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IMF Insists on Naira Devaluation

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devaluation

The Central Bank of Nigeria needs to devalue the naira by adjusting the official exchange rate of N199/dollar to a more market-determined exchange rate, the International Monetary Fund has said.

This position sharply differs from that of President Muhammadu Buhari, who insisted that Nigeria would not devalue the currency.

A former Secretary-General of the Commonwealth of Nations, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, has, however, warned that naira devaluation could trigger an economic disaster for the country, urging Buhari not to yield to pressure to devalue the currency.

But the Washington-based monetary fund said in a statement on Wednesday that Nigeria’s economy was suffering from the impact of a sharp decline in oil prices, which made naira devaluation a necessity.

The statement read, “Nigeria is facing the impact of a sharp decline in oil prices. Eliminating existing macroeconomic imbalances and achieving sustained private sector-led growth requires a renewed focus on ensuring the competitiveness of the economy.

“As part of a credible package of policies, the exchange rate should be allowed to reflect market forces more and restrictions on access to foreign exchange removed, while improving the functioning of the interbank foreign exchange market.

“It will be important for the regulatory and supervisory frameworks to ensure a strong and resilient financial sector that can support private sector investment across production segments (including the SMEs) at reasonable financing costs.”

The IMF statement was released after its 2016 Article IV Mission to Nigeria.

It noted that the team met with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo; the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun; the Minister of Budget and Planning, Senator Udo Udoma; and the Governor, CBN, Mr. Godwin Emefiele.

According to the fund, foreign exchange restrictions introduced by the CBN to protect reserves have impacted significantly on segments of the private sector that depend on adequate supply of foreign currencies.

“With oil prices expected to remain low for a long time, continuing risk aversion by international investors and downside risks in the global economy, the outlook remains challenging. The authorities’ policy response has focused on seeking to support growth, while preserving international reserves. The draft 2016 budget envisaged, appropriately, a significant shift in the composition of fiscal spending toward capital investment while increasing the allocation for a social safety net. At the same time, the CBN has eased monetary conditions.”

The IMF also noted that “in the light of the significant macroeconomic adjustment that is needed to address the permanent terms-of-trade shock, it will be important to put in place an integrated package of policies centred around: (i) fiscal discipline; (ii) reducing external imbalances; (iii) further improving efficiency of the banking sector; and (iv) fostering strong implementation of structural reforms that will enhance competitiveness and foster inclusive growth.”

Anyaoku said at the 40th and 7th anniversary symposium organised by the Ondo State Government on Wednesday in Akure that “those calling for official devaluation of the naira need to come up with a good answer to Nigeria’s current problematic situation with its currency.

“An incontrovertible fact is that with the current level of the country’s dependence on imported goods resulting in a monthly import bill that is about four times the value of its main export (crude oil) that is traded in the US dollars, official devaluation of the naira via-a-vis the dollar will inevitably produce a further rise in inflation to the detriment of all of us including the masses.

“Besides, in such circumstances, devaluation will lead to an unacceptable drain in the country’s external reserves that is already worryingly depleted.” Punch reported.

 

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.

Finance

An Uptick in The FAAC Payout

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Naira Exchange Rates - Investors King

The latest gross monthly distribution for the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) to the three tiers of government and public agencies amounted to N990bn in January (from December revenue).

This was an increase of 9.8% or N88.1bn from the previous payout (N902bn recorded in November ’22) and marks the highest FAAC payout recorded in 2022. The increase can be partly attributed to improved non-oil revenue collection. Based on data from the local media, Companies’ Income Tax (CIT), VAT, oil and gas royalties and export duties recorded increases while import duties declined significantly.

The FGN received a total of N375.3bn while state governments received N299.6bn. Furthermore, oil-producing states received an additional N93.5bn representing the 13% derivation for mineral revenue. The headline figure consisted of N707.8bn gross statutory distribution.

This is a month on month increase of 3.9%. Additionally, N233.3bn came into the VAT pool, and N24.3bn from Electronic Money Transfer Levy (EMTL). The total deduction for cost of collection was N31.5bn.

Furthermore, the committee disclosed that the Excess Crude Account (ECA) remained unchanged from the previous month at USD473.7m. Despite elevated oil prices which were above the FGN’s 2022 oil price benchmark (USD73/barrel), the ECA has remained relatively low. In 2014, the ECA was as high as USD4.1bn.

It is worth highlighting that the NNPC made zero contributions to FAAC in 2022, largely due to high fuel subsidy costs. According to the NNPC, the total cumulative subsidy deductions stood at N2.04trn in July ’22 vs N1.5trn spent in 2021. The shortfall in oil revenue was partly offset by relatively higher non-oil revenue collection.

