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CBN Adamant as National Assembly Seeks Extension of Old Notes’ Use by Six Months

Bank customers across the country have been lamenting the unavailability of the new notes and the brevity of time for them to return the old notes to their banks.

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New Naira Notes

Following complaints from Nigerians over the January 31 deadline for the phasing out of the old naira notes in lieu of the redesigning of N1000, N500 and N200 denominations that are scantly in circulation, the National Assembly has urged the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to shift the deadline to July 31.

Bank customers across the country have been lamenting the unavailability of the new notes and the brevity of time for them to return the old notes to their banks.

In a bid to give citizens more time to return the old notes with them to banks and for more circulation of the new naira currency, the nation’s legislature directed the apex bank to move the deadline by six months.

Making the appeal on Tuesday during plenary, the Senate re-echoed its December appeal to CBN for the extension of the deadline, saying the scarcity of the new notes made the deadline extension inevitable.

One of the lawmakers, Senator Sadiq Umar, representing Kwara North Senatorial District under the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC), moved a motion on the floor of the Red Chamber and demanded an extension to July 31.

Umar’s motion was corroborated by most of his colleagues.

This development, however, forced the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, to put the prayers in motion to vote and the lawmakers voted in support of the extension of the deadline from January 31 to July 31.

It could be recalled that the upper chamber had in December asked the apex bank to shift the deadline to June 30.

Similarly, the House of Representatives, also on Tuesday, while lamenting the scarcity of the new notes, sought the extension of the deadline by six months.

The lower chamber has invited the nation’s commercial banks to explain the reason behind the difficulty in making the redesigned notes available to members of the public.

According to the house, the Managing Directors/Chief Executive Officers of the banks, under the umbrella of the Bankers’ Committee, are to meet with an ad hoc committee of the House to be chaired by the Majority Leader, Alhassan Ado-Doguwa, on Wednesday, January 25.

But, the CBN is adamant and maintained that January 31 deadline is sacrosanct.

The governor of the apex bank, Godwin Emefiele made this known after the Monetary Policy Committee meeting in Abuja on Tuesday.

He said enough time had been given to Nigerians to change their old naira notes for new ones, saying that spate of kidnapping and ransom-taking had decreased since the three banknotes were redesigned.

Meanwhile, a check by Investors King at some banks on Tuesday revealed that while some had loaded their Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) with the new notes, many others are yet to comply with the directive given by CBN.

At a branch of the Access Bank located at Post office area of Osogbo, Osun State, customers thronged the machines to withdraw cash.

Some of the customers who withdrew from the ATMs got new notes while others got N100 notes.

However, customers who were inside the banking hall were rushing to beat time and deposit their old notes before the deadline.

An old man who visited the bank’s counter begged the cashier for new notes but he was directed to the ATM outside the banking hall for new notes.

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Banking Sector

Fidelity Bank Leads Trading as Equities Gain N324b

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fidelity bank - Investors King

Fidelity Bank Plc was the most active stock on Monday, 10 June 2024 at the Nigerian stock market as a strong positive sentiment led Nigerian equities to a net capital gain of N324 billion in the first trading session of the week.

The market opened with widespread positive sentiment as investors sought to lock into value stocks in the high-end sectors of oil and gas, construction and manufacturing.

With three gainers for every loser, the market closed with average return of 0.58 per cent, equivalent to net capital gain of N324 billion.

The momentum of activities also improved considerably as total turnover rose by 148.33 per cent to 963.541 million shares valued at N13.498 billion in 8,657 deals. Fidelity Bank topped the activity chart with 605.257 million shares valued at N6.025 billion.

Fidelity Bank’s activities appeared to be driven by buy sentiment as the stock closed within the top 15 gainers with a gain of 6.52 per cent to close at N9.80 per share.

The All Share Index (ASI)- the common value-based index that tracks all share prices at the Nigerian Exchange (NGX), rose by 0.58 per cent to close at 99,793.71 points as against its opening index of 99,221.14 points.

Aggregate market value of all quoted equities also increased simultaneously from its opening value of N56.128 trillion to close at N56.452 trillion.

Other most active stocks included Access Holdings, which recorded turnover of 93.067 million shares worth N1.744 billion. United Bank for Africa (UBA) traded 58.726 million shares valued at N1.261 billion. Nigerian Breweries traded 45.256 million shares valued at N1.267 billion while Zenith Bank traded 16.079 million shares worth N539.552 million.

Analysts at Futureview Financial Services said they anticipated a mixed sentiment in the equities market, primarily due to the enduring allure of the fixed income market among investors.

