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Anxiety as Withdrawal, Deposit Charges Begin



  • Anxiety as Withdrawal, Deposit Charges Begin

There are concerns over the fate of the nation’s financial inclusion project as the first phase of planned full implementation of the accompanying cash-less projects take full course today.

Although slated for April 1, which falls on the weekend, the full take off of the policy will begin today as financial institutions, markets and all corporate activities resume weekly operations.

As the new phase in the nation’s payments system begins, it is either the stakeholders have understood the rules and play by it or react negatively due to perception, with attendant effects on the overall goal of deepening financial inclusion.

Already, analyst said the move is timely and all about using various alternate channels for transactions aside from cash and has nothing negative to do with financial inclusion.

Meanwhile, the surprised rebound of speculators and the parallel market rates at the weekend, which closed at N394/$, against N375/$ on Wednesday, has been blamed on defiance to rules by some banks.

The development came just as Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) sustained its dollar intervention in the market for more than five weeks, after it took a new policy direction to liberalise further the foreign exchange market.

According to the schedule of the cash-less policy drive, Lagos, Ogun, Abia, Kano, Anambra, Rivers states and the Federal Capital Territory has taken off.In these states, individuals can only withdraw or deposit money to the tune of N500,000 in a single bank account per day without charges.

This means that any withdrawal above N500,000 to N1 million will attract two per cent charge; between N1 million and N5 million, three per cent; and above N5 million will get 7.5 per cent charge.

On the other, deposits above N500,000 will attract 1.5 per cent charge; between N1 million and N5 million, two per cent; and above N5 million, three per cent.For corporate organisations, only withdrawal and deposit of N3 million will be without charges.

Deposits between N3 million and N10 million will get two per cent charge; above N10 million to N40 million, three per cent; and more than N40 million will be charged five per cent.On the other hand, withdrawals between N3 million and N10 million will be charged five per cent; above N10 million to N40 million, 7.5 per cent; and more than N40 million will be charged 10 per cent.

Meanwhile, the second phase will take off on May 1, comprising Bauchi, Bayelsa, Delta, Enugu, Gombe, Imo, Kaduna, Ondo, Osun and Plateau states.Dispelling the fears of derailing financial inclusion projects, Executive Director, Finance, BGL Captal Limited, Femi Ademola, said the rural mass target in financial inclusion has no N500,000 daily transactions to make.

According to him, those with such amount are already in the financial system and have access to multiple channels of payment, which are free and without limit.“The policy is just about letting people do transactions without physical cash. That is where the world is going. You have chque, Point of Sale, transfers through ATM, mobile phone, Internet banking, even the latest USSD code. These are without charges. There is no discouragement and there is nothing to fear,” he said.

However, a reliable source from the apex bank told The Guardian yesterday that Nigerians are beginning to find out where the real problems are coming from, if banks at this point would have the audacity to tell wicked lies about CBN’s supply of forex to them.

“How can banks refuse to sell forex to retail segment now? How can they prove the claim that there is not enough supply for the retail segment? It is just that they cannot do as it pleases them. But they will hear from us soon,” the source said.

The President of the Association of Bureau De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON), Alhaji Aminu Gwadabe, at the weekend, told journalists that banks refused to sell the dollars as directed by the apex bank and lamented the reversed fortune of the naira at N394/$, more than 10 per cent depreciation. “CBN’s knack for last minute solution in recent times is the reason for the misfortune of the naira at the foreign exchange market.

“It is evident that the injection of liquidity to the interbank market rather than the BDC sub-sector is not effective and transparent for sustained exchange rate convergence and unification.

“About 20 banks get $80 million weekly for invisible transactions, while $20 million weekly is shared among 3000 CBN licensed BDCs nationwide. The banks will not help in this matter and transparency cannot be assured,” he said.

CBN, in a statement at the weekend, laid credence to Gwadabe’s claim, when it confirmed the worrisome development that some customers seeking to buy forex for business/personal travel allowances, medical and school fees are being frustrated by some banks with the false claim that the CBN is not allocating enough forex to them.

While the apex bank refuted the insinuations, which held down the free flow of forex in the liberalised retail segment of the market, it now urged any customer not attended to within 24 hours for BTA/PTA or 48 hours for tuition and medical fees to call 07002255226 or send an email to, with the name and branch of the non-cooperating bank.

“Indeed, on a weekly basis, the CBN has been selling at least $80m to banks for onward sale to their customers for these invisible items. No customer should accept to buy forex from any bank at more than the currently prescribed rate of N360/$,” CBN’s spokesman, Isaac Okorafor, said.

He warned commercial banks and other dealers to desist from sabotaging the efforts aimed at making life easier for foreign exchange end users. Similarly, there are strong indications that CBN is set to inject more fund into the foreign exchange market with a view to ensuring liquidity in the interbank market and crashing the parallel market rate.

This is in addition to the planned increase in sale volume to the bureau de change operators from $8,000 to $10,000 dollars per week. The move by the apex bank seems to be returning calm among traders against earlier apprehension over the ability of the CBN to sustain the intervention.

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Businessinsider, Nasdaq,, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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Nigerian Ports Authority Secures $700m Loan from Citibank for Lagos Ports Rehabilitation



Nigerian ports authority

The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has successfully secured a $700 million loan from Citibank to facilitate the rehabilitation of the Lagos ports.

