Sunday , 22 September 2019
Latest
Home » 2019 » September » 02

Daily Archives: September 2, 2019

I’ll pay my N537m debt in 12 hours, Duke begs court

A former Cross River State Governor Donald Duke on Monday told a Federal High Court in Lagos that he would pay his N537, 334,360.77 debts to Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) in less than 12 hours.

Duke, through his counsel, Mr Edoigiawerie Omoruyi, told Justice Nicholas Oweibo that he had approached AMCON with a promise to liquidate the debt before the end of yesterday, September 2.

He prayed for an adjournment to enable him settle the case out of court.

AMCON, on August 8 through its counsel Juliet Reeds obtained the court’s order to take interim possession of Duke’s Ikoyi home.

The court also authorised AMCON and United Bank for Africa (UBA) to, in the interim, take possession of funds in the accounts of Duke and others in any bank.

The judge made the order pursuant to AMCON and UBA’s August 8, 2019 ex parte application, marked, FHC/L/CS/1373/2019.

The applicants listed Stonehedge Investment Ltd, Duke and his wife, Owanari Bob-Manuel Duke, as first to third defendants in the suit.

When proceedings resumed yesterday at about 2pm, Omoruyi said Duke was willing to liquidate the debt before yesterday’s midnight deadline for repayment of the loan.

AMCON’s counsel Mr Austin Erhabor of Benson Reeds Legal Practitioners, confirmed that Duke approached the corporation with a pledge to pay the debt before the expiration of midnight.

Erhabor added: “In the spirit of trust and fairness, we will concede to an adjournment to enable us finalise the possible settlement.”

Justice Oweibo upheld Duke’s prayer and adjourned till September 11, for a report of settlement.

AMCON and UBA, on August 8` prayed the court for “an order of interim attachment, possession and custody of the property being No. 3, Temple Road, Ikoyi, Lagos.”

They averred that the property was mortgaged by Duke “as collateral in securing the 1st respondent’s indebtedness to the applicants.”

They urged the court to grant them possession of the property “pending the institution and disposal of proceedings for recovery of debt against the respondent, pursuant to Section 49 of the AMCON Act 2010 (as amended).”

They also prayed the court for an interim Mareva injunction to take possession of funds in the accounts of Duke and others in any bank “pending the institutional and disposal of proceedings for the recovery of a debt of N537,334,360.77 made up of the principal debt and interest against the respondents pursuant to Section 50 of AMCON Act 2010.”

The judge granted the prayers, in addition to an order restraining the respondents from “transacting, transferring, changing or howsoever dealing in any manner or interfering with the applicants’ possession” of the Ikoyi property.

UBA grows half year profit by 21% to N70bn

 

United Bank for Africa Plc has announced its audited half year financial results for the period ended June 2019, showing impressive growth across key performance indices as well as a significant contribution from its African subsidiaries.

In spite of the increasingly unpredictable environment witnessed in some of its countries of operations, the pan African financial institution delivered double digit growth in its profit before tax as it rose by 21 per cent to N70.3bn for the half year to June 2019, up from N58.1bn recorded in the similar period of 2018, just as the Profit after Tax also improved to N56.7 billion, a 29.6 percent growth compared to N43.8 billion achieved in the corresponding period of 2018. The profit for the first half of the year, translated to an annualised return on average equity of 21.7 per cent.

According to its results filed with the Nigerian Stock Exchange, UBA recorded a 14 percent year-on-year rise in top-line, with gross earnings of N293.7 billion, compared to N257.9 billion recorded in the corresponding period of 2018. Analysts say that this result emphasises the capacity of the Group to deliver a strong performance through economic cycles in spite of the overall challenging business environment.

As at 30 June 2019, the Bank’s Total Assets grew by 4.8% crossing the N5 trillion mark to N5.10 trillion. Customer Deposits also rose by 4.8 per cent to N3.51 trillion, compared to N3.35 trillion as at December 2018. This growth trajectory underscores UBA’s market share gain, as it increasingly wins customers through its revitalized customer service culture coupled with innovative digital banking offerings. The bank’s Shareholders’ Funds remained strong at N542.5 billion, reflecting its strong capacity for internal capital generation.

In line with its culture of paying both interim and final cash dividend, the Board of Directors of UBA Plc declared an interim dividend of N0.20 per share for every ordinary share of N0.50 each held by its shareholders.

