CBN Cuts Interest Rate to 13.5%

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Tuesday resolved to reduce the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR), otherwise known as interest rate, by 50 basis points to 13.5 per cent from 14 per cent.

The MPR is the rate at which the CBN lends to commercial banks and often determines the cost of borrowing in the economy.

CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, anmouced this at the end of the two-day Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting in Abuja.

The committee, however, retained the Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) at 22.5 per cent and Liquidity Ratio at 30 per cent.


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Electronic Fraud In Banking Hits N6.1trn By 2021 – CBN

Mr Sunday Salam-Alada, Director, Consumer Protection Department, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said electronic fraud losses in the banking system are projected to reach N6.1 trillion by 2021.

Salam-Alada disclosed this at the ongoing workshop for Business Editors and Finance Correspondents, organised by Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) in Benin.

According to him, the volume and value of e-transactions are projected to continue to increase nationally and globally.

Salam-Alada, represented by Mr Ibrahim Hassan, Director, Research, Policy, International Relations Department (RPIRD) NDIC, said it was due to broader ecosystem scope, the evolution of channels, adaptability to disruptive innovations and modes payment.
He said other reasons included increased inclusion and evolving technologies.

The director also said that the CBN, through its Consumer Protection Department (CPD), had resolved over 13,715 complaints.

Salam-Alada added that this resulted in a refund of about N72.2 billion to customers by the commercial banks based on 25,043 cases of fraud in 2017.

He said the amount represented a 28 per cent increase if compared to 19,531 cases recorded in 2016.

Salam-Alada said there was a 24 per cent reduction in actual fraud loss value in 2017 with N1.63 billion as against the to 2016 figures.

According to him, the statistics provided by the CBN shows there is a significant increase in the year-on-year volume and value of transactions across all payment channels in Nigeria.

Consequently, 1.4 billion transactions with a value of N97.4 trillion were processed in 2017 as against 869 million transactions with a value of N69.1 trillion recorded in 2016.

He said the increase of 59.7 per cent and 40.9 per cent were recorded in the volume and value of transactions in 2017.

The director hinted that the CBN would soon issue a framework on consumer protection.

Salam-Alada said the CPD conducted a mapping exercise of financial literacy activities in the country.

He added that it was one of the achievements of the department.

He said the achievements also included the biannual consumer protection compliance exams and review of the guide to banks’ charges.


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FG Crashes Food Importation By 60%

The Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele, says Nigeria has succeeded in reducing the importation of food items by 60 per cent from 2015 to date,

Mr. Emefiele said that the government, in the process, saved $800 million.

He explained that the reduction affected five major food items – rice, wheat, sugar, tomatoes and milk.

At a special town hall meeting on government’s agriculture intervention organised by the Ministry of Information and Culture in conjunction with the National Orientation Agency (NOA) in Jigawa State, he explained that $1.4 billion was spent on the importation of the five commodities by 2013, and $678.6million was spent at the end of 2017.

Mr. Emefiele who was represented by his special adviser, Mr Olatunde Akande, compared statistics and the impact of agriculture revolution in the country along the five major commodities of sugar, milk, rice, tomatoes and wheat between 2013 and 2017.

The CBN governor noted that at the end of 2017, the rate of food importation had reduced by almost 60 per cent in terms of the value of food import into Nigeria for these five commodities.

According to Emefiele, the CBN is supporting the rice paddy programme, a food security programme for large enterprises.

“What we have done is that we have looked at five key commodities – sugar, milk, rice, tomatoes and wheat. In 2013, the country spent $1.4 billion to import these commodities into the country.

“As at the end of 2017, that figure had reduced by almost 60 per cent the value of food import into Nigeria for these five commodities. At the end of 2017, we only spent $678.6 coming from $1.4 billion. In the past four years, CBN has been so supportive of the government, especially in the agricultural revolution of the government.

