Ogun State Land Scare! Government Blackmails Estate Developers, Land Owners

Volume II, Issue 20

Volume II, Issue 20

Last Monday, 8 June, 2009, the Ogun State Bureau of Lands and Survey, under the insignia of the State Government, had caused the publication of what it described as a “Final Warning” ostensibly directing the attention of individuals and corporate bodies to activities of estate developers and promoters in about 14 locations in the state where real estate development seems to be intense. The Bureau of Lands and Survey described the activities of the estate developers as illegal.

The second of such publication in two weeks, the last of the same half page public notice, did get the attention of the target population it was intended for; a hail of panic seized the community of estate developers and subscribers to the former virgin lands belonging to Ogun State but which have found new attraction in value because of their proximity to Lagos State. As affected estate developers became restless, so were subscribers, they became distressed. (Read More)

BGL still upset with underwriting AIT, Honeywell public offers

It is just as well that the Securities and Exchange Commission has decided to adopt the recommendation of the Oladotun Sulaiman’s Nigeria Capital Market Reform Committee on the reversal of compulsory underwriting of public offerings.

BGL Securities Limited, one of Nigeria’s lead issuing houses and brokerage firms, is said to still be smarting from the downside effect of underwriting two public offerings last year. BGL Securities was part of the underwriters of the public offering of Daar Communications and Honeywell.

Others –

Losses, Debts Force Sale of Zain

Transcorp To Lose Hilton Hotel, Abuja

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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.

ILLEGAL SALE OF AFROIL SHARES: INVESTORS WANT STRONG SANCTION AGAINST SKYE BANK, OTHERS

Some investors whose investment in Afroil Plc have been locked in as a result of the full suspension on trading placed on the stocks of the company since June last year, have called on the management of the Securities and Exchange Commission to apply punitive sanction if Skye Bank Plc, issuing house to suspended company and other individuals indicted in the alleged illegal sale of Afroil Plc shares.

The stock of Afroil was one of the cases in exemplary manipulation at the Nigerian Stock Exchange last year. Afroil was an unobtrusive penny stock as of 16 February 2007 it sold at a meager 42k. Then beginning from the day after, 17 February, it rose exponentially to a high of N27.46k before flattening out in the N20 range thereafter.

The Securities and Exchange Commission had expressed strong suspicion over the pricing activities of the stock then and had called for its suspension. The SEC conducted an investigation into the company and the stock market post listing requirements.

Details of the investigations of the SEC were worrisome. Afroil Plc was only masquerading as a listed company; it had indeed lost its legal status as a registered company because it had been wound up by an order of a Lagos court ruling on the request of the company’s creditors for receivership. Yet, for mysterious reasons, the company stock suddenly became the toast of the exchange.

SEC, according to an insider, suspected manipulation and decided to trace the whole bits of under the table deal to the issuing house, stock brokers and fund managers that had something to do with the public offer of the company.

After concluding investigation, the SEC dragged Skye Bank and 13 other individuals and corporate entities before the Administrative Proceeding Committee of the Securities and Exchange Commission, alleging illegal sale of Afroil Plc shares and other violations of the Investment and Securities Act 2007 and the rules and regulations pursuant thereto.

Other corporate entities and individuals suspected to have participated in the illegal sale of Afroil Plc shares and who are made to answer to questions by the Administrative Proceeding Committee are: Mr. Ishaq Olakunle Sanni, K.S. Fund Managers Ltd, Rita Ify Ejezie, Eghosa E. Osaghae, Gbolahan Abiodun Agoro and Alhaji Kassimu Tafida Bakori. Others are: Christopher Elukuemen Olumese, Olusola Badmus, Jonah Unigwe Ikhidero (Chairman of the company 1996/2001), Skye Bank (Issuing house) Reward Inv. & Sec. Ltd (Broker/Dealer), PSL Securities Ltd (Broker/Dealer), and Odili Okechukwu & Co. (External auditor).

The SEC had in a hearing noticed that following the conclusion of preliminary investigations into the affairs of Afroil Plc in respect of the illegal sale of Afroil Plc shares and violations of the ISA 2007 and the Rules and Regulations made pursuant thereto, it has become necessary to invite the persons listed above to appear before the Administrative Proceedings Committee of the Commission to explain their roles (if any) in the matter.” The first set of hearing, which was made between November 26 and 27, concerned investors that have been following the Administrative Proceeding Committee, called for stiff penalties for those found culpable in the Afroil affair.

CRISP FUN AT SKYEBANK END OF THE YEAR PARTY

Work hard, play hard, clear all worries form the fulcrum of the marketing theme of Skye Bank’s Hakuna Matata!

Staff of the bank lived it up big time at the bank’s year end party that had top of the range artistes including 9ice and D’banj perform live on stage!

It was merry making all the way with plenty to eat, drink and even take away souvenirs.

The well organized and well attended event was held at the Eko Tourist and Beach Resort.

SKYE BANK DROPS ‘HAKUNA MATATA’ CAMPAIGN?

Viewers and indeed observers are wondering what necessitated the stoppage of ‘Hakuna Matata’ (Don’t worry), the new campaign launched within the year.

It has been replaced with “Say Yes’, a very successful campaign (that became an anthem in virtually every home and ring-tone of several phones) that was adopted by the bank post capitalization.

‘Hakuna Matata’ was obviously enjoying wide acceptance until the interruption, that saw the re-emergence of the very old ‘Say Yes’ television commercial.

‘Say Yes’ naturally does not have the steam that it had until it was replaced. No official position has been taken to explain the strategic change or how long the ‘impasse’ to precede a new campaign will last.