Commenting on the results, the Group Managing Director/CEO, United Bank for Africa Plc (UBA), Mr. Kennedy Uzoka said: “I am pleased with the half performance of the Group, having delivered 14% growth in gross earnings and 21% growth in profit before tax. Despite the subdued yield environment in some of our large markets, we achieved a 9% growth in interest income and defended the net interest margin. We also achieved a 39% growth in our electronic banking revenues, as we broaden and deepened our digital banking play across Africa. Revenues from our remittance and funds transfer businesses grew 69% and 53% respectively. All these factors attest to the efficacy of our strategies and the resilience of our business model.”

He further stated “I am very optimistic that the ongoing Group-wide transformation program, will in the quarters ahead, enable the Bank deliver substantial operational efficiencies and best-in-class customer service, which will ultimately boost earnings. We sustained our asset quality with the NPL ratio down to 5.62%, from 6.45% as at 2018FY. We will continue to adopt best practice standards to grow and manage the portfolio in the quarters ahead.”

Also speaking on UBA’s results, the Group CFO, Ugo Nwaghodoh said; “We had a strong start in the year given the prevailing macroeconomic environment across our various markets. There is better diversification in profit contribution as our banking subsidiaries across Africa contributed 38% of the profit before tax, whilst our recently repositioned UK business contributed 4%. We expect this dispersion to continue, as the subsidiaries consolidate on their share of the various markets.”

“I am particularly delighted that the key ratios are trending in the right direction. The net interest margin is trending upwards and will continue to improve as we responsibly grow the risk asset portfolio and realign the funding mix to lower our cost of funds. The cost-to-income ratio trended down to 60% with our focus on balance sheet and operational efficiencies which should enable us deliver our medium term CIR target. Capital adequacy ratio increased to 28% from 23.6% in December 2018, providing a very strong buffer for asset growth,” he stated.

United Bank for Africa, Africa’s global bank, was founded 70 years ago in Nigeria and today, operates in 20 African countries and in the United Kingdom, the USA and with presence in France. UBA serves over 17 million customers across the globe with more than 1000 branches and touch points. In 2018, the bank received the award of Africa’s Best Digital Bank by the Banker’s magazine.

Looting, violence spread in South Africa’s major cities

Looting and violence spread across several neighborhoods in South Africa’s major cities of Pretoria and Johannesburg on Monday, after a spate of overnight attacks that appeared to target foreign-owned shops.

At least 50 shops were looted and burned early Monday in the southern Johannesburg suburbs of Malvern and Jeppestown. Police fired rubber bullets at looters as burnt cars were stranded in the roads as violence grew.

Officials dismissed reports that the ongoing attacks were xenophobic and that foreign-owned shops were targeted in the violence, insisting they were opportunistic crimes.

”Xenophobia is just an excuse that is being used by people to commit criminal acts,” Police Minister Bheki Cele told the media on Monday afternoon. “It is not xenophobia, but pure criminality.”

Cele said the government’s first priority was to deploy more police officers to the affected areas.

Police arrested 41 people for the violence in Johannesburg, while 8 others were arrested in Tembisa township, east of Johannesburg, and one person arrested in the capitol Pretoria, police said.

On Monday, a pamphlet circulating on social media, seen by The Associated Press, encouraged South Africans to chase foreigners out of their communities.

The pamphlet, attributed to a group called the Sisonke Peoples Forum, accused foreigners living in South Africa of selling drugs and stealing jobs, both common refrains during the regular flare-ups of violence against foreigners in the greater Johannesburg area in recent years.

Monday’s violence follows similar incidents in Pretoria last week, in which protest led by taxi drivers saw several foreign-owned shops looted and torched.

US comedian, Kevin Hart suffers ‘major injuries’ in car crash

Comedian and actor Kevin Hart was taken to hospital with “major back injuries” on Sunday following a car accident in Los Angeles.

According to the California Highway Patrol, Hart was being driven in his 1970 Plymouth Barracuda on Mulholland Highway at the time of the accident.

The driver, Jared Black, lost control of the car and it tumbled into an embankment, the report stated.

Black also sustained major back injuries. A third passenger was unhurt.

The accident happened just after midnight.

JAMB to use NIN for 2020 UTME registration

THE Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board has said it would use the National Identity Number issued by the National Identity Management Commission for the conduct of 2020 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination.

JAMB Registrar, Prof Is-haq Oloyede, stated this when the Director of the Bureau of Public Service Reforms, Mr Dasuki Arabi, visited him at the headquarters of the board in Abuja.

