NEPC Targets $150bn Forex Reserves With New Strategy
The Nigerian Export Promotion Council said on Tuesday that the effective implementation of its new strategy on non-oil export would enable the country to increase its foreign exchange reserves to $150bn within the next 10 years.
The Executive Director, NEPC, Mr. Segun Awolowo, stated this in a presentation to stakeholders on the new strategy of the commission tagged: “zero oil plan.”
The stakeholders mostly, from Kaduna State, were led to the commission by a senator from the state, Shehu Sani.
The nation’s external reserves, according to figures from the Central Bank of Nigeria, currently stand at about $26.3bn
Speaking at the event, Awolowo said the volatile nature of the global oil market had made it imperative for the country to depend less on oil revenue.
He lamented that while the country was making a huge chunk of foreign exchange from oil, such gains were usually eroded as a result of the huge import bill.
For instance, he said while the country earned about $70bn from crude oil in 2014, about $50bn was spent that same year to import various items into Nigeria.
Awolowo stated that as a result of the drop in global oil prices, the situation was worse in 2015 when the country earned about $40bn from oil but spent $50bn on importation.
He said the fall in the country’s foreign exchange earnings through importation was one of the reasons why the Central Bank of Nigeria was having difficulties in meeting forex demand by manufacturers and other businesses.
The NEPC boss said if the country could effectively key into the plan of the commission by taking advantage of the opportunities in the agricultural sector, there would not be a need to depend on oil revenue for survival.
He stated that through the zero oil plan, the commission had identified 22 priority countries as markets for Nigerian products, while 11 strategic products with high financial value had also been identified to replace oil.
These products, according to him, are palm oil, cashew, cocoa, soya beans, rubber, rice, petrochemicals, leather, ginger, cotton and Shea butter.
Awolowo said, “Nigeria is in need of an export revolution because we can no longer continue to rely on oil for our survival. We have an annual import bill of $50bn, which is financed from the proceeds of the foreign exchange generated from oil.
“In 2014, we earned $70bn from oil and paid $50bn as import bill. In 2015, we earned about $40bn and still spent about $50bn on importation; that is why we can’t continue to finance our imports. And so, we need an extra $30bn from non-oil exports to secure our future. Our objective is to increase the reserves of the country by $150bn in the next 10 years through the zero oil plan.
“This is achievable if all stakeholders collaborate with us because we want Nigeria to survive in a world where we no longer sell oil.”
Commenting, Sani said the challenges facing the economy had given an indication that this was the time for Nigerians to look inwards as the days for over-dependence on oil revenue were over.
“The days of depending on oil as a major revenue earner are over. Non-oil exports are the only path that will lead us to a sustainable economic development and guarantee for the yet unborn as oil is no longer reliable.”
He expressed optimism that if Mexico and the United Arab Emirates could reposition their economies with proceeds from the non-oil sector, Nigeria should be able to replicate such success thorough the development and promotion of its locally-made goods.
Npower Release Update on Failed Payment, Send Validation Link to Affected Beneficiaries
The management of Npower scheme, NASIMs has sent validation links to Npower batch C, Stream 2 beneficiaries. NASIMs noted that the link will be used to validate the details of beneficiaries with failed payments.
NASIMs had earlier stated that it noticed that some Npower beneficiaries are having issues with detail validation which has affected both their payment and status in the programme.
NASIMs further added that an SMS link will be sent to all selected beneficiaries for the purpose of profile validation.
It would be recalled that a significant number of batch C, Stream 2 Npower beneficiaries had taken to social media to complain of non-payment of their allowances after their colleagues had received theirs.
Therefore, the validation message sent by NASIMs to Batch C, Stream 2 N-Power Beneficiaries read: “This is to notify you that we encountered issues validating the details you provided on your N-Power (NASIMS) profile. This could be due to an error in data entry or in the case of your bank account, invalid/inactive account.
Kindly use the link below to validate your BVN and account details to continue maintaining your status on the N-Power Program.”
However, Investors King gathered that if you have received your payment as Npower Batch C, Stream 2 Beneficiary, you do not need to validate your account again.
The revalidation process is primarily aimed to rectify errors in payment issues for those who are yet to receive any payment.
