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Guaranty Trust Bank Ltd (GTBank), the banking subsidiary of Guaranty Trust Holding Company Plc (GTCO Plc or the Group), emerged winner in four major categories at the 12th annual Brand Africa 100: Africa’s Best Brands 2022 rankings of the Top 100 Most Admired Brands in Africa. The award is an initiative by Brand Africa aimed at driving Africa’s competitiveness and creating a positive image through strong brands with GeoPoll, the world’s leading mobile surveying platform, and Kantar, a well-respected consumer insights and data analytics company, as key technical partners.

 

In the presentation ceremony held at the Eko Hotels and Suites, Lagos, on Wednesday, May 25, 2022, GTBank retained the number #1 spot as Most Admired Financial Services Brand in Africa, Most Admired Financial Services Brand in West Africa, and Most Admired Financial Services Brand in Nigeria for the second year in a row. GTBank also ranked as the Most Admired Nigerian Financial Services brand in recognition of its excellent positioning, strength, and reach beyond Africa.

In an inaugural feature of the awards ceremony, Mr Segun Agbaje, the Group CEO of GTCO Plc, was conferred with the Africa Brand Leadership Excellence award for his pivotal role in inspiring brand-led excellence that drives the growth of ‘Made in Africa’ brands and businesses and his long-standing contributions to the financial services industry. Mr Agbaje led GTBank through a decade of unparalleled growth and now oversees the Holding Company. The Group recently concluded the acquisition of key businesses in fund management and pension operating as Guaranty Trust Fund Managers Ltd and Guaranty Trust Pension Managers Ltd.

 

Commenting on the awards, Mr Segun Agbaje, said: “As a leading financial services company, we are always looking for new ways to meet every customer need and to do more to help our customers and communities thrive by creating faster, cheaper, safer and products for people and businesses through every stage of life. The awards are testament to our boundless innovative capacity and the power of the Guaranty Trust brand to touch and enrich lives as a Proudly African and Truly International institution.’’

 

He further stated that, “As we grow and expand as a Group, we remain committed to our founding values which have endeared our brand to millions of people across Africa and beyond, and which continue to drive our financial success. We will leverage the synergies within our holding company to drive Africa’s growth and achieve our vision of making end-to-end financial services easily accessible to every African.”

 

GTCO Plc is a diversified financial services company with over N5.1trillion in assets, providing a wide range of banking as well as non-banking financial services in Nigeria, West Africa, East Africa, and the United Kingdom. The Group’s consistent year on year growth in customer base and delivery of superior value to all stakeholders is underpinned by its strong service culture, world-class corporate governance standards.

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Oriental Energy in 4m Dollar Debt Mess

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The Federal high court sitting in Lagos, south west Nigeria has adjourned till 28 of September,2022, when hearing will commence in a case of debt recovery of USD4,143,856.70 filed against Oriental Energy Resources Company by Borr International Operation drilling company,being an alleged outstanding approved and unpaid invoices for the drilling services rendered in accordance with Contract for the provision of Jack-Up Drilling Unit and Drilling Rig Services rendered in the Defendant’s Ebok Field in OML 67.

 

 

The drilling company in a suit filed by its lawyer, Barrister,Gabriel Uduafi is also praying the court for interest on US$ 4,143,856.70 million based on the current London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR), one month interest rate increased by 5 percent and calculated pro data on a daily basis from 6th October, 2021, till the date of liquidation of the judgement debt.

 

In its statement of claim, the Plaintiff stated that by the relevant provisions of the contract, the Drilling Operations, which the Plaintiff was engaged to carry out was required to be done within the Firm Term of 120 days.

 

It stated that going by the relevant provisions of the Contract, there was no fixed-or set target that the Plaintiff was obligated to achieve, as the Contract was not a turnkey but a day rate’ contract; and to this effect, Clauses and Schedule of the Contract explicitly set out the various rates to include Operating Rate, Standby Rate, Repair Rate, . Force Majeure Rate, Redrill Rate, Moving Rate and Zero Kate.

 

The plaintiff stated that the Lump Sum payments under the contract are the Mobilization cost of $450,000 and the

Demobilization cost of $250,000, a sum Which become due and payable upon the completion of the contract.

