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Bankers Committee Inaugurates Panel on N26bn SME Fund



  • Bankers Committee Inaugurates Panel on N26bn SME Fund

The Bankers Committee of the Central Bank of Nigeria on Thursday inaugurated a board to facilitate the disbursement of the N26bn equity fund meant for the growth of agriculture and small businesses in the country.

The decision was made at the end of the 331st meeting of the committee held at the headquarters of the CBN in Abuja.

The committee in February this year agreed to set up the fund where banks would transfer five per cent of their profits after tax to finance the agricultural sector as well as non-oil exports.

Based on the balance sheet size of the banking sector, about N26bn has been pooled into the fund.

The decision to set aside the fund was to support the agricultural sector and import substitution policy of the Federal Government.

Details about the fund show that it will be used to finance eligible bankable projects that are meant to support export drive of all import substitution products.

The money is also expected to be given out to businesses as loans but will be provided by banks as equity contribution to such companies.

This, it was learnt, would allow the banks to have equity stake in such businesses for a maximum of 10 years.

In addition, rather than charging interest, the banks would be entitled to dividend during the period of their investments.

Addressing journalists shortly after the meeting, the Director, Banking Supervision, CBN, Mr. Ahmed Abdullahi, said the committee had set aside a pool fund of N26bn for the equity fund that would support the Small and Medium Enterprises in the country.

The briefing was attended by the Managing Director, Union Bank Plc, Mr. Emeka Emuwa; Managing Director, FSDH Merchant Bank, Mrs. Hamda Ambar; and Executive Director, Standard Chartered Bank, Mrs. Mobola Faloye.

Abdullahi noted that the fund would be increased subsequently as entrepreneurs came up for equity funding; and more funds would be accrued as banks got their annual statements of account approved.

He named members of the board to include the managing directors of Guarantee Trust Bank, Zenith Bank, Access Bank, UBA, First Bank , and the directors of banking supervision and development finance of the CBN.

He said, “If you recall all the banks are supposed to set aside a portion of their profit, which will be made available for equity investment in agriculture and the Small and Medium-scale Enterprises.

“So, the board was inaugurated today as well as the Project Review Committee of that fund. Basically, the fund is ready to start implementing.”

He said the committee noted a turnaround in the economy and there was a strong belief that the second quarter had seen the economy emerging out of recession.

He said that although the figures had yet to be released by the National Bureau of Statistics, the non-oil sector of the economy believed to drive the economy witnessed strong positive growth.

Abdullahi said, “If you look at the confidence of the economy, the stability in the capital and foreign exchange market, you will know that progress has been made in getting the economy out of recession.

“This is a good development as it is going to have an elaborate effect on the banking system as well as other sectors of the economy. And so, the Bankers Committee generally expresses its delight at this development.”

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.


Nestle Nigeria Approves Final Dividend of N35.50k per 50 Kobo Ordinary Share for 2020




Nestle Nigeria Approves Final Dividend of N35.50k per 50 Kobo Ordinary Share for 2020

Nestle Nigeria, a leading food and beverage company, has declared a final dividend of N35.50k per 50 kobo ordinary share for the year ended December 31, 2020.

The beverage company said N24.50k of the amount declared was from the after-tax profit of 2020 and N5 and N6 were from the after-tax retained earnings of the years ended December 2019 and 2018, respectively.

Nestle Nigeria stated that the amount declared is subject to appropriate withholding tax and approval at the Annual General Meeting of shareholders.

It also noted that payment will be made only to shareholders whose names appear in the Register of Members as at the close of business on 21 May 2021.

Dividends will be paid electronically to shareholders whose names appear on the Register of Members as at 21 May 2021, and who have completed the e-dividend registration and mandated the Registrar to pay their dividends directly into their Bank accounts.

Shareholders who are yet to complete the e-dividend registration are advised to download the Registrar’s E-Dividend Mandate Activation Form, which is also available on their website:, complete and submit to the Registrar or their respective Banks.

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Banking Sector

Dennis Olisa Invests N53.6 Million in Zenith Bank



Executive Director of Zenith Bank Plc Buys 2 Million Shares of Zenith Bank at N53.6 Million

Executive Director of Zenith Bank Plc, Dennis Olisa, has invested a combined N53.58 million in shares of Zenith Bank.

The leading financial institution stated in a disclosure statement filed with the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) on Monday.

Olisa carried out the purchase in two different transactions on February 24, 2021 at the Nigerian Stock Exchange in Lagos, Nigeria.

He purchased 1 million units of Zenith Bank at N26.60 each and another 1 million shares at N26.50 per share.

On aggregate, Olisa purchased 2 million shares of Zenith Bank at N26.79 per share or N53.58 million. See the details below.

Dennis Olisa was appointed as Zenith Bank’s executive director three years ago.

Prior to his appointment, Mr. Olisa was the Chief Inspector at Zenith Bank Plc and served as its Director from March 3, 2017 until March 16, 2017.

He also served as General Manager and Heads of the Energy Oil & Gas Group at Zenith Bank Plc and served as its Deputy General Manager. He served as Head of Internal Control & Audit Group at Zenith Bank Plc

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Emefiele Pledges Accommodative Monetary Policy to Boost Economic Growth



Godwin Emefile

Emefiele Pledges Accommodative Monetary Policy to Boost Economic Growth

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele, has pledged to adopt accommodative monetary policy stance in 2021 in order to support economic growth in the country.

Emefiele, said this on Friday, while speaking at a CBN/Bankers’ Committee’s initiative for economic growth, which is a one-day special summit on the economy by bank chief executive officers.

The theme of the summit is: “How to Overcome the Pitfalls of Recession.”

Nigeria’s economy recently came out of recession, according to the Gross Domestic Product report for fourth quarter 2020 released by the National Bureau of Statistics.

Owing to the slump GDP growth of 0.11 per cent that lifted the economy out of recession, Emefiele said it was imperative that, “we do all we can in 2021 and beyond to ensure that we build on the positive momentum and strengthen our efforts at stimulating growth.”

He expressed optimism that with the discovery and deployment of vaccines worldwide, 2021 would be a year of massive global recovery and Nigeria must not be left out.

“The banks CEOs are here, whether by moral suasion or by force, they will have to participate in this journey. In order to drive and sustain this recovery therefore, we need to sustain the accommodative fiscal and monetary policy measures aimed at improving access to finance for households and businesses.

“Secondly, we must prevent a resurgence in Covid-19 related cases. Thirdly, we must ensure that a significant number of our population is significantly vaccinated and also improve foreign exchange inflows into our country,” he added.

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