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Court Orders Businessman to Refund N29m Collected from Investors



Hamzat Bashar Miracle Investment Promoter

By Dipo Olowookere

A court sitting in Sokoto State has ordered a businessman, Mr Hamzat Muhammad Bashar, to refund the N29.1 billion he collected from different investors.

Mr Bashar had lured some persons, including Ms Hadiza Aliyu, from parting with their money with a promise that they would receive a 20 per cent return on investment (RoI) every month and dividends at the end of the year.

He had claimed he was into the business of gold and herbs, but after investing various sums of money, Mr Bashar did not give the investors the 20 per cent returns he promised or the dividends.

This prompted the victims to involve the Economic and Finance Crimes Commission (EFCC), which looked into the matter and arraigned him after an investigation.

He was dragged before the court on November 7, 2019, on a 12-count amended charge bordering on conspiracy and obtaining money by false pretence.

One of the charges read, “That you Hamzat Bashar Muhammad, Hindatu Bashar (now at large) and Hamga Investment Resources Limited, sometimes within the months of June to December 2018 at Sokoto within the jurisdiction of this court, with intent to defraud, did obtain the total sum of N23,760,000 from Hadiza Aliyu (for herself and other victims) when you falsely represented yourselves to her, to be running a genuine business investment of gold and herbs, a pretence you knew to be false and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1(1)(a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act of 2006 and punishable under Section 1(3) of the same Act.”

After he pleaded not guilty to all the charges, the trial commenced and on Thursday, April 1, 2021, Justice Bello Duwale of the Sokoto State High Court, found him guilty on 10 of the 12 charges, convicted and sentenced him to 7 years each to run concurrently.

Dipo Olowookere is a journalist based in Nigeria that has passion for reporting business news stories. At his leisure time, he watches football and supports 3SC of Ibadan. Mr Olowookere can be reached via

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The Value of a Savings Culture



Savings Culture

By FBNQuest

If you are just starting your career, then you must be excited to be earning money. You probably feel liberated by your ability to make choices like going on a vacation, buying a car, or renting a flat in the part of town you prefer to live. Earning a living certainly has its perks.

It is not unusual for young people to indulge themselves when they begin to earn money. However, it is also important to consider the power the income from a job or business provides; an opportunity to create your financial future.

The choices you make early in your career about your money may determine your options in the future. Retirement may seem so far off that you see no reason to pay attention to it now. What you do not realise is that building a sizable nest egg becomes more difficult later in your career. Likewise, acquiring a house or having a family is often easier if you are proactive in gathering resources to achieve your goal.

A savings culture or investing is a sure way to build momentum towards achieving your short and long-term financial obligations. The funds that you save for short-term goals should be kept in cash and cash equivalents because your objective should be to preserve their value in a liquid asset. The resources that you save towards your long-term goals should be invested in assets that may be less liquid but offer higher returns.

The types of assets you invest in your savings will significantly impact your return and consequently, the amount available to finance your plans for a family or other financial goals. A major reason for this is the concept of compound interest. This is the process by which a sum of money grows exponentially due to interest building upon itself over time.

The key is to start saving and investing as early in your career as possible. The sooner you start putting money away, the sooner it begins to earn interest. If invested properly, the money can grow substantially over time. But putting off investments could mean you miss an opportunity to grow your wealth easily and automatically.

Having a plan helps you to build the discipline that is required to invest successfully. You are more responsible for your financial success when a plan is executed in a systematic way. This should also give you the confidence that while you are building a career, you are also making steady progress towards your financial goal.

It is advised that you make wise investments decisions. Explore options that allow you to automate your savings and investment in the form of automatic withdrawals from your bank account. After making this arrangement, stay the course. Consider that by starting early, you are positioned to benefit from the well-established trend that investments in riskier assets such as stocks potentially outperform less risky short-term assets such as cash equivalents over time. Especially when diversification is appropriately adopted in investing.

All this is easier said than done. A savings and investment plan is more than just a list of goals and deadlines. Practically, it can be more complicated than that, as you consider the fine details and peculiarities of your status and responsibilities. To help you achieve the outcomes you want, relationship managers at FBNQuest are available to work with you to craft a plan that offers a range of products that suit your specific investment and financial goals. We look forward to helping you achieve your financial goals. Contact us today and stay ahead of the curve to indulge yourself early in your career at the expense of a great financial future.

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Akwa Ibom Requests Relocation of NNPC Subsidiaries to Dakkada Towers



Dakkada Towers

By Adedapo Adesanya

The Akwa Ibom State Government has appealed to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to relocate some of its subsidiaries to the 21-storey smart office accommodation at the Dakkada Towers in the state.

Governor Udom Emmanuel made this request when he hosted the management of NNPC Upstream, led by the Group Executive Director, Mr Adokiye Tombomieye, who are in the state for a 3-day retreat on the restructuring of NNPC from its Corporation status to a Limited Liability Company.

