The Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele, has unveiled a plan to extend the cashless policy nationwide almost two years after the policy was halted.
Emefiele said all necessary structures have been put in place to improve banking services in the country.
According to him, his predecessor, the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Muhammadu Sanusi II, had introduced the policy, but the CBN under his leadership was not certain about the rate of financial inclusion and penetration in the country.
The CBN had in April 2017, suspended the nationwide implementation of the cashless policy.
“We had to wait a while because we felt that there was the need to be sure that the rate of financial inclusion in Nigeria has effectively penetrated all the nooks and crannies of the country for us to be able to say yes, it is time to really proceed on cashless banking.
“I want to use this opportunity to say that very soon, all the structures that have been put in place would improve banking services in Nigeria,” Emefiele explained.
He said the CBN believes that collaborative efforts by non-finance entities and banks would be critical in building a robust financial system that has a wider reach and enables better integration across different payment gateways in a reliable and secure and convenient manner.
Emefiele explained that one key area that would affect the growth of the banking system was ensuring that the majority of Nigerians have verifiable means of identification such as Biometric Verification Number (BVN) or national identity.
The CBN governor added that in working with financial institutions in Nigeria, the central bank also introduced the unique BVN in 2014 for all holders of bank accounts in Nigeria.
According to him, “We have adopted a risk-based supervisory framework for the payment system and payment service providers.
“The risk-based approach ensures proper designation of payment systems in the country based on systemic importance and ensures that accessing such payment at primary and secondary levels are premised on clear access criteria, notwithstanding concerns on the rise of fintechs, and the use of cryptocurrencies; currently usage stands at total asset base of the banking industry.
“It is indeed safe to say that banks will continue to remain important players in the financial system in the future and the critical role of warehousing funds and the provision of loans will still require the use of banks.
“Rapidly changing technology is providing historic opportunity to transform our daily lives from the way payments are made to shaping the customer’s ability to access credit from financial institutions.
“At the CBN, we have implemented several measures that we think will help to support the growth of the banking system in the future. This will be achieved by improving financial inclusion rate, supporting innovation, and ensuring that unserved Nigerians are able to obtain verifiable BVN while addressing safety concerns.
“These measures will ensure that we have a faster and safer convenient system for eligible banking customers and we believe that if achieved, we can be sure that the growth of the banking industry will be formidable, supported by banks and fintechs meet the evolving needs of the majority of Nigerians,” he added.
Oyo state governor publicly declares his N48 billion asset
Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State has published his asset declaration document showing he has in excess of N48 billion in both cash and properties.
PT reported that the governor complied with Nigeria’s code of conduct law that mandates senior public office holders to file their asset details while assuming and exiting office.
It is however not compulsory to make the details of asset public.
Mr Makinde went further on Monday to release details of what he filled in his asset form at the Code of Conduct Bureau in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.
He also said he would encourage all his potential cabinet appointees to do so when they are nominated.
He became the first high-ranking public official to do so amongst those that emerged in the last general election.
According to a statement by Taiwo Adisa, a spokesperson for Mr Makinde, the governor’s CCB OYSE/2019/001 form filed on May 28, 2019, showed he had N48 billion in cash and asset.
The asset was categorised in cash at hand, in the bank, landed properties (developed and undeveloped), and household items.
They also include shares and bonds owned by the governor, his wife, Omini Makinde, as well as his companies.
As of May 28, 2019, Mr Makinde’s bank balance stood at N234, 742,296.01. In dollar terms, he has cash valued at $30,056.99 as at the same date.
Properties, including the developed and undeveloped as well as household items indicated on the asset forms, showed that the governor is worth N2, 624,800,500.
In dollar terms, Mr Makinde also declared properties, developed and undeveloped as well as household items valued at $4,400,000.
In South African Rands, the governor declared buildings and household items worth four million, four hundred and fifty-seven thousand, five hundred and fifty-four and four South African Rands.
The houses declared by Governor Makinde include nine buildings in Nigeria, two in the United States of America and one in South Africa.
One of the properties in the United States is described as “jointly owned.”
The details showed the current value of Makinde’s companies stands at N48, 150,736,889, including 33,730,000 units of shares as of May 28.
The governor also has existing Bonds (Eurobond) worth $3, 793, 500 as well as shares, debentures and other securities valued at N120,500,000(One hundred and twenty million, five hundred thousand naira).
FIRMS AND VALUES
The governor also listed companies that include Makon Engineering and Technical Services Limited; Energy Traders and Technical Services Limited; and Makon Oil and Gas Limited.
Makon Group Limited, Makon Construction Limited and Makon Power System Limited were also listed
The asset declaration form indicated that Governor Makinde’s four companies have additional assets denominated as loan notes.
They are as follows: Makon Engineering and Technical Services Limited(N1.7 billion); Makon Power System Limited(N148.4 million); Makon Oil and Gas Limited(N341 million); Energy Traders and Technical Services Limited(N1.159bn) totalling N3.389 billion.
Disclosure of asset by public officials is rare in Nigeria. The lack of transparency plays a key role in the country’s alarming corruption problem.
President Muhammadu Buhari, who came to power in 2015 with the pledge to fight corruption, promised to make his asset public.
He only did so after public pressure. Even so, he did not release some details of his asset, including those belonging to his wife and children.
The president and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo have yet to make their asset public after winning a second term.
CBN introduces Standing Deposit Facility (SDF).
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) last night introduced fresh rules for accessing its Standing Deposit Facility (SDF). The SDF is the rate at which commercial and merchant banks deposits funds with the CBN.
The CBN stated this in a circular dated July 10, 2019, that was signed by its Director, Financial Markets Departments, Dr. Angela Sere-Ejembi.
It made reference to the circular to all banks and discount houses, Re: Guidelines on Accessing the CBN Standing Deposit Facility, Ref: FMD/DIR/GEN/CIR/05/020 and dated November 6, 2014.
Following the review, the central bank stated that: “The remunerable daily placement by banks at the SDF shall not exceed N2 billion. The SDF deposit of N2 billion shall be remunerated and the interest rate prescribed by the Monetary Policy Committee from time to time. “Any deposit by a bank in excess of N2 billion shall not be remunerated. The provisions of the circular take effect from Thursday, July 11, 2019.”
Crude oil prices jumped three percent to $66.08 a barrel yesterday after major producers evacuated rigs in the Gulf of Mexico ahead of an expected storm and just as United States’ crude inventories shrank more than expected.
While the global benchmark, Brent crude rose by $1.92, to $66.08 a barrel, the United States West Texas Intermediate (WTI) climbed by $1.75, also three percent, to $59.58 a barrel.
Atiku berates Buhari as Nigeria’s debt profile rises to N24.9 trillion
The current debt stock, however, drew instant condemnation from the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the last election, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar. He decried what he described as the rising debt profile of Nigeria under the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
A marginal increase of N560.009 billion, representing 2.3 per cent rise in the first quarter (Q1) of 2019 pushed Nigeria’s total public debt, comprising the federal government, states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) debt stocks to N24.947 trillion or $ 81.274 billion as at March 31, 2019, according to data from the Debt Management Office (DMO).
By the latest figures released Wednesday in Abuja by the DMO, indications are that the external debt also increased by N101.646 billion in three months.
The 2.3 percent rise contrasts with the figure of N24.387 trillion ($ 79.437 billion) posted as at December 31, 2018.
According to the DMO, the increase of N560.009 billion in the total public debt in Q1 2019 was due to a growth in domestic debt stock by N458.363 billion.
However, reacting to the debt stock data Wednesday, Atiku said the increasing debt profile of Nigeria, was becoming more than a source of concern.
According to him, the debt situation is now at the stage where all genuine lovers of Nigeria ought to raise the alarm.
He said: “On May 29, 2015, our national debt profile was at a very healthy ₦12 trillion. However, after four years of profligate spending, and even more irresponsible borrowing, our national debt doubled to 24.3 trillion by December 2018.
“As alarming as this is, what is more, troubling is that between December 2018 and March 2019, the administration of General Buhari added an additional and unprecedented ₦560 billion debt to our national debt profile.
Buhari finally signs AfCTA agreement
Nigeria at the weekend in Niamey, Niger Republic, officially joined the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) as President Muhammadu Buhari finally signed the agreement at the opening of the African Union (AU) Summit.
This is coming as the President of Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Mr. Babatunde Ruwase, yesterday hailed Nigeria’s membership of AfCFTA and commended Buhari for signing the agreement.
The president’s spokesman, Mr. Femi Adesina, in a statement, said Buhari signed the treaty at exactly 10: 47 a.m. in the presence of other African heads of state and governments, delegates and representatives from the private sector, civil society and the media, which attended the 12th Extraordinary Summit of the African Union on the launch of the Operational Phase of the AfCFTA.
The phase one of the agreement was adopted by African Union (AU) Heads of State and Governments at its 10th Extraordinary Summit in Kigali, Rwanda, on March 21, 2018.
But Nigeria pulled out of the agreement signing ceremony at the last minute, following agitations from the private sector that the agreement would make Nigeria a dumping ground for goods and services in Africa.
Consequently, the president set up a committee to make wider consultations on the agreement with a view to coming up with recommendations on whether Nigeria should join AfCFTA or not.
The committee, while submitting its report on June 27, advised Buhari to sign the agreement, listing a number of factors, which aided the committee’s recommendations and the benefits accruable from it.
Shortly after signing the agreement yesterday, the president, according to the statement, declared that Nigeria’s commitment to trade and African integration had never been in doubt neither had it ever been under any threat.
The statement added that Buhari told the summit that Nigeria would build on yesterday’s signing of the treaty by proceeding expeditiously with the ratification of the AfCFTA.
‘‘Nigeria wishes to emphasize that free trade must also be fair trade. As African leaders, our attention should now focus on implementing the AfCFTA in a way that develops our economies and creates jobs for our young, dynamic and hardworking population,” Buhari said, adding: “I wish to assure you that Nigeria shall sustain its strong leadership role in Africa, in the implementation of the AfCFTA. We shall also continue to engage, constructively with all African countries to build the Africa that we want.”
The statement, which copiously quoted the president on his observations on the agreement, also said the president congratulated Ghana on its selection to host the Secretariat of the AfCFTA while describing the signing of the agreement on behalf of Nigeria as an honor.
The president recalled his hesitation to sign last year, explaining it was due to reservations at home.
He said he subsequently extensively consulted and sensitized the stakeholders, adding that the outcome was a buy-in by all concerned.
“Our consultations and assessments reaffirmed that the AfCFTA can be a platform for African manufacturers of goods and providers of service to construct regional value chains for made in Africa goods and services,” Buhari said, adding: “It was also obvious that we have a lot of work to do to prepare our nation to achieve our vision for intra-African trade, which is the free movement of ‘made in Africa goods.’
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