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Customer battles Ecobank over N2 billion loss

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A Federal high court sitting in Lagos south west Nigeria has adjourned till 10th of December, 2018 for report of settlement or trial if amicable settlement fails, the suit instituted by a

Lagos business man Rev. Chukwuemeka Ngubo and his company Elim Motors Nigeria Limited against Ecobank Nigeria limited for allegedly buying United States Dollar on their behalf at the rate of N475 to one United States Dollar whilst the Central Bank approved rate was at N300 to one United States Dollar as at the time of purchase.

By wrongfully sourcing foreign exchange from the parallel market,the Plaintiffs alleged that Ecobank exposed them to the sum of over N2Billion loss.

By the provision of the Foreign Exchange (monitoring and miscellaneous Provisions )Act, Cap F34,laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004,Ecobank ought not to have sourced foreign exchange from the parallel market

The plaintiffs further averred that, the action of the bank is in flagrant breach of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s extant rules regulating the conduct of foreign exchange transactions in Nigeria which has adversely affected the credit rating and financial credibility of the company to the benefit of the bank.

According to statement of claim filed before the court ,The Plaintiffs aver that pursuant to the banker-customer relationship between Ecobank Nigeria limited and Elim Motor limited,the bank had, in the past granted Elim Motor limited several credit facilities which the company always repaid as at when due.

The company averred that,it applied for and the bank issued a bank guarantee in the sum of $12million in favour of Credit Trading Company ,through Deutche Bank AG London in the sum of $8,750,000, By the foregoing the plaintiffs aver that, a balance of $3,250,000 was left unutilised.

The loan was secured with the following.
1.lien on cash Collateral of N200 million being held at the bank’s Treasury Department.
2.legal mortgage on blocks of lecture Halls Complex student centre Okota, Isolo Lagos State valued at N383Million.
3.Legal Mortgage on Block of Lecture hall complex at Elim Mordern Student Centre Okota.
4.Stock Hypothecation of one Billion Naira.
5.Persobal guarantee of the Managing Director with a notarised statement of net worth
6.Promisory note of Elim Motors Limited for the payment of all present and future principal and outstanding balances in the account.

Upon the expiration of the tenor of the bank guarantee ,and in honouring the bank guarantee, Ecobank Nigeria limited unilaterally and wrongly sourced the sum of $8,750,000 it paid to Cedric Trading Company LLC from parallel market rather than from Central Bank of Nigeria by purchasing the foreign exchange at the rate of N475 to one US Dollar, whilst the Central Bank of Nigeria’s approved rate was at N300 to one US Dollar as at that time.

By wrongly sourcing foreign exchange from the parallel market, the bank exposed the Plaintiff Company to the sum over N2billion as loss.
By the provision of the foreign Exchange (motoring and Miscellaneous provision) Act, Cap F34,Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004,Ecobank ought not to have sourced foreign exchange from the parallel market.

Due to the wrongful actions of the bank,the bank is still demanding for the sum of N4,410,017,358.51 from the plaintiffs as their outstanding indebtedness.
However, the Plaintiffs averred that they are not in any way indebted to Ecobank,consequently urged the court to declare that the unilateral purchase of foreign exchange by Ecobank at the parallel market rate rather than at the Central Bank of Nigeria ‘s inter-bank rate is in breach of the Ecobank’s fiduciariary duties owed the Plaintiffs by Ecobank Nigeria limited.
An order directing Central bank of Nigeria to conduct a detail enquiry into the purchase of foreign exchange by the bank at the parallel market, and if the bank is found to have breached ethical standards in the banking industry, penalized the bank in line with its extant Guidelines and Monetary Policies.

The bank in its statement of defence denied almost all the claims of the plaintiffs instead the bank is contending that the plaintiffs are owing the bank the sum of N4,693,438,781.10 as at 28th of February, 2016.

The bank therefore urged the court to dismiss the claim of the plaintiffs as being frivolous and baseless.

Source: TheNews

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BUSINESS

Diamond bank partners Facebook to support young entrepreneurs

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Diamond bank Plc in collaboration with Facebook and Affrinolly is set to project Nigeria’s young entrepreneurs to the digital world.

Addressing journalists, Area Manager, Ikeja branch of Diamond Bank Plz, Chigozie Onyecha, said that, Diamond bank believes in small and medium enterprises.

He said that it was the reason, the bank in partnership with the named firms is embarking on digital marketing training for entrepreneurs particularly in the entertainment industry.