Governor Udom particularly asked for the relocation of the headquarters of the National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS) and the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) to relocate to the state.

He decried that the state despite having the largest crude oil and gas reserve in the country does not have any oil and gas presence and called for the decentralization of NNPC operations from Abuja.

“So, we are appealing to NNPC to relocate the headquarters of some of its subsidiaries to occupy the smart office accommodation at the Dakkada Towers. Four floors are there for the entire group, NUPRC, NAPIMS, NNPC.”

The governor also applauded NNPC Upstream for choosing his State as venue for the retreat, applauded their initiative towards making the Corporation a Limited Liability Company, urging them to brace up for the task ahead of the new responsibilities.

He commended NNPC for their transparency in publishing financial reports of the Corporation, which he said has been unprecedented in recent times, urging them not to relent in their commitment to bridge existing gaps thereby restoring the confidence of the people.

“Congratulations on the restructuring of NNPC, the boldness to do this will give you opportunities.

“Some of you that are group heads have written your names in plaque because once you restructure and put the structure, strategy, the system there will enable that structure to run, history will never forget any of you, but unfortunately, something about restructuring, if you get it wrong, history will crucify you.

“So it is something that no matter how you are pushed by government or politicians you have to get focused on it as a professional because of responsibilities and the expectations from the people.

“This is the first badge of management in NNPC that we have seen a financial report and it’s to your credit and it is timely too. I think the first audit of NNPC is done by your regime. So if you began a good work, take it to the end.”

On his part, the Group Executive Director, NNPC Upstream, Mr Tombomieye, disclosed that NNPC was transiting from a Corporation into a Limited Liability Company, as one of the steps of restructuring the corporation for efficient and effective service to Nigerians.

Mr Tombomieye, said the essence of holding a retreat in the state was to review the performance of the Corporation in the last three quarters, adding that the exercise has been successful.

“As you are aware NNPC is going through a transition, we are transiting from a Corporation to a Limited Liability Company, by the passage of the Petroleum Industry Act and incorporation of NNPC Limited, the former corporation called NNPC will now transit into a Limited Liability Company.

“The Upstream Directorate has come to review our performance in the last three quarters to see the level of performance and how to serve the nation better,” he added.

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NCDC Confirms Three Cases of Omicron Variant in Nigeria



Register for COVID-19 Vaccination

By Adedapo Adesanya

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has confirmed that Nigeria has recorded three cases of the Omicron variant of COVID-19.

This was confirmed on Wednesday by the NCDC Director-General, Dr Ifedayo Adetifa, in a statement, explaining that the agency had conducted case and genomic surveillance for inbound international travellers arriving in the country at its National Reference Laboratory (NRL) in Abuja, and a network of other testing laboratories.

He stated that sequencing of samples from COVID-19 positive inbound travellers was conducted in laboratories with sequencing capacity in the country while all the sequencing data were shared in publicly accessible databases.

“This genomic surveillance has now identified and confirmed Nigeria’s first cases of the B.1.1.529 SARS-CoV-2 lineage, now known as the Omicron variant,” the NCDC boss said.

“Samples obtained for the stipulated day two test for all travellers to Nigeria were positive for this variant in three persons with a history of travel to South Africa. These cases were recent arrivals in the country in the past week.

“Follow up to ensure isolation, linkage to clinical care, contact tracing and other relevant response activities have commenced. Arrangements are also being made to notify country where travel originated according to the provisions of the International Health Regulations,” he added.

According to him, the NCDC assumes Omicron is widespread globally given the increasing number of countries reporting the variant.

Dr Adetifa gave an assurance that the NCDC would continue to expand its sequencing capacity in-country through a network of public health laboratories and other partners.

The focus for the agency, he stated, was to complete sequencing of recently accrued samples of SARS-COV-2 positive travellers from all countries, especially those from countries that have reported the Omicron variant already.

The NCDC chief revealed that since reports of the emergence of the Omicron variant, the Federal Ministry of Health, through the NCDC, has intensified public health response measures to COVID-19.

He added that the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19 has revised the national travel advisory, which included a negative COVID-19 test result done not more than 48 hours before departure by all inbound travellers to Nigeria.

“Pre-booking and payment for all-day 2 and day 7 COVID-19 PCR tests are prerequisites for travel. In addition, all outbound passengers regardless of the requirements of destination countries are expected to present evidence of full vaccination or a negative COVID-19 PCR test done not later than 48 hours before departure.

“We appeal to Nigerians to adhere strictly to these travel protocols and other public safety measures to protect themselves, families, friends, the community at large and to prevent a fourth wave of COVID-19 in the country as we combat the pandemic and these emerging variants, including the Delta variant,” Dr Adetifa pleaded.

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