Friday, 28 October 2016

Diamond Bank Maintains Stable Growth in Q3 2016 · Assets surge to N2.05trn

·         Assets surge to N2.05trn 


Diamond Bank on Friday released its Q3 2016 performance scorecard on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), showcasing moderate growth in key financial parameters. 


For the nine months under review, the group recorded a growth of 16.9 per cent in total assets, which grew from N1.753 trillion in the same period last year to N2.05 trillion. This was driven mainly by the value of the local currency and growth in customer deposits, which surged 13.6 per cent from N1.233 billion as at the end of September 2015 to N1.401 billion in the current business year, demonstrating the Bank’s strong ability and network to generate cheap deposits from the retail and middle market segments. 


Also, the Bank grew its loan portfolio from N763.634 billion to N1.041 trillion, representing 36.4 per cent increase.


Commenting on the results, Chief Executive Officer, Uzoma Dozie, stated that the Bank’s modest growth in the last nine months despite the inclement operating environment, was the result of management’s focus on key strategic projections across the three core segments of retail, business and corporate banking, noting that the Bank will continue to passionately pursue its technology-driven retail strategy to optimise cost and reap predictable bountiful results in the medium to long term.


Uzoma said: “We believe the macro conditions and other external factors will remain challenging for the rest of the year and well into 2017. However, by pursuing our technology-led retail strategy and with our focus on innovation and scalability, we believe the Bank is well-placed to benefit in the medium to long term from the favourable fundamentals in Nigeria, namely a large population, many of which remain unbanked. This strategy stands to benefit all stakeholders, including our shareholders and customers in the long run.”


Monetarists and analysts had, amidst the regulatory headwinds that characterized the industry in the last nine months, and the catalogue of macroeconomic challenges rocking the economy, predicted greyed results in the industry. But despite analysts’ predictions, Diamond Bank recorded strong growth in non-interest income, which leapfrogged by 38.1 per cent to N37.6 billion. The Bank grew its retail customer base to over 13 million, while the use of its mobile app by customers continues to grow as transaction count increased from 4.3 million to 7.9 million with volume surging from N4.3 billion to N8.5 billion year on year. 


Also, the restructuring of the bank which started in Q1 2016 continues to yield results in terms of strategic focus, quality service delivery and cost containment. For example, the result show that through prudent allocation of resources, operating costs and interest expense shrank by 2.5 per cent and 22.8 per cent respectively. 


Although total comprehensive income declined by 26.3 per cent year on year to N13.2 billion, with profit before tax shrinking to N3.5 billion on the back of impairment charges as the bank opted for prudent provisioning by cleansing its books of assets with poor quality, thus paving the way for operational efficiency and improved earnings for the business years ahead.


Speaking further on the performance of the Bank, the CEO said: “The economic environment has also impacted business and industry as a whole, particularly those in the Oil and Gas sector. For Diamond Bank, this has translated to elevated impairment charges for the third quarter, as we push for a healthier loan book and to comply with regulations”. 


The Bank maintained very stable and modest growth in its capital adequacy and liquidity ratios, with 15.6 per cent and 39.4 per cent, which towers above the regulatory requirements of 15 per cent and 30 per cent respectively. These was reaffirmed in the current ‘B’ rating of the Bank by Fitch Ratings, with Stable Outlook for Short-term and Long-term Foreign Currency Issuer Default Ratings (IDR).


According to Fitch Ratings, the Bank’s National Long-term Rating at 'BBB+ (nga)' indicates Diamond Bank’s capacity to meet financial commitments, subject to the country’s business and economic environment.  


Reiterating Fitch Ratings, the CEO said that the Bank’s fundamental has remained stable and strong. “Our regulatory capital remains strong. Liquidity of the bank also remains high and is well above the guidance ratio stipulated by CBN. As we predicted, 2016 is proving to be particularly challenging for the banking industry owing to an interplay of economic headwinds, industry developments and stricter regulation. Nevertheless, we have remained focused on our technology-led retail strategy, building our core business, and developing the platforms and relationships to achieve and manage scale in the future.” 


Diamond Bank is one of the eight banks designated as systemically important banks by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in 2013 and, is rated in 2016 as one of the top three customer-centric banks by KPMG Professional Services, providing reliable and dependable financial services to corporate and individual customers in Nigeria and West Africa. The Bank is a leading retail banking franchise and has remained the leader in the MSME segment.



