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MTN denies illegal transfer of $14bn from Nigeria

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The Johannesburg-based firm is facing a parliamentary probe over accusations it connived with senior Nigerian officials to move the funds out of the country without complying with the law.

A parliamentary source and local media said the funds were allegedly repatriated between 2006 and this year.

“We would like to reiterate that at no point did MTN Nigeria (MTNN) illegally repatriate funds out of Nigeria or collaborate with Nigerians to loot the external reserves of the country,” Ferdinand Moolman, chief executive officer of MTNN, told the Senate hearing in Abuja on Thursday.

“MTNN is a Nigerian company and is proud to be conducting business in Nigeria. It therefore categorically refutes any accusations of money laundering, economic sabotage or tax evasion levied against it,” he added.

Moolman said all monies repatriated by the company were in respect of dividend payments and capital divestment originating from legitimate foreign direct investment.

“The dividend payments were made to shareholders who imported foreign capital for investment in MTNN,” he said.

Moolman also exonerated Nigeria’s Trade and Investment Minister Okechukwu Elenemah from the alleged capital flight.

“We would like to state that Dr Elenemah has never been a director or shareholder of MTNN,” he said, adding that the minister had not connived with the company to move funds out of Nigeria.

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The parliamentary probe followed a motion last month by Dino Melaye, a senator from central Kogi state, which called for MTN to be investigated over the alleged illegal transfers.

Four local banks were also alleged to have been used to move the funds with the help of the trade minister.

The probe is the latest setback to hit MTN in Nigeria.

The firm was last year slammed with a $3.9 billion fine for failing to cut off 5.1 million unregistered SIM cards, amid fears that some of the affected lines were being used by Boko Haram insurgents.

The conflict sparked by the jihadist group has left at least 20,000 dead and forced more than 2.6 million people from their homes since 2009.

In June, MTN announced that following negotiations with the Nigerian authorities, it had agreed to pay $1.7 billion as a final settlement.

MTN is the largest mobile phone firm in Nigeria, and the country accounts for a third of the group’s total revenue.

MTN threatened to pull out during the SIM card row, before the fine was reduced by nearly 70 percent.

Relations between Nigeria and South Africa, the continent’s two economic powerhouses, have been strained over recent years on issues including economic rivalry and political friction.

South Africa’s growth has been undermined by the slowdown in China and falling commodity prices. Nigeria, the continent’s top oil producer, has suffered from low oil prices, leading it into recession.

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Queen Elizabeth II’s net worth, six other things to know

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Queen Elizabeth of United Kingdom and other Commonwealth realms today, April 21, 2022, clocks 96.The Queen’s net worth is an aggregate from property, jewelry and other assets.

Queen Elizabeth’s net worth

Although, the queen’s personal fortune has been the subject of speculation for many years, there are however pointers which gives her worth.

According to her former private secretary and a director of her bank, Coutts, Queen worth an equivalent of about £29 million in 2020

In 1993, Buckingham Palace called estimates of £100 million “grossly overstated”.

In 2002, she inherited an estate worth an estimated £70 million from her mother. The Sunday Times Rich List 2020 estimated her personal wealth at £350 million, making her the 372nd richest person in the UK.

Queen was number one on the list when it began in the Sunday Times Rich List 1989, with a reported wealth of £5.2 billion, which included state assets that were not hers personally,(approximately £13.2 billion in today’s value).

The Royal Collection, which includes thousands of historic works of art and the Crown Jewels, is not owned personally but is described as being held in trust by the Queen for her successors and the nation, as are her official residences, such as Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle, and the Duchy of Lancaster, a property portfolio valued at £472 million in 2015.

Sandringham House in Norfolk and Balmoral Castle in Aberdeenshire are personally owned by the Queen. The Crown Estate, which is a collection of lands and holdings in the United Kingdom belonging to the British monarch as a corporation sole, making it “the sovereign’s public estate”, which is neither government property nor part of the monarch’s private estate – with holdings of £14.3 billion in 2019 – is held in trust and cannot be sold or owned by her in a personal capacity.

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Car collection

The Queen learnt to drive during World War II but is not required to have a licence by virtue of her royal status. As of 2016, it was estimated that she had a car collection estimated to be worth £10 million, according to car dealer Car Keys, which included vintage Rolls-Royces and Jaguars.

Handbags

Queen Elizabeth is said to own hundreds of handbags with more than 200 alone being by luxury London designer Launer, according to company CEO Gerald Bodmer. The average price tag for such an accessory is around £1,900.

Race horses

The Queen is renowned for her love of horse racing and, having owned horses for nearly 70 years, has one huge amounts of prize money across the decades.

According to Business Insider, Queen Elizabeth worth between $530 million as at 2018 estimate, making her 12th richest World Royalty.

