Connect with us

News

Management of Abuja Disco was fired due to inadequate power supply.

Published

on

Management of Abuja Disco was fired due to inadequate power supply.

Management of Abuja Disco was fired due to inadequate power supply.

A major management shakeup yesterday hit the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC), as the embattled electricity firm named Victor Ojelabi as its acting managing director and CEO. Until yesterday, Ojelabi was the firm’s chief internal auditor.
The appointment also means the new MD becomes the sixth Chief Executive of the Disco in the last 10 years. Those before him were Neil Croucher, Ernest Mupwaya, Akinwumi Bada, Engr. Adeoye Fadeyibi, and Chris Ezeafulukwe.

For the embattled Disco, the shake-up is not unconnected with moves by its major investor, the Transcorp Group led by Tony Elumelu, to reposition the troubled AEDC. Recall that in May 2023, the national council on privatisation approved the Transcorp-led consortium as the preferred bidder for AEDC after acquiring a 60 percent stake in the troubled Disco.

Prior to the Transcorp takeover, AEDC, which was granted a license in 2013, has had its fair share of challenges, especially in the areas of financial management, a dearth of governance structure, the sector’s risk volatility, and regulatory risk exposures.

In December 2021, the United Bank for Africa (UBA) took over the Disco over the inability of its then major stakeholder, Kann Consortium, to service the $122 million loan it took in 2013 to acquire the AEDC.

By April 2023, that is, 10 years later, the bank had moved to recover its loan facility from the firm. And by May 2023, the Transcorp-led consortium had bought over 60 percent of the Disco.

Besides, the company was faced with challenges of management, improving customer relations, data centricity, revenue optimization, collection efficiencies, billing efficiencies, and reducing to the barest possible point the ATC and C losses, amongst others. AEDC has also recently experienced dwindling fortunes in revenue and cash flow, and it has become difficult to meet most of its financial obligations to some service providers and contractors.

The new appointment was contained in a memo signed by the Chairman, Board of Directors, AEDC, Dr. Stanley Lawson, and addressed to all staff of the company. “Victor has been charged with driving the board-approved turnaround plan to reposition AEDC as the leading distribution company in Nigeria,” the memo stated.

A very top source close to the Transcorp Group told The Nation that the appointment is “a move geared at repositioning the AEDC and for the Group to now stamp its foot on the ground with the aim of overhauling and fully repositioning the Disco.”

“It has taken over seven months since our group bought the majority stake in Disco; now we are set to reposition the firm and make progress after carrying out due diligence and putting the necessary things in place,” the top source said.

Perhaps corroborating the source, a statement credited to the acting managing director and the chief executive officer of AEDC described the development as a major realignment for effectiveness.

“In furtherance of the implementation of the Board-approved AEDC Turnaround Plan, please be advised of the following key updates in our dear company as we move to reposition AEDC as the clear market leader in Nigerian electricity distribution. Chief Technical Officer, Godfrey Aba; Chief Business Officer (CBO), Leticia Ejendu; Head, Human Resources, Ibem Idika; Chief Internal Auditor, Irene Nwankwo.” Other officers were also appointed in acting capacities.

Continue Reading

News

Wigwe: Family releases burial rights, excludes RCCG City of David

Published

on

By

Wigwe: Family releases burial rights, excludes RCCG City of David

Wigwe: Family releases burial rights, excludes RCCG City of David

The City of David Parish of the Redeemed Christian Church of God in Lagos will not play any official role in the funeral service of the late Herbert Wigwe, former Group Chief Executive Officer (GCEO) of Access Holdings Plc.

Wigwe, who died on board a chopper in the US some weeks ago, was a member of the parish.

The late banker died alongside his wife, Chizoba; son, Chizi; and a former Group Chairman of Nigerian Exchange Group Plc (NGX Group), Abimbola Ogunbanjo.

After his death, the wife of the parish pastor, Dr. Siju Iluyomade, held a lavish birthday that left tongues wagging.

Distinguished personalities rejoiced with the pastor’s wife at the party, which took place at the Eko Hotels and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos.

Some people expressed displeasure that Iluyomade held such a party weeks after the tragic deaths of a prominent member of the church.

According to the programme, a funeral for the Wigwes will commence with a tribute to Herbert Wigwe’s professional legacy at the Eko Hotel in Lagos on March 4.

Separate ceremonies to honor Chizi and Chizoba are scheduled for March 5 at the Eko Hotel in Lagos, followed by a night of tributes on March 6 at the same venue.

On March 7, a combined service of songs will take place at the RCCG, Resurrection Parish, Lekki, followed by a Christian wake-keeping at Wigwe University, Isiokpo, Ikwerre LGA, Rivers.

On March 9, the funeral and private interment service for the family will be held.

The final service will be an outing ceremony at the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Lion of Judah Parish, Isiokpo, Ikwerre LGA, Rivers, on March 10.

Continue Reading

News

Uncovering the $26 Billion Cryptocurrency Mystery: Central Bank of Nigeria’s Stance on Binance

Published

on

By

Uncovering the $26 Billion Cryptocurrency Mystery: Central Bank of Nigeria's Stance on Binance

Uncovering the $26 Billion Cryptocurrency Mystery: Central Bank of Nigeria’s Stance on Binance

In a recent revelation that has sent shockwaves through the financial landscape of Nigeria, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Dr. Olayemi Cardoso, disclosed that an astonishing $26 billion had been funneled through Binance Nigeria by unidentified sources over the course of one year. This bombshell revelation sheds light on the shadowy world of cryptocurrency exchanges and raises serious concerns about illicit financial activities taking place within the country.

