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BUSINESS & ECONOMY

Islamic Banking: Metropolitan Law Firm Rolls Out Endowment Fund For Indigent Nigerians

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The Metropolitan Law Firm has launched an endowment fund under the Islamic Banking guidelines to cater to the education of indigent Nigerians for basic to tertiary institutions.

The fund, called Waqf, is an instrument of Islamic Estate Planning largely designed for charitable and philanthropic activities to solve social problems.

Managing Partner, of The Metropolitan Firm, Ummahani Amin, said N60 million seed funding has been committed to the fund and is targeted at the less privileged children, particularly orphans in the northeast by providing scholarships and complementing efforts aimed at dousing the burgeoning number of out-of-school children in the country.

She made this known at the 5th Annual Islamic Estate Planning and Clinic and the official launch of the Metropolitan Waqf fund on Sunday in Abuja organised in partnership with the FBNQuest Trustees, a subsidiary of FBN Holdings

Amin said the philanthropic activity will kick off in the Northeast because it is the region of the country that is most ravaged by insurgency and wanton killings which have left many destitute.

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She added that the fund is focusing on education because it is a major social problem in the country that must be addressed for the country to attain desired development.

“We are targeting Northeast right now when it expands, it would be for everyone that meets the criteria.  We will start with scholarships, but in the long run, we intend to have schools, especially for that with the best quality education and teachers to nurture and train the children till tertiary level, and we intend to give scholarships to either study in or out of the country at the tertiary level,” she said.

While noting that Waqf is an aspect of Islamic social financing targeted at solving a social problem, she said the fund is open for donations from individuals, and institutions.  She equally noted that the Waqf is part of the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) of the Metropolitan Law.

Abimbola Ajinibi, Senior Vice President, FBNQuest informed that the non-Muslims can benefit from the endowment fund. He said the role of FBNQuest would be to ensure that the interest of the beneficiaries is protected.

“Waqf is called Islamic trust.  It simply means that you have three parties, a set law, trustees, and the beneficiaries. Essentially, the trustees hold assets for the benefit of the named beneficiary. Today, we are launching Metropolitan Waqf which means that we are setting up a trust for the benefit of certain people.  So we (FBN Quest) are going to act as delegate trustees to ensure that the interest of the beneficiaries is protected,” he said.

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In the same vein, the Senator-Elect of FCT under the Labour Party and the member of the Board for the Metropolitan Waqf Fund, Ireti Kingibe, emphasized that the target is to help out-of-school children in the country, especially from the north.

Kingibe also used the opportunity to assure that she will use her office when she assumes office to ameliorate the plight of the marginalized groups in the FCT, especially the youth, women, and children.

Also in her presentation, Mutiat Olatunji, Private Trust Specialist, while giving an overview of the Islamic Estate Planning and Wealth Transfer defined estate planning as a structure set up during a person’s lifetime to cater to o the needs of both immediate and extended family, charitable and philanthropic activities

She also explained Waqf is a veritable tool for inheritance planning, and also be used to cater to generational wealth transfer,  medical needs, and charitable activities among others.

 

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BUSINESS & ECONOMY

Property Loss Despite Having A Certificate Of Occupancy (CofO) In Lagos

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Destroyed building in Lagos

By Dennis Isong*

Owning property is often considered a significant investment, providing stability and security for individuals and families. In Lagos, Nigeria, obtaining a Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) is an important step in establishing legal ownership and protecting one’s property rights. However, despite having this document, there are various circumstances under which property owners can still lose their assets. Understanding these factors is essential for safeguarding property interests in Lagos.

  1. Inheritance Issues:

In some cases, property disputes arise due to inheritance conflicts. Even with a valid C of O, if there are competing claims to the property among family members or beneficiaries, legal battles can ensue, leading to the potential loss of the property.

  1. Land Grabbing and Encroachment:

One of the prevalent issues in Lagos is land grabbing, where individuals or groups illegally seize land, often with the intent to sell or develop it. Property owners may find themselves facing encroachment on their land, despite possessing a C of O. Resolving these disputes can be lengthy and costly, sometimes resulting in the loss of the property.

  1. Government Acquisition and Development Projects:

Government authorities in Lagos occasionally acquire land for public projects such as road construction, urban development, or infrastructure expansion. While compensation is usually provided to affected property owners, the process can be contentious, and some may feel inadequately compensated for their loss.

  1. Fraudulent Transactions:

Property fraud is a significant concern in Lagos, where unscrupulous individuals may forge C of O documents or engage in fraudulent sales transactions. Despite possessing what appears to be a valid C of O, property owners may later discover that their title is illegitimate, resulting in the loss of their property investment.

  1. Non-Compliance with Regulations:

Failure to comply with building regulations, zoning laws, or environmental standards can lead to the government revoking a property’s C of O or imposing fines and penalties. This could ultimately result in the loss of the property if the violations are not rectified within a specified timeframe.

  1. Debts and Liens:

Property owners who default on mortgage payments or fail to settle other financial obligations may risk losing their properties through foreclosure or enforcement of liens by creditors. Even with a C of O, property rights can be forfeited if debts are not promptly addressed.

