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EU Pledges to Support Nigeria Recover Stolen Assets, Curb Illicit Financial Flows



EU Pledges to Support Nigeria Recover Stolen Assets, Curb Illicit Financial Flows

The European Union has pledged to support Nigeria in recovering its stolen assets in foreign countries, in addition to tackling corruption, curbing illicit financial flows, and enhancing credible elections in the country. 

Ms. Samuela Isopi, Head of the EU delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, disclosed this on Friday, in Abuja at the end of the 6th round of the  Nigeria-EU Human Rights dialogue. 

Isopi said that at the end of the dialogue, Nigeria and the representatives of the EU Countries also came up with resolutions on human rights, safe migration, humanitarian situation, and issues of mutual concern. 

She said that the EU was very much interested in strengthening cooperation and engagement with Nigeria on regional and international forums.

“We discussed democratic governance, in view of the upcoming general elections.

“We reaffirmed our commitments, as you know, the European Union has been engaged in supporting Nigeria democratic governance since the return to civilian rule in 1999, with election monitoring that has helped Nigeria improve its overall framework and electoral process. 

“We had discussions on corruption and the impact of corruption on our societies. We also touched upon ways in which we can cooperate.

“I had the opportunity to reiterate the fact that the European Union is strongly supporting the efforts taken by the Nigerian government to tackle corruption through several programmes,” she said. 

She pledged to continue to support the efforts that will be undertaken by the new administration.

“On the issue of asset recovery which is very important, and from our side, we reassured Nigerian partners of our engagement to see how we can better work together and we identified some of the pathways that we could explore for these to be done.

“On migration, we can say that the engagements we have with Nigeria is very positive and we are satisfied with the improvements and progress that we have been making together on many issues. 

“We concluded that we are both committed to a comprehensive migration partnership to tackle all the different dimensions of migration. 

“We affirmed our commitments to help address the current humanitarian crises and from our side, we underline the importance of humanitarian access and respect of international humanitarian law,” Isopi said.

Earlier, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, said that the Nigerian government would continue to work to ensure that all Nigerians are not denied their inalienable rights.

Onyeama who was represented by the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Zubairu Dada, said that the administration had made giant impacts, in the past decade to improve the election process and integrity. 

“Security agencies are also working to ensure that people will be able to carry out their civic responsibility without fear. They are ready to act swiftly to protect life and properties around the country during the election,” Onyeama said. 

Amb. Samson Itegboje, Director, International Organization Division (IOD) in the Ministry said that the Nigeria-EU dialogue is a platform for Nigeria and the European Union to constructively engage on issues of mutual concerns on human rights and related matters.

He said that also importantly discussed was how the European Union can support Nigeria to contain the illicit financial flow and help Nigeria recover its stolen assets abroad and the assets returned to Nigeria.

“During today’s meeting, Nigeria used the opportunity of the dialogue to inform that it was prepared for the 2023 General Elections, and the INEC and security agencies were ready for the elections. 

“Containment of illicit finical flow and asset recoveries were key to ensuring that needed financing to better the lives of the populace was possible.

“Nigeria requested that European Countries should simplify evidential requirements and other mutual legal assistance as appropriate in order to facilitate international cooperation for timely recovery and return of recovered assets.

“Nigeria expects that all migrants, regardless of the migration circle must be respected and protected across all stages, they must also be firm commitments to eliminating all forms of discrimination against migrants including racism, intolerance and xenophobia.

 “We had a lot of conversations on this and we are very pleased that the European Union is doing a lot in this direction to ensure that migrants enjoy the same rights. 

“Both parties agreed that it is important to cooperate with each other and share experiences and global best practices necessary for developing capacity to ensure that our people live in dignity no matter their circumstances,” Itegboje said.

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Super Eagles beat hosts Guinea Bissau, to reclaim Group ‘A’ leadership



Super Eagles beat hosts Guinea Bissau, to reclaim Group 'A' leadership

The Super Eagles on Monday in Bissau beat hosts Guinea Bissau 1-0 to reclaim leadership of Group A in the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifiers.

Moses Simon’s penalty kick after 29 minutes gave the Nigerian senior men’s football team the needed win to move to nine points after four matches.

They have now upstaged from the apex position Guinea Bissau who toppled them on Friday in Abuja with a 1-0 win.

Guinea Bissau is with seven points from four matches and in second place, ahead of Sierra Leone who has five points from four matches.

Nigeria is expected to now face the Leone Stars of Sierra Leone in a Match Day 5 fixture.

 Details later  

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Banking & Finance

NGX: Investors Lose N622bn, as NCR Nigeria, Unity Bank lead Losers’ chart



NGX: Investors Lose N622bn, as NCR Nigeria, Unity Bank lead Losers’ chart

The domestic stock market on Nigeria Exchange Ltd. (NGX) continued on a negative note as the market capitalisation on Monday dropped by N622 billion amid sustained profit-taking activities.

Accordingly, investors lost N622 billion in value as market capitalisation declined to  N29.281 trillion from N29.903 trillion recorded at the previous session.

