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Banks Advance N21.3tn Loans in 10 Months

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Central Bank of Nigeria

The total domestic credit from the banking sector to the economy dropped by 0.8 per cent to N21.3tn as of the end of October 2015, statistics obtained from the Central Bank of Nigeria have revealed.

The CBN in its economic report for October stated that the drop in credit to the economy was a reflection of the 18.9 per cent decline in net claims on the Federal Government.

The report, a copy of which was obtained by our correspondent in Abuja on Friday, said while the total credit to the private sector experienced an increase of 1.9 per cent to N19.07tn, the credit to the Federal Government dropped by 18.9 per cent to N2.26tn.

It attributed the decline in credit to the government to a drop in bank’s holding of the government securities particularly the Nigerian Treasury Bills which fell by 10.3 per cent during the period.

It said, “At N21.34tn, aggregate credit to the domestic economy, on month-on-month basis, fell by 0.8 per cent at the end of October 2015 in contrast to the 0.6 and four per cent growth at the end of the preceding month and the corresponding period of 2014, respectively.

“The development reflected the 18.9 per cent decline in net claims on the Federal Government, which more than offset 1.9 per cent growth in claims on the private sector.

“Over the level at end of December 2014, net domestic credit, however, grew by 10.8 per cent at the end of the review period, compared with the growth of 11.7 per cent at the end of the preceding month.

“The development reflected the increase in net claims on both the Federal Government and private sector.”

The report did not provide details of where lending was channelled in the private sector but noted that growth in the key monetary aggregate decelerated during the period.

The CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, had while speaking after the recent Monetary Policy Committee meeting said the apex bank in November reduced the lending rate from 13 per cent to 11 per cent but stressed its objective of easing lending to the real sector of the economy had not been achieved.

He said the CBN would continue to adopt moral suasion to encourage the Deposit Money Banks to support financing for targeted lending to the real sector as well as agriculture, solid minerals and the Small and Medium Enterprises sectors of the economy.

He said, “The committee acknowledged the continuous liquidity surfeit in the system stemming partly from the recent growth-stimulating monetary policy measures, as well as the tendency of the banks to invest excess reserves in government securities, rather than extend credit to the needed sectors of the economy.

“To this end, the committee once again urged the deposit money banks to improve lending to the real sector, as part of their patriotic obligations to the country and enjoined the management of the bank to continue to explore ways of incentivising lending to employment and growth-generating sectors, particularly the SMEs.”

When asked if the CBN would consider forcing banks to lend to the real sector, the governor said inasmuch as the CBN would prefer that the DMBs increased their lending to the real sector, it would be practically impossible to force them to do so owing to the fact that banks were established to make profit.

He said, “Unfortunately, the DMBs are in business to make money and we cannot regulate their interest rate. And so it can be difficult to really force them to lend to a particular set of people.

“But what we can continue to do is to put in place policies that will encourage them to do so or we can continue to incentivise them by putting in place policies that will encourage them to do so.

“So it is a free market and we cannot really compel them as it is expected. We will continue to try.

“This is why at the last meeting, we reduced the Cash Reserve Requirement from 25 per cent to 20 per cent. And we then insisted that that liquidity that will be made available or that those banks can only enjoy the reduction if they introduce to the CBN projects that are targeted at the real sector such as manufacturing, agriculture and the SMEs.”

He said the apex bank remained optimistic that the banks would heed the advice and lend to the real sector.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

Finance

CBN Directs Banks to go After COVID-19 Financial Criminals

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Godwin Emefile

Central Bank Asks Banks to Stay Abreast Frauds and Rising COVID-19 Financial Crimes

The Central Bank of Nigeria has directed all financial institutions in Nigeria to update alert protocols in their Anti-Money Laundering/Combating the Financing of Terrorism monitoring tools, in accordance with emerging trends of rising COVID-19 related financial crimes.

In a circular titled, ‘Administrative letters to all banks and other financial institutions’ issued on Monday and signed by J.M. Gana, the Director, Financial Policy and Regulation Department, the apex bank said changes in business activities and financial transactions due to the shift caused by COVID-19 pandemic have led to the surge in financial crimes globally.

Therefore, it said financial institutions must now adapt quickly and keep abreast of the new emerging financial risks and other developments to arrest this new and emerging ML/TF.

According to the circular, this includes strategic investment in data mining and artificial intelligence software to monitor financial transactions effectively and report as quickly as possible.