He said the introduction of the NIN to UTME was in line with the directive of the Federal Government that NIMC should be the primary data collection centre.

He noted that the NIN would guard against all forms of registration infractions.

The registrar, in a statement by the agency’s Head of Information, Dr. Fabian Benjamin on Sunday in Abuja, said the board has concluded arrangements with the NIMC to use NIN number as a pilot for 2020 UTME.

Oloyede said the board would use both the NIN number and its Computer Based Test Centres for the 2020 UTME registration.

Oloyede said: “In view of the compliance with the Federal Government’s directive that the NIMC should be the primary data collection centre, the board will be using the NIM number of prospective candidates for registration in the next exercise. The board is at the moment discussing with the NIMC to work out the grey areas for seamless implementation in the next exercise.”

The BPSR DG, Arabi, urged JAMB to take advantage of the Self-Assessment Tool developed by the bureau to strengthen its capacity and render quality service to the public.

He said: “The SAT facility enables organisations to assess themselves in terms of what they have done or not done. By so doing, gaps can be identified and solutions proffered in real time. The President has directed agencies to work together so as to improve the quality of services that are offered.

“We are coming to work with JAMB and the NIMC to support and encourage them to migrate to the nation’s data ecosystem just the way the Nigerian Immigration Service has done.”

123 Jigawa men sue Lagos for N1bn over detention

The 123 men from Jigawa State who were detained by the Lagos State Taskforce on Environmental Sanitation and Special Offences (Enforcement Unit) have sued the Lagos State Government for unlawful detention and seizure of their motorcycles.

Other respondents include the Lagos State Commissioner of Police and the Chairman of the task force, Mr. Yinka Egbeyemi as well as the Attorney-General of Lagos State.

The men were intercepted along Moshalashi Road, Agege alongside 48 motorcycles in a truck, which was coming from Jigawa State but were later released.

n Monday, however, Abdullahi Yakubu on behalf of himself and the other men filed a suit Federal High Court, Lagos demanding N1bn reparation from the state government for profiling and detaining them.

The arrest had sparked a heated debate on social media over the manner in which the men were paraded and interrogated in front of the media.

In the suit with number FHC/L/CS/1519/19, the 123 men demanded the payment of N1bn as damages.

They asked for a declaration by the court that the prevention of the applicants numbering 123 from moving into Lagos State of Nigeria by the state government without prima facie incriminating evidence against the applicants constitute a flagrant violation of the 123 men’s right to move freely throughout Nigeria as guaranteed by section 41 of the Constitution Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended).

They also want a declaration of the court that the detention of the men in the absence of prima facie incriminating evidence against them constitutes a violation of their right to personal liberty protected by section 35 of the Constitution Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended).

The 123 men represented by Mr. Abba Hikima and other lawyers, also prayed the court to mandate the respondents to release to their seized motorcycles numbering 48, the truck conveying them, their wears and any other goods belonging to them in custody.

It states further, “An order of this honourable court awarding the sum of N1,000,000,000.00 (One Billion Naira) payable by the respondents jointly and severally to the applicants as reparation.

“An order of this honourable court directing the respondents to tender unreserved public apology to the applicants.”

Supreme Court dismisses suit against Buhari

The Supreme Court, on Monday, struck out an appeal seeking the disqualification of President Muhammadu Buhari as a candidate in the last presidential election.

The case was anchored on the allegation that Buhari submitted false information regarding his academic qualification and certificate to the Independent National Electoral Commission as a candidate in the February 23, 2019 poll.

A five-man panel of the apex court led by Justice Mary Peter-Odili struck out the case after the appeal was withdrawn by the appellants’ lawyer, Ukpai Ukairo, on Monday.

The apex court noted that the suit was statute-barred, affirming the earlier decisions of both the Court of Appeal and the Federal High Court.

But before striking out the suit, the court criticised the appearance of Abdullahi Abubakar, a lawyer from the Federal Ministry of Justice, for Buhari.

The members of the panel likened Abubakar’s appearance for Buhari in the President’s private capacity to using public office to defend a private suit.

A member of the apex court’s five-man panel, Justice Dattijo Muhammad, recalled that a former United States of America’s President, Bill Clinton, had to engage private lawyers for his defence in the various private cases involving him while in office.

