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WEMA Bank Swims in IGR Controversy as Forensic Auditor Petitions EFCC

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WEMA Bank
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By NGIJ team of Oluwasegun Abifarin and Olawale Abideen

Widely reputed as the longest surviving and most resilient indigenous bank in Nigeria, Wema Bank Plc, according to its corporate philosophy, “has over the years, diligently offered a fully-fledged range of value-adding banking and financial advisory services to the Nigerian public. adsbygoogle || []).push({}); adsbygoogle || []).push({}); ”

But recent development is threatening the bank’s ambition and reputation “to give every customer a delightful and memorable service experience.”

According to the document received by the Nigerian Guild of Investigative Journalists, NGIJ, Niger State governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani-Bello in a letter dated 23/07/2015 from the office of the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance, Malam Zakari Abubakar appointed Ori Adeyemo, a Lagos based forensic expert as consultants to investigate deductions of unremitted 10% Withholding Tax on Credit Interest by some banks operating in the state.

However, an instruction was passed by the then Finance Ministry Permanent Secretary to its supervised Niger State Board of Internal Revenue of Adeyemo’s full appointments to cover all the banks in Niger State.

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At the end of the forensic investigation, the total refundable by the Wema Bank stood at N192, 963 million out of the N4.6 billion due to the state by 12 banks and one Micro Finance institution.

In his petition to the EFCC, obtained by the NIGJ team. Adeyemo alleged he was reliably informed that the Board had given clean bill of health and letters of non-indebtedness to the said compromised concerned banks.

He added that by a letter dated 29/01/2019, Wema Bank Plc. also sent in a reply to the Board’s earlier N192, 963,839.30 Best-of-Judgement (BOJ) demand letter as initiated by us.

The consultant also alleged that the Board “went ahead to try and sell-out this assessment to persons unknown so far who relied on our reports in lowering the assessment to sum for reasons unknown after unbridled reports mutilation and suspected behind-the-scene negotiations all in a bid to deprive the Niger State Government of its hard-earned Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).”

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He added that the “total commissions and/or dues fraudulently lost thereto and/or withheld by the Niger State Board of Internal Revenue is N910,422,825.32, which “we hereby request that the EFCC use its wide-ranging investigative powers to help recover for us.”

The petitioner also included a compact disk (CD) detailing all completed jobs in intellectual properties as so far executed by the consultant for the Niger State Government enabling it to demand for an additional but unpaid N732,143,601.52 commission sum.

“Consequently, in the light of the mutual agreement that have with the Niger State Government, we are entitled to 15% of the established N1,131,931,579.67 liability assessment per completed assignments for N178,279,223.80 sum, which we hereby demand that EFCC should assist us to collect from the Niger State Board of Internal Revenue and its collaborators”, Adeyemo said.

Meanwhile, Wema Bank’s Corporate Communication Manager, Mrs. Funmi Falola, debunked the allegations, saying that from their investigation, there is no such liability on the neck of the bank anywhere.

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Abdulrahman Obaje
Abdulrahman Obaje
Prince Abdulrahman Obaje is a Media, Information and Computer Technology Consultant. A quintessential Journalist, online marketer, social media strategist, Mathematician and Computer Scientist is based in Abuja, Nigeria. He is the Founder and the Publisher of The Informavores!. You can reach me on +234 805 939 5252 or send i-witness report directly to me on news@informavores.com.ng.

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IMF Predicts Drop In Global Economic Growth In 2023-24

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International Monetary Fund, IMF
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The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has predicts that global economic growth is projected to fall from 3.5 per cent in 2022 to 3.0 per cent in both 2023 and 2024.

This is according to the IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook (WEO) Update Report for July 2023: “Near-Term Resilience, Persistent Challenges” released on Tuesday. adsbygoogle || []).push({}); adsbygoogle || []).push({});

The report said though the forecast for 2023 was modestly higher than predicted in the April 2023 WEO, it remained weak by historical standards.

“Compared with projections in the April 2023 WEO, growth has been upgraded by 0.2 percentage points for 2023, with no change for 2024.

“The forecast for 2023–24 remains well below the historical (2000–19) annual average of 3.8 per cent.

“It is also below the historical average across broad income groups, in overall Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as well as per capita GDP terms. ”

The report also said that advanced economies continued to drive the decline in growth from 2022 to 2023, with weaker manufacturing, as well as idiosyncratic factors, offsetting stronger services activity.

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“For advanced economies, the growth slowdown projected for 2023 remained significant, from 2.7 per cent in 2022 to 1.5 per cent in 2023.

“About 93 per cent of advanced economies are projected to have lower growth in 2023, and growth in 2024 among this group of economies is projected to remain at 1.4 per cent.”

While the report said in emerging markets and developing economies, the growth outlook was broadly stable for 2023 and 2024, although with notable shifts across regions.

“For emerging market and developing economies, growth is projected to be broadly stable at 4.0 per cent in 2023 and 4.1 per cent in 2024, with modest revisions of 0.1 percentage point for 2023 and –0.1 percentage point for 2024.”

The report showed growth in Sub-Saharan Africa is projected to decline to 3.5 per cent in 2023 before picking up to 4.1 per cent in 2024.

It revealed that economic growth in Nigeria in 2023 and 2024 is projected to gradually decline, in line with April WEO projections, reflecting security issues in the oil sector.

