Connect with us

Business

Federal High Court orders attachment of funds belonging to Oriental Energy Resources Limited in 13 banks 

Published

on

court

      Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke presiding over a Federal high court in Lagos south west Nigeria has restrained an Oil exploration and production company in Nigeria, Oriental Energy Resources Limited, and 13 banks listed before the court, whether by themselves Directors, Officers, or Agents, from withdrawing, transferring, removing any funds, properties or assets, outside the jurisdiction of Nigeria or encumbering any funds belonging to or held to the account of the Company with the banks except for payments of average salaries.

       Such payment must also be duly granted by the court upon request pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice. Justice Aneke also made an order restraining Oriental Energy Resource Limited either acting alone or in concert with the Central bank of Nigeria and Nigeria Petroleum Development Company from exporting, transferring or removing from the jurisdiction of the court any asset, Crude Oil or Gas due to the company from Ebok Marginal field or any other Oil block and/or transferring or diverting the proceeds therefrom to any bank account outside the jurisdiction of the court, pending hearing and determination of the motion on notice.
          An interim order was also made attaching and taking legal possession of all funds, deposits, credit, and receivables belonging to or due to the company with or in the custody of the 13 banks listed before the court, and directing each and every aforesaid Banks listed, as affected parties, to within 7days from the day of service of these orders file an affidavit disclosing the respective balances, funds, deposits, credit and receivables, held in or the account of the company at the date of the order supported by a certified print out of the statements of accounts covering three months, pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice.
    The order of the court was sequel to an application filed and argued before the court by a Lagos lawyer, Barrister Uchechukwu Obi SAN,on behalf of a Limited liability company The Petitioner, Uniterm Nigeria Limited who alleged that Oriental Energy Resources Nigeria Limited is owning it the sum of $1,453,356,76(One million four hundred and fifty-three Thousand, Three hundred and fifty-six Dollars Seventy-six Cent
      In 63 paragraphs of the affidavit in support of the application sworn to by the General Manager, Finance of Uniterm Nigeria Limited company Adekunle Okunnowo and argued before the court by Mr Obi SAN, it was alleged that Oriental Energy Resources Limited, was

