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Economy

EFCC raises alarm as cyber crime assumes frightening dimension in South East

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) says it is worried over the frightening dimension which cyber crime has assumed in the country, especially the South East.

The South East Zonal Head of the commission, Mr Usman Imam, expressed the worry on Friday in Enugu while briefing newsmen on the activities of EFCC in the first quarter of 2019.

Imam said that cases of cybercrime, popularly called ‘Yahoo Yahoo’ had become alarming in the zone.

“From investigations so far made, it is unfortunate that some parents are not only aware of their children’s involvements but even abet such terrible crime.

“What is very worrisome is that most of the perpetrators of this crime are either students of institutions of higher learning, graduates, youth corps members or secondary school students learning from their elders.

“To think that these criminals are those who will in future take up the responsibility of leading this country must certainly send shivers down the spine of any right thinking Nigerian,” he said.

The zonal head said that the commission had within the period under review seized some exotic cars from the suspected ‘Yahoo Yahoo boys’ being investigated.

He wondered how a student would own a car worth about N10 million, adding that the commission had been inundated with such matters.

Imam called on Nigerian youths to toe the path of honesty, adding that anybody convicted of cybercrime would live with such stigma for the rest of their lives.

“I want to appeal to parents to take up their God-given responsibilities of monitoring their children or wards. In the South East, the case of internet or cybercrime is very alarming,” he said.

He said that the commission was currently investigating cases involving several Ponzi schemes portrayed as cooperative or empowerment schemes.

Imam said that such schemes which promised up to 60 per cent return on investment within seven days were milking the unsuspecting victims of millions of naira.

He said that such schemes dealt in cash with returns made in either cash, or electrical appliances or even food items.

He warned the public especially those in Aba, Abia, to beware of any transaction with the following organisations: Perfect Ladies, Unstoppable Ladies, Christian Ladies, Unlimited Ladies, Raising Lives and Ever Better Association.

Imam called on government to play its role in reducing the chances of youths getting involved in the menace.

The zonal head added that EFCC had sustained its fight against corruption which was yielding positive results.

“The current fight against corruption has not only gained traction but also succeeded due to the Federal Government’s resolve to tackle the menace headlong,” he said.

 

 

 

 

Economy

LAPO microfinance, deliberate concept to challenge poverty in Nigeria – Ehigiamusoe

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The Managing Director, Lift Above Poverty (LAPO) Microfinance Bank, Mr Godwin Ehigiamusoe, on Tuesday said the bank would not relent in its vision of financing Nigerians in need to end poverty in the country.

Ehigiamusoe made this known at a media chat organised by the microfinance bank in Lagos.

Nigeria News Agency reports that the chat was held to commemorate  the bank’s 32 years of existence and to  reiterate the bank’s continuous commitment to Nigerians.

“LAPO was established in 1987 to assist low income earners and grant low interest loans to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs)

According to the bank’s boss, a prudent methodology of extensive networking enabled the bank to reach its over four million Nigerians with 495 branches in the country.

He said, “LAPO Microfinance Bank had a humble beginning that kicked off in 1987.

““In 1986, General Ibrahim Banbagida adopted Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP).

“Its central components were devaluation of the national currency, gradual removal of subsidy, liberalisation of export and rationalisation of workforce in public service.

““The cumulative effect of these measures was an increase in spread of poverty level.

“”This was the exact scenario in 1986 in Ogwashi-Uku, Delta, where I gave N100 each to three women namely, Mrs Felicia Monye, Mrs Monica Igwebuike and Mrs Obiageli Nwoko.

“”This was the scenario that berthed LAPO microfinance bank.

“The name LAPO was a product of deliberate thought because I conceptualised poverty as an Octopus with the tentacles of material deprivation, poor health and social exclusion.”

Speaking on some of the bank’s achievements, Ehigiamusoe said the financial institution partnered Lafarge Cement Company and African Development Bank (AfDB) in 2013 to pioneer affordable housing programme in the country.

““Because of the veritable achievements, LAPO won a Grameen foundation award of excellence in 2006 with the crash prize of $10,000.

““The $10,000 was used as seed fund for a scholarship scheme for children of our clients.

