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Heritage Bank leveraging technology to promote financial inclusion for inclusive growth

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In today’s world, making financial services accessible is fast becoming a key area of concern to policymakers for the well-known reason that it has far reaching economic implications. To this end, financial inclusion has assumed a greater level of importance due to its perceived relevance as catalyst for economic growth since it is critical for attaining inclusive growth in an economy. 

In 2012, Nigeria took major steps in its journey by launching the National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS). The main goal of the NFIS is to ensure that 80per cent of Nigerian adults are financially included by 2020. Before this, the formal use of financial services by the adult population stood at 36.3per cent in 2010. To achieve the 2020 goal, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) introduced strategies to spike innovation in the financial services sector in Nigeria and by 2017, one amongst the achievements was that the CBN had given over 20 licenses to mobile money operators, which has currently grown to 21.

According to 2018 data from Enhancing Financial Innovation and Access (EFInA), 38.1million of Nigeria’s 106million (18years and above) adults or 36 percent of Nigerians remain completely financially excluded.

In a recent survey by Augusto & Co on Consumer Digital Banking, only 34per cent of the respondents said they had experienced the service of digital banks. Only 17per cent of respondents above the age of 55 are aware of their services, while for people aged 41-54, the awareness rate stood at 31per cent. This spells the need to deepen the financial inclusion drive if Nigeria is to attain the NFIS target and accelerated economic growth.

The apex bank may have missed the 2020 target of 80 percent for financial inclusion, but it stands a better chance of meeting the target of 95per cent by 2024, as industry players have argued that to achieve the NFIS target for inclusive economic growth, the financial sector must strongly leverage technology (mobile and digital channels) to promote financial inclusion and enhance access to financial services for the unbanked and underserved segments of the population.

One of the financial institutions that has continued to leverage on technology to revitalize the industry via deploying its huge resources and vast networks to deepen financial inclusion in the country for inclusive economic growth is Heritage Bank Plc, Nigeria’s most innovative banking service provider. 

The MD/CEO of Heritage Bank, Ifie Sekibo, affirmed that banks cannot push financial inclusion unless they also push secured technology inclusion.

According to him, Heritage Bank has continued to entrench financial inclusion across board via creating access to accounts and other financial products, savings, mobile money systems and payment systems that provide opportunities for financially excluded Nigerians and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises.

  

Introducing HB API Sandbox & Banking as a service via One Pipe

The Bank launched an API Sandbox to accelerate the ideas of technology entrepreneurs to build innovative and commercially viable products that were birthed through HB LAB. This platform provides a suite of financial and non-financial APIs targeted to meet the needs of FinTech, Tech SMEs, and Communities. Our APIs grants Tech Companies, third-party developers, and non-Fintech companies access to multiple payments and financial services required by their customers.

Following the launch of HB’s API Sandbox, the Bank partnered with API aggregator Companies to extend the Bank’s API services to a wider audience, layering their value-added services to deliver our BaaS platform. Banking as a Service (BaaS/Open Banking) is an end-to-end business process that allows FinTech and other third-party service providers to offer core financial services to their customers by integrating with the Bank via our readily available APIs. This is a billed service that also provides relevant data insight required to pursue aggressive retail accounts acquisition by leveraging the aggregator robust retail prospect pipeline. 

 

Redefining digital banking space with ‘Octiplus’ 

Sekibo promised that his bank would continue to drive financial inclusion through a robust, innovative, and advanced digital banking solution, ‘Octiplus’ which it recently launched.

Octiplus is a bank-agnostic, all-in-one digital banking application, which grants users access to a bouquet of financial, lifestyle and social networking features with the added convenience of converging card-based payments within one application irrespective of the issuing Nigerian bank. Ifie Sekibo stated that, “with Octiplus, we are redefining the concept of digital banking for the discerning mobile user, as the app is equipped with several exciting features that reiterate the bank’s commitment to expand its digital architecture and modernize its interactions with the banking public, irrespective of your preferred financial institution.”