 desirous of engaging a consortium comprising a local and foreign contractor to provide it with a Rig, specialized Drilling Unit, local and foreign personnel and catering services required in the good drilling project for Ebok Field located within OML 67.
     In the light of the above, Oriental Energy Resources Limited contacted Borr International Operations Incorporated, a company engaged in the business of providing drilling services and one existing under the laws of
Marshall Island and has its registered office at Trust Company Complex, Ajeltake Road, Ajeltake Island, Majuro, Marshall Islands and the Petitioner Uniterm Nigeria Limited as a consortium of foreign and local contractors for the project.
    The Petitioner was to provide local personnel and catering and incidental services on the rig location; while Borr was to provide the Rig, Drilling unit, and expatriate personnel for the project comprised in the contract.
The Petitioner, Borr and the Respondent as separate juristic entities fully aware of their roles, rights and obligations, entered into a business relationship in May, 2021.
  The Petitioner in association with Borr (simply described as the “Contractor”) and same was for the provision of Jack up Drilling unit “NATT” Drilling Rig, local and foreign personnel supply and Catering Services for Drilling Program Offshore Nigeria in the Respondent’s Ebok Field in OML 67 aforesaid.
      Although the said contract refer to the petitioner and Borr as “the contractor”;it was understood by the parties that the contract was to be executed by them in such a way that each of Borr and the petitioner was named as a contractor in the contract, was to provide its individual and distinct services to Oriental Energy Resources Company and to invoice and get paid separately for the services rendered by each of them.
    The drilling operations and other contractual services commenced in May 2021 and ended in October 2021. The Petitioner had submitted a total number of 61 invoices totalling US $2,232,638.67 and N104,120,896.20. All of these duly issued invoices were sent directly by the Petitioner to the Respondent in accordance with the Ordering and Invoicing process and most of them were received and honoured by the Respondent.
The Respondent, however, failed to pay 6 outstanding invoices all of which amount to the US $1, 453, 356.76 VAT inclusive.
Sometime in October 2021, the Respondent had alleged that Borr supplied Borr Natt Rig’ had malfunctioned thereby leading to a temporary stoppage of work within the period resulting to non-productive time (NPT) and consequential spread cost losses.
   In the light of this, the Respondent had sent a letter to Borr on 14th October 2021, informing Borr that they were disputing the service rates on Borr’s specific invoices, in view of the non-productive time (NPT) and spread cost losses.The letter was addressed to Borr which was simply copied to the petitioner.
However, the Respondent never disputed the invoices submitted by the Petitioner for the local personnel supply and catering services rendered by it or queried any aspect of the services rendered by the Petitioner in accordance with the Ordering and Invoicing Process.
The Respondent had struggled throughout the contract tenure to comply with the contractual payment terms of 30 days from final invoices submission dates as agreed, instead payments were mostly delayed and irregular and some remained outstanding to date. In each case the Respondent complained of its liquidity
problems urging the Petitioner to exercise more patience.
Due to the persistent refusal of the Respondent to make payments to the
Petitioner, on the 6 outstanding invoices, the Petitioner wrote a letter to the Respondent dated 14th March, 2022 and 5th April, 2022, demanding payment of the outstanding debt of US $1, 453, 356.76 (One Million Four Hundred and Fifty-Three Thousand, Three Hundred and Fifty – Six Dollars, Seventy-Six Cents) Vat Inclusive.
  By the terms of the contract, the Petitioner is also entitled to interests on the invoices as provided for in the contract. This is because the 30-day period stipulated in the contract has elapsed since the invoices were raised and submitted.
       The respondent’s claims and contentions against Borr which it now desperately uses as a ploy to refuse to liquidate the petitioner’s invoices are wrongful, baseless and insupportable under the existing contract executed by the parties
  All the services provided by the Petitioner were specifically requested for by the Respondent. Also, the Petitioner had as far back as 14th October, 2021 been sending mails and letters to the Respondent notifying it of the outstanding invoices. It is therefore unfair that the Respondent is trying to assert its purported claim against Borr International Operations Incorporated as a ground to withhold the Petitioner’s funds under the invoices.
The Petitioner is entitled to the sum of US $1, 453, 356.76 (One Million Four
Hundred and Fifty-Three Thousand, Three Hundred and Fifty – Six Dollars, Seventy-Six Cents) Vat Inclusive, interest at the current rate
   The Petitioner has performed all of its own obligations under the Agreement but the Respondent has woefully failed to discharge its own obligation under the contract by its refusal to honour invoices forwarded to it by the Petitioner.
Owing to the repeated failure of the Respondent to honour its commitments, as a result of which the business of the Petitioner was put in jeopardy and near total collapse, the Petitioner, in compliance with the provisions of sections 571 (d) and 572 (a) of the Companies and Allied Matters Act, 2020 issued a statutory demand notice on the Respondent on 13th April, 2022 requesting the Respondent to pay the debt within three weeks from the date of receipt or face the consequence of winding up.
Although it received the letter on 14th April, 2022, the Respondent has failed to make the payments for the outstanding invoices till date thereby daring the machinery of the law.
   The Petitioner is a struggling Nigerian service company grappling with high operational costs and overdue commitments with its lenders, employees and other stakeholders and this delay in settlement of the invoices has occasioned undue hardship on its operations requesting the Court’s intervention to protect its rights as an unpaid creditor under the law.
At this point in time, it is clear that the Respondent is insolvent and unable to pay its debts to the Petitioner and there is need to protect the Petitioner and other body of creditors of the respondent from the wrongful and predatory action of the respondent
 By its shifty and evasive conducts, the Respondent who has funds in Nigerian Banks including those listed before the court as affected parties would most likely transfer its funds and excess stocks of crude oil and gas out of those accounts or otherwise encumber them outside Nigeria and divert their proceeds to offshore bank accounts outside the jurisdiction of the Court, with a view to frustrating the instant winding up petition and render its outcome nugatory.
   The Respondent has assets within the jurisdiction of this Court but might deal with them so that they will not be available or traceable when judgment is given against it or otherwise frustrate the Petitioner from reaping the reward of the judgment.
In view of the obvious funding challenges facing the Respondent who may be owing other creditors, the available funds and receivables in its bank accounts due to it,  receivables and stocks of crude oil and gas should be preserved towards the satisfaction of its indebtedness to Petitioner.
The banks listed hold cash deposits of the respondent and the respondent had received transferred funds in settlement of its past invoices from those banks at the instruction of the Respondent.
There is a real risk of the respondent’s assets being dissipated, hidden, or removed from the jurisdiction should the respondent become aware of these proceedings, thereby  frustrating the outcome of this suit or  any  judgment the   Court in this winding up Petition
   An order of Mareva Injunction of this Court is needed to prevent the respondent from removing funds and assets from the jurisdiction of this Court which funds and assets need to be preserved.
The  Petitioner/Applicant is willing ready and prepared to give an undertaking as to damages in the event that those orders are granted and it is discovered that the court ought not to have granted the interim order sought in the first place. In his ruling, Justice Aneke granted the restraining order.
        Meanwhile, the suit has been adjourned till the 26th of September,2022 for a hearing.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Business

