Diamond Bank divests from UK subsidiary
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“Diamond Bank’s strategic objective is to be the fastest growing and most profitable technology-driven retail banking franchise in Nigeria. This strategic intent requires the bank to optimize the use of its resources which means, where necessary, divesting from its non-core assets and focusing on the priority area, namely Nigerian retail banking.
“The bank and GFG Alliance are committed to, and are pursuing a quick completion of the transaction subject to approval of the Financial Conduct Authority and Prudential Regulation Authority, which regulate banking business in the United Kingdom,” the bank said in a statement to Vanguard.
As a result, the bank has signed a Share Sale and Purchase Agreement with a member of GFG Alliance, for the disposal of its entire shareholding in the UK subsidiary.•Uzoma Dozie, Managing Director, Diamond Bank Plc
By Nkiruka Nnorom
Commenting on the transaction, Diamond Bank’s CEO, Uzoma Dozie, assured that the sale of the international subsidiaries is not expected to cause service disruptions for the bank’s customers located around the world as they can continue to enjoy enhanced and convenient banking services through the Bank’s digital channels
Diamond bank Plc has divested its 100 percent holdings in its international subsidiary -Diamond Bank UK- to enable it focus on Nigeria.
In recent years, the Bank has laid the foundation for growth in Nigeria with acquisition of over 15 million customers, many of whom are owning bank accounts for the first time. The Nigerian market has vast potential due to its strong fundamentals, including millions of people who are either under-banked or un-banked, and changing lifestyles that favour the use of mobile devices to complete multiple financial transactions at the consumer’s convenience,” he said.
The disposal, according to the bank, is in line with the its objective of streamlining its operations to focus resources on the significant opportunities in the Nigerian retail banking market.
The transaction followed the bank’s divestment from its West African business, Diamond Bank S.A., which was completed in November 2017.
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Again, herdsmen kill 11 in Benue
Eleven people have been killed in Makurdi, the Benue State government said Wednesday, a day after at least 18 people died in an attack on a church that caused widespread outrage. Rilwanu Adamu, an adviser to the Benue governor Samuel Ortom on Islamic affairs, said the attack happened in the state capital, Makurdi, and targeted […]
“We lost 11 of our people…. We have five people also hospitalised in Makurdi,” he said, warning that the death toll could yet rise.
Adamu said in addition to Makurdi, a number of other people lost their lives elsewhere in the state.
AFP.
Eleven people have been killed in Makurdi, the Benue State government said Wednesday, a day after at least 18 people died in an attack on a church that caused widespread outrage.
Hundreds of people have been killed in tit-for-tat violence in Benue and other central states since the start of this year in an escalation of a decades-old dispute over land and water.
President Muhammadu Buhari described the attack, which locals blamed on nomadic herdsmen, as “evil and satanic” and said it was designed to whip up religious conflict.
READ ALSO: Protests in Benue as herdsmen kill two Catholic priests, 17 others inside church
Rilwanu Adamu, an adviser to the Benue governor Samuel Ortom on Islamic affairs, said the attack happened in the state capital, Makurdi, and targeted ethnic Hausa traders.
Riots erupted in Makurdi following the deaths, forcing police to fire teargas to disperse the crowd.
The latest deaths came in the wake of an attack on a church in the Mbalom community south of Makurdi on Tuesday, which left 16 worshippers and two Roman Catholic priests dead.
Two mosques were razed to the ground and traders’ goods ransacked, said Adamu.
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FBN Holdings shares fall after 178.8% profit growth
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By Nkiruka Nnorom The shares of FBN Holdings Plc fell by 8.96 percent at the close of trading today despite 178.8 percent growth in its Profit After Tax, PAT, for the year ended December 31, 2018.L-R- Alhaji Tijani Borodo, Shareholder, FBNQuest Merchant Bank, Mr. Kayode Akinkugbe, MD, FBNQuest Merchant Bank, Mallam Bello Maccido, Chairman, FBNQuest Merchant Bank, Dr. Omobola Johnson, Non- Executive Director FBNQuest Merchant Bank, U.K Eke (MFR), GMD FBN Holdings and Taiwo Okeowo, DMD, FBNQuest Merchant Bank at the FBNQuest Merchant Bank 3rd Annual General Meeting which held in Lagos.