 

However,following the default in making payment as stipulated under the Contract, the plaintiff wrote to the Defendant both by mail and letters, demanding for the payment of the outstanding and approved invoices and that the Defendant wrote replies raising issues and points that are completely alien to the Contract as its reason for not making the payment.

 

The Plaintiff contended that in setting up a completely ridiculous claim, the Defendant claimed spread cost for nonproductive time (NPT) in the total sum of US$3,437,500.00 where there is no provision in the Contract to support such claim.

 

The Plaintiff added that following series of engagement , it was compelled to instruct its lawyers to issue a demand for the payment of the invoices, and by a letter dated 19th January, 2022 the Plaintiffs Solicitors delivered a formal demand for the payment of some of the outstanding invoices in the sum of US$2,533,749.12 net of taxes.

 

Rather than simply honour its payment obligation under the Contract and credit the Plaintiff with the value of the invoices, the Defendant caused its Solicitors to reply the Plaintiff’s formal demand by the letter dated 26th January, 2022 by which the Defendant now seeks to claim the sum of $10,511,754.00 as spread cost for non-productive time (NPT) and consequential loss, as against the sum of US$3,437,500.00 initially set up by the Defendant in its earlier engagement with the Plaintiff.

 

The plaintiff added that in accordance with the provisions of the Contract, the same came to completion on 10th October, 2021 when the Plaintiff’s Drilling Unit left the Defendant’s Ebok Field OML 67.

 

Plaintiff avers that by the Completion Date, the lump sum Demobilization Rate of US$250,000 became due and payable.

The reasons given by the Defendant in refusing to honour its payment obligation under the Contract are flimsy, frivolous, vexatious and ultra vires, the provisions of the Contract between the Parties, and having approved the invoices, the defendant is obligated to make the payment within the stipulated 30 days under the Contract.

Consequently,excuses given by the Defendant in failing to honour its contractual obligations to the Plaintiff are simply provocative, as same are not supported or derived from the Contract.

The Plaintiff is being denied of the payment due to it in respect of the services rendered to the Defendant

as a result of which the Defendant is indebted to the Plaintiff to the tune of US$4,143,856.70 as stipulated under Clause 11.2 of the Contract.

It will be in the interest of justice to grant all the reliefs claimed in this suit adding that except the Court intervenes and grant the reliefs sought, the Defendant will continue to default in the payment of the invoices which have been duly approved for payment by the Plaintiff.

In its defence, Oriental Energy Resources Limited stated that the company is not indebted to the Plaintiff in the manner alleged in it’s claim or in any manner whatsoever as the invoices upon which the alleged debt purportedly arose are disputed by the defendant.

 

The Defendant stated that the Plaintiff misled it into agreeing to the mobilisation of the drilling rig to commence the contract, by fraudulently misrepresenting to the Defendant that its drilling rig, Borr Natt, was suitable for the Defendant’s Drilling Programme.

 

In an affidavit deposed to by Abraham Faga, a Well Engineering Manager in the Defendant company, he stated that the Defendant is not indebted to the Plaintiff in the way and manner alleged in its claim or in any way and manner whatsoever as the Defendant is disputing the invoices upon which the purported debt arose.

 

He averred that without the Plaintiff’s fraudulent misrepresentations, the Defendant would never have commenced the contract and approved mobilisation of the drilling unit, hence the issue of Plaintiff’s invoices which were issued within the contract would never have arisen.

 

He added that the Defendant would, be claiming for a refund of all payments it has so far made to the Plaintiff as the payments were fraudulently obtained.

 

He claimed that due to the Plaintiff’s fraudulent misrepresentation, the purported execution of the contract was completely appalling with non-productive time of over 25 days attributed to rig related repairs which is unprecedented in the industry for drilling operations.

 

He stated that the Plaintiff hastily commenced this suit under undefended list to mislead the court into believing that the Defendant has no defence to its claims.

 

The deponent further stated that Justice will be better served if the Defendant is allowed to defend the suit.

 

He urged the court to transfer the suit to Ordinary Cause List for a complete and holistic determination of all issues in controversy.

