.

According to the high level source in the revenue collection agency, the FIRS have had to introduce the mandatory collection agreement as a legal contract between it and financial institutions that desire to serve as collection agencies for it (FIRS). (read more)

Who Is In Charge Of The Stock Market? Daisy Ekine, SEC DG, Moves To Tame NSE DG, Okereke-Onyiuke

daisy ekineThe demutualisation of the Nigerian Stock Exchange has become the standard issue to determine the agency that wields ultimate authority and control on the Nigerian stock market. Simply put, demutualisation means that the Nigerian Stock Exchange transforms into the equivalence of a quoted company with its share available to the investing public for subscription and trading.

The imagination of the investing public had been excited since since October last year when  the Director-General of the NSE, Prof. (Mrs.) Ndi Okereke-Onyiuke announced that there would be a demutualisation of the Exchange, announcing in the same breathe that she and seven senior officials of the NSE are to retire voluntarily.

According to the DG of the NSE, at a February 2009 press conference, the Council of the NSE had appointed Accenture, the global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company to help with the demutualization and transformation of the Exchange to become profit making, she explained at the press conference that “ we have to re-orientate and transform the management and staff (of the Exchange) to look at the Exchange as a profit making company like First Bank, Unilever, Japaul and even our own Central Securities Clearing System.” …

Bank Managers Divert Customers To Black Market Lenders

Chukwuma Soludo, CBN GovernorChukwuma Soludo, fmr CBN Governor

Some branch managers of commercial banks in Nigeria have become lending authorities by themselves, a Fortune&Class investigation has revealed. The activities of these managers, according to the investigation, has led to the emergence and thriving of a black market for lending which, however, has become a source of worries and consternation for customers who are protesting how they are being exploited by the black market lenders.

For each bank branch, there is the unofficial lender, operated by the branch manager with the connivance of some other bank branch officials. When a customer approaches the branch with a request to raise fund for a business, the customer is as usual, confronted with a long list of requirements to be considered before loan application is approved. …

Agagu is Arrow-Head of SW 8, Wema Bank New Core Investor

Segun Oloketuyi, Olusegun AgaguSegun Oloketuyi, Olusegun Agagu

It has been reported that barring any unforeseen circumstance, Mr. Segun Oloketuyi, an executive director with Skye Bank, may soon be named as the new group managing director of Wema Bank Plc following the successful acquisition of 27 per cent controlling shares by new core investors, SW8 Consortium, in the bank.

Until recently, officials of the bank and regulatory agencies involved in the ownership structuring of banks in the country have decidedly kept sealed lips on the individuals and interests involved in the SW8 Consortium.

To sate the going curiosity of investors that desire to take position in the bank, Fortune&Class reveal that Dr. Olusegun Agagu, former governor of Ondo State is the arrow head of other mainly political personalities behind the SW8 Consortium.

Agagu served as Minister of Power in ex-president Olusegun Obasanjo’s cabinet between 1999 and 2003 and was elected Governor of Ondo State in 2003. Agagu re-election for a second term was, however, challenged this year by Dr. Olusegun Mimiko who eventually secured the rulings of both the election petition tribunal and the appeal court panel that asserted that Mimiko was the rightfully elected Governor of the State.

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TRANSGLOBE BECOMES MOST SUSPENDED STOCKBROKING FIRM IN THE CAPITAL MARKET

DG, SEC

DG, SEC

Apex capital market regulatory body, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) may suspend Transglobe Investment and Finance Company Limited (Transglobe) indefinitely over unethical practices.

According to a report by Proshare NI, a source made this affirmation to one of its reporters last week.

“SEC would suspend Transglobe over unwholesome practices,” the source reportedly said.

The source further affirmed that the suspension maybe indefinite and would take effect from sometimes next week; after an all parties meeting in Abuja, Nigeria.

It has been reviewed that a lot has gone wrong with the dealing firm under the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).

Transglobe has been found to be illegally trading on shares of most of its clients, including a high profile client through the relationship its General Manager and acting MD/CEO had with a director of a multinational cooperative.

A letter signed by E.A Okolo on behalf of Musa Al-Faki, Director General (DG) of the Commission to the Cooperative and made available to Proshare NI; shows that SEC is currently investigating a case of fraud and misappropriation of funds belonging to the Cooperative of the multi national company by Transglobe.

The letter which was dated February 04, 2009 with reference number SEC/M & I/INVGT/MISC277/09 states that the SEC is currently investigating the case and in order to resolve the issues, has invited the Cooperative to an all parties meeting to be held at SEC’s Head Office on Thursday February 12 2009.

This issue has been raging on close to seven months now; which led to the suspension of Joseph Okolie and Sunny Ameh, acting Managing Director/CEO and General Manager (GM) respectively of Transglobe. It will be recalled that a case of Fraudulent conduct was delivered against the former MD/CEO: Mr. Wilberforce Onwuka.

SEC had on behalf of 31 complainants handed over Onwuka to the EFCC at the end of a hearing involving Transglobe because almost all of the 31 complaints against the company originated during his tenure as an officer of the company and occurred with his personal knowledge.

Currently, It has been affirmed that the firm owes billions of Naira; while its former Management in collaboration with some banks and fund managers made billions of Naira as well through share manipulations and financial engineering…especially on their transactions related to Geofluids Nigeria Limited.

This is coming on the heels of the resignation of two management members of the firm on the grounds of integrity concerns and interference by the Board of Transglobe and its former suspended management members of Joseph Okolie and Sunny Ameh. These members, we understand, are supervised by Mr. Sunny Obidiegwu, supervisory director and cousin of the chairman of the board, Nze Madako.

Prior to this time, the NSE had suspended Transglobe mid-2008 over infractions against its clients which include issuing of dud cheques, purchase of shares with clients’ funds in their names and not in the names of the clients; unbundling of shares purchased in the name of client not credited to the Central Securities Clearing System (CSCS) account but sold through contract notes.

The non-crediting of clients’ shares to its CSCS accounts; the use of funds provided for the purchase of shares for the cooperative, which was alleged not bought or/and unalloted, but for which bonus shares have been discovered in a separate CSCS account.

The use of clients’ funds as lien using fake seals and letter heads of the clients to procure facilities and non-verification of shares certificates of clients’ accounts.

As at the time of filing in this report, Proshare NI could not clarify the true status of the matter when it contacted Lanre Oloyi, Head, Media of the Commission. “I cannot confirm this issue at this moment due to an all parties meeting that has been scheduled,” he said.

THE STOCK EXCHANGE SYSTEM FAILURE THAT NEARLY COST AN INVESTOR’S 20 MILLION UNITS OF FIRST BANK STOCK

Trading activities on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange on Thursday 6 November, 2008 were nearly marred by constant glitches in the Exchange’s network, but for vigilance, an unnamed investor would have lost 20 million units of his First Bank shares.

Indications of the discomforting disruptions that would characterize trading activities on the day emerged at about 10.59am when the Exchange’s management posted a notice on the work stations of brokers warning them of a failure in connection to the Central Securities Clearing System. The dealing clerks were warned not to use the opportunity to sell what they do not have or enter a wrong account number. “We would not cancel trades or change account numbers for you. Look before you leap. Thank you.” The message warned.

It turned out that the Exchange had no choice but to cancel trades after all. At about 1.18 pm, the Exchange’s, management posted another notice on the work station: “Camry sold First Bank shares without mandate, hence the Exchange called for a cancellation of the deal.