Despite the impressive numbers, investors massively sold off the shares as the bank led 22 other losers to close at N12.20 from N13.40 per share, while 80.09 million units in 753 deals were traded.
Other top losers during the day include Skye Bank Plc, which depreciated by 5.75 percent to close at N0.82 from N0.87. Oando Plc followed, dropping by 4.92 percent to close at N8.70 from N9.15; Total Nigeria Plc fell by 4.79 percent to close at N222.60 from N233.80, while Courtville Business Solution, CBS, Plc declined by 4.55 percent to close at N0.21 from N0.22 per share.
The bank also proposed 25 kobo dividend for the period.
The bank had reported N47.8 billion post tax profit, which up178.8 percent year-on-year, y-o-y, compared to N17.1 billion posted in the same period in 2016.
the gross earnings grew marginally by 2.3 percent to N595.4 billion against N581.8 billion, while the impairment charges for credit losses stood at N150.4 billion, down 33.5 percent from N226 billion in the preceding year.
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Malaria eradication is realistic within 15 years –GlobalData
The World Health Organisation leads in the celebration of World Malaria Day on Wednesday, April 25th, with the theme, ‘Ready to Beat Malaria’. The theme highlights the collective goal of the global malaria community for a malaria-free world, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company. With an estimated 216 million cases of malaria occurring […]
“For example, Sri Lanka was declared malaria-free in 2016. In Southern Africa, the Elimination 8 Strategic Plan (2015–2020) is focusing on eradicating malaria in eight countries (Angola, Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia, Zimbabwe), with four of these countries targeting malaria elimination by 2020.’’
An international effort is required to finance the research and development product development and public health administration necessary to block transmission and achieve disease eradication.
Malaria cases are highest in countries classified by the World Bank as low-to-middle income nations, including countries in the WHO Africa region, which carries 90 per cent of the global malaria burden, and the WHO South East region, which carries seven per cent of global malaria burden. The concerns of drug and insecticide resistance persist, with the WHO admitting that current tools and methods are inadequate for achieving the eradication of the disease.
Malaria is a life-threatening parasitic disease spread by mosquitos and has plagued humans since the dawn of time. The previous global eradication campaign from the 1950s–1960s resulted in disease elimination in some countries, but drug and insecticide resistance have contributed to undermining those efforts.
Saint Jean continued, ‘‘Despite these obstacles, there are reasons to remain hopeful as the current campaign gains traction.
The Global Fund for AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria; the US President’s Malaria Initiative; and other country-level bilateral and multilateral entities support these efforts. Alongside academic institutions and pharmaceutical companies, these stakeholders are largely responsible for a strong malaria research and development pipeline coming through in 2018.
The GlobalData Pharma Analyst, Dr. Gilbert Saint Jean, said, ‘‘With promising infection- and transmission-blocking malaria vaccines in the research and development pipeline as well as public-private partnerships advancing novel mosquito control tools —such as new classes of insecticides, and microbiological and genetic (sterile male) approaches to controlling mosquito populations — we anticipate that malaria eradication will begin to become a realistic goal in the next 10–15 years.’’
The theme highlights the collective goal of the global malaria community for a malaria-free world, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.
The World Health Organisation leads in the celebration of World Malaria Day on Wednesday, April 25th, with the theme, ‘Ready to Beat Malaria’.
With an estimated 216 million cases of malaria occurring across 91 countries in 2016, halting the transmission of the malaria parasite is a critical step to achieving this goal, notes a press release signed by the Public Relations Manager, GlobalData, Mr. Mark Jephcott.
