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5 Kenyan banks fingered in looting of public funds

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The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) has slapped hefty fines on five top banks that are alleged to have been involved in the transactions of the second phase of the National Youth Service scandal.

Investigations by CBK revealed that the five banks were used by persons suspected of transacting illegally acquired NYS funds using the financial institutions.

The five banks, which were fined a total of Ksh.394 million include; Kenya Commercial Bank, Equity Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, Diamond Trust and Cooperative Bank of Kenya.

Of the total amount, KCB will pay the highest monetary penalty of Ksh.149.5 million followed by Equity Bank which has been hit with a fine of Ksh.89.5 million and Standard Chartered Bank Kenya Ltd, whose penalty is Ksh.77.5 million.

Diamond Trust Bank and Co-operative Bank of Kenya have been fined Ksh.56 million and Ksh.20 million respectively.

Read also: Nigeria may be headed for another recession as economy slows in Q2 2018

A statement issued by the Central Bank on Wednesday indicates that over Ksh.3.6 billion was wired through the five banks with the largest flow of Ksh.1.6 billion having been channeled through Standard Chartered Bank.

Equity bank and KCB are reported to have handled Ksh.886 million and Ksh.639 million respectively while Diamond Trust Bank is said to have facilitated Ksh.162 million from the NYS loot.

Some of the violations include failure to report large cash transactions, failure to undertake adequate customer due diligence, lack of supporting documentation for large transactions, and lapses in the reporting of Suspicious Transaction Reports (STRs) to the Financial Reporting Centre (FRC).

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Israel-based oil and gas firm, NewMed, signs exploration deal with Morocco’s energy ministry

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Israel-based oil and gas firm, NewMed has signed a deal with Morocco’s energy and mining ministry and Adarco Energy for offshore natural gas exploration and production in Morocco.

NewMed made the announcement on Tuesday adding that it will collaborate with Adarco, and each will have a 37.5% stake in the Boujdour Atlantique licence.

NewMed CEO Yossi Abu said, “for a long time now we have recognised a huge potential in Morocco for collaborations in both the natural gas and renewable energy sectors.”

According to the deal, the remainder of 25% is granted to Morocco’s National Office of Hydrocarbons and Mines, in accordance with the Hydrocarbon Law of Morocco.

NewMed is the main stakeholder in Israel’s huge Leviathan offshore gas field and is looking to merge with Capricorn Energy to create a gas producer focused on Israel and Egypt.

Statista reports that in 2020, approximately 23.3 billion Moroccan dirhams (MAD) of gas and fuel oils were imported into Morocco. This was equivalent to 2.6 billion U.S. dollars and represented a decrease from the previous year when roughly 38.8 billion MAD (4.3 billion U.S. dollars) of oils were imported into the country.

Overall, Spain was the main trade partner in Morocco in terms of gas and fuel oil imports.

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Nigeria’s oil company, NNPC, signs separate gas pipeline deals with Ghana, Guinea, others

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Nigeria’s oil company, the NNPC have signed separate deals with the national oil companies of Ghana, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea Bissau and Sierra Leone in furtherance of the planned Nigeria-Morocco Gas pipeline project.

The Group Chief Executive Officer of the NNPC, Mele Kyari; highlighted the roles played by the participating countries to make the planned commencement of the project to fruition.

“Today, we will be attaining another feat by signing five MoUs with the national oil companies and relevant entities from Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau and Sierra Leone.

“From inception of the project to this stage, concerted efforts have been made by the governments of Nigeria and the Kingdom of Morocco, which led to the very commendable achievements recorded thus far.

“As the strategic vision of our great leaders gains momentum, I would like to express our appreciation to His Royal Majesty, King Mohammed VI of Morocco and His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria for entrusting NNPC Limited with this strategic project,” he stated.

He added: “NNPC Limited will facilitate the continuous supply of gas and provide other enablers such as the required land for the first compressor station to be deployed in Nigeria, which is among the 13 stations earmarked along the pipeline route.”

The Nigeria-Morocco gas pipeline mega-project had been first discussed during the official visit of King Mohammed VI of Morocco in December 2016 to President Buhari in Abuja.

Nigeria and Morocco signed MoU for the gas pipeline in September which would link Nigeria to Morocco as well as supply West Africa and Europe.

The Nigeria-Morocco gas pipeline mega-project had been first discussed during the official visit of King Mohammed VI of Morocco in December 2016 to President Buhari in Abuja.

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