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The report showed that economic growth in Nigeria is projected at 3.2 per cent in 2023 and decline to 3.0 in 2024.

The report said Global headline inflation was expected to fall from 8.7 per cent in 2022 to 6.8 per cent in 2023 and 5.2 per cent in 2024.

“Underlying (core) inflation is projected to decline more gradually, and forecasts for inflation in 2024 have been revised upward. ”

It said inflation could remain high and even rise if further shocks occur, including those from an intensification of the war in Ukraine and extreme weather-related events, triggering more restrictive monetary policy.

The report said financial sector turbulence could resume as markets adjust to further policy tightening by central banks.

“China’s recovery could slow, in part as a result of unresolved real estate problems, with negative cross-border spillovers.

“Sovereign debt distress could spread to a wider group of economies.”

It, however, said on the upside, inflation could fall faster than expected, reducing the need for tight monetary policy, and domestic demand could again prove more resilient.

The report said in most economies, the policy priorities remained to achieve sustained disinflation while ensuring financial stability.

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“Therefore, central banks should remain focused on restoring price stability and strengthening financial supervision and risk monitoring.

“Should market strains materialise, countries should provide liquidity promptly while mitigating the possibility of moral hazard.

“They should also build fiscal buffers, with the composition of fiscal
adjustment ensuring targeted support for the most vulnerable.

The report said improvements to the supply side of the economy would facilitate fiscal consolidation and a smoother decline of inflation toward target levels.

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Debt Servicing: Gombe State Govt Spent N33bn in 4 Years – Transition Report

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Chairman of the Gombe State Transition Management Committee, Dr Ibrahim Daudu
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  • N6 billion for settlement of four years backlog of gratuities owed retirees from 2014 to 2017

The Gombe State Government has paid about N33billion from the N100bn debt inherited from the administration of former governor Ibrahim Dankwambo. adsbygoogle || []).push({}); adsbygoogle || []).push({});

The Chairman of the Gombe State Transition Management Committee, Dr Ibrahim Daudu, made this known while submitting the 2023 transition report to Gov. Inuwa Yahaya on Monday.

Daudu said that Gov. Yahaya also paid N6 billion to settle four years backlog of gratuities owed retirees from 2014 to 2017.

According to him, the payment to retirees is the largest payment of gratuity made by any government in Gombe State.

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“During the course of our work, we were able to determine that out of over N100 billion in debt inherited from the previous administration, your administration has paid approximately N33 billion,” he said.

The chairman also stated that the state government within the period was able to attract N26 billion as a result of its prudent public financial management through the implementation of the State Fiscal Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability programme.

He said that in view of the state’s prudent resource management, Gombe State ranked fourth most successful state in public financial management in the country.

While commending Yahaya for effectively managing the finances of the state in spite of the huge economic challenges caused by COVID-19 and economic recession, the Daudu-led committee urged the government to boost the state’s internally generated revenue going forward.

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The 11-member committee which was inaugurated on  May 26 further advised the state government to within the next four years, reform the civil service while prioritising job creation.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the major responsibilities assigned to the committee was to develop a blueprint for consolidating on the achievements made during Yahaya’s first administration.

Also, to incorporate lessons learned, identify priorities, policies, and programmes for the new administration.

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Abdulrahman Obaje
Abdulrahman Obaje
Prince Abdulrahman Obaje is a Media, Information and Computer Technology Consultant. A quintessential Journalist, online marketer, social media strategist, Mathematician and Computer Scientist is based in Abuja, Nigeria. He is the Founder and the Publisher of The Informavores!. You can reach me on +234 805 939 5252 or send i-witness report directly to me on news@informavores.com.ng.
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Euromoney Awards: GTBank Ranked Best Bank in Nigeria

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Guaratny Trub bank, gtb rank high at euromoney awards for excellency 2023
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Guaranty Trust Bank Ltd. has been ranked the”Best Bank in Nigeria” at the Euromoney Awards for Excellence 2023.

The bank said in a statement on Monday that the latest recognition underscored the bank as the leading financial institution in Nigeria. push({}); adsbygoogle || []).push({});

Announcing the award, Euromoney said: “Nigeria’s best bank, Guaranty Trust Bank, has continued to do a good job of convincing investors that it is better placed than its key competitors to deal with the risks ahead and perhaps to take advantage of opportunities in economic and policy transition.

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“Despite a difficult operating environment, the bank continues to deliver exceptional results as the flagship franchise of Guaranty Trust Holding Company Plc.

“It recorded a profit before tax of N214.2 billion, pre-tax return on Equity (ROAE) of 23.6 per cent, and Cost to Income Ratio (CIR) of 48.0 per cent for the period ended, Dec. 31, 2022.”

Euromoney is an authority for global banking and financial markets and the annual awards for excellence, celebrates financial institutions that demonstrate leadership, innovation, and resilience in the markets they operate.

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Commenting on the award, Mrs Miriam Olusanya, Managing Director of Guaranty Trust Bank Ltd., said, “we are honoured to be named the Best Bank in Nigeria by Euromoney.

“This recognition reflects our unwavering commitment to the values of excellence and innovation which form the bedrock of our value proposition as an institution and has guided the mother-brand to achieve remarkable success for over 30 years.

“As part of a thriving financial holding company, we will continue to prioritise service delivery and innovation whilst maintaining our strong financial performance,” she said.

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