- CBN Forex Intervention Hits $42.3bn in One Year
Between April 2018 and March this year, the Central Bank of Nigeria injected over $42.3bn into the foreign exchange market to ensure liquidity in that segment of the economy.
The $42.3bn was arrived at by our correspondent based on figures released by the CBN.
The CBN usually intervenes in the forex market by injecting liquidity about three times a week.
The intervention is provided to authorised dealers in the wholesale segment of the market, as well as other sectors of the economy such as agriculture, manufacturing and Small and Medium Enterprises segment.
Customers that require foreign exchange for invisibles such as tuition fees, medical payments and Basic Travel Allowance, are also allocated funds from the intervention.
An analysis of the intervention showed that the apex bank injected about $7.89bn into the market in the second quarter of last year.
The injection of liquidity into the forex market by the CBN rose to $11.88bn in the third quarter of last year.
However, the figure dropped to $10.72bn in the fourth quarter before rising to $11.81bn as of the end of March this year.
Findings showed that during the period, the CBN sustained its interventions at both the inter-bank and the Bureau De Change segments of the forex market.
However, the average exchange rate of the naira vis-à-vis the dollar at the inter-bank segment depreciated by 0.04 per cent to N306.84 to a dollar in the first quarter, relative to the level at end-December 2018.
Commenting on the impact of the apex bank’s intervention in stabilising the forex market, the Director, Corporate Communications Department, Mr Isaac Okorafor, attributed the relative stability in the forex market largely to the continued intervention of the CBN.
The CBN spokesman further gave the assurance that the apex bank remained committed to ensuring that all the sectors continued to enjoy access to the forex required for the business concerns, whether in United States dollars or Chinese yuan.
He said the apex bank would continue to come up with measures that would ensure the value of the naira appreciates in the forex market.
He said, “The Importers and Exporters window was formed basically to sustain that market. We also have international money transfer operators. They also bring money that we also allowed to reflect market realities and that is another autonomous source.
“The currency swap has helped to stabilise the market. Because these are the demand that would have found itself in the dollar segment of the market.
“So we have been able to remove that and that also has helped to maintain stability.”
He said the apex bank would continue to sustain its intervention in the forex market until there was enough liquidity in the market.
More Retirees Quit Pension Scheme, Collects N28.46 Billion
114,837 Retirees Quit Pension Scheme, Collects N28.46 Billion
Thousands of retirees whose employers did not adequately fund their Retirement Savings Accounts and retired with balances below N550,000 have collected their contributions and quit the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS).
A total of 114,837 employees who retired after attaining the age of 50 and had less than N550,000 in their CPS account had collected their contributions and left the scheme as of the end of June 2020.
This includes contributors from the state, federal and private sectors.
In the quarterly report released on Friday by the PenCom, these retirees withdrew a total sum of N28.46 billion since the inception of the scheme till June.
The report showed about 6,561 of the total retirees that left the program were from the Federal Government sector while 3,879 and 104,397 were from the state and private sectors, respectively.
The report also showed that some of those who collected their contributions included foreign nationals who retired and returned to their countries of origin.
A further breakdown showed as of the end of third quarter of 2019, a total of 109,284 retirees with similar low balances withdrew N27.09 billion. While by the final quarter of 2019, 2,241 retirees withdrew about N569.27 million.
In the first quarter and second quarter of 2020, about 2,227 and 1,085 retirees withdrawn N531.95 million and N274.09 million, respectively. Bringing the total from inception to N28.46 billion.
PenCom stated in its Q2 report on en-bloc payments that, “The commission granted approval for the payment of the entire RSA balances of the categories of retirees whose RSA balances were N550,000 or below and considered insufficient to procure a programmed withdrawal or annuity of a reasonable amount over an expected life span.
“Approval was also granted for payment of RSA balances to foreign nationals who decided to return to their home countries after making contributions under the CPS.
“Accordingly, the sum of N274.78m was paid to 1,085 retirees, which comprised 140 from the public sector retirees (FGN and state) and 1,085 from the private sector retirees during the second quarter.”
Central Bank to Promote Zero Balance Account Opening to Drive Financial Inclusion
Banks Now Accept Zero Balance Account Opening to Deepen Financial Inclusion
In an effort to boost financial inclusion in the country, the Central Bank of Nigeria has said it would start promoting zero balance account opening to encourage and lure the unbanked into the banking system.
The apex bank disclosed this in its report titled ‘Monetary, credit, foreign trade and exchange policy guidelines for fiscal years 2020/2021’.
The report read in part, “As part of its effort towards promoting greater financial inclusion in the country, the bank shall continue to encourage banks to intensify deposit mobilisation during the 2020/2021 fiscal years.
“Accordingly, banks shall allow zero balances for opening new bank accounts and simplify their account opening processes, while adhering to Know-Your-Customer requirements.
“Banks are also encouraged to develop new products that would provide greater access to credit.”
The apex bank said the Shared Agency Network Expansion Facility, launched to deepen provision of financial services in under-served and unserved locations and drive financial inclusion through agent banking, would continue in the 2020/2021 fiscal years.
Banks, mobile money operators and super-agents would also continue to render returns in the prescribed formats and frequency to the CBN.
Investors Oversubscribed for FGN Bonds by N205.87 Billion in October
FG October Bonds Oversubscribed by N205.87 Billion
The Debt Management Office (DMO) has said investors oversubscribed for the Federal Government’s October bonds by N205.87 billion.
The DMO stated this after concluding the monthly FGN bonds auction on Wednesday.
Two instruments of 12.5 per cent FGN March 2035 re-opening 15-year bond and 9.8 per cent FGN July 2045 re-opening 25-year bond were auctioned.
The two bonds of N15bn each with a total auction figure of N30bn received a subscription of N235.87bn.
The 15-year tenor and 25-year tenor bonds received 99 and 67 bids but recorded 21 and 26 successful bids respectively.
The amounts allotted for each of the bids were N20bn and N25bn respectively.
According to the DMO, successful bids for the 15-year tenor bond and 25-year tenor bonds were allotted at the marginal rates of 4.97 per cent and six per cent respectively.
However, it added, the original coupon rates of 12.5 per cent for the 12.5 per cent FGN March 2035 bond and the 9.8 per cent for the 9.8 per cent FGN July 2045 bonds would be maintained.
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