- CBN May Increase Items on Forex Restriction List to 50
The Central Bank of Nigeria may increase the items on the foreign exchange restriction list from 42 to 50 in order to boost local production and stimulate the export market.
The Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr Godwin Emefiele, said this on Saturday during an inspection of the refinery being built by Dangote Group at the Lekki Free Trade Zone in Lagos.
Emefiele said the CBN would get more aggressive in ensuring that more items being imported into the country were added to the forex restriction list.
Describing the Dangote refinery as a transformational project for Nigeria, the CBN governor said the project keyed into the objectives of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration which include conserving forex and diversifying the economy.
He said, “To put it in proper perspective, by the time you dimension the size of the foreign exchange we use in importing petroleum products into the country, it is at least one third of the foreign exchange the CBN spends to import items into Nigeria today.
“By the time we add also the 42 items that we have, which certainly we are going to increase from 42 may be to 50 or more in due course because we are going to get more aggressive in ensuring that more and more food items that are being imported into this country are added into the FX restriction list.
“I am saying that by the time we add the savings from the production and export of petroleum products; by the time we also add the foreign exchange that we spend on food items, close to 55 or 60 per cent of what the CBN or what the government spends in funding its foreign exchange operations will be saved in the country.”
The CBN had in recent years placed restriction on access to forex for 41 items in order support the production of goods that can be produced locally such as rice, tomatoes, and palm oil for domestic and the export market.
But in December 2018, the CBN included fertiliser, thereby increasing the items on the forex restriction list to 42.
The items include cement, margarine, meat and processed meat products, private airplanes/jets, roofing sheets, wooden doors, toothpicks, textiles, soap and cosmetics.
Emefiele also said that the CBN had supported the Dangote refinery project with N75bn.
He stated, “This (Dangote refinery) is a $9bn project that is being funded not only by Nigerian banks but also by foreign banks.
“The Central Bank of Nigeria itself is contributing close to about N75bn in supporting this project. N75bn is just a drop compared to about $9bn that this project costs.
“By the time this refinery is completed, it will not only service the needs of our domestic economy but shore up our international oil investments.”
Commending Dangote for his resilience and dedication to create wealth, Emefiele urged other private refinery licensees to develop capacity to build more refineries.
He said, “I have not seen any licensee approach the bank for credit to build refinery.
“Remember, such licensee will approach his bank, which will in turn assess his capacity to build such a refinery and such a request will be forwarded to the CBN for approval.
“If they have the capacity, we will support them through their banks.”
The President of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, in his remarks, said the refinery would commence operations in April 2020.
He said, “The projects will make Nigeria to become the largest exporter of fertilisers in Africa, largest exporter of petrochemicals and biggest exporter of refined petroleum products in Africa. Our gas pipeline project will transport three billion standard cubic feet per day of gas.”
Dangote said the refinery would reduce the importation of petroleum products and save the country of capital flight.
“The refinery is going to save a huge amount of foreign exchange outflow because, today, forex is being used in the importation of petroleum products and our foreign reserves are being heavily depleted.”
Increase in Banks’ Bad Loans Caused by Construction Sector
The banking industry saw a 13.6 percent MoM (month on month) increase in bad loans to N2.76 trillion in August 2021, and the Central Bank of Nigeria attributed the increase to the rising loan defaults in the country’s construction sector.
The construction industry is touted to be under intense pressure due to the rise in the prices of building materials.
The Central Bank of Nigeria said this in its August Economic Report, stating that the NPL (Non-Performing Loans) ratio of the banking industry went up to six percent in August, one percentage point more than the five percent regulatory limit.
According to data from the apex bank, the total credit to the domestic economy went up by 2.2 percent to reach N46 trillion in August, from the N44.99 trillion recorded in July. This suggests that the NPL (bad loans) went up to N2.76 trillion in August from N2.43 trillion seen in July, a N330 billion or 13.6 percent increase.
The big rise in NPLs was explained by the CBN as a result of increased loan defaults in the construction sector, which accounted for about 4.7 percent or N905 billion of credit owed to other sectors in August, going up from 4.6 percent of N879 billion back in July.
The apex bank said the increase in the construction sector’s non-performing loans was due to the increase in process of building materials, which made it more difficult for contractors to meet their debt obligations.
Regarding this development, the Managing Director of Built2Suit Limited – a firm of architects – Ibukun Odu, said that apart from the increase in loan defaults, construction firms may have to turn to layoffs in order to reduce overhead cost.
