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Market formation framework, driver to optimally develop solid mineral sector- Ifie Sekibo 

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Ifie Sekibo

MD/CEO of Heritage Bank Plc, Ifie Sekibo has said that the market formation framework is the key to optimally exploit Nigeria’s precious metal and solid minerals endowments. He disclosed this during a webinar organized by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development with the theme, “Financing the Solid Minerals Sector through the Capital Market and the Critical Role of Commodity Exchanges.”  

Sekibo explained that a fully established market formation process that would lead to having a Corporation as an integrated solid mineral institution like NNPC which allows the collateralization of assets those banks can rely on for alternative funding options.

According to him, this will guarantee other creative ways of raising funds for financing commercial activities relating to solid minerals and viable projects along its value chain.

Sekibo who was represented by the Divisional Head, Strategy and Business Solutions, of the Bank, Olusegun Akanji, said for the sector to be viable, it requires lots of converged government interventions because for any development focused sector to kick-off around the world, it needs government intervention to lay the foundation for the private sector and funders to step-in and pool their resources.

“Once, we can collateralize these assets, whether they are under the ground or being determined, you use different instruments to bring liquidity into them. Then investors will follow up once we have established there is enough they can explore.” the MD stated.

He further suggested that finance sector regulators need to expand their Prudential Guidelines to accommodate the instruments such that precious metal-backed or solid minerals-backed assets could qualify as part of the computation of liquidity ratios.

“Once banks start injecting their resources, customers would certainly follow that trend. You can start arranging for sophisticated solutions like bonds, bullion-backed assets and pension notes. Again, banks will have to be poised to hold the funding that comes from this sector; that way, they can open new transactional frontiers either locally or internationally.

“At the base of this, are the issues of pricing and integrity of the market. Once banks play in that sector and we have a government institution like the NNPC type to hold all this documentation, it would be very easy to establish price discovery on an ongoing basis. This will in turn attract international funders, hedge funds and retail investors. Today, we have retail bonds in the same way; we can have gold-backed or any of the solid mineral assets where retail investors can put in the funds,” Sekibo explained.

Meanwhile, it would be recalled that Heritage Bank Plc has said its involvement in the private sector collaboration with Dukia Gold & Precious Metals Refining Co. Limited is set to unlock the over N344 trillion market worth of gold investible instruments in the solid minerals sector.

However, he reiterated that a consistent packaged framework, which could only be held by an established government institution, as part of the layers of the framework, would help to tackle major challenges in trying to support Dukia Gold’s clients.

“With a consistent packaged framework, it will be easier for Dukia Gold and help in less spending. If Dukia Gold should speak of their challenges, they will speak about tonnes of documents they have to produce. But with a unified source of documentation, it makes the process easier and improves cost management. These are some of the challenges we have experienced in trying to support a few clients we worked with,” Sekibo stated.

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BREAKING: FBI INDICTMENT: IGP SUSPENDS DCP ABBA KYARI, INAUGURATES 4-MAN PANEL FOR INVESTIGATION

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Sequel to the level of the numerous allegation of corruption leveled against super cop DCP Abba Kyari by the FBI over his involvement in taking funds from Celebrity fraudster Abass Olorunwa known as Hushpuppi, The Inspector-General of Police, IGP Usman Alkali Baba, psc (+), NPM, fdc has recommended the immediate suspension of DCP Abba Kyari, the Head of the Police Intelligence Response Team (IRT), from the Service of the Nigeria Police Force, pending the outcome of an ongoing internal investigation touching on him.

 

The IGP, in his letter to the Police Service Commission, dated 31st July, 2021, noted that the recommendation for the suspension of the officer is in line with the internal disciplinary processes of the Force. The IGP further noted that the suspension is also expected to create an enabling environment for the NPF Special Investigation Panel to carry out its investigations into the weighty allegations against DCP Abba Kyari without interference. The suspension is without prejudice to the constitutional presumption of innocence in favour of the officer.

The Special Investigation Panel (SIP), comprising four (4) Senior Police Officers, is headed by DIG Joseph Egbunike, the Deputy Inspector General of Police in charge of the Force Criminal Investigations Department (FCID). The SIP, inter alia, is to undertake a detailed review of all the allegations against DCP Abba Kyari by the US Government as contained in relevant documents that have been availed the NPF by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The SIP is also to obtain a detailed representation of DCP Abba Kyari to all the allegations leveled against him, conduct further investigations as it deems fit, and submit recommendations to guide further actions by the Force Leadership on the matter.

