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Change of name imminent for Sterling Bank as lender embraces Holdco structure

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Lagos—Sterling Bank Plc will take a new name after receiving shareholders’ approval to convert from a core banking business to a holding company, setting it up for the opportunity to gain controlling stake in companies where it currently holds substantial interest.

According to Premium Times, the announcement comes one week after the bank convened a meeting of shareholders at the order of a court as part of the last key stages of the corporate reformation.

When the transition is complete, the lender will become known as Sterling Financial Holdings Company.

It was reported that embracing a holdco structure confers on Sterling Bank the leverage to make inroads into other sectors within financial services apart from commercial banking which its current license and those of many lenders in Nigeria do not allow.

Such sectors, comprising pension; asset management; payments and fintech, are gaining appeal among banks and provide chances for diversification as competition for interest income, which accounts for the bulk of the revenue of the banking industry turns increasingly fierce.

Stanbic IBTC Holdings, one of the early birds that adopted the holdco structure, is a testament that the holdco structure is a model that works. Its pension unit controls around one third of the N14.2 trillion assets under management as the market leader of the Nigerian pension industry.

With the key resolutions for the scheme of arrangement now approved, the transition will proceed to its final phase where regulators including the Central Bank of Nigeria are to sanction the new entity into existence.

“The bank will transfer all the assets, liabilities and undertakings related to the non-interest banking business to The Alternative Bank Limited,” the statement said in reference to its newest subsidiary that received an approval-in-principle in December.

Sterling Bank’s issued and paid-up share capital valued at 28.8 billion outstanding shares will passé to the holding company in exchange for the allotment of those same units to shareholders on completion.

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Business

If elected president, I will name, shame oil thieves—Atiku to business leaders

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Lagos—The 2023 presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar has threatened to name and shame oil thieves in the country if elected Nigeria’s President in 2023.

Channels TV reports that Atiku made this known on Saturday when he interacted with the Business Dialogue Stakeholders Forum at Eko Hotel in Lagos.

Atiku also said he would confiscate all oil blocs allocated to some Nigerians who have failed to make them operational.

“If you are not going to develop oil blocs given to you, we will take it away and give it to those who will develop it.

“We will also assemble the names of those involved in oil theft, publish same and prosecute them,” Atiku told the stakeholders.

He reiterated his commitment to privatizing the refineries in Kaduna, Port Harcourt and Warri.

Atiku was at the event with his running mate and Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa.

Both Governors Udom Emmanuel and Aminu Waziri Tambuwal of Akwa Ibom and Sokoto states; who are the Chairman and Director General of the Atiku/Okowa presidential campaign team, urged the stakeholders to support Atiku for a better Nigeria.

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CBN to redesign N200, N500 and N1000 notes

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Abuja—The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Wednesday said it will redesign the N200, N500, and N1,000 notes.

CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, disclosed this during a special press briefing in Abuja. The new design and issues will be effective from December 15, 2022, according to reports by Channels TV.

It was reported that the action was taken in order to take control of the currency in circulation, according to the CBN boss.

The apex bank, Emefiele stated, has secured the approval of President Muhammadu Buhari to roll out new notes to replace the existing currency in circulation.

“In line with the provisions of Sections 2(b), Section 18(a) and Section 19, Seb section(a) and (b) (2007), the management of the CBN has sought and obtained the approval of President Muhammadu Buhari to redesign, produce, release and circulate new series of banknotes at N200, N500 and N1,00 levels,” he said.

“In line with this approval, we have finalised arrangements for the new currency to begin circulation from December 15, 2022 after its launch by President Buhari.

“The new and existing currencies shall remain legal tender and circulate together until January 31, 2023 when the existing currencies shall cease to be a legal tender.”

Once the new notes are designed Nigerians are expected to take old notes to banks for the new notes.

The CBN Governor is also concerned about how Nigerian currency is being stored currently.

According to him, the bulk of the nation’s currency notes was outside bank vaults and the CBN would not allow the situation to continue.

Emefiele added, “To be more specific, as of the end of September 2022, available data at the CBN indicates that N2.7 trillion out of the N3.3 trillion currency in circulation was outside the vault of commercial banks across the country and supposedly held by members of the public.

“Evidently, currency in circulation has more than doubled since 2015, rising from N1.46 trillion in December 2015 to N3.2 trillion as of September 2022. I must say that this is a worrisome trend that must not be continued to be allowed.”

According to him, the initiative by the CBN will help address some of the nation’s security threats, especially kidnapping and terrorism.

He believes that terrorists and kidnappers capitalise on the large excess of money to carry out their nefarious activities.

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FG move to stop ponmo consumption, says it has no nutritional value

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Abuja—The federal government of Nigeria says it is proposing legislation to ban the consumption of animal skin, locally known as ponmo, in the country.

The Federal government said the move is to revive the tanneries and the comatose leather industry in the country.

TheCable reports that Muhammad Yakubu, director-general, Nigerian Institute of Leather and Science Technology (NILEST), Zaria, stated this in Abuja on Sunday.

He said the habit of eating animal skin, which has no nutritional value, should be stopped to save the industry and boost the nation’s economy.

The director-general added that the institute, in collaboration with stakeholders in the industry, would approach the national assembly and state governments to bring out legislation banning “ponmo” consumption.

“To the best of my knowledge, Nigerians are the only people in the world that overvalue skin as food, after all, Ponmo has no nutritional value,” he said.

“At one point, there was a motion before the two chambers of the national assembly, it was debated but I don’t know how the matter was thrown away.”

According to him, the consumption of animal skin is partly responsible for the present comatose state of tanneries in Nigeria.

He also said the current National Leather Policy had addressed some fundamental problems of the sector.

“If we get our tanneries, our footwear and leather production working well in Nigeria, people will hardly get pomo to buy and eat,” Yakubu said.

“When implemented fully, it would turn around most of the comatose tanneries and ginger greater output in production.”

Yakubu appealed to stakeholders to support the legislation and the national leather policy to revive the sector.

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