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Bullion van attacks: Odumosu accuses bank officials of conspiracy

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Lagos Police Commissioner, Hakeem Odumosu, has accused officials of commercial banks of conspiring with criminals to attack bullion vans and cause other security lapses at banks.

He specifically warned Cash in Transit (CIT) officials suspected to have exhibited some unprofessional conducts in the attacks of bullion vans in Lagos recently.

The police boss reportedly addressed some bank officials on Tuesday at the police command in Ikeja, where he frowned on the lackadaisical attitudes of banks and financial institutions to securing their facilities and cash in transit.

According to a statement by spokesman Olumuyiwa Adejobi, Odumosu recalled the attack on a bullion van in the Langbasa-Ajah area of Lagos State recently.

“The two policemen allegedly on the escort movement were procured illegally and without the knowledge of the command. This kind of a movement is condemned and unacceptable in totality.

“Moving forward, the police boss stressed that security must be provided for all bank facilities and CIT movements as the command will not tolerate kangaroo security arrangement for cash in transit in the state,” it said.

The statement read in part, “The police boss also directed that Standard Operating Procedure on Species Escort (movement of valuables) must be sustained; noting that there must be minimum of two operational vehicles conveying fully armed policemen escorting a bullion van which must be fully armoured.

“Similarly, in compliance with traffic rules, the Commissioner of Police strongly warned them against driving on One Way and BRT corridors, driving of bullion vans without or with covered number plates, breaking of traffic light and reckless driving on highways.

“He further warned that bullion vans must be roadworthy and standardised by the State Commands Transport Officer.

“CP Hakeem Odumosu then ordered Area Commanders, DPOs and Heads of Departments to henceforth stop and contravene any bullion van on movement without due compliance with the stipulated security arrangements and traffic regulations in the state.

“He also warned the Commanding Officers of Police Mobile Force in the state to desist from deploying men to banks and financial institutions without due approval of the Commissioner of Police.

“In addition, CP Hakeem Odumosu encouraged banks to fortify security in their facilities by installing more sophisticated CCTV cameras that have 100 day recording capacity so as to have a backup and source of evidence in police investigation of any incident within their areas of responsibility.

“At the end of the meeting, CP Hakeem Odumosu formed a committee for the implementation of the rules and regulations of providing security to banks, financial institutions and movement of valuables (cashes) within the state.

“The committee comprises the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Department of Operations, DCP Mohammed Ali, Officer in Charge of Bank Guards, Lagos State Command, two of the Chief Security Officers of the bankers and two representatives of the Cash in Transfer firms.”

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Fuel queues return to Abuja over price hike rumour

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Fuel queues have resurfaced in the Federal Capital Territory over speculations of an imminent increase in the pump price of petrol.

This is coming about 24 the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation had said there would be no increase in the ex-depot price of petrol in May and not until the end of negotiations with organised labour.

But reports say remours about a price hike and scarcity have led to the latest long queues that surfaced on Tuesday at petrol stations in the FCT.

Long queues of motorists waiting to buy fuel were seen at retail outlets in Wuse, Gwarimpa, Wuye and Kubwa expressway on Tuesday while other outlets were not selling the product.

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NNPC says no petrol price increase in May, subsidy continues

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The Federal Government will continue to pay fuel subsidy as the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation has said it will not increase the ex-depot price of petrol in May.

Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Mele Kyari, disclosed this on Monday on the company’s social media post during a meeting he held with the National Association of Road Transport Owners/Petroleum Tanker Drivers.

Kyari had last month disclosed that the current market price of petrol had risen to N234 per litre, far above the average pump price of N163 per litre across petrol stations in the country.

Tanker drivers had on March 29 issued notice of industrial action, citing poor remuneration and other hardship as reasons for their action.

Kayri said, “We want to inform oil marketing companies that the NNPC will not increase the pump price of PMS in May. I am giving the assurance and I ask Nigerians to go about their normal businesses; we have over 20 billion litres of petrol in our custody.

“Many of you are aware of this and with the assurance with tanker drivers and NUPENG, there is no need for panic buying of the product. Petrol will be available in all the depots in the country including NNPC dispatched depot across the country, so nobody should panic in buying the product.”

Speaking on the on the strike by the PTD, the NNPC boss said the strike was associated with NARTO’s inability to increase their compensation which was not resolved last week.

He said, “We have given commitment to both NARTO and PTD that we will resolve the issue within a week and come back to the table to have a total closure on the issue.

“We also have a robust engagement with our oil marketing partners in respect of increase in the volume product that is check in the Nigerian market. “We have agreed to work jointly with all the security agencies to contain any possible infractions seen in our borders. We will work as a team to curtail this fraudulent practice with the help of the security agencies.”

He explained that the meeting also discussed issues on payment by Petroleum Equalisation Fund (PEF) to oil marketing companies.

He said that all stakeholders agreed in making the PMS available to marketers.

Speaking at the end of the meeting, NARTO President, Alhaji Yusuf Othman, commended the NNPC for the intervention and assured that within the next seven days, things will normalise in the adjustment of allowances of PTD.

He said, “NARTO requested that they bring three persons so that we discuss the issues but that would not have been possible without this intervention. “We hope that within the next seven days things will normalize and I want to assure Nigerians that we are committed to it.”

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UBA posts 26.8% profit, double-digit growth on income lines

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The United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc says its profit after tax (PAT) increased by 26.8 per cent in the first quarter (Q1) for the period ended March 31, 2021.

The bank’s PAT jumped to N23.2 billion in Q1 2021 from N30.1 billion in the same period in 2020.

According to a statement from the bank, it also recorded a double-digit growth across most of its major income lines in period under review.

The tier-1 bank said between January and March, it recorded N40.6 billion, representing a 24 percent year-on-year growth in profit before tax compared with N32.7 billion recorded in the first quarter of 2020.

It stated, “Interestingly, UBA again sustained its strong profitability recording an annualised 20.5% Return on Average Equity (RoAE) compared to 19.9% in the same period of 2020.

“Driven by a year-on-year growth in interest income, UBA Group recorded another impressive 5.5% percent year-on-year growth in Gross Earnings to close at N155.4 billion for the three month period ending March 2021, compared to N147.2 billion recorded in the first three months of last year 2020.

“The bank’s total assets also rose by 2.5 per cent to N7.9 trillion in the period under review, compared to N7.7 trillion recorded at the end of the 2020 financial year whilst shareholders’ funds grew to N762.4 billion up by 5.3% from N724.1 billion as at FY 2020.”

Group Managing Director of UBA, Kennedy Uzoka, said the result reflects the bank’s capacity to grow earnings in a highly uncertain macroeconomic environment.

He expressed satisfaction with the bank’s performance, adding that its current capital and liquidity ratio have positioned the bank as it continues to support its customers across diverse sectors and markets, guided by prudent risk management practices.

Uzoka said the bank is committed to sustaining its performance through a customer driven approach for the rest of the year.

“This impressive 2021 Q1 results reflect the capacity of our business to sustainably grow earnings even in a highly uncertain macroeconomic environment,” he said.

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