Bank Mistakenly Transfers $34bn To Customer

Germany’s biggest lender Deutsche Bank on Friday admitted to a massive erroneous transfer of €28bn ($34 billion) in a routine operation, more than the entire bank is worth.

The unprecedented mistake happened on March 16 when Deutsche Bank carried out a transfer to an account at Deutsche Boerse’s Eurex clearing house, a spokesman told AFP.

The operation was meant to involve a far smaller sum, which the bank has not revealed, and highlights IT and control issues at the banking giant.

Accounting errors happen most days, but the sum involved in this case is highly unusual and even exceeds Deutsche’s market capitalisation of 24 billion euros.

The incident, which came shortly before John Cryan was ousted as chief executive, was quickly fixed and no harm was done, the institution said.

But it raises questions about the risk management and control processes within the bank, which Cryan was meant to have greatly improved since his arrival in 2016.

Given sole command of the lender in 2016 after the departure of co-CEO Juergen Fitschen, Cryan’s task was to restructure Deutsche and clean up the toxic legacy of its pre-financial crisis bid to compete with global investment banking giants.

But Deutsche has yet to return to profitability, while the share price has slumped more than 50 percent in the past two years — around 30 percent this year alone.

In a sign of the bank’s ongoing internal tussles, Deutsche on Wednesday announced the departure of its IT and infrastructure chief Kim Hammonds, who had reportedly called the bank the “most dysfunctional company” that she had worked for.

Many Low Income Countries Will Face Unsustainable Debt – IMF

As global debt profile continues to shoot upward, the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Christine Lagarde, predicts that many low-income countries will have unsustainable debt burdens.

Speaking to the media at the sidelines of the World Bank group spring meetings in Washington, Lagarde said financial vulnerabilities are increasing with the rise in debt.

“In low income countries, if recent trends continue, many, not all, wll face unsustainable debt burdens.

“Third cloud, financial vulnerabilities have increased due to high debt, rising financial market volatility, and elevated asset prices. A sudden tightening of financial conditions could lead to market corrections, unsustainable debt, and capital flow reversals.”

Lagarde warned that public debt in advanced countries have risen to figures not seen since the 2nd World war.

She stated that the world’s debt profile has soared to $164 trillion, which is 225% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP): “global debt is at all time high. It stands at $164 trillion, which is 225 percent of gross domestic products, GDP, of which the private sector accounts for two-third. Public debt in advanced economies is at levels not seen since Second World War.”

The IMF boss said the short-term prospect for the global economy remains positive. It is times like this, when the sun is shining ‘that you fix the roof,’ she observed.

According to her, several governments have not maximized this window of sunshine and more clouds are gathering than those seen in 2017.

“So overall, the near-term prospect for the global economy continues to be bright. At the same time, while the sun is shining we are seeing more clouds accumulating on the horizon than we did back in October 2017.

“Some of you will remember that back in October, we said it is when the sun is shining that you fix the roof. So first thing, have some governments taken measures to fix the roof? Well, some have, but certainly not all; and more needs to be done to sustain this upswing and foster long-term growth. IMF expects the sunshine to persist. It has pushed up its growth projection from 3,7% in 2017 to 3.9% for the year.

Lagarde says the momentum is driven by the U.s, Europe, Japan, China and many emerging economies.

“It is clearly a pickup in our projections, and we maintain it this year and next.”

The momentum has been driven by stronger investment and a rebound in trade. It is broad-based, and it involves the USA, Europe, Japan, China, as well as many other emerging and developing countries, yet not all.”

At the unveiling of the world economic outlook, the chief economist in IMF Maurice Obstfeld, said on Monday that Nigeria and other commodity based markets might not get it so lucky if prices tumble down again.

He advised these countries to diversify their economies in order to avoid shocks from a fall in commodity prices.

 

Osunwon Omoluabi Receives Traders’ Supports

The new measuring and weight scale introduced by the government of the State of Osun has received the support of market men and women in the state.