Speaking on the matter in her lead judgment, Peter-Odili said, “The court notes the inappropriate appearance of Mr. Abdullahi Abubakar state counsel from the Federal Ministry of Justice, representing the first respondent Gen. Muhammad Buhari (retd) in his personal capacity.

“This practice must be discouraged.”

She went on to dismiss the appeal following its withdrawal by the appellants’ counsel.

Three appellants were Kalu Kalu Agu, Labaran Ismail, Hassy Jyari El-Kunis, who had filed 12 grounds notice of appeal before the Supreme Court to challenge the July 12, 2019 judgment of the Court of Appeal.

The three appellants accused Buhari of falsely claiming to possess a school certificate which he never had.

The People Democratic Party and its presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, also raised similar issue of Buhari allegedly lying about his academic certificates in their petition before the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal.

The three appellants had, on their part, commenced their case before the Federal High Court in Abuja in 2018.

Justice Ahmed Mohammed of the Federal High Court in Abuja, in his judgment delivered on May 2, 2019 struck out the suit for being statute-barred.

A three-man panel of the Court of Appeal led by Justice Tinuade Akomolafe-Wilson, in a unanimous judgment delivered on July 12, 2019, affirmed the the Federal High Court’s verdict dismissing the suit on the grounds that it was statute-barred and robbed the court of jurisdiction to hear it on merit.

Onyeama indicts South African police over fresh attack on Nigerians

Geoffrey Onyeama, Minister of Foreign affairs, says Nigerian shops in South Africa are being looted and burnt by mindless criminals with ineffective police protection.

In a tweet on Monday, the minister described the constant negative report about treatment of Nigerians in South Africa as “sickening.”

He said the federal government will take needed steps to curb the situation.

“Received sickening and depressing news of continued burning and looting of Nigerian shops and premises in#SouthAfrica by mindless criminals with ineffective police protection. Enough is enough. We will take definitive measures,” he tweeted.

Geoffrey Onyeama

@GeoffreyOnyeama

Received sickening and depressing news of continued burning and looting of Nigerian shops and premises in by mindless criminals with ineffective police protection. Enough is enough. We will take definitive measures. @NigeriaGov @DigiCommsNG @GovernmentZA @DIRCO_ZA

1,774 people are talking about this

Nigerians in South Africa have been victims of attacks, more of which are xenophobic.

In August, Obinna Ayanele, a Nigerian living in South Africa, was killed by suspected hoodlums.

Ayanele, a 46-year-old from Ideato north local government area of Imo state, was also attacked at his shop  in Krugersdorp, Johannesburg.

Reacting to the attacks, the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) had shut down the offices of MTN and DStv in Benue, Kaduna and Ogun states in protest of the killing of Nigerians in South Africa.

In 2018, the minister had said most violent conflicts and killings of Nigerians in South Africa were more of criminal activity than xenophobic attacks.

P&ID: We are ready to start seizing Nigeria’s assets

P&ID Ltd, the Irish firm that was awarded $9.6 billion in arbitration against Nigeria, says it will continue its efforts to identify and seize Nigerian assets “to satisfy the debt”.

The company said if the Nigerian government is serious about negotiating a settlement, it must do so in “good faith” and stop the campaign of “baseless slander and sham investigations” against its founders.

P&ID had gone on arbitration against Nigeria in 2012 following the failure of gas and supply processing agreement (GSPA) contract it signed with the ministry of petroleum resources in January 2010.

In May 2015, Nigeria agreed to pay $850 million in settlement to avoid a liability award but did not follow through.

In July 2015, the country was found liable by the arbitration tribunal for the failure of the project.

In January 2017, P&ID got an award of $6.6 billion for “loss of income” over the 20-year lifespan of the project and $2.3 billion in interests.

Nigeria’s efforts to stop the enforcement have failed so far, with a British court recently dismissing Nigeria’s objections, but the federal government has vowed to go on appeal, describing the project as a fraud and launching a probe of those said to be involved in the “scam”.

Demonstrators stormed the UK high commission in Abuja on Monday demanding a reversal of the judgment.

In the short statement on Monday, a spokesman for P&ID said: “If the Nigerian government is serious about a willingness to negotiate then it must do so in good faith. The means that the Buhari Administration must acknowledge the reality of the rulings of the independent Tribunal and the English Commercial court, desist from its campaign of baseless slander and sham investigations against P&ID and its founders and instead appoint an authorized party to enter into real negotiations. The coming days will tell if the Nigerian government is serious, or if this is simply another delay tactic. In the meantime, P&ID will continue its efforts to identify and seize Nigerian assets to satisfy the debt.”

