Banks have been frequenting the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Window to borrow cash to boost their liquidity positions, according to the CBN Economic Report for the second quarter, released yesterday.
Twenty-one commercial banks borrowed N4.06 trillion from the CBN’s Window in the first quarter- between April and June.
The figure, the report said, was by far higher than N560.8 billion borrowed in the first quarter- from January to March this year, the report released yesterday showed.
The funds came through the Standing Lending Facility (SLF), which is an overnight CBN credit available on banking days between 2 pm and 3.30 pm, with settlement done on same day value. Funds were sourced mainly from time, savings and foreign currency deposits, as well as accretion to unclassified assets. The funds were used, largely, to extend credit to the private sector and payment of claims on demand deposit.
The CBN attributed the huge borrowing figure by banks to foreign exchange illiquidity in the system, which it said, hindered the smooth running of the foreign exchange inter-bank market and this led the bank to float a special foreign exchange auction.
The apex bank said the settlement of these transactions drained liquidity in the money market. Consequently, inter-bank money market rates spiked and the trend in standing facilities reversed as there was more patronage at the Standing Lending Facilities (SLF) than the Standing Deposit Facility (SDF).
The regulator said provisional data indicated that total value of money market assets outstanding at the end of the second quarter of 2016 stood at N10.46 trillion, showing an increase of 6.7 per cent, compared with the level in the first quarter. The development reflected the 8.09 per cent and 2.73 per cent growth in Federal Government of Nigeria bonds and treasury bills, respectively.
The report, posted on the CBN’s website, said developments at the CBN standing facilities window in the review quarter indicated higher patronage at the SDF window, during the first two months of the review quarter.
The trend, however, reversed with the settlement of a large volume of foreign exchange purchased at the special auction conducted on June 20.
“Total request for Standing Lending Facility (inclusive of Intraday lending facilities converted to overnight repo) during the review period amounted to N4.06 trillion, with N1.46 billion in interest earned, compared with SLF of N560.80 billion and interest earned of N0.28 billion in the preceding quarter,” it said.
This amounted to N3.50 trillion and N1.18 billion increase in SLF and interest earned, respectively, from the levels in the first quarter of this year. It said the total deposit at the SDF window during the review period was N6.01 trillion with a daily average of N100.22 billion, compared with N6.61 trillion in the first quarter of this year.
The report said the cost incurred on SDF in the review quarter stood at N1.74 billion, compared with N1.08 billion, in the preceding quarter.
It said the commencement of the new foreign exchange policy on June 20 influenced the direction of the financial market thereafter.
CBN data also showed that the total assets and liabilities of the commercial banks stood at N31.23 trillion at the end of the preceding quarter of 2016, representing an increase of 9.6 per cent over the level at the end of the preceding quarter.
The funds, it said, were sourced, mainly, from time, savings and foreign currency deposits, foreign liabilities and unclassified liabilities. The funds were used, mainly, to increase claims on private sector, acquire foreign and unclassified assets.
Nigeria’s Tax Revolution: Shifting Burden to the Wealthy and Streamlining the System
President Bola Tinubu’s administration is set to revolutionize the nation’s tax system.
The ambitious plan seeks to redistribute the tax burden, making the wealthy pay their fair share while stimulating business growth through corporate tax cuts.
The cornerstone of this tax reform initiative is a push to increase Nigeria’s tax revenue from 11% to 18% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) within three years.
Spearheading this transformation is Taiwo Oyedele, who leads a panel appointed by President Tinubu.
Oyedele articulated the primary objectives of the reform, saying “We aim to make the rich pay what is fair and protect those in poverty.”
This move is crucial in a country where extreme wealth disparities persist, with only a small fraction of the population enjoying immense riches.
Notably, the plan also includes a reduction in the corporate income tax rate, which currently stands at an effective rate of over 40%.
The aim is to benchmark this rate against Nigeria’s international peers, fostering a more business-friendly environment.
Nigeria’s tax system has long been plagued by complexity, with nearly 70 different taxes and overlapping jurisdictions.