The net FAAC distribution to states and local governments hit the money market last week, as an inflow of N650bn was recorded, which supported market liquidity. We note that the FGN’s share of the FAAC allocation (c.N375bn) is transferred directly to the treasury single account.

To avoid overreliance on FAAC distributions and ensure more resilience against future shocks, state governments need to diversify their revenue base. Unemployment and underemployment continue to cost states billions of naira in forgone revenue through payment of income taxes (PAYE). To boost IGR, states should consider providing incentives for the private sector to support economic activities within their respective states.

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Banking Sector

CBN: New National Domestic Card Will Improve E-payment, Foreign Exchange 

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Godwin Emefiele - Investors King

The newly inaugurated Nigerian National Domestic Card Scheme is aimed at enhancing electronic payment and foreign exchange, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) says.

The official launch of the National Domestic Card was done virtually on Thursday, Investors King reports.

Speaking on the benefits of the new domestic card, the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele said it will lessen operating costs, charges and strengthen foreign exchange in Nigeria.

Emefiele stated that the use of the new domestic card is with immediate effect and all local transactions will be done through the card.

His words, “Ladies and gentlemen, at this time when foreign exchange challenges persist globally, it is important that I say that we have come up with this card to ensure that all online transactions will now be effective and immediately begin to go on the Nigerian National Domestic Card system.

“All domestic transactions that are going to be conducted in Nigeria will have to be through the Nigerian domestic cards.”

He pointed out that the apex bank will collaborate with the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System Plc and commercial banks to ensure that only international transactions are accompanied with charges as when done with Visa card or Master Card.

The CBN governor expressed concern over the large number of payments still carried out without cards despite the fact that card payment had been introduced in Nigeria a long time ago.

He highlighted some of the reasons as expensive card services which include charges due to foreign exchange requirements of the international card system and unlocalised cards in existence.

Emefiele averred that the new national domestic card scheme seeks to address these challenges and encourage more card transactions, adding that the card would be accessible to all citizens regardless of locality. 

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Loans

FG Releases List of 94 Approved Online Loan Applications

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Loan - Investors King

Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, FCCPC under the Federal Ministry of Trade and Investment has assented to 94 online loan applications for operation in Nigeria.

Investors King reports that out of the 94 approved digital money lender companies in Nigeria, 49 companies were fully approved while the other 45 firms were issued conditional approval.

Google, in November 2022 threatened in its new policy to delete all unlicensed Nigerian loan apps from the Google play store by January 31, 2023, Investors King recalls.

Every loan app is required to tender their documents from the FCCPC which is saddled with the responsibility of safeguarding the interest and ensuring the well-being of consumers.

According to the FCCPC update on the registration of online loan applications which is still ongoing, the licensing is necessary to curb the menace of extortion by loan sharks. 

The Commission explained that the regulatory framework and guidelines for the digital lenders companies were earmarked in partnership with the Joint Task Force (JTF) aimed at ensuring fairness and advantageous alternative lending opportunities for the citizens. 

In the Commission’s laid down guidelines, the lending company will register with the FCCPC and fill two forms– Form DLG 001 and Form DLG 002.

“Form DLG OO1 is the registration form that requires the applicant company to provide identification and operational information to the FCCPC.

“The Form DLG 002 contains declarations relating to: Legitimacy; Compliance with applicable regulatory requirements; Lawful source of funds and conformity with anti-money laundering; and Data protection laws,” it stated.

As outlined by the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC), the listed companies below have gotten the full approval of the commission—