The All-Share Index (ASI) fell by 1,141.76 points, representing a decline of 2.08 percent, to close at 53,750.77 points as against the 54,892.53 posted on Friday.

Consequently, the ASI’s year-to-date (YTD) return fell to 4.88 percent.

The downturn was impacted by losses recorded in large and medium capitalised stocks, amongst which are; Airtel Africa, Seplat Energy, MTN Nigeria Communications (MTNN), Nigerian Breweries and Lafarge Africa.

“We expect risk-on sentiments to be sustained in the equities markets even as the depressed interest rate environment will continue to favour the local bourse in line with our expectations for Q1, 2023.

“Taking positions in stocks with solid valuations and dividend yields ahead of the dividend-paying season remains the choice strategy.

“However, we see room for extended profit-taking activities,” Analysts at United Capital Plc said.

The market breadth was negative as 21 stocks lost relative to five gainers.

Courteville Business Solutions recorded the highest price gain of 6.67 percent to close at 48k per share.

NPF Microfinance Bank followed with a gain of 2.7 percent to close at N1.90 and AIICO Insurance up by 1.75 percent to close at 58k per share.

FBN Holdings (FBNH) rose by 0.92 percent to close at N11, while Zenith Bank gained 0. 2 percent to close at N25 per share.

Conversely, NCR Nigeria led the losers’ chart by 9.79 percent to close at N2.12, per share.

Unity Bank followed with a decline of 9.43 percent to close at 48k, while Prestige Assurance declined by 8.89 percent to close at 41k, per share.

SUNU Assurance declined 8.33 percent to close at 44k, while Multiverse Mining and Exploration and Airtel Africa shed 8.31 percent each to close at N2.98 and N1,420 respectively per share.

Also, the total volume traded decreased by 26.66 percent to 100.883 million units, valued at N4.342 billion and exchanged in 3,279 deals.

Transactions in the shares of Guaranty Trust Holding Company (GTCO) topped the activity chart with 12.836 million shares valued at N318.513 million.

Zenith Bank followed with 11.920 million shares worth N297.982 million, while United Bank for Africa (UBA) traded 10.038 million shares valued at N80.242 million.

MTNN traded 8.264 million shares valued at N1.927 billion, while FBNH transacted 7.719 million shares worth N84.577.

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MARITIME SAFETY: NIMASA, NCC Close Ranks On Submarine Cable Regulation In Nigeria



MARITIME SAFETY: NIMASA, NCC Close Ranks On Submarine Cable Regulation In Nigeria

…Jamoh reiterates  commitment to Ease of Doing Business 

The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, and the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) have agreed to work closely with relevant stakeholders as the Agency inches closer to developing a regulatory framework to provide operational guidelines for Submarine Cable and Pipeline Operators in Nigeria. 

Officials of both organs of Government in Lagos reached this agreement at a pre Audit meeting on submarine cable regulation.

The Director General of NIMASA Dr. Bashir Jamoh, OFR, who chaired the meeting, which also had the Director General of Bureau of Public Service Reforms (BPSR) Mr. Dasuki Arabi in attendance, noted that the Agency is committed to the Ease of doing Business while implementing International Conventions which Nigeria has ratified and domesticated. 

He noted that with Nigeria now a destination for global communication players, the time has come to prevent unregulated underwater cable laying, which might become hazardous to shipping.

According to him, “It is worthy to note that marine cable laying has been ongoing for over two decades in Nigerian waters. Our focus is to ensure safety of navigation of shipping in Nigerian waters with all these underwater cables being laid.

NIMASA is actually developing the guidelines to regulate submarine cable operators in line with the provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, UNCLOS; which we have ratified and NIMASA is the Agency of Government in Nigeria responsible for its implementation. We do not just implement laws; we consult. Where the responsibility of an Agency stops, that is where the responsibilities of another Agency start. Collaboration is a key component of ease of doing business in the best interest of the country and we will work closely with the NCC to achieve this”.

On his part, the Executive Vice Chairman of the NCC, Professor Umar Garba Danbatta who was represented by the Director, Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement, Efosa Idehen noted that the stakeholders’ dialogue strategy adopted by NIMASA in developing the guidelines would ensure a win-win situation urging NIMASA management to include the Ministry of Justice, a request NIMASA DG immediately granted.

Also speaking at the meeting was the Director General of the Bureau of Public Service Reforms Mr. Dasuki Arabi, who commended NIMASA and NCC for adopting effective Inter-Agency collaboration to avert a potential challenge for the country in the future.

NIMASA had notified submarine and cable operators in Nigeria of a soon-to-be-implemented regulatory guideline for submarine cables and pipelines in Nigeria, in line with the provisions of UNCLOS. NIMASA and the NCC agreed to identify and resolve areas of likely regulatory overlaps, ensuring a regulatory framework based on consultation to engender the attainment of Nigeria’s digital economy transformation.

Officials of the Federal Ministry of Environment and representatives of Submarine Cable operators in Nigeria were also at the meeting.

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