Speaking at a sensitization and training organized by the state Ministry of Commerce, Cooperatives and Industries at the popular Igbonna market in Osogbo, the leader of the market men who is also the Babaloja of the state, Chief David Iyiola commended the state government under the leadership of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola for the innovation through the introduction of the standard measuring scales for use in all markets across the state.

He said the gesture has saved them from cheating and being cheated, adding that the use of measuring scales has been beneficial to both the sellers and buyers.

While assuring that the market men and women were prepared to embrace the use of standard scale, Iyiola noted that the incessant quarrel which normally accompany usage of old modes of measuring products had gone forever.

The Special Adviser to the Governor on Commerce, Hon. Femi Popoola said there are many gains for all stakeholders in the usage of the new standard scale.

According to him, both the buyers and sellers are to benefit from the project, assuring that 48 markets had been visited by officials of the ministry to sensitise the people of its importance.

He warned against contravening the law governing the use of the new scale.

Also, the State Commissioner for Commerce, Industries and Cooperatives, Ismaila Jayeoba-Alagbada said that the state has recorded another achievement over the acceptance for usage of the weight and measuring scales, describing it as unquantifiable.

He assured traders from other neighbouring states to come over and patronise markets in the Osun, assuring that they would have value for their money.

Alagbada noted that the acceptability would remove misconception by some stakeholders that government will be determining the prices of goods and services for them.

 

 

Osun Assembly Passes N179.2bn Appropriation Bill

The Osun House of Assembly has passed 2018 appropriation bill of N179.2 billion.


The passage of the budget followed a motion moved by the leader of house, Mr Timothy Owoeye and seconded by Mr Kamil Oyedele, the House Chairman on Finance and Appropriation at the plenary on Wednesday in Osogbo.

The budget as approved has N92.6 billion as capital expenditure , which represents 51.1 per cent and N86.6 billion as recurrent expenditure, which represents 48.9 per cent.

Gov. Rauf Aregbesola had on Dec. 28, 2017 presented a budget of N173.9 bilion to the assembly.

The budget was jacked up by the parliament in the course of its consideration

Explaining the reason for the delay in the passage of the budget, Mr Najeem Salaam, the speaker of the house, said the lawmaker were being careful to present a budget that would be acceptable to the state.

Salaam urged the state governor to release the approved budget to Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government immediately funds is available.

He said this would allow the MDAs to function effectively.

The speaker also urged all revenue generating agencies to improve in their operations to enhance what the state is getting from the Federation’s account.

Speaking with newsmen men after the passage of the bill, Mr Olatunbosun Oyintiloye, House Committee Chairman on Information and Strategy, said that the budget was increased by N5.2 billion by the assembly.

Oyintiloye said the increase represents 3.03 per cent from the original budget presentated to the assembly by the governor.

The lawmaker said that he was satisfied with the approved budget christened ‘budget of enduring legacy’.

“It is a budget of hope with capital expenditure higher than the recurrent expenditure.

“With the sectoral allocation, I believe it is a budget for the common man, which is promising and achievable , if all hands will be on deck”, Oyintiloye said.

The lawmaker said that the assembly ,through its standing committees would ensure proper implementation of the budget and its performance

Africa’s Food Security Is Threatened Due To Lack Of Modern Techniques

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has revealed that Africa’s refusal or lack in using modern farming techniques will threaten Africa’s food security.

Josef Kienzle, FAO’s Leader of the Mechanisation task team, said that unless the governments adopt new technologies of farming, the continent will continue relying on food aid.

“There is need for a paradigm shift on intensive crop production since the current methods applied cannot meet the challenges of the new millennium,” Kienzle said during the second conservation agriculture conference in Nairobi.

The FAO official said the use of rudimentary hand tools and little access to mechanization and inputs such as
quality seeds and fertiliser is further complicating agricultural productivity in the continent that has
a high population growth rate.