The reform initiative seeks to simplify this by streamlining tax structures and drastically reducing the number of taxes to single digits.
Also, a tax amnesty is under consideration, aimed at encouraging tax compliance and offering relief for past debts. The hope is that by fostering transparency and accountability, more Nigerians will willingly contribute to the country’s fiscal health.
In a nation where government debt has surged dramatically in recent years, this tax revolution is seen as a pivotal step towards reducing the deficit and ensuring sustainable economic growth.
Federal Government’s $3 Billion Rescue Plan to Bolster Naira Stability
The National Economic Council (NEC) has confirmed the deployment of the $3 billion emergency loan-for-crude oil, secured by the Federal Government in August, for the stabilization of the national currency.
The naira’s value has been under siege, with fluctuations in the Investors & Exporters’ window and a parallel market rate that briefly hit N1000/$ this month.
Addressing reporters following the 136th NEC meeting at the Aso Rock Presidential Villa, Nasarawa State Governor Abdullahi Sule expressed confidence in the plan.
He stated, “With the plan that will come out and with all these items that have been listed on the improvement of revenue, the $3 billion shall be useful to us down the line.”
The emergency loan, secured from Afrexim Bank, was initially intended to relieve pressure on the naira, facilitate the settlement of taxes and royalties in advance, and provide the Federal Government with vital dollar liquidity for naira stabilization.
The recent nomination of Olayemi Cardoso as the new Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor by President Bola Tinubu has already shown promise.
The naira experienced a boost in the black market, strengthening by N10 against the dollar, closing at N990/$1.
Governor Sule indicated that the implementation of the intervention would require careful planning and time.
He emphasized the need for the new CBN team to devise effective strategies. In response to inquiries about a supplementary budget, Sule stated that there is no immediate need for one, as the situation does not warrant it.
As Nigeria’s economic landscape faces evolving challenges, the NEC’s decision to harness the $3 billion loan offers a glimmer of hope for a more stable naira in the near future.
Former FIRS Chairman Muhammad Nami Accused of Controversial N6 Billion Payments After Sudden Exit
Documents reveal questionable approvals and alleged backdating, raising concerns over financial misconduct
Muhammad Nami, the former chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), is under scrutiny for approving payments totaling N6 billion to contractors and consultants just days after his abrupt removal from office.
Documents obtained by TheCable shed light on these controversial transactions.
Nami, who was succeeded by Zacchaeus Adedeji, greenlit the payments on September 16, two days after his removal on September 14.
Sources privy to the situation, although not authorized to speak publicly, claim that Nami directed staff to work over the weekend to finalize these transactions.
Additionally, files were allegedly moved from the FIRS headquarters to his residence, where they were purportedly “backdated and signed.”
Perhaps the most eyebrow-raising revelation is that Nami transferred approximately N5 billion from the FIRS account to the Joint Tax Board (JTB) without apparent justification.
It is reported that the FIRS director of finance and accounts reluctantly approved these payments after warning Nami about potential repercussions.
Nami allegedly reassured his subordinates that the incoming FIRS chairman would remain oblivious to these approvals.
Also, documents indicate that Nami approved significant payments, including N1.4 billion for a ‘Business Case for Strategic Leadership’ retreat, N250 million for FIRS Data Mining Management and Analytics in Taxation Course, and N221 million for a ‘Skill Development and Management Improvement Workshop Training.’
Curiously, Nami also appropriated over N81 million for a study visit to the Inland Revenue of Malaysia.
The FIRS, when contacted for comment, remained tight-lipped about the situation. Spokesperson Abdullahi Ismaila stated that he had no knowledge of the payments, while Tobi Johannes, Nami’s former media aide, distanced himself from the matter, emphasizing that his role ceased when Nami’s tenure ended.
These revelations have ignited concerns about financial misconduct within the FIRS and have raised questions about the oversight and accountability of government agencies. The full extent of these allegations is yet to be determined as investigations into the payments and their legitimacy continue.
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