The finance was facilitated by the UK Export Finance to revitalize the Apapa and Tincan Island Ports, two pivotal gateways for maritime trade in Nigeria.

The announcement was made during a signing ceremony held in Lagos, marking a pivotal moment in Nigeria’s efforts to modernize its port infrastructure.

Mohammed Bello-Koko, the Managing Director of the NPA, expressed optimism regarding the prompt commencement of the reconstruction efforts following the finalization of the funding agreement.

The rehabilitation project is expected to address longstanding challenges faced by the Apapa and Tincan Island Ports, including congestion, inadequate infrastructure, and operational inefficiencies. By modernizing these key maritime hubs, Nigeria aims to bolster its trade capabilities, enhance port efficiency, and stimulate economic growth.

Speaking at the ceremony, Bello-Koko highlighted the strategic significance of the Citibank Facility, citing its favorable terms and affordable interest rates as key advantages for the NPA.

Bello-Koko outlined the NPA’s broader strategy to upgrade port facilities beyond Lagos, with discussions underway to secure additional funding for the enhancement of Eastern Ports such as Calabar, Warri, Onne, and Rivers Ports, as well as the reconstruction of Escravos Breakwater.

The collaboration between the NPA and Citibank underscores the importance of public-private partnerships in driving infrastructural development.

Ireti Samuel-Ogbu, Managing Director of Citibank Nigeria Limited, reaffirmed the bank’s commitment to supporting the NPA and the Federal Government in bridging the infrastructural gap.

Samuel-Ogbu commended the NPA’s strategic initiative and underscored Citibank’s dedication to facilitating the project’s success.


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Banking Sector

UBA Announces Final Dividend of N2.30 per Share for FY 2023, Totaling N95.8 Billion



UBA House Marina

UBA (United Bank for Africa) shareholders are set to receive dividends as the bank announces a final dividend of N2.30 per share for the fiscal year 2023.

This translated to a total payout of N95.8 billion, more than the N37.6 billion paid out in 2022.

Despite the robust increase in dividend payments, UBA’s dividend payout to profit after tax (PAT) ratio experienced a decline of 6.3 percentage points, dropping from 22.1% in 2022 to 15.8% in 2023.

Shareholders will receive the dividends based on their shareholdings as of the close of business on Friday, May 10, 2024. The payment is scheduled for May 24, 2024.

UBA urges shareholders who have not completed the e-dividend registration process to obtain the E-Dividend Mandate Form to ensure a smooth disbursement process.

The bank’s unclaimed dividends increased to N14.9 billion in 2023, an 18% increase from the previous year.

The bank reported a profit after tax of N607.7 billion, representing a 257% increase from the N170.3 billion recorded in 2022. This increase in profitability includes a net FX revaluation gain of N26.6 billion.

However, it’s worth noting that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) directive prohibits banks from utilizing FX revaluation gains for dividends payment or operational expenses.

Shareholders are advised to complete the e-dividend registration process or contact the registrar, Africa Prudential Plc, for assistance regarding outstanding dividend warrants or share certificates.

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President Tinubu Launches National Single Window Project



Bola Tinubu

President Bola Tinubu inaugurated the National Single Window Project to streamline trade processes and combat bureaucratic bottlenecks.

The initiative promises to unlock significant economic benefits and bolster Nigeria’s position as a global trade leader.

Addressing stakeholders at the Council Chamber of the State House in Abuja, President Tinubu outlined the transformative potential of the Single Window Project.

He explained that Nigeria stands to gain approximately $2.7 billion annually by implementing the initiative, while also saving an estimated $4 billion lost to inefficiencies and corruption plaguing the trade sector.

The National Single Window Project, codenamed a digital trade compliance initiative, will serve as a cross-government website facilitating trade by providing a unified portal for Nigerian and international trade actors.

This centralized platform will offer access to a full range of resources and standardized services from various Nigerian agencies, promising to expedite cargo movement and optimize inter-African trade.

President Tinubu’s directive to dismantle obstacles hindering trade efficiency reflects a commitment to fostering a transparent, secure, and business-friendly environment.

He underscored the urgency of eliminating red tape, bureaucracy, delays, and corruption at Nigerian ports, asserting that the economy cannot afford to sustain such losses.

The President’s call to emulate success stories from countries like Singapore, Korea, Kenya, and Saudi Arabia highlights the transformative potential of the Single Window system.

By joining the ranks of nations that have significantly improved trade efficiency through similar initiatives, Nigeria aims to unlock new avenues for economic growth and prosperity.

Tinubu stated that the National Single Window Project transcends Nigeria’s borders, presenting opportunities for regional integration and inter-African trade optimization. By linking Nigeria’s system with those of other African nations, the initiative seeks to expedite cargo movement and enhance trade facilitation across the continent.

Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority, Bello Koko, provided insights into the practical implications of the Single Window initiative.

He affirmed that imports would be cleared at all seaports within 24 hours, a significant improvement compared to neighboring countries where clearance often takes up to 72 hours.

Koko outlined how the initiative would streamline paperwork, enhance information sharing among government agencies, and foster greater efficiency in trade transactions.

With representatives from key government agencies and bodies forming the project secretariat, the National Single Window Project reflects a collaborative effort to drive comprehensive reform in Nigeria’s trade sector.

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