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CBN Releases N607bn Agriculture Credit for 587 Projects



  • CBN Releases N607bn Agriculture Credit for 587 Projects

The Central Bank of Nigeria has released a total of N607.87bn credit to selected Deposit Money Banks to disburse for 587 agricultural projects, latest figures from the CBN have shown.

In its most recent economic report, the apex bank stated that the money was under its Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme, adding that a total of N345.06bn had been repaid by beneficiaries of the scheme.

The bank further noted that its agriculture credit guarantee to farmers increased by 98 per cent within the space of one month to N342.7m.

It said, “At end-April 2019, the total amount released by the CBN under the Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme to participating banks for disbursement amounted to N607.87bn for 587 projects, while total amount repaid stood at N345.06bn.”

In its latest economic report for April 2019, the CBN stated that Zenith Bank Plc, UBA Plc, Sterling Bank, and First Bank of Nigeria disbursed the highest amount to beneficiaries of the scheme.

The banks disbursed N122.66bn, N83.06bn, N72.17bn and N52.52bn, respectively, with 20 banks participating in the agriculture credit scheme.

On the Agricultural Credit Guarantee Scheme, the CBN stated that ACGS guaranteed a total of N342.7m to 2,022 farmers in April 2019.

It said, “The amount represented an increase of 98 per cent and 22.1 per cent over the respective levels in the preceding month and the corresponding period of 2018, respectively.

“Sub-sectoral analysis showed that food crops got the largest share, amounting to N184.7m (53.9 per cent) guaranteed to 1,217 beneficiaries, followed by livestock, N48.3m (14.1 per cent) guaranteed to 191 beneficiaries.”

It added, “The sum of N42.6m (12.4 per cent) was guaranteed to mixed crops sub-sector, in favour of 329 beneficiaries. Cash crops, fisheries and others received N29.8m (8.7 per cent), N26.5m (7.7 per cent) and N10.8m (3.2 per cent), guaranteed to 189,55 and 38 beneficiaries, respectively.”

Analysis by states showed that 25 states and the Federal Capital Territory benefitted from the scheme in April 2019, with the highest and lowest sums of N46.6m (13.6 per cent) and N0.6 (0.2 per cent) guaranteed to Ogun and Kogi states, respectively.

On the agricultural sector as a whole, the bank stated that weather conditions in the Northern states were relatively drier in April 2019.

It stated that consequently, agricultural activities in the region were mainly preparation of land for the 2019 wet season farming.

“However, the Southern states experienced improved moisture as a result of the commencement of early rainfall, which led to planting activities in the region,” the apex bank said.

It added, “In the livestock sub-sector, herders continued with the migration of cattle to Southern states in search of greener pastures, while poultry farmers re-stocked birds to replace sales during the Easter festive season.

“Also, in a bid to control the spread of the contagious Bovine Pleuro Pneumonia cattle lung disease, which broke out in Kaduna State, infecting 1,850 cattle and killing 367 herds, the Kaduna state government immunised 215,000 cattle in the affected areas.”

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


CBN Directs Banks to go After COVID-19 Financial Criminals



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



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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Apapa Customs Command Generate N367.6bn in Nine Months



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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