The Board of Directors of Nigerian Breweries Plc has announced an interim dividend of N7.929 billion, that is N1.00 (One Naira) per ordinary share of 50 kobo in the share capital of the Company for the 9 month period ended 30thSeptember 2016. This is despite the marginal decline in the company’s profit for the period occasioned by the current challenging environment. This was revealed in a corporate filing of the company’s results at The Nigerian Stock Exchange. 

The statement signed by its Company Secretary/Legal Adviser, Mr. Uaboi Agbebaku shows a 4 percent year-on-year rise in the revenue of the Company for the period ended September 30th 2016 but an 11% decline in Operating Profit. The unaudited and provisional results indicate that the company’s revenue rose from N214. 918 billion recorded at the end of September 2015 to N222.716 billion in the same period in 2016.

The statement attributes the 11% decline in Operating Profit of the Company which stood at N37.962 billion at the end of September 2016 from the N42.766 billion in the same period in 2015 to higher input costs as a result of rising inflation combined with the devaluation of the Naira. The negative impact of scarcity of foreign exchange combined with the Naira devaluation more than offset the lower interest costs resulting in a 94% increase in Net Finance Costs. The Company’s Profit After Tax declined by 23% from N26.175 billion in the period under review in 2015 to N20. 100 billion in the same period in 2016. The statement added that the macro economic environment deteriorated further in the third quarter compared to the first half with continuous down-trading by consumers. 

Although, the operating environment is expected to remain challenging for the rest of the year, the Company pledged to “continue to focus on our twin agenda of Cost and Market Leadership supported by innovation”. It expressed confidence that the Company is well positioned to take advantage of any upswing in the market. 

Thursday, 27 October 2016


As part of its contributions to the development of sports in Nigeria as well as ensuring continuity between the older generation of athletes and the younger ones, Heritage Bank Plc, in partnership with the Lagos State government, is targeting the youth in its forthcoming signature sports event, the Skoolimpics project.
The event which is billed to take place between November 2nd and 4th at the Teslim Balogun Stadium and Rowe Park, will be bringing together, over 200 public and private secondary schools with about 6,000 students competing across all the local government areas in the state.
In his address at a media briefing in Lagos, Chief Executive Officer of Heritage Bank, Ifie Sekibo, who was ably represented by Mary Akpobome, an executive director of the bank, explained that Skoolimpics targets development of young people in order to foster their physical, social and emotional wellbeing. Physical education and sports, he said, help in character and community building, delinquency reduction, community safety, economic and social development.
He said, “It is an organized tournament, driven on the platform of education, to aid tackling the dearth of insufficient sports talents by ‘catching them young’; mentoring them by facilitating the development of their talents and dreams whilst attaining good education.”
Other objectives of the tournament, he mentioned, included creating a platform through sports where the youths will imbibe great leadership attributes and lead their communities well; grooming young athletes yearly from the grassroots, develop, train and nurture them to compete and achieve their dreams; and increasing participation in sports in order to  discover more talents and future champions and Olympians.
Sekibo narrated that a look at the days of glory in sports to the present, particularly, with the recent lackluster outing at Rio Olympics, pretty sums up the deterioration in the country’s institutional framework.
He added: “In the history of Nigerian sports, never has there been an organized competition of this magnitude for all secondary schools! The talents to be gathered in one place can only be imagined and the emotions generated will simply be electrifying: different schools from different geo-political zones; competing students from different walks of lives, cultural ideologies and languages. ‘It will be an amazing melting pot to harness youthful talents with a clearly defined national outlook’.
“I would like to underscore our vision as a generational bank, one that is poised to help create, preserve and transfer wealth across generations. This mantra of ours is evidenced in the work that the bank has done so far in empowering children and youth in the society in order to foster productivity in the economy.”
On the part of the Lagos State government, the chairman of Lagos State Sports Commission, Deji Tinubu stated that right now, there is no current school child both at the state and national level who is an athletic household name; whereas in those days, there was Stephen Keshi, Henry Nwosu, ChidImoh, Falilat Ogunkoya, Dick Tiger, a host of others.
He then narrated that the essence of Skoolimpics was to get everybody back on track, reminding them that the country’s future stars, are the ones who are in the secondary schools now and not the ones who are training and between the ages of 20 and above.
According to Tinubu, if we don’t tap them now, if we don’t starting training them, if we don’t start nurturing them at this level, we are probably going to lose another generation of stars who would probably have made Nigeria proud. ‘That is why we are partnering with Heritage Bank’.
“All the talents that will be discovered in this maiden edition, will stay with the experts, they will be counseled, guided, spoken to and we will entertain them so that even at this age, they will begin to have the feeling of what a champion is like.
“It is not going to be one of those programmes where we do the event and then you don’t get to hear about us until another one year. It is going to be a constant thing and by the grace of God in the near future, we will be able to hold somebody’s hand as a champion. It may be regional, continental, but all traced back to why we are gathered here today.”
Taking the audience down memory lane, Skoolimpics Brand Ambassador, Mary Onyali, narrated her experience at the age of 10 right from St. Mary’s Anglican Primary School, where she was trained by volunteer coaches and her visits to fine tune her talents at Rowe Park, Yaba up to Amuwo Grammar School, Agboju, where she was always sending senior students scampering into safety whenever she featured in a competition.
By 2004, after having vested 30 years of her talents to athletes, she had made five Olympic appearances, winning two Olympic medals and tens and thousands of medals in all African games, Commonwealth games, world championships and so on.
“Nigeria has 60% of its 160million population as children and youth. This boardroom decision of Heritage Bank to start Skoolimpics is a marked effort.  Here is the link: 98million Nigerians are children and the youth. They have been denied the opportunities of being greater than little Nkem (Onyali). But Heritage Bank is making Nkems of 2016 to have a greater hope and support.
“Please ask yourselves, must this situation of hopelessness continue? Can we change the situation? Yes of course, we can.I urge each and every one of you to join forces with Skoolimpics for the sake of our children in the state because once this pilot in Lagos is launched, we want to recreate on the streets of our states, greater children who are better than Nkem, who is sitting right here before you and talking to you.”