Binance, a popular online platform for trading cryptocurrencies, has come under scrutiny in multiple jurisdictions around the globe for its alleged violations of regulatory guidelines and its disruptive impact on traditional currency markets. Countries such as the UK, Japan, Canada, and Singapore have raised red flags over Binance’s operations, with the United States imposing a hefty $4.3 billion fine on the platform for breaching anti-money laundering and sanctions laws, prompting the resignation of its CEO, Changpeng Zhao.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in Nigeria declared the operations of Binance Nigeria Limited, a subsidiary of Binance, as illegal in June 2023, adding fuel to the fire of regulatory concerns surrounding the cryptocurrency exchange.

During a press briefing following the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting at the CBN headquarters in Abuja, Cardoso emphasized the central bank’s commitment to implementing stringent regulations to fortify the economy, including cracking down on crypto exchanges like Binance. He underscored the collaborative efforts between the CBN and the SEC to prevent market manipulation and safeguard the integrity of the foreign exchange (FX) market.

Cardoso expressed apprehension over suspicious financial flows passing through entities like Binance, hinting at potential illicit activities that could jeopardize the stability of Nigeria’s financial ecosystem. The staggering figure of $26 billion moving through Binance from unidentifiable sources and users within Nigeria has raised alarm bells and prompted a coordinated investigation involving law enforcement agencies such as the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the police, and the National Security Adviser’s office.

The governor reiterated the CBN’s unwavering resolve to combat financial infractions and prevent market distortions that could adversely impact Nigerian citizens. He affirmed the central bank’s determination to assert control over the financial markets and thwart any attempts at market manipulation that could undermine the country’s economic well-being.

As the investigation unfolds and more information surfaces, the collaborative efforts of regulatory bodies and law enforcement agencies are poised to shed light on the opaque practices within the cryptocurrency industry and ensure accountability for any wrongdoing. The CBN’s proactive stance signals a strong commitment to upholding financial integrity and safeguarding the interests of all Nigerians in the face of the evolving challenges posed by the digital economy.

In conclusion, the $26 billion cryptocurrency mystery surrounding Binance Nigeria serves as a stark reminder of the urgent need for robust regulatory oversight and vigilance in the fast-paced world of digital finance. The CBN’s vigilance and determination to root out illicit financial activities underscore the critical importance of transparency, accountability, and regulatory compliance in safeguarding the stability and prosperity of Nigeria’s financial system.

Continue Reading

News

NCC reaffirms February 28 deadline for SIM-NIN linkage

Published

on

By

NCC reaffirms February 28 deadline for SIM-NIN linkage

NCC reaffirms February 28 deadline for SIM-NIN linkage

The deadline for blocking telephone lines without National Identity Numbers (NINs) remains February 28, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has affirmed.

This was disclosed by Reuben Mouka, director of public affairs at NCC, on Monday. This is a follow-up to its April 2022 directive, when the commission directed telcos to restrict outgoing calls on SIMs that have not submitted their NINs.

Reaffirming the NCC’s stance, Mouka said, “I am unaware of any extension and certain there won’t be. I don’t know what to say, but the fact is that there is no change in that deadline. The deadline, which is February 28, stands.”

Meanwhile, the Federal High Court in Lagos has restrained telecom operators from deactivating or barring any line or SIM not linked to their NINs.

According to Channels TV, Justice Ambrose Lewis-Allagoa restrained the telcos while ruling on an application filed by a Lagos-based lawyer, Olukoya Ogungbeje.

In April 2022, Ogungbeje filed a suit against MTN when his SIMs were barred, and the court, at the time, dismissed his suit for lack of merit. He filed an appeal, which is currently pending at the court of appeal.

Ogungbeje had sued the Federal Government of Nigeria, the Attorney General of the Federation, the Minister of Justice, MTN Nigeria Communications Plc and Airtel Networks Nigeria Limited.

Ogungbeje has now asked the court for an injunction pending appeal, restraining all the respondents (the Federal Government of Nigeria, the Attorney General of the Federation, and the Minister of Justice; MTN Nigeria Communications Plc; and Airtel Networks Nigeria Limited) from further outright barring, deactivating, or restricting any SIM cards or phone lines on Feb. 28, 2024, or any other scheduled date, pending the hearing and determination of his appeal at the Court of Appeal of Nigeria.

Justice Ambrose Lewis-Allagoa granted the lawyer’s request and restrained the telcos. The Justice also ruled that his order subsists until the hearing and determination of the appeal filed by the lawyer.

In a December 2023 notice, the NCC asked telcos to bar SIMs that have not submitted their NINs by February 28, 2024; bar those whose NINs have been submitted but not verified by March 29, 2024; and bar those who have less than five lines linked to an unverified NIN by April 15, 2024.

It was noted that all affected subscribers must be verified (biometrics and biodata) before their lines get unbarred. As these deadlines loom, telecom subscribers have asked the Federal Government for an extension, especially for the first one.

Adeolu Ogunbanjo, the National Association of Telecoms Subscribers, disclosed to BusinessDay on Monday that a one-month extension will ensure more people can get their NINs and link their SIMs before the deadline.

“We want them to extend the deadline to March 31. There are still queues at NIMC centres. These centres are trying, but they can’t attend to everyone,” he said.

The NCC’s directive to restrict outgoing calls in April 2022 affected over 72.77 million active mobile subscriptions. About 125 million lines had been linked to a NIN at that time. Since then, the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) has not updated the number of SIMs linked to a NIN.

Continue Reading

Trending