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CBN Stops Forex Sale to BDCs, Cash Deposit Allowed

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has formally announced that it would no longer sell dollars to Bureau de Change (BDC) operators.

Since over 70 percent drop in the price of crude oil, which contributes the largest share of national Foreign Exchange Reserves, the country foreign earnings has dropped from US$3.2 billion to US $1 billion, which made it hard to meet the increasing demands for foreign exchange by domestic importers.

According to the apex bank, in 2005 when oil prices was US$50 a barrel, average import bill was N148.3 billion per month but in 2015 average import bill for the first nine months of 2015 alone was N917.6 billion per month, even at lower oil prices of US$32.60 as at today.

This has depleted foreign exchange reserves which stood at about US$37.3 billion as of June 2014, but currently around US$28.0 billion.

In order to avoid further depletion in the reserves, the central bank of Nigeria has decided to provide forex services for payments of school fees, BTA, PTA, and related expenses. Importation of petroleum products and matured letters of credit from commercial banks will be honoured.

Despite difficulties the bank is facing, some Bureau de Change (BDC) operators across the country are said to have become wholesale dealers in foreign exchange, selling to the tune of millions of dollars per transaction instead of the original directive to only serve retail-end users who need US$5,000 or less.

Thereafter, using fake documentations like BVNs, boarding passes, flight tickets and passport to render weekly returns to the CBN. These operators sell to ordinary Nigerians as high as N282 per dollar while CBN sells dollar at 197.

In spite of the financial burden being placed on the bank’s limited foreign exchange, the bank has decided to stop selling foreign exchange to bureau de changes operators. However, they can source for their foreign exchange from autonomous sources but should conform to the anti-money laundering laws.

People with ordinary domiciliary accounts can now deposit foreign currency cash into their accounts with effect from today, the report showed.

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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Faceoff as Humanitarian Minister Writes Finance Minister on N206bn Budget Padding

N206 billion inserted into the ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management, and Social Development

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Sadiya Umar Farouq, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development

The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management, and Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouq has written to the Minister of Finance seeking clarification on the N206 billion inserted into the ministry 2023 budget. 

It would be recalled that some ministries and government agencies alleged the insertion of some projects amounting to N423.8bn in their respective budget proposals without their knowledge. 

Some of the concerned MDAs include the National Universities Commission (NUC), Ministries of Defence, Power, and Humanitarian Affairs. Investors King learnt. 

Representatives of the MDAs had told the National Assembly that they can not explain what the sums are meant for or the details of the projects tied to the funds since they were not part of their proposals sent to the finance ministry for the 2023 fiscal year.

According to the Minister of Defence, Maj. Gen. Bashir Magashi (retd), about N11 billion was inserted into the ministry’s budget. He told a Senate Committee during budget defence sessions. 

Similarly, the Minister of Health also alleged the same thing accusing officials of the Ministry of Finance of padding. 

The Executive Secretary of NUC, Professor Abubakar Rashid, also told the joint Senate and House Committee on Tertiary Education and TETfund during budget defence that N12 billion was inserted by the Ministry of Finance into the agency budget. 

“In NUC’s budget, we have a problem. We had additional money given to us that we didn’t request, but I later went to the Ministry of Finance to find out because our budget was always hovering around N3 billion” he said. 

Sources from the ministry of humanitarian affairs disclosed that the letter written by the minister seeking clarification is necessary owing to the negative public perception it could give the ministry and the minister in particular. 

The sources added that the minister’s husband who is a governorship candidate in Bauchi state might also be affected by the negative media perception. 

“We are disturbed and the minister is not leaving anything to chance. We want a quick clarification of the inserted figure in our ministry’s 2023 budget proposal,” the source said. 

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EFCC, ICPC to Track Large Withdrawals as CBN Launches New Notes

Godwin Emefiele has said the central bank will engage the service of both EFCC and ICPC to monitor large withdrawals from banks. 

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Indications have emerged that both the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices & Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) will collaborate with commercial banks to track large withdrawals as the CBN launches new naira notes. 

Investors King reported yesterday that President Muhammadu Buhari has unveiled the new naira notes ahead of their circulation. 

While briefing the press after the launch, the central bank governor, Godwin Emefiele noted that the apex bank will engage the service of both EFCC and ICPC to monitor large withdrawals from banks. 

Emefiele disclosed that the amount of money that can be withdrawn from the counter would be reduced drastically. 

He added that bulk withdrawals would require several procedures and security checks to track use.

“We will restrict the volume of cash that people can withdraw over the counter. If you need to draw large volumes of cash, you will fill out uncountable forms; we will take your data, whether it’s your BVN or NIN so that our law enforcement agencies like EFCC and ICPC can follow you and be sure that you are taking that money for a good purpose,” he said. 

The CBN governor however refuted that the policy is aimed at anyone. There has been speculation that the currency redesign was targeted at some politicians especially those in the opposition. 

“There is no need for anybody to think this program is targeted at anyone. Like you heard the President, he said, this discussion to redesign and reissue currency started early in the year,” he stated. 

It could be recalled that the central bank announced its intention to redesign N200, N500, and N1000 in October 2022. 

While making the announcement, the CBN governor noted that the policy is aimed to address the excesses of currency circulation, counterfeiting and terrorism. 

Emefiele said there was significant hoarding of naira notes by members of the public, with statistics showing that over 80 percent of the currency in circulation was outside the vaults of the commercial banks.

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CBN Disburses N41.02 Billion to 4.6 Million Smallholder Farmers in October

The central bank disbursed N41.02 billion to several smallholder farmers under the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP)

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Godwin Emefiele - Investors King

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said it disbursed N41.02 billion to several smallholder farmers under the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP) across the country in the month of October.

This was stated in the bank’s communique no. 145 of the monetary policy committee minute published on Tuesday.

The apex bank has now disbursed a combined N1.067 trillion to 4.6 million smallholder farmers cultivating 21 commodities across the country.

In the same month, the central bank also provided a N0.30 million grant to large-scale agricultural projects under the Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme (CACS). Consequently, the total disbursement under the Scheme for agro-production and agro-processing stands at N745.31 billion for 680 projects.

Explaining the significance of the disbursement to the bank’s ongoing policy, the apex bank said it would help boost the non-oil export sector and deepen the nation’s foreign reserves.

In addition, the bank released the sum of N48.30 billion under the N1.0 trillion Real Sector Facility to seven (7) new real sector projects in agriculture, manufacturing, and services. Cumulative disbursement under this Facility currently stands at N2.15 trillion to 437 projects across the country, comprising projects in manufacturing (240), agriculture (91), services (93) and mining sector (13).

Furthermore, under the 100 for 100 Policy on Production and Productivity (PPP), the bank disbursed the sum of N20.78 billion to nine (9) projects in healthcare, manufacturing, and services.

The cumulative disbursement under the Facility, therefore, amounted to N114.17 billion in 71 projects. Moreover, the Bank disbursed N4.00 billion under the Intervention Facility for the National Gas Expansion Programme (IFNGEP) to promote the adoption of compressed natural gas (CNG) for transportation and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) for cooking.

Meanwhile, the CBN-led monetary policy committee raised the interest rate by another 100 basis points from 15.5% to 16.5%. Therefore, the apex bank has risen interest rates by 500 basis points in 2022 alone.

 

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