By Adedapo Adesanya
A fresh storm seems to be brewing for Nigerian startup, Flutterwave, as a report from Kenya alleged that the payment company was among seven companies that had their bank account frozen over accusations of irregularities.
Kenyan newspaper, The Star, on Wednesday night reported that the country’s high court has frozen 56 bank accounts holding more than Sh6 billion (Kenya Shillings) with Flutterwave owning more than 50 of these accounts.
The directive was given after the Asset Recovery Agency (ARA) told the court that the accounts for seven targeted companies were used as conduits for money laundering in the guise of providing merchant services.
The accounts that have been frozen are in US Dollar, British Pound Sterling, Euro and Kenya shillings.
According to the court documents, Flutterwave operated 29 bank accounts with Guaranty Trust Bank, 17 with Equity Bank and 6 with Ecobank.
The agency says the company’s account received billions of shillings and the same was deposited in different bank accounts in an attempt to conceal the nature, source or movement of the funds.
“Investigations established that the bank accounts operations had suspicious activities where funds could be received from specific foreign entities which raised suspicion. The funds were then transferred to related accounts as opposed to settlement to merchants,” said the media platform.
Citing an investigator, it was disclosed that at the time they got the orders (April 4, 2022), the company’s accounts at Guaranty Trust Bank had a balance of Sh5.3 billion, Sh1.4 billion at Equity bank and other millions at Ecobank.
Some of the funds he said were transferred into fixed deposit accounts.
It further claimed Flutterwave was concealing the nature of its business by allegedly providing a payment service platform without authorization from the central bank of Kenya as required by section 12 of the national payment system act.
The accounts he said were used as conduits for money laundering in the guise of providing merchant services.
The company’s Equity account number revealed that at some point in May 2021, it received 185 online card payments all sharing the same bank identification number.
The transactions were done using cards issued by the same bank at the same point on the same day raising suspicion of card fraud.
For instance, ARA says the Flutterwave equity USD Bank account was opened in November 2020.
The funds received were mainly from Flutterwave Inc.
Between 2020 and 2022, the account received approximately Sh12 billion and the funds were either transferred to Remix ltd while the rest were invested in a fixed deposit account.
The High Court has also frozen Sh467.1 million belonging to Boxtrip Travels and Tours and Sh436 million in Bagtrip Travels Ltd accounts.
The other accounts include Elivalat Fintech Ltd (Sh1.16 million), Hupesi Solutions (Sh1.6 million), Cruz Ride Auto Ltd (Sh2.4 million).
An account under a Mr Simon Karanja Ngige, who is listed as a director of Cruz Ride Auto Ltd, has Sh14 million.
Geregu Power to List Shares on Stock Exchange
By Aduragbemi Omiyale
The Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited will have a new member in the coming days as an electricity generating firm, Geregu Power Plc, is planning to list its shares on the platform.
According to regulatory documents, the company will list a total of 2.5 billion units of its shares at N100.00 per unit by way of introduction on the bourse, increasing the market capitalisation of the exchange by N250 billion.
The listing of these equities is expected on Wednesday and a ceremony to commemorate it will happen later this month.
“We look forward to hosting you at the exchange on October 25 or 26, 2022, for a closing gong ceremony to commemorate the listing,” a message to Geregu Power by the chief executive of the NGX, Mr Temi Popoola, read in part.
Geregu Power has Mr Femi Otedola as its majority shareholder. He left the stock exchange a few years ago after he sold his holdings in the defunct Forte Oil Plc, a company rebranded to Ardova Plc by the new owner, Mr Abdulwasiu Sowami.
Multiverse Stocks Rise 30.85% in One Week
By Dipo Olowookere
Investors renewed their interests in the shares of Multiverse Mining and Exploration Plc last week, pushing the price higher by 30.85 per cent to N3.69.
Another stock that attracted attention in the week was the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Group Plc, as investors pushed aside the recent corporate governance issues raised in the media and keyed into the company’s dividend policy.
At the close of the five-day trading week, its price rose by 17.65 per cent to N20.00. Jaiz Bank grew last week by 15.38 per cent, Cadbury Nigeria expanded by 14.77 per cent, while Eterna improved by 9.91 per cent to N6.32.