Wednesday, 26 October 2016


The leader of a military delegation from the Democratic Republic of Korea, Major General YO Song Chol has commended the Nigerian Armed Forces for its exceptional roles in regional and global peacekeeping operations which has accorded Nigerian Military positive image in the comity of global Armed Forces. He also eulogized Nigerian military’s professional competence that led to the defeat of the deadly Boko Haram terrorists in the North Eastern part of Nigeria.

Major General Song Chol gave the commendation when he led a group of senior military officers from the Korean Defence Ministry to the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Abayomi Gabriel Olonisakin at the Defence Headquarters (DHQ) Abuja. The Korean General expressed his country’s willingness to partner with Nigerian Armed Forces in the area of counter insurgency training and capacity building for enhancing national defence capability aimed at total eradication of extremists in the West African Sub-Region.

Major General Song Chol noted that the world is currently witnessing series of security threats from radical groups such as Boko Haram, ISIS and Al-Shabab, noting that the Korean Armed Forces has been collaborating and cooperating with other countries to fight the common enemies. Other areas for mutual benefit hinges on the need for transfer of technology including building of military industrial complexes.

While welcoming the Korean delegation, the Chief of Defence Staff, General Olonisakin assured the Korean Senior military officers of the determination of the Nigerian Armed Forces to partner with any country of the world that share the same ideology and aspiration to fight extremism and terrorism in order to engender global peace and tranquillity. 

Dreg Waters leads the frontier of servitisation of the oil and gas sector

Dreg Waters Petroleum and Logistics Limited is set to create a memorable
and valuable experience for stakeholders in the oil and gas sector
gathering at the 23rd Africa Oil Week/Upstream Conference in South Africa.
The Chief Executive Officer, Dreg Waters Petroleum and Logistics Limited,
Ms. Damilola Owolabi, underlined that part of the efforts of her company
to remain relevant is to be innovative and expansive in terms of quality
of services offered to clients.

She explained that despite the nationwide recession affecting all
industries, including Oil, her organization still operates in line with
the company’s vision and has advanced beyond procuring licenses and
permits for operators.

“To add value to the industry, we are now supplying petroleum products
offshore, leasing various marine equipment and dealing with supply of
manpower labour among other services rendered to local and international
companies as well.”

