Some banks on Wednesday clarified their positions on the alleged suspension from the foreign exchange market transaction by the Central Bank of Nigeria over alleged non-remittance of the NNPC dollar deposits.
The affected banks expressed their stance in statements and e-mails to customers on Wednesday in Lagos.
The banks include the First Bank of Nigeria Ltd., Fidelity, Keystone and Heritage.
FirstBank in a statement, said that the referenced NNPC dollar accounts were fully disclosed to the CBN.
The bank also said that tripartite documented discussions had been ongoing between the CBN, NNPC and the bank on the need for domestic retention of those balances.
It said that was as part of measures to ameliorate challenges posed by the lack of FX availability and customers’ inability to source FX to fund their trade finance obligations to the bank.
The bank reassured all its stakeholders that the issue was not a function of concealment or willful non-compliance by the bank.
The bank said, “We are confident in our ability to meet and honour all our obligations as at when due and are currently in talks with the CBN and other relevant bodies and are positive of an amicable resolution soonest.”
Also, Fidelity Bank said it had repaid over 288 million dollars of those funds in line with the advised repayment schedule.
It said, “We will like to clarify that these deposits were duly reported to the CBN by Fidelity Bank in line with the extant TSA requirements contrary to the erroneous view in certain media reports that the funds were concealed from the regulators.
“At the commencement of the Treasury Single Account in 2015, Fidelity bank advised NNPC and the regulators with a schedule of repayment for the NNPC/NLNG dividend dollar deposits.
“Please note that you can continue to operate your domiciliary account with Fidelity and this development will not affect your deposits/loans (local and foreign currency), remittances, transactional services and electronic banking services.
“Although the market condition remains quite challenging, we will continue to honour our obligations and operate with the highest level of corporate governance.”
The bank said in the interim that it was engaging with the other eight banks involved, stakeholders and the regulators to resolve the issue quickly and ensure its return to the FX market.
Keystone Bank, in a statement signed by the management, said it had engaged in efforts that were geared towards very timely resolution.
It said the bank understood the importance of sourcing foreign exchange for its customers’ needs to support economic growth.
The bank said that the development did not adversely affect customers’ existing transactions with it except that there would be constraints in establishing new letters of credit until the issue was resolved.
Meanwhile, Heritage Bank said that the CBN’s announcement of temporary suspension was a systemic challenge to the banking industry that cut across most banks.
It said that the bank would continue to treat forex transfer, remittance from domiciliary accounts, establishment of non-valid for FX form Ms and establishment of Letter of Credit on the bank’s offshore lines.
The CBN barred the banks from the foreign exchange market.
The banks were United Bank for Africa, 530 million dollars and First Bank of Nigeria, 469 million dollars.
Others are Diamond Bank Plc, 287 million dollars; Sterling Bank Plc, 269 million dollars; Sky Bank Plc, 221 million dollars; Fidelity Bank 209 million dollars; Keystone Bank, 139 million dollars; First City Monument Bank, 125 million dollars and Heritage Bank, 85 million dollars.
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Nigeria’s Presidential CNG Initiative Allocates N100bn for CNG Buses and EV Adoption
The Presidential Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) Initiative has allocated N100 billion to expedite the deployment of CNG buses nationwide, according to a statement released on Wednesday.
The initiative, designed to catalyze an Auto-gas and Electric Vehicle (EV) revolution in mass transit and transportation, aims to enhance sustainability and cost-effectiveness.
The statement revealed that the fund would be instrumental in supporting the adoption of auto-gas and electric vehicles, signaling a commitment to a more sustainable and economical future in the transportation sector.
The Presidential CNG Initiative plans to leverage over 11,500 CNG and electric-fueled vehicles, along with the deployment of 55,000 conversion kits.
This strategic approach is intended to reduce transportation costs for Nigerians and mitigate the challenges posed by the rising cost of living.
Under the Renewed Hope Agenda, the Presidential CNG Initiative is dedicated to realizing the President’s vision, guided by its steering committee led by FIRS Chairman Zacch Adedeji.
The statement highlighted recent achievements, including strategic technical partnerships and the ongoing commissioning of CNG Conversion centers in key states such as Lagos, Abuja, Kaduna, Ogun, and Rivers.
Several more centers are slated for commissioning in the coming weeks, reflecting the initiative’s momentum and commitment to achieving its objectives.
Nigeria’s Power Transformation: 53 Projects Worth N122bn on Track for May 2024 Completion
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), in collaboration with the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) and power distribution companies, is set to complete 53 power projects by May next year.
Valued at N122 billion, these projects aim to add over 1,000 megawatts to TCN’s wheeling capacity.
During a recent tour of three ongoing projects in Lagos, TCN’s Programme Coordinator, Mathew Ajibade, assured that the projects were not abandoned, refuting speculations.
He confirmed that work is progressing smoothly and is expected to be completed by May 2024, as initially planned.
Assistant Director/Head of Infrastructure Finance Office at the CBN, Tumba Tijani, highlighted the CBN’s support for the power sector, revealing that the bank released a loan at a 9% interest rate in August last year for the projects.
The funding, part of the Nigeria Electricity Market Stabilisation Facility-3, amounts to N122,289,344 and aims to address transmission/distribution bottlenecks, enhance supply to end-users, and unlock unutilized generation capacity.
Tijani disclosed that N85.43 billion has been disbursed into the Advance Payment Guarantee account of the 53 contractors responsible for executing the projects.
The comprehensive project list includes the delivery of power transformers, re-conductoring existing transmission lines, upgrading existing substations, and constructing 33KV line bays.
The initiative reflects a concerted effort to enhance Nigeria’s power infrastructure and meet growing energy demands.
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