Meanwhile, the IGP has reaffirmed the commitment of the Force to the Rule of Law and assured the public of the sanctity of the probe as well as the absolute respect for the rights and privileges of the officer throughout the period of the investigations.

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NAS tackles NBC over censorship of Media

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PYRATES

 

The National Association of Seadogs (Pyrates Confraternity) has kicked against what it called “blatant assault on press freedom” by the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC). The organisation declared that the directive by the regulatory body to Television and Radio stations not to “divulge” details of bandits, kidnappers and terrorists during Newspaper Reviews is unconstitutional as it violates freedom of expression of citizens and seeks to prevent the press from performing its duties enshrined in Section 22 of the 1999 Nigerian Constitution (as amended) to hold government accountable on behalf of the people.

The NAS Capoon, Mr Abiola Owoaje in a statement titled: “NBC’s Bullying of the Media Unacceptable” stated that the regulatory body by its latest action wants to suppress press freedom and restrict access of information to Nigerians.

According to Owoaje, NBC by the directive intends to criminalise journalism and prevents victims of terrorism, banditry and other associated crimes from getting justice.

“The National Association of Seadogs (Pyrates Confraternity) notes with considerable concern the sudden brazenness, repressive instincts and open partisanship being exhibited by the NBC in the interpretation of its regulatory remit in recent times. We unequivocally condemn these unethical attempts by the NBC to browbeat radio and television stations, and other organs of the Press, in a desperate bid to cow the Press.
Besides, we cannot find any justification for the bizarre NBC
directive; even on the hackneyed excuse of a security necessity, other than to
keep Nigerians in the dark about the uncomfortable reality of the insurgency
and the seeming inability of the security agencies to halt the spate of
insecurity across the country,” he said.

Owoaje stated further that contrary to what the security agencies would want Nigerians to believe, ferocious attacks on insurgents, kidnappers, killer herdsmen and bandits continue unabated in the country.
“We implore the executive arm of government to rein in the NBC to desist from its overt clampdown on press freedom.

The NBC should withdraw its illegal directive as it is unhelpful and counterproductive to the fight against insecurity in the country. Rather than see the media as the enemy, the media should be seen as a patriotic partner that can rally Nigerians to support the efforts of the government in tackling the myriad of security challenges afflicting our country. A free and unfettered press makes democracy thrive and is not merely a liberal indulgence. This is what Nigerians need. This is what we demand. We reject the shackles the NBC wants to foist on the media,” the statement added.

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Half-Year Performance: Transcorp Plc Shows Powerful Growth as Profit Leaps by 713%

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Transcorp Hotels

Transnational Corporation of Nigeria Plc (Transcorp) has released its unaudited results for the half-year ended June 2021, recording significant improvement across its major income lines.

The Conglomerate with strategic investments in the Power, Hospitality, and Energy sectors, recorded a profit after tax of N6.5bn, rising by 713% up from N0.8bn recorded in June of the previous year. Other key highlights of the result include the following:

  • Revenue rose by 53%, from N35.0bn in June 2020 to N53.3bn in the period under consideration.
  • Gross profit grew by 60%, from N14.7bn in June 2020 to N23.5bn in June 2021.
  • Profit before tax rose by 689% from N0.9bn in June 2020 to N7.1b in June 2021.

Commenting on the performance, Transcorp’s President/Group CEO, Mrs. Owen Omogiafo, reiterated the Conglomerate’s commitment towards producing long-term value and sustainable impact. “We are pleased to see the sustained growth in our group performance, which was achieved as a result of the improved performance across all the sectors we operate in. The revenue achieved in our power business grew by 48%, as a result of improved gas supply and increased generation capacity”, she stated.

Commenting on the hospitality sector, Omogiafo stated that the company’s strategic actions have resulted in a growth in revenue of up to 84%, despite the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 epidemic on the Nigerian and global hospitality industries. She expressed confidence in the company’s recovery strategies, citing the recent official launch of Aura, the company’s digital hospitality platform, as a testament to that confidence.

On the Group’s capacity to sustain its performance, Omogiafo said, “We do not plan to rest on our oars. We will continue to sweat our existing assets and explore new frontiers, as we continue to deliver on our purpose of Improving Lives and Transforming Nigeria.”

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