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Diamond Bank Fires 200 Workers

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Diamond Bank

Diamond Bank Plc has fired 200 members of its workforce as the economic challenges affecting the country continue to batter the financial services industry.

This is coming two months after the bank announced that its profit before tax for the first quarter of this year fell to N6.04bn from the N7.94bn it recorded in the first quarter of 2015.

The slowdown in the economy has fuelled a high non-performing loan rate in the banking system, causing banks to record sharp decline in their profits for the 2015 financial year and the first quarter of 2016.

Diamond Bank was said to have fired the workers on Friday.

Confirming the development in a statement on Tuesday, the lender said the sacking of the 200 workers was in line with its strategic plan to drive shareholders’ value.

The statement read, “Diamond Bank recently rightsized its workforce. The rightsizing was a core strategic exercise in line with the bank’s growth objective and the will to continue the drive to optimise cost and enhance value for the shareholders at the end of the business year.

“In the bank’s last appraisal, only 200 staff whose performance scorecards were adjudged to be lower than the minimum required to drive its strategic growth plan for the business year were relieved, with the opportunity to seek employment in other organisations where their respective skills set and individual performances could be enhanced and optimised.

“The yearly appraisal is a general industry standard and enables banks to prune their workforce and prudently allocate resources for optimum result. Diamond Bank is not an exception in the industry and therefore, had carried out its annual appraisal and found the performance of members of staff that were relieved to be below the required minimum performance level that would sustain them in the system. With its trim-and-fit workforce, the bank is sure to meet its target for the current business year.”

However, unconfirmed reports had it that the number of workers who were asked to go was in the region of 400.

The reports stated that the lender was aiming to reduce its N800m monthly wage bill significantly and was also considering pruning workers in the managerial cadre by 80 per cent, a claimed that Diamond Bank denied.

FBN Holdings, the parent company of First Bank of Nigeria Limited, had a few weeks ago said it would reduce costs by gradually cutting down on its workers by 1,000.

This came after the group posted over 80 per cent decline in its profit for the 2015 financial year.

Bad loans in the banking industry rose sharply by 78.8 per cent to N649.63bn in 2015, indicating severe deterioration in the quality of the loan portfolio of the 22 banks, a Central Bank of Nigeria staff report presented to the Monetary Policy Committee revealed.

The report also showed a general increase in bad/non-performing loans among the 22 Deposit Money Banks in the country. This was despite the 30 per cent decline in new loans granted by banks in 2015 to N5.78tn.

According to the report, 18 out the 22 banks recorded increase in bad loans. Furthermore, the number of banks that exceeded the regulatory limit of five per cent for the ratio of bad loans to total loans rose from three in 2014 to eight in 2015, with three banks exceeding 10 per cent.

Economic and financial analysts believe more lenders will lay off a significant number of their workers in the coming months as they battle bad loans, regulatory headwinds and slowdown in the economy.

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

CBN Starts Debiting Defaulters of Its Intervention Loans

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has begun debiting the account of intervention loan defaulters.

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Godwin Emefile

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has begun debiting the account of intervention loan defaulters.

The apex bank declared this at the last Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting held in Abuja. It further noted that States Governments and smallholder farmers form a large part of the defaulter. 

It will be recalled that the Central Bank disclosed in August that about N791 billion was disbursed to more than 3 million farmers under the Anchor Borrowers’ Program (ABP) and Commercial Agric Credit. 

ABP was launched by Muhammad Buhari on November 17, 2015 to assist Smallholders Farmers. ABP was created to reduce the pains faced by farmers in accessing credit for their operations. It had a single interest rate of nine percent.

Some of the benefiting smallholder farmers are those engaged in the production of rice, maize, wheat, cotton, cassava, potatoes, yam, ginger, oil palm, cocoa, rubber tomatoes, fish and poultry among others.

According to the director of development finance of the CBN, Yusuf Yila, state governments’ monthly federation account allocation committee (FAAC) accruals are already being debited directly every month. He however did not specify the states involved.

