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TAX EVASION AND FORCEFUL ACQUISITION OF OBAJANA CEMENT, KOGI AKWA IBOM GOVERNMENT BATTLE DANGOTE

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These are not the best of times for Dangote Group as they face allegations of sharp practices in business from Kogi State government, Kogi Assembly as well as Akwa Ibom State.
Already, the Kogi State House of Assembly has ordered stoppage to the activities of the company in two Local Governments in the State while investigations continue.

The crux of the matter, from our investigations arise from sharp practices in terms of tax payments.
According to exclusive reports from Kogi State, the initial story was that Dangote Group took over the State Cement Company illegally without paying a dime for the takeover.
According to our findings, Dangote took over the State Cement Company Obajana Cement without paying the necessary compensation to the State government.
This is corroborated by the State Assembly findings.
According to some media reports, ‘the parliament stated that all available documents showed that the company started as Obajana Cement Company before turning to Dangote Cement company without any considerations.

It also directed that the documents signed at the establishment of the company and relevant receipts of dues claimed to have been paid to the government be made available at the next adjourned sitting date.

The Speaker of Kogi State House of Assembly, Hon. Matthew Kolawole, gave the order after interim reports of the ongoing investigative hearing on Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) which was submitted by the ad hoc committee led by Hon. Isah Tenimu and deliberated upon at the plenary on Wednesday.

Kolawole said this has become imperative in view of the claims and counterclaims between the Chairman of Kogi State Internally Generated Revenue Service (KGIRS) and representatives of Dangote Cement.

The Speaker further directed that the Financial Director of Dangote Cement Company should meet with KGIGRS and the Commissioner for Commerce and Industry to reconcile financial differences.

Earlier, during the investigative hearing, the Commissioner for Commerce and Industry had pointed out that Dangote had not been paying business premises fees since operation in the state.

Responding, the representative of Dangote, Alhaji Jimoh claimed that on the contrary, Kogi State had 10 per cent share which could only be claimed if the state showed interest, adding that since no interest was shown, the shares had been acquired when Dangote became a conglomerate.

While the Financial Director of Dangote, Segun Oyebanjo, claimed that since 2016, the company has paid in total dues the sum of N14 billion to the coffers of Kogi State Government through KGIRS with receipts.

But the Chairman of KGIRS said it was not so, adding that the receipts being bandied are not from them.

Oyebanjo stated that it was only in 2021 that some certain taxes were not being paid’.
But the Kogi problem with Dangote is not limited to this.
In another development, Following the unrestrained environmental degradation in Ankpa and Olamaboro local government areas, Kogi state House of Assembly on Wednesday, directed the Commissioner of Police and Commandant of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence (NSCDC) to seal off operations of Dangote Plc in the affected areas of the State. The House gave the order during a public hearing on activities of Dangote Group in the state, especially on the the massive exploitation , environmental degradation and non compensation to the affected owners of the land and without revenue accruing to the state government.

The Speaker, Kogi state House of Assembly, Mathew Kolawole, charged the NSCDC commandant to ensure immediate implementation pending when the ad hoc committee on revenue clarifies some grey areas. Kolawole, who lamented the environmental degradation caused by mining activities on Kogi by the Dangote group and its subsidiaries, accused the multi national business concern of making billions in the state but yet fails to give back to it.

Akwa Ibom is also finding it difficult to collect its entitlement from the Dangote Group. According to reports from the place, the Itu Local Government blocked Dangote premises with their trucks because the company has refused to pay tax for more than two years despite pleas and series of warnings.

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Parthian Partners wins Inter Dealer Broker of the year, lauded for pioneering IDB model in Nigeria

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Parthian Partners Limited, Nigeria’s first interdealer broker and founder of i-invest, the first fixed income investment app in Nigeria, has won the BusinessDay Banks and Financial Institutions (BAFI) Awards for the ‘Interdealer Broker of the Year 2022’ in recognition of its impact and contribution to the overall growth and stability of the fixed income market, its financial performance – credit rating affirmed Bbb+, as well as its innovativeness and growth across different product lines.

 

According to the organisers of BAFI, the Inter-Dealer Broker of the Year Award was initiated this year in recognition of the critical role this little-publicized corner of the fixed income market’s microstructure plays in ensuring its efficiency. “We congratulate Parthian Partners on the celebration of its tenth anniversary. Reading reports of how the journey of building the first interdealer broker in Nigeria, at a time when the regulations did not even exist, attests to the foresight and determination of the founding team and its backers. This is the type of grit to follow the path less travelled that we celebrate at the BAFI Awards,” they explained.

Representatives of Parthian Partners Limited: (L-R) Gafar Bashiru, Senior Associate; Yinka Arewa, CFO; Ronke Akinyemi, Assistant VP; Nonso Nduanya, Head of Brands, Marketing & Communications and Oluwaseun Dosumu, Head of Investment Research, receiving inter-dealer broker of the year award from Ogho Okiti (2nd r), MD, BusinessDav Media Limited.

Commenting on the award, the Group Managing Director of Parthian Partners, Mr. Oluseye Olusoga thanked the staff of the company for their commitment to the actualisation of the company’s vision, while dedicating the award to the firm’s clients. “Since we pioneered the wholesale fixed income financial intermediary model in Nigeria 10 years ago, Parthian Partners has remained steadfast in its commitment to matching buyers and sellers, providing independent data to participants in the fixed income market, enabling confidence in transactions, creating liquidity and price discovery, as well as facilitating the unfettered flow of capital for an efficient market,” he said. He stated that the company will not rest on its laurels but will continue to provide the best services while increasing shareholder value and returns on investment.

