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‘Heirs Holdings $1.1bn OML 17 Deal Positive Affirmation Of Confidence In Nigerian Economy’

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The investment of over $1billion by Heirs Holding’s in the acquisition of the strategic OML 17 from Shell, ENI and Total, has been described by various analysts as a very positive affirmation of confidence in the robustness of the Nigerian economy.

The deal, which was announced on recently, saw Heirs Holdings, the leading African strategic investor, in partnership with affiliated company Transnational Corporation of Nigeria Plc (“Transcorp”), acquire a 45% participating interest in Nigerian oil licence OML 17 and related assets, through TNOG Oil and Gas Limited (a related company of Heirs Holdings and Transcorp), from the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited, Total E&P Nigeria Limited and ENI.

The remaining 55% stays with NNPC. In addition, the Heirs Holdings Group will take over operatorship of OML 17, demonstrating the strength and quality of the industry team assembled by Elumelu’s group.
Chairman of Heirs Holdings, Tony Elumelu spoke of his particular satisfaction and pride in closing the deal, as a Nigerian and Niger Delta indigene.

He stated “As a Nigerian, and more particularly an indigene of the Niger Delta region, I understand well our responsibilities that come with stewardship of the asset, our engagement with communities and the strategic importance of the oil and gas sector in Nigeria.”

Heirs Holdings has been at the forefront of Elumelu’s Africapitalismphilosophy, championing the private sector’s leadership in developing Africa. TNOG Oil and Gas, HH’s latest investment and addition to a fast-growing and successful group of investee companies across energy, financial services, hospitality, real estate, and healthcare sectors, will create thousands of jobs for Nigerian youth across the country, expanding its current 30,000 employee database across its portfolio companies. TNOG Oil and Gas will also extend Heirs Holdings’ “doing good, doing well” commitment to developing the communities of its operations through pillars of entrepreneurship, youth development and community building, pursuing an indigenous approach to catalysing development in host communities.

At a time of increased pessimism globally and in Nigeria, the huge deal shines a welcome light on the opportunities that are available in Nigeria. Commentators have highlighted the credentials of Heirs Holdings as a committed indigenous business and the presence of Transcorp, Nigeria’s largest listed conglomerate, with over 300,000 shareholders in the transaction. The deal further demonstrates the ability of Tony Elumelu’s led Heirs Holdings to spearhead Africa’s economic resurgence, amidst the calamity posed by COVID-19 pandemic.

The acquisition evidences Heirs Holdings strategic intent in relation to the Nigerian energy sector – to ensure that Nigerian natural resource assets are deployed to Nigeria’s power network, driving broad-based economic growth. Transcorp is one of the largest power producers in Nigeria, with 2,000 MW of installed capacity, through ownership of Transcorp Power Plant and the recent acquisition of Afam Power Plc and Afam Three Fast Power Limited. Transcorp closed the US$300 million Afam acquisitions in November 2020.

Heirs Holdings was advised by Standard Chartered Plc, as Global Coordinator, and United Capital Plc, with a syndicate of lending institutions including Afreximbank, ABSA, Africa Finance Corporation, Union Bank of Nigeria, Hybrid Capital, and global asset management firm Amundi.

The deal also involves Schlumberger participated as a technical partner and the trading arm of Shell, as an offtaker. Heirs Holdings’ ability to bring together global and African investors, in one of the biggest African deals of the last 10 years, is a tribute to its professionalism and determination.

It reassures global investors of the country’s untapped investment opportunities and affirms the company’s commitment to improving lives and transforming Africa.

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Ford plans $30 billion electric vehicle investment by 2025

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By Chris Isidore, CNN Business

New York (CNN Business) – Ford is doubling down on electric vehicle development, announcing Wednesday it will invest $30 billion in electrification efforts by 2025. The automaker also pledged that 40% of its vehicles sold by 2030 will be electric.
Ford had previously announced plans to spend $22 billion on electrification efforts and had recently revealed plans to build two new battery factories in a joint venture with Korean battery maker SK innovation. Last week, Ford also unveiled plans for an all-electric version of the F-150 pickup, the best selling vehicle from any US automaker. It has already started selling an electric SUV under its iconic Mustang name, the Mustang Mach-E.
But Ford is still playing catchup with all-electric vehicle maker Tesla and also with traditional automakers, such as its alliance partner Volkswagen and domestic rival General Motors. Both have more extensive EV offerings and more aggressive electrification targets. GM says it is aiming to sell only emission-free vehicles by 2035.
Virtually all automakers are ramping up production plans for electric vehicles to meet increasingly tougher environmental regulations and growing demand from car buyers. Electric cars have fewer moving parts than gas-powered vehicles, and therefore can be cheaper to build because they require less labor.
And investors are more interested in backing automakers with ambitious EV plans rather than traditional automakers. Tesla is by far the most valuable car company, despite having a fraction of the sales and profits of traditional automakers. Tesla’s market value is roughly equal to that of the value of the five largest global automakers combined. Shares of Ford rose 2% in premarket trading on its EV announcement.
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All Rights Reserved.

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Kpokpogri drags company, others before EFCC over alleged N16.5m fraud

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A company, BLUESHIP CONSULT LTD has been dragged to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) by one Comrade Prince Kpokpogri over an alleged contract scandal.