Nigeria’s foreign reserves, most of which are domiciled with US and UK banks, as well as oil tankers from the country are at the risk of being seized by P&ID.

Buildings and other physical assets belonging to Nigeria abroad are also at risk.

Nigeria risks another $2.3bn fine in France … after P&ID’s $9.6bn

As the country continues to battle with the $9.6 billion award in favour of P&ID, another possible $2.3 billion fine in arbitration is hanging over the country in France as a result of controversies surrounding the Mambilla power project in Taraba state.

In August, a British commercial court had granted P&ID powers to seize Nigerian assets worth $9.6 billion over a failed gas processing deal in which the federal government was found liable for not fulfilling its own part.

The $5.8 billion Mambilla hydropower facility is being stalled over unresolved legal and funding crisis involving the Nigerian government and a local content partner, Sunrise Power and Transmission Company Limited (SPTCL).

In documents seen on Monday by TheCable, SPTCL is making the following claims for being excluded from the final contract:

  • Wasted expenditures: $100 million+
  • Loss of profit as content partner: $565 million
  • Loss of the commission due by SINOHYDRO to SUNRISE: $855 million
  • Loss of profit that would have been made through the resettlement contract: $525 million
  • Loss of reputation: $25 million+

THE MAMBILLA PROJECT CRISIS

Like the P&ID controversy where Abubakar Malami, attorney-general of the federation (AGF), was alleged not to have made efforts to negotiate while the legal proceedings were ongoing, the 3,050-megawatt power project also suffered a similar fate.

Leno Adesanya, the chief executive officer of SPTCL, said the company was sidelined in the project by the ministry of power in a series of petitions to President Muhammadu Buhari, Vice-President Yemi Osibanjo, Malami, Babatunde Fashola, former minister of power.

SPTCL, which claimed to have been awarded the build, operate and transfer (BOT) contract in 2003, said some “vested interests” in government had, in 2017, signed another contract with three Chinese companies, Sinohhydro Corporation of China, China Ghezouba Group Corporation of China and China Geo-Engineering Group Corporation, to form a joint venture for the execution of the project.

The local content partner had accused Abba Kyari, chief of staff to the president, of taking the unilateral decision to remove the company from the contract. The company also accused Fashola of reneging on his promise to support the project.

As a result, SPTCL dragged the federal government and its Chinese partners before the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) in Paris, France, over an alleged breach of contract.

Adesanya claimed the company had spent millions of dollars with financial and legal consultants to raise about $6 billion for the execution of the project, yet the company has suffered a lot over the years “through improper administrative interruptions and interventions”.

The China Exim Bank, which is expected to provide 85 per cent of the joint funding with the federal government for the Mambilla project, insisted on compliance with due process and terms of the November 2017 engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract signed with the partners before releasing funds.

GOING BACK AND FORTH

On July 24, 2017, Malami wrote a letter to Osibanjo, the then acting president, recommending that SPTCL be accommodated as a local partner in the project.

“Sunrise Power and Transmission Company Limited should be engaged as Local Content Partner on the Mambilla Project as a means of accommodating its prior contractual interests on the project,” Malami wrote.

A few weeks later on August 17, 2017, Malami backtracked, saying he issued the previous opinion on the project based on the limited materials provided at the time.

He said there was no requisite federal executive council (FEC) approval for the project.

But Malami’s claim was challenged in another letter by Gbolahan Elias, a senior advocate of Nigeria (SAN), who said there was no statute as at 2003 when the contract was awarded to SPTCL requiring the consent of the FEC before a letter of award could be validly issued.

SAVING THE POWER PROJECT FROM MORE CRISIS

In a petition written to Buhari on November 18, 2018, Adesanya asked the president to save the project, conceived in 1982, from further controversy.

“Mr. President can save the project from being enmeshed in another controversy as it occurred during the government of President Yar’Adua where a Presidential adviser allegedly took millions of dollars in bribes, and eventually led to the removal of the official and the termination of the $1.46b civil works contract,” the petition read.

“In the light of the recent irreversible arbitration ruling delivered against the FGN in the UK and the United States for Nigeria to pay at least $9 billion in damages to Process and Industrial Development Company in the UK (the “P&ID) for breach of contract, our lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN) held discussions with Your Excellency in July 2018 to explore avenues for an amicable resolution, and prevent another $2 billion in damages against the FGN.”

