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How Ayeni, Ex-Skye Bank Boss Withdrew N17.4Bn Cash in 1 Year – EFCC

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Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has said that Mr Tunde Ayeni, former chairman of the defunct Skye Bank Plc (now Polaris Bank), took N17.4bn raw cash from the suspense account of the bank between January 1 and December 31, 2014.

 

The EFCC further alleged that Ayeni received N3.75bn in cash from the same account the following year.

 

The allegations are part of the 10 fraud charges filed against Ayeni and three others before a Federal High Court in Abuja.

 

The suit is separate from the N4.75bn and $5m fraud charge Ayeni and Tiothy Oguntayo, a former managing director of the bank , are facing before Justice Nnamdi Dimgba of a Federal High Court.

 

According to a charge sheet marked FHC/Abuja/CR/37/2019, which was obtained by our correspondent, Ayeni, Oguntayo, Control Dredging Company Limited and Royaltex Paramount Ventures Limited allegedly laundered over N23bn between 2014 and 2015.

 

 

The EFCC alleged that on December 24, 2014, Ayeni, while being chairman of the board of Skye Bank, transferred N3bn from the account of the defunct Skye Bank’s Suspense Account to a First City Monument Bank account with number 0758662025, belonging to Control Dredging Company Limited, another company owned by Ayeni.

 

The commission alleged that the act was in contravention of Section 18(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011, which is punishable under Section 15 of the same Act.

 

The anti-graft agency further alleged that Ayeni and Oguntayo conspired with others on March 25, 2015, to transfer the sum of N1.25bn from the Suspense Account of the defunct Skye Bank to the Skye Bank account of Royaltex Paramount Ventures Limited, another company owned by Ayeni.

One of the charges read, “That you, Tunde Ayeni, whilst being the Chairman, Board of Directors of the defunct Skye Bank Plc between January 1, 2014 and December 31, 2014, at Abuja within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, did accept cash payment of the aggregate sum N17,415,080,000.00, taken from the defunct Skye Bank suspense account and delivered to you by the employee of the defunct Skye Bank, which money you reasonably ought to have known forms part of the proceeds of an unlawful act, to wit, fraud and thereby committed an offence contrary and punishable under Sections 15(2)(b) and (3) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 (as amended).”

 

Others listed are Mr Dare Folarin, Akingbade Adebayo, Dr Nurudeen Mohammed, Mr Otitoju Moses, Mr Longe Lolade, Mr Umar Kangiwa, and Abubakar Madaki, among others.

 

Ayeni, who the Peoples Democratic Party claims is one of its financiers, first came under investigation by the EFCC in 2016, when Skye Bank began to show signs of distress.

 

At the time, it was taken over by Central Bank of Nigeria in 2018, Skye Bank had a negative net asset of N1tn as to the opposed capital requirement of N25bn for Nigerian banks.

 

This implied that the bank had irredeemably lost any justification to exist as a bank and was operating as a mere drain on depositors’ funds.

 

It was alleged that penchant of members of the board of the defunct bank for taking loans without due process accounted for N446bn in insider-related loans drawn from Skye Bank.

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E-Financial

WorldRemit, Paga Partner for Money Transfers to Nigeria

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WorldRemit, digital money transfer company, and Paga Nigeria have partnered to launch international money transfers to Nigeria.

 

Using the WorldRemit app or website, Nigerians in diaspora living in over 50 countries can now send money quickly and securely to over 11 million Paga users.

 

In a press statement, the company said that the new partnership considerably grows WorldRemit’s footprint in Nigeria, by expanding the company’s service offering from bank transfer and airtime top-up to include mobile money.

 

It stated that the introduction of international transfers to mobile-to-mobile accounts in Nigeria supported WorldRemit’s commitment to financial inclusion in the country, where nearly 40 per cent of the adults are unbanked.

 

According to the release, WorldRemit’s mobile-first, digital model saves customers time and money as they do not have to visit a bricks and mortar agent to send money home.

 

“International transfers to Paga mobile money wallets via WorldRemit are instant. Recipients can then transfer funds from their Paga wallets to other users of Paga wallets or bank accounts, top-up mobile airtime, and pay for bills and groceries at shops and businesses that accept Paga payments. Customers can also withdraw money as cash at Paga agent locations, perform cardless withdrawals at select ATMs or store their funds in their Paga accounts.”

 

Since its launch in 2009, Paga has been recognised by the World Bank and International Monetary Fund as the fastest-growing Agent Network for its role in driving financial inclusion in Nigeria.

 

Paga is the country’s widest reaching mobile money company, with over 14,000 agents across nearly 36 states, and is committed to making it easy for people to send and receive money digitally.