He said the governments must also consider allocating funds towards the improvement of degraded fertile land, depleted groundwater, pest upsurges, eroded biodiversity, air, water and soil pollution and sustainable
intensification to help increase production.

He noted that the more the annual crop yields continue declining, the more the continent will have of
undernourished people.

He recommended the application of tools that offers minimum mechanical soil disturbance, promotes permanent organic soil cover and diversification of soil crop species grown in sequence.

The FAO official called for the formation of smallholder associations that can be formalized and later
institutionalised and linked with other institutions to help promote information sharing.

“There is need to integrate sustainable mechanization in collaboration with the private sector to enhance
productivity and profitability,” he added.

Kienzle said that the majority of smallholders in Africa are women due to the fact that rural-urban migration has forced youths out of the farms to look for other means of making a living.

“There is need to incorporate the youths by re-positioning farming as a lucrative business enterprise for them to venture into and supplement production,” he added.

Barack Okoba, FAO Climate Smart Agriculture Officer, revealed that FAO offices in Kenya has developed a messaging system where farmers are sent electronic messages to their mobile phones.

“They receive messages on weather patterns and market information to help them make right decisions,” he added.

He further noted that coaching and mentorship programs have been set up through producer business groups to help attract people into the business.

 

Bill Gates Supports Use Of Technology To End Malaria

Billionaire Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Bill Gates has supported the use of technology to help put an end to malaria.

This was disclosed while on Wednesday while speaking at the Malaria Forum conference in London saying that it should not jeopardise exploration of tools such as CRISPR gene editing and so-called “gene drive” technologies.

“I’m very energised about the potential of gene drive. (It’s) the kind of breakthrough we need to support,” Gates said.

“It may prove critical here.”

Gene drive technologies alter DNA and drive self-sustaining genetic changes through multiple generations by overriding normal biological processes.

CRISPR technology enables scientists to find and modify or replace virtually any gene. The techniques are being explored across science – from human medicine to livestock- and crop-breeding.

In mosquitoes that transmit malaria, genetic alterations can be used to induce infertility to reduce populations, or alter the insects’ ability to carry and pass on the malaria parasite. The technologies can be extremely powerful.

However, they are also controversial, since such genetically engineered organisms released into the environment could have an unknown and irreversible impact on the ecosystem.

Asked in a interview with the Media about that controversy, Gates said there were understandable concerns about safety and efficacy that would need to be addressed in research and trials.

But he countered: “Malaria itself is quite controversial – it kills about 400,000 kids a year. So we’re definitely not on the side of malaria.”

He also noted that at their summit in January, leaders of the African Union endorsed gene drive research as part of the fight against a disease that continues to kill their people.

“They spoke out to say that, for them, getting rid of malaria is worth using innovative science,” Gates said.

The WHO warned late 2017 that global progress against malaria had stalled and could be reversed if momentum in the fight to wipe it out was lost.

The disease infected around 216 million people in 91 countries in 2016, an increase of 5 million cases over the previous year.

It killed 445,000 people, about the same number as in 2015, with the vast majority of deaths occurring in babies and young children in sub-Saharan Africa.

Gates told the Forum that his almost 20 years of involvement in global efforts to beat malaria had been both gratifying, in terms of progress, and tough, in terms of suffering he witnessed.

He described seeing a child in a hospital in Tanzania convulsed with seizures due to cerebral malaria.

“With the state of science and the wealth of the world, that really should be an affront,” he said. “We really shouldn’t accept that this disease can continue.”

Gates said that ending malaria for good would take many years and a range of tools both new and old – from bednets and mosquito traps to a new vaccine and next generation gene tools.

He said he thought it unlikely that creating gene drives in malaria-spreading mosquitoes would have a major impact on the wider ecosystem.

His reason is so because it would only target a few species and suppress their populations for a period of time.

“None of these (gene technology) constructs will actually wipe out the species,” he said. “It will evolve back. After all, evolutionary pressures always push back.”

