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CBN to Extend BVN Registration to Microfinance Banks, others

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) plans to extend the Bank Verification Number (BVN) registration project to customers of other Financial Institutions (OFIs), its Director, Banking and Payment Systems Department, Dipo Fatokun, has said.

The OFIs are Microfinance Banks, Primary Mortgage Institutions and others.

Mr. Fatokun made the disclosure at a bi-monthly forum organised by Finance Correspondents Association of Nigeria (FICAN) in Lagos on Sunday.

The forum had its theme as “Recent Developments in the Electronic Payments System and Implications for Consumers of Electronic Payment Services”.

Mr. Fatokun said the operators of the institutions were already working toward having their customers included in the BVN project.

He said the CBN would have OFIs customers enroll through deposit money banks because of the high cost of procuring the machines.

“We are considering using commercial banks as registration points for the OFIs customers.

“We also expect that many of the OFIs customers, who already have their BVNs, will supply the data to their banks, while those without BVN will register afresh,” he said.

Mr. Fatokun said the BVN project, being coordinated by CBN, commercial banks and Nigeria Interbank Settlement System, had helped reduce the number of bank frauds in the industry.

“Any bank customer resident in Nigeria without a BVN would be deemed to have inadequate KYC (Know Your Customer).

“Effort is ongoing to ensure that customers of Other Financial Institutions (OFIs), such as Microfinance Banks and Primary Mortgage Institutions are brought into the system begin to get their BVNs,” he said.

Mr. Fatokun said the bank planned to come up with a regular framework that would blacklist fraudulent bank customers or place them on watch-list in the banking industry.

“I want to assure you that the BVN has assisted us a lot in the banking system.

“It has assisted us to check frauds, and we are working on a framework that will enable us, if not to blacklist customers because of some legal implications, but at least to watch-list.”

Mr. Fatokun said the CBN had been at the forefront of the transformation of the payments system in the country.

He said this was demonstrated through the development of the Payments System Vision 2020 document in 2007 and reviewed in 2013.

Mr. Fatokun said the number of BVN linked to customers’ accounts by Aug. 23 was 36.7 million, while the total number of individual customers in the banks was reported as 59.9 million at the same date.

Mr. Fatokun said e-payment remained an initiative of CBN under the Payments System Vision 2020 as part of the overall 2020 Strategy.

He said one of CBN’s mandates was the promotion of a sound financial system.

Mr. Fatokun said the Nigeria Police has agreed to set up a dedicated e-Payment and Card Crime Unit to complement the efforts of Nigerian Electronic Fraud Forum on e-payment related crime.

“In following the global trend, the bank is currently reviewing the implications of cloud computing, virtual currencies like bitcoins and data protection,” he said.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

Crude Oil

Crude Oil Pulled Back Despite Joe Biden Stimulus

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Crude Oil Pulled Back Despite Joe Biden Stimulus

Crude oil pulled back on Friday despite the $1.9 trillion stimulus package announced by U.S President-elect, Joe Biden.

Brent crude oil, against which Nigeria’s oil is priced, pulled back from $57.38 per barrel on Wednesday to $55.52 per barrel on Friday in spite of the huge stimulus package announced on Thursday.

On Thursday, OPEC, in its latest outlook for the year, said uncertainties remain high in 2021 with the number of COVID-19 new cases on the rise.

OPEC said, “Uncertainties remain high going forward with the main downside risks being issues related to COVID-19 containment measures and the impact of the pandemic on consumer behavior.”

“These will also include how many countries are adapting lockdown measures, and for how long. At the same time, quicker vaccination plans and a recovery in consumer confidence provide some upside optimism.”

Governments across Europe have announced tighter and longer coronavirus lockdowns, with vaccinations not expected to have a significant impact for the next few months.

The complex remains in pause mode, a development that should not be surprising given the magnitude of the oil price gains that have been developing for some 2-1/2 months,” Jim Ritterbusch, president of Ritterbusch and Associates, said.

Still, OPEC left its crude oil projections unchanged for the year. The oil cartel expected global oil demand to increase by 5.9 million barrels per day year on year to an average of 95.9 million per day in 2020.

But also OPEC expects a recent rally and stimulus to boost U.S. Shale crude oil production in the year, a projection Investors King experts expect to hurt OPEC strategy in 2021.

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Crude Oil

OPEC Says Uncertainties Remain High in 2021

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OPEC Says Uncertainties Remain High in 2021

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) on Thursday said global uncertainties remained high going forward in 2021 but kept its oil demand forecast unchanged.

In the cartel’s latest oil outlook for 2021, oil demand is expected to increase by 5.9 million barrels per day year on year to 95.9 million barrels per day. The prediction was unchanged from December’s assessment.

However, OPEC and allies, said: “Uncertainties remain high going forward with the main downside risks being issues related to COVID-19 containment measures and the impact of the pandemic on consumer behavior.”

“These will also include how many countries are adapting lockdown measures, and for how long. At the same time, quicker vaccination plans and a recovery in consumer confidence provide some upside optimism.

Crude oil rose to $57 per barrel this week after incoming US President Joe Biden announced it would inject $1.9 trillion stimulus into the world’s largest economy.

But the recent rally in the commodity and stimulus announcement is expected to boost US crude oil output and disrupt OPEC+ production cuts strategy for the year.

The 2021 supply outlook is now slightly more optimistic for U.S. shale with oil prices increasing, and output is expected to recover more in the second half of 2021,” OPEC said.

Still, OPEC, in its forecast “assumes a healthy recovery in economic activities including industrial production, an improving labour market and higher vehicle sales than in 2020.”

“Accordingly, oil demand is anticipated to rise steadily this year supported primarily by transportation and industrial fuels,” the group said.

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Crude Oil

Brent Crude Oil Rose to $56.25 Per Barrel

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Brent Crude Oil Rose to $56.25 Per Barrel

Oil price surged following the declaration of Joe Biden as the President-elect of the United States of America last week after Trump’s mob invaded Capitol to disrupt a joint Senate session.

Also, the large drop in US crude inventories helped support crude oil price to over 11 months despite the second wave of COVID-19 crushing the world from Asia to Europe to America.

Brent crude oil, against which Nigerian Crude oil is priced, rose to $56.25 per barrel on Friday before pulling back to $55.422 per barrel on Monday during the London trading session.

Experts attributed the pullback to the rising number of COVID-19 cases in Asia with about 11 million people already locked down in Hebei province in China.

Covid hot spots flaring again in Asia, with 11 million people (in) lockdowns in China Hebei province… along with a touch of FED policy uncertainty has triggered some profit taking out of the gates this morning,” Stephen Innes, chief global market strategist at Axi, said in a note on Monday.

China, the world’s largest importer of crude oil, has joined the United Kingdom and others declaring full or partial lockdown to curb the second wave of COVID-19.

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