However, the shares of Neimeth fell by 10.26 per cent to N1.40, Nestle lost 10.00 per cent to N1,215.00, Africa Prudential dropped 9.91 per cent to N5.00, Royal Exchange depreciated by 9.80 per cent to 92 Kobo and Fidson went down by 9.05 per cent to N9.05.
At the close of transactions for the week, 25 equities appreciated, higher than 17 equities in the previous week; 33 equities depreciated, lower than 42 equities in the previous week; while 98 equities remained unchanged, higher than 97 equities recorded in the previous week.
Business Post reports that the All-Share Index (ASI) depreciated by 0.01 per cent to close the week at 49,024.16 points, while the market capitalisation appreciated by 0.03 per cent to close at N26.451 trillion.
Similarly, all other indices finished lower except for NGX Main-Board, NGX 30, oil/gas and industrial goods indices, which appreciated by 0.25 per cent, 0.04 per cent, 0.20 per cent, and 3.01 per cent, apiece as the ASeM, growth and sovereign bond indices closed flat.
During the week, a total of 1.005 billion shares worth N10.406 billion were traded in 17,844 deals as against the 562.856 million shares valued at N9.438 billion transacted in 16,013 deals a week earlier.
A total of 757.289 million financial shares valued at N6.947 billion were traded in 9,483 deals in the week, accounting for 75.38 per cent and 66.76 per cent of the trading volume and value.
A total of 75.118 million units of conglomerate stocks worth N82.955 million exchanged hands in 494 deals, as 50.186 million units of consumer goods shares worth N1.457 billion were transacted in 2,798 deals.
Jaiz Bank, GTCO and Zenith Bank were the most active stocks as they traded 460.216 million units worth N4.963 billion in 4,281 deals, contributing 45.81 per cent and 47.69 per cent to the total trading volume and value, respectively.
Nigeria’s Crude Oil Exports Jump 88.6% to N11.53trn in Six Months
By Adedapo Adesanya
Nigeria earned N11.53 trillion from the export of crude oil in the first half of 2022, according to the latest data released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), jumping by 88.6 per cent compared with N6.11 trillion recorded in the first half of 2021.
In its Foreign Trade Statistics for the Second Quarter of 2022, the NBS noted that crude oil export in the first six months of 2022 accounted for 79.47 per cent of total exports in the period under review, while it also accounted for 44.62 per cent of total trades in the same period.
Giving a breakdown of crude oil exports in the first half of 2022, the NBS stated that in the first quarter of the year, crude oil valued at N5.621 trillion was exported by the country, while in the second quarter, N5.908 trillion was exported.
In comparison, in the first quarter of 2021, the NBS said Nigeria earned N2.043 trillion from crude oil exports, while in the second quarter, N4.072 trillion crude oil export sales were recorded. Furthermore, in the third and fourth quarters of 2021, Nigeria recorded crude oil export of N4.026 trillion and N4.269 trillion, respectively.
The country’s statistical authority put Nigeria’s total trade in the first half of 2022 at N25.843 trillion, comprising N13.001 trillion and N12.841 trillion in the first and second quarter of the year, respectively; while total export trade for the first half of 2022 stood at N14.507 trillion, with N7.1 trillion and N7.407 trillion export recorded in the first and second quarter respectively.
Specifically, the NBS reported that in the second quarter of 2022, crude oil ranked as the most exported commodity in the country, with 79.77 per cent of the country’s total export.
Furthermore, the statistics agency stated that the most of Nigeria’s crude oil export in the second quarter of 2022 was to European countries, with the continent purchasing Nigeria’s crude oil valued at N2.737 trillion; followed by Asia, with N1.916 trillion; while countries in America purchased N861.937 billion.
Africa accounted for N355.853 billion of Nigeria’s crude oil export, while N36.459 billion worth of Nigeria’s crude oil was exported to Oceania.
India emerged as the highest buyer of Nigeria’s crude oil, with N1.009 trillion worth of the commodity shipped to the country in the second quarter; followed by the Netherlands, with the purchase of N886.314 billion worth of Nigeria’s crude oil; while N854.859 billion crude oil was exported to Spain.
Other major crude oil export destinations were Indonesia, N614.954 billion; United States, N488.356 billion; Italy, N253.817 billion; Sweden, N232.152 billion; Canada, N226.704 billion; France, N192.273 billion and Ivory Coast, N191.425 billion.
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