PRUDENTIAL ZENITH LIFE INSURANCE RECORDS 75% GROWTH IN PROFIT AFTER TAX IN FULL YEAR 2021 RESULTS

Published

on

By

Prudential Zenith Life Insurance Limited (“PZL”) has announced its audited financial results for the year ended 31st December 2021, recording a 75% growth in profit after tax (PAT) of 1.13b compared to the 646m recorded in the corresponding period in 2020.

The results, which was approved by the Board of Directors of Prudential Zenith and the insurance industry regulator, the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), shows that Gross Written Premium (GWP) and Annualized Premium Equivalent (APE) grew year on year by 16.3% and 9.3% respectively. This was primarily driven by 27% growth in new business acquisition for Group Life written during the period.

Investment income grew by 30% year-on-year due to a significant increase in the interest-generating assets of the company, and commission income also increased by 43% during the period. 

The financial performance is a testament to the continued focus on investments, as the company remains committed to building a strong market-leading position in Nigeria by enhancing its capabilities, strengthening its digitally enabled multi-channel distribution network, and broadening the range of products and services that are available to customers in order to meet their needs. 

Despite the challenges experienced during the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, Prudential Zenith was able to achieve this strong growth in 2021 and is poised to continue improving its performance in the upcoming financial years. Prudential Zenith will continue to develop and launch unique products to meet customers’ needs, leveraging technology and its core corporate governance structure to deliver faster claims settlement. The company will also continue to prioritize the health, safety, and welfare of customers, who subscribe to its unique insurance product offerings.

Prudential Zenith Life Insurance Ltd (PZL) is a subsidiary of Prudential Plc., established in 2017 when Prudential Plc acquired a 51% holding in Zenith Life Insurance. PZL is one of the most capitalized companies in the Nigerian insurance industry with a wide range of individual products including savings & investments-linkedproducts, endowment, and protection products designed to meet the needs of individuals and their families.  For corporate clients, the company’s product offerings includeGroup Life, Key-Man Assurance, Credit Life, School Fees Protection, and Mortgage Protection, ensuring that the welfare of clients’ staff and families are met.  

Prudential Plc provides life and health insurance, and asset management in Africa and Asia, helping people get the most out of life by making healthcare affordable and accessible and by promoting financial inclusion. Prudential protects people’s wealth, helps them grow their assets, and empowers them to save for their goals. It has more than 19 million life customers and is listed on stock exchanges in London (PRU), Hong Kong (2378), Singapore (K6S), and New York (PUK).

Prudential Plc has insurance operations in eight countries in Africa: Nigeria, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Kenya, Togo Uganda, and Zambia.  With over 1 million customers, Prudential Africa works with over 11,000 agents and six exclusive bank partnerships, with access to over 600 branches to bring value-added insurance solutions to its customers.

Continue Reading

Business

OONI COMMISSIONS OJAJAMORE, TARGETS MORE JOB CREATION WITH 100 STALLS ACROSS NIGERIA IN 2 YEARS

Published

on

By

 

The Ooni of Ife, Arole Oduduwa Olofin Adimula Ooni Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi Ojaja II, today Friday, September 16 2022 at Ile-Ife, Osun state, unveiled an iconic retail outlet branded OjajaMore, a viable food-chain retail store dealing in groceries and other consumables.

Explaining the initiative at the commissioning ceremony held at the premises of the retail store located at the KM 10, Ife/Ibadan express way in Ile-Ife today, the Ooni stated that the establishment of OjajaMore is in fulfillment of his agelong aspiration to redesign retail activities that will be gainfully driven by the Nigerian youths with a view to creating an enduring legacy for Africa in the global space.

“Today, I am exceptionally fulfilled to unveil the OJAJAMORE, one of the profound and timeless initiatives that I envisioned for the modernization of Ile-Ife, Osun State, and other Nigerian cities. It is a triumph and regeneration of retail economies, a reservoir of seamless opportunities for new agro-commodities markets significantly improving access to B2B value chains, a social sanctuary for groceries and other products, and an iconic global brand name that will leave indelible marks on young people through job creation, resolving commoditization issues, and harnessing the integration of locally built flawless novelty digital transactions.

