Connect with us

Business

CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele revealed as owner of Titan Trust Bank

Published

on

Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Governor, Godwin Emefiele, has been revealed as the alleged owner of controversial Titan Trust Bank, TTB, which acquired Union Bank.

This was disclosed on Thursday in a report by ENigeria Newspaper.

 

Titan Trust Bank, or TTB, is a relatively new banking brand with only two active offices in Lagos, Nigeria’s metropolis as at the time is acquired Union Bank Plc.

 

Advertisement

Agreeably, miracles still happen in this ‘wonderful’ part of the world, however, it is also a fact that Titan Trust Bank’s sudden rise to the point of acquiring Union Bank Plc, a massive banking brand with a whopping significantly large asset size of about $4.9 billion (N2.59 trillion) according to its FY 2021 audited financial statements, remains a mystery and an algebra without mathematical solution.

 

Union Bank disclosed the anticipated transaction in a corporate disclosure filed with the Nigerian Exchange on December 23rd, 2021, after its main investors decided to sell their 93.41 percent holdings.

 

Titan Trust Bank is barely three years, more so, the bank is just finding its feet in the highly competitive Nigerian banking industry. As such, some people wondered where it could possibly get funds to facilitate the planned acquisition, while others keenly waited to see whether the acquisition could actually come to fruition.

Advertisement

 

On June 6 2022, the African Export Import Ban (Afreximbank) announced that it had disbursed the sum of $300 million to help complement the total amount needed by Titan Trust Bank to finalise the acquisition of Union Bank. Afreximbank noted that the said fund was disbursed under its ,

 

 

Investment Financing Facility.

Advertisement

 

But from all calculations, it appears as if all the companies involved in acquisition have not exactly disclosed how much it had actually cost Titan Trust to acquire Union Bank. As we pointed out earlier, Union Bank had a total asset value of $4.9 billion as of December 2021.

ALSO READ  Stanbic IBTC impacts young Nigerians through Youth Leadership Series

So, even with the $300 million from Afreximbank, a lot more money would have still been needed to facilitate the deal. And it’s most likely that Titan Trust secured funding from other sources besides Afreximbank which it deliberately refused to mention.

It was gathered that among a number of other factors corroborates public opinion that obviously Titan Trust Bank is favoured by an influential individual or persons whose vested interest is covertly hinged to the success of the bank.

 

Advertisement

The fact that Titan Trust Bank’s National Banking License is the first National Banking License that the Central Bank of Nigeria has granted in the last ten years since former Central Bank Governor Chukwuma Soludo enacted the N25 billion capitalization funds directive for National banks in Nigeria, is one of such factors that also warrants further investigation.

 

Who Owns Titan Trust Bank?
The above is a question most netizens including those in the banking industry have been asking since Titan Trust Bank miraculously acquired Union Bank.

 

However, according to an ongoing investigation, current Central Bank Governor Godwin Emefiele is the owner of Titan Trust Bank and has allegedly put it in the hands of his cronies to run.

Advertisement

 

Also, there are also strong indications that the CBN Governor who is also allegedly among the highest shareholders in Union Bank Plc may have played major role in the acquisition of the bank’s shares by TTB.

 

Titan Trust Bank – TTB is reportedly majority-owned by Tropical General Investment (TGI) Group, an investment firm allegedly linked to the CBN Governor with interests in a variety of businesses including FMCG, commodities, agriculture, Agric processing, pharmaceuticals, and oil field services, as well as real estate and trading.

 

Advertisement

According to reports, CHI Limited, the creator of the iconic Chivita products, was one of TGI’s most notable enterprises, which was finally sold to Coca-Cola in 2019.

ALSO READ  Crisis hits Eko Disco, chairman, directors disagree on MD’s sacking

 

Titan Trust Bank: Other compelling factors and unanswered questions raised by pundits:
Union Bank was stabilized and recapitalized thanks to a N300 billion injection by FGN. This position can be confirmed by the Federal Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). AMCON injected another N239 billion into the bank to purchase out the bank’s bad assets.

How did FGN end up with 21% of the bank and Union Global Partners (a foreign investment entity) with 64% when it only invested N78 billion ($500 million At N155/$) in 2011?

 

Is the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASS) aware of these concerns?
During the deal, Tunde Lemo was the CBN’s vice governor. Is he allowed to be linked with the acquisition of this same intervening Bank as a benefactor under corporate governance provisions?

