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Nigeria’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has ordered the suspension of Oando shares citing concerns about possible insider trading and the oil company’s shareholding structure.

Oando, with dual listings in Johannesburg and Toronto, said it would issue a statement in due course.

Its shares last traded at 5.99 naira in Lagos.

The regulator said it had carried out a comprehensive review of Oando after it received two petitions and found related party transactions were not conducted at arm’s length and discrepancies in its ownership structure.A company source said the petitions centred around the ownership of some Oando shares bought through an investment vehicle at the time the company bought ConocoPhillips’ Nigerian business for $1.65 billion in 2014.

It was noted that the petitions centred around the ownership of some Oando shares bought through an investment vehicle at the time the company bought ConocoPhillips’ Nigerian business for $1.65 billion in 2014.

“The commission notes that the above findings are weighty and therefore needs to be further investigated. After due consideration, the Commission believes that it is necessary to conduct a forensic audit into the affairs of Oando Plc,” the SEC said in a statement.

It said a team of auditors, lawyers, stockbrokers and share registrars would conduct the forensic audit on Oando to ensure independence.

The SEC said in July it was investigating Oando’s shareholding structure.

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BUSINESS

FirstBank Hits N1 Trillion in Transactions Processed through its Firstmonie Network

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Nigeria’s premier financial services provider and Bank of first choice, First Bank of Nigeria Limited has announced that its Firstmonie network has processed a cumulative transaction value of N1 trillion from its relaunch in January 2018. The network also achieved nationwide coverage in record time, enabling access to financial services for many locations that never had a way for its residents to access financial services. This is in line with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)’s objective of bringing banking services close to all Nigerians, irrespective of where they live.

FirstBank’s Firstmonie service provides financial/banking solutions to rural and semi-urban locations across the country, such as account opening, cash deposit, cash withdrawals, airtime purchase, bill payments and much more. Through this channel, the Bank is committed to providing convenient services that endears trust and provides ease of access to banking products, thereby saving time and travel costs for users of our network.

According to Dr. Adesola Adeduntan, the Chief Executive Officer, First Bank of Nigeria Limited; “The Firstmonie scheme is supporting the Federal Government’s empowerment and job creation agenda as over 22,000 Nigerians, through this scheme, contribute to the increased economic activities of their neighborhoods. Our partner network is growing and we are particularly delighted about the progress we are making in actively driving nationwide Financial Inclusion, exposing communities to opportunities for growth, jobs, empowerment, and improved live conditions. Yet again, we are delighted to score another first in promoting financial inclusion in the country.”

“We appreciate our partner network and remain committed to working together to achieve even greater impact on the lives of Nigerians”, he concluded

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SEC approves MTN listing on NSE

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The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said that it has approved MTN Nigeria’s application to list on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) by way of introduction.

Mrs Efe Ebelo, SEC Head, Corporate Communications, confirmed this to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.

Ebelo said the commission has approved the company’s application to be listed on the nation’s bourse by way of introduction.

She said that the company has successfully completed the registration of 20,354,513,050 ordinary shares of N0.02 each with the commission.

NAN recalls that MTN Nigeria on May 6 filed an application with SEC and the exchange for listing by introduction.

SEC recently said that it received an application from MTN requesting for registration of their existing securities.

“They have applied for listing by introduction which will enable the company to be listed and allow shareholders sell their shares on the floor of the exchange,” Ebelo said.

Mr Henry Rowlands, SEC Acting Executive Commissioner, Corporate Services, told NAN that the commission was committed to work with MTN Nigeria.

“SEC is committed to work with them, when they list by way of introduction naturally it will translate to public offering by and large.

“It’s better that they come to the market even if it’s by way of introduction because it will encourage other service providers to access the market,” Rowlands said.

Reacting to the approval, Mr Ambrose Omordion, the Chief Operating Officer, InvestData Ltd commended SEC for speedy approval.

Omordion said that MTN Nigeria July target for listing would be feasible with the approval, noting that the listing might be concluded before the target date,

NAN reports that MTN Nigeria recently changed its status from a private company to a public liability company (PLC) ahead of its listing on the exchange.

NAN reports that the conversion was one of the requirements for listing on the exchange.

The company had previously announced that it looks to list on the NSE before July, saying it plans to enter the market by way of listing by introduction.

Speaking on the conversion, Fredi Moolman, MTN Chief Executive Officer, said the listing was part of its commitment to localisation in the markets in which it operates.

“Our conversion to a Plc is a major step towards listing by introduction on the Nigerian Stock Exchange in the first half of 2019.

“It is a reaffirmation of our long-term commitment to expanding investment opportunities for Nigerians, in addition to providing everyday services to them.

“We look forward to continuing our engagement with the SEC and NSE to take forward the listing process,” Moolman said.

NAN reports that listing on the NSE was one of the conditions reached in the resolution of a N330 billion fine placed on the telco by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) for its inability to disconnect improperly registered SIM cards.

NAN

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Osinbajo orders extension of 50% discount for business registration

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Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has directed the Corporate Affairs Commission to extend by three months, the special window for MSMEs to register businesses at 50 per cent discount.

Osinbajo gave the directive today at the first quarter MSMEs stakeholder meeting held at the Presidential Villa, encouraged by the successes recorded when the policy first came into force last year.

The special business name registration window of 50% discount was granted by the Federal Government through the Corporate Affairs Commission to help to bring as many MSMEs to formalise their businesses.

The Vice President also directed the Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) and National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) to speedily harmonise issues relating to overlapping responsibilities for product registration.

In the same vein, Prof. Osinbajo directed relevant government agencies to speedily come up with better funding strategies for small businesses in the country.

“Having listened to all the issues raised in the report and from your various contributions about funding, I think you should come up with suggestions on better funding for startups and MSMEs. We need to address this issue as quickly as possible,” he said.

He said relevant agencies of government must ensure that loan beneficiaries were equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge to better manage their businesses.

Prof. Osinbajo urged regulators in the MSMEs sector to leverage technology to help build capacity for owners of small enterprises as well as broaden the impact of their interventions.

The Vice President solicited the support of the relevant agencies for the Shared Facilities project for MSMEs which has already commenced in locations across the country.

Earlier, a presentation on the National MSMEs Clinics indicated that the clinics have been held in 23 states of the federation while One-Stop-Shops have been established in seven cities and shared facilities built in Oyo and Bauchi states.

The report also indicated that business registration increased from 54,000 to 163,000 within six months of introducing the special window for subsidised registration costs.

The Managing Director of the Bank of Industry (BOI), Mr Kayode Pitan emphasized the need for MSMEs to establish a company to de-risk BOI loans to MSMEs.

He said the organisation was working in partnership with the Development Bank of Nigeria to enhance access to finance for MSMEs by providing a guarantee for commercial banks.

The meeting was attended by the Special Adviser to the President on Economic Matters, Ambassador Adeyemi Dipeolu, and heads of relevant agencies in the MSMEs sector including the BOI, Federal Inland Revenue Service, NEXIM Bank, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria, Development Bank of Nigeria, Nigerian Export Promotion Council, Bank of Agriculture, Standards Organisation of Nigeria, and NAFDAC.

NAN

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