Dramatically reducing mosquito populations with such technologies could give a window of opportunity to help limit the human-reservoir-of-disease so that transmission of the disease among people is stopped, he said.

Gates also said that genetic information and data, gathered in the field and transmitted swiftly to sophisticated surveillance systems, is allowing scientists to identify evolving strains of malaria parasites.

They are also tracking drug and pesticide resistance, helping them stay one step ahead of the disease.

 

CBN Injects Fresh $210m Into Forex Market

In continuation of its intervention in the interbank segment of the foreign exchange (forex) market, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) wednesday made available another $210 million in the market to meet the requests of customers.

A breakdown of the figures made available by the Bank indicated that the CBN offered the sum of $100 million to authorised dealers in the wholesale segment of the market, just as it allocated the sum of $55 million each to the small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) segment and the invisibles segment to meet needs tuition fees, medical payments and Basic Travel Allowance (BTA), among others.

Confirming the intervention, a statement quoted the CBN Acting Director in charge of the Corporate Communications Department (CCD), Isaac Okorafor, said the continued intervention by the Bank was in line with the Governor’s commitment to ensure liquidity in the market as well as reduce pressure on the naira.

Okorafor said the CBN was pleased with the current market situation brought about by policies it had put in place to check forex speculatiors, round trippers and rent-seekers.

According to him, these policies had helped to stabilise the exchange rate in addition to the establishment of the Investors-Exporters window, which had increased fx supply with over $20 billion inflow since its inception.

According to him, the Bank would not relent in its effort to manage the country’s forex with a view to reducing its import bills and checking any haemorhage of its foreign reserves.

The CBN, in its last intervention last Tuesday had intervened to the tune of $210 million to cater for requests in the various segments of the forex market.

Meanwhile, the naira continued its stability on the forex market, exchanging at an average of N360/$1 in the BDC segment yesterday.

Taxify Gives Users Access To Emergency Calls

Taxify has upped its game to provide adequate security for its drivers-partners against violence, car-jacking, robbery and any other situation that requires immediate attention.

The SOS button works by triggering a distress call to the Lagos State Emergency Response Agency. The integration of the SOS button comes on the back of Taxify’s plans to further utilize technology to keep drivers safe on the roads.

The introduction of this safety feature comes at a critical time for Taxify, where the competition in the ride-hailing space is stiff and players are heavily competing for both drivers and riders. According to Operations Manager, Uche Okafor, “Over the last few years we’ve led the way with technology-based safety features such GPS tracking of every trip and our two-way rating system.

“We recognize that we can utilize our technology even further and now that we have integrated the SOS button into the Taxify driver app, we look forward to applying this additional layer of safety to further strengthen driver safety while on the platform.”

Taxify was founded by Markus Villig in 2013. It’s one of the fastest-growing ride-sharing platforms in the world, focusing on Europe and Africa.

$462m Helicopter Purchase: Senate Summons Adeosun, Emefiele

The Senate has invited the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun; Minister of Defence, Brig.-Gen. Mansur Dan-Ali (retd.); and Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria, Dr. Godwin Emefiele, over alleged illegal withdrawal of $462m from the Consolidated Revenue Account.

The money was said to have been withdrawn and paid to an American firm for the purchase of helicopters. It was, however, alleged that it was done with the approval of the National Assembly.

At the plenary on Tuesday, Senator Samuel Anyanwu (PDP, Imo-East) raised a point of order, alleging that Section 80(2) and (3) of the 1999 Constitution had been breached.

Anyanwu said, “I have it on good authority that in March 2018, from the Federation Account, a whopping sum of $462m was withdrawn and paid for (the purchase of) helicopters to an American firm. And this is without the approval of the National Assembly or the Senate.

“I know that there was no time when there was any request (for approval) from this Senate before any withdrawal from the Consolidated Federation Account.

“I, therefore, as a senator, want us to find out if that thing (withdrawal) was done.