Octiplus promises an intelligent Omni-channel experience which augments the usual transactional features including bills payment, funds transfer and airtime recharge with its unique ability to facilitate person to person/group interactions which encourages small businesses and a thriving side hustle for young professionals. The App is now available for download on the Google and iOS App Stores.

 

Catching them young with HB BUD Account

HB Bud account is a savings account for children and the younger demographic aimed at introducing financial literacy and inclusion. The account can be opened in trust for a child by the parent/guardian who will be the primary account holder with the responsibility of running this account until their child attains adulthood and can solely operate their own accounts or possibly move to other age-appropriate products. This product was initially launched in 2014 as a unique proposition to cater mostly to the educational needs of children and young adults who are preparing and saving up for further education and, as well, deepen brand visibility and increase the bank’s market share. However, some operational exigencies and regulatory framework have necessitated the modification and adjustment of this product to serve the customers optimally. Children and teens from 0 to 18yrs are the target market. 

The features are unique as outlined: Access to cash backed loan by parent/guardian/sponsor for school fees/education loan. You can access up to 70per cent of your balance held with the Bank as cash backed loan. The customer must have run the BUD account for a minimum of 6 months to access the cash backed loan. Ease of saving through standing order instructions. Access to exclusive events. Free participation in the BUD MINI career mentoring and coaching sessions once a year. Opportunity to act as a Heritage Bank Executive Committee member for one day.

 

Catering for the unbanked via HB Starter Product 

This is the banks flagship CBN KYC Tier 1 savings account to cater for the unbanked. It is a level 1 entry into savings account category in Nigeria, in which an individual can open without having the mandatory requirements/documents to open a standard or regular account in Nigeria. This is one way of ensuring that all citizens of Nigeria are financially included since the account can be opened with or without a smart phone at the bank or online. In essence, this type of savings account doesn’t require any utility bills, or even an ID to open.

Most people who fall under this category usually do not see the need to open an account because they find it easier to save whatever money they have in their houses. This category of people wants to avoid bulky manual account opening process and have a better time management. This product is very precise and requires minimum account opening documentation, also it can be done at the comfort of one’s home. Customers can in addition be assisted by the Bank’s relationship managers and sales teams. Also, customers can get on the bank’s website to initiate a new account opening process from start and receive the account number at the end of the process.

 

Product targeted at individuals across all market segments  

This is known as HB Individual Current Account Product, which is a checking account for all individuals across market segments above the age of 18years. This account has been made seamless with unique features for individuals’ access to loan products, minimum balance of N0.00, No COT on all transaction, account opening balance N5, 000 and access to clearing check book.

 

Customization of payment gateway on HB CheckOut and Virtual Accounts

Heritage CheckOut is a fully integrated payment processing platform with infrastructure for digital payments across Africa. Olusola Longe-Okenimkpe, Divisional Head, E-Business & Collections disclosed that the platform provides an underlying technology platform that allows businesses to receive and issue payments from anywhere in the world, with robust inbuilt fraud management, compliance, and security applications. 

She also defined Virtual Accounts as series of off-balance accounts whose total balance mirrors the balance in pool account. According to Olusola, pool account is linked to all the virtual accounts and the balance in the pool account mirrors the total balance in the virtual accounts.

 

Opportunities for financially excluded with HB Business Account

The Heritage Bank Business Account is a cost-effective current account that provides flexible, affordable, and transparent pricing grid based on debit monthly turnover covenant. The product is targeted at all Micro and Small Enterprises of SME and Retail segments. 

 

Ensuring seamless transaction using HB transfer code 

 

The transfer code *745# of Heritage bank guarantees seamless usages and reduces the stress of going to the branch of Heritage bank to make payment. Just like other banks, you can use Heritage bank mobile banking code which is *745# to check your account balance, transfer money to Heritage bank or other banks, pay for utility bills and cable TV subscription, pay for church’s services everywhere you are using your mobile phone.

