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Fidelity Bank Plc, a leading Nigerian bank, has reaffirmed its commitment to actively support the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) efforts to achieve its goal of $200 billion in Foreign Exchange (FX) repatriation from non-oil exports over the next five years.

The Executive Director, Northern Businesses, Fidelity Bank Plc, Hassan Imam made this known on Monday in Kano at a workshop for exporters and investors on the implementation and opportunities in the new CBN RT200 FX Policy.

Imam stated that the financial institution would not relent in its efforts to bridge the knowledge gap in the non-oil sector space by facilitating the necessary processes and documentation for the new policy, with the goal of increasing FX repatriation through exportation.

The CBN had unveiled the RT200 FX Programme on February 10, 2022, as part of measures to reduce the increasing demand for foreign currency by importers, which frequently puts excessive pressure on the exchange rate.

Fidelity Bank

L–R: Gidado Abu Gidado, representative of Nigerian Export-Import (NEXIM) Bank; Yakubu Gambo, Head, Product and Market Development North-West Region, Nigeria Export Promotion Council (NEPC) – Kano Regional Office; Mannir Ringim, Regional Bank Head, North West 1, Fidelity Bank Plc; Isaiah Ndukwe, Divisional Head, Export and Agriculture, Fidelity Bank Plc; Dr Bamidele Ayemibo, Managing Director, 3T Impex Trade Academy (Consultant) and Zainab Potiskum, staff of NEXIM Bank at the Fidelity Bank Sensitization Programme on the CBN RT200 FX Programme in Kano on Monday, February 21, 2022.

With the implementation of this policy, the CBN has stated that the supply of foreign currency to commercial banks will cease by the end of 2022, while investors will be able to generate forex through the RT200 FX Program template provided to strengthen commodity exports.

The Regional Bank Head, North West 1, Fidelity Bank Plc, Mannir Ringim re-emphasised the bank’s readiness to support government’s economic imperatives to boost revenue in non-oil sector of the economy.

“As you know Nigeria is currently an import-dependent economy with so much pressure on our currency and the source of revenue as a nation is petrol dollar. So, the initiative of the CBN is to leverage on our non-oil products especially in agriculture like hibiscus flower, cashew nut sesame and many other products for exports.

“Now, Fidelity Bank wants to remain the exporters’ bank of choice not only by providing finance but by helping exporters in bridging the knowledge gap in exporting their commodities. We are committed to this initiative to improve our economy, reduce pressure on local currency and provide an enabling environment to grow the non-oil sector to also create massive job opportunities”, Ringim explained.

Speaking on the need for strategic planning in the non-oil sector, Head of Export and Agric Businesses at Fidelity Bank, Isaiah Ndukwe said the bank is well positioned to advance the CBN policy thrust to reduce our over-dependence on oil revenue in the country.

He stated that the bank is committed to improving the banking system’s competitiveness while focusing on developing exporters’ capability in the fundamentals of local commodity exportation. Isaiah emphasized that the new policy will not only reshape exporters’ mindsets, but will also infuse value addition on their commodities, allowing them to earn more forex.

According to him, the workshop tagged, Harnessing Export Business Opportunities, CBN RT200 FX Programme: current issues, non-oil exports and implications to business; drew inspiration on the policy’s guidelines.

The guidelines involve the provision of a single digit credit facility to exporters, provision of rebates on foreign currency, funding of commodity production and value-addition processes, building terminals and the convening of a biannual summit for the review of the implementation of the policy.

Exporters at the sensitization event expressed satisfaction on the capacity-building initiative as it enabled them to get acquainted with the CBN policy and opportunities in export business.

Fidelity Bank is a full-fledged commercial bank operating in Nigeria with over 6million customers who are serviced across its 250 business offices and digital banking channels.

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BUA Group Threatens To Sue GREENVILLE LNG Gas Company – For Breach Of Multimillion Dollar Contract

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Two years after it was slammed with a $9m claim for breaching contract by a US Court, Greenville LNG company is on the brink of another lawsuit in its supply dealings with Nigerian-based manufacturing giant, BUA Group.

 

Owned by Eddy Van Den Broeke , a Belgian cement magnate, *Greenville* is the pioneer Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) production and distribution company in Nigeria with three liquefaction trains and a total capacity to produce 2250 MT of LNG per day.

 

The company, which was incorporated in 2013, prides itself for producing and marketing Liquefied Natural Gas to customers across Nigeria since April 2019.

 

It should be noted that the company is a Nigerian subsidiary of the International Engineering & Construction (IEC), a Luxembourg-based construction company.

 

However, in 2018, there were reports of how *Broeke* was struggling to get his LNG project off the ground in Nigeria and also facing a $9m claim from his subcontractor Baker Hughes.

 

How it started

 

In 2014, IEC through Greenville LNG entered into an agreement with Baker Hughes Energy Services LLC, formerly known as GE Oil & Gas (GEOG), for the purchase and installation of two small-scale liquified natural gas plants in Rumuji, Rivers State, Nigeria.

 

According to the documents obtained by POLITICS NIGERIA, GEOG agreed to supply IEC with two small-scale liquified natural gas production plants — the first by June 24, 2015, and the second by September 24, 2015— for use at the Rumuji Site.