“I will request and suggest we invite the CBN governor, the Minister of Finance and the Minister of Defence to tell us how this money was withdrawn and paid to an American company — a whopping $462m — without the approval of this Senate.”

Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, who presided over the plenary, put the request to voice vote and it was unanimously granted.

Ekweremadu referred the matter to the Committee on Appropriations, asking it to invite the ministers and the CBN governor.

“The Appropriations Committee should invite the three: the Minister of Finance, the CBN governor and the Minister of Defence to shed light on the release,” he said.

 

BACK PAGE Osun IGR: From Negative To High Fiscal Capacity

 

All indications show that the Rauf Aregbesola-led administration prioritises economic policies that will spur growth, wealth creation and prosperity for Osun people. These policies are targeted at reducing the rate of poverty and unemployment. The long-term economic plan of the state governor is to create wealth and prosperity for the people.

It is clear that Osun economic model is targeted at driving economic growth and sustainability intended to achieve self-sustainability for the state where proceeds from Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) will be used to drive economic growth and prosperity for the people without depending on the allocation from the Federation Account.

It is on record that Aregbesola has established a process with the introduction of electronic data processing of all taxpayers’ information and this has created easy access to taxpayers’ information. The training and retraining of revenue officers in the use of enabling laws, improvement in the administrative machinery to eliminate bottlenecks and bureaucracy in process have also helped. The state has created a comprehensive data on who should pay tax or the key economic activities that can generate tax income.

No doubt, the state can boast of high revenue capacity and expenditure which needs to compare with the national average. Aregbesola has created high fiscal capacity, or a relatively high capability to cover Osun expenditure needs using its own resources. In 2011, the state had low fiscal capacity, that is, a low level of revenue-raising capacity given what it would cost to provide a standard set of public services to its citizens.

For instance, Osun is now a pacesetter among the six participating states in the State and Local Governance Reform (SLOGOR) Project. The programme, organised by Office of the Auditor-General in Osun State, in collaboration with SLOGOR Project (EU/World Bank Assisted), was held at Aurora Event Centre, Osogbo. Osun, through the Office of the Statistician-General, has released the figure of its Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) for seven years, from 2010 to 2017.

In a statement, the Statistician-General, Prof. Wasiu Gbolagade, dismissed the rumour that Osun was fictitiously giving incorrect figures as a window dressing. He said in 2010, the IGR stood at N3,376,735,645.43, rose to N7,398,572,036.48 in 2011 and was N5,020,250,633.94k in 2012. Gbolagade said the IGR in 2013 was N7,284,225,003.77, became N8,513,274,186.67 in 2014, while it was N8,072,966,446.00 in 2015, N8,884,756,040.35 in 2016 and N11,731,026,444.38k in 2017.

He said: “The IGR increased from N3.38 billion in 2010 to N8.51 billion in 2014. It increased from N8.88 billion in 2016 to N11.73 billion in 2017, representing percentage increase of 32.4. The types of IGR the state depends mostly on are PAYE, MDAs revenue, direct assessment, road taxes and other taxes. Of the above, PAYE generated the highest revenue for the state.

From a paltry N300 million a month about 7 years ago to N1.6 billion now, internally generated revenue (IGR) in the state appear to have taken a quantum leap. Osun has also been ranked as the second less miserable and poverty-ridden state in the country for the year 2017, according to a report by Financial Derivatives Company released on January 1, 2018. The report, titled: ‘How the States Performed in 2017’, stated that Osun had the lowest net FAAC allocation in the country but was not delinquent in the payment of salary arrears.

The investment in human capital by the Aregbesola administration would yield bountiful returns in education tax, thereby contributing substantially to the state’s monthly IGR target. In line with this, 277 model schools with about 1,811 modern classrooms were built or rehabilitated and the schools were equipped with 62,922 sets of chairs and tables. Every school day in Osun, 253,000 elementary school children receive a nutritious meal produced largely by local farmers to boost learning as well as local production. The Osun School Feeding Programme is the longest running of its kind in the country. In six years, Osun has, through its basic education agency invested billions to build capacity, both in human and physical infrastructure.