 

Capturing educational sector via Alumni Banking service, Acada Portal Solution

To further capture individuals in educational sector into the financial inclusion space, Heritage Bank unveiled the Alumni Banking Service and Acada Portal Solution which are internet-based solutions that seamlessly integrate school’s portal and Alumni platforms that benefit the different stakeholders and complement efforts in attaining the best global practices in school management. Alumni Banking service is an educational provision by Heritage Bank that seeks to utilize and track, engage, endow, and invest a model to help secondary and tertiary educational institutions create modern alumni systems that contribute to their financial stability just like great alumni do in the best global schools.

 

Inclusion of creative industry, e-sport gaming on HB YNSPYRE Account

YNSPYRE Account is a product targeted specifically at the creative economy populated by not only youths in video and film, and music. It goes much more than that as it involves people in technology, the creative industry and gaming as part of the creative industry.

Addressing the press about the initiative in gaming as a creative endeavour, Dike Dimiri, Heritage Bank Regional Executive, Lagos, and South-West explained that the involvement of the bank is to identify income-earning opportunities for some people in the economy. 

According to him, “HB has designed a product that identifies and finds a mechanism that guides Nigerians in gaming or e-sports. The bank is set to revolutionize e-sports by bringing it to an acceptable level attained by football, lawn tennis and other crowd pulling games.”

 

Heritage Bank is fast changing the narratives of the banking landscape through the adoption of more secured technology (product and channels) for seamless services that guarantee the larger part of the population is involved in economic activities as well as being financially included.

For this to be effective, Sekibo affirmed that the population must access financial services and products which ensure that households and businesses irrespective of income levels have access to and can effectively use the appropriate financial facilities they need to improve their lives and further their savings and investments.

 

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Sekibo, Obi, others harp on security, leadership for economic prosperity

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The MD/CEO of Heritage Bank Plc, Ifie Sekibo and other notable Nigerians have affirmed that the apt way to boost economic prosperity and peace in the country is to start addressing leadership challenges and insecurity. Sekibo and other notable Nigerians like the Presidential aspirant of Labour Party, Peter

Obi, Pastor Ituah Ighodalo, Prof. Oyelowo Oyewo, Dr. Victoria Ekhomu and Barrister Sotonye Inyeinengi-Etomi, during the 2nd Edition 2022 Forum, one-day International Colloquium organized by The Men’s League of Christ Church Port Harcourt, tagged, “What do Nigerians Want?”, extensively brainstormed on the kind of leadership the country needs and how to rescue the country from its current debacle.

Speaking on the topic, “The Economy Nigeria Needs to Break Forth,” Sekibo stressed that of important to achieving the transformation the country needs, there was urgent need to address insecurity, which according to him, is the foundation of prosperity, as no nation can achieve much where the is no peace.

Sekibo, represented by the Divisional Head, Strategy & Business Solutions, Segun Akanji emphasized that for security purposes, there must be an established functional and value adding identity system in place. “On a higher note, I think one of the things that we need to achieve as a country is the issue of functional and value adding identity management, which is still far away from us, although, some people know that we have BVN, NIMC and a few other identity capture systems but they have not been as functional and value adding, like the social security number that most people in advanced economies carry,” he stated.

Sekibo further explained that to achieve a prosperous economy, Nigeria needs to find ways and means by policies to build dual circulation economy which thrives on three pillars. According to him, we need to focus on building dual circulation economy where we can expand domestic production and demand by making sure that the masses are employed. “We need to make our people are productive and stop putting subsidy in unproductive zones. When you give subsidy to people with inadequate or no income, they really cannot add value to the economy, and money has a way of flowing away due to import of consumables from other countries and because of this, a larger portion of every consumption or cash given as subsidy gets out of the country,” said Sekibo.