 

Advertisement

“In 2011, Union Bank was a group of seven firms, but it has since been reduced to only one commercial bank. Without recourse to the FGN, an entity. Where did all of the subsidiaries and/or other assets go? Who got what claim and on what conditions/approvals?,”

 

Faruk Gumel is the current Chairman of the National Security Agency (NSIA), a government agency, as well as a Group Executive Director with TGI, the majority stakeholder in Titan Bank, the new owners of Union Bank. Is this a transaction that falls under the definition of “arm’s length” as defined by Nigerian corporate governance?

 

Perhaps the President and Commander in Chief, as well as the NASS leadership, should raise these and other questions. The answers should come from the CBN, AMCON, the Federal Ministry of Finance, and Mr. Emeka Emuwa, the former Managing Director of Union Bank.

Advertisement

 

Clearly, the fact that Titan Trust Bank, a small bank with only two bank branches in Lagos, can almost effortlessly swallow up Union Bank, a 104-year-old bank, in a transaction valued in the region of about $1 billion dollars or above, defies common sense and suggests a case of “the hand of Esau, but the voice of Jacob.”

ALSO READ  Mama Ibeji Won’t Like This- Lady in Bum Shorts Jumps on Kizz Daniel, Singer Grabs Her Backside in Video

 

Only Two weeks ago, it was announced that Atlas Mara and other core investors in Union have successfully finalised their proposed sale of 93.41% stake.

 

Advertisement

Following the acquisition, Titan Trust Bank quickly took over the 105-year-old bank, appointed new board members and replaced some top executives. And some people were really interested in knowing how the 3-year old bank pulled it off. Where did it get the money? Many had asked.

 

TheNewsGuru.com (TNG) learned that Emefiele, through one of his closest ally, Adaeze Udensi, perfected the groundworks for the establishment of Titan Trust Bank as well as its acquisition of Union Bank.

“Adaeze is positioned as the face of TTB for a reason. She was there from inception in 2019 and she has been a tool in the hand of Emefiele even right from her days at Zenith bank”, a source said.

 

Advertisement

Adaeze Udensi was the only Executive Director of Titan Trust Bank and wielded so much influence; more than the former Managing Director, Mudassir Amray, who stepped aside after the complete acquisition of Union Bank days back.

 

TheNewsGuru.com (TNG) gathered that Adaeze Udensi is the current Acting Managing Director of Titan Trust Bank as of the time of filing this report, and some insiders said that they were not surprised, “after all, that was the grand plan from the start,” the source said.

 

Emefiele’s camp has continued to deny his participation with Titan Trust, but their evasive denial without adequate explanation is reminiscent of a similar situation that occurred when the CBN Governor’s desire to run for President in 2023 became exposed.

Advertisement

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Business

FG eyes $4.4bn new loans as debt hits N101tn

Published

on

FG eyes $4.4bn new loans as debt hits N101tn

The Federal Government has borrowed a total of $4.95bn in loans from the World Bank in the past 12 months, pushing the total public debt to N101tn amidst worries about the increasing costs of servicing external debt.

The nation’s public debt was put at approximately N97tn as of December 2023, according to the Debt Management Office data.

Also read: N17bn debt: GTBank drags 60 bank chiefs to court

 

This came as the government still expects fresh loan approval worth $4.4bn from the international lender and the Africa Development Bank over the next one year.

Advertisement

An analysis by our correspondent showed that the bank approved funding for six projects including $750m for power sector financing, $500m for women empowerment, $700m for girl child education, $750m for renewable energy solutions, $750m on resource mobilisation reforms and $1.5bn for economic stabilisation reforms.

Findings by Theheute showed that on June 9, 2023, the World Bank board approved a loan of $750m to boost Nigeria’s power sector. The bank said the loan would serve as additional financing for the power sector recovery performance-based operation.

It also announced the approval of a loan of $500m on June 27, 2023to help Nigeria drive women’s empowerment. This was the second loan approved by the bank under the current administration. It provided a scale-up financing for the Nigeria for Women Programme.

In September 2023, the World Bank approved a loan of $700m to bolster educational opportunities and empowerment for adolescent girls in Nigeria. The loan was to support the ongoing ‘Adolescent Girls Initiative for Learning and Empowerment project. It aimed to encourage secondary education accessibility for girls residing in specific target states within Nigeria.

