Sunday, 23 July 2023

Eco Bank CEO, Bolaji Lawal faces though time

Things are getting tougher for ECO Bank CEO, Bolaji Lawal who is earnestly looking forward to proving his mettle as the bank chief.

From eyeing N13.5 billion payout to boost operations, the financial institution he oversees is now deep neck down in a whooping N72.2 Billion debt.

That is the unfolding tale of an uphill task of the Eco Bank CEO- Bolaji Lawal.

Lawal officially took up the career-defining appointment as Chief Executive Officer at the Bank whose official name is Ecobank Transnational Inc (ETI) on March 1, 2022 after missing out of becoming the Managing Director at Guaranty Trust Bank (GTBank).the previous year. 

The Eco Bank job was touted as the perfect opportunity to show his former employers they were wrong in letting him go.

But life has thrown a major stumbling block to what was about to be a quick start with N72.2billion damages in favour of Honeywell Flour Mills Plc (HFMP). 

The judgement is compensation for the huge loss HFMP suffered with the ex-parte order Eco Bank secured against its operation while seeking to recover a disputed loan.

The ex-parte order – motions for orders that can be granted without waiting for a response from the other side – frozen the assets of Honeywell Flour Mills as part of efforts by Eco Bank to force recovery of the disputed loan.

The development resulted in significant loss for HFMP, its stakeholders as well as the direct and indirect dependants on it operations – including what is termed “incalculable perception on credit worthiness”.

“Eco Bank secured the ex-parte orders from a Federal High court in November 2015, Honeywell regained it assets in 2016 through the Court of Appeal and in 2018, the supreme court upheld that Eco Bank was wrong and granted full access of the assets to Honeywell” SocietyNow.Ng learned.

Added information revealed that the legal condemnation of the move by Eco Bank was such that its counsel was sanctioned for the step.

Interestingly while trying to convince the court to grant the nullified ex-parte orders, Eco Bank reportedly added a sweetener, the bank  ” submitted an undertaking to compensate Honeywell Flour Mills for any harm or losses suffered as a result of the ex-parte order, if it is determined that the application was without merit.” SocietyNow.Ng learned.

It was gathered that is what has come back to haunt the Bank with Lawal as Chief Executive Officer, according to SocietyNow.Ng.

Honeywell took Eco Bank and its legal team to their words in the undertaking and approached the court in 2018,  after the supreme court win, with a comprehensive compilation of the loss suffered during the period the ex-parte orders were applied on its assets.

“The result is the N72.2 Billion damages awarded on Tuesday (July 18, 2023), though Honeywell sought more than that” SocietyNow.Ng gathered.

Added checks revealed that though Eco Bank has announced the intention to appeal the decision, it has been an unsettling development for the Chief Executive Officer and his team.

It was also gathered that this is especially because, before the supreme court win that gave Eco Bank confidence of getting ₦13.5 billion from Honeywell Flour Mills in the original dispute, the Bankers’ Committee, Sub-committee on Ethics & Professionalism in a decision ratified by the Bankers’ Committee ruled in 2015 that HFMP was not indebted to the Bank.

But the Eco Bank refused to abide by the decision and insisted otherwise until the matter went to open court and entered into the latest chapter.

“And now the new Chief Executive Officer’s job just got tougher with such an addition to all that is already on his plate,” the source disclosed.

Source: SocietyNowNg


Saturday, 8 July 2023

How Geregu CEO, Akin Akinfemiwa, Saved Me From Bankruptcy – Otedola

  • ‘I Contemplated Suicide’ – Otedola
  • Their Relationship As A Gift of Providence

After he lost his fortune, it struck him that his father had always been his role model in life and the first thing he must do was to protect his name and integrity

When you are as wealthy as Femi Otedola, it could be hard to be humble. Yet Otedola affects staggering humility. The billionaire magnate ascribes his affluence not by virtue of any sharpness of sight solely on his part, or any personal distinction but to the support of men of colossal height.

The crust of pride, which remains the failing of many a billionaire, dissipates amid the fount of Otedola’s comeliness; the accomplished mogul affects infectious humbleness – makes it difficult to resent him.


Otedola’s modesty manifested in full bloom, recently, in London, United Kingdom (UK), at the 50th birthday celebration of the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Geregu Power Plc., Akin Akinfemiwa. 

At the event, Otedola revealed the remarkable role played by Akinfemiwa in salvaging his business and saving him from bankruptcy. In video recently posted by a news medium, Otedola described his first encounter with Akinfemiwa in 2005 as a gift of providence.