The bank’s helmsman further explained that to expand the domestic production, government must give the private sector support to drive employment creation, technology, which is riding on innovation and manufacturing must be in place and, the population which is an added advantage must be well educated. He highlighted the need to examine how the country could add value to primary production for global export, emphasizing on reduction of over dependence on foreign markets but rather increase local production for export, whilst also increasing demand on local products. Sekibo further affirmed that if states could function as proper federating units and take the lead of the competitive comparative advantages therein, wealth creation would be achieved that would bring about the desired changes.

The former governor of Anambra state and presidential aspirant, Peter Obi lamented the huge indebtedness of the country, which he blamed on unproductivity due to the inimical situation of high unemployment rate resulting to over 80million Nigerians being jobless. He blamed the cumulative failure of government over the years on insecurity, failure to migrate from sharing formula to production formula and lack of will to transform the power sector and the need to focus and support the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

In his paper titled, “The President Nigeria Needs”, Pastor Ighodalo harped on the need for leadership change. He argued that what the country needs now are leaders who have vision and are ready to sacrifice for the common man, stating, “things must be done differently”. Ighodalo believed leadership remains the bane of Nigeria’s transformation, stressing that once we get good leadership other things will fall in place. Prof. Oyewo while speaking on the topic “Restructuring and True Federalism” was of

the view that some responsibilities need to be decentralized like the police, power provision and railway. Once there is decentralization, he believes that the state will have less dependence on the centre, “rebalancing of the constitution in terms of power and security. So, there isreason for state police.”n Oyewo maintained that regions are closer to the people, thus it will boost security, the economy and sense of belonging by the populace. He also identified data and planning as key factors in ensuring that programmes are tailored towards the people.

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RT $200bn: Polaris Bank sensitises non-oil exporters, urge them to key into programme

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Polaris BAnk

One of the leading Commercial Bank in Nigeria, Polaris Bank in partnership with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has urged exporters in the non-oil sector to embrace RT USD 200billion programme in a bid to boost the nation’s economy. The financial institution made the appeal recently in Calabar during a one day Sensitisation programme for non-oil exporters on the need to key into the “Race to USD 200billion Foreign Exchange Programme”.

Vanguard learned that it was part of efforts by CBN to ensure Nigeria realizes her quest to earn the needed foreign exchange; diversify its economy and make locally-produced goods competitive, globally.

The above, according to the Bank, led it to commence a nationwide business forum to sensitize exporters on inherent benefits of Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) RT200 non-oil export proceeds repatriation rebate scheme.

Vanguard gathered that the scheme was aimed at raising $200 billion in foreign exchange (FX) earnings from Non-Oil Proceeds over the next 3-5 years, is designed to motivate exporters in the Non-Oil export sector to encourage repatriation and sale of export proceeds into the FX market.

Speaking during the programme in Calabar, Mr. Michael Chimah, Group Head, Uyo/Calabar Business said it was high time Nigerians took production more serious, adding that with more production and export things will change for the better for Nigeria.

He disclosed that CBN’s guidelines for the scheme stipulates that for every US$1 repatriated and sold at the I& E Window to Authorised Dealer Banks (ADBs) for other third-party use, N65 will be paid to the exporter, while for every US$1 repatriated and sold into I & E for own use on eligible transactions only, N35 will be paid and payment was done quarterly.

His words:” The basic fact is that there is no more dollar, the one we are earning is very little compared to the Volume of import we are bringing, the CBN in its initiative came up with this noble idea to look inward and earn foreign exchange, and we as a bank have taken it up to partner with them.

“In Nigeria, we think the main thing is import, to the extent that if you are not involved in import people think you are not doing anything, but the pendulum has now shifted to export, and as a bank we are ready to give you the needed support both financial and advisory services. We are very serious about this, which is why we have set up an export desk to assist those who will come to us for all the necessary support.

“Nigerians, must stop thinking consumption alone and start thinking production, it is only when we produce that our GDP will grow and invariably our per Capita income too.

“When our Per Capita income grows then we begin to earn Foreign Exchange. What this simply means is that that cost of goods will begin to drop because the exchange rate will also drop and we will begin to have stability in our economy which is what every growing economy hopes for,” he said.

