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Nigerian Governors Wade in Into Nation’s Monetary Management Challenges, CBN Withdrawal Limit

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Naira Remains under pressure

Disturbed by the controversies that have greeted the redesigned naira notes, their availability at banks and limit placed on the amount individuals and cooperate organisations can withdraw, Nigerian Governors have expressed readiness to interface with the Central Bank of Nigeria.

The 36 governors noted that there were enormous problems that citizens have complained about since the latest redesign policy was made.

Top of these issues is the withdrawal limit policy of the nation’s bank where individuals can only withdraw N500,000 cash weekly while corporate firms can withdraw up to N5 million cash across all channels including Automated Teller Machines and Point Of Sale terminals.

The governors disclosed that the CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele, had briefed them on the naira redesign, its economic and security implications, including the new withdrawal policy, adding that there was a need to discuss further with the apex bank with a view to addressing challenges.

Investors King had reported that on December 6, 2022, banks, and other financial institutions, payment service bank, primary mortgage banks and microfinance banks were directed by CBN to limit the maximum cash withdrawal over the counter by individuals and corporate firms weekly to N100,000 and N500,000 respectively.

Those interested in getting withdrawals that are more than the lower limit would require processing fees of 5% and 10% respectively for individuals and corporate firms.

But, the withdrawal limit generated condemnation from Nigerians, a situation that forced the apex bank to review the limit upward thus increasing individuals cash withdrawal to N500,000 cash weekly while corporate firms can withdraw up to N5 million cash.

In order to ameliorate the challenges that the redesigned naira notes may bring upon the nation’s financial system, the governors, under the umbrella of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), at its first meeting in 2023 held on January 19, resolved to set up a committee that would meet with CBN.

They arrived at these resolutions which were contained in a communiqué issued on Saturday and signed by the NGF Chairman, the Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal.

While declaring that they were that they were not against the essence of the naira redesign policy, the governors, however, said they had identified huge challenges that remained problematic to the Nigerian populace and to the nation’s monetary control.

According to the governors, the six-member committee set up for the task would be led by the Anambra State Governor, Charles Soludo.

Some of the mandate given to the committee is to interface with CBN and see how issues already identified would be resolved.

Members of the committee are the governors of Akwa Ibom, Ogun, Borno, Plateau and Jigawa.

The committee was tasked to work closely with the CBN leadership to ameliorate areas that require policy variation particularly the poorest households, the vulnerable in society and several other citizens of our country that are excluded in the policy.

The NGF further tasked the committee, saying, “collaborate with the CBN and the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit NFIU in advancing genuine objectives within the confines of our laws.”

They further decided to also collaborate with the CBN and the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit in advancing genuine objectives within the confines of Nigeria’s laws.

The governors said that the recent NFIU advisory and guidelines on cash transactions were outside the NFIU’s legal remit and mandate.

They called on the CBN to consider the peculiarities of states especially as they pertain to financial inclusion before arriving at its monetary decisions and policies.

 

 

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Finance

Private Sector Credit Hits Record High of N76.94 Trillion in January 2024 – CBN Report

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Private employers

Private sector credit in Nigeria reached a record N76.94 trillion in January 2024, according to the latest report from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

This represents a 85.2% year-on-year increase from N41.54 trillion reported in January 2023.

The CBN’s Money and Credit Statistics report unveiled that credit to the private sector experienced a substantial month-on-month surge of 23.06%, or N14.42 trillion, from N62.52 trillion in December 2023.

This surge occurred amid the implementation of the CBN’s policy to unify the naira exchange rate.

Analysts attribute the reported N76.94 trillion credit to the private sector to the recent depreciation of the naira against foreign currencies.

The naira closed at N1,356.88 per dollar in January 2024, representing a 50.87% decline or N457.49 against the dollar compared to December 2023.

This depreciation compelled banks to extend credit to major corporations to meet the CBN’s mandated Loan-to-Deposit Ratio (LDR) threshold.

The CBN’s decision to resume the enforcement of the LDR policy, effective July 31, 2023, further propelled banks to increase lending to customers, stimulating the real sector of the economy.

With the CRR mechanism updated, banks with an LDR below the prescribed level faced a 50% lending shortfall penalty.

Experts suggest that the significant increase in private sector credit underscores the growing need for businesses to secure funds amidst economic uncertainties and exchange rate volatility.

It also signifies banks’ efforts to comply with regulatory requirements and support economic growth initiatives.

As Nigeria navigates its economic landscape, stakeholders anticipate further developments in credit dynamics and monetary policies to sustain financial stability and stimulate economic expansion.

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Loans

Senate Initiates Probe into N30tn Ways and Means Loans under Buhari Administration

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Muhammadu Buhari

The Nigerian Senate has embarked on a comprehensive investigation into the disbursement and utilization of the N30 trillion Ways and Means loans obtained by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) during the administration of former President Muhammadu Buhari.

The Ways and Means facility allows the CBN to provide financial support to the government to cover budget shortfalls.

The decision to probe the massive loans comes amid concerns about the transparency and accountability surrounding the utilization of these funds, particularly as the country grapples with economic challenges, food crises, rising inflation, and worsening insecurity.

The Senate’s investigation aims to shed light on how the substantial overdrafts from the CBN were acquired and expended under the leadership of former President Buhari.

There is growing apprehension that the indiscriminate spending of the overdrafts, particularly during Godwin Emefiele’s tenure as CBN governor, may have contributed significantly to the current economic predicament facing the nation.

The probe will delve into the details of the N30 trillion overdrafts, with a specific focus on examining the purpose for which the funds were allocated and how they were utilized.

Also, the Senate will scrutinize the N10 trillion disbursed under the Anchor Borrowers Scheme, as well as the utilization of $2.4 billion out of the $7 billion earmarked for forex transactions.

The initiative underscores the Senate’s commitment to ensuring transparency, fiscal responsibility, and prudent financial management in the country’s economic affairs.

It is anticipated that the probe will unearth vital insights into the financial transactions of the past administration, enabling corrective measures to be taken to address any mismanagement or discrepancies discovered.

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Loans

Foreign Loans Dominate Nigeria’s 2023 Capital Importation, Hits $2.31bn – NBS Report

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US Dollar - Investorsking.com

In 2023, foreign loans dominated Nigeria’s capital importation, according to the latest report from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

The report reveals that out of the total $3.91 billion foreign investment inflow, foreign loans accounted for $2.31 billion, representing 59.1% of the total capital importation.

The NBS data indicates a substantial increase in foreign capital inflow compared to previous quarters.

The final quarter of 2023 saw a notable surge, with foreign capital importation rising from $654.65 million in the third quarter to $1.09 billion.

This surge reflects increased investor confidence and interest in Nigeria’s economic prospects.

However, the dominance of foreign loans in the capital importation landscape raises concerns about Nigeria’s debt profile and sustainability.

While foreign loans can provide crucial funding for development projects and infrastructure, excessive reliance on borrowing poses risks to the country’s fiscal health and economic stability.

It underscores the urgent need for prudent debt management and strategies to diversify funding sources.

The breakdown of the capital importation further reveals that Nigeria received $433.87 million in the first quarter, $771.53 million in the second quarter, $507.71 million in the third quarter, and $594.75 million in the fourth quarter as foreign loans.

The report underscores the importance of addressing structural challenges and creating an enabling environment to attract diverse forms of foreign investment beyond loans.

It emphasizes the need for policies that promote sustainable economic growth, attract foreign direct investment, and reduce reliance on external borrowing.

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