“As we speak over 3,000 children have benefited from the scheme,” he said.

Speaking on the bank’s financials for 2018, Ehigiamusoe said the cumulative loan of the bank as at December 2018 stood at N137 billion and total deposit of N14 billion in the same financial year.

He said the Profit after Tax (PaT) of the bank stood at N2.8 billion at the same period.

The bank’s boss said the bank had 1,273 agents in over 30 states in the country .

Edited by Donald Ugwu

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Economy

Depot owners, stakeholders restate commitment on safety of lives, property

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Relief may soon come the way of residents of Ijegun-Egba Community area of Lagos, host to several tank farms, as the operators say they are working toward ensuring continuous safety of lives and property in the area.

The deport owners made the disclosure on Tuesday at a stakeholders and engagement meeting in Lagos.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that the meeting was to find ways to providing solutions to lingering infrastructure challenges affecting the community.

NAN reports that there are 12 tank farms in operation now, and they have made life miserable for people living in Ijegun-Egba and its environs.

The Chairman, Tank Farm Owners Association, Mr Debo Olujimi, said that addressing those infrastructure challenges within was paramount to the depot owners.

Olujimi said the tank farmers place premium on providing solution to those infrastructure decay such as bad roads, bridge and blocking of drainage systems in the area.

He said that business owners in the community had secured four plots of land for central fire service station, but still processing licence for the purpose from the Lagos State Government.

Olujimi said that other plans included effective traffic management in order to avert accident and providing of alternative roads to ease traffic on Maruwa Road, a major road within the community.

He said the business owners were committed to ensuring good business relationship with the host community.

“The essence of the stakeholders and engagement meeting is to ensure that we are all on the same page on the issues that have to do with infrastructure, safety of lives and property.

“Ijegun, today, does an average of 30 to 35 petroleum trucks daily and that is a serious economic improvement and that means three to four millions litres of petroleum come out everyday from Ijegun.

“We are trying to partner with Lagos State, Federal Government, Department of Petroleum Resources and every other stakeholder in terms of infrastructure and best practices in Ijegun,” he added.

Olujimi said that so far, the community had not recorded any issue regarding health challenge.

According to him, the tank farm owners have spent over N1.5 million in fixing roads and in palliatives.

Olujimi also said that it was to show their commitment as responsive and responsible business people in making sure that the needful was done in the community.

“We need to put it on record that whatever we are doing in Ijegun, DPR is on top of it regarding safety.

“We have this contingency plans and collective safety activation.

“How does that work? It works by pooling together all the facilities- hardware and human resources.

“We normally do drills ones in three months in order to establish the state of readiness and alertness,” he said.

The Chairman, Satellite Forum, Mr Godwin Imitini, said that the influx of tankers remained a menace to the community.

Imitini said the tankers’ presence within the community, which used to be mainly a residential area, had created hardship for the residents.

He said the residents had on several occasions written correspondence to DPR and the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) on the development, but had not received any response so far.

Imitini urged the operators and state government to look into the challenges confronting the community as a result of the presence of the depot and trucks causing hardship to the residents.

YO/GOK

Edited by Olagoke Olatoye

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Economy

Oyo Govt. to restore Bola Ige market’s international standard

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The Oyo State government has said that it would restore the international status of the Bola Ige Market, in accordance with its original master plan.

This was contained in a statement issued on Tuesday in Ibadan by the state Ministry of Information and Mobilisation.

Mr Olusoji Oyewole, the Chairman of the Task Force for the market, disclosed that the state government had deemed it fit to ensure that the market regained its lost status as a major hub of wholesale textile materials in Nigeria.

Oyewole noted that the market used to service both the neighbouring and far distant states in textile products.

The task force chairman, at a meeting held with the market leaders, said that the restructuring of the business complex remained a priority to the state government.

This, he said, would include provision of basic facilities that would promote economic activities in the market.

Oyewole added that the task force was not constituted to witch-hunt anybody in the market but rather to seek their cooperation and support for the planned restructuring of the market and proper waste management.

He said that government would provide more parking lots for convenience and easy access to the market as well as considerable open spaces in the construction of approved buildings.

The task force chairman urged the market community to keep to the state’s environmental laws and town planning regulations.

