Connect with us

Business

Government To Take Over Southeastern After ‘Serious’ Breach Of Franchise

Government to take over Southeastern after ‘serious’ breach of franchise

Department for Transport finds rail operator did not declare more than £25m of historical taxpayer funding

The government is taking over the running of Southeastern railway services from Go-Ahead after discovering a “serious” breach of the franchise agreement.

The transport secretary, Grant Shapps, said an investigation by the Department for Transport found that since October 2014 Southeastern had not declared more than £25m of historical taxpayer funding that should have been returned, and described this as a serious breach of the franchise agreement’s “good faith” obligation.

He said the money had been recovered and further investigations were being conducted into all historical contract issues related to the franchise. After these investigations, the government will consider further options for enforcement action. It is understood the matter could be looked at by the Serious Fraud Office.

Southeastern’s owner, Go-Ahead, said “while the contracts concerned are highly complex”, it “acknowledges that errors have been made in relation to the franchise” and that the £25m had been repaid.

Shapps said: “There is clear, compelling and serious evidence that for years, London and South Eastern Railway Services have breached the trust that is absolutely fundamental to the success of our railways. When trust is broken, we will act decisively.”

The franchise will be run by the government’s in-house operator of last resort – railway managers who already oversee London North Eastern Railway and Northern- from 17 October.

Shapps said the decision would not affect jobs and that fares, tickets and services will remain unchanged for passengers.

Southeastern is run by Govia and operates services across south-east England, covering London, Kent, East Sussex and the High Speed 1 lines. It employs 4,000 people.

The Go-Ahead Group chairman, Clare Hollingsworth, said: “It has always been this group’s intention to provide the best possible public transport, and to work in partnership with the government and related agencies. We recognise that mistakes have been made and we sincerely apologise to the DfT. We are working constructively with the DfT towards a settlement of this matter.”

Go-Ahead said it was postponing its results for the year to 3 July, which had been scheduled for Thursday. Its chief financial officer, Elodie Brian, is to stand down with immediate effect after two years in the job and 13 years with the company.

The government’s decision leaves the group with GTR (Govia Thameslink Railway), which runs the Thameslink, Southern, Great Northern and Gatwick Express services. Both GTR and Southeastern are run by Govia, a joint venture with France’s Keolis, dominated by Go-Ahead with a 65% share.

Go-Ahead also runs trains in Germany and Norway and is the biggest operator of buses in London.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

1 + 11 =

Business

New Naira Notes Ready For Issuance- CBN

Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, has said the newly redesigned Naira notes are already in banks and ready for issuance.

In a statement on its official twitter handle, the CBN quoted Emefiele to have made the disclosure in Daura, Katsina State, while on a visit to brief the president on the Naira redesign and the recently reintroduced cashless policy.

“The newly redesigned N200, N500, and N1,000 banknotes are now in banks and ready for issuance to members of the public,” the statement said.

The CBN governor clarified that the currency redesign and reintroduced cashless policies were not targeted at anybody but were for the good and development of the Nigerian economy, and urged Nigerians to embrace the various electronic channels available for banking and financial service transactions in Nigeria.

Emefiele further said the CBN deferred the cashless policy severally to prepare and deepen Nigeria’s payments system infrastructure.

He, therefore, advised Nigerians to take their old N200, N500, and N1,000 banknotes to the banks before the January 31, 2023 deadline.

Continue Reading

Business

NIBSS Says e-Payment Transactions Hit N38.9trn In November

The Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement Systems (NIBSS) has revealed that transactions worth N38.9 trillion were performed electronically in November through the NIBSS Instant Payment platform (NIP).

This is the highest monthly transaction record on the platform.

Compared with the N34.5 trillion recorded in the preceding month, the November figure also shows a 12.7 per cent increase.

The latest data also shows that the November figure brought the total value of NIP deals in the last 11 months to N345 trillion.

Year on year, the e-payment value increased by 50 per cent compared with the N25.9 trillion recorded in November last year.

The value of the e-payment recorded was a reflection of the increase in the volume of deals within the month. The NIP volume rose to 492.2 million in November, showing a 53.8 per cent increase over the N319.9 million recorded in the same period last year.

The NIP is an account-number-based, online-real-time Inter-Bank payment solution developed in the year 2011 by NIBSS. It is the Nigerian financial industry’s preferred funds transfer platform that guarantees instant value to the beneficiary.

According to NIBSS, over the years, Nigerian banks have exposed NIP through their various channels, that is, internet banking, bank branch, Kiosks, mobile apps, Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD), POS, ATMs, etc. to their customers.

Continue Reading

Business

CBN Insists It Won’t Reverse New Withdrawal Policy

Godwin Emefiele, Governor of the Central Bank, says there would be no reversal on the new cash withdrawal policy adding that the limitations was not intended to hurt anyone.

He disclosed this on Thursday following his visit to President Muhammadu Buhari in Daura, Katsina State.

The National Assembly had earlier faulted the CBN’s unveiling of revised cash withdrawal limits with a maximum of N100,000 for individuals and N500,000 for companies, claiming that it might worsen the current economic situation.

But while reacting to the objections from the National Assembly and the public outcry over the cash withdrawal policy, Emefiele said;

“And we think Nigeria, as the biggest economy in Africa, needs to leapfrog into the cashless economy.

“We cannot continue to allow a situation where over 85 per cent of the cash that is in circulation is outside the bank.

“More and more countries that are embracing digitisation have gone cashless,” he said.

He added that there would be no rigidity on the policy and no reversal, appealing to Nigerians to embrace the new policy.

According to the Governor of the CBN, the new naira notes have already been disbursed to the various commercial banks and expects that the banks would begin distribution to the public.

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Trending