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JUST IN: Zenith Bank Appoints First Female GMD

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Zenith Bank Plc has appointed Dr. Adaora Umeoji as its new Group Managing Director, effective June 1, 2024.

This was disclosed in a statement signed by the Company Secretary, Michael Otu, which was filed with the Nigerian Exchange Limited on Tuesday.

Umeoji will take over from the current GMD, Dr. Ebenezer Onyeagwu, whose time in office expires May 31.

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“Dame (Dr.) Adaora Umeoji is the first female GMDCEO since the inception of the bank, and her appointment is consistent with the bank’s executive transition tradition, succession plan, and strategy of grooming leaders from within,” part of the statement read.

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Before this appointment, Umeoji has been the Deputy Managing Director of the bank since October 28, 2016 and has close to 30 years of banking experience of which 26 years has been with Zenith Bank.

According to her profile, Umeoji is an alumnus of Harvard Business School, where she attended the Advanced Management Programme, and an alumnus of Columbia Business School with a Certificate in the Global Banking Program. She holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of Jos, a bachelor’s degree in accounting, and a first-class honours degree in law from Baze University, Abuja.

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She holds a Master of Laws from the University of Salford, United Kingdom, a Master in Business Administration from the University of Calabar, and also has a doctorate in business administration from Apollos University, USA. She holds a Certificate in Economics for Business from the prestigious MIT Sloan School of Management, USA, and has attended various management programmes in renowned Universities around the world including the strategic thinking and Management programme at Wharton Business School, USA.

READ ALSO: Abia Secures $125m Loan To Implement 2024 Budget

With this appointment, Umeoji will join the ranks of female bank MDs in Nigeria and make her the first female MD of the bank.

Zenith Bank is one of the banks in Nigeria that has large asset banks and belongs to the elite club of banks with a market value of over N1tn.

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At the close of trading on Tuesday, Zenith Bank was worth N 1.19tn, and its shares were priced at N38.1 per unit.

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JUST IN: CBN Raises Interest Rate to 26.75% Amid Surging Inflation

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The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Monetary Policy Committee, MPC, on Tuesday raised the interest by 50 basis points to 26.75 per cent from 26.25 per cent in May 2024.

CBN governor, Olayemi Cardoso, announced this at a press briefing on Tuesday at the end of the two-day 296th MPC in Abuja.

According to him, the decision to further increase the interest rate is to tackle the country’s rising core inflation and food inflation which stood at 34.19 per cent and 40.87 per cent, respectively in June.

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He said members of the MPC are not oblivious of the need to address the rising prices of food in Nigeria, necessitating the interest rate hike.

DAILY POST reports that the implication of the interest rate hike is that businesses, farmers, manufacturers and investors will have to pay more to get loans from banks.

The 296th MPC meeting is the fourth time the interest rate has been increased since the appointment of Cardoso in September last year.

Recall that in May 2023, when President Bola Tinubu was inaugurated, Nigeria’s interest rate stood at 18.75 per cent while inflation rate stood at 22.41 per cent.

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Meanwhile, despite CBN’s continued interest rate hikes, the country’s inflation has not cooled off.

Earlier analysts had called for a pause in the hike of the interest rate.

The Director of the Centre for Promotion of Private Enterprise, Muda Yusuf, backed call for a pause in the hike of the interest rate.

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According to him, the monetary instruments have been overstretched, hence not productive.

“I think we have overstretched monetary instruments because of inflation. They should put a pause on interest rate hikes,” he said.

 

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CAC To Cancel Certificates Of BDCs With Revoked Licences

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The Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) has said it would cancel the certificates of incorporation of Bureaux De Change(BCDs) whose licences have been revoked by the Central Bank of Nigeria( CBN).

The Nation reported in February the CBN revoked the licences of 4,173 Bureau De Change operators over their failure to meet regulatory guidelines.

In a statement by its acting Director, Corporate Communications, Sidi Hakama, CBN explained that the regulatory provisions flouted include nonpayment of all necessary fees within the stipulated period.

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CBN said: “The affected institutions failed to observe at least one of the following regulatory provisions: Payment of all necessary fees, including licence renewal, within the stipulated period in line with the guidelines.

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“Rendition of returns in line with the guidelines; compliance with guidelines, directives, and circulars of the CBN, particularly Anti-Money Laundering, Countering the Financing of Terrorism and Counter-Proliferation Financing regulations.”

However, in line with the above directive by the CBN, the CAC in a notice on its website on Wednesday, said the certificates would be cancelled within three months if the affected companies do not change the names and objects of such companies.

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The general public is hereby informed that following the revocation of the operational licenses of 4,173 Bureau De Change companies by the Central Bank of Nigeria vide a Federal Republic of Nigeria Official Gazette (Vol. 111) No. 37 of February 27, 2024 for noncompliance with Regulatory Standards, the Corporate Affairs Commission in the exercise of its powers under section 8(1)(e) of the Companies and Allied Matters Act, 2020 advises these companies to within three months from the date of this publication, change the names and objects of such companies.

“Failure to change the names and objects within the stipulated time frame shall result in cancellation of certificate of incorporation and dissolution. It is to be noted that it is unlawful for a company whose certificate has been deemed dissolved to carry on business,” the CAC notice reads.

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FG Suspends Taxes On Maize, Wheat, Rice, Others

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The Federal Government has suspended duties, tariffs and taxes on some essential food items imported through land and sea borders.

Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Abubakar Kyari, announced this at the National Press Centre, Abuja.

Kyari also said the Federal Government has also inaugurated the Renewed Hope National Livestock Transformation Implementation Committee to develop and implement policies that prioritize livestock development and align with the National Livestock Transformation Plan.

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He stated that the listed food items, which include maize, wheat, husked brown rice and cowpeas, will enjoy a 150-day Duty-Free Import Window.

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He added that the move is part of the Presidential Accelerated Stabilization and Advancement Plan, which is aimed at achieving food security and economic stability in the country.

According to him: “The Federal Government has announced a 150-day Duty-Free Import Window for Food Commodities, suspension of duties, tariffs and taxes for the importation of certain food commodities (through land and sea borders). These commodities include maize, husked brown rice, wheat and cowpeas.

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“Under this arrangement, imported food commodities will be subjected to a Recommended Retail Price (RRP).

“I am glad to reiterate that the Government’s position exemplifies standards that would not compromise the safety of the various food items for consumption.

“In addition to the importation by the private sector, the Federal Government will import 250,000MT of wheat and 250,000MT of maize. The imported food commodities in their semi-processed state will target supplies to the small-scale processors and millers across the country.”

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