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Economy

eTranzact, Banks Conniving to Swindle Nigeria—Reps Allege

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eTranzact MD Niyi Awosope Toluwalope

By Aduragbemi Omiyale

The Managing Director of eTranzact International Plc, Mr Niyi Awosope Toluwalope, risks being arrested by the police if he fails to honour an invitation extended to him by the House of Representatives.

According to TheCable, Chairman, House Committee on Customs and Excise, Mr Leke Abejide, accused the company, including its MD, of conniving with some banks to cheat the federal government.

He said the firm, which is listed on the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited, has been defrauding the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) by not remitting customs duties by banks to the federal government.

Speaking at the hearing on Wednesday, the lawmaker also said efforts made to hear from Mr Toluwalope about the issue have been frustrated, prompting the threat of the issuance of a warrant of arrest on him if he fails to appear at the next sitting of the committee.

“I am using this medium to advise the managing director of eTranzact to honour the invitation of this House otherwise we will not have any option than to take the necessary legal action against him, and this can include getting him arrested. We are not on our own, we were elected by the people and to work for the country,” the Chairman said.

According to Mr Abejide, the panel has the mandate to block revenue leakages and ensure that all remittances are duly paid to the federal government.

“We have been asking this e-Transact to give us information, and they have been failing.

“We discovered that he colluded with some banks and cheated the Nigeria Customs Service of several billions of naira.

“For him to come and explain how this happens, it becomes difficult. This is the last chance we are giving him,” the lawmaker fumed.

Meanwhile, eTranzact has reacted to the allegations made by the reps panel.

In a statement made available to Business Post, the company claimed it “did not, at any time, collect excise duties on behalf [of the] Nigerian Customs Service (NSC), as alluded by the Chairman of the House Investigating Committee. And that there was no way our organization would have colluded with some banks to cheat the Nigeria Customs Service as reported in the Cable News publication.”

“We will also like to categorically state that, we did not receive any invitation from the House Committee to appear before it with respect to the claim,” the firm added.

“As one of Africa’s super fintech and [a] leading provider of payment and banking service, we work within the framework of Nigerian Payment Systems as regulated by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

“We are committed to the economic development of Nigeria, and in partnership with state governments and MDAs in the collection of IGR and other formal and informal taxes.

“The company has a track record of delivering secure, cost-effective and innovative electronic and mobile payment services that are compliant with globally recognized standards,” the statement added.

Editor’s Note: The article has been updated with the reaction of eTranzact on the accusation of the House of Reps Committee on Customs and Excise.

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Economy

95% of Insurance Firms Upload Data to NAICOM Server

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NAICOM

By Adedapo Adesanya

The National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) has revealed that 95 per cent of insurance operators have uploaded their data on its platform as instructed within the last one month.

This disclosure was made by the Deputy Commissioner Technical, NAICOM, Mr Sabiu Abubakar, at an event in Lagos. He added that the commission was optimistic that before the end of the third quarter, the remaining 5 per cent will meet up the deadline.

He submitted that online processing of licenses, approvals and data uploading has started for most of the operational requests of the regulated agencies, stressing that issues arising from this application are being addressed promptly and that good progress has been recorded in the uploading of data on NAICOM server.

The insurance regulator official said NAICOM has trained both its staff and the insurance institution on how they use the portal.

On his part, the Commissioner for Insurance, Mr Sunday Thomas, said the NAICOM portal is one of the initiatives the agency was pursuing its efforts to deepen the insurance market and increase the penetration to a level that is consistent with the nation’s economy.

“As some of us may be aware, the Commission in July 2009, embarked on a comprehensive computerization effort tagged project e-regulation that was meant to transform its operational procedures and the conduct of its regulatory responsibilities by providing a robust, world-class ICT Infrastructure to help implement automated business processes internally and for industry-wide supervision via an integrated platform,” he said.

Mr Thomas noted that prior to the development of the portal, the processing of applications required that applicants physically drop off their applications at the commission with their attendant challenges of delays in processing times, and wasted manpower hours due to back-and-forth in application processing as well as ineffective application tracking system.

He then charged those yet to do the required task to help ease operations by uploading their data.

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Economy

A Thoughtful Approach to Wealth Management

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wealth management

By FBNQuest

Across the world, as baby boomers (aged 58-76) near and enter retirement, the attendant transfer of wealth between generations is necessitating a thoughtful approach to wealth management, instigated by common storylines such as this:

“I’m 35 years old and inherited $450,000 this year when my father passed away. I used part of the funds to buy a flat in old Ikoyi, and with the help of a financial advisor, invested the rest ($250,000) in a retirement plan.

“We set a budget so that the interest from the leftover principal could help pay my mortgage. I’m not supposed to touch the investment account…right?”

The coronavirus pandemic has also brought on triple threats to lives, livelihoods, and financial markets, causing individuals and businesses to pause and think about their financial priorities and legacy.

On the minds of wealth managers, therefore, will be a myriad of issues, including:

    Devising new ways of segmenting and serving clients across the wealth spectrum.