He disclosed that Akinfemiwa played a pivotal role in revitalizing his business (Forte Oil) when it ran into hard times. According to Otedola, he had hit rock bottom and was at the point where he actually contemplated taking his own life but after careful consideration, he jettisoned the idea.

Around the time that Akinfemiwa began working for Otedola, the billionaire magnate, faced a significant setback in 2008 when he incurred a loss of approximately $480 million.

This was due to a drastic drop in diesel prices. The shipment, comprising one million tons of diesel, experienced a price crash from $146 to $34 per barrel. Coupled with the devaluation of the naira, this unfortunate event led to Otedola’s exclusion from the Forbes billionaire list.

After he lost his fortune, it struck him that his father had always been his role model in life and the first thing he must do was to protect his name and integrity. Thus his decision to heal and recoup his fortune the old fashioned way, by dint of honest endeavour.

Just after the global banking crisis had struck, the Nigerian government established the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) to buy up distressed loans. Otedola’s loan was sold to AMCON by his bank.

“Experience is the best teacher. I didn’t have a proper structure and I also put the blame on the banks for not advising me. All they were interested in was the profits. They were not interested in sustainability of the business, they were short-sighted and all they were interested in was throwing money at me. So they never advised me,” said Otedola.

The banks had to shave off about $400 million from the debt leaving Otedola $800 million in the red. AMCON offered him a restructuring deal, which Otedola declined. He opted instead to repay what he owed and start all over again.

“So we got a reputable firm to value my assets. I had about 184 flats, which I gave up. I was the largest investor in the Nigerian banking sector, which I gave up, I was also a major shareholder of Africa Finance Corporation and I was the Chairman of Transcorp Hilton. I was a shareholder in Mobil Oil Nigeria Limited, the second largest shareholder in Chevron Texaco, Visafone and several companies which they valued, and I had to give up to repay the debt,” revealed Otedola.

Acknowledging his part in the failure of his business, Otedola entrusted the remedial steps to Akinfemiwa. This strategic move turned out to be a turning point, solidifying the Geregu CEO’s standing in the energy sector.

“My relationship with Akin is what I would call, destiny prevails. In 2005 I had a friend that worked in Oando and she did mention to me that she has a colleague. And she called Akin and we spoke,” disclosed Otedola.

He said, “I set up my training company in London Fine shade energy, I was looking for a trader and I couldn’t find any good trader. I called Dimeji Edwards who was Akin’s boss. Akin picked up the phone to come and see me.

“So he came, and I said to him, listen I want to give you a job. Come and work for me. Then of course he went back to Wale and Mofe who were his bosses then. And they said you want to go and work for that man? That has sacked six CEOs in six years.

“Now, when I say destiny prevails, the business collapsed. I built a massive empire. I had 93 per cent of diesel at my fingertips. I was a bit playful, and the business collapsed. The option I had then was to commit suicide. Then, of course, I thought of Nana and the kids. And I said no, I won’t commit suicide.

“I will face reality and sack myself and the business. So, I sacked myself. I made Akin the CEO of the London office, and I was so impressed by the way he turned around the business. I gave him 1% of the business. I now later, made him the CEO of Zenon Oil, and then the CEO of African Petroleum.”

 These measures were instrumental to his comeback; Otedola made an impressive comeback, acquiring stakes in major companies and consolidating his position in the business world.

 These days, he is much wiser; there are systems in place to prevent a similar collapse of his business empire.

Source: The Capital NG


Thursday, 29 June 2023

Colour, Class as Gov Abdulrazaq joins Emir Ilorin in Emirate Durbar Horse Riding


Nigerian Bottling Company Limited, Abuja plant has been directed to recall the implicated batch of the unwholesome product and report to NAFDAC for effective monitoring

The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has warned the public of a batch of “unwholesome” Sprite 50cl drink circulating in Nigeria.

In a statement on Wednesday, the agency said the contaminated drinks have the batch number AZ6 22:32, a manufacturing date of April 18, 2023, and an expiry date of April 4, 2024.


NAFDAC said the product was discovered following a consumer complaint and upon investigation, over five crates of the batch were discovered to be contaminated with particles.

“The affected batch of the unwholesome product has been sampled for laboratory analysis in the NAFDAC laboratory and the agency has directed all zonal directors and state coordinators to carry out surveillance and mop up the implicated batch of the unwholesome product,” the statement reads.