ALSO READ  85-year-old grandpa bags life jail for killing wife

While $750m was authorised on December 14, 2023, for the Distributed Access through Renewable Energy Scale-up project in Nigeria, the project aims to provide over 17.5 million Nigerians with better access to electricity via distributed renewable energy solutions and tackle the electricity access deficit.

Advertisement

The latest was a sum of $2.25bn comprising $1.5bn for reforms on Economic Stabilisation to Enable Transformation Development Policy Financing Programme. It is meant to increase fiscal oil revenues to 2.7 per cent by 2025, boost non-oil fiscal revenues, expand social safety nets to assist 67 million vulnerable Nigerians and raise the import value of previously banned products. $750m was also apportioned to enhance non-oil revenues and protect oil and gas revenue.

Meanwhile, the government is expecting about $4.4bn in new loans from the World Bank and the AfDB. The government is pursuing a $500m loan to address the need for better connectivity in rural road infrastructure and agricultural marketing, a $750m loan if it reintroduces previously suspended telecom tax and other fiscal measures, and a $500m to address the challenges faced by Internally Displaced Persons nationwide. The government is also expecting about $2.7bn economic and budget support loan from the African Development Bank.

The AfDB President Akinwumi Adesina, in an interview with journalists in March said its Board of Directors approved $134m for Nigeria to implement an emergency food production plan, while talks are also ongoing for a $1.7bn economic and budget support loan as well as the launch of a $1bn agro-industrial processes in 28 states.

ALSO READ  COVID-19: NDDC Calls for Caution as Nigeria Enters Fourth Wave

The World Bank, a prominent international financial institution dedicated to reducing global poverty provides loans and grants to developing countries for a wide range of projects, including infrastructure development, education, healthcare, and environmental sustainability.

However, for many Nigerians, long years of infrastructure decay and increased unemployment have triggered an increased feeling of bitterness whenever they hear the government’s intention to borrow with past borrowings is not justifiable.

Advertisement

Nigeria has been a top recipient of fresh loans from multilateral lenders, borrowing $2.7bn in 2023 from about $2.9bn released to the country in 2022.

Last week, the Bretton Woods Institution said its technical advisory and financing to support economic growth in Nigeria currently stands at over US$15bn affirming data from the external debt stock report of the Debt Management Office shows that Nigeria owes the World Bank a total of $15.45bn as of December 31, 2023.

President Bola Tinubu had expressed his resolute commitment to breaking the vicious cycle of overreliance on borrowing for public spending, and the resulting burden of debt servicing it places on the management of Nigeria’s limited government revenueHoweververr ver the president may not have matched his words with actions as they have sought to obtain credit facilities from both domestic and external lenders.

The soaring costs of servicing foreign debt have significant implications for Nigeria’s economy. The increased debt burden could potentially divert resources away from critical sectors such as healthcare, education, and infrastructure, exacerbating socio-economic challenges.

Advertisement
ALSO READ  UBA CEO reveals bank well-positioned to meet Africa’s banking needs
Continue Reading

Business

FG offers 17 new oil blocks for bidding

Published

on

FG offers 17 new oil blocks for bidding

The Federal Government, on Tuesday, announced the addition of 17 deep offshore oil blocks to the 2024 Licensing Round for oil fields in Nigeria.

Recall that some deep offshore blocks were recently put on offer for the 2022/23 mini-bid round and other blocks which cut across onshore, continental shelf and deep offshore terrains were also put on offer for the Nigeria 2024 Licencing Round.

 

Also read: Oil mafia tried to stop our refinery, says Dangote

 

Advertisement

Precisely on May 8, the government invited investors to bid for 12 oil blocks and seven deep offshore assets in the 2024 marginal fields bid round.

Also on June 12, 2024, it was reported that the Federal government had increased the number of oil blocks on offer in the 2024 marginal bid round.

The Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission, Gbenga Komolafe, disclosed this at the pre-bid conference for the 2024 licencing round in Lagos.

Providing updates on the 2022/2023 and 2024 licencing rounds, Komolafe, in a statement he signed and issued in Abuja on Tuesday, said 17 deep offshore blocks have been added to the 2024 Licensing Round.

He said, “In pursuit of the commission’s commitment to derive value from the country’s abundant oil and gas reserves and increase production, the commission has been working assiduously with multi-client companies to undertake more exploratory activities to acquire more data to foster and encourage further investment in the Nigerian upstream sector.

