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CBN withdraws licences of 42 microfinance banks

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The Central Bank of Nigeria has withdrawn the operating licences of 42 microfinance banks (MfBs).

Already, the affected banks have been shut down and Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation has commenced the process to wind down the banks.

In a statement, the NDIC said it would promptly commence the verification of claims of depositors from today.

The affected banks are Hedgeworth MFB, Utako, Abuja;    Future Growth MFB, Utako, Abuja;  Bagwai MFB, Bagwai LGA, Kano; Ere City MFB, Oriade LGA, Osun State; Cafon MFB, Garki II, Abuja; Akcofed MFB, Uyo, Akwa-Ibom State;  Gufax MFB,  Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, Partnership  MFB, Onitsha, Anambra State;  ICB MFB, Ilah, Delta State;  Onima MFB, Ezinihite Mbaise LGA, Imo State; and Hometrust (NATIONS) MFB, Nkwere, Imo State.

 

Others are Ringim MFB, Ringim,  Jigawa State; Bigthana MFB, Ali Akilu Road,  Kaduna;  Rogo MFB, Rogo LGA, Kano State;  Makoda MFB, Makoda LGA, Kano; Takai MFB, Takai LGA, Kano State; Bebeji MFB, Bebeji  L.G.A., Kano State;  Ajingi MFB, Ajingi LGA, Kano State; Garko MFB,  Garko, Kano; Kangiwa MFB, Kangiwa LGA, Kebbi State; Augie MFB, Augie LGA, Kebbi State;  Mopa  MFB, and Mopa, Kogi State.

Others are Solid Base MFB, Ijumu  LGA, Kogi State; Ultimate Benefit MFB, Lokoja, Kogi State; Ovidi MFB,  Okene, Kogi State; Kirfi MFB, Kirfi LGA, Bauchi; Credit  Express MFB, Kakawa Street, Lagos; King Solomon MFB, Western Avenue, Iponri, Lagos; Riggs MFB, Victoria Island, Lagos; Billionaire Blue Bricks MFB, Ajah, Lagos; Susu MFB, Yaba, Lagos; Wealthstream MFB, Apapa,  Lagos; Aguda Titun MFB, Ogba, Lagos and Sapphire MFB, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.

Also on the list are Metro  MFB, Ogba, Ikeja, Lagos, Mountain Top MFB, Trade Fair Complex, Lagos; Unyogba MFB, Ofu LGA, Kogi State; Wapo MFB, Okene, Kogi State; Ibogun MFB, Ifo LGA, Ogun State;  Korede MFB, Igbotako, Ondo State; Ahetou  MFB, Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni LGA, Rivers State and Fufore MFB, Yola, Adamawa State.

According to NDIC, the operating licences  were revoked by the CBN effective from November 12, 2020.

 

The NDIC stated: “As the official liquidator of the banks whose licences were recently revoked, it is the process of closing the banks and paying their insured depositors.

 

“We therefore request that all depositors of these banks should visit the closed banks’ addresses and meet NDIC officials for the verification of their claims, commencing from Monday, 21st December, 2020 till Thursday, 24th December, 2020.”

For further clarification or any assistance, eligible depositors have been requested to contact the representatives of the director, Claims Resolution Department of the NDIC in any of the centres or zonal offices in Abuja, Lagos, Enugu, Benin, Kano, Ilorin, Bauchi, Sokoto, Yola and Port Harcourt.

 

Earlier, the NDIC stated that a limited understanding and widespread misconception of the Deposit Insurance System (DIS) in Nigeria was largely responsible for the pool of unclaimed deposits following bank closures.

NDIC’s Executive Director, Corporate Services, Mrs. Omolola Abiola-Edewor, decribed the problem of limited understanding and misconception is a global challenge to the deposit insurance system. She spoke at the opening ceremony of the 2020 sensitisation seminar for judges of the Federal High Court in Abuja.

Mrs. Abiola-Edewor noted that the problem informed the concerted efforts by NDIC to continuously collaborate with the judiciary and other stakeholders in promoting sound knowledge and understanding of the deposit insurance system over the years.