Queen Elizabeth accension, reign

Her husband, Prince Philip on 6 February 1952, broke the news of king’s to her while in Kenya. She was then 25 years old. Consequently Elizabeth’s immediate accession to the throne and she chose to retain Elizabeth as her regnal name; thus she was called Elizabeth II. She and the Duke of Edinburgh moved into Buckingham Palace. Their marriage lasted 73 years until Prince Philip died in 2021.

Queen Elizabeth has being on the throne for more than 70 years, making her Britain’s longest-reigning monarch.

Elizabeth Alexandra Mary

Elizabeth II birthname is Elizabeth Alexandra Mary, born 21 April 1926.

Queen of 15 Commonwealth realms

Commonwealth realm is a sovereign state in the Commonwealth of Nations that has Elizabeth II as its monarch and head of state. Each realm functions as an independent state, equal with the other realms and nations of the Commonwealth.

These realms include There are 15 Commonwealth realms: Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, The Bahamas, Belize, Canada, Grenada, Jamaica, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, the Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, and the United Kingdom.

Queen also receives salary to rule

Queen Elizabeth, like country presidents, gets paid. She receives a stipend, called Soverign Grant, from the government each year, according to Reader’s Digest, and the money is connected to her position.

The stipend includes taxpayer money and the Duchy of Lancaster, another collection of commercial properties that helps fund the Queen’s private income. These homes aren’t a part of the Crown Estate, though.

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Business & Economy

Nigeria records 15.92 % inflation in March—NBS

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The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said on Saturday that the nation’s inflation rate increased to 15. 92 per cent in March 2022.

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According to a report released by NBS in March 2022 the Consumer Price Index (CPI) which measures inflation increased to 15.92 percent on year-on-year.

“This is 2.25 per cent points lower compared to 18.17 per cent recorded in March 2021.

“This means that headline inflation rate slowed down in March 2022 when compared to the same month the previous year,” NBS said.

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It further said that on month-on-month basis, the Headline Index increased to 1.74 percent in March 2022, representing 0.11 per cent points higher than the 1.63 per cent rate recorded in February 2022.

“The percentage change in the average composite CPI for the 12 months period ending March 2022 over the average previous 12 months period is 16.54 per cent.

“This shows 0.19 per cent points decrease compare to 16.73 per cent recorded in February 2022,” NBS further said.

The agency also said that urban inflation rate increased to 16.44 per cent year-on-year in March 2022 showing a decline of 2.32 per cent points from 18.76 per cent recorded in March 2021.

“In the same vein, the rural inflation increased to 15.42 per cent in March 2022 with a decrease of 2.18 per cent points from 17.60 per cent recorded in March 2021,” it said.

NBS, however, said that on a month-on-month basis, the Urban Index rose to 1.76 per cent in March 2022.

“This was up by 0.11 per cent points from 1.65 per cent recorded in February 2022.

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“The Rural Index rose to 1.73 per cent in March 2022, with 0.12 per cent point increase from 1.61 per cent recorded in February 2022,” it said

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Business & Economy

Lower Niger River Basin solving farmers’ food transportation challenge – MD, Dr Aremu

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The management of the Lower Niger River Basin Development Authority (LNRBDA) said revealed its contribution towards solving transportation challenges faced by farmers.

In an interview with journalists in Ilorin, the Managing Director of the authority, Dr. Adeniyi Saheed Aremu, disclosed that transportation of food has been one of the factors responsible for food shortage in the country, hence, the authority constructed a number of access roads in both urban and rural settlements.

He added, “some of those roads in the rural areas link the farm sites to the towns to help farmers convey their produce to the nearest markets to prevent post-harvest losses thereby improving the livelihood of the farmers and ensuring food sufficiency.”

Dr. Aremu also said that the authority had in 2017 also established a greenhouse for production of assorted vegetables under a controlled environment. A herd of cattle is being raised for fattening and dairies.

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Meanwhile, in a bid to give farmers good platform for productivity, the agency has also carried out about 60 projects ranging from dams construction, boreholes drilling and Flood and Erosion Control Works in different localities under its coverage.

Speaking on the leadership of the authority, Dr. Aremu said efforts to have evenly distribution of resources to the grassroot, another area office was created in Omu-Aran, Kwara South senatorial district.

“One of the major innovations was to create individual budget heads dedicated to each of these area offices as against a single budget line for all the area offices. We have procured at least 2 new tractors with full implements for each of the Area Offices to boost their internally generated revenue drive of the Federal Government. We have spent over N500m on all the area offices since I took over as Managing Director.

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“Construction of rice mill building with installation of milling machine in some area offices, clearing of over 1800Ha of land in all the area offices, rehabilitation of residential building in some area offices were carried out, construction of perimeter fencing in some area offices were done, and development of Aquaculture and maintenance of existing canals to boost irrigation farming in commercial quantities.”

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Business & Economy

How LNRBDA / Kogi Govt partnership yielded over 7,000 tons of rice

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More than 7,000 tons of padded rice were produced as a result of partnership between the Lower Niger River Basin Development Authority and the Kogi State Government, the LNRBDA Managing Director, Dr. Adeniyi Saheed Aremu has revealed.