“This interest is fueled by expectations of increased rates in the Nigerian Treasury Bill (NTB) auction and the impending release of the inflation rate. However, amidst these factors, there remains an opportunity for sustainable growth, particularly in fundamentally strong stocks that currently find themselves in the oversold region. We foresee a selective pursuit of bargains, particularly in dividend-paying stocks, driven by the nearing corporate qualification and payment,” Futureview stated.

 

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Banking Sector

Sterling Bank Implements Blockchain Solution for SPPG

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Sterling Bank - Investors King

Sterling Bank, a leading financial institution committed to driving innovation and progress, has partnered with the School of Politics, Policy, and Governance (SPPG) to revolutionize credential verification through blockchain technology.

This collaboration marks a significant milestone in enhancing the efficiency, security, and accessibility of academic credentials in Nigeria.

Acknowledging the pressing need for an effective solution, Sterling Bank has taken the initiative to back the implementation of VX Technologies’ innovative blockchain-based digital certification program. This initiative arose from the necessity for a transformative solution to address the difficulties faced by SPPG in managing and verifying academic credentials through paper-based systems.

“We are thrilled to partner with VX Technologies and SPPG to introduce this game-changing initiative,” said Obinna Ukachukwu, Chief Growth Officer Sterling Bank.

“We believe in the power of innovation to drive progress and transform lives at Sterling Bank. By supporting the adoption of blockchain technology in education, we are not only revolutionizing credential verification but also advancing our H.E.A.R.T strategy for Education, which prioritizes Access and Equity.”

Sterling Bank’s investment in this pioneering project underscores its commitment to fostering innovation and driving positive change in Nigeria’s education sector. By leveraging blockchain technology, graduates from SPPG will now have access to secure, tamper-proof digital certificates, ensuring the integrity and authenticity of their academic achievements.

As VX Technologies maintains its leadership position in integrating blockchain technology across diverse sectors, their collaboration with SPPG and Sterling Bank underscores the significant impact of blockchain technology on education and beyond.

“We are pleased to acknowledge the impactful generosity of Sterling Bank, who has provided the funding necessary for the initial phase of this project. “ said Ryan Hawkos, Director of Operations, VX Technologies. “This support ensures that thousands of SPPG alumni can access their digital certificates, with the first one thousand certificates being provided at no cost.”

As Nigeria’s education landscape continues to evolve in the digital age, Sterling Bank remains committed to driving innovation and empowering the next generation of leaders. Through strategic partnerships and groundbreaking initiatives like the blockchain-based digital certification project, Sterling Bank is leading the charge towards a future where access to education is seamless, secure, and equitable.

According to the Chief Executive Officer of SPPG, Alero Ayida-Otobo, “Sterling Bank’s commitment to quality and positive educational experiences for people is yet again demonstrated here in their commitment to supporting the adoption of innovative technology across the educational ecosystem.”

“We are one of the first institutions in Nigeria to embrace blockchain for academic credential management, and we look forward to a near future where this is the norm across Nigeria,” he added.

Renowned for its now famous HEART of Sterling strategy; which focuses investments in the Health, Education, Agriculture, Renewable Energy and Transportation; its irreverent brand voice and enviable talent management practices, Sterling has been awarded the Most Innovative Bank of The Year for by BusinessDay, been named the Overall Best Place To Work In Nigeria by the Great Place To Work Institute, and has featured on the prestigious top 100 fastest growing companies in Africa, as published by the globally recognized Financial Times, all in 2023.

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Banking Sector

Unity Bank Projects N5.2B Profit in Q3, 2024

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Unity bank - Investors King

Retail lender, Unity Bank Plc has projected a Profit After Tax of N5.2 billion in Q3, 2024, according to its latest earning forecast released to the Nigerian Exchange Group.

The lender projects a pre-tax profit of N5.7 billion while targeting a turnover of N26.93 billion in gross earnings during the quarter, an 8.2% increase from the Q2, 2024 projection of N24.89 billion.

An essential part of the earnings forecast also shows that the lender expects to record its interest income at N23 billion, with net revenue anticipated to hit N6.58 billion for the period.

Operating income is expected to rise to N13.38 billion, while cash flow from financing activities is projected to rise to N353.6 billion.

Moreover, the improved projected cash from financing activities and the expected increase in cash and cash equivalents highlight the lender’s strong liquidity position, which is critical for sustaining current and future business operations.

The lender stated that it expects the results to be achieved and surpass the projection, barring any unforeseen significant changes in the operating macroeconomic environment under which assumptions underlying the forecast were made.

Analysts believe that the positive outlook of the lender’s Q3, 2024 earnings forecast reflects strategic growth in key financial metrics, a focus on strengthening its income base, efficient financial management, and enhancing customer deposits geared towards maintaining a strong, stable, and profitable financial institution.

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