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Banks’ Investment in SMEs to Hit N90 Billion



Global Banking - Investors King
  • Banks’ Investment in SMEs to Hit N90 Billion

Mr. Godwin Emefiele, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, has disclosed that banks’ contributions to the Small and Medium Enterprises Investment Scheme, AGSMEIS, and Agro-Business will hit N90 billion by December 2018.

Emefiele, who addressed the press at the end of the 10th annual Bankers Committee retreat, said national microfinance bank will be set up by the committee but in collaboration with NIPOST to offer low-interest credit to entrepreneurs across the nation.

“The AGSMIES fund by December this year will have N90 billion. That is part the funds that will go to support those that are going into farming or trading or those in music or fashion industry,” Emefiele said.

The governor said the recent shock to global economy has mandated the committee to tackle issues that impede exporters from accessing credit facility and enhance non-oil export.

He said: “This year, the theme of the retreat centered around export-led transformation of the Nigerian economy as an engine for sustainable, inclusive growth in Nigeria.

“For this year, we came and said, given the economic volatility and critical development in the Nigerian financial system, it is important that we renew our focus on non-oil exports that will help to catalise economic growth and also eliminate over dependence of our country on crude oil as a major source of earnings.

“We are saying there are challenges around, there are exogenous shocks happening in different parts of the world, which could ultimately constrain the capacity of the country to generate export revenues, particularly from crude oil and there is a need for us to think about how do we diversify our source of revenue earnings into non-oil export sector of the economy?

“We have decided to set up a committee headed by a bank chief executive officer. What that committee will do is to take a deep dive into some of the issues and challenges faced by exporters and then report back to our February 2019 meeting to raise some of the issues, and through that, the banks themselves will commit to ensuring that we deploy funds either on a commercial basis through banks or some of our intervention funds at the CBN to support this initiative.

“You will recall there was a time we contributed N500 billion to support export activities so as to boost export business and also help in generating export earnings into the country.

“We took a review and saw that that aspect has not really quite permeated the system and we wanted to hear from some of the export companies what their challenges were and that was the reason we set up the committee to look into these issues.

“But this time, we are determined that they will get the support they need and make it easy for them to get the credit but at the same time, put in place policies that will ring-fence the export earnings in a way that the funds come in and are used in a way that is beneficial to the economy.”

Explaining why it is necessary for the committee to set up a national microfinance in collaboration with NIPOST, the governor said: “The existing MfBs are doing their best but they are not lending at single digit interest rate.

“Some of them are even lending money on flat, where you borrow N50,000 from them for 90 days and they expect you to pay another N50,000 as interest in 90 days. That is outrageous and too exorbitant and we feel that if we have these funds available in the CBN, through our own National Microfinance, we can make access to funds easy, even if it is not single digit at 9.0 percent per annum, even if it is 15 percent, it is much lower than those borrowing money on what is called flat arrangement basis.”

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.

Banking Sector

FirstBank Holds Non-Oil Export Webinar Series, Creates Awareness of The Bank’s Export Solutions




First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Nigeria’s premier and leading financial inclusion services provider, has announced the convening of its non-oil export webinar series. The Event is centered on deliberating opportunities that will enhance the country’s expansion of its drive towards diversifying the national economy, thereby reducing the reliance of oil as a mainstay of the country’s revenue.  

The first series of the virtual event is scheduled for 10am on Tuesday, 30th November 2021 via Zoom meeting. To register and be part of this transformational knowledge session, click on this link- . Registration is Free!! 

The event is themed “Building Sustainable Non-Oil Export in Nigeria; Harnessing Opportunities within the AfCFTA Treaty & Agro Commodities” and will have the attendance of Mr. Segun Awolowo MD/CEO, Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC); Dr Biodun Adedipe, Founder and Chief Consultant of B. Adedipe Associates Limited (BAA Consult)  amongst others, as guest speakers.  

The webinar series aims to facilitate sustainable exports as well as guide participants on ways of navigating the hurdles and challenges of exports in Nigeria. The webinar will explore market and economic trends, unique export opportunities and potentials within the non-oil export industry across the geopolitical zones in the country.  

The importance of exports in Nigeria remains a front burner conversation by individuals and organisations as it provides a means of increasing the markets for producers, and an opportunity to attract the much needed foreign exchange earnings to boost the national economy, which is critical to expanding its Gross Domestic Products. 

Speaking on the event, the Group Head, Marketing & Corporate Communications, Folake Ani-Mumuney said: “in recent years, the country has witnessed increased activities by the government towards diversifying the economy, thereby boosting the export potentials of the country – beyond the contribution of crude oil – which has been the mainstay of the national economy for many decades.  

Our forthcoming Non-oil Webinar series will expand discussions that are crucial to the growth of Nigeria’s export potentials as we unlock numerous opportunities that will promote the economic diversification drive of the government which is essential to the continued growth of the national economy, especially with the current business challenges posed by the pandemic.”