He said that the traders stood to benefit more if commercial activities were carried out in clean and serene environment.

In his remarks, the representative of the Elders’ Forum in the market, Chief Ade Adebayo, expressed appreciation to government and pledged their support to the planned restructuring of the market.

Edited by Emmanuel Nwoye and ‘Wale Sadeeq

 

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Economy

Paint manufacturers set to evolve strategies for improved competitiveness

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The Paints Manufacturers Association of Nigeria says it has evolved strategies to improve the quality of paints and prepare for future developments in the manufacturing sector.

Mr Abimbolu Babatunde, Chairman, Paints Manufacturers Association, made the disclosure on Tuesday in Lagos.

Babatunde spoke while addressing journalists ahead of the association’s forthcoming Coatings Show scheduled to hold on Oct. 28 and 29 in Lagos State.

He said that the association had over the years been facing issues of adulteration and faking of premium brands of their products, which negatively affect volumes, profitability and investments.

According to him, the theme: ‘Future trends in coatings technology’ was chosen to prepare paint manufacturers for future developments, sales, raw materials and lead content in paints.

“Themes for the show have been evolving over the years, taking into consideration the global outlook of the industry during each edition.

“We try as much as possible to be in tune with global trends and comply with quality, technology and safety requirements for the benefit of the environment and stakeholders.

“It will also serve as a platform for establishing ways to penetrate other markets outside the country,” he said.

He explained that the recently signed African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) posed a threat as well as opportunity for manufacturers; thus necessitating the need to be prepared.

Babatunde said that the show would attract exhibitors from the United Kingdom, Germany, Greece, Netherlands, South Africa, India, Korea, China, Turkey and Singapore.

He said that the event would enable manufacturers of paints, inks and allied products exchange ideas that would boost the paint industry and economic growth.

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Economy

NSE indices record 0.21% loss

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Inspite of improved market breadth, the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) market indices shed 0.21 per cent due to loses in some blue chips.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that the All Share Index (ASI) lost 57.27 points or 0.21 per cent to 27,058.62 against 27,115.89 posted on Monday.

Also, the market capitalisation dipped N28 billion to close at N13.186 trillion against N13.214 trillion achieved on Monday.

The downturn was impacted by losses recorded in medium and large capitalised stocks, amongst which are; MTN Nigeria, Conoil, PZ Cussons Nigeria, NCR Nigeria and Union Bank of Nigeria (UBN).

Speaking on market’s performance, Mr Ambrose Omordion, the Chief Operating Officer, InvestData Consulting Limited, attributed the development to cautious trading and low confidence of investors.

“These are signs of low confidence and cautious trading as the nation’s economy remains unpredictable with the government yet to provide any economic direction,” he said.

However, market breadth closed positive, 27 stocks posted gains while 10 stocks posted declines.

Transcorp recorded the highest price gain of 10 per cent, each to close at N3.85 and 99k, respectively.

Chams followed with a gain 9.52 per cent to close at 23k, while Berger Paints went up by 9.49 per cent to close at N7.50 per share.

UACN appreciated by 9.38 per cent to close at N5.25, per share.

Conversely, Cutix led the losers’ chart dropping by 9.62 per cent to close at N1.41 per share.

PZ Cussons and Union Diagnostic & Clinical Services followed with a decline of 8.33 per cent each to close at N5.50 and 22k, respectively, per share.

May and Baker lost 6.83 per cent to close at N1.91, while Honeywell Flour Mills shed 6.06 per cent to close at 93k per share.

The total volume traded declined by 16.39 per cent with an exchange of 209.62 million shares worth N3.24 billion traded in 3,743 deals.

This was against 250.74 million shares valued at N3.53 billion transacted in 4,116 deals on Monday.

Transactions in the shares of Transcorp topped the activity chart with 43.59 million shares valued at N42.73 million.

Guaranty Trust Bank came second with 42.97 million shares worth N1.14 billion, while Zenith Bank traded 34.11 million shares valued at N591.99 million.

Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI) sold 24.21 million shares valued at N148.56 million, while FBN Holdings recorded a turnover of 6.32 million shares worth N31.36 million.

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