Owolabi added that: “There will always be opportunities in crisis
especially where you are solving a problem and offering value added

Furthermore, she noted that since the global market decline has forced
Nigeria into a thinking economy, the oil and gas sector is requiring
innovation and as a result, it is no longer enough for sector players to
be recycling the same old services or re-inventing the wheel, especially
where customers are demanding greater value.

Owolabi, who secured an exhibition booth for her organisation at the
forthcoming Africa Oil Week conference in Cape Town, South Africa, from
October 31st to November 4th, 2016, will be giving international
participating organisations a generous insight towards investing
opportunities in the oil and gas sector in Nigeria.

She said: “This year, Dreg Waters is not just attending the Africa Oil
Week conference, but we are inviting delegates to our exhibition booth
number 70; there, we will be bridging gaps, responding to business
inquiries, liaising with foreign companies intending to trade in Nigeria,
as well as packaging and selling all our services - from immediate support
with procuring different operational licenses and permits for companies,
to clearing of petroleum products into Nigeria and much more”.      END

Tuesday, 25 October 2016


As the countdown clock ticks for The 2016 All Africa Music Awards (AFRIMA) events, the African Union and the International Committee of AFRIMA has introduced "Africa Music Business Roundtable," a think tank that will unfold to artistes and stakeholders, the economic potential inherent in the music business. The roundtable with the theme "Economic Power of Music for a New Africa" will be a discussion platform to interrogate and strategise on the structure of the music industry in Africa while charting a synergistic way forward for development and economic empowerment.

The Africa Music Business Roundtable which is slated for Friday November 4, 2016 from 9.00am WATwill take place at the Eko Hotels and Suites, Lagos, Nigeria. With many artistes and other stakeholders already penciled down as panelists and discussants, it is a platform for business networking and interaction among music professionals, music executives, government officials and other stakeholders in the music, media and financial sectors of Africa and of the world.

The brainstorming sessions, which have been divided into parts, will give a deep insight into the unexplored and ill exploited economic values of Africa Music.

Position papers will be presented by a diverse assemblage of eminent personalities drawn from the various economic strata of the society. These will include musicians, musicologists, businessmen, bankers, investors and big players in the Africa Music Industry. Some of the panelists include; Karima Damir (Morocco);  Nde Ndifonka (Cameroon): Tony Okoroji (Nigeria); Robert Ekukole (Cameroon);Yeni Kuti (Nigeria); Ricki Stein (Uk); Mike Strano (Kenya) among others

Also debuting on AFRIMA 2016 programme of events is the Africa Music Village which has been slated for 5pm on November 4 at the Waterfront, Bar Beach, Lagos, Nigeria. The one-day AFRIMA Music Village is a non-stop festival style open music concert with live performances from Femi Kuti and 30 other African superstars and AFRIMA 2016 nominees. The A-list artistes include; Kiss Daniel, Fally Pupa, Victoria Kimani, Diamond Platnumz, VVIP, Brymo and a host of others. This event is free entry.

Artistes and participants at this year's AFRIMA would also have a taste of the new Lagos in a guided tour of Eko Atlantic City, popularly called the 8th WONDER OF THE WORLD. The tour will also include the Oba's Palace, Iga io.ukdunganran, Lagos, and a few other historic places in the city of Lagos.

In partnership with The African Union Commission, AUC and the Official Host City, Lagos State, AFRIMA 2016 grand awards ceremony holds on Sunday, November 6 with thousands of guests expected in Lagos for the various events. Awards ceremony is a glittery, star-studded and world-class event with live performances and television broadcast to 84 countries on 109 television stations around the world

