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BREAKING: New Investors Buy Polaris Bank, To Pay CBN, AMCON Over N1.3 Trillion

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BREAKING: New Investors Buy Polaris Bank, To Pay CBN, AMCON Over N1.3 Trillion

New investors under the auspices of Strategic Capital Investment Limited (SCIL) have finalised the 100 per cent acquisition of Polaris Bank from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Asset Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON).

Already, the House of Representatives on Wednesday okayed the sale of Polaris Bank, noting that the process followed the laid down procedure and the relevant presidential approval.

A statement by the Director, the Corporate Communications Department at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Osita Nwanisobi, on behalf of the CBN and AMCON disclosed that SCIL had paid an upfront consideration of N50 billion to acquire 100% of the equity of the bank and had also accepted the terms of the agreement which include the full repayment of N1.305 trillion, being the consideration bonds injected.

According to the statement, “the CBN thus received an immediate return for the value it has created in Polaris Bank during the stabilisation period, as well as ensuring that all funds originally provided to support the intervention are recovered.

“The sale was coordinated by a Divestment Committee (the ‘Committee’) comprising representatives of the CBN and AMCON and advised by legal and financial consultants.
The committee conducted a sale process by ‘private treaty’, as provided in Section 34(5) of the AMCON Act to avoid negative speculations, retain value and preserve financial system stability.

“In the process, parties who had formally expressed an interest in acquiring Polaris Bank, subsequent to the CBN intervention in 2018, were invited to submit financial and technical proposals. Invitations to submit proposals were sent to 25 pre-qualified interested parties, out of which three (3) parties eventually submitted final purchase proposals following technical evaluation.

READ ALSO: Titan Trust Bank Acquires Union Bank

“All submissions were subject to a rigorous transaction process from which SCIL emerged as the preferred bidder having presented the most comprehensive technical/financial purchase proposal as well as the highest rated growth plans for Polaris Bank,” the statement added.

Meanwhile, the CBN Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, was quoted as saying that the sale of the bank “marks the completion of a landmark intervention in a strategic institution in the Nigerian banking sector by the CBN and AMCON.”

He commended the outgoing board and management for their vital role since the bridge bank was established in stabilising the bank’s operations, and its balance sheet and implementing strong governance structures to address the issues that led to the intervention.

According to the governor, the process has provided the CBN with an unprecedented opportunity to recover its intervention funds in full and promote financial stability and inclusive growth. He wished SCIL well as they implement growth plans to build the bank from the strong foundations that have been established.”

Polaris has been operating as a bridge bank since 2018 when the Central Bank of Nigeria intervened to revoke the licence of the former Skye Bank Plc and established Polaris Bank to assume its assets and certain liabilities.

As part of the CBN intervention, consideration bonds with a face value of N898 billion (future value of N1.305 trillion) were injected into the bridge bank through AMCON, to be repaid over a 25-year period.

The CBN noted that the actions were taken to prevent the imminent collapse of the bank, enable its stabilisation and recovery, protect depositors’ funds, prevent job losses and preserve systemic financial stability.

On the acquisition on Wednesday, October 19, 2022, the chairman of the Ad-hoc Committee investigating the sale of Polaris Bank, Hon. Henry Nwawuba said that the lawmakers during the scrutiny of various documents and extant regulatory processes on the sale of the bank discovered that there was evidence of substantial compliance with the process.

 

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Nigeria’s Headline Inflation Rises To 21.9%

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Nigeria's Headline Inflation Rises To 21.9%

Nigeria‘s headline inflation has risen to 21.09 per cent according to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) report for the month of October.

The CPI report which was released on Tuesday by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said that there was an increase of 0.32 per cent from the 20.77 per cent recorded in September.

The data suggests that the headline inflation rate climbed by 5.09 per cent in October 2022 as compared to the same month the year before (October 2021).

“In October 2022, on a year–on–year basis, the headline inflation rate was 21.09%. This was 5.09% points higher compared to the rate recorded in October 2021, which was 15.99%.

READ ALSO:  Nigeria’s Inflation Rises Over 18 Per Cent

“This shows that the general price level for the headline inflation rate increased in October 2022 when compared to the same month in the preceding year (i.e., October 2021) by 5.09%,” the report read.

