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High Cost of Transactions Still Affects Banks in Q1— Okezie

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  • High Cost of Transactions Still Affects Banks in Q1— Okezie

The Chairman, Progressive Shareholders Association of Nigeria, PSAN, Mr. Boniface Okezie, in an interview, spoke on the first quarter financial performance of banks quoted on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, NSE as well as activities of the regulatory bodies in the regulation of the banking sector, among others.

IN your view, how have the banks performed in the first quarter of 2017? Did they meet shareholders’ expectations?

Well, in my view, the results so far released by some of the banks show improved performance. The earnings of most banks whose results were released to the NSE went up, but their profits did not rise like their gross earnings, an indication that cost of operations affected the bottom line.

The banks are still battling with the high cost of doing business, it is my hope that when the economy starts to record growth and address some of the infrastructure challenges, coupled with the challenges from the regulatory bodies, we will begin to see better performance of banks.

In all, the banks met my short term expectations considering the operating environment circumstances, but in the long run I still want them to perform more so that they can pay higher dividend at the end of the year.

What are the regulatory challenges that the banks are facing?

One of the regulatory challenges that banks are facing has to do with penalties from the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN and Nigerian Stock Exchange, NSE. The penalty fees is becoming too much. An offence cost the banks not less than N60 million and this is impacting negatively on shareholders’ return on investment.

What could have been added to pay us as dividend is given away to regulators for committing one offence or the other.

So, I appeal to these regulators to reduce the charges for these offences and encourage the banks by churning out good policies that will help engender the growth of the banking sector.

What is your position on the directive from the CBN that banks should keep five per cent of their profit for Export Fund?

You can see what I said earlier about regulatory challenges been faced by banks. The banks fund Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria, AMCON. Now, the CBN has directed that banks should set aside another of their five per cent from their operating profit to finance Nigerian export businesses or businesses with import substitution capabilities. What is the responsibility of the Export Promotion Council? This Council has budgetary allocation from the Federal Government to promote the export sector.

The CBN just keep tasking the banks at the detriment of the owners. The same banks pay tax to the government. The banks should be allowed to use their initiative to fund the export sector.

The banks are set up to make profit, so they should be allowed to perform their intermediary role. We shareholders are tired of these pools of funds being initiated by the government.

The banks at the Bankers’ Committee meeting should communicate our feelings to the apex banks.

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.

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Finance

Unity Bank Partners RIFAN Mega Rice Pyramid Display, Pledges More Support for Farmers

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Agric-focused lender, Unity Bank Plc has partnered Nigerian rice farmers under the aegis of Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria, RIFAN to unveil a mega rice pyramid on the occasion of the National Rice Festival held in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja on Tuesday.

The event, which coincided with the flag-off of the dry season farming, was used to showcase the gains produced by rice farmers in driving self-sufficiency in rice production through the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Anchor Borrowers Programme, ABP.

Speaking to newsmen at the event, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Unity Bank, Mrs. Tomi Somefun, while going down memory lane on the support of the rice farmers by the Bank since the inception of the Anchor Borrowers Programme, ABP commended the rice farmers for their unwavering belief and collaboration in the implementation of the intervention programme, adding that as the PFI (Preferred Financial Institution) for the ABP transactions, the Bank will continue to support the farmers and ensure that more smallholder farmers get the requisite financial support to boost rice production.

She said: “Our strategic partnership with RIFAN started in 2018 when we financed about 273,000 smallholder farmers. This was the largest single-ticket transaction in that year. This financing cut across 33 states of the Federation including the FCT.

“In 2019, the Bank increased the tally by financing another 146,810 smallholder farmers for the wet and dry season farming. This funding cut across 35 States of the Federation including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

“Additional funding was granted to finance additional 221,450 smallholder farmers of the Association across the 32 states of the Federation including FCT for the wet season and additional 300,000 hectares was financed in sixteen states for the 2020 dry season cropping season.

“As of March 2021, the Bank has financed no fewer than 190,000 smallholder rice farmers across 35 states including the FCT, Abuja.”

Speaking further, she said: “The rice pyramids we see here today is an example of the resilience of the farmers and should be replicated in all states with a focus on the crop they have a competitive advantage.

“As we gear the programme towards deepening its penetration to reach more farmers, we encourage all beneficiaries of the Intervention Programme to always utilize the inputs judiciously in order to key into Federal Government’s goal of attaining food sufficiency, diversification of the economy from oil, job creation for the teeming youth and poverty reduction”.

