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Investments and Securities Tribunal Delivers 1st Judgment in Enugu

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The Investments and Securities Tribunal (IST) sitting in Enugu has delivered its first judgment after the newly re-constituted 10-man tribunal started sitting in the state from November 6, last year.

The tribunal delivered judgment in suit involving one Dr Okam Kalu Ugwu as claimant, and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and four others as defendants.

Delivering the judgment, the Presiding Chairman of the IST Tribunal, Mr Nosa Osemwengie said that all the sales of shares of Ugwu by the second, third and fourth defendants were irregular transactions and declared the transactions null and void.

Osemwengie, however, exonerated SEC since it only played a regulatory role, while it criticised the fifth defendant for unprofessional conduct.

“In conclusion, the second, third and fourth defendants should return and restore the shares of the claimant and ensure he is enlisted as the shareholder in Union Bank, Nigeria Breweries and other shares in contention within 30 days of this judgment.

“He should be allowed to engage the services of any stock broker within the country.

“The second, third and fourth defendants must pay damages of N5 million as compensation for the unlawful and unwarranted verification, de-materialisation, transfer and sales of the claimant shares within 30 days of this judgment, while the fifth defendant will pay a fine of N100,000 to the Federal Government for professional misconduct within 30 days of this judgment,” he said.

Reacting, Emma Okoroji, counsel to the claimant, said: “My Lord, we are grateful for the judgment and the pain it took the panel to do justice to the matter in record time of 90 days.”

Okoroji, however, said he would apply for a true copy of the judgment delivered as soon as possible.

The counsel to SEC, Mrs Stella Okolo commended the industry and diligence of the tribunal for the fast adjudication of the case.

Counsel to the fifth defendant, Mr A.K. Abdul-azizi, said: “We thank the tribunal for this well-articulated judge even as we are applying to get a copy of the judgment to understudy it.”

Other members of the panel were: Dr Ahmed Abubakar, Mr Albert Otesile and Mr Kasumi Kurfi.

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Energy

Is Nigeria missing out on higher oil prices?

Written by Lukman Otunuga, Senior Research Analyst at FXTM

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Oil benchmark

Brent crude has gained roughly 57% since the start of 2022.

The global commodity remains supported by ongoing geopolitical risks and rising demand. As oil producers enjoy the rich bounties from surging commodity prices, some countries have failed to make the most of such an opportunity.

Nigeria’s sub-optimal oil production, poor infrastructure, and fuel subsidies have sapped the benefits from surging oil prices.

For other countries, the rally in oil prices means more foreign exchange reserves, higher revenues, and potential economic growth. In Nigeria’s case, this blessing could turn into a curse.

It is widely known that oil sales make a massive chunk of Nigeria’s export earnings and government revenues. Despite being Africa’s largest crude producer, the country exports the global commodity but imports all by-products amid the weak infrastructure.

So as oil prices rally, this could support earnings but also take a chunk out of foreign exchange earnings. It does not end here.

Anything that is left is devoured by petrol subsidies which are expected to cost the government almost $10 billion this year.

As FX reserves are drained this continues to worsen Nigeria’s problem of dollar shortages which has dragged the Naira lower. In January of 2022, the government postponed the planned petrol subsidy removal till further notice, citing “high inflation and economic hardship”.

Even if the government was to remove the subsidies in the future, the burning question is whether Nigeria has the ability to weather the storm such a move could create.

Focusing back on oil, the global commodity remains supported by supply concerns and prospects of higher demand after China relaxed lockdowns. Although various fundamental forces are pulling and tugging at oil, the path of least resistance remains north.

Oil benchmarks are trading near multi-year highs and have the potential to push higher in the near term. This could mean more for pain for Nigeria despite other oil producers cashing in and enjoying the commodities boom.

For more information, please visit: FXTM

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Energy

Lekoil Nigeria Asks Court to Punish Savannah Energy for Contempt

Wole Olanipekun (SAN), appeared for Lekoil Nigeria Limited in the application filed by the company against Savannah Energy Plc

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Lekoil Nigeria

Lekoil Nigeria Limited has asked the court to punish Savannah Energy for contempt of court for proceeding with the Extraordinary General Meeting held on Thursday, April 7, 2022 despite an injunction issued by the court, and for encouraging the general public to discountenance the ‘BOUGHT’ court injunction.

Wole Olanipekun (SAN), appeared for Lekoil Nigeria Limited in the application filed by the company against Savannah Energy Plc, a subsidiary of Savannah Energy Plc at the Federal High Court of Nigeria in Lagos, on June 1, 2022.

Lekoil Cayman Limited, the second defendant in the suit that was filed to halt the EGM challenged the jurisdiction of the court to issue an order on a company without a physical presence or business in Nigeria.

The presiding judge, Justice Y. Bogoro, adjourned the hearing of the application by the plaintiff, Lekoil Nigeria, to June 20, 2022 and upon closure of the suit, the application challenging the court’s jurisdiction by Lekoil Cayman Limited will be entertained.

You may recall that, Lekoil Nigeria Limited, joined by a number of third parties including Lekoil Oil & Gas Investments Limited, Mayfair Assets & Trust Limited, Lekoil 276 Limited, and Lekoil Exploration & Production Nigeria Limited, was granted an injunction by the Federal High Court of Nigeria against Lekoil Limited and Savannah Energy Investments Limited restraining them from taking any steps in furtherance of the transfer of any interests in oil and gas assets of Lekoil Nigeria Limited and the transfer or creation of any interest in Lekoil Nigeria Limited, that will alter the ownership, equity or share capital structure of Lekoil Nigeria Limited.

Lekoil Nigeria had sought the injunction further to the announcement of February 28, 2022 by Lekoil Cayman Limited that it had entered into an agreement with Savannah Energy Investments Limited, a subsidiary of Savannah Energy PLC.

Prior to the injunction, Lekoil Cayman and Savannah Energy had scheduled an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) to hold on Thursday, April 7, 2022. Both companies proceeded with the EGM as scheduled,  acting in defiance of the court injunction.

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“We Have Improved Ease Of Doing Business” – President Buhari

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A statement released by the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to President Buhari, Femi Adesina, said the president said this during Iftar with members of the business community and the leadership of political parties in Abuja on Tuesday night, April 26.

The president said his administration had done “exceedingly well” in improving the business climate of Nigeria. The president asked the private sector to complement government’s effort in poverty reduction and job creation for young people. In 2020, Nigeria ranked 131 globally on the World Bank’s ease of doing business index. The country moved up by 15 places from its previous position — 146.

‘‘No administration has done as much as we have done in the creation of a climate best suited for business, big and small, to thrive. The business index that is globally recognized has acknowledged that the ease with which business is carried out in the country has never been better than it is today. We will continue to make it better.

We will equally continue to count on the support of the private sector to improve economic growth and create new job opportunities for our teeming population.

Employment is critical to stability and prosperity of our country. Government and the private sector, working together, have an opportunity to transform the lives of people in ways that was hard to imagine in the past.”the President said

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