    Creating new and more efficient distribution channels by adopting new and enhanced technologies.

    Achieving sustainable and inclusive growth for clients.

    The fact that wealth and health needs will merge, leads to goal-based wealth platforms.

Africa: Wealth Rankings (by Country)

Where in Africa do the well-to-do reside and in what numbers? The recently released Africa Wealth Report 2022 shows that there are currently 136,000 High Net Worth Individuals (HNWIs) living on the continent, along with 5,110 multi-millionaires, 305 centi-millionaires and 21 billionaires. It also illustrates that the total private wealth in Africa currently stands at $2.1trn, an amount that is expected to rise by 38% to $3trn in the next decade.

The Future of Wealth Management

The impact of COVID-19 on wealth management organisations and investors is expected to drive both groups to position themselves to thrive in the new normal. For them, this can mean considering several of the following actions as they seek opportunity amidst uncertainty.

Millennials and the ‘Great Wealth Transfer’: Many young people are in line to become extremely wealthy, in what is referred to as The Great Wealth Transfer. Wealth is expected to gradually change hands from one generation to the next before the year 2030.

Without knowledge of money management, saving for the future and smart investing, Millennials could jeopardise their futures. Financial literacy tools will come into play in reinforcing areas of potential strength, such as Logic vs. Emotion (understanding how to manage money based on the risk and potential return); Frugality vs. Extravagance (adopting delayed gratification); and Saving vs. Spending (think retirement accounts, emergency funds).

Younger investors also tend to feel less confident about how to reach their investment goals, which can lead to cautious investing – an irony, as investors with a longer time frame should ideally have the latitude to take more risk.

AI, Machine Learning: Technology such as Artificial intelligence (AI) will continue to make it possible to do far more in less time, and with fewer resources, while Machine learning can help wealth managers recognise patterns, anticipate future events, and create rules – think client calculation engines, modelling and simulation, and analytics. Robo-advising, the trusted AI-driven, virtual wealth management service, will resonate strongly with the tech-savvy Millennial generation and is essential for future wealth management industry growth.

Human and Digital Hybrids: Millennials are currently between the ages of 25 and 40.  This is an extensive range. Some of them are definitely keen on self-service, but there is also an appreciable number of affluent millennials who are on the verge of making really complex decisions when they will need human interaction to add real value, through strategic planning and advice. For this group, the key is to not only take advantage of the digital space but also to intersperse it with human interactions – a hybrid scenario.

Transformational Web Delivery via Mobile: Following the initial push to move services online, wealth managers are now cementing a second stage, with a particular focus on ubiquity over-mobile. Websites will deliver an even wider range of services where clients are able to view their investments and transactions, invest in Mutual Funds directly, and place orders to purchase or sell shares, regardless of their location, and while on the go. They are also able to access research reports and insightful market data.

In conclusion

The Planning Effect

Uncertainty should not be a reason to put your future on hold or hamper your ability to grow your wealth and keep more of what you earn. Whether you seek effective funds management, long-term planning, or investment strategy, an experienced wealth management professional can help you develop a personalised plan by carefully assessing your investment preferences and risk tolerance.

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Economy

CitiTrust Lifts Over-the-Counter Bourse by 0.05%

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Cititrust

By Adedapo Adesanya

CitiTrust Holdings Plc played the central role in lifting the National Association of Securities Dealer (NASD) Over-the-Counter (OTC) Securities Exchange by 0.05 per cent on Thursday, August 11.

This raised the NASD market capitalisation by N550 million yesterday to N1.007 trillion from the previous day’s N1.006 trillion as the NASD Unlisted Securities Index (NSI) went up by 0.41 points to wrap the session at 765.28 points compared with 764.87 points of the previous session.

On Thursday, the stock price of CitiTrust Holdings Plc rose by 55 Kobo to N11.90 per share from the N11.35 per share it was sold in the Wednesday session.

A look at the trading activity indicated that there was an 86.5 per cent increase in the volume of securities traded at the bourse yesterday to 111,021 units from the previous trading day’s 59,538 units.

However, the value of shares transacted by market participants went down by 41.7 per cent to N2.7 million from N4.6 million just as the number of trades reduced by 43.8 per cent to nine deals from the 16 deals executed a day earlier.

AG Mortgage Bank Plc remained the most traded stock by volume on a year-to-date basis with the sale of 2.3 billion units worth N1.2 billion, (Central Securities Clearing System) CSCS Plc stood in second place with the sale of 686.5 million units worth N14.2 billion, while Food Concepts Plc was in third place with the sale of 147.8 million units valued at N128.4 million.

Also, CSCS Plc was the most traded stock by value on a year-to-date basis with a turnover of 686.5 million units valued at N14.2 billion, VFD Group Plc was in second place with the sale of 11.1 million units worth N3.3 billion, while FrieslandCampina WAMCO Nigeria Plc in third place has transacted 13.9 million units valued at N1.7 billion.

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