MATTERS ARISING CONT’D: GTBank Expands into East Africa


GTBank Sept

Leading Nigerian financial institution, Guaranty Trust Bank Plc (GTBank), has begun its expansion into East Africa with the aim of becoming the preferred bank in the continent.

GTBank which has been operating from over 200 branches within the country with subsidiaries in Cote D’Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leone in the West African region and the United Kingdom, has announced its East Africa expansion with the plan to acquire a 70 per cent stake in Kenya’s Fina Bank Limited for $100 million. The acquisition would see GTBank expand its operations to three East African countries.

According to the agreement, GTBank would acquire the 70 per cent shareholding in the bank “through a combination of capital injection in Fina Bank, and an acquisition of shares from the current shareholders.

In addition, GTBank and the remaining shareholders of Fina Bank will enter into a shareholders’ agreement to ensure a smooth transition of the governance and operations of the bank, with the possibility of acquiring further shares in due course.

“The parties will enter into this agreement in the spirit of a close partnership, as they share common objectives, and see significant benefits and synergies for both institutions and their respective stakeholders resulting from the transaction,” GTBank said.

Bags of Rice Sept

FG Promises to Stop Rice Importation
In what could be seen as a reaction to the recent admittance of Nigeria’s annual food importation figure of 11bn Dollars, the federal government has promised to boost rice production and give support to local farmers, in order to grow food that can feed the nation and its neighbours.

Minister of Agriculture, represented by Mr. Johnson Waziri, who made the promise during the launch of the North-east pest control operations held in Bauchi in August, disclosed that the government expends colossal amount of money to import rice into the country, pointed out that if the money is invested in local production, the nation would become a major exporter of the commodity.

On why local farming is not yielding much profit and the desired result in Nigeria, Waziri said it was due to inadequate control of pests and diseases, adding that this was what informed the decision of the federal ministry of agriculture to procure pesticides worth millions of Naira for free spray on farmlands across the country.

He further explained that the aircraft that will carry out the spraying on the farmlands is capable of taking 200 litres of the chemicals, warning people to stay away from the site where the operation takes place for at least 72 hours to avoid being harmed. The minister thereafter solicited the support and cooperation of the Bauchi state government towards the success of the exercise.

Alhaji Inuwa Abdul-Kadir Sept
Jonathan Sparing Mediocres in Cabinet
President Goodluck Jonathan has sacked the Minister of Youth Development, Alhaji Inuwa Abdul-Kadir. Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, who announced this decision, did not state the grounds for his sack, but it was learnt that the minister may not have weighed up to average on the performance scale since joining the cabinet.

It would be recalled that President Goodluck Jonathan few months ago signed a performance contract with his cabinet members. If that is the ground for abdul_kadir’s sack, then the present state of affairs in the nation suggests he shouldn’t be the only casualty. Is Mr. president sparing the rod for some in his cabinet?

Nigeria, a brand in need of a revolution

The Speaker, House of Representatives, Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal, has said a revolution is due in Nigeria because of endemic corruption in the country, coupled with the general disaffection of the people with the ruling elite.

Tambuwal while speaking at the 2013 Distinguished Management Lecture of the Nigerian Institute of Management (Chartered) in Lagos said situations that could trigger a revolution are presently obtainable in Nigeria. In his words, “The most compelling reasons for revolution throughout the ages were injustice, crushing poverty, marginalisation, rampant corruption, lawlessness, joblessness, and general disaffection with the ruling elite. You will agree with me that these describe conditions in our nation now, to a very large degree.”

The Speaker said as representatives of the people, the legislature ensured that the more critical needs of the people got priority attention, as efforts were made to ensure equitable distribution of projects. He however pointed out that the desired effect can only be achieved if annual budgets are concentrated on issues that affect huge chunk of our population. “The effort of the National Assembly to handle appropriation to meet the yearnings and aspirations of the people has been met with serious resistance; yet it is something we must do. It is perhaps important to emphasise that if our economy is to be turned around, our annual budgets must prioritise programmes and projects that deliberately address issues of poverty alleviation, job creation and security of lives and property.”

Nigeria, a brand in need of a revolution

The Federal Government said it has begun the implementation of the International Ships and Ports Facilities Security (ISPS) Code in the ports nationwide. Announcing this, Minister of Transport, Sen. Idris Umar, in a statement read by Mrs Yetunde Sonaike, Deputy Director, Press and Protocol, in the ministry said implementation of the code became necessary so that Nigeria’s ports system would be safe and secured for the benefit of Nigerians and foreign investors in the maritime industry.

“Nigeria is a country that depends solely on oil; making the ports safe is of paramount interest to the present administration,” he said. ISPS is an amendment to the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) Convention (1974/1988) on minimum security arrangements for ships, ports and government agencies.