Mr. Michael Chimah encouraged non-oil imposters in the region to take advantage of the programme which is billed to run between 3 to 5 years as the Bank was willing and ready to walk the talk with them.

Earlier, Mr. Osas Damian Omorogbe, Trade Promotion Advisor, Nigerian Export Promotion council, NEPC, Calabar Export Assistant Office emphasized on the need for exporters to get it right especially on the exports process, documentations and standardization of products.

Omorogbe urged the importers to know their markets before embarking on exports while commending Polaris Bank for the initiative as well as partnering with CBN to promote and encourage non-oil exporters to key into the RT USD200 billion FX programme which he described as welcome development.

He also called on non-oil importers to ensure the repatriation of funds which will in no small way boost our economy.

The Bank had earlier held similar roadshow and sensitization to exporters in other major cities in Nigeria like Ado-Ekiti and Kano among others.

 

Culled From Vanguard Newspaper

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Shares purchase:Tony Ganger company slams N500million suit on Quantum Zenith Trustees investments company

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      An Onitsha based Limited liability company TONY GANGER INVESTMENT COMPANY LIMITED has slammed N500 million suit on a member of Nigeria stock Exchange QUANTUM ZENITH TRUSTEES AND INVESTMENT LIMITED over alleged damage suffered by the plaintiff when the defendant retained it’s shares without accounting for them and without generating any profit or income therefrom. In an amended statement of claim, accompanied by sworn statement on oath of it’s managing director Mr. Tony Ozor,  filed before a Federal high court sitting in Lagos south west Nigeria by Onitsha based legal practitioner Barrister B.O.Okpemandu,The Tony GANGER Investment Limited Comp alleged thus:
     That the defendant formally answered Zenith Security Limited which was the name of the Defendant when the Defendant contracted with the Plaintiff but later Changed its name to QUANTUM ZENITH SECURITIES LIMITED and now QUANTUM ZENITH TRUSTEES AND INVESTMENTS LIMITED. The Plaintiff vide an offer letter dated the 10th of September, 2007 entered into a margin facility contract of N200milliom with the Defendant. The acceptance of offer was signed in Onitsha and duplicate copy was sent to the Defendant in Lagos.
    The Plaintiff in the Lagos office of the Defendant caused to be deposited its blue chip shares worth N309Million, as security for the margin facility of N200Million and unspecified shares of the Plaintiff worth N50,050,134.46 which N50,050,134.46 worth of shares did not form or constitute part of the contract the Plaintiff entered with the Defendant and was not used as security for the said margin facility.
     The Defendant acknowledged the receipt of the contributory blue chip shares of the Plaintiff worth over N309million and the fact of taking custody of other acquired shares of the Plaintiff worth N50,050,134.46. The Plaintiff pleads that the entire shares the Defendant took custody of were worth over N359,050, 134.46 as at the date of the margin facility contract.
    The worth of shares taken custody of by the Defendant was acknowledged by the Defendant in the letter the Defendant addressed to the Visa Consular, United States Embassy, Maitama District, Abuja dated 18th July, 2007 under the hand of Hafford Udochukwu and Yomi Ogunfowora the staff of the Defendant.
The shares above pleaded as at 18th July, 2007 were worth over USD 2,821,612.00
       The Defendant produced cash statement of account which showed that the Defendant opened an account for the Plaintiff on 1st July, 2006 and did not deal with the shares of the Plaintiff until about 12th September 2007, a period of about one year and two months the Defendant took custody of the blue chip shares and other shares of the Plaintiff.
       Defendant granted N200million facility to the Plaintiff which the Plaintiff through its directors accepted and pleads that the purpose of the margin facility was to enable the Defendant to finance the acquisition and trading of blue chip shares on the floor of the Nigerian stock exchange.
   The repayment sources in the alleged N200 million facility the Defendant granted to the Plaintiff were proceeds from sale of shares and cash flow from other sources which did not include nor comprise the N50,050,134.46 acquired shares aforementioned or the N309million worth of blue chip shares used as security.
