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Nigeria’s Deposit Money Banks to Stop ATM Cards From Oversea Transactions

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Nigeria

Deposit Money Banks have commenced a process to stop all customers from using their payment cards, popularly known as Automated Teller Machine cards, for dollar-denominated transactions when they travel abroad with effect from January 1, 2016.

Investigation also revealed the banks would not allow their customers to use naira-denominated ATM cards locally for transactions denominated in forex.

This means bank customers will not be able to use their cards to buy products from foreign e-commerce sites like e-bay and amazon.com in which payments are made in forex.

The development follows the lingering scarcity of foreign exchange, especially the dollar, to settle obligations arising from customers’ use of the ATM cards for forex-denominated transactions.

Already, Standard Chartered Bank has notified its customers that from January 1, 2016, they will not be able to use their naira-denominated ATM cards for transactions that are denominated in foreign currencies, either locally or when they travel abroad.

In a notice to its customers, Standard Chartered said, “This is to notify you that from January 1, 2016, your naira card will no longer be enabled for international use. This is as a result of the limited foreign exchange supply in the financial market.”

Asked how long the suspension of cards from international transactions would be, the spokesperson for Standard Chartered Nigeria, Mrs. Dayo Adurogbo, said, “We cannot give a definite date. It depends on how soon it is available. We will do everything to meet our customers’ demand once it is available.”

Further findings showed that a number of other banks had stopped customers from using their ATM cards abroad but had yet to officially communicate this to them.

Some customers told our correspondent that when they notified their banks of plans to travel and the need to enable their cards work overseas, they were simply informed that the cards could not be enabled for now due to issues relating to forex scarcity.

Findings by Sunday Punch showed others banks might issue notices similar to that of Standard Chartered Bank before the end of the year.

“We had some discussions recently and some top bank officials said they would stop customers from using their naira-denominated cards for international transactions due to the serious challenges in getting forex to settle their international partners,” a top bank official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak on the matter, said on Friday.

The current situation means customers travelling abroad for Christmas and New Year may face severe payment challenges, a situation that may mar their shopping plans.

The fall in prices of crude oil, the main earner of foreign exchange for Nigeria, has made the nation’s forex income to reduce drastically, creating dollar scarcity crisis for the Central Bank of Nigeria.

The CBN has been rationing dollar to banks, importers and other forex users as the nation’s foreign exchange reserves continue to deplete, hitting $29.4bn on December 7, 2015.

The PUNCH had exclusively reported on Thursday that banks had cut the amount that their customers could spend using their debit and credit cards abroad by between 70 and 90 per cent. This took effect during the first week of December for the majority of the banks.

Specifically, banks cut customers’ card spending in foreign currencies from the annual $50,000 allowed by the CBN to between $5,000 and $15,000.

According to findings by our correspondent, Ecobank Nigeria Plc has reduced its limit from $50,000 to $5,000, with a maximum of $500 monthly and $100 daily expenditure.

Skye Bank Plc, in a notice to its customers via email, also slashed its international card spending limit from $50,000 to $12,000 annually, a maximum of $1,000 monthly and $100 daily.

Wema Bank Plc also slashed spending on its payment cards from $50,000 to $10,000 annually, $1,000 monthly and $100 daily.

Although other banks have yet to confirm their new international card spending limits, findings by our correspondent revealed that the new limits for most of them ranged from $5,000 to $15,000 annually, and $500 to $1,000 monthly.

Punchng

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

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Company News

World Mobile to Launch Connectivity in Public Spaces to Boost Zanzibar’s GDP

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Internet Users - Investors King

Blockchain network operator World Mobile, in partnership with The eGovernment Agency of Zanzibar (eGAZ), have announced the launch of free – metered WiFi internet access at all state agencies, Ministries, local Government offices, bus stops, the airport, ports, fish markets, municipal offices/markets, municipal/state housing estates, hospitals/clinics, and any other public facing government institutions. 

World Mobile is the first blockchain mobile network powered and run by the people and fueled by World Mobile Token.

In the first 60 days, the partnership will aim to connect the airport, ports and properties owned by the National Housing Corporation of Zanzibar within the main island of Unguja, as part of World Mobile’s plan to provide connectivity to all of Zanzibar’s population by the end of 2023.

This is the first stage of an ambitious partnership and five-year plan which will drastically boost Zanzibar’s GDP, which includes a Blockchain Centre of Excellence, an eGov solution providing digital identities and integration with government systems, revolutionising the Blue Economy (enhancing how the local fishing economy works) and then taking this enhanced business approach to other industries.

“Zanzibar is on its path to becoming Africa’s blockchain hub, and we are thrilled to help make it a reality, sending ripple effects across the region. Together with IOG, our efforts to connect the unconnected will enhance Zanzibar’s economy in multiple ways.” said Micky Watkins, World Mobile CEO.

Said Seif Said, Director General of Zanzibar’s E-Government Agency added: “We are excited to shine a spotlight on Zanzibar’s emerging potential as the technology and blockchain centre of the future, starting with providing connectivity to people and businesses in the region. On this, we will build innovative new ways of conducting local government and boosting businesses, and we are looking forward to reaping the fruits of this spectacular initiative.”

