- We’ve Enough Dollars for End Users
The Bankers Committee of the Central Bank on Thursday declared that there was adequate stock of foreign exchange to sustain the spate of dollar sales to various segments of forex market.
The regulator stressed that it was in possession of adequate stock of dollars to ensure that it met the demands of all genuine bank customers in the country.
The Director, Banking Supervision, CBN, Ahmed Abdullahi, said this at a press briefing held along some chief executive officers of banks shortly after the committee’s meeting in Lagos.
Abdullahi said, “The recent development in the forex market has led to prices turning downwards and convergence of rates and the positive effect of that on the economy. We have seen inflation trending downwards. There is a forecast that by the second quarter of this year, the economy will be out of recession and we are going to see positive growth.
“The fact is that the CBN has the arsenal in its war chest to be able to sustain what is happening in the forex market. That is why the CBN recently introduced new FX windows for the Small and Medium-scale Enterprises to access forex through their banks with minimum documentation.”
He added, “There is also another initiative, the investor/exporter window, where it will be a market where prices will be determined by market forces, and it is a window that will allow investors to come in and trade their forex at a price they consider appropriate. Because of the convergence of rates, confidence is going to be built in the market so we are likely to see investors come in.
“In order to further build confidence, that is why we have this window that will enable them come in and improve the inflow of forex in the economy.”
According to the CBN director, the committee has agreed to allow banks to use five per cent of their profits after tax to provide equity funding for SMEs and agricultural companies.
He said, “The important thing is the economy and the committee also emphasised the issue of financing the SMEs and agriculture, using five per cent of the banks’ profits. That will help in fast-tracking the process of the economy coming out of recession.
“So, the banks are determined to contribute five per cent of their profits to be used in providing equity funding for agriculture and all small-scale businesses in the export drive.”
The Chief Executive Officer, Rand Merchant Bank, Mr. Michael Larbie, said the committee was committed to providing forex to end-users.
“In line with that, the banking community is committed to further ensuring that forex is available for all legitimate personal and business travels. As a result, the banks now are committed to having travel desks and cubicles in most of their branches where appropriate exchange rates will be duly published so that anyone that walks in and requires business travel allowance will get it,” Larbie explained.
The Managing Director, Access Bank Plc, Mr. Herbert Wigwe, said the committee also agreed to establish a central database to enable the banking industry to identify and remove suspected electronic fraudsters from the system.
This, he said, would lead to the reduction of e-banking and card frauds.
The Managing Director, Ecobank Nigeria, Mr. Charles Kie, said the committee emphasised the need for all the banks to continue to support the economy in order to get it out of recession.
The Acting Director, Corporate Communications, CBN, Mr. Isaac Okorafor, said factors that drove the economy into recession were being addressed already.
Ecobank To Pay Customers N5 For Every Dollar Received
Ecobank To Pay Customers N5 For Every Dollar Received
Ecobank has implemented the CBN scheme which offers N5 for every Dollar received into domiciliary accounts or as cash over the counter. Korede Demola-Adeniyi; Head, of Consumer Banking, Ecobank Nigeria, who announced this in Lagos stated that the decision is in line with the CBN directive and fully aligns with efforts to encourage the inflow of diaspora remittances into the country.
She noted that the “CBN Naira 4 dollar scheme” is an unprecedented incentive for senders and recipients of international money transfers.
Korede Demola-Adeniyi said that the scheme takes effect from 8th March and will run till 8th May 2021. “Ecobank will pay N5 on every Dollar so beneficiaries will not only get the foreign currency sent from their family and friends abroad, but they will also get extra Naira”, she stated.
Only recently, Ecobank had a first-of-its-kind virtual Diaspora Summit to discuss opportunities for Nigerians living abroad and the various platforms available to assist them with their investment decisions and remittance needs. The event had major players in the remittance space, diaspora audience, government officials and notable stakeholders in attendance.
Further, the Managing Director, Ecobank Nigeria, Patrick Akinwuntan has disclosed that apart from consistent engagement with Nigerians in the diaspora, Ecobank is leveraging its digital technology to make remittances to Nigeria and Africa easy, convenient and affordable.
Mr. Akinwuntan stated that growing evidence has shown a positive relationship between diaspora remittances and economic growth.
“Ecobank will continue to pursue its mandate of helping to enhance the economic development and integration of Africa, through the 33 countries where the bank operates on the continent. Ecobank’s Rapidtransfer and mobile app (Ecobank Mobile) enable Africans, wherever they are, to easily and instantly send money to bank accounts, mobile wallets and agent locations across 33 African countries”, he stated.
Ecobank Nigeria, a member of the Pan African Banking Group is committed to supporting Africans in the diaspora by providing advisory services, remittance solutions, investment options and financial planning schemes. The bank also offers mortgages, treasury bills, capital market instruments, among others.
Peter Obaseki Retires as Chief Operating Officer of FCMB Group Plc
The Board of Directors of FCMB Group Plc has announced the retirement of Mr. Peter Obaseki, the Chief Operating Officer of the financial institution, with effect from March 1, 2021. He was also an Executive Director of the Group.
His retirement was approved at a meeting of the Board of the Group on February 26, 2021. This has also been announced in a statement to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) by the financial institution.
The Chairman of FCMB Group Plc’s Board of Directors, Mr Oladipupo Jadesimi, thanked Mr. Obaseki for his valuable service and excellent support to the Board for many years.
FCMB Group Plc is a holding company divided along three business Groups; Commercial and Retail Banking (First City Monument Bank Limited, Credit Direct Limited, FCMB (UK) Limited and FCMB Microfinance Bank Limited); Investment Banking (FCMB Capital Markets Limited and CSL Stockbrokers Limited); as well as Asset & Wealth Management (FCMB Pensions Limited, FCMB Asset Management Limited and FCMB Trustees Limited).
The Group and its subsidiaries are leaders in their respective segments with strong fundamentals.
For more information about FCMB Group Plc, please visit www.fcmbgroup.com.
COVID-19: CBN Extends Loan Repayment by Another One Year
Central Bank Extends One-Year Moratorium by 12 Months
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has extended the repayment of its discounted interest rate on intervention facility by another one-year following the expiration of the first 12 months moratorium approved on March 1, 2020.
The apex bank stated in a circular titled ‘Re: Regulatory forbearance for the restructuring of credit facilities of other financial institutions impacted by COVID-19’ and released on Wednesday to all financial institutions.
In the circular signed by Kelvin Amugo, the Director, Financial Policy and Regulation Department, CBN, the apex bank said the role-over of the moratorium on the facilities would be considered on a case by case basis.
The circular read, “The Central Bank of Nigeria reduced the interest rates on the CBN intervention facilities from nine per cent to five per cent per annum for one year effective March 1, 2020, as part of measures to mitigate the negative impact of COVID-19 pandemic on the Nigerian economy.
“Credit facilities, availed through participating banks and OFIs, were also granted a one-year moratorium on all principal payments with effect from March 1, 2020.
“Following the expiration of the above timelines, the CBN hereby approves as follows:
“The extension by another 12 months to February 28, 2022 of the discounted interest rate for the CBN intervention facilities.
“The role-over of the moratorium on the above facilities shall be considered on a case by case basis.”
It would be recalled that the apex bank reduced the interest rate on its intervention facility from nine percent to five percent and approved a 12-month moratorium in March 2020 to ease the negative impact of COVID-19 on businesses.
To further deepen economic recovery and stimulate growth, the apex bank has extended the one year-moratorium until February 28, 2022.
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