A check on the Npower platform further shows that affected beneficiaries will need to provide their Npower Identification Number, BVN and Bank Account to validate their details. This will ensure they received their backlog payment.
If you have not received an SMS from Npower and you are one of the affected beneficiaries, you can however log on to http://validation.nasim.ng to validate your details.
Digital Banking Startup Credable Raises $2.5 Million Seed Round to Expand Offerings
Mumbai-based digital Banking Platform that is driving the future of banking by embedding financial services in businesses across emerging markets Credable, has raised a $2.5 million seed round to expand its offerings to emerging markets.
Speaking on the latest seed raised, the company’s CEO Nadeem Juma disclosed that Credable is seeking to offer banking services to the unbanked while planning to become the unit for emerging markets as it has rolled out plans to expand its offerings to large markets where the regulatory environment is conducive and businesses with profitable channels across MENAP and West Africa.
In his words,
“The problem we’re trying to solve is that a huge population of underbanked customers need banking services to improve their livelihoods. They are in different channels that they use every day, like telco-led mobile money, e-commerce platforms, and gig economy apps.
“Rather than try to create a new channel to bank these customers, we aim to enable these channels through a B2B2C offering that provides the customers with the banking services they need in the channels they’re already in.”
He further added that Africa’s most populous nations Nigeria, and Pakistan are at the top of its list of markets it seeks to expand its offerings.
Last May, Credable launched two products in East Africa, a 30-day term loan product in partnership with Vodacom M-Pesa in Tanzania and a short-term lending product for Diamond Trust Bank in Kenya.
The startup is committed to working capital and eradicating credit challenges faced by small and medium-scale enterprises (SMEs) in the new digital world. It aims to create inclusive growth for small businesses by providing them with cash management, payment, credit, and growth tools that will enable small business owners to efficiently grow and manage their businesses.”
Credable also hopes to address one financial malpractice which is predatory microlending, which typically involves imposing unfair and deceptive loan terms on end consumers.
Investors King understands that the startup handholds its business customers through product design, development, and management and works with them to ensure the product is relevant to its end consumers.
The platform syncs in with the existing accounting software and bank accounts of a business and provides real-time data that helps them make informed decisions to manage financial operations like collection and payments and avail instant, collateral-free access to working capital financing along with other growth tools.
UBS to Acquire Troubled Swiss Rival Credit Suisse for Almost $3.25 Billion
UBS, Switzerland’s largest bank, has agreed to acquire its troubled rival Credit Suisse for almost $3.25 billion in a deal brokered by Swiss regulators to avoid further turmoil in the global banking system.
The acquisition was sanctioned by the Swiss authorities following the failure of the central bank to convince customers and investors of the bank’s future and viability despite injecting $54 billion into it last week.
Despite the new agreement reached between the two largest banks in Switzerland, the shares of Credit Suisse plummeted by 1
As part of the agreement, Credit Suisse’s high-risk bonds estimated at $17.3 billion will be wiped out. Credit Suisse is among 30 financial institutions known as globally systemically important banks, and authorities were worried about the fallout if it were to fail.
While analysts and financial leaders have suggested that safeguards are stronger since the 2008 global financial crisis and that banks worldwide have plenty of available cash and support from central banks, concerns about the risks to the deal, losses for some investors, and Credit Suisse’s falling market value could renew fears about the health of banks.
The acquisition is a significant turning point for Credit Suisse, which has faced an array of troubles in recent years, including bad bets on hedge funds, repeated shake-ups of its top management, and a spying scandal involving UBS.
UBS is bigger, but Credit Suisse wields considerable influence, with $1.4 trillion assets under management. It has significant trading desks around the world, caters to the rich through its wealth management business, and is a major mergers and acquisitions advisor. Credit Suisse did weather the 2008 financial crisis without assistance, unlike UBS.
The combination of the two largest and best-known Swiss banks, each with storied histories dating to the mid-19th century, puts Switzerland’s reputation as a global financial center on the cusp of having a single national banking champion. However, the shotgun wedding orchestrated by Swiss regulators may lead to a period of uncertainty and volatility in the banking sector.
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