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BOA, Suntrust Bank Ink Agreement to Provide Better Deals for Farmers

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Chief Audu Ogbeh Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development has described the partnership between SunTrust Ltd and the BOA as a welcome development since most commercial banks are wary to offer loans to farmers.

 

He also explained that farming has remained unattractive to prospective farmers because of high-interest rates being charged by commercial banks.

 

The Minister made this observation during the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between SunTrust Bank Ltd and the Bank of Agriculture at the Federal Ministry of Agriculture.

 

With the partnership, farmers across the country are to start enjoying better financial services through accessing agricultural loans from the Bank of Agriculture (BOA) through the SunTrust Bank Ltd that will provide farmers with e-wallet and Automated Teller Machine (ATM) Cards.

 

Expressing his confidence in the ability of management of the banks to deliver on this initiative, the Minister announced that efforts are on to reduce interest rates being offered by commercial banks to 5% from the initial 7%.

 

The Minister recalled that farmers have been enjoying the support of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) through the Anchors Borrowers Programme while noting that the CBN cannot act as a commercial bank for long.

 

He also made it known that the Bureau of Public Enterprise (BPE) is being restructured to favour farmers.

 

He assured that after the restructuring, 30% of the shares of Bank of Agriculture will be diverted to farmers.

 

Mr Muhammad Jibrin, Chief Executive Officer of SunTrust Ltd explained that with this partnership, more customers will be attracted to their banks, projecting that by the Year 2020; about two million (2million) customers would have been attracted to the bank.

 

Mr Kabiru Adamu , Managing Director Bank of Agriculture, said his bank is interested in changing the narrative of farmers who suffer because they do not have access to financial services.

 

According to him, “Farmers should be able to do business without any challenges.

 

“This is the era of e-business, so farmers with e-wallets and ATM cards, can access our products”

 

He said BOA strongly identify with the Federal Government on its effort to diversify the economy through agriculture and assured the public that farmers would henceforth have easy access to finance at reasonable terms through this partnership.

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Samsung in N65m Copyright Infringement Suit in Nigeria

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Eagle Eye Production Limited, an Abuja-based production company has slammed N65 million lawsuit against Samsung Nigeria and Ringier Media Nigeria Limited for allegedly using a part of its ‘Lekki-Ikoyi Link Bridge at Night’ video in a Galaxy S8 advert without authorization.

 

Samsung had, after receiving the lawsuit, claimed it had no knowledge of the creative process of the ad, as it outsourced the job to one Cheil Communications Nigeria Limited.

 

Cheil Communications, in turn, claimed it outsourced the job to Ringier Media Nigeria Limited.

 

At the first hearing on the lawsuit on May 3, before Justice Hassan of the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos, Ringier Media’s Counsel applied to strike out the suit, claiming that the court lacked jurisdiction to entertain the suit because Eagle Eye in suing Ringier Media omitted the word ‘media’ in its name.

 

Ringier Media also argued that the suit did not disclose a reasonable cause of action against it.

 

Mrs. Abimbola Akeredolu (SAN) however, prayed the court to dismiss Ringier Media’s application with substantial cost on the basis that the omission of the word media from Ringier Media’s name is “a misnomer” and that the suit disclosed a reasonable cause of action against Ringier Media.

 

The learned Silk also pointed out that the omission of the word “media” was infact caused by Ringier Media and its counsel who in various correspondences exchanged prior to the suit represented to Eagle Eye’s counsel that the full name of Ringier Media is Ringier Nigeria Limited instead of Ringer Media Nigeria Limited.

The learned Silk also pointed out that Ringer Media’s counsel also described its client’s name as Ringier Nigeria Limited in the conditional memorandum of appearance filed by the said counsel on Ringier Media’s behalf.

 

On the same day, Eagle Eye’s Counsel also moved an application to amend their Writ of Summons and other accompanying originating processes to reflect the proper name of Ringier Media.

 

Court proceedings were witnessed by a Newsroom correspondent when Justice Hassan gave his ruling on Monday, June 2, 2018.

 

On Ringer Media’s application to strike out the suit, the learned judge held on the first leg, that the omission can be treated as a misnomer and representatives for the plaintiffs are allowed to file an application for amendment.

 

“There is no kind of mistake or error which the court cannot correct, except it is intended to cause injustice to a party. The omission can be corrected without causing injustice to the other party,” he ruled.

