Manufacturers have called on the Federal Government to strengthen the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN policy on foreign exchange in order to support the growth of the manufacturing sector.
Deputy Managing Director, Tempo Pulp & Packaging Limited, Nassos Sidirofagis, a Greece national who runs a manufacturing firm in Nigeria, told newsmen at a recent press briefing on ‘the CBN policy and impact on the manufacturing sector,’ that the policy has begun to yield impressive dividends as local patronage has increased significantly leading to improved production capacity of up to 70 per cent.
Because of that policy which is encouraging local production, Nigerians are beginning to patronise locally manufactured products thereby creating jobs instead of the foreign products patronage which takes the jobs away from the economy.
It was a game changer because as a Nigerian company, we are also competing globally and locally. But this policy has helped us increase our production capacity by up to 70 per cent. This is significant because it will help us to increase export which will increase the rate of foreign exchange flow.”
He added: “In this global economy that we live now, there is only one medicine. You have to have discipline in spending at the government level, you have to help very much the manufacturing sector and you also have to have policies that contribute to job creation.
If Nigeria can keep this policy for one or two years more and be very strong with this policy, you will see that many investors will be coming to Nigeria to invest. This is because; Nigeria will now be seen as a place that can support manufacturing”
Speaking further, he said: “Being from, Greece, I understand that the problems that we had there were basically problems that many other countries have.
“The solution is to open up the market, focus on manufacturing and local production.”
Greece was like Nigeria, importing almost everything because it had plenty of money but at the end of the day we got bankrupt. And this is just because we didn’t have strong manufacturing, supported by the government and only focused on importation. I can tell you that in Greece now, the government is focused so much on manufacturing and supporting the sector because that is the only way to create jobs.”
On his part, Managing Director, Sren Chemicals Limited, Oluwaseun Taiwo-Tijani, said: “Since the implementation of the policy, the demand rate for our products has increased dramatically.
This is because; most of the companies that now patronise us were not able to import the products again. Before now, most companies still imported nylon bags, which we manufacture locally here, but because of this policy, they had to resort to local manufacturers.
This shows that this policy is capable of making Nigeria export dependent. As manufacturers, we are happy with the policy. Nigeria should manufacture not less than 70 per cent of what it consume.”
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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