She said the NDIC would continue to jealously guard its relationship with the Judiciary.

She added that the current economic situation occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic had further underscored the need to strengthen the collaboration towards enhancing the stability of the financial system.

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Fears over food scarcity as Niger farmers flee

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AS bandits continue to attack and get away with their atrocities without serious challenge from security operatives, many farmers in Niger State have fled their farms and have vowed never to return until security is beefed up around them.

To underscore their seriousness, many of them have already relocated from the farming communities to Minna, the state capital, to escape the brutality of criminals variously described as bandits, kidnappers, hoodlums, cattle rustlers and armed robbers.

Things got to the worst in recent times when the criminals not only attacked and dispossessed the farmers of their possessions, but began to set their houses ablaze as a conquered people, leaving them with nothing to manage their lives with.

The bandits have successfully taken their atrocities to no fewer than 18 of the 25 local government areas of the state and are unwilling to halt their infamy despite threats from security agencies.

They appear to be more daring after being challenged by the security organisations, thereby sending fears into residents of the remaining local government areas.

Farmers whose areas have not yet been visited by the hoodlums now live in fear of possible attack by the daring bandits.

As a result of the unrelenting onslaughts by bandits on farmers, many have since abandoned farming and harvesting of their mature crops, a development that is already forcing an increase in the prices of foodstuff. Many of the farmers interviewed by Arewa Voice said they would not risk their lives by going back to the farms except adequate security is assured.

A yam farmer, Adamu Useni Allawa, who also cultivates maize and millet, lamented that although he was eager to return to his farm, he would only do so when there is improved security in the farms.

He said, “I am eager to go back to my farm but my fear is this insecurity. It troubles my mind to go back because of insecurity. Any time it pricks my heart to go back to the farm, I often have another premonition that going back there might be a journey of no return. I am not in any way preparing now because I don’t have the confidence. I don’t do any other work than farming but I cannot risk my life for farming as it is.

“I have a bitter experience, which is still fresh in my memory. It is about my uncle and his friends who the bandits met in their farms and shot them to death instantly without any sympathy. Some of these bandits after attacking and killing our people even run away with their seedlings and we are left with virtually nothing to start fresh planting. We have relocated to Pandogari and have become refugees in a strange environment, doing nothing.”

Another farmer, Umaru Adamu Allawa, said his hope rested on government to provide more security to enable him and others go back to their various farms.

Allawa said, “If the banditry situation continues like this, there is no hope for us to go back to the farm. Our yearly turnover is massive and even if we cannot feed the state or the entire nation, we can feed our zone that comprises eight wards in Shiroro Local government effectively.”

Bala Usman, a public servant who also is also a farmer, said, “With the present insecurity in my area-comprising Lakpma, Munyan and Rafi local government areas, the farmers are no longer able to go to their farms. The implication is that it will surely affect the economy of the areas concerned, the state and the country in general. That is why we call on government at all levels to intervene immediately in order to enable farmers go back to their farms.

“Even if we are supplied the necessary farming inputs like fertilisers, seedlings, among others, it will be difficult to transport them to the affected areas because of these bandits. Also, we will find it difficult to start all over again because apart from killing our people, the bandits also steal and burn down our seedlings and we are now left with virtually nothing to take off again.”

Shuaibu Yusuf, who is from Manta, one of the ravaged areas by bandits, said from the look of things, it will be very difficult for farmers in the troubled communities to farm this year.

The Permanent Secretary in the state Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Idris Usman Gbogan, however, assured the farmers that the Niger State government was aware of the security challenges and has taken steps to further protect lives and property of its people, especially those areas constantly raided by the bandits.

Gbogan told Arewa Voice in an interview that the state government has procured farming inputs in preparation for the coming planting season.

He said, “The step taken by the state government is to cushion the effect of transportation cost for the agro input companies as a way of reducing the cost of agricultural inputs.

