Nigeria Raises Interest Rate by 50 Basis Points to 18%
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) led monetary policy committee has raised the nation’s borrowing cost by another 50 basis points following a 500 basis points increase in 2022 to 18%.
The committee attributed its decision to the rising inflation rate and the need to contain price development around expectations of subsidy removal and other energy sources.
“These in the view of members, provides a compelling argument for an upward adjustment of the policy rate, albeit, less aggressively. The Committee, however, noted that the naira redesign and cash withdrawal limit policies have resulted in a sizeable reduction in Currency-Outside-Banks, indicating an expected improvement in the potency of monetary policy tools,” the minutes stated.
Another factor considered was the drop in capital importation and the impact of exchange rate pressure on domestic price levels.
The committee, therefore, called for policies to attract both portfolio and foreign direct investment to Nigeria.
It maintained optimism that, the continued progress made with the RT200 FX programme, Naira-4-dollar and
other policies targeted at attracting diaspora remittances, would continue to help improve accretion to the external reserves and improve liquidity in the foreign exchange market.
Members, however, remained aware of the ongoing challenges associated with the limits imposed on cash withdrawals in the face of frequent downtime in bank electronic transaction channels. The Committee thus called on Other Depository Corporations, online payment platforms, and other stakeholders to ensure that the prevailing incidence of network failures is overcome in the immediate and short term.
This would ensure that the Naira Redesign and Cash Withdrawal Limit Policies lead to an improved in-road of the CBN Cashless program and efficiency of the transmission mechanism of monetary policy.
Members, therefore, agreed to raise Monetary Policy Rate by 50 basis points, with ten members voting to raise the MPR by 50 basis points while one member voted to raise the MPR by 25 basis points and one member voted to hold the MPR. All members voted to keep all other parameters constant.
Zenith Bank Recognised as ‘Best Corporate Governance Financial Services’ in Africa for the Fourth Year Running
For the fourth consecutive year, Zenith Bank Plc has been named as the Best Corporate Governance ‘Financial Services’ Africa 2023 by the Ethical Boardroom.
For the fourth consecutive year, Zenith Bank Plc has been named as the Best Corporate Governance ‘Financial Services’ Africa 2023 by the Ethical Boardroom. The award, which was published in the Spring 2023 edition of The Ethical Boardroom magazine, is in recognition of the bank’s adherence to global best practices and institutionalization of corporate governance, setting an industry-wide example of best practices in that field.
Speaking on the recognition, the Group Managing Director/Chief Executive of Zenith Bank Plc, Dr. Ebenezer Onyeagwu, said: “I am extremely pleased that Zenith Bank has been awarded the Ethical Boardroom Corporate Governance Award as a regional governance champion for the fourth year running. No doubt, the bank’s board has pioneered the exemplary governance culture for which we are now renowned. Indeed, this recognition reflects our steadfast commitment, discipline and high ethos in the conduct of our business and dedication to the principles of good corporate governance. This award will motivate us to strengthen this culture internally and advocate for good governance at every forum”.
He dedicated the award to the Founder and Group Chairman, Jim Ovia, CFR, for providing the template for an enduring and very successful institution; the Board for their vision and outstanding leadership; the staff for their dedication and commitment; and the bank’s customers for their unwavering loyalty to the brand.
Ethical Boardroom is a trailblazing and leading international magazine that delivers in-depth coverage and critically-astute analysis of global corporate governance issues to help boards stay ahead of the governance curve.
Zenith Bank has been generally adjudged a Corporate Governance compliant bank by the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) hence its listing on the Premium Board of the Exchange. The bank continues to sustain this reputation and reappraise its processes to ensure that its business conforms to the highest global standards at all times.
The bank’s track record of excellent performances has continued to earn it numerous awards including being recognised as the Number One Bank in Nigeria by Tier-1 Capital, for the 13th consecutive year, in the 2022 Top 1000 World Banks Ranking published by The Banker Magazine; Bank of the Year (Nigeria) in The Banker’s Bank of the Year Awards 2020 and 2022; Best Bank in Nigeria, for three consecutive years from 2020 to 2022, in the Global Finance World’s Best Banks Awards; Best Commercial Bank, Nigeria 2021 and 2022 in the World Finance Banking Awards; Best Corporate Governance Bank, Nigeria in the World Finance Corporate Governance Awards 2022; Best Commercial Bank, Nigeria and Best Innovation In Retail Banking, Nigeria in the International Banker 2022 Banking Awards.