‘NO CONTRACT WHATSOEVER’

However, Fashola, in January, accused Adesanya of trying to destabilise the Mambilla project.

Hakeem Bello, Fashola’s spokesman, said: “The attention of the Hon. Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola SAN has been drawn to the spurious and unfounded allegations of Leno Adesanya with regards to the ongoing Mambilla Power Project,” the statement read.

“Nothing is more further away from the truth than the claim that the loan negotiations have stalled since 2017 because of an attempt to utilize $600 Million (equivalent of N219 Billion) from the 3,050MW hydropower project for a “pet project” not hitherto considered by the Federal Executive Council.

“There is currently no budgetary provision or cash provision of $600 million or the N219 Billion in any budget of the Federal Government for the Mambila Project. Therefore you cannot attempt to divert what does not exist.

“For the avoidance of doubt, the China Exim Bank disburse money to specific projects and on conclusion of negotiations, the loan will be devoted to the construction of the Mambila Power Project, which has been on the drawing board for close to 40 years before the advent of the Buhari administration which is now working assiduously to get the project off the ground.

“The antics of Leno Adesanya and his ilk would readily explain why the project has taken so many years without lift-off. Since Mr. Adesanya has chosen to go to court, he would be required to prove his baseless allegation in court.

“The Federal Executive Council which is the highest decision making organ of the Executive Arm of Government never awarded a contract for the project to Mr Adesanya.

“The allegation with regard to stalling the Mambilla project is untrue , baseless and a figment of Adesanya’s imagination. The events and relevant facts will show that because Mr. Fashola first presented a memo on the Mambilla Power Project to the Federal Executive Council in August 2017; which was the first ever Federal Executive Council approval given to the Mambilla project in favour of a Chinese Joint venture.”

South Africans again attack, loot, burn foreign-owned properties

South African mobs have begun fresh attacks, looting and burning of properties belonging to foreigners and in the process killed three people, while another is still receiving treatment for smoke inhalation.

The President of the Nigeria Union South Africa (NUSA), Adetola Olubajo said on Monday that the attacks began on Sunday morning in Jeppestown area of Johannesburg when a building was set ablaze by an angry mob.

“The mob also looted several shops that were around the vicinity suspected to be owned by foreign nationals.

“But the Police later dispersed the mob and made some arrest,’’ he said in a statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.

“Late in the evening of Sunday, Sept. 1, a group of violent locals suspected to be Zulu hostel dwellers besieged Jules Street in Malvern, Johannesburg looted and burned shops/businesses.’’

According to a witnesses living on Jules street, the Zulu hostel dwellers were very organised and well-coordinated in looting and burning of any shops/businesses suspected to be owned by foreign nationals.

Olubajo said that information gathered by members of NUSA in Malvern area, indicated that over 50 shops/businesses were destroyed, looted and burnt over the night.

“Also, some businesses owned by foreign nationals were looted in Germiston on Sunday evening. A Nigerian-owned Internet Café and computer accessories business was among the looted shops in Germiston.

“When I got the sad news late yesterday (Sunday) evening, I immediately informed the Police in Jeppestown but lots of damage had been done already.

“The means of livelihood of people were looted and destroyed by fire overnight which have left many Nigerians traumatised.

“Nigerian-owned businesses were seriously affected. A car sales business owned by a Nigerian were among the several businesses set ablaze over the night.

“Although the Police said that many people had been arrested in connection with the unnecessary attacks, the looting and burning of foreign-owned businesses continued till Monday morning,’’ he said.

He added that properties and businesses belonging to foreign nationals worth millions of Rands had been lost to looting and burning in the past week at different locations in Pretoria and Johannesburg.

Olubajo said that there was massive protest march in different parts of Johannesburg which were targeted against foreign nationals, noting that some of the areas affected by the violent protest march were Rosettenville, Turfontein, Germison, Primrose and Silverton in Pretoria.

“We implore the security operatives to be proactive and not reactive as many long years hard earned investments have been lost through looting, destruction and burning.

“Our government officials in South Africa should also seriously engage their counterparts in South Africa.

“This proactive move will go a long way to prevent further loss of properties and even lives. The situation is tensed and very dangerous for foreign nationals, hence, we implore Nigerians in South Africa, most especially in Gauteng Province to be vigilant and stay safe,’’ he said. (NAN)