Odu lauded the correctness of the CBN report, stating that a lot of contractors were finding the period extremely difficult. Odu stated that all the main components have witnessed increases of between 75 – 90 percent. He mentioned cement, which used to be sold at N2500 but is now sold between N4000 and N4200.
FirstBank DecemberIssaVybe: Showing Kindness as You Vybe
The roof is already getting raised with #FirstBankIssaVybe, #DecemberIssaVybe campaigns. With FirstBank, it is always a total experience of being woven into the fabric of society from banking at its finest, to music, fashion, arts, and sports. Across the spectrum of human endeavour, FirstBank stands tall behind its over 32 million customers and counting.
As FirstBank makes every day a vybe every December, it is also passionate about ensuring that everyone vybes with kindness. This is in sync with the words of Maurice Elias, Professor of Psychology, “without kindness, our communities, families, schools, and classrooms become places of incivility.” As we get the blast of the season, the 127 years strong banking brand in furtherance of its kindness campaign has created a simple calendar to ease your ability to create a SPARK in the lives of people around you.
At FirstBank, SPARK stands for Start Performing Acts of Random Kindness. The SPARK initiative was launched 4 years ago to make a difference in the nation by seeking to inspire and institutionalize kindness. By encouraging kindness, empathy and consideration for others, SPARK is placing FirstBank at the forefront of the social impact space. The unique way FirstBank is amplifying kindness is through its different directorates and departments. This way the Bank is reaching more communities, touching more lives, and spreading kindness.
The FirstBank kindness drive stands on three (3) pillars of compassion, civility, and charity. Compassion and charity readily come tops when we think about kindness, and FirstBank is championing the cause to also promote civility through the SPARK initiative. Civility covers the aspects of kindness that does not cost you anything to use in igniting the world around you. Imagine as you get to the venue of the next FirstBank’s DecemberIssaVybe show, and you give up a parking lot closer to the event hall to the car behind you?
The global head of marketing and corporate communication of FirstBank, Folake Ani-Mumuney says “At FirstBank, we spend every waking moment working to create meaning in the lives of our customers and publics. We are inspiring kindness because it brings meaning to lives and creates a happier society. So, as you vybe this Yuletide, vybe with kindness.”
Kindness does not have to cost you a kobo, so click here to download and share your kindness calendar for those simple tips to start performing acts of random kindness every day this December.
The need to promote kindness in our homes, schools, fun places, and the society at large cannot be over-emphasized especially with the increased incidence of bullying prevalent around us. In promoting the need for kindness in education and ‘cyber kindness’, FirstBank sponsored two impactful webinars during its corporate responsibility & sustainability week in July 2021. You can click here to access the Zoom recordings of the webinars.
Kindness should be a way of life, and FirstBank is at the forefront. Join the kindness train, vybe with kindness this Yuletide and always!
Stanbic IBTC Emerges Most Outstanding Commercial Bank Brand in Nigeria
Stanbic IBTC Bank PLC, a subsidiary of Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC, was named the “Most Outstanding Commercial Bank Brand in Nigeria” at the 2021 edition of the BrandCom Awards which was held recently.
The awards, organised by Brand Communicator Magazine recognised brands, organisations and personalities. It took cognisance of their outstanding contributions to the growth and development of the Nigerian economy.
Wole Adeniyi, Chief Executive, Stanbic IBTC Bank, appreciated the organisers for the award, and noted that Stanbic IBTC Bank has over the years provided unparalleled services and designed products tailored explicitly towards meeting the needs of its customers.
Wole noted that the award would spur the organisation to continue providing excellent services to its clients. The awards reaffirm the organisation’s commitment to providing world-class financial services to its network of clients.
The Stanbic IBTC Bank Chief Executive said: “We are delighted to have emerged the “Most Outstanding Commercial Bank Brand” at the BrandCom Awards. This award confirms that we prioritise our customers’ interests because they are the reason we are in business. We pledge to continue developing innovative products and services that are customer-centric, just as we are committed in our quest to continue fulfilling the financial needs of our customers at all times.”
Wole added that Stanbic IBTC would strive to continue exceeding its customers’ expectations.
Stanbic IBTC remains committed to providing a simplified customer-friendly experience that enhances customer satisfaction and exposes them to new trends in the financial services industry.
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