A rethinking of our approach and values for shopping malls in Nigeria and for Nigerians need to be pioneered and readapted. The vision of OJAJAMORE as an indigenous entity with a modern continental outlook is to play a prominent role in people’s lives as a conduit that provides relatable experiences beyond traditional shopping while driving a robust economic culture. It will broaden the boundaries of business growth, increase efficiency, and incorporate value-added elements that will span a remarkable experience and instill a deeper bond in customers.

The OJAJAMORE is part of my multichannel investment strategies, which will naturally serve the Ife Grand Resort and Industrial Park, the OJAJA Arena (a 3,000-seat multi-purpose event center), the OJAJA Hostel (a 2,000-bed hostel facility at Obafemi Awolowo University), and other iconic facilities that I have built in Ile-Ife and the surrounding communities over the last six years. This was a promise that I made at my historic coronation six years ago, and I will stop at nothing to fulfil the truest vision of Ile-Ife as both a symbol of ancient and modern economic powerhouse”. Ooni said.

The Natural Head of the Oduduwa race worldwide stated that he intends to use the new retail store initiative as his deliberate way of getting youths gainfully engaged.

“This is a job creation for the Nigerian youths. OjajaMore simply means where people (consumers) can pay less and get more. It is a combination of royalty and retail to create a different shopping perspective starting from Ile-Ife The Source. The business is structured to allow personalized shopping to grow the retail business which is grossly underdeveloped in Nigeria due to reasons which include proliferation of neighborhood stores and unorganized markets among others.

“While in Johannesburg about 15 years ago on a business visit, I saw so many retail stores, I thereafter realized that as big as Nigeria was and still is, there are only five (5) major malls with no single one in my hometown Ile-Ife that is refined, classy and affordable.

“Like we have names of people branded into companies like this in developed countries, I initiated this project to build the confidence of our younger ones in productive business and investment activities. Youths are the real drivers of economic growth.

“We have started from Ile-Ife because charity begins at home, from here we will cover the entire South West and Nigeria with a chain of over 100 stalls within the next 24 months. It will be first of its kind in Nigeria and the continent of Africa.

“Beyond grooming young minds and serious minded youths in retail business, this initiative will offer over 100,000 direct and indirect employment to our youths across the country, thereby contributing in no small means to human development and capacity building. That’s my target” The Ooni said.

On what Nigerians stand to benefit from patronizing the new outfit, the MD/CEO. of OjajaMore, Mr. Benedict Orioye explained that high-powered technology will be deployed to ensure that customers are treated with respect and royalty as part of value for their money, beyond what is obtainable in similar outfits nationwide.

Orioye said, “Our focus is to have local content as items making up of at least 70 percent of items to be sold here, this is why we are dueling mostly on the farm market. Everything you can think of in the farm will be sold in OjajaMore with decent packaging in line with global standard operating procedure for food handling.

“Aside from fresh and healthy farm produce, the mall will be filled with other retail items as obtainable in other malls around the world but blended with royalty. Our goods are going to be affordably cheap and environment friendly as we have concluded plans to partner the university communities around us to ease the stress of students and other low income earners in shopping.” Orioye said.

In keeping with his unorthodox shift, the Ooni has said OJAJAMORE will be guided by the young people, as they are heroically dedicated to one Nigeria whose greatness and prosperity they are inextricably connected to. As a result, he has intentionally entrusted some of his initiatives and projects to some of Nigeria’s brightest young people. It will be recalled that monarch had on the day of his official coronation in December 2015 dedicated his reign and the throne to the youth. This has consistently seen him engage the youths meaningfully in all his projects and programs both businesses and NGOs.

Apart from Orioye Benedict Gbayisemore, a one time local fisherman from Ilaje Ese Odo area of Ondo state who was appointed MD/CEO of the OjajaMore by the Ooni having discovered him as a well educated and super versatile young man with a Bsc Physics from Obafemi Awolowo University and currently studying for his MSc Business Admin at the University of Ibadan, the super dynamic monarch has also given an array of other brilliant and multi-talented Nigerian youths gainful job opportunities with a lot of them performing creditably well in their various engagements.

Makinde Covenant(DJ Smith) from Ile-Ife, a 3 hundred level student of Dramatic Arts at Obafemi Awolowo University is the one in charge of YAKOYO AFRIKANA an African restaurant which occupies the Gallery section of the OjajaMore established to promote the African heritage using the aspect of our diverse local food and cuisines. There are several other Nigerian youths who have benefited from the Ooni’s G2G platform which he created 4 years ago to drive his Grass-To-Grace aganda for the youths.