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Currency in Circulation Now N2.97 Trillion in October – CBN



Naira Exchange Rates - Investors King

Currency in circulation hit N2.97 trillion in the month of October, according to the latest report from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

The currency in circulation rose by N129 billion from N2.84 trillion recorded in the month of September to N2.97 trillion in October. This was after the currency in circulation declined from N2.8 trillion in July to N2.78 trillion in August.

Currency in circulation stood at N2.74 trillion in June, N2.79 trillion in May, N2.79 trillion in April, N2.8 trillion in March, N2.78 trillion in February and N2.83 trillion in January.

The CBN said, “The currency in circulation increased by N465.47bn or 19.06 per cent to N2.91tn in 2020, compared with N2.44tn in 2019.

“In 2020, there were higher withdrawals by DMBs than deposits, due to the panic need to hold cash to deal with the emergencies and reduced banking hours due to restrictions to curb spread of the pandemic.”

The bank said to maintain public confidence and ensure integrity of circulated notes in the economy, it developed and unveiled a clean note policy and banknote fitness guidelines in 2018.

The guidelines outlined details of quarterly and yearly activities towards the achievement of this objective.

The CBN said it employed the “accounting/statistical/withdrawals and deposits approach” to compute the currency in circulation in the country.

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Banking Sector

2021 NCOY: FirstBank Partners Junior Achievement Nigeria, Reiterates Commitment to Innovation and Education



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For 11 years, Nigeria’s premier and leading financial inclusion services provider, First Bank of Nigeria Limited has partnered with Junior Achievement Nigeria (JAN) to host its annual flagship event; the National Company of the Year competition (NCOY), which convenes winners of the JA Company Regional Competitions across Nigeria to compete for the National Company of the Year Award.

This year, the event will bring together outstanding ‘student business teams’ across Nigeria to compete for prizes and an opportunity to represent the country at the national competition – JA African Company of the Year Competition (ACOY). The 2021 edition of the NCOY competition will be held virtually via Zoom meetings at 10am on Saturday, 27th November 2021.  Interested participants are to register via the link

The competition themed ‘Innovation with Grit’ will have 12 teams from 12 schools pitch their innovations to a team of 5 guests judges. The represented schools at the competition include: The Seer company from Alvana High School; Sonic Informatics company from Heritage Global Academy; Nexus Queens company from Queens School; JA Stars from Theological College of Northern Nigeria (TCNN); Amazing Amazon Students from Government Girls’ Secondary School, Abaji; KereTerra Company from Secondary School Etoi, Uyo and The Exploit thinkers from Taidob College.

Other teams competing include: Mystic Global Company from Rosa Mystica High School, Agulu;  PetraMech Tech from Petra Schools; The Amazing Inventors from Government Secondary School Tudun Wada; Blue crystal company from Methodist Girls school and the Artisans from Igbobi College.

Judges at the event include: Oludolapo Adigun, Group Head, Retail Banking Lagos & West First Bank of Nigeria Limited; Chidimma Juliana Okparah, Project Management Consultant (PMIEF); Sheila Ojei, Head of Communications Jobberman;  Gbenga Sesan, Executive Director of Paradigm Initiative and Simbo Olatoregun, Policy Programs Manager for Facebook in Africa. In attendance also is the Honourable Commissioner for Education Lagos State, Mrs. Folashade Adefisayo as a Special Guest.

The 2021 National Company of the Year Program will also feature SPARK Competition. SPARK as an initiative of First Bank of Nigeria Limited, is an acronym for Start Performing Acts of Random Kindness. SPARK reiterates the Bank’s commitment to institutionalise kindness in Nigeria by encouraging and amplifying a culture of kindness.

The SPARK competition will feature 15 finalist schools across Nigeria, whose CSR projects align with the Bank’s Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability pillars of Education, Welfare and Health, Financial inclusion and Responsible Lending and Procurement.

Speaking on the event, the Group Head, Marketing & Corporate Communications, Folake Ani-Mumuney said “FirstBank’s partnership under its Future First initiative with JA Nigeria Company programme has positively impacted over 100,000 people in different locations across the country in preparing and teaching them how to generate wealth, effectively manage it and how to apply entrepreneurial thinking to the workplace. Our commitment to fostering entrepreneurial development amongst youths is mainly the driving force behind our support of the National Company of the Year (NCOY) and Africa Company of the Year (ACOY) competitions in past 11 years”.

According to the Executive Director, JAN, ‘’the National Company of the Year Company competition provides our students with a platform to show how innovative they are while displaying their dexterity and grit especially as it relates to creating sustainable business solutions to problems in their immediate community. The students have learned critical skills during the implementation of the Company Programme and we are proud to celebrate them as they compete in the National competition. I would like to specially appreciate FirstBank Nigeria for their continued support and belief in the boundless potential of young Nigerians’’.

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