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Banks Begin Disbursement of Creative Industry Intervention Fund

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  • Banks Begin Disbursement of Creative Industry Intervention Fund

The Bankers Committee of the Central Bank of Nigeria on Thursday said it was set to commence the disbursement of funds under the Creative Industry Financing Initiative

The decision to commence the disbursement of funds under the initiative was made at the end of the committee’s meeting held at the CBN headquarters in Abuja.

Present at the meeting were Chief Executives of all the Deposit Money Banks in Nigeria as well as other top officials of the apex bank.

The CBN had stated that under the CIFI loan initiative, beneficiaries could get up to N500m loans at nine per cent interest rate.

It noted that the creative industries that could apply were fashion, Information Technology, movie production, movie distribution, music and software engineering student loan.

Addressing journalists shortly after the meeting, the Director, Banking Supervision Department, CBN, Mr Ahmed Abdullahi, said that the decision to support the creative industry was borne out of the committee’s conviction that the sector held the key to job creation, poverty reduction and inclusive growth.

He was accompanied to the media briefing by the Managing Director, FBN Quest Merchant Bank, Kayode Akinkugbe; MD, Ecobank, Patrick Akinwuntan; MD, FSDH Merchant Bank, Hamda Ambah; Citibank MD, Akin Dawodu; and Director of Corporate Communications at the apex bank, Isaac Okorafor.

Other issues discussed at the meeting include consumer lending, mortgage financing and the need to encourage the culture of savings among Nigerians.

Providing more insights into the outcome of the meeting, Akinkugbe urged interested applicants in the creative industry to submit applications to their banks for approval and disbursement.

He also urged them to prepare the business plan or statement on how much they required for their businesses.

On real estate, he said the committee had decided to unlock the huge liquidity that various people had in the sector.

He added that this would enable the banks to boost their contribution to the real estate sector towards adding value to the consumers.

He said, “We have had good dialogue in the past and there is recognition in the Bankers’ Committee that it is time to execute a lot of the initiatives that have been considered by the various sub-committee and acted on immediately.

“Another initiative discussed is in the real sector, we want to release the trapped liquidity that various investments that people have in the real estate, in land or in property. Recognising that there are some obstacles but ultimately we must find a way to navigate through.”

Also speaking, Ambah, the FSDH Merchant Bank boss, stated that the committee also resolved that banks should support the pension industry to release up to 25 per cent of the N9tn Pension Fund Assets for the contributors of the fund to use as equity injection towards owing houses.

She said, “Twenty five per cent of N9tn is worth over N2tn and this fund can be used to stimulate demand for mortgage loans in our economy.”

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

Total Currency in Circulation Increased by N56.44bn in September

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Currency in Circulation Rose by N56.44bn in the Month of September to N2.426 trillion

The total currency in circulation increased to N2.426 trillion in the month of September, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) report has shown.

In the report released on Wednesday, the apex bank said the total currency in circulation stood at N2.369 trillion as of the end of August.

The amount then rose by N56.44 billion in September to N2.426 trillion.

A further breakdown of the report revealed that currency in circulation declined by 6 percent in the first quarter of the year to N2.29 trillion, about 7.5 percent below the same quarter of 2019.

The figure stood at N2.35 trillion in May, then rose to N2.39 trillion by the end of July.

While reserve money expanded by 5.9 percent to N12.96 trillion when compared to a 20.7 percent growth recorded in April 2020.

The report also noted that at N10.61 trillion, liabilities to other depository corporations grew 70.5 percent above the previous month’s growth rate of 59.7 percent.

The report said, “The heightened uncertain outlook due to the lockdown encouraged more cash to be held by the public.

“This was evident from the increase in currency in circulation, compared with the level in the preceding month.

“Currency in circulation rose by two per cent to N2.35tn at the end of May 2020, compared with the increase of 0.5 per cent at the end of April 2020.”

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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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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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