“Similarly, a comprehensive current Good Manufacturing Practice (cGMP) inspection of the manufacturing site is to be carried out by the agency, this is to find the root cause of the contamination and ensure compliance to marketing authorisation.

“Furthermore, the company, (Nigerian Bottling Company Limited, Abuja plant) has been directed to recall the implicated batch of the unwholesome product and report to NAFDAC for effective monitoring.

“NAFDAC implores distributors, retailers, and consumers to exercise caution and vigilance to avoid the consumption, sale, or distribution of the unwholesome product. The products’ authenticity and physical condition should be carefully checked.

“Anyone in possession of the above-mentioned batch of Sprite 50cl glass bottles is advised to submit stock to the nearest NAFDAC office. If you, or someone you know, have consumed this product or suffered any adverse reaction/event after consumption, you are advised to seek immediate medical advice from a qualified healthcare professional.”


Sunday, 11 June 2023

Fraudsters hack Globus Bank’s system, steal depositor’s N1.7 billion


Fraudsters took advantage of system glitch in Globus Bank’s USSD application between Monday 6th and Saturday 11th of June 2022 to process several fraudulent and unauthorized electronic transfer

Global Bank Limited, one of the new entrants into the Nigerian banking sector, led by Peter Amangbo as chairman and Elias Igbinakenzua as its chief executive officer, is in the news for the wrong reason, according to The Witness newspaper.

The bank has filed an application before a Lagos high court seeking an order for recovery of a total sum of N962,019,843.35 fraudulently transferred electronically from its vault into accounts domiciled in eight commercial banks.


The N962m is part of the total N1,755,376,156.34 transferred from the bank between Monday 6th and Saturday 11th of June 2022. The bank has already recovered the sum of N817,998,969.85 from the accounts of the fraudsters.

The development has however raised concerns as financial analysts say that the bank’s security system may be either weak, poor or not up to industry standard.

In an affidavit sworn to by the legal officer, Kosisochukwu Ngene, Globus bank said fraudsters took advantage of system glitch in its USSD application between Monday 6th and Saturday 11th of June 2022 to process several fraudulent and unauthorized electronic transfer totalling N1,755,376,156.34 (One Billion, Seven Hundred and Fifty-Five Million, Three Hundred and Seventy-Six Thousand, One Hundred Fifty-Six Naira thirty four kobo.

The bank said 709 people who were its customers were involved in the fraudulent transfer of the funds to accounts domiciled in eight commercial banks.

It added that immediately it discovered the glitch, it instantaneously notified all the banks involved and requested that the beneficiary accounts be restricted.

This, Globus Bank said was in line with Central bank of Nigeria regulation to avoid dissipation of the funds fraudulently transferred into the accounts domiciled with the banks.

“Subsequently, Globus bank immediately approached the Magistrate Court, in the Yaba Magisterial District and obtained an order directing the banks to freeze and reverse the amount fraudulently transferred into various accounts domiciled in the banks.

“That in response to the order served on the respondents some of the respondents were able to salvage certain sum wherein the total sum of N817,998,969.85 were returned to the bank while the total sum of N962,019,843.35 is still outstanding and yet to be returned to the bank by the respondents banks.

The Excel sheet which contains the names of the respondents the total amount fraudulently transfered from Globus bank,the total amount salvaged and returned to the Globus and the total amount outstanding is analyze was also filed before the court.

Globus Bank said it still requires the order of the high court to enable the other banks to reverse and remit the salvaged funds to it.

It added that the other banks have requested an order of the high court, to enable them reverse and remit the salvaged funds.

“Consequently,Globus bank Limited is seeking the following reliefs from the court.

“An Order of the Court directing all the eight banks to immediately reverse and remit to, Globus bank Limited the total sum of N962,019,843.35 (Nine hundred and sixty two million, nineteen thousand , eight hundred and forty three naira, thirty five kobo), being the outstanding sum yet to be salvaged from the fraudulent transfer into several accounts domiciled with the eight Respondents from the Globus bank 709 customers’ accounts, less depleted sum.

“An order directing the eight commercial banks to release all account information in respect of the destination accounts and the beneficiaries of the transfer funds
“And for such further order(s) as the court may deem fit to make in the circumstances of this case.”

The Witness


Wednesday, 24 May 2023

Ex-Benue First Lady, Yemisi Suswam Creating Affordable Housing

…covers Pleasures Magazine May/June Issue

Pleasures Magazine features the former First Lady of Benue State, North-Central Nigeria, Mrs Yemisi Suswam, on the cover of its May/June 2023 issue.