Advertisement
ALSO READ  Kaka visits Ronaldo, others at Man United training ground

“As a result of additional data acquired in respect of deep offshore blocks, the commission has added 17 deep offshore blocks to the 2024 Licensing Round. Further details on the blocks can be found on the bid portal.”

Komolafe further stated that “by the published guidelines, we had earlier indicated that some of the assets on offer should be applied for as clusters, namely: PPL 300-CS & PPL 301-CS, PPL 2000 and PPL 2001. Bidders are hereby advised that they may, at their option, bid for those blocks as clusters or as single units.”

For clarification, he said bidders should refer to the Frequently Asked Questions Sections of the 2022/23 and 2024 Licensing Round portals, or contact the upstream regulatory agency.

The NUPRC boss also stated that to allow interested investors to take advantage of the expanded opportunities, the 2024 Licencing Round schedule had been amended.

He said, “Registration/submission of pre-qualification documents which was initially scheduled to close on June 25, 2024, has been extended by 10 days and will now close on July 5, 2024.

Advertisement

“Data access/data purchase/evaluation/bid preparation and submission which was initially scheduled to open on July 4, 2024, and close on 29/11/24 will now start on July 8, 2024, and close on 29/11/24 as previously scheduled.

“All other dates in the published 2024 licencing round schedule remain the same unless otherwise communicated.”

He stated that to vacate entry barriers, the commission had sought and obtained the approval of President Bola Tinubu, who, as petroleum minister, approved attractive fiscal regimes and also minimised entry fees for both licencing rounds by putting a cap on the signature bonus payable for the award of the acreages.

ALSO READ  Stanbic IBTC impacts young Nigerians through Youth Leadership Series

“Consequently, it is necessary to ensure that the same bid criteria (in addition to the uniform signature bonus criteria) are applicable for both licencing rounds, to promote transparency and provide a level playing ground for all bidders.

“Since the criteria for the award of the oil blocks are now much more attractive than they initially were during the 2022/23 Mini Bid Round, it is in the interest of equity and fair play to give all investors the same opportunity to bid for the assets,” Komolafe stated.

Advertisement

Based on this, he declared that all blocks in the 2022/23 and 2024 Licencing Rounds were now available to all interested investors the websites developed for the exercise by the NUPRC, adding that the 2022/23 Mini Bid Round registration phase had been reopened to new applicants.

“The public is therefore invited to take advantage of this development and attractive entry terms and conditions and participate in the exercise.

“However, all the pre-qualified applicants published on the 2022/23 Mini Bid Round portal will not be required to go through a new pre-qualification process, as their technical submissions remain valid and eligible even for the 2024 Licencing Round.

“They may, however, wish to re-submit new commercial bids to take advantage of the more attractive criteria applicable to both licencing rounds and revise their bid bonds to adapt to the new bid criteria. They are also free to bid for blocks on offer in the 2024 Licencing Round,” Komolafe stated.

Advertisement
ALSO READ  Sanwo-Olu present s budget to assembly: Economy affairs, education, environment top Lagos’ priorities in 2024
Continue Reading

Business

N17bn debt: GTBank drags 60 bank chiefs to court

Published

on

N17bn debt: GTBank drags 60 bank chiefs to court

Guaranty Trust Bank has dragged no fewer than 60 top executives of 13 commercial banks to court as a pending suit between GTBank and Afex Commodity Exchange over N17bn Anchor Borrowers Programme loan lingers.

The 60 executives including the chairmen, chief executive officers, directors, and company secretaries of the 13 banks are facing contempt proceedings for allegedly failing to implement a No-Debit-Order reportedly placed on the accounts of Afex Commodity Exchange with the banks.

Also read: GTBank files lawsuit against employee for alleged N9.9 million fraud

In suit no FHC/L/CS/911/2024 involving Guaranty Trust Bank Limited and AFEX Commodities Exchange Limited, the Federal High Court, Lagos division presided by Justice CJ Aneke signed an order for the bank chairmen, MDs, directors, company secretaries and the liquidator of Heritage Bank (Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation) to be committed to jail for failing to obey its May 27, 2024 ruling.

“An order granting leave to the Plaintiff Applicant to serve Form 48 (Notice of Consequences of Disobedience to Order of Court) dated 11th June, 2024 and all other forms and processes that may be issued in this contempt proceedings inclusive of Form 49 on the 1st-60st parties cited for contempt

Advertisement

The matter was adjourned to next Thursday.