  1. TRADE DEPOT  
  2. TAJOW INVESTMENT 
  3. BLUE RIDGE MICROFINANCE BANK LIMITED 
  4. GROLATECH CREDIT LIMITED 
  5. BRANCH INTERNATIONAL FINANCIAL SERVICES LIMITED 
  6. P2VEST TECHNOLOGY LIMITED 
  7. CREDITWAVE FINANCE LIMITED 
  8. KEENEST TECH SERVICE LIMITED 
  9. FAIRMONEY MICRO FINANCE BANK 
  10. ALTRACRED FINANCE INVESTIMENT LIMITED 
  11. CREVANCE CREDIT LIMITED 
  12. MENACRED COMPANY LIMITED 
  13. AFROWIDE DEVELOPMENT LTD 
  14. RED PLANET NIGERIA LIMITED 
  15. AFROFIRST MOBILE AND TECHNOLOGY COMPANY LIMITED 
  16. RANKCAPITALS LIMITED 
  17. IBS GOLDEN INVESTMENT COMPANY LIMITED 
  18. LENDVISERY SERVICES LIMITED 
  19. CREDITWAVE FINANCE LIMITED 
  20. RENMONEY MICROFINANCE BANK LIMITED 
  21. SWIPEBILL TECHNOLOGIES NIGERIA LIMITED. 
  22. HOMETOWN FINTECH LIMITED 
  23. GIASUN TECHNOLOGY NIGERIA LIMITED 
  24. BE RESOURCES LIMITED 
  25. ROCKIT LENDERS NIGERIA LIMITED 
  26. PIVO TECHNOLOGY LIMIED 
  27. YES CREDIT COMPANY LIMITED 
  28. FUBRIL CENTURY LIMITED 
  29. IRORUN TECHNOLOGIES LIMITED 
  30. CSENSE LIMITED 
  31. SUPREME HELP COOPERATIVE SOCIETY LIMITED 
  32. ORCOM AND ORCOM BUSSINESS SUPORT LIMITED 
  33. PAYHIPPO LIMITED. 
  34. EASYCHECK FINANCE INVESTMENT LIMITED 
  35. QUARK FINANCIAL NIGERIA LIMITED 
  36. EDMOND SOLUTIONS COMPANY LIMITED 
  37. TED ROCKET LIMITED 
  38. PENAID LIMITED 
  39. ARVE LIMITED 
  40. DOVER CREDIT LIMITED 
  41. RAGEKAY GLOBAL INVESTMENT LIMITED 
  42. MAYWOOD LENDING LIMITED 
  43. LINKPARK TECHNOLOGY NIGERIA LIMITED 
  44. MANGNET LENDING LIMITED 
  45. RUBYSTAR GLOBAL LIMITED 
  46. BESTFIN NIGERIA LIMITED 
  47. FUBRI CENTURY COMPANY LIMITED 
  48. BERLY SPRING GLOBAL LIMITED 
  49. SYCAMORE INTEGRATED SOLUTIONS LIMITED 

While those companies on conditional approval since they are yet to fulfil some requirements are:

  1. TRIPPDBASE LIMITED 
  2. BLACKCOPPER SERVICE  
  3. OWOAFAR FINTECH SERVICE 
  4. PAYLATER HUB 
  5. WINDVILLE FINANCIAL NIGERIA LIMITED 
  6. AFROFIRST MOBILE AND TECHNOLOGY COMPANY LIMITED 
  7. ORCOM AND ORCOM BUSINESS SUPPORT LIMITED 
  8. OTP INTERNET TECHNOLOGY LTD 
  9. RED HARBOR FINTECH LIMITED 
  10. BERYL SPRING GLOBAL LIMITED 
  11. HOMETOWN FINTECH LIMITED 
  12. AJAX LENDING LIMITED 
  13. RACEOVA NIG. LIMITED 
  14. LANTANA TECHNOLOGY LIMITED 
  15. THE PLATFORM DIGITAL NETWORK LIMITED 
  16. ZIPPY CAPITAL LIMITED 
  17. NEO-LINK TECHNOLOGY LIMITED 
  18. TRIPOBASE LIMITED 
  19. BESTFIN NIGERIA LIMITED 
  20. POCKETFUEL FINANCE LIMITED 
  21. LENDING EDGE LIMITED 
  22. TED ROCKET LIMITED 
  23. PENAID LIMITED 
  24. ALTARA CREDIT LIMITED 
  25. NEW CREDAGE NIGERIA LIMITED 
  26. LENDHA TECHNOLOGIES LIMITED 
  27. DOJA LEMAIRE GLOBAL LIMITED 
  28. PAYDAYHUB ONLINE NIGERIA LIMITED 
  29. RETAIL BOOSTER LIMITED 
  30. FINNEW FINTECH LIMITED 
  31. FEZOTECH NIGERIA LIMITED 
  32. ORANGE LOAN & PURPLE CREDIT LIMITED 
  33. CITADELE CAPITALS LIMITED 
  34. FEWCHORE FINANCE COMPANY LIMITED 
  35. A1 CAPITAL SOLUTION LIMITED 
  36. ONE PAYOUT LIMITED 
  37. LINKPARK TECHNOLOGY NIGERIA LIMITED 
  38. LIDYA GLOBAL LIMITED 
  39. PHOENIX PAYMENT SOLUTIONS LIMITED 
  40. RED PLANET NIGERIA LIMITED 
  41. KWABA INTERNATIONAL LIMITED. 
  42. MAYWOOD LENDING LIMITED. 
  43. PRINCEPS CREDIT SYSTEM LIMITED 
  44. LINKPARK TECHNOLOGY NIGERIA LIMITED 
  45. FINPADI TECHNOLOGIES LIMITED 

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