Connect with us

Finance

Scarcity of Redesigned Currency: Nigerian Traders Seek Extension of January 31 Deadline

Published

on

New Naira Notes

About a week to the expiration of the January 31 deadline given by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for the use of the N1000, N500 and N200 old naira notes, some Nigerians have urged the bank to extend the date.

The Nigerians, most of whom are traders, lamented the scarcity of the new naira notes.

Market women and men in Osun State pleaded with the authority of CBN  to extend the January 31 deadline by which the old naira notes would have been completely deposited at the banks.

Investors King had reported that the CBN had stipulated January 31, 2023, as the deadline for issuance and circulation of the old N200, N500 and N1,000 denominations of the country’s currency following the introduction of new banknotes

Speaking at a sensitisation of stakeholders on currency redesign organised by CBN held at Atakunmosa market in Ilesa, some market men and women lamented the scarcity of the new naira notes and appealed to the apex bank to extend the deadline.

They said non-availability of new notes might make it practically impossible to meet up with the deadline set by the CBN.

The market women led by Osun Iyaloja General, Alhaja Awawu Asindemade and her counterpart from Atakunmosa West local Government, Mrs Annah Awe, explained that the commercial banks in the state have not made the new notes available to customers in the state.

Also speaking, a trader at Atakumosa market, Mr Isiah Ojo said he has only come in contact with one piece of the new N1,000 note, adding that most banks and galleries with Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) in his area do not issue the new notes to customers.

Ojo said, “I only saw the new note –N1,000 like twice when a customer brought it to my shop. But all attempts to get it from banks were not successful. At least, I visit banks weekly but they still give out old notes.

“Most of the ATM galleries in my area do not issue the new notes,” Yauza said.

Also speaking, another trader, Mrs Awe Christiana lamented that banks are not given customers the new note as they were complaining not having the new naira note which is contrary to the message the CBN has been preaching to Nigerians.

She begged the financial authority to extend the deadline in the interest of the market women, especially those in rural communities.

While promising to relay CBN’s message on meeting the deadline to all market leaders in the state, who will in turn pass the message to others in rural areas, she commended the officials of the CBN for coming up with the sensitisation.

Reacting, the CBN Director of Research, Dr Adebiyi Micheal Adebayo urged Nigerians not to wait till January 31 to turn in the old notes for the new redesigned currency.

He insisted that the January 31 deadline for old notes to cease being legal tender is sacrosanct.

He urged market traders, business operators and Nigerians to embrace various cashless channel outlets to return old currency notes in their possession, and make use of the same cashless transaction channels as preference for cash transactions.

“You all observed this sensitisation exercise by the CBN has been ongoing. It’s a two leg exercise. “One of them is to tell you to return your old notes in your custody for new re-designed currency between now and January 31. At the expiration of the deadline, your old notes are useless,” he told the traders.

Continue Reading
Comments

Banking Sector

UBA Announces Final Dividend of N2.30 per Share for FY 2023, Totaling N95.8 Billion

Published

on

UBA House Marina

UBA (United Bank for Africa) shareholders are set to receive dividends as the bank announces a final dividend of N2.30 per share for the fiscal year 2023.

This translated to a total payout of N95.8 billion, more than the N37.6 billion paid out in 2022.

Despite the robust increase in dividend payments, UBA’s dividend payout to profit after tax (PAT) ratio experienced a decline of 6.3 percentage points, dropping from 22.1% in 2022 to 15.8% in 2023.

Shareholders will receive the dividends based on their shareholdings as of the close of business on Friday, May 10, 2024. The payment is scheduled for May 24, 2024.

UBA urges shareholders who have not completed the e-dividend registration process to obtain the E-Dividend Mandate Form to ensure a smooth disbursement process.

The bank’s unclaimed dividends increased to N14.9 billion in 2023, an 18% increase from the previous year.

The bank reported a profit after tax of N607.7 billion, representing a 257% increase from the N170.3 billion recorded in 2022. This increase in profitability includes a net FX revaluation gain of N26.6 billion.

However, it’s worth noting that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) directive prohibits banks from utilizing FX revaluation gains for dividends payment or operational expenses.

Shareholders are advised to complete the e-dividend registration process or contact the registrar, Africa Prudential Plc, for assistance regarding outstanding dividend warrants or share certificates.

Continue Reading

Finance

President Tinubu Launches National Single Window Project

Published

on

Bola Tinubu

President Bola Tinubu inaugurated the National Single Window Project to streamline trade processes and combat bureaucratic bottlenecks.

The initiative promises to unlock significant economic benefits and bolster Nigeria’s position as a global trade leader.

Addressing stakeholders at the Council Chamber of the State House in Abuja, President Tinubu outlined the transformative potential of the Single Window Project.

He explained that Nigeria stands to gain approximately $2.7 billion annually by implementing the initiative, while also saving an estimated $4 billion lost to inefficiencies and corruption plaguing the trade sector.

The National Single Window Project, codenamed a digital trade compliance initiative, will serve as a cross-government website facilitating trade by providing a unified portal for Nigerian and international trade actors.

