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MPC to Discuss Exchange Rate Volatility, Others

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CBN
  • MPC to Discuss Exchange Rate Volatility, Others

As recession and other challenges continue to batter the economy, the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Monetary Policy Committee will meet next Monday and Tuesday to deliberate on developments in the economy.

The bi-monthly meeting will likely see the 11-member MPC take some key economic decisions that may affect the nation’s macro-economic indicators.

These are expected to influence the direction of the economy.

Top on the agenda of the meeting is the need to tackle the biting recession occasioned by slow growth in the economy, rising inflation and the volatility in the foreign exchange market.

In a notice posted on its website, the CBN stated that the 253rd meeting of the MPC would hold by 10am on Monday and Tuesday at the corporate headquarters of the apex bank in Abuja.

Economic experts expect the MPC to begin an expansionary monetary policy by reducing the Monetary Policy Rate.

They also expect the members to take decisions that will affect the exchange rate.

“Economic recovery should be the focus of the MPC now. They should focus on pumping more liquidity into the system rather than taking it out. Inflation is currently at 18.3 per cent but it is not caused by excess liquidity in the system, it is cost push. It is time for us to address economic recovery. We need to learn from what the Bank of England did last month to address inflation,” the Chief Executive Officer, Cowry Asset Management Limited, Mr. Johnson Chukwu, said.

Speaking in the same vein, an economic analyst at EY, Mr. Bisi Sanda, said the MPC needed to address the challenge of exchange rate volatility.

He said, “The committee must address the problem of exchange rate. The CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, said the CBN had been giving $11bn annually to BDC operators since 2011. That is $55bn in five years. We need to ask ourselves whether the BDC operators are critical stakeholders in our exchange rate management. It is not like that in other climes.

“They need to look at how banks are committing infractions in the forex market and see how to impose sanctions. Steps must be taken to address the problems causing volatility in the exchange rate. In the past, some people were banned for life from the forex market. What are we doing now?”

The Chief Executive Officer, Financial Derivatives Limited, Mr. Bismarck Rewane, had last month said the MPC might have no other choice than to purse an expansionary monetary policy considering the state of the economy and the recent stimulus package announced by the fiscal authority.

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.

Banking Sector

Sterling Bank Approves Audited Financial Statements for 2020

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Sterling Bank

Board of Sterling Bank Approves 2020 Audited Financial Statements

The Board of Sterling Bank Plc said it has approved the audited financial statements for the year ended 31, December 2020.

The lender said the approval was done at a meeting held on 23rd February 2021.

Details of the financial statements will be released upon approval of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Sterling Bank stated in a statement filed with the Nigerian Stock Exchange on Thursday.

It said “We are pleased to inform our shareholders and other stakeholders that the Board of Sterling Bank Plc at its meeting of 23rd February 2021 approved the audited Financial Statements for the year ended 31st December 2020 subject to the approval of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

“Kindly note that details of the Financial Statements will be communicated to you upon approval of same by the CBN.

“Consequently, the closed period for trading in the shares of the Bank by its insiders which commenced from 8th February, 2021 will continue until 24 hours after the Audited Financial Statements for the year ended 31st December, 2020 are released on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange.”

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Banking Sector

CIBN, NIBSS Introduce e-Payment Certification Programmes

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NIBSS

CIBN, NIBSS Introduce e-Payment Certification Programmes

The Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) in collaboration with Nigerian Interbank Settlement Systems Plc (NIBSS) have introduced professional certification programmes on electronic payments for financial service providers and institutions.

Both organisations disclosed that the programme was designed to enhance the electronic payment skills and knowledge of financial practitioners in order to equip them with efficient tools and information required to upscale innovation and services.

Speaking to journalists at a media briefing in Lagos, yesterday, the Chief Executive Officer, Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria, Mr. Seye Awojobi, said the initiative is an international programme, well grounded in the local realities of the Nigerian e-payment industry and captures the current dynamics, as well as aspects of digital financial services practices.

“This programme would set the standards for e-payment expertise in Nigeria; foster a category of high performing professionals in the industry and build a resilient, safe and secured payment technology driven platform.

“The curriculum for the programme adequately covers recent methods required, which are in line with global practices.

“The introduction of the scheme cannot be more timely than now considering the COVID-19 pandemic, which created serious disruptions in our professional and personal lives,” he added.

On his part, Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Inter-Bank Settlement Systems Plc, Premier Oiwoh explained that the introduction of the programme would determine the capacity and work experience criteria required to recognise beginners, intermediate and advanced.

“It would create a growth roadmap for fledging e-payment workers, including the unemployed who has the desire to make a career in the electronic sector.

“Also, it would enable us continue to tackle the issue of insecurity within the financial technology payment and banking space,” he added.

The institutions also noted that in order to maintain a certification credential, the practitioners must earn some recertification credits over a three year span and valid for three years after it has been issued.

The CIBN last week has reintroduced its mentoring scheme. The initiatives aims at up-scaling the leadership capacity and productivity of workers within the financial and banking sector.

Speaking during the virtual forum, Director General, Securities and Exchange Commission, Lamido Yuguda, had explained that mentoring schemes are essential for the sustenance and development of the sector as it is built upon values such as trust and professionalism.

“These values can be taught. But are reinforced when practiced by the senior co-workers and emulated by junior colleagues. Such initiatives enable workers to avoid being distracted by the material, prestigious and monetary incentives the space presents.

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Finance

Stanbic IBTC Offers Low-Interest Agric Loans

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Stanbic IBTC Bank

Stanbic IBTC Offers Low-Interest Agric Loans

Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc has reaffirmed its commitment to the growth of Nigeria’s agriculture sector by supporting farmers and other players in the agricultural value chain.

As the demands on agribusinesses change seasonally, the financial institution provides financing solutions for agricultural enterprises to suit their requirements.

A statement explained that the needs range from availability of resources, to farming equipment, as well as enhancement of seasonal cashflow, amongst others.

Stanbic IBTC Bank offers various low-interest credit facilities across the agricultural sector that will help clients to cushion the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Speaking on this, Head, Agribusiness, Stanbic IBTC Bank, Wole Oshin, said the agribusiness financial solution was geared towards ensuring that players in the agriculture space are not hindered by lack of finance.

He said: “The bank’s suite of agribusiness solutions minimises risks, ensures maximum control and optimises profits associated with international trade by making transactions smoother, simpler and safer for all parties involved.

“Some benefits of the Stanbic IBTC Agribusiness Finance include: availability of gap-funding for unforeseen financial needs, maintenance of cash flow and flexibility of repayment terms based on the type of funding. This facility is also versatile and can be utilised for funding resources, vehicles and farming equipment.”

Oshin noted that agricultural enterprises could access overdraft to finance their short-term cash flow and working capital needs.

“With quick and flexible processes, funds are available when needed and interest is paid only on funds utilised, not on the full amount on which the limit is set,” he added.

He further reiterated that the asset finance solution could aid in the financing of all farming vehicle and implement needs, with a wide range of packages to suit business’ cash flow and tax requirements.

“Vehicles and assets such as tractors, harvesters, irrigation equipment and so on, to enhance production,” he said.

Other available facilities are Business Revolving Credit Loan, Agricultural Production Loan and Medium-Term Finance.

These are suitable for grain farmers, individual farmers, groups and entities in the agricultural sector. Our loans are designed to accommodate the purchase of various agricultural inputs (like seeds, fertilizers etc), livestock, agriculture-related products and asset acquisition.

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