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Cross River Warns Illegal Revenue Collectors

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cross river revenue collectors

By Adedapo Adesanya

The Cross River State Government has warned illegal revenue collectors robbing businesses of their money in the state to desist or risk being prosecuted.

A statement issued on Thursday by the Cross River State Anti-Tax Agency said despite a law proscribing illegal taxation, tolls and levies on market women, petty traders and small scale businesses in the state, some of these illegal tax operators were still having their ways under the guise of generating revenue for the state government.

According to the chairman of the agency, Mr Emmah Isong, it was unfortunate that some elements were bent on frustrating the efforts of the Cross River State Governor, Mr Ben Ayade, to help alleviate the plights of residents of the state.

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He wondered why the illegal tax collectors would want to exploit market women, petty traders and commercial transport drivers under the guise of generating revenues for the state.

Mr Isong, who doubles as the National Publicity Secretary of the Police Force of Nigeria (PFN), said these illegal tax operators have created all kinds of revenue points for themselves at the detriment of others.

“It is very worrisome that even after the Agency had had series of meetings with relevant agencies of government on the modus operandi of tax and levies’ collection, there appear to be infractions on the part of some agencies, thereby causing some untold hardship to small scale business owners, petty traders and taxi drivers alike.

“The agency frown at a reported case of a tragic incident which occurred March 18, 2021, at the Municipal in which one Chuks, in a trending video, was dehumanised by an illicit tax operator in Calabar, is despicable.

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“We further frown at another reported case where one Mrs Chukwuma, a widow with 4 children leaving at 8 Miles, was allegedly manhandled and her goods impounded by hoodlums masquerading as tax collectors and given 7 days to pay up or lose her goods.

“These acts are not only condemnable but capable of setting back the low-income earners exemption tax relief policy of Governor Ben Ayade, who had issued series of warnings to these perpetrators to desist from such inhuman act of extorting hard-earned money from the poor Cross Riverians,” the statement said.

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He explained that the agency, whose scope of operations among others includes protecting the poor of the poor in the area of extorting money and protecting their businesses, is totally committed to ridding the state of such illegal operations, adding that it would not fail to prosecute offenders in line with tax exemption laws of the state.

Mr Isong called on all government agencies in charge of revenues to carry out their functions in accordance with the laid down best practices to give succour to citizens, assuring residents of the state that an enforcement team has been put in place and defaulters would face the wrath of the law.

Adedapo Adesanya is a journalist, polymath, and connoisseur of everything art. When he is not writing, he has his nose buried in one of the many books or articles he has bookmarked or simply listening to good music with a bottle of beer or wine. He supports the greatest club in the world, Manchester United F.C.

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Economy

SEC Introduces Regulatory Incubation Program for Fintechs

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By Modupe Gbadeyanka

A regulatory incubation (RI) program for financial technology (fintech) companies operating or seeking to operate in Nigeria has been introduced by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

A circular issued by SEC disclosed that this framework would be officially launched in the third quarter of 2021 and will operate by admitting identified Fintech business models and processes in cohorts for a one-year period.

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Participation in the RI program will encompass an Initial Assessment Phase and the Regulatory Incubation Phase.

The categories to be admitted into each cohort will be determined based on submissions received through the Fintech Assessment Form and communicated ahead of each take-off date.

SEC explained that the scheme was designed to address the needs of new business models and processes that require regulatory authorisation to continue carrying out full or ancillary technology-driven capital market activities.

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The RI Program has thus been conceived as an interim measure to aid the evolution of effective regulation which accommodates the innovation by fintechs without compromising market integrity and within limits that ensure investor protection.

It was disclosed that review of completed Fintech Assessment Forms will continue on an ongoing basis and those who consider that there is no specific regulation governing their business models or who require clarity on the appropriate regulatory regime for seeking the authorisation of the commission, are encouraged to complete the Fintech Assessment Form.

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Economy

NGX Suspends Trading on GTBank Shares Ahead of Delisting

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GTBank Branch

By Dipo Olowookere

In preparation for the eventual delisting of shares of Guaranty Trust Bank (GTBank) Plc from its trading platform, the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited on Friday, June 18, 2021, placed the banking stock on a full suspension.

GTBank, a tier-one lender trading its equities on the exchange, intends to transform into a financial holding company (Holdco) so as to offer a wide range of services it is restricted to do.

Some years ago, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) directed banks in the country to offload their subsidiaries not performing core lending services.

This was after many deposit money banks (DMBs) were delving into different business ventures, including insurance, stockbroking, asset management, amongst others.

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For the CBN, which regulates the banking industry in Nigeria, most of these banks were losing focus and were not supporting businesses that need funds to grow and then stimulate the economy in the process.

To address this issue, the apex bank asked banks to sell off their non-banking assets and this forced many of them to offload their companies not offering core banking services.

However, there was an opening for banks to still delve into other sectors within the financial and capital markets and this was by operating as a Holdco.

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A few of them towed this path, including FBN Holdings, Stanbic IBTC Holdings and FCMB Group.

Not wanting to be left out, GTBank is joining the party and to achieve this, it is delisting its banking arm, which is the popular GTBank from the stock exchange.

GTBank will now operate as a private company, while the new Holdco, Guaranty Trust Holding Company Plc, will now be a public company. The shares of this new firm will be listed on the NGX after the delisting of GTBank.

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Last Friday, the stock exchange informed the investing community of the latest development, announcing the suspension of trading on GTBank shares.

In the circular sighted by Business Post, the NGX explained that the rationale behind placing GTBank stocks on full suspension is to “prevent trading in the shares of the bank” in preparation of its “eventual delisting”

Before trading on its stocks was suspended on Friday, GTBank closed at N28.55 on Thursday after appreciating by 50 kobo or 1.78 per cent.

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Economy

DLM Capital Remains Best Structured Finance & Securitization Team in West Africa

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DLM Capital

A prominent developmental investment bank, DLM Capital Group, has emerged winner at the Capital Finance International (CFI) 2021 awards as the best-structured finance and securitization team in West Africa.

This award has been won consecutively in three years and affirms the group’s strong performance as a leading investment institution and asset manager.

CFI awards seek to identify the contributions of individuals and organizations that contribute significantly to the advancement of economies and truly add value for all stakeholders.

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DLM Capital Group creates bespoke business solutions for alternative financing and harnessing funds for growth.

The group focuses on four key sectors — consumer credit, agriculture, microfinance, and education with a mandate to reduce poverty and improve living conditions for Africans while mobilizing resources for the continent’s economic and social development.

“In the past three years, our portfolio management team’s performance has remained consistent, and our clients have benefited immensely from exposure to our solutions, including the NMRC securitization deal and the DLM Primero BRT Securitization,” said Head of Corporate Communications and Marketing, DLM Capital Group, Ms Chinwendu Ohakpougwu.

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“We are positioned to provide services to an expansive client base of retail, high net-worth and institutional customers.

“DLM Capital Group remains committed to constantly providing financial solutions that will enable our clients to make a difference, and we are honoured to be recognized once again as a reflection of the quality of support offered to our clients,” she added.

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DLM has won recognition in West African capital markets, acting as a sole arranger to over 80 per cent of structured finance transactions in Nigeria — and all the securitization transactions. It provides deal structuring, advisory execution and capital raising services across the Nigerian capital market.

The institution recently launched an asset financing scheme and is preparing a venture into digital banking under its subsidiary, Sofri.

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