The report added that “On a month-on-month basis, the headline inflation rate for October 2022 was 1.24%, this was 0.11 % lower than the rate recorded in September 2022 (1.36%).

“The percentage change in the average CPI for the twelve months ending October 2022 over the average of the CPI for the previous twelve months period was 17.86 percent, showing a 0.91 percent increase compared to the 16.96 percent recorded in October 2021.”

The year-on-year food inflation rate in October 2022 was 23.72 per cent, an increase from the previous month’s rate of 23.34 per cent.

“On a month-on-month basis, the food inflation rate in October was 1.23%, this was a 0.21% decline compared to the rate recorded in September 2022 (1.43%).

“This decline was attributed to the reduction in prices of some food items like tubers, palm oil, maize, beans, and vegetables,” the report further stated.

 

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N52b Cash Deposited In Banks Over Naira Re-design Policy

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N52b Cash Deposited In Banks Over Naira Re-design Policy

About N52 billion cash has been deposited in banks barely two weeks after the announcement of plans by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to redesign some naira notes.

There were indications that the deposit sum may increase in the next few days because it is suspected that about N3 trillion cash was in circulation at the time the apex bank announced the policy.

The CBN claimed that some of the identified depositors were politicians, bureau de change operators, businessmen, real estate financiers, and traders.

It was also learnt that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and other security agencies have directed banks to keep records of depositors, including institutions.

 READ ALSO: I’m Fully Behind CBN Governor On Redesigning Naira Notes – Buhari

The screening of high-profile depositors, especially currency hoarders and money launderers, may begin soon.

There was the fear that the redesigning of some naira notes may affect cash haul during the ongoing 2023 campaign.

According to a reliable source, who was armed with facts and figures, security and intelligence agencies have confirmed huge cash deposits of N52 billion in banks in less than two weeks.

The source said some representatives of one of the agencies appeared before a Senate Committee on Tuesday in Abuja behind the curtains.

The source said: “As the cash was being taken to banks, we were getting the details of all the depositors and in some cases, we could trace the sources.

“As of Tuesday, over N52billion cash has been deposited in various banks. Some of the deposits have been traced to some politicians, bureau de change operators, suspected money launderers, middlemen, drug barons, businessmen and traders.

“All the banks have been directed by the EFCC and other anti-graft agencies to keep records of cash depositors and their KYC. They are also mandated to make the list available when required.
“With this directive, it will be easier to uncover currency hoarders, speculators and those sabotaging the nation’s economy.”

Responding to a question, the source said: “Some politicians, governors and suspected fronts of Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs) have been on the radar of some anti-graft agencies.

“Some state governments cannot pay salaries because the corrupt table payment system they have adopted is not practicable with the CBN directive.

“Apart from redesigning the notes, the CBN is also complementing the anti-graft agenda of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.

READ ALSO: Redesigning Of Naira May Not Hold As Finance Minister Disagrees With Emefiele

“Nigerians have virtually abandoned the cashless economic policy for cash transactions.

“We may be on our way to addressing basic issues compounding our anti-corruption campaign as a nation.”

On October 26, the CBN announced its decision to redesign the naira.
It cited significant hoarding of banknotes, worsening shortage of clean and fit banknotes, and increasing ease and risk of counterfeiting.

It added that over 85 per cent of the currency in circulation is outside the vaults of commercial banks.

CBN said as of the end of September, N2.73trillion out of the N3.23 trillion currencies in circulation was outside the vaults of commercial banks and supposedly held by the public.

 

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Lagos To Spend N1.6 Trillion Next Year

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Lagos To Spend N1.6 Trillion Next Year

The Lagos State government plans to spend N1.692 trillion next year.

The state governor,  Babajide Sanwo-Olu, presented the estimated N1.692 trillion budget estimates for the 2023 to the House of Assembly.

The ‘Budget of Continuity’ comprises revenue of N1.342 billion and deficit financing of N350,000 billion.

READ ALSO: Why We Aren’t Surprised By Wike’s Endorsement Of Sanwo-Olu – Jandor

This further comprises total Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of N1.108 billion and federal transfers of N234 billion.

The estimate also proposes a recurrent expenditure of N759 billion and Capital expenditure of N670 billion.

 

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