The Plaintiff pleads that save the Defendant had custody of the acquired shares of the Plaintiff worth N50,050,134.46, there was no time in the margin facility entered between the Plaintiff and the Defendant,that the Defendant was authorized to finance the acquisition and trading of the Plaintiff’s acquired shares of N50,050,134.46.
     It was only on the blue chip shares the Plaintiff contracted with the Defendant as a lien to repay the facility and which blue chip shares or security, the Defendant was not allowed to dispose of or trade on during the period of the facility.
    The said blue chip shares worth over N309million was to be used as security for the alleged margin of facility of N200 million and available to the Defendant to recover the alleged N200million in the event of a default in repayment of the alleged margin of facility of N200million by the Plaintiff at the end of or the misused tenor of the facility Defendant and not during to be  traded period on, or disposed tenor of thereof,
The Plaintiff deposited the above acquired shares with the Defendant when the Plaintiff sought from the Defendant to make confirmation to the Visa Consular, the United States Embassy that the Managing Director of the Plaintiff Mr. Tony Ozor had enough investment in Nigeria to be considered for United States Visa.
     The total shares of the Plaintiff with the Defendant amounted to N359,050,134.46 as at 18th July, 2007
 out of which its blue chips shares worth over N309Million only was used as security for the purpose of repaying the margin facility and which did not rope the sum of N50,050,134.46 shares of the Plaintiff in the custody of the Defendant into the margin facility the Plaintiff entered with the Defendant on 10th September, 2007.
     The defendant who allegedly credited the account of the plaintiff in the sum of  N200million on 12th  September 2007 charged the account of the plaintiff  N500,000.00 alleged to be the processing fee,the charge was contrary to the processing fee of 0.25 percent which was spelt out  in the margin facility.
    The  Defendant from inception  of the trading facility kept making monstrous deductions in the account  of the plaintiff  making it impossible for the alleged margin facility given to the plaintiff to work .
     The  Defendant did not  issue comprehensive statement of account to the Plaintiff and the plaintiff shall at the hearing of this suit urge the court to order the plaintiff to avail to the plaintiff  comprehensive  statement from 10th of September,2007 till date to enable the plaintiff to retain a chartered accountant to compute the account of the plaintiff in the defendant company to give fair debit/credit balance of the margin facility entered between the plaintiff and the defendant.
     The Plaintiff pleads that in line with the offer of a margin facility, the offer was made subject to the availability of funds and the Defendant had the right to call in the facility at any time, furthermore, all transactions in the margin facility were executed or handled by the Defendant,as the defendant continued charging illegal, unjustified and monstrous interest in the account of the Plaintiff and making other deductions to deplete and exhaust the blue chip shares of the plaintiff without making any positive steps to deal with the plaintiff in line with the offer letter, purpose which formed the  basis contract between the plaintiff and the defendant.
 The Defendant mismanaged the margin facility and traded on the Plaintiff’s aforesaid Blue chips shares used as security without the consent and authorization of the Plaintiff during the tenor of the facility.
The Defendant without any further communication to the Plaintiff on 8th
August, 2019  sold some shares of the Plaintiff and acquired Federal Government Bond of unspecified amount of money in the name of the Plaintiff to be managed or to be mismanaged by the Defendant in the name of the Plaintiff and to the credit of the Defendant.
 The Defendant dealt with the blue chip shares of the Plaintiff in total disregard of the provision in the offer letter which stipulated that the margin facility was to be drawn after three hundred and sixty day.
The Defendant mismanaged the entire transaction and traded with blue chip shares of the Plaintiff used as security without the consent and authorization of the Plaintiff and is still in custody of the aforementioned N50,050,134.46 worth of shares which it has unduly retained.
   The Plaintiff was not and is not indebted to the Defendant in any sum at all.
     The Defendant after misusing the blue chip shares of the Plaintiff used as security is selling shares of the Plaintiff and have unduly retained the N50,050,134.46 worth of shares of the Plaintiff