Nitel/Mtel: Creditors report liquidator to FRCN, PACAC

Creditors have dragged the appointed liquidator for Nitel/Mtel, Otunba Olutola Senbore, before the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria and the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption.
In a petition signed by a representative of the creditors, Sebagen Henry Noboh, and dated October 20, 2016, the complainants decried what they considered lack of accountability in the payment of their claims.
According to them, the Liquidator has paid only 16.5 per cent of the amount stated in his offer letters to individual creditors, leaving a balance of 83.5 per cent unaccounted for. 
The offer letters, dated May 12, 2015, were personally signed by the Liquidator.
They added that the 16.5 per cent was paid to them in two installments of 15 per cent in May 2015, and 1.5 per cent in July 2016, an interval of 14 months. 
At issue is the N51,648,643,000 proceeds from the sale of the core assets of Nitel/Mtel to Natcom Consortium for $252.25 million by the last administration.
The Consortium had fully paid up since March 2015, but the creditors are still struggling to get their money from the Liquidator, more than 18 months after he received the money.
The Liquidator had fixed the amounts payable to each of the about 300 creditors based on available funds, in line with the provisions of the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) 1990.
One of the issues raised was the decision of the Liquidator to be paying them in piecemeal, stating that it was in clear violation of provisions of the CAMA Act. 
They expressed fears about the safety of the funds and the probability of the Liquidator releasing the 83.5 per cent balance without intervention from the relevant monitoring agencies.
Also affected are the various consultants to the creditors, whose cheque the Liquidator has refused to release, despite legally contracted agreement documents said to be in his possession.
The petition added: “We urgently seek the intervention of the FRCN for independent examination of the Liquidator's account records, because he has remained evasive since July.
“We also believe that the outcome of PACAC's investigation might give President Muhammadu Buhari a clue into certain tendencies that have cast doubts on the credibility of the exercise.
“Findings by the two bodies may as well form the basis for appropriate follow-up action with the relevant economic and financial crime law enforcement agencies. 
“For now, we can only appeal to FRCN and PACAC to expedite action on this matter before it is too late. We are afraid the safety of the funds in custody of the Liquidator is highly threatened.”

Keke Marwa Operator Abducts 15yr Old Girl,Turns Her To Sex Slave

The operatives of Rapid Response Squad (RRS) of Lagos State Police Command have apprehended a tricycle rider, popularly called, "Keke Marwa", for allegedly abducting a 15 - year old girl and turning her into sex slave.

The suspect, Dada Azeez, 28,  abducted Bukunmi on October 5 while on errand for her aunt in Agege area before the RRS operatives rescued her on October 21th, 2016 from his hideout in Agege.

The alleged abduction of the girl was disclosed by her sister, Mrs Gbemisola, who stated that the girl was abducted with a sum of N58,000:00 meant for  her thrift contribution.

The suspect, after weeks of lodging in several locations to evade arrest, was eventually nabbed by the operatives at his residence at 7, Oseni Street, Danjuma Cinema area, Agege with the girl in his one room apartment.

Confessing to the crime, the suspect disclosed that he wooed the girl when she was 14 years old at her sister' shop in Agege. "We started having secret affair about a year ago. But her sister frowned at our relationship when she got to know.

Unknown to her, we were still seeing each other. In order to be having regular conversation with her, I bought a mobile phone for her and instructed her to hide it from her sister. So, whenever she intended coming to meet me, she will call and I will describe our meeting point for her".

He added "then I thought if she could elope with me that would be better for us. I started working on her psyche and deceiving her with some material things".

"I was able to perpetrate the crime when her sister sent her on errand on one Sunday afternoon. However, I didn't know she was with such amount of money. I just wanted to take her far away from her guardian for not supporting our relationship", he revealed.

Narrating her ordeal, Bukunmi noted that the suspect forcefully deflowered her, adding that, he turned her to a sex slave.

According to her," he forced himself on me the very first day I visited him at his residence. Ever since, he has been having sex with me without wearing condom.

He slept with me anywhere and even at his friends' place where he hid me for weeks. I succumbed to him because I couldn’t go back home".

She said that the suspect collected the N58,000:00 her sister gave her. "He fed me thrice a day probably from that thrift contribution money", she added.

The victim, who looked pale when he was arrested, said that, she eloped with him out of ignorance.

Also arrested along with him, was one of his friends, Wasiu Agunbiade, who aided the abduction by accommodating the suspect and the teenager in his one-room apartment in Agege.

He said that he only accommodated them for a night, adding that he never knew he abducted the little girl.

"If I had known the girl was abducted, I would have advised him to return her to her parents. I never believed he could commit such crime.

He begged me to accommodate them for one night with her in my room, stressing, “he left my place the following day to somewhere else. I regretted allowing them to pass the night in my place".

In her reaction, sister of the abducted girl, who was so elated upon seeing her niece, said that the family will take her to hospital for medical check-up.

While confirming the incident, the State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) Superintendent of Police, SP Dolapo Badmus, warned parents and guardians against exposing their wards and children to social vices around their environment.

The suspect, friend and the abducted girl have been transferred to the Divisional Police Office in Agege where the case was initially reported before RRS operatives took it up and rescued the girl.