“We remain optimistic that RIFAN under the able leadership of the National President, Aminu Goronyo, will continue to engage its members to drive higher performance under the ABP.”

Through the strategic initiative of the ABP, Nigeria has made incredible gains in rice production over the past six years raising production to significant levels.

Official reports show that from an average yield of 1.8 metric tonnes per hectare in the pre-ABP era, the initiative has increased the country’s average yield per hectare for rice paddy and maize to about five metric tonnes per hectare.

Similarly, the average capacity utilisation per annum of domestic integrated rice mills has jumped to 90 per cent, from the 30 per cent that was the case in the era preceding the advent of the ABP.

Statistics show that there has been a significant reduction in the country’s rice import bill, from a monstrous $1.05 billion prior to November 2015, to the current figure of $18.50 million, annually. The programme has also created an estimated 12.3 million direct and indirect jobs across the different value chains and food belts of the country.

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Consumer Loans Hit N2trn, CBN Attributes Rise to Improved Credit Appraisal by Banks

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The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN has disclosed that the volume of consumer loans has risen to two trillion naira as recorded in October, 2021.

It stated that the increase has been persistent since last year, rising by 37 percent, year-on-year, YoY. In October, 2020, the value of consumer loans recorded was N1.47 trillion.

CBN, however, attributed the increase to improved credit appraisal and the various products offered by banks and other lenders in rendering their services.

The CBN data stated that, “monthly economic report for October, 2021, showed that the growth in consumer loans was driven by a 52 per cent, YoY increase in personal loans, which rose to N1.57 trillion in October 2021. 

“Consequently, the share of personal loans in the total consumer loans basket rose to 78 per cent in October 2021 from 70.4 per cent in October 2020.”

On the month-on-month (MoM) record, consumer lending moved from N1.94 trillion in September 2021 to N2 trillion in October 2021– an increase of 3.4 per cent.

The CBN noted that the continuous growth in personal loans increased consumer credit outstanding. The personal loans are from credit appraisal and diverse products by banks. 

“Total consumer credit extended by the Other Depository Corporations (ODCs) grew by 3.4 per cent to N2,009.88 billion at the end of October 2021, from N1,942.87 billion at the end of September 2021. 

“The ratio of consumer credit to the total credit to the private sector in October 2021 was 8.7 per cent, the same share as in the preceding month. 

“A disaggregation of consumer loans revealed that personal loans maintained their dominance, accounting for 78.0 per cent, increasing by 2.3 percentage points, above the level in the preceding month, while retail loans accounted for the balance of 22.0 per cent,” the CBN data stated.

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Banking Sector

We Are Not Affiliated With Access Capital Investment Platform, Access Bank Warns

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The management of Access Bank Plc has issued a disclaimer in respect of the Access Capital Investment Platform which has been circulating.

The bank, which dissociates itself and its subsidiaries from the investment platform noted that the online investment entity has been soliciting members of the public to invest in its Access Capital Investment products promising mouth-watering returns on investment.

“By this disclaimer, Access Bank Plc wishes to dissociate itself, affiliates, subsidiaries and/or proxies from the activities, contract, claims or business engagements of Access Capital Investment Platform”, the bank said.

The bank further stressed that “Access Capital Investment Platform is not an affiliate nor subsidiary of Access Bank Plc and it would be at the risk of anyone who invests in any of the Access Capital Investment packages/products, as Access Bank Plc would not be responsible for any loss, damages, refund whatsoever that may arise therefrom”.

According to Access bank, relevant law enforcement and regulatory agencies have been notified of this disclaimer.

Investors King reports that there are lots of fake investments platforms in Nigeria. These platforms offer unsuspecting members of the public investments return that are too good to be true.

Most times, they offer fake – but often convincing – opportunity to make a profit after they hand over a sum of money. They pretend to be representing a legitimate and trusted investment group and pressurize their victims into making a rushed decision.

Usually, these fraudsters use platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to lure people into investing in cryptocurrencies, foreign exchange and binary options and often have convincing social media profiles or websites with fake reviews. Some of them even pay people to write fake reviews for them.

Recall that Investors King had earlier reported that the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouq warned the beneficiaries of the N-Power scheme not to participate in any unverified investment scheme.

She had noted, in a statement, that the ministry is aware of the current fraudulent investment scheme trending on social media and therefore, urged N-power beneficiaries not to fall victim.

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