This centralized platform will offer access to a full range of resources and standardized services from various Nigerian agencies, promising to expedite cargo movement and optimize inter-African trade.

President Tinubu’s directive to dismantle obstacles hindering trade efficiency reflects a commitment to fostering a transparent, secure, and business-friendly environment.

He underscored the urgency of eliminating red tape, bureaucracy, delays, and corruption at Nigerian ports, asserting that the economy cannot afford to sustain such losses.

The President’s call to emulate success stories from countries like Singapore, Korea, Kenya, and Saudi Arabia highlights the transformative potential of the Single Window system.

By joining the ranks of nations that have significantly improved trade efficiency through similar initiatives, Nigeria aims to unlock new avenues for economic growth and prosperity.

Tinubu stated that the National Single Window Project transcends Nigeria’s borders, presenting opportunities for regional integration and inter-African trade optimization. By linking Nigeria’s system with those of other African nations, the initiative seeks to expedite cargo movement and enhance trade facilitation across the continent.

Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority, Bello Koko, provided insights into the practical implications of the Single Window initiative.

He affirmed that imports would be cleared at all seaports within 24 hours, a significant improvement compared to neighboring countries where clearance often takes up to 72 hours.

Koko outlined how the initiative would streamline paperwork, enhance information sharing among government agencies, and foster greater efficiency in trade transactions.

With representatives from key government agencies and bodies forming the project secretariat, the National Single Window Project reflects a collaborative effort to drive comprehensive reform in Nigeria’s trade sector.

Continue Reading

Banking Sector

Fidelity Bank Grows Profit by 131.5% in FY 2023

Published

on

Mrs. Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe, MDCEO of Fidelity Bank Plc

Leading financial institution, Fidelity Bank Plc, has released its 2023 full year Audited Financial Statements, reporting a 131.5% growth in Profit Before Tax to N 124,26 billion.

According to the results, which was issued to the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) today, the bank grew Gross Earnings by 64.9% YoY to N555.83 billion, driven by 81.6% growth in Net interest income which increased from N152.7billion to N277.37 billion. This led to a Profit After Tax of N99.45 billion representing a 112.9% annual growth.

Commenting on the Bank’s commendable performance, Dr. Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe,OON, MD/CEO of Fidelity Bank Plc said, “We closed the financial year with strong double-digit growth across key income and balance-sheet lines. Our performance in 2023 is an attestation of our capacity to deliver superior returns to shareholders despite the difficulties in our operating environment. Profit before tax grew by 131.5% to N124.3bn from N53.7bn in 2022FY, leading to an increase in Return on Average Equity (RoAE) of 26.5% from 15.6% in 2022FY.”

A review of the financial performance showed that the bank grew Net interest income by 81.6% to N277.4bn driven by a 55.5% increase in interest income, thus reflecting a steady rise in asset yield throughout the year. The average funding cost dropped by 20bps to 4.4% due to increased low-cost funds that grew from 83.6% in 2022FY to 97.4% in 2023. The combination of higher asset yield and lower funding cost led to an increase in Net Interest Margin (NIM) of 8.1% from 6.3% in 2022FY.

Similarly, Total Customer Deposits crossed the N4tn mark as deposits grew by 55.6% from N2.6tn in 2022FY. The increase was driven by 81.1% growth in low-cost funds.

Despite the challenging operating environment, the bank reaffirmed its devotion to helping individuals grow, inspiring businesses to thrive and empowering economies to prosper by increasing Net Loans & Advances to N3.1tn from N2.1tn in 2022FY.

Despite the growth in its loan portfolio, Regulatory Ratios were maintained well above the required thresholds, with liquidity ratio at 45.3% from 39.6% in 2022FY and capital adequacy ratio (CAR) at 16.2% compared to the minimum requirement of 15.0%.

“We recognize the changing dynamics in the Nigerian banking space and the need to monitor and proactively manage evolving risks. The proposed final dividend of 60 kobo per share reflects our commitment to strong value creation and returns to our shareholders,” explained Onyeali-Ikpe.

Fidelity Bank has consistently paid dividend since 2006. With the proposed final dividend of 60 kobo per share, Fidelity Bank would be paying investors a total dividend of 85 kobo per share for the reporting period, a 70.0% increase compared to the 50 kobo per share paid to its shareholders in the previous year.

Ranked as one of the best banks in Nigeria, Fidelity Bank is a full-fledged customer commercial bank with over 8.3 million customers serviced across its 251 business offices in Nigeria and the United Kingdom as well as on digital banking channels.

The bank has won multiple local and international awards including the Export Finance Bank of the Year at the 2023 BusinessDay Banks and Other Financial Institutions (BAFI) Awards, the Best Payment Solution Provider Nigeria 2023 and Best SME Bank Nigeria 2022 by the Global Banking and Finance Awards; Best Bank for SMEs in Nigeria by the Euromoney Awards for Excellence 2023; and Best Domestic Private Bank in Nigeria by the Euromoney Global Private Banking Awards 2023.

Continue Reading
Advertisement




Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending