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Ogbeh Praises CBN’s 9% Credit Lending to Farmers

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  • Ogbeh Praises CBN’s 9% Credit Lending to Farmers

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, yesterday applauded the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Committee of Bankers for pegging interest rate to farmers at nine per cent.

Ogbeh said the development will assist the agricultural sector create jobs and promote food security through loans disbursement to rural women and youths at the grassroots.

Ogbeh, who spoke in Abuja, described the policy as a first major step Nigeria was taking to reverse the ‘horrible damage’ done to Africa through the Structural Adjustment Programme of the mid 1980s.

“The tenure for this loan is good, seven years tenure, two years moratorium and maximum of N10 billion per borrower but I appeal to the borrowers, if you are going to take this loan, you have to swear to God that you will repay. We don’t want the banks losing all their money,” Ogbeh said.

He applauded President Muhammadu Buhari for listening to the ministry’s appeal and other stakeholders who had pushed for the cut in interest rate for over 30 years.

However, the minister urged borrowers to ensure whatever was being borrowed are repaid as financial institutions are profit-making organisations.

Ogeh assured that the ministry would ensure loan repayment, adding that government intends to disburse the funds through cooperatives to rural farmers in the country, who are largely women and youths.

“We believe that under this condition, our youth and women, big and small scale farmers can now have access to credit to fulfill their dreams and drive Nigeria towards self-sufficiency in food production.

“We have to grow our agriculture and to grow agriculture, you need cheaper credits, 18, 25 and 35 per cent interest rates are for traders, not producers and I am glad the central bank has recognized this. I have complained about this since 1986.

“I was travelling in Hong Kong when I phoned home and I was told structural adjustment programme had started and that the dollar was being auctioned. That day, I said to my friend, this is the beginning of Nigeria’s disaster. We carried on every week devaluing our currency for nearly 32 years.

“I don’t know where the economist discovered this marvelous formula but I have never seen any country practicing that nearly insane monetary policy. The Naira used to exchange $1.5. As a result, it was better to import than produce, then interest rate went to 35 per cent.

“A friend of mine told me he borrowed at 40 per cent. We committed suicide then and this is the first major attempt to redeem that disaster. That is why I am so excited about it,” he added.

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.

Finance

Ecobank To Pay Customers N5 For Every Dollar Received

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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.

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Banking Sector

Peter Obaseki Retires as Chief Operating Officer of FCMB Group Plc

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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.

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Banking Sector

COVID-19: CBN Extends Loan Repayment by Another One Year

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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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