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WHO IS AFRAID OF “MONIMICHELLE”

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They are blackmailers! They are blackmailers!! These are the words of some close friends of Mr. Ebi Egbe alias Moni Love, who is the Chief Executive Officer of Monimichelle Sports Facility Construction Ltd.

 

Currently, the sports giant is handling some high profile jobs across, the globe for reputable clients who are enticed by the quality of service(s) provided by the firm.

 

The CEO of Monimichelle is an Ijaw son who is an indigene of Ogboinbiri in the Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa state.

Miffed by the near lack of development in the acclaimed “Jerusalem of Ijaw of Ijaw Nation”, Mr. Ebi Egbe abandoned his cosy office and accommodation at the eye-brow area of Ikoyi in Lagos to settle down in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa state capital.

Why? Egbe said emphatically “I want to develop our place, because Yenagoa is our city”, adding that “I also want to give back to my state”.

 

This is the kind of passion, the Ajegunle born sports facility construction expert has for his native Ijaw Land, but of late some “elements” are bent on rubbishing his enviable reputation for a “plate porridge”.

Monimichelle Sports Facility Construction Limited is handling the Sampson Siasia football turf currently, and the job done so far has no doubt attracted commendation from across the globe.

 

In an event recently, the Bayelsa state Governor, Hon. Seriake Dickson poured encomium, thus “We are proud of the quality of job done by Monimichelle because it is a world class pitch, am particularly happy because Monimichelle is an indigenous contractor who has made the Izon nation proud”.

 

It is worthy of note that the chairman of the Nigerian National League Mr. Chidi Okenwa during his facility tour of the pitch, commended Monimichelle for the “delivery” of the pitch.

 

According to him “I am happy to be here to see for myself because this is the best pitch in the country that the NNL teams can play in the session.

 

The NNL has approved a provisional permit for all Bayelsa based teams to play their home games at the Sampson Siasia turf, a development football fans are happy about.

This weekend the darling team of the state, Bayelsa United FC will be playing the first NNL game at the turf.

 

While plaudits are being poured on this worthy indigenous company some persons are busy putting spanners to work to drag the enviable name of the company and Mr. Ebi Egbe to the mud for their parochial and selfish reasons.

 

A close associate of Mr. Egbe, Mr. Ebizimor Numa who spoke to our correspondent on the development noted with dismay that “this pull-him-down” inclinations of some “disgruntled” elements cannot stand the test of time.

 

Numa added that “We know their antics; they cannot pull-down or destroy the enviable reputation of Monimichelle because the company has record unbeatable in Africa and the world over.

 

Speaking further he emphasized that “Monimichelle is not a politician who takes and not give back to the people, he is a business man who has given to his people and needs commendation and not condemnation as the blackmailers want people to believe.

 

Recently, a “fake” story was syndicated on some national dailies and online media platforms by some mischief makers with the intention to “hang the dog” by giving it a bad name.

 

The purported reports was said to have quoted respected Confederation of Africa Football (CAF) member, Dr. Peter Singabele as saying that the Sampson Siasia pitch was disapproved because it has some defects.

 

But Dr. Singabele has since come out to debunk the reports by saying he was quoted out of context , stressing that the said reports were skewed.

 

Now! The million dollar question is; who is afraid of Moni Love? A son of the soil who unlike other wealthy Bayelsans decided to give back over N150m sports facilities to the state for free.

 

According to Ebi Egbe who remained undaunted said “some wicked people are trying to pull me down but I believe Jesus will not allow them. I built my reputation over the years and am known all over the world”.

 

He admonished his Ijaw brothers and sisters to “stop this useless pull him down syndrome it will not help us as a people”, stressing further that “I have been in the sports management business for twenty-seven years now, and in sports construction for twelve years. With these records I am not a push -over in sports business”.

 

Mr. Ebi Egbe is a certified FIFA agent and one of the few FIFA licensed agents in Africa. Those “fighting” him are charlatans and busy body politicians who are jealous of his track records. They should know that one who points accusing finger at someone, the rest fingers are pointing at one. “Moni Love” deserves commendation.

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