Also, the bank emerged as the Most Valuable Banking Brand in Nigeria in the Banker Magazine Top 500 Banking Brands 2020 and 2021, and Retail Bank of the year, for three consecutive years from 2020 to 2022, at the BusinessDay Banks and Other Financial Institutions (BAFI) Awards. Similarly, Zenith Bank was named as Bank of the Decade (People’s Choice) at the ThisDay Awards 2020, Bank of the Year 2021 by Champion Newspaper, Bank of the Year 2022 by New Telegraph Newspaper, and Most Responsible Organisation in Africa 2021 by SERAS Awards.
CBN Disburses N13.8 Billion to Manufacturing Sector Under 100-for-100 Policy
The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele has said the apex bank has disbursed a total sum of N173.3 billion to various beneficiaries under its 100-for-100 Policy on Production and Productivity since the policy commences.
Emefiele, who made this known in Abuja shortly after the Monetary Policy Committee meeting, said N13.81 billion of the total disbursed amount was for the development of three new projects in the manufacturing sector.
He said, “Under the 100 for 100 Policy on Production and Productivity, the Bank disbursed the sum of N13.81bn to three projects in the manufacturing sector.
“This brings the cumulative disbursement under the facility to N173.31bn, disbursed to 81 projects comprising 45 manufacturing, 23 agriculture, five healthcare, and eight services sector projects with an estimated 23,343 direct jobs created.”
The loan is capped at N5 billion per participant by the central bank, according to the guidelines for the implementation of the initiative.
In the guideline, the apex bank said 100 private sector organisations with projects that could transform the local economy through job creation, improve productivity, reduce imports, increase non-oil exports, and improve foreign exchange generating capacity of the nation will be selected and financed under the 100-for-100 policy.
“The initiative, which shall be bank-led, will be rolled over every 100 days (that is, quarterly) with a new set of companies selected for financing under the initiative,” it stated.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian economy grew at a slower pace in the first quarter of 2023 as Africa’s largest economy expanded at 2.31% year on year.
The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) attributed this decline in growth to the cash crunch caused by the CBN’s decision to change the Naira notes in an effort to curb counterfeit notes and other national challenges.
50% of UBA Earnings Comes from African Operations
One of the largest banks in Nigeria and Africa, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc has said about 50% of its earnings come from African operations.
Abiola Bawuah, the Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer of UBA Africa, who disclosed this said it was made possible because of the bank’s digital offerings and products that help gain large market shares in key markets in Africa.
Speaking to the press during a hybrid media parley on Thursday, Bawuah explained that while devaluations and rising inflation in Nigeria and other African nations where the bank operates impacted overall performance, subsidiaries remained strong and continue to contribute significantly to the growth and development of trade, infrastructure and finance.
She said, “As of last month, none of our African subsidiaries is making a loss. They have all been turning in profits, this is a testament to the fact that they have navigated successfully and have all found their footing.
Bawuah, a Ghanaian national, who was appointed earlier this year became the first female CEO of UBA Africa, to take the group’s total female directors to eight.
She said, “We need the government to regulate the private sector because the sector is struggling. However, the private sector needs to be strong, and that is where UBA comes in. There have been numerous facility programmes we have come up with for consumers in the corporate sector like the Small and Medium Enterprises, Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises that are being supported by us.
“It is only in UBA that I know of that you can be an MSME, and once you are faithful to us and you have run the enterprise very well, we are ready to support you, even when you do not have collateral.
“However, Africa must develop the private sector, and when you talk of the private sector, 60 per cent of the private sector in Africa are either SMEs or MSMEs, which would not be able to be developed by the foreign banks, because what they classify as SMEs monetarily is high, and most SMEs in Africa are far below that range.”
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