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Dr. Aremu disclosed this while addressing newsmen in Ilorin, stressing that the authority has extended various gestures to her rice farmers in various parts of Kwara State with positive results as Kwara State Rice Farmers Association assumed the second largest producer of rice in the just concluded Rice Pyramid in Abuja.

He also noted that LNRBDA has been able to deliver one of its key services by the development of irrigated agriculture through the acquisition of more arable land and subsequent release to individuals, groups and corporate farmers.

“For instance, 500 hectares of farmland was purchased from customary land owners along Malete – Alapa road through the Kwara State Government for farming activities.

“The project when fully implemented is expected to open up the area for accelerated development, provide jobs and boost food sufficiency in Kwara State.

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“Equally, the Authority signed MOU with Kogi State Government and released over 5,000 hectares of its farmland to the State Government. Specifically at Ejiba Area Office in Kogi State, the partnership with the State Government yielded about 7,170 tons  of paddy rice from several farmers.”

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Exchange Rate

Dollar to naira exchange rate today 15 April 2022

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dollar to naira exchange rate

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FELLOW PRESS reports news on the dollar to naira exchange rate today 15 April 2022.

How much is Dollar to Naira Exchange at CBN Rate?

According to available data from the CBN, US dollar to naira exchange rate bought at ₦414 and sold at ₦416, making an average of  ₦415 for $1 on Thursday April 14.

How Much Is Dollar To Naira Exchange Today At Official Rate?

The official rate today, dollar exchange to naira opened at ₦415.92 on Wednesday April 13, and closed at ₦416.63 on Thursday April 14. This amount to 0.05 per cent decrease for naira against dollar.

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The CBN adopts the NAFEX rates from FMDQ, signifying that all exchange rate transactions involving the public and the private sector will reference the prevailing NAFEX rate as its official exchange rate.

It is the official security exchange where foreign currencies (FOREX) is traded between naira and dollar and other currencies.

Daily turnover at the forex market stands at ₦106.50 million.

How Much Is Dollar To Naira Exchange Today at Bank Rate?

Each commercial banks is at their discretion to fix forex exchange rate. Factors can range from currency availability, demand against the prevailing rate.

See below bank rate of dollar to naira:

GTbank: ₦ 480

Ecobank: ₦ 480

Access Bank: ₦470

UBA: ₦510

Sterling Bank: ₦480

FCMB: ₦480

How much is exchange rate of Dollar to Naira in Black Market today?

According to Abuja Parallel Market as available with the Bureau De Change (BDC), US dollar to naira as at Friday April 14, 2022 selling at ₦595 and buying at ₦570 to $1.

Although, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has warned individuals who need forex to approach commercial banks.

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Meanwhile, foreign airlines has indicated that they will no longer accept naira for ticketing but dollar.

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Business & Economy

AIICO Insurance paid N47.3bn claims in 2021 — MD

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AIICO Insurance Plc on Thursday said it paid a total of N47.3 billion in claims and benefits to customers in 2021.
This, it said, indicates 19.1 per cent increase from N39.7 billion paid in 2020.

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The Managing Director/CEO of the insurance company, Mr. Babatunde Fajemirokun, in a statement made available in Lagos, recalled that the firm also paid N29.1billion and N30.6billion in 2018 and 2019 respectively.

“In 2021, of the 70 per cent of claims reported, about N33 billion in total, were paid to individuals, with about 14 per cent (N6.5 billion) paid to retirees who have lifetime contracts with the company.

“Claims to businesses across the spectrum made up 30 per cent (N14 billion) of total claims paid to customers.
“This growth, along with the growth in its overall financial position over the years, underscores its incremental capacity to cater for the needs of existing and prospective customers,” Fajemirokun said.

According to him, the underwriter understands the risks faced by its customers.

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He said it had therefore made it a priority to continue to adapt to their changing needs as they go through life.

According to him, AIICO does this by helping its customers to manage their risks where possible, to improve their overall quality of life.

The managing director said: “Our customers trust us to be there for them and we will stop at nothing to continue holding our end of the deal.

“Today’s insuring public is more discerning and risk-conscious, generally trusting companies with a track record of good service with their hard-earned funds.

“Insurers are no different in this regard and for customers, promptness in settlement of genuine claims remains a key performance indicator for choosing an insurer.

“AIICO considers a variety of metrics when assessing the quality of its service for a lot of its customers, especially retirees.

“Paying claims and benefits when they are due, is often the customer’s key determinant of the quality of their experience.”

Fajemirokun said that the insurer believed that its customer-centric philosophy was crucial, as customers seek to protect themselves from the volatility of the environment around them.

AIICO Insurance is a leading composite insurer in Nigeria with a record of accomplishment of serving its clients that dates back over 50 years.

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Founded in 1963, AIICO provides life, health, general and investment management services to create and protect wealth for individuals, families, and corporate customers.

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