In the petition dated May18/2021, which was carried out by a law firm CEDARWALL and PARTNERS and signed by Ovie Justice Osefia Esq, the petitioner Kpokpogri alleged an act of financial fraud, cheating and breach of trust/failure to construct 10x7m infinity pool project after funds were given.

Kpokpogri specifically request the commission to investigate and bring to justice BLUESHIP CONSULT LTD, Michael Chidinma Ifejia, Mrs. Victoria Chinelo, Ifejia Folakemi Faphunda and others now at large for failing to carry out the construction of the said swimming pool project at Guzape Area in Abuja after collecting the sum of Sixteen Million Naira (N16,000,000.00) from him.

According to the petitioner, after the negotiations and written agreement which took place in Lagos on the 13th Day of August, 2020, the company agreed to execute and complete the project within six weeks (6 weeks) immediately after the mobilization fees is paid into the company account.

But after the total sum had been paid in tranches into BLUESHIP CONSULT LTD Keystone bank account number 1007320832, the company failed to carry out construction as agreed within the stipulated time.

The law firm further alleged in the petition that the company and its operators has become evasive and incommunicado, alleging that its conduct has portrayed suspicious acts of frauds, cheating and obtaining money under false pretense.

The petitioner has therefore urged the anti-graft agency to use its good office to promptly look into the complaints bordering on fraudulent dealings.

Kpokpogri also seek that justice be served in respect of the petition and to also protect the public from the activities of the company.

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CBN, First Bank on collision course over removal of MD/CEO

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Sources in First Bank accuse CBN of meddling in its internal affairs.

CBN forex restrictions on food itemsCBN approves new cheque standard for banks

The Central Bank of Nigeria has issued the Board of First Bank Ltd, one of Nigeria’s oldest banks a query for the removal of its CEO.

On Wednesday the Board of Directors of First Bank of Nigeria Limited revealed it had appointed Gbenga Shobo as its Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer (CEO). The appointment was disclosed in a statement made by the bank’s Chairman, Ibukun Awosika.

However, in an apparent leak, a letter from the central bank to First Bank revealed a query from the former to the latter expressing concern that the appointment of Shobo was done without the approval of the apex bank.

“The attention of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has been drawn to media reports that the Board of Directors has approved the removal of the current Managing Director of the bank, Dr. Sola Adeduntan, and appointed a successor to replace him. The CBN notes with concern that the action was taken without due consultation with the regulatory authorities, especially given the systemic importance of First Bank Ltd.”

The CBN also claimed that the tenure of Mr. Adedutan was yet to expire (bank MD’s have a maximum 10 years) and that they were also not aware of any misconduct of the former MD and as such there was no justification for his removal.

“Given that the tenure of Dr. Adeduntan is yet to expire and the CBN was not made aware of any report from the Board indicting the Managing Director of any wrong-doing or misconduct, there appears to be no apparent justification for the precipitate removal.”

However, sources within the bank informed Nairametrics that First Bank has a maximum of 6 years tenure for its MDs in line with its succession plans. They also claimed the CBN is meddling in its internal affairs as the removal of the MD is in line with its succession plans and also does not exceed CBNs maximum of 10 years.

“First Bank followed its corporate governance framework in its change of leadership and appointment of new executive directors. No Managing Director in the 127 years history of FirstBank has ever attempted a tenure extension. Why now?”

Another source who did not want to be mentioned as they were not authorized to do so lamented that “Adeduntan’s term formally ends in June this year after 2 terms of 3 years each. Leaving early is in line with the bank’s succession planning. When he was appointed 6 years ago and a DMD role was created, the erstwhile FirstBank Managing Director knew the DMD would succeed him and this is what has happened. This is corporate governance at its best.”

However, the apex bank in the leaked letter also suggested that it had provided First Bank with “regulatory forbearance” which can be interpreted as a bailout subliminally indicating that it has a say in the operations of the bank.

“We are particularly concerned because the action is coming at a time the CBN has provided various regulatory forbearances and liquidity support to reposition the bank which has enhanced its asset quality, capital adequacy and liquidity ratios amongst other prudential indicators. It is also curious to observe that the sudden removal of the MD/CEO was done about eight months to the expiry of his second tenure which is due on December 31, 2021. The removal of a sitting MD/CEO of a systemically important bank that has been under regulatory forbearance for 5 to 6 years without prior consultation and justifiable basis has dire implications for the bank and also portends significant risks to the stability of the financial system.”

Sources within the bank also allude without proof that the involvement of the central bank in this matter may also be due to First Bank’s support of Flutterwave which may have angered CBN.

“Is this payback for FirstBank for supporting and enabling Flutterwave and other tech companies? FirstBank MD-Designate, Gbenga Shobo created a revolution by partnering with Flutterwave and other tech companies. Is this payback? The CBN Governor must be called to order. This is not a banana economy. We need to preserve the FirstBank heritage with its seamless succession planning.”

It is unclear how this matter will end but stemming from experience, we will not be surprised if this matter ends in court in a few days. The Central Bank has often controversially delved into board-related issues such as appointments and even firing of all or some Board members for what it perceives as severe infractions.

And as expected, it ended its query to the bank with a threat to the board if the decision to remove Adeduntan is not reversed.

“In light of the foregoing, you are required to explain why disciplinary action should not be taken against the Board for hastily removing the MD/CEO and failing to give prior notice to the CBN before announcing the management change in the media.”

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