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British firm, Moxico Resources to invest $100 million in Zambia mine expansion

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The United Kingdom Minister for Africa, Vicky Ford, on Wednesday revealed that UK based firm, Britain’s Moxico Resources plans to invest $100 million to expand its majority-owned Mimbula copper mine in Zambia.

Ford made the revelation visit to Zambia to launch a new investment model, which she said marked a key moment for Britain’s financing of private sector growth and infrastructure across Africa.

“We are committed to support countries that grow their own economies, bolster private sector investment and trade, and deliver the returns that will support wider socioeconomic development,” Ford said.

Zambia’s official data source announced in March that the Copper production of the country dropped to 800,696 tonnes in 2021 from 837,996 tonnes the year before. The report also shows that Zambia’s cobalt production also dropped to 247 tonnes last year from 316 tonnes a year earlier.

Moxico Resources plc is a private operating, development, and exploration mining company incorporated in the UK. The Company has a prospective portfolio of scalable copper, cobalt, and zinc projects located in Zambia in South-Central Africa. The company holds an 85% ownership in the license holding company and 15% is held by Moxico’s Zambian partners. The mining license was granted in May 2017, with a validity of 25 years.

The Mimbula Copper Project is located in Zambia’s copper belt on the outskirts of Chingola town, more than 400km northwest of Lusaka is expected to create new jobs and increased tax revenues for Zambia’s government.

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Nigeria: Antigraft agency EFCC says 70% of financial crimes traceable to banks

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Banks are implicated in about 70% of financial crimes in Nigeria, according to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

This was revealed by EFCC Chairman, Ola Olukayode, during a speech at the Association of Chief Audit Executives of Banks in Nigeria’s 2023 Annual Retreat and General Meeting in Abuja. He pointed out that the banking sector was increasingly becoming a cesspool of fraudulent activities, and this had been raising considerable challenges and concerns for the commission.

Olukayode, who was represented by the Director, Internal Audit, EFCC, Idowu Apejoye, said there was a need for concerted effort by relevant authorities and professionals, especially audit executives, to prevent and tackle issues of fraudulent practices in the sector.

He said, “Broadly speaking, banking fraud in Nigeria is both inside and outside related. Inside-related fraud comprises outright selling of customers’ deposits, authorising loan facilities, forgery and several other kinds of unhealthy and criminal practices.

“The outsider related ones include hacking, ATM fraud, and conspiracy, among others. And then the absurd one is when both collaborate—that is, collaboration among the bankers and the outsiders.

“That one is the one that is really absurd because when you do that, that means you are selling out the system. It is estimated that about 70% of financial crimes in Nigeria are traceable to the banking sector, this scenario is disturbing and unacceptable.”

Olukayode said that ACAEBIN should make sure that accounts are properly reconciled each month in compliance with accounting regulations in order to stop the inconsistencies.

He gave the group tasks like keeping an eye on banks’ financial operations, comparing actual and planned revenue and expenses, conducting periodic assessments, and conducting checks.

Prince Akamadu, the chairman of ACAEBIN, declared that the organisation would strive to implement some of the suggestions made by the head of the EFCC.

He added that one of the goals of the retreat was to address the association’s complete commitment to resolving Nigeria’s foreign currency problems.

“That is part of the reason why we are having this retreat—to ask ourselves, to do an introspection and ask ourselves, given our position in the banking industry, or the executives of banks in Nigeria, are we doing enough?

“Have we done enough? What more can we do to help in sanitising the system? Are there things the banks could do to help in sanitising the FX in this country?”

“By the end of this retreat, we are expected to come up with a communique, and we hope to address some of the issues, one way or another, that will address the role of banks in FX challenges in this industry.”

For the past year, e-payment channels like computer/web, mobile, and point of sale have continued to be targeted by scammers. FITC’s “Reports on Frauds and Forgeries in Nigerian Banks” show that banks record 78,584 occurrences of online fraud annually, indicating that the growth of electronic payments has allowed for the persistence of this crime.

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Energy, rental expenses lower Airtel Uganda’s pre-tax profit in 2023

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Telecom company, Airtel Uganda, reported on Monday that a rise in energy and rental expenses was behind a 9.8% decrease in pre-tax profit for 2023 compared to the previous year.

The company, a division of the massive Indian telecom operator, Bharti Airtel, went public last year on the Uganda Securities Exchange (USE) following a significantly undersubscribed IPO.

Its pre-tax profit for the previous year was 426.8 billion Ugandan shillings ($108.9 million). In the east African nation, Airtel faces off against a division of the MTN Group headquartered in South Africa.

Established in 1995, Airtel Uganda (previously known as Celtel Uganda Limited) launched the country’s first mobile cellular network. Airtel acquired the business in June 2010 and renamed it Airtel Uganda.

MTN accounted for roughly 54% of all mobile subscriptions in Uganda as of the fourth quarter of 2022. Over the period from 2015 to 2022, Airtel has maintained the second-highest proportion of wireless subscribers, accounting for 33% of all subscriptions since 2016.

Beginning to rise in 2020, Airtel’s share will reach 42% by 2022. By the fourth quarter of 2020, Africell held about 11% of Uganda’s mobile subscriptions. However, in 2021, the company suspended operations and left the nation.

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