 

The Learned judge also held on the second leg, that looking at certain paragraphs in Eagle Eye’s Statement of Claim, the court is satisfied that a reasonable cause of action has been disclosed against Ringier Media.

 

The learned judge thereafter dismissed Ringier Media’s application and awarded cost of N20,000 in favor of the Plaintiffs against Ringier Media.

 

On Eagle Eye Production’s application to amend, the learned judge ruled that representatives for Eagle Eye Production Limited were misled by Ringier Media.

 

He made references to the exhibits submitted by the legal counsel for the Eagle Eye, where it was established that Ringier Media Nigeria Limited described itself only as Ringier Nigeria in various correspondences. Thus, the learned judge reiterated as follows:

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ITB Nigeria Set to Complete its First Steel & Concrete Building

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ITB Nigeria Ltd, innovative construction company providing full and advanced integrated engineering and construction solutions in both private and public sectors, is set to complete its first steel & concrete building project, Azuri Peninsula, in Eko Atlantic City, Lagos state.

The Azuri Peninsula project, which began in early 2015, is a unique steel and concrete residential building project that consists of three sets of over 30 storey towers.

It offers a unique collection of four-bedroom luxury and super luxury apartments, two and four-bedroom stunning Marina Town houses as well as s six-bedroom simplex (penthouses).

Commenting on the project, Mr. Ramzi Chidiac, Managing Director of ITB Nigeria, said, “We are excited about this project because it’s our first composite structure created by a combination of steel and concrete to form a single element.

This helps to deliver performance that is more effective than when individual components are used together but not unified. This testifies to the excellent work that we do at ITB Nigeria.

We are focused on fully understanding the needs of our clients and delivering on our promises, regardless of the scale or complexity of the challenge at hand”.

Steel and concrete structures involve a mix of steel and concrete together to form a single element. The tensile capacity of the steel and the compressive capacity of the concrete results in a standard structure.

This gives rise to benefits like speed, performance and value. Additionally, concrete encasement protects the steel from buckling, corrosion and fire.

On his part, Engr. Emmanuel Adeyemi, QA/QC Coordinator, ITB Nigeria,  stated, ‘the uniqueness of composite structures is that it enhances speed of construction, performance and value.

Steel framing for a structure can be erected quickly and the pre-fabricated steel floor decks can be put in place immediately.

When cured, the concrete provides additional stiffness to the structure, making the structure one that can stand the test of time”.

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BoI Secures $750M Afreximbank Loan at Single Digits for MSMEs

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Bank of Industry (BoI) will be disbursing the $750 million (N250 billion) syndicated loan facility which she received from the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises at single digit interest rate.

Mr Olukayode Pitan, Managing Director, Bank of Industry, made this disclosure on the last day of the Afreximbank 25th Anniversary and Annual General Meeting during an interview with journalists in Abuja.

Pitan revealed that “the loan will be given to entrepreneurs in Nigeria for a period of between five and seven years, would enable the BoI bridge the funding gap for MSMEs which estimated at about N700 billion.”

This fund he said would be “given to companies operating in the creative industry, manufacturing and gender based businesses to help reduce the unemployment rate in the country and create wealth for small and medium scale entrepreneurs.

“We are looking at small, medium and large enterprises. We are looking at enterprises or companies that have a focus in using local raw materials, companies that generates that generates employment and bring down their cost of borrowing” he said.

Pitan stated that “the loan will be deployed at less than ten per cent interest per annum. We are working with the Central Bank of Nigeria so that the loan we will give to Nigerian businesses will be a longer term loan of between seven to eight years for the industrial sector.”

The landmark deal was signed off in the presence President Muhammadu Buhari who insisted on witnessing the agreement signing ceremony in Abuja because the N250 billion syndicated facility financed by 16 banks (among which are: Africa Export-Import Bank, the ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development,  and British Arab Commercial Bank Plc and four Nigrrian banks based in the United Kingdom) is the single largest facility of its kind to be received by a Development Finance Institution (DFI) in Nigeria.

According to Pitan, “the idea is to support industries. What this loan allows us to do is, it gives additional N250 billion depending on the exchange rate that is used, between N230 billion to N250 billion to deploy to the industrial sector.

There is gap in the funding of the industrial sector, to the tune of N704 billion. This is our way to reduce that gap.”

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