 

In exchange, IEC agreed to pay GEOG $95 million. Both parties also agreed on a payment schedule, which would require IEC to pay various percentages of the $95 million at specific milestones.

 

It was stated that the agreement would be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the state of New York.

 

Unfortunately, GEOG failed to deliver the gas plants by their contractual delivery deadlines and this stalled installation, commissioning, and start-up of the Plants.

 

Arbitration

 

On July 31, 2018, IEC filed a Notice of Demand for and Commencement of Arbitration under the Contracts on behalf of itself and Greenville.

 

IEC initially sought approximately $75 million in damages but its demand increased to $700 million by the end of the arbitration.

 

The $700m claims included the liquidated damages for delayed delivery and damages associated with the delayed entry into operation of the gas plants.

 

But GEOG also filed counterclaims against IEC for breach of the contracts, asking for damages up to $40.1 million.

 

In 2020, the American Tribunal gave its verdict, ordering IEC and Greenville to pay GEOG over $9.5m for breaching contracts.

 

The Tribunal held that IEC had breached the Equipment Contract by failing to make two Milestone payments.

 

Dissatisfied with the judgement, On January 27, 2021, IEC filed a petition to vacate the Award in New York state court but the court rejected IEC’s arguments.

 

“In short, due to the strong deference owed to the decisions of arbitrators, the Court is compelled to reject IEC’s arguments and confirm the Award,” the court ruled.

 

*Poor Ethics/Underhand Business Practices*

 

It is believed that the posture of the company and record of breaching contract is owing to its owner’s secretive and shady business activities. Prior to setting up Greenville, Eddy Van Den Broeke ran ASCA bitumen from 1996 and grew the company into becoming a giant monopoly with over 90% of the Nigerian market by 2015.

 

Through this position, he was famed to hold everyone to ransom through alleged arbitrary price increases, artificial scarcity, amongst others. Eddy Broeke’s families were one of six of Belgium’s wealthiest families that featured on the Panama Papers, a cross-border investigation that revealed a list of thousands of people who channelled funds to tax havens.

 

“The family of *Eddy* *Van* *Den* *Broeke* , who turned the Eres company into an international player, is also mentioned. Eddy Van Den Broeke is identified as the sole beneficiary of at least five offshore companies in the BVI,” the ICIJ report read.

 

Eddy was named in the Panama Papers having had an extensive network of shell companies to hide his funds and avoid government oversight.

 

*Another multi-million dollar breach of contract suit looming*

 

Our investigations also revealed that recently, BUA, which is one of Greenville’s largest clients, is set to sue Greenville for 50 billion Naira for a possible breach in contract and reneging on its obligation to supply gas to its businesses in the far north.

 

According to sources, this dispute is as a result of Greenville LNG reneging on their contract with BUA to supply gas and also increasing prices arbitrarily despite the contractually agreed oil-indexed pricing for any changes in price.

 

Industry watchers1 have claimed that Greenville is trying to take advantage of its near monopoly in the domestic trucked LNG market hence their habit of entering into contracts and reneging on it after starting.

 

With Eddy and his companies’ history of reneging on contracts entered into with the Federal Government, partners, suppliers, communities and clients, it is unlikely that Greenville LNG or its billionaire owner *Eddy* and Managing Director , *Ritu* *Sahajwalla* would stop such behaviour anytime soon.

 

Experts familiar with BUA’s history of ensuring its rights are enforced, believe BUA will pursue this issue to a logical conclusion at the courts and till their rights are enforced.

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Yemisi Imasi, CEO of Yellowpoint Group Declared Wanted by Nigeria Police For Fraud

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The Nigeria Police Force has declared Victoria Yemisi Imasi, CEO of Yellowpoint Group wanted.

 

The warrant of arrest was issued by the Magistrate/High Court of Lagos, according to the special police Gazette .

 

The publication shows that the 46-year-old is wanted for fraud, obtaining money under false pretense, and stealing in Lagos by the assistant inspector general of the police Criminal Investigation Department, (FCID) Alagbon, Ikoyi – Lagos.

 

*Sketchy* *operations* : The development followed a petition by Chive GPS, a dispute resolution company that provides debt recovery solutions on issues bothering on obtaining money by false pretense and fraud against Imasi.

 

The debt recovery company had laid a criminal complaint, dated 16th July 2021, of a well-orchestrated theft by Imasi following an advert by her company, Yellow Point Media Enterprise, and Yellow Point FT International Ltd on social media channels.

 

One of the affected victims suffered a N47.73 million loss after transferring the money to different accounts operated by Imasi’s company with the intention of investing genuinely in the various investment packages in exchange for a fixed return.

 

Amount owed to subscribers: While the exact amount owed to all subscribers is unknown yet, reports indicate that the amount owed may sum up to billions of Naira.

 

On a platform, victims claim that over N10 billion was deceitfully and fraudulently collected from over 6000 Nigerians with the intention of trading forex.

 

The petition signed by 689 users as of press time accuses Yemisi of diverting the money to fund her lavish lifestyle and buying properties.

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