      From the foregoing, the Plaintiff seeks the following reliefs from the Defendant;
An order of the Court directing Quantum Zenith Trustees and investment company to send comprehensive cash statement of account to the Plaintiff to enable the Plaintiff retain a Chartered Accountant to compute the account of the Plaintiff to enable the Plaintiff determine the fair balance in the margin facility the Plaintiff entered with the Defendant.
     An order directing the Defendant to pay the Plaintiff any shortfall or credit balance in the account of the Plaintiff after the computation of the account by a chartered accountant.
     An order directing the Defendant to return the Blue chips shares of the Plaintiff sold by the Defendant without the authorization of the Plaintiff during the tenor of the Margin Facility.
        An order directing that the acquired shares of the Plaintiff N50,050,134.46 which the Defendant took custody of which did not form part of the margin facility be returned to the Plaintiff forthwith.
    An order restraining the Defendant by itself, agents, privies, assigns from further acquiring, de-acquiring and trading in the blue chip shares of the Plaintiff and in the other acquired shares of the Plaintiff at all times and for all purposes.
Alternatively
N500,000,000.00 damages which comprised the market value of the blue chip shares and the other shares of the Plaintiff acquired by the Defendant without consideration including damages suffered by the Plaintiff when the Defendant retained the shares of the Plaintiff without accounting for them and without generating any profit or income therefrom.
   Interest from the date of judgment until the above sum is liquidated
However, in a statement of defence accompanied by statement on oath sworn to by a compliance officer of the defendant Adewale Ajala and filed before the court by a Lagos lawyer,Chinasa Unaegbunam on behalf of Quantum Zenith Trustees and investments Limited,the defendant stated that:
In response to the Statement of Claim  the Defendant avers that its letter to the United States Embassy of 18th July 2007 only reflected the value of the Plaintiff’s portfolio with the Defendant as at the date of the issuance of the letter.  The Defendant states that it did not take custody of any shares worth N50,050, 134.46  as alleged by the Plaintiff.
Between 19th July 2007 and 31st August 2007, the Plaintiff made several purchases and sales of shares forming part of his portfolio as well as inflows and outflow of funds.
       The Plaintiff requested for a margin facility in the tune of N200million on or about 30th August 2007. As of 31st August 2007, when internal approval was sought and granted for the facility, the market value of the Plaintiff’s blue-chip shares listed on the approval document was in the sum of N309,672,000. Three (3) non-blue-chip shares and shares below a value threshold, with a market value of N3,955,302,00 were not included, The Plaintiff was also indebted to the Defendant to the tune of N3,470,306.38. This portfolio as at the date of the grant of the Facility and shares to be acquired by the Facility formed the collateral for the Facility granted to the Plaintiff.
 The Defendant did not take custody of any shares as alleged or at all and the Plaintiff actively traded in shares throughout the period in question.
     Given the Plaintiff’s trading activity and the differences and fluctuations in sale and purchase prices; the value of the Plaintiff’s portfolio was not static but had declined as at the date of approval of the Facility. The entire portfolio at the date of approval formed the collateral for the Facility granted to the Plaintiff.
    The Defendant states that there was no credit of N200million into the Plaintiff’s account. The grant of a margin facility signifies the extension of a line of credit of up to N200million which the Plaintiff can draw on for the purpose of purchase of shares. Further, the deduction of the sum of N500,000 (Five Hundred Thousand Naira) was in line with the terms of the Facility which was accepted by the Plaintiff and the said sum represents 0.25% of the facility sum which is the processing fee.
The Defendant denies the allegation of “illegal and monstrous deductions”or any unjustifiable deduction from the Plaintiff’s trading account averred by the Plaintiff.
The Defendant avers that the Plaintiff’s suit is unmeritorious, speculative, vexatious and should be dismissed with costs as the Plaintiff is not entitled to any of the reliefs sought.

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