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Zenith Bank becomes Nigeria’s biggest bank by asset

Wisdom Nwachukwu

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Jim Ovia-led Zenith Bank Plc saw a 34 per cent surge in its asset base in 2020, lifting the bank’s value from N6.347 trillion to N8.481 trillion in one year and making it Nigeria’s biggest bank by asset, its audited financial statements showed on Tuesday.

The lender could, however, cede that position to fiercely aggressive rival Access Bank, when its own financial statements are issued any moment from now.

Access Bank executed no fewer than four major expansion deals on the continent last year including acquisitions in Kenya, Zambia, Cameroun and Mozambique, which should catapult its asset estimate well beyond the N7.925 trillion reported in September 2020, and has lined up more of such transactions in eight other countries across Africa.

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Negotiating With Bandits Not Best Solution-Abdulsalami Abubakar

Wisdom Nwachukwu

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Abubakar said this while speaking to newsmen after a meeting with the Nigerian Governors Forum in Minna.

He mentioned that the best way to solve Nigeria’s banditry and kidnapping problems is to ensure that the crimes are not committed in the first place.

While admitting that sometimes negotiations might be used to save the lives of kidnap victims, General Abdulsalami said Nigeria needs tight security that can checkmate the miscreants before they strike.

Speaking on the Kagara abduction, Abdulsalami said it will be unwise for anyone to, however, storm a hideout of bandits to rescue students.

“Even if anyone knows the location of students, it will be foolhardy to storm the place in a bid to fight and bring them back. In the process, some innocent lives will be lost.

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He, however, advised the authorities to ensure that security is beefed up alongside an increase in manpower to forestall further occurrences.

“Nigeria’s security architecture is overstretched and the Police Force is underpopulated, hence the need for support from the citizens and an increase in manpower.

“Nigeria must go back to the time when brotherly love existed. Let us go back to when we were our brothers’ keeper,” Abdulsalami pleaded.

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Cryptocurrency: We Acted In Nigerians’ Best Interest – Emefiele

Wisdom Nwachukwu

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The Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele, has said the bank’s decision to prohibit deposit money banks, non-banking institutions and other financial institutions from facilitating trading and dealings in cryptocurrency is in the best interest of Nigerian depositors and the country’s financial system.

Emefiele stated this yesterday while briefing a joint Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and Other Financial Institutions; ICT and Cybercrime and Capital Market, on its directive to institutions under the apex bank’s regulation.

Describing the operations of cryptocurrencies as dangerous and opaque, the CBN Governor said the use of cryptocurrency contravened an existing law. He said given the fact that cryptocurrencies were issued by unregulated and unlicensed entities made it contrary to the mandate of the apex bank as enshrined in the CBN Act (2007) declaring it as the issuer of legal tender in Nigeria.

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Emefiele, who also differentiated between digital currencies, which central banks can issue and cryptocurrencies issued by unknown and unregulated entities, stressed that the anonymity, obscurity and concealment of cryptocurrencies made it suitable for those who indulge in illegal activities such as money laundering, terrorism financing, purchase of small arms and light weapons and tax evasion.

Citing instances of investigated criminal activities that had been linked to cryptocurrencies, he stated that the legitimacy of money and the safety of Nigeria’s financial system was central to the mandate of the CBN, even as he declared that “Cryptocurrency is not legitimate money” because it is not created or backed by any central bank.

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Cryptocurrency has no place in our monetary system at this time and cryptocurrency transactions should not be carried out through the Nigerian banking system,” he added. Emefiele also emphasized that the bank’s actions were not in any way, shape or form inimical to the development of FinTech or a technology-driven payment system. On the contrary, he noted that the Nigerian payment system had evolved significantly over the past decade, surpassing those of many of its counterparts in emerging, frontier and advanced economies boosted by reforms driven by the CBN.

While urging that the issue of cryptocurrency be treated with caution, the CBN Governor assured that the Bank would continue its surveillance and deeper understanding of the digital space, stressing that the ultimate goal of the CBN was to do all within its regulatory powers to educate Nigerians on emerging financial risks and protect our financial system from the activities of currency speculators, money launderers, and international fraudsters.

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23 Year Old Wisdom Uzoma Arrested For Killing Mate During Cult Clash in Imo

Wisdom Nwachukwu

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The Imo state police command has arrested a 23-year-old suspected cultist, Wisdom Uzoma, for allegedly killing a man, Tobechi Chijioke Duru during a cult clash on February 20.

A statement released by the spokesperson of the command, Ikeowku Orlando, says operatives of the Command received a distress call and moved to Agwa Secondary school,  Agwa, in Oguta LGA.

Ikeokwu said upon arriving at the scene, operatives met the remains of late Tobechi who was said to have been killed while two rival cult groups clashed at the school premises.

”However, on the 21/02/21, based on discreet and painstaking investigations, operatives of the command arrested the fleeing  suspect one WISDOM UZOMA”M” 23yrs old, of Obidi Agwa, in Oguta LGA, Imo state. ” Ikeokwu said in a statement

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The police spokesperson added that the suspect confessed to the crime and will be prosecuted accordingly.

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