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UNIDO unveils $50m programme to drive industrial devt in Nigeria
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Abubakar stated: “The new Country Programme (2018-2022) has identified intervention plans in nine thematic components as follows : industrial governance , research and statistics; Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) development ; Special Economic Zones (SEZs) , industrial parks and private sector development ; innovation, science and technology management ; agro-industry and agri-business development; minerals and metals development; trade capacity building; renewable energy development, and environmental management.”
Bankole said the new UNIDO Country Programme would be relying on the strong support of the Federal Government of Nigeria and the partners for the funding and successful implementation.
By Yinka Kolawole
In the statement he said, “Nigeria has shown a good example regarding support for industrial development, and we are calling on our international partners and financial institutions to support Nigeria to move ahead in this particular sector, as the development of the industrial sector in Nigeria will help to create more jobs for the country, the ECOWAS region and the continent.”
Speaking at a Validation Workshop for UNIDO Country Programme for Inclusive and Sustainable Industrial Development in Nigeria (2018 – 2022), in Abuja, Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Mrs Aisha Abubakar, who was represented by Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Edet Apkan, noted that the programme document had already identified major areas of intervention which would help the country to develop and grow its industrial sector.
The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) is set to commence a 4-year programme to drive inclusive and sustainable industrial development in Nigeria, at an estimated cost of $50 million.
UNIDO Regional Director and Representative to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Jean Bankole, in a statement made available to Vanguard, said the new country programme is expected to commence July 1, 2018.
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ICYMI: How Nigerian pupils cheat during WASSCE through websites
Samson Folarin While some youths sweat and rack their brains for answers to questions at the ongoing West African Senior School Certificate Examination, others have perfected the art of getting cheap grades through some websites which obtain questions before the start of exams. READ ALSO: 24 APC governors endorse Buhari’s re-election bid An investigation by PUNCH […]
“I went to one of such sites and in front of me were solutions to the Physics exam that pupils were sweating in the hall on. The solutions online were posted on the 19th of April, a day before the exam.
“My brother remarked, ‘He didn’t get his answers from the right site.’ He further enlightened me on several sites on the Internet where by sending recharge cards of N400, pupils can have access to questions and answers of the exams they were writing in real-time.
“Our manpower has been overstretched. We have some of our workers working on day and night shifts. We are working round-the-clock and we urge the cooperation of other stakeholders to stop this ugly trend.”
“So, we have pupils getting eight distinctions now and 300 in UTME, yet having no substance in their heads. These ones will gain admissions into university and block the chances of good students who legitimately got their five credits and 220 in UTME. My John James could not gain admission with a score of over 260 in UTME last year. Godstime is a great student, but he will be lucky to gain admission with the 280 he scored this year.
“Students typically have access to the solutions a few minutes to the commencement of the exams, of course to make maximum sales, as PINs could be shared if the answers were released earlier. Several of these pupils still need the cooperation of invigilators and their schools to use their phones in the exam halls to access the answers, while others take advantage of large examination centres to do their thing surreptitiously. It breaks my heart as a teacher.”
“The rot in education is particularly sad because it has ripple effects, spreading across all sectors. Imagine students using these sites to get eight distinctions and 330 so they can go study medicine and surgery to become doctors. Imagine them wanting to become engineers, scientists, lawyers, etc. They will most likely have to oil their way through school and come out deficient in whatever fields they find themselves in…even with great results. Are our exam bodies aware of these sites?” he added.
“The supervisors are not our workers; they are supplied by the ministry of education. We have asked them to help us and prevent the students from entering exam halls with mobile phones. We have also upgraded our security facilities and we are deploying technologies as well.
“These sites always have all the exam papers, probably a day or two before the exams. And they have the solutions too. There are many of them advertising and competing for patronage like legitimate business. On these sites are the testimonies of Nigerian students. I saw the testimony of a student on examcrown.com who got 7 A1s and a B3 after using their service.
“This situation is not peculiar to just WASSCE, other examinations are affected as well and it is sad for education in Nigeria. It is sad because it means if I can just sit down and someone will supply the answers to me, why then do I need to read?