  1. Neglect and Abandonment:

Neglecting to maintain or utilize a property can also result in its loss, as it may become subject to government acquisition or appropriation due to abandonment. Property owners must actively manage and monitor their assets to prevent such occurrences.

To mitigate the risk of losing property despite holding a C of O in Lagos, property owners should take proactive measures:

– Regularly monitor and inspect the property to detect any encroachment or unauthorised activity.

– Seek legal advice and assistance to resolve property disputes or inheritance issues promptly.

– Verify the authenticity of C of O documents and conduct due diligence before purchasing a property.

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– Stay informed about government regulations and compliance requirements to avoid penalties and revocation of property titles.

– Maintain open communication with relevant authorities and address any concerns or violations promptly.

– Investing in title insurance can provide an added layer of protection for property owners. Title insurance policies can safeguard against losses resulting from undiscovered title defects, fraud, or disputes, providing financial compensation and legal support in case of a property-related issue.

While a Certificate of Occupancy is a vital legal document for establishing property ownership in Lagos, it does not guarantee immunity from potential risks and challenges. Property owners must remain vigilant, informed, and proactive in protecting their interests to prevent the unfortunate loss of their assets.

  • Isong is a TOP REALTOR IN LAGOS. He Helps Nigerians in the Diaspora to Own Property In Lagos Nigeria STRESS-FREE. For Questions WhatsApp/Call 2348164741041
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BUSINESS & ECONOMY

Aero To Commence Payment To Redundant Employees In Batches

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There are strong indications that Aero Contractors will resume payment to some of its redundant employees by the end of this month.

Comrade Olayinka Abioye, General Secretary of the National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE), told journalists that the airline would resume paying affected employees in batches.

According to Abioye, the union learned of this earlier this week during a meeting with Aero Contractors management, led by Capt. Ado Sanusi, the airline’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), at the airline’s office at Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA), Lagos.

Abioye explained that the union reached an agreement with the airline’s management to make payments in April, emphasising that two employees from each of the three unions would be paid monthly.

With this, six members of the affected unions, Air Transport Senior Staff Services Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN), National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE), and NAAPE, will be paid monthly until all backlogs are cleared.

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Abioye stated that with more funding and access to resources, the airline’s current management could improve the airline’s and its employees’ conditions.

He stated: “Aero described its current challenges, which are impeding their willingness to commit more funds to service outstanding redundancy benefits. Second, we have agreed that payments for two people from each of the three unions will be made this month (April), with NAAPE members receiving 75 per cent of these payments.

“We have demonstrated our commitment to Aero’s continued growth, and this has rekindled hope that things can be done better with more funds at their disposal.

“I would like to plead on behalf of the secretariat that, based on our observations of the airline’s current situation, it cannot do any better than what has just been offered. Let us hope that by next month, some other people will have something to smile about.

Sanusi stated earlier this month that it had paid approximately 95% redundancy packages to some of its employees affected by the exercise a few years prior. He promised that the remaining 5% of affected workers would be paid very soon.

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According to him, 225 out of the 237 staff affected by the redundancy package had been paid off, accounting for 94.94 per cent of those affected.

A further breakdown of the affected workers revealed that three members of ATSSSAN and nine members of NAAPE were still affected by the exercise.

Sanusi also lamented in the interview that the operating environment in which the airlines operate was hostile to business, but that despite this, management had been relentless in ensuring that the vast majority of affected individuals received their entitlements.

He assured that Aero Contractors would continue to fulfil its obligations to all employees, but urged that unions not be used to disrupt airline operations.

He stated, “The Company has successfully disbursed redundancy payments to 94.94 per cent of affected employees. Admittedly, we still have financial obligations to a few affected employees.

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“However, plans are underway to offset these costs, and we have been engaging with affected employees to keep them informed of everything the company is doing and going through.”

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OIL & GAS

NNPC, First E&P Achieve 20,000bpd Production At OML 85

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NNPC boss, Mele Kyari

The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC Ltd) and its joint venture partner in OML 85, First Exploration and Petroleum Development Company Limited (First E&P), have begun producing oil from the asset known as Madu Field.

 

The field, located in shallow waters offshore Bayelsa State and operated by First E&P, is expected to produce an average of 20,000 barrels per day.

 

The achievement demonstrates the President Bola Tinubu administration’s commitment to optimising production from the country’s oil and gas assets by creating an enabling environment for existing and prospective investors.

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Speaking about the development, NNPC Ltd’s Group Chief Executive Officer, Mr Mele Kyari, described the start of oil production at the Madu Field as a significant milestone that will contribute to the larger goal of meeting the production required to drive revenue growth and boost the country’s economy.

 

Kyari praised stakeholders for their support and explained that the addition of 20,000 barrels per day by an indigenous oil player demonstrates stakeholders’ commitment to Nigeria’s economic development.

 

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The NNPC Ltd/First E&P JV made the Final Investment Decision (FID) on the development of the Madu Field and its sister field, Anyala, in 2018.

 

The Madu Field’s production will be processed at the JV’s Abigail-Joseph Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) Unit, which can store up to 800,000 barrels of crude oil.

 

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