The central bank said the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit, the central repository of suspicious transactions and other financial information, had released a comprehensive report on STRs and others.

It stated that the NFIU had identified cybercrimes, frauds, counterfeiting and substandard goods, diversion of public funds and misuse of non-government organisations funds as some of the ongoing crimes that banks across the nation need to stay abreast and report.

Other suspicious transactions and red flags identified in the report were some e-commerce companies with little or zero history or internet presence suddenly receiving multiple payments from unrelated third parties.

Similarly, it said individuals with zero or little history of financial transactions receiving multiple payments from unrelated third parties. It also noted that customers who suddenly start delaying in the supply or purchases of medical supplies and payment of goods linked to known brands, yet the beneficiary is an individual, not a corporate company should be flagged.

The measures, the apex bank said were necessary due to the rising numbers of unusual transactions from banks’ customers and unscrupulous individuals.

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Finance

Union Bank Secures US$40 Million Facility from IFC Global Trade Finance

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Union Bank Secures US$40 Million Facility from IFC Global Trade Finance

Union Bank of Nigeria Plc said it has secured a US$40,000,000 finance guarantee facility from the IFC, a member of the World Bank Group.

In a note to the Nigerian Stock Exchange, the lender said the facility would help boost access to finance for local businesses and enable increased international trade for Nigeria.

It explained that the facility “will support Union Bank to establish working partnerships with nearly 300 major international banks within the GTFP network, thereby broadening access to finance and reducing cash collateral requirements for Nigerian businesses.

“The facility will enable the continued flow of trade credit into the Nigerian market at a time when imports are critical, and the country’s exports can generate much-needed foreign exchange.

Under the IFC’s Global Trade Finance Program (GTFP) terms of the agreement, GTFP offers benefiting banks partial or full guarantees covering payment risk on Union Bank’s trade-related transactions.

Accordingly, these guarantees are transaction-specific and may vary depending on underlying instruments like letters of credit, trade-related promissory notes, guarantees, bonds, and advance payment guarantees.”

Emeka Emuwa, Chief Executive Officer of Union Bank, said, “Union Bank is pleased to join the IFC’s Global Trade Finance Program. This is a significant achievement as we continue to expand our trade financing offerings to our
customers. Even in these peculiar times, we remain focused on contributing to economic growth by developing tailored solutions that help our customers harness the teeming opportunities that still exist in the Nigerian market.

Eme Essien Lore, IFC’s Country Manager for Nigeria, said, “Keeping trade moving is essential to growth and job creation, especially during the challenging economic times we are living through today. We welcome Union Bank to IFC’s Global Trade Finance Program and value a partnership that will make a positive impact on Nigeria’s economy.

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Finance

Apapa Customs Command Generate N367.6bn in Nine Months

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Nigeria Customs Service

Customs Command Apapa Realises N367.6bn Between January and September

The Nigeria Customs Service, Apapa Command, said it generated N367.6 billion in the nine-month ended September 2020.

Mohammed Abba-Kura, the Customs Area Controller, disclosed this while speaking with newsmen in Lagos.

He said a total of 328 containers of goods worth N19.5 billion were seized during the period. This, he said represents an increase of 37 containers when compared to the same period of 2019.

Speaking further, Abba-Kura said the N367.6 billion realised in the first nine months of the year, represented a 17 percent or N54.1 billion increase from N313.5 billion it collected during the same period of 2019.

The Apapa Command generated N14.3 billion as revenue in the third quarter from customers’ duty and other charges.

He said “The difference recorded was made possible as a result of resilience of officers in ensuring that importers and agents are made to do proper declarations, adhere strictly to import/export guidelines in tandem with extant laws.”

Commenting on the seizures, Abba-Kura said, “These items were seized mainly because of various forms of infractions which range from false declarations, non-adherence to import/export guidelines and failure to comply with other extant regulations as enshrined in the Customs and Excise Management Act.

“In the area of export trade, the period under review recorded exportation of goods worth N26,273,706,822 exported from the country.”

“These exported goods include mineral resources, steel bars, agricultural products among others with a total tonnage of 378,447 million tonnes free on board value of $85.8m. Similarly, the volume of export from January to September 2020 stood at N78.6bn with FOB $257,003,965.”

He added that the compliance level rose to about 60 percent during the period, highlighting the reason for the surge in the number of seizures made.

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