“Why are we so messed up as a country? Who are these Nigerians who are destroying this system for pecuniary gains? Aren’t they the same Nigerians who complain daily of the state of this country? Aren’t they the youth who should be the future of this country? The same young people who cry daily of how our father’s generation failed us?
41-50 CCBBCAAABB.
A look at the answers provided by the websites showed they had the questions correctly.
A teacher, who did not want to be identified, said he was shocked to discover such services were freely advertised on the Internet.
After PUNCH Metro sent recharge cards to designated phone numbers on Monday, the operators of the websites, after some hours, sent confirmation texts.
An investigation by PUNCH Metro revealed this on Tuesday.
Before Tuesday, the date of the exam, the operators had started sending links to the answer websites through text messages.
By 2.07pm, answers to the theory questions started streaming in, and in less than 45 minutes, the theory and objective answers had been supplied.
By past 1pm on Tuesday, some of the websites said they had got the questions and were solving them.
Candidate A, who wrote the exam in a public school in the Ikorodu area of Lagos State, recalled answering questions bordering on division of labour, contract, reasons for consumer protection, second tier security market, calculation of working capital, among others.
Candidate B, another public school pupil, who wrote his exam in the Somolu area of Lagos, gave a similar highlight.
Candidates were, however, urged on the websites to make subscriptions for all the papers and pay into certain account numbers provided on their websites in order to get discounts.
Contact: [email protected]
DADACCBBCAAABB.
Examcrown highlighted the reasons for consumer protection, which it said was question number 7.
Examcrown: 1-10 DCBCCADBBB; 11-20 ACDADBDAAD; 21-30 BABCDAAABC; 31-40; ABABDBCADA; 41-50: CCBBBAACAB.
Examsort: DBBCCB DBBBABDADBDD DBACDBDDCADACCBB DABCAC. Guruslodge:DCBAB DDBBBA BDBDCCCCDA B CADDDADAABCADD
For instance, examsort answered the questions on second tier market, which it claimed was the 6th question on the paper. It also defined contract.
He expressed disgust while recounting how he came by the websites.
He lamented that the situation had affected the standard of education in the country.
He noted that answers to the National Examination Council’s questions were usually online two days before the exam, as some of the websites gave pupils NECO answers free.
He said, “I was telling my younger brother of how I heard of a certain science teacher in my locality who went online to get answers to Physics practical experiments last year, instead of conducting the experiments with his pupils; and they all failed when the results came out.
He said, “It did not start today. We have been following up on it for a while now. Our investigations have, however, shown that sometimes they recycle old questions or supply fake questions. And even if they are correct, it is after the examinations have commenced. We have asked the supervisors to be our eyes.
He said, “We had eight questions and we were asked to answer five. Some of the questions are: State three disadvantages and five advantages of division of labour? State the differences between public enterprises and public company? What is contract? Calculate the account of…”
He subscribed for answers to Commerce (Objective and Theory) from five of the result-peddling websites – naijaclass.com, examcrown.com, examsort.com, waecexpo.com and guruslodge.com.
However, a look at the objective questions showed that the website operators had conflicting answers.
Naijaclass: 1-10 DCBABDDBBB; 11-20 ABDBDCCCD; 21-30 BACCABABBC; 31-40ABCADDDADA;
Our correspondent had pretended to be a candidate sitting for the WASSCE being administered by the West African Examination Council.
Our correspondent, while trying to verify the answers to the theory questions at the end of the exam at 5pm, learnt that WASSCE candidates submitted the question papers with their answer sheets.
Provisions were made for “Very Important Persons.”
PUNCH Metro, however, contacted two candidates who wrote the exam to ascertain the questions asked by the examiners.
Samson Folarin
The others also addressed the questions stated by the pupils.
The spokesperson for WAEC, Demianus Ojijeogu, said the exam body was aware of the website operators, adding that their activities  were a sad comment on education in Nigeria.
There were alleged testimonies of some candidates who had passed their exams after using the services of the websites.
They also displayed excellent WASSCE results of some candidates, whose names were deliberately blurred to conceal their identities.
They said the answers would be uploaded on the sites.
They supplied our correspondent with Personal Identification Numbers with which to access the sites.
While guruslodge sent all its answers through text messages, others sent links based on the subscription of our correspondent.
While naijaclass, examcrown, examsort and waecexpo demanded N400 MTN recharge cards to send a link to the answers of the exam and N800 for direct answers to phones, guruslodge demanded N800 to send the answers directly to candidates’ phones.
While some youths sweat and rack their brains for answers to questions at the ongoing West African Senior School Certificate Examination, others have perfected the art of getting cheap grades through some websites which obtain questions before the start of exams.
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Benue Killings: Catholic Priests weep over colleagues, worshipers’
THE National President of The Nigerian Catholic Diocesan Priests, Rev. Father Sy......
..Condemn uprising in Benue Valley By Henry Umoru ABUJA – THE National President of The Nigerian Catholic Diocesan Priests, Rev. Father Sylvester Onmoke has condemned in very strong terms, the uprising in the Benue valley and wanton destruction of lives and properties by alleged foreign mercenaries masquerading as Fulani herdsmen.Joseph-Gor
According to him, “we are not in a failed state and government should rise up to its responsibility of protecting lives and property in the society”.
Fr. Onmoke also called on the government to put a halt to this assault on holy places of worship, murder of clergymen and worshipers.
His statement is on behalf of the bishops who are out in Rome for a meeting with the Pope.
In a statement on behalf of all Catholic Priests of Nigeria and Bishops Fr. Onmoke, bemoaned the killings of Reverend Fathers Joseph Gor and Felix Tyolaha and their parishioners at a morning Mass on Tuesday.
Novena prayer in the Catholic faith is the recitation of prayers for nine consecutive days to achieve a specific purpose.
The two priests and over 13 worshipers were murdered in cold blood at St. Ignatius Catholic Church, Ukpor-Mbalom, Gwer East Local Government Area on Tuesday.
To this end, the National President of Nigerian Catholic Priests called on her members across Nigeria to embark on a nine day Novena prayer starting from today (Wednesday 25th April), for peace and justices in Nigeria.
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AD suspends party leaders in six states
Adelani Adepegba, Abuja The National Working Committee of the Alliance for Democracy on Wednesday suspended the state party executives in Oyo, Osun, Ogun, Edo, Akwa-Ibom and Anambra states. The National Chairman of the party, Joseph Avazi, announced this in a communique read after a meeting of the National Working Committee in Abuja. He further disclosed that […]
“Also, the NWC sympathises with the government and people of Benue and Taraba states over the incessant killings, calling on the security agencies to be up to the task of securing the nation,” the party added.
“That the current executives of Oyo, Osun, Ogun, Edo, Akwa-Ibom and Anambra be dissolved immediately. That a committee be set up to facilitate the inauguration of the Board of Trustees.”
“The NWC strongly recommend that the Presidency (and) Ministry of Foreign Affairs should ensure the safety of all Nigerians anywhere in the world.
Adelani Adepegba, Abuja
Avazi said the National Executive Committee of the party would hold a meeting on May 17, 2018, while the membership registers and cards would be issued to members across the country.
He further disclosed that the NWC had approved caretaker committees for Oyo and Osun states; adding that the committees for other states would be announced soon.
He urged members and stakeholders to support the party financially.
It tasked the security agencies to rise up to the challenge of protecting lives and property and securing the nation.
The AD admonished the Federal Government to ensure the safety of all Nigerians anywhere in the world and sympathised with the government and people of Benue and Taraba states over the killings in both states.
The communique read in part, “NWC recommended that all the states without proper congress be dissolved and the state chapters be re-organised and ensure structures in all wards of the federation.
The National Chairman of the party, Joseph Avazi, announced this in a communique read after a meeting of the National Working Committee in Abuja.
The National Working Committee of the Alliance for Democracy on Wednesday suspended the state party executives in Oyo, Osun, Ogun, Edo, Akwa-Ibom and Anambra states.
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