A graduate of Obafemi Awolowo University, Oluwaseun Victor Badejo from Ile-Ife is handling OJAJA PARK, a 25 billion naira model city project in Akure while a 30 year old Kamarudeen Adefajo an indigene of Modakeke-Ife with an HND architecture is the one in charge of OjajaMews, another multibillion housing estate project located at Osogbo in Osun state.

A graduate of Osun State Polytechnic who is fondly called Engineer Fisayo has been made to carry out several successful constructions of the Ooni’s projects like the Ife Grand Resort and Industrial Park, the 3000 seaters multi-purpose event center called OJAJA ARENA, a 2000 bedded hostel facility OJAJA HOSTEL at the Obafemi Awolowo University, the OjajaMore all in Ile-Ife.

Former president of National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN) Comrade Bello Shagari from Sokoto state is the MD/CEO of Royal African Young Leadership Forum (RAYLF) a platform set up by the Ooni in 2018 for showcasing and celebrating the talented young leaders who are already great but untapped assets for Nigeria. he studied Business Information Systems & Information Technology Middlesex University, London.

Barrister Habeeb Whyte from Abeokuta, a Law graduate of the University of Ilorin is the
MD/CEO Olofin Products Ltd.
an Ooni’s company Packaging everyday agricultural products for sale locally and exports.

One of the Ooni’s Personal Assistants, Tomisin Olawale a graduate of Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada was also recently appointed as Director of Olofin Microfinance Bank, a one-time Ife Community owned bank which has just been succoured by the Ooni for resuscitation. An award winning Inya Sarah Lawal, who coordinates his “Women Owned Micro Businesses” (WOMB).

Others include Olusola Owonikoko, who runs the Royal African Foundation (RAF), Ibidapo Fashina, who runs the Royal African Medical Outreach (RAMO), According to the dynamic king, these young men and women, like millions of others, are a microcosm of his royalty, woven into the fabric of our modernization and industrialization even as history weighs heavily on their shoulders.

While inviting individuals, groups, government and other corporate organizations in Ile-Ife and its environs to join him in the daily patronage of the iconic OjajaMore, the African foremost who doubles as Co-chairman, National Council of Traditional Rulers of Nigeria(NCTRN) monarch admonished government and well meaning Nigerians to always consider the Nigerian youth as the best partners in progress for the economic liberation of the country.

 

Continue Reading

Business

FIRSTBANK HOSTS THE FINANCIAL MARKET DEALERS ASSOCIATION (FMDA) QUARTERLY MEETING

Published

on

By

firstbank

 

First Bank of Nigeria Limited has announced that it will host the Financial Markets Dealers Association’s (FMDA) quarterly meeting scheduled for 5pm on Friday, 16 September 2022, at Federal Palace Hotels, Victoria Island, Lagos. The event themed “Nigeria Macroeconomic Developments and Outlook: IMF View” will have its keynote address delivered by Ari Aisen, IMF Resident Representative for Nigeria. 

In a statement issued by the Acting Executive Secretary, Mrs. Mary Gbegbaje, “The FMDA quarterly meeting serves as a platform for in-depth knowledge sharing, dissemination of information and fostering of business relationships of members in treasury market practice which consists of Treasurers, Analysts and other market players from insurance, pension funds, government and regulatory bodies in Nigeria. Participants at the event include delegates from all banks and invited guest and customers.”

According to Ini Ebong, Executive Director, Treasury, Financial Institutions & International Banking, First Bank of Nigeria Limited “at FirstBank, we are delighted to host the 2022 quarterly meeting of the Financial Markets Dealers Association of Nigeria (FMDA), a platform we consider pivotal to the continued growth of the financial market in the country. We are excited with the successes so far achieved by our noble Association – FMDA – as with the right regulatory and risk management framework, we have been able to impact and promote fairness in the activities of members, whilst providing the enabling environment to promote business performance and positively impact the national economy’’.

With the knowledge and insights shared in the course of the quarterly meeting, we would further deepen our resolve towards the unrelenting role we play in the economy”, he concluded.

FMDA is the principal interface with the monetary authorities through policy advocacy and engagement aimed at promoting sound markets and ethical conducts comparable to international standards that facilitate liquidity, transparency and price discovery and engendering market deepening.

Continue Reading

Trending News