The Osun Agency for Community and Social Development Project has also partnered with the World Bank, committing, at least, N2 billion on several social developmental projects to reach 1,073,129 beneficiaries in rural communities. The partnership is delivering 356 inclusive, gender-sensitive and multi-sectoral micro projects, covering education, rural electrification, primary health care, transportation, and potable water provision in 263 communities across the state. Most of these businesses and individual beneficiaries are already captured in the tax net.

The efforts of the state government soon resulted in corresponding increase in investments and production in Osun State. Tuns Farms, an indigenous poultry company, in partnership with smallholder farmers, ramped up broiler production to position the state as the second-largest broiler producer in the country. Omoluabi Garment Factory, a PPP venture between Sam and Sara Garments and Osun government, emerged as the largest garment factory in West Africa. RLG Adulawo, an indigenous computer assembly plant, also established operations in Osun as a result of the favourable infrastructure in the state. These investments created many jobs with both the organisations and their staff boosting the tax revenues of the state government.

Between 2013 and 2017, The Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative rated Osun second-highest in Human Development Index among the 36 states in the country. In 2014, Rencap in its 36 shades of Nigeria economic review of states ranked Osun as the 7th largest economy in Nigeria, while in 2013 the NBS rated Osun as the state with the lowest poverty rate in Nigeria.

With the good outing of the Aregbesola administration so far, creating an enabling environment for investments and also providing critical infrastructure, it is not surprising that the state is so highly rated by independent observers. The goodwill has already reflected in the IGR growth trajectory, prompting the collective aspiration of citizens of the state as well as government officials that N5 billion monthly IGR is realisable.

 

Repackage Traditional Products, Contribute Positively To Economy, Aregbesola Charges TRAWSO

By Shina Abubakar

Osun state governor, Mr. Rauf Aregbesola has called on adherents of traditional religion to add value to traditional medical products and services they offer.

The governor said when this is done, the adherents would be contributing positively to the nation’s economy and also solve some health challenges that could be addressed with traditional herbal products and services.

He also called for repackaging of, and reorientation about the Yoruba traditional religion and practice, so as not to lose valuable benefits inherent in them.

Aregbesola, who disclosed this at the swearing-in ceremony of newly elected executives of Traditional Religion Worshippers Association, State of Osun (TRAWSO), noted that, when traditional medical products and services are properly packaged, many more people will be interested in them.

Represented by the Commissioner for Home Affairs, Dr. Wale Adebisi, Aregbesola was of the opinion that wholesale rejection of the Yoruba traditional religion could lead, in no distance time, to loss of identity by the race.

He said the warm hands of fellowship the West, in recent past, appears to be offering Yoruba culture, should send signals to the discerning minds within the race that there are several good things about the culture.

“But how are we, the owner of the culture treating it? Shabbily. We don’t value what we have and that is not the right way to go. We must guard our culture jealously and ensure we don’t lose it. Loss of culture means loss of identity and we must not allow that to happen.

“As a Yoruba man, I know many medical products and services offered by the Yoruba traditionalists are potent.  But lack of proper packaging has limited acceptance of these products by even we Yoruba people, let alone people from other parts of the world. That should be addressed. Once we package them well, these products will be contributing positively to our GDP and even earn us forex.

“I am suggesting as part of the way forward, that you leaders and adherents of the Yoruba traditional religion should not scare people away from the tradition, but package it and make it very attractive and more exportable,” Aregbesola concluded.

Newly elected officials of the association; Chairman, Oba Bamijogbin Alao, Vice Chairman, Chief Oyebowale Olojede, Secretary,  Dr. Oluseyi Atanda, Assistant Secretary, Apetebi Toyin Awolola, Treasurer, Oloye Ifasola Onifade and others later took oath of office.