22 Oct

Daily Watch – Saraki’s trial stalls, Zamfara in trouble with Ecobank

  • The Code of Conduct Tribunal has again, adjourned the trial of Senate President, Bukola Saraki to November 5 and 6. Saraki’s lawyers pleaded for adjournment to wait for the outcome of the trial at the Court of Appeal. Saraki had asked the Court of Appeal for an order halting his trial by the tribunal pending the hearing and determination of his motion on notice before the appellate court. But the appellate court, against expectations on Monday, postponed ruling on the case indefinitely. The court, which had earlier granted accelerated hearing to the appellant, and fixed October 19 for definite ruling on the case, failed to offer an explanation for the postponement but said it would communicate a new date to the parties to the suit.
  • The Central Bank of Nigeria says from November 1, prospective buyers of foreign currency must show their Bank Verification Numbers to banks and Bureau De Change operators before being allowed to buy. Director of Financial Policy and Regulation, CBN, Kevin Amogu, said the development would allow the CBN to plug leakage of foreign exchange out of the country. “In continuation of efforts to stabilise the forex market, stem the rampant cases of forex leakages and illicit money transfers out of the country, the use of Bank Verification Number for all forex transactions shall come into effect from November 1, 2015, ” he said.
  • Nigeria plans to create a $25bn fund with public and private financing to modernise infrastructure and avoid a recession, Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, has said. “We think that the way out of what some have described as an impending recession, is actually to spend rather than to cut back in any way,” Osinbajo, said “A lot of those projects will be bankable projects, because we’re looking at projects that will interest private sector investors as well, but they are strategic for us,” Osinbajo said.
  • Crude oil inventory from West Africa is building, without sufficient demand to clear it. In Nigeria, more than 20 November loading cargoes are still out looking for buyers, including Bonny Light and Qua Iboe, and more oil from the December programme is expected later this week. From Angola, at least five November loading cargoes were still seeking buyers. Traders said sellers were willing to discount to make early sales of December cargoes.
    “It’s not a pretty picture at the moment,” a trader said.
  • A Federal High Court in Lagos has frozen the accounts of the Zamfara State government which were held in 21 commercial banks in the country, over debts of more than N3 billion owed to Ecobank. After dismissing an appeal by the state and the CBN to stay the judgement initially made in September, which went in favour of Ecobank, Justice Okon Abang told Ecobank to proceed with the process of recovering the debt from Zamfara.
  • Multinational companies, Olam International and Stallion Group, are denying any wrongdoings in the current investigation by the Senate Ad hoc Committee on waivers on rice importation into the country. The Ad hoc Committee, on Monday, accused the two companies, which were involved in rice importation, of owing Nigeria N44 billion as import duties on 457,000 metric tonnes they imported since May 2014.