“Every person(s) or state that took that loan (ABP) is going to pay. We have their BVN. These persons are smallholder farmers, who received funds for farming. We have started recovering loans from state governments. We have been doing a loan workout programme with them, and we are debiting their monthly Federal Allocation Account (FAAC) accruals directly for the loans”, he stated.

“If a state government has taken N1 billion and is already in default, over six months, we debit them N150 million every month. So, we’ve started that programme.” He continued. So, every single loan that has been given out through any of our intervention programmes must be paid back.” He added

Yila, also mentioned that the CBN has put sentiment aside and is determined to collect the money it is owed. 

 “There is absolutely no mercy. We have started; we are in recovery mode. At the development finance department, we have begun to recover the loans”, he stated.

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Five Million Passengers Used Abuja Airport in 2021

More than five million passengers used Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, (NAIA) Abuja, between January and December 2021.

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More than five million passengers used Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, (NAIA) Abuja, between January and December 2021.

The Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has disclosed that 5,323,905 passengers were processed through the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA) Abuja in 2021. This represents a 37.23 per cent increase from 2020.

Speaking in Abuja at the celebration of the 40th anniversary of the Airport, the Managing Director of FAAN, Captain Hamisu Yadudu noted that the airport continued to wax stronger and higher. 

Captain Hamisu further noted that for easy movement of passengers, the Federal Government has completed and commissioned a world-class, brand-new international terminal. 

“I am glad that the airport has continued to grow in leaps and bounds since then. In the year 2021 for example, a total of 5,323,905 passengers were processed through the airport, which was a whopping 37.23% increase on the year 2020 figures. In terms of the facility upgrade, the airport also has been quite progressive”. The MD stated.

Hamisu also noted that Abuja airport was adjudged the Best Airport in Safety for the year 2018 by Airport Council International, Africa Region while the airport also received ACI’s Airport Service Quality Award in the year 2020, among several others laurels. 

The MD, therefore, laud the contributions of all staff, both past and present, as well as partners and stakeholders for the last 40 years.

Meanwhile, the Regional General Manager/ Airport Manager of NAIA, Abuja, Kabir Mohammed revealed that the Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved the construction of a new runway at Abuja airport. 

He added that the new runway will come with a new terminal and a new fire station. 

Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA) is one of the most used and functional airports in Nigeria. It was established on the 29th of September, 1982. Sited at the seat of power, the airport is often used by the president, majority of the public office holders, visiting presidents and foreign diplomats. 

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World Bank Approves $750 Million Loan For Nigeria

The World Bank has approved a sum of $750 million to help Nigeria in its efforts to create more jobs. 

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The World Bank has approved a sum of $750 million to help Nigeria in its efforts to create more jobs. 

A statement released by the World Bank on Thursday commended the Nigerian government in its efforts to eliminate constraints in the business environment through the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC). 

The world bank further noted that although Nigeria’s ability to attract both domestic and international foreign investment remains low when compared to its peers, the country is capable to drive private investment to high growth

According to the statement which was released on Thursday,  the World Bank nonetheless stated that the fund will help Nigeria to accelerate the implementation of critical actions that will improve the business-enabling environment in the country.

Investors King learnt that though Nigeria moved by 38 places on the global ranking of ease of doing business between 2016 and 2019 from 169 to 131, the previous gains seem to have been wiped out after the adverse effect of covid19 and the current economic challenges. 

Similarly, in June 2022, a publication by the World bank also decried the cumbersome customs procedures in Nigeria, especially at the Nigeria port. 

The report stated that Nigeria’s tariffs are among the highest in the world, especially for capital, intermediate and consumer goods. 

In recent times, there has been a series of complaints about the activities of the Nigerian Customs Service which could be detrimental to goods importation. Manufacturers and importers have an alleged arbitrary approach that the Nigeria Custom is using for duty valuation. 

They argued that it was not helpful for Customs to use the Consumer Price Index (CPI) to compute value and charge duty, given the high cost of local production.

Consumer Price Index is used to measure the overall change in consumer prices based on a representative basket of goods and services over time. 

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