 

Now in its 10th year, the BAFI Awards were created to recognise and celebrate organisations, teams and individuals that are achieving excellence in the delivery of financial services across the entire client and customer spectrum.

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Polaris Bank rewards the first set of winners in its ongoing ‘Save & Win’ promo

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Polaris BAnk

The first set of 62 winners has emerged in the ongoing Polaris Bank Save & Win promo. The Bank in a statement said that the 62 lucky winners emerged across the six geo-political zones, winning N100,000 each during the draw held on Friday at its headquarters in Lagos is in commemoration of Nigeria’s 62nd Independence Anniversary.

The winners emerged through a transparent draw witnessed by officials of the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC), and the Advertising Regulatory Commission of Nigeria (ARCON).

The draw was conducted using a hybrid media technology which enabled in-premises event as well as over 400 customers through the Bank’s virtual network and social media handles.

Speaking at the unveiling of the winners, Polaris Bank’s Group Head, Strategic Brand Management, Mr. Nduneche Ezurike, said that the event was significant because it was a testament of the Bank’s unwavering commitment to impact and enrich the lives of Nigerians.

Ezurike noted that the reward is aimed at encouraging more people, existing and prospective customers alike to save and invest their money. “In tough times like this, there is a compelling need to save, not only to win a prize, but also to plan for the rainy day,” he added.

He emphasised that customers can still participate in, or increase their chances of winning by depositing a minimum of N5,000 in their Savings account. He also noted that non-customers of the Bank can participate for a chance to win in the draws by opening a Polaris Savings account with N2,000 and growing same to N5,000 before the next draw date.

Ms. Susie Onwuka of the FCCPC; Doris Itegbe and Bolajoko Odusoga of ARCON attested to the free, fair and transparent draw that threw up the winners.

The representatives of the regulatory bodies commended the Bank for making good its promise to winners of the independence draws.

Below are four (4) ways to participate in the ongoing Polaris Save & Win promo:

  1. Download VULTe on iOS and the App store to open a Polaris Savings Account or dial USSD *833*0# on your phone or log into Polaris Bank savings portal at https://accounts.polarisbanklimited.com/opening/

  1. Grow your account by N5,000 or more for 30 days or 3 months to qualify for monthly & quarterly draws respectively; by N50,000 for 3 months to qualify for special draws.

  1. If your account is dormant, you can reactivate your account without visiting the Bank by simply logging into the portal: https://accounts.polarisbanklimited.com/reactivate/, accepting the terms and conditions and updating the required details the Bank may need.

  1. Follow the Bank’s handles @polarisbankltd across all social media platforms or visit the website at www.polarisbanklimited.com to stay updated.

Polaris Bank, adjudged Digital Bank of the Year 2021 and 2022, is a future-determining Bank committed to delivering industry-defining products for individuals and businesses.

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Man’s Inhumanity to A Teenage Girl

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By Olori Janet Afolabi

Labake is a mentally challenged teenager. Two years ago someone took advantage of her condition, impregnated and abandoned her. She was begging for food and money to survive. The first time l saw her was in October 2020 when she strayed into my event. She was being dragged out by security men when she caught the attention of Kafayat Oyetola, Osun state, First Lady, who was my guest.

The First Lady took Labake to Oshogbo, rehabilitated them, and took care of her till she delivered. Then she brought Labake back to Apomu, the headquarters of Isokan local government area of Osun state.

This year again, in 2022, an unknown man whose name according to Labake is “Operator” impregnated her and disappeared.

On Thursday, November 3, l was told Labake was at the Palace gate.I thought it was her usual visit for support. I asked my staff to take some things to her. He came back with a paper and said Labake was crying profusely.
The paper was the Scan result which showed that she had been due since October 24 and the baby’s breech position in her womb posed great danger to her life, The baby’s head was up instead of down. The ideal position for birth is head down.

I asked security to let her in. When l saw her, l didn’t need to be told that she was in great pain, l called Julius Edet and Moses Bello (both members of the Medical team l set up for my project “Initiative To Stop Teenage Pregnancy,) to come to the Palace.

They took her to the Health Center. After payment was made for registration and tests, the officials said there was no doctor to attend to her.

She was taken to another Health centre. The Matron spoke to me She said Labake’s condition was beyond them, She advised that Labake be taken to a private hospital or General hospital Oluyoro in Ibadan because she could only give birth through the operation.

For me, Ibadan was not an option at all because of the distance and gridlock Labake may not have survived the stress in the condition that she was in.

I decided to call Goke Odetunde, Chairman of our local government He responded immediately.l told him about the situation on the ground. He said Labake should be taken to a private hospital in a neighbouring community.
He also paid the bill.

To the glory of Almighty God, the operation was successful. She delivered a baby boy. Mother and child are alive.

But the journey to save Labake has not ended, I would like to rehabilitate and provide a secure shelter for her. She can then acquire a skill or start a trade.

I want to thank the Chairman for the rapid response and kind gesture. Julius and Moses for devoting their time and attention to be with Labake throughout her agonising hours.

I want to appeal to the men who keep taking advantage of Labake’s mental condition to sexually harass/ abuse/ impregnate her, to desist. If she were your sister or daughter l do not think you will be happy if someone does that to her.

Most likely, you would describe such action as a man’s inhumanity to a vulnerable teenage girl.

 

Olori Janet Afolabi is a CNN Award-Winning Journalist, Author and Queen of Apomu Land

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