Parties cited for contempt include Access Bank, Citibank, Jaiz Bank, Union Bank, Fidelity Bank, First Bank of Nigeria Plc, First City Monument Bank, NDIC (liquidator for Heritage Bank), Polaris Bank, Stanbic IBTC Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, Taj Bank, United Bank for Africa and Zenith Bank alongside its principal officers.

ALSO READ  Court orders Dangote to pay unlawfully dismissed employee N1.4mln within 30 days

In the court ruling dated May 27, 2024, twenty banks were directed to transfer monies standing to the credit of the respondent into the AFEX’s account with GTB until the N17.81bn is repaid.

The N17.81bn loans comprise N15.77bn; the amount outstanding and unpaid, as of April 17, 2024, and the cost of recovery and incidental expenses in the sum of N2.04bn.

The court also granted an injunction allowing GTB to take over AFEX 16 warehouses located across seven states and sell the commodities stored in them, which it said were procured with the Central Bank of Nigeria Anchor Borrowers’ loan facility.

Advertisement

Earlier in the month, the court had served contempt proceedings against AFEX and some of its principal officers including Ayodele Balogun, Jendayi Fraaser, Justin Topilow, Mobolaji Adeoye and Koonal Ghandi.

According to court papers, AFEX had sourced the Anchor Borrowers Programme Loan facility from GTB to provide finance for smallholder farmers registered under the CBN Anchor Borrower’s programme.

The loan was expected to be repaid from the sale of commodities. However, AFEX failed to uphold its end of the deal even after an extension.

In a statement following the interim court order, AFEX claimed that it had repaid about 90 per cent of the loan facility.

“However, a portion of the loan remains outstanding with the farmers and while we have paid out a portion out of our own purse, we remain in discussions with CBN over the outstanding amounts of the said facility,” the exchange said.

Advertisement

It also said the full value of the loan was utilised to provide input to farmers in three consecutive seasons, starting in 2020.

ALSO READ  Entertainment Ex-BBNaija housemate, Angel Smith, laments scariest thing about marriage

The exchange added that it had remained consistent with repaying the loans until economic headwinds impacted the operations of the farmers that they had disbursed the money to.

“Over 800,000 hectares of farmland were financed through the course of the programme’s operationalisation; however, significant macro and policy headwinds, including the cash crunch on the back of the Naira redesign policy, severely impacted the productive capacity and market participation of the smallholder farmers in the 2022/2023 season.

“This resulted in less than 40 cent repayment from farmers on their input loan bundles, down from our 90per cent repayment rates in the previous eight years of providing input financing for farmers. The low repayment rate ultimately impacted on our ability to refund the full value of the loan at the end of Q1 2023 and following a 6-month extension period,” AFEX added.

The commodities exchange also stated that the lingering effects of the cash crunch have continued to impact farmers, who sold at below market value to get immediate cash inflows to sustain their families in the period and remain unable to pay back.

Advertisement

Meanwhile, AFEX has called on the Central Bank of Nigeria to activate the collateral guarantee of up to 70 per cent clause included in the Anchor Borrowers programme.

“Evidenced in the attached letters, our engagements with Guaranty Trust Bank Limited, a Participating Financial Institution in the program, as well as the apex bank have seen us highlight these limitations on the part of the defaulting farmers with suggestions being made to the CBN to activate the risk-sharing structure put in place for the program and release funds accordingly to sustain activities and allow for needed recovery efforts in our agriculture sector.

ALSO READ  Kaka visits Ronaldo, others at Man United training ground

“In light of these engagements, we consider the recent steps by Guaranty Trust Bank Limited to be premature, coming in the midst of open conversations that are being had with all parties to find a path to resolution that does not unduly punish farmers, who have been the biggest hit by macroeconomic conditions that they had no control over,” AFEX concluded.

CBN at the inception of the programme in 2015 said the broad objective was to create economic linkages between smallholder farmers and processors to increase agricultural output and ensure food price stability.

The Anchor Borrowers’ Programme guidelines stipulate that upon harvest, benefiting farmers are to repay their loans with produce (which must cover the loan principal and interest) to an anchor, who pays the cash equivalent to the farmer’s account.

Advertisement

By 2022, at least 4.8 million people had benefitted from the Anchor Borrowers Programme and the CBN in a 2023 statement said it released N1.079tn under the programme, out of which over N500bn is due for repayment.

The programme has since been discontinued by the CBN as it pivots from development financing interventions to its core duty of price and monetary stability.

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2022 TheHeute.