RJ Katunda, CXO of World Mobile also added: “We are here in Zanzibar to listen, learn and assist, and with that mantra we already have an agreement with the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training in Zanzibar whereby we have been given access to all government owned schools and Educational Institutions to install internet connectivity. This will allow the schools to directly communicate through the EMIS system to the ministry and at the same time act as a World Mobile Node where the schools will earn a revenue share from all users connected to the node. This not only solves the connectivity issues for the schools, it also creates a new source of revenue for them.”

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BUA Foods Rice Unit to Commence Production this Year

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BUA Foods Plc

A subsidiary of BUA Group, BUA Foods Plc, on Tuesday stated that it will begin rice business in the second half of the year.

Investors King recalls that BUA Foods listed N18 billion shares on the main board of the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) two weeks ago.

The rice production is expected to recommence with 480 MT daily capacity and in future rise to 2,700 MT daily.

The Managing director of BUA Foods Plc,  Ayodele Abioye disclosed this while presenting the company’s “Facts Behind the Listing (FBL)” at a webinar organised by NGX.

Abioye noted that the new rice and pasta plants will be completed this year to add to the already existing three businesses of the company– sugar, flour and pasta.

In his words, “BUA Foods Plc was birthed in 2021, and this was an outcome of a planned restructuring process of all our food business entities. 

“Today, we are here to follow up on this listing of this enlarged entity which became listed on the Nigerian Exchange on the 5th of January, 2022.

“Three of our five business divisions, namely sugar, flour and pasta, are currently and fully operational and are contributing to our current revenue stream. 

“While our rice division will begin operation before the end of the year, we are working to also recommence our edible oil operation in the mid to long-term frame.”

Abioye further mentioned that the two subsidiaries of the company are growth engines strategically put in place for long-term economic value creation adding that the sugar refinery opens a market expansion opportunity into the West African and African market. 

He averred that the company’s current market leadership makes it protected in the marketplace with its ongoing expansions.

Abioye hinted that its relationship with its host communities and supply network will not be soiled as it embarks on expansion.

“We will also continue to drive our supply chain integration, again, through the backward integration programme,” he added.

Also speaking, the chief financial officer, BUA Foods Plc, Abdul Rasheed Olayiwola hinted that the company’s revenue growth is impressive. 

Comparing the income in 2020 and November, 2021, Olayiwola said “Bua Foods has experienced significant revenue growth.

“We recorded a 58% growth in revenue for the 11 months, ending November 2021. Sugar remains the highest contributor to our revenue, contributing a total of 63% of our total revenue.

“The reason for this significant growth in our revenue is not far-fetched. It is simply due to our market acceptability.” 

The chief financial officer stated that BUA Foods gross profit grew from N64.9 billion in 2020 to N96.2billion in 2021 and the pre-tax profit (PBT) rose from N49.6 billion in 2020 to N78.8 billion in November, 2021.

He pointed that despite the rise in BUA Foods production cost, it obtained a 29.5% profit margin.

“The company will become more diversified as its rice and edible oil become operational within the year and in the short-term period,” Olayiwola explained.

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C & I Leasing Appoints Ugoji Lenin Ugoji as Group Managing Director/CEO

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Ugoji Lenin Ugoji

C & I Leasing Plc has appointed Mr. Ugoji Lenin Ugoji as the Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer following the retirement of Mr. Andrew Otike-Odibi on 31 of December 2021.

The company disclosed in a statement signed by Mbanugo Udenze & Co Company Secretary and seen by Investors King. Ugoji, the company’s chief operating officer, is now the Managing Director/CEO, effective 1 January 2022.

Ugoji Lenin Ugoji Profile

Ugoji holds a Bachelors’ Degree in Estate Management from the University of Lagos, and an MBA in Banking & Finance from the ESUT Business School, Enugu. He is also a Chartered Pension professional, and an associate of the Certified Pension Institute of Nigeria.

Ugoji joins C & I Leasing with over 20 years experience in Commercial/Investment Banking, Leasing and Asset Management.

His last assignment was with The Mellanby Trust Company, a Commodity focused Asset Management Company registered with the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC), where he was a founding Director and the Chief Investment Officer responsible for directing the company’s Investment Portfolio structure for purposes of its corporate and individual clients.

Ugoji’s extensive experience in the Leasing Industry commenced in 2005 as a Pioneer member of the Aquila Capital Group where he served as the pioneer Group Head Treasury & Wealth Management. He was responsible for creating the Group’s, Equipment Leasing focused Funding and Investment structure, which was targeted at attracting Capital from Private Equity, Foreign Development Financial Institutions and Local sources.

From 2010 to 2015, he served as the pioneer Managing Director for ‘Aquila Asset Management Ltd’, a Management Buy-Out firm from the Aquila Group. Prior to his time at the Aquila Group, Ugoji worked at Continental Trust Bank (now UBA) and NAL Bank Plc (now Sterling Bank) in the Treasury, International Operations and Domestic operations groups respectively.

Ugoji is happily married with children. He is passionate about ideas creation, investment and deal structuring, and enjoys volunteering for laudable causes. When not at work or volunteering, he enjoys spending time with his family, reading, music and photography.

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