 

Last year, after a $10 million raise, Paga announced plans to expand into new global territories and introduce new partnerships and products to the market.

 

Speaking, Tamer El-Emary, chief commercial officer at WorldRemit, said, “Paga and WorldRemit share a commitment to making life easier for Nigerians sending and receiving money. Our partnership represents a new milestone for WorldRemit as we expand our service offering in Nigeria to include mobile money, a technology that has been transformational for communities across Africa.”

 

He noted that “Our partnership with Paga supports financial inclusion initiatives in Nigeria by introducing a new and convenient way for people to receive money from abroad and directly into their mobile money accounts.”

 

Tayo Oviosu, founder and CEO of Paga, said, “At Paga, we are committed to making money transfers seamless and convenient.”

 

He stated that “Our partnership with WorldRemit is a further example of our commitment to making it easy to send and receive money digitally. “Many Nigerians in the diaspora support members of their family living in Nigeria, and often times these family members may be depending on that stipend to survive.

 

According to Oviosu, using WorldRemit’s website, Nigerians in the diaspora can send money home to family and friends using the mobile phone number of the recipient money will be instantly credited to a Paga wallet for the recipient and available for immediate use on Paga.

 

This is just one of the many ways we are making life possible for Nigerians at home and abroad.

 

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E-Financial

UBA Hits N28.7Bn Profit in First 3 Months of 2019

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United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, Pan-African lender, has announced making a total of N28.7 billion as profit in the first three months of 2019. This figure is higher than the N23.7 billion profit after tax netted by the company in the corresponding period of 2018.

 

UBA, which recently commenced full banking operations in the United Kingdom, disclosed further that it raked N98.6 billion as interest income against N90.3 billion generated a year ago, while the interest expense increased to N40.5 billion from N36.8 billion.

 

According to the financial statements of the bank released to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) , a total of N24.2 billion was realised from fees and commission income against N20 billion in Q1 2018, while the fees and commission expense rose to N7.5 billion from N5 billion.

 

However, the net trading and foreign exchange income dropped in Q1 2019 to N6.1 billion from N6.7 billion, but the operating income jumped to N83.7 billion from N77.6 billion.

 

In the period under review, the profit before tax appreciated to N30.2 billion from N26.6 billion, while the earnings per share (EPS) rose to 82 kobo from 67 kobo.

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PoS Innovation Summit to Drive Agency Banking

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The Fintech industry in Nigeria is warming up for yet another round of electrifying discourses at the PoS Innovation Summit scheduled to hold on Tuesday, May 7, 2019 at The Wheatbaker, Ikoyi.

The event will draw delegates from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Nigeria Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS), Banks, players in the Fintech industry and other key stakeholders.

Convened by Nigeria’s foremost Fintech company, Global Accelerex Limited, the PoS Innovation Summit is a platform that brings together all stakeholders in the financial technology ecosystem to deliberate and foster greater understanding of the value chain in a bid to improve service delivery in the e-payment sector. These discussions are aimed at achieving the financial inclusion goals of the Federal Government and attaining the Financial System Strategy (FSS) 2020 Plan of the Central Bank of Nigeria.

This edition of the summit, rightly themed, “Agent Banking to Reach the Last Mile”, will focus on the delivery of convenient, accessible and cost-effective financial services to the underserved and unbanked in Nigeria. The objective will be to further improve financial inclusion through the agency banking system.

The Special Guest of Honour at the event is Aishah Ahmad, Deputy Governor, Financial System Stability, Central Bank of Nigeria. Patrick Akinwutan, the Managing Director of Ecobank Nigeria; Ronke Kuye, Managing Director of SANEF; Jacqueline Jumah, the Managing Director of Intermarc Consulting; and Tunde Ogungbade, Managing Director of Global Accelerex; will be keynote speakers at the forum.

To deepen understanding of how agent banking really works, a live demonstration of agency banking, using the Accelerex Agent Network Platform, will also occur during the summit.

A considerable number of Nigerians have embraced the deposit, transfer and withdrawal of money through agent banking operators both in urban and rural areas. As this trend evolves, creativity and innovation will be major contributors to sustainable growth, especially regarding new market segments. This is where the overarching need for a summit such as this becomes very instructive.

The event, which has held since 2017, will also have in attendance notable stakeholders including Payment Terminal Service Providers (PTSPs), representatives of banks, representatives of the Central Bank of Nigeria and NIBSS, Agent Network Management Organisations/Super Agents, representatives of Microfinance Banks, representatives of Fintech Companies, Merchants, Payment Processors, among others.

The PoS Innovation Summit is renowned for its invaluable contributions to innovation and improvement of efficiency in the nation’s fast-growing e-payment industry through insights and shared experiences aptly analysed by seasoned speakers and discussed by experienced panelists.

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