By the first week of next month, the state Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello, will launch the 2021 farming season and, thereafter, all these agricultural inputs will be ferried to all parts of the state under tight security.

“As at now, we have one extension worker to about 5000 farm families which is not acceptable because the ideal situation is to have one extension worker to between 800 and 1,000 farm families so in each of our stores presently across all the 25 local government areas, we are going to position extension workers so that as the farmers come to buy their inputs, we have the extension workers who will educate them and give them necessary extension knowledge on the inputs they are buying from the stores.

Gbogan said despite the insecurity and other challenges, there is still hope for bumper harvest in the state and this is why government is ensuring that they get the necessary inputs they need.

The state Chairman of All Farmers Association of Nigeria, AFAN, Niger State Chapter, Alhaji Shehu Galadima, told Arewa Voice that banditry was a bad omen for the state and its people and should be tackled with immediate effect.

He said, “Last year, it was not easy for farmers because many of them could not conclude their farming processes. Some of them who fled their ancestral homes because of the bandits cannot even go back to their homes to get their seedlings and other property in readiness for this planting season.

“Just about two days ago, in Kuchi Town in Sarkin Pawa Local Government Area of the state, the entire community was sacked and the people had to run for their lives.

“Other places having similar problems are Shiroro, Mariga, Munyan and parts of Paikoro, Rijau, Mashegu local government areas, just to mention a few. They are all overwhelmed with this type of problem.

“We are afraid that this year’s farming is being seriously threatened and it is not going to be easy for our farmers in the state because of the security issues. If the lives and properties of people are not secured, nobody will be able to do anything.”

-Vanguard

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NLC plans strike over Kaduna workers sacking

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The Nigeria Labour Congress says it will withdraw services from both public and private organisations in Kaduna State for five days to protest mass sacking of workers by the state government.

The decision to withdraw the services of workers was taken by the Central Working Committee (CWC) of the NLC at a meeting in Abuja on Thursday.

President of the NLC, Ayuba Wabba, said the five-day withdrawal of service by workers in the state will become total if there is no remorse from the state government.

He condemned the decision of Governor Nasir el-Rufai to sack close to 4,000 workers who are mostly from the 23 local government areas in the state.

Wabba said: “CWC has decided and has also recommended to the National Executive Council, that labour will withdraw all services from either public or private. This means all services for all sectors of the economy for five days in the first instance and where there is no remorse, it is going to be a total action.

“We thought that workers should not be allowed to die in silence because thousands of them that have been sacked have not been paid in line with the provisions of the law.

“More worrisome is the policy targeted at workers that have spent more than 30 years in service or some more than 20 years in service.

“In fact, the policy said that once you are up to 50 years in service, you will be disengaged and be sent off without any entitlement.

Wabba noted that the governor violated all the known laws that regulate labour and industrial relation in Nigeria.

He stated that some teachers disengaged by the state government were yet to receive their entitlements till date.

He added, “The entire working class in Nigeria has condemned the sack of thousands of workers in Kaduna. The CWC condemns the conversion of workers to casuals by the Kaduna State government under the pretext of paucity of funds or drop in revenue.”

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FAAC shares N680bn to FG, states, LGs for April

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The Federation Accounts Allocation Committee on Thursday shared the sum of N680 billion among the three tiers of government.

The money was from the revenue that accrued to the federation in the month of March, which has been distributed to enable government meet its financial obligations for the month of April.

An official of the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning who disclosed the amount distributed, did not provide details of what each tier of government received.

He said that top officials of the ministry and the FAAC were preparing the communique/statement.

The general declining revenue profile of the nation has generated tension between the federal and state governments, of recent. The disagreement between officials of the two tiers of government over the poor revenue led to a stalemate at last month’s FAAC meeting, as learnt.

Those who are knowledgeable about the FAAC said the disagreement was responsible for the failure of the ministry to issue any communique last month.

The debate generated by Edo State Governor Godwin Obadeki’s claim that the federal government printed N60 billion to augment March Federation Accounts Allocations, has continued to generate reactions from different quarters.

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