According to him, the aim is to help individuals with feasible and viable initiatives to reach out to the global space by providing an online platform for networking, financial aid, advisory, business clinics workshop and technical know-how.

“We are poised to boost talents in young people provided their initiatives are bankable” he stated.
Speaking for Facebook, the creator trainer, Ewonro Amune, for Afrinolly, said facebook America and its partners are working to help small and medium entrepreneurs to do their businesses online.

According to him “we want them to leverage on the social media tools to boost and enhance their performance, build community and make profit”

Ewonro further stressed that facebook is offering business owners knowledge by showing them ways businesses ought to be done in the 21st century, adding that, it’s like showing people how to fish instead of giving them fish.

“It’s up to creators to harness their potential by keying into the Data world because Data is the new oil to explore the world and any entrepreneur who is not in the Data world is playing. So Facebook is offering a lot of incentives for Nigerians, all they need is to show themselves approved” he added.

Meanwhile the Executive Director, Legal & external networks, for Afrinolly, Jane Maduegbuna, said Afrinolly with its partners are helping young people to identify and position their brand identity, saying that the training is geared to make entrepreneurs monetize their products.

“we want to bring at least 300 viable ideas to the fore and we expect them to explore the digital world to market their businesses.

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FirstBank restates commitment to SMEs, Agric sector growth

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Yewande Zaccheaus, CEO, Eventful Limited; Ibukun Awosika, Chairman, First Bank of Nigeria Limited and Tiyan Alile, Founder and Promoter of Culinary Academy at Fiesta of Flavours, the food festival event organised by Eventful Limited and sponsored by FirstBank.

By NAN (Oluwafunke Ishola)

First Bank of Nigeria Limited has expressed its commitment to the growth of the agricultural value chain and creating opportunities for the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to thrive in the country.

Its Group Head, Marketing and Corporate Communications, Mrs Folake Ani-Mumuney, made the assertion at the fourth edition of Fiesta of Flavours in Lagos.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Fiesta of Flavours is a food and beverage fair that provides an avenue for participants to fully experience the entertainment, art and business of food.

The fair organised by FirstBank in collaboration with the Eventful Ltd, connects SMEs with prospective customers toward boosting sales, exposure and business growth.

Ani-Mumuney said that the financial institution was committed to helping SMEs in the food sector to grow and develop, while promoting economic diversification.

According to her, SMEs are critical to the development of the nation’s economy and should be supported by all stakeholders in the overall national interest.

Also, Mrs Yewande Zaccheus, the Chief Executive Officer, Eventful Ltd., said that the initiative had created a platform that converges SMEs and customers in a relaxed atmosphere while promoting business activities.

Zaccheus said that many SMEs, especially those in the online space has leveraged on the opportunity of the fair to create awareness about their products, forge more partnerships and client base.

She said that many businesses that were showcased had grown through the platform and impacting positively on the economy.

Commenting, Mr Olisa Adibua, the Managing Director, Perception Media, said that the fair had assisted in showcasing the best in local and international cuisine, not just to Nigerians, but the international community.

Chef Tiyan Alile, the Founder, Culinary Academy and Culinary Consultant for Fiesta of Flavours, said that the fair provided a platform for vendors and customers to connect and also serves as a family day out.

“The hospitality industry is growing so much that people need offtakers.

“Contacts are exchanged at the fair and symbiotic relationship that leverages on various expertise from farm, packaging and culinary development are made,” Alile said.

She said that many jobs had been created with the fair through various trainings, seminars and competitions that empowers SME operators and visitors at the fair.

Commenting, Mrs Arinola Shobande, Head, Corporate Communications, Enyo Retail and Supply Ltd., said that the company was at the fair to enlighten consumers about standards of gas cylinders and also supply them with gas.

Also, Mrs Omolola Ezeifeoma, the Managing Director, Creative Foods Concept, commended the bank for the platform, saying that the fair helped her network to create awareness about her business activities. (NAN)

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Unity Bank director, EFCC chairman inducted as Fellow of the Compliance Institute of Nigeria (PHOTO)

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R-L: Ms. Isioma Gogo-Anazodo, Chairperson, Programs, Education & Examination Committee, Compliance Institute of Nigeria (CIN), Ibrahim Magu, Chairman Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and Abdulqadir Usman, Executive Director, Corporate Planning and Compliance,Unity Bank Plc, during the induction of the duo as Fellow of the Compliance Institute at the CIBN, Lagos on Saturday December 8, 2018.
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