Yemisi Suswam, who is also the Managing Director of All Purpose Shelter Limited, a renowned real estate company in Nigeria, speaks extensively with PLEASURES Magazine on the renewed commitment of her firm aimed at providing affordable housing and respite for all Nigerians.


The need for affordable and qualitative housing has always been a serious concern for most Nigerians, however, considering the bottlenecks in property acquisition, All Purpose Shelter Limited, a leading real estate company in Nigeria has changed the dynamics of the industry and eliminated the bottlenecks in achieving such a feat by creating real estate investment opportunities for individuals and organisations.

All Purpose Shelter Limited operates as a consortium of Architects, Quantity Surveyors, Structural/Civil Engineers, Mechanical/Electrical Engineers, and all relevant artisans. The Company is an indigenous company registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission on the 29th of April, 1995.

The Company is also affiliated with foreign companies that come in whenever the need arises to boost the technical expertise required especially in mass construction of projects to meet the needs of clients such as corporate bodies, institutions, and individuals in various projects – residential, commercial, and estate development.

The company has delivered cutting-edge and competitive real estate solutions to its valued clients at competitive prices.

All Purpose Shelter was founded by a visionary leader – Arc. Yemisi Suswam, a woman of impeccable values and of the highest professional ethics. Over a career spanning three decades, she effortlessly combines her strong family values with intuitive business acumen to lead the company that is renowned for its integrity and credibility.

In an exclusive interview with the PLEASURES Magazine team, Yemisi Suswam gave an extensive breakdown of the company operations, from its strategies and plans to its offers.

She said: ‘’Our passion is people and projects. As such, our clientele includes Nigerians across every income category from corporate bodies to private individuals; cooperative societies to institutions.

Our primary objective is providing real estate solutions and change the Nigerian skyline one project at a time”. She stated that the major distinguishing factor of the All-Purpose Shelter model from others was a broad spectrum of services that cover various segments of the real estate market which include residential (affordable, intermediate & high-end), commercial (offices), retail (shopping malls, markets) and specialty projects. Which includes about 2000 shops at the Wuye Ultra-Modern Market. The company aims to empower women and the masses by offering affordable prices with flexible payment plans for people interested in acquiring a space at the Wuye Ultra-Modern Market.

“All-Purpose Shelter has continued to grow both in sophistication of its projects and geographically through growth of new markets.” All Purpose Shelter Limited has earned the trust of Nigerians and people in the diaspora for their exceptional architectural design, real estate and construction, consultancy services, interior design, and decoration in Nigeria.

All Purpose Shelters Limited helps its clients bring their construction ideas to life. We understand that real estate decisions could be very complicated, but that doesn’t have to be your concern. Our team manages the process of evaluating real estate investment choices, while also executing real estate strategies that serve your interest, in every sense. For us at APSL, your needs come first. We take the time to understand your objectives, so we can figure out the most efficient ways to help you achieve that. We house some of Nigeria’s most proficient real estate professionals with in-depth understanding of the construction industry. Our knowledge of the market, regulations, entitlement legalities are constantly available to help you navigate this.

Because All Purpose Shelter Limited is passionate about getting people into homes, we have made it our singular goal to evolve affordable homes without compromising on aesthetics, design or quality, thus, achieving homes that put the client at its very centre. It’s a segment of the market that we have built expertise in which our signature use of the burnt red bricks we are able to produces homes at competitive rates.

READ ABOUT: Peak Milk ‘offensive’ Easter advert: FrieslandCampina apologises to Christians

Suswam, who is a former first lady of Benue State, North Central Nigeria, emphasized the social advantages of home ownership that lead to better productivity of individuals and in turn lead to a more productive economy.

According to her, “Owning a home leads to better health, better output and productivity. Providing access to water, sanitation and other physical and social infrastructure are our main priorities in all our estates. Regarding financial benefits, home ownership provides the opportunity for individuals to unlock several financial resources such as access to loans that could be used to fund your dreams. During our interaction with clients we identified there was great reluctance for the average Nigerian to access mortgages, most would prefer to save over a long period of time and wait to own a home.

Pleasures Magazine




Eco Bank CEO, Bolaji Lawal faces though time

Things are getting tougher for ECO Bank CEO, Bolaji Lawal who is earnestly looking forward to proving his mettle as the bank chief. From eye...