By Aduragbemi Omiyale
The management of Flutterwave has refuted claims that it was involved in financial improprieties in the East African nation, Kenya.
On Thursday, it was reported that the Nigerian financial technology (fintech) company has had its bank accounts in the country frozen by a directive of a court.
It was reported that the firm and six others were prevented from accessing about Sh6 billion (Kenya Shillings) in 56 bank accounts after the Asset Recovery Agency (ARA) informed the court that the accounts were used as conduits for money laundering in the guise of providing merchant services.
According to the agency, the accounts are in US Dollar, British Pound Sterling, Euro and Kenya shillings, with Flutterwave allegedly operating 29 bank accounts with Guaranty Trust Bank, 17 with Equity Bank and 6 with Ecobank.
But in a statement, the Nigerian company described the report as “entirely false,” noting that it has always maintained the highest regulatory standards in its operations.
“Our Anti-money laundering (AML) practices and operations are regularly audited by one of the Big four firms. We remain proactive in our engagements with regulatory bodies to continue to stay compliant,” a part of the statement stated.
Flutterwave explained that, “Through our financial institution partners, we collect and pay on behalf of merchants and corporate entities. In the process, we earn our fees through a transaction charge, records of which are available and can be verified.
“As a business, we hold corporate funds to support our operations and provide services to all our customers.
“By facilitating payments for the biggest organizations in the world and everyday businesses, we process significantly large volumes of money and contribute to growing the economy in Kenya, and the rest of Africa.”
“Flutterwave has a responsibility to ensure the integrity of the ecosystem, and we pledge our commitment to continue working with all stakeholders to uphold this,” it added.
Flutterwave, while concluding, disclosed that it was “working to ascertain the motive behind the false claims and have the records straightened.”
NGX All-Share Index Outperforms Inflation Over Three Years
The 3-year trailing performance of the All-Share Index (ASI) of the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited surpasses the average inflation during the same period.
The annual inflation measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) released in September by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) was 20.52 per cent in August 2022.
Meanwhile, the NGX ASI, a market capitalisation weighted index of all companies listed on the NGX’s platform, had a year-to-date performance of 15.68 per cent during the same period. This could be misleading about the market performance until you view it through a longer-term lens.
British Economist, Benjamin Graham, made a quote popularly used by Warren Buffett, the Fund Manager of Berkshire Hathaway Inc and widely regarded as the best living investor: “Markets are a voting machine in the short term, and a weighing machine in the long run.” On a 3-year trailing basis, the NGX ASI has outperformed the CPI average in the same period, ensuring that investors with a longer-term hold on their investments remain in the positive region.
Analysis of data of closing prices gathered from the NGX’s website showed that the index has a 3-year moving average of 22.97 per cent, compared to an inflation average of 15.72 per cent.
The year 2022 has been a slow year for global stocks due to volatility resulting from the hiking of interest rates by central banks in the United States and Europe amidst inflationary pressures.
The NGX ASI’s 15.62% YTD return is a significant positive performance compared to the US S&P 500, which has plunged by 22.46% or the FTSE 100, which has declined by 7.68%, according to Google Finance. The local bourse has exhibited resilience and insulated investors from negative return on investment over three years.
Laolu Martins Was Minority Shareholder of Bukka Hut—Management
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
The management of an online restaurant in Nigeria, Bukka Hut, has clarified that one of its late directors, Mr Laolu Martins, was a minority shareholder in the company.
On Wednesday, it was reported that the deceased breathed his last in Lagos. He was said to have co-founded the firm with Mr Rasheed Jaiyeola, who is the Chief Executive Officer.
The deceased was reportedly invited to join the firm by Mr Jaiyeola, who jointly owns majority shares of the company with his wife and sister.
Mr Jaiyeola and Mr Martins were co-owners of the Nigerian International Securities Limited (NISL) before the former resigned from his position as director to focus on Bukka Hut in 2016.
According to the statement from the organisation, Mr Jaiyeola established Bukka Hut but only invited the deceased and two others to invest in the eatery when it was established.
“To clarify, Rasheed Jaiyeola is the founder/CEO of Bukka Hut, a proudly Nigerian brand he built from inception in August 2011 from one outlet to 24 outlets comprising of restaurants, lounges and suya and grill spots, and a learning facility, BH Academy, as at today. He jointly owns the majority shares of the company with his wife and sister.
“Bukka Hut is not a one-man business as there are two other shareholders/directors, but they are not involved in the daily management of the business.
“Rasheed and the late Olaolu Martins were co-owners of Nigerian International Securities Lid (NISL), and naturally, Laolu was one of the three people he invited to invest in Bukka Hut when he founded it in 2011; Rasheed resigned from NISL as a director in 2016 to focus solely on building Bukka Hut while Olaolu remained the MD/CEO of NISL and its related businesses,” the statement explained.
Mr Martins was reported to have died from suicide, but fresh information revealed that he slumped at Lenox Mall after a cardiac arrest and was taken to a hospital in Lekki, where he passed on.
Usman Laments Nigeria, Saudi Arabia Trade Volume of $5m
By Aduragbemi Omiyale
The president of the newly-establishment Nigeria-Saudi Arabia Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture, Mr Ibrahim Usman, has lamented the low trade volume between both countries despite their historical relationship.
Mr Usman expressed this frustration when he visited the Minister of Information and Culture, Mr Lai Mohammed, at his office in Abuja.
He said at the moment, the trade volume between Nigeria and Saudi Arabia is about $5 million, promising to deepen the relations between the two countries.
“And whereas many Saudi investors are looking out for profitable investment windows in friendly countries like Nigeria, our businesses have been unable to capitalise on such opportunities due to lack of an organised, reliable, safe and very secure private sector platform like a chamber of commerce,” he said.
Mr Usman said a 60-member inter-ministerial delegation from Saudi Arabia will be in Nigeria next week for the second session of the Nigeria-Saudi Arabia Joint Commission, which will further create opportunities for the chamber to set up trade missions.
On his part, Mr Mohammed praised his guest for his effort to establish the organisation after over 10 years of trial, saying he has proven himself as a man of vision and deep conviction.
“Clearly from your presentation, it’s clear that the major objective is to change the narrative and ensure that the relations between Saudi Arabia and Nigeria should not be seen just from the narrow prism of Hajj and Umrah pilgrimage, but from the prism of two very important nations of the world creating a bridge through better cooperation for the two countries and their citizens,” the Minister said.
Mr Mohammed described the chamber as a clearing house for proposals from business people from the two countries in order to open new vistas for trade opportunities.
He said the absence of such a chamber has led to the decline in the volume of trade and also bred trust deficit between business people from the two countries.
“The absence of this vehicle has led to loss of businesses between the two countries and it has also aggravated the trust deficit between them,” he said.
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