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Nigeria: MTN involves 15 lawyers to challenge CBN huge demand.

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The Federal High Court in Lagos has fixed December 4, 2018, for hearing in the suit filed by MTN Nigeria Communications Limited to challenge the  $8,134,312,397.63 being demanded by the Central Bank of Nigeria over the alleged forex remittances.

At the Tuesday proceedings in the case, MTN was represented by Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), who led 14 other lawyers, including Prof Fabian Ajogwu (SAN), Mr Damian Dodo (SAN), Mr Adeniyi Adegbonmire (SAN), and Mr Bode Olanipekun (SAN).



On the CBN legal team were Messrs Seyi Sowemimo (SAN) and Ademola Akerele (SAN).

The Attorney General of the Federation, Mr Abubakar Malami (SAN), who was joined as the 2nd defendant in the suit was absent and was not represented in court.

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While adjourning the suit till December 4, 2018, for the hearing of all pending applications, Justice Saliu Saidu directed that hearing notice should be served on the Attorney General of the Federation.

In the suit, marked FHC/L/CS/1475/2018, MTN is seeking a court declaration that it is “not liable to refund $8,134,312,397.63 to the coffers of the 1st defendant (CBN) premised on the decisions reached in the 1st defendant’s letter of 28/8/2018.”

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The firm wants Justice Saidu to hold that the CBN “lacks the power to determine the civil obligations or penal liabilities of the plaintiff.”

It is urging the court to declare that the CBN acted ultra vires its statutory powers when it wrote the August 18 letter to it demanding a refund of $8.1bn.

The firm wants the court to hold that the $8.1bn demand was “illegal, oppressive, abusive, unauthorised and unconstitutional.

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Business

Forex inflow under 9 months hits $40.9bn -CBN.

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Between January and September last year, a total foreign exchange inflow of $40.93bn was recorded by the Central Bank of Nigeria.

The inflow of $40.93bn, when compared with the $27.95bn recorded in the first nine months of 2017, represents an increase of $12.98bn.

An analysis of the third quarter economic report of the CBN showed that about $14.15bn passed through the apex bank in the first quarter of last year.



In the second quarter of last year, the CBN recorded foreign exchange inflow of $13.82bn, while the sum of $12.95bn was recorded during the third quarter of 2018.

The report stated that despite the decline in domestic crude oil production, there was an improvement in foreign exchange revenue from oil export in the third quarter of 2018.

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It added that the development was, however, moderated by the significant decline in inflow from non-oil exports.

It read in part, “Aggregate foreign exchange inflow through the CBN amounted to $12.95bn, indicating a 6.3 percent decline below the level at end-June 2018.

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“It, however, showed an increase of 8.1 per cent, over the level in the corresponding period of 2017.

“The decline, relative to the preceding quarter, reflected, mainly, the fall in inflow from non-oil sources.”

The apex bank attributed the increase in outflow relative to the preceding quarter to a 32.2 per cent and 28 per cent increase in public sector  payments and interventions in the foreign exchange market.

“There is no doubt that the CBN’s forex policies have helped the growth of local industries in Nigeria.  Notable among these are the restrictions to access official forex placed on 42 imported items.

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CBN injects $210m into inter-bank market

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In continuation of its periodic intervention in the foreign exchange market, the Central Bank of Nigeria, on Tuesday, injected another sum of $210m into the inter-bank foreign exchange market.

Figures released by the CBN indicated that authorised dealers in the wholesale segment of the market received $100m, while the Small and Medium Enterprises and the invisibles segments were allocated $55m each.

The Director, Corporate Communications Department, CBN, Mr Isaac Okorafor, restated the bank’s resolve to always meet the request of genuine customers in the various segments of the market.



Recall that on Friday the bank injected $289.76m into retail Secondary Market Intervention Sales and CNY38.70m into the spot and short-tenored forwards of the inter-bank foreign exchange market.

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Meanwhile, the naira on Tuesday continued to exchange at an average of N360/$1 in the Bureau De Change segment of the market.

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In the first half report of the CBN, the regulator stated that it sustained its intervention at the interbank and BDC segments, to engender stability in the foreign exchange market.

Records from the regulator showed that in the half year report of 2018, the CBN increased the frequency of foreign exchange cash sales to the BDCs from twice to thrice per week, and adjusted the selling rate, downward to N357/$.

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