The CBN boss explained that the Anchor Borrower Programme was not specifically meant for rice farmers; however, 80 per cent of subscribers are into rice farming.

According to him, the programme has so far supported 15 different commodities like cassava, fish, groundnut, cotton, maize, poultry, soy beans, oil palm, among others.

Mr. Emefiele explained further that another project supported by the CBN was the presidential fertilizer programme.

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Polaris Bank Takes Over Skye Bank

Following the withdrawal of operating license of Skye Bank Plc by the apex Central Bank of Nigeria, the Managing Director of the Nigeria Insurance Deposit Corporation (NDIC), Godwin Emefiele, has changed name of Skye Bank to Polaris Bank.

Emefiele, at a press briefing in Abuja on Friday, said an injection of N786 billion has been made into the bank with the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) has been directed to commence the sale process of the bank from Monday.

The revocation of Skye Bank’s operating license follows the Central bank’s decision to pause its injection of funds processes in the lender.

The regulators maintain that customers deposits safe as management and members of staff will be retained under the new ownership structure.

Meanwhile, the share price of Skye Bank on Friday gained 4.05 percent at 77 kobo.

The stock is expected to be placed on suspension from Monday in accordance with bridge bank procedures.


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$322m Abacha Funds Earmark For Social Safety Nets

Nigeria’s Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, has confirmed the recovery of the sum of US$322,515,931.83 Abacha funds from the Swiss Government into a special account in the CBN.

Adeosun stated this at a joint press briefing at the end of the 2018 International Monetary Fund and World Bank Spring Meeting in Washington DC, United States.

The funds, according to her, have been earmarked for the National Social Safety Nets programme of the Government.

“The objective of the National Social Safety Nets Project for Nigeria is to provide access to targeted transfers to poor and vulnerable households under an expanded national social safety nets system,” Adeosun stated.

Expressing optimistic on the Federal Government’s sustenance of the growth trajectory, the Minister called for vigilance and focus for the country not to fall back into recession.

She said, “We are confident that if we diligently implement our economic plan, we will grow the economy. We have room to grow but other countries do not have rooms to grow.

“By 2019, the growth will be far more robust than the present level in 2018. We are therefore very optimistic in sustaining Nigeria’s economic growth. We are going to use this opportunity to grow our fiscal buffers, particularly aggressively growing our revenue base.

“The Administration has succeeded in building macroeconomic resilience for Nigeria, particularly revising the funding mix, rebuilding fiscal buffers, enhancing foreign exchange reserves and focusing on import substitution strategies.”

On the State-Owned-Enterprises such as the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, she disclosed that the Government would continue to efficiently and effectively manage their costs and plug leakages.

“We must make sure that every money that is earned comes in. We will drive the process of improving governance,” she added.

On the nation’s domestic debt, the Minister stated that the Government would not aggressively grow the debt.

“We are refinancing our inherited debt portfolio from short term Treasury Bills to longer tenured debt which has resulted in huge savings and reduction in costs of funds for the Government,” she said.

She disclosed that the Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS) deadline was extended by three months till June 30, 2018 due to the appeals from tax payers for more time to regularise their tax status.

She revealed that the present Administration has raised the tax payers’ base from 13 million in 2015 to 17 million as at 2018.

In similar development, Governor of Central Bank, Godwin Emefiele, also reiterated Nigeria’s positive growth outlook, noting that a growth of 2.5 per cent had been projected by the IMF and World Bank for Nigeria.

He disclosed that the country’s foreign reserves had risen to US$47.93 billion.

“There is need to save for the raining day and also continue to grow the foreign reserves. If we had enough reserves, we wouldn’t have suffered the recession shocks,” he explained.

He assured that concerted efforts were ongoing to realise the 80 per cent target for financial inclusion by 2020.


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Nigeria’s Foreign Reserves Hit $42.8bn, Says CBN

Nigeria’s foreign reserves have hit $42.8 billion, according to spokesman of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Isaac Okoroafor.

Okoroafor, who disclosed this at a meeting with Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria, RIFAN, Wednesday, in Abuja, attributed the steady growth of the reserves to CBN policies targeting reduction in importation of goods, especially food that can be produced in the country.

He said: “CBN decided to go into the funding of rice and other agricultural produce because we felt that food supply is key if price stability is to be maintained.

“food makes up a disproportionately large portion of the basket of prices in the country.

“We decided to target food supply to bring down inflation.

“Second, we went into this business of funding agriculture because we felt that food, especially rice, was a key component of importation in Nigeria.

‘It was, therefore, a key component in the depletion of our foreign reserves.

“So we felt if we could deal with rice importation and replace it with local rice production, we would be working at rebuilding our reserves.

And I tell you, we have succeeded in meeting those two objectives.

‘’The reserves have gone to $42.8 billion as at yesterday (Tuesday) and you can see the inflation figures have been dropping and we expect this to continue throughout the year.”

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CBN Announces 5 Per Cent Interest Rate To Farmers

Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele, has announced government’s commitment towards providing financial aid at less than five percent to any Nigerian that shows interest in agriculture.

Emefiele said this on Thursday, at the launching of about 110,000 bags of  MITROS ofada rice in Abeokuta, Ogun State capital.

According to him, the percentage is for the procurement of Agricultural Equipment and also to support growth in the sector.

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Emefiele Charges Youths To Become Resourceful Entrepreneurs

Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Mr. Godwin Emefiele has admonished  Nigerian youths to stop depending on government or white collar jobs for their livelihood, but should think of how to become resourceful entrepreneurs.

Emefiele made the admonishment at a lecture to mark the 47thConvocation of the prestigious University of Nigeria Nsukka, Enugu State, south eastern Nigeria.

Emefiele noted that the agenda of entrepreneurial development was to nurture a cream of innovative and wealth creating men and women who are set to become pacesetters and the ‘next-big-thing’ in the present globally competitive space.

Speaking on the topic: “A mind set for Succeeding in Today’s Nigeria”, the CBN Boss pointed out that Nigeria has limitless opportunities for anyone who wishes to become wealthy, regardless of complaints of the lack of job opportunities.

He urged Nigerian graduates to change their mentality.

“You just have to go out there and find it”, he charged them.

“Renowned entrepreneurs and innovators did not wait for their government to give them jobs, they created jobs for the economy. It may surprise you to note that some of the wealthiest persons on earth are entrepreneurs who began with modest start-ups”, he said.

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We Are Ready For Business, Emefiele Tells Investors

The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele, has urged foreign investors to come over to the country.

He made the call at the weekend, at a forum of capital and money market players, investment bankers, treasurers and other fund managers at the London Stock Exchange.

The forum was organised by the London Stock Exchange, in collaboration with the Nigerian Stock Exchange.Emefiele told the investors that the Return on Investment (ROI) in all sectors of the Nigerian economy is among the best in the world.

In his message, titled: “Nigeria is ready for business,” he lauded the country’s emergence from what was its worst recession in decades,The CBN governor explained the ongoing reforms and the huge opportunities available to investors in several sectors, especially agriculture, solid minerals and infrastructure.

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CBN Harp On Sustainable Development With Agriculture

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and stakeholders in the renewed drive for economic diversification through agriculture have reiterated that agriculture presents the major opportunity of a long-term sustainable development in the country.

CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, said with the current levels of unemployment in Nigeria, agriculture sector remained vital to the efforts of the Federal Government in diversifying the country’s monolithic economy away from oil. Emefiele, who made the observation at the weekend in Abuja, during the stakeholders’ meeting on the operational framework for the Accelerated Agricultural Development Scheme (AADS) initiated by President Muhammadu Buhari, also said the meeting was in efforts to consolidate the collective efforts of the monetary and fiscal authorities to diversify the country’s economy.

Meanwhile, the Bankers Committee said nation’s deposit money banks are now ready to disburse its pooled five per cent equity contributions at N26 billion, meant to support small businesses in the agriculture sector at concessional rates.

The Chief Executive Officer, Unity Bank Plc, Mrs. Tomi Somefun, who spoke for the committee, affirmed that the special fund was set up to the tune of N26 billion to provide equity contributions to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), particularly those in the agriculture sector.”We mentioned before that the framework for this was being developed. The Bankers committee can confirm that this is being finalised and disbursement will commence by the end of this fourth quarter.

“To further support this the CBN has created a special export intervention scheme to support export and of course, that will generate additional foreign exchange. This will be closely monitored and we expect a lot of SMEs to benefit from this scheme.”The issue we had in the past was the failure of some exporters to repatriate the foreign exchange generated, and the CBN has agreed with the Bankers Committee to sanction defaulting exporters.

But the Director of Banking Supervision Department at CBN, Alhaji Ahmed Abdullahi, added: “This export scheme is different from the Export Expansion Grant of the Federal Government. This one is a CBN initiative to boost exports, so that exporters can access the fund just like the Commercial Agricultural Scheme or the Anchor Borrowers Programme to boost their businesses.

Similarly, the agriculture stakeholders meeting organised by CBN, which had the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, state governors, among others in attendance, was expected to significantly improve the agricultural output, drive economy growth, reduce unemployment among youth and increase national cohesion.

While acknowledging the twin-challenge of youth restiveness and unemployment, the Emefiele stressed the need for stakeholders to confront the challenge with innovative thinking, using agriculture as a fulcrum of a long-term sustainable and profitable approach.Also speaking, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, commended the courage of the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, and his team, in introducing the policy on the restriction of access to foreign exchange for some 41 items, which can be produced in Nigeria.

For Kebbi State Governor, Alhaji Atiku Bagudu, who doubles as the Head, Technical Sub-committee of AADS and Chairman of the Presidential Initiative on Rice and Wheat, commended the efforts of CBN in galvanizing rice production revolution through the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme. Bagudu appealed to Nigerians to support the AADS, noting that even industrialised nations have had to protect their agricultural production through tariffs and trade policy, especially in areas the country has comparative advantage.

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President Buhari Receives Economic Briefing From CBN Governor, Ministers Of Finance, Budget And National Planning

President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday afternoon, received briefing from the Central Bank governor, Godwin Emefiele, Ministers of Finance, Budget and National Planning at the Presidential Villa, Aso Rock, Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

The Ministers and the CBN governor updated President Buhari on the improving state of the economy, 2017 budget implementation, budget preparation.

The President was also briefed on the revenue strategies, combined cost reduction and debt management.

Also discussed during the briefing monetary policy strategies and  their economic impact.

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Nigeria Will Be Out Of Recession By End Of Year 2017, Says Emefiele

The Governor of Central Bank, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, has said that the current economic recession will come to an end before the end of the year.

Emefiele, who delivered a lecture entitled: “The Dilemma of Monetary Policy and Exchange Rate Management in a Recession: Potential Options for Nigeria,” at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), lamented the country’s reliance on importation, which according to him is the key factor to recession.

He also explained that with the interventions of the Federal Government, the CBN and other authorities, “the country will be out of recession before the end of 2017.”

His words: “In January 2017, inflation was 18.8 per cent, it is now down to 16.24 per cent. Last quarter, which was fourth quarter of 2016 growth, was negative 1.72 per cent. First quarter of 2017 growth had improved to negative 1.52 per cent.

“What that means is that we have an improvement in growth by about 1.2 per cent. If we see another 1.2 per cent growth in the second quarter we are out of recession.”

Emefiele who further queried the importation of consumables like apple